Palestinian artists, cultural organizations and human rights supporters welcome the Australian-British singer Natalie Imbruglia’s cancellationof her March performance in Tel Aviv.
Palestinian artists, cultural organizations and human rights supporters have welcomed the Australian-British singer Natalie Imbruglia’s cancellationof her March performance in Tel Aviv and thanked her for deciding to be “on the right side of history, on the side of the oppressed.”
French Acid Arab Statement:
In response to some propaganda claims regarding Acid Arab shows in Jaffa and Haiffa, we would like to clarify that these shows are performed in Palestinian venues, and organized by Palestinian promoters.
February 23, New York, NY—Human rights advocates welcome the decision by PEN America to hold PEN’s annual World Voices literary festival without funding from the Israeli government.
The decision followed a campaign and a call supported by leading literary figures asking the organization to reject Israeli government sponsorship. PEN America accepted Israeli government support for the World Voices Festival four of the previous five years, and despite writers’ opposition in 2016. The leading US free expression and literary organization announced its program last week for the May 2017 World Voices Festival in New York.
PEN America did not, however, offer a reason for the absence of Israeli government support for World Voices in a February 2017 email exchange with Adalah-NY and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP). Since March 2016 over 240 well-known writers, poets, and publishers have signed onto a call for PEN America to reject Israeli government support. They include Susan Abulhawa, Nicole Aragi, Russell Banks, Angela Davis, Carl Dennis, Junot Díaz, Louise Erdrich, Richard Ford, Naomi Klein, Laila Lalami, Lucy Lippard, China Miéville, Eileen Myles, Michael Ondaatje, Claudia Rankine, Wallace Shawn, Raja Shehadeh, Gillian Slovo, Ahdaf Soueif, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Alice Walker, Cornel West, and Jacqueline Woodson. Twenty-two writers explained in more detail why they had supported the call. Over 17,000 other concerned individuals had also joined the call.
PEN International, the organization’s global hub, has criticized the Israeli government in the past for "the killings and the reported deliberate targeting of certain journalists, media organizations, and their infrastructures” and “the practice of administrative detention against journalists and other writers."
In a February 8 email to Adalah-NY and JVP, PEN America Executive Director Suzanne Nossel wrote regarding World Voices, “Our support this year will come from contributions from a variety of private funders, as well as the United Kingdom, France, Sweden, South Korea, the Netherlands, and Poland.” Ms. Nossel explained, “Each year, our sources of funding for the Festival change depending on a wide range of factors.” In a February 17 follow-up email Ms. Nossel added, “Our approach to this centers on discussion and deliberation rather than formal policies.”
Allison Brown from Adalah-NY explained, “PEN America’s decision not to accept Israeli government support in 2017 is a victory for Palestinian rights, and for the Palestinian-led BDS movement, which calls on institutions to reject cultural partnerships with the Israeli government because Israel attempts to use these partnerships to legitimize its apartheid rule. For example, Israel has held Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour in prison or under house arrest for 16 months for a poem, and has jailed Palestinian journalists like Mohammed Al-Qiq and Omar Nazzal without charges or trial.”
Shalva Wise, JVP Artist Council Coordinator, commented, “Despite this victory, the lack of a public statement and a clear explanation by PEN America, or any formal policy, leaves us concerned that PEN America is leaving the door open to future partnerships with Israel and other repressive governments. PEN America should put in place a transparent policy prohibiting partnerships with governments like Israel that routinely violate the freedom of expression of writers and journalists. PEN America cannot mobilize actions against the Trump administration’s repressive policies with one hand, and burnish the image of other repressive governments with the other.”
At least one Israeli writer is participating in the 2017 World Voices Festival. In line with the Palestinian boycott call’s support for freedom of expression, letter signers called for the rejection of Israeli government support, and not for barring the participation of individual Israeli writers.
After PEN America dismissed the initial appeal from writers to reject Israeli government support, human rights advocates protested at the World Voices opening event in April 2016. Adalah-NY, JVP and writers then continued collecting signatures to the letter, including at several PEN America events this winter. With the 2017 festival approaching, Adalah-NY and JVP asked for an emailed update from PEN America on the status of Israeli government funding.
2017 marks the first time in recent years that PEN America did not list the governments supporting the festival on the World Voices website. PEN America had accepted Israeli government support for World Voices in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016 – making the Israeli government, with the French government, the most frequent governmental sponsors of the World Voices Festival between 2012 and 2016.
Adalah-NY and JVP support the global movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) to pressure Israel to fulfill its obligations under international law and fully recognize the Palestinian people’s right to live in full equality in their homeland.
Letter to PEN America with Signatories: /web-action/1450/tell-pen-america-don-t-partner-israeli-government
Email Exchange between PEN America and Adalah-NY/JVP, February 2017: /document/1460/email-exchange-between-pen-america-and-adalah-ny-jvp-february-2017
BDS Movement- 24/02/2017
A second major city in Norway has voted to boycott Israeli goods and services produced in Palestinian territory occupied in 1967.The 25-18 vote by Tromsø city council followed a similar action in Trondheim in November.
Tromsø’s resolution was sponsored by council members Jens Ingvald Olsen and Mads Gilbert, known worldwide for his medical work in the Gaza Strip.
