In the four months directly following last summer’s Israeli attacks on Gaza, the UK licensed £4 million of arms exports to Israel. This figure and others can be found in a new report, ‘Arming Apartheid’, published by War on Want, Campaign Against Arms Trade and Palestine Solidarity Campaign. The report details the UK’s complicity in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people, with a specific focus on the multi-million pounds’ industry that is the UK-Israel arms trade. The authors call for an immediate two-way arms embargo against Israel, and for pressure on the UK government and arms producers to end this horrendous trade in death.
Category Archives: Activism
To commemorate her magazine’s 15th anniversary, US megastar talk show host and social justice philanthropist Oprah Winfrey glammed out wearing pearl-shaped 69 carat Leviev diamond earrings on the cover of the May 2015 edition of O, the Oprah Magazine. Activists are asking Winfrey to cut ties from Leviev which has been tied to notoriously brutal human rights abuses in Angola and thousands of illegal Israeli settlement homes built on Palestinian land in the West Bank.
The Israeli military violently intercepted the Swedish boat named Marianne in the early hours of June 29 to prevent it from landing in Gaza, using tasers against unarmed passengers. The Marianne was originally part of a flotilla comprised of four boats with 48 passengers, including human rights activists, journalists, artists, and political figures representing 17 countries. Young people in Gaza from the “We Are Not Numbers” project share their thoughts about the flotilla and the Israeli siege.
It has been more than 50 hours since Israeli navy attacked the “Marianne” in international waters, 100nm from Gaza, during one of its usual acts of State piracy, always behaving as the bullying state of eastern Mediterranean. 18 participants on board were kidnapped and brought by force and against their will to the military Ashdod port. During the operation of seizure of the “Marianne”, which IDF called “uneventful”, Israeli soldiers used violence against participants on board.
Today, in a vote of 508 in favor and 124 against, the plenary of the 30th United Church of Christ General Synod passed a resolution calling for boycotts and divestment from companies that profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands. “As disciples of Jesus, we hear and seek to heed his call to be peacemakers, responding to violence with nonviolence and extending love to all,” said Rev. John Deckenback, Conference Minister of the Central Atlantic Conference of the UCC, which submitted the resolution to the synod. “It is in that spirit of love for both Israelis and Palestinians, and a desire to support Palestinians in their nonviolent struggle for freedom, that the United Church of Christ has passed this resolution.”
Early Monday three Israeli naval ships seized a vessel bound for Gaza carrying activists and humanitarian aid while still in international waters, said activists. The Freedom Flotilla III, headed by the Swedish ship the Marianne of Gothenburg, was attempting to break the eight-year siege on the Gaza Strip. The boat and its 18 passengers were being towed to Ashdod, where it was expected that the activists would be deported.
In op-eds timed to Episcopal and United Church of Christ conventions, church leaders say BDS is not anti-Semitic and is required as a moral response to new Israeli government’s expansionist policies
James Michie writes the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori to ask her to support six resolutions relating to Israel and Palestine at the upcoming 78th General Convention later this month.
In March, The Carey Academy, Israel announced the 1st Israeli Feis, a competitive tournament of traditional Irish dancing, to take place in Tel Aviv in August. In response, the Irish Palestinian Activist Collective has called on organizers to cancel it in solidarity with the Palestinian BDS call: “Your performance in Israel is the moral equivalent to performing in South Africa during the apartheid era.”
Israeli diplomats “are not allowed to speak” on US campuses, while North Korean and Iranian diplomats are, Akiva Tor, head of World Jewish Affairs in the Israeli Foreign Ministry, lamented in a panel called “The Coming Storm: BDS on campus” at the American Jewish Committee June 9
In July, activists standing in solidarity with Palestinians will attempt to shut down an Israeli arms factory in England on the anniversary of Israel’s military operation ‘Protective Edge’.
The United Church of Christ will hold its general synod in Cleveland June 26-30 and consider a divestment resolution targeting the Israeli occupation. Today Archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu issued a statement supporting the resolution.
The United Church of Christ’s divestment resolution from Israeli occupation, to be heard in Cleveland in late June, is revolutionary. But the UCC should go further, and not endorse dialogue with the official Jewish organizations. For the Jewish establishment and the local congregations are enablers of occupation.
We suppose it was bound to happen eventually; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said BDS, the Palestinian led nonviolent global movement for justice in Palestine, resembled Nazi Germany. He said it during a meeting with Poland’s Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna today, in speaking of the “defamation” of the Jewish people in Poland when Nazis controlled the country. “The attacks on the Jews were always preceded by the slander of the Jews. What was done to the Jewish people then is being done to the Jewish state now,” Netanyahu said.
According to FT, an Israeli financial newspaper says a leaked government report estimates that BDS could cost Israel’s economy $1.4 billion a year. While Rand Corporation, the US think-tank, says the costs could be more than three times higher: $47bn over 10 years.
Church divestment from the occupation is not enough. Churches have to do more than shift stocks. A church should dedicate the next five years of its corporate life specifically to Israel-Palestine. Declare Israel an apartheid state.
Netanyahu continues to bash BDS because he cannot do what any real partner for avowed negotiations would do: name the borders of the future states.
Sheldon Adelson is devoted to fighting Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions to preserve the Jewish state. Katie Miranda has some ideas for his new tactics.
Peter Beinart’s criticism of the BDS movement displays a shocking ignorance of how a boycott – any boycott – actually works. If he truly is willing to acknowledge that the state of Israel is running an apartheid system – even if he believes that it is only in the West Bank and Gaza Strip – then he has a responsibility to endorse the nonviolent solution which actually targets the responsible party: boycotting, divesting from, and bringing sanctions to bear on Israel itself.
Ynet reports: Benjamin Netanyahu held talks with several officials over the weekend regarding the possible plans of action to combat BDS. The talks included Strategic Affairs and Information Minister Gilad Erdan, whose office’s purview includes fighting BDS, as well as other officials from relevant ministries. Netanyahu and Erdan agreed that his office will receive at least NIS 100 million, most of which will go to fighting BDS. Erdan’s office will also receive 10 new positions for employees who will deal solely with the boycott and de-legitimization activities against Israel. The minister mentioned that he is flooded with calls from Jewish leaders from across the globe, who want to join the effort against BDS.
Further signs of the crisis in Israel’s international reputation. Yair Lapid is the former Israeli finance minister and the head of a centrist party called There is a Future (Yesh Atid) and is supposedly sophisticated, in the Israeli frame anyway. Yair Lapid says BDS movement is “A puppet operated by Hamas and Islamic Jihad” — […]
Sheldon Adelson is mounting an attack on BDS campaign this weekend in Las Vegas. Attacks from opponents will not succeed in intimidating BDS advocates, or in denying Palestinians their freedom.
This June, three more U.S. churches—the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ (UCC), and the Mennonite Church USA (MCUSA)—will join the growing list of those considering resolutions to end financial support for the Israeli occupation.
The Forward says that the anti-boycott movement in the Jewish community is populated by wealth, righwing religious groups and Islamophobes and so will not reach progressive young Jews, while Peter Beinart says the Jewish community is having its rendezvous with BDS
On April 27th, Students for Justice in Palestine and the #MUDivest coalition presented their recommendation for socially responsible investment and divestment to the Marquette University Student Government (MUSG) at the last meeting of the year. The resolution targeted the following major companies: Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard , G4S, and United Technologies. The supporters making up the coalition expected an uphill battle during the months leading up to the divestment vote, but they did not expect to encounter the unjust proceedings set forth by MUSG and attempts by student senators to remove the Palestinian voice entirely.