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Belgian Campaign for the Cultural Boycott of Israel

Newsletter N° 33 (July 2018)

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"The day will come when not only Israeli politicians and military officials will be put on trial, but also jurists, military and civilian judges, architects and planners, everyone who enabled and enables the fashioning of this land into a penthouse for Jews and a basement - divided into separate cells - for Palestinians" (Amira Hass,"Israel´s Holocaust Credit Line Is Running Out", Haaretz, July 18).

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"With the disproportionality that is the hallmark of Israeli military strategy, the army has responded to the Great March of Return protests and the new Palestinian tactic of incendiary balloons and kites with massive and deadly force" (Maureen Clare Murphy, "Israel launches major assault on Gaza", The Electronic Intifada, 20 July).
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Contents:

Action(s) and Calls -- Gaza Massacre -- Analysis -- Arts & Culture -- Boycott -- Current Affairs -- Events -- Resources -- Videos

Actions & Calls:

UPJB, Cdp: "Israël n'est pas notre État" (20 juillet):

Le parlement israélien vient de décréter qu' " Israël est l'État-nation du peuple juif dans lequel il réalise son droit naturel, culturel, historique et religieux à l'autodétermination ". Juifs, nous le sommes. Pourtant, cet État n'est pas le nôtre. Selon toutes les normes démocratiques, il doit appartenir à ses habitants, donc y compris à sa minorité arabe.


"Freedom Flotilla arrives in Palermo, Sicily" (Freedom Flotilla, July 16):

All four Freedom Flotilla boats arrive today in Palermo. Al Awda (The Return), Freedom, Mairead and Falestine are reunited as of Monday July 16, after more than two months sailing from Scandinavia to Sicily. They have travelled over 4000 nautical miles and visited over 15 European ports.


"Lettre conjointe d'organisations de la société civile demandant la levée immédiate du blocus de Gaza" (Plateforme Palestine, 12 juillet):

EuroMed Droits et 22 organisations de défense des droits humains et de développement internationales, européennes, israéliennes et palestiniennes ont envoyé hier une lettre conjointe pour que l'Union européenne exhorte Israël à lever immédiatement et sans condition la fermeture et le blocus de la Bande de Gaza.


"Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on latest developments regarding the Palestinian community of Khan al-Ahmar " (EEAS, July 18):

The developments in the Palestinian community of Khan al-Ahmar (Abu al Helu) in the occupied West Bank continue to have our full attention.


"Take Action to Support Palestinian Human Rights - Don't Buy Hewlett Packard (HP)" (CPT International, July 13):

In solidarity with Palestinians, Christian Peacemaker Teams International is calling for a mass social media action starting today. HP supplies the Israeli military with products that violate the human rights of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.


Gaza Massacre:

Tine Danckaers, "15.000 gewonden in Gaza sinds 15 maart. Wat zegt dat over de situatie in Palestina?" (MO*, 18 juli):

De vrijdagmanifestaties die op 30 maart in Gaza begonnen, zijn nooit gestopt. Terwijl de internationale aandacht wel stopte, blijven de ziekenhuizen in Gaza op crisismodus draaien. MO* sprak met Bruno Leclercq, missiehoofd voor Handicap International in de Palestijnse Gebieden.


B'Tselem: "Israeli soldiers deliberately and fatally shot Palestinian paramedic Rozan a-Najar in the Gaza Strip" (July 17):

When people were called on to come to the Return Marches on the Gaza Strip border, Rozan was among the first to go help because she believed in humanitarian work. She was motivated by believing the march to be safe and that she would be safe as a member of a medical crew.


"À Gaza, une équipe de football fait la fierté de Palestiniens amputés" (metro, 15 juillet):

Au coup de sifflet, crampons au pied et maillots orange fluo, les joueurs s'élancent sur le terrain en gazon artificiel de Deir el-Balah, dans le centre de la bande de Gaza, appuyés sur leurs béquilles en métal.


"11 Years of Blockade: How Despair Has Made Gaza Unlivable" (Valerie Carmel, telesur, July 18):

In 2012 the UN published a report claiming the Gaza Strip would be unliveable by the year 2020. 5 years later, after the summer 2014 full-on Israeli military assault, the UN published another report arguing Gaza had reached the point of un-liveability citing deteriorating infrastructure, alarming economic indicators and worsening social services.The most devastating effect of Israel´s crimes is a generation of isolated men and women who can find no hope in the future.


