SLEEPLESS NIGHTS FOR ZION ~~ WORKING 24/7 TO DEFEAT BDS

Two-and-a-half years ago the initials BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) meant little to the wider general public. But then the BDS coalition that was established in 2005 and called for the imposition of economic, academic and cultural boycotts on Israel intensified its struggle especially by exerting heavy pressure on music artists not to perform in Israel.

These new reinvigorated efforts caused the Israeli government to declare the BDS a strategic threat, prompting the Ministry of Strategic Affairs to launch a campaign against the coordinated boycotts.

Interesting to see how zionists employ the nazi’s star symbol

 

Who’s afraid of the BDS? Meet the people on the frontline

*
When the BDS movement intensified its efforts to ostracize Israel in all spheres of private and public life, a number of organizations, comprising academics and IDF veterans, made it their mission to tackle the phenomenon head on and deploy new forces, adopt fresh strategies, and exploit untapped advantages to counter the international smear campaign.
*

Two-and-a-half years ago the initials BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) meant little to the wider general public. But then the BDS coalition that was established in 2005 and called for the imposition of economic, academic and cultural boycotts on Israel intensified its struggle especially by exerting heavy pressure on music artists not to perform in Israel.

These new reinvigorated efforts caused the Israeli government to declare the BDS a strategic threat, prompting the Ministry of Strategic Affairs to launch a campaign against the coordinated boycotts.

Today, dozens of organizations are engaged in the local and international battles to eliminate the erroneous and pernicious perceptions that the BDS movement seeks to instill within its supporters, among them IFOR (International Freedom of Research) ISRAELis, and the Institute for Zionist Strategies (IZS) that are leading the struggle against the boycotts on three fronts.

“The academic boycott threatens to silence liberal voices”

IFOR is the initiative by Dr. Sharona Aharoni-Goldenberg, a senior legal lecturer at the Netanya Academic College, who banded together with academic colleagues such as like Dr. Roy Gilbar in order to fight against the academic boycotts in Europe and the US.

The initiative was born two-and-a-half years ago after Dr. Goldenberg witnessed the gloomy reality taking place regarding Israel’s integration in the international academic word.

Their articles were rejected by magazines and periodicals, they were not invited to professional conferences and in may cases they were simply ignored or protested against during lectures and academic meetings.

Have such cases of academic boycotts occurred in history?

“Yes. It’s a disgrace. There is a picture from the year 1933 in which soldiers can be seen placed at the entrances of universities and not allowing Jewish researchers to enter,” she says.

Members of IFOR battle against the academic boycotts by utilizing tools they are most familiar with. They lecture in Israel and around the world, establish research groups an and write opinion pieces in the international press.

“We are trying to change the perception and communicate the message that academic boycotts are an oxymoron and that they are an assault on human rights,” says Dr. Goldenberg.

“Recently, for instance, there were calls to boycott a conference in Israel for cancer research. This harms the pursuit of truth, the advancement science and promotion of society. Another example is the Dublin Conference on the academic boycotts. Two Israeli research groups sent abstracts but were not allowed to enter the conference,” she recalled.

According to Dr. Goldenberg, many of the Israeli researchers are afraid of the boycotts and conceal their academic affiliation. Israeli students studying abroad also witness the anti-Israel climate permeating college campuses.

“It seeped not only to Israeli lecturers and students but also to Jewish students. In the US there are students who are scared to study in certain universities—universities that the Telegraph newspaper dubbed ‘no go zone’ universities, because they were bought by Islamic organizations,” Dr. Goldenberg explains.

“We see the effect which I call the ‘ripple effect.’ It started with silencing Israeli lecturers and continued into intimidating Israeli students and made its way to Jewish lecturers and students on campus. In my opinion, the next stage—and it has already begun—is the silencing of different liberal voices,” Dr. Goldenberg predicts.

Using post-military travels as a PR tool

ISRAELis is an organization that was established by three IDF officers, Eyal Biram, Barak Deri and Jonathan Sabrui, who after recently being discharged from their military service began to grasp the huge and untapped power held by young Israelis when it comes to portraying Israel’s image.

Every year, some 400,000 Israeli youngsters aged 20-24 travel abroad, the majority of whom are freshly discharged from the army. During their trip they get to know, on average, five fellow travelers of their age group, a meeting that has the potential to totally transform Israel’s image.

“The idea is to build a community of discharged soldiers who are involved in improving Israel’s public image,” says 25-year-old Biram, recounting his own experiences during his post-military travels which led to the creation of his organization.

“I met two French people and in a simple conversation over a beer in the hostel I managed to convey a simple message: What you have heard about Israel is simply not true. I told them that I served in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge. They had never heard of the tunnels or about the soldiers who were killed. It’s possible that those same French people went home and came across the issues of the BDS and remembered that they met with Eyal from Israel and described the situation differently,” Biram says.

Today, the three young entrepreneurs hold training workshops in three stages in cooperation with the Defense Ministry and the Institute of Public Diplomacy.

The first stage includes basic training as part of a preparation course for freshly discharged IDF soldiers, who are given the tools to communicate messages designed to enhance Israel’s image.

The second phase consists of training a patrol team of activists comprising ambassadors aptly nicknamed “the tourists” who possess stronger public relations tools. The third stage, which is currently in its development stage, is a digital platform designed to assist and support tourists during their travels after the army.

“Nothing exists to help the population of discharged soldiers and we have here the ability to create a significant change. We have 1,500 graduates and we predict that by the end of 2017 we’ll have 40,000. At this rate, in another ten years half a million Israelis will be Israeli ambassadors,” Biram predicted.

The change begins from inside

Unlike ISRAELis, which concentrates most of its efforts on public relations outside Israel, the Institute for Zionist Strategies focuses all its energy inside Israel’s borders.

The institute was born 12 years ago, and five years ago, as part of its framework, the “Blue & White Human Rights” offshoot movement was created, an apolitical group managed by Noah Dromi which deals predominantly with rights of Palestinians.

“We don’t say that everything is wonderful and nothing is happening here,” explains the CEO of the IZS, Miri Shalem.

“We also don’t show a negative reality. IDF soldiers are not evil demons and even if the Palestinians don’t have a state, not everything is bad. Some of them work inside Israel and receive a high salary compared to what they would receive in the PA. They also receive medical treatment,” she points out.

The activities of the IZS against the BDS movement focus on three central areas. The first one is volunteer work at checkpoints in the West Bank (most of the volunteers are residents of Gush Etzion), which includes monitoring the operations of workers at the checkpoints, solving specific problems and giving medical assistance.

“All this is in cooperation with the authorities and without the involvement of the media,” Shalem stresses.

The second main area of focus is patrols at the checkpoints, which receives particular scrutiny from organizations abroad.

The third area is the training of geopolitical tour guides, a particularly popular area in the West Bank and less in Israel.

“We don’t present a rosy picture, but rather the complex reality that will cause people to question anchored perceptions in their minds.

“Sometimes when delegations arrive to Israel, like Taglit, they are given tours that ignore the reality—they are shown the startup nation and the beaches of Tel Aviv. Our activities are designed to create a change in the Israeli domestic discourse which also spreads abroad too. It allows for a different perspective on the conflict.”

‘TRAITOR’ JOE’S HELPS BOMB PALESTINIAN CHILDREN

Trader Joe’s decision to carry this product violates an international boycott against Israel for its violence against Palestinians and decades-long oppression. Israel regularly invades Palestinian communities and has perpetrated a blockade against Gaza’s inhabitants for over ten years.

Image by Carlos Latuff

Trader Joe’s Promotes Israel’s Snack To ‘Fight Hunger’, While Gaza’s Children Suffer

Trader Joe’s Promotes Israeli Snack To ‘Fight Hunger’, While Gaza’s Children Suffer

In violation of the international boycott of Israel over its human rights abuses, which have caused stunting of Gazan children, Trader Joe’s is promoting Bamba, an Israeli-made snack.

 Trader Joes’ has just announced that it will be selling a snack made for it in Israel, “Trader Joe’s Bamba Peanut Snacks.”

The announcement reports that Bamba is “the  best-selling snack in Israel” and crows that it’s one of the few grocery stores that carry it: “Bamba is tricky to find in general (most U.S. grocers don’t carry the stuff).”

