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Belgian Campaign for the Academic and
Cultural Boycott of Israel

Academic Newsletter Nr 37 (July 2018)

The Palestinian Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, the entirety of which the Israeli army wants to demolish and forcibly displace its residents, June 11, 2018. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org).

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Contents:

Actions & Calls -- Gaza's Killing Fields -- Analyses -- Boycotts -- Current Affairs -- Events -- Israel -- Palestine -- Publications -- Resources & Reports -- Videos

Actions & Calls:

"Take Action: Sign petition to end PA sanctions on Gaza as prisoners urge greater mobilization" (Samidoun, June 19):

The movement to end the sanctions imposed by the Palestinian Authority on fellow Palestinians in Gaza is continuing to grow. On 20 June, protests will continue in Bethlehem and Beirut, while the next Ramallah demonstration is scheduled for 23 June, accompanied by actions in Amsterdam and Milan.Take action - sign the petition: https://www.change.org/p/mahmoud-abbas-lift-the-sanctions-on-gaza-and-end-repression-in-the-west-bank/


"Reports: Khalida Jarrar's administrative detention extended - keep up the campaign for freedom!" (Samidoun, June 15):

The administrative detention order against Palestinian leader, parliamentarian, feminist and leftist Khalida Jarrar was renewed late on Thursday, 14 June, two weeks before she was scheduled to be released after a year of imprisonment without charge or trial. Take action - sign the petition: https://www.change.org/p/free-khalida-jarrar-palestinian-parliamentarian-and-feminist/u/22884039!


"Palestinian women in Gaza call for solidarity as they march to break the siege" (SAMIDOUN, June 26):

A mass women's coalition in Gaza is calling for support from feminist groups around the world to help end the siege. On Tuesday, 3 July, the High Committee of the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege is organizing the first women's march since 30 March.


"Israeli mental health professionals´ statement regarding the recent events in Gaza" (Psychoactive, May 22): We urge all mental health professionals in Israel and around the world to join us in viewing this situation as one that requires our ethical involvement and to raise their voices in clear opposition to the occupation and siege, decrying their disastrous consequences for both Palestinians and Israelis. (Google form, with list of signatures), click here!

"Call on Israel's parliament to oppose the bill criminalizing the documentation of soldiers" (Human Rights Defenders, change.org):

We would like to draw your attention to a petition calling on the Knesset to oppose the bill criminalizing the documentation of soldiers. "Anyone who filmed, photographed, and/or recorded soldiers in the course of their duties, with the intention of undermining the spirit of IDF soldiers and residents of Israel, shall be liable to five years imprisonment"...


"Over 300 public figures from around the world: Forcible transfer of Khan al-Ahmar community a war crime" (B'TSELEM, June 11):

Over 300 elected officials, legal scholars, academics, artists, faith leaders, and activists from around the world and Israel published an open letter voicing opposition to Israel's plans to forcibly transfer thousands of Palestinians living in farming-shepherding communities in the West Bank. The letter focuses on Khan al-Ahmar in particular, a community under imminent threat of demolition and forcible transfer.


"Palestinian women prisoners: Suzan Owawi faces harsh interrogations, serious health deterioration" (Samidoun, June 25):

Suzan Owawi, 40, a member of the al-Khalil municipal council, is suffering from serious deterioration of her health after being subjected to harsh, lengthy interrogations in the Ashkelon detention center, noted Palestinian lawyer Firas al-Sabbah. She told the lawyer that she has been under interrogation in an attempt to extract a confession from her.


"Khan al Ahmar- Abu al Helou Community: A Mental Health Perspective" (MAP News, June 22):

Razzan Quran, a trained counsellor and MAP's Officer in the West Bank, outlines psychological suffering in a Bedouin community under threat... Mental health has not yet been fully embraced as a core component of one´s health status by the Palestinian population. However, as any visitor to Khan al Ahmar Abu al Helou Bedouin community can see, children are being marked with high rates of malnutrition, night-terrors, bed-wetting, aggressive behaviours, hyperactivity and attentional deficits. These children are bearing the brunt of widespread and grave injustices, mostly, if not always, committed with chronic impunity.


"Joint statement against ICE and Israeli attacks on families and children" (USACBI, June 22):

We, the undersigned Palestinian, immigrant and refugee rights organizations condemn in the strongest terms the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policies of separating minors from their families seeking refuge at U.S. borders. The US attack is reminiscent of Israel´s treatment of indigenous Palestinians under U.S.-backed occupation and apartheid.


