Showing posts with label Israeli Impunity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Israeli Impunity. Show all posts

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Settlements Not a Problem According to Washington Post

The Washington Post Editorial Board started the New Year with an op-ed declaring that continued settlement expansion is not an obstacle to peace between Israelis and Palestinians and that the "overheated rhetoric" in reaction to the latest announcement of settlement construction is counterproductive to restarting negotiations. 
"The criticism is appropriate, in the sense that such unilateral action by Israel, like the unilateral Palestinian initiative to seek statehood recognition in November from the U.N. General Assembly, serves to complicate the negotiations that are the only realistic route to a Middle East peace. But the reaction is also counterproductive because it reinforces two mistaken but widely held notions: that the settlements are the principal obstacle to a deal and that further construction will make a Palestinian state impossible."
So the WP editors would have their readers believe that continued colonization of Palestinian land by Israel is not really an issue, and that it is imperative that the Security Council pressure the Palestinians to stop using settlements as an excuse to not getting back to negotiations. Guess their New Year's resolution is to promote hasbara talking points even more prominently. 

We would like to thank the WP editors for informing us of the fallacy of our efforts to end US support for Israeli occupation and apartheid, support that includes more than $3 billion in military aid annually and diplomatic protection at the United Nations by vetoing resolutions condemning continued settlement action. Apparently it is the oppressed Palestinian people who should be pressed to accommodate Israeli impunity, and that is how peace will happen. And don't mind the settlements. It's not like settlers have been committing acts of violence and vandalism against Palestinians without any consequence. 

You can send a letter to the editor- less than 200 words- to letters@washpost.com. Also sign up to organize to end military aid to Israel

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Israeli Court Fails to Provide Justice in Killing of Rachel Corrie

Human Rights Advocates Intensify Call for Divestment as Israeli Court Fails to Provide Justice in Killing of American Peace Activist 

The
We Divest Campaign, a national coalition demanding pension fund giant TIAA-CREF divest from companies that profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands, is intensifying its call for divestment from Caterpillar Inc. in the wake of an Israeli court ruling today siding with the government in the civil court case brought by the Corrie family. The case alleged that the State of Israel was responsible for the killing of 23-year-old American peace activist Rachel Corrie, who was crushed to death by a Caterpillar bulldozer as she attempted to use nonviolent civil disobedience to stop the destruction of Palestinian homes by the Israeli army in Gaza in March 2003. The court’s decision followed an Israeli investigation that the US ambassador to Israel recently criticized as lacking credibility. 

In a series of actions timed to coincide with the issuing of the verdict, human rights advocates in cities across the US will protest in front of local TIAA-CREF offices this week and deliver
a letter urging trustees to divest fully from Caterpillar and other companies that profit from Israeli human rights abuses in the occupied Palestinian territories. The We Divest Campaign is supported by the Corrie family and the Rachel Corrie Foundation

“At the time of her death, Rachel was trying to prevent the destruction of Palestinian homes by Caterpillar bulldozers,” said Riham Barghouti, a member of the We Divest National Coordinating Committee. “Israel’s illegal policy of destroying Palestinian homes in the occupied territories, sometimes extending to entire villages, remains as urgent an issue today as it was when Rachel was killed. In Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley and Hebron Hills, Palestinians continue to live with the daily threat of their homes and property being confiscated or demolished by Israeli authorities. If TIAA-CREF trustees want to live up to their motto of investing ‘for the greater good,’ they must stop profiting from companies such as Caterpillar that are enabling Israel to carry out such gross human rights violations.” 


While TIAA-CREF recently dropped $72 million worth of Caterpillar shares from its social choice funds, following the lead of ethical investment ratings agency MSCI, which downgraded Caterpillar in February in part
over concerns about the use of the company’s products by the Israeli military, it continues to invest over $1 billion in Caterpillar through its general fund.

The We Divest Campaign is a national coalition initiated by Jewish Voice for Peace in July 2010 and includes the American Friends Service Committee, Adalah-NY, Grassroots International, the US Palestinian Community Network, and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Israeli Soldier Receives 45 Day Sentence in Death of Mother, Daughter in Gaza

Haaretz reported earlier this week the case of Staff Sgt. S of the IDF who had been accused of killing Ria Abu Hajaj, 64, and her daughter Majda, 37, as they were waving a white flag in Gaza during the first day of Israel's Opration Cast Lead. The soldier's lawyers claimed that there was no proven connection between him and the killings and eventually reached a plea bargain with the military advocate general. Staff Sgt S will thus be convicted of the relatively light offense of the illegal use of a weapon and sentenced to a mere 45 days in prison. 

