Oct 1, 2010

#BDS: Tunisian party calls for anti-normalization watchdog

The Tunisian Democratic Union party has called for the formation of an anti-normalization watchdog to thwart all forms and attempt to normalize ties with the Zionist entity.
The aprty's remarks came in the 25th anniversary of the Israeli raid on the Tunisian capital Tunis that left at least 60 Palestinian and Tunisian citizens dead.

The party also hailed the Tunisian public for strongly rejecting any form of normalization with the Israeli occupation, urging all Arab countries with diplomatic or commercial ties with the Zionist entity to immediately severe those ties, describing establishing relationships with the Zionists as "wasting the Arab rights on the Palestinian land".

The party also called on the Arab countries to withdraw the Arab Initiative, and to support Palestinian reconciliation, and to protect the Palestinian resistance against the Israeli occupation.
In addition, the party urged the PA in Ramallah city to stop the path of negotiation and to return back to the resistance option being the only assurance to establish the independent Palestinian state and to allow Palestinian refugees return back to their homeland.

In October 1985, Israeli warplanes launched an air strike on the PLO headquarters in the Tunisian capital suburb of Hammam Al-Shatt, killing scores of Tunisian and Palestinians, including PLO's strongman Khalil Al-Wazeer "Abu Jiahd".

#BDS: More varsities check Israel links

Major South African universities began looking into their own ties with Israeli universities within hours of the University of Johannesburg's (UJ) decision on Wednesday night to terminate its links with Ben-Gurion University unless it fulfils, within six months, two conditions UJ has specified.

After the Mail & Guardian's report last week that Unisa vice-chancellor Barney Pityana had signed a petition calling on UJ to sever all ties with Ben-Gurion, three more varsity heads added their names: Saleem Badat (Rhodes), Derrick Swartz (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University) and Dan Ncayiyana (former vice-chancellor of what is now the Durban University of Technology).

They joined about 250 signatories to the petition, launched last month, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, poet Antjie Krog, law professor John Dugard, writer Breyten Breytenbach and sociologist Ran Greenstein.

'No formal links'
Wits University vice-chancellor Loyiso Nongxa told the
M&G he was not aware of "any formal links -- a memorandum of understanding [MoU] -- between Wits and Israeli universities".

And "the issue -- whether or not we should enter into such agreements -- hasn't come up over the past 10 years that I’ve been at Wits”, he said.

Three hours later, Wits spokesperson Shirona Patel said she had searched the university's database and could confirm that it "has no formal ties with any Israeli university, according to our database".

The University of Cape Town followed suit shortly afterwards: "There are no institution-level partnerships with Israeli universities," said spokesperson Mologadi Makwela.

He added that "Professor Milton Shain of the UCT Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research has indicated that there are no formal links with any Israeli universities."

All 23 vice-chancellors will receive the UJ senate's resolution, said Duma Malaza, the chief executive officer of the varsity heads' representative body, Higher Education South Africa (Hesa). "It is likely that the next meetings of Hesa's executive committee on October 7 and board on October 27 will ... reflect on this issue," he added.

#BDS: Lessons from the UC Berkeley Divestment Effort, Hillel on Campus

Israel right-or-wrong apologists have reason to be worried after three lengthy UC Berkeley student senate hearings concluded each with a solid majority of votes (60% or more) in favor of divestment from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation. Though in the end, the vote fell 1 short of the needed supermajority required to overturn a veto, neither our opponents nor we forget that a clear majority consistently supported the bill.
Now, a few weeks after the hearings are over, it is a good time to examine how familiar tactics were deployed to stop the divestment effort and are now being used to prevent future similar ones. These tactics do not advance the cause of peace and have the unintended potential to cause harm to Jews in the US. Silencing debate, confusing the facts, taking over student senates, making indiscriminate charges of anti-Semitism, criminalizing anti-occupation activism, implicitly or explicitly condoning widespread hostility against Muslims, Palestinians, and anti-occupation Jews – these are the tactics with which we’ve unfortunately become too familiar. We’ll review them below.
1) Silencing debate
The first tactic, which predates UC Berkeley’s divestment initiative, is the effort to shut down debate within the Jewish community. The story is an old one, but given the growing level of desperation among the Israel right-or-wrong crowd, the measures being deployed are increasingly bold and destructive.
Just a few months ago, the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation issued the most restrictive funding guidelines in the country. These guidelines aim to silence open discussion within the institutional Jewish community on Israeli policies and the merits of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement. And they also have led to an old-fashioned blacklist of well-known human rights groups now banned from the Federation’s donor designated fund’s acceptable charities list.
The guidelines’ impact has not gone unnoticed. An open letter in The Forward signed by Jewish professors, rabbis, and other notables from both the left and center describes the San Francisco Federation guidelines in these terms:

#BDS: Jewish actor visits West Bank camp in quest for peace

In a small, bare room in a refugee camp in the southern West Bank, a Palestinian Muslim man and a British Jewish woman face each other on plastic chairs and grope towards a mutual understanding across decades of mistrust, injustice, hostility and violence.
The man is Said Ali Banat Hajarah: 82, partially deaf, failing eyesight, a former farmer nostalgic about his fields and livestock, bitter at the loss of his family home more than six decades ago, still grieving the deaths of his father and a son at the hands of Israeli soldiers, convinced that the gun must be part of the toolbox of resistance alongside the pen and the voice.
The woman is Miriam Margolyes: 69, stage and film actor, ageing knee joints that won't allow her to sit on the floor, intensely curious about life in a refugee camp under occupation, furious at the actions and policies of the Israeli government, passionately opposed to violence as a tool of resistance.
Margolyes has travelled to Al Arroub, halfway between the Palestinian cities of Bethlehem and Hebron, to hear stories like Hajarah's. "I wanted to see what's going on, to learn – and it's not a happy experience," she tells the Guardian.

#BDS: حزب تونسي يدعو لتشكيل "مرصد وطني" لمناهضة التطبيع مع الكيان

دعا حزب الاتحاد الديموقراطي الوحدي المعارض إلى تشكيل "مرصد وطني" لمناهضة كافة أشكال التطبيع مع الكيان الصهيوني في تونس، بمناسبة الذكرى الخامسة والعشرين لغارة الطيران الصهيوني على مقر فلسطيني في الضاحية الجنوبية للعاصمة التونسية، ما خلف أكثر من ستين شهيداً بين تونسيين وفلسطينيين.
وكان الحزب، ذو التوجه القومي العربي، قد دعا في وقت سابق إلى جعل غرة تشرين الأول (أكتوبر) من كل عام يوماً وطنياً لمقاومة التطبيع بمختلف أشكاله وألوانه مع الكيان الصهيوني، وفضح جرائمها ضد الانسانية".
وثمن الحزب "التفاعل الايجابي" مع هذا النداء في تونس التي لا تقيم علاقات دبلوماسية مع الكيان، مطالباً كل الحكومات العربية التي لها علاقات رسمية وتجارية وثقافية مع الكيان الصهيوني بـ "قطع هذه العلاقات"، التي وصفها بـ "الهادرة للحق العربي على أرض فلسطين" وإلى "سحب ما يسمى بالمبادرة العربية" و"دعم المصالحة الوطنية الفلسطينية وحماية مقاومتها".
كما دعا السلطة الفلسطينية إلى "إيقاف مسار المفاوضات والتوجه نحو مشروع المقاومة"، التى رأى أنه "وحده الضامن لاقامة الدولة الفلسطينية وعودة اللاجئين دون الاعتراف بالدولة الصهيونية المغتصبة"، مؤكداً رفضه المطلق للمفاوضات "على خلفية ان صراع الامة العربية معه هو صراع وجود لا مجال فيه للمساومة او المهادنة".

