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About NorCal Sabeel

NorCal Sabeel is a nonprofit, tax-exempt, San Francisco Bay Area–based group dedicated to organizing and participating in events that advance peace and justice for both Palestinians and Israelis. Our mission is to advocate for Palestinian human rights and to amplify the voices of the Palestinians. We condemn all acts of violence against human life, whether committed by states, individuals, or groups. NorCal Sabeel is affiliated with Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA).  Learn more about us.

 

UPDATES

• Tea for Palestine, hosted by Norcal Sabeel. 
   When:  Sunday, December 5, 2021, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m
   Where: Uptown Body and Fender, 401 26th St., Oakland, CA
   Purpose: To raise funds for three organizations that supportPalestinian children: Defense of Children International-Palestine (DCI-P), Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA), and Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF).
   Click here to Register and/or Make a Donation 

   Please come and join us for delicious tea and light refreshments, music by ASWAT, and poetry by Lorene Zarou-Zouzounis.


 

Ask Barbara Lee to Stand Up for Justice for Palestinians!
Rep. Barbara Lee is a PEP (Progressive Except for Palestine).  With other groups, we are asking her to stop voting to spend billions in U.S. taxpayer dollars in military aid to Israel.  Call her office in D.C. (202-225-2661) and Oakland (510-763-0370) and tell her that this is not the kind of progressive leadership her constituents expect. Information on this campaign is available here.

Watch Advocate, a 2019 documentary about Israeli lawyer Lea Tsemel who, since the early 1970s, has defended Palestinians in Israeli courts. Available in libraries and through various online sites.

• Who Profits is an independent research center that investigates the commercial involvement of Israeli and international corporations in the Israeli occupation of Palestine and Syria. It provides first-rate information on companies and can be helpful when making BDS decisions.  Additional information about BDS can be found on our web page here.

Listen to the Most Recent Speaking of Palestine Radio Shows
On Oct 18 2021speakers explored the current situation in Palestine; Boycott, Divestment, & Sanctions (BDS) successes; progressives except Palestine (PEPs), including Rep. Barbara Lee; and responding to Zionist propaganda in the local paper.

On Sept 6, 2021the show focused on: a) Representative Barbara Lee and why her inclusion on the Sebastopol Peace Wall is controversial, b) an article by Israeli journalist, Gideon Levy, “The Media Yawns at Death Squads in Israel,” and c) the 2021 Human Rights Watch report, A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution.

You can listen to older shows here

Read the latest report on Palestine from Human Rights Watch, A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution (2021).  This compelling and damning report is a must-read and can be found here.

• Block the Boat

In early June, a coalition of organizations successfully stopped the Israeli cargo shipping company, Zim, from docking in the Port of Oakland: members of the longshoremen union refused to unload the ship. This action was led by AROC and Palestine Action Network (PAN), of which NorCal Sabeel is a member. The boycott lasted for several days and activists blocked all gates into the dock.  Many truckers expressed their support of the action.  

Read We Are Not Here To Be Bystanders, a 2020 memoir by Palestinian American activist and organizer, Linda Sansour.

• HR 2590—Contact your congressperson about Rep. Betty McCollum’s recent bill
Contact your congressperson to support HR 2590Defending the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act, which was introduced by Rep. McCollum in April 2021.  You can find who your congressperson is here.  Please also encourage people around the country to contact their representatives. There are currently 30 co-sponsors, 13 of whom were original co-sponsors.

• Check out Defense for Children International (DCIP) 
This organization defends children’s rights by offering free legal aid, documenting violations of international law, and advocating for greater protections for Palestinian children living in the Occupied West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem.  With American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), they initiated the No Way to Treat a Child campaign.

• Check out the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI)
This is a U.S. campaign focused on a boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions.  It is a response to the call of Palestinian civil society to join the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel
 

RESOURCES

Speaking of Palestine Radio show
Books
Books for Children and Young Adults
Films and DVDs
Letters
Websites and Blogs
Reports
Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Campaigns

Fact-Finding and Witness Trips to Palestine:
   
Due to the pandemic, many organizations have postponed in-person trips to Palestine and replaced them with virtual visits. 
   Here are two in-person trips that are available in 2022:
   Eyewitness Palestine is offering an in-person visit in Feb. 2022. This organization also offers virtual delegations.
   Know Thy Heritage is offering a delegation in July 2022

   US Campaign for Palestinian Rights: Ethical Travel - Under revision
   Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA): Trips - Under revision
 

TAKE ACTION

Contact Your Congressperson to Support Rep. Betty McCollum’s Three Very Important Bills Focused on Palestine
HR 2590: Defending the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act, which was introduced by Rep. McCollum in April 2021.
HR 2407: Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act, prohibiting the use of U.S. tax dollars in the military detention, interrogation, or abuse of children.
HR 8050: Israeli Annexation Non-Recognition Act, prohibiting U.S. support of the Israeli theft of Palestinian land.

