California Dock Workers Struggle Against Class Collaboration

Transport Workers Solidarity Committee’s Response to ILWU International’s Statements on ZIM Protests
Recent ILWU press releases and public statements are misleading and conflict with well-established ILWU policies and positions on Palestine and Israel. The editor of the ILWU newspaper, The Dispatcher, at the direction of the ILWU President, can not overturn those policies and positions without a vote by Convention delegates.

The Israeli Consulate’s statement that the ZIM Pireaus sailed from the port of Oakland on August 20 after completing cargo operations is untrue. But for the ILWU Communications Director, Craig Merrilees, to make that same statement, reaffirming the Zionist’s self-serving distortion places the ILWU on the side of those responsible for the recent slaughter of over 2,100 Palestinians, most of them innocent Gazan civilians. The false statement implies that the 5-days of picketing by thousands of protesters had no impact on cargo operations. The original call for a mass protest on August 16 and 17, mobilizing a few thousand was made by a coalition, Block the Boat, initiated by the Arab Research and Organizing Committee. However, subsequent picketing on August 18, 19 and 20 that stopped the ship’s cargo operations was done spontaneously by a smaller group of Bay Area activists, including the Transport Workers Solidarity Committee.

The truth is that after failing to gets its cargo worked at the SSA terminal, ZIM Lines tried to fool protesters that the ship was sailing to Russia, but longshoremen knew otherwise. The ship departed August 19, headed out the Golden Gate at night then abruptly reversed course, made a Williamson turn and headed back to the Port of Oakland, this time to Berth 22. Ports America, the employer, tried to shift longshore workers from another ship to work the ZIM Pireaus but there already was a picket line at the terminal gate. Some ILWU Local 10 members refused to work the ship. Those that reluctantly worked it, despite pressure from the employer and union officials, rebelled by slowing down cargo ops to a crawl. One crane operator boasted that barely 1% of containers was actually moved before the ZIM ship was forced to sail. Continue reading

Netanyahu-Modi Forging a Global Zionist-Hindutva anti-Muslim alliance

[Bringing together the leader of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine with the leader of the Gujarat Massacres, ominous new steps in diplomatic/state-spying/military conspiracies, open and covert, are forged--as The Jerusalem Post spins, below, in glowing terms. -- Frontlines ed.]

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a meeting in New York. (Source: AP)

Netanyahu Meets PM of India, Seeks Strengthened Ties

“We are both ancient peoples but we are also two democracies,” Netanyahu tells India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

By Ben Ariel, Jerusalem Post,, 9/29/2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met on Sunday with India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, in New York, marking the first meeting between an Israeli Prime Minister and the Prime Minister of India in more than a decade.

During the meeting, Netanyahu and Modi spoke of the danger of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, and the threat posed by Islamic terrorism around the world. Continue reading

California: Pro-Palestinian Protesters Block Israeli Ship from Unloading

Protesters block unloading of Israeli ship in Oakland

By Hamed Aleaziz

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Protesters angered by Israel’s military actions in Gaza gathered at the Port of Oakland on Saturday morning in an effort to prevent a cargo ship managed by an Israeli company from unloading.

Longshore workers did not unload the ship, the Zim Shanghai, because of safety concerns posed by the presence of several hundred protesters and about 50 police officers, said Craig Merrilees, spokesman for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. The ship is docked at the port’s Berth 59, he said.

The workers planned to reassess the situation later during the Saturday evening shift, he said. The union has not taken a position on the protest or any of the issues involved. Continue reading

Workers Against Israel — Bay Area Actions Against ZIM

[The campaign to stop the export of Israeli goods via the ZIM shipping line continues to have significant effect on the Israeli economy and on the growing strength of the BDS movement worldwide.  The article below analyzes the impact of this campaign, and announces a "Block the Boat" action for October 25.  And another action has been announced by the Stop ZIM Action Committee for this Saturday, September 27:  "Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) Endorses September 27th community picket of Zim Shanghai at Port of Oakland. ...Citing the historic four-day blockade of the Zim Piraeus initiated by the Block the Boat coalition last August, the endorsement salutes Oakland dockworkers and community activists for their 'principled, ongoing and effective solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality'....The Stop ZIM Action Committee, an ad hoc committee formed to organize the September 27th blockade, appeals to all activists to join the picket lines when the Zim Shanghai arrives. We are currently projecting the first assembly at the West Oakland BART Station at 5am on Saturday, September 27th. Please text 'Join' to 88202 or monitor @StopZimOak on Twitter for updates closer to the picket date, since the ship may arrive earlier or later."  --  Frontlines ed.]

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by jacobinmag.com, 24 September 2014

Nothing is more crucial to the success of BDS than the movement’s relationship with organized labor.

