BELGIAN CAMPAIGN FOR AN ACADEMIC AND CULTURAL BOYCOTT OF ISRAEL (BACBI)         
 

 

BACBI Culture.

BACBI Culture


CURRENT NEWS, CAMPAIGNS & DENUNCIATIONS:

« Leading Palestinian cultural figures arrested by Israeli occupation, cultural institutions invaded ».
(Samidoun, July 22, 2020)
.
On Wednesday, 22 July, Israeli occupation forces attacked the Yabous Cultural Center in Jerusalem, an active center for cultural and performing arts, ransacking files and seizing property belonging to the center; they abducted the director of the Yabous Cultural Center, Rania Elias, from her home along with her husband, Suhail Khoury, the director of the National Music Institute. Occupation forces also attacked the home of the Jerusalem Arts Network, Shafaq, and seized its director Daoud al-Ghoul.

« European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) Deals Major Blow to Israel's War on Palestine Solidarity ».
ECHR rules unanimously that French highest court’s criminal conviction of Israel boycott advocates violates the European Convention on Human Rights’ freedom of expression article.

(Palestinian BDS National Committee, June 11, 2020)
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Reacting to the breaking news, Rita Ahmad from the Palestinian-led BDS movement said: "This is a major legal blow to Israel’s apartheid regime and its anti-BDS lawfare. At Israel’s behest, European governments, especially in France and Germany, have fostered an ominous environment of bullying and repression to silence Palestine solidarity activists."

« Palestinians Renew Call to Boycott Israeli Facial Recognition Company 'AnyVision.' »
Palestinian civil society supports calls for an ultimate ban on facial recognition technology and reiterates call for local authorities, corporations, universities to immediately end all ties with Israeli company AnyVision over its involvement in crimes against Palestinians.

(PACBI, June 23, 2020)
AnyVision provides the Israeli military with its facial recognition technology at military checkpoints in the occupied Palestinian territory and maintains surveillance cameras for the Israeli military deep inside the West Bank. This technology is used to spy on Palestinians and enables the Israeli military’s illegal targeting of civilians. AnyVision, which is led by veteran Israeli military and intelligence personnel, is able to market its technology as “field-tested” on Palestinians living under Israel’s military occupation and oppressive apartheid regime.

« TAKE ACTION: JUSTICE FOR EYAD! ».
Israel will not give Eyad Al-Hallaq and the thousands of Palestinians it killed in cold blood, the justice they deserve.

(The Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy, June 2020)
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Our demand: The International Criminal Court must investigate these crimes and hold Israel and the individuals responsible accountable.
Sign this petition so we can add your name to a letter to the International Criminal Court's Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, requesting legitimate investigations and accountability.

« Opposing Political Litmus Tests ».
Scholars and cultural figures stand against silencing of advocates for Palestinian rights in Germany.

(EN-DE-FR, May 11, 2020)
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421 International scholars and cultural figures are pledging not to serve on juries or prize committees or in academic hiring consultations in Germany whenever there are “convincing indicators that their decisions may be subject to ideological or political interference or litmus tests.”

# BACBI Academy's Newsletter Nr 59 (June 2020): click here!

# BACBI Culture's Newsletter Nr 54 (June 2020): click here!

Why Boycott Israel?

  • "What is BDS?" (BDS Movement): click here! Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) is a Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice and equality. BDS upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity.
  • "The case for a cultural boycott of Israel" (BDS Movement): click here! Israeli government officials have summed up how Israel instrumentalizes culture to cover up its grave violations of international law. "We are seeing culture as a hasbara [propaganda] tool of the first rank,” one official admitted, “and I do not differentiate between hasbara and culture."...
  • Nathan THRALL: "Le mouvement BDS rebat les cartes du débat israélo-palestinien" (Orient XXI, 28 nov, 2018): click here! La campagne Boycott-désinvestissement-sanctions (BDS) est en train de rebattre les cartes du conflit israélo-palestinien. Depuis sa création il y a treize ans, elle s’est attiré des ennemis dans tous les camps. Elle a contrarié les efforts des États arabes qui cherchaient à renoncer à leur propre boycott vieux de plusieurs décennies en faveur d’une coopération avec Israël. Elle a discrédité le gouvernement de l’Autorité palestinienne (AP) à Ramallah en dénonçant sa collaboration sécuritaire et économique avec l’armée israélienne et l’administration militaire. Elle a indisposé l’Organisation de libération de la Palestine (OLP) en empiétant sur son rôle de défenseur internationalement reconnu et de représentant des Palestiniens de l’étranger

