Friday, July 18: Mahmoud Abu Rahma from Rafah on WORT with Max Blumenthal
Saturday, July 19: Emergency Demonstration for Gaza
Thursday, July 24: Online Event: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions: A New Path to Peace
AND links on Gaza
Plus: Cartoon of the Week: What if…
Friday, July 18:
Mahmoud Abu Rahma of Al Mezan on WORT
12 noon on WORT Radio, 89.9 fm, Mahmoud Abu Rahma, communications and international relations director for the Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights in Gaza, will be interviewed by A Public Affair host Esty Dinur about the current attack on Gaza. Aburahma recently wrote “Understanding Israel’s Actions”, which states: “It is essential that U.S. citizens understand that this conflict should not continue to be viewed as a symmetrical one any more. When they do not hear about it, there are vicious violations of international law against Palestinians every day; including closures/blockades, settlement activities (population transfer on our land) displacement, killings, detention and torture.” He will be joined by Max Blumenthal, author of “Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel”. Be sure to tune in and call in at 256-2001 with your questions. You can also listen live online.
Saturday, July 19:
Emergency Demonstration for Gaza
11 am, corner of State Street and Mifflin Street, Capitol square, Madison
As of TODAY, BEFORE the launch of Israel’s ground offensive, at least 221 Palestinians have been killed, of Whom 179 Are Civilians, Including 45 Children and 32 Women, and 1,458 Others Wounded, Mostly Civilians, Including 432 Children and 298 Women (PCHR). One Israeli has been killed and a handful injured.
MRSCP asks you to join us as we support this demonstration at the Farmer’s Market to protest Israel’s catastrophic and expanding assault on Gaza. Look for our large Palestinian flag banner with the words “Solidarity with Palestine” on it. Please bring “every Palestinian thing you have” and make your own signs .
If you can’t come (and even if you can) please take a minute to take action on this alert from Peace Action: Call the White House comment line at 202.456.1111 and demand a ceasefire and suspension of U.S. weapons and military aid to Israel.
Thursday, July 24:
BDS: A New Path to Peace
An online lecture presented by The Palestine Center with speakers Lena Ibrahim and Andrew Kadi
12 – 1:00 pm Central Time
Watch Live at this link.
The 2005 call from Palestine Civil Society for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel has gained unprecedented momentum within the international community in recent years. Since 2005, universities, academic groups, banks and faith based organizations have all joined the BDS movement.
Lena Ibrahim and Andrew Kadi will provide personal testimony for why a grassroots BDS movement in solidarity with Palestinian Civil Society is a new means by which people can put pressure on the U.S., Israel, and the international community to achieve justice in Palestine. This comes in light of yet another failed state-sponsored peace process and escalation of violence against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
For more information visit: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions: A New Path to Peace.
- Article by Raji Sourani of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) in Gaza: “We are just soft targets: we are very cheap”
- Check out Ali Abunimah’s blog at The Electronic Intifada
- For up to the minute news from a Palestinian perspective, visit Maan News Agency
- For detailed accounting of all incidents and casualties, meticulously documented, visit Palestinian Center for Human Rights and Al Mezan Center For Human Rights
Cartoon of the Week:: What if Mahmoud was named Jonah? | +972 Magazine Eli.Valley.Gaza.Leaflets.Vertical
France’s highest appeal court has ordered the country’s major Jewish organization to pay damages
Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 11 Apr 2014
Article falsely claimed charity raised money for Hamas
In June 2010, CRIF, the main umbrella group for Jewish organizations in France, published an article by Marc Knobel alleging that the Committee for Charity and Assistance to the Palestinians – known by its French initials CBSP – was actually raising money for Hamas.
Youcef Benderbal, a CBSP official, was aboard the ship and among hundreds of passengers forcibly taken to the Israeli-controlled port of Ashdod.
In the days before and after the massacre, the Israeli government engaged in intense propaganda efforts to portray the people aboard the flotilla as dangerous extremists and terrorists.
According to its own website, CBSP, founded in 1990, supports initiatives for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan and such projects as constructing water purification equipment for Gaza.
Knobel has written a number of articles attacking the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement and has called on French authorities to prosecute BDS activists – something the country’s judicial authorities have done vigorously.
The court ruled that the Knobel article’s “accusation that CBSP was collecting money for Hamas is defamatory” because no evidence had been provided to support the allegations, which had also been previously spread by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
The judgment also found that the article’s claim that CBSP had been defined as a “radical” organization by French authorities was false, and therefore “defamatory.”
The court ordered the CRIF researchers who wrote and published the article to pay CBSP a total of 3,000 euros ($4,200) in damages.
The defamatory article has been removed from CRIF’s website.
CRIF has been involved in spreading false allegations on other occasions.
One year ago, CRIF president Richard Prasquier apologized for spreading the “false news” that Israeli film director Yariv Horowitz was “lynched” during a visit to France in what was widely claimed to be an anti-Semitic attack by “Arabs.”
Attack on Palestine groups
The defamatory CRIF article resembles a similar attack, also launched in 2010, against the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC), an advocacy organization in London.
