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Articles Archives - August 2011
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Saturday, August 13, 2011
Why boycott Israel?
Lisa Taraki and Mark LeVine, Al Jazeera 8/13/2011
      A founding member of the campaign for the academic and cultural boycott outlines the motivation behind the movement.
     Author and history professor Mark LeVine speaks with sociologist Lisa Taraki, a co-founder of the Palestinian campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

     Mark LeVine: What is the "Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions" movement and how is it related to the academic and cultural boycott movement? How have both evolved in the past few years in terms of their goals and methods?
     Lisa Taraki: The BDS movement can be summed up as the struggle against Israeli colonisation, occupation and apartheid. BDS is a rights-based strategy to be pursued until Israel meets its obligation to recognise the Palestinian people's inalienable right to self-determination and complies with the requirements of international law.
     Within this framework, the academic and cultural boycott of Israel has gained considerable ground in the seven years since the launching of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) in 2004. The goals of the academic and cultural boycott call, as the aims of the Palestinian Civil Society Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions issued in 2005, have remained consistent: to end the colonisation of Palestinian lands occupied in 1967; to ensure full equality of Palestinian citizens of Israel and end the system of racial discrimination; and to realise the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.
     The logic of the BDS movement has also remained consistent. The basic logic of BDS is the logic of pressure, not diplomacy, persuasion, or dialogue. Diplomacy as a strategy for achieving Palestinian rights has proven to be futile, due to the protection and immunity Israel enjoys from hegemonic world powers and those in their orbit.
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Education and behaviour in Israel and Palestine
Lawrence Davidson, Redress 8/14/2011
      Over the last 10 years there have been periodic outbursts of rage over the alleged anti-Semitic nature of Palestinian textbooks. Most of these episodes have been instigated by an Israeli based organization called the Centre for Monitoring the Impact of Peace (also known as the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education).
     According to Israeli journalist Akiva Eldar, the centre does sloppy work. It "routinely feeds the media with excerpts from ‘Palestinian’ textbooks that call for Israel’s annihilation ... [without] bothering to point out that the texts quoted in fact come from Egypt and Jordan". The centre’s conclusions have been corroborated only by other Israeli institutions such as Palestinian Media Watch.
     Not surprisingly, almost all independent investigations of the same issue have come up with very different conclusions. Non-Zionist sources such as The Nation magazine, which published a report on Palestinian textbooks in 2001, the George Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research, reporting in 2002, the Israel/Palestine Centre for Research and Information, reporting in 2004, and the US State Department Report of 2009 all found that Palestinian textbooks did not preach anti-Semitism. Nathan Brown, a professor of Political Science at George Washington University, who did his own study on the subject in 2000, set out the situation this way: Palestinian textbooks now in use, and which replaced older ones published in Egypt and Jordan, do not teach anti-Semitism. However, "they tell history from a Palestinian point of view". It might very well be this fact that the Zionists cannot abide and purposefully mistake for anti-Semitism.
     Here is another not very surprising fact. When it comes to choosing which set of reports to support, which set to take a public stand on, American politicians will almost always go with the Zionist versions.... -- See also: Akiva Eldar: What Did You Study In School Today, Palestinian Child? and Academic claims Israeli school textbooks contain bias
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The people want a reset
Amira Hass, Haaretz, 10 Aug 2011, Israeli Occupation Archive 8/12/2011
      As the movement grows, some will continue to think and demand “justice” within the borders of one nation, at the expense of the other nation that lives in this land. Others will understand that this will never be a country of justice and welfare if it is not a state of all its citizens.
     “Don’t talk about how unfortunate you are, talk about what your rights are,” Reuven Abergil reminded the people who came to the tent protest in Jerusalem’s Independence Park. That was on Sunday, a few hours after Abergil, a few women living in the tents and a number of social activists were arrested at a rally for public housing in front of the offices of Amidar, the public housing agency. They were released a few hours later.
     The pensioners who demonstrated in Tel Aviv on Monday said the same thing that Abergil, a leader of the Israeli Black Panthers movement from the 1970s, told the Jerusalemites. At the protest tents with which we have been blessed, the demonstrators are re-interpreting every day the slogan “the people demand social justice.” And this resonates just as well as its progenitor in Arabic, “the people want the fall of the regime.” A humorous takeoff on the slogan, which rhymes in Hebrew, can now be found tacked to the trees on Rothschild Boulevard: “The silent majority wants a reset.”
     The deeper you go into the meaning of the words “social justice,” the less that phrase seems slogan-like. It turns out to be flexible and dynamic. Every day it includes more and more people and groups, as well as more understandings and coalitions that a moment before seemed impossible; for example, protesters from Tel Aviv’s Hatikva neighborhood and Arabs from Jaffa in one group in the Tel Aviv demonstration with posters in Arabic and Hebrew.
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Revolts: The Predicament of Arab Intellectuals
Palestine Chronicle: 13 Aug 2011 - By Ali Younes Ever since former Tunisian president Zinelabidine Bin Ali was deposed from power last January in a popular uprising in what has become known as the 'Arab Spring', the Arab world has been rolling with uprisings and revolts against its dictators with mixed results. While Tunis is still in a state of semi-controlled chaos and reeling from the aftershock of the collapse of the former regime; Egypt is suffering from gathering instability due to conflicting agendas of its different political groups. The uprisings in both Tunisia and Egypt were largely without the mass destruction and death currently taking place in Libya and Syria. While Arab intellectuals and writers supported and greeted the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt with overwhelming enthusiasm, the same could not be true when it comes to the uprisings in Libya and Syria. Public intellectuals in the Arab World are visibly divided over how to...more

Oslo's Other Tragedy
Palestine Chronicle: 13 Aug 2011 - By Dallas Darling Oslo's 'other' tragedy had nothing to do with a homegrown killer, one who had became mesmerized with extremist views and images shown in the global mass media, and one who had internalized a fearful, manipulative, impulsive, and militant “market place” of reactionary ideas. Instead, Oslo’s other tragedy had to do with Norway’s Fafo Foundation, a group of researchers and human rights activists concerned for, and involved in, international peace, particularly in the Middle East. In 1993, Fafo attempted to end decades of hate, of retaliatory killings, of apartheid, and a half-century of collective punishments and collective injustices against millions of innocent Palestinian civilians. But because of the United States and its pro-Israeli lobbying groups, the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government or Declaration of Principles, also known as the Oslo Peace Accords, were far from what their “official” titles proclaimed. In the first direct, face-to-face agreement between...more

The Fight for Equality in Israel’s J14 Movement
Dissident Voice: 13 Aug 2011 - Hundreds of thousands of Israelis protest rising prices while Israeli Palestinian citizens organize for equality.more

Articles Archives - August 2011

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