JEWISH AND ISRAEL/PALESTINE ISSUES PART 7

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Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 1

Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 2

Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 3

Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 4

Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 5

Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 8

Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 9a

Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 9b

Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 10

Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 11

Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 12

Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 13

Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 14

Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 15

Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 16

Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 17

Kazimierz - Isaac's Synagogue - Krakow

Krakow - Kazimierz - Isaac's Synagogue



10 FEBRUARY 2006

Architects threaten to boycott Israel over 'apartheid' barrier

By Oliver Duff, Rob Sharp and Eric Silver in Jerusalem

Published: 10 February 2006 - Independent Online

A group including some of Britain's most prominent architects is considering calling for an economic boycott of Israel's construction industry in protest at the building of Israeli settlements and the separation barrier in the Occupied Territories.

Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine, whose members include Richard Rogers and the architectural critic Charles Jenckes, met for the first time last week in secret at the London headquarters of Lord Rogers' practice. He introduced the meeting, and the 60 attendees went on to condemn the illegal annexation of Palestinian land and the construction of the vast fence and concrete separation barrier running through the West Bank and Jerusalem.

The group said that architects, planners and engineers working on Israeli projects in the occupied territories were "complicit in social, political and economic oppression", and "in violation of their professional code of ethics".

It said that: "Planning, architecture and other construction disciplines are being used to promote an apartheid system of environmental control."

The meeting discussed a boycott of Israel - targeting Israeli-made construction materials and Israeli architects and construction companies - as well as possibly calling for the expulsion of Israeli architects from the International Union of Architects.

A spokesperson for the Israeli Embassy said: "Whoever supports a just solution should refrain from any manner of boycott. It just puts more obstacles in the way of reconciliation in our region.

"If these people care about the Palestinian cause they should help to build bridges not destroy."

Israeli architects denounced the initiative. Ofer Kolker, a leading, London-trained Israeli architect, said it would target a whole group, whether or not individuals were involved in the occupied territories.

"What will they boycott?" Mr Kolker asked. "British architects have never cooperated with their Israeli colleagues. British architects have always had a preference for the Arabs."

There have been several attempts to organise boycotts of Israel, from the virtually defunct Arab League boycott to the attempts to organise an academic boycott at the height of the Intifada. Amnesty International has campaigned against the Irish cement company CRH, which it claims held a large shareholding in a company supplying cement to build the separation barrier.

Earlier this week, the Church of England's general synod voted to divest church funds from companies profiting from Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian territory. The main target of the plan will be Caterpillar, whose diggers have been used to demolish Palestinian homes. Caterpillar says the US military sold them to Israel, but the church which sell its £2.5m of shares anyway.

Any boycott would aim to embarrass Israel into halting the building of the barrier and settlements, and the "unrestrained destruction" in historic West Bank cities.

Members said that final tactics were not yet decided but they stressed that all options up to an industry-wide boycott were open.

Eyal Weizman, the Israeli director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmith's College in London, urged action. "A boycott would be totally legitimate," he said. "The wall and the settlements have been deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice and we should boycott any company which does business, any architects that participate - anyone facilitating these human rights violations and war crimes."

Charles Jenckes told The Independent: "There reaches a certain point where an architect can't sit on the fence. Not to stand up to it would be to be complicit."

He said the separation barrier built by Israel was "a contorted, crazy, mad, divisive, drunken thing".

"In 10 years' time its builders will see it as a great folly," he said. "Architecturally it is madness. I understand fully that security is the problem for Israel and they have the right to protect themselves. But this is not the solution.

"It is an extremist measure which forments extremism, by incarcerating and intimidating Palestinians." He called for architects to gradually increase pressure on Israeli. George Ferguson, former president of the Royal Institute of British Architects, who was not at the meeting, said: "It is right that architects should not play a part in building communities and structures that drive people apart."

The biologist Steven Rose, who led the British academic boycott of Israel from 2002, said: "Architecture and planning are an integral part of the racist apartheid state."

A group including some of Britain's most prominent architects is considering calling for an economic boycott of Israel's construction industry in protest at the building of Israeli settlements and the separation barrier in the Occupied Territories.

Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine, whose members include Richard Rogers and the architectural critic Charles Jenckes, met for the first time last week in secret at the London headquarters of Lord Rogers' practice. He introduced the meeting, and the 60 attendees went on to condemn the illegal annexation of Palestinian land and the construction of the vast fence and concrete separation barrier running through the West Bank and Jerusalem.

The group said that architects, planners and engineers working on Israeli projects in the occupied territories were "complicit in social, political and economic oppression", and "in violation of their professional code of ethics".

It said that: "Planning, architecture and other construction disciplines are being used to promote an apartheid system of environmental control."

The meeting discussed a boycott of Israel - targeting Israeli-made construction materials and Israeli architects and construction companies - as well as possibly calling for the expulsion of Israeli architects from the International Union of Architects.

A spokesperson for the Israeli Embassy said: "Whoever supports a just solution should refrain from any manner of boycott. It just puts more obstacles in the way of reconciliation in our region.

"If these people care about the Palestinian cause they should help to build bridges not destroy."

Israeli architects denounced the initiative. Ofer Kolker, a leading, London-trained Israeli architect, said it would target a whole group, whether or not individuals were involved in the occupied territories.

"What will they boycott?" Mr Kolker asked. "British architects have never cooperated with their Israeli colleagues. British architects have always had a preference for the Arabs."

There have been several attempts to organise boycotts of Israel, from the virtually defunct Arab League boycott to the attempts to organise an academic boycott at the height of the Intifada. Amnesty International has campaigned against the Irish cement company CRH, which it claims held a large shareholding in a company supplying cement to build the separation barrier.

