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Belgian Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel

Newsletter N° 42 (December 2018)

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"But how can one be a conscientious Israeli and not bow one's head before the Palestinian people? How can one not admit guilt? Not take responsibility? What Israel has been doing to Palestinians from the dawn of Zionism to this day, incessantly, is one of the greatest abuses in history. Anyone not recognizing this - and that includes most Israelis - apparently has no conscience" (G.Levy)

"It turns out that Ilhan Omar, who this month became the first Somali American and the first Muslim refugee ever elected to Congress, modulates her views to fit her audience. In other words, she's a politician. In February of last year, before she launched her congressional campaign, Omar praised the movement to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel. In a speech opposing an anti-BDS bill in the Minnesota State legislature, Omar said she didn't "want to be part of a vote that limits the ability of people to fight towards justice and peace." She also compared the BDS movement to people who "engage[d] in boycotts of apartheid South Africa" (Peter Beinart, "No BDS Is Not Anti-Semitic And Neither Is Ilhan Omar", The Forward, Nov 19).

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Contents:

Actions -- Agenda -- Gaza -- Analyses -- Antisemitism Politics -- Boycott -- Current Affairs -- EU-US-World -- Israel -- Palestine -- Resources -- Videos

Actions & Calls:

This #GivingTuesday, Give your dime to justice: support ADALAH!

Show your support for Palestinian rights, as Giving Tuesday arrives just 2 days before International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.This means that the donations you make on 27 November (00:00 EST to 23:59 EST [= 6:00, 27 Nov, WEST, to 5:59, 28 Nov, WEST]) count for even more towards crowdfunding projects on Global Giving.

Why Adalah? Adalah is the first and only Palestinian-run legal center that works before Israeli courts to protect the human rights of both Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. Donation page: "Stand for Justice with Adalah!"

"L'Union palestinienne des travailleurs sociaux et des psychologues dénonce la tenue de la conférence de l'IARPP en 2019 en Israël" (The Palestine Chronicle/Chronique de Palestine, 14 oct):

New-York, le 5 octobre 2018 - L'Union palestinienne des travailleurs sociaux et des psychologues a publié un communiqué officiel plus tôt cette semaine condamnant la décision de l'Association internationale de psychanalyse relationnelle et la psychothérapie (IARPP) de tenir son congrès en 2019 en Israël.


"Israel to Police European Coastlines - Protecting the Continent from Refugees?" (Mint Press News, Nov 13):

Israel will patrol the Mediterranean Sea and Europe's Coastlines with drones and inform Europe's authorities of 'irregularities', of refugee ships. This sounds like a bad joke. It ain't. It's real. One fascist government helps another fascist government.


"Gent neemt mensenrechten op als 'rode draad'" (Ludo De Brabander, Vrede.be, 20 nov):

Op 19/11 is de motie van het burgerinitiatief 'Gent Vrij van Israëlische Apartheid' dat we namens het Gents Actieplatform Palestina top de vorige gemeenteraad toelichtten en verdedigden opnieuw besproken. De partijen sp.a, Groen, Open-VLD en CD&V dienden een alternatieve tekst in die vervolgens is goedgekeurd.


Agenda:

# Berchem, 28 nov, 19u: "70 jaar etnische zuivering van Palestina" - Gespreksavond . Org.: Antwerp for Palestine, Intal Antwerpen, Palestina Solidariteit, Fed. v. Marokkaanse Verenigingen. Waar: Theaterzaal De Nieuwe Vrede, Vredestr., 16-22, 2600 Berchem. 
PROGRAMMA : -- Huidige situatie in Palestina, Dr. Seloua, actief in vluchtelingenkampen in Palestina; -- Strijd om rechtvaardigheid, Dries van Agt (ex-premier en auteur van 'Een schreeuw om recht, de tragedie van het Palestijnse volk'.); -- Amir Haberkorn, Een Andere Joodse Stem; -- Poëzie van Charles Ducal.  Gratis, maar inschrijven is verplicht: jessica.nana@fmv-vzw.be.

# Bruxelles, ULB, 12 & 13 déc: "Résurgences de l'antisémitisme : réalités, fictions, usages." Colloque international - Institut Marcel Liebman, av. Jeanne 44, 1050-Brx. Présentation et http://www.institut-liebman.be.

