Jan 17, 2011

#BDS: “Irish Artists’ Pledge to Boycott Israel” reaches 200 signatories

The pledge launch in August 2010

Irish singer-songwriter Dylan Walshe became the landmark 200th signatory to the “Irish Artists’ Pledge to Boycott Israel”, which commits endorsers to not “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”.
The pledge - an initiative of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) - was launched last August and since then has garnered the support of many high profile Irish creative and performing artists such as Stephen Rea, Sinéad Cusack, Christy Moore, Donal Lunny, Andy Irvine, Damien Dempsey, Neilí Conroy, Conor Kostick, Liam Ó Maonlaí, Sharon Shannon, Robert Ballagh and Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill. The full list of signatories can be viewed online athttp://www.ipsc.ie/pledge
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"Dear Thomas Quasthoff,
We noticed that on January 11, Die Welt and most other German
newspapers reported you will be performing 'for the first time’ in
Israel in February. We interpret this, sadly, as your reply to us
and the many other people who have written asking you not to sing
in Israel. And we have to say we’re slightly surprised.

Because to perform with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is to
declare an identification with the State of Israel. We’re not saying
this because we’re a bunch of leftie English professors. We’re
saying it because the Israel Philharmonic itself says so.

Here’s its website describing the period 1947-1956, the decade, it
says, 'in which some of the world’s most renowned artists came to
identify through the orchestra with the State of Israel’. You’ll be in
illustrious company – Koussevitzky, Fricsay, Giulini – but do you
want your appearance to be spun this way? It will be, whether you
like it or not."

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#BDS: Legendary NY theater helps whitewash Israeli Apartheid

"Earlier this week, La MaMa, one of the most revered counter-cultural theatrical institutions in the world, presented a work, "Show Your Face," part of the Under the Radar festival, in which the performers, after depicting a demonstration in which the demonstrators were mowed down by securitiy forces, ranted at the audience for turning a blind eye to torture, repression, and war crimes, terminating with the accusatory refrain, directed at the spectators, "And you do nothing!" Perhaps they should have been directing their outrage at the theater's co-director, Mia Yoo.
On January 31, La MaMa will collaborate with the Israeli government by hosting a gala to raise money for an 'Israeli Dance Week' at the East Viillage theater this spring whose net effect will be to help whitewash Israel's ongoing Apartheid policies, destruction of Palestinian homes and olive orchards, theft of Palestinian land, failure to take any responsibility for what a UN investigation deemed war crimes and possible crimes against humanity in its invasion of the Gaza strip in which it killed 1400 people, the majority civlians, lethal attack on the Turkish flotilla attempting to break Israel's illegal Gaza blockade of vital goods, denying Palestinians married to Israelis the right to even enter the country, new restrictions on Israeli peace groups, and, most recently, killing a Palestinian woman who was simply watching a demonstration against Israel's illegal Apartheid wall with American-manufactured tear gas."
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#BDS: Lead singer of 'Disturbed' is obviously truly disturbed!

"Jewish state has a passionate supporter in metal band lead vocalist David Draiman – he has family here, visits as often as possible and is even considering buying property here. 'Thing I love most about Israel is that it's the only place where it's OK to be Jewish,' he says

For a few years now, one of metal's greatest singers has been making frequent visits to Israel quietly and without a fuss. The man is so in love with Israel that he would consider making aliyah if his band members would only allow it.

His face may not be as well known as that of Metallica's James Hetfield, but David Draiman, lead singer of US metal band Disturbed, heads one of the leading bands in the field. Disturbed's monumental success has risen even higher over the last few months with the release of their latest album Asylum."

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#BDS: «مقاومة التطبيع» تبلغ ثلاثة تجار بضرورة مقاطعة البضائع الاسرائيلية

أبلغت لجنة مقاومة التطبيع النقابية ثلاثة تجار يستوردون المنتجات الزراعية من إسرائيل أنهم هم فقط الذين لم يستجيبوا لدعوتها بمقاطعة البضائع الإسرائيلية وعدم استيرادها.

