Mar 31, 2011

#BDS: Boycotting the occupation bites again

"The Israeli security firm Hashmira, which is owned by the Danish concern G4S, announced last weekend it will stop providing equipment to security installations over the Green Line.
The move comes in the wake of public pressure in Denmark following a report from the Coalition of Women for Peace, which runs the “Who Profits?” projectmonitoring Israeli companies operating in the territories.
The report, released in November, says that Hashmira provides baggage scanning equipment and body scanners for the Qalandiya, Bethlehem, Sha’ar Efraim and Eyal checkpoints.
It also provided the Ofer base near Ramallah a peripheral security system installed on the security prison walls, and the central control room for the entire compound, which includes a jail for Palestinian prisoners, a lockup and a military court."
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#BDS: European initiative against settlement and wall

"AMSTERDAM, (PIC)– Pro-Palestinian organizations in Europe declared the launch of the European initiative for removing the wall and settlements in The Hague, Netherlands.
This came during “Palestina festival 2011…No occupation, no blockade” that was held earlier this week in Zazat Blaine hall in Rotterdam city.
The initiative is a consortium of many human rights organizations operating throughout the European continent and they oppose the construction of settlements and the segregation wall in occupied Palestine.
Head of the festival Amin Abu Rashid stated in a speech that this initiative is aimed at fighting Israel’s settlement activities and its construction of the apartheid wall in the occupied Palestinian territories, which constitute a flagrant violation of international law."
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#BDS: Israeli Apartheid Week: A Beginner’s Guide

"As activists around the world take part in Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW), Zionist lobby groups have swung into action, pushing a mixture of candy-coated distractions, lies, and trained hasbarists. Here are five commonly heard objections to IAW, unpacked. 
1. “Arabs in Israel shop in the same markets, attend the same hospitals, sit in the same parks, etc.” 
This claim is sometimes supplemented by photos of Arabs cheerily – and no doubt gratefully – going about their everyday business or enjoying their leisure time in The Middle East’s Only Democracy™. However, Israel as a democratic, multicultural, shared space is undermined by examples such as – though not limited to – the following: 
  • Selection committees’ decide who gains admission to small communities based on criteria like "social suitability," a setup that operates in hundreds of towns (their use as a tool to exclude Palestinians could well be reinforced with a new law). A number of these communities were only established in the first place as part of a plan based on “ethnic discrimination” and “demographic phobia”.
  • Palestinian ‘permanent residents’ of East Jerusalem, despite living in the so-called ‘unified capital’ of Israel, are unable to purchase property in most of West Jerusalem and a third of illegally-annexed East Jerusalem. That’s because “to qualify to purchase property on ‘state land’ the purchaser must either be a citizen of Israel” or “legally entitled to citizenship under the law of return (i.e. Jewish)”."
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    #BDS: تمرين أردني ـ إسرائيلي حول احتمال وقوع زلزال في المنطقة

    عمان - جرى مؤخرا تمرين مشترك في منطقة وادي عربة، لمحاكاة التحضيرات الإقليمية حول احتمال وقوع زلزال في المنطقة، وذلك بمشاركة حوالي 200 شخص من مؤسسة نجمة داود الحمراء الإسرائيلية، ومنظمة الهلال الأحمر الأردنية، وفقا لصحيفة جيروسالم بوست الإسرائيلية.
    كما شارك في التمرين مختصون منهم أكاديميون وطلاب من جامعة بن غوريون، بينما ذكرت الصحيفة أن المشاركين قاموا أيضا بإنشاء مخيم لإيواء الناجين في "تيمناع" بالنقب.
    وكانت الصحيفة بدأت خبرها بمقدمة قالت فيه "رغم وجود اختلافات بين الأردن وإسرائيل ومنذ زمن، وحتى بعد توقيع اتفاقية سلام، إلا أنهما يواجهان التهديد نفسه من وقوع زلزال في المنطقة، ما أدى إلى وجود تعاون بينهما، خصوصا بعد رؤية الدمار الذي خلفه زلزال اليابان".
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    #BDS: Stop JNF – Help dismantle a colonial pillar of the Israeli Apartheid regime

    "Occupied Palestine, March 26th 2011 – Commemorating the Palestinian Land Day and the Global BDS Day of Action[1], the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), on behalf of its constituent organizations and unions representing the majority of Palestinian civil society, together with many partners around the world, particularly the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) and the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, is hereby officially launching an international campaign to Stop the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and strip it of its charity status everywhere. The BNC calls on people of conscience around the world to take civil and legal steps to oppose the presence and activities of the JNF in their countries due to its long-standing and intricate role in crimes of colonization, ethnic cleansing and apartheid against the Palestinian people. As a key pillar in Israel’s system of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid, the JNF should lose its charitable status anywhere; it should also be comprehensively boycotted by international civil society and by governments that consistently uphold the primacy of international law.

