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BACBI Culture

Newsletter N°45 (August 2019)

BACBI Culture's Website

"The Meaning of Israel's Massive Housing Demolitions in East Jerusalem"

Destruction at this scale and visibility cannot be understood without grasping its political message; in fact, the scale and visibility are the message. 
On July 22, the Israeli Civil Administration - that's the Orwellian term Israel uses for its military government in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) - deployed 900 IDF soldiers and Border Police to demolish 13 apartment blocks, evicting 17 people in 70 apartments that were slated to house hundreds more in the Palestinian neighborhood of Wadi al-Hummus, to the southeast of Jerusalem. The act itself wasn't unusual. Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes is a routine, almost daily occurrence. What set it apart was the scale, the impunity, and the political implications. The Israelis' message, then and now, is crystal clear: We do not recognize Palestinians as a side with legitimate national rights and claims, and we will no longer negotiate with them. The entire land of Israel is ours, and we are taking possession of it... The message from Israel goes further: If you think the international community will come to your aid, just watch the reactions to our in-your-face demolitions... This explains the scale, visibility, and violence of the Wadi al-Hummus demolitions. It is a gauntlet thrown in the face of civil society - us... Wadi al-Hummus screams, "What are you going to do about it?" (Jeff HALPER
, The Nation, August 6).

Contents:

Actions and Calls -- Agenda -- Analyses -- Arts, Culture, Heritage -- BDS -- Current Affairs -- EU, US, World -- Gaza -- Israel -- Palestine -- Prisoners -- Resources -- Videos

Actions & Calls:

Amnesty International: "TripAdvisor: stop het aanbieden van illegale Israëlische nederzettingen in bezet Palestijns gebied!"

"Leer schieten als een soldaat, rijd met een kameel of neem deel aan een toer van historische sites - en dat allemaal op gestolen land!" TripAdvisor maakt het mee mogelijk dat je tijdens een bezoek aan één van de vele illegale Israëlische nederzettingen aan dit soort activiteiten kunt deelnemen. Roep Stephen Kaufer, CEO van TripAdvisor Inc. op om op het platform geen aanbiedingen meer op te nemen van verblijven, activiteiten en bezienswaardigheden in illegale Israëlische nederzettingen of aangeboden door kolonisten in de bezette Palestijnse gebieden.


"Axa: Divest from Israeli Apartheid!" (BDS Movement):

Send a letter to AXA CEOs to demand that it divest from companies profiting from Israeli Apartheid! End AXA's complicity in Israeli apartheid! AXA must end its business relationships with Elbit Systems, and the following five Israeli banks: Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, Bank Mizrahi Tefahot, First International Bank of Israel and Israel Discount Bank.


#ReclaimYourSpace by fighting hate and supporting Palestinian freedom. Sign the Petition (change.org):

As Renad and Talia, Palestinian and Jewish millennials, we seek a world free of hate, built on the values of freedom, justice, equality and rights for all. Together we want to reclaim our space from those who are trying to silence us, so we can stand for justice and accountability.


"Israeli censorship attempts defeated at European Parliament" (Samidoun, Aug 6):

The EP has delivered a blow to Israeli efforts to censor political discussion of Palestine within its parliamentary chambers. Palestinian writer Khaled Barakat has been fighting back extensively against a political ban imposed by the German state and the denial of his residence permit because of his speeches and activities for Palestine.


"Talib Kweli's removal from festival lineup is part of anti-Palestinian censorship trend" (The Guardian, Letter, July 2):

103 signatories including Peter Gabriel, Naomi Klein and Boots Riley condemn attempts in Germany to impose political conditions on artists who support Palestinian rights: "We are shocked that the Open Source Festival in Düsseldorf has disinvited the black American rapper Talib Kweli, leading to the cancellation of his Germany tour, after he refused to denounce the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights."


Agenda:

# Luxembourg, samedi, 5 oct, Luxembourg symposium: "Quel futur pour les Palestiniens et les Israéliens ?" # English: "What future for Palestinians and Israelis? Views from the Palestinian and Israeli civil societies." Jour entier. Où : Luxembourg. Neimënster, 28 Rue Münster Salle Robert Krieps,  2160 Luxembourg. (Facebook)

Après des décennies d'un prétendu processus de paix entre Palestiniens et Israël, il n'y a plus guère à espérer des politiciens. Depuis longtemps, les sociétés civiles palestinienne et israélienne ont décidé de prendre leur destin en main. Que font-ils ? A quoi font-ils face ? Comment s'organisent-ils ?... Sur ces sujets, nous écouterons neuf Palestiniens et Israéliens engagés qui partagent la conviction que les êtres humains sont égaux et que chacun jouit des mêmes droits. Nous discuterons avec eux, ils discuteront ensemble. La musique et la poésie feront partie du dialogue.
Organisé par Comité pour une Paix Juste au Proche Orient. Avec le soutien de : European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine, Association belgo-palestinienne, Associations France Palestine Solidarité, Jüdische Stimme für gerechten Frieden zu Nahost, Union des progressistes juifs de Belgique.

