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Belgian Campaign for the Cultural Boycott of Israel

Newsletter N°34 (August 2018)

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"The 1948 Genocide Convention clearly states that one instance of genocide is "the deliberate infliction of conditions of life calculated to bring about the physical destruction of a people in whole or in part." No matter whether this happens at a fast rate, or in "slow motion." That is what has been done to Gaza since the imposition of the blockade by Israel, and the subsequent massacres which led to the death of more than 4.000 Palestinians in three successive genocidal wars" (Haidar Eid, "Israel's policies in Gaza are genocidal", August 3).

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Al-Anqaa (The Phoenix), the Palestinian band, plays in the ruins of the Cultural Centre 'al-Meshal Foundation' in the Gaza Strip (video by Wesam Almadani). On Thursday, 9 August, the center had been completely destroyed by a series of air strikes by Israeli warplanes. "Israel's message is clear. Destroying such a prominent cultural building in Gaza has only one meaning: that its war is not only against armed factions and Palestinians but also against anything that has to do with the Palestinian identity," said Eid Musabbeh, 28, manager of the 110 members band.
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Contents:

Actions and Calls -- Gaza -- Analysis -- Arts, Culture & Education -- Boycott -- Current Affairs -- Events -- Resources -- Videos

Actions & Calls:

" Un artiste belge emprisonné en Israël : libérons Mustapha ! Belgische artiest gevangen in Israël: vrijheid voor Mustapha!" (Cdp/pb 17/8, Facebook, FR-EN-NL, "Raj'een dabkeh groupe", Comité " Free Mustapha " & Samidoun):

Nous sommes très inquiets à propos du sort de notre ami Mustapha Awad, un jeune artiste et travailleur belge d'origine palestinienne. Mustapha a été arrêté en date du 19 juillet 2018 par les autorités israéliennes. / We zijn zeer bezorgd over het lot van onze vriend Mustapha Awad, een jonge artiest en Belgische arbeider van Palestijnse afkomst. Op 19 juli werd Mustapha gearresteerd door de Israëlische autoriteiten. Er zijn ernstige redenen om te vrezen dat hij tijdens zijn gevangenschap wordt gemarteld en onderworpen aan een wrede, onmenselijke en mensonterende behandeling. Il y a des raisons sérieuses de craindre qu' il ne soit victime de tortures et de traitements inhumains et dégradants durant sa détention.

Signez svp la déclaration / Onderteken aub de oproep / Sign statement Free Mustapha (Google form).

Statement: "Stop the Ongoing Nakba - Defend Khan al-Ahmar!" (Samidoun, Aug 15):

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network is one of over 80 organizations to sign on to this statement in support of the Palestinian struggle against the scheduled demolition of the village of Khan al-Ahmar by the Zionist occupation. The statement was coordinated and issued by the Palestinian Youth Movement.


Write a Letter in Support of Dareen Tatour! (PEN America):

Use the goggle form to submit your letter, which we will then send to Dareen on your behalf. Only your first name and country will be shared on the letter.


"UNRWA Schools to Start on Time" (UNRWA, Aug 16):

At an extraordinary session of the UNRWA Advisory Commission, in Amman today, UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl announced that the school-year for 526,000 Palestine refugee girls and boys will open on time in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.


"Wadi Fukin Soemoed fonds kickstarter!" (via donorbox):

Wij hebben jouw hulp nodig voor de opstart van een nieuw project! Palestina Solidariteit vzw richt in samenwerking met de Palestijnse organisatie Dalia een 'soemoed fonds' (*standvastigheid) op ter ondersteuning van de boeren en boerinnen van het bedreigde dorpje Wadi Fukin (dichtbij Bethlehem), zie foto (met Joodse kolonie op de achtergrond). Zij zullen zelf instaan voor het beheer van het fonds. Draag jij vandaag jouw centje bij?


