“Block the Boat” Declares Decisive Victory Over Apartheid Israel

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.

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For Palestinian filmmaker on his way to the Oscars, US airport detention a repeat of Israeli checkpoints

Oscars-bound Palestinian film-maker describes ‘unpleasant’ LAX detention

Emad Burnat, who made 5 Broken Cameras, said US officials doubted his credentials and threatened to send him home

, guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 20 February 2013
Guy Davidi , Emad Burnat,

[Emad Burnat, right, with his Israeli co-director Guy Davidi. Five Broken Cameras is nominated in the documentary category. Photograph: Damian Dovarganes/AP]

An Academy-nominated Palestinian film-maker has spoken of the “unpleasant experience” of being detained by US immigration officials when he arrived for this weekend’s Oscars ceremony.

Emad Burnat said that he was held for about an hour at Los Angeles airport on Tuesday, along with his wife and youngest son Gibreel, who plays a central role in Oscar-nominated documentary 5 Broken Cameras.

Burnat said that he thought that US immigration officials – who apparently doubted his credentials – would send him back to Palestine. He compared the incident to daily life for Palestinians under the Israeli occupation. Continue reading

India: Academics Condemn Israeli-Indian Partnership

[The international boycott of Israeli academics is growing, as the following statement from India indicates.  And it challenges the abstract claims of “academic freedom” and “objectivity” by describing the actual function of academic work–for instance, regarding studies of water management, it points out that “Israel’s R&D in water …. has in effect stolen water from the the West Bank aquifers to provide water to illegal Israeli settlements, while depriving Palestinians of their own water.” — Frontlines ed.]

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InCACBI Condemns the Growing Partnership between the State of Gujarat and the State of Israel

Statement by the Indian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (InCACBI)

No partnership with Apartheid Israel!

New Delhi – 2 Feb. 2013

We, a group of academics, activists and artists in India, came together in 2010 to campaign against yet another apartheid regime by extending support to the international campaign for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel. (Visit our website www.incacbi.in for more information.)

The Israeli state consistently and ruthlessly tramples on the academic freedom and cultural life of the Palestinian people; and a continued association with the instruments of such a state is unconscionable to any freedom loving person.

This is why we condemn recent efforts to strengthen an already reprehensible partnership between the State of Gujarat and the State of Israel. On January 30th, 2013, the Israeli ambassador to India, Alon Ushpiz, and the Israeli Consul General in Mumbai, Orna Sagiv, met Chief Minister Narendra Modi at his residence to discuss furthering Research and Development (R&D) ties between Gujarat and Israel. Continue reading

What is Israel Really Up to Gaza?

Smoke and fire from an Israeli bomb rises into the air above Gaza City

from Counterpunch by JOHN MEARSHEIMER

In response to a recent upsurge in tit for tat strikes between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza, Israel decided to ratchet up the violence even further by assassinating Hamas’s military chief, Ahmad Jabari. Hamas, which had been playing a minor role in these exchanges and even appears to have been interested in working out a long-term ceasefire, predictably responded by launching hundreds of rockets into Israel, a few even landing near Tel Aviv. Not surprisingly, the Israelis have threatened a wider conflict, to include a possible invasion of Gaza to topple Hamas and eliminate the rocket threat.

There is some chance that Operation ‘Pillar of Defence’, as the Israelis are calling their current campaign, might become a full-scale war. But even if it does, it will not put an end to Israel’s troubles in Gaza. After all, Israel launched a devastating war against Hamas in the winter of 2008-9 – Operation Cast Lead – and Hamas is still in power and still firing rockets at Israel. In the summer of 2006 Israel went to war against Hizbullah in order to eliminate its missiles and weaken its political position in Lebanon. That offensive failed as well: Hizbullah has far more missiles today than it had in 2006 and its influence in Lebanon is arguably greater than it was in 2006. Pillar of Defence is likely to share a similar fate.

