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:
October 2006 - December 2007
Mid August till end of September 2006
August 2006 14 / 13 / 12 / 11 / 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 / 5 / 4 / 3 / 1
July 2006 31 / 30 / 29 / 28 / 27 / 26 / 25 / 23 / 22 / 21 / 20 / 19 / 18 / 17 / 16 / 15 / 11 / 8 / 6 / 5

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From: Ashkal Alwan
Date: Monday 1 December 2008 13:21
Subject: Emily Jacir wins Hugo Boss Prize

New York, USA
Emily Jacir Wins Hugo Boss Prize
Emily Jacir, 37, won this year’s Hugo Boss Prize. The $100,000 award, established in 1996 by the Guggenheim Museum and named after the Hugo Boss Company that sponsors it, is given every two years for significant achievement in contemporary art. Jacir’s resent work includes a room size installation entitled Material For a Film Emily, which excavates the personal material from the life of assassinated Palestinian intellectual Wael Zuaiter, the first victim in a series of targeted assassinations of Palestinian artists, intellectuals and diplomats as part of a systematic war strategy carried out by the Israeli Intelligence in Europe in the 1970’s. The project was presented at the Venice Biennale 2007 where she won the Golden Lion. Ashkal Alwan presented a new version of this ongoing project during the Home Works IV Forum in April 2008. The prize includes an exhibition of the winner’s work, which will be shown at the Guggenheim from February 6 to April 15.

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From: PACBI
Date: Sunday 20 July 2008 10:53
Subject: Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

UPDATE No. 27

PACBI Letters and Press Releases, PACBI in the News

Snoop Dogg: “Make it Good” and do not perform in Israel!

PACBI

Dear Snoop Dogg, ?The Palestinian arts community was deeply saddened and surprised by the news of your upcoming performance in on September 18th in Ramat Gan. We strongly urge ...

...more

Fight Or Flight: Palestinian Group Asks Snoop Dogg To Cancel Israel Concert

Erin McMillon | RushPRNews | July 3, 2008

LOS ANGELES (RUSHPRNEWS) JULY 3, 2008 - In an effort to spread some hip-hop love, West Coast MC Snoop Dogg has planned a concert on September 18 in the Jewish state. He is being met with some resistance though as the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) has released a statement urging him to cancel his appearance. ...more

Letter of Appreciation to AUC Faculty, Administrators, and Students

PACBI, June 1, 2008

Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) News

  Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) launches Global BDS Movement Website

July 9, 2008

Today, on the third anniversary of the Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS against , the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) launches a major new online resource for the global BDS campaign. Since it was issued on 9 July 2005, the unified Palestinian civil society Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions has reverberated throughout the Palestine solidarity movement. BDS initiatives have been gradually and persistently spreading all over the world, and BDS has become a key tactic for solidarity with the Palestinian people, offering a new way forward to challenge Israel's multiple forms of colonial and racist oppression of the indigenous people of Palestine. ...more

“No New EU-Israel Action Plan in April 2009!”

Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions National Committee (BNC) | Global BDS Movement | July 9, 2008

On the fourth anniversary of the International Court of Justice's ruling that 's Wall is illegal, the BNC is calling on the EU not to upgrade its relationship with and to suspend the EU Association Agreement. Today's call is supported by 100 European civil society organizations. Join in the campaign for the suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement! ...more

Letter from Palestine re: Invitation of Israeli Ambassador to Meet with Members of the National Assembly for Wales

Dear Lord Elis-Thomas,??The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign National Committee (BNC) is a coordinating body made up of Palestinian civil society organizations representing workers, farmers, students, refugees, and the social and political forces of Palestinian society at large.

More...

Human Rights Violations, Racism

Citizenship law makes Israel an apartheid state

Amos Schocken | Haaretz | June 27, 2008

The government's decision last week to extend the validity of the Citizenship Law (Temporary Order), for another year, is evidence that the legal barriers preventing severe discrimination against Israel's Arab citizens and harm to their civil rights have been removed.

More...

Gaza students appeal to Brown over travel ban

Donald Macintyre | The Independent | June 3, 2008

Two Palestinian students who risk losing their places at British universities because has not allowed them to leave Gaza yesterday appealed to the British Government for help.

More...

BDS NEWS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions)

'Illicit' settler food sold in UK stores

Paul Gallagher | The Observer | July 6, 2008

Food grown on illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied territories is being sold in , often to customers who assume they are buying goods from Palestinian-owned farms. ...more

International Architects' Union to boycott Israel?

Itamar Eichner | YNet News | July 4, 2008

The International Architects' Union (UIA) may adopt a proposal Saturday to boycott Israeli architects and expel them from the organization over their involvement in the construction of settlements in the territories. ...more

  Arab League may blacklist Levant Jewellery stores

Abbas Al Lawati | Gulf News | July 3, 2008

Dubai: The Arab League is considering blacklisting companies belonging to Israeli businessman Lev Leviev and that of his agent in the UAE, the pan-Arab body said just days after Unicef severed ties with the billionaire jeweller. ...more

Open letter to Susan Sarandon: Follow UNICEF's lead and publicly cut ties with Lev Leviev

Justice, human rights, and peace groups | | July 2, 2008

 As seven diverse groups committed to justice, human rights and peace, and representing hundreds of organizations and tens of thousands of people in the US, Palestine and Israel, we call on you as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, to follow the lead of UNICEF which told Reuters on June 20th that it was cutting all ties with Israeli billionaire and diamond mogul Lev Leviev. ...more

  Press Release: First lawsuit against Israeli soldiers in Spain

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights |  June 26, 2008

Antonio Segura, Gonzalo Boye, Raul Maillo, Juan Moreno,Lawyer have a long experience in cases concerning International Law and Humanitarian Law. These lawyers are very known in because of their fight for human rights in Universal Jurisdiction. The most known case was the one of Pinochet, who was held in for more than one year. Also they represented victims of torture in Guatemala; the case of Jose Couso, the Spanish camera that was killed by American soldiers in Bagdad, and many others like Scilingo case or the bombing in Madrid 11M. Their commitment with the victims around the world make them being very known by human rights and solidarity groups. Jointly with Palestinian Centre for Human Righs, in behalf of it his Director Raji Sourani, this lawsuit is the first in and several Human rights Associations have been working together with the group of Lawyers for more than two years now. ...more

  Letter to EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso

Medico International | June 11, 2008

Your Excellency Mr. Jose Manuel Barroso,??On the occasion of the meeting of the EU-Israel Association Council on 16 June 2008, the under-signed human rights and humanitarian organizations would like to bring to your attention a number of concerns regarding Israel's non-compliance with international human rights standards, international humanitarian law and therefore also the EU-Israel Association Agreement.

More...

  First lawsuit against Israeli soldiers in Spain

CSCAweb | n.d.

Madrid. Six survivors together with relatives of the victims caused by a bomb launched by the Israeli Army on July 22, 2002 against Gaza , will bring a lawsuit in the Audiencia Nacional ( National Court ). Although this is not the first time people have asked this Court to deal with crimes against humanity, it is the first time that the victims of an Israeli targeted attack in the Palestinian territories have asked the Court by themselves. The lawsuit, 35 pages long, explains in detail why these events should be considered war crimes subject to universal jurisdiction: the attack was disproportionate.

More...

  Congress Report Calls for Israeli Boycott Campaign

Irish Congress of Trade Unions | June 18, 2008

Congress today (June 18) formally launched the report of a senior union delegation visit to and Palestine which recommends support and promotion for a "boycott campaign of Israeli goods and services and a policy of disinvestment from Israeli companies."

More...

  Protesters arrested at Israeli ambassador's visit

David Williamson | Online | June 25, 2008

'S ambassador mounted a fierce defence of his nation amid arrests and protest as he visited the National Assembly.

More...

  UK's largest union, UNISON, passes boycott resolution!

Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid | June 22, 2008

UNISON - 2008 National Delegate Conference - Composite : AgendaID D - Palestine : Conference welcomes the fact that UNISON has adopted comprehensive policy on Palestine at successive national delegate conferences in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Conference notes that 2007 marked the fortieth anniversary of the illegal Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. 2008 marks the sixtieth anniversary of the "Nakba" which led to nearly 900,000 Palestinians refugees fleeing their homes. Many of them and their descendants still live in refugee camps and all are unable to return to their homes.

More...

  Edinburgh Book Festival accused of 'political illiteracy' over historian

Mike Wade | The Times | June 20, 2008

The organisers of the Edinburgh International Book Festival have been accused of "political illiteracy" for marking 's 60th anniversary with what is billed as a "special and powerful event" focusing on the enforced exodus of Palestinians in 1948.

More...

  UNICEF Rejects Support From Israeli Billionaire Known for Constructing Settlements on Palestinian Lands

Adalah-NY: The Coalition for Justice in the Middle East | June 19, 2008

New York , NY , June 19, 2008 – A senior advisor to UNICEF's Director said in a letter today that UNICEF will reject all partnerships with, or financial support from, Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev. Leviev had previously provided UNICEF with support by sponsoring fundraising events in . Leviev's past support for UNICEF is featured in a number of places on his company's website ( www.leviev.com ).

More...

  Welsh Assembly speaker boycotts Israeli ambassador

AFP | June 11, 2008

LONDON (AFP) — The speaker of the Welsh Assembly is to boycott a meeting with 's ambassador to because of the Jewish state's failure to fulfil its obligations towards Palestinians.

More...

  Olmert to Abbas: PA bid to curb our Europe ties 'unacceptable'

Barak Ravid | Haaretz | June 2, 2008

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Monday protested to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas efforts by his government to curb 's burgeoning relations with Europe and the international community.