Wadi Fukin is een voorbeeld van de Nakba die vandaag nog steeds doorgaat en van de standvastigheid van de plaatselijke bevolking. Het dorpje is bovendien het geboortedorp van Numan Othman, één van de oprichters van Palestina Solidariteit vzw, die ons dit jaar onverwachts is ontvallen.
Dalia verkreeg 5.000 euro steun van de stad Brussel voor het project in Wadi Fukin. Palestina Solidariteit wil dat bedrag verdubbelen. Daarom zoeken we 100 mensen die 50 euro of meer willen schenken aan het fonds voor Wadi Fukin.

Of via overschrijving kan ook: IBAN: BE64 5230 8014 8852, BIC: TRIOBEBB, Op naam van: Palestina Solidariteit vzw, Adres: Ectorsstraat 19, 3400 Landen. Met vermelding van: "project Wadi Fukin".

"The political program of the Campaign for One Democratic State in Historic Palestine" (Mondoweiss, Aug 15):

Editor's Note: On August 6, we published a story by Yoav Haifawi outlining the work and political perspectives of the One Democratic State Campaign, a new initiative seeking to revive the idea of a single democratic state in all of historic Palestine. Below is the first English translation of the campaign's political program.The current program was discussed over many meetings in which dozens of supporters took active part.


Gaza's "Incremental Genocide":

Maureen Clare Murphy: "Israel kills [a third] medic during Gaza protests" (The Electronic Intifada, Aug 10):

Two Palestinians lost their lives on Friday as Israel used lethal force against Great March of Return protests along Gaza's eastern perimeter. One of those killed, Abdallah al-Qatati, 22, was a volunteer medic on duty at the time of his fatal injury in eastern Rafah, southern Gaza.


Haidar Eid: "Israel's policies in Gaza are genocidal" (Mondoweiss, Aug 3):

The practice of willful killing of civilian protesters at the Gaza fence is part and parcel of an ongoing Israeli policy targeting the civilian Palestinians of the Gaza strip and systematically denying them their rights to movement, work, medical care, study, livelihood and increasingly life itself. [Haidar Eid is Associate Professor of Postcolonial and Postmodern Literature at Gaza's al-Aqsa University].


Kieran Cooke, " 'J'ai l'impression de vivre dans une fosse septique ' : l'effondrement environnemental de Gaza" (AURDIP, 14 août):

Le 14 juillet dernier, des avions israéliens ont bombardé des zones de la bande de Gaza lors de ce qui a constitué la plus grave série de frappes sur le territoire assiégé depuis 2014. Au moins deux Palestiniens ont été tués et plusieurs autres blessés. Non seulement la bande de Gaza fait face à de nouvelles tueries, mais elle est également confrontée à une véritable catastrophe écologique, alors que davantage de bâtiments et d’infrastructures sont détruits.


Amira Hass: "Palestinian protesters in Gaza: 'Don't wound us - kill us'" (Haaretz, Aug 13):

How many of the young people protesting at the Gaza border fence hoped the soldiers facing them would pull the trigger and end their lives? Unfortunately, many.


"'Well-being of two million' in Gaza at stake as emergency fuel runs dry: UN humanitarian coordinator" (UN News, Aug 8):

"Restricting the entry of emergency fuel to Gaza is a dangerous practice, with grave consequences on the rights of people in Gaza," Jamie McGoldrick, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Palestine said in a statement. "The well-being of 2 million people, half of whom are children, is at stake."


Al Mezan Center For Human Rights: "Zero Stock Medicine in Gaza Threatens Cancer Patients' Lives" (press release Aug 14):

On Sunday, 12 August 2018, the Ministry of Health in Gaza announced that chemotherapy would no longer be available to cancer patients in the Gaza Strip due to lack of supplies coming from the Palestinian Authority. According to health officials, the supply of medicines vital for administering chemotherapy has been irregular for the past 18 months.


