Video: What are Israel’s annexation plans?

4 Jul

Mohamed Hassan, for Middle East Eye, explains Israel’s plans to annex large parts of the West Bank. (4 July 2020)

MP Duncan Webb supports protests against Israel’s planned land grab

3 Jul

Video message from Duncan Webb – MP for Christchurch Central, New Zealand, 2 July 2020.

I can’t make any of the protests this weekend, but would have liked to be there. I made this short video in support of the protests and opposing the annexation of Palestinian territory. I encourage other MP’s from all parties to send similar messages of support. The position of the New Zealand government has been consistently supportive of Palestine and regardless of which parties have been in government.

I encourage you to tag your local MP and ask whether they also oppose the Israeli settlements and the proposed annexation.

Duncan Webb MP.

Ed: See our earlier post for details of New Zealand rallies on this Saturday 4 July against Israel’s occupation and annexation plans: https://kiaoragaza.wordpress.com/2020/06/30/nz-wide-protests-against-israels-annexation-plans-this-saturday-4-july/

Dom-Post letter: Step up NZ stand on annexation

2 Jul

[File: Mohamad Torokman/Reuters]

Letter to the Editor, The Dominion Post, published

Step up the NZ stand on annexation

The Israeli ambassador to NZ, Dr Itzhak Gerberg, refused to meet with J-LINK, a group of progressive Jewish people, who wished to discuss concerns for Israel’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank.

He also used a tweet to respond to the minister of foreign affairs’ announcement that criticised Israel’s plan to extend its sovereignty on occupied Palestinian territory starting today.

Unilateral annexation is illegal under international law and contravenes all relevant UN Security Council resolutions pertaining to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

The inability of the Israeli Government to engage in any form of dialogue, including with Jewish voices in the diaspora, reflects a general contempt by the Netanyahu-led government for democracy, human rights and justice.

While I applaud the New Zealand Government in making a statement on this issue, I encourage the minister to join progressive Jewish voices from around the world by sending a stronger message to Israel.

To find peace through justice Israel must cease its ongoing colonial project of land annexation and oppressive military rule of the Palestinian people.

Sue Berman, member of Dayenu (New Zealand Jews against Occupation) and signature to J-LINK Aotearoa

Huge Gaza protest against annexation urges boycott of Israel

2 Jul

Thousands of Palestinians rally in the besieged Gaza Strip in protest of Israel’s annexation plan. (Photo: Fawzi Mahmoud, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff, Gaza, 2 June 2020

‘The Deal of Shame’: Thousands in Gaza Protest against Annexation, Urge Boycott of Israel

Thousands of Palestinians on Wednesday rallied in the besieged Gaza Strip in protest of an Israeli government’s plan to annex large swathes of the occupied West Bank. 

The protesters were led by representatives of all Palestinian political groups and civil society organizations. The crowds, which descended from across the Strip, carried Palestinian flags and placards condemning US bias towards Israel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s attempt to confiscate more Palestinian land.

Annexing approximately a third of the occupied West Bank means that Israel would officially consider the newly-annexed Palestinian land as part of the Israeli state, similar to Israel’s illegal annexation of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights in 1980 and ‘81 respectively.

Annexation also means that some 4.5% of the Palestinian population of the West Bank will be living in isolated enclaves within the annexed territories.

“The annexation is a threat to the Palestinians and violates international legitimacy resolutions,” Saadi Abed of the Palestinian Democratic Union (FIDA) said, addressing the rally in Gaza, TRT News reported. 

“The land grip will give away for a new Palestinian intifada,” he said, going on to call on the Palestinians to close ranks and “end the rift to face occupation plans.”

Netanyahu’s government coalition had set July 1 as the date to begin the implementation of the annexation plan, as part of the US President Donald Trump’s Administration’s so-called ‘Deal of the Century’.

Similar mobilization was reported in the West Bank as well, and many protests have already been scheduled for the coming days. 

