Archive for the ‘Israel Apartheid’ Category

Portuguese photographers pledge to boycott Israeli government, cultural institutions – Ma’an News Agency (press release)

(File)

Photographers can no longer be silent about the treatment of their Palestinian colleagues living under an indefensible occupation that has lasted for over half a century. Palestinians have called for solidarity through boycotts and this pledge is our practical contribution to their struggle.

The statement noted the struggles of Palestinian photographers and journalists under the Israeli occupation, highlighted that artists have been denied visas by the Israeli military establishment, preventing them from participating in conferences and performances internationally, in addition to being detained at checkpoints, arrested, having their equipment broken, and being exposed to the same violence perpetrated by the Israeli army on all Palestinians.The BDS movement was founded in 2005 by a swath of Palestinian civil society as a peaceful movement to restore Palestinian rights in accordance with international law through strategies of boycotting Israeli products and cultural institutions, divesting from companies complicit in violations against Palestinians, and implementing state sanctions against the Israeli government.

BDS activists target companies that act in compliance with Israels illegal occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and encourage supporters to avoid buying Israeli products in order to put pressure on the Israeli government to end the half-century occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem the decade-long Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip.

As support for the movement has grown, the Israeli government has introduced anti-BDS policies, including passing a law in March banning foreigners who have openly expressed support in BDS from entering the country.

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Portuguese photographers pledge to boycott Israeli government, cultural institutions – Ma’an News Agency (press release)

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August 20, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

Should African States Boycott The Africa-Israel Summit? – Face2Face Africa

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (right). Photo credit: The Times of Israel.

A group of Palestinian activists has issued a statement asking African leaders to boycott the upcoming Africa-Israel summit in Togo in October, labeling Israel an apartheid state.

The summit, which is the first of its kind, is expected to reawaken economic and diplomatic relations between Israel and Africa, with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expected to meet more than 20 African heads of state to discuss the future of Africa-Israel cooperation.

But the civil rights group, the Popular Conference for Palestinians Abroad, insists that Israels only interest in Africa is to exploit the continents vast resources and continue with its abuse of African migrants in Israel.

Addressing African governments in a letter sent to respective embassies yesterday, the group called for total rejection of the summit saying Israels continued action against Palestinians is in breach of various U.N. treaties.

It added that African countries, which suffered the greatest brunt of colonialism, should be wary of Israel, the longest and most brutal project in the world today.

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From the face of it, the letter may look like the usual rhetoric and finger pointing circus that has been going on between Israel and Palestine for decades, but the weight of its implication cannot be wished away.

So, will the African governments heed the call to boycott the high-level summit? Can the continent afford to ignore a well-to-do partner like Israel? What will be the consequences if the heads of state decided to skip the conference? These are some of the hard questions that participating governments have to deal with.

Surprisingly, several African states, including Tunisia, Morocco, Mauritania, Algeria, and South Africa have already vowed not to attend the summit, with reports indicating that the civil rights group is working with local NGOs to persuade their governments to pull out of the conference.

But not everyone has a problem with Israel. Of late, many African countries have been looking to Israel for assistance in technology, infrastructural development and security. As a matter of fact, most African governments are now adopting new technologies from Israel to help them deal with problems of food shortage and insecurity.

Mr. Netanyahu, who recently made his maiden trip to Africa, has promised to strengthen his countrys relation with Africa, describing it as a priority. But pundits argue that Netanyahus renewed interest in Africa is necessitated by the need to win the continents support at the United Nations Security Council, which has been very critical of Israels actions against Palestine.

While this friendship with Israel may bring certain benefits to the continent, African governments must be aware of Israels definitive agenda and ensure it is not harmful to their own national and regional interests.

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Should African States Boycott The Africa-Israel Summit? – Face2Face Africa

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August 19, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

Don’t let let them exploit you, Kasrils cautions ANC MPs – Independent Online

In an open letter to ANC MPs, African National Congress stalwart Ronnie Kasrils urges them not to be trapped into meeting Israeli MPs at a South African Jewish Board of Deputies conference to be held this weekend.

Dear Comrades,

I first want to acknowledge and salute you for your strong and clear position and that of the ANC Parliamentary Caucus to reject the request that Parliament meet a delegation from the Israeli Knesset (parliament).

In your clear and bold statement you declared:

“The continuous killings of Palestinians by the Israeli Security Forces, administrative detentions, deportations and many other human rights violations also form part of the reasons why the ANC cannot allow itself to be co-opted into this charm offensive by Israel through this parliamentary visit.”

I am writing to caution you of an advertised South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) conference this Sunday (20 August 2017) in Johannesburg which will likely be used to undermine your clear stance. It is within their right to invite whom ever they wish and in all likelihood many of you might have been invited to attend under the auspices of the Jewish community wanting to be addressed by you.

It is also apparent, however, that the visiting Israeli Knesset (Parliament) Members will be guests and thus likely address the event. If this is the case your presence will be exploited and utilised to undermine the stand you took in our parliament by proximity with those visitors.

Already they have sought photo opportunities with opposition MPs such as Mosiua Lekota; and been received by the Johannesburg Mayor. These reprehensible meetings undermine our countrys forthright stand against Israels criminal occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, the inhuman Israeli siege of the Palestinian Gaza Strip, the consignment of Israels Palestinian inhabitants to second class status; and violation of Palestinian rights and usurpation of their land. Those who have been meeting with the delegation are actively choosing to shamelessly ignore the gross human rights violations and breach of international laws that Israel is committing.

Our people suffered under apartheid and today the Apartheid Government of Israel, which actively supported Apartheid South Africa, is attempting to gain our support in order to cover-up and condone their brutal abuse and repression of the Palestinian people. The SAJBD acts as a platform to provide Israel’s government and parliament access to our people and government in direct and indirect ways. What they may be aiming for this weekend and at other such conference is drawing ANC MPs into their web in an indirect way. It is incumbent on all in the liberation movement, ministers as well as ordinary MPs, to be vigilant and not meet with them at all.

I join others in our country, including progressive Jews, in urging you not to be trapped into meeting the Israeli MPs this weekend thus legitimising their presence in South Africa.

I join those who are calling for a boycott of SAJBD activities until it ends its support of and lobbying on behalf of Apartheid Israel. The SAJBD is meant to represent the Jewish community of this country, not all of whom are Zionists or supporters of an ethnic Israeli state which brutally oppresses the indigenous Palestinian people. The SAJBD should confine itself to issues within the country in the interests of the Jewish community rather than acting as a devisive agent of a reprehensible foreign power.

