[IMC-NYC] Palestine travel grant application (and some information)

kate crane pteryla at yahoo.com
Wed, 22 May 2002 09:31:59 -0700 (PDT)

POSTED:  May 22, 2002

DEADLINE:  Rolling, apply ASAP, most awards made by
JUNE 20, 2002

PURPOSE:  To assist travel to Palestine for
participation in "Freedom Summer" with the
International Solidarity Movement, beginning June

ELIGIBILITY:  Grants will be given to activists in the
NYC region (including NJ) who intend to work for a
minimum of two weeks with Freedom Summer.  Preference
given to people of color involved in movement work,
people with specific skills such as nurses or Arabic
language abilities, people with demonstrated
commitment to social justice issues. 

AWARDS:  The amount of a grant will ultimately be
determined by the amount of money we raise.  Grants
will be given in blocks of $250.  Recipients will be
chosen by a committee of at least two people who have
been in Palestine with the International Solidarity
Movement, and at least three people active in
movements of people of color with Palestine-activism
experience.  All applicants will be interviewed in
person or by telephone.

APPLICATION:  applications should be submitted via
email to freedomsummergrantny%20at%20yahoo.com.  




RELEVANT SKILLS (eg. medical, language, etc):
(eg. gender/race/sexuality/ability):
TWO REFERENCES, phone and email:
If email doesnít work for you call Amanda at
718-638-5615.  But if at all possible please direct
questions and applications by email to
So, you're interested in going to Palestine as part of
an International Solidarity Movement trip?  Well,
first I want to thank you for your willingness to heed
the call of activists in the Middle East desperately 
trying to find nonviolent ways to end Israel's illegal
military occupation of Palestine (West Bank, E.
Jerusalem, Gaza).

Next I want to thank you for your patience.  We've
been deluged with requests for help in how to go to
Palestine and we find it all quite heartening and

Here's what we suggest and can offer:

1)  Clarify who is CCMEP and ISM.
2)  Since March 29th, what have internationals been
doing in Palestine?
3)  If you go soon, what you might likely do.
4)  What are the steps in going to Palestine?
5)  Support CCMEP and other groups can provide you.
6)  Final thoughts

1)  Clarify who is CCMEP and ISM. ¬ 

Nothing long-winded here. 

CCMEP stands for the Colorado Campaign for Middle East
Peace. We've been around for a dozen years, focused on
Palestine-Israel (especially US role), War on Iraq,
War against Afghanistan, Attacks on Civil Liberties
and Civil Rights. In brief, CCMEP has sent numerous
delegations to Palestine and Iraq, helped organize the
Nat'l Network to End the War Against Iraq, hosted 
speakers, lobbied Congress, demonstrated and more. 
More about CCMEP at:

ISM = International Solidarity Movement. Started by a
small group of Palestinian, Israeli and American
activists who mutually believed in and practiced
nonviolent direct action to end Israel's occupation,
the ISM has grown and since August of 2001, has hosted
four gatherings of internationals in Palestine. ISM
has been the main NGO that we've built a relationship
in going to Palestine. More info on ISM at: 

There are many other great organizations within
Palestine, Israel and the US that facilitate US
citizens coming to the Middle East. In terms of
organizing nonviolent direct actions in Palestine, ISM
is one of just two NGOs that do this (the other is
GIPP - Grassroots International Protection of
Palestinian People - that mainly bring European
activists). Many 
organizations such as Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT)
and the Fellowship of Reconciliation help bring
Americans to Palestine as well, and they often 
work in conjunction with ISM and GIPP.

2)  Since March 29th, what have internationals been
doing in Palestine?

At previous ISM gatherings, internationals have
participated, with Palestinian and Israeli activists,
in nonviolent direct actions aimed at the obvious
symbols of occupation: ¬ dismantling earthen
roadblocks, observing and intervening at checkpoints,
taking over a checkpoint, solidarity visits,
wheat-pasting a tank, protesting the Israeli take-over
of the Orient House, 
and more. 

With Israel's recent brutal invasion of the West Bank,
the hundreds of internationals that just arrived to do
the above work were confronted with a very serious
life and death dilemma. Open nonviolent direct action
extremely dangerous. In one example on April 1, 2002,
nearly 100 internationals attempted to make a
solidarity visit with food and medicine to families
under siege in the Palestinian city of Beit Jala (near
Bethlehem). Without provocation, the Israeli military
fired live rounds at the ground, the shrapnel causing
injuries to eight people, including one very serious
injury. ¬ More on this at:

With this in mind, internationals strategized and
began doing desperate humanitarian work. Accompanying
Red Crescent ambulances (that had been shot at and at
times destroyed by the Israeli army), attempting to
food and medicine, maintaining a presence in Refugee
Camp homes (often the target of the most vicious
Israeli military attacks), walking into Nablus 
and Jenin Refugee Camp where the Israeli military
tried (and mostly succeeded) in keeping out
journalists and other international witnesses to 
massacres and mass destruction.