Please urge your congressperson to support Rep. McCollum’s bills and sign on as co-sponsors.  If they already have, please thank them for their support.  To locate your congressperson, go here.
 

Contact Congress About Efforts to Criminalize Support for Palestine
Thirty states have anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) laws that criminalize support for the boycott of Israel, saying that it is anti-Semitic, which it is not.  The BDS movement was initiated in Palestine by civil society as a peaceful response to the Israeli occupation; it was inspired by the impact of boycotts in ending apartheid in S. Africa.  More information can be found here.

Facebook, We Need to Talk
Join the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) campaign calling on Facebook to allow users to hold the Israeli government accountable.  You can find more information here.


Keep Awake: A Call to Preach Palestine on November 28, 2021
Palestinian Christians have called on Christian leaders in the U.S. to commit their congregations to Preach Palestine on Nov. 28 (the first Sunday in Advent, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People). For information and suggestions from the 2020 campaign, go here

Confront Christian Zionism
Christian Zionists are among the most active and vocal supporters of Israel and its apartheid policies toward Palestine. FOSNA has a valuable toolkit for activists and local leaders for challenging Christian Zionism. It includes historical, theological, and political information about Christian Zionism, along with practical strategies. Find the toolkit here

Support Professor Rabab Abdulhadi
Dr. Abdulhadi is a scholar and activist who is the director of Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas/Race and Resistance Studies in the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University. She is an outspoken critic of Israel's treatment of Palestinians. She has been subjected to a vicious campaign by the pro-Israel Lawfare Project, which has initiated a lawsuit that seeks to silence and intimidate her and others and dismantle the program at SFSU.  Get more information and help Dr. Abdulhadi

 

ONGOING EVENTS

Confront Christian Zionism and Support Palestine
FOSNA has a valuable toolkit for activists and local leaders to use when challenging Christian Zionism.  Access the toolkit


Join the Keep Awake: A Call to Preach Palestine Campaign
This is a continuation of the 2020 campaign.  Palestinian Christians have called on Christian leaders in the U.S. to commit their congregations to "preach Palestine" on Nov. 28, 2021.  Please encourage your priest or pastor to heed the call.  Go here to listen to a sermon from the North Bay.  Get more information


Jewish Educators Say YES to Liberatory Ethnic Studies
In 2020, California developed an ethnic studies model curriculum (ESMC), which included Arab American and Palestinian experiences.  However, after pushback from Zionists and right wing groups, the curriculum was modified in major ways.  The most recent version has removed any reference to Palestine and has abandoned ethnic studies principles.  In protest, the ethnic studies teachers and academics who wrote the original ESMC have demanded that their names be removed from the seriously watered-down version. For an update, go to an AROC webinar in which Jewish educators express their support for the original ESMC and the importance of retaining Palestinian experiences.


Oakland-Palestine Solidarity Mural
The Oakland-Palestine Solidarity Mural is an international solidarity and community-building project created under the auspices of NorCal Sabeel, the Estria Foundation, and Art Forces. With its diverse, international team of artists, the mural connects the Bay Area and the United States to Palestine by linking shared histories of colonization, environmental injustice, and the exile of indigenous peoples. View the mural across the street from Uptown Body and Fender, 401 26th St., Oakland.

 

PAST EVENTS

San Francisco Protest for Palestine

On Saturday, May 15, 2021, thousands of activists came out to support Palestinians, who were being violently attacked by Israeli forces in Gaza and the Occupied West Bank. The Palestine Action Network (PAN), of which NorCal Sabeel is a member, and other organizations, joined together for a community mural painting, rally, and march.  The event was originally planned to be a commemoration of the Nakba (Catastrophe), but after Israel began its attacks on Gaza and the West Bank, the organizers redirected the event to be a protest of Israeli violence. 

Stop Censoring Voices for Palestine

Did you miss Stop Censoring Voices for Palestine, our Dec 15th webinar?  No problem!  View the recording here!  Minnesota Rep. Betty McCollum is one of the few politicians who is willing to speak out about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians (she has sponsored three bills on this) and we invited her to speak in the webinar.  She was unable to join us, but she sent us a letter of support, which you can read here.

