IN PHOTOS ~~ SILENCING THE SONGS AND DANCE OF APARTHEID

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Anti-Apartheid Dance and Songs Meet Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company in Protest at Brooklyn Academy of Music

On busy Lafayette Avenue outside Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), 80 New Yorkers gathered last night to dance and sing in protest of Batsheva Dance Company’s performances in BAM’s 2014 Next Wave Festival (photos). Batsheva’s appearance is part of the “Brand Israel” initiativedesigned to distract from the facts of Israel’s ongoing occupation and colonization of Palestinian land, and its denial of rights to Palestinians the world over. The demonstration was organized by Adalah-NY and endorsed by 15 other local human rights organizations including the BDS Arts Coalition, Brooklyn For Peace, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, and the Ya-Ya Network.

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs touts Batsheva as “perhaps the best known global ambassador of Israeli culture.” Batsheva is funded in part by that government office as well as by the Ministry of Culture and Sports. While Batsheva artistic director Ohad Naharin has criticized Israeli abuses of Palestinians, Batsheva Dance Company continues in its role as a prominent cultural ambassador of the Israeli state.

The demonstration began with a dabke (traditional Palestinian dance) lesson led by Adalah-NY member Riham Barghouti, with musical accompaniment by the Rude Mechanical Orchestra followed by songs from Dave Lippman. Chants highlighted the disconnect between the Batsheva dancers’ virtuosity and their company’s political role, including, “Their range of motion cannot hide / Their support for apartheid” and “Batsheva gets no ovation / Ambassador for occupation!”

Protester Carlos Pareja, an independent media maker, said, “I support drawing attention to the abuses against the Palestinian people. We can’t have only the ‘nice’ face of Israel, which is what we often see here.” Barghouti echoed that point, telling the crowd, “Today, only a few months after the most brutal of all Israeli attacks against the Gaza Strip—which killed over 2100 Palestinians including 500 children and leveled whole neighborhoods, leading Amnesty International and others to accuse Israel of war crimes—yet again BAM has invited the Israeli dance company Batsheva to whitewash Israel’s crimes.”

Interactions with Brooklynites were mostly positive, as curious people tookflyers and asked questions about the activities. Passersby and BAM ticket holders alike stood and watched the high-energy Freedom Debka Group and the Columbia Palestinian Dabke Brigade, two Palestinian dance troupes. The protest ended with two moving dances by Cetiliztli Nauhcampa Quetzalcoatl, a Mexica danza group, who offered “dance and prayers for dignity and solidarity” with Palestinians during their performance. Dancer Karen Lopez explained afterward, “We are indigenous people who have been displaced and seen our traditions threatened with destruction. We are always there in solidarity and resistance with other displaced peoples, including Palestinians.”

Wednesday night’s protest is part of the global movement of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law. The Palestinian civil society call for BDS includes boycotting Israeli academic and cultural institutions complicit in Israel’s denial of Palestinian rights. Adalah-NY is also organizing a protest next Tuesday, November 18, at the concert of the Touré-Raichel Collective, which features another premiere Israeli “cultural ambassador,” musician Idan Raichel.

More photos from the protest can be found here.

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Commentary by Adalah-NY

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ZION CONDEMNS AS WE APPLAUD THOSE WHO BOYCOTT

In this music video Roger Waters covers the civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome” in support of the Palestinian people

Roger Waters has been the ‘leader of the pack’ of those international Artists who refuse to support the occupation in any way by performing in Israel. The ‘pack’ is growing daily as the occupation intensifies its policies against the people of Palestine. zion wants this to go away ….. but it won’t until the occupation ends COMPLETELY!

Today zion condemns the latest addition to the group, Peter Gabriel. As they condemn him, we applaud him for his stance!

Here is what they had to say about him …. (Also see THIS report)

Musician Peter Gabriel: I’m Not Anti-Israel, I’m Anti-Occupation

Singer-songwriter Peter Gabriel contributes songs to Gaza aid album, says he against “injustice and occupation”.
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Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel Reuters

Singer-songwriter Peter Gabriel says he is not anti-Israel, but that he is “against occupation”.

Gabriel, who originally rose to fame with the band Genesis, contributed songs to a new compilation album titled “2 Unite All”, proceeds from which go to humanitarian organizations aiding Palestinian Arabs in Gaza, reportsi24news.

“I am certain that Israelis and Palestinians will both benefit from a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders,” Gabriel said in a statement quoted by i24news. “We have watched Palestinians suffer for too long, especially in Gaza.”

He added, “I am not, and never was, anti-Israeli or anti-Semitic, but I oppose the policy of the Israeli government, oppose injustice and oppose the occupation… I am proud to be one of the voices asking the Israeli government: ‘Where is the two-state solution that you wanted so much?’ and clearly say that enough is enough.”

i24news noted that other musicians featured on the album include politically outspoken alternative metal musician Serj Tankian, most famous for his work as frontman of System of a Down, who contributed a song titled “Spinning Mysteries at the Sacred Grove”, which features Police drummer Steward Copeland.

The album also features former The Cure guitarist Porl Thompson and Def Leppard drummer, Rick Allen, known for continuing to play drums despite losing one of his arms in an automobile accident.

Several musicians in recent years have expressed their support for Palestinian Arabs while expressing anti-Israel sentiments.

The most notable among these is perhaps Roger Waters, who has in the past compared Israel to Nazi Germany, saying in an interview, “The situation in Israel/Palestine, with the occupation, the ethnic cleansing and the systematic racist apartheid Israeli regime is unacceptable.”

He previously released a giant balloon pig bearing the Star of David during a concert in Belgium. Concert-goers said the Jewish star was among several symbols representing various corporations and fascist movements.

On the flip side, many musicians have ignored calls by pro-Palestinian groups to cancel concerts in Israel and have expressed their support of the Jewish state.

Last year, popular rhythm and blues artist Alicia Keys refused to cave in to pressure by anti-Israel activists and gave a sold out concert in Tel Aviv.

Keys announced that she had decided to go ahead with her concert in Tel Aviv despite calls from a number of anti-Israel activists to boycott the Jewish state.

The pop duo Pet Shop Boys also rejected calls from pro-Arab activists to cancel a Tel Aviv concert. The concert went ahead as scheduled on June 23 of last year.

BRAVO PETER!

And here is a poem written and performed by our very own Remi Kanazi …

THIS DIVESTMENT BILL HURTS MY FEELINGS

And here’s what YOU in New York can do to help …

There is no Art in Apartheid. Boycott Batsheva!
Wednesday, November 12, 6:30 – 8 pm
Brooklyn Academy of Music
Spread the word on Facebook!
Subway:
2, 3, 4, 5, B, Q, N, R, D to Atlantic Ave/Barclays Center
C to Lafayette Avenue
G to Fulton Street

Join us in front of the Brooklyn Academy of Music to protest the Batsheva Dance Company. There will be dance performances and a free dabke class. Help us show BAM, Batsheva and their audience that it’s time to dance against apartheid – not around it!

Why are we protesting? Batsheva is funded in part by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Culture and Sports. Let’s not let the ‘Brand Israel’ campaign use dance to whitewash Israel’s occupation, colonization, and apartheid system.

And save the date…

Protest Idan Raichel’s performance at Symphony Space
Tuesday, November 18, 6:30-8pm
Symphony Space (Broadway and West 95th St.)
Spread the word on Facebook!
Subway:
1, 2, or 3 trains to 96th Street.

Please join Adalah-NY for a demonstration against a performance by the Touré-Raichel Collective, featuring Israel’s premiere “cultural ambassador” Idan Raichel. We’ll show what art for a cause really looks like, with dance (performed by the Columbia Palestinian Dabke Brigade), poetry, and protest music. Applaud for art, not apartheid!

Why are we protesting? Idan Raichel describes his role as an artist in terms of uncritical support for the Israeli military and government. Before, during, and after this summer’s horrific assault on Gaza, Raichel provided morale-building entertainment to the troops involved. His collaborations with diverse artists such as Vieux Farka Touré attempt to cover up Israel’s egregious abuses of human rights – whether Palestinians or African asylum-seekers – with a veneer of multicultural music.

