by Marivel Guzman
Thanks to Jacob Cohen for sharing the story in his facebook’s page
The Boycott Divestment and Sanctions of Israel it is happening all over the world. Operation “Boycott” was launched in France before French’s courts declared it illegal on October 20, action that is being challenged as a serious attack on freedom of expression.
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A Carrefour TNL, pro-Palestinian activists have led a boycott operation of Israeli’s products yesterday. The products were removed from shelves and piled into shopping carts installed in the corridors of the supermarket.
About thirty activists who support the campaign “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” (BDS), launched in 2005 by the Palestinian civil society, have emptied the shelves of Carrefour TNL last Saturday morning.
In their sights: was a brand name machine that adds oxygen and flavor to the water, this product is made in East Jerusalem in an illegal settlement.
Activists have emptied the shelves and they crammed the products in carts in the aisles of the supermarket. Without causing crowding.
“We are for peace,” the activists said.
“We are here to denounce Israel colonialist’s policy and this action is to ask the supermarket not to offer for sale products from the illegal Israeli settlements in Palestine,” said Michel Abada, BDS member. “We are for peace.” We want this conflict to end and It is not intended to boycott Israeli society or its members,” adds Ismaël Bendjeffal, BDS member.
The punch action operation lasted about twenty minutes before management intervened without confronting the activists. The operation “Boycott” was launched all over France, but declared illegal since 20 October this year. The Supreme Court sentenced 14 BDS activists. “A serious attack on freedom of expression is to be challenged in France’s courts,” according to BDS campaigners.
Nick Locke, 19-year-old, from University California San Diego, and member of Students for Global health, first place, at the moment to enter the finishing line at the Gaza5k Orange County/LA walk/run, at Mile Square Park on October 24, 2015 donation drive for Mental Health Programs in Gaza, Palestine, sponsored by UNRAWA USA, with the participation of the Community of Palestinian at Fountain Valley, Calif photo/Marivel Guzman
Today the community of Orange, San Diego, Riverside and Los Angeles counties areas came together once again to show solidarity with Palestine specially the children of the besieged Gaza Strip. Palestinian supporters and runners enthusiasts gathered today at Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley, Calif to participate and raise funds in the annual GAZA5K event sponsored by United National Relief Works Agency USA to raise funds for the children of Gaza.
The Gaza5K is an annual walk/run hosted by United National Relief Works Agency USA. This event raises funds for UNRWA’s Community Mental Health Program (CMHP) to support thousands of refugee children in Gaza affected by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other psychological trauma.
According to Save the Children in one area, al-Shoka, nearly half the children interviewed wet the bed every night. Up to 89% of parents reported that their children suffer consistent feelings of fear, while more than 70% of children said they worried about another war. On average seven out of 10 children interviewed suffer regular nightmares.
“Save the Children CEO Justin Forsyth said in a statement that, ‘Many children in Gaza have now lived through three wars in the past seven years, the last one notable for its brutality. They are emotionally and, in some cases, physically shattered.” Save the Children
During last year’s 51-day war, 551 children in Gaza were killed and 3,436 were injured, while an estimated 1,500 lost their parents. Many more were made homeless and saw their schools damaged or destroyed. In Israel, one child was also killed by rocket fire and 270 were injured.
UNRWA USA is an independent nonprofit organization that supports the humanitarian and human development work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) through fundraising, advocacy, and outreach. UNRWA USA aims to educate the general American public about the situation of Palestine refugees and generate support for UNRWA’s work in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan.
Approximately 500 people between participants, volunteers and Palestinian supporters showed up to the event. According to Laila Mokhiber coordinator of UNRWA USA the $ 75,000 goal was meet. Business sponsors and Team sponsors collected most of the money. T-shirts bearing the logo of sponsors were distributed between participants of the race and supporters.
The event was well advertised in Facebook and other social media platforms expecting to attract some media to cover the event, but as always they stay silence, except for Don Kim, a photojournalist from Korea News Agency that came to cover the race.
Don Kim, photojournalist for Korean News Agency said that he picked the event at his agency website. Kim said that he has been covering Palestine for some time now, and has visited Gaza, Jerusalem and West Ban. He supports Palestine.
The following teams were present: Kinder USA, Students for Justice for Palestine from University California, Riverside, Students for Global Health, Palestine Youth Movement, OC Halal Food Fest, Alliso Viejo Moms for Gaza Team, Laith N Hasan Sponsor Team, Loay Elbasyouni sponsor team, Palestinian American of Women Association (PAWA).
Amir Hammad portrays a Palestinian flag on his face.