With a population of 75,000 and one of only a handful of world cities north of the Arctic Circle, Tromsø has a long tradition of solidarity with Palestine, Gilbert told The Electronic Intifada.
SOME MEMBERS OF CONGRESS are trying to criminalize supportfor the campaign to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel for its occupation of Palestinian territories.
The Palestine Support Network Australia- PSNA, on behalf of its member groups is pleased to announce that the Royal Flying Doctors (RFDS), South East Section, has advised us that it has not entered into any commercial or contractual agreement with Elbit Systems Australia.
The RFDS has stated that while Elbit Systems Australia was announced as a supplier of a flight simulator following an initial request for a tender process early in 2016, this has not eventuated. We understand that the RFDS is considering alternate flight training options as part of their forthcoming Dubbo base development. PSNA would like to thank the Australian public, who supported PSNA’s 18 month campaign against this proposed RFDS/Elbit association. In particular, we thank the Australian politicians and doctors who voiced their concern directly to the RFDS and to those who signed the PSNA petition and postcards. Elbit Systems is an Israeli arms manufacturer which produces 85 percent of the drones used by the Israeli military. Elbit drones were used on successive attacks on civilians in Gaza from 2009 to 2014 and are also used for surveillance throughout the Occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. Elbit provides electronics for the ‘separation wall’ which has been deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice and produces white phosphorus bombs which were used against civilians in Gaza. Elbit Systems is the subject of international condemnation and boycott due to its complicity with Israel’s severe breaches of international law and human rights conventions in relation to Palestinian rights. PSNA would like to commend the RFDS South East Section for its commitment to its guidelines of dedication and integrity in its mission to improve health outcomes and save lives, by refusing to enter into any association with Elbit Systems.
The Palestine Support Network Australia- 25/09/2017
Award-winning British filmmaker Ken Loach has donated all proceeds from screenings of his latest film in Israeli venues to the BDS movement as a gesture of support for the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality.
February, 20, 2017, Quito, Ecuador – A Quito-based research institute — the International Center for Advanced Studies in Communications for Latin America (CIESPAL) — decided against renewing its contract with the British security company G4S after meeting with BDS activists who informed it about G4S’s complicity with Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights.
This is the first victory for BDS activists in Ecuador working to advance Palestinian human rights, and the second loss for G4S in Latin America, due to BDS pressure, in less than a year. In early 2016, another strong BDS campaign for Palestinian human rights led a major restaurant chain in Colombia to announce that it would end its contract with G4S. Notably, CIESPAL cut ties with G4S without laying off any workers.
G4S, the world’s largest security company, has a history of helping Israel run prisons where Palestinian political prisoners are held without trial and subjected to torture and ill-treatment. G4S has also been involved in providing equipment and services to Israeli military checkpoints, illegal settlements and to military and police buildings.
Under strong pressure from BDS activists participating in the international Stop G4S campaign, G4S has for the last several years been losing major deals and investments around the world. In 2016, the company was forced to sell most of its business in Israel, but still has contracts in training Israeli police and in relation to illegal settlement buildings on stolen Palestinian land. As such, G4S remains complicit in Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights.
BDS Movement- 20/02/2017
Israel's war of repression has failed to stop the continued growth of the BDS movement for Palestinian rights.
The year 2016 will be remembered by Palestinians and supporters of Palestinian freedom, justice and equality, among other things, as Israel’s year of waging an all-out war on the Palestinian-led, global BDS movement for Palestinian rights, in a desperate attempt to crush it.
In this respect, 2016 will also be remembered as the year of Israel’s spectacular failure, as BDS grew further into the mainstream, and its impact on Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid intensified.
In 2016, Israel deployed massive financial assets, intensive espionage, well-oiled propaganda, cyber “sabotage,” and, most importantly, legal warfare against BDS human rights defenders and networks.
Frustrated with the spread of BDS throughout the west, in Latin America, the Arab world, South Africa and parts of Asia, Israel has hoped to leverage its enormous influence on the US Congress and state legislatures, as well as on the governments of France, the UK, Canada, among others to suppress BDS. Israel has attempted to stigmatize, demonize and in some cases delegitimize BDS from above, after failing to crush the movement at the global grassroots and civil society levels.
Throughout this year, BDS has grown stronger and stronger.
Major multinationals, including Orange and CRH, abandoned their involvement in Israeli projects that infringe on Palestinian rights. This followed Veolia’s exit from Israel in 2015 after losing billions of dollars worth of tenders due to seven years of BDS campaigning.
Also this year, tens of city councils, mainly in Spain, announced themselves “Israeli Apartheid Free Zones,” and major churches in the US divested from Israeli banks or international companies that support the occupation.
BDS has also strengthened principled intersectional coalitions with movements for racial, economic, gender and climate justice, among others, around the world.
One exceptionally noteworthy achievement for the BDS movement in 2016 was its success in winning support for the right to boycott Israel in support of Palestinian rights under international law from the European Union, the governments of Sweden, Netherlands and Ireland, as well as from Amnesty International, the American Civil Liberties Union, the International Federation of Human Rights, and hundreds of political parties, trade unions and social movements across the world.
