Amnesty Says ICC Israel Probe Should Include ‘Crime Against Humanity of Apartheid’

“Israel’s apartheid remains the root cause of Palestinians’ suffering,” said the group.


Palestinians inspect the ruins of a collapsed building destroyed by an Israeli air strike in Gaza City on August 6, 2022. (Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

JULIA CONLEY, Common Dreams, October 25, 2022

Calling for the International Criminal Court to open a new investigation into possible war crimes by Israeli military forces in Gaza in August, Amnesty International on Tuesday said the court must also include Israel’s illegal apartheid policies against the Occupied Palestinian Territories in its probe.

“As well as investigating war crimes committed in Gaza, the ICC should consider the crime against humanity of apartheid within its current investigation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

The organization’s call centered on the three-day offensive launched by Israel between August 5-8 in the Gaza Strip, with advocates saying its research suggests three specific attacks could amount to war crimes.

Seventeen civilians were among the 49 Palestinian people who were killed by Israeli forces during the offensive, while seven were determined to have been killed by Palestinian rockets that were likely misfired. The group could not determine which side was responsible for the deaths of seven other civilians.

Amnesty noted that Israel, which claimed the attacks were “preemptive” and targeted the Palestinian Islamic Jihad organization, has set the stage for such deadly assaults on civilians for years by imposing a blockade and other apartheid policies on Gaza.

“These violations were perpetrated in the context of Israel’s ongoing illegal blockade on Gaza, which is a key tool of its apartheid regime,” said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s secretary general, in a statement. “Palestinians in Gaza are dominated, oppressed, and segregated, trapped in a 15-year nightmare where recurrent unlawful attacks punctuate a worsening humanitarian crisis.”

“As well as investigating war crimes committed in Gaza, the ICC should consider the crime against humanity of apartheid within its current investigation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories,” Callamard added.

The group said Israel’s policies—including military control of Palestine, restrictions on the movement of millions of people in the West Bank, and denial of essential services—are the “root cause of Palestinians’ suffering.”

The call comes eight months after Amnesty outlined Israel’s apartheid system in a report, saying “the international community and the ICC should all investigate the commission of the crime of apartheid under international law.”

In its report released Tuesday regarding the three-day offensive that took place in August, the group said it had interviewed 42 people including attack survivors, family members of those killed, eyewitnesses, and medical professionals. A fieldworker, the organization’s evidence lab, and a weapons expert determined that at least three of the 17 attacks Amnesty documented should be investigated by the ICC as possible war crimes.

An Israeli tank fired a projectile on August 5, hitting the home of 22-year-old art student Duniana al-Amour and her family in the southern Gaza Strip. Al-Amour was killed and her mother was wounded. Amnesty concluded in its analysis that the family’s home had been “deliberately targeted,” even though there is “no evidence that any members of the al-Amour family could reasonably be believed to be involved in armed combat.”

Five children were killed on August 7 when a missile struck Al-Falluja cemetery, near the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza. The children ranged in age from four to 16.

Continue reading

Our right to boycott is headed to the Supreme Court

Just Vision, 10/20/22

Moments ago, the ACLU petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a case of national significance on the right to boycott. It’s a case with massive implications for First Amendment rights.  

As you know, we’re tracking the spread of anti-boycott legislation sweeping state houses in the United States – and with great alarm. Our latest documentary, Boycott, follows plaintiffs in Texas, Arizona and Arkansas as they take on tremendous risk by suing their states over the constitutionality of these laws. One of those plaintiffs, Alan Leveritt, is at the center of the case now in front of the Supreme Court. 

If you’re new to this story, here’s the gist: anti-boycott laws, now passed in 34 states, require public contractors to sign a pledge promising that they do not, and will not, boycott Israel for the duration of their contract. Several Americans have challenged these laws, suing their respective states for violating their First Amendment rights. In almost every case — from Texas to Arizona to Kansas to Georgia — the plaintiffs won, with courts finding the anti-boycott laws unconstitutional. 