Without a doubt the level of risk dramatically
increased in this latest ISM campaign with
internationals on the receiving end of shrapnel, live
fire over their heads, tear-gassing, rubber bullets,
sound bombs, beatings, 
interrogations, arrests and deportations. Without
sounding crass, the benefits were many and obvious: 
the whole world has learned that internationals are
doing what their governments should have done a long
ago! While the UN, other world governments and even
humanitarian groups like the Red Cross did little,
international activists have made a profound
contribution in raising the visibility of the issues,
speaking to media worldwide, offering direct
protection to Palestinian civilians under an invasion
and holding up the banner of nonviolence as a way

3)  If you go soon, what you might likely do.

In the very near future we've been told that the most
urgent needs are for 
internationals to:

-   Help record testimonies of survivors of the
massacres in Jenin Refugee 
Camp and Nablus.
-   Provide ongoing medical assistance
-   Help rebuild homes and buildings bulldozed and
blown up by the Israeli army
-  Be observers at military checkpoints inside the
West Bank and Gaza
-  Continue to speak to the media (live from
Palestine) and write about what is really going on

Prior to Israel's April invasion, ISM organizers had
plans for a massive Palestine Freedom Summer, modeled
after the Civil Rights freedom summers of the 60s.
Many people, especially students, are planning to go
for several weeks during the summer. Tentative dates
for the summer campaign were June 20th to August 7th.

As evidenced, the situation is ever-changing, so what
internationals might be doing in June, July and
onwards is uncertain but would be within the confines
of the ideas mentioned above (direct actions and
humanitarian actions).

4)  What are the steps in going to Palestine?

STEP 1: Get to know the issues and the history. This
does not have to be a graduate-level college course.  

For website browsing, a very recently updated site
with an exhaustive yet easy to maneuver list of
history: http://www.robincmiller.com/melinkfr.htm

Books: Fateful Triangle (Chomsky), Question of
Palestine (Said), Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel, War
for Palestine. There are many others.

STEP 2: Establish what your goals are for the trip
are. Ideas of past delegations:
-   Raise media visibility of issue by making local
connection to international story
-   Help boost the growing nonviolent resistance
movements in Palestine
-   Return home and use visibility to educate and
inspire others to take action
-   Build relationships with civilians, and activists
in Palestine, Israel and throughout the world
-   Do media interviews and write journals for press
and your support network at home
-   Help establish an affinity group or organization
to sustain peace, justice and solidarity work in the
middle east

STEP 3: With goals established, build a community of
supporters to help facilitate your goals. If you're
already involved with a student group, faith community
or other community organization, tap into them for
direct support. Depending on your goal(s) the size and
commitment of your supporters will be crucial.

Specific Functions of Supporters:
-   Help Fundraise (see below)
-   Media Team: From receiving email reports from you
to transcribing phone reports (because electricity
could be scarce) to posting your stories to website
and email listserves to sending out press releases,
and doing 
follow-up phone calls, this team is key (if this is
part of your goal). 

Also, we've found having someone available overnight
for recording reports, generating press releases and
more, to be helpful.
-   Emergency Contact: someone who has a cell-phone
that can contact family members to give them urgent
updates, or to reassure them that you're ok
-   Scheduler: Someone who will handle and schedule
speaking presentations that are requested or generated
by your trip. This person(s) could also help set up a
public report-back for your supporters.
-   Coordinator: Someone to oversee that the above is
getting done, see if 
people need assistance.

STEP 4: Once you've decided you're definitely going,
register with the International Solidarity Movement by
going to: www.rapprochement.org or thru CCMEP's site
at www.ccmep.org.  

You can also email the organizers via
www.palsolidarity.org. Once you've registered, you'll
get more specific information including phone numbers
of people in the West Bank.

STEP 5: Fundraise and gather supplies. ¬ Many people
might feel fundraising is one of the biggest obstacles
to going, but with the amount of resources most
Americans have access to, this shouldn't be too
difficult. It can, however, be intimidating,
especially if you're not used to asking people for

Bottom line for fundraising: If you ask, people will
give. First, how much will you need? ¬ If you're
planning to go for a 2 or 3 week trip, figure:

 $800 for roundtrip airfare thru Tel Aviv or Amman
 $400 for housing, some meals and transportation
 $100 for more meals and transportation
 $ 25 for internet fees
 $ 75 for cell phone (rent one there)
 $100 for miscellaneous (postage for mailing, etc..)
 $200 for emergency
 Total = $1700

If you want to do video or other camera work, figure
in those costs as well.

