Friday, June 29, 2007
By Bernard Josephs
JEWISH CHRONICLE (London, U.K.)
The campaign to boycott Israel was widened this week as members of the Transport and General Workers Union prepared to vote on a motion calling for a ban against all Israeli products.
The move, to be considered by delegates representing the TGWU’s 800,000 members at their annual meeting next week, could result in millions of trades unionists coming under instructions to impose an embargo.
Such actions have already been approved by the 1.3 million strong Unison and by the National Union of Journalists. Meanwhile UCU, the academics’ union, may ballot its members over sanctions.
The TGWU’s boycott motion has been proposed by car-industry workers at its Birmingham branch. It “deplores the actions” of Israel towards the Palestinians and accuses it of failing to recognise the “legitimate aspiration of a Palestinian state”.
The motion specifically calls upon the conference to “support a boycott of Israeli products and goods” and calls on the government to take a “stronger stance in support of the Palestinian people”.
Members of the Trade Union Friends of Israel said they were hoping to persuade the union to drop its boycott move, and would be seeking talks not only with TGWU leaders but also with the proposers of the motion.
However, Eric McDonald, the union’s Birmingham branch secretary — who said he had never been to Israel or the Palestinian Authority areas — pledged that there would be no backtracking. “Boycotting worked against South Africa and the motion was approved unanimously by the 30 members of the district committee,” representing 16,000 members.
“Israel is very intolerant and sometimes its behaviour is not dissimilar to that of the Nazis,” he told the JC. “Israel, like any other fundamentalist religious state, abuses groups that are different.” This also applied to Hamas, he accepted.
The backlash against the boycott continued in the unions and in Parliament.
More than 250 members of the National Union of Journalists signed a petition calling on their union to drop its boycott resolution. Among them were a large group of BBC broadcasters including foreign correspondents Hugh Sykes and James Reynolds and political correspondent Reeta Chakrabarti. Other signatories included The Guardian’s Middle East correspondent Ian Black, The Independent’s Israel correspondent Donald MacIntyre and ITN’s father of chapel (shop steward) Dan Wright.
In a letter to The Guardian, 32 members of Unison, including national executive member Alison Brown, said that as “democrats, socialists and supporters of an independent Palestinian state we oppose a boycott against Israel”. Such a move, they said, would “strengthen the sense of being under siege in a world of enemies which is a strong element in the power of the Israeli right”.
More than 100 MPs from all sides of the House of Commons had this week signed a parliamentary motion branding the UCU vote as “repugnant”. It said that boycotting Israeli educational institutions and academics would damage Britain’s reputation “and does nothing to promote peace in the Middle East”.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
I卐RAELI FOOD IS BLOODY:
People's Food Co-op is voting on total boycott of Israeli products.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
"Twenty Palestinians, including seven in critical condition, have been taken to hospital.
"Palestinian medics said the Israeli army's incursion on Wednesday into Gaza City and the southern town of Khan Younis, the biggest raid on the territory since the Hamas takeover two weeks ago, is ongoing.
"Israeli tanks and bulldozers rolled into both areas in overnight incursions - sparking clashes with Palestinian fighters...
"...A 12-year-old boy and two men were killed in Gaza City by a shell fired by an Israeli tank, residents and medical workers said."
"United Methodists Urged to Divest From 20 Companies Supporting in a Significant Way Israel's Occupation of Palestinian Land"
Wed, 27 Jun 2007
* ALLIANT TECH SYSTEMS (NYSE:ATK) is engaged with an Israeli company in the production of rubber-coated bullets. Such bullets are frequently used against Palestinians, as well as Israeli and international peace activists engaged in peaceful demonstrations to protest Israel's confiscation of Palestinian land. Rubber bullets often blind, disfigure or kill those who are hit by them. Alliant is also engaged in other contracts that support the Israeli military, which enforces the occupation. The company produces fuses for cluster bombs and Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems.
* BLOCKBUSTER (NYSE:BBI) has kiosks in illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land. These settlements violate the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Companies providing services to these settlements, which violate international law, contribute to their growth and appeal for Israelis. They make it harder to withdraw Israelis from the occupied territories, an essential step for any lasting peace agreement with Palestinians.
* BOEING (NYSE:BA) has been a major supplier of the F-15 Eagle and the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter to Israel. These aircraft have been used to attack Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, resulting in many civilian casualties. Boeing makes missile systems, F-15 software, Apache Helicopters, and Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM), a guided air-to-surface weapon.
* CATERPILLAR (NYSE:CAT) supplies bulldozers to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). The IDF uses these to destroy Palestinian homes, orchards and olive groves in the Occupied Territories. They are also used to clear Palestinian land for illegal Israeli settlements, segregated roads and the "Separation Barrier." Despite years of corporate engagement by investors, Caterpillar is expanding its role in the occupation, recently announcing a joint venture with InRobTech to develop unmanned remote-controlled bulldozers for Israel.
* CEMENT ROADSTONE HOLDINGS (CRH) (NYSE: CRH) is an Ireland-based multinational. CRH benefits from a monopoly on cement production within Israel through its 25% holding in the Israeli group Mashav Initiating and Development Ltd., which is the holding company for Nesher Cement. Nesher claims on its web site to be Israel's sole producer of cement. Cement is being used in the construction of the Separation Wall inside the West Bank, which the International Court of Justice has ruled illegal. Cement is also used to build settlements on Palestinian land.