Cultural Boycotts:

  • "20 Highlights of BDS Impact in 2019" (Palestinian BDS National Committee, 2019): click here!
    The anti-Palestinian Trump Administration and Boris Johnson government are more than ever directly engaged in Israel’s desperate war of repression on advocacy for Palestinian rights and the BDS movement in particular.
  • Ali ABUNIMAH: "German crackdown on Palestine defenders prompts UN warning" (The Internet Intifada, 15 Jan 2020): click here!
    UN experts have warned the German government that its tightening crackdown on supporters of Palestinian rights violates freedom of expression.

Actions & Calls:

  • Brief aan Gentse Schepen Sofie Bracke vanwege meer dan 50 academici, auteurs en kunstenaars (BACBI, 20 jan 2020, pdf, 5 blz.): click here!
    Betreft: de vergadering van de Gentse gemeenteraad op 20/1, agendapunt "Intrekking deelname VOKA-missie naar Israël" (Tom De Meester).

Analyses:

  • François DUBUISSON, "Trump 'Plan' would create a fictitious Palestinian state devoid of rights under international law" (Mondoweiss, Jan 31): click here!
    After being announced shortly after Donald Trump took office in 2017, the "Plan" (modestly called "the Vision") supposed to put an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was made public on January 28th. It is therefore now possible to analyse its substance in detail, deepening the reflections that have already been made on the basis of the leaks of some of its aspects... In the preamble of the "Plan", a position is taken which results in the exclusion of the whole of international law, as derived from UN resolutions and a range of other texts, as the essential basis for establishing the parameters of the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • Amira HASS, “Rewarding the Israeli Attackers in the Settlements" (Haaretz, Oct 22, 2019): click here!
    It’s a system – violence carried out with the army’s full backing and with the aim of expanding, on a daily basis, the area from which Palestinians are driven out.
  • Jonathan COOK, “Uninhabitable: Gaza Faces Moment of Truth" (The Link, Vol. 55, Issue 3, Augustus-September 2019, pdf, 16p.): click here!
    The only way Israelis can be made to sit up and take note of the disaster unfolding next door in Gaza, it seems, is when they fear the fallout may spill out of the tiny coastal enclave and engulf them too. Environmental experts from two Israeli universities issued a report in June warning that the imminent collapse of Gaza’s water, sewage and electricity infrastructure would soon rebound on Israel.
  • Rachel SHENHAV-GOLDBERG: "How 'cultural racism' helps Israelis rationalize inequality, discrimination" (+972, July 29, 2019): click here!
    ‘Cultural racism’ blames minorities for their inequality by suggesting that their low social position is due to a lack of effort or failure to adjust to a Western way of life. But active and institutional racism is the real culprit.
  • Megan GIOVANNETTI: "'They have punished the victims': Hebron struggles 25 years after Ibrahimi mosque massacre" (Middle East Eye, Feb 25, 2019): click here!
    The repercussions of the attack are still felt keenly by Palestinians in Hebron, who have seen their rights eroded and their formerly bustling city centre turn into a ghost town.
  • Tessa FOX, "'Ils sont venus tuer': la violence des colons fait un autre mort en Palestine occupée" (Middle East Eye, 28 janvier 2019): click here!
    Hamdi Talib Nasan, père de quatre enfants, a été tué d'une balle dans le dos lors d'un raid des colons dans le village cisjordanien d'al-Mughayyir. Encore une fois, l'armée israélienne à proximité n'a rien fait pour protéger les Palestiniens.
  • Maureen Clare MURPHY, "How Israel makes Palestinians foreigners in their own land" (The Electronic Intifada, 26 February, 2019): click here!
    One of the most insidious aspects of Israel’s military occupation is also one of its most overlooked: its deliberate fragmentation of Palestinian society. While the spectacle of violence is typically the focus of media attention – when international media cover Israel’s oppression of Palestinians at all – the reach of Israeli control over Palestinian family life falls under the radar.
  • "Protect the Palestinian Village of Al-Mughayyir" (Haaretz Edit. Jan 27, 2019): click here!
    Village residents, like most Palestinians living under the occupation, rightly feel there is no one to defend them and no one to secure their property.
  • Gideon LEVY, "In Land of Illegal Outposts and Hate Crimes, Another Palestinian Life Claimed" (Haaretz, Jan 27, 2019): click here!
    Palestinian residents of a West Bank village are being targeted by hate crimes coming from two nearby Jewish outposts.
  • Gideon LEVY, "Welcome to the Palestine Circus" (Haaretz, Jan 27, 2019): click here!
    The Israeli trainer and his Qatari and Egyptian assistants throw a few bones, and the caged animal in Gaza surrenders.
  • Edo KONRAD, "Israel's permit regime isn't about security, it's about segregation" (+972, Jan 9, 2019): click here!
    The permit system for Palestinians allows Israel to recruit informants, suppress political activity, and create an opaque system of segregation and control. Just don't say it's about security, says Yael Berda. The image should be familiar to every person with even the slightest bit of knowledge about Palestine.
  • Joseph MASSAD: "Anti-Semitism vs. anti-colonialism" (The Electronic Intifada, Aug 24, 2018): click here!
    Much of the ongoing acrimonious and toxic debate in Britain about allegations of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party centers on expressions of opposition to Israeli laws, policies, ideologies, actions and declarations. It is imperative to emphasize that it is Israel and its supporters who conflate Israel with all Jews, and then claim that condemning Israel, its laws, policies, actions and ideology amounts to condemning the Jewish people.

