Boycott israHell!

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

Friday, April 13, 2012

UMD Palestinian Solidarity Week April 16-20

"Nakba: An Ongoing Process"
April 16th 2012 6:00-7:30pm
1208 Knight hall
Yousef Munayyer, Palestinian American writer and Executive director of the Jerusalem Fund.

"Bedouin Life under the Israeli Occupation"
April 17th 6:00-8:00pm
3202 Knight Hall
Mourad Elsana, Professor at UMD

"The Wall Must Fall"
April 18th 10:00am-4:00pm
McKeldin Mall
Interactive demonstration of the Wall and the human rights situation in Palestine. Come paint your own street art on the wall, or learn about the human rights situation in Palestine.

April 19th 7:30-9:30pm
Room: Charles Carrol room, Stamp Student Union
"Armed and Dangerous: U.S. Weapons to Israel" 
Josh Ruebner, National Advocacy Director of US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.
"Prospects for Peace"
Ali Zaghab, Board member, American Task Force on Palestine. 

Movie Screening: Budrus

April 20th 6:00-7:00pm
3200 Knight Hall 
Budrus is an award winning documentary about a community organizer who unites local Fatah and Hamas members along with Israeli supporters in an unarmed movement to saw his village from destruction by Israel's separation barrier.

Welcome to Palestine 2012

Some Scots, English and Welsh joined Welcome to Palestine 2011 and tried to transit Tel Aviv airport to visit Palestine.  When the young woman at passport control asked our destination we said clearly and politely, “Palestine”.  If we had said any other word we would have had little trouble: I had been through Tel Aviv airport about 18 times and never had a problem getting through since, like every other solidarity activist, I concealed my true intent and destination.  I lied, since I knew the officials there are part and parcel of the effort to isolate the West Bank from international solidarity.
Last July, however, giving the answer “Palestine” led to myself and others being put in handcuffs and leg-irons and taken to Givon Prison with scores of others.  The prison authorities told us we were guilty of something but, in a Kafkaesque performance, would not reveal which law had been broken since saying the word “Palestine” is not a crime known even to the racist Israeli legal system.  To repeat: we were imprisoned for saying the word “Palestine” to an official at Tel Aviv Airport.
Now the Israel Law Centre, labelled a “civil rights group” by the Jerusalem Post, has called for groups who fly into Tel Aviv Airport and indicate their destination as “Palestine” to be charged and tried and punished in Israeli courts unspecified violations “of Israeli law, including the Penal Code, the Police Ordinance and Emergency Regulations.”
Anyone with a sense of history knows that Israel’s current ethnic cleansing of Palestinians to make way for Jewish settlers/colonists was preceded by a long-term denial of the very existence of the Palestinian people.  Jailing people for uttering the word “Palestine” is part of this tradition.
It has always been Zionist policy to isolate the Palestinian people from international links while the violent process of dispossession of a whole people is carried out.  Support Welcome to Palestine in its challenge to this cruel project, now in its seventh decade.
In the UK, ask your MP to answer the appeal they received on Wednesday from the Palestinian Ambassador in London to support Palestinians’ right to receive visitors.  Go   It only takes a minute.(Mick Napier, SPSC Chair)
In Edinburgh tomorrow, Saturday, come to the send-off for one group of Welcome to Palestine travelers at Waverley Station at 1.00pm.  Pipers and a choir!
Some Lufthansa passengers to Tel Aviv have been sent cancellations and fare reimbursements.  Noteworthy that the note, in French, has no mention of the flight number or destination, nor mention of the Israeli Government pressure on the air carrier.  All those who had their tickets cancelled will still report to the check-in desk and ask that their contract with the airline be honoured.
See the following pieces uploaded to
- Appeal from the Palestinian Ambassador to Members of Parliament  
Some MPs have already started to respond – give yours a nudge via
- The Mayor of Bethlehem sends message of support Bethlehem twinned in 2007 with Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow. (see note below).  Ask your Glasgow MP to support the Glasgow participants.
British Government: "We support Israel's right to blockade the West Bank" 
Also from FCO website:
 “We advise against all travel to Gaza.
“the security situation in the West Bank has continued to improve over the past year”! For who?
“Travel in and out of the West Bank is not possible without passing through at least one Israeli military checkpoint. You will need a passport to go through these checkpoints.
“Serious Organised Crime Agency investigation into the misuse of UK passports in the murder of Mahmud al-Mabhuh in Dubai on 19 January 2010 found evidence of Israeli involvement in the fraudulent use of British passports.  Only hand your passport over to third parties including Israeli officials when absolutely necessary.” 

