ISRAEL ADMITS DEFEAT IN BOYCOTT

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There is only one way to end the Boycott …. END THE OCCUPATION!

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“In any case, the boycott is a phenomenon that is derived from the real issue, which is the construction in the settlements. As long as Israel continues to build, this phenomenon will persist and it will be difficult to prevent it without handling this political issue. There is no way to explain to the Europeans why the settlements are good, and why they should buy products produced beyond the Green Line.” 

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Foreign Ministry: We can’t fight against European boycotts 

Diplomacy has limited tools to combat boycotts initiated by commercial companies, says Foreign Ministry official: ‘As long as Israel continues to build (in settlements), Europe will continue to ban’

Attila Somfalvi  FOR

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Warnings made by US Secretary of State John Kerry regarding imminent boycotts against Israel remind the diplomatic sphere of one of its most challenging threats.

Scandinavian banks have already added Israeli companies that operate beyond the Green Line to a list of businesses that should not be traded with, and against the backdrop of this blacklisting, a Foreign Ministry official admitted that “we cannot prevent this phenomenon.”

The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem is closely following developments in Europe, claiming that Israeli diplomacy has limited tools to deal with commercial firms that choose to sever ties with Israeli entities.

“We cannot truly fight against the will to boycott us,” said the Foreign Ministry official. Following the announcement of Danish bank Danskebank in regards to pulling out its investments in several companies, including Israeli firms, an inquiry conducted by the Israeli embassy in Copenhagen revealed that the Danish bank has no investments with any body related to Africa-Israel Investments Limited (AFI).

“There is a boycott fashion in Europe against Israel, but we’re still not talking about a trend,” the Foreign Ministry official noted. “In any case, the boycott is a phenomenon that is derived from the real issue, which is the construction in the settlements. As long as Israel continues to build, this phenomenon will persist and it will be difficult to prevent it without handling this political issue. There is no way to explain to the Europeans why the settlements are good, and why they should buy products produced beyond the Green Line.”

Israeli companies on Danish bank Danskebank's blacklist
Israeli companies on Danish bank Danskebank’s blacklist

 

The Foreign Ministry was supposed to present data regarding boycotts in a cabinet hearing that was canceled last week; the ministry was also set to demand from the cabinet to separate the boycotts initiated by government and countries to the battle against pro-Palestinian organizations and commercial entities. In a yet-scheduled ministerial meeting on the matter, Foreign Ministry officials are expected to stress that the two should not be confused.

“There is no way to explain the fundamental issue that troubles even our most prominent companies in the world. It is impossible to face the subject of boycotts while not facing the subject of settlements. That is the truth,” said the Foreign Ministry official.

However, not everyone in the Israeli diplomatic field agrees with this analysis, and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is certain that the issue of settlements is only an excuse for those who seek to boycott Israel. Lieberman believes that due to the process of “Islamization” in Europe, along with its severe economic crisis, European countries are working towards boycotting Israel in order to gain Arab funds.

Officials within the Foreign Ministry further warn, however, that as long as Israel ignores warnings made by both its allies and critics, the anti-Israel wave will increase.

Israeli diplomats in embassies in Europe have identified a negative trend that is on the rise, and a tendency to present a caring front towards Palestinians. “There are companies that decide to boycott Israeli companies because they want to be part of this wave,” a Foreign Ministry source said. “In fact, it is almost impossible to do anything against it.”

Amid dealing with dangers of boycotts, the war between the Foreign Ministry and Yuval Steintz’s Ministry of Intelligence and Strategic Affairs is heating up. Steinitz demands that millions of shekels will be allocated to his office, so that he can deal with the boycott against Israel, but the Foreign Ministry rejected his plans. “This office only intensifies the problem. They already received many millions, and nothing happened. Those who think they can fight boycott are using the wrong terminology. We know how to operate in the political arena against governments and earn achievements. Regarding the boycott, this is not the way.”

And how are the economy-related ministries dealing with the boycotts? Finance Minister Yair Lapid warns against the escalation of the boycott, and in simulations that the ministry conducted in preparation for possibilities of intensification of economic bans, a dire picture for Israeli economy was painted. The Economy Ministry is also closely following the matter, but at this stage refuse to get anxious.

THERE WILL NOT BE PEACE IN ISRAEL UNTIL …

There can be no talk of peace in the current climate. The struggle faced by the Palestinians in Israel is for full civil rights and an end to discrimination, as the struggle faced by their brethren in the Palestinian territory is to end the 46-year-long occupation. Both will continue to fight for these human rights, because they can’t be trampled on forever.

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Palestinians in Israel The Struggle for Rights

By Fida Jiryis *


“In fact, in the ‘sovereign state of the Jewish people’ there is little hope that Arab citizens will gain equal rights. For the Jewish majority, Israel is comparable in its civil liberties and inequities to Western democracies. But Arabs have no place in the Jewish state, except as a tolerated but essentially foreign element […] There is no substantial segment of Israeli society that opposes or seriously questions the fundamental principle of discrimination.”i
Few situations are as complex or riddled with contradiction as that of the Palestinian citizens of Israel. While many other minorities in the world suffer from discrimination and animosity, few are seen so blatantly as an enemy who must be treated with systematic oppression, with the hope that it would somehow disappear. A ludicrous notion, yes, but one that is deeply entrenched in the Israeli psyche and that will take a long process of understanding to reverse.Sadly, that process has not begun. Israel’s Palestinian minority is treated with mounting animosity and suspicion, targeted by a system of institutionalised, state-condoned discrimination and racist laws. In the “only democracy in the Middle East,” it has become commonplace to speak of a Jewish-only state, oaths of allegiance to such a state, and the threat of revoking citizenship from any dissidents – which is unparalleled worldwide and is against human rights – whose “crimes” may amount to no more than speaking out against injustice. In fact, the state goes far beyond this: it refers to its Palestinian citizens as a “demographic problem,” and its politicians frequently speak on policies of “transferring” them to the Palestinian territories, as though these “citizens” are pawns to be moved at will. In short, Israel defines itself as a Jewish state, and those Palestinians who live in it – about 1.5 million people, or a fifth of its population – are a thorn in its side. It wants to be rid of them to fully practice being its exclusionist self.

While these Palestinians are, on paper, free and equal citizens of the state, in reality, this citizenship is far from equal. I have only to travel through Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, for example, to be reminded of this. The infamous search process there has been described by many, and I’ve met one or two foreigners who, after having experienced it, have sworn never to come back. As soon as I line up at the check-in, an army of security personnel pounces. They see my passport, recognise me as Palestinian, and immediately give me a sticker that indicates that I must be searched. I’m then subjected to long, detailed questioning about where I’m going and for what purpose, and an equally harrowing baggage search, which is done slowly and manually, as though the x-ray machines wouldn’t pick up objects of suspicion. People’s reaction to this treatment is varied; some are frightened and intimidated, but most are humiliated and furious; many a voice rises in these halls.

Well, one does not travel every day. More pressing are the questions of daily life and work. For Palestinians to actually get jobs in the Israeli system is an exercise in itself. When I arrived in the Galilee in 1995, fresh out of Lancaster University in England with a BSc in computer science and some work experience, numerous interviewers in Israeli hi-tech companies demanded my army number. I was unable to provide it. Palestinians are exempt from serving in the Israeli army that oppresses their fellow Palestinians in the occupied territories. I was thanked and told that the companies would “call me.” No such calls came. In fact, as I discovered, this is the state’s way of discriminating against Palestinians in employment without appearing to do so outright. In the few instances when I found a job, it was in smaller companies with less rigid hiring procedures that were usually desperate for someone who knew English, since neither Arabs nor Jews in Israel are especially fluent in English. Twice, I found myself the only Arab among thirty or more Israeli employees.

The state has put in place an almost mind-boggling array of discrimination tools, such that one almost wonders at the ingenuity with which a people can practice systematic oppression of another.

In every Arab community, and in the five mixed cities where both Jews and Arabs live, de facto discrimination is readily apparent. Israel’s 1.37 million Arab citizens vote, pay taxes, and speak Hebrew, yet they suffer pervasive discrimination, unequal allocation of resources and violation of their legal rights. Housing, education, and income all substantially lag behind those of the Jewish majority. Only 3 percent of the land in Israel proper is owned by Arabs; permits are rarely granted to Arab families to expand their housing; and most Jewish towns and neighbourhoods remain off-limits.ii

Even more alarming, Israeli society is tending more towards right-wing ideology and racism. A 2012 surveyiii found that most Israelis believe that the state practices “apartheid” against Palestinians, and they are in favour of this. One-third to one-half of Jewish Israelis, according to the survey results, want to live in a state that practices formal, open discrimination against its Arab citizens.

The majority of the Jewish public, 59 percent, wants preference for Jews over Arabs in admission to jobs in government ministries. Almost half the Jews, 49 percent, want the state to treat Jewish citizens better than Arab citizens; 42 percent don’t want to live in the same building with Arabs and 42 percent don’t want their children in the same class with Arab children.

A third of the Jewish public wants a law barring Israeli Arabs from voting for the Knesset and a large majority of 69 percent objects to giving 2.5 million Palestinians the right to vote if Israel annexes the West Bank.

A sweeping 74 percent majority is in favour of separate roads for Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank.

The findings “reflect the widespread notion that Israel, as a Jewish State, should be a state that favours Jews,” wrote Noam Sheizaf, an Israeli journalist and blogger. “They are also the result of the occupation … After almost half a century of dominating another people, it’s no surprise that most Israelis don’t think Arabs deserve the same rights.”

Far from building bridges and attempting to negotiate a peaceful reconciliation, we live at the opposite end of the spectrum.

