Welcome to the Net Muslims Forums.
Page 5 of 5 FirstFirst 12345
Results 81 to 97 of 97
  1. #81
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    Israel is an apartheid state; let’s not pretend otherwise

    May 18, 2017

    In an editorial about a recently proposed bill in the Israeli Knesset (parliament) which seeks to impose Israeli law on Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, Haaretz said somewhat peevishly that the measure could officially transform Israel into an apartheid state. The bill was proposed by two extreme right-wing politicians, Ayelet Shaked and Yariv Levin. The editorial observed that they are leading Israel to one of two bad results: the end of a state that is both Jewish and democratic; or its official transformation into an apartheid state.

    The proposal, said Haaretz, is “creeping annexation under the guise of imposing judicial equality on either side of the Green Line – but only for Jews.” This, the leader writer confessed, constitutes exploitation of the 50-year-old fiction that the West Bank is a military area, under the rule of the commanding army officer, whose actions are dictated solely by military necessity.

    Under international law, the West Bank is occupied territory, and the transfer of a civilian population into the area is a breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention. While Israeli courts acknowledge this in theory, that has not prevented over half a million Jewish settlers from moving into massive settlement-colonies built by the Israeli government across the territory. The purpose of this bill, say its proponents, is perfectly consistent with the way that most Israelis view the West Bank — which they call Judea and Samaria — and with the policies of successive Israeli governments. The legal fiction otherwise, which Israeli courts uphold, has no purpose or function apart from trying to assuage Western consciences.

    While proposing the bill, Justice Minister Shaked asserted that, “Judea and Samaria are not Israel’s backyard, and from now on [the] ministerial committee will ask to clarify, with respect to every government law at its table, how the initiating ministry intends to treat the settlers.” She went on to say that the settlement of Judea and Samaria is a fait accompli; it is not a temporary or transitory thing. The time has come, she insisted, for the State of Israel to treat all its citizens equally and apply the same laws to everyone, either within Israel itself or in what the rest of the world regards as occupied territory.

    This bill may or may not become law. Nevertheless, it seems odd to suggest, as many in the Israeli left seem to be doing, that the transformation of Israel into an apartheid state is somehow predicated on jettisoning a legal fiction, when in reality the legal distinction between Israel and the occupied West Bank has already been eroded by Tel Aviv to the point of non-existence.

    That being the case, it would seem appropriate to revisit the main reason why Israel is regarded by increasing numbers of people as an apartheid state. Those who are not completely familiar with how Israeli apartheid works, need to understand that apartheid comes in different forms: “petty apartheid” determines which public transport you may or may not use, for example, depending on your ethnicity; or which park you can sit in (or even which park bench you can sit on); which beach you can use, or bank or post office counter; and so on.

    “Grand apartheid”, however, is a different kettle of fish, and is something already in place in Israel. Its essence — and this should be obvious — is a desire to separate and segregate people on the basis of race, religion or ethnicity. The specifics will vary depending on the socio-political and historical context. The absence of well-known manifestations of apartheid, which are ingrained in our political and cultural consciousness because of the powerful images that came out of white-ruled South Africa, does not preclude the fact that apartheid is being implemented by Israel in a subtle and sophisticated manner. Shrill condemnation of anyone describing Israel as an apartheid state does not negate the reality of what it actually does.

    Israel may well allow its non-Jewish Palestinian (“Arab”) citizens — 20 per cent of the population —to vote in and stand for elections, but that is a democratic veneer hiding the fact that public resources are distributed disproportionately on the basis of whether this citizen or that citizen is a Jew or not; whether this town or that town is predominantly Jewish or not; whether this school or that college has mainly Jewish pupils or not. Indeed, village and town councils have the legal right to determine who can live in their area, based on whether they are Jewish or not.

    Maybe the problem is with the word apartheid itself, of which no self-respecting democrat would want to be accused. If such an accusation was to stick, it would derail the entire Israel project. Paradoxically, without the support of some clearly not so self-respecting democrats in Europe and America, Israel would not be able to enforce its apartheid policies using the fig-leaf of the old fabrication that it is “the only democracy in the Middle East”.

    The “purpose” and “intention” to maintain an “institutionalised regime” serving the goal of racial domination is at the core of apartheid, concluded a controversial UN report recently. The detailed assessment of Israeli practices towards the Palestinian people and the question of apartheid, prepared by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA), was quarantined following pressure from US and Israel. We should not have been surprised, for the UN body said that “the Israeli regime is designed for this core purpose” of serving the goal of racial domination.

    The irony, as others have pointed out, is that the use of “apartheid” (literally, “separateness”, leading to systematic “separate development”) to describe Israel’s treatment of Palestinians did not originate with opponents of the Israeli regime, let alone Arabs and Palestinians; it came from Israelis themselves. For decades, Israeli officials have employed the Hebrew term Hafrada (“Separation” or “Segregation”) to describe Israel’s governing policy in the West Bank and Gaza, and its attempts to separate the Palestinian population from both the Israeli population and the Jewish settlers in the occupied Palestinian territories. The so-called Israeli West Bank Barrier, known in Hebrew as “Gader Ha-Hafrada” (“Separation Fence”), was built on this vision.

    The word apartheid may be problematic for supporters of Israel, but the term describes more than adequately the reality of Israel’s official policy towards Palestinians. Israel’s critics are thus simply using Israel’s own terminology when cataloguing a long series of official declarations, platforms and plans predicated on Israel’s commitment to the principle of Hafrada.

    What’s more, this is not applied exclusively to Palestinians. The latest scheme to encourage Black African refugees to leave the country is that they must pay 20 per cent of their salary, with their employers paying a further 16 per cent, to the Israeli government, it being payable back to them only at a specific bank branch in Ben Gurion Airport on their way out. This is yet another example of how the Israeli government seeks to maintain the “purity” of the self-declared “Jewish state”. It does not enact policies that are openly racist fearing condemnation from Europe and America, which are hung up on petty apartheid (perhaps out of guilt for their support of white South Africa for decades); Israel does, however, enact laws that will, over time, ensure that separation and segregation are reinforced for the privilege of one racial and religious group over any other.

    Call it what you like, but the essence of separation and segregation overrides every government decision made in Israel and no legal fiction can hide that fact. Israel is an apartheid state; let’s not pretend otherwise.


  2. #82
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    BDS Lebanon warns theaters not to screen 'Wonder Woman' film starring Israeli


    Star Gal Gadot served in Israeli military and spoke in support of it, angering anti-Israel activists

    The Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in Lebanon on Sunday again issued a call to boycott the upcoming "Wonder Woman" film because it stars an Israeli.

    The movement's Lebanon branch published a post on its Facebook page warning that the star of the film was Israeli and tagged several major cinemas.

    BDS Lebanon criticized the casting of the Israeli Gal Gadot as far back as April 2016, when the actress played the same role in "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice".