The logic of appeasing Israel’s regime of oppression has started giving way to the logic of sustained international pressure, which proved instrumental in ending apartheid in South Africa. The UN Human Rights Council, for instance, adopted in its March meeting a decision to create a database of Israeli and international corporations that are complicit in and profiting from Israel’s occupation regime. This remarkable development has made many companies nervous about their own involvement in Israel’s serious violations of international law.
The following timeline sums up some of the most significant indicators of direct and indirect BDS impact in various fields.
BDS Movement- 28/11/2016
On the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Middle East Monitor presents a round-up of the successes achieved by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement, a campaign launched in 2005 by a wide coalition of more than 100 diverse Palestinian groups. Though there are many ways to show solidarity with the Palestinian people, over recent years, the BDS campaign has emerged as the primary and most effective strategy of solidarity being adopted by activists and campaigners worldwide – and has provoked a fierce backlash by Israel and its allies.
A number of major international companies have responded to BDS campaigning by getting rid of Israeli subsidiaries and even withdrawing from Israel as a market. French multinational Veolia quit Israel in 2015 after a global campaign targeting its links to occupation and settlements, while the following year, Irish construction giant CRH withdrew from the Israeli market. Also in 2016, Orange dropped its Israel affiliate following intense BDS campaigning in Egypt and France.
A number of significant investors have also divested from companies targeted by the BDS movement for their complicity in Israeli violations of international law and human rights, including pension funds in the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, New Zealand and Luxembourg. Earlier this year, Danish pension fund Sampension excluded four companies for their ties to Israeli settlements in, and the extraction of natural resources from, the occupied Palestinian territory, including two Israeli banks.
BDS principles and tactics have been formally endorsed by national trade union federations in South Africa, UK, Scotland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, the Basque Country, Brazil and other countries across Latin America, in addition to scores of national and local unions. Recent examples include the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions voting in May for a full economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel, while Unifor, Canada’s largest private sector union with more than 310,000 members, also adopted a BDS motion in August.
Motions in support of BDS and BDS initiatives have been passed by more than 50 councils in Spain and by dozens of other local authorities in the UK, Australia, Sweden, Norway and Ireland. While pro-Israel groups have pursued legal efforts against Spanish councils with some degree of success, in the UK, Jewish Human Rights Watch, a pro-Israel advocacy group focused on lawfare, lost its legal action against three local authorities who had passed resolutions in support of Palestinian rights.
Over 50 student councils and associations in North America have expressed support for BDS or backed specific calls for divestment from complicit companies. In 2015, the British National Union of Students (NUS) voted to endorse BDS, mandating the confederation of some 600 student unions to support the boycott campaign in various ways. Student groups from Belgium to South Africa, Brazil to Chile have also backed BDS, while in 2016, graduate students at New York University also gave their support to an Israel boycott. That same year, the largest single student union in Britain – the University of Manchester – voted to endorse BDS.
Meanwhile, academic associations in Canada, Ireland, Qatar, South Africa and the UK have voted to support BDS; in the US, the Association for Asian American Studies, the American Studies Association, the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, and National Women’s Studies Association, have all endorsed a boycott of Israeli academic institutions, while in the UK, hundreds of academics have publicly declared their backing for the academic boycott.
Recent years have also seen growing support for the cultural boycott of Israel, with hundreds of artists and cultural figures from around the world heeding the call, including Alice Walker, Henning Mankell, Roger Waters, Naomi Klein, Ken Loach, Judith Butler, Elvis Costello, and Mira Nair. In February 2015, almost a thousand UK artists signed a pledge in support of the cultural boycott. The boycott has attracted mainstream attention through such celebrity engagement – such as in February 2017, when American football star Michael Bennett refused to participate in an Israeli government-organised ‘good will’ (i.e. propaganda) tour.
A number of church denominations in the United States have adopted BDS or BDS initiatives, including the Presbyterian Church USA, the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church (UMC), along with several Quaker bodies. Many of these groups have adopted resolutions divesting from Israeli and international companies that are complicit in various Israeli violations of international law and human rights.
The Israeli government has mobilised significant resources to tackling the BDS Movement; in 2016, the budget included $33 million for anti-BDS initiatives. That same year, an Israeli official acknowledged that cyber technology would be used in the fight, including through “actions [that] will not be publicly identified with the government”. The Israeli government has also enacted legislation as part of the anti-BDS offensive, including a law that denies entry to international visitors who support BDS, as well as a law that makes Israelis who support BDS vulnerable to civil lawsuits.
Analysing the economic impact of BDS to date is difficult by its very nature, though reports earlier this year in the Israeli media claimed that settler farmers in the Jordan Valley region of the occupied West Bank are losing NIS 100 million a year due to boycotts. In terms of future potential, one internal Israeli government report suggested that BDS could ultimately cost Israel’s economy $1.4bn a year. The Rand Corporation has estimated the potential costs at $47bn over 10 years.
MEMO - 29 November 2017
Following a report released by Danwatch in January, Denmark’s third largest pension fund, Sampension, moved to exclude four publicly traded companies from their portfolio due to their investments in illegal Israeli settlement activities. The move is a major win for the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which has increasingly come under fire in recent years as Israel and its allies have pushed to squash growing popularity with new legislation and political pressure on both public and private institutions.