What do people do? Well, what they do everywhere else: they get up, send their children to school, and go out to battle the odds for survival every day. Some attend Israeli universities, get degrees, then usually find themselves in lower paying jobs that they’re just glad to have. Others finish school and, with difficult financial conditions being prevalent among the Arab population and their not being eligible for any government student loans, find themselves out of education and in the workforce. A large number of Israel’s Palestinians thus work in construction, factories, and other forms of manual labour simply because of lack of opportunity. Many university graduates also join these ranks after spending years looking for a professional job to no avail.

But Palestinians are highly resilient, because they’ve simply had to be. So they keep their culture, speak their language, albeit with a lot of Hebrew influence, and practice their customs. They protect as much as they can of their heritage and push forth for a decent life in this state that was forced on them. And, at the end of the day, they’re not going anywhere.

In recent years, also, youth have become fed up with the system and are more forthcoming in voicing their dissent. Their parents and grandparents grew up in a culture of military rule; today’s generation is far from being intimidated. It is getting more education and is realising, as it sees itself within the world and looks at other countries, that it is living in a system of apartheid. There is increasing awareness among Palestinians, even the poorest and least educated, that they are not being treated fairly and that discrimination is a yoke on their backs.

There can be no talk of peace in the current climate. The struggle faced by the Palestinians in Israel is for full civil rights and an end to discrimination, as the struggle faced by their brethren in the Palestinian territory is to end the 46-year-long occupation. Both will continue to fight for these human rights, because they can’t be trampled on forever.

*Fida Jiryis is a Palestinian writer, editor, and author of Hayatuna Elsagheera (Our Small Life), 2011, and Al-Khawaja, 2013, two collections of Arabic short stories depicting village life in the Galilee. 


i The Arabs in Israel, Sabri Jiryis, Monthly Review Press, USA, 1976, p. xi.
ii The Paradox of Ethnicity and Citizenship, New Israel Fund, 2011, http://www.nif.org/issue-areas/israeli-arabs/
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iii The new Israeli apartheid: Poll reveals widespread Jewish support for policy of discrimination against Arab minority, Catrina Stewart, The Independent, Tuesday October 23, 2012; Survey: Most Israeli Jews wouldn’t give Palestinians vote if West Bank was annexed, Gideon Levy, Haaretz, October 23, 2012.

Written FOR

PALESTINIAN (CHECKPOINT) HIP-HOP

Up-and-coming Pittsburgh Emcee Jasiri X releases “Checkpoint,” a chilling music video documenting his experience visiting Palestine in 2014. The video features footage Jasiri himself captured of Israeli soldiers, as well as newsreel clips of IDF brutality against Palestinians and internationals. Watch closely, Ferrari Sheppard of Stop Being Famous has cameo in this powerful video.

Share and Enjoy.

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And here are the lyrics:

Journal of the hard times tales from the dark side
Evidence of the settlements on my hard drive
Man I swear my heart died at the end of that car ride
When I saw that checkpoint welcome to apartheid
Soldiers wear military green at the checkpoint
Automatic guns that’s machine at the checkpoint
Tavors not m16s at the checkpoint
Fingers on the trigger you’ll get leaned at the checkpoint
Little children grown adults or teens at the checkpoint
All ya papers better be clean at the checkpoint
You gotta but your finger on the screen at the checkpoint
And pray that red light turns green at the check point

If Martin Luther King had a dream of the checkpoint
He wake with loud screams from the scenes at the checkpoint
It’s Malcolm X by any means at the check point
Imagine if you daily routine was the checkpoint

Separation walls that’s surrounding the checkpoint
On top is barbwire like a crown on the checkpoint
Better have ya permits if your found at the checkpoint
Gunmen on the tower aiming down at the checkpoint
The idea is to keep you in fear of the checkpoint
You enter through the cage in the rear of the checkpoint
It feels like prison on a tier at the check point
I’d rather be anywhere but here at this checkpoint
Nelson Mandela wasn’t blind to the check point
He stood for free Palestine not a check point
Support BDS don’t give a dime to the checkpoint
This is international crime at the checkpoint
Arabs get treated like dogs at the checkpoint
Cause discrimination is the law at the checkpoint
Criminalized without a cause at the checkpoint
I’m just telling you what I saw at the checkpoint
Soldiers got bad attitudes at the checkpoint
Condescending and real rude at the checkpoint
Don’t look em in they eyes when they move at the checkpoint
They might strip a man or woman nude at the checkpoint
Soldiers might blow you out of ya shoes at the checkpoint
Gas you up and then light the fuse at the checkpoint
Everyday you stand to be accused at the checkpoint
Each time your life you could lose at the checkpoint

If Martin Luther King had a dream of the checkpoint
He wake with loud screams from the scenes at the checkpoint
It’s Malcolm X by any means at the check point
Imagine if you daily routine was the checkpoint

At the airport in Tel Aviv is a checkpoint
They pulled over our taxi at the checkpoint
Passport visa ID at the checkpoint
Soldiers going all through my things at the checkpoint
Said I was high risk security at the checkpoint
Because of the oppression I see at the checkpoint
Occupation in the 3rd degree at the checkpoint
All a nigga wanna do is leave fuck a checkpoint

Sheppard and Jasiri X were traveling together in Israel/Palestine on a delegation organized by the Carter Center of prominent African-American journalists and artists. You can read more about the trip on Sheppard’s site here, here’s an excerpt:

In Jerusalem, I witnessed great religious and ethnic diversity. I saw Arabs, Asians, Europeans, Africans, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, Christians, all scrambling in Old City Jerusalem towards their various destinations. It was postcard worthy.

The variety of cultures in Jerusalem is outstanding. Similar to many societies however, Palestine-Israel presents a polished version of itself to tourists, where 5-star hotels in Tel Aviv and tourist attractions in Jerusalem cloak its brutal realities. The fact remains that our delegation was subject to a type of racism I’ve only experienced in the southern states of the United States of America. Of course, to a Jew or a middle class Palestinian living in Jerusalem or Nazareth, my observations may sound like exaggerations, but for the African migrant sleeping on the ground in South Tel Aviv, or for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, my evaluations are dead on.

The blatant, systemic subjugation and profiling of Arabs was most pronounced when our tour guide, a middle class Palestinian woman, was forced by IDF soldiers to exit our tour van and pass through a checkpoint on foot. As all Palestinians must do, she was told to place her thumb on a scanner to pass through a turn-style at a checkpoint. The members of our delegation were no exception to IDF scrutiny. The light skinned blacks in our delegation were interrogated and asked bluntly if they were Arab, and if not, what the last names of their fathers’ were.

Palestinians and progressive Israelis told our delegation story after story of the abuses and degradation they’ve suffered at the hands of Israeli settlers or soldiers, and we witnessed some of this treatment first hand. Along with the rampant home and land confiscation in the West Bank (in which settlers receive state subsidies), agricultural violence is on the rise, as settlers uproot and destroy the olive trees Palestinians rely on for income and nourishment. More sinisterly, public beatings, arrests and shootings are common, particularly in the West Bank. Without charges, a Palestinian can be imprisoned and held for months or years under administrative detention. The same law does not apply to Jewish Israelis. In fact, Israeli citizens can commit a range of crimes against Palestinians with near impunity.

 

Originally posted AT

ISRAEL’S PLANNED OCCUPATION OF THE INTERNET

Netanyahu is not satisfied with the occupation of all of Palestine, now he wants to occupy the entire Internet as well …. including our minds.

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“There should be a sort of UN for the internet. A coalition of the leading companies in the cyber world…and in my opinion Israel is the most advanced.”

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‘Turn the curse into a blessing’: Netanyahu wants UN of the internet

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his opening speech of the "CyberTech 2014" international conference on January 27, 2014. (AFP Photo / Jack Guez)

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said at the Cybertech conference in Tel Aviv that he wants to create a coalition of leading companies to turn the internet from a curse into a blessing.

In the wake of a reported breach of Defense Ministry computers, Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu talked of the importance of cyber security at an Israeli cybertech conference in the Israeli capital on Monday, Globes reports.

“The biggest challenge we face with the cyber world is protecting the privacy and security of the public. There could be a serious breach,” he said.

“There should be a sort of UN for the internet. A coalition of the leading companies in the cyber world…and in my opinion Israel is the most advanced,” he added.

Fleshing out his plan during the conference, the prime minister said he envisaged hundreds of cybertech companies being set up in an unprecedented cooperation between the government and the business world. He explained that the more computerized the world gets, the more vulnerable we all become, and so we must deal with it in a systematic and focused manner.

“This project is big and reflects our visions to develop Israel with international cooperation. We all want to see a cyber-world that is open, free and cooperative. When you think cyber, think Israel,” Israel’s leader said.

Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive of IBM Software and Systems, speaks during the opening of the "CyberTech 2014" international conference on January 27, 2014 in the Mediterranean coastal city of Tel-Aviv. (AFP Photo / Jack Guez)Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive of IBM Software and Systems, speaks during the opening of the “CyberTech 2014″ international conference on January 27, 2014 in the Mediterranean coastal city of Tel-Aviv. (AFP Photo / Jack Guez)

 

Netanyahu’s speech came hot on the heels of it becoming public that hackers had broken into an Israeli Defense Ministry computer via an email attachment earlier this month, which was tainted with malicious software.

The hackers broke into 15 computers, one of them belonging to Israel’s Civil Administration that monitors Palestinians in Israeli occupied territory.

The software managed to fool employees at the Defense Ministry because it looked like it had been sent by Israel’s Shin Bet secret security service, an Israeli cyber security firm said on Sunday.