Des événements dramatiques en France, en Belgique et aux États-Unis ont fait ressortir le caractère meurtrier que peut prendre la haine antisémite toujours présente dans les sociétés européennes. Au-delà de l'indispensable condamnation d'actes et de discours criminels, un débat fait rage autour de leurs interprétations, comme le montre encore la récente polémique en France autour de l'appel contre le " nouvel antisémitisme ".


# Gent, 12 dec, 20u-22u: Palestinian Circus School: "Sarab". Waar: Theaterzaal Vooruit, Sint-Pietersnieuwstr. 23, 9000 Gent. In het kader van het "Festival van de Gelijkheid 2018". Tickets (voorverkoop, rang 1: 12 euro).
Met de voorstelling "Sarab" ("Luchtspiegeling") vertolken de artiesten van de Palestinian Circus School de gevoelens van miljoenen mensen op de vlucht. De zeven performers gebruiken hun jongleer-, klim- en acrobatische kunsten om hun eigen geschiedenis uit te drukken; Een prachtige voorstelling over wanhoop en hoop, die raakt tot op het bot.

Gaza Concentration Camp:

"Israeli court: State isn't liable for damages for severely wounding Gaza boy in 2014; new law grants comprehensive immunity to Israeli military in Gaza" (Al-Mezan & Adalah, Nov 15):

According to court, Gaza Palestinians are not entitled to seek compensation for damages from Israel as they live in an "enemy entity", regardless of the circumstances and the gravity of the injury. Al Mezan and Adalah stress that the court's refusal to hear such cases violates the right of Gaza residents to fulfill their right to "effective legal remedy" from the occupying power as guaranteed to them under international humanitarian law.


Maureen Clare Murphy, "Israel has injured 24,000 Gaza protesters" (The Electronic Intifada, 25 Nov):

Palestinians have paid a great price for their call for life with dignity during mass protests held along Gaza's boundary with Israel over the past eight months. Some 180 Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli occupation forces and nearly 6,000 others injured by live fire during the Great March of Return. "The vast majority of casualties were unarmed, and were fatally shot from a distance while in the Gaza Strip itself," according to a new report by the Israeli group B'Tselem, confirming previous findings by other rights organizations. "As a general rule, the protectively clad troops sniping at them from other side of the fence were not in any real danger," B'Tselem added.

In addition to injuries by live fire, 2,000 cases of injury by tear gas inhalation have been recorded, along with hundreds of injuries by rubber-coated metal bullets. Injuries to 90 protesters - 17 of them children - have resulted in amputation, nearly all of the lower limbs. Altogether, a staggering 24,000 Palestinians have been injured during the Great March of Return protests - more than one percent of the territory's population. The mass influx of casualties has disrupted an already fragile health system. In the hospitals, trauma patients are prematurely discharged to make room for new patients.

Omar Karmi, "Hope against history for Gaza ceasefire" (The Electronic Intifada, 22 Nov):

Last week's violence in and around Gaza came at a seemingly odd moment. Negotiations for a longer term indirect ceasefire agreement between Palestinian factions in Gaza led by Hamas and Israel, mediated by Egypt, the UN and (to some degree) Qatar, seemed to be bearing fruit.


Ahmad Kabariti, "In Gaza, prosthetic limb workshop races to keep up with demand from shootings at protests" (Mondoweiss, Nov 19):

Since the Great March of Return protests began at the Gaza fence last March, more than 90 protesters have suffered amputations. The Artificial Limbs center in Gaza City is struggling to keep up the demand for prosthetic limbs, with intermittent electricity and shortages of the raw materials needed.


"UN office warns 97 percent of ground water in Gaza is undrinkable, causing risk of disease outbreak and epidemic" (16 Nov):

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports on water & sanitation crisis in Gaza and the increase in Israeli settler violence. 97% of ground water extracted in Gaza is unfit for human consumption, generating the risk of a waterborne disease outbreak.


"How Hamas will stop future Israeli operations in Gaza" (Adnan Abu Amer, Al-Monitor, Nov 19):

Amid a fragile truce between Hamas and Israel, and despite Hamas' Nov. 2 announcement that efforts to break the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip had yielded results, a strange security incident shook up the city of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip the evening of Nov. 11.


Fedaa al-Qedra, "Palestinian 'geeks' code their way to a better future in Gaza" (Al Jazeera 11/17): 

Coding is empowering a new generation of Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip and helping many find work. When Yasmin Helles was an English literature student at a Gaza college, she always wondered who designed these websites, making all this information available. She wanted to become that person.


