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Protesters stage citizen’s arrest of Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely at West Coast Ha’aretz conference

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Bay Area activists pulled off an awesome action yesterday at Ha’aretz’s Zionism 3.0: Israel’s Place in Tomorrow’s World conference in Palo Alto, California. As Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotoveli was introduced and stepped up to the podium a clear voice rang out:

“Tzipi Hotoveli this is a citizens’ arrest! We charge you with inciting colonial violence”

Check out the video:

Remember Tzipi Hotoveli? The Israeli official who dreams to see the Israeli flag flying at Al Aqsa Temple Mount. In her inaugural speech to the foreign ministry she explained she was on a mission to convince the world Israel inherited the occupied Palestinian territories from God. “This land is ours. All of it is ours. We did not come here to apologize for that”.

Hotoveli is the gold standard of why two states is dead in the water – she categorically rejects the concept altogether and farcically would be responsible for representing Israel if negotiations with Palestinians resumed. “Judea and Samaria aren’t even on the list of options we’re offering the Palestinians.”

How helpful!

At 1:47 in the video an activist with the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) explains why he participated in the action yesterday:

I felt it was necessary for Tzipi Hotoveli and Israeli officials and also the fervent Zionist right in the Bay Area to know you can’t have business as usual – can’t have conferences talking about strategies for how to push back against BDS how to push back against other efforts towards Palestinian liberation – they need to know can’t have conferences where they get to strategize against ruining our movement.

What we don’t believe is civil conversation with these war criminals is going to be the solution…Tzipi Hotoveli and the other diplomats and politicians and speakers that came today did not come here for civil conversation about the future of the Middle East, they came here to promote a strategy of further colonialism in the region, further domination to ensure Jewish majority and to gain more of a consensus in the Bay Area Jewish community. So we’re not under the belief they are there to talk and to hear varying opinions and in fact people who came to express varying opinions were barred from entering.

Palestinian activists expressed outrage about the invitation to Hotoveli and about the conference more broadly. “In the past month Palestinians have been facing accelerating violence at the hands of the Israeli military and settlers,” said Jennifer Moghannam of the Palestinian Youth Movement. “Hotoveli’s incitement contributes to a climate where the summary execution of Palestinians has become routine.”

“Palestinians have been resisting Zionist colonial occupation in response to more than 67 years of deteriorating living conditions and the destruction of their own resources for basic survival,” explained Moghannam. “Palestinians have the right to meet this kind of repression with resistance; but this resistance has led to lethal tear gas attacks, house demolitions, rubber bullets, and live ammunition.”

Jim Haber, a Bay Area Jewish Voice for Peace member who participated in the protested said he wanted “to do more for justice for Palestinians” he continued, “Tzipi has been saying such horrific things, things that are illegal until international law, repugnant, and immoral. I have to resist that.”

Another protester, Eli Isaacs said “As a Jewish Palo Alto native, I am appalled that this conference promoting Zionism, a racist ideology, is taking place in my hometown. I am outraged that a well-known racist firebrand and representative of a criminal government was invited to address this gathering. I had to act.”

Here’s a copy of the arrest warrant:


Tzipi Hotoveli, Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel, you are hereby commanded to be brought for trial before a jury of the people.

Tzipi Hotoveli is charged with the following crimes:

Colonialism. Colonialism is a serious crime under international law. Tzipi Hotoveli is one of the leading promoters of the settler movement in Israeli politics. Coordinator of the Likud campaign in the settlements, Hotoveli has declared on multiple occasions that “this land is ours. All of it is ours.” In violation of Article 46 of the Hague Convention and Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Hotoveli is directly involved in the Israeli government’s promotion and building of settlements in the West Bank.

Hotoveli is the ranking full-time diplomat representing Israeli colonialism (Benjamin Netanyahu is foreign minister in addition to being prime minister). Israeli colonialism includes the appropriation of Palestinian water resources and aquifers, land theft, property destruction and home demolitions, collective punishment, murder, torture, and mass incarceration against the Palestinian people. Israeli colonialism denies the right of return to seven million Palestinian refugees.

Inciting colonial violence. “It’s time to change the rules of the game and annex all the Jewish communities,” Hotoveli has said, referring to West Bank settlements. “All of the land belonged to the creator of world and when he wanted to, he took from them and gave to us.” And: “My position is that between the sea and the Jordan River, there needs to be one state only—the state of Israel, which has an Arab minority. There is no place for an agreement of any kind that discusses the concession of Israeli sovereignty over lands conquered.” These incendiary statements have provoked increasing levels of violence by Israeli soldiers, police, and settlers.

