WAR IS OVER? Let us stay well informed. Here are some of the messages we received recently and want to share with you: testimonies from the civilian front line, Arab news updates and links for background, action and protest.
this page brings posts from late august till the end of september.
most recent posts are here .
follow these links for previous posts:
Mid August till end of September.
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Date: Monday 24 december 2007 13:55
Subject: PACBI Update 24--Dec. 24, 2007
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
UPDATE No. 24 December 24, 2007
|First Palestinian Conference for the Boycott of Israel
“The Campaign for the Boycott of Israel will re-vitalize popular resistance and restore dignity to the Palestinian people” First Palestinian Conference for the Boycott of Israel (BDS) | Summary Report | November 22, 2007
An important mile-stone in building the global BDS campaign was achieved in Ramallah on 22 November 2007. Some 300 activists, members of unions, associations and NGOs in towns, villages and refugee camps of the occupied West Bank, with monitors from the global solidarity movement in Britain, Canada, Norway, Spain and South Africa, convened for a day of discussion and debate about ways to promote all forms of boycott against Israel among Palestinian community organizations, unions, as well as political, academic and cultural institutions.
cts about the Cancellation of the Jericho-Tel Aviv Normalization Event For Immediate Release
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and all its partners, individuals and organizations active in art, culture and human rights, regard the ... ...more
Human Rights Violations, and War Crimes
Medical ethical violations in Gaza Colin Green et al. | The Lancet | December 6, 2007
Physicians for Human Rights Israel (PHRI) has issued an emergency appeal for medical supplies for Gaza1 after the virtual closing of the border by Israel. 44 patients have died since June, 2007, because of denial or delay in access to medical care, and 85 types of medicine defined by WHO as essential are out of stock. The threatened disruption to electricity would cripple the running of hospitals, including haemodialysis machines and ventilators. All these actions are war crimes, and PHRI has been petitioning the Israeli High Court of Justice (without success to date). ...more
London's burning for Dichter Gideon Levy | Haaretz | December 9, 2007
Avi Dichter will not be going to London. The Israeli dream of taking in year-end sales, the new production of Othello or the sights of Oxford Street vanished before the public security minister's very eyes. The Foreign Ministry advised Dichter not to participate in a conference there, because he could be arrested for involvement in the assassination of Hamas leader Salah Shehadeh, when he was Shin Bet security service head. The one-ton bomb used to target Shehadeh in 2002 left 15 people dead. ...more
Closure of crossings traps students in Gaza
Rory McCarthy | The Guardian | November 6, 2007
Khaled al-Mudallal expected to spend this autumn sitting in lectures and writing papers for his final year in business and management studies in Bradford, the town he has lived in for six years. More...
BDS NEWS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions)
Palestinian Delegation Withdraws from Madrid Just Peace Forum Protesting Serious Violations PNGO| Press Release | December 13, 2007
The Palestinian civil society delegation to the Forum for a Just Peace in the Middle East, planned for December 14 to 16 in Madrid, has decided not to participate in the Forum due to serious last-minute violations. Coordinators of the delegation, which was to be led by the Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO), learned last night that due to unprecedented pressure from the Israeli establishment, a substantial Israeli delegation (different from the progressive civil society Israeli delegation led by the Alternative Information Center, AIC, scheduled to participate in the Forum) was undemocratically and underhandedly “invited” to participate in the Forum without endorsing the Forum's Reference Document . This is not only a significant breach of the key rule of participation; it is a contravention of the express will of the overwhelming majority of the International Committee, the decision-making steering committee of the conference. ...more
Why I Will Not Participate in the Madrid Social Forum for a Just Peace in the Middle East Michael Warschawski | Alternative Information Center (AIC) | December 13, 2007
I have no problem in taking part in a conference where Zionist spokespersons are invited too, for debates are part and parcel of a healthy political arena. As well, I have no problem being invited to official public meetings, initiated by government agencies, including Israeli ones. I need, however, to know exactly what kind of gathering I am supposed to participate. ...more
Address by Eddie Makue, General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches | Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (South Africa) | December 2007
I am delighted to address you on behalf of the End the Occupation Campaign Steering Committee, on the occasion of the United Nations International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
The topic for this address is:
“Global civil society working to realise the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people”
Two years ago, in July 2005, close to 200 Palestinians mainly civil society activists and a few political organisations issued a call to “international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era. We appeal to you,” the declaration said, “to pressure your respective states to impose embargoes and sanctions against Israel. We also invite conscientious Israelis to support this Call, for the sake of justice and genuine peace.” ...more
Largest Dutch trade union will increase pressure on Israel Adri Nieuwhof | The Electronic Intifada | December 7, 2007
On 29 November 2007, the day that the UN proclaimed as the International Day of Solidarity with Palestine, the largest Dutch trade union, FNV ABVAKABO, with over 350,000 members, sent a letter to its colleagues at the Palestinian Health Services Union and Public Services Union, based on a decision of its membership. FNV ABVAKABO informed the unions about the postponement of its solidarity conference that was planned on that day. They assured the Palestinian trade unions that the union will put pressure on Israel to comply with international law. ...more
Arab states reject proposed UN eco-center for including Israel The Associated Press | Haaretz | December 5, 2007
Arab officials have rejected a United Nations proposal to set up a regional environmental training center in the Middle East because it would include Israel, a Saudi official said Wednesday. ...more
Dutch pro-Palestinian conference shelved after Histadrut intervenes
Cnaan Liphshiz | Haaretz | November 28, 2007
The Netherlands' largest trade union has shelved its plans to hold a Palestinian solidarity conference Thursday, the 60th anniversary of the UN vote on the Partition Plan. Last week's annulment, which ended concerns of a boycott against Israel, came after the Histadrut labor federation insisted it be invited, Haaretz has learned. More...
PLO takes Veolia Transport and Alstom to court in France
Adri Nieuwhof and Maria Lherm | The Electronic Intifada | November 20, 2007
At the end of October 2007 European corporations Veolia Transport, and Alstom were taken to court by Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS), because of their involvement in the Israeli light rail or tramway project that is planned to link West Jerusalem with the ring of illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Veolia has been under international pressure to withdraw from the project, but so far refuses. Now the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, has joined AFPS in the legal action against the two companies. More...
UMSU General Meeting: A Victory for Justice
| UMSU Activist | November 15, 2007
Yesterday, a great victory was won at the University of Manchester Students' Union. In attempt to hold to ransom the Palestinian University that we had twinned with, Al Najah in Nablus, the right in the Union put forward the Peace Through Education motion that sought to label Al Najah students as supporting terrorism. Students at Manchester, however, saw through the lies perpetrated by the supporters of Motion 1 and realised that this was a negative motion that sought to break our twinning, demonise Palestinians and to silence any criticism of Israeli atrocities on campus. Amid intimidation, racist abuse and childish insults, Palestinian activists put the case for their Amendment and for Palestine. In the best attended General Meeting since the 1990s, more than 1,100 students turned out to deliver a massive majority in favour of the amendment (634 for, 372 against, 13 abstentions) and subsequently in favour of the Amended Motion (531 for, 210 against, 17 abstentions). More...
Glitterati at Leviev's New York Gala Stunned by Encounter with Palestinian Rights Protest
Adalah-NY: The Coalition for Justice in the Middle East | The NYC Independent Media Center | November 13, 2007
Over 100 well-dressed, well-heeled New Yorkers attending the invitation-only opening of diamond mogul Lev Leviev's Madison Avenue jewelry store this evening appeared stunned and aghast to find their evening derailed by a noisy protest against Leviev's construction of illegal West Bank settlements. Gala attendees set down their champagne glasses and gathered by windows to view the signs and Palestinian flags, and hear protesters' chants. More...
Conference in Bethlehem on mobilizing faith communities for resistance
George Rishmawi | International Middle East Media Center News | November 9, 2007
The National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine together with Peace for Life organization organized a conference in Bethlehem on Friday on taking the faith communities to the front lines of resistance to end the Israeli occupation in Palestine. More...
Break contact with Zionists
MOHAMMED AL A'ALI | Gulf Daily News | October 24, 2007
A CALL to stop any normalisation of relations with Israel went out from angry MPs yesterday. More..
Colleagues back lecturer who threw soldier out of classroom Tamara Traubmann | Haaretz | December 4, 2007
Filmmaker Nizar Hassan, who was suspended recently from lecturing at Sapir College near Sderot, pending a disciplinary hearing, after he ordered a student to leave the classroom for wearing an Israeli army uniform and carrying a weapon, received a show of support Monday from his colleagues and censure from Knesset members. ...more
The Academic Boycott Debate Justin Podur | ZNet | November 28,2007
On Wednesday November 28, 2007 I was in the audience for a debate on the question of whether Israel should be subjected to an academic boycott. In the midst of the farce of the Annapolis talks, it was refreshing that the terms of debate at least seemed to have some semblance of sanity. The disconnect between the discussion of Annapolis talks - from which Gaza's 1.3 million starving, terrorized people seem to have disappeared altogether and the Palestinian refugees, Palestinians inside Israel and the millions living under occupation in the West Bank are inconveniences - and the reality of daily brutality, torture, and murder, is hard to take even for those of us who are not suffering any of it. It's dehumanizing to have to listen to a debate, while Gaza is being starved, about whether Palestinians can guarantee Israeli security. ...more
Israeli controversy roils AUC faculty, staff and students
Asmaa Al Gammal and Kholoud Khalifa | Caravan Online (AUC) | November 4, 2007
After a controversial, loud and heated debate on relations between the American University in Cairo (AUC) and Israel, faculty senate officers adjourned last Wednesday's meeting when the session was declared out of control. More...
UC Must Divest From Israel's Apartheid
Matthew Taylor | The Daily Californian | October 30, 2007
Last semester, President Jimmy Carter challenged students to visit Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories to determine whether his charge of apartheid is correct. More...
Study: Less than 9 percent of university lecturers are Mizrahi
Tamara Traubmann | Haaretz | October 19, 2007
"The study showed that Mizrahim are a small minority in Israeli universities, constituting less than 8.93 percent of faculty members. Ashkenazi men make up the overwhelming majority of faculty members - some 73 percent. Ashkenazi women make up around 17 percent. Arabs have the lowest representation - less than 1 percent (34 men and 4 women)." More...
The Academic Boycott of Israel–Objections and Defense
Lawrence Davidson | Logos | Summer 2007
Boycotts are historically common and popular forms of protest. Unlike sanctions, which are enforced by governments and sometimes destroy the lives of millions of ordinary people (as in the case of the 12-years of sanctions against Iraq, and the on-going Western sanctions against Hamas and the Gaza Strip), boycotts can be a grassroots means of protest against the policies of governments. They can be undertaken by ordinary people to defend fellow human beings who are oppressed and designed in such a way as to cause as little damage as possible to the lives of innocent people. Boycotts have historically been undertaken at many levels: they have been carried out against companies or industries (for instance, the American California grape boycott of the 1970s); and against states (for instance the boycott of apartheid South Africa). Thus, from an historical point of view, there is plenty of precedents for the tactic of boycott. And, as in the case of South Africa, public pressure through boycotts can eventually encourage governments and organizations such as the United Nations to take action against particularly oppressive regime. More...
Academic Boycott in the UK
UK boycott not the issue
Uri Ram | YNet News | October 6, 2007
In the midst of the anxiety over academic boycott threat against Israel, I published an opinion piece that criticized the manner in which Israel's public relations spin diverted attention from the essence (that is, the occupation) to issues of secondary importance (that is, the boycott.) More...
A shameful silence
Priyamvada Gopal | The Guardian | October 5, 2007
We have become accustomed to theatrical displays of intolerance: death threats against writers, bonfires of novels, plays shut down, vandals defacing paintings. The danger, however, is that this obscures the more insidious forms that the suppression of dissent can take. More...
Unite against this gagging order on a trade union
Alex Callinicos | Socialist Worker | October 6, 2007
Very unusually, this is the second column of mine running on the same subject – the controversy caused by the UCU lecturers' union decision to discuss a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. More...