Analyses & Comments:

Ramzy Baroud & Romana Rubeo, "Le sionisme a produit une crise environnementale qui finit par impacter toute la Palestine historique"(The Palestine Chronicle, 11 juillet):

La destruction par Israël de l'environnement dans les territoires palestiniens menace maintenant des vies israéliennes. La crise humanitaire grandissante à Gaza est enfin considérée en Israël comme un problème urgent nécessitant une action " claire et immédiate ".  Le 3 juin, des chercheurs des universités israéliennes de Tel-Aviv et de Ben Gourion ont présenté un rapport, commandé par l'organisation environnementale EcoPeace Middle East, dans lequel ils avertissaient que " l'effondrement des infrastructures d'eau, d'égout et d'électricité dans la bande de Gaza constituait un danger réel pour les eaux souterraines, l'eau de mer, les plages et les usines de dessalement d'Israël ".


Haidar Eid, "Jared Kushner digne descendant de Jim Crow" (CAPJPO Europalestine, 27 juin):

Haidar Eid, universitaire palestinien spécialisé dans la littérature postcoloniale, démonte la logique raciste qui sous-tend les déclarations de Jared Kushner et son "deal du siècle". - "Dans la littérature classique raciste, comme dans les discours du même acabit, les autochtones, qui ont le tort de ne point être blancs, sont dépeints sous les couleurs d'un groupe d'individus tous aussi feignants les uns que les autres, incapables de mener à bien leur propre vie, ni de gérer leurs affaires tout seuls...


Yara Asi, "The Conditional Right to Health in Palestine" (Al-Shabaka, June 30):

For decades, political barriers have obstructed the Palestinian health system in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, impeding rights and protections. Al-Shabaka Policy Analyst Yara Asi examines how the Israeli occupation has decreased Palestinians' ability to seek or practice health care, and offers recommendations that can support Palestinians' right to health within the current constrained circumstances.


Hagar Shezaf, "Burying the Nakba: How Israel systematically hides evidence of 1948 expulsion of Arabs" (Haaretz, July 5):

Since early last decade, Defense Ministry teams have scoured local archives and removed troves of historic documents to conceal proof of the Nakba. Four years ago, historian Tamar Novick was jolted by a document she found in the file of Yosef Waschitz, from the Arab Department of the left-wing Mapam Party, in the Yad Yaari archive at Givat Haviva. The document, which seemed to describe events that took place during the 1948 war, began: "Safsaf [former Palestinian village near Safed] - 52 men were caught, tied them to one another, dug a pit and shot them. 10 were still twitching...".


Amjad Iraqi, "Don't wait for Israeli archives to prove what Palestinians already know" (+972 Magazine, July 7):

Israeli authorities are deliberately concealing historical documents to undermine evidence of the state's dark and violent origins. And the world is still falling for it. The village of Safsaf ("willow" in Arabic) appears on page 490 of the newest edition of Walid Khalidi's "All That Remains", a seminal book that catalogues 418 Palestinian communities that were destroyed and depopulated during the Nakba...


Edo Konrad, "Les universitaires israéliens qui ont contribué à la conception de l'émigration palestinienne" (Agence Media Palestine,21 juin):

Des documents récemment découverts révèlent comment, dans les jours qui ont suivi l'occupation (juin 1967), Israël a instauré un " Comité des professeurs " afin d'élaborer des politiques qui pacifient les Palestiniens et leur fassent quitter la Cisjordanie et Gaza de manière permanentes...


Arts, Culture & Heritage:

Daoud Kuttab, "World-renowned Palestinian artist finds peace in Jerusalem" (Al-Monitor, Aug 16):

The wish of world-renowned Palestinian artist and writer, Kamal Boullata, to be buried in his birthplace of Jerusalem will be carried out Aug. 19. Boullata died in Berlin Aug. 6 and will be buried in the Orthodox cemetery on Mount Zion, "next to his family and ancestors" in Jerusalem, according to a public statement from his family.


