OLYMPIC IMAGES ~~ ISRAEL’S PRIVATE GAMES

While is  celebrating closing ceremony Israel continues the murdering games of airstrikes

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A new milestone: BDS at the Olympics

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Islam El Shehaby refuses to shake Or Sasson's hand. (Photo: Getty images)

Islam El Shehaby refuses to shake Or Sasson’s hand. (Photo: Getty images)

“I have no problem with Jewish people or any other religion or different beliefs. But for personal reasons, you can’t ask me to shake the hand of anyone from this state, especially in front of the whole world.” These words, spoken by an individual who has just engaged in a gesture of support for the Palestinian people, are a standard response to the accusation of anti-Semitism which is routinely hurled at pro-justice activists.

The necessary distinction made between the “Jewish people” and the Israeli state is one Israel itself seeks to erase, as it strives to deflect all criticism of its policies, blaming it on anti-Jewish hatred instead. As such, these words do not in themselves establish new grounds, but a new approach to solidarity. Yet as Egyptian judoka Islam El-Shehaby uttered them last week in Brazil, they signified a new milestone: the sports boycott had arrived at the 2016 Olympic Games.

“Shaking the hand of your opponent is not an obligation written in the judo rules. It happens between friends and he’s not my friend,” El Shehaby explained, in the fallout from his action, which resulted in his dismissal from the games, for “poor sportsmanship.”

One day before El-Shehaby’s refusal to shake the hand of the Israeli Olympian he had just competed with, another judoka, Saudi Joud Fahmy, had withdrawn from the competition, in order not to have to compete against an Israeli athlete, should she win and advance to the next round.

And yet two days earlier, the Lebanese team had refused to let Israeli athletes ride on the same bus that had picked them up first, on its way to the opening ceremony. The Lebanese athletes persistently blocked the door, preventing the Israelis from getting onto the bus. As a result, the International Olympic Committee had to send in a separate bus for the Israelis.

While the Olympics are without a doubt an athletic competition, they are also, and to an equal degree, about the countries that send these athletes to the games. At the end of the day, and at the end of the games, we have a countdown of medals by country. And even as the Games are said to be about nations coming together, they are really yet another venue for pitting nations against each other. When any athlete competes, their country and their country’s flag is displayed as prominently as their own name. The winner’s national anthem is played during the medal ceremony, and all are expected to show their respect to that country. It is no surprise that the formidable gold medalist Gabby Douglas has been pilloried by her compatriots for her refusal to place her hand on her heart during the US national anthem, (even though she was otherwise very respectful), and one of the most iconic political images in Olympics history remains the raised Black Power fists of Tommie Smith and John Carlos, at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.

Of course then, the snubbing by Lebanese, Egyptian, and Saudi athletes of members of the Israeli delegation is a political act. And of course, Israel has complained that these athletes “are bringing their respective countries’ ongoing conflict with Israel to the Rio games.”

The actions of these athletes are in keeping with the Palestinian call for global solidarity in the form of BDS, including the sports boycott of Israel. A sports boycott is an individual gesture with the greater immediate negative consequences suffered by the person engaging in it, as they will likely be disqualified from further competition. Yet the Arab athletes who refused to normalize with the Israelis have been criticized as violating “etiquette” and “the Olympic spirit.” Which drives one to wonder, is this yet another venue where Israeli exceptionalism wins, as the violent, racist state is left off the hook, not held accountable for its assault on Palestinian athletes?

Over the recent years, Israel has prevented Olympics-bound Palestinian team chiefs from leaving the country. It had restricted their freedom of movement, making it basically impossible for them to practice in adequate facilities, and it has shot at the ankles of Palestinian soccer players. Where was the criticism when these crimes were committed? Two years ago, an international campaign to ban Israel from FIFA, because of its human rights violations, had failed to pressure the international organization into censoring that country.

When no official organization is willing to hold Israel accountable, individuals can do so. The snubbing by some athletes of the Israeli delegation is a noble gesture in a political arena, and it is incumbent on us to appreciate it for what it is: a refusal to normalize with a country that bombs young boys playing on the beach, prevents young swimmers from reaching a pool, and prohibits Olympic hopefuls in Gaza from training with their compatriots in the West Bank. We then can surely appreciate the exquisite irony of the separate buses at the Olympic village for the delegation from a country that builds separate roads for its Jewish citizens, transporting them to their Jewish settlements in illegally occupied territories.

While the Olympics athletes were competing in Rio, another game was being played halfway around the world with an overt political message as well: we will not be cowered into “civility” towards an apartheid state. In Glasgow, Scotland, fans of Scotland’s Celtic FC had organized an event to “Fly the Flag for Palestine, for Celtic, for Justice,” during a game against the Israeli team Hapoel Beer Sheva.  The Facebook page of the event is clear about its understanding of the political reality of Israel, as the organizers explain that the display of flags would be to “invoke our democratic rights to display our opposition to Israeli apartheid, settler-colonialism and countless massacres of the Palestinian people.”

The fans had been warned by UEFA that they could face fines or the closing down of part of their stadium if they flew the Palestinian flag. But, as John Wight writes, “Celtic supporters are typically among the most politically aware and conscious of any demographic in society. For them Celtic is more than just another football club it is a political and social institution, one that has always stood and must continue to stand for justice in the face of injustice, racism, oppression, and against apartheid wherever and whenever it arises.”

Around the world, the Palestinian flag—almost like the kuffiyeh—has taken on a dimension beyond nationalism to signify progressive politics, a collective stand against systemic violence, and anti-colonialism everywhere. And as the game began, Palestinian flags appeared everywhere in the stands. A sea of Palestinian flags greeted the Israeli team in defiance of UEFA rules, and at the risk of the Celtic FC being penalized. Yes, flying the flag was without a doubt an expression of solidarity with the Palestinian people. But it was also a rejection of the system behind the oppression of the Palestinian people; a rejection of apartheid, colonialism and racism. The display of hundreds of Palestinian flags at the Celtic FC game showed an understanding of shared experiences of discrimination, disenfranchisement, dispossession, and a rejection of the Zionist narrative. Every flag that flew in that stadium ripped at Israel’s projection of normalcy and its paper-thin veneer of “democracy.” And the media carried the news around the globe, amplifying the gesture.

Beyond the boycott of consumer products in grocery stores, BDS has so far dealt a major blow to Israel’s image. Artists continue to cancel scheduled concerts in Tel Aviv, academic associations are voting to boycott complicit Israeli institutions, churches are screening their portfolios to divest from companies that profit from Israel’s illegal practices, and the recent events in Scotland and at the 2016 Olympics are the principled athletes’ way of saying: we do not normalize with the representatives of a pariah state. Before these gestures get spun into anti-Semitic incidents by Zionist hasbara, it is incumbent upon BDS activists and organizers to explain the context of the snubbing, the defiance, and the refusal to engage in “good sportsmanship” with a country that violates the most basic human rights of an entire people.

DIRECT LINE TO JOE McCARTHY IN ISRAEL

Jerusalem-based BDS watchdog call center takes the fight to anti-Israel activities by providing activists’ information reported by civilians to Interior Ministry; group seeks deportation of activsts or barring their entry into Israel.

joe-mccarthy

Israel’s watchdog center fighting BDS

In a small office situated in the heart of Jerusalem a telephone center has been established which allows people in Israel to call and report Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions movement (BDS) activities inside the country designed to harm its international standing.