The chief technology officer at Seculert, Aviv Raff, told Reuters that Palestinians were suspected of being behind the attack, but other than that he did not have any information on what the hackers did. The Defense Ministry declined to comment.

 

Source

OXFAM WAVERS IN ITS STANCE AGAINST APARTHEID

OXFAM can’t seem to make up its mind on boycotting the Occupation of Israel …. perhaps if we boycott them it will open their eyes to the injustices they are supporting ….STOP SUPPORTING OXFAM until they support the BDS Movement!

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OxfamOxsham

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First there was this FROM …..

Oxfam tells SodaStream spokesmodel Scarlett Johansson that settlements harm Palestinians

 by Ali Abunimah

Scarlett Johansson (Gage Skidmore/Wikipedia)

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The international development charity Oxfamhas publicly admonished Hollywood actressScarlett Johansson over her new and highly controversial role as spokesperson for the Israeli occupation profiteering firmSodaStream.

“We are proud of our relationship with Scarlett Johansson who has worked with Oxfam since 2005 to support Oxfam’s mission to end poverty and injustice,” the charity says in a statement.

“As an Oxfam Global Ambassador, she has travelled to India, Sri Lanka and Kenya to highlight the impact of traumatic disasters and chronic poverty, and she has helped to raise critical funds for life-saving and poverty-fighting work around the world. We deeply value her support.”

But, the statement, adds, “Oxfam believes that businesses that operate in settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support. Oxfam is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law.”

“We have made our concerns known to Ms Johansson and we are now engaged in a dialogue on these important issues.”

Campaigns

In the UK, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign is urging people to contact Oxfam to call for Johansson “to immediately end her contract with Sodastream or to cut ties with her following her signing up with Sodastream.”

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation has issued a similar action alert aimed at Oxfam America.

It is still unclear whether Oxfam will eventually drop Johansson – following a 2009 precedent with Hollywood actress Kristin Davis – or whether the charity will convince Johansson to drop her lucrative contract with SodaStream.

Clearly it would be preferable if Johansson would learn the lesson and walk away from SodaStream. Either way, it is now apparent that no matter how much money you get, doing business with firms that exploit Palestinian workers and profit from Israeli crimes carries, at least, a mounting reputational cost.

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And now THIS ….. also FROM

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Oxfam backs Scarlett Johansson, despite actress’ endorsement of Israeli settlements

 by Ali Abunimah
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International charity Oxfam is standing by its “Global Ambassador” Scarlett Johansson, at least for now, despite the fact that the Hollywood actress has come out in full support of Israeli settlements and profiteering in the occupied West Bank.

Johansson has faced strong criticism and media scrutiny for a multi-million dollar endorsement deal with SodaStream, an Israeli firm that operates in an illegal colony in the occupied West Bank.

In a statement yesterday, Johansson defended the deal and praised Israeli settlements.

“We have been engaged in dialogue with Scarlett Johansson and she has now expressed her position in a statement, including stressing her pride in her past work with Oxfam,” Oxfam spokesperson Kate Pattison told The Electronic Intifada in an email this morning.

“Oxfam is now considering the implications [of] her new statement and what it means for Ms Johansson’s role as an Oxfam global ambassador,” Pattison added.

Laundering settlements

In a statement to The Huffington Post yesterday, Johansson attempted launder the SodaStream deal as something beneficial for “peace”:

“I remain a supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine,” the actress said. “SodaStream is a company that is not only committed to the environment but to building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine, supporting neighbors working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights. That is what is happening in their Ma’ale Adumim factory every working day.”

Maale Adumim is an Israeli colony built on occupied Palestinian land in violation of international law.

Choosing celebrity over principle

Johansson’s clear endorsement of Israeli colonization and regurgitation of SodaStream propaganda is at sharp odds with Oxfam’s own policy.

In a statement on 23 January, Oxfam said it had informed the actress that “Oxfam believes that businesses that operate in settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support. Oxfam is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law.”

Johansson’s statement indicates that the “dialogue” Oxfam has been hiding behind has failed to impress on the actress that profiting from Israeli crimes is totally incompatible with a role promoting human rights and development.

But at least for now, Oxfam has chosen to back celebrity over principle by continuing to stand behind Johansson.

In doing so, it has taken a clear position against Palestinians and their rights and chosen complicity with Israeli occupation and colonization.

Update

In light of Oxfam’s comments to The Electronic Intifada and Johansson’s statement, US Campaign to End the Israeli OccupationAdalah-NY and Jewish Voice for Peace todayexpressed outrage at Johansson’s endorsement of settlements and Oxfam’s failure to act on it.

“We demand Oxfam respond immediately and drop her as their Global Ambassador in accordance with their own stated position that settlements are a major barrier to peace and contributor to poverty,” said the US Campaign’s Ramah Kudaimi.

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OXFAM must keep in mind that when you sit on the fence, there is always the danger that you will fall flat on your face!

BRINGING BETHLEHEM TO LONDON ~~ WALL AND ALL

St. James’ Church in central London unveiled an eight-meter-high replica of the Israeli-built concrete wall that entirely surrounds the Palestinian city of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, the traditional birthplace of Jesus.
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index

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London church blocks its facade with replica of Israeli wall around Bethlehem

WHAT THE WESTERN PRESS OMITS ABOUT LIFE IN PALESTINE

http://www.dci-pal.org/english/publ/research/2008/UASTcover.jpg

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This past week the Western Media ran story after story about rock throwing incidents throughout Israel allegedly involving Palestinians. The victim card has been used to its fullest extent.

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What that press seems to overlook is the constant struggle of the Palestinians to stay alive while at the same time living in constant fear. Below, caught on video is what the West never gets to see or hear about.

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Children too frightened to sleep or woken by the sounds of rampaging settlers. Molotov cocktails through living room windows. Settlers firing guns, protected by soldiers. Hateful slogans daubed on walls. Settler children throwing rocks.

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New video highlights settler terror against Palestinian families

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Children too frightened to sleep or woken by the sounds of rampaging settlers. Molotov cocktails through living room windows. Settlers firing guns, protected by soldiers. Hateful slogans daubed on walls. Settler children throwing rocks.

These are some of the daily experiences Palestinian children and parents describe in this new short documentary Living in Fear: In the shadow of Israeli settlements, from Defence for Children International – Palestine Section (DCI-PS).

The video focuses on attacks by settlers from Yitzhar, a colony established in 1983 on lands stolen from surrounding villages in the northern occupied West Bank.

The attacks are frequent and ongoing as the settlers seize more land.

In 2011 alone, UN OCHA recorded 70 attacks by Yizhar settlers, “the largest figure recorded from a single settlement” that year.

Why is this happening? “They want us to leave our homes. That’s what they want,” says one mother.

Here’s DCI-PS’s description with more information:

The Jewish settlement of Yitzhar is described by The New York Times as “an extremist bastion on the hilltops commanding the Palestinian city of Nablus in the northern West Bank.” Its roughly 1,000 radical Jewish settlers terrorize 20,000 Palestinians from the surrounding villages of Burin, Madama, Asira al-Qibliya, Urif, Einabus and Huwara.

“Multiple times they would reach as far as our doorstep,” says Um Majdi from Asira al-Qibliya. “Some of them throw rocks at us, others set fires, and some write hate slogans on the walls. We’re in a stressed psychological state.”

Yitzhar settlers are responsible for hate crimes, termed “price tag” attacks, targeting Palestinians in retaliation for actions, including those initiated by the Israeli government, against Jewish settlements in the West Bank. They have also repeatedly attacked the US-funded water project in Asira al-Qibliya.

Settlements like Yitzhar continue to expand in the West Bank with Israeli government support. There are approximately 650,000 settlers living in over 200 settlements on Palestinian land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

“The idea behind the Israeli settlement policy in the West Bank is very clear,” says Dror Etkes, the director of Israeli organization Kerem Navot, which studies land use in the West Bank. “To marginalize the Palestinian community, which is about 90 percent of the population, still today, to certain enclaves … in order to leave as much as possible vacant land for the development of the Israeli settlements.”

Settlements have a profound impact on the lives of Palestinians throughout the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Apart from the loss of land taken for the settlements and their related infrastructure, settler violence, such as beatings, shootings and destruction of property are a common occurrence in the lives of Palestinians, including children.

“Sometimes I dream that they shoot at us,” says 12-year-old Roa’a Abu Majdi. “They take us, along with the neighbors’ kids, and throw us in a hole.”

The Israeli authorities have consistently failed to prevent settler attacks against Palestinians and to take adequate law enforcement measures against settlers who commit these crimes. Israeli soldiers often turn a blind eye and fail to intervene in confrontations. DCI-Palestine has also documented cases where soldiers actively participate in civilian attacks by settlers.

Produced by DCI-Palestine – Edited and Directed by Dima Abu Ghoush – Production Management by Collage Production.

 

Written FOR

 

THE GREATEST THREAT TO ISRAEL IS NOT THE BDS MOVEMENT, BUT ZIONISM ITSELF

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The BDS movement demands what Israel actually pretends to be: a normal democracy in a state of all its people. It does not ask anyone to leave or to accept less than equal rights. It asks only that Jews be willing to live on equal terms with non-Jews, with Palestinians or Bedouins, Christian, Muslim or secular, and to live in a land of all its people. That would be real belonging, not colonial settlement.
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The nightmare hidden within liberal Zionism

David Lloyd *
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Since the American Studies Association (ASA) announced this month that its members had voted overwhelmingly to endorse the boycott of Israeli academic institutions, the predictable outpouring of furious responses has been proliferating.