Earlier this week, the Church of England's general synod voted to divest church funds from companies profiting from Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian territory. The main target of the plan will be Caterpillar, whose diggers have been used to demolish Palestinian homes. Caterpillar says the US military sold them to Israel, but the church which sell its £2.5m of shares anyway.

Any boycott would aim to embarrass Israel into halting the building of the barrier and settlements, and the "unrestrained destruction" in historic West Bank cities.

Members said that final tactics were not yet decided but they stressed that all options up to an industry-wide boycott were open.

Eyal Weizman, the Israeli director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmith's College in London, urged action. "A boycott would be totally legitimate," he said. "The wall and the settlements have been deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice and we should boycott any company which does business, any architects that participate - anyone facilitating these human rights violations and war crimes."

Charles Jenckes told The Independent: "There reaches a certain point where an architect can't sit on the fence. Not to stand up to it would be to be complicit."

He said the separation barrier built by Israel was "a contorted, crazy, mad, divisive, drunken thing".

"In 10 years' time its builders will see it as a great folly," he said. "Architecturally it is madness. I understand fully that security is the problem for Israel and they have the right to protect themselves. But this is not the solution.

"It is an extremist measure which forments extremism, by incarcerating and intimidating Palestinians." He called for architects to gradually increase pressure on Israeli. George Ferguson, former president of the Royal Institute of British Architects, who was not at the meeting, said: "It is right that architects should not play a part in building communities and structures that drive people apart."

The biologist Steven Rose, who led the British academic boycott of Israel from 2002, said: "Architecture and planning are an integral part of the racist apartheid state."

10 MAY 2006

Because the following item relates to censorship and to Israel/Palestine issues, it will appear on the Censorship and Jewish, Israel/Palestine web pages.

The following article is from Antony Loewenstein's Blog on 10 May 2006,

and is yet another indication of censorship and dictatorial powers being used to silence dissent.

The West is warned: isolate and punish Hamas at your peril.

Israel has no intention of listening to such advice, betting on US support for any unilateral moves. Such confidence may be short-lived.

Witness the following worrying trend in even raising alternative views in the US on this vital foreign affairs issue:

Roosevelt University of Chicago, IL has fired a philosophy and religion professor for allowing students in his class to ask questions about Judaism and Islam. The chair of the department, Susan Weininger, fired the professor, Douglas Giles, saying that students should not be allowed to ask whatever questions they want in class. Weininger ordered Giles to censor his curriculum, restrict his students’ questions, and to not respond to controversial questions or comments from students.

Weininger said that free discussion in a world religions could “open up Judaism to criticism.” Any such material, she said, was not permissible to be mentioned in class discussion, textbooks, or examinations. Further, she ordered Giles to forbid any and all discussion of the “Palestinian issue,” any mention of Palestinian rights, the Muslim belief in the holiness of Jerusalem, and Zionism. When Professor Giles refused to censor his students, Weininger fired him.

The Roosevelt Adjunct Faculty Organization (RAFO) filed a grievance on behalf of Giles citing the faculty contract forbidding the university from restricting academic freedom. Roosevelt University Associate Provost Louis Love denied the union’s claim saying that Weininger was entitled, as department chair, to set a professor’s curriculum and that this was not an academic freedom issue, but a “pedagogical issue.” RAFO has appealed the ruling to arbitration, confident that Prof. Giles’ academic freedom was violated and an impartial arbitrator would find this so.

This case is just one example of a growing trend of right-wing attempts to censor the academic freedom of professors and students. Here, a department chair who called all Palestinians “animals” and says college religion courses should teach that only Jews have a legitimate claim to the land of Israel, has fired a professor whose only “sins” were refusing to teach a biased class and allowing open discussion in his classroom. This can NOT be allowed to stand!

Some Jewish academics, however, seem to believe that Jews can’t be expected to speak out against Israeli injustice because their (unjustified) persecution complex is too strong. Maybe if we lived in 1949…

I am Douglas Giles, the adjunct professor who was fired for allowing students to speak openly in a World Religions class. I have taught college philosophy, ethics, and religion since 1998. I believe that students deserve the opportunity to learn divergent viewpoints and make up their own minds. As such, I welcome questions and allow students to share their opinions and experiences as discussion is absolutely crucial to quality education.

Roosevelt University's Chair of the Department of History, Art History and Philosophy, Susan Weininger is an art history professor who has never taught religion or philosophy. Other than the interview in which she hired me in December 2003, she and I had not spoken before a series of phone calls she placed to me at my home in September 2005. In these phone calls, she told me, as department chair, to change my World Religions curriculum to exclude certain opinions and facts:

* Students should not be allowed to ask whatever questions they want in class
* Nothing should be mentioned in class, textbooks, or examinations that could possibly open up Judaism to criticism, especially any mention of Zionism
* Nothing related to Palestinians or Islamic beliefs about Jerusalem should be mentioned
* Discussion of Zionism or the Palestinian issue was "disrespectful to any Jews in the class"

I replied that those restrictions would lead to a biased class. She then made a series of disparaging comments about Palestinians concluding with the following:

W: "I hear you even allowed a Muslim to speak in class."
G: "Yes, of course, I allowed all students to speak, regardless of their religion!"
W: "You shouldn't! What disturbs me is that you act like the Palestinians have a side in this. They don't have a side! They are ANIMALS (emphasis hers)! They strap bombs to their bodies and blow up women and children! They are NOT CIVILIZED! (emphasis hers)"

She then ordered me to never bring up the conversation again to anyone and hung up. I did report the conversations to my union representative. Within a few days, I received a letter from Weininger saying I would no longer be teaching at Roosevelt.

