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Israeli Apartheid: Vermonters Don't Buy It - BOYCOTT!
Leading Israeli rights group to stop cooperating with the IDF
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man, +972 Magazine 5/25/2016
     The Israeli military justice system acts only to ‘cover up unlawful acts and protect perpetrators,’ B’Tselem says, citing 25 years of experience working with the military. Palestinian rights expert welcomes the move.
     Israel’s best known human rights organization, B’Tselem, has lost all faith in the Israeli military justice system and will stop cooperating with it on behalf of Palestinian victims, the organization announced Wednesday.
     A quarter century of experience working with the army “has brought us to the realization that there is no longer any point in pursuing justice and defending human rights by working with a system whose real function is measured by its ability to continue to successfully cover up unlawful acts and protect perpetrators,” the organization wrote in an 80-page report that accompanied the announcement.
     The report details the exact failings of the military investigative system — read it here.
     B’Tselem’s decision is particularly significant because Palestinian victims of violence by Israelis security forces largely rely on Israeli human rights groups to file complaints on their behalf. On a most basic, logistical level, the IDF’s Military Police Investigations Unit (MPIU, sometimes referred to as MPCID) does not have any bases in the West Bank where Palestinians can physically go to file complaints, and the army does not issue them entry permits for the purposes of filing complaints against its own soldiers.
     But it is the army’s utter ineffectiveness at investigating its own that is most striking....
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Anti-BDS tactics are doomed to fail
Iqbal Jassa, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 5/26/2016
     While Israel believes that playing the anti-Semitism card will do the trick, the opposite is true. European activists, academics, journalists and student movements will not be browbeaten into silence.
     Wearing a BDS t-shirt in France is now a criminal offence. This latest move by the French authorities to invoke legislation targeting anti-Semitism against such symbolism is an attempt to harass and intimidate Palestinian solidarity activists. In the context of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign it is not only ridiculous, but also borders on insanity, and follows desperate attempts by Israel to stem the phenomenal growth of BDS across Europe. Many observers have noted that the boycott movement is embraced as enthusiastically in European cities as the anti-apartheid movement was against South Africa.
     This is obviously a frightening challenge for Israel’s racist right-wing regime, which knows only too well that unless drastic measures are taken, BDS can snowball into its worst nightmare. However, unlike the brutal violence it uses to crush Palestinian resistance in the Occupied Territories, Israel cannot opt for the military option to crush popular dissent on the university campuses and streets of London, Paris or Brussels.
     Neither student movements nor academics in Europe will stand in muted silence as the horrors of Zionism are visited upon Palestinians. Their peaceful mobilisation to oppose the Zionist colonial project is through well-organised BDS campaigns. The impressive gains made thus far point to an escalation of public support in tandem with greater awareness of Israel’s human rights violations.
     So what has the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu resorted to? Banning orders, similar to those used by South Africa’s apartheid regime to silence the voices of the people.... -- See also: Dutch government follows Sweden in affirming right to boycott Israel
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What about anti-Semitism in Israel?
Saleh Al-Nuami, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 5/23/2016
     In its quest to deny charges of anti-Semitism within its institutions, the British Labour party has fired some of its senior members because they have criticised Israel’s behaviour and treatment of the Palestinian people and have compared them to Nazi crimes. The problem is that such decisions in Britain and in Europe more generally are not spurring the right amount of debate that is necessary. In fact, such decisions are being treated and considered as “the deserved punishment” against those who dare to criticise Israel and accuse it of carrying out violent acts comparable to those by the Nazis.
     While Europe prevents the comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany and continues to punish those who suggest this comparison, we find that high-ranking Zionists and members of the elite in Tel Aviv have not hesitated to admit that Israel is following in Nazi Germany’s footsteps. The deputy head of the Israeli military warned recently that Israeli society has begun to adopt patterns of behaviour similar to the actions that prevailed in 1930s Germany (Haaretz, 5/5). Far right member of the Israeli government and Minister of Environment Avi Gabai has also re-iterated the same sentiments regarding the prevailing sentiments within Israeli society (Yedioth Ahronoth, 7/5).