"Water Works in Gaza Destroyed" (If Americans Knew Blog, Aug 11):

Overnight on August 8-9, Israeli warplanes bombed the Water and Sanitation system of al-Mughraqa City, central Gaza Strip. There are several possible explanations for this heinous act: 1) Someone accidentally hit this site - multiple times. 2) This site was targeted on purpose, with full knowledge that Gazans have almost zero access to clean water and are slowly dying - and this will cruelly speed up their death.


Analysis & Comments:

David Palumbo-Liu: "Ahed Tamimi Is Free, but 350 Palestinian Children Remain in Jails" (truthout, August 3):

On July 29, 17-year-old Palestinian Ahed Tamimi was released from an Israeli prison. Her mother Nariman, who was present when Tamimi slapped an Israel Defense Force soldier in the face and who filmed the incident, was also released.


"Israël adopte une loi sur l'"État-nation" consacrant la suprématie juive" (Pour la Palestine, 21 juillet):

Le Parlement d'Israël a adopté ce jeudi (19/7) une loi définissant le pays comme " l'État-nation du peuple juif ", une loi accordant aux juifs la suprématie sur tous les citoyens israéliens non juifs, ce que les critiques et les membres de la minorité palestinienne de l’État ont qualifié de " raciste ", assimilant cette loi à l’apartheid.


Hassan Jabareen: "Jewish Nation State Law": Q&A with Adalah's Hassan Jabareen (Palestine Square, July 26):

In an interview Adalah's General Director, Attorney Hassan Jabareen offers a probing analysis of the "Basic Law: The Jewish Nation-State," which, he argues, calls for a shift in how one conceptualizes the Israeli regime on both sides of the Green Line.


"'Abolish this sin': Amoz Oz, David Grossman and hundreds of Israeli intellectuals slam nation-state law" (Jonathan Lis, Jack Khoury, Chaim Levinson and Bar Peleg, Haaretz, July 29):

"The nation-state law, according to which the State of Israel is the national state of the Jews only, expressly permits racial and religious discrimination, nullifies Arabic as an official language alongside Hebrew, does not mention democracy as the foundation of the country and does not mention equality as a basic value."


Jonathan Cook: "Israel's 'loyal' Druze move into open revolt" (JC, Aug 15):

Israel's small Druze community, long seen as "loyal" to the state, is on a collision course with the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu over a new law guaranteeing superior citizenship rights for Jews, according to analysts.


Lubna Masarwa: "Palestinian citizens of Israel protest in Tel Aviv against nation-state law" (Middle East Eye, Aug 11):

Tens of thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel led a march through the centre of Tel Aviv on Saturday night protesting against a law passed last month that downgrades the rights of non-Jewish citizens and decrees that Jews - domestic and foreign - have exclusive national rights.


Entsar Abu Jahal: "EU condemns Israel's new nationality law" (Al-Monitor, July 27):

The EU is concerned by Israel's new law defining a Jewish nation-state, protesting that it is discriminatory and will hinder a two-state solution.


Dominique Vidal: "En Israël, les trois dimensions d'une dérive fascisante" (orient xxi, juillet 10):

Les dérives autoritaires et fascisantes de l'État d'Israël sont largement sous-estimées par les médias et les responsables politiques européens. Pourtant, elle sont réelles et porteuses de dangers pour tout le Proche-Orient. Beaucoup de lecteurs du Monde auront été surpris de découvrir, sous la plume de l'historien Zeev Sternhell, spécialiste éminent du fascisme, une comparaison entre l'Israël d'aujourd'hui et l'Allemagne des débuts du nazisme.


Ebe Daems: "Palestijnse gezinnen uit elkaar gerukt om joodse meerderheid in Israël te behouden" (MO*, 18 juni):

Palestijnen denken beter twee keer na voor ze trouwen, want veel stellen kunnen niet samen zijn omdat de partners verschillende identiteitsbewijzen hebben. Hoewel de Palestijnen één volk zijn, hebben ze op een oppervlakte kleiner dan België vier mogelijke IDs. Israëls verdeel-en-heersbeleid reikt tot in de slaapkamer.


