EARTH DAY CONFRONTS THE OCCUPATION

“The Earth Day Network is rightfully following the path of Oxfam by disassociating itself from SodaStream, a company that produces its water carbonating devices in an illegal Israeli settlement in occupied Palestinian territory. Jewish Voice for Peace will continue campaigning against SodaStream in Seattle, New York, DC, Minneapolis, Boston, Portland ,and other cities across the U.S. to remind consumers that buying products manufactured in stolen land is neither ethical nor sustainable,” said Sydney Levy of Jewish Voice for Peace.

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Earth Day Network dumps SodaStream and Scarlett Johansson

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A previous version of the Earth Day Network website showed SodaStream logo.

The Earth Day Network, which promotes the annual Earth Day environmental consciousness initiative, has cut ties to a campaign launched by Israeli occupation profiteer SodaStream and endorsed by its spokesmodel Scarlett Johansson.

The screenshot above shows the SodaStream logo as it appeared previously on the Earth Day Network’s official sponsor page. On the current version of the page, the SodaStream logo is gone.

Here’s the press release from the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation:


Earth Day Network Cuts Ties with SodaStream After Palestinian Rights Groups Decry Greenwashing Campaign

21 April, Washington, DC – On the eve of Earth Day, groups working for Palestinian rights globally are celebrating Earth Day Network’s decision to end its partnership with SodaStream, whose main production factory is located in an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank.

Earlier this month, SodaStream, which markets its home carbonating devices as a green alternative to bottled beverages, announced the launch of an awareness-raising campaigncentered around the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Several articles reported that this “Secret Continent” campaign was developed with Earth Day Network (EDN), which works with more than 22,000 partners in 192 countries to broaden, diversify, and mobilize the environmental movement.

Groups in the United States and abroad mobilized opposition to this partnership between EDN and SodaStream due to the company’s complicity in Israel’s military occupation, including the destruction that Israeli settlements have caused to the Palestinian environment.

In response, EDN’s logo has been removed from the Secret Continent website and EDNno longer lists SodaStream as a sponsor.

“This Secret Continent campaign is a clear example of SodaStream attempting to greenwash its complicity in Israel’s occupation through a public relations stunt. SodaStream appeals to customers by marketing itself as environmentally friendly, but a product manufactured in an illegal settlement on occupied land cannot be ‘green.’ We applaud Earth Day Network for listening to the thousands of concerned individuals who contacted them and sending the message that companies profiting from human rights abuses have no place in the global environmental movement,” said Ramah Kudaimi of theUS Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

PENGON, the Palestinian Environmental NGOs Network, added: “We are happy to see that Earth Day Network cut ties with the Israeli settlement manufacturer SodaStream. Israeli occupation and its settlement enterprise are not environmentally friendly. On the contrary, they are based on the pillage of our land and deplete and pollute our water resources. Over the last 40 years, Israeli occupation has cut hundreds of thousands of trees to make space for their colonization. We call on all environmental organizations and activists to stand with us against the Israeli occupation and its systematic large scale destruction of our land.”

This is the second major controversy this year involving SodaStream’s settlement factory. In January Oxfam International came under fire to drop Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson as a Global Ambassador after she became a Global Brand Ambassador for SodaStream. After an international campaign, Johansson resigned from her role with Oxfam.

“The Earth Day Network is rightfully following the path of Oxfam by disassociating itself from SodaStream, a company that produces its water carbonating devices in an illegal Israeli settlement in occupied Palestinian territory. Jewish Voice for Peace will continue campaigning against SodaStream in Seattle, New York, DC, Minneapolis, Boston, Portland ,and other cities across the U.S. to remind consumers that buying products manufactured in stolen land is neither ethical nor sustainable,” said Sydney Levy of Jewish Voice for Peace.

Since the 2005 call from more than 170 Palestinian civil society groups for the international community to engage in boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns targeting institutions and corporations complicit in Israel’s oppressive policies towards Palestinians, activists across the globe have been organizing under the slogan “Occupation is Not Green” to convince stores and consumers to boycott SodaStream.

“We congratulate Earth Day Network on doing the right thing by ending its collaboration with SodaStream. After the media firestorm surrounding SodaStream, Scarlett Johansson, and Oxfam, and now this dissolved partnership with Earth Day Network, SodaStream is going to have difficulty finding reputable individuals and groups to help whitewash and greenwash its ugly occupation profiteering,” said Nancy Kricorian of CODEPINK: Women for Peace.

Jamal Juma’, coordinator of the Stop the Wall Campaign in the occupied West Bank, added: “We thank the Earth Day Network for having canceled its cooperation with SodaStream and are grateful to all those people around the world that continue mobilizing to ensure the truth about SodaStream is no secret anymore.”

“While the illegal Wall and the settlements rob Palestinians of their land and resources and lock them up into economically and socially unsustainable enclaves, companies such as SodaStream ensure profitability of the Israeli settlement enterprise by exploiting Palestinian workers who are left without workers’ rights and without any viable alternative to make a living.”

Following a recent visit to the occupied Palestinian territories, Friends of the Earth International chairperson Jagoda Munic condemned what she referred to as the “less visible forms of occupation,” which include toxic waste-dumping, the expropriation and diversion of fresh water sources, and the development of polluting industries close to Palestinian towns.

She called these Israeli governmental policies “truly shocking” and went on to say: “Palestine stands as an example of the link between environmental injustice and social and political injustice.

RACING FOR FREEDOM THROUGH THE WALLS OF PALESTINE

Graffiti transformed the lower part of the wall into a spray paint script: “More bridges, fewer walls”; “Make hummus not walls” and, “In my previous life, I was the Berlin Wall. The beer was better there.” The wall’s humor and wit dulled my sadness. I ran on.
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She Runs: The author warms up in Bethlehem before the race.

PHILLIP SMITH
She Runs: The author warms up in Bethlehem before the race.

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My Race Through Walls in Palestine Marathon

Journalist Discovers West Bank Race Is ‘Run for Freedom’

Race Day: As many as 3,200 runners took part in the second annual Palestine Marathon in Bethlehem on April 11.

PHILLIP SMITH
Race Day: As many as 3,200 runners took part in the second annual Palestine Marathon in Bethlehem on April 11.

By Tania Hass FOR

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“Getting out of Jerusalem isn’t tough,” said Tiviet Nguyen, the Vietnamese Israeli who sat behind me on the crowded bus full of Palestinian men. “The challenge is getting back in. But there’s a whole industry of taxis taking Israelis back from the West Bank. We’ll be fine.”

Like me, Nguyen and her husband, Moshe Saraf, were headed to Bethlehem to participate in the second annual Palestine Marathon. Unlike me — I’m a Canadian tourist — they are Israelis, and it’s illegal for them to be there without a permit. But since Nguyen is involved with an organization that links Israelis and Palestinians, she’s familiar with the trip home.

