L I N K S
The FTW-USA website is not meant to be a resource center on the Middle East. Others do that job better. Below you’ll find a few friendly links to help you learn more or keep updated about the issues in the region, including the role and involvement of the United States government
Organizations listed in alphabetical order. Links open in new window.
Australians for Palestine
An activist-oriented site with incisive videos, day-by-day latest news and links to a rich resource of blogs. Although the website is Australian-focused with links to Australian groups, its content is so profound and varied that anyone who visits, no matter their familiarity with the issues, will come away feeling enlightened. The video “The Zionist Story, Parts 1-8” (categorized in the index under War Crimes) is worth watching for its archival film footage and clear explanations of history.
This website portal offers an alternative source of news, analysis, reference materials and articles from a Palestinian perspective. The content deviates from the mainstream media’s often simplistic and usually biased approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Launched in 2001 by four net activists from Palestine, America and Scotland, Electric Intifada “condemns all attacks on civilians, regardless of the perpetrators, yet encourages people to examine the structural roots and dynamics of violence in the conflict and the imbalance of power that perpetuates these dynamics.” Submissions are welcomed.
Since the ’80s, Global Exchange, based in San Francisco, has been a commanding presence in the movement for social justice. The organization is true blue grassroots, with innovative ideas to advance the social agenda, such as promoting Fair Trade stores, sponsoring Green Fairs and co-creating Code Pink with a mission to stop wars. One of GX’s greatest programs are their Realty Tours which bring travelers to eye-opening destinations, such as, Palestine, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Venezuela for an opportunity “to understand issues beyond what is communicated by the mass media and gain a new vantage point from which to view and affect US foreign policy.”
If Americans Knew
Alison Weir of California was an unsuspecting journalist when she first decided to understand this seemingly complex topic of Israel and Palestine. Since she knew very little, she came with open, objective eyes. In 2000 she visited the region for the first time and was shocked to discover facts, injuries, deaths, situations that are ignored or misreported by the U.S. media. Her mission became to educate and enlighten her fellow U.S. citizens of how their tax dollars are being put to use in sustaining an occupation of the Israeli military on Palestinian land that violates the Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilians in Times of War and international human rights law.
International Middle East Media Center
Founded in 2003, this site is a collaboration between Palestinian and international journalists. They provide daily news stories with historical context and analysis that includes audio (like radio), videos, interviews. Specific topics include The Wall, holy sites, prisoners, peace process, non-violent actions, Jerusalem. The human interest stories are particularly enlightening, including Sorry We Blew Up Your Laptop, a true incident written by a Jewish activist crossing into Israel from Egypt.
Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions
This group works with Israeli and Palestinian NGOS to stop the demolition of Palestinian housing in the Occupied Territories. Since 1967 Israel has destroyed over 12,000 homes and left over 70,000 civilians homeless and traumatized. The Committee explains the flimsy laws and pretexts which Israel employs to shield itself in the face of these clear violations against the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibiting occupying forces from engaging in group punishment of civilians. When homes are destroyed the Committee gathers resources to help re-build Palestinian houses. Where is Habitat for Humanity?
Jewish Voice for Peace
This vital group refutes Israel’s claim to act in the name of all Jewish people. “Because we are Jews, we have a particular legitimacy in voicing an alternative view of American and Israeli actions and policies.” The group advocates full equality for all the people of Israel and Palestine based on human rights and international law. They give meaning to their beliefs through their many campaigns against the Occupation, the Wall, the imprisonment of Palestinian activists, corporate accountability (such as confronting Caterpillar bulldozers used in housing demolitions) and other concrete, righteous actions.
Middle East Children’s Alliance
Since 1988, this California based organization has been sending aid packages to children in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and other areas of the Middle East. Aid consists of food, medical supplies, clothes, books, toys and school supplies. They also offer scholarships for university students, build playgrounds, send delegations to the region and educate Americans about conditions in the region. MECA has given enormous support to the cultural center “Ibdaa” in the Dheisheh Refugee Camp where Follow the Women stayed in the 2009 ride.
MERIP Middle East Research and Information Project
MERIP was established in 1971 with the initial purpose to offer information and analysis for use by other media. They publish the Middle East Report which focuses on a broad array of topics relevant to the region. Libraries, universities and bookstores stock the Middle East Report. Professor Rashid Khalidi, a leading American scholar, says “Middle East Report is the best periodical (in English) on the Middle East — bar none.” A stellar list of experts and scholars contribute to the Report including Azmi Bishara and Lila Abu-Luhgod and Joel Beinin.
The Peace Cycle
This is another activist bike ride but specifically focused on Palestine. Their first ride was also in 2004 from London to Jerusalem (flying to Jordan from Greece) and consisted of 25 cyclists form 10 countries, including the United States. Peace Cycle rides are smaller than FTW rides and they last longer. Rides have included Muslims, Christians and Jews. The Peace Cycle was one of the last delegations to meet Yassir Arafat in October, 2004 shortly before he died. The 2009 Peace Cycle ride entered Palestine from Jordan and spent several weeks only in Palestine, rather than biking across Europe as before. This ride actually coincided with FTW’s 2009 ride to the region, although unfortunately the two groups were unable to meet up. The Peace Cycle has a magnanimous fundraising project – a mobile eye clinic in Palestine.
U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights
A United States based campaign comprising over 300 groups and organizations who support the non-sectarian coalition’s Call To Action to change U.S. policy towards ending Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine. Their website makes it very easy for citizens to take action and be counted, such as, signing petitions online or calling your representative or making easy quick donations for specific targeted campaigns. Member organizations must sign off on the organization’s principles supporting human rights, civil rights and respect for international law.
Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel
An intensely informational site with archives, current headlines and many obscure news stories that tell the horrifying daily reality in Occupied Palestine. They are also very in-the-street activists.
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
This is a report that comes out eight times a year as a project of the American Educational Trust, a non-profit organization founded in 1982 by retired U.S. foreign service officers. It’s mission is to provide balanced and accurate information about affairs in the Middle East, especially regarding Arabs and Muslims of which they opine there is a dearth. Members consist of ambassadors, Congressmen, and government officials. In March of 2018 they held an unprecedented symposium on the unspoken topic, the Israeli lobby and U.S. foreign policy. Videos of the speeches like this one of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt are available on youtube.