"À Gaza, c'est l'avenir des Palestiniens qui s'invente - Un entretien exclusif avec Leïla Shahid" (Nada Yafi, Orientxxi, 17 juillet):

C'est une conversation à cœur ouvert qu'Orient XXI a eue avec Leïla Shahid, ex-ambassadrice de la Palestine à Paris et à Bruxelles auprès de l'Union européenne. Elle y aborde sans langue de bois et sans tabous l'intifada pacifique de Gaza, le processus d'Oslo, la colonisation de la " Jérusalem métropolitaine ", l'affaiblissement de l'establishment palestinien et le péril que représente l'infléchissement des positions arabes. Elle replace le conflit avec Israël dans le temps long et rappelle avec force que la question des réfugiés demeure centrale.


Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man, "The Gaza siege isn't about security. It's collective punishment, pure and simple" (+972, July 10):

Israel shut down Gaza's ability to conduct trade because of flaming balloons and kites that Palestinians have been floating over the border. There is no security justification, just collective punishment. Israeli authorities often claim that the siege on Gaza is about security.


Analysis & Comments:

Jeremy Salt: "The Moral Decadence of Zionism" (Palestinian Information Center, July 11):

We have watched this for seven decades. Seven decades of unremitting, remorseless, violence. A poisonous ideology gives rise to a state, poisonous at its roots, the people poisoned by the state, indoctrinated, taught to hate and taught to kill without compunction, without conscience.


Edo Konrad: "Israel's Nation-State Law: 'Apartheid is a process'" (+972, July 19):

With the passage of the 'Jewish Nation-State Law,' Israel has constitutionally enshrined discrimination against its Palestinian population. 'We don't have to keep looking for policies that resemble Jim Crow,' says Attorney Fady Khoury. The Knesset passed the "Jewish Nation-State Law" in the early hours of Thursday morning, defining Israel as the exclusive nation-state of the Jewish people and demoting the official status of Arabic.


Johan Depoortere, "Israëlische wetgeving giet apartheid in beton" (Salon van Sisyphus, 18 juli):

"Israël, de enige democratie in het Midden-Oosten," het is een refrein dat de propaganda van de zionistische staat niet aflaat erin te hameren. De werkelijkheid ziet er anders uit. De Palestijnse minderheid in het land (20% van de bevolking) heeft weliswaar stemrecht en is vertegenwoordigd in de Knesset, het Israëlische parlement, maar wordt op allerhande wettelijke en semi-wettelijke manieren van reële invloed - laat staan macht - afgehouden.


Oliver Holmes & Hazem Balousha: "EU leads criticism after Israel passes Jewish 'nation state' law" (The Guardian, July 19):

The EU has led a chorus of criticism after Israel passed a controversial law declaring that only Jews have the right of self-determination in the country. Adding that the legislation would complicate a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the EU joined Israeli Arab political leaders, Israeli opposition politicians and liberal Jewish groups in the US in flagging up concern, with some saying the law amounted to "apartheid".


Chemi Shalev: "Planted by Netanyahu and Co., nation-state law is a time bomb exploding in Israel's face" (Haaretz, July 21):

Even die-hard American Jews were forced to admit this week that something is rotten in their favorite Jewish state. Many Jewish organizations, including those who normally refrain from criticizing, lambasted the nation-state law as discriminatory. For the many more who stayed silent, the new law is like a poisoned dagger to the heart.


Daniel Barenboim, "Today, I am ashamed to be an Israeli" (Haaretz, July 22):

The founding fathers of the State of Israel who signed the Declaration [of Indemendence of the State of Israel] considered the principle of equality as the bedrock of the society they were building. They also committed themselves, and us, "to pursue peace and good relations with all neighboring states and people." 70 years later, the Israeli government has just passed a new law that replaces the principle of equality and universal values with nationalism and racism.


"Netanyahu forms alliances to block European support for Palestine" (Middle East Monitor, July 9):

Benjamin Netanyahu is working to get closer to countries in Central and Eastern Europe. In so doing the Israeli prime minister is seeking to form a pro-Israel alternative to the EU, which includes countries that traditionally supported Israel but criticized its settlement policy in Palestinian occupied territories.