The Zionist Jewish Telegraph carried an article, ‘Flytilla‘ to invade Israel on last year’s effort to peacefully enter Palestine, claiming that a “similar attack took place last year” and that travellers attempting  to enter Palestine in April actually aim to cause “maximum chaos”.  After claiming that the attempt to enter Palestine openly and peacefully is “an attack”, the weekly newspaper attempts to mobilise the entire UK Jewish community in support of the siege of Palestine:  “If the community is aware of anyone who intends to cause trouble they should inform the Israeli embassy.”  This sinister move needs to be repudiated by Jewish community leaders and activists
Time to move from words to action against the Israeli blockade and siege: here is an absurd, cheery little entry on Glasgow City Council’s website about its twin city, Bethlehem. No mention of occupation, illegal wall.  Instead we have ‘closely linked to nearby Jerusalem’ (by a wall!) and ‘increased intermingling of the region’s people’ (despite apartheid and physical barriers?).  
Modern Bethlehem is an agricultural market and trade centre closely linked to nearby Jerusalem. It lies at a distance of 10 kms (6 miles) to the south of the Old City of Jerusalem. It is situated on a mountainous site, 777 meters (2600 feet) above the level of the Mediterranean Sea and overlooks its surroundings. Its surface resembles the shape of a semi circle. From the west, the town of Bethlehem is bounded by the town of Beit Jala and from the east by the town of Beit Sahour. From the north it is bordered by Jerusalem and the village of Sur Bahir and from the south by Solomon's Pools and the villages of al-Khader and Artas. Forty thousand people live in the administrative limits of the municipality of Bethlehem and five thousand people in the old center of the town. As a symbol of the increased intermingling of the region's people, beside Arabic, the native language, English is widely spoken. French, German and Spanish are spoken too. Tourism and its related enterprises form a major industry in the region. They play a crucial role in developing the local economy. More than 20% of the working population is employed in the tourism sector.
Stay updated:
Profiles and updates on UK & US participants will be available here on Sunday 15
Welcome to Palesetine 2012
Contact details for updates on UK and US participants:
Sofiah MacLeod
00 44 (0) 131 620 0052
00 44 (0) 7931200361

United to End Genocide

While the world celebrated the election of Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, I joined a family in mourning the unnecessary death of their 11 month-old child in Burma.

Tom Andrews interviewing Burmese
Dear Milena,

I just returned from Burma where historic elections were taking place. And while the world celebrated the election of Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, I watched as a family mourned the preventable death of their baby boy.

Myu Jat Aung, just 11 months old, wasn't a victim of the landmines that litter the region or a stray bullet shot during an attack by the Burmese army. No, Myu Jat Aung died in a refugee camp from diarrhea after his family was forced to flee with only what they could carry on their backs after the Burmese military destroyed their village.

Because the government continues to block humanitarian aid, the lack of clean water, food and medicines turned an otherwise easily treatable condition like diarrhea into an illness that stretched out for two weeks until his tiny body grew too weak to fight any longer. By the time aid began to trickle into the camp, it was too late for Myu Jat Aung.

To hear more about what I learned on my recent trip to Burma, simply click here to RSVP for our conference call on April 17 from 8:00-8:30 EDT.

While the election of Aung San Suu Kyi, a strong voice for democracy and justice in Burma, is certainly cause for celebration, the people I met, like Myu Jat Aung's parents, and the stories they told, made it all too clear that the Burmese government is still carrying out unspeakable atrocities in ethnic minority states like Kachin, where their baby boy died.