This verdict, in relieving an Israeli soldier of any true responsibility for a heinous war crime, flies in the face of Obama's assertion that Israeli military investigations into their own alleged crimes are sufficient to provide justice.  Indeed, even when an American citizen was killed by the IDF in last year's flotilla raid,
Obama left the investigation into any wrongdoing up to the Israel  and no indictments were brought against Israeli military personnel. 

Perhaps more troubling, Israel's military investigation into the war crimes brought to light by the Goldstone Report has resulted in
a mere three indictments, including that of Staff Sgt S. For example, no legal action has been taken regarding the killing of 21 members of the Samouni family during the invasion. It is clear that the Israeli military has failed to sufficiently investigate accusations of its own wrongdoing, and the global community, including the United States, must apply more pressure to hold Israel legally accountable.  

Further, as Israel has failed to thoroughly investigate and punish its own war crimes, the United States should reconsider its policy of unconditionally arming the Israeli military with over three billion dollars in military aid per year.  It is time that American-bought weapons stop being used to commit crimes against Palestinians and those who stand with them.  Want to find out how much your community sends to buy weapons for the Israeli military?  Check out our military aid database and get involved by telling your representatives to fund community needs instead of Israel's crimes!

IDF soldier sentenced to 45 days for death of mother, daughter in Gaza war

Military advocate general reaches plea bargain in the most significant event mentioned in UN Goldstone Report; Givati soldier was accused of shooting women who raised white flag.

IDF troops operating in Gaza via Getty (Archive)

"A soldier accused of killing two women who waved a white flag during the "Cast Lead" operation in Gaza reached a plea bargain with the military advocate general and will be jailed for 45 days. The agreement will be submitted today to the Jaffa military court, after negotiations between MAG and the soldier's attorneys. The soldier, Staff Sgt. S', from Givati Brigade will be convicted of a relatively light offense - illegal use of weapons..."
Read more here





Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Obama Admin. Catalogues Effort to Protect Israeli Occupation/Apartheid at UN

It will come as no surprise to readers of this blog that the Obama Administration has repeatedly taken decisive measures in the United Nations to protect Israeli occupation and apartheid toward the Palestinians and to prevent the international community from holding Israel accountable for its numerous violations of human rights and international law.

We've seen this over and over again.  From undermining UN fact-finding missions on "Operation Cast Lead" and the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, to vetoing a mild condemnatory resolution in the Security Council about Israel's illegal settlements, to scotching Palestine's UN membership bid, the Obama Administration has doggedly worked to prevent the UN from protecting or advancing Palestinian human rights.

For anyone who doubts this to be the case or was perhaps unaware of this, the Obama Administration has now usefully encapsulated its myriad efforts to protect Israeli occupation and apartheid in the UN.

On April 24, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Esther Brimmer--a key player in the Obama Administration's effort to protect Israeli occupation and apartheid in the UN--delivered a speech to the American Jewish Community of Greater Miami and Broward in which she enumerated all of the ways in which the Obama Administration shields Israel from accountability in the UN.

According to Brimmer, "We have opposed unbalanced, one-sided resolutions, at the UN General Assembly, the Security Council, UNESCO, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN Human Rights Council and elsewhere."

Brimmer rightfully notes that "Over the past several months, we have engaged in a global diplomatic marathon to oppose the Palestinian membership bid in New York and elsewhere in the UN system."

Not for the first time does Brimmer equate Palestinian efforts to secure their long-denied human and national rights through the UN as undermining Israel.  In her zero-sum mentality, "we vehemently reject [these] attempts to de-legitimize the State of Israel."

For an Administration that came to office supposedly rejecting the us versus them foreign policy dichotomy of its predecessor, it is distressing to see the Obama Administration adopt this same type of rhetoric when it comes to its approach toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: any advance in Palestinian rights is a diminution of Israel's legitimacy. Is the Obama Administration also then willing to argue the converse?  Namely, that Israel's "legitimacy" can only be predicated on the continual denial of Palestinian rights.  That seems a bit illogical.

Well, even if Brimmer failed to clarify how advancing Palestinian rights "delegitimizes Israel," at least she put in one succinct place all of the Obama Administration's efforts to protect Israeli occupation and apartheid.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Weapons maker target of area protest


Below a newspaper in Meadville, PA, covers Monday's protest against Combined Systems, Inc., which manufactures the tear gas projectiles illegally used by the Israeli military to injure and kill Palestinian demonstrators. As we posted yesterday, US Campaign member group Adalah-NY discovered important details on shipments of U.S. tear gas to Israel linked to the injury and killing of both Palestinians and U.S. citizens in this article. To organize with us to end military aid to Israel, sign up here!

By Keith Gushard
January 16, 2012
Meadville Tribune

JAMESTOWN, PA — “Silence is betrayal,” “End chemical warfare,” “Democracy for all” and “Honor Dr. King and the right to protest oppression” were just some of the signs carried by protesters.