It's about Palestine
Ben White | Palestine Chronicle | October 2, 2007
The clinking champagne glasses on Engage's website said it all. The movement established to oppose the proposed boycott of Israeli academic institutions was celebrating a victory, as the British University and College Union (UCU) announced that to even discuss the boycott risked “infringing discrimination legislation”. The boycott of Israel, it seemed, had suffered a blow. Engage and their fellow-travellers popped open the bubbly at the end of what must have seemed like a rather good week. Days earlier, the UK's Socialist Worker had published an article in which the boycott was called into question for tactical reasons. Smugly, it was noted that “even” the “Israel-demonising” Socialist Worker's Party now doubted the boycott. More...
We will not be silenced
Amjad Barham | The Guardian | October 2, 2007
Palestinian academics received with dismay, although not entirely with surprise, the decision by the University and College Union (UCU) to cancel their UK speaking tour, during which they had planned to discuss the academic boycott of Israel with colleagues at British universities. More...
Was the notion of an Israeli boycott too much to contemplate?
Anthea Lipsett | The Guardian | October 1, 2007
It seems the leaders of Britain's lecturers have managed to stamp out the possibility of any future academic boycott of Israeli universities before it was even in the offing. More...
Academic Freedom in the US
Boycotts and academic freedom: Hypocrisy and double standards at U.S. universities Phil Gasper | International Socialist Review | November-December 2007
N EARLY August, the New York Times carried a full-page advertisement with a statement opposing efforts by the University and College Union (UCU) in Britain to advance a boycott of academic institutions in Israel. The statement was signed by Lee Bollinger, president of Columbia University, and was endorsed by hundreds of other presidents and chancellors of universities and colleges around the United States. In May, the UCU's delegated convention voted to distribute a resolution calling for a boycott to it members. But in late September the UCU dropped its plans, after receiving advice that the union would exceed its legal powers if it advocated the boycott or spent money promoting it. ...more
a common concern for academic freedom
Ad Hoc Committee to Defend the University | | Ocotber 2007
In recent years, universities across the country have been targeted by outside groups seeking to influence what is taught and who can teach. To achieve their political agendas, these groups have defamed scholars, pressured administrators, and tried to bypass or subvert established procedures of academic governance. As a consequence, faculty have been denied jobs or tenure, and scholars have been denied public platforms from which to share their viewpoints. This violates an important principle of scholarship, the free exchange of ideas, subjecting them to ideological and political tests. These attacks threaten academic freedom and the core mission of institutions of higher education in a democratic society. More...
Academic freedom at risk on campus
Saree Makdisi | Seattle Post-Intelligencer | October 16, 2007
"Academic colleagues, get used to it," warned the pro-Israel activist Martin Kramer in March 2004. "Yes, you are being watched. Those obscure articles in campus newspapers are now available on the Internet, and they will be harvested. Your syllabi, which you've also posted, will be scrutinized. Your Web sites will be visited late at night." More...
Articles, Opinion and Editorials
Struggle for equality Nadia Hijab and Victoria Brittain | The Guardian | December 17, 2007
n recent months a small group of Palestinian and Israeli academics, mainly in the diaspora, have prepared an intellectual bombshell to challenge the Palestinian leadership on the almost 40-year basic premise of an independent Palestinian state alongside the state of Israel. The division over the question of one state or two states is now as dramatic as the Hamas-Fatah fighting of the last year, which split the armed resistance. ...more
Crimes of silence Serene Assir | Al-Ahram Weekly | December 6-12, 2007
For decades now Israel has sought to portray itself and been portrayed in the West as an "enlightened democracy". Part of the way this works is through normalisation -- a strategy that streamlines Israeli cultural, academic and financial ties to the rest of the world. Normalisation enforces presence, and thereby empathy, even when the basis for such empathy is, to say the least, ill-informed. In addition, it automatically alienates Palestine, which continues to be the target of systematic elimination. In other words, the more "normal" Israel's relations with the rest of the world, the more likely it is that the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians will continue, and the illusion of democracy in the world's only remaining racist state. Support for Israel and its policies is declining, as the sustained practices of racial discrimination, state terrorism, annexation of land and war crimes have all been widely exposed -- even despite the frenzied efforts of various interested parties to deny or justify such practices, invoking historical anti-Semitism and the Holocaust to this end. And as campaigners the world over, and especially Arab campaigners, have learned, preventing normalisation requires the combined efforts of civil society the world over, as it did in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. The Palestinian role in consolidating such efforts has always been central. ...more Realizing God's dream for the Holy Land
Desmond Tutu | The Boston Globe | October 26, 2007
WHENEVER I am asked if I am optimistic about an end to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, I say that I am not. Optimism requires clear signs that things are changing - meaningful words and unambiguous actions that point to real progress. I do not yet hear enough meaningful words, nor do I yet see enough unambiguous deeds to justify optimism. More...
Tutu urges Jews to challenge oppression of Palestinians
Michael Paulson | The Boston Globe | October 28, 2007
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, appealed yesterday to Jews to challenge what he described as the Israeli government's oppression of Palestinians. More...
' I didn't suggest we kill Palestinians'
Ruthie Blum | The Jerusalem Post | October 10, 2007
Arnon Soffer arrives at our meeting armed with a stack of books and papers. Among them is a copy of an interview I conducted with him three and a half years ago ("It's the demography, stupid," May 21, 2004), and print-outs of angry responses the geostrategist from the University of Haifa says he continues to receive "from leftists in Israel and anti-Semites abroad, who took my words out of context." More...
Ghada Karmi | The Guardian | October 25, 2007
The newest and least attractive import from America, following on behind Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Friends, is the pro-Israel lobby. The latest target of this US-style campaign is the august Oxford Union. More...
The forced visit
Smadar Peri | YNet News | October 22, 2007
Those who boycotted the Israeli film "The band's visit" at the international film festival set to be held in Egypt at the end of next month, will receive a "visit" to Cairo nonetheless. More...
The moderate blindfold
Ben White | The Guardian | October 19, 2007
We've had Live 8 and Live Earth, and this week, albeit on a smaller scale, we almost had One Million Voices. Organised by the OneVoice group, the declared aim was to bring together Palestinians and Israelis in simultaneous events in Tel Aviv, Jericho, London, Washington and Ottawa to voice support for the "moderates" and call for a negotiated two-state solution. More...
From: Christine Stanczyk
Date: Sunday 27 May 2007 20:40
Subject: Via Velo et 6 h pour la Palestine : rouler 40km pour 40 ans d'occupation
À vélo rejoignez, le 9 juin 2007 les 6 heures pour la Palestine au Cinquantenaire à Bruxelles
Au Cinquantenaire, dès 15h. : carrefours d'idée/ateliers débats - témoignages politiques - nombreux stands consacrés à la Palestine - différents concerts
Rouler 40 km contre 40 ans d'occupation
Les deux parcours décrits ci-dessus se rejoindront à la place Jourdan vers 14 h. L'ensemble des cyclistes se rendra alors à l'esplanade du Cinquantenaire. L'itinéraire Ittre-Bruxelles suivra le canal de Virginal à Saint-Gilles. L'itinéraire Wavre-Bruxelles suivra le Rando-Vélo n°10, fléchage par bandes jaunes et bleues jusqu'à la drève de Lorraine. Il sera évidemment possible de se joindre au groupe tout au long de l'itinéraire. Des itinéraires détaillés seront disponibles sur demande.
Conditions de participation. La participation est gratuite.
Une inscription est souhaitée chez Marc Abramowicz au 067 21 40 77 ou firstname.lastname@example.org pour le départ d'Ittre
et chez Gérard Vandermosten au 010 22 53 49 ou email@example.com pour le départ de Wavre.
Chacun est responsable de sa sécurité et tenu de respecter le code de la route. Il faut apporter pique-nique, boisson et vélo en bon état. Chacun est responsable de son retour. Des t-shirts spécialement conçus pour la circonstance seront disponibles au prix de 8 ? à chaque rendez-vous. Au Cinquantenaire, il y aura une animation avec de nombreux stands consacrés à la Palestine.
Gsm pour contacts durant le parcours :
pour Wavre-Bruxelles 0473 68 34 13
et pour Ittre-Bruxelles 0476 29 73 59
40 ans d'occupation de la Palestine par Israël signifient : 40 ans d'occupation de la Palestine par Israël signifient. Spoliation des terres et de l'eau . Poursuite de la construction du Mur de 730 km édifié presque exclusivement en territoire palestinien . Interdictions de construire . Destruction et confiscation de maisons . 500 checkpoints militaires qui gênent et empêchent le commerce, l'accès au travail, à l'école, aux hôpitaux, aux champs . Un nombre croissant de colons en Cisjordanie, 460.000 aujourd'hui . 10.000 prisonniers parmi lesquels de nombreuses femmes et enfants . 4,2 millions de réfugiés en Jordanie, Liban, Syrie, Cisjordanie, Bande de Gaza. Ressources financières (droits de douane) bloquées . Arrachage de milliers d'oliviers . Humiliations quotidiennes et réduction à la misère.
Organisé par la Coordination des groupes du Brabant Wallon Paix Juste au Proche Orient
Date: Saturday 19 May 2007 14:00
Subject: Open letter to the Rolling Stones regarding planned gig in Israel
The following letter is addressed to the Rolling Stones who are planning a concert in Israel. At this point we are soliciting endorsements from artists, cultural figures, intellectuals and cultural organizations, and others who wish to lend their support.
Please send endorsements to firstname.lastname@example.org , with your name/name of organization, city and country.
Boycott Israel – Don't Play another “Sun City”!
An open letter to the Rolling Stones regarding their planned gig in Israel
18 May 2007
Dear Rolling Stones,
The Palestinian arts community received in disbelief media reports of your upcoming performance in Israel, at a time when Israel continues unabated with its colonial and apartheid designs to further dispossess, oppress, and ultimately ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their homeland. If the news is accurate, we strongly urge you to cancel your plans to perform in Israel until the time comes when it ends its illegal occupation of Palestinian territory and respects fundamental human rights as well as the relevant precepts of international law concerning Palestinian rights to freedom, self-determination and equality.
Performing in Israel at this time is morally equivalent to performing in South Africa during the apartheid era. We all remember how leading Rolling Stones musicians played a prominent role in enforcing a cultural boycott of apartheid South Africa in the 1980's, and participated in recording the timeless song, Sun City, which had a singular influence on raising public awareness about apartheid and its injustices. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights Prof. John Dugard, and South African government minister Ronnie Kasrils have repeatedly declared, Israel has created a worse system of apartheid than anything that ever existed in South Africa.
Indeed, Israel's policies throughout its illegal military occupation of Palestinian territory, which have surpassed their South African counterparts, include house demolitions; Jews-only colonies and roads; uprooting hundreds of thousands of trees; indiscriminate killings of civilians, particularly children; incessant theft of land and water resources; denying freedom of movement to millions under occupation, cutting up the occupied Palestinian territory into Bantustans, some entirely caged by walls, fences and hundreds of roadblocks. Sixty years since the Nakba, Israel's planned campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people, and 40 years into its military occupation of Palestinian and other Arab territory, Israel has consistently and relentlessly violated basic human rights and relevant precepts of international law with utter impunity. Moreover, Israel's war of aggression against Lebanon last year caused more than one thousand civilian deaths, not to mention massive destruction to infrastructure and decimation of entire residential neighbourhoods.
The resounding failure of the international community to date in ending Israel's occupation, collective punishment, and other forms of oppression was what prompted Palestinians to appeal to international civil society to bear its moral responsibility to put an end to injustice, just as it did against apartheid South Africa. To this end, Palestinian civil society has almost unanimously called for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it fully complies with international law and recognizes the fundamental human rights of the people of Palestine. A specific call for cultural boycott of Israel was issued last year, garnering wide support. Among the many groups and institutions that have heeded the Palestinian boycott calls and started to consider or apply diverse forms of effective pressure on Israel are the Church of England; the US Presbyterian Church; a group of top British architects; the British National Union of Journalists in the UK; the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU); the South African Council of Churches; the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) in Ontario; Aosdana, the Irish state-sponsored academy of artists; celebrated authors, artists and intellectuals led by John Berger; and Palme d'Or winner director Ken Loach. Is it too much, then, to expect conscientious artists like the Rolling Stones to similarly uphold the values of freedom, equality and justice for all by supporting the growing boycott against Israel?