More...

  ACTIVISTS SAY RUGBY DEAL PUTS CLUB'S IMAGE IN PERIL

 Alison Curtis | Leicester Mercury | May 30, 2008

Activists say Leicester Tigers' new sponsorship deal with Caterpillar could tarnish the club's reputation.

More...

  Academic Boycott

  Palestinian academics won't attend forum with Israelis

Jonny Paul | The Jerusalem Post | July 1, 2008

 A group of Palestinian academics is boycotting an international academic conference in because of Israeli participation, according to an Arab newspaper. ...more

  Views on the UCU Congress Decision

Lorna Fitzsimmons, Mike Cushman, Tom Hickey, Kamel Hawwash, John Chalcraft | The Independent | June 5, 12, 2008

I was motivated to become politically active at 15, standing for my first elected position specifically to deal with the issue of bullying. I joined the trade-union movement for the same reason: to combat bullying and harassment in the workplace. These aims are the cornerstones of trade unionism. They have been hard-fought for, and must continue to be so.

More...

  Israeli ambassador to the UK's PR problem

David Thomson | The Electronic Intifada | June 4, 2008

It would appear that the ambitions of the Israeli ambassador to the far outweigh his abilities as recently acquired documents from the University of Edinburgh reveal his embassy bungled a public lecture and then tried to lay the blame elsewhere.

More...

  Lawyer promises action if UK academic union fails to rescind 'anti-Semitic' boycott call

Jonny Paul | The Jerusalem Post | June 4, 2008

An attorney representing University College Union members affected by the union's decision to consider a boycott of Israeli academic institutions has written to the UCU head calling the motion 'anti-Semitic.'

More...

Cultural Boycott

  Arab singers to boycott Jordan festival over Israel

  AFP | June 30, 2008

 AMMAN (AFP) — Arab singers will boycott a music festival in Jordan next month over claims it is being set up by the same company which organised Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations in May, a union leader said on Monday. ...more

  An Open Letter to Branford Marsalis

BRICUP | June 17, 2008

Dear Branford Marsalis:?Inventive and independent musician that you are, it seems to us that you're constantly exploring aspects of black American experience. And jazz is one of the most triumphant expressions of African-Americans' resistance to forced removal, ruthless suppression, and murderous racism.

More...

  Why a Cultural Boycott is Necessary

Remi Kanazi | Middle East Online | June 3, 2008

At what point does rhetoric stop and effective action begin? For Palestinians, decades of dialogue and supposed peace overtures have proved fruitless, only serving to protect the status quo: sixty years of continual dispossession, forty years of occupation, and a systematic repudiation of international and humanitarian law. The situation for Palestinians will not improve without constructive movement forward—which rejects collusion with the Israeli government by exercising boycott, divestment and sanctions (known as BDS).

More...

  Filmmaker Godard shuns Israel after boycott call

Reuters | The Washington Post | June 2, 2008

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard has scrapped plans to attend a Tel Aviv film festival after a Palestinian group urged him to boycott Israel.

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Articles, Opinion and Editorials

  Tactics that ended apartheid in S. Africa can end it in Israel

Bill Fletcher Jr. | The Mercury News | June 24, 2008

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict often inspires a sense of powerlessness. What can average Americans do to bring an end to this decades-old conflict when our leaders have failed so miserably?

More...

  Speech obscures Palestinian suffering

 Faculty Members at UWO | Western News (the University of Western Ontario) | June 19, 2008

With utter dismay we read Paul Davenport's speech at the Jewish National Fund (JNF) dinner held at the Best Western Lamplighter Inn on June 1.

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  Israel has won the European cup: a special relationship

Arjan El Fassed | The Electronic Intifada | June 18, 2008

During her sixth visit to Israel since last November's Annapolis summit, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice complained that the thousands of new housing units, built in Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land were damaging the peace talks with Palestinians. Meanwhile, at a joint press conference with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni in , the same day, 's Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency, announced that the EU had decided to upgrade its political and economic relations with . Rupel, who chaired the EU-Israel Association Council meeting, the body overseeing the relationship, stated that the EU and are "elevating" their relations to a new level of "more intense, more fruitful, more influential cooperation." has now been granted the highest level of relations available to a non-member state.

More...

  A dubious Israeli spring in Europe

Gideon Levy | Haaretz | June 15, 2008

How pleasant it is to be an official representative of in Europe right now. It hasn't been so pleasant for a long time. And not just because of the spectacular spring in the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris , the crowded pubs in Athens or the young people sunbathing nude in Stockholm . This is about the fresh sympathy for blowing in from almost every capital. French newspapers went all out for our 60th anniversary, Israeli women soldiers starred on the covers of magazines, and even the Swedish papers lost a little of their interest in the Palestinians' suffering, which had for years won such deep sympathy.

More...

  Dr Benny and Mr Morris

Roane Carey | The National | June 12, 2008

1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War?Benny Morris?Yale??Is it possible for someone who matter-of-factly supports crimes against humanity to be a good historian?

More...

  Banned in the U.S.A. (Almost)

Saree Makdisi | Counterpunch | June 10, 2008

I didn't think was a place where bookstores barred people for their viewpoints, until it happened to me, right here in Washington , D.C. , the city of my birth.

More...

  What Do Critics of Israel Have to Fear?

J. Lorand Matory | The Harvard Crimson | June 5, 2008

At what point do imbalances in access to money, media, and society's administrative apparatuses constitute the censorship of dissent? Recent events at Harvard provide an exhaustive example.

More...

  High Time for BDS: 60 Years of Nakba, 41 Years of Occupation ...

Omar Barghouti | Counterpunch | June 5, 2008

"The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet but not to make them die of hunger," said Dov Weisglass, Sharon's closest advisor, a few years ago. Today, is slowly choking occupied Gaza , indeed bringing its civilian population to the brink of starvation and a planned humanitarian catastrophe.

More...

  Critical thinking

Carlo Strenger, Brian Klug, and Steven Rose | The Guardian | June 5, 2008

Three eminent academics take part in a virtual round table to discuss how commentators can best influence Israeli politics.

More...

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From: Ramzi & Zei
Date: Sunday, June 22, 2008 2:42:14
Subject: Denied the right to go home

I am Palestinian – born and raised – and my Palestinian roots go back centuries. No one can change that even if they tell me that Jerusalem, my birth place, is not Palestine, even if they tell me that Palestine doesn't exist, even if they take away all my papers and deny me entry to my own home, even if they humiliate me and take away my rights. I AM PALESTINIAN .

Name: Zeina Emile Sam'an Ashrawi; Date of Birth: July 30, 1981; Ethnicity: Arab. This is what was written on my Jerusalem ID card. An ID card to a Palestinian is much more than just a piece of paper; it is my only legal documented relationship to Palestine. Born in Jerusalem, I was given a Jerusalem ID card (the blue ID), an Israeli Travel Document and a Jordanian Passport stamped Palestinian (I have no legal rights in Jordan). I do not have an Israeli Passport, a Palestinian Passport or an American Passport. Here is my story:

I came to the United States as a 17 year old to finish high school in Pennsylvania and went on to college and graduate school and subsequently got married and we are currently living in Northern Virginia. I have gone home every year at least once to see my parents, my family and my friends and to renew my Travel Document as I was only able to extend its validity once a year from Washington DC. My father and I would stand in line at the Israeli Ministry of Interior in Jerusalem, along with many other Palestinians, from 4:30 in the morning to try our luck at making it through the revolving metal doors of the Ministry before noon – when the Ministry closed its doors - to try and renew the Travel Document. We did that year after year. As a people living under an occupation, being faced with constant humiliation by an occupier was the norm but we did what we had to do to insure our identity was not stolen from us.

In August of 2007 I went to the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC to try and extend my travel document and get the usual “Returning Resident” VISA that the Israelis issue to Palestinians holding an Israeli Travel Document. After watching a few Americans and others being told that their visas would be ready in a couple of weeks my turn came. I walked up to the bulletproof glass window shielding the lady working behind it and under a massive picture of the Dome of the Rock and the Walls of Jerusalem that hangs on the wall in the Israeli consulate, I handed her my papers through a little slot at the bottom of the window.

“Shalom” she said with a smile. “Hi” I responded, apprehensive and scared. As soon as she saw my Travel Document her demeanor immediately changed. The smile was no longer there and there was very little small talk between us, as usual. After sifting through the paperwork I gave her she said: “where is your American Passport?” I explained to her that I did not have one and that my only Travel Document is the one she has in her hands. She was quiet for a few seconds and then said: “you don't have an American Passport?” suspicious that I was hiding information from her. “No!” I said. She was quiet for a little longer and then said: “Well, I am not sure we'll be able to extend your Travel Document.” I felt the blood rushing to my head as this is my only means to get home! I asked her what she meant by that and she went on to tell me that since I had been living in the US and because I had a Green Card they would not extend  my Travel Document. After taking a deep breath to try and control my temper I explained to her that a Green Card is not a Passport and I cannot use it to travel outside the US. My voice was shaky and I was getting more and more upset (and a mini shouting match ensued) so I asked her to explain to me what I needed to do. She told me to leave my paperwork and we would see what happens.

A couple of weeks later I received a phone call from the lady telling me that she was able to extended my Travel Document but I would no longer be getting the “Returning Resident” VISA. Instead, I was given a 3 month tourist VISA. Initially I was happy to hear that the Travel Document was extended but then I realized that she said “tourist VISA”. Why am I getting a tourist VISA to go home? Not wanting to argue with her about the 3 month VISA at the time so as not to jeopardize the extension of my Travel Document, I simply put that bit of information on the back burner and went on to explain to her that I wasn't going home in the next 3 months. She instructed me to come back and apply for another VISA when I did intend on going. She didn't add much and just told me that it was ready for pick-up. So I went to the Embassy and got my Travel Document and the tourist VISA that was stamped in it.