Yours comradely

Ronnie Kasrils (Former South African Government Minister)

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Don’t let let them exploit you, Kasrils cautions ANC MPs – Independent Online

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August 18, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

Palestinian groups urge African nations to boycott Africa-Israel summit – Gulf Times

A group of Palestinian activists, academics, and civil society organisations have launched a campaign to deter African nations from partaking in the upcoming Africa-Israel summit, slated to take place in Togo in October. Several African countries, including South Africa, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Mauritania, have already decided to boycott the summit, where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to meet leaders from more than 20 countries to rekindle a diplomatic and economic relationship. The summit will be the first of its kind. According to activist Razan Zuayter, a campaign organiser based in Jordan, the Popular Conference for Palestinians Abroad is seeking to point out to African countries Israels dangerous activities in the continent, such as its diamond trade, often illegally imported from Africa as revealed in a 2009 United Nations report, and its mistreatment of African minorities in Israel. If it [the summit] happens, we want a counter movement to emerge in Africa that can act in parallel to it, Zuayter told Al Jazeera. The summit, scheduled for October 23, will have leaders from Africa and Israel discuss ways to enhance co-operation in the fields of technology, development and security. In a letter addressed to African governments and their respective embassies, the Popular Conference for Palestinians Abroad organisation called for the boycott of the summit on the basis that establishing relations with an apartheid state and condoning its actions against the occupied Palestinian people comes in violation of various UN conventions. African countries which fought colonialism for decades and became free after a long suffering should never associate themselves with the only, longest and most brutal colonial project in the world today, the letter reads. In the name of justice and freedom and in the name of the African legacy of long struggle for freedom, we ask your country to disassociate from Israels Apartheid regime. Netanyahu previously pledged to strengthen ties with the continent and described his pledge as a priority at a regional security conference he attended in Liberia in June 2017. I believe in Africa, I believe in its potential present and future. It is a continent on the rise, he said in his address to West African leaders. Historically, African leaders did not have warm relationships with the State of Israel. Following the 1973 October War, sub-Saharan African countries severed ties with Israel. In 2016, Netanyahu became the first Israeli leader to visit sub-Saharan Africa in almost three decades. The organisation, representing the Palestinian diaspora, is also working with civil society groups and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) on the ground to pressure participating governments into pulling out from the summit. Salman Abu Sitta, Chairperson of the organisation, told Al Jazeera that these African countries have been hard, determined fighters in the battle against western colonialism. It [the summit] is a very sad regression; it is regrettable that they deny that history and became enemies of their history to become aligned with the very epitome of racism and discrimination that is Israel, he said. Is Togo ready to send ships of slaves from Togo to Israel in annotation of their long history? he added. According to Abu Sitta, the main consequence of a renewed Africa-Israel relationship is losing what is now a solid majority in the UN General Assembly in favour of ending the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Traditionally, African nations have been supporters of the Palestinian cause when voting on resolutions concerning the right of return, the dismantlement of the Separation Wall, and ending the illegal settlement expansion project. Out of 193 member states, there are 54 African states in the UN. If we lose them [African votes], it is very dangerous, Abu Sitta explained. Israel will have centres of influence in these countries, which will actively increase Israels influence in the UN and in the African continent, he added, pointing out that the countries involved with organising the summit, including Togo, may have private or monetary motives for setting up the summit. Al Jazeera reached out to the summit organisers for comment but received no reply in time for publication. Similarly, Ghada Karmi, an academic and spokesperson for the organisation, told Al Jazeera that the campaign is significant in encouraging a discussion about Israeli apartheid policies and in raising awareness. Israel, Karmi said, is determined to carry out the summit to reverse or abolish the pro-Arab policy of the African states. If the summit were successful, it would be a milestone on the Israeli campaign, she explained. We have to ask what is Israel offering to the African countries it seems to us that it is offering support for dictators, she said, which would aid governments in repressing liberation movements. This [campaign] should be done at the state level, said Karmi, describing the lack of government action as problematic. We have been reaching out to states to condemn this summit, not only African governments. South African human rights activist and political analyst Ayesha Kajee, based in Johannesburg, told Al Jazeera that Israel has been on a mission to strengthen ties with Africa, even to the extent of attempting to gain observer status at the African Union. While these new friendships with Israel might bring certain African countries short-term benefits they should be wary of Israels longer-term agenda, which may ultimately be detrimental to their own national interests, she said. During Netanyahus visit to the continent in 2016, the Israeli government approved a $13mn deal in development packages for African countries. The move was intended to symbolise the start of a closer economic relationship. Speaking to Al Jazeera from the Occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, Mustafa Barghouti, the former Palestinian information minister and general secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative political party, said that Israel is taking advantage of its technological abilities and of its military and security services to carry out the summit. We started seeing changing trends in the UN with regards to the Palestinian cause, he said. Loss of support could lead to dominance of the Israeli narrative about the Palestinian issue and about the situation today. In addition to utilising support from the United States to establish a base in African countries, Barghouti said that this relationship is a chance for Israel to market their products and surveillance services, especially at a time where the activities of the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement are proving effective in curbing Israels economic success. Naeem Jeenah, executive director of the Afro-Middle East Centre in Johannesburg, told Al Jazeera that a relationship with Israel would undermine African countries sovereignty. Through marketing their products and services, Israel seeks to penetrate into the security services of these countries, Jeenah explained. It is a problem when a foreign state takes over the security functions of another government they [African governments] become dependent on the Israelis, he said. Despite ongoing efforts to raise awareness, according to Jeenah, some 15 African countries are already in the Israeli camp, and no amount of civil society can reverse that. African countries who oppose Israeli policies have not been vocal, he says, but with more government pressure, countries on the fencecould be influenced. l Farah Najjar is an online producer at Al Jazeera English.

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Palestinian groups urge African nations to boycott Africa-Israel summit – Gulf Times

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We stand by free speech – thejewishchronicle.net

Its not breaking news that left-wing extremists have made a habit of shutting down, or attempting to shut down,

Israel-related events throughout the country. In January 2016 at a Wider Bridge LGBTQ rights reception in Chicago, protestors forced two speakers from the stage simply because they were Israeli. Many Jews in attendance feared for their safety. In May 2016, Students for Justice in Palestine interrupted a program organized by HIllel at the University of California, Irvine where Jewish students were screening a film about five IDF soldiers titled Beneath the Helmet. This May, protestors in Seattle disrupted a gala where pro-Israel nonprofit StandWithUs was presenting an award to Mayor Ed Murray, claiming he was a fake progressive mayor who endorses systematic racism in Seattle and Israel.

All of these actions are despicable. At best theyre anti-Israel; at worst theyre overtly and violently anti-Semitic. But it is precisely because we oppose how pro-Israel speakers are occasionally censored and because we are American Jews who support the First Amendment that we must also support Pink Floyd front man Roger Waters right to perform here in Pittsburgh. We must do so even if his anti-Semitic rhetoric fuels some of the left-wing extremism leading to protests that harm our community.

We refuse to use the same tactics on Waters that radicals like him (on the left and the right) direct toward us. We will not counter hate speech by attempting to suppress it, but rather by utilizing our own constitutionally protected right to free speech to draw attention to its hypocrisy. We would have demonstrated those values in Charlottesville, Va., had we been there last week.

