Tuesday, January 12, 2010

CommonDreams article on Gaza Freedom March highlights Israeli apartheid

Joshua Brollier of Voices for Creative Nonviolence relates some "Lessons from the Gaza Freedom March" at CommonDreams.org. Here's Brollier on Israeli apartheid:
"Throughout the Gaza Freedom March presence in Cairo, our sisters and brothers from the South African delegation dynamically articulated the connections between injuries that indigenous Africans suffered under the white supremacist regime in Pretoria and the inequalities that Palestinians now face at the hands of the Israeli government. The delegation informed us that just as blacks in South Africa were forced to live in Bantustans and provide cheap labor for industry controlled by whites, so the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank are caged in smaller and smaller areas controlled by Israeli military checkpoints. The economic livelihood of the Palestinians is reliant upon free movement through these checkpoints and Israel often only grants access for Palestinians when it is financially useful for Israel. Similar to the situation in South Africa, Israel controls all the beneficial natural resources and siphons the productivity and profit of the resources away from the people of Palestine."
Brollier goes on to note that comparisons with South Africa or with the U.S. governments treatment of American Indians highlights the ongoing complicity of U.S. government and corporate actors:
"Many people who study and discuss issues related to Palestine are aware of the South African and North American analogies, but the general public in the United States doesn't seem to notice that we are subsidizing these bloody policies with 3.5 billion dollars of military aid per year....The Cairo declaration was formed and the South African group gave us insight to further focus the Boycott Divestment Sanctions Movement (BDS) through "campaigns to encourage divestment of trade union and other pension funds from companies directly implicated in the Occupation and/or the Israeli military industries." They suggested very specifically targeting companies in our areas that both enable and profit from the occupation."
Like what Brollier is saying? Here's how you can get involved: 1) The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation carries out targeted campaigns against Motorola, Caterpillar, and Ahava, three companies that are directly complicit in Israeli occupation and apartheid. Find out more about these and other BDS campaigns by clicking here, and sign up as a local organizer here. 2) Find out more about Israeli apartheid by clicking here, and check out the international Israeli Apartheid Video Contest organized by US Campaign member group Itisapartheid.org and our allies at Stop the Wall. 3) Oppose U.S. military aid to Israel by organizing in your Congressional District.