    In a letter sent that month by BDS to Lebanon's Economic MInistry, movement representative Dr. Abdel Malik Sukria highlighted Gadot's service in the Israeli military.

    "This actress served in the IDF and was crowned the beauty queen of Israel. She also revealed her support for the IDF during the last war in Gaza,"
    he wrote.

    Gadot has spoken publicly about her time in the Israeli military.

    Conscription to the army is compulsory in Israel and like many young women in the country Gadot spent two years in uniform.

    During the summer of 2014 Gadot sparked a heated online debate about the summer's fighting between Israel and Hamas when she posted a Facebook photo of herself and her daughter lighting Shabbat candles, accompanied by a message saying she was sending her "love and prayers to my fellow Israeli citizens. Especially to all the boys and girls who are risking their lives protecting my country against the horrific acts conducted by Hamas, who are hiding like cowards behind women and children."


  3. #83
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    US Senate approves motion calling for relocation of embassy to Jerusalem


    The US Senate has passed with an overwhelming majority a motion calling for President Donald Trump to relocate America’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, US media reports said on Tuesday.

    A nonbinding motion was introduced by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the chamber’s top-ranking Democrat. It passed with bipartisan support of 90 to 0. The motion was part of measures that recognised the “reunification” of Jerusalem and considered it to be the eternal capital of Israel.

    During his election campaign, Trump promised to make the embassy move, but on 1 June he signed an order to keep it in Tel Aviv. East Jerusalem is still recognised in international law and at the UN as occupied territory. Israel’s unilateral annexation in the aftermath of the 1967 war has never been recognised as legitimate by the rest of the world.

    That has not stopped the Senate bending over to please the powerful pro-Israel lobby in Washington
    . “While we know that Israel continues to face a number of threats, bipartisan passage of this resolution will serve as yet another indication of the United States’ commitment to standing by our Israeli friends,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

    The Washington Examiner pointed out that a 1995 law called for the US president to move the embassy to Jerusalem by 31 May, 1999, or else issue a waiver every six months.


  4. #84
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    Right-wing Israeli MK: ‘Palestinians were here before Jews’

    June 13, 2017

    A right-wing member of Israel’s Knesset has recognised that Palestinians existed on land now occupied by Israel before Jews came to the country.

    In the first statement of its kind issued by a right-wing leader, United Torah Judaism party

    Member, Moshe Gafni, said:

    Israel has no right to negotiate with the Palestinians because they were here before it and the Jews drove them out of their land.

    “The important thing is for Israel to be a Jewish state. Apart from that, we have no right to conduct negotiations with the Palestinians because they were here before us and we expelled them from here,” Arutz Sheva reported him saying.


  5. #85
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    Tunisia joins boycott of Wonder Woman

    June 7, 2017

    Following Lebanon, Tunisia will cancel showings of Hollywood's latest film, Wonder Woman.

    The Tunisian Association of Young Lawyers filed a lawsuit to cancel the broadcast of the film which was scheduled for public viewing today.

    According to the member of the Sedki Jelassi association, the cancellation was a reaction to comments made by the leading Israeli actress Gal Gadot in support of the "Zionist army who participated in the war against Gaza in 2014."

    President of the association, Yassine Younsi, told Business News: "we cannot accept that our children watch this film," which would amount to "normalising relations with Israel."

    Several people took to social media to criticise the association's position.

    Lassaad Goubantini, a distributor of the film in Tunisia, confirmed that it will not be broadcast and expressed confusion about the decision to cancel. "The decision not to allow the film to be broadcast is based on unfounded accusations," he told Huffington Post Tunisie.

    The Popular Front has also taken the same step to cancel the broadcast of the film. "The Popular Front has even contacted the Minister of Cultural Affairs, Mohamed Zine El Abidine, who promised to prevent the projection of the film in Tunisian cinemas, according to Deputy Tarek Barrak," according to their website.

    Gadot has featured in a series of films that have been previously shown in Tunisia.

    Planned for release tomorrow, on the sidelines of a festival in Algiers, the film's release in Algeria is also in question.

    "The film will be reprogrammed once the administrative constraints related to the exploitation rights have been settled," Amine Idjer, head of communications at MD Ciné, told AFP.

    He explained that the Algerian Ministry of Culture had ensured that this deprogramming had nothing to do with the campaign of boycott launched on the internet.

    Lebanon was the first country to ban the film in protest of the Israeli actress' role.

  6. #86
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    Israel boycott restrictions thrown out by UK’s High Court

    Asa Winstanley Activism and BDS Beat 22 June 2017

    The High Court in London ruled on Thursday that the Conservative government acted unlawfully in trying to prevent local councils in the United Kingdom from divesting from firms involved in Israel’s military occupation.

    The successful legal challenge for the right to boycott was brought by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in March, and was supported by War on Want, the Campaign Against the Arms Trade and the Quakers.

    ”We couldn’t be happier that this right has been upheld by the court,” said PSC Director Ben Jamal.

    Recent UK polling showed that two in five people consider BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions – a reasonable Palestinian response to Israel’s crimes.

    “Today is a victory for Palestine, for local democracy and for the rule of law,” PSC Chair Hugh Lanning said. “Absolutely everyone has a right to peacefully protest Israel’s violation of Palestinian human rights.”

    In a judicial review published on Thursday, judge Ross Cranston overturned part of a guidance document issued in September by local government minister Sajid Javid.

    The court ruled that the government had acted improperly by seeking to use pension law to pursue its own foreign and arms industry policy.
    Freedom to protest

    Jamie Potter, one of PSC’s lawyers, said, “this outcome is a reminder to the government that it cannot improperly interfere in the exercise of freedom of conscience and protest in order to pursue its own agenda.”

    The full ruling can be read below.

    The minister’s guidance had stated that local authorities must not use “pension policies to pursue boycotts, divestment and sanctions against foreign nations and UK defense industries … other than where formal legal sanctions, embargoes and restrictions have been put in place by the government.”

    Although the document did not specifically name Israel, it was part of a series of measures, launched at a press conference in Jerusalem, explicitly intended to target BDS campaigners.

    Although the government trailed it to the media as a “BDS ban,” legal analysis of the new documents showed there was nothing new in them “aside from some overblown rhetoric clearly intended to scare campaigners.”
    BDS gets the goods

    Local government bodies in the UK have for years been urged by Palestine solidarity campaigners to divest from companies that are involved in the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

    French multinational Veolia withdrew from most Israeli businesses in 2015 after being the focus of a years-long BDS campaign.
    Municipalities around the world had dropped it from contracts worth more than $14 billion, according to the BDS National Committee.
    Veolia lost contracts with public bodies in London, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Canterbury, East Sussex and Winchester as a result of BDS campaigns.

    Councils in Tower Hamlets, Leicester, Swansea and Bristol are among those that have passed resolutions in support of BDS or condemning companies involved in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, which are illegal under international law.