Waters, an outspoken supporter of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, will be performing in Pittsburgh on Sept. 19 during his months-long North American tour. Many pro-BDS activists such as Waters present the movement as a nonviolent means to support Palestinian rights. In reality, its a largely ineffective effort to cripple Israels economy so severely that it ceases to exist as Jewish state, all the while ignoring the collateral damage BDS inflicts on the Palestinian economy (see: SodaStream). Omar Barghouti, the movements founder, is not shy about its intentions.

Waters has encouraged major artists to boycott Israel, most recently publicly pressuring Radiohead to cancel its July show in Tel Aviv. Radiohead declined.

The Anti-Defamation League withheld public judgment on Waters anti-Jewish sentiment until then-National Director Abraham Foxman published an open letter to Waters in August 2013.

Over the past few years, you have incorporated Jewish imagery into your concert performances, painting a Star of David on your famous floating pig alongside other symbols, including a dollar sign and the sickle and hammer, Foxman wrote. You repeatedly rejected accusations of a malicious subtext to the use of the Star of David, assuring fans that you were in no way equating Jews with money or communism. We took you at your word and defended your actions as artistic expression void of anti-Semitic intent.

In recent months, however, your relentless attacks against Israel and calls for a boycott of the Jewish State have caused us to re-examine your attitude towards Jews.

Foxman continues, pointing out Waters failure to mention anything about Hamas terror activity, his inability to substantiate his claims of Israeli apartheid or ethnic cleansing with any evidence, and his willful ignorance of actual human rights atrocities from dictatorial regimes throughout the world.

How much evidence do we need?

We dont want Roger Waters in Pittsburgh. But unlike Waters and so many other BDS activists, we recognize the right of those with whom we disagree to peacefully exist among us and to exercise their First Amendment right. Just like we would of any hate group.PJC

>>For more information on Roger Waters, visit jfedpgh.org/rogerwaters

Josh Sayles is director of the Community Relations Council for the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.

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We stand by free speech – thejewishchronicle.net

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More Than 1000 Leftists Gathered In Chicago To Cheer A Convicted Murderer Who Hates Israel – The Federalist

More than 1,000 people packed Chicagos International Union of Operating Engineers hall on August 12 for A Farewell to Rasmea Odeh Featuring Angela Davis. The event was described as a chance to say goodbye to Odeh, a convicted murderer who will soon be deported for lying to get U.S. citizenship.

Odeh masterminded a Palestinian terrorist groups 1969 bombing of a Jerusalem supermarket that killed two Israeli college students. Her supporters on Saturday included dozens of progressive advocacy groups and anti-Israel organizations who sponsored the event, such as Code Pink, Jewish Voice for Peace, Students for Justice in Palestine and Black Lives Matter.

The convicted terrorist received well-wishers like the bride at a wedding and paused to meet children like a celebrity. Have your kids picture taken with a killer! Attendees appeared to be mostly young and of Middle Eastern descent. Quite a few of the women wore hijabs, but many others wore fully modern clothing. The room was generally young, energetic, organically diverse and united around a narrative that included a common enemy: Israel.

Hatem Abudayyeh, executive director of the Arab American Action Network, began the program by welcoming Odeh and Davis. He then thanked Odeh for her over 50 years of community organizing for the liberation of Palestine. The bombing for which Odeh was convicted took place 48 years ago.

Odehs attorneys were honored and took the stage. Michael Deutsch, a Chicago attorney, said Odehs militancy had been an inspiration to him. At first, it seemed that word choice might have been a Freudian slip, but as he spoke, it became clear it wasnt. Deutsch was the first speaker of the night to openlyif carefullycast terrorism as morally acceptable. He was proud, he said, to bring out in the federal court and in the public that the Israeli government systematically tortures political people and most importantly, we were able to put forward the idea that Palestinians have the international law right to struggle against a brutal, illegal occupation by any means necessary. The crowd cheered.

After a surprisingly good hip-hop actwith the usual messages of Israeli apartheid, mass murder, child execution and other crimes, as well as an opportunity for crowd participation by chanting the word muqawama (resistance)the speeches continued. A woman from the Minnesota Committee to Stop FBI Repression spoke about the injustices of Odehs case and her own case from 2010. This was part of a theme of the eveningthat American law enforcement and counter-terrorism efforts are racist and condemnable. The speaker never mentioned who was the U.S. president or attorney general in 2010.

Finally, Angela Davis was introduced. She gave the evenings main indictment of Israel. Her speech was a disjointed mess of invective against the Jewish state, peppered with attempts to tie her Marxism and fringe non-sequiturs into condemnations of Israel. She criticized Israel for representing itself as the paragon of democracy in the region. And specifically, the evidence it presents being that it is a haven for LGBTQ communities.

This elicited a knowing groan from the crowd. Davis continued, but Israel does not say that it is welcoming to queer Palestinians who call for justice for their people. LGBTQ Palestinians do, in fact, seek refuge in Israel and often receive it. The cheering that followed her comment suggested this information was conveniently ignored. For a culture that literally kills LGBTQ individuals, thats a curious argument to choose to go on offense.

While the cheering was muted somewhat when Davis claimed that attendees were gathered on stolen, colonized land (Chicago), it picked back up when she told the crowd that Palestine, under Israeli occupation is certainly the worst possible example of a carceral society. She name-checkedto thunderous applauseAssata Shakur, Mumia Abu-Jamal and Leonard Peltier. Odeh wasnt the only killer the crowd was willing to celebrate.

By the time the woman of the hour was introduced, the crowd was ready for a different feel. Her speech was warm and personal. She left the anti-Israel invective to the previous speakers. But the repeated excuses for violence and terrorism left the impression that she not only has no remorse for her actions in 1969, but feels she is morally justified to be proud of them.

In the near future, Odeh will be deported from the U.S. The community represented at this event considers this one grave injustice among many perpetrated against them by a governmentand societythat hates them. They are awash in victimhood and antipathy for the broader society in which they live.

It is easy and emotionally satisfying to dismiss them and their fringe ideas. But that is a mistake. More than 1,000 people gathered at a union hall in Chicago to cheer a convicted murderer. Ignoring that doesnt make it go away. It lets it grow.

Jonathan Greenberg is an ordained reform rabbi and the senior vice president of the Haym Salomon Center. An expert in Middle East policy and former staffer at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, you can follow him @JGreenbergSez.

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More Than 1000 Leftists Gathered In Chicago To Cheer A Convicted Murderer Who Hates Israel – The Federalist

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Activists in Vienna protest EU support for Israeli apartheid – The Electronic Intifada (blog)

Ali Abunimah Activism and BDS Beat 14 August 2017

Protester in Viennademandedend to EU cooperation with Israeli racists. (via Facebook)

Activists rallied outside the offices of the European Union in Vienna on Friday to protest the 28-nation blocs support for Israeli apartheid.

