View in a web browser

BACBI
Academic Newsletter N°53 (December 2019)

BACBI Academic's Website

"Israel's massacre of family is a war crime":

Had the IDF wanted to, it could have known exactly who was inside the shack it targeted in Gaza. But it didn't care, and now a little girl is left alone in the world. Anyone who bombs houses from a fighter jet in the middle of the night without checking who is inside is a war criminal. Whoever claims they did not intend to kill the nine members of the Palestinian al-Sawarkah family is trying to mislead and wash their hands of it, but their hands are not clean. They are dripping with the blood of innocents. Maybe they did not intend to murder nine people in their sleep - five of whom were children and among them two infants - but they certainly did not do everything in their power to not harm them. No excuse will serve to justify the actions of the Israel Defense Forces, the Israeli intelligence and of course the Israel Air Force pilots. The audacious statements by Southern Command head Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevi are an outstanding example of apathy and the loss of humanity: "Such things can happen," he said innocently. Not a word of guilt, not a sentence expressing regret, no acceptance of responsibility, no apology... "It was a simple target, where civilians were not supposed to be," explained the army's propaganda mechanism. And once again the Arabs are to blame for their own deaths. They shouldn't have been there. And where should they be? In the sea? In the air? "We act meticulously," said Halevi, giving lying a bad name.

(GIDEON LEVY, Haaretz via IAK, Nov 29)

Contents of No 53

Actions -- Agenda -- Academia -- Analyses -- Antisemitism -- BDS -- Current Affairs -- EU/US/UN -- Gaza -- Israel -- Jerusalem/Al-Quds -- Palestine -- Prisoners -- Refugees -- Resources -- Videos

Actions & Calls :

Che.e.r.e.s  ami.e.s et collègues, aidez-nous à réaliser un financement communautaire au service de la solidarité avec la Palestine: un recours contre le refus de la Commission européenne d'enregistrer une initiative citoyenne: « Interdiction de l'UE sur les produits de colonisation. »

Beste vrienden en collega's wil aub een 'crowdfunding' ondersteunen tgv een beroep tegen de weigering van de Europese Commissie het burgerinitiatief "EU-verbod op producten uit de kolonies" te registreren.

Le 05/07/2019, un Comité d'Initiative Citoyenne de 7 États membres de l'UE, dont la Coordination Européenne des Associations et Comités pour la Palestine (ECCP), dont le BACBI est membre, a soumis une proposition à la Commission Européenne pour demander une interdiction du commerce avec les colonies de peuplement illégales en Cisjordanie occupée. La récente décision de la Cour de justice européenne d'approuver l'étiquetage des produits des colonies israéliennes est un pas en avant encourageant (cliquez ici !), mais il est insuffisant pour garantir les droits inaliénables du peuple palestinien.

Op 5/07/2019 heeft een Burgerinitiatief-Comité uit 7 EU-lidstaten, waaronder het Comité voor de Europese Coördinatie van Verenigingen en Comités voor Palestina (ECCP), waar BACBI bij aangesloten is, bij de Europese Commissie een voorstel ingediend om op te roepen tot een handelsverbod met de Israëlische kolonies. Het recente besluit van het Europese Hof van Justitie om de verplichte etikettering van Israëlische nederzettingenproducten goed te keuren is een bemoedigende stap vooruit (klik hier!), maar het is onvoldoende om de onvervreemdbare rechten van het Palestijnse volk te waarborgen.

En 2019, nous avons choisi l'initiative citoyenne européenne comme moyen d'exprimer notre appel à l'action contre toutes les colonies de peuplement illégales. Les citoyens doivent avoir le droit de s'exprimer. Nous avons soumis une demande à la Commission européenne afin de la faire agir de manière responsable dans le cadre de ses compétences et de progresser vers une interdiction du commerce avec les colonies de peuplement illégales. Cependant, la Commission a refusé d'enregistrer notre initiative (voir la décision du 4 septembre).

In 2019 kozen wij het "Europees burgerinitiatief" als middel om onze oproep tot actie tegen alle illegale nederzettingen kenbaar te maken. Wij hebben de Europese Commissie verzocht ervoor te zorgen dat zij binnen haar bevoegdheden op verantwoorde wijze handelt en ijvert voor een verbod op de handel met illegale nederzettingent. De Commissie heeft echter geweigerd ons initiatief te registreren (zie het besluit van 4 september). 

Nous refusons toutefois d'être réduits au silence. Aidez-nous à poursuivre la Commission devant la Cour de justice de l'Union européenne afin de contester sa complicité tacite avec des violations des droits fondamentaux. Nous travaillerons avec un avocat expert qui a gagné un procès similaire contre la Commission européenne dans le passé. Pour ce faire, nous devons encore lever les 10 300 euros d'ici le 15 décembre afin de couvrir le cout des procédures judiciaires. Pour couvrir les frais juridiques, nous avons lancé une campagne de 'crowdfunding'. Il s'agit donc d'un appel à chacun d'entre vous : veuillez envisager de contribuer, même modestement, à faire de cette affaire une victoire dans la longue lutte du peuple palestinien pour la justice. 
ÊTES-VOUS PRÊT.E.S À FAIRE LA DIFFERENCE ?

We weigeren echter ons het zwijgen te laten opleggen. Help ons de Commissie voor het Europees Hof van Justitie te dagen ten einde haar stilzwijgen en medeplichtigheid aan schendingen van de grondrechten aan te vechten. We zullen samenwerken met een deskundige advocaat die in het verleden een soortgelijke zaak tegen de Europese Commissie heeft gewonnen. Om dat te kunnen doen, moeten we tegen 15 december de 10.300 euro gerechtskosten dekken. Om de juridische kosten te dekken, hebben we  een crowdfunding campagne gestart. Dit is dan ook een warme oproep aan jullie allen: overweeg alstublieft een bijdrage te leveren, hoe bescheiden ook, om van deze zaak een overwinning te maken in de lange strijd van het Palestijnse volk voor gerechtigheid.
BEN JE BEREID HET VERSCHIL TE MAKEN?