    PDF at: https://electronicintifada.net/blogs...uks-high-court

  7. #87
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    Israeli occupation ‘the worst form of organised terror’

    June 12, 2017

    The Palestinian Authority has condemned all terrorism and described the crimes of Israel’s military occupation as “the worst form of organised terror,” Palestinian media reported on Sunday. The terror created by Israeli organisations — notably settlers’ groups and their supporters — was also condemned.

    “The real incubator of terror,” said the foreign ministry in Ramallah, “is the Israeli occupation.” The ministry renewed its warning about “increasing extremism within Israeli society” and its consequences for the Palestinians.

    An official statement placed the full responsibility for the “increasing extremism and terrorism” on the Israeli government. “Israeli terrorism and extremism is supported by the authorities and fed on the comments of extremist rabbis who justify crimes against the Palestinians.” Such rabbis, insisted the PA, “cover up” for the criminals and carry out “fake investigations” which do not deter the criminals and the terror organisations.

    The PA called for the international community and UN bodies to blacklist Israeli terror groups and take the necessary measures to hold the terrorists and their supporters accountable. International involvement in fighting terror, it said, must not ignore the reality of Israeli state terrorism which targets the Palestinian people on a daily basis.

    The Israeli occupation should be brought to an end as soon as possible, the ministry added.


  8. #88
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    Hebrew U professor: Israel today similar to Nazi Germany

    By Yocheved Laufer
    June 23, 2017 10:48

    "This is not a religious conflict, this is a political, national conflict which can be ended, and can be ended rather rapidly, if only the Israeli Government agreed to make some concessions; if only the Israeli Government agreed to end the occupation and reach a reliable and just peace with Palestinians ... that is the only solution. You cannot manage the conflict, as the Israeli Government has been trying to convince everybody. It's impossible to manage the conflict."

    Dr. Ofer Cassif of Hebrew University faces heavy criticism after his students leaked a video recording from his political science class.

    Hebrew University Professor, Dr. Ofer Cassif, compared recent Israeli legislation, both proposed and passed, to those of the Third Reich in Nazi Germany, reported Channel 2 on Thursday as a recording of his class became public.

    The statement occurred in a Politics and Government course as part of a preparatory college program at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

    One of Cassif's students objected to the comparison, but the political science professor continued with his analogy stating that it is comfortable to deny the situation in order not to come to terms with reality, but that it would very dangerous to do so.

    He also explained to his students that the comparison is a matter of fact rather than opinion. His personal thoughts on the matter are even far more reaching.

    Cassif further criticized the current state of of affairs in Israel saying, "those who refuse to see the similarities between what is happening in Israel, specifically in the past two years, and Germany in the 1930s, has a problem and will be responsible for the potential situation of the state."

    Cassif drew specific parallels from recent Israeli legislature regarding Arabs and Jews, to policies of Nazi Germany.

    The Hebrew University professor stated that the proposed Israeli nation-state law is similar to 1930s Germany's methods of creating a hierarchy of citizens according to classes.

    Cassif also criticized recent legislation passed legalizing 4,000 homes in the West Bank, stating that this this law, "allows Jews to take over Palestinian-owned land for themselves, just like Aryans in 1930 Germany were allowed to kick Jews out of their homes."

    Cassif's next comparison was regarding the recent legislative proposal pushed by Netanyahu to ban funding from foreign NGOs. Cassif explained to his students that this bill is similar to laws passed in Nazi Germany limiting organizations that criticized the regime.

    The Israeli Right was furious about the teachings of Prof. Cassif.

    The Likud party defended the nation-state law, explaining that it "is based on the Israeli Declaration of Independence, and therefore this professor the very creation of the state is racist."

    “Comparing the State of Israel to the most wicked regime in the history of mankind is not only a disgusting display of anti-Israel propaganda, but something more severe than Holocaust denial,” said CEO of right wing NGO Im Tirtzu, Matan Peleg.

    In response to the criticism surrounding the publication of his lesson, Cassif stated that, "the purpose of a classroom is to hold discussions and I did not prevent any of my students from speaking, therefore I will not give in to the attempt to silence me and prevent an open and constructive discussion."

    He also added that he stands behind his Israel-Nazi comparisons.

    The Hebrew University of Jerusalem responded by saying that Cassif's "discussion took place during the class 'Fascism- past and present,' and it is unfortunate that certain students chose to record their professor when not agreeing with his stance, instead of conducting an open discussion based on facts and opinions."

    This is not the first time Cassif has been criticized for making Nazi comparisons regarding Israel.

    In late 2015, the Hebrew University professor called Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked "neo-Nazi scum."

    In a similar occurrence Cassif took to social media last year, tweeting that Facebook blocked him for making a Hitler reference as a reaction to a pro-Netanyahu comment.

    This comes after Education Minister Naftali Bennett proposed a new ethics code for universities, banning professors from expressing their personal political stances in the classroom earlier this month.


  9. #89
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    Hebrew University professor: Every 'settler' is a terrorist

    'By definition, every settler is a terrorist', says Dr. Amiram Goldblum in Facebook post libeling former Yesha Council leader.

    A professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem has declared that all Jews living in Judea and Samaria are terrorists, and accused Israel of being an apartheid state.

    Amiram Goldblum, a researcher and lecturer in the university’s medicinal chemistry department, blasted Jews living in Judea and Samaria, writing in a Facebook post Friday that by the very fact of their residence in the heart of the historic Jewish homeland, any Israeli living beyond the pre-1967 border is a “terrorist”.

    “By definition, every settler is a terrorist,” wrote Goldblum.

    The professor also took aim at a former Yesha (Judea and Samaria) Council leader, Shlomo Filber, who previously headed the Communications Ministry, smearing him as a “terrorist, a liar, and a scoundrel”.

    “As someone who was a settler and Director-General of the Yesha Council, he was responsible for crimes against humanity, [and is linked] directly to crimes against the Palestinian people and should thus be put on trial by the international court at The Hague.”
    “Israel needs to start to cleanse itself from filthy creatures like Shlomo Filber and his ilk.”

    Filber has been accused of leaking documents to the Bezeq telecommunications company during his tenure as Communications Ministry Director-General.

    Last week’s online rant was not Goldblum’s first foray into political controversy. Earlier this year, Goldblum slammed anti-assimilation activist Benzi Gopstein as a “neo-Nazi”.

    Goldblum’s Facebook page includes a map of the State of Israel, with the words “Apartheid West Bank under Israeli control”.

    In 2015, Goldblum compared the creator of a viral video criticizing far-left NGOs with Julius Streicher, founder and publisher of the rabidly anti-Semitic, pro-Nazi Der Sturmer.

    "But there appears to be a connection nonetheless, not genetic, of course," wrote Goldblum. "They are both particularly rotten apples on the human tree, both are despicable inciters, both serve fascist organizations and individuals. There is a small difference: Streicher did it out of ideology; Klughaft combines ideology and a prostitute's fee.”