Al-Shabaka: "Allying Against Iran: Repercussions for Palestine" (Aug 14):

Trump's administration and Israel are pressuring Palestinians to accept a disastrous deal in part to cement closer relations with Gulf states against Iran. Al-Shabaka's Diana Buttu, Osamah Khalil, and Mouin Rabbani examine how US actions work to the detriment of Palestinians, the repercussions of these developments on Hamas-Iran relations, and what Palestinians can do in response.


Ilan Pappé: "Finding the truth amid Israel's lies" (The Electronic Intifada, 30 May):

Great sadness and suffering flooded the roads - convoy upon convoy of refugees making their way [to the Lebanese border]. They leave the villages of their homeland and the homeland of their ancestors and move to an alien, unknown new land, full of troubles.


Jonathan Cook, "The Crisis in Corbyn's Labour Party is Over Israel, Not Anti-Semitism" (CounterPunch, Aug 9):

If there is an anti-semitism problem in the UK's Labour party, it is not in the places where the British corporate media have been directing our attention. What can be said with even more certainty is that there is rampant hatred expressed towards Jews in the same British media that is currently decrying the supposed anti-semitism of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.


Arts, Culture & Education:

"'Art is a form of resistance': Israeli air strikes destroy Gaza cultural centre" (Maha Hussaini, Middle East Eye, Aug 10):

On Thursday, a series of Israeli air strikes completely destroyed the al-Meshal Foundation in the Gaza Strip. The 5-floor building held a theatre, a library, offices for cultural associations, and hosted an office for Gaza's Egyptian community.


Amjad Yaghi, "With their cultural center bombed, Gaza's artists are now picking up the pieces" (+972, Aug 14):

For the past 15 years, famed Gaza director Ali Abu Yassin has headed dozens of theater productions at Al-Meshal Cultural Center. Among them were classics such as Anton Chekov's "The Bear," while others focused on children's rights, women's rights, and the right to education.


"Aftermath of Israeli Strikes Proves Israel Is Targeting History, Culture"   (IMEMC, July 16):

Gaza City's Arts and Crafts Village is struggling for survival after parts of it were destroyed by Israeli airstrikes  last month. Founded by Yasser Arafat, in 1998, with funding from the UNDP, the Village is a Center that helps to maintain and preserve Palestinian heritage by supporting artists and their art through various projects and exhibitions. Emad Siyam, general-director of the Cultural Affairs at Gaza City Council, said the Israeli strikes caused excessive damage to the Village, and he described the bombings as a "deliberate and barbaric assault against Palestinian heritage and history."


"Israeli Arab poet Dareen Tatour gets five-month sentence for incitement on social media" (Noa Shpigel, Haaretz, July 31):

Tatour, an Israeli citizen, was convicted in May of "incitement to violence and supporting terrorist organizations", based on her social media posts. Following the sentencing, Tatour said she was not surprised.


"Palestinian writer Lama Khater seized from home, subjected to harsh interrogation" (Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, July 26):

Lama Khater was arrested by Israeli occupation forces in the early morning hours of 24 July 2018, her family capturing images of her as she hugged her young child before she was taken away by the soldiers who invaded their family home in occupied al-Khalil.


"Israel army raids Palestinian school in West Bank" (Middle East Monitor, Aug 14):

Israeli Occupation Forces yesterday raided a Palestinian school in Al-Khader neighbourhood in the occupied city of Bethlehem. Coordinator of the Popular Resistance Committees Ahmed Salah told Anadolu that the IOF raided Said Bin Al-As School while students were sitting exams, and detained teachers and students.


Nora Barrows-Friedman: "Israel forces teachers to leave Palestine" (EI, 26 July):

Israel has completely shut down a Palestinian university in Jerusalem amid a series of assaults on academic freedom. On 14 July, Israeli police raided and shut down the Hind al-Husseini college in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, prohibited an academic conference from taking place and detained 15 participants of the conference.