The reason for my job termination is clear. Because I allowed open and respectful discussion of Judaism and Islam in my classes, I am censored from teaching at Roosevelt. My union, RAFO (Roosevelt Adjunct Faculty Organization - http://rafo.org) has consistently supported me in fighting this violation of academic freedom. They filed a formal grievance Nov. 29, 2005. Roosevelt's response has been a succession of disingenuous delaying tactics. Every communication their story changes, yet, Roosevelt has never once denied that Weininger made the statements. Roosevelt's Associate Provost, Louise Love, has even defended Weininger's statements saying that "as chair of the department, Weininger had a right to express her views," that "it is within the University's province to determine its curriculum," and that Weininger's demand that Giles restrict the content of the course "is not an issue of academic freedom but a pedagogical one." Love even characterized Weininger's comments disparaging Palestinians as an "academic discussion" where Weininger was "defending her position passionately."

RAFO's executive council members have gone above and beyond the call and I can't praise them enough. They have risked their own faculty positions to fight for the rights of all faculty and students at Roosevelt. They have been extraordinarily patient and have given Roosevelt every opportunity to resolve this case. In response, Roosevelt has offered four different cover stories to try and shift the argument away from the academic freedom violation. Their cover stories are clearly manufactured, self-contradictory, and at times laughable in how obviously false they are. In essence, Roosevelt has been lying. Roosevelt also has continually refused to consider our evidence, speak with our witnesses, refused to negotiate in good faith, refused to provide requested information, and conducted themselves in such a manner that RAFO has filed two additional grievances over Roosevelt's contract violations. We are currently scheduled for national arbitration and are supported in our academic freedom case by the Illinois Education Association.

I hope that you also find this deeply troubling. This ugly episode impinges on all of us and our freedom to teach and learn without interference. In no way should faculty and staff ever be censored or pressured to discuss subjects from only one biased perspective. If these acts are allowed to stand, then the standards and learning environment of education not only at Roosevelt University but everywhere have been damaged.



31 MAY 2006

Union votes to boycott Israeli unis

Benjamin Joffe-Walt, London May 31, 2006

BRITAIN'S largest union of lecturers has voted in favour of a boycott of Israeli academics and higher education institutions that do not publicly dissociate themselves from Israel's "apartheid policies".

They narrowly backed the proposal, despite mounting international pressure from those opposed to a boycott, including a petition from more than 5000 academics and a plea from the Israeli Government.

The decision was made at the annual conference of the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education. It was greeted with disappointment and anger by anti-boycott campaigners last night, but Palestinian groups issued declarations of support.

Presented on the final day of the Blackpool conference, the motion criticised "Israeli apartheid policies, including construction of the exclusion wall and discriminatory educational practices". It invited members to "consider the appropriateness of a boycott of those that do not publicly dissociate themselves from such policies".

After failed efforts to prevent the debate, speakers outlined the litany of difficulties experienced by Palestinian students and lecturers living under occupation, including the number of schools shelled by the Israeli army.

"The majority of Israeli academics are either complicit or acquiescent in their government's policies in the occupied territories," said Tom Hickey, a philosophy lecturer from the University of Brighton and the proposer of the motion.

"Turning a blind eye to what an Israeli colleague thinks about the actions of their government is a culpable blindness."

Delegate John Morgan, who seconded the motion, said there was no academic freedom for Palestinians. But the union's general secretary, Paul Mackney, spoke against the motion. "Most of us are very angry about the occupation of Palestine, but this isn't the motion and this isn't the way," he said.

"Any motion to boycott requires the highest level of legitimacy. As far as I can see, no more than a couple of (union) branches have discussed this motion. You cannot build a boycott on conference rhetoric."

Delegate Ronnie Fraser, chairman of Academic Friends of Israel, the primary opponents of the motion on the conference floor, said he was "not happy at all", adding that the vote brought "dishonour and sheer ridicule" on the union.

Last year Britain's Association of University Teachers elected to impose an academic boycott on two Israeli universities. After an international outcry and a revolt by members it reversed the decision.

The boycott resolution will have an official shelf life of less than three days, as the two unions will merge tomorrow, forming the world's largest higher education union with more than 110,000 members. The resolution will be advisory to the new union but proponents say the decision represents a step change in the wider boycott campaign against Israel.

Aharon Ben-Ze'ev, of Haifa University in Israel, was "very disappointed". "I never say to British colleagues, 'If you don't subscribe to my beliefs, I will boycott you,"' he said.

Stephen Rose, of the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine, was delighted, saying: "We recognise that this has not been an easy decision."

He said the vote was "a historic step forward" in "helping persuade our Israeli academic colleagues that it is time to cease silent complicity with the illegal acts of the Israeli state". But he warned that this was likely to be the start rather than the end of the debate.

GUARDIAN



4 JUNE 2006

CUPE joins boycott of Israel

Union's Ontario wing condemns 'apartheid wall'

Melissa Leong National Post

Monday, May 29, 2006

The Ontario wing of Canada's largest union has voted to join an international boycott campaign against Israel "until that state recognizes the Palestinian right to self-determination."

Sid Ryan, the Canadian Union of Public Employees Ontario president, said 896 members voted unanimously at its convention in Ottawa on Saturday to support the campaign.

"This is not an attack on Jewish people. It's [an objection to] the state of Israel's policies on Palestinians," Mr. Ryan said yesterday. "They say they are creating an independent state but they're not giving them the tools to do that."

