A mixed bag of news

Palestine Update 204
Opinion
A mixed bag of news

The debate about the legitimacy, or even legality, of resistance is frequently associated with discussion of racist regimes, colonialism and occupation. For peoples living under cruel domination, resistance becomes necessary when it becomes evident to them that there is no government or law to protect them from oppression. (Rinad Abdulla, The evolution of Palestinian resistance: a need to reassess)

It’s never a perfect bag of news. However,as long as there is good news and prospect for political victories even in the somewhat distant horizon, the optimism must not be surrendered.

Unthinkable even a few years ago, the US Senate rejected a bill that would have given Israel new ammunition against the BDS Movement. The measure that the Republicans (prodded on by the Zionist lobby, of course) aimed to give state and local governments license to refuse to deal with businesses that “engage in BDS conduct.”  In another political disgrace, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) came up with an expose on a Jewish charity in Canada, which has been under investigation for using its donations to build infrastructure for the Israeli forces in violation of the country’s tax rules.

And at the level of civil society, late last year the International Boycott HP Network and the Palestinian BDS National Committee convened an international week of action against HP over its role in take place November 25-December 3, which included the UN Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on November 29. Some significant successes came out of the event and are reported below.

Challenging power which shows scant regard for Palestinian sentiments, dozens of Palestinians lining the cobblestone roads of Bethlehem protested the convoy of the Greek Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem on the eve of Orthodox Christmas, on Jan. 6. They chanted “traitor” as the convoy of the Greek Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem made its way to Manger Square under heavy protection by Palestinian security forces. The representatives of Bethlehem municipality boycotted the patriarch and would not meet him in the square as is the tradition.Meanwhile, Al-Haq, an independent Palestinian human-rights organization, profiled its concern in regards to the Draft Law by Decree. They averred that the draft Law involves a clear conflict of interests, and a departure from legislative obligations. They argued that it would cause additional decline in the judiciary and justice system.

Do read and disseminate.

In solidarity
Ranjan Solomon


US Senate rejects bill against Israel boycott movement

Democratic U.S. senators have slapped back a bill that would have given supporters of Israel new ammunition against the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement. The bill was defeated 56-44 late Tuesday, short of the 60-vote threshold in the Senate, with all but four Democrats voting against.The measure would have allowed state and local governments to refuse to deal with businesses that “engage in BDS conduct.” BDS supporters see the increasingly popular movement as a tool to oppose Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people, but the bill would have been a weapon against it. Progressives and liberals across the U.S., including civil rights groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), have fiercely opposed the bill, saying it violates the right to free speech.
Source:

Canada charity used donations to fund Israeli army projects: CBC
Jewish charity under audit for funding Israeli forces and illegal building in occupied West Bank.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) has published an expose on a Jewish charity in Canada, which has been under investigation for using its donations to build infrastructure for the Israeli forces in violation of the country’s tax rules.

The Jewish National Fund (JNF) of Canada, one of the country’s long-established charities, has been the subject of a Canada Revenue Agency audit after a complaint was filed in October 2017. The JNF funds numerous projects in Israel, such as reforestation efforts in areas hit by wildfires but it has also funded infrastructure projects on Israeli army, air and naval bases, the CBC, the country’s public broadcaster, reported on Friday. Their activities are in violation of Canadian law which prohibits charitable funds from supporting a foreign army.

CBC’s article details many troubling aspects of the charity’s projects which, along with funding infrastructure on Israeli military bases, it has also contributed directly to the construction of at least one hilltop settler outpost – illegal under international law, and considered illegal by Israel itself. The organization, which disclosed to donors last year that it has been under audit by the Canada Revenue Agency, said it stopped funding those projects in 2016, according to the CBC.
Source:

US Campaign for Palestinian Rights
Boycott HP, Technology of Israeli Apartheid!
Support human rights and go HP-free!

The International Boycott HP Network and the Palestinian BDS National Committee convened an international week of action against HP over its role in take place November 25-December 3, which included the UN Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on November 29.

The Boycott HP Week of Action was a phenomenal success, with creative actions in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Peru, Sudan, and across the Middle East, Europe, and North America! In the U.S. alone, there were 40 actions in more than 30 cities across 16 states! Member group Friends of Sabeel-North America announced that Santa Cruz’s Peace United Church of Christ became the first HP-free church! FOSNA’s HP-free churches campaign provides a powerful model to bring denomination-based divestment wins to the congregational level.