Trader Joe’s decision to carry this product violates an international boycott against Israel for its violence against Palestinians and decades-long oppression. Israel regularly invades Palestinian communities and has perpetrated a blockade against Gaza’s inhabitants for over ten years.

The company that produces Bamba in Israel, Osem, calls itself “as Israeli as Israeli can be.” Osem’s website says:

Osem’s history and the stages of its development are directly and closely intertwined with the growth of the State of Israel as a whole. The warmth, kindness, solidarity, and courage that are characteristic of Israel are all building stones of Osem Group.”

Osem says it works “to strengthen and advance the Israeli food industry and the story of the State of Israel as a whole.”

The company has been operating in the U.S. since the early 1960s. Among its many brands are Sabra and Veggie Patch.

Osem & Nestlé, subject of another boycott

In the 1990s the Osem group began partnering with Nestlé, a company that originated in Switzerland but “became over time a world-wide international holding company.”

In 1998 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave Nestlé the Jubilee Award, “the highest tribute ever awarded by the State of Israel in recognition of those individuals and organizations, that through their investments and trade relationships, have done the most to strengthen the Israeli economy.” Nestle now holds Osem and is part of the Osem Group.

Nestlé has  been boycotted since 1977 “because it contributes to the unnecessary death and suffering of infants around the world by aggressively marketing baby foods in breach of international marketing standards.

Oscar-winning director Danis Tanovic produced a film about a former Nestlé baby milk salesman who opposed the industry when he realized that babies were dying as a result of his work pressuring doctors to promote formula.

Osem’s website says:  “when the Israeliness of Osem Group meets the international strength of Nestle, together they become invincible.”

Progressive Except Palestine

Trader Joe’s is often seen as a progressive company, and recently announced a project to help “fight hunger throughout New England.”

Perhaps at some point Trader Joe’s will be equally concerned about children in Palestine, where humanitarian agencies have found that due to Israel’s blockade of Gaza, “ten percent of children under 5 have stunted growth due to prolonged exposure to malnutrition. Anemia, caused by an iron-deficiency, affects 58.6 percent of schoolchildren, 68.1 percent of children nine to 12 months old and 36.8 percent of pregnant mothers.”

WHO’S AFRAID OF THE BIG BAD WOLF?

Who’s Afraid of BDS?

The movement to boycott Israel isn’t going away, despite the numerous attempts to quash it. Leading activist Omar Barghouti sits down with Ahmed to explain why.

 

UN BLACKLISTS THE OCCUPATION

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights al-Hussein warns Israeli firms of their inclusion in ‘blacklist’ of companies operating in West Bank, east J’lem, Jordan Valley; list includes prominent companies such as Bezeq, Hot, Ahava, Cellcom, Bank Hapoalim and others; Bezeq CEO scorns ‘entirely anti-Israeli propaganda.’

130 Israeli companies, 60 int’l corporations on UN ‘blacklist’

Itamar Eichner

In the past few weeks, 130 Israeli companies and 60 international corporations operating in Israel received warning letters from United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid bin Ra’ad al-Hussein cautioning them of their impending inclusion in a “blacklist” of companies active beyond the Green Line in “violation of international law and UN resolutions.”

Ynet has gained access to part of the list, which is set to be published in late December and cites 25 well-known Israeli companies. The companies operate in different sectors—some in food manufacturing, others in services, pharmaceuticals and even high-tech—but have one thing in common: they all operate in settlements, east Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley.

Among the companies in the commissioner’s sights are Ahava, Dor Alon, Amisragas, Angel Bakeries, Arison Investments, Ashdar, Clal Industries, Café Café, Cellcom, Danya Cebus, Electra, HP, Hot, the Israel Aerospace Industries, Matrix Systems, Motorola, Nesher, Partner, Paz, Rami Levy, Remax, Housing & Construction (Shikun Binui), Shufersal, Sonol and Trima.

The above companies are joined by the 12 companies already published on Channel 2 News including Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, Bezeq and Bezeq International, Coca Cola, Africa Israel, Teva, IDB, Egged, Mekorot, Netafim and Elbit Systems.

The “Washington Post” published American companies will also be appearing on the list, including Caterpillar, Tripadvisor and Airbnb.

Some of the companies to be included on the list are still considering their response, but others are already fighting back with the claim their inclusion on the list may cause them financial harm and tarnish their brand, and are therefore looking into filing suits against the Commissioner and the UN’s Human Rights Council that called for the list’s preparation in the first place.

The companies claim the list’s creation was politically motivated and point to the fact that the commissioner constructed no such lists pertaining to other regions of conflict—such as the Crimean Peninsula and Western Sahara—as proof.

Both Israel and the US have been working behind the scenes in the past few weeks to prevent the list’s publication, but it appears it may be presented with a fait accompli. Despite the fact the list carries no operational or legal ramifications, the symbolic move nevertheless caused concern among the Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials due to the fact it may provide a serious boost to BDS efforts, deter foreign investors and convince foreign companies operating in Israel to reduce their operations.

“It may cause large investment firms or pension funds carrying stocks of various Israeli companies to divest in them because they, in turn, operate in the settlements. It may lead to a snowball effect that will greatly harm the Israeli economy eventually,” said a senior Israeli official.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs estimates the Human Rights Commissioner received most of his information about the Israeli firms from Israeli non-profits operating in the settlements and investigating business activities beyond the Green Line.

AIPAC goes to war

In an effort to scuttle the move, the pro-Israel American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) lobby has been working in the US on promoting rapid legislation in Congress determining any company divesting its business dealings from Israel will be considered to have “capitulated” to the Arab boycott, and would thus be in violation of American law.

The Human Rights Council’s efforts to isolate Israel—executed through the office of the commissioner—have largely been facilitated by what Israel frequently slams as the UN body’s years-long anti-Israeli majority which has a long record of a bias slant.

Bezeq CEO Stella Handler published a Facebook post 12 days ago in which she made public the overture she received from the UN’s Human Rights Commissioner. After the Ministry of Foreign Affairs contacted her, Handler took the post down.

“Here’s something the UN’s Human Rights Council doesn’t want you know: we’ve received a message from Special Assistant to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mohammad Ali Alnsour. Alnsour communicated to us that Bezeq was to be included on a list of Israeli companies operating in the West Bank. He asked us to keep that information confidential and to not publically comment on it,” Handler’s Facebook post said.

“Before we get started, here’s some background about the UN’s Human Rights Council. Since it was founded in 2006, it published 68 decisions denouncing Israel, making up 50 percent of the total resolutions pertaining to specific countries the council has made. Not North Korea, not Syria, not Sudan and not Yemen were afforded such attention,” the post continued.

“We will not be cooperating with a move that’s entirely anti-Israeli propaganda. Despite the council’s attempts to harm Israel by harming Bezeq, we give you our solemn commitment to keep focused on what we do best: providing all of Israel’s citizens with quality service, to provide our employees with a fair workplace and to manufacture profits for our shareholders. That is our role as Israel’s communications infrastructures company,” Handler concluded.

HOW THE ISRAELI LOBBY IS ASSAULTING OUR FREEDOM OF SPEECH

The First Amendment squarely protects the right to boycott. Lately, though, a legislative assault on that right has been spreading through the United States –  designed to stamp out constitutionally protected boycotts of Israel…

The First Amendment is Under Serious Assault in Order to Stifle Anti-Israel Boycotts

Assaults on freedom speech can be found in many aspects of American life these days, but one specific area that isn’t getting the attention it deserves relates to boycotts against Israel. Increasingly, we’re seeing various regional governments requiring citizens to agree to what essentially amounts to a loyalty pledge to a foreign government in order to participate in or receive government services.

I’m going to highlight two troubling examples of this, both covered by Israeli paper Haaretz. The first relates to Kansas.

From the article, In America, the Right to Boycott Israel Is Under Threat:

The First Amendment squarely protects the right to boycott. Lately, though, a legislative assault on that right has been spreading through the United States –  designed to stamp out constitutionally protected boycotts of Israel…

Over the past several years, state and federal legislatures have considered dozens of bills, and in some cases passed laws, in direct violation of this important ruling. These bills and laws vary in numerous respects, but they share a common goal of scaring people away people from participating in boycotts meant to protest Israeli government policies, including what are known as Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns.

