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  1. #41
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    South African human rights organisations demand Israeli ambassador be expelled

    Friday, 11 July 2014

    Several South African human rights organisations demanded on Thursday for the South African government to expel the Israeli ambassador in Johannesburg in protest of the Israeli military aggression in the Gaza Strip, Anadolu news agency reported.

    Ibrahim Fawda, a senior researcher at a human rights organisation, told the agency, "We call on the South African government to first recall our ambassador from Tel Aviv, and then to expel the Israeli ambassador from South Africa." Fawda insisted that the South African government should take firm action against Israel because of the crimes it is committing against the Palestinians. He said, "the government of South Africa should be at the forefront of calling for international sanctions and supporting the boycott, divestment and sanctions, BDS campaign against Israel," adding "We would not have succeeded in eradicating apartheid if we did not have the support of the international community."

    A member of the Palestine Solidarity Alliance, Adam Nazim, said that his organisation supports the call to sever diplomatic ties with the Jewish state. "We cannot continue our relationship with an apartheid state like Israel," he said. Adam noted that his organisation plans to stage a demonstration next Sunday in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg, to protest against the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip.

    Meanwhile, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) issued similar calls. COSATU said in a statement: "We support the demand to recall the South African ambassador from Israel and to expel the Israeli ambassador from South Africa, and move quickly to isolate Israel and all those who sympathise with racism and the Zionist occupation." COSATU pointed out that the time has come for the world to move beyond the mere words of compassion towards action, as it did with the apartheid regime in South Africa when it announced its policies were crimes against humanity.

    The statement pointed out that "apartheid is still a crime against humanity, wherever it happens, and if apartheid does not anger us, then our humanity should be questioned."

    A member of BDS South Africa, Mohammed Desai, said the group would organise a protest on Friday outside the headquarters of the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation in Pretoria, demanding the ministry and the South African government to withdraw the South African ambassador in Tel Aviv and to expel the Israeli ambassador.

    Earlier in the day, the African National Congress ruling party condemned Israel's continued campaign in the Gaza Strip and urged South Africans to protest against the Israeli attacks and to show solidarity with the Palestinian people.

    The Deputy Secretary-General of the party, Jessie Duarte, said in a statement: "The African National Congress condemns, in the strongest terms, the brutal attacks on the unarmed Palestinian people in Gaza. The State of Israel has turned the occupied territories in Palestine into death camps," adding "as we move towards August and remember the horrors of Nazi Germany, we should certainly ask the people of Israel, has the phrase 'so we do not forget' lost its meaning?"

    Duarte said, "For the State of Israel, the eye for an eye concept has turned into a lasting massacre and ruthless revenge for more than 60 years. It's time to stop the killing."

    According to the statement, the party described the Gaza Strip as "the largest open-air prison in the world" and demanded an end to "the Israeli illegal occupation and collective punishment against the Palestinians".

    The Party urged all South Africans, regardless of their ethnic and religious backgrounds, to protest against Israel's deadly attack and to show solidarity with the people of Gaza. "The brutal murders carried out by South Africa during the apartheid era against our people in the 1980s led to its isolation and it seems that Israel is taking a similar path of isolation by committing such attacks," it said.

    The statement concluded: "We are clear in our support for the Palestinian people in their struggle for self-determination and strongly believe that the Palestinians are the victims and the oppressed in the conflict with Israel."

    The Israeli Air Force waged since Monday intense raids on different parts of the Gaza Strip, resulting in the killing of at least 90 Palestinians and the wounding of more than 570 others, according to Palestinian medical sources.

    Meanwhile, the military wings of the Palestinian factions, especially Al-Qassam Brigades and Al-Quds Brigades, have fired hundreds of rockets and missiles towards Israeli cities and towns, causing limited damages and injuries.


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    Israel student union sets up “war room” to sell Gaza Propaganda on Facebook

    Ali Abunimah | 07/14/2014

    Students at the IDC Herzliya “war room,” seen here in a screenshot, focus on posting propaganda justifying Israel’s attack on Gaza on Facebook.

    As the death toll from Israel’s savage bombardment of Gaza continues to climb, Israel has once again turned to students to sell the slaughter online.

    “Although they haven’t been called up to the army yet, they’ve decided to enlist in a civilian mission that is no less important – Israeli propaganda [hasbara],” Ynet’s Hebrew edition reported about a massive initiative organized by the Israeli student union branch at theInterdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC Herzliya), a prestigious private university.

    Hasbara war room

    Hasbara,” literally “explaining,” is the term used in Israel for government propaganda aimed at overseas audiences.

    “The goal is to deliver a very clear message to people abroad – Israel has the right to defend itself,” Lidor Bar David told Ynet.

    At least 168 Palestinians have been killed since Israel massively escalated its attack on Gaza on 7 July. Eighty percent of the fatalities are civilians, according to the United Nations.

    Thirty-six Palestinian children have been killed and more than 1,200 people have been injured. Thousands are fleeing homes fearing escalating Israeli attacks which have so far destroyed or severely damaged 940 homes, as well as numerous mosques, schools, businesses and charities.

    A video accompanying the Ynet report shows rows of students beavering away at computers in a hall with a sign on its door saying “Advocacy Room” in English. In Hebrew, it says “Hasbara war room.”

    Bar David, a student, and one of the organizers of the “war room,” adds, “We want people abroad who don’t know our reality to understand exactly what is going on here.”

    While Ynet does not reveal specific government ties to this initiative, the National Union of Israeli Students, of which the IDC Herzliya student union is an affiliate, has a history of working on government-funded propaganda schemes, where students are recruited as the country’s “pretty face.”

    “Organized lying”

    Last year a “covert” Israeli government initiative came to light which planned to pay students for spreading propaganda online.

    “The whole point of such efforts is to look like they are unofficial, just every day people chatting online,” Israel expert Dena Shunra told The Electronic Intifada.

    “But in fact, these are campaigns of organized lying, orchestrated with government-approved talking points and crowd sourced volunteers and stipend recipients,” Shunra added.

    According to Ynet, “The war room was opened in the afternoon of the first day of Operation Protective Edge,” one week ago, by the IDC Herzliya student union, and currently has more than 400 volunteers active in it, all students at the institution.

    The IDC Herzliya “war room,” seen in a screenshot from Ynet video, is a continuation of earlier propaganda efforts.

    Working in 30 languages, the students working this comment far target online forums including so called “anti-Israel” pages on Facebook and comments sections of online media.

    Tomer Amsalem, a second-year year psychology student, acts as one of the war room’s graphic designers.

    “In one of our graphics we show the treatment that members of [Hamas leader] Ismail Haniyeh’s and Abu Mazen’s [Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas] families received in Israel, to show we’re even humanitarian to the families of the Palestinian leaders,” he told Ynet.

    “In another graphic we show the trauma of the children living around Gaza, which is expressed in drawings of Qassams [rockets]. Another example is a series of cities around the world, being attacked. For example, Berlin – we wrote in German ‘What would you do?’ with a background of Berlin being attacked,’” Amsalem added.

    Amsalem is quoted as saying that he sees his work in the “war room” as a civilian equivalent to being called up for military reserves.

    Inbal Deutsch, another psychology student who moved to Israel four years ago, responds to comments. She focuses on misattributed photos – photos occasionally circulated online that show scenes that are either not current or not from Gaza. Israel propagandists likely hope that by debunking such pictures they can sow doubt about all too common real pictures of atrocities currently being committed in Gaza.

    Focus on Facebook

    Students working the “Hasbara war room” at IDC Herzliya, seen in a screenshot from a Ynet video, see their role as a civilian equivalent of military service.

    Yarden Ben Yosef, chair of the IDC student union, is described as the person who initiated the war room.

    Yesterday we managed to pull down a whole Facebook page that incited against Israel and called for the killing of Jews,” Ben Yosef claimed.

    “It had 120,000 followers and Facebook took it down after a lot of activity on our part,” Ben Yosef said.

    If true, that is in marked contrast to Facebook’s total inaction, despite complaints, to control the pervasive, raging incitement to racism and violence by Israelis on Facebook who support the slaughter of Palestinians.

    Student role in government propaganda

    Bar David is quoted as saying that “the war room was founded as a continuation from Operation Pillar of Cloud,” Israel’s November 2012 assault on Gaza that killed more than 170 people, again overwhelmingly civilians.

