Sep 23, 2010

#BDS: Swiss NGOs demand cancellation of Defense Minister’s visit to Israel

A group of NGOs in Switzerland filed a petition against Swiss Defense Minister Ueli Maurer, who announced he would make an official visit to Israel to meet with Israeli war minister Ehud Barak next month.
Human rights organizations insisted that the Swiss government should cancel Maurer’s visit scheduled for October 8, arguing that it represents unilateral support for Israel’s military occupation and conflicts with Switzerland’s commitment towards Mideast peace based on international law.
According to the petition issued Wednesday, the organizations demanded that the Swiss Federal Union freeze all forms of military cooperation with Israel and all other Mideast countries until immediate action is taken to lift the blockade imposed on Gaza and to implement recommendations of the Goldstone report for war crimes the Israeli army committed in its last war against the Gaza Strip.
The petition stressed the need to respect human rights and international law, calling for a conference to be held between all signatories of the fourth Geneva convention for the purpose of taking measures to defend civilians in Israeli occupied lands in Palestine, based on a UN mandate issued in November, 2009.

#BDS: Israel: Yemen played politics, not chess

Yemeni delegation fails to show up for first-round matchup at Chess Olympiad in Russia, giving Israel automatic 4-0 victory. Yemeni minister: Automatic win a 'Jewish trick'

A Yemeni chess team backed out of a match with Israel at an international competition because of political reasons, officials said Wednesday.

Aviv Bushinsky, chairman of the Israel Chess Federation, says the Yemen delegation didn't arrive for the first-round matchup with Israel on Tuesday at the Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. He said Israel was awarded an automatic 4-0 victory as a result of the forfeit.

In the Yemeni capital of San'a, the deputy youth and sports minister, Moamar al-Ariani, dismissed the automatic win awarded Israel as a "Jewish trick that aims to ruin the reputation of Yemen and Yemeni sport."

He also praised Yemen's chess team, saying it had lived up to its responsibility.

#BDS: British director Mike Leigh to visit Israel

One of Britain's most acclaimed film directors will arrive in Jewish state in November, meet local artists and giver master class

One of the United Kingdom's most decorated film directors, Mike Leigh, will arrive in Israel on November 20 for a week-long visit as guest of the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School in Jerusalem.

During his visit, which will be co-sponsored by the Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa Cinematheques, Leigh will give a 3-day master class for Sam Spiegel students and graduates, receive an honorary degree from the school, hold audience meetings in Jerusalem and Haifa and give a lecture for Palestinian students in Jenin.

The director will also meet some 350 Israeli artists, including film producers, directors, screenwriters, actors and acting students, as part of a special event at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque hosted by actor Doron Tavori.

The Cameri Theater will also hold a meeting between Leigh and various theater figures during which parts of several of his plays will be performed. Israel's leading cinematheques will put together a Mike Leigh retrospective in the month of November.

#BDS: Harry Potter award winner signs to Israel boycott

Ahlul Bayt News Agency ; Miriam Margolyes, award winning actress of the renowned Hary Potter series has been among the signatories to a petition to boycott illegal settlements inside 'Israel.'
The petition has been signed by well known artists in the west and is growingly absorb more signatures.
Yesterday, a world-renowned architect and a leading conductor have joined the growing list of American and British artists in support of the boycott.
Architect Frank Gehry, known for iconic buildings like the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles signed the petition launched by Jewish Voice for Peace in response to the actors' boycott of the Ariel settlement.
Daniel Barenboim is a legendary pianist and conductor who, along with the late Palestinian intellectual Edward Said, created the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which brings together young Jewish Israeli and Arab musicians, Jewish Voice for Peace said.
She played Professor Sprout in Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets in 2002.

#BDS: Fashion Week soiree hosted by Israeli settlement builder draws protest

More than a dozen human rights activists surprised an end of New York Fashion Week shindig hosted at the Madison Avenue diamond boutique of the notorious Israeli settlement builder Lev Leviev. Acting on an anonymous tip, activists from Adalah-NY gathered outside Leviev's store shortly after highly-coutured guests began arriving. Oscar de la Renta was rumored to be among fashion bigs attending. Well-coiffed fashionistas clutching champagne flutes nervously drew away from the second-floor window of the boutique upon noting the full-throated chanting of the activists. Two glitterati who arrived in a limo returned to their vehicle, joining others, and left after seeing the protesters, who bore signs decrying Leviev's construction of Jewish-only settlements on Palestinian land in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. One limo driver, after discharging his passengers who were escorted inside by Leviev's security men, gave the protestors an enthusiastic thumbs up before driving away.
Heard among the protesters' chants: "Fashionistas and socialites, Leviev denies human rights."
"It's a shame that high-profile designers would want to associate with a known human-rights abuser," said Adalah-NY's Alexis Stern. "Don't their PR people know how to search his name on the web?"

#BDS: Copenhagen city council set to vote on divestment

On 23 September, Denmark's Social Democrat party will have a decisive influence on a Copenhagen city council vote on whether the municipality should divest $2.3 million from companies involved in the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The divestment measure was already voted on earlier this month, when on 7 September the City of Copenhagen's financial committee rejected mayor of social affairs Mikkel Warming's proposal to divest from the 13 companies profiting from the occupation. Copenhagen has a system of governance lead by committees; the finance committee and six other standing committees each have its own mayor and area of responsibility. The committees make decisions relating to their area, but the mayor of the committee can in exceptional cases overrule the committee's decision and take a proposal to the city council. The Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, or the head of city council, is Social Democrat Frank Jensen who also serves as mayor of the financial committee.

The city council investments in question are made through Danske Invest, a fund managed by Danske Bank. The bank states on its website that it holds investments to standards of social responsibility and "are made only in securities issued by companies that do not violate the standards for human rights, arms, working conditions, environment and anti-corruption."

#BDS: Intel's new chip developed in Israel

Intel's new microprocessor, the 'Sandy Bridge,' was developed at its R&D Center in Haifa, Israel.
The company revealed details about the new chip at the Intel Developers Forum in San Francisco this week. The Sandy Bridge will enter production at the end of 2010 and will be available in early 2011.
The most important attribute of the new microprocessor is the advances in its graphic capabilities. The chip is being presented as combining graphic core processing (GPU) alongside a central processing unit (MPU). This will enable Intel to compete against Nvidia and AMD in the graphic processing market.
The new micro-architecture also represents progress in overall ability and efficiency. Its higher work speed and relatively lower energy needs will extend battery life in laptops based on the new microprocessor.
Intel's Haifa facility has also been in the news recently for dedicating Israel's most environmentally-friendly office building, the IDC9.
The 11-storey, $110 million facility has a double distinction. It is Israel's first LEED-certified green building and it has been awarded Gold - the second-highest rating in the LEED certification system. LEED is an American standard for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

#BDS: A dizzying array of genres at his Beck and call

Stop the presses! Jeff Beck is coming to settle in Israel! The legendary British guitar wizard is probably not up to snuff on our regional jargon, having his head usually burrowed either near his guitar fretboard or under the hood of one of the many vintage Ford hot rods he owns and restores himself. So when he told me that his all-star band is arriving here a few days ahead of the launch of a world tour to prepare for the debut on October 4 at Reading 3 in Tel Aviv and the next night at the Caesarea Amphitheater, he said without a hint of irony, “We’ve chosen to rehearse in Israel and settle there for a few days rather than rehearse in England and get off the plane. We want to acclimatize ourselves.”

So, all right, keep the presses going. The 65-year-old Beck isn’t going to join the hilltop youth and provide musical accompaniment for Council for Judea and Samaria radio ads anytime soon. But don’t put it past him because Beck has spent a great part of the last 45 years confounding the expectations of his fans, his fellow players, and even himself as he forged one of the most diverse careers a guitar hero has ever boasted of.

Along with 
Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page, Beck is one of the British triumvirate who emerged from the British blues scene of the 1960s, all launching from the position of guitarist with The Yardbirds at various times, before taking on the world in their individualized blueprints and exploding the set concept of what a rock guitarist is capable of.

The legendary British guitarist is using Tel Aviv as his rehearsal space ahead of his world tour next month.

#BDS: Royal Winnipeg Ballet heading to Israel

Missions have been bringing Winnipeg Jewish community leaders to Israel for more than 20 years, but in  mid-October  a who’s who of high-profile Manitobans will touch down in the Holy Land.

Joining the usual contingent of community leaders and major donors will be Premier Greg Selinger, Minister of Water Stewardship Christine Melnick, Minister of Innovation, Energy and Mines Dave Chomiak, as well as the acclaimed Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB).

For the ballet, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, the trip will mark its first visit to Israel since 1975. At the time, it was the first Canadian ballet company to perform in the Jewish state.

The upcoming mission, sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, will see the premier make his first visit to Israel, while this will be Melnick’s fourth trip.

Over the years, Manitobans have developed “a special relationship with Israel,” Melnick said in a telephone interview from Winnipeg.

As minister in charge of water stewardship, she has been instrumental in bringing together Manitoba’s and Israel’s top experts for symposiums on water-related issues, the first in August 2008, the second in January 2010. Melnick hinted there may be announcements in Israel of further joint projects, but she would not elaborate.