I, on the other hand, was a little nervous about our destination. This was my first time in the West Bank. I’d been to Israel before, but this would be the first time I’d be seeing the separation barrier. Safety was also on my mind. I swallowed my fear, and asked Nguyen about her thoughts on peace.

“Peace begins on a ground level,” she said.

“If the people’s mentality changes,” Saraf added, “the government’s motives won’t matter.”

“You know,” Nguyen said, “just being here is a political declaration.”

I had made the trip so that I could witness and report what I saw. But as a Jewish journalist, the task was a little loaded. I was there to understand those on the other side of the wall.

My journey started three weeks earlier, when I joined a press trip to run the half at the Jerusalem Marathon. We toured the country and ate incredible food. Then we strapped on our sneakers and ran the hilly course, which passed Israeli highlights like the Knesset, the Zion Gate and Mount Scopus. More than 25,000 runners from 54 nations participated. Many of them raised funds for projects and charities. During my 13-miles race, I met runners from many different backgrounds, including a settler, Christians and Orthodox Jewish women. But I didn’t meet any Palestinian or Palestinian-Israeli runners. I felt like I was missing part of the region’s running story. So here I was, set to run the same distance. This time, I’d be the minority in unfamiliar territory.

The first Palestine Marathon launched last year, weeks after the United Nations Relief and Works Agency canceled the Gaza Marathon when Hamas banned women from running. In 2013, 650 runners participated. By the time I collected my registration package in April, 3,200 runners were expected.

Days before the race, news agencies reported on the Gaza-based Olympian who was barred from participating. The Olympian was among a group of runners denied travel permits out of the Hamas-ruled territory by Israel. Israel considers Hamas a terrorist organization because of the hundreds of Israelis killed by its attacks. As a result, most of the population cannot travel beyond Gaza’s borders.

It’s restrictions like those that led a Danish aid worker to come up with the marathon idea. “The idea came to me one day, as I was waiting in a checkpoint. Palestinians’ inability to move was what struck me the most,” said marathon co-founder Signe Fischer, who works for the Danish foreign ministry. She also co-founded the Right to Movement organization.

Fischer teamed up with Palestinian organizations and municipalities and created the first marathon with a focus on free movement for all people.

In an ironic turn of events last year, Fischer had to ask two Israelis to withdraw the night before the race. She and her co-organizers cited the Jewish runners’ safety as a concern. Israelis are not legally allowed in Palestinian-controlled areas without a special permit. Tears were shed as Fischer said, “It hurts to call someone and say you can’t run…. Now I know what it feels like to be an anti-Semite.”

A documentary film crew caught this scene and others leading up to last year’s race. I watched the film the night before the race, in Bethlehem’s Manger Square, in the shadow of the Church of the Nativity and the city’s only mosque. When the movie finished, runners scattered in the cool air to find warm beds. We were due back in the square — the race’s start and finish point — in a few hours. I needed to find Fadi Asiwat.

Asiwat was a 24-year old swimming coach and my home stay host. We met on a Facebook page for runners in East Jerusalem. When I posted to the page, asking about good places to stay, he offered a room. He was also running the half marathon the next morning.

As we drove to his home, Asiwat told me that before the wall, the drive to Bethlehem was less than 10 minutes. Twenty-five minutes into our ride, we crossed to East Jerusalem from the West Bank with a nod from the checkpoint guards. Asiwat said my fair skin and blue eyes probably helped us avoid a time-consuming check.

As we descended into the Jabal Al-Mukaber valley, Asiwat pointed out Jewish settlements and Arab villages facing each other on different sides of the hill. I asked if he had any Jewish friends. “I work with Jewish people at the pool where I lifeguard. I say hello to people on the street. We’re decent to each other,” he said. When I asked him if he’d mind if Israelis ran in the race, he was hesitant. “Yes, it’s about sports,” he said. “But every Palestinian has hurt in their heart. It would be hard.”

In my room, a fruit basket and a bowl of nuts awaited.

“Arab hospitality. You are always welcome,” Asiwat said, And with that, he wished me a good night.

The next morning, Manger Square was bursting with energy. Top 40 hits played loudly, as Danish girls in tank tops warmed up alongside women in hijabs. Young Palestinian men danced in a circle, shaking their shoulders in unison. Runners smoked cigarettes while stretching.

“Why are you here?” I asked the runners around me.

“It’s empowering to see so many women here,” said Niralee Shah, 24, an Indian woman who works at a technology company in Ramallah. “It’s really exciting.”

“The world sees us as terrorists, but we love peace, nature, animals,” said Musa Abo Sbaeh, 37, a social worker. “It’s also about freedom. I’ve never been to the sea. I don’t leave my house after 10 p.m. — I’m too scared of the Israeli police. So today I run for freedom.”

Soon all the runners were ushered to the starting area. A horn blasted. We took off. My motto for running the Jerusalem half marathon was “Inch by inch, it’s a cinch.” Applying the motto once again, I slipped into a gentle stride.

The route first ran through the Aida refugee camp, which was established around 1950 by Palestinians from the Jerusalem and Hebron areas. Today, Aida is home to more than 4,700 people. UNRWA reports that it is severely overcrowded.

It is here that I first came face to face with the wall. Israelis call it the “security fence” and say it has resulted in fewer suicide bomb attacks. Palestinians call it the “apartheid wall” because of the impact it has had on their day-to-day lives. Regardless of its name, it’s imposing. With 26 feet of gray concrete, its purpose is unequivocal: to keep people contained and controlled. As I rounded a corner, an even taller tower loomed. At its top, small dark openings were visible. They were just the right size for the tip of an automatic weapon to follow, aim and fire. Immediately I was hit with sadness. I understand the Israeli desire for freedom from attacks, but I also was beginning to understand what it’s like to live under the physical threat of violence — and restriction — every day. It fosters a climate of distrust.

Graffiti transformed the lower part of the wall into a spray paint script: “More bridges, fewer walls”; “Make hummus not walls” and, “In my previous life, I was the Berlin Wall. The beer was better there.” The wall’s humor and wit dulled my sadness. I ran on.

After a loop through the Aida camp, we took a long stretch along Hebron Road. Young boys trailed me on their bicycles, yelling, “Yalla! Yalla!” I ran past a donkey munching on hay, men drinking tea, and fields of olive and fig trees. Groups of children extended their arms for high-fives. In the South, we passed another refugee camp. Dheisheh was initially built as a temporary shelter during the 1948 war. Today, multiple generations know it as their only home.