    Indeed, the effort to recruit students into government propaganda has a well-documented history, as The Electronic Intifada has reported:

    With thanks to Dena Shunra for research and trans



    They are doing this for decades, spending millions on PR worldwide. They even have professional firms hired to do this for them, so nothing new here.

    It's getting bad when you've got to pay people to say nice things about you. I wonder why they've only just admitted to it. The truth is the best defence against paid propaganda merchants.

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    Boycott working! - Israeli finance minister expresses boycott fears

    Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid warned that the increasing boycott campaigns against Israel will have devastating effects on the economy. Meanwhile, Germany's largest bank, Deutsche Bank, blacklisted the Israeli Hapoalim bank as an "unethical company" due to its funding of illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

    Israel's Finance Minister Yair Lapid has warned that the world, United States included, is losing sympathy and patience with Israel

    Speaking to a group of representatives from American Jewish organizations on Monday, Yesh Atid party chairman Lapid warned that the increasing boycott campaigns against Israel will have devastating effects on the economy.

    After a top US academics union ASA decided to boycott Israeli academics and educational institutions that operate in and support illegal settlements in the West Bank, Dutch pension giant PGGM and Denmark's Danske Bank also boycotted Israeli banks for the same reason.

    Meanwhile, Germany's largest bank, Deutsche Bank (DB), has blacklisted the Israeli Hapoalim bank as an "unethical company" due to its funding of illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank, Israel's Maariv newspaper reported.

    Dutch firm Boskalis Westminister and Italian firm Condote de Agua also withdrew bids to build private seaports in Ashdod and Haifa, fearing political repercussions for working with Israel.

    According to the Israeli Haaretz, they join Spanish companies FCC and Cyes, as well as Germany's Möbius Bau, who also dropped out of the bidding process months back, citing threats to their business interests in the Middle-East.

    Last year, boycotts on products like dates and grapes grown in the occupied Jordan Valley caused a $29 million loss for illegal Jewish settlers in the region. As reported in the Washington Post, income from exports dropped 14%, mainly due to big supermarket chains in Europe deciding to boycott the products.

    David Elhayani, head of the Jordan Valley Regional Council, told the Washington Post, “In effect, today, we are almost not selling to the (Western) European market anymore.”

    Zvi Avner, head of the agriculture committee in the Jordan Valley, said that sales of peppers and grapes to Western Europe have dropped by about 50% and fresh herbs by up to 40%.

    In 2009, the UK gradually started labeling or completely boycotting settler products. Together with Scandinavian countries, the UK has made the 550,000 odd illegal Jewish settlers in the West Bank very nervous.

    Marks & Spencer, Morrisons and Waitrose are among many British firms to stop selling settler goods in recent years. Germany’s Kaiser Supermarket has also made a moral decision against selling settler products.

    Many feel that a trend is slowly starting to develop in the West against Israel, similar to that which brought down the apartheid regime in South Africa.



    BDS costs Israel 100 million shekels in losses


    According to Israel's Maariv newspaper, Israeli sources believe that the international boycott of Israeli settlement products has already caused Israel's economy financial losses amounting to about 100 million shekels ($30 million), with the agricultural sector in the Jordan Valley suffering the most.

    One source described the boycott as a "constant war", while others added that they expect Israel will face an increase in the number of boycott calls, especially if the peace talks with the Palestinians fail and the construction of settlements continues, noting that the European Union will also renew its decision to label settlement products if the negotiations fail, which would cause even more damages to the Israeli economy.

    The newspaper reported on Friday that the European calls to boycott settlement products would likely grow, while the European imports from Israel would shrink. The overall volume of settlement exports to Europe is estimated to be about 300 million shekels ($90 million), with most sales generated by SodaStream.


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    Grandson of Founding Father of Israel says Boycott Israel and dismantle the Regime

    5 Reasons why Israel is Apartheid

    Jon Stewart on the Gaza-Israeli conflict

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    8 Israeli products to boycott

    by Bethan Parry
    Source: http://mic.com

    Note: It is prudent, given the unabated savagery of Israel towards Gaza, that we remember that there are products and companies which contribute in different ways to the war machine that is used for the wanton oppression of Palestinians, and that we can send a strong message by refusing to support them and encouraging other people of conscience to do the same. In addition to steps like this and dua please considerdonating as well.

    Boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) are big news in 2014. If Scarlett Johansson’s Sodastream fiasco didn’t grab your attention, perhaps the American Studies Association’s boycott of Israeli universities did, or Netanyahu’s increasing talk of million-dollar PR campaigns, legal offensives and diplomacy efforts to counter the BDS threat. Opinion pages are filled with debate, John Kerry has warned Israel that it could be facing a delegitimization campaign “on steroids” and voices from all sides are speculating that a boycott movement against Israel could be about to break into the mainstream.
    But what would that actually mean in supermarkets and shopping baskets? The BDS campaign covers all Israeli products: It’s a broad tactic aimed to pressure the state itself to change. But it also reserves a special focus for companies that are actually involved in — and make hefty profits from — occupation policies. These organizations may be forced to pay attention to the boycott very soon — and they may not be the ones you’d expect.
    1. Sodastream

    Thanks to Scarlett Johansson’s recent adventure in international politics, most of us now know about Sodastream’s role in perpetuating the occupation of the West Bank. The fizzy drinks makers are produced in Ma’ale Adumim, one of the many illegal Israeli settlements that cuts through Palestinian land, seizing resources and making the development of an independent Palestinian economy look impossible. “The Israeli army forcefully expelled 200 Palestinian families from their homes to make space for the construction of Maale Adumim,” says Rafeef Ziadah, a spokesperson for the BDS National Committee. “Recently, it announced a plan to expel another 2,300 Palestinians to make way for the settlement’s growth.”

    2. Jaffa Oranges

    Brands like Carmel Agrexco and Mehadrin, which export the famous Jaffa brand of oranges, make big profits from farming on Palestine’s land. Many of the companies’ fruits and vegetables — which include avocados, sweet potatoes and pomegranates — are grown and packaged in the Jordan Valley in the West Bank, where 94% of land is under direct Israeli control. As well as violating international law, commercial farming in the area deprives Palestinians of agriculturally-rich farmland and seriously limits access to water, which local people are often forced to buy by the tank at vastly inflated prices.

    3. Ahava

    Ahava means love in Hebrew, but the story behind is unromantic. The company’s major factory — and its plush visitors’ centre — is based in Mitzpe Shalem, a settlement in the occupied West Bank that also owns 37% of the brand. The location gives Ahava privileged access to the minerals and mud of the Dead Sea, which form the big-selling ingredient in their face masks, body scrubs and moisturisers. The company makes about $150 million a year from the sale of these miraculous products while Palestinians continue to be effectively barred from utilising the resources of the Dead Sea.

    4.Victoria’s Secret

    Victoria’s Secret is targeted by BDS campaigners because of where the brand sources its fabrics. America’s largest brand of lingerie gets its textiles from Delta Galil Industries, a company with a warehouse in the Barkan Industrial Zone, an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. It also runs stores in Ma’aleh Adumim and Pisgat Ze’ev — both in occupied territories. Settlements like these destroy the contiguity of a future Palestinian state and are widely considered to be the biggest obstacle to the success of the peace process. Victoria’s Secret, however, is not the only company to buy its materials from the settlement industry: Delta Galil also supplies to companies like Walmart, Calvin Klein, Nike and Columbia, among others.

    5. Sabra Hummus

    Food appropriation is a big deal in the Middle East, where the adoption of falafel and hummus as Israel’s national snacks is a point of contention for Palestinians. Sabra, however, is a BDS target for other reasons: The USA’s top hummus manufacturer is owned by Strauss Group, an Israeli company with strong ties to the IDF. The corporation has “adopted” the Golani Brigade, an “elite unit” of the Israeli Army with a reputation for bad behavior that ranges “from revolts against commanders to abuse of Palestinians,” according to Haaretz. Golani troops were on the front line in Operation Cast Lead, the 2008-9 assault on Gaza which killed some 1,400 Palestinians. Strauss, apparently, provided the lunches, exclaiming on its website that it provides “food products” for missions and “personal care packages for each soldier.” After U.S. BDS groups targeted Sabra in 2010, Strauss removed the wording from its Corporate Social Responsibility pages. But it has said nothing of withdrawing its support for IDF troops.