Danwatch’s report, Business on Occupied Territory, found that Sampension with $46.1 billion under its management, was the Danish pension fund that had been investing the largest sums of money in companies that do business in or around illegal Israeli settlements.
Ana Sanchez, speaking on behalf of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the largest Palestinian coalition that leads the global BDS movement for Palestinian rights, welcomed the move, telling Mondoweiss it represents “the latest indicator of the mounting pressure on businesses that are deeply complicit in Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights to stop profiting from Israel’s military occupation and apartheid.”
“All pension and investments funds must divest from Israeli and international companies that are involved in Israel’s human rights violations not just in response to the BDS call issued by Palestinian civil society but also in compliance with UN principles and guidelines on business and human rights,” Sanchez said.According to Danwatch, Sampension chose to revise its investment guidelines following the report. In accordance to its new guidelines, Sampension excluded four Israeli companies from its portfolio.
The four companies excluded due to their involvement in settlement activity are all listed as companies targeted by the BDS movement. They were identified as two Israeli banks, Hapoalim and Leumi, the German construction company, HeidelbergCement and Bezeq, Israel’s largest telecommunications company, which owns telecommunications equipment installed within settlements, providing the illegal communities with telephone and data signals.
Sampension shared a press release after the move, explaining the shift.“During 2017, Sampension has expanded its policy and practice for responsible investments in several areas,” the report read. “The focus areas are climate change, human rights and the pursuit of active ownership.”
Director of Investments in Sampension, Henrik Olejasz Larsen, said the four companies were excluded from their investment portfolios due to “the financing of settlements and for the extraction of natural resources and the establishment of infrastructure for telecommunications in the occupied area.”
In addition to the four Israeli companies already blacklisted on Sampension’s portfolio, the company has stated it is now “initiating a dialogue” with another six companies about possible business activities in Israel’s settlements, according to the most recent Danwatch report.
Denmark’s largest bank, Danske Bank, also a BDS target, confirmed to Danwatch that it still holds investments in Hapoalim and Leumi, despite reports of the bank’s blacklisting of Hapoalim in 2014.Last month Israel’s banks came under fire, as Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report criticizing Israeli banks for continuing to allow investments and business exchanges with industries that support illegal Israeli settlements, in contravention of international law. Israeli banks, such as Leumi, one of the banks that Sampension blacklisted, told HRW they are required by Israeli law to provide services to settlements, since Israeli banking, consumer, and anti-discrimination law, dictates that banks cannot reject customers based on their place of residence.However HRW found that Israeli banks “do not have to provide financial services that involve settlements, such as financing construction projects or mortgages for settlement properties, when the grounds for refusal are not the place of residence of the customer but rather the business and human rights considerations stemming from the location of the activities.”HRW called on banks to use the legal loophole to divest from any investments involved in settlement activities.
HeidelbergCement, one of the four companies moved to Sampension’s blacklist, is the world’s largest cement producer and a major manufacturer of aggregates and ready-mix concrete, with around $1 billion in revenue, according to Who Profits, a research center dedicated to exposing companies involved in Israeli settlement activity.The German cement company owns three plants and one aggregates quarry in the occupied West Bank through Hanson Israel, Heidelberg’s local branch.One of the quarries operates on Palestinian land from the village of al-Zawiya.“The quarry exploits occupied Palestinian natural resources for the needs of the Israeli construction industry,” Who Profit documented. In addition, once the natural resources, dug up from West Bank land, are turned into building material, they are directly supplied to settlements for building and expanding illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.“Materials of stone and gravel extracted from Palestinian land have been providing the raw material needed for the Israeli expansionist construction industry,” Who Profits documented. “Without which the construction sector could not have thrived economically, generating profit for many Israeli companies.”Last month, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released a report revealing that the Palestinian economy was performing “far below potential.”The report documented that the primary cause of the problem was the “continuing loss of land and natural resources to settlements and the annexation of land in the West Bank.”According a report released by The Rights Forum, a research center focused on Israel and Palestine, natural stone, or “white oil” is one of Palestine’s most important resources, with the industry providing at least 15 to 20 thousand Palestinian jobs, with an annual contribution of $250 million to the Palestinian economy — however the report found that the stone’s potential value was up to $30 billion.HRW found that companies such as HeidelbergCement are in direct violation of international humanitarian law “which requires that such natural resources should only be used for the benefit of the (Palestinian) population of the occupied territory.”
Mondoweiss-16 october 2017
The prestigious Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium has announced its withdrawal from a controversial EU-funded research cooperation project with the Israeli police and the Israeli Ministry of Public Security.
The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) welcomes the cancellation of a $500 million missile deal between India and Israel as a “major blow” to Israel’s military industry.
November 21, 2017 — Yesterday, media reported that the Indian Ministry of Defense has scrapped the $500M deal with Israeli arms manufacturer Rafael Advanced Defense Systems for its missile systems. Years in the making, the deal had been celebrated in international media and was finalized after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Israel in July. In August, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and its Indian partner Kalyani Strategic Systems opened a facility in Hyderabad to manufacture the missile systems.
The deal was cancelled after India’s state-run Defense Research Development Organisation asserted that India should not import this Israeli technology.