They range from former Harvard president Larry Summers’ recycling of the threadbare charge that the boycott is tantamount to anti-Semitism to the soundbites of homophobic, Islamophobic venom that have been spewed onto the ASA’s Facebook page and into the inboxes of its officers.

But surely the most disingenuous of responses to date is that of The Crisis of Zionism author and Open Zion editor Peter Beinart in The Daily Beast — despite the fact that Beinart eschews the overheated and overtly bigoted language deployed by other critics (“The real problem with the American Studies Association’s boycott of Israel,” 17 December 2013).

Indeed, Beinart generously exonerates the ASA from anti-Semitic tendencies, though the ASA has no need of his good graces on that score. It would have been better for Beinart to consider whether the really anti-Semitic gesture is not the Zionist demand that all Jews, no matter what their political or ethical beliefs, accept a single state as their representative and offer their allegiance to it, even if it is founded in discrimination, exclusion and ethnic cleansing.

To demand such an identification of all Jews is not only to dismiss the growing number of Jews worldwide who are challenging the nature of the “Jewish State,” but also to erase centuries of diverse and non-Zionist Jewish traditions.

Beinart also gives the ASA a pass on inconsistency, both for being an academic association boycotting academic institutions and for seeming to single out Israel for special attention. The ASA doubtlessly welcomes his dispensation, even though what it really reveals is his complete misunderstanding of the history and practice of boycott as a political tactic deployed by social movements.

“Orwellian”

But it is at the very heart of his column that Beinart reveals the peculiar and irresolvable contradictions that afflict the would-be liberal Zionist and the extraordinary contortions of truly Orwellian language that are required to magic those contradictions away.

How else, indeed, can one manage to normalize a state that has made itself an exception in every possible way while demanding to be viewed as the “only democracy in the Middle East?”

Beinart accuses the ASA and the Palestinian boycott movement as a whole of covertly “oppos[ing] the existence of a Jewish state within any borders.” They refuse, he complains, to distinguish between “the West Bank, where Palestinians lack citizenship, the right to vote and the right to due process, and Israel proper, where Palestinians, although discriminated against, enjoy all three.”

It’s a nice sleight of hand. Admitting that there is discrimination in Israel takes the reader’s eye off the real game, which is to pretend that that discrimination is an aberration, not the very essence of Israel’s basic laws and practices.

Shell game

Beinart cannot not know that Israeli law makes a distinction between holding formal citizenship (ezrahut) while while distributing the crucial category of nationality (le’um) on ethnic grounds, thus reserving for Jews the most substantial rights, including that of return and access to land.

This distinction was reaffirmed in October by Israel’s supreme court which threw out a petition by 21 citizens to have their nationality recorded in the population registry as “Israeli” rather than “Jewish.” The court ruled that removing this distinction would endanger Israel’s status as a “Jewish state” — that is to say one where Jews are privileged above non-Jewish citizens.

In this malicious shell game, Palestinians and other “non-Jews” face not only discrimination, but permanent exclusion from fundamental rights that in virtually every other state — and any claiming to be a “democracy” — are entailed upon citizenship.

Palestinians are not “immigrants”

Beinart also seeks to cover up another act of exclusion that is fundamental to Israel’s character as a racial state. This is his most fabulously Orwellian moment: “The BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctions] movement’s call for ‘respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties’ denies Israel’s right to set its own immigration policy. So does the movement’s call for ‘recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality,’ which presumably denies Israel’s right to maintain the preferential immigration policy that makes it a refuge for Jews.”

“Preferential immigration policy” is the sanitary phrase with which Beinart describes the denial to refugees of the right, guaranteed under international law, to return to their homes. Palestinians in the diaspora who seek to return are not immigrants, but an indigenous people that has been ethnically cleansed from lands and communities where they have lived for generations.

They are the people who lived in the village of Issawiyeh, on whose expropriated land Hebrew University has built its Rabin Building, or who were deported from the destroyed village of Sheikh Muwanis, on which Tel Aviv University is located.

Or they are, like the great poet Mahmoud Darwish, the “present absentees”; people disappeared almost as much by the richly inventive language of Israeli discrimination that Beinart echoes as by the actual practices that turn an indigenous people into “immigrants” or “infiltrators.”

And that process of transfer is ongoing for the inhabitants of occupied East Jerusalem who, having been consistently denied permits to extend their houses under Israeli “law,” find their homes demolished or “legally” expropriated by settlers.

The exclusion is ongoing for any Palestinian “citizen” of Israel who, having married another Palestinian from a few miles away in the West Bank, is denied the right to family reunification and must self-transfer to other parts of the occupied territories.

Rights as “existential threat”

Is the Palestinian demand for Israel to “recogniz[e] the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality” so outlandish or outrageous?

In what other state would such a demand by any minority, indigenous or not, be seen as heralding the destruction of the state or as discriminating against the majority?

The examples that come to mind, inevitably, are apartheid South Africa, or Northern Ireland in the days when it was a “Protestant state for a Protestant people” and Catholics, who forged a civil rights movement to demand equal rights, were confronted with brutal state rejection and violence.

Such regimes, based fundamentally in discrimination or in the grossly unequal exercise of power or privilege, always regard any challenge to the system that maintains inequality as an existential threat.

The truth of Israel

In this respect, the occupied Palestinian territories are not to be distinguished from the “normal” or “proper” state of Israel. It is not only that, as Gideon Levy recently wrote in Haaretz, all Israeli institutions are complicit in the occupation. It is that the occupation and its practices are the truth of Israel itself.

The early Zionists, in their recognition of the existence of an indigenous Arab population that would not accept colonization and in their belief in the necessity of an “iron wall” of military force to realize their colonial projects, were not only prophetic. They were considerably more honest than current liberal Zionists about the nature of what they were doing.

“Two-state solution” threatens Palestinians

The increasingly remote possibility of the two-state solution, undermined by the daily expansion of illegal settlements, will not resolve the essentially discriminatory nature of an exclusive racial state. Perceived as a “demographic threat,” another Orwellian euphemism invoked to justify ethnic cleansing, it is Palestinians in Israel who face an existential threat in any two-state solution.

Such a “solution” would not — and should not — put an end, to the Palestinian pursuit of justice and equality. Under what dystopian code should any people abandon its rights or its pursuit of equal treatment under the law?

But this does not mean that the BDS movement intends the “destruction of the state of Israel,” with all the connotations of genocide or expulsion that that phrase, more or less openly invokes. It seeks its transformation.

An invitation

The BDS movement demands what Israel actually pretends to be: a normal democracy in a state of all its people. It does not ask anyone to leave or to accept less than equal rights. It asks only that Jews be willing to live on equal terms with non-Jews, with Palestinians or Bedouins, Christian, Muslim or secular, and to live in a land of all its people. That would be real belonging, not colonial settlement.

That is an invitation, not a threat. It is an invitation to Jews everywhere, and to all people, to realize the emancipatory potential embedded in every struggle for justice and in every act of local or international solidarity with those struggles.

It is an invitation to free oneself from the painful contradiction of advocating democracy and defending and supporting oppression. It is an invitation to step out of the meshes of a Zionist dream that has become a nightmare, ever more rigid and repressive, and to embrace the possibilities and the risks that true democracy and ethical decolonization entail.

Nelson Mandela’s death has brought to mind again the fact that for a peace process in South Africa to begin, white South Africans had, to their eventual credit, to stand down from their exclusionary racial privileges. In Northern Ireland too, Protestants had to relinquish their monopoly on rule in order for the peace process to begin.

Some have called these the costs of peacemaking. Perhaps it would be better to think of them as the gifts peace brings to those willing to contemplate cohabitation in a just society.

*David Lloyd is Distinguished Professor of English at University of California, Riverside.

 

Written FOR

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RELATED from HaAretz

ASA BOYCOTT RESOLUTION IRKS THE FOUNDATIONS OF ZION

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ASA membership votes to boycott Israel by landslide

Ali Abunimah 

The full membership of the American Studies Association (ASA) has voted by a two-to-one margin to endorse an academic boycott of Israel, it was announced today.

The referendum was called after the National Council, the ASA’s governing body,endorsed the boycott itself on 4 December.

The vote is likely to be seen as an historic milestone in the Palestinian campaign forboycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS), particularly in the United States, where university administrations have forcefully opposed student and faculty initiatives of this kind.

The ASA describes itself as the “nation’s oldest and largest association devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history.”

It has 5,000 individual members along with 2,200 library and other institutional subscribers.

The ASA has also published detailed guidance and a “Frequently Asked Questions” document [PDF] about what the boycott means in practice.

More can be read HERE

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The Resolution ….
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Council Statement on the Academic Boycott of Israel

ASA National Council Votes Unanimously To Endorse Academic Boycott of Israel

One year ago, the Academic and Community Activism Caucus of the American Studies Association (ASA) asked the Executive Committee (EC) to consider a resolution to honor the call from Palestinian civil society to support the academic boycott of Israel. The EC forwarded the resolution to the National Council. Following the deliberative procedures detailed below, the Council unanimously decided to issue a revised version of the resolution, which we now recommend to members of the ASA.  Please follow this link to read the resolution.

The Council voted for an academic boycott of Israeli institutions as an ethical stance, a form of material and symbolic action. It represents a principle of solidarity with scholars and students deprived of their academic freedom and an aspiration to enlarge that freedom for all, including Palestinians.

We believe that the ASA’s endorsement of a boycott is warranted given U.S. military and other support for Israel; Israel’s violation of international law and UN resolutions; the documented impact of the Israeli occupation on Palestinian scholars and students; the extent to which Israeli institutions of higher education are a party to state policies that violate human rights; and the support of such a resolution by many members of the ASA.

