Belgian Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel
Newsletter N° 43 (January 2019)
"The true anti-Semitism lies in conflating a 6000-year old faith with a contemporary settler-colonial nation-state that explicitly apportions human rights based on one's religion. Indeed, it is anti-Semitic, and patently false, to assume that all Jews are of one mind that reflexively takes offense at criticism of Israel" (Susan Abulhawa).
"How does it feel to stand defenseless as soldiers drag your children from their beds in the middle of the night and threaten them with the barrels of their rifles? What would we do if we had to live like that?" (Orly Noy, +972, June 8, 2018)
Notre ami Mustapha Awad a passé par des semaines d'interrogatoires sévères, immanquablement accompagnés de torture. Il est emprisonné dans les conditions sévères d'une prison de sécurité. Ecrivez à Mustapha ! Vos cartes, vos lettres passeront évidemment d'abord par la censure israélienne, mais sachez qu'elles seront d'un grand réconfort pour Mustapha. Nous faisons par la même occasion savoir aux autorités de l'occupation que nous n'oublions pas Mustapha et que nous voulons sa libération ! Adresse postale: Prison of Gilboa, To the attention of Mr. Mustapha AWAD, P.O.B.65 Gilboa, State of Israel.
Nous commémorons aujourd'hui le 10e anniversaire de la condamnation par Israël du dirigeant de gauche, leader international de la libération palestinienne, Ahmad Sa'adat, secrétaire général du Front Populaire de Libération de la Palestine (FPLP). Nous vous invitons à vous joindre à nous pour la Semaine Internationale d'Action pour la libération d'Ahmad Saadad et de tous les prisonniers palestiniens du 15 au 22 janvier 2019!
The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society. It leads and supports the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for Palestinian rights. Connecting our struggles for justice, in all its forms, is more crucial than ever. United, we can prevail. Your support would help us contribute more to the the global wave of justice and resistance. Please donateto our year-end fundraiser.
Scientists for Palestine is an international organisation created by and for scientists to promote science and support the integration of the occupied Palestinian territories in the international scientific community. It aims to meet the increased interest in supporting and engaging with the Palestinian scientific community. If you are a scientist and interested in learning more about our activities or becoming involved in future projects, please fill outthe form.
Soixante-dix ans après le vote, ce sont 6 millions de Palestiniens qui sont toujours des réfugiés. L'État d'Israël refuse toute application de cette résolution et ne veut pas entendre parler de ce droit au retour pour les Palestiniens. A contrario, en 1950, la Knesset votait la Loi du retour qui permet à tout Juif d'immigrer en Israël.
France has honoredAl-HaqandB'Tselemwith the prestigious Human Rights Prize of the French Republic. This came despite heavy pressure from Israel on the French government to pull the award from the two groups which document Israeli war crimes and abuses against Palestinians.
Communiqué de l'Association belgo-palestinienne: Les Palestiniens ne bénéficieront visiblement pas du retour du coeur annoncé dans la gestion de la problématique des réfugiés. C'est ainsi qu'on apprenait, le mardi 18 déc, que la Ministre Maggie De Block (Open VLD), nouvellement en charge de l'asile et de l'immigration, entendait réévaluer le dossier des ressortissants de la bande de Gaza.
Ludo De Brabander van Vrede vzw reageert op het nieuws dat nu asielzoekers uit de Palestijnse Gazastrook niet meer automatisch erkend worden, minister Maggie De Block (Open VLD) met het idee speelt om de dossiers van reeds erkende vluchtelingen uit die regio te herbekijken en hen mogelijk terug te sturen.
Waar de ster bleef stille staan: over Palestijnen, die, zoals in Bethlehem, onderdak zochten in Antwerpen. In tegenstelling tot de meeste krantenberichten wordt Palestina ook als aparte 'entiteit' beschouwd in de Belgische migratiestatistiek. Zij zijn dus te onderscheiden van de inwoners van Israël of elk ander land. Wij laten even de tabellen en de grafieken de revue passeren.
[June 1, 2018, Razan al-Najjar, a 20-year-old medic, was killed by an Israeli sniper.]A detailed reconstruction, stitched together from hundreds of crowd-sourced videos and photographs, shows that neither the medics nor anyone around them posed any apparent threat of violence to Israeli personnel. Though Israel later admittedher killing was unintentional,the shooting appears to have been reckless at best, and possibly a war crime, for which no one has yet been punished. Prof. Ryan Goodman, a NYU expert on the laws of war: "The laws of war would not want any military personnel to deliberately fire in the direction of the medics," Mr. Goodman said. "I'm not saying it's close to the line. I'm saying it crosses the line."
