Archive for the ‘Israel Apartheid’ Category

Haaretz Editor: I’m Anti-Zionist and Yes, Israel=Apartheid – Honestreporting.com

Yes, you read that headline right.

In a series of Tweets, Asaf Ronel,world news editor of Haaretz, declared that he is an anti-Zionist. No, hes not some off-the-wall opinion writer thrown into the newspaper for shock value: hes the worldnews editor.

Ronelfollowed up his initial statement (above) by calling apartheid in Israel reality, and clarifying that such apartheid began in 1948.

In case you dont have Twitter, or in the event this conversation gets subsequently deleted, you can follow some of theconversation in these screen shots:

The anti-Israel activist agenda at Haaretz is not limited to its international news editor: HonestReporting previously addressedthe statements of the newspapers owner, Amos Schocken that Haaretz is striving not for objective and accurate reporting but for promoting a political and campaigning agenda.

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Zionism is commonly understood to be the support for Jewish self-determination in the land of Israel. Which begs the question, if Ronel opposes Zionism, is there any way to understand his statementsother than that he opposes the existence of Israel, or at least the existence of a Jewish homeland in Israel? And if Ronel represents the editorial policy of Haaretz, is there any possible conclusion other than that it is Haaretz policy to oppose Israels very existence?

The person debating against Ronel in the above Twitter conversation is Dr. Emmanuel Navon,an International Relations expert who teaches at Tel-Aviv University and at the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Centerand is a Senior Fellow at the Kohelet Policy Forum. Navon weighed in on the topic saying:

What is the difference between blaming the Jewish people and blaming the Jewish state for the worlds ills?

and:

Denying sovereignty only to the Jews is discriminatory. So is saying that only Jewish sovereignty intrinsically immoral.

Mainstream Israeli journalist Haviv Rettig Gur (Senior Analyst for Times of Israel) also weighed in via Twitter:

Gur adds on his Facebook page in relevant part:

Something dishonest is happening at Haaretz, and its a damn shame. We need a progressive voice in this country that doesnt let itself turn into a fawning parrot for the latest anti-Zionist fashion abroad, but speaks to us Israelis, to our experience and concerns, and tries to convince us its vision is better. Thats not Haaretz, at least not anymore.

Asaf even took a crack at HonestReporting in the following tweet:

In light of Ronels reply invoking the concept of free speech, we simply have to ask: if the best you can say about your writing is that it isnt outright illegal, isnt that setting the bar a little low for a professional journalist?

Put another way, just because youhavethe right to say something, that doesnt mean youare right to say it.

Of course, Ronel is not even a journalist at all: by his own admission, he is really an agenda driven activist. And while free speech means that disguising activism as journalism cannot get you thrown in jail, it should certainly get you thrown out of a newspaper office.

Unlikecommentary or opinion writing, a professionalnews editor must embody the values of openness and impartiality. This is essential in orderto convey accurate information to news readers. Can an anti-Zionist editor who believes Israel is an apartheid state really be capable of reporting on Israel in a manner that is accurate and impartial?

Unfortunately, foreign news outlets often quote Haaretz, misrepresenting it asa mainstream Israeli voice, even though Haaretzscirculation isonly 3.9% of Israeli news readers. This gives news readers around the world an inaccurate understanding of Israel and of Israelis.

Haaretzs ownership and international news editors not only fail to embody the values of professional journalism, but are publicly statingthat they do not even wish to. There is nothing wrong with having a personal agenda, but disguising an agenda as journalism, is misleading and harmful to news audiences, as wellto the news profession itself.

Simon Plosker, HRs Managing Editor, comments:

While a tenacious and free Israeli media are a vital part of Israels democracy, Haaretz, and particularly its English-language site, plays a significant role in the demonization of Israel. Many foreign journalists find the most negative stories to publish straight from Haaretz. Its time that they acknowledge that Haaretz is wholly unrepresentative of Israel and Israeli society. This appalling rant by Asaf Ronel on Twitter is further confirmation of Haaretzs openly hateful agenda that permeates from editorial all the way to its owner Amos Schocken.

In short, if Haaretz truly cannot bring itself to start behaving like an actual newspaper, then it should stop calling itself one. Perhaps the Haaretz Anti-Zionism Advocacy Organization, would be a good name. At least it would be honest.

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Haaretz Editor: I’m Anti-Zionist and Yes, Israel=Apartheid – Honestreporting.com

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Haaretz editor declares war on Zionism – Arutz Sheva

An editor of the left-wing Haaretz daily chastised French President Emmanuel Macron for calling anti-Zionism a form of anti-Semitism, praising anti-Zionism as resistance against racism and apartheid.

Asaf Ronel, the world news editor for Haaretz, criticized Macrons recent statement that anti-Zionism was a reinvention of anti-Semitism.

We will never surrender to the messages of hate; we will not surrender to anti-Zionism because it is a reinvention of anti-Semitism, said Macron on Sunday.

Responding to Macrons comments via Twitter, Ronel rejected the comparison, and denounced Zionism as being inherently racist. Ronel also praised anti-Zionism for resisting the evils of modern Zionism.

Dear president Emmanuel Macron, you are wrong anti-Zionism is resisting the racism inherent in todays Zionism. Its not antisemitism.

In a back and forth with French-Israeli foreign policy expert Emmanuel Navon, Ronel later accused Zionism of apartheid.

What is the difference btwn blaming Zionism 4 oppression&apartheid & believing the protocols of the elders of Zion, Ronel asked rhetorically, later saying Zionist apartheid was reality.

But unlike many radical left-wing critics of Israel, Ronel did not cite Israels 1967 liberation of Judea and Samaria as an example of the alleged apartheid, instead denouncing the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948.

& the apartheid refers to 48, not 67.

On Monday, Ronel took to Twitter again to complain about criticism of his comments after Honest Reporting documented his aforementioned tweets.

Pro-Israel activists attack my newspaper for something I wrote. Explains a lot about their understanding of free media & freedom of speech.

Ronel raised the issue again with a tweet Tuesday morning, attacking the conflating of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, while accusing Israel of whitewashing Zionist anti-Semites.

Conflating antiSemitism w antiZionism only hurts the fight against antiSemitism. Also true for Israel’s whitewashing of Zionist anti-Semites.

