Sep 7, 2010

#BDS: For a morally consistent boycott of Israel

Provoked by the recent announcement of the inauguration of a cultural center in Ariel, the fourth largest Jewish colony in the occupied Palestinian territory, 150 prominent Israeli academics, writers and cultural figures have declared that they "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" ("150 academics, artists back actors' boycott of settlement arts center," Haaretz, 31 August 2010). A few protestors went as far as reiterating the fact that all Israeli colonies built on occupied Palestinian land are in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and thus constitute a war crime.

This position by tens of Israeli academics and artists has generated a great deal of controversy within the Israeli public sphere, attracting rebuke from across the political spectrum and especially from the academic and cultural establishment. All major theaters were quick to declare their refusal to boycott Ariel under the pretense of serving "all Israelis;" university administrations echoed this position or resorted to silence, continuing business as usual with Ariel and other settlements. The terms of the discourse, however, raise a number of issues for supporters of Palestinian rights. While we welcome acts of protest against any manifestation of Israel's regime of colonialism and apartheid, we believe that these acts must be both morally consistent and anchored in international law and universal human rights.

#BDS: Global BDS Against Israel Is Working

In July 2005, a coalition of 171 Palestinian Civil Society organizations created the Global BDS movement for "Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel Until it Complies with International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights" for Occupied Palestinians, Israeli Arabs, and Palestinian diaspora refugees.

The Tel Aviv-based Reut Institute (RI) provides "real-time strategic decision-making" support in areas of national security and socioeconomic policy. Its new report titled "The Gaza Flotilla: The Collapse of Israel's Political Firewall" suggests it's working. It followed an earlier one on "creating a political firewall" against Israel's "delegitimization challenge," recommending sabotage and subterfuge against growing global forces it fears, not an equitable solution it rejects.

Focusing now on the Gaza Flotilla, it called it "the tip of the iceberg" attempt along with the BDS movement and Durban conference against racism to cause "tangible and significant damage to Israel." Unmentioned was how expert Israel is in self-inflicting it by decades of occupation and crimes of war and against humanity.

#BDS: City shops join the boycott of Israeli dates

A NUMBER of small shops in Edinburgh have offered their support to a boycott of dates imported from Israel. 
Worshippers from Edinburgh's Central Mosque joined activists from the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) in a tour of local shops to inform customers and owners of their concerns over the sale of Israeli and illegal settlement dates.

A similar move has also taken place in Glasgow.

Mick Napier, SPSC chair, said, "All the shops we visited today backed the boycott, removed any dodgy dates from their shelves, and are now displaying posters to that effect. The support we received from customers and passers-by was overwhelming."

#BDS: Campaiging against Ahava in South Africa

Open Letter to the SA Zionist Federation

Why are you supporting occupation, settlement and oppression?
We are members of Open Shuhada Street (OSS) an organisation committed to peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians. We have called for a boycott of products made by Ahava [1] [and see  posting on the JfJfP website Boycotting Ahava – anyone can join in] – Dead Sea Laboratories Ltd (Ahava) because these products are manufactured illegally in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) by a company owned by illegal settlements in the OPT. The profitability of settlements businesses like Ahava causes suffering for millions of ordinary Palestinian children, women and men. The call to boycott Ahava is a common sense, peaceful expression of the need to reverse the settlement enterprise which stands in the way of the creation of two states, Israel and Palestine, living in peace.
On 25 August 2010, in response to the call to boycott the settlement-made products of Ahava, the SA Zionist Federation (SAZF) Cape launched a vicious personal attack on us. This was coordinated by SAZF head office. We respond in this open letter.

#BDS: Products Made in Israel

A huge and thorough list of products that are manufactured in Israel.

#BDS: Boycott of Israel

Boycott is an effective weapon against Israel because it depends on trade — exports as well as imports.
The boycott against apartheid South Africa was a huge success. The financial impact on Israel may not be large but its international significance will be huge. Last week the Chilean Parliament decided to boycott Israeli products made in the settlements. In September 2009 Norway announced that it is selling off its shares in Elbit System because of the company’s role in building the separation wall. In March this year Swedish investment fund said that it would eschew Elbit System shares on the same grounds. Human rights organizations in Europe are running campaigns calling for a boycott of Israeli products.
Dozens of theater people are boycotting the new culture center in Ariel supported by a group of authors and artists. Then a group of 150 lecturers from various universities announced that they would not teach at Ariel College. The anti-Israel tide rose right after Operation Cast Lead, as the world watched how Israel pounded Gaza with bombs. Then came the flotilla, complete with prominent peace activists, which ended in nine deaths, adding fuel to the fire. The boycott is gaining momentum on all fronts.

#BDS - Foreign legalists to defend Israel abroad?

Foreign Ministry conference attended by 170 legal experts from 32 countries aims to fight de-legitimization against Jewish state

Despite the strike and the distance from the media, the Foreign Ministry on Sunday opened a first-of-its-kind conference which included 170 legalists from 32 countries who arrived in Israel to discuss tactics to handle the de-legitimization being waged against the Jewish state.

Jerusalem hopes to recruit reputable legal experts from around the globe to help combat the growing criticism against Israel.

The conference's goal was to outline to the foreign legalists the issues Israel is facing in the filed of international law, and also to learn from them how to adapt the Israeli legal arguments to the international community.

Foreign report: Israel has one of world's largest 'eavesdropping' intel bases - #BDS

The base, near Kibbutz Urim, is central to the activities of the main Israel Defense Forces signals intelligence unit, 8200, according to report in Le Monde Diplomatique.

Israel has one of the largest signals intelligence (SIGINT) bases in the world in the western Negev, Le Monde Diplomatique reported. The base, near Kibbutz Urim, is central to the activities of the main Israel Defense Forces signals intelligence unit, 8200, the report says.
According to the report, the base has 30 antennas and satellite dishes of different sizes and types, capable of eavesdropping on telephone calls and accessing the e-mail of "governments, international organizations, foreign companies, political groups and individuals."
One of the base's main purposes is to listen to transmissions from ships passing in the Mediterranean, the report says. The base is also the center of intelligence activity that "taps underwater communication cables, mostly in the Mediterranean, connecting Israel with Europe."