Since October 1, 91 Palestinians, including 18 children, have been killed by Israeli fire. 1458 have been shot by live Israeli ammunition, and another 1070 shot with rubber-coated steel bullets; 300 have suffered fractures and bruises from assaults by soldiers and settlers; 6400 have suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Hovotely has fully participated in the activities and decisions of the government she represents, urging that “The government of Israel must…return to the policy of assassination” of Palestinians.

Hovotely urges the annexation and domination of Palestinian holy places. She called for the flying of the Israeli flag over Haram al-Sharif (“It is my dream to see the Israeli flag at the Temple Mount”), labeling the holy site the “center of Israeli sovereignty.”

Apartheid. Apartheid, the institutionalized and systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over another, is a crime against humanity. It includes measures calculated to prevent a racial group from participating in the political, social, economic, and cultural life of the country. Hotoveli’s government enacts these measures through restrictions on Palestinian movement, checkpoints, roadblocks, and segregated roads that apply only to Palestinians. The Israeli segregation wall divides Palestinians from their land, while networks of settlements further segregate Palestinians from each other. Meanwhile, Israeli settlers in the West Bank enjoy the full privileges of Israeli citizenship regardless of location; the status accorded them as Israeli Jews ensures them free movement, access to water, education, and full rights, and freedom from military law. The school systems are almost completely segregated with vast disparities in resources between Israeli and Palestinian schools.

Palestinians are subject to administrative detention without charge or trial on a routine basis by Hotoveli’s government. They face military courts that convict 99.74% of Palestinians who come before them. Israelis, on the other hand, face civil courts that provide a range of protections and rights not available to Palestinians. Membership in Palestinian political parties, posting on Facebook and other social media sites, gathering in large groups, calling for the freedom of Palestinian political prisoners, attending demonstrations and giving media interviews are all punishable by administrative detention or imprisonment via the military courts.

Hotoveli has worked to expand and deepen the apartheid system, including working with groups— including those labeled terror organizations, such as Lehava—to prevent marriages between Jews and Palestinians.

In recognition of the severity of these offenses, we are hereby conducting a symbolic citizens’ arrest.

Executed this 22nd day of November, 2015, in Oakland in the State of California.

The protesters included members of Jewish Voice for Peace-Bay Area (JVP-Bay Area), the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN), and Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism (QUIT!).

Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is a mom, a human rights activist, and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area and likes to garden. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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28 Responses

  1. gracie fr on November 23, 2015, 3:23 pm

    Gutsy move…..!!!

    Well done….!!!!

  2. Kay24 on November 23, 2015, 3:40 pm

    Good job guys, I wish there were more protests like this, and that they get louder. There is no other way to convey this message. The zionists have become deaf to reason, and seem oblivious to the growing outrage the rest of the world feels, about their brutal occupation, human rights violations, and the slow genocide of Palestinian people, so that they can take over their lands.
    Most probably they are too arrogant to care.

  3. annie on November 23, 2015, 4:01 pm

    i see our henry standing up there! go henry ;)

    all the participating activists, fantastic! fantastic action. and i encourage people to use the hashtag >> (functioning link) >> #zionismv3 <<< when tweeting this story so it (hopefully) saturates the hashtag set up to promote the event and other haaretz "Zionism 3.0" conferences.

    • JWalters on November 23, 2015, 7:15 pm

      Thanks for the excellent report on this important resistance event. Hopefully it will inspire many others like it.

      • annie on November 23, 2015, 7:59 pm

        thanks jwalters, although i can’t take too much credit. a contact w/the group sent me the video and press release this morning which made the process fairly streamlined. we’d done so much coverage on Hotovely in the past i just grabbed a few embeds for the post and off it went. the people who deserve all the credit here are the activists as well as whoever made and edited the video.

        and this is getting picked up by activists in the UK on twitter. it’s very inspirational.

  4. Krauss on November 23, 2015, 4:22 pm

    Impressive and forceful.

    Also just sigh to Haaretz. Still engaged in whitewashing Apartheid?
    Such liberals!

  5. John Douglas on November 23, 2015, 5:56 pm

    Jews in the US have traditionally been at the forefront of movements for social change and the expansion of rights to those deprived of them. These demonstrators follow in that tradition. But it takes an extra level of commitment and courage for Jews to do battle with Zionism, which so many believe is the most important expression of Judaism and Jewishness in general.

    I have the greatest respect for these activists.

  6. JWalters on November 23, 2015, 6:00 pm

    Aaron David Millar today on NPR’s “To the Point” emphasized that a big problem with ISIS comes from its dogmatic attachment to religious beliefs. Naturally there was no mention by anybody of the OBVIOUS religious beliefs at the foundation of Israel. Boy, the Israelis really have a lockdown on America’s vaunted “free press”.

