DEPORTING SOLIDARITY FROM ISRAEL

Israel is not the first to use deportation as a weapon …..

 

This video is meant to demonstrate by music + images that the immigration problem isn’t new, but has a long history. This video takes no political position concerning immigrants or immigration, but is meant to honor Woody’s song, Arlo’s singing, and the many immigrants who have worked, suffered, been deported, etc.
This is just a slide show using Woody Guthrie’s classic song as sung by his son Arlo and public domain (I believe) images; hopefully this will not violate any Fair Use copyright guidelines. All music performed by Arlo Guthrie, video/music collage edited/created by Dulcimerea.

Deporting Solidarity: One activist’s experience being detained in Ben Gurion airport

Moara Crivelente

Scattered inscriptions written with toothpaste and food on the bunks and walls of an Israeli facility at the Ministry of Interior Population, Immigration and Borders Authority (PIBA) declare: “for each International Solidarity Movement you deport back home, ten more will come!”  Me and many before me read those words as we waited for our deportation. After hours of interrogation at the Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport, we received a 10-year ban from entering the State of Israel for “security reasons.” With no further explanation, we were declared a threat.

During the seven-hour wait at the airport, I was repeatedly interrogated and questioned. Right from the start, I was told by two security officers that it has already been decided: I was getting deported, unless—said the one who played the role of the “good cop”—I cooperate.

To “cooperate” meant to tell them about every corner I had been in and every person I had met in Palestine on previous visits. They demanded I say that I witnessed Palestinian protesters throwing stones at armed Israeli soldiers during demonstrations I attended—which they supposedly already knew of from pictures taken by the IDF. I was calm and I answered their questions obligingly until they asked me for my cellphone’s password. I told them that I was a PhD student conducting research, and my purpose of visit was to take a course on International Law in Ramallah with Al-Haq organization, but I refused to give them my password or my contacts.

To gain access to my phone meant that Israeli security forces would gather names of activists and Palestinian “culprits.” In 2014, Gary Spedding, a British activist, went through something similar. Israeli forces collected messages and contacts from his phone and he was deported, after being accused of possibly causing tumult if he were to be allowed inside the country, due to his activity on social media.

I had interactions with Israeli agents where I was ordered and moved around, taking me from one room to another. From border services, where they took my picture and collected fingerprints, to a room where my body and my luggage were fully searched, to another room where I waited—and this I only understood later, since I was given no information—for the transportation to the facility where I was detained. From there I got a new order, “Get in the car.” I was alone with two agents; I sat in the backseat of a van with metal plaques blocking the driver’s cabin.

Only when we reached the facility did I get information about my flight back, which was leaving in nine hours. There I met a young Australian woman who had been waiting for four days and would only leave on the fifth. We were granted one phone call, food, ten minutes in the yard and a door that locked from the outside. We waited. At some point there were nine of us in a room with five bunk beds, much like a cell. Most of the detainees were women from Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and Uzbekistan that were planning on touring in Israel and Palestine but were denied entry.

The Australian woman was also declared a threat: she participated in a protest in Bil’in on a previous visit, a village I had also been to. There, an organization called the “Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Wall” administers weekly protests against the Israeli occupation which took its toll on the village by reinforcing detentions and extending the Israeli separation wall to engulf agricultural land. The resistance has been partly victorious, and the wall’s course had to be slightly diverted. The committee’s own coordinator, Abdullah Abu Rahmah, who was already imprisoned before, is waiting for a new trial for new accusations.

I was taken by car from the detention center directly to the airplane’s door. An agent escorted me inside the aircraft and delivered my documents (which had been in their possession the whole time) to the flight attendant.

Deporting solidarity

It is within Israeli policy to deport activists who demonstrate solidarity with the Palestinian cause to end the Israeli occupation. That is not news. In 2003, for instance, eight members of the International Solidarity Movement, all European and North American, were deported because they were protesting against the confiscation of Palestinian land to construct the Israeli separation barrier near Jenin, in the occupied West Bank. Protestors were also moving roadblocks near Nablus to call attention to the obstacles Palestinians face in movement on their own land.

