Jan 31, 2009

Make Zionism History!

Support Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of the Israeli regime

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

Academic Boycott of Israel and the Complicity of Israeli Academic Institutions: Alternative Information Centre

The idea of an academic boycott of Israel first emerged in 2002 as part of the growing boycott and divestment campaign
against Israel, itself a part of the struggle against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and the violation of Palestinian human and national rights. Compared to other types of boycott, the academic boycott has gathered a relative amount of widespread support amongst academic unions and organizations, primarily in Great Britain. Not surprisingly,
this relative success has stirred a public debate and opposition to the boycott, mostly by pro-Israeli organizations and academics. The campaign for academic boycott has wavered under these pressures and various degrees and measures of boycott have since been approved and then often canceled by academic organizations. The arguments in favor of this kind of boycott have relied largely on the facts of the Israeli occupation and the idea of pressuring Israel through its academic
world; often, they have not utilised details relating to the specific academic institutions that they call to boycott.
Through this report, however, the Alternative Information Center (AIC) aims to inform and empower the debate on an academic boycott by giving information not on Israeli violence and violations of international law and human rights, but on
the part played in the Israeli occupation by the very academic institutions in question. The report demonstrates that Israeli academic institutions have not opted to take a neutral, apolitical position toward the Israeli occupation but to fully support the Israeli security forces and policies toward the Palestinians, despite the serious suspicions of crimes and atrocities hovering
over them. Any who argue either for or against an academic boycott against Israeli institutions, we believe, should.

To read this excellent first proper article in English about Academic complicity in Israel’s occupation, use the link above. This is amust for anyone wondering about the justification for academic boycott! It is 64 pages long, and has more than 180 references!

Gaza 2009: We Will Never Forget

An edited video made up of some of the most famous media moments of Israel’s criminal war in Gaza

Dozens believed dead in reprisal attacks as Hamas retakes control: The Guardian

• Suspected collaborators shot during and after war
• Escaped criminals killed by relatives of their victims

Evidence is emerging of a wave of reprisal attacks and killings inside Gaza that have left dozens dead and more wounded in the wake of Israel’s war. Among the dead are Palestinians suspected of collaborating with the Israeli military. Others include criminals who were among the 600 prisoners to escape from Gaza City’s main jail when it was bombed as the war began. Their attackers are thought to be their victims’ relatives.

Gaza residents launch legal fight to make BBC broadcast aid appeal: The Guardian

Two Gaza residents are using legal threats to try to get the BBC to lift its ban on broadcasting humanitarian aid appeal for victims of the recent conflict. Clerkenwell-based law firm Hickman & Rose has written a 23-page letter to the BBC seeking to take the corporation to a judicial review unless it airs the Disasters Emergency Committee film. The letter, headed “Legal challenge to the decision not to broadcast the DEC appeal”, has been sent on behalf of three people, two of whom are named as residents of Gaza. The letter asserts that the BBC decision – made by the director general, Mark Thompson, and top executives – was “irrational or otherwise unlawful” and says it breached the European convention on human rights. “We have been instructed to write a letter of claim and we are awaiting a substantive response,” said a spokeswoman for the law firm. The letter derailed the BBC Trust’s fast-track investigation into the corporation’s decision to refuse to broadcast the Gaza appeal. A special three-person ad hoc BBC Trust committee – chaired by Richard Tait, a former chief executive of ITN, with the trust chairman, Sir Michael Lyons, and vice-chairwoman Chitra Bharucha – had planned to make recommendations to the full trust board and make an announcement on Thursday.

Gaza rocket hits southern Israe: BB

A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip has hit southern Israel, exploding near the city of Ashkelon, the Israeli military has said.

No casualties were reported from the rocket, which landed in a field. It is one of several rocket attacks from the territory since Israel and Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared ceasefires on 18 January. The ceasefires ended Israel’s three-week offensive in Gaza, which was aimed at stopping rocket attacks on Israel.  The ceasefires, independently declared by each side, have been violated several times. An Israeli soldier was killed in a bomb attack on the Gaza border on Tuesday. Israel responded with air raids and a brief ground incursion by soldiers and tanks.

US envoy

About 1,300 Palestinians and 10 Israeli soldiers were killed in the three weeks of Gaza fighting. Three Israeli citizens died in rocket attacks. Israel wants the rocket attacks to end and wants to prevent militants in Gaza from being able to rearm. Hamas wants the border crossings into Gaza to be fully opened to end a 18-month blockade of Gaza which has wrecked its economy. US President Barack Obama has sent his Middle East envoy George Mitchell to the region to “vigorously” pursue Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Arabic press praises Erdogan: BBC

There was criticism in some Turkish papers of Prime Minister Recep Erdogan after he stormed off stage during a Davos debate, while Arab papers pointed out that he’d shown more support for Gaza over Israel’s actions than Arab leaders. Three Turkish papers focused on the perceived inability of Erdogan to control his emotions and the damage that may have been done to Turkey’s international standing. The latter theme was echoed in Israeli papers. Arab papers asked why the Arab League chief remained on the stage with the Israeli president, and more broadly highlighted what they saw as Arab leaders’ failure to do more for Palestinians over the recent Gaza conflict.

