Category: Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment

BDS, ‘Lawfare’ Big Winners at South African Parliamentary Conference

English (US)  February 12th, 2014 by admin ( Email )


People gathered in the same parliamentary halls where Apartheid politicians once sat, to attend the Parliamentary Solidarity Conference. (Photo: Supplied)
People gathered in the same parliamentary halls where Apartheid politicians once sat, to attend the Parliamentary Solidarity Conference. (Photo: Supplied)

By Suraya Dadoo

Feb 12 2014 / 12:52 pm

2014 was declared the year of solidarity with the Palestinian people, and nowhere is this being taken more seriously than in South Africa. From ordinary individuals, to civil society, and those in the highest echelons of power, South Africa’s message to the Palestinian people is: “Your struggle is our struggle.” In successive State of the Nation addresses since 2010, and during a press conference last year with US president Barack Obama, President Zuma openly stated: “We are with the Palestinians.”

Actions, however, speak louder than words, and on Thursday 6 Feb, people from all walks of life gathered in the same parliamentary halls where Apartheid politicians once sat, to attend the Parliamentary Solidarity Conference. The conference, hosted by the South African Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Co-operation, is the first of its kind in Parliament. The aim of the conference was to produce a practical, action-oriented strategy that could be suggested to the South African Parliament, so that the solidarity campaigns for Palestine, Western Sahara and Cuba could be taken forward.

Following messages of solidarity by anti-apartheid icon Ahmed Kathrada and various parliamentarians and civil society representatives, breakaway groups discussed the key question of how to intensify the struggle for self-determination and bring about a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Marthie Momberg of Kairos Southern Africa, an ecumenical voice on local and international issues of justice from within the broader Christian community, called on the South African government to adopt complete military, diplomatic and financial sanctions against Israel until it complies with all applicable United Nations (UN) resolutions and international law, and ends the occupation.

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‘I’m Not Loving It’: Furor as McDonald’s Refuses to Open in Israeli West Bank Settlement

English (US)  July 1st, 2013 by admin ( Email )


Screenshot from facebook.com/MyIsrael.

Israeli settlers are up in arms about McDonald’s refusal to build an outlet in the West Bank, calling to boycott the company’s entire operations in Israel. The chain cited a policy of “staying out of occupied territories” with other businesses joining in.

McDonald’s stated that its refusal to operate in the West Bank “had always been the restaurant chain’s policy” and that its decision was not coordinated with McDonald’s headquarters in the US.

The co-owner of the new mall in the town of Ariel located in central West Bank admitted that some other international companies which were asked to open up businesses in the mall have also declined. He refused to specify which ones.

“The mediators told us that branches operating abroad and other companies holding rights in Israel for international brand names are worried about the potential negative response toward their businesses [from consumers] abroad if they open shops in the mall,” Tzahi Nahmias told Calcalist newspaper.

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Open Letter from Alice Walker to Alicia Keys

English (US)  May 31st, 2013 by admin ( Email )


Alice Walker. (Photo: Wikimedia commons)

Dear Alicia Keys,

I have learned today that you are due to perform in Israel very soon. We have never met, though I believe we are mutually respectful of each other’s path and work. It would grieve me to know you are putting yourself in danger (soul danger) by performing in an apartheid country that is being boycotted by many global conscious artists. You were not born when we, your elders who love you, boycotted institutions in the US South to end an American apartheid less lethal than Israel’s against the Palestinian people. Google Montgomery Bus Boycott, if you don’t know about this civil rights history already. We changed our country fundamentally, and the various boycotts of Israeli institutions and products will do the same there. It is our only nonviolent option and, as we learned from our own struggle in America, nonviolence is the only path to a peaceful future.

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Hasbara tourism in Israel

English (US)  March 23rd, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Belen Fernandez is the author of The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at Work, published by Verso. She is a contributing editor at Jacobin Magazine.


Hasbara tours want to "excise every bit of Palestinian reality from the landscape" to showcase a fantastic Jewish state.

The Taglit-Birthright Israel programme offers 10-day, all-expenses-paid trips to Israel for international youth in possession of at least one Jewish grandparent [AFP]

One of the mainstays of Israel's international propaganda efforts is its tourism industry, which comprises an array of specially designed excursions catering to visitors with varying backgrounds, needs and interests.

As long as you're not Palestinian, Lebanese, or some other undesirable entity, chances are there's a tour for you.

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Israel and the politics of boycott

English (US)  March 20th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Zionism and Israel will continue to support any boycott that seeks to institutionalise racism and racial separatism.


Israel's expertise in separation fences and walls was put to productive use with the massive "Apartheid Wall" it built on Palestinian lands [EPA]

By Joseph Massad

"Boycott" is a term as old as political Zionism. As is commonly known, it came into circulation in 1880, starting out as an Irish peasant action to prevent peasant evictions from the land by landlords and their agents - in that inaugural case an agent named Charles Boycott. This is not to say that this was the first time such a tactic had been used. Indeed, half a century earlier, in 1830, in the United States, the National Negro Convention supported a boycott of slave-produced goods, a movement which had started among White Quakers at the end of the 18th century and which would spread among White and Black abolitionists during the 19th century until the American Civil War.

These auspicious beginnings of the boycott to restore the land and freedom of peasants and slaves would inspire movements in the 20th century that would range from anti-colonial tactics (as in the Indian boycott of British goods beginning in 1919 to end the British occupation of India) to anti-colonial-settler tactics (including the Arab League boycott of the Jewish settler-colony since the mid-1940s and the anti-South African Apartheid boycott beginning in the 1960s) to anti-racist tactics (including the anti-Nazi Jewish boycott of 1933 to end Nazi racial separatism and the Montgomery Bus Boycott by African Americans in the mid-1950s to end American white colonial settler apartheid in Alabama and the rest of the American South).

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Israel’s New Coalition: To the Victor, the Spoils

English (US)  March 16th, 2013 by admin ( Email )


The Future has arrived, and it looks suspiciously like the past.

By Uri Avnery

In the days following the recent Israeli elections, Ya’ir Lapid, the major winner, let it be known that he wanted to be the next Foreign Minister.

No wonder. It’s the hell of a job. You can’t lose, because the Foreign Minister is responsible for nothing. Serious foreign fiascos are always laid at the door of the Prime Minister, who determines foreign policy anyway. The Foreign Minister travels around the world, stays in luxury hotels with gourmet cuisine, has his picture taken in the company of royalty and presidents, appears almost daily on TV. Sheer paradise.

For someone who declares publicly that he wants to become Prime Minister soon, perhaps in a year and a half, this post is very advantageous. People see you among the world’s great. You look “prime ministerial”.

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Is Any Hope Left for Mideast Peace?

English (US)  March 16th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

By RASHID KHALIDI

WHAT should Barack Obama, who is to visit Israel next Wednesday for the first time in his presidency, do about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

First, he must abandon the stale conventional wisdom offered by the New York-Washington foreign-policy establishment, which clings to the crumbling remnants of a so-called peace process that, in the 34 years since the Camp David accords, has actually helped make peace less attainable than ever.

When the most recent iteration of this process began with high hopes at the Madrid peace conference in 1991, which led to the Oslo accords two years later, there were 200,000 Israelis illegally settled in the occupied Palestinian territories: today, there are more than twice as many.

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Boycotting Israel Galloway-style

English (US)  February 26th, 2013 by admin ( Email )


British MP George Galloway.

By Stuart Littlewood

A big fuss blew up last week when British MP George Galloway, invited to Oxford University to debate the motion “Israel should withdraw immediately from the West Bank”, walked out of the chamber when he heard that the student opposing the motion was an Israeli.

At Oxford, something Eylon Aslan-Levy said prompted Galloway to ask, “Are you an Israeli?”

“Yes,” came the reply.

“I don’t debate with Israelis. I have been misled, sorry,” said Galloway putting on his coat. “I don’t recognise Israel and I don’t debate with Israelis,” he added and left.

The following message then appeared on Galloway’s Facebook: “The reason is simple: no recognition, no normalization. Just boycott, divestment and sanctions, until the apartheid state is defeated. I never debate with Israelis nor speak to their media. If they want to speak about Palestine – the address is the PLO.”

The PLO, of course, is recognized as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

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Robbery of Books and Ownership of Narrative

English (US)  February 16th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

By Susan Abulhawa

I finally watched The Great Book Robbery at the University of Pennsylvania this weekend with some friends. It’s a film documenting Israel’s systematic looting of over 70,000 books from Palestinian public and private libraries after Jewish gangs in Palestine proclaimed the state of Israel and ethnically cleansed the native population.

The film itself is excellent and I have a lot of good things to say about it. But I was bothered by a certain element, at the very end, which was repeated by the Director, Benny Brunner, who was at the showing to answer questions. So I raised my hand and asked a question about it. Mr Brunner became very defensive.

His reaction made me think and re-think on a topic that already preoccupies me on a near daily basis – namely, the Palestinian narrative: who tells it, in what context is it told, how is it told, and, ultimately, who owns it. The importance of such a discussion regarding a people’s narrative should not be underestimated, particularly in instances of oppression and ethnic cleansing.

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A Short Tour of the Zionist Sewers

English (US)  January 3rd, 2013 by admin ( Email )


Sumud is the invincible Palestinian rock that will bring down the Zionist Leviathan. (Photo: Zoriah)

By Vacy Vlazna

The Parisian sewer system is famous. Victor Hugo described it as such: ‘Paris has another Paris under herself; a Paris of sewers; which has its streets, its crossings, its squares, its blind alleys, its arteries, and its circulation, which is slime, minus the human form.’

Israel too has a sewer system that is spread internationally… a system of interconnected corporations in the USA, Australia, Canada, and Europe with subterranean links to Israel’s Leviathan- ‘slime minus the human form’ – the savage Zionist illegal occupation of Palestine.

Just as Paris offers tours of its sewers, let us descend into the visceral underground (Here, no more false appearance, no possible plastering, the filth takes off its shirt, absolute nakedness, rout of illusions and of mirages, nothing more but what it is . . . The last veil is rent. A sewer is a cynic. It tells all. Hugo) of corporate interconnections to Israel and its military that violate international law which declares ‘occupation must only be temporary; the Israeli settlements [colonial cities] are in direct violation of this principle’… For instance, the colonial cities on Palestine land with their 500,000 illegal colonizers, ‘violate Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention, which forbids an occupier from transferring its own civilians into the territory it occupies. Additionally, according to Article 55 of the Hague Regulations, the occupying power’s role is to safeguard occupied properties and maintain the status quo.’(Global Exchange) There is also the UN Global Compact, Principle Two “Businesses should make sure they are not complicit in human rights abuses.”

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Palestinian Trail of Tears: Joy Harjo’s Missed Opportunity for Indigenous Solidarity

English (US)  December 11th, 2012 by admin ( Email )


By Sa’ed Adel Atshan

December 11, 2012

Ever since my childhood, I have always felt a deep connection with Native Americans. At the Ramallah Friends School, a Quaker institution established in Palestine over a century ago, we learned about our shared history as indigenous peoples who have faced ethnic cleansing by European colonists and the importance of nonviolent resistance for freedom and dignity.

Many Palestinians and those in solidarity with our struggle had hoped that Joy Harjo would be principled in heeding the calls of another subjugated people. We have been profoundly dismayed by her recent decision to accept funding from Tel Aviv University, an Israeli state institution, and to not only perform there on Monday but also to serve as a Writer-in-Residence. Soon after hearing this disappointing news, Native American peers of Harjo, including Robert Warrior, called on her to boycott the event. The Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) sent an open letter to Harjo imploring her to honor the boycott. A USACBI petition generated over 2,000 signatures within 36 hours. Harjo disregarded these requests and announced that she would proceed with the performance. Her statement expressed sympathy for Palestinian and Jewish suffering without acknowledging that many American settlers—like their Israeli counterparts—had also faced persecution in Europe, and that Jewish and Israeli voices have been invaluable to the BDS movement. Harjo crossed the picket line. She helped provide legitimacy to an institution that sits above the ethnically cleansed Palestinian village of Shaykh Muwannis while supporting the Israeli military occupation which is illegal under international law.
Read the full story at Indian Country Today Media Network

Palestine Wins Status of State in Vote by U.N. Assembly

English (US)  November 29th, 2012 by admin ( Email )


President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority spoke at the United Nations before the General Assembly voted on Palestine's status as a “nonmember observer state” on Thursday.

By ETHAN BRONNER and CHRISTINE HAUSER
Published: November 29, 2012 214 Comments

UNITED NATIONS — More than 130 countries voted on Thursday to grant Palestine the upgraded status of nonmember observer state in the United Nations, a stinging defeat for Israel and the United States and a boost for President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, who was weakened by the recent eight days of fighting in Gaza.

The new ranking could make it easier for the Palestinians to pursue Israel in international legal forums, but it remained unclear what effect it would have on attaining what both sides say they want — a two-state solution.

Still, the vote offered a showcase for an extraordinary international lineup of support for the Palestinians and constituted a deeply symbolic achievement for their cause, made even weightier by arriving on the 65th anniversary of the General Assembly vote that divided the former British Mandate of Palestine into two states, one Jewish and the other Arab — a vote that Israel considers the international seal of approval for its birth.

The tally, in which 138 members voted yes, 9 voted no and 41 abstained, took place after a speech by Mr. Abbas to the General Assembly, in which he called the moment a “last chance” to save the two-state solution amid a narrowing window of opportunity.

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English (US)  October 7th, 2012 by admin ( Email )


Photos: Inspired by US, Palestine solidarity billboards go up across South Africa (Wissam Nassar / Maan Images)

Submitted by Ali Abunimah on Sun, 10/07/2012 - 22:19

Twelve billboards have gone up across South Africa showing how Israeli colonization has gradually taken away Palestinian land.

According to an emailed statement from the group BDS South Africa, whose name appears on the ads:

A local black businessman from Johannesburg was inspired by a similar campaign initiated by Henry Clifford in the USA and decided to embark on the same initiative here in South Africa. Earlier on this year Clifford personally backed a campaign with more than R200,000 [$22,000] of his own money to have adverts explaining the Israeli occupation put up in New York metro stations.

The ads sponsored by Clifford in the New York area earlier this year caused a considerable reaction and controversy.

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Freedom Sailors: The Maiden Voyage of the Free Gaza movement and how we succeeded in spite of ourselves

English (US)  September 10th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

A must-read high seas Palestinian human rights adventure

By Gale Courey Toensing

The citizen activists who recount their stories in "Freedom Sailors" put their lives on the line for an ideal by boarding two questionable old fishing boats to challenge Israel's illegal blockade of Gaza. They are to be celebrated as heroes and the real upholders of small "d" democracy.

The ideal they upheld in word and deed is that indigenous Palestinians have the human, national and civil rights to live as free people in the land their ancestors have lived on since time immemorial.

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Egypt: Our Submarines Are None of Israel’s Business

English (US)  September 3rd, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Reports Say Israel Pressing Germany to Scrap Deal

by Jason Ditz

Egyptian officials are bashing reports that the Israeli government is trying to sabotage their submarine buys, saying that the deals are between Egypt and Germany and are none of the Israel’s business.

“The only two parties determining the fate of this deal are the German and Egyptian governments and not Israeli newspapers which try to destabilize security within Egypt,” one Egyptian official was quoted as saying.

Egypt had a deal to acquire two submarines from Germany, and Israeli officials were quoted in the Israeli press as saying that they were demanding Germany reverse the plan. German Defense Ministry officials were also claimed to have promised to oppose the deal.

Israel has regularly been proactive in trying to get arms deals cancelled when their neighbors acquire them, but it would be unusual for them to do so with Egypt, a long-time ally.

Anti-war

Blackmailing the PA into submission: Avigdor Lieberman -- "a thug disguised as a politician"

English (US)  August 31st, 2012 by admin ( Email )

With the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process going nowhere, mainly due to Israeli intransigence and American complicity, Israel is increasingly bullying the Palestinian Authority (PA) into doing its bidding, says Khaled Amayreh in Ramallah


Palestinians pray on the compound known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, the second-most powerful Israeli official after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, has called PA President Mahmoud Abbas "a terrorist who will have to be eliminated". Lieberman also urged the international community, especially the Quartet for the Middle East peace process, which includes, the UN, US, EU, and Russia, to organise new elections that would see the PA replaced by another Palestinian entity that is more acceptable to Israel.

Lieberman's remarks, which he repeated several times in the past few days, came in part as a response to declared PA plans to restart endeavours at the UN for recognising Palestinian statehood and accepting "Palestine" as a member-state at the international organisation. "There is a division of labor between [Hamas premier Ismail] Haniyeh and Abbas. Haniyeh and Hamas are leading armed terrorism while Abbas is leading political terrorism."

Palestinian officials retorted by calling Lieberman "a thug disguised as a politician". PA negotiator Saeb Ereikat said Lieberman was continuing his rudeness and incitement without the Israeli government taking any measures to rein him in. "The whole world condemned those declaration and we were officially informed by the Israeli governments that it and its premier were not related and did not necessarily share his view."

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Lying Judge Clears Israel of Blame in Corrie Death

English (US)  August 28th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

In typical Zionist fashion, a judge for the Zionist entity cleared the Zionist military of any responsibility in Rachel Corrie's death and instead blamed her for being crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer. This makes Corrie a double victim of the "Jewish state" -- first, by being murdered by one of its "citizens" and now by have her character smeared and besmirched by virtually calling her a terrorist.

August 28. The revealing part of his decision is how Israeli Judge Oded Gershon described the totally non-violent International Solidarity Movement of which Rachel Corrie was a member. According to the Israeli site Ynet news he said it "abuses the human rights discourse to blur its actions which are de facto violence." and further that "This included an army of activists serving as 'human shields' for terrorists wanted by Israeli security forces, financial and logistical aid to Palestinians including terrorists and their families, and disruption of the sealing of suicide bombers' houses."

With that fantastic collection of lies as the basis of his thinking it's a given that Gershon would dismiss the civil suit of the parents of Rachel Corrie and that's exactly what he did. Ynet news says the judge concluded because in 2003 there was a "war time situation" and that the IDF had tried to keep people out of the area the Israeli government bore no blame for what happened.

Read more at The Struggle

Incarcerated inside Israel: Palestinians Tortured, Isolated

English (US)  August 11th, 2012 by admin ( Email )


(Photo: Activestills.org)

By Graham Peebles

Detention without trial, the presumption of guilt, denial of family visits, solitary confinement, torture, violent interrogation, and denial of access to appropriate health care, such is the Israeli judicial system and prison confinement experienced by Palestinian men, women and indeed children.

Currently there are, according to B’T selem “4,484 Palestinians – security detainees, confined in Israeli prisons.” Family contact is virtually impossible for prisoners, most of who are held inside Israel. This contravenes international law in the form of the universally trumpeted Fourth Geneva Convention (Article’s 49 & 76), consistently violated and disregarded by Israel.

International laws – legally binding upon Israel, who are not above the rule of law, must be respected and enforced. Richard Falk UN Special Rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories, in the UN news 2/5/12 called “on the international community to ensure that Israel complies with international human rights laws and norms in its treatment of Palestinian prisoners.” The UN makes its feelings clear in the ‘Question of Palestine Administrative Detention’ report (UNQAP) when it says, Israel “has historically ratified international agreements regarding human rights protection, whilst at the same time refusing to apply the agreements within the Occupied Palestinian Territory, attempting to create legal justifications for its illegal actions.” A comprehensive list of international legally binding agreements dutifully signed, ratified and consequently disregarded by various Israeli governments are cited by the UN, which sits hands tied, impotent it seems in the face of Israel’s illegal and violent occupation (a fact that cannot be stated often or loudly enough), submissive to the imperialist Godfather. America.

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Occupied Lives: I have no future

English (US)  August 8th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

PALESTINE CENTER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS


Mamoun Ahmad Dalloul in front of his destroyed factory in Tel-el-hawa.

Mamoun Ahmad Dalloul (36) lives in Tel-el-hawa with his wife and 9 children. Until recently, he owned a dairy-products factory that produced milk, cheese and yoghurt. Since December 2008, Mamoun has re-built his factory 4 times after it was repeatedly targeted and destroyed by Israel’s forces. On 04 June 2012, at around 1:00, his factory was targeted and destroyed by Israel’s forces for the 5th time.

The direct targeting of a civilian object constitutes a war crime, as codified in Article 8(2)(b)(ii) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Similarly, under the Fourth Geneva Convention Article 53, the destruction of private property is prohibited unless rendered absolutely necessary by military operations. The destruction of such factories infringes upon human rights principles, including the right to work and right to attain an adequate standard of living contained in Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

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Israel legalizing grab of Palestinian land

English (US)  July 15th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

By
Klalid Amayreh

A special committee appointed by Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu to look into the "legality" of Jewish colonies in the West Bank has concluded that Israel has a legal right to grab Palestinian land, irrespective of the rule of international law and any other considerations.

The committee, made up of highly fanatical Talmudic-minded figures, such as Edmond Levy, who opposed the dismantlement of Jewish colonies in Gaza in 2005, argued that the West Bank was not really an occupied territory and that the Israeli state could legally steal as much of that territory as it sees fit for meeting the needs of Jewish settlers. The occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, by Israel is not recognized by the international community, including the United States.

The drafters of the committee recommendations belong to a Jewish school of thought which teaches that the ancient or Biblical land of Israel covers much of the Middle East, including the entirety of Palestine, Syria, Lebanon as well as parts of Egypt, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

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Israel mulls sanctions on UN agency in West Bank due to staffers' illegal activity

English (US)  July 15th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Israel wants to 'reassess' role in the West Bank of the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
By Barak Ravid
Haaretz| Jul.15, 2012 | 2:26 AM | 33


A Palestinian boy rides a bicycle past tents in the West Bank village of Susiya June 24, 2012

The Foreign Ministry and Israel Defense Forces are considering imposing sanctions against a UN agency in the West Bank and Gaza following allegations that agency employees have engaged in illegal activity such as illegal construction.

As senior officials in Jerusalem put it, Israel wants to “reassess” the role in the West Bank of the agency, the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The two options under consideration are limiting the issuing of visas to OCHA employees and rescinding work and travel permits to local residents who work for OCHA.

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Israel murders more Palestinians

English (US)  June 22nd, 2012 by admin ( Email )

A two-year-old is among the victims of a barrage of violence Israel this week thrust on the Palestinians, writes Khaled Amayreh in the West Bank
Al Ahram


Palestinian medics treat a man wounded by Israeli fire in a hospital in Deir Al-Balah, Gaza Strip

The Israeli occupation army and paramilitary Jewish settlers killed more than 10 Palestinians this week, including a two-year-old toddler who died after her Gaza home was hit by a missile fired from an Israeli military drone.

Israeli sources claimed some of the victims were involved in attempts to attack Israeli targets or trying to lay landmines along the Israel-Gaza borders, which is disputed by Palestinians who argue that Israel is killing Palestinians for the sake of it.

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Pulitzer Prize Winner Alice Walker Declines to Publish The Color Purple in Israel, Awaits a ‘Just Future’

English (US)  June 22nd, 2012 by admin ( Email )


Pulitzer-prize winner, Alice Walker and former Anishanaabek Chief Robert Lovelace aboard the Freedom Flotilla in protest of Israel’s illegal sea blockade of Gaza.

By Gale Courey Toensing

Author, poet and human rights activist Alice Walker has declined an offer to publish her Pulitzer Prize–winning novel The Color Purple in Israel because the country is “an Apartheid state,” she said.

In a June 9 letter to Yediot Books, Walker thanked the publisher for wanting to issue her novel but said she would wait for “a just future.” Walker said that last fall the Russell Tribunal on Palestine in South Africa, on which she served as a jurist, “met and determined that Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people, both inside Israel and also in the Occupied Territories. The testimony we heard, both from Israelis and Palestinians … was devastating. I grew up under American apartheid, and this was far worse. Indeed, many South Africans who attended, including Desmond Tutu, felt the Israeli version of these crimes is worse even than what they suffered under the white supremacist regimes that dominated South Africa for so long.”

Read the full story at Indian Country Today Media Network

The state of Gaza: Five years after Hamas took power in the city, how has life changed for its citizens?

English (US)  June 10th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

By Donald MacIntyre

The front office of Kamal Ashour's small family clothing factory in Gaza City opens on to Izzedine al-Qassam Street, named, like Hamas's military wing, in honour of the Islamist mujahid who led the anti-Zionist, anti-Mandate, Black Hand gang and was shot dead by British police in 1935.

Which makes it serendipitous to see the mannequins on one of its shelves triumphantly displaying four samples of the 2,000 acrylic cardigans and polo sweaters Ashour has just shipped off to the UK firm of JD Williams in the first clothing exports to leave Gaza for five years. And a lot more so to be talking on Ashour's landline to a Jewish-Israeli clothier in Tel Aviv about how fast, if he had half a chance, he would revert to buying his goods from here, as he once did.

Having made the call, Ashour, a short, spry septuagenarian who used to export at least 80 per cent of his clothing to Israel, has thrust the phone into my hand to demonstrate just how highly his most favoured customer values his business. Sure enough, the Israeli trader explains that, since the blockade imposed in Gaza by his own government in 2007, he has been forced to find a Chinese supplier instead of Ashour; that, yes, the sweaters may be slightly –though "not much"– cheaper, but that he would still prefer Ashour every time. "Look, I've been working with Gaza for 30 years and with this guy for 11 or 12. The overall quality is high, better than China. He's very, very good to work with. I trust him completely. If he says he will do something, he does it. He never changes his mind."

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Israel – Self-made Global Pariah

English (US)  May 26th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

By Vacy Vlazna

Every time Israel bans Palestinians from leaving Israel's West Bank-Gaza Prison, and every time a well-meaning foreigner is refused entry to give humanitarian assistance to Palestinians, Israel is consolidating its reputation as a global pariah, now, according to the BBC poll, on par with North Korea for having the highest negative influence on the global stage.

Like Pavlov's dog, Israel rabidly salivates and attacks in response to any association with human rights and human decency. All compassionate attempts by the flotillas to bring aid to alleviate the dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza were confronted with Israeli violence, piracy, looting, and imprisonment peaking in the shocking Mavi Marmara massacre through which Israel recruited the whole of Turkey to the pro-Palestinian cause.

Ordinary Greeks were focused on their nation's economic woes until Israel alerted them to Palestine's and their own loss of sovereignty when Israel closed Greek ports to deter the 2011 Gaza flotilla.

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Israel is a crime against humanity

English (US)  May 25th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

By Khalid Amayreh

Thanks to the fact that much of the western media deliberately avoids exposing Israeli criminality, probably for fear of being accused of anti-Semitism, much of the brutal ugliness of the Jewish state remains unknown to millions of Europeans and North Americans.

This is the reason that many people in the west are still buying the big, obscene lie that Israel is a western democracy which upholds basic human rights and civil liberties. But the facts on the ground are much uglier than many people think, irrespective of how vociferous and dogged Israeli hasbara operatives get when defending and justifying Israeli misdeeds and crimes.

The truth of the matter is that institutionalized oppression, racism and terror against the native Palestinians have always constituted and continue to constitute Israel's modus operandi.

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Intifada over prisoners?

English (US)  May 14th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Pressure is building on Israel as an open-ended hunger strike by thousands of Palestinian prisoners continues, writes Khaled Amayreh in Ramallah


The mother of Palestinian prisoner Bilal Diab holds a poster of her son, who is on a hunger strike for 67 days. About 5,000 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel are on a hunger strike, demanding an end to imprisonment without trial as well as better conditions

With a massive open-ended hunger strike observed by thousands of Palestinian prisoners languishing in Israeli jails entering a "crucial phase", as inmates are being force-fed, Palestinian militant leaders have warned that the death of even one prisoner as a result of Israeli intransigence in face of the strike would trigger an all-out Intifada -- or uprising -- in the occupied territories.