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Haaretz editor declares war on Zionism – Arutz Sheva

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July 18, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

Is Labor about to abandon Israel? – Red Flag

A resolution expected to pass at the NSW Labor state conference in late July, urging the next Labor government to recognise Palestine has been touted as a dramatic shift in Labor policy by the pro-Israel Murdoch press. Labor will formally abandon almost 40 years of explicit ideological support for Israel, according to the Australians national political editor Simon Benson.

Last month, the Tasmanian ALP state conference called on the next federal ALP government to immediately recognise the state of Palestine and Labors Queensland conference, also in late July, is expected to pass a similarly worded resolution. These resolutions follow public calls by former Labor prime ministers Bob Hawke and Kevin Rudd and former foreign ministers Gareth Evans and Bob Carr for diplomatic recognition of a Palestinian state.

All of these Labor stalwarts were die-hard Israel supporters during the heyday of their parliamentary careers. Hawke and Carr established Labor Friends of Israel back in 1977. Hawke remained steadfastly defensive of Israel even while the apartheid state brutally suppressed a popular uprising against its illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the 1980s (the first Intifada). During the 2007 federal election campaign, Kevin Rudd claimed he had Israel in his DNA. Two years later, his deputy Julia Gillard defended Israels bombardment of the defenceless and blockaded civilian population of Gaza, claiming Israel had a right to defend itself.

What is behind this apparent conversion? Is Labor now dumping decades of support for apartheid Israel in favour of an independent and viable Palestinian state?

The Palestinian Authority (PA) and its predecessor, the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), have conducted a long campaign to secure diplomatic recognition from the United Nations and its member states. Currently, 137 nations recognise Palestine, including eight EU members. The EU adopted a position of support for recognition of Palestinian statehood in 2014.

The EU and its members have given the PA more than 10 billion in aid since it was established in 1994 following the signing of the Oslo Accords between Israel and the PLO. US aid to Palestinians has averaged $400m a year over the last decade. However, such aid not only relieves Israel the occupying power of its obligations. It also serves to reinforce the occupation through the policy of security coordination.

Under the Oslo Accords, the PA is obliged to share information with Israel about armed resistance to the occupation. This policy has been deemed sacred by the PAs chief Mahmoud Abbas, who claims the title of Palestinian president 13 years after being elected to a four-year term. The Abbas-led PA spends US$1 billion annually on security. PA security officers, who make up half of PA civil servants, are increasingly despised by Palestinians for their role in detaining anti-occupation activists and passing on information to Israeli occupation forces.

It is very clear we have the Palestinian security services collaborating with the Shabak the internal Israeli security service, Shawan Jabarin, head of the Ramallah-based Al-Haq human rights organisation, told Al Jazeera last March.

This type of coordination does not provide security to the Palestinians; rather, it is used against them. It is lethal, dangerous, and should be terminated, he said.

Today the PA is a vital pillar in maintaining the status quo in occupied Palestine. Its call for statehood amounts to little more than the authority of a municipal government, while Israel continues to expropriate Palestinian land for settlements, routinely bombs Gaza, and controls the occupied Palestinian territories land borders, water supplies, seas and airspace.

Like the UN Security Council condemnation of illegal Israel settlement building in the West Bank, Palestinian statehood serves a largely symbolic purpose. The mantra of a two-state solution in which two nations Israel and Palestine live behind safe and secure borders remains the official policy of both the ALP and the Liberals, as well as the governments of Israels closest allies, the US, Canada, Britain and France. Yet to most Palestinians, it remains a pipe dream. It also fails to address the needs of Palestinians living inside Israel under conditions of apartheid, as well as millions of Palestinian refugees who are denied the right to return to their homeland.

The need to be seen to be doing something to limit the worst excesses of Israeli barbarism is no doubt influencing a growing number of Labor politicians, especially given the intransigence of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take any meaningful steps to allow Palestinians to govern themselves.

The gulf between bipartisan support for Israel and Australian public opinion has never been so large. A Roy Morgan poll conducted last March found that 61 percent of Australians condemn illegal Israeli settlement building, 73 percent favour diplomatic recognition of Palestine by the Australian government and 55 percent consider the call for a boycott of companies who profit from the Israeli occupation as reasonable.

A shift in Labor policy towards recognition of Palestine is a pragmatic step. It would place an incoming Labor government more in sync with a growing number of Western governments that are prepared to criticise Israel while continuing to support a two-state solution.

However, it falls well short of abandoning support for Israel. If Labor wants to offer tangible support for Palestinian liberation it should back the Palestinians decade-long call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions directed at Israel to force the apartheid state to end its occupation and discrimination against Palestinians once and for all.

Nick Everett is the co-convenor of Friends of Palestine WA

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Is Labor about to abandon Israel? – Red Flag

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Monday July 17, 2017 – Israel Hayom


Israel Hayom
Monday July 17, 2017
Israel Hayom
In the video, which had been viewed by over 50,000 Facebook users as of Sunday, the aging rocker was asked what he would say to South Africans who claim that describing Israel as an apartheid state is insulting to their experience. Anyone who claims
Roger Waters compares Israel to Nazi Germany in Facebook Q&AThe Jerusalem Post
Wish You Weren't HereThe Jewish Press – JewishPress.com
Waters muddied by Miami concert protestWinnipeg Free Press

all 17 news articles »

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Monday July 17, 2017 – Israel Hayom

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Hebrew University professor: Every ‘settler’ is a terrorist – Arutz Sheva

Professor Amiram Goldblum

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A professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem has declared that all Jews living in Judea and Samaria are terrorists, and accused Israel of being an apartheid state.

Amiram Goldblum, a researcher and lecturer in the universitys medicinal chemistry department, blasted Jews living in Judea and Samaria, writing in a Facebook post Friday that by the very fact of their residence in the heart of the historic Jewish homeland, any Israeli living beyond the pre-1967 border is a terrorist.

By definition, every settler is a terrorist, wrote Goldblum.

The professor also took aim at a former Yesha (Judea and Samaria) Council leader, Shlomo Filber, who previously headed the Communications Ministry, smearing him as a terrorist, a liar, and a scoundrel.

As someone who was a settler and Director-General of the Yesha Council, he was responsible for crimes against humanity, [and is linked] directly to crimes against the Palestinian people and should thus be put on trial by the international court at The Hague.

Israel needs to start to cleanse itself from filthy creatures like Shlomo Filber and his ilk.

Filber has been accused of leaking documents to the Bezeq telecommunications company during his tenure as Communications Ministry Director-General.

