#AntiApartheidWeek ~~ RAPPING WITH REMI

Wonderful party last night at Columbia U.  Totally packed. Lots of young people dancing the night away to Palestinian music, many of the women in embroidered Palestinian dresses.  These young diaspora Palestinians all knew their folk dances very well, as well as their food and art.  And they seem to fully recognize the importance of keeping these memories.

This was performed by Remi Kanazi …

Nor·mal·i·za·tion: a “colonization of the mind” whereby the oppressed subject comes to believe that the oppressor’s reality is the only “normal” reality…and that the oppression is a fact of life that must be coped with.

Those who engage in normalization either ignore this oppression, or accept it as the status quo that can be lived with.

In an attempt to whitewash its violations of international law and human rights, Israel attempts to re-brand itself or present itself as “normal” — even “enlightened” — through an intricate array of relations and activities encompassing hi-tech, cultural, legal, LGBT and other realms.

Normalization applies to relationships that convey a misleading or deceptive image of normalcy, symmetry, or parity despite a patently abnormal and asymmetric relationship of colonial oppression and apartheid.

FOLLOWING CHICAGO’S EXAMPLE, CITY OF LONDON ERODES THE RIGHT TO CRITICISE ISRAEL

While in Chicago the 1st Amendment was literally slaughtered by zionist pressure, the people of London still have the right to condemn Israeli apartheid via posters, or at least they thought they did 😦

Transport for London, the body that oversees the London Underground, said in a statement that it had not approved the ads. “These are not authorized adverts,” read the statement. “It is fly posting and therefore an act of vandalism which we take extremely seriously. Our staff and contractors are working to immediately remove any found on our network.”

Anti-Israel ads cover London Underground trains

Millions of passengers encounter BDS ads slamming “Israeli apartheid”, accusing it of massacres and torture, and claiming the BBC is biased towards Israel.

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Millions of Monday morning passengers on the London Underground were greeted with a number of ads taken out by the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement accusing Israel of torturing and massacring Palestinians and slamming UK companies with links to the Jewish state.

The posters were made for what anti-Israel activists dub “Israel Apartheid Week”. One claims that British-made arms were used by Israel to “massacre Palestinians” in Operation Protective Edge, while another says the BBC’s reporting is biased towards Israel, and a third criticizing security company G4S for working in Israel.

More HERE

IN PHOTOS ~~ JEWS IN SOLIDARITY WITH PALESTINIAN RIGHT OF RETURN

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

THE POSTERS

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VIEW OF THE AUDIENCE

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IN PHOTOS ~~ ISRAELI ARMY IS NOT OUR FRIEND

'Rabbi' Shmuley Boteach also made an appearance, later tweeting a photo of himself smiling in front of ‘Boycott Israeli Apartheid’ signs.

‘Rabbi’ Shmuley Boteach also made an appearance, later tweeting a photo of himself smiling in front of ‘Boycott Israeli Apartheid’ signs.

From Twitter ~~ The smiling idiot

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New Yorkers Turn out in the Rain to Protest Fundraiser for the Israeli Army

Sixty New Yorkers weathered Tuesday evening’s downpour to protest the gala fundraiser organized and hosted by US nonprofit Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) at the Waldorf Astoria. Demonstrators demanded that FIDF be stripped of its current tax-exempt status, which allows it to raise funds used to subsidize the Israeli military at the American taxpayers’ expense. Last year, the FIDF’s tax-exempt fundraising was subsidized by taxpayers to the tune of at least $20 million. Signs and pamphlets at the demonstration reminded attendees and passersby that these tax-exempt millions are not supporting a humanitarian cause, but a military force with a known record of egregious human rights abuses.

Attendees in formal wear and evening gowns appeared disturbed by the chants, signs, and marching protesters, sometimes responding with taunts and curses.  As they marched, protesters read out loud the names and ages of Palestinians killed in Israel’s brutal military assault on Gaza this summer. One dinner attendee responded to the reading of the name of a Palestinian casualty with, “Thank God he’s dead!”

 Rabbi Shmuley Boteach also made an appearance, later tweeting a photo of himself smiling in front of ‘Boycott Israeli Apartheid’ signs. Boteach, who often has vitriolic commentary for anyone criticizing Israel’s human rights record, has recently come under fire for an ad in the New York Times where he accused United States National Security Adviser Susan Rice of turning a blind eye to genocide.

Riham Barghouti of Adalah-NY thanked demonstrators at the end for braving the rain to show that organizations like the Friends of the IDF “are not welcome in New York.”

