[Caught between its long-discredited mythological claim of “democracy” and its Jewish (Settler-Colonial and Palestinian-Expelling) State reality, the discrediting and de-legitimizing of Israel and the unraveling of its power relations is accelerating by the day. Even Israel’s closest backers are finding that the defense of Israel’s ethnic cleansing and war crimes carries an exceptional political price, so large that it not only damages the credibility of Israel, but the credibility of its backers, with no chance of recovery. — Frontlines ed.]
Israel has no answer to BDS, Barghouti tells packed hall at Columbia
Philip Weiss on December 6, 2014
OMAR BARGHOUTI is an independent Palestinian commentator and human rights activist. He is a founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and the Palestinian Civil Society Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.
Omar Barghouti’s appearance at Columbia University on Tuesday night felt like a landmark in the Palestinian solidarity movement in the U.S. A large hall at the law school was crowded to overflowing and the mood was celebratory. Luminaries of the community were in attendance, among them Lila Abu-Lughod, Rula Jebreal, Rashid Khalidi, Rebecca Vilkomerson, Nadia Abu El-Haj, Dorothy Zellner, Lia Tarachansky. Barghouti’s speech was hugely optimistic. He said that the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement was racking up victories far faster than the organizers had imagined when they began nine years ago, faster than the South African movement had progressed. And the BDS movement has the “closet” support of the Netanyahu administration, which was doing its utmost to demonstrate the fallacy of a Jewish democracy.
The suspense of waiting for the Israel supporters to say something was a bit of a fizzle, not the big drama it used to be at such events. Law professor Katherine Franke had urged the crowd not to be civil in discussing one of the most challenging moral questions of our time, and at the end, a man at the back said he had a short question.
“Do you believe that the Jewish people have a right to self determination?” And if so, “Where should it be?”
Barghouti said it was not up to him as a Palestinian to decide whether Jewish communities make up a nation, and where they should have a state. Though he pointed out that there was not consensus among Jews globally about whether they are a people; this is a recent debate, and in fact up till the 1945 the majority of Jews did not support Jewish nationhood. Then he said sharply:
Oakland has made history once again with another BDS victory for Palestine against the Israeli Zim shipping line. This latest round of organizing has been the most momentous and historic. Members of ILWU Local 10 informed Block the Boat organizers that the Zim Beijing which was headed to the Port of Oakland, has been re-routed to Russia to avoid disruptions at the SSA terminal. For the first time ever, an Israeli ship has been completely turned away before reaching its port of destination due to sustained overwhelming community organizing.
The damage to Israel’s credibility can’t be exaggerated — the Zim line, though privately owned, is an Israeli “security asset.” Israel exerts control over the corporation through a “golden share” which it uses to prevent the sale of the company into foreign hands. The Zim line is mandated to be part of Israel’s critical supply chain during protracted military conflicts. The brand and economic impact on Zim has yet to be calculated, but is surely devastating. Goods have been rerouted, and undelivered for months. ILWU workers have honored our pickets and sided with the community against US complicity in Israeli apartheid. Zim has been disrupted and confronted by anti-Zionist protests in Seattle, Tacoma, Los Angeles, Vancouver, New Orleans, New York and Tampa. Ports all over North America are making it clear that Israel can no longer conduct business as usual because Zionism is simply not welcome on our coasts.
[Among the more cynical acts of “humanitarian imperialism” is the invention of this “relief” program for the further humiliation and victimization of the Gazan victims of imperialism and Zionism. — Frontlines ed.]
Details given in a confidential briefing this week confirm that the UN has agreed to become the chief enforcer of Israel’s ongoing siege of Gaza.
Under the guise of reconstruction, the UN will be monitoring and gathering private information about Palestinian households to be passed onto Israel, which will have a veto over which families get aid to rebuild their homes.
This was presented as part of an effort to try to entrench and legitimize the Israeli-backed Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas in Gaza.
Under the arrangements, Israel will be given even more intrusive control over the lives of Palestinians in Gaza, who will be subjected to onerous ongoing monitoring as they try to rebuild their houses, communities and lives following Israel’s summer massacre.
UN agencies estimate that almost 90,000 homes must be rebuilt, in addition to hundreds of schools and other major infrastructure systematically destroyed in Israel’s attack, or degraded by years of blockade.
[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.]
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 →
SAM BAHOUR, canadiandimension.com | September 21st 2014 | 1
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.
[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 organizations—embracing a number of think tanks, universities, lobbyist groups, foundations, activist-scholars as well as donors—have successfully established a foothold in Chinese academia. The aim of these groups in China has been to provide a platform for espousing hasbara—a Hebrew term for “explanation” denoting the utilization of diplomatic, media, and political mediums to clarify and defend Israel’s positions and actions—that would serve to re-shape Chinese academic perceptions of the Jewish state. The logic underlying this advocacy is that it would eventually influence—given prevailing assumptions about the Chinese government’s reliance on the opinion of scholars and experts—the calculations of Chinese policymakers, nudging them toward positions more conducive to the preservation and maximization of Israeli interests over the long-term.