The warning came from militant leaders affiliated with Islamist groups, saying the Palestinian people wouldn't allow Israel to break the will of helpless prisoners demanding simple human decency and a semblance of acceptable treatment.

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BDS for Palestinian Rights: ‘Equality or Nothing!’

English (US)  May 6th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

The BDS movement is not asking for anything heroic from people of conscience. It is merely asking them to desist from complicity in oppression.

By Omar Barghouti

The Palestinian right to equality is neither negotiable nor relative; it is the sine qua non of a just peace in Palestine and the region. As Edward Said once said, “Equality or nothing!”

Anyone who supports Palestinian self-determination while calling only for ending the forty-five-year-old Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is only upholding most of the rights of just 38 percent of Palestinians while expecting the rest to accept injustice as fate. According to 2011 statistics, of 11.2 million Palestinians, 50 percent live in exile, many denied their UN-stipulated right to return to their homes of origin, and 12 percent are Palestinian citizens of Israel who live under a system of “institutional, legal and societal discrimination,” according to the US State Department. More than two thirds of Palestinians are refugees or internally displaced persons.

Equal rights for Palestinians means, at minimum, ending Israel’s 1967 occupation and colonization, ending Israel’s system of racial discrimination and respecting the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their lands from which they were ethnically cleansed during the 1948 Nakba. The 2005 Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) call was endorsed by an overwhelming majority of Palestinians because it upholds all three. By appealing to people of conscience around the world to help end Israel’s three-tiered system of oppression, the BDS movement is not asking for anything heroic. It is merely asking people to desist from complicity in oppression.

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BDS Abandons Israeli Progressives

English (US)  May 6th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

A boycott of Israel's settlements makes sense, but a broader boycott will most hurt those forces inside Israel that are best poised to change Israeli state policy.

by Bernard Avishai

The American response to Peter Beinart’s New York Times op-ed calling for an economic boycott of Israel’s West Bank settlements—what he calls, usefully, “non-democratic Israel”—will strike Israeli liberals as just a little melodramatic. Not very much is produced in the settlements, which are largely bedroom communities. Most liberal Israelis have been boycotting products from the settlements for years: Dead Sea creams, organic eggs, boutique wines and spices.

Recently, various scholars, artists and scientists signed statements announcing our refusal to cooperate with, or even visit, the college established in the settlement of Ariel, between Ramallah and Nablus; a college originally established by Bar-Ilan University, but now applying—with the support of Netanyahu’s government, and in the face of considerable opposition from the Council of Higher Education—to be upgraded to an independent university. A couple of years ago, writing against the BDS movement against Israel as a whole in these pages, I called for just such a boycott myself.

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For the sake of settlers

English (US)  May 6th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

The expansionist Zionist project continues to enjoy immunity before Israeli law as settlers grab daily more Arab land, writes Khaled Amayreh in the West Bank


Palestinian protesters with their hands chained during a protest outside Ofer prison near Ramallah in solidarity with hunger striking Palestinian prisoners

Resorting to a combination of legal tricks, repeated procrastination and brazen deceitfulness, the Israeli government of Binyamin Netanyahu has been trying to legalise dozens of colonial outposts built on private Arab lands.

The manifestly malicious measures have raised the eyebrows of jurists and judges as well as media figures in Israel who have complained that the Netanyahu government is not only destroying the peace process with the Palestinians but also the rule of law in Israel.

Last week, the government petitioned the High Court of Justice to postpone the evacuation of Jewish squatters from a small colonial outpost named Ulpana near Ramallah. The evacuation ought to have taken place long time ago. However, heavy political pressure and intervention by government officials and influential Knesset members repeatedly delayed evacuation as the issue moved from the judicial to the political realm.

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David Horowitz' ad in the NYT

English (US)  May 6th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

See the following story for a response from Mark LeVine

Israel: Working behind the scenes to spy on Egypt

English (US)  April 21st, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Al Ahram
Israel is to establish an unprecedented spy centre to eavesdrop on, and meddle with, post-revolutionary Egypt, writes Saleh Al-Naami

Demonstrators sit as pro-Palestinian activists stage a protest in Brussels. Palestinian supporters throughout Europe had bought plane tickets to visit Palestine as part of a campaign called "Welcome to Palestine"

Although more than one month has passed since the recommendations of the Arab Affairs Committee in Egypt's People's Assembly were issued, 12 March, regarding Egypt's foreign policy in the coming phase, the impact of these recommendations continues to echo in statements by Israeli commentators and experts. They view the statement read by the committee's chairman, Mohamed Idris, as a clear indicator of the changes that have occurred in Egypt -- most significantly, that the committee statement avoided using the name "Israel" and instead used the term "Zionist entity", and that the parliamentary committee asserted that Israel is "the primary enemy that threatens Egypt's national security". It also called on the Egyptian government to support and assist the Palestinian people in their armed struggle against Israeli occupation forces.

Yehuda Halevi, an expert at the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, said that if the new regime in Egypt adopts the committee's recommendation that Israel is "the primary enemy that threatens Egypt's national security" this would mean that Egypt would be required to rebuild its military power to confront this threat. This includes in the nuclear domain, which would make Egypt's actions an existential threat for Israel. Halevi suggested that Tel Aviv should consider the transformations taking place in Egypt and prepare and take necessary precautions to confront any action by Egypt in the future that threatens Israel.

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Who owns the Palestine solidarity movement?

English (US)  April 11th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign is a global message against Israeli oppression, not a political platform

By Ramzy Baroud, Special to Gulf News


Image Credit: Illustration: Luis Vazquez/©Gulf News

A few years ago, after I spoke at a conference in South Africa, Ronnie Kasrils, then the country's Minister for Intelligence Services, leaned towards me and said, "I agree with everything you said, but in order for the boycott of Israel to become adopted by world governments, the call has to be initiated by those who represent the Palestinian people in Palestine, not outside groups."

I was not actually purporting to represent any group, inside or outside Palestine. A few days later I received more counsel from a leading South African official. "A representative from Mahmoud Abbas's office was here few days ago," he said. "He seemed to have different priorities from yours. He asked me to ensure that the South African government continues to isolate Hamas, not Israel."

Kasrils, a legendary member of the African National Congress (ANC), was, of course, right. It was the decisive call of academic boycott made by the ANC in the 1960s which started a process that eventually succeeded in isolating the apartheid regime and speeding up its demise.

Alas, those who are recognised as the representatives of the Palestinians stand on the wrong side of history. Their political fate is now intrinsically linked to that of the very Israeli occupation that continues to torment Palestinians. Ensuring dominion over an occupied nation has proved to be more urgent to them than isolating Israel for its crimes.

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Warmongering Zionist state asks negotiators to be tough on Tehran; U.S. collects intelligence on Iran

English (US)  April 8th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Sunday, 08 April 2012

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has urged nations negotiating with Iran to set strict conditions on Tehran or risk watching the Islamic republic continue with its nuclear program.

By Al Arabiya with Agencies

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Sunday warned the six-power group negotiating with Iran to set stringent limits on its nuclear enrichment at forthcoming talks.

“If the P5+1 will set a much lower threshold, like just stop reaching 20 percent it means that basically the Iranians at a very cheap cost bought their way into continuing their military programs, slightly slower but without sanctions,” Barak said in an interview aired on Sunday by CNN.

“That would be a total change of direction for the worse,” he added.

The so-called P5+1, comprising the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, is scheduled to begin talks with Iran in coming weeks, though no date has been set and Tehran has rejected at least one proposed venue.

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To Netanyahu: 'Why not take single mothers, elderly out of the equation, too?'

English (US)  April 8th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

PM slammed for declaring country in great shape minus Arabs, Haredim.

By Zvi Zrahiya, Moti Bassok and Hila Weisberg

Haaretz

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's declaration that Israel is in fine shape if you ignore the ultra-Orthodox and Arab communities drew fire from critics, who noted that this is precisely where the country's problems lie.

The State of Israel is doing "not badly" compared to other countries, and "if you deduct the Arabs and ultra-Orthodox from inequality indexes, we're in great shape," Netanyahu told TheMarker in a pre-holiday interview published Thursday.
Netanyahu: Without Arabs, Haredim, we’re in great shape.

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Actress Emma Thompson under attack for calling for Israeli theater ban

English (US)  April 8th, 2012 by admin ( Email )


Emma Thompson is one of three dozen British artistes calling for the Shakespeare global festival to withdraw its invitation to an Israeli theater group over its involvement with illegal settlements in Palestine. (AP)
Emma Thompson is one of three dozen British artistes calling for the Shakespeare global festival to withdraw its invitation to an Israeli theater group over its involvement with illegal settlements in Palestine. (AP)

By Al Arabiya

Actress Emma Thompson’s decision to join a group of 35 artistes protesting the inclusion of an Israeli theater in a Shakespeare festival this summer in London has sparked controversy.

The two time Oscar winner Thompson joined a list of 35 people from arts – playwrights, actors, film makers – who wrote a letter published in The Guardian on March 29 to regret that Israeli theater Habima would perform “The Merchant of Venice” at the Globe to Globe festival in London in May.

Habima, they argue, has “a shameful record of involvement with illegal Israeli settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territory. Last year, two large Israeli settlements established ‘halls of culture’ and asked Israeli theatre groups to perform there. A number of Israeli theatre professionals – actors, stage directors, playwrights – declared they would not take part.”

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On Land Day: This Land is Ours

English (US)  March 30th, 2012 by admin ( Email )


Our land, our soil. Despoiled, scarred, wounded .. (Activestills)

By Stephen Williams

We climbed the hill at Al Khader, overlooking Bethlehem, and marvelled at the view of the city and, to our right, the extensive Israeli settlement of Gilo.

Reaching the summit, Mohammed and I paused. Ahead was the building-site that marked the progress of the Annexation Wall; the scarred landscape, the bulldozers, the watchtower, the fences. A hundred metres away was a Palestinian house hemmed in on three sides by the worksite; for its inhabitants, life would never be the same. Mohammed was staring at the ugliness with infinite sadness.

“This is our land,” he said. “Part of me is lost.”

Each stolen duram, each burnt olive grove , every racially-segregated road, each fence, barrier, wall cutting through the landscape denying access to crops, dividing families, each scar on the landscape is mirrored by the scar on the soul of a Palestinian.

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MK Zoabi: Struggle for democracy is a struggle against Zionism

English (US)  March 29th, 2012 by admin ( Email )


Haneen Zoabi, an MK from the Balad party, speaks to Elsa Rassbach about Land Day and her relationship as a Palestinian to Zionism and citizenship.

By Elsa Rassbach

Since the 1980s, Palestinians have marked every March 30 with protests to celebrate Land Day. The day commemorates the first widespread struggle of Arab Israelis against processes of land confiscation intended to create Jewish majorities in certain communities. The marches and general strikes began in the Galilee in 1976, and resulted in the killings of six unarmed Arab citizens of Israel. Solidarity protests spread to the occupied West Bank, Gaza and the refugee camps in Lebanon. Since then, the day has marked the first common struggle for a Palestinian national cause following the founding of the State of Israel in 1948, an event Palestinians call the Nakba. This year on Land Day, worldwide Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activities will take place against Israeli policies, as well as the Global March to Jerusalem, which will call attention to the continuing Judaization and ethnic cleansing in the city that was supposed to be the multi-ethnic, multi-religious capital of a future Palestinian state.

Haneen Zoabi, 43, became a Knesset member in 2009, as the first Palestinian woman elected on an Arab party’s list. She is a member of the Balad party, which seeks to transform Israel into a democracy for all of its citizens, irrespective of national, ethnic or religious identity. Zoabi was born in Nazareth to a Muslim family. In 2010, she participated in the Gaza flotilla on board the Mavi Marmara. I spoke with her recently by Skype.

What does Land Day mean to you?

To me, Land Day is a day of ongoing and a continuous struggle around the issue of “land property.” This is still the crucial issue between us and the state. The core of the Zionist project is a continuous stealing of land from the Palestinians and transferring it to the Israeli Jews. Renaming the places, the junctions, the villages, the streets, and giving Jewish names to the landscape is part of this “confiscation.” It’s a way to steal from us and confiscate our historical relation with our homeland. This is the meaning of Ariel Sharon’s famous statement in the Knesset in 2002 when he said that the Palestinians inside Israel, whom he called “Israeli Arabs,” in effect have only temporary “rights in the land,” the land not yet confiscated, but “all the rights over the Land of Israel are Jewish rights.”

During the 63 years since 1948, Israel has confiscated 85 percent of our land and turned it over to the exclusive use of the Jews. It has developed and built 1,000 towns, cities and villages, all of them only for the Jews. And zero for the Palestinians. We live now on 2 percent of our land. We don’t even have permission to build our own houses on our own land and thus have no rights to use our land that hasn’t been confiscated.

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Palestinian hunger striker in danger

English (US)  March 25th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Battling against administrative detention, Hana Al-Shalabi has refused food for over a month, her health rapidly deteriorating, reports Khaled Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem


Palestinians chant slogans during a protest in Nablus in solidarity with Hana Al-Shalabi, depicted in poster, right, who has been on hunger strike for 32 days. The Arabic writing on the placard reads, "administrative detention is a violation of human rights" and "freedom for Hana Al-Shalabi"

Hana Al-Shalabi, 24, was released from Israeli jails several months ago as part of the so-called Shalit deal. However, the young Palestinian woman was rearrested two months ago "on secret charges" and sent for administrative detention without charge or trial, ostensibly in order to make her suffer.

This, says Eissa Qaraki, the Palestinian Authority (PA) official in charge of the prisoner portfolio, is a deliberate Israeli policy aimed at hounding and harassing the released prisoners and destabilising their lives.

But Hana Al-Shalabi wouldn't succumb to the unjust detention order. She resorted to the only means available to her and other inmates to voice their grievances: hunger strike.

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All Quiet on the Southern Front

English (US)  March 17th, 2012 by admin ( Email )


Gaza. Everything as usual. (Al Jazeera)

By Uri Avnery

'What have you learned in school today, my son?'

'There was no school today. There is an emergency!'

'And what have you learned from that, my son?'

Actually, quite a lot.

This week’s “round”, as the army likes to call it, followed a well-established pattern, as formal as a religious ritual.

It started with the assassination (or “targeted elimination”) of a hitherto unknown Palestinian resistance (“terrorist”) leader in the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinians responded with a rain of missiles, which lasted for four whole days. More than a million Israelis around Gaza stopped working and stayed with their children near their shelters or “protected areas” (meaning nothing more than relatively safe rooms in their homes.) One million Israelis roughly equate to 10 million Germans or 40 million Americans, in relation to the population.

A proportion of these rockets were intercepted in their flight by the three batteries of the “Iron Dome” anti-missile defense. There were some Israeli injured and some minor material damage, but no Israeli dead.

Israeli manned and unmanned aircraft struck and there were 26 Palestinian dead in the Gaza Strip.

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Are Palestinians Victims of Terror and Displaced Guilt? (Yes, they are.)

English (US)  February 29th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

img src="http://www.thecornerreport.com/media/blogs/links/boycottnow8.gif" alt="" title="" width="200" height="200" />

By Dallas Darling

It was on this day, February 29, 1948, that 28 British soldiers were killed as a mine exploded under the Cairo-Haifa train. Lehi, also known as Stern Gang, a Zionist terrorist group, claimed responsibility. But the Cairo-Haifa attack was only one of several acts of terrorism that Israeli Zionists employed. And the Stern Gang was just one of several terrorist organizations working to establish a Jewish-Israeli state in Palestine. Israel, then, was born on a wave of Zionist terrorism.

Some the West would like to see Palestinians and Palestinian statehood quietly go away, to suffer in silence and to die in darkness. But even now as electricity is slowly being cut from the Gaza Strip, not to mention a harsh economic blockade that for years has caused immense suffering, terror comes to mind. And even now as the West collaborates with Israel on how to sabotage a Palestinian state, displaced guilt from events and mistakes during and after World War II becomes even more apparent.

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Palestinian detainee ends hunger strike

English (US)  February 21st, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Israel agrees to free Khader Adnan on April 17 as part of a deal to end his 66-day fast over his illegal detention.

A Palestinian detained by Israel, Khader Adnan, has agreed to end his 66-day hunger strike as part of a deal under which he will be released without charge, sources tell Al Jazeera.

Al Jazeera's Nisreen El-Shamayleh, reporting from Adnan's hometown of Jenin in the occupied West Bank, quoted officials as saying on Tuesday that "Adnan has informed his lawyers that he has suspended his hunger strike and agreed to the offer to serve his sentence until April 17".

A spokesperson for the Israeli Supreme Court earlier told Al Jazeera that based on the deal reached between Adnan's lawyers and the Israeli justice ministry, he would end his fast in return for the court's decision to "erase" his file and release him on April 17, ending his "administrative detention".

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Ethnic cleansing in a Zionist fairyland

English (US)  February 18th, 2012 by admin ( Email )


Official Israeli archaeology is legitimating the ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem in defiance of basic precepts of international law, writes Vacy Vlazna

"De-Arabising the history of Palestine is another crucial element of the ethnic cleansing. 1,500 years of Arab and Muslim rule and culture in Palestine are trivialised, evidence of its existence is being destroyed, and all this is done to make the absurd connection between the ancient Hebrew civilization and today's Israel. The most glaring example of this today is in Silwan, (Wadi Hilwe) a town adjacent to the Old City of Jerusalem with some 50,000 residents. Israel is expelling families from Silwan and destroying their homes because it claims that king David built a city there some 3,000 years ago.

"Thousands of families will be made homeless so that Israel can build a park to commemorate a king that may or may not have lived 3,000 years ago. Not a shred of historical evidence exists that can prove king David ever lived, yet Palestinian men, women, children and the elderly along with their schools and mosques, churches and ancient cemeteries and any evidence of their existence must be destroyed and then denied so that Zionist claims to exclusive rights to the land may be substantiated." -- Miko Peled, Israeli dissident.

Indeed, Israeli archaeology has become a state apparatus for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the Zionist fairyland, aka the "City of David Archaeological Park" located in the Palestinian village of Silwan in East Jerusalem.

East Jerusalem is the capital of the proposed Palestine state. It was illegally annexed by Israel in the 1967 War. Prohibiting the annexation of territories gained by military conquest is one of the major principles of international law. The international community does not recognise Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem, but nevertheless over 50,000 illegal premises have been built for 250,000 illegal Israeli colonists in the city.


Nazi Germany/Zionist Palestine
The goal of the archaeological judaisation of Jerusalem is to transform Jerusalem into the "City of David", the capital of Greater Israel, by eradicating the mixed ethnic composition of the Palestinian and Jewish population of East Jerusalem to make the city have a solely Jewish identity and unify East and West Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty.

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'Jewish State' Committing Suicide

English (US)  February 18th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

By Uri Avnery

After the founding of Israel, God appeared to David Ben-Gurion and told him: 'you have created a state for my chosen people in my holy land. This merits a great reward. Tell me what you wish, and I will grant it.'

Ben-Gurion answered: “Almighty God, I wish that every person in Israel shall be wise, honest and a member of the Labor Party.”

“Dear me,” said God, “That is too much even for the Almighty. But I decree that every Israeli shall be two of the three.”

Since then, if a wise Israeli is a member of the Labor party, he is not honest. If an honest Israeli is a member of the Labor party, he is not wise. If he is wise and honest, he is not a member of the Labor Party.

The joke was popular in the 1950s. After 1967, another much less funny formula took its place.

It goes like this: many Israelis ask God for their state to be Jewish and democratic, and that it will include the entire country between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. That is too much even for the Almighty. So he asks them to choose between a state that is Jewish and democratic but only in part of the country, or a state in all the country that is Jewish but not democratic, or a state in the entire country that is democratic but not Jewish. To which I would add a fourth option: A Jewish and democratic state in the entire country, but only after driving out all the Arabs – some 5.5 million at this point, and growing quickly.

This is the choice facing us today as it did almost 45 years ago. It has only become more sharply defined.

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Isreal Steals: The Seacret Debate: Conflict over the Conflict

English (US)  February 18th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

The Australian Friends of Palestine Association (AFOPA) accuses Seacret of stealing Palestinian resources to make its products.

By Matt Buckley

Rundle Mall is an open-air shopping mall in the heart of the Australian city of Adelaide. It has shops, cafes, a tavern and sculptures. On any given day in Rundle Mall one can find tourists, shoppers, street performers, families, and young people.

The presence of an Israeli cosmetics shop in Adelaide’s shopping district Rundle Mall has caused clashes between Palestinian rights activists and Christian Zionists.

The atmosphere of Rundle Mall on Fridays in the early evening is no longer only of Adelaide’s night-life just awakening, but also of tension and anger.

Seacret is an Israeli company that sells cosmetics made from minerals extracted from the Dead Sea.

Its products are labelled, “Made In Israel”.

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WATCH: Video shows French woman wounded by IDF grenade in West Bank peaceful protest while lying Zionist soldiers claim she was hit by a rock thrown by protesters

English (US)  February 4th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Haaretz

Israel Defense Forces claimed woman wounded by rock thrown by protesters in village of Nabi Saleh, while Palestinian sources said she was hit by grenade; IDF says incident now under "investigation."

By Gili Cohen and Nir Hasson Tags: West Bank IDF

Protesters from the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh released video footage on Saturday showing that the French woman wounded during the weekly protest on Friday was hit by an Israel Defense Forces gas grenade

Palestinian sources reported on Friday that the French citizen was seriously wounded on Friday after being hit by a gas grenade. According to the reports, the grenade was fired at a demonstration by IDF forces. The French woman was taken to the hospital.


Nabi Saleh - AP - December 2, 2011, An Israeli border policeman fires tear gas at Palestinian protesters during a demonstration in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh near Ramallah, Friday.

The IDF spokesperson published a statement on Friday, however, saying that the woman was wounded by rocks that were thrown by other protesters.

“A border police officer and a French citizen were lightly wounded by rocks that were thrown at them during a disturbance of the peace,” the statement said.

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BDS Update: Cyber Blitzkreig, Counterattacks

English (US)  February 2nd, 2012 by admin ( Email )

By Eric Walberg – Cairo

The Third Annual BDS Conference opened 17 December at Hebron's Children's Happiness Centre, 'to expand Palestinian civil society's active implementation of BDS that is deeply rooted in the Palestinian struggle.' European BNC coordinator Michael Deas affirmed, 'BDS is now the main framework for solidarity. We are very close to closing the European market to Israel.'

A boycott bombshell in January was dropped by an 11th-grade American Jewish teenager, Jesse Lieberfeld, who won Dietrich College’s 2012 Martin Luther King, Jr Writing Award for his essay about his moral awakening when he realised his American Jewish culture was unavoidably identified with supporting Israel.

“I once belonged to a wonderful religion,” says young Jesse. “I routinely heard about unexplained mass killings, attacks on medical bases, and other alarmingly violent actions for which I could see no possible reason. ‘Genocide’ almost seemed the more appropriate term... Whenever I brought up the subject, I was always given the answer that there were faults on both sides... I felt horrified at the realisation that I was by nature on the side of the oppressors. I was grouped with the racial supremacists.” Finally, at the synagogue, he asked, “I want to support Israel. But how can I when it lets its army commit so many killings?” and was told by the rabbi, “It is a terrible thing, isn’t it? But there’s nothing we can do. It’s just a fact of life.” “I thanked him and walked out shortly afterward. I never went back.” When American youth like Jesse are forced to give up being Jewish because of Israeli crimes, it cannot be long before Israel crumbles under the weight of its accumulated crimes.

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Writing Has Always Been on the Wall

English (US)  January 29th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

By Sam Bahour

The human body is an amazing creation. It's not only the most complex system known to mankind, but it embodies within it signals that tell its owner that something has gone wrong. A similar signaling system exists in political bodies. Those tasked with reading the signals--be they individuals, physicians or politicians--can choose to consciously ignore the warning signs. The Middle East peace process between Palestinians and Israelis has been emitting SOS signals for decades, but only recently are those signals being received and analyzed for what they are transmitting--a clear and irreversible message that the entire paradigm of "two states for two peoples" has collapsed.

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Anti-Zionism in the 21st Century

English (US)  January 29th, 2012 by admin ( Email )


The struggle of the Palestinians is a struggle against Zionism.

By Tariq Shadid

The essence of the Palestinian struggle is the battle against Zionism. It is a battle against its racism, against its murderous war crimes, against its insatiable territorial hunger, against its disdain for non-Jewish human rights, and against its devoted attempts to destroy Palestinian national identity. As voices of normalization are on the rise, and social media is invaded by paid pro-Zionist bloggers, there is an increased need for anti-Zionists to draw attention to the crimes committed by 'Israel', and to speak up against the ongoing media silence and the apologist activities of those misleadingly portraying themselves as 'peace doves'. Let us first look briefly at the history of the anti-Zionist struggle, and then see where we stand today.

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Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions News: US Scholars’ Delegation Calls for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

English (US)  January 29th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

Five faculty from U.S. universities who recently completed a week-long visit to Occupied Palestine and Israel are calling on academic colleagues everywhere to support the United States Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI).

The professors, J. Kēhaulani Kauanui, Wesleyan University; Robin D. G. Kelley, University of California Los Angeles; Bill V. Mullen, Purdue University; Nikihl Pal Singh, New York University, and Neferti Tadiar, Barnard College/Columbia University met with Palestinian scholars, university administrators, citizens, activists, and officials in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Haifa. They also visited the 5,000 person Aida Refugee Camp near Bethlehem.

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The Puzzling Matter of the Israeli Liberals

English (US)  January 25th, 2012 by admin ( Email )


Media speak of right, left, center .. (Creative Commons)

By Ramzy Baroud

Regardless of who may rule Israel, little change ever occurs in the country's foreign policy. Winning parties remain obsessed with demographics and retaining absolute military dominance. They also remain unfailingly focused on their quest to initiate racist laws against non-Jewish residents of the state, and continue to hone the art of speaking of peace, while actually maintaining a permanent state of war.

Every few years the media become captivated by Israeli democracy. Commentators speak of right, left, center, and anything in between. Despite Israeli elections still being a year and a half away, media pundits are already discussing possible outcomes of the vote against the peace process, economic reforms, social equality, and so on.

In a recent article, Israeli columnist Uri Avnery decried the fact that the main opposition to the right-wing parties — “the Likud, the Lieberman party and various ultra-nationalist, pro-settlement and religious factions” — is no other than the center-left Kadima. The party, led by the “incompetent” Tzipi Livni, is allegedly in “shambles.” Moreover, left parties, such as Labor and Meretz, are not expected to pose a real threat to the right party conglomerate, despite their temporary rise in the polls.

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Israel crushing middle-class Palestinians

English (US)  January 23rd, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Al Ahram
The slow economic collapse being witnessed across the occupied territories, while worsening now, is inevitable so long as Palestinians languish under occupation, writes Khaled Amayreh in Hebron


Protesting against the construction of Israel's apartheid wall in the West Bank village of Qalandia (photo: AP)

With high consumer prices, static or dwindling salaries, rising unemployment and over-taxation, many ordinary Palestinians are no longer able to make ends meet.

The situation has been described as both explosive as well as potentially destabilising as the Palestinian Authority (PA) stands virtually powerless to overcome or even mitigate the harshest economic crisis hitting the occupied territories since the PA's founding in 1994.

Some families have been forced to take their children out of college because they can no longer afford to pay tuition fees amounting to a thousand dollars per semester.

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Room for Jews Only in Israel's 'Villa in the Jungle'

English (US)  January 19th, 2012 by admin ( Email )


The purpose of the law was to criminalize refugees returning home.

By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth

The wheel is turning full circle. Last week the Israeli parliament updated a 59-year-old law originally intended to prevent hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees from returning to the homes and lands from which they had been expelled as Israel was established.