Yossi Beilin: "Does Israel really need to be in a state of emergency?" (Al-Monitor, July 18):

While Israel still faces numerous threats and is still involved in conflicts and violence, no one can reasonably justify a situation that has allowed for the most draconian laws for the past 70 years and makes it possible to strip any citizen of his rights at any given moment.


Arts & Culture:

"PEN International talks to Palestinian poet, Dareen Tatour" (PEN International, July 2):

Dareen Tatour, a Palestinian poet and citizen of Israel who has spent more than two years in jail or under house arrest since October 2015. Tatour was convicted by an Israeli court on 3 May 2018 on charges of incitement to violence and support for terror organizations.


"Gaza artist takes on Trump" (Fidaa Shurrab, The Electronic Intifada, 2 July):

How can an artist capture the anger of a people when the most powerful politician in the world tries to discard their rights? Mahmoud al-Moqayad may have succeeded in doing just that. After Donald Trump delivered a grave insult to Palestinians by announcing that the US was recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, Mahmoud responded with a remarkable painting.


Rekto:Verso:  "De tijd die we kwijt zijn: de Palestijnse ervaring van Rimah Jabr" (Chris Keulemans, 18 juli):

Tegen de achtergrond van toenemend geweld in de Gazastrook, waarbij de jongste maanden al 130 doden en 150.000 gewonden vielen onder Israëlische machtsontpooiing, speelt straks op Theater Aan Zee Infini #5, een even majestueuze als benauwende theatrale installatie met input van de schrijfster Rimah Jabr.


Boycott:

"Socialist International of 140 Global Political Parties Adopts BDS, Calls for Military Embargo on Israel" (BDS, July 5):

The Council of the Socialist International (SI) has called for BDS for Palestinian rights at their meeting in Geneva on June 26-27. SI also called for a "total embargo on all forms of military trade and cooperation with Israel." This is the most significant call for sanctions against Israel to date.


"Global Jewish Organizations Affirm the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement" (Jewish Voice for Peace, July 17):

It is more important than ever to distinguish between the hostility to or prejudice against Jews on the one hand and legitimate critiques of Israeli policies and system of injustice on the other.

"Nous joignant à de multiples organismes internationaux de lutte pour la justice sociale, nous dénonçons la prise pour cible systématique des organisations qui défendent les droits des Palestiniens et particulièrement le mouvement non violent de Boycott, Désinvestissement et Sanctions (BDS)...".

"Wij zijn Joodse organisaties van over de hele wereld die strijden voor sociale rechtvaardigheid. Wij schrijven deze brief uit groeiende bezorgdheid over hoe organisaties die opkomen voor Palestijnse rechten en die de BDS-beweging steunen, worden aangevallen...".


Edo Konrad: "Irish senate passes sanctions on Israeli settlements" (+972, July 11):

The law, which still needs to go through the lower house and be signed by the president, would criminalize the import and sale of goods and services that originate in settlements in occupied territories, targeting Israeli settlements but also other occupations worldwide. The vote had been shelved earlier this year after objections by Israel.


"Palestinians pin hopes on Irish efforts against Israeli imports" (Ahmad Melhem, Al-Monitor, 18 July):

In a first-of-its-kind move in Europe, the Irish Senate has passed a bill designed to block imports of goods made in Israeli settlements located in the Palestinian territories. Though the bill has a long way to go before it can reach the president's desk, Palestinians say they will use this success as a springboard to campaign in other countries.


"À Avignon, le message de soutien d'un chorégraphe israélien à Gaza" (Actualités Orange, 20 juillet):

Le chorégraphe israélien Emanuel Gat a créé la surprise jeudi soir en projetant des messages sur la situation humanitaire catastrophique dans la bande de Gaza, dans le cadre de son nouveau spectacle au Festival d'Avignon.


"Steun voor database van bedrijven die zaken doen in/met Israëlische nederzettingen in bezette gebieden" (Stichting Onderzoek Multinationale Ondernemingen, 10 nov 2017):

SOMO heeft in samenwerking met andere maatschappelijke organisaties twee statements verzonden naar de Hoge Commissaris voor de Mensenrechten van de Verenigde Naties, waarin zij hun steun uitspreken voor de publicatie van de database van alle bedrijven die betrokken zijn bij business activiteiten in Israëlische nederzettingen.


