Belgian Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel Newsletter Nr 38 (August 2018)
"Israel´s attacks on Palestinian education, from underfunding Palestinian majority schools in Israel, to imposing a Zionist curriculum in Jerusalem´s private schools, to harassing schoolchildren and teachers, to raiding and bombing educational institutions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, to denying exit visas for students and refusing visas for many foreign professors teaching in universities in het West Bank, result in cultural genocide" (cf. Nada Elia & Rima Najjar, 2015 & 2018).
Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi, 17, and her mother, Nariman Tamimi, were released from Israeli occupation prisons in the morning of Sunday, 29 July 2018 after serving eight-month prison sentences. Ahed and her mother were arrested on 19 December 2017 after a video of Ahed confronting occupation soldiers on the family's land in the village of Nabi Saleh, including slapping one soldier, went viral on social media.
Since the beginning of the current academic year (2017-2018), scores of foreign passport holders, many of Palestinian origin but without residence documents, living and working in the occupied Palestinian territory have been denied entry in the country, or have had their visa renewal applications refused by the Israeli authorities. At Birzeit University alone, we have 15 foreign passport-holding faculty members whose requests for visa renewals have been refused or significantly delayed.
These faculty members have full-time status, work in all the various faculties on our campus, and include senior faculty and department chairpersons. Our faculty who are currently under threat teach in the BA, MA, and Ph.D. programs at Birzeit University, are members of university committees, and serve the larger Palestinian community through public seminars and lectures. Already some professors have been forced to leave the country; including one from the Department of English and Literature, and a professor of European History at the Ibrahim Abu Lughod Institute for International Studies who has devoted his entire academic career to Palestine and the university for the past four decades.
These international professors play a critical role not only in the ongoing provision of quality education at Birzeit University but also in the long-term development of Palestinian higher education. If this policy continues, Palestinian universities, including Birzeit University, will be further isolated from the global academic environment. Our ability to deliver a world class education will be further compromised if we lose the international perspectives, diverse professional experiences and high-level skills these faculty members crucially bring to Palestinian academic life and the campus environment as a whole. In the global academic environment of the 21st Century, having an internationally diverse faculty has become a fundamental cornerstone of academic excellence at universities worldwide. If Birzeit University and Palestinian higher education as a whole are denied the right to engage international faculty members, what is ultimately being denied is our right to deliver a quality and standard of education that meets the accepted global norm.
The right to education is a fundamental human right as established in Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That article simultaneously underlines the critical link between education and the furthering of global perspectives, understanding and connection between diverse peoples and nations:
"Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace."
A long line of UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, and rulings of the International Court of Justice affirm Israel´s obligation to exercise its responsibility as the occupying power in West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip in accordance with international humanitarian law (including the Hague Convention of 1907 and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949) as well as applicable international human rights law. Israel is obligated by international law to both protect and facilitate the functioning of Palestinian civil institutions, including higher education. All states that are signatories to these resolutions also bear a responsibility to ensure that Israel exercises its obligations towards Palestinian education under international law; including that itexercises its control over the entry and presence of foreign academics in a manner that avoids unnecessary harm to Palestinian higher education and to the occupied population´s fundamental right to education.
We call on everyone -including governments, institutions, academics, and associations -to decry these policies, protect our fundamental right of academic freedom at Birzeit University and for all Palestinian higher education.
The heroic determination of our people in Palestine has inspired us in the BDS movement to double our efforts to achieve Palestinian human rights. We promised to raise the price of Israel's crimes through creative boycott and divestment campaigns. Help BDS intensify the struggle for freedom, justice and equality.
Simona FRANKEL, ambassadrice d'Israël désignée pour la Belgique et le Grand-Duché du Luxembourg est sous le feu des critiques depuis ses propos inacceptables qui avaient publiquement qualifié de " terroristes " les 55 morts, victimes de la répression sanglante de la manifestation pacifique à la frontière de Gaza.
Wij hebben jouw hulp nodig voor de opstart van een nieuw project! Palestina Solidariteit vzw richt ism de Palestijnse organisatie Dalia, een "soemoed fonds" (*standvastigheid) op ter ondersteuning van de boeren en boerinnen van het bedreigde dorpje Wadi Fukin (dichtbij Bethlehem). Zij zullen zelf instaan voor het beheer van het fonds. Draag jij vandaag jouw centje bij? Wadi Fukin is een voorbeeld van de Nakba die vandaag nog steeds doorgaat én van de standvastigheid van de plaatselijke bevolking. Het dorpje is bovendien het geboortedorp van Numan, één van de oprichters van Palestina Solidariteit vzw, die dit jaar onverwachts is overleden. Dalia verkreeg 5.000 euro steun van de stad Brussel voor het project in Wadi Fukin. Palestina Solidariteit wil dat bedrag verdubbelen. Daaromzoeken we 100 mensen die 50 euro of meer willen schenken aan het fonds voor Wadi Fukin.