The purpose of the draconian 1954 Prevention of Infiltration Law was to lock up any Palestinian who managed to slip past the snipers guarding the new state's borders. Israel believed only savage punishment and deterrence could ensure it maintained the overwhelming Jewish majority it had recently created through a campaign of ethnic cleansing.

Fast-forward six decades and Israel is relying on the infiltration law again, this time to prevent a supposedly new threat to its existence: the arrival each year of several thousand desperate African asylum seekers.

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Israel's 'national suicide'

English (US)  January 17th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

The "Palestinian demographic bomb" is a myth created to continue discrimination against Palestinians and Israeli-Arabs.


Israel's Separation Wall and hundreds of checkpoints prevent travel between the occupied Palestinian territories and the state of Israel for most Palestinians and Israelis [GALLO/GETTY]

Irvine, California - Say what you will about Israel's High Court of Justice, it knows how to name a decision.

In titling last Wednesday's legal decision, upholding the controversial Citizenship Law that prevents Palestinian spouses of Israeli citizens from living in Israel "Human rights are not a prescription for national suicide", the court's majority well summed up the existential predicament Israel faces today - indeed, has always faced - as it attempts to be both Jewish and democratic.

"National suicide" is, of course, an incredibly loaded term in the Israeli context. In the historical shadow of the Holocaust, Chief Justice Asher Grunis's appellation immediately raised the spectre of an existential threat to the Jewish people, or nation (Am Yisrael), being posed by the mere possibility of Palestinian Arabs joining Israeli society through marriage.

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Is AIPAC Persuading Americans to Break the Law?

English (US)  January 16th, 2012 by admin ( Email )


It is time for the American public to hold AIPAC accountable. (CODEPINK)

By Clive Hambidge

Habituation writes James Austin M.D 'means that repeated stimuli yield a decreasing response.' Conversely and importantly he goes on, 'Sensitization implies that responses increase when stronger stimuli are repeated.' For in this understanding, 'we are addressing the basis of the freshness of vision of the artist or poet; focusing on the possible ways to relieve the depressed person held in the grip of a dreary grey world', or indeed a Nation, Palestine, gripped by the dreary politics “free of law” of an increasingly violent Israel. Moreover, “some people habituate consistently; others do not.” (Austin). It is crucial then that we, the right minded, faced with propaganda “habitually” spewed forth by the State, organs of the State and influencers of the State like American Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) to become “Enmeshed in a propaganda system of awesome effectiveness.” (Chomsky), in “locutions” pernicious and with a distinct narrative of organized violence, sucking us into the undertow of American Israeli hegemony, that we ask this simple question if “There is an intimate interdependence of intellect and morals. Given the equality of two intellects-which form the most reliable judgments, the good, or the bad hearted?” (Emerson). Having answered this satisfactorily, to know then “by our public force can we share and know the nature of things” (Emerson) we thereby free ourselves from the propagandists, and come upon this aphorism: it’s the law stupid! For “the law is the basis of the human mind. In us, it is inspiration; out there in Nature we see its fatal strength. We call it the moral sentiment” (Emerson).

So when in a spectacularly obtuse propagandist statement to a Parliamentary Committee, chief of staff of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) Benny Gantz is reported in the UK Guardian (Thursday 12 January 2012) as saying “For Iran, 2012 is a critical year, in combining the continuation of its nuclearisation, internal changes in the Iranian leadership, continuing and growing pressure from the international community, and things which [will] take place in an unnatural manner” (my emphasis) meaning “covertly” and illegally, in and to Iran’s infrastructure and innocent Iranians. Therefore, as we spare a thought for Mustafa Ahmadi Roshan who died in an “unnatural manner” a day later in Iran by extrajudicial execution, illegal under international law, one realises the scale of the problem and asks what other “unnatural” acts are being planned for Iran, Lebanon and Palestine? From this natural questions arise of the ‘unnatural’, of the perpetrators and supporters of such acts and their relationship with law for as Israel’s government stated “it’s not our policy to comment on this sort of speculation,” it must be then, our duty, the people, to comment on this sort of speculation, State and lobby ‘locutions’ and the rule of law.

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I saw Sabra hummus for sale at my high school cafeteria and decided to act

English (US)  January 14th, 2012 by admin ( Email )


Boycott Sabra hummus flyers at DePaul University. (Shirien Damra/The Electronic Intifada)

By Nadine Darwish
The Electronic Intifada

While walking through the salad bar in my school’s cafeteria a couple months ago, I noticed Sabra hummus for sale. It may look harmless on the surface; however, that could not be farther from the truth.

Sabra hummus has become the target of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement because its mother company, the Strauss group, materially and financially supports the Israeli military.

When I saw Sabra on my school cafeteria shelves, I felt a lot of pressure to do something to get the product off my school’s shelves or at least convince my school to offer an alternative brand.

Not knowing where to start, I approached the lunch lady who works in the salad bar and explained to her the link between Sabra and Israel’s human rights violations. She told me she had already heard that Sabra supports the Israeli army human rights violations as a result of the Students for Justice in Palestine’s campaign at DePaul University in Chicago. She added that Sabra hummus was on backorder, meaning that she could not receive any more for the time being anyway, and that she would simply not order any more of the product. I was shocked at how easy ridding our cafeteria of Sabra hummus was.

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Envoys worldwide feel brunt of Israel's worsening image

English (US)  December 29th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

In Jerusalem meeting of 100 Israeli diplomats, Foreign Ministry official speaks of death of the Mideast peace process; N.Y. Consul-General: Israel's image in U.S. is worse than ever.


Avigdor Lieberman and Danny Ayalon at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, Dec. 28, 2011. Photo by: Olivier Fitoussi

By Barak Ravid
Haaretz

On Tuesday morning, 100 Israeli ambassadors gathered on Mount Scopus, and together with their host, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, looked out onto Silwan and the Temple Mount. Later they turned their gazes toward Abu-Dis, and, in that direction, they peered at the border area and the separation fence. Last year, Barkat and the city he manages caused many of these Israeli diplomats to work overtime, preparing explanations to foreign ministries or media outlets in the countries where they serve. It can be assumed that in 2012, their work will only get harder.

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Reverend Allan Boesak calls Israeli apartheid "more terrifying" than South Africa ever was

English (US)  November 20th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

By Dr. Hanan Chehata
November 17, 2011

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

The Reverend Allan Aubrey Boesak is a veteran of the South African anti-apartheid struggle. He is the former president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, and is a signatory of the South African Christian response to the Kairos Palestine Document. This year he gave expert testimony at the Russell Tribunal on Palestine session in Cape Town, at which he spoke to MEMO's Hanan Chahata.

Hanan Chahata: You were one of the signatories of the South African Christian response to the Kairos Palestine Document. In this you said that the Palestinian experience of apartheid is "in its practical manifestation even worse than South African apartheid". Can you explain what you meant by this?

Allan Boesak: It is worse, not in the sense that apartheid was not an absolutely terrifying system in South Africa, but in the ways in which the Israelis have taken the apartheid system and perfected it, so to speak; sharpened it. For instance, we had the Bantustans and we had the Group Areas Act and we had the separate schools and all of that but I don't think it ever even entered the mind of any apartheid planner to design a town in such a way that there is a physical wall that separates people and that that wall denotes your freedom of movement, your freedom of economic gain, of employment, and at the same time is a tool of intimidation and dehumanisation. We carried passes as the Palestinians have their ID documents but that did not mean that we could not go from one place in the city to another place in the city. The judicial system was absolutely skewed of course, all the judges in their judgements sought to protect white privilege and power and so forth, and we had a series of what they called "hanging judges" in those days, but they did not go far as to openly, blatantly have two separate justice systems as they do for Palestinians [who are tried in Israeli military courts] and Israelis [who are tried in civil, not military courts]. So in many ways the Israeli system is worse.

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BOYCOTT NEWS: Hands of Peace: Normalization of Israeli Oppression

English (US)  September 4th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

Besieged Gaza, Occupied Palestine

It has come to our knowledge that Hands of Peace, a non-profit “dialogue-based,” American organization identifying itself as “an interfaith organization developing peace-building and leadership skills in Israeli, Palestinian and American teens through the power of dialogue and personal relationships” has started recruiting teenagers from The Gaza Strip. This is supposed to be an experience which seeks to “foster long-term peaceful coexistence among Jewish-Israelis, Arab Citizens of Israel, and Palestinians by bringing together teenagers from the Middle East with American teenagers in an interfaith setting.”1 (Emphasis added).

The Palestinian Students' Campaign for the Academic boycott of Israel and Palestinian Youth Against Israeli Apartheid consider this an act of normalization that violates the boycott guidelines issued by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)2. HOP seems to ignore the fact that the reason why Palestinians and Israelis cannot get together is because the former are colonized and the latter are settler colonists. It also ignores the fact that Israel is an apartheid state, as former American president Jimmy Carter and anti-Apartheid activist and Nobel Laureate Desmund Tutu called it; a state that discriminates not only against the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, but also against the 1.2 million Palestinians living in it as third class citizens.

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IDF forces arrest 12 people protesting for social justice in West Bank

English (US)  August 14th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

Arrests occur on on lands in the village of Walajeh, which were annexed to Jerusalem in 1967.


An IDF force operating in Jerusalem arrested 12 people protesting for social justice. Photo by: Emil Salman

By Amira Hass
Haaretz

This is not the opening to some futuristic piece about an open military takeover of Israel. It happened last Wednesday in the southeastern part of the city, on lands in the village of Walajeh, which were annexed to Jerusalem in 1967.

The Etzion brigade commander, Col. Yaniv Alalouf, had earlier signed an order declaring a closed military zone, seemingly giving him a basis to arrest the protesters.

Hagit Ofran of Peace Now and Sarit Michaeli of B'Tselem checked and found that the map attached to the order also includes area within Jerusalem's boundaries, and that the arrests occurred there.

Consequently, Col. Alalouf and his soldiers apparently committed a double violation: sealing an area inside Jerusalem, where they do not have jurisdiction, and arresting citizens inside the capital. The IDF spokesman: "The claim is being reviewed."

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Israeli Occupation Forces to impose hermetic closure on the West Bank, Gaza Strip next month to suppress demonstrations

English (US)  August 14th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) will impose a hermetic closure on all Palestinian land in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in September, Hebrew media reported on Sunday.

They said that the measure was taken in anticipation of solidarity marches to coincide with the Palestinian Authority bid to win UN recognition of a Palestine state.

The reports noted that all Israeli security apparatuses were put on high alert, expecting clashes with army forces deployed at checkpoints in the West Bank and at border crossings and barricades near Gaza and Jerusalem.

They said that firm orders were given to the armed forces to deal violently with any demonstration attempting to reach the areas between Palestinian land and Jewish settlements. They said that those forces would use firearms, tear gas, stun grenades, and waste water against Palestinian marchers.

http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/en/

Why boycott Israel?

English (US)  August 14th, 2011 by admin ( Email )


French activists demonstrate in solidarity with Palestinians, showing support for an international boycott of Israel [EPA]

Author and history professor Mark LeVine speaks with sociologist Lisa Taraki, a co-founder of the Palestinian campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

Mark LeVine: What is the "Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions" movement and how is it related to the academic and cultural boycott movement? How have both evolved in the past few years in terms of their goals and methods?

Lisa Taraki: The BDS movement can be summed up as the struggle against Israeli colonisation, occupation and apartheid. BDS is a rights-based strategy to be pursued until Israel meets its obligation to recognise the Palestinian people's inalienable right to self-determination and complies with the requirements of international law.

Within this framework, the academic and cultural boycott of Israel has gained considerable ground in the seven years since the launching of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) in 2004. The goals of the academic and cultural boycott call, as the aims of the Palestinian Civil Society Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions issued in 2005, have remained consistent: to end the colonisation of Palestinian lands occupied in 1967; to ensure full equality of Palestinian citizens of Israel and end the system of racial discrimination; and to realise the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

The logic of the BDS movement has also remained consistent. The basic logic of BDS is the logic of pressure, not diplomacy, persuasion, or dialogue. Diplomacy as a strategy for achieving Palestinian rights has proven to be futile, due to the protection and immunity Israel enjoys from hegemonic world powers and those in their orbit.

Second, the logic of persuasion has also shown its bankruptcy, since no amount of "education" of Israelis about the horrors of occupation and other forms of oppression seems to have turned the tide. Dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis, which remains very popular among Israeli liberals and Western foundations and governments that fund the activities, has also failed miserably. Dialogue is often framed in terms of "two sides to the story", in the sense that each side must understand the pain, anguish, and suffering of the other, and to accept the narrative of the other.

This presents the "two sides" as if they were equally culpable, and deliberately avoids acknowledgment of the basic coloniser-colonised relationship. Dialogue does not promote change, but rather reinforces the status quo, and in fact is mainly in the interest of the Israeli side of the dialogue, since it makes Israelis feel that they are doing something while in fact they are not. The logic of BDS is the logic of pressure. And that pressure has been amplifying.

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Jamal Juma’: PA "killing popular resistance"

English (US)  August 14th, 2011 by admin ( Email )


Popular resistance has prevented the completion of Israel’s wall in the occupied West Bank. (Anne Paq/ActiveStills)

By Ida Audeh
The Electronic Intifada
Ramallah, 8 August 2011

Few Palestinians are as closely identified with the struggle against Israel’s wall in the West Bank as Jamal Juma’. The coordinator of the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign since its establishment in 2002, Juma’ has suffered because of his political activities. He was imprisoned in late 2009 and early 2010 but following his release, he has worked relentlessly against a project that has been declared illegal by the International Court of Justice.

Juma’ spoke to The Electronic Intifada contributor Ida Audeh about the dearth of popular resistance in areas of the West Bank under Palestinian Authority jurisdiction, the UN statehood bid and the role of the Palestinian diaspora in national liberation.

Ida Audeh: It has been nine years since the start of the campaign against the wall. What were the goals you set for yourselves?

Jamal Juma’: We wanted to stop construction on the wall, to tear down the sections that had been built and to return properties to the farmers who owned them. Incidentally, these goals were identical to the recommendations of the International Court of Justice in 2004. Since 2004, we have been calling for a boycott of Israel.

IA: According to a recent UN report titled “Barrier Update: Seven years after the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Barrier” [PDF], about 30 percent of the wall has not yet been constructed. Is completion of the wall slower than originally planned?

JJ: Popular resistance had a primary role in delaying the completion. When Israel started to work on the wall in 2002, the plan was to complete it in 2005. At the time the government was talking about a 650-700 kilometer wall. Construction was halted in some areas because of resistance by affected communities. Court cases were initiated, which took six or seven months, during which time all construction was put on hold. So the deadline was pushed back from 2005 to 2008. In 2008 they pushed it to 2011. And this year they couldn’t finish it either, so the new deadline they set is 2020. [The length of the wall is now projected to be 810 km long.]

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Dichter's Law: Racism Trumps Democracy

English (US)  August 14th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

Dichter, the Secret Police poet. (Wikimedia Commons)

By Uri Avnery

'The People Demand Social Justice!' 250 thousand protesters chanted in unison in Tel Aviv last Saturday. But what they need – to quote an American artist - is 'more unemployed politicians'.

Fortunately, the Knesset has gone on a prolonged vacation, three months. For as Mark Twain quipped: “No man’s life or property is safe while the legislature is in session.”

As if to prove this point, MK Avi Dichter submitted, on the very last day of the outgoing session, a bill so outrageous that it easily trumps all the many other racist laws lately adopted by this Knesset.

“Dichter” is a German name and means “poet”. But no poet he. He is the former chief of the secret police, the “General Security Service” (Shin-Bet or Shabak).

(“Dichter also means “more dense”, but let’s not dwell on that.)

He proudly announced that he had spent a year and a half smoothening and sharpening this particular project, turning it into a legislative masterpiece.

And a masterpiece it is. No colleague in yesterday’s Germany or present-day Iran could have produced a more illustrious piece. The other members of the Knesset seem to feel so, too – no less than 20 of the 28 members of the Kadima faction, as well as all the other dyed-in-the-wool racist members of this august body, have proudly put their name to this bill as co-authors.

The very name - “Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People” - shows that this Dichter is neither a poet nor much of an intellectual. Secret police chiefs seldom are.

“Nation” and “People” are two different concepts. It is generally accepted that a people is an ethnic entity, and a nation is a political community. They exist on two different levels. But never mind.

It is the content of the bill that counts.

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Israel Rules out Non-violence: Method in Netanyahu's Madness

English (US)  July 20th, 2011 by admin ( Email )


Israel's siege mentality is asserting itself again. (Via Aljazeera)

By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth

It was an Arab legislator who made the most telling comment to the Israeli parliament last week as it passed the boycott law, which outlaws calls to boycott Israel or its settlements in the occupied territories. Ahmed Tibi asked: “What is a peace activist or Palestinian allowed to do to oppose the occupation? Is there anything you agree to?”

The boycott law is the latest in a series of ever-more draconian laws being introduced by the far-right. The legislation's goal is to intimidate those Israeli citizens, Jews and Palestinians, who have yet to bow down before the majority-rule mob.

Look out in the coming days and weeks for a bill to block the work of Israeli human rights organisations trying to protect Palestinians in the occupied territories from abuses by the Israeli army and settlers; and a draft law investing a parliamentary committee, headed by the far-right, with the power to veto appointments to the supreme court. The court is the only, and already enfeebled, bulwark against the right's absolute ascendancy.

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Unraveling the Emperor's Speech to Write Our Own Story

English (US)  June 7th, 2011 by admin ( Email )


Palestinians have not forgotten, nor will we. (Photo: Rich Wiles)

By Susan Abulhawa

Anger was my first reaction after listening to Obama's two speeches, one to the world and another to AIPAC – the powerful Israeli lobby in the US. I went around to my friends with phrases like 'who does he think he is, presuming to tell Palestinians how they may or may not achieve freedom?', or 'what makes him think his vision for Palestinian dignity actually trumps the vision of Palestinians themselves?' or 'how dare he talk to us like a parent chastising a small child?' or 'when will we have a president who can and will tell the truth?' or 'I think AIPAC wrote his speech for him.'

My friends are used to hearing impassioned political commentary (rants) from me. The ones close to me always advise me to let the anger dissipate before I write anything so that what I put into words is coming from a clear head. That’s where I am now – no anger, calm, and clear headed. And here is my reaction:

Who does Obama think he is, presuming to tell Palestinians how they may or may not achieve freedom? What makes Obama think his vision for the future of Palestine, indeed vision for the Arab world on the whole, trumps the vision of Palestinians or Arabs for themselves? How dare he talk to Palestinians like we’re his bad little children in need of (his) parental direction? And will we in the US ever have a president capable of speaking frankly and truthfully? Because he just put Israeli propaganda in his own voice for the world.

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Netanyahu's Likud Platform: "The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river."

English (US)  May 19th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

Self-Rule
The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.

The Palestinians can run their lives freely in the framework of self-rule, but not as an independent and sovereign state. Thus, for example, in matters of foreign affairs, security, immigration and ecology, their activity shall be limited in accordance with imperatives of Israel's existence, security and national needs.

http://www.knesset.gov.il/elections/knesset15/elikud_m.htm

The following are excerpts from the 'Peace & Security' chapter of the Likud Party platform. The other chapters are currently being translated.

The Foundations of Peace
Peace is a primary objective of the State of Israel. The Likud will strengthen the existing peace agreements with the Arab states and strive to achieve peace agreements with all of Israel's neighbors with the aim of reaching a comprehensive solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The Likud will seek to achieve peace and permanent borders in the framework of peace treaties between Israel and its neighbors and will seek cooperation with them on the practical level. The peace agreements will include full diplomatic relations, borders open to free movement, economic cooperation, and the establishment of joint projects in the fields of science, technology, tourism, and industry.

The Arab states' desire for peace will be measured by their efforts to prevent hostile activities by terrorist organizations from their territory and to dismantle the infrastructure of the organizations. This includes closing their headquarters and preventing economic and political warfare and all hostile acts during the negotiations.

The Palestinians Declaration of a State
A unilateral Palestinian declaration of the establishment of a Palestinian state will constitute a fundamental and substantive violation of the agreements with the State of Israel and the scuttling of the Oslo and Wye accords. The government will adopt immediate stringent measures in the event of such a declaration.

Settlements
The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.

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Did Obama’s big speech offer any hope for Palestine?

English (US)  May 19th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

By by Ali Abunimah on Thu, 05/19/2011
Electronic Intifada

The New York Times was quick to spin Obama’s speech in ‘historic’ terms

“Obama Endorses 1967 Borders for Israel” as part of a “Broad Speech Rejecting Status Quo in the Middle East” – that was the instant spin on the front of The New York Times website within minutes of the president speaking.

But while President Barack Obama laid out in a little bit more detail a US “vision” of what “peace” would look like in his much anticipated speech on US policy in the Middle East and North Africa, there was precious little new.

Moreover, the speech affirmed that the United States will not take any effective action to advance its vision of a two-state solution.

The president covered broadly the uprisings in the Arab world and the American response to them, but I will look at the sections on Palestine – not necessarily in the order of delivery, but by theme.

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Zionist blackmail: Netanyahu government keeps $89m of Palestinian tax dollars in retaliation for Fatah-Hamas reconciliation

English (US)  May 1st, 2011 by admin ( Email )

Israel withholds Palestinian cash transfer
Israel suspends transfer of $89m to Palestinian Authority in view of recent unity deal between Fatah and Hamas.

Steinitz, left, has also reportedly decided to cancel talks with PA on tax transfer mechanism [GALLO/GETTY]

Israel will hold up an $89 million cash transfer to the Palestinian Authority [PA] planned for this week because of a new unity deal between rival Palestinian factions.

"Israel wants assurances that any money transferred to the Palestinians will not reach the militant Hamas organisation, which is set to become part of the Palestinian government," Yuval Steinitz, the Israeli finance minister, said on Sunday.

"I think the burden of proof is on the Palestinians, to make it certain, to give us guarantees that money delivered by Israel is not going to the Hamas, is not going to a terrorist organisation, is not going to finance terror operations against Israeli citizens,'' he said.

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BDS breaking new barriers

English (US)  April 30th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

As the upcoming flotilla to break the Gaza siege gathers steam, it is good time to note some of the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions activities around the world that give it momentum, says Eric Walberg

From 7-20 March, more than 75 university groups on six continents held their seventh annual Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW). According to Palestinian activist Omar Barghouti, "Our South Africa moment has finally arrived." "Israel's version of apartheid is more sophisticated, an evolved form," explains Barghouti in his BDS: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights. "In South Africa, the overall plan was to exploit blacks, not throw them out."

The true nature of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians finally came home to folk music legend Jewish-American Pete Seeger, who came out in support of BDS this year. Seeger, 92, used to participate in the Israeli environmentalist Arava Institute's virtual rally "With Earth and Each Other", but Arava's behind-the-scenes partner is the Jewish National Fund, responsible for destroying Palestinian lands and building forests on them to hide their crimes. Seeger finally realised Arava was in fact a subtle tool of "Rebrand Israel". Seeger has long given royalties from his famous Bible-based song from the 1960s "Turn, Turn, Turn", to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions for their work exposing Israel's practice of forcing Palestinians off their land to build Jewish villages and cities.

In the build-up to IAW, the Ramallah-based "Stop the Wall Campaign" and "It's Apartheid" media collective announced the winners of the first International Israeli Apartheid Short Film contest in February. Winners Apartheid Road, Ali Wall and Confronting the Wall can be viewed at itisapartheid.info.

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BDS Flash Mob in Grand Central Station, NYC, 3/26/11

English (US)  March 31st, 2011 by admin ( Email )

Adalah-NY and friends observe Palestinian Land Day and the Global BDS Day of Action 2011 at Grand Central Station in New York City.

AIPAC’s NEWEST STRATEGY

English (US)  March 16th, 2011 by admin ( Email )


AIPAC's tone is a good indicator of Israeli PM Netanyahu's stance [GETTY

By MJ Rosenberg

Prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu is being heavily criticised in Israel for his blatant exploitation of the murder of five members of one family (including three children) at the Itamar settlement near Nablus. Particularly egregious has been Netanyahu’s demand that president Mahmoud Abbas personally appear on Palestinian radio and television to condemn the killings, although Abbas had issued an unusually strong statement as soon as he heard of the tragedy.

Forget for a minute that no one knows who committed the crime and that certainly no one believes that the killer was associated with Abbas. Also, lay aside the fact that Netanyahu has never condemned or even expressed remorse over the killing of 300 plus Palestinian children by the IDF during the Gaza war. (In fact, one would be hard pressed to find any Israeli government that ever even criticised the killing of Palestinian children by the IDF, although many hundreds have been killed over the last decade).

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Civil Society and Palestine: The Growing Power of the Ordinary

English (US)  March 15th, 2011 by admin ( Email )


Civil society is now part of the overall political equation. (Aljazeera)

By Ramzy Baroud

The global boycott movement (BDS) and other related campaigns were aimed at exposing Israeli transgressions against the Palestinian people and galvanizing international solidarity. What is so uplifting to see now is how their achievements have far surpassed these initial aims. The campaigns have animated, accentuated and actually legitimized Palestinian civil society - a notion that long stood outside the official paradigm acceptable to Israel, and which had very little space within the restrictive realm of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Now civil society has been incorporated into the overall political equation as a leading factor in the Palestinian struggle for rights and freedom. The society is also increasingly filling the vacuum created by the PA’s localization of the Palestinian struggle, and Israel’s constant attempt at downgrading any genuine alternative to the PA’s leadership.

The articulation of the rise of Palestinian civil society came loud and clear on July 09, 2005, when 171 Palestinian civil society organizations representing Palestinians living in the occupied territories, Israel, and the Diaspora called “upon international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era.”

They further stated: “We appeal to you to pressure your respective states to impose embargoes and sanctions against Israel. We also invite conscientious Israelis to support this call, for the sake of justice and genuine peace.”

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Hollywood, Israel and the Pursuit of Normalcy

English (US)  January 18th, 2011 by admin ( Email )


No, Israel is not Norway, nor are Israel's policies normal.

By Basil Abdelkarim

While flipping through channels on television last week, I ran across an episode of Friends, the long running hit NBC sitcom (1994-2004), which grabbed my attention. In this episode from 2004, paleontologist and professor Ross Geller proudly announces to his circle of attractive young friends that he has just earned tenure at a New York university. This glorious occasion prompts the young dinosaur expert to break out a bottle of Israeli champagne in celebration. There are actually two references to Israeli champagne ('Israel's finest') in this episode, and these moments are played ostensibly for laughs. (Israel? Champagne? Whoda thunk it?)

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BOYCOTT NEWS: Israel academics to boycott college

English (US)  January 9th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

At least 165 professors sign peition vowing to avoid activities at campus built on illegal settlement in the West Bank.


Construction resumed in the settlement or Ariel after the moratorium on building ended in September [GALLO/GETTY]

At least 165 Israeli professors have declared a boycott against a contentious college in the occupied West Bank, deepening an internal rift over the expansion of Israeli settlements there.

Organisers of the boycott said on Sunday that the academics signed a petition stating they are unwilling to undertake any activities at Ariel University Centre, because, they said, Ariel is an "illegal settlement" intended to prevent Palestinians from establishing an independent state.

"Ariel is not part of the sovereign territory of Israel, and we therefore cannot be required to go there," the petition reads.

Ariel, a settlement of 19,000 people, lies deep inside the West Bank, and the Ariel University Centre of Samaria, with its approximately 8,500 students, is situated inside one of the larger settlements of the occupied West Bank.

=> Read more!

Open Letter to Jon Bon Jovi: This One Should Go out to the Palestinians

English (US)  January 6th, 2011 by admin ( Email )


Please act in the spirit of your past social actions. (Photo: Artur Bogdanski/Commons)

By Palestinian Campaign for the Academic 7 cultural Boycott of Israel

It is with great disappointment that the undersigned organizations learned of your scheduled performance in Israel set for 2011 as part of your 'Circle Tour'. Given that Israel is involved in grave violations of international law and human rights, particularly as indicated in the UN Goldstone Report, we urge you to cancel this gig until the time comes when Israel is in compliance with its obligations under international law and fully respects Palestinian rights.