    Established in 1901 with the primary objective to “purchase, take on lease or in exchange or otherwise acquire lands….in the prescribed region [Palestine and the surrounding areas]…for the purpose of settling Jews on such lands”,[2] the JNF (also known as Keren Kayemeth L’Yisrael or KKL) [3] has been a chief partner in the Zionist colonial drive to dispossess indigenous Palestinians of their land, culminating in the Nakba of 1948 when Zionist militias and later Israel expelled a majority of the Palestinian population in order to establish a state with a Jewish majority. Shortly after the Nakba, the government of Israel transferred the ownership of lands from 372 of the 522 ethnically cleansed Palestinian villages to the JNF-KKL in order to hold them “in the name of the Jewish people in perpetuity” and prevent the return of the rightful Palestinian owners."
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    #BDS: !تل أبيب ــ بيروت: طائرة تخرق مقاطعة إسرائيل

    عند الساعة الثامنة من مساء يوم الجمعة الماضي، حطّت طائرة في مطار بيروت الدولي قادمة من غينيا الاستوائيّة. لم تخرق فقط الأجواء اللبنانيّة، بل القوانين التي تحكم مقاطعة إسرائيل ومنتجاتها. فالطائرة وهي من نوع «Gulfstream G200» تنتجها «الصناعات الجويّة الإسرائيليّة» وفقاً لسجل البيانات الخاصة بتسجيل الطائرات، ومُنعت من الهبوط على الأراضي اللبنانيّة في شباط عام 2010، كما أنّها ممنوعة من الهبوط أو التحليق فوق بلدان عربية عديدة، بينها سوريا.
    فماذا حدث لكي يتغيّر القرار وتحطّ الطائرة على مدرج مطار العاصمة اللبنانيّة؟ الواضح حتّى الآن، بحسب مطّلعين على أوضاع الطيران المدني، هو أنّ مديريّة الطيران المدني اللبناني، بإيعاز من وزارة الأشغال العامّة والنقل، منحت هذه الطائرة رخصة الهبوط في لبنان. والشركة التي تتولّى صيانة هذه الطائرة النفاثة الصغيرة التي تتسع لثمانية أو عشرة أشخاص، وهي طبعاً مخصّصة للرحلات الخاصة ونقل رجال الأعمال، هي «MED Airways». وتنتج شركة الصناعات الجويّة الإسرائيليّة (IAI) هذه الطائرة، وقد سوّق لها في الأساس عبر الشركة التابعة «Galaxy Aerospace»، التي استحوذت عليها شركة «Gulfstream» في عام 2001. وجرى تغيير اسم الشركة التابعة كلياً إلى اسم الطائرة المذكورة.

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    Mar 24, 2011

    #BDS: Viva La Revolucion! Egypt Air removes Israel from map

    "Jordan stretches to sea in online map by Egypt's largest airline, though it continues to fly to Israel

    Egypt Air, the largest airline in Egypt, has removed Israel from the map – literally. On its website, Ynet has learned, Jordan's land reaches the Mediterranean Sea.

    The airline's subsidiary, Air Sinai, flies to Israel regularly, but customers seeking flights to Ben Gurion National Airport will have a hard time finding them. On the map are the names of the Mideast capitals – Amman, Beirut, and Damascus – but Israel is nowhere to be found."  

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    #BDS: Add this to your boycott list: Bob Dylan planning June concert in Israel, say fans

    "Announcement on fan web page could not be confirmed, but the folk legend will reportedly be playing one show at the Ramat Gan Stadium on June 20.

    Folk legend Bob Dylan is apparently planning to return to Israel for a concert on June 20, according to a fan-run web site.

    The concert has not yet been confirmed, but the web site reported that Dylan would take the stage for one night at the Ramat Gan Stadium, where Canadian singer Leonard Cohen played in 2009."

    Read more

    #BDS: On World Water Day, support the academic boycott call

    "Today on World Water Day, we call on those concerned with water rights to support the boycott, divestment and sanctions call to hold Israel responsible for its violations of international law.

    We at the water rights and advocacy group LifeSource specifically support the call made on the University of Johannesburg to terminate its cooperation with Ben-Gurion University. This call has been made by the University of Johannesburg's Student Representative Council, the Congress of South African Trade Unions, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and more than 300 South African academics.

    LifeSource is a Palestinian collective working with communities on the ground so that we all understand our human rights to water and sanitation and our options for taking action to resist Israel's colonization of Palestinian water resources. Globally we educate communities about Israeli violations of Palestinians' human rights to water and sanitation, and organize to put real pressure on Israel to comply with international law by encouraging individuals and organizations to leverage and align their resources with their values."

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    #BDS: BOYCOTT OF ISRAEL VICTORY - Historic moment for movement to boycott of Israel

    "Today, setting a worldwide precedent in the academic boycott of Israel, the University of Johannesburg (UJ) has effectively severed ties with Israel’s Ben-Gurion University (BGU). 

    This was after UJ’s Senate rejected a last ditch motion by pro-Israeli lobbyists to have two separate bilateral agreements - one with a Palestinian University and another with an Israeli University. UJ chose instead to uphold its previous Senate Resolution that required taking leadership from Palestinian universities. Palestinian universities unanimously rejected any collaboration with BGU (in any form) and have come out in full support of the the academic boycott of Israel. UJ chose to respect this.

    UJ is the first institution to officially sever relations with an Israeli university - a landmark moment in the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) of Israel campaign. Throughout the campaign, academics and international human rights activists have been anticipating this decision. This boycott decision, coming from a South African institution, is of particular significance. This has set a precedent and must start a domino boycott effect!"

