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March 4, 2009

Make Zionism History! boycott-israel-anim2

Help to stop the next war! Support Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of the Israeli regime

Support Palestinian universities – spread the BDS campaign – it is what people under the Israeli jackboot  ask  you to do!

Israeli War Criminals – to the International Criminal Court, NOW!

Protests at Israeli science event: BBC

Israeli Day of Science events taking place at museums in London and Manchester have been hit by protests.
More than 400 people have signed a British Committee for the Universities of Palestine letter attacking the Zionist Federation event.
Universities whose academics are attending were “complicit” in the policies and weaponry used during the Gaza offensive, the letter claimed.
Organisers insist the events, aimed at secondary schools, are non-political. They say the events are aimed at igniting young people’s interest in science. Senior Israeli academics are lecturing on topics from medical research to energy and water technologies. However, the letter’s author, Professor Jonathan Rosenhead, said: “This is a dubious venture at the best of times but at this particular moment, after the offensive in Gaza, it’s particularly insensitive.” It is estimated that 1,300 people were killed, including more than 400 children, during an Israeli offensive in December and January.

MIDEAST: Israel Boycott Movement Gains Momentum: IPS

RAMALLAH, Mar 3 (IPS) – “Standing United with the People of Gaza” is the theme of this week’s Israel Apartheid Week (IAW), which kicked off in Toronto and another 39 cities across the globe Sunday.
A movement to boycott Israeli goods, culture and academic institutions is gaining momentum as Geneva prepares to host the UN’s Anti-Racism Conference, Durban 2 next month amidst swirling controversy. Both Canada and the U.S. are boycotting the Durban 2 conference in protest over what they perceive as a strongly anti-Israel agenda. The first UN Anti-Racism conference, held in the South African city Durban in 2001, saw the Israeli and U.S. delegates storm out of the conference, accusing other delegates of focusing too strongly on Israel. U.S. and Canadian support might have offered some comfort for Israel. However, international criticism of Israel’s three-week bloody offensive into Gaza, which left more than 1,300 Palestinians dead and thousands more wounded, most of them civilian, has breathed fresh life into a Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) campaign. The BDS campaign followed a 2005 appeal from over 170 Palestinian civil society groups to launch a divestment campaign “as a way of bringing non- violent pressure to bear on the state of Israel to end its violations of international law.”  In the wake of the BDS campaign, critics of Israel have lashed out at what they see as parallels between South Africa’s former apartheid system and Israeli racism.  They point to Israel’s discriminatory treatment of ethnic Palestinians within Israel who hold Israeli passports, and the extensive human rights abuses against Palestinians in the occupied territories by Israeli security forces. During the apartheid era, ties between Israel and South Africa were extremely strong, with the Jewish state helping to train South Africa’s security forces as well as supplying the regime in Pretoria with weapons.
Meanwhile, Toronto, where the Israel Apartheid Week movement was born, will hold forums, film shows, cultural events and street protests to mark IAW week. One of the guest speakers is former South African intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils.

The Israel donors conference: Ha’aretz

By Amira Hass

The extent of the funding pledged to the Palestinian Authority by donor countries reflects the extent of their support for Israel and its policies. The American taxpayers’ contribution to the Ramallah government’s bank account is dwarfed by the large sums the U.S. government donates to Israel every year. It’s impossible to get excited over the American pledge of $900 million (two-thirds of it for strengthening Salam Fayyad’s government and the rest for Gaza’s recovery) and forget the $30 billion the United States has promised Israel in defense aid by the end of 2017, as last week’s Amnesty International report noted. The $900 million pledged to the Palestinians in Sharm el-Sheikh should be seen as part of the regular American aid to Israel. As an occupying power, Israel is obligated to assure the well-being of the population under its control. But Israel is harming it instead, after which the United States (like other countries) rushes to compensate for the damage. The Clinton and Bush administrations – and Barack Obama appears to be following in their footsteps – erased the phrase “Israeli occupation” from their dictionaries and collaborated with Israel in ignoring its commitments as enshrined in international law. The billions of dollars that Israel receives from the United States for weapons and defense development – which played a significant role in the destruction in the Gaza Strip – are part of Israel’s successful propaganda, which presents the Rafah tunnels and Grad rockets as a strategic threat and part of the Islamic terror offensive against enlightened countries. The West has blown the Hamas movement out of proportion, exaggerating its military might to the point of mendacity; this allowed for an extended siege and three weeks of Israeli military intractability. In the Palestinian and larger Arab world, this embellishment helps Hamas depict itself as the real patriotic force.

Aid as a weapon: The Guardian CiF

International donors’ approach to the Palestinian people lacks consistency, courage, and plain common sense
Ben White
Ever since the beginning of the second intifada in 2000, there has been a familiar pattern in the Occupied Territories: Israel destroys Palestinian civilian infrastructure, and the international community foots the bill. This has been reproduced once more, on a grand scale, as billions of dollars were promised this week at the Egypt-hosted donor conference for devastated Gaza, far exceeding the Palestinian Authority’s initial target.
It remains to be seen how much of this aid will actually get through to the Palestinians imprisoned in Gaza, who continue to live in the rubble of thousands of homes, and hundreds of businesses, factories and schools. Two-thirds of the US contribution of $900 million, for example, is not even earmarked for Gaza. There is also the question of how the aid will make a practical difference on the ground, given that Israel refuses to let in even tomato paste and paper – not to mention construction materials, generators (or “an entire water purification system”). Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth observed: “Israel’s blockade policy can be summed up in one word and it is punishment, not security.”

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