International law, human rights, democracy: These are the basic principles of the European Union, BDS Austria, a group that supports the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement for Palestinian rights, said.

As citizens of the EU and as BDS activists in solidarity with the Palestinian people, we demand that all institutions and representatives of the EU respect these principles compromises are unacceptable.

The action, which included participants from Women in Black and Boycott from Within, was streamed live on Facebook.

BDS Austrias statement, and signs carried by protesters, referred explicitly to the hiring of an Israeli who advocates extreme violence and racism against Palestinians as the presenter of an official propaganda video for the EU embassy in Tel Aviv.

As The Electronic Intifada reported earlier this month, the EU embassy hired Israeli comedian Avishai Ivri despite his frequent advocacy of genocidal levels of violence against Palestinians.

In posts on Twitter, Ivri has called on Israel to kill 1,000 Arabs for every Israeli who dies in conflict-related violence and has urged that Israel wipe out Gaza.

He denies the existence of Palestinians as a people and has urged Israel to expel them so it can become the sovereign in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Following The Electronic Intifadas reporting, the EU embassy removed the video from its Facebook page but did not apologize or explicitly condemn Ivris violent incitement and racism.

BDS Austria notes that Lars Faaborg-Andersen, the EUs ambassador in Tel Aviv, previously downplayed Israeli threats to BDS activists that spurred Amnesty International to express its fears for the safety and liberty of Palestinian and other human rights defenders.

The protesters called for no EU cooperation with Israeli racists and for an investigation of the decision to hire Ivri.

The EU appears to be intensifying its unconditional support for Israel. A high-level official recently pledged EU support for Israels efforts to silence criticism of its policies, under the guise of fighting anti-Semitism.

EU officials also continue to smear the nonviolent BDS movement with claims that the EU cannot substantiate that BDS activities have led to a rise in anti-Semitic incidents.

BDS Austria, which has faced persistent censorship efforts by Israels surrogates, reiterated the need for political pressure on Israel in form of boycott, divestment and sanctions until it complies with international law and human rights.

This includes the end of the occupation as well as the right of the refugees to return to their homes and the implementation of full equal basic rights for everyone in Israel and Palestine, the group said.

It’s time to stop referring to Lars Faaborg-Andersen as the European Union’s Ambassador to Israel. He’s more akin to Israel’s main representative to the E.U. While welcoming all settlement products to Europe, he firmly opposes any civil boycott directed at those imports, or against Israel, as a matter of (ahem) principle. His main goal is to expand trade and security cooperation between Israel and the E.U., and he’s never evinced any disposition to act on behalf of Palestinians, even during the most intense periods of massacre and repression. He continues to call for “dialogue” and a two-state, superpower & bantustan solution to the conflict. Incidentally, he was appointed to his post by the U.K.’s Baroness Ashton of Upholland, whose own career advanced from an early involvement in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament to Blairite loyalist. As for Ivri, anyone who’s seen clips from his racist comedy series Latma will be in no doubt why he was given the job of spokesman for a propaganda project on behalf of apartheid. Or why in an E.U. teeming with racist parties, media and anti-immigrant policies he seemed such a perfect fit.

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Activists in Vienna protest EU support for Israeli apartheid – The Electronic Intifada (blog)

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From burlesque to free falafel: My Israel experience on campus – Jewish News (blog)

During my first years at university Liverpool Jsoc was on the ropes.

For almost two years we battled a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) motion at the students union of Liverpool University, that would simply not lie down.

Unfortunately through no fault of our own we were on the back foot from the off. The Friends of Palestine Society posted the motion on the change it page of the students union website, where they had prepared ample evidence in support of the motion. In fact, we did not even notice that the motion was on the website until the deadline to post evidence for or against the motion had almost passed!

This was followed by an emergency Jsoc meeting, where we tried to understand what this motion meant, and how best to go about beating it. Following several largely unproductive meetings with the students union officers which included the now famous one liner when asking the officers why the BDS motion was being discussed at the same time as a motion titled: Should Burlesque and Pole-Dancing be allowed to be performed by student groups in the Liverpool Guild of Students? Excuse me?! People feel very strongly about pole dancing too!

Needless to say, we were not to receive much help from the students union itself.

Following this, the motion was voted down in three successive summit meetings, over the space of four months. Yes, the motion lost three times but it still did not lose! Welcome to University.

The Friends of Palestine society created a petition, which, after receiving the signatures of 1% of the student body roughly 300 people they could take the motion to a campus wide vote.

This vote was then postponed until the following term due to exams, and did not take place until November, over a year since the original motion was posted!

Unfortunately, we lost the vote and the motion passed. Over a year of hard work had amounted to nothing, we had nothing to show for ourselves.

Throughout this whole saga, all our efforts were based on this motion. All our efforts were on their terms, this was not Israel advocacy. This was a mixture of politics and tactics on how to stop the motion, and how to try and show the student body the truth behind the BDS movement.

We were not showing Israel in a positive light, but rather we were focused on showing Israel in not a negative light.

It was not until the following year that I was introduced to a different advocacy tactic, being proactive! Rather than waiting for something to happen, be it a BDS motion or an inflammatory speaker on campus, get out there and make a difference, have the discussion on your terms.

The StandWithUs leadership programme encouraged me to initiate a campus project. An Israel advocacy project on my campus with the intention of helping people see Israel for what it is, and show them a different perspective from the BDS and Israeli Apartheid Week events normally held on campus.

Aside from that, the leadership programme enabled me to meet other pro-Israel students from up and down the country. Discussing things that worked and didnt work on campus helped me significantly to change the mood on campus in Liverpool.

A campus project I started in Liverpool was the Falafel for Facts campaign. Each week, we brought to campus falafel, pita and houmous from the local deli, as well as Israeli flags, leaflets and a small list of facts about Israel. We started giving out falafel to passersby and talking to them about Israel.

The purpose of the campaign was to start the conversation about Israel. Talking to people and asking what they already knew or had heard about the country. We occasionally corrected their facts a little but also enlightened them to know a little more.

We were talking about the 90%! Those that dont have any interest in the goings on in Israel, instead of simply battling with the 5% who have already made up their minds!

The campaign was a wholly positive affair. After each week we went home feeling proud of ourselves we were finally making a difference!

We were not alone. Last year on campus there were over 160 similar events held by Jewish students on campus! It is clear to see, being proactive is the way forward! Dont wait until its too late, do it on your terms.

A major issue facing Jewish and pro-Israel students today on campus is learning to be proactive rather than reactive. By being proactive, we can have campaigns, we can have discussions and we can educate on our terms. We dont need to do it on their terms defending every exaggeration, each fact took out of context, or every minor incident being sensationalised.

I encourage all students who are interested in showing Israel in a positive light on campus, to join us at the StandWithUs student conference on the 8th of September. Im also looking forward to working with you, the students, and the new Northern Campus Director!