Jamal Juma’, coordinator of the Palestinian Stop the Wall Campaign and BNC secretariat member said:India’s decision to scrap this massive arms deal with Israel is a huge blow to the Israeli weapons industry. This $500 million deal would have fueled Israel’s military industry, which is deeply implicated in war crimes against the Palestinian people.It is also a major setback for Israel’s propaganda hubris that its technology is indispensable for India’s development and modernization. As many Indians are recognizing, Israel is marketing military and agricultural technologies in India and trying to cement Indian dependence on Israel.Israel seeks a flow of Indian cash for it’s own profit and to help finance its criminal wars and apartheid regime.
India is by far the globe’s biggest importer of Israeli weapons, and Israel is enjoying almost unparalleled influence in the Indian military system. Israel is equipping the Indian army with Israeli guns, the Indian airforce and navy with Israeli airplanes and missiles, and is also providing communication systems and technology in all levels of the Indian military.
Over the last two decades, Indo-Israeli military relations have continuously increased despite various corruption scandals and technical failures.
Similar patterns have started to surface in other sectors as well. India’s 16 million-strong farmer’s union AIKS has endorsed the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) “in order to stand for the rights of the Palestinian people and to resist the corporate takeover of Indian agriculture sector by Israeli companies.”
Members of Telengana’s state assembly last week denounced state-sponsored trips of Indian farmers to Israel as “a wastage of money.”
Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the BNC said:We hope this is the beginning of the end of Indian complicity in Israel’s egregious violation of international law and Palestinian human rights. As Palestinians we ask the Indian people to maintain their proud legacy of commitment to independence, to growing local knowledge and to respecting other people’s struggles for freedom from colonialism and apartheid.Israel’s regime of oppression can never be a model for the great Indian nation that once led the non-aligned movement and upheld the right of all nations to self determination. Israel exports to India what it knows best — technology that represses, militarizes and dispossesses people of their land and water rights. India is better off without that.
Last week it was announced that Indian Oil and Natural Gas Corporations are bidding for drilling rights in gas fields claimed by Israel, despite the many controversies linkedto territorial disputes in such fields. In August, India’s Adventz group signed aMemorandum of Understanding to develop Israel’s Jerusalem Light Rail, which serves Israel’s settlements built illegally in and around occupied East Jerusalem.
Omar Barghouti said:As large multinationals—like Veolia, Orange and G4S— are abandoning their illegal projects in Israel due to effective BDS pressure, Israel has started dragging India into deals fraught with legal and political risks. Indian companies would be well advised to avoid getting sucked into Israel’s human rights violations as more and more international corporations refuse to get involved in such complicity. It is unethical and bad for business in the longer term.
BDS - 21 November 2017
The human rights and Palestine solidarity organization, BDS South Africa, welcomes the calling-off of the Africa-Israel Summit which was meant to take place in Togo next month. The decision comes following several boycott threats. (Click here)
The Israeli embassy in Japan had been planning to hold «the Israel Wine Seminar» on 30 November 2016 at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Osaka office according to the embassy’s website, Facebook page and Twitter account.At the time of writing, the embassy’s website still lists the original planned event, including the list of the attending Israeli wineries, some of which are located in or use grapes from illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank or the Golan Heights: http://itrade.gov.il/japan/wine_2016/
7 private and public companies in Jordan have discontinued their service contracts with G4S, the security company, in response to a global boycott call against G4S’ parent company for its complicity in Israel’s regime of occupation and settler-colonialism.
Last month, Egged Bus Systems (EBS), a subsidiary of Egged Israel Transport Cooperative Society, Israel’s largest public transportation operator, lost a bid for a decade-long contract to run public transportation in the North-Holland region of the Netherlands, which includes the country’s capital, Amsterdam. This contract was valued at 19.1 million euros a year, with a total worth of 190.1 million euros.
Lorde has decided to cancel her 2018 concert in Tel Aviv following calls for the Melodrama singer to withdraw from the gig due to the ongoing cultural boycott.
More than a hundred well-known writers, actors, directors and musicians pledge their support for the singer Lorde, who has decided not to perform in Israel
NEW ORLEANS APPROVED a resolution on Thursday pledging to take steps to avoid contracting with or investing in corporations whose practices violate human rights — an initiative pushed in the council as part of the campaign to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel for its occupation of Palestinian territories. New Orleans became the first city in the South — and one of the largest in the country — to pass a resolution in accordance with the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction Movement, known by its initials BDS.
Muslimgirl.com founder Amani al-Khatahtbeh turned down Revlon's Changemaker award due to Israeli actor's 'ambassador' role at company.
The founder of a website dedicated to amplifying the voices of Muslim women has refused to accept an
award from beauty company Revlon as Israeli actor Gal Gadot is the brand ambassador for the company’s newest campaign.
The Changemaker Award, which celebrates the company’s Live Boldly campaign, was given to Amani al-Khatahtbeh for her advocacy for Muslim women.
However, in an Instagram post on Tuesday, Khatahtbeh said she could not accept the award while Gadot - who is a former Israeli army soldier and publicly supported the 2014 bombing of Gaza - was the ambassador of the campaign.