We appeal to your moral principles and your record of standing up for human rights and human dignity. We sincerely hope that you shall cancel this ill-conceived and particularly harmful concert in Israel.
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Date: Sunday 22 april 2007 14:29
Subject: PACBI Update 19--April 22, 2007
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott (PACBI)
UPDATE No. 19
April 22, 2007
PACBI Press Release
Statement on Visits of International Delegations and Individuals to the OPT and Israel
PACBI | April 15, 2007
At a time when the international movement to isolate Israel is gaining ground in response to the escalation of Israel's colonial and racist policies, we respectfully urge conscientious academics, artists and intellectuals from around the world, including those who visit the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT), to refrain from visiting Israel to participate in any event or encounter that is not explicitly dedicated to ending Israel's illegal occupation and other forms of oppression. Regardless of intentions, such visits only contribute to the prolongation of injustice by normalizing and thereby legitimizing it, and inadvertently support Israel's efforts to appear as a "normal" participant in the "civilized" world of science, scholarship and art while at the same time practicing a pernicious form of apartheid against Palestinians. ...more
Calls for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions
130 UK Physicians Call for a Boycott of the Israeli Medical Association and its expulsion from the World Medical Association | Guardian | April 21, 2007
In a letter appearing in the Guardian on April 21, 2007, prominent UK physicians have called for a boycott of the IMA and its expulsion from the WMA. The letter follows: ...more
Norwegian Socialist Left Party renews support for BDS | Socialist Left Party |
The Socialist Left Party (SV), one of three parties in the Norwegian Government, has renewed its support for sanctions against Israel. The Party's Congress adopted 25th of March unanimously a resolution named "Sanctions against the Occupier - not the occupied." ...more
NUJ votes to boycott Israeli goods Stephen Brook | The Guardian | April 13, 2007
The National Union of Journalists has voted at its annual meeting for a boycott of Israeli goods as part of a protest against last year's war in Lebanon. ...more
Jews for Boycotting Israel: A New Initiative Ruth Tenne | The Palestine Chronicle | April 2, 2007
The latest report of the International Development Select Committee regarding the Occupied Palestinian Territories (31 January 2007) makes for very distressing reading. In its section on trade, it refers to the ongoing restrictions in movements and access faced by the OPT, citing an OXFAM report which points out "that transaction costs for Palestinians wishing to export products are up to 70% higher than for Israelis exporting the same product. This market benefit is also true of products produced by Israeli settlers in the West Bank who can get direct access to markets in or through Israel without the disruptive road blocks and back-to-back transfers faced by the Palestinians. ...more
Letter from PACBI to the Irish Academy of Artists (Aosdana)
PACBI | April 22, 2007
To the Members of Aosdána,
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott (PACBI) would like to thank Aosdána and its members for their adoption of a recent motion ... ...more
Palestine motion passed at AGM of Artists' Academy Raymond Deane | Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign | March 28, 2007
At its Annual General Assembly in the Irish Museum of Modern Art (28 March 2007) the Irish state-sponsored academy of artists, Aosdána, debated two motions concerning Palestine presented by Margaretta D'Arcy, playwright and veteran political activist, and the composer Raymond Deane - who was a founding-member and former chairperson of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign. ...more
Call to 'reflect' on Israeli links Shane Hegarty | The Irish Times | March 29, 2007
Aosdána's general assembly yesterday passed a motion that encourages "Irish artists and cultural institutions to reflect deeply" before engaging in co-operation with state-sponsored Israeli cultural events and institutions. ...more Israeli Academic Complicity
Court allows Haifa University to continue contentious dorm policy Tamara Traubmann | Haaretz | April 11, 2007
The High Court of Justice ruled Tuesday that Haifa University would be allowed to continue its policy of giving preference to Israel Defense Forces veterans in its dormitory application process, a policy which some consider discriminatory against Arab students. ...more
Articles, Opinion and Editorials
'Marriage to an Arab is national treason' Roee Nahmias | YNet News | March 27, 2007
Over half of the Jewish population in Israel believes the marriage of a Jewish woman to an Arab man is equal to national treason, according to a recent survey by the Geocartography Institute. ...more
An overdue yellow card Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi | The Guardian | March 26, 2007
I acknowledge Alex Stein's plea for understanding and engaging with Israel without demonising it. However, I believe that the treatment meted out to Palestinian footballers detailed by Ismail Patel cannot be ignored if Israel wants to be treated as - in Alex's words - "a country like any other". ...more
A boycott by any other name ... James Bowen | Haaretz | April 13, 2007
In the late 19th century, changes in Ottoman law created a new class of large landholders, including the Sursuq family from Beirut, which acquired large tracts in northern Palestine. A similar situation had long existed in Ireland, where most land was controlled by absentee landlords, many of whom lived in Britain. ...more
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Date: Friday 23 March 2007 20:58
Subject: PACBI Update 18--March 23, 2006
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott (PACBI)
UPDATE No. 17
March 23, 2007
In Memory of Tanya Reinhart
A Tribute to Tanya Reinhart, a Fellow Fighter for Justice and Genuine Peace Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel | | March 24, 2007
Clichés can hardly ever express sincere emotions of loss and grief. But, in this situation, we in PACBI find ourselves compelled to repeat one in eulogizing our dear comrade, Tanya Reinhart: Tanya will always be remembered by her rich legacy and her exceptionally courageous struggle for a just peace, particularly endorsing institutional boycott against her own academy. ...more
In Memoriam: Tanya Reinhart Tribute | The Electronic Intifada | March 19, 2007
On Saturday, 17 March 2007, Israeli linguist and activist Tanya Reinhart passed away in New York at the age of 63. Tanya's was a vital and rare Israeli voice that never wavered when it came to criticizing Israel's systematic violations of Palestinians' rights, including making a professional sacrifice by contributing to the discourse over the academic boycott of Israel. The following article, penned by Tanya and published by EI on 25 May 2005, reminds us what a void she leaves behind. ...more
Linguist, left-wing activist Prof. Tanya Reinhardt dies age 63 | Haaretz | March 18, 2007
Linguist and left-wing activist Professor Tanya Reinhardt died in New York on Saturday at age 63. Reinhardt, one of the most outspoken representatives of the radical Israeli left, was a fierce critic of the 1993 Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, saying they represented a perpetuation of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. She was also a proponent of an academic boycott of Israeli universities to protest the occupation.
Cultural and Academic Boycott
"New Territories" curator not transparent regarding Israeli government sponsorship Alexandra Handal | The Electronic Intifada | March 21, 2007
In February 2006, I received an invitation from curator Michel Dewilde to participate in a show titled New Territories that he stated would be organized by "the City of Bruges with the support of the Flemish Community" and would take place at the DeHallen Belfort, in Brugges, Belgium. In the letter of invitation he explained the brief concept as well as the inspiration of the show by stating, "The project started with the critical views on the Israeli Wall and the occupation of Palestine but goes, in the end beyond this situation," expanding the issues of territories globally and giving examples of other countries where walls have been erected or are in the process of being built. He also sent me an invitation list of possible participating artists hailing from various parts of the world, namely, England, Palestine, Israel, South Africa, Afghanistan and Belgium. My decision to take part in such an exhibition was based first and foremost around the critical views of the occupation and the Apartheid Wall. Secondly, the exhibition was an opportunity to show alongside artists from diverse parts of the world and who are also concerned with issues of territory in their art practice. However, what I believed was an attempt by the curator to address issues of 'new territories' turned out to be an infringement of my ethics and those of the other participants. ...more
Waging Peace: MESA Discusses Academic Boycott Of Israel Matt Horton | Washington Report on Middle East Affairs | March 2007
THE MIDDLE EAST STUDIES Association (MESA) hosted a special session at its annual conference in Boston on Nov. 16 entitled "Academic Freedom and Academic Boycotts: A Symposium." The panel was organized by New York University Professor (and MESA president-elect) Zachary Lockman and Georgetown University Professor Ahmed Dallal. ...more Israeli Complicity
Tel Aviv medicine faculty ups minimum age to 20 Tamara Traubmann | Haaretz | March 15, 2007
As of next year, only candidates 20 or older may register as medical students at Tel Aviv University, the university's medical faculty has decided. ...more
A Shared History, a Different Conclusion Scott Wilson | The Washington Post | March 11, 2007
HAIFA, Israel -- Ilan Pappe, one of the revisionist scholars known in Israel as the "new historians," began his career in some of the same wartime archives as Benny Morris. But his own ideological journey has taken him to the far shore of Israel's political gulf and nearly complete isolation. ...more
Scott Wilson | The Washington Post | March 11, 2007
LI-ON, Israel. The path behind historian Benny Morris's house climbs through a cedar and pine forest, passing stone walls and wine presses dating to the time of the second Jewish Temple two millenniums ago. In the distance, the misty ridges of the Judean hills appear, the spine of the historic Jewish heartland. More...
Reinforcing the Occupation: Israel's High Court
Louis Frankethaler | The Electronic Intifada | February 21, 2007
Journalist Gideon Levy wrote in the Israeli daily Haaretz: "From now on, the [Israeli] Supreme Court will act without Aharon Barak. It will, however, presumably continue to act within his legacy, which has authorized nearly all injustices in the territories. Barak, meanwhile, will continue to be depicted in Israel and the world as a pursuer of justice." The Israeli High Court of Justice under the presidency of Professor Barak has impressed many observers as being many things: progressive, daring, precedent setting. However, the actual results of the Barak Court offer little in the way of comparison to a Court like the Warren Court in the United States. The Warren Court is most remembered for breaking down the cruel and completely undemocratic system of racial segregation in United States schools and for its Miranda decision which said that criminal defendants must be clearly informed of their civil rights, including the right to an attorney. The Barak Court, in contrast (while not detracting from some of its decisions regarding civil rights in Israel), admonished the state on many occasions regarding some of the more egregious manifestations of Israeli Occupation cruelty but did little to dismantle the occupation and, instead, left it intact and actually, as Mr. Levy notes, reinforced it. More...
Calls for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions
Prominent call for divestment at Howard Will Youmans | The Arab American News | March 17, 2007
Activists calling for ending financial support for Israel welcomed a victory at a university in Washington, DC. The faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences at Howard University voted overwhelmingly to call on the university's board of trustees to divest from Israel. ...more
CAP/PAC supports call for boycott and sanctions against Israel's Apartheid like practices | Canadian Action Party | March 2007
Canadian Action Party/Parti action canadienne members endorse a call to boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel's apartheid-like practices against the Palestinian people. The July, 2005 call to boycott has gained worldwide momentum from trade unions, political parties, cultural, academic and church groups, Jewish peace and human rights groups, businesses, and individuals. More...
Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities calls for boycott
| Arab Monitor | March 4, 2007
Cairo, 4 March - In an emergency meeting of the Arab Antiquities Authority, Zahi Hawwas, the head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, a key institution for Egyptian national prestige in the academic world, called for a boycott of archeological teams willing to work with Israel in carrying out the excavations currently going on in East Jerusalem. More...
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions - Palestinian Trade Unions Call upon International Labor Movement
| The Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign | February 13, 2007
The Palestinian Trade unions have given out a Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions endorsed by:
* the General Union of Palestinian Workers (GUPW).
* the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU).
* the Coalition of Independent Democratic Unions.
* Other Palestinian professional and vocational unions.