If you have not already signed our letter to the World Music Institute asking them to drop Idan Raichel, we urge you to do so now!

AMERICAN LABOUR BLOCKS THE BOATS FOR PALESTINE

Block the Boat for Gaza on 16 August CREDIT: Henry Norr

Block the Boat for Gaza on 16 August CREDIT: Henry Norr

This August, during five days and four nights of demonstrations at the Port of Oakland, a diverse group of pro-Palestine and social justice activists under the banner of the Block the Boat coalition picketed several berths where the Israeli cargo ship Zim Piraeus attempted to dock. Activists returned to the port whenever workers were dispatched to unload it—in some cases in the middle of the night. Their numbers, which fluctuated between dozens and thousands, were not always sufficient to physically block all entrances to the vessel. Yet the action succeeded due to the support of Oakland’s longshoremen, members of the International Longshore Workers Union (ILWU) Local 10, who refused to cross the community picket lines. Even when police surrounded and split protestors on multiple occasions, workers refused to proceed and unload the ship. The ship eventually left port, unable to unload most of its cargo.

A BIG Thank You from Palestine

A BIG Thank You from Palestine

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Unionizing solidarity with Palestine: Support grows for BDS among grassroots labor movement

Alborz Gandanhari, David McCleary, Kumars Salehi and Tory Webster *

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“We, representatives of Palestinian civil society, call upon international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel.” This call for solidarity was issued in July 2005 by hundreds of Palestinian organizations, including all major trade unions. Systematic land confiscation, mass incarceration, house demolition, and routine attacks that leave hundreds of civilians dead have become part and parcel of daily life in Israel-occupied Palestine. The US-sponsored “peace talks” merely readjusted Israel’s occupation strategy: instead of deploying its army inside Palestinian cities and towns, Israel now surrounds them with checkpoints and walls; hinders Palestinians’ ability to work, study, and travel; and ensures that Palestine remains economically dependent on Israel. Recognizing that Israel has used negotiations to normalize and sustain the occupation, Palestinian civil society adopted the non-violent strategy of Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) against its oppressor.

Compared to its international counterparts, the U.S. labor movement has been slow to embrace BDS. Michael Letwin, co-founder of the solidarity group Labor for Palestine, suggests this is the product of the American labor movement’s historical and continuing institutional support for Israel. The major US trade unions, Letwin says, have hundreds of millions of dollars in pension funds that are invested in Israel. Senior union leaders, in fear of alienating the Democratic Party and other political allies, frequently denounce BDS and criticize their counterparts around the world who support it.

On the grassroots level, however, things look different. This summer, hundreds of US labor leaders and organizers signed on to Labor for Palestine’s BDS statement. To add to these inspiring developments, on December 4th, UAW 2865, a union that represents 13,000 student workers across nine University of California campuses, will become the first U.S. union to hold a membership vote on joining the BDS movement. Similarly encouraging are recent solidarity actions in the San Francisco Bay Area, which show that, despite the ambivalence among some union leadership, rank-and-filers do not hesitate to stand in solidarity with the oppressed.

This August, during five days and four nights of demonstrations at the Port of Oakland, a diverse group of pro-Palestine and social justice activists under the banner of the Block the Boat coalition picketed several berths where the Israeli cargo ship Zim Piraeus attempted to dock. Activists returned to the port whenever workers were dispatched to unload it—in some cases in the middle of the night. Their numbers, which fluctuated between dozens and thousands, were not always sufficient to physically block all entrances to the vessel. Yet the action succeeded due to the support of Oakland’s longshoremen, members of the International Longshore Workers Union (ILWU) Local 10, who refused to cross the community picket lines. Even when police surrounded and split protestors on multiple occasions, workers refused to proceed and unload the ship. The ship eventually left port, unable to unload most of its cargo.

Israel’s massacre of more than 2,000 Palestinians this summer enraged Samantha Levens, an ILWU marine division rank-and-file member. Upon hearing that community members were organizing to block the Israeli liner, she prepared information fliers and distributed them to the longshoremen. “We weren’t saying ‘don’t handle the cargo,’” Levens says. “We were just giving information about the issue: what happened during the South African apartheid, the history of ILWU honoring community picket lines, and the position of international unions on the situation in Gaza.” The longshoremen’s reaction was positive. Even on the third and fourth days of picketing, she says, when members were eager to go back to work, “I mostly saw people becoming more supportive.”

Lifelong longshoreman, ILWU member, and activist Clarence Thomas explains: “I can’t be silent on these issues. I’m sure that there are longshoremen in Gaza who haven’t been doing work in decades. Isn’t it ironic that ships can go as they please into ports in Israel, but can’t come into Gaza?” Solidarity, Thomas says, is a key value in labor activism: “Politics is one thing, but the aspiration and the communality of the working class is something else,” he says, citing numerous solidarity actions ILWU has taken since the 1930s against oppressive regimes throughout the world. “As an African American man, I don’t have any difficulty relating to the plight of the Palestinian people,” he says. “I know what it means to be racially profiled and to be targeted by a militarized police. I’ve been pulled over many times. I had police guns pointed at me. I understand this phenomenon.”

The strong parallels between state and racial oppression in Palestine and the US, respectively, are at the foundation of ILWU Local 10’s policy of not crossing community picket lines. “We will not work under armed police escort—not with our experience with the police in this community,” said Local 10 president Melvin MacKay, referring to the police’s violent dispersal of anti-Iraq war pickets in 2003. “This action was always about building worker-community solidarity,” assesses Reem Assil, one of the organizers of the port actions. “We hope to use it as an impetus for us to deepen work in educating workers about the issue and connecting it to their personal conditions.”

Following the successful pickets in August, a second ship, the Zim Shanghai, again encountered community picket lines when it docked at the Port of Oakland on October 25. Once again, ILWU longshoremen stood down. As the first shifts to unload the Zim Shanghai were being met with pickets, all but one longshoremen refused to even take a job working the ship. The Shanghai left port without loading or unloading any cargo, thanks to the decision of ILWU rank-and-file members to once more respect a community picket line. When the Zim Beijing, a third ship scheduled to unload at the Port of Oakland, faced similar plans by the Block The Boat coalition in October, the ship diverted to avoid another humiliating defeat at the hands of a determined coalition of social justice activists and rank-and-file union members. With Block the Boat actions now spreading to other ports, it’s difficult to see how Israel will weather the growing storm of BDS.

Palestine solidarity is gaining traction among academic workers too. This July, UAW Local 2865, which represents over 13,000 University of California student workers, took an important step towards joining the international BDS movement. In a public letter posted on the union’s website, the UAW 2865 Joint Council (which includes 83 elected officers) declared its commitment “to support our Palestinian counterparts.” The joint council pledged to bring a comprehensive BDS proposal to a general membership vote this year, a proposal that would include a call for academic boycott of institutions profiting from Israeli occupation and human rights abuses. In addition to soliciting its members’ commitment to cut contact with such institutions, the union would also call on the UC system and UAW International to divest from companies complicit in the occupation.

This endorsement comes as no surprise: in the past few years, UAW 2865 has joined numerous struggles against oppression, including Occupy protests, UC student protests against fee-hikes, and last year’s strike by UC custodians. Recently, it negotiated unprecedented protections for its undocumented immigrant members, queer and trans members, parents, and others.

In the midst of Israel’s bombing of Gaza, the union’s social justice committee carefully worded the call for BDS, outlining in detail the different dimensions of the Israeli occupation. They cited Israel’s refusal to recognize Palestinian refugees’ rights as indigenous people (specifically, their right to return to their land), the system of apartheid that Israel enforces in the West Bank and Gaza, and the second-class status of Israel’s Palestinian citizens. The letter also mentions the connection between Israel’s military industry and ethnic cleansing, the suppression of popular movements, and the oppression and criminalization of people all over the world. Concluding by quoting Desmond Tutu’s “hope for a time when there are universal rights for all humans regardless of ethnicity, gender, or national, origin,” the letter emphasizes that BDS does not target the Jewish people but instead targets Israel as “a colonial-apartheid state.” The letter further highlights the unequivocal support BDS receives from Jewish organizations such as Jewish Voice for Peace and the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network. In fact, a few days after the letter’s publication, more than forty current and former Jewish UAW 2865 members publicly endorsed this BDS call.