"Trump's 50% Budget Cut Tanking Palestine Refugee Agency" (telesur, June 26):

The Trump administration is currently withholding US$65 million budget ´pending further consideration.´ Pierre Krahenbuhl, UNRWA director, said the 50% funding cut by ex-top donor United States is endangering basic services and could impact about 500,000 children being able to start the school year. At the end of 2014, the number of Palestinian refugees worldwide was about 5.9 million, according to Palestine´s official statistical agency.


Gaza´s Killing Fields:

"Palestinians: Protester shot by Israeli army during Gaza protest dies of wounds" (Jack Khoury, Haaretz, June 24):

A Palestinian man who was seriously wounded by Israeli army gunfire during Friday's protests (22/6) on the Israel-Gaza border succumbed to his wounds Sunday, Gaza's Health Ministry said. The ministry identified him as Osama Khalil Abu Khater, 29. His death brings the amount of people killed since the "March of Return" began on March 30, to 132.


Jonathan Cook: "The defiance that launched Gaza's flaming kites cannot be extinguished" (Redress Information & Analysis, June 25):

First Israel built a sophisticated missile interception system named Iron Dome to neutralise the threat of home-made rockets fired out of Gaza. Next it created technology that could detect and destroy tunnels Palestinians had cut through the parched earth deep under the fences Israel erected to imprison Gaza on all sides.


"2018 Gaza border protests" (Wikipedia):

On 30 March 2018, a six-week campaign composed of a series of protests was launched at the Gaza Strip, near the Gaza-Israel border. Called by Palestinian organizers the "Great March of Return", the protests demand that Palestinian refugees and their descendants be allowed to return to what is now Israel. They are also protesting the blockade of the Gaza Strip and the moving of the United States Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Violence during the protests has resulted in the deadliest days of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the 2014 Gaza War.


Florian Neuhof, "'I wake up screaming': Child trauma in Gaza deepens after bloody protests" (The National, June 16):

In a modest house on a sandy patch of land near the border fence separating Gaza from Israel, fourteen-year-old Riham Qudaih stands next to her wounded father's bed as she describes the night terrors that plague her daily. "I see blood, injured people, ambulances. I hear the sound of rockets...".


"Kinderen in Gaza op rand van mentale ineenstorting" (OneWorld, June 11):

Save the Children waarschuwt dat door nieuw geweld laatste restjes veerkracht kunnen verdwijnen. 95% van de kinderen in Gaza kampt met gevoelens van depressie, met hyperactiviteit en agressie en wil vaak liever alleen zijn. Dat blijkt uit nieuw onderzoek . De combinatie van deze symptomen duidt op zware psychologische problemen.


Stephen Shenfield: "IDF snipers: choosing who to shoot" (Mondoweiss, June 19):

Snipers (sharpshooters) constitute about a quarter of all soldiers in the IDF´s combat units. The standard course for the training of snipers lasts five weeks. The best snipers, however, are Russian immigrants who fought in Chechnya.


"Canadian doctor shot by Israeli sniper lobbies Trudeau to fund Gaza hospital project" (Jillian D'Amours, Middle East Eye, June 20):

Canadian doctor Tarek Loubani, who was shot on Monday 14th of May while treating Gaza's wounded, has taken his fight for health-care access for Palestinians to Ottawa. He is asking the Canadian government for $15m Canadian ($11m) to help expand a longstanding project that aims to bring 24-hour stable electricity to about nine hospitals and 50 clinics in the besieged coastal enclave.


Analyses & Comments:

Ilan Pappé, "Finding the truth amid Israel's lies" (The Electronic Intifada, May 30):

"Great sadness and suffering flooded the roads - convoy upon convoy of refugees making their way [to the Lebanese border]. They leave the villages of their homeland and the homeland of their ancestors and move to an alien, unknown new land, full of troubles. Women, children, babies, donkeys - everyone is on the move, quietly and sadly, to the north, without looking left or right...".


Michael Sfard: "In memory of Felicia Langer, the first lawyer to bring the occupation to court" (+972, June 24):

Felicia Langer was a Holocaust survivor, a communist, and one of the first Israeli lawyers to defend Palestinian residents of the occupied territories in the Israeli Supreme Court. She died in Germany last week, 21 June.


Joshua Leifer: "'They destroyed everything': Israel's decades-long war against the Jahalin Bedouin" (+972, June 13):

Expelled by Israeli forces from the Negev, then forced to live next to a garbage dump, the Jahalin Bedouin have lost their ancestral homes and their traditional way of life. The impending forced displacement of Khan al-Ahmar is just the latest struggle in the Bedouin tribe's history of dispossession.


Nicola Perugini: "The Palestinian Tipping Point" (CounterPunch, June 20):

They are aware that like in other colonial situations, the colonizer has built a mechanism of indirect rule with the participation of the colonized elite, as the sanctions on Gaza clearly reveal.