Huda Baroud, "Gazans flee to Europe, illegally" (Al-Monitor, Oct 30):

Palestinians are increasingly seeking to leave the Gaza Strip given the deteriorating living conditions, seeking refuge in Europe. A survey conducted in July by Al-Aqsa University in Gaza indicates that 92% of the 1,280 people polled in the study believe youth migration has become a phenomenon. They blame the ongoing rift between Hamas and Fatah and high unemployment rates as well as a lack of basic services.

PS: "Palestijnse exodus naar België", De Standaard, 26 nov.


Analyses & Comments:

Robert Boyce, "Scholasticide: Israel's attempt to destroy Palestine's universities" (pdf, 9p.; originally in BRICUP Newsletter 126, November 2018, pp. 2-5):

Supporters of the academic boycott of Israel are frequently told it's wrong in principle to boycott universities since they are bastions of free speech, and it's downright perverse to boycott Israeli universities since they are islands of liberal opinion in an otherwise reactionary country...

Michèle Sibony, "Le régime légal de l'Apartheid israélien" (Agence Médias Palestine, 19 nov, texte de l'intervention de Michèle Sibony au Festival des Libertés de Bruxelles le 27 octobre 2018): 

La motivation de cette petite recherche est venue d'un agacement, à entendre depuis le vote de la loi dite de l'État nation, votée par le parlement israélien le 18 août 2018, que l'apartheid serait formaliséofficialiséinscrit dans la loi à partir de ce nouveau texte. Il me semblait trop facile de dénoncer cet état de fait au jour J de la nouvelle loi fondamentale et d'imputer ainsi de fait la responsabilité de l'Apartheid légal au seul gouvernement d'extrême droite actuellement au pouvoir.


Rod Such, "What Would Gramsci and Said Do? A Socialist Perspective on BDS" (The Palestine Chronicle, Nov 20):

The prominent Palestinian intellectual Edward Said, author of "Orientalism" and "The Question of Palestine", admired the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci for his views on cultural hegemony. What might have transpired if these two intellectual giants were able to collaborate on strategy and tactics for the BDS movement launched by Palestinian civil society in 2005, two years after Said's death and 68 years after Gramsci's?


T.J.Coles, "Israel Cannot Use Violent Self-Defense While Occupying Gaza" (CounterPunch, Nov 16):

Whenever bombings and shootings escalate in the Middle East, Israeli propagandists say that Israel is exercising its right of military self-defense against indiscriminate attacks coming from the Gaza Strip. But as this article documents, the right to use force in self-defense is contingent on Israel ending its military occupation and blockade of Gaza.


Adèle Ribuot & Nadav Joffe, "Israël-Palestine, des arbres qui cachent la colonisation - Le parc Ayalon-Canada" (Orient XXI, 18 sept):

Situé sur la route 1 qui relie Tel-Aviv et Jérusalem, le parc Ayalon-Canada, destination très convoitée par les Israéliens, compte plus de 300 000 visiteurs par an. Les circuits de randonnée et de VTT qui le traversent, les cascades et les vues panoramiques qu'il offre sur la vallée d'Ayalon et sur les monts de Judée occultent le fait qu'il a servi d'arme de conquête à Israël... Sous les pins du parc Canada se trouvent les ruines de trois villages palestiniens : Yalou, Imwas et Beit Nouba. Dix mille habitants en sont expulsés par l'armée en 1967, puis les villages sont rasés et 1464 maisons sont détruites.


Laurie Treffers, "Het is niets anders dan een uiting van macht" (OneWorld, Harlot, 20 nov):

In 2003 stonden de vrouwen uit het dorp Budrus op de Westelijke Jordaanoever vooraan tijdens protesten tegen de bouw van de Israëlische 'veiligheidsmuur' op hun land. Anno 2018 protesteren de dorpelingen nog steeds - maar nu bewegen de vrouwen zich in de schaduwen van het verzet tegen de Israëlische bezetting. Dit komt onder meer omdat seksuele intimidatie door Israëlische soldaten hun positie in een eercultuur bedreigt.


Miranda Gallo, "Israel Is Being Singled Out - For Favouritism" (Huffington Post Canada, Sept 18, 2017):

This past June, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley slammed the UN Human Rights Council for "singling out Israel" for criticism. This is not a new line: the "singling out Israel" accusation is a decades-old tactic that Israel's proponents use  any time that Israel is challenged on its human rights record.