One of the most enduring popular movements of 2018 has been the ongoing Great March of Return in the besieged Gaza Strip. Since 30 March, thousands of Palestinians in the small coastal territory have demonstrated along the boundary with Israel, demanding the implementation of Palestinian refugees' right of return and an end to the crippling 11-year siege of Gaza. But such high-scale mobilisation has come at a high cost: according to Middle East Eye's calculations, 190 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces within the scope of the demonstrations between 30 March and 30 November - equivalent to one Palestinian killed every 31 hours in eight months.
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the horror inflicted on the people of the Gaza Strip when Israeli war planes launched massive airstrikes on the besieged strip. Nothing has changed! To add insult to injury, and because the so-called "International Community" did absolutely nothing to put an end to Israel's war crimes, the latter repeated the attacks in 2012 and in 2014 killing more than 4,000 civilians and injuring tens of thousands.
Fares a-Sarsawi (13). Photo courtesy of family. Fares was killed by Israeli security forces who opened live fire at him during a demonstration near the Gaza perimeter fence, east of Gaza City, on 5 October 2018. A-Sarsawi is one of at least 31 Palestinian minors killed since the Return Protests along the Gaza fence began on 30 March 2018. Of these, 21 were under the age of 16, and three were 11 years old.
During the 39th week of the Return March demonstrations in Gaza, the Israeli military continued to use lethal and other forms of excessive force on Palestinian protesters. The documentation by Al Mezan shows that on Friday, 21 Dec, Israeli forces killed 3 protesters, including one child and one disabled man, and injured 148 other protesters, including 20 children, 3 women, 2 journalists, and one paramedic.
The blockaded city is home to a mere 1,100 Christians, who must obtain permits just to visit Jerusalem. We ask them how they see their future. "We are Palestinians first and last," said Christian activist George Anton. "We are totally suffering from the occupation."
Traveling is a distant dream for most people in Gaza. Gaza's economy is infreefall: there is widespread poverty, little hope, no prospects and the regular bouts of violence affects everyone. The sheer enormity of people's situation here means thoughts of leaving are uppermost in the minds of many, especially the young and ambitious.
Non seulement les universités palestiniennes n'ont pas d'amis en Israël, mais elles ont longtemps été la cible de l'hostilité israélienne et, cette année, l'hostilité s'est lourdement intensifiée. Daphna Golan a récemment écrit dans Haaretz sur 'la destruction des universités palestiniennes'. Il ne s'agit pas d'une exagération.
There areonly 22 psychiatrists throughout the West Bank serving a population of roughly 2.5 million. Yet Palestine isreportedto have one of the highest rates of depressive behaviour in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), a region also reported to have the highest depression rates in theworld. [Dr Samah Jabr sitting at her desk in the office of the Ministry of Health's mental health unit (MEE/Alexandra Dols)]
What follows is an extract from"Palestine Speaks: Narratives of Life Under Occupation." Laith Al-Hlou, farmer, day laborer, 32, born in Bethlehem; interviewed in the West Bank. [Editors] The first thing we notice as we drive to Laith Al-Hlou's home southeast of Bethlehem is the challenge presented by the roads.
In the dead of night, Israeli forces knocked on the door of Salah Hamouri's apartment in Jerusalem, he told me ."When I opened the door they told me they were looking for me and began to search the house. They destroyed the furniture, turning it upside down, searching for something; I don't know what. Of course, they found nothing, but they took me away anyway."
Israel is considering to bring back capital punishment to crush those resisting its illegal occupation. It has sentenced Palestinians to death in multiple ways prior to this, from extrajudicial executions, siege, starvation and bombing campaigns. This is simply one more effort, an effort which should be rejected by all who adhere to basic principles ofhuman rights.
In what is written and said about Israel and Palestine the word "occupation" is ubiquitous. But what territory, exactly, is the ethnocratic state occupying? Is it just the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, or all of Palestine? Everybody agrees that the territories Israel took over in 1967 are occupied. However, both pro-Palestinians and liberal Zionists routinely write of "the Occupation" or "occupied Palestine" to refer to these territories only.
Qu'Israël soit un Etat raciste est bien établi. Le 19 Juillet 2018, a été adoptée dans ce pays une loi quasi-constitutionnelle sur la nationalité - "Loi Fondamentale: Israël en tant qu'Etat-Nation du Peuple Juif" - qui fut massivement condamnée comme institutionnalisant la discrimination des citoyens non-Juifs d'Israël. Comme beaucoup l'ont observé, cette loi ne fait que codifier et formaliser une réalité qui l'a depuis longtemps précédée.