* GENERAL DYNAMICS (NYSE:GD) Land Systems in the USA manufactures the GD 883 diesel engine for Israel's Merkava 4 battle tanks. It has supplied about 1,000 M60A3 Main Battle Tanks to Israel. These tanks are frequently used against Palestinians in the occupied territories. It also produces equipment used on the F16 Fighting Falcon Jets sold to Israel. General Dynamics will be the general contractor for the production of 3,500 MK-84 "general purpose" bombs, spares and repair parts for Israel in a sale proposed by the Pentagon in April, 2007.
* GENERAL ELECTRIC (NYSE:GE) supplies the propulsion system for Israel's AH-64 Apache Assault Helicopter, which is used in Israeli attacks on Palestinian towns. It also possesses contracts with Israel to sell engines for a variety of military aircraft. In addition, GE possesses several Israeli service contracts for engineering support and testing.
* GLOBECOMM SYSTEMS INC (GSI) (New York) (NASDAQ: GCOM) in partnership with Tadiran Spectralink of the Elisra Group (Israel), has a contract to supply the IDF with equipment and facilities for communication between all branches of the IDF ground forces. The system includes mobile stations installed on HMMWV vehicles. These vehicles are used by the IDF in the occupied territories.
* ITT CORPORATION (NYSE:ITT) provides the Israeli Defense Forces with intensifier tubes for night vision goggles and has previously provided battlefield communication radios. Night vision goggles are used by pilots, co-pilots and crews of fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft, especially helicopter crews. They enable Israel to attack refugee camps and villages in the middle of the night, the time when many of these raids and assaults take place. Battlefield communication radios allow the military to communicate with troops over a secure channel.
* LOCKHEED MARTIN (NYSE:LMT) is the single biggest overseas supplier for the Israeli armaments industry. It has received at least $4.4 billion since 1995 for supplying arms, including missile systems and fighter planes, to Israel. It has many ongoing contracts, including manufacturing F-16I fighter bombers used by the IDF against Palestinians. Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control in Orlando, Florida produces the Hellfire missile system for Apache attack helicopters used by Israel against Palestinians. According to a military trade publication, Israel's main battle tank, the Merkava MK-4 is produced by the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works Group.
* MAGAL SECURITY SYSTEMS (NASDAQ:MAGS) is an Israeli company that is providing intrusion detection fencing for the separation wall. It is listed in a government of Israel web site as one of the contractors engaged in the construction of the wall.
* MOTOROLA (NYSE:MOT) is engaged in a 400 million NIS ($93 million) project to provide radar systems for enhancing security at illegal West Bank settlements deep inside Palestinian territory. Motorola also has a $90-million contract to provide the Israeli army with an advanced "Mountain Rose" cell phone communications system. Its wholly owned subsidiary in Israel has a contract to develop encrypted wireless communications featuring vehicle-mounted antenna that will enable military use in the occupied territories and other remote areas. Motorola has operations in the Jordan Valley on occupied land.
* NORTHROP GRUMMAN (NYSE:NOC) collaborates with Lockheed Martin in producing the Israeli F-16I Sufa ('Storm') aircraft by providing the AN/APG-68 (V)9 multimode radar that provides for high-resolution ground mapping. With Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman also produces the Longbow System which, when installed in the Apache helicopter, greatly enhances the Apache's lethality. The Longbow system includes fire control radar and the Hellfire Missile. In 2000 and 2001, Congress was notified of more than $500 million and $509 million respectively in pending Apache Longbow attack helicopter sales to Israel.
* OSHKOSH TRUCK CORPORATION (NYSE:OSK) through contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars, supplies mobility tactical trucks to the Israeli Military. These include cargo trucks with winches, wreckers and tractors. This type of equipment is used by the Israeli military in the occupied territories. Israel also has a $145 million contract with Oshkosh Truck Corp to build more than 900 armor kits for Israel's Medium Tactical Vehicles.
* RAYTHEON (NYSE:RTN) is a major arms contractor to the Israeli military. It supplies Patriot, Sparrow, Sidewinder, Maverick and TOW missiles. The Maverick is a precision, air-to-ground missile that is used against small mobile and hard targets. Missiles are frequently used against Palestinians in crowded residential areas such as refugee camps. They are also used in targeted assassinations of Palestinians without trial, evidence or the opportunity for defense.
* SILICON GRAPHICS (SGI) (NASDAQ:SGIC) has a contract to provide Israeli Air Force F-15 pilots with visual system training. SGI's system will also allow training for F-16 pilots using night vision goggles and sensors. An SGI graphics system serves as the image generator for the Israeli Air Force's UH-60/CH-53 Helicopter Aircrew Weapon Systems Trainer. These aircraft have been used in attacks on Palestinians in the occupied territory.
* TEREX (NYSE:TEX) subsidiary American Truck Company (ATC) signed a $54 million agreement to supply 302 medium tactical trucks and associated logistical support to the Israeli army. Terex also supplied TATRA trucks used by the Israeli army to mount artillery systems during the time it owned a controlling interest in that company. Terex owns Amida Industries, which manufactures mobile floodlight towers used by the Israeli Army in the Occupied Territories. It also owns Terex Demag Cranes which are leased in Israel through Riwal, the major crane supplier for Israel's separation wall. Terex's ATC still has a contract with the Israeli army for training, service and spare parts.