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    #BDS: Major BDS Success: University of Johannesburg cuts ties with Israeli University

    "The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has officially severed ties with Israel’s Ben-Gurion University (BGU), deputy vice chancellor Adam Habib said on Wednesday.

    Deputy Vice Chancellor Adam Habib says the University of Johannesburg has officially severed ties with Israel's Ben-Gurion University. Photo: Independent Newspapers

    “It will happen as per protocol on April 1,” Habib told Sapa.

    “We had a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with them and that will now be severed.”

    Habib said the “financial implications” of the decision would not adversely impact the UJ.

    “Decisions should not be determined by finances, but to be honest it will not adversely impact the university. We are a big institution with a big budget. Our finances will not be adversely impacted one way or other.”

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    #BDS: Open Letter to Bob Geldof: Do not choose the side of the Israeli oppressor

    "Dear Bob Geldof,

    Your decision to accept an honorary doctorate from Israel's Ben-Gurion University (BGU) has come as a shock to many of those who respect your humanitarian activities. Before you travel to Israel, there are a number of points that you might consider.

    You might consider that David Ben-Gurion, Israel's founding father, believed that Jews were "more intelligent and diligent" than Arabs and hence should receive higher wages, and supported compulsory transfer of indigenous Palestinians from an ethnic Jewish state: "I support compulsory transfer. I don't see anything immoral in it." Ben-Gurion, after whom the university offering you this doctorate is named, thereby set down the template for an Israeli state premised on racism and ethnic cleansing.

    If you believe that BGU, being a university, somehow stands above all such matters, then you might consider that South African academics from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) have called for BGU to be boycotted because "by maintaining links to both the Israeli Defence Force... and the arms industry BGU structurally supports and facilitates the Israeli occupation... BGU is also complicit in the general discrimination at Israeli universities against Palestinians and Palestinian citizens of Israel." (1)

    Read more

    Mar 22, 2011

    #BDS: Action Alert: Tell Wikimedia Not to Hold 2011 Annual Conference in Israel!

    "Wikimania, the annual conference of the Wikimedia community, is set to be held in Haifa in August. Tell Wikimedia that its mission of cultivating collaboration and a shared culture cannot be furthered in a gathering held in an apartheid state that occupies and oppresses Palestinians!

    Wikimania, the annual international conference of the Wikimedia community, which include Wikipedia, is set to be held in Haifa, Israel from 4-7August 2011.

    Israel seems a strange choice for the annual conference, which promotes neutrality and subjectivity, collaboration, and a shared culture for participants of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia and its sister projects.

    The country’s military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip are certainly not in line with Wikimedia’s mission to promote neutral information. The annual gathering has in recent years been held in Germany (2005), USA (2006), Taiwan (2007), Egypt(2008), Argentina (2009) and Poland (2010), and a number of groups are calling on the media community to change this year’s location."

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    #BDS: Add this to your boycott list: British musician and producer Mark Ronson returning to Israel

    "British musician and producer, who gave one of 'best concerts Israel has seen' two years ago, to perform in Holy Land once again in April

    About two years after his previous visit to Israel, British musician Mark Ronson will return to the Holy Land with his band in April for one concert, Ynet has learned.

    Ronson will arrive in Israel as part of a world tour after performing in Europe, Asia and Australia. The PLUG Productions company said negotiations were being held with the musician but failed to provide additional details."

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    #BDS: New Addition to the Boycott List: Isabelle Huppert and Mathieu Amalric to visit Israel

    "Renowned French actress Isabelle Huppert and actor and film director Mathieu Amalric will be the guests of the eighth annual French Film Festival, scheduled to take place in the Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Sderot and Rosh Pina cinematheques in April.

    Huppert, who has visited Israel once before, will arrive with the film "Copacabana". Amalric, who is well-known for his role in Julian Schnabel's "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," will present his film "On Tour", which won him the Best Director Award at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival."

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    #BDS: New H&M Stores to open in Israel

    "New stores to be inaugurated this month, joining Swedish fashion chain's four other Israel branches

    Swedish fashion chain H&M will open two new stores in Israel in the next two weeks. The first store will be inaugurated at Petah Tikva's Avnat Mall on March 24, and the second will open at Netanya's Sharon Mall on March 31.

    The two new stores will join the four branches which were opened in 2010 in Tel Aviv's Azreili Mall, Jerusalem's Malcha Mall, Haifa's Grand Canyon shopping center, and Kfar Saba's G Center."

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    #BDS: Add this to the boycott list: Blackfield band to begin tour in Tel Aviv

    "Despite unfavorable reviews, Aviv Geffen and Steven Wilson celebrate first decade as musical duo with their third album and international concert tour, which will begin in Tel Aviv

    Ten years have passed since Aviv Geffen and Steven Wilson received unfavorable reviews when they sang "Cloudy Now" together. The future did look cloudy at the time, and yet the Blackfield band managed to launch its career."