Last weeks online rant was not Goldblums first foray into political controversy. Earlier this year, Goldblum slammed anti-assimilation activist Benzi Gopstein as a neo-Nazi.

Goldblums Facebook page includes a map of the State of Israel, with the words Apartheid West Bank under Israeli control.

In 2015, Goldblum compared the creator of a viral video criticizing far-left NGOs with Julius Streicher, founder and publisher of the rabidly anti-Semitic, pro-Nazi Der Sturmer.

“But there appears to be a connection nonetheless, not genetic, of course,” wrote Goldblum. “They are both particularly rotten apples on the human tree, both are despicable inciters, both serve fascist organizations and individuals. There is a small difference: Streicher did it out of ideology; Klughaft combines ideology and a prostitute’s fee.

“I do not know if Klughaft traveled in order to study Streicher’s methods in the vilest newspaper ever published in human history. But there is no doubt that he is advancing in the direction. Maybe Streicher appears in Klughaft’s dreams?”

In the past, Goldblum served as a spokesman for the radical left-wing Peace Now organization, is a board member of the New Israel Fund. In 2013, Goldblum ran for the Knesset with the far-left Meretz party.

Last month, another Hebrew University professor drew criticism after he likened Israel to Nazi Germany.

Ofer Cassif, a member of the Hebrew Universitys political science department, warned that Israel is on a slippery slope to fascism.

“There’s not really much to argue about here,” added Cassif. I’m sure that if we were sitting… in the University of Freiburg in 1933, and there would be a professor who would dare to speak like I did, there, too, some of the students would say ‘Well, that’s your opinion’. Guys, no, its not. Just because something is hard for us to hear doesn’t make it opinion.”

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Hebrew University professor: Every ‘settler’ is a terrorist – Arutz Sheva

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A Good Story About Israelis and Palestinians – New York Times

Another transformative feature of the 1995 agreement was to alter the balance of power by giving Israel and the Palestinians veto power over each others water projects in the West Bank. That encouraged cooperation and led to a steady improvement of water infrastructure for both Israeli settlements and every Palestinian city and town.

But beginning in 2008, the Palestinian leadership decided to turn water into a political tool to bludgeon Israel. The claim, which gained currency among some in the human-rights community and the news media, was that Israel was starving Palestinians of water to oppress them and to break their economy. Never mind that Israel was scrupulously adhering to the Oslo Agreement and providing more than half of all the water used by Palestinians in the West Bank. The Palestinian Authority and its supporters began to speak of Israels water apartheid and characterized attempts to point out the absurdity of that claim as bluewashing an attempt to whitewash Palestinian grievances.

To keep this manufactured water crisis from being exposed as a sham, it was necessary to have Palestinian water projects grind to a halt. Palestinian academics, hydrologists, environmentalists and others were strongly discouraged from doing water research or working on water projects with Israelis. Funding from N.G.O.s that had to pass through the Palestinian Authority dried up for joint academic projects in water. Palestinian water engineers were told they would not get work from the Palestinian Authority unless they broke ties with their Israeli counterparts. After warm working relations from 1995 to 2008, the Palestinian Water Authority refused to meet with its Israeli counterpart in the Oslo-created and hitherto high-functioning Joint Water Commission. All of this was under the banner of anti-normalization, the idea that working with Israelis to improve Palestinians water needs was tantamount to acceptance of maximalist Israeli claims on Palestinian territory.

Politics in service of the governed had given way to politics in service of ideology and obstruction.

The self-sabotage of the anti-normalization campaign was felt nowhere more strongly than in water. Israels settlements suffered from a lack of new water projects, but the Palestinians suffered more.

Quietly, the Palestinian business community made clear that the value of blackening Israels name in some quarters was not worth the price being paid in quality of life and lost business opportunities.

A few months ago, the Joint Water Commission began meeting again, and long-frozen projects are beginning to restart. The Palestinians participation in the Red Sea-Dead Sea Project, and the public appearance of senior Israeli and Palestinian water officials with Mr. Greenblatt, is a further confirmation that Israels delegitimization at least over water has failed. As the Palestinian Authority turns toward a more pragmatic approach in addressing water, but also the environmental and energy needs of their people, it will lead to an economically more secure Palestinian political entity and perhaps even to better outcomes in the larger political negotiations.

Israelis and Palestinians may wish they were not each others neighbors. But it may be their shared geography that leads the way toward a more profound reconciliation.

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A Good Story About Israelis and Palestinians – New York Times

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Radiohead hit back at Ken Loach’s criticism of Israel gig – Sky News

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has hit back at Ken Loach over criticism of the band’s upcoming gig in Israel.

In an article in The Independent published on Tuesday, the I, Daniel Blake director wrote: “Their stubborn refusal to engage with the many critics of their ill-advised concert in Tel Aviv suggests to me that they only want to hear one side – the one that supports apartheid.”

He continued: “Whether in apartheid South Africa in the past or apartheid Israel in the present, when an oppressed community asks renowned international artists not to lend their names to their oppressors’ attempts to whitewash their human rights violations, it is our moral obligation to heed their appeals.”

The director has repeatedly called on the group to cancel the show on July 19, which will be the band’s final date for the tour of their album A Moon Shaped Pool.

Yorke has now replied to the accusations on Twitter, saying that “playing in a country isn’t the same as endorsing its government”.

He said: “We’ve played in Israel for over 20 years through a succession of governments, some more liberal than others. As we have in America.”

The musician explained that the band “don’t endorse Netanyahu any more than Trump”, but still play in the US.

“Music, art and academia is about crossing borders not building them, about open minds not closed ones, about shared humanity, dialogue and freedom of expression,” he added.

“I hope that makes it clear Ken.”

Yorke has previously responded to an open letter signed by other artists, including Loach and Roger Waters, which called on Radiohead to cancel the show.

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Radiohead hit back at Ken Loach’s criticism of Israel gig – Sky News

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12 Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Wins in 2017 as Movement Turns 12 – teleSUR English

On BDSs 12th anniversary, here are 12 achievements made just in 2017.

Twelve years ago, one of the most prominent calls for non-violent resistance to Israels military occupation was launched. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, BDS, movement has since made soundwaves, securing hundreds of wins over the years against Israeli oppression against Palestinians.

RELATED: Tel Aviv’s ‘Pinkwashing’ LGBT Film Fest Sees Nearly Half of International Filmmakers Pull out in BDS win

On July 9, 2005, Palestinian civil society made the Call for BDS, which demands an end to Israels military occupation and the dismantling of its illegal wall; the end of the countrys institutionalized and legalized system of racial discrimination which meets the U.N. definition of apartheid; as well as the call for the right of Palestinian refugees to return.