* UNITED TECHNOLOGIES (NYSE:UTX) produces Blackhawk helicopters which are used by the Israeli military to attack Palestinian cities, refugee camps and villages. Many civilians have been killed in these attacks. On February 1, 2001, United Technologies Sikorsky Division announced a $211.8 million contract with the Israeli Air Force. United Technologies Pratt and Whitney Division produces engines for Israel's F-15 and F-16 aircraft, which are used against Palestinians. In 2005, Israel awarded Pratt and Whitney a contract worth up to $600 million for fleet management of these engines over the next 10 years.
* VEOLIA ENVIRONNEMENT (NYSE:VE) owns Connex. Connex is a central partner in a new $500 million light rail system designed to link Jerusalem to the illegal settlements of the occupied West Bank. It owns 5% of the consortium building the system and secured a contract to operate the system for the next 30 years.
* VOLVO (NASDAQ:VOLV) bulldozers have been photographed and videotaped destroying Palestinian homes. They have also been used in Israel's construction of the Separation Wall, which is on Palestinian land and has been declared illegal by the International Court of Justice. Mayers Cars and Trucks in Israel is a Volvo distributor, and according to Israeli sources is one of the main providers of construction equipment for the settlements and the wall.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
"We cannot be indifferent to the daily suffering, humiliation and dehumanisation of the Palestinian people."
The illegal military occupation of Palestinian land by Israel is a deep concern, says Zuma
The illegal military occupation of Palestinian land by Israel and the building of illegal settlement on occupied territory was a deep concern, Jacob Zuma, the African National Congress (ANC) deputy president, said at the weekend.
"The building of the apartheid wall, which aims to de facto extend the Israeli borders and imprison large sections of the Palestinian population into prisons, is calculated to destroy Palestinian family and economic life, and entrap a whole nation into a life of poverty and dispossession," he said.
He said that South Africa, as a country that had experienced racism, will be failing its international duty if it did not condemn the Israeli government and its "many international backers for the brutal oppression" of the Palestinian people. "We cannot be indifferent to the daily suffering, humiliation and dehumanisation of the Palestinian people.”We need to intensify our campaign and join the growing voices of condemnation around the globe and the call for people to take concrete action to register our abhorrence at the actions of the Israeli government," Zuma said.
Zuma said the ANC had passed "strongly worded resolutions" calling on Israel to immediately withdraw from all occupied Palestinian territory. "Israel has ignored all international laws and conventions which were put in place after the atrocities of the Second World War to prevent the very type of situations that exist in Israel today.
Conflict exacerbates tensions
"In recent months, the internecine conflict between groups within Palestine has exacerbated tensions in the region... this conflict is not helpful to the fundamental problem between Palestine and Israel," he said. He said the conflict undermined the support provided to the Palestinian people by the international community. "It also creates difficulties for those around the world acting in solidarity to identify which grouping to support. If they act as a united front, they are stronger and able to unite international support.... while we condemn Israel, we equally condemn the divisions among the Palestinians because we would certainly love to support the united people of Palestine,” he said.
While Zuma stated that it would be easier to support a united Palestine, Tony Leon, the former Democratic leader and current spokesperson on foreign affairs, accused the ANC of taking sides in supporting one of two Palestinian factions. “The department of foreign affairs has once again put the ANC’s party political agenda ahead of its proper and correct duty as government by supporting the Hamas insurgents over the legitimate Fatah-led national unity government in Palestine," he said in a statement today.
He said this following an objection to a draft proposal condemning the violence in the Gaza Strip by Dumisani Khumalo, the SA ambassador to the United Nations security council. "South Africa's opposition to the resolution appears to be premised on the fact that the new emergency government was not legitimate. The decision represents another example of the twisted logic that the department of foreign affairs uses in the Middle East... where insurgents and terrorists are friends and allies of a government that purports to espouse the importance of democracy and human rights abroad," he said.
Leon said SA's support of "those practising violence and those thwarting democracy in the cauldron of Palestine is a patent contradiction of stated government police and a usurpation of common sense". - Sapa
Saturday, June 23, 2007
By ALAN COWELL
NEW YORK TIMES
On the Web at:
"The union, called Unison and grouping 1.3 million public service employees, also called on the British government to oppose the sale of arms to Israel. The calls were made in a motion approved at Unison’s annual conference in Brighton demanding the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza with its capital in Jerusalem The resolution followed similar calls for pressure on Israel from British labor unions representing journalists and college teachers. British and American Jewish organizations condemned the latest boycott call."
Friday, June 22, 2007
( http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?c=JPArticle&cid=1182409609762&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull )...
...a major Ann Arbor food cooperative has voted to hold a Referendum to boycott all Israeli goods.
* On September 1, 2007, a boycott of all Israeli goods will be voted on by the Ann Arbor, Michigan "People's Food Co-op" membership.
The Co-op has approximately 6,000 members.
This Boycott Referendum was scheduled by vote of the People's Food Co-op Board of Directors, at their regular June 21st Board meeting.