"50 New Yorkers Protest Batsheva Dance Company for Whitewashing Israel's Repression" (Adalah-NY, July 11):

July 10, 2018: Fifty human rights advocates held a vibrant, musical protest on the sidewalk just outside New York's Joyce Theater to oppose the opening night performance by the Batsheva Dance Company, a leader in helping the Israeli government to whitewash its violent repression of the Palestinian people (view photos).


Ali Abunimah: "Israël craint la révélation de ses coups tordus contre BDS" (Pour la Palestine, 6 juillet):

Prenant la parole lors d'une conférence soutenue par le gouvernement israélien, aux États-Unis, un propagandiste pro-israélien parmi les plus actifs, qui appartient au parti Républicain, a présenté des slides destinées à expliquer à son auditoire quelques "trucs et ficelles" pour qu'ils adoptent le discours supposé, selon lui, le plus efficace pour combattre la campagne Boycott,...


Current Affairs:

"The first half of 2018 was lethal for Palestinian children" (DCI-P, July 19):

Among the 25 children killed across the OPT between January 1 and June 30, Israeli forces shot 21 with live ammunition, including 2 who were also struck by artillery shells. Of those killed by live ammunition, 13 children were shot in the head, neck, or chest, according to Defense for Children International - Palestine. All but four of the children were killed in the Gaza Strip and 18 of the incidents took place in the context of "March of Return" protests that began on March 30.


"Fishing for Justice: A Fact Sheet About Fishing in the Gaza Strip" (Grassroots International):

Imagine fishers heading out to sea on a beautiful day, ready for a hard day of work to support their families. They might face challenges - a poor catch, storms, not enough buyers - but ordinarily their job is fairly straightforward. Now imagine these fishers being shot at - routinely - when they go fishing. Fact Sheet (pdf): click here.


Amnesty International: "La destruction illégale d'un village bédouin palestinien et le transfert forcé de ses habitants constituent un crime de guerre" (AI, 1 juin):

Les autorités israéliennes doivent immédiatement annuler le projet de destruction du village bédouin palestinien de Khan al Ahmar et d'expulsion forcée des personnes qui y vivent, a déclaré Amnesty International.


Edo Konrad: "The demolition of Khan al-Ahmar is more than just a war crime" (+972, July 9):

While the imminent destruction of Khan al-Ahmar is an utmost humanitarian concern and quite possibly a war crime, many are overlooking the strategic importance of this tiny hamlet for the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


"Israel passes Facebook Bill which will authorise deleting content considered incitement" (Middle East Monitor, July 17):

The Knesset has passed the first reading of what is called the Facebook Bill which stipulates deleting content from social media. According to the statement the law is to include the content of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other internet platforms. It would also include search engines like google.


"Anger after Israel shuts down Palestinian universities in East Jerusalem" (The New Arab, July 15):

Anger has spurred over Israel shutting down two education facilities in occupied East Jerusalem, as Israeli plans to annex the territory continue. Israel closed down Hind al-Husseini College and Al-Quds University's College of Art - both of which are located in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood - after banning an academic conference taking place and detaining 15 participants.


"La France main dans la main avec l'armée israélienne ?" (Ass. France Palestine Solidarité, 9 juillet):

Que signifie aujourd'hui " une attaque commune " avec cette marine de guerre qui sème la terreur de façon récurrente à Gaza en y attaquant les pêcheurs ? Qu'est-il donc arrivé à la France à l'heure où Israël, encouragé par Trump, vise ouvertement l'Iran et risque de mettre toute la région à feu et à sang ?


"Combien de Français servent dans l'armée israélienne ?" (Fabien Lebouq, Libération, 19 juillet):

Les personnes de nationalité française représenteraient au moins 2% des effectifs totaux de Tsahal. C'est la deuxième nationalité étrangère la plus représentée.


Events:

® "MANIFIESTA 8/9 Sept, 2018, Bredene-a-zee":

Op 8 en 9 september vindt in Bredene de 9de editie van het solidairste feest van het land plaats. Op het programma: concerten, debatten, een kinderdorp, film, theater, boekenbeurs ... en vooral: genoeg energie om de wereld te veranderen.