"Palestine +100, "What Palestine Might Be Like in 2048". Interview with Basma Ghalayini, the editor, by Amy Brady (Chicago Review of Books, July 29):

Twelve writers imagine what Palestine might be like in 2048, 100 years after the Nakba, which in 1948 witnessed more than 700,000 Palestinians fleeing their homes. "Palestine +100" brims with innovative works of science fiction by some of today's finest Palestinian writers. I spoke with Ghalayini about what inspired the collection, why more Palestinians than ever before are trying their hands at science fiction, and why the word "political" means something different to Palestinian writers than to writers in the West. Vide also below, under "Resources."


Maureen Clare Murphy, "Israel isolates Palestinian universities" (The Electronic Intifada, 11 July):

Israel is isolating Palestinian universities by forcing international scholars to leave their academic positions in the occupied West Bank. Two Palestinian human rights groups, as well as Birzeit University, are calling on Israel to lift restrictions preventing international academics from working in the West Bank and to publish "a clear and lawful procedure for issuing entry visas and work permits."


BDS :

"Unite, UK's second largest union, will #BoycottHP" (BDS Movement, July 13):

In a major victory for the Boycott HP campaign, the second largest British and Irish trade union, with 1.2 million members, Unite the Union, joined the campaign. Unite joins Federatie Nederlandse Vakbeweging (FNV), the Netherland's largest trade union, with 1.1 million members, which dropped HP as a partner in their offers to their members in April.


Nora Barrows-Friedman, "Major UK trade union dumps HP" (The Electronic Intifada, 26 July):

The global campaign to pressure technology giant HP - also known as Hewlett-Packard - to drop its Israel contracts recently won an important victory. HP has long been a focus of activists because its businesses have supplied the Israeli military with racial profiling technology for its checkpoints restricting the movement of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. Israel also uses HP technology to maintain a population database that it uses to enforce its system of segregation, and HP products are used to support infrastructure in illegal Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank.


"Human rights organizations based in Israel voice concern before Bundestag President over motion defining BDS as antisemitism" (BDS Movement, June 8):

"Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble MdB President of the Bundestag:  Mr. President, We, the undersigned directors of human rights organizations based in Israel, are writing to you to express our serious concern regarding the recent motion adopted by the Bundestag, which wrongfully equates the BDS movement with antisemitism...".


Current Affairs:

Gideon Levy & Alex Levac, "Why Israeli Police Are Terrorizing This Palestinian Village" (Haaretz via If Americans Knew, Aug 12):

On Sunday, the Obeid family wanted to arrange a meal in memory of their son, who was killed by Jerusalem District police, to mark the conclusion of the traditional 40 days of mourning. Mohammed Obeid, 21, had worked in the dining room of a company in the city's Har Hotzvim high-tech park. Police officers claimed that he had thrown firecrackers at them near his home, and therefore shot him at close range, killing him.


EU, UN, US & the World:

"Hundreds fight repression, show solidarity with Palestine at Berlin Radical Queer March" (Samidoun, July 28):

Hundreds of people came together in a "Queers for Palestine solidarity block" at the Berlin Radical Queer March on Saturday, 27 July. The march is billed as an anti-capitalist, critical alternative to the mainstream CSD (Christopher Street Day, or Pride) celebration. However, in the days leading up to the march, organizers of the march joined right-wing parties and the German Bundestag in labeling the BDS campaign for Palestinian rights as "anti-Semitic."


Gaza:

Gideon Levy, "A Young Gazan's Dream, Amputated" (IAK, reposted from Haaretz, June 28):

Alaa ad-Dali is a young man who had a dream - quite a rare thing in Gaza - and it was crushed by the IDF. What does he have left? 138 young people in Gaza have lost legs in the protests at the fence as a result of IDF sniper fire, and they aren't even a story. Their motivations don't interest anyone. They are all labeled "terrorists." Alaa ad-Dali was the Gaza cycling champion. He won the Tokyo Race twice in a row. The Tokyo Race is held in Gaza. 


Maureen Clare Murphy, "Israel pushing Palestinians to leave Gaza" (The Electronic Intifada, 19 Aug):

Israel is actively encouraging and ready to facilitate mass emigration of Palestinians from Gaza, according to a senior government official. "Israel is ready to carry the costs of helping Gazans emigrate," and would potentially use air force bases in Israel for that purpose, The Times of Israel reported on Monday.


"Israel military reporter: Gaza war 'not far away', will be deadliest yet" (Middle East Monitor, July 12):

A new war between Israel and Palestinian factions in the occupied Gaza Strip "is not far away", and "will be deadlier and more destructive than any previous" offensive, according to a report by the Jerusalem Post 's military correspondent.