But this past summer, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Alan’s case that boycotts are not protected by the First Amendment, a shocking break from Supreme Court precedent. The Eighth Circuit determined that boycotts, even when politically motivated, are strictly economic activity and not a form of expression. 

Video: Boycotts that changed history

As a news publisher, Alan believes the court is dead wrong. As he wrote in a New York Times Op-Ed: “We don’t take political positions in return for advertising. If we signed the pledge, I believe, we’d be signing away our right to freedom of conscience. And as journalists, we would be unworthy of the protections granted us under the First Amendment.”  

As the Supreme Court weighs whether to hear the case, we’re bracing ourselves for the implications. It’s become clear that these laws target more than just those advocating for Palestinian rights. Israel-focused anti-boycott laws have already been used as a template to ban boycotts on several other issues. There are now copycat bills, using nearly identical language, targeting boycotts of fossil fuels, firearms and other industries. (See our legislative tracker for what’s currently in play around the country and to see if your state is impacted.) 

It’s not only advocacy for the environment, gun safety and Palestinian rights that stands on the line — but the very right to wield boycotts as a form of political expression. We’re also fully aware that anti-boycott laws are the tip of the iceberg: across the country, states – backed by corporate lobbyists and right-wing coalitions – are passing anti-protest laws designed to punish and, in some cases, criminalize political organizing and dissent. 

We’re watching this story carefully, whether the Supreme Court hears it or not. But we’re also clear-eyed – the power to affect real, tangible change lies not in the courts, but in the hands of the people. We will continue to amplify those at the front lines, to ensure that our right to voice dissent is sacrosanct and fully protected.   

Onward,

Suhad Babaa
Executive Director & President, Just Vision

Uruguayan National Football Team Cancels Trip to Israel

The Palestine Chronicle, October 12, 2022

Pro-Palestine activists in Uruguay celebrated a major victory on Wednesday as their country’s football team officially announced that they were not going to play in Israel as was previously scheduled.

In a statement, a copy of which was sent to The Palestine Chronicle, the Uruguayan group,  Coordinación por Palestina (Coordination for Palestine), said that Uruguay’s Football Association (AUF) announced that it is not going to Israel following intense pressure. 

“In these months, the AUF received four letters from Palestinian football clubs and associations, explaining the continuous and serious aggressions that Israel commits against Palestinian football and sports,” the group said.

The many messages sent to the AUF included a letter from a former coach of the Palestinian national football team, from musician Roger Waters, along with several Palestinian intellectuals, including The Palestine Chronicle editor and author Dr. Ramzy Baroud.

“We are deeply grateful for all the solidarity and support received from so many territories and people,” the group concluded.


From The the Coordinación por Palestina team: “As we said when we launched the campaign, we do not want the celeste T-shirt to be used to whitewash Israeli apartheid or to cover up its serious violations of human and collective rights of the Palestinian people.

We based our statement on the letter we delivered on June 3 at the AUF (Uruguay’s Football Association) headquarters, with the signature of more than 20 social, human rights and football-related organizations in our country.

In these months, the AUF received four letters from Palestinian football clubs and associations explaining the continuous and serious aggressions that Israel commits against Palestinian football and sports, plus countless messages from organizations around the world asking the national team not to lend itself to whitewash Israel’s crimes through football.

The many messages sent to the AUF include: from a former coach of the Palestinian national football team, from musician Roger Waters, from Jewish anti-Zionist groups in several countries, from religious institutions, from human rights organizations and solidarity groups from five continents, and from territories as far away as Palestine/Israel, South Africa, India, Canada, USA, Europe, Australia, Aotearoa/New Zealand, Turkey, and from our own region. We are deeply grateful for all the solidarity and support received from so many territories and people!

We hope that these messages have been read and heard by the national team players and the AUF leadership; and we are hopeful that they will be taken into account in the future. Because as we said from day one: you cannot play with apartheid.”

For a FREE PALESTINE, URUGUAY DOES NOT GO!

