Belgian Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel Academic Newsletter N° 35 (May 2018)
Le 10 décembre 1948, dans sa résolution n°194, l'Assemblée générale des Nations Unies a décidé"qu'il y a lieu de permettre aux réfugiés qui le désirent de rentrer dans leurs foyers le plus tôt possible et de vivre en paix avec leurs voisins, et que des indemnités doivent être payées à titre de compensation pour les biens de ceux qui décident de ne pas rentrer dans leurs foyers".
The 20th of April, at the fourth mass rally of the "Great Return March" at the fence of the Gaza Strip Muhammad Ayoub, 14/15 years old, was killed by an Israeli sniper with a live bullet in the head. The kid was a resident of Jabalia refugee camp in the North Gaza district.
"It is not the whim of one or the other sniper who identifies the small body of a child now and decides he´ll shoot. Someone marks the target for him very well and tells him exactly why one has to shoot and what the threat is from that individual" (Brigadier-General Res. Zvika Fogel, former chief of staff of the Israeli army´s ´Southern Command´, which includes the occupied Gaza Strip). Click.
"There are no innocent people in the Gaza Strip", Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman.Click.
"If he had gone to school like every other kid, there wouldn´t have been a problem", Education Minister Naftali Bennet. Click.
My mother started to scream on Friday, when she learned that my 18-year-old brother went to the Gaza border protests without telling her. She cried on and off all day long, in a state of hysterical panic until he returned back home safely late at night.
An Israeli general has confirmed that when snipers stationed along Israel's boundary with Gaza shoot at children, they are doing so deliberately, under clear and specific orders. In a radio interview, Brigadier-General (Reserve) Zvika Fogel describes how a sniper identifies the "small body" of a child and is given authorization to shoot.
On the fourth Friday of the "Great Return March", Israeli occupation forces opened fire at hundreds of Palestinians joining demonstrations along the border of the Gaza Strip. The military continued employing excessive and lethal force against unarmed protesters, journalists and paramedics.4 protesters were killed, including a child...
On a day when military snipers shot hundreds of unarmed demonstrators, the army declares that 'the circumstances in which journalists were wounded are unknown.' The circumstances couldn't be clearer. Israeli army sharpshooters and snipers have shot over 1,000 unarmed Palestinian protesters inside the Gaza Strip in the past week, killing more than 30 people.
MSF medical staff report receiving patients with devastating injuries of an unusual severity, which are extremely complex to treat. The injuries will leave most with serious, long-term physical disabilities.
On Friday 6 April, Yasser Abd Al-Rahman Murtaja, 31, a Palestinian photojournalist working for Ain media (Eye Media), a local TV production company, was covering the protests. While dressed in a distinctive journalists´ outfit, wearing a flak jacket marked ´PRESS´and a blue helmet, he was shot in the abdomen.
La vidéo, diffusée depuis la frontière de Gaza le 30 mars 2018, montre à gauche un homme, identifié comme étant Abed el-Fatah Abed e-Nabi, 18 ans, qui reçoit une balle dans le dos alors qu'il est en train de courir.
Hala Safadi, a journalist in Gaza, reports for MAP on the protest camps established at the edge of the Israeli-imposed "No-Go Zone" close to the security fence. She describes a different side to the Great March of Return not widely depicted in the media.
Women in the Gaza Strip have established a notable presence working on the front lines of the demonstrations that began on Gaza's eastern border March 30. The protests have drawn tens of thousands of Gazans, and resulting clashes have left scores dead from Israeli fire.
Tomorrow (Thursday) B'Tselem will launch a campaign entitled "Sorry Commander, I cannot shoot". The campaign will include newspaper advertisements clarifying to soldiers that they must refuse to open fire on unarmed demonstrators.
Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and Al Mezan Center for Human Rights: Since 30 March 2018, Israeli soldiers have killed 34 Palestinian protesters with live ammunition, amongst them a journalist and 4 minors. 56 percent of the 2,882 people wounded during the protests, 1,607 people were hit by live ammunition fired by Israeli troops. 523 children and 97 women were among the wounded.
The HC, Jamie McGoldrick, today called for the protection of Palestinian demonstrators and for urgent funding to meet critical humanitarian needs that have been generated by the massive rise in Palestinian casualties.
"It is OUTRAGEOUS to shoot at children!... Children must be protected from violence, not exposed to it, not killed!" A war of words erupted on Twitter Friday between the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov and the former spokesman for the IDF over the killing of a 15-year-old Palestinian.
Professeur de droit international à l´ULB, François Dubuisson, estime que la justice internationale pourrait s´emparer de ce qui s´est passé à Gaza... Il souligne par ailleurs que compte tenu de ce que l´von sait pour le moment, il pourrait même s´agir potentiellement de « crime de guerre ».
The demand for an inquiry has become the centerpiece of the official international response to the Israeli massacre. With robotically similar language, EU governments over the weekend expressed ´deep concern” about the situation in Gaza, but made no clear condemnations of Israel and called for ´restraint´ from all sides, as if occupier and occupied are equal in power and responsibility...
Letter to Ms Federica Mogherini and the EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs: ...The continued application of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, despite Israel´s clear violation of the Article 2 clause, sends a clear and unambiguous message to Israel that its massacres of Palestinians and colonisation of their land will be tolerated and will not result in any meaningful impact on its close relations with the EU. This creates a climate of impunity for Israel and complicity by the EU and its member states.
Last Friday, Israel yet again used Palestinian civilians as guinea pigs in its weapons laboratory, testing its new teargas-firing drones against civilians in Gaza. The export of Israeli military technology, "field-tested" on Palestinians, contributes substantially to financing Israel's oppression of Palestinians and military aggression against other nations.
Today, on the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian Political Prisoners, more than 150 European organizations of over 16 European countries issued a call urging the EU to uphold its legal responsibilities and exclude Israeli military companies from EU Framework Programs. This call - accompanied by an explainer video - comes at a time when at least 35 unarmed Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli snipers during three weeks of protests at Gaza´s border with Israel.
The US State Department doesn't know whether there are civilians in Gaza or not. This is terrifying - a new low for a department that may soon be led by CIA director Mike Pompeo - a supporter of torture.
Activists on Thursday confronted Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, on her government's blocking of any international investigation into Israel's killings in Gaza. Haley had no answer as members of the antiwar group CODEPINK stated that "Israel deserves to be held accountable just like any other country" for the "killing of peaceful protesters."
The term ´media bias´ does not do justice to the western corporate media´s relationship with Israel and Palestine. The relationship is, indeed, far more profound than mere partiality. It is not ignorance, either. It is a calculated and long-term campaign, aimed at guarding Israel and demonizing Palestinians.
This weekend the UN Middle East peace envoy asked: "How does the killing of a child in #Gaza today help #peace? It doesn't! It fuels anger and breeds more killing." Nickolay Mladenov was right to be outraged. He tweeted after a Palestinian teenager was shot in the head apparently by Israeli army snipers while peacefully protesting near a border fence.
Israel, being Israel, is deploying unbridled force against a helpless population. Dozens of snipers, backed by tanks, fire live ammunition against demonstrators whose only weapons are their own bodies, and maybe a tire or a mirror.
...Compare this intense media coverage of the alleged Syrian chemical attacks to the near silence accorded the horrific civilian massacre perpetrated by Israeli soldiers in Gaza, at the very same time... the US media´s almost total neglect of the brutal murders of innocent Palestinian men, women and children leads to the inescapable conclusion that, in contrast to Syrian victims, Palestinian victims don´t matter.
