Sep 2, 2010

Wikimania 2011 is set to take place in a country that walls people out of cities based on their ethnicity - #BDS

Wikimania is a conference held every year and attended by users of Wikipedia and other projects of theWikimedia Foundation, which prides itself on its mission of providing free knowledge and free access to knowledge for all. Holding Wikimania in Haifa, Israel is counter to the spirit, ethos, and goals of the Wikimedia Foundation. Here’s why:

    UBC Faculty of Law and Hebrew University Faculty Exchange - #BDS

    UBC is pleased to announce a faculty exchange program between the UBC Faculty of Law and Faculty of Law at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Starting this September, and for the next two academic years, both Faculties will host a visiting professor from the other school, who will undertake a six to seven week short-term course or seminar in a topic of their choosing.
    "UBC Law is always looking for opportunities where we can enhance the teaching and learning experience through interdisciplinary study and international engagement," says UBC Law Dean, Mary Anne Bobinski. "This partnership with Hebrew University is an important step towards achieving that goal and were certain that the experience will be valuable for both our faculty and students."
    Like UBC, Hebrew University is also considered to be one of the top universities in the world according to the annual QS World University Rankings.
    Barak Medina, Dean at the Faculty of Law, Hebrew University says, "We are very excited to launch this exchange program with UBC. The program will provide opportunities for cooperation of researchers from both institutions, and may also enable us to establish in the near future a student-exchange program. We are grateful to the Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University and the donors, who made this exchange program possible."
    The program starts in September at UBC with Dr. Tomer Broude, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law and Department of International Relations, Hebrew University. Dr. Broude will be teaching an intensive course this semester entitled Topics in International Law & Transactions Dispute Settlement in the WTO: Law, Policy and Procedure.

    Jewish Defense League planning to disrupt pro-Palestinian rally in London - #BDS

    LONDON: The organizers of the Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day Rally in London, on 4 September, 2010, have called on pro-Palestinian and anti-fascist groups to come out to show solidarity against counter-demonstrations organized by Zionist and Fascist groups.
    Police have warned the organizers that the English Defense League (EDL), March for England and the Jewish Defense League (JDL) groups are planning to try to disrupt the event, which is organized by Muslim groups but supported by others including the Stop the War Coalition and Jews Against Zionism.
    Since last year’s Al-Quds Day event, which was marked by confrontations with counter-demonstrators including the EDL and Zionist groups, supporters of the Palestinians have noted increasing cooperation between Zionists and far-right groups trying to disrupt pro-Palestinian demonstrations and activities.
    Al-Quds Day is an annual day of solidarity with the Palestinians and other oppressed peoples marked by Muslims around the world at the end of the holy month of Ramadan. (Al-Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem.) Rallies marking the day have been held in London annually since 1980. Supporters of the event in London this year include the Muslim Council of Britain, the Stop the War Coalition, Jews Against Zionism, the Islamic Forum of Europe and the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS).

    Californians asked to restrict public retirement investments in Israel - #BDS

    Businesses related to the construction or maintenance of Israeli settlements, including those in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, or that provide military supplies and services to Israel would no longer be investment opportunities for the nation’s two largest public employee pension funds under an initiative that has been given the okay to gather signatures.
    If it makes it to the ballot, is approved by voters and survives the usual gauntlet of lawsuits, it would also require the Public Employees’ Retirement System and State Teachers’ Retirement System to urge these companies to stop those business activities, and, subject to fund fiduciary responsibilities, to divest from companies still engaged in these activities.
    It also would prohibit retirement funds from making new investments in these companies.
    The proponent for this measure, Chris Yatooma of Sacramento, must collect signatures of 433,971 registered voters – the number equal to 5 percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2006 gubernatorial election – in order to qualify it for the ballot. He and his supporters have until Jan. 31, 2011 to do that.
    “We hope California will be the first state to apply a comprehensive divestment strategy that other states will follow,” Mr. Yatooma says on his website for the initiative. “This divestment approach looks to mirror the divestment strategy embodied by the worldwide anti-apartheid movement that toppled white rule in South Africa.”

    Peres welcomes goodwill delegation of NBA players - #BDS

    Former and current NBA players arrive in Israel on trip planned by AIPAC to acquaint American sports figures with Israel's unique challenges.

    President Shimon Peres welcomed a delegation of former and current NBA players to Israel on Wednesday morning.

    The trip was planned by the American pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, with the purpose of strengthening American-Israeli relations by introducing leading figures in American sports to Israel and its unique challenges.

    The delegation included players Jerome Williams, David Wood, Allan Houston and Dwight Howard Sr. as well as Memphis Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace.

    Accompanying the group was Sacramento Kings player and Israeli national team member Omri Casspi.

    In his opening remarks at the meeting with Peres, former NBA player Allan Houston stated the delegation's support of Israel and declared that he would stand by Israel on this historic day, as direct negotiations were relaunched in Washington.

    At the conclusion of the meeting, the players signed a basketball and gave it to the 87-year-old president, who in turn immediately passed the ball to one of his advisers, as if he were a seasoned player.

    Anti-BDS document leaked - #BDS

    The following is a position paper, leaked by Laith Marouf, which is related (although perhaps not authored only by) Dr Mitchell Bard and Professor Gil Troy. It discusses various ways to attack the BDS movement, which seeks to gain basic human rights for those people living under the various forms of Israeli military occupation. I found the paper here on a blog called “The Speed of Dreams”.