وقال رئيس اللجنة المهندس بادي الرفايعة إن اللجنة اتصلت بالتجار الثلاثة واكدت لهم أنها بصدد نشر قائمة بأسماء الذين يمارسون أنشطة تطبيعية 

مع الكيان الصهيوني ، وأنها ستضطر في حال لم يتجاوبوا مع دعوتها أسوة بالعديد من التجار إلى نشر أسمائهم في هذه القائمة.

وأشار إلى أن تجاراً كانوا يستوردون بضائع وسلعا زراعية إسرائيلية قرروا التوقف عن هذا النشاط التطبيعي بعد أن تبيّن لهم أنه يصب في صالح الكيان الصهيوني الذي يعلن ليل نهار أهدافه العدوانية تجاه الأردن ، ويقوم كل يوم بعدوان على أبناء الشعب العربي الفلسطيني.

وقال إن التجار الذين توقفوا عن استيراد هذه البضائع نشروا إعلانات بذلك ، وبينوا أنهم توقفوا لأن التطبيع التجاري يخدم أهداف الكيان الصهيوني.

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#BDS: فانيسا بارادي تلغي حفلتها الموسيقية في اسرائيل

ا ف ب - القدس (ا ف ب) - ألغت المغنية والممثلة الفرنسية فانيسا بارادي حفلة موسيقية كان من المقرر ان تحييها للمرة الاولى في اسرائيل في شباط/فبراير، حسبما أعلن منظم الحفلة ديفيد ستيرن في بيان السبت.
وجاء في البيان "يأسف شارل بينزمين، مدير شركة +اوغوري برودوكسيون+ وديفيد ستيرن، رئيس شركة +ستيرن اند لايتس+ للاعلان عن إلغاء حفلة الآنسة فانيسا بارادي في تل أبيب، التي كانت مقررة في 10 شباط/فبراير 2011، وذلك لدواع مهنية قاهرة".
وقد اكد ديفيد ستيرن لوكالة فرانس برس ان "الغاء الحفلة يعود الى أسباب مهنية بحتة".
في مواجهة النزاع الاسرائيلي الفلسطيني، الغى عدة مغنين في الاشهر الاخيرة حفلاتهم في اسرائيل، وبعضهم عزا ذلك الى اسباب سياسية مثل الفيس كوستيلو، وفرقة بيكسيز، وكارلوس سانتانا، وجيل سكوت هيرون وغيرهم. كذلك فإن المخرج السينمائي البريطاني مايك لي رفض مؤخرا المشاركة في مهرجان مكرس لأفلامه في اسرائيل.
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#BDS: Canada's double standards

"Canada's tax system currently subsidizes Israeli settlements that Ottawa deems illegal, however, the Conservative government says there's nothing that can be done about it.

In June of last year, Guelph activist Dan Maitland emailed Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon concerning Canada Park, a Jewish National Fund of Canada initiative built on land Israel occupied after the June 1967 War. Three Palestinian villages (Beit Nuba, Imwas and Yalu) were demolished to make way for the park.

A few weeks ago Maitland received a reply from Keith Ashfield, Minister of National Revenue, who refused to discuss the particulars of the case but provided "general information about registered charities and the occupied territories." Ashfield wrote that "the fact that charitable activities take place in the occupied territories is not a barrier to acquiring or maintaining charitable status."

This means Canadian organizations can openly fundraise for settlements Ottawa (officially) deems illegal under international law and get the government to pay up to a third of the cost through tax credits for donations. To justify the government's position, Ashfield cited a September 2002 Federal Court of Appeal case (Canadian Magen David Adom for Israel v. Minister of National Revenue), which reversed the Canadian Revenue Agency's previous position."

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#BDS: US TOUR: Palestinian Queers Talk Politics

#BDS: ACTION ALERT: Special message to Californians

"You have just two weeks left to take an historic step in the struggle for peace and justice in Palestine-Israel. Just two weeks to help California become the first state in the US to start a divestment process from corporations that facilitate and profit from Israeli violation of international law and human rights. Just two weeks to join the European countries that are divesting their public pension funds.