We were particularly surprised by news of your planned performance given your deep involvement in affordable housing and homelessness issues. As part of its ongoing dispossession of the Palestinian people, Israel continues to demolish Palestinian homes and entire villages, including the Bedouin village of Al-Araqib, which was destroyed seven times this year. Indeed, the entire modern history of the Palestinian people is based on dispossession and homelessness as more than 750,000 people were made refugees to enable the creation of the state of Israel, then kept in permanent refugee status despite the requirements in international law that they be allowed to return to their homes. In your commitment to effect change you have understood that your position as a respected and prominent musician can weigh on politics and contribute to advancing freedom, justice and human rights. It is in this spirit that we address you.

Don’t be Complicit in Entertaining Apartheid

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The delusions of the peace process

English (US)  December 18th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

The politics of the peace process have emphatically ensured that the mere prospect for producing peace is nonexistent.
By Richard Falk


Netanyahu's hardline stance on crucial issues is pushing both the US and Palestinian parties into a restrictive corner, potentially closing the current chapter of the 'ill-fated book' that is the peace process [AFP]

It is astonishing that despite the huge gaps between the maximum that Israel is willing to concede and the minimum that the Palestine Authority could accept as the basis of a final settlement of the conflict, governmental leaders, especially in Washington, continue to pull every available string to restart inter-governmental negotiations.

Is it not enough of a signal that Israel lacks the capacity or will to agree to an extension of the partial settlement freeze for a mere additional 90 days, despite the outrageous inducements from the Obama Administration (20 F-35 fighter jets useful for an attack on Iran; an unprecedented advance promise to veto any initiative in the Security Council acknowledging a Palestinian state; and the assurance that Israel would never again be asked to accept a settlement moratorium) that were offered to suspend partially their unlawful settlement activity.

In effect, a habitual armed robber was being asked to stop robbing a few banks for three months in exchange for a huge financial payoff. Such an arrangement qualifies as a transparently shameless embrace of Israeli lawlessness on behalf of a peace process that has no prospect of producing peace, much less justice.

Justice here is conceived in relation to the satisfaction of Palestinian rights, especially the right of self–determination that has through the years been whittled down.

=> Read more!

BOYCOTT NEWS: Open Letter to Cape Town Opera: Boycott Apartheid

English (US)  October 27th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


Cape Town Opera, performing to war-makers and soldiers in Israel is unethical.

By PSCABI and Others

(An Open letter From Besieged Gaza to Cape Town Opera: Remember South African Liberation and Boycott Apartheid Israel.)

We are writing to you from the Bantustan of the Gaza Strip, from under a ‘medieval’ siege, our land, air and sea borders controlled and blockaded by the fourth most powerful military in the world – that of the Israeli State. We are shocked for your decision to perform the Cape Town Opera in the Sun City of the Middle East. We are Palestinian artists, students and teachers in Gaza who experienced first-hand Israel’s genocidal onslaught of Gaza for 3 weeks during the winter of 2009 that killed over 1400 people, including over 430 of our children, war crimes outlined in the United Nations Goldstone Report. We are asking you to cancel the Cape Town Opera performance in the Israeli state-sponsored Tel Aviv Opera House this November 12, joining the 2005 call by 171 Palestinian Civil Society organizations calling for “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights”.

Five months before the Israeli slaughter of July 2008 which left a further 5300 injured, a South African delegation, including ANC members, visited Israel and Occupied Palestine. They unanimously concluded that the Israel 60 year long treatment of Palestinians was far worse than South African apartheid. Politician and former Deputy Minister of Health Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge said, “What I see here is worse than what we experienced – the absolute control of people’s lives, the lack of freedom of movement, the army presence everywhere, the total separation and the extensive destruction we saw….racist ideology is also reinforced by religion, which was not the case in South Africa.” Sunday Times editor, Mondli Makhanya added: “It is worse, worse, worse than everything we endured. The level of apartheid, the racism and the brutality are worse than the worst period of apartheid.”

=> Read more!

BOYCOTT NEWS: Award Winning British Film Director Boycotts Israel

English (US)  October 21st, 2010 by admin ( Email )

By Palestine Monitor

Mike Leigh had been due to teach classes at the Sam Spiegel Film & Television School (SSFTS) in Jerusalem next month, but has pulled out following the Israeli government’s amendment to the Citizenship Act.

Leigh had been expected to lead the ’Great Masters’ programme at the prestigious institution from November 20-27. In a letter to SSFTS director Renen Schorr, he outlined his reasons for the cancellation.

"As you know, I have always had serious misgivings about coming, but I allowed myself to be persuaded by your sincerity and your commitment," Leigh wrote. "And it is because of those special qualities of yours that I am especially sorry to have to let you down. But I have absolutely no choice. I cannot come, I do not want to come, and I am not coming.

"Eight weeks after our lunch, the Israeli attack on the flotilla took place. As I watched the world very properly condemn this atrocity, I almost cancelled. I now wish I had, and blame my cowardice for not having done so.

"Since then, your government has gone from bad to worse. I need not itemise all that has taken place ... I still had not faced up to the prospect of pulling out until a few weeks ago, but the resumption of the illegal building on the West Bank made me start to consider it seriously. And now we have the Loyalty Oath.

"This is the last straw – quite apart from the ongoing criminal blockade of Gaza, not to mention the endless shooting of innocent people there, including juveniles ..."

Mike Leigh had previously served on the Russell Tribunal of 2009, which highlighted Israeli human rights abuses. He has been a longstanding supporter of the Palestinian liberation movement.

Renen expressed that he was "greatly saddened" by Leigh’s cancellation and made efforts to distance his school from the Israeli government.

Learn more about the campaign for boycott, divestment & sanctions here: http://bdsmovement.net/

Countercurrents

Turkey boycotts Israeli conference

English (US)  October 13th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

]
Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Ertugrul Gunay
Turkey says it will not attend a tourism conference in al-Quds (Jerusalem) in protest to Tel Aviv's aggressive approach towards the Palestinians.

Turkey's Culture and Tourism Minister Ertugrul Gunay said on Tuesday that his country has boycotted the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) gathering after Israel made the event a political issue.

"Regrettable statements have been made. We want tourism to take place, not politics," the Turkish daily Hurriyet quoted him as saying.

The OECD will hold its biannual conference on October 20-21 in West al-Quds in a district adjacent to several illegal Israeli settlements in the eastern part of the city.

Israel's Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov had earlier said the OECD conference in al-Quds was in fact a sign of worldwide recognition of city as Israel's capital.

=> Read more!

BOYCOTT NEWS: Alvin Ailey: Don't Dance Around Israeli Apartheid

English (US)  October 10th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

While human beings are being willfully denied not just their rights but their needs for their children and grandparents and themselves, I feel deeply that I should not be sending even tacit signals that [performing in Israel] is either 'normal' or 'ok'. It's neither and I cannot support it. It grieves me that it has come to this and I pray everyday for human beings to begin caring for each other, firm in the wisdom that we are all we have. [1] – Maxi Jazz (Faithless front-man)

OCCUPIED RAMALLAH, 9 October 2010 – The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) is deeply disturbed by news reports that your company plans to participate, later this month, in the fourth annual Tel Aviv Dance Festival, an initiative sponsored by the Tel Aviv Municipality and cultural institutions that are complicit in maintaining Israel's system of colonial oppression.[2] PACBI, supported by an overwhelming majority in Palestinian civil society and, in particular, by almost the entire community of Palestinian dance artists and other cultural workers,[3] views the participation of any international cultural group in this, or any similarly objectionable festival, as a form of complicity in whitewashing Israel's occupation, apartheid and war crimes. We ask you to cancel your participation and to join the growing ranks of prominent international artists and arts groups who have refused to cross our boycott picket line [4] and have thus evoked the most noble traditions of international solidarity that was manifest in the South African anti-apartheid struggle.

Palestinian artists and boycott activists were particularly disheartened by Alvin Ailey's plans to partake in this festival, given your group's record of standing up for human rights and against racist oppression.

In 2008, when you first ignored our pleas and participated in Israel's "re-branding" propaganda efforts by performing in Tel Aviv, you yourself fell target to Israel's institutionalized and prevailing racism. Israeli security officers at Tel-Aviv's Airport forced Alvin Ailey dancer, Abdur-Rahim Jackson, your only African-American member with a Muslim/Arab sounding name, to perform twice for them in order to prove he was a dancer before letting him enter the country with the rest of the company, as reported by the Associated Press then.[5] While still officially illegal in the U.S., ethnic profiling, considered racist by human rights groups, is widespread in Israel. It is seen in such places as entrances to malls, public and private buildings, airports, etc. Israeli citizens and permanent residents with Arab names -- or often just "Arab accents" -- are commonly singled out for rough, intrusive and glaringly humiliating "security" checks.[6] Even after Mr. Jackson had complied, one of the Israeli officers suggested that he change his name, leaving him humiliated and "deeply saddened," as your own spokesperson confirmed at the time. In response to your humiliation, you did nothing.

=> Read more!

BOYCOTT NEWS: UJ ultimatum to Israeli university

English (US)  September 29th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

University of Johannesburg will severe ties with the Israeli Ben Gurion university if certain conditions are not met.


S African academics allege that the Ben Gurion university has collaborative projects with the Israeli army [REUTERS]

By Azad Essa

The South African University of Johannesburg (UJ) senate has warned to end its relationship with Israeli university Ben-Gurion (BGU) unless certain conditions are met.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the South African university's highest academic body agreed that the Ben-Gurion University would have to work with Palestinian universities on research projects and stop its "direct and indirect support for the Israeli military and the occupation".

"The conditions are that the memorandum of understanding governing the relationship between the two institutions be amended to include Palestinian universities chosen with the direct involvement of UJ," the university said in a statement.

"Additionally, UJ will not engage in any activities with BGU that have direct or indirect military implications, this to be monitored by UJ's senate academic freedom committee.

"Should these conditions not be met within six months, the memorandum of understanding will automatically lapse on April 1 2011," UJ said.

Describing the afternoon senate meeting on Wednesday as most "tense", the UJ senate also requested BGU to "respect UJ's duty (and) to take seriously, allegations of behaviour on the part of BGU's stakeholders that is incompatible with UJ's values".

=> Read more!

BOYCOTT NEWS: Colonial Design: Ann Stoler Endorses Boycott of Israel

English (US)  September 19th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


Stoler: I confirm my support for the BDS international boycott ..

(The following is a statement released by eminent scholar, Ann Stoler in support of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement aimed at Israel.)

By Ann Stoler

As someone who has worked for some thirty years as a teacher and student of colonial studies– on comparative colonial situations, colonial histories, and the violent and subtle forms of governance on which colonial regimes rely, it would be difficult not to describe the Israeli state as a colonial one. It would be difficult not to recognize Israel’s past and ongoing illegal seizure of Palestinian land, the racialization of every aspect of daily life, and the large-scale and piecemeal demolition of Palestinian homes, destruction of livelihoods, and efforts to destroy the social and family fabric, as decimation by concerted and concentrated colonial design. These are the well-honed practices of regimes that define colonialisms and have flourished across the imperial globe. As with other colonial regimes, the Israeli state designates and redraws geographic borders, suspends Palestinian civil rights and arbitrarily transgresses what for Israelis are recognized and guarded as private space.

Israel is particular but it is not unique. Its techniques of occupation are based on unfounded uses of the legal apparatus of Israeli law. These are the practices of a colonial state committed to replacing and displacing a Palestinian population, and committed to its own expansion. That expansion is persistent, both surreptitious and blatant everyday: room by room in the old city of Jerusalem, house by house in the spread of settler communities, meter by meter as the placement of the Wall in the name of “security” cuts through homes and fields, and divides neighborhoods while it infringes further into legally recognized Palestinian territories. At issue is both a confiscation of history and a confiscation of the future possibilities of those who today find their bedding thrown on the streets in the middle of the night by Israeli settlers.

If democracy is defined, as Hannah Arendt did, by “the right to have rights” for an entire population within the state’s jurisdiction, the Israeli state cannot be considered a democratic one. Nor can a democracy be founded on the principle of expulsion and the creation of a diasporic population shorn of its land, belongings and citizenship – a principle avidly embraced by Israel since l948. For these reasons, I confirm my support for the BDS international boycott of those Israeli institutions that actively or passively accept a status quo that condones and expands the occupation, violates international law, enforces military control and denies Palestinian rights to self-determination.

Ann Laura Stoler
Willy Brandt Distinguished University Professor
Of Anthropology and Historical Studies
The New School for Social Research
New York, New York 10003

(Published in PulseMedia.org)

BOYCOTT NEWS: STATEWIDE DIVESTMENT INITIATIVE CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED IN LOS ANGELES

English (US)  September 13th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

The Israel Divestment Campaign is qualifying a ballot initiative in California, titled the Divestment of State Retirement Funds from Israel Act, to require California's public retirement systems, the State Teachers' Retirement System (STRS) and the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS), to sell stocks held in companies that support Israeli settlements or provide military equipment
and services to the State of Israel.

Israel's violation of Palestinian human rights and its settlements in and occupation of Palestine must end. Unfortunately, neither our federal government nor state governments are willing to take the necessary action to bring about peace to the region. Therefore, we have decided to take the question of human rights violations, settlements and Israel's occupation
directly to the voters of California. We believe an overwhelming majority of Californians agree that Israel needs to STOP building settlements on Palestinian land, end its occupation and allow Palestinians their right to return to their land.

Therefore, this ballot measure is necessary in order to move the Middle East Peace Process toward a just resolution for both Israelis and Palestinians.

In order to qualify the Divest from Israel Act for the next statewide ballot, 434,000 signatures must be gathered within a 5 month time period from September 1, 2010 to January 31, 2011. If you want to sign the petition or you want to help us gather signatures in your community once the petition is ready, please click here to find out how you can participate.

Warm regards for peace in the Middle East.

Israel Divestment Campaign

The Misnomer of the Peace Talks

English (US)  September 8th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


There simply can be no genuine peace with justice where there is no will for it.

By John Chuckman

I don't know how anyone given the task could draw a map of Israel: it is likely the only country in the world with no defined borders, and it actually has worked very hard over many decades to achieve this peculiar state.

It once had borders, but the 1967 war took care of those. It has no intention of ever returning to them because it could have done so at any time in the last forty-three years (an act which would have been the clearest possible declaration of a desire for genuine peace with justice and which would have saved the immense human misery of occupation), but doing so would negate the entire costly effort of the Six Day War whose true purpose was to achieve what we see now in the Palestinian territories.

As far as peace, in the limited sense of the absence of war, Israel already has achieved a kind of rough, de facto peace without any help from the Palestinians. The Palestinians have nothing to offer in the matter of peace if you judge peace by the standards Israel apparently does.

=> Read more!

Why is Union Money Going Abroad?: Washing Away Labor's War Stain

English (US)  September 7th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

By STANLEY HELLER

Organized labor is joining with the NAACP in a “One Nation” jobs rally in Washington on October 2nd. No doubt they will be expecting anti-war folks to flock to it. Lots of peace organizations have already done so.

Trouble is the rally has no obvious peace focus at all. Look at the One Nation Working Together website. The demands are for jobs, education and equality for all. Nothing about peace even as a way to pay for jobs. Nothing about peace even though many, many unions have passed anti-war resolutions. Now there is a formation called “the Peace Table” that’s getting anti-war groups involved in the march, but what is “The Table” getting in return? Is it the poor relation allowed to come to the party as long as it stays out of sight?

And does organized labor deserve automatic support while it has a big war stain on its collar, the stain from the support its leaders give to Israeli Apartheid? They support it in two ways, by opposing the growing BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement against Israel and by buying huge amounts of Israel Bonds. No sooner had Richard Trumka taken over command of the national AFL-CIO than he ran to a Jewish Labor Committee denouncing Israel “bashing” and any thought of boycott. Go to the JLC website and see how RWDSU and AFT leaders give cover to Israel for its crimes on the Mavi Marmara. Yet, words are secondary. The biggest help to Israeli Apartheid comes from union member dues and pension money going to State of Israel Bonds.

=> Read more!

BOYCOTT NEWS: Canadian postal workers put stamp of approval on bid to break Gaza blockade

English (US)  August 14th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

The union for Canada's postal workers is sending a message of support to the Gaza Strip, backing a plan that would take a ship through the blockade of the Palestinian territory in the wake of Israel's suspension of mail delivery there.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers on Thursday called on Canadians to co-ordinate with Canada Boat Gaza, a coalition of Islamic and human-rights organizations that are planning to sail a ship through the Israeli blockade this autumn to deliver aid to the Gaza Strip.

"As postal workers, we know very well that cutting off mail creates suffering and hardship for people, who are isolated from their loved ones," said Denis Lemelin, the union's national president. "How many more abuses will the people of Gaza have to endure?"

Israel Post, the nation's mail carrier, informed Canada Post this week they would no longer deliver mail to the Gaza Strip due to circumstances "beyond their control."

=> Read more!

BOYCOTT NEWS: Besieging Israel's siege

English (US)  August 12th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

In just a few years the Palestinian campaign to boycott Israeli goods has become truly global

Omar Barghouti
The Guardian, Thursday 12 August 2010

Despite Israel's siege of Gaza, and the escalating displacement in the Negev and East Jerusalem, Palestinians have some reason to celebrate. In Washington a food co-op has passed a resolution calling for a boycott of Israeli products, confirming that the boycott movement – five years old last month – has finally crossed the Atlantic. Support for the move came from prominent figures including Nobel peace laureates Desmond Tutu and Máiread Maguire, and Richard Falk, the UN's special rapporteur on the Palestinian territories.

The movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel was launched in 2005, a year after the international court of justice had found Israel's wall and colonies built on occupied Palestinian territory illegal. Over 170 Palestinian political parties, unions, mass movements and NGOs endorsed the movement, which is led by the BNC, a coalition of civil society organisations.

Rooted in a century of Palestinian civil resistance, and inspired by the anti-apartheid struggle, the campaign crowned earlier, partial boycotts to present a comprehensive approach to realising Palestinian self-determination: unifying Palestinians inside historic Palestine and in exile in the face of accelerating fragmentation.

=> Read more!

Palestine Takes Center Stage in the Antiwar Movement

English (US)  August 2nd, 2010 by admin ( Email )


Palestine is back at the heart of the antiwar movement.

By Andrew Pollack – New York

The United National Antiwar Conference, attended by 850 people from July 23 to 25, 2010 in Albany, New York, marked a sea change in the attitude of the antiwar movement toward Palestine. For the first time a broadly representative, democratic national conference of peace activists adopted the demand "End All US Aid to Israel." UNAC also endorsed the global BDS movement, committed itself to joining Palestine solidarity efforts around future flotillas, emergency responses to Zionist attacks, etc., and expressed its opposition to the US's many-faceted complicity in Zionism's various crimes. All of these positions were adopted in near-unanimous votes and in the face of attempts by a handful of delegates to water down or obstruct them.

=> Read more!

Chas Freeman: Israel is an extreme liabililty for the U.S. financially, strategically, politically

English (US)  July 28th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

Ambassador Chas Freeman – prepared remarks, Nixon Center debate, “Israel; Asset or Liability?”
[Ambassador Freeman was Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs from 1993-94, earning the highest public service awards of the Department of Defense. Full bio]

Is Israel a strategic asset or liability for the United States? Interesting question. We must thank the Nixon Center for asking it. In my view, there are many reasons for Americans to wish the Jewish state well. Under current circumstances, strategic advantage for the United States is not one of them. If we were to reverse the question, however, and to ask whether the United States is a strategic asset or liability for Israel, there would be no doubt about the answer.

American taxpayers fund between 20 and 25 percent of Israel’s defense budget (depending on how you calculate this). Twenty-six percent of the $3 billion in military aid we grant to the Jewish state each year is spent in Israel on Israeli defense products. Uniquely, Israeli companies are treated like American companies for purposes of U.S. defense procurement. Thanks to congressional earmarks, we also often pay half the costs of special Israeli research and development projects, even when – as in the case of defense against very short-range unguided missiles -- the technology being developed is essentially irrelevant to our own military requirements.

In short, in many ways, American taxpayers fund jobs in Israel’s military industries that could have gone to our own workers and companies. Meanwhile, Israel gets pretty much whatever it wants in terms of our top-of-the-line weapons systems, and we pick up the tab.

=> Read more!

Israeli Shabak interrogates Israeli activist over BDS & Bil’in protests

English (US)  July 20th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

by Adam Horowitz on July 20, 2010

A month ago Phil (Philip Weiss, editor of Mondoweiss web site)posted on an event here in New York discussing Jewish perspectives on BDS. One the speakers that night was Yonatan Shapira, who spoke in favor of boycott. Shapira recently returned to Israel and sent this update. Translation by Dena Shunra.

I moved back to holy land two and a half weeks ago, and yesterday I was summoned for a chat with the Shabak.

So yesterday, Rona from the Shabak called and asked me to come over for a chat with her at the Dizengoff Street police station. She refused to tell me what it was about over the phone, and explained that I was not going to be arrested, and that this was an introductory or friendly conversation.

I got to the Dizengoff Police Station and was sent to a second-floor office in the back building, where a dude was waiting for me who introduced himself as Rona’s bodyguard. I was taken into some room or other and underwent a rather intimate physical examination, to make sure that I hadn’t installed any kind of recording device on either of my testicles. Having found to be clean, I was brought into the room where Ronna sat. She was a fine-looking young woman of Yemeni extraction, in her early thirties.

=> Read more!

Zionist Israel's Separation Wall: A Health Hazard

English (US)  July 20th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


The wall is expected to be over 800 km, four times as long as Berlin Wall.

By Stephen Lendman

In July 2004, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled Israel's 'Separation Wall' illegal, saying its route inside the West Bank, and associated gate and permit system, violated Israel's obligations under international law, ordering the completed sections dismantled, and "all legislative and regulatory acts relating thereto" repealed or rendered "ineffective forthwith."

The ICJ also mandated reparations for the "requisition and destruction of homes, businesses, and agricultural holdings (and) to return the land, orchards, olive groves, and other immovable property seized," obligating member states to reject the illegal construction and demand Israel comply with international law.

Most nations ignored the ruling. Israel defied it and continued building, now 61% finished, another 8% under construction, and the remaining 31% planned but not begun. When completed, its expected to be over 800 km, twice the length of the Green Line, four times as long as the Berlin Wall, and in some places twice as high on about 12% of stolen Palestinian land, its erection devastating the people affected.

Based on its current route, about 33,000 Palestinians with West Bank ID cards in 36 communities will be located between the Wall and the Green Line, in the so-called Seam Zone along with most East Jerusalemites. Another 126,000 in 31 communities will be surrounded on three sides, and 28,000 more in nine communities entirely, with a tunnel or road connection to the West Bank, requiring hard to get permits to access.

In July, the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs released a Special Report titled, "The Impact of the Barrier on Health," especially patient and staff access to East Jerusalem's specialized medical facilities (unavailable in Gaza or the West Bank) because of the Wall's intrusive route and associated permit/gate system.

=> Read more!

Food co-op in BOYCOTT NEWS: Rachel Corrie's hometown boycotts Israeli goods

English (US)  July 20th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

The Olympia Food Co-op announced last week that no more Israeli products will be sold at its two grocery stores.


Protester calling for boycott of Israel

By Natasha Mozgovaya / Haaretzs

Americans are far more supportive of Israel than Europeans, and most initiatives to boycott Israeli goods or to divest funds from companies working with Israel are unsuccessful in the United States.

But such projects have recently become more widespread, especially among students – although most divestment decisions by student bodies are not implemented on the colleges' management levels.

Last week, the board of directors of the Olympia Food Co-op in Washington state decided that no more Israeli products will be sold at its two grocery stores in the city.

"We met last Thursday for the board members meeting and a pretty large group – about 40 people – presented the boycott project and answered our questions," Rob Richards, a board member, told Haaretz. "A couple of board members were concerned about what will be the financial effect on the organization, but it’s minimal. For me personally there is a moral imperative that goes beyond any financial concern. So we decided to adopt the boycott which went into effect the next day."

=> Read more!

Amayreh: Evil states remain evil, even if they excel in high-tech

English (US)  July 11th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

By Khalid Amayreh

It seems that the mental depravity of some Zionist Jews has no limits. We observe, for example, that unlike many other peoples, Zionists don't miss an opportunity to brag about "the exceptional power of the Jewish mind," the disproportionately high number of Jewish Nobel laureates, the large number of Jewish inventors, and the Israeli genius of making the desert bloom.!

I once asked a Zionist supremacist why, of all peoples, Zionist Jews, constantly brag about their "intelligence" while other peoples who even outmatch Jews, e.g. French, English, Russians, or Germans, don't do that. I also asked him why he thought the "super Jewish intellect" couldn't save European Jewry from Hitler's incinerators.

The Zionist supremacist prevaricated left and right for a few moments before throwing the anti-Semitism charge at me. He said the questions I posed shouldn't be asked in the first place since it reflected deeply-held Judeophobia.

A few days ago, a Zionist supremacist, who seemed thoroughly convinced that "Jewish genes" are qualitatively superior to non-Jewish genes, (is there such a thing as Jewish genes, or Christian genes or Muslim genes?), wrote that the world would be committing self-immolation if it decided to boycott Israel in protest against its Nazi-like policies toward the Palestinian people.

=> Read more!

BOYCOTT NEWS: BDS to Israel: Abide by International Law

English (US)  July 11th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


Occupation will not end unless Israelis understand that it has a price.

By Neve Gordon – Israel

There is a considerable amount of misunderstanding about the BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions). As John Berger explained a while back, BDS is not a principle but a strategy; it is not against Israel but against Israeli policy; when the policy changes BDS will end.

BDS is also not about a particular solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but rather the demand that Israel abide by international law and UN resolutions. It is accordingly something that you can support if you are for a two state solution or a one state solution. You can even support it as a Zionist. It arises from the realization, following years of experience, that the Occupation will not end unless Israelis understand that it has a price.

=> Read more!

BOYCOTT NEWS: Israel’s anti-boycott legislation

English (US)  July 11th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

"Israel is scared... VERY scared. While some liberals are still making noises that "boycott is ineffective" Israel understands that if they get hit in their pocket and they get delegitimized, it is all over with. Remember that Israel is dependent on papa US to stay alive and lives off of handouts from the US taxpayers. Boycott campaign can, put the screws on Israel, and they know it. That is why they are trying to outlaw the boycott now. And this is in the 'only democracy in the Middle East'?" (Thanks to Mehmet B. for this posting.)
********************************************

By Tania Kepler for the Alternative Information Center (AIC)

Israel has initiated strong legislative measures to combat the growing momentum in support of the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israeli policies. The Land of Israel lobby, the Knesset’s largest lobby, recently promulgated the “Prohibition on Instituting a Boycott Bill” which, if passed, will criminalize any call for an economic or academic boycott of Israel, and Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar has said that the government will begin taking action against academics joining the call for boycott.

“It is prohibited to initiate a boycott against the State of Israel, to encourage participation in it, or to provide assistance or information with the purpose of advancing it,” section 2 of the proposed bill states.

The bill was submitted on 9 June 2010 by 25 Knesset members and endorsed by members of various factions, including Kadima party whip Dalia Itzik and Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tsachi Hanegbi, according to Israel’s Ynet News.

=> Read more!

The Guevara legacy

English (US)  July 10th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

By Sami Moubayed

"Someday the genocidal state of Israel will be put in its place, and hopefully a real democratic state will be born. But it has become the murderous arm of the Yankee empire, who can doubt it, which threatens all of us." - Hugo Chavez

DAMASCUS - With these inflammatory words more befitting Hezbollah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah or Khaled Meshaal of Hamas, the Venezuelan president welcomed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Caracas in June.