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    #BDS: Qatari President of the Asian Football Federation and Normalization with Israel

    "Bin Hammam suggested that the popular revolts against authoritarian rule sweeping the Middle East and North Africa could contribute to improving relations, at least as it regards soccer, between Israel and the Arabs. He said Qatar’s successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup would help to break down barriers in the region.
    “The vision of Qatar 2022 is peace in the Middle East, and Palestine and the Israelis is the best example of where we’d like to see that—this World Cup changing the lives of youth for the two nations,” Bin Hammam said.
    Bin Hammam stopped short however of putting his money where his mouth is: pushing the AFC to readmit Israel. That would create an environment in which Israeli and Arab perceptions of one another could be broken down and in which Bin Hammam’s ambition to build bridges through soccer could flourish."
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    #BDS: النصريحات المشينة للرئيس القطري للإتحاد الآسيوي لكرة القدم

    في هذه المقابلة والمقال يشير بن همام إلى أهمية الفصل بين الرياضة والسياسة، ولكن يشدد بعد ذلك الدور المهم الذي ستلعبه قطر، من خلال استضافتها لكأس العالم، في نشر السلام بين العرب وإسرائيل.

    بالطبع هذا النوع من السلام الذي يتمناه بن همام مستحيل في ظل انتهاكات إسرائيل لحقوق الفلسطينين وممارستها للفصل العنصري. ولن يحصل طالما تستمر إسرائيل بسياستها العدوانية ضد العرب وتجاهلها للقوانين الدولية والإنسانية. و ينعكس ذلك في استطلاعات الرأي حيث ترى الشعوب العربية إسرائيل عدوتها الأولى (استطلاع الرأي).

    وان كان يرغب بن همام في رؤية السلام، فليستخدم طاقته للضغط على الفيفا لمنع إسرائيل من اللعب في المباريات العالمية، بدلاً من ان يطالب إسرائيل ببعض الرحمة والسماح للرياضيين الفلسطينين حقهم الطبيعي وهو حق حرية التنقل.

    إقرأ/ي المزيد

    #BDS: 'Buy Gaza' Movement Gains Momentum

    "GAZA CITY, Mar 18, 2011 (IPS) - Palestinians are calling for boycotts against Israeli products and companies. But in the Gaza Strip -- at the heart of the Israeli occupation -- it is often impossible for residents to follow their own call to action.

    The Israeli currency (the shekel) is the only monetary system in use, and Israeli products dominate key markets, particularly household items such as dairy products and detergents. Although Israel is finally allowing import of the supplies needed to produce most items locally, the four-year-long siege has taken its toll and industries must build up their businesses virtually from scratch.

    "It's been a long time under siege, and we have been a captive market," said Sameh Nasr, executive manager of Arjan, a Gaza beverage company that participated in this month's industrial exhibition at Islamic University in Gaza City. "We have to educate the people that they can 'buy Gaza' again."

    The exhibition was the fourth such event sponsored by the Palestinian Federation of Industries (PFI), which represents about 2,000 factories in Gaza that are working to get back on their feet. In addition to the production of food both through agriculture and manufacture, Gaza has long been known for the fine craftsmanship of its furniture. "

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    #BDS: Montreal: Photos: Artists Against Apartheid XV


    "Montreal’s ongoing Artists Against Apartheid concert series in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for liberation continued for Israeli Apartheid Week 2011 on Sunday, March 13th at O Patro Vys in the Plateau district of Montreal.
    Celebrated poets, musicians & hip-hop artists performed to a capacity crowd in Montreal gathering for an concert series taking place as part of the global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign targeting the Israeli state due to the systematic human rights abuses against the Palestinian people."

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    #BDS: Action Alert: Statement in Support & Defense of BDS!


    A Jewish response to the February 2011 Statement of Jewish Zionist Organizations on Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)

    Because academic, cultural and commercial boycotts, divestments and sanctions of Israel:
    • are being called for by Palestinian civil society in response to the occupation and colonization of their land,
    • are a moral tool of non-violent, peaceful response to more than sixty years of Israeli colonialism, and,
    • rightfully place accountability on Israeli institutions (and their allies and partners) that use business, cultural, and academic ties to white-wash Israel’s responsibility for continuing crimes against humanity,
    The undersigned organizations and individuals stand firm in our support of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) initiatives against Israel until it meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law."
    Read more and sign the petition.

    #BDS: Bad romance: Poland and Israel's "love story"

    ""There is no more reliable and loyal adherent of your stance and aspiration for a better and a fairer world order in the European Union than Poland."

    - Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, 9 April 2008

    "We cannot pretend that Iran's behavior is normal and that a terrorist is a freedom fighter. You have a real friend in Europe and it is important that both countries will strengthen each other's image."

    - Prime Minister Tusk at a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, 23 February 2011

    "The Jewish people are an indelible part of Polish history, and Poland is an indelible part of Jewish history ... Our deep bilateral cooperation is based on common values and a shared history, as well as on the aspiration to a common future in which we want to achieve the same goals."

    - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Tusk, 23 February 2011

    Last month witnessed the launch of the first Polish-Israeli governmental forum held in occupied Jerusalem. The biannual dialogue accelerates an existing partnership between the two countries which includes trade agreements, joint military training exercises and arms deals under an ongoing "Polonization of Israeli Technology" drive."

    Read more

    #BDS: Boycott roundup


    A student-led divestment initiative at Carleton University in Ottowa is gaining ground after a massive show of support during a student council meeting last month. Meanwhile, students at York University and the University of Toronto officially launched their divestment campaigns during Israeli Apartheid Week events last week.

    Canadian civil society news website Rabble reported on 7 March that activists with Students Against Israeli Apartheid at Carleton University had collected more than 2,000 letters from students on campus in support of a comprehensive initiative to divest the university's pension fund from Israeli ties.

