Jan 9, 2014

#BDS Victory: #Veolia loses Massachusetts commuter rail contract

Over the last two and a half years, supporters of Palestinian rights in Boston have mounted a BDS campaign aimed at denying a new contract to run the Massachusetts commuter rail to Veolia, one of three companies that formed the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad (MBCR).  With a 60 percent stake in the MBCR, Veolia has been in charge of operating and maintaining the trains since 2003.
On January 8, they tasted victory, when a contract that could be worth as much as $4.26 billion was awarded to the MBCR’s sole competitor, Keolis America, by a vote of the joint Board for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).
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#BDS: United Arab Emirates Boycotts Israeli Soccer Player #UAE

The Boycott-movement is gaining momentum around the world. This week the Israeli soccer player Dan Mori could not join his Dutch team, Vitesse, on a training camp in Abu Dhabi due to the boycott.
”Yesterday, hours before leaving, the team received a message that I would not be able to enter Dubai. The club still planned for me to fly there, hoping to use connections once we were there to make sure I was allowed to enter, but this morning they told us that I would be arrested upon entry”, says Mori, who now will have to stay in the Netherlands, training with the reserve squad. 
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#BDS: Pinkwashing & Israeli occupation – not so complicated #LGBT

“The concept of ‘pinkwashing’ emerged as a hot topic throughout the week,” Kevin Naff wrote of his participation as part of “a delegation of nine LGBT leaders from the United States” to Israel in November (“Israel as ‘gay heaven’? It’s complicated,” Times of Israel, Nov. 10). The delegation tour was sponsored by Project Interchange, a program of the American Jewish Committee, which is aggressive in its defense of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
Naff quotes a speaker who addressed the group, Gal Uchovsky, as telling the delegates “that we had arrived in ‘gay heaven’” and that Israel is “the best LGBT country in the world” whose “LGBT residents face no serious problems that he could identify.” My Israeli friends would certainly contest Uchovsky’s absurd claim that LGBT Israelis “face no serious problems.” Fortuntely, Naff was able to recognize Uchovsky’s propaganda for what it was.
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#BDS: Calls to #boycott #Israel grow on #US campuses

On December 4, the council of the American Studies Association (ASA) voted unanimously to endorse the call from Palestinian civil society for an academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions (USACBI), becoming only the second academic association in the US to do so. The decision was described by the ASA as an "ethical stance", which "represents a principle of solidarity with scholars and students deprived of their academic freedom and an aspiration to enlarge that freedom for all, including Palestinians".

Support for the resolution was described to Al Jazeera by author and Professor of American Studies Alex Lubin as "nothing less than the breaking of what Edward Said called 'America's last taboo'…Creating a space within US society to break through the enforced silence on Israeli occupation".

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#BDS Victory: #Moddi cancels Tel Aviv gig after appeal from Gaza

Norwegian musician Moddi has canceled a scheduled Tel Aviv show following a call from Palestinians in Gaza, echoed by solidarity activists.
In his powerful statement, Moddi explains that “Although music can be a unique arena for public debate, the debate over these territories has been misused for a long time. Discussion and dialogue creates an impression of constant progress.”
Meanwhile the “discourse of peace creates a thick veil, concealing the increasingly tighter besiegement of Gaza, the ongoing fragmentation of the West Bank and the continuing discrimination of Arab-Israeli citizens.”
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#BDS: #Israel’s real fear is BDS and ‘delegitimization,’ says Goldberg

One of the fascinating new trends inside US political culture is that the Israel lobby is dividing and reconstituting itself, slightly to the left, in order to take on its new enemy: the BDS movement. The lobby needs to reconstitute itself because it recognizes that the neoconservatives and Likudniks expose Israel and the lobby to grave political risk at a time when Europe is inching toward boycott of settlement goods and Americans say clearly they don’t want war with Iran. The lobby has to re-unify to deal with its greatest threat: the delegitimization movement, anti-Zionists who are questioning the fundamental character of the Jewish state and promoting democracy in Israel and Palestine.
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#BDS: #G4S contracts in occupied territories face major investigation

G4S, the security company which has lurched from crisis to crisis over the past two years, is facing an investigation by international authorities into its alleged activities in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. Sources said the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) UK staff have indicated that it will be investigating the company’s work supplying Israeli security services. It is alleged that G4S provides Israel with surveillance equipment at its checkpoints in the occupied territories, although the precise nature of the equipment is not known. Read more

#BDS: Boycott “greatest threat” facing #Israel, leaders say

While Israeli hasbara (propaganda) initiatives continue to bravely deny that the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement is having any impact, two statements from prominent politicians indicate otherwise. Israeli justice minister and war crimes suspect Tzipi Livni, who is in charge of the moribund negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, told a conference last week that Israel was living in a “bubble.” “Livni said that a country usually only finds out the cost of living in a bubble after it bursts, such as in the case of South Africa,” Ynet reported. Read more

#BDS: Dutch pension manager divests from Israeli banks

One of the world's largest pension asset managers pulls investments out of Israeli banks in protest of their involvement in West Bank construction PGGM of the Netherlands, one of the 20 largest pension asset managers globally, said Wednesday it has divested from five Israeli banks because they are involved in financing the construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

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#BDS: شوكولاتة #سعودية في #إسرائيل

قريبا سيستطيع الإسرائيليون شراء شوكولاتة "النسمة" الفاخرة والتي ستصلهم من منطقة الخليج. وشوكولاتة "النسمة" هي حلوى فاخرة وفريدة من نوعها، تصنع في الإمارات، ويستخدم فيها حليب الناقة بدلا من حليب البقر. وتعد "النسمة" من أغلى أنواع الشوكولا في العالم لما تحمله من ميزات وخصائص.
وقد كتبت صحيفة "يديعوت أحرونوت" أن الشكولاتة المصنوعة من مواد طبيعية تحتوي على العسل والقليل من الفاينلا. وأشارت إلى أن الحلوى ستصل إلى إسرائيل من السعودية.
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