The date for the general UAW 2865 membership vote has been set for December 4th. The official ballot language adopted by the Joint Council includes a single yes or no vote on whether the union should call on the US government to end military aid to Israel, and call on the University of California and UAW International to “divest…from Israeli state institutions and international companies complicit in severe and ongoing human rights violations as part of the Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people”. The ballot also includes a checkbox where members can pledge to refuse to “take part in any research, conferences, events, exchange programs, or other activities that are sponsored by Israeli universities complicit in the occupation of Palestine and the settler-colonial policies of the state of Israel”. The Joint Council also adopted several documents to educate members about the issues and explain the rationale for the vote; these include a BDS FAQ page, an academic boycott fact sheet, and a labor movement statement.

As in other social justice struggles, mobilization for BDS concerns not just Palestinian rights, but also the right of workers to act and express themselves politically. Purporting to represent UC Jewish students, several Zionist organizations have petitioned UC President Janet Napolitano, alleging that the Joint Council’s solidarity with Palestine creates “a hostile anti-Semitic environment” for Jewish students. Many Jewish students, however, find such allegations to be spurious and see the claims as dishonest attempts to silence criticism.The BDS movement is a fundamentally anti-racist movement, one that opposes racism in all of its forms, including and especially anti-Semitism. The President’s office has yet to respond to the petition, and one can only hope that Napolitano’s tenure will not add to her abysmal human rights record both as Governor of Arizona and Homeland Security Secretary.

The success of Oakland’s Block the Boat makes clear the centrality of organized labor to the global movement for Palestinian freedom. This, and the upcoming UAW 2865 vote on BDS, signal a sea change in US labor’s willingness to be complicit in apartheid and ethnic cleansing. As the larger Palestine solidarity movement picks up steam, we can expect the grassroots labor mobilization for Palestine to bear greater and greater fruits, until Israeli apartheid is no more.
*About Alborz Gandanhari, David McCleary, Kumars Salehi and Tory Webster

Alborz Ghandehari is a graduate student at UC San Diego; Tory Webster is a graduate student at UC Davis; Kumars Salehi and David McCleary are graduate students at UC Berkeley. All are UAW 2865 rank-and-file members and members of the UAW 2865 BDS Caucus. Tory and Alborz are also elected officers of the UAW 2865 Joint Council. Kumars and David participated in the Block the Boat protests in Oakland.

 

This originally appeared at Mondoweiss

FINALLY A NOBEL PEACE PRIZE RECIPIENT WHO WORKS FOR PEACE!

Unlike the others, finally a recipient that knows the true meaning of Peace

Nobel Peace Prize recipient Malala Yousafzai has announced that she will be donating the money she received as a World’s Children’s Prize laureate to UNRWA schools in Gaza, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees announced on Wednesday. Continue 

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Image created by  Gianluca Costantini

Image created by
Gianluca Costantini

SPOOF ON SWEDEN’S RECOGNITION OF A PALESTINIAN STATE

Image created by our new Associate Artist, Gianluca Costantini. Other examples of his latest works can be seen if you click on THIS link.

We are proud to welcome Gianluca to our ranks.

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Related report FROM

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Sweden recognizes state of Palestine

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Foreign Minister Margot Wallström made the announcement in a debate article in the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.
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“It’s an important step. Some will say that the decision came too early. I’m afraid that it came too late,” she wrote, adding that she “hopes that this will show the way for others.”
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“The aim of Sweden’s recognition is to help reach the goal of Israel and Palestine co-existing side by side in peace.”
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Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas hailed the decision, his spokesman said.
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“President Abbas welcomes Sweden’s decision,” Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP, adding that the Palestinian leader described the move as “brave and historic”.
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Abu Rudeina claimed the move was linked to months of soaring tensions in occupied east Jerusalem, where Palestinians have clashed almost daily with Israeli police and where Israel has recently pushed ahead with plans to build another 3,600 settler homes, drawing international condemnation.
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“This decision comes as a response to Israeli measures in Jerusalem,” he said.
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Abbas called for other countries to follow Sweden’s lead.
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“All countries of the world that are still hesitant to recognize our right to an independent Palestinian state based on 1967 borders, with east Jerusalem as its capital, (should) follow Sweden’s lead,” his spokesman quoted him as saying.
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The UN General Assembly approved the recognition of Palestine as a sovereign state in 2012, but the European Union and most western countries do not refer to Palestine as a separate state.
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Sweden’s decision, initially announced by new Social Democrat Prime Minister Stefan Löfven as he revealed his new centre-left cabinet in early October, has been met with strong criticism.
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Israel’s foreign minister said it was made “in a hurry” and the US warned that it was a “premature move“. Israel has long insisted that the Palestinians can only receive their promised state through direct negotiations and not through other diplomatic channels.
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Phil Carmel from the European Jewish Congress which represents Jews in 40 countries including Sweden told The Local:
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“This is a token move by Sweden’s new government and it is ironic that Sweden recognizes a Palestinian state at a time when even Palestinians can’t agree on what its borders will be.”
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He added: “A key principle of the European Union is to recognize future states based on negotiations and it is very sad that Sweden appears to have cast these negotiations aside and wants to label Palestine as a state before any formal agreement on its borders.”
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There has been intense fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip in recent months, with some of the deadliest violence in years. But there is currently a ceasefire between the two sides.
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Seven EU members have already recognized a Palestinian state — Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Poland and Romania. Non-EU member Iceland is the only other western European nation to have done so.
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In Thursday’s announcement, Sweden’s foreign minister said that “the government considers that international law criteria for the recognition of a Palestinian state have been fulfilled.”
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Palestinian groups in Sweden have welcomed the decision. Earlier this month, Nael Touqan, Chairman of Palestinian Association of Stockholm told The Local:
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“Sweden has great respect in Europe so we hope this means that other nations will follow its lead,” he added. “This is the only way to pressure Israel”.

EU TO WAGE DIPLOMATIC WAR AGAINST ISRAEL

Sweden recognized “Palestine” on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, and on Monday the UK followed suit in a non-binding vote – now “frustrated” European officials reveal that they are ready to take their diplomatic war on Israel to the next stage.

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Hopefully this is the first stop on the road to the Hague

Hopefully this is the first stop on the road to the Hague

 

EU mulls ‘blacklisting’ settlers convicted of crimes

European diplomats consider new measures in response to ‘high level of frustration’ over West Bank settlement enterprise.

Reuters VIA

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European officials are looking at new ways to press Israel to halt its building of settlements on land the Palestinians want for a state, as frustration over West Bank construction reaches a new high, European diplomats say.

The discussions are at an early stage, but officials say the European Union may look at “blacklisting” Jewish settlers convicted of crimes from the EU and could examine the fine print of a free-trade agreement, although there is no talk of sanctions.

The measure being considered by the European Commission is to draw up a list of Israeli settlers who have been convicted of crimes and ban them from entering the EU, one official said.

“The paperwork has been done but it is frozen for now,” said the official. “It is basically a blacklist of violent settlers who have been accused of or convicted of crimes. It would prevent them from travelling to Europe.”

Such a step would probably only affect 100 to 200 people, and it might prove complicated to impose since some of those likely to be blacklisted also have European passports, but it would send a strong message that the EU means business, he said.

A series of steps by Israel in recent weeks, including the seizure of 1,000 acres of land near the Palestinian town of Bethlehem and plans to build 2,600 settler homes near Jerusalem, has angered the European Union, the United States and the United Nations, fuelling calls for a response.

Israel has regularly said its settlements are legal and an Israeli government official told Reuters on Tuesday Europe would be better off putting pressure on the Palestinians to live up to their obligations and recognize the legitimacy of Israel.

The EU has already imposed restrictions on loans to Israeli scientific institutions that operate in the West Bank and is moving ahead with plans to label products made in Jewish settlements.

“No one is talking about imposing trade sanctions on Israel,” said one EU country’s ambassador to Israel. “But there is a very high level of frustration and there are many instruments at our disposal to make that frustration clear.”

Another senior diplomat described Europe’s patience as “wearing thin”, with political sentiment shifting.