The BDS movement was inspired by both the South African anti-apartheid movement and the U.S. Civil Rights movement. Since its launch more than a decade ago, it has succeeded in a number of ways in calling for the academic, cultural, economic boycott of Israel.

On the 12th anniversary of its founding, the movement published a list of achievements that have taken place just in 2017.

1. UN Recognizes Israeli Apartheid

A March report by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia acknowledged that Israel has imposed a system of apartheid on Palestinians. They also pressed that BDS measures are vital to ending the apartheid regime.

2. US Church Groups Divest from Israeli Occupation

The Mennonite Church USA overwhelmingly voted to divest from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation. In recent years, the Presbyterian Church USA, the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church have adopted similar policies.

3. European Right to Boycott Wins

The Spanish Parliament affirmed that Palestine solidarity activists calling for BDS are protected under freedom of speech and association.

Meanwhile, the U.K. government lost to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in a ruling that would have made it unlawful for local authorities to divest from Israeli.

The Swiss Parliament also blocked Israel lobby efforts that sought to criminalize support for BDS.

4. Norway Labor Activists Implement Full Boycott of Israel

Norways largest trade union federation, that represents nearly 1 million workers, endorsed a full boycott of Israel, citing Palestinian rights under international law.

5. G4S, Worlds Largest Private Security Company, Loses Steam

The Lebanese doctors syndicate dropped the company following a campaign by boycott activists in Lebanon that are concerned with G4Ss ongoing Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights.

A research institute in Ecuador, the International Center for Advanced Studies in Communications for Latin America, CIESPAL, also dropped its contract with the company marking the first BDS win in the country as well as a California transportation board.

Over the years, the company has lost a number of contracts in Jordan, Colombia, Finland, U.K., South Africa, the European Parliament, among other countries and institutions.

6. The Netherlands Reject Israeli Transportation Contract

Israels largest public transportation operator lost a 190 million-euro contract that would have allowed it to run public transportation in the Netherlands.

7. Cities in Spain Declare Themselves Israeli ‘Apartheid Free Zones’

Barcelonas city council adopted guidelines that exclude companies who are involved in Israels military occupation. More than 50 city councils across the country have also declared themselves Israeli Apartheid Free Zones, inspired in part by a similar campaign that was waged during the struggle against apartheid in South Africa in the 1980s.

8. Christian Palestinian Groups Call for BDS

A Palestinian coalition of Christian organizations called on the World Council of Churches in June to support the BDS movement for Palestinian human rights.

RELATED: BDS and the Eternal Holocaust

9. Boycotts against ‘Pinkwashing’

The Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival saw artists from around the world boycott the event. In fact, nearly half of its international guests have pulled out from participating.

Even the events director, Yair Hochner, admitted the boycott was successful, telling the Jerusalem Post, I think they just did a very good job this year, the pinkwashing people, as they call themselves.

10. Universities and Student Groups Pick Up Call for BDS

Two Chilean universities cancelled events that had been sponsored by the Israeli embassy, while students governments in several U.S. states passed various BDS measures.

11. NFL Players Boycott Paid Israeli Trip

Six out of 11 National Football League players in the United States turned down an all-expenses paid trip that was organized to improve Israels declining reputation.

12. BDS Grows among Palestinian Citizens of Israel

Coordinating with BDS partners in South Korea, the BDS Committee of Palestinian Citizens of Israel launched a campaign to boycott and divest from Hyundai Heavy Industries, demanding it end its complicity in Israels violations of Palestinian human rights, particularly in Jerusalem and the Naqab.

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12 Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Wins in 2017 as Movement Turns 12 – teleSUR English

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Top playwrights tell Lincoln Center not to help Israel’s crimes – The Electronic Intifada (blog)

Nora Barrows-Friedman Activism and BDS Beat 7 July 2017

Israels Habima theater, which has played an active part in government propaganda, is seen in the background as activists protest Israels attack on Gaza in July 2014.

More than 80 theater artists and 12 Palestine-based theater and performance groups are demanding that New Yorks Lincoln Center cancel upcoming Israeli government-sponsored performances by two Israeli theater companies.

The letter signed by renowned playwrights, actors, directors, writers and theater scholars was organized by Palestine solidarity group Adalah-NY.

The signers include award-winning playwrights Wallace Shawn, Tracy Letts and Naomi Wallace.

Lincoln Center is advertising the performances of the play To the End of the Land, based on a novel by Israeli author David Grossman, as presented with support of Israels Office of Cultural Affairs in North America.

The theater artists write that it deeply troubling that the iconic performance institution is helping the Israeli government to implement its systematic Brand Israel strategy of employing arts and culture to divert attention from the states decades of violent colonization, brutal military occupation and denial of basic rights to the Palestinian people.

Brand Israel is the Israeli government scheme to market a liberal image of the country in order to advance commerce and tourism, as well as to improve its international standing.

Lincoln Center president Debora Spar rebuffed the call, telling The New York Times, While we acknowledge the feelings of those who would prefer that we not allow that performance to continue, we will not be canceling it.

In a response to the artists themselves, Spar asserted that as a cultural and education organization, however, we do not make political statements and hope that the art we present can stand on its own.

The artists maintain that Lincoln Center cannot claim that hosting Israels Habima and Cameri theater companies with support from the Israeli government is apolitical patronage of the arts, when these Israeli institutions are directly involved in supporting the repression of the Palestinian people, including Palestinian theater artists.

We are not raising concerns about any artists content, or their nationality, but rather about institutions structural complicity with a repressive state agenda that repeatedly violates international law, the artists add.

The two Israeli theaters have repeatedly held performances inside Israeli settlement colonies in the occupied West Bank, the letter points out, despite opposition from artists and writers, including David Grossman.

I think the phrase cultural boycott scares people, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Annie Baker, a signatory to the letter, said.

But Baker stressed that its not a boycott against individual artists or nationalities and noted that the boycott has historical precedent as an extremely effective way to call attention to apartheid in South Africa. She added that Israel is also an apartheid state.

A second Israeli play set to be performed at the same Lincoln Center festival is being held without Israeli government sponsorship, Adalah-NY notes. As that performance does not violate the guidelines Palestinians have set out for the boycott, it was not raised as a concern in the letter.