There have been calls for lifting all economic sanctions on the Burmese government given the outcome of the recent elections. But after seeing villages that were razed, children suffering and dying for lack of food and medicine and people who've gone missing all at the hands of the military, I believe a different approach is required.

Please join me for an exclusive conference call to learn more about the human rights situation in Burma and how United to End Genocide will be getting involved.Click here to RVSP to the call on Tuesday, April 17th from 8:00-8:30 EDT and get the call-in information you will need to join us.

As we left the funeral, Myu Jat Aung's family told us that we had been sent by God to help bring attention to what is happening to the Kachin people in Burma. I made a promise right then to tell Myu Jat Aung's story when we returned to the United States to get others involved. It is clear that the media is only telling one side of the story and I hope you'll join me on April 17th to hear about what's really happening in Burma.

Thank you for your support. I hope you can join this important call.


Tom Andrews
United to End Genocide

P.S. If you cannot attend the call, please consider making a donation to support our work and the people of Burma.
ABOUT UNITED TO END GENOCIDEWe are United to End Genocide, the largest activist organization in America dedicated to preventing and ending genocide and mass atrocities worldwide. We are faith leaders, students, artists, investors and genocide survivors, and all those who believe we must fulfill the promise the world made following the Holocaust — "Never Again!"

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Scottish Government helped Israeli company deal with boycott "threatening future of Eden Springs UK"

Scottish Government helped Israeli company deal with boycott "threatening future of Eden Springs UK"

Documents obtained by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign show how a subsidiary of an Israeli company operating in Britain turned successfully for help from the Scottish Government to deal with what the Israeli company called “a wave of protests...that is threatening the future of Eden Springs UK”. The contract cancellations had created a “pressing situation” for the subsidiary of the giant Israeli multinational water cooler company.
The letter obtained under Freedom of Information legislation is from the Eden Springs’ Business Development Director to the Director of Scottish enterprise, and reveals a fear of the growing boycott of Eden Springs.  The writer seeks a meeting with an official of Government-funded Scottish Enterprise to obtain “advice or assistance to stem undue harm” to the Israeli company, namely how to avoid further “termination of Eden Springs’ public sector contracts as a result of this boycott”.    Read more

"I am writing as a constituent to ask you to endorse the Welcome to Palestine 2012 peace initiative by a group of British citizens and other internationals who will attempt to travel to Occupied Palestine on April 15th to visit Palestinian civil society groups. 
I will be supporting this peaceful initiative.  Last July, by order of the Israeli Government, hundreds of people in European airports were prevented from embarking on their flights, and over 100 people were detained and imprisoned in Israel to prevent them travelling to Palestine.
A truly shocking letter from Ms Charmaine Farrow at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises the Welcome to Palestine 2012 organisers that the FCO ”are not able to approach the Israeli authorities to request that they do not hinder the passage of any British nationals wishing to travel to the OPTs” since “Israel immigration officials...have the right to refuse entry to anyone they wish.  The UK's immigration is similarly protected.”
This is nothing less than a support of Israel’s right to blockade the West Bank, while it continues with its illegal settlement-building.
Only recently, (14 March) EU ambassadors in the West Bank reported a huge increase in attacks on Palestinians by Israeli settlers and the EU Observer reports that the “EU diplomats depicted settler attacks as part of a broader Israeli campaign to get rid of native Palestinians.” ( This same conclusion was some time ago reached by Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, the UN’s Goldstone Report, and others.
It is surely unacceptable that the UK Government concede a right to Israel to isolate the people of the occupied West Bank from international links while Israel carries out its policy of dispossession and the introduction of Jewish-only settlements, in flagrant violation of any notion of justice, and the Fourth Geneva Convention.
The UK Government has a long history of violating Palestinian human rights, from British support for European Zionist colonisation from 1918 onwards, to our recent refusal to support Palestine’s successful UNESCO application.
Most voters across Europe and beyond hold negative views of Israel. (  Opinion in this constituency will not be different.
In giving their support to this initiative, the Palestinian Ambassador to the UK, Prof Manuel Hassassian, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and others write: “There is no way into Palestine other than through Israeli control points. Israel has turned Palestine into a giant prison, but prisoners have a right to receive visitors.” See
1. support your constituents’ and other British citizens’ right to travel peacefully and openly to Palestine.
2. add your name to Archbishop Tutu and Ambassador Hassassian's appeal as a step to peace.
3. write to the Israeli Embassy asking that we be allowed to proceed peacefully from Tel Aviv airport to Palestine on April 15th.
You are very welcome to join us on one of the Welcome to Palestine 2012 groups flying to Tel Aviv on April 15 and asking to be allowed to proceed to Palestine.
Send letter from