That shift was partly reflected in Sweden’s decision to recognize Palestine as an independent state this month and a non-binding vote in the British parliament on the same issue on Monday.

EU foreign ministers meet in Luxembourg on October 20, though it was not yet clear whether Israel will be discussed.

While many of the EU’s 28 member states have expressed concerns about Israel’s settlement policies, the country also has many staunch EU defenders. It is far from certain that there would be unanimous support for action against Israel.

An Israeli official said Europe was misguided. “By focusing only on one issue and only on Israel, they are not doing the Palestinians a favor and they are definitely not playing as productive a role as they could do in peace talks,” he said.

“Europe could be much more productive in its engagement if its messages to the Palestinians were that it’s time for them to fundamentally accept the legitimacy of the Jewish state,” said the official, who asked not to be named.

European diplomats and other officials mentioned several areas where the bloc could bring pressure to bear, including by strictly applying regulations contained in the Association Agreement signed between the EU and Israel in 1995.

That agreement sets out a very specific framework for free trade in goods, services and capital, presaging everything on “respect for human rights and democratic principles”.

Article 83 of the agreement makes clear that it only applies to the territory of the state of Israel, which one official said raised questions about how you deal, for example, with Israeli banks which operate on occupied land that the EU does not consider to be part of the state of Israel.

“I’m not saying we should stop dealing with Israeli banks, but it’s an issue that has been raised and some would say we need to look at it in more detail,” said the ambassador.

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RELATED …. from my ziocrap file

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EU Officials Weighing ‘Settler Travel Ban’ to Press Israel

European diplomats looking at ways to subvert trade agreement and bank cooperation as ‘diplomatic war’ on Israel ratchets up a level.
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EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah

EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah Reuters

NO PEACE WITH PALESTINE IF THERE IS A PALESTINE

Israel warned Tuesday that a vote by the British parliament in favor of recognizing a Palestinian state risked undermining the prospects for peace.

They said the same last week when Sweden’s Parliament voted the same ….

Israel obviously likes things as they are …. Occupation strengthens the prospects of peace according to ziologic. It maters not what the rest of the world has to say. Occupation  = 30 BILLION DOLLAR$ a  year  … no way are they prepared to give that up!

2014 is almost over and WE’VE ONLY JUST BEGUN!

'Copyleft' by Carlos Latuff

‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

Israel says UK Palestine vote undermines peace prospects
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Israel warned Tuesday that a vote by the British parliament in favor of recognizing a Palestinian state risked undermining the prospects for peace.”Premature international recognition sends a troubling message to the Palestinian leadership that they can evade the tough choices that both sides have to make, and actually undermines the chances to reach a real peace,” said a statement from the Israeli foreign ministry.Late Monday, British MPs voted 274 to 12 for a non-binding motion to “recognize the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution”.The resolution was welcomed by the Palestinians.

“It will enhance the European voices calling for the recognition of the State of Palestine and will create the right environment for the international community to grant the Palestinian people legal parity and rights,” senior Palestine Liberation Official Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement.

Britain’s ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, said that although the vote was not binding on the British government it was significant.

“I think that this vote is a sign of shifting public opinion in the UK and indeed beyond,” he said in an interview Tuesday morning with Israeli public radio.

The debate in the House of Commons came after the Swedish government announced it would recognize a Palestinian state — it would be the first EU member in Western Europe to do so — drawing anger from Israel.

It follows the collapse of peace talks between Israel and Palestine, and this year’s conflict in Gaza in which more than 2,000 Palestinians and dozens of Israelis were killed, mostly soldiers.

“The conflict in the summer over Gaza had a big impact on British public opinion and has affected Israel’s standing,” Gould said.

“Announcements on settlements since the summer have also had an impact and so although this vote won’t affect government policy I think it is right to be concerned about what it signifies in terms of the direction of public opinion.”

The Palestinian Authority estimates that 134 countries have recognized Palestine as a state, although the number is disputed and several recognitions by what are now European Union member states date from the Soviet era.

Britain abstained in 2012 from a vote in the United Nations on giving the Palestinians the rank of observer state, which was granted over the objections of the United States and Israel.

FROM
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A PALESTINE WITHOUT WALLS!  OCCUPATION!! = PEACE!!! By Latuff

A PALESTINE WITHOUT
WALLS!
OCCUPATION!!
= PEACE!!!
By Latuff

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Related post from Mondoweiss … (Click on link to read)

IN PHOTOS ~~ THE WORLD STANDS WITH PALESTINE IN HARLEM

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On Saturday evening, October 11th, a meeting was held at the Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz Community Center in Harlem, NYC.  It was formerly the Audubon and the conference took place in the ballroom, almost sacred ground because it is where Malcolm was assassinated.  It began with a very good buffet dinner and the music of an excellent Latino band.  Tables were set up around the side of the large room selling beautiful handmade Palestinian goods, Mumia T-shirts and giving out information.   The theme of the evening was solidarity among oppressed peoples and the interconnections between the various peoples struggles.  It was also pointed out that ultimately we are all fighting the same enemy, capitalism. The teargas being used on the Palestinian people is the same teargas that is being used on the people of Ferguson, MO.  Nancy Mansour from Existence is Resistance spoke describing what is happening in Palestine including huge demonstrations on the West Bank that were never reported here where the IDF shot into the crowd. Another one of the speakers, Bassem Tamimi from Nabi Saleh, had just arrived from Palestine to speak to the crowd at the meeting. He described the struggle there as well as his years in Israeli prisons, the torture he endured there, and the deaths of people in his family at the hands of the IDF. Everyone was brought up to date by Johanna Fernandez on the struggle to free Mumia Abu-Jamal and Mumia addressed the people, by phone, and answered questions followed by applause and cheers from all present. We learned what was happening in the Puerto Rican community from former Young Lord Carlito Rovira, and there was excellent analysis of the current political situation in the US by Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report.  He pointed out that the Black Caucus in Congress went along with the militarization of the police who direct their attacks on Black urban communities. The audience of about 200+ people were very enthusiastic, eager to hear more.  Some speakers spoke through skype because they couldn’t make the trip.  Remi Kanazi was supposed to appear but he too spoke via skype because he was in Ferguson, MO in solidarity with the protestors there.  There are many from the Palestinian justice community in Ferguson supporting the fight against racism there. 

This meeting was a result of months of preparation by people from different organizations who recognized there was a common enemy and that we would have much greater strength working together.  That, in itself, is a revolutionary concept. It was made clear by many speakers who made the point that solidarity was not just about feeling good being together – solidarity is self defense.  Activists chant, “The people, united, will never be defeated”.   Efforts are now being made to unite them.

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Commentary by Chippy Dee

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On sale were shirts MADE IN PALESTINE

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Meanwhile, 

UNARMED CIVILIANS IN THE STREETS OF FERGUSON

The struggle continues at home and abroad

It is our duty to fight for our freedom…

“…It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains…”

Said 62 times for the 62 days that have happened since Mike Brown’s death – 62 days still lacking justice and a policing system that refuses to honor the inherent value and dignity of all lives equally.

IN PHOTOS ~~ VIGIL IN NEW YORK TO STOP ARMS TO ISRAEL

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(As a preface, yesterday Mondoweiss posted a letter by Alan Levine written to Schumer & Gillibrand urging them to follow the Leahy law which states that countries who use arms against a people in a way that violates international law and creates war crimes will no longer receive arms or $ for arms from the US.  

On Monday, October 6th, Jewish Voice for Peace NY and Jews Say No, with the support of several other organizations that support justice for Palestinians, held an 8 hour demonstration in front of the offices of Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand at 780 3rd Avenue.  Demonstrators came and went in the course of the day but there were always between 50 and 80 people there.  Palestinian food was served to the demonstrators and people passing by, many having questions to ask or just wanting to chat a bit. It was explained that welcoming with food was part of a strong Palestinian tradition.  Informational leaflets were also distributed.  Most participants carried signs throughout the day created by We Will Not Be Silent. 