Steven Schulman, Ontario regional director of the Canadian Jewish Congress, called the vote "outrageous."

"For a respected labour union to engage in such a vote, which is completely one-sided and based on mistruths, is shocking," he said.

He charged that CUPE Ontario's press release about the vote "reads like a piece of propaganda." He said Israel has recognized the Palestinian right to self-govern and has been engaged in a peace process.

Under the resolution approved by delegates, the union -- which represents more than 200,000 workers -- will also develop an education campaign about the issue, according to a press release. The statement condemned the West Bank barrier erected by Israel.

"The Israeli 'apartheid wall' has been condemned and determined illegal under international law," the release reads.

In a reference to boycotts, it also notes, "Canada has a free trade agreement with Israel, the only such agreement this country has outside of the Western hemisphere."

"In Ontario, the Liquor Control Board carried more than 30 Israeli wines, many produced in the occupied Golan Heights."

Katherine Nastovski, chair of the CUPE Ontario international solidarity committee, is quoted in the release as saying, "Boycott, divestment and sanction worked to end apartheid in South Africa.

"We believe the same strategy will work to enforce the rights of Palestinian people, including the right of refugees to return to their homes and properties."

Mr. Ryan said the global campaign started last July and has been supported by 170 organizations around the world. "It's a human rights issue," he said.

He said the union has also come out in the past against attacks by Palestinian extremists and suicide bombers.

CUPE Ontario's next step, he said, is to try to get other unions such as the Ontario Federation of Labour and the Canadian Labour Congress to join the campaign of "boycott, divestment and sanctions."

In recent years, CUPE Ontario has called for the end of Israeli military action and a withdrawal from the occupied territories. The executive of the Canadian Labour Congress crafted a resolution in 2002 comparing Palestinians in the occupied territories to blacks living under apartheid in South Africa.

Ed Morgan, national president of the CJC, said the organization will continue to engage in discussions with unions and added he does not think the vote was representative of CUPE and CUPE Ontario. The vote occurred on the Jewish Sabbath and there was no organized Jewish presence at the convention, he said.

"Boycotts are not the answer to political disputes. Dialogue is the answer to political disputes," Mr. Morgan said.

mleong@nationalpost.com



2 JUNE 2006

The following letter appeared in The Age newspaper on 2 June 2006 on a topic whose time has come, and which is about to heat up the debate on boycotts of Israel, actions of the type which ultimately helped bring down the South African apartheid regime:

A good boycott

BRITISH academics who have voted to boycott some Israeli academics and institutions are to be commended. They are, in effect, stating that the military conquest and dispossession of one people by another is unacceptable.

David Bernstein's refusal to condemn Israel's ongoing colonisation of Palestine (Opinion, 1/6) amounts to virtual support. He has abandoned any claim to moral rectitude.

Shane McCartin, North Fitzroy



6 JULY 2006

The Age newspaper had large black headlines on 6 July 2006:

WORLD BLASTS KOREA

So I wrote the following letter and The Age, needless to say, did NOT publish the letter, so it will be published here instead!

Mannie De Saxe 2/12 Murphy Grove Preston Vic 3072

Phone: (03) 9471 4878 email: josken_at_zipworld_com_au

Martin Luther King famously said "I have a dream". I too have a dream.

One day The Age will have as its first large main headline:

"WORLD BLASTS ISRAEL"

One of the authors will NOT be Michael Gawenda.

Mannie De Saxe



This article was My Life in Gaza


20 JULY 2006

The letter on World Pride Jerusalem 2006 and sent to the Sydney Star Observer and signed by supporters was published in the SSO on 20 July 2006.

Below is the letter as published, and underneath that, in italics and in bold, is what was edited out.

We believe that the issue is so critical that the SSO needs to take another careful look at what it is editing. This is censorship in another form and is not satisfactory at a time of heightened crisis in the middle east.

by Michael Schembri from Sydney | 20/07/2006 11:48:12 AM

WORLDPRIDE IN ISRAEL

As people of different political, ethnic and religious backgrounds who have made our contributions over the years to lesbian and gay freedom in Australia, we call on individuals and organisations not to support WorldPride in Jerusalem in August.

WorldPride portrays Jerusalem as the capital, but no one recognises that other than Israel; East Jerusalem is illegally annexed to Israel, and its quarter million Palestinian residents are besieged and oppressed, cut off from their neighbours in Ramallah and Bethlehem by the Apartheid Wall.

Queer Palestinians from the other side of the Wall won?t be able to come to Jerusalem for the parade, nor will Arabs from neighbouring countries, nor citizens of other countries, such as the US, who have Palestinian family backgrounds. It?s as if we were holding Mardi Gras in Oxford St, but people from Ryde and Bankstown couldn?t cross the borders to come. Nor could half the visitors arriving at Mascot.

We understand that some want to support WorldPride to confront Jewish fundamentalists, to bring the queer equality message to the Middle East, and to celebrate the relative comfort and rights of Jewish queers in Israel. But as we see it, in the words of the Israeli queer group Dirty Laundry, there?s ?No Pride in Occupation¯. We look forward to the day when we genuinely can enjoy Pride in a free Jerusalem.