Of via overschrijving kan ook: IBAN: BE64 5230 8014 8852, BIC: TRIOBEBB, Op naam van: Palestina Solidariteit vzw, Adres: Ectorsstraat 19, 3400 Landen. Met vermelding van: project Wadi Fukin.
Lama Khater was kidnapped in the early morning hours of 24 July, her family capturing images of her as she hugged her young child before she was taken away by the soldiers who invaded their family home in occupied al-Khalil (Hebron). Khater, 42 and a mother of five, is an activist and writer who has previously been called for interrogation by occupation forces. Her detention was extended for 8 more dayson 26 July.
The Journalist Support Committee - Palestine: 5 female journalists detained in the occupation's prison after the arrest of Lama Khater. The JSC condemned the arrest of Palestinian Human Rights defender and writer Lama Khater, 42 years old, and transferring her to an unknown location while subjecting her to harsh and intensive interrogation at the Ashkelon detention centre, under the pretext of"incitement against the occupation through Facebook".
The Lift the Sanctions movement is echoing inside Israeli jails, as several leading Palestinian prisoners announced the launch of an open hunger strike on 25 July 2018 against PA sanctions policies against prisoners from Gaza. Representing a united front of all major Palestinian political parties within Israeli jails, the hunger strikers are demanding the reinstatement of aid and social supportto Palestinian prisoners and their families from the Gaza Strip.
Israel must stop its planned demolition of the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar and must be held to account if it proceeds with its destruction, says a UN human rights expert. "To be effective, the international community must be prepared to hold Israeli decision-makers legally and diplomatically accountable for their unlawful actions."
Le parlement israélien vient de décréter qu' " Israël est l'État-nation du peuple juif dans lequel il réalise son droit naturel, culturel, historique et religieux à l'autodétermination ". Juifs, nous le sommes. Pourtant, cet État n'est pas le nôtre. Selon toutes les normes démocratiques, il doit appartenir à ses habitants, donc y compris à sa minorité arabe.
Gaza´s March of Return:
153 unintend "operational mishaps"? It is crystal clear now: the individual IDF soldiers obeyed strictly the open-fire orders from their superiors: the IDF command, the Minister of Defense, the Prime Minister. All of them are guilty of war crimes against unarmed men, women and children and must be brought to justice in The Hague.
An internal Israeli army investigation into the deaths of 153 Palestinians during protests along the Gaza-Israel border is expected to find that none of the incidents involved violations of open-fire orders. Demonstrators were shot as a result of "operational mishaps" and not intentionally targeted... The investigation team sought to thoroughly investigate incidents involving women or children, including the killing of 14-year-old Mohammed Ayoub, who according to Palestinian accounts, was not involved in disturbances when he was shot. Also investigated were the shooting deaths of Murtaja, the journalist, and paramedic Razan al-Najjar, neither of whom were shot deliberately, the army concluded based on soldiers' accounts...
At approximately 6:00 pm on Friday, 13 July 2018, in the area of Malka, east of the Al-Zaitoun neighborhood, east of Gaza city, the IOF fired live bullets at peaceful demonstrators, resulting in the killing of Othman Rami Jawad Hallas, 15, who was shot by a live bullet that entered his chest and exited through his back.
Gaza's March of Return has brought crucial questions to the fore regarding the Palestinian cause and the status of the Strip. Haidar Eid examines these questions and concludes that the March is creating a new awareness rooted in Palestinian unity across all geographies, the goals of the BDS movement, and a rejection of the two-state solution.
The Great March of Return movement has been the largest mass protest in the Gaza Strip in decades. Since March 30, demonstrators have gathered every week by the fence with Israel, calling for the right of return for Palestinian refugees to their lands, under UN Resolution 194, and demanding an end to the 12-year Israeli blockade.
Hospitals have had to temporarily close and Gaza's sole power station was shut down as Israel continues to ban imports to and exports from the territory. Israel's stated reason for the tightened restrictions imposed earlier this month was the launching of incendiary balloons and kites from Gaza.