IN SUPPORT OF A BRITISH CAMPAIGN FOR MEDICAL BOYCOTT OF ISRAEL
Derek Summerfield | Bulletin of Transcultural Special Interest Group (TSIG) of Royal College of Psychiatrists | Winter 2006
It has been frequently argued that doctors have a duty not only to their patients, but wider obligations not to ignore the social and political factors that operate to create suffering and poor health in the first place. Dr Vivienne Nathanson of the BMA International Committee wrote in a BMJ editorial a few years ago that it was a doctor's duty to speak out. With this in mind, please read the article below. I appeal to those interested to contact me. More...
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions News
Kuwaiti parliamentarians seek ban on contacts with Israel
| Arab Monitor | March 3, 2007
Kuwait City, 3 March - Five parliamentarians submitted a draft law that calls for a total ban on dealing with Israel and motivated it as a necessary response to Israel's continuing refusal to implement international resolutions and its "barbaric aggression" against the Palestinians in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip. The draft bill seeks to outlaw any form of dealing, establishing relations or contacts with what it defines the Zionist entity, including the opening of offices of any type or level aimed at direct or indirect contacts. More...
UK protesters try to hurt Israeli flower sales
ELLIS WEINTRAUB AND LAURA RHEINHEIMER | The Jerusalem Post | February 13, 2007
To hurt the high-volume sales of Israeli flowers on Valentine's Day in the United Kingdom, three anti-Israel protesters chained themselves to a fence over the weekend outside the distribution site of Carmel-Agrexco in Middlesex. Police arrested them. More...
Worldwide events mark 'Israeli Apartheid Week'
Moran Rada | YNet News | February 9, 2007
"Israeli Apartheid Week" will take place for the third consecutive year starting next Monday through to Saturday. More...
Bishops equate Israel's actions to Holocaust Eldad Beck | YNet News | March 6, 2007
BERLIN - "This morning we saw pictures of the Warsaw ghetto at Yad Vashem and this evening we are going to the Ramallah ghetto." Several hours earlier on Sunday you probably would not have heard German Bishop Gregor Maria Franz Hanke choose such a divisive analogy. More...
Irish bishops: Israel has turned Gaza Strip into a 'large prison'
The Associated Press | Haaretz | February 27, 2007
A group of Irish Roman Catholic bishops on Tuesday called into question Ireland's commercial ties with Israel, saying Israel has made the Gaza Strip "little more than a large prison" for Palestinians. More...
Articles, Opinion and Editorials
About That Word Apartheid John Mahoney, Jane Adas, and Robert Norberg | The Link | April-May 2007
President Carter's latest book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," has unleashed–-to use a much over-used phrase--a firestorm of controversy. To suggest that white, racist South Africa's treatment of its indigenous inhabitants is in any way similar to Israel's treatment of its indigenous inhabitants, for some, smacks of anti-Semitism. ...more
Blow the whistle on Israel Ismail Patel | The Guardian | March 18, 2007
As part of the UEFA 2008 qualifiers, England's football team will be playing Israel on March 24 - just three days after the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Despite protests against the match on the grounds of Israel's treatment of Palestinian footballers, the FA decided that England will go ahead with the fixture. ...more
Whose boycott is it, anyway
Haim Bresheeth | Al-Ahram Weekly Online | March 8-14, 2007
Over the last few months a campaign of vile propaganda has been waged, not for the first time, against liberal Jewish intellectuals who have angered the dominant Jewish communities of the main Western countries. More...
Canadians and the International Boycott Movement
Freda Guttman | International Middle East Media Center | March 6, 2007
We in Canada have our own 'Aipacs', devoted Zionists in bed with our government, and the Christian Right. However, we also have many Palestine solidarity and Arab organizations, as well as grass roots civil groups that have flowered here over the years, and take a dynamic, public position on the occupation, the right of return, the human rights abuses that Palestinians are subjected to, and have wholly embraced the BDS movement. We consider it our mandate to educate the Canadian public on these issues and as well, on our government's untenable and right wing policies towards the Middle East. More...
Apartheid parallel reaffirmed in United Nations report
Karima Brown | Business Day (SA) | February 27, 2007
THE Palestinian people's treatment at the hands of the Israeli government has again been likened — this time in a United Nations (UN) report — to that of black people under apartheid in this country. More...
Occupied Gaza like apartheid South Africa, says UN report
Rory McCarthy | The Guardian | February 23, 2007
A UN human rights investigator has likened Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories to apartheid South Africa and says there should be "serious consideration" over bringing the occupation to the international court of justice. More...
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, John Dugard Summary
John Dugard | Human Rights Council | Fourth Session, January 29, 2007
Gaza has again been the focus of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). In response to the capture of Corporal Gilad Shalit by Palestinian militants on 25 June 2006, and the continued firing of Qassam rockets into Israel, Israel conducted two major military operations within Gaza - "Operation Summer Rains" and "Operation Autumn Clouds". In the course of these operations, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) made repeated military incursions into Gaza, accompanied by heavy artillery shelling and air-to-surface missile attacks. More...
The Strangulation of Palestine
Ruth Tenne | The Palestine Chronicle | January 31, 2007
Western governments have so far refused to recognize the Palestinian Hamas government democratically elected in January 2006. Economic aid to the Palestinian government was curtailed and Israel is unlawfully withholding tax and customs revenue due to the PA (£35 million per month). More...
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Date: Friday 23 March 2007 20:12
Subject: Tanya Reinhart has died March 17 2007
A versatile Israeli academic, she spoke out against the conflict with Palestine
Wednesday March 21, 2007
The distinguished Israeli professor of linguistics Tanya Reinhart, who has died suddenly aged 63, was even better known for her prolific writing on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, her searing criticism of her own country, and her role as an activist, including her support for an academic boycott of Israel. She was a woman of immense bravery, and believed that fierce criticism of Israel "is the best act of solidarity and compassion with the Jews that one can have".
She was born in Israel, and brought up in Haifa by her mother, a communist and single parent. At the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, she gained a BA in philosophy and Hebrew literature in 1967 followed by an MA in philosophy and comparative literature. She was politically active with both the Communist party and the Young Communist league.
She went to study in the US, and in 1976 gained a PhD in linguistics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where her supervisor was Noam Chomsky. On hearing of her death, he described her as an "old and cherished friend" and paid tribute both to her academic work and the political writing on her own society, which "drew away the veil that concealed criminal and outrageous actions and shone a searing light on the reality that was obscured".
Reinhart taught at Tel Aviv University for more than 20 years, and held a chair as professor of linguistics and cultural studies. She was a multi-disciplinarian and also taught and published on art, literature and media studies. Those who attended her media studies lectures remember how, amid fierce debate, students' mindsets and lives were changed by her analysis, encouraging them to read between the lines of their country's writers. Her moral indignation flared quickly, but she was also given to long and patient discussions with her students.
She taught too at MIT; Columbia University, New York; the University of Paris; and for 15 years was linked to the University of Utrecht. Her contribution to linguistic theory lay in the connection between meaning and context and the interface between syntax and systems of sound. Her most recent academic book, Interface Strategies, was published last year, and she was on the editorial board of several academic journals in various linguistic disciplines.
Reaching to other audiences, she was a columnist for the Israeli paper Yediot Aharnot and for the radical online magazine, Counterpunch. Her most recent political book, The Roadmap to Nowhere, was also published last year.
She came to see parallels with apartheid South Africa, writing in 2003: "What Israel is doing under Ariel Sharon far exceeds the crimes of the South Africa's white regime. It has been taking the form of systematic ethnic cleansing, which South Africa never attempted." It was the analogy between Israel and South Africa's apartheid that she used in justifying the academic boycott movement of recent years.
With great understatement she commented, also in 2003: "It is not easy for an Israeli academic to support the calls for boycott of Israeli academic institutions these days. Like any other segment of the Israeli society, the universities are paying the price of Israel's war against the Palestinians, with severe budget cuts and deteriorating research conditions. A freeze of the EU funds would, no doubt, make things even tougher. It is therefore understandable that the Israeli academia is mobilising its forces to attack any such boycott attempt. Understandable, but not just."
Reinhart's passionate calls for justice for the Palestinians made her a sought-after speaker internationally, and last October she gave the Edward Said Memorial lecture at Adelaide University in Australia. In her memorable final speech in France, last December at the Résistances bookshop in Paris, she roundly denounced the embargo imposed on the Palestinians since the election of a Hamas government in January 2006. European countries, including France, she said, had no right to cut off food supplies to the Palestinians. "It was not an act of generosity which Europe could either carry on or not - Europe chose not to force Israel to respect its obligations under international law."
She was not only a writer, but also a frontline activist. Over the years she organised solidarity campaigns with Palestinian academics at Birzeit University on the West Bank, and against the Israeli occupation of Lebanon. Many friends and colleagues described countless visits with her to the occupied Palestinian territories, and the demonstrations and detentions which were part of them. Her like-minded academic colleagues, Avraham Oz and Ilan Pappe, are feeling "orphaned" by her sudden death.
Most recently she was active in protests against the building of the long partition wall and the annexing of Palestinian land for it. She never tired of taking visitors to see the reality of lost livelihoods and unviable lives the wall has created for tens of thousands of Palestinians literally immured in villages without land in the latest Israeli scheme to create facts on the ground and prevent the emergence of a Palestinian state.
Reinhart was an optimist however, and last October wrote that "persistent struggle can have an effect, and can lead governments to act. Such struggle begins with the Palestinian people, who have withstood years of brutal oppression, and who, through their spirit of zumud - sticking to their land - and daily endurance, organising and resistance, have managed to keep the Palestinian cause alive, something that not all oppressed nations have managed to do."
She also believed in the modest role of international solidarity movements, "that send their people to the occupied territories and stand in vigils at home, professors signing boycott petitions, subjecting themselves to daily harassment, a few courageous journalists that insist on covering the truth, against the pressure of acquiescent media and pro-Israel lobbies. Often this struggle for justice seems futile. Nevertheless, it has penetrated global consciousness."
In 2006 she was ousted by what she felt to be bureaucratic harassment from her post at Tel Aviv University, and with great regret decided to leave Israel. She died in her sleep in New York, where she had immediately been offered a teaching post at New York University. She is survived by her husband, the Hebrew language poet Aharon Shabtai
· Tanya Reinhart, academic and human rights campaigner, born 1944; died March 17 2007
Date: Monday 29 January 2007 20:12
Subject: PACBI Update 17: Highlights of Boycott Divestment and Sanctions in 2006
PACBI Update 17: Highlights of Boycott Divestment and Sanctions in 2006
In 2006, Palestine solidarity groups as well as trade unions, academics, cultural figures and even businesses in several countries, particularly in the West, heeded the call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) issued by the overwhelming majority of Palestinian civil society in July 2005 by launching campaigns targeting various aspects of Israel's occupation regime. Following are the highlights of this new chapter in international efforts in support of a just and enduring peace in the entire region.
- Largest British Academic Union votes for an academic boycott of Israel
In May, the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE), constituting 67,000 members, voted for an academic boycott of Israel in response to its “apartheid policies.”
- Irish academics call on EU to stop funding Israeli academic institutions
In a letter published in the Irish Times on September 16, sixty-one Irish academics called for a moratorium on EU support of Israeli academic institutions until Israel abides by UN resolutions and ends the occupation of Palestinian territories. http://www.pacbi.org/boycott_news_more.php?id=372_0_1_0_C
- University of Michigan-Dearborn student government demands divestment from Israel
In October, the UM-Dearborn Student Government adopted a resolution demanding that the University Of Michigan administration "cease all investment in companies that financially benefit from the actions of the Israeli military in illegally occupied territories."
- Roger Waters challenges Israel to tear down its colonial Wall
In June, reaffirming his commitment to fighting injustice, the world renowned rock star Roger Waters explicitly challenged Israel to "tear down this wall" and end its occupation to achieve real peace. Waters met with representatives of the Palestinian arts community, expressing support for their non-violent resistance to Israeli oppression.
- Palestinian filmmakers, artists and cultural workers call for a cultural boycott of Israel
In August, Palestinian cultural figures issued an important call urging the international cultural community to “boycott Israeli film festivals, Israeli public venues, and Israeli institutions supported by the government, and to end all cooperation with these cultural and artistic institutions that to date have refused to take a stand against the Occupation, the root cause for this colonial conflict.”