Odeh Bisharat: "'The ultimate deal': Crushing the Palestinian people grain by grain" (Haaretz, June 25):

It's happening right now. The governor of the empire, Jared Kushner, and his assistant, Jason Greenblatt, have come to the region to do what the central Zionist stream has dreamed of doing for many years: Crush the Palestinian people - and not just its national movement, as Saeb Erekat believes.


Ebe Daems: "Palestijnse gezinnen uit elkaar gerukt om joodse meerderheid in Israël te behouden" (MO*, 18 juni):

Palestijnen denken beter twee keer na voor ze trouwen, want veel stellen kunnen niet samen zijn omdat zij verschillende identiteitsbewijzen hebben. Hoewel de Palestijnen één volk zijn, hebben ze, op een oppervlakte kleiner dan België, vier mogelijke identiteitsbewijzen. Israëls verdeel-en-heersbeleid reikt tot in de slaapkamer.


Yossi Gurvitz: "'The law is what keeps the edifice of occupation from crashing down'" (+972, June 22):

Michael Sfard has spent the past two decades fighting the occupation in Israeli courts. His new book dissects the moral dilemmas of engaging with the occupation's legal system, its role in making the status quo sustainable, and why, despite it all, he remains optimistic that Israel's military rule over the Palestinians will end.


Rima Najjar, "With help from their Jewish Israeli friends: A Palestinian political initiative (in the making)" (Medium, June 21):

Our initiative to create a movement for one democratic state in Palestine/Israel, the only political settlement that is substantially just and workable, continues. After a number of meetings with Palestinians, we held our first meeting with Israeli Jews, about 20 in number, in Jaffa.


Naji El Khatib and Ofra Yeshua-Lyth: "One Democratic State: an ongoing debate" (Mondoweiss, June 25):

(The authors) respond to a recent essay where Jeff Halper outlined the contours of a possible one state solution in Palestine. They say it is essential to advocate for a secular and democratic state, not a bi-national state: We see it as essential that the One Democratic State take a new path, towards the creation of an entity that unifies its citizens under one cohesive identity.


Zaha Hassan: "Palestine Sets Precedent with Legal Complaint" (Al-Shabaka, June 17):

Palestine submitted a complaint with the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination involving Israeli violations of the rights of the Palestinian people.Zaha Hassan outlines why the complaint's findings could build the factual and legal basis for prosecutions in international courts against Israeli officials as well as the state of Israel itself.


Boycott & Anti-BDS:

Asa Winstanley: "Councils around the world boycott Israel" (The Electronic Intifada, 22 June):

Local authorities in Ireland and Chile have become the latest to join a growing global wave of resistance to Israel's war crimes against the Palestinians. Monaghan last week became the fifth county or city council in Ireland to declare support for BDS after Israel's latest massacres of unarmed protesters in the Gaza Strip.


"Motion on Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions Passes Unanimously at Society for Socialist Studies" (BDS, June 26):

The (Canadian) Society for Socialist Studies (SSS) joined the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel when it passed a motion supporting the boycott of Israeli academic institutions at its AGM on May 31st. It also commits to support the protected rights of students and scholars to engage in research and public speaking about Palestine, the state of Israel and in support of the BDS movement.


"BREAKING: 10 big wins for Palestine at the Presbyterian Assembly!" (US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, June 23):

June 22, the Presbyterian Church, which represents nearly 1.5 million Americans, voted overwhelmingly in support of justice for Palestinians through resolutions on everything from opposing legislation challenging BDS campaigns to defending the right to call Israel a colonial state!


"Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Statement on Solidarity with Palestine" (USACBI, June):

As peoples in the Americas whose ancestors come from countries in Asia, Hawaii, and the Pacific Islands, and as members of indigenous communities in these regions, we issue this statement of solidarity with the people of Palestine living in Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Israel, and in diaspora throughout the world. Our statement of solidarity is based upon our own historical experiences of imperialism, settler colonialism, racism, militarism, war, economic and land exploitation, displacement, incarceration, and forced migration.


"Israel creates Hate Net map of BDS groups, linking activists to terrorists" (J. Sharon, The Jerusalem Post, June 19):

Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan detailed on Tuesday night links between organizations involved in the global boycott movement against Israel and Palestinian terrorist groups, alleging that the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine), Hamas and the Palestinian Authority all have connections with radical, anti-Israel organizations.