Israel passed early Thursday a controversial bill that officially defines Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people and asserts that "the realization of the right to national self-determination in Israel is unique to the Jewish people."
[Editor's Note: The following is a translation of the final version of the Basic Law, as published on the Knesset website.] 1. Basic principles: A. The land of Israel is the historical homeland of the Jewish people, in which the State of Israel was established. B. The State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people, in which it fulfills its natural, cultural, religious and historical right to self-determination. C. The right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.
Le Parlement d'Israël a adopté ce jeudi une loi définissant le pays comme " l´État-nation du peuple juif ", accordant aux juifs la suprématie sur tous les citoyens israéliens non juifs, ce que les critiques et les membres de la minorité palestinienne de l´État ont qualifié de " raciste ", assimilant cette loi à l´apartheid.
Roughly eighty years after Nazi Germany enacted what became known as the Nuremberg Laws in September 1935, Israeli lawmakers in July 2018 have codified a new Jewish supremacy law, which effectively mirror the Nazi-era legislation of ethnoreligious stratification of German citizenry.
In Palestine, we are dealing with a complex situation: we have a settler-colonial project that denies its colonialism and argues it is a democracy and we have its victims whose victimisation has been dismissed for decades and whose national liberation struggle has been defamed.The only thing left for Palestinians to do is fight for one state espousing democracy and secularism.
From a balcony in Ramallah, surrounded by friends and acquaintances, the nation-state law shrinks to its proper ludicrous proportions... All are members of the same nation, regardless of what is written on their identity cards... Infected with superiority and devoid of shame, [the authors of the nation-state law are] incapable of understanding that this strength, this courage, this rootedness and belonging that Palestinians have in their homeland, will always find ways to cope, to resist, to innovate and to fight.
I gave a speech at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in 2004 in which I spoke about the Declaration of Independence of the state of Israel. I called it "a source of inspiration to believe in ideals that transformed us from Jews to Israelis".
Par BNC, Adalah, Najwan Berekdar et Omar Barghouti. La société civile palestinienne réagit à la loi " Israël comme Etat-nation juif" " qui définit sans ambiguïté Israël comme un état appartenant exclusivement au peuple juif ".
[This statement was released on July 23 as "International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network's Response to the New Israeli Law Legalizing Apartheid."] The state of Israel has always been an apartheid state. Its founding was based on denying and destroying Palestinian collective life on the land, while encouraging Jewish immigration and participation in a settler-colony, itself based on a classed racial hierarchy among Jews.
The Jewish Nation-state Law is itself a 'Basic Law.' And with that law, Israel has dropped the meaningless claim to being both Jewish and democratic. This impossible task was often left to the Supreme Court which tried, but failed, to strike any convincing balance.
It's quite fascinating watching someone hammering nails into a coffin, thinking it's for someone else, and unaware it might be for them. The latest nails are the Jewish 'nation-state' law, the prohibition from classrooms and lecture theaters of anyone critical of the so-called 'Israel defense forces' and the legislation presently being debated that would allow Jewish communities to prohibit "the Arabs" from living among them.
In a psychopathic system the biggest thing you are robbed off is the right to your personal power. Only oppressors are allowed to have power. This is why the Irish rebellion was crushed so horrifically. This is why Israel responds so disproportionately to any sign, including peaceful, harmless signs, of Palestinian resistance. Israel wants to let the Palestinians know that they have no power at all and rob them of any hope that they will ever have any.
Those attacking the UK Labour party for its newly adopted definition of anti-Semitism are contributing to the silencing of Palestinian voices, the potential criminalization of their struggle against racist Israeli policies, and the negation of their demands for freedom and equality.
R.F.: "...The unfolding narrative of Palestine is complex but it can be depicted in its essential form as the geopolitical undertaking to form a Jewish state in a non-Jewish society... British colonial motivations linked in this case to the Zionist movement, sought to impose an artificial political community that could only be maintained by subjugating the majority native population. Such behavior should not escape moral and legal accountability as is now the case...".
"... 7. Appelle tous les gouvernements et organisations de la société civile au lancement d´une opération de boycott, désinvestissement et sanctions (BDS) contre l´occupation israélienne, l´ensemble des institutions d´occupation et les colonies israéliennes illégales, y compris un embargo total sur toute forme de commerce et de coopération militaire avec Israël tant que se poursuivent les politiques d´occupation et d´apartheid contre les Palestiniens...".