The Referendum voting, by the full Co-op membership, has been scheduled to occur in the People's Food Co-op store, from September 1-30, 2007:
Almost 1,000 Ann Arbor community members had petitioned the People's Food Co-op to boycott all Israeli products. Those boycott petitioners included 438 certified members of the People's Food Co-op.
Here is the Co-op's Web site: http://www.peoplesfood.coop/index.html
Also asking the People's Food Co-op to boycott all Israeli goods was the local Green Party:
"RESOLUTION ON THE BOYCOTT OF ISRAELI GOODS BY THE PEOPLE'S FOOD CO-OP"
June 21, 2007
By MATTHEW KRIEGER
Full article on the Web at:
"At its annual delegates conference this week, UNISON, Britain's largest labor union, voted to impose sanctions on Israeli companies, including boycotting manufactured products, cutting ties with businesses and ending investments in Israeli pension funds as a response to the continued occupation of the West Bank.
"UNISON has approximately 1.6 million members.
"While the motion is more of a statement than actual UNISON policy, the resolution, unlike past measures, doesn't just call for a boycott of Israeli goods but includes cultural, academic and sporting activities, as well as calls for the UK and the European Union to end trade agreements with Israel and a suggestion to develop closer relations with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
"The boycott of manufactured goods will be an 'economic and psychological blow for Israeli manufacturers,' Uriel Lynn, president of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, said on Thursday. He added that he was surprised the Foreign Ministry hadn't done anything to try to stop the boycott...
"...The motion to proceed with the boycott passed by a show of hands, with approximately two-thirds of the 2,000 delegates in attendance voting in favor, according to Mary McGuire, a spokeswoman for the union."
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
"UNISON calls for cultural, economic, academic and sporting boycott of Israel until it ends occupation
by Ronen Bodoni
June 20, 2007
Published in "Yedioth Ahronoth" (YNet)
On the Web at:
The UK's largest trade union, UNISON, advocated on Wednesday a total boycott of Israel over its continued occupation of Palestinian territories.
A statement issued by delegates meeting in Brighton read: "The conference believes that ending the occupation demands concerted and sustained pressure upon Israel including an economic, cultural, academic and sporting boycott".
In addition, delegates called on the British government to press for an arms embargo against Israel.
Speaking to Ynet, the union's secretary, Miri Maguire, said the call was symbolic and carried little practical consequences.
"We support the State of Israel and will continue our good relations with professional Israeli unions. But the aim of our call is to end Israel's occupation," Maguire said.
The union also called on Israel to retreat to the borders before the Mideast war of 1967, to allow Palestinian refugees to return to a future Palestinian state and to dismantle its settlements in the Golan Heights.
Delegates also condemned an economic boycott imposed on the Palestinian Authority last year when Hamas won the general elections.
PICKET CHAPTERS/INDIGO SHAREHOLDERS MEETING IN TORONTO – JUNE 21
CUT THE TIES WITH ISRAELI APARTHEID!
When: Thursday, June 21st, 2007 @ 9:00-11:00 a.m.
Where: In front of Gate 13 at the Rogers’ Center (Skydome), near Blue Jays Way and Front Street.
On Thursday, June 21st, 2007, Indigo Books and Music Inc. will be holding its annual shareholders meeting at the Rogers Centre. CAIA invites its friends, supporters and allies to join us for an information picket to send a clear message to majority shareholders Heather Reisman and Gerry Schwartz that their links to the HESEG Foundation for Lone Soldiers - which subsidizes mercenaries from abroad that want to serve in Israel's racist military - are unacceptable!
After a successful national day of action on June 9, which saw pickets at Chapters/Indigo stores across Canada, we need your support to make sure that all Indigo Books and Music Inc. shareholders hear our message!
Click to enlarge photo.
"Lecturers to boycott Israeli universities"
"Nouse" (York University student newspaper, U.K.)
On the Web at:
University lecturers around the country are promoting a boycott of Israeli universities in protest against the “40-year occupation” of Palestinian land, which they argue is supported by academics in Israel.
The motion, upheld at the first conference of the University and College Union (UCU) in Bournemouth, said that there should be “a comprehensive and consistent boycott” of all Israeli academic institutions. The result of the vote was 158 to 99 in support of the motion.
Brighton University academic and member of the national union, Tom Hickey said, “There will be adverse effects on individuals, but this is not targeting individuals or trying to break contacts with them.”
The boycott would entail lecturers refusing to join forces with Israeli academics on research contracts, as well as refusing to work with journals that are published by Israeli companies.
The general secretary of the union Sally Hunt said, “I do not believe a boycott is supported by a majority of (the 120,000) UCU members; nor do I believe that members see it as a priority for the union.” She added that the majority of the members wished to retain dialogue with trade unionists on all sides “not just those we agree with”.
Rabbi Treblow, the Jewish student’s chaplain for Yorkshire and Humberside stated that he was troubled with the idea of an academic boycott, as it undermines the role of a university as a place to have free and open discussion. He said, “the majority of Israeli academics are of the same political persuasion as those carrying out the boycott, it’s counter productive, they are singling out people by their nationality and not their policies and beliefs.”
There has been an outcry from Jewish groups and activists who feel that the boycott is an attack on academic freedom and undermines the credibility of British academics as a whole, even if the vast majority does not support the boycott.
Mitch Simmons from the Union of Jewish Students added to this stating, “Academic freedom is part of the fabric of modern society. The exchange of information and the advancement of human knowledge should have no borders. Disappointingly, it seems that no value can be left unviolated by the proposers of this motion.”
