Oct 14, 2010

#BDS: Jewish groups seek to bar Abunimah from campus

You don't think BDS is having an effect? Here two New Mexico Jewish org officials seek to smear Ali Abunimah as an anti-Semite, and bar him from speaking, because he supports BDS, which they say is about demonizing and destroying Israel. Laughably, they say that describing Israel as a colonial project is anti-Semitic. What has happened to the intellectual tradition in Jewish life? Ali Abunimah at his blog:
It has come to my attention that the Jewish Federation of New Mexico and Hillel at the University of New Mexico are actively trying to censor my lecture at the University of New Mexico next month by writing to departments and professors who may co-sponsor it as they co-sponsor countless other educational events on campus. Below is a copy of a letter that has been sent to departments, signed by Sam Sokolove, Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of New Mexico and Sara Koplik, Director of Hillel at the University of New Mexico.
Typically, they throw in everything to try to defame and tar me: Hamas, Hizbullah, anti-Semitism, making Jewish students feel uncomfortable -- all the usual defamatory silencing tactics to try to suppress debate and discussion about Israel's apartheid and the alternatives that respect everyone. As they surely know, I have been an unflagging advocate of full equality and human rights for all Palestinians and Israeli Jews and others living in historic Palestine, and am guided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Why do they not want students at the University of New Mexico to hear this message?
Instead of trying to censor my speech and intimidate departments from co-sponsoring it with the most lurid, false and manipulative charges, I invite them to attend and to urge students to attend and listen and ask me any questions they want.

#BDS: Buffett: We're interested in more investments in Israel

"We are always interested in more investments in Israel. We will be happy to acquire a large and independent company in Israel, or some small companies - what I call mergers into the existing framework and I think we will do both," Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett said in a video interview screened today at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Labor social economic conference at Airport City.
He said, "Our company CTB, which deals in agricultural equipment, bought two small companies in Israel that succeeded well and we have a company TTI that I think did a small acquisition in Israel. I loved the place. I spent some days there three years ago and enjoyed it very much, I managed to see almost all the country and I received a wonderful welcome from everyone."
The "Oracle from Omaha" believes that Israel has a sustainable advantage in the global competitive market place. He said, "If you are looking for brains - stop in Israel, there is no need to go further. If you go to the Middle East to look for oil then skip Israel," added Buffett ignoring the recent gas and oil finds off the Mediterranean coast.
He continued, "In my opinion, Israel as a state has proven that it has an exceptional amount of brains and energy and in my eyes it works. Buffett cited toolmaker Iscar Ltd. in which he bought an 80% stake from Stef Wertheimer in 2006.

#BDS: Amazon CTO in Israel

Amazon CTO Dr. Werner Vogels is visiting Israel to promote the company's cloud computer services, Amazon Web Services. Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) is offering applications developers a place to store their products, apparently in preparation for an applications store for smartphones, which market sources believe the company will soon launch.

Vogels today attended a GarageGeeks event at the Tel Aviv Port, together with high-tech investor Dr. Yossi Vardi. Vogels talked about Amazon Web Services. One service, EC2, offers developers and companies additional processing power, replacing the need to buy more computers.

When asked if Amazon knew what people were using its services for, Vogels replied, "No. We don't know what uses our computers are used for, whether it's to develop a product or to develop an atom bomb."

#BDS: Green Party Candidates Urge Divestment from Israel

October 13, 2010 -- Julia Willebrand, Green Party candidate for NY State Comptroller, said that if elected, she will use her position to divest the Common Retirement Fund from Israel until such time as the government of Israel complies with international law and the human rights of Palestinians.
"By investing in Israel, the State of New York sustains Israel's shameful violations of international law in the Palestinian Occupied Territories and in Israel," according to Dr. Willebrand. "Israel contravenes scores of UN Security Council Resolutions and the Fourth Geneva Convention by confiscating thousands of acres of Palestinian land and transferring its civilian population into the Occupied Territories to create Jewish-only settlements in which about 500,000 people reside. Rather than using our hard-earned money to invest in jobs for New Yorkers, New York State money helps build these illegal settlements which are also a major obstacle to peace and security for both Palestinians and Israelis," said Dr. Willebrand.
Under current conditions, the Palestinian people are denied their legal right to self-determination and THE right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in Israel from which they were ethnically cleansed in 1948. The Green Party has demanded that the US end all aid to Israel because it is used to maintain a South African apartheid-like system Bantustans, two different road and legal arrangements in the OPT, launch illegal military assaults such as the 2009 bloody invasion of Gaza, "Operation Cast Lead," and maintain its illegal siege of Gaza since 2006.