In 2011, about two hundred activists were detained and deported upon their arrival at the Israeli airport. A Haaretz news article from July of that year informs that a group of twenty-five people who were suspected of being “pro-Palestinian activists” had their entries denied. Sixty-nine others had already been questioned and deported in the same period of time. Israel’s Ministry of Transport had also delivered airline companies a list with the names of 342 other people who were barred from boarding planes to Israel.

Another Haaretz article from the same month states that “Israel has thus far been successful in preventing the entry of 200 passengers wishing to come to Israel as part of the Welcome to Palestine campaign, which had organized a ‘fly-in’ to the Middle East this weekend for solidarity visits in the Palestinian territories.” This only reveals a fragment of Israeli tactics of persecuting any demonstration of solidarity with the Palestinian people. Academic campaigns and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) have been the most visible targets. Israeli harassment of Palestine activism does not stop there: Israeli human rights groups are also infringed upon. Breaking the Silence, an Israeli platform for soldiers to come forward and give testimonies about the crimes and atrocities they have witnessed and participated in with the Israeli Defense Forces, is an example of such organizations.

There are numerous cases of Palestinian deportations by Israel since the beginning of the military occupation. From 1967 to 1992, according to B’Tselem, Israel has deported 1,522 Palestinians from their own territories. In 2002, 32 people were deported from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip for “administrative reasons,” with no charges or trials against the deportees, and without their defenses being heard.

A 10-year ban

Brazilians do not need visas to visit Israel, and Israelis do not need visas to visit Brazil. However, I doubt that a sum of deportations from either countries would be balanced, let alone for political reasons. In 2015, two other Brazilians from Palestinian descent were denied entry on a solidarity visit, part of a group of social movements coming from the World Social Forum in Tunisia. They were also banned from returning to Israel in the future.

Going back to Palestine is not an option for the next 10 years—unless the Israeli Embassy grants a “special permit,” or until the Palestinians can finally control their own borders. If this experience results in an appeal, it would be for the end of the Israeli occupation. After all, that is the target: solidarity with the Palestinian people and a joint struggle for a free Palestine.

IN PHOTOS ~~ REMEMBERING HIROSHIMA/NAGASAKI

President Obama neglected to apologise for the slaughter on his recent visit to Japan, But these good people did.

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  Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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IN PHOTOS ~~ PALESTINIAN LIVES MATTER

New Yorkers took to the streets yesterday in front of the Israeli Consulate to demand Freedom for Bilal Kayed and all other (7,000) Palestinians held in illegal administrative  detention.

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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WOMEN’S BOAT TO GAZA IS NOW A REALITY

The Women’s Boat to Gaza will carry prominent women, including Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire, award-winning U.S. playwright Naomi Wallace, New Zealand parliamentarian Marama Davidson and Norwegian author and former sports star Gerd von der Lippe. The vessel will visit ports in the Western Mediterranean before reaching the shores of Gaza around October 1.
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Women’s Boat Is Afloat!

The dream of sending a women’s boat to break the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza has moved one step closer to reality–but it’s a big step. The Women’s Boat to Gaza, a project of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, has acquired its first boat. The Amal-Hope is scheduled to set sail with 15 women, from Barcelona, Spain, on Sept. 14.

In Barcelona, members of the Palestinian solidarity community will send off the Amal-Hope on its journey around the Mediterranean before heading for Gaza.

In 1998, Barcelona was ‘twinned’ with Gaza, with the goal of fostering international support. In 2005, a park called the Barcelona Peace Park was inaugurated in Gaza. The park was destroyed by the Israeli military in the 2009 Israeli attack on Gaza. The park was rebuilt in 2010. As her name suggests, Amal-Hope will send a message of hope–and an international demand that the Peace Park and the whole of Gaza must never be bombed again.

Schedule of Events in Barcelona:

Monday 12 September – Music and festival at the port
Tuesday 13 September – Non-violent resistance workshops, local speakers and tour of the boat
Wednesday 14 September – Local ceremony and departure

The Women’s Boat to Gaza will carry prominent women, including Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire, award-winning U.S. playwright Naomi Wallace, New Zealand parliamentarian Marama Davidson and Norwegian author and former sports star Gerd von der Lippe. The vessel will visit ports in the Western Mediterranean before reaching the shores of Gaza around October 1.