Why about two dozen people chose to march two miles on a cold Monday morning from downtown Jamestown into rural Mercer County was straight-forward, according to Werner Lange of the Coalition for Peace in the Middle East.

 “We’re here to try to put an end to one of the major weapons manufacturers whose products have killed countless people,” said Lange, who also is a professor of sociology at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. “It’s time to put a spotlight on it.”

The protesters picketed peacefully Monday in front of Combined Systems Inc. of Jamestown, a maker of tear gas, smoke munitions, other non-lethal and lethal munitions and crowd-control devices. The company’s production complex is located two miles west of the borough on Route 58.

The company’s security director said Monday that company officials were out of town and would have no comment on the protest. Messages left for company officials by the Tribune on Friday and Monday did not get a response.

ARTICLE CONTINUES...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Adalah-NY Discovers Important Details on Shipments of U.S. Tear Gas to Israel

US Campaign member group Adalah-NY discovers important details on shipments of U.S. tear gas to Israel linked to the injury and killing of both Palestinians and U.S. citizens in this article.

Adalah-NY unearthed this information in advance of an MLK Day protest against Combined Systems, Inc. of Jamestown, PA, one of the leading providers of tear gas to the Israeli military whose products have been misused to injure and kill nonviolent protesters in West Bank villages such as Nabi Saleh and Bil'in.  In the article, Adalah-NY presents strong evidence that a CSI tear gas canister fired by an Israeli soldier killed Mustafa Tamimi after he was hit directly in the face during a December 9 protest in Nabi Saleh.

Undoubtedly these lethal tear gas canister are paid for by U.S. taxpayers as part of the $3.075 billion in military aid allocated to Israel in the 2012 budget.  One more reason why you should sign up to organize with us to end military aid to Israel.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Obama's Real Israel Problem

Bennis
US Campaign Steering Committee member Phyllis Bennis published a strong piece in the L.A. Times calling for equal rights for Palestinians and Israelis as the basis for a change in U.S. policy to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a just and equitable way.

Check out her op-ed below and comment on it here.


Obama's real Israel problem -- and it isn't Bibi
Phyllis Bennis
January 6, 2012

Phyllis Bennis, director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, responds to The Times' Jan. 2 Op-Ed article, "Bibi and Barack." Bennis is the coauthor of "Ending the U.S. War in Afghanistan: A Primer" and the author of "Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer." 
If you would like to write a full-length response to a recent Times article, editorial or Op-Ed, here are our FAQs and submission policy.
Photo credit: J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press
Aaron David Miller is right: President Obama does have an Israel problem. But Miller is wrong about the roots of the problem.

The problem isn't Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or his Likud Party, or even Israel's current extreme right-wing government. Israel's fundamental policy toward the Palestinians is the problem, and that policy has hardly changed, despite the seemingly diverse sequence of left, right and center parties that have been in power.

Just look at the occupation of the territories seized in 1967 -- the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. Settlement building, along with all the land and water theft that goes with it, began just weeks after the Six-Day War. And a right-wing government wasn't in power; it was Mapai, the left-wing precursor to today's Labor Party. The right wing wouldn't come to power until almost three decades after Israel's founding, when Menachem Begin led the Likud coalition to victory in 1977.

Settlement construction and expansion started right after the war and continued under all the leftist (in the Israeli context) governments. By the time Likud came to power 10 years after the 1967 war, there were already more than 50,000 Israeli settlers living in Jews-only settlements in the occupied territories, most of them in occupied East Jerusalem, with smaller numbers in the West Bank and Gaza. Settlement expansion advanced under Labor, Likud and Kadima-led governments. Now there are more than 600,000 settlers living illegally in Palestinian territory, divided between the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

As Moshe Dayan, a former defense and foreign minister, explained, the settlements were necessary "not because they can ensure security better than the army but because without them we cannot keep the army in those territories. Without them the [Israel Defense Forces] would be a foreign army ruling a foreign population."

The different parties, prime ministers and officials sometimes used different language. Some repeated the words the international community wanted, a "land for peace" deal and "two states"; others insisted that only "peace for peace" or "Jordan is Palestine" was acceptable. Some spoke loudly in defense of settlements, while others only whispered.

But there was no diversity of substance. What happened in the real world, the "facts on the ground," continued regardless of which party was in power.

Other things continued too -- settler violence against Palestinians, expropriation of Palestinian land and water, illegal closures, collective punishments including massive armed assault, arrest without charge, extra-judicial assassinations and the siege of Gaza.