On the same day as the vote, four Israeli university presidents and several top authors wrote to the Israeli government asking to lift the current restrictions placed on Palestinian students, preventing those that live in Gaza from studying in the West Bank. “Blocking access to higher education for Palestinian students from Gaza who choose to study in the West Bank casts a dark shadow over Israel’s image as a state which respects and supports the principle of academic freedom and the right to education,” the letter said.
This was followed by calls to the military to listen to the intellectuals and the Israeli academy who wished for the universal principle of academic freedom be respected.
The Israel-Palestine issue has a history of sparking controversy at previous conferences of the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE) and the Association of University Teachers (AUT), which merged last year to form the UCU.
In 2005 an AUT boycott caused much debate and was promptly discarded. NAFTHE also supported boycotts in the past.
Click on photo to enlarge it.
It shows the Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children, Gaza City, in occupied Palestine.
Atfaluna is the only institution in the Gaza Strip devoted solely to deaf education and complementary services for the deaf.
Israeli aerial bombardment shattered this school's glass windows, and injured deaf children inside.
"I gave instructions that nobody will sleep at night in the meantime in Gaza", declared Israeli Prime Minister Olmert.
"Corporate Media Ignores War Against Palestinians"
July 3, 2006
On the Web at:
In a brazen attempt to sugar coat Israel’s flagrant violations of the Geneva Convention, specifically Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which is intended to protect civilians, the corporate media continues to spin the situation in the Gaza Strip.
"Israel Steps Up Raids in Bid to Free Soldier," headlines the New York Times, reporting that "Israeli aircraft intensified their attacks on Palestinian targets in Gaza."
In fact, the Israelis are inflicting relentless collective punishment on the Palestinians, as B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights organization, documents.
"During its operation in the Gaza Strip following the abduction of Cpl. Gilad Shalit, Israeli air force jets have carried out low-altitude sorties over the Gaza Strip in which they intentionally cause powerful sonic booms," explains B’Tselem. "The sole purpose of these sorties is to prevent the residents from sleeping and to create an ongoing sense of fear and anxiety. Regarding the sonic booms, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that, 'thousands of residents in southern Israel live in fear and discomfort, so I gave instructions that nobody will sleep at night in the meantime in Gaza.’ The clear intention of the practice is to pressure the Palestinian Authority and the armed Palestinian organizations by harming the entire civilian population..."
"Children, in particular, suffer from the sonic booms. In the past, the Gaza Community Mental Health Center reported that the supersonic sorties caused fear among many children, which led to a loss of concentration, loss of appetite, bedwetting, and other disorders. The Center also reported that sonic booms caused headaches, stomach aches, shortness of breath, and other physical effects that appeared among both children and adults…. The use of sonic booms flagrantly breaches a number of provisions of international humanitarian law. The most significant provision is the prohibition on collective punishment. Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which is intended to protect civilians in time of war, categorically states that 'Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.’ The article also states that, 'Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.’ Air force supersonic sorties also breach the principle of distinction, a central pillar of humanitarian law, which forbids the warring sides to direct their attacks against civilians."
The Palestine Media Center (PMC) writes the following: "Using the release of the Israeli Corporal Gilad Shalit as pretext, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert unleashed his occupation forces to reoccupy Gaza Strip, terrorize Palestinian civilians with sonic booms, thin them to starvation, disrupt traffic, electricity supply, and access to water, bomb soccer fields, schools, TV stations, cultural centers and charities, vandalize hospitals, and kidnap, mafia-like, cabinet ministers, mayors and parliamentarians, revoke Palestinian residency in Jerusalem, and bomb the offices of prime and interior ministers." PMC, filling in where the disgusting Israel-friendly corporate media has left off, notes specific incidents:
IOF warplanes bombed the soccer field of the Islamic University in Gaza late Wednesday after destroying the only power plant in the strip early in the day, plunging Gaza Strip into darkness and depriving about one million Palestinians from electricity for months to come, hitting very hard not only households but also hospitals and schools.
Water supplies were also cut early Wednesday by bombing water pipelines, after destroying three bridges linking the south and north of the Gaza Strip.
Al-Arqam school, a cultural center and a charity in Gaza city were bombed to rubble by the IOF warplanes.
The IOF also damaged the Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children’s facilities in Gaza City. When IOF warplanes caused massive sonic booms and nearby explosions in air strikes, the Palestinian NGO’s building windows shattered. As a result, several deaf vocational trainees were injured from the shattered glass.
According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights six power transformers were destroyed, which provide an estimated 45 per cent of the electricity in Gaza for approximately half the population.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the Gaza Electrical Distribution Company estimates it will take nine months to procure replacement transformers.
The Coastal Municipalities Water Utility manages the 132 water wells in Gaza, which is powered by GEDCO. Since back-up generators are needed to keep water flowing, there is concern about the financial and physical stability of using back-up generators because the IOF closed off the energy pipeline into Gaza.
Destroying critical civilian infrastructure, targeting facilities for the deaf, pitching hospitals and charities into the dark, creating a massive refugee situation—it is all in a day’s work for the neocons and their Likudite masters, from Gaza and the West Bank to the whole of Iraq.
