Boycott israHell!

Boycott israHell!
Бойкот на израел и печелещите от окупацията! Boycott israHell and those who profit from occupation!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

UNESCO Sharply Condemns Israel

Yedioth Ahronoth (p. 31) by Itamar Eichner -- UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee yesterday decided to call on Israel to stop immediately all archaeological excavations in the Old City of Jerusalem and not carry out its plan to demolish the temporary bridge to the Mughrabi Gate, linking the Western Wall to the Temple Mount, and to build a new bridge in its stead.

 The decision was initiated by Jordan along with three other Arab states: Egypt, Bahrain and Iraq. The decision was passed by a consensus of all the 21 members on the committee. Four countries—Australia, Switzerland, Brazil and Mexico—expressed sharp reservation to the anti-Israel content in the decision, but did not vote against. These countries, along with Estonia and Sweden, also demanded to postpone the debate on the charged subject, but their demand was denied by a majority. The Israeli ambassador to UNESCO, Nimrod Barkan, who has the position of observer, asked to speak and to present Israel’s positions against the Jordanian document—but the Egyptians refused, and the Israeli ambassador was not given permission to speak.

Along with the harsh condemnation of Israel and the demand to stop immediately all archaeological excavations in the Old City, including the Western Wall, the committee also called to send a delegation to Israel on behalf of UNESCO to ensure that the work stop. Israel announced that it would not let such a delegation enter.

Political officials in Israel reacted angrily to Jordan’s conduct and said that it had broken an explicit agreement signed last week on the demolition next week of the temporary bridge that is in danger of collapse. In the agreement, Jordan promised not to demand a condemnation of Israel in UNESCO.

Greta Berlin, Co-Founder
+33 607 374 512

Thank Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for Slam-Dunking Israeli Apartheid!

Dear Milena,

Two months ago, YNet News reported that legendary basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was planning to visit Israel in coordination with the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the Israeli Consulate of New York. NBA Sporting News reported that Abdul-Jabbar would be competing for the "Spirit of Freedom Award" at the Jerusalem Film Festival.

In private correspondence, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation has confirmed that the former Los Angeles Lakers star has decided not to visit Israel due to concerns arising "after the Nakba Day violence." This year's commemoration of the Nakba, left 12 unarmed Palestinians dead after Israeli forces opened fire on refugees attempting to exercise their internationally recognized right of return.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, thank you for calling Israel's foul! Israeli cultural institutions like the Jerusalem Film Festival are used cynically to brand Israel as a beacon of cultural and technological progress, diverting attention away from its occupation and apartheid policies. For this reason, cultural boycott of Israel is a key component of the growing Palestinian-led movement for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law. You can read the Palestinian guidelines for cultural boycott here.

100 organizations signed a thank-you letter to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, urging him to hold fast to his decision not to lend his good name or an air of legitimacy to Israeli human rights violations. In addition to the US Campaign, signatories include the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within (Israel), the Organization for Black Struggle, six Islamic-American organizations, four Jewish organizations, fourteen campus groups, and dozens of other US Campaign member organizations.

The letter points out to Abdul-Jabbar:

Your film, "On the Shoulders of Giants," documents the policies of segregation and racism that characterized the world of basketball in the 1930s. Ironically, the majority of Muslim and Christian Palestinians could not even have attended such a screening because they are excluded from entering Jerusalem on the basis of their ethnicity and religion.

Click here to thank Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for slam dunking apartheid!

Meg Ryan and Dustin Hoffman similarly declined an invitation to the Jerusalem Film Festival last year following the deadly attacks on the first Gaza Freedom Flotilla. The second Freedom Flotilla is set to sail to Gaza this month.

Milena, join 100 organizations in showing support for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's decision and urging him to consider the Palestinian call for BDS!

Anna Baltzer
National Organizer

P.S. -- The US Campaign's ability to build cultural boycott campaigns like this is a result of the generous support we receive from people like you. Please donate today to the US Campaign to make our BDS work even stronger.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

FF2 Statement to the UN Human Rights Council

On 14 June 2011, as part of its 17th Session, the Human Rights Council
held discussions on the status of implementation of the conclusions
contained in the report of
the independent international factfinding mission on the flotilla
attack. The Freedom Flotilla II Steering Committee submitted the
following statement:


In September 2010 the international Fact-Finding Mission to
investigate violations of international law resulting from the Israeli
attacks on the Freedom Flotilla I concluded that the conduct of the
Israeli military towards its passengers, when it was unlawfully
intercepted on the way to Gaza on 31 May 2001, “demonstrated levels of
totally unnecessary and incredible violence... It constituted grave
violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law.”
Unfortunately and incredibly, Israel is threatening to use even
greater violence against Freedom Flotilla II, which will sail to Gaza
the end of this month. Its threats have included the use of snipers
and canine units. Even more deplorable, world leaders, rather than
demanding that Israel halt its provocative behaviour towards us and
refrain from once again attacking unarmed civilians, have called the
Flotilla initiative a provocation and have asked countries on the
Mediterranean to prevent us from sailing.

