Aug 25, 2010

Aviv Geffen to open for U2

Israeli rock musician chosen to warm up legendary Irish band during mega concert in Athens' Olympic stadium

Israeli musician Aviv Geffen will be the opening act for legendary Irish rock band U2, which will perform at the Olympic stadium in Athens, Greece on September 3.

Geffen will join forces with acclaimed band SnowPatrol, and the two acts will warm up the crowd before Bono and his friends take the stage.

On Thursday, Geffen published a confirmation on his MySpace page. "We are proud to announce Aviv Geffen will open for U2 on September 3, 2010 on their '360' Tour at the Olympic Stadium in Athens, Greece! 

Church boycott calls ring louder

The world's churches have long been one of the battlegrounds of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. With the strengthening of the BDS movement, a number of churches across the globe have seen the boycott of Israeli and Israeli settlement goods hotting up, and recent weeks have witnessed some notable victories. 

BUST ELBIT: Stop bankrolling Israeli wars and ghettos

I. Introduction
The call to divest from Elbit Systems Ltd. has become a key element of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement aimed at ending Israeli occupation, colonialism and apartheid against the Palestinian people.

One and a half years after Stop the Wall Campaign initiated campaigning efforts within the framework of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) to pressure international investors and public authorities across the world to divest from the Israeli corporation, victories for the Bust Elbit campaign are beginning to mount rapidly. The Bust Elbit campaign is part of the wider BDS efforts which seek to hold Israel and its supporters accountable by pressuring Israel on all fronts - politically, culturally, and economically.

Founded in 1967, the Israeli company has become one of the world’s premiere “security and defence,” firms, specializing in military electronics, surveillance systems, Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs or “drones”), and security systems. It is a symbol for the Israeli economy, which essentially thrives on and fuels war, repression and control in Palestine and around the globe.

Elbit Systems is built on the expertise of the Israeli Ministry of Defense Research Institute and has profited greatly from supplying the Israeli military with a variety of equipment used to sustain Israeli occupation of the Palestinian people. It produces the drones used in the wars and attacks against Gaza and Lebanon and provides equipment for the Israeli Merkava tanks. The Israeli Apartheid Wall, which is crippling Palestinian communities by isolating them in walled-in ghettos, has provided a massive source of revenue for Elbit. Elbit Systems provides “intrusion detection systems” for the Wall, in particular around Jerusalem1. Subsidiaries Elbit Electro-Optics (El-Op) and Elbit Security Systems supplied and incorporated LORROS surveillance cameras in the Ariel settlement section as well as around Ar Ram2. One product made by Elbit Systems, “Torch”, is manufactured specifically for use on the Wall3.

Elbit offers its experience in ghettoizing and killing Palestinians to repress other people. In 2006 its American subsidiary Kollsman Inc. won a contract to participate in the creation of the US – Mexico border wall, dubbed by activists the ‘Wall of Death’4.

On Local Boycott and Deception

By Khalil Nakhleh
Like many thousands of Palestinians in Ramallah, I feel utterly confused by the dishonesty of being railroaded concerning local boycott of 'settlements' products. Because we—my wife and I—are committed to the principle and act of boycott, as a means of resistance, I decided to clarify the primary issues involved, in order to minimize, as much as possible, daily contradictions.  I embarked on sorting out, systematically, methodically and with clarity, related major issues.
Enemies and Friends
The distinction is not as clear as it sounds. The Ramallah “Government”, its ministries, agencies, and commissions, repeat one line, and want to ram it down our throats. This line can be simplified as follows:
“Our primary enemy, at this historical juncture, is the illegal settlements in the West Bank. Therefore, and in order to punish these settlements, and force them out, we, and our international ‘friends’, must boycott their products.”
The words used do not reflect conviction, on the part of the “Government”, that: these are Zionist settler colonies; and having been established on stolen Palestinian lands in the West Bank, since 1967, is only another phase of the Zionist settler-colonial project that started in the rest of Palestine, since much earlier than 1948; and this is not, necessarily, the final phase of this onslaught. But we are “dooped” into thinking that this is so.

Israeli ships not welcome in Vancouver


Vancouver – Locally-based activists, called out by the Boycott Israeli Apartheid Coalition (BIAC), are mounting a picket line at the Port of Vancouver’s Delta Port facility at Roberts Bank, south of Vancouver, as part of a mounting international campaign to put pressure on the government of Israel.
The Israeli ship Djibouti, owned by Zim, one of the ten largest shipping companies in the world, is scheduled to land at Delta Port at 7:00 a.m. this morning.

“The behaviour of the Israeli government has been going from bad to worse,” explained BIAC spokesperson Gordon Murray. “We are going to be out there today to tell Zim and other Israeli companies that their business won’t be allowed to continue normally as long as Israel’s blockade on Gaza continues,” he said.
“Israel has been behaving as a rogue government,” said Mike Krebs, the other BIAC spokesperson for the demonstration. “People from Vancouver are coming out to emulate actions that have already been taken in South Africa, Scandinavia, India and Oakland, California, where Israeli ships have been prevented from unloading their cargo in a normal manner.”
“Israel has been violating international law and acting with impunity for far too long,” Murray said. “It’s obvious to us that they won’t change their behaviour unless their forced to,” he concluded.

Protester Arrested In Chicago While Challenging Israeli Segregation

Flag and banner commemorating Petach Tikva-Chicago sister city in Chicago subway (photo from flickr)

In a demonstration organized by the Palestine Solidarity Group-Chicago on 23 August, more than two dozen activists converged on downtown Millennium Park to call on city leaders to sever ties with Israel and drop Petach Tikva, Israel from the Chicago Sister Cities program. During the annual Chicago Sister Cities' International Festival, protesters rallied outside -- and later, inside -- the venue. One activist was arrested and released later that day.

"Petach Tikva -- an officially segregated city, the first Jewish-only settlement in historic Palestine and the site of the primary detention center where Israeli forces abuse and torture Palestinian political prisoners -- has been dubbed by rights group Amnesty International as 'Israel's Guantanamo,'" PSG stated in a press release.

"Upholding the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions measures on apartheid Israel, PSG and its allies object to business-as-usual with Israel. Under the false premise of promoting culture and education, Petach Tikva's inclusion in Chicago Sister Cities promotes Israel-US business ties while it whitewashes Israel's occupation and human rights abuses," the statement added.

During the protest activists entered the festival venue and chanted "Drop Petach Tikva!" Activists reported that a pianist who was performing in the hall at the time "stood at attention out of respect once he heard the protesters' message."

"The PSG and allies were compelled to bring the message directly into the festival because for the last year and a half, the Chicago Sister Cities International has refused to meet with PSG and members of the community to hear about Petach Tikva's special role in Israel's oppression of the Palestinian people," PSG stated.

The group said it plans to keep up the pressure on city officials until the Chicago's Sister Cities program drops its partnership with Petach Tikva.

Scientists want inquiry into absence of Israelis at Jordan chemistry conference

The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities has asked an international chemistry association to examine whether organizers of an upcoming conference in Jordan deliberately excluded Israeli researchers from the list of invited speakers.
The request followed a call by Roald Hoffman, a Nobel laureate in chemistry at Cornell University, to boycott the event, whose 110 speakers do not include a single Israeli.
The 11th Eurasia Conference on Chemical Sciences, scheduled for October 6-8 at a conference center on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea, is aimed at exposing young scientists from developing countries to some of the world's leading researchers. The biennial event has previously been hosted in countries as varied as Turkey, Pakistan, Vietnam and Malaysia.