In California, PERS, the Public Employees Retirement System -- one of the largest pension funds in the US -- and STRS (State Teachers Retirement System) both have policies on responsible investing that are not being honored. We can hold them accountable to their own policies and push them to start the divestment process if we garner the requisite number of signatures to place the Divestment Initiative on the California ballot. 

Just think of the incredible educational campaign we can wage if we succeed in getting the Initiative on the ballot. Just think of the message that we would be sending to the besieged people of Gaza; to the East Jerusalemites whose homes are being demolished; to the people of Bi’lin who have been waging a relentless, nonviolent campaign at the apartheid wall; to all the people of Palestine and to all those seeking a just peace.

If you are a registered voter in California, you can help send that message by signing the official Initiative petition. Download and print the Israel Divestment Petition and return it to us by January 30th. Click here:


#BDS: !بون جوفي... بلاش إسرائيل

PACBI "وجّهت «الحملة الفلسطينية للمقاطعة الثقافية والأكاديمية لإسرائيل" 
 رسالة إلى فرقة بون جوفي تدعوها فيها إلى التراجع عن حفلتها المرتقبة في إسرائيل. وكان مغني الروك الأميركي جون بون جوفي قد أعلن أنّ جولة فرقته، المخصصة للترويج لألبوم «الدائرة»، ستشمل إسرائيل.

وفي رسالتها، ذكّرت PACBI بخروق إسرائيل للقانون الدولي، وتعديها المتواصل على حقوق الفلسطينيّين. وسألت الحملة المغني المعروف بنشاطه السياسي والاجتماعي، وخصوصاً في مجال حقوق السكن، إن كان على دراية بالهدم الإسرائيلي الممنهج لبيوت الفلسطينيين وقراهم، وطالبت الحملة بون جوفي بألّا يكون شريكاً في «ترفيه نظام الفصل العنصري»، وألّا يجعل من حفلته «شهادة زور»، ومساهمةً غير مباشرة في تلميع صورة الاحتلال.

تجدر الإشارة إلى أنّ فرقة الروك الشهيرة تصدّرت أمس قائمة أكثر الفرق ربحاً في أميركا الشماليّة خلال العام الماضي، مع صافي أرباح بلغ 120 مليون دولار."

#BDS: Hillel Fighting Jews who Support BDS

If BDS is not working, then why is Hillel fighting it?

"Hillel is fighting back against the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign that is sweeping US campuses.
The student support organisation has set out new guidelines to bar people who back the BDS movement from its campus events. "We will not allow our resources to be used to support the BDS movement," said Jeff Rubin, spokesman for Hillel, which has chapters at more than 500 universities.
The new policy has angered Jewish advocates of BDS activities.
"It's a shame that Hillel is excluding a certain segment of its own community because of its political beliefs," said Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace. "All the money in the world can't stop people from having these opinions based on Jewish values."
"What the Jewish establishment is trying to do is to go on college campuses and try and cut off this conversation," said Hannah Schwarzchild of Philly BDS, which spearheaded the recent move to boycott Sabra hummus on campuses. But Mr Rubin said Hillel is not cutting off debate. "We're just saying our resources won't be used in those debates." Hillel, he said, follows a "big tent" policy: "On Friday morning we may disagree with a student who is running an anti-Israel table on campus. That night, we want that student to be joining us in Shabbat dinner."

#BDS: Australia: Taking local action on international issues

Palestinian supporters in Sydney protest against the ongoing attacks by Israel in Gaza. (AAP: Aman Sharma)

"On December 14 last year, Marrickville Council in Sydney’s Inner West resolved to support the global movement of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). The resolution was supported by the four Labor, five Greens and one of the three independent Councillors.

The BDS movement involves a boycott of goods produced in Israel and of cultural and sporting exchanges with Israeli institutions, withdrawal of funds from institutions and companies that invest in or do significant business with Israel, and the implementation of government actions (sanctions) that indicate disapproval of Israeli policies in the illegally occupied Palestinian territories.

It is certainly not an issue that generates apathy. Since the resolution we have received considerable support, not only from residents but from further afield. There has also been some opposition."