Today, the ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging one of those laws — a Kansas statute requiring state contractors to sign a statement certifying that they do not boycott Israel, including boycotts of companies profiting off settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

We are representing a veteran math teacher and trainer from Kansas who was told she would need to sign the certification statement in order to participate in a state program training other math teachers. Our client is a member of the Mennonite Church USA. In response to calls for boycott by the church and members of her congregation, she has decided not to buy consumer goods and services offered by Israeli companies and international companies operating in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. Our client is boycotting to protest the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians and to pressure the government to change its policies.

Earlier this year, our client was selected to participate as a contractor in a statewide training program run by the Kansas Department of Education. She was excited to use her skills to help train math teachers throughout the state, but when she was presented with a form requiring her to certify that she “is not currently engaged in a boycott of Israel,” she told the state that she could not sign the form in good conscience. As a result, the state refuses to let her participate in the program.

Kansas’s law, and others like it, violates the Constitution. The First Amendment prohibits the government from suppressing one side of a public debate. That means it cannot impose ideological litmus tests or loyalty oaths as a condition on hiring or contracting.

If this was the only example of such behavior, I suppose we could dismiss it as a one-off, misguided directive. Unfortunately, this sort of thing is far more common than any of us would like to admit.

Here’s another recent example, from the article, Houston Suburb Won’t Give Hurricane Relief to Anyone Who Boycotts Israel:

A Houston suburb will not approve grants to repair homes or businesses damaged in Hurricane Harvey if the applicant supports boycotting Israel.

The city of Dickinson’s application form for storm damage repair funding includes a clause stating that “By executing this Agreement below, the Applicant verifies that the Applicant: (1) does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of this Agreement.”

No other clauses about political affiliations or beliefs are included in the form.

The state of Texas passed a law in May banning state entities from contracting with businesses that boycott Israel. The law, one of 21 passed in states around the country in the past few years, has been criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union as unconstitutional.

This is totally insane. I don’t care what you think about Israel, the above is completely unacceptable in a free society and we should all be making a stink about it. Please share with friends and family.

THANK YOU KEN LOACH

Proceeds from screenings of Ken Loach’s latest film ‘I, Daniel Blake’ are donated by the pro-boycott director to BDS’s UK branch, turning Israelis into unwitting supporters of a boycott against their own country.

Ken Loach (L) and Roger Waters
Photo: EPA

Ken Loach donates Israel screening profits to BDS

By Yaniv Halily

British director Ken Loach donated the proceeds from the screenings of his latest film in Israel to the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The film, “I, Daniel Blake,” was widely acclaimed and screened in front of audiences at packed theaters in Israel last spring. At the end of the week, the British branch of the boycott group published a statement revealing it had been the recipient of all proceeds from the film’s screening in Israel donated by Loach.

“Ken Loach, thank you for the support and generosity, it gives us strength,” the organization’s members told the British director.

They did not specify the amount they received from him.

“I, Daniel Blake,” came out last year and won the Golden Palm Award at the Cannes Film Festival and the Best British Film award at the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA), as well as being nominated and named best film in many other prestigious festivals.

The film tells the story of Daniel Blake, a working-class man who was crushed under the weight of bureaucracy after suffering a heart attack and being denied benefits despite his inability to work, forming a unique friendship with a single mother in the process.

The film’s director, Ken Loach, is considered to be one of the best directors working in Britain today. Alongside Roger Waters, Loach is also the most prominent supporter of BDS in Britain.

Loach has signed numerous letters calling for a boycott of Israel and has even approached artists such as Radiohead demanding that they cancel their planned performances in Israel in the past. His efforts however, were to know avail with the show going ahead at full volume.

 

“Do not appear in a country where there is an apartheid regime,” he repeatedly told various artists.

Loach was heavily criticized last summer after reports revealed that, although he called for a boycott on Israel, he himself was profiting from screening his films there.

Loach replied, through his producer Rebecca O’Brien, that the distribution company of “I, Daniel Blake,” signed a distribution agreement with Israel “accidentally” and without his knowledge.

“We asked not to sell the film to Israel, but during the Cannes Festival, junior representatives from the production company quickly sold the film to Israel, forgetting that Ken had asked not to sell the film for screenings there,” O’Brien told The Guardian.

As a result of the claimed error, the film was screened in Israel despite the fact that many viewers who watched it did not know that their money would now help BDS and its efforts to continue to defame Israel’s name abroad.

Shani Films, which distributed the film in Israel, has yet to respond to the reports.

JERUSALEM POST HAD A PLEASANT SURPRISE FOR THE WEEKEND

 The hard copy of this weekend’s Jerusalem Post had a special supplement ….

The Jerusalem Post’s 50 Influential Jews Of 2017

The surprise I refer to was number 35 …..

#35 REBECCA VILKOMERSON – LEADS THE JEWISH VOICE FOR PEACE

Rebecca Vilkomerson. (photo credit:YOU TUBE)

To say Rebecca Vilkomerson, the head of the pro-BDS Jewish Voice for Peace organization, is a controversial figure in the Jewish world would be an understatement.

She triggered anxiety in mainstream American Jewish circles with a 2016 Washington Post opinion article titled “I’m Jewish and I want people to boycott Israel.”

As head of JVP though she is one of the greatest instigators of BDS around the world today and specifically in the US. While some people are on this list due to the positive impact they are having on Israel, the world and the Jewish people, Vilkomerson is not. Nevertheless, she is here since JVP is the catalyst for a large part of the BDS activity today against Israel.  In Vilkomerson’s opinion, her work and beliefs are earnest, sincere and good for the Jewish people, “inspired by the Jewish tradition to work for equality of all people in Palestine and Israel.”

Given that BDS is now largely recognized as a movement that mobilizes antisemitic forces, Vilkomerson as JVP’s executive director has become a lightning rod for mainstreaming BDS. The exploitation of pro-BDS Jews like Vilkomerson recalls a bitterly polemical quote by Austrian Jewish satirist and humorist Alexander Roda Roda (1872-1945): “Antisemitism could really amount to something if the Jews would just take charge of it.”

Vilkomerson was raised in Princeton, New Jersey, and is married to an Israeli. “For myself personally,” she admits, “I grew up very attached to Israel.” She lived in Israel during Operation Cast Lead in 2009, but took away lessons radically different than the consensus view in Israel about Hamas rocket attacks on civilians in southern Israel. She protested against Israel’s counterattacks on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

Now back in the United States, Vilkomerson said JVP works “to change US policy. The US is playing a linchpin role through economic and military support” for Israel, so JVP seeks to disrupt the solid US-Israel relationship. JVP’s core issues, according to Vilkomerson, are ending “the occupation” and returning Palestinian refugees from the 1948 War of Independence (and their descendants) to Israel and the disputed territories.

Though the so-called “Palestinian right of return’’ would spell the end of a Jewish democratic state, BDS is JVP’s blunt instrument to bring about this goal. Vilkomerson claims JVP scored successes in its efforts to stymie federal anti-BDS legislation. “We have had senators pull out of support” for the anti-BDS bill, she declares.

JVP, which adheres to the international BDS Movement platform enacted in 2005, has faced criticism for going to great lengths to support convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh at a JVP event in Chicago in April. A Jerusalem court convicted Odeh for her complicity in a 1969 bomb attack that murdered two Hebrew University students and wounded nine in Jerusalem.

Vilkomerson vehemently denies that Odeh is a terrorist. “Odeh is a respected community activist in Chicago. Her confession was obtained under torture,” said Vilkomerson about the Israeli judicial process.

A US judge ordered Odeh’s deportation from America in August for lying about her criminal conviction when she entered the US. When asked by The Jerusalem Post whether JVP would host Leila Khaled, a convicted Palestinian terrorist from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Vilkomerson said, “We invite people who share our values and principles.” When pressed in follow-up questions about BDS supporter Khaled, she declined to comment.

JVP has a sizable budget and membership, according to Vilkomerson, with 70 chapters, 250,000 people on its mailing list and some 500,000 Facebook followers. JVP’s budget is $3.2 million and has paid staff spread across offices in New York, Oakland, Chicago, Seattle and Boston. JVP also receives money from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and individual donors. Private single donors account for 93% of the organization’s budget.