Israel:

"Arab MK calls for boycott of Israel" (Arutz Sheva, Aug 7):

MK Yousef Jabareen (Hadash) publicly called for a boycott of Israel in remarks he gave at the anti-Israel 'Palestine Expo' event taking place in London, Kan 11 News reported Sunday. "The international community has all the tools to deal with war crimes," Jabareen said. "To boycott settlers, to boycott settlement products, to boycott international companies - and there are a lot of these " that deal with expanding the settlements."


Tamara Nassar, "Teens forced to take Israel propaganda course before overseas trips" (The Electronic Intifada, 19 July):

Israel's education ministry is requiring all high school students, including Palestinian citizens of Israel, to take a propaganda course and test as a condition for going on overseas school trips. Adalah, a legal advocacy group for Palestinians in Israel, sent a letter last month to the ministry of education demanding that it remove the requirement and end the hasbara course.


Asa Winstanley, "Comment les espions israéliens inondent facebook et twitter" (Agence Media Palestine, 25 juin):

Le directeur général d' Act.IL est un vétéran qui a travaillé huit ans pour une agence de renseignements militaires d'Israël. (YouTube) Israël fait opérer secrètement une armée de milliers de trolls, en partie subventionnés par un département du gouvernement. Le ministère des Affaires stratégiques se consacre à une « guerre » totale contre BDS.


Amira Hass, "Israel's academy for indifference" (Haaretz, July 15):

Why should the Israeli academic world care that due to the movement restrictions imposed by Israel, the West Bank's Birzeit University lacks lecturers in mathematical economics and civil engineering, for instance. After all, it doesn't bother the law faculties that judges in Jerusalem approved the expulsion of the Siyam family from their home in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan by the right-wing settler group Elad, and it doesn't bother architecture students or their lecturers that the army ordered the destruction of a neighborhood in Wadi Hummus, near the separation barrier in Jerusalem...


"Israël annonce avoir testé avec succès un système antimissiles de longue portée aux Etats-Unis" (LaLibre.be, 28 juillet):

Israël et les États-Unis ont testé avec succès un système antimissiles de longue portée en Alaska, aux États-Unis, a annoncé dimanche le ministère de la Défense israélien dans un communiqué. Le système a intercepté avec succès des missiles au-dessus de l'atmosphère, selon le communiqué. Le test a été mené dans un contexte de tensions avec l'Iran.


Occupied Palestine:

Yumna Patel, "'They shot to kill': residents of West Bank village in shock after Israeli sniper shot 10-year-old boy in the head" (Mondoweiss, July 15):

Palestinian residents of the village of Kafr Qaddum have been staging weekly Friday protests for the past 8 years against Israeli land confiscations and the closure of roads in their town. What started out last Friday as a typical demonstration quickly turned into a nightmare, when Israeli snipers shot 10-year-old Abdul Rahman Shteiwi in the head... Doctors told the boy's family that he was shot with an expanding live bullet that exploded into more than 100 fragments after it lodged in his head, wreaking havoc on his brain and causing severe damage to three major blood vessels. 


"Israel demolishes Palestinian homes near separation wall" (Al Jazeera, July 22):

Hundreds of Israeli troops with bulldozers tore down homes in the Palestinian village of Sur Baher despite local protests and international criticism. Residents of the village's Wadi al-Hummus neighbourhood told local media on Monday that 16 residential buildings with about 100 apartments were being demolished.


"No Impunity for Ethnic Cleansing in Jerusalem - Boycott Israel Now!" BNC Statement, July 25:

On Monday, Israel committed its biggest crime of ethnic cleansing since 1967, against the Palestinian neighborhood of Wadi Hummus in occupied East Jerusalem. In a military raid that began at dawn, Israeli soldiers destroyed, in just a few hours, the homes of hundreds of Palestinian families. This attack came almost immediately after an Israeli military court had authorized the demolitions. Another 116 homes are under imminent threat of demolition in Wadi Hummus.


Jonathan Cook, "Israel's machinery of dispossession has crushed the hopes of an inspirational family" (N Opinion, July 14):

Israeli police forced out the Siyam family from their home in the heart of occupied East Jerusalem last week, the final chapter in their 25-year legal battle against a powerful settler organisation. The family's defeat represented much more than just another eviction. It was intended to land a crushing blow against the hopes of some 20,000 Palestinians living in the shadow of the Old City walls and Al Aqsa mosque. Jawad Siyam, a social worker, has led the fight against 'Elad', a wealthy settler group that since the early 1990s has been slowly erasing Silwan's Palestinian identity, in order to remake it as the City of David archeological park... An Israeli human rights group, 'Peace Now', refers to plans for the City of David as "the transformation of Silwan into a Disneyland of the messianic extreme right wing".