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#BDS: !!...وهم الدولة الفلسطينية المستقلة

بقلم: د. حيدر عيد

"من الصعب جدا الكتابة ضد التيار السائد وبالذات قي مراحل النضال من أجل التحرر الوطني، ومن الصعب أيضا تحدي الخطابات الشعبوية التي تتعامل مع أحاسيس مبنية على هبات عاطفية لا علاقة لها بالواقع الموضوعي ولا بالخلفية التاريخية التراكمية للنضال التحرري.
قامت في الفترة الأخيرة مجموعة من دول أمريكا اللاتينية الصديقة بالاعتراف بدولة فلسطين على حدود 67 (ما عدا تشيلي التي لم تحدد الاعتراف!) وتم الإقرار بأن هذا الاعتراف يأتي في "سياق القانون الدولي" الذي يمنح الشعب الفلسطينى الحق في اقامة دولته المستقلة. كما أن هذه الاعترافات المتتالية تأتي أيضا في سياق رغبة احدى القيادتين الفلسطينيتين الاعلان عن قيام دولة فلسطين المستقلة، وللمرة الثانية، في نهاية العام الجاري، وتأكيد القيادة الثانية على قبولها بدولة "مستقلة" على حدود 67 مع هدنة طويلة الأمد.
لا شك أن الحديث عن قيام الدولة والاعترافات المتلاحقة بناء على "رغبة الشعب الفلسطيني" يدعو الى طرح العديد من الأسئلة الصعبة من حيث واقعية هذا الطرح ومدى استجابته أو تناقضه مع حق تقرير المصير المكفول في إطار الشرعية الدولية، ومدى تعبيره عن رغبة ومصلحة الغالبية الساحقة للشعب الفلسطيني ليس فقط في مناطق 67، بل أيضا في الشتات ومناطق 48، ومدى التزام وتعبير هذا القرار عن الاجماع الفلسطيني بالنضال من أجل تنفيذ عودة 6 مليون لاجئ إلى القرى والمدن التي شردوا منها في عملية تطهير عرقي ينطبق عليها وبشكل لا لبس فيه تعريف "جريمة حرب"!
ومما لاشك فيه أيضا أن الفكرة الأساسية لاعلان الاستقلال تقوم على أساس أن "الصراع الفلسطيني الإسرائيلي" تكمن بداياته في حرب 1967، وأن قضية اللاجئين الفلسطينيين، وهي جوهر القضية الفلسطينية، يمكن التعامل معها براغمتيا، أي على أساس مبادرة جنيف أو المبادرة العربية من خلال ايجاد "حل متفق عليه" يلتف حول قرار الأمم المتحدة 194."
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#BDS: Rally in London on the second anniversary of Israel's war on Gaza

"Remembering Israel’s war on Gaza
• Rally for Gaza on Tuesday 18 January 2011, 7pm, Conway Hall, Holborn, London.
Between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009, over 1400 Palestinians were killed by Israel in a brutal and illegal attack on the Gaza Strip, destroying lives and infrastructure. Two years on, Gaza’s infrastructure has still not been repaired due to Israel’s blockade. Families are still living in tents. UN schools are unable to rebuild as Israel blocks concrete and building supplies. Join us, and bring family and friends, to send a clear message – END THE SIEGE ON GAZA! FREE PALESTINE!

Organised by: Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Stop the War Coalition, British Muslim Initiative, Friends of Al Aqsa, Palestinian Forum in Britain, Viva Palestina."

#BDS: ACTION ALERT: Petition in defence of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

"We the undersigned give our support to Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu as a most appropriate patron of the South African Holocaust Foundation.

Tutu's life has been lived in the spirit of "never again" - the ultimate lesson of the Holocaust  

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has publicly criticised Israeli policy towards Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank. He has also criticised Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians. These criticisms are well-known.

Recently, his criticisms of Israeli policy have elicited bitter personal attacks. Amidst calls for him to be removed as Patron of the Cape Town and Johannesburg Holocaust Centres of the South African Holocaust Foundation, Tutu has been attacked and labelled an"anti-Semite" and a "bigot"."

Please sign the petitionhttp://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/defend-tutu/.