    6. Medjool Dates

    These super-sweet dates are a Palestinian staple, traditionally eaten to break the Ramadan fast. But today, over half the global harvest of medjool dates is produced by Israel, often on settlements in Palestinian land and especially in the Jordan Valley. There, illegal labor practices have been recorded on a significant scale; in 2008, 7,000 Palestinian children were found to be working on settlement date farms. What’s more, the provenance of settlement dates is often concealed with a “produced in Israel” label — Hadiklaim, one of the biggest settlement producers, markets its products under the brand names Jordan River, Jordan River Bio-Tops and King Solomon.

    7. Eden Springs Water

    Much of Eden Springs’ bottled water — which is widely marketed to universities, local authorities and other institutions — comes from the Salukia spring in the Golan Heights. Israel’s occupation of the Golan has been condemned by the U.N., and, as Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem reminds us, international law only gives occupiers a limited right to use the water resources of occupied territory. Despite that, settlers in the Golan can use as much as 17 times more water per capita than the area’s other inhabitants — a state of affairs that is not helped by the commercial exploitation of springs.

    8. Hewlett Packard

    Hewlett Packard’s slogan is a predictably Silicon Valley coinage: “If you’re going to do something, make it matter.” For Palestinians, however, some of the things HP does matter more than others. The firm owns EDS Israel, which supplies the computer systems of the Israeli Ministry of Defense and produces hi-tech equipment like the Basel System, a biometric permit system that controls the movement of Palestinian workers through checkpoints in Gaza and the West Bank. HP equipment is used by Israeli prisons and the army, and the company has also invested in the technological development of illegal settlements, taking part in the Smart Cityproject in Ariel.

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    UK Actresses speaks out

    Palestine Solidarity Campaign UK


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    'Revolutionary' BDS iPhone App to Spread Boycott Israel Message on Smartphones

    A photographer takes a picture of the empty seats of the Israeli delegation at the United Nations European headquarters in GenevaReuters

    The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is to release a beta version of a smartphone app that will allow users to search for a company's links to Israel in order to boycott its products.

    The app will bring activism to a user's iPhone by informing them of a company's links to Israel via a large database of researched product information by voluntary staff.

    Including a comprehensive database of product details and campaign information, the application will "come equipped with a barcode scanner", according to Abbas Naqvi, a founder of PennBDS.

    This development will allow potential boycotters to "dynamically and quickly identify products that fall within the BDS boycott guidelines", said Naqvi.

    Examples of companies that fall within BDS' boycott guidelines are many. One is SodaStream International, a company which came under fire from pro-Palestinian activists for its large factory operating in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

    According to Naqvi, the app aims to increase the direct participation by the "average Joe" in the BDS movement and take the campaign to the next level, "promoting freedom and justice in Palestine".

    Notable figures have begun to boycott Israel. Stephen Hawking has cancelled a trip to Israel in solidarity with Palestinians while Stevie Wonder has also cancelled a benefit concert for the Israeli organisation, Friends of the IDF.

    Senior politicians such as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State John Kerry have been forced into recognising the BDS movement because of its growing influence.

    Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu has criticised Israel's policies towards Palestinians as "humiliating" and pledged his support for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

    "I have witnessed the systemic humiliation of Palestinian men, women and children by members of the Israeli security forces," the civil rights leader said in a statement.

    "Their humiliation is familiar to all black South Africans who were corralled and harassed and insulted and assaulted by the security forces of the apartheid government.

    The BDS movement has led to companies, particularly in the European Union, reducing their exposure to Israeli investments.

    Last month, PGGM, a sprawling Dutch pension fund, wound up investments in five Israeli banks because of their transactions with West Bank and East Jerusalem settlements that are deemed illegal under international law.
    Similarly, Deutsche Bank has placed Israel's Bank Hapoalim on a list of ethically questionable companies, following on from Denmark's Danske Bank decision to do the same.

    The BDS movement website accuses Israel of denying Palestinians "their fundamental rights of freedom, equality and self-determination through ethnic cleansing, colonisation, racial discrimination and military occupation".

    You can find updates on the BDS app at: http://bdsapp.org/index/


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    Maldives to boycott Israeli products

    July 21, 2014

    Government has said today that three agreements between Maldives and the State of Israel have been dissolved and that discussions are ongoing to prohibit the import of Israeli products to Maldives.

    Speaking at a press conference today, Minister at the President’s Office Mohamed Hussain Shareef said that Israeli goods consists of a small percentage of imports to the Maldives and that Maldives will reject investors from Israel in the future.

    Minister of Foreign Affairs Dunya Maumoon said at the press conference today that three agreements signed with the Israeli government during former president Mohamed Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) administration have now been dissolved.

    She also noted the international condemnation of recent Israeli aggression in Gaza and the increase in calls for a boycott of Israeli products by a number of other countries.


    Norwegian MP calls for boycott of Israel over its Gaza offensive

    Sunday, 20 July 2014

    Norwegian leftist parties supported a call by a member of parliament to boycott Israeli products against the backdrop of the deadly Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip, Anadolu agency reported Sunday.

    Labor Party MP and chairwoman of the defence and foreign affairs committee in the Norwegian parliament, Anniken Huitfeldt, has earlier called for boycotting Israeli products which Israel manufactures on occupied territories.

    Huitfeldt demanded the government to implement the boycott as soon as possible "without wasting time." Six other leftist parties endorsed Huitfeldt's call.

    Even though Norway does not sell arms to Israel, two of the parties supporting the boycott, the Labor Party and the Center Party, have stressed on the need to review Norway's policy of selling arms to third-world countries, which resell those arms to Israel.




    Sweden refuses Israeli president’s plane entry into its airspace

    Wednesday, 14 May 2014

    Swedish authorities refused on Sunday to allow the plane of Israeli President Shimon Peres to cross into its airspace en route to Norway, causing him to arrive late to his official reception.

    When Stockholm refused the plane permission to cross, the pilots were forced into a holding pattern over the Baltic Sea for 20 minutes until they were rerouted via Denmark's airspace.

    Peres's office blamed Stockholm, while the Israeli Foreign Ministry pointed the finger at the President's Office and the private airline company responsible for arranging the trip.

    Israel's Haartez newspaper reported the ministry saying that Peres's office had failed to follow the correct protocols, resulting in its intervention.

    The ministry said that it should have been arranging the flight all along, but Peres's office claimed that Sweden had approved it. The Swedish authorities said they had no knowledge of the flight.

    However, Israel's Shin Bet intelligence services verified that all permissions had been granted, but permission was later revoked for unknown reasons.


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    Dr Mahathir attacks Israel, calls them ‘worse than Nazis’


    The Jews are worse than the Nazis, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic) who weighed in on the latest Israel-Palestinian conflict.

    In his latest scathing attack against Jews, the former prime minister said the Jewish people had learnt nothing from the past.

    "When Jews were persecuted by the Nazis in Germany they sought the sympathy and support of the world. But their sufferings have taught them nothing, have not made them understand the pain of suffering.

    "Instead, they are now behaving worse than Nazis, not caring at all for the suffering and deaths they inflict upon others," he said in his latest blog posting.

    He said the Jews should be venting against the Germans and other Europeans for the atrocities inflicted upon them in the past but instead, they are killing Palestinians because "it is easier and more fun".

    A long-time supporter of the Palestinians, the statesman had often turned his vitriol against Israel.

    It seemed to send a message that the Jewish state and its people are sacred and those who go against them would have to pay a heavy price.

    More than 690 people, including women and children, have died as the offensive into Gaza enters the 16th day today.

    Listing down various violations by Israel in the current offensive, Dr Mahathir said it seemed to send a message that the Jewish state and its people are sacred and those who go against them would have to pay a heavy price.

    "All these things Israel are doing are against International law, against morality, against human rights. They are criminals in every law of the civilized world.

    "But the Israeli Jews do this with impunity. They have the whole of America and Europe behind them.

    "They are the chosen people of God and they are above any laws, any moral code, any human values," he said.