#BDS: NY Yankees make aliyah

Co-Owner of legendary American baseball team promotes initiative to establish professional baseball league in Israel

American businessmen, including one of the owners of legendary baseball team The New York Yankees – which is worth approximately $1.5 billion – are promoting an initiative to establish a professional baseball league in Israel.

The businessmen visited Israel and held meetings with Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development Silvan Shalom and Jerusalem's Mayor Nir Barkat, in which they asked for their assistance.

As part of the initiative, the businessmen proposed to build a baseball stadium near Jerusalem's Teddy Stadium, which will serve as Israel's central baseball hub.

Following the meeting, Barkat promised to promote the project and help find a proper location for the construction of the stadium.

#BDS: Coach of Norwegian national soccer team supports academic boycott

Egil "Drillo" Olsen, the coach of the Norwegian national soccer team, has signed a resolution for academic and cultural boycott of Israel

Drillo is a huge celebrity in Norway.

Read the full text (in norwegian) here:
The text follows the outlines of the PACBI call.

He says "the occupation is illegal and reprehensible" and that 90% of the world is of this opinion.

Among the 100 prominent Norwegians within cultural and academics is also:
- musician Jan Vardøgen
- Erik Hillestad, music producer 
- Gert Nygaardshaug, author of many best sellers
- Mads Gilbert, one of the doctors that went to Gaza during the last war

(Google translation of the ACBI petition in Norway)


The State of Israel occupies Palestinian land and deny the Palestinians basic human rights. The attack on Gaza in 2009 and the ruthless and illegal blockade has shaken the world. With control over the whole of the old Palestine Israel daily harasses the Palestinian population, banishes them from the increasing number of areas and treat them as second-class people. The situation is compared with the straight with apartheid-era South Africa.
Israel refuses to abide by UN resolutions and international law, but is still free of international sanctions. Therefore, ordinary people take the challenge and put international pressure on Israel. Israeli universities, research institutions and cultural institutions play a key role in the occupation government. Extensive cooperation between Israel and the West in these fields has helped to legitimize oppression policy.We do not want to break the dialogue, but to take responsibility and explain to our colleagues why we believe Israel's treatment of Palestinians is unacceptable. The future for both Palestinians and Israelis are dependent on the occupation policy ends, and that basic human rights guaranteed to all who live in the area. We believe that this will not come without pressure from outside. There are also researchers and students, artists and cultural workers in Israel, which is in open opposition to the Israeli government's occupation policy. They need international support. Palestinian academics and intellectuals have repeatedly called on colleagues in other countries to boycott the academic and cultural institutions in Israel, to end the occupation and oppression.
The signatories of this petition, cultural workers and employees at various universities, colleges, research institutes and cultural institutions in Norway will follow this request. We urge all other cultural workers and artists, staff and students at Norwegian universities and colleges, and employees of research institutes and cultural institutions to make common cause with us, by refraining from:
  • Research and cultural cooperation with the State of Israel, universities, research institutions, the arts and cultural institutions, and representatives of these institutions.
  • The exchange of visiting scholars - speakers, exhibitors and guest artists with these institutions.
  • Award of scholarships and research grants to such institutions and their representatives.
  • Participation in scientific conferences and cultural events in Israel with representatives of such institutions.
We are also encouraging to collaborate with and support organizations and individuals in Israel, including researchers, students, artists and cultural workers, who work against the occupation and violation of Palestinian human rights.
We will finally encourage the boards of Norwegian academic and cultural institutions, arts organizations, trade unions at universities, colleges and research institutions, and student organizations in Norway to support this boycott.