- British director Ken Loach backs Palestinian call for boycott on Israel
Ken Loach, the acclaimed British director and winner of the 2006 Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival, an artist who is known for his politically and socially engaged films, has declared in a personal statement his support of "the call by Palestinian film-makers, artists and others to boycott state sponsored Israeli cultural institutions and urge[s] others to join their campaign". He announced that he would not take part in the "Haifa Film Festival or any other such occasions."
- John Berger rallies artists for cultural boycott of Israel
In December, the celebrated novelist, critic and artist John Berger called on British writers and artists to undertake a "cultural boycott" of Israel. In a letter to the Guardian, co-signed by, among others, the artist Cornelia Parker, the musician Brian Eno, and writers Arundhati Roy and Ahdaf Soueif, Berger calls for support for "our Palestinian and Israeli colleagues". He suggests boycott tactics; in his case it meant declining to be published by a large mainstream Israeli publisher, he says.
- Swiss film festival drops Israel as sponsor to protest its crimes
In July, the organizers of the 2006 Locarno International Film Festival dropped the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a festival sponsor because of that country's unremitting bombardment of civilian targets in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.
- Edinburgh International Film Festival Returns Israeli Money in response to Boycott Plans
In august, the organizers of the Edinburgh International film festival canceled an official Israeli embassy sponsorship of their program and returned the Israeli funds following a huge public outcry over Israeli embassy involvement.
Economic Boycott/ Divestment
- Dutch bank opts to divest from companies supporting Israel's occupation
In November, ASN Bank, a Dutch “ethical bank,” announced that it would end its relationship with Veolia Transport and all companies that benefit from Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory. Veolia Transport, a French multi-national corporation, faced a lot of criticism from all over the world since it first announced its intentions to become involved in an Israeli project to build a light rail system in occupied East Jerusalem. The tramline aims to connect the illegal colonies in East Jerusalem with towns and cities in Israel.
- Pax Christi raps profiteers in Palestinian occupation
In July, the international Catholic peace movement, Pax Christi, joined a British campaign against major companies whose businesses provide support for Israel's occupation.
- Hi-tech Belgian firm boycotts Israel over “war crimes” and “apartheid”
In September, a Belgian hi-tech company specializing in development consulting notified
the manager of an Israeli company seeking cooperation that “your country has conducted war crimes and is an apartheid regime.”
- Large Irish store takes Israeli products off the shelves
In November, Atlantic Homecare in Limerick took all its Israeli stock off their shelves and put Out of Stock stickers on produce too big to move in response to a picket outside their store by the Limerick branch of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
- Largest South African trade union calls for boycott and sanctions against Israel
In July, the Coalition of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), joined by the South African Council of Churches and other major civil society organizations, issued a statement calling on “all South Africans to establish a strong, forceful and determined boycott and sanctions campaign against the Israeli apartheid state until the end of the occupation.”
- Leading Canadian union votes to boycott Israel
In May, the Ontario division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Canada's largest union, voted to support an international campaign that is boycotting Israel over its treatment of Palestinians. The Ontario group represents more than 200,000 workers.
Sanctions and Diplomatic Measures
- Venezuela Recalls Ambassador From Israel
In August, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez withdrew his country's ambassador from Israel to show his "indignation" over its military offensive in Lebanon.
- Bahraini civil society organization call to boycott Israel
In September, five Bahraini human rights organizations joined a regional petition calling for the freezing of Israel's membership in the United Nations.
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
From: Emily Jacir
Date: Friday 12 January 2007 21:34
Subject: Genocide in Gaza, Ethnic Cleansing in the West Bank
Palestine 2007: Genocide in Gaza, Ethnic Cleansing in the West Bank
By Ilan Pappe, The Electronic Intifada, 11 January 2007
On this stage, not so long ago, I claimed that Israel is conducting genocidal policies in the Gaza Strip. I hesitated a lot before using this very charged term and yet decided to adopt it. Indeed, the responses I received, including from some leading human rights activists, indicated a certain unease over the usage of such a term. I was inclined to rethink the term for a while, but came back to employing it today with even stronger conviction: it is the only appropriate way to describe what the Israeli army is doing in the Gaza Strip.
On 28 December 2006, the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem published its annual report about the Israeli atrocities in the occupied territories. Israeli forces killed this last year six hundred and sixty citizens. The number of Palestinians killed by Israel last year tripled in comparison to the previous year (around two hundred). According to B'Tselem, the Israelis killed one hundred and forty one children in the last year. Most of the dead are from the Gaza Strip, where the Israeli forces demolished almost 300 houses and slew entire families. This means that since 2000, Israeli forces killed almost four thousand Palestinians, half of them children; more than twenty thousand were wounded.
B'Tselem is a conservative organization, and the numbers may be higher. But the point is not just about the escalating intentional killing, it is about the trend and the strategy. As 2007 commences, Israeli policymakers are facing two very different realities in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In the former, they are closer than ever to finishing the construction of their eastern border. Their internal ideological debate is over and their master plan for annexing half of the West Bank is being implemented at an ever-growing speed. The last phase was delayed due to the promises made by Israel, under the Road Map, not to build new settlements. Israel found two ways of circumventing this alleged prohibition. First, it defined a third of the West Bank as Greater Jerusalem, which allowed it to build within this new annexed area towns and community centers. Secondly, it expanded old settlements to such proportions so that there was no need to build new ones. This trend was given an additional push in 2006 (hundreds of caravans were installed to mark the border of the expansions, the planning schemes for the new towns and neighborhoods were finalized and the apartheid bypass roads and highway system completed). In all, the settlements, the army bases, the roads and the wall will allow Israel to annex almost half of the West Bank by 2010. Within these territories there will be a considerable number of Palestinians, against whom the Israeli authorities will continue to implement slow and creeping transfer policies -- too boring as a subject for the western media to bother with and too elusive for human rights organizations to make a general point about them. There is no rush; as far as the Israelis are concerned, they have the upper hand there: the daily abusive and dehumanizing mixed mechanisms of army and bureaucracy is as effective as ever in contributing its own share to the dispossession process.
The strategic thinking of Ariel Sharon that this policy is far better than the one offered by the blunt 'transferists' or ethnic cleansers, such as Avigdor Liberman's advocacy, is accepted by everyone in the government, from Labor to Kadima. The petit crimes of state terrorism are also effective as they enable liberal Zionists around the world to softly condemn Israel and yet categorize any genuine criticism on Israel's criminal policies as anti-Semitism.
On the other hand, there is no clear Israeli strategy as yet for the Gaza Strip; but there is a daily experiment with one. Gaza, in the eyes of the Israelis, is a very different geo-political entity from that of the West Bank. Hamas controls Gaza, while Abu Mazen seems to run the fragmented West Bank with Israeli and American blessing. There is no chunk of land in Gaza that Israel covets and there is no hinterland, like Jordan, to which the Palestinians of Gaza can be expelled. Ethnic cleansing is ineffective here.
The earlier strategy in Gaza was ghettoizing the Palestinians there, but this is not working. The ghettoized community continues to express its will for life by firing primitive missiles into Israel. Ghettoizing or quarantining unwanted communities, even if they were regarded as sub-human or dangerous, never worked in history as a solution. The Jews know it best from their own history. The next stages against such communities in the past were even more horrific and barbaric. It is difficult to tell what the future holds for the Gaza population, ghettoized, quarantined, unwanted and demonized. Will it be a repeat of the ominous historical examples or is a better fate still possible?
Creating the prison and throwing the key to the sea, as UN Special Reporter John Dugard has put it, was an option the Palestinians in Gaza reacted against with force as soon as September 2005. They were determined to show at the very least that they were still part of the West Bank and Palestine. In that month, they launched the first significant, in number and not quality, barrage of missiles into the Western Negev. The shelling was a response to an Israeli campaign of mass arrests of Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists in the Tul Karem area. The Israelis responded with operation 'First Rain'. It is worth dwelling for a moment on the nature of that operation. It was inspired by the punitive measures inflicted first by colonialist powers, and then by dictatorships, against rebellious imprisoned or banished communities. A frightening show of the oppressor's power to intimidate preceded all kind of collective and brutal punishments, ending with a large number of dead and wounded among the victims. In 'First Rain', supersonic flights were flown over Gaza to terrorize the entire population, succeeded by the heavy bombardment of vast areas from the sea, sky and land. The logic, the Israeli army explained, was to create pressure so as to weaken the Gaza community's support for the rocket launchers. As was expected, by the Israelis as well, the operation only increased the support for the rocket launchers and gave impetus to their next attempt. The real purpose of that particular operation was experimental. The Israeli generals wished to know how such operations would be received at home, in the region and in the world. And it seems that instantly the answer was 'very well'; namely, no one took an interest in the scores of dead and hundreds of wounded Palestinians left behind after the 'First Rain' subsided.
And hence since 'First Rain' and until June 2006, all the following operations were similarly modeled. The difference was in their escalation: more firepower, more causalities and more collateral damage and, as to be expected, more Qassam missiles in response. Accompanying measures in 2006 were more sinister means of ensuring the full imprisonment of the people of Gaza through boycott and blockade, with which the EU is still shamefully collaborating.
The capture of Gilad Shalit in June 2006 was irrelevant in the general scheme of things, but nonetheless provided an opportunity for the Israelis to escalate even more the components of the tactical and allegedly punitive missions. After all, there was still no strategy that followed the tactical decision of Ariel Sharon to take out 8,000 settlers whose presence complicated 'punitive' missions and whose eviction made him almost a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. Since then, the 'punitive' actions continue and become themselves a strategy.
The Israeli army loves drama and therefore also escalated the language. 'First Rain' was replaced by 'Summer Rains', a general name that was given to the 'punitive' operations since June 2006 (in a country where there is no rain in the summer, the only precipitation that one can expect are showers of F-16 bombs and artillery shells hitting people of Gaza).
'Summer Rains' brought a novel component: the land invasion into parts of the Gaza Strip. This enabled the army to kill citizens even more effectively and to present it as a result of heavy fighting within dense populated areas, an inevitable result of the circumstances and not of Israeli policies. With the close of summer came operation 'Autumn Clouds' which was even more efficient: on 1 November 2006, in less than 48 hours, the Israelis killed seventy civilians; by the end of that month, with additional mini operations accompanying it, almost two hundred were killed, half of them children and women. As one can see from the dates, some of the activity was parallel to the Israeli attacks on Lebanon, making it easier to complete the operations without much external attention, let alone criticism.
From 'First Rain' to 'Autumn Clouds' one can see escalation in every parameter. The first is the disappearance of the distinction between civilian and non-civilian targets: the senseless killing has turned the population at large to the main target for the army's operation. The second one is the escalation in the means: employment of every possible killing machines the Israeli army possesses. Thirdly, the escalation is conspicuous in the number of casualties: with each operation, and each future operation, a much larger number of people are likely to be killed and wounded. Finally, and most importantly, the operations become a strategy -- the way Israel intends to solve the problem of the Gaza Strip.
A creeping transfer in the West Bank and a measured genocidal policy in the Gaza Strip are the two strategies Israel employs today. From an electoral point of view, the one in Gaza is problematic as it does not reap any tangible results; the West Bank under Abu Mazen is yielding to Israeli pressure and there is no significant force that arrests the Israeli strategy of annexation and dispossession. But Gaza continues to fire back. On the one hand, this would enable the Israeli army to initiate more massive genocidal operations in the future. But there is also the great danger, on the other, that as happened in 1948, the army would demand a more drastic and systematic 'punitive' and collateral action against the besieged people of the Gaza Strip.