Protesters in Gaza held signs in English and Arabic that read in part, “The annexation is contrary to the UN charter and a fundamentally illegal act,” “Palestinian Lives Matter,” “Our People Are United against Annexation,” “No Apartheid No Annexation,” “Down with the Deal of the Century,” “The Deal of Shame,” and “BDS: Boycott Israel.” 

Aside from the political factions that participated in the Gaza rally, women groups, student groups, and many civil society organizations were also present, including representatives from the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS).

Ed: See our earlier post for details of New Zealand rallies on this Saturday against Israel’s annexation plans: https://kiaoragaza.wordpress.com/2020/06/30/nz-wide-protests-against-israels-annexation-plans-this-saturday-4-july/

NZ-wide protests against Israel’s annexation plans: This Saturday 4 July

30 Jun

The Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa has called for rallies throughout the country this Saturday 4 July to join global protests against Israel’s plans to annex large chunks of Palestine.

The details for each centre are below. They are all posted on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Palestine-Solidarity-Network-Aotearoa-PSNA-403868133556427/events/

 

Auckland:  2pm – 3pm  Aotea Square, Queen Street, Auckland CBD

 

Hamilton: 2pm – 3pm Corner Wairere drive and Cambridge Road/Naylor Street, Hamilton 3216 (by Flynn Park) 

 

Palmerston North: 1pm Outside the City Council Building by the roundabout on Main Street & The Square, Palmerston North

 

Napier/Hastings: 11:00 – 12:00 Corner Marine Parade & Tennyson Street (seaward side) Napier                

 

Wellington: 12:00 Mid-Day Cuba Mall Stage (near the Bucket Fountain), Cuba Mall – 97 Cuba Street, Wellington

 

Nelson: 11:00 am Corner Trafalgar Street and Selwyn Place, Nelson 7010            

Then a walk down the street to through the Saturday morning market and gather at speakers corner for speeches

 

Christchurch: 12:00 noon Bridge of Remembrance, Cashel Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch 8011

 

Dunedin [TBC on facebook] 2:00 – 3:00 pm  Museum Reserve – Bounded by Great King, Albany and Cumberland Streets, Dunedin 

For people attending these rallies, PSNA would appreciate photos of your event.

Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa

Web: www.PSNA.nz

Email: Secretary@PSNA.nz

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VIDEO: Angela Davis – ‘Justice is indivisible’

29 Jun

VIDEO: Dr. Angela Davis talks at Israeli Apartheid Week 2020, University of Toronto: ‘Justice Is Indivisible’

‘So, we are united against racism in the U.S. We are uniting against racism in Canada. We are uniting against racism in Palestine and Israel, and let me conclude by emphasizing once more that justice is indeed indivisible and the struggle for freedom continues.’ Angela Davis

Read transcript at uoftdivest.com. Recorded at Toronto University, 8 March 2020.

ALSO: Moana Maniapoto interviews Angela Davis 8pm tonight on Māori Television: “The movement for black lives is a movement for all people. When black lives finally matter in the world, then all lives will matter.” Mon, 8pm on Māori Television #blacklivesmatter #justice #givenothingtoracism #aotearoa #indigenous #solidarity

Ed: See also earlier related post: https://kiaoragaza.wordpress.com/2020/06/15/angela-davis-on-black-liberation-and-palestinian-solidarity/

NZ gov’t needs to take ‘meaningful action’ on Israel’s annexation plans

26 Jun

NZ Minister of Defence, Ron Mark with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu last year.[File]

Guest blog by Janfrie Wakim, The Daily Blog, 26 June 2020

On July 1st the new Israeli government led by Benjamin Netanyahu has declared its intention to proceed unilaterally and annex  most of the Jordan Valley and all of the more than 235 illegal Israeli settlement-colonies in the West Bank now populated by 700,000 settlers. Annexation amounts to approximately 30 percent of the West Bank and was endorsed by Trump’s ‘deal of the century’ released in January. 