® "État Commun": zaterdag, Meltemi, 13u: documentaire - 123 min. - Arabe/Hébreu - Français
Regie: Eyal Sivan.
20 jaar na de Oslo-akkoorden is de "Tweestatenoplossing" in Palestina en Israël in een impasse beland. Het revolutionaire concept van 'État commun' bestaat erin dat de piste van het opdelen van het land wordt verlaten en ingeruild voor de piste van het delen van het land.

® "De rol van cultuur in de strijd voor mensenrechten in Palestina:" zaterdag, Auditorium, 17u: Conferentie met: Omar Barghouti, Eyal Sivan, Kristien Hemmerechts & Julie Steendam.
Steeds meer artiesten steunen de oproep van het Palestijnse middenveld door te weigeren in Israël en op door Israël gesponsorde activiteiten te spelen. Hiermee protesteren ze tegen de jarenlange schendingen van de Palestijnse rechten. We bespreken met Palestijnse, Israëlische en Belgische artiesten of dit een ethische en effectieve aanpak is.


Publications, Reports & Resources:

© Ben White, "Cracks in the Wall. Beyond Apartheid in Palestine/Israel". Pluto Press, May 2018, pb, ISBN: 9780745337616; 224p., £ 9.99.

The bloodshed in Gaza on Nakba day 2018, the centenary celebration of Israel’s "colonial arrogance", Trump´s dalliance with Netanyahu and the successes of the BDS campaign are converging on one point and working to erode the pro-Israel consensus. But what could this mean for Palestinians living under Israel´s apartheid regime? Ben White´s latest book is a sharp analysis of the widening cracks in Israel´s traditional pillars of support.


© Report HRW: "Ripe for Abuse | Palestinian Child Labor in Israeli Agricultural Settlements in the West Bank" (Human Rights Watch, April 13, 2015):

This 74-page report documents that children as young as 11 work on some settlement farms, often in high temperatures. The children carry heavy loads, are exposed to hazardous pesticides, and in some cases have to pay themselves for medical treatment for work-related injuries or illness.


@"TWO STATES, ONE HOMELAND. AN OPEN LAND FOR ALL"

Palestine/the Land of Israel is one historic and geographic unit, stretching from the Jordan River to the sea. Two nations live here in this land, and both want to live peacefully and safely. Solutions entailing separation have failed. We consider ourselves one shared movement, divided into two separate branches - one Israeli and one Palestinian - both jointly and separately.


Videos:

Reportage de RTBF en Cisjordanie:  "Pourquoi il faut boycotter Israël & des entreprises comme Mehadrin, Carmel, Aahava":
https://www.facebook.com/Mermez.DZA/videos/484881991925749/

# "MC GAZA - BOYCOTT - Dedicated to BDS and the State of Ireland": https://www.facebook.com/mcgaza/videos/1985668508133637/

# Oproep van Linda Sarsour: "Stand up for Palestine! ":
https://www.facebook.com/NowThisOpinions/videos/2157833234248155/

# "BDS has become an 'existential threat' to the Israeli government (teleSUR)": https://www.facebook.com/telesurenglish/videos/192134964813735/

# "Great March of Return: Dreaming of Freedom" (IMEU):
https://www.facebook.com/theIMEU/videos/2338577749492460/

The Great March of Return began as Ahmed Abu Artema´s dream - a dream to "fly free like birds" over Israel´s militarized fence encaging Gaza.

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"MC GAZA - BOYCOTT" - Dedicated to BDS and the State of Ireland.

"État Commun", sionisme et privilège racial : Entretien avec Eyal Sivan.

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Belgian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel

Coordinating Committee: Em.Prof. Marie-Christine Closon (UCL), Prof. Patrick Deboosere (VUB), Dr. Pascal Debruyne (UGent), Prof. Lieven De Cauter (KULeuven), Em.Prof. Herman De Ley (UGent), Lieve Franssen (director Brussels Brecht-Eislerkoor), Carl Gydé (director CAMPO), Prof. Perrine Humblet (ULB), Prof. Marc Jacquemain (ULiège), Em.Prof. Madeline Lutjeharms (VUB), Raven Ruëll (metteur en scène), Em.Prof. Christiane Schomblond (ULB), Dr. Nozomi Takahashi (UGent), Prof. Karin Verelst (VUB).

https://www.bacbi.be

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