"I take personal responsibility for what is happening in Gaza. I want no one to sleep at night in Gaza," declared Olmert, who should also take responsibility for the fact Palestinians on life support and other critical health care systems will now die; he should take responsibility for all the miscarriages and mental problems caused by sonic boom warfare; he should take responsibility for terrorizing hundreds of thousands of innocent Palestinians, the vast majority who have nothing to do with the capture of IOF soldier Shalit, who is a prisoner of war.
Ehud Olmert, claiming responsibility for crimes against humanity, should face a tribunal immediately.
But then, as Olmert’s predecessor, the scurrilous terrorist leader (of Irgun) Menachem Begin, told Israel’s mafia, otherwise known as the Knesset, the Palestinians "are beasts walking on two legs."
As such, according to the Israelis and their neocon co-conspirators, the Palestinians do not deserve hospitals, charities, clean water (or any water at all, as there is no electricity to drive well pumps), food, or even a night’s rest. The Fourth Geneva Convention applies to humans, not beasts on two legs.
Obviously, as well, the New York Times believes the Palestinians are beasts, although as "liberals," they would not state such outright, as the leader of the terrorist Irgun Zvai Leumi, Menachem Begin did.
Following the vote by the British Union of Colleges and Universities (UCU) to consider imposing a boycott on Israeli academics, concern is growing that the largest labor union in
Alarmed by the prospect of a UNISON boycott move, Histadrut Chairman Ofer Eini on Thursday sent a letter to his UNISON counterpart to try to avert the potentially harmful vote, scheduled for mid-June….
...Sources in the UK said it was not clear how serious was the threat of a UNISON boycott, but Eini noted with concern that if it did pass, UK pension funds would stop investing in Israel and UNISON's 1.6 million members could themselves boycott Israeli goods.
"The UCU vote was only the latest in a series of trades union initiatives designed to sanction
"Earlier this week, meanwhile, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) president Willie Madisha said COSATU supported a campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions against
"Madisha was speaking at a news conference in which
"The COSATU president said action against
"Also Thursday, the Enough! Coalition, of which UNISON is a member, announced that it had scheduled a demonstration in
"Reactions to Wednesday's UCU vote came fast and furious on Thursday, with Israeli officials and academics expressing outrage and British Jews and politicians condemnation…"
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
|It shows a Palestinian boy, murdered by Israeli mobile artillery fired shells, which were fired at Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip July 6, 2006.|
by Brighton University lecturer Tom Hickey.
[A Brighton academic has been in the middle of a furious international row after calling for a boycott of Israel's universities. Brighton University lecturer Tom Hickey, the city's representative on the University and Colleges Union, writes for The Argus about being subjected to a campaign of "the most sustained vilification".]
"Irrational", "one-sided", "anti-semitic", "counter-productive" are some of the accusations levelled against the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) for deciding to debate whether it should boycott Israeli academic institutions.
As the motion's mover, I have been subjected to the most sustained vilification. Eminent American professors, and supporters of Israel, have threatened to bankrupt and destroy the careers of any UCU members who support a boycott.
What is the truth behind this smokescreen? Why has the UCU brought this predictable condemnation down on its head?
At this year's UCU Congress, delegates decided that we cannot ignore what is being done to the Palestinian people in the Occupied Territories, or the systematic denial of educational opportunities and academic freedom to Palestinian students and scholars.
Occupation The territories occupied since 1967 have been colonised by Israeli settlements built on illegally confiscated land. The area has been disaggregated and rendered ungovernable by road networks for Israeli use only. The population is subjected to house demolitions as collective punishments, and to regular shooting and shelling. Farmers are separated from their land, and water supplies sharply discriminate between the needs of Palestinians and those of Israeli settlers.
In these circumstances, there can be no normal educational provision. Tutors and students are subjected to delays, harassment and humiliation at checkpoints, face visa and travel restrictions, and enormous problems of infrastructural decay and underfunding. Work is all but non-existent, and a quarter of a million are dependent for survival on food aid.
It is hard not to conclude that these policies are designed to encourage Palestinians to leave so that the remains of their land and property can be annexed to an expanded Israel.
Academic Institutions In all of this, there is strong evidence of the complicity of Israeli academic institutions. In this extraordinary and extreme situation, no Israeli college or university has publicly condemned what is being done in the Occupied Territories in the name of every Israeli citizen. None have condemned, or dissociated themselves from, the consequences of the Occupation for Palestinian education. Some have established campuses for settlers on illegally confiscated land; others conduct their archeological digs on land from which Palestinian farmers have been expelled.
Some Israeli colleagues in Israeli universities have spoken out against the Occupation. But these are the heroic few. They risk their professional careers and being ostracised. The academy as a whole remains silent.
Our boycott debate in the UCU is accused of infringing academic freedom. Academic freedom is an important freedom for scholars and researchers. The pursuit of scientific and artistic advance without let or hindrance is indeed crucial for human improvement. But it is not an absolute value taking precedence over all else. The values of human life and dignity are the ultimate objectives.
We are accused, bizarrely and hypocritically, of interfering with 'free speech'. This when it is we who are proposing a discussion and debate about the appropriateness or otherwise of a boycott, and it is our opponents who are trying to prevent such a debate taking place.
Unfair to Israel?