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From burlesque to free falafel: My Israel experience on campus – Jewish News (blog)

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Palestinian supporters protest on first night of Israel Folklorama pavilion – Winnipeg Sun


Winnipeg Sun
Palestinian supporters protest on first night of Israel Folklorama pavilion
Winnipeg Sun
A group of about 15 protesters, made up of members from several organizations including Independent Jewish Voices, Winnipeg Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid, and Peace Alliance Winnipeg, peacefully sat across the street from the pavilion entrance at …

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Palestinian supporters protest on first night of Israel Folklorama pavilion – Winnipeg Sun

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Portuguese photographers pledge to boycott Israeli government, cultural institutions – Ma’an News Agency (press release)

(File) Photographers can no longer be silent about the treatment of their Palestinian colleagues living under an indefensible occupation that has lasted for over half a century. Palestinians have called for solidarity through boycotts and this pledge is our practical contribution to their struggle. The statement noted the struggles of Palestinian photographers and journalists under the Israeli occupation, highlighted that artists have been denied visas by the Israeli military establishment, preventing them from participating in conferences and performances internationally, in addition to being detained at checkpoints, arrested, having their equipment broken, and being exposed to the same violence perpetrated by the Israeli army on all Palestinians.The BDS movement was founded in 2005 by a swath of Palestinian civil society as a peaceful movement to restore Palestinian rights in accordance with international law through strategies of boycotting Israeli products and cultural institutions, divesting from companies complicit in violations against Palestinians, and implementing state sanctions against the Israeli government. BDS activists target companies that act in compliance with Israels illegal occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and encourage supporters to avoid buying Israeli products in order to put pressure on the Israeli government to end the half-century occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem the decade-long Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip. As support for the movement has grown, the Israeli government has introduced anti-BDS policies, including passing a law in March banning foreigners who have openly expressed support in BDS from entering the country.

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August 20, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

Should African States Boycott The Africa-Israel Summit? – Face2Face Africa

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (right). Photo credit: The Times of Israel. A group of Palestinian activists has issued a statement asking African leaders to boycott the upcoming Africa-Israel summit in Togo in October, labeling Israel an apartheid state. The summit, which is the first of its kind, is expected to reawaken economic and diplomatic relations between Israel and Africa, with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expected to meet more than 20 African heads of state to discuss the future of Africa-Israel cooperation. But the civil rights group, the Popular Conference for Palestinians Abroad, insists that Israels only interest in Africa is to exploit the continents vast resources and continue with its abuse of African migrants in Israel. Addressing African governments in a letter sent to respective embassies yesterday, the group called for total rejection of the summit saying Israels continued action against Palestinians is in breach of various U.N. treaties. It added that African countries, which suffered the greatest brunt of colonialism, should be wary of Israel, the longest and most brutal project in the world today. Limited Options From the face of it, the letter may look like the usual rhetoric and finger pointing circus that has been going on between Israel and Palestine for decades, but the weight of its implication cannot be wished away. So, will the African governments heed the call to boycott the high-level summit? Can the continent afford to ignore a well-to-do partner like Israel? What will be the consequences if the heads of state decided to skip the conference? These are some of the hard questions that participating governments have to deal with. Surprisingly, several African states, including Tunisia, Morocco, Mauritania, Algeria, and South Africa have already vowed not to attend the summit, with reports indicating that the civil rights group is working with local NGOs to persuade their governments to pull out of the conference. But not everyone has a problem with Israel. Of late, many African countries have been looking to Israel for assistance in technology, infrastructural development and security. As a matter of fact, most African governments are now adopting new technologies from Israel to help them deal with problems of food shortage and insecurity. Mr. Netanyahu, who recently made his maiden trip to Africa, has promised to strengthen his countrys relation with Africa, describing it as a priority. But pundits argue that Netanyahus renewed interest in Africa is necessitated by the need to win the continents support at the United Nations Security Council, which has been very critical of Israels actions against Palestine. While this friendship with Israel may bring certain benefits to the continent, African governments must be aware of Israels definitive agenda and ensure it is not harmful to their own national and regional interests.

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August 19, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

Don’t let let them exploit you, Kasrils cautions ANC MPs – Independent Online

In an open letter to ANC MPs, African National Congress stalwart Ronnie Kasrils urges them not to be trapped into meeting Israeli MPs at a South African Jewish Board of Deputies conference to be held this weekend. Dear Comrades, I first want to acknowledge and salute you for your strong and clear position and that of the ANC Parliamentary Caucus to reject the request that Parliament meet a delegation from the Israeli Knesset (parliament). In your clear and bold statement you declared: “The continuous killings of Palestinians by the Israeli Security Forces, administrative detentions, deportations and many other human rights violations also form part of the reasons why the ANC cannot allow itself to be co-opted into this charm offensive by Israel through this parliamentary visit.” I am writing to caution you of an advertised South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) conference this Sunday (20 August 2017) in Johannesburg which will likely be used to undermine your clear stance. It is within their right to invite whom ever they wish and in all likelihood many of you might have been invited to attend under the auspices of the Jewish community wanting to be addressed by you. It is also apparent, however, that the visiting Israeli Knesset (Parliament) Members will be guests and thus likely address the event. If this is the case your presence will be exploited and utilised to undermine the stand you took in our parliament by proximity with those visitors. Already they have sought photo opportunities with opposition MPs such as Mosiua Lekota; and been received by the Johannesburg Mayor. These reprehensible meetings undermine our countrys forthright stand against Israels criminal occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, the inhuman Israeli siege of the Palestinian Gaza Strip, the consignment of Israels Palestinian inhabitants to second class status; and violation of Palestinian rights and usurpation of their land. Those who have been meeting with the delegation are actively choosing to shamelessly ignore the gross human rights violations and breach of international laws that Israel is committing. Our people suffered under apartheid and today the Apartheid Government of Israel, which actively supported Apartheid South Africa, is attempting to gain our support in order to cover-up and condone their brutal abuse and repression of the Palestinian people. The SAJBD acts as a platform to provide Israel’s government and parliament access to our people and government in direct and indirect ways. What they may be aiming for this weekend and at other such conference is drawing ANC MPs into their web in an indirect way. It is incumbent on all in the liberation movement, ministers as well as ordinary MPs, to be vigilant and not meet with them at all. I join others in our country, including progressive Jews, in urging you not to be trapped into meeting the Israeli MPs this weekend thus legitimising their presence in South Africa. I join those who are calling for a boycott of SAJBD activities until it ends its support of and lobbying on behalf of Apartheid Israel. The SAJBD is meant to represent the Jewish community of this country, not all of whom are Zionists or supporters of an ethnic Israeli state which brutally oppresses the indigenous Palestinian people. The SAJBD should confine itself to issues within the country in the interests of the Jewish community rather than acting as a devisive agent of a reprehensible foreign power. Yours comradely Ronnie Kasrils (Former South African Government Minister)

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August 18, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

Palestinian groups urge African nations to boycott Africa-Israel summit – Gulf Times