As The Electronic Intifada reported, the Israeli army published claims – without any substantiation – accusing PRC of being a “Hamas affiliate” that was “involved in initiating and organizing radical and violent activity against Israel in Europe.”
As I note in my book, UK authorities said they never received any information from Israel supporting these claims and never took any action against PRC.
That smear campaign was part of Israel’s strategy of “sabotage” and “attack” against the Palestine solidarity movement.
CRIF’s false allegations against CBSP look like they were part of a similar initiative aimed at discrediting civil society groups that keep Israel’s crimes against Palestinians in the public eye.
Students for Justice in Palestine – UW-Madison Chapter invites you to a teach-in on Academic Freedom and the Palestinian Popular Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)
Thursday, April 17th
Union South Agriculture Room
The speakers at the event are:
- Prof. Samer Alatout, Dept. of Community and Environmental Sociology;
- Prof. Phil Gasper, ‘The Struggle for Palestine’ (2002) contributor; and
- Representatives of Students Allied for Freedom and Equality at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Read the op-ed by Students for Justice for Palestine – UW-Madison Chapter in the Daily Cardinal.
And here’s the Facebook page for the event.
Hope to see you there!
Free all Palestinian political prisoners!
Tell Bill Gates to Divest from G4S!
3 April 2014, Occupied Ramallah – Addameer and the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee call on campaigners and people of conscience to take action Palestinian prisoner’s day on April 17 to stand in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners.
The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, the biggest charitable foundation in the world, owns shares in Israeli prison contractor G4S worth more than $170m. Join us in calling on them to divest their shares!
Over 5,000 Palestinians are currently held in Israeli prisons, including 183 children and 175 held under administrative detention, a form of detention without trial that Israel uses to hold Palestinians indefinitely on secret information.
Each year the Israeli military arrests thousands of Palestinians in an attempt to suppress any resistance to its continued occupation and apartheid policies. Among these are hundreds of children as young as 12 years old. In too many cases Palestinian children are tortured, ill-treated, placed in solitary confinement and coerced into signing a confession in Hebrew, a language which most Palestinian children do not understand. Every year approximately 1,000 children are sentenced in Israeli military courts.
Night raids are the most common form of arrest, during which Israeli soldiers will ransack an individual’s house, destroying personal property and abusing physically abusing family members. The arrested person will then be handcuffed and blindfolded before being thrown into the back of an Israeli military jeep, face-down, where the beatings, insults and humiliation will continue.
Under Israeli military law, Palestinians can be interrogated for a period of 90 days and denied access to a lawyer for the first 60 days. Since 1967, 73 Palestinian detainees have died as a result of torture while under Israeli interrogation, the most recent of which was Arafat Jaradat, who was tortured to death in a G4S-secured interrogation centre in February 2013.
We urge people to take action on Palestinian prisoner’s day on April 17 to stand in solidarity with the struggle of Palestinian political prisoners.
Addameer’s new video on G4S:
Stop G4S – Tell Bill Gates to divest now!
Two years ago, on the eve of the mass hunger strike by more than 2,000 Palestinian political prisoners, Addameer and other Palestinian organisations called for a campaign against G4S, the British security company that runs and providessecurity services and equipment at Israel’s prisons.
As part of the rapidly growing boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, campaigns against G4S are now underway in more than a dozen countries. Universities, banks, charities and trade unions across the world havecancelled contracts with G4S because of its role in Israel’s abhorrent prison system, costing G4S millions of dollars. Feeling the pressure, G4S has tried to make statements distancing itself from Israel’s prison system.
The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, the biggest charitable foundation in the world, owns shares in G4S worth more than $170m.
The Gates Foundation says that it is “guided by the belief that every life has equal value” and that it uses its investments to fund projects that “help all people lead healthy, productive lives”. But through its holdings in G4S, the Gates Foundation is legitimising and profiting from Israel’s use of torture and mass incarceration.
This Palestinian political prisoner’s day, join Addameer in putting pressure on the Gates Foundation to divest from G4S.
- Sign and widely share the petition calling on the Gates Foundation to divest from G4S
- Share this call and the link to the petition using the hashtag #StopG4S
- Share the graphics from Addameer’s Facebook page calling on the Gates Foundation to divest
- Organise an action at a G4S or Gates Foundation office in your city
- Organise a protest or rally in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners
Send an email to email@example.com to let us know about any actions you are planning.
US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, Ramah Kudaimi, March 22nd, 2014
Support Palestinian Water Rights
Today marks the start of the first International Week Against Mekorot, Israel’s state-owned water company that is responsible for implementing "water apartheid" on Palestinians.
Mekorot has been responsible for water rights violations and discrimination since the 1950s, depriving Palestinian communities from access to water. It provides vital support to Israel’s settlement enterprise, commits war crimes by pillaging Palestinians’ natural resources, and is a proud partner of the Jewish National Fund’s "Blueprint Negev" campaign to displace around 40,000 Palestinian Bedouin citizens of Israel in the Negev.