"Her vocal support of the Israeli Defense Forces' actions in Palestine goes against MuslimGirl.com's principles and values," wrote Khatahtbeh.
"I can't, in good conscience, accept this award from the brand and celebrate Gal's ambassadorship after the IDF imprisoned a 16-year-old girl named Ahed Tamimi last month, an activist who is currently still incarcerated.
“We can’t accept role models that support the oppression of women and girls in other parts in the world."
Ahed al-Tamimi was seized at dawn when Israeli soldiers raided her family home after she was filmed confronting two soldiers in Al-Nabi Saleh, a small village in the occupied West Bank.
An Israeli military judge on Wednesday ordered that Tamimi remain in Israeli custody until she faces trial on charges of throwing stones - punishable by up to 10 years in jail in Israel - incitement and making threats.
Tamimi’s arrest has sparked waves of support for her, as many took the opportunity to highlight the number of children held in Israeli prisons.
Last week, Revlon announced Gadot as brand ambassador for the campaign, the purpose of which they said was to “inspire women to express themselves with passion, optimism, strength and style.”
Revlon added that there was no better embodiment of those qualities than Gadot herself.
Gadot shared a message of support for the IDF of her Facebook page during the conflict between Israel and Gaza in 2014, which saw at least 2,200 Palestinians killed, 20,000 homes destroyed and up to 500,000 Gaza residents displaced.
"It's easy to get caught up in convos about women's empowerment right now, which is why it's so important for us to stay woke about who's getting left out of the conversation and give them space whenever we can," Khatahtbeh told Teen Vogue.
"We have to make sure that our feminism is inclusive of [all] women of colour because history has taught us that we can't compromise on liberation."
Khatahtbeh also said in her post that the recognition of Muslimgirl and its work in “spaces from which we’ve been traditionally excluded” meant a lot, adding that that recognition makes it all the more important “to stand up for ALL women and girls”.
Middele East - 18 January 2018
Social media outlets have circulated a pamphlet from Pizza Hut- "Israel” that ridicules the hunger strike of Palestinian prisoners and one of their leaders, Marwan Barghouti.
On World Photography Day, over 40 Portuguese photographers, teachers of photography and photography students have launched a pledge not to accept professional invitations or financing from the State of Israel and to refuse to collaborate with Israeli cultural institutions complicit in Israel’s regime of occupation, colonialism and apartheid.
The human rights and Palestine solidarity organisation BDS South Africa joins fellow South Africans in welcoming the decision by South Africa’s governing party, the ANC, to immediately and unconditionally downgrade SA’s embassy in Israel to a liaison office.
In a significant setback for Israel’s campaign against the global, Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, earlier this week the upper house of the Swiss parliament blocked efforts to criminalize BDS and ban government funding for organizations committed to promoting Palestinian human rights. These failed efforts were led by Swiss right-wing parties lobbying for Israel.
The Israeli ministry tasked with fighting the BDS Movement is spending millions of shekels to place propaganda that looks like news in Israel’s most prominent media outlets.
The Israeli government paid the Yedioth Group, publisher of Israel’s best-selling daily newspaper, hundreds of thousands of shekels to publish articles and interviews meant to influence readers to support a campaign Israel is waging against its critics. The Strategic Affairs Ministry, headed by Minister Gilad Erdan, purchased positive coverage and the distribution of that content on the Internet.
According to information provided to “The SeventEye” and “Hatzlacha,” as part of a freedom of information request, the Yedioth Ahronoth Group received NIS 350,000 ($100,000) to publish journalistic articles, which were then distributed by member organizations of the “Pro-Israel Network” in Israel and around the world. The articles, according to the information furnished, were meant to motivate or enlist Israelis into the struggle.
The paid-for articles were published starting in June 2017 in the news section of Yedioth Ahronoth‘s weekend magazine, and on its website, Ynet. Like other campaigns that included purchasing articles from the newspaper, this one also included promotions in the widely-distributed weekend edition.
Alongside the paid-for articles, Ynet also published promotional videos produced by the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, as well as three interviews with a ranking official at the ministry, Tzahi Gabrieli. Two of those paid-for interviews were conducted by Ynet’s senior political correspondent, Attila Somfalvi, who asked soft-ball questions that allowed him to present his talking points.
In addition to the interviews with Gabrieli, Yedioth also interviewed a string of people from various Jewish organizations that do not have direct ties to the state. The role of those organizations in the government efforts against de-legitimization and their ties to the government are unclear.
Two of those organizations, the “World Jewish Congress” and “Stand With Us,” were sponsors of Yedioth’s anti-BDS conference last year, in which senior politicians and officials from the Strategic Affairs Ministry took part. “Over the last year,” wrote journalist Reuven Weiss in one of the paid-for articles, “the boycott movement’s main base of operations in their campaign to delegitimize Israel has moved to social media, and new tools are required.”
The aim of at least some of those state-sponsored articles was to enlist the public to help some of those civil society organizations in spreading government messaging on the internet and to combat unflattering content. In other words, to get the public to execute the Ministry of Strategic Affairs’ strategy.