The FIDF relieves the Israeli military of infrastructure, family support, and morale building expenses by raising funds that provide for soldiers’ medical care, financially support soldiers, and cover infrastructure costs such as housing for soldiers, training facilities, and recreational facilities. During  Israel’s most recent large-scale assault on Gaza during the summer of 2014, dubbed Operation Protective Edge by the Israeli army, Israel’s military managed to drop an atomic bomb’s equivalent in explosives on Gaza, killing 2,257 people and injuring thousands more. The operation also led to the destruction of countless homes, schools, mosques, and United Nations shelters. TheGolani and Givati Brigades, for which FIDF regularly raises funds and which stand to benefit from the FIDF gala, were both involved in the 2014 assault. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and others have said the Israeli military committed war crimes in Gaza. FIDF’s direct support of those brigades exemplifies the organization’s complicity in the ongoing oppression of the Palestinian people.

Organized by Adalah-NY and endorsed by a dozen NYC human rights groups, the action took place during Israeli Apartheid Week, an annual, international series of events designed to build awareness of Israel’s apartheid policies against Palestinians and to build support for the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. Other New York events include panels, speakers, cultural performances, discussions, and film screenings hosted by organizations such as Jewish Voice for Peace and the Students for Justice in Palestine chapters at city universities.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

Commentary From Adalha NY

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More photos HERE

SUPPORTING APARTHEID IS TAX DEDUCTIBLE IN THE USA

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Contrary to its self-styled image as a charitable organization dedicated to planting trees in Israel, the JNF is instrumental in the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and the ongoing expropriation of land for the exclusive use of Jewish Israelis. The racial discrimination institutionalized by the JNF presents a major challenge to any effort to achieve a just peace in Israel-Palestine. A quasi-governmental organization, the JNF has charitable status in the United States, and consequently enjoys tax exemptions for its institutions and donors. This means, in effect, that the U.S. taxpayer is subsidizing the confiscation of Palestinian land and the establishment of Jewish-only settlements that violate both international law and stated U.S. policy.
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Tax-deductible apartheid: JNF raises $60 million a year for racially-discriminatory land purchases
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“STOP THE MISINFORMATION, AND THE JNF”

As part of this year’s Israeli Apartheid Week activates, spirited protesters from Philly BDS, Temple Students for Justice in Palestine and local allies greeted attendees as they arrived at the annual Jewish National Fund Fundraiser in Philadelphia, PA.

Within minutes of assembling in the freezing cold outside Del Frisco’s Restaurant in center city Philadelphia on Thursday, February 27th the Regional Director of the JNF, Marina Furman, came outside without a coat to “thank us” for our presence, saying that over the years since we have been protesting JNF fundraisers, the number of people attending the event has increased. Essentially, she explained that we are ‘good for business.’ We reassured her that as long as the JNF continued their role in the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, we would continue to protest. A brief conversation ensued in which Marina challenged our claim that her organization was dispossessing the Bedouin in the Negev. She politely assured us that we were misinformed. She directed us to the JNF web site on which we would find photos of the cities the JNF was building for the Bedouin. Marina was almost convincing. She seemed earnest in her desire to believe the JNF was helping the Bedouin.

Contrary to its self-styled image as a charitable organization dedicated to planting trees in Israel, the JNF is instrumental in the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and the ongoing expropriation of land for the exclusive use of Jewish Israelis. The racial discrimination institutionalized by the JNF presents a major challenge to any effort to achieve a just peace in Israel-Palestine. A quasi-governmental organization, the JNF has charitable status in the United States, and consequently enjoys tax exemptions for its institutions and donors. This means, in effect, that the U.S. taxpayer is subsidizing the confiscation of Palestinian land and the establishment of Jewish-only settlements that violate both international law and stated U.S. policy.

Philly BDS, Temple Students for Justice in Palestine, and their local allies participating in Thursday’s action urge the United States to revoke the charitable status of the JNF. Playing on the fundraiser’s “Madness Poker Tournament” theme, protesters held signs that said “Land Theft is Nor Charity” and chanted slogans such as “BULLDOZING HOMES, STEALING LAND, THESE ARE THE CARDS IN THE JNF’s HAND” to “JUST BEHIND THEIR POKER FACES, WE SEE ALL THE STOLEN PLACES.”

While attendees mostly refused postcards available that described the action, passers-by were eager for information and conversation. Memorable were the few that took the time to thank us for our presence and our action.