Current Affairs:

"Israeli Soldiers Abduct Twenty Palestinians In West Bank" (International Middle East Media Center, June 21):

The Palestinian Prisoners' Society (PPS) has reported that Israeli soldiers abducted, overnight until early morning hours Thursday, twenty Palestinians, including a child, from their homes in several parts of the occupied West Bank, including Jerusalem. One of the abducted Palestinians is an author, intellectual and human rights activist, former political prisoner Rassem Obeidat.


"Israeli naval forces detain three Gaza fishermen" (PressTV, June 23):

Palestinian officials say Israeli naval forces have opened fire on several Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of the besieged Gaza Strip, and arrested three. Nizar Ayyash, the secretary of the Gaza fishermen's syndicate, said in a statement that Israeli forces targeted the Palestinian boats as they were fishing close to al-Sudaniyya area, north of Gaza City, on Saturday morning.


IMEMC News: Colonizers' Arson Attacks, June 22 & 23:

- June 22: "Illegal Israeli Colonizers Injure Palestinian Woman, Burn Olive Trees, Near Jenin";

- June 23: "A group of extremist Israeli colonizers burnt, on Friday evening, dozens of Dunams of Palestinian Olive orchards in Burin village, south of Nablus.


Joshua Leifer: "Israel's different responses to Jewish and Palestinian stone throwers" (+972, June 17):

In the West Bank, the consequences for throwing stones at Israeli soldiers differ dramatically, depending on who´s doing the throwing. The same act, when carried out by Jews in the West Bank, is met - often literally - with a soft-gloved hand. When carried out by Palestinians, the punishment can be as severe as death.


Samidoun: "Gilad Erdan wants to shut us down while attacking prisoners - we'll keep fighting for Palestinian freedom" (20 June):

Just one week ago, Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs and Public Security Gilad Erdan used his position to threaten Palestinian prisoners with even more repression, setting up a commission to discuss specifically how to make the lives of the over 6,000 imprisoned Palestinians even more difficult on a daily basis.


"Israeli bulldozers raze Palestinian lands in Jerusalem" (Ma'an News Agency, June 21):

The Israeli Nature and Parks Authority and the Jerusalem Municipality accompanied with Israeli forces raided several neighborhoods and villages in the Jerusalem district razed lands and removed iron gates on Wednesday.


"Kolonisten bejubelen doden Palestijnse baby met brandbom: 'Ali ligt op de grill!'" (The Rights Forum, 22 juni):

Het zijn moeilijk te verteren beelden: zo'n twintig Israëlische kolonisten die zich bij het gerechtsgebouw van Lod hebben verzameld om steun te betuigen aan twee verdachten van een moordaanslag in Duma, een Palestijns dorp op de bezette Westelijke Jordaanoever. Daar werden in de nacht van 31 juli 2015 molotovcocktails het huis van het gezin Dawabshah in gegooid.


Israel:

Gideon Levy: "In a democracy, Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar would be free" (Haaretz, June 21):

A legislator in prison through no fault of her own is a political prisoner in every way... Therefore, the resistance should no longer be directed solely against the occupation. The resistance is to the regime in place in Israel. Her imprisonment is the regime and she opposes the regime under whose boots she lives. (photo: Alex Levac, 2015)


Gideon Levy: "Nous n'arrêterons pas de filmer, nous n'arrêterons pas d'écrire" (Agence Medias Palestine, 20 juin):

La Knesset pourrait agir non seulement contre la presse, mais aussi contre les groupes pour les droits humains et contre les Palestiniens, les derniers témoins dans les poursuites contre l'occupation: nous violerons cette loi fièrement. Nous avons l´obligation de violer cette loi, comme toute loi sur laquelle flotte un drapeau noir. Nous n´arrêterons pas de documenter. Nous n´arrêterons pas de photographier. Nous n´arrêterons pas d´écrire - de toutes nos forces.


Shlomi Eldar: "Will new bill destroy Israeli Knesset's Arab alliance?" (Al-Monitor, June 22):

The chairman of the Knesset's Interior Committee, Yoav Kisch of Likud, decided to cancel an emergency discussion by his committee on violence and organized crime in the Arab sector sponsored by Ayman Odeh, chairman of the predominantly Arab Joint List.


Palestine:

"Palestine: IFJ condemns attacks against media workers as PJS calls for journalists' boycott" (June 14):

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has condemned attacks on media workers and the arrest of two foreign journalists by Palestinian security forces during a rally in Ramallah on 13 June. Security personnel in military attire and other individuals assaulted reporters and photographers covering a rally about events in Gaza and broke or seized equipment.The IFJ backed the strong condemnation of the attacks by its affiliate, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS).