Dozens of United Nations experts have written that ‘this annexation of occupied territory is a serious violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the Geneva Conventions, and contrary to the fundamental rule affirmed many times by the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly that the acquisition of territory by war or force is inadmissible. The international community has prohibited annexation precisely because it incites wars, economic devastation, political instability, systematic human rights abuses and widespread human suffering’.

The coalition government’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Winston Peters, has issued a tepid response ‘expressing serious concern’ over this outrageous plan which will  reinforce the incarceration of Palestinians living in these annexed areas into the equivalent of Bantustans which the UN human rights experts have called a “vision of a 21st Century apartheid” 

Annexation, which amounts to military colonization of Palestinian territory, terminates any prospects for peace with Palestinians and also undoubtably severely threaten stability in the region and worldwide. For decades, international inaction and complicity have enabled Israel to violate the laws of belligerent occupation, advance its colonization of the occupied Palestinian territory and impose a discriminatory (apartheid) regime with impunity.

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‘Israeli forces killed my cousin on his sister’s wedding day’

25 Jun

Video interview, Democracy Now!, 25 June 2020

Israeli soldiers on Tuesday killed 27-year-old Ahmed Erekat at a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank as he was on his way to pick up his sister, who was set to be married that night. Ahmed Erekat is the nephew of senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, and cousin of Palestinian American legal scholar Noura Erakat, who says Israeli claims that Ahmed was attempting a car-ramming attack on soldiers are completely unfounded. “What we understand is that Ahmed lost control of his car or was confused while he was in his car. That was all it took to have a knee-jerk reaction … and immediately to cause the soldiers to open fire on him multiple times,” she says.

NZ must be stronger on Israel’s annexation plan

25 Jun

Israelis protest in Tel Aviv this week against the government’s plan to annex parts of the West Bank.[Getty-Images]

Donna Miles-Mojab, Opinion, Stuff, 25 June 2020

It is amazing how a passing comment can leave a lasting impression.

In 2018, a young Israeli man joined a tour group I was guiding at the Christchurch Art Gallery.

As part of the tour, we covered British artist John Stezaker’s fascinating exhibition of distinctive collages of out-of-date images.

Stezaker’s work is meant to speak to our longing for the “Lost World” – but when I asked the Israeli visitor what he thought the artist’s main message was, he guessed it had something to do with the Holocaust because Stezaker’s surname was Jewish.

The young man’s assumption that the work of a Jewish artist was bound to be influenced by the Holocaust was eye-opening for me.

In the past, I had struggled to fully understand why Israel – militarily and politically a powerful nation – would still frame every issue in terms of its need for security, rather than in terms of the broader and essential concept of equal justice.

The young man’s comment brought home to me why it was almost psychologically impossible for Israel to see past its insecurity and how essential it was to have a fair and honest broker to achieve a just solution there.

For decades, the role of brokering peace has been mainly assigned to the United States, but its twin “blind spots” for Palestinian politics and Israel’s power (it’s not a conflict, it’s an occupation) has hampered its ability to act as an effective broker.

President Trump’s so-called “Deal of the Century” made it clear the current US administration is only interested in appeasing Israel for its own political gains.

The fact is there can be no peace in the Middle East without complete equality of rights between Israelis and Palestinians and without acknowledging and dealing with the injustices of the past. In fact, the continued racial tensions in the US are proof of that.

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PSNA: Peters criticism of Israeli annexation plan ‘all gums and no teeth’

24 Jun

Palestinian demonstrators clash with Israeli forces during a protest against the U.S. president Donald Trump’s Middle East ‘peace plan’, in Jordan Valley and the Israeli-occupied West Bank, 29 January 2020. [REUTERS/Raneen Sawafta]

Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa, Media Release, 23 June 2020

Peters criticism of Israeli annexation plan ‘all gums and no teeth’

Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa is pleased that the Foreign Minister, Winston Peters, has today expressed serious concern at Israeli plans to annex large parts of the Occupied West Bank, but says the New Zealand government is failing to use any leverage to get Israel to take any notice.