100 people in the cultural and academic boycott support at launch:

Fritz Albregtsen, Professor University
Vanja Alling, PhD student University
Paal Bjelke Andersen, author / publisher
Bård Berg, førsteaman. Wiki
Sissel Mutale Bergh, visual artist / writer
Bjorn Bjarre, visual artist
Aud Karin Bear, researcher
Mari Boine, musician
Agnes Bolsø, førsteaman. NTNU
Aslak Borgersrud, musician
Ole Jacob Bull, adviser
Bjørgulf Claussen, Professor University
Torstein Dahle, Assistant Professor HiB
Ingegerd Dillan, visual artist
Anneli Drecker, musician
Hans Ebbing, MA UiB
Lasse Efskind, orthopedic surgeon / author
Anders Eiebakke, visual artist
Arild Eriksen, Architect
Åshild Fausa, førsteaman. Wiki
Gro Find, artist
Jan Terje Faarlund, Professor University
Mads Gilbert, Professor / Consultant UiT
Roger Gjerstad, visual artist
Espen Goffeng, stud.samf.geo. 
Tori Goksøyr, visual artist
Nadir Guendouz, Nordic Black Theatre 
Øystein Grønning, architect
Willy Guneriussen, Professor Wiki
Line Halvorsen, filmmaker
Hannah Helseth, sociologist / author
Kirsti Henriksen, univ. Teacher Wiki
Erik Hillestad, music producer KKV
Ingvild Holm, stage artist
   Ketil Hylland, Professor University
Marianne Hølmebakk, visual artist
Arnold Johansen, artist
Flygari Svein Johansen, artist
Morten Krogh, painter / prof. Emer.
Sonja Krohn, visual artist
Andrea Long, a painter
Benjamin Endré Larsen, research fellow University
Soren Larsen, PhD. University
Morten Levin, Professor NTNU
Sonja Lid, author
Truls Lie, editor / filmmaker
Arild Berg Linn, Professor University of Bergen
Mass Soldal Lund, researcher
Liv Lundberg, Professor University of Tromsø / poet
Peder Martin Lysestøl, Associate HIST
Ketil Magnussen, chairman, Oslo Documentary Cinema
Anna Lange Malmanger, art historian
Camilla Martens, painter
Pierre Matte, visual artist
Elisabeth Medbøe, visual artist
Georges idealistic principles, Professor Wiki
Trond Peter Stamsøe Munch, actor
Brit Mæhlum, Professor NTNU
Trond Nordby, University Professor
Tori Nustad, head of NTL v UiT
Gert Nygårdshaug, author
Egil Olsen Drillo, coach
Ole Johnny Olsen, førsteaman. UiB
Ragnar Olsen, musician / playwright
Tommy Olsson, art critic / artist
Torgeir Rebolledo Pedersen, author / playwright
Beate Petersen, artist / writer
Henry Placht, visual artist
   Per Platou, artist / curator
Brita Pollan, religion researcher / writer
Hege Ramson, writer
Jan Åge Riseth, Senior NORUT
Ingvild H Rishøi, author
Arne Ruste, author
Per Rygvold, curator
Kjetil Røed, art critic
Knut H Røed, Professor NVH
Gerdi Schjelderup, actor
Tore Sivertsen, førsteaman. NVH
Rune Skarstein, førsteaman. NTNU
Tom Skauge, førsteaman. HiB. 
Eystein Skjerve, Professor NVH
Ande Somby, førsteaman. Wiki
Bente Sommerfeldt-Colberg, visual artist
Willibald Storn, visual artist
Morten Strøksnes, author / journalist
Jørn H Sværen, writer / musician
Ann Rudinow Sætnan, Professor NTNU
Pia Tellefsen, actor
Kjell Underlid, Professor HiB
January Vardøen, musician / restaurateur
Pål Vigeland, artist
Edward Vogt, Prof. Emer. UiB
Tor Øystein Vaaland, journalist / theologian
Bo K. Wallström, artist / advisor KORO
Ebba Wergeland, Dr. med.
Lene Westerås, editor / author
Snorre Ytterstad, visual artist
Audun Øfsti, Prof. Emer. NTNU
Nils Aarsæther, Professor W