"First training program in Applied Child Psychology launched in Palestine" (Palestine News Network, June 25):

In a ceremony held today in Bethlehem, the Guidance and Training Center for the Child and Family (GTC) has launched the first training program in applied psychology, in collaboration with its partners in Glasgow Municipality and the National Health Services in Glasgow - Specialist Children´s Services, and Glasgow and Dundee Universities in Scotland.


"Humans of Hebron" (Hebron Freedom Fund):

"I went to England to study as a jeweler for three or four years. Afterwards, I came back and settled down. I have a nice family, two sons and a daughter. My daughter is 29, and my sons are 28 and 24. My sons both do civil engineering - one of them works with the CCC and the other is a university teacher. My daughter finished her master´s in mathematics...".


Events:

§ Charleroi/Bruxelles, 8/9 juillet: "Conférence sur l'enseignement à Gaza" : 8 juillet, à Charleroi; 9 juillet à Bruxelles. Org.: ABP. Infos: cliquez ici!

Conférence sur l'enseignement à Gaza, avec Bassem Aboudraz & Abdelnasser Alsayyed, conseillers pédagogiques pour l'enseignement du français dans les écoles de Gaza.


Publications:

© Michael Sfard,  "The Wall & the Gate. Israel, Palestine, & the Legal Battle for Human Rights". Translated from the Hebrew by Maya Johnston. St Martin's Press, Nov 2017, 512 p.,ISBN 9781250122704; 26,99 euro (bol.com).

From renowned human rights lawyer Michael Sfard, an unprecedented exploration of the struggle for human rights in Israel's courts.
Review: David Shulman, "The Last of the Tzaddiks" (NRB, June 28). "There is every reason to believe, on the basis of long experience, that the Israeli government, if freed from even the mild constraints that human rights activists provide, would be only too happy to carry out in full the default policy of the right...".


© "Why Palestine Matters, The Struggle To End Colonialism", ed. by Noushin Darya Framke and Susan Landau. A new study guide distrib. by the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (2018). Pb, 108p., ISBN 2646618001, $ 15.00. Review by Rod Such, in The Electronic Intifada (24 June), "Ending colonialism in Palestine", click here!

The study guide contextualizes the liberation struggle of the Palestinian people within other global justice struggles. With a foreword by Richard Falk, former UN Special Rapporteur of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories, the book is grounded in international law and brings Palestine into focus through a lens of intersectionality, calling all those who struggle for justice against oppression to consider the challenge of seeing Palestinians in the context of other justice struggles. "Why Palestine Matters" demonstrates that the project of human emancipation is not limited to Palestine, but it also cannot proceed without Palestine.


© Derk Walters: "Israël zegt geen sorry meer". Unieboek, juni 2018. Pb, ISBN  9789000360420, 352 blz., 19,99 euro.

Per 1 juli 2017 kreeg Derk Walters geen nieuwe werkvergunning van Israël zodat er een einde kwam aan zijn tijd als buitenlandcorrespondent voor NRC Handelsblad. In zijn boek beschrijft hij zijn uitzetting als een goed voorbeeld van Israëls toenemende zelfverzekerdheid. Zo schaamt het land zich niet langer voor de bezetting, maar zegt nu openlijk: de Westelijke Jordaanoever behoort ons toe.


Reports & Resources:

# Gordon Neve, "The Political Economy of Israel's Homeland Security/Surveillance Industry" (Working Paper III, April 28, 2009, 67 p. - via: The New Transparency, Surveillance and Social Sorting):

"No other advanced technology country has such a large proportion of citizens with real time experience in the army, security and police forces," reads a glossy government brochure entitled "Israel Homeland Security: Opportunities for Industrial Cooperation".


# Psychoactive - Mental Health Professionals for Human Rights [Israel]:

We are a group of practicing and academic mental health professionals who have set ourselves the goal of being active in areas of social-political concern. Much of our activity relates to the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, the ongoing conflict between Palestinians and Israelis, and the psychological consequences of this situation for occupied and occupier. See: "Israeli mental health professionals´ statement regarding the recent events in Gaza" (Google form).


Videos:

# Michel Collon : "Comment Israël manipule Internet et l´opinion": https://www.facebook.com/InvestigAction/videos/10156027694127935/

# "Gaza Amputee Soccer Club": https://www.facebook.com/ajplusenglish/videos/1228460760628762/

Sondos Ashour: a woman paramedic on Gaza's frontlines

Palestinian leader gets huge welcome at Sinn Féin 2018 Ard Fheis (Ireland)

Belgian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

Prof. Em. 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).

BACBI Website: https://www.bacbi.be/

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Mailing address: Belgian Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (BACBI), 12, Kasteellaan, Nevele, O-Vla, 9850, BE