Lode Vanoost, "The Guardian en Israël, vooringenomen berichtgeving poserend als objectieve journalistiek" (13 nov):

De Britse krant The Guardian, een baken van degelijke journalistiek? Betrapt op vooringenomen berichtgeving ten voordele van Israël veranderde de krant na massaal protest de titel van een artikel, maar de gewijzigde tekst bevestigt de systemische vooringenomenheid van de krant. The Guardian is niet de enige die deze kritiek niet snapt, Belgische media volgen hetzelfde patroon.


"'As long as there's occupation, there'll be resistance'" (Jehan Alfarra & Shatha Khalil, Samidoun, Nov 22):

Former Palestinian prisoner Taysir Suleiman has lived in Turkey since his 2011 release from Israeli detention as part of the prisoner swap deal negotiated by Hamas and occupation forces.


"Echoing Prominent Israeli, Chomsky Warns of the Rise of 'Judeo-Nazi Tendencies' in Israel" (The Palestine Chronicle, Nov 12):

Prominent Jewish intellectual Noam Chomsky has raised concerns over what he believes is the rise of "Judeo-Nazi tendencies" in Israel. Speaking to i24NEWS last week, the renowned political dissident, linguist and scholar repeated warnings given by Yeshayahu Leibowitz, an Israeli public intellectual, biochemist and polymath, concerning the dehumanizing effect of Israel's brutal occupation of Palestine on the victims and the oppressors.


Antisemitism Politics:

Open letter of Israeli academics and artists warning against equating anti-Zionism with Antisemitism, and against giving Israel immunity for grave violations of human rights and international law (20 Nov, pdf, 5p., with list of the endorsers).

"FSOI tells the EU 'Do not adopt the IHRA definition'" (Free Speech on Israel, Nov 29):

The Austrian Government is pressing the EU to adopt an EU Council Declaration on the fight against antisemitism which includes adopting the flawed IHRA definition. The EU antisemitism Coordinator Katharina Von Schnurbein and Commissioner Vera Jourova have announced their support for this initiative. Free Speech on Israel has written to the EU Ambassadors who sit on COREPER II, the committee that will consider this proposal.


Rebecca Gould, "We need principles, not rules, to fight antisemitism: the IHRA definition and the politics of defining racism" (OpenDemocracy, Nov 19): 

In the heat of argument, too little has been said about the implications of defining racism for legal and quasi-legal purposes, or the difficulty of separating the two domains.


"La lutte contre l'antisémitisme ne peut servir à criminaliser la solidarité" (Association belgo-palestinienne, 7 nov):

Communiqué de presse de l'ABP et de la Coordination européenne des comités et associations pour la Palestine (ECCP). Les 6 et 7 novembre 2018 se tient la conférence annuelle de l'European Jewish Association (EJA), un réseau qui, derrière la défense légitime des intérêts des Juifs d'Europe, cache mal sa proximité avec le pouvoir israélien.


"Kritik an Israel ist nicht Antisemitismus, sagen israelische Gelehrte" (Turkish Press, Nov 20):

Wien / TP - 35 israelische Akademiker und Prominente haben an Europa ein Appell gerichtet, in der man sie fordert, Israel gegen legitime Kritik nicht zu schützen. Der israelische MP Netanjahu habe es gemeistert, Kritik und Antisemitismus zu vermischen, um Israel-Kritik einzudämmen. Der Appell richtet sich vor allem an die österreichische Regierung, die als EU-Ratsvorsitzende Ende November eine Konferenz unter dem Motto "Europa jenseits von Antisemitismus und Antizionismus - Sicherung jüdischen Lebens in Europa" abhalten will.


Ofer Aderet, "Israeli academics and artists warn against equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism (Haaretz, Nov 20):

An open letter from 35 prominent Israelis, including Jewish-history scholars and Israel Prize laureates, was published Tuesday in the Austrian media calling for a distinction between legitimate criticism of Israel, "harsh as it may be," and anti-Semitism. Their open letter ahead of a conference in Vienna advises against giving Israel immunity for "grave and widespread violations of human rights and international law".