The six mile mark was in al-Khader, where the wall divides portions of farmland. Farmers were left unable to access parts of their land without a permit. Protests are ongoing. During the run, Palestinian boy scouts handed out orange slices. I rounded the turning point and headed to the finish line. Once I crossed, I collected my olive wood medal and stood shoulder to shoulder with hundreds of other runners.

“The race shouldn’t be political, it should be more about healthy bodies,” said Frank D’hondt, a Belgian who works for UN-Habitat, an urban planning agency. “With all the eating and smoking, poor health is becoming a problem here. Occupation affects your ability to reach your potential.”

I reflected on the race, stretching while inhaling the cigarette smoke. After watching some more celebratory dances, I headed home.

On the way back to Israeli territory, I followed Palestinian men and women weaving through metal detectors and turnstiles at the more extensive checkpoint. After a brief interview with an Israeli guard, I was on the bus back to Jerusalem.

Soon I’d be having Passover dinner with my cousins in Jerusalem. These are relatives who served in the Israel Defense Forces, who build houses with safe rooms. In a few days, we would be gathering around the table to tell the story of enslavement and freedom. Freedom would be on my mind. So would walls — for what they protect and what they conceal. It’s about my family on one side, and the people I met on the other. And my freedom to see it all with the worn-out soles of my sneakers.

Tania Haas is a freelance journalist travelling the world and reporting on what she sees (and eats). Her work has been featured in Bloomberg News, CTV News Channel, The New York Times and USA Today. 

 

 The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

 

SODASTREAM GOES FLAT DUE TO BOYCOTT

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Good news from Omar Barghouti

SodaStream share price drops 14% in first quarter 2014

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So much for the Scarlett “charm,” SodaStream’s millions spent on propaganda and PR, and its lies about BDS not affecting its performance…. This may go down as one of the worst corporate PR campaign of all times!

 

As the article below mentions, “SodaStream surely didn’t want customers debating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while brewing up carbonated canisters of cherry cola. Although the West Bank factory has existed for years, the Johansson deal pushed it further into the spotlight.”

 

Corporations operating in Israel’s illegal colonies or otherwise profiting from Israel’s occupation and violations of international law are starting to pay a much heavier price for their complicity in human rights violations. This is now an indisputable fact.

 

Are G4S, CAT, Volvo, Hyundai, Ahava, Mekorot, Mehadrim, Israeli banks and the rest of complicit companies getting the message?

 

Omar

 

 

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/04/02/3-consumer-stocks-investors-returned-in-the-first.aspx

 

SodaStream’s (NASDAQ: SODA  ) 14% share price drop came from a new competitor and a public relations disaster.

SodaStream’s competition brews as controversy bubbles 


SodaStream hired Avengers star Scarlett Johansson as the company’s first celebrity spokesperson and the actress starred in a cheeky “banned from airing” Superbowl commercial. However, the partnership took a complicated turn in the press after Johansson’s role as an ambassador for Oxfam — a global poverty and human rights charity — led to questions about SodaStream’s large factory in the controversial West Bank. Johansson stepped down from Oxfam and stayed with SodaStream.

Personal political beliefs aside, SodaStream surely didn’t want customers debating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while brewing up carbonated canisters of cherry cola. Although the West Bank factory has existed for years, the Johansson deal pushed it further into the spotlight.

ANOTHER SODASTREAM SPOOF AD

Artists in Finland have produced this clever and funny one-minute spoof ad for SodaStream.

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“SodaScream – Bubble trouble,” as the ad is called, takes aim (pun intended!) at the company that manufactures fizzy-drink machines in the illegal Israeli colony of Maaleh Adumim in the occupied West Bank.

Earlier this year, Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson was at the center of a media storm over her endorsement deal with the company.

She later resigned from her position as global ambassador for the charity Oxfam, which declared that her deal with the occupation profiteer SodaStream was “incompatible” with her humanitarian role.

The video’s makers have set up a website – SodaScream.com that provides brief, clear explanations of why SodaStream’s activities are problematic and urges people to contact the company.

 

FROM

ABBAS’ VICTORIOUS FAILURE

As Abbas celebrates what he sees as a victory for his people, the truth is that Netanyahu has other plans …

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Netanyahu’s map of ‘Israel’ annexes West Bank, leaves out Gaza

Phil Weiss and Alex Kane FOR
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Netanyahu promotionof Israel

Netanyahu promotion of Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announced a video celebrating the accomplishments of his first year in office on his twitter feed on March 18

So what have we been up to? the frantic narrator asks. Mostly civil and economic improvements.

It’s all a big joke to Bibi ….. worthy of a cartoon

 

But a couple of times in the video the illustrator makes an image of one state of Israel and Palestine, in which the West Bank is annexed and Gaza is purposely cut out. First at :23. The screenshot above is from 1:40 or so. No Green Line. A divot where Gaza used to be. What’s he telling us?

And in all the feverish description of accomplishments, not a word about peace talks or Palestinians. The usual fearful talk about Iran and the borders.

BDS // WINNING, DESPITE ISRAEL’S ATTEMPTS TO DELEGITIMIZE IT

Just yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once more drew attention to the power of BDS by tweeting an attack on activists and falsely claiming that BDS targets Jews rather than targeting Israel’s abuses against Palestinian rights

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Israel is losing the fight against BDS

 Ali Abunimah
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From 24 February this year, through the month of March, campuses and organizations all over the world, including in Brazil, Europe and across North America will be marking thetenth annual Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW).

IAW, an international series of events, has become a major focal point to rally support and build up organizing for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) on Israel.

The tenth IAW comes at a time when the BDS movement has seen unprecedented growth and attention from world media as well as from Israel and the governments and institutions complicit with its ongoing crimes against Palestinians.

Yet Israel is losing its fight against BDS.

Israel worried

Just yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once more drew attention to the power of BDS by tweeting an attack on activists and falsely claiming that BDS targets Jews rather than targeting Israel’s abuses against Palestinian rights:

BDS is an emphatically anti-racist movement, based on universal principles.

It targets structures of systematic injustice and exploitation, not people because of their religion or identity.

Yet speaking to a group of visiting leaders of American Jewish pro-Israel organizations this week, Netanyahu claimed that supporters of BDS were “classical anti-Semites in modern garb.”

He once more called for the Israeli state to fight back and “delegitimize the delegitimizers.”

Israel out of options

Netanyahu’s renewed call was absolutely nothing new. He is simply repeating the Reut Institute’s 2010 strategy – launched four years ago this week – to fight back against so-called “delegitimizers” – people who support Palestinian rights – with a strategy of “sabotage and attack.”

Indeed, last summer, Netanyahu put responsibility for fighting against the movement for Palestinian rights into the hands of the “Ministry of Strategic Affairs.”

Israel is also placing dedicated anti-BDS operatives in its foreign embassies.

