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Belgian Campaign for the Cultural Boycott of Israel

Newsletter N°36 (October 2018)

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The Said al-Mishal Cultural Center was one of Gaza's premier performance venues before it was destroyed by Israel in August. "In general, I don't feel that I'm the kind of person who has a loyalty to places, things or people, but it was totally different with al-Mishal, it was like my second home. The thing I'll miss most is the smiles on people's faces after every event" (Ahmed Abu Awad, a poet and photographer, EI, Sept 27).

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Contents:

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

Actions & Calls:

The Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) and 7amleh the Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media invite you to protect Palestinian lands and farmers by planting a virtual seed in Area C.

For this campaign we have developed a unique web application that allows you to choose where to plant seeds (and which seeds). [PS For the moment only accostable with MS Edge]. We have also developed an infographic, video and texts focused on protecting Palestinian farmers and their land. Please take a moment to protect Palestinian farmers and land by planting a seed today!

 

"Action pour la libération de Mustapha Awad" : 24 oct00 @ 16h - 17h30: le Comité Free Mustapha appelle à un rassemblement devant le ministère des Affaires étrangères. Où : rue des Petits Carmes, 1000 Brx. Facebook. Mustapha Awad, ouvrier et artiste belge, est emprisonné en Israël depuis le 19 juillet. Il a comparu devant un tribunal le 10 octobre, mais le « procès » a été reporté au 1er novembre.


David Cronin, "Belgium refuses to demand release of citizen jailed by Israel" (The Electronic Intifada, 16 Oct):

Surrealism was once the preserve of painters in Belgium. Today, even the country's diplomats appear to have mastered it. For there is something surreal about how they are promoting the cartoon character Spirou as a human rights advocate, while refusing to stand up for a real-life Belgian artist whose human rights have been denied.


"Legislator Jarrar Receives Another Administrative Detention Order For 3 Months" (IMEMC, Oct 22):

The Israeli Authorities renewed the arbitrary Administrative Detention orders against Palestinian legislator, Khaleda Jarrar, for 3 more months, for the 4th consecutive time. The Palestinian Ministry of Women's Affairs issued a statement strongly denouncing the continued imprisonment of Jarrar, holding her captive under arbitrary orders without charges or trial.


"Statement: #KhanalAhmar - one step towards survival as the struggle needs to escalate" (Stop the Wall, Oct 22):

Lowering the attention and easing the pressure after Israel's announcement of the freeze of Khan al Ahmar's demolition is a major danger to avoid.


"BDS Movement Targets Caterpillar, Volvo After Israeli Forces Attack Protesters in Khan Al-Ahmar" (teleSur, Oct 20):

The BDS movement has issued calls to boycott and divest from Caterpillar and Volvo for their complicity in the demolition of the Palestinian village.


Petitie: "Geen Eurosong in Israël! - Pas d'Eurovision en Israël!"

De Israëlische Netta won in 2018 het Eurovisiesongfestival. "Volgend jaar vieren we samen diversiteit in Jeruzalem!" zei ze trots. Hoezo? Israël schendt al 70 jaar de rechten van de Palestijnen en bouwt in sneltempo nederzettingen op Palestijnse grond. Daar gaan optreden is moreel en politiek onaanvaardbaar.


Lode Vanoost, "Kritiek op het Israëlische bezettingsleger is geen antisemitisme" (De Wereld Morgen, 22 okt):

De Israëlische pers probeert rond een opiniestuk op deze website een antisemitisme-rel te creëren. Een 'bezorgd burger' heeft klacht neergelegd tegen de auteur en Antwerps politicus André Gantman eist zijn ontslag bij de vakbond, nog voor er een uitspraak is. In werkelijkheid gaat het hier over een nauwelijks verhulde poging de boycot-Israël-campagne verdacht te maken.


Martijn de Rooi, "De mores van de schiettent - Nieuw Israëlietisch Weekblad laat alle journalistieke en fatsoensnormen varen" (The Rights Forum, 12 okt):

Journalist Bart Schut, redacteur van het Nieuw Israëlietisch Weekblad, typeert een artikel van mijn hand als 'antisemitische bagger'. Hij illustreert daarmee een centrale stelling in dat artikel: 'Het als antisemiet aan de schandpaal nagelen van politieke tegenstanders is het favoriete wapen van de zogeheten Israël-lobby.' Een analyse.