Noa Landau, "Anti-Zionism is the new anti-Semitism says Netanyahu in Vienna conference" (Haaretz, Nov 21):

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that "vicious efforts to demonize the Jewish state and deny the Jewish people the right to self determination" are a "new form of anti-Semitism."


Ghada Karmi, "Israel's push to control global discourse has infected the medical realm" (Middle East Eye, Nov 8):

In the febrile atmosphere of fear over anti-Semitism currently gripping Britain, it is no surprise, perhaps, that the infection has now spread to unlikely places, including the medical profession. Probably the most prominent example of pro-Israel penetration into the medical world has been the public humiliation of Richard Horton, the editor of one of the world's oldest and most prestigious medical journals, the Lancet.


# Bruxelles, ULB, 12 & 13 déc: "Résurgences de l'antisémitisme : réalités, fictions, usages." Colloque international - Institut Marcel Liebman, av. Jeanne 44, 1050-Brx. Présentation et http://www.institut-liebman.be.

Boycott:

"This is What Solidarity Looks Like: Major BDS Victories in 2018" (teleSur, Nov 29):

While world leaders show symbolic solidarity with Palestine, the BDS movement is shaking the Israeli occupation one win at a time. Four decades ago, in 1977 the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) named Nov. 29 as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Since then, every year on this day the U.N., different countries, rights groups, and activists express their solidarity with Palestine.


Bina Ahmad, Ben White, Phyllis Bennis, "Shrinking Space and The BDS Movement" (TNI - Transnational Institute, Nov 13):

A widening pattern of repression of social movements has taken shape around the world. Everywhere, space for dissent is shrinking rapidly. Governments and corporations alike are working to suppress and silence movements, organisations and individuals who organise against repression. This report examines the legal and political pressure exerted on the BDS Movement.


Ramzy Baroud, "The Tide Is Turning: Israel Is Losing on Two War Fronts" (PCh, Nov 21):

Now that Palestinian popular resistance has gone global through the exponential rise and growing success of the BDS movement, the Israeli government is fighting two desperate wars. BDS' success is attributed to the very reason Israel is failing to counter its efforts: it is a disciplined model of popular, civil resistance based on engagement, open debate, and democratic choices, while grounded in international and humanitarian law.


Ramzy Baroud & Romana Rubeo, "Israel's $72m 'war chest' to fight BDS arrives in Europe" (Al Jazeera, Nov 14):

The Israeli war on the BDS Movement took a serious turn last year when the right-wing government of Prime Minister Netanyahu dedicated a largesse of about $72m to defeat the civil society-led campaign. For BDS supporters, however, every Israeli strategy presents an opportunity to raise awareness of Palestinian rights and to mobilise civil society around the world against Israeli occupation and racism.


"In rebuke to Justin Trudeau, Canadian Student Federation backs boycott" (Nora Barrows-Friedman, EI, Nov 21):

In another big blow to Israel's efforts to thwart the growing boycott campaign, the Canadian Federation of Students resolved to support the BDS movement, to condemn Israel's ongoing occupation and atrocities in Gaza and to provide financial donations to various Palestine solidarity organizations. The CFS/FCÉÉ is a bilingual national union of over one-half million students from more than 64 university and college students' unions across Canada. 


"Jewish Students Applaud Canadian Federation of Students' BDS Resolution" (Independent Jewish Voices Canada, Nov 19):

Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV), including its 8 student chapters, applauds the CFS for adopting a resolution in favour of the BDS Movement at their annual General Assembly today. [Text of the resolution is included.]


Canadian Academics: "Justin Trudeau Conflating BDS With Anti-Semitism Is Dangerous" (Huffington Post Canada, Nov 15): As Canadian scholars, we urge Trudeau to retract his wrong-spirited comments that demonize the work students, community members and activists have done.

Open Letter from 236 Canadian Academics: "Conflating BDS with Anti-Semitism is wrong and dangerous" // Lettre ouverte de 236 universitaires canadien-ne-s : "Confondre BDS avec l'antisémitisme est faux et dangereux."

"...By equating the BDS movement with anti-Semitism, you help to perpetuate a chilling, anti-democratic climate on campuses, one in which dissenting voices and peaceful protest are not welcome..." //" ...En assimilant le mouvement BDS avec l'antisémitisme, vous contribuez à perpétuer un environnement effrayant et antidémocratique sur les campus, un environnement qui décourage la dissension et les protestations pacifiques..." [with the list of endorsers]


"Pitzer College Faculty Votes Support BDS for Palestinian Rights" (BDS, Nov 27):

Faculty at Pitzer College in California have overwhelmingly voted to pass two motions that support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights. As Israel's attacks on Palestinian education escalate, professors and students are standing up for Palestinian rights.