Israel can use force against Hamas in three distinct ways. First, it can try to cripple the organisation by assassinating its leaders, as it did when it killed Jabari two days ago. Decapitation will not work, however, because there is no shortage of subordinates to replace the dead leaders, and sometimes the new ones are more capable and dangerous than their predecessors. The Israelis found this out in Lebanon in 1992 when they assassinated Hizbullah’s leader, Abbas Musawi, only to find that his replacement, Hassan Nasrallah, was an even more formidable adversary. Continue reading

Abbas, Zionist’s comprador Palestinian, renounces refugees’ right to return to historic lands

Palestinians march during a protest against president Mahmoud Abbas in the Jabaliya Refugee Camp, northern Gaza Strip Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012. Gazans protested against Abbas’ remarks at an Israeli television that suggested millions of Palestinian refugees and their descendants would not be able to return to the places they fled, or were forced to flee, during the fighting surrounding Israel’s creation in 1948. The posters read: “traitor – you represent nobody but yourself.”(AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

Israel President Welcomes Abbas’ Refugee Remarks

JERUSALEM November 3, 2012
By IAN DEITCH, Associated Press

Israel’s president on Saturday welcomed as “courageous” a strong public show of willingness by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to make concessions on a core issue in peace talks — that of Palestinian refugees.

Abbas told Israeli channel 2 TV on Friday that he does not want to live in his birthplace Safed, a city in northern Israel.

His words drew anger from some Palestinians because they were viewed as relinquishing a long held Palestinian aspiration for the return of those who fled their homes during the fighting between Arab countries and Israel in the wake of the Jewish state’s 1948 independence.

Abbas’ remarks reflect a decades-old understanding among Palestinian officials that only a limited number of the refugees would ever be able to return to their original homes in Israel as part of a peace agreement. It was however the first time he has said so in public to an Israeli audience. Continue reading

The campaign to boycott apartheid’s sports teams — then (South African) and now (Israeli)

Israel Dropped the Ball on Human Rights, but We Won’t!

by Anna Baltzer, National Organizer, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

October 18th, 2012

Israel Dropped the Ball on Human RightsLast week, more than 100 organizations worldwide — including dozens of US Campaign coalition members — signed onto a letter of support for the first Israeli sports team boycott campaign in the United States, organized by member group Minnesota Break the Bonds Campaign (MN BBC). The Israeli basketball team Maccabi-Haifa has been in the United States playing U.S. teams including the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“Stop Playin’ with Apartheid”

When the Timberwolves refused to cancel their game with the Maccabi, almost two dozen activists protested inside the stadium calling on the team to “Stop Playing with Apartheid!” The protestors were ejected from the game for “disruptive and inappropriate messages” (meanwhile, counter-protestors waving Israeli flags were allowed to stay). According to a press release on the MN BBC website, a legal observer and civil rights attorney was assaulted and temporarily arrested by local security and police.

A boycott of Apartheid South Africa’s sports teams proved to be a particularly effective tool in the struggle to end oppression there. At the time, South African teams that had not taken a public stance against apartheid would not be invited by any self-respecting tournament or venue. It should be no different with Apartheid Israel today.

In the same way that South African teams were, almost all Israeli sports teams are cynically used as ambassadors of an apartheid state. Additionally, Maccabi is sponsored by Ya’akov Shahar, chairman of Mayer’s Cars and Trucks Ltd., the official importer to Israel of Volvo. Both companies are heavily involved in the Israeli occupation, as documented by Who Profits?, an Israeli research project. Israeli sports teams like Maccabi are also notorious for racism and racial discrimination against Palestinians.

As the activists in Minnesota stated: “Love Basketball; Hate Apartheid.”

The Palestinian call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) first made its way into U.S. basketball discourse when the US Campaign learned that legendary player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar canceled participation in an Israeli film festival following Israel’s killing of twelve unarmed Palestinian refugees attempting to exercise their internationally-recognized right of return.

It’s time to slam dunk Israeli Apartheid!

