Sunday, December 6, 2009

Our Current Project: a playground for the Ush Ghurab Peace Park in Beit Sahour

With your support, we were able to finish our fundraising for a playground for the Jenin refugee camp. The children should have their bright, colorful, safe and fun playground by March!

Our new project is to raise $10,000 to add a playground to the Ush Ghurab Peace Park in Beit Sahour. Located in the West Bank, not far from Bethlehem, the people of Beit Sahour have taken what was a former Israeli military base, and is now a centerpiece for community members of all ages. It includes a cafeteria, soccer field, climbing tower and barbeque/picnic area, as well as room for performances like the Beit Sahour Nights Festival. But most importantly, it represents hope and the reclaiming of territory formerly used to oppress the local population. The people of Beit Sahour have accomplished a lot, and we can support their efforts to expand the Peace Park. We hope that you'll help us!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Top Ten Brands to Boycott that Directly Harm Palestinians

from the Bay Area Campaign to End Israeli Apartheid

Top Ten Brands to Boycott

While there are many Israeli and multinational companies that benefit from apartheid, we put together this list to highlight ten specific companies to target.

Many of these produce goods in such a way that directly harms Palestinians — exploiting labor, developing technology for military operations, or supplying equipment for illegal settlements. Many are also the targets of boycotts for other reasons, like harming the environment and labor violations.

For the complete list and a downloadable PDF, click here

Israel holds over 370 Palestinian children captive

The media liaison at the Palestinian ministry in charge of prisoners' affairs says that Israel is currently holding captive more than 370 child detainees; all under the age of 18.

"Child detainees are sent to courts that prosecute cases of adult detainees. This is a flagrant violation of International Law. Dozens of detained Palestinian children undergo a series of harsh trials under a legal system that treats them the same as apprehended adults," Riyadh al-Ashqar told the official Hamas-run Al-Aqsa TV network on Monday.

Al-Ashqar went on to note that the child detainees are not immune to 'egregious abuses', adding mistreatment and torture in Israeli detention facilities are not uncommon.

He also called on the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and humanitarian organizations across the globe to intervene, to stop Israeli brutalities against underage Palestinian prisoners.

Many of the Palestinian children in Israeli jails are arrested for nothing more than throwing rocks at heavily-armed Israeli troops and armored personnel carriers, the Palestinian Center for Defending Prisoners reported in early April.

The prison authorities place eight to ten children in a four meter square room, and routinely vilify them, put them under psychological pressure at every turn and even molest some of the children, the report added.

The Daily Star - Lebanon News - Child labor rises as Palestinian children lose faith in learning

The Daily Star - Lebanon News - Child labor rises as Palestinian children lose faith in learning

(Read about PfP's playgrounds in the refugee camps in Lebanon here and here)

BEIRUT: Palestinian children in the camps of Lebanon are losing faith in the value of an education, with record numbers leaving school to work. “We are facing a big problem here,” said Ray Virgilio Torres, the head of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Lebanon. “There seems to be a growing number of children in the camps that do not think that a school education will profit them … education holds no promise.

“A Palestinian refugee can hold a master’s degree in medicine, and he still would not find a job.”

Addressing the problems of Palestinian children has always been a key issue for the organization; UNICEF’s very first field office was established in 1948, in Palestine.

Twenty years ago this Friday, the UN adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. To mark the occasion, UNICEF presented the findings of a survey on child labor in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.

The results of this most recent survey made it clear that the organization’s work was far from done.

MIDEAST: Palestinian Children Face Daily Settler Attacks Getting to School - IPS

MIDEAST: Palestinian Children Face Daily Settler Attacks Getting to School - IPS

AT TUWANI, Nov 23 (IPS) - Being able to travel to school in relative safety is something children all over the world take for granted. But, for Palestinian children living in the shadow of the ubiquitous and illegal Israeli settlements dotting the West Bank, simply walking to school can be a terrifying experience.