"The first UK university to divest from Israeli apartheid is Leeds" (Asa Winstanley, EI Nov 6):

Leeds has become the first UK university to divest from firms involved in the Israeli arms trade, after a boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign by Palestine solidarity activists. A spokesperson revealed to the Leeds student newspaper The Gryphon on Friday that the university has "divested of our holdings in Airbus, United Technologies and Keyence Corporation."


Nada Elia, "The criminalization and censorship of Palestinian solidarity on campus" (Free Speech on Israel, Nov 21):

Nada Elia reflects on campus censorship and how voices for Palestine are silenced on Campus while pro-Israel views are allowed an open platform. She compares the behaviour of university administrators with that of cops who manage to take white shooters alive but routinely kill black ones.


Alex Kane, " 'It's Killing the Student Movement': Canary Mission's Blacklist of Pro-Palestine Activists Is Taking a Toll" (The Intercept, Nov 22):

"It is the most significant and effective of pro-Israel groups at intimidating activists," said Bill Mullen, a professor of American studies at Purdue University and a creator of Against Canary Mission. "This is because it is omnipresent, on the web, 24/7, virile, and constantly reproducing and updating its results."


"Quakers in Britain support boycott" (see: Nora Barrows-Friedman, EI, 21 nov):

Saying it is the first UK church to take such a step, Quakers in Britain, also known as the Britain Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, voted to formally ban investments in companies that profit from Israel's occupation... The UK Quakers' open support of the movement for Palestinian rights marks yet another failure by the Israeli government to thwart the boycott movement and attempt to intimidate other groups and faith-based organizations into silence. "This decision shows that Israel's bullying, its retaliatory measures and its threats do not deter people from taking moral and ethical actions," said The Electronic Intifada's Ali Abunimah.

Edo Konrad & Yael Marom, "Airbnb to pull listings in West Bank settlements" (+972, Nov 19):

Airbnb announced that it would pull listings from settlements in the occupied West Bank. The decision comes two years after +972 and Local Call revealed that the San Francisco-based vacation rentals company included apartments, cottages, and caravans located on West Bank hilltops, while making no mention of the fact that they are in settlements on occupied land. PS Israeli Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin said that Airbnb's decision to remove all West Bank listings is racist and discriminating.


Current Affairs:

Yumna Patel, "No justice under occupation: Family of Palestinian woman killed by settlers searches for answers" (Mondoweiss, Nov 15):

After Aisha al-Raibi, 48, was killed by rocks hurled through a car windshield evidently by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank on Oct. 12, her husband Yaqoub was summoned back to the scene to answer many questions about the crime. The attack on al-Rabi came at a sensitive time for Palestinians, who during this year's olive harvest season witnessed a rise in attacks on their crops, property, and even physical assaults, particularly on farmers.


"Israel to Evict 700 Palestinians in Silwan, Occupied Jerusalem" (teleSur, Nov 22):

The Israeli High Court upheld Wednesday its decision to remove 700 Palestinians from the historic neighborhood of Silwan, in East Jerusalem. A total of 104 Palestinian families petitioned the high court to avoid their uprooting but their request was rejected. The High Court allowed Ateret Cohanim, a Jewish group based in the Muslim quarter of the Old City that works to secure a Jewish majority in the Old City and predominantly Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, to continue legal proceedings to evict  Palestinian families from the area.


"'Waging War on Shufat': Jerusalem municipality demolishes 21 businesses in East Jerusalem refugee camp" (Yumna Patel, Mondoweiss, Nov 22):

On Wednesday afternoon Israeli authorities from the Jerusalem Municipality, accompanied by police, entered into the Shufat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem and demolished Palestinian storefronts, 18 structures in all. The move is an effort by the Israeli government to lessen the authority of the UN refugee agency and strip Palestinian refugees of their status.


"Israel army raids Palestinian school in Jerusalem" (MEMo, Nov 23):

Israeli forces last night raided a Palestinian school for orphans in occupied East Jerusalem, searching the building for hours after calling the school principal to open the gate. The Islamic school of Dar Al-Aytam is a boarding school that provides education and vocational training for Palestinian orphan children from different parts of occupied West Bank.