    "I do not know if Klughaft traveled in order to study Streicher's methods in the vilest newspaper ever published in human history. But there is no doubt that he is advancing in the direction. Maybe Streicher appears in Klughaft's dreams?"

    In the past, Goldblum served as a spokesman for the radical left-wing Peace Now organization, is a board member of the New Israel Fund. In 2013, Goldblum ran for the Knesset with the far-left Meretz party.

    Last month, another Hebrew University professor drew criticism after he likened Israel to Nazi Germany.

    Ofer Cassif, a member of the Hebrew University’s political science department, warned that Israel is “on a slippery slope to fascism”.

    "There's not really much to argue about here," added Cassif. “I'm sure that if we were sitting... in the University of Freiburg in 1933, and there would be a professor who would dare to speak like I did, there, too, some of the students would say 'Well, that's your opinion'. Guys, no, it’s not. Just because something is hard for us to hear doesn't make it opinion."



    Israeli settler runs over Palestinian girl in occupied Hebron

    July 20, 2017

    A Palestinian girl was left wounded after she was hit by an Israeli settler vehicle today in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron.

    Local sources told Quds Press that the 10-year old girl, Wijdan Faris Nasser Al-Jabari, was transferred to an Israeli hospital in Jerusalem for receiving medical care after she was seriously injured in the accident that took place in Wadi Al-Hsien area, near the Kiryat Arba illegal settlement in the occupied Hebron city.

    Incidents involving Israeli settlers ramming Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories have been recently common.


  10. #90
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    US Senators Pushing for 20 Years in Prison for Citizens Who Support Boycotting Israel

    United States senators from both the Republican and Democratic parties are pushing to implement a bill that would make it a felony to support boycotting Israel, punishable by up to twenty years in prison. On Monday, the ACLU issued a letter to the Senate opposing the proposed legislation, which was introduced in March by Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH). It was “drafted with the assistance of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee [AIPAC],” according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
    The Israel Anti-Boycott Act (S.720), which has a total of 43 sponsors in the Senate (14 Democrats and 29 Republicans), seeks to broaden the the Export Administration Act of 1979 “to include in the prohibitions on boycotts against allies of the United States boycotts fostered by international governmental organizations against Israel and to direct the Export-Import Bank of the United States to oppose boycotts against Israel, and for other purposes.”

    The bill in its current form would also make it illegal to even request information about boycotts against Israel, and violations would carry a minimum civil penalty of $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years behind bars. If passed, this legislation would effectively put U.S. citizens behind bars for up to twenty years for nothing more than their political beliefs.

    “The impacts of the legislation would be antithetical to free speech protections enshrined in the First Amendment,” the ACLU wrote.

    The organization also pointed out the contradictory nature of the proposed measure, explaining it“cannot fairly be characterized as an anti-discrimination measure, as some would argue. For example, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 already prevents businesses from discriminating against customers based on race, color, religion, and national origin. This bill, on the other hand, aims to punish people who support international boycotts that are meant to protest Israeli government policies, while leaving those who agree with Israeli government policies free from the threat of sanctions for engaging in the exact same behavior.

    It continues:

    “Whatever their merits, such boycotts rightly enjoy First Amendment protection.1 By penalizing those who support international boycotts of Israel, S.720 seeks only to punish the exercise of constitutional rights.”

    If passed, this tyrannical bipartisan bill would blatantly violate the constitutional rights of every United States citizen by punishing individuals based on nothing but their political opinions and decisions as consumers.

    There is no coming back from that.



    Opposing Zionism is not racism, rules Scottish court

    July 14, 2017

    In yet another landmark legal victory, members of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign emerged from court victorious today after being accused of racism. Their “crime”? Standing up to Zionism.

    The trial ended three years of speculation and pressure for SPSC members whose robust defence of their actions won the day in Glasgow Sherriff’s Court when the verdict was announced on Friday.

    Five days of evidence and cross-examinations earlier this month focussed on the actions of two SPSC members who faced charges of racism and aggravated trespass for a protest against Israeli company Jericho cosmetics, which operates around the Dead Sea in the occupied West Bank. The protest was held in the wake of Israel’s 2014 military offensive against Palestinian civilians besieged in the Gaza Strip. More than 2,200 Palestinians were killed by the Israelis during the offensive, including 550 children, before in the war ended on 26 August. During the demonstration on 13 September 2014, the SPSC protesters denounced the killings.

    Police were called to the shopping centre where the protest was being held, leading to the arrest of the two SPSC members accused of racism. “In other words,” explained Mick Napier, one of those arrested, “we were accused of being motivated by hatred of Israelis rather than opposition to Israel’s repeated massacres, apartheid across the whole of Palestine and genocidal violence in Gaza.”

    During the Glasgow trial, the SPSC was buoyed by a High Court ruling in London that the Conservative government in Westminster acted unlawfully when it tried to prevent local councils in Britain from divesting from companies involved in Israel’s military occupation. The successful legal challenge for the right to boycott was brought by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in London, supported by War on Want, the Campaign Against the Arms Trade and the Quakers.

    However, Napier wasn’t convinced that the result of the latest trial was a foregone conclusion. “Given their past record, we felt it was unlikely that even this High Court ruling in favour of BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctions] would stop Scottish prosecutors’ related efforts to criminalise the campaign in support of Palestinian freedom.”

    The prosecutor — called the Procurator Fiscal in the Scottish legal system — claimed in open court that the two accused in the Glasgow case were recycling an ancient anti-Semitic “Jewish blood libel” by speaking about Israeli mass murder of Palestinians. The Procurator Fiscal’s office made these claims, said Napier, while the violated people of Gaza “were still looking for ice-cream freezers and vegetable refrigerators in which to store the bodies of children killed by Israel’s military.”

    In their testimony last month, Napier and his co-accused Jim Watson both rejected the claims made by prosecution witnesses, a Chief Inspector of police, the manager of the Jericho stall and two local Zionist activists. The prosecution claim was that staff were intimidated by “racist” placards and the shouting of “racist abuse”; this was the description of the SPSC’s criticism of the pro-Israel counter-demonstrators for supporting Israel’s most recent massacre of Palestinians.

    The “racist” placard with which the Procurator Fiscal and Zionist witnesses took particular issue was a symbolic but graphic image of blood dripping under the name “Dead Sea cosmetics”. Napier pointed out that at the time of their protest, the UN Secretary-General was describing Israel’s massacre of thousands of Palestinians as a “moral outrage and criminal act” and a “gross violation of humanitarian law.”

    “When the Scottish government joined in by denouncing the ‘deep inhumanity’ of the Israeli massacre,” noted Napier, “the Scottish procurators fiscal were working hand in glove with pro-Israel lobby groups to silence voices of Palestine solidarity.”

