Monthly Archives:
August 2015

First national trade union in the US votes to endorse BDS

Kate on

From the United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America report on its recent national convention: Delegates upheld the UE tradition of taking courageous stands on foreign policy issues when they adopted the resolution on Palestine and Israel that calls for cutting off U.S. aid to Israel, U.S. support for a peace settlement on the basis of self-determination for Palestinians and the right to return. The resolution also endorses the worldwide BDS movement making UE the first U.S. national union to endorse BDS. Speaking for the resolution were Angaza Laughinghouse, Local 150, Matt Braddon, Local 222; Chris Wolford, Local 170; Autumn Martinez and Elizabeth Jesdale, Local 255. Martinez and Jesdale both said they had met Palestinian trade unionists when they attended the World Social Forum in Tunisia, and Martinez said, “It’s absolutely disgusting what is going on. Free Palestine!”

NY’s Center for Jewish History to host Ayelet ‘Little Snakes’ Shaked in conversation with Bret ‘Hiroshima’ Stephens

Philip Weiss on

Ayelet Shaked, Israel’s rightwing Justice Minister, posted a commentary calling Palestinian children “little snakes” that must be rubbed out with many other elements of Palestinian society; now she’s at NY’s Center for Jewish History, along with several other Zionists, Bret Stephens, Seth Siegel and Lawrence Summers. Where’s the opposing view?

Iyad Burnat is detained in Bil’in amid clashes over weekly protest

Kate on

Dozens were wounded as weekly protests were dispersed across the occupied West Bank Friday afternoon. In Bil’in Israeli forces detained activist Iyad Burnat, the head of the villages’ popular resistance committee, as well as a photographer, Hamza Yasin.

Videos: Brave Tamimi women of Nabi Saleh take down Israeli soldier assaulting injured child

Annie Robbins on

A radical scene of unfolded Friday after Israeli forces intercepted the weekly protest in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, Palestine against the illegal confiscation of their land and spring. The courageous actions of the Tamimi women of Nabi Saleh rescuing their captured child spread immediately on social media after the UK’s Daily Mail published a series of breathtaking photographs taken at the scene of the brave women. The event was captured on video by Bilal Tamimi and Royal News TV.

Lessons from Veolia: Supporting the occupation is bad for business

Barbara Harvey on

Veolia has sold the last of its remaining businesses in the occupied Palestinian territories, becoming the first major BDS target company to fully withdraw from all of its various Occupation enterprises. Barbara Harvey says the successful BDS campaign against Veolia makes a persuasive case that profiteering from legal and human rights violations can be bad for business when the opposition is organized.

Minnesota Congresswoman demands accountability for Nakba Day killings

Annie Robbins on

Minnesota Congressperson Rep. Betty McCollum has requested the State Department to investigate whether the killings of teens Nadeem Nawara and Mohammad Mahmoud Odeh Abu Daher, both killed during a Nakba Day protest in the occupied West Bank in 2014, constitute a violation of the Leahy Law on aid to human rights violators.

Jewish community is Humpty Dumpty– it won’t come back together again, and shouldn’t

Philip Weiss on

Reps Steve Israel and Eliot Engel opposed President Obama on the Iran Deal, surely because of their concern for Israel; and they think there shouldn’t be divisions inside the Jewish community over their opposition? The divisions are real and important and go back to the Iraq war disaster, when liberal Zionists went along with neocons on a tragic policy

Tea Party and ZOA team up with Trump and Cruz to oppose Iran Deal

Adam Horowitz on

The Republican presidential clown rodeo will be making a stop in Washington DC as Congress gets set to debate the Iran Deal on September 9th. Sen. Ted Cruz and reality television star Donald Trump will appear at a D.C. rally organized by the Tea Party Patriots, the Center for Security Policy, and the Zionist Organization of America to oppose the deal.

Caught between Jerusalem and expanding settlements, uncertainty hangs over residents of Abu Nuwwar

Lydia Noon on

Ma’ale Adumim is also the third largest illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank, 4.5 kilometres east of the Green Line and next to the Palestinian town of Ezariya (Bethany). It lies at the heart of the Israeli government’s E1 project that seeks to connect the settlement with Jerusalem by building a corridor of settlements enclosed by the separation wall. Most of the 40,000 settlers who live in Ma’ale Adumim will never set foot in Abu Nuwwar – a village under threat of demolition as part of the E1 plan. Abu Nuwwar resident Ahmed explains, “Now every time we build something they say we can’t have it. They want us gone. They could come anytime and destroy everything”.

On the Road to Tantura: Interview with Hala Gabriel

Stephen Shenfield on

Tantura was a beautiful Palestinian fishing village 15 miles south of Haifa. In the early hours of May 23, 1948 it was attacked and occupied by the Haganah. Over 200 villagers, mostly unarmed young men, were massacred; others were taken prisoner and put to forced labor. The site of the village is now a beach resort. The mass grave in which the victims of the massacre are buried is covered by a parking lot. Stephen Sheinfeld interviews Hala Gabriel, a Palestinian-American filmmaker, about her new film Road to Tantura. Gabriel was born as a refugee to parents who had fled from Tantura (the house left partly standing had belonged to her family). In 2010, Hala managed to enter Israel and visit the site of her ancestral village. She also met relatives who had taken refuge in the nearby village of Fureidis, which had escaped destruction, and interviewed three of the men who had participated in the attack on Tantura.

BDS call for boycott should not ignore states’ responsibility to uphold international law

Shawan Jabarin on

Al Haq Director Shawan Jabarin argues that “Ban” should be added to the BDS lexicon: “Products originating from Israeli agricultural and industrial settlements are essential to reinforcing the illegal settlement enterprise, and provide vital revenues that help ensure their viability and growth. Accordingly, states fail to comply with their international legal obligations by allowing settlement products to enter domestic markets. By not implementing a ban on settlement products, states themselves are politicizing a legal issue and shifting the burden to consumers.”

Abbas’s resignation from PLO could mean consolidation of power, ouster of rival

Allison Deger on

Mahmoud Abbas, the 80-year old chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and president of the Palestinian Authority (PA) whose rule over the post-Oslo post-Intifada years has come under increasing criticism for stalemate in ending Israel’s occupation, and a glaring lack of elections for more than ten years, will resign next month. Yet the move may be a gambit, aimed at reshuffling top positions in his government so as to oust his chief rivals.

Israel’s destruction of Mamilla cemetery part of effort to remove Palestine from Jerusalem

Pablo Castellani and Chiara Cruciati on

Mamilla cemetery does not exist anymore. What exists now is a hotel, a school, a parking lot, a public garden, a nightclub and the US consulate. Also a museum to celebrate tolerance. But the meaning of tolerance in West Jerusalem, a few steps away from the Old City, is surreal. To build the story of a new Jerusalem, the Israeli authorities are erasing its past. Mamilla cemetery is a prominent cornerstone of the Arab, Islamic and Palestinian identity of the city. And thanks to Israel, today it’s a forgotten place.

Israel bars African asylum seekers from entering Tel Aviv after court forces government to release detainees

Dan Cohen on

Nearly 1,200 Sudanese and Eritrean asylum seekers were released from Israel’s Holot detention center on Tuesday and Wednesday after the High Court ruled that asylum seekers could not be held for more than one year. Interior Minister Silvan Shalom barred the released asylum seekers from living or working in Tel Aviv and Eilat where their communities are based, effectively leaving them without a place to sleep and slim chances of earning income. Though the Ministry of Interior offered no explanation for the decision, it is the latest move to make life intolerable in order to coerce African refugees to leave Israel.