Michael Schembri, Alissar Gazal, Dr Barbara Bloch, Ken Davis, Rathana Chea (Sydney), Mannie de Saxe and Kendall Lovett, Liz Ross, Dr Graham Willett (Melbourne), Dr Jo Harrison and Margie Collins (Adelaide)

Hi friends

thanks for agreeing to sign the letter; Sydney Star Observer published the letter on World Pride but removed the paragraph:

"WorldPride will benefit the Israeli state and its tourism industry. It will make things harder for lesbian and gay groups in Palestine and other Arab countries. It is the moral equivalent of going to an international gay festival run by the Gay Association of South Africa in 1986 during the worst days of Apartheid. Israel is making war on Lebanon and the Palestinian communities in the Occupied Territories, starving them out, restricting their movements, crushing their economy, taking each day more water and land; at the same time Israel denies rights to its own Palestinian minority, and rejects the rights of return of millions of refugees."

This editing does cut out the main critique of Israel. The original was 330 words, not much more than suggested 250, which they regularly exceed.

Have sent the original version to LOTL, and will send to SX, MSO, and Pink Broad; am wondering what else to do about the gutting of the letter? Undoubtedly on the internet discussion and in the print edition there will be many hostile responses.

People can sign on the http://www.boycottworldpride.org

Or since there are other Aust lesbian and gay activists who might wanna sign this letter, we could make a bit of a petition of it?

On the other hand, WP probably will have to be cancelled, cos all those Americans won't be allowed to travel to Jerusalem, and the party team won't want to come from Europe, and we have bigger issues to protest now.

Ken Davis



26 JULY 2006

Stop the Slaughter in Lebanon




9 AUGUST 2006

CUTTING THROUGH ISRAEL'S PROPAGANDA WAR IN THE USA

This was sent to me on Tuesday 8 August 2006 and reflects just a little of what we are having censored so that we are given just one side of the story of the wars in the Middle East!

Cutting through Israel's Propaganda War in the USA

These were also sent to me on 8 August 2006, and these will also not be seen in Australia - we should not be given other sides to the story - it might make us think for ourselves!

Pictures of Peace demonstration in Tel Aviv

And the story:

Gush-Shalom article

7 AUGUST 2006

Boycott Israel

Mon, 7 Aug 2006

From the latest CounterPunch

The Case for Boycotting Israel - Boycott Now!


By VIRGINIA TILLEY Johannesburg, South Africa.

It is finally time. After years of internal arguments, confusion, and dithering, the time has come for a full-fledged international boycott of Israel. Good cause for a boycott has, of course, been in place for decades, as a raft of initiatives already attests. But Israel's war crimes are now so shocking, its extremism so clear, the suffering so great, the UN so helpless, and the international community's need to contain Israel's behavior so urgent and compelling, that the time for global action has matured. A coordinated movement of divestment, sanctions, and boycotts against Israel must convene to contain not only Israel's aggressive acts and crimes against humanitarian law but also, as in South Africa, its founding racist logics that inspired and still drive the entire Palestinian problem. That second goal of the boycott campaign is indeed the primary one. Calls for a boycott have long cited specific crimes: Israel's continual attacks on Palestinian civilians; its casual disdain for the Palestinian civilian lives "accidentally" destroyed in its assassinations and bombings; its deliberate ruin of the Palestinians' economic and social conditions; its continuing annexation and dismemberment of Palestinian land; its torture of prisoners; its contempt for UN resolutions and international law; and especially, its refusal to allow Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland. But the boycott cannot target these practices alone. It must target their ideological source.

The true offence to the international community is the racist motivation for these practices, which violates fundamental values and norms of the post-World War II order. That racial ideology isn't subtle or obscure. Mr. Olmert himself has repeatedly thumped the public podium about the "demographic threat" facing Israel: the "threat" that too many non-Jews will--the horror--someday become citizens of Israel. It is the "demographic threat" that, in Israeli doctrine, justifies sealing off the West Bank and Gaza Strip as open-air prisons for millions of people whose only real crime is that they are not Jewish. It is the "demographic threat," not security (Mr. Olmert has clarified), that requires the dreadful Wall to separate Arab and Jewish communities, now juxtaposed in a fragmented landscape, who might otherwise mingle.

"Demographic threat" is the most disgustingly racist phrase still openly deployed in international parlance. It has been mysteriously tolerated by a perplexed international community. But it can be tolerated no longer. Zionist fear of the demographic threat launched the expulsion of the indigenous Arab population in 1948 and 1967, created and perpetuates Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, inspires its terrible human rights abuses against Palestinians, spins into regional unrest like the 1982 attack on Lebanon (that gave rise to Hezbollah), and continues to drive Israeli militarism and aggression.

This open official racism and its attendant violence casts Israel into the ranks of pariah states, of which South Africa was the former banner emblem. In both countries, racist nationalist logic tormented and humiliated the native people. It also regularly spilled over to destabilize their surrounding regions (choc-a-block with "demographic threats"), leading both regimes to cruel and reckless attacks. Driven by a sense of perennial victimhood, they assumed the moral authority to crush the native hordes that threatened to dilute the organic Afrikaner/Jewish nations and the white/western civilization they believed they so nobly represented. A humiliated white society in South Africa finally gave that myth up.

Israel still clings to it. It has now brought Israel to pulverize Lebanon, trying to eliminate Hezbollah and, perhaps, to clear the way for an attack on Iran. Peace offers from the entire Arab world are cast aside like so much garbage. Yet again, the Middle East is plunged into chaos and turmoil, because a normal existence -- peace, full democracy -- is anathema to a regime that must see and treat its neighbors as an existential threat in order to justify the rejectionism that preserves its ethnic/racial character and enables its continuing annexations of land.