"Israeli forces detain 8-year-old Palestinian child near Hebron" (Ma'an News Agency, Nov 9):

Israeli forces detained an eight-year-old Palestinian child, on Friday afternoon, near the entrance of the town of Beit Ummar, north of the southern occupied West bank district of Hebron. Local sources said that Israeli forces targeted eight-year-old Omar Rabie Abu Ayyash and detained him near the entrance to the town of Beit Ummar. The reason for Ayyash's detention remained unknown.


"Israeli Forces Tear-Gassed Journalists in Occupied Palestine" (teleSur, Nov 17):

Leaders of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) came under tear gas attack from Israeli occupation soldiers during a demonstration for press freedom outside of the Qalandia checkpoint. The group assembled outside the checkpoint in a symbolic attempt to enter the occupied and illegally-annexed city of East Jerusalem.


"Israel razes Palestinian lands, uproots 500 palm trees in Jericho" (Ma'an News Agency, Nov 20):

Israeli bulldozers razed and leveled Palestinian-owned agricultural lands, and uprooted about 500 palm trees, on Tuesday, in Jericho City, near road 90, in the central occupied West Bank district of Jericho.


Amjad Ayman Yaghi, "Israel tears love apart" (The Electronic Intifada, 21 Nov):

The only way that Moamen Asad Bashir could live with his wife was to flee Gaza. Moamen married Nermeen Hamdan in Hebron 5 years ago. The couple had met in Ramallah where Moamen worked as a carpenter and Nermeen as a teacher. In June 2015, Moamen returned home to Gaza for his mother's funeral.


EU-US-World:

"L.A. Braces For Biggest Ever Pro-Palestinian Student Conference" (Aiden Pink, The Forward, Nov 16):

Students for Justice in Palestine, the biggest pro-Palestinian student movement in the US, is holding its annual conference Nov 16-18 on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles - which has one of the largest Jewish student populations in the country. The theme of this year's conference is "Radical Hope: Resistance in the Face of Adversity."


"Who is Marc Lamont Hill? CNN commentator defends comments on Palestine after United Nations speech" (Donica Phifer, with video, Newsweek, Nov 29):

Marc Lamont Hill made comments some have deemed anti-Semitic following a speech at the UN on Wednesday. The Washington Examiner writes that Hill gave the speech at an event held in conjunction with the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. His comments including encouraging the international community to boycott Israel until the country adopts more humanitarian practices towards Palestinians... CNN ended Hill's contract with the network on Thursday, a move that some critics decried as censorship.


Philip Weiss, "Israel has a problem: eight new congresswomen of color" (Mondoweiss, Nov 17):

Eight Democratic women of color newly elected to Congress appear to epitomize the progressive base's ambivalence on Israel. Deb Haaland of New Mexico condemned the murder of Palestinians last March. Ayanna Pressley in Massachusetts backs a bill to withdraw US funds from Israeli detention of children.


Joel Doerfler, "Ben White's hopeful vision may include some false positives" (Mondoweiss, Nov 20):

Ben White's consistently engrossing new book, "Cracks in the Wall: Beyond Apartheid in Palestine/Israel", argues that "The end of Israel as a bipartisan issue of concern in US politics, along with the wider left's alienation from and the far right's embrace of Israel will undermine Israel's ability to maintain the status quo".


Israel:

Haaretz, Thursday, 22 November:

*** "Barring Entry to BDS Supporters Does Israel More Harm Than Good, Top Think Tank Finds" (Noa Landau, Nov 22): INSS [UTelAviv] researchers say the amendment to the Entry into Israel Law 'falls short of aiding the struggle against the delegitimization of Israel, and arguably might even intensify it'.

*** "Hurray for Airbnb" (Gideon Levy, Nov 22): Airbnb explained that it doesn't need to profit from land from which people have been uprooted. Is there a more just statement than this?

*** "Supreme Court Rejects Appeal by Bedouin Land Rights Activist Convicted of Trespassing" (Almog Ben Zikri, Nov 22).

*** "Court Allows Eviction of 700 Palestinians From East Jerusalem Neighborhood" (Nir Hasson, Nov 22).

Shlomo Sand, "The twisted logic of the Jewish 'historic right' to Israel" (Haaretz, Nov 14): [info]

I enjoy the vacillations of Chaim Gans, even if I don't always understand them. I have the highest esteem for his intellectual honesty - even if at times, perhaps like everyone, he tries to resolve contradictions with lame arguments.