    "The support for divestment culminated in an extraordinary show of student solidarity at the [Carleton University Student Association] council meeting on 17 February," Rabble reported ("Carleton students push student union to support divestment from illegal occupation," 7 March 2011)."

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    #BDS: طلبة جامعة إدنبرة الاسكتلندية يقاطعون المنتجات الإسرائيلية

    لندن 18-3-2011 وفا- حققت حركة مقاطعة إسرائيل انتصارا إضافيا مع تصويت طلبة جامعة ادنبره في اسكتلندا على قرار بمقاطعة إسرائيل.
    وذكر موقع التضامن مع الشعب الفلسطيني، اليوم الجمعة، أن اتحاد الطلبة في جامعة أدنبرة العريقة  باسكتلندا صوتوا بأغلبية 270 لصالح مقاطعة البضائع الإسرائيلية، مقابل 20 ضد.
    ونص قرار المقاطعة على عدم بيع أية منتجات إسرائيلية في المحال التجارية داخل مباني اتحاد الطلبة بجامعة إدنبرة، كما سيحث اتحاد الطلبة على تشجيع الموردين على التوقف عن شراء وتوزيع المنتجات الإسرائيلية، وتضمن القرار نصا يؤكد أن إسرائيل 'دولة تمييز عنصري'.
    إقرأ/ي المزيد

    #BDS: Vous invitez Israël, alors BDS-France s’invite

    "Lorsqu’un salon, un évènement culturel ou sportif méprise l’appel au Boycott, Sanctions et Retraits des Investissements contre Israël lancé par la Société Civile Palestinienne le 10 juillet 2005 en invitant l’occupant sioniste, alors soyez sûrs qu’il recevra la visite des militants pro-palestiniens, comme cela s’est passé aujourd’hui au Salon du Tourisme à Paris.

    Une cinquantaine de militants de BDS-France et d’ISM s’étaient donnés rendez-vous en ce dimanche 20 mars 2011 au Salon du Tourisme de Paris où Israël et El Al, la compagnie aérienne nationale israélienne tenaient un stand."

    Continuer à lire

    #BDS: Australia: Council defeats attempt to overturn Israel boycott

    "It was ironic, but only supporters of Palestine were clapping after a majority of Marrickville councillors decided on March 15 in favour of hiring a venue to a newly-formed local Jewish group that is hosting an Australian Rules Peace Team with connections to Israel.
    Independent councillor Victor Macri, who had put the motion, did not look at all happy.
    The council meeting chambers was packed with supporters of the council’s stand on the global Boycott, Divestment Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. A smaller number of anti-BDS campaigners were also present, including some sporting pro-Israel paraphernalia.
    Members of the Inner West Jewish Community and Friends Peace Alliance (a group formed to campaign against the council’s BDS decision) tried to argue that if the council allowed the booking, it would be contravening its own BDS decision. But this did not wash with the councillors or on the director of community services Gary Moore who was explicitly asked."
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    #BDS: Palestinian anti-wall activist tortured, threatened with rape and execution by Shin Bet because of BDS activities

    "The Israeli government’s repression of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement is growing ever more harsh. Domestically, earlier this month, “the Knesset plenum…approved in its first reading a ‘boycott law,’ which would levy harsh punitive fines on Israelis who call for academic or economic boycotts against Israeli institutions,” according to Ha’aretz.
    While the anti-boycott bill is aimed at shutting up internal Israeli calls for BDS, much more punitive measures continue to be inflicted on Palestinian activists.
    Jesse Rosenfeld, reporting for Alternet, has an exclusive report on the alleged torture of Mohammad Othman, a key organizer in the non-violent resistance campaign against the West Bank separation barrier. After returning from Norway in 2009, where he met with “Norwegian socialist movements and BDS activists, as well as members of the national Parliament, including the Norwegian finance minister,” Othman was arrested at the West Bank-Jordan border. The interview with Rosenfeld marks the first time Othman has spoken out about his conditions in prison."
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    #BDS: Group calls for boycott of MEC products

    "Jackie Barkley is asking Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) shoppers not to buy water bottles made in Israel for their next camping trip.  
    Barkley, a member of Canadians, Arabs and Jews for a Just Peace, was handing out pamphlets outside the outdoor equipment store in Halifax on Friday, encouraging MEC members to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and not buy products made in Israel.
    "BDS is designed to try to find a non-violent route to oppose Israeli government policy," says Barkley, "not unlike the important boycotts against South African products, which was a really important part of bringing down Apartheid in South Africa."
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    "Cambridge, MA, March 20, 2011 – Peace and justice activists came together at Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre today to ask the South African musical performance group Ladysmith Black Mambazo to cancel their June 24th tour date in Tel Aviv, Israel. 

    Heeding the international call from Palestine for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel because of its continued violations of Palestinian human rights, the activists urged Ladysmith to uphold BDS and boycott apartheid wherever it exists.  Demonstrators held signs documenting the historical and political connections between apartheid South Africa and apartheid Israel.  They also distributed flyers to concertgoers educating about these connections and urging fans to take action by asking Ladysmith to cancel their Israeli tour date.

