Mar 14, 2011

#BDS: BDS: A call to the Coens

"Dear Joel and Ethan Coen

We understand that you’re among this year’s winners of a $1mn Dan David prize, awarded jointly by the Dan David Foundation and Tel Aviv University.   We read that you’re likely to attend the award ceremony in Israel on May 15, in the company of Israeli president Shimon Peres.

All this may seem unexceptional to you.  But we think you’re too smart not to understand that nothing in this situation is simple. The Dan David judges apparently like your ability ‘to tell a simple story in a complex manner’.  Allow us to complicate your reported acceptance of this prize.

Your much-celebrated presence will adorn a colonial settler state still vigorously engaged in the business of dispossessing and driving out the indigenous inhabitants, who are the Palestinians.   Of course the United States itself is built on the bones and demolished civilizations of its own indigenous inhabitants, but for the Palestinians the struggle is real and present – an every day battle to hang on to land, houses, livelihoods, hopes and ambitions."

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#BDS: Using Arts to Whitewash Israeli Crimes: Demonstrators Urge Boycott Of Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra

Demonstrations outside Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA

"Activists protested the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall last week as part of a growing global movement of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) in support of the Palestinian cause. 
Los Angeles marked the end of the orchestra’s U.S. tour and a potential turning point in the BDS movement in the United States.  It was one of the first times that regional BDS activists coordinated a unified national call to boycott Israel through the Philharmonic. 
“We hope to send a message to the Israeli Philharmonic and Israel that it can’t drown out Palestinian calls for justice with pretty music,” said Radhika Sainath, of BDS Los Angeles for Justice in Palestine."
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#BDS: Agrexo Blockaded at Belgian Airport: Campaign against Imports from Israeli Settlements to Europe

"On February 11, 2011, a group of Belgian peace activists blocked the entrance of the Israeli company Agrexco’s distribution centre at Liège Airport. The activists protested against the import of agricultural goods from Israeli settlements in the occupied territories.   

The settlements are in violation of international humanitarian law. Agrexco facilitates the economical growth of the settlements by exporting their agricultural produce to the worlds markets. The activists were aiming to prevent Agrexco from distributing its products on the European markets via Liège airport.

The blockade of Agrexco
The activists chained themselves to the entrance of the distribution centre at LACHS at Liège Airport, in order to block the trucks coming to collect Agrexco products. They demand guarantees that products traded by Agrexco, do not originate from the illegal settlements. As long as the company refuses to give this guarantee, the government should put a halt to the unethical trade of agricultural goods from Israel."

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#BDS: Using Sports to Whitewash Israeli Crimes: Adidas – Don’t Run With Apartheid

"On 8 January 2011, London BDS activists kicked off the Adidas – Don’t Run With Apartheid campaign at the Adidas store near Covent Garden regarding the company’s sponsorship of the first-ever Jerusalem Marathon due to take place on 25 March 2011.
BDS activists spoke with the manager, explained the reasons behind the campaign and presented a letter to be forwarded to the UK and European head office. The manager accepted the letter and claimed that Adidas was aware of their concerns. Activists then distributed flyers directly outside the shop and talked to passersby and customers, asking them to urge Adidas to withdraw its sponsorship.
A few weeks later, this was Adidas’ reply:
Thank you for your recent letter regarding the Jerusalem Marathon.
Adidas is convinced by the unifying power sport offers. As a general rule we do not influence any political processes or event details.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for contacting the Adidas Group.
Yours sincerely
Lauren Cruse
Customer Care Manager
For and on behalf of Adidas (UK) Limited"
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#BDS: Another sign that the Egyptian revolution is not over yet: Natural gas from Egypt to Israel to resume today

"(Reuters) - Natural gas supply from Egypt to Israeli customers is expected to resume on Monday after the pipeline was damaged five weeks ago, an Israeli partner in the East Mediterranean Gas (EMG) consortium said on Sunday.
The resumption of gas supply will follow the successful completion of repair work and testing of the pipeline that was damaged in an explosion and fire on Feb. 5, Ampal-American Israel Corp (AMPL.O) (AMPL.TA) said in a statement. It initially was slated to resume on March 4 but was delayed several times.
Egyptian state television and local government officials had reported saboteurs blew up a pipeline that runs through Egypt's North Sinai, disrupting flows to Israel and Jordan after Islamists called on militants to exploit the unrest that led to the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak."
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#BDS: Another BDS Success: Norwegian union votes to support Israel boycott

"OSLO, Norway (Ma'an) --The congress of the Electrician and IT workers union in Norway unanimously voted in favor of a resolution calling for boycott of Israeli goods, a ban on Norwegian arms trade with the Israeli military, and end to all research cooperation. 

Norway's Network One news said in a report that union members also urged the country to push for international sanctions against Israel through the UN."