    • David Doppler on November 24, 2015, 11:32 am

      Amen, JWalters. Ditto the detailed analysis of who’s who in the Syria conflict in the NYTimes recently, nary a mention of its neighbor to the South, which has been providing material support, including hospital care, to one of the rebel groups, Al Nusra, I believe, officially known as a terrorist group and Al Queda affiliate, and which strongly advocates for removal of Assad.

      Also, did you notice when Trump claimed to have seen thousands of Arabs cheering in Jersey City when the towers came down, the many denials in the media that it ever happened seem to fail to mention that Carl Cameron did a story on Fox News, since erased, that detailed the five Israeli spies arrested for videoing and cheering from NJ. They were part of a “front” moving company, complete with box cutters, that was set up close to one of the terrorist cells. As I recall, the video also showed thousands of Palestinians cheering in the Middle East, then cut to details about the arrest of the Mossad agents, who were reported as Middle Easterners suspiciously videoing and cheering as it collapsed, then arrested. The FBI took over the investigation, it all got hushed up, then they were released and returned to Israel, where they were interviewed on a TV show, saying, “we were there to record the attack.”

      Trump stands by his claim, and also claims he has “the best memory in the world,” (which memory science has shown doesn’t mean too much). Is he goading the Zionists? He said of Marco Rubio,”he’ll make a nice little puppet for Sheldon Adelson.” Trump knows his way around buying politicians, and he knows his way around media. He may have mis-remembered what he saw, or, he may have remembered it very well. The effect includes exposing media constraints in reporting about Israel, which is backing his opponent in the primary, and whose money he, unlike all his opponents, he does not need, but with whom, as a politician, media phenomenon, and power broker, he may already be negotiating.

      • JWalters on November 24, 2015, 7:39 pm

        Excellent point about the Israel agents arrested on 9/11. That story was quickly suppressed and they were QUIETLY released, despite the impressive evidence. There are many videos on YouTube about this, including original news reports. Here’s Peter Jennings’ powerful initial report, before he knew they were Israeli agents.

        If those guys had been from Iran they would have been in maximum security immediately and the public storm would have blown sky-high.

        For readers who haven’t seen it yet, Glenn Greenwald has a recent article with stunning data on how fast reporters in America get fired for alluding to certain facts.

        Rachel Maddow had an episode fairly recently on how Dan Rather was fired for reporting on W’s being AWOL from the Texas Air National Guard. The story was accurate, but he was fired because “questions” were raised about a piece of the evidence. Most importantly, everybody else in the media immediately stopped reporting on what had been a hot developing story as soon as Rather was fired. Rather’s firing was clearly a shot across the bow of all the other reporters and editors. If the CBS anchor can be knocked off, so can you.

        I saw this tactic used to shut down talk of unionizing a company. It worked immediately. America’s media is being terrorized by Israeli tyranny.

  7. Henry Norr on November 23, 2015, 6:25 pm

    For me the whole thing was quite surreal – all these highly educated, “refined,” ostensibly “liberal” (culturally if not polically) Palo Alto Jews greeting a violent, racist scumbag like Hotovely with respect if not in every case outright enthusiasm! It certainly felt good to confront her and them with a little bit of truth. I only wish we could have done so more forcefully. Next time…

    Before we did the action I sat in on part of a panel on BDS, which was quite interesting: while of course dissing the movement, all the panelists were fretting about how they’re losing the “legitimation” struggle, especially on the campuses. Peter Beinart was very forceful in arguing that they’re losing because they’re refusing to talk to Palestinians, to look at the situation from a Palestinian perspective, etc. – as if somehow they could do that and still be on Israel’s side, as he is. It’s no wonder they hate him even as he does best to help them, in his strange, contradictory way.

    • JWalters on November 23, 2015, 7:06 pm

      When people are in extreme denial and delusion it often requires an extreme, shocking confrontation with reality for them to stop their reflexive denial and actually contemplate what others are saying.

      Thank you for your participation in this very valuable skirmish, and for your honest and interesting report on it.

    • oldgeezer on November 23, 2015, 7:43 pm

      @Henry Norr

      Thank you.

      • Henry Norr on November 23, 2015, 10:05 pm

        Just trying to uphold the honor of our generation, amongst a lot of wonderful young people,

    • can of worms on November 23, 2015, 9:33 pm

      @ “surreal”

      It is “surreal”, these Zios petrified in their own bareness of vision, with an uninvited gazer watching and calling out. With the one democratic state remaining an impossible concept to them because it implies loss on so many levels and yet is always emergent, coalescing into reality.