The Right Forum: "Palestijnse studenten beschuldigen Palestijnse Autoriteit van onderdrukking" (14 augustus):

In een rapport levert het in Londen gevestigde Palestinian Students Forum (PSF) forse kritiek op de Palestijnse Autoriteit (PA), die een beperkt deel van de Westelijke Jordaanoever bestuurt. Studenten aan universiteiten op de Westoever lopen het risico door de PA opgepakt en langere tijd vastgehouden te worden wanneer zij zich kritisch uitlaten.


"Will a new wave of Israeli legislation diminish internet freedoms?" (7amleh, Aug 14):

This most recent policy brief from 7amleh the Arab Center for Social Media is focused on the dramatic upsurge in the number of laws being put forth by Israeli legislators that violate the right to privacy, freedom of expression and often exhibit racist and discriminatory features.


Lawrence Davidson, "Israeli food theft as a form of genocide of Palestinian culture" (Redress Information & Analysis, Aug 8):

In 2012 I wrote a short book entitled "Cultural Genocide". It looked at four case studies of this phenomenon: the American Indians, Russian treatment of Jews in the 19th c., Chinese assimilation of Tibet and Israel's ongoing treatment of the Palestinians.


Boycott:

"Top 70 Moments of Solidarity & BDS for Palestine in 2018" (BDS Movement, Aug 8):

Here's a short-list of moments in 2018 demonstrating growing recognition of Israel's crimes against the Palestinian people and inspiring efforts around the world to hold Israel accountable for its gross violations of human rights. Support for Palestinian rights has grown in parliaments, city councils, universities, trade unions, cultural institutions, among artists and bands, and well beyond.

Like our work? Help us do more. DONATE svp!


"Win: Marc Almond has cancelled!" 

The "Marc Almond, Don't Entertain Apartheid Israel" petition (change.org) got 586 supporters. Marc Almond, the English singer-songwriter and musician, cited a breach by the Israeli promoter as the reason he cancelled his Aug 2018 show in Israel.


Nathan Thrall: "BDS: how a controversial non-violent movement has transformed the Israeli-Palestinian debate" (Guardian, The Long Read, Aug 14):

The movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel - known as BDS - has been driving the world a little bit mad. Since its founding 13 years ago, it has acquired nearly as many enemies as the Israelis and Palestinians combined.


(US) "A New Wave Of Hardline Anti-BDS Tactics Are Targeting Students, And No One Knows Who's Behind It" (Josh Nathan-Kazis, The Forward, Aug 2):

This is the first story in a series on covert tactics targeting Israel's critics. Strange things started happening at George Washington University this April, as their student government prepared to vote on a resolution supported by pro-Palestinian campus activists.

See also: "Welcome to the Against Canary Mission Project."


Current Affairs:

"Palestinian student ordered to administrative detention on scheduled day of release" (Samidoun, 19 August):

Her family was awaiting the release of Palestinian prisoner Fidaa Akhalil, from the village of Beit Ummar near al-Khalil on Friday, 17 August. However, instead of being released after serving a 95-day prison sentence, she was ordered to six months in administrative detention without charge or trial. Fidaa is a third-year student at the Open University and is currently being held in HaSharon prison.


"July Prisoners' Update: 520 Palestinians seized by Israeli occupation forces" (Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, Aug  13):

In July 2018, Israeli occupation forces arrested 520 Palestinians from the oPt, including 69 children, nine women and five journalists, according to Palestinian human rights and prisoners' institutions that released their monthly report on 13 August.


"1.717 Palestinians denied travel via Karama crossing" (Palestinian Information Center, 18 July):

The Israeli Occupation Authorities (IOA) prevented during the first half of 2018 nearly 1.717 Palestinians from traveling through Karama border crossing, the only outlet connecting the West Bank with the outside world through Jordan.