Our resolution understands boycott as limited to a refusal on the part of the Association in its official capacities to enter into formal collaborations with Israeli academic institutions, or with scholars who are expressly serving as representatives or ambassadors of those institutions, or on behalf of the Israeli government, until Israel ceases to violate human rights and international law.

The resolution does not apply to individual Israeli scholars engaged in ordinary forms of academic exchange, including conference presentations, public lectures at campuses, or collaboration on research and publication. The Council also recognizes that individual members will act according to their convictions on these complex matters.

The ASA is a large organization that represents divergent opinions. Anticipating strong and potentially divided feelings on this question, the Council unanimously decided to ask ASA members to endorse the resolution by a vote.

Background on the Resolution

The resolution is the culmination of a long history of discussion and debate in the ASA. In 2006, in response to Israel’s attacks on Lebanon and Gaza, the ASA International Committee (IC), including a former ASA President, discussed the possibility of endorsing a boycott. In 2009, in the wake of Israel’s military assault on Gaza and in response to requests from ASA members, several bodies in the Association again took up the question of a boycott: the IC, the Program Committee for the 2009 convention, and the Executive Committee, which included the current ASA President. The consensus then was that members needed more opportunities to learn about and discuss the issues and so the Program Committee organized two featured panels: “Palestine in Crisis” and “Academic Freedom and the Right to Education: The Question of Palestine.” Scheduled in prime times on Friday and Saturday of the convention, the panels addressed the plight of Palestinian universities and academics and the profound pressures on teaching and research contexts in the U.S. and Palestine where education and intellectual freedom were under attack. The second panel focused in particular on the boycott movement.

In the wake of such discussions, the Academic and Community Activism Caucus (ACAC) met at the 2012 ASA convention to consider a resolution and gather signatures. This resolution was then submitted to the Executive Committee and, in December, posted on the Caucus’ page on the ASA web site. Information about the resolution was also included in the December 2012 ASA Newsletter distributed to all ASA members.

In March of 2013, the Program Committee for the 2013 ASA convention met and discussed ways to create opportunities at the meeting to discuss issues related to calls for boycott. The resulting program included 8 sessions on “Middle East American Studies,” with four focused specifically on United States/Israel/Palestine. At the same time the Ethnic Studies Committee organized two panels about settler colonialism that discussed the Israeli occupation of Palestine, while the ACAC organized a panel called “Boycott as a Non-Violent Strategy of Collective Dissent.”

In May 2013 the Executive Committee met and discussed the proposed resolution submitted by the ACAC at great length. It agreed that it would be in the best interest of the organization to solicit from the membership as many perspectives as possible on the proposed resolution to aid the National Council in its discussions and decision-making. With the past President and a prominent, senior member of the Association serving as moderators, it held an open session during the November National Convention at which the National Council was present to hear directly from the membership. Members were notified of the open discussion well in advance of the convention and it was highlighted as a featured event in both online and print versions of the program. Additionally, members who could not attend the session or the convention were encouraged to contact the EC directly via email, and many did so. 

The Saturday November 23rd open discussion was attended by approximately 745 ASA members. Members distributed information about the boycott in advance, and the hall was filled with leaflets representing different views. The moderators carefully and clearly articulated the different actions that could be taken and the process for deliberation. To guarantee an orderly and fair discussion members who wished to speak put their name in a box from which speakers were randomly selected. Speakers were limited to 2 minutes, providing the opportunity to hear from forty-four different speakers during the time allotted for the special session. The discussion was passionate but respectful.  Speakers included students, faculty, past Presidents, former members of the National Council, former and current members of the AQ editorial staff, American Studies department chairs, and an ASA member also representing the organization Jewish Voice for Peace. While different opinions were articulated, the overwhelming majority spoke in support of the ASA endorsing an academic boycott.

Remaining in session over the course of 8 days after the open session, Council members spoke and wrote from different perspectives, debated different possibilities, and critically yet generously engaged each other. The resulting resolution reflects, we think, the history and present state of conversations within the ASA, offering a principled position for the Association’s participation in the academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions while respecting the unique conditions and diverse positions of our membership on this issue.

In the last several decades, the ASA has welcomed scholarship that critically analyzes the U.S. state, its role domestically and abroad, and that reaches out beyond U.S. borders. Our commitment to cutting-edge and transnational scholarship has been accompanied by the comparative study of borders, migration, and citizenship. The ASA also has a history of critical engagement with the field of Native American and Indigenous studies that has increasingly come to shape and influence the field and the Association, and the Council acknowledged the force of Israeli and U.S. settler colonialism throughout our deliberations. Finally, the resolution is in keeping with the ASA’s continuing commitment to ethical research and the right of scholars to dissent and to take public positions.

The Council believes that the resolution is of particular significance to scholars of American Studies. Together, we endorse it, and recommend that ASA members endorse it as well.

The ASA National Council

Jennifer Devere Brody, Stanford University
Ann Cvetkovich, University of Texas, Austin
Jeremy Dean. University of Texas, Austin
Lisa Duggan, New York University
Avery Gordon, University of California, Santa Barbara
Matthew Frye Jacobson, Yale University
E. Patrick Johnson, Northwestern University
J. Kehaulani Kauanui, Wesleyan University
Marisol LeBrón, New York University
Karen Leong, Arizona State University
Sunaina Maira, University of California, Davis
Martin F. Manalansan IV, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Curtis Marez, University of California, San Diego
Roya Rastegar, Bryn Mawr College
Chandan Reddy, University of Washington, Seattle
Juana María Rodríguez, University of California, Berkeley
María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo, New York University
Nikhil Pal Singh, New York University

Due to a family emergency, Juri Abe, Rikkyo University, Tokyo, Japan, was not present for the National Council meeting where the resolution was passed.

From

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And the zionist response …

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Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, said, “This vote to boycott Israel, one of the most democratic and academically free nations on the globe, shows the Orwellian anti-Semitism and moral bankruptcy of the American Studies Association.”

“The Middle East is literally filled with dead from governments’ reaction to the convulsions of the ‘Arab Spring,’ but the American Studies Association singles out the Jewish state, the one Middle Eastern country that shares American values, for opprobrium?”

Full Report HERE

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And of course there’s ‘The Mouse That Roared’ …..

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Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

This shameful, morally bankrupt and intellectually dishonest attack on academic freedom by the American Studies Association should be soundly condemned by all who are committed to the ideal that open exchange of ideas is the most effective way to achieve change. Targeting Israeli institutions solely because they are in Israel — the only democratic country in the Middle East where scholarship and debate are encouraged and flourish – is based on a myopic and fundamentally distorted perspective of Israel and the conflict and is manifestly unjust.

We commend those members of the ASA who boldly spoke out and voted against this shameful resolution. We further applaud the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) for reiterating its opposition to academic boycotts which “strike directly at the free exchange of ideas.” 

Although the ASA resolution will likely have limited practical impact on Israeli academic institutions and on Israeli academics, those members of the ASA who voted in favor of this resolution should also understand the hateful message they are sending. As Lawrence Summers, who, when he was president of Harvard a decade ago said about an initiative to boycott Israel, “Serious and thoughtful people are advocating and taking actions that are anti-Semitic in their effect if not their intent.”

We call on academic institutions across the United States to enhance their existing relationships with Israeli universities and research institutions and stand resolutely in support of open exchange, dialogue and study.

From

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IN PHOTOS ~~ BRAVING THE COLD AND SNOW TO PROTEST BLOOD DIAMONDS AND OCCUPATION

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Due to the freezing weather in New York only a few were expected at Leviev’s to protest his support of the Occupation, but scores showed up. Below are the photos taken yesterday ….

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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ISRAEL SUCCUMBS TO WORLD PRESSURE AND DUMPS PRAWER PLAN

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The Prawer Plan will soon be history thanks to pressure from around the world. Proof that it pays not to remain silent!
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Begin said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted his recommendation to permanently terminate the current version of the bill, after citing the undeniable opposition from across the political spectrum.
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Bill to displace Israel’s Bedouin to be scrapped, Prawer architect says

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The Bill for Arranging Bedouin Settlement in the Negev, more commonly known as the Prawer Plan, has been scrapped, former minister and drafter of the plan Benny Begin announced at a press conference in Tel Aviv on Thursday (Haaretz report).

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Palestinians and Bedouins from the unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev Desert in a mass solidarity demonstration in Rahat against the “Prawer Plan”, June 28, 2013. (Photo: Shiraz Grinbaum/Activestills.org)
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The bill, first introduced in 2011, is a government plan to forcibly relocate some 40,000 Bedouin citizens living in dozens of “unrecognized” villages in Israel’s Negev desert, which the government has never agreed to recognize or provide services to. The plan has drawn heavy criticism from both Bedouin citizens and human rights groups. In recent months it has also been the source of wide-scale protests across Israel and Palestine. The police suppression and violence that took place at those protests grabbed the attention of mainstream Israeli media.

At a press conference held at the Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv, Begin said: “Right and Left, Jews and Arabs, joined together – at the expense of many Bedouin who are in crisis – to rile things up to a boiling point for their own political gain.”

Begin condemned all those who opposed the bill, adding, “we did the best we could, but sometimes you must face reality.”

Begin said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted his recommendation to permanently terminate the current version of the bill, after citing the undeniable opposition from across the political spectrum.

While today’s news will at the very least delay the State’s plan to implement the largest displacement a Palestinian population since 1967, there is little reason for celebration. It it will only be the end of the current version, which  was in jeopardy mostly due to concerns from right-wing MKs that it was “too generous” to the Bedouin.  It is probable a revised bill will be drafted that will in all likelihood not be any better as far as Bedouin claims. There were many flaws to both the content and form of the bill, but by far the most blatant was the fact that no one from the Bedouin community has been consulted or involved in the process – even after an alternative master plan was submitted.