In recent years, the influential watchdog center against the BDS movement, ‘Lev B’Olam’ (Heart of the World), has taken on itself the struggle against the pernicious phenomenon by relying on civilians to bring it to their attention.

When a caller alerts the organization, a representative completes a complaint form and asks a series of questions to gather as much information as possible such as how many BDS activists are involved in a given incident, what they are doing, whether they are using cameras etc. As much pedigree information is compiled about the individuals in question including their names, their places of residence and whether the activists belong to any specific organization.

The accumulated information is then added to a special file and transferred to the Ministry of Interior and Internal Security.

The initiative, which has already been around for some three years, was intensified following the Israeli deportation of Rita Faye, a BDS activists known to the IDF for her activities at checkpoints and harassment of Israeli soldiers.

Faye, from Switzerland, had visited Israel several times in pursuit of her efforts to document alleged Israeli wrongdoing. However, she was deported in accordance with a deportation order from Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) at the end of July after being taken in for questioning upon arrival in Ben Gurion Airport.

In addition to Faye’s deportation, Deri and Minister of Internal Security Gilad Erdan established a team dedicated to deporting, or preventing the entry of, activists bent on promoting boycotts against the State of Israel.

According to Nati Rom, the general manager of ‘Lev B’Olam’, “The watchdog is the answer to the calls by Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan. This is a civilian initiative whose aim is to locate the activists arriving in Israel under the guise of a tourist and trying to sabotage the Zionist enterprise in Israel. We are here in order to receive as much information about them as possible.”

‘Lev B’Olam’ has already been operating for three years and has been undertaking efforts to combat BDS activities designed to delegitimize Israel. As part of its efforts, the organization engages in PR activities by sending its representatives to European capitals and to BDS hotspots.

The center operates from Sunday to Thursday between the hours of 9am and 4pm and has both Hebrew and English speakers. Callers are also able to send relevant footage, photographs and documents via email.

Source and photos @

HEY SANTANA ~~ DON’T PALESTINIAN CHILDREN MATTER TO YOU?

Santana, Cancel Your Gig in Israel!

Watch and share this video urging musician Carlos Santana to respect the call for boycott and stand on the right side of history by cancelling his gig in Israel!

 

Santana isn’t just a rock legend – he’s a respected, devoted advocate for children around the world.

Israeli soldiers and police have killed more than 1,800 Palestinian children since 2000. Every year the Israeli military arrests and prosecutes around 700 Palestinian children.

But when members of the Middle East Children’s Alliance and JVP- Bay Area attempted to deliver our petition signed by 25,000 urging him to cancel his upcoming concert in Tel Aviv, staff at the office literally locked the door, closed the blinds, and refused to receive it.

Santana himself knows there’s a crisis here – in 2010 he canceled a show in Tel Aviv because of Israeli human rights violations. And Palestinian children are facing the same, and ever worsening, oppression by the Israeli government.

Let’s insist Santana get’s the message: share this video today!

IN THE BIG APPLE, THE APPLE FALLS FAR FROM THE TREE

Cuomo’s sliding scale

       Cuomo's shifting standards on boycott, a cartoon by Katie Miranda Cuomo’s shifting standards on boycott, a cartoon by Katie Miranda


Cuomo’s shifting standards on boycott, a cartoon by Katie Miranda

 

Andrew Cuomo’s executive order targeting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel reveals his double standard for boycott, as he was eager to boycott other states for LGBTQ rights violations, and his father, to whom he was a close adviser, urged divestment from South Africa. 

 

Originally AT

IN PHOTOS ~~ NEW YORKERS SAY NO TO CUOMO

Scores of New Yorkers demonstrated for Justice in America and Palestine yesterday

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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STANDING WITH ISRAEL IS STANDING ON THE WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY

We regret that Governor Cuomo is among those standing on the wrong side of history, and we express our appreciation to the growing number of courageous policymakers and citizens who stand with the Palestinian people today.

June 5, 2016-New York City --.Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signs a first-in-the-nation Executive Order directing the divestment of public funds supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel during a breakfast meeting at the Harvard Club. Afterwards, Governor Cuomo marched in the Salute to Israel Parade. (Photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

June 5, 2016-New York City –.Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signs a first-in-the-nation Executive Order directing the divestment of public funds supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel during a breakfast meeting at the Harvard Club. Afterwards, Governor Cuomo marched in the Salute to Israel Parade. (Photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

BDS movement: ‘Governor Cuomo is among those standing on the wrong side of history’

Palestinian BDS National Committee VIA

This week, as Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, enter their 50th year living under Israel’s regime of military occupation and settlements, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has chosen to issue an anti-democratic executive order creating a blacklist of companies and organizations that abide by BDS campaigns for Palestinian freedom, justice and equality. The order is a prelude to McCarthyism 2.0, where loyalty to Israel’s far-right apartheid government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, trumps respect for human rights, free speech, and common decency.

Launched in 2005 by the absolute majority in Palestinian civil society — including labor unions, students groups, and women’s grassroots movements — the inclusive, nonviolent, global BDS movement seeks to hold Israel’s regime of military occupation, colonization and apartheid accountable to international law, as was done to the apartheid regime in South Africa. The overarching goal of the movement is contributing to the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people by asking institutions and individuals to cut their complicity in maintaining Israel’s regime of oppression, which has only grown worse over time. 

As the New York Civil Liberties Union has said, attempts to create blacklists to financially penalize groups, businesses, and others that engage in politically motivated speech and association “reach far beyond what is constitutionally permissible.” The U.S. Supreme Court has “clearly established that First Amendment protections apply to politically-motivated economic boycotts aimed at influencing public policy and advancing social change.”

The governments of SwedenNetherlands and Ireland have upheld the right to campaign for Palestinian rights under international law through BDS tactics against Israel, and so have Amnesty InternationalHuman Rights Watch and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).

Having failed to stop the growth in grassroots support for BDS as an effective strategy to realize Palestinian rights, Israel has adopted since 2014 a new top-down strategy that employs legal warfare, espionage and intensified propaganda to block citizens and civil society groups from exercising their right to boycott. 

Israel is seeking support from governments in Europe and North America to shield its regime of oppression from accountability and sanctions similar to those applied against apartheid South Africa.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee, the largest coalition in Palestinian society that is leading the global BDS movement, will continue working with our partners around the world, who recognize that individuals must step in where governments have failed us. We are determined to continue our contribution to our people’s struggle for our UN-stipulated human rights.

We regret that Governor Cuomo is among those standing on the wrong side of history, and we express our appreciation to the growing number of courageous policymakers and citizens who stand with the Palestinian people today.

Here’s YOUR chance to STAND WITH HUMANITY today

(Click on link)

SAY NO TO CUOMO! ~~ KEEP McCARTHY OUT OF NEW YORK!!

Image by Carlos Latuff

Image by Carlos Latuff

SAY NO TO CUOMO! ~~ KEEP McCARTHY OUT OF NEW YORK!!

Gov. Cuomo just signed a McCarthyite executive order requiring state agencies to divest from organizations that support the Palestinian call to boycott companies profiting from, or cultural institutions complicit in, Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people. 

This is also, of course, an attack on our rights.