Gaza's "Incremental Genocide":

Amnesty International, "Israel adopts 'zero tolerance' policy against Gaza demonstrations" (Oct 19):

Fears of escalating bloodshed are rising ahead of planned protests in Gaza later today after Israeli authorities announced a "zero tolerance" policy towards demonstrations along the Israel/Gaza fence, said AI. The organization is calling on the Israeli government to rein in its armed forces, which have routinely used unnecessary or excessive force during Gaza's weekly 'Great March of Return' demonstrations.


Maureen Clare Murphy, "Israeli soldier executed Gaza teen at close range: witness" (The Internet Intifada, 13 Oct):

A soldier killed a Palestinian teen along Gaza's boundary when the detained youth tried to escape, according to a reporter who witnessed the shooting. The slain Palestinian, identified as Ahmad Abdallah Abu Naim, 17, was one of 7 killed during mass protests along Gaza's boundary with Israel on Friday.


"The Risk of Being a Journalist in Gaza" (IMEU, Oct 8):

The Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU) is a non-profit organization that offers journalists facts, analysis, experts, and digital resources about Palestine and Palestinians. "Before we [journalists] would head to the protests, we were afraid. I thought about how terrifying it would be to get shot or lose a limb. But when you're in the field, you feel a sense of bravery...".


"Gaza's Dying of Thirst, and Its Water Crisis Will Become a Threat to Israel" (Sandy Tolan, Daily Beast, Oct 13):

With Gaza's water system on the verge of "collapse" a humanitarian catastrophe looms, including potential epidemics. The consequences will reach far beyond Gaza's borders.


"Gaza's rate of unemployment doubled since start of Israeli siege" (Ma'an Agency, Oct 11):

The General Federation of Palestinian Labor Unions reported, on Thursday, that the unemployment rate in the besieged Gaza Strip has doubled since Israel imposed a land, sea and air blockade 12 years ago. The federation said, in a statement, that while the unemployment rate had reached 27.2% before the blockade, it has now reached 50%, including 283,000 workers considered unemployed in 2018.


Hana Salah, "Ongoing blockade will cause Gaza to explode in the face of Israel, Hamas warns" (Al-Monitor, Oct 18):

GAZA CITY - Abo Iskandar Bakery, a well-known bakery in the Gaza Strip, posted Oct. 1 on its Facebook page a job for a full-time baker. In less than 24 hours, about 3,000 applicants replied, including university graduates. Employees are being laid off and shops are closing down in the cash-strapped Gaza Strip, while the World Bank warns that the economy is collapsing after a decadelong blockade.


Analysis & Comments:

Lode Vanoost, "Israëlische organisatie mensenrechten B'Tselem bevestigt oorlogsmisdaden bezetting en blokkade Gaza" (De Wereld Morgen, 19 okt):

De internationale Israël-lobby voelt de bui al jaren hangen, meer nog dan de regering in Israël zelf. Die laatste kan zich nog enigszins wentelen in de comfortabele bubbel van het zionisme in eigen land, de kolonies in de bezette gebieden en de cenakels van de Amerikaanse regering en politieke elite.


"For Justice, Not Apartheid, in Palestine" (The Editors of The Nation, Sept 27):

A quarter-century after Oslo, Israel is consolidating its domination by cruel and illegal means. With the two-state solution fading away, a de facto one-state apartheid regime, in which half the population has little or no rights, is being born.


"Annelies Verbeek, Human Rights Watch rapport toont hoe zwak de Palestijnse leiders zijn'" (MO*, 23 okt):

HRW gaf dinsdagochtend een nieuw rapport uit met de titel 'Two authorities, one way zero dissent'. Daarin staat dat zowel de Palestijnse Autoriteit (PA) als Hamas "routinematig gebruik maken van arbitrair arrest en marteling tegen vreedzame critici en tegenstanders".


Lawrence Davidson,"Israel's 'psychological obstacles to peace'" (Redress Info & Analysis, Oct 18):

There is a difference between understanding and excusing. I might understand the arguments of Donald Trump and John Bolton, but by virtue of that very understanding I find their arguments inexcusable. The same goes for the arguments of the Israeli leadership and their diaspora allies. I hear their words and find that they can never excuse their actions.