Assad heard similar angry words during his much-publicized visit from leaders of rising Latin American powers eager to take new roles in the Middle East and replace the likes of United States and Russia, former heavyweights whose creativity in the Middle East has dried up after six decades of fruitless diplomacy.

New players venturing into the complex web of Middle East politics include Cuban President Raul Castro, who has called for the restoration of the occupied Golan Heights to Syria and lifting of the siege of Gaza. Then came strong words in defense of Gaza, a case dear to Syrian hearts, from Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva: "Blockades do not contribute to peace. The [Gaza Freedom flotilla] incident with the humanitarian fleet which was attacked in international waters [on May 31] showed that it's long overdue that the blockade of Gaza is lifted."

=> Read more!

BOYCOTT NEWS: Presbyterians: End Israel aid over settlements

English (US)  July 10th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

By PATRICK CONDON

MINNEAPOLIS — Presbyterian leaders strongly backed a proposal Friday that included a call to end U.S. aid to Israel unless the country stops settlement expansions in disputed Palestinian territories.

But they said the 172-page report, which details their church's approach to issues in the Middle East, was a sincere effort to mend long-standing fractures between the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and Jewish groups.

It earned qualified praise but also criticism from pro-Israel organizations, which have long taken issue with various Presbyterian statements on Middle East peace.

Church delegates approved the report by an 82 percent vote during the church's general assembly in Minneapolis. It's meant as a comprehensive guide to the denomination's more than 2 million members on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"We feel we've brought together people who previously had trouble talking about some of these issues together," said Rev. Karen Dimon, pastor at Northminster Presbyterian Church in North Syracuse, N.Y., and chairwoman of the committee that produced the report.

=> Read more!

BOYCOTT NEWS: Israeli Government Officials Rebuffed At ILWU Local 10 In San Francisco

English (US)  July 8th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

Submitted by solidarity on Thu, 2010-07-08

Israeli Government Officials Rebuffed At ILWU Local 10 In San Francisco

A delegation of representatives and supporters of Israel on July 6, 2010 including the Deputy Israeli Consul for the Pacific Northwest Gideon Lustig failed in their efforts to pressure San Francisco ILWU Local 10 to reject their positions in protest of the attack on the Gaza aid flotilla, against the blockade of Gaza and the apartheid wall that Israel has constructed placing the Palestinians in a ghetto.

The Israeli government and its supporters around the world have been shaken at the growing support for a labor blockade of Israel. Dockers in South Africa, Sweden and India have taken direct labor action to stop the movement of Israeli ships and cargo.

The besieged Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions PGFTU had initially called for the world labor boycott of Israeli's apartheid and criminal policies in an appeal to international labor.

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BOYCOTT NEWS: Meg Ryan and Dustin Hoffman boycott Jerusalem Film Festival

English (US)  July 7th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

Hollywood actors Meg Ryan and Dustin Hoffman have boycotted Jerusalem Film Festival in response to Israel's deadly attack on the Turkish-flagged Flotilla.

The two actors backed out of attending this year's annual festival, which is set to kick off July 8, to join the international outcry over Israeli commandos' slaying of activists in the Flotilla, the Jerusalem Post reported on Tuesday.

Israel came under international criticism after its commandos stormed the Turkish-led aid convoy in international waters while they attempted to break the Israeli siege of Gaza Strip on May 31.

According to Jerusalem Film Festival deputy director Yigal Molad-Hayo, the two movie stars did not give a direct political reason for canceling their participation in the festival.

“Meg Ryan was supposed to come here,” said Molad-Hayo. “A day after the Flotilla incident we got an email saying she was not going to attend, and although they claimed it was because she was too busy, it was clear to me that it probably had something to do with what had happened.”

“We were also very close to reaching an agreement with Dustin Huffman, then the Flotilla happened and correspondence was ended,” Molad-Hayo further explained.

Ryan and Hoffman are not the only high-profile names to decline participation in this year's festival. Prince Albert of Monaco was also scheduled to attend. Molad-Hayo also added that he believed Prince Albert's cancellation could have come from pressure in his own country not to make an official visit to Israel at this time. (Reference for text: Press TV. Photo: Via Google/file)

BOYCOTT NEWS: After the Flotilla Massacre: Cultural Boycott of Israel Takes Off

English (US)  July 6th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), established in April 2004 by a small group of Palestinian academics and intellectuals and widely supported by leading civil society associations, unions and networks,[1] has not witnessed a sustained surge in cultural boycott of Israel such as has occurred in the last year and a half, since the Israeli war of aggression on Gaza.

Today there are campaigns for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel in the US, Britain, France, Italy, Spain, South Africa, Australia, Germany, Belgium, Canada, Norway, among others.

When artists or arts groups announce plans to perform -- or display as the case may be -- in Israel, PACBI and its partners around the world appeal directly to these artists, if a direct communication channel avails itself. Otherwise, we issue open letters and network with other groups to apply moral pressure on the artists/bands to convince them to cancel performances and exhibits in Israel.

Inspired by the South African anti-apartheid cultural boycott, PACBI has relied entirely on moral pressure, appealing to the conscience of the artists in question as well as their fans. When all else fails, supporters do at times organize civil protests at international concerts of artists who adamantly refuse to heed our calls. Our main argument is that performing in a state that practices occupation, colonization and apartheid, as Israel does, cannot be regarded as a purely artistic act, if any such act exists. Regardless of intentions, such an act is a conscious form of complicity that is manipulated by Israel in its frantic efforts to whitewash its persistent violations of international law and Palestinian rights. This is because artistic performances in Israel promote a “business as usual” attitude that normalizes and sanitizes a state that has committed war crimes over several decades -- in Gaza, Jerusalem, the Naqab (Negev), and now in the high seas against international humanitarian relief workers aboard the Freedom Flotilla.

=> Read more!

TIME TO MUZZLE ISRAEL

English (US)  July 3rd, 2010 by admin ( Email )

By Gulamhusein A. Abba

The bloody and dastardly attack by Israeli forces, in international waters, under cover of darkness, on a peaceful and unarmed flotilla, carrying nothing but humanitarian aid to a besieged people experiencing a humanitarian crisis, was strongly denounced by people and governments from all over the world. Deservedly so.

Israel, instead of apologizing, or at least being contrite, immediately launched a brazen and aggressive campaign to justify its actions and paint the aid-bearers as the villains of the piece!

It spewed out the standard propaganda. It tried to demonize the aid-bearers by alleging, in the face of evidence to the contrary, that some of them had ties to terrorists; “accidentally” released a video mocking those attacked; widely circulated heavily edited and doctored photos and videos showing those on the flotilla “attacking” the Israeli commandos (but did not make public video images of the commandos just prior to or during the attack); claimed that those under attack had snatched two guns from the heavily armed and well trained commandos and fired the “snatched” guns at the commandos, who then fired back in self defense (!); and made several other ridiculous claims and allegations. It even alleged that there was no humanitarian crisis in Gaza!

=> Read more!

United States of Israel: Obama warned Erdogan international flotilla probe may "hurt Turkey"

English (US)  July 3rd, 2010 by admin ( Email )

An international inquiry into the Israeli raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla may hurt the Turks – This is the message that US President Barack Obama has conveyed to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish sources told the London-based al-Hayat newspaper.

Saturday's report said Obama told Erdogan that "such an inquiry commission may lead to accusations against several passengers on the Marmara ship, or members of the IHH organization and Turkey must know that its request could turn into a double-edged sword."

=> Read more!

Dismantling the Israeli state is key

English (US)  July 1st, 2010 by admin ( Email )

In failing to address the problem of Israel and its hegemonic designs, the two-state solution will never be a path to lasting peace, writes Ghada Karmi*


Reports of Israel's death -- to paraphrase Mark Twain -- are much exaggerated, though in the current climate of opinion it might be tempting to think otherwise. There is no doubt that Israel's standing has taken a severe battering in the last 18 months, compounded by the events at the end of May. Israel's savage assault on Gaza between the end of 2008 and early 2009, with its devastating results for Gazans, who still suffer the consequences today, had a powerful impact on international public opinion. Israel's latest assault, on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla on 31 May, killing at least nine Turkish humanitarian activists, has been a dramatic escalation. The international climate of opinion has never been so hostile towards Israel. If anyone doubts this, they need only observe the frantic propaganda effort that Israel mounted in the wake of the attack in order to undo the damage. Its announcement this week of a partial ease of the blockade on Gaza is an admission of its failure to stem the tide of criticism.

=> Read more!

Ethnic cleansing: Israeli foreign minister wants Palestinians stripped of citizenship and relocated

English (US)  June 28th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


Avigdor Lieberman , Israel’s foreign minister, has proposed a raft of loyalty laws over the past year targeted at the Palestinian minority. David Silverman / Getty Images

By Jonathan Cook, Foreign Correspondent, The National

NAZARETH // Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s far-right foreign minister, set out this week what he called a “blueprint for a resolution to the conflict” with the Palestinians that demands most of the country’s large Palestinian minority be stripped of citizenship and relocated outside Israel’s future borders.

Mr Lieberman said that Israel faced growing diplomatic pressure for a full withdrawal to the Green Line, the pre-1967 border, and if such a partition were implemented, “the conflict will inevitably pass beyond those borders and into Israel”.

He accused many of Israel’s 1.3 million Palestinian citizens of acting against Israel while their leaders “actively assist those who want to destroy the Jewish state”.

Mr Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party campaigned in last year’s elections on a platform of “No loyalty, no citizenship” and has proposed a raft of loyalty laws over the past year targeted at the Palestinian minority.

=> Read more!

Fake calls to 'ease' the Gaza siege

English (US)  June 24th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

Jordan Times

By Hasan Abu Nimah

Ever since Israel's murderous attack on the Freedom Flotilla on May 31, there have been increasing calls from many parties on Israel to end its siege of Gaza. This is strange as well as deceitful, for the siege is not Israel's alone.

Many of those who now talk about ending the blockade have strongly supported it all along and continue to support it. Their empty calls are primarily intended to absolve themselves of blame for the harm the cruel, illegal and unjustifiable siege has caused to the Palestinian population in Gaza Strip.

It is clear now that the siege has failed, first and foremost because the brave people in Gaza decided to adjust to its harshest effects and to endure with dignity and courage the collective punishment intended to strangle them into submission and despair. They never acquiesced to trading their national dignity and rights for a few more goods - even ones desperately needed.

The siege has also failed as a result of mounting civil society pressure orchestrated by hundreds of concerned organisations and activists who kept reminding the civilised world of the illegality of the Gaza siege, the complicity of the UN through its bizarre membership in the self-appointed Quartet, as well as the cruelty and double standards of the Europeans, the Americans and many others who lined up behind Israel's decision to terrorise the entire population of Gaza for political ends.

The latest, but certainly not the last, such effort was the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, which fell victim to Israel's bloody sea and air attack, followed by hijacking and kidnapping of all the ships and passengers on board.

=> Read more!

Fake calls to 'ease' the Gaza siege

English (US)  June 24th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

Jordan Times

By Hasan Abu Nimah

Ever since Israel's murderous attack on the Freedom Flotilla on May 31, there have been increasing calls from many parties on Israel to end its siege of Gaza. This is strange as well as deceitful, for the siege is not Israel's alone.

Many of those who now talk about ending the blockade have strongly supported it all along and continue to support it. Their empty calls are primarily intended to absolve themselves of blame for the harm the cruel, illegal and unjustifiable siege has caused to the Palestinian population in Gaza Strip.

It is clear now that the siege has failed, first and foremost because the brave people in Gaza decided to adjust to its harshest effects and to endure with dignity and courage the collective punishment intended to strangle them into submission and despair. They never acquiesced to trading their national dignity and rights for a few more goods - even ones desperately needed.

The siege has also failed as a result of mounting civil society pressure orchestrated by hundreds of concerned organisations and activists who kept reminding the civilised world of the illegality of the Gaza siege, the complicity of the UN through its bizarre membership in the self-appointed Quartet, as well as the cruelty and double standards of the Europeans, the Americans and many others who lined up behind Israel's decision to terrorise the entire population of Gaza for political ends.

The latest, but certainly not the last, such effort was the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, which fell victim to Israel's bloody sea and air attack, followed by hijacking and kidnapping of all the ships and passengers on board.

=> Read more!

Who Says We Can't Criticize Israel?

English (US)  June 22nd, 2010 by admin ( Email )


Libby Davies warned of a new type of McCarthyism in Canada. (MetroNews)

By Peter Ewart

Like a postage stamp that has been licked too often, a word can lose its power and authority if it is used indiscriminately.

So it is with the word "terrorist" that is now routinely applied by governments all over the world to demonize and marginalize political opposition. And likewise with the word "anti-semitic" which is a label stuck on just about anyone who is not in total support of the state of Israel and its treatment of the Palestinians.

Indeed, Jimmy Carter, former President of the United States, was given precisely that label after calling Israel an "apartheid state".

Even South African Judge Richard Goldstone, himself Jewish, who led a UN authorized fact-finding mission into Israel's invasion of Gaza last year has been called anti-semitic for his findings which have been labeled as "anti-Israel" by the Israeli government.

Closer to home, Canada, the aid organization Kairos had its funding cut off by the Harper government because of, the government alleges, its support for the boycott movement against Israel and its "anti-semitism". Kairos is a joint venture of thirteen Canadian churches and church organizations, including Catholic, Anglican, Christian Reformed, Evangelical Lutheran, Mennonite, Presbyterian, Society of Friends, and United Church.

=> Read more!

Zionist Israeli government plans to ethnically cleanse 88 Palestinians from their Jerusalem homes to make way for an illegal Jewish tourist center

English (US)  June 21st, 2010 by admin ( Email )


Palestinian kids in their Silwan neighborhood where the Zionist Israeli government plans to demolish 22 Palestinians homes, dispossessing 88 people, to build a tourist center for "the Jewish state" Israeli officials claim that all 88 Palestinian homes in Silwan are built illegally when in fact all Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including Jerusalem are built illegally.

The Jerusalem planning committee has given initial approval to a proposal for demolishing 22 Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem's Silwan neighbourhood to make room for a tourist centre.

Nir Barkat, the mayor of Jerusalem, requested approval for the controversial plan on Monday.

Palestinians describe the plan as "forced displacement", but Barkat insists it would revitalise tourism in the neighbourhood.

=> Read more!

Echoes From The Warsaw Ghetto In Gaza: An Interview with Cecilie Surasky

English (US)  June 21st, 2010 by admin ( Email )

By Christiana Voniati

Gazing at letters that her grandmother wrote from the Warsaw Ghetto before she was killed, Deputy Director of the global organization “Jewish Voice for Peace”, Cecilie Surasky, discusses Israel's “anti-Jewish” crimes and the inescapable comparison between the sufferings of Gazans and the gradual crushing of Jewish life in the Nazi ghettos in the period that led to the Final Solution . More significantly, the Jewish activist for peace reveals and explores the relationship between Jewish collective trauma and Israel 's aggression

“Jewish Voice for Peace” is based in the United States of America . Was this choice of location intentional?

We are based in the US and we have one hundred thousand people on our supporter list, mostly in the United States but certainly across Israel , Canada and all over the world. We think it is important to be in the United States because most of the terrible things you see happening in Israel (the expansion of settlements and taking of land, the attack on Gaza, the construction of the wall, attacks on human rights activists) couldn't happen without US support.

We pay for it with billions in aid, we offer Israel diplomatic protection in the UN, and we have many Jewish and Christian Zionist institutional leaders in this country who are very vocal about defending Israel unconditionally. They want the US government to continue to give Israel permission to do whatever it likes including violating international law. And unfortunately, the majority of members of Congress are only too happy to oblige. The U.S. Congress, which is largely made up of Christians by the way, is shamefully committed to giving the Israeli government whatever they want. With relatively few exceptions, they have very little regard for Palestinian life or for Israeli life for that matter since this unconditional support is so destructive to Israel and to Jews everywhere.

That's why we think one of the most important places after Israel, to have a strong and powerful Jewish voice for peace, justice and equality, is in the United States. Once we stop sending billions of dollars in military aid with no strings attached, once we stop diplomatically protecting Israel in international bodies when they violate the law, Israel will have to change. This movement is primarily about accountability and ending the attitude of exceptionalism which allows Israel to consistently violate the human rights of Palestinians, and increasingly its own citizens, with impunity.

At Jewish Voice for Peace, our values are pretty simple: Full equality for Israelis and Palestinians. There is absolutely no difference between the value of life of my 7 year old son and the value of life of my Palestinian friend's child. They are equally precious and have the same rights to health, education, to safety and well-being. Palestinians have a right to land which is justly theirs without having it stolen from beneath their feet. But the Israeli government has absolutely no respect for their rights. New settlements are built every day on Palestinian land. Even president Obama has said this theft of land must stop, but the Israeli government refuses.

=> Read more!

Labor for Palestine Salutes West Coast Dockers for Embargo on Israeli Cargo

English (US)  June 21st, 2010 by admin ( Email )

June 21, 2010

ILWU President Bob McEllrath
robert.mcellrath@ilwu.org

Dear Pres. McEllrath:

Labor for Palestine salutes ILWU Local 10 and its members for refusing to unload the Israeli ship that arrived in Oakland on June 20 (see reports below*).

Their action is in direct response to Israel's May 31 brutal assault on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Taking place in international waters under cover of darkness, the Israeli attack targeted 750 unarmed volunteers from 40 countries seeking to relieve the humanitarian crisis caused by Israel's siege of collective punishment against the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza.

Because of Israel's attack on the Flotilla, scores were killed and wounded, while hundreds of survivors were abducted, jailed and deported. This act of piracy is a direct extension of the 2008/2009 Gaza massacre that killed 1400 people, most of them civilians, which has been condemned by the UN, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other human rights organizations, including those that are Israeli.

=> Read more!

Message from the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions(PGFTU)

English (US)  June 21st, 2010 by admin ( Email )

To our respected sisters, brothers and comrades in the trade unions, labor councils and workers’ organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Since the beginning of the workers’ struggles in your country – the United States of America – international solidarity has been a constant part of workers’ organizing and struggle in solidarity with workers and people facing injustice everywhere in the world. We, the workers and the people of Palestine are suffering under oppression of the Israeli occupation of our land and people. This occupation began long ago, the longest-lasting occupation of the modern era.

As people who cherish life and wish to live in freedom, we look to and call upon ourfellow workers of the world, particularly today our friends of truth, democracy and freedom in the San Francisco Bay Area to take a stand of courage alongside Palestinian workers to obtain justice and freedom for the workers and people of Palestine. We call upon you to support our struggle to obtain our liberty, practice our self-determination, and build a sovereign, democratic Palestine, like all other nations on earth.

=> Read more!

Unions Act to Isolate Israel

English (US)  June 21st, 2010 by admin ( Email )


CFMEU NSW Secretary Andrew Ferguson at Gaza solidarity march. Photo by Peter Boyle.

By Dick Nichols

The movement for Australian union action against Israel is gaining strength after the apartheid state’s latest murderous attack on the unarmed aid flotilla to Gaza.

The South Coast Labour Council (SCLC) and the New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory branches of the Australian Services Union have joined the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union in committing to the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against the aggressive Israeli state.

Australian unions and peak bodies have also called on members to attend the many protest actions.

=> Read more!

Peace activists block Israel ship in California; union members refuse to cross picketline

English (US)  June 21st, 2010 by admin ( Email )

June 20, 2010 — In Oakland, California an Israeli ship was blocked by protesters for the first time in history. 700-1000 protesters blocked three different gates at 5:30 A.M. keeping dockworkers from unloading the Israeli cargo.

ILWU (International Longshore and Warehouse Union) members refused to cross picketline - citing "health & safety" provisions of their contract. Management demanded "instant arbitration." The arbitrator took a look at the picketlines at each gate to the SSA Terminal and ruled that ILWU members were justified in refusing to cross.

All dockworkers were sent home with FULL PAY.

=> Read more!

Richard Falk:The Shock Resulting from Flotilla Attack has Reinforced the Campaign to de-Legitimize Israel

English (US)  June 20th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

INTIFADA – PALESTINE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW – With Richard Falk

Richard Falk is the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967. In 2001 Falk served on a United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Inquiry Commission for the Palestinian territories with John Dugard. He is also an American Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University with a long and distinguished career in academics, politics and law. He recently gave this exclusive and revealing interview to Intifada Palestine’s Elias F. Harb .

Navi Pillay, the UN Human Rights Chief described the Israeli blockade on Gaza as “illegal and must be lifted” and accused Israel of Violating International Humanitarian Law, Also the head of UNRWA operation in Gaza, John Ging, had called upon the UN itself to begin defying the blockade and deliver humanitarian assistance since the blockade is a flagrant direct violation of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention that prohibits collective punishment. The state of Israel has stated that the blockade of Gaza is for security purposes; although it is imposing Collective Punishment on 1.5 million, which is a breach of international law and a war crime – Editor Elias Harb

Richard Falk

Allowing the United States to mediate is comparable to a husband insisting that his law partner and closest friend determine the terms of a divorce settlement with his estranged and impoverished wife. -- Richard Falk

A civil suit by the passengers against the perpetrators or the responsible Israeli political and military officials associated with the attack or its authorization could certainly be initiated in several sovereign states, which establish such an option.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW – With Prof. Richard Falk
By Elias Harb – Editor Intifada Palestine

EH: Professor Falk, what is the legality of the Israeli blockade in Gaza in accordance with the San Remo Manual on International Law applicable to armed conflicts at Sea?

RF: The San Remo Manual was drafted by a series of experts and former diplomats over a period between 1987 and 1994 to provide guidance as to the use of force on the oceans and other international waters. The Manual is not a legal document, but represents an informed opinion of specialists as to the agreed content of customary international law applicable to combat situations. The announced intention of the Manual was to be partly declaratory of existing international law and to a degree expressive of desirable developments to deal reasonably with belligerent activities on the seas not addressed in law by past international practice. Because there is no treaty law on the subject the San Remo Manual has been quite influential in filling the gap, a kind of soft law that if accepted by states becomes customary international law over time.

=> Read more!

Red Cross: Gaza blockade illegal

English (US)  June 14th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


The ICRC said goods smuggled through tunnels are often overpriced and of poor quality [AFP]

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has described Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip as a violation of the Geneva Conventions and called on the Israeli government to lift it.

In a statement released on Monday (see next posting), the organisation called the blockade "collective punishment", a crime under international law. It described Gaza as a territory plagued by frequent power cuts, a ruined economy, and a collapsed health care system.

"The closure imposed on the Gaza Strip is about to enter its fourth year, choking off any real possibility of economic development," the ICRC said.

"Gazans continue to suffer from unemployment, poverty and warfare, while the quality of Gaza's health care system has reached an all-time low."

=> Read more!

Time to end, not 'ease' the siege

English (US)  June 13th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


The Israeli raid on the Gaza aid flotilla was met with popular fury in the Arab world [EPA]

By Lamis Andoni

The visit by Amr Moussa, the secretary-general of the Arab League, to Gaza is the first serious attempt by an Arab official to break the Israeli-imposed siege on the tiny Strip.

It took a war, the lives of 1,400 Palestinians, and nine Turks, killed during a lethal Israeli interception of an aid flotilla, for Arab states to finally move against the blockade.

There is no doubt that the visit will send an important message to the international community that the siege can no longer be tolerated.

=> Read more!

US taxpayers' dollars to Israel help tp starve children in Gaza: Siege takes toll on Gaza children

English (US)  June 13th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

By allowing only enough nutrition to prevent outright starvation into Gaza, the Zionist regime of "the Jewish state" assures that babies and young children will be permanently stunted -- physically and mentally -- from malnutrition. This is genocide by any definition. US taxpayers dollars aid and abet the genocide of Gaza not protesting against US aid to the the Zionist regime.

Israel about to criminalize BDS; will steal money owed to Palestinians as punishment

English (US)  June 12th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

June 9th, 2010 | by Sydney Levy | Add a Comment

What is Israel’s reaction to the growing nonviolent movement of boycott, divestment, and sanctions? Well criminalize it, of course!

We just learned new bill has been introduced in the Israeli Knesset by 25 Knesset members, that would criminalize all BDS activities or even BDS advocacy inside or outside Israel. You can find info about this in English here and with more detail in Hebrew here**.

The proposed bill would target those that initiate, encourage, or provide assistance or information about boycotts against Israel.

Israeli citizens or residents of Israel could be sued by whoever was harmed by the boycott and would have to pay up to 30,000 shekels in restitution and an additional amount according to the harm established by the Israeli courts.
This provision would endanger the Israeli Coalition of Women for Peace, New Profile, Boycott from Within, among others.

Those that are neither citizens nor residents of Israel would lose the ability of entering Israel for at least ten years and would be forbidden from economic activity in Israel (holding an account in an Israeli bank, owning Israeli stocks, land, or any other good that requires registration.)

It is not clear whether this provision would apply also to entry into the West Bank, although Prof. Noam Chomsky’s denial of entry may be a sign of things to come.

A group in a foreign country would also be forbidden from economic activism in Israel. This would apply to the Palestinian Authority as well.

In the case of the PA, Israel would freeze transfer of money it owes and would use it to pay restitution to those harmed in Israel.

* http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3902932,00.html
** http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3902887,00.html">
http://theonlydemocracy.org/2010/06/israel-about-to-criminalize-bds/

Flotilla activists 'shot 30 times'

English (US)  June 5th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

Al Jazeera speaks to some of the injured activists, who are recovering in Ankara Hospital

Autopsies on bodies of activists killed in Israel's attack on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla five days ago indicate that the victims were shot multiple times at close range.

Britain's Guardian newspaper quoted Yalcin Buyuk, the vice-chairman of the Turkish council of forensic medicine, as saying that the nine men were shot a total of 30 times.

Two men were shot four times, and five of the victims were shot either in the back of the head or in the back, Buyuk told the newspaper, based on preliminary autopsy reports.

Ibrahim Bilgen, a 60-year-old activist, was shot four times in the temple, chest, hip and back, the autopsy revealed.

Nineteen-year-old Furkan Dogan, a US citizen of Turkish descent, was shot five times from less that 45cm in the face, the back of the head, twice in the leg and once in the back.

=> Read more!

BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT, SANCTIONS: Palestinian BDS Committee calls for intensified boycott and sanctions

English (US)  June 1st, 2010 by admin ( Email )

Call for Action by the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC)
1 June 2010

Palestinian civil society calls for intensifying boycott and sanctions as Israel massacres humanitarian relief workers and international solidarity activists

OCCUPIED PALESTINE - The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) strongly condemns last night’s fatal attack by the Israeli navy on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip. The BNC conveys Palestinian civil society’s condolences to the families and friends of those killed by the Israeli assault and warmly salutes the principled solidarity and moral commitment of all those involved in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

In response, the BNC calls on international civil society to:

· Mobilize for an emergency Global BDS Day of Action on Saturday 5 June 2010 -- the 43rd anniversary of the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem

· Pressure governments to start implementing trade sanctions and arms embargos

=> Read more!

Detained flotilla activists denied lawyer, says rights group

English (US)  June 1st, 2010 by admin ( Email )

BETHLEHEM- Ma'an - Rights groups have expressed concern over the continued detention of 480 passengers from the six Freedom Flotilla ships, reportedly moved to the Ela Prison in Israel's south.

According to a statement from the Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza, none of the activists were permitted to meet with lawyers, and Free Gaza updates say no contact with the crew of the ship had been made since 3:30am Monday morning.

As a response, three human rights organizations submitted a petition to the Israeli High Court.

The petition seeks to ensure that the passengers have access to lawyers and proper health facilities, and to ensure that information about the hundreds of men and women is released to their consulates and families.