The Women’s Boat to Gaza is a Freedom Flotilla Coalition initiative. By launching a women’s flotilla, women from all over the world aim to highlight the undeniable contributions and indomitable spirit of Palestinian women who have been central within the Palestinian struggle in Gaza, the West Bank, inside the Green Line and in the diaspora.

Gaza has been under Israeli blockade for the past decade, during which Israel has also launched countless attacks against the besieged population, turning their life into a nightmare and a continuous struggle. Through Freedom Flotillas and other maritime missions, we have brought international attention to their suffering and their resistance.
The Women’s Boat to Gaza seeks not only to challenge the Israeli blockade, but to also show solidarity and bring a message of hope to the Palestinian people. With the support of women, men, non-governmental organizations, civil society groups and women’s collectives and events around the world, we will make this happen.

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition is composed of civil society organizations and initiatives from many countries. We have been challenging the illegal and inhumane Israeli blockade of Gaza for years and are committed to continue the struggle until the blockade is unconditionally lifted and the Palestinian people everywhere regain their full rights.
Wear our t-shirt, logo on front,
Women’s Boat to Gaza 

in all our coalition languages on back.
Men’s and women’s styles and sizes, available now, $25 plus $5 postage. Contact Kit Kittredge, marnykit@gmail.com to order.
Ask about discounts for bulk orders to sell at fundraising events.
Our U.S. national goal is $30,000.  Please help by holding a fundraiser in your community.  We can send fliers and a powerpoint presentation on Women’s Boat to Gaza for the program.
We ask for your continued support and donations to the Women’s Boat to Gaza.

TIME IS RUNNING OUT TO BREAK THE SIEGE ON GAZA

The Women’s Boat to Gaza seeks not only to challenge the Israeli blockade, but to also show solidarity and bring a message of hope to the Palestinian people. With the support of women, men, non-governmental organizations, civil society groups and from women’s collectives and events around the world, we will make this happen.

Amal-Hope to sail from Barcelona on September 14

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The Women’s Boat to Gaza, a project of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, has acquired its first boat. Amal-Hope will set sail from Barcelona on September 14, carrying women who plan to challenge the illegal blockade of Gaza.

In Barcelona, members of the community who support our mission will welcome the Amal-Hope. In 1998, Barcelona was ‘twinned’ with Gaza, with the goal of fostering international support. In 2005, the Barcelona Peace Park was inaugurated in Gaza but destroyed by the Israeli military in 2009. The park was rebuilt in 2010. As her name suggests, Amal-Hope will send a message of hope that the Peace Park and the whole of Gaza must never be bombed again.

Schedule of Events in Barcelona:
Monday 12 September – Music and festival at the port
Tuesday 13 September – Non-violent resistance workshops, local speakers and a tour of the boats
Wednesday 14 September – Local ceremony and departure

The Women’s Boat to Gaza, with prominent women on board including Mairead Macguire, Naomi Wallace, Marama Davidson and Gerd von der Lippe, will visit ports in the Western Mediterranean before reaching the shores of Gaza on 1 October.

Women’s Boat to Gaza initiative:
The Women’s Boat to Gaza is a Freedom Flotilla Coalition initiative. By launching a women’s flotilla, women from all over the world aim to highlight the undeniable contributions and indomitable spirit of Palestinian women who have been central within the Palestinian struggle in Gaza, the West Bank, inside the Green Line and in the diaspora.

Gaza has been under Israeli blockade for the past decade, during which time Israel has also launched countless attacks against the besieged population, turning their life into a nightmare and a continuous struggle. Through Freedom Flotillas and other maritime missions, we have brought international attention to their suffering and their resistance.

The Women’s Boat to Gaza seeks not only to challenge the Israeli blockade, but to also show solidarity and bring a message of hope to the Palestinian people. With the support of women, men, non-governmental organizations, civil society groups and from women’s collectives and events around the world, we will make this happen.

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition is composed of civil society organizations and initiatives from many countries. We have been challenging the illegal and inhumane Israeli blockade of Gaza for years and are committed to continue the struggle until the blockade is unconditionally lifted and the Palestinian people everywhere regain their full rights.