There was also an educational/cultural program.  People read Palestinian poetry, songs were sung accompanied by a guitar, there was a humorous skit about a trip to Israel and another about a news conference for a newly reformed Senator Schumer,  a reading of the Carol Churchill play, 7 Jewish Children, by some very talented actors (done twice) and a concert from the Rude Mechanical Orchestra.  Another participant read a  list of some of the horrible conditions that Palestinians on the West Bank and in Gaza are forced to live with, all imposed by Israel because of the occupation. 

At one point the Granny Peace Brigade came with some of the representations that they made of the 519 children murdered by Israel in Gaza this summer.  The people present held up each figure, read their name and age, and noted that they were murdered by Israel, some noting that this was done with the active support of the 2 New York senators and U.S. taxpayer funds.  Some people were brought to tears because the action felt very much like a funeral.  One of the participants noted, “These children are all our children and our grandchildren.” 

The 8 hours passed very quickly.  Many strangers in the street stopped to read the signs and leaflets and to listen to the presentations.  It is hoped that as people learn what Israel is doing they will urge Congress not to give Israel $8.7 million a day and a carte blanc to kill and destroy at will.

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Commentary by Chippy Dee

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IT STARTED AT WOOLWORTH’S IN 1960 …. AND NOW IT CONTINUES

That's me under the third 'O'

That’s me under the third ‘O’

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For many of us who were involved in the Civil Rights Movement’s early days, Woolworth’s was our first ‘battle ground’ Every week for over a year picket lines were set up in front of every Woolworth Store north of the Mason Dixon Line. We called for a boycott of the chain because of their discriminatory policies in the South.

We eventually won that ‘battle’ and the video below became history.

My own involvement …

I was considered a ‘normal’ kid while growing up in New York …. BUT one day in 1960 everything changed….
I was walking on the main street in my neighbourhood when I spotted a picket line in front of the local Woolworths. They were handing out leaflets calling for a boycott of the chain. Reason being that Blacks in the Southern states were denied service at their lunch counters.
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Picketers protesting the F.W. Woolworth store’s policy on lunch counter segregation NY,NY 1960
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I joined the protesters and continued on with them for the next year or so …. we finally won as Woolworths reversed their policy. But, one thing led to another and it certainly was not the end of the struggle.
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Unlike the title of James Dean’ movie, we were rebels WITH a cause …

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And today the ‘battle’ continues in South Africa …. they too will be victorious!

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South African Woolworth’s Chain Battles BDS Protests

Anti-Israel Activists Vow To Step Up Campaign

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 By JTA
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Woolworths of South Africa said it may take the BDS lobby to court for threatening its staff and customers.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement has held more than 40 protests at Woolworths stores throughout the country in recent weeks.

“Our employees, of all faiths and cultures, are telling us that they are feeling increasingly threatened by the protests,” spokesman Babs Dlamini told the South African daily The Times on Sunday. “What’s more, the families of our employees have reported being abused and sworn at by BDS. “If this continues we will consider taking further precautions, including legal action against the individuals involved.”

It is not known if the protests have hurt Woolworths sales.

BDS reportedly plans to continue to pressure the company, Woolworths Holdings Limited, until its annual general meeting on Nov. 26.

Dlamini told the Times that Woolworths was not sure why it was being targeted because “more than 95 percent of our food is sourced locally [and] the government continues to authorize trade with Israel.”

BDS activist Mohammed Desai told the Times that the movement knows there are other companies in South Africa with ties to Israel, but said: “For now, Woolworths is our target. They are making a grave mistake by ignoring us and if we go to all those retailers our campaign will be diluted.”

In South Africa, BDS has received support from the African National Congress’ Youth League, and the Times reported that the movement has lobbied influential ANC supporters to put pressure on one of Woolworths’ largest shareholders, the Government Employees Pension Fund, which holds 17.2 percent of the shares.

Woolworths, one of the largest companies in South Africa, is not related to the U.S. chain F. W. Woolworth Company.

RAPPING TO THE CHECKPOINTS ~~ FROM THE GHETTO TO GAZA

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A checkpoint, a checkpoint, everywhere a checkpoint

On a Palestinian shopowner:

Little did they know that I could be a supporter.

Gaza echoing to Vietnam:

They train the military to immolate shit that they did in the late 60s.

My heart goes out to Palestine

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Beatnick & K-Salaam team with Talib Kweli and M1 of dead prez in the official video for “Checkpoints: Ghetto To Gaza” from their forthcoming album. The track is the first single from the project, which boasts features from Joell Ortiz, Bun B, Fashawn, Bluand Tech N9ne. The thought-provoking track from the acclaimed production duo gets an equally powerful interpretation in the clip directed by Joe Pacheco and inspired by the ongoing and eerily similar conflicts in Ferguson, Missouri and the Gaza strip. M1 and Kweli shed light on the similarities between people living in U.S. ghettos and those being oppressed in Gaza. The clip also highlights the lack of proper nutrition and cops clocking people of color in the hood.

‘THOSE DANCING ISRAELIS’ AT GAZA GROUND ZERO

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The Palestinian cause is one of the most just causes in history. What we need o do is change ourselves first and move towards more actions.

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Gaza Ground Zero

Compiled by Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

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According to the United Nations, the Palestinian Ministry of Health and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, in its latest assault on the people of Gaza, the occupation forces killed 2170 and injured 10900 human beings (about 80% of them civilians, >519 children killed, 2114 children injured).

Israel was using the media distraction it created with slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza (while shouting “hamas, hamas”) to hide the intensification of its ethnic cleansing policies in the occupied West Bank. For example, Israel announced one of the largest expropriation ordesr of Palestinian lands to expand its illegal Gush Etzion complex of colonies. 3799 dunums of land (1000 acres) are to be taken from the villagers of Husan, Nahhalin, and Wadi Fukin.

The latest “ceasefire” arrangement between the resistance factions and Israel are closer to resistance demands than Israeli demands. A majority of Israeli citizens supported the genocide in Gaza and they wanted even more mayhem. Polls also reveal that many do not buy their government propaganda that the Israeli military won. But in wars there are no winners but only losers and worse losers. Gaza was devastated because the Israeli military was unable to find or attack resistance forces and vented its frustration on civilians. But politicians have a ways of twisting things to their advantage. Even Mahmoud Abbas joined the fray to adopt the Israeli myth that the ceasefire agreed to in the end was the same as the ceasefire offered in the beginning. But Israel has just violated the cease fire by attacking fisherman off the coast of Gaza. Alas, we are in for a long struggle and I urge people to intensify the BDS movement against the apartheid regime of Israel. I get interviewed a lot and speak to visiting internationals regularly. The Palestinian cause is one of the most just causes in history. What we need o do is change ourselves first and move towards more actions (especially by us Palestinians but also by global activists).

Drones have been flying over Bethlehem in the past few days. A prelude to Gazafication of our ghetto? Drones are a core part of Israel’s military occupation and ethnic cleansing strategy. Londoners have been doing great actions including taking over the roof of a British drone supplier.

Australian copycat action, also targeting Elbit: Palestine protesters occupy roof of Port Melbourne factory

For more actions from the London group

Powerful virtual tour of Gaza ground zero. (click to go through panoramic views from different locations)

“Civil resistance and conflict transformation: Transitions from armed to nonviolent struggle“ has just been released! I have a chapter in it on Palestine struggle (colonial anti-colonial and tactics of the resistance)

ARIJ reports and maps (in Arabic and Hebrew) of the recent orders affecting villagers (Nahhalin, Husan, Wadi Fukin, AlKhader)

A Common Dreams investigation has discovered thousands of anti-Semitic comments over the past two years were posted by proxies who support Israel. One included posting comments by a screen name, “JewishProgressive,” whose purpose was to draw attention to and denounce the anti-Semitic comments that HE had written under many other screen names. One proxy commentator posted inflammatory comments under sixty names and a host of identities/ Black, White and Jewish!!!

Scholars at Risk Network: Occupation attack on Palestinian Universities (another reason to boycott)

A NOTE OF THANKS FROM THE PEOPLE IN GAZA

It depends on YOU where we go from here!

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From the ruins of our towns and cities in Gaza, we send our heartfelt appreciation to all those who stood with us and mobilized during the latest Israeli massacre.