Earlier this week, coalition leader Yariv Levin specified inferred as much when he said that a revised bill should be drafted and that “whoever won’t agree should be forcefully placed in the areas allotted to Bedouin. The agreement to join the generous outline should be limited in time, and it should be determined that the lands would only be leased to the Bedouins, not registered with the Land Authority as their property.”

In response to the announcement, Rawia Aburabia, an attorney with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) and a Bedouin citizen, stated that the Israeli government now “has an opportunity to conduct real and honest dialogue with the Negev Bedouin community and its representatives. The Negev Bedouin seek a solution to the problem of the unrecognized villages, and a future in Israel as citizens with equal rights.”

PHOTO ESSAY ~~ DON’T QUENCH YOUR THIRST WITH THE WATERS OF APARTHEID

New Yorkers braved the wet and cold yesterday to once again protest the occupation of Palestinian lands, this time at Target, one of the outlets selling SodaStream products …. Our roving photographer was there and sent the following photos.
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Photos © by Bud Korotzer
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CANADIAN PM TO HONOUR ‘ARMY OF ISRAELI TREES’

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“In light of the fact that KKL is active in the Negev we see in JNF’s trees are soldiers in the Zionist army of occupation.”
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Palestinians to protest JNF event: Trees are soldiers in occupation

JNF-KKL event honoring Canadian prime minister expected to attract 1,000 strong Palestinian protest against Bedouin resettlement bill. ‘JNF’s trees are soldiers in Zionist army of occupation’

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Canadian police forces are currently preparing for a Palestinian protest against Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper who is expected to participate in a Jewish National Fund of Canada event.

The event is a dinner being held in the prime minister’s honor and the protest is expected to be attract at least 1,000 people. According to the protest’s organizers, the demonstration is being held in wake of the Praver Plan to resettle Bedouins.

“In light of the fact that KKL is active in the Negev we see in JNF’s trees are soldiers in the Zionist army of occupation,” a Palestinian told Ynet.

Harper is considered pro-Israeli and he is a staunch supporter of Israel, despite ongoing pressure from Muslim groups. Harper was one of the first world leaders to express his support of Israel’s campaign against the nuclear deal reached with Iran in Geneva.

“Canada’s foreign policy has embraced Israel during his Harper’s tenure,” Efi Stenzler head of KKL-JNF said, adding that “this is not something that can be taken for granted.”

More than 4,500 Jews and pro-Israeli Christians will take part in the event with some evening paying $100,000 for a place at the table – with all revenues to be donated to Israel.

Harper, it is worth noting, will not only participate in the event but has requested to make a private and personal donation of his own which will go to Hula Valley center. Efi Stenzler will represent the State of Israel at the event and plans to announce that the center will be named for Harper.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to congratulate the Canadian leader in a video message.

Source

PALTOONS BY LATUFF // DAYS OF RAGE AND SOLIDARITY WITH PALESTINE

All Images ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
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UN declares 2014 the ‘Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People’

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Buy Gifts From Palestine ~~ List of Online Stores Selling Palestinian Products
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Shop in Palestine Palestine – Ships Internationally Clothing, jewelry, music, videos, books, ceramics, food, artwork, embroidery, and soaps made in Jerusalem and the West Bank. PayPal Verified. Ships globally. www.shopinpalestine.com
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Palestine Shop Palestine – Ships Internationally A small family business located in Palestine, selling products globally to support the Palestinian cause, to provide fundamental support for hundreds of women and families, and to introduce the Palestinian culture and folklore into homes world wide. PayPal. Ships globally. http://palestine-shop.net/shop/
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Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children – Online Botique Palestine – Ships Internationally (Express shipping only) Unique hand-crafted products made by deaf women and men in the Gaza Strip. Your purchases on our secure web site will help to provide jobs and much needed hope for hundreds of needy deaf persons and their families. http://www.atfaluna.net/crafts/index.php
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Canaan Fair Trade Palestine – Ships to US & Canada (All items by the case only) A social entrepreneurship firm dedicated to artisan quality products based in Jenin, Palestine. The company sources its agricultural food products from a network of 49 cooperatives organized in the Palestine Fair Trade Association with the membership of over 1700 farm families. https://www.canaanusa.com/shop/ http://www.canaanfairtrade.com/
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Sunbula Palestine – Ships Internationally (Express shipping only) A nonprofit Fair Trade organization that supports Palestinian craft producers — women‘s groups, artisan cooperatives and disabled people‘s organizations. http://www.sunbula.org/
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Palestinian Pottery Palestine – Ships Globally (email for prices and ordering info) Original and authentic Palestinian Pottery is sold only at our factory and retail outlet on 14 Nablus Rd. East Jerusalem( and now on our web site). http://palestinianpottery.com/
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Gifts to Palestine Palestine – Delivers to all West Bank cities and villages including Jerusalem, Ramallah, Bethlehem and Nablus. Gifts to Palestine only deals with Palestinians vendors located in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Our mission is to support Palestinian merchants and products, and we try to incorporate as many local-made items as possible. http://www.giftstopalestine.com/
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THANK YOU ABE FOXMAN // PHOTO ESSAY

Since the ADL issued its new SHIT List a few weeks ago, support for the organisations named has more than doubled. Thank you Abe Foxman!
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P.S. From The Jewish Voice For Peace …..

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Last week, the Anti-Defamation League put JVP on its list of top ten “anti-Israel” organizations.

But their attack seriously backfired.

More than 250 JVP supporters raised over $12,000 to help us fund our new Campus Liaison – one of the projects the ADL fears most.

We promised we’d send ADL President Abe Foxman a thank you note, and wanted to give you one last chance to add your name to it.

If you are proud of our organizing to hold Israel accountable to international law, or the way our Rabbinical Council reclaims justice traditions within Jewish community and ritual, click here to make sure the ADL knows it.

Their complicity with Israeli human rights abuses puts the ADL on the wrong side of history. 

Click here to give $18 or even $36 now and add your name to our thank you card.

They did get one thing right. They described JVP as an organization with national impact that recruits grassroots supporters and influences the mainstream public debate about Israel.

And that’s all because of our amazing supporters like you.

Sincerely,
Ari Wohlfeiler
Grassroots Fundraising Coordinator

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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DROWNING IN THE FECES OF ZION (VIDEO)

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Fetid muck, which bubbles up from manholes and overflows from the idle plant when waste goes untreated, could soon spill into the homes of tens of thousands more residents in downtown Gaza City, officials and residents said.

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Video: As siege stops pumps, Gaza children wade to school in sewage

 Ali Abunimah
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This video shows children in the al-Sabra neighborhood in eastern Gaza City wading through streets flooded with sewage.Some make their way carefully across stones to avoid the fetid water, while others wade right in or are carried on the shoulders of older children.With their book bags on their backs, they are determined to get to school. The video was shot by Jehad Saftawi for the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU) (imeu.net).

Siege stops pumps

Why is this happening? As Reuters reported on 14 November:

Children waded through sewage submerging the streets of a central Gaza neighborhood on Thursday, a day after one of the blockaded Palestinian enclave’s largest waste water treatment plants stopped for lack of fuel.

Fetid muck, which bubbles up from manholes and overflows from the idle plant when waste goes untreated, could soon spill into the homes of tens of thousands more residents in downtown Gaza City, officials and residents said.

Egypt’s months-long crackdown on cross-border smuggling tunnels that used to bring fuel in cheaply has already forced Gaza’s only power plant to stop, meaning two weeks of daily 12-hour blackouts for the territory’s 1.8 million residents.

“This is the start of a catastrophe and unless the world listens to our cries, a real disaster may hit Gaza and its people,” Gaza municipality’s Sa’ad El-Deen Al-Tbash said.

“This is a humanitarian, not a political issue. Gaza’s children did nothing to deserve being stuck in sewage,” he told Reuters.

As a consequence of the blackouts Gaza children must also study in the dark.

“Health catastrophe”

While media are reporting that electricity blackouts are now 12 hours per day, the new situation is that for many people, power is out for 18 hours daily.

On 7 November the UK charity Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) warned of the dire impact on Gaza’s already strained healthcare system.

With grid power so compromised, most hospitals rely on generators but, MAP warned:

The majority of generators in Gaza’s hospitals were not designed to work for up to 18 hours per day and the Ministry of Health expects to encounter difficulties in maintaining them, especially those requiring spare parts, due to the restrictions of Israel’s blockade.

The fuel crisis is making it difficult for ambulances to continue operating and hindering the ability of medical workers to get to health facilities. Its impact on other essential services such as sewage and water pumping stations also poses a public health risk. 

The video above shows that for the children confronted with sewage in the streets, “risk” has turned into a grim reality.

This is no “natural” disaster. It is the result of the sewer-like politics of the region, where Israel, Egypt’s coup regime and the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority collude, with US and EU complicity, to tighten the siege and with it the deliberate collective punishment of the Palestinian people in Gaza.

Written FOR

‘DISAPPEARING PALESTINE’ AD DISAPPEARS IN TORONTO

The ads are both fair and accurate. Israel’s building of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories indeed does clearly violate the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and UN Security Council Resolution 465 (1980). All of these laws forbid occupying powers, such as Israel, to transfer their civilians to the territories that they militarily occupy. Why are TTC staff denying that this is the case?
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“Disappearing Palestine” ad banned by Toronto Transit Commission.