For more information please contact spokesperson Wendy Goldsmith at: wendygoldsmith21@gmail.com or  (+1) 519 281 3978.

You can support the Women’s Boat to Gaza by donating online:
http://canadaboatgaza.org/donate/

Those who can benefit from a U.S. tax receipt can contribute online at
https://womensboatgaza-nonviolenceinternational.nationbuilder.com/contribute

To find and support other campaigns that are part of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, please see: https://wbg.freedomflotilla.org/donations

Other ways to get involved:
Follow us at www.canadaboatgaza.org and www.womensboattogaza.org
www.facebook.com/FreedomFlotillaCoalition/ and www.facebook.com/CanadaBoatGaza/
Twitter @GazaFFlotilla  @CanadaBoatGaza
Thank you for your support. Together we can end the blockade of Gaza!

POLITICS OF INCARCERATION ~~ A CALL TO ACTION

As mass movements challenge state violence from Palestine to the U.S., please join us for this timely conversation.

July 15 in NYC

PRI

What government in the world incarcerates one person in five, including, at some point in their lives 40% of the male population?

It’s not the US, but close—its chief partner, Israel, which incarcerates thousands of Palestinians including, in the past six months alone, more than 400 children.

With the Netanyahu regime unleashing aggression against Palestinians and a global attempt—especially in New York State—to silence the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions Movement, it is a critical time for US activists to act in solidarity with Palestine. In the tradition of the Black power movement, the movement for Black lives, and the Pelican Bay hunger strikes of the past few years, we need to stand with Palestine.

Join us on Friday, July 15th for a discussion of how the US and Israel use incarceration to contain and dismantle resistance—and how we can push back. Members of two recent delegations to Palestine—a prison, labor and academic delegation and a Dream Defenders delegation—will report on what we saw and heard, and how it echoes current repression and current struggles for justice here.

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 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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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!

NEW YORK TIMES WHITEWASHES HEDY EPSTEIN’S LIFE OF ACTIVISM

The fact that Hedy Epstein was outspoken for Palestinian rights doesn’t come till the very end of the story, after Vietnam, Cambodia, Black Lives Matter, fair housing, Kristallnacht, the kindertransport, and other causes and events. 

Hedy Epstein: "In the background you see the courtroom in which the doctors were tried & see some of the defendants sitting in the dock. Above that is a photo of the freezing experiment. A person is lying in a large vat of freezing cold ice water. Two doctors, one of them Dr. Rascher, are observing. Many people died as a result of this experiment." --Nuremberg Palace of Justice (Photo: Newsweek)

Hedy Epstein: “In the background you see the courtroom in which the doctors were tried & see some of the defendants sitting in the dock. Above that is a photo of the freezing experiment. A person is lying in a large vat of freezing cold ice water. Two doctors, one of them Dr. Rascher, are observing. Many people died as a result of this experiment.” –Nuremberg Palace of Justice (Photo: Newsweek)

In long obit for Hedy Epstein, ‘NYT’ buries Palestinian solidarity

James North and Philip Weiss FOR

The great Hedy Epstein has died and the New York Times has all but covered up her most significant moral achievement.

The Times has a 24-paragraph obituary for Hedy Epstein, the activist who was an inspiration to many on our site, who died in St. Louis at 91 on May 26. This is how they characterize her:

Ms. Epstein, a Holocaust survivor who spoke widely about the persecution of the Jews in Germany, and who spent most of her adult life working for a broad range of social justice movements.

The fact that Hedy Epstein was outspoken for Palestinian rights doesn’t come till the very end of the story, after Vietnam, Cambodia, Black Lives Matter, fair housing, Kristallnacht, the kindertransport, and other causes and events.

After the massacre of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon in 1982, Ms. Epstein channeled her energies into the Palestinian cause. She helped found the St. Louis chapters of the Palestine Solidarity Committee and Jewish Voice for Peace.

