The suburban Chicago-based Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine (CJPIP) "is a diverse, community-based group dedicated to organizing activities and educational events that advance the cause of peace and justice for both Palestinians and Israelis."
-- "equal rights and access to resources (equitably) based on" social, economic, environmental, and political justice principles;
-- peace and equal justice;
-- an end to Israel's illegal occupation and continuing land theft;
-- "an end to US policies that sustain the occupation;
-- international support for an equitable and just negotiation process;"
-- granting Palestinian refugees their right of return, guaranteed under international law; and
-- ending all forms of individual, organizational, and state-sponsored terror.
Selling It to Chicago Commuters
On November 20, Steering committee CJPIP member Caren Levy Van Slyke headlined, "End Military Aid to Israel message reaches thousands of Chicago commuters," saying:
Skeptics doubted it would happen, "and we were not too sure ourselves" whether it was possible to reach Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) commuters directly. Undaunted, they:
"designed an ad campaign with a simple, thought-provoking graphic and text message that runs counter to the false dichotomy that requires people to be either 'pro-Israel' or 'pro-Palestine.' Our ads show side-by-side photos of Israelis and Palestinians together with this three-part invitation:
'Be on our side. We are on the side of peace and justice. End US military aid to Israel.'
The ads direct people to our website: www.TwoPeoplesOneFuture.org, which contains content and action ideas for newcomers to the issue, as well as for issue-veterans." More on the site below.
CJPIP posters went up in CTA trains and downtown Chicago transit stations, used daily by thousands of Chicago commuters. Their central message is that:
"US military aid is counterproductive for Palestinians, Israelis, and Americans and will not lead to a just and lasting peace."
They also wanted word out that Washington signed a "Memorandum of Agreement" to supply Israel with at least $30 billion in military aid from 2009 to 2018," an amount likely to be increased. It amounts to a "blank check" to let Israel "do whatever it wants with impunity," even if it harms "American taxpayer(s) who (foot) the bill."
Other organizations involved include:
-- the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) Chicago Middle East Program;
-- Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago (JVP);
-- Chicago Arab-Jewish Partnership; and
-- the Chicago Faith Coalition on Middle East Policy.
The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation also let CJPIP "link to invaluable action and informational resources."
"In just a few weeks, thousands of visitors have flocked to the website (TwoPeoplesOneFuture.org)." Hundreds more joined CJPIP's Facebook page, updated daily with new information.
After the successful campaign, "guerrilla marketing" momentum followed with 4" x 6" full-color Pocket Cards, "based on the popular Fast Facts page on the website." There's more.
"The campaign is spreading beyond Chicago," the above web site providing "how-to-get-started" steps to do it, hoping to encourage a national effort. With ads and a web site already created, a "campaign in a box" can be replicated anywhere. More still.
In Chicago, funds are being raised for another ad buy, the more received, the more people can be reached for peace, equity and justice in a part of the world where none now exists.
It states its beliefs, saying:
-- "We believe that peace is possible;"
-- that US policy obstructs it;
-- that achieving it is "our" business;
-- that current policy harms America's international standing and security;
-- that Israeli military aid diverts vital funds needed at home;
-- that providing it is dangerous and counterproductive; and
-- that challenging it in open debate is essential.
The site provides a wealth of information, including the roots of the current conflict, America's role, US and international law, how military aid harms all parties involved, information on the campaign to end it, and more.
CJPIP's web site (www.cjpip.org) provides information on its extensive activities, including:
-- community education;
-- organizing actions;
-- legislative activism;
-- walks for a just peace;
-- community partnerships; and
-- its travel scholarship offer.
Working for peace, equity and justice in Israel, Palestine, and America, CJPIP wants as many others committed as possible. The alternative is continued war, occupation, repression, and billions diverted from vital homeland needs.
Get involved. Contact CJPIP by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or write them at:
Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine
PO Box 3667
Oak Park, IL 60303
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.