We are accused of singling out Israel unfairly. Singling out, that is, the "Jewish State". Hence we are accused of being anti-semites. We are asked why we do not propose a boycott of other states whose policies are barbaric and inhuman. Why do we not propose, for example, boycotts of China, or of Saudi Arabia, or of Iran, or of Zimbabwe? The names Darfur, Chechnya, and, indeed, the illegal occupation of Iraq also come to mind.
This is a strange and a self-serving argument. If there are reasons to consider a boycott in other cases, that would depend on the merits of those cases. This does not mean that a boycott of Israel is inappropriate. So are there comparable cases?
There are certainly many regimes that are repressive, and which infringe on or deny academic freedom, but are they comparable in their circumstances to Israeli policies in the Occupied Territories? Here we are not simply speaking of the manufacture of a humanitarian catastrophe (the description of the UN Special Rapporteur), we are also speaking of a protracted process of colonisation, and the attempted extirpation of the history of a whole people. Yet that itself does not explain the peculiar circumstances of this particular barbarity.
In the case of Israel, we are speaking about a society whose dominant self-image is one of a bastion of civilisation in a sea of medieval reaction. And we are speaking of a culture, both in Israel and in the long history of the Jewish diaspora, in which education and scholarship are held in very high regard. That is the specific reason why an academic boycott might have an effect in this case.
The accusation of anti-semitism is both absurd and offensive. The UCU, together with the National Union of Journalists and UNISON (also engaged in discussion of a boycott), have proud records in opposing all forms of racism, including anti-semitism, and of organising to defend the rights of the oppressed. Personally, I have spent much of my adult life, professionally and politically, analysing and resisting racism and oppression.
Accusing those who criticise Israel of being anti-semites presumes an identity of interests between Israel and all Jewish people, wherever they may be. This is illogical and contrary to the facts. Most of those who spoke in favour of the motion were Jewish, as are the members of the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP). The response of Israel's defenders is to say that such people are not "proper Jews"; they are "self-hating Jews". In the interests of deploying a desperate argument, Jewishness thus becomes not a cultural or religious identity but rather an ideological position.
Boycott It may be the case, as a result of the debate in our union, that we do not decide to boycott. That will depend on the nature of the arguments in our branch discussions. If that is the outcome, however, it will not be because most members are unconcerned about the plight of the Palestinians. It would be because an alternative proposal for their aid and support, and for opposition to Israeli policy, had emerged. Such an alternative would have to be at least as effective as the boycott call in raising the issue to national and international prominence. If we do boycott after a debate, it will be of Israeli institutions not our individual Israeli colleagues.
If Israeli academic institutions are complicit in the inhuman and dehumanising treatment of the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, for us to do nothing, or to do nothing effective, would make us comparably complicit, if only by default. We are all confronted by this central moral and political issue of our time. It is one that holds the key for peace in the Middle East and beyond. In the knowledge of what is being done in the Occupied Territories, we cannot turn away, and say "business as usual".
Do you agree with Mr Hickey? Leave your comments below.
11:52am Monday 18th June 2007____________________________________
Monday, June 18, 2007
"Israeli Attack on Palestinian Family on Gaza Beach"
"Did the Zionists have the legal or moral right to invade Arab Palestine, uproot its Arab citizens from their homes and seize all Arab property for themselves just based on the 'religious' claim that their fore-fathers lived there thousands of years ago?
"Only a thousand years ago the Moors lived in Spain. Would this give the Moors of today the legal and moral right to invade the Iberian Peninsula, drive out its Spanish citizens, and then set up a new Moroccan nations... where Spain used to be, as the European zionists have done to our Arab brothers and sisters in Palestine?..."
See Malcolm's "Egyptian Gazette" article, quoted at length below, from 1964.
Mandela in Palestine:
"...The histories of our two peoples correspond in such painful and poignant ways that I intensely feel myself at home.."
"Nelson Mandela Gets Warm Welcome in Gaza:
"Former South African leader calls on Israel to pull out of occupied lands"
October 20, 1999
Web posted at: 9:34 p.m. EDT (0134 GMT)
JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Palestinians gave Nelson Mandela a hero's welcome when he visited Gaza Wednesday, and the former South African president said he would press Israel to release all Palestinian prisoners.
"It is a realization of a dream for me to be here to come and pledge my solidarity with my friend Yasser Arafat," Mandela said.
Mandela also addressed a special session of the Palestinian assembly, telling legislators that "the histories of our two peoples correspond in such painful and poignant ways that I intensely feel myself at home amongst my compatriots."
Mandela, who fought against white minority rule in his homeland, and Arafat, the Palestinian leader, say they nurtured each other through some of their most difficult times as each worked toward the goal of self-determination for their peoples.
Mandela recalled a time when both movements were treated as pariahs by the international community -- a period that saw the forging of close bonds between the Palestinians and his African National Congress.
"The long-standing fraternal bonds between our two liberation movements are now translating into the relations between two governments," Mandela said.
But Mandela's visit was more than symbolic. He touted the political message that Israel needs to give up all occupied Arab land -- including the Golan Heights and southern Lebanon -- in return for its total recognition within safe borders.
Mandela said he has no doubt that Palestinian leader Arafat "is eager for peace. He is a passionate fighter for peace."
However, some Palestinian critics of Arafat say he has not emulated Mandela's much-praised democratic path in South Africa.