Of course, that's just in the occupied territories. Inside Israel, Arab Israelis -- those who survived the dispossession of 1947-48 -- live as second-class citizens. They have the right to vote, but they are subject to legalized discrimination in favor of the Jewish majority. The Israeli human rights organization Adalah reported to the United Nations more than 20 such discriminatory laws, the most important of which deny Palestinian citizens equal rights on issues of immigration and citizenship as well as land ownership. And outside, the Palestinian refugees, now numbering in the millions, have been denied their internationally guaranteed right of return by Israeli governments of every political stripe.

The whole range of Israeli political parties has continued to implement these same policies. They may talk a different talk, but they all walk the same walk.

What none of these governments is prepared to acknowledge is what it will take for a real solution, one that is lasting, comprehensive and just: human rights and equality for all based on international law. It shouldn't be more complicated than that. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights specifies everyone has the right to return to their home country, no exceptions; that everyone has the right to live in safety, no exceptions; that everyone has the right to an equal say in the government that rules their country, no exceptions.

Every law should treat all citizens the same, no exceptions. Every government has the obligation to live up to the treaties it has signed, including the U.N. conventions on human rights, against racism, the Geneva Conventions and more. Israel has signed them all. Yet not one Israeli government, of any party, has implemented them.

As long as the United States provides the Israeli government more than $3 billion in aid every year, regardless of those violations, and protects Israel from being held accountable in the U.N., regardless of those violations, no Israeli prime minister has much reason to change. That's Obama's Israel problem -- not Netanyahu. Changing U.S. policy should provide the solution.

ALSO:

Bibi and Barack

Middle East states of mind

Settlement outposts at root of Jewish violence in West Bank

-- Phyllis Bennis


SEE ORIGINAL ARTICLE...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Israel/Palestine as a 21st Century "Lawfare" Laboratory


Below, hear Lisa Hajjar, Professor of Sociology at UCSB, speak in Washington, DC, about her new paper that brings together the two concepts of "lawfare" -- Israel's litigation of warmaking practices -- and targeted killing, which Israel interprets as supported within its international legal rights and duties as occupier of Palestinian territory. Hajjar's presentation is followed by two other panelists named below.

In early December, the Institute for Palestine Studies was privileged to host the third Mansour Armaly panel on Palestine at the annual conference of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) held in Washington, DC. This year's panel was entitled "The "Humanitarian" Present in Israel/Palestine: Forensic Architecture, Estrangement, and Lawfare." It addressed the intersection of conflict, space and law in the politics of humanitarianism and war:

"Israel/Palestine as a 21st Century Lawfare Laboratory" 
Lisa Hajjar, professor, University of California, Santa Barbara.

"Forensic Architecture and the Politics of War Crime Investigation"
Eyal Weizman, professor, Goldsmiths College (UK)

"Spectres of Estrangement: the ‘ungovernable’ camp & the figure of the ‘irreconcilable’ refugee" 
Nasser Abourahme, graduate student, Columbia University.

The presentations can be viewed on this video player (if you cannot view the player, click on the links above to view on YouTube).




SEE ORIGINAL HERE...

The Institute for Palestine Studies (IPS) is the only institute in the world exclusively devoted to research, analysis, and publication on Palestinian affairs and the Arab-Israeli conflict. IPS was established in Beirut in 1963 and also has offices in Washington D.C., an affiliate in Ramallah, and a small office in Paris.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Activists Mic Check the "Ethical Standards" of the IDF

Sergeant Nadav Weinberg of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) is once again touring college and university campuses in the US absurdly promoting “the ethical standards of the IDF.” Weinberg conducted a similar tour last year, and you may recall the response his propaganda received from US Campaign coalition group ASU-SJP. Last week solidarity activists in Boulder, Colorado picketed and interrupted Weinberg’s presentation at the University of Colorado’s (CU) Chabad Jewish Student Center. US Campaign coalition member CU Divest! released the following the statement regarding their protest of Weinberg’s talk.

For Immediate Release

December 1, 2011

CONTACT: Michael Rabb, CU-Divest, 2002 18th Street, Boulder CO 80302 720-837-9674, michael.rabb1@gmail.com, https://sites.google.com/site/cudivest/

Activists at University of Colorado Disrupt Israeli Military Presentation: White Phosphorous Is Not Ethical

On Wednesday evening, 6:30pm, November 30, about 15 activists gathered at CU Chabad Jewish Student Center, 909 14th Street, in Boulder, to picket and demonstrate against Israel’s pernicious and immoral crimes against humanity. CU Chabad was hosting a talk by Sgt. Nadav Weinberg, a representative of the Israeli Defense Forces. Sgt Weinberg’s presentation is part of a USA tour of several college campuses designed to inform students about the high ethical standards of the IDF.