Yet four years and millions of dollars later, the Reut Institute strategy, adopted by the Israeli government and Israeli lobby organizations all over the world, has utterly failed to stem the growth of support for Palestinian rights and the nonviolent movement designed to see them implemented: boycott, divestment and sanctions.

In recent months, top ministers in Netanyahu’s government have repeatedly declared that BDS is the “greatest threat” Israel faces.

No mere PR problem

Netanyahu’s lashing out indicates that Israel has no strategy and no message that can cover up this evident truth: Israel does not have an image problem that can be fixed with better PR or by defaming those who criticize it.

Israel has a reality problem, with occupation, apartheid, colonization, racism and the systematic denial of the rights of indigenous Palestinians solely on the grounds that they are not Jewish.

This year’s IAW will be another opportunity to see how the movement to end these abuses is growing.

Watch the trailer above and visit apartheidweek.org for more information, including a listing of events.

Written FOR

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The Divestment Bill Hurts My Feelings …. Remi Kanazi

BOYCOTT MEANS BOYCOTT .. NOTHING MORE, NOTHING LESS

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

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What did she expect us to do??

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Scarlett Johansson under fire for supporting Israeli SodaStream

 

 

Actress will appear in soda pop-making gadget’s Super Bowl commercial, as BDS supporters cry for boycott is muted by product’s unique success

Adi Gold

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Just moments after actress Scarlett Johansson became the ambassador of Israeli company SodaStream, the celebrity was already being criticized for supporting a business that operates in the West Bank.

Five years ago the Israeli carbonated drink company made its way to the US market, and Americans have since fallen in love with the soda pop-making gadget. But the product’s success has been overshadowed by a political cloud, which is threatening the Israeli business’s achievements and its spokeswoman.

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Scarlett Johansson (Photo: Reuters)
Scarlett Johansson (Photo: Reuters)

“While she’s openly gunning for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for 2016, Johansson would do well to realize that ‘normalizing’ the Israeli occupation is a bad use of her celebrity,” the Forward wrote. The New Yorker said Johansson’s doings are in conflict her Oxfam activities and New York Magazine called the product “blood bubbles.”

Johansson will appear in the company’s advertisement during the Super Bowl, the largest American tv event of the year, but stores across the US are continuing to ban the product for its political background. In addition, there have been vocal protests, calling for the same type of boycott and sanctions that were imposed on South Africa.

SodaStream employs 900 Palestinians in the Israeli settlements where its products are manufactured and according to reports pays Palestinian employees Israeli wages.

Despite the disagreements with the company’s politics, BDS supporters can’t argue with the product’s success.

“A lefty journalist friend of mine in Tel Aviv has a machine he keeps under his kitchen sink so that he doesn’t get embarrassed when other lefties come over for dinner,” said Ali Gharib, a reporter covering Middle East issues, told New York Magazine.

Anti-Israel non-soda drinkers even went out of their way to provide an alternative to the product.

Palestinian rights activist Henry Norr made his own version of SodaStream, using sugar, yeast, and an elaborate system of tubes, bottles, and clamps.

“I’m a little embarrassed because it seems so trivial and inane,” he said. “It’s a classed product to begin with. I was never a soda drinker before doing the research,” he said in a New York Magazine article.

SodaStream makes beverage carbonation systems that allow consumers to turn tap water into sparkling water and carbonated soft drinks. Besides selling the machines, it also sells gas refills and syrup flavors.

 

Written FOR

ISRAEL’S LATEST HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION CAUGHT ON VIDEO TODAY

IDF stands idly by as settlers throw stones at Palestinians

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New video by human rights organization shows soldiers failing to intervene in standoff between Palestinians and settlers in West Bank.

Video: B’Tselem

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See Report HERE

WHEN A SOCCER BALL BECOMES AN INTERNATIONAL ISSUE

 Several days ago, a Palestinian boy named Amir, was playing soccer with his friends in Kafr Sur, near Tulkarem, when one of his free kicks went astray and caused the ball to land in Israeli territory.
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The children playing with a replacement ball (Photo: Ma'an) The children playing with a replacement ball (Photo: Ma’an)
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Palestinian kids’ bid to UN: Get us our ball back

Children in village near West Bank city of Tulkarem miskick ball to Israeli side of security fence, write letter to UN secretary general asking for its return

* A group of Palestinian children sent a simple letter to UN Secretary General Ban-Ki moon, asking for a ball that had been kicked over their side of the West Bank security fence be returned to them, Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported Sunday. Several days ago, a Palestinian boy named Amir, was playing soccer with his friends in Kafr Sur, near Tulkarem, when one of his free kicks went astray and caused the ball to land in Israeli territory.*

The children said the Israelis were infringing on their rights by not giving them their ball back, or letting them retrieve it by themselves.
The youths also wrote to UN chief Ban Ki-moon that they have the legal right to play on their territory without restrictions. They said they feared they would never get the ball back.

The Palestinian regional leader said the Israelis are saying the wall is necessary for security reasons, but the reality is Israel is trying to confiscate lands in order to expand the areas available to Jewish settlements.

Source

DEATH PENALTY RESERVED FOR PALESTINIANS ONLY IN ISRAEL

Officially there is no death penalty in Israel, unless of course you are a Palestinian. In these cases, the IDF acts as the Judge, Jury and executioner. No one is held accountable for these atrocities.

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Israeli forces kill 27 in West Bank in 2013, NGO says

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Israeli forces killed 27 Palestinians in the West Bank in 2013, a human rights watchdog has said, three times the figure recorded last year.
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It was also the first time in 10 years more Palestinians were killed in the West Bank than in the Gaza Strip, where Israeli forces killed nine Palestinians in 2013, Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said.

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Three Israeli security forces personnel were killed – two in the West Bank and one in Gaza, the group added in a statement on Monday.

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B’Tselem said that in many of the West Bank incidents, Israeli soldiers shot at Palestinians who were throwing stones, “one man was shot when he tried to enter Israel without a legal entry permit,” and “one woman passerby was shot by the military who argued that a Molotov cocktail had been lobbed in the area.”

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Two Israeli soldiers were killed in separate incidents in the West Bank in 2013 and an Israeli fixing the border fence with the Gaza Strip was shot dead by a sniper from inside the blockaded Palestinian territory.

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Riots in Jenin, January 2013 (Photo: AFP)
Riots in Jenin, January 2013 (Photo: AFP)

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B’Tselem spokesperson Sarit Michaeli slammed the Israeli army’s “lack of seriousness” in investigating the incidents where Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli troops.

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The army has only once indicted and convicted a soldier in some 28 separate incidents that have killed 35 Palestinians in the last two-and-a-half years, B’Tselem said.

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“Investigations are now launched almost automatically,” B’Tselem director Jessica Montell said in the statement.