What does it feel like to be a target? Over the past few months, Israeli authorities, along with radical settlers, have turned Guy Hirschfeld into a public enemy of sorts for his activism in the Jordan Valley. In an interview he talks about building solidarity with Palestinians, why his brash style has turned him into a target, and whether things are getting worse for left-wing activists.
Afgelopen jaar lichtten bezettingstroepen tijdens nachtelijke invallen in dorpen en steden ongeveer 2700 Palestijnen van hun bed, schrijft de Israëlische journalist Gideon Levy. Arrestaties kun je het niet noemen. Het zijn ontvoeringen. Er zijn weinig Palestijnse families in bezet gebied die het niet van nabij hebben meegemaakt: wakker worden van de herrie van de deur die wordt ingetrapt en van tien of twintig zwaarbewapende en gemaskerde Israëlische militairen die het huis binnenstormen, soms met een hond.
Hiding Israel's Crimes of State Behind False Claims of Victimization. I along with many others am being victimized these days. We are being labeled anti-Semites, and in some instances, self-hating Jews as well. This is a Zionist and Israeli effort to shut down our voices and punish our non-violent activism, with special venom directed at the BDS Campaign because it has become so effective in recent years.
The campaign against the supposed new 'anti-semitism' in Europe today is basicly a cynical ploy on the part of the Israeli Government to seal off the Zionist state from any criticism of its regular and consistent brutality against the Palestinians. The daily hits carried out by the IDF have wrecked the towns and villages of Palestine, killed thousands of civilians (especially children) and European citizens are aware of this fact. Criticism of Israel can not and should not be equated with anti-semitism.
At first it seemed just another instance of Labour's problems with antisemitism. What should stop Labour from ratifying in full the 'internationally accepted' definition of antisemitism? Then I read the Definition, Guidance and Examples in growing astonishment. The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's code should worry everyone, especially Jews. [Mike Joseph is a genocide historian]
Bombarded by disinformation campaigns, many British Jews are being misled into seeing Corbyn as a threat rather than as the best hope of inoculating Britain against the resurgence of right-wing anti-Semitism menace.
Cela fait 15 ans que l'État d'Israël et le lobby pro-israélien agissent auprès de l'Union européenne pour promouvoir une définition manipulée de l'antisémitisme. Une définition banale mais assortie d' " exemples " qui entretiennent la confusion entre l'antisémitisme et la critique parfaitement légitime de l'État d'Israël et de sa politique.
Temple University's administration announced the unsurprising news that it has found no grounds to punish or investigate Professor Marc Lamont Hill for his speech at the United Nations on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Yet, the university's Board of Trustees felt compelled, nonetheless, to issue a statement further maligning Dr Hill, albeit indirectly this time, by quoting the slanderous language of others against him.
A new EU declaration could make it harder to criticize Israel as a racist state without being dubbed an anti-Semite. Politicians in Brussels on Thursday rubber-stamped the document. The declaration asks all EU governments to "endorse the non-legally binding working definition of anti-Semitism employed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)."
Bezondigt het Joods Museum in Berlijn zich aan 'anti-Israëlische activiteiten'? Het is moeilijk voor te stellen, maar toch is dat waar het van wordt beschuldigd. Door Israël. In een schrijven aan de Duitse regering bekritiseert Israël de expositie "Welcome to Jerusalem" in het museum.
American Jews have nothing to fear from the new congressional critics of Israel. On Monday, in an interview with The Intercept, Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat who in November became the first Palestinian-American elected to Congress, went public with her support for the BDS movement, which seeks to use economic pressure on Israel to secure Palestinian rights.
Being intermarried and assimilated, Phil Weiss wonders at Christmas what makes him Jewish; and he embraces the Birthright walkout and the great spiritual challenge his tribe faces today, to free itself from Zionism and the evils that ideology has generated in Israel and Palestine.
Many Jews have kept their silence about Israel, knowing that a critique of Israeli policies (not to mention Zionism) can get you labeled as a self-hater and have detrimental consequences to reputation and career. I know such people, and I don't blame them. But it appears that this climate is beginning to change.