JVP’s new BDS campaign is to convince young American Jews to not participate in Birthright Israel trips. Vilkomerson said additional JVP campaigns involve drawing attention to alleged Israeli abuses of Palestinian children and adolescents in prisons, as well as lobbying US lawmakers to get Israel to drop criminal charges against Issa Amro, an anti-settlement Palestinian activist charged with entering a closed military zone.

Her organization, she said, has a focus on the progressive caucus in Congress, because “They are most likely to be friendly to our concerns.” When asked about the Senator Bernie Sander’s criticism of antisemitism within BDS and his opposition to the movement, Vilkomerson said she does not agree with him.

In an interview with MSNBC in 2016 Sanders said, “I think there is some of that [antisemitism], absolutely,” in BDS. Vilkomerson said that she does “not see elected officials as arbiters of ethical behavior.”

When questioned whether JVP has ejected any “Jewish antisemites” from its membership, she cited British-based musician Gilad Atzmon, who has said Israel is worse than Nazi Germany. Vilkomerson said JVP rejects the widely praised International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Vilkomerson has also welcomed the decision of Arab singers and other artists who pulled out of a pop concert festival in Berlin in August, because the Israeli Embassy paid 500 euros for the travel costs of an Israeli singer.

She views BDS activity as a part of a growing trend. However, a week after her Post interview, the social democratic mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, announced a fierce crackdown on BDS because BDS “stands with antisemitic signs in front of Berlin shops” and embody “the intolerable methods used in the Nazi era.” Müller said he will ban city space and rooms for BDS activity.

The State of Israel recently blocked JVP member Rabbi Alissa Wise from entering the country, because of her significant role in advancing assaults on the existence of the Jewish state. The government enforced the law barring BDS leaders from entering Israel.

When asked whether she has concerns about traveling to Israel, Vilkomerson said she is “weighing options” about visiting.

 

The entire listing from the Post can be found HERE ….

Needless to say, none of the others could be considered a pleasant surprise

ZIO TV SMEARS ROGER WATERS’ SUPPORT OF BDS

Roger Waters brought his national tour to New York this week. Tonight he is on Long Island, and regrettably the New York media have given a platform to Israel fanatics to smear the songwriter/bassist. Local TV stations have passed on outrageous statements, that Waters is an anti-Semite and that Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) is bigoted.

New York TV stations smear Roger Waters– who praises BDS as ‘one of most admirable pieces of resistance world has seen’

Roger Waters brought his national tour to New York this week. Tonight he is on Long Island, and regrettably the New York media have given a platform to Israel fanatics to smear the songwriter/bassist. Local TV stations have passed on outrageous statements, that Waters is an anti-Semite and that Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) is bigoted.

WABC reported:

Waters is an outspoken critic of Israel, and critics believe his message is bigoted…

Waters says he is not an anti-Semite and that his message is being misunderstood.

WCBS reports:

Waters supports economic sanctions against Israel, but denies he’s anti-Semitic.

Nassau County came out against the BDS movement but by then the contract for Waters’ appearance had already been signed…

This is hateful journalism. Waters’s “denials” of a charge that is not really a charge but a smear come across as hollow when screamers are given the opportunity to run down his character out of ignorance. And the journalists make no effort to report the other side: that Waters’s show has almost nothing to do with Palestine, and a whole lot to do with Donald Trump (who is portrayed as a pig and nincompoop) and that many justice groups support BDS, which is a nonviolent campaign aimed at ending discrimination and apartheid, very much like the South African BDS campaign of 30 years ago.

There is no suggestion here of what many on the left understand: Roger Waters is a leader, a rock star who has placed his magnificent reputation and career on the line for the sake of Palestinians. How many cultural figures would so such a thing? Very few. Yet Waters has staked his reputation again and again, and forced other musicians to take a stand. His stance is simply noble, especially when you consider the power imbalance.

Waters’s tour-de-force performance mentions Palestine once. One of the videos that screens during his songs — I think it was Dark Side of the Moon, I was in Brooklyn Monday night — shows the Israeli separation wall going through the West Bank. It zooms in on the wall for a few seconds, as an example of man’s cruelty to man’s fellows.

Waters explained that BDS is the voice of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery bus boycott, in the New York Times last weekend. And on Thursday he told Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! about the actual spirit of his show, and BDS:

But my show is all about the idea that if this—if this race, the human race, is to survive even the next 50 or 100 years, we need to start looking at the possibility of the transcendental nature of love, and we have to start looking after one another and recognizing our responsibility to others, which is what BDS is about, really.

That Democracy Now segment contrasted Waters’s courage with the cowardice of Rachel Maddow of MSNBC. It featured an excerpt of the documentary, the Occupation of the American Mind, which is frank about the role of the Israel lobby. Here’s Maddow, quoted during the Gaza onslaught of 2014:

It’s been a constant cycle of fighting between Israel and Hamas for the past several years in Gaza. And the fighting and the cause of the fighting feel terribly familiar, because this is basically a recurring war. And if it feels like déjà vu, feels like, “Ugh, I’ve heard all of this before,” you are right, because this really does keep happening, over and over and over again.

To which Rula Jebreal responds:

Rachel Maddow, the most important woman on MSNBC, the leader when it comes to politics, in six weeks of war, never mentioned the word “blockade,” “occupation,” “illegal settlements,” never mentioned the support that Congress have for Israel, unconditional amount of money, billions of dollars. What is that? What a disappointment! Our media operations, national media, is a scandal when it comes to Israel.

Waters was also pointed on the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which would criminalize some forms of support for boycotting Israel.

WATERS: I’m really glad that [NY Senator] Kirsten Gillibrand has taken her name off it. She’s still against BDS, but almost certainly, she—almost certainly, she doesn’t know. She hasn’t traveled enough, though she did say—to her credit, she did say that she had a meeting with Netanyahu when on a visit to Israel. And she asked him a question of what was his plan for what should happen in the future. And he went, “Next.” You know?

SUT JHALLY [of the Media Education Foundation]: Well, because his plan is to never leave. His plan is to take over the entire thing.

WATERS: But they can’t say that.

Waters described the rise of BDS in the real context here: the utter failure of partition over 70 years, the failure of the international community to deliver on its promises of sovereignty to Palestinians. A farce, actually:

We’ve been asked by Palestinian civil society to join them in their struggle against the occupation of their land, let’s be clear, OK, land that was laid out in the U.N. resolutions in 1947 as land that should be for a Palestinian state. Whatever your feelings may be about the creation of the state of Israel or whatever, the U.N. decided that partition was a good idea, and whatever, OK? So—and it’s not happened. And as Sut just said, it’s been whittled away, piece by piece by piece, by illegal settlements. The land is slowly being stolen. The indigenous population, the Palestinian people, are being forced out, or the attempt is. Their resolve to protest their situation nonviolently, using something like BDS, is one of the most admirable pieces of resistance that we’ve ever seen anywhere in the world. You know, it’s quite extraordinary.

BDS is one of the most admirable pieces of resistance that we’ve ever seen anywhere in the world. What a great statement. And one that is underlined by Israel’s ferocity in opposing BDS, and in the supine US political establishment’s efforts to destroy the movement.

P.S. There is also no inkling in these TV reports of the bigotry of Waters’s critics. When a friend asked a demonstrator outside Barclays Center on Monday night– whose poster said that Waters wants Jews to leave Israel– what should happen to the Palestinians? this individual said, There are no such thing as Palestinians.

The criminals were out in full force to condemn Waters

Jewish Defense League extremists outside Roger Waters show at Barclays Center Sept. 11, 2017.

MUST SEE VIDEO ~~ THE OCCUPATION OF THE AMERICAN MIND

Documentary Looks at Israel’s PR War in the United States

 

CHALLENGING THE BLACKLIST ~~ BDS FIGHTBACK

Human rights activists are challenging Israeli blacklists of supporters of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement for Palestinian rights, or BDS.

How is Israel compiling its BDS blacklists?

Human rights activists are challenging Israeli blacklists of supporters of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement for Palestinian rights, or BDS.

Lawyer Eitay Mack and several other Israeli activists last week filed a freedom of information petition with the Jerusalem district court demanding that two government departments disclose how they create the blacklists.

The lists are used to prevent overseas BDS activists from entering territories controlled by Israel, including the occupied West Bank.

The court action comes after a freedom of information request, filed by Mack last month, was rebuffed by the ministries.