Ironically, the Israeli killing machine has rested lately. Even relatively large number of Qassam missiles, including one or two quite deadly ones, did not stir the army to action. Though the army's spokesmen say it shows 'restraint', it never did in the past and is not likely to do so in the future. The army rests, as its generals are content with the internal killing that rages on in Gaza and does the job for them. They watch with satisfaction the emerging civil war in Gaza, which Israel foments and encourages. From Israel's point of view it does not really mater how Gaza would eventually be demographically downsized, be it by internal or Israeli slaying. The responsibility of ending the internal fighting lies of course with the Palestinian groups themselves, but the American and Israeli interference, the continued imprisonment, the starvation and strangulation of Gaza are all factors that make such an internal peace process very difficult. But it will take place soon and then with the first early sign that it subsided, the Israeli 'Summer Rains' will fall down again on the people of Gaza, wreaking havoc and death.
And one should never tire of stating the inevitable political conclusions from this dismal reality of the year we left behind and in the face of the one that awaits us. There is still no other way of stopping Israel than besides boycott, divestment and sanctions. We should all support it clearly, openly, unconditionally, regardless of what the gurus of our world tell us about the efficiency or raison d'etre of such actions. The UN would not intervene in Gaza as it does in Africa; the Nobel peace laureates would not enlist to its defense as they do for causes in Southeast Asia. The numbers of people killed there are not staggering as far as other calamities are concerned, and it is not a new story -- it is dangerously old and troubling. The only soft point of this killing machine is its oxygen lines to 'western' civilization and public opinion. It is still possible to puncture them and make it at least more difficult for the Israelis to implement their future strategy of eliminating the Palestinian people either by cleansing them in the West Bank or genociding them in the Gaza Strip.
Ilan Pappe is senior lecturer in the University of Haifa Department of Political Science and Chair of the Emil Touma Institute for Palestinian Studies in Haifa. His books include, among others, The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (London and New York 1992), The Israel/Palestine Question (London and New York 1999), A History of Modern Palestine (Cambridge 2003), The Modern Middle East (London and New York 2005) and his latest, Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (2006).
Date: Sunday 17 december 2006 3:44
Subject: PACBI Update 16--Dec. 17,2006
PACBI UPDATE 16
December 17, 2006
Cultural Boycott: Press Release
John Berger rallies artists for cultural boycott of Israel Charlotte Higgins | The Guardian | December 15, 2006
The celebrated novelist, critic and artist John Berger today calls on British writers and artists to undertake a "cultural boycott" of Israel. In a letter to the Guardian, co-signed by, among others, the artist Cornelia Parker, the musician Brian Eno, and writers Arundhati Roy and Ahdaf Soueif, Berger calls for support for "our Palestinian and Israeli colleagues". He suggests boycott tactics; in his case it meant declining to be published by a large mainstream Israeli publisher, he says. ...more
Calls for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions
Gaza Healthworkers Call for Sanctions against Israeli Institutions of Occupation | | November 29, 2006
>From Gaza, where we write as different health NGOs and individuals working in the health field, we send our deep feelings of appreciation for your gathering. We see it as a genuine attempt to say “stop – enough of ongoing health violations of human rights by Israel”. These have greatly intensified during the last 4 months of the ongoing Israeli military operation against Gaza. ...more
Labour Youth calls for Israel Boycott to mark UN Day of Solidarity with Palestine | Labour Youth (Ireland) | November 28, 2006
Labour Youth will mark November 29th, the United Nations day of solidarity with Palestine by calling for a boycott of all Israeli goods and services as well as support for the educational and cultural boycott of Israel. ...more
Final Declaration of EuroMed Civil Forum (Excerpt on Palestine), Marrakesh, November 8, 2006 | EuroMed Non-Governmental Platform | November 8, 2006
[...]The situation in Palestine is worsening daily, violence and terror exercised by the Israeli Army against civil populations accompanied by further colonization, strategically aim at depriving Palestinians of all conditions to create a viable State within its 1967 borders and Jerusalem as its capital. The situation is also depriving them of any freedom of movement and access to natural resources, being closed within the wall as they are. ...more
No Poppies for Palestine Scottish Friends of Palestine | | November 12, 2006 In a week of debate over red and white poppies, ending in the dedication of a new war memorial in London to the New Zealanders who paid the ultimate price. Followed by a weekend of two imposed 2 minute silences on Britain's listening, viewing and shopping public you could be forgiven for thinking that the halting of carnage amongst mankind has become civilisation's number 1 priority. More...
The 77th Conference of the Arab Boycott of Israel Opens in Damascus Ahmad F. Zahra | Syrian Arab News Agency | November 6, 2006 The General Commissioner for the Arab Boycott of Israel Mohammad al-Tayyeb Bousala'a stressed that boycott was a legitimate means of self-defense endorsed by the international laws and constituted a factor to help establish the just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East. More...
Final Report of the Conference "The Struggle Continues: Boycotting Israeli Apartheid" | Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid | The landmark conference held in Toronto from 6-8th October 2006 "The Struggle Continues: Boycotting Israeli Apartheid," was an inspiring and significant event. Over 600 people attended the conference sessions, one of the largest Palestinian solidarity conferences ever held on this continent. More...
The Israeli Bir Zeit? Meron Rapoport | Haaretz | December 13, 2006
Approximately 20 percent of the University of Haifa's student body is Arab, more than at any other Israeli university. "They call it the Israeli Bir Zeit University," says Holoud Badawi, a former leader of the Arab students at Haifa. "They say it's an Arab university and that gives it a poor image among Israeli students." ...more
APARTHEID Israelis adopt what South Africa dropped John Dugard | The Atlanta Journal-Constitution | November 29, 2006
Former President Jimmy Carter's new book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," is igniting controversy for its allegation that Israel practices a form of apartheid. ...more
Two laws, one trap for family unification Shahar Ilan | Haaretz | November 30, 2006
The proposed new Citizenship Law and the Illegal Residents Law (Amendment No. 19 to the Entry into Israel Law) are so much alike that it begs the question of why both are being put forth. Both call for a dramatic closure of Israel's gates to non-Jews, especially residents of the Palestinian Authority. Both tread a thin line between constitutionality and non-constitutionality. Both rely on non-demographic arguments but are clearly aimed largely at preserving the demographic balance. ...more
Birzeit Students and Lecturers all for Academic Boycott | Right to Education Student Committee, Birzeit University | November 28, 2006
Open letter in support of Irish academics,
We, the undersigned, members of the Birzeit University' community of students, teachers, faculty staff and employees, congratulate and thank the group of Irish academics who called for a moratorium on the European Union's financing of Israeli academic institutions until Israel withdraws from the occupied Palestinian territories and abides by international humanitarian and human rights laws, including the right of return. ...more
Why The Academic Boycott Is Necessary Lawrence Davidson | | November 2006 This is the text of a talk delivered at the Annual Meeting of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) in Boston on November 19, 2006
Let me begin by stating that any successful academic boycott imposed upon Israeli institutions of higher education will assuredly have an impact on the academic freedom of Israeli scholars and teachers, at least in terms of its expression beyond their national borders. ...more...
Palestinians hail Irish academics' support of Palestine David Lundy, Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign | The Electronic Intifada | November 21, 2006 Irish academics were thanked this week in an open letter, signed by over 100 academics and 1,000 students of Birzeit University near Ramallah, Palestine. The thanks were addressed to the 61 Irish academics who wrote a public letter in September calling for a moratorium on EU aid to Israeli universities, until Israel abides by international law and basic human rights norms. ... more...
British 'silently boycott' Israeli academics Moran Zelikovich | YNet News | November 12, 2006 The International Advisory Board for Academic Freedom warns against a “silent boycott” in Britain against Israeli institutes of higher education.
The council said that Israeli researchers wishing to publish articles in Britain were asked to remove the name of which ever Israeli academic institute they belonged to as a condition for publishing their articles. ...more...
Economic Boycott News
Principled Dutch ASN Bank ends relations with Veolia Adri Nieuwhof | The Electronic Intifada | November 26, 2006
his week, ASN Bank, a Dutch bank based in The Hague,1 announced that it would end its relationship with Veolia Transport, and all companies that benefit from Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory. ...more
Atlantic Homecare Removes Israeli Stock Zoe Lawlor | Indymedia Ireland | November 25, 2006 Atlantic Homecare in Limerick today took all its Israeli stock off their shelves and put Out of Stock stickers on produce too big to move in response to a picket outside their store by the Limerick branch of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign. ...more...
Caterpillar homewrecker's visit to London International Solidarity Movement | | November 25, 2006 On Wednesday 22nd November around 50 protesters, including the Rhythms of Resistance samba band, turned out to ‘greet' Michael Baunton, the Vice President of Caterpillar. He was due to speak at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers' Annual Dinner. The function was held in the ballroom of the Grosvenor House Hotel. Caterpillar hold the sole contract for the supply of military D9 bulldozers to the Israeli army. Caterpillar machines are used to destroy Palestinian homes in acts of collective punishment, build checkpoints and roadblocks to restrict civilian movement, build illegal Israeli colonies on Palestinian lands, destroy Palestinian olive trees and agricultural land, build the illegal annexation wall and murder civilians. ...more...
Dozens of Dutch companies support or facilitate Israeli occupation of Palestinian and Syrian territories | United Citizens for Peace | November 15, 2006 Dutch NGO platform United Civilians for Peace (UCP) today publishes a research about “Dutch economic links in support of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian and/or Syrian territories”. This research reveals that dozens of Dutch companies through their activities support or facilitate the Israeli occupation of Palestinian and Syrian territories. ...more...
Articles and Analysis
A rare voice: An interview with author Ilan Pappe Christopher Brown | The Electronic Intifada | December 11, 2006
A tenuous ceasefire is holding in the Gaza Strip after almost five months of a heavy dose of "Operation Summer Rain" by the Israeli military. ...more
The heart of the matter: Palestine in the world today Ahdaf Soueif | Al-Ahram Weekly | November 16-22, 2006 The first time I visited Warwick was in the summer of 1985. I visited the Castle and as I walked through the State Rooms and the Towers, I was touched by sadness that what had been a real life, with ambitions and sorrows and loves, with continuity, had become -- merely -- a spectacle for tourists. ....more...
A project of dispossession can never be a noble cause Ahdaf Soueif | The Guardian | November 17, 2006 Israel's liberal intellectuals lament the malaise that grips their country - but refuse to face up to the ethnicide at the heart of it
Before Donald Rumsfeld departed from the Pentagon, the "Transformation Group" he headed worked with an Israeli army team to develop ideas for controlling the Palestinians after Israel withdraws from the occupied territories. Eyal Weizman, an Israeli academic who has written about this cooperation, tells us that they decided to do this through an invisible occupation: Israel would "seal the hard envelopes" around Palestinian towns and generate "effects" directed against the "human elements of resistance". We saw this concept being implemented in Beit Hanoun last week when the Israeli army killed 19 sleeping people with a missile attack. ...more...
We overcame our fear: The unarmed women of the Gaza Strip have taken the lead in resisting Israel's latest bloody assault Jameela al-Shanti | The Guardian | November 9, 2006 Yesterday at dawn, the Israeli air force bombed and destroyed my home. I was the target, but instead the attack killed my sister-in-law, Nahla, a widow with eight children in her care. In the same raid Israel's artillery shelled a residential district in the town of Beit Hanoun in the Gaza Strip, leaving 19 dead and 40 injured, many killed in their beds. One family, the Athamnas, lost 16 members in the massacre: the oldest who died, Fatima, was 70; the youngest, Dima, was one; seven were children. The death toll in Beit Hanoun has passed 90 in one week. ...more...
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)
email: email@example.com website: www.pacbi.org
Date: Saturday 16 december 2006 17:54
Subject: PACBI Press Release: John Berger and Others Call for a Cultural Boycott
John Berger and 93 other authors, film-makers, musicians and performers
call for a cultural boycott of Israel
Press Release Ramallah December 15, 2006
PACBI is pleased to announce that in a letter that appears in today's Guardian, the 94, including the renowned author John Berger; UK musicians and song-writers Brian Eno and Leon Rosselson; filmmakers Sophie Fiennes, Elia Suleiman and Haim Bresheeth; documentary maker Jenny Morgan; singer Reem Kelani; writers Arundhati Roy, Ahdaf Soueif, and Eduardo Galeano, call on their colleagues not to visit, exhibit or perform in Israel.