My husband, my son and I were planning on going home to Palestine this summer. So a month before we were set to leave (July 8, 2008) I went to the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC, papers in hand, to ask for a VISA to go home. I, again, stood in line and watched others get VISAs to go to my home. When my turn came I walked up to the window; “Shalom” she said with a smile on her face, “Hi” I replied. I slipped the paperwork in the little slot under the bulletproof glass and waited for the usual reaction. I told her that I needed a returning resident VISA to go home. She took the paperwork and I gave her a check for the amount she requested and left the Embassy without incident.

A few days ago I got a phone call from Dina at the Israeli Embassy telling me that she needed the expiration date of my Jordanian Passport and my Green Card. I had given them all the paperwork they needed time and time again and I thought it was a good way on their part to waste time so that I didn't get my VISA in time. Regardless, I called over and over again only to get their voice mail. I left a message with the information they needed but kept called every 10 minutes hoping to speak to someone to make sure that they received the information in an effort to expedite the tedious process. I finally got a hold of someone. I told her that I wanted to make sure they received the information I left on their voice mail and that I wanted to make sure that my paperwork was in order. She said, after consulting with someone in the background (I assume it was Dina), that I needed to fax copies of both my Jordanian Passport and my Green Card and that giving them the information over the phone wasn't acceptable. So I immediately made copies and faxed them to Dina.

A few hours later my cell phone rang. “Zeina?” she said. “Yes” I replied, knowing exactly who it was and immediately asked her if she received the fax I sent. She said: “ehhh, I was not looking at your file when you called earlier but your Visa was denied and your ID and Travel Document are no longer valid.” “Excuse me?” I said in disbelief. “Sorry, I cannot give you a visa and your ID and Travel Document are no longer valid. This decision came from Israel not from me.”

I cannot describe the feeling I got in the pit of my stomach. “Why?” I asked and Dina went on to tell me that it was because I had a Green Card. I tried to reason with Dina and to explain to her that they could not do that as this is my only means of travel home and that I wanted to see my parents, but to no avail. Dina held her ground and told me that I wouldn't be given the VISA and then said: “Let the Americans give you a Travel Document”.

I have always been a strong person and not one to show weakness but at that moment I lost all control and started crying while Dina was on the other end of the line holding my only legal documents linking me to my home. I began to plead with her to try and get the VISA and not revoke my documents; “put yourself in my shoes, what would you do? You want to go see your family and someone is telling you that you can't! What would you do? Forget that you're Israeli and that I'm Palestinian and think about this for a minute!” “Sorry” she said,”I know but I can't do anything, the decision came from Israel”. I tried to explain to her over and over again that I could not travel without my Travel Document and that they could not do that – knowing that they could, and they had!

This has been happening to many Palestinians who have a Jerusalem ID card. The Israeli government has been practicing and perfecting the art of ethnic cleansing since 1948 right under the nose of the world and no one has the power or the guts to do anything about it. Where else in the world does one have to beg to go to one's own home? Where else in the world does one have to give up their identity for the sole reason of living somewhere else for a period of time? Imagine if an American living in Spain for a few years wanted to go home only to be told by the American government that their American Passport was revoked and that they wouldn't be able to come back!

If I were a Jew living anywhere around the world and had no ties to the area and had never set foot there, I would have the right to go any time I wanted and get an Israeli Passport. In fact, the Israelis encourage that. I however, am not Jewish but I was born and raised there, my parents, family and friends still live there and I cannot go back! I am neither a criminal nor a threat to one of the most power countries in the world, yet I am alienated and expelled from my own home.

As it stands right now, I will be unable to go home – I am one of many.

____________________________________________________________________
From: PACBI
Date: Sunday 1 June 2008 10:53
Subject: Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

UPDATE No. 26

June 1, 2008

PACBI Letters and Press Releases

May 30, 2008

URGENT APPEAL TO ALL ACADEMICS: CONDEMN U.S. GOVERNMENT COMPLICITY IN BLOCKING PALESTINIAN RIGHT TO MOVEMENT AND ADVOCATE MEASURES TO PRESSURE ISRAEL

The news that the US State Department has decided to cancel all previously approved Fulbright grants to Palestinian students in Gaza is deeply shocking. In yet another clear demonstration of ... ...more

Press Release--UCU's Decision a blow to business-as-usual with Israeli academy

PACBI | May 29, 2008

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) salutes the British University and College Union (UCU) for its principled support for the cause of justice and peace in Palestine and for adopting, at its annual congress on 28 May 2008, significant steps in the direction of applying effective pressure on Israel and holding it accountable for its colonial and apartheid policies which violate international law and fundamental human rights. ...more

Open Letter to Jean-Luc Godard from occupied Palestine

PACBI  May 25, 2008

Le petit soldat dancing on Palestinian graves?

Palestinian artists were devastated to learn that you shall visit Israel soon to participate in a film festival in Tel Aviv [1], despite Israel 's ... .more

Morrissey: Celebrating Apartheid in Tel Aviv? An Open Letter from PACBI

PACBI | April 15, 2008

Today, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz revealed your video message to the Israeli public, confirming your performance in Tel Aviv on July 29, 2008 [1]. You end your message with the words "God bless Israel, stay nice!" This message and your planned Israel gig are indicators of either a serious lack of understanding of what Israel is or a conscious bias towards Israel, despite its colonial and apartheid reality. More...

Israel at 60

We fought apartheid; we see no reason to celebrate it in Israel now!

| End the Occupation South Africa | May 15, 2008 (originally in the Citizen)

We, South Africans who faced the might of unjust and brutal apartheid machinery in South Africa and fought against it with all our strength, with the objective to live in a just, democratic society, refuse today to celebrate the existence of an Apartheid state in the Middle East. ...more

60 Years of Palestinian Dispossession...No Reason to Celebrate "Israel at 60"!

| International Herald Tribune | May 8, 2008

The following statement, signed by 54 international figures in the literary and cultural fields,was published in the International Herald Tribune on May 8, 2008: More...

British Jews: Don't celebrate Israel's 60th

Hagit Klaiman | YNet News | April 30, 2008

On the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day and a week before Israel marks its 60th Independence Day, a group of over 100 British Jews comprised of well-known academics, writers, actors and other public figures has launched a scathing attack against the Jewish state. More...

We're not celebrating Israel's anniversary

| The Guardian | April 30, 2008

In May, Jewish organisations will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel. This is understandable in the context of centuries of persecution culminating in the Holocaust. Nevertheless, we are Jews who will not be celebrating. More...

Nadine Gordimer on her decision to participate in "Israel at 60 Celebrations"

Haidar Eid  April 24, 2008

I am a Palestinian lecturer in Cultural Studies living in Gaza. I happen to also have South African citizenship as a result of my marriage to a ...

...more

Streisand Exits Israeli Festivities

April 24, 2008

Barbra Streisand has withdrawn from a celebration of the 60th anniversary of Israel scheduled for Jerusalem next month, The Associated Press reported. The office of President Shimon Peres said Ms. Streisand gave no reason for the cancellation. She had been scheduled to appear at a convention, hosted by Mr. Peres, where she was to perform a rendition of the Hebrew prayer Avinu Malkeinu (“Our Father, Our King”).

An Open Letter to Nadine Gordimer

BRICUP | April 13, 2008

Dear Nadine Gordimer:

Many of us who paid attention to, and valued, your writing during the dark days of apartheid are dismayed to see that you are participating in the International Writers' Festival in Israel in May. More...

Boycott the International Writers' Festival in Jerusalem

Alternative Information Center (AIC) | | April 10, 2008

The first International Writers' Festival is scheduled to take place 11-15 May 2008 in Jerusalem, just three days after Israel's official celebrations of 60 years of independence. Substantially financed by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, this festival must necessarily be seen in the context of the Israeli government's wider public relations campaign to bring international artistic, cultural and political figures to brighten the state's image on the international stage. More...

Palestinian Appeal to International Civil Society

Palestinian civil society organizations   March 30, 2008

Sixty Years of Dispossession and Ethnic Cleansing

Boycott the "Israel at 60" Celebrations!

How can you celebrate? The establishment of the State of Israel sixty years ago was a settler-colonial project that systematically and violently uprooted more than 750 thousand Palestinian Arabs from their lands and homes. Sixty years ago, Zionist militias and gangs ransacked Palestinian properties and destroyed hundreds of Palestinian villages. How can people of conscience celebrate this catastrophe? MORE...

Turin Book Fair

From the Fair to the Frontier: The Turin Book Fair and the Changing European Position Towards Israel

Piero Maestri | Alternative Information Center (AIC) | May 21, 2008

The Turin Book Fair is over, luckily without any “victims” on the field of battle. Maybe the term “victims” is overdone, perhaps even tasteless considering that there are real victims—men and women—every day in Palestine/Israel.  ...more

Shame, Sorrow and Revolt

Tariq Ramadan | Middle East Online | May 13, 2008

The Turin Book Fair opened, against a background of bitter dispute. Israel is this year's guest of honor. ...more

Thousands protest Israeli focus at Turin book fair

| CBC News | May 10, 2008

About 4,000 people filled the streets of Turin, Italy, on Saturday to protest against the Turin Book fair's celebration of Israeli writers. ...more

Human Rights Violations, Racism

Despite rise in numbers, Arab college grads struggle for jobs

Yoav Stern | Haaretz | March 30, 2008

His mother left school when she was 10. His father dropped out in the eighth grade. Now, 29-year-old Arafat Shalata from Sakhnin has had more years of schooling than his parents combined. In this respect, Shalata with a master's degree in a branch of statistics (quality studies) from the University of Haifa is typical of the academic revolution among Israeli Arabs. The official data supports the impression that for them academic studies have become a necessity, though once an unaffordable luxury. The education level in the Arab sector has risen considerably. But don't try to get a job. More...