PSNA National Chair, John Minto, says the statement is ‘all gums and no teeth’.

“New Zealand governments have been saying ad nauseum that Israel should give up territory which it occupied in the 1967 war, ever since Israel fought that war to take more Palestinian land.”

“However by never joining with other countries to put real pressure on Israel to comply with international law and United Nations resolutions, Israel is now poised to commit another flagrant breach of international law and extinguish the last hope that Palestinians could ever achieve statehood.”

Steps New Zealand should be taking to back up its criticism of Israel include:

  • suspending our bilateral agreements with Israel
  • prohibiting the importation of products of illegal settlements made in the Occupied Palestinian Territories
  • instructing the Superannuation Fund to disinvest in any Israeli company complicit in settlement activities or land confiscation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories
  • ending arms and military equipment purchases from Israeli companies
  • closing the Israeli embassy (as we did when Israeli Mossad agents stole New Zealand passports in another breach of international law)

“We still import Israeli goods from the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and our Superfund still invests in Israeli companies which profit from illegal settlement building and the occupation.”

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‘1 million Palestinians face food shortages in Gaza’

23 Jun

An outside view of UNRWA’s distribution centre in Al-Shati refugee camp after it was closed on 23 March 2020 in Gaza City, Gaza. [Ali Jadallah – Anadolu Agency]

Middle East Monitor, 22 June 2020

Around one million Palestinian refugees in Gaza face food shortages due to Israel’s continued blockade and slashed global funding for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, a welfare organization said on Saturday, Anadolu Agency reports.

In a statement on the World Refugee Day, Jamal al-Khoudary, chairman of the Popular Committee to End Gaza’s Siege, said “a genuine decline” in support from donors has had “serious repercussions on the Palestinian refugees in Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem and other Arab states.”

He said the US decision to halt funds, estimated to be around $360 million annually, for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) two years ago had severely impacted the agency’s operations.

Moreover, he said, Israel’s blockade on Gaza since 2006 has resulted in skyrocketing levels of poverty and unemployment in the besieged area.

Rights experts call for global opposition to Israel’s annexation plans

20 Jun

Bethlehem: part of the barrier between Israel and the West Bank.[UN News/Reem Abaza]

UN News, Human Rights, 17 June 2020

Nearly 50 independent human rights experts are calling for the international community to oppose Israel’s plan to annex significant parts of the occupied Palestinian West Bank beginning as early as next month.

The [annexation] move would create “a Palestinian Bantustan” and violates a core principle of international law, they warned in a statement issued on Tuesday.

“The annexation of occupied territory is a serious violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the Geneva Conventions, and contrary to the fundamental rule affirmed many times by the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly that the acquisition of territory by war or force is inadmissible”, they said.

“The international community has prohibited annexation precisely because it incites wars, economic devastation, political instability, systematic human rights abuses and widespread human suffering.”

‘21st century apartheid’

The experts said annexation would extend Israeli sovereignty to almost 30 per cent of the West Bank, covering most of the Jordan Valley and more than 230 illegal Israeli settlements.

It will also intensify human rights violations committed during five decades of Israeli occupation, which include land confiscation, settler violence, home demolitions, and excessive use of force and torture.

“What would be left of the West Bank would be a Palestinian Bantustan, islands of disconnected land completely surrounded by Israel and with no territorial connection to the outside world”, the statement continued.

“Israel has recently promised that it will maintain permanent security control between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River. Thus, the morning after

annexation would be the crystallisation of an already unjust reality: two peoples living in the same space, ruled by the same state, but with profoundly unequal rights. This is a vision of a 21st century apartheid.”