"Attaquons l'UE en justice!" - "De EU moet voor de rechter!"
Cliquez-ici pour contribuer! - Klik hier voor jouw bijdrage!

The #StopSettlements campaign: "Let's take the EU to court!"
We are a coalition of anti-racist associations and committees within the Palestine solidarity movement in Europe. We combine our force and determination to put pressure on the EU with a view to achieve justice and respect for fundamental rights for Palestinians and other people that are exploited through settlements. In 2019 we chose the European Citizens' Initiative as a means to voice out our call for action against all illegal colonial settlements. We submitted an application to the EC in order to make it act responsibly within its competences and move towards a ban of trade with illegal settlements. However the Commission refused to register our Initiative (see the decision on September 4). We refuse to be silenced. Help us take the Commission to the EU Court of Justice to challenge its tacit complicity with fundamental rights violations. In order to do so, we need to raise the remaining 10.300 euros by December 15th to cover the cost of legal proceedings
ARE YOU READY TO MAKE A CHANGE? READ - DONATE  - SHARE!


ELSC: "Another legal battle win" (ELSC Newsletter Nov 2019):

The European Legal Support Center (ELSC) has been a very busy place since we shared our first newsletter with you in June. Systematic documentation and analysis of attempts to suppress and silence advocacy for Palestinian rights is meanwhile well on its way in both the Netherlands and the UK. We are also glad to share with you an interesting article on the right to boycott written by Dr. Michiel Bot of Tilburg University Law School. This piece reflects some of the work of the ELSC in protecting the freedom of speech of advocates for Palestinian rights. Moreover, we would like you to be aware of our good news from Germany. In the month of September, we achieved two more victories in court, this time against the City of Bonn which sought to punish associations of Bonn's Palestinian community because of their affiliation with the BDS movement.

Continue reading...


Support the BDS Movement's campaign for freedom and justice: DONATE!

The nonviolent BDS Movement for Palestinian rights challenges the international support Israeli apartheid and settler-colonialism continues receiving from governments, corporations and institutions across the world. The Movement's growth and success send a clear message to Palestinians and to our governments that people around the world are increasingly unwilling to accept Israel's oppression of the Palestinian people. Not surprisingly, the Israeli regime and its allies have declared war on it. Only a few days ago the BDS Movement's website came under an unprecedented attack. More than 3.9 million attempts to access the website were registered, indicating a well-organized hacking campaign, at least partially intended to defund the Movement by preventing fundraising appeals from being successful. The attack was repelled but it should remind us that financial support is indispensable if we truly want to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for freedom, equality and justice.


"The Rights Forum calls for broad protest against passive ICC" (The Rights Forum, 27 Nov):

The International Criminal Court must open an investigation into possible war crimes in the Occupied Palestinian Territories without further delay. This demand will be hand-delivered to the ICC on December 10th on behalf of a coalition of organizations. December 10th is Human Rights Day. It is also the date on which former Dutch prime minister Dries van Agt founded The Rights Forum, exactly a decade ago this year. Building on this tradition, this year on December 10th The Rights Forum will present a letter, which can be found at the bottom of this article, to Ms. Fatou Bensouda, chief prosecutor of the ICC. Our letter has a clear message: Ms. Bensouda, open an official and full-scale investigation into the 'situation in Palestine' without further delay.

Add your name! The Rights Forum calls on human rights organizations, solidarity groups, trade unions, academic groups and faculties, religious institutions, political factions and other organizations to endorse and co-sign this urgent message. They can do so by getting in touch with us via e-mail, after which we will add their names as signatories to the letter to Ms. Bensouda.

Continue reading...

VLIR: "Mensenrechtentoets" (pb 5 dec 2019 van de Vlaamse Interuniversitaire Raad, pdf, 2p.). Zie: "Aanbevelingen voor de invoering van een mensenrechtentoets aan de Vlaamse universiteiten"  (Rapport van de ad hoc VLIR-werkgroep Mensenrechten, 23 okt 2019, pdf, 34p.). [traduction provisoire : cliquez-ici.]

Academische onderzoekers en universitaire beleidsverantwoordelijken worden regelmatig geconfronteerd met prangende en cruciale vragen over het respect voor de mensenrechten in een partnerland, bij een partnerinstelling, en zelfs bij individuele personen. Zij nemen hun maatschappelijke verantwoordelijkheid in dit domein op, maar wensen dit nog verder te versterken. In de aanloop naar Internationale Mensenrechtendag reikt de Vlaamse Interuniversitaire Raad de universiteiten een reeks concrete richtsnoeren aan onder de vorm van een mensenrechtentoets. [zie ook hieronder in "Academia", het artikel van Gie Goris]

Continue reading...

Petition: "For the Immediate Release of Mr. Ubai Aboudi" (change.org, 7/12 already 1,431 signatures collected): Sign please!

As a reminder: U.S. citizen Mr. Ubai Aboudi, one of Scientists for Palestine's (S4P) closest partners and director of the Ramallah-based 'Bisan Center for Research and Development', has been brutally abducted by the Israeli army at 3 a.m. in the morning of Wednesday, Nov 13th, 2019. He is being held without charge or trial.

See: Tamara Nassar, "Palestinian American scientist held by Israel" (EI, Dec 5): Ubai Aboudi was due to travel to the US in January for a conference on science and Palestinian rights at MIT. Prominent scholars, including Nobel Prize winner George P. Smith and Noam Chomsky signed already the petition demanding Aboudi's release.


"Palestinian Refugees Movement Belgium":

We Palestinian asylum seekers are asking for international protection and better treatment of our files. We are opposed to the reasons of refusals because it is unfair and unrealistic: the fact that we are under the responsibility of UNRWA, the fact that the situation in Palestine is stable and secure, the reopening of Rafah, ... Resolution 194 of the United Nations General Assembly stipulates the right of return for Palestinians to their lands occupied by Israel. So we are here as refugees without a country, whether we are in exile or living under brutal occupation. We demand that Belgium respects the international laws and conventions it has signed and to respects our right to receive international protection without punishing Palestinians with prolonged proceedings and unfair refusals for asylum Your silence is a disgrace on humanity, you have to support refugees and give positive response to Palestinian asylum seekers. https://www.facebook.com/Pale.2018/?ref=bookmarks

Endorsing Belgian organisations: Plateforme Charleroi Palestine - Amitié sans frontières - Bruxelles Panthères - Palestina Solidariteit - Belgian Committee for Palestinian Prisonners - Association Belgo-Palestinienne - Actrices et Acteurs des Temps Présents - Mouvement citoyen Palestine - Intal - BACBI

"Support 'Al-Shabaka - The Palestinian Policy Network' in 2020! DONATE!"