     Chemi Shalev, an Israeli commentator and journalist, has frowned upon the British Labour party’s decision to fire the former mayor of London because he made comparisons between Nazi Germany and Zionism. Shalev went on to write an article about the “1933 Transfer Agreement, Heskem Haavara in Hebrew”, an agreement that was reached between Nazi Germany and the Zionists. This was the main agreement that sparked the beginning of a dangerous wave of Jewish immigration to Palestine (Haaretz, 1/5).
     In addition, Professor Zeev Sternhell, who is currently in charge of the department of political science in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and who has described himself as a “super-Zionist”, places particular emphasis on the fascist elements in Israel....
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’Legitimate questions’ about Israel’s new coalition
Ramona Wadi, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 5/26/2016
     Typically, the US has expressed reservations about the Israeli coalition government but has reserved judgment. Rather than flaunt knowledge and direct approval of Israel’s increasingly violent policies, the US has resorted to a brief interlude in which it assumes the role of a concerned spectator rather than an eager accomplice.
     Quoted in Israeli media including Haaretz, US State Department spokesman Mark Toner declared: “We have also seen reports from Israel describing it as the most right-wing coalition in Israel’s history and we also know that many of its ministers have said they oppose a two-state solution… This raises legitimate questions about the direction it may be headed in … and what kind of policies it may adopt.”
     The assertion of “legitimate questions” is belated, even though the recent appointment of Avigdor Lieberman as Israeli defence minister increases the severity of scrutiny as regards future human rights violations committed by the Israeli government. Clearly, the US is indulging in one of its favourite past times which evokes memories of previous right-wing collaborations in South America, for example, when propping up dictatorships and contributing to the torture, murder and disappearance of civilians opposing dictatorial rule was a measure of imperialist success.
     Haaretz has interpreted Toner’s statements as evidence that “the Obama administration remains unconvinced by Netanyahu and Lieberman’s calming words,” with reference to the perfunctory and illusory statements uttered by both – a conglomeration of assertions regarding commitment to peace and responsible policy – after signing the coalition agreement. It is inconceivable that the US would be convinced about the validity of such statements; however being unconvinced does not signal opposition to the perpetual colonisation motives.
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We will no longer be fig leaf for occupation, says B'Tselem
Electronic Intifada: 26 May 2016 - Human rights group says its cooperation with military law enforcement has only lent legitimacy to occupation.
Palestinian rights groups try to stop Gaza executions
Electronic Intifada: 26 May 2016 - Human rights groups warn that Hamas plan to implement death penalty would be illegal and harmful.
Rank and file challenge US union bosses over BDS
Electronic Intifada: 26 May 2016 - Israel lobby group welcomes decision to overturn democratic vote by US union
BDS is free speech, says Dutch government
Electronic Intifada: 25 May 2016 - Israel’s attack on boycott activism is prompting governments, civil society to declare that movement is legitimate
Can anthropology overcome its imperial past?
Electronic Intifada: 25 May 2016 - BDS vote a test of field’s complicated relationship with Middle East.
Video: Rania Khalek on looming Democratic showdown over Palestine
Electronic Intifada: 25 May 2016 - Bernie Sanders’ picks for party’s platform committee signal emphasis on Palestinian rights.
What’s Next for BDS Activists in Canada?
Palestine Chronicle: 26 May 2016 - By Marion Kawas Ontario’s Bill 202, the most direct effort so far by Zionist forces in Canada to criminalize support for the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, thankfully failed by a wide margin last week. We know we won’t have long to celebrate though, as new draconian efforts are surely on the horizon. Swift and coordinated activist pushback was critical to this defeat; there were also a myriad of other factors at play, including intra-Zionist squabbles (similar to what is going on now in the Israeli government) and even domestic Canadian politics. The bill introduced in the Ontario legislature was extreme only in comparison to what we have seen so far in Canada, not when compared to efforts in other countries. Still, the language and penalties were harsh and once again, similar to the anti-BDS motion in February 2016 in the House of Commons, specifically targeted individuals as well...