Par cette lettre, nous joignant à de multiples organismes internationaux de lutte pour la justice sociale, nous dénonçons la prise pour cible systématique des organisations qui défendent les droits des Palestiniens et particulièrement le mouvement non violent de BDS.
In Cork, Ireland, last month, at the annual meeting of the American Conference for Irish Studies, an otherwise packed panel on Irish-Palestinian solidarity lacked a Palestinian speaker - not because none were invited, but because of fear among Palestine-based professors that, should they leave the country, they would not be allowed back.
The law, which still needs to go through the lower house and be signed by the president, would criminalize the import and sale of goods and services that originate in settlements in occupied territories, targeting Israeli settlements but also other occupations worldwide. The vote had been shelved earlier this year after objections by Israel.
Prominent Israeli scientist David Harel(Weizman Institute of Science & vice-president of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities) and writer and translator Ilana Hammerman penned a joint op-ed for the Guardianlast week calling on the international community to intervene on behalf of Palestinians, before time runs out.
PHROC (Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council) calls on the international community to condemn these latest deportations, and to take steps alongside UN institutions, to ensure that human rights defenders are able to access the occupied Palestinian territory.
Un agent de la campagne mondiale de censure que conduit Israël reconnaît avoir amplifié ses allégations d´antisémitisme dans le but d'ourdir des mesures drastiques contre celles et ceux qui défendent les droits des Palestiniens. Dans cet exemple le plus récent, Benjamin Weinthal a apparemment réussi à persuader PayPal de fermer le compte de la publication en ligne Agence Média Palestine.
Anger has spurred over Israel shutting down 2 education facilities in occupied East Jerusalem, as Israeli plans to annex the territory continue. Israel closed down Hind al-Husseini College and Al-Quds University's College of Art - both of which in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood - after banning an academic conference taking place and detaining 15 participants.
As of May 2018, 440 Palestinians were being held in Israeli prisons without charge or trial, according to new data. Administrative detention orders can be renewed indefinitely, without any way for the prisoner to defend themselves in court. In a number of high profile cases over the years, Israel has implicitly exposed once again that it is using administrative detention as a first, and not last resort.
Hoewel de Palestijnen één volk zijn, hebben ze, op een oppervlakte kleiner dan België, vier mogelijke identiteitsbewijzen. Koppels met een verschillend ID kunnen daardoor niet samenwonen. Het Israëlische verdeel- en heersbeleid reikt tot in de slaapkamer.
Israeli forces shot and killed a 15-year-old Palestinian boy in the Deheisha refugee camp during a violent detention raid on Monday before dawn in the southern occupied West Bank. The boy, identified as Arkan Mezher, was fatally shot in the chest near his heart around 4 a.m.
PS Israeli detention raids in Palestinian cities, villages, and refugee camps are a near-nightly occurrence. Refugee camps are often subject to the most violent raids due to the congested nature of the camp infrastructure.
At least 31 Palestinian children have been killed by Israel so far this year, according to Defense for Children International Palestine. UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, condemned the killing of Arkan Mizher, who was a student in one of its schools, and called for "an independent and transparent investigation to establish the cause and circumstances of this death."
A general strike has been announced in Sakhnin on Tuesday to protest the arbitrary demolition by the Israeli forces of a Palestinian home. The move was opted for following a meeting between Sakhnin municipality and the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens in Israel.
The Araqib village in the southern Negev area has been demolished 131 times since July 27, 2010 under the pretext that its land makes part of Israeli "state property". Historical chronicles and documents prove that the village was built during the Ottoman era on lands purchased by the village's residents at that time.
"Whether he made a mistake or not, is a trivial question," said an Israeli Jewish man who joined large protests throughout Israel in support of a soldier who calmly, and with precision, killed a wounded Palestinian manin al-Khalil (Hebron). The protesting Jewish man described Palestinians as 'barbaric,' 'bestial,' who should not be perceived as people.
Israeli settlers of the illegal Israeli settlement of Hallamish, in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah, attacked participants of "Hike and Explore Your Homeland" group under armed security by Israeli soldiers, on Friday.
The nation-state law makes it plain. Israel is for Jews only, on the books. It's easier this way for everyone...There remains a small problem with the rest of the world, and with Israel´s image, which this law will tarnish somewhat. It´s no big deal. Israel´s new friends will be proud of this law. For them it will be a light unto the nations. And people of conscience all over the world already know the truth and have long been struggling against it. A weapon for the BDS movement? Certainly. Israel has earned it, and will now legislate it.