    Ladysmith has already encountered U.S. pressure to cancel its Israel performance in North Carolina, when members of North Carolina BDS demonstrated at the group’s Durham concert and engaged in a long conversation with the group’s manager.  This U.S.-based activism echoes international calls to Ladysmith to cancel its Israel appearance from the Palestinian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) as well as South African organizations like the Coalition of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the African National Congress (ANC). 

    The campaign appears to be having some impact, as there is increasing uncertainty as to whether or not the concert will take place.  Mitch Goldstein, the group’s manager, has stated openly that the show in Tel Aviv is not happening.  He conveyed this via email with North Carolina BDS and also allowed himself to be videotaped by them declaring as much.  Goldstein agreed to a similar such video interview with the Boston activists, stating explicitly that on June 24th, Ladysmith will be on a plane headed from London back to South Africa (video forthcoming soon).  However, as of March 19th, tickets were still available for sale online through the Tel Aviv Opera House website and it appears as though a good number of them have been sold.

    Many artists, performers, and cultural workers have withdrawn from Israeli venues or refused to perform in Israel because of its human rights abuses, including Pete Seeger,  Elvis Costello, Jean-Luc Godard, Carlos Santana, Gil Scott-Heron, Roger Waters, and Massive Attack. 

    The Boston activists were pleased to be part of the larger, international movement calling for BDS against Israel until Israel ends its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantles the wall, recognizes the equal rights of Palestinian citizens, and respects the right of return of Palestinian refugees. "

    #BDS: Musician-activist Bob Geldof to Receive Award from Israeli University

    "Musician and human rights activist Bob Geldof will accept an honorary degree from Israel’s Ben Gurion University later this year, thus ignoring the Palestinian call to boycott Israeli institutions. Ben Gurion University itself is particularly active in supporting the Israeli army and arms industry.

    The award is meant to honor Geldof's anti-poverty activism, including organizing the Live Aid and Live 8 concerts, and his work with a range of charitable causes.

    During his visit, Mr Geldof, who has been twice nominated for the Nobel Peace, will also attend a conference on humanitarian aid while in Israel, entitled “Israel in Africa – Past, Present and Future”, being organised by The Israel Forum for International Humanitarian Aid (IsraAID).

    The Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott Initiative (PACBI) was launched in Ramallah in 2004 and called on the international community to comprehensively and consistently boycott all Israeli academic and cultural institutions until Israel withdraws from all lands occupied in 1967, removes all colonies on these lands, abides by UN resolutions concerning Palestinian refugees’ rights and dismantles its apartheid system. This call later fed into the 2005 united Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel until it complies with international law and universal principles of Human Rights."

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    Click here to ask Bob Geldof to respect the Palestinain call for boycott.

    #BDS: Another BDS Success: Edinburgh University Votes To Boycott Israel

    "The student association of Edinburgh University in Scotland voted overwhelmingly Thursday night to support a boycott of Israeli goods and services. This comes after the student association, which represents all students at the University, voted last year to divest from Israeli companies.

    In the lead-up to the vote, students from Edinburgh University Students for Justice in Palestine, which introduced the resolution, held a large-scale education campaign on campus about Israel’s colonial origins and practices toward the indigenous population of Palestine. Many students related the experience of the Palestinian people to their own experience, having been colonized by England for several hundred years."

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    #BDS: Since BDS is not working, Israeli military intelligence to monitor foreign left-wing organizations supporting BDS

    "IDF officers say special department has been created to monitor left-wing groups that the army sees as aiming to delegitimize Israel; department will work closely with government ministries.

    Military Intelligence is collecting information about left-wing organizations abroad that the army sees as aiming to delegitimize Israel, according to senior Israeli officials and Israel Defense Forces officers.
    The sources said MI's research division created a department several months ago that is dedicated to monitoring left-wing groups and will work closely with government ministries. In recent weeks, the head of the new unit has been taking part in discussions in the Prime Minister's Office about how to prepare for the possible arrival of a Gaza-bound flotilla in May."
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    #BDS: الاستخبارات الإسرائيلية تجمع معلومات حول منظمات عالمية «تنزع شرعيتها»

    في خطوة ذات دلالة، أعلن في إسرائيل أن شعبة الاستخبارات العسكرية «أمان» بدأت في الأشهر الأخيرة جمع المعلومات عن منظمات اليسار العالمية والمنظمات الغربية التي تعمل على خلق حالة من نزع الشرعية عن الدولة. 
    ويشير هذا الإعلان من ناحية إلى أن إسرائيل باتت ترى في هذه المنظمات عدواً، وتعتبر مساعي نزع الشرعية الدولية عنها خطراً بالغ الأهمية. 
    وأوضحت صحيفة «هآرتس» أن هناك في وزارة الخارجية الإسرائيلية من اعترض على الخطوة، بدعوى أنه لا يفترض بمن يرتدي البزات العسكرية أن يتابعوا موضوعاً له وجه سياسي. ولكن ليس من المستبعد أن ينبع اعتراض الخارجية الإسرائيلية من تنافس على الصلاحيات، وبالتالي على الميزانيات، خصوصا أن في الوزارة جهاز استخبارات خاصة. 
    ونقلت «هآرتس» عن مسؤولين سياسيين وعسكريين رفيعي المستوى قولهم إنه تشكلت مؤخراً دائرة خاصة في وحدة الأبحاث في شعبة الاستخبارات، ويرأسها ضابط استخبارات برتبة رائد، للاهتمام بمنظمات اليسار الدولية الداعية لمقاطعة إسرائيل. وقالت إن الدائرة ستكون على اتصال وثيق مع وزارة الخارجية وغيرها من الوزارات الحكومية، وإن رئيس الدائرة بدأ يتواجد في مقر قيادة الإعلام الوطني في ديوان رئيس الوزراء لحضور المداولات التي تعنى بالاستعدادات لمواجهة أسطول كبير آخر آتٍ إلى غزة في أيار المقبل. وأشارت إلى أن مجالات المسؤولية ستتضمن البحث في شؤون منظمات معادية لإسرائيل خارج الدولة، وكذا ربط الأنباء الحيوية الاستخباراتية تحدّد لوحدات جمع المعلومات المختلفة سلم الأولويات. 