So let's say you need to raise $1700. Here's how to do
a)  Figure how much you can put in
b)  Ask all your family and close friends for a
generous donation; best to tell them how much you need
and ask for a specific amount
c)  If you still need more, write a letter (we can
provide examples) addressing why you're going, how
much you need, and what you plan to do when you
return.  Email and snail mail all your friends and
comrades.  Within a week CALL THEM UP and ask them for
a specific amount. Most will give you something. You
may find some will even give you more than you ask
d)  If you still need more, tap into any network or
community group you have ties to. Get creative: hold a
fundraiser, yard sale, bake sale, etc|
e)  Credit cards. While this is not an idea I
recommend, some people have resorted to this.

Post-fundraising work:
Be sure to send or call thank yous to everyone who
donated. Consider having a send-off party with you as
speaker, food, and other SHORT speeches by friends. 
One other key thing to keep all these people involved,
whether they've donated money or not, is to create an
email listserve (with yahoogroups or topica) that will
keep all your supporters informed of your trip,
during and after.  If electricity is up and running
and internet cafes are open in Palestine, you can post
reports right from Palestine.

If you still need more help with fundraising, there is
no better book than Kim Klein's "Fundraising for
Social Change".

STEP 5: Training Before you go.

When you get to Palestine there will likely be a day
or two of intensive training and role-playing. ¬
However, ISM expects you to get at least some of the
formal training described here:

1)  Nonviolence Training: ¬ Philosophy, History,
Strategy, Role-Playing (a peace organization in your
community likely can provide this)
2)  Media Training: Role-play thinking on your feet,
powerful soundbites, how to negotiate with reporters
and editors, how to write to get into press, etc..
3)  Medical and Psychological Preparation:  Going to a
place where American F-16s and helicopters gunships
are regularly used to bomb and terrorize people means
being prepared to face that terror. There may be a
doctor or 
EMT in your area that is familiar with street-medic
training or basic emergency functions to know. Also,
talking with a psychologist before and after you go
could be helpful in processing difficult stresses and
4)  Try to speak with someone who has been there. Our
group can provide some help with this and we can refer
you to people possibly near you who 
have been there as well.

5)  Support CCMEP and other groups can provide you

In addition to what is mentioned above, CCMEP can send
you two other helpful documents as attachments:

a)  International Solidarity Movement Information
Pack, December 2001, ISM. A bit dated but has a good
overview of history, mission statement of ISM, country
guide, practical arrangements, press work, about
getting arrested, affinity groups and more.

b)  Important Points on Getting Organized to go to
Palestine and What You'll Need Once You Get There,
March 2002, CCMEP. Very practical things like what
items to bring, passports and more.

c)  There's a national moderated email listserve for
US citizens that want to go to Palestine. It's
basically an information sharing network at this
point. To join send an email to:
DirectActionPalestinesubscribe%20at%20yahoogroups.com.  CCMEP
also has a local-Colorado email listserve for
Coloradans that want to go to Palestine or help others
to go. To join this list, send an email to: 

d)  There's an international email list for people
that want to keep abreast of the activities of the
International Solidarity Movement.  You'll get 
aboutone post a day, at most.  Send an email message

e)  Some other key US contacts: Thom Saffold in Ann
Arbor, Michigan: tsaffold%20at%20provide.net, 734-668-1549.
And, in the Bay area of California, Paul Larudee:
larudee%20at%20pacbell.net, 510-236-5338. New York area,
Jordan Flaherty, anticapitalist%20at%20hotmail.com,

We're also developing more thorough handouts on
fundraising, media training, forming affinity groups
and more. Call or email us to find out if these are a

6)  Final Thoughts

What you'll face in Palestine is like nothing else
we're used to in the United States. If you're a person
of color or if you've faced the wrath of police abuse
or the prison system, that's probably the closest to
the terror Palestinians live with on a daily basis. 
Being prepared to handle and cope with this terror
will be key to your effectiveness and maintaining some

Be sure you get adequate rest before going and
practice deep-breathing techniques to use in stressful
situations.  When you're in Palestine, be sure you
respect your personal boundaries and limitations ---
eat regularly, sleep as much as you can and find time
alone and with other internationals to discuss and

This experience may radically change you and your
experience may challenge your friends and families
perceptions and beliefs about what our government 
and tax dollars are doing in the middle east. Don't
fret.  Just don't forget that you're not alone.  The
ISM experience will teach you that.

This was written by Mark Schneider of the Colorado
Campaign for Middle East Peace (CCMEP) (4/24/02)

To contact CCMEP with questions and requests for
documents mentioned, send an email to:
ccmep%20at%20hotmail.com.  Though this is not as personal as
a phone call, because of the volume of requests for
help, this is the best way we can handle everyone's

If it's urgent, give us a call at 720-956-0700.

Colorado Campaign for Middle East Peace
901 West 14th Avenue, Suite 7
Denver, CO ¬ 80204

International Solidarity Movement

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