In 2005, Mekorot established a business arm to begin a process of international expansion. Several lucrative contracts have been signed in countries like the U.S., Cyprus, India, and Uganda. But civic groups are fighting back against rewarding Mekorot for its involvement in violations of international law and human rights. In Argentina, activists recently announced they succeeded in suspending the construction of a $170 million water regeneration plant. Vitens, the largest water supplier in the Netherlands, ended a contract with Mekorot just days after it was signed.
Starting today, World Water Day, through March 30, when Palestinians mark Land Day, PENGON/Friends of the Earth Palestine, the Palestinian BDS National Committee, and the Land Defense Coalition are asking people worldwide to say no to water apartheid!
Take the following actions targeting Mekorot and other companies like SodaStream that are complicit in depriving Palestinians of their right to water by operating in a settlement:
Watch Mekorot: An Apartheid Adventure. Share with your friends on Facebook and followers on Twitter.
On Twitter? Join the Twitter storm! Use #WorldWaterDay, #StopMekorot, and #BoycottSodaStream to share facts and links about Israeli violations of Palestinian water rights and the companies that support these abuses. We have put together sample tweets that you can use here.
On Facebook? Post this image on your profile by clicking here.
Find other graphics to post here.
1. Mekorot operates a system of water apartheid: Mekorot has been responsible for water rights violations and discrimination since the 1950s when it built Israel’s national water carrier, which is diverting the Jordan River from the West Bank and Jordan to serve Israeli communities. At the same time it deprives the Palestinian communities from the possibility of access to water: Palestinian consumption in the OPT is about 70 litres a day per person – well below the 100 litres per capita daily recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) – whereas Israeli daily per capita consumption, at about 300 litres, is about four times as much.
Mekorot has refused to supply water to Palestinian communities inside Israel, despite an Israeli high court ruling recognising their right to water. A French parliamentary report called these policies water apartheid.
2. Mekorot’s vital support for the illegal settlement enterprise: Mekorot support for colonial settlement has continued since the 1967 occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights. The company took monopoly control over all water sources in the occupied territories, implementing policies that bolster Israeli settlements at the expense of Palestinian communities.
The United Nations report of the independent international fact-finding mission on the implications of the Israeli settlements on the rights of the Palestinian people as well as the latest report on the settlements by the Secretary-General of the UN denounce Mekorot’s role in the settlement enterprise.
All cooperation with Mekorot inherently benefits from or contributes to the illegal settlement enterprise. Dutch public water company Vitens states that “Whether it comes to knowledge about extraction of water or to the benefits that can be achieved with smart grids, these cannot be separated from what the UN writes about the policy of Mekorot (*) towards the Palestinian territories and the settlements.”
3. Mekorot participates in the international crime of pillage of natural resources and wanton destruction of water infrastructure:
Mekorot operates some 42 wells in the West Bank, mainly in the Jordan Valley region, which mostly supply the Israeli settlements.
Mekorot works in close partnership with the Israeli military, confiscating irrigation pipes
from Palestinian farmers and destroying the water supply sources of Palestinian communities. In 2012 alone the Israeli army demolished 60 water and sanitation structures belonging to Palestinians.
Mark Braverman, author of Fatal Embrace: Christians, Jews and the Search for Peace in the Holy Land and A Wall in Jerusalem: Hope, Healing and the Struggle for Peace in Israel and Palestine, will be speaking in Madison. Mark is an American Jew with deep family roots in the Holy Land. He is on the advisory board of Friends of Sabeel, co-founder of Friends of Tent of Nations (a nonprofit dedicated to supporting Palestinian land rights), and Program Director for Kairos USA (a movement to unify and mobilize American Christians to respond to the suffering and hopes of Palestinian Christians as articulated in the Kairos Palestine declaration).
Sponsored by local Bright Stars of Bethlehem, the Southwest Association of the United Church of Christ Bethlehem Partnership, Memorial United Church of Christ, Christ Presbyterian Church, Midvale Lutheran Church, the Havens Center, Edgewood College, Pilgrims of Ibillin, Madison-Rafah Sister City Project, and Students for Justice in Palestine – UW-Madison.
For more information contact Bonnie Van Overbeke at bonnievano (at) aol.com
The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation says: “Omar opened in more than 40 US cities this past Friday. If it is playing in your city, please ask your supporters to watch it this week to help keep it in theaters longer and make it a box office success. The film has an 89% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Learn more about the film from this New York Times piece and like it on Facebook!”
Predolin Humanities Center
3:00 pm [Directions]
Rev. Mitri Raheb, pastor of Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem and director of the Diyar Consortium, will be speaking in Madison as part of a tour for his new book Faith in the Face of Empire: the Bible Through Palestinian Eyes.
Since 1992 Rev. Raheb has founded and led a number of projects and institutions serving the social needs of Palestinians living in the Bethlehem area, focusing specifically on women, children, youth, and the elderly.
Sponsored by local Bright Stars of Bethlehem, the Southwest Association of the United Church of Christ Bethlehem Partnership, Memorial United Church of Christ, Christ Presbyterian Church, Midvale Lutheran Church, Pilgrims of Ibillin, and Edgewood College.
For more information contact Bonnie Van Overbeke at bonnievano (at) aol.com.