On this week’s show, we hear firsthand about the conditions in Palestine from Ellen Davidson and Tarak Kauff. They and four other Veterans Peace Team members traveled in Palestine for three weeks in November to witness the conditions there and stand in solidarity with the people during their weekly protests. Kauff, who leads the Veterans for Peace Action Network, created the Veterans Peace Team after the Occupy Movement started in order to provide assistance to nonviolent protests. Peace Team members will stand between police and nonviolent protesters upon request. In addition to being a peace team member, Davidson who has traveled to Palestine before is a photographer and blogger. She chronicled the trip on StopTheseWars.org. Davidson and Kauff share what they learned and experienced on their trip.
Relevant articles and websites:
November 8: Football and a Faceoff in Al Masra by Ellen Davidson
November 10: Al-Azaria’s House of Hope Lives Up to Its Name by Ellen Davidson
Ellen Davidson is an activist reporter and photographer. She began her work in journalism on the staff of the New York Guardian radical newsweekly at the age of 19 after being active in the anti-apartheid divestment and Latin/Central America support movements in college. She spent 11 years at the paper, working on all aspects of activist publishing.
In the 1990s, she worked as a computer programmer for various progressive organizations and publications, including CovertAction Information Bulletin, Lies of Our Times, the American Committee on Africa, the Palestine Aid Society, the Latin America Video Archives, and the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA).
Since 2002, she has worked with the New York City Independent Media Center, and is on the board of The Indypendent, its award-winning newspaper.
As a U.S. Jew, she feels a special responsibility to work for the rights of Palestinians. She has traveled to the West Bank several times, rebuilding houses demolished by the Israeli military and reporting through her writing and photography on the oppression of Palestinians both in the occupied territories and inside Israel. She participated in the 2009-10 Gaza Freedom March, and is on the board of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions-USA.
She is a member of the board of Ecosocialist Horizons and of the executive committee of PopularResistance.org, individuals and groups demanding real peace with social, economic, and environmental justice and an end to all U.S. wars.
Tarak Kauff is a longtime antiwar and social justice activist. From the Vietnam War to today’s occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, he has consistently opposed U.S. wars and invasions for nearly 50 years.
He served in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper from 1959 to 1962 and is on the board of Veterans For Peace. He plays a leading role in VFP’s Direct Action Group, most recently organizing veteran-led civil resistance to war at the White House on December 16, 2010, and March 19, 2011. He also led two actions at the National Archives in which a small group of vets spent several days displaying giant banners drawing attention to violations of the U.S. Constitution, which they are sworn to protect. He created the Veterans Peace Team in 2012.
Tarak is a strong supporter of self-determination for the Palestinian people. He is a member of the Hudson Valley’s Middle East Crisis Response and took part in the 2009-10 Gaza Freedom March in Cairo.
Currently, he is working with PopularResistance.org to oppose U.S. wars abroad and budget cuts at home. He is building bridges between Veteran’s groups and Environmental groups to oppose the war on Mother Earth. He believes that creating and nurturing a culture of resistance is our only hope for stopping the machine and saving the planet and all the living beings on it from destruction by the profit-driven system of corporate control now in power.