Salwa Duaibis, "The devastating effects of night raids on Palestinian families" (+972, Aug 31, 2015):

IDF night raids, an everyday occurrence in the occupied territories, ensure that Palestinians cannot feels safe in the one place where safety should be assured. Over the years, the Women's Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC) has collected testimonies from Palestinian women in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza on a whole range of issues.


Jonathan Cook, "Breaking the Silence about Israel's occupation of Hebron" (JC, Oct 8):

Former Israeli soldiers exposing the brutality of the occupation of the West Bank face fresh challenges. Ido Even-Paz switched on his body camera as his tour group decamped from the bus in Hebron. The former Israeli soldier wanted to document any trouble we might encounter in this, the largest Palestinian city in the occupied West Bank.


Ahmad Melhem, "Will UK under Jeremy Corbyn recognize the State of Palestine?" (Al-Monitor, Oct 16):

This year's annual conference of the UK Labor Party could have been promoted as a pro-Palestinian rally in some regards. Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, in his closing speech on Sept. 26 in Liverpool, pledged to recognize an independent Palestinian state if Labor wins in general elections.


Nkosi Zwelivelile, "My grandfather Nelson Mandela fought apartheid. I see the parallels with Israel" (The Guardian, Oct 11):

It took an international effort to end institutionalised racism in my country - now it must happen again, for Palestinian people, says Nkosi Zwelivelile, an ANC MP and a grandson of Nelson Mandela.


Jean-Pierre Filiu, "L'assassinat par Israël du médiateur de l'ONU en Palestine" (Le Monde blog, 14 oct):

Israël a reconnu indirectement sa responsabilité dans l'assassinat, en septembre 1948, de Folke Bernadotte, médiateur de l'ONU pour la Palestine.


David Knapen, "Waarom u dit artikel van Michael Freilich ook zelf kunt schrijven" (De Wereld Morgen, 22 mei 2018):

David Knapen woont sinds november 2017 in de Palestijnse gebieden. Hij las de opinie van Michael Freilich (Joods Actueel) op de VRT-website. In deze repliek toont hij aan hoe Freilich letterlijk de richtlijnen kopieert van het handboek voor mediacommentatoren, dat Israël in 2009 opstelde.


Arts, Culture & Education:

Ahmad Melhem, "Palestinian author honored for children's ode to Jerusalem" (Al-Monitor, Oct 3):

The city of Jerusalem, where the author - Mahmoud Shukair - currently lives after spending time in Beirut, Amman and Prague, has a real presence in the adolescent novel as the author focuses on the city's young Arab population, their aspirations, their love for adventure and their sadness.


"The remarkable rise of the Amwaj Children's Choir of Palestine" (Tom Suárez, Mondoweiss, Oct 14):

Three years after it was founded by French musician Mathilde Vittu, the Amwaj Children's Choir of Palestine has taken a European tour. And Norwegian, British and French children's choirs have come to Palestine to perform with Amwaj in Bethlehem and Hebron.


"Imprisoned Palestinian Author Threatened With Harsher Punishment If He Publishes Book" (teleSUR, Oct 16):

Walid Dakka, a Palestinian author who is serving 33 years in an Israeli prison, was previously punished for publishing a book in Arabic called "The Story of the Secret of Oil". Now he has been warned by prison officials he would face severe punishment if he publishes a book he wrote while serving his sentence.


Boycott:

Riri Hylton: "Big BDS legal win in Germany" (EI, Oct 17):

Supporters of the BDS movement in Germany have won a two-year court battle against a local authority that could set a legal precedent for BDS activism in the country. On 27 Sept, the administrative court of the northwestern German city of Oldenburg ruled that the municipality's decision to cancel a 2016 BDS event had been unlawful.


"Israël botst op de grenzen van zijn illegale kolonisering" (The Rights Forum, 10 okt):

De Israëlische publieke omroep, KAN, is in een conflict beland met de Europese voetbalassociatie UEFA. De omroep kocht voor circa vijf miljoen euro de rechten voor het uitzenden van kwalificatieduels in de aanloop naar de komende Europese en Wereldkampioenschappen voetbal.


"Tell Puma: #REFORM Must Include Ending Support for Israel's Illegal Land Grabs" (PACBI, Oct 16):

Sportswear manufacturer Puma is the new sponsor of the Israel Football Association (IFA). The IFA includes teams in Israel's illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank. Puma replaced Adidas as news broke that Adidas would no longer be sponsoring the IFA following an international campaign.