#BDS: Canadian retailer ‘The Bay’ drops AHAVA Cosmetics

"As the day comes to a close on the East Coast, the Ahava-Bay plot thickens. Check this out:
Here is a joint statement that has been issued by UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and Moshe Ronen, National Chair, Canada Israel Committee and Bonnie Brooks, CEO, The Bay:

Last week, after a regularly-scheduled review of the products it offers, the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) discontinued sales of AHAVA beauty products, primarily because of sales results which had been declining for several years.
Although this decision was made by HBC solely for commercial reasons, it occurred at the same time as an aggressive campaign by several groups advocating a boycott of AHAVA products. At no point did political considerations enter into the exercise of HBC's business judgment. HBC has made it clear that it has not “bowed to political pressure” in the past, has not done so now and will not do so in the future. HBC neither subscribes to nor endorses politically-motivated boycotts of merchandise from countries with which Canada has open and established trading relationships, including Israel."
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#BDS: Who profits from the occupation?

"As we learn more about the BDS movement, a critical question emerges: what companies are involved with which activities that ultimately sustain the occupation? In Tel Aviv we meet Dalit Baum, an Israeli member of the Coalition of Women for Peace and specifically, the group Who Profits? She explains that the organization was developed to understand the economics of the settlement project. A short haired woman with intense black eyes and an ironic sense of humor, she states that the project aimed to investigate corporations directly involved in the occupation, to figure out the specifics, the financial interests, and who is making money from whom. After meticulous research, four years later they have a website, whoprofits.org, that has a partial data base listing approximately 1000 companies.
The criteria for inclusion on this list involves work in building settlements, marketing settlement goods, using industrial space within settlements, providing crucial services to settlements such as transportation, and providing equipment to the military such as for building walls and checkpoints. She notes that Israel has exploited the Palestinian labor pool and the Palestinian market, it is a captive market where Israeli policies have shut down much of the competition. For example, Palestinians are only allowed to grow agricultural products that are not as profitable as Israeli products and do not compete in European markets when compared to Israeli goods."
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#BDS: BDS Movement Victory: John Lewis Stops Stocking Ahava Products in Britain

"WASHINGTON - January 14 - Ahava’s goods, processed on stolen Palestinian land, are becoming too hot to handle. Leading British retail business John Lewis is now refusing to stock this toxic brand. Canadian retailer The Bay has also confirmed that it had also discontinued sales of Ahava products.[1]
John Lewis’ decision signifies yet another victory for the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Consumers are refusing to buy goods from companies profiting from Israel’s illegal occupation.

John Lewis’ Managing Director, Andy Street, wrote to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in a letter dated 7 January: ‘As a socially responsible retailer, John Lewis takes very seriously the treatment of workers and their working conditions. We expect all our suppliers not only to obey the law, but also to respect the rights, interests and well-being of their employees, their communities and the environment.’ He ended by stating: ‘In relation to your specific enquiry about Ahava Dead Sea products, I can confirm that John Lewis has ceased stocking these particular products’."

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#BDS: Vanessa Paradis cancels Israel concert in response to calls from BDS groups

"French pop star Vanessa Paradis has cancelled her upcoming concert in Israel only a month before she was supposed to arrive in the country with her partner, Hollywood actor Johnny Depp, leaving fans and pundits speculating as to the reasons for the cancellation.
Paradis' agent David Stern announced the change of plans in the French media, claiming that the cancellation was due to professional reasons, but insiders who organized the concert claim that the singer acceded to calls to cancel the show made by Palestinian solidarity groups.
According to the same sources, it was apparently the planned visit of Paradis' partner  Johnny Depp that drew the attention of the groups that advocate boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel because of its treatment of the Palestinians."
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#BDS: لقاء مع الأستاذ الصحفي آلان غريش

دعوكم شباب ضدّ التطبيع الى لقاء مع الأستاذ الصحفي آلان غريش 
في حوار معه حول أهمّ القضايا الحالية وخصوصا ما يتعلّق بالقضيّة الفلسطينيّة

وذلك يوم الثلاثاء 18/1/2011 عند الساعة السابعة مساء في مقهى ة مربوطة - الحمرا - سنتر البافيليون - الطابق الأوّل.