A group of Palestinian activists, academics, and civil society organisations have launched a campaign to deter African nations from partaking in the upcoming Africa-Israel summit, slated to take place in Togo in October. Several African countries, including South Africa, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Mauritania, have already decided to boycott the summit, where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to meet leaders from more than 20 countries to rekindle a diplomatic and economic relationship. The summit will be the first of its kind. According to activist Razan Zuayter, a campaign organiser based in Jordan, the Popular Conference for Palestinians Abroad is seeking to point out to African countries Israels dangerous activities in the continent, such as its diamond trade, often illegally imported from Africa as revealed in a 2009 United Nations report, and its mistreatment of African minorities in Israel. If it [the summit] happens, we want a counter movement to emerge in Africa that can act in parallel to it, Zuayter told Al Jazeera. The summit, scheduled for October 23, will have leaders from Africa and Israel discuss ways to enhance co-operation in the fields of technology, development and security. In a letter addressed to African governments and their respective embassies, the Popular Conference for Palestinians Abroad organisation called for the boycott of the summit on the basis that establishing relations with an apartheid state and condoning its actions against the occupied Palestinian people comes in violation of various UN conventions. African countries which fought colonialism for decades and became free after a long suffering should never associate themselves with the only, longest and most brutal colonial project in the world today, the letter reads. In the name of justice and freedom and in the name of the African legacy of long struggle for freedom, we ask your country to disassociate from Israels Apartheid regime. Netanyahu previously pledged to strengthen ties with the continent and described his pledge as a priority at a regional security conference he attended in Liberia in June 2017. I believe in Africa, I believe in its potential present and future. It is a continent on the rise, he said in his address to West African leaders. Historically, African leaders did not have warm relationships with the State of Israel. Following the 1973 October War, sub-Saharan African countries severed ties with Israel. In 2016, Netanyahu became the first Israeli leader to visit sub-Saharan Africa in almost three decades. The organisation, representing the Palestinian diaspora, is also working with civil society groups and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) on the ground to pressure participating governments into pulling out from the summit. Salman Abu Sitta, Chairperson of the organisation, told Al Jazeera that these African countries have been hard, determined fighters in the battle against western colonialism. It [the summit] is a very sad regression; it is regrettable that they deny that history and became enemies of their history to become aligned with the very epitome of racism and discrimination that is Israel, he said. Is Togo ready to send ships of slaves from Togo to Israel in annotation of their long history? he added. According to Abu Sitta, the main consequence of a renewed Africa-Israel relationship is losing what is now a solid majority in the UN General Assembly in favour of ending the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Traditionally, African nations have been supporters of the Palestinian cause when voting on resolutions concerning the right of return, the dismantlement of the Separation Wall, and ending the illegal settlement expansion project. Out of 193 member states, there are 54 African states in the UN. If we lose them [African votes], it is very dangerous, Abu Sitta explained. Israel will have centres of influence in these countries, which will actively increase Israels influence in the UN and in the African continent, he added, pointing out that the countries involved with organising the summit, including Togo, may have private or monetary motives for setting up the summit. Al Jazeera reached out to the summit organisers for comment but received no reply in time for publication. Similarly, Ghada Karmi, an academic and spokesperson for the organisation, told Al Jazeera that the campaign is significant in encouraging a discussion about Israeli apartheid policies and in raising awareness. Israel, Karmi said, is determined to carry out the summit to reverse or abolish the pro-Arab policy of the African states. If the summit were successful, it would be a milestone on the Israeli campaign, she explained. We have to ask what is Israel offering to the African countries it seems to us that it is offering support for dictators, she said, which would aid governments in repressing liberation movements. This [campaign] should be done at the state level, said Karmi, describing the lack of government action as problematic. We have been reaching out to states to condemn this summit, not only African governments. South African human rights activist and political analyst Ayesha Kajee, based in Johannesburg, told Al Jazeera that Israel has been on a mission to strengthen ties with Africa, even to the extent of attempting to gain observer status at the African Union. While these new friendships with Israel might bring certain African countries short-term benefits they should be wary of Israels longer-term agenda, which may ultimately be detrimental to their own national interests, she said. During Netanyahus visit to the continent in 2016, the Israeli government approved a $13mn deal in development packages for African countries. The move was intended to symbolise the start of a closer economic relationship. Speaking to Al Jazeera from the Occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, Mustafa Barghouti, the former Palestinian information minister and general secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative political party, said that Israel is taking advantage of its technological abilities and of its military and security services to carry out the summit. We started seeing changing trends in the UN with regards to the Palestinian cause, he said. Loss of support could lead to dominance of the Israeli narrative about the Palestinian issue and about the situation today. In addition to utilising support from the United States to establish a base in African countries, Barghouti said that this relationship is a chance for Israel to market their products and surveillance services, especially at a time where the activities of the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement are proving effective in curbing Israels economic success. Naeem Jeenah, executive director of the Afro-Middle East Centre in Johannesburg, told Al Jazeera that a relationship with Israel would undermine African countries sovereignty. Through marketing their products and services, Israel seeks to penetrate into the security services of these countries, Jeenah explained. It is a problem when a foreign state takes over the security functions of another government they [African governments] become dependent on the Israelis, he said. Despite ongoing efforts to raise awareness, according to Jeenah, some 15 African countries are already in the Israeli camp, and no amount of civil society can reverse that. African countries who oppose Israeli policies have not been vocal, he says, but with more government pressure, countries on the fencecould be influenced. l Farah Najjar is an online producer at Al Jazeera English.

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August 18, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