Israël célèbre son 70ème anniversaire. Pour les Palestiniens, il s'agit plutôt de la Nakba, la catastrophe qui les a frappés et contraints à l'exil. Si la Nakba était reconnue par de nombreux responsables et intellectuels israéliens durant les premières années du jeune État, elle a été par la suite contestée officiellement, alors que les preuves des exactions commises par l'armée israélienne en 1947-1949 et de l'épuration ethnique dont furent victimes les Palestiniens s'accumulaient.
Israel's goal is clear: a single state containing two peoples, only one of which has citizenship and civil rights. What the government is embarking on amounts to both de jure annexation and the crime of apartheid.
The school demolitions are consistent with other actions that make communities unviable, such as home demolitions, and the refusal to zone the communities or grant them connections to utilities like water and electricity, HRW said. Since Prime Minister Netanyahu took office on March 31, 2009, Israeli forces have demolished 5,351 Palestinian buildings in the West Bank for lack of building permits, including East Jerusalem, displacing 7,988 people, including more than 4,100 children, based on UN data. Israel has not offered resettlement options or compensation to families whose homes were demolished during this period.
The issue of political prisoners resonates internationally, and are yet another key linkage between the movement for Palestinian's rights and others. It is no coincidence, then, that many of the biggest non-Palestinian voices of solidarity are themselves former political prisoners.
PR Thursday 12 April 2018: Israel's recent killing of protesters in Gaza has led staff at the University of Sydney's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences to make Australia's largest ever public commitment to boycott Israeli academic institutions.
INTO has voted to fully support the Irish Congress of Trade Union (ICTU) position on Palestine - in other words, full support for the BDS Movement for freedom, justice and equality in Palestine.The INTO motion focuses in particular on the abuses of Palestinian children by the Israeli state, and calls for the further "develop[ment] solidarity with Palestinian schools, teachers and trade unions"
"Dublin has offered the strongest response to date to Israel´s latest massacre against unarmed Palestinian protesters in the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip. This is the most impressive win yet for the BDS movement in 2018" (Abdulrahman Abunahel, BNC Gaza coordinator ).
Today, the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) has voted to support justice and human rights for Palestine at the annual student Congress in Galway. The motion came before over 250 students from across Ireland voting to join the global movement for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS).
Cork City Council passed the following motion: "CCC calls on the Irish government to condemn the killings in Gaza, take diplomatic action by expelling a number of its diplomats, and recognise the State of Palestine".
Barnard and Columbia University administrations have often targeted Palestinian solidarity and censored Palestinian voices on campus, but yesterday Barnard students voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution calling on the university to divest from companies complicit in Palestinian human rights violations.
The Student Association Senate passed a resolution Monday calling on the University to divest from nine companies that allegedly contribute to Palestinian human rights abuses - legislation that the senate rejected last academic year.
The Jewish organisations, which include the David Susskind Jewish Community Center (CCLJ), the Union of Belgian Jewish Deportees and the Union of Jewish Students [later also le Comité de Coordination des Organisations Juives de Belgique], accuse Loach of being unable to denounce anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.
Des organisations juives ont protesté contre la volonté de l'Université libre de Bruxelles de nommer le cinéaste britannique Ken Loach docteur Honoris Causa. L'UPJB a soutenu cette décision de l'ULB ainsi qu'un grand nombre d'universitaires. Nous publions ci-dessous la prise de position d'universitaires juifs issus de l'ULB qui, non seulement approuvent la décision de l'ULB, mais se déclarent solidaires de l'engagement politique de Ken Loach.
Ce jeudi, le cinéaste anglais Ken Loach deviendra bien Docteur Honoris Causa de l'ULB. La double palme d´or à Cannes avait suscité la controverse, suite aux accusations de plusieurs associations juives envers le cinéaste, qui lui reprochent ses positions pro-palestiniennes et des propos antisémites et négationnistes Le recteur de l'ULB, Yvon Englert, a demandé à Ken Loach de clarifier sa position.