"I don't think (Arafat) has the potential to achieve our dream," opponent Abdul Jawad Salah. "In fact, he has shattered our dream."
Though his speech to the assembly was strongly supportive of the Middle East peace process, Mandela elicited thunderous applause when he stated his opinion that violence becomes an option when peace talks break down.
"Our men and women with vision choose peace rather than confrontation, except in cases where we cannot get, where we cannot proceed, where we cannot move forward," he said.
"Then, if the only alternative is violence, we will use violence," he said. That earned two thunderous minutes of rhythmic applause.
Correspondent Jerrold Kessel and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
December 3, 1964.
From BBC television.
This is from the question-and-answer portion of the Oxford Union debates.
By Malcolm X
Edited and Reprinted From 'The Egyptian Gazette' - Sept. 17, 1964
The zionist armies that now occupy Palestine claim their ancient Jewish prophets predicted that in the "last days of this world" their own God would raise them up a "messiah" who would lead them to their promised land, and they would set up their own "divine" government in this newly-gained land, this "divine" government would enable them to "rule all other nations with a rod of iron".
If the Israeli zionists believe their present occupation of Arab Palestine is the fulfillment of predictions made by their Jewish prophets, then they also religiously believe that Israel must fulfill its "divine" mission to rule all other nations with a rod of irons, which only means a different form of Iron-like rule, more firmly entrenched even, than that of the former European Colonial Powers.
These Israeli zionists religiously believe their Jewish god has chosen them to replace the outdated European colonialism with a new form of colonialism, so well disguised that it will enable them to deceive the African masses into submitting willingly to their "divine" authority and guidance, without the African masses being aware that they are still colonized.
The Israeli zionists are convinced they have successfully camouflaged their new kind of colonialism. Their colonialism appears to be more "benevolent", more 11 philanthropic," a system with which they rule simply by getting their potential victims to accept their friendly offers of economic "aid," and other tempting gifts, that they dangle in front of the newly-independent African nations, whose economics are experiencing great difficulties. During the 19th century when the masses here in Africa were largely illiterate
it was easy for European imperialists to rule them with "force and fear" but in this present era of enlightenment the A! frican masses are awakening, and it is impossible to hold them in check now with the antiquated methods of the 19th century.
The imperialists, therefore, have been compelled to devise new methods. Since they can no longer force or frighten the masses into submission, they must devise modern methods that will enable them to manoeuvre the African masses into willing submission.
The modern 20th century weapon of neo-imperialism is Dollarism! The zionists have mastered the science of dollarism: the ability to come posing as a friend and benefactor, bearing gifts and all other forms of economic aid and offers of technical assistance. Thus, the power and influence of zionists Israel in many of the newly "Independent" African nations has fast-become even more unshakeable than that of the 10th century European colonialists...and this new kind of zionist colonialism differs only in form and method, but never in motive or objective.
At the close of the 19th century when European imperialists wisely foresaw that the awakening masses of Africa would not submit to their old method of ruling through force and fears these ever-scheming imperialists had to create a "new weapon," and to find a "new base for that weapon.
The number one weapon of 20th century imperialism is zionist-Dollarism, and one of the main bases for this weapon is zionist Israel. The ever-schemingEuropean imperialists wisely placed Israel where she could geographically divide the Arab world, infiltrate and sow the seed of disension among African leaders and also divide the Africans against the Asians.
Zionist Israel's occupation of Arab Palestine has forced the Arab world to waste billions of precious dollars on armaments making it impossible for these newly independent Arab nations to concentrate on strengthening the economies of their countries and elevate the living standard of their people.
And the continued low standard! of living in the Arab world has been skillfully used by the zionist propagandists to make it appear to the Africans that the Arab leaders are not intellectually or technically qualified to lift the living standard of their people... thus, indirectly "enducing" Africans to turn away from the Arabs and towards the Israelis for teachers and technical assistance.
"They cripple the bird's wing, and then condemn it for not flying as fast as they."
The imperialists always make themselves look good, but it is only because they are competing against economic cripples newly independent countries whose economics are actually crippled by the zionist-capitalist conspiracy They can't stand against fair competition, thus they dread Gamal Abdul Nasser's call for African-Arab Unity under Socialism.
If the "religious" claim of the zionists is true that they were to be led to the promised land by their messiah, and Israel's present occupation of Arab Palestine is the fulfillment of that prophesy: where is their messiah whom their prophets said would get the credit for leading them there? It was Ralph Bunche who "negotiated" the zionists into possession of Occupied Palestine! Is Ralph Bunche the messiah of zionism? If Ralph Bunche is not their messiah, and their messsiah has not yet come, then what are they doing in Palestine ahead of their messiah?
Did the Zionists have the legal or moral right to invade Arab Palestine, uproot its Arab citizens from their homes and seize all Arab property for themselves just based on the "religious" claim that their fore-fathers lived there thousands of years ago? Only a thousand years ago the Moors lived in Spain. Would this give the Moors of today the legal and moral right to invade the Iberian Peninsula, drive out its Spanish citizens, and then set up a new Moroccan nations... where Spain used to be, as the European zionists have done to our Arab brothers and sisters in Palestine?...
In short the zionist argument to justify Israel's present occupation of Arab Palestine has no intelligent or legal basis in history ... not even in their own religion. Where is their Messiah?