We stand by free speech – thejewishchronicle.net

Its not breaking news that left-wing extremists have made a habit of shutting down, or attempting to shut down, Israel-related events throughout the country. In January 2016 at a Wider Bridge LGBTQ rights reception in Chicago, protestors forced two speakers from the stage simply because they were Israeli. Many Jews in attendance feared for their safety. In May 2016, Students for Justice in Palestine interrupted a program organized by HIllel at the University of California, Irvine where Jewish students were screening a film about five IDF soldiers titled Beneath the Helmet. This May, protestors in Seattle disrupted a gala where pro-Israel nonprofit StandWithUs was presenting an award to Mayor Ed Murray, claiming he was a fake progressive mayor who endorses systematic racism in Seattle and Israel. All of these actions are despicable. At best theyre anti-Israel; at worst theyre overtly and violently anti-Semitic. But it is precisely because we oppose how pro-Israel speakers are occasionally censored and because we are American Jews who support the First Amendment that we must also support Pink Floyd front man Roger Waters right to perform here in Pittsburgh. We must do so even if his anti-Semitic rhetoric fuels some of the left-wing extremism leading to protests that harm our community. We refuse to use the same tactics on Waters that radicals like him (on the left and the right) direct toward us. We will not counter hate speech by attempting to suppress it, but rather by utilizing our own constitutionally protected right to free speech to draw attention to its hypocrisy. We would have demonstrated those values in Charlottesville, Va., had we been there last week. Waters, an outspoken supporter of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, will be performing in Pittsburgh on Sept. 19 during his months-long North American tour. Many pro-BDS activists such as Waters present the movement as a nonviolent means to support Palestinian rights. In reality, its a largely ineffective effort to cripple Israels economy so severely that it ceases to exist as Jewish state, all the while ignoring the collateral damage BDS inflicts on the Palestinian economy (see: SodaStream). Omar Barghouti, the movements founder, is not shy about its intentions. Waters has encouraged major artists to boycott Israel, most recently publicly pressuring Radiohead to cancel its July show in Tel Aviv. Radiohead declined. The Anti-Defamation League withheld public judgment on Waters anti-Jewish sentiment until then-National Director Abraham Foxman published an open letter to Waters in August 2013. Over the past few years, you have incorporated Jewish imagery into your concert performances, painting a Star of David on your famous floating pig alongside other symbols, including a dollar sign and the sickle and hammer, Foxman wrote. You repeatedly rejected accusations of a malicious subtext to the use of the Star of David, assuring fans that you were in no way equating Jews with money or communism. We took you at your word and defended your actions as artistic expression void of anti-Semitic intent. In recent months, however, your relentless attacks against Israel and calls for a boycott of the Jewish State have caused us to re-examine your attitude towards Jews. Foxman continues, pointing out Waters failure to mention anything about Hamas terror activity, his inability to substantiate his claims of Israeli apartheid or ethnic cleansing with any evidence, and his willful ignorance of actual human rights atrocities from dictatorial regimes throughout the world. How much evidence do we need? We dont want Roger Waters in Pittsburgh. But unlike Waters and so many other BDS activists, we recognize the right of those with whom we disagree to peacefully exist among us and to exercise their First Amendment right. Just like we would of any hate group.PJC > > For more information on Roger Waters, visit jfedpgh.org/rogerwaters Josh Sayles is director of the Community Relations Council for the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.

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August 18, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

More Than 1000 Leftists Gathered In Chicago To Cheer A Convicted Murderer Who Hates Israel – The Federalist

More than 1,000 people packed Chicagos International Union of Operating Engineers hall on August 12 for A Farewell to Rasmea Odeh Featuring Angela Davis. The event was described as a chance to say goodbye to Odeh, a convicted murderer who will soon be deported for lying to get U.S. citizenship. Odeh masterminded a Palestinian terrorist groups 1969 bombing of a Jerusalem supermarket that killed two Israeli college students. Her supporters on Saturday included dozens of progressive advocacy groups and anti-Israel organizations who sponsored the event, such as Code Pink, Jewish Voice for Peace, Students for Justice in Palestine and Black Lives Matter. The convicted terrorist received well-wishers like the bride at a wedding and paused to meet children like a celebrity. Have your kids picture taken with a killer! Attendees appeared to be mostly young and of Middle Eastern descent. Quite a few of the women wore hijabs, but many others wore fully modern clothing. The room was generally young, energetic, organically diverse and united around a narrative that included a common enemy: Israel. Hatem Abudayyeh, executive director of the Arab American Action Network, began the program by welcoming Odeh and Davis. He then thanked Odeh for her over 50 years of community organizing for the liberation of Palestine. The bombing for which Odeh was convicted took place 48 years ago. Odehs attorneys were honored and took the stage. Michael Deutsch, a Chicago attorney, said Odehs militancy had been an inspiration to him. At first, it seemed that word choice might have been a Freudian slip, but as he spoke, it became clear it wasnt. Deutsch was the first speaker of the night to openlyif carefullycast terrorism as morally acceptable. He was proud, he said, to bring out in the federal court and in the public that the Israeli government systematically tortures political people and most importantly, we were able to put forward the idea that Palestinians have the international law right to struggle against a brutal, illegal occupation by any means necessary. The crowd cheered. After a surprisingly good hip-hop actwith the usual messages of Israeli apartheid, mass murder, child execution and other crimes, as well as an opportunity for crowd participation by chanting the word muqawama (resistance)the speeches continued. A woman from the Minnesota Committee to Stop FBI Repression spoke about the injustices of Odehs case and her own case from 2010. This was part of a theme of the eveningthat American law enforcement and counter-terrorism efforts are racist and condemnable. The speaker never mentioned who was the U.S. president or attorney general in 2010. Finally, Angela Davis was introduced. She gave the evenings main indictment of Israel. Her speech was a disjointed mess of invective against the Jewish state, peppered with attempts to tie her Marxism and fringe non-sequiturs into condemnations of Israel. She criticized Israel for representing itself as the paragon of democracy in the region. And specifically, the evidence it presents being that it is a haven for LGBTQ communities. This elicited a knowing groan from the crowd. Davis continued, but Israel does not say that it is welcoming to queer Palestinians who call for justice for their people. LGBTQ Palestinians do, in fact, seek refuge in Israel and often receive it. The cheering that followed her comment suggested this information was conveniently ignored. For a culture that literally kills LGBTQ individuals, thats a curious argument to choose to go on offense. While the cheering was muted somewhat when Davis claimed that attendees were gathered on stolen, colonized land (Chicago), it picked back up when she told the crowd that Palestine, under Israeli occupation is certainly the worst possible example of a carceral society. She name-checkedto thunderous applauseAssata Shakur, Mumia Abu-Jamal and Leonard Peltier. Odeh wasnt the only killer the crowd was willing to celebrate. By the time the woman of the hour was introduced, the crowd was ready for a different feel. Her speech was warm and personal. She left the anti-Israel invective to the previous speakers. But the repeated excuses for violence and terrorism left the impression that she not only has no remorse for her actions in 1969, but feels she is morally justified to be proud of them. In the near future, Odeh will be deported from the U.S. The community represented at this event considers this one grave injustice among many perpetrated against them by a governmentand societythat hates them. They are awash in victimhood and antipathy for the broader society in which they live. It is easy and emotionally satisfying to dismiss them and their fringe ideas. But that is a mistake. More than 1,000 people gathered at a union hall in Chicago to cheer a convicted murderer. Ignoring that doesnt make it go away. It lets it grow. Jonathan Greenberg is an ordained reform rabbi and the senior vice president of the Haym Salomon Center. An expert in Middle East policy and former staffer at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, you can follow him @JGreenbergSez.