"Israel: The Pain Inside" (Al Jazeera, Aug 2013):

In Israel, military service is compulsory for most people over the age of 18 in Israel, with men serving three years and women two. Exemption from military service is a hotly debated issue in Israeli society and being a conscientious objector of military service is readily looked down upon.


"Thou Shalt Not Kill: Israel's Hilltop Youth" (Al Jazeera, Nov 13):

In late July 2015, an arson attack on a family home in the Palestinian village of Duma, in the West Bank, resulted in the killing of three members of the Dawabshe family, the youngest of whom, Ali, was only 18 months old.


Shlomi Eldar, "Can Israeli Druze bring about cancellation of Nationality Law?" (Al-Monitor, Nov 16):

It certainly seems like Israel is headed toward early elections. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, who resigned Nov. 14, and Education Minister Naftali Bennett were both part of the current right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu, competing over which of them was its most right-wing member.


Palestine:

"Palestine's oldest olive tree symbol of cultural heritage" (Ahmad Melhem, Al-Monitor, Nov 19):

Stories about al-Badawi olive tree, the oldest olive tree in Palestine, emerge with every olive season, as people debate its age and how long it can live. It is located in the village of al-Walaja, 5 km west of Bethlehem, and extends over roughly 250m², is 12m high and has a trunk that measures 25m in diameter. Despite the lack of scientific information about its age, both the owner and guardian of the tree and the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture estimate that it is 4,000-5,000 years old.


"30 Years of Palestinian Independence: No Sovereignty in Sight" (teleSur, Nov 15):

On Nov. 15, 1988, Yasser Arafat, then-Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) proclaimed the Unilateral Declaration of Independence for the state of Palestine to a standing ovation. This year marks 30 years since the declaration. "We are determined to build a civil, democratic state where all Palestinians live in equality and justice," a Palestinian gov't spokesperson said.


"Belgium pledges to consider recognition of Palestinian state" (Ma'an News Agency, Nov 8):

The Belgian government has pledged to consider the recognition of the State of Palestine based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, according to the Palestinian ambassador to Belgium and the European Union (EU), Abdul Rahim al-Farra, on Thursday.


"Palestinian Museum revives solidarity posters with new workshop, exhibit" (Ahmad Melhem, Al-Monitor, Nov 16):

RAMALLAH - Posters have been an important tool of the Palestinian National Movement throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Different Palestinian factions printed and distributed their own posters, which used Palestinian liberation symbols such as raised fists or olive branches and doves to draw attention to their plight and resistance.


Reports & Resources:

© Report: "Shrinking Spaces and the BDS Movement", by Bina Ahmad, Ben White & Phyllis Bennis. Publ. by Transnational Institute - www.TNI.orgOct 2018, pdf, 20p.

As is clear from the BDS movement’s website, at the heart of the boycott campaign is a challenge to the impunity enjoyed by the State of Israel for human rights violations that, when committed by other governments, have prompted international censure and sanction.


© HR Report, "Bed and Breakfast on Stolen Land. Tourist Rental Listings in West Bank Settlements" (Human Rights Watch, Nov 2018, pdf, 73p.):

This report documents how the global travel companies Airbnb and Booking.com are listing and facilitating the rental of dozens of properties in settlements in the occupied West Bank. Settlements of civilians in occupied territory are unlawful under international humanitarian law regardless of the status of the land on which they are built. "Summary" (same text but without footnotes, appendices): click here.

"Israel: Airbnb to End Settlement Rentals. Booking.com, Other Global Tourism Companies Should Follow Suit" (with video, Nov 20): The decision by Airbnb to stop listing properties in unlawful Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank is a positive step that other global tourism companies should follow.


© Report: "Palestinian Universities under Occupation" (BRICUP, 2015, pdf, 16p.):
This Report was prepared by a delegation representing the European Platform for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (EPACBI) who visited seven Palestinian universities and academies in April 2015. The delegation consisted of 8 academics from 5 countries. The delegation is grateful to the many faculty members and administrators of those institutions who made the visit possible.

© Eléonore Merza Bronstein & Eitan Bronstein Aparicio, "Nakba. Pour la reconnaissance de la tragédie palestinienne en Israël".