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“Yet the essence of the investigative mechanism remains unchanged… in which practically no one is held accountable for the killing of Palestinians.”

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Source

BOYCOTTING FROM WITHIN IN ISRAEL

Truly a show of International Solidarity

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At least 150 Israeli academics and authors, and another 150 American and British television and film professionals, also threw their support behind the boycott.
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Three Israeli Actors Refuse to Star in West Bank Performance

 

Three Israeli stage actors asked to be excused from performing in a play staged at a cultural center in the West Bank settlement of Ariel.

The cast members, employees of the Cameri and Beit Lessin theaters, will be replaced by understudies for the performances of the acclaimed play “Best Friends” taking place in Ariel in the northern West Bank, the theaters said in a statement, the Associated Press reported.

The Cameri said in its statement that is respects the political views of its employees.

“The theater does not force its actors to perform in Ariel. Those who are not interested are replaced by their colleagues. The Cameri Theater chose to allow its actors to exercise their freedom of expression and follow their conscience,” the statement said.

The Ariel cultural center, which cost more than $10 million, was built with public funds and inaugurated in November 2010. More than 50 Israeli theater professionals signed a petition in advance of its opening saying that they would not perform in the Ariel center. At least 150 Israeli academics and authors, and another 150 American and British television and film professionals, also threw their support behind the boycott.

Several major Israeli theaters have staged productions at the Ariel center. Ariel is one of the largest Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

PHOTO ESSAY ~~ MORNING BLUES AT THE CHECKPOINT

It’s inhumane. They treat us like animals. Every morning I feel like an animal in a cage.
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The morning commute (through the checkpoint)
Philip Weiss

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Recently a Finnish photographer who had worked in the region sent us these photographs that were posted at his/her blog Ubuntifada. They were taken in late June, at the Bethlehem checkpoint to enter Israel. They depict the everyday experience of hundreds of Palestinians who go to work in Israel. I am respecting the photographer’s desire for anonymity because of employment/funding issues. He/she wrote the following at that site to explain the photos: 

Morning blues in the checkpoint

5:00 in the morning in Bethlehem. The rising sun is replacing the blue morning mist with its first warm rays. Hundreds of men are standing in a cage, holding the metal bars like prisoners and anxiously waiting. The atmosphere is as blue as the air.

Actually, it could be just a crossing between two countries – though a very disturbing one with its iron gates and cages, bars and burrows, loud PA systems and shouting, soldiers and police and private security guards all armed to the teeth. But instead of being in the border, checkpoint 300 stands 2 kilometers south of the green line, deep inside of the occupied West Bank.

Every working day from 4:00 to 7:00 around 4000 Palestinians cross this illegal checkpoint on their way to work in East Jerusalem or in Israel. And the ones standing in line are actually the lucky ones – they have been able to even get a permit.

It’s inhumane. They treat us like animals. Every morning I feel like an animal in a cage.

Adel, who crosses the CP five mornings a week

 

 

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BOYCOTT ISRAEL OFFICIALLY OPENS IN EUROPE

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Last month, the European Commission, a body of the European Union, issued new guidelines prohibiting its organs from awarding grants or other incentives to institutions and other parties from settlements.
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Boycott Israel Front Opens in Europe Supermarket Aisles

Dutch Giants Shun Products From Settlements

 Cnaan Liphshiz

Two weeks ago, the Dutch public learned of what appeared to be an unprecedented victory for European advocates of boycotting Israeli products. Four major supermarket chains reportedly declared a boycott of products from the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

But the “victory,” as some activists in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement called it, was short lived.

Days later, the international supermarket chains Aldi and Hema, along with the smaller Hoogvliet and Jumbo chains, distanced themselves from the boycott they were said to be enacting. According to the companies, the reports owed to a corporate error or inaccurate reporting.

Yet spokespeople for the four chains also acknowledged that their stocks currently include no products from Israeli settlements.

That allowed both Israel’s supporters and its critics to claim victory in a fight that is quickly spreading across the continent, as various European groups have sought to use their economic power as leverage to oppose Israeli settlements they consider illegal.

“The chains’ hurried about-face proves the failure of attempts by anti-Israel groups to single Israel out for criticism in the supermarket,” said Esther Voet, director of the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, or CIDI, a pro-Israel lobby group based in The Hague.

But Sander Becker, a reporter for the Trouw daily, which broke news of the supposed boycott, said the affair may have exposed the existence of a “silent boycott” in which stores keep settlement products from the shelves but don’t admit to what they are doing.

Companies may “shun products from settlements while publicly claiming it’s because of ‘price, quality and availability’ — the three harmless [parameters] stipulated in statements by all the supermarket chains,” Becker said.

Becker’s report was based on a document published in April by a research agency called Profundo at the request of several Dutch NGOs critical of Israel.

Titled “Dutch economic links with the occupation,” the report said Hoogvliet, Aldi and Jumbo admitted to instructing Israeli suppliers to refrain from sending goods produced in the settlements. Dutch media later reported that Hema made similar requests.

A spokesperson for Profundo told JTA the report is accurate and that statements were based on answers to its questions. But a spokesperson for the Dutch subsidiary of Aldi, a German chain with stores in 18 countries, told JTA the statement on the boycott was “a false representation of reality” caused by “a mistake in the answers provided” to Profundo.

Aldi “has no policy on products from the West Bank and the Golan,” the spokesperson said.

Hema, a large Dutch supermarket chain with branches in five European countries, also denied a boycott policy. Jumbo and Hoogvliet issued statements saying politics play no role in decisions about what products to stock.

“We have Israeli wines on sale, none of which are produced in the occupied territories,” a Hema spokesperson said.

Trade between Israel and the European Union totaled approximately $39 billion in 2011, with Israeli exports accounting for 41 percent of the total. Settlement goods constituted only “a small fraction” of the amount, according to the Irish government.

The limited availability of settlement products in Europe means that boycotting them would lead to little loss of revenue for Israeli companies. But even if not damaging economically, Jerusalem views the moves against the settlements with alarm, fearing their spread could lead to further isolation.

Yet Israel has been helpless to do much about it. Despite intense protests by senior Israeli officials, the labeling movement is spreading, even in countries that are traditionally sympathetic to Israel.

In March, the Dutch government advised local supermarket chains to label any product from the territories lest customers be “misled.”

Last month, the European Commission, a body of the European Union, issued new guidelines prohibiting its organs from awarding grants or other incentives to institutions and other parties from settlements.

The EU also is pushing through new rules to ensure products from the settlements are labeled as such. Some goods already are labeled in British, Danish and Swiss supermarkets.

EU foreign policy chef Catherine Ashton said the new rules will be released sometime this year. Boycotts by major retailers, however, are very rare in Europe. One exception — a move last year by Britain’s fifth-largest chain store, the Co-operative Group, to boycott goods produced in the settlements — caused an uproar.