BDS NEWS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions)

Organization Starts Petition Drive To Re-Open Boycott Israel Office In Bahrain

Sandeep Singh Grewal | All Headline News (AHN) | 25 May 2008

Manama, Bahrain (AHN) - An Anti- Zionist group has collected over 100 signatures calling for re-opening of the Israel Boycott office in Bahrain and the effort is still going strong.

...more

Egyptian diplomats boycott Israeli football team

Itamar Eichner | YNet News | May 24, 2008

An Egyptian football team, which included diplomats from the Egyptian Embassy in Rome , boycotted an international tournament after a raffle determined it would play against the Israeli team, comprised of Israelis living in the Italian capital and embassy workers. ...more

Claiming neutrality on Palestinian suffering unacceptable: doctor

Liam Lahey | Toronto Community News | 23 May 2008

A British physician is helping spearhead a boycott of the Israeli Medical Association for its role in the displacement of Palestinians in Israel. ...more

Women worldwide call for Mother's Day boycott of Leviev's diamonds, to flyer Saturday at New York sto re

| Adalah-NY | May 2, 2008

New York, NY, May 2 – During the run-up to Mother's Day in the US, over 100 women from around the world have signed a letter from Adalah-NY calling for a boycott of Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev's diamonds because his companies are destroying the lives of Palestinian mothers. Mother's Day, on May 11, is the third biggest shopping period for jewelry in the US. Women will begin flyering on Saturday May 3 at Leviev's Madison Avenue store, asking shoppers to honor the boycott call. More...

UK charity warned about anti-Israel campaign

Jonny Paul | The Jerusalem Post | May 1, 2008

The British NGO War on Want has been warned by the Charity Commission for deviating from its mission in a pro-Palestinian campaign. More...

Israeli jeweller has no trade licence to open shop in Dubai

Abbas Al Lawati | Gulf News | 30 April 2008

Dubai: No trade licence has been granted to open Israeli jewellery store Leviev in Dubai contrary to claims by Leviev and its agent in Dubai, said a top official at the Department of Economic Development. More...

Canadian postal workers urge divestment of 'apartheid' Israel

Abe Selig | The Jerusalem Post | April 30, 2008

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers passed a resolution at its national convention in April supporting the international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, labeling it an "apartheid state" and calling on the Canadian government to increase humanitarian aid to the Palestinians. More

Palestine's Boycott National Committee Salutes the Canadian Union of Postal Workers on their Historic Decision to Boycott the Israeli Apartheid Regime

The Boycott National Committee (BNC) | April 17, 2008

The Boycott National Committee (BNC), comprising over 200 Palestinian civil society organizations including all major Palestinian workers' unions, salutes the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) for their decision to support the international campaign for Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against the Israeli apartheid regime. More...

Canadian Union of Postal Workers Passes Boycott Resolution

Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) | Window into Palestine | April 16, 2008

The Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid extends its warm congratulations to the delegates of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers national convention held in Ottawa, Canada, April 13-17th 2008. More...

OPEN LETTER TO UNICEF: Distance Yourself from Tainted Money

The Palestinian BDS National Committee | | April 9, 2008

In response to a letter authored by human rights activists in New York, calling upon UNICEF to refrain from accepting any contributions from Mr. Lev Leviev, Israeli diamond tycoon and developer of illegal Israeli settlements, due to his "unlawful and unethical activities," UNICEF asserted that, "where UNICEF is the beneficiary of events that are organized by approved partners, UNICEF does not, as a matter of course, conduct diligence on sponsors or advertisers identified by those partners." The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions [1] Campaign's National Committee (BNC) finds this defense morally and politically problematic, if not untenable. More...

New drive to reopen Israel boycott office

Noor Toorani | Gulf Daily News | March 30, 2008

A PROTEST group pushing for the re-opening of the Israel Boycott Office in Bahrain is hosting a major conference next month to highlight its cause. More...

Academic Boycott

Lecturers vote to continue debating Israeli boycott

Anthea Lipsett | The Guardian | 28 May 2008

Lecturers voted to continue to debate and discuss UK university links with Israeli academics at the annual congress of the University and College Union (UCU) today. ...more

British scholar defends move to ‘reconsider' links with Israeli institutions

Sarah Carr | Daily News Egypt | 28 May 2008

CAIRO: In its annual report, issued yesterday, Amnesty International says that the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) remains “dire”. ...more

Financial woes silence anti-boycott body

Abe Selig | The Jerusalem Post | March 31, 2008

As the spring conference season for British trade unions draws near, and with it the calls to boycott Israeli academia, funds for a non-government body that fights those calls have dried up. More...

Articles, Opinion and Editorials

Theatre practitioners offer their views on a call to boycott Israel

Omar Barghouti | American Theatre | May 4, 2008

In 1965, the American Committee on Africa, following the lead of prominent British arts associations, sponsored a historic declaration against South African apartheid, signed by more than 60 cultural personalities. It read: "We say no to apartheid." More...

Is Dubai helping ethnic cleansing in Palestine?

Khalid Amayreh | Adalah-NY | April 20, 2008

The government of Dubai recently allowed a major bankroller of Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank to open at least two Jewelry stores in the Gulf emirate. More...

OVERCOMING ZIONISM: Creating a Single Democratic State in Israel/Palestine

Joel Kovel | Revolution | April 6, 2008

Joel Kovel is both a scholar and an activist. In the former capacity he has published nine books and over a hundred articles and reviews.  More...

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

www.pacbi.org

info@boycottisrael.ps

____________________________________________________________________
From: PACBI
Date: Sunday 30 march 2008 10:53
Subject: Palestinian Civil Society Appeal- Boycott the "Israel at 60" Celebrations

Palestinian Appeal to International Civil Society
Palestinian civil society organizations    March 30, 2008

Sixty Years of Dispossession and Ethnic Cleansing
Boycott the "Israel at 60" Celebrations!

March 30, 2008

http://www.pacbi.org/announcements_more.php?id=706_0_5_0_M

How can you celebrate? The establishment of the State of Israel sixty years ago was a settler-colonial project that systematically and violently uprooted more than 750 thousand Palestinian Arabs from their lands and homes. Sixty years ago, Zionist militias and gangs ransacked Palestinian properties and destroyed hundreds of Palestinian villages. How can people of conscience celebrate this catastrophe?

Israel at 60 is a state that continues to deny Palestinian refugees their UN-sanctioned right to return to their homes and receive compensation, simply because they are “non-Jews.” It still illegally occupies Palestinian and other Arab lands, in violation of numerous UN resolutions. It persists in its blatant denial of fundamental Palestinian human rights, in contravention of international humanitarian law and human rights conventions. It still subjects its own Palestinian citizens to a system of institutionalized discrimination, strongly reminiscent of the defunct apartheid regime in South Africa. And Israel gets away with all this, thanks to the unprecedented immunity granted to it by the unlimited and munificent US and European economic, diplomatic, political, and academic support.

In view of this multi-faceted oppression that is the reality of Israel today, we regard any Arab or international participation, whether individual or institutional, in any activity that contributes, either directly or indirectly, to the “celebrations” of Israel's establishment, as collusion in the perpetuation of the dispossession and uprooting of refugees, the prolongation of the occupation, and the deepening of Israeli apartheid. Inviting Israel as a “guest of honor” to the Turin and Paris book fairs, for example, is not only a deliberate betrayal of basic principles of human rights, including those enshrined in the laws of the European Union itself, but is also a deliberate attempt to cover up Israel's crimes against the Arab people, especially its successive war crimes in Lebanon and Palestine, and its acts of slow genocide against a million and a half Palestinians in the besieged and collectively punished Gaza Strip. In short, celebrating “Israel at 60” is tantamount to dancing on Palestinian graves.

We urge international civil society in all its components, particularly institutions and individuals working in the arts, academia, sport, trade unions, and communities of faith to boycott the “Israel at 60” celebrations wherever they are held in the world. These celebrations, by definition, insult our history, violate our rights, and deepen our oppression. They also render the path to justice, freedom, equality, and sustainable peace based on international law longer than ever before.