Israels consul-general in New York, former settlement leader Dani Dayan, feigned nonchalance about the artists call, claiming it was insignificant compared with Israel forging closer ties with Indias right-wing Hindu nationalist government.

In reality, Israel expends enormous sums to try to fight the BDS movement, an effort its propagandists concede is failing.

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Top playwrights tell Lincoln Center not to help Israel’s crimes – The Electronic Intifada (blog)

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Haaretz Editor: I’m Anti-Zionist and Yes, Israel=Apartheid – Honestreporting.com

Yes, you read that headline right. In a series of Tweets, Asaf Ronel,world news editor of Haaretz, declared that he is an anti-Zionist. No, hes not some off-the-wall opinion writer thrown into the newspaper for shock value: hes the worldnews editor. Ronelfollowed up his initial statement (above) by calling apartheid in Israel reality, and clarifying that such apartheid began in 1948. In case you dont have Twitter, or in the event this conversation gets subsequently deleted, you can follow some of theconversation in these screen shots: The anti-Israel activist agenda at Haaretz is not limited to its international news editor: HonestReporting previously addressedthe statements of the newspapers owner, Amos Schocken that Haaretz is striving not for objective and accurate reporting but for promoting a political and campaigning agenda. News breaks fast. GetHonestReporting alerts by e-mail and never miss a thing. Free Sign Up Zionism is commonly understood to be the support for Jewish self-determination in the land of Israel. Which begs the question, if Ronel opposes Zionism, is there any way to understand his statementsother than that he opposes the existence of Israel, or at least the existence of a Jewish homeland in Israel? And if Ronel represents the editorial policy of Haaretz, is there any possible conclusion other than that it is Haaretz policy to oppose Israels very existence? The person debating against Ronel in the above Twitter conversation is Dr. Emmanuel Navon,an International Relations expert who teaches at Tel-Aviv University and at the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Centerand is a Senior Fellow at the Kohelet Policy Forum. Navon weighed in on the topic saying: What is the difference between blaming the Jewish people and blaming the Jewish state for the worlds ills? and: Denying sovereignty only to the Jews is discriminatory. So is saying that only Jewish sovereignty intrinsically immoral. Mainstream Israeli journalist Haviv Rettig Gur (Senior Analyst for Times of Israel) also weighed in via Twitter: Gur adds on his Facebook page in relevant part: Something dishonest is happening at Haaretz, and its a damn shame. We need a progressive voice in this country that doesnt let itself turn into a fawning parrot for the latest anti-Zionist fashion abroad, but speaks to us Israelis, to our experience and concerns, and tries to convince us its vision is better. Thats not Haaretz, at least not anymore. Asaf even took a crack at HonestReporting in the following tweet: In light of Ronels reply invoking the concept of free speech, we simply have to ask: if the best you can say about your writing is that it isnt outright illegal, isnt that setting the bar a little low for a professional journalist? Put another way, just because youhavethe right to say something, that doesnt mean youare right to say it. Of course, Ronel is not even a journalist at all: by his own admission, he is really an agenda driven activist. And while free speech means that disguising activism as journalism cannot get you thrown in jail, it should certainly get you thrown out of a newspaper office. Unlikecommentary or opinion writing, a professionalnews editor must embody the values of openness and impartiality. This is essential in orderto convey accurate information to news readers. Can an anti-Zionist editor who believes Israel is an apartheid state really be capable of reporting on Israel in a manner that is accurate and impartial? Unfortunately, foreign news outlets often quote Haaretz, misrepresenting it asa mainstream Israeli voice, even though Haaretzscirculation isonly 3.9% of Israeli news readers. This gives news readers around the world an inaccurate understanding of Israel and of Israelis. Haaretzs ownership and international news editors not only fail to embody the values of professional journalism, but are publicly statingthat they do not even wish to. There is nothing wrong with having a personal agenda, but disguising an agenda as journalism, is misleading and harmful to news audiences, as wellto the news profession itself. Simon Plosker, HRs Managing Editor, comments: While a tenacious and free Israeli media are a vital part of Israels democracy, Haaretz, and particularly its English-language site, plays a significant role in the demonization of Israel. Many foreign journalists find the most negative stories to publish straight from Haaretz. Its time that they acknowledge that Haaretz is wholly unrepresentative of Israel and Israeli society. This appalling rant by Asaf Ronel on Twitter is further confirmation of Haaretzs openly hateful agenda that permeates from editorial all the way to its owner Amos Schocken. In short, if Haaretz truly cannot bring itself to start behaving like an actual newspaper, then it should stop calling itself one. Perhaps the Haaretz Anti-Zionism Advocacy Organization, would be a good name. At least it would be honest.

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July 19, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

Haaretz editor declares war on Zionism – Arutz Sheva

An editor of the left-wing Haaretz daily chastised French President Emmanuel Macron for calling anti-Zionism a form of anti-Semitism, praising anti-Zionism as resistance against racism and apartheid. Asaf Ronel, the world news editor for Haaretz, criticized Macrons recent statement that anti-Zionism was a reinvention of anti-Semitism. We will never surrender to the messages of hate; we will not surrender to anti-Zionism because it is a reinvention of anti-Semitism, said Macron on Sunday. Responding to Macrons comments via Twitter, Ronel rejected the comparison, and denounced Zionism as being inherently racist. Ronel also praised anti-Zionism for resisting the evils of modern Zionism. Dear president Emmanuel Macron, you are wrong anti-Zionism is resisting the racism inherent in todays Zionism. Its not antisemitism. In a back and forth with French-Israeli foreign policy expert Emmanuel Navon, Ronel later accused Zionism of apartheid. What is the difference btwn blaming Zionism 4 oppression&apartheid & believing the protocols of the elders of Zion, Ronel asked rhetorically, later saying Zionist apartheid was reality. But unlike many radical left-wing critics of Israel, Ronel did not cite Israels 1967 liberation of Judea and Samaria as an example of the alleged apartheid, instead denouncing the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948. & the apartheid refers to 48, not 67. On Monday, Ronel took to Twitter again to complain about criticism of his comments after Honest Reporting documented his aforementioned tweets. Pro-Israel activists attack my newspaper for something I wrote. Explains a lot about their understanding of free media & freedom of speech. Ronel raised the issue again with a tweet Tuesday morning, attacking the conflating of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, while accusing Israel of whitewashing Zionist anti-Semites. Conflating antiSemitism w antiZionism only hurts the fight against antiSemitism. Also true for Israel’s whitewashing of Zionist anti-Semites.