Robert Croma / Flickr

Over the past year, the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign has finally gained some widespread political attention in the United States: from the American Studies Association’s vote to endorse the academic boycott of Israel, to the flurry of student votes for divestment at the University of California and other US campuses, to the unprecedented criticism that met Scarlett Johansson when she quit her role as global ambassador for Oxfam so she could continue as global ambassador for SodaStream.

Last month’s protests at West Coast ports point not only to the momentum with which BDS has moved forward – more quickly than most activists could have predicted – but also to the possibility of direct action posing an ever graver threat to business as usual for Israel, particularly when organized labor is on board.

Until now, no one had ever kept an Israeli cargo ship from unloading for two consecutive days; we blocked the Zim Piraeus for four.

From Saturday, August 16 to Tuesday, August 19, activists at the Port of Oakland protested Israeli human rights abuses by picketing the berths where the ship intended to offload its cargo.

Continue reading

U.S. Guilty Of War Crimes in Palestine

Photo by Marius Arnesen

The U.S. is not a neutral mediator in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; it is an active participant and is guilty of the crimes being committed by Israel against Palestinians, most recently, the mass killings and destruction Israel wrought on the Gaza Strip during the summer. The reality that the U.S. is an active supporter of unimaginable suffering may very well be the motivating force behind the U.S.’s adamant attempts to block the Palestinians from using any of the internationally recognized tools of accountability to hold Israel responsible, such as the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court. When an indigenous, stateless population is blocked access to opportunities for justice by superpowers like the U.S., something is wrong—deadly wrong.

While Israeli bombs were hammering Gaza, Alice Lynd with the assistance of Staughton Lynd, drafted a 32-page pamphlet which was published by the Palestine-Israel Working Group of Historians Against the War (HAW) titled, Violations by Israel and the Problem of Enforcement (August 2014). The policy paper places the U.S. in front of its own mirror and meticulously documents how one hand of the U.S. government systematically documents Israeli violations of U.S. law and international law, while the other hand unconditionally dishes out financial, military, and diplomatic support to Israel.

Continue reading

The Growing Phenomenon of Pro-Israeli Advocacy in Chinese Academia

[The prominent and powerful role of the Israeli Lobby in the policies and practices of the imperialist world system, often described as a special relationship with the US (and closely related Canadian and European) imperialists, is not limited to those relations.  Israeli strategic planners actively pursue the widest range  of imperialist relations; they will not be tethered to the success of US hegemonism, especially when crises and internal contentions and surrogate instability are matched by growing global challenges from China and others.  The news of the Sino-Israeli alliance-building may surprise those  "anti-imperialists" who confine their opposition (and pro-Palestinian activism) to the US (and US-led) forces allied with Israel, but imperialism is a larger system, and Israel will not confine its fortunes to the US. -- Frontlines ed.]

Over the last decade, a network of loosely affiliated pro-Israeli organizationsembracing a number of think tanks, universities, lobbyist groups, foundations, activist-scholars as well as donorshave successfully established a foothold in Chinese academia. The aim of these groups in China has been to provide a platform for espousing hasbaraa Hebrew term for “explanation” denoting the utilization of diplomatic, media, and political mediums to clarify and defend Israel’s positions and actionsthat would serve to re-shape Chinese academic perceptions of the Jewish state. The logic underlying this advocacy is that it would eventually influencegiven prevailing assumptions about the Chinese government’s reliance on the opinion of scholars and expertsthe calculations of Chinese policymakers, nudging them toward positions more conducive to the preservation and maximization of Israeli interests over the long-term.

[Image of a graphic that demonstrates the SIGNAL backed ISP zones in China. Image from Sino-Israel.org]

Israel: 7,000 Eritrean and Sudanese Migrants ‘Coerced’ into Leaving

By Gianluca Mezzofiore, International Business Times (UK)
September 9, 2014

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African migrants hold signs and gesture as they protest against Israel’s detention policy toward them, from inside the fence surrounding Holot, Israel’s southern Negev desert detention centre February 17, 2014

 reuters/Amir CohenIsrael has been accused of using unlawful detention and restrictive asylum policies to try to pressure 51,000 Eritrean and Sudanese migrants into leaving the country.

A fresh report by New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) concluded that the Israeli government created “convoluted legal rules” to get around international and domestic law about protection of refugees and used the insecure legal status of Eritrean and Sudanese migrants to detain them indefinitely.

The asylum-seekers find themselves in a coercive position with the choice of living in fear of spending the rest of their days locked up in desert detention centres” or risking life-threatening abuse back home.

“Destroying people’s hope of finding protection by forcing them into a corner and then claiming they are voluntarily leaving Israel is transparently abusive,” Gerry Simpson, senior refugee researcher at HRW and author of the 83-page report, said. Continue reading