 (CJPME)

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Toronto transit bans “Disappearing Palestine” ad claiming risk of anti-Jewish violence

 Ali Abunimah
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The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has rejected a group’s bus ad showing Israel’s expropriation of Palestinian land over time, claiming the ad could incite anti-Jewish discrimination and violence.

The ad, sponsored by Canadians for a Just Peace in the Middle East (CJPME), is similar to others that have appeared in cities all over North America – including Vancouver.

CJPME has said it is ready to appeal the censorship of the ad all the way to Canada’s Supreme Court.

The centerpiece is a series of four maps that show the loss of control of Palestinian land to the Zionist movement and Israel between 1946 and the present.

The ad also states: “This is unfair. It is also illegal under international law.”

It includes an image of a Palestinian schoolgirl standing amid rubble resulting from an Israeli air attack in Gaza.

The copy of the ad shown above was provided to The Electronic Intifada by CJPME.

“Could advocate for violence.”

But TTC spokesman Brad Ross said that the transit body did not accept that Israel’s confiscation of Palestinian land was either “unfair” or “illegal.”

“Making that statement may cause some … to then target Israelis and/or Jewish people. Some may view it as discriminatory, [and] could advocate for violence or hatred against Israel or the Jewish people,” Ross told The Toronto Star.

“There is no finding in our legal opinion of illegality around loss of land under international law … no court, no tribunal has ruled on loss of land being illegal,” Ross added.

Censors rejoice

B’Nai Brith, one of Canada’s most prominent anti-Palestinian organizations, issued a statement “congratulating” TTC for banning the ad.

Echoing the language used by the TTC itself, B’Nai Brith claimed that the ad was “misleading and inaccurate and could lead to hatred or violence against supporters of Israel and the Jewish community in particular.”

By conflating criticism of Israel and its policies with criticism of Jews, TTC seems perhaps unwittingly to be promoting anti-Semitic canards that Jews are collectively responsible for Israel’s actions.

B’Nai Brith has a history of censorship and supporting intolerance.

Last summer, Canada’s leading LGBTQ publication Daily Xtra revealed that B’Nai Brith had teamed up with Charles McVety, one of Canada’s most outspoken anti-LGBTQ campaigners, in an effort to persuade the city to defund Toronto Pride.

B’Nai Brith was incensed that Toronto Pride had not banned Queers Against Israeli Apartheid from marching in the parade.

CJPME responds

CJPME has issued an action alert saying that the group “is ready to appeal this decision to the highest levels – including the Supreme Court.”

It urged the public to contact the TTC and send a message protesting the ban of the “Disappearing Palestine” ad:

The ads are both fair and accurate. Israel’s building of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories indeed does clearly violate the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and UN Security Council Resolution 465 (1980). All of these laws forbid occupying powers, such as Israel, to transfer their civilians to the territories that they militarily occupy. Why are TTC staff denying that this is the case?

Ads “lost”

CJPME also alleged that it has faced obstruction and discrmination in trying to place the ads.

According to its website, it sent proposed designs of the ads to two transit authorities in June.

“Sadly, through various strategies over the summer, the transit companies and ad agencies have tried to prevent the ads from being posted. Designs were ‘lost,’ employees told to ‘drop the ads,’ emails and calls ignored.” 

CJPME said that in September its lawyer “sent a letter to the TTC demanding that the transit authority respect CJPME’s constitutional rights to post the ads,” but instead it was notified on 21 October that the ad was rejected.

Illegal and ongoing land confiscation

TTC’s extraordinary finding runs wholly against international law, and even the nominal policies of Canada’s extremely pro-Israel Conservative government.

It also seems to go far beyond the organization’s remit of providing public transport to Toronto.

Numerous UN Security Council Resolutions, including, for example, Resolution 465, state clearly that Israel’s annexation and colonization of Palestinian land occupied since 1967 is illegal.

In 2004, the International Court of Justice in the Hague found that the wall Israel has built in the occupied West Bank and its associated regime of land confiscation, is illegal and must be removed.

Moreover, when Israel was established in 1948, it conquered about twice the amount of land allocated to a putative Jewish state under UN resolution 181, a resolution which was never lawfully implemented.

The property rights and right of return of Palestinian refugees who were expelled or fled in 1948, and their descendants, have been reaffirmed by overwhelming majorities in the UN General Assembly annually.

The Canadian government states that “Canada does not recognize Israel’s unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem.”

The government also reaffirms its support for Resolution 465, among others, confirming the illegality of Israeli colonization and settlement.

Forced displacement

Recently, more than ninety Canadian writers took a public position against Israel’s ongoing evictions of Bedouins from their lands in the south of present-day Israel.

In August, Human Rights Watch called on Israel to halt the forced displacement of Bedouins which is carried out “based on discriminatory laws and rules, and without respect for the Bedouins’ dignity or the country’s human rights obligations.”

Some 40,000 more Bedouins, nominally citizens of Israel, currently face expulsion under Israel’s Prawer Plan to ethnically cleanse and “Judaize” their traditional lands.

These are facts, but they are ones Toronto’s transit authorities do not want riders to know.

 

Written FOR

ZIOPATION’S EFFECT ON THE CHILDREN

Everything human is tainted and overpowered by the violence charted out between occupier and occupied. Everyone already knows their role and it all plays out like theater every day, over and over. Even the children.*

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Handshake to Hate — Caught on Video

By Mairav Zonszein*

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It was almost a moving moment. A Palestinian child, only 6 years old, goes up to a Jewish child of Israeli settlers and offers him a handshake.

The Palestinian boy isn’t even supposed to be there. The Israel Defense Forces closed off this area of the restive West Bank a few months ago to avoid having to deal with confrontations provoked by the settlers, who often try to drive Palestinian farmers away.

The two lock hands and the Palestinian child quickly turns and walks away. His family cheers for him for the gutsy little gesture. A small aberration from the norm of occupation.

But then the Jewish child picks up a rock. Effortlessly and naturally, he throws it in the direction of the Palestinian kid; and then another one.

It’s not even like he seems concerned with actually hitting him. It’s a reflex, almost as if he was programmed to do so, he just picks up and throws. It doesn’t matter what happened just a moment earlier, or what will happen afterwards.

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*

The Jewish boy seems to only know one thing: Palestinians are his enemy. And the Israeli soldier who stands by and doesn’t try to prevent is also programmed: He is there to protect Jews, regardless of what they do.

Some may argue that this video is edited so we don’t know what really happened. Or that it requires more context: maybe the settler family was once victim to a terror attack, so that somehow changes things. Or maybe the Palestinian child said something awful to the Jewish kid.

But it doesn’t actually matter. This video is heartbreaking because it captures the impossibility of anything good-natured taking place.

Everything human is tainted and overpowered by the violence charted out between occupier and occupied. Everyone already knows their role and it all plays out like theater every day, over and over. Even the children.

*Mairav Zonszein is a writer and editor based in Israel. She blogs at +972mag.com.

Source

PALESTINIAN YOUTH TAKE BACK THE NIGHT

After watching their land being raped for over 65 years, Palestinian youth are attempting to take back the night …
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The new wave of movements which have gained prominence this summer can be traced back partly to a group of third generation, internally displaced youth from the village of Iqrit, who in August 2012 decided that they would take matters into their own hands and return to their ancestral village.
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Palestinian youth assert right of return with direct action

Nadim Nashef*
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Summer camps aim to reconnect Palestinian youth to their ancestral villages. (Photograph courtesy of Baladna)

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During the summer of 2013 a new grassroots movement burst onto the scene and announced itself as a major development in the long struggle for the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

Activities occurring throughout the Galilee region of present-day Israel have been held which reaffirm the connection of the younger generation of internally displaced Palestinians to their ancestral villages. Events and projects simultaneously take practical steps to realize this long-denied, fundamental right.

The right of return is one of the most evocative and central issues for Palestinians ever since the Nakba (catastrophe) of 1948, which saw the destruction of more than 530 Arab villages and the displacement of approximately 800,000 Palestinians. The majority of them ended up as refugees in neighboring Arab states, or in those parts of Palestine which initially remained outside of Israeli control, namely the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Between 30,000 and 40,000 managed to remain inside the new state of Israel, however, finding refuge in nearby towns which had survived the ethnic cleansing of the majority of Palestine’s villages.

Brutal Israel

Attempts by the original inhabitants to return to their villages in the immediate aftermath of the Nakba were fought against by the new state, which used all the means at its disposal, often brutally.

Dispersed villagers attempting to return from outside the borders of the new state were often shot dead on sight by the Israeli army. Meanwhile, villagers attempting to return who had managed to remain within the borders of the new state were routinely rounded up and deported as “infiltrators.” Legislation such as the Absentees Property Law enabled the confiscation of property of those Palestinians who had been made into internally displaced persons, while denying their rights to live there or even to enter the site of their ancestral lands.

Between 1948 and 1955, the majority of these villages were destroyed by the Israeli army and covered either with pine forests or new Jewish-only settlements. In many cases, a cemetery, mosque or church was the only remaining evidence of a village’s existence.

The new wave of movements which have gained prominence this summer can be traced back partly to a group of third generation, internally displaced youth from the village of Iqrit, who in August 2012 decided that they would take matters into their own hands and return to their ancestral village.

Iqrit’s residents were originally ordered out of their village for two weeks shortly after the Nakba for so-called security reasons. Exceptionally, three years later they obtained Israeli high court approval to return, and received information that they would be able to return on Christmas Day, especially symbolic for the Christian community.

On that day in 1951, as the villagers waited to return, the Israeli army razed the village to the ground.