    The SPSC has faced repeated efforts by pro-Israel lobbyists and Scottish prosecutors to criminalise the group’s pro-Palestine activities. The Zionist record to-date is one of almost total failure; legal action has failed to secure any convictions of pro-Palestine activists. “There was, however, a consolation prize [for the Zionists] when we were both found guilty of refusing to leave the shopping centre when asked to do so by the police,” said Napier. “I was also convicted of aggravated trespass for protesting inside the shopping centre. We will be appealing against both convictions so any celebrations by the Zionists will, I suggest, be a bit premature.”

    In February last year, two employees of the pro-Israel Community Security Trust made allegations against SPSC members but that was also thrown out by Kilmarnock Sheriff Court when the Sheriff ruled that the crime as alleged had not taken place. “Had we not had the benefit of an Al-Jazeera Arabic language broadcast of the protest where the CST tried to secure an assault conviction there might have been a different outcome,” added Mick Napier.

    Anyone wanting to help the legal fund for this latest appeal can donate on the SPSC website here: http://www.scottishpsc.org.uk


  11. #91
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    TfL bans ads displaying Palestinian objections to Balfour declaration

    Body accused of censorship after adverts banned from tube stations and buses in run-up to centenary of first world war pledge

    Adverts highlighting Palestinian objections to the Balfour declaration of 1917, when Britain promised to establish a Jewish national home in Palestine, have been blocked by Transport for London on the grounds that the issue is politically controversial.

    Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian ambassador to the UK, has accused TfL of censorship. Organisers had hoped to see the adverts displayed at key underground stations and on buses in the run-up to the centenary of the first world war pledge on 2 November.

    Theresa May and her Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, are expected to be the guests of honour at a London dinner celebrating the occasion, the most high-profile of several events. There are planned protests demanding that the UK, which has refused to apologise for the declaration, work to advance Palestinian rights and recognise the injustice and continuing consequences of its promise.

    The advertising campaign, called Make It Right, was commissioned by the Palestine Mission to the UK. It included contrasting images of Palestinian life before and after 1948, when Israel won its war of independence and some 700,000 Palestinians fled or were driven from their homes. It also quoted the declaration’s famous qualification that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”. It did not mention Israel.

    Arthur Balfour was foreign secretary in David Lloyd George’s government, which planned to carve up the territories of the Ottoman empire after the war and believed British interests could be served by supporting Zionist ambitions in Palestine even as other incompatible commitments had been made to Arab nationalists as well as to its allies, France and Russia.

    TfL rejected the adverts because they “did not comply fully with our guidelines,” a spokesman said. Clause 2.3(h) refers to “images or messages which relate to matters of public controversy or sensitivity”. TfL also bans causes that are “party political”.

    The advertising agency involved was not asked to make changes, as often happens, and was informed after an unusually long delay that the campaign would not be approved. It was unclear why an identical teaser ad, which was displayed in Westminster underground station last year, had been cleared.

    Hassassian said in a statement: “Palestinian history is a censored history. There has been a 100-year-long cover-up of the British government’s broken promise, in the Balfour declaration, to safeguard the rights of the Palestinians when it gave away their country to another people. TfL’s decision is not surprising as it is, at best, susceptible to or, at worst, complicit with, all the institutional forces and active lobby groups which continuously work to silence the Palestinian narrative. There may be free speech in Britain on every issue under the sun but not on Palestine.”

    Tfl and the Foreign Office denied they had discussed the advertising campaign. The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, was not involved in the decision.

    The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, demanded last year that Britain apologise for the Balfour declaration. The government said in April that it would not do so, adding that “establishing a homeland for the Jewish people in the land to which they had such strong historical and religious ties was the right and moral thing to do, particularly against the background of centuries of persecution”.

    However, it recognised that the declaration should have also called for the protection of Arab political rights and reiterated the importance of achieving “security and justice for both Israelis and Palestinians through a lasting peace”. In recent weeks Arabic-language Foreign Office statements have emphasised that the UK is not interested in symbols and gestures but practical measures to help Palestinians suffering under Israeli occupation.

    Hassassian said: “There has been a 100-year-long cover-up of Israel’s crimes: its ethnic cleansing of the majority of the Palestinian population in 1948; its unrelenting years of aggression and present brutal occupation.”

    The Make It Right ads will be displayed on taxis, which are subject to less stringent advertising rules. The taxis are expected to drive around events organised by those celebrating the centenary, including Christian Zionists, who are organising a rally at the Albert Hall.

    Israeli officials say it is right to celebrate the centenary and have accused those demanding an apology of being antisemitic and ignoring Palestinian hostility and intransigence.


  12. #92
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    Palestinians fight Facebook, YouTube censorship

    Amid an ever-shrinking space for dissenting Palestinian voices, a new initiative sets out to recover some of the ground lost online.

    Sada Social, a group launched in September by three Palestinian journalists, aims to document "violations against Palestinian content" on social networks such as Facebook and YouTube, and to liaise with its executives to restore some of the pages and accounts that have been shut down.

    While social media platforms do not take down content for overtly political reasons, they do strike down what is considered "hate speech" or incitement to violence, as well as other forms of online abuse that anyone can report.

    But Palestinian journalists, activists and those behind Sada Social say there is a double standard regarding the enforcement of platforms' policies.

    "There is a very big gap between Palestinians and Israelis," Sada Social cofounder Iyad Alrefaie told Al Jazeera, explaining that the idea for such an initiative stems from what he sees as an imbalance in the way social networks deal with censorship in the Israeli-Palestinian context.

    "[Nothing happens] to Israelis who publish a status calling for killing Palestinians,"
    he said. "But if Palestinians post any news about something happening on the ground or done by an Israeli soldier, Facebook [may] close the account or the page, or delete the post."

    According to 7amleh, the Arab Center for Social Media Advancement, Israel has more than 200 criminal files against Arab and Palestinian activists charging them with incitement on the internet, while "almost not a single case" has been opened against Israeli instigators.

    Alrefaie edits a platform called Quds News Network, which uses 400 citizen journalists throughout the occupied West Bank, Gaza Strip and occupied East Jerusalem and is popular with young Palestinians.

    Last summer, Quds Network was one of 30 critical media outlets to be shut down by the Palestinian Authority (PA) over accusations the organisations had ties to their political opponents.

    A year earlier, three of its executives had their accounts blocked by Facebook, while last autumn, the network's YouTube channel was suspended for allegedly violating "community guidelines" over a video showing Hamas' al-Qassam Brigades fighters during the 2014 Gaza war. The channel has yet to be restored.

    Last March, Facebook briefly shut down the page of Fatah, the party which dominates the PA, after it published an old photograph of late leader Yasser Arafat holding a rifle.

    A political satire page critical of both Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) called Mish Eek has been shut down and reopened several times.

    "I think every Palestinian user or platform on social media will think twice before publishing anything," said Alrefaie.