Astonishingly, they justified the refusal based on the “privacy” of the BDS activists. In an email sent to The Electronic Intifada, Mack called this “a new world record in cynicism and hypocrisy.”

He explained that unless Israeli authorities admit to “illegally compiling personal non-public data on international activists and groups, while using, for example, invasive monitoring and spying software” then disclosure would lead to no privacy violation.

The freedom of information request was sent to the interior ministry and the Population and Immigration Authority last month, after press reports that five members of a US interfaith delegation had been banned from entering Israel because of their support for BDS.

Rabbi Alissa Wise told The Electronic Intifada that Lufthansa airline staff had read out a blacklist of people on their delegation who would not be allowed to fly to Tel Aviv.

Hacking emails

An airline employee told Wise and four others that the Israeli government had insisted they not be allowed onboard.

Israel has previously banned individuals it accuses of supporting BDS from entering.

But in March, it formalized the policy with a new law, which it soon began to implement.

Wise, deputy director of pro-BDS group Jewish Voice for Peace, also told The Electronic Intifada that the blacklist Lufthansa read to them included two individuals who had canceled their participation in the delegation months prior, and who had never bought tickets for the flight.

Wise thinks the only way Israel could have got hold of those two names was through illicit means, such as hacking or intercepting the group’s emails.

In an email sent to The Electronic Intifada, Mack said his freedom of information request asks the Israeli ministries to disclose “the criteria and procedures” they use to add people to these blacklists, as well as how they transfer these lists to authorities outside Israel.

You can read the full request in Hebrew here, and the full court petition here.

Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz reported the day after the ban on Wise and her colleagues that the interior ministry and the strategic affairs ministry issued a statement confirming they had been behind the ban.

“These were prominent activists who continuously advocate for a boycott,” the ministries said.

Strategic affairs is the ministry charged with leading Israel’s “war” against BDS.

“Battlefront”

In September 2016, Mack and his colleagues filed a similar freedom of information request asking the strategic affairs ministry and the foreign ministry to reveal which overseas groups and individuals they were supporting in the effort to thwart the BDS movement.

But in June they replied claiming that they had no working relations with such foreign entities – an assertion Mack considers not to be credible and which appears to be contradicted by other statements.

In July, the Israeli parliament passed the first reading of a new law drafted by the strategic affairs ministry, which will exempt it from freedom of information laws, on the basis that BDS is a “battlefront like any other.”

The banning of Wise and her colleagues marks the first known occasion an Israeli blacklist has been passed onto another country based on the new anti-BDS law. It also marks the first known occasion a Jewish person has been banned from entering under the new law.

The delegation had been planning to fly to Tel Aviv, after a layover in Germany. But the Lufthansa staff at Dulles International Airport near Washington, DC, had been given the blacklist by Israel in advance.

According to Mack, although this case involved US citizens and a German company, “there is a risk that the state of Israel has also delivered ‘blacklists’ to non-democratic states that persecute human rights and opposition activists.”

Mack cites Israel’s past support for oppressive regimes in Latin America and Africa as precedents.

Rivalries

The Ministry of Strategic Affairs was founded in 2006, and was initially focused on Iran, leading Israel’s sometimes-covert campaign against that country’s nuclear energy program.

In October 2015, now led by Gilad Erdan, a member of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, the ministry’s focus was shifted to fighting BDS.

This reallocation of authority and funds has led to tensions with other government departments, who are reportedly jealous of being sidelined by Netanyahu. Erdan is a long-standing ally of Netanyahu, having served him as an advisor in the prime minister’s office in the 1990s.

According to Haaretz investigative journalist Uri Blau, Israel’s “security cabinet” gave the strategic affairs ministry responsibility to “guide, coordinate and integrate” activities of ministers, government and “civil entities in Israel and abroad” as part of “the struggle against attempts to delegitimize Israel and the boycott movement.”

In May 2016, an Israeli governmental report criticized Netanyahu’s transfer of anti-BDS powers and funding away from the foreign ministry.

Strategic affairs “lacks the foreign ministry’s inherent advantages, including … [its] unmediated access to the battlefield and to collaboration with sympathetic groups and organizations abroad,” the report said.

Exposure could “harm the battle”

In September 2016, a leak to Haaretz exposed the depths of the feud between the two ministries.

A cable from the Israeli embassy in London to the foreign ministry reportedly complained about Erdan’s ministry.

It accused them of “operating” British Jewish organizations behind the embassy’s back in a way that could put them in violation of UK law.

Justifying the new law exempting his ministry from freedom of information, Erdan last month made reference to “bodies around the world” fighting BDS who “do not want to expose their connection with the state.”

He explained that “most of the ministry’s actions are not of the ministry” directly, but via such front groups. “We must protect the information whose exposure could harm the battle,” he insisted.

Israel is known to operate around the world via front organizations which claim to be grassroots “civil rights” or political groups.

Examples include the Mossad-linked “lawfare” organization Shurat HaDin, which attacks Palestine solidarity groups with egregious litigation. In the UK, the Israeli embassy maintains close ties to Labour Friends of Israeland the Jewish Labour Movement. The Union of Jewish Students has also received funding from the embassy, according to Al Jazeera’s undercover investigation of the Israel lobby earlier this year.

According to Blau, “the ministry spends tens of millions of shekels on cooperative efforts with the Histadrut labor federation, the Jewish Agency and various nongovernmental organizations in training representatives of the ‘true pluralistic face’ of Israel in various forums.”

This strategy of using apparently liberal or progressive organizations as a way to improve Israel’s image is in line with a secret report which was obtained by The Electronic Intifada in April.

Front groups

The report, by leading Israeli think tank the Reut Institute and the Israel lobby group the Anti-Defamation League, called for a “broad tent” approach in which “liberal and progressive pro-Israel groups” are deployed to engage with “soft critics of Israel.”

It argued that “the pro-Israel community must be united in this fight” and “benefits from its diversity.”

The report carried an endorsement from the director general of Erdan’s anti-BDS ministry.

In August 2015 Israel’s military intelligence agency Aman revealed to Haaretz that it had established a “delegitimization department” to spy on BDS activists overseas.

Was it this agency which furnished the information leading to Rabbi Wise and her friends being barred from Palestine by Israeli occupation authorities?

According to Mack, compilation of the blacklists of international activists could “be used for the covert compilation of ‘blacklists’ of Israeli human rights activists who are in touch” with them.

When Aman revealed to Haaretz it was “monitoring” BDS activists around the world, it emphasized “that it does not collect information on Israeli citizens. That is the job of the Shin Bet” – Israel’s secret police.

In March, it was revealed that Erdan wanted to start compiling a “database” of Israeli citizens who support BDS. But the attorney general and other Israeli officials accused his ministry of overstepping its legal authority.

If Erdan’s ministry is using these blacklists to covertly “monitor” Israeli activists too, it seems he may be in violation even of Israeli law.

ROGER WATERS EXPLAINS WHY BDS MOVEMENT IS VITAL

Roger Waters calls on fellow musicians to boycott Israel & explains why the BDS movement is vital

RABBIS IN SUPPORT OF LIFTING BDS TRAVEL BAN

“Boycotts are a legitimate nonviolent tactic that have been used both in our own country and around the world in order to create justice for marginalized and oppressed communities. Whether we support boycott is a controversy for the sake of heaven. It endures because we struggle together and debate how we can create peace, justice, and equality for Israelis and Palestinians alike.”

Illustrative image of demonstrators outside the offices of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo protesting his executive order calling for New York companies to divest from organizations that support the BDS movement, June 9, 2016. (Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket/Getty Images)

After Jewish Voice of Peace activist barred from boarding flight to Ben Gurion, liberal clergy decry ‘anti-democratic’ law

More than 200 liberal US rabbis want Israel to lift travel ban on BDS leaders

JTA

More than 200 rabbis from the liberal movements of American Judaism signed a letter opposing Israel’s travel ban on leaders of the boycott movement against Israel.

The rabbis signing Wednesday’s letter were responding to an incident last month in which Rabbi Alissa Wise of Jewish Voice for Peace, which supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, was prevented from boarding an Israel-bound airplane leaving Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C.

Four other people traveling to Israel as part of an interfaith delegation, including two other Jews, a Christian and a Muslim, were also prevented from boarding the flight at the request of the Israeli government.

