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Dr Daud Abdullah, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 3/27/2017
It is now one week since the Israeli authorities arrested Omar Barghouti, a co-founder of the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) movement in Palestine. His arrest follows years of intimidation and threats by various state agencies. If the purpose is to isolate and silence Barghouti, his arrest was, at best, short-sighted and counterproductive. BDS, meanwhile, is already a Palestinian-inspired global movement, which will be impossible to stop.
Although Israeli President Reuven Rivlin described the BDS movement in May 2015 as a strategic threat, when it was launched back in July 2005, officials dismissed the campaign as a poor attempt to imitate the international boycott which played a pivotal role in dismantling the criminal apartheid regime in South Africa. That disparaging belief no longer exists. The mere fact that the country is spending millions of dollars every month to collect data and counter BDS at home and abroad, is in itself a measure of how seriously the Israelis now view it.
"By resorting to high-handed tactics of repression and intimidation, Israel is doing the ultimate disservice to its own cause. Unwittingly, it has, by such measures, created the perfect conditions for BDS to grow and attract supporters the world over, for it does not take much to convince open-minded people about the need for BDS."
Policies that deny basic freedoms and human rights are inherently repulsive to the sense of justice of reasonable human beings.
Today, those who support BDS are driven by values of equality and fairness, as well as recognition of a shared humanity. This is why they find the denial of full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel so repugnant; why they demand an end to the military occupation of Palestinian territories captured in 1967.... more.. e-mail Political poetry as a crime: Inside the surreal trial of Dareen Tatour
Yoav Haifawi, +972 Magazine 3/26/2017
Arresting a Palestinian for publishing a political poem is extraordinary. Having to prove at trial that police mistranslated her poem is nothing short of surreal.
It has been nearly a year and a half since Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour was arrested in her home in northern Israel for writing a poem. She spent three months in various prisons, including half a year under house arrest in the town of Kiryat Ono in central Israel. Although she was able to return to her home village of Reineh, she remains under house arrest as the trial comes to an end.
Tatour, 34, was arrested by Israeli police on October 10th, 2015 for a poem she had published on Facebook, along with a number of other Facebook statuses she posted at the height of last wave of violence between Palestinians and Israelis between 2015-2016. She was charged with incitement to violence and identifying with a terrorist organization all because of her poem.
The main clause of her indictment was based on a poem that she had allegedly posted on YouTube under the title: Qawem ya shaabi, qawemhum (Resist my people, resist them). Another main clause in the indictment relates to a news item, cited in a post on Tatours Facebook page, according to which The Islamic Jihad movement calls for continuing the Intifada all over the [West] Bank The same post calls for a comprehensive intifada.
The prosecution wrapped up its arguments in September of last year, most of which were designed to prove that Tatours Facebook account indeed belonged to her, and that it was she who published the poem and the two Facebook statuses. more.. e-mail Israel faces the inevitable collapse of its apartheid system
Iqbal Jassat, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 3/27/2017
Israels racist right wing regime is turning the heat on Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists. Is this any different to the total onslaught against freedom struggle activists by the former apartheid government in South Africa? In fact, it is much worse. Daily accounts reveal severe repression whereby Palestinian men, women and children face the tragic, yet deliberate, effects of Israels state violence. This, above all else, is testimony of the Zionist regimes total onslaught.
Despite being blinded foolishly by its all-encompassing power, Israel is well aware that a total onslaught didnt save apartheid in South Africa. Neither mass arrests, nor executions of political activists, allowed the power-house of apartheid which resided in the National Party and was supported by capitalist corporations and their backers in the West, to rule South Africa forever. Indeed, not only did the brutal assault on fundamental human rights in South Africa fail to stem the tide of liberation, but the strategy of all-out war to destroy opposition to apartheid was also an utter failure.
In its mindless pursuit of total onslaught underpinned by ruthless kragdadigheid (naked power), the ideologues of Pretoria believed then as vainly as Netanyahu does now that state terrorism will crush and wipe out the struggle for freedom. Nevertheless, there is a stark difference between the Apartheid South African regime and Apartheid Israel; it is the elephant in the room: the United States of America.
Read: Why BDS activists cant shrug off the ban on entering Israel
Unlike the late 1980s, when America gradually became a less visible ally of Apartheid South Africa, the Trump administration looks set to escalate US support for Israel to unprecedented levels. The mantra America First also translates to Israel First, with no questions asked as an addendum.... more.. e-mail Israel's human rights spies: Manipulating the discourse
Neve Gordon and Nicola Perugini, Al Jazeera 3/22/2017
Revelations about Israel's infiltration of NGOs in the 1970s shocked many, but human rights 'spies' are still out there.
A fascinating expose in Haaretz reveals how, in the mid-1970s - not long after the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, and Golan Heights - Israel used university faculty members to infiltrate Amnesty International.
The state thus actively intervened in order to shape human rights activism, just as the rights discourse was becoming one of the most popular forms of political struggle against injustice around the globe.
The Haaretz article discloses how Yoram Dinstein, a renowned scholar of international law and currently a professor emeritus at Hebrew University, served as an agent for the Israeli Foreign Ministry during his tenure as the chair of Amnesty International's Israeli branch from 1974-76.
Working with the ministry's Deputy Director Sinai Rome of the international organisations division, Dinstein acted as an informant while manipulating the rights group's activities.
For instance, when an Arab women's association in the United States requested information about Palestinian detainees and prisoners, Dinstein wrote to the ministry, telling them that his inclination was not to reply.
The ministry's deputy director, however, insisted: "It seems to us that there is scope for answering the letter and writing that 'there are no Palestinian prisoners of conscience in the prisons, but rather terrorists and others who have been tried for security offences.'" more.. e-mail
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