    Alrefaie said he recorded at least 30 violations in the space of a week immediately after Trump's December 6 declaration recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital, compared with 18 throughout October - including the accounts of journalists, activists or blogs that were shut down.

    He estimates that 90 percent of cases concern Facebook, which remains the most popular platform among Palestinians.

    Concerns similar to those Sada Social is trying to address were expressed by an audience of human rights activists, journalists and civil society organisations who attended the "Palestine Digital Activism Forum" this week in Ramallah.

    It brought together representatives from Palestinian and international human rights groups, government and social media companies, including Facebook.

    The latter received a barrage of questions from the audience about its role in censoring Palestinian voices online and sharing information with the Israeli government, given that hundreds of Palestinians have been arrested in recent years over Facebook posts.

    Corporate complicity

    The Israeli government, which often blames online incitement for flare-ups of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, has set up a specific unit to fight online crime.

    In September 2016, a Facebook delegation met Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan - who spearheads the fight against the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement - with the aim of improving "cooperation against incitement to terror and murder", according to a statement released by the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office at the time.

    Palestinians pointed out that the social media giant was succumbing to pressure from the Israeli government to suppress the Palestinian narrative and was adopting the occupiers' definition of what incitement is.

    A report published in September 2017 by the Israeli Ministry of Justice said its cyber unit handled 2,241 cases of online content and succeeded in getting 70 percent of it removed.

    Facebook says it removes content that is considered illegal under local law, or that breaches its own "community standards", including hate speech towards a particular group.

    "We engage all over the world with governments, NGOs, academics. It doesn't mean we take a position," a Facebook representative, Aibhinn Kelleher, said in response to a questions from the audience at the Ramallah forum.

    "When it comes to the Israeli government having special treatment, that is not the case." Information-sharing, Kelleher added, only happens in the context of law enforcement.

    But critics point out that what happens in the Israeli social media has attracted much less attention from both Facebook and the Israeli government.

    According to 7amleh, a racist post is published by Israelis against Arabs or Palestinians every 46 seconds.

    "It's about the governments who are powerful. And if you come to the Israelis and tell them we have here a market of few hundreds millions of shekels that you are benefiting [from], obviously you have a leverage. Adding to the money, it's also about the hi-tech industry in Israel [and how] powerful [it is]," said 7amleh director Nadim Nashif, who organised the Ramallah conference to highlight some of the issues facing Palestinian online activism, told Al Jazeera.

    "Facebook is at the higher levels very much coordinated with Israeli politicians.

    In a recent interview, Facebook's head of policy and communications in Israel, Jordana Cutler, said that the network works "very closely with the cyber departments in the justice ministry and the police and with other elements in the army and the Shin Bet".

    Cutler was formerly a senior adviser to Netanyahu. Unit 8200, the Israeli army's cyber spy agency, is tasked with monitoring social media and other forms of electronic communication in order to prevent potential attacks.
    All-round crackdown

    Mahmoud Hassan, a lawyer for prisoners' rights group Addameer, noted at the forum that the organisation documented more than 300 cases of Palestinians arrested by Israel over Facebook posts in 2017.

    He said that as Israel bans protests and considers Palestinian political parties as "terrorist" organisations, the definition of "incitement" and "support for terrorism" can be quite broad.

    One of the charges against Nariman Tamimi, the mother of Ahed, a 16-year-old activist jailed for slapping a soldier in her village of Nabi Saleh, is live-streaming the video of the incident on Facebook.

    Dereen Tatour, a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship, was notoriously arrested for her writings on Facebook, including a poem titled: "Resist my people, resist".

    Palestinian authorities have also moved to regulate the internet and the social media space.

    Last July, the PA passed the Electronic Crimes Law by presidential decree, citing the need to close some loopholes to prevent fraud.

    The law, described as "draconian" by human rights groups across the board, severely impinged on individual freedom of expression, privacy and media freedom.

    Last September, the PA arrested the head of a radio station in Hebron, Ayman Qawasmeh, just days after Israeli forces had raided the studio and shut it down.

    When the well-known human rights defender Issa Amro criticised what happened on his Facebook status, he too was arrested by the PA.

    Under international pressure, Palestinians have now proposed another version of the law, which no longer includes broad language allowing online critics of the authorities to be imprisoned or fined for violations such as "endangering public order".

    The proposed version still allows for websites to be blocked without a court order if they publish "material that may threaten national security, civil peace, public order and public morals".

    "Even if it is adopted, it still falls short of international standards," Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine director at Human Rights Watch, told Al Jazeera.

    Shakir also pointed out that the PA's campaign against critical voices predates the passing of the law. And in Gaza, Hamas has carried out arrests and interrogations on grounds of "misuse of technology."

    "Human Rights Watch has documented cases where Palestinians have been detained by both the PA and Israel," he said.

    "We have seen certain sites and outlets that had a ban on the Palestinian side, and were then shut down on the Israeli side," he added.

    "We've see numerous cases that suggest there is close coordination when it comes to not only security, but also shutting down the space for free expression."



    Facebook Says It Is Deleting Accounts at the Direction of the U.S. and Israeli Governments


  13. #93
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    Activists successfully Stopped Anti-BDS measure

    EI 13 Feb by Nora Barrows-Friedman — Activists in Massachusetts successfully pressured state lawmakers to stop a bill on 8 February that would have classified the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign for Palestinian rights as “discrimination.” The bill requires anyone who enters into a contract with the state worth more than $10,000 to pledge that they will not refuse to do business with any person based on the person’s “race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, gender identity or sexual orientation.” It has no chance of being passed this session as a key committee declined to advance it. The campaign to defeat it was successful, Elsa Auerbach of Jewish Voice for Peace – Boston told The Electronic Intifada, “after the legislators understood that the framing of the bill was deceptive and posed a threat to the constitutionally protected right to free speech.” The bill was endorsed by by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Boston, a communal organization that has an active Israel lobby wing….


    Why does Virgin find ‘Palestinian couscous’ offensive?

    EI 10 Feb by Gawan Mac Greigair — Virgin Atlantic has removed the word “Palestinian” from the description of a dish on its in-flight menu, following complaints from Israel-supporting customers. The airline acknowledged that the dish was a Palestinian recipe, but simultaneously apologized for “offense caused” by its use of the word. The dish was offered on the airline’s menu for economy class passengers in late 2017 and was described as “Palestinian couscous salad.” One customer giving the name Dani Williams took to social media to accuse the company of being “terrorist sympathizers” for using the descriptor. In a tweet, Williams posted a photograph of the menu and wrote: “last time you get my money.”