Michael Rabb, local activist and one of the founders of a campaign to get the University of Colorado to divest from Israeli apartheid, says Weinberg’s presentation was perfectly timed: On the 3rd anniversary of “Cast Lead”, Israel’s slaughter of 1400 people in the Gaza Strip, including hundreds of children, it’s entirely appropriate that we, students, faculty and members of the CU community confront Israel’s crimes against humanity.

During the presentation, several of the protesters in attendance stood up and “mic checked” Sgt. Weinberg. Using call-and-response, occupy wall street human microphone technique the activists accused Israel’s military of murder, massacre and war crimes. Rabb was forcibly removed from the meeting hall. Other activists stayed for the presentation and a few were even allowed to ask questions, like, “Sgt. Weinberg, how does dropping 2000 lb. bunker buster bombs on schools and hospitals demonstrate IDF ethics?”

It’s sort of amazing, perhaps “chutzpa” is the right word, for the Israeli military to send someone to Boulder Colorado to try and explain or whitewash their war crimes. Cast Lead is where Israel bombed this little piece of land (about 20 miles long 5 miles wide): the most densely populated piece of land on earth (1.5 million people) - with white phosphorous, cluster bomb units, (these would be anti-personnel weapons), not to mention the bunker busters, 2000-pound bombs that crushed homes, schools and hospitals.

CU-Divest is a grassroots movement: We are students, faculty and staff of the University of Colorado, and members of the University community at large, who are deeply concerned that the University of Colorado invests in companies that profit from Israel's illegal and immoral occupation and apartheid of the Palestinian people. CU-Divest is part of part of a global movement of boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israel for its crimes of apartheid.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Power of an Insurrectionary Imagination


By Jody Scholz
US Campaign intern
I recently had the good fortune of attending a conference in Atlanta sponsored by US Campaign coalition member group Friends of Sabeel-North America (FOSNA). The conference, From Birmingham to Bethlehem: The Power of Nonviolence in the US and Palestine-Israel, featured a variety of workshops and plenary speakers linking the nonviolent resistance of the US Civil Rights movement to the ongoing nonviolent Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation and apartheid. Legendary civil rights activist Dr. Bernard LaFayette implored conference attendees to join in solidarity actions with the Palestinian Freedom Riders, Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall spoke of her trip to the West Bank in June as part of a US delegation of women of color feminists, led by US Campaign Advisory Board member Barbara Ransby, which subsequently endorsed the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. Kennesaw State University Professor Jesse Benjamin led a packed workshop on whiteness in the Jewish-Christian Zionist embrace, and US Campaign National Organizer Anna Baltzer gave a dynamic presentation chronicling expanding apartheid conditions on the ground in Palestine-Israel eloquently advocating for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) as a powerful form of nonviolent resistance.
FOSNA has organized 33 regional conferences across the US over the last nine years and they have several scheduled for next year. If you have the opportunity to attend one, I would highly encourage you to do so. It was a challenging and richly rewarding experience.
In keeping with FOSNA’s mission of engaging North American Christians on the issue of a just peace in the Holy Land, many of the workshops focused on the moral, legal and theological basis from which US churches can work to end US complicity in the occupation. One of the recurring points of discussion throughout the conference was how US churches should respond to calls for “balance” when discussing the Palestine-Israel conflict. This is a particularly tricky issue for progressive US churches, many of whom feel a need to atone for Christian anti-Semitism and complicity in the Holocaust, and have admirably dedicated themselves to building relations with the Jewish community via interfaith dialogue and reconciliation.
While invoking the need for balance in discussing the conflict seems reasonable enough, it is almost always employed as way of normalizing the relationship between the oppressor and the oppressed. Several conference speakers, notably author and activist Mark Braverman, noted that in practice this means interfaith dialogue far too often results in Christian theologians refusing to condemn or even discuss Israeli human rights abuses against the Palestinians. And where there is criticism of Israel, it is almost always accompanied by recognition of Israeli suffering as somehow on par with the suffering of Palestinians living under the scourge of apartheid and occupation. The apparent reasonableness of entreaties for balance and dialogue helps explain why normalization is such an insidiously powerful and effective discourse.
The issue of normalization was also the focus of a skills-building workshop led by a Columbia University SJP member, cartoonist and solidarity activist Ethan Heitner, and US Campaign National Organizer Anna Baltzer at last month’s National Students for Justice in Palestine Conference. Columbia SJP and Adalah-NY, of which Heitner is a member, are both US Coalition member groups. Palestinian solidarity organizations on US campuses are often challenged by Zionist student groups to organize events together to present both perspectives of the conflict. In order to help student groups (and other solidarity activists) better understand and explain how normalization legitimizes Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people, Keilani and Heitner created a comic. The comic, titled “Nothing Normal About It,” does a great job of bringing to life how normalization misdirects attention away from Israeli crimes and frustrates our efforts to educate people in the US about the conflict.