In Italy, HP was removed from the program of an Italian “Ethics and Social Responsibility in Information Technology” conference following efforts from BDS Italia. In Derry, Northern Ireland, five councillors gave back their HP equipment in support of the boycott as part of the week of action.

The diversity of actions and tactics was stunning…

  • In Rome, activists dropped a banner near the Colosseum to kick off the week of action that saw 26 actions across Italy.
  • In the Gibraltar countryside of southern Spain, activists produced their own original boycott HP video.
  • In Berlin, Germany and Seattle, activists lifted up indigenous resistance from Standing Rock to Palestine. The Northwest BDS Coalition’s mic-check flash mobs offer a fantastic action model.
  • In Jerusalem, students revealed why they’d been placing stickers on HP equipment saying “When I grow up, I wanna be a checkpoint,” kicking off a campus boycott campaign.
  • In Philadelphia and Boston, students came together to learn why HP is an important BDS target while in Kuala Lumpur activists held actions at public university libraries.
  • In Valencia, Spain, students performed a mock checkpoint.
  • In Khartoum, Sudan, activists held a lively action in a park passing out boycott HP stickers and flyers.
  • In Osaka, Japan and Los Angeles, organizers erected mock apartheid walls.

Hewlett-Packard (HP) companies provide services and technologies that enable Israel’s brutal military occupation and suppression of Palestinian human rights. They profit from the oppression of Palestinians by providing Israel with technology for its racist population registry used to systematically discriminate against Palestinians; by providing the data storage technology used by Israeli prisons and police; and as the exclusive provider of computers to the Israeli military, which enforces the brutal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. HP companies claim to be beacons of social responsibility but in fact participate in brutal systems of oppression worldwide. HP operates:

  1. A segregated ID system that racially profiles Palestinians;
  2. Illegal settlements built on stolen Palestinian land;
  3. Israel’s prisons system where Palestinian are routinely held without charges and torture is widespread and systematic;

The devastating naval blockade of the Gaza Strip amounting to collective punishment, which is against international human rights and humanitarian law.
Learn more about HP’s role in Israeli war crimes here.
Sources:
https://org.salsalabs.com/o/641/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=20604
https://org.salsalabs.com/o/641/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=20604
https://uscpr.org/campaigns/hp/

Holy Land for Sale
The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate is selling church land that’s ending up in the hands of Israeli settler groups. Its Palestinian Christian congregants are furious

On the eve of Orthodox Christmas, on Jan. 6, dozens of Palestinians lining the cobblestone roads of Bethlehem protested the convoy of the Greek Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, with chants of “traitor” as it made its way to Manger Square under heavy protection by Palestinian security forces. Representatives of Bethlehem municipality gave the patriarch the cold shoulder, refusing to meet him in the square as is customary.The protesters are enraged because the Greek Orthodox Church, the second-biggest landowner in the Holy Land, has been embroiled in a real estate controversy for many years. The church—which owns about one-third of the land in Jerusalem’s Old City as well as property in the West Bank and in Israel, including the plot on which the Knesset is built—has quietly sold off plots of land and property to front men and developers, with many ending up in the hands of Israeli settler groups. The practice of selling off church property or leasing it for decades has pitted the clergy, the majority of whom are Greek, against their Palestinian flock. As these deals began to surface, protests by the church’s majority Palestinian congregation have intensified, as has fear among Israelis whose homes are located on leased church land.
Source:

Al-Haq cites concerns of draft Social Security Law by Decree
A Draft Law by Decree Amending the Judicial Authority Law No. 1 of 2002 has been in circulation, and a report issued by the Justice Sector Development Committee was also published on 28 November 2018 in response. Both developments have a bearing on judicial independence and the justice sector.

Al-Haq, an independent Palestinian human-rights organization, stated its concern in regards to the Draft Law by Decree, “the Committee’s report and Draft Law by Decree vest the executive with over-broad and unconstitutional powers over the judiciary and administration of justice. Both involve a clear conflict of interests, a deviation from legislative requirements, and cause a further deterioration in the judiciary and justice system.”
Source:

Don’t befriend me for a day, and leave me a month. Don’t get close to me if you’re going to leave. Don’t say what you don’t do. Be close or get away.

 لا تصاحبني يوماً .. لتهجرني شهراً ولا تقربني .. لتبعدني .. لا تقل ما لا تفعل كُن قريباً .. أو ابتعد.

Mahmoud Darwish.