On June 5 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law an executive order aimed at the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement. BDS is a non-violent economic and political protest against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

On June 5 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law an executive order aimed at the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement. BDS is a non-violent economic and political protest against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Image by Carlos Latuff

*** PLEASE CIRCULATE WIDELY***

Thursday, June 9th, 5:30 PM
Outside Gov. Cuomo’s office, 633 3rd Avenue between 40th and 41st
Organized by Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel; Jewish Voice for Peace-NY; and Jews Say No!

Tell Gov. Cuomo: We will proudly continue to stand for justice and boycott Israel until it complies with international law and respects Palestinian human rights!

State-sanctioned backlash against the movement for Palestinian human rights has reached a new low: Gov. Cuomo just signed a McCarthyite executive order requiring state agencies to divest from organizations that support the Palestinian call to boycott companies profiting from, or cultural institutions complicit in, Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people. Furthermore, the order requires the creation of a publicly available blacklist of all companies and institutions that support the movement. 

Boycott is a time-honored tool of communities across the globe. Cuomo’s move is blatantly unconstitutional and is shamelessly designed to attack the movement for Palestinian human rights.

Please join us! Tell Gov. Cuomo: We will continue to stand for justice and boycott Israel until the Palestinian people achieve freedom, justice, and equality. We will continue to boycott Israel because it is the right thing to do. 

Please RSVP to the Facebook event here and share with friends

Related article from Mondoweiss HERE

 

BDS ~~ ‘THE WINNING FAILURE’

The winning 'failure'

The winning ‘failure’

The Israeli government has claimed that the BDS Movement has had no effect on their economy ….. See THIS post from HaAretz …..

If that is the case, why are they and their supporters doing everything in their power to discredit and destroy the Movement? The latest attack coming from Governor Cuomo of New York State ….

Cuomo’s fierce advocacy for Israel is unsurprising. He has an eye on the White House and, as a well known Democrat with a host of conservative views, a fierce anti-BDS position works well to get the support of establishment Democrats who fear the leftward shift in the party marked by Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign. Indeed Israel was Cuomo’s first choice of foreign destination as governor, signaling that the interests of Israel were deeply tied his state.

Be sure to sign the Petition at the end of this post

Why Andrew Cuomo Is Worst Possible Face of the Anti-BDS Movement
 By Ari Paul

Pro-Israel activists who are battling the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) against the Israeli military occupation of Palestinian territory emphasize the freedom and democracy of Israeli society and juxtapose it to the intolerance of the BDS movement. With his new anti-BDS bill, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has made it that much harder for activists to take the moral high ground.

The measure couldn’t find its way through the state legislature, so Cuomo took to Twitter and announced that he would issue an executive order banning the state from doing business with groups that boycott Israel.

Cuomo’s fierce advocacy for Israel is unsurprising. He has an eye on the White House and, as a well known Democrat with a host of conservative views, a fierce anti-BDS position works well to get the support of establishment Democrats who fear the leftward shift in the party marked by Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign. Indeed Israel was Cuomo’s first choice of foreign destination as governor, signaling that the interests of Israel were deeply tied his state.

But if Cuomo’s maverick stance on BDS has any effect, it would be to move the anti-BDS movement into illiberal territory. This is not new territory for Cuomo, whose tenure has included advocacy for fracking (although he did finally give in due to environmentalist pressure), privatizing public education, demanding punishing monetary concessions from state worker unions, using New York City’s public university funding as a political football against New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and fighting New York City’s universal pre-K program.

Perhaps worse for the pro-Israel activists than having their bill imposed on a state legislature that didn’t want it, is being associated with Cuomo himself. In a scandal-plagued state, his team is the focus of a federal investigation, which may not put him behind bars but could leave his legacy and ambitions in tatters. His abrupt shuttering of the anti-corruption task force he had set up whipped up such discontent from liberals that it forced a strong primary challenge from law professor Zephyr Teachout and helped the candidacy of Green Party candidate and left-wing Teamster member Howie Hawkins.

Throw into the mix his oft-displayed contempt for de Blasio and the cost of this anti-BDS bill gets ever higher. Regardless of one’s feelings about the Big Apple mayor, Cuomo’s behavior is testament to a personal immaturity that would rather short change nine million of his own citizens in one of the world’s most important cities than let go of a petty feud.

Whether StandWithUs or ZOA like it or not, this petty tyranny has become the political face of anti-BDS. It seems that this how far this movement has to go, how defensive it has to get to oppose people who are so angry at Israel’s right-wing militarism that they’d take their frustration out by forgoing a Sodastream. And that’s particularly sad, because even as a non-Zionist, I’m open to hearing criticisms of BDS as a tactic. Pro-Palestine academic Norman Finkelstein has caused a stir being critical of the movement, and Noam Chomsky has come out against cultural boycotts.

We should definitely be having debates about the substance of a desired outcome for the territories and the strategies to best arrive at them. But if one’s course of action is to get an unlikable political hack to bypass the legislature to outlaw a thought crime, it makes the anti-BDS movement seem desperate and contradicts its claims to be a defender of democracy and openness.

In a way, this will still be a win for the pro-Israel side, since, at least in New York, it is so political risky to advocate for Palestinian rights that finding a way to undo this order seems futile. But it is in its own way a defeat. It’s a sighing resignation that rather than confront the issues within Israel that have human rights activists concerned, anti-BDS allies threw all aspects of liberal democracy to the wind to just silence their voices. It may work. It may silence those voices, and may allow the Israeli right to keep its hold not just on official power but over what can and can’t be said about the country. But even in New York State it’s another hole in the already leaky vessel of liberal democracy being steered by moderate Zionists and defenders of Israel.

Sign the Petition HERE

GOVERNOR CUOMO: REPEAL YOUR UNCONSTITUTIONAL EXECUTIVE ORDER!

SILENCING THE LAMBS …. YET AGAIN

 First there was THIS …..
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Famous entertainer and civil rights activist Paul Robeson loses his court appeal to try to force the Department of State to grant him a passport. The continued government persecution of Robeson illustrated several interesting points about Cold War America.
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Robeson was seen as a danger because he often interspersed his performances with comments about race relations in the United States. Before and after his performances, he gave numerous interviews condemning segregation and discrimination in America. For some U.S. policymakers, who viewed America’s poor record of race relations as the nation’s “Achilles’ heel” in terms of the propaganda war with the Soviet Union, having a well known African-American denounce segregation and praise the Russians was unacceptable.
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Full report HERE
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Now THIS …..

Israel has officially refused to renew the travel document of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement co-founder Omar Barghouti in a move that amounts to a travel ban and is an escalation of its attacks on Palestinian human rights defenders who nonviolently advocate for Palestinian rights under international law.

Image by Carlos Latuff

Israel imposes travel ban on BDS co-founder

Israel imposes travel ban on BDS co-founder

 

Israel imposes travel ban on BDS movement co-founder Omar Barghouti 

Israel has officially refused to renew the travel document of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement co-founder Omar Barghouti in a move that amounts to a travel ban and is an escalation of its attacks on Palestinian human rights defenders who nonviolently advocate for Palestinian rights under international law.

Barghouti, who lives with his family in Acre, has Israeli permanent residency and requires an Israeli travel document to be able to travel in and out of Palestine/Israel. His immediate reaction was: “I am unnerved but certainly undeterred by these threats. Nothing will stop me from struggling for my people’s freedom, justice and peace”.

Israel’s decision not to grant a renewal of the travel document on baseless bureaucratic pretenses is being viewed by human rights experts as the first step towards revoking Barghouti’s permanent residency.

Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri had threatened as much at a recent anti-BDS conference held in Jerusalem when he disclosed that he was “inclined to fulfill” a request he had received from a far-right Israeli member of parliament to revoke Barghouti’s permanent residency.

The travel ban follows thinly-veiled incitement to physical violence against Barghouti and BDS activists by Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz and Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan. Katz called on Israel to engage in “targeted civil eliminations” of BDS leaders, while Erdan described BDS activists and leaders as threats and called for them to “pay the price” for their work, following this with a clarification that he does not mean “physical harm”. Defending “campaigns to hold Israel accountable for human rights and other international law violations”, Amnesty International has expressed its concern for “the safety and liberty of Palestinian human rights defender Omar Barghouti” following these threats, “including of physical harm and deprivation of basic rights”.

As a leading volunteer with the BDS movement, Barghouti regularly travels internationally to raise awareness about Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights and to advocate for BDS as an effective strategy to end Israel’s regime of occupation and apartheid. Rooted in a long heritage of Palestinian popular resistance, BDS is also inspired by the global boycott movement that helped to end South Africa’s apartheid regime and by the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.

The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council has recently affirmed “the right of all individuals to participate in and advocate for boycott, divestment, and sanction actions”, calling on states and businesses to “uphold their related legal responsibilities”.

Mahmoud Nawajaa, the general coordinator of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the broadest coalition in Palestinian civil society that leads the global BDS movement, said:

“Having failed to stop the growth of BDS in the mainstream, Israel is now launching a desperate and dangerous global war of repression on the movement. After losing many battles for the hearts and minds at the grassroots level, Israel and its well-oiled lobby groups are pressuring western states to implement patently anti-democratic measures that threaten civil liberties at large”.

“By banning our colleague Omar Barghouti from travelling and threatening him with physical violence, Israel is showing the lengths it will go to in order to stop the spread of the non-violent BDS movement for Palestinian freedom, justice and equality”.

The international BDS movement aims to pressure Israel, as South African apartheid was pressured, to comply with international law. It has attracted the support of mainstream unions, churches and political parties across the world and compelled large corporations, including Veolia and Orange, to end their involvement in Israel’s human rights violations.

Prominent artists including Ms. Lauryn Hill and Roger Waters have refused to perform in Tel Aviv; several academic associations in the U.S. and thousands of academics in Europe, South Africa, North America and Latin America have endorsed a comprehensive boycott of Israeli universities. The authors of a recent UN report said that a 46% drop in foreign direct investment in Israel in 2014 was partly due to the impact of BDS.

At Israel’s request, governments in the UK, France, Canada and state legislatures in the U.S. are introducing anti-BDS legislation and taking other anti-democratic measures to repress BDS activism. In France, one activist was arrested simply for wearing a BDS t-shirt.

Israel is also using its security services to spy on BDS activists across the world, as repeatedly reported in the Israeli media and by the Associated Press. This espionage is likely to involve monitoring of citizens’ communications in violation of domestic laws.

Journalist and constitutional lawyer Glenn Greenwald, known for breaking the NSA surveillance story, has described this well-orchestrated series of draconian measures against the BDS movement as the “greatest threat to free speech in the West”.

Mahmoud Nawajaa added:

“The western governments that are repressing BDS activism at home are giving Israel a green light to continue its violations of international law with impunity. We urge governments, parliaments and human rights organisations to follow Amnesty International’s lead and uphold his rights as a human rights defender under threat”.

Find out more about Israel’s attacks on the BDS movement here.

Source Palestinian BDS National Committee  VIA

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: IN DEFENSE OF BDS

Amnesty International is urging the Israeli government to end its threats and attacks against Palestinian and Israeli human rights defenders, including leaders of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

A European coalition is campaigning to protect the right to speak out in support of Palestinian rights. (Ryan Rodrick Beiler) / ActiveStills

A European coalition is campaigning to protect the right to speak out in support of Palestinian rights. (Ryan Rodrick Beiler) / ActiveStills

Amnesty condemns Israel’s threats against BDS activists

Amnesty International is urging the Israeli government to end its threats and attacks against Palestinian and Israeli human rights defenders, including leaders of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

Meanwhile, European civil society groups are launching a new campaign to defend freedom of speech from efforts to curtail it by Israel and European leaders allied with it.

“An escalation of acts of intimidation by the government and attacks and threats by settlers and other non-state actors have created an increasingly dangerous environment” for human rights defenders in Israel and the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, Amnesty said on Tuesday.

The group expressed particular concern for the “safety and liberty of Palestinian human rights defender Omar Barghouti, and other boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activists, following calls alluding to threats, including of physical harm and deprivation of basic rights, made by Israeli ministers.”

The threats were made at the “Stop the Boycott” conference held in Jerusalem on 28 March and attended by Israeli leaders as well as by EU and US diplomats.

“An especially alarming statement came from 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,” Amnesty stated.

It noted that the term Katz employed “alludes to ‘targeted assassinations’ which is used to describe Israel’s policy of targeting members of Palestinian armed groups.”

Amnesty also condemned statements by Israel’s public security minister Gilad Erdan that activists including Barghouti should “pay the price” for their work, although Erdan denied he was calling for physical harm.

Similarly, interior minister Aryeh Deri threatened to revoke Barghouti’s residency permit.

“Slightly safer”

Amnesty described these statements as the most serious examples of “threats and intimidation” to date, and called on Israeli ministers to uphold human rights and avoid “inflammatory public remarks” against Barghouti and other human rights defenders.

Israel should also “withdraw [the] threat to arbitrarily restrict his freedom of movement and cancel his permanent residency in Israel,” Amnesty added.

Barghouti has welcomed Amnesty’s public intervention.

“I already feel slightly safer, having received this clear position by Amnesty International,” Barghouti told The Electronic Intifada.

“It not only criticizes the Israeli government’s intimidation and violent threats against me and my BDS colleagues, it defends our right to engage in the nonviolent BDS movement to defend the rights of the Palestinian people under international law,” Barghouti added.

Barghouti, a co-founder of the BDS movement, also renewed his call for Israel to be isolated.

“The UN and all states must strongly reject Israel’s well-oiled attempts to delegitimize the BDS movement and support our right to BDS,” he said. “The most effective way for them to hold Israel’s regime of oppression accountable for its grave crimes against the Palestinian people is through imposing sweeping sanctions on it similar to those adopted against apartheid South Africa.”

In contrast to Amnesty’s stance, Ambassador Lars Faaborg-Andersen, the top EU envoy in Tel Aviv who participated in the Stop the Boycott conference, has refused to condemn the Israeli threats.

Legislating silence

Amnesty noted that the threats against BDS activists come in the context of a broad assault on Palestinian and Israeli human rights defenders by government and non-state actors aimed at suppressing freedom of expression and assembly.

Incidents mentioned by Amnesty include the death threats against Imad Abu Shamsiyeh, the Palestinian whofilmed the point-blank execution of a Hebron youth by an Israeli soldier on 24 March; the series of death threatsagainst the staff of the Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq; the arrests of Hebron anti-settlement activistsIssa Amro and Farid al-Atrash; the imprisonment of Palestinian parliamentarian Khalida Jarrar and “vicious” invective and threats directed at Breaking the Silence, an Israeli group that collects and publishes anonymized confessions of abuses by Israeli soldiers.

Amnesty also pointed out that in recent years, “the Israeli authorities have passed a number of laws that restrict the space for opposition to Israeli government policies and actions.”