Potent symbol

Now living in two small rooms built as extensions of the still-standing church, Iqrit’s youth activists today sleep in the village in shifts in order to maintain a permanent presence there. This summer a small football stadium was also built, a potent symbol of the will and permanence of their return.

Iqrit’s community has been organizing summer camps for its younger members annually since 1996; this year approximately 200 youth between the ages of 8 and 16 attended. The aim of the camp was to help the youth develop their identity by teaching them about their own history, and connecting this to the wider Palestinian history before 1948.

In addition to the summer camp and the newly permanent presence, villagers hold religious celebrations during Easter and Christmas in the local church. The village’s cemetery is also still in use.

The youth-led, grassroots approach of Iqrit is very much indicative of the movement as a whole. Youth took the lead in 2013’s “Summer of Return,” ensuring that demands for the right of return find a renewed voice among the latest generation of the dispossessed.

One village which has adopted Iqrit’s strategy of youth-based return is Kufr Birim. Located close to the boundary between Israel and Lebanon — not far from Iqrit — for the past few years Kufir Birim has played host to summer camps for children.

This summer, people with family connections to Kufir Birim have also decided to maintain a permanent presence in the village, centered around the old community’s surviving church. However, their initiative has not been without obstacles.

Refusing to leave

In August, the Israel Lands Authority told the camp’s members that they had to leave within a week or they would be removed by force (“Authorities threaten displaced community’s return to village,” +972 Magazine, 22 August 2013).

On 28 August, Iqrit also received a visit by inspectors from the Israel Lands Authority, accompanied by border policemen. They came during the morning and confiscated tents and beds, uprooted the small garden, removed signs and destroyed property, including the new football stadium.

However, as in Kufr Birim, the youth are not willing to leave their ancestral land.

This summer has also witnessed a very successful summer camp in the village of Ghabisiya, while Baladna (the Assocation for Arab Youth) and a number of other groups initiated the Udna (Our Return) project with the participation of five ethnically cleansed villages: Saffuriyya, Miar, Maalul, Lajjun and Iqrit, with one youth group in each village.

The project aims to educate the new generation with family connections to these villages of their history and rights, with film screenings and storytelling featuring residents who survived the expulsion. Practical approaches to the issue of return such as town planning and logistics were also explored, while musical events by local artists added a cultural feature.

Iqrit, Kufr Birim, Ghabisiya, Saffuriyya, Miar, Malul, Lajjun. These are just seven of the Palestinians towns and villages which were destroyed and whose inhabitants were displaced during the Nakba.

Yet the combined activities of these villages during the summer of 2013 represent the most significant movement in the struggle for return since the years following the Nakba. Far from forgetting their roots and historical injustices, the latest generation of Palestinians inside Israel are showing their dedication to their right of return.

This, combined with the youth’s energy, enthusiasm and innovative approaches, has resulted in a grassroots, youth-led movement unprecedented in the history of activism for the right to return. Whatever the immediate reaction of Israeli authorities to the return of villagers in Iqrit and Kufr Birim, these movements have captured the imagination of people across historic Palestine, young and old.

And while the future of the movement is full of uncertainty, the determination and energy of our youth alone is reason for optimism.

*Nadim Nashef is is the director of the Haifa-based Association for Arab Youth-Baladna.

 

 

Written FOR

ROGER WATERS REPLIES TO ABE FOXMAN

roger-waters-graffiti (2)
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I have no attitude towards Jews. I do not group or categorise human beings in that way. I know many people who are Jewish, I have many very close friends who are Jewish, my two Grandsons are Jewish. I also have many friends who are not Jewish, who are Christian, Moslem, Buddhist, Agnostic, whatever, they are my friends, and I love them, their faith or lack of it is irrelevant to me.
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A note from Roger Waters to Abe Foxman

Roger Waters 

Dear Mr. Foxman,

Thank you for your letter.  I will try to address the points you make, in the order that you make them. With the general proviso though, that I am wary of, and wearied by any form of slanging match.

Anti Semitism:

I think I note a change in A.D.L.’s position on my work, but it is not clear. Are you accusing me or my work of anti-Semitism or not? For the record I am not anti-semitic, neither is my theatrical piece The Wall and nor are any of the props, puppets or projections in that work.

You are right in saying that I have attacked The Israeli Governments’ policies in Gaza, the West Bank, and in Israel itself. You are wrong in your conclusion that my criticism of the policies of the Government of Israel requires the A.D.L. to “reexamine your attitude towards Jews”.

I have no attitude towards Jews. I do not group or categorise human beings in that way. I know many people who are Jewish, I have many very close friends who are Jewish, my two Grandsons are Jewish. I also have many friends who are not Jewish, who are Christian, Moslem, Buddhist, Agnostic, whatever, they are my friends, and I love them, their faith or lack of it is irrelevant to me.

I do however have an antipathy to racism and bigotry, I have no time for racists or bigots whatever their religion or their race or their politics or the color of their skin.

You speak of the omission of “important details” from my letter, if I may, to provide context I will quote you here:

“Important details are omitted from your letter, which is a classic propaganda technique.  Why didn’t you point out that one of the stated objectives of the BDS movement, promoting a complete right of return for all Palestinians classified as refugees and the creation of a bi-national state, would result in the end of the Jewish character of the State of Israel and destroy Jewish national self-determination? Your writing also makes no mention of Palestinian terrorism, nor does it provide any context to the complex nature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Hamas, a terrorist organization which continues to advocate for Israel’s destruction, is entirely absent from your letter.”

You accuse the Israeli government of committing ethnic cleansing by physically evicting non-Jewish families from East Jerusalem to make way for Jewish occupants, yet provide zero evidence for this frivolous claim. You argue that Israel is akin to Apartheid South Africa, despite the complete and equal rights enjoyed by Arab citizens of Israel.

Your point about the right of Palestinian refugees to return is well taken, it is, as you say central to the B.D.S. position. The refugee’s right to return is enshrined in Article 13 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and The Fourth Geneva Convention and in UN resolution 194. This fundamental human right is a founding stone upon which the possibility of a civilized future for mankind rests. You are wrong, however in your assertion that B.D.S. requires a single bi-national State. The B.D.S. movement is open to a two State solution, the whole point of B.D.S. is to encourage any peaceful solution that guarantees equal rights to all the people regardless of race or religion. Is your position that the refugees should not be allowed to return? Should the refugees remain refugees forever? How would you feel if the boot was on the other foot? You are in a better position than most to understand the enormity of The Nakbah having been through a diaspora of your own.

Turning now to Hamas; Hamas does not “continue to advocate Israel’s destruction”. The charter you quote is out of date.

On December 1st 2010 Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh stated, “ We accept a Palestinian state on the borders of 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital, the release of Palestinian prisoners, and the resolution of the issue of refugees” In February 2012 Hamas forswore the use of violence.

I wish my claims as to the ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem were “frivolous”, sadly they are anything but, I direct you to two pieces of corroborative evidence, 1)Roadmap to Apartheid 2012 a documentary film by Ana Nogueira a white South African and Eron Davidson a Jewish Israeli. And, 2) Extreme Rambling, Walking Israel’s Separation Barrier. For Fun. 2011 by Englishman, Mark Thomas.

Moving on, again for clarity’s sake I quote your text:

“Most disturbing of all is your decision to single out Israel for a boycott, while ignoring real human rights abusing countries around the world.”

Your question about singling out Israel for a cultural boycott is an interesting one. I equally deplored the occupation of East Timor or The Western Sahara, but one cannot take up cudgels for every just cause, if one tried to one would be spread too thin, so to speak. Also B.D.S. had already started in Palestine, so I joined an existing movement of people who were organized and proposing a non violent method of resistance to the occupation and inequality of Palestinian Israeli citizens civil rights.

Having said that, I do also support organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights watch which try to focus on all human rights violations and abuses where ever they may occur. I haven’t been everywhere, so there’s a lot of bad stuff going on that I haven’t seen with my own eyes. I do absolutely agree with you that I should speak out as often as possible against all abuses of human rights. As a matter of fact everywhere we perform “The Wall,” I speak in the local language and dedicate the Wall Concert to All The Victims of State Terrorism All over The World.

Finally, I notice you couldn’t resist the little anti-semitic dig at the end of your letter.

“Mr. Waters, having many Jewish friends and relatives does not give legitimacy to your hostile campaign against the Jewish State, and while painting a Star of David on your pig may have been free of anti-Semitic intent, your strong animosity towards Israel is indeed riddled with it.”

Just to reiterate my position, I am anti-war, anti-apartheid, anti-racist, pro human rights, pro peace and pro self-determination for all peoples. I am not anti-Israel or anti-semitic.

I am also passionately pro dialogue and thank you for taking the time and trouble to share your thoughts with me in this open letter. You speak of a Two State Solution, and although I know you don’t represent the Israeli Government, you do represent a point of view, and I should be most  interested to hear what you think such a solution would look like, both geographically and demographically. Where would you think it just and equitable to put the borders between two such states, and who would live where? Given the continuing policies of occupation, colonization and settlement building in the West Bank and the siege of Gaza, it is very difficult for any neutral observer to imagine that the Israeli Government is serious in moving towards an equitable two state solution.

However, It maybe that there is a glimmer of light this week. We are assured by John Kerry, Secretary of State for Barack Obama that peace talks are taking place in Jerusalem. These are secret talks so we don’t know who is having them or on behalf of whom, but, should those talks bare fruit and a just and equitable peace break out, then it will be time to tear down the walls and picket lines, end the boycotts, clamber disheveled over the barricades and join the people in the streets.

I will be there with every musician I can muster.

Yours sincerely,

Roger Waters
Budapest, Hungary

PS – “Teacher leave those kids alone

 

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