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July 18, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

Is Labor about to abandon Israel? – Red Flag

A resolution expected to pass at the NSW Labor state conference in late July, urging the next Labor government to recognise Palestine has been touted as a dramatic shift in Labor policy by the pro-Israel Murdoch press. Labor will formally abandon almost 40 years of explicit ideological support for Israel, according to the Australians national political editor Simon Benson. Last month, the Tasmanian ALP state conference called on the next federal ALP government to immediately recognise the state of Palestine and Labors Queensland conference, also in late July, is expected to pass a similarly worded resolution. These resolutions follow public calls by former Labor prime ministers Bob Hawke and Kevin Rudd and former foreign ministers Gareth Evans and Bob Carr for diplomatic recognition of a Palestinian state. All of these Labor stalwarts were die-hard Israel supporters during the heyday of their parliamentary careers. Hawke and Carr established Labor Friends of Israel back in 1977. Hawke remained steadfastly defensive of Israel even while the apartheid state brutally suppressed a popular uprising against its illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the 1980s (the first Intifada). During the 2007 federal election campaign, Kevin Rudd claimed he had Israel in his DNA. Two years later, his deputy Julia Gillard defended Israels bombardment of the defenceless and blockaded civilian population of Gaza, claiming Israel had a right to defend itself. What is behind this apparent conversion? Is Labor now dumping decades of support for apartheid Israel in favour of an independent and viable Palestinian state? The Palestinian Authority (PA) and its predecessor, the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), have conducted a long campaign to secure diplomatic recognition from the United Nations and its member states. Currently, 137 nations recognise Palestine, including eight EU members. The EU adopted a position of support for recognition of Palestinian statehood in 2014. The EU and its members have given the PA more than 10 billion in aid since it was established in 1994 following the signing of the Oslo Accords between Israel and the PLO. US aid to Palestinians has averaged $400m a year over the last decade. However, such aid not only relieves Israel the occupying power of its obligations. It also serves to reinforce the occupation through the policy of security coordination. Under the Oslo Accords, the PA is obliged to share information with Israel about armed resistance to the occupation. This policy has been deemed sacred by the PAs chief Mahmoud Abbas, who claims the title of Palestinian president 13 years after being elected to a four-year term. The Abbas-led PA spends US$1 billion annually on security. PA security officers, who make up half of PA civil servants, are increasingly despised by Palestinians for their role in detaining anti-occupation activists and passing on information to Israeli occupation forces. It is very clear we have the Palestinian security services collaborating with the Shabak the internal Israeli security service, Shawan Jabarin, head of the Ramallah-based Al-Haq human rights organisation, told Al Jazeera last March. This type of coordination does not provide security to the Palestinians; rather, it is used against them. It is lethal, dangerous, and should be terminated, he said. Today the PA is a vital pillar in maintaining the status quo in occupied Palestine. Its call for statehood amounts to little more than the authority of a municipal government, while Israel continues to expropriate Palestinian land for settlements, routinely bombs Gaza, and controls the occupied Palestinian territories land borders, water supplies, seas and airspace. Like the UN Security Council condemnation of illegal Israel settlement building in the West Bank, Palestinian statehood serves a largely symbolic purpose. The mantra of a two-state solution in which two nations Israel and Palestine live behind safe and secure borders remains the official policy of both the ALP and the Liberals, as well as the governments of Israels closest allies, the US, Canada, Britain and France. Yet to most Palestinians, it remains a pipe dream. It also fails to address the needs of Palestinians living inside Israel under conditions of apartheid, as well as millions of Palestinian refugees who are denied the right to return to their homeland. The need to be seen to be doing something to limit the worst excesses of Israeli barbarism is no doubt influencing a growing number of Labor politicians, especially given the intransigence of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take any meaningful steps to allow Palestinians to govern themselves. The gulf between bipartisan support for Israel and Australian public opinion has never been so large. A Roy Morgan poll conducted last March found that 61 percent of Australians condemn illegal Israeli settlement building, 73 percent favour diplomatic recognition of Palestine by the Australian government and 55 percent consider the call for a boycott of companies who profit from the Israeli occupation as reasonable. A shift in Labor policy towards recognition of Palestine is a pragmatic step. It would place an incoming Labor government more in sync with a growing number of Western governments that are prepared to criticise Israel while continuing to support a two-state solution. However, it falls well short of abandoning support for Israel. If Labor wants to offer tangible support for Palestinian liberation it should back the Palestinians decade-long call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions directed at Israel to force the apartheid state to end its occupation and discrimination against Palestinians once and for all. Nick Everett is the co-convenor of Friends of Palestine WA

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July 18, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

Monday July 17, 2017 – Israel Hayom

Israel Hayom Monday July 17, 2017 Israel Hayom In the video, which had been viewed by over 50,000 Facebook users as of Sunday, the aging rocker was asked what he would say to South Africans who claim that describing Israel as an apartheid state is insulting to their experience. Anyone who claims … Roger Waters compares Israel to Nazi Germany in Facebook Q&A The Jerusalem Post Wish You Weren't Here The Jewish Press – JewishPress.com Waters muddied by Miami concert protest Winnipeg Free Press all 17 news articles »

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July 17, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