Currently making their way through parliament are additional laws “that appear to be aimed at curtailing freedom of expression and freedom of association,” Amnesty stated.

These include the so-called transparency bill, a measure seen as an attack on groups critical of Israel’s human rights record.

Another is the “Loyalty in Culture” bill which would give the government the power to retroactively withdraw funding from cultural activities that “contravene the principles of the state.”

The right to BDS

This week a coalition of European civil society groups launched a new campaign to support freedom of speech and political action for Palestinian rights.

The European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine (ECCP) is calling on human rights organizations, civil liberties groups, social movements, trade unions and political parties to sign a petition to the European Union “opposing government-led attacks on free speech and civil liberties that are being implemented in order to undermine civil society’s human rights initiatives in support of the Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom, justice and equality.”

“As Israel is increasingly unable to defend its regime of apartheid and settler colonialism over the Palestinian people and its regular massacres of Palestinians in Gaza, it is seeking supportive governments in Europe and the US to undermine free speech as a way of shielding it from criticism and measures aimed at holding it to account for its gross violations of international law,” ECCP states, citing recent repressive acts by authorities in the UKand France, as well as the threats by Israeli ministers.

“Regardless of their position on BDS, human rights organizations and citizens of the world who care about civil rights and human rights have to take a clear stand to defend the right to advocate for BDS as a matter of conscience and free speech and a nonviolent means of civil society to advocate the fundamental rights of the Palestinians,” ECCP adds.

SAVE OUR CHILDREN BY SUPPORTING BDS

Don’t buy Israeli products.

Don’t allow Israeli firms to operate in your respective country.

Don’t invest in Israel. 

This is the very least you could do to save the Palestinian people from the clutches of diabolical Zionism.

save_palestine_by_syahrulrizalnf-d5xt4mg

To the Peoples of the world: Please don’t kill our children 

By Khalid Amayreh in Occupied Palestine

In the past few months, especially since the beginning of the current wave of Palestinian resistance against Israel’s enduring brutal military occupation, about six months ago, the Israeli army and other security forces adopted a decidedly murderous policy against Palestinians, especially children. 

A shoot-to-kill policy was adopted by the Israeli political and military leadership, apparently for the purpose of terrorizing and “deterring” the Palestinian populace.   Consequently, dozens of young Palestinians were needlessly murdered on the streets of the West Bank on the pretext that some of the victims may have put the life of Israeli soldiers at risk. 

In some incidents, soldiers fired additional bullets at the heads of the already completely “neutralized” Victims. 

In the Israeli army lexicon, this is done for the purpose of verifying their death. 

The gruesome killings leave no doubt as to the nefarious behavior of the murderous soldiers. 

Israel has no credible justice system when it comes to dealing with the Palestinians. 

Jewish religious laws don’t ascribe real humanity to non-Jews in general. This disgusting mindset is applied to the fullest when dealing with the Palestinians. 

Occasionally, Israel does some PR work to mitigate anger wit regard to a specific crime that had its way to the world media, especial the social media. 

Israeli Hasbara would cite alleged extenuating circumstances such as claiming the murdering soldiers were under mental pressure, thought they were about to get killed or didn’t really intend to murder the Palestinian victim!! 

However, when protests get quieter and the specific crime fades away from memory, the specific murderer is shamelessly exonerated of any wrong-doing, celebrated as a hero, and given citations for valor. 

This shows that that Israel effectively encourages its soldiers to murder innocent Palestinians on the spot if there is the slightest suspicion that they might be planning to hurl a stone toward the soldiers or stab them with a small and virtually innocuous kitchen knife. 

In many verified instances, the murderous soldiers hastened to place a knife they carry with them, near the already murdered Palestinian lying on the ground. 

The purpose of this criminal behavior is to give the impression that the victim had sought to stab and kill Israelis. 

More to the point, Soldiers patrolling the streets of the West Bank receive hair-raising instructions, illustrating the evilness and brutal ugliness of the Israeli mentality. 

They are commanded to shoot first and ask questions later. . Of course we can all imagine how a young soldier would behave vis-à-vis the Palestinians, having been indoctrinated in school and synagogue that the life of a non-Jew in general and a Palestinian in particular has no sanctity because, according to the Talmud, he is not a bona fide human being.” 

Such soldiers are raised to be “Born to kill murderers.” That is why they murder children and innocent civilians without the slightest compunctions. They even would celebrate the murder with their comrades and superiors! 

As to the victim, he or she is treated as another number rather than a human being. 

Not only that, his home is often demolished in the quiet hours before dawn, relatives arrested and harassed. Israel has even threatened to deport families of Palestinians involved in the current mini-intifada to the Gaza Strip or elsewhere. The timeless principle of “innocent until proven guilty” has no existence in Israel, especially as far as Palestinians are concerned. 

Today, Israel is having a free season on helpless and unprotected Palestinians. Israel is ganging up on the Palestinians in what seems to be slow-motion annihilation. 

I am not saying that Israel is carrying a holocaust similar to the German holocaust 70 years ago. 

But even the German holocaust lasted for 3 years whereas the Palestinian plight has been going on for nearly 70 years. 

By the end of the Second World War, the West rose up to help the Jews by establishing a state for them at the expense of the native Palestinians. 

However, the international community is effectively abandoning the Palestinian people, granting evil Zionism a carte blanch to further torment the Palestinians and uproot them from their own ancestral homeland. 

This is why the peoples of the world must intensify their boycott and sanctions against the apartheid entity. 

So, we say to the peoples of the world, in all solemnity and seriousness: 

Don’t buy Israeli products.

Don’t allow Israeli firms to operate in your respective country.

Don’t invest in Israel. 

This is the very least you could do to save the Palestinian people from the clutches of diabolical Zionism. 

We are not making this outcry because we are anti-Jewish, God forbid. 

We are making these modest demands because buying Israeli products and doing business with Israel enable the apartheid entity to have more bullets to kill our children. 

Please, don’t kill our children.

#BDS ~~ WHY THE CULTURAL BOYCOTT IS GROWING

Israeli government is no “Champion” of freedom of expression

Over 100 Writers, Including Pulitzer Winners Junot Díaz, Richard Ford, and Alice Walker, and Award-Winning Author Louise Erdrich, Call on PEN American Center to Reject Israeli Government Sponsorship

PEN Refusing to Drop Sponsorship, According to a
Letter to its Members

New York, NY, April 5, 2016 – In a letter made public today over 100 writers, including Pulitzer Prize winners Junot Díaz, Richard Ford, and Alice Walker, and award-winning author Louise Erdrich, have called on the PEN American Center “to reject support from the Embassy of Israel” for PEN’s annual World Voices Festival. The seven-day Festival takes place from April 25 to May 1 in New York City. In promotional materials, PEN lists the Israeli Embassy as among the “Champions” of the Festival, and as a sponsor of one of the Festival’s panels.

The letter asserts, “It is deeply regrettable that the Festival has chosen to accept sponsorship from the Israeli government, even as it intensifies its decades-long denial of basic rights to the Palestinian people, including the frequent targeting of Palestinian writers and journalists.” The letter was sent to PEN privately on March 29 by Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel, with 62 individual and 11 organizational signatories. The list of signers has since grown to more than 100 individuals.

