Palestine Update 82
As anti-BDS laws spread across US, some say they go too far. Critics claim the bills in US legislative bodies seek to legitimatize West Bank settlements, and infringe on free speech.Regardless, the mounting polarization of western societies seriously alarms Israel. The greatest peril to Israel is the polarization of the American Jewish community. This is a pattern that intensifies with each passing month. Legal experts from Britain and 14 other European nations asserted that the boycott of Israeli companies and goods manufactured in the Palestinian Territories is a lawful exercise of freedom of expression. In 2016, 200 lawyers and academics declared that moves by the UK and other nations to discourage support for the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement violate fundamental human rights.When a former Cambridge University lecturer refused to answer a letter from a 13-year-old Israeli girl asking about horse breeding “until there was justice in Palestine”, out of deference to the BDS Movement, it was a shock to uninformed observers when it emerged. For Jewish Britons it recalled harsh memories but ignored everyday Israeli atrocities on Palestinians.
Today, Israeli universities have become major, willing and unrelenting accomplices in Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid. They support the development of research and analysis of weapon systems and military doctrines that Israel deploys whenever it goes to war. Those are the same weapons which it exports to willing buyers. In the final analysis, it is these very means which hold up the ongoing colonization of Palestinian land, ethnic cleansing of indigenous Palestinians, providing moral justification for extra-judicial killings, methodically single out against “non-Jewish” students, and multiple other violations of human rights and international law.
It is not obligatory to support BDS, but those those who oppose BDS as a peaceful instrument of dissent are on the side of the indefensible They are the lawless who oppose the rule of law.
16 million-strong organization in India joins the BDS Movement
Earlier this month, the largest national organization representing peasants in India, All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), has announced that it has joined the BDS movement. AIKS is spread across 21 states in India and is over 16 million members strong. AIKS has resolved to:
- Endorse the call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law, in order to stand for the rights of the Palestinian people and to resist the corporate takeover of Indian agriculture sector by Israeli companies.
- Denounce and document any cases of Israeli corporate takeover in the Indian agro-sector.
- Raise awareness among Indian farmers to prevent Israel and its corporations from reaping profits in India that finance military occupation and apartheid in Palestine.
A spokesperson from the Palestinian BDS National Committee said: “Indian solidarity with the Palestinian people is not new, it has a long history. We are very glad to see this solidarity re-emerge with AIKS declaration of support for the BDS movement and the Palestinian people. Grassroots movements in India, Palestine and beyond are working to defeat the violent wave of right-wing politics plaguing the world today. By joining the BDS movement, AIKS is saying no to the hateful politics of Prime Minister Modi, Netanyahu and Trump, and joining us to build a freer, just and equal world”.
Palestinian BDS calls for deeper solidarity between Palestinians and African Movements against colonialism and racismThe recent, welcome cancellation of the Africa-Israel Summit slated to take place in Togo this month underscores the urgency of re-focusing on how our struggles are intertwined and strengthened by our mutual solidarity.
Israel’s crimes in Africa are not so easily erased. Alongside its well-documented history of fueling civil wars, supporting apartheid and ruthless dictatorships across the African continent, Israel has recently been exposed as having played a role in the genocide in Rwanda. As early as 1992, Israel provided weapons, and later training, to the Rwandan military and Hutu militia that in 1994 perpetrated crimes against humanity against the Tutsis. A recent UN report accused Israeli arms suppliers of fueling the civil war in South Sudan. On the other hand, African states have a long history of supporting the Palestinian people. Since the late 1960s, growing numbers of African states have broken relations with Israel and consistently supported Palestinian rights in international fora.
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) has appreciated the Municipality of Cádiz for cancelling an Israeli film series due to the Israeli embassy’s sponsorship. The Israeli film series was organized in the Contemporary Culture Space (ECCO), a Cádiz municipal venue, which put it in conflict with the city council’s commitment to avoid contributing to whitewashing the image of Israel’s regime of military occupation and human rights violations through cultural events. A year ago, the City Council of Cádiz officially endorsed the Israeli Apartheid Free Zone campaign, committing to respect the human rights principles set by the global, Palestinian-led (BDS) movement for freedom, justice and equality.
“Don’t cater to Israeli apartheid, withdraw from Culinary Festival”In an open letter, prominent chefs from Palestine and nine other countries called on their colleagues to withdraw from the upcoming Round Tables culinary festival in Tel Aviv. This festival is sponsored by the Israeli government and is in partnership with Dan Hotels, which has a hotel built in an illegal settlement on stolen Palestinian land in occupied East Jerusalem.
Between October 29 and November 17, fourteen world-renowned head-chefs will spend a week cooking in Tel Aviv as part of the Israeli government’s public relations effort to use this international event to distract attention from its military occupation and apartheid policies.
Read Open letter
Red Card Israeli Racism (RCIR) protests Israeli repression of Palestinian football.
Red Card Israeli Racism (RCIR) has protested against a number of instances of continuing Israeli repression of Palestinian football. The campaigning group has written to Fifa’s ruling body regarding an attempt by Israel’s security services to recruit Palestinian footballers as informers, as well as regarding the continuing obstruction of footballers’ travel and of the import of vital sports equipment into Palestine. The claims centre around the annual Palestine Cup Final, in which the top Gaza and West Bank teams play each other over two legs. After many years during which Israel banned the event outright, the Cup Final resumed in 2015. However since then, Israel has cause repeated disruptions to the event by restricting teams’ travel in and out of Gaza.
South African activists call for Tokyo Sexwale to resign from FIFA
Ahead of FIFA Council meeting taking place in India, South African activists belonging to various civil society and faith based organizations, have issued a call demanding that Tokyo Sexwale resigns from FIFA. Sexwale is the head of FIFA’s Israel Palestine Monitoring Committee. In their call, the activists state: “FIFA has delayed in taking action against the Israel Football Association and its violation of FIFA statues…Sexwale and the FIFA Israel Palestine Monitoring Committee was meant to deliver justice, instead, it is delaying justice.”
Maryland Governor signs order against Palestinian BDS Movement- Rights groups slam order
Credit: Palestine Portal
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed an executive order against the Palestinian movement to Boycott Israel and according to his new order all firms with state contracts are required to promise they will not boycott Israel. Hogan, surrounded by local and national Jewish leaders, said he wants to send a message that Maryland supports the Jewish state and the economic ties between the two regions, Baltimore Sun reported. The executive order is meant to thwart the international, Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which urges companies to refuse to do business in Israel. The effort has gained only modest support in the United States. Pro-Israel groups across the country have been pushing states to enact such anti-BDS measures, and some 20 states have passed anti-BDS legislation or executive orders.
Rights groups and Palestine advocacy organisations have blasted the Maryland executive order as part of a “legislative assault” that targets the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.