We must recognize that Israel under Naftali Bennett and Benjamin Netanyahu is no longer a democratic state in which the rule of law is paramount. Last week will go down in Israeli history as a major step on the road to establishing a Jewish ultranationalist state on the ruins of liberal-democratic Israel... Anyone who doesn´t internalize these facts and cry out now will have to wake up when history will lead to brown shirts on Jerusalem´s streets. [Avner Gvaryahu is the executive director of Breaking the Silence.]
Israel was created as a rather conventional European colony, to meet the demands of the European Zionist movement and to keep a western foothold in the Arab world. Built on an invented racial ideology which parallels that of the Nazi persecutors of European Jews, Israel almost managed to convince the world that it is a legitimate nation. But Palestinian resistance is putting an end to that.
"The state of Israel is facing a catastrophic situation, which could, alarmingly soon, lead to extensive bloodshed. It is time for the international community to act decisively. Substantive external pressure - political, economic and cultural - offers the only chance of emerging from this impossible situation before it is too late."[Ilana Hammerman is an Israeli writer and translator. David Harel (photo) is vice-president of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities].
Even as Israel threatens to demolish the Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar in eastern Jerusalem, the Palestinian Cabinet has recommended formation of a local council there to represent the needs of its 200 residents.
De G77 werd opgericht in 1964 en vertegenwoordigt 80 % van de wereldbevolking en ongeveer 2/3 van het lidmaatschap van de VN. Traditioneel spreekt de G77 met één stem voor de 193 leden tellende AV en ook bij alle bijeenkomsten van VN-commissies en bij internationale conferenties. Het voorzitterschap is een grote politieke opsteker voor Palestina, in een tijd waarin de VS zich onder de regering-Trump steeds negatiever opstellen ten aanzien van Palestina.
# "MANIFIESTA 8/9 Sept 2018, Bredene-a-zee":
Op 8 en 9 september vindt in Bredene de 9de editie van het solidairste feest van het land plaats. Op het programma: concerten, debatten, een kinderdorp, film, theater, boekenbeurs ... en vooral: genoeg energie om de wereld te veranderen.
#"État Commun": zaterdag, Meltemi, 13u: docu 123 min. - Arabe/Hébreu - Français. Regie: Eyal Sivan. 20 jaar na de Oslo-Akkoorden is de "Tweestatenoplossing" in Palestina en Israël in een impasse beland. Het revolutionaire concept van 'État commun' bestaat erin dat de piste van het opdelen van het land wordt verlaten en ingeruild voor de piste van het delen van het land.
The bloodshed in Gaza on Nakba day 2018, the centenary celebration of Israel´s "colonial arrogance", Trump´s dalliance with Netanyahu and the successes of the BDS campaign are converging on one point and working to erode the pro-Israel consensus. But what could this mean for Palestinians living under Israel´s apartheid regime? Ben White´s latest book is a sharp analysis of the widening cracks in Israel´s traditional pillars of support.
At the end of its first Jubilee, then, Israel's ethnocratic features keep surfacing: the on-going Judaization project, the stratification of ethnic rights, the fuzziness of geographical and political boundaries, and the legal and material involvement of extra-territorial Jewish organizations. Against this reality, scholars, students, and activists are called upon to help dislodge the hegemonic Jewish discourse of a "Jewish and democratic state", and participate in the task of transforming Israel from ethnocracy to democracy. [Prof. Oren Yiftachelteaches at the Ben-Gurion U. of the Negev and is (in his words) "one of the main critical geographers and social scientists working in Israel/Palestine"; he is former chair of B'Tselem].
Imagine fishers heading out to sea on a beautiful day, ready for a hard day of work to support their families. They might face challenges - a poor catch, storms, not enough buyers - but ordinarily their job is fairly straightforward. Now imagine these fishers being shot at - routinely - when they go fishing. Fact Sheet (pdf): click here!
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), Em.Prof. Madeline Lutjeharms (VUB), Raven Ruëll (metteur en scène), Em. Prof. Christiane Schomblond (ULB), Dr. Apr. Nozomi Takahashi (UGent), Prof. Karin Verelst (VUB).
Mailing address: Belgian Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (BACBI), 12, Kasteellaan, Nevele, O-Vla, 9850, BE