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As Abbas visits UN in New York, American organisations hold meeting to demand an end to the Israeli occupation

September 18, 2014 at 12:16 pm

In the context of 2014 being the “International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People”, and to coincide with the speech that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to give before the General Assembly of the United Nations by the end of next week, in which he is going to demand an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, dozens of American organisations, institutions and churches supporting Palestinian rights are holding a conference from Friday to Sunday in San Diego, under the umbrella of the “US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation”.

Arabs48 news website cited Palestinian activist Ramah Kudaimi, one of the coordinators of the alliance for the boycott of Israel in the United States, who said the conference will focus on discussing mechanisms for ending the Israeli occupation of Palestine and stopping the financial and military aid to Israel by focusing on the global campaign for the boycott of Israel and continuing to struggle for the rights of Palestinians.

The organisers represent institutions that are active at a grassroots level and do not receive any help or support from any governmental bodies. According to Kudaimi, their ideas are, to a large extent, the same as those included in the plan demanding the end of the occupation, which will be launched in New York by Abu Mazen.

The conference is expected to be attended by about 350 members of the coalition, representing student organisations, institutions, trade unions, churches, synagogues and Jewish organisations, in addition to activists in the American left.

The conference will deal with the challenges facing US-based activists working to end the occupation of Palestine in light of the legal onslaught against solidarity campaigners. It will also seek to expand the coalition and coordinate the global struggle for freedom, justice and equality.

According to Arabs48, Kudaimi explained that the conference is an opportunity for the different regional groups and activists supporting Palestinian rights to develop a common strategy for communicating and coordinating efforts to end all forms of US support for the Israeli occupation as a system of racial separation.

The speakers include Ali Abunimah, co-founder of the Electronic Intifada website and author of the book The Battle for Justice in Palestine; Marjorie Cohn, former president of the National Lawyers Guild and a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law; and Robin D G Kelley, the Gary B Nash Professor of American History at UCLA.

It is noteworthy that most of the conference is not open to the press, but members of the media are allowed to attend all events that are open to the public.