Prisoners:

"30 more Palestinian prisoners strike in solidarity with six fighting administrative detention" (Samidoun, Aug 13):

Thirty more Palestinian prisoners of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine joined 19 of their comrades in an ongoing series of solidarity strikes to support six Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike against Israeli administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial.


Resources:

@ "Palestine - Bulletin de l'Association belgo-palestine," N° 80 - Avril/Mai/Juin 2019:

Dossier "Palestiniens déshumanisés": "Les Palestiniens dans les manuels scolaires israéliens," par Nurit Peled (prof. Université hébraïque) - "Des élections sous le signe de l'exclusion", par Gregory Mauzé - "Quand l'idéalistion déshumanise: de l'usage ambigu du 'sumud,'" par Susan Abulhawa - "Se marier et vivre ensemble au pays de l'apartheid," par Marianne Blume"Mustapha Awad, un belge dans l'enfer carcéral israélien", par l'ABP. - "Les droits humains bafoués sur les hauteurs du Golan," par Aaron Soutlea. - "La bande de Gaza, une zone de non-droit," par Nathalie Janne d'Othée. - "Moi, Dareen T.", par Dora Vilner. - "Sakiya, développement durable de l'art," par Juliette Le Monnyer. News BDS, par Simon Franssen. Livres par C.S.

© "Palestine + 100. Stories from a century after the Nakba." Edited by Basma Ghalayini. Publ. by Comma Press (UK). ISBN: 9781910974445, £ 9.00.

Review: Alison Flood, "What will Palestine be like in 2048? Writers turn to sci-fi for the answer"  (The Guardian, July 25): Twelve acclaimed Palestinian writers have imagined what their country might look like in 2048, 100 years after the Nakba saw more than 700,000 people flee or expelled from their homes, in what is believed to be the first ever collection of science fiction from the occupied territories.


© Gérard Haddad, "Le Silence des Prophètes. Entretiens avec Marc Leboucher". Éditions Salvator, mai 2019. Coll. FORUM, ISBN 9782706718045, 160p. Prix: 17.00 euros.

Dans le champ intellectuel du judaïsme français, Gérard Haddad occupe une place originale et témoigne d'un parcours atypique. Né en Tunisie, il fait des études d'agronomie, pour se tourner ensuite vers la psychiatrie et la psychanalyse grâce à la rencontre décisive de Jacques Lacan. Profondément marqué par la figure de Yeshayahou Leibowitz, il est aujourd'hui très critique de la politique sécuritaire d'Israël et de l'évolution identitaire du judaïsme français. Interrogé ici par Marc Leboucher, il revient en particulier sur ce qu'il nomme le " silence des voix juives " et le profond affadissement de la tradition prophétique que celui-ci révèle.  


Videos:

# https://www.facebook.com/QudsNen/videos/348765706029439/
Ever heard the music of a Palestinian Orchestra? Musicians from around the world, proud of their Palestinian origin revived the National Orchestra that was disbanded when Israel was founded in 1948.

# https://www.facebook.com/QudsNen/videos/668248253661400/ 
(Quds News Network): After demolishing dozens of residential apartments.. Israeli forces bomb a whole building in Wadi Hummus in occupied Jerusalem.

# https://www.facebook.com/JewishVoiceforPeace/videos/351815412371577/ 
(Jewish Voice for Peace): "We want to live." Beautiful trailer of documentary film we eagerly await.

# https://www.facebook.com/fosnalive/videos/468007270663514/
Friends of Sabeel North America FOSNA: "We disrupted VP Mike Pence today at the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) summit."

# https://www.facebook.com/AdalahEnglish/videos/340626530202757/
Adalah: "This is segregation A PARK FOR JEWS ONLY: The mayor of the Israeli city of Afula wants to keep Arabs out."

Ilan Pappé: "Anti Zionism is not antisemitism"

Jerusalem's historic hotel to be shut down by Jewish settlers

The sand sculptor of Gaza

#Reclaim Your Space by fighting hate and supporting Palestinian freedom.

Belgian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel

Committee: Prof. ém. Marie-Christine Closon (UCL), Prof. Patrick Deboosere (VUB), Prof. Lieven De Cauter (KULeuven), Em. Prof. Herman De Ley (UGent), Em. Prof. Marc De Meyere (UGent), Prof. Serge Deruette (UMons), 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), Prof. ém. Christiane Schomblond (ULB), Dr. Nozomi Takahashi (UGent), Prof. Karin Verelst (VUB).

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