Global banking giant HSBEC confirmed that it has fully divested from Israeli drone manufacturer Elbit Systems, which sells weapons to the Israeli military used in attacks on Palestinians. "HSBC has taken a positive first step in divesting from Elbit Systems, the notorious manufacturer of drones, chemical weapons, cluster bomb artillery systems and other technology used in attacks against Palestinian civilians, and to militarize walls and borders around the world," Ryvka Barnard of War on Wantsaidon Thursday.
La 'Saison croisée France Israël' devait être un grand événement en l'honneur de la coopération culturelle, scientifique, gastronomique, etc. Ses promoteurs en voulaient faire une opération pour blanchir l'État d'Israël de ses crimes contre le peuple palestinien, de ses violations constantes du droit international et des droits humains universels.
En ce Jour international de solidarité avec le peuple palestinien, nous appelons les états, les institutions universitaires et les organismes de recherche multilatéraux de révoquer toute reconnaissance existante de l'université d'Ariel et de mettre fin à toutes les relations institutionnelles avec cette université et les autres institutions universitaires israéliennes construites illégalement en territoire palestinien occupé.
Unappel de Palestine: - le Ministre palestinien de l'éducation et de l'enseignement supérieur, - le Conseil des présidents des universités palestiniennes, - la Féd. palestinienne des syndicats de professeurs et d'employés des universités (PFUUPE), - le Conseil palestinien des organisations pour les droits humains (PHROC).
EASA members voted in an online poll in overwhelming numbers to express their solidarity with colleagues in occupied Palestinian territories: In support: 830; Not in support: 21; Abstentions: 37. This vote followed the motion tabled at the Stockholm AGM concerning Israeli academic institutions situated in occupied Palestinian territories.
As scholars associated with UK universities, and responding to the call from Palestinian civil society, we declare that we will not: + accept invitations to visit Israeli academic institutions; + act as referees in any of their processes; + participate in conferences funded, organised or sponsored by them, or otherwise cooperate with them. We will, however, continue to work with our Israeli colleagues in their individual capacities. [Update: since the Commitment was launched, the number of signatories has doubled, and we currently stand at around 700 signatories]
South African civil society has welcomed the withdrawal of seven Israelis from an upcoming academic conference (Dec 5-9) at Stellenbosch University. The withdrawal came following a call from and engagement by, several groups led by the Palestine solidarity campaign and supported by the PSA, SA Jews for a Free Palestine, MRN and others (click here). In an open letter the organisations called for the withdrawal of the Israeli academics from the Recognition, Reparation, Reconciliation conference, in line with the international academic boycott of Israel.
We, organisations and individuals, are collectively building the BDS movement in India. Our historical solidarity to the Palestinian struggle has acquired urgency given the deepening ties of complicity with Israel. By connecting the Palestinian movement with our own local struggles, we work to organize BDS campaigns and mobilize for the values for justice, freedom and equality from India to Palestine.
U.S.-based solidarity work has especially taken off on college campuses, with students leading divestment campaigns, educational and outreach programs, and walkouts and protests. Faculty have become increasingly involved, especially through successful and on-going campaigns to get professional academic associations to sign on to the academic and cultural boycott.
2018 has been "one of the bloodiest for Palestinian children", according to leading human rights NGO Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP), with at least 53 confirmed child deaths "as the result of Israeli forces or settlers actions" documented by the organisation.
"Settlers' Attacks against Palestinian People Increasing by 60% compared to Last Year" (Madeeha Araj,Palestine News Network, Dec 25, 2018):
In its latest weekly report about Israeli settlements activities in the occupied West Bank, including Jerusalem, the National Bureau for the Defense of Land stated as follows: "The course of hatred and attacks on the Palestinian people continue and take a more dangerous curve following the formation of more organized and coordinated extremist groups in the West Bank..."
It was a few minutes past midnight when hundreds of Israeli soldiers stormed al-Amari refugee camp. They had come to demolish the house of Latifa Abu Humaid, a widow in her seventies. Latifa was expecting the raid from Israel's forces of occupation. The previous day, she had been instructed to evacuate her home within 24 hours. She decided to stay put.
The IOF continue to violate the basic rights of Palestinians in the occupied territory. Since the Israeli authorities announced the death of Saleh Omar al Barghouthy on 12 Dec, violence has increased operated by both the IOF and the illegal settlers. Since 12 Dec, Addameer documented 187 arrests in the West Bank including East Jerusalem, extrajudicial killings of five people, and the unlawful demolition of two Palestinian homes. Harassment and violence against Palestinians are still ongoing.
