Sep 10, 2010

#BDS: The Silence of the Israeli Intelligentsia

The ongoing buzz in the Israeli media around statements issued by artists and academics against lecturing or performing in the colony of Ariel – built on occupied Palestinian land – betrays a stark contradiction in the positions of the Israeli intelligentsia. While they are now calling for a boycott of settlements, they have remained apathetic or even content regarding the far more significant heavy hand of the military-security-political establishment in society, including in academia and cultural institutions.

Another recent controversy has raged around academic freedom and the autonomy of the university. It was occasioned by attacks by two right-wing organizations, the Institute for Zionist Strategies and Im Tirtzu, on the alleged post-and anti-Zionist bias in social science departments at some Israeli universities.

The connection between the two controversies may not be apparent at first. However, they both demonstrate that the liberal-to-left Israeli intelligentsia’s mindset is fully in line with the reigning orthodoxy that accepts the military as a benign fact of life.

#BDS: British Palestinian rapper conducts a 'musical intifada'

"It's a musical intifada, a musical uprising," says Shadia Mansour squinting in the sunshine outside the hip hop workshop she is running in the West Bank city of Hebron.
From inside, a DJ can be heard cutting out beats on his decks.
Ms Mansour has been dubbed "the first lady of Arabic hip hop", but she is perhaps the only lady of Arabic hip hop.
The 24-year-old British Palestinian rapper grew up in South London, but she is currently on tour in the West Bank.
Ms Mansour is giving concerts in Bethlehem, Hebron and Ramallah but is also working with local young rappers in free flowing jam sessions.

#BDS: Palestine Direct Action Fundraiser at Ratstar


Direct actions in support of Palestine, such as blockades of Ahava or Carmel Agrexco don’t pay for themselves, van hire, D-locks etc all cost cash money. Therefore a network of people who carry out such actions are putting on a fundraiser to pay for future actions. Come on down, with a banging line up and a great social centre to have a party in (the Ratstar comes with 2 rooms of music, a cinema room and even a roof terrace, oh yes), there has never been a funner way to support a great cause.
The day kicks off at 4pm, with workshops on direct action, Palestine related film screenings and a Palestinian cafe. Music kicks off at 8pm.
When: Saturday 11th September 4pm – 4am
How much: free before 8pm, £5 suggested donation afterwards, but pay what you can afford
Transport: 10 mins walk from Oval tube station, well serviced by local bus routes
from banging techno to punk to hip hop to dubstep to drum and bass to accoustic, whatever your into we got you covered.
live bands
Anarchistwood – punk with a very twisted twist
52 Commercial Road – Epic post-rock
The Lightbulb Amnesty – Quirkyness aplenty
Sarah Bear – Acoustic songs on a soulful/political tip
Saul Wright - Psychedelic folk from the man that never really really left the 60’s behind
live hip hop
Cross Bone T – Hard raps and sick beats with a serious message
H.L.I. (thewhatsupreme and Sensei C) – two hip hop veterans collide showcasing new material. Expect heaviness
Deir Yassin – Rising British Palestinian rap star Deir Yassin ain’t afraid to spit the truth about his homeland
EDMC – EDMC AKA Ed Greens brings some politics for your ear
We Are Dubbist – No intro needed, the legendary DJ/MC dubstep crew bless us with their presence
Random – Bristols finest bringing the Techno/Breaks
DJ Hamza – eclectic mash up to get you dancing
Sammy B-Side – Cambridge’s veteran Hip Hop selector takes a break from his album to spin for us
Krank – Banging, banging Techno
DJ Deadlybuzz – Whomping Dubstep from the Dissident Island radio DJ
Skanksta – Drum and Bass with a Reggae twist

#BDS: Rabbi urges boycott of visits to Israel

A British rabbi says Jews should avoid visiting the Israeli-occupied Palestine territories, since it would contribute to further occupation of the region.

"Jews who realize the human rights deprived of the Palestinians, would not want to visit any place in occupied territories,” British rabbi Yacov Weisz told Press TV on Saturday. 

"They would boycott visiting the Western Wall and Hevron and a few other places and places of worship. Because if I were to go there, I would contribute to the occupation," he said. 

Weisz, who is a member of Rabbis for Palestine, a self-described orthodox Jewish human rights organization based in London, opposes 'Zionism' and calls for a peaceful dismantling of the Israeli regime. 