In its September Report, the Fact-Finding Mission concluded that the
passengers on board our ships in May 2010, many of whom they
interviewed at length, were “persons genuinely committed to the spirit
of humanitarianism and imbued with a deep and genuine concern for the
welfare of the inhabitants of Gaza.” The same spirit of
humanitarianism compels us to again take action – even at the risk of
serious injury or death – to confront massive injustice with global
nonviolent action. For too long our national and international leaders
have passively watched the tragedy of Gaza – of all of Palestine. The
grossly unjust and unlawful blockade of the Gaza Strip and the ongoing
belligerent occupation of the rest of Palestine – imposed by Israel
and tolerated by the world community - is a stark case of states
sacrificing principle and human rights for power and self-interest.
For those who have any lingering doubts that a man-made crisis
continues to Gaza, just yesterday the Palestinian Centre for Human
Rights issued an alert indicating its extreme concern over the
“running out of medications and contraction of health services in the
Gaza Strip.”

The Fact-Finding Mission gave much thought to and called upon the
international community to recognize some role for “humanitarian
organizations who wish to intervene in situations of long-standing
humanitarian crisis where the international community is unwilling...
to take positive action.” It included in its broad definition of
humanitarianism both types of organizations involved in the Flotilla:
those that engage in activities taken to alleviate crises and those
that take action to address the root causes of the crises. The Mission
understood that “too often” humanitarian organizations, such as those
behind Flotillas I and II, are “accused of being meddlesome and at
worst as terrorists or enemy agents.”  Today, these same humanitarian
organisations and human rights activists are being accused of
‘provocation’ and Israel is threatening, once again, to unlawfully and
brutally stop them. We therefore call upon the Human Rights Council to
stand up to these Israeli threats, to defend our right to intervene in
the long-standing tragedy which is Gaza and to expose and put an end
to Israel’s illegal behaviour, which has too long been tolerated by
the international community.

We are determined to sail to Gaza.  Our cause is just and our means
are transparent.  To underline the fact that we do not present an
imminent threat to Israel nor do we aim to contribute to a war effort
against Israel, thus eliminating any claim by Israel to self-defense,
we invite the HRC or any other UN or international agency to come on
board and inspect our vessels at their point of departure, on the high
seas, and/or on their arrival in the Gaza port. We will – and must –
continue to sail until the illegal blockade of Gaza is ended and
Palestinians have the same human and national rights those of us
sailing enjoy.

Our message of peace is a call to action, for other ordinary people
like ourselves, not to hand over your lives to whatever puppeteer is
in charge this time round, but to take responsibility for the
revolution. First, the inner revolution -- to give love, to give
empathy; It is this that will change the world. -- Vittorio Arrigoni

The real heart deep down doesn't only stand up for what's right but
also helps others to learn to stand up for what's right. -- Mary Alfar
(age 11)

Ask Jello Biafra to observe the cultural boycott of Israel

Free Palestine Movement is a coalition member of the US Campaign. 

From Free Palestine Movement

Dear Jello,

In 1948, 800,000 Palestinians were driven by force from their homes during the creation of the State of Israel.  To this day, their right of return as guaranteed by the United Nations has not been granted.  In many cases refugees still hold the keys to their homes.  

The ethnic cleansing of non-Jews continues as Jewish-only settlements are being built in the West Bank.  The collective punishment and siege of Gaza also continues and rebuilding of infrastructure remains impossible after the destruction caused by Operation Cast  Lead in 2008.

Please consider joining Elvis Costello, The Gorillaz, The Pixies and others in observing the cultural boycott of Israel by canceling your show in Tel Aviv on July 2.

To sign this letter to Jello Biafra visit:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Caterpillar, Inc., moves board meeting to Little Rock, AR, to avoid protests on sale of militarized bulldozers to Israel

Caterpillar Inc., the Peoria, IL based heavy equipment manufacturer, has moved its annual shareholder meeting to Little Rock, AR, from the Chicago area in order to avoid continued protests over its sale of militarized bulldozers to Israel. Instead of seeking to resolve the issue, Caterpillar’s response to the submission of resolutions seeking to hold it accountable to its own code of conduct and protests inside and outside of the shareholder meetings in prior years is to avoid corporate responsibility.