“We hold diverse opinions on BDS. Even though many of us have substantive differences with Rabbi Wise and other rabbinic colleagues who support the BDS movement in some or all of its forms, we believe that the decision to bar Rabbi Wise from visiting Israel is anti-democratic and desecrates our vision of a diverse Jewish community that holds multiple perspectives,” read the letter, which had been signed by 212 rabbis as of late Wednesday morning.

“Boycotts are a legitimate nonviolent tactic that have been used both in our own country and around the world in order to create justice for marginalized and oppressed communities. Whether we support boycott is a controversy for the sake of heaven. It endures because we struggle together and debate how we can create peace, justice, and equality for Israelis and Palestinians alike,” the letter said.

The signers included Rabbi Sharon Brous, of the independent IKAR congregation in  Los Angeles; Rabbi Amy Eilberg of Los Altos, California, the first women ordained by the Conservative movement; and Rabbi Jill Jacobs, executive director of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights.

In March, the Israeli parliament, or Knesset, amended the Law of Entry to prevent leaders of the BDS movement from being allowed into Israel. The amendment applies to organizations, as well as the leadership and senior activists of those groups, that take consistent and significant action against Israel through BDS and threaten it with material harm.

JVP said at the time of the incident that it was the first time the amendment had been enforced before passengers boarded their flights to Israel and the first time that Israel has denied entry to Jews, including a rabbi, for their support of BDS.

An anti-BDS bill making its way through Congress would expand existing law that bans boycotts imposed by foreign governments to include those imposed by international organizations like the European Union and the United Nations.

BDS MOM OF THE YEAR

The pro-Palestinian provocateur is under attack after a newspaper alleged that she ‘tricked’ her way into Israel last month. She says she will be ‘heartbroken’ if the authorities ban her from ever returning

Ariel Gold, center, protesting against Airbnb.Madrone Jack of Oakland, CA.

Jewish Mother and BDS Activist: Code Pink’s Ariel Gold vs. Israel’s Travel Ban
Allison Kaplan Sommer
*

Ariel Gold is a one-woman example of the contradictions of the Israeli government’s travel ban law, which forbids foreign nationals who call for boycotts of Israel from entering the country.

Outspoken, provocative, pro-Palestinian and an advocate of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, Gold is a professional campaign director for Code Pink, the far-left peace and social justice NGO that works to end U.S.-funded wars and occupations.

She has demonstrated against Israeli policies, disrupted public events and been arrested – in both Israel and the United States – for her protests. She was banned from visiting the Western Wall last year after authorities found her carrying political signs and pamphlets while entering the plaza.

She is currently in Hebron, monitoring the military trial of Palestinian human rights activist Issa Amro and publicizing his cause online. At the same time, the 42-year-old mother of two is an active member of her Ithaca, NY Reform synagogue, sends her kids to Jewish summer camp, and her teenage son is on a summer-long Israel program with the Reform movement.

She has Israeli cousins and proudly boasts that her family can trace its lineage back to 16th-century Rabbi Yosef Caro, author of the “Shulchan Aruch” (the codification of Jewish religious law), who is buried in Safed.

In a telephone interview from the West Bank city, Gold says she has been “under attack” since last Thursday when Israel Hayom – a widely circulated, pro-Netanyahu newspaper owned by Sheldon Adelson – ran an article charging that her admission into Israel was a “failure,” and that she had “tricked” Israeli authorities by deleting every post from her Facebook page since 2012, “all of which call for a boycott.”

The article was critical of the Israeli government for allowing Gold to slip through the net, and quotes a Public Security Ministry official as promising that Gold will be barred from entering the country in the future.

Gold vehemently denies the newspaper’s charges of deception, saying she “didn’t take down a single post” from her Facebook page, noting that she had merely changed the status of posts from “Public” to “Friends” only.
She says it was “absurd” to believe she had done anything to deliberately deceive the Israeli authorities.

“It’s not hard to see things I’ve done and written about online. You just Google my name. I mean, I publicly disrupted Ashton Kutcher last fall, asking him to use his position on Airbnb to stop it from operating in the settlements – it wasn’t just in Haaretz and the Times of Israel, but it was in People Magazine!”

*

*

Videos of the Kutcher incident are easily found on YouTube, as is the video of a campaign appearance by Chelsea Clinton that Gold disrupted last year, and articles she has written on the Mondoweiss website harshly criticizing Israel and its policies.

“If I was to try to erase my political opinions on Israel and Palestine on the internet, it would take me years,” she joked.

When she was questioned at Ben-Gurion airport in late June, Gold says she was open about what she did and where she worked, noting that the email she gave officials had a Code Pink address.

The security personnel questioning her “didn’t ask me about BDS at all,” she says. “They asked if I supported violent resistance against Israel. And I said I absolutely did not. They asked me where my feelings were, and I told them that I believe in justice and I believe in peace and I believe in nonviolence.”

Had they asked her about boycotting Israel, she says she would have told them she believes “that BDS is a nonviolent approach to bring Israel into accordance with international law and international standards for human rights.”

What she teaches her kids

She has worked at Code Pink for two years, previously volunteering with them as an activist.  Her political activism on the Palestinian issue began during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in late 2008, when she joined Jewish Voice For Peace and became its chapter coordinator, she says.

Gold was raised secular and says she felt she had missed out when she attended her cousins’ Bar and Bat Mitzvot. She connected with her Judaism as a young adult, joining a synagogue and becoming part of a Jewish community, and made a point of sending her own children to Hebrew school and Jewish camp.

“But I also taught my children to think critically, and [to] think critically about the actions of the State of Israel, and that Palestinians [are] deserving of equality and freedom and justice – and I have taken them to protests alongside me since they are toddlers,” she adds, including a 2015 action against AIPAC where she was arrested.

“I felt a lot of love for Israel when I began to explore Judaism. But from the time I heard about the occupation, it was horrible and wrong,” she says, calling her emotions in coming to terms with Israel’s actions toward Palestinians “a grief process.”

Gold says she doesn’t know why Israel Hayom singled her out but speculates she could be under scrutiny because of her work over the past year spearheading Amro’s cause, and advocating for him with the U.S. government.

Amro was indicted by the Israeli army last September for a range of offences, including spitting at a settler, obstructing soldiers and insulting them, and entering closed military zones. His lawyers have argued that his prosecution constitutes political persecution and is intended to stop his activism.

Gold says proudly she was “instrumental” in the lobbying efforts by a coalition of advocacy groups that resulted in a June 28 letter to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, signed by 32 members of Congress, asking him to use his influence with Israel to encourage its government to “reconsider the charges against Mr. Amro, internationally recognized as a principled, nonviolent human rights advocate.”

Letter to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson about Issa Amro.

*

The number of signatures is the highest-ever on a document advocating for a Palestinian cause, Gold adds. She believes it is this political work (which Code Pink has done in coordination with other groups) that is why the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv has sent two representatives to monitor Amro’s trial.
But Gold’s social media activity and provocative actions could just as equally have been the reason – she has been posting numerous photographs and videos criticizing Israeli policies during her stay, including an interview with Amro, and the photograph published in the newspaper where she stands in front of a checkpoint holding a sign declaring “This is Apartheid #codepink”

During her time in Hebron, Gold says she has instigated several “lively Jewish debates” with Israel Defense Forces soldiers standing guard. At various points, she notes, she has been told she was restricted to either the areas exclusively for Jews or confined to the areas for Palestinians, depending on whether she was perceived as a Jew or a pro-Palestinian activist.

She says she isn’t angry or hostile with the soldiers. “These are all very young soldiers and I think they are in difficult situations, and I think they are overwhelmed by what they are doing.” She has harsher words for Hebron’s settlers, whom she alleges have followed and harassed her, insulted her and said “I came here to have sex with Arabs.”

The Israel Hayom article reported ominously that the Public Security Ministry was “investigating what should be done about Gold,” adding that she will be prevented from entering the country in the future, in accordance with the travel ban.

Gold says the prospect of being barred from Israel and the territories – and the entire concept of the travel ban – “appalls” her, and she has considered approaching the authorities and asking them not to stop her from entering the country despite her politics.

“It is incredible here,” she says. “I love my friends here and I love the land here. I will be heartbroken if I can’t return.”