    The former premier, who helmed the country for 22 years until he stepped down in 2003, then lay the blame on Europeans and American for creating "this monster" and accused them of turning a blind eye towards the "atrocities" committed by Israel.

    "They will continue to support Israel even if the Israelis commit genocide, kill all the Palestinians. This is their way to atone for all their treatment of the Jews in the past," Dr Mahathir added. – July 24, 2014.


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    Israel's Gaza assault is to control Palestinian gas, avert Israeli energy crisis

    Israel's defence minister has confirmed that military plans to 'uproot Hamas' are about dominating Gaza's gas reserves

    by Nafeez Ahmed - 9 July 2014

    Yesterday, Israeli defense minister and former Israeli Defense Force (IDF) chief of staff Moshe Ya'alon announced that Operation Protective Edge marks the beginning of a protracted assault on Hamas. The operation "won't end in just a few days," he said, adding that "we are preparing to expand the operation by all means standing at our disposal so as to continue striking Hamas."

    This morning, he said:

    "We continue with strikes that draw a very heavy price from Hamas. We are destroying weapons, terror infrastructures, command and control systems, Hamas institutions, regime buildings, the houses of terrorists, and killing terrorists of various ranks of command… The campaign against Hamas will expand in the coming days, and the price the organization will pay will be very heavy."

    But in 2007, a year before Operation Cast Lead, Ya'alon's concerns focused on the 1.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas discovered in 2000 off the Gaza coast, valued at $4 billion. Ya'alon dismissed the notion that "Gaza gas can be a key driver of an economically more viable Palestinian state" as "misguided." The problem, he said, is that:

    "Proceeds of a Palestinian gas sale to Israel would likely not trickle down to help an impoverished Palestinian public. Rather, based on Israel's past experience, the proceeds will likely serve to fund further terror attacks against Israel…

    A gas transaction with the Palestinian Authority [PA] will, by definition, involve Hamas. Hamas will either benefit from the royalties or it will sabotage the project and launch attacks against Fatah, the gas installations, Israel – or all three… It is clear that without an overall military operation to uproot Hamas control of Gaza, no drilling work can take place without the consent of the radical Islamic movement."

    Operation Cast Lead did not succeed in uprooting Hamas, but the conflict did take the lives of 1,387 Palestinians (773 of whom were civilians) and 9 Israelis (3 of whom were civilians).

    Since the discovery of oil and gas in the Occupied Territories, resource competition has increasingly been at the heart of the conflict, motivated largely by Israel's increasing domestic energy woes.

    Mark Turner, founder of the Research Journalism Initiative, reported that the siege of Gaza and ensuing military pressure was designed to "eliminate" Hamas as "a viable political entity in Gaza" to generate a "political climate" conducive to a gas deal. This involved rehabilitating the defeated Fatah as the dominant political player in the West Bank, and "leveraging political tensions between the two parties, arming forces loyal to Abbas and the selective resumption of financial aid."

    Ya'alon's comments in 2007 illustrate that the Israeli cabinet is not just concerned about Hamas – but concerned that if Palestinians develop their own gas resources, the resulting economic transformation could in turn fundamentally increase Palestinian clout.

    Meanwhile, Israel has made successive major discoveries in recent years - such as the Leviathan field estimated to hold 18 trillion cubic feet of natural gas – which could transform the country from energy importer into aspiring energy exporter with ambitions to supply Europe, Jordan and Egypt. A potential obstacle is that much of the 122 trillion cubic feet of gas and 1.6 billion barrels of oil in the Levant Basin Province lies in territorial waters where borders are hotly disputed between Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza and Cyprus.

    Amidst this regional jockeying for gas, though, Israel faces its own little-understood energy challenges. It could, for instance, take until 2020 for much of these domestic resources to be properly mobilized.

    But this is the tip of the iceberg. A 2012 letter by two Israeli government chief scientists – which the Israeli government chose not to disclose – warned the government that Israel still had insufficient gas resources to sustain exports despite all the stupendous discoveries. The letter, according to Ha'aretz, stated that Israel's domestic resources were 50% less than needed to support meaningful exports, and could be depleted in decades:

    "We believe Israel should increase its [domestic] use of natural gas by 2020 and should not export gas. The Natural Gas Authority's estimates are lacking. There's a gap of 100 to 150 billion cubic meters between the demand projections that were presented to the committee and the most recent projections. The gas reserves are likely to last even less than 40 years!"

    As Dr. Gary Luft - an advisor to the US Energy Security Council - wrote in the Journal of Energy Security, "with the depletion of Israel's domestic gas supplies accelerating, and without an imminent rise in Egyptian gas imports, Israel could face a power crisis in the next few years… If Israel is to continue to pursue its natural gas plans it must diversify its supply sources."

    Israel's new domestic discoveries do not, as yet, offer an immediate solution as electricity prices reach record levels, heightening the imperative to diversify supply. This appears to be behind Prime Minister Netanyahu's announcement in February 2011 that it was now time to seal the Gaza gas deal. But even after a new round of negotiations was kick-started between the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority and Israel in September 2012, Hamas was excluded from these talks, and thus rejected the legitimacy of any deal.

    Earlier this year, Hamas condemned a PA deal to purchase $1.2 billion worth of gas from Israel Leviathan field over a 20 year period once the field starts producing. Simultaneously, the PA has held several meetings with the British Gas Group to develop the Gaza gas field, albeit with a view to exclude Hamas – and thus Gazans – from access to the proceeds. That plan had been the brainchild of Quartet Middle East envoy Tony Blair.

    But the PA was also courting Russia's Gazprom to develop the Gaza marine gas field, and talks have been going on between Russia, Israel and Cyprus, though so far it is unclear what the outcome of these have been. Also missing was any clarification on how the PA would exert control over Gaza, which is governed by Hamas.

    According to Anais Antreasyan in the University of California's Journal of Palestine Studies, the most respected English language journal devoted to the Arab-Israeli conflict, Israel's stranglehold over Gaza has been designed to make "Palestinian access to the Marine-1 and Marine-2 gas wells impossible." Israel's long-term goal "besides preventing the Palestinians from exploiting their own resources, is to integrate the gas fields off Gaza into the adjacent Israeli offshore installations." This is part of a wider strategy of:

    "…. separating the Palestinians from their land and natural resources in order to exploit them, and, as a consequence, blocking Palestinian economic development. Despite all formal agreements to the contrary, Israel continues to manage all the natural resources nominally under the jurisdiction of the PA, from land and water to maritime and hydrocarbon resources."

    For the Israeli government, Hamas continues to be the main obstacle to the finalization of the gas deal. In the incumbent defense minister's words: "Israel's experience during the Oslo years indicates Palestinian gas profits would likely end up funding terrorism against Israel. The threat is not limited to Hamas… It is impossible to prevent at least some of the gas proceeds from reaching Palestinian terror groups."

    The only option, therefore, is yet another "military operation to uproot Hamas."

    Unfortunately, for the IDF uprooting Hamas means destroying the group's perceived civilian support base – which is why Palestinian civilian casualties massively outweigh that of Israelis. Both are obviously reprehensible, but Israel's capacity to inflict destruction is simply far greater.

    In the wake of Operation Cast Lead, the Jerusalem-based Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (Pcati) found that the IDF had adopted a more aggressive combat doctrine based on two principles – "zero casualties" for IDF soldiers at the cost of deploying increasingly indiscriminate firepower in densely populated areas, and the "dahiya doctrine" promoting targeting of civilian infrastructure to create widespread suffering amongst the population with a view to foment opposition to Israel's opponents.

    This was confirmed in practice by the UN fact-finding mission in Gaza which concluded that the IDF had pursued a "deliberate policy of disproportionate force," aimed at the "supporting infrastructure" of the enemy - "this appears to have meant the civilian population," said the UN report.

    The Israel-Palestine conflict is clearly not all about resources. But in an age of expensive energy, competition to dominate regional fossil fuels are increasingly influencing the critical decisions that can inflame war.


    More at @ http://www.globalresearch.ca/war-and...s-fields/11680

    Do you Support Israel :

    Israel on Palestinian Civilian Casualties

    This is a edited video of an actual press conference. Israeli PM's speech has been edited to show what he really means.