Gaza Remembers Rachel Corrie in a Football Tournament
Palestine Chronicle: 26 May 2016 - Yousef M. Aljamal – Gaza For the ninth year in a row, Palestinians in the city of Rafah will organize a football tournament in the memory of Rachel Corrie, a 23-year old American peace activist who was killed in the city while she was trying to protect Palestinian houses from Israeli demolition. The tournament, which will take place on June 7, 2016, will consist of 32 teams from across the Gaza Strip. “This is a very important event which draws hundreds of people every year. People come here to play football and to remember Rachel Corrie who was killed while trying to protect our houses from demolition,” said Kareem Nasrallah from Rafah, the coordinator of the tournament. “We have received support from various figures, including Abdelsalam Hania of the Sports and Youth Palestinian Council. He attended the final celebration of the winning team last year and gave the team an...
People’s History of Gaza Discussed by Youths
Palestine Chronicle: 25 May 2016 - Yousef M. Aljamal – Gaza A group of Palestinian youths gathered on Tuesday to discuss a people’s history of the Gaza Strip. The lecture, delivered by Dr. Ismail Abushmees, was attended by dozens of Palestinian youths who came to listen about the history of their city – one of the oldest cities in the world. “Gaza had played a major role in the First World War and defended the Ottoman force. The Ottomans decided to make Gaza a frontline of defense by building trenches and tunnels along its eastern and southern borders. They decided to evacuate Gaza in 1915. No one talked about this important event in the history of Gaza except Sheikh Altabaa’, a local historian,” said Abushmees. Jamal Basha, the Ottoman leader, decided to build a new road in Gaza for military purposes, which was later named after Omar Almokhtar, stated to Abushmees. In 1915, The Ottoman soldiers asked...
Anti-BDS Tactics Doomed To Fail
Palestine Chronicle: 25 May 2016 - By Iqbal Jassat Wearing a BDS T-shirt in France is a criminal offense. This latest move by French authorities to invoke legislation which bars antisemitism in order to harass and intimidate Palestinian solidarity activists, is not only ridiculous, but borders on insanity. It follows desperate attempts by Israel to stem the tide of phenomenal growth of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) in Europe. Many observers have noted that the boycott movement is as enthusiastically embraced across European cities as was the anti-apartheid movement against South Africa. This obviously is a frightening challenge for Israel’s racist right wing regime, who knows only too well that unless drastic measures are taken, BDS can snowball into its worst nightmare. Unlike bombs and brutal violence to crush Palestinian resistance in the Occupied Territories which Israel relies on, it cannot use any of these military options to crush popular dissent on university campuses in London,...
Time to End the ‘Hasbara': Palestinian Media and the Search for a Common Story
Palestine Chronicle: 25 May 2016 - By Ramzy Baroud  Merely being in the company of hundreds of Palestinian journalists and other media professionals from all over the world has been an uplifting experience. For many years, Palestinian media has been on the defensive, unable to articulate a coherent message, torn between factions and desperately trying to fend off the Israeli media campaign, along with its falsifications and unending propaganda or ‘hasbara’. It is still too early to claim any kind of paradigm shift, but the second Tawasol Conference in Istanbul, which took place 18 to 19 May, served as an opportunity to consider the vastly changing media landscape, and to highlight the challenges and the opportunities facing Palestinians in their uphill battle. Not only are Palestinians expected to demolish many years of Israeli disinformation, predicated on a make-believe historical discourse that has been sold to the world as fact, but also to construct their own lucid...
‘Subcontractors to the Occupation': B’Tselem Refuses to be Complicit in Israeli Violence
Palestine Chronicle: 25 May 2016 - Israeli human rights organization, B’Tselem, announced on Wednesday that it will no longer continue their strategy of holding Israeli forces accountable for their crimes against Palestinians through internal military mechanisms. B’Tselem focuses on collecting information and documenting Israeli human rights violations against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. However, after 25 years of their work they have stated their refusal to be complicit in Israel’s military mechanisms. The organisation has stated in a press briefing on Tuesday that Israel’s actions are “morally unacceptable”. B’Tselem to stop filing Palestinian abuse complaints with IDF, police: Citing lack of faith in … https://t.co/hFFwVLwb7R TimesofIsrael — Jewish Community (@JComm_BlogFeeds) May 25, 2016 According to a new report released by the organization, Israeli military mechanisms fail to provide justice for Palestinian victims. Field Researcher for B’Tselem, Iyad Haddad, told Ma’an on Tuesday that it feels it has allowed the continuation of the nearly 50-year Israeli...

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