Institutional Endorsers:

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)
Department of Refugee Affairs - PLO
Jerusalem-The Arab Cultural Capital Project, Jerusalem
Higher National Committee for the Defense of the Right to Return
The General Union of Palestinian Women
Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, PGFTU
Palestinian Farmers' Union
Popular Committee Against the Siege (PCAS), Gaza
Federation of Palestinian Refugee Camp Youth Centers
Higher National Committee for the Commemoration of the Nakba, Palestine
Refugee Affairs Department, Mobilization and Organization, Fatah Movement
Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO)
Ittijah-Union of the Arab Community Based Organizations, Haifa
Union of Palestinian Women's Committees, UPWC, Ramallah
Stop the Wall-the Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign
Union of Employees at Private Schools-West Bank
Association of Residents of Depopulated Villages and Cities, Ramallah
General Federation of Cultural Centers, Gaza
Jerusalem Center for Social & Economic Rights JCSER, Jerusalem
Federation of Independent Workers Committees, Gaza
League of Palestinian Refugees in Europe
BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, Bethlehem
Occupied Palestine Golan heights Advocacy Initiative (OPGAI)
Al-Aswar Organization for Cultural and Social Development, Acre
University Teachers Association, Gaza
Joint Advocacy Initiative of the YMCA-YWCA (JAI), Jerusalem
General Union of Health Service Workers, Gaza
Aida Refugee Camp Social Center, Aida Refugee Camp
A'idoun Group, Syria
Palestinian Community in Scandinavia
Canadian Arab Federation
Palestinian Counseling Center, Jerusalem
Land Research Center, Palestine, Jerusalem
Muwatin the Palestinian Institute for the Study of Democracy
Palestinian Association of Brantford--Canada
Center for the Defense of Freedoms and Civil Rights (Hurriyat)
Wihdah Democratic Action Institute (Wa'ad)--Bethlehem
Federation of Agricultural Action Committees
Canada Palestine Association, Vancouver
Addameer, Ramallah
Ma'an Development Center, Ramallah
Gaza Center for Culture and Arts
Voice of Palestine, Canada
Canadian Palestinian Association, Ontario, Canada
Taghrid Association for Culture, Development and Reconstruction, Gaza
Jabalya-al-Nazaleh Cultural Center, Jabalya Camp, Gaza
Federation of Agricultural Work Committees, Gaza
Turathuna Charitable Society, Gaza
The Popular Committee at al-Burayj Camp, Gaza
El-Funoun Palestinian Popular Dance Troupe, Al-Bireh
Adalah-NY: The Coalition for Justice in the Middle East, New York
General Union of Services and Trade Workers, Gaza Governorates
The National Council of Arab Americans - Metropolitan New York Chapter, NY
The Arab Muslim American Federation
The Palestinian American Congress, New York
Dramatists' Federation
Society for the Development of Women, al-Burayj Camp, Gaza
Yanbou' Cultural Forum, al-Reina
Palestinian Human Rights Monitor (Rassid), Gaza
Yabous Productions, Jerusalem
The Arab Student Observatory of Victims of Occupation and Blockade of the General Union of Arab Students (GUAS(
Arab Culture Society
Al-Siwar-Arab Feminist Movement to Support Victims of Sexual Assault, Haifa
Popular Art Centre, Al-Bireh
Federation of Working Women's Committees
Palestinian Federation of Women's Action Committees
Al-Najda Association for the Development of Palestinian Women
Teacher Creativity Center, Ramallah
Palestinian Association for Contemporary Art (PACA)
Al-Quds Information Bank, Gaza
Women's Center for Legal Aid and Counseling, Ramallah
The Palestinian Working Women's Society for Development
Jimzo Charitable Society
Al-Lidd (Lydda) Charitable Society, Ramallah-Al-Bireh Governorate
Al-Lidd (Lydda) Social Association, Beitunia
Lifta Charitable Society, Palestine
Committee of Residents of Greater Masmiyya, Ramallah-Al-Bireh Governorate
Falsteen Al Gaad association – Deheisha refugee camp
Meethaq Center for Development, Alkahder
Women Development Center, Addoha, Bethlehem
Al Feeneeq Center, Duheisheh Refugee Camp
Palestinian Progressive Youth Union, Gaza
Palestinian Women's Information and Media Center, Gaza
Said Mishal Foundation for Culture and Science, Gaza
Assala Association for Heritage and Development, Gaza
Juthourr Cultural Society, Gaza
Women's Research and Legal Counseling Center, Gaza
Media Forum for Women Affairs Advocacy, Gaza
Palestinian Cultural Center, Gaza
Refugees Popular Committee, Gaza
Workers Resource Center, Gaza
Progressive Union Work Society, Gaza
Friends of An-Nour Center Society, Gaza
Al-Aqsa Charitable Youth Welfare Society, Gaza
The One Democratic State Group, Gaza
Arab Cultural Forum, Gaza
Palestinian Democratic Union-Fida



Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
www.pacbi.org
info@boycottisrael.ps

____________________________________________________________________
From: PACBI
Date: Thursday 27 March 2008 13:09
Subject: PACBI Update-- March 27, 2008

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
PACBI

UPDATE No. 25
March 27, 2008

PACBI Letters, and Press Releases

Appeal to U-2's Bono: It's all About Justice: Don't Honor Israel!

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) has learned that you have been invited by Israeli President Shimon Peres to take part in a conference ... ...more

Beatles, don't let it be! Palestinian Dispossession and Israeli Apartheid are no Cause for Celebration
Open Letter to the Beatles
Forty-three years ago, the government of Israel banned your performance in the country for fear you would corrupt the minds of Israeli youth. Now, Israel is extending an apology and an invitation to you, hoping you will forget the past and agree to help celebrate its 60th "birthday." The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) urges you to say no to Israel, particularly since the creation of this state 60 years ago dispossessed and uprooted hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes and lands, condemning them to a life of exile and destitution. More...

Israel at 60
Human Rights Groups ask the Beatles to boycott Israel 's Anniversary
Palestine Solidarity Campaign | Press Release | February 8, 2008
Over 40 Human Rights organisations from around the world who campaign for peace and justice for the Palestinian people are today sending an open letter to the surviving Beatles, Ringo Starr and Sir Paul McCartney, and to the families of George Harrison and John Lennon, asking them not to accept any invitation to join in this year's 60th Anniversary celebration of the birth of the state of Israel. An invitation was delivered last week by the Israeli ambassador to Britain , Ron Prosor, during a visit to the Beatles Museum in Liverpool . More...

Israel basher to curate UK film festival
Jonny Paul | The Jerusalem Post | January 4, 2008
A fierce critic of Israel has been chosen by the British Council to play a key role in the annual British Film Festival in Israel next month. More...

Paris and Turin Book Fairs
ART etc. / Paris review
Benny Ziffer | Haaretz | March 20, 2008
PARIS - Forty people, all pleased-as-punch, made their way to this city. They are writers. They are the 40 heroes who were selected from the entire pen-wielding community of Israel , including the territories, to represent the country at the annual Salon du Livre Paris International Book Fair. They were skimmed from the cream of Hebrew literature, because embittered types are not what's wanted here as representatives, nor are the hungry, the disabled and the sick, or the angry and the frustrated, but rather the successful types, who know how to eat with a knife and fork, and to wipe their mouths with a napkin - those who know the rules of the game of the international literary world. ...more

The one-sided debate
Paul Ben-Itzak | France Insider | March 14, 2008
I begin this morning incredibly disillusioned. For the past two days, France Culture's morning radio program, the mix of commentary and news to which I've been addicted since August, has conducted a charade of a debate on the call by some to boycott this year's Salon du Livre because Israel is the guest of honor. Yesterday, which also marked the opening of the salon by Israeli president Shimon Peres demolishing, as I wrote previously, the argument of the anti-boycott forces that this event is apart from politics the program featured a Palestinian scholar, Sari Nusselbeh, whose point of view on the question is milktoasty at best. Asked if he supported the boycott, he demurred from offering an opinion, saying only that the question could have been avoided if France had not invited Israel in the first place. ...more

Ilan Pappe refuses to participate in the "Salon du livre" of Paris
Ilan Pappe | Silvia Cattori | March 3, 2008
Dear Friends,
As you probably know the Salon du Livre this year is dedicated to Israel 60th anniversary. I assumed, and hoped, that the events organized by La Fabrique [1] would not be part of this Salon. I was wrong and was saddened to learn that they are an integral part of the programme. The decision to associate the Salon this year with the celebration of Israel 's sixty years of Independence has caused many Palestinian, Arab and progressive writers and artists to withdraw and boycott the fair. One would assume that the recent genocidal Israeli attacks on Gaza would cause many others to follow suit. More...

Paris book fair causes uproar by honoring Israeli writers
The Associated Press | International Herald Tribune | February 29, 2008
PARIS : Israeli writers will be the toast of the Paris international book fair in March but some Arab intellectuals argue that honoring Israel 's literature has brought dishonor upon France . More...

ISESCO urges Paris Book Fair boycott
Press TV | February 27, 2008
The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has called upon all its 50 member states to boycott the Paris Book Fair. More...

Lebanon to boycott Paris book fair
| AFP | February 27, 2008
BEIRUT (AFP) Lebanon is to stay away from this year's Paris book fair in protest at the invitation of Israel as guest of honour, Culture Minister Tarek Mitri announced on Wednesday. More...

Israel , "Guest Of Honour" In Paris And Turin , Does Not Deserve To Be Invited (interview with Aharon Shabtai)
Silvia Cattori & Aharon Shabta | Countercurrents.org | February 26, 2008
When the announcement that Israel would attend the "Fiera del libro" of Turin , (*) came out, an immediate wave of protest arose in Italy ; and many personalities supported the boycott call, made by the Palestinian, Jordanian and Egyptian Writers' Associations (**). In France , strangely enough, the same invitation, to the "Salon du livre" of Paris , did not make much noise. Alone, the Israeli poet Aharon Shabta has refused to participate in these events, contrary to the 39 Israeli writers who accepted to be part of the Israeli delegation to these two exhibitions. Aharon Shabta explains here why these events which he qualifies as "promotion of propaganda" for Israel- , must be boycotted, as well as any cultural event where this apartheid State is celebrated. More...

Egyptian writers protest at Israel 's Paris book fair invite
| AFP | February 22, 2008
CAIRO (AFP) Around 15 Egyptian trade unions -- from doctors to writers -- issued a protest on Thursday over a decision to make Israel a guest of honour at a major Paris book fair next month. More...

Book Fair's Plans to Honor Israel Lead to Protests
ELISABETTA POVOLEDO | The New York Times | February 9, 2008
ROME The selection of Israel as guest of honor at this spring's International Book Fair in Turin has set off a furious debate among Italian, Israeli and Arab authors and intellectuals, including calls to boycott the event, Italy's largest annual gathering of the publishing world. More...