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From Gaza we say: the outcome of our

battle depends on you

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“Now, our battle to hold Israel accountable for its fresh war crimes and crimes against humanity has begun,” say Gaza civil society groups. (Anne Paq / ActiveStills)

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From the ruins of our towns and cities in Gaza, we send our heartfelt appreciation to all those who stood with us and mobilized during the latest Israeli massacre.

In the occupied West Bank, Israel has embarked on one of its largest illegal land grabs in decades by confiscating another 1,000 acres of Palestinian land to expand its illegal colonies.

Now, our battle to hold Israel accountable for its fresh war crimes and crimes against humanity has begun. The outcome of this battle to end Israeli impunity will determine whether Israel’s latest assault will be yet another stage in Israel’s “incremental genocide” of Palestinians or the turning point that will bring an end to Israel’s status as an entity above the law – the world’s dangerous pariah. The outcome of this battle depends on you.

Two months after its 2008–2009 massacre in Gaza, Israel’s prize was an upgrade in trade relations with the European Union. By 2012, western powers in cooperation with the UN Secretary General had effectively prevented all investigation by the United Nations and the International Criminal Court (ICC) into the war crimes and crimes against humanity that Israel committed during the attack.

During the most recent massacre, on 2 August 2014, three days after the occupation forces bombed the designated UN humanitarian shelter in Jabaliya refugee camp, killing 20 civilians and wounding at least 150 people as they slept, the US Congress approved $225 million in additional military aid to Israel. The following day, the occupation forces bombed another UN shelter in Rafah killing ten civilians and injuring dozens.

Also during the massacre, Germany sold Israel an attack submarine with nuclear capability, and the United Kingdom refused to freeze its arms sales to Israel. These and other forms of criminal complicity from world governments and official bodies pave the way for Israel’s ongoing genocidal attacks. It is up to people of conscience and all those who seek peace with justice worldwide to make sure this complicity ends now.

We urge you to stand with the Palestinian people in its entirety and to demand that Israel be held accountable for the war crimes and crimes against humanity it has committed and continues to commit against the Palestinian people everywhere.

We urge you to intensify boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns to further isolate Israel economically, militarily, academically and culturally.

Intensify BDS against Israel in all fields, including by taking the following actions:

  • Working to have arrest warrants issued against Israeli war criminals and for them to be tried before your courts.
  • Pressuring governments to impose a comprehensive military embargo on Israel.
  • Pressuring governments to suspend all free trade and bilateral agreements with Israel until it complies with international law.
  • Building effective direct action against Israel and Israeli companies, such as the inspiring Block the Boat actions that prevented Israeli ships from unloading in California and Seattle, and the occupations of Israeli weapons company Elbit Systems’ factories in the UK and Australia.
  • Working within trade unions to raise awareness about Israel’s regime of oppression and engaging in effective BDS measures such as stopping handling of Israeli goods, divesting trade union funds from Israel and complicit companies, and boycotting complicit Israel trade unions. The trade union movement has a proud history of successful campaigning against apartheid in South Africa, and the Congress of South African Trade Unions has joined Palestinian trade unions in calling for trade union action to end Israel’s impunity.
  • Holding to account those corporations and retailers that support and profit from Israel’s regime of occupation, colonialism and apartheid, including by boycotting their products and taking creative and direct action. The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) has suggested a list of corporate criminals to target.

The majority of the world’s people are waking up to the reality of Israel’s rogue regime of oppression and racism. For the rest of what is supposed to be the UN’s International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, demand an end to Israel’s criminal impunity. Stand with Gaza, and act for freedom, justice and peace in Palestine.

Issued by the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) and the following Gaza organizations/unions:

  • Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions
  • University Teachers’ Association in Palestine
  • Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network (umbrella for 133 orgs)
  • Medical Democratic Assembly
  • General Union of Palestine Workers
  • General Union for Health Services Workers
  • General Union for Public Services Workers
  • General Union for Petrochemical and Gas Workers
  • General Union for Agricultural Workers
  • Union of Women’s Work Committees
  • Pal-Cinema (Palestine Cinema Forum)
  • Herak Youth Movement
  • Union of Women’s Struggle Committees
  • Union of Synergies–Women’s Unit
  • Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees
  • Women’s Studies Society
  • Working Women’s Society
  • Palestinian Students’ Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel
  • Gaza BDS Working Group
  • One Democratic State Group

UPDATED GUIDELINES FOR THE ACADEMIC BOYCOTT

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PACBI urges academics, academic associations/unions, and academic — as well as other — institutions around the world, where possible and as relevant, to boycott and/or work towards the cancellation or annulment of events, activities, agreements, or projects involving Israeli academic institutions or that otherwise promote the normalization of Israel in the global academy, whitewash Israel’s violations of international law and Palestinian rights, or violate the BDS guidelines.

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How to boycott Israel: updated guidelines for academics

A Palestinian man inspects a classroom damaged by an Israeli air strike at a school in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, 24 August. (Abed Rahim Khatib / APA images)
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The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) recently updated its guidelines on how to apply the international academic boycott of Israel.

This comes at a crucial moment – in the wake of Israel’s latest spasm of horrifying destruction and mass killing in Gaza, and after a period of unprecedented growth in support for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS).

Calls for academic boycott will resonate more than ever particularly in light of Israel’s recent bomb attacks on university facilities in Gaza, its violent raids on universities in the West Bank and the financial and political support Israeli universities have themselves given to the carnage.

Right now, hundreds of thousands of Palestinian children in Gaza are not going back to school on time as a direct consequence of the Israeli devastation, while in the West Bank young children face such violence as tear gas fired at them on their way to class.

The school year in Gaza was scheduled to begin on 23 August but has been postponed; Israeli attacks since 7 July killed more than 500 children and injured thousands. In total220 schools were damaged, 22 of which were completely destroyed.

Children will not be able to go back to class until “war-damaged schools” are repaired and “unexploded ordnance” removed, the UN says.

When children do go back to class, learning will certainly be an even bigger challenge due to the fact that virtually the entire child population in Gaza is in need of psychosocial support due to the trauma of Israel’s 51-day bombardment.

Practical guidance

The updated PACBI guidelines are important for two reasons: they provide a practical reference that can be used to decide if a specific activity is boycottable and they can be used to debunk false claims made by opponents of the boycott, for example that the boycott stifles “academic freedom.”

A common false claim is that PACBI has called for a blanket boycott of Israeli individuals or even of Jewish individuals.

But, PACBI states: “Anchored in precepts of international law and universal human rights, the BDS movement, including PACBI, rejects on principle boycotts of individuals based on their identity (such as citizenship, race, gender, or religion) or opinion.”

A person’s activities are boycottable, however, when “an individual is representing the state of Israel or a complicit Israeli institution (such as a dean, rector, or president), or is commissioned/recruited to participate in Israel’s efforts to ‘rebrand’ itself.”

There are other circumstances as well, as the guidelines detail.

The PACBI guidelines “are mainly intended to assist conscientious academics and academic bodies around the world to be in harmony with the Palestinian call for boycott, as a contribution towards upholding international law and furthering the struggle for freedom, justice and equality.”

PACBI urges:

academics, academic associations/unions, and academic – as well as other – institutions around the world, where possible and as relevant, to boycott and/or work towards the cancellation or annulment of events, activities, agreements, or projects involving Israeli academic institutions or that otherwise promote the normalization of Israel in the global academy, whitewash Israel’s violations of international law and Palestinian rights, or violate the BDS guidelines.

Normalization and “fig-leafing”

Many Palestinians reject initiatives that they say constitute “normalization.” But what does this mean? Here is the definition provided by PACBI:

Academic activities and projects involving Palestinians and/or other Arabs on one side and Israelis on the other (whether bi- or multilateral) that are based on the false premise of symmetry/parity between the oppressors and the oppressed or that claim that both colonizers and colonized are equally responsible for the “conflict” are intellectually dishonest and morally reprehensible forms of normalization that ought to be boycotted.

Far from challenging the unjust status quo, such projects contribute to its endurance. Examples include events, projects, or publications that are designed explicitly to bring together Palestinians/Arabs and Israelis so they can present their respective narratives or perspectives, or to work toward reconciliation without addressing the root causes of injustice and the requirements of justice.