#BDS: Full List of Irish Artists Who Endorsed the Boycott of Israel

Last Updated 29th September 2010
        1. Astrid Adler - Visual Artist, Musician, Mime artist
        2. John Arden – Playwright, Novelist
        3. Siobhán Armstrong - Musician
        4. Derek Ball - Composer
        5. Robert Ballagh - Visual Artist
        6. Margo Banks – Painter
        7. Cormac Begley - Musician
        8. Liam Bradley - Musician
        9. Diarmuid Breatnach – Musician, Poet
        10. Cormac Breatnach – Musician
        11. Cecily Brennan – Artist
        12. Ronan Browne – Musician
        13. Conor Byrne - Musician
        14. Roisin Byrne - Visual artist
        15. Séamas Cain – Poet, performance artist
        16. Moya Cannon – Poet
        17. Liam Carson - Scríbhneoir
        18. Clare Cashman – Visual artist
        19. Rhona Clarke – Composer
        20. Siobhán Cleary - Composer
        21. Mickey Coleman - Singer/songwriter
        22. Joe Comerford - Film-maker
        23. Michael Connerty – Musician (Moutpiece)
        24. Neilí Conroy – Actor
        25. Dorothy Cross – Sculptor
        26. Charles Cullen – Visual artist
        27. Michael Cullen - Painter
        28. Cindy Cummings - Dance Artist
        29. Sinéad Cusack - Actor
        30. Margaretta Darcy – Author and playwright
        31. John F. Deane - Writer
        32. Raymond Deane - Composer
        33. Seamus Deane – Author
        34. Renate DeBrun – Painter and printmaker
        35. Damien Dempsey - Singer
        36. Tim Dennehy – Singer/Songwriter
        37. Eoin Dillon - Ceoltóir (Kíla)
        38. Keith Donald – Musician
        39. Philip Donnery - Musician
        40. Gráinne Dowling - Visual artist
        41. Kevin Doyle – Writer
        42. Robert Doyle - Musician
        43. Roger Doyle - Composer
        44. Felim Egan - Visual artist
        45. Martin A. Egan – Musician
        46. Naisrín Elsafty - Singer
        47. Róisín Elsafty – Singer
        48. Zahrah Elsafty – Singer
        49. Elaine Feeney - Poet
        50. Stephen Gardner – Composer
        51. Anthony Glavin - Novelist and short story writer
        52. Dearbhla Glynn – Film-maker
        53. Johnny Gogan – Film-maker
        54. Carmel Gunning – Musician
        55. Marie Hanlon – Visual artist
        56. Robbie Harris - Musician
        57. Paul Hayes - Composer
        58. Graham Henderson – Musician
        59. Donogh Hennessy - Musician
        60. Rita Ann Higgins – Poet
        61. Michael Holohan - Composer
        62. Andy Irvine – Musician
        63. Ryan Johnson - Musician
        64. Fergus Johnston - Composer
        65. Fred Johnston – Poet
        66. Trevor Joyce – Poet
        67. Bernadette Kiely – Painter
        68. Brian King – Sculptor
        69. Vincent Kennedy - Composer
        70. Trevor Knight - Music/Theatre
        71. Conor Kostick - Novelist.
        72. Gavin Kostick – Playwright
        73. Dave Lordan - Poet
        74. Donal Lunny –Musician
        75. Pól MacAdaim – Singer/songwriter
        76. Iarla Mac Aodha Bhuí - Scríbhneoir
        77. Mickey MacConnell – Singer/Songwriter
        78. Tony Mac Mahon – Musician
        79. Lorcán Mac Mathúna - Singer
        80. Brian Maguire - Visual artist
        81. Alice Maher - Visual Artist
        82. Brenda Malloy – Musician
        83. Jimmy McCarthy - Singer/songwriter
        84. Martin McElhinney - Musician (Coldwar)
        85. Paul Nash – Musician (Coldwar)
        86. Trevor McLave - (Coldwar)
        87. Joe McGowan - Author
        88. Jackie McKenna - Sculptor
        89. John McLachlan - Composer
        90. Joleen McLaughlin – Musician (Henry Sisters)
        91. Karen McLaughlin – Musician (Henry Sisters)
        92. Lorna McLaughlin – Musician (Henry Sisters)
        93. Tina Mc Laughlin- Singer/Songwriter
        94. Eoin McLochlainn - Visual artist
        95. John McSherry - Musician
        96. Paula Meehan – Poet
        97. Christy Moore - Musician
        98. Thom Moore - Songwriter, writer/translator
        99. Sharon (Shaz) Morgan – Musician, Photographer
        100. Fiach Moriarty – Singer/Songwriter
        101. Sami Moukkadem - Musician, film-maker, writer
        102. Hassan Ould Muctar - Musician
        103. Conor Mullan - Musician
        104. Janet Mullarney – Visual artist
        105. Gráinne Mulvey – Composer
        106. Deirdre Murphy - Dancer
        107. Jimmy Murphy – Playwright
        108. Niamh Ní Charra – Musician
        109. Peadar Ó Ceannabháin - Singer
        110. Saileog Ní Cheannabháin - Musician
        111. Treasa Ní Cheannabháin – Singer
        112. Áine Ní Chuaig – Musician
        113. Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh – Musician/Singer
        114. Liam Noonan – Musician (Digital Disorder)
        115. Dave Murphy – Musician (Digital Disorder)
        116. Keith McGovern – Musician (Digital Disorder)
        117. Ken Deasy – Musician (Digital Disorder)
        118. Pádraig Ó Baoill – Scríbhneoir
        119. Niall Ó Callanáin - Musician
        120. Eamonn O'Doherty - Architect, Sculptor
        121. Méabh O Hare – Musician/Film-maker
        122. Jane O'Leary – Composer
        123. Brian Ó hUiginn - Musician
        124. Donal O'Kelly – Playwright/Actor
        125. Ciarán Ó Maonaigh - Ceoltóir
        126. Seosamh O Neachtain – Dancer
        127. Eoin O'Neill - Musician
        128. Jerry O'Reilly – Singer
        129. Peadar Ó Riada – Ceoltóir
        130. Gregory Rosenstock - Writer
        131. Pauline Scanlon - Singer
        132. Rossa Ó Snodaigh - Ceoltóir (Kíla)
        133. Paul O'Toole – Singer/Songwriter
        134. Michael Quane – Sculptor
        135. Bob Quinn - Visual artist/filmmaker
        136. Jim Ricks - Visual Artist
        137. Stephen Rothschild - Painter/printmaker.
        138. Mary Russell - Author
        139. Dermot Seymour - Painter
        140. John W. Sexton – Poet.
        141. Eileen Sheehan - Poet
        142. Ronan Sheehan - Novelist
        143. Michael Smith – Poet and translator
        144. Moira Tierney – Film-maker
        145. Hugh Travers - Writer
        146. Caoimhín Vallely - Ceoltóir
        147. Laura Vecchi - Painter/writer
        148. John Wakeman – Poet
        149. Hilary Wakeman - Author
        150. Hazel Walker - Visual artist
        151. William Wall - Author
        152. Ronan Wilmot - Actor/Director
        153. Steve Woods – Film-maker
        154. Adam Wyeth - Poet
        155. Luke Mercer – Musician (Oddsocks Revival)
        156. Adrian White – Writer
        157. Tom Fitzgerald – Visual artist
        158. Clara Rose – Musician
        159. Conor McGrady – Visual Artist
        160. Dermot McLaughlin - Musician
        161. Michael Owens - Singer/Songwriter
        162. Anthony Fox - Actor, Writer
        163. Conor Grimes - Writer, Actor
        164. Stuart Nealon - Poet
        165. Darach Ó Scolaí – Writer
        166. Cahal Johnson – Musician
        167. Michael Gallagher – Photographer
        168. Kevin Spratt (aka Captain Moonlight) – Musician
        169. Cara Dillon – Musician
        170. Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh – Ceoltóir
        171. Fiach (Moriarty) – Singer/songwriter
        172. Loreana Rush – Photographer
        173. Alice Hanratty – Painter
        174. Barry McGovern – Actor
        175. Nuala Ní Dhomhnail – Poet
        176. Lillis Ó Laoire – Musician
        177. Stephen Rea – Actor
        178. Liam Ó Maonlaí – Musician
        179. Ellen Cranitch – Musician
        180. Sharon Shannon – Musician

