Aug 31, 2010

3M buys Israel’s Attenti for US$230-million - #BDS

NEW YORK — Diversified U.S. manufacturer 3M Co said it would pay US$230-million in cash to buy Israel’s Attenti Holdings SA, which makes technology used to remotely monitor criminals and elder care patients.
Attenti is expected to have about US$100-million in sales in 2010. 3M is buying the business from an investor group led by Francisco Partners.
The deal is expected to be slightly dilutive to earnings over the first 12 months after the deal closes, 3M said. Excluding purchase accounting and integration costs, it expects the deal to add slightly to earnings over the same period.
3M has been busy on the dealmaking front this week. It announced on Monday plans to purchase Cogent Inc for US$943-million, paying a nearly 18% premium for the maker of identification systems used to screen travelers at border crossings.
3M Chief Executive George Buckley said last week that the company could spend US$2-billion on acquisitions this year, double its previous estimate.

Blue and White: Where Uri Avnery has it Wrong - #BDS

Once again Uri Avnery is using his blog to criticize the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. Under the title "Red and Green," Avnery comments on the long and interesting program recently broadcast on Israeli Channel 10 on the growing international isolation of Israel.

Avnery, the veteran journalist and activist, repeats his main arguments against "boycott Israel" campaign and the need to focus only on the boycott of settlers and settlement products. I have already reacted to a similar criticism by Avnery , but the well-deserved authority of Uri Avnery within the international solidarity movement requires a debate of what I consider to be his (very few indeed) mistaken views.

"Indeed there is no need for a world-wide [BDS] organization [the reportage] says, because all over the place there is a spontaneous surge of pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli feeling. Following the "Cast Lead" operation and the flotilla affair, this process has gathered momentum," summarizes Avnery.

After this summary, Uri's blog focuses on a criticism of the campaign of boycotting Israel. His main argument is that the campaign doesn't distinguish between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). For Avnery, while the OPT should be totally freed from Israeli control and domination, the territories west of the "Green Line" are "naturally" Israeli, just as Manchester is Great Britain and Hanover is Germany. There should be no challenge to this reality and, as Uri said once, he will be the first to defend Israel from any such challenge. For Avnery, the colonial nature of the State of Israel is obsolete within 1948.

Montreal: Carrying Forward the Momentum Against Israeli Apartheid - #BDS

Since 2005’s historic call from Palestine for a comprehensive, international movement for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israeli apartheid, we have seen many important victories for this movement in both Canada and Québec.

The past two years have seen growing numbers of Québec civil society organizations taking up the call for BDS. From the student movement and the commitment to BDS passed by L’Association pour une Solidarite Syndicale Étudiante (ASSÉ) in 2006; to college and university workers calling for boycott under the banner of College and University Workers United (CUWU) in early 2009; to the recently passed resolution in support of BDS by the members of la Centrale des syndicats du Quebec (CSQ), one of Quebec’s largest labour federations, growing numbers of people have enthusiastically joined the international BDS movement.
Beyond Québec, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) has become the first union at the national level to join the BDS campaign, while the Ontario branch of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE-ON) has also helped to push the boycott to centre stage. 2009 has seen increasing public debate on the issue of BDS in Canada, whether during the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival, within the United Church, in the public debates on the academic boycott on university campuses in Ontario, or in LGBTQ communities, where queer activists organized anti-Israeli apartheid contigents in pride parades in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. This energy in diverse sectors of society shows that the movement against Israeli apartheid and for BDS is growing.
Now is the time to reflect on the successes of the BDS movement in Canada and Quebec to date, as well as to work to consolidate and intensify our efforts in solidarity with the people of Palestine, who continue to suffer under the brutal system of Israeli apartheid. All BDS activists, as well as anyone who is interested in learning more about BDS, are invited attend to a 3-day BDS conference from October 22 to 24th , 2010 in Montreal, Quebec. Together we will map out the next steps in the Quebec and Canadian movement to end Israeli apartheid and to free Palestine!
for more information
endorsed by Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions Campaign National Committee, Palestine
This conference is being organized by individuals and members of College and University Workers United, Tadamon! Montreal, Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights, Solidarité Palestine Solidarity, The Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine, Palestinian and Jewish Unity, and the Coalition for Justice in Palestine-UQAM. Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid Toronto

Catalonian Youth Advocate Palestine Via Music - #BDS

Nablus – PNN exclusive – a group of Catalonian youth currently visiting the Palestinian territory have taken the responsibility to advocate the Palestinian cause using a number of methods among them music.
The group visit is organized by Solidarity with Palestine from Barcelona, an organization that is specialized in advocacy work for the Palestinian cause.
The organization advocacy work is done by organizing tours to Catalonian musical groups visiting schools, workshops, and art galleries and movies, Ashraf Ayoup, an organizer for the organization told PNN.
Joseph Nadal, a singer in the Catalonian group, said he came to visit Palestine to learn about the Palestinian community and life under occupation in addition to learn about the Palestinian cultural and music. 
Nadal says he was moved by the way the Palestinians welcomed his group and despite life under occupation people still smile. “I admire the determination of the Palestinians to live “ Nadal Added.
The Catalonian said that there is a boycott campaign is Spain to Israeli products that are using media and prints to educate people that buying Israeli products is supporting occupation, he hoped that this campaign will expand to reach more people.

150 academics, artists back actors' boycott of settlement arts center - #BDS

The actors' boycott of the new Ariel cultural center received a boost yesterday with over 150 academics and several dozen authors and artists signing letters in their support.
In the academics' letter, released yesterday, over 150 faculty members from universities across the country vowed not to lecture or participate in any discussions in settlements, and voiced support for the theater artists who have said they would refuse to perform in the West Bank city. "We will not take part in any kind of cultural activity beyond the Green Line, take part in discussions and seminars, or lecture in any kind of academic setting in these settlements," the academics wrote.
"We support the theater artists refusing to play in Ariel, express our appreciation of their public courage and thank them for bringing the debate on settlements back into the headlines," the petition said. "We'd like to remind the Israeli public that like all settlements, Ariel is also in occupied territory. If a future peace agreement with the Palestinian authorities puts Ariel within Israel's borders, then it will be treated like any other Israeli town."

The murder of a 13-year-old and the trigger-happy ‘Captain’ who walked free - #BDS

Iman Darweesh al-Hams and I were both born in 1991. But in late 2004, while I spent my days chasing basketballs and hurriedly finishing spelling tests, Iman’s bullet-riddled body fell to the ground, lifeless.
I was introduced to her a few months after her death. The Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs ran an article about her final moments and never did I cry so hard for someone I never met.
Although it’s been over five years since I shed those tears, her story still brings back those heavy emotions. The world went black the day she was murdered. This might be five years overdue but this is my tribute to Iman. This is her story.