In addition to Díaz, Erdrich, Ford and Walker, other prominent writers who have signed the letter include Palestinian writer Dr. Ahmad Qatamesh, whose imprisonment without charge by the Israeli government was criticized by PEN International; writer and activistAngela Davis; American writers Russell Banks, Deborah Eisenberg and poet Eileen Myles; Palestinian-American novelists Susan Abulhawa and Randa Jarrar; former President and Vice President of English PEN Gillian Slovo and Kamila Shamsie; Egyptian British author Ahdaf Soueif; and South African writers Dr. Don Materra,Ronnie Kasrils and Breyten Breytenbach. Thirteen participants at the World Voices Festival have signed the letter, including Laura Flanders, Saleem Haddad, Laila Lalami, Solmaz Sharif, Yuri Herrera, Jordan Camp, Christina Heatherton, Arun Kundnani, Maaza Mengiste, Burhan Sönmez, Francisco Goldman, Jennif(f)er Tamayo, andLinh Dinh. Two other participants signed the letter and withdrew from the Festival.

Author Alice Walker commented, ”I signed the letter because, as a PEN member, I want this organization that is supposed to be a champion of writers’ rights to stand up for Palestinian writers, academics, and students who are suffering under a repressive Israeli regime that denies their right to freedom of expression. The last thing PEN should be doing is partnering with and promoting a government that denies Palestinians basic human rights.”

The letter is the latest effort to expose Brand Israel, a government public relations initiative launched in 2005 that uses cultural productions to distract from Israel’s systematic violations of Palestinian rights. Following a major Israeli attack on Gaza in 2009, the deputy director general for cultural affairs at Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairsexplained to The New York Times, “We will send well-known novelists and writers overseas, theater companies, exhibits… This way you show Israel’s prettier face, so we are not thought of purely in the context of war.”

A few hours after the letter was sent to PEN American Center, the organization emailedsome of its members, justifying its decision to maintain Israeli government funding by citing a policy against subscribing “to cultural boycotts of any kind” and the need to “promote dialogue.”

“Even if PEN opposes all forms of boycotts, PEN should have policies and ethical standards in place forbidding partnerships with significant human rights abusers,” saidMarilyn Hacker, Recipient of PEN Voelcker Award for Poetry and PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. “On that basis alone, PEN should rule out a partnership with the Israeli government.”

Omar Barghouti, a founder of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian freedom, justice and equality, added, “We are disappointed and concerned that PEN is choosing to stand with Israel’s repressive government rather than with a civil society initiative for freedom and human rights. PEN’s response avoided the issues we raised. We focused on PEN’s partnership with the Israeli government and explicitly said we are not calling to boycott or deny the freedom of expression of individual Israeli writers. For years, Palestinians have been told to engage in ‘dialogue,’ but the stronger party, Israel, has used ‘dialogue’ as a smoke screen behind which it ramps up repression and denies Palestinians’ their fundamental rights.”

Novelist Ru Freeman, editor of an anthology on Palestine, Extraordinary Rendition: (American) Writers on Palestine, commented, “PEN American Center’s leadership has repeatedly tarnished the World Voices Festival by accepting the sponsorship of an occupying force that oppresses our Palestinian peers, and refused to speak out against that oppression. The board of PEN should recognize that this violates the foundational principles of the organization. PEN has the resources to fund the participation of Israeli writers—which we support—without compromising its principles by associating with an apartheid government.”

PEN American Center, the Festival organizer, is a US branch of the writers’ freedom of expression organization PEN International. In 2015, over 200 writers wrote to PEN American Center criticizing the organization’s decision to give a freedom of expression award to the magazine Charlie Hebdodue to its racist content. Controversy has also arisen in past years over Israeli government sponsorship of PEN’s World Voices Festival.

ISRAEL RESPONDS WITH ITS OWN VERSION OF BDS

Israel informed the companies on Wednesday that their products were banned from entering Jerusalem through the Beitunia commercial crossing.

You can beat this ban by buying Palestinian products …. Click HERE and HERE

Image by Latuff

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Palestinian companies protest Israeli decision to ban their products

Israeli troops used tear gas to suppress a march held by five Palestinian food production companies on Sunday near the Israeli Ofer prison in the occupied West Bank.The companies protested by parking their trucks near the prison, after Israeli authorities banned their products from entering Jerusalem and Israel.

An Israeli army spokesman did not immediately respond for request for information about the protest.Israel informed the companies on Wednesday that their products were banned from entering Jerusalem through the Beitunia commercial crossing.The director of marketing for the Hamoda company, Fadi Abu Hilweh, told Ma’an on Saturday evening that Israeli troops at the crossing have been turning back trucks of the five companies since Wednesday.

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Hamoda head Ameer Haddad told Ma’an that Hamoda — along with the companies al-Juneidi Dairy and Food products, al-Rayyan Dairies, Salwa Foods, and Siniora Food Industries — all parked their trucks near the prison to protest the ban and “the horrible consequences of this decision.”Haddad added that the companies export their products to Jerusalem under agreements with Israel and that there was no grounds for the ban.
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He said the companies would continue protesting until Israeli authorities canceled the decision.Abu Hilweh said the companies were not officially notified of any decisions to ban their products in Israel and were “surprised” when Israeli soldiers at Beitunia commercial crossing denied their products entry to Israel on Wednesday.
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He added that about 50 percent of the five companies’ production goes to Palestinian consumers in occupied East Jerusalem and Palestinian communities in Israel.
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If this ban continues, he said, the companies could lose some 1.2 billion shekels ($309.5 million) a year.Hamoda has already notified its milk providers to halt supplies until the ban is resolved. Abu Hilweh said the five companies would have to discharge large numbers of workers if the ban continued.
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He added that he was surprised when Israeli authorities informed the companies that the decision to ban products was a “political” decision and “the Palestinian Authority was notified of the decision six months ago.”
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An official in the Palestinian Ministry of Economy, who requested anonymity, told Ma’an that the ministry was not notified of any such decision.“
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The ministry is looking into the case, which is a flagrant breach of Paris Protocols,” the official said, referring to an agreement signed in 1995 between the PLO and Israel, that set procedures and regulations governing economic relations between the occupied West Bank and Israel.
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Palestinian lawmaker and Secretary-General of the Palestinian National Initiative Mustafa Barghouthi said the Palestinian Authority should respond to the Israeli decision by banning Israeli products from entering the Palestinian market.
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According to the protocols, bilateral trade agreements between Israel and other parties are considered valid in the occupied West Bank, however Israel prevents the import of many Palestinian products to the Israeli market.
*
A poll by the the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research conducted in June 2015 reported that the overwhelming majority of those interviewed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip — 86 percent — said they supported the campaign to boycott Israeli products.
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SOURCE

NEW DRESS CODE IN FRANCE ~~ IF YOUR T-SHIRT CRITICIZES ISRAEL, IT’S ILLEGAL

European ‘Democracy in action …

The activist was taking part in a march for International Women’s Day in Paris last Sunday when undercover police swooped in and detained her for wearing a piece of clothing with the words “Boycott Apartheid Israel” printed on it.

Undeterred by arrest of an activist days earlier, members of BDS France wear “illegal” t-shirts calling for the boycott of Israel, during a protest outside Airbnb’s office in Paris on 10 March. (Courtesy of BDS France)

Undeterred by arrest of an activist days earlier, members of BDS France wear “illegal” t-shirts calling for the boycott of Israel, during a protest outside Airbnb’s office in Paris on 10 March. (Courtesy of BDS France)

Woman arrested in France for T-shirt critical of Israel

France has ratcheted up its draconian repression of free speech about Palestine with the arrest of a woman for wearing a T-shirt supporting the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

The activist was taking part in a march for International Women’s Day in Paris last Sunday when undercover police swooped in and detained her for wearing a piece of clothing with the words “Boycott Apartheid Israel” printed on it.