Israeli media said that the 480 would be questioned Tuesday morning, and investigators would determine whether or not they would be charged or deported. Reports say 48 have already been deported, but there is no information suggesting that any have had contact with either their consulates or the media.

It remains unclear what the activists would be charged with, as lawyers and rights experts say ships in international waters have the right to defend themselves if attacked.

Media outlets also reported that Palestinian citizens of Israel Sheikh Raed Salah, Muhammad Zeidan and Hammad Abu Da'bas will stand in Israeli court later Tuesday, where they will hear charges against them.

Sheikh Raed Salah, Muhammad Zeidan and Hammad Abu Da'bas to stand in Israeli court and hear charges against them Tuesday afternoon, Israeli media says.

Other Palestinian figures whose whereabouts has been reported on include Kamal Khatib, who is reportedly detained at Ela Prison, and Hanin Zubi, who was questioned and released.

A statement from Al-Mezan said that because the flotilla was intercepted in international waters, Israel has no right to detain the passengers of the boats, with the center's lawyer describing the treatment akin to how Israel "treats illegal immigrants; offering them voluntarily deportation from Israel by planes."

The reports said early indicators show that most of the activists have refused deportation and insist on returning to their ships to come to Gaza.

Al-Mezan said it expects all of the passengers to appear before a judge on Tuesday, where their detentions can be extended by 72 hours, adding that 'the situation for a handful of Palestinian citizens of Israel is different. They are detained in Ashkelon prison and are being interrogated."

Activists detained, imprisoned, questioned

Investigations by Al-Mezan revealed that after the passengers of the ships were seized by Israeli officers, they were kept in a detention facility in the port of the town of Ashdod in southern Israel. The port area was declared a closed military zone, a lawyer for the center said, meaning legal council for the foreign nationals was prohibited.

Maan News

Operation Mini Cast Lead

English (US)  June 1st, 2010 by admin ( Email )

Haaretz

By Gideon Levy

Like in "Mini-Israel," the park where there is everything, but smaller, Israel embarked yesterday on a mini Operation Cast Lead. Like its larger, losing predecessor, this operation had it all: the usual false claim that is was they who had started it - and not the landing of commandos from helicopters on a ship in open sea, away from Israeli territorial waters. There was the claim that the first act of violence came not from the soldiers, but the rioting activists on Mavi Marmara; that the blockade on Gaza is legal and that the flotilla to its shores is against the law - God knows which law.
One of the wounded activists is removed from an IDF helicopter and taken to Sheba Medical Center.


One of the wounded activists is removed from an IDF helicopter and taken to Sheba Medical Center. Photo by: Tal Cohen

Again came the claim of self defense, that "they lynched us" and that all the dead are on their side. Once more the use of violence and excessive and lethal force was in play and once more civilians wound up dead.

This action also featured the pathetic focus on "public relations," as if there is something to explain, and again the sick question was asked: Why didn't the soldiers use more force.

=> Read more!

Israel moves to stop Gaza aid fleet

English (US)  May 30th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

The Freedom Flotilla is aiming to provide aid to
Gazans in defiance of an Israeli blockade

Israel has vowed to stop a flotilla of six ships carrying aid from reaching the Gaza Strip, sending warships to intercept the convoy, according to reports.

The flotilla set sail from a port in Cyprus on Sunday aiming to break Israel's siege of Gaza by landing there on Monday morning.

However, Israel has said that it will not allow the convoy to reach the coastal Palestinian enclave.

Two other ships were damaged over the weekend, and remain in port in Cyprus.

Al Jazeera's Mohamed Vall, reporting from the flotilla's lead vessel, Mavi Marmara, said the ships finally left port after several false starts.

"People [on board] are relaxing, they are having their supper, very happy the final journey has started," he said.

"We have so many kinds of people here ... all of different creeds, philosophies and politics.

"But they are all united around one goal - they want to break the siege on Gaza and do something about what they call an injustice against the Palestinian people."

The organisers of the fleet, dubbed the Freedom Flotilla, said they might launch a second smaller convoy of boats on Tuesday, which would include the two damaged ships, plus a third that has yet to arrive.

"Now we are thinking of sending a second wave of boats including these two and the Rachel Corrie, which is still en route" from Ireland, Audrey Bomse, an adviser to the Free Gaza Movement, said.

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Zionist Israel faces child sexual abuse claims

English (US)  May 30th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

An international children's rights charity has said it has evidence that Palestinian children held in Israeli custody have been subjected to sexual abuse in an effort to extract confessions from them.

The Geneva-based Defence for Children International (DCI) has collected 100 sworn affadavits from Palestinian children who said they were mistreated by their Israeli captors.

Fourteen of the statements say they were sexually abused or threatened with sexual assault to pressure them into confessions.

Al Jazeera's correspondent in the West Bank, Nour Odeh, met one of the children, identified only as "N", who said he suffered sexual abuse at the hands of his interrogators.

IN depth
Amnesty report slams global abuses
The price of impunity
UN Gaza children's camp attacked

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Boycott, divestment, sanctions news: German bank divests from Israeli company building wall

English (US)  May 30th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


German bank divests from Israeli company building wall

BETHLEHEM -- Ma'an – Germany's largest bank, Deutsche Bank, has sold all its shares in an Israeli security company implicated in the construction of the wall surrounding the West Bank, snaking into occupied lands, on Sunday.

The bank has fully divested from Elbit Systems, less than a week after being invited to the company's investment conference, Israeli media reported.

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The Gaza flotilla and the ironies of history

English (US)  May 30th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


A ship with the Freedom Flotilla prepares to set sail for Gaza. (Free Gaza)

Richard Irvine, The Electronic Intifada, 30 May 2010

No one can accuse history of not having a sense of irony. Sixty-three years ago in July 1947 a passenger ship destined for Palestine and named The Exodus was stopped and boarded by the British Navy. The ship was crowded with Holocaust survivors determined to make a new life for themselves in British controlled Palestine but did not have official immigration permits. Facing terrorism by Zionist organizations, waves of illegal immigration by Jews fleeing the displaced persons camps in post-war Europe, and resistance by Palestinian Arabs to the increasingly powerful and belligerent Zionist movement emboldened by its growing numbers, Britain was determined to stop the ship. Accordingly when the Royal Navy boarded the ship twenty miles out from Haifa a full scale battle ensued. Three of the immigrants were killed and dozens injured as British troops beat the passengers on to three separate prison ships. From there these Holocaust survivors were transported back to Germany and were once again placed in camps. The world was horrified; an American newspaper ran the headline, "Back to the Reich." Delegates from the UN Special Commission on Palestine who watched what occurred were similarly shocked; the Yugoslav delegate cited that what happened to The Exodus "is the best possible evidence we have for allowing Jews into Palestine."

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Haniyeh: Flotilla is Palestinian victory

English (US)  May 29th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

Haniyeh: Protect flotilla from Israel Photo: AFP

AFP and Ali Waked

Navy ships to be placed off Gazan shore to intercept flotilla, which was further delayed by Cyprus's refusal to transfer politicians from its territory to boats. Meanwhile Hamas prime minister says Gazans victorious despite 'Israeli piracy'

An aid flotilla bound for Gaza was poised to set sail on Saturday, after a delay caused by technical snags and fears Israel might seize one of the ships, while Hamas's prime minister praised the venture as "a historical victory".

Haniyeh added that if Israel stopped the boats from docking it would only encourage others to come, and called on the international community to protect the flotilla from "Israel's pirate threats".

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Rebalancing The World

English (US)  May 29th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

By Richard Falk

29 May, 2010
Mycatbirdseat

May 17th was the day that the Brazilian/Turkish initiative bore fruit in Tehran, with Iran agreeing to a ten-point arrangement designed to defuse the mounting confrontation with the United States and Israel with regard to its enrichment facilities.

It may turn out that May 17, 2010 will be remembered as an important milestone on the road to a real new world order. Remember that the phrase ‘new world order’ came to prominence in 1990 after Iraq’s invasion and annexation of Kuwait. It was used by George W. H. Bush, the elder of the two Bush presidents, to signify the possibility after the end of the Cold War to find a consensus within the UN Security Council enabling a unified response to aggressive war. The new world order turned out to be a mobilizing idea invoked for a particular situation. The United States did not want to create expectations that it would always be available to lead a coalition against would be breakers of world peace. The whole undertaking of a ‘new world order’ disappeared from diplomacy right after the First Gulf War of 1991. What one wonders now is whether the Brazilian/Turkish effort to resolve the Iran nuclear crisis with the West is not expressive of a new world, this time a ‘real new world order.’

May 17th was the day that the Brazilian/Turkish initiative bore fruit in Tehran, with Iran agreeing to a ten-point arrangement designed to defuse the mounting confrontation with the United States and Israel with regard to its enrichment facilities. The essence of the deal was that Iran would ship 1200 kilograms of low enriched uranium (LEU) to Turkey for deposit, and receive in return 120 kilograms of uranium enriched to 20% for use in an Iranian nuclear reactor devoted to medical research. The agreement reaffirmed support for the Non-Proliferation Treaty, as well as acknowledged Iran’s right under the treaty to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, which meant the entire fuel cycle, including the enrichment phase.

The bargain negotiated in Tehran closely resembled an arrangement reached some months earlier in which Iran had agreed to turn over a similar amount of low enriched uranium to France and Russia in exchange for their promise of providing fuel rods that could be used in the same medical research reactor. That earlier deal floundered as Iran raised political objections, and then withdrew. The United States had welcomed this earlier arrangement as a desirable confidence-building step toward resolving the underlying conflict, but it wasted no time repudiating the May 17th agreement, which seemed so similar.

Why the discrepancy in the American response?

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Gaza activists: Israel to put us in concentration camp

English (US)  May 28th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


Departing from Turkey (Photo: freegazaorg)

Free Gaza organizers say they are on schedule despite Cyprus' refusal to allow them into its waters. 'People of Gaza are in concentration camp, we will also be placed in one if detained,' leader says

The leader of a Gaza-bound aid mission said Thursday Israel wanted to arrest the activists and place them in a "concentration camp".

Greta Berlin, one of the organizers of the Free Gaza flotilla, told Ynet that despite a ban imposed by Cyprus, the vessels are on schedule and expect to reach the Strip Saturday morning.

"Our office is in Cyprus, but we will not go in. The meeting point is outside of the country's territorial waters," she said. Earlier, Cyprus announced it had accepted Israel's request to ban the ships taking part in the flotilla from its waters, where they were scheduled to gather after arriving from various countries.

Israel called the move "an ethical deed and a voice of reason". Cyprus was the only state to agree to the request, though Israel had appealed to Turkey, Ireland, Greece, and others.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces have completed preparations for the hundreds of activists scheduled to be brought from their ships to Ashdod port. Jerusalem has announced that those who sign a restraining order will be given a paid ticket back to their home countries, but those who don't may find themselves locked up in a Beersheba jail.

IDF officials expressed concerns that many of the activists are actually terrorists attempting to transfer arms to Hamas.

"They can do whatever they want, but they can't stop us," said Berlin. "There are ships full of civilians who want to break the blockade on Gaza – to make people in Gaza as free as anyone else.

"The people of Gaza are in an actual concentration camp. They can't come in or go out despite having the same rights we all have...We will also be placed in a concentration camp, unfortunately, if we are detained."

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Zionist Israel to stop Gaza aid ships

English (US)  May 27th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

Israel says it will prevent, if necessary by force, a nine-ship flotilla of peace activists and humanitarian aid from reaching the Gaza Strip.

The Freedom Flotilla, is carrying around 700 pro-Palestinian activists from various countries, as well as 10,000 tonnes of aid.

It is by far the largest fleet of aid to try to reach Gaza since Israel imposed its siege on the coastal territory in 2007.

In accordance with the directions of the Israeli government, the Israel Defence Forces and the Israeli Navy are preparing to prevent the flotilla from reaching the Gaza shore," a military source said on Thursday.

The Israeli army also took journalists on a tour of a detention centre being prepared at Ashdod port for holding the aid activists.

Ma’ariv, an Israeli newspaper, said preparations were being made to provide the detainees with food, drink and medical treatment.

The paper said that Israelis on board would be arrested, Palestinians would be questioned by the Israeli secret service, and foreign nationals would be sent back to their countries.

IN DEPTH
Focus: Onboard the Freedom Flotilla
Blog: Israel's navy will have its work cut out
Aid convoy sets off for Gaza
'Fighting to break Gaza siege'
Born in Gaza

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The Simplicity of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

English (US)  May 27th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


The fact of the matter is that the U.S. supports Israeli violations of international law.

By Jeremy R. Hammond

There is a general perception that the reason the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has continued for so long is because it is extremely complex. Nothing could be further from the truth. Placed in historical context, understanding the root cause of the conflict is simple, and in doing so, the solution becomes apparent.

During the late 1800s, a movement known as Zionism arose to establish a Jewish state in Palestine, then a territory under the Ottoman Empire. As a result of World War I, the Ottoman Empire was dissolved and Great Britain and France conspired to divide the territorial spoils of war between themselves. The British became the occupying power of Palestine. The League of Nations issued a mandate effectively recognizing Great Britain as such.

During the war, the British had promised the Arab nations their independence in return for their cooperation in helping to defeat the Ottoman Turks. At the same time, the British declared its support for the goal of Zionism of establishing a "national home" for the Jewish people and permitted Jewish immigration into Palestine.

The Zionist aims did not sit well with the majority Arab inhabitants of Palestine. The Arab states proposed that the independence of Palestine be recognized and a democratic government established that would include representatives of the Jewish minority. But this solution was rejected by both the Zionists and the British, whose respective leadership recognized that the Zionist project could not be carried out except by force of arms.

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Nasrallah: 'In Any Future War, Only Israelis Fleeing From Occupied Palestine May Be Safe'

English (US)  May 27th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

Hezbollah marked the tenth anniversary of the Resistance and Liberation Day Tuesday at the Sayyed Al-Shouhada compound in Beirut’s southern suburb. Official, religious, military, and popular figures attended the ceremony in which Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah delivered a speech for the occasion and tackled recent developments in Lebanon and the region.

The Hezbollah chief set a new formula that will be adopted in any new war with Israel saying that Hezbollah will attack Israel-bound ships if the Zionist entity imposed a sea blockade on Lebanon. "When the world will witness how these ships will be destroyed in Palestine's regional water nobody will dare to go there just as they will block (others) from coming to our coasts," his eminence told thousands of supporters.

Sayyed Nasrallah's comments came amid a five-day drill in Israel- dubbed "Turning Point 4"- which was launched on Sunday to test the home front preparedness against possible missile strikes in any future war.

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Israel's Most Illicit Affair

English (US)  May 27th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


A new book reveals that Israel’s secret relationship with apartheid South Africa went far deeper than previously understood.

BY GLENN FRANKEL | MAY 24, 2010

History is a great teacher, but sometimes it packs a nasty sense of irony. A case in point: South African Prime Minister John Vorster's visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem in April 1976, where he laid a wreath to the victims of the German Reich he once extolled.

It's bad enough that a former Nazi sympathizer was treated like an honored guest by the Jewish state. Even worse was the purpose behind Vorster's trip to Israel: to cement the extensive military relationship between Israel and the apartheid regime, a partnership that violated international law and illicitly provided the white-minority government with the weaponry and technology to help sustain its grip on power and its oppression of the black majority over two decades.

Like many illicit love affairs, the back-door relationship between Israel and the apartheid regime was secret, duplicitous, thrilling for the parties involved -- and ultimately damaging to both. Each insisted at the time that theirs was just a minor flirtation, with few regrets or expressions of remorse. Inevitably it ended badly, tainting everyone it touched, including leaders of American Jewish organizations who shredded their credibility by endorsing and parroting the blatant falsehoods they were fed by Israeli officials. And it still hovers like a toxic cloud over Israel's international reputation, providing ammunition to those who use the comparison between Israel's 43-year military rule over Palestinians and the now-defunct system of white domination known as apartheid to seek to delegitimize the Jewish state.

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The PA's disingenuous boycott campaign

English (US)  May 25th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


Salam Fayyad throws products made in Israeli settlements into a fire in the occupied West Bank. (Mustafa Abu Dayeh/MaanImages

Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 25 May 2010

In recent weeks, the US-and Israeli-backed Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA) has made a show of calling on Palestinians to boycott goods manufactured in Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Despite the rhetoric of defiance and resistance, and exaggerated screams of anguish from Israeli settler groups, the PA effort actually appears designed to co-opt, undermine and abort the much broader Palestinian civil society campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS), and to reassure Israel of the continued docility and collaboration of its puppet regime in Ramallah.

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Civil society in the lead

English (US)  May 25th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

Bitterlemons
May 24, 2010 Edition 11
A PALESTINIAN VIEW

By Sam Bahour

When politicians face failure what do they do? Step down? No way. Not in Palestine at least. Over and over again the Palestinian leadership has hit a cement wall (no pun intended) in its attempts to lead the Palestinian people to freedom and independence. And with every colossal failure, the leadership looks to Palestinian civil society for direction.

The first intifada was adopted to cover for the failures in Lebanon, and the second intifada was adopted to cover for the collapse of Oslo. The current Palestinian Authority boycott of Israeli settlement products is no different. The boycott is the scaffolding that the PA is attempting to erect and climb in order to retake a leadership position. The dilemma PA leaders face is that it is very possible that they may be expending efforts to build a scaffold that others may climb to assume leadership of the Palestinian struggle for freedom and independence.

With an insignificant political constituency on the ground, a failed election campaign, and engaged in creating what many fear is a police state in the making, the PA finally jumped on the boycott bandwagon that civil society has struggled to assemble over the past several years, if not decades.

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The Biggest Threat to Peace in Middle East

English (US)  May 24th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


War clouds are looming over the Middle East.

By Dr. Elias Akleh

A build up of heightened tension in the Middle East is escalating in the last few weeks. American and Israeli postures towards Lebanon, Syria, and Iran have become more threatening. Listening to speeches of political leaders one hears talks only about war not peace. Iranians and Israelis are continuously training hard for a possible showdown. Both sides are conducting extensive war games every month. This led Syrians to claim that Israel is preparing for a soon-to-come another war. The Jordanians also are warning that current stalemate of the peace process is an indication of a war breaking this summer. The Russian President and his army chief hinted, few months ago, that the US and Israel were planning for an attack on Iran.

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BOYCOTT NEWS: COOP AND NORDICONAD SUPERMARKET CHAINS SUSPEND SALES OF PRODUCTS FROM THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

English (US)  May 24th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

COOP AND NORDICONAD SUPERMARKET CHAINS SUSPEND SALES OF PRODUCTS FROM THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

An important success for the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israeli apartheid

May 22, 2010 - Following lobbying efforts by the Italian Coalition Against Carmel-Agrexco, two major Italian supermarket chains, COOP and Nordiconad, announced the suspension of sales of products from Agrexco, the principal exporter of produce from Israel and the illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Nordiconad director Mr. Covili announced that as of the end of April Agrexco products will no longer be found in their supermarkets. Nordiconad is a cooperative responsible for central purchasing and distribution operations for CONAD in northern Italy. COOP Italia, via quality assurance director Mr. Zucchi, instead confirmed that there is a problem with traceability, namely that the consumer is unable to verify whether or not the product in question comes from the occupied territories. Therefore COOP Italia has decided to "suspend the supply of products from the occupied territories."

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Israel's Permanent War On Palestine

English (US)  May 23rd, 2010 by admin ( Email )

"A genocide is taking place in Gaza....An average of eight Palestinians die daily in the Israeli attacks on the Strip. (Many) of them are children. Hundreds are maimed, wounded and paralyzed. (It's become) a daily business, now reported (only) in the internal pages of the local press, quite often in microscopic fonts. The chief culprits are the Israeli pilots who have a field day" killing Muslims, so who'll care or notice, especially ones called "terrorists."

By Stephen Lendman

23 May, 2010
Countercurrents

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) provides weekly snapshots of Israeli killings, targeted assassinations, arrests, home demolitions, destroyed farmland, assaults on peaceful protesters, community incursions, home invasions, and more besides full-scale attacks at its discretion - a decades-long onslaught against 1.5 million Gazans and over 2.5 million West Bank and East Jerusalem Palestinians.

On May 11, a recent assault occurred in the West Bank's Lubban Al-Sharqiya village when settlers attacked a local mosque, set it ablaze and gutted it. Israeli fire-fighters blamed it on an electrical short-circuit, later investigations showing arson was responsible, what Palestinians knew all along.

A village spokesperson said the mosque was undergoing renovations, its electricity turned off in the section where the fire broke out. Other villagers heard cars arrive around 3AM and saw settlers entering the mosque. They tore down curtains to start the blaze, stacked Qurans next to a bathroom, and arranged shoes on the pile in the shape of a Star of David to desecrate them and the mosque.

Besides security force assaults, attacks like this happen often against Palestinian homes, businesses, vehicles, farmland, and livestock - even children on their way to school. Rarely are charges ever brought, giving settlers license to commit crimes with impunity, including cold blooded murder.

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Hallelujah, The World Is Against Us!

English (US)  May 23rd, 2010 by admin ( Email )

By Uri Avnery
Gush Shalom

23 May, 2010/Cuntercurrents

A local TV station told us this week about a group of Israelis who adhere to conspiracy theories.

They believe that George W. Bush planned the destruction of the Twin Towers in order to further his wicked aims. They believe that the big pharmaceutical corporations spread the swine flue virus in order to sell their worthless vaccines. They believe that Barack Obama is a secret agent of the military-industrial complex. They believe that fluoride is put into drinking water to sterilize men, in order to reduce mankind by exactly two billion. And so on.

I wonder that they have not yet uncovered the most nefarious conspiracy of all: the one perpetrated by the gang of anti-Semites who have taken control of the government of Israel and are using it to destroy the Jewish State.

PROOF? NOTHING easier. One has only to read the papers.

The Foreign Minister, for example. Who but a diabolic anti-Semite could have appointed Avigdor Lieberman, of all people, to this post? The job of a foreign minister is to make friends and convince world opinion that we are right. Lieberman is working hard and skillfully to get Israel hated by one and all.

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Boycott News: Boycott Targets Stars From Elvis To Elton

English (US)  May 22nd, 2010 by admin ( Email )

By Nathan Guttman
Countercurrents

22 May, 2010

“In reaction, a music industry insider confirmed that the winds could be shifting. The music executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity in light of his ongoing business ties with artists, said that in recent months he had approached more than 15 performing artists with proposals to give concerts in Israel. None had agreed. The contracts offered high levels of compensation. He called them ‘extreme, big numbers that could match any other gig.’”

WASHINGTON — It was a feather in the cap of pro-boycott activists, but for Israelis, a major setback. With battle lines drawn across concert halls and stadiums hosting rock bands, the decision by mega-star Elvis Costello to cancel his planned concerts in Israel is being viewed as a game changer.

In a statement posted on his website, Costello described his decision as a “matter of instinct and conscience.” Israel’s culture minister, Limor Livnat, responded by saying that Costello “is not worthy” of performing in Israel.

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Free Gaza Movement: Second Ship Joins the Freedom Flotilla on Way to Gaza

English (US)  May 22nd, 2010 by admin ( Email )

Written by Greta Berlin | 22 May 2010

[Istanbul, Turkey – 22 May, 2010] Amid cheers and waving of Turkish and Palestinian flags, the second ship to join the Freedom Flotilla left Istanbul this afternoon. Sponsored by the Turkish humanitarian organization, Insani Yardim Vakfi (IHH), the ship will carry 600 passengers to Gaza as part of the ‘blockade busting’ flotilla. It joins eight other boats coming from three other countries carrying 10,000 tons of supplies to the Palestinian people, supplies that have been denied to them by Israel.

Boats will meet in the Mediterranean, then turn toward Gaza to arrive at its beseiged slice of beachfront by the end of May. Free Gaza Movement’s MV Rachel Corrie is already on her way from Ireland and is presently off the coast of Portugal loaded with cement, paper and supplies for school children and medical equipment.

Said John Ging, Head of United Nation's Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in the Gaza Strip since 2006 said, “We recommend the world send ships to the shores of Gaza, and we believe that Israel would not stop these vessels because the sea is open, and many human rights organizations have been successful in previous similar steps, and proved that breaking the siege on Gaza is possible.”

For more information:
Free Gaza Movement – Greta Berlin - +357 99187275
Free Gaza Movement – Huwaida Arraf - +306983046697
ECESG – Mazen Kahel - +33 1 46 81 12 92
IHH – Ahmet Emin Dag – +90 530 341 1934
Ship to Gaza / Greece – Vangelis Pissias - +30 697 200 9339
Ship to Gaza / Sweden – Dror Feiler - +46702855777
The Freedom Flotilla Coalition is comprised of: Free Gaza Movement (FG), European Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza (ECESG), Insani Yardim Vakfi (IHH), Ship to Gaza Greece, Ship to Gaza Sweden, and the International Committee to Lift the Siege on Gaza, with hundreds of groups and organizations around the world supporting the effort.

Free Gaza Movement: "Treat Our Passengers and Cargo with Respect" says Senator Mark Dearey

English (US)  May 22nd, 2010 by admin ( Email )

Written by Free Gaza Team | 21 May 2010

(Dublin, May 21, 2010) The Free Gaza Movement welcomes statements by the Irish Government to ensure the safety of the passengers and cargo currently making their way to the besieged Gaza Strip.

His Excellency Mr. Breifne O’Reilly, Irish ambassador in Tel Aviv, traveled to the Israeli Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem this week “to ensure a peaceful outcome which will enable the safe delivery of these humanitarian supplies”.

The Free Gaza Movement commends the Irish government for showing true international leadership regarding the illegal siege of Gaza and is calling for other governments to follow suit. The 9 ship-strong flotilla, carrying 10,000+ tons of medical, reconstruction and educational goods, has only been made possible by the actions and donations of citizens from 60+ countries. A major donation was received from Malaysia, part of which was used to purchase, outfit etc the MV Rachel Corrie the humanitarian cargo ship.

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Hamas: Expulsions continues under Mitchell cover

English (US)  May 22nd, 2010 by admin ( Email )

GAZA-- Ma'anHamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called the deportation of a Hamas lawmaker from Jerusalem, then a Gaza-born man and his brother from their Beersheba home an "escalation...carried out under the cover of negotiations."

In a statement released hours after the second and third deportations in two days, Barhoum expressed concern saying "Lawmakers and residents are expelled in a continuing attempt to tamper with Palestinian demographics in areas under Israeli control," and accused the United States of ignoring the crimes in order to pursue its own program of "peace talks" without taking into account real rights violations of Palestinians.

Barhoum said he considered the deportation of Hamas member of the Palestinian Legislative Council Mohamad Abu Tier from his Jerusalem home on Thursday a "racist and dangerous tactic [designed] to expand full [Israeli] control over Jerusalem," and saying that the move came "within Israel's demographic war on Palestinians."

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Palestinian nonviolence relies on global non-silence

English (US)  May 21st, 2010 by admin ( Email )

The world cannot expect Palestinians to abandon violence while remaining silent on Israel's repression of nonviolent activists


When will there be a Palestinian Gandhi? I'm often asked this question by people who sympathise with Palestinian suffering but are uncomfortable associating themselves with resistance movements that they see as violent or terrorist.

The reality of course is that Palestinian nonviolent resisters are not only active today but have a long and storied history in the Palestinian struggle. The real question is: why haven't we heard about them?

Like many resisting oppression, Palestinian Gandhis are likely to be found in prisons after being repressed by Israeli soldiers or police or in the hospital after being brutally beaten or worse.

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"You Need a Proper Boat ... ": Gaza Fever

English (US)  May 21st, 2010 by admin ( Email )

By GRETA BERLIN

We’ve all caught the fever, every one of us who works to send boats to Gaza. From August 2006, when a handful of us started the Free Gaza Movement, every one who has joined us has been stricken with a bad case of the disease. It is chronic. It sometimes causes afflicted patients to insist that if just one more voyage can be planned to this small slice of the Mediterranean, we’ll all be in remission. There is no real cure in sight… yet.

