US Campaign for Palestinian Rights

Introduction

Formerly known as the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

USCPR is a national coalition of hundreds of groups working to advocate for Palestinian rights and a shift in US policy and is a leader and mobilizer of anti-Israel BDS campaigns.

Profile

Country/TerritoryUnited States
Websitehttp://uscpr.org/
FoundedFounded in 2001 as a “national coalition working to end all U.S. support for Israel’s military occupation and apartheid policies toward Palestinians.”

Funding

  • In 2019, total revenue was approximately $650,000.
  • Claims that it “receives the vast majority of its funding from relatively small individual donations throughout the country” and that the “[g]enerous support from a large base of diverse supporters ensures that the US Campaign can remain principled, independent, and not reliant on a small group of foundations or government grants.”
  • US Campaign for Palestinian Rights received $265,000 (under the name of Education for Just Peace in the Middle East) in 2015-2020 from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
  • USCPR is the “fiscal sponsor” of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC). The BNC is the leading Palestinian BDS umbrella network.

Activities

Political Advocacy

  • USCPR rhetoric includes accusations of “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” “genocide,” “war crimes,” and “colonialism,” as well as supporting a Palestinian “right of return.”
  • Exploits the US civil rights struggle by accusing Israel of maintaining a “matrix of control” over the Palestinian population and enacting “laws that discriminate against [Palestinians], much as Black Americans had been treated during the Jim Crow era.”
  • In January 2020, USCPR referred to the newly-released President Trump “Peace Plan” as an “apartheid plan.” According to Executive Director of USCPR Yousef Munayyer, “Donald Trump, the White Supremacist-in-Chief, is rolling out a plan to whitewash the apartheid reality alongside his Israeli partners-in-war-crimes.”
  • During the 2018 violence on the Gaza border, USCPR urged people to call on their members of Congress to “open an investigation into Israel’s unlawful killing of Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza.” According to USCPR, “US laws are supposed to prevent these weapons from being used to commit human rights abuses. It is past time to end Israel’s impunity to using excessive force against Palestinians” (emphasis in original). USCPR ignored the violent nature of the protests, which have consisted of an organized armed attack on the Israeli border and IDF positions, attempts to destroy and breach the border fence, and sustained arson, rocket, and mortar attacks on Israeli civilian communities.
  • In 2018, USCPR created a “political education curriculum” titled “Together We Rise: Palestine as a Model of Resistance” meant to “strengthen liberation struggles from the U.S to Palestine.”
  • To mark “50 years of Israel’s military occupation70 years since the Nakba and ethnic cleansing of Palestine” (emphasis in original), USCPR organized a “Week of Action June 5-10” in which it calls upon followers to “Join 50 actions nationwide June 5-June 10, 2017 on this 50th anniversary to demand an end to Israel’s brutal military occupation.” Suggested activities include organizing a demonstration, protest, “Mock wall,” “Mock checkpoint,” and “Die-in” outside of Consulates, Congressional offices, and stores that sell “boycotted products.”
  • In May 2017, USCPR published “50 Years of Israeli Military Occupation – FAQs” accusing Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and “apartheid” and stating that “Even though the  United  States has consistently opposed Israel’s building of settlements for the past fifty years…the United States has worked to ensure that   the   international   community   does   not impose sanctions  on Israel  for  its  continued  illegal  colonization of Palestinian land.”
  • In July 2015, USCPR sponsored a congressional briefing to “examine Israel’s misuse of U.S.-supplied weapons in Gaza and call on lawmakers to hold Israel accountable for its violations of U.S. and international law.” The briefing featured speakers from AdalahAmerican Friends Service Committee (AFSC), and Defense for Children International- Palestine (DCI-P).

No Way to Treat a Child

BDS Activities

Staff

  • Yousef Munayyer
    • Munayyer, Executive Director of USCPR, was formerly the Executive Director of the Jerusalem Fund and Palestine Center.
    • In October 2018, following US Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) referring to Israel’s nation-state law as “apartheid,” Munayyer sent an email to supporters praising McCollum for “openly, and correctly, nam[ing] Israel for what it is… this moment is a benchmark in a narrative shift we have all been working towards for a long time.”
    • In February 2018, Munayyer demonstrated support for BDS, tweeting “It is exciting and refreshing to see all of these people who support boycott tactics.”
    • In November 2014, Munayyer gave a lecture titled “The Quest for a Just Peace: Connecting Liberation Struggles,” stating that Palestinians experienced the “transition between one form of colonization to another form of colonization… the transfer of power between the British imperial enterprise in Palestine and the adoption of that imperial enterprise by the Zionist movement.”
  • Karl Anderson
    • Anderson, USCPR Development Associate, previously worked for the Rachel Corrie Foundation.
    • In March 2016, Anderson accused Israel of being an “apartheid state.”
    • On July 25, 2014, Anderson participated in a protest and “die-in” outside the Washington State Capitol building opposing the 2014 Gaza War. Anderson held a sign that read: “End U.S. Military Aid to Israel.”
  • Ramah Kudaimi
    • Kudaimi, the Director of Grassroots Organizing for USCPR, has promoted incitement to violence against Israelis, urged the inclusion of Holocaust deniers into mainstream media, and has called for the destruction of Israel — tweeting: “F**k Israel every day until the fall of the zionist regime.”
    • In July 2016, Kudaimi was denied entry into Israel for security reasons and was banned from entering the country for 10 years. 