The Musa Family came specially from Florida to attend the event
California communities send their condolences to the families in Palestine that have lost dear ones during the the recent events.
Mick Blake #CelebritiesForPalestine from Ireland
Mick Blake social protest music singer and composer supports Palestine, as musician do with their music, his heartfelt song “Another Child Another War” written for Gaza children, innocent victims of Israel ‘war’ of aggression.
Show your support for #CelebritiesForPalestine that raise their voices and use their celebrity status to raise their voice for Palestine.
My contribution to the plight of the surviving children of Gaza https://t.co/7RhQ1AC0FG
— Mick Blake Music (@mickblake13) September 18, 2014
Mick Blakes writes on his youtube video Another Child Another World “My humble contribution to raising awareness of the plight of the surviving children of Gaza.
The idea for this song came to me on the beach at Rosses Point, Sligo, a few weeks ago, Blake said, at the moment that Photographer Brian Farrell, had the wonderful idea of photographing 400 children dressed in red to show the extent of the young casualties in the conflict.
The rest fell into place when I read a transcript (translated from Hebrew) of an interview from an Israeli radio station.” he said.
Alternative singers and composer now days have the ability to brake out of the stream entertainment culture with more control over their careers than traditional singers that were exposed to the control of the record industry, now the the social media tools in place, authors, singers, and other artists have the ability to survive in the entertainment industry without compromise their integrity as a human beings.
Like Mick Blake that sings for the survivors children of Gaza, other singers have come out in their support for Palestine without fearing the repercussions of the Jews Lobby that it is entrenched in the music industry around the world, lobby that in the past was like yoke on the neck for new musicians, still in US Hollywood is controlled by the Jews Lobby, and any artist that comes out in their support of Palestine is blacklisted, we seen it recently with Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem that faced Hollywood fury over their letter against Israel Genocide in Gaza.
Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem face ‘fury’ of Hollywood following ‘genocide’ letter condemning Israel” wrote the independent in their August 10 online publication, heading like these denouncing the actors that broke out of the mold of “Israel support no matter what’ inundated the stream media headlines for days but thanks to their fans supports base that Penelope, Bardem and hundreds of others artist are coming out of the shell without fear
Social Media is showing again to the controllers of lives that the people with their power, controls the success of the artist and not the old- school-grip of dirty tactics which are used to menace to destroy careers for speaking their minds.
The importance of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions in the current Palestinian-Israel conflict will be the tipping point in the history of Palestine occupation. Conflict as the media wants to called it, is none other but an going military occupation and a continuous annexation of Palestinian’s lands.
In recent years more and more #CelebritiesForPalestine are speaking up their disgust, against Israel daily practices of murder than amount to #Genocide, and as some want to call it a #PalestinianHolocaust. Mick Blake, the social songwriter and singer subliminally says it in its recent composition to the survivors children of Gaza, in it is song “Another Child Another War” comparing a murdered Jew girl name Anne Frank that die in a concentration camp in 1945, to Eman Ammar, a Palestinian girl killed by an Israel Strike.
The resemblance on the story of their death, and even the resemblance of their faces is striking.
Blake subliminally makes the connection of the crimes of the Nazis to the crimes of the Israelis in the same context of a holocaust.
Welcome to the new era of social media where we the people are the opinion makers.
by Oded Na’aman
I was born in Israel. I served in the Army. Israel is the only home I know. You would think my speaking to students at Hillel would be welcomed. Yet my presentation to students at Washington University’s Hillel in St. Louis last month sparked a storm of controversy.
I had been invited by J Street U and was graciously hosted by Hillel at their beautiful new building. As a member of Breaking the Silence, a group of Israeli combat veterans that collects and publishes the testimonies of soldiers who served in the occupied territories, I was on campus to discuss the practices and principles of Israel’s military rule.
In the days leading to my visit, many in the Jewish community called for the event’s cancellation, claiming our sole goal was to “bash Israel.” Jacqueline Ulin Levey, executive director of St. Louis Hillel at Washington University, backed the event. She did, however, impose certain restrictions, asking that I not show any photographs or mention any testimonies besides my own. Hillel also flew in an Israel Fellow from Yale University to “balance” my talk by debriefing the students before and after.
Despite the constraints, the talk went well, with a long question and answer session. After the event, Lawrence Wittels, the chair of the school’s Hillel board, congratulated me.
But in the days following, the assault on Hillel and J Street U escalated. Eric Fingerhut, President and CEO of Hillel International, subsequently wrote to members of the Hillel community defending the organization’s decision. “While we join with the majority of the community in deeply resenting the actions of the former IDF soldiers in Breaking the Silence, who come to college campuses in America to disparage the IDF,” Fingerhut wrote, “it is, regrettably, part of the broad tent of dialogue regarding Israel.” By housing the event within Hillel, he argued, the staff could control and mitigate an unfortunate debate.