Ramzy Baroud, "Mission Accomplished: Why Solidarity Boats to Gaza Succeed Despite Failing to Break Siege" (Telesur, Aug 14):

When Mike Treen, the National Director of the 'Unite Union' in New Zealand arrived at the airport in the capital, Auckland, on August 1, a group of people were anxiously waiting for him at the terminal with Palestinian flags and flowers. They hugged him, chanted for Palestinian freedom and performed the  native Haka dance.


"Palestinian diplomatic campaign gaining traction" (Yossi Beilin, Al-Monitor, Aug 14):

On July 24, the bloc of developing countries at the United Nations chose Palestine as its next leader. This decision by the bloc - known as the Group of 77 - to designate Palestine as the group's 2019 chair (starting in January), greatly strengthens the diplomatic status of  Palestinian leadership as an international player, just six years after the UN recognized Palestine as a non-state member.


"Jewish Arab village in the spotlight after Israel passes nationality law" (Akiva Eldar, Al-Monitor, July 26):

Some ambassadors to Israel celebrate their country's national day at the poolside of their official residences in Herzliya. The Swiss Ambassador Jean-Daniel Ruch picked the Jewish Arab village of Neve Shalom as the venue for his country's Independence Day events in protest of Israel's recently adopted Nationality Law.


Events:

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

Op 8 en 9 september vindt in Bredene de 9de editie plaats van het solidairste feest van het land. 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.

® "De rol van cultuur in de strijd voor mensenrechten in Palestina:" zaterdag, Aud, 17u: Conferentie met: Omar Barghouti, Eyal Sivan, Kristien Hemmerechts & Julie Steendam.


Publications, Reports & Resources:

© Adalah Position Paper: "Proposed Basic Law: Israel - The Nation State of the Jewish People" (Update 16 July 2018, pdf, 5p.):

Adalah argues that this Basic Law falls within the bounds of absolute prohibitions under international law, and is therefore illegitimate as a colonial law with characteristics of apartheid.


© "Palestine in Pictures: July 2018" (EI, Aug 2):

July witnessed the most dangerous escalation in violence in the occupied Gaza Strip since Israel's summer assault in 2014. Nineteen Palestinians were killed throughout the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip during the month and four more, including a child, died from their injuries after being shot by Israeli snipers during protests in Gaza in May and June.


© Werkgroep "Staat van Beleg: Overzicht juli 2018" :

De maand juli 2018 laat weer een behoorlijke lijst aan Israëlische mensenrechtenschendingen zien. Staat van Beleg wist er 753 te registreren en nog 177 rapporten te melden. Deze maand met een focus op de Israël Lobby: Wanneer we het hebben over de Israël lobby, waar praten we dan over?


Videos:

# "Israel destroys cultural center Al-Meshal building in Gaza":
https://www.facebook.com/JewishVoiceforPeace/videos/10157641660369992/

# "Al-Anqaa ('the Phoenix') plays in the ruins of the 'al-Meshal Foundation'":  https://www.facebook.com/majdi.fathi.5/videos/10155438546600684/

# "Israël : la censure d'une caricature inquiète" (Journal Arte, 9 août):
https://www.facebook.com/infobyarte/videos/2284888088192968/

# Interview with Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi (Jewish Voice for Labour) on the IHRA-definition of Antisemitism: https://www.facebook.com/giles.stogdon/videos/10212069266399179/

# "Apartheid Unbound - July 19, 2018":
https://www.facebook.com/ApartheidAdventures/videos/2242864512604206/

# "No Place for Palestinians in Israel's Curriculum" (Al-Jazeera):
https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera/videos/10156979504343690/

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Ahed Tamimi wants the world to know what's happening in Palestine

"The Occupation of the American Mind" (original 84-minute version)

Gaza's lifeline is the sea (Israeli forces are currently holding more than 40 boats)

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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