Gaza Fever has now attacked thousands of us who have a passionate sense of justice.

The disease began shortly after Israel invaded Lebanon in 2006, as a group of us were in despair that the Palestinians, once again, were the forgotten symptom of Israel’s grand designs. As the world watched the defeat of Israel by a small band of guerrilla fighters in Lebanon, Israel decided it would take its wrath out on the Palestinians, specifically the Palestinians of Gaza. We watched as Israel, in January 2009, deliberately bombed 1.5 million Palestinians into abject poverty, a man-made catastrophe bordering on genocide.

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United States of Israel: No progress as US envoy wraps up Mideast visit

English (US)  May 20th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

Mitchell wraps Mideast visit after talks with Israelis, Palestinians


Israel's PM Netanyahu (R) chats with US Mideast envoy Mitchell during their meeting

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM -- There were no immediate signs of progress as U.S. envoy George Mitchell wrapped up his latest visit to the Middle East on Thursday after holding "proximity talks" with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

U.S. and Israeli officials declined to comment on three and a half hour talks between Mitchell and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the special envoy was scheduled to depart shortly after the meeting.

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BOYCOTT NEWS: Episcopal Peace Fellowship endorses BDS

English (US)  May 20th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

The National Executive Council of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship voted to endorse the enclosed statement with a vote of 8 yes, 2 no and 1 abstention.

“In response to the ongoing cycle of violence – including Palestinian terrorist bombings and the well documented military and economic violence of the government of Israel against Palestinians – that undermines negotiations and hope for an enduring peace- The NEC of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship, in support of the principles of the Kairos Palestinian Document 4.2.6. endorses the application of divestment and an economic and commercial boycott of products linked to oppression of Palestinian people and occupation of their land. As peacemakers committed to nonviolent resolution of deep-seated conflicts, the National Executive Council joins a growing number of international and religious partners, including Jewish, Muslim, and Christian voices, who believe that economic sanctions can inspire a more useful dialog and negotiation towards a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. Respect for the dignity of every human being, alongside a vision to put aside the violence of terrorism, oppression and military force is key to moving negotiations forward for a lasting peace for all involved.

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Noam Chomsky Was Not Prevented From Entering Israel

English (US)  May 18th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


Israel prevents people from entering occupied Palestinian areas. (Anne Pag/Activestills)

By Sam Husseini

Many reported that Noam Chomsky was recently stopped from entering Israel. This is false. Totally false. He was prevented from going to the Palestinian city of Ramallah by Israeli forces. This important distinction highlights among other things that Israel controls the borders into occupied Palestinian areas, a large part of the problem.

AP stated: "An Israeli official says academic and polemicist Noam Chomsky, who is a fierce critic of Israel, has been denied entry to the country". Al Jazeera English had Chomsky on and introduced the segment by saying he was "stopped from entering Israel". ABC News ran the headline "Noam Chomsky Denied Entry to Israel". Matthew Rothschild wrote: "On Sunday, the Israeli government denied Noam Chomsky entry into the country".

Some got the facts right, noting that Chomsky was denied entry into the West Bank by Israel -- but didn't highlight why or how that might be. The typical reader is likely unaware that Israel controls access to Palestinian areas, among many other aspects of everyday life that most people take for granted.

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Rocker Costello cancels Israel gig

English (US)  May 18th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

JERUSALEM — British rocker Elvis Costello has called off planned gigs in Israel, citing what he called the "intimidation" and "humiliation" of Palestinians.

The singer-songwriter is the latest music star to cancel performances in Israel after rock guitarist Carlos Santana and rap forefather Gil Scott-Heron called off their shows.

"It is after considerable contemplation that I have lately arrived at the decision that I must withdraw from the two performances scheduled in Israel on the 30th of June and the 1st of July," Costello said on his webpage.

"I must believe that the audience for the coming concerts would have contained many people who question the policies of their government on settlement and deplore conditions that visit intimidation, humiliation or much worse on Palestinian civilians in the name of national security," he said.

Israeli Sport and Culture Minister Limor Livnat lambasted Costello's decision to stay away from the Jewish state.

"An artist who boycotts his fans in Israel is not worthy of performing in front of them," Livnat said in a statement.

Some pro-Palestinian movements advocate an academic and cultural boycott of Israel to protest its occupation of Palestinian territory.

Elvis Costello's full statement:

It is after considerable contemplation that I have lately arrived at the decision that I must withdraw from the two performances scheduled in Israel on the 30th of June and the 1st of July.

One lives in hope that music is more than mere noise, filling up idle time, whether intending to elate or lament.

Then there are occasions when merely having your name added to a concert schedule may be interpreted as a political act that resonates more than anything that might be sung and it may be assumed that one has no mind for the suffering of the innocent.

I must believe that the audience for the coming concerts would have contained many people who question the policies of their government on settlement and deplore conditions that visit intimidation, humiliation or much worse on Palestinian civilians in the name of national security.

I am also keenly aware of the sensitivity of these themes in the wake of so many despicable acts of violence perpetrated in the name of liberation.

Some will regard all of this an unknowable without personal experience but if these subjects are actually too grave and complex to be addressed in a concert, then it is also quite impossible to simply look the other way.

I offer my sincere apologies for any disappointment to the advance ticket holders as well as to the organizers.

My thanks also go to the members of the Israeli media with whom I had most rewarding and illuminating conversations. They may regard these exchanges as a waste of their time but they were of great value and help to me in gaining an appreciation of the cultural scene.

I hope it is possible to understand that I am not taking this decision lightly or so I may stand beneath any banner, nor is it one in which I imagine myself to possess any unique or eternal truth.

It is a matter of instinct and conscience.

It has been necessary to dial out the falsehoods of propaganda, the double game and hysterical language of politics, the vanity and self-righteousness of public communiqués from cranks in order to eventually sift through my own conflicted thoughts.

I have come to the following conclusions.

One must at least consider any rational argument that comes before the appeal of more desperate means.

Sometimes a silence in music is better than adding to the static and so an end to it.

I cannot imagine receiving another invitation to perform in Israel, which is a matter of regret but I can imagine a better time when I would not be writing this.

With the hope for peace and understanding.

Elvis Costello

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hWsCcwapYWCePCfoGx9QpWl74hVA

Israel's Permit System

English (US)  May 17th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


Israelis harass and obstruct free movement as a Kafkaesque element of control.

By Stephen Lendman

On April 23, Arizona's racist immigration bill became law. Called "Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhood Act," it requires proof of legal entry or citizenship or face arrest, fines, jailing, and/or deportation.

Under South African apartheid, pass laws segregated blacks from whites, restricted their movements, required pass books be carried at all times, and produced on demand or face arrest and prosecution. Evolving from the 18th and 19th century until their 1986 repeal, they restricted entry to cities, forcibly relocated blacks, denied them most public amenities and many forms of employment, and became apartheid's most hated symbol.

Under Israeli military occupation, repression is worse than South Africa's. It's a sophisticated form of social, economic, political and racial discrimination, strangulation, and genocide, incorporating the worst elements of colonialism and apartheid as well as repressive dispossession, displacement and state terrorism to separate Palestinians from their land and heritage, deny them their rightful civil and human rights, and gradually remove or eliminate them altogether.

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When Your Neighbor Does Not Love You: "Intense prayer around the world is needed"

English (US)  May 17th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


'Hear my prayer, O Lord, And let my cry come to You.'

By Maria C. Khoury, Ed. D.

Here in the Holy Land, as Christians we should be in the forefront of non-violent action since one of our very basic commandments is not just to love our neighbor but love our enemy also. We know this directly from Christ who always forgave others no matter what. However, in a high conflict area like the West Bank, this is easier said than done.

It’s a struggle for Christians, Muslims and Jews to get along. First, the only Jewish people we know are the Israeli soldiers. And truly, it takes all of Christ’s love in your heart to love people who are always pointing guns at you. We are completely segregated and forbidden to go anywhere near any settlement with their extreme security of the Israeli army. Settlers can carry arms and of course Palestinians are not allowed; not that I would want to carry a gun that most likely would end up being used against me. But the first personal settler attack I have survived was as early as 1984 on one of my earlier visits to Palestine. Settler attacks are nothing new but it seems that the world does not hold Israel accountable for any of its injustices. Therefore I will keep reminding all my friends of the necessity to end Israel’s violations of international law, including ending its illegal occupation and building of settlements.

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Zionist state slaughters Palestinian elderly -- with impunity

English (US)  May 17th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


Relatives of the Palestinian victim mourn during his funeral in the north of the Gaza Strip. Reuters photo

The Israeli Army fatally shot an elderly Palestinian farmer on Saturday, claiming he had violated a combat zone by entering his farm near Gaza's border with Israel.

On Saturday, the 75-year-old, identified as Fuad Abu Matar, was "hit with several bullets fired by Israeli occupation soldiers," Muawia Hassanein, head of the Gaza Strip's emergency services was quoted by AFP as saying.

The victim's body was recovered in the Jabaliya refugee camp in the north of the coastal sliver.

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Free Gaza Movement: Israel's Intimidation Tactics Won't Stop Us: First Ship Sets Sail for Gaza!

English (US)  May 17th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

This is the website of the Free Gaza Movement, a human rights group that in August 2008 sent the first international boats to land in the port of Gaza in 41 years. We want to break the siege of Gaza. We want to raise international awareness about the prison-like closure of the Gaza Strip and pressure the international community to review its sanctions policy and end its support for continued Israeli occupation.

Written by Free Gaza Team | 15 May 2010

LONDON – 14 May 2010 – At 22:45 local time tonight, the MV Rachel Corrie, a 1200-ton cargo ship, part of the eight-vessel Freedom Flotilla, set sail from Ireland on its way to the Mediterranean Sea. There, ships from Turkey and Greece will join her, then sail to Gaza.

This past week reports from Israel have indicated that the Israeli authorities will not allow the Freedom Flotilla to reach Gaza with its cargo of much-needed reconstruction material, medical equipment, and school supplies. According to Israeli news sources, clear orders have been issued to prevent the ships from reaching Gaza, even if this necessitates military violence.

The Free Gaza Movement, which has launched eight other sea missions to Gaza, confirms that Israel has tried these kinds of threats and intimidation tactics before in order to try to stop the missions before they start.

“They have not deterred us before and will not deter us now,” said one of the organizers.

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Zionist state illegal claims authority over international waters and threatens to stop Free Gaza flotilla

English (US)  May 17th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


The Rachel Corrie, a 1200-ton cargo ship, part of the eight-vessel Freedom Flotilla, set sail from Ireland on its way to the Mediterranean Sea. There, ships from Turkey and Greece will join her, then sail to Gaza.

A senior Israeli official has warned activists planning to break a naval blockade of Gaza later this month that their flotilla of cargo ships and passenger boats will be stopped.

Naor Gilon, a deputy director general at the foreign ministry, said on Monday that the action would be a "provocation and breach of Israeli law".

An international coalition of pro-Palestinian activists aim to send eight vessels carrying 5,000 tonnes of reconstruction materials, school supplies and medical equipment to Gaza.

Representatives from six organisations, including the European Campaign to End the Siege in Gaza (EGESG), said on Monday that they were determined to enter the area regardless of pressure from Israel.

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BOYCOTT: Open letter to Joan Armatrading: Oppose Apartheid Israel as you would have opposed Apartheid South Africa!

English (US)  May 16th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

Palestinain Academic & cultural Boycott of Israel

Open Letter to Joan Armatrading

OCCUPIED RAMALLAH: The Palestinian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) is deeply troubled to learn that you are scheduled to perform in Israel on June 4th and 5th, in violation of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Call, [1] which calls on people of conscience throughout the world to isolate Israel until it ends its colonial and apartheid oppression against the Palestinian people. We urge you, as a prominent artist known for your commitment to social justice, not to perform in apartheid Israel. [2]

We call on you, as an artist who has been involved in advocacy work on women issues and refugee rights and who has expressed admiration for Nelson Mandela’s struggle against the apartheid regime in South Africa, not to turn a blind eye to apartheid in Israel. In your tribute song to Nelson Mandela, “The Messenger,” you praised the way he “fought the demons of oppression” and “freed a nation.” We hope you shall not taint your reputation now by associating yourself with the same form of oppression in Israel. As a woman of colour we are sure that you understand what it means to be racialized, silenced, to have your rights systematically denied and violated at will. For over 60 years, the indigenous Arab population of Palestine have faced the most pernicious forms of racialized oppression; hundreds of thousands have been forced out of their homes and lands, while four million continue to live under a brutal military occupation in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and a life endangering siege in Gaza, while the world has silently stood by and watched. As the global BDS movement gains ground, and as prominent artists join our struggle, most recently progressive artist Gill Scott-Heron cancelled his performance in Israel, we call on you not to ignore the realities of Israel’s policies of ethnic cleansing, colonisation and violent subjugation of the Palestinian people.

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NOAM CHOMSKY DENIED ENTRY TO ZIONIST ISRAEL

English (US)  May 16th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


American linguist Noam Chomsky was denied entry into Israel on May 16, 2010
Photo by: Bloomberg

Professor Noam Chomsky, an American linguist and left-wing activist, was denied entry into Israel on Sunday, for reasons that were not immediately clear.

Chomsky, who was scheduled to deliver a lecture at Bir Zeit University near Jerusalem, told the Right to Enter activist group by telephone that inspectors had stamped the words "denied entry" onto his passport when he tried to cross from Jordan over Allenby Bridge.

When he asked an Israeli inspector why he had not received permission, he was told that an explanation would be sent in writing to the American embassy.

Chomsky arrived at the Allenby Bridge at around 1:30 in the afternoon and was taken for questioning, before being released back to Amman at 4:30 P.M.

Interior Ministry spokeswoman Sabine Haddad said Chomsky was turned away for various reasons but declined to elaborate. The ministry was looking into allowing him to enter only the West Bank, said Haddad.

In a telephone interview with Channel 10, Chomsky said the interrogators had told him he had written things that the Israeli government did not like.

"I suggested [the interrogator try to] find any government in the world that likes anything I say," he said.

Chomsky is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is considered among the foremost academics in the world. He identifies with the radical left and is often critical of both Israeli and American policies.

Haaretz

Shin Bet Arrests Leader of Boycott Movement

English (US)  May 14th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


Amir Makhoul is leading an emerging movement inside Israel .

By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth

The recent arrest of two respected public figures from Israel's Palestinian Arab minority in night-time raids on their homes by the Shin Bet secret police -- brought to light this week when a gag order was partially lifted -- has sent shock waves through the community.

The arrests are not the first of their kind. The Shin Bet has been hounding and imprisoning politicians and intellectuals from the country’s Palestinian minority, a fifth of the population, since the birth of the Jewish state more than six decades ago. Currently, two MPs from Arab political parties, as well as the leader of the popular Islamic Movement, are facing trials.

But the detention of Amir Makhoul and Omar Sayid is seen differently -- as the gathering storm clouds in a political climate already fiercely hostile to its Palestinian citizens.

Mohammed Zeidan, the head of the Human Rights Association in Nazareth, said: “We are used to our political leaders being persecuted but now the Shin Bet is turning its sights on the leaders of Palestinian civil society in Israel, and that’s a dangerous development.”

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More settlements as talks begin

English (US)  May 14th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

Plans to build yet more illegal settlements in occupied East Jerusalem emerge on the eve of proximity talks, reports Khaled Amayreh

In yet another affront to American efforts to revive Israeli- Palestinian peace talks, the Israeli government has approved new plans to expand Jewish settlements in occupied East Jerusalem.

According to the Israeli group Peace Now, construction of 14- housing units inside Ma'aleh David, a planned housing complex inside the Ras Al-Amud neighbourhood, has been given the go- ahead. If all goes according to plan, the project will become the largest Jewish settlement development in the occupied Arab town.

Neither the Israeli government nor the town's municipal council publicly announced the plans, apparently fearing negative reactions and repercussions from Washington. Statements by Israeli officials announcing the construction of new settlements, which coincided with US Vice-President Joe Biden's visit to Israel several weeks ago, proved embarrassing to Washington and politically damaging for the Israeli government.

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Welcome to the Club: Bending the Rules for Israel

English (US)  May 12th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

By NADIA HIJAB

Israel's inexorable accession to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development country club -- is set to be confirmed this month barring last-minute hitches. Although several OECD members have doubts about Israel's qualifications both on technical grounds and lack of shared values, no state has dared publicly oppose.

Instead, public opposition has been left to a loose and unusual network of Palestinian and Jewish organizations that have been hard at work lobbying European countries, Turkey, the United States, and other members. It has also provided a rare point for common action between Palestinian official and civil society organizations.

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“The nation that oppresses another nation forges its own chains”

English (US)  May 12th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

by James M. Wall

Yitzhar Laor, writing in Ha’aretz, says the Israeli people are eager to know many things. But the one thing they do not want to know is that for 43 years they have oppressed another people.

They prefer to live in denial. To the vast majority of Israelis the “territories are far away. The Palestinians live far away,”

This is an hallucination, of course, an hallucination that can be attributed to the walls, the separation roads, the army and the TV news.

The settlers live among us. There are photographs of them, their homes are photographed. They are in the army. They are the army.

But the separation between those who are very close, who have the right to vote, weapons, rights and state financial support, and those who live at the same physical distance but must be left far away, on the other side of the walls, the fences, the roadblocks – this separation is made with the aid of the refusal to know. The denial.

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NEW INTERNATIONAL STUDY CONFIRMS TOXIC EXPERIMENTAL WEAPONS USED IN GAZA: Population risks genetic mutations

English (US)  May 12th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

Press Release from New Weapons Committee
May 11, 2010

Toxic and carcinogenic metals, able to produce genetic mutations, have been found in the tissues of people wounded in Gaza during Israeli military operations of 2006 and 2009. The research has been carried out on wounds provoked by weapons that did not leave fragments in the bodies of the victims, a peculiarity that was pointed out repeatedly by doctors in Gaza. This shows that experimental weapons, whose effects are still to be assessed, were used.

The researchers compared the quantity of 32 elements present in the tissues through ICP/MS (a type of highly sensitive mass spectrometry) . The job, carried out by laboratories of Sapienza University of Rome (Italy), Chalmer University (Sweden) and Beirut University (Lebanon), was coordinated by the New Weapons Research Group (Nwrg), an independent committee of scientists and experts based in Italy, who is studying the use of unconventional weapons and their mid-term effects on the population of after-war areas. The relevant presence of toxic and carcinogenic metals found in the wound tissues points to direct risks for survivors, but also to the possibility of environmental contamination.

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BOYCOTT NEWS: Palestinian civil society slams OECD over Israel’s accession

English (US)  May 11th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

May 10, 2010
Contact:
Ziyaad Lunat, BNC
+351 938349206,
ziyaad@bdsmovement.net

OCCUPIED PALESTINE -- Palestinian civil society represented by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), a wide coalition of the largest Palestinian mass organizations and trade unions, issued a strong condemnation of OECD’s decision today to welcome Israel as a member of the organization at its ministerial meeting to take place on May 27-28. A BNC spokesperson commented, “By accepting Israel, OECD member countries show a blatant complicity with Israeli war crimes, destroying the very foundations of international law. Rewarding Israel entrenches its impunity and dashes any realistic hope for achieving a just peace in the region.”

The OECD’s decision is the culmination of a process that began in 2007 whereby Israel had to pass a number of technical tests and implement reforms to be eligible for accession. According to the “Road Map for the accession of Israel to the OECD Convention”, it was required to demonstrate commitment to the “fundamental values” of the OECD. The BNC had released a paper showing how Israel has consistently breached these requirements, making it ineligible for accession (see: http://holdisraelaccountable.net/2010/05/05/memo ). A BNC spokesperson commented: “Officials of OECD member states are perfectly aware that Israel does not comply with any of the objective criteria put forth. Yet, they have decided to single out Israel, elevate it above all these objective criteria, reward it for its defiance of the OECD, not to mention of international law, and make the entire accession process a farce.”

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Born in Gaza

English (US)  May 11th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

Mazin Qumsiyeh and others detained, then released

English (US)  May 6th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

Former Yale professor among 4 detained in Walaja
See previous story or Maan News

From Mazin Qumsiyeh:

Thank you to all who inquired, made phone calls, and had us in his/her thoughts and prayers while we were arrested. This youtube shows our arrest as we blocked bulldozers in Al-Walaja Thursday 6 May 2010 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Bknk8DEjO0

And below is description of what happened to us.

Our ten hour ordeal with the occupation forces started at 8:30 AM as we gathered in the small village of Al-Wallaja. A tiny store with an elderly women who insisted on making me coffee and not charging me. Idyllic setting except for the heavy bulldozers now carving the hills to separate the remaining people from their lands via an apartheid wall that is planned to completely ring the village. This village that already lost much of its lands is in the unfortunate position of being near the Green line sitting on rich agricultural lands and the Israelis want the land but do not want the people that come with the land. Israeli military has already demolished homes in eth village (most were rebuilt) and fined others for building without permits (which are not issued in this village). The heroic villagers inspired so many including Internationals and Israelis to join them in their popular resistance. Earlier, I shared with you many videos of the actions. Today’s even started as we came through the woods and sat in front of the bulldozer.

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ISRAELI OCCUPATION FORCES ARREST DR. MAZIN QUMSIYEH, FOUR OTHERS OTHERS IN WALAJA VILLAGE PROTEST AGAINST APARTHEID WALL

English (US)  May 6th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


Former Yale professor among 4 detained in Walaja

BETHLEHEM - A former Yale professor was among the four detained by Israeli forces during protests against the construction of the separation wall in Al-Walaja on Thursday morning.

Witnesses said three others were lightly injured by border police, who used clubs and mace against protesters, in what witnesses said was a violent removal of the protesters from their positions around Israeli military bulldozers.

A border police spokesman confirmed that four were detained at the rally, adding that all were released a few hours after their detention.

At 2pm, sources confirmed to Ma'an that at least one of the three, former Yale professor Dr Mazen Qumsiyeh, remained in custody. Family members confirmed that he was being held at the Russian Compound in Jerusalem, and may be let out on bail later in the afternoon.

The group of protesters marched to the site of construction and sat amidst the bulldozers, refusing to leave when officers demanded they disperse.

The spokesman said that 20 "left-wing" Israelis were among the protesters, but did not confirm whether any were among those detained.

Those injured were identified by witnesses as Mahmud Al-Araj, 27, and brothers Ahmad and Mahmud Mustafa Al-Araj, 23 and 25. All three were taken to the Beit Jala Hospital for treatment, where medics described their injuries as mild.

The others detained were identified as brothers Diya and Hasan Hamdan.

MORE PICTURES AND STORY

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Zio's "hasbara" machine in full force: Uber Zio Simon Wiesenthal spends multi-million$ on pro-Zionist brochure to counter 'Anti-Israel Lies'

English (US)  May 6th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


Wiesenthal Center has produced a brochure: '2010 Top Ten Anti-Israel Lies'.

By Iqbal Jassat

As Israel reels from successive blows to its image as a 'civilized democracy' its supporters have in another desperate attempt to salvage this bruised profile come up with a rescue plan.

This time the Simon Wiesenthal Center has produced a brochure titled “2010 Top Ten Anti-Israel Lies” that they plan to distribute to millions of people worldwide.

It’s a multi-million dollar propaganda exercise that they hope will counter what they perceive to be “a worldwide frenzy of intimidation” and “threats” directed against Israel “that has backed its supporters into a corner”.

It’s an exercise that they believe will help to restore normalcy in the relations between the United States and Israel which many commentators acknowledge are severely strained and tense. They allude to this by admitting that it’s no secret that these ties reflect a new reality and not what they once were!

Apart from being a reaction to the battering that Israel has undergone in the court of public opinion especially following its horrific violations during the Gaza massacre and since then with the inhumane blockade of Gaza’s occupied people, the new propaganda blitz is also designed to equip Zionist groups with stock responses.

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On Goldstone's Bar Mitzvah and Finkelstein's Book

English (US)  May 6th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


'The times they are a-changing,' wrote Finkelstein.

By Ramzy Baroud

In his report on Gaza issued late last year, prominent South African jurist Richard Goldstone accused Israel and Hamas of committing war crimes. His language also showed awareness of the fact that the former is an occupying power with most sophisticated weapon arsenal (as reflecting in the number of Palestinian victims), and the latter is a besieged, occupied faction in a state of self-defense. Although Goldstone must have been aware of the kind of hysteria such a report would generate, he still did not allow ideological or ethnic affiliation to stand between him and his moral convictions.

Despite some initial apprehension – owing to the fact that Goldstone is a self-declared Zionist with links to Israel - many justice and peace advocates were comforted by the man’s past record. He was a former judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and former Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals of the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.

In April 2009, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) appointed Goldstone to lead the mission of investigating war crimes committed by Israel in the devastating war in Gaza between December 27, 2008 and January 18, 2009. Goldstone insisted that the mandate must also include alleged violations committed by Palestinians. At the end, he was asked to set his own mission’s mandate, a reflection of the level of trust placed in him by the UNHRC.

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Proximity Talks: Turning the Other Cheek

English (US)  May 5th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


Proximity talks should reveal the true position of Netanyahu's hawkish government.

By George S. Hishmeh – Washington DC

By choice or coincidence, Barak Obama and Mahmoud Abbas find themselves this week in the same boat, thanks to the mischief of Benjamin Netanyahu. The American and Palestinian leaders have turned the other cheek helplessly, and seemingly adopted the choice offered in the Christian doctrine which favored a non-violent response to an aggressor.

One explanation of this doctrine, among many, is that to turn the other cheek is neither humiliating nor retaliation but “rather a response of strength that says: ‘I will not seek revenge because I am stronger than that.’” True or not, we will find out in the next four months when and if these proximity talks, scheduled to start this month between the Palestinians and Israelis, are supposed to end with the launching of direct peace negotiations after a hiatus of 18 months.

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The Future of Palestine

English (US)  April 30th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


US professor says that Gaza and the West Bank will be incorporated into a 'Greater Israel,' which will be an Apartheid state similar to white-ruled South Africa [Gey]

By John J. Mearsheimer

The following is an excerpt from the The Hisham Sharabi Memorial Lecture delivered by Professor John Mearsheimer at the Palestine Center in Washington D.C. on April 29, 2010.

The Future of Palestine: Righteous Jews vs. the New Afrikaners

...There is going to be a Greater Israel between the Jordan and the Mediterranean. In fact, I would argue that it already exists. But who will live there and what kind of political system will it have?

It is not going to be a democratic bi-national state, at least in the near future. An overwhelming majority of Israel’s Jews have no interest in living in a state that would be dominated by the Palestinians. And that includes young Israeli Jews, many of whom hold clearly racist views toward the Palestinians in their midst. Furthermore, few of Israel’s supporters in the United States are interested in this outcome, at least at this point in time. Most Palestinians, of course, would accept a democratic bi-national state without hesitation if it could be achieved quickly. But that is not going to happen, although as I will argue shortly, it is likely to come to pass down the road.

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The Price of Peace

English (US)  April 28th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


Netanyahu is afraid of losing his office should he live up to international expectations.

By George S. Hishmeh – Washington

Why has the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, accepted an invitation to come to Washington shortly to discuss ways to overcome the hurdle placed by Israel before Palestinian-Israeli negotiations can resume?

The impression here is that the U.S. and Palestinian positions are not far apart on the steps that ought to be adopted by the hawkish government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before serious peace negotiations can begin. It is mind boggling, certainly for the Palestinians, to believe that if Israel is really sincere about its desire for a final settlement then why does it continue to come up with obstacles like starting new housing projects in Arab-owned areas of Jerusalem or insists that a sovereign Palestinian state should be demilitarized and accept an Israeli military base alongside the River Jordan which separates Palestine from Jordan with which Israel has a peace treaty?