    Other pro-Israel social media users responded to the in-flight meal by claiming couscous was not Palestinian
    . One tweet suggested that the dish should be called “Jewish salad.” A photograph of the menu was also posted on the Facebook page of a group called the Israel Advocacy Movement. An accompanying comment read: “I thought this was an Israeli salad.” David Garnelas, the man who made the comment, also accused Richard Branson, Virgin Atlantic’s founder, of “showing his true colors,” adding that “Israelis must boycott Virgin and Israel must ask for an explanation.” Since these complaints were made, Virgin Atlantic has renamed the dish “couscous salad,” with the word “Palestinian” deleted … The decision by Virgin Atlantic is the latest episode in a pattern of attempts by Israel and its supporters to either erase – or appropriate as “Israeli” – Palestinian cuisine and culture.


  14. #94
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    Israel Apartheid Enactment

    Yesterday’s mock Israeli Apartheid wall and checkpoints on Henry Street, one of Dublin’s busiest shopping areas. This was part of the IPSC #StopHP national day of action for Israeli Apartheid Week 2018.

    The street theatre was to reflect the restriction of movement, human rights violations and to raise awareness about the inhumane and unjust daily life that Palestinian’s face at checkpoints under the control of an apartheid regime.

    *HP’s technology and equipment facilitate Israel’s brutal decades-long military occupation of Palestine and the associated apartheid regime, war crimes and ongoing colonisation. It does this in a variety of ways, especially through its provison of technology to the Israeli military, its involvement with Israel’s illegal settlements and military checkpoint regime, and the development of Israel’s biometric system used for population and territorial control and surveillance of Palestinians both inside Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territory.

    video: http://viewpure.com/38juGJigiFM?start=0&end=0

  15. #95
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    Hundreds March in Tel Aviv in Solidarity With Gaza Following Deadly Protests

    Around 250 people protested in Tel Aviv on Sunday in solidarity with Gaza following a bloody weekend in which 15 Palestinians were killed. The protest was titled “Create hope, stop the next war" and protesters chanted “no to the occupation” and “In Gaza and Sderot, little girls want to stay alive.”

    Michael Sfard, renowned human rights lawyer, spoke to Haaretz at the protest and said: ״Gaza is under siege and has been under occupation for the past decade. The people of Gaza are suffering from an enormous humanitarian crisis and now, when they tried to protest against it, they were met with brutal force which killed 16 of them and injured and maimed many others. As an Israeli, my duty is to protest against the evils that are done in my name.”

    Michael Sfard, renowned human rights lawyer, spoke to Haaretz at the protest and said: ״Gaza is under siege and has been under occupation for the past decade. The people of Gaza are suffering from an enormous humanitarian crisis and now, when they tried to protest against it, they were met with brutal force which killed 16 of them and injured and maimed many others. As an Israeli, my duty is to protest against the evils that are done in my name.”

    The Palestinian Health Ministry said on Sunday morning that from Friday through Saturday night, 15 people were killed and 1,479 others were treated in hospitals for various injuries. According to the statement, 805 people were wounded by gunfire, 425 suffered tear gas inhalation, 154 were hit by rubber bullets and 95 sustained various other injuries.

    The protest in Tel Aviv was organized by the organizations Standing Together, Other Voice, Combatants for Peace, Peace Now, Parents Circle – Families Forum, Meretz Party, Hadash – Democratic Front for Peace and Equality, Breaking the Silence, Zazim, Coalition of Women for Peace, Gush Shalom, and Machsom Watch.



    Return marches are humanitarian and a holy duty, insists senior Christian official

    The secretary of the Episcopal Commission for Islamic-Christian Dialogue in Lebanon insisted on Friday that the Palestinian return marches are humanitarian activities and a holy, ethical and national duty, Al-Resalah has reported.

    “Any Palestinian resistance action aimed at protecting the country and human dignity is a religious duty guaranteed by all religions,” said Father Antoine Daou. He noted that the aim of the return marches is to achieve freedom and regain rights. “These are spiritual goals also guaranteed by all religions.”

    Israel’s fear of such marches, suggested Daou, reflects the aggressive face of the state. “This was evident in its brutal treatment of the unarmed civilians.” Gaza’s residents, he added, are looking for salvation for all oppressed Palestinians. “They are taking the path of freedom which aims to end persecution and oppression.”

    The senior Christian official said that such action corrects the moral compass of the Arab nations, which has been lost recently.


  16. #96
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    Dublin Becomes First European Capital to Endorse BDS for Palestinian Rights & Drops Hewlett Packard for Its Complicity in Israeli Apartheid

    April 11, 2018 / By Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC)

    "Dublin has offered the strongest response to date to Israel’s latest massacre against unarmed Palestinian protesters in the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip. This is the most impressive win yet for the BDS movement in 2018."

    On Monday Dublin became the first European capital to endorse the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights. Citing Israel’s “inhumane blockade and siege of Gaza,” the Dublin City Council promised to discontinue all its business contracts with the BDS-targeted Hewlett Packard (HP) branded companies and spin-offs, including DXC Technology, given their complicity in Israel’s egregious violations of Palestinian human rights.

    Yesterday, Israel tried unsuccessfully to bar entry to Dublin’s mayor as he was on his way to attend meetings in Ramallah. Israeli authorities mistook his title for his name, drawing ridicule from Palestinian and other social media activists. Mayor Mícheál MacDonncha is currently meeting with Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory.

    Tens of thousands of Palestinians have been peacefully protesting the siege and demanding the UN-stipulated right of Palestinian refugees, who constitute the majority in Gaza, to return to their homes of origin from which they had been forcibly displaced.

    Abdulrahman Abunahel, Gaza coordinator for the BNC, the largest Palestinian coalition which leads the global BDS movement for Palestinian rights, said:

    Dublin has offered the strongest response to date to Israel’s latest massacre against unarmed Palestinian protesters in the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip. This is the most impressive win yet for the BDS movement in 2018.

    The people of Ireland, with their long legacy of struggle against colonialism, have shown that while governments in the US and Europe are deeply complicit in Israel’s crimes of occupation and apartheid, people of conscience stand on the right side of history, against oppression and for freedom, justice, equality and human dignity.

    After 70 years of dispossession, 50 years of military rule, and the devastating 10 year siege that suffocates us in the world’s largest open-air prison, we need such meaningful solidarity, especially in the form of BDS. In just the last two weeks, the Israeli military, following a shoot-to-kill-or-maim policy, has already killed 30 Palestinian civilians in Gaza and injured over 3,000.

    By excluding HP companies, the Dublin City Council is taking an important step towards ending security and military ties with Israel and corporations that enable its system of oppression. The most important demand raised by Palestinians in response to Israel’s latest massacre is imposing a military embargo similar to the one enacted by the United Nations against apartheid South Africa.

    Thanks to Dubliners, Irish supporters of Palestinian rights elsewhere, and growing numbers of BDS campaigners around the world, we Palestinians are in our darkest hours assured that we are far from alone, and that together we can bend the arc of history towards justice.