I applaud Hillel’s work facilitating a broad dialogue within the American Jewish community. But Fingerhut and those whom his letter addressed, seem to be more concerned with their own feelings toward Israel — their “tent” — than with Israel. Mention of the actions of the IDF, the values to which Israel is committed, and concern for the well being of Israel’s residents, whether Israeli or Palestinian, are noticeably absent from Fingerhut’s letter.
I don’t doubt Fingerhut’s genuine concern for Israel. I am sure those who called for the event’s cancellation are also sincerely dedicated to my country. But their concern does not protect Zionism. Rather, it threatens it. If Zionism is the dream of Jews to overcome a state of mere survival and forge our own destiny, then claiming that the occupation is necessary, that Israel “has no other choice,” is the betrayal of Zionism. Israel’s rule of force over a civilian population threatens our democratic integrity, moral character, and international standing – in short, it threatens that future.
Israel is a strong and thriving country. We can take responsibility for our actions, hold our institutions and military accountable, acknowledge our mistakes, and correct them. We can forge our own future, but only by ending the occupation.
Naturally, our claims are met with doubt. But we encourage critical debate based on evidence. We have testimony from over 950 soldiers about their service, many of them on film. Incidents we exposed have been confirmed by the Israeli media and we have been invited to speak at the United States Air Force Academy. Carmi Gillon, former head of the Shin Bet, has praised our work.
The testimonies portray a system of control and expropriation of land that is founded on the use of military force. Arbitrary violence is of the essence of military rule, which cannot rely on democratic legitimacy.
Instead of an actual dialogue about our reality and future, they are content to have a conversation about the conversation about Israel. Rather than respond to what they hear, they argue over whether they should plug their ears. This may serve some staff and some donors of Hillel International, but it doesn’t serve Israel. It takes some chutzpah to claim that by silencing our voices you are protecting our own country from us.
Oded Na’aman served in the IDF between November 2000 and October 2003. Since 2005 he has been a member of Breaking the Silence, a group of Israeli veterans that collects soldiers’ testimonies from the West Bank. Oded is currently pursuing his PhD in Philosophy at Harvard University.
“Carnage” in Gaza – “the killing of children and the slaughter of civilians”. Not the words of a Palestinian spokesperson but rather French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. Australia’s FM Julie Bishop condemned what she called “shocking” and “indefensible” incidents, with “hundreds of innocent people” killed.Just two examples of how Israel’s strongest allies have criticised the conduct of ‘Operation Protective Edge’ in unprecedentedly harsh terms. In the UK specifically, there has been an undeniable sea-change in the way that self-declared ‘friends’ of Israel have drawn a red line – adding their voices of criticism to more vociferous condemnation heard at numerous, large-scale demonstrations.
More on this in a moment. For now let us recap the devastation visited upon the Gaza Strip where, in the words of Human Rights Watch, Israel has killed “very large numbers of civilians” with “advanced weapons”. In the most recent update, Gaza’s Ministry of Health reported a death toll of 1,893 Palestinians, including 430 children. In one single F-16 strike on July 30, 19 children were killed. A further 9,805 Palestinians have been wounded, including almost 3,000 children. At least 122 families have lost three or more family members in the same attack, killing a total of 652 civilians in those strikes alone.
Many of the wounded are suffering from serious burns, or face life-long disabilities (physical as well as mental). In a fenced-in, blockaded territory, Israel’s attacks displaced almost 30 percent of the population. Israel has destroyed or severely damaged more than 10,000 housing units – many more have sustained less serious damage.
Shops, mosques, government buildings, all lie in ruins – the power plant is out of action, and 134 factories were destroyed. A low-end estimate cost of the damage is $5 billion. The health sector is in a state of emergency, while Amnesty International yesterday released evidence of the Israeli military conducting “deliberate attacks against hospitals and health professionals“. Nor were journalists immune: 13 Palestinian media workers were killed during the course of the attack.
The evidence of atrocities is mounting. One of the defining horrors of this attack has been the targeting of family homes – close to 1,000 homes have been destroyed or severely damaged by Israeli airstrikes. Reporting on the issue, the Associated Press said that the Israeli military did not respond to repeated requests “to explain in detail why even one of [the homes] was targeted”.