Israel's occupation and colonization seek not only to shrink Palestinian presence but also Palestinian thought, forcing Palestinians to live in a reactive world governed by Israeli abuses. As the only independent, transnational Palestinian think tank, Al-Shabaka is committed to pushing back and expanding Palestinian collective thinking.

Continue reading...


Agenda :

# Gent, 11 dec, 18:00-20:00: "The Great March of Return: A conversation with Ahmed Abu Artema." Org.: MENARG. Venu: UGent, Dpt of Conflict & Development Studies, Aud. E, Universiteitstr. 8, 9000 Gent.

# Brx, 11 dec, 20:00-22:00: "The Great March of Return: A conversation with Ahmed Abu Artema." Org.: Le Space & Palestina Solidariteit. Le Space, Rue de la Clé 26 Sleutelstraat, 1000 Brx.

In January 2018, a Facebook post by Palestinian journalist and poet Ahmed Abu Artema sparked a widespread protest movement. Abu Artema called for a massive protest in which Palestinians would peacefully cross the barbed wire fence surrounding the Gaza Strip, demanding an end to the 12-year-long Israeli blockade and their inalienable right to return to their ancestral homes. The appeal was a cry for life and justice that mobilised thousands of women, men, children and elderly and led to weekly Friday protests, which became known as the "Great March of Return".

Continue reading...


# Charleroi, le 14 décembre 2019 @ 10 h 00 - 13 h 00: "Israël, État d'apartheid." Où : Charleroi, UT (bâtiment de la bibliothèque). Contact : Plate-forme Charleroi-Palestine, 0473/28.63.75.

3e séance d'un cycle de formation: présentation du rapport de Richard Falk et Virginia Tilley qui analyse l'apartheid envers l'ensemble du peuple palestinien. Avec le témoignage d'Ahmed Frassini, journaliste et réalisateur palestinien. Ahmed est né en Palestine, dans la région de Jénine. Emprisonné pour la première fois en 1987, a l'âge de 12 ans, Ahmed a vécu la première et la deuxième Intifadah, les accords d'Oslo, la ré-occupation par l'armée israélienne des territoires palestiniens en 2012.


Academia :

UPDATE: Birzeit University continues to lose international faculty as Israel persists in discriminatory policy (BZU, Nov 14, 2019):

Heightened restrictions on Birzeit University's right to hire and maintain international faculty persist into the 2019-2020 academic year. Israel has escalated what can only be understood as a policy whose ultimate goal is the elimination of any international faculty presence at Palestinian universities. Our 14,800 students returned to classes on 4 September with a third of their international faculty missing, the Israeli authorities having denied them entry or forced their departure by refusing them any viable means to stay in the country or return. The status of international faculty able to make it to campus remains extremely precarious; 60% have lapsed or only short-term visas due to expire before the end of the first semester. In short, except for a handful of instructorsunder foreign government fellowships or programs, all of our international faculty currently in the country are under constant threat of deportation.

Continue reading...

Gie Goris, "Vlaamse universiteiten willen niet bijdragen aan mensenrechtenschendingen" (MO*, 5 dec):

De Vlaamse Interuniversitaire Raad (VLIR) lanceert een mensenrechtentoets voor externe samenwerkingen in binnen- en buitenland. Hiermee bevestigen de universiteiten hun eigen engagement voor mensenrechten én spelen ze een pioniersrol binnen de European University Association, waarbij meer dan 800 kennisinstellingen aangesloten zijn... Het gaat niet zomaar over theoretische bezorgdheid, verduidelijkt Verlaeckt (Koen Verlaeckt, secretaris-generaal van de VLIR). En de voorbeelden komen niet enkel uit de defensie-industrie. "De samenwerking met staatsactoren uit Israël wordt vaak aangehaald als problematisch, omwille van de bezetting van Palestijnse gebieden en andere mensenrechtenkwesties."
[PS Tussenkomsten vanuit BACBI tgv de Palestijnse mensenrechten hebben wellicht een steentje/stootje bijgedragen aan deze ontwikkeling? Cf. 'Technion' (UGent, 2016), 'Law-Train' (KULeuven, 2016-17) en 'BirZeit University' (2018).]

Continue reading...


Analyses & Comments :

Tom Moerenhout, "Why I'm suing EU for trading with settlements" (The Electronic Intifada, 28 Nov):

I am part of a group of seven people who are suing the European Union's executive over its trade with settlements in territories under military occupation. It may seem strange that we are taking this action around the same time that the EU's top court ruled that all products from Israel's settlements in the occupied West Bank and Golan Heights must be labeled accurately. Yet it should be emphasized that despite this verdict, the EU still allows trade with settlements. By doing so, the EU and its governments violate their obligations under international law. Trading with settlements - all of which breach the Fourth Geneva Convention - is tantamount to conferring recognition on them. It also helps occupying powers to maintain and expand their illegal colonies. [Tom Moerenhout is a professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University in NY]

Continue reading...


John Dugard, "Prospects for a formal ICC-investigation into the Palestine situation are nil" (The Rights Forum, Dec 9):

Is there any prospect of an investigation into the 'situation in Palestine' under the watch of the present Prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda? I have a short and easy answer to the question posed. No, there is no prospect of such an investigation under the watch of the present Prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, whose term of office expires in 2021. Why do I say this?

Continue reading...