Members

  • Member organizations include leaders of BDS campaigns against Israel and highly biased NGOs.
  • Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP)
    • Promotes political warfare strategy against Israel, including BDS, sustained campaigns of demonization alleging “apartheid” and “racism,” and support for a Palestinian claim to a “right of return” with the ultimate goal of dismantling Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.
    • In June 2017, started a campaign called “Deadly Exchange” that aims to “end police exchange programs between the US and Israel.” JVP claims that “‘worst practices’ are shared to promote and extend discriminatory and repressive policing in both countries including extrajudicial executions, shoot-to-kill policies, police murders, racial profiling, massive spying and surveillance, deportations and detention, and attacks on human rights defenders.” The campaign also invoked antisemitic tropes.
  • American Muslims for Palestine (AMP)
  • American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)
    • AFSC is a leader of BDS campaigns on campuses and churches in the United States.
    • Dalit Baum, director of AFSC’s Middle East program, is co-founder of Coalition of Women for Peace’s flagship BDS project “Who Profits?” Baum lobbies international audiences on how best to promote the global BDS campaign against Israel. AFSC materials include an online investment screening tool aimed to “help individuals and institutions identify companies on their investment portfolios that are directly complicit in ongoing severe violations of human rights and international law.”
    • AFSC promotes “anti-normalization,” rejecting dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.
  • CODEPINK
    • COPEPINK, together with Interfaith Peace-builders and other highly biased and politicized groups, launched a campaign to “End US Military Aid to Israel,” urging followers to “stop funding weapons to Israel.”
    • In 2014, launched a “Boycott Sodastream” campaign, alleging that “SodaStream enjoys cheap land and water, confiscated from the indigenous Palestinian owners; a captive Palestinian labor force; tax benefits; and lax regulation of environmental and labor protection laws.” The campaign called on supporters to “Send a letter telling Scarlet Johansson to drop SodaStream” and “Send letters to SodaStream retailers.” It also publicized a video, “BDS Brides Boycott SodaStream and Ahava Sales at Bed Bath & Beyond,” as well as downloadable “Slogans & Chants for Protesting SodaStream.”
  • Christian Peacemakers Teams (CPT)
  • Friends of Sabeel
    • Sabeel supports the “one state solution,” meaning the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state.  Its “Vision for the Future” states: “The ideal and best solution has always been to envisage ultimately a bi-national state in Palestine-Israel… One state for two nations and three religions.” (emphasis added).
    • In June 2017, was a signatory to an “Open Letter” from the National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine to the World Council of Churches that accuses Israel of “Discrimination and inequality, military occupation and systematic oppression.” The letter calls upon the WCC to “recognize Israel as an apartheid state,” and “unequivocally condemn the Balfour declaration as unjust, and that you demand from the UK that it asks forgiveness from the Palestinian people and compensates for the losses.” The letter also defends “our right and duty to resist the occupation creatively and nonviolently,” through “economic measures that pressure Israel to stop the occupation…in response to Israel’s war on BDS. We ask that you intensity those measures.”
  • Grassroots International
    • Grassroots International engages in advocacy and “seek[s] to influence US citizens and policy negotiators who have the power to create policies that uphold rather than undermine basic human rights.”
    • Is running a campaign, with accompanying fact sheets, to “Tell TIAA-CREF to stop investing in the Separation Wall,” and to Elbit Systems Ltd., as Elbit “Directly profit[s] from or contribute[s] to the Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.”
  • Interfaith Peace Builders
    • Sends “3 – 4 delegations to Israel/Palestine every year” intended to expose the “everyday violence of war and occupation and learn from those committed to nonviolent struggle, human rights and peace with justice.”
    • Interfaith Peace-Builders signed on a call to thank “the National Council of the American Studies Association (ASA)… decision to endorse the Palestinian call for the academic boycott of Israel.”
  • Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA)
    • MECA organizes delegations to “Palestine/Israel” where participants can “witness the impact of the Israeli occupation and…learn about refugees, land confiscation, political prisoners…” Trip highlights include learning “about the origins of the Palestinian refugees and the Right of Return, and how it can be implemented” (emphasis added).
    • In September 2015, MECA signed on a letter to the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon urging the UN to terminate its contracts with international security company G4S, as the company is “complicit with Israel’s human rights violations.”
    • MECA lists Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC), is a PFLP-affiliated health committee active in Gaza, as identified by USAID and in Palestinian documents. as an organization “we support.”
  • Rebuilding Alliance
    • Regularly lobbies the U.S. Congress and State Department, promoting the Palestinian narrative of victimization and Israeli aggression.
    • On May 16, 2017, Rebuilding Alliance participated in a petition to PayPal “urging that PayPal services be made available to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza” as “PayPal has a discriminatory policy of serving Israeli settlers in the West Bank, but not the Palestinians next door… PayPal risks becoming the target of boycotts by offering services to settlers and thereby profiting from the Occupation. Extending PayPal to Palestinians makes it not only the right decision morally, but financially as well.”
  • WESPAC Foundation
    • Refers to US-funded “atrocities” in “our homeland” and demands the US “end all aid to Israel, diplomatic, economic, military… to this apartheid, racist state.”
    • According to WESPAC, “Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions are appropriate and legitimate weapons to wage peace” and the NGO campaigns for boycotting and divesting from Caterpillar.
  • Other members include Nonviolence International, National Lawyers Guild, Israel Palestine Mission Network – Presbyterian Church (U.S.A), US Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, and Students for Justice in Palestine.

Partners

USCPR is a national coalition of hundreds of groups working to advocate for Palestinian rights and a shift in US policy and is a leader and mobilizer of anti-Israel BDS campaigns.

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