For more information on this and related campaigns, see:  http://endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=3293

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For background on the international boycott of South African apartheid’s sports, see this video documentary clip, and the articles which follow: Continue reading

Author of The Color Purple condemns Israeli Apartheid, joins cultural boycott

http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/author-of-the-color-purple-refuses-to-authorize-hebrew-version-because-israel-is-guilty-of-apartheid-1.437220

Author of The Color Purple refuses to authorize

Hebrew version because ‘Israel is guilty of apartheid’

Alice Walker says Israeli policies were ‘worse’ than the segregation she suffered as an American youth and said South Africans had told her it was worse than Apartheid.

U.S. human rights activist and author Alice Walker.

U.S. human rights activist and author Alice Walker speaks during a news conference about an international flotilla to blockaded Gaza, in Athens, on Monday, June 27, 2011. Photo by AP

June 18, 2012

(JTA) — Alice Walker, author of “The Color Purple,” refused to authorize a Hebrew translation of her prize-winning work, citing what she called Israel’s “apartheid state.”

In a June 9 letter to Yediot Books, Walker said she would not allow an Israeli house to publish the book because “Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people, both inside Israel and also in the Occupied Territories.”

In her letter, posted Sunday by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel on its website, Walker supported the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and offered her hope that the BDS movement “will have enough of an impact on Israeli civilian society to change the situation.”

It was not clear when Yediot Books, an imprint of the daily Yediot Achronot newspaper, made the request, or whether Walker could in fact stop translation of the book. At least one version of the book has already appeared in Hebrew translation, in the 1980s.

Walker said Israelis policies were “worse” than the segregation she suffered as an American youth and said South Africans had told her it was worse than Apartheid.

“The Color Purple,” which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, was adapted into a movie in 1985 directed by Jewish filmmaker Steven Spielberg.

The novel and the film, which was nominated for 11 Oscars, treat racism in the American South in the first part of the 20th century and sexism among blacks.

Walker has intensified her anti-Israel activism in recent years, traveling to the Gaza Strip to advocate on behalf of the Palestinians.

 

South Africans recall their own history during Israeli Apartheid Week

Geneva,26 March 2012

In Johannesburg, a graffiti artist helped promote this year’s Israeli Apartheid Week. (Minhaj Jeenah / BDS South Africa)

This year’s Israeli Apartheid Week in South Africa created a buzz nationwide. BDS South Africa and other Palestine solidarity groups teamed up with trade unionists, political parties, student bodies, churches, youth organizations and activists in Gaza to reach out to a wide audience. Organizers used various means to inspire broad-based support for boycott, divestment and sanctions activism.

Huge billboards were put up to announce Israeli Apartheid Week. Durban-based GangsOfGraffiti inspired fellow street artists and graffiti writers to participate by creating works with “Free Palestine” as the theme. On walls in several cities, artwork appeared in support of IAW and boycott activism. In thirteen towns around the country, the film Roadmap to Apartheid was screened, including all major cities and in Soweto (“National film tour, 5-11 March 2012,” BDS South Africa ).

According to an article in The Jerusalem Post, the Israeli “Public Diplomacy Ministry” had sent a delegation to South Africa to “battle the apartheid label,” but Israel’s messengers did not succeed in changing the perception held by many South Africans that Israeli apartheid is similar to apartheid in South Africa (“Envoys to fight Israel Apartheid Week on campus,” 19 February 2012).

Fatima Gabru of the Palestine Solidarity Forum qualified the public relations exercise as “a stalling technique so that they [Israel] can continue with what they are doing: throwing Palestinians off their land, building walls, continuing human rights abuses” (“South Africa highlights Israeli apartheid,” Press TV, 9 March 2012). Continue reading

Zionist Racism on display: Anti-African Rally in Tel Aviv

[Once again, the Jewish-exclusivist settler-colonialist/apartheid state of Israel reveals its racist character (routinely directed against the indigenous Palestinians, but in this case, against African migrants from Sudan.) — Frontlines ed.]

December 12, 2011–Rally against Sudanese refugees in Tel Aviv, calling to “restrict their movement” and set up concentration camps.

Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to dominate UN racism conference

9 September 2011

The September meeting is the third review conference of the Durban Declaration; the second was held in Geneva in 2009.

UNITED NATIONS, (IPS) – A high-level UN meeting on racism, scheduled to take place later this month, looks set to be dominated by questions relating to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

Expressing fears that the meeting might turn out to be anti-Israel, several Western states, including Canada, Germany, the United States, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Australia, have indicated they will not participate.

The boycott is the result of an intense campaign by Israel, which has branded the meeting “anti-Semitic” even before it could get off the ground.

Still, an overwhelming majority of the UN’s 193 member states — along with dozens of human rights activists and organizations — are expected to actively participate in the meeting, scheduled to take place on 22 September during the 66th session of the UN’s General Assembly. Continue reading

The grumpy diplomats of the rogue state of Israel

by Ilan Pappe,
22 July 2011

The Israeli ambassador to Spain, Raphael Schutz, has just finished his term in Madrid. In an op-ed in Haaretz’s Hebrew edition he summarized what he termed as a very dismal stay and seemed genuinely relieved to leave.

This kind of complaint seems now seems to be the standard farewell letter of all Israeli ambassadors in Western Europe. Schutz was preceded by the Israeli ambassador to London, Ron Prosor, on his way to his new posting at the United Nations in New York, complaining very much in the same tone about his inability to speak in campuses in the United Kingdom and whining about the overall hostile atmosphere. Before him the ambassador in Dublin expressed similar relief when he ended his term in office in Ireland.

All three grumblers were pathetic but the last one from Spain topped them all. Like his colleagues in Dublin and in London he blamed his dismal time on local and ancient anti-Semitism. His two friends in the other capitals were very vague about the source of the new anti-Semitism as both in British and Irish history it is difficult to single out, after medieval times, a particular period of anti-Semitism.

But the ambassador in Madrid without any hesitation laid the blame for his trials and tribulations on the fifteenth century Spanish Inquisition. Thus the people of Spain (his article was entitled “Why the Spanish hate us”) are anti-Israeli because they are either unable to accept their responsibility for the Inquisition or they still endorse it by other means in our times. Continue reading

Israel: New moves to segregate and ghettoize Palestinians in Israel

October 2010: Israeli police injured two Palestinian legislators and other protestors in clashes provoked by right-wing Zionists staging a march through the northern Arab town of Umm al-Fahm.

The Segregation of Jews and Arabs in Israel

 

Under the guise of the deceptively mundane name “Amendment to the Cooperative Associations Bill,” the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee of the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) has finalized a bill intended to bypass previous rulings of the Israeli High Court of Justice. If this legislation is approved by the Knesset plenum, it will not be possible to describe it as anything other than an apartheid law.

If it becomes law, the amendment will give the “acceptance committees” of communal villages the authority to limit residence in their towns exclusively to Jews.  Using polished and sanitized language, the bill would allow such committees in small rural suburbs to reject applications from families that “are incompatible with the social-cultural fabric of the community, and where there are grounds to assume that they will disrupt this fabric.”

The segregation of Jews and Arabs in Israel of 2010 is almost absolute. For those of us who live here, it is something we take for granted. But visitors from abroad cannot believe their eyes: segregated education, segregated businesses, separate entertainment venues, different languages, separate political parties … and of course, segregated housing… Such separation only contributes to the growing mutual alienation of Jews and Arabs. Continue reading

Declaration of South African Artists against Apartheid

As South African Artists and Cultural Workers who have lived under,
 survived, and in many cases resisted apartheid, we acknowledge the value of 
international solidarity in our own struggle. It is in this context that we 
respond to the call by Palestinians, and their Israeli allies, for such
 solidarity.

As artists of conscience we say no to apartheid – anywhere. We respond to
 the call for international solidarity and undertake not to avail any 
invitation to perform or exhibit in Israel. Nor will we accept funding from
 institutions linked to the government of Israel. This is our position until
 such time as Israel, in the least, complies with international law and 
universal principles of human rights. Until then, we too unite with 
international colleagues under the banner of “Artists Against Apartheid.”