Why has this outrageously racist doctrine survived so long, rewarded by billions of dollars in US aid every year? We know the reasons. For too many Westerners, Israel's Jewish character conflates with the Holocaust legacy to make intuitive sense of Israel's claim to be under continual assault. Deep-seated Judeo-Christian bias against Islam demonizes Israel's mostly Muslim victims. European racist prejudice against Arabs (brown-skinned natives) casts their material dispossession as less humanly significant. Naļve Christian visions of the "Holy Land" naturalize Jewish governance in biblical landscapes. Idiot Christian evangelistic notions of the Rapture and the End Times posit Jewish governance as essential to the return of the Messiah and the final Millennium (even though, in that repellent narrative, Jews will roast afterwards). All those notions and prejudices, long confounding international action, must now be set aside.

The raw logic of Israel's distorted self-image and racist doctrines is expressed beyond confusion by the now-stark reality: the moonscape rubble of once-lovely Lebanese villages; a million desperate people trying to survive Israeli aerial attacks as they carry children and wheel disabled grandparents down cratered roads; the limp bodies of children pulled from the dusty basements of crushed buildings. This is the reality of Israel's national doctrine, the direct outcome of its racist worldview. It is endangering everyone, and it must stop.

Designing the Campaign

Much debate has circulated about a boycott campaign, but hitherto it has not moved beyond some ardent but isolated groups. Efforts have stalled on the usual difficult questions: e.g., whether a boycott is morally compulsory to reject Israel's rampant human rights violations or would impede vital engagement with Israeli forums, or whether principled defense of international law must be tempered by (bogus) calls for "balance". Especially, recent debate has foundered on calls for an academic boycott. Concerns here are reasonable, if rather narrow. Universities offer vital connections and arenas for collaboration, debate, and new thinking. Without such forums and their intellectual exchange, some argue, work toward a different future is arguably impeded.

But this argument has exploded along with the southern Lebanese villages, as Israeli university faculties roundly endorse the present war. As Ilan Pappé has repeatedly argued, Israel's universities are not forums for enlightened thought. They are crucibles of reproduction for racist Zionist logics and practice, monitoring and filtering admissible ideas. They produce the lawyers who defend the occupation regime and run its kangaroo "courts"; the civil planners and engineers who design and build the settlements on Palestinian land; the economists and financiers who design and implement the grants that subsidize those settlements; the geologists who facilitate seizure of Palestinian aquifers; the doctors who treat the tortured so that they can be tortured again; the historians and sociologists who make sense of a national society while preserving official lies about its own past; and the poets, playwrights, and novelists who compose the nationalist opus that glorifies and makes (internally, at least) moralistic sense of it

all. Those of us who have met with Jewish Israeli academics in Israeli universities find the vast majority of them, including well-meaning liberals, operating in a strange and unique bubble of enabling fictions. Most of them know nothing about Palestinian life, culture, or experience. They know strangely little about the occupation and its realities, which are crushing people just over the next hill. They have absorbed simplistic notions about rejectionist Arafat, terrorist Hamas, and urbane Abbas. In this special insulated world of illusions, they say nonsense things about unreal factors and fictionalized events. Trying to make sense of their assumptions is no more productive that conversing about the Middle East with the Bush administration's neo-cons, who also live in a strange bubble of ignorance and fantasy. Aside from a few brave and beleaguered souls, this is the world of Israel's universities. It will not change until it has to--when the conditions of its self-reproduction are impaired and its self-deceptions too glaring.

The Real Goal: Changing Minds

The universities represent and reproduce the bubble world of the Israeli Jewish population as a whole. And no people abandons its bubble willingly. In South Africa, Afrikaners clung to their own bubble--their self-exonerating myths about history, civilization, and race -- until they were forced by external sanctions and the collapsing national economy to rethink those myths. Their resistance to doing so, while racist, was not purely vicious. Many kind and well-meaning Afrikaners simply didn't believe they had to rethink ideas that manifested to them as givens and that shaped their reality. (One valued Afrikaner friend here recalls her life during apartheid South Africa as being like The Truman Show, a film in which a man unknowingly grows up in a television show, set in an artificial dome world designed to look like a small town.) When their reality fell apart, suddenly no one would admit to ever having believed or supported it.

The Zionist worldview is an even more complete system. All historical and geographic details are provided to create a total mythical world, in which Jews have rights to the land and Palestinians have none. It is a fully realized construction, like those Hebraized maps carefully drawn by the Zionist movement in the 1930s to erase the ancient Arabic landscape and substitute Hebrew biblical references. It is also very resilient. The "new historians" have exposed the cherished national historical narrative of 1948 and 1967 as a load of fictions, but the same fictions are still reproduced by state agencies to assure Israeli and diaspora Jews of their innocence and the righteousness of their cause. The vast majority of Israelis therefore remain comfortable in their Truman Show and even see any external pressure or criticism as substantiating it. We need no more graphic evidence of that campaign's success than the overwhelming support among Israeli Jews for the present catastrophic assault on Lebanon, reflecting their sincere beliefs that nuclear-power Israel is actually under existential threat by a guerrilla group lobbing katyushas across the border. Staggering to observers, that belief is both sobering and instructive.

To force people steeped in such a worldview to rethink their notions, their historical myths, and their own best interests requires two efforts:

(1) Serious external pressure: here, a full boycott that undermines Israel's capacity to sustain the economic standards its citizens and corporations expect, and which they associate with their own progressive self-image; and

(2) clear and unwavering commitment to the boycott's goal, which--in Israel as in South Africa-- must be full equality, dignity, safety, and welfare of everyone in the land, including Palestinians, whose ancestral culture arose there, and the Jewish population, which has built a national society there.