"We have been fined for asking Lorde to boycott Israel - but we won't be silenced" (Nadia Abu-Shanab and Justine Sachs, The Guardian, Oct 22):

"Lorde's cancellation is a testimony to her own intelligence and humility when presented with the facts of Israeli aggression. That we recognised she was likely to change her mind speaks to the swaths of moral ground the BDS movement has managed to win over the past decade."


Current Affairs:

"Israel Postpones Al-Khan Al-Ahmar Demolition, Protests To Continue Until Demolition Order Cancelled" (IMEMC, Oct 21):

Israeli daily Haaretz has reported that the Israeli government has decided to postpone the demolition of the al-Khan al-Ahmar Palestinian Bedouin community, east of occupied Jerusalem, until further notice. Palestinian Minister Walid Assaf says protests will continue until Israel completely cancels and voids its demolition orders of the village.


"Palestinian mother-of-seven killed after Israeli settlers throw stones at her car" (Akram Al-Waara, Middle East Eye, Oct 13):

Aisha al-Rabi, 48, a Palestinian mother of seven, died after her vehicle came under attack by a group of stone-throwing settlers. Aisha was in the car with her husband Yaqoub and their two daughters on their way back home in the Nablus area village of Bidya.


"Palestinian injured in settler attack" (Palestinian Information Center, Oct 17):

A Palestinian young man was injured Wednesday after being attacked by a group of settlers in Barqa town west of Nablus, northern West Bank. Head of the village council Jihad Salah affirmed that dozens of settlers violently attacked the young man Mahmoud Sa'id Hussein, 20, while picking olives in his agricultural land near the evacuated settlement of Homesh.


"Palestinian forced to demolish own home in East Jerusalem" (Ma'an Agency, Oct 8):

According a report by OCHA in recent decades Israeli settler organizations, with the support of the Israeli authorities, have taken control of properties within Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, and some 180 Palestinian families are currently facing eviction cases, filed mainly by settler organizations


PHOTOS: "Israeli bulldozers demolish homes in West Bank villages"(Ahmad Al-Bazz, ActiveStills, Oct 14):

Israeli bulldozers demolished nine Palestinian structures in two communities in the Jordan Valley last Thursday. According to the latest OCHA report, a total of 29 Palestinian-owned structures were demolished or seized by Israeli authorities in September, leading to the displacement of 51 people.


Israel:

Hakim Bishara, "Israel's Culture Minister Pushes Bill to Freeze Funds for Arts Organizations Highlighting Palestinian Narratives" (Hyperallergic, Oct 10);

A new bill from the office of Israel's culture minister, Miri Regev, has proposed to cut funding from culture organizations that criticize the State of Israel or highlight the Palestinian national narrative. The "Loyalty in Culture Bill" is the latest episode in the right-wing minister's 3-year campaign to curtail artistic expressions that do not align with the " principles of the state."


Shlomi Eldar, "Israeli activists call out military academy for messianic teachings" (Al-Monitor, Oct 22):

Attorney Yair Nehorai is legal counsel for the group Rabbis for Human Rights. Together with the Israeli Alliance headed by Shai Cohen, he has raised about 60,000 shekels ($16,000) in a crowdfunding campaign to petition the Supreme Court to stop the state from funding the Bnei David Military Preparatory Academy in the settlement of Eli in the West Bank.


Ofer Aderet, "Israeli historian thinks 1956 massacre was part of a secret plan to expel Palestinians" (Haaretz, via IAK, Oct 13):

The highest Israeli officer tried for Israel's 1956 Kafr Qasem massacre admitted before his death that his trial was staged to protect Israeli military and political elites.


Events:

# Brx, 25 oct @ 19 h 00: " Quel avenir pour les palestiniens ? " Conférence par Henry Laurens. Où : Avenue F. Roosevelt 67, 1000 Brx. Fondation Boghossian, Villa Empain. Coût : 12 / 7 /4 euros.
Alors que le processus de paix avec Israël semble bloqué, que le gouvernement israélien a adopté une loi controversée sur " l'État-nation ", que les États-Unis multiplient les mesures contre les Palestiniens (transfert de leur ambassade à Jérusalem et coupure des vivres à l'agence de l'ONU pour les réfugiés Palestiniens), où en est la question palestinienne dans ce brouillard politico-diplomatique ?