    This victory for Palestinian rights follows on the heels of two other recent victories in Ireland.
    Earlier this month, the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO), with over 40,000 members, passed a resolution which mirrors the 800,000 strong Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) position on Palestine by fully supporting the BDS movement and its aspirations. And less than a week ago, the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), representing 374,000 students in higher education, voted to do the same.

    Just today, Cork, Ireland’s third largest city, called on the Irish government to “condemn” the “recent massacre” of Palestinian civilians in Gaza by the Israeli military and to “take diplomatic action against Israel by expelling a number of its diplomats and recognise the state of Palestine.”

    Hewlett Packard’s violations of Palestinian human rights have been well documented. Aside from providing services and technology to the Israeli army that maintains Israel’s military occupation and siege of Gaza, and biometric technology that enables the Israeli government to control and enforce its system of racial segregation against Palestinians, HP has been deeply complicit in enabling the Israeli prison system, notorious for torture and other human rights abuses.

    HP has already suffered financial and reputational damage from BDS campaigns for Palestinian human rights.
    Several Christian denominations in the US have already divested from HP at the national level, and 26 Christian congregations across the country have committed to being HP-Free churches which refuse to buy any HP products. The campaign against HP has attracted support from faith communities, student governments and trade unions across the world. Under this pressure, HP has conducted a corporate re-shuffling that renders the companies involved no less complicit or subject to BDS campaigns.

    With this decision, Dublin joins dozens of local authorities across the Spanish state, Norway, Sweden, France, the UK, Belgium and Australia that have passed resolutions supporting BDS or pledged to avoid doing business with companies targeted by the BDS movement due to their complicity in Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights.


  17. #97
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    The Days Of Blind Support For Israel Among Australian Jews Is Over

    The views of Australian Jews are more diverse than you might think, according to the latest results from a large community survey. Michael Brull delves into the results, with some surprising findings.

    A new study of the Jewish community in Australia has revealed a dramatically lower rate of support for Israel and Zionism.

    Support for Zionism has declined by about 10 per cent since the previous survey in 2009. Significant parts of the community also think Israel discriminates against non-Jews, and support negotiations with Hamas. There is also a sizable minority that doesn’t think Israeli control of the West Bank is “vital” for Israel’s security.

    The study of the Jewish community in Australia, Gen17, was conducted under the auspices of Jewish Communal Appeal, and Monash University’s Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation. The lead authors were academics Andrew Markus and David Graham. The survey statistically weighted the responses of an impressive 8,621 national respondents, making the study by far the best and most reliable information we will have about the Jewish community for some time.

    The last major study, Gen08, also had Markus as a lead author, and was published in 2009. It is worth noting that it trumpeted in the third point of its executive summary what it thought was a pro-Israel consensus in the community: “Support for Israel unifies the Jewish community. There is evidence of division of opinion in response to many issues, but much of the difference disappears when Israel is considered; close to 80% of respondents indicated that they regarded themselves as Zionist, while only 13% did not.”

    This sentiment has been picked up and exaggerated in polemics by supporters of the Israeli government. For example, in 2014, Alex Ryvchin, a leading representative of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, claimed that Jews critical of the Israeli government are “miniscule” in number, and “represent virtually no-one”. Phillip Mendes, a self-proclaimed leftist supporter of Israel, similarly claimed in 2013 that “less than 1% hold anti-Zionist views”. Though their claims weren’t supported by the survey data, those who wanted to marginalise dissenting views on Israel had Gen08 to support their position that non-Zionists made up 13 per cent of the community.

    Whilst Gen08 gave support for Israel pride of place in the executive summary, eager to trumpet the supposed consensus, Gen17 places the subject of Israel near the end. They bravely try to summon a similar sense of a pro-Israel community: “Israel is a strong unifying theme for Australian Jews. Among Melbourne and Sydney respondents, the vast majority (88%) feel a personal responsibility to ensure that the Jewish State ‘continues to exist’.”

    This kind of loaded question seems designed to shore up the pro-Israel appearance – among those aged over 50, people “strongly agree” with this position at rates of over 60 and 70 per cent. Among the 18-39 age group, about half strongly agree with feeling a “sense of responsibility” that Israel continues to exist. To get to rates of 80 and 90 per cent, one has to include those who “tend to agree” that they feel a responsibility to ensure Israel continues to exist. This is a less impressive commitment.

    Modern Orthodox Jews are particularly concerned about Israel. This compares to less literalist interpretations of Judaism, with seculars particularly distanced from Israel.

    If we want to account for the decline in support for Israeli policies and Zionism, it’s not that the community has lost interest in Israel. On the contrary, Jews are a bit more likely to keep up with events involving Israel a lot (30 per cent) or quite a lot (38 per cent), than they were in Gen08 a decade ago (26 and 37 per cent).

    As for Zionism, some 69 per cent of respondents identified as Zionist. 22 per cent did not, whilst 10 per cent declined to answer or did not know. This compares to Gen08, when 13 per cent said they weren’t Zionist, and 7 per cent did not know or declined to answer. The survey suggests that this “may be the result of a change in the question wording”. It concedes that the previous definition was “so general that those who were equivocal may have been persuaded to answer ‘yes’”. That is, it said Zionists refer to those who “feel connected to the Jewish people, to Jewish history, culture and beliefs, the Hebrew language and the Jewish homeland, Israel?” By this definition, many anti-Zionists might say yes.

    Yet the fact is, in the Jewish community, Zionism is not an innocent question. Most Jews would already have a strong opinion on the subject, particularly those who dissent on Zionism. I think it is unlikely that the wording of the question was a significant factor in the decline.

    However, it is worth noting what Gen17 admits: that the previous definition was “so general that those who were equivocal may have been persuaded to answer ‘yes’”. This seems like a tacit admission – 10 years later – that the survey was intended to artificially inflate the supposed Zionist consensus, which is looking particularly tatty in 2018.

    It should be noted – the Jewish Communal Appeal, one of the two organisations involved in the study – is not exactly an unbiased organisation. Plainly, it has an interest in increasing donations, and establishing legitimacy in doing so. It is also funded by various Jewish philanthropic organisations.

    Whilst this study has improved in some ways, other questions about Israel – like Zionism – aren’t a great indicator for the level of support for the Israeli government’s policies. For example, there’s no question about Israel’s commitment to peace, about the wars on Gaza, the blockade, or any direct questions on the settlements. The only question about the occupation is framed through the lens of Israel’s security.

    Nevertheless, 80 per cent of Jews identifying as Zionist dropping to 69 per cent is a precipitous decline. Whilst the survey seems to suggest close to 69 per cent identified as Zionist in 2008, I regard this as somewhat unlikely. It is hard to imagine what percentage exactly can be accounted for by the changed wording of the question – I would guess that it would account for one or two per cent, or perhaps up to three or four per cent, but most of that would be in the ‘I don’t know’ category.

    more at https://newmatilda.com/2018/04/08/da...stralian-jews/


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts