Sep 29, 2010

#BDS: Jordan unions urge boycott of cycling event with Israel

 Jordan's trade unions called on Wednesday for a boycott of a cycling tour for environmental awareness, saying the event involving Jordan, Israel and the Palestinians was really a cover to normalise ties with the Jewish state.
The three-day event organised by Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) is a "torch-run" starting October 8 in Jordan, going on to Israel and finishing in the Palestinian territories.
"This association is working to impose normalisation with the Zionist enemy under cover of environmental activities," Badi Rafaiyeh, head of a committee that opposes better ties with Israel, told AFP.
The cycling event is aimed at drawing attention to the threatening impacts of climate change on the lower Jordan River and the Dead Sea, which is shared by Jordan, Israel and the Palestinians.
"We refuse this activity, which we consider harmful for Jordan," Rafaiyeh said.
He added that if Israel "is really concerned with the environment, it should stop tearing down trees, burning land in the Jordan Valley and polluting the waters of the Jordan River and Dead Sea."

#BDS: SCORPIONS: “Wind of Change” for Justice or Apartheid?

An Open Letter from PACBI

Dear Scorpions,

Occupied Ramallah, 28 September 2010 -- The Palestinian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) has learned from various sources that you are scheduled to perform in Tel Aviv on October 4, 2010.  Your performance in Israel was only recently announced on your official tour website. Prior to this, when we contacted your agents and lawyers to inquire about your performance we received ambiguous responses. Your now scheduled performance violates the appeal of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement [1] which urges people of conscience throughout the world to isolate Israel until it ends its colonial and apartheid oppression against the Palestinian people, as was done against the apartheid regime in South Africa. We urge you, as a band known for its commitment to support the “wind of change” and the falling of the Berlin Wall, not to perform in apartheid Israel that is building a far more cruel and illegal [2] wall on occupied Palestinian land.  

We have also recently learned of previous concerts your group has performed in Israel [3] and the positions Klaus Meine took in the July 2006 war that Israel waged on Lebanon [4].  Your overall positions have made it imperative to call on you to take a morally consistent position in view of your past politics advocating justice and a dream for change.  We are also addressing you to call your attention to the growing international movement of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.  We are hoping that you will heed the Palestinian call, and adhere to the international picket line supported by Israeli activists [5] and many international groups and prominent individuals [6]. 

Not listing the Israel concert on your website as part of your tour may be a slip or a disingenuous tactic to hide from criticism for playing in Israel and to avoid the boycott movement.  Regardless, now that the world knows you plan to entertain apartheid Israel, we ask you not to.  

#BDS: S. African professors shun boycott bid

University of Johannesburg asks Ben-Gurion U. to work with Palestinians; no vote on boycott initiate

University of Johannesburg professors rejected calls to sever ties with an Israeli university Wednesday, but called on Ben-Gurion University to work with its Palestinian counterparts.

Calls for similar academic boycotts to protest Israel's Palestinian policies also have failed in the West.

The South African university's faculty senate met Wednesday to vote on the proposal, which had been endorsed by anti-apartheid icon Archbishop Desmond Tutu, but instead accepted a compromise without a vote. They asked Ben-Gurion University to work with Palestinian universities on research projects, and to start the collaborations within six months if it wants to maintain ties with the University of Johannesburg.

UJ Vice Chancellor Adam Habib said the compromise reflected his institution's values.

"We believe in reconciliation," Habib said. "We'd like to bring BGU and Palestinian universities together to produce a collective engagement that benefits everyone."

The universities have joint research projects and academic exchanges on biotechnology and water purification.

#BDS: Roger Waters presents: 'Star of David' bombs

(Video) Anti-Defamation League criticizes rock music icon for using imagery associated with stereotypes about Jews, money as part of a segment of his 'The Wall Live' Tour that takes aim at Israel’s West Bank separation fence

VIDEO - The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Monday criticized rock music icon Roger Waters for using imagery long associated with stereotypes about Jews and money as part of a segment of his 2010-2011 “The Wall Live” Tour that takes aim at Israel’sWest Bank security fence.

During his performances of “Goodbye Blue Sky,” an animated scene projects images of planes dropping bombs in the shape of Jewish Stars of David followed by dollar signs, according to an interview in the September 30 issue of Rolling Stone.

Waters, 67, is a known left-wing activist who has spoken against Israel's policy in the territories. "It's a horrific edifice, this thing," he told reporters in 2006 as he stood beside a section of the separation fence in Bethlehem.

#BDS: اعتصام ضد وجود السفارة الصهيونية في الأردن

من أجل أردن خالِ من الصهيونية، شارك بالاعتصام الأسبوعي (الثامن والعشرين) يوم الخميس الموافق في 30/9/2010 احتجاجاً على وجود السفارة الصهيونية في الرابية.  إذن نراكم على رصيف جامع الكالوتي في الرابية في السادسة والنصف مساء الخميس.

احتجاجنا ضد وجود سفارة العدو الصهيوني في عمان ليس موسمياً ولا عارضاً، وليس ردة فعل ضد المجازر الصهيونية فحسب.

#BDS: The Jews Behind BDS

The campus campaign to divest from Israel, its Jewish student supporters and where it's going

Students for Justice in Palestine had declared victory at Hampshire College.
It was Feb. 12, 2009, and the Hampshire Board of Trustees had just voted to divest from the State Street Fund, an investment firm with holdings in Israel and the West Bank. It was, SJP thought, the first time that any school in the country had divested from Israel. Soon afterwards, however, the board of trustees issued a statement claiming that the school had not divested because of the company’s connections to the Israeli occupation. In fact, the board stated, the decision “expressly did not pertain to a political movement or single out businesses active in a specific region or country.”
This did not matter to the SJP. The group—a national organization—called for a renewed push nationwide for what they call BDS, or boycott, divestment and sanctions targeting the Israeli occupation of the West Bank for alleged human rights violations.
This was not the first time that activists at the 1,500-student liberal arts college in western Massachusetts had advocated for such a boycott. Hampshire was the first school in the country, in 1977, to divest from Apartheid-era South Africa—sparking a national wave of similar resolutions. Notwithstanding the statement of the board of trustees, BDS supporters hoped for the same result this time.

#BDS: South Africa's Israel boycott

When Chief Albert Luthuli made a call for the international community to support a boycott of apartheid South Africa in 1958, the response was a widespread and dedicated movement that played a significant role in ending apartheid. Amid the sporting boycotts, the pledges of playwrights and artists, the actions by workers to stop South African goods from entering local markets and the constant pressure on states to withdraw their support for the apartheid regime, the role of academics also came to the fore.
One significant move was the resolution taken by 150 Irish academics not to accept academic posts or appointments in apartheid South Africa. In 1971, the council of Trinity College Dublin took a decision not to own shares in any company that traded or had a subsidiary that traded in the Republic. The council later resolved that the university would not retain any formal or institutional links with any academic or state institution in South Africa.
Almost four decades later, the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions is gaining ground again in South Africa, this time against Israeli apartheid.

#BDS: الكشف عن ضغوط على اليمن للتطبيع مع اسرائيل

 كشف وزير الإعلام حسن اللوزي عن ضغوط مورست على اليمن لدفعها للتفريط بموقف الإجماع العربي وإقامة علاقات مع إسرائيل.

ولم يكشف اللوزي عن طبيعة هذه الضغوط ومصدرها لكنه قال : "علاقتنا قوية ومتينة مع الولايات المتحدة ولكن ليس على حساب الشعب الفلسطيني والمصالح القومية". 

وأضاف أن علاقات بلاده مع أمريكا قوية وواضحة ويتم بناؤها لمواجهة التهديد المشترك لجرائم تنظيم القاعدة والتعاون لدعم التنمية في اليمن. 

وأكد اللوزي في تصريحات نشرتها صحيفة "السياسية" الثلاثاء أن إنجاح الحوار الوطني الجاد والمسؤول بين كافة القوى السياسية اليمنية كفيل بالتغلب على التحديات التي تواجه اليمن وإغلاق الباب نهائياً أمام التدخلات والأيادي الخارجية والمتعاونين معها. 

#BDS: النقابات المهنية الاردنية تدعو الى مقاطعة حملة بيئية سيشارك فيها اسرائيليون

دعت النقابات المهنية الاردنية اليوم الاربعاء الى مقاطعة حملة بيئية في منطقة وادي الأردن تنظمها "جمعية أصدقاء الأرض والشرق الأوسط" الشهر المقبل بمشاركة اسرائيليين، معتبرة انها "تطبيع مع العدو".

وقال بادي الرفايعة رئيس لجنة مقاومة التطبيع النقابية أن "نشاطات الجمعية هي أعمال تطبيعية مرفوضة ومدانة، فهذه جمعية مسخرة للتطبيع مع العدو الصهيوني (اسرائيل) تحت عناوين حماية البيئة التي هي مجرد غطاء للتطبيع بشكل أساسي".

واضاف "هذه النشاطات ضد مصالح المملكة ومن غير المعقول ان يحافظ العدو الصهيوني على البيئة وهو الذي يقتلع أشجارا ويتسبب بالحرائق في الأغوار كما يتسبب بتلوث المياه والجفاف لنهر الاردن والبحر الميت".

وتابع الرفايعة "نحن ضد هذا النشاط وننظر اليه على أنه أخطر مما يبدو عليه والمشاركون به يضرون بمصلحة المملكة، ورغم قلة عددهم فان تأثيرهم خطير على بلدنا وعلى المنطقة العربية".

ووفقا للموقع الإلكتروني لـ"جمعية أصدقاء الأرض والشرق الأوسط" فستنظم في 8 تشرين الاول (أكتوبر) المقبل حملة ركوب دراجات هوائية في منطقة وادي الأردن، بهدف "جذب الانتباه إلى التهديد الذي تشكله آثار التغير المناخي على نهر الأردن والبحر الميت".