On the Boycott Appeal
Tariq Ramadan | | February 5, 2008
It is difficult to be critical of Israel without having one's words misinterpreted, twisted, their meaning inverted. A controversy centering on the Turin Book Fair is raging in Italy , amid conflicting claims and counter-claims. French Journalist Pierre Assouline in a recent blog ( monde.fr ) has further distorted the terms of the debate. More...

Pandering to the New Prejudices: Why I Will Not Participate in the Turin Book Fair
Tariq Ali | Counterpunch | February 5, 2008
When I agreed to participate in the Turin Book Fair, which I have done before, I had no idea that the 'guest of honour' was Israel and its 60th birthday. But this is also the 60th anniversary of what the Palestinian call the 'nakba' the disaster that befell them that year, when they were expelled from their villages, some killed, women raped by the settlers. These facts are no longer disputed. More...

Italian polemic on the boycott of the Turin Book Fair
Parlato, Traversa, Tradardi, Shabtai, ;translated by Diego Traversa and Mary Rizzo |TLAXCALA | January 2008
A WRONG BOYCOTT
Valentino Parlato, il manifesto, 24/01/08
The International Book Fair will be held in Turin next May (from the 8th to the 12th) but it is already arousing quarrels and polemics that have concerned even our tenacious and tolerant group. The fair is being held in the 60th anniversary of Israel 's foundation and therefore, quite inevitably, the Palestinian question gets resumed. More...

Human Rights Violations, and War Crimes

Israel Strikes Deal with Settlers: Peacefully Evacuate Outposts and Settlement Blocs will Expand
Bryan Atinsky and Connie Hackbarth | Alternative Information Center (AIC) | March 9, 2008
The Israeli Ministry of Defense has cut a deal with the Yesha Council, the representative body of the settlers, in which 18 of the 24 unauthorized settlement outposts built after 2001 will be evacuated in the coming months, in exchange for the construction of new housing units in the illegal settlement blocs of Gush Etzion, Ma'aleh Adumim, Givat Ze'ev, Ariel, Elkana and Efrat. More...

Missile Goes Down a Union 's Throat
Mohammed Omer | Inter Press News Service Agency | March 4, 2008
GAZA CITY , Mar 4 (IPS) - Two F-16 missiles were all it took to bring down the five-storey headquarters of the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU). More...

COSATU Press Statement: COSATU condemns Israeli massacres
COSATU | South African Municipal Workers' Union | March 3, 2008
The Congress of South African Trade Unions is outraged and disgusted at the latest massacres by the Israeli Occupation Forces in Gaza , which have claimed an estimated 100 Palestinian lives in the past five days alone, most of them civilian women and children. The Israelis have even targeted ambulances, trapping the injured people inside. More...

BBC: IDF general dodged U.K. arrest due to police fear of clash
The Associated Press | Haaretz | February 20, 2008
British police feared an armed confrontation if they tried to arrest an Israel Defense Forces general accused of war crimes, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported Tuesday. More...

BDS NEWS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions)

U.S. LABOR AND GAZA
New York City Labor Against the War | | March 23, 2008
New York City Labor Against the War joins the Congress of South Africa Trade Unions in denouncing Israel 's recent massacres in Gaza , the victims of which include at least 130 Palestinians -- half of them civilians, including dozens of women and children -- since February 27. ...more

Labor split over Israel support
Paul Maley | The Australian | March 12, 2008
A BIPARTISAN motion congratulating Israel on 60 years of statehood has provoked division in federal Labor, with one government MP threatening to boycott the vote and union heavyweights accusing the Jewish state of racism and ethnic cleansing. ...more

EJJP Calls for Immediate Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against the Israeli Occupation
The Alternative Information Center (AIC) | March 3, 2008
Following an eight day tour of the region, representatives of European Jews for a Just Peace (EJJP) held a press conference in Jerusalem today as part of the local and international resistance to Israel 's policies toward the Palestinian people, particularly the current killings and destruction in the Gaza Strip. More...

Green Party votes for Israel boycott
The Jewish Chronicle | February 22, 2008
The Green Party of England and Wales has adopted a radical policy in support of boycotting Israel . More...

New York & London protesters call for Valentine's boycott of Leviev over Israeli Settlements
Adalah-NY | International Solidarity Movement | February 10, 200
New York, NY, Feb 9, 2008 - Forty-five protesters called on Madison Avenue shoppers to boycott the jewelry store of Israeli billionaire and settlement magnate Lev Leviev this Saturday, the last major shopping day before Valentine's Day. The protest was the seventh organized by the New York activist group Adalah-NY since Leviev's store opened in mid-November. More...

Fourth Annual International Israeli Apartheid Week is launched
Palestine News Network | February 5, 2008
Stop the Wall and International - Israeli Apartheid Week 2008 was officially launched on Sunday, 3 February in Soweto , South Africa . Exiled Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset, Azmi Bishara, addressed his lecture on the 60th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were displaced from their land to become what remains one of the world's largest refugee populations. Bishara spoke under the banner 'Silenced in Apartheid Israel - Welcomed in Soweto ' alongside prominent South Africans such as Eddie Maque, General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches. More...

Methodist Church Renews Drive For Divestment From Israel
Nathan Guttman | The Forward | January 30, 2008
Washington - Tensions are re-emerging between Jewish organizations and some mainline Protestant churches in the wake of a renewed drive for churches to divest from companies doing business with Israel . More...

Academic Boycott

Towards a viable academic boycott campaign
Laith Marouf | The Electronic Intifada | March 24, 2008
For the past few years student and academic groups in North America and Europe have been openly campaigning for the boycott of Israeli academia. Some actions produced results (even if not long lasting) and some were unsuccessful. It is important for us working towards the defense of Palestinians' human rights to learn from these experiences so we may meet our goals in the future. One thing is clear, the stakes are very high and all the major Zionist organizations are responding accordingly. ...more

Ilan Pappe: I'm not a traitor
Ayelet Negev | YNet News | March 15, 2008
Controversial historian Ilan Pappe left Israel last year after his endorsement of an academic boycott of Israel exposed him and his family to death threats. Now a professor in England , Pappe maintains that a cultural boycott on his homeland is the only way to end the occupation. ...more

Teachers to discuss backing Palestinians
Debbie Andalo | The Guardian | March 13, 2008
A teachers' union looks set to reignite the row over the boycott of Israel , which divided university lecturers last year and triggered an international storm. ...more

Edinburgh U. cancels Prosor's talk
Jonny Paul | The Jerusalem Post | March 7, 2008
The University of Edinburgh called off a lecture by Israeli Ambassador to Great Britain Ron Prosor scheduled for Thursday, citing logistical reasons while distancing itself from a claim by a pro-Palestinian fringe group that a planned protest had caused the cancellation.More...

Palestinian solidarity activists under attack, support needed
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) | Green Left Online | February 22, 2008
Below is a statement on repression of pro-Palestinian solidarity activists at McMaster University , in Hamilton , Ontario , entitled "Defend the rights of student organisers! Our movement will not be silenced!", by the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) on February 19.More...

Oxford hosts Israel Apartheid Week
Amiram Barkat | Jewish Ledger | February 20, 2008
OXFORD, England (JTA) -- It's Monday evening at the University of Oxford's St. Antony's College, and a well-dressed audience that includes distinguished faculty members is attending the opening of Israeli Apartheid Week on campus.More...

LSE Union Demands Divestment from Israel
| Palestine Solidarity Campaign | February 15, 2008
The London School of Economics Students' Union (LSESU) yesterday voted overwhelmingly to call on its university and the National Union of Students (NUS) to divest from companies that provide military and commercial support for the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, condemning the decades of human rights abuses and systematic oppression that has occurred as a result.More...

European-Israeli Cooperation

EUROPE: Heading for a New Security Deal with Israel
David Cronin | Inter Press News Service Agency | February 22, 2008
The European Union is considering new steps to deepen its cooperation on scientific research with Israel , despite admitting that previous funds earmarked for that purpose have gone to firms operating illegally in the Palestinian territories.
Between now and 2013, the Israeli government is to contribute 440 million euros (652 million dollars) per year so that it can participate in the EU's so-called framework programme for research.More...

Economics and Israeli Apartheid: E.U.-Israel Economic Association Agreement
Interview with John Hilary of War on Want, by Stefan Christoff for Fighting FTAs |Tadamon | February 25, 2008
An economic association agreement between the European Union and Israel lends international political legitimacy to the Israeli government, while providing a critical export market for Israeli goods and products, an essential element to Israel 's international trade policy.More...

German intellectuals: Israel 's creation made Palestinians victims of Holocaust
Cnaan Liphshiz | Haaretz | February 19, 2008
A group of visiting German intellectuals called on Berlin on Monday to change what they termed its Holocaust-rooted blind support of Israel , saying the creation of the State of Israel turned Palestinians into victims of the Nazi Holocaust as well.More...

Israeli Academic Complicity

Academic Freedom? Not For Arabs In Israel
Jonathan Cook | Countercurrents.org | March 3, 2008
In the strange world of Israeli academia, an Arab college lecturer is being dismissed from his job because he refused to declare his "respect for the uniform of the Israeli army". The bizarre demand was made of Nizar Hassan, director of several award-winning films, after he criticised a Jewish student who arrived in his film studies class at Sapir College in the Negev for wearing his uniform and carrying a gun.More...