According to the newspaper L’Humanité, officers from the Renseignements Généraux, the intelligence service of the French police, were involved in monitoring the demonstration in which numerous social justice and leftist groups took part.

France remains under the state of emergency severely limiting public freedoms that was declared after last November’s atrocities by suspected Islamic State extremists who killed 130 people in Paris.

The young woman was taken to Paris’ 3rd district police station for questioning.

Hundreds of marchers halted their procession and demonstrated loudly outside the police station for an hour until she was released, as a video posted on Facebook.

Political repression

The woman has been summoned back to the police station for questioning at 2pm on Monday on suspicion of “inciting hatred by reason of [national] origin, through writing,” according to L’Humanité.

Supporters are planning to demonstrate outside the police station at that time.

The feminist collective 8 Mars Pour TouTEs denounced the arrest and pledged support for the activist and for the BDS movement.

The arrest was evidence of the “criminalization of political struggles,” the group said, vowing to mount strong solidarity in response to “the police state and political and racist repression.”

The left-wing grouping Ensemble has condemned the arrest, describing it as a consequence of the “security climate” in France.

The Palestine solidarity group BDS France noted that the day after the arrest, Prime Minister Manuel Valls tolda dinner hosted by the Israel lobby group CRIF that “anti-Zionism is nothing more than a synonym for anti-Semitism and the hatred of Israel.”

“Today, politicians who support the Israeli apartheid regime are out of arguments,” BDS France said in a statement.

“They conflate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism and terrorism, and take all the Jews of the world hostage, stubbornly insisting that they become accomplices of the war crimes and apartheid of a state which is foreign to them,” BDS France added.

The campaign group said that with the growing global success of BDS, “a nonviolent, anti-racist citizen movement for the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people,” Israel and its allies in the French government had no recourse but to try to smear it as anti-Semitic.

Court rulings and government decrees have outlawed calls to boycott Israeli goods, prompting defiance from French civil society.

Undeterred

BDS France is also vowing not to fold under government repression.

On Thursday, dozens of activists handed in an international petition at the Paris offices of Airbnb to protest the company’s profiting from the renting out of vacation homes in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

As the photos published by BDS France show, the activists were proudly wearing their “Boycott Israeli Apartheid” T-shirts.

On Saturday, activists will hold rallies all over France against the state of emergency. An action alert from BDS France urges supporters to wear their T-shirts at those marches too.

ZIONISM … CAUGHT ON TAPE AND IN RAP

If you DON’T support the BDS Movement, then THIS is what you DO support …

Video distributed by Ryan Dawson, with thanks

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The following 2 posters were displayed at Columbia University Saturday evening

Photo © by Bud Korotzer

Photo © by Bud Korotzer

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Photo © by Bud Korotzer

Photo © by Bud Korotzer

SOME RAMBLINGS ABOUT JEWS AND ISRAEL

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“That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour.
That is the whole Torah, the rest is commentary.”

Going through the archives I found some must reads … some that may have been missed over the years.

This one was written 10 years ago .. but it could have been written today;

A MESSAGE TO MY FELLOW JEWS

IF YOU LOVE ISRAEL SPEAK UP FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE!

I have often said that it is very difficult to remain objective towards something when the subjective circumstances seem to be stronger.

The case of Israel and Jews is one of the cases that comes to mind. Many Jews outside of Israel support Israel blindly. The attitude is very similar to the American attitude during the Vietnam War… “My country right or wrong”..

That concept alone is wrong. If you really love something than you let it know when it is wrong… this is not happening in the case of Israel. If you really love Israel then you must treat it as you would treat your own child. Not to do so will only make a very bad situation that much worse. As a result, Israel will think it has a ‘green light’ to pursue its policies of occupation, apartheid and most recently, brutal aggression towards its neighbours. Since the war started in Lebanon, the aggression against the Palestinians in Gaza has not subsided. Do not let our brothers in Palestine think we have forgotten them..

If you support these policies and actions, then you do not love Israel as you claim you do. You are, in effect, helping Israel self destruct.
In order to survive and flourish, Israel needs peace. There is no other way. The Torah is the Law that governs the lives of observant Jews. Rabbi Hillel said the following regarding the Torah…

“That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour.
That is the whole Torah, the rest is commentary.”

Answer the following questions….

DO YOU BELIEVE THAT…

*Peace in the Middle East will only come about with mutual recognition and respect and must be seen as just by both sides.
*Peace requires the end of illegal occupation and settlement.
*Violence against civilians is unacceptable.
*Israel’s policies in the West Bank and Gaza are breeding hatred and resentment.
*It is crucial that Jews speak out for Palestinians’ human rights.
*The values of Israeli society have been corrupted by the Israeli State’s human-rights abuses.
*A lasting peace must be seen as just by both sides.
*Britain, the EU, the USA, Russia and the UN must be persuaded to implement UN resolutions on Palestine.

If you answered yes to all or most of the above questions then you must act on the situation. To remain silent is to be as guilty as the government of Israel is. To remain silent is to witness the very destruction of the State of Israel… from within.
Show your support for justice by speaking out against the wall of apartheid.
Speak out against the occupation of Palestine.
Speak out against the war in Lebanon.
Boycott Israeli goods until Israel becomes a State worthy of your support.
Show that you truly love israel and fight for PEACE and JUSTICE… nothing else will do!

Some more must reads from the past ….
(click on links)

AN OPEN LETTER TO NEIL SEDAKA TO BOYCOTT APARTHEID

 

WHO AND WHY I AM WHO I AM

 

BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS

 

and finally ….

WHY AM I IN ISRAEL?

SODASTREAM FIRES ALL ITS PALESTINIAN WORKERS

CEO Daniel Birnbaum says dismissal of 74 Palestinian workers is not BDS Movement’s fault, but that of the Israeli gov’t

SodaStream lays off last Palestinian workers after permit row

Saying goodbye in tears (Photo: Israel Yosef)

Saying goodbye in tears (Photo: Israel Yosef)

CEO Daniel Birnbaum says dismissal of 74 Palestinian workers is not BDS Movement’s fault, but that of the Israeli gov’t, which refuses to grant them work permits.

Israeli drinks firm SodaStream laid off its last Palestinian workers Monday and lashed out at the government for refusing to grant them work permits after it relocated from the West Bank to southern Israel.

The company, which manufactures a device for making fizzy drinks at home, announced in late 2014 it was closing the West Bank plant following a boycott campaign that included targeting Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson after she advertised its product.

The plant, located in a Jewish West Bank settlement, closed in October last year, laying off more than 500 Palestinains, and then relocated inside Israel.

The movement known as BDS campaigns against Israel over its presence in the West Bank and pressured SodaStream to move out of the Palestinian territory.

Mahmoud Nawajaa, the BDS coordinator in the West Bank town of Ramallah, called the loss of the Palestinian jobs at SodaStream “part of the price that should be paid in the process of ending the occupation.”

At the time, 74 experienced Palestinian workers moved with the company which also hired hundreds of Israelis.

The Palestinian staff, many of whom had worked at the company for years, have been caught in a permit battle between the firm and Israeli authorities.