Israel ‘hides settlements data: BBC

The Israeli defence ministry has concealed information about the extent of illegal settlement-building in the West Bank, a leading newspaper reports.

A classified database of construction compiled by the ministry was leaked to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. It suggests most construction took place without the right permits, and more than 30 settlements were built in part on land owned by Palestinians. Settlements are a contentious issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The defence ministry has not commented on the report, which appears to contradict Israel’s official position that it does not requisition private land for settlements.The internationally-backed “road map” peace plan also calls on Israel to halt all settlement activity.

Turkish PM greeted by cheers after Israel debate clash: The Guardian

Recep Tayyip Erdogan argued with Israeli president over Gaza offensive, before storming out

Turkish prime minister in angry clash with Israeli president Shimon Peres over ‘very wrong’ offensive against Palestinian territory Link to this video

Turkey‘s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, arrived home to a tumultuous reception of cheering crowds early today after storming out of a debate in Davos over Israel’s recent offensive in Gaza. Hours after clashing with the Israeli president, Shimon Peres, in angry scenes at the normally sedate world economic forum, he was welcomed at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport by thousands of supporters waving Turkish and Palestinian flags and chanting “Turkey is proud of you”. Sympathisers also left bouquets of flowers at his official residence. The outpouring of support displayed the domestic political capital Erdogan gained from his performance at the Swiss resort, where he told Peres: “When it comes to killing, you know very well how to kill.” He then walked off the stage, declaring that he would never return to Davos, after claiming he had not been allowed to speak by the debate moderator, the Washington Post columnist David Ignatius.

Erdogan also accused Peres of raising his voice and claimed the Israeli statesman had been allowed more speaking time than himself and the panel discussion’s two other participants, the UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, and Amr Moussa, secretary general of the Arab League.

Recep Erdogan storms out of Davos Gaza debate: The Guardian

Turkish prime minister in angry clash with Israeli president Shimon Peres over ‘very wrong’ offensive against Palestinian territory

Barak: Israel to hit Hamas again if necessary: Ha’aretz

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Friday that Israel will strike against Gaza militants again if necessary. Barak said he hoped the truce that ended Israel’s three-week offensive against Gaza’s Hamas rulers holds. But he stressed that Israel is prepared to act again if Hamas continues to fire rockets at southern Israel. “Hamas was hit like it was never hit before,” the defense minister told Channel 10 TV on Friday. “If we need hit Hamas again, we will.”

Spanish FM: We’ll act to prevent war crimes probes against Israel: Ha’aretz

Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos informed Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Friday of Spain’s plan to amend legislation that granted a Spanish judge the authority to launch a much-publicized war crimes investigation against senior Israeli officials.  Judge Fernando Andreu launched an investigation Thursday into seven current or former Israeli officials over a 2002 bombing in Gaza that killed a top Hamas militant, Salah Shehadeh, and 14 other people, including nine children.  The judge acted under a doctrine that allows prosecution in Spain, and other European countries, to reach far beyond national borders in cases of torture or war crimes. The universal jurisdiction ruling sparked outrage in Israel and elsewhere.

Report: Turkish PM Erdogan says ‘Palestine today is an open-air prison’: Ha’aretz

Fresh off his public spat with President Shimon Peres in Davos, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to make waves in the murky waters of Middle East diplomacy, slamming Israel’s policy of boycotting Hamas in Gaza. Jerusalem has effectively turned the coastal area into “an open-air prison,” Erdogan said in an interview with the Washington Post. In remarks reported by the Post on Saturday, the Turkish premier said Israel and Syria were “very close” to initiating direct peace talks just days before the start of the Israel Defense Forces offensive in the Gaza Strip. Erdogan also revealed that it was he who arranged a secret meeting in Istanbul two years ago between the foreign ministers of Israel and Pakistan, the nuclear-armed Muslim country which does not have diplomatic ties with Jerusalem.

Secret Israeli database reveals full extent of illegal settlemen: Ha’aretz

Just four years ago, the defense establishment decided to carry out a seemingly elementary task: establish a comprehensive database on the settlements. Brigadier General (res.) Baruch Spiegel, aide to then defense minister Shaul Mofaz, was put in charge of the project. For over two years, Spiegel and his staff, who all signed a special confidentiality agreement, went about systematically collecting data, primarily from the Civil Administration.
One of the main reasons for this effort was the need to have credible and accessible information at the ready to contend with legal actions brought by Palestinian residents, human rights organizations and leftist movements challenging the legality of construction in the settlements and the use of private lands to establish or expand them. The painstakingly amassed data was labeled political dynamite. The defense establishment, led by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, steadfastly refused to publicize the figures, arguing, for one thing, that publication could endanger state security or harm Israel’s foreign relations. Someone who is liable to be particularly interested in the data collected by Spiegel is George Mitchell, President Barack Obama’s special envoy to the Middle East, who came to Israel this week for his first visit since his appointment. It was Mitchell who authored the 2001 report that led to the formulation of the road map, which established a parallel between halting terror and halting construction in the settlements.

Erdogan: ‘My anger over Gaza directed at Israeli government, not Jews’: Ha’aretz

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan received a hero’s welcome upon his return to Istanbul on Friday, a day after storming off the stage at the World Economic Forum in Davos, red-faced from verbally sparring with President Shimon Peres over the recent fighting in Gaza.