"If I were to go there [to the occupied territories in Palestine], I would contribute to the occupation," Weisz told Press TV on Saturday.

"A general problem with this regime" is that it "doesn't understand what peace means, [it] doesn't understand what respect and dignity for someone else means at all," he said. 

#BDS: ISRAEL: Actors threaten settlement boycott, lawmaker acts up

Israel is dogged by boycott initiatives from different directions. Academic, commercial and cultural ties are threatened as organizations and individuals protesting Israel's policies turn to boycotting in an attempt to apply practical pressure that will lead to change -- or at least exact a tangible price.
Some direct their efforts against any kind of collaboration with Israel. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions for Palestine movement, or BDS, says academic and cultural cooperation with Israel boosts its international image and that refusing to take part in any exchange can send Israel the message that its "occupation and discrimination against Palestinians in unacceptable."
Other efforts are more selective, boycotting Israeli products and produce originating in the territories, such asAhava. A while back, a campaign to boycott the popular Dead Sea cosmetics was dubbed "stolen beauty" and called on consumers to shun the products made with "stolen Palestinian natural resources." "Sex in the City" actress Kristin Davis, who promoted Ahava products, wasentangled in the controversy, losing her position as anOxfam ambassador.

#BDS: Mira Awad to perform before Clinton, Blair

Israeli Arab singer invited to sing in special ceremony next week in which former British premier will be awarded medal for his efforts for peace in Northern Ireland

Israeli Arab singer Mira Awad has been invited to sing before former US President Bill Clinton and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in Florida on Monday as part of a special ceremony in which Blair will be awarded the Liberty Medal for his efforts to promote peace in Northern Ireland.

Awad's musical partner Noa, with whom she performed in 2009's Eurovision Song Contest, was also invited to perform but will not be able to attend.

#BDS: Boycott leadership: solidarity with French activists

The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), on behalf of its constituent organizations and unions representing the majority of Palestinian civil society, strongly condemns the decision taken by French authorities to prosecute people of conscience for calling for a boycott of Israeli produce. These state-sanctioned forms of repression amount to active support for Israeli violations of international law and have serious implications on political freedoms in France and across Europe.

On 13 September, five members of the group "Boycott 68" will appear in court charged with "incitement to discrimination, hatred or violence" after distributing leaflets asking shoppers to boycott Israeli products ("Halte aux procès politiques contre les défenseurs du droit!" BDS France). Last year, Sakina Arnaud was fined 1000 euros for attaching a "Boycott Israel" sticker to a fruit juice carton. Arnaud will appear in court again on 24 September to appeal the decision. The campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel, called for by Palestinian civil society in 2005, is a nonviolent, just and effective way of pressuring Israel to comply with international law and end its institutionalized discrimination and violence towards Palestinians. People of conscience all over the world, including many progressive Israelis and Jews, engage in BDS campaigns as a form of solidarity with an oppressed people, suffering under Israeli occupation and apartheid. BDS is based on unambiguous respect for international law and universal human rights; as such, it is categorically opposed to all forms of racism and racial discrimination, including Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. The BNC is therefore deeply troubled by state-sanctioned smear campaigns against BDS activists.

#BDS: Jeff Halper: Pete, join the artists who are boycotting Israel

All the best from your friends in Israel/Palestine. In that spirit, I was surprised to hear of your planned participation in With Earth and Each Other: A Virtual Rally for a Better Middle East. While at first blush it might seem to have something in common with the work of ICAHD and other Israeli and Palestinian peace groups — attempting to build bridges between peoples — it is actually something quite different.
One of the lead partners in the effort is the Jewish National Fund, which is responsible for the allocation of land in Israel. As such, it is a mainstay of the ever-increasing apartheid system there. Among their most recent activities has been the planting of a forest to cover a Bedouin village in the Negev from which the residents have been forcibly removed. They are in fact engaged in various tree-planting exercises that brand them as an environmental organization, when in fact their purpose is to secure the land of Israel, if not all of Palestine, for Jews only. That is their historical role, and so it remains. Efforts to paint Israel as environmentally concerned are mere greenwashing. Israel has repeatedly torn down Palestinian neighborhoods by declaring them green zones.