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ISRAELI APARTHEID DOCUMENTED

Israel’s policies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip appear to amount to apartheid due to its systematic oppression of the Palestinian people and de facto expropriation of their land, a United Nations investigator said in a report.

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UN rights envoy points to apartheid in Palestinian areas

According to UN special rapporteur, Israel violates Palestinians’ rights in West Bank, Gaza through occupation, confiscation of land, ‘ethnic cleansing’ of East Jerusalem.

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Israel’s policies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip appear to amount to apartheid due to its systematic oppression of the Palestinian people and de facto expropriation of their land, a United Nations investigator said in a report.

Richard Falk, UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, said that Palestinian rights are being violated by Israel’s prolonged occupation of Palestinian territory and “ethnic cleansing” of East Jerusalem.

Gaza, despite the disengagement of Israel in 2005, remains “occupied” under an unlawful Israeli blockade that controls borders, airspace and coastal waters, and especially hurts farmers and fishermen, he said. The humanitarian situation in the Hamas-ruled enclave is dire amid fuel shortages, he added.

Palestinian protest in Jordan Valley (Photo: AFP)
Palestinian protest in Jordan Valley (Photo: AFP)

UN member states should consider imposing a ban on imports of produce from Jewish settlements in the West Bank, Falk said in his final report to the UN Human Rights Council after serving six years in the independent post.

In a section entitled “acts potentially amounting to segregation and apartheid”, he analyzed Israeli policies, including “continuing excessive use of force by Israeli security forces” and unlawful killings that he said are “part of acts carried out in order to maintain dominance over Palestinians”.

Palestinians in the West Bank are subject to military laws, while Jewish settlers face a civil law system, he said. Israel also violates their rights to work and education, freedoms of movement and residence, and of expression and assembly, he said.

Ten years ago the UN’s International Court of Justice ruled that Israel’s separation wall inside the West Bank is illegal, he noted. Israel says it is a security barrier.

“It seems incontestable that Israeli measures do divide the population of the Occupied Palestinian Territory along racial lines, create separate reserves for Palestinians and expropriate their land,” Falk wrote in his 22-page report.

“The combined effect of the measures designed to ensure security for Israeli citizens, to facilitate and expand settlements, and, it would appear, to annex land is hafrada (the Hebrew word for separation), discrimination and systematic oppression of, and domination over, the Palestinian people.”

There was no immediate reaction from Israel, which boycotted the council it accuses of bias for 19 months, returning in October 2013. The Jewish state left after accusing the forum of bias when it set up a fact-finding mission on the settlements.

Controversy

Falk, an American law professor who is Jewish, has long been a controversial figure. After taking up the post in May 2008, he compared Israeli forces’ actions in the Gaza Strip to those of the Nazis in wartime Europe.

Months later, he was detained at Ben Gurion airport and deported by Israeli authorities after being barred from crossing into Palestinian areas to carry out his investigation.

Last June he said he would not resign and accused critics of calling him anti-Semitic to divert attention from his scrutiny of Israeli policies. UN Watch, an activist group that Falk labels as a ‘pro-Israel lobbying organization’, and the United States had called for him to quit.

Falk said in his latest report that businesses and countries should examine who profits from the “settlements of Israel and other unlawful Israeli activities” and take appropriate steps.

“Considering the fact that the European Union remains one of the most important trading partners for the settlements, with annual exports worth $300 million, a ban on settlement produce would have a significant impact,” he said.

His previous appeals for divestment have brought results and have encouraged governments to be more vigilant, he said.

Royal HaskoningDHV, a Dutch company, ended a contract with Jerusalem’s municipality to build a wastewater treatment plant in East Jerusalem and a Swedish-Norwegian bank Nordea excluded Cemex from its investment portfolio due to its extraction of non-renewable natural resources from Palestine, according to Falk.

ISRAEL: WHERE PEACE IS A THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY

Personal testimony details the experience of one activist on way back to Israel from Apartheid Week, BDS events in Europe*

They threatened to make me spend the night there. They said things suggesting that they were tapping my phone, reading my emails, and bugging my apartment. They tried playing good cop, bad cop, and took turns leaving the room.

Israeli interrogated en route back to Israel for her activism in Palestinian cause

The activist tells of her experience being held for hours, harassed and intimidated by Israel Security Agency officials – for doing nothing illegal or suspicious.

By Leehee Rothschild*

I arrived at Luton airport for my flight back to Israel, after spending one month in the UK and France, participating in Israeli Apartheid Week and BDS events. That, along with my ongoing activism for Palestinian rights, made me a security risk of the highest level for the Israeli state.

The troubles began at the Israeli security counter before check-in. I answered all the questions correctly: “Did you pack alone?” “Yes.” “Has your luggage been with you at all time?” “Yes.” The security person wasn’t really listening; he was checking his lists instead. A higher ranking security person was called over; my passport was taken away. This person seemed fascinated by my whereabouts while abroad, demanding names and details of people I had met, which I didn’t share.

They announced that all my luggage must be inspected, marking my bags with yellow stripes and the number six, the highest level in Israeli airport security profiling. In my carry-on bag, I was allowed only “Purse, mobile, book, and coat,” in a plastic bag.  Finally after about 45 minutes, I was allowed to leave, taking only what they allowed me in the carry-on; I was already checked in, in a marked seat of their choosing. I was instructed to go through British security, and head straight to the gate.

At the gate, I was taken into a small room. The plastic carry-on bag was taken away for inspection, and I had to strip behind a curtain. For what seemed like I ages I stood shivering in tights and an undershirt while they scanned my cloths, from jeans to bra. Then another woman scanned me, feeling me all over, touching the clothes I still wore with gauze, taking samples for “chemical inspection.” When I protested, she said that objections will make me miss my flight. They finally returned my clothes, then spent another 20 minutes checking my phone contacts. They walked me onto the plane five minutes before the flight took off.

On the Israeli side, the ordeal continued. The passport inspector took my passport, and made me follow another security officer through long corridors and stairs. She locked my plastic carry-on bag in a small cupboard, checked my pockets, and showed me into a nearby room for “questioning.”

Two men and a woman were sitting inside. The men introduced themselves as Shavit, “Head of the extreme left and right department in the Internal Security Services,” and Reshef. The woman was never introduced. They called her Karin, and explained that she had been instructed to remain silent throughout the whole process.

I was interrogated for over three hours. They said they were just “getting to know me better” and I asked whether I was allowed to leave. I wasn’t. They claimed they were unrelated to the inspections in London, and that our conversation wasn’t taped, and they were unhappy with the fact that I doubted both statements. Shavit explained that because of my activities, which were all legitimate, they must warn me that some of the Palestinians I collaborate with might try to use me to transfer people, or things into Israel, people who may be terrorists, things that might be bombs, and they want me to acknowledge this risk. Then he said that they wanted to understand what drove me to be an activist. I said I don’t want to talk to them. They didn’t seem to care.

Mostly, I remained silent. Silent as they asked where I had been abroad, the meetings I attended and the lectures I gave. Silent, when they asked whether I was involved with international projects like the Welcome to Palestine initiative, the Gaza flotilla, the Global March to Jerusalem. Silent when they asked about Anarchists Against the Wall meetings, and when they offered their “assistance” in getting permits for demonstrations, or delivering messages to the soldiers in the West Bank with tips on how to better deal with demonstrations. Frustrated with my non-cooperation they asked personal questions, about my family, my studies, my relations with fellow activists, my apartment, and my looks, their attitude alternating between friendly and offensive.

Reshef said that I don’t look like an anarchist as he went through my clothing items, remarking on each one. Shavit warned him that this was sexual harassment, then tried to persuade me to meet up for coffee, and have a friendly chat. I was silent to that as well, braiding my hair, biding my time.

They threatened to make me spend the night there. They said things suggesting that they were tapping my phone, reading my emails, and bugging my apartment. They tried playing good cop, bad cop, and took turns leaving the room.

After nearly three hours, when I remained steadfastly silent, they gave up. Before releasing me, Shavit warned me again not to be used by anyone. He said that for now, I’ve stayed within the law, but once I broke it, I’d better remember that they are watching me, and that they view me as a leader, so I could be held responsible for leading other people into illegal acts. Then he went out to get a security officer and my passport. Another 20 minutes elapsed before I was finally escorted through passport control, and left the airport.

They recommended that I keep it private, which was one motive for publishing this story. This so-called friendly conversation, just like the less friendly police raid on my house about a year ago, are meant to intimidate and threaten me and others like me. They want us to know that we are being watched, tapped, and followed. They try to frighten us into submission, and to terrorize us into silence. They will fail. Three hours of interrogation were a small price to pay compared with the suffering of my Palestinian partners, and I will keep on raising my voice for freedom and justice, until the whole world will chant along.

*Leehee Rothschild has been active in the Palestinian struggle for over a decade. She currently works with Anarchists Against the Wall and Boycott From Within. She writes about activism and political struggle on her blog, Radically Blonde and other publications.

 

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SLANDERING THE ANTI APARTHEID MOVEMENT

Or …. The Protocols of Present Day zionism
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I’ve written before about the infamous group in Israel calling themselves the NGO Monitor. As far as they are concerned, any group, specifically NGO’s, that might be to the left of Meyer Kahane should be monitored for the continued ‘safety’ of the State of Israel. That leaves just about everyone ‘suspect’ …
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In an OpEd piece at Ynet, their President and founder, Gerald Steinberg, offers his slanderous views on those involved in the anti apartheid struggle in Israel. Normally I wouldn’t give  platform to the likes of a Steinberg, but I feel it is important for my readers to see first hand the dangerous mentalities we are up against here on a daily basis.
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Here goes…
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Slandering the Jewish state

Op-ed: Instead of criticizing ‘Israeli apartheid,’ rights group should focus on Syria, Saudi Arabia*

Over the past few weeks “Israeli apartheid week” events have occurred at a number of campuses throughout North America and Europe. This year’s timing is especially unfortunate: while this political warfare, accompanied by BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaign is happening, the Syrian regime is massacring its own people.
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In light of this, it is especially sad that people who call themselves human rights activists waste their time and energy attacking Israel. It is clear that the campaign explicitly targets the existence of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. In the words of Professor Irwin Cotler, former Canadian attorney general, “Let there be no mistake about it: to indict Israel as an Apartheid State is prologue and justification for the dismantling of the Jewish State, for the criminalization of its supporters, and for the consequential silencing of their speech.”

This campaign immorally exploits the suffering of the real victims of apartheid and racism, and transforms a complex political dispute between the Palestinians and Israel into a racial conflict. The comparison was categorically rejected and denounced by Judge Richard Goldstone in The New York Times. Goldstone, who is a former justice of the South African Constitutional Court, wrote that, “In Israel, there is no apartheid. Nothing there comes close to the definition of apartheid under the 1998 Rome Statute…”

Goldstone added that “while ‘apartheid’ can have broader meaning, its use is meant to evoke the situation in pre-1994 South Africa. It is an unfair and inaccurate slander against Israel, calculated to retard rather than advance peace negotiations.”

Many others who had experienced the real apartheid expressed similar views. Benjamin Pogrund, who was a journalist in South Africa, wrote, “Use of the apartheid label is at best ignorant and naive and at worst cynical and manipulative.”


Infinite hypocrisy

This cynicism is especially prominent now that Assad’s regime is mercilessly massacring its own people. During the past month, hundreds of people were murdered just in the city of Homs. But in Syria, where an Alawite minority has been oppressing the Sunni majority for decades, the regime – like other dictatorships – was immune to criticism until the outbreak of brutal violence in the recent months, especially from groups claiming to promote human rights.

Does a state in which a small minority violently oppresses the majority not deserve a week (in Israel’s case, actually a month) of attention focused on its crimes? And what about Saudi Arabia, which bans members of other religions from entering parts of the country, and where women are not allowed to drive or leave their house without a family member accompanying them? Where is “Saudi discrimination week”? And we haven’t even mentioned the situation of Christians in Israel’s neighbors, in Gaza and in the West bank. The examples are infinite, as is the hypocrisy.

In the face of these blatant double standards, the power of the “apartheid” campaign is derived from resources that are available in both political and financial forms. Politically, as noted, this divisive agenda is supported by the Arab and Islamic blocs in the United Nations and associated institutions, with active support from Russia and China. They firmly reject any attempt to condemn real human rights violations, and use anti-Israel campaigns to divert criticism.

Financially, the availability of significant European government funding allows ostensible human rights organizations to actively promote the “apartheid” libel. At the same time, these organizations are embarrassingly silent when faced with human rights violations in the Muslim-Arab world in general and in Syria specifically. At most, they issue belated and half-hearted condemnations.

Finally, the crude exploitation of the “apartheid” libel and the accompanying BDS campaigns are the antithesis of the mutual acceptance required for peace, and serve the purposes of murderous dictatorships. As Judge Goldstone wrote, “The mutual recognition and protection of the human dignity of all people is indispensable to bringing an end to hatred and anger. The charge that Israel is an apartheid state is a false and malicious one that precludes, rather than promotes, peace and harmony.”