    Palestinians in Gaza calling Pakistani Army for help :

    Jon Stewart Learns What Happens When You Talk About Israel


    Many have accused Jon Stewart of being pro-Hamas for expressing sympathy for the residents of Gaza, where more than 500 people have been killed -- including at least 100 children -- in recent fighting with Israel.

    So on Monday night's "Daily Show," just about the entire roster of correspondents popped up to scream at him any time he uttered the word "Israel."
    "Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this," Stewart said when the shouting subsided. "But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel's policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas."

    That of course led to a new round of shouts and insults, prompting Stewart to turn to a "lighter" topic: Ukraine.


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    Israel facing new divestment support in US

    Zeina Azzam | 24 July 2014

    Human rights and corporate responsibility prompt a US church to divest from companies doing business with Israel.

    The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which aims to pressure Israel to comply with international law and end its military occupation of Palestinian territories, has garnered significant institutional and governmental support in recent years.

    Much of its growth has been in Europe, but the BDS movement is also gaining momentum in mainstream USA.

    The Presbyterian Church (USA) voted in June to divest from three companies doing business with Israel: Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions, and Hewlett-Packard.

    The three were targeted for selling equipment used to facilitate Israel’s illegal activities on occupied land, highlighting yet again the question of corporate responsibility regarding international law and human rights.

    Crushed to death

    In 2003, when student activist Rachel Corrie was crushed to death in Gaza as she tried to prevent the razing of a Palestinian home, much attention was directed to the manufacturer of the Israeli bulldozer that killed her.

    Caterpillar Inc, the Illinois-based company whose equipment had been used worldwide for over eight decades to build dams, highways, and pipelines and assist in disaster recovery efforts, was now seen by some as complicit in Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

    Israel had been buying and "weaponizing" Caterpillar bulldozers then using them to demolish Palestinian homes, build settlements and the separation wall, clear land to build Jewish-only roads, uproot olive and fruit trees, and carry out military operations.

    Corrie’s parents later brought a federal lawsuit against Caterpillar, charging the company with "…aiding and abetting war crimes and other serious human rights violations on the grounds that the company provided bulldozers to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) knowing that they would be used unlawfully to demolish homes and endanger civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)."

    The court ultimately decided that considering the case "would intrude upon the executive branch’s foreign policy decisions".

    But, it was Corrie’s tragic death that brought Caterpillar to the attention of the Presbyterian Church (USA) Committee on Mission Responsibility Through Investment.

    Since that time, the committee has pursued "progressive engagement" with Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions, and Hewlett-Packard to discuss their accountability regarding "non-peaceful pursuits" in the region.

    After years of correspondence, dialogues, proxy voting, and filing shareholder resolutions, however, the committee concluded that the three companies were not in compliance with church policy. On June 20, the Church voted to divest.

    Two years earlier, Morgan Stanley Capital International, a leading evaluator of corporations based on various criteria - downgraded Caterpillar’s Environmental, Social and Governance rating, thereby removing it from several of its indices.

    This prompted the retirement benefits leader Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America-College Retirement Equities Fund to divest its holdings from Caterpillar, which the growing BDS movement hailed as a big victory.

    In 2012, two more religious groups - the United Methodist Church and the Quaker Friends Fiduciary Corporation - passed resolutions regarding BDS, the former supporting the boycott of products made in Israeli settlements, with the latter divesting its stockholdings in Caterpillar, HP, and Veolia Environnement, a French water, waste and transport management company whose services many say buttress Israel’s discriminatory policies.

    A year later, several Methodist regional conferences also voted to divest, and the Mennonite Central Committee board voted not to invest knowingly "in companies that benefit from products or services used to perpetrate acts of violence against Palestinians, Israelis and other people groups".

    Business and human rights

    Nahida Halaby Gordon, who serves on the steering committee of the Israel Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA), places responsibility squarely on Caterpillar, HP and Motorola.

    "If they see that a given customer is using their products in a regular and inhumane manner … then it is their responsibility to do everything they can to stop such behaviour, and if they cannot, then to stop selling to such customers. This can be clearly done in the case of Israeli occupation forces," she said.

    Caterpillar disagrees.

    In a statement provided to Al Jazeera, the company states that, "Caterpillar cannot monitor the use of every piece of its equipment around the world." The company goes on to say, "… we recognise the responsibility companies have to encourage the constructive use of their products."

    Faris Natour, Director of Human Rights at Business for Social Responsibility, a global nonprofit network that blends business with justice and sustainability, said that this idea comes from the United Nations’ 2011 document, Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which provides the framework for the concept of corporations’ responsibility to operate with respect for international law and human rights.

    Although they are nonbinding, adopting these principles is good for business, avoids negative attention, and is simply the "right thing to do," said Natour.

    Motorola Solutions offered a brief statement to Al Jazeera which referred to the company’s human rights policy, found in the 2013 Corporate Responsibility Report: "Motorola Solutions has a comprehensive set of policies and procedures that addresses human rights, which is designed to ensure that our operations worldwide are conducted using the highest standards of integrity and ethical business conduct applied uniformly and consistently."

    However, reading Motorola’s human rights policy shows that the company only addresses internal employee issues such as a safe work place and fair wages and working hours. The products Motorola sells to Israel include a communications network and a surveillance system for the army as well as electronic bomb fuzes.

    Indeed, in their investigation of Israel’s use of drones fitted with missiles in the Gaza war of 2008-2009, Human Rights Watch found debris and missile components with labels from Motorola.

    Hewlett-Packard presented the following brief statement regarding the Presbyterian Church (USA) divestment decision: "Respecting human rights is a core value at HP and is embedded in the way we do business. We have strong policies that promote regular human rights risk assessments, provide access to independent grievance mechanisms, prompt investigations of credible allegations and encourage transparent reporting."

    These are precisely the policies that Pastor Geoff Browning, a former HP employee and now a Presbyterian campus minister with Progressive Christians @ Stanford University, calls potential " window dressing".

    "At this last shareholders’ meeting," in 2014, he and others criticised the company’s "continued sales and collaboration with the IDF [as] contrary to HP’s commitment to social responsibility and human rights. Companies need to be aware that the sales of their products are not neutral or value-less, but are part of and affect their brand", Browning told Al Jazeera.

    "Hewlett-Packard provides bio-scanners that are used to racially profile Palestinians and to track and control their movement," explained Anna Baltzer, national organiser for the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a national coalition that has mobilised support for boycott and divestment efforts.

    "It is no overstatement to say that many of these campaigns have dramatically shifted the discourse around Israel/Palestine - in the mainstream media, on university campuses, in the church pews, and beyond - in an unprecedented way," she added.

    Guiding Principles

    The UN’s Guiding Principles statethat the "responsibility to respect human rights requires that business enterprises… Seek to prevent or mitigate adverse human rights impacts that are directly linked to their operations, products or services by their business relationships, even if they have not contributed to those impacts."

    The document also places some responsibility on the shoulders of the "home" states of transnational corporations.

    The United States’ Foreign Military Financing and arms sales to Israel add up to $3.1bn annually, with generous financing terms; this amount provides nearly a quarter of Israel’s overall military budget.

    Although, in an unprecedented measure, Washington granted Tel Aviv the benefit to purchase equipment from Israeli contractors, Israel also procures a significant amount from US-based defence companies, a fact that solidifies the connection between US foreign policy and business agendas.

    If the US government considers Israel a strategic partner and provides it with massive amounts of military aid, yet is unwilling to hold it accountable for human rights violations, then why should US businesses be held accountable for US policy?

    "Corporations, like any entities, have a responsibility to abide by the law, ethical standards, and international norms. They are not immune," says Baltzer.

    Indeed, putting pressure on them is one of many efforts under way to influence US policy in the Middle East.


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    Israel’s attacks on Gaza are leading to Coca-Cola boycotts

    Turkish businesses have started removing Coca-Cola from shelves, more than a hundred Mumbai hotels are not selling any of its products, and Malaysian pro-Palestinian groups are calling for a boycott in response to the continued Israeli attacks on Gaza, which have killed more than 700 people.