#BDS: Hollywood stars salute Israel

Movie industry figures attend gala event in support of Jewish state at Kodak Theater, complete with limousines, red carpet, paparazzi. Actor Jon Voight: World playing a dangerous game by going against Israel

Hollywood stars, red carpets and Israel: More than 500 people were present at an event dedicated to Israel held in Hollywood on Monday, including reel stars, movie industry veterans and local business figures.

All came to express their support for Israel. The exclusive event, entitled "From Vision to Reality," opened in traditional Hollywood style with a glittering red carpet walk. Guests arrived one after the other, drawing up in limousines and stepping out onto the expanse of red where photographers waited, then going on to give interviews to TV networks and speaking warmly of Israel.

Among those attending were Jon Voight, father of Angelina Jolie; Shaun Toub, known for his role in Crash; actor and scriptwriter Howard Rosenman, Beverly Hills Mayor Jimmy Delshad; Israeli-American producer Avi Arad; Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon; and actor-models Moran Atias and Noa Tishby, who also MC'ed the event. Representatives from Hollywood's major studios were also present.

#BDS: Israeli physicist to represent Israel in Sahara Race alongside runners from Lebanon, Iran

n addition to the race's physical and mental challenges, Yitzhak is also concerned about being an Israeli man in an Arab country. "I'm not booking a taxi to the hotel in advance. I'd rather order it on the spot," he explained. Yitzhak will be wearing a sponsor's T-shirt with Israel's flag on it. "I fear a security incident," he admitted. "There will be a problem if such a thing occurs. I hope it will be alright."

After spending the night in Cairo, Yitzhak will join 156 runners from 36 states, including Lebanon and Iran, at the starting line in Egypt's Fayyum City. For a week he will be running 35 km per day and will be spending his nights in a large tent with 10 other participants. "One of the goals of the race is to form connections and interact socially with the runners."

During the race, Yitzhak will be carrying a 10 kg backpack containing his equipment: Two pairs of trousers, three shirts, four pairs of socks, a sleeping bag, toiletry, wet wipes, sunscreen lotion and most importantly - food. "A relative is sending me special high calorie portions from the US, 800 calories per portion," he said. To have a taste of home, he will also be packing some instant soup and halva bars.

#BDS: N.Y. musicians’ union shuts down debate over Israel/Palestine

Rich Siegel has been a member of Local 802, Associated Musicians of Greater New York, for 25 years, and lately resigned. Below, his explanation, followed by his letter of resignation to the president of the union as well as to the editor of the union paper, Allegro.
There has been an ongoing struggle and controversy about the publishing of letters on this issue at local 802 for awhile. It began with an article about a member bringing a music program to Palestinian children on the West Bank. The article was a human interest story which did not get into the politics at all. Even so, predictably, a Jewish member wrote in complaining about Anti-Semitism. I responded to that, as did Tom Suarez, and our letters were published.
This began a fire-storm of responses, a couple were published, and then the union decided to stop publishing letters on the subject, so no rebuttals, and nothing at all on the subject for several months. With a new administration in place at the union, I was able to get a letter published asking members to respect BDS. Another fire-storm.
Another member, cellist Aaron Minsky, organized a letter writing campaign, not to disagree with me, but to shut down all mention of Israel in our union paper. He succeeded. The union published one letter as a rebuttal to my letter, and is now refusing to publish any letters on the subject at all. Additionally no further articles relating to Palestine have been published after that one article two years ago. I don't know whether this is a matter of policy or not.

#BDS: SA university must reconsider Israel ties - Haidar Eid

As a graduate of the University of Johannesburg and a resident of Gaza, I find it distressing that the university has signed an agreement with Israel's Ben Gurion University despite the policy of ethnic cleansing and the latest war crimes committed against the people of Gaza by the nation's government.
Israeli academic institutions are known to be complicit in Israel's policy of colonization and apartheid. As such, an agreement with an academic institution goes against the words of Nelson Mandela, who said in 1997:
“It behoves all South Africans, themselves erstwhile beneficiaries of generous international support, to stand up and be counted among those contributing actively to the cause of freedom and justice … we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”

#BDS: 500 Swiss sign up to board Freedom Flotilla 2

More than 500 activists from Switzerland alone have signed up to take part in the humanitarian Freedom Flotilla 2 convoy, which is expected to set sail to an under siege Gaza before the end of 2010 to deliver aid, the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza said, adding that the campaign has received thousands of other requests from the world over.

The European campaign spokesman in Switzerland and Swiss MP Josef Zisyadis said in a press statement Monday: “Preparations to participate in the Swiss ship in the Freedom Flotilla 2 are complete, as more than 500 people signed up to participate in breaking the unjust siege imposed on the Gaza Strip for the fifth straight year.”

The number of signees chosen to board the ship will be announced, Zisyadis said, adding that his campaign desires to make a third of the participants media leads. Dozens of Swiss media outlets have already placed requests to board the ship. The ship’s operators have stopped accepting requests from media.