Hebrew University professor: Every ‘settler’ is a terrorist – Arutz Sheva

Professor Amiram Goldblum Self A professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem has declared that all Jews living in Judea and Samaria are terrorists, and accused Israel of being an apartheid state. Amiram Goldblum, a researcher and lecturer in the universitys medicinal chemistry department, blasted Jews living in Judea and Samaria, writing in a Facebook post Friday that by the very fact of their residence in the heart of the historic Jewish homeland, any Israeli living beyond the pre-1967 border is a terrorist. By definition, every settler is a terrorist, wrote Goldblum. The professor also took aim at a former Yesha (Judea and Samaria) Council leader, Shlomo Filber, who previously headed the Communications Ministry, smearing him as a terrorist, a liar, and a scoundrel. As someone who was a settler and Director-General of the Yesha Council, he was responsible for crimes against humanity, [and is linked] directly to crimes against the Palestinian people and should thus be put on trial by the international court at The Hague. Israel needs to start to cleanse itself from filthy creatures like Shlomo Filber and his ilk. Filber has been accused of leaking documents to the Bezeq telecommunications company during his tenure as Communications Ministry Director-General. Last weeks online rant was not Goldblums first foray into political controversy. Earlier this year, Goldblum slammed anti-assimilation activist Benzi Gopstein as a neo-Nazi. Goldblums Facebook page includes a map of the State of Israel, with the words Apartheid West Bank under Israeli control. In 2015, Goldblum compared the creator of a viral video criticizing far-left NGOs with Julius Streicher, founder and publisher of the rabidly anti-Semitic, pro-Nazi Der Sturmer. “But there appears to be a connection nonetheless, not genetic, of course,” wrote Goldblum. “They are both particularly rotten apples on the human tree, both are despicable inciters, both serve fascist organizations and individuals. There is a small difference: Streicher did it out of ideology; Klughaft combines ideology and a prostitute’s fee. “I do not know if Klughaft traveled in order to study Streicher’s methods in the vilest newspaper ever published in human history. But there is no doubt that he is advancing in the direction. Maybe Streicher appears in Klughaft’s dreams?” In the past, Goldblum served as a spokesman for the radical left-wing Peace Now organization, is a board member of the New Israel Fund. In 2013, Goldblum ran for the Knesset with the far-left Meretz party. Last month, another Hebrew University professor drew criticism after he likened Israel to Nazi Germany. Ofer Cassif, a member of the Hebrew Universitys political science department, warned that Israel is on a slippery slope to fascism. “There’s not really much to argue about here,” added Cassif. I’m sure that if we were sitting… in the University of Freiburg in 1933, and there would be a professor who would dare to speak like I did, there, too, some of the students would say ‘Well, that’s your opinion’. Guys, no, its not. Just because something is hard for us to hear doesn’t make it opinion.”

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July 17, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

A Good Story About Israelis and Palestinians – New York Times

Another transformative feature of the 1995 agreement was to alter the balance of power by giving Israel and the Palestinians veto power over each others water projects in the West Bank. That encouraged cooperation and led to a steady improvement of water infrastructure for both Israeli settlements and every Palestinian city and town. But beginning in 2008, the Palestinian leadership decided to turn water into a political tool to bludgeon Israel. The claim, which gained currency among some in the human-rights community and the news media, was that Israel was starving Palestinians of water to oppress them and to break their economy. Never mind that Israel was scrupulously adhering to the Oslo Agreement and providing more than half of all the water used by Palestinians in the West Bank. The Palestinian Authority and its supporters began to speak of Israels water apartheid and characterized attempts to point out the absurdity of that claim as bluewashing an attempt to whitewash Palestinian grievances. To keep this manufactured water crisis from being exposed as a sham, it was necessary to have Palestinian water projects grind to a halt. Palestinian academics, hydrologists, environmentalists and others were strongly discouraged from doing water research or working on water projects with Israelis. Funding from N.G.O.s that had to pass through the Palestinian Authority dried up for joint academic projects in water. Palestinian water engineers were told they would not get work from the Palestinian Authority unless they broke ties with their Israeli counterparts. After warm working relations from 1995 to 2008, the Palestinian Water Authority refused to meet with its Israeli counterpart in the Oslo-created and hitherto high-functioning Joint Water Commission. All of this was under the banner of anti-normalization, the idea that working with Israelis to improve Palestinians water needs was tantamount to acceptance of maximalist Israeli claims on Palestinian territory. Politics in service of the governed had given way to politics in service of ideology and obstruction. The self-sabotage of the anti-normalization campaign was felt nowhere more strongly than in water. Israels settlements suffered from a lack of new water projects, but the Palestinians suffered more. Quietly, the Palestinian business community made clear that the value of blackening Israels name in some quarters was not worth the price being paid in quality of life and lost business opportunities. A few months ago, the Joint Water Commission began meeting again, and long-frozen projects are beginning to restart. The Palestinians participation in the Red Sea-Dead Sea Project, and the public appearance of senior Israeli and Palestinian water officials with Mr. Greenblatt, is a further confirmation that Israels delegitimization at least over water has failed. As the Palestinian Authority turns toward a more pragmatic approach in addressing water, but also the environmental and energy needs of their people, it will lead to an economically more secure Palestinian political entity and perhaps even to better outcomes in the larger political negotiations. Israelis and Palestinians may wish they were not each others neighbors. But it may be their shared geography that leads the way toward a more profound reconciliation.

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July 14, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

Radiohead hit back at Ken Loach’s criticism of Israel gig – Sky News

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has hit back at Ken Loach over criticism of the band’s upcoming gig in Israel. In an article in The Independent published on Tuesday, the I, Daniel Blake director wrote: “Their stubborn refusal to engage with the many critics of their ill-advised concert in Tel Aviv suggests to me that they only want to hear one side – the one that supports apartheid.” He continued: “Whether in apartheid South Africa in the past or apartheid Israel in the present, when an oppressed community asks renowned international artists not to lend their names to their oppressors’ attempts to whitewash their human rights violations, it is our moral obligation to heed their appeals.” The director has repeatedly called on the group to cancel the show on July 19, which will be the band’s final date for the tour of their album A Moon Shaped Pool. Yorke has now replied to the accusations on Twitter, saying that “playing in a country isn’t the same as endorsing its government”. He said: “We’ve played in Israel for over 20 years through a succession of governments, some more liberal than others. As we have in America.” The musician explained that the band “don’t endorse Netanyahu any more than Trump”, but still play in the US. “Music, art and academia is about crossing borders not building them, about open minds not closed ones, about shared humanity, dialogue and freedom of expression,” he added. “I hope that makes it clear Ken.” Yorke has previously responded to an open letter signed by other artists, including Loach and Roger Waters, which called on Radiohead to cancel the show.