That combination is essential. Nothing else will work. Diplomacy, threats, pleading, the "peace process," mediation, all will be useless until external pressure brings Israel's entire Jewish population to undertake the very difficult task of rethinking their world. This pressure requires the full range of boycotts, sanctions, and divestment that the world can employ. (South African intellectual Steven Friedman has observed wryly that the way to bring down any established settler-colonial regime is to make it choose between profits and identity. Profits, he says, will win every time.)

What to Target

Fortunately, from the South African experience, we know how to go forward, and strategies are proliferating. The basic methods of an international boycott campaign are familiar. First, each person works in his or her own immediate orbit. People might urge divestment from companies investing in Israel by their colleges and universities, corporations, clubs, and churches. Boycott any sports event that hosts an Israeli team, and work with planners to exclude them. Participate in, and visit, no Israeli cultural events--films, plays, music, art exhibits. Avoid collaborating with Israeli professional colleagues, except on anti-racist activism. Don't invite any Israeli academic or writer to contribute to any conference or research and don't attend their panels or buy their books, unless their work is engaged directly in anti-racist activism. Don't visit Israel except for purposes of anti-racist activism. Buy nothing made in Israel: start looking at labels on olive oil, oranges, and clothing. Tell people what you are doing and why. Set up discussion groups everywhere to explain why.

For ideas and allies, try Googling the "boycott Israel" and "sanctions against Israel" campaigns springing up around the world. Know those allies, like the major churches, and tell people about them. For more ideas, read about the history of the boycott of South Africa. Second, don't be confused by liberal Zionist alternatives that argue against a boycott in favor of "dialogue". If we can draw any conclusion from the last half-century, it is that, without the boycott, dialogue will go nowhere. And don't be confused by liberal-Zionist arguments that Israel will allow Palestinians a state if they only do this or that. Israel is already the only sovereign power in Palestine: what fragments are left to Palestinians cannot make a state. The question now is not whether there is one state, but what kind of state it comprises. The present version is apartheid, and it must change. However difficult to achieve, and however frightening to Jewish Israelis, the only just and stable solution is full democracy.

Third, be prepared for the boycott's opposition, which will be much louder, more vicious, and more dangerous than it was in the boycott of South Africa. Read and assemble solid documentable facts. Support each other loudly and publicly against the inevitable charges of anti-Semitism. And support your media against the same charges. Write to news media and explain just who the "Israel media teams" actually are. Most pro-Israeli activism draws directly from the Israeli government's propaganda outreach programs. Spotlight this fact. Team up to counter their pressure on newspapers, radio stations, and television news forums. Don't let them capture or intimidate public debate. By insisting loudly (and it must be sincere) that the goal is the full equality of dignity and rights of everyone in Israel-Palestine, including the millions of Jewish citizens of Israel, demolish their specious claims of anti-Semitism.

Finally, hold true to the principles that drive the boycott's mission. Don't tolerate the slightest whiff of anti-Semitism in your own group or movement. Anti-Jewish racists are certainly out there, and they are attracted to these campaigns like roaches. They will distract and absorb your energies, while undermining, degrading, and destroying the boycott movement. Some are Zionist plants, who will do so deliberately. If you can't change their minds (and don't spend much time trying, because they will use your efforts to drain your time and distract your energies), denounce them, expel them, ignore them, have no truck with them. They are the enemy of a peaceful future, not its allies--part of the problem, not the solution.

Boycott the Hegemon

This is the moment to turn international pressure on the complicit US, too. It's impossible, today, to exert an effective boycott on the United States, as its products are far too ubiquitous in our lives. But it's quick and easy to launch a boycott of emblematic US products, upsetting its major corporations. It's especially easy to boycott the great global consumables, like Coca-Cola, MacDonald's, Burger King, and KFC, whose leverage has brought anti-democratic pressures on governments the world over. (Through ugly monopoly practices, Coke is a nasty player in developing countries anyway: see, for example, http://www.killercoke.org) Think you'll miss these foods too much? Is consuming something else for a while too much of a sacrifice, given what is happening to people in Lebanon? And think of the local products you'll be supporting! (And how healthy you will get). In the US, the impact of these measures may be small. But in Africa, Latin America, Europe, and the Arab and Muslim worlds, boycotting these famous brands can gain national scope and the impact on corporate profits will be enormous. Never underestimate the power of US corporations to leverage US foreign policy. They are the one force that consistently does so.

But always, always, remember the goal and vision. Anger and hatred, arising from the Lebanon debacle, must be channelled not into retaliation and vengeance but into principled action. Armed struggle against occupation remains legitimate and, if properly handled (no killing of civilians), is a key tool. But the goal of all efforts, of every stamp, must be to secure security for everyone, toward building a new peaceful future. It's very hard, in the midst of our moral outrage, to stay on the high road. That challenge is, however, well-known to human rights campaigns as it is to all three monotheistic faiths. It is what Islam knows as the "great jihad"--the struggle of the heart. It must remain the guiding torch of this effort, which we must defend together.

Virginia Tilley is a professor of political science, a US citizen working in South Africa, and author of The One-State Solution: A Breakthrough for Peace in the Israeli-Palestinian Deadlock (University of Michigan Press and Manchester University Press, 2005). She can be reached at tilley@hws.edu

Copyright Virginia Tilley and CounterPunch.