“Are you sick of hearing the lies about Israel spread in the international media and on social networks?” read an accompanying box in one of the Hebrew-language state-sponsored articles. Readers were then encouraged to Google the campaign’s name, “4il,” go to the site, and start sharing “videos, caricatures, and articles that expose the lies of BDS.” In addition, Yedioth suggested that readers download an app called Act.il, which enables them to take part in “daily missions” to advance pro-Israel messaging on social media.
As has become customary at Yedioth Ahronoth in recent years, readers are told only that the article they are reading was published “in cooperation with” an Israeli government ministry, without explaining that “in cooperation with” actually means “paid for by.” In recent months, the list of articles featuring that disclosure has grown to include articles written by the news organization’s diplomatic correspondent Itamar Eichner.
The relationship between the Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Yedioth Ahronoth is only part of a much broader, well-funded campaign: in June and July of 2017 the ministry spent nearly NIS 7 million ($2 million) on spreading its messaging to the public in Israel and abroad. That is larger than any of the other campaigns that have been exposed by The Seventh Eye in recent years. The second-largest such campaign documented previously was NIS 11 million, and that was over the course of more than a year.
In addition to the journalistic content that the Ministry of Strategic Affairs purchased in Yedioth, it also spent over half a million shekels on placing content on Israel’s highest-rated television news channel, Channel 2 and its website, Mako. And in addition to Hebrew-language articles, the ministry also purchased journalistic content targeting a more global audience, enlisting it in the fight against delegitimization.
The state-sponsored articles aimed overseas audiences were published in The Jerusalem Post, which was paid NIS 120,000 ($34,000); in the Times of Israel, which was paid NIS 95,000 ($27,000); and the J Media Group, an American publishing group, which was paid NIS 115,000 ($33,000). The J Media Group, which operates a television station called ILTV, also received money from the Strategic Affairs Ministry, along with Hebrew-language newspaper Makor Rishon. The ministry refused to release data on its relationship with Sheldon
According to the data that was released, the Ministry of Strategic Affairs’ biggest expenditure of the campaign — over NIS 2.6 million ($740,000) — was budgeted to promote content on social media and search engines, including Google, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Another large sum, around NIS 2 million ($570,000), was budgeted for building the Act.il website and producing multi-media content for it. Another roughly NIS 490,000 ($140,000) was budgeted for “strategy,” “creative,” and “branding.”
The funds the government is using to purchase state-sponsored journalistic articles come from the public, and therefore most government ministries have agreed to release information on those types of relationships. It will soon be far more difficult to obtain information about the purchase of journalistic content by Ministry of Strategic Affairs. The ministry has in recent months been advancing legislation that would exempt it from Israel’s Freedom of Information Law. According to the draft legislation, “successfully waging this battle requires keeping it as ambiguous as possible.”
The Strategic Affairs Ministry claimed that the law would not apply to the types of relationships like that with the Yedioth Ahronot Group, but the bill itself, which passed a preliminary vote over the summer and is now waiting for its second and final votes, is written in a way that will apply to all of the ministry’s activities. In response to past freedom of information requests by The Seventh Eye and Hatzlacha, the ministry claimed that some of the requested documents were “classified.” It redacted other documents, claiming that they were liable to harm Israel’s foreign relations, and even state security.
Attila Somfalvi declined to respond to interview requests. Ron Yaron, the editor of Yedioth Ahronoth, sent the following response:''We are proud of the broad and comprehensive coverage Yedioth Ahronoth has been leading against the boycott of Israel. When, in that framework, there has been cooperation with [government] officials or bodies in articles that were published, there have been prominent disclosures of it, similar to what is done in other media outlets when they cooperate with various bodies.''
972 Mag - 20 December 2017
Short-list of the top 30 BDS moments of 2017, reflecting massive, collective work by supporters around the world. The BDS movement for Palestinian rights grew among trade unions, social movements and mainstream churches, in universities, among star athletes and prominent cultural figures, in parliaments and at the United Nations. It has compelled major multinationals to end their respective complicity in Israel’s egregious violations of Palestinian human rights, and grows stronger every day.
GOVERNMENT & POLITICAL PARTIES
South Africa again gave the world a lesson in how to concretely resist injustice when its ruling African National Congress (ANC) unanimously voted, at its general conference, for downgrading South Africa’s diplomatic ties with Israel.
The 25,000 strong Democratic Socialists of America declared its full support for the Palestinian struggle and endorsed the BDS movement.
Spanish parliament affirmed that the right to advocate for Palestinian rights through BDS is protected under freedom of speech and association. Hundreds of elected officials in the Spanish state endorsed BDS for Palestinian rights.
Barcelona city council decided to support Palestinian rights by adopting ethical procurement guidelines which exclude companies involved in Israel’s military occupation. In the past year, dozens of city councils across the Spanish state declared themselves Israeli “Apartheid Free Zones.”
The UK government was defeated in court by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and its allies in a ruling that deems it unlawful for the government to restrict the right of local authorities to divest from companies complicit in Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights.
Swiss parliament blocked Israel lobby efforts to criminalize support for BDS.
CULTURE, SPORT & MUSIC
Six National Football League (NFL) players in the United States turned down an Israeli government-sponsored, all-expenses paid, propaganda trip organized to improve Israel’s fast deteriorating image.