#BDS: IPSC "Irish artists' pledge to boycott Israel"

In August 2010 the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) launched the following pledge, initially signed by over 140 Irish creative and performing artists, whereby they undertake to boycott the Israeli state under present circumstances:
"In response to the call from Palestinian civil society for a cultural boycott of Israel, we pledge not to avail of any invitation to perform or exhibit in Israel, nor to accept any funding from any institution linked to the government of Israel, until such time as Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights." - See the full list of signatories here.
***If you are an Irish artist or an artist based in Ireland and would like to add your signature, please contactculturalboycott [at] ipsc.ie***
Described by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) as "a ground-breaking initiative", this pledge has so far been signed by over 140 Irish creative and performing artists: novelists, playwrights, poets, actors, composers, singers, dancers, painters, sculptors and filmmakers, ranging from those starting out on their careers to household names. - See here for the full PACBI statement of endorsement.

ccording to IPSC Cultural Boycott Officer Dr. Raymond Deane, "These artists are aware of the Israeli Foreign Ministry's statement in 2005 that “We see culture as a propaganda tool of the first rank, and...do not differentiate between propaganda and culture.” These artists refuse to allow their art to be exploited by an apartheid state that disregards international law and universal principles of human rights, but look forward to the day when normal cultural relations can be re-established with an Israel that fully complies with such laws and principles."
Dr. Deane, himself a classical composer and a signatory of the pledge, recalled Nelson Mandela's dictum that "boycott is not a principle, it is a tactic depending upon circumstances." Dr. Deane added: "Five years ago, when 170 Palestinian civil society organisations called a campaign of  Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, they provided a central plank for worldwide activism on behalf of their cause."
Dr. Deane continued, "Culture cannot stand aloof from such activism. Whether or not art is 'above politics', its presentation and representation in the real world can all too easily be hijacked by oppressive states. With this pledge, Irish artists have an opportunity to distance themselves from such exploitation, and to take a non-violent stand on behalf of the oppressed Palestinian people."