Palestine Update 201
Looking ahead – the Kairos Year and a new Kairos consciousness
We begin where we left off at the end of 2018 – celebrating BDS successes. We do so knowing that as we enter the New Year, it is also the Kairos Year.
In a telephonic interview with Stiaan van der Merwe, a Kairos veteran from South Africa, he urges us “to echo the Palestinian Christian call to the international community to stand with the Palestinian people in their struggle against oppression, displacement, and apartheid”. He affirms the Kairos Palestine assertion that “the military occupation of Palestinian land constitutes is a crime against God and humanity and that no amount of rationalization can provide legitimacy to this amoral political method”. Stiaan van der Merwe also asks that “the Kairos Year and the Kairos consciousness that will undergird and accompany the year entail serve as an instrument in combating the occupation and the injustice of apartheid through non-violent resistance”. For him, “non violence as a method of resistance is an obligation for those who believe in the liberative potential of justice. At the end of the day, both the oppressor and the oppressed must feel liberation. To be steadfast in the struggle for dignity and justice requires avoidance of tit-for-tat strategies”. Stiann reaffirms the words of Martin Luther King Jr and holds fast to the principle that “at the center of non-violence stands the principle of love”.
Apoorva Gautam, Coordinator, BDS South Asia writes from her experience in this non-violent resistance and solidarity from what is distant South Asia: “As 2018 comes to a close, it is exhilarating to share with you some of the amazing victories this year for the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, in India and internationally. BDS is a grassroots movement, and is made powerful by ordinary people like us, standing in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle in extraordinary ways. All of these victories have been made possible by collective efforts, by organizing, and by respecting the Palestinian picket line… All these victories are a result of consistent and effective work of BDS supporters across the world and with the hope that 2019 will bring more organizing, more solidarity building and more victories for the BDS movement and for struggles for freedom, justice and equality across the world”.
Highlights of actions she reminds us of are found below.
Indian Women’s Groups endorse BDS and call for freedom of Ahed Tamimi
The year kicked off with a cross section of women’s organizations, together representing over 10 million women, endorsing the BDS movement and demanding freedom for Ahed Tamimi and all Palestinian child prisoners. Read the statement here:
- We stand in vigil, demanding justice for Ahed. We urge women’s and other grassroots movements in India and across the world to do the same. As Ahed braves Israeli prisons, we must send her a resonating message of support and love. Let that message be one of resistance, of people’s power and of BDS’
First Israeli Apartheid Week in India
In March this year, the first ever Israeli Apartheid Week was organized in India. Over ten days, and across five cities, activities were organized to understand better the nature of Israeli apartheid regime, and to build the BDS movement in India. Sharing here some beautiful slogans chanted by students at Jadavpur University during their IAW event, reminding us all the beauty of struggles.
HP Boycott in India
On 15th May, the day commemorated as Nakba Day marking the beginning of the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, when this year Palestinian protesters in Gaza were being massacred by Israeli forces, we launched the campaign to Boycott Hewlett Packard in India. HP is complicit in Israeli apartheid, colonialism and occupation, and the global campaign to boycott it demands that the IT Corporation end its ties with Israel. The campaign marked a major victory when Students Federation of India endorsed the BDS movement and the HP boycott in June 2018.
Indian Queer Groups Support the Boycott of Israeli TLVFest
- A wide range of Indian queer groups supported the Palestinian call to boycott the Israeli TLVFest, which is platform for pinkwashing. They urged an Indian filmmaker participating in the fest to cancel her participation. This support builds on the already growing commitment to build the struggle against pinkwashing in India. Read the statement here:
Many of us from the Indian LGBTIQA+ movement respect this call and are dedicated to fighting pinkwashing. Our fight for equality and justice is deeply connected to the Palestinian freedom movement. It is morally unjustifiable for us to let our struggle be co-opted by Israel to cynically use is it as a propaganda tool. Our struggle in fact stands squarely in opposition to it.
All India Farmers Union calls for boycott of Netafim
Taking forward its stellar commitment to Palestinian solidarity and the BDS movement, the All India Kisan Sabha, in its council meeting, called for a boycott of the Israeli drip irrigation company Netafim. Netafim is responsible for furthering Israeli colonization of Palestinian lands, and is also pushing for anti-farmer, corporate farming models in India. Read their full statement here:
‘All the profits Netafim receives from India and the legitimation it receives by being in the ‘More Crop Per Drop’ scheme finance and sustain its theft of Palestinian resources and impoverishment of Palestinian farmers.There is a simple step we can take to support the struggle of Palestinian farmers, and stop the encroachment of detrimental Israeli agro-technology in India. This AIKC Meeting calls upon to
- All farmers using drip irrigation system to boycott Netafim
- Demand that Netafim be excluded from the ‘More Crop Per Drop’ scheme
- All State Governments not to patronise Netafim.’
Building global south efforts for Military Embargo on Israel
This year’s killings in Gaza have once again shown us that building the demand for a military embargo on Israel is urgent and necessary. Especially in the global south, military ties with Israel are sustaining its occupation of Palestine and also further entrenching local militarism. This is true from Latin America to India. We have been building efforts for a global south campaign for a military embargo on Israel and the local militarism it aggravates. This statement condemning the early November attack on Gaza reflect these ongoing efforts.
Noted artists cancel performances in Israel
The list of artists respecting the Palestinian call to not perform in Israel until it ends its brutal occupation continues to grow. This year, Lana Del Rey became one of the 19 artists who withdrew from Israel’s Meteor Festival. Shakira and Lorde also cancelled their performances in Israel. In India, we have launched the #LoveBollywoodHateApartheid campaign, urging the Hindi film industry to not side with Israel as it attempts to use Bollywood to whitewash its crimes and fight the BDS movement.
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.