As we continue to confront the discourse of normalization in the US, we must remember the importance of speaking differently. Our challenge is to articulate narratives that move beyond the entrenched vocabulary of the dominant discourse. This discourse serves not only to limit the scope of permissible discussion, but it also works to demoralize our spirits (so aptly depicted in the comic) and lock our imaginations. Cultural activism of the kind embodied by Keilani and Heitner’s comic enables us to question the dominant ways of seeing things and to present alternative views of the world because it opens up our imaginations, or what Jennifer Verson has referred to as our “insurrectionary imagination”:
An insurrectionary imagination is at the heart of cultural activism. It is a sense of possibility that is not limited by copying a pattern or following a design that somebody else created, or by what Augusto Boal (2002) calls the “cop in the head.” We all have that voice, the one that tells us our ideas are stupid, they won’t work out, they are too difficult or are bound to fail.
Cultural activism relies on killing the cop in your head and expressly tries to develop this insurrectionary imagination to create performances and actions. This living practice addresses complicated questions about how we build the world that we want to live in. Insurrectionary imaginations evoke a type of activism that is rooted in the blueprints and patterns of political movements of the past but is driven by its hunger for new processes of art and protest.

Rafeef Ziadah’s spoken word performance of her poem “We teach life, sir,” exploded across the internet this past week because she creates a narrative which simultaneously unmasks the violence of the Israeli occupation and the complicity of a noxious discourse that excuses Israeli brutality by invoking that great racist colonial trope of the Palestinians as uncivilized barbarians who can only be tamed through brute force. In a mere four minutes, Ziadah turns that discourse, so often repeated in the media, inside out and exposes its moral shallowness. This is the power of the insurrectionary imagination.
As we move forward as a movement, we must be consciously open to seeing, speaking, listening and thinking differently. We must believe in the power of our imaginations to help dissolve the boundary between dream and reality to create a world of unbounded freedom for all.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Urgent: Stop Home Demolitions in Al Hadidiye

Stop the Wall has issued an urgent call to action to stop nine fresh demolition orders issued by the Israeli authorities in the Palestinian Bedouin community of Al Hadidiye. The destruction of Palestinian homes and the ongoing colonization of Palestinian land is being carried out under the cover of US acquiescence and with the assistance of US companies like Caterpillar and Motorola. Stand in solidarity with the Palestinian families facing demolition and heed Stop the Wall's call to action!

Al Hadidiye to be demolished once again: Halt this new wave of ethnic cleansing!

Week against the Apartheid Wall (Nov. 9 - 16) - “Take Apartheid off the Menu” Action Day (Nov. 26)

Immediately contact your consulate and embassy through our email action!

While the international community discusses Palestinian statehood, on the ground Israel is continuing the ethnic cleansing and colonization of Palestine with a further displacement push in the Jordan Valley.

Al Hadidiye is a Bedouin community of some 112 permanent inhabitants and some 130 further inhabitants that during the two cold winter months return back to villages near Tobas as Israeli forces have destroyed their homes already and they have not found the necessary means to build shelters that can protect them from the winter cold. On Thursday November 10, the Israeli authorities served the community nine new demolition orders that target 17 structures and will affect 72 people , including women and children.

Since 1998, the Israeli occupation authorities have implemented a systematic and continuous drive to permanently expel the Palestinians residents of the Jordan Valley from their lands. Most of the people in al Hadidiye have had already their homes destroyed more than five times. Animal shelters and other property is regularly destroyed.

As the Palestinian residents are not allowed access the water from the pipes the Israeli water company Mekorot manages for the use of the settlements, and the digging of wells is prohibited, water has to be brought from a natural spring in the area. Especially in the summer months, Israeli authorities confiscate the water tanks in which the water is transported and stored.

The people in al Hadidiye are entirely dependent on rearing animals as they do not have sufficient water for agriculture. In the nearby Jewish-only settlements of Ro'i and Beqa'ot, agricultural produce is farmed using hi-tech methods and with an abundance of water. Much of this agricultural produce is exported to European supermarkets by Israeli agricultural export companies including Bickel, Mehadrin and Arava.

The Occupation authorities justify their demolition and expulsion order with the fact that the area has been designated a military zone since the 1970s. The 600 people of the communities of Mak’oul, Samra, Hadidiye and Humsa that have been living and grazing their cattle in the 300 000 dunums of the northern Jordan Valley for generations state that the area is not even used as a military zone.

In light of this renewed announcement of home demolitions and forced displacement we ask you to:

Immediately contact your consulate and embassy and urge them to pay the community a solidarity visit BEFORE November 18, the day the demolition order becomes executive, and to send a complaint to the Israeli authorities through the appropriate diplomatic channels.