Raja Shehadeh, "The US policy shift on Israeli settlements will not stop Palestinians persevering" (The Guardian, Nov 21):

Palestinians are surrounded by settlers and abandoned by the west, but this latest setback will only boost support for their cause. - The day before US secretary of state Mike Pompeo's announcement that the US now considers the Israeli settlements in the West Bank to be legal, I accompanied an American group of writers on a tour of the settlements around Ramallah. It was organised by Breaking the Silence, a group formed by Israeli veterans who oppose the occupation.

Continue reading...


Robert Fisk, "UN Report On Israeli Settlements Speaks Truth, World Refuses To Listen" (Independent via IAK, Nov 22):

The latest UN report states that Israel's "civilian settlements" in occupied territory are a breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and a "war crime" under the Rome Statute. "The world should take the necessary steps to collectively construct a list of effective countermeasures..."
This sounds to me very like sanctions; the ghost of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement hovers over these words, although Lynk makes no reference to it. The real message of his report, however, seems quite clear: this impunity must end.

Continue reading...


Michèle Sibony: "Quelques questions pour y voir plus clair - Intervention sur le mouvement de solidarité avec la Palestine" (Agence Media Palestine, 24 nov):

L'UJFP est une association juive née lors de la première Intifada pour soutenir les conditions d'une paix juste et durable en Israël/ Palestine, Nous avons dès le début de la deuxième Intifada été cofondateurs du Collectif National pour une Paix Juste entre Israéliens et Palestiniens. Ce collectif unique en son genre en Europe réunissait et réunit encore près de 50 associations partis syndicats. Nous sommes aussi membres de la Plateforme des ONG pour la Palestine, et aussi inscrits dans la lutte contre le racisme en France : antisémitisme, islamophobie bien sûr, et aussi négrophobie rromophobie, racisme anti-asiatique à travers des plateformes comme celle de Rosa Parks et celle pour un espace antiraciste respirable. [Intervention au colloque du CVPRPO (Comité de Vigilance pour une Paix Réelle au Proche Orient) qui s'est tenu le 16 novembre au Sénat, sur le thème "Israéliens et Palestiniens ensemble contre l'Apartheid".].

Continue reading...


Asa Winstanley, "The pro-Israel lobby is on the decline; let's help it on its way" (MEMo, Nov 30):

A lot has been written about the pro-Israel, anti-Palestinian lobby over the years. Many take the view that the US and Britain have their foreign policy dictated to them by Israel and its influential lobby groups in the West. I don't intend to revisit the whole debate over the lobby in this column, but I've written before about how I consider this to be an inaccurate view, born of an essentially conservative worldview. It is a view that starts with the assumption that American and British foreign policies are essentially benign, and that the pro-Israel lobby has somehow corrupted them.

Continue reading...


Paul Lookman, "Hoe de Israëlische propagandamachine werkt" (Geopolitiek in context, 2 dec):

Israël hanteert een uitgekookte propagandastrategie. Goed opgeleide woordvoerders beheersen het narratief. Westerse journalisten krijgen geen toegang tot Gaza en kunnen in oorlogsgebied enkel hun werk doen onder supervisie van de IDF. Manipulatie van de publieke opinie blijft een geducht wapen in de strijd. [picture: Mark Regev, Ambassador of Israel to the UK speaking at the Commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day event, 23 January 2018.]

Continue reading...


Antisemitism Politics :

"L'Assemblée nationale adopte la résolution assimilant l'antisionisme et l'antisémitisme" (Collectif National pour une Paix Juste et Durable entre Palestiniens et Israéliens, 6 déc):

Sous couvert de lutte contre l'antisémitisme, la proposition Maillard du groupe LREM a été votée par l'Assemblée nationale le 3 décembre par 154 voix contre 72 et 43 abstentions... En faisant approuver cette résolution par l'Assemblée nationale, Emmanuel Macron, qui doit se rendre en Israël dans les prochains mois, a répondu aux demandes réitérées du CRIF, principal relais de la politique israélienne en France. Comme il a déjà essayé de le faire dans d'autres pays, l'État d'Israël veut utiliser cette résolution pour réduire au silence les critiques de sa politique, notamment pour faire interdire et criminaliser les campagnes BDS (Boycott, Désinvestissement, Sanctions).

Continue reading...


Bertrand Heilbronn, "Quand Israël manipule la définition de l'antisémitisme et tente de l'imposer en France" (Middle East Eye, 6 déc):

Le mardi 3 décembre à Paris, le Parlement français, déserté par la moitié de ses députés, a adopté une résolution « approuvant la définition de l'antisémitisme de l'IHRA ». À peine plus d'un quart des députés ont voté pour, et la proportion n'a pas été plus importante dans les rangs des groupes de la majorité présidentielle. Le malaise était tel que le député porteur de la résolution a dû confirmer à la tribune que celle-ci « exclut les exemples de l'IHRA », une déclaration qui devrait, logiquement, réduire considérablement la portée de ce vote. Le malaise profondément ressenti par les députés était révélateur du choc violent entre deux logiques : la logique de la propagande israélienne et de ses relais en France, avançant sous le masque de la lutte contre « les formes modernes de l'antisémitisme », et la logique de la tradition antiraciste et universaliste profondément ancrée et active en France.

Continue reading...


Carolina Landsmann, "Palestinian = Anti-Semite" (Haaretz, Dec 8):

Anyone who wants to understand the problem with the definition of anti-Zionism as a form of anti-Semitism should read Yair Netanyahu's tweet about the French parliament's decision last week to adopt that definition. "Do you realize that the French parliament has actually decided that Ahmad Tibi, Ayman Odeh and the whole Joint List are anti-Semites?"... The new definition doesn't have anything to do with the fight against anti-Semitism. Don't let them fool you. This is a crude attempt to harness the battle against anti-Semitism for the benefit of making the occupation and settlement enterprise kosher, and politically silencing the opponents of the occupation by criminalizing the battle to end it. The English translation of Yair Netanyahu's tweet must be spread because it exposes the true motives of the linking of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism... It's a beautiful trick they invented. The Israeli government will do anything it wants, enshrine it in law and then say that opposition to it is anti-Semitism. How come they never thought of that before?"

Continue reading...