But Pieter van Oordt, an importer of Israeli products to Holland, says the supermarket affair ultimately may benefit Israel.

“I don’t know what made the supermarkets declare a boycott, but I think their retractions are a reaction to a strong sentiment of popular discontent and a lot of angry emails,” he said. “I expect they’ll think twice next time around.”

 

 

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PALESTINIAN ‘SMART PHONES’ NOT VERY SMART

For the past seven years, Israel has refused to grant the Palestinian Authority electromagnetic spectrum for 3G service that it exclusively controls despite provisions in the 1993 Oslo Accords that appear to obligate Israel to provide this. The restriction has relegated the Palestinians to 2G, even as Israel prepares to launch 4G for its own citizens.
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Palestinians Suffer in Cell Phone Dark Ages — and Point Finger of Blame at Israel

In Facebook Age, Politics Takes Back Seat to Connectivity

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Cell phones are ubiquitous in the West Bank. But Israeli rules prevent providers from offering even 3G service, angering tech-savvy Palestinians.
GETTY IMAGES
Cell phones are ubiquitous in the West Bank. But Israeli rules prevent providers from offering even 3G service, angering tech-savvy Palestinians.

By Ben Lynfield

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RAMALLAH, WEST BANK — At the upscale November Café, near Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s house, the conversation and atmosphere are relaxed, and state-of-the-art smart phones rest on tables as their young owners sip cappuccino or fruit juice.

But despite the veneer of normalcy, the pinch of Israel’s 45-year-old occupation of the West Bank is palpable here. For one thing, the smart phones are limited in what they can do. They can’t provide email or Internet via Palestinian companies because Israel prevents these firms from offering 3G services. This has frozen the Palestinian telecommunications sector in a bygone era technologically.

“I am waiting, like many others here, holding smart phones without 3G,” photographer Noor Khatib, 33, told the Forward. Khatib, who shoots for a company that is part of Paltel, the biggest Palestinian telecommunications firm, explained that he preferred to forgo 3G rather than turn to an Israeli company for this service.

For the past seven years, Israel has refused to grant the Palestinian Authority electromagnetic spectrum for 3G service that it exclusively controls despite provisions in the 1993 Oslo Accords that appear to obligate Israel to provide this. The restriction has relegated the Palestinians to 2G, even as Israel prepares to launch 4G for its own citizens.

Israel’s Ministry of Communication says it cannot at present grant any spectrum to the Palestinians, because none is available. As soon as such frequencies will be available, “they will be assigned… to the Palestinians,” said Yechiel Shabi, spokesman for the ministry.

But enabling Palestinian 3G seems far from a priority for Israel. In 2011, the ministry granted frequency spectrum to two Israeli companies, Golan Telecom and Hot Mobile, rather than to the Palestinian firms, and a year later, as those two companies launched 3G, the ministry told the Palestinian firms that no frequencies were left; they would have to rent spectrum from Israeli firms.

The Israeli veto on Palestinian firms seeking to offer 3G leaves the Palestinian companies far behind even the standards of the region: Algeria and Iraq are the only other two countries in the Middle East to lack 3G. Palestinians see Israel’s policies on the frequencies as reflecting a larger Israeli approach that stunts their economic development.

But in this case, protectionist profit making may also be a factor. Palestinian mobile operators say that they are losing tens of millions of dollars a year because they cannot provide 3G, while their potential customers are forced to turn to the Israeli companies providing this service to West Bank Palestinians. Estimates are that between 300,000 and 500,000 West Bankers have Israeli SIM cards that originate in Jerusalem, giving them access to 3G.

This captive market for Israel is not what was envisioned in the Oslo Agreement. The agreement, which both sides agree remains in effect, says that the electromagnetic spectrum is to be shared and that Palestinian frequency requests are to be granted within a month of their submission to a joint committee.

“Israel is acting in bad faith to keep the pressure on our economy, and it’s acting in favor of Israeli companies,” Suleiman Zuhairi, the P.A. deputy minister of telecommunications, told the Forward in an interview in his Ramallah offices. Zuhairi dismissed Israel’s proposal that the Palestinians rent frequencies from Israeli companies as “impossible.”

“The frequencies are a Palestinian right,” he said. “Why should I rent my atmosphere in Ramallah from an Israeli company?”

According to Zuhairi, the Israeli companies providing 3G to Palestinians do so “illegally,” without Palestinian authorization explicitly stipulated as a requirement in the Oslo Agreement. Shabi, the Israeli spokesman, rejected this, saying that the Israeli operators act “in accordance with the agreements between Israel and the Palestinian side.”

The actual text of the Oslo Agreement seems to favor Zuhairi’s argument. Under the agreement, Israel is empowered to offer telecom services only to settlements and military locations in “Area ‘C,’” the mostly rural part of the West Bank that is still under full Israeli military control. The agreement has no provision for Israel operating telecom services in Palestinian Authority areas ‘A’ and ‘B,’ the more heavily populated Palestinian self-rule zones where the Israeli companies have amassed their Palestinian West Bank market.

The Oslo Agreement also says that “operators and providers of services, presently and in the future in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, shall be required to obtain the necessary approvals from the Palestinian side.” But in practice this approval has never been sought or given.

No one interviewed in the cafe admitted to using 3G from an Israeli company. A spokeswoman for Partner Communications, the company that owns the major cell phone provider Orange, said she did not have statistics on how many Palestinians in the West Bank are using the company’s services.

“For many persons here, it’s a moral obligation not to use the Israeli telecom providers, but some people have no choice if they are businessmen or need Internet access on their smart phones,” Khatib said.

“We all need 3G,” added architect Sara Khasib, 23, who is also waiting for Palestinian providers to offer it. “It is not comfortable to need to send an email and to have to go back to the office to send it.”

Wadee Shalash, a journalist, said that 3G would make a big difference in terms of Palestinians being able to be in touch with relatives abroad, since Skype is of poor quality due to low Internet speed in the West Bank, and there are smart phone applications for free phone calls.

Fayez Husseini, CEO of Wataniya Telecom, which was given frequencies for 2G six years ago by Israel after a three-year delay, said that because Israel is holding back on 3G frequencies, it “cripples what we can do.”

“As long as they have 3G and the Palestinian operators don’t, they have a strategic advantage, a very clear differentiator. When it comes to patriotism, you can only push it that much,” he said. He estimated that his firm’s inability to provide 3G lost it $40 million to $50 million a year. Paltel CEO Ammar Aker says his company loses $80 million to $100 million in revenues a year because it lacks 3G.