We venture to say that were it not for her channeling her energies into Palestine, Hedy Epstein would not warrant 24 paragraphs in death in the New York Times. Obituaries often describe exemplary lives, and the reason Hedy Epstein’s was so exemplary is that she experienced the tremendous historical trauma that was the basis for Israel’s creation by world powers in 1948 and yet turned against the idea of a Jewish state. That’s what makes Hedy Epstein so special.

The obit notes that in 2011 at age 86 Hedy Epstein was on the boat the Audacity of Hope trying to break the Gaza blockade. That should have been the first sentence in the Timesarticle. The fact that it is not and her Palestinian work is buried in the story is yet another example of bias (conscious or not, it doesn’t matter) aimed at preserving Israel’s positive image in the minds of New York Times readers.

BELLA CIAO HEDY EPSTEIN

 Holocaust survivor and activist for justice Hedy Epstein dies at 91

Hedy Epstein (Photo: Humans of St. Louis/Lindy Drew)

Hedy Epstein (Photo: Humans of St. Louis/Lindy Drew)

Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein, 91, died at her home in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, on May 26, 2016. An internationally renowned, respected and admired advocate for human and civil rights, Hedy was encircled by friends who lovingly cared for her at home.

Born August 15, 1924, in the Bavarian region of Germany, her lifelong commitment to human rights was formed by the horrific experiences she and her family endured under the repressive Nazi regime.

Unable to secure travel documents for themselves, Hedy’s parents, Hugo and Ella (Eichel) Wachenheimer, arranged for 14-year-old Hedy to leave Germany on a Kindertransport. Hedy credited her parents with giving her life a second time when they sent her to England to live with kind-hearted strangers. Hedy’s parents, grandparents, and most of her aunts, uncles and cousins did not survive the Holocaust. Hedy remained in England until 1945 when she returned to Germany to work for the United States Civil Service. She joined the Nuremberg Doctors Trial prosecution in 1946 as a research analyst.

Hedy immigrated to the United States in 1948. She and her husband moved to St. Louis in the early 1960s, and shortly thereafter Hedy began working as a volunteer with the Freedom of Residence, Greater St. Louis Committee, a nonprofit organization dedicated to housing integration and advocacy for fair housing laws. Hedy worked for many years as a volunteer and board member, and ultimately served as the organization’s executive director during the mid-1970s.

During the 1980s, Hedy worked as a paralegal for Chackes and Hoare, a law firm that represented individuals in employment discrimination cases. As an advocate for equality and human rights, Hedy spoke out against the war in Vietnam, the bombing of Cambodia, and overly restrictive U.S. immigration policies. She spoke and acted in support of the Haitian boat people and women’s reproductive rights, and, following the 1982 massacre at Sabra and Shatila, Hedy began her courageous and visionary work for peace and justice in Israel and Palestine.

During her later years, Hedy continued to advocate for a more peaceful world, and in 2002 was a founding member of the St. Louis Instead of War Coalition. Much of her later activism centered on efforts to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine. She founded the St. Louis chapter of Women in Black and co-founded the St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee and the St. Louis chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace. She traveled to the West Bank several times, first as a volunteer with the nonviolent International Solidarity Movement and repeatedly as a witness to advocate for Palestinian human rights. She attempted several times to go to Gaza as a passenger with the Freedom Flotilla, including as a passenger on the Audacity of Hope, and once with the Gaza Freedom March. Hedy addressed numerous groups and organizations throughout Europe and returned to Germany and her native village of Kippenheim many times.

Three days after her 90th birthday, Hedy was arrested for “failure to disperse.” She was attempting to enter Missouri Governor Jay Nixon’s St. Louis office to ask for deescalation of police and National Guard tactics which had turned violent in response to protests following the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Hedy was a member of the St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center’s speakers’ bureau and gave countless talks at schools and community events. She shared her Holocaust experiences with thousands of Missouri youth as a featured speaker at the Missouri Scholars Academy for more than twenty years. She ended every talk with three requests: remember the past, don’t hate, and don’t be a bystander. Through the years, Hedy received numerous awards and honors for her compassionate service and relentless pursuit of justice.

Hedy is survived by son Howard (Terry) Epstein, and granddaughters Courtney and Kelly. She was beloved and will be truly missed by countless friends in St. Louis and around the world.