Just in case, she adds, she is going to make a point of visiting her relatives and the grave of Rabbi Caro in Safad, since “it may be the last time I see it.”
Approached by Haaretz, a spokesman for Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan says Gold’s case is “being investigated.” He said no decision has been made as to whether she can remain or return to Israel.

*

Source and more photos and videos HERE

TIMELY TOONS ~~ RADIOHEAD HEADING TO PLAY APARTHEID

A message to Radiohead – Performing in Israel is supporting apartheid!

Images by Carlos Latuff

Dear Thom Yorke will you play in Israel where Palestinian children are tortured in prisons?

*

Dear Thom Yorke playing in Israel is backing a regime that systematically oppress/deny Palestinians in Gaza/West Bank the most basic rights

*

International support of BDS …

Radiohead concert disrupted over Tel Aviv visit

British BDS protesters disrupt concert by Rdiohead band over upcoming concert in Tel Aviv.

From JTA

British protesters disrupted the band Radiohead’s performance at a festival in Britain over its upcoming performance in Tel Aviv.

Some waved Palestinian flags and raised a banner reading “Israel is an apartheid state. Radiohead, don’t play there,” the London-based website Jewish News reported. Some members of the audience shouted “free Palestine,” as well.

Radiohead performed as the headliner at the Glastonbury Festival in South West England on Friday.

The band was greeted with applause as it took the stage, according to the report.

Dozens of high-profile artists had signed a letter sent to Radiohead in February urging the band to cancel its July performance in Tel Aviv. Earlier this month, Radiohead singer Thom Yorke said the letter was “offensive” and called out its signees for assuming the band is not informed on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

IN PHOTOS ~~ THE ROAD TO FREEDOM COMES TO COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

We must not co-exist but rather co-resist 

On the evening of April 24th an auditorium at Barnard College/Columbia University was packed to capacity with students waiting to hear Omar Barghouti, one of the originators of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, speak.  Earlier in the day he was given the Gandhi Peace Prize at Yale University and all were aware that the Israeli government had tried to interfere with him taking this trip.  There was also interference from the university which was not pleased to have Barghouti at Columbia that evening.

When he entered the room he was given a loud, long and enthusiastic standing ovation.  Two other speakers were on the program, Professor Premilla Nadasen, of the Barnard History Department and Rebecca Vilkomerson of Jewish Voice for Peace.  Both spoke well, Nadasen described her experiences growing up in an apartheid South Africa which she  said was not as bad as the apartheid in Palestine.  Vilkomerson discussed the new tactics that Israel was using, “lawfare”, in an attempt to defeat the growing BDS movement.  When Barghouti stepped up to the podium there was another lengthy standing ovation.  He began by giving the history of the non-violent BDS movement and explained their 3 demands – ending the occupation and the wall, equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel (there are currently 61 laws in Israel that favor Jewish citizens over Palestinian citizens), and the right of return for all Palestinian refugees in the diaspora as guaranteed by the UN.  He said that the Nakba had never ended and that there was a continual effort to colonize the minds of the Palestinian people by destroying all hope.  But hope was not destroyed.  There is still strong resistance and the success of the BDS movement has raised hope even higher.  He added that we must not co-exist but rather co-resist.  To boycott or not to boycott is a moral choice that we must all make.  And when, not if, freedom, justice, and equality exist there the BDS campaign will come to an end.  And then there was another lengthy standing ovation for Barghouti and, by extension, for the Palestinian people.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Report by Chippy Dee

*

*

*

ON SUNDAY OMAR BARGHOUTI WAS PRESENTED WITH THE GANDHI PEACE AWARD AT A CEREMONY IN NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT

THE REALITY OF APARTHEID AND ITS REPRECUSSIONS

THE FACTS OF THE MATTER …..


*

ZIONS RESPONSE …

*

AND OUR RESPONSE

*

THE LEAST YOU CAN DO ….

*

THE BDS MOVEMENT WAS HONOURED ON SUNDAY WHEN OMAR BARGHOUTI WAS PRESENTED WITH THE GANDHI PEACE AWARD AT A CEREMONY IN NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT


*

WE ARE OBVIOUSLY NOT ALONE …. AND WE SHALL OVERCOME!

HUMAN RIGHTS UPDATE AND MORE

Prepared By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD 

Below items deal with BDS and the attack on Omar Barghouti and other human rights advocates

Image by Carlos Latuff

 
Racist Zionists are using all the guns in their arsenal from Violence
(killing activists here and attacking and beating activists abroad) to
verbal assaults (calling human rights advocates anti-semites etc).
Emboldened by a racist US government to their liking . The US government
now openly disdains human rights and considers international law irrelevant
 and will not allow discussion of the Palestine issue at the UN. "Moderate"
(read subservient) Arab leaders like coup leader Sisi are happy with Trump.
Below items deal with BDS and the attack on Omar Barghouti and other human
rights advocates

Image by Latuff



Two Jewish Activists Charged With Assaulting Arab Teacher Outside AIPAC
Conference. Police say Yosef Steynovitz and Rami Lubranicki beat up Kamal
Nayfeh after a 'verbal altercation' broke out.

Image by Latuff



A similar demonstration against the Zionist lobby in France took place/
Below is a letter from Israeli Jewish activists to the French government on
their attempts to silence free speech in obedience to the Zionist lobby.
Israel Bans Palestinian Products Inside Occupied Palestinian Territory


Efforts To Fight BDS Have Failed, Says ADL



Boycott Air Canada: Tell Them We are not On-Board with Human Rights
Violations 

Doctors with Nazi mentality torture Palestinian prisoners


On the campaign against Omar Barghouti (by Haidar Eid)


Petition: Drop the charges on Omar Barghouthi


Statement from Omar Barghouti:
Dear friends and colleagues,

Finally, I was allowed to access my email account after 12 days of being
banned from doing so during the most intense phase of the ongoing
interrogation I am subjected to by the Israeli authorities. The BNC
statement on this issue accurately sums up this latest chapter in the
Israeli regime's war on the BDS movement.

Due to a gag order, I am not allowed to delve into any facts about the
case. I am thus denied the ability to even refute the vicious lies
published by Israel's regime against me. I am in no hurry to do so, though,
as their main objective -- attempting to tarnish my reputation and, by
extension, hurting the BDS movement -- has clearly failed. Their campaign
of repression has, to an extent, backfired. By preventing me from
travelling to the US to receive the Gandhi Peace Award, jointly with Ralph
Nader, Israel's regime has inadvertently increased the publicity around
this award.

Before anything else, I read the many moving messages of solidarity that
many of you have sent, and this gave me even more strength and hope to
resist the McCarthyite witch hunt against me. I deeply appreciate your
letters and the sincere sentiments of support that they convey. I am so
grateful to everyone who wrote an article and every organization that
issued a petition in this respect.

Nothing empowers human rights defenders facing political persecution like
the warm feeling that there is a whole community of activists and people of
conscience standing with them and carrying on the struggle no matter what.

For more than a year now my colleagues in the BDS movement and I have been
warning about the "tarnishing unit" established by the Israeli Ministry of
Strategic Affairs as a key organ in fighting BDS. As I have personally
written and argued many times, this devious unit's key function is summed
up in "digging up dirt" against human rights defenders and networks
associated with the BDS movement and if no dirt is found in fabricating it.

McCarthy would be proud of his loyal heirs in Israel's regime of oppression
and repression. Many of you have asked how best you can support me to face
this latest persecution. My answer is, without hesitation ... more BDS!

We need to expand, mainstream and build on our many inspiring BDS
campaigns, academic, cultural and economic, as the most effective way to
respond to the new McCarthyism designed by Israel's regime of occupation,
settler-colonialism and apartheid and exported to states where its lobby
groups enjoy massive influence.

Further growing our movement for freedom, justice and equality is the
answer. Highlighting and popularizing the recent, unprecedented verdict by
a UN body that Israel is guilty of apartheid -- the second most serious
crime against humanity in international law -- is the answer.

Countering their racism, hate, "black lists" and ugly colonial repression
with our inclusiveness, categorical rejection of all forms of racism, and
our boundless passion for freedom and justice is the answer. Further
strengthening our principled intersectional alliances with movements for
indigenous, racial, economic, social, gender, climate and other forms of
justice is our loudest response to their xenophobic, far-right,
fascist-leaning agenda and their draconian laws.