The guidelines gives examples of forms of joint activity that are and are notnormalization and also warn against “fig-leafing”:

International academics who insist on crossing the BDS “picket line” by pursuing activities with boycottable Israeli institutions and then visiting Palestinian institutions or groups for “balance,” violate the boycott guidelines and contribute to the false perception of symmetry between the colonial oppressor and the colonized. The BNC (including PACBI) rejects this attempt at “fig-leafing” and does not welcome such visits to Palestinian institutions.

PACBI also publishes guidelines for cultural boycott, which were updated in 2009.

The full academic boycott guidelines are here.

 

VIDEO ~~ SHE’S A PALESTINIAN …… SO ARE WE ALL!

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Collage By Carlos Latuff

i am palestinian first half

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She’s A Palestinian

she’s just a palestinian
all her friends are from the mediterranean
everybody makes fun of the ottomans
the IDF wanna send her to oblivion

her grandma grew olives and oranges
her daddy had him a professorship
but when he spoke it always became heresy
the vatican wanna see the holes in his hands

she’s just a palestinian
she likes books, she’s not one of the fellaheen
she’s just a palestinian girl

she’s just a palestinian
her brother tries to find a job each morning
she goes to al-khaleel university
if the roads aren’t blocked and they can leave the house

her mom’s head nurse at the hospital
they make do without bandages and medicine
when everybody’s done with work and classes
they’ll meet for a drink before the curfew

she’s just a palestinian
she wanna walk in the nabi-musa pilgrimage
she’s just a palestinian

oh, what a girl
i got here, oh
i’d walk her home
but she lives in hebron

and those motherfuckers got it rough
the helicopters freak me out
and i wanna go home, not to canaan

when you’re in the middle of the IDF and the PLO
well the PLO’s an NGO….
US helicopters come with US guns and you
you ain’t got a home
i’ll be brooklyn
you’re more than welcome, you’re more than welcome
hey, hey

BDS GAINING MOMENTUM IN EUROPE

Despite Israel’s denials (and fears) the BDS Movement is gaining momentum in Europe

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LONDON — A branch of Sainsbury’s grocery store removed kosher products from its shelves, it said, to prevent anti-Israel demonstrations. The Tricycle Theater in north London, after hosting a Jewish film festival for eight years, demanded to vet the content of any film made with arts funding from the Israeli government. George Galloway, a member of Parliament known for his vehement criticism of Israel, declared Bradford, England, an “Israel-free zone.”

Mr. Galloway, in comments being investigated by the police, said, “We don’t want any Israeli goods; we don’t want any Israeli services; we don’t want any Israeli academics coming to the university or college; we don’t even want any Israeli tourists to come to Bradford.”

The war in Gaza and its aftermath have inflamed opinion in Europe and, experts and analysts say, are likely to increase support for the movement to boycott, disinvest from and sanction Israel, known as BDS.

“We entered this war in Gaza with the perception that the Israeli government is not interested in reaching peace with the Palestinians,” said Meir Javedanfar, an Israeli analyst at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, a private university. “Now, after the casualties and the destruction, I’m very worried about the impact this could have on Israel. It could make it very easy for the BDS campaign to isolate Israel and call for more boycotts.”

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Demonstrators in London this month protesting Israel’s operations in the Gaza Strip. Emotions are running high.CreditJustin Tallis/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

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Gilead Sher and Einav Yogev, in a paper for the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, warn that Gaza means Israel pays “a much heavier price in public opinion and in erosion of support for its positions in negotiations with the Palestinians.”

Along with reports of “familiar anti-Semitic attacks on Jews,” they said, “the movement to boycott Israel is expanding politically and among the public.”

Daniel Levy of the European Council on Foreign Relations points to the debate over halting arms exports to Israel, which has been given new momentum in Britain and Spain by the asymmetry of the Gaza war.

“You’re beginning to see the translation of public sympathy into something politically meaningful,” he said. He noted two tracks — the governmental one, which distinguishes between Israel and the occupied territories, and the social one of academic, commercial and artistic boycotts.

But for all the new attention around the BDS movement, the economic impact has been small, experts say. The European Union, which has been looked to for leadership on the issue, does not support the idea.

Instead, the Europeans are drawing a legal distinction between Israel within its 1967 boundaries and Israeli towns and settlements that are beyond them in occupied land. Brussels regards all Israelis living beyond the 1967 lines, including those in East Jerusalem, as settlers living in illegal communities whose status can be regulated only through a negotiated peace agreement with the Palestinians.

In matters such as scientific cooperation, funding for research, import duties and labeling requirements, Brussels has sought a strong relationship with pre-1967 Israel, while demanding a different status for institutions and products from beyond the Green Line, the armistice lines that ended the 1967 fighting but did not fix borders or create a Palestinian state.

Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, said before the Gaza conflict that “there is no boycott” of Israel by the European Union, citing trade and scientific cooperation. “The European Union defends the right of existence of Israel with all its means,” he said. “The view that the Europeans are against Israel, I repeat it, is wrong.”

Some members of the 28-nation European Union are closer to Israel than others, but the bloc is united on Israel within its 1967 boundaries.

“Our relationship with Israel is close and one of the best we have in the region, but only with Israel in its 1967 lines unless there is a peace agreement,” said a senior European Union official who spoke on the condition of anonymity in keeping with diplomatic protocol. “We are clear, however, that what came under Israeli control in 1967 is not a part of Israel, so the settlements are illegal under international law and not helpful in the peace process.”

To that end, the European Union has demanded that all products produced by Israelis beyond the 1967 lines be labeled differently, and they are excluded from the duty-free trade agreement the bloc has with Israel proper. Goods from settlements are imported, but under different labels and tariffs. “There is no question of a boycott,” the European official said.

In an agreement last December on scientific exchanges and funding, known as Horizon 2020, Brussels insisted, despite fierce opposition from the Israeli government, on keeping Israeli institutions in the West Bank, like Ariel University, out of the deal. Since European funding is so important to Israeli academic institutions, the Israeli government gave in, attaching a legally meaningless appendix opposing the distinctions.

While some Israeli companies label goods produced in the West Bank as Israeli, the Europeans have tried to crack down, insisting that permits have a physical address attached and not simply an Israeli post office box. Goods can be labeled “West Bank” or as coming from a particular place, but cannot say “Made in Israel.”

The European Union has gone considerably further than the United States, declaring that Israeli settlements over the Green Line are “illegal” under international law; the United States simply calls them “illegitimate” and “obstacles to peace.”

Israel says its settlement activity is consistent with international law, although it accepts that some settlements are built illegally on privately owned Palestinian land and says that all will be resolved as part of a final deal with the Palestinians.

The United States also has no regulations requiring separate labeling of products from Israeli-occupied land.

The recent fuss over SodaStream and one of its spokeswomen, the actress Scarlett Johansson, was indicative of the passions raised. Oxfam insisted she quit SodaStream, which has a factory in the large West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim, or quit her work with Oxfam; Ms. Johansson chose to quit Oxfam. SodaStream defended itself by citing the number of jobs it was providing for Palestinians, who were being paid the same wages as Israeli workers.

The debate was indicative of shifting attitudes. During the period around the Oslo Accords, in the early 1990s, when peace seemed close and economic cooperation between Israel and the new, interim Palestinian Authority was considered an important part of a future relationship built on mutual dependency and confidence, factories in occupied territory were praised.

With the failure of Oslo to produce a Palestinian state, the tone has changed, and companies once seen by many as in the forefront of economic cooperation are now being seen by some as colonial occupiers undermining a future Palestinian state.

But the interconnection of Israel with the settlements is difficult to untie — every major Israeli bank has a branch in the settlements.

Some countries, like Britain, have gone further. Britain issued voluntary labeling guidelines in December 2009 “to enable consumers to make a more fully informed decision concerning the products they buy,” according to the UK Trade and Investment agency, because “we understand the concerns of people who do not wish to purchase goods exported from Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

More troubling to Israel, in December the agency warned companies and citizens to be “aware of the potential reputational implications” of investments in settlement areas. “We do not encourage or offer support to such activities,” it said.