Hedy often shared her philosophy of service with these words: “If we don’t try to make a difference, if we don’t speak up, if we don’t try to right the wrong that we see, we become complicit. I don’t want to be guilty of not trying my best to make a difference.”

Hedy always did her best, and the difference she made is evident in the commitment and passion of those called to continue her work. Her friends and admirers honor and salute her deep and lifelong dedication to tikkun olam, the just re-ordering of the world and promise to remember, to stay human, and to never be bystanders.

A memorial service will be held in Forest Park at a date and time to be determined. Donations in Hedy’s name may be made to Forest Park Forever to establish a permanent tribute, 5595 Grand Drive in Forest Park, St. Louis, MO 63112; American Friends Service Committee, 1501 Cherry St., Philadelphia, PA 19102; American Civil Liberties Union, 125 Broad St. 18th Floor, New York, NY 10004; and/or American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri Foundation, 454 Whittier St., St. Louis, MO 63108.

The above appeared on the FaceBook page of the St. Louis Jewish Voice For Peace 

Image by Gianluca Costantini

Image by Gianluca Costantini

The following appeared today in HaAretz

Hedy Epstein, Holocaust Survivor and pro-Palestinian Activist, Dies at 91

Holocaust survivor and pro-Palestinian activist grabbed international headlines when she was arrested during a civil rights protest in Ferguson, Missouri.

85-year-old Hedy Epstein at a 'Gaza Freedom Marchers' protest in Cairo, 2009. Credit AP

85-year-old Hedy Epstein at a ‘Gaza Freedom Marchers’ protest in Cairo, 2009. Credit AP

Hedy Epstein, a Holocaust refugee whose sharp criticism of Israel — including comparing the state to the Nazis — drew controversy, has died at 91.

Epstein died at her home in St. Louis Thursday, according to Jewish Voice for Peace, a group in which she was active. The group supports Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.

In February, the Austrian Parliament invited Epstein to speak at an event honoring women Holocaust survivors, but then cancelled the event amid criticism from Jewish groups angered that Epstein was the sole Jewish speaker.

Born Aug. 15, 1924 in Germany, Epstein fled to England at age 14 on a Kindertransport — the name for efforts to rescue European children of the era to the relative safety of Britain. Her parents, grandparents and most of her extended family were killed by the Nazis.
Epstein immigrated to the United States in 1948, moving to St. Louis in the early 1960s, where she volunteered with a nonprofit dedicated to housing integration and fair-housing laws.
She also worked as a paralegal for a law firm representing individuals in employment discrimination cases.

In 1982, following the Sabra and Shatila massacre in a Palestinian refugee camp by Israel’s allies in Lebanon, became outspoken on behalf of Palestinian rights.
According to Jewish Voice for Peace, Epstein founded the St. Louis chapter of Women in Black, a group that opposes Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, and cofounded the St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee and the St. Louis chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace.
Epstein visited the West Bank several times, volunteering with the International Solidarity Movement and other pro-Palestinian groups. She participated in the Freedom Flotilla, an effort to break Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. In a 2004 lecture at Stanford University, Epstein compared the Nazi treatment of Jews to the Israeli treatment of Palestinians.
In 2014, Epstein grabbed international headlines when she was arrested during a civil rights protest in in the aftermath of the police killing of unarmed African-American teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Soon after, some commentators criticized her for describing herself as a Holocaust survivor, saying it was misleading since she had not been in hiding or in a concentration camp and spent the bulk of World War II in the relative safety of England.
Epstein was a member of the St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center’s speakers’ bureau, speaking frequently at schools and community events. According to Jewish Voice for Peace, Epstein “ended every talk with three requests: remember the past, don’t hate and don’t be a bystander.”
Epstein is survived by her son and two granddaughters.

 

IN PHOTOS ~~ NAKBA DAY DEMOS CONTINUE IN NEW YORK AND IN PALESTINE

NAKBA DAY EVENT-NYCITY HALL & MARCH ACROSS THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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Videos from Palestine VIA

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IN PHOTOS ~~ NEW YORKERS GO ALL OUT FOR PALESTINE ON MAY DAY

Happy Labour Day to all the Palestinians who are challenging the Israeli occupation for their living.