Arts & Heritage:

  • Ronit VERED: "The Vanishing of a Legendary Palestinian Pastry" (Haaretz, July 17, 2019): click here!
    It’s said that if you visited Jerusalem without eating this pastry, it’s as if you’d never visited at all. But the legendary mutabbaq shop in the Old City is shuttered. What’s behind the closure after 150 years?
  • Chemi SHIFF and Yonathan MIZRACHI: "Using archeology in the service of nationalism" (+972, July 5, 2019): click here!
    The inauguration of a supposed ancient Jewish ‘Pilgrimage Road’ by Ambassador David Friedman and White House envoy Jason Greenblatt is a reminder that archeology is never as neutral as some would like to believe.
  • Ahmad MELHEM: "Palestinian police on red alert over antiquities smuggling" (Al-Monitor, July 11, 2019): click here!
  • "Gaza's Once Thriving Traditional Crafts Industries Rapidly Disappearing" (Haaretz, July 10, 2019): click here!
    With unemployment rate over 50 percent, goods that once defined the Strip's economy are now almost nonexistent. Craftsmen blame Israeli blockade for economic turmoil.
  • Amjad IRAQI: "Don’t wait for Israeli archives to prove what Palestinians already know" (+972, July 7, 2019): click here!
    Israeli authorities are deliberately concealing historical documents to undermine evidence of the state’s dark and violent origins. And the world is still falling for it.
  • Mohammed ASAD, "Photo essay: The most beautiful places in Gaza" (Mondoweiss, July 2, 2019): click here!
  • Rasha HILWI: "Après les falafel et le houmous, Israël essaie de s'approprier le za'atar" (Collectif Palestine Vaincra, 29 mai, 2019): click here!
  • Megan GIOVANETTI: "From Palestine with love: Designer explores postcard power" (Al-Monitor, April 26, 2019): click here!
  • Adri NIEUWHOF: ""How Dareen Tatour found a "magic pen" in Israeli prison" (The Electronic Intifada, 12 Feb): click here!
    4 months after her release from an Israeli prison, Palestinian poet and photographer Dareen Tatour received in The Hague the 'Oxfam Novib PEN Award for Freedom of Expression'. Oxfam Novib, the Dutch affiliate of Oxfam, said it awarded Tatour the prize to highlight "the growing repression of critical voices in both Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories."
  • Lucas CATHERINE: "Onder Israël ligt Palestina en onder Tel Aviv ligt Jaffa. Over Witte en Zwarte steden." (Het Salon van Sisyphus, 20 december 2018): click here!
    Tijdens de kolonisatie heeft Europa zijn cultuur opgedrongen aan de landen en volkeren die het overheerste. Dat is ook te merken aan de koloniale architectuur. Europa exporteerde zijn toenmalige architectuur naar Afrika en het Midden-Oosten. Dit gebeurde op verschillende manieren, maar grotendeels kwam het hier op neer: Vaak negeerde men de bestaande lokale stad en bouwde er een nieuwe witte, Europese stad naast.
  • Ahmed A RJOOB: "The Impact of Israeli Occupation on the Conservation of Cultural Heritage Sites in the Occupied Palestinian Territories: The Case of 'Salvage Excavations'" (Journal "Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites," Volume 11, 2009 - Issue 3-4: Archaeology and Conflict): click here!
  • Heba ELKAYAL: "Samia Halaby: An Artist at Once Palestinian and Universal" (Al-Fanar Media, Aug 10, 2018): click here!
    Palestinian-American artist Samia Halaby's spacious loft-studio in New York's TriBeCa neighborhood is a sanctuary from the noise and bustle of New York City. The walls of the kitchen are painted in the same speckled style as many of her canvases and books and dictionaries in multiple languages line shelves that snake their way back to the studio.