    The well-organized “Boycott Israel” movement has been around for many years, and generally ebbs and flows with the intensity of Israeli-Palestinian conflict, part of the larger “BDS” (for boycott, divestment & sanctions) campaign started in 2005. The huge civilian death toll in Gaza, which has been documented by quickly-circulated photographs, and the unrelenting nature of Israel’s missile attacks could make this boycott particularly tough on Coca-Cola, judging from growing support from social media:

    Coca-Cola hardly the only target of the Boycott Israel movement, but it is often most prominent one, as this Turkish graphic being circulated on Twitter shows:

    Remarkably enough, decades ago, the situation was reversed. Jewish-owned businesses (including Coney Island’s Nathan’s Famous hot dog stand) and pro-Israeli groups in the US called for the boycott of Coca-Cola in the 1960s because it did not have a plant in Israel, a campaign that ended when the company built a bottling plant in Tel Aviv. With the construction of the plant, Arab nations called for a boycott instead. That boycott wasn’t lifted until 1993.

    From 1966 Coca-Cola has been a staunch supporter of Israel,” claims Innovative Minds, an online website supporting Palestinians, and dozens of other boycott Israel sites, which have reprinted the Innovative Minds information explaining the claim. Reasons listed to boycott include Coca-Cola’s co-hosting of a reception in Atlanta for Israeli Brigadier-General Binyamin Ben-Eliezer in 2009, ties with the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce in Atlanta, and because a subsidiary reportedly owns a dairy farm in occupied territory.

    A Malaysian boycott of Coca-Cola products in 2009 was prompted by an earlier Israeli offensive in Gaza, and was mostly rooted in the fact that Coca-Cola was a big US company. In 2013, pro-Palestinian hackers targeted Coca-Cola’s website.

    With Coca-Cola’s profits already weak thanks to flat sales in North America, any drop in sales in other markets are sure to hurt. And the markets calling for boycotts aren’t unsubstantial—Coca-Cola’s Turkish subsidiary, Coca-Cola Icecek, is the company’s sixth-largest, in terms of volume, and it sells to ten other countries.


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    Bolivia declares Israel a terrorist state

    La Paz (AFP) - Bolivia on Wednesday renounced a visa exemption agreement with Israel in protest over its offensive in Gaza, and declared it a terrorist state.

    President Evo Morales announced the move during a talk with a group of educators in the city of Cochabamba.

    It "means, in other words, we are declaring (Israel) a terrorist state," he said.

    The treaty has allowed Israelis to travel freely to Bolivia without a visa since 1972.

    Morales said the Gaza offensive shows "that Israel is not a guarantor of the principles of respect for life and the elementary precepts of rights that govern the peaceful and harmonious coexistence of our international community."

    More than two weeks of bombing in Gaza have left 1,300 dead and 6,000 wounded amid an intense Israeli air and ground campaign.

    In the latest development, 16 people were killed after two Israeli shells slammed into a United Nations school, drawing international protests.

    Bolivia broke off diplomatic relations with Israel in 2009 over a previous military operation in Gaza.

    In mid-July, Morales filed a request with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to prosecute Israel for "crimes against humanity."



    Notice how all the non-anglo European and US nations are voting against the state terrorism and speaking out against it. History has shown over and over again, the European Anglos are the disease of this world that have done nothing but holocaust and Genocide throughout it's existence.

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    Sinéad O’Connor has spoken exclusively to Hot Press about a show she was reportedly due to have played on September 11 in Caesarea, a town located half-way between Tel Aviv and Haifa.

    The Hot Press Newsdesk, 24 Jul 2014

    There was an offer which I was only prepared to entertain if Israeli Arabs, Palestinians, whoever, were welcome at the gig,” she explains. “The other acts on the bill also had to be from across all those divides. That was a bit of a hot potato and not settled, when someone who had no business doing so sneakily released the information saying it was confirmed, which it never was. It was conditional on those terms.

    At the same time, musicians are notoriously stupid/ignorant people and I didn’t realise – nor was I told by my booking agent or anyone else – that if I stepped foot there I would in fact be breaking this cultural boycott and may as well be shitting all over the Palestinian people. They were very well aware of the situation but they didn’t fill me in when they were trying to convince me for a year to do the gig.

    “Anyway, the next thing I’m the subject of abuse from everybody left, right and centre because I’m somehow sanctioning what’s happening to the Palestinian people – which I’m not. I’m not going to go there because it’s a shithole, but in a way I feel sorry for the young people on each side of the situation who, because of a conflict that they did not cause, cannot have any type of normal life including music and musicians.”

    Sinéad says that she objects to being dragged into politics.

    “Let’s just say that, on a human level, nobody with any sanity, including myself, would have anything but sympathy for the Palestinian plight. There’s not a sane person on earth who in any way sanctions what the **** the Israeli authorities are doing.”

    The Caesarea gig, had it gone ahead, would have been relatively lucrative for the singer whose I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss album drops on August 8.
    Normally I get paid about ten grand for a gig, this offer was for a hundred grand,” she reveals. “I was refusing and refusing for a year, and a certain amount of pressure was put on me and then it became apparent a few months ago that frankly I could do with the money. We’re all in trouble financially and I’m no different. I had a bit of a worrying meeting with my accountant and afterwards said, ‘Oh **** it, let’s do this gig’.”

    In 1997, O’Connor backed out of the Sharing Jerusalem: Two Capitals For Two States concert after receiving death threats.

    “I’ve been accused of somehow being a supporter of the Israeli authorities, which is nonsense – nothing could be further from the truth,” she reiterates. “It was a gig that had been organised by a bunch of Palestinian and Israeli women to campaign for this idea of sharing the place basically, and right-wing Jewish groups threatened to kill myself and my band. I’m not prepared to die for anyone else’s bullshit, nor am I prepared to put my band at risk, so we didn’t go.”

    Sinéad did get to perform two gigs in Caesarea in June 1995 when, as she puts it, “There wasn’t a boycott and it wasn’t what you might call ‘a big deal’ and you weren’t fucking anyone over if you went. I actually hated the place so fucking much. I found it one of the most aggressive places I’ve ever been. I still have quite a scar from a photographer shoving his camera right into my chest. It’s the only place I’ve ever been that I never wanted to go back to. Consequentially for the last 25 years whenever anything about Israel came on the news, I’d literally turn it off. As far as I was concerned Israel did not exist. So I didn’t keep up at all with anything that was going on there. It’s just a bad word to me, ‘Israel’.”


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    Boycott from Within has sent the following letter to the United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide. We encourage others to do the same at http://www.un.org/en/preventgenocide....asp?address=1.

    You may use this letter.

    Dear Madame/Sir,

    We are citizens of Israel who oppose our government's policies of colonialism, occupation and apartheid against the Palestinian people and its actions which may amount to genocide. We write to you following thirteen days of an ongoing massacre, which is being perpetrated by Israel in the besieged Gaza Strip. As the death toll is rising, it now stands at 400 casualties and 3100 injured. The UN has declared, via UNICEF, that over a third of the victims are children. As you well know, this massacre was preceded by a month of massive Israeli violence and political persecution in the occupied West Bank, including the arrest of hundreds of so-called "Hamas-affiliated" men and boys. Meanwhile, Israeli mobs run wild in the streets of our cities, shouting the chilling “Death to the Arabs” chants (as well as "Death to the Leftists").

    You cannot ignore the fact, especially during this UN-declared “year of solidarity with the Palestinian people”, that two similar massacres have already been perpetrated by Israel in the short span of six years; that Gaza suffocates under Israel’s hermetic siege; that Israel has been perpetrating an ongoing ethnic cleansing against the indigenous people of Palestine since 1948 and up to this day; and that Israel believes it may exterminate hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza every two years and do so with full impunity.

    The UN states that “Where genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity do occur, the International Criminal Court, which is separate and independent from the UN, is empowered to investigate and prosecute those most responsible if a state is unwilling or unable to exercise jurisdiction over alleged perpetrators.” Israel is well beyond the point of prevention and we, its privileged citizens, are hereby charging it with genocide.

    We demand that your office will do everything in its power to halt Israeli genocide as it is taking place. We demand that you take immediate action to prevent Israel’s genocide against the Palestinian people. We will be following your conduct on this matter.

    BOYCOTT! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within


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    Now diplomacy has failed, boycotting Israel might be the only way we can protect the people of Gaza

    The Israeli government has already proven that it fears international isolation

    30 July 2014

    Israel has lost its grip on reality. The death toll in Gaza stands at well over a thousand and continues to rise by the day. The coastal strip has been reduced to rubble. Rather than celebrating Eid this week, Palestinians in Gaza have been burying their dead.