Slavoj Zizek, "There is no conflict between the struggle against antisemitism and the struggle against Israeli occupation" (Independent, Dec 3):

Jean-Paul Sartre wrote that, if you are attacked for the same text by both sides in a political conflict, this is one of the few reliable signs that you are on the right path. In the last decades, I have been attacked by a number of very different political actors (often on account of the same text!) for antisemitism, up to advocating a new Holocaust, and for perfidious Zionist propaganda (see the last issue of the antisemitic Occidental Observer). So I think I've earned the right to comment on the recent accusations against the Labour Party regarding its alleged tolerance of antisemitism...

Continue reading...

PS The Independent's editors afterwards modified Zizek's op-ed: "The original language said that 'the trouble with Jews today is that they are now trying to get roots in a place which was for thousands of years inhabited by other people.' Following an outcry and allegations that the language used was anti-Semitic, the daily replaced the phrase 'the trouble with Jews today' with 'the trouble with the settlement project today'" (Haaretz, Dec 7).


"Jewish Group Applauds Calgary Councillors for Rejecting Controversial Antisemitism Re-definition" (Independent Jewish Voices Canada, Nov 18):

Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) applauds Calgary City Councillors Diane Colley-Urquhart and Jeromy Farkas for amending their motion on Antisemitism to exclude the controversial International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism .

Continue reading...


Mairav Zonszein, "How the Right Has Tried to Rebrand Anti-Semitism" (NYRB, Sept 4):

On August 20, after President Donald Trump told a reporter that any American Jew who casts a "vote for a Democrat… shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty," outraged reactions flooded social media, attributing to his statement the anti-Semitic trope of "dual loyalty." This is the idea, rampant in so much nineteenth- and twentieth-century thought, that Jews cannot be trusted because their allegiances are inherently divided between their Jewish and their national identities. Captain Alfred Dreyfus would never have been tried in France without the perception that Jews were disloyal.

Continue reading...


BDS:

CdP, 29 nov: "Mission économique régionale en Israël annulée : une victoire du droit" - Association belgo-palestinienne:

Il y a deux semaines, nous découvrions avec effarement que hub.brussels et l'AWEX, les agences régionales respectivement chargées de promouvoir les exportations de Bruxelles et de la Wallonie, prévoyaient d'organiser en décembre une mission économique en Israël. Cette nouvelle avait suscité l'indignation de nombreux citoyens et associations, parmi lesquelles la nôtre, qui s'en était expliqué dans un communiqué. La mobilisation a payé: désapprouvée par plusieurs poids lourds des majorités régionales, la mission a été officiellement enterrée ce jeudi 28 novembre.

Continue reading...


"US University Votes to Divest from Israeli Business" (The Palestine Chronicle, Dec 3):

Brown University yesterday voted in favor of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to financially pressure Israel into ending the occupation of the Palestinian territories and allow full equality for its Arab-Palestinian citizens. The Advisory Committee on Corporate Responsibility in Investment Policies (ACCRIP) of the Providence-based university, which consists of university students, faculty, staff and alumni, vote on resolutions surrounding "ethical and moral issues or issues of alleged social harm with respect to the activities of corporations in which the University is an investor," according to its website.

Continue reading...


Michiel BOT, "The right to boycott: BDS, law, and politics in a global context," in: Transnational Legal Theory, 29 Sept 2019 (html, 26p.):

Abstract: This article discusses the global campaigns for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel, which frame their objectives primarily in legal terms, as well as the transnational strategy to suppress BDS campaigns by means of the law. After arguing that the strategy to suppress BDS campaigns by means of the law exemplifies an instrumentalisation of law that is fundamentally at odds with the rule of law, I discuss two landmark judgments that recognised a right to boycott, and demonstrate that what is ultimately at stake in these judgments is the right to participate in politics. I then analyse the various concepts of politics exemplified by the campaigns for BDS. Reflecting on the relationship between BDS, law, and politics in a global context, I pose the question how law might facilitate emancipatory and transformative politics across the boundaries of the nation-state. [Michiel Bot is Assistant Professor of Law and Humanities, Tilburg University]

Current Affairs :

"Lost count? Israel killed 43 Palestinians in November" (IAK reposted from Quds Network, Dec 5):

If it feels like Palestinians are constantly dying, that's because they are. 43 in November. 526 since Trump's Jerusalem announcement 2 years ago - 111 of them children. Where in the world is the world? A Palestinian statistics center documented the murder of 43 Palestinians by Israeli soldiers in November. 38 of the victims were in Gaza during the Israeli escalation against the enclave. Al Quds Center revealed in a statistical study issued on Monday that three martyrs were killed in Hebron, one from Jenin, one from Jerusalem, and 38 in Gaza, most of them were killed in the Israeli aggression on the enclave.

Continue reading...


EU - UN - US - World:

"Belgian officials boycott trade delegation to Israel" (Cnaan Liphshiz, The Times of Israel, Nov 30):

Two local governments in Belgium have pulled out of a trade delegation to Israel, citing alleged violations of international law and lack of progress in the peace process. The foreign trade secretary of the government of the Brussels region, Pascal Smet, announced the decision Thursday, the RTBF broadcaster reported. Elio Di Rupo, prime minister of the Belgian state of Wallonia and a former prime minister of the kingdom of Belgium, pulled out of the delegation last week.

Continue reading...


David Cronin, "The "expert" who lets EU off the hook" (The Electronic Intifada, 6 Dec):

I had a simple reason for deciding to write and speak out about the European Union's relationship with Israel more than a decade ago: Nobody else was doing it. Soon it transpired that I was just partly right. Some "experts" on this subject can be found in think tanks and academia... I found myself listening to a couple of these experts during a recent conference in London (thankfully, the event also featured some genuine human rights campaigners). The conference introduced me to the work of Hugh Lovatt from the European Council on Foreign Relations. He has carved out a niche for himself as the leading authority on "differentiation" [i.e. making a distinction between Israel and the territories it has occupied since 1967].

Continue reading...