Collaborating with institutions linked to the state of Israel cannot be
 regarded as a neutral act in the name of cultural exchange.

In an official report commissioned by the South African government in 2009,
the Human Sciences Research Council confirmed that Israel, by its policies 
and practices, is guilty of the crime of apartheid.
 Numerous others, including South Africans who have a deep familiarity with 
racial oppression (and resistance to it), have spoken of life in the shadow
 of Israeli repression as akin to or worse to that under apartheid in South
Africa.

Artistic performances in Israel promote a “business as usual” attitude that
 normalizes and “whitewashes” a state that is guilty of daily forms of
 exclusion, violence and war crimes. Operation Cast Lead in Gaza saw over 400
 children killed by the Israeli military; and the unconscionable attack by 
Israel in international waters aboard the Freedom Flotilla resulted in the
 death of nine humanitarian aid workers. (Both have been described as crimes
in violation of international law – the former by the 2009 Goldstone report 
and the latter by the UN Human Rights Council.)

Continue reading

South African anti-apartheid veteran urges the academic boycott of Israeli apartheid

Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa

Israel ties: a chance to do the right thing

The Sunday Times, Sep 26, 2010

By Archbishop Desmond Tutu


The University of Johannesburg’s Senate will next week meet to decide whether to end its relationship with an Israeli institution, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, on the grounds of that university’s active support for and involvement in the Israeli military. Archbishop Desmond Tutu supports the move. He explains why.

The temptation in our situation is to speak in muffled tones about an issue such as the right of the people of Palestine to a state of their own.

We can easily be enticed to read reconciliation and fairness as meaning parity between justice and injustice. Having achieved our own freedom, we can fall into the trap of washing our hands of difficulties that others face. Yet we would be less than human if we did so. It behoves all South Africans, themselves erstwhile beneficiaries of generous international support, to stand up and be counted among those contributing actively to the cause of freedom and justice.” – Nelson Mandela, December 4 1997

Struggles for freedom and justices are fraught with huge moral dilemmas. How can we commit ourselves to virtue – before its political triumph – when such commitment may lead to ostracism from our political allies and even our closest partners and friends? Are we willing to speak out for justice when the moral choice that we make for an oppressed community may invite phone calls from the powerful or when possible research funding will be withdrawn from us? When we say “Never again!” do we mean “Never again!”, or do we mean “Never again to us!”?

Our responses to these questions are an indication of whether we are really interested in human rights and justice or whether our commitment is simply to secure a few deals for ourselves, our communities and our institutions – but in the process walking over our ideals even while we claim we are on our way to achieving them? Continue reading

Boycotting and Divesting from Israeli Apartheid

by Eric Walberg

Media Monitors Network,  September 22, 2010

In July, in Rachel Corrie’s hometown of Olympia, Washington state, the popular Food Co-op announced that no Israeli products would be sold at its two grocery stores. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a principal endorser of this new Israel Divestment Campaign, issued a statement endorsing the boycott. “The Olympia Food Co-op has joined a growing worldwide movement on the part of citizens and the private sector to support by non-violent tangible acts the Palestinian struggle for justice and self-determination.”

In a surprise move in August, Harvard University divested itself of all its Israel investments, almost $40m worth of shares, including Pharmaceutical Industries, NICE Systems, Check Point Software Technologies, Cellcom Israel and Partner Communications.

Initially, Harvard gave no explanation for its actions to the SEC. John Longbrake, spokesman for Harvard, maintained that Harvard has not divested from Israel, that these changes were routine and did not represent a change in policy. But was Harvard in fact caving under the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions’ (BDS) calls and trying to do so as quietly as possible to avoid a Zionist backlash? In the past, Harvard has divested from companies for purely political reasons, but they did so publicly. For instance, five years ago, Harvard divested from PetroChina in order to protest China’s actions in Sudan. Continue reading