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Palestinian rights activists join BDS Global Day of Action commemorating Land Day

March 31, 2012 by Palestinian BDS National Committee

- Over 50 actions held across 23 countries
- BDS Global Day of Action follows biggest ever Israeli Apartheid Week
- As solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners spreads, G4S is targeted over its involvement in Israeli prisons

Occupied Palestine, 31 March 2012 – Supporters of Palestinian rights across the world have taken action in support of the campaign for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law to mark Palestinian Land Day on March 30.

Land Day, the day of Palestinian resistance in commemoration of the killings during the 1976 protests against Israeli land confiscation, was marked in Palestine with demonstrations and marches on Jerusalem. In addition to the Global March to Jerusalem, the day saw international mobilization for the fourth annual BDS Global Day of Action. Over 50 actions took place in 23 countries.

Just days before Palestinians marched on Jerusalem to protest against Israel’s illegal annexation and closure of the occupied city, campaigners in Hastings, UK, announced that they had successfully pressured local government officials to exclude Veolia from a public tender. Veolia helped to construct and now operates the Jerusalem Light Rail, a key infrastructure project in support of the Israeli colonisation of occupied East Jerusalem. Veolia has lost more than US$13 billion in contracts following BDS campaigns around the world and has been forced to admit the financial damage the campaign is causing it.

The Day of Action took place against a backdrop of inspiring resistance and hunger strikes from Palestinian political prisoners. In Denmark and Sweden, meetings were held and actions were taken on Land Day in support of the campaign against G4S, the private security company that is contracted to provide equipment to Israeli prisons.

Other highlights included:

- A letter published by leading UK actors, directors and writers in The Guardian challenging a prominent theatre over its invitation of the Israeli National Theatre

- The announcement that National Movímíento Estudíantíl Chícan@ de Aztlán (M.E.Ch.A), the largest association of Latino youth in the US, voted to support BDS in a landslide ballot. March 30 is also annual César Chávez Day, which honours the inspiring American civil rights, Latino and farm labour leader who mobilized for the rights of the oppressed using boycotts and other tactics.

- A Twitter action which saw the hashtag #BDSIsrael trend globally for more than an hour and an online call for @Macys to drop the sales of Israeli settlements products Ahava and SodaStream.

- Actions at retailers that stock Israeli goods across Australia, France, Germany, the UK, the US

- Street theatre and BDS shout-outs in Ireland, Australia and Poland and BDS banners on demonstrations across the world

These actions show once again the truly global growth of the BDS movement and its effectiveness to hold Israel accountable for persistent violations of international law and oppression of the Palestinian people.

During the week leading up to the Day of Action, Africa’s largest trade union federation – ITUC-Africa – representing 15 million workers from 56 African trade union federations in 45 countries passed a resolution calling for the “active participation and intensification of the implementation of the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, including a boycott of Israeli goods and the immediate ending of diplomatic relations between African countries and Israel.”

BDS hit the mainstream in the US when the New York Times and other large media outlets reported on the Park Slope food co-op vote on BDS, a major Norwegian retailer announced a decision to stop selling products from illegal Israeli settlements and Roger Waters of Pink Floyd spoke of his support for the World Social Forum Free Palestine, due to take place in Brazil in November 2012.

The Day of Action followed the largest ever Israeli Apartheid Week, an annual series of events at universities that raise awareness of the analysis of Israel as an apartheid state and builds the BDS movement. IAW took place in 116 cities around the world, including in Palestine and across the Arab world.