Raise the issue in your actions during the Week against the Apartheid Wall and during November 26 “Take Apartheid off the Menu” European day of action against Israeli agricultural produce exporters

Thursday, September 29, 2011

New York Times' Ethan Bronner suddenly sounds like us!


The following excerpt is from an editorial on page A10 of today's edition of the New York Times. It comes under the headline "Israelis Happy at Home but Glum About Peace," and it sounds surprisingly agreeable -- given Ethan Bronner's usual point of view -- to what the US Campaign has been insisting for weeks in our efforts to mobilize grassroots opposition against the Obama Administration's obstruction of Palestinian UN membership...
Bronner
"...The sense over the past two years that President Obama was growing angry with Israel and steering American policy away from its interests subsided last week. The parts of Mr. Obama’s United Nations speech about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could have been written by any official here. It said nothing about Israeli settlements, the 1967 lines, occupation or Palestinian suffering, focusing instead on Israel’s defense needs.
Avigdor Lieberman, the hawkish foreign minister, said afterward that he would be happy to sign Mr. Obama’s speech “with both hands.”
SEE FULL ARTICLE... 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

We published in The Hill today: "Hold Israel accountable with Leahy law."

Our National Advocacy Director, Josh Ruebner, has a great op-ed today in The Hill, supporting Sen. Leahy's efforts to hold Israel accountable for its violations of U.S. weapons laws. Josh touched a raw nerve with his hard-hitting analysis. Lots of people are attacking him (but not his arguments). Check it out and leave YOUR comment!

Hold Israel accountable with Leahy law

By Josh Ruebner
August 17, 2011

Apologists for Israeli occupation and apartheid claim that advocates for holding Israel accountable for its human rights abuses of Palestinians are “singling Israel out for extra scrutiny” or “holding Israel to a higher standard than other countries.”

Ruebner
Yet, ironically, Israel’s supporters also claim that U.S. military aid to Israel is sacrosanct and, unlike every other governmental program on the chopping block these days, cannot be questioned due to the “special U.S.-Israeli relationship." Dan Carle, a spokesperson for Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), has noted correctly that you cannot have your cake and eat it too.

In response to an article in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz suggesting that the Vermont Senator will attempt to apply sanctions to certain units of the Israeli military for human rights violations, Carle explained that “the [Leahy] law applies to U.S. aid to foreign security forces around the globe and is intended to be applied consistently across the spectrum of U.S. military aid abroad. Under the law the State Department is responsible for evaluations and enforcement decisions and over the years Senator Leahy has pressed for faithful and consistent application of the law.”

The possibility of Senator Leahy consistently applying this eponymous legislation and holding Israel to the exact same standard as every other country has Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, whose office may have leaked the story in an effort to kill the initiative, in a tizzy.

The “Leahy Law,” as it is commonly known, prohibits the United States from providing any weapons or training to “any unit of the security forces of a foreign country if the Secretary of State has credible evidence that such unit has committed gross violations of human rights.” In the past, this law has been invoked to curtail military aid to countries as diverse as Indonesia, Colombia, Pakistan, and the Philippines. Along with other provisions in the Foreign Assistance Act, of which it is a part, and the Arms Export Control Act, it forms the basis of an across-the-board policy that is supposed to ensure that U.S. assistance does not contribute to human rights abuses.

ARTICLE CONTINUES ON THEHILL.COM...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Canada clamps down on criticism of Israel

No coincidence that this comes at the same time as U.S. Congressman Howard Berman introduces a bill to outlaw U.S. boycotts of Israeli occupation and apartheid.

In an affront to free speech, government committee declares that criticism of Israel should be considered anti-Semitic.


Jillian Kestler-DAmours
22 July, 2011

Nearly two years after the first hearings were held in Ottawa, the Canadian Parliamentary Committee to Combat Anti-Semitism (CPCCA) released a detailed report on July 7 that found that anti-Semitism is on the rise in Canada, especially on university campuses.

While the CPCCA's final report does contain some cases of real anti-Semitism, the committee has provided little evidence that anti-Semitism has actually increased in Canada in recent years. Instead, it has focused a disproportionate amount of effort and resources on what it calls a so-called "new anti-Semitism": criticism of Israel.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, 
a staunch supporter of Israeli policy,
has described criticism of Israeli as
a form of "new anti-Semitism". [EPA]

Indeed, the real purpose of the CPCCA committee seems to be to stifle critiques of Israeli policy and disrupt pro-Palestinian solidarity organizing in Canada, including, most notably, Israeli Apartheid Week events. Many of the CPCCA's findings, therefore, must be rejected as both an attack on freedom of speech and freedom of protest, and as recklessly undermining the fight against real instances of anti-Semitism.