Wellsprings of memory
Dalia Karpel | Haaretz | February 8, 2008
At the end of the 19th century, abundant citrus groves embraced the city of Jaffa from the east, and the aroma of Shamouti and Valencia oranges, marketed in Europe under the famed " Jaffa " label, wafted across the urban landscape. To water the groves, farmers used elevated stone wells with a pumping mechanism comprised of a large wheel and a chain of clay pots that dipped into the well and collected water, then poured it into a pool. The wheel was turned by a mule or a camel with blinkered eyes. At the lower level of the pool, there was an opening through which the water flowed into channels to cavities dug around each tree. The wells were later upgraded by the installation of diesel engines.More...

The School of Occupation Studies
Hilla Dayan, translated by George Malent | Occupation Magazine | January 3, 2008
Over three years ago Yehuda Shenhav wrote in Ha-`Oketz about his impressions of a conference of the American Sociological Association in San Francisco . On that occasion Yehuda did a thorough stocktaking and found that of 133 Israeli sociologists in tenure-track positions (of whom 2 were Palestinian and 14 Mizrahi), there were maybe about two researchers who offered courses on the Occupation.More...

Archaeologist hid 'Jesus tomb' for fear of anti-Semitism, widow says
Jonathan Lis | Haaretz | January 20, 2008
The widow of the archaeologist who discovered the tomb in Talpiot that some believe to be that of Jesus of Nazareth, explained Wednesday in Jerusalem to a gathering of senior archaeologists and other scholars why her husband kept his discovery a secret.More...

Articles, Opinion and Editorials

With friends like these
Gideon Levy | Haaretz | March 23, 2008
The amount of support being shown for Israel these days is almost embarrassing. The parade of highly-placed foreign guests and the warm reception received by Israeli statesmen abroad have not been seen for quite some time. Who hasn't come to visit lately?
>From the German chancellor to the leading frontrunner for the American presidency. And the secretary-general of the United Nations is on his way. A visit to Israel has become de rigueur for foreign pols. If you haven't been here, you're nowhere. ...more

Salata Baladi or Afrangi?
Joseph Massad | The Electronic Intifada | March 13, 2008
While Zionism's atrocities against the Palestinian people have not stopped for the last century, Israel 's atrocities against other Arabs in the last sixty years have remained consistent, albeit intermittent. This not only includes Israel's bombings and killings of Lebanese, Syrians, Jordanians, Tunisians, Egyptians, and Libyans, but also its terrorism against Arab Jews, specifically Iraqi Jews whose exodus to Israel it brought about in the early 1950s after a series of bombings in Baghdad, and the tragedy it caused to Egyptian Jews, to say nothing of Yemeni and Moroccan Jews whose lives Zionism successfully interrupted and transformed. While Zionism's activities in Egypt among Egyptian Jews bore little fruit before or after World War II, Zionism's insistence that it speaks and acts in the name of all Jews have put Jewish communities inside and outside Palestine in a precarious position. ...more


Double standard on divestment
Josh Ruebner | ZNet | January 9, 2008
Today, two movements for the promotion of human rights in Sudan and Palestine seek to emulate the successful role played by boycotts, divestment, and sanctions in achieving democracy and equality in South Africa . The two movements, however, have received radically different receptions on Capitol Hill. This double standard testifies to official Washington 's selectivity when it comes to promoting human rights around the globe and its tendency to overlook the faults of its allies while using human rights as a pretext to punish its adversaries.More...

Open letter: "Award for tolerance" hides story of discrimination
Malcolm Guy | The Electronic Intifada | February 15, 2008
The following letter was sent by Montreal filmmaker Malcolm Guy to the Rendez-Vous du Cin é ma Qu é becois on 12 February:
With this letter I would like to officially withdraw as a member of the jury for the 2008 Prize of the Alex and Ruth Dworkin Foundation for the Promotion of Tolerance through Cinema (2008 Prix annuel de la Fondation Alex et Ruth Dworkin pour la promotion de la tol é rance à travers le cinéma) at the Rendez-Vous du Cinéma Québecois.More...

The Gaza Strip blockade could seriously harm Israel 's economy
Meron Rapoport | Haaretz | February 10, 2008
When it comes to security, Israel 's balance after the fall of the Rafah wall appears to be negative. Armed terrorists are rushing from the Gaza Strip to Sinai to the Israeli border, and more lethal and sophisticated weapons have been brought into Gaza . The head of the Shin Bet security service, Yuval Diskin, put his finger on this point in a recent report.More...

Who Got to Decide on Nadia Abu El-Haj's Tenure?
Dan Rabinowitz and Ronen Shamir | Academe | January-February 2008
The tension surrounding Barnard College 's determination of whether to grant tenure to anthropologist Nadia Abu El-Haj was resolved this fall. Barnard reached a positive decision. The affair, however, leaves a number of important issues open. At the center of this controversy stands Abu El-Haj's first book, Facts on the Ground: Archaeological Practice and Territorial Self-Fashioning in Israeli Society. Published in 2001, it explores the relationship between archaeology and Zionist nation building. (Her forthcoming book on genetics in the Zionist nation-building project, which is now in manuscript form, promises to be as provocative and intellectually stimulating.)More...

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
www.pacbi.org
info@boycottisrael.ps

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From: Vrede vzw
Date: woensdag 19 maart 2008 10:30
Subject: Fwd: lijst ondertekenaars

“60 jaar ontheemd, 40 jaar bezet!”

“60 ans de dépossession, 40 ans d'occupation!”

 

In mei 2008 viert Israël zijn 60 jarig bestaan. De Palestijnen hebben nog altijd geen eigen staat; hun onvervreemdbaar recht op zelfbeschikking blijft onvervuld. De Palestijnen herdenken deze gebeurtenissen van 1948-49 als “de catastrofe of de Nakba”. De 40 jaar durende bezetting van de overgebleven Palestijnse gebieden, de ononderbroken uitbouw van de kolonies en de Muur zetten de Palestijnen in een uitzichtloze situatie.

De internationale gemeenschap, en ook België, dragen een grote verantwoordelijkheid voor het uitblijven van vrede in Israël en Palestina. Europa en België moet een actieve politiek voeren om te komen tot een duurzame oplossing gebaseerd op het internationaal en humanitair recht. Wij roepen alle verenigingen, instellingen en personaliteiten uit het sociale middenveld op om de gemeenschappelijke oproep mee te ondertekenen

In België leeft onder brede lagen van de bevolking het besef dat het Palestijnse volk recht heeft op zelfbeschikking. We geloven daarom dat deze gemeenschappelijke oproep zal uitgroeien tot een krachtig politiek signaal aan onze nationale en Europese beleidsmakers.

Half mei 2008 zullen de initiatiefnemende organisaties in naam van alle ondertekenaars de Belgische politici aanmanen om een actieve politiek ten aanzien van het Israëlisch-Palestijns conflict te voeren, gebaseerd op het internationaal recht.

Op 18 mei 2008 sluiten we de campagne af met een grote solidariteitsactie in Brussel, waarvoor we op de medewerking van alle deelnemende organisaties rekenen.

De initiatiefnemende organisaties nodigen daarom alle solidaire organisaties en individuen uit het sociale, culturele en academische middenveld uit om:

•  de oproep te ondertekenen, zodat die uitgroeit tot een gemeenschappelijke oproep van het middenveld.

•  de eigen achterban te informeren en te sensibiliseren over de achtergrond van het Israëlisch-Palestijns conflict.

•  op te roepen voor de afsluitende actie op 18 mei 2008.

In de loop van maart zal een representatieve delegatie een missie naar Israël en de Palestijnse gebieden ondernemen, om zich ter plaatse van de toestand te vergewissen.

Op 31 maart 2008, de Palestijnse dag van het land, houden de initiatiefnemende organisaties een persconferentie, waarop ze de gemeenschappelijke oproep, samen met de lijst van alle ondertekenende organisaties zullen toelichten.

Tussen eind maart en eind mei 2008 rekenen we erop dat alle onderschrijvende organisaties initiatief nemen om in hun publicaties en activiteiten aandacht te geven aan de achtergrond van dit aanslepende conflict. Het Actieplatform Palestina en de Association Belgo-Palestinienne zorgen voor de nodige ondersteuning.

Mogen we u vragen om deze oproep liefst vóór 20 maart 2008 te ondertekenen, via de website (campagnepagina van www.actieplatformpalestina.be )

Namens het initiatiefcomité,

APP ABP

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From: Omar Barghouti
Date: Monday 3 march 2008 18:20
Subject: The time for worldwide boycott is now

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9358.shtml

On Friday, 29 February 2008, Israel's deputy defense minister Matan Vilnai threatened Palestinians in Gaza with a "holocaust," telling Israeli Army Radio: "The more Qassam fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, [the Palestinians] will bring upon themselves a bigger holocaust because we will use all our might to defend ourselves."

This date will go down in history as the beginning of a new phase in the colonial conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, whereby a senior Israeli leader, a "leftist" for that matter, has publicly revealed the genocidal plans Israel is considering to implement against Palestinians under its military occupation, if they do not cease to resist its dictates. It will also mark the first time since World War II that any state has relentlessly -- and on live TV -- terrorized a civilian population with acts of slow, or low-intensity, genocide, with one of its senior government officials overtly inciting to a full-blown "holocaust," while the world stood by, watching in utter apathy, or in glee, as in the case of leading western leaders.

For an Israeli leader who is Jewish, in particular, to threaten anyone with holocaust is a sad irony of history. Are victims of unspeakable crimes invariably doomed to turn into appalling criminals? Can anything be possibly done to break this vicious cycle, before the state that claims to represent the main victims of the Nazi holocaust commits a fresh holocaust itself?