On Monday, they boarded buses to leave the plant in the southern Israeli town of Levahim for the last time, many visibly emotional, as company officials expressed outrage.

The movement known as BDS campaigns against Israel over its presence in the West Bank and pressured SodaStream to move out of the Palestinian territory.

The Israeli government refused to grant the 74 Palestinians work permits beyond the end of February, according to the company.

The company, which had revenues of $112.9 million in the final quarter of 2015, initially threatened to halt production at its factory unless the “essential” workers were given permits.

However, it later backed down and made them redundant.

Birnbaum said he was “still hopeful” a solution could be found and said the company might move some operations back to the West Bank.

‘There is no hope’

COGAT, the Defense Ministry body responsible for coordinating Israeli government activity in the Palestinian territories, declined to comment on the redundancies but reiterated that it had helped facilitate the movement of the factory.

“COGAT has taken many measures to help the factory and provided temporary permits to hundreds of laborers in the past year and a half to enable the transfer (of the factory),” a statement said.

According to COGAT, 58,000 Palestinians hold permits to work in Israel, with another 27,000 working for Israeli businesses in West Bank settlements and industrial zones.

SodaStream — which employs around 1,200 people — has called for that number to be increased but that would require a government decision.

At a march to protest the government’s decision on Monday, a few hundred SodaStream employees formed a peace sign at the company’s Lehavim factory.

Palestinian employees were then loaded onto buses for the last time to be taken into the West Bank.

“There is no hope in Palestine. There is little work.”

Bassel Salhaya said he had no plan for future employment in the West Bank.

“We were together 12 hours a day, more than I see my wife and son,” he said. “We became like brothers.”

SOURCE

 

BRITAIN AND THE BDS MOVEMENT ~~ CONTRADICTIONS IN POLICY

Britain MUST make up its mind!

Britain MUST make up its mind!

If this is the case …..

British PM slams Israel: ‘Situation in East Jerusalem is genuinely shocking

David Cameron criticizes Israeli construction beyond the Green Line and the ‘effective encirclement of East Jerusalem, occupied East Jerusalem.’

British Prime Minister David Cameron slammed Israeli construction in East Jerusalem on Wednesday evening, saying the situation in the capital was “genuinely shocking.”

More HERE

Then WHY DID THEY GO FOR THIS?

Israel “quietly” pushed for anti-BDS legislation in US, UK

The Israeli government played a direct role in recent policy and legislative moves in the US, UK and other countries to suppress the free speech rights of citizens calling for the boycott of Israel over its human rights abuses.

Israel is now planning to significantly step up its efforts to thwart the Palestine solidarity movement, through its embassies in key capitals.

A 23 February article in Israel’s Ynet takes to task Israeli politicians for making too much public noise about the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

It cites as an example the fuss Israeli politicians made about the “subvertisements” Palestine solidarity activists placed on the London Underground this week.

Ynet claims that Israeli politicians helped the activists achieve their goal by giving them free publicity.

“The government, which prefers to deal with BDS activists quietly and under the radar, is now forced to deal with local politicians who threaten to ‘hijack’ this work to serve their local political interests,” the article states.

“Successes”

While it is no surprise that Israel and its lobby groups are backing the heavy-handed censorship of the Palestine solidarity movement around the world, Ynet provides confirmation of the Israeli foreign ministry’s direct lobbying and political interference in domestic legislation in several countries.

“In cooperation with Jewish and pro-Israeli organizations, the ministry convinced several American states to pass legislation against the boycott of Israel,” Ynet states.

This is a reference to a raft of federal and state-level legislation that aims to penalize companies or blacklist individuals who support boycott or divestment from Israeli or other companies or institutions complicit in Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights.

Human rights defenders say the initiatives violate a landmark US Supreme Court ruling that boycotts and related activities to bring about political, social and economic change are political speech, occupying “the highest rung of the hierarchy of First Amendment values.”

The Israeli government is also claiming credit for new UK regulations aimed at stopping public bodies, including democratically elected local municipalities and public universities, from boycotting Israel.

“The Israeli embassy in London succeeded through quiet and effective work in convincing the British government to pass a directive prohibiting municipalities and public bodies from taking decisions to boycott Israel,” Ynet reports.

The policy is not an outright ban, but threatens public bodies with civil court cases which could result in “severe penalties” if they take ethical investment or purchasing decisions to exclude companies from World Trade Organization member states that violate human rights.

Israel is a member of the World Trade Organization.

Riya Hassan of the Palestinian BDS National Committee said that the government of Prime Minister David Cameron “is going further than Margaret Thatcher ever went to defend South African apartheid.”

Ynet cites other “successes” for Israel’s anti-human-rights strategy, in Luxembourg, Sweden and France, including a vote by the Paris city council to condemn the BDS movement.

“An additional specialization of Israeli embassies is the use of existing legislation against boycott: in several countries there exists legislation against boycott and discrimination,” Ynet observes. “The embassies were requested to check how it is possible to use local law to curtail boycott initiatives.”

Ramping up

Israel’s efforts to sabotage and attack the BDS movement are not new.

It is already known, for instance, that Israeli military intelligence spies on “overseas organizations” that advocate BDS as a strategy to support Palestinian rights.

And in 2013, Israel beefed up its London embassy with staff dedicated to fighting BDS.

According to Ynet, these kinds of efforts are about to be dramatically ramped up.

Last year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed Gilad Erdan as minister with the responsibility to combat the movement for Palestinian rights, and armed him with a budget of $30 million.

Following the London Underground posters incident, Erdan announced that he intends to allocate $1 million “to create ten BDS coordinator positions in important Israeli embassies throughout the world,” Ynet states.

“The coordinators will collect and coordinate information from the ground concerning boycott movement threats” and “will further assist in promoting projects for positive Israel branding.”

As part of this work, Ynet reports, Israel will “hire local citizens – Jews and non-Jews – who will work in the framework of the Israeli embassies.”

Pushing back

While there is no doubt that Israel’s bullying and harassment of those calling for full rights for Palestinians is going to increase, it is doubtful that it will do much to gain Israel any public sympathy.

Israel’s problem is not the marketing, but the product: brutally enforced occupation, settler-colonialism, war crimes and state-sanctioned racism.

As long as Israel is unwilling to end these practices, it will only generate more opposition both to its policies and its smear and censorship tactics.

In the latest example, 22 Jewish academics, artists and activists published a letter in The Guardian objecting to bogus claims of anti-Semitism made by anti-Palestinian activists after the Oxford University Labour Club decided to support Israeli Apartheid Week.

“Those who deliberately confuse anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism give comfort and aid to the real anti-Semites in our society,” the letter states. “Like the boy who cried wolf, they ensure that if anti-Semitism does rear its ugly head, people will assume that this is just another false accusation.”

Connie Hackbarth contributed translation.

THE MOST PATHETIC ATTEMPT EVER TO DISCREDIT BDS

bible-Screen-Shot-2016-02-22-at-11.51.17-AM

I was not able to upload the video in question, instead it is linked below …. it is a MUST watch if you want to see the desperate attempts by supporters in the ‘Christian’ Camp to discredit the entire BDS Movement . The video has gone viral since they posted it two days ago.

It is most entertaining …. you will get a kick out of it for sure.

They call it 

The video that literally just blew the BDS movement to smithereens!

Click HERE to see the video in question ….

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

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