YOUNG, JEWISH AND PROUD TO BE ANTI APARTHEID

Commentary by Chippy Dee,
Photos © by Bud Korotzer
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On March 1st Friends of the IDF hosted a Purim fundraising party at the Highline Ballroom in N.Y.C.  Young, Jewish and Proud, the youth contingent of Jewish Voice for Peace, held a cheerful, exuberant, holiday demonstration in front of the ballroom to greet the party goers with the message that, like Queen Esther, they had to protest  injustice.  Their signs, traditional Purim song (with new topical words), other songs, chants, and imaginative street theater, a ‘Purim Spiel’,  explained that they were protesting the entire Israeli apartheid apparatus – walls, checkpoints, settlements (colonies) on Palestinian land, indefinite detentions, and the brutal racist treatment of Palestinians.  In the spirit of the holiday some wore costumes.  Others decorated the NYPD barricade and lamppost with streamers. 

The protesters attracted considerable attention.  People walking by stopped to ask questions and the party attendees, young and well- dressed looked amazed.  The blank ‘deer in the headlights’ stare is not uncommon when people see protests of Israel’s policies because the press in the U.S. is never critical of Israel.  That is why what Young, Jewish and Proud did on that cold, dark street was so important.*

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ANTI APARTHEID IN THE SHADOWS OF 9/11

Commentary by Chippy Dee, Photos © by Bud Korotzer 
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View from the meeting hall at NYU … The building with red lights is the new WTC Building under construction.
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The evening of February 27th, on the occasion of the 8th Israeli Apartheid Week, NYU Students for Justice in Palestine hosted a meeting on the subject of Apartheid in Israel/Palestine: Legality and Morality.  The 2 extremely  knowledgeable and dynamic speakers were Noura Erakat, a Palestinian attorney and activist who is currently teaching international human rights law in the Middle East at Georgetown University and Omar Barghouti, an independent Palestinian commentator and human rights activist.  He is a founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and the Palestinian Civil Society Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Campaign against Israel.  The large room was filled to capacity and the overflow crowd had to wait outside.

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Erakat began by defining apartheid and then, using a flow chart, went on to show the many Israeli laws (Israel has no constitution) that that have created that policy.  For example, citizenship, 2 categories, one, the more privileged, reserved for Jews only. There are very many other laws that impact quite differently on many aspects of the lives of Jews and non-Jews.  In ways, according to both Nelson Mandela and Bishop Tutu, the apartheid practiced in Israel is much harsher than what existed in South Africa.

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Barghouti spoke next and with the aid of a series of photos and graphics he discussed the anti-apartheid movement pointing out that with current communication technology the movement has taken about 6 years to accomplish what took 30 years for the South Africans to achieve.  He said that BDS is not a movement, it is a tactic, and that the anti-apartheid movement takes no position on the question of a one state or a two state solution. He made many references to Martin Luther King pointing out that his position, as well as the position of people fighting apartheid in South Africa was, “One man, one vote”. If equality did not destroy the U.S. A. or South Africa, why should we assume that real democracy will destroy Israel? He said  that many people say they support Palestinian rights but object to the right of return – this is a contradiction. Since about 68% of the Palestinian population are refugees one cannot deny them the right of return and say that one supports Palestinian rights.  One of his final points was that if people here are struggling for a more just world in general, that will impact positively on the lives of Palestinians because it is all part of the same struggle and no individual struggle exists in isolation.

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The meeting concluded with a Q & A period.  Some questions were somewhat hostile but they were responded to respectfully with an unshakable emphasis on human rights. Both speakers repeatedly emphasized that every refugee from anywhere should have a right of return, and that gays, women, and all racial and ethnic minorities should have full human rights.

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The slide show…

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The Q&A Period …

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ZIONISTS PULL OUT THEIR ‘VICTIM CARD’ FOR ISRAELI APARTHEID WEEK

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Israeli Apartheid Week is an annual international series of events held across the globe. The aim is to educate people about the nature of Israeli apartheid against the Palestinian people and to build the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement locally and globally.
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The zionists have used the week to pull out their ‘victim card’ again, making it the same old, same old…..*

Jewish students should take Israeli Apartheid Week with a pinch of salt*

As the eighth annual Israeli Apartheid Week is gearing up at colleges around the world, anti-Semitism on campuses is, once again, a hot topic. Every Jewish campus organization throws their lot in with Israeli Apartheid Week, using it to highlight what they see as the victimhood of Jewish students. They are, however, missing the point.