L'opinion d'un collectif d'intellectuels et d'artistes. "Une campagne plus en plus violente a été lancée contre le choix du cinéaste britannique Ken Loach comme docteur honoris causa de l'ULB. Ses promoteurs n´hésitent pas à parler de "l´ignominie" de l´université. Pendant ce temps, leurs vraies raisons restent cachées...". Suivie de la liste de tous les signataires.
L'image d'Israël - dont on dit parfois qu'elle est son bien le plus précieux - est gravement malmenée : devant l'horreur des massacres délibérés et répétés de semaine en semaine à Gaza, même la complicité de la plupart des médias ne parvient plus sauver les apparences, et la hasbara du gouvernement Netanyahou n'a plus prise surrien. La marque Israël est devenue toxique, comme en témoigne notamment ´l´affaire Portman´. Il était donc impératif pour les lobbies sioniste de faire diversion. Et le chantage à l´antisémitisme, pourtant usé jusqu´à la corde, reste leur arme favorite.
Invité sur La Première, Yvon Englert, le recteur de l´ULB a rappelé que « l´ULB ne flirte pas avec l´antisémitisme.Il n´y pas d´antisémétisme ou de négationnisme à reprocher à Ken Loach. Lui retirer le titre de docteur honoris causa aurait été paradoxal. On lui a d´ailleurs demandé de faire une déclaration », a rappelé le recteur.
For a number of years, Palestine solidarity groups in Germany have encountered serious obstacles when organizing events that draw attention to Israel's human rights abuses. That is despite the fact the right to free speech is enshrined in the German constitution.
La "Genesis Prize Foundation", organisation qui décerne annuellement ce qu'Israël présente comme le "Prix Nobel juif", a annoncé qu'elle annulait la cérémonie remise des prix 2018 après que l'actrice israélo-étatsunienne oscarisée Natalie Portman l'eut informé que "les événements récents en Israël lui ont été extrêmement pénibles et qu'elle ne se sent pas à l'aise pour participer à des événements publics en Israël".
I humbly take my hat off to you for your courage, Ms. Portman. Your direction is the right one; without a tailwind from people like you, nothing here will change. But it´s just a start.
@ Catherine Rottenberg: "Why Natalie Portman is not the real story"(Al-Jazeera, 23 April):
While Portman's decision and the media attention it has garnered has the potential to change public discourse on Israel and Palestine, what is most important is Israel's violent and brutal tactics of hunting down Palestinians.
Palestinian teen Abdul-Khalik Burnat, 18, the son of well-known activist Iyad Burnat, was sentenced to 19 months in Israeli military court on Sunday, 22 April. He and several friends had been charged with throwing stones and causing damage to the Israeli apartheid wall .
42 years ago today, Israeli police shot and killed 6 Palestinian citizens of Israel as they were protesting the government's expropriation of thousands of donums of Palestinian land. Since then, March 30 has been known as Land Day.
The picturesque village of al-Walaja, located between Jerusalem and Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, is known for its verdant landscape, agricultural terraces and numerous springs. But over the past seven decades, most of al-Walaja's land has been taken away from its approximately 2,000 residents.
HAIFA, Israel - "Seventy years ago, the world changed around my family. The establishment of the state of Israel represented self-determination for Jews, but a catastrophe - "nakba" in Arabic - for Palestinians. In the area around the Mediterranean city of Haifa, where my family has lived for six generations, only 2,000 Palestinians of a population of 70,000 remained...".
When Salim Tamari was researching his book on Arab neighborhoods in the Jerusalem area that were destroyed or conquered during the 1948 war, he had to ask Jewish-Israeli colleagues to go to the Israel State Archives to retrieve material for him. As a Palestinian, he did not have a permit to travel to the city, just 33 kilometers from his office in the West Bank.
Standing Together, a new joint Arab-Jewish movement, is aiming to transform Israeli politics. It won't be easy, but the Israeli left's first step back to power might be believing that it can win again. The Israeli left is in the midst of an historic crisis.
