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Israeli Apartheid: Vermonters Don't Buy It - BOYCOTT!
By arresting its co-founder, Israel has confirmed BDS as a strategic threat
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....
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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 sha’abi, qawemhum” (Resist my people, resist them). Another main clause in the indictment relates to a news item, cited in a post on Tatour’s 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 Tatour’s Facebook account indeed belonged to her, and that it was she who published the poem and the two Facebook statuses.
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Israel faces the inevitable collapse of its apartheid system
Iqbal Jassat, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 3/27/2017
     Israel’s 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 Israel’s state violence. This, above all else, is testimony of the Zionist regime’s “total onslaught”.
     Despite being blinded foolishly by its all-encompassing power, Israel is well aware that a “total onslaught” didn’t 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 can’t 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....
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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.'"
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Hacker targeting Palestine Solidarity Campaign claimed to be Mossad
Electronic Intifada: 27 Mar 2017 - Israeli officials were among first to exploit fake tweets supporting Hamas.
Smears by Israel envoy rejected in UK Parliament probe
Electronic Intifada: 27 Mar 2017 - Anti-Semitism allegations against event promoting apology for Balfour Declaration were unfounded.
Indigenous rights defender urged to cancel Israel lecture
Electronic Intifada: 27 Mar 2017 - James Anaya, former UN special rapporteur on Indigenous rights, is defending his decision to speak at Hebrew University.
#ResistAIPAC: Protesters Took to Twitter, Streets to Condemn AIPAC Conference
Palestine Chronicle: 27 Mar 2017 - By Diana Alghoul Thousands of Jews and many others took to the streets to protest outside this year’s AIPAC conference in condemnation of Israel’s increasingly hostile policies towards Palestinians, in the world’s largest Jewish-led anti-settlement protest. This is what 1000 Jews marching on @AIPAC looks like. #JewishResistance #ResistAIPAC @IfNotNowOrg pic.twitter.com/u9ULFc9nM4 — (((YonahLieberman))) (@YonahLieberman) March 26, 2017 The annual conference typically attracts around 15,000 pro-Israel Americans and two thirds of the US Congress. Young Jews blocking the entrance to #AIPAC2017 to stand up for freedom and dignity for all Israelis and Palestinians! #JewishResistance pic.twitter.com/ggpBDp1Lh4 — IfNotNow (@IfNotNowOrg) March 26, 2017 According to the AIPAC 2017 official website, the conference aims to examine the ways in which pro-Israel lobbying and advocacy can be advanced. “Over three jam-packed days, Policy Conference participants choose from hundreds of informative sessions and participate in the pro-Israel community’s largest and most important advocacy day.” Stand in heart&soul...
Report: Israel’s Mossad May Have Turned French Spies into Double Agents during Joint Op in Syria
Palestine Chronicle: 27 Mar 2017 - Israeli intelligence agency Mossad attempted to turn French spies into double agents during a joint operation in Syria, Le Monde newspaper reported, citing a French intelligence report. The report , part-published by the French daily, reveals Mossad’s efforts to develop relationships with French spies between 2010 and 2011, in an effort to achieve its goal of turning them into double agents and obtain sensitive information for Tel Aviv. The attempt apparently began when Mossad and French secret services collaborated to source intelligence data on the Syrian government’s chemical weapons program, called ‘Ratafia’. #Mossad 'turned #French #spies into double agents' after joint #Syria op https://t.co/WIrboC2eJ3 pic.twitter.com/uNb7qU80Sl — Peter Ernest (@SomersetNews) March 27, 2017 According to the Le Monde report, Israeli agents took advantage of their relationship with their French counterparts during the operation, and attempted to persuade a number of them to become regular intelligence sources for Israel. The newspaper noted several...
Archbishop of Canterbury to See First-hand Israel’s Persecution of Christians
Palestine Chronicle: 27 Mar 2017 - The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will make his first official visit to Israel and Palestine this May. The 12 day tour will see the Archbishop meeting with political and religious leaders while focusing on religious freedoms and challenges facing Christians in the Middle East. The tour will be Welby’s first official visit to the Holy Land since becoming archbishop four years ago, although he made a private visit in 2013 during which he was criticised for not visiting Bethlehem. The trip is planned to begin in Jordan where the Archbishop will hold talks with King Abdullah, he will then travel to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Nazareth and Bethlehem where he will hear about the challenges posed to Palestinian Christians by the illegal Separation Wall erected by Israel. Great news that @JustinWelby will make a nearly 2 week visit to the region to encourage local Christians. #Anglican https://t.co/TWWiGTtXvx — Andrew Reid (@...
UN Approves Draft Resolution on Palestinian Women
Palestine Chronicle: 27 Mar 2017 - The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women approved a draft resolution on Saturday regarding the status of Palestinian women, including strengthening economic and social policies to enhance the situation of women in the occupied territory, while strongly condemning Israel’s human rights violations in the Palestinian territory, Maan News Agency reported. The draft resolution, titled “situation of and assistance to Palestinian women,” was adopted with 30 countries voting in favor and 12 abstentions. Israel was the only country to vote against the resolution. The text of the resolution expressed “deep concern over the ongoing illegal Israeli occupation and all of its manifestations,” specifically outlining the effects Israel’s illegal settlement construction, continued home demolitions, and imprisonment has had on Palestinian women. Israel slams UN report blaming it for domestic abuse of Palestinian women conditions surrounding Palestinian women https://t.co/PPERHCD9aU ] — Jonathan Cahn (@Jonathan_Cahn) March 15, 2016 The UN also cited the...
Israel Faces Inevitable Collapse
Palestine Chronicle: 26 Mar 2017 - By Iqbal Jassat Is turning the heat on Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists as Israel’s racist right wing regime is doing, any different to the “total onslaught” against freedom struggle activists by former apartheid chiefs in South Africa? It certainly is and much worse. Daily accounts of severe repression whereby Palestinian men, women and children face the tragic, yet deliberate effects of Israel’s violence is testimony of Zionist regime’s “total onslaught”. But Israel is aware despite being foolishly blinded by its so-called power, “total onslaught” didn’t 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 supported by capitalist corporations along with their backers in the capitals of the West, to reign forever. In fact the converse is true: not only did those despicable series of brutal assaults on fundamental human rights in South Africa...
Rima Khalaf’s Resignation Letter to UN Secretary General
Palestine Chronicle: 26 Mar 2017 - (Rima Khalaf resigned as executive secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia – ESCWA – after the agency was forced to retract a report stating that Israel is an “apartheid regime.” Khalaf’s letter of resignation to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was translated and posted by poet Lena Khalaf Tuffaha on her Facebook page .) Here is that translation: UN ESCWA (Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia) Executive Secretary Dr. Rima Khalaf’s Resignation Letter Honorable Secretary General, I have given a great deal of consideration to the letter I received from your office, and I assure you that I in no way question your right to issue instructions to remove the report from the ESCWA web site, as I do not question that as employees of the United Nations, we must all execute the orders of our Secretary General. I know very well your commitment to the...

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