Chicagoan Against Apartheid in Palestine (CAAP, successor to StopCAT) joins End the Occupation and Jewish Voices for Peace in telling Caterpillar “YOU CAN RUN, BUT YOU CAN’T HIDE!” Moving the shareholder meeting to Little Rock will not stop the protest for justice for those killed, injured and dispossessed through the destruction of Palestinian homes with Caterpillar bulldozers.

Since 2004, CAAP, End the Occupation, Jewish Voice for Peace, the Sisters of Mercy and others have sought to end sales of militarized bulldozers by Caterpillar to Israel. These bulldozers are principally used to destroy homes of Palestinian families in a form of collective punishment (in violation of international law) and in furtherance of the occupation of Palestinian lands. Caterpillar’s response has been to claim no control over end use of the bulldozers even in the face of mountains of evidence of just such use.

Moving the meeting will not end our protests and goal of an immediate end to these sales. We will continue our campaign for justice.

See and US Campaign for more information on the campaign to stop Caterpillar sales to Israel.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Разходка покрай разделителната стена

Марк Томас е извървял 732 км покрай израелската стена в окупирания Западен бряг.

Марк Томас, английски “активист-комедиант” е готов със своето ново живо шоу Extreme Rambling: Walking Israel’s Barrier. For Fun. Шоуто, както и съпътстващите го книга и филм са посветени на израелската стена в окупирания Западен бряг. Томас припомня преживяното по време на изминаването на всички 723 км, които покривaт трасето на стената — от това да бъде арестуван от израелските военни, прeз срещите му с палестинци от всички сфери на живота, дo разговорите със заселници и официални лица.

За Томас, комедийното представление не е просто пасивно средство. “За мен би било безсмислено да правя това, което правя, ако то не е част от процес, които води до промяна,” казва той. “Изкуството трябва да има някакъв смисъл и послание.”

И сегашният му проект е именно това. Той обаче не е и първият проект, в който Томас се занимава с палестинския проблем. В миналото той е участвал в кaмпания срещу израело-бритaнската търговия c оръжие, както и “успешното засрамване на израелското посолство”, когато те са се съгласили да платят част от разходите по транспортирането обратно в Англия на Том Хърдел – активист от движението за международна солидарност, който е бил прострелян в главата в Гaза през април 2003 година и който е починал девет месеца по-късно.

Прочети целия материал тук...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Rafah: a return to the status quo?

By Laila El-Haddad,
May 30, 2011

The big story of the week has been the much-acclaimed re-opening of the torturous Rafah Crossing.  It had been operating intermittently, if at all, and for limited categories of people for more than 4 years now.  For what seemed like eternity, the Mubarak regime- الله لا يردهم -, colluding with the United States and Israel to keep Gaza closed, had “conditioned” the re-opening of the crossing on a Fateh-Hamas reconciliation agreement, the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, and a return to the much-maligned US-brokered AMA (Agreement on Movement and Access),  in which European monitors and live-video streams acted as proxies for Israel, who ultimately retained control over the crossing.

There were some dark, dark times over the course of those four miserable years, and beyond, during which I and tens of thousands of others were prevented from entering our own homes over and over again, during which we were beaten and detained, humiliated and abandoned, when I wondered how would it ever end? How on earth could we as Palestinians find a way out of even this smallest and seemingly inconsequential dimension of our struggle, Rafah, this sole gateway, this portal, in and out of tortured little Gaza? How could such a routine aspect of life, movement, have become so impossible, yet made to seem so threatening, its stifling designed to seem so ordinary and justified? And why could no understand we we were mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters, lovers, students and teachers…and we were tired like ordinary human beings get tired, of this miserable, hell. How could the status quo finally change? I can honestly tell you the last thing I expected was for an epic overthrow of Mubarak.

But back to Rafah.  Not to be a buzzkill or anything, but I think its time to break down the facts here. Its true that the crossing has been open on a more regular basis (6 days a week) and to a greater number of Gaza residents for visa-free travel (unless you happen to fall into the dreaded 18-40 “male security threat” age-range), and as anyone who has suffered long hours (or days or weeks or months) in the punishing heat or bone-numbing cold of this little corner of the world awaiting entry or exit can attest, this news should be celebrated.