Progressives Exposing Israeli Apartheid

Join AMP on Thursday, October 13th @ 5:30 PM CT for a webinar:
“From Grassroots to Congress: Progressives Exposing Israeli Apartheid”

During Americans for Justice in Palestine (AJP Action) Advocacy Days, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib remarked that “you cannot claim to hold progressive values yet back Israel‘s apartheid government.” She was absolutely right, and recent polls have proven this fact, as net sympathy for Israel has waned in the last few years, especially among progressives, and young people.

It’s not surprising therefore that Israeli apologists in the media, and in congress, resort to smear campaigns and unwarranted attacks against progressives who defend Palestinian rights and condemn Israeli apartheid. However, it’s clear that Israel is losing the battle in the court of public opinion, and it’s our job on the ground to push our elected officials to do what’s right and stand for justice and democratic values.

Join us tomorrow Thursday, October 13th @ 5:30 PM CT for this important webinar where I will be hosting a live discussion on Facebook and YouTube with our wonderful guests: 

  • Josh Reubner: Director of Government Relations at the Institute for Middle East Understanding

  • Beth Miller: Senior Government Affairs Manager for Jewish Voice for Peace Action

  • Katie Halper: National Director of Living Liberally

  • Eva Borgwardt: Political Director at IfNotNow

Please share this webinar on (Facebook, Twitter & Instagram), watch on YouTube, and be sure to invite your friends and family to tune in.

We look forward to having you join us on October 13th @ 5:30 PM CT.

Continue reading

Israeli Disinformation, Lies, and Deception


These methods follow a recurring pattern that aims to perpetuate impunity, while normalizing the apartheid regime and winning over international public opinion.

Here are the 5 steps that can help you recognize Israel’s propaganda:





Check the pattern:

A quick guide to Israel’s PR methods
1. We haven’t heard reports of deaths, will check into it;
2. The people were killed, but by a faulty Palestinian rocket/bomb;
3. OK, we killed them, but they were terrorists;
4. OK, they were civilians, but they were being used as human shields;
5. OK, there were no fighters in the area, so it was our mistake. But we kill civilians by accident, they do it on purpose;
6. OK, we kill far more civilians than they do, but look at how terrible other countries are!
7. Why are you still talking about Israel? Are you some kind of anti-semite?
Test this against the next interview you hear or watch.

— Adam Johannes, Secretary, Cardiff Stop the War Coalition
Independent Jewish Voices Canada, August 3, 2014

Unilever: Stop doing business in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

And stop your betrayal of Ben & Jerry’s

SumOfUs, Sep 29, 2022

It’s a bloody time in Palestine right now. At least 85 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank by Israeli forces carrying out nightly raids making it the deadliest year in the occupied territory since 2016.

There is also bad news in the fight to get corporations to stop supporting Israel’s apartheid regime. A year after SumOfUs members like you help pushed Ben & Jerry’s to make a decision to stop selling ice cream in the Palestinian Occupied Territory, Unilever, Ben & Jerry’s parent company, has made a backroom deal to reverse this heroic decision. 

SumOfUs had been in contact with Ben & Jerry’s after tens of thousands SumOfUs members like you called on the corporation to take a stand against 70 years of ongoing apartheid, colonization, and daily violation of the human rights of Palestinian by Israeli forces. We know our community made a huge difference in getting Ben & Jerry’s historic announcement — multiple sources within the company said your voices had an impact on this announcement finally being made.

And now, we need you to finish the job and call on Unilever to support Ben & Jerry’s heroic decision and stand with Palestine. 

Call on Unilever to stop its betrayal of Ben & Jerry’s and stop profiting from illegal settlements.

When Ben & Jerry’s made its historic announcement, we knew right-wing Israeli nationalists would use everything in their power to stop the company from leaving Israel. And they did – the day after the announcement, the Prime Minister of Israel said Ben & Jerry’s decision will have “severe consequences”. His government then sent a classified cable to its missions and embassies calling on its envoys to ramp up pressure to make sure Ben & Jerry’s decision didn’t stick. 

And after a year of sustained pressure, Unilever has made a deal with another company that promises to continue selling products with Ben & Jerry’s name and breaking the contract signed with Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield when it bought the company from the founders in 2000. 