      It is surreal when people sit there and go about their every day affairs, and yet their own spokespeople are starting to beg for “normalcy” as their “just deserts”.

    • TerriKnoll on November 28, 2015, 7:38 am

      thank you Henry

    • niass2 on November 28, 2015, 7:50 pm

      They could easily be on is-reals’ side by doing what is right, giving them their land back and shutting the hell up. How many of them have any Middle Eastern blood in them? I am Polish and Russian, why do they care, since they are probably the same, what is going on in their fictitous homeland? I know the Grateful Dead originated in Palo Alto. maybe these Zio Supremacist Bay Area Jewish Deadheads and other pseudo Liberal potheads are deluded from drinking LSD laced Kool Aid provided by their Isreali guests. What would Pig Pen say? We’ll never know, he is close-by. He’d maybe say they don’t know what love is, and that is their initial problem.

  8. pabelmont on November 23, 2015, 7:02 pm

    We are living in a time wiere many people must (or do) live with contradictions. Must cause a lot of anxiety.

    I don’t know what Marx or others meant by contradictions of capitalism, but I see a contradiction between the promise of sunlight and roses of capitalism and the actuality: the ruination of the earth (as well as of democracy and national sovereignty) from big-capital and its oligarchical rule of the USA and the anti-sovereignty aspects of NAFTA and TPP (the ISDS system).

    The political liberal Zionists must deal with the contradictions between liberality and Zionist oppression, apartheid, and colonialism, as noted in the article.

    People who love their comfortable lives (all of us?) must deal with the contradictions between life-as-usual and the sacrifices and readjustments needed to deal with Global Warming/Climate Change (GWCC).

    All this dealing-with-contradictions seems to me to lead to anxiety, paralysis, and denial of whatever is easiest to throw out. LZ’s through out or deny liberality and human rights concerns. They back ogres and become, to an extent, ogres themselves. (Look at the treatment of SJP on campuses.) Most of us ignore or deny GWCC. Most of us back down and back away from the fight needed to displace the corporations from their oligarchic replacement of democracy.

    And look at the candidates for president making the rounds these days. On these three points it seems same old same old. So our politics is in the same denial we are.

  9. WH on November 24, 2015, 2:07 am

    Very bold, well done. The activists were removed rather forcefully – without protesting at all? I’d have thought they could demand less violent treatment.

  10. RoHa on November 24, 2015, 2:52 am

    “urging that “The government of Israel must…return to the policy of assassination” of Palestinians. ”

    That’s illogical. You cannot return when you have never left.

    • eljay on November 24, 2015, 12:43 pm

      || RoHa: … That’s illogical. You cannot return when you have never left. … ||

      It’s as illogical as the “Law of Return”.

      “Return”: Yet another word re-defined by Zio-supremacists.

  11. JLewisDickerson on November 24, 2015, 4:35 am

    RE: “Protesters stage citizen’s arrest of Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely at West Coast Ha’aretz conference”

    MY COMMENT: Hey guys, keep your grubby paws off that sweet, gentle lady. Mind your manners, guys. Respect the lady!

  12. adpucci on November 24, 2015, 8:47 am

    “nice” to see how they were roughly manhandled out of the room – really inspiring.

  13. Waterbuoy on November 24, 2015, 10:55 am

    LOL. Thanks for my first good laugh of the day, JLewisDickerson.
    Comment is an example of some of the best ironic humour…. with a touch of sarcasm.

  14. Boo on November 25, 2015, 4:13 pm

    Inviting Hotovely to speak to Ha’aretz in SF is like inviting Pol Pot to Esalen to speak on life in a commune.

  15. Henry Norr on November 25, 2015, 9:17 pm

    @Boo: We should be so lucky! Most of those highly educated, ultra-“refined” Silicon Valley Jews were applauding Hotovely.

  16. TerriKnoll on November 28, 2015, 7:44 am

    Then the CEO of YouTube meets with her. Supposedly Google too though I can’t find anyone at Google by the name in the article: I’ve already tweeted YouTube and the Committee to Protect Journalists.

  17. niass2 on November 28, 2015, 7:21 pm

    She’s quite unattractive, and really, who needs such a roach like creature around them. Its like dealing with the fat spoiled girl in Willy Wonka who blew up like a Blueberry. She will get hers when she faces god. God really hates people like her, especially ones who put words in her mouth. Leave it tog od. She will regret what she is doing. Its good thing she didn’t go to Wonka’s factory, she’d be being distributed in chocolate Bars via email to be downloaded on my new 3D printer as we speak.

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