Michel Cabirol, "Le comble européen ou quand l'Europe finance la recherche des Israéliens, Turcs, Américains..." (La Tribune, 5 déc):

Stupéfiant !? L'Union européenne finance des programmes de recherche et d'innovation de groupes israéliens, turcs, américains ou encore suisses et norvégiens... Pragmatiques et opportunistes, les groupes israéliens, en particulier Elbit Systems et IAI, qui sont au fil du temps devenus de redoutables concurrents des groupes de défense en Europe et à l'export, sont de grands chasseurs de financements européens. Au cours des vingt dernières années, les groupes israéliens ont reçu 1,7 milliard d'euros de financements européens.

Continue reading...


"Canada reverses UN stance on Palestinians in break with U.S. over settlements" (Evan Dyer, CBC News, Nov 19):

Canada has reversed its recent voting history at the UN in an annual vote on Palestinians' right to self-determination, switching from a No to a Yes... Speaking on background, an official at Global Affairs Canada said the vote sends a message that Canada does not agree with ... Pompeo's assertion on Monday that Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories are "not, per se, inconsistent with international law."

Continue reading...


"US House Passes Resolution Breaking with Trump on Israel Policy" (teleSur, Dec 6):

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a symbolic resolution on Friday backing a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, following initiatives from President Donald Trump heavily favoring the Jewish state.The measure passed on Friday faced opposition from the left. (Together with Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (MA),) Representative Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian-American, said she opposed separate states, instead favoring one state where Israelis and Palestinians would be equal. 

Continue reading...


Sean Durbin, "Christian Zionists celebrate another victory under Trump, reversal on settlements policy" (Mondoweiss, Dec 2):

On Monday, November 18, 2019, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the Trump Administration would be "reversing the Obama Administration's approach towards Israeli settlements" and asserted that "the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements is not per se inconsistent with international law." ... Christian Zionists view the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians as an earthly manifestation of a cosmic conflict between God and Satan. Viewed through this theological lens, it is not difficult to see who is standing in for Satan at this particular juncture: the Palestinians seeking self-determination and those who advocate on their behalf. This type of demonology has a dehumanizing function.

Continue reading...


"'Shameless Racism': 13 Countries Change Long-Standing Position on Palestine at UN" (The Palestine Chronicle, Dec 5):

For the first time, 13 countries changed their longstanding positions and voted against a pro-Palestine measure at the UN on Tuesday. Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Lithuania, Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Brazil, and Colombia voted against the annual resolution regarding the (NY-based) "Division for Palestinian Rights", according to the Times of Israel. They had previously abstained on the vote. The resolution, which includes a call to halt to illegal Israeli settlements being constructed in the occupied West Bank, still passed with a large majority voting in favor. [The Division for Palestinian Rights serves as the Secretariat of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP)]

Continue reading...


Noa Landau, "Ireland announces funding of 8.8m euro for construction of solar plant in Gaza" (Haaretz, Dec 3):

Irish Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Simon Coveney is currently visiting Israel, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to launch a project on Tuesday to fund Palestinian initiatives in the solar and water sectors... Coveney said that although his government had effectively frozen the advancement of a bill calling for a boycott of products made in Israeli settlement in the West Bank, it reflected Irish lawmakers' "dissatisfaction with the progress in Israel-Palestinian negotiations." Parliamentarians, though, deny that the legislation has been stopped, saying instead that it is on course to advance.

Continue reading...


Gaza :

Jack Khoury, "Gaza protests on Israeli border to resume after 3-week pause" (Haaretz, Dec 2):

Decision comes days after a 16-year-old boy died by Israeli fire during an independent demonstration staged by dozens of youths. - The organizing committee of the weekly Gaza border protests announced Monday it would resume demonstrations, after three weeks in a row when the March of Return was canceled over tensions at the border with Israel. In a statement following a meeting between organizers and representatives of Palestinian factions in Gaza, they said the protests were a "legitimate tool in the Palestinian people's struggle."

Continue reading...


Al Mezan pr: "Israeli Forces Arrest a Patient Companion Called for a Security Interview at Erez Crossing" (Nov 27):

Al Mezan condemns the continued use of the crossing to entrap and arbitrarily detain civilians and calls on the international community to intervene. On Tuesday morning, the Israeli authorities arrested a patient's companion at Erez crossing who had been called in for a security interview. 

Continue reading...


Israel :

Michael Bachner, "Defense minister green-lights new Jewish neighborhood in Hebron" (The Times of Israel, Dec 1):

Newly installed Defense Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday announced his approval for planning of a new Jewish neighborhood in the flashpoint West Bank city of Hebron, in a decision that was quickly praised by the right and bashed by the left... The leading Arab lawmaker in Israel called the decision a "dangerous step that deepens the occupation regime over millions of Palestinians." "The war against peace continues," Joint List leader Ayman Odeh added in his statement, condemning the "dangerous and messianic vision of the right." MK Ofer Cassif, the only Jewish member of the Joint List, made a reference to Baruch Goldstein, a Jewish terrorist who murdered 29 Palestinians at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron in 1994. MK Tamar Zandberg of the Democratic Camp called the move a "win" for the ideology of the racist far-right former lawmaker Kahane. "Someone who establishes Jewish neighborhoods in the heart of the capital of Israel's apartheid, instead of dismantling them, is a messianist who intentionally harms the State of Israel," she said.

Continue reading...


Ramzy Baroud, "Israel's next move is the real danger in the US decision to normalise illegal Jewish settlements" (Middle East Monitor, Nov 25):

It is hardly a major surprise that the US government has finally decreed that illegal Jewish settlements built in defiance of international law are somehow "consistent" with the said law. US foreign policy has been edging closer towards this conclusion for some time.

Continue reading...


* Gideon Levy, "Deport me, too" (Haaretz, Nov 7: archive.today):

If Omar Shakir deserves to be deported, then so do I and others like me. Shakir is being expelled for his views. But his views are my views exactly, even though we've never met. If they are forbidden and dangerous, then everyone who advocates them must be deported. Therefore, it is obligatory to deport everyone who holds those positions that were prohibited Tuesday by the Supreme Court, sitting as the State of Israel's Court of Thought Control... Today it's foreigners, tomorrow it will be Israelis. Because what's the difference? If an opinion is dangerous, it should be forbidden to all. We'll start with foreigners, go on to deporting Arab citizens who support a boycott, and we'll finish off with the leftists. We'll start with those who support sanctions against Israel, continue with those who oppose the occupation and finish with those who dare to criticize Israel...