But even these concerns should be distinguished from the organized BDS campaign against the state of Israel itself. Begun in 2005, the campaign is supposed to last, the Palestinian BDS National Committee says, until Israel “complies with international law and Palestinian rights.”

Its three goals are “the end of Israeli occupation and colonization of Arab land and dismantling the Wall,” “full equality” for “Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel,” and respect for the right of return of Palestinian refugees. Israelis see the first two as compatible with two states, but the third as the end of the Jewish state.

Then there is the associated effort at an academic and cultural boycott of Israel, which has attracted well-known figures like Stephen Hawking and Sinead O’Connor. Others defend artistic freedom or the unifying nature of culture, or believe, as the writer Ian McEwan said, “If I only went to countries I approve of, I probably would never get out of bed.”

IN PHOTOS ~~ THE LITTLE DOLLS OF GAZA’S DEAD CHILDREN

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Although they have only finished about 1/3 of our representations of the children murdered in Gaza the Granny Peace Brigade brought them to a demonstration organized by Jews Say No at the subway station on W. 96th St. and Broadway yesterday.  Jews Say No does this regularly in an effort to engage with the community and discuss what is happening in Israel/Palestine.  The reaction to the Gaza children representations was very strong.  Many people gave the Grannies a thumbs-up or came over to speak saying they were glad to see them there.  Several others were very passionate in their condemnation, screaming, calling the Grannies ignorant and anti-semites, and accusing them of pandering to people’s feelings.  For the most part the demonstrators didn’t respond to the attacks.  When there is one representation for each murdered child they will be taken to public places around the city and displayed.

As a sidenote, Palestinian children throughout Israel and the West Bank have been sending their ‘Eid Gifts’ to help the ‘little people’ still suffering in Gaza’s hospitals.

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer … Commentary by Chippy Dee

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FERGUSON AND GAZA … THE CONNECTION ~~ IN PHOTOS

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Late Wednesday afternoon many thousands of people marched across the Brooklyn Bridge in a strong show of solidarity with Gaza and with Ferguson, Missouri where the police appear to be at war with the residents of that city.  The people of Gaza have reached out to the people of Ferguson pointing out that they both may be afflicted by teargas manufactured by the same American company.  At about 6:30 the marchers began across the bridge starting at the Brooklyn side.  There was a sea of Palestinian flags for as far as the eye could see and shouts of “Free, Free Palestine”.  The marchers were of every age, race, and ethnicity and many carried signs declaring their solidarity with Palestine and saying that the U.S. government did not speak for them in supporting what Israel was doing by sending money and arms to Israel.  Their chant was, “Not another nickle, not another dime.  No more money for Israel’s crimes”.  At one point people noticed that a gigantic banner with the colors of the Palestinian flag had been attached and was flying off the Manhattan Bridge (a marvelous act of civil disobedience), located a short distance from the Brooklyn Bridge.  In the red section it said GAZA  In Our Hearts and the other colors carried the words, BOYCOTT DIVEST SANCTIONS.  Marchers saw the banner, clearly enjoying it and pointing it out to others which drew the attention of the police.  They notified other cops and we could soon see red lights flashing on the Manhattan Bridge while the beautiful banner was being removed.  But it was there for about 20 minutes, enough time to lift the spirits of the marchers. 

 

By the time everyone finished walking across the bridge night had fallen.  It was dark. Everyone walked to Police Plaza in front of the central police headquarters where people spoke in small groups or listened to speakers.  We met a young woman from France, a tourist, who was very excited at having come upon the march and joined it.  She said they had bigger marches for Palestine in Paris but she was here now and very pleased that she was able to join in.   People were generally excited by the number of people who had marched, those numbers keep growing.  There was a militancy in the crowd  along with a disgust that Israel was once again committing genocide with impunity.  But mixed in with that there was a hint of, as was well said by Fanny Lou Hamer, a great hero of the civil rights movement, we’re ‘sick and tired of being sick and tired’.  We must put all our energy into the movement for boycott, divestment, and sanctions and win this fight.

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer … Commentary by Chippy Dee

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LAST NITE WHILE WORKING ON THE BKLYN BRIDGE MARCH FOTOS  I HEARD LOUD VOICES & CHANTING  “HANDS UP, DON’T SHOOT” COMING FRM THE STREET 10 FLOORS BELOW.

THE CHANTS CAME FROM A MASS OF PEOPLE W/ HANDS UP & DEMONSTRATING THRU LOWER EAST SIDE MANHATTAN STREETS (IT APPEARS THERE WAS A LARGE MEETING IN SUPPORT OF FERGUSON ELSE WHERE,  IN ADDITION TO THE GAZA BKLYN BRIDGE  MARCH).

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#OperationStopTheBoat ~~UPDATE

LATEST UPDATE

zion triumphs as the boat is unloaded…. they are gloating in their media.

Breaking News: #BlocktheBoat #EpicFail as ZIM Unloads

Longshoremen pulled a fast on anti-Israel picketers and are unloading the Zim ship that was blocked from unloading last week.
Report HERE
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A cargo ship left the Port of Oakland for Los Angeles on Tuesday, days after activists protesting Israel’s military actions in Gaza began a waterfront demonstration that blocked the vessel’s unloading.

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Ship Targeted by Protesters Leaves Oakland for L.A.

The protesters, organizing under the motto “Block the Boat,” first converged at the International Container Terminal on Saturday, a day before the Piraeus arrived at the port.
Henry K. Lee 
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Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters march towards the Port of Oakland to attempt a blockade of the Israeli cargo ship Zim, which was scheduled to dock at the port in Oakland, Calif. on Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014.
Paul Chinn, The Chronicle

A cargo ship left the Port of Oakland for Los Angeles on Tuesday, days after activists protesting Israel’s military actions in Gaza began a waterfront demonstration that blocked the vessel’s unloading.

Online ship tracking databases showed the Piraeus leaving the port about 3 p.m., assisted by a pair of tugboats. The destination was listed as Los Angeles.

The ship began maneuvering away from the port hours after Israel’s consul general to the Pacific Northwest in San Francisco said it would “eventually leave” if longshore workers continued to refuse to unload it.

The Piraeus, which is managed by Israel’s largest shipping firm, doesn’t travel to Israel and instead navigates between the United States, the Caribbean and Asia, said Consul General Andy David.

“They chose a symbol, perhaps, and they’re trying to portray it as hurting the Israeli government, but they’re really causing damage to the people who live here, and to me this is exactly the definition of political terrorism,” David said of pro-Palestinian protesters who demonstrated outside the Port of Oakland. “They’re trying to achieve a goal, but they don’t care about the innocent people hurt along the way.”

The protesters, organizing under the motto “Block the Boat,” first converged at the International Container Terminal on Saturday, a day before the Piraeus arrived at the port.

Longshore workers responsible for unloading the vessel refused to do so, not because they are taking sides in the fight between Israel and Hamas, but because they would not work “under armed police escort – not with our experience with the police in this community,” said Melvin MacKay, president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10.

Only when officers “dispersed” at 9 p.m. Monday did longshore workers agree to enter the container terminal, said union spokeswoman Jennifer Sargent. Those who declined to work on the ship were released, she said.

Sargent said the demonstrators were outnumbered 5-1 by Oakland police and Alameda County sheriff’s deputies.

Union officials said longshore workers have been concerned about port safety during demonstrations since several people protesting the Iraq war were injured in a 2003 port rally. Oakland police fired nonlethal projectiles, including wood bullets and bean bags, without provocation and without allowing protesters a chance to disperse.

The protests over the Piraeus were peaceful.

The Piraeus is managed by Israel’s largest shipping firm, Zim Integrated Shipping Services. David said Zim is 32 percent owned by Israeli shareholders, and that the rest is owned by various international interests, including banks and other shipping companies.

San Francisco Chronicle staff writer Kurtis Alexander contributed to this report.

Henry K. Lee is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer

Source

UPDATES ON BLOCKING THE BOAT FOR GAZA

THE EFFORTS ARE WORKING!

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See last night’s post, then see updates on Facebook below …

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UPDATES HERE
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SUPPORT ACTIONS IN NEW YORK YESTERDAY
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Photos © by Bud Korotzer
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