    Jon Snow’s poignant message after his return from Gaza on Channel 4 news was heart-breaking. He had been reporting from Al Shifa hospital where he saw many horrific injuries and scores of dead children.
    He ended his report with this plea to the public: “If our reporting is worth anything, if your preparedness to listen and watch and read is anything to go by, then together we can make a difference."

    This latest massacre of Palestinians has been well documented, with every death recorded and every bombing filmed. Although this has yet to deter Israel, it is still important to keep documenting this assault so that its victims do not fall into the chasms of history.

    But individuals in the international community need to go further than this. They need to boycott Israel. It might be the only thing that ends the impunity that is allowing them to repeatedly assault Palestinian human rights.

    When airlines began cancelling their flights to Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, Israel panicked. They demanded that the international airlines resume their flights and Netanyahu personally called John Kerry to lift the Federal Aviation Administration ban.

    This minuscule moment in time when Israel was threatened with being internationally isolated spoke volumes.

    Denmark, Norway and Finland condemned Israel’s attack on innocent civilians and have sent substantial humanitarian aid to assist the people of Gaza. However, so far only two South American countries have actively opposed Israel's war on Gaza. Chile has ceased trade relations with Israel, and Brazil has recalled its ambassador to Tel Aviv.

    People are saying that Israel has been defeated morally. But it seems that they don’t care about this, so let us hit them where it hurts. Let us put our efforts into an initiative that helped to end South African apartheid.

    The Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement started in 2005 and has been gaining momentum ever since. It has gained support from trade unions and various political groups all over world. They have also been endorsed by many celebrities and academics. In the UK they have had some significant victories, including when John Lewis (after BDS pressure) ceased trading with the well-known Israeli company Soda Stream.

    Even locally, boycotting is taking place. In Jerusalem there is a noticeable absence of Palestinians in Israeli cafés and shops. This stems from a fear of Israeli violence against Palestinians but also, according to Palestinians I have spoken to, an attempt to boycott and damage the Israeli economy. In Ramallah, people have been placing stickers on Israeli products in shops saying: 16% of the profits go to the Israeli army” in an attempt to dissuade customers from buying them.



    Zionazi change their barcode to avoid boycott.

    New code show on Soda stream as 871

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    Tutu backs Israeli-settlement funding boycott

    Last updated: 2 August 2014

    Archbishop who fought apartheid joins global campaign calling on firms profiting from occupation to withdraw funds.

    Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, the South African activist who fought to end apartheid, has joined a worldwide campaign calling on corporations profiting from Israel's occupation of Palestinian Territories to pull out their funding.

    Tutu is among 1.5 million people who have joined the initiative, launched by the global campaign organisation Avaaz, as Israel continues its offensive against the Gaza Strip.

    The campaign targets companies including Hewlett Packard, G4S, Caterpillar, ABP and Veolia, which are either directly or indirectly financing activities in the occupied territories that serve Israeli settlements which are illegal under international law.

    Tutu said: "The withdrawal of trade with South Africa by multinational corporations with a conscience in the 1980s ultimately brought the apartheid state - bloodlessly - to its knees.

    "Those corporations understood that by contributing to South Africa's economy, they were contributing to the repression of black South Africans.

    "So they cut off apartheid's oxygen supply. Where the world's political and diplomatic leaders had failed, civil society succeeded.

    "The crisis we are witnessing in Gaza today is not a Jewish or a Muslim crisis. It is a human crisis.

    "Those who continue to do business with Israel fund the perpetuation of a profoundly unjust status quo.

    "Those who withdraw their business are saying Israelis and Palestinians are equally entitled to dignity and peace. Gaza is going to test who believes in the worth of human beings."

    The call for divestment comes after several public pull-outs in recent months.

    Dutch pension fund PGGM withdrew tens of millions of euros from Israeli banks, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation divested from security firm G4S, and the US Presbyterian Church divested an estimated $21m from HP, Motorola Solutions, and Caterpillar.

    It also follows warnings issued earlier in July by 17 EU governments urging their citizens to avoid doing business in or investing in illegal Israeli settlements.


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    McDonald's July sales fell more than expected

    8 Aug 2014

    McDonald's on Friday reported July sales results that were much worse than analysts had expected.

    Following the report, the company's shares traded lower. The fast-food giant reported global same-store sales fell 2.5 percent, compared with the 1.1 percent drop forecast by Consensus Metrix.

    The dismal results prompted Janney Capital Markets to lower its estimates for the fast-food giant. Its analysts said the results "were the worst worldwide month in the last 10 years, once trading-day adjustments are taken into account."

    In the Asia/Pacific, Middle East, and Africa region, sales were down 7.3 percent in the month, where a drop of just 0.5 percent had been expected.

    Same-store sales in the U.S. sank 3.2 percent, weaker than the 2.6 percent expected.

    RBC Capital Markets analysts blamed the poor U.S. sales on a lack of new items. [Sure, whatever buddy!]

    In Europe, the company's only bright spot, sales rose 0.5 percent, compared to expectations of a 0.7 percent drop.


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    Israel halts meat exports to Europe over boycott

    Sunday, 17 August 2014

    The Israeli ministry of agriculture has decided to halt its meat exports to Europe and sell them instead in local markets and other places in the world, as a result of the EU's boycott of Israeli settlements, Haaretz said Sunday.

    The EU's decision came after the High Commission found out that the Israeli meat factory, Auf Tof, gets poultry from suppliers in the Jordan Valley settlements.

    According to a senior Israeli source quoted by Haaretz, the ministry of agriculture's decision came in the aftermath of new sanctions by the European Commission which would make it difficult to export meat supplied from settlements to EU countries.

    The European Commission had decided on 17 February to follow new regulations that stipulate the non-recognition of Israeli veterinary services when it comes to meat products originating from settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights.

    The Israeli official said that the ministry of agriculture has conducted a review which revealed that settlements in the Jordan Valley supply Auf Tof factory with poultry, leading to fears that all the factory's products are not eligible for exports to the EU.

    Haaretz added that Israelis fear that the halt in meat exports will be followed by a halt in fish exports to the EU.


    Israeli ship remains at sea as thousands of protesters gather in Oakland

    Blockade delayed as word spreads that ship is off the coast of California, closer to Santa Cruz, and won’t be docking that day

    17 August 2014

    An Israeli ship subject of a pro-Palestinian protest has docked, but demonstrations at the port of Oakland in California continue after between 2,000 and 3,000 pro-Palestinian activists streamed towards the port entrance on Saturday, chanting and waving flags. It remains unclear whether the ship’s cargo has been unloaded.

    The protesters intended to form a picket line to prevent work crews from unloading the ship.

    Activists had originally planned to meet at 5am for a blockade of the Zim Integrated Shippng Services vessel, but word that its arrival had been delayed prompted organisers to push the protest back until later in the afternoon.

    The event began with a brief rally at a nearby transit station, followed by a march to the port. Sameh Ayesh, a 21-year-old Palestinian activist with the San Francisco-based Arab Youth Organisation, led the crowd in a chant.

    “We’re gonna block the boat,” he called into a megaphone. “Block, block the boat.”

    But before the march had even reached the port entrance, an activist who identified himself as Eyad delivered word that the Zim vessel would not be docking that day. An online ship tracking service showed that the vessel was off the coast of California, closer to Santa Cruz, as the march got under way.

    Activists interpreted the delay as a victory, viewing the schedule as having been made in response to the planned pickets. “We have stopped the Zim Piraeus from docking on the west coast of the United States,” said Eyad, of the Arab Resource and Organising Center (Aroc), into a megaphone, drawing cheers from the crowd as the march came to a halt on a bridge leading towards the docks.

    A spokeswoman for the pot of Oakland, Marilyn Sandifur, declined to comment on the protest but disputed the Guardian’s estimate of crowd numbers, saying tat the port and local police believed the figure to be closer to 500. Zim, the shipping company, did not respond to a request for comment.

    “Zim Lines is the largest Israeli shipping company, and it’s a huge flow of capital for the state of Israel,” said Lara Kiswani, executive director of the Arab Resource and Organising Center, one of 70 groups to take part in planning the blockade.

