Judith Le Blanc, vice chairwoman of the Communist Party USA and correspondent for the People’s Weekly World/Nuestro Mundo, left April 14 for a two-week tour of the Middle East and the Occupied Territories. Le Blanc will report on the current situation in the West Bank, Gaza and Israel. Audio broadcasts on the web are being planned.

Le Blanc is a part of a 16-person delegation sponsored by the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR). FOR, described as “the largest interfaith pacifist organization in the United States,” began its Interfaith Peace-Builders Program in November 2000, a month-and-a-half into the Al Aksa Intifada.

The goals of the FOR delegation include learning first-hand about the conflict through staying in homes and meeting with Palestinian and Israeli activists and organizations involved in work for peace, human rights, and an end of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

Le Blanc will tour with the FOR delegation as well as interview Palestinian and Israeli trade unionists, elected officials and peace activists. Le Blanc will also interview leaders of the Communist Party of Israel (CPI) and the Palestinian People’s Party. The CPI, which has both Arab and Jewish members, was one of the first Israeli organizations to support the call for a Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital. Le Blanc will interview the Palestinian and Jewish people actively involved in creating a peaceful, two-state solution and an end to the Israeli occupation.

All of the delegates have taken a pledge to educate the public about the real story in the Middle East and to work to change U.S. foreign policy. The U.S. government has given billions of dollars in military aid to Israel. A number of people-to-people international peace delegations have gone to the West Bank since the most recent seige by the Israeli army. These eyewitness reports can serve as a catalyst for organizing by giving the real story of what is happening, unfiltered through the lens of the Pentagon’s military contractors or the Bush administration’s foreign policy spin doctors.

Le Blanc is the producer of the award-winning video show, “Changing America,” and a part of producing two anti-globalization videos: Showdown in Seattle and Breaking the Bank. She has traveled to Chiapas, Mexico, Cuba, Nicaragua and the former Soviet Union. Le Blanc, an American Indian, was active at Wounded Knee.

Le Blanc will be available to speak to your community group, union local, campus organization or for media interviews. For more information call (646) 425-5969 or e-mail: safara71@hotmail.com.

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