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    Mar 21, 2011

    #BDS: هيئة نقابية أردنية لمقاومة التطبيع الزراعي مع كيان العدو

    كشفت نقابة المهندسين الزراعيين الأردنيين الأربعاء انها بصدد تأسيس هيئة استشارية تعنى بمقاومة التطبيع الزراعي مع الكيان الصهيوني.

    وقالت النقابة في بيان لها إن تأسيس هذه الهيئة جاء بعد اجتماع شارك فيه عدد من النقابيين والشخصيات الحزبية حيث نبه المشاركون إلى ضرورة مراجعة الإجراءات التي من شأنها حصر عملية التطبيع الزراعي مع (كيان العدو) ومحاولاته المتكررة لاختراق القطاع الزراعي الأردني من خلال التبادل التجاري أو تحت ذريعة التعاون الفني أو المشاريع المشتركة.

    وذكر البيان انه انبثق عن الاجتماع مجموعة من التوصيات أبرزها مخاطبة المؤسسات الرسمية بعدم مشاركة المهندسين الزراعيين أعضاء النقابة بالدورات التي تعقد في (الكيان الصهيوني) أو الاستيراد والتصدير.

    وأوصى المشاركون بضرورة توثيق أسماء المطبعين والعمل على أرشفتها لغايات استخدامها بالمستقبل.كما تبنوا تشجيع دول بديلة للمستوردات من إسرائيل وعقد مجموعة من الندوات ودعوة المعنيين لشرح المخاطر الصحية والوطنية والدينية المترتبة على موضوع الإستيراد من (الكيان الصهيوني).

    ورغم أن الأردن يرتبط بإتفاقية سلام مبرمة مع الكيان الصهيوني عام 1994. الا أن قوى المعارضة ومن بينها النقابات المهنية (14 نقابة) ترفض كافة أشكال العلاقة معها وتعتبر أن استيراد المنتجات الزراعية منها أو تصديرها اليها شكل من أشكال التطبيع.

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    #BDS: مقاومو التطبيع في الأردن يستنكرون المشاركة بندوة زراعية في إسرائيل

    عمان ـ يو بي آي: استنكرت اللجنة الأردنية العليا لحماية الوطن ومجابهة التطبيع مع إسرائيل الأحد المشاركة الأردنية في ندوة اقيمت في إسرائيل الشهر الماضي. 
    وقالت اللجنة في بيان لها الاحد 'ان وزارة الزراعة الأردنية اوفدت مهندسين زراعيين ومزارعين اردنيين للمشاركة في ندوة ونشاطات ميدانية مع اسرائيل في الفترة من 22-25- شباط (فبراير) الماضي بالرغم من كل التعديات الإسرائيلية الاجرامية على المزارع الأردنية والمياه وغيرها' .
    وقالت اللجنة المنبثفة عن قوى المعارضة في المملكة من احزاب ونقابات مهنية انها 'تستنكر اشد الإستنكار الموقف الرسمي الاردني اللامبالي تجاه اختراقات العدو الصهيوني الذي يتصرف كما لو كان الأردن ساحة مفتوحة ومستباحة لمشاريعه الخاصة ومخططاته الجهنمية'.
    وترفض قوى المعارضة الأردنية إتفاقية السلام الموقعة مع إسرائيل عام 1994 وتطالب بالغائها، وتقود النقابات المهنية حملة بين اعضائها لرفض كافة اشكال التطبيع مع إسرائيل في مختلف المجالات وتفرض عقوبات على منتسبيها ممن يخرقون قرارات المقاطعة لإسرائيل.

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    Mar 19, 2011

    #BDS: أنباء عن زيارة سريّة لغلعاد إلى القاهرة أثمرت عن استئناف إمداد اسرائيل بالغاز