"It is really scary walking to school. We never know when the settlers will attack us and beat us," says Rima Ali, 10, from the village of Tuba in the southern West Bank, about two hours drive south of Jerusalem.

"Every day we have to watch out that the settlers are not in the valley ahead of us and if we see them we run away," Ali told IPS.

Palestinian children mark 20th year of UN rights treaty with video testimony

Palestinian children mark 20th year of UN rights treaty with video testimony

20 November 2009 – Tens of thousands of Palestinian refugee children in United Nations schools in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria have been clicking away with flip cams to create the region’s first ever online video yearbook to mark the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The project, launched yesterday, is organized by the United Kingdom-based non-governmental organization (NGO), Hoping Foundation, together with the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the main body caring for some 4 million Palestinian refugees.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fair Trade Holiday Festival This Saturday!

Community Action on Latin America is again hosting their huge annual Fair Trade Holiday Festival this Saturday, December 5th, at Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in Madison. The Festival runs from 9 to 4 -- come early, and you can combine it with a trip to the winter farmers' market!

Playgrounds for Palestine - Madison will be selling a variety of items (all fair trade):
* Palestinian olive oil
* Palestinian za'atar spice blend
* Palestinian olive oil soaps (gift boxes of four, and single pure olive oil bars)
* Fair trade, organic "Play Grounds "coffee (decaf and regular, whole bean
and ground)
* A variety of fair trade teas

Please come by to shop for wonderful gift items that will help us build a playground for the children of Beit Sahour to enjoy in the Ush Ghurab Peace Park!

If you won't be able to come to the Festival, but would like to buy PfP items, please email and we will be happy to get things to you!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Great day at the Orchard Ridge UCC Fair Trade Sale!

Thanks to everyone that came out to Orchard Ridge today -- we sold over $600 in fair trade products! And as always, the fair committee at the church was helpful and welcoming.

If you missed today's sale, don't forget to come to the Fair Trade Holiday Festival at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in downtown Madison on Saturday, December 5th from 9 to 4.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

House Party Sale this Saturday!

The holidays are right around the corner -- why not get a head start and shop for gifts that also support a great cause?

Come to a Playgrounds for Palestine - Madison house party where there will be crafts and Palestinian fair trade olive oil, za'atar spice blend, and olive oil soaps, and fair trade organic coffee, teas, and chocolate for sale!

And a very special item -- peace symbol scarves in a variety of colors!

Stop by to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and baked goods while you browse.

Saturday, November 7th, 2:00 - 5:00 p.m.
2905 Stevens St, Madison

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

We've Reached our Goal!

Exciting news! We've achieved our goal of raising funds to build a playground for the children of the Jenin refugee camp! Thanks to all of you, plans for the playground are moving ahead. We will update you all -- with pictures -- when the playground is in place! For information about our upcoming celebration, please email

Our steering committee is currently selecting the location for the next playground that we will be funding. We will post information about the site soon. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to get us started, please send it to:
PO Box 5091
Madison, WI 53705-0091

And thank you!

PfP - Madison at Fighting Bob Fest

If you'll be at Fighting Bob Fest on Saturday, September 12th in Baraboo, stop by the PfP-Madison/American Jews for a Just Peace table to say hello, and pick up fair trade products (olive oil, za'atar, and coffee) as well as solidarity buttons and stickers for sale!

Walking for Kids' Sake

PfP - Madison founder Judith Siers-Poisson walked a half-marathon (13.1 miles) this summer and took the opportunity to use it as a fundraiser for PfP - Madison's efforts to build a playground for the children of the Jenin refugee camp. Thanks to the generosity of friends and PfP supporters, Judith raised over $1,700! Thanks to everyone that helped. Judith said "when I was feeling a little tired, I remembered that I was doing it for the kids, and that a lot of people were supporting me. That helped make the 3 hours and 45 minutes of walking fly by!"