Meanwhile, when it comes to domestic economic policy, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu preaches the virtues of deregulation and touts Israel as a world hub of cutting-edge technology. Last December, Netanyahu proclaimed a “revolution in the field of fiber optics” whose goal was to “enable every home in Israel to hook up to fast Internet, of 100 mega, super-fast, and to do this at low prices.”

Fast Internet in every Israeli home, Netanyahu vowed, would wipe out differences between center areas like Tel Aviv and development towns in the periphery. “We are paving fast electric highways in order to enable this link and to cancel the existing technological gap,” he said.

Many Palestinians view Israel’s restrictions on electromagnetic frequencies as part of an overall policy in which Israel deprives the Palestinians of their share of the territory’s natural resources. This includes access to water and to land for building in the zone designated under the Oslo Agreement as Area C, which constitutes the majority of the West Bank and remains under full Israeli control.

“They are monopolizing our resources and keeping our economy in a situation in which it is unable to grow or to create jobs, or to get more taxes for the authority,” said Samir Abdullah, director general of the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute, in Ramallah.

Mark Regev, a spokesman for Netanyahu, dismissed this allegation. “On the contrary, the Israeli government understands that economic growth and greater prosperity in the West Bank is a vital ingredient as we move forward in peace.”


Source

CAN A PIG BE A ZIONIST?

 
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If the beast was a kosher one would the fuss be the same?
Interesting that the other symbols on the balloon are completely ignored … the symbols of well-known fascist regimes, logos of two corporations, and a Star of David.
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The Weisenthal Centre was, of course, one of the first to jump on the badwagon of hate … Jewish human rights group, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, has taken the hammer to British rock musician and anti-Israel activist Roger Waters after a giant pig shaped balloon emblazoned with a Star of David was released into the sky at a July 18th concert in Belgium.
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“With this disgusting display Roger Waters has made it crystal clear. Forget Israel, never mind ‘limited boycotts promoting Middle East Peace.’ Waters  is an open hater of Jews,”
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Open hater of Jews???? For being against the occupation????
Why not open hater of Americans for being against the use of drones against innocent civilians …
or an open hater of South Africans for opposing the apartheid regeme of their past.
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The ADL surprised us all with the following  … Another Jewish watchdog, the Anti Defamation League which criticized Waters in 2010 for “using imagery long associated with stereotypes about Jews and money as part of a segment of his 2010-2011 ‘The Wall Live’ Tour,” said that Waters’ pig was old news and in context was not anti-Semitic.“This is the same thing he’s been doing for years,” said Todd Gutnick, Director of Media Relations. “We believe there’s no anti-Semitic intent here in the use of the Star of David symbol.”

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No anti-Semitic intent!

For once the ADL hit it right on the head!!

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The Israeli media sees it differently as can be read in THIS report.

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Also see my post from last night HERE.

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Enjoy the following …. take note what it means to be a pig, than ask yourself if that is not the same meaning as being a zionist ;)

WATCH IT LIVE AS CHILD ARRESTS CONTINUE IN PALESTINE

The city of Hebron has experienced a wave of child arrests during the last weeks, often violating Israeli military law stating that children under the age of 12 cannot be arrested, as in the case of 5-year-old Wadia. Though both Ahmed and Mohammed are 13, Palestinians complain that this law, giving Israeli occupation forces the right to arrest children from the age of 12, is only ever enforced for their children and not for settler children. On Sunday night in Hebron this proved true, as settler children attacked internationals by throwing a stone on the scene before the eyes of Israeli soldiers without consequences.
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Video – Wave of child arrests intensifies in Hebron

On the evening of Sunday, July 14, in the old city of Hebron two Palestinian children named Mohammed and Ahmed, both aged 13 years old, were arrested. Though joining a wave of child arrests in Hebron during the last weeks, the arrests of the two boys stand out because of the massive number of soldiers and police actively participating.

Abu Karam Maswathi, blindfolded and hadcuffed with his son, surrpunded by soldiers (Photo by ISM)

5-year-old Wadia arrested with his father, also blindfolded, by Israeli focers in Hebron (Photo by ISM)

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The first boy, 13 year old Mohammed, was taken from his family home in the Israeli controlled H2 area of Hebron, home to 31,000 Palestinian people and approximately 500 illegal Israeli settlers. Allegedly the arrest was made because Mohammed threw a stone at Israeli soldiers patrolling the streets, though no evidence of this has been made public to international observers who witnessed soldiers invading Mohammed’s home and leading him away to Beit Romano Military base. The second boy, named Ahmed and also 13 years old, was taken from one of Hebron’s market streets, situated in H1, an area that is supposed to be controlled fully by Palestinian police forces. Sidestepping this agreement, the soldiers invaded H1, grabbed Ahmed and brought him with them back into H2, claiming he had thrown a tomato at a nearby settlement.

Both individual arrests were carried out by more than five Israeli soldiers, but as events rolled the number progressed to more than 30 heavily armed members of the occupying forces. The arrest of Ahmed led to outcries in the market, with Ahmed’s mother demanding the soldiers on the wall separating the two areas to give back her son. The soldiers responded by sending more than 30 soldiers to the wall, bringing with them both live ammunition and several teargas grenades, threatening to shoot these into the mass of assembled people gathered on the other side of the wall. The situation escalated as armed settlers joined the soldiers, harassing international observers.

Finally, an hour later, a visibly shaken Ahmed was taken through the mass of settlers and military personnel and released back into H1 to his waiting family. Mohammed had to endure further dehumanizing punishment as he was taken to the Police station outside Ibrihimi Mosque. This was where an Israeli police officer lied to internationals present, stating the boy would be released and that those present could “trust him”; in fact Mohammed was transferred to Qiryat Arba police station and held until his family could make their way there to pay a fine of 500 NIS for his release.

The city of Hebron has experienced a wave of child arrests during the last weeks, often violating Israeli military law stating that children under the age of 12 cannot be arrested, as in the case of 5-year-old Wadia[i]. Though both Ahmed and Mohammed are 13, Palestinians complain that this law, giving Israeli occupation forces the right to arrest children from the age of 12, is only ever enforced for their children and not for settler children. On Sunday night in Hebron this proved true, as settler children attacked internationals by throwing a stone on the scene before the eyes of Israeli soldiers without consequences.

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Source

UNCLE MOISHE’S OCCUPATION

Uncle-Tom-Cabin
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Just as Slavery was good for the Blacks in the Southern United States, the occupation is good for the Palestinians in the West Bank.
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That is the sick logic of the settlers in response to the European Union’s Boycott of settlement products …
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“We work with the Palestinians. There’s nothing more beautiful than that and there’s nothing which contributes more to peace. We start the peace from the bottom. Our products should be marketed as peace products.”
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Settlements businesses voice concern over Dutch ban

Major Dutch retailers’ announcement of settlement products ban may bring boycott wave, but Israeli businessmen in West Bank claim their factories contribute to peace

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If you have the stomach for it, you can read the sick report HERE.