This Ben & Jerry’s fight with Unilever may seem like a corporate fight over ice cream – but it’s about more than just dessert. If more companies can join French telecom giant Orange in leaving the Occupied Palestinian Territory, it can kick start a corporate movement to exit apartheid Israel much like the corporate movement that forced a regime change in apartheid South Africa in the 1990s. 

Continue reading

October 5-9, 2022
Acclaimed Film Boycott free online

An online film salon for the acclaimed film:
BOYCOTT

Sunday, 9 October 2022

1pm PT, 2pm MT, 3pm CT, 4pm ET (US, Canada)
Register here

A bracing look at the far-reaching implications of anti-boycott legislation sweeping the U.S. and designed to penalize businesses and individuals that choose to boycott Israel due to its human rights record. 

BOYCOTT illustrates how these laws are being used as templates to stop us from boycotting around other justice issues, further limiting our constitutional right to free speech. 

A legal thriller with “accidental plaintiffs” at the center of the story:

When a news publisher in Arkansas, an attorney in Arizona, and a speech therapist in Texas are told they must choose between their jobs and their political beliefs, they launch legal battles that expose an attack on freedom of speech that has swept across 33 U.S. states

BOYCOTT is an inspiring tale of everyday Americans standing up to protect our rights in an age of shifting politics and threats to freedom of speech. 

The film will be available for free viewing for a few days only, through a special arrangement with the film producers at Just Vision.

You must register to receive access to the film and to join the discussion

When you register, you will get an email on October 4th, with a link and password to watch the film. You will have 4 days to watch the film for free before the discussion on Oct 9th.
 

THE PANEL:

BAHIA AMAWI: protagonist of the film Boycott, free-speech plaintiff vs. Texas Attorney General and Pflugerville, TX School District

 

Special Guest, PETER BEINERT: Editor-at-Large, Jewish Currents; CNN & MSNBC Commentator; Professor of Journalism & Political Science, Newmark School of Journalism, CUNY; and Fellow, Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP)

JEN MARLOWE: JustVision filmmaker, author, playwright, journalist, and human rights activist

Continue reading

Israeli Apartheid: A Breakdown

Israel applies an oppressive, separate, and unequal regime on Palestinians. There is only one word for this: Apartheid.

Omar Baddar, Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU), Oct 14, 2020

Omar Baddar is Director of Communications for the Institute for Middle East Understanding, and past Deputy Director of the Arab American Institute.

YWCA Madison’s Racial Justice Summit

Madison365 staff, Sep 1, 2022

The YWCA Madison’s Racial Justice Summit will take place Sept. 28-30. Organizers are inviting the community to practice “Weaving Our Pasts, Present and Emergent Futures for Racial Justice and Co-Liberation.”

For this 21st annual Summit, YWCA Madison is collaborating with local and national practitioners, educators, artists, authors, and advocates to curate a combination of virtual and in-person experiences. The motivation is to disrupt the (mis)understanding of the different dimensions of justice as separate issues, and support an understanding of their interconnected nature.

The hope is for the Summit to support communities in deeply understanding how racial justice, restorative justice, gender justice, immigration justice, disability justice, climate justice, and so on, are truly different transgenerational dimensions of our ongoing building of practice, community, interconnectedness and power within movements for justice and co-liberation.

Some of the Summit keynotes this year are sisters Angela Davis and Fania Davis, Ericka Huggins, Linda Sarsour, Rudy Bankston, Jenifer Garcia, and sisters adrienne maree brown and Autumn Brown.

For any other questions, please email racialjustice@ywcamadison.org.

To purchase tickets, click here.


Linda Sarsour has advocated for Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied territories and expressed support for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. (Wikipedia)

Angela Davis supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel. In 2019 the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) rescinded Davis’s Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award for Davis’s vocal support for Palestinian rights and the movement to boycott Israel. Davis said her loss of the award was “not primarily an attack against me but rather against the very spirit of the indivisibility of justice.” The BCRI reversed its decision and issued a public apology, stating that there should have been more public consultation. (Wikipedia)

Rally for Google and Amazon workers against Israeli military