The CPCCA and its findings

The Canadian Parliamentary Committee to Combat Anti-Semitism (CPCCA) was born out of a conference held in London in February 2009 by the Inter-Parliamentary Committee for Combating Anti-Semitism. Formed in March 2009 and not directly linked to the Canadian government, or to any NGO or advocacy group, the CPCCA included 22 Canadian Parliament members from across party lines. Former Liberal MP Mario Silva chaired the Inquiry Panel and Conservative MP Scott Reid led the Steering Committee.

Between November 2009 and January 2010, the CPCCA held ten separate hearings during which time representatives of various non-governmental organizations, religious institutions, police departments and Canadian and Israeli universities presented papers meant to assess the level of anti-Semitism in Canada. While groups critical of Israel were denied the chance to address the committee, major Zionist organizations like B'nai Brith Canada, Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies, and the Canadian Jewish Congress were welcomed.

ARTICLE CONTINUES...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Guardian publishes Cindy Corrie on U.S. complicity in collective punishment


The Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice is a coalition member of the US Campaign. The US Boat to Gaza--The Audacity of Hope--is also.

US collusion in the Gaza blockade is an affront to human rights 


My daughter's death shows the cruelty of an America that won't protect its own and is complicit in harming Palestinian civilians

By Cindy Corrie, in The Guardian
July 8, 2011

When Greek authorities prevented the US ship the Audacity of Hope leaving its port in Athens this week, they dealt a blow to a group of brave and principled Americans who were trying to carry thousands of letters from US citizens to those who wait on Gaza's shores.

I know many of the people who were on this boat, and my family's letter was part of their cargo. In 2003 my daughter Rachel Corrie made her journey to Gaza and was run down and killed by a US-made Israeli military Caterpillar D-9 bulldozer. She was trying to protect a Gazan family and their home, one of thousands illegally destroyed in Israeli military clearing operations.
Now my family is on a parallel journey with those activists as we return this week to Israeli court to confront Colonel Pinhas Zuaretz, the commanding officer of the Gaza Division's Southern Brigade in 2003. His testimony should shed light not only on actions of troops responsible for Rachel's killing but also on the Israeli military's broad failures as an occupying power to protect civilian life and property.

ARTICLE CONTINUES...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Still Time to Oppose Sanctions Threat Against Palestinians

We wanted to give you a quick update on H.Res.268 and let you know that there is still time to mobilize phone calls to oppose this terrible resolution. It won’t be voted on until later today or, more likely, tomorrow. Yesterday afternoon, the House “debated” the resolution. You can read the transcript of it beginning on page H4625 of the Congressional Record. You can also view the proceedings on C-SPAN. We figured that most of the statements would be atrocious and they truly were. However, there were some great points made. Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) said H.Res.268 “falls short of the kind of leadership that I believe is needed. This resolution chastises the Palestinians for seeking to bridge the divide in their own community and for pursuing recognition of their state at the United Nations.” Rep. David Price (D-NC) stated that “as usual, the resolution before us today tells only half the story. It says nothing about Israel’s responsibility to act as a serious negotiating partner and abide by its previous commitments under the Road Map and other agreements. It says nothing about Israel’s refusal to halt settlement construction in order to allow direct negotiations to resume—even when the Obama Administration offered a lavish package of aid and assurances for Israel to do something that was manifestly in its own interest to begin with. It condemns the Palestinian president for his unilateral actions while failing to comprehend that it has been Israel’s intransigence that has led him to view the United Nations as his only recourse. And as usual, the resolution has been rushed to the floor without any serious debate or any opportunity for input from the many members of this body who care about this critical issue.” Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) noted that “This resolution not only further entangles the U.S. in the Israeli/Palestinian dispute, but it sets out the kind of outcome the United States would accept in advance. While I prefer our disengagement from that conflict, I must wonder how the U.S. expects to be seen as an ‘‘honest broker’’ when it dictates the term of a solution in such a transparently one-sided manner. In the resolution before us, all demands are made of only one side in the conflict. Do supporters of this resolution really believe the actors in the Middle East and the rest of the world do not notice?” Please keep mobilizing people to make phone calls today (and possible tomorrow as well) to have Representatives vote no or abstain on H.Res.268. It’s clear that at least some of them are listening to us. Let’s keep up the pressure on them to vote the right way! Also, please don't forget to thank Representatives like Moran, Price, and Paul who have stood up against this resolution. Here is a link to the action alert we issued yesterday--please help us distribute it far and wide. Thanks for all you do! Be sure to let me know if I can help in any way and please update me on your efforts. Mike Coogan Legislative Coordinator