Happy Labour Day to all the Palestinians who are challenging the Israeli occupation for their living.

Photos © Bud Korotzer

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ADL Vs. JEWS OF CONSCIENCE

Police arrested seventeen activists denouncing the “Jewish establishment’s support of the occupation of Palestine” on April 20 in the lobby of the Anti-Defamation League during one of a series of Passover protests organized by anti-occupation group If Not Now.

Gili Getz

Gili Getz

17 Jewish Activists Protesting Israeli Occupation Arrested at ADL Headquarters

Police arrested seventeen activists denouncing the “Jewish establishment’s support of the occupation of Palestine” on April 20 in the lobby of the Anti-Defamation League during one of a series of Passover protests organized by anti-occupation group If Not Now.

Before they were cuffed and shuffled into New York Police Department vans, the young activists had sat cross-legged on the lobby floor, leading a larger crowd in their version of a Passover Seder.

They banged on the floor, danced in circles and sang familiar Hebrew songs. The Seder’s ten plagues included “subjecting Palestinians to daily humiliation” and “destroying the Palestinian economy.” A hand-drawn cardboard Seder plate rested next to a sculpted tinfoil goblet, reserved for Elijah.

“We act now to build a Jewish community that recognizes that we cannot be free absent the freedom for Palestinians,” the text of one handout read.

Passersby paused, snapping photos on their cameras, to take in the unusual scene — around 100 Jewish activists singing and dancing in the glass-walled lobby of a midtown office. One young woman turned to the assembled crowd as she was led away by police, so that her shirt was in full view. “No liberation with occupation,” it read.

If Not Now, which formed two years ago to protest the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict and Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank, staged several other Passover-themed events this week.

Six were arrested in Boston, where they rallied outside the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. In Washington D.C., activists gathered outside Hillel.

But the New York protest took on another layer of significance as one prominent New York activist has been at the center of national controversy.

Simone Zimmerman, an If Not Now co-founder, made headlines last week when she was named Jewish outreach coordinator for Bernie Sanders’ campaign. Her peers celebrated. But, just days later, she was suspended from that position after an old Facebook post resurfaced, in which Zimmerman had used profanity and insulted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Abe Foxman, former head of the Anti-Defamation League, denounced Zimmerman and the Zionist Organization of America followed suit.

“She is entitled to say what she wants, but there is something bizarre about making her the liaison for the Jewish community,” Foxman said in a Wednesday interview with the Forward. “Either she wasn’t vetted — or worse, she was.”

Foxman said he took issue with Zimmerman’s criticism of Israel during the 2014 Gaza conflict. Her comments “go to the essence of questioning and challenging Israel’s credibility.”

Foxman declined to comment about the 17 activists’ arrest, deferring to the ADL, which did not respond to requests for comment.

Zimmerman stood in the background at Wednesday’s protest. She declined to speak with the Forward, but her friends rallied around her, posing for photos and intoning her name during the rally.

“Simone speaks for my kind of Judaism,” said Gabrielle Egan, an If Not Now activist from Canada.

If Not Now first took shape online in 2014, as a rallying hash tag on social media during the latest Israel-Gaza conflict. Many participants had been involved in J Street, but had become dissatisfied with that organization’s position on the conflict. Several activists describe their involvement with If Not Now as a sort of Jewish homecoming.

“These are people who grew up in a post-peace process environment,” said Peter Beinart, a mentor to Zimmerman and a leading voice in liberal Zionism. “If you look at If Not Now, there is a deep alienation, a dissatisfaction with the Jewish community’s lack of discussion.”

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.

A CONTEST AND A POEM ~~ NAME THE BOAT TO GAZA

WBG_logo_800

My submission is ~~ THE FLOATILLAMOMS

Name the Women’s Boat(s):
Announcing a Competition

and Running Orders

by Lena Khalaf Tuffaha

On International Women’s Day the Women’s Boat to Gaza, a project of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, announced that it will sail in mid-September 2016!