What goes through the head of soldiers, young Israelis, after they shoot an unarmed Palestinian teenager in the back with live ammunition, prevent him from getting medical treatment, move him around, putting him on the ground and then picking him up again - and chase away an ambulance at gunpoint?
At 1pm, 4 Israeli occupation soldiers entered Salaymeh neighbourhood, Hebron. Activists were present from 12:30 pm and did not witness any stones thrown or other provocation. The soldiers fired 21 tear gas rounds in under 5 minutes into the street outside the 3 schools and into two schoolyards.
Vandaag was het raak in Palestijns Oost-Jeruzalem en het Palestijnse dorp Battir, eerder deze week waren tal van andere Palestijnse plaatsen doelwit van vernielingen en aanvallen door Israëlische kolonisten. Ze hebben tot doel de Palestijnse inwoners het leven onmogelijk te maken. De Israëlische autoriteiten treden er zelden tegen op.
Bilin is one of the most active Palestinian villages in peaceful organized opposition against Israeli policies, as residents have protested every Friday for 12 consecutive years, and have often been met with tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets, and stun grenades from Israeli forces.
An Israeli court sentenced the mother of a Palestinian, who was killed by the army last year, to 11 months in prison for what the military prosecution described as "incitement on social media." Suzan Abu Ghannam's son,Mohammad Hasan Abu Ghannam, 20, was killed by Israeli soldiers on July 21, 2017, during protests that took place after the army invaded at-Tour neighborhood, in East Jerusalem.
Though Al-Jazeera never aired "The Lobby - USA," its undercover investigation into how Israel's government works with US organizations to advance its agenda, last month the Electronic Intifada leaked the four-part documentary. Al-Shabaka sat down with EI co-founder and Al-Shabaka analyst Ali Abunimah to discuss the film's implications and its lessons for the Palestine solidarity movement.
Opposition to laws muzzling Americans who criticize Israel has gone mainstream. Two separate lawsuits were filed this week against a Texas law requiring state contractors to certify they will not boycott Israel. Another lawsuit was filed by a local newspaper in Arkansas, which refused to sign a similar pledge in order to win an advertising contract.
There are signs that we've reached a tipping point in US public recognition of Israel's suppression of the rights of Palestinians as a legitimate human rights concern. Increasingly,students on campuses across the countryare calling on their universities to divest from companies that do business in Israel. [Katherine Franke is the Sulzbacher Professor of Law at Columbia University]
A children's speech pathologist who has worked for the last 9 years with developmentally disabled, autistic, and speech-impaired elementary school students in Austin, Texas, has been told she can no longer work with the public school district, after she refused to sign an oath vowing that she "does not" and "will not" engage in a boycott of Israel or "otherwise take any action that is intended to inflict economic harm" on that foreign nation.
A Senate bill aims to punish those who boycott Israel over its settlement policy. The aim is to cripple the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement known as B.D.S., which has gathered steam in recent years despite bitter opposition from the Israeli government and its supporters around the world.
It is a lack of debate about Israel - not just about the Netanyahu government's policies but also about how we in America should react to them - that allows provisions such as the "Israel Anti-Boycott Act" to flourish. But that also means that if you draw enough attention to them, things can change.
A poll conductedafter the Nov 6 elections for the Jewish J Street organization shows that while Israelis and their officials distance themselves from basic democratic values, chief among them equality and freedom of expression, an overwhelming majority of American Jews identify with these values.
The American public is now evenly split between those who want a two-state solution and those who prefer a single state, shared by Israelis and Palestinians, according to a new survey. All of this is occurring even though US politicians and the media express no support for a one-state solution.
Albert Einstein, along with other Jewish luminaries, including Hannah Arendt, published a letter in the New York Times on December 4, 1948. That was only a few months after Israel had declared its independence and as hundreds of Palestinian villages were being demolished after their inhabitants were expelled.
As a public figure, Oz was the ideal cipher on which outsiders could project their own ideas of a 'different Israel': philosophic, progressive, peace-seeking. But that idealistic dream, together with the two-state solution Oz tirelessly advocated, has long gone. The grief at his passing is also sorrow at a further and perhaps near-fatal degradation of this Zionist dream, at least as it exists in the imagination of Western elites.
Like most leaders of the soft Zionist "left," Oz was an opponent only of the occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and never condemned the original sin - the 1948 grand theft of Palestine. The danger of this formulation is that it sidesteps the issue of the right of return of millions of Palestinian refugees, as well as that of the legalized and institutionalized, and now constitutionalized, system of racism and discrimination against the Palestinian citizens of the Israel.