National Day of Action against Facebook

JVP National called for a National Day of Action against Facebook on Sept. 23, 2020 because of its outrageous complicity in silencing the voices of Palestinians and Palestinian supporters. In addition to asking for people to call and post on social media, JVP asked the Bay Area JVP chapter for hold a small action at one of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's houses in San Francisco.

 

Abolition and Liberation: A Conversation with Angela Davis and Jamal Juma

On Friday, August 28, Angela Davis and Jamal Juma discussed connections between calls made by Black Lives Matter to defund the police and abolish the prison industrial complex and Palestinian calls to tear down all apartheid walls and free Palestine. The event was moderated by Kristian Davis Bailey, a Black pro-Palestine activist and organizer. Lara Kiswani, executive director of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC) provided an introduction. NorCal Sabeel co-sponsored the event.

Watch a video of the event

Banner Drop: Defend Palestine/No to Annexation

On August 8, 2020, supporters of Palestine dropped a banner from the University Avenue bridge over Highway 80 in Berkeley. The event was organized by the Palestinian Youth Movement in response to an international call for resistance from the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network. NorCal Sabeel was a co-sponsor.

Learn more

Voices from Palestine Webinar

On July 30, 2020, Middle East Children's Alliance sponsored a webinar in which Jamal Juma, coordinator of the Stop the Wall Campaign, talked about what the proposed Israeli annexation of 33% of the West Bank means for Palestinians. NorCal Sabeel co-sponsored the event.

Our Fight for Liberation

On June 20, 2020, the families of two young men, one Palestinian (Eyad Hallaq) and one African American (Oscar Grant) talked about their deceased family members and the impact of the senseless killings at the hands of Israeli and Oakland police. The Palestinian Youth Movement organized the event; it was co-sponsored by NorCal Sabeel.

Palestinian Advent Message on the 10th Anniversary of Kairos Palestine

NorCal Sabeel co-hosted Daniel Bannoura on December 14, 2019 in Berkeley. He is an instructor of Islamic studies and comparative religion at Bethlehem Bible College. His talk focused on Palestinian Christian responses to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Bannoura writes and lectures on Christian theology, Islam, and Christians in the Holy Land. Rev. Michael Yoshii, recently retired pastor at Buena Vista United Methodist Church in Alameda and co-founder of United Methodists for Kairos Response, moderated. The following pastors from various Christian denominations also spoke:

• Rev. Dr. Dale M. Weatherspoon, pastor of Easter Hill United Methodist Church in Richmond, former member of the General Board of Church and Society and the General Commission on Religion and Race, a community activist, and a lifelong pursuer of justice
• Rev. Dr. John Anderson, recently retired pastor at St. John’s Presbyterian in San Francisco and member of the the Israel Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
• Rev. Dr. Allison Tanner, minister of Christian Formation at Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church in Oakland, co-leader of the FOSNA Clergy and Seminary Action Council, convener of World without Walls, and a GTU alumna

Palestine, Academia, and Activism with Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi

Dr. Abdulhadi is the director of the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities Diasporas/Race and Resistance Studies program at San Francisco State University. She has been targeted for her advocacy on behalf of Palestine. On November 19, 2019, she spoke in Alameda about Palestine, activism in academia, and the attacks on her. NorCal Sabeel co-sponsored the event.

Get more information about Dr. Abdulhadi and learn how to support her

Noura Erakat

On November 12, 2019, many people came to Berkeley to hear lawyer Noura Erakat talk about her new book, Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine. NorCal Sabeel was a co-sponsor of the event.

World Without Walls—World Without Cages

The World Without Walls Coalition, of which NorCal Sabeel is a founding member, put on this event on November 10, 2019 in Oakland. It focused on the shared experiences of youth around the globe and about strategies for change.

Palestine Culture Day

At the 41st year of Palestine Culture Day, September 14, 2019, NorCal Sabeel hosted an information booth. The event in Foster City included workshops, live music, comedy, and traditional Palestinian food. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will not be a 2020 gathering.

Solano Stroll

This annual street fair held in early September attracts tens of thousands of people. As it has for many years, NorCal Sabeel joined JVP Bay Area activists in educating the community about the impact of the Israeli occupation on Palestinians and how the U.S. government supports this human disaster. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will not be a Solano Stroll in 2020. The next one is tentatively planned for September 12, 2021.

Petaluma Progressive Festival

This annual event brings together activists for social change. The 2019 festival was held on August 25 and NorCal Sabeel joined with our partner, the North Coast Coalition for Palestine, at our table under the shade of walnut trees.