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July 12, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

12 Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Wins in 2017 as Movement Turns 12 – teleSUR English

On BDSs 12th anniversary, here are 12 achievements made just in 2017. Twelve years ago, one of the most prominent calls for non-violent resistance to Israels military occupation was launched. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, BDS, movement has since made soundwaves, securing hundreds of wins over the years against Israeli oppression against Palestinians. RELATED: Tel Aviv’s ‘Pinkwashing’ LGBT Film Fest Sees Nearly Half of International Filmmakers Pull out in BDS win On July 9, 2005, Palestinian civil society made the Call for BDS, which demands an end to Israels military occupation and the dismantling of its illegal wall; the end of the countrys institutionalized and legalized system of racial discrimination which meets the U.N. definition of apartheid; as well as the call for the right of Palestinian refugees to return. The BDS movement was inspired by both the South African anti-apartheid movement and the U.S. Civil Rights movement. Since its launch more than a decade ago, it has succeeded in a number of ways in calling for the academic, cultural, economic boycott of Israel. On the 12th anniversary of its founding, the movement published a list of achievements that have taken place just in 2017. 1. UN Recognizes Israeli Apartheid A March report by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia acknowledged that Israel has imposed a system of apartheid on Palestinians. They also pressed that BDS measures are vital to ending the apartheid regime. 2. US Church Groups Divest from Israeli Occupation The Mennonite Church USA overwhelmingly voted to divest from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation. In recent years, the Presbyterian Church USA, the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church have adopted similar policies. 3. European Right to Boycott Wins The Spanish Parliament affirmed that Palestine solidarity activists calling for BDS are protected under freedom of speech and association. Meanwhile, the U.K. government lost to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in a ruling that would have made it unlawful for local authorities to divest from Israeli. The Swiss Parliament also blocked Israel lobby efforts that sought to criminalize support for BDS. 4. Norway Labor Activists Implement Full Boycott of Israel Norways largest trade union federation, that represents nearly 1 million workers, endorsed a full boycott of Israel, citing Palestinian rights under international law. 5. G4S, Worlds Largest Private Security Company, Loses Steam The Lebanese doctors syndicate dropped the company following a campaign by boycott activists in Lebanon that are concerned with G4Ss ongoing Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights. A research institute in Ecuador, the International Center for Advanced Studies in Communications for Latin America, CIESPAL, also dropped its contract with the company marking the first BDS win in the country as well as a California transportation board. Over the years, the company has lost a number of contracts in Jordan, Colombia, Finland, U.K., South Africa, the European Parliament, among other countries and institutions. 6. The Netherlands Reject Israeli Transportation Contract Israels largest public transportation operator lost a 190 million-euro contract that would have allowed it to run public transportation in the Netherlands. 7. Cities in Spain Declare Themselves Israeli ‘Apartheid Free Zones’ Barcelonas city council adopted guidelines that exclude companies who are involved in Israels military occupation. More than 50 city councils across the country have also declared themselves Israeli Apartheid Free Zones, inspired in part by a similar campaign that was waged during the struggle against apartheid in South Africa in the 1980s. 8. Christian Palestinian Groups Call for BDS A Palestinian coalition of Christian organizations called on the World Council of Churches in June to support the BDS movement for Palestinian human rights. RELATED: BDS and the Eternal Holocaust 9. Boycotts against ‘Pinkwashing’ The Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival saw artists from around the world boycott the event. In fact, nearly half of its international guests have pulled out from participating. Even the events director, Yair Hochner, admitted the boycott was successful, telling the Jerusalem Post, I think they just did a very good job this year, the pinkwashing people, as they call themselves. 10. Universities and Student Groups Pick Up Call for BDS Two Chilean universities cancelled events that had been sponsored by the Israeli embassy, while students governments in several U.S. states passed various BDS measures. 11. NFL Players Boycott Paid Israeli Trip Six out of 11 National Football League players in the United States turned down an all-expenses paid trip that was organized to improve Israels declining reputation. 12. BDS Grows among Palestinian Citizens of Israel Coordinating with BDS partners in South Korea, the BDS Committee of Palestinian Citizens of Israel launched a campaign to boycott and divest from Hyundai Heavy Industries, demanding it end its complicity in Israels violations of Palestinian human rights, particularly in Jerusalem and the Naqab.

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July 10, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

Top playwrights tell Lincoln Center not to help Israel’s crimes – The Electronic Intifada (blog)

Nora Barrows-Friedman Activism and BDS Beat 7 July 2017 Israels Habima theater, which has played an active part in government propaganda, is seen in the background as activists protest Israels attack on Gaza in July 2014. More than 80 theater artists and 12 Palestine-based theater and performance groups are demanding that New Yorks Lincoln Center cancel upcoming Israeli government-sponsored performances by two Israeli theater companies. The letter signed by renowned playwrights, actors, directors, writers and theater scholars was organized by Palestine solidarity group Adalah-NY. The signers include award-winning playwrights Wallace Shawn, Tracy Letts and Naomi Wallace. Lincoln Center is advertising the performances of the play To the End of the Land, based on a novel by Israeli author David Grossman, as presented with support of Israels Office of Cultural Affairs in North America. The theater artists write that it deeply troubling that the iconic performance institution is helping the Israeli government to implement its systematic Brand Israel strategy of employing arts and culture to divert attention from the states decades of violent colonization, brutal military occupation and denial of basic rights to the Palestinian people. Brand Israel is the Israeli government scheme to market a liberal image of the country in order to advance commerce and tourism, as well as to improve its international standing. Lincoln Center president Debora Spar rebuffed the call, telling The New York Times, While we acknowledge the feelings of those who would prefer that we not allow that performance to continue, we will not be canceling it. In a response to the artists themselves, Spar asserted that as a cultural and education organization, however, we do not make political statements and hope that the art we present can stand on its own. The artists maintain that Lincoln Center cannot claim that hosting Israels Habima and Cameri theater companies with support from the Israeli government is apolitical patronage of the arts, when these Israeli institutions are directly involved in supporting the repression of the Palestinian people, including Palestinian theater artists. We are not raising concerns about any artists content, or their nationality, but rather about institutions structural complicity with a repressive state agenda that repeatedly violates international law, the artists add. The two Israeli theaters have repeatedly held performances inside Israeli settlement colonies in the occupied West Bank, the letter points out, despite opposition from artists and writers, including David Grossman. I think the phrase cultural boycott scares people, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Annie Baker, a signatory to the letter, said. But Baker stressed that its not a boycott against individual artists or nationalities and noted that the boycott has historical precedent as an extremely effective way to call attention to apartheid in South Africa. She added that Israel is also an apartheid state. A second Israeli play set to be performed at the same Lincoln Center festival is being held without Israeli government sponsorship, Adalah-NY notes. As that performance does not violate the guidelines Palestinians have set out for the boycott, it was not raised as a concern in the letter. Israels consul-general in New York, former settlement leader Dani Dayan, feigned nonchalance about the artists call, claiming it was insignificant compared with Israel forging closer ties with Indias right-wing Hindu nationalist government. In reality, Israel expends enormous sums to try to fight the BDS movement, an effort its propagandists concede is failing.

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July 8, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed


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