7 AUGUST 2006

Colin Rubenstein and Israel Flag Burning Colin Rubenstein and Israel Flag Burning Colin Rubenstein and Israel Flag Burning Colin Rubenstein and Israel Flag Burning Colin Rubenstein and Israel Flag Burning Colin Rubenstein and Israel Flag Burning Colin Rubenstein and Israel Flag Burning

24 AUGUST 2006

Ken Loach Joins the Cultural Boycott of Israel

August 24, 2006
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel PACBI
www.pacbi.org info@boycottisrael.ps

Ken Loach, the acclaimed British director and winner of this year's Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival, an artist who is known for his politically and socially engaged films, has declared in a personal statement his support of "the call by Palestinian film-makers, artists and others to boycott state sponsored Israeli cultural institutions and urge[s] others to join their campaign". He anounced that he would not take part in the "Haifa Film Festival or any other such occasions," a clear statement of his intent to boycott Israeli film festivals, and an acknowledgment of the fact that "Palestinians are driven to call for this boycott after forty years of the occupation of their land, destruction of their homes and the kidnapping and murder of their civilians".

For more information on the cultural boycott:
Greece pulls out of Israeli Film Festival
Locarno Film Festival drops Israeli Government Sponsorship

STATEMENT BY KEN LOACH

I support the call by Palestinian film-makers, artists and others to boycott state sponsored Israeli cultural institutions and urge others to join their campaign.

Palestinians are driven to call for this boycott after forty years of the occupation of their land, destruction of their homes and the kidnapping and murder of their civilians.

They have no immediate hope that this oppression will end.

As British citizens we have to acknowledge our own responsibility. We must condemn the British and US governments for supporting and arming Israel. We must also oppose the terrorist activities of the British and US governments in pursuing their illegal wars and occupations.

However, it is impossible to ignore the appeals of Palestinian comrades. Consequently, I would decline any invitation to the Haifa Film Festival or other such occasions.

Best Wishes,

Ken Loach
Vivienne Porzsolt
Sydney
Australia
0411 366 295
porzsoltv_at_optusnet_com_au



3 SEPTEMBER 2006

Ted Lapkin’s usual zionist ranting was published in the Sunday Age on 3 September 2006 (what an appropriate day – on this day in 1939 the UK declared war on Nazi Germany, one of the outcomes being the birth of the state of Israel, established in 1948!) – he was a former Israeli army officer who fought in Lebanon during the 1980s. He is now director of policy analysis for the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council.

Now let’s get this straight – he comes originally from the North American continent, fought in Israel and now lives in Australia.

What is he doing in Australia when Israel obviously needs people of his talent in the Israeli Defence Forces?

It is not necessary to reproduce his ravings here – they can be found in the Sunday Age archives, but it is necessary to put two letters of response to Lapkin to show how other people find his ISRAEL – RIGHT OR WRONG “points of view”:


Letter 1:

Wrong on Israel

Ted Lapkin’s article (3/9) suggests that Israel’s incompetence in attacking Lebanon can be improved by an “enhanced appropriations bill” for Israel’s “defence” force (IDF). Will this address Israel’s immorality in attacking a sovereign country with a democratically elected government, or the killing of more than 1000 people?

Considering that Mr Lapkin, as a member of the IDF during the first invasion and occupation of Lebanon, is partly responsible for creating Hezbollah, he should realize that if Israel wants friends, better for the appropriations money to be spent on reparations to Lebanon to clear the cluster bombs scattered just prior to the ceasefire, to rebuild destroyed infrastructure and flattened cities and villages and to lift their air and sea siege of Lebanon. Perhaps an apology from Israel wouldn’t go astray.

The correct question that Mr Lapkin should have posed is whether the Israeli people will again allow their country to be used by the United States as a surrogate army for its Middle East agenda.

MARK BRADBEER, Brunswick

Letter 2:

Hezbollah on top

Ted Lapkin’s wishful thinking about Lebanon made me laugh. OK, a professional Zionist’s gotta do his spin thing, but why on earth did you publish it?

The truth is, Hezbollah came out ahead and everyone knows it. Yes, Nasrallah says if he’d known Israel would respond to a minor border raid by displacing a million people, polluting the seas, killing children and trashing half the country, he’d have used different tactics. That’s stating the obvious. He didn’t realize Israel could be THAT barbaric. But now we know.

TOM O’LINCOLN, Brunswick


20 SEPTEMBER 2006

I sent the following email to two Australian Education unions, the National Tertiary Education Union and the Australian Education Union, on 2 June 2006. A month later, after receiving no response, I re-sent the email. To date there has been no feedback, so it is time to put the issue into the public domain for all to see how Australia's education unions are too afraid of the zionist lobby in this country to take any action to assert the right of the Palestinians to achieve their own country, with the occupying oppressors removing themselves from West Bank occupation.

Mannie De Saxe,
PO Box 1675, Preston South Vic 3072,
Phone: (03)9471 4878
email: josken_at_zipworld_com_au
Member - New South Wales Teachers Federation.

I refer you to the article below (item ABOVE, dated 31 May 2006 - concerning boycott by Britain's largest Education Union) and request information from your unions as to whether you will support the boycott by Britains' largest union of lecturers of Israeli academics and higher education institutions that do not publicly dissociate themselves from Israel's "apartheid policies." As someone who strongly supports the boycott (as an ex-South African I am very well aware of issues such as the sanctions against South Africa which helped to bring down the apartheid regime) I would urge your organisations to do the same.

The world has been too slow to condemn the actions of Israel in the Occupied Territories, because of zionist propaganda by the Israel lobbies - particularly in the United States and Australia. I trust your organisations will consider the issue with great urgency - the sufferings in the West Bank and Gaza have gone on for too long already.

Regards,
Mannie De Saxe



Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 1

Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 2

Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 3

Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 4

Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 5

Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 6

Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 8

Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 9a

Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 9b

Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 10

Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 11

Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 12

Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 13

Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 14

Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 15

Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 16

Jewish and Israel/Palestine Issues Part 17

Contact me at: josken1_at_pacific_net_au



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