* Julia Conley, "Israel Expels Human Rights Watch Director for Opposition to Illegal Settlements" (Truthout, Nov 25):

Human Rights Watch on Monday vowed to continue fighting the violation of Palestinians' human rights by the Israeli government as the organization's director for the region was expelled from Israel.

* Juan Cole, "In Expelling Human Rights Watch Director, Israel Joins Burundi, Uzbekistan and Other Authoritarian States" (Informed Comment, Nov 25):

Israel on Sunday expelled the in-country director of Human Rights Watch from the country. Israel thereby joins dictatorships such as Uzbekistan, Burundi, Azerbaijan, and Egypt, which have also expelled HRW human rights workers. Breathless headlines in the US are saying that Israel became the first democracy to do so, but the expulsion is happening because Israel is not actually a democracy. Or, it is a democracy in the same way that Apartheid South Africa was... It is the slow ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians and the settling on their property of Israeli squatters that Tel Aviv did not want Human Rights Watch to observe... Last week the Israeli squatters engaged in an orgy of violence against the indigenous Palestinians, torching autos, olive trees, and other Palestinian property.

Avi Issacharoff, "Eyeing economic benefits, Hamas wants deal with Israel, IDF believes" (The Times of Israel, Dec 1):

Hamas's leadership in the Gaza Strip, under Yahya Sinwar and Ismail Haniyeh, is currently aiming for an arrangement that will ensure calm with Israel, in order to generate economic progress that will improve the situation in the Palestinian territory, Jerusalem believes.

Continue reading...


Lior Sternfeld and Menashe Anzi, "Israel is rewriting the history of Middle Eastern Jews for propaganda" (Haaretz, Dec 2):

In 1928, the Jewish historian Salo W. Baron published his essay on the dangers of writing Jewish history as a "lachrymose" narrative. In Baron's article, called "Ghetto and Emancipation" and published in the Menorah Journal, he explored how a distorted perception of the past and poor understanding of historical context can be misused to advance political goals, which are not necessarily inevitable, despite the way willful parties present them.

Continue reading...


Yardena Schwartz, "The Gun Violence Epidemic Plaguing Arab-Israeli Society" (New York Review of Books, Dec 4):

The problem of gun violence in Israel's Arab communities has become a national emergency. Even before the recent general election, a poll conducted among Arab Israelis found that their most important issue, far above every other, was the gun violence plaguing Arab society... With eighty-six people killed so far, 2019 is already the deadliest on record for Israel's Arab community. According to Yousef Jabareen, a Knesset member (MK) from the Joint List of Arab political parties, Israel's Arabs are in the midst of "a civil war."

Continue reading...


Jerusalem - Al-Quds :

Ahmad Melhem, "Demolition of Palestinians' Jerusalem homes surges" (Al-Monitor, Dec 2):

Fatima Abbasi left her Jerusalem home Nov. 19 to go to work. She was caught off-guard, she told Al-Monitor, when a relative called to tell her municipal workers, escorted by Israeli police, were preparing to demolish the house. By the end of the day, the structure was gone, and she and her four children were homeless... B'Tselem spokesman Kareem Jubran told Al-Monitor the center has been documenting demolitions since 2004. The 2019 demolitions are almost equivalent to total demolitions in recent years. "Israel has demolished 155 homes since the beginning of 2019 until the end of October 2019, including 37 houses whose owners were forced to demolish them with their own hands to avoid paying the costs of the demolition, ranging from 100,000 to 150,000 shekels [$29,000 to $43,300]. The annual average of demolitions in Jerusalem between 2004 and 2018 stood at 54."

Continue reading...


"Putting an End to Police Brutality in Issawiya: Protest at the Russian Compound!" (Gush-Shalom, Dec 7, 12:00):

For almost half a year, the residents of Issawiya have endured daily violence at the hands of the Israeli Police. Large forces of Israel Border Police (Magav) and Special Patrol Unit Police (Yassam) patrol the neighborhood day and night, in an organized, systematic campaign to turn Issawiya into a warzone. In the streets, schools, and stores, the residents, including large numbers of children, are exposed to intense violence, sound grenades, teargas, roadblocks, and hundreds of arbitrary arrests, the vast majority of which end without indictment. Even in their homes, residents are not safe from violent nightly raids.

Continue reading...

Palestine :

Yumna Patel, "Palestinians reel from violent harassment during Jewish celebration in Hebron" (Mondoweiss, Nov 27):

More than a dozen Palestinians, including a baby, were injured over the weekend in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron, when tens of thousands of Jewish pilgrims descended on the city and many became violent. According to local reports, extremist Israelis wreaked havoc on the city, verbally harassing and physically attacking Palestinian residents on their way to mark the occasion of "Chayei Sarah," a portion of Torah reading that discusses the life of Abraham's wife Sarah, who Jews believed is buried in the Ibrahimi Mosque (Tomb of Patriarchs) in Hebron's Old City.

Continue reading...


Maureen Clare Murphy, "Israel has killed nearly 3 Palestinians per week this year" (The Electronic Intifada, 29 Nov):

On Friday, 29 Nov, 16-year-old Fahd al-Astal died after he was shot in the stomach by Israeli occupation forces during protests along the Gaza-Israel boundary. The same day, Raed Rafiq Ahmad al-Sirsawi, 30, died of injuries sustained during Israel's escalation of violence against Gaza on 13 Nov. Their deaths bring to 132 the total number of Palestinians who have died by Israeli fire so far this year. That breaks down to an average of nearly three killed per week. But this figure doesn't include the Palestinians who died in Israel's prisons, including Sami Abu Diyak, who succumbed to cancer in Israeli custody on Tuesday, 26 Nov, amid accusations of years of medical neglect.

Continue reading...