    Kiswani said the action was meant to generate momentum for a broader campaign calling for boycott, divestment and sanctions against the Israeli government as a response to violence in Gaza. “With the recent attacks on Palestine … there’s been a lot of discussion locally, particularly with Aroc, on how to escalate our tactics,” she said.

    A similar blockade against a Zim vessel took place in 2010, when pro-Palestinian activists formed picket lines in response to Israel’s attack on a flotilla ferrying humanitarian outreach workers to Gaza. “After the flotilla was attacked by the state of Israel, we successfully were able to block the Zim Lines ship here, with the ILWU,” Kiswani said. “So for years we were working with ILWU, with rank and file, and with the leadership, to try and raise awareness about the plight of Palestinians.” In 1984, she added, “ILWU took a position against apartheid, and the workers refused to unload that ship”.

    As the march reached the port entrance, where activists had originally planned to stage a picket, they encountered a line of police officers standing in formation. Protesters erupted into chants of, “hands up, don’t shoot!” – echoing chants sounded in response to police violence directed against street protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, in the wake of the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

    Several others made statements linking recent acts of police brutality with the conflict in Gaza. “On Twitter, we’ve seen people in Gaza tweet to protesters in Ferguson how to cope with teargas,” said Mohamed Shehk, who helped organise the blockade with the Oakland-based nonprofit Critical Resistance. “They’re saying things like, ‘as Palestinians, we know what it’s like to be targeted and killed for being of the wrong ethnicity’.


    Oakland activists block Israeli ship for third day


    Israeli ship is blocked from unloading in Oakland for four straight days


  20. #60
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    Companies Boycotting Israel Gathering Pace. It Is Beginning To Bite. See Which Big Co’s Are Involved

    August 18, 2014

    Introducing the BDS Movement

    Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), was launched in 2005 and is now a global Movement to get individuals and institutions to withdraw their money and support from Israel with the aim to pressure Israel to end its illegal occupation, settlement building and attacks on Palestinians.

    BDS is a strategy that allows people, companies and institutions of conscience to play an effective role in the Palestinian struggle for justice.

    2014 has been a strong year for BDS and the support has been growing especially in the US, who are seen as Israel’s closest and most important ally.
    Andrew Hammond, a Middle East analyst at the European Council on Foreign Relations said “The whole movement is picking up not so much because the BDS movement is so powerful, but because people want Israel to come to a peace agreement.”

    Bill Gates Foundations G4S

    The Gates Foundation Asset Trust, which manages investments for the $40bn Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said in June that it sold its stake in the UK security services firm G4S, one of the companies targeted by BDS.

    Scandinavian Companies

    In January this year, Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund decided to ban Africa Israel Investments (AFI Group) and its subsidiary Danya Cebus from its portfolio because of their involvement in building settlements in the West Bank.

    Denmark’s largest bank, Danske Bank, has blacklisted Israeli Bank Hapoalim because it finances construction of illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank.

    Citing its corporate accountability rules, the bank said that Bank Hapoalim was acting against the rules of international law.

    The Danish bank had already withdrawn its investments from Africa Israel Investments Limited and Danya Cebus for the same reasons.

    Swedens Nordea bank, the largest in Scandinavia followed in the footsteps of the Danish bank and has taken steps against Israeli banks involved in construction in the settlements.

    We also witnessed the withdrawal by Dutch pension fund PGGM of tens of millions of euros from Israeli banks. Dutch pension fund PGGM pulled its investment from five Israeli banks in January over concerns that they are financing illegal Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories. The settlements contravene several human rights treaties.

    Co Op UK / Europe

    The largest Co-operative in Europe, the Co-Operative Group which is the 5th largest supermarket chain in the UK, introduced a policy to end trade with companies that source products from Israel’s illegal settlements, following a determined campaign by Co-Op members. Campaigners are working to pressure other supermarkets to adopt a similarly comprehensive position. Many supermarkets across Europe already claim not to sell produce from illegal settlements.

    Unite in UK and Ireland

    Unite, the biggest union in the UK and Ireland, issued a statement of solidarity with the Palestinian people, on Friday 11 July:

    “Unite unreservedly condemns the continuing Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people and calls for the military strikes and the military build up to be halted immediately.

    “Unite further calls on the UK government to demand the Israeli government halt its military action and to make it clear that should it fail to do so then a move for international sanctions will be launched within the United Nations Security Council and the European Union.

    Presbyterian Church

    U.S. Presbyterian Church, with 12-million members worldwide, divested an estimated $21 million from HP, Motorola Solutions and Caterpillar.

    The Presbyterian Church on in June became the most prominent religious group in the US to endorse divestment as a protest against Israeli policies toward Palestinians.

    The Group voted 310-303 to sell stock in Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions – three companies whose products Israel uses in the occupied territories.

    Russell Brand calls for Boycott

    Russell Brand in his Trews E122 13th August urged banks, pension funds and other big businesses to sever investment ties with Israel, or any deals that “facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza”.

    Brand citing Barlcays bank as an example, stated they manage “the portfolios of an Israeli defence company called Elbit, which makes the drones that bomb Gaza.”

    “The message they give us is the exact opposite of the reality, they’re acting like they’re part of our community,” he said during his new episode of The Trews, which you can watch below.

    “But if we’re aware of the reality of what they do, then we have the power to influence them.

    Which Companies Invest In Gaza Violence? Russell Brand The Trews (E122)

    Individuals as well as companies

    Individuals with MONEY are also taking action – Soros Fund Management – billionaire investor George Soros recently sold 24.3 million dollars in shares of Sodastream.

    The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) – the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society that has been leading the global BDS movement, called for a boycott of the Soros Fund Management back in May saying “George Soros funds and foundationsmust be held accountable for investments in Israeli violations of international law”

    The BNC went on to say “George Soros’s alleged respect for human rights and the Open Society Foundation’s actual support for various educational, human rights and cultural projects in the occupied Palestinian territory and the region are incompatible with his investment in companies, like Teva and SodaStream, that consistently violate human rights and international law and profit from the Israeli occupation and colonization.

    17 EU members take action against corporate complicity with Israeli crimes

    Currently, 17 European governments have published online guidance warning their citizens and businesses about risks involved in trade and other economic links with illegal Israeli settlements

    Rafeef Ziadah, a spokesperson for the Palestinian BNC said: “European governments are starting to respond to civil society lobbying and public opinion by taking welcome steps to end corporate complicity with Israel’s settlement regime.”

    Fears for Israel

    Israel fears that the growing support for BDS actions and measures in South Africa, which encompass academic, cultural as well as economic boycott, may have a domino effect internationally, given what is seen by many as South Africa’s moral leadership on the world stage.

    Most crucially, Israel is alarmed that the boycott is spreading in Israel’s second largest export market, the European Union.

    Last month, Israel’s finance minister also acknowledged the impact that a European-wide boycott could have on the country. The economy could lose a potential $5.7billion and put almost 10,000 people out of work immediately. The Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also acknowledged the threat posed by BDS. In a March speech in the US, Mr Netanyahu launched an attack on the movement, branding them as racists.

    The british security firm G4S in June announced that it does not intend to renew its contract with the Israeli Prison Service when it expires in 2017.

    This follows more than 2 years of campaigning that has seen the company lose millions of dollars of contracts and mainstream investors such as the Bill Gates Foundation and the US United Methodist Church – an example of the BDS movement taking effect.

    The Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in an exclusive article for Haaretz on 14th August, calls for a global boycott of Israel and urges Israelis and Palestinians to look beyond their leaders for a sustainable solution to the crisis in the Holy Land.

    The BDS movement ultimately seeks to emulate the South Africa boycott in the economic, academic, sports and cultural fields, ostracising Israel—and its complicit institutions—until it fully complies with its obligations under international law by ending its occupation, apartheid and denial of the right of Palestinian refugees (69% of the total Palestinian population) to return to their homes of origin from which they were ethnically cleansed during the 1948 Nakba.

    The movement for BDS against Israel until it complies with international law is proving to be a truly effective form of action in support of Palestinian rights.

    As we can clearly see, BDS is a movement that is gathering pace and it seems it is beginning to bite.



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