    الناصرة ـ 'القدس العربي' علمت 'القدس العربي' من مصادر حسنة الاطلاع أنّ الجنرال عاموس غلعاد، رئيس الطاقم السياسي والأمني في وزارة الأمن الإسرائيليّة، قام يوم الأربعاء الماضي بزيارة سريّة إلى مصر، حيث اجتمع هناك إلى عددٍ من صنّاع القرار في القاهرة وناقش معهم قضية استئناف إمداد تل أبيب بالغاز المصريّ.
    وبحسب المعلومات المتوفرة، فإنّ الجنرال في الاحتياط غلعاد، الذي كان على صلة دائمة بالمصريين، خلال عهد الرئيس المصري المخلوع، محمد حسني مبارك، كان من المقرر أن يشارك في ندوة مهمة يوم الأربعاء الماضي، إلا أنّه ألغى مشاركته في الندوة لظروف طارئة، وأعلن منظمو الندوة عن اعتذار غلعاد قائلين إنّه اضطر للسفر إلى خارج البلاد في مهمة سريّة دون الإفصاح عن التفاصيل.
    وكانت مصادر سياسيّة وأمنيّة إسرائيليّة قد تحدثت في الفترة الأخيرة عن أنّ غلعاد سيقوم بزيارة إلى القاهرة لحل مشكلة الغاز الطبيعيّ، بعد أن تفاقمت المشكلة في إسرائيل. وفي نفس السياق، ذكرت تقارير إسرائيلية أمس الأول أنّ مصر استأنفت إمداد إسرائيل والأردن بالغاز الطبيعي الثلاثاء من هذا الأسبوع بعد توقف دام قرابة شهر ونصف الشهر على اثر انفجار قرب أنابيب الغاز في سيناء.

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    Mar 17, 2011

    #BDS: US fashion chain features Israel in campaign

    "Urban Outfitters fashion chain chooses Jewish state as backdrop for its spring catalog, bringing convoy of models to Holy Land

    The American fashion chain Urban Outfitters had decided to feature the Israeli sun in its spring marketing campaign: The popular brand, which has outlets around the world, chose Israelas the destination for a week-long photo shoot.

    The team of American models was accompanied by fashion photographer Marlene Marion. Photographs documenting their experience in the holy land are on display on the brand's blog. The Dead Sea, the Judean Desert, Jaffa and the Tel Aviv coast are among the sites that were shown in the spring catalog, whose designers apparently got their inspiration from Israeli tourism posters from the 1960s and 1970s."

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    #BDS: Activists highlight links between Ben Gurion, military

    "Activists campaigning for the University of Johannesburg (UJ) to cut ties with Israel's Ben Gurion University have compiled a report on the latter's links with the Israeli military claiming that it gave scholarships and extra tuition to students who served in Operation Cast Lead, the controversial 2008 invasion of Gaza. 

    On Wednesday next week the UJ senate meets to decide whether to sever all ties with Ben Gurion, ending decades of research collaboration.

    In September, the senate listed a number of conditions that Ben Gurion would have to meet within six months or face the cutting of ties. The probationary period closes at the end of this month."

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    #BDS: الاتحاد العام للكتاب يدعو لمقاطعة إمبرتو إيكو وماك ايوان

    بعد تكريمهما على هامش معرض الكتاب بالقدس الاتحاد العام للكتّاب والأدباء الفلسطينيين يدعو إلى مقاطعة إمبرتو إيكو وإيان إيوان

    رام الله - معا- على هامش المعرض الدولي الخامس والعشرين للكتاب في القدس المحتلة، الذي نظمته بلدية القدس الاحتلالية الشهر الماضي، منحت جائزة القدس للكاتب البريطاني إيان ماك إيوان، واحتفلت بالروائي الإيطالي إمبرتو إيكو بترجمة روايته الأخيرة التي تستوحي "برتوكولات حكماء صهيون" إلى العبرية. وإيكو الذي آمن بدور مساهمة الثقافة العربية والإسلامية في الثقافة العالمية عاد وتخاذل ونافق عندما واجه الاستحقاق السياسي والإنسانيّ أمام إغراء التكريم. كما جاء في قرار لجنة التحكيم أن ماك إيوان "عكس في كتاباته كفاح أبطاله من أجل حقّهم في التعبير الفردي عن مثلهم وعن حقّهم في العيش بمقتضاها في واقع يتّسم بالتقلبات السياسية والاجتماعية السريعة، الأمر الذي جعله واحداً من أكثر الأدباء الأجانب شعبية في إسرائيل".

    إنّ الاتحاد العام للكتّاب والأدباء الفلسطينيين يعبر بوضوح عن إدانته واستنكاره ورفضه لهذه المشاركة التي تمسح الدم عن يد الجلاد والقاتل الاحتلالي بدلاً من الانحياز إلى الضحية، ويرى أن تملّق الاحتلال ومؤسسته الاستيطانية المتمثّلة ببلدية القدس، يأتي على حساب الشعب الفلسطيني وحقّه في أرضه ومقدساته.

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    #BDS: Israel uses academia to whitewash its crimes: Cypriot Institute and Tel Aviv University Agreement Strengthens Relations

    "A cooperation agreement between the Cypriot Institute and theUniversity of Tel Aviv were signed on Monday (14/3). Cyprus President Demetris Christofias signed 3 other Cyprus-Israel agreements during Monday’s visit, and also visited the tomb of Yasser Arafat.

    An agreement between the Cypriot Institute and the University of Tel Aviv was signed on Monday, (14/3) during a visit by Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and a large delegation of Cypriots.

    Following the signing of the academic agreement, Institute President Professor Costas N. Papanicolas stated that “regional partnerships with institutions of high international standing such as Tel-Aviv University are outstanding assets for enhancing the role of our Institute on the international scientific scene and fostering the role of Cyprus as a gateway between Europe and the Middle-East for research, education and the knowledge economy.”

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