The letter comes after the August 2006 statement issued by Palestinian filmmakers, artists, writers, and other cultural workers calling for a cultural boycott of Israel. The statement can be viewed at:
The Berger letter, signed by artists from across Europe, North and South America, as well as Palestinians and Israelis, reads:
"There is a fragile ceasefire in Lebanon, albeit daily violated by Israeli overflights. Meanwhile the day to day brutality of the Israeli army in Gaza and the West Bank continues. Ten Palestinians are killed for every Israeli death; more than 200, many of them children, have been killed since the summer. UN resolutions are flouted, human rights violated as Palestinian land is stolen, houses demolished and crops destroyed. For archbishop Desmond Tutu, as for the Jewish (former ANC military commander presently South African minister of security), Ronnie Kasrils, the situation of the Palestinians is worse than that of black South Africans under apartheid. Meantime Western governments refer to Israel's 'legitimate right' of self-defence, and continue to supply weaponry.
The challenge of apartheid was fought better. The non-violent international response to apartheid was a campaign of boycott, divestment, and, finally UN imposed sanctions which enabled the regime to change without terrible bloodshed. Today Palestinians teachers, writers, film-makers and non-governmental organisations have called for a comparable academic and cultural boycott of Israel as offering another path to a just peace. This call has been endorsed internationally by university teachers in many European countries, by film-makers and architects, and by some brave Israeli dissidents. It is now time for others to join the campaign - as Primo Levi asked: If not now, when?
We call on creative writers and artists to support our Palestinian and Israeli colleagues by endorsing the boycott call. Read the Palestinian call ( www.pacbi.org ).
Don't visit, exhibit or perform in Israel!"
To endorse the letter and add your name, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
From John Berger:
I would like to make a few personal remarks about this world-wide appeal to teachers, intellectuals and artists to join the cultural boycott of the state of Israel, as called for by over a hundred Palestinian academics and artists, and - very importantly - also by a number of Israeli public figures, who outspokenly oppose their country's illegal occupation of the Palestine territories of the West Bank and Gaza. Their call is attached, together with my After Guernica drawing. I hope you will feel able to add your signature, to the attached letter, which we intend to publish in national newspapers.
The boycott is an active protest against two forms of exclusion which have persisted, despite many other forms of protestations, for over sixty years - for almost three generations.
During this period the state of Israel has consistently excluded itself from any international obligation to heed UN resolutions or the judgement of any international court. To date, it has defied 246 Security Council Resolutions!
As a direct consequence seven million Palestinians have been excluded from the right to live as they wish on land internationally acknowledged to be theirs; and now increasingly, with every week that passes, they are being excluded from their right to any future at all as a nation.
As Nelson Mandela has pointed out, boycott is not a principle, it is a tactic depending upon circumstances. A tactic which allows people, as distinct from their elected but often craven governments, to apply a certain pressure on those wielding power in what they, the boycotters, consider to be an unjust or immoral way. (In white South Africa yesterday and in Israel today, the immorality was, or is being, coded into a form of racist apartheid).
Boycott is not a principle. When it becomes one, it itself risks to become exclusive and racist. No boycott, in our sense of the term, should be directed against an individual, a people, or a nation as such. A boycott is directed against a policy and the institutions which support that policy either actively or tacitly. Its aim is not to reject, but to bring about change.
How to apply a cultural boycott? A boycott of goods is a simpler proposition, but in this case it would probably be less effective, and speed is of the essence, because the situation is deteriorating every month (which is precisely why some of the most powerful world political leaders, hoping for the worst, keep silent.).
How to apply a boycott? For academics it's perhaps a little clearer - a question of declining invitations from state institutions and explaining why. For invited actors, musicians, jugglers or poets it can be more complicated. I'm convinced, in any case, that its application should not be systematised; it has to come from a personal choice based on a personal assessment.
For instance. An important mainstream Israeli publisher today is asking to publish three of my books. I intend to apply the boycott with an explanation. There exist, however, a few small, marginal Israeli publishers who expressly work to encourage exchanges and bridges between Arabs and Israelis, and if one of them should ask to publish something of mine, I would unhesitatingly agree and furthermore waive aside any question of author's royalties. I don't ask other writers supporting the boycott to come necessarily to exactly the same conclusion. I simply offer an example.
What is important is that we make our chosen protests together, and that we speak out, thus breaking the silence of connivance maintained by those who claim to represent us, and thus ourselves representing, briefly by our common action, the incalculable number of people who have been appalled by recent events but lack the opportunity of making their sense of outrage effective.
From: Emily Jacir
Date: Sunday 10 december 2006 22:08
Subject: "International Human Rights Day"
On the Occasion of the "International Human Rights Day"
Occupation and Siege are a Systematic Policy of Impoverishment of Palestinian People
Today marks the 58th anniversary of the International Human Rights day. It is the day the UN declared the issuance of the "International Declarations of Human Rights" to put new international foundations for enforcing and respecting the sacred life and dignity of human beings.
It might be a co-incidence for the birth of this declaration with the anniversary of the Palestinian uprooting in 1948, still experienced by Palestinians up until today.
This year, the occasion is designated to focus on efforts of eliminating poverty worldwide under the theme "Fighting Poverty is a Matter of Obligation not Charity" for the mere fact that poverty is a genuine dilemma penetrating all over the world, particularity in developing countries.
This occasion comes as Palestine and the whole region are immersed in continuing incidents of violence, political instability, and violations of human rights. Although the Israeli unilateral disengagement plan from Gaza led to absence of the physical existence of Israeli army from inside Gaza, it did not end the effective control of Palestinian civilian life; thus converting Gaza into a big prison with tremendous political, and socio-economical problems and challenges.
Israel has continued its policies of assassination, closures, expansion of settlements, and building the separation wall in the West Bank. Israel continued with its policy of strict political and economical siege, through policies of closures, restrictions, and more than 520 checkpoints partitioning the whole OPT and restricting freedom of movement. Israel persisted to use the policies of political assassinations, targeting innocent civilians and objects, confiscating land, uprooting trees, demolishing homes, and preventing citizens from using their natural resources such as land, water, and fishing wealth.
All such measures lead to impoverishment of Palestinian people through systematic policies of deprivation of resources including; natural resources and developmental and humanitarian assistance provided to Palestinians by the international community. In a recent report published by UNRWA, it was indicated that more than 64% of Palestinians live under poverty line. The report also mentioned that the conditions are alarming, where more than one million Palestinians in the OPT live in extreme poverty.
The unjust siege imposed by the international community, following the Palestinian democratic elections and the constitution of the Palestinian government by Hamas, contributed further to a huge increase in poverty and unemployment amongst Palestinians, particularly after the inability of the PA to pay the salaries of more than 160,000 public servants for the last 10 month. Consequently, such situation led to dangerous humanitarian and psychological repercussions.
Poverty has serious negative consequences on the psychosocial functioning of individuals, leading to an increase in mental disorders in general. For poor people, there is more increase in depression, anxiety, and somatization disorders. Moreover, poverty contributes to an increase in the rate of relapses among mental health patients.
The psychological suffering is reflected in the high levels of domestic, tribal, and community violence in general. Such violence is the main factor in the continuation of violence and instability in the whole region.
The international community has a responsibility today more than ever to find new mechanisms to enforce international law and ensure adherence to it. They should work on ensuring that all human beings, wherever they are, have equal opportunities and access to resources, which will lead to enforcement and protection of human rights, dignity, and achieving security & peace worldwide.
On the occasion of the International Human Rights Day, we at the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, call upon the international community, especially the signatories of the 4th Geneva Convention, and human rights organizations to fulfill their responsibilities and urge all countries to respect articles of international law. We, also, urge them to pressure Israel to prevent its continued violations of Palestinian human rights with all of its forms, and to urgently act on lifting the political and economical siege imposed on the Palestinian People.
Again, on the International Human Rights Day, we hope to convert the slogan "Fighting Poverty is a Matter of Obligation not Charity" into a reality.
Gaza Community Mental Health Programme
Please visit our site:
Gaza Community Mental Health Programme
From: Emily Jacir
Date: Wednesday 29 november 2006 20:45
Subject: the launch of amoula il majnoona!!!!!
And no better day then today - the anniversary of when the United Nations voted to partition Palestine in 1947.
Thanks to my peep Naeem (he got me a blog, explained to me a few editing things, told me to get a YouTube account, and then ditch Safari for Firefox ) I have a blog!
So far, I have really enjoyed working on it and putting stuff up. It is fun!
I will still as always send you my emails.
My blog will have videos and photographs that I can't email (as well as an archive of my emails).
I think it will also be a mix of things. It will include words, videos, music, photos etc.
It will include things I think are interesting and cool, as well as just plain old silliness.
Lastly it will include moments I like to capture..... like the rain in Ramallah falling on the street....
Anyways, I will be archiving old stuff slowly but surely as I start putting up new stuff. So going backwards and forwards at the same time ; )
If you visit my blog, I HIGHLY recommend you watch AHMAD HABASH'S animation called "flee".........
Today i wanna send thanks to naeem, suheir, oz, pieter and annemarie......
and a shout out to the one in the leaky shed - drop me a line
Yalla today I wish everyone love and safety.
To be safe.
In all ways.
Date: Wednesday 18 October 2006 2:32
Subject: PACBI Update 15-- October 17, 2006
1.Academic to quit post in anger over Israel
Penelope Debelle | The Age | October 11, 2006
PROMINENT left-wing Israeli academic and author Tanya Reinhart plans to quit as emeritus professor at Tel Aviv University in protest against her Government's handling of the Palestinian issue.
2.Israel Bars New Palestinian Students From Its Universities, Citing Concern Over Security
Dina Kraft | The New York Times | October 11, 2006
ANATA, West Bank, Oct. 9 - Sawsan Salameh, a Palestinian from the West Bank, was thrilled to get a full scholarship from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to begin a doctorate in theoretical chemistry.
3.Israeli academia deserves to be boycotted
Ilan Pappe | The Irish Times | October 3, 2006
Guy Beiner (Opinion, September 27th) has asked us all to rethink the idea of an academic boycott of Israel. This is always a good idea, and as an Israeli academic who strongly supports the boycott, I find it useful to rethink such a drastic move against my state and my peers in local academia. However, most of his rethinking focuses on the tactics of the campaign and he says nothing about the background for it. He is also misinformed about its recent developments.
4.Academic boycott will change nothing, Tamir says
Jonny Paul | The Jerusalem Post | October 10, 2006
Marking the first time an Israeli government official has become involved with the academic boycott debate, Minister of Education Yuli Tamir, speaking in London on Monday night, said "There is no way - and I think it should be said loud and clear - that an academic boycott will change the foreign or internal policies of the State of Israel."
5.Academic boycott 'wrong political tool', says Israeli minister
| Education Guardian | October 9, 2006
An Israeli cabinet member today warned the British education secretary, Alan Johnson, of the "tremendously dangerous" impact a boycott of Israeli universities would have on international academia.
More news from Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel here:
From: Michael Albert
Date: Wednesday 4 October 2006 20:30
Subject: ZNet Interview with Tanya Reinhart
The Road Map to Nowhere - Israel/Palestine since 2003
By Tanya Reinhart
Published by Verso, September 2006, 260 pages.
Can you tell ZNet, please, what your new book, The Road Map to Nowhere, is about? What is it trying to communicate?
This book offers a detailed history of the Israeli occupation of Palestine since 2003, where my previous book on this topic ended ( Israel/Palestine - How to end the war of 1948 ).
In the present political atmosphere in the US and Europe, anybody who expresses criticism of Israel 's policies is immediately silenced as an anti-Semite. Part of the reason why the pro-Israel lobbies have been so successful in their use of this accusation is the massive lack of knowledge about what is really happening in Israel-Palestine. Without the facts, the dominant narrative remains that Israel is struggling to defend its very existence. Attention focuses mainly on the horrible, despicable Palestinian terror; hence critics of Israel are often accused of justifying terror. My aim in this book is to provide the facts, as they unfold – openly - in the Israeli media.