Current Affairs:

  • Ben WHITE: "Are new Palestinian construction permits paving the way for annexation?" (MEE, Aug 19, 2019)): click here!
    Israel's decision to approve 715 housing units in Palestinian towns could be a token gesture, or preparation for a broader takeover of West Bank land.
  • "UPDATE: Over 100 bullet fragments in brain of Palestinian child shot in northern West Bank" (International Solidarity Movement, July 15): click here!
    Israeli soldiers shot a Palestinian child in the head with live ammunition on Friday during a protest against settlement expansion in the West Bank town of Kafr Qaddum, Palestine. Abdul Rahman Yasser Shteiwi, 9y., was rushed to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus at around 3pm and was operated on immediately. On Saturday, Palestinian doctors told ISM that a scan of the boy’s brain showed over 100 bullet fragments lodged in his head. Yesterday Abdul was moved to Tel Hashomer hospital near Tel Aviv.
  • Jonathan COOK: "Israel’s machinery of dispossession has crushed the hopes of an inspirational family" (Jonathan Cook, July 14, 2019): click here!
    The struggle of Jawad Siyam perfectly illustrates the relentless oppression faced by all Palestinian. Israeli police forced out the Siyam family from their home in the heart of occupied East Jerusalem last week, the final chapter in their 25-year legal battle against a powerful settler organisation. The family’s defeat represented much more than just another eviction. It was intended to land a crushing blow against the hopes of some 20,000 Palestinians living in the shadow of the Old City walls and Al Aqsa mosque.

Resources:

  • *PALESTINIAN REFUGEES IN (19) WEST BANK & (8) GAZA STRIP CAMPS (pdf, 2p.): click here!
  • *List of (149) Palestine Solidarity Organisations: click here!
  • *List of (20) Jewish Palestine Solidarity Movements: click here!
  • *List of (99) Palestinian NGOs: click here!
  • *List of (91) Israeli & Palestinian Human Rights & Humanitarian Organisations (16/5/2020): click here!