# Brx, 8 nov 2018 @ 20h15 - 22h15: Michel Warschawski: "Israël : chronique d'une catastrophe annoncée... et peut-être inévitable". Org.: UPJB. Où : Rue de la Victoire 61, 1060 Saint-Gilles. Coût: 6/4/2 euros.

Michel Warschawski, fondateur de l'Alternative Information Center, journaliste, écrivain et inlassable militant de la lutte anticolonialiste, est un ami de longue date de l'UPJB. Il sera de nôtres le jeudi 8 nov pour nous parler de son dernier ouvrage.


Publications & Resources:

© Human Rights Watch, "Two Authorities, One Way, Zero Dissent. Arbitrary Arrest and Torture Under the Palestinian Authority and Hamas" (Report 2018, 159p.):

(Ramallah) - The Fatah-led Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas authorities in Gaza routinely arrest and torture peaceful critics and opponents, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. As the Palestinian Authority-Hamas feud has deepened, each has targeted the other's supporters.


© OCHA - Occupied Palestinian Territory, Oct 8: "Over 700 road obstacles control Palestinian movement within the West Bank" (Oct 8):

In July 2018, OCHA completed a comprehensive 'closure survey' that recorded 705 permanent obstacles across the West Bank restricting or controlling Palestinian vehicular, and in some cases pedestrian, movement. This figure is 3% higher than in December 2016, the date of the previous survey.


© "Bulletin Palestine N°77 - Association belgo-palestinienne" (Juillet-août-septembre 2018, 47p.):

2018. Année commémorative de la Nakba, cette catastrophe qui touche le peuple palestinien depuis 70 ans. Dans ce numéro, nous avons voulu mettre en avant la diaspora palestinienne dans un dossier spécial, première victime des expulsions commencées en 1947 qui continuent jusqu'à aujourd'hui. De Bruxelles à l'Amérique latine, petit aperçu de la richesse d'un peuple...


© Matthew Vickery, "Employing the Enemy: The Story of Palestinian Labourers on Israeli Settlements". Zed Books, 2017, pb, ISBN-13 : 978-1783609956, 160p. This book has been shortlisted for the Palestine Book Awards 2018. Review by: Mustafa Fatih Yavuz.

37,000 Palestinians living in the West Bank work in the settlements. Matthew Vickery's book gives an insight into their daily life, the main struggles they face, how settlers treat them and the conditions under which they live. Because they believe what they do is wrong, working for those people who are stealing their land, has become shameful for them, they do not talk easily about it.


© "THE RABBIS' INTIFADA" - A Documentary Film.

The story of Orthodox rabbis who support Palestinian liberation and resist Israeli violence. Founded in Jerusalem 80 years ago, Neturei Karta are Yiddish-speaking, socially conservative rabbis speaking out in support of Palestinian liberation, objects to Israeli violence and Jewish statehood. This project is a much-needed antidote to the conflation of Judaism and Zionism.
 

© Herman DE LEY, "Antisemitism Definitions" (pdf.).


Videos:

# "No excuse for Israeli sniper fire on Gaza protestors"(Adalah, Oct 18):
https://www.facebook.com/AdalahEnglish/videos/972945162910125/

# "Donald Trump's War on Palestinian Refugees" (IMEU, Oct 16):
https://www.facebook.com/theIMEU/videos/339749583453664/

# "JCB helps Israel in demolishing Palestinian properties" (PAL+ English):
https://www.facebook.com/palplusenglish/videos/240201486677123/

# "Self-Demolish Their Houses" ( PAL+ English):
https://www.facebook.com/palplusenglish/videos/474503823026640/

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Plant a Seed in area C!

Hagai El-Ad's address at the UN Security Council, 18 Oct. 2018

"Authorities Crush Dissent in Palestine"

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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 (dir. 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

info@bacbi.be

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BACBI´s compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR):

Dear reader, in case you are not a signatory of BACBI´s boycott call: please check our "Privacy Policy Statement" (EN-FR-NL) here! If you agree with it, you are invited to give your consent that your name be added to our mailing list:  please, click here!  Thank you.

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