Mais oui, cela existe ! Ce groupe de députés fait la promotion des colonies israéliennes en Cisjordanie occupée, toutes illégales au regard du droit international. Un peu comme s´il existait officiellement au Parlement européen un groupe de députés "amis des cartels de la drogue" !
# Bruxelles, samedi, le 28 avril, 11h > 16h : " 1948 à 2018 " - Comment être solidaires des Palestiniens ? » À l'occasion du 70e anniversaire de la Nakbah, une journée de réflexion, partage et arts contre l'apartheid israélien. Lieu: VUB, Aula Q-A, 13 boulevard de la Plaine, 1050 Ixelles.
DÉBATS : Michel Collon interrogera Salah Salah (Conseil National Palestinien), Hamdan Al Damiri (Pal), Ronnie Barkan (Isr), Karel Arnaut, Charlotte Kates (USA), Olivia Zemor (F), Myriam De Ly, Hanne Bosselaers, Mick Napier (G-B), Mireille Gabrelle (F), Carmen Claessen, Fire Gym, John Tymon (G-B), Football against Apartheid (G-B), Dirk De Block, Sarah Turine, Jamal Ikazban, David Cronin (Irl), Adri Nieuwhof (NL), Barend Claessens, Youssef Chihab, Saadia Benfakha (F), Silvano Falessi (It) Muriel Jacoub (F), Michel Staszewski, Mario Franssen, Lieve Franssen, Lieven De Cauter, e.a.
FILM : Projection en avant-première de "LA CLEF DU SOL" en présence de Muriel Jacoub, la réalisatrice.
MUSIQUE, POÉSIE ET DANSES : Ra´jeen Dabkeh group, Houssem Ben El Kadhi & Ayman Nehme, Dyna Miite, Michèle Hicorne.
EXPOSITION : Iyad Sabbah.
Org.: Investig'Action, ABP Liège - Association belgo-palestinienne - Liège, Communauté palestinienne Belgique-Luxembourg asbl, Comité Palestine Verviers, Samidoun réseau de solidarité avec les prisonniers palestiniens, Plate-Forme Charleroi-Palestine, Association France Palestine Solidarité Nord, Campagne BDS France Montpellier...
# Ghada Sasa, "Israel: Greenwashing Colonialism and Apartheid".Major Research Paper, 26 July 2017, 111p., York Univ. (Canada).Ghada Sasa, 2017 [Fac. of Environmental Studies, Vol. 23 No. 11, ISSN 1702-3548]. Available here online. This paper demonstrates how Israel uses environmental policy to sustain its oppressive status quo, rather than the environment.
# "Free Speech on Israel. Jews & friends who say antizionism is NOT antisemitism", http://freespeechonisrael.org.uk/about-us/.Free Speech on Israel (FSOI) was founded as a predominantly Jewish campaign group in Spring 2016 to counter the manufactured moral panic over a supposed epidemic of antisemitism in the UK. Exaggerated and falsified accusations have focused on the Labour Left, but have also targeted faith groups, student bodies and other organisations which advocate the rights of Palestinians. Criticism of Israel and of its founding ideology, Zionism, has been misrepresented as antisemitic.
Committee: Prof. Marie-Christine Closon (UCL), Prof. Patrick Deboosere (VUB), Dr. Pascal Debruyne (UGent), Prof. Lieven De Cauter (KULeuven), Em.Prof. Herman De Ley (UGent), Lieve Franssen (dir. Brussels Brecht-Eislerkoor), Carl Gydé (dir. CAMPO), Prof. Perrine Humblet (ULB), Prof. Marc Jacquemain (ULiège), Prof. Madeline Lutjeharms (VUB), Raven Ruëll (metteur en scène), Prof. Christiane Schomblond (ULB), Dr. Apr. Nozomi Takahashi (UGent), Prof. Karin Verelst (VUB).