  • B'TSELEM: "Conquer and Divide": B'Tselem launches new interactive map to mark 52 years since the Israeli occupation began" (B'Tselem - The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, June 6, 2019): click here!
    Today - 52 years to the day since Israel began occupying the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip - B'Tselem launches a new interactive project, "Conquer and Divide", a collaboration with independent research agency 'Forensic Architecture'. By means of a series of maps the project illustrates the various measures Israel has used to encroach upon Palestinian space in the Occupied Territories since 1967."
  • REPORT: "House Demolitions as a Central Tool for the Dispossession and Concentration of the Bedouin Population in the Negev/Naqab: Updated Data for 2017" (Dukium, Nov 27, 2018, pdf, 33p.): click here!
    In the course of 2017, an unprecedented amount of 2,220 structures were demolished in the Bedouin communities in the Negev/Naqab - an unfathomable number. The State of Israel implements its demolition policy in all Bedouin localities, recognized and unrecognized alike, and demolishes new structures alongside old ones, in order to force its Bedouin citizens to settle according to the government’s aspirations and the various master-plans it created.
  • Ico MALY: "Over Racisme en beeldvorming in het Israëlisch-Palestijnse conflict" (Licentieverhandeling, UGent 2001): click here!
  • Jonathan COOK: "Apartheid Israel" (16p., The Link, Vol. 51, Issue 2, April-May 2018): click here!
  • "Palestine and the Israeli Occupation, Issue No. 1: Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid". Rapporteurs: Prof. Richard Falk & Prof. Virginia Tilley. UNESCWA - Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (Beirut 2017, 74p., document was removed from the UN website but is saved on bacbi.be): click here! La traduction française (AURDIP, 62p.): click here!
    The authors of this report, examining whether Israel has established an apartheid regime that oppresses and dominates the Palestinian people as a whole, fully appreciate the sensitivity of the question. Even broaching the issue has been denounced by spokespersons of the Israeli Government and many of its supporters as anti-Semitism in a new guise.
  • Herman DE LEY, "“Moreel verwerpelijk”: Tweede open brief aan minister Alexander De Croo" (De Wereld Morgen, 28 sept 2018 ): click here!
    "Telkens als in uw repliek de Israëlische zijde ter sprake komt, kenmerkt uw woordgebruik zich door een hoge mate aan empathie en gevoelsmatig inlevingsvermogen. Dit empathische taalgebruik blijft bij u achterwege zodra de duizenden onschuldige, Palestijnse slachtoffers ter sprake komen. Dit volharden in een 2-maten-2-gewichten-politiek, waarin de zwakke wél zwaar wordt aangepakt maar men de sterke de facto laat betijen, hoe moeten we dat vanuit moreel opzicht benoemen, geachte Minister De Croo? Ik zou durven gewagen van: “moreel verwerpelijk”."
  • Alexander DE CROO: "De Croo reageert op kritiek tegen stopzetting Belgische ondersteuning van Palestijns ministerie van Onderwijs" (De Wereld Morgen, 25 sept 2018 ): click here!
  • Herman DE LEY, "'Vrijheidsstrijder' versus 'Terrorist': Open brief aan De Croo, minister van Ontwikkelingssamenwerking" (De Wereld Morgen, 21 sept 2018 ): click here!
  • Herman DE LEY, "Lettre ouverte à Alexander De Croo, Vice-Premier ministre et ministre de la Coopération au développement" (Pour la Palestine, 19 sept 2018 ): click here!
  • Katarzyna LEMANSKA: "Les liens entre la Belgique et l'occupation israélienne" (Étude, avril 2014; mise à jour en août 2014, pdf, 89p.): click here!

BACBI's Coordinating Committee:

Prof. Karel Arnaut (KU Leuven), Em. Prof. Marie-Christine Closon (UCL), Prof. Patrick Deboosere (VUB), Prof. Lieven De Cauter (KU Leuven), Em. Prof. Herman De Ley (UGent), Em. Prof. Marc De Meyere (UGent), Prof. Serge Deruette (UMons), Lieve Franssen (dirigent Brussels Brecht-Eislerkoor), Carl Gydé (directeur CAMPO), Em. Prof. Madeline Lutjeharms (VUB), Prof. Perrine Humblet (ULB), Prof. Marc Jacquemain (Université de Liège), Raven Ruëll (régisseur), Em. Prof. Christiane Schomblond (ULB), Dr. Nozomi Takahashi (UGent), Prof. Karin Verelst (VUB).

BACBI Culture Secretariat: click here!

 

Current Affairs

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