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BOYCOTT NEWS: Palestinian university students commit to sweeping boycotts

English (US)  April 28th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

BETHLEHEM -- In anticipation of Nakba commemoration day next month, Palestinian student and youth groups across the West Bank and Gaza signed a memorandum enacting a massive boycott of Israeli products and programs.

The document calls for a halt to any activities that could normalize relations between Palestine and Israel.

"Economic, political, cultural and institutional normalization legitimize Israel's oppression of the Palestinian people by giving the appearance of normalcy to the relationship between oppressor and oppressed. This relationship is hardly one between equals as Israel continues to violate our inalienable rights, steal our land, and prevent refugees from our right of return in contravention of international law and numerous UN resolutions," a statement from the student groups said.

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AIPAC fundraiser held amid protest

English (US)  April 27th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

An anti-Israeli protest was held near AIPAC fundraiser meeting in Portland, Oregon on April 25, 2010. (photo courtesy of the International Middle East Media Center, http://www.imemc.org)
The most influential Israeli lobby group in the US has held a fundraising event in an Oregon city as nearby protesters held a mockery-ridden condemnation of the Israeli occupation.

The annual meeting, which rallies the contributors to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), was held in Portland on Sunday, the International Middle East Media Center reported.

Protesters gathered near the venue, putting up maquettes of the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, a checkpoint, and the apartheid wall.

AIPAC is currently under attack by the non-profit anti-lobby organization Common Cause and similar groups in the US that campaign against political contributions by powerful corporate and lobby groups. They allege that an overwhelming majority of US senators and House Representatives members receive financial contributions and important lobbying support from AIPAC.

One protester had dressed up as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, wearing a helmet marked with the Caterpillar trademark.

The US-based construction company's military bulldozers are used to destroy Palestinian homes.

The meeting was attended by Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski, other politicians, and local rabbis and leaders of Jewish organizations, who used the occasion to renew their pledge of allegiance to Israel.

The outrages highlighted by the protesters, however, remained off the meeting's agenda.

Amayreh: Six decades of dispossession

English (US)  April 23rd, 2010 by admin ( Email )

Founded on ethnic cleansing, erasing the Palestinians remains the modus operandi of the state of Israel, writes Khaled Amayreh in the West Bank

With a strange combination of self- righteousness and self-gratification, Israel this week celebrated its 62nd anniversary. Using skilfully fabricated sound bites, Israeli leaders sought to deflect blame for the lingering conflict with the Palestinians and the stalemated political process, invoking the old mantras about the Jewish homeland and the miraculous establishment of Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Israel was extending one hand towards peace while the other was holding a sword in self-defence. Meanwhile, Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders used the occasion to assert Israel's determination to continue to build settlements on occupied Palestinian land, including in occupied East Jerusalem.

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Hass: Access denied

English (US)  April 23rd, 2010 by admin ( Email )

By Amira Hass

Defining a Palestinian with a Gaza Strip address as a punishable infiltrator if he is found in the West Bank - as implied by a military order that has now gone into effect - is one more link in a chain of steps that Israel has taken, whose cumulative effect is to sever the Strip from Palestinian society as a whole.

Space limitations prevent listing more than a sampling of these measures here. But even looking at them in abridged form can serve as a reminder that one needs to analyze every regulation of the military occupation in the context of its predecessors and their implementation on the ground. Indeed, this is what the legal experts at the organization Hamoked: Center for the Defense of the Individual did when they warned against the ramifications of the new Order No. 1650 regarding Prevention of Infiltration (Amendment No. 2).

1972
The Israel Defense Forces permits Palestinians to move throughout the country (Israel, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank), by means of a "general exit permit." The hope in Israel is that economic integration will cause national aspirations to be forgotten. But the unintended result is freedom of movement for all Palestinians. For the first time since 1948, the Palestinians throughout Israel and the territories experience themselves as one people living within the same borders, under the same regime. Family ties, work ties, friendships and school ties - all are forged and renewed on both sides of the Green Line.

The general rule: The right of all Palestinians to freedom of movement is respected, aside from certain categories determined by the Israeli authorities.

1988-1989
The first intifada: A magnetic card, valid for one year, is introduced in the Gaza Strip for those who have security clearance to enter Israel. In the absence of checkpoints, it is relatively easy to get around this restriction.

1991
January 15, on the eve of the Gulf War: The general exit permit from the West Bank and Gaza Strip is cancelled. From now on individual permits are required.

Gazan students who are enrolled in studies in the West Bank do not receive permits to enter Israel, and cannot attend school. "Split" families (between the West Bank and Gaza) see each other less and less often, in the absence of permits.

The police conduct daily searches for Palestinian laborers in Israeli cities, and check whether they have valid permits for being in Israel (as the Worker's Hotline organization discovers, people are frequently considered permit violators even if they are caught in a movie theater or a cafeteria, instead of at the workplace listed on the permit. Hundreds are arrested and fined, although generally the policy is easy to circumvent. Also, the policy is not enforced in East Jerusalem, and people are convinced that there is no need for a permit to stay in their religious, cultural, and economic capital.

Peace talks are launched at the Madrid Conference.

1993
March. A "general closure" is imposed on the territories (existing permits are revoked), after which the ban on leaving without individual permits is applied more stringently in East Jerusalem (which is why to this day West Bankers erroneously say that the actual closure policy began in March 1993).

September. The Declaration of Principles between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel stipulates that both sides recognize Gaza and the West Bank as a single territorial unit.

There is intensive construction at the northern exit of the Gaza Strip, which is transformed into a checkpoint that vets thousands of people a day. It is operated by the Civil Administration and the IDF. Other crossings in the Gaza Strip are shut down.

The closure becomes a permanent reality that exists to the present. The number of travel permits Israel grants changes occasionally, but the principle remains the same: Freedom of mobility is denied to all Palestinians, except for those who fall into in a number of categories that Israel determines (laborers, businessmen, patients, collaborators, Palestinian Authority officials, etc.)

1994
May. Civil powers in Gaza are transferred from Israel to the Palestinians. A partial solution to the problem of exit permits is found: Gazans depart through the Rafah crossing, travel from there to Jordan, and enter the West Bank via the Allenby Bridge. This solution is used mainly by students and people with families in the West Bank.

1995
October. The Interim Agreement (civil powers also transferred in the West Bank ). Clause 28 of the agreement stipulates that the Palestinians have the authority to change an address on the identity card, but the change must be reported to the Civil Administration.

1996
Contrary to what is stated in the Oslo Accords, Israeli officers from the Civil Administration inform Palestinians that a change of address from Gaza to the West Bank requires Israeli authorization. Authorization is granted only to some of those who apply for a change of address, based on unknown criteria.

1997
Gazans are barred from going abroad via the Allenby Bridge or from using it to enter the West Bank, without individual permits from Israel.

1999
October. A "safe passage" between Gaza and the West Bank is introduced along one southern route.

2000
End of September. The second intifada breaks out.

The safe passage is closed.

Israel bars Gazan students from attending school in the West Bank (the ban becomes clear retroactively, several years later).

Israel puts a freeze on change of addresses from Gaza to the West Bank.

2001
Entry into the Gaza Strip of anyone who is not Gazan is reduced to a minimum (mainly in cases of deaths of first-degree relatives).

2002
For the first time, the authorities declare Gazans in the West Bank to be illegal residents. Many are deported to Gaza having been incidentally discovered during IDF raids or when crossing checkpoints.

2004
November. Army forces raid an apartment in Bir Zeit, near Ramallah, arrest and deport to Gaza four engineering students.

2005
The "disengagement." Gaza Strip crossings are declared "international" crossings.

2007
Departure from Gaza is permitted only in extreme humanitarian cases (and to those with connections in the PA).

For the first time since 1967, Israel institutes a permit giving permission to stay in the West Bank intended for Gazans in the West Bank (along the lines of the residence permit required of those who are in Israel). Many applications for the permit are declined. Thousands of Palestinians without permits are scared to go through internal West Bank checkpoints, lest they be caught and deported. They live like prisoners in their towns of residence.

2009
March. The state declares that Palestinians from Gaza are not entitled to live in the West Bank. This is done by means of a new regulation that comes to light through Hamoked petitions to the High Court of Justice. The state is willing to process applications to reside in the West Bank only for the following groups: chronically ill patients who can only be treated in the West Bank; minors under 16 with only one parent who lives in the West Bank, and who do not have a relative to look after them in the Gaza Strip; people over 65 who require nursing care and do not have a caregiver available in the Strip. All others - those who are healthy, not orphans, not solitary old people in need of nursing care - do not have the right to live in the West Bank.

2010
April. A military order goes into effect that defines anyone staying in the West Bank without a permit as an infiltrator and a punishable offender.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1164759.html

__._,_.___

Israeli "independence" vs Nakba

English (US)  April 21st, 2010 by admin ( Email )


From Mazin Qumsiyeh in Beit Sahour

The articles and images crossing my mind and my computer screen over the past two days are an amalgam of ironies. An ultra orthodox Jew who burned the flag of the Zionist state on Sunday was arrested and charged. True to the Torah ultra Orthodox Jews have traditionally called the state of Israel, founded with the aid of British bayonets and guns as an abomination and a rebellion against the will of God. But recently, the virus of Zionism has spread to infect so many Jews who even claim orthodoxy even as more and more non-Jews and Jews shed the malady. The Satmar and Neturei Karta remain loyal to the traditions of orthodoxy and the commandments of the Torah to seek Justice (see http://www.jewsnotzionists.org/ ).

Israeli officials pose in the midst of flags to be videotaped affirming Israel will control occupied Jerusalem forever (International law notwithstanding). In my hometown of Beit Sahour, settlers showed up on Monday night to party with soldiers on Palestinian lands of Ush Ghrab (see also recent story on Beit Sahour as a microcosm of Israeli colonization http://www.electronicintifada.net/v2/article11216.shtml ). To celebrate “independence day”, Israeli settlers uprooted 250 olive trees in Qarout village near Nablus and Israeli authorities handed down a few orders for home demolitions (e.g. see http://www.imemc.org/article/58473 ). The soldiers were everywhere; some were drunk with Alcohol or power or both.

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Israel's Stooges Battle for British Votes

English (US)  April 20th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

It is immoral to force negotiations without first establishing a level playing field and ensuring both sides are compliant with international law. The international community has shirked this responsibility for decades, not because the peoples of the community of nations lack the will but because their leaders are gutless and corrupt.


In the UK the Foreign Office has been under Zionist influence for decades.

By Stuart Littlewood - London

We can already see how disastrously the US election turned out, not just for Americans but the rest of us also. "The US president is simply the voice of the Zionist parasite," writes a friend in Norway. "It is sickening and frightening that Obama is seen toeing the Zionist line.

"Zionism has the US administration and other western governments by the balls."

Well, that's certainly the way it looks. Last month Israel's prime minister Netanyahu slapped America in the face by approving more illegal settlements during vice-president Joe Biden's visit. What did Secretary of State Hillary Clinton do? She repeated the pathetic mantra: "We have an absolute commitment to Israel's security. We have a close unshakeable bond between the United States and Israel and between the American and Israeli people".

Clinton completed her surrender to the Israeli terror machine by sharing the AIPAC Conference platform with a triumphant Netanyahu.

Whereupon over half of America's lawmakers topped Clinton's performance by signing a letter committing to the US's "unbreakable" bond with the racist regime.

Nine months earlier, speaking in a BBC interview, Obama said he believed the US was "able to get serious negotiations back on track" between Israel and the Palestinians. And when asked about Israel's defiance when called on to halt construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, he urged patience. "Diplomacy is always a matter of a long hard slog. It's never a matter of quick results."

The fact is, diplomacy doesn't work with the Israelis. Everyone knows the problem: Israel's contempt for international law and UN resolutions. And now we see Obama's contempt too. In this wobbly leader's mind Israel is somehow exempt from the laws, conventions, codes of conduct and respect for the rights of others that apply to everyone else in the civilised world.

Forcing Negotiations is Immoral

And Obama should know better than to keep harping on about peace negotiations. It is absurd to put a weak party and a strong party together and expect fair results when the strong party is in permanent occupation and has its military boot on the weak party's neck.

It is immoral to expect the weak party to negotiate while the strong party is in flagrant breach of international law, commits acts of piracy, maintains a crippling blockade, carries out daily air strikes on civilians and continues to steal the weak party's land and resources.

It is immoral for sponsors of negotiations to be so partisan as to refuse to recognize the democratically elected representatives of the weak party or its right to self-determination and territorial integrity.

It is immoral to force negotiations without first establishing a level playing field and ensuring both sides are compliant with international law. The international community has shirked this responsibility for decades, not because the peoples of the community of nations lack the will but because their leaders are gutless and corrupt.

Then there's the scandal of the US government's aid to Israel which runs at nearly $3 billion annually and totals well over $100 billion since 1949. The money helps pay for Israel's costly occupation of Palestinian territory, its F-16s, helicopter gun-ships, tanks, ordnance, Caterpillar bulldozers, and all the other tools of military oppression and territorial grand theft.

Israel gets more billions in indirect aid - military support, loan write-offs, rich technology transfers and special grants. Before George W Bush left office he agreed an assistance package of $30 billion over the next ten years.

So the US taxpayer has been cheerfully funding Israeli operations to destroy Palestinian infrastructure (which in many cases has been paid for by British, EU and - yes - US taxpayers) and bring the whole civil society to its knees.

Most of this aid violates US laws that stipulate US-supplied weapons can only be used for "legitimate self-defense" and military assistance is prohibited to any country that engages in "a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights". Military assistance is also banned to any government that refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or allow inspection of its nuclear facilities. But thanks to the "unbreakable" bond with Israel these inconvenient laws might as well not exist.

Israelis fiercely attack any attempt to 'de-legitimise' their ill-gotten gains while more and more people argue that the state of Israel had no legitimacy in the first place. Nevertheless the Zionist menace now has nuclear fangs and the capability to target most European cities… and, as we have seen, has no sense of restraint whatever.

Gee, thanks, America. Before you go accepting any more peace prizes, Obama, how about bringing to heel this monster the US has been nurturing?

Israel's 'Voices' Compete for British Vote

Here in Britain we have our own version of AIPAC. The Foreign Office has been under Zionist influence for decades. Our most important security bodies - the Intelligence & Security Committee, the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Defence Committee - are headed by Israel flag-wavers. They have embedded themselves in nearly ever nook and cranny of parliamentary life.

Right now these stooges are battling for our votes in a general election.

Before the election campaign the main parties, Labour and the Conservatives, were so wedded to the Zionist cause that both wished to change our laws to protect Israeli leaders from arrest on war crimes charges and provide them with a safe haven in Britain.

Now they keep very quiet about their pro-Israel antics, no doubt hoping the question won't be brought under the public spotlight or need explaining.

Labour has been in power 13 years and is now under Blair's successor Gordon Brown, a Zionist sympathizer and patron of the Jewish National Fund. The party's 115-page manifesto barely mentions the fate of the Holy Land except to say: "We support the creation of a viable Palestinian state that can live alongside a secure Israel." Note that it's a secure Israel but only a viable Palestine. Israel must remain comfortably secure while continuing its ethnic cleansing and thieving.

The Conservative Party is favourite to win the election - or was until its leader, David "I'm-a-Zionist" Cameron, flunked a televised leaders' debate. Cameron too is a dutiful patron of the JNF. His party's 118-page manifesto says nothing about Britain's responsibility towards the Palestinians apart from promising support for a two state solution to the Middle East Peace Process. That's all, full stop.

80% of Conservative MPs and MEPs, it is claimed, are passionate admirers of racist Israel. But they don't shout it from the rooftops at election time. No, they are furtive because they know deep down that it is a grubby, indefensible position and the public would react with revulsion if the party's allegiance to a foreign military power that makes war of Christian communities was exposed in the mainstream media.

Sad to say, then, there is no sign of Labour or the Conservatives deviating from the path of betrayal.

Thankfully a third party, the Liberal Democrats, is emerging strongly. Its leader, Nick Clegg, is no rabid Zionist though readers will remember he recently sacked Baroness Jenny Tonge to appease the Israel lobby. However, the Liberal Democrats at least believe Britain and the EU must put pressure on Israel and Egypt to end the blockade of Gaza and talk of borders "which are secure and based on the situation before the 1967 conflict".

This party looks less corruptible than the others and less likely to worship at the altar of Zionism. Not being considered serious contenders till now, Clegg and his team probably haven't been groomed by the US administration's spivs and pimps. So we can expect big efforts to discredit them in the days ahead.

In my simple way I see a glimmer of hope here.

When a proper history comes to be written, Americans will struggle to explain how the most powerful nation on earth was so easily conned and mugged for countless billions of tax dollars to finance the ambitions of a bunch of extremists bent on defiling the Holy Land and spreading their tentacles into every crevice of the western world.

The British also will have some explaining to do.

- Stuart Littlewood is author of the book Radio Free Palestine, which tells the plight of the Palestinians under occupation. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. Contact him at: www.radiofreepalestine.co.uk
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New York Airport 'Blind' to El Al Racial Profiling

English (US)  April 20th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


JFK airport refused to answer questions about discriminatory treatment of Arabs.

By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth

Two Israeli Arab brothers have won $8,000 in damages from Israel's national carrier, El Al, after a court found that their treatment by the company’s security staff at a New York airport had been 'abusive and unnecessary'.

Abdel Wahab and Abdel Aziz Shalabi were assigned a female security guard who watched over them at the airport’s departure gate for nearly two hours, in full view of hundreds of fellow passengers, after they had passed the security and baggage checks.

Later, El Al’s head of security threatened to bar Abdel Wahab, 43, from the flight if he did not apologise to the guard for going to the toilet without first getting her approval. Abdel Aziz said he had been humiliated and “cried like I’ve never cried before in public”.

Although surveys of Arab citizens, who comprise one-fifth of Israel’s population, show that most have suffered degrading treatment when flying with Israeli carriers, few bring cases to the Israeli courts.

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Builder Bibi says East Jerusalem demands -- i.e. abiding by international law -- 'prevent peace'

English (US)  April 20th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


Flickr / World Economic Forum (CC-BY-SA)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he will not accept demands that Israel stop building in occupied East Jerusalem.

Demands to halt building in the part of the city that Palestinians want as the capital of their future capital "prevented peace", he told ABC news.

The comments by Israel's prime minister come just days after the US pressed Israel to do more to pursue peace.

Relations have been strained between the two allies recently, reports say.

Israel has occupied East Jerusalem since 1967. It annexed the area in 1981 and sees it as its exclusive domain. Under international law the area is occupied territory. Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state.

=> Read more!

Global Peace and Justice Groups Threaten Israel's Legitimacy

English (US)  April 19th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


Human rights activists protest in Tanzania, January 2, 2009.

By Stephen Lendman

Working pro bono for Israeli government agencies, the Tel Aviv-based Reut Institute (RI) provides "real-time strategic decision-making" support in areas of national security and socioeconomic policy.

Saying global peace and justice groups threaten Israel's legitimacy, its recent series of articles, policy papers, and presentations counterattacked - a combination of damage control and rethink despite legitimate criticism showing Israel delegitimizes itself, and no amount of policy paper makeover will change it. Only Israel can do that, but in its 62 year existence never tried.

In a January 28 brief, RI said Israel:

"face(s) a dramatic assault on the very legitimacy of its existence as a Jewish and democratic state. While the ideological framework for this delegitimacy was solidified after the first Durban" World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, "the trend (got) a boost by the perceived lack of (political) progress, coupled with Operation Cast Lead in Gaza," followed by the damning Goldstone Report.

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Israel's manufactured outrage over a presidential palace

English (US)  April 19th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


Israel has gone out of its way in recent months to goad the Palestinians into confrontation. (Anne Paq/ActiveStills)

By Stephen Maher, The Electronic Intifada, 15 April 2010

The headlines were ablaze last week after the Palestinian Authority (PA) announced that it would build the new presidential compound on a street named after Yahya Ayyash. Ayyash, whose nickname was "The Engineer," was a Hamas military commander who orchestrated several attacks against Israeli civilian targets in the mid-1990s in response to the 1994 massacre of Palestinian worshipers at Hebron's Ibrahimi mosque by an Israeli-American settler named Baruch Goldstein. In 1996, Ayyash was assassinated by Israel in Gaza City.

"This is a shocking incitement to terrorism by the Palestinian Authority," boomed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a statement. "Arch-terrorist Ayyash," as Netanyahu called him, had "murdered hundreds of innocent Israeli men, women and children," and so building the presidential compound on this street was an act of "wild incitement by the Palestinians for terror and against peace." The United States reacted with strong support for the Israeli position. "Honoring terrorists who have murdered innocent civilians, either by official statements or by the dedication of public places, hurts peace efforts and must end," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said.

The hysterical reaction of the Israeli government, and US support for it, is hardly surprising. Of note however is the double-standard exhibited by Israel and its patron, the US. The assumption throughout is that Israel's actions are just, defensive and in pursuit of peace for all. Conversely, Palestinian actions are aggressive and evil, and worthy of worldwide condemnation. The strength of this narrative allows the US and Israeli governments to make the construction of a new government building on a street whose name Israel disproves of into a major incident, worthy of outrage and international condemnation, while grotesque Israeli crimes and far more flagrant provocations go unquestioned.

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Palestinians mark Prisoners Day

English (US)  April 17th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


Marwan Barghouti, seen by some as a Palestinian Nelson Mandela, is a political leader who has been held by Israeli military since 2002 [Getty]

By Bilal Randeree

More than 7,000 Palestinians, including 270 who are under the age of 18, are currently held in Israeli prisons, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said in a statement released to coincide with Prisoners Day, which Palestinians mark on Saturday.

Three of the prisoners have been in jail for more than 30 years, and 315 for more than 15 years, PCBS said in the statement.

It is estimated that around 9,000 Palestinians are detained every year by Israel for either armed resistance or acts of civil disobedience. According to Human Rights groups, up to 700 teenagers and children were detained last year alone.

Three hundred Palestinians, who are under the age of 18, are currently held in Israeli prisons.

--6,155 prisoners are from the occupied West Bank
--400 prisoners are from within Israel and occupied East Jerusalem
--745 are from the Gaza Strip
--33 of the prisoners are women
--300 of the prisoners are under the age of 18 years
--296 are under administrative detention

Young Palestinians in Israeli jails tend to have symptoms of post-traumatic stress syndrome

--800 of these prisoners face life imprisonment
--570 have been sentenced for 50 years
--460 have spent between 10-15 years of their 50-year sentences
--110 have spent more than 20 years in prisons
--13 have spent more than 25 years in prisons
--3 prisoners have spent more than 30 years in prison
--1 prisoner, Nael al-Barghouthi, has spent more than 32 years in prison
--720 prisoners are currently serving between 10 and 50 years
--40 prisoners have been sentenced for 20 years
--130 prisoners have been sentenced for 15 years
--245 prisoners have been sentenced for more than 10 years
--325 prisoners have been in prison from before the signing of the Oslo agreement
--555 prisoners were imprisoned prior to al-Aqsa intifada of September 2000,
--2,000 sick persons are in prison, of which
--160 have permanent medical conditions, and
--16 have fatal medical conditions including cancer,

1 Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, is being held by Hamas.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

Israel resorts to more Gestapo-like measures in W. Bank

English (US)  April 13th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

By Khalid Amayreh in al-Khalil (Hebron) in West Bank

The Israeli occupation army has introduced a set of draconian measures in the West Bank aimed at uprooting more Palestinians from their ancestral homeland as well as suppressing prospective Palestinian protests against the enduring Israeli military occupation and apartheid.

The new measures are meant to enable the Israeli military occupation authorities to deport, or expel, thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank, or indict them on serious but concocted charges carrying prison terms of up to seven years.

The measures are also seen as part of an Israeli policy aimed at forcing the PA to succumb to Israeli bullying and coercion tactics and return to futile peace talks mediated by the Americans.

Palestinian officials in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip label the new measures “manifestly criminal” and “constituting a war crime.”

=> Read more!

The Jenin Refugee Camp Massacre of 2002: 'Horrific beyond Belief'

English (US)  April 13th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

By Hanan Awarekeh

13/04/2010

“They were warned by loudspeaker to get out of the house before I come, BUT I GAVE NO ONE A CHANCE. I didn’t wait. I didn’t give one blow, and wait for them to come out. I would just ram the house with full power, to bring it down as fast as possible. I wanted to get to the other houses. To get as many as possible, I didn’t give a damn about the Palestinians, but I didn’t just ruin with no reason. It was all under orders.”

Fortified by an arsenal of alcohol, Israeli occupation army bulldozer driver Moshe Nissim did enjoy his work by killing hundreds of Palestinian children, women and unarmed men in the Jenin camp. First published in the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot and since reprinted on the website of the Israeli peace group Gush Shalom, his testimony gives a version of the barbarian and inhumane massacre that took place on April 13, 2002.

“I found joy with every house that came down, because I knew they didn’t mind dying, but they cared for their homes. If you knocked down a house, you buried 40 or 50 people for generations. If I am sorry for anything, it is for not tearing the whole camp down,” he says.

Nissim’s army unit received a military commendation for its efforts in killing Palestinians in Jenin.

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Mossad Operation Threatened Against Reporter

English (US)  April 13th, 2010 by admin ( Email )


Mossad threaten s to treat whistleblowing Israeli journalist as "Fugitive Felon"

By JONATHAN COOK

Counterpunch
April 13, 2010

An Israeli journalist who went into hiding after writing a series of reports showing lawbreaking approved by Israeli army commanders faces a lengthy jail term for espionage if caught, as Israeli security services warned at the weekend they would “remove the gloves” to track him down.

The Shin Bet, Israel’s secret police, said it was treating Uri Blau, a reporter with the liberal Haaretz daily newspaper who has gone underground in London, as a “fugitive felon” and that a warrant for his arrest had been issued.

Options being considered are an extradition request to the British authorities or, if that fails, a secret operation by Mossad, Israel’s spy agency, to smuggle him back, according to Maariv, a right-wing newspaper.

It was revealed yesterday that Mr Blau’s informant, Anat Kamm, 23, a former conscript soldier who copied hundreds of classified documents during her military service, had confessed shortly after her arrest in December to doing so to expose “war crimes”

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Latest discriminatory scheme from "the only democracy in the Middle East": Israeli Occupation Forces issue order to allow massive ethnic cleansing of West Bank

English (US)  April 11th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

IDF order will enable mass deportation from West Bank

By Amira Hass
Haaretz

A new military order aimed at preventing infiltration will come into force this week, enabling the deportation of tens of thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank, or their indictment on charges carrying prison terms of up to seven years.

When the order comes into effect, tens of thousands of Palestinians will automatically become criminal offenders liable to be severely punished.

Given the security authorities' actions over the past decade, the first Palestinians likely to be targeted under the new rules will be those whose ID cards bear home addresses in the Gaza Strip - people born in Gaza and their West Bank-born children - or those born in the West Bank or abroad who for various reasons lost their residency status. Also likely to be targeted are foreign-born spouses of Palestinians.

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Whistleblower case exposes the dark underbelly of Israel's security state

English (US)  April 10th, 2010 by admin ( Email )

By JONATHAN COOK

What is misleadingly being called in Israel the “Anat Kamm espionage affair” is quickly revealing the dark underbelly of a nation that has worshipped for decades at the altar of a security state.

Next week 23-year-old Kamm is due to stand trial for her life — or rather the state’s demand that she serve a life sentence for passing secret documents to an Israeli reporter, Uri Blau, of the liberal Haaretz daily. She is charged with spying.

Blau himself is in hiding in London, facing, if not a Mossad hit squad, at least the stringent efforts of Israel’s security services to get him back to Israel over the opposition of his editors, who fear he will be put away too.

This episode has been dragging on behind the scenes for months, since at least December, when Kamm was placed under house arrest pending the trial.

=> Read more!

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