Barbara Bibbo, "Israeli occupation of West Bank costs Palestinians billions: UN" (AlJazeera, Dec 3):

Israel's withholding of taxes and duties due to the occupied Palestinian territories is restricting the growth of the Palestinian economy and worsening an already dire socioeconomic crisis, United Nations sources have said. Palestine lost some $47.7bn in fiscal revenues to Israel between 2000 and 2017 because of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. UN report claims Israel's control of Palestinian fiscal policy not only hurts economy but indirectly reduces job growth.

Continue reading...


"First Person: The other occupation - Zionism" (Palestine Home):

Nabi Saleh activists are not a crowd of bored teenagers making trouble. This is a town with a mission, where village elders have created a life-giving space in spite of the limitations imposed by the Israeli occupation. They have taught their youth to crave liberation - to expect it - and to see themselves not as victims, but as empowered freedom fighters.

Continue reading...


Lode Vanoost, "Ambassadeur Palestina: 'Alleen VS en Israël houden Palestijnse verkiezingen nog tegen'" (LV, 29 nov):

Dhr. Abdalrahim Alfarra, diplomatiek vertegenwoordiger van Palestina in Brussel, gaf aan DeWereldMorgen.be zijn visie over de laatste aanval op de bevolking van Gaza en over de beslissing van de VS om de koloniale nederzettingen niet langer te erkennen als een schending van het internationaal recht.

Continue reading...


Prisoners :

"PHROC Condemns the Death of Palestinian Sick Prisoner Sami Abu Diyak" (Addameer Prisoner Support & Human Rights Ass., Nov 26):

Today on 26 Nov 2019, Palestinian prisoner Sami Abu Diyak died in al-Ramleh Prison Clinic. Abu Diyak was arrested on 17 July 2002, two of his friends were killed during his arrest and another injured. After his arrest, he went through intensive interrogation at the Jalameh interrogation center where he was subjected to various types of physical and psychological torture. After 75 days of this intensive interrogation and torture, the military occupation court sentenced Sami Abu Diyak to three life sentences and 30 years in prison. He has served 17 years, many of them being transferred in and between prisons, clinics, and hospitals... Medical negligence has become a systematic Israeli policy used against Palestinian prisoners which should force international bodies including the ICRC and WHO to pressure towards holding the Israeli occupying authorities accountable to their crimes.

Continue reading...


Yara Hawari, "The Systematic Torture of Palestinians in Israeli Detention" (Al-Shabaka, Nov 28, html; pdf, 7p.: click here!):

Executive Summary: The recent case of Samer Arbeed highlighted once again the systematic use of torture against Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons. Since the establishment of Israel in 1948, the Israeli Security Agency has been torturing Palestinians. Al-Shabaka Senior Palestine Policy Fellow Yara Hawari argues that the use of torture in Israeli detention is systematic and legitimized through domestic law, and outlines steps for the international community to hold Israel to account and bring an end to these violations.

Tamara Nassar, "From citizens to prisoners to heroes" (The Electronic Intifada, 3 Dec):

The house was hard to miss. It stood on a hill in the village of al-Hashimiya in northern Jordan, and was decorated with celebratory triangle flags, fuchsia bougainvillea blossoms and banners reading "Freedom for Abdulrahman Mirie!" Abdulrahman was sitting in his studio, surrounded by dozens of books, bottles of handmade ink and calligraphy artwork, mere days following his release from Israeli jail.

Continue reading...


Refugees :

© BADIL releases: "Papers of the Palestinian Youth Conference - Right of Return: Towards a Practical Approach" (BADIL, 2 Oct 2019):

One of the longest and most protracted cases of refugees and internally displaced people is that of the Palestinians, who have spent more than 70 years (since the Nakba of 1948) fighting for the recognition of their basic human rights, and for these laws to be upheld in accordance with international law.

"Papers" (Sept 2019, 86p., pdf): click here!


# Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS): The International Day of Refugees 2019 (BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, pdf, 4p.):

6 Million Registered Refugees with UNRWA in Palestine and Diaspora. UNRWA records indicated that the number of registered Palestinian refugees in 2018 amounted up to about 6 million and those figures represented the minimum number of Palestinian refugees, where they constitute almost half of the Palestinians in the world (about 13 million). Palestinian refugees in the West Bank who are registered with UNRWA as in 2018 accounted up to 17% of the total refugees registered with UNRWA against 25% in Gaza Strip. At the level of the Arab countries, the percentage of Palestinian refugees registered with UNRWA in Jordan, amounted up to about 39% of the total Palestinian refugees while the percentage of Palestinian refugees registered with UNRWA in Lebanon and Syria reached about 9% and 11% respectively.

Continue reading...

Also: (23 October 2019) BADIL releases: "Survey of Palestinian Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons 2016-2018" (260p.)To download: click here >>>. To get your hard copy, please contact us at: publications@badil.org.

Resources - Reports - Books :

@ Michiel BOT, "The right to boycott: BDS, law, and politics in a global context," in: Transnational Legal Theory, 29 Sept 2019 (26p.): in pdf format (for HTML: see above).

@ "ICC Report 2019 on Palestine" (The Office of the Prosecutor, ICC, via The Palestine Project, Dec 5):

200. The situation in Palestine has been under preliminary examination since 16 January 2015. During the reporting period, the Office continued to receive communications pursuant to article 15 in relation to the situation in Palestine. 201. On 22 May 2018, the Office received a referral from the Government of the State of Palestine regarding the situation in Palestine since 13 June 2014 with no end date.

Continue reading...


@ "Forced Population Transfer: The Case of the Old City of Hebron."
BADIL, August 2016, 100p. ISBN: 978-9950-339-53-8.

Consideration of Israel's policies in Hebron's Old City reveals a system that infiltrates every aspect of daily life for Palestinian residents. Violating international humanitarian and human rights law, a comprehensive Israeli regime creates a coercive environment that triggers forcible transfer of Palestinians living in the Old City. Since the establishment of Israeli colonies in the Old City in the 1970s, Israel has not only added to its range of oppressive policies, but also has, in a number of cases, intensified these policies so severely that the existence of Palestinians in the Old City becomes impossible. Israel restricts many Palestinian rights, including free movement and access to property, while strengthening military protection of