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August 17, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

Activists in Vienna protest EU support for Israeli apartheid – The Electronic Intifada (blog)

Ali Abunimah Activism and BDS Beat 14 August 2017 Protester in Viennademandedend to EU cooperation with Israeli racists. (via Facebook) Activists rallied outside the offices of the European Union in Vienna on Friday to protest the 28-nation blocs support for Israeli apartheid. International law, human rights, democracy: These are the basic principles of the European Union, BDS Austria, a group that supports the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement for Palestinian rights, said. As citizens of the EU and as BDS activists in solidarity with the Palestinian people, we demand that all institutions and representatives of the EU respect these principles compromises are unacceptable. The action, which included participants from Women in Black and Boycott from Within, was streamed live on Facebook. BDS Austrias statement, and signs carried by protesters, referred explicitly to the hiring of an Israeli who advocates extreme violence and racism against Palestinians as the presenter of an official propaganda video for the EU embassy in Tel Aviv. As The Electronic Intifada reported earlier this month, the EU embassy hired Israeli comedian Avishai Ivri despite his frequent advocacy of genocidal levels of violence against Palestinians. In posts on Twitter, Ivri has called on Israel to kill 1,000 Arabs for every Israeli who dies in conflict-related violence and has urged that Israel wipe out Gaza. He denies the existence of Palestinians as a people and has urged Israel to expel them so it can become the sovereign in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Following The Electronic Intifadas reporting, the EU embassy removed the video from its Facebook page but did not apologize or explicitly condemn Ivris violent incitement and racism. BDS Austria notes that Lars Faaborg-Andersen, the EUs ambassador in Tel Aviv, previously downplayed Israeli threats to BDS activists that spurred Amnesty International to express its fears for the safety and liberty of Palestinian and other human rights defenders. The protesters called for no EU cooperation with Israeli racists and for an investigation of the decision to hire Ivri. The EU appears to be intensifying its unconditional support for Israel. A high-level official recently pledged EU support for Israels efforts to silence criticism of its policies, under the guise of fighting anti-Semitism. EU officials also continue to smear the nonviolent BDS movement with claims that the EU cannot substantiate that BDS activities have led to a rise in anti-Semitic incidents. BDS Austria, which has faced persistent censorship efforts by Israels surrogates, reiterated the need for political pressure on Israel in form of boycott, divestment and sanctions until it complies with international law and human rights. This includes the end of the occupation as well as the right of the refugees to return to their homes and the implementation of full equal basic rights for everyone in Israel and Palestine, the group said. It’s time to stop referring to Lars Faaborg-Andersen as the European Union’s Ambassador to Israel. He’s more akin to Israel’s main representative to the E.U. While welcoming all settlement products to Europe, he firmly opposes any civil boycott directed at those imports, or against Israel, as a matter of (ahem) principle. His main goal is to expand trade and security cooperation between Israel and the E.U., and he’s never evinced any disposition to act on behalf of Palestinians, even during the most intense periods of massacre and repression. He continues to call for “dialogue” and a two-state, superpower & bantustan solution to the conflict. Incidentally, he was appointed to his post by the U.K.’s Baroness Ashton of Upholland, whose own career advanced from an early involvement in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament to Blairite loyalist. As for Ivri, anyone who’s seen clips from his racist comedy series Latma will be in no doubt why he was given the job of spokesman for a propaganda project on behalf of apartheid. Or why in an E.U. teeming with racist parties, media and anti-immigrant policies he seemed such a perfect fit.

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August 16, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

From burlesque to free falafel: My Israel experience on campus – Jewish News (blog)

During my first years at university Liverpool Jsoc was on the ropes. For almost two years we battled a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) motion at the students union of Liverpool University, that would simply not lie down. Unfortunately through no fault of our own we were on the back foot from the off. The Friends of Palestine Society posted the motion on the change it page of the students union website, where they had prepared ample evidence in support of the motion. In fact, we did not even notice that the motion was on the website until the deadline to post evidence for or against the motion had almost passed! This was followed by an emergency Jsoc meeting, where we tried to understand what this motion meant, and how best to go about beating it. Following several largely unproductive meetings with the students union officers which included the now famous one liner when asking the officers why the BDS motion was being discussed at the same time as a motion titled: Should Burlesque and Pole-Dancing be allowed to be performed by student groups in the Liverpool Guild of Students? Excuse me?! People feel very strongly about pole dancing too! Needless to say, we were not to receive much help from the students union itself. Following this, the motion was voted down in three successive summit meetings, over the space of four months. Yes, the motion lost three times but it still did not lose! Welcome to University. The Friends of Palestine society created a petition, which, after receiving the signatures of 1% of the student body roughly 300 people they could take the motion to a campus wide vote. This vote was then postponed until the following term due to exams, and did not take place until November, over a year since the original motion was posted! Unfortunately, we lost the vote and the motion passed. Over a year of hard work had amounted to nothing, we had nothing to show for ourselves. Throughout this whole saga, all our efforts were based on this motion. All our efforts were on their terms, this was not Israel advocacy. This was a mixture of politics and tactics on how to stop the motion, and how to try and show the student body the truth behind the BDS movement. We were not showing Israel in a positive light, but rather we were focused on showing Israel in not a negative light. It was not until the following year that I was introduced to a different advocacy tactic, being proactive! Rather than waiting for something to happen, be it a BDS motion or an inflammatory speaker on campus, get out there and make a difference, have the discussion on your terms. The StandWithUs leadership programme encouraged me to initiate a campus project. An Israel advocacy project on my campus with the intention of helping people see Israel for what it is, and show them a different perspective from the BDS and Israeli Apartheid Week events normally held on campus. Aside from that, the leadership programme enabled me to meet other pro-Israel students from up and down the country. Discussing things that worked and didnt work on campus helped me significantly to change the mood on campus in Liverpool. A campus project I started in Liverpool was the Falafel for Facts campaign. Each week, we brought to campus falafel, pita and houmous from the local deli, as well as Israeli flags, leaflets and a small list of facts about Israel. We started giving out falafel to passersby and talking to them about Israel. The purpose of the campaign was to start the conversation about Israel. Talking to people and asking what they already knew or had heard about the country. We occasionally corrected their facts a little but also enlightened them to know a little more. We were talking about the 90%! Those that dont have any interest in the goings on in Israel, instead of simply battling with the 5% who have already made up their minds! The campaign was a wholly positive affair. After each week we went home feeling proud of ourselves we were finally making a difference! We were not alone. Last year on campus there were over 160 similar events held by Jewish students on campus! It is clear to see, being proactive is the way forward! Dont wait until its too late, do it on your terms. A major issue facing Jewish and pro-Israel students today on campus is learning to be proactive rather than reactive. By being proactive, we can have campaigns, we can have discussions and we can educate on our terms. We dont need to do it on their terms defending every exaggeration, each fact took out of context, or every minor incident being sensationalised. I encourage all students who are interested in showing Israel in a positive light on campus, to join us at the StandWithUs student conference on the 8th of September. Im also looking forward to working with you, the students, and the new Northern Campus Director!

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August 15, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

Palestinian supporters protest on first night of Israel Folklorama pavilion – Winnipeg Sun

Winnipeg Sun Palestinian supporters protest on first night of Israel Folklorama pavilion Winnipeg Sun A group of about 15 protesters, made up of members from several organizations including Independent Jewish Voices, Winnipeg Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid , and Peace Alliance Winnipeg, peacefully sat across the street from the pavilion entrance at …

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August 13, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed


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