During the period covered in the book, Israel did everything possible to stall any chance of an agreement with the Palestinians. As has become commonplace in the recent history of the occupation, this period opened with a new peace initiative – the road map. The Palestinians accepted the plan and declared a cease fire, while the Western world was celebrating the new era of peace, the Israeli army under Sharon intensified its policy of assassinations, maintained the daily harassment of the occupied Palestinians, and eventually declared all-out war on Hamas, killing all its first-rank military and political leaders. Later, as the Western world was once again holding its breath in an eighteen-month wait for the planned Gaza pullout, Sharon did his best to fail the newly elected Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, and turned down his offers of renewed negotiations. Later, when this policy led to the collapse of Abbas' government and the victory of Hamas in the elections, Israel declared war on the Palestinian leadership and society.
In Israel/Palestine , I described the period between 2000 and 2002 as the darkest period in the history of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. But in the period since, under the leadership of Ariel Sharon, it became even worse. Sharon started a massive project of ethnic cleansing in the areas of the West Bank bordering Israel . His wall project robs the land from the Palestinian villages in these areas, imprisons whole towns, and leaves their residents with no means of sustenance. If the project continues, many of the 400,000 Palestinians affected by it will have to leave and seek their livelihood in the outskirts of cities in the center of the West Bank, as has already happened in the northern West Bank town of Qalqilya . The Israeli settlements were evacuated from the Gaza Strip, yet the Strip remains an open-air prison, completely sealed off from the outside world, nearing starvation and terrorized from land, see and air by the Israeli army.
Throughout this period, the Israeli political system has been in a gradual process of disintegration. (In a World Bank report of April 2005, Israel was found to be one of the most corrupt and least efficient in the Western world.) It became even more evident than before that the military is the dominant force in Israeli political life, often dictating both political and military moves. At the same time, what Israel has brought to perfection in this period is that war can be always marketed as the tireless pursuit of peace.
Can you tell ZNet something about writing the book? Where does the content come from? What went into making the book what it is?
My major source of information in constructing the history of this period is the Israeli media. In the Israeli newspapers much more information is available about what is happening and what is being planned than appears in any foreign coverage. One often hears statements interpreting this as signifying that the Israeli media is more liberal and critical of Israel 's policies than other Western media. This, however, is not the explanation. With the notable exception of courageous and conscientious journalists like Amira Hass, Gideon Levi and a few others, the Israeli press is as compliant as elsewhere, and it faithfully recycles military and governmental messages. But part of the reason it is more revealing is its lack of inhibition. Things that would look outrageous in the Western world are in Israel considered natural daily routine.
I try to bring as much of the story as possible in the direct voice of the media sources I use, because often the tone is no less revealing than the content. I also try to give some of the stage to alternative critical voices in Israeli and international media.
While the Israeli media remains the best source for government and military plans, a change I have noted since the writing of Israel/Palestine is that its reporting of the Israeli army's actions in the territories has substantially shrunk. Often, daily atrocities are either ignored, or pushed to the back pages with minimal coverage. A reliable alternative source of information during this period has been the British Guardian . But to get a full picture of the daily reality of the occupation one also needs to read the Palestinian internet media.
What are your hopes for The Road Map to Nowhere ? What do you hope it will contribute or achieve, politically? Given the effort and aspirations you have for the book, what will you deem to be a success? What would leave you happy about the whole undertaking?
These are difficult times, when Israel 's policies seem to be winning, with no barriers of international law or justice on its road of destruction.
Two years ago, on July 9 2004, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) found the current route of the wall that Israel is constructing to be a serious and egregious violation of international law. The first reactions in Israel were of worried concern. Attorney General Menachem Mazuz presented the government with a report stating: "The decision creates a political reality for Israel on the international level, that may be used to expedite actions against Israel in international forums, to the point that they may result in sanctions" ( Ha'aretz , August 19, 2004). Israel hastened to clarify that the wall is a temporary security barrier, which in no way would determine facts on the ground. But in the current political atmosphere, Israel declares it intends to make this wall its border, and no European government even blinks.
Still a year ago, the Western world was celebrating the dawn of democracy in the Middle East . Following Arafat's departure, the Palestinians were engaging in a real election campaign. Hamas declared its intention to participate in the elections, and to shift from armed struggle to working in the political arena. One would think that this would be viewed as an encouraging and positive development after years of bloodshed. Indeed, the U.S. insisted on the election taking place, despite Israel 's objections. But alas, the Palestinians have elected the wrong party. How natural it seems to the Western world that the Palestinian people should be collectively punished for their wrong understanding of democracy. The U.S. dictates, and Europe agrees that all aid to Palestinians should be cut, leaving them close to starvation, with the remaining infra-structure and health system crumbling.
Nevertheless, a central point in the book is that the last few years were not just years of victory for Israel 's expansion. World-wide opposition to Israel 's policies has substantially grown in this period. For example, despite the apparent success of pro-Israel lobbies in silencing any criticism of Israel in Europe, in a comprehensive European poll the majority viewed Israel as the country most threatening to world peace. I argue that for a short while during this period, the U.S. had to yield to European public opinion, and exerted real pressure on Israel . Sharon 's evacuation of the Gaza settlements was not an act of free will, but a decision enforced on him at the peak of international pressure that followed Israel 's sabotaging of the road map and its construction of the West Bank wall. Though it was kept fully behind the scenes, U.S. pressure was quite massive, including military sanctions. The official pretext for the sanctions was Israel 's arm sale to China , but in previous occasions, the crisis was over as soon as Israel agreed to cancel the deal. This time, the sanctions were unprecedented, and lasted until the signing of the crossing agreement in November 2005.
This turn of events shows the limits of propaganda – it appears possible to manufacture silence or consent, but it may be impossible to manufacture consciousness. Basic concepts like justice, international law, solidarity with the oppressed, have disappeared from mainstream political discourse, but they are present in people's minds.
This also shows that persistent struggle can have an effect, and can lead governments to act. Such struggle begins with the Palestinian people, who have withstood years of brutal oppression, and who, through their spirit of zumud – sticking to their land - and daily endurance, organizing and resistance, have managed to keep the Palestinian cause alive, something that not all oppressed nations have managed to do. It continues with international struggle – solidarity movements that send their people to the occupied territories and stand in vigils at home, professors signing boycott petitions, subjecting themselves to daily harassment, a few courageous journalists that insist on covering the truth, against the pressure of acquiescent media and pro-Israel lobbies. Often this struggle for justice seems futile. Nevertheless, it has penetrated global consciousness. The Palestinian cause can be silenced for a while, as is happening now, but it will resurface.
My hope is to contribute to this struggle. In the last chapter of the book, I tell the story of the struggle inside Israel/Palestine. The Palestinians along the wall are struggling to save their land. Armed only with the marvelous spirit of people who have held to their land one generation after the other, they stand in front of one of the most brutal military machines of the world. An amazing development of the last three years is that Israelis have joined the Palestinian struggle. For the first time in the history of the occupation, we are witnessing joint Israeli-Palestinian struggle.
As an Israeli, I believe that this struggle provides hope also for the Israelis. Israel 's policies threaten not just the Palestinians but also the Israelis themselves. In the long run, this war over land is suicidal. A small Jewish state of 7 million residents (5.5 million Jews), surrounded by two hundred million Arabs, is making itself the enemy of the whole Muslim world. There is no guarantee that such a state can survive. Saving the Palestinians also means saving Israel .
From: Emily Jacir
Date: Wednesday 4 October 2006 14:35
Subject: "The experiment was a success: The Palestinians are killing each other."
Not an internal Palestinian matter
By Amira Hass
The experiment was a success: The Palestinians are killing each other. They are behaving as expected at the end of the extended experiment called "what happens when you imprison 1.3 million human beings in an enclosed space like battery hens."
read full article on
Date: Tuesday 3 October 2006 18:20
Subject: Apaches#13 - Palestine : images et politique - been there
we showed a fragment of the Time Suspended expo aux Halles de Schaerbeek:
01/10/2006 - 10.30 >17.30
Apaches # 13 : Palestine : images et politique
Elias Sanbar, Michel Khleifi, Avi Mograbi, Patrick Leboutte , Simone Bitton, Javier Packer
Les Halles poursuivent leur réflexion sur les rapports entre images et politique, geste artistique et engagement, et tournent leur regard vers la Palestine. Terre meurtrie, occupée et médiatisée, comment représenter ce pays ? Au delà de la bonne conscience ou de la propagande, quelles démarches artistiques insufflent une pensée politique ? Pour nourrir le débat, projection dans l'après-midi de Ici et Ailleurs , film de Jean-Luc Godard tourné en 1970 avec le groupe Dziga Vertov dans les camps palestiniens.
nl/ Les Halles zetten hun reflectie verder over de verhoudingen tussen beelden en politiek, de artistieke benadering en het innemen van een standpunt. Dit jaar spitst het debat zich toe op een specifi ek grondgebied: Palestina. Hoe dit verscheurde en bezette gebied, dit verdeelde en gemediatiseerde land benaderen? Welke beelden maken, welke verhalen vertellen? Kunstenaars en denkers onderhouden zich over deze kwestie.
Avec Elias Sanbar , historien palestinien, écrivain, traducteur du poète Mahmoud Darwich, Michel Khleifi , cinéaste, réalisateur ( Route 181 , 2003), Avi Mograbi , cinéaste israélien ( Pour un seul de mes deux yeux , 2005), Patrick Leboutte , écrivain, fondateur de la revue L 'image, le monde , Simone Bitton , documentariste, réalisatrice de MUR (2004) et Javier Packer-Comyn , programmateur du P'tit Ciné.
Workshop avec Avi Mograbi et des étudiants de l'INSAS et de l'ERG.
Une production des Halles en collaboration avec Le P'tit Ciné
Toutes les infos sur www.halles.be - 02 218 21 07
Avec le soutien des Editions Aden
HALLES DE SCHAERBEEK asbl 22a rue Royale Ste-Marie1030 Bruxelles
From: Emily Jacir
Date: Tuesday 3 October 2006 16:20
Subject: the end for Palestinian-Americans going home
Waiting to return to where "the air is different"
Mayssoun Sukarieh writing from Amman, Jordan, Live from Palestine, 30 September 2006
Date: Monday 2 October 2006 23:26
Subject: PACBI Update 14--October 2, 2006
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
October 2, 2006
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions News
1. PSC, BIG Call for Day of Action to Boycott Israel
| WAFA | September 29, 2006
LONDON, September 29, 2006 (WAFA) - The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and the Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign (BIG) called on activists nationwide to join a Boycott Day of Action on October 7 against Israel.
2. Tulkarem Refugees Call for Israel Boycott in Trade Fair
| WAFA | September 24, 2006
TULKAREM, September 24, 2006 (WAFA)- Tulkarem Refugees and other institutions called to boycott Israeli products, said Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign.
3. COSATU Congress Adopts Middle East Resolution
| September 22, 2006
The 1.8 million strong Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) ended its 9th Congress in Johannesburg yesterday (21st September). A resolution on the Middle East sponsored by the National Union of Metalworkers (NUMSA), the Witwatersrand and Eastern Cape regions was unanimously adopted. Willie Madisha was re-elected as president. It is significant that Madisha's first
international engagement will be at the Canadian Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid's conference to be held in Toronto between the 6th and 8th of October (see www.caiaweb.org/node/1 for details)
4.Hi-tech firm boycotts Israel over 'war crimes'
Ehud Kenan | YNet News | September 27, 2006
Belgian hi-tech company specializing in development consulting notifies manager of Israeli company seeking cooperation that 'your country has conducted war crimes and is an apartheid regime'
Challenging the Power of the Jewish Lobby
James Petras | The Palestine Chronicle | September 27, 2006
A number of writers have recently written critical articles or reviews about the power of the pro-Israel or Jewish Lobby and its influence on US policy in the Middle East. Most of these writings emphasize the power of the lobby over Congress, the two major parties (especially the Democrats) and the Executive branch.
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