That Israeli Apartheid week is hateful, ignorant and just plain stupid is beyond doubt. It’s a gross exaggeration of the flaws of Israel with no regard paid to the good, and it alienates many students, polarizing campuses and, sometimes, causing confrontation. But isn’t that what college is all about?

College is the birthplace of exaggerated emotions and extreme ideologies. Thankfully, it is also normally their graveyard. It’s the place where people go to learn that ideas exist, and it normally takes them nearly all of their time there to realize that most of those ideas are only any good if, like beer and whisky, they are taken in moderation. If not, then you just get drunk on them and do stupid things. Since getting drunk on beer and whisky and doing stupid things is pretty much the hallmark of most people’s college experiences (especially in the progressive, predominantly liberal-arts schools where Israeli Apartheid Week takes place) then why do we get so upset when they do the same thing with their ideas as they do with their Bud Light?*

The above garbage is taken from HaAretz (of all places). One would expect it to come from the Jerusalem Post or Arutz Sheva, but HaAretz seems to have joined the anti Palestinian ‘bandwagon’ as of late. The entire article can be read HERE.

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TONIGHT ~~ TONIGHT 

*If you are in the New York area, it’s not too late to hear the truth about Israeli Apartheid and Apartheid Week….

*This year’s official poster by Carlos Latuff

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Apartheid in Israel/Palestine: Legality and Morality with Omar Barghouti and Noura Erakat

Event Date: 
Monday, February 27, 2012 – 19:00

NYU Students for Justice in Palestine presents:
Apartheid in Israel/Palestine: Legality and Morality
with Omar Barghouti and Noura Erakat

When: Monday, February 27th – 7PM
Where: NYU Kimmel Center Room 914, 60 Washington Square South
Accessibility: Event is free and open to the public with photo ID. Wheelchair accessible.

Apartheid, in its simplest understanding, is characterized by institutionalized and systematic racial segregation. The Jewish-only colonies and roadways of the West Bank, the concrete walls engulfing the West Bank and Gaza, and the walls separating Arab ghettos from their Jewish neighbors in mixed Israeli cities, are just some of the disturbing realities of apartheid in Israel and Palestine today. People of conscience across the globe are declaring that it is high time for an end to Israel’s US-backed oppression of the Palestinian people. Join us for a discussion with Omar Barghouti and Noura Erakat examining the issue of Israeli apartheid in light of both international law and morality.

Noura Erakat is a Palestinian attorney and activist. She is currently an adjunct professor of international human rights law in the Middle East at Georgetown University and the Legal Advocacy Coordinator for the Badil Center for Palestinian Refugee and Residency Rights.

Omar Barghouti is an independent Palestinian commentator and human rights activist. He is a founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and the Palestinian Civil Society Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

ZIONISM’S ATTEMPT TO TURN LIES INTO TRUTH

My response to the critics of BDS
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 One example of the lies they spread….
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The Boycott Movement, Israeli Anti-Apartheid Week in particular, seems to have certain sections of the zionist community literally chasing their tails to get attention these days …
Lets start with a report from HaAretz which appeared a week ago; its main claim was that although BDS activists have convinced many to cancel performances here, the movement has not been able to exert the economic pressure on Israel it wishes to achieve. I posted my own response to that ridiculous claim in THIS post.
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Today a new report appears in HaAretz claiming that The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement is mounting its annual Israeli Apartheid Week. Yet this year, there is something different – people have begun telling the truth about BDS.
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What is interesting is the main source they use as the ‘truth teller’….
The door was opened by author and lecturer Norman Finkelstein. Earlier this month, Finkelstein, one of Israel’s harshest critics, rocked the BDS movement with a critique devastating in its candor.
 

Finkelstein said he loathed the movement’s duplicity and disingenuousness in hiding the fact that a large part of its membership “wants to eliminate Israel.”
“I support the BDS,” Finkelstein said, but “it will never reach a broad public until and unless they’re explicit in their goal. And their goal has to include the recognition of Israel, or it’s a nonstarter.”

Instead, he said, the movement insists that it’s “agnostic” on whether or not Israel should exist. “No, you’re not agnostic! You don’t want it! Then just say it! But (BDS leaders) know full well, that if you say it, you don’t have a prayer of reaching a broad public … And frankly, you know what, you shouldn’t. You shouldn’t reach a broad public, because you’re dishonest.”

Though BDS constantly claims successes, “it’s a cult, where the guru says ‘We have all these victories’ and everyone nods their head,” Finkelstein said. “People promote it as if it’s proven itself and we’re on the … verge of a victory of some sort. It’s just sheer nonsense. It’s a cult. And I, personally, I’m tired of it.”*

In the case of Norman Finkelstein, there too I posted my response in THIS post. Finkelstein  ends his tirade with the words “I’m tired of it.” So are we! We are tired of the lone voices from the ‘Ivory Towers’ trying to dictate to the activists what is right and what is wrong. It’s not only Finkelsein that is guilty of this behaviour, Noam Chomsky, as well, has been playing at that game for years. In both cases, as ‘friends’ of the Pro Palestinian Movements. Friends do not act or speak like they do. We expect this from the Dershowitzes and others connected with the ADL, but when this nonsense comes from supposed friends, all it does is give amunition to the enemy as can be seen in the two HaAretz reports linked. Do read the second link and see for yourself the weakness of those who dare accuse BDS of dishonesty. Their only defence is dishonesty on their own part.*

Here you can see and hear the truth about the BDS Movement and what it is doing in Israel…
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ISRAEL HATEFEST WEEK BEGINS TODAY

 Israel has launched a week long ‘celebration of hate’ to glorify their Apartheid system…
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Our answer to them…
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When someone calls your support for Palestinians as “hate speech”, show them this video…
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The reality… Call it as it is …
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Calling the Israeli regime as one of apartheid is not rhetoric, nor is it an exaggeration or a propaganda tool. This is the reality in modern day Palestine, where the Israeli regime is based on discrimination, through laws, practices, education and most aspects of life. This apartheid regime is not only imposed on the people in Palestine, but also on millions of Palestinian refugees denied their right to return home because they are of the wrong religion.

As awareness across the world continues to increase regarding the Israeli Apartheid regime in Palestine, each effort in this aspect would help accelerate the conclusion of this shameful page in history. And as this awareness rises, campaigns to boycott, divest and sanction this regime provide a very effective and natural response. The world witnessed a similar response transpire and bear fruit in the case of South Africa, and there are very good reasons to believe that it will do the same in the case of Palestine.

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BUT
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Israel is sending 100 ‘envoys’ to various foreign campuses to defend Apartheid, accordiing to the Jerusalem Post
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It was announced that the Israeli Ministry of Public Diplomacy would dispatch “envoys” around the world in an attempt to undermine the upcoming plans for Israeli Apartheid Week (starting  yesterday, 20 February, in some places).

According to the Jerusalem Post,report the participants of the Israeli “mission” have all “undergone several weeks of training in the Public Diplomacy Ministry” and will include settlers and “experts in national security”. (See below for the original Jerusalem Post article.)

The Israeli Minister of Public Diplomacy, Yuli Edelstein, said that “the answer” to initiatives such as Israeli Apartheid Week and delegitimization is “not just to give facts and data, but to bring Israel to them.” Edelstein further accused those organizing Israeli Apartheid Week of hatred and having the “disease” of ignorance.

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Envoys to fight Israel Apartheid Week on campus
Public Diplomacy Ministry to send Israelis from different sectors in society abroad to represent and defend the state.


Envoys to to fight Israel Apartheid Week
By Courtesy/Yuli Edelstein office
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The Public Diplomacy Ministry plans to send 100 Israelis from different sectors in society abroad to represent and defend the state during Israel Apartheid Week.

The “Faces of Israel” mission, which leaves next weekend, includes settlers, Arabs, artists, experts in national security, gay people, and immigrants from Ethiopia. Actor Aki Avni will also join the group.

The participants in the project have undergone several weeks of training in the Public Diplomacy Ministry, and will visit dozens of college campuses to battle the “apartheid” label in New York, Boston, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Toronto, Montreal, Dublin, London, Madrid, Johannesburg and Cape Town.

The mission will be split into 20 groups that will participate in conferences and panels, as well as speak directly to college students.

“Most of those who hate Israel have the same disease: ignorance,” Public Diplomacy Minister Yuli Edelstein said. “We are sure that the answer to the attempts to de-legitimize Israel is not just to give facts and data, but to bring Israel to them.”

According to Edelstein, the groups plan to explain to students that they are all Israelis who come from different walks of life, yet choose to remain in Israel. The mission’s participants were chosen to show that Israel has a diverse society that values equality and human rights, he explained.

The minister said he hopes that students abroad who are meeting real Israelis for the first time will stop the “messages of incitement and hatred that, at the end of the day, could reach students that are the leaders of tomorrow.”