The Women’s Boat to Gaza project is seeking submissions TO NAME THE BOAT OR BOATS! This competition is open to all.  
We are looking for names that reflect our core principles: 
  • A boat with only women crew and delegates
  • Highlighting the role of women in daily life, the struggle, and resistance
  • A nonviolent, direct action that is not affiliated with any government
  • Ultimate goal is to break the illegal blockade of Gaza
  • Solidarity with the women, children, and men of Gaza and Palestine
Closing date for entries is April 25. The winner(s) will be announced May 1.
The name chosen will be painted on the boat and and the person honored on our website.
Please send your submissions with a brief rationale for your suggestion to
Thank you for your support!
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Running Orders
They call us now.
Before they drop the bombs.
The phone rings
and someone who knows my first name
calls and says in perfect Arabic
“This is David”.
And in my stupor of sonic booms and glass shattering symphonies
still smashing around in my head
I think “Do I know any Davids in Gaza?”
They call us now to say
Run.
You have 58 seconds from the end of this message.
Your house is next.
They think of it as some kind of
war time courtesy.
It doesn’t matter that
there is nowhere to run to.
It means nothing that the borders are closed
and your papers are worthless
and mark you only for a life sentence
in this prison by the sea
and the alleyways are narrow
and there are more human lives
packed one against the other
more than any other place on earth
Just run.
We aren’t trying to kill you.
It doesn’t matter that
you can’t call us back to tell us
the people we claim to want aren’t in your house
that there’s no one here
except you and your children
who were cheering for Argentina
sharing the last loaf of bread for this week
counting candles left in case the power goes out.
It doesn’t matter that you have children.
You live in the wrong place
and now is your chance to run
to nowhere.
It doesn’t matter
that 58 seconds isn’t long enough
to find your wedding album
or your son’s favorite blanket
or your daughter’s almost completed college application
or your shoes
or to gather everyone in the house.
It doesn’t matter what you had planned.
It doesn’t matter who you are
Prove you’re human.
Prove you stand on two legs.
Run.
Lena Khalaf Tuffaha
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Please join the campaign. It is 5,900 miles between Washington, DC, and Gaza. Every $5 brings us one mile closer to reaching the families in Gaza. Be a part of the journey. Contribute today!

IN PHOTOS ~~WOMEN’S BOAT TO SAIL TO GAZA IN SEPTEMBER 2016

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Getting ready for the sendoff in New York …

Photos © Bud Korotzer

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THE GAZA 5K ~~~ STILL TIME TO REGISTER

SIGN UP NOW FOR THE GAZA 5K

Last year we raised about $150,000 in Brooklyn for the Gaza kids.  Hope we can do at least that again.

5k

NYC, DC, are you ready?! The rumors are true, and we’re thrilled to announce that registration for the 2016 Gaza 5K is officially OPEN! 

Sign up now and join us at Prospect Park in Brooklyn, on Saturday, March 26 and Rock Creek Park in Washington DC on Saturday, May 21 for a morning of movement and solidarity.

Why wait when you can start now? This year, we need you to register EARLY! It’s the only way to guarantee a race shirt. Rates will increase by $15 in the weeks leading up to the race, and we guarantee both races will sell out! 

Fundraising is the key to our efforts and impact. So once you’re registered, start your fundraising immediately. We have more than just trophies this year! If you raise $500 or more, you will receive a beautiful classic keffiyeh from the Herbrawi Textile Factory, the last remaining keffiyeh factory in Palestine. Complete with a “made in Palestine” tag, these traditional scarves are the living memory of Palestine. Let that inspire you to push your fundraising to the next level!

Remember the reason why we run. Beyond showing solidarity, proceeds from the Gaza 5K support UNRWA’s Community Mental Health Program and provides critical counseling sessions to help vulnerable refugee children cope with the extreme challenges they face on a daily basis in Gaza. A program that, without your help, may not be possible. 

We hope you’ll come out to show these children how much Americans care! 

In solidarity,

Abby, Laila, Sarah, Nada & Lena

Team UNRWA USA

NYC RACE
MARCH 26
REGISTER NOW
DC RACE
MAY 21
REGISTER NOW
PS—Chicago and San Francisco, we’re coming for you! Stay tuned.

 

Official race hashtag: #Gaza5K (See more videos from last year’s run)

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.

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