Before addressing those questions, however, isn't it exaggerated and pointedly counterproductive, one may ask, to compare Israel's crimes against the Palestinians, no matter how brutal and inhumane they have been, to Nazi genocide? Besides, isn't each crime unique and worthy of attention in its own right as a violation of human rights, of international law, of universal moral principles? The answer is yes: each crime is unique, and nothing Israel has done to date comes even close, in quantity, to Nazi crimes. But when victims-turned-perpetrators openly admit their intentions to carry out a unique form of offense that they are most familiar with, and they actually commit repeated acts that are qualitatively reminiscent of that crime in their unbridled racism and the ghastly level of disregard for the value and dignity of the human life of the "other" that is inherent in them, then their threats ought to be taken seriously. Everyone is called upon to react, to act in any way to stop this crime-in-progress from reaching its logical conclusion.

The Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA), despite its lack of political independence and its disputed mandate, is called upon to immediately exonerate itself from the popular accusation of complicity. Azmi Bishara was among the most prominent of those who issued this harsh indictment, in reaction to the announcement by the head of the PA in Cairo that al-Qaida had infiltrated Gaza, and that the projectiles fired indiscriminately by the Palestinian resistance at Israeli towns and settlements provide the excuse for Israel's aggression. The credibility of this complicity assertion was compelling enough to prompt Mahmoud Abbas to condemn the Israeli crime in unprecedented austerity and hyperbole, describing it as "more than a Holocaust."

Arab regimes, especially Egypt's and Jordan's, as unelected, illegitimate and subservient to the US as they may be, are still expected to distance themselves from Israel's lethal war of aggression on Gaza. After all, their continued diplomatic and commercial ties with Israel, as well as their implicit justification of Israel's crimes through their repeated and gratuitous vilification of Hamas, have convincingly labeled them in the eyes of their respective publics, not to mention the wider Arab public, as accessories in crime.

European governments, chiefly in France, Britain and Germany, have to also answer to the serious charge of collusion in Israel's crimes against humanity, prevalent among wide Palestinian, Arab and Muslim majorities. They have not only stayed silent in the face of Israel's willful killing of innocent civilians, many of whom are children, in the course of the last few days in Gaza; they have continued to treat Israel with reverence, celebrating its so-called 60th anniversary, a gruesome event of ethnic cleansing and colonial ruin itself, showering it with economic, political and scientific support that significantly contributes to its impunity.

The US government, on the other hand, cannot be accused of abetting Israel's acts of genocide in the same league as all the above sinister accomplices. It is and has always been a full and proud partner in planning, bankrolling and executing those crimes against the Palestinians, not to mention its own unmatched criminal record in Afghanistan, Iraq and, before both, Vietnam. When our own Nuremberg moment arrives, when Israeli war criminals are finally prosecuted in an international court, a substantial space in the defense chamber will have to be reserved for US commanders and political leaders. Without American partnership, expressed in immeasurable military, economic and diplomatic aid, Israel could not have committed all its racist and colonial crimes with such impunity.

Going back to the question of whether anything should and could be done to stop Israel, the answer is a certain yes. South African apartheid crimes were challenged not only by the heroic struggle of the oppressed masses on the ground in South Africa; they were also fought by worldwide campaigns of boycott, divestment and sanctions against the regime, with all its complicit economic, academic, cultural, and athletic institutions. Similarly, international civil society can, and ought to, apply the same measures of non-violent justice to bring about Israel's compliance with international law and basic human rights. Even the threat of sanctions has proven effective enough in the past to halt Israel's repeated campaigns of death and devastation.

If all those images of tens of Palestinian children torn to pieces, all those recurrent episodes of wanton killing and destruction by an occupation army against a predominantly defenseless civilian population, go unpunished, the world may well witness a new holocaust indeed.

Omar Barghouti is an independent political analyst.


Related Links

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From: Ricken Patel - Avaaz.org
Date: Monday 3 march 2008 18:20
Subject: Gaza - Ceasefire NOW

Gaza and Israel are on the brink of all-out war - before it's too late, let's raise a massive global outcry for a ceasefire to stop the violence and protect civilians: Sign the Emergency Petition

Dear friends,

The Gaza-Israel crisis is out of control. It's come to this:
bloody full-scale invasion, or a cease-fire.
1 With rockets raining down on both sides, Israel launched a ground assault into the Gaza Strip this weekend. Over a hundred combatants and civilians from both sides lie dead. 2 The next 48 hours are crucial -- Israel's cabinet will discuss a larger invasion Wednesday. But Hamas floated a Gaza ceasefire months ago, and 64% of Israelis support the idea. 3

Both sides know they are in a battle for global legitimacy, and international opinion counts. We need a massive global outcry for a cease-fire now -- sign the emergency petition below, then forward this message to friends and family. We will deliver our petition to senior Israeli and Palestinian leaders this week, as well as in a major billboard campaign:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/gaza_ceasefire_now/1.php

Citizens on both sides are desperate for safety. Many experts believe that without a ceasefire to stabilize Gaza, there is no chance for achieving a comprehensive peace and a fair two-state deal. While the US still maintains no-one must talk to Hamas, Israel itself has begun to break that taboo, and public reports and our own contacts indicate that European and Arab officials now support a Gaza ceasefire.

Like the Hezbollah-Israel war of 2006, this conflict is spinning out of control. Just as it did then, international pressure can help achieve a ceasefire today. The combatants take public opinion very seriously. So let's send a united global message to the warring parties to stop the violence -- sign the petition and spread the word today:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/gaza_ceasefire_now/1.php

With hope and determination,

Paul, Galit, Esra'a, Ricken, Ben, Graziela, Pascal and the whole Avaaz team

PS The UN has already called for both sides to cease all acts of violence 4 -- the European Union, Turkey, Russia, the UK, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and many other states have joined the global chorus. This is not just a war but a growing humanitarian crisis. Last month we met with EU Middle East envoy Marc Otte and senior advisers in European member states to deliver a call for a ceasefire and an internationally-overseen opening of the Gaza crossings, and we have seen progress since from the international community. 5 There is much more to do. We've campaigned hard for real Middle East talks, but unless Gaza is stabilised, no lasting peace is possible.

Sources:

1. Invasion or ceasefire – Guardian news report on the Israeli debate:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/mar/03/israel.gaza

2. The Times of London news report - both sides claiming success, 110 dead:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article3473788.ece

Missiles now reaching the Israeli city of Ashkelon:
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iDwNccgnikUMFy7O6LWaLsmaFUqwD8V5I2I00

3. 64% of Israelis support ceasefire talks with Hamas:
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/958473.html

4. UN and EU call for an end to the violence:
http://www.reuters.com/article/newsMaps/idUSN0127116720080302

5. European and international policy shifting:
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/956434.html
and http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/951934.html

____________________________________________________________________
From: Ricken Patel - Avaaz.org
Date: Wednesday 23 January 2008 19:56
Subject: Gaza red alert

Dear friends,

This morning after years of blockade and war, 350,000 desperate Palestinians poured through breaches in the Gaza-Egypt border. The crisis is out of control, the world must step in –- let's urgently call on the United Nations, European Union and Arab League to stop the siege , oversee the opening of borders and help broker the ceasefire which civilians on all sides desperately need. Please click below to sign the emergency petition--we'll deliver it when we reach 150,000 signatures–-so sign now and forward this email to your friends and family:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/gaza_end_the_siege/9.php?cl=52049406

The border blockade of Gaza by Israel has finally hit crisis point. This week's power blackouts caught the attention of the world; now militants have blown open Gaza's southern border with Egypt, and Israel could act by force to close it.

The international community can end this crisis , and help save civilians on all sides. This isn't about taking sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: it's about 1.5 million human beings locked up in the biggest prison on earth. The unsustainable blockade must be lifted and the border opened properly, with external controls to prevent weapons smuggling. Meanwhile, the missile war between Israel and Gaza will only be stopped by a reciprocal ceasefire which Hamas says it would negotiate.

While Israel and the US remain committed to the failing siege, the UN, European Union and Arab League can step in to end this blockade, oversee open borders, and help broker a ceasefire to save lives on all sides -- sign the petition and spread the word today:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/gaza_end_the_siege/9.php?cl=52049406

The humanitarian crisis of Gaza is only getting worse, as patients die in hospitals for lack of care, and clean drinking water runs low. Palestinian militants are still launching missiles at the Israeli town of Sderot, and Israeli missiles claimed 37 Palestinian lives last week -- many of them civilian.

No genuine peace talks will be possible while this crisis continues. In the Israel-Lebanon war of 2006, we saw how global pressure and assistance can stop such a crisis and protect civilians from harm -- we cannot stay silent about the crisis in Gaza. Please add your name now at the link above, and forward this message widely.

With hope and determination,

Ricken, Paul, Galit, Esra'a, Pascal, Ben and the whole Avaaz team

PS In a global interactive poll on the Middle East, tens of thousands of Avaaz members helped to set our direction for this campaign -- addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and achieving a reciprocal ceasefire were each supported by over 90% of respondents:
http://www.avaaz.org/en/annapolis_results_2

For more about the crisis:

Article by UN agency chief: "There has never been a more urgent need for the international community to act to restore normality in Gaza"
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2245299,00.html

Border breakout, 350,000 Palestinians cross into Egypt:
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3497673,00.html

Former Clinton official calls for ceasefire, ending siege:
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/01/21/opinion/edmalley.php

Several Israeli cabinet ministers also want to negotiate ceasefire:
Jerusalem Post article

UN reports on the humanitarian crisis, including background to the blackouts:
http://www.ochaopt.org/?module=displaysection§ion_id=11&static=0&format=html

Deepening medical crisis in Gaza (UN):
http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=75693


ABOUT AVAAZ
Avaaz.org is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means "voice" in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Paris, Washington DC, and Geneva.


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