As they desperately attempt to sow fear and despair, to chill our free
speech, to tarnish our records, and to bully us into silence, we nourish
our well-founded hope with generous doses of effective, strategic,
morally-consistent campaigns for justice and equality and insist on our
right to freely express ourselves and to defend our rights.

As humans, we need permission from no one to pursue our inherent rights. As
human rights defenders, no degree of intimidation and bullying can deter us
in our passionate, nonviolent resistance to injustice, inequality and
colonial slavery.

Alone, we fail. Together, we prevail. The latest savage, even irrational,
attacks on our movement indicate, more than anything else, that we are
indeed prevailing.

In gratitude and hope,
Omar
========
March 10th, 2017
Dear Excellencies, Mr. François Hollande, President de la Republique Mr.
Bernard Cazeneuve, Premier Ministre Mr. Michel Cadot, Préfet de Police de
Paris

We are writing to you as Jewish citizens of the State of Israel who are
opposed to the illegal and immoral practice of the Israeli governments over
the years. It has come to our attention that attempts are currently
underway in the city of Paris, to restrict and even ban altogether the
ongoing demonstrations in support of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and
Sanctions) campaign against Israeli human rights violations. It is
therefore of utmost importance for us to state, as clearly as possible,
that the BDS campaign is not anti-Semitic and is clearly opposed to all
forms of racism. Rather than being racist, it is founded on the strong
basis of adhering to international law and universally respected human
rights. Only recently, on March 7th, 2017, the campaign unequivocally
stated1 that :

Adhering to the UN definition of racial discrimination, the BDS movement
does not tolerate any act or discourse which adopts or promotes, among
others, anti-Black racism, anti-Arab racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism,
sexism, xenophobia, or homophobia. We strongly condemn apartheid, genocide,
slavery, colonial exploitation and ethnic cleansing, which are crimes
against humanity that are founded on racism and racial supremacy, and we
call for the right of their victims, including descendants, to full
reparation. We equally condemn and stand in solidarity with the victims of
other human rights violations including human trafficking, workers’
exploitation, and sexual exploitation. Furthermore, we are appalled by the
false accusations made by Ms. Kosciusko-Morizet, in a letter of February
15th 2017 to Mr. Cadot, le Préfet de Police, where it is claimed that the
BDS discourse amounts to hate speech.

We are clearly opposed to Israel’s grave violations of international law,
including its practice of the Crime of Apartheid as defined in the Rome
Statute and we are unapologetic about it. Our demand to end Israeli
apartheid is a clear expression of love towards all the residents of
Israel-Palestine, along with our insistence on the most basic values of
equality, freedom and justice for all. It would be outrageous if France, of
all states, would ban freedom of expression of its population who insist on
respect of the law and on these fundamental human values which are the very
foundational elements of the French constitution and the Declaration of the
Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

We therefore urge you to respect and protect the rights of those who
challenge Israel’s severe human rights violations and to protect your
French citizens who campaign on behalf of the BDS movement to be able to
freely do so, without being intimidated with legal persecution or with
physical threats as had happened in the past.
Sincerely,
Ronnie Barkan
Einav Kaplan-Raz
Maya Rotem
Lia Tarachansky
Guy Davidi
Ron Merom
 Lizi Sagie
Tamara Traubmann De-Colonizer
Ofer Neiman
 Herzl Schubert
Michel Warschawski
Shir Hever
Lorien Newman
Stavit Sinai
Sergio Yahni
Yudit Ilany
Jonathan Ofir
Eyal Sivan
Yael Kahn

FRENCH STUDENTS ‘WELCOME’ THE ISRAELI AMBASSADOR

Video of student walkout on meeting with Israeli Ambassador to France- merveilleux!

You don’t have to be a French speaker to understand this!!

 

Je Suis Palestine!

TIMELY TOON ~~ AIPAC DECLARES WAR ON BDS MOVEMENT

Netanyahu  addressed the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS, movement aimed at Israel, saying Israel will defend itself on the “moral battlefield… We’ll defend ourselves against slander and boycotts.”

Image by Carlos Latuff

Related report HERE

AIPAC speakers say the enemy is BDS, while ‘biggest Jewish-led protest’ surges outside 

WAR ON BDS INTENSIFIES

Palestinian society has condemned Israel’s arrest and interrogation of Omar Barghouti, a co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as the next step in Israel’s fight against the BDS movement as a whole.

Image by Carlos Latuff

BDS co-founder: Israel’s arrest and interrogation of Omar Barghouti next step in ‘war against BDS movement’

Palestinian society has condemned Israel’s arrest and interrogation of Omar Barghouti, a co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as the next step in Israel’s fight against the BDS movement as a whole.

Israel arrested Barghouti on Sunday, raided his family home in Acre, Israel, held him for 16 hours and released him — however the BDS co-founder has been subjected to daily interrogations with Israeli authorities since then, according to a statement released by the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC).

Israeli tax authorities are accusing Barghouti of tax evasion on the sum of $700,000 in alleged hidden income from National Computing Resources, a business he heads in Ramallah, which sells ATM machines and other equipment in the occupied West Bank, as well as income from his book, Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights and money he received as speaking fees for speeches.

The BNC on Wednesday released a statement challenging the charges.

“Omar Barghouti, has for years been subjected to intense threats, intimidation and repression by various arms of the far-right Israeli government, particularly after it considered the movement a ‘strategic threat’ to its entire system of injustice against Palestinians,” the movement said in a statement.

In March 2016, Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Dery threatened to revoke Barghouti residency in Israel. Barghouti, born in Qatar, gained permanent residency through marriage to his wife, a Palestinian citizen of Israel.

“I received information that his life is in Ramallah and he is using his resident status to travel all over the world in order to operate against Israel in the most serious manner,” Israeli Daily Haaretz quoted Dery as saying.

“He was given rights similar to those of a citizen and he took advantage of our enlightened state to portray us as the most horrible state in the world,” said Dery.

During the same conference, Israeli Minister of Transport, Intelligence and Atomic Energy Yisrael Katz who called on Israel to engage in “targeted civil eliminations” of BDS leaders with the help of Israeli intelligence, meaning to tarnish one’s reputation and character among civil society.

The Minister of Public Security, Strategic Affairs and Minister of Information, Gilad Erdan, also described BDS activists and leaders as threats and called for them to “pay the price” for their work, which he clarified did not mean “physical harm.”

A month later, Amnesty International released a statement, calling on Israel to “cease intimidation of human rights defenders and protect them from attacks.”

“Amnesty International is concerned for the safety and liberty of Palestinian human rights defender Omar Barghouti and other [BDS] activists, following calls alluding to threats, including of physical harm and deprivation of basic rights, made by Israeli ministers,” the report read.

“Barghouti is a founding member and a prominent spokesperson of the BDS movement. He campaigns to hold Israel accountable for human rights and other international law violations and advocates for the use of non-violent means in doing so. He was personally attacked in comments and statements by conference participants including ministers, including by describing him as a threat who should be stopped,” the report continued.

Earlier this month, the Israeli Knesset passed a controversial law barring BDS activists from entering the country. The law banned people who call for BDS against Israel, as well as its settlements.

A fellow co-founder of the Palestinian BDS movement, Adnan Ramadan, told Mondoweiss that Barghouti’s arrest and interrogation was just another step in Israel’s strategy against the BDS movement.

“All of this tax evasion business is just an excuse to pressure the BDS movement as a whole, Ramadan said. “In general, it’s part of their war against the campaign, but it won’t work. They can arrest whoever they want, they can do more than that, but that won’t prevent people from continuing to use BDS as a tool in the struggle for Palestinian freedom.”

“This kind of targeting won’t work simply because the BDS campaign isn’t one person or two people or ten people, it’s an organized movement of hundreds of thousands of people, if not more than that, who feel strongly about their fight against the occupation and feel strongly about their motivations in resistance,” Adnan continued.

Adnan stressed that this move against Barghouti is not the first time Israel has targeted particular BDS activists for their work.

“They have been arresting people since the beginning, and it’s all to pressure the people, but the people won’t be silent,” he said. “Palestinians have been resisting for more than 60 years, Israel can kill people, they can assassinate and detain leaders, but it won’t and can’t stop the struggle. All they are doing is holding the body of someone inside a wall, but they can’t hold ideas, or souls of people who believe in the importance of their role of humanity against occupation and injustice.”

« Older entries