Grammy-award winning artist Lorde canceled her concert in Tel Aviv, and so did rapper and young feminist icon Princess Nokia (Destiny Nicole Frasqueri), following calls from BDS activists to respect the Palestinian picket line. More than 100 prominent artists wrote in support of Lorde’s right to follow her conscience and exercise her right to boycott.
Wave of boycotts hit Israeli LGBT film festival & showed growing respect for Palestinian BDS picket line.
Nine musical acts withdrew from the Pop-Kultur festival in Berlin after supporters of Palestinian rights highlighted that the festival violated the Palestinian BDS picket line.
Prominent Portugues photographers launch a pledge to refuse professional invitations or financing from Israel and to refuse to collaborate with Israeli cultural institutions until Israel "complies with international law and respects the human rights of Palestinians."
The South African Council of Churches (SACC) and the Council of African Independent Churches (CAIC), representing more than a million Christians in South Africa, announced their support for the Palestinian struggle and the BDS movement.
Mennonite Church USA voted by an overwhelming 98% majority to divest from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation, following several mainline churches that adopted similar policies in recent years, including the Presbyterian Church USA, the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church.
Twenty-three US churches have declared themselves HP-free after calls from Palestinian Christians to boycott the company for its complicity in Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights.
TRADE UNIONS & SOCIAL MOVEMENTS
Norway’s largest trade union federation, LO, representing close to a million workers, endorsed a full boycott of Israel to achieve Palestinian rights under international law.
16 million-strong national farmers’ union in India, the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), joined the BDS movement.
largest Canadian workers’ union in the private sector (Unifor), representing more than 310,000 members, endorsed the right to boycott and to deploy BDS tactics to end Israeli military occupation.
Major Colombian social movements, organizations and unions joined the BDS movement and called for parallel support for their own struggle for freedom and human rights.
More than 200 Latin American organizations, coalitions, social movements and personalities published a letter addressed to the Board of Directors of the Mexican multinational company Cemex, calling on its members to end the company’s complicity in Israel’s human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Their efforts are part of a growing #StopCemex campaign.
G4S, the world's largest security company, suffered more losses around the world due to its ongoing complicity in Israeli crimes. UN Women became the fifth UN agency in Jordan to drop its contracts with G4S following a campaign by BDS activists there, and seven private and public companies in Jordan discontinued their service contracts with G4S.
Lebanese doctors’ syndicate dropped G4S, following a campaign by boycott activists in Lebanon. G4S also suffered its first loss in Ecuador, where a research institute dropped its contract with the company following a BDS campaign.
California transportation board dropped its contract with G4S after a human rights and labor coalition, including BDS activists, highlighted the company’s role in violating human rights in Palestine and the United States.
Denmark's third largest pension fund “Sampension” excluded four banks and companies from its portfolio, citing their investments in illegal Israeli settlements.They were identified as two Israeli banks, Hapoalim and Leumi, the German construction company HeidelbergCement, and Bezeq, Israel’s largest telecommunications company, which owns telecommunications equipment installed within settlements.
Israel’s largest public transportation operator “Egged” lost a 190 million euro contract to run public transportation in the Netherlands.
Air Canada ended a maintenance contract worth tens of millions of dollars with the Israeli arms firm “Israel Aerospace Industries” two years before the contract’s end date.
One of the largest aeromedical organizations in the world, Australia’s Royal Flying Doctors (RFDS), refused services from the Israeli military and tech company Elbit Systems. Elbit Systems produces 85% of the drones used by the Israeli military, including those used to attack Palestinian civilians in Gaza from 2009 to 2014.
South Africa’s largest residential university, Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), with over 60,000 students, endorsed the academic boycott of Israel.
two Chilean universities cancelled events sponsored by the Israeli embassy. Also, medical students at Chile’s largest university voted to break institutional ties with Israeli universities.
Seven US student governments voted to divest from companies profiting off Israeli occupation. These include Tufts University, the University of Michigan, California State University at Long Beach, De Anza College, Pitzer College, University of South Florida, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
BDS Movement- 01/07/2017
Human rights chief tells 150 companies they may be added to database of firms linked to illegal Jewish settlements.
The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) in Jordan has announced it will no longer contract with G4S.
The group Jordan BDS hailed the decision as a victory for its year-long campaign, which included a meeting with WFP officials and an open letter signed by dozens of Jordanian organizations to urge the UN agency to end the contract.
This makes WFP the fourth out of six UN agencies in Jordan to ditch the world’s largest security company, following pressure from the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.
Students Against Israeli Apartheid at York University (SAIA York) is proud to announce that the Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) at the third largest university in Canada has boycotted the Israeli academic institution, the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies (AIES). This move is a major win for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement, as FES has become the first faculty in Canada to honor Palestinian civil society's call for "an academic boycott of complicit Israeli academic institutions".
بيان الفرقة الفرنسية:
مؤخرا، قدمت فرقة "أسيد أراب" عروضا في حيفا و جفا. أثارت هذه الروض مجموعة من التعليقات ومن ضمنها تهم دعاية لفائدة دولة إسرائيل. نود أن نلفت انتباهكم على نقطة بالغة الأهمية: تم تقديم جميع هذه العروض في قاعات فلسطينية مسيرة من طرف فلسطينيين و فلسطينيات.
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