Earlier on in the operation, Israeli NGO B’Tselem noted how the Israel military itself had “acknowledged” conducting attacks that were “illegally aimed at homes that were not military targets”. A senior officer, commenting on the bombing of a senior al-Qassam Brigades figure’s house, said: “You call it a home, we call it a command centre and a military post for all intents and purposes”.
As Israeli human rights lawyer Michael Sfard put it, the Israeli military’s “combat doctrine…redefines what constitutes a legitimate target for attack” so that it includes “houses belonging to Hamas commanders and operatives” (it should be noted homes have also been hit lacking even this ‘link’).
Another example of Israel’s war crimes – the intense and indiscriminate attack on Rafah on August 1, when the Israeli military killed an estimated 130 Palestinians, mostly civilians, after soldier Hadar Goldin was feared captured. Haaretz referred to “dozens of innocents killed” in a “massive use of force” – another item reported “the demolition of houses with bulldozers and very aggressive artillery, aerial and tank fire“. The Givati brigade responsible is commanded by Ofer Winter, who had told his soldiers prior to the ground invasion they were “engaged in a war to ‘wipe out’ an ‘enemy who defames’ God.”
Then there is the devastation of Shuja’iyya, when IDF officers boasted of “taking off the gloves” and tanks received orders “to open fire at anything that moved”. A brutal attack which, in the words of Israeli analyst Ron Ben-Yishai, was the very “essence of the deterrence” sought by Israel in its battering of Gaza. In Khuza’a, Israeli forces fired on and killed fleeing civilians, with a “furious assault” that left “whole streets flattened” and “its nine mosques…in pieces”. And so it goes on.
A report in Haaretz a week ago said that more than 30,000 artillery shells had landed in Gaza, in addition to the then-4,000 “targets” struck by airstrikes. It is vital to recall, when considering the bigger picture of Israel’s military operations, that the army’s own legal advice strips civilians of their protected status, in what has been described as “a ‘targeted assassination’ of the principles of international law“.
Meanwhile, Israel is preparing for the anticipated legal ramifications of its war crimes – a reasonable expectation given the calls already made by the likes of Amnesty International for an arms embargo, as well as the UN Human Rights Commission inquiry.
According to the Israeli media, for domestic consumption officials describe the damage done to Gaza “as the main deterrent” – but “play down this claim in the international arena”, as they are “aware the destruction will have serious political ramifications”. On July 10, a military source claimed that when “Gaza residents see the great damage to the Strip“, it “will speak for itself”.
The Israeli military has already established a team “in case the army is accused of war crimes” consisting of senior army officials, as well as representatives of the Foreign and Defense Ministries. Their remit also includes “organizing a diplomatic and public relations offensive“.
They will have their work cut out. In recent weeks, Israel’s image has taken a battering in Britain. The public has taken a clear stand on what it thinks of the Gaza attack, while politicians and pundits from both the Right and centre-left have condemned the killing of Palestinian civilians. Palestine has shaped the domestic political agenda in a way perhaps never seen before.
‘Tory war over Gaza‘, ran a front page headline in The Times, in the aftermath of Sayeeda Warsi’s resignation. A self-defined pro-Israel Conservative MP spoke out against the “swift, and terrible, elimination of so many Palestinian lives, homes, hospitals and schools”. Newspapers have focused on the arms trade, as campaigners and senior politicians alike call for an embargo.
From celebrity tweets to Jon Snow’s emotional broadcasts – this summer would appear to be a watershed moment in how Israel is perceived, and treated, in the UK. No wonder that the Israeli embassy has almost begged for help in its embattled propaganda drive, while the country’s defenders issue desperate-sounding “choose which side you are on“-style pleas.
Take a step back from the summer’s bloodshed and remember where things stood in the spring. An intransigent Israeli government was winning few friends abroad, as the US-led peace process died on its feet. Israeli settlements in the West Bank were increasingly the target of mainstream anger and boycotts, as a growing chorus warned that Israeli colonisation policies had made a Palestinian state impossible. BDS campaigns were growing, in trade unions, faith communities, and on campuses.
Israel already stood charged with systematic violations of international law, apartheid, and institutionalised discrimination, even before the barbaric attack on the Gaza Strip. Now with the evidence of new war crimes there for all to see, Israel’s isolation will only increase, and, despite the predictable backlash, Palestine solidarity campaigning will take a significant step forward.
Ben White is a freelance journalist, writer and activist, specialising in Palestine/Israel. He has been visiting the region since 2003 and his articles have been widely published in the likes of The Guardian’s Comment is free, Al Jazeera, Electronic Intifada, New Statesman, Salon, Christian Science Monitor, Middle East International, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, and others. He currently works as a writer and researcher for Middle East Monitor and Journal of Palestine Studies.
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