 

NETHERLANDS PUTS THE EU BOYCOTT INTO ACTION

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It’s not just words …. it’s actually happening :)
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Netherlands: Retailers ban goods from settlements

Dutch media reports 2 of country’s largest retail chains announce they will not sell more products originating beyond Green Line. Foreign Ministry: ‘Boycott is tainted with hypocrisy, prejudice’

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Following the European Union announcement regarding official guidelines prohibiting the funding of Israeli bodies and actions beyond the Green Line, it was reported Monday in the Netherlands that at least two large retail chains in the country have stopped selling goods produced in Israeli settlements. A third chain assured its customers that the sources of its products are unrelated to the settlements.

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According to Dutch news website Trouw, the two chains that announced they will not be selling products originating in settlements are Aldi and Hoogvlit. The chains are particularly popular in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. The third chain that makes a distinction between Israeli products is Jambo.

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מחרימה. רשת ALDI

Aldi branch in Holland

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חרם על מוצרים בהתנחלויות. הדיווח באתר ההולנדי

Report on Dutch Trouw website

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גם מחרימה. רשת HOOGVLIET (צילום: M.M.Minderhoud)

Hoogvliet, bans products from settlements (Photo: M.M.Minderhoud)

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In a research conducted by Trouw with several supermarkets in Holland, several Aldi and Hoogvlit representatives confirmed the ban. Aldi even demanded its suppliers to not supply products from the settlements anymore. The chain’s spokesperson commented that Aldi is not interested in its products “being part of public discourse in any way.”

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Full report HERE

VIDEO DEBATE ON EU’s POSITION ON APARTHEID

Photo © by Bud Korotzer
SONY DSC
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What will new EU guidelines that ban funding of Israeli institutions operating inside the occupied Palestinian territories really mean?
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Watch: Ali Abunimah, Guardian’s Ian Black and Israeli settler debate EU settlement rule

 Ali Abunimah
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What will new EU guidelines that ban funding of Israeli institutions operating inside the occupied Palestinian territories really mean?

Ali Abunimah appeared on Al Jazeera’s Inside Story on 17 July to discuss the question along with the Guardian’s Ian Black and Yishai Fleisher, an Israeli settler living in an illegal colony in eastern occupied Jerusalem.

“The settlements are war crimes, people who aid and abet the settlements are and should be treated as war criminals. In that context, this European move is very small, very little and very late,” Abunimah said.

“When I listen to the settler speak about biblical claims, biblical justifications to steal other people’s land and property,” Abunimah said of Fleisher, “I’m reminded … that at one point in humanity’s dark history, white slave owners used the bible to justify owning other human beings.”

Black argued that the EU’s “clear intention is to say that there is a difference between the State of Israel and the territories it has occupied since June 1967.”

He added that the EU move was designed to “raise awareness … that internationally the situation is untenable” and that the cost of the status quo for Israel is rising.

Black emphasized that the EU move came partly as a response to “the call from below, from ordinary citizens” in Europe for settlement goods to be labeled and for “boycott, divestment and sanctions” on Israel. “I think we’re seeing the European Union respond to that.”

Fleisher, who admitted to living in an area of eastern occupied Jerusalem being actively ethnically cleansed by settlers, claimed that the decision “delegitimizes” the European Union.

Also see:

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INVESTING IN APARTHEID NOW ILLEGAL IN THE EU

The decree, which will go into effect Friday, will forbid any cooperation, awarding of grants, prizes and funding for any Israeli entity in the specified areas.
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האיחוד האירופי עושה הבדלה. בית אל

Israeli settlement Beit El

EU bans contracts between member states, settlements

New decree restricts any Israeli entity beyond 1967 lines from EU funding, prizes, grants. Housing Minister Ariel: Decision reminiscent of Holocaust

Attila Somfalvi

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The European Union has decreed that contracts between EU member states and Israel must include a clause stating that east Jerusalem and the West Bank are not part of the State of Israel and therefore not part of the contract, it was reported on Tuesday.

The decree, which will go into effect Friday, will forbid any cooperation, awarding of grants, prizes and funding for any Israeli entity in the specified areas.

The EU’s funding, direct and indirect, of Israel bodies which operate in the settlements has long drawn fire from various organizations within the Union. The EU is severely opposed to Israeli construction beyond the 1967 lines, and has acted repeatedly to draw a clear line between Israel and its settlements in the West Bank.

The latest decree resulted from the EU Foreign Affairs Council’s conclusion from December 2012, which stated that “all agreements between the State of Israel and the EU must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967.”

However, the directive will not harm funding for research institutes, such as the Hebrew University, which employs settlers in their staff. Government ministries which have offices in east Jerusalem, such as the Justice Ministry, will still enjoy the EU’s cooperation as well.

An EU official said on Tuesday that Israel should not be surprised with the directive, as the issue has been repeatedly addressed and forewarned by EU officials.

The new directive, said the official, is in line with opinions in the EU which have been prevalent for several years.

MK Ariel: Decision tainted with racism

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office MK Ofir Akunis said in response that “it’s a wrong and regrettable decision. Such steps – even before the Palestinians announced they are even ready to return to the negotiation table – are pushing the peace talks away, not drawing them closer.

“Let them know even in Europe – Judea and Samaria are not ‘occupied,’ they’re the homeland of the Jewish nation.”

Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi) said in response to the decree: “This decision is tainted by racism and discrimination against the Jewish people which is reminiscent of the bans against Jews in Europe over 66 years ago,”

Minister Ariel added that “The Israeli government must not, under any condition, by a part of any future agreement which includes a clause that Judea and Samaria are not a part of the sovereign State of Israel.”

The Yesha Council stated that “To our regret, in Tisha B’av Europe has returned to a policy of boycott and segregation against the State of Israel. Europe’s unrestrained support of the Palestinian Authority has turned it into a non-neutral element.

“The Israeli government must instruct the Foreign Ministry and the Defense Ministry to immediately halt all European projects in Judea and Samaria until this unilateral decision is aborted.”

Some in the Israeli Left congratulated the EU’s decree, and accused the government of bringing it upon itself for not pursuing the peace process. “The EU is benefitting Israel by marking the border which the Israeli government failed to mark,” said Meretz Chairwoman MK Zahava Gal-On.

“This isn’t a boycott of Israel, but a distinction between Israel and the settlements and the occupation. The decision is the result of the complete impasse in the peace process and continued construction in the settlements and outposts,” she added.

Peace Now said in response that “The EU’s decision sends a clear message: The world doesn’t recognize the settlements and they contradict universal, democratic values. The Israeli government is running a rearguard battle against the international understanding that the Israeli occupation of the territories must end.”

Source

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