Aug 29, 2010

Muslim shops ban Israeli produce in Palestine protest, Scotland

Asian shopkeepers in one of the biggest Muslim areas in Scotland are backing a boycott of Israeli produce.
In a move that has worried Jewish groups, Muslim families who own stores in Glasgow’s south side are refusing to stock Israeli goods in protest at Israel’s West Bank settlements and policy towards Palestinians.
Around 30 stores in Muslim communities in Pollokshields, Pollokshaws and Govanhill are supporting the drive and yesterday campaigners took to the streets to applaud shopkeepers who are no longer stocking Israeli products.
The campaigners, who toured stores handing out flyers to shoppers, say shops which continue to stock Israeli goods will be “named and shamed”.
Led by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Friends of Al Aqsa Glasgow, many stores in the area are now displaying posters declaring “No Israeli Produce sold here”.
Organisers say that following its success in Glasgow, the campaign is expected to be rolled out across the country.
The focus of the boycott is fruit such as dates, traditonally eaten by Muslims in the holy month of Ramadan. Some of the dates sent to the UK are produced on highly contentious Israeli settlements in the Jordan Valley.
Saddaqat Khan, of Friends of Al Aqsa, Glasgow, said: “Many Muslims are unaware of this and unwittingly purchase Israeli dates, thereby supporting the Israeli economy.”
Campaigners, some draped in the Palestinian flag, held a day of action in Allison Street in Govanhill to target store owners and customers.
Rizwan Khan, who owns Rizwan stores on Allison Street, dumped a box of dates after being told of their origin and is supporting the boycott. He said: “I have been wary of the dates I buy, but had been stocking Jordan Valley dates thinking these were safe.”
Customer Isahaq Ali, 50, said: “I know what to look out for when buying these items and wouldn’t give stores who stock them my custom.”
However, Edward Isaacs, president of the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council, said: “We have excellent relations in the Jewish Community with our Muslim friends and we think that bringing Middle East politics into the Glasgow sphere to this extent is not a good idea. Everyone is entitled to have their views on the Middle East, but we don’t think a boycott is the correct way to advance their political process.”

تونس.. تاريخ رسمي طويل من التطبيع

ما تزال حادثة غناء بعض المغنين التونسيين في مدينة إيلات المحتلة تثير جدلا كبيرا في تونس، خاصة أن أحد هؤلاء المغنين هتف بحياة مجرم الحرب رئيس الوزراء الإسرائيلي بنيامين نتنياهو مقترنا باسم رئيس الدولة زين العابدين بن علي. وقد اختلفت ردود الفعل تجاه حركة التطبيع الثقافية هذه، لكنها ردود أجمعت على الاستنكار الشديد للعملية.
ووصل الأمر بالبعض إلى عقد مقارنة بين قافلة المطبعين الذين استعملوا جوازات السفر التونسية وعبروا عبر المسالك القانونية، أي بعلم من أجهزة الدولة، وبين قافلة الحرية في مقارنة لا تخلو من سخرية بادية لكل قارئ، وانتهى الأمر بالاتفاق على تسمية الأولى قافلة العار.
غير أن الوجه الخفي من هذا الجدل هو ما يتعلق برد فعل معسكر التطبيع الثقافي الذي تتزعمه نخبة من المحسوبين على اليسار وبعض العلمانيين الذي يتسترون خلف أجهزة الدولة، وكذلك موقف السلطة نفسها من هذه الحركة التي يبدو أن لها تاريخا غير قصير في تونس.
وتبدو أهمية تناول هذا الوجه الخفي في كونه يكشف حقيقة التحالف بين السياسي والثقافي في هذا المجال رغم الاختلاف البيّن بين رموزه، ذلك أن السلطة التي لا تخفي رغبتها في التطبيع مع الكيان الصهيوني كما سنرى، ووجدت في هؤلاء الذين يحسبون على القطاع الثقافي "مركبا سهلا" لبلوغ غاية -إلى حد الآن- لا تجرؤ على الإعلان عنها صراحة.
وحتى نتبين هذا التحالف -أو "تقاطع المصالح" بتعبير أدق- بين الطرفين، لا بد من تتبع جملة من الوقائع التاريخية التي شهدتها البلاد ذات علاقة بالموقف من القضية الفلسطينية والكيان الصهيوني.

PM: Last thing we need is settlement boycott from Israelis

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke at a cabinet meeting on Sunday regarding the artist boycott of the new cultural center in the West Bank settlement city of Ariel.

State of Israel is facing a delegitimization campaign from different sources across the globe, including attempts to implement economic, academic and cultural boycotts. The last thing we need is a boycott attempt from within Israel. I do not wish to infringe upon the right of every artists to express his own opinion, but we do not need to fund boycotts and support them in any way," said Netanyahu.

He added, "I am happy to hear that the respective theater companies have announced that the performances will continue as planned. This is the appropriate stance."

Palestinians prepare to battle 'Zionist editing' on Wikipedia

Association of Palestinian Journalists chairman calls on Palestinians to prepare for 'PR war' on Israel.

The next battle in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be fought on the pages of the internet site Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia which anyone can edit.
Abed A-Nassar, chairman of the Association of Palestinian Journalists, has already begun preparing for the conflict, calling on Palestinian institutions to make Wikipedia pages more pro-Palestinian.
His call follows a recent article in Haaretz on a class organized by settlers to teach supporters how to register and edit Wikipedia pages, in order to make them more representative of the 'Zionist' viewpoint.
Organizers of the Israeli course say their aim is twofold: to affect Israeli public opinion by having people who share their ideological viewpoint take part in writing and editing for the Hebrew version, and to write in English so Israel's image can be bolstered abroad.
Palestinians must now launch a counter-attack against Israel's latest "public relations war", Nassar said.