‘This time must be different’

The experts recalled that Israel has previously annexed occupied land: East Jerusalem in 1980, and the Syrian Golan Heights a year later.

“On both occasions, the UN Security Council immediately condemned the annexations as unlawful but took no meaningful countermeasures to oppose Israel’s actions”, they said, adding that the country has also defied Council resolutions criticizing settlements.

However, they stressed that “this time must be different”, and called for accountability and an end to impunity, in line with international law.

“The international community has solemn legal and political responsibilities to defend a rules-based international order, to oppose violations of human rights and fundamental principles of international law and to give effect to its many resolutions critical of Israel’s conduct of this protracted occupation. In particular, states have a duty not to recognise, aid or assist another state in any form of illegal activity, such as annexation or the creation of civilian settlements in occupied territory”, they said.

“The lessons from the past are clear: Criticism without consequences will neither forestall annexation nor end the occupation.”

Independent voices

The 47 experts who signed the statement were appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world.

They are independent of the UN, meaning they are not staff, neither are they paid by the Organization.

 

*Here is a link to the statement and list of signatories: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=25960&LangID=E

 

Canada’s Security Council defeat is a win for Palestine

19 Jun

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (Canadian Press)

Just Peace Advocates, Canada, media release: 18 June 2020

“The Trudeau government’s anti-Palestinian voting record at the UN undoubtedly contributed to its failure to gain a seat on the Security Council,” said Karen Rodman, for Just Peace Advocates. “Those who support Palestinian rights should rejoice.”

“The Liberals have voted against dozens of UN resolutions defending Palestinian rights, threatened to cut funding to the International Criminal Court for investigating Israeli crimes, protected Israeli settlement wine producers, celebrated Canadians who fight in the Israeli military and slandered the pro-Palestinian movement”, explained Rodman. “Chrystia Freeland even told an Israeli audience Canada would act as an ‘asset for Israel’ if it won a seat on the UN’s most powerful decision-making body.” 

Three weeks ago Just Peace Advocates released an Open Letter signed by over 100 civil society groups and dozens of prominent individuals urging countries to vote against Canada’s bid for a Security Council seat due to anti-Palestinian positions. The group also stimulated 1300 individuals to email all UN ambassadors asking them to vote for Ireland and Norway instead of Canada for the Security Council. In a sign of the campaign’s impact, Canada’s permanent representative to the UN Marc-André Blanchard responded with a letter to all UN ambassadors defending Canada’s policy on Palestinian rights.

“The Trudeau government has not only isolated Canada from international opinion regarding Palestinian rights at the UN, but its positions contravene the wishes of most Canadians regarding the long beleaguered Palestinians according to a recent Ekos poll”, explained Rodman.

“By rejecting Canada’s Security Council bid the international community also delivered a blow to the Israel lobby”, noted Rodman. “The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and B’nai B’rith shouldn’t be determining Canada’s voting at the UN.”

 

Ed: See also our earlier report on this campaign: https://kiaoragaza.wordpress.com/2020/06/09/canada-does-not-…security-council/

Take action to stop RIMPAC war exercises

18 Jun

RIMPAC: The world’s largest international maritime exercise is scheduled to take place in the Pacific in August.
These hugely extravagant war preparations impact on the Palestinian struggle, as RIMPAC 2020 is due to go ahead in the face of a impassioned call for an immediate global ceasefire by the United Nations General Secretary and the Pope, as well as the leaders of 53 countries, and for state forces to instead seriously focus on uniting to combat the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.
Besieged Gaza, one of the most densely populated, under-resourced and impoverished areas in the world, would be one of the hardest hit if Covid-19 gets transmitted there, due to Israel’s illegal 13-year blockade and constant military attacks.

Kia Ora Gaza and the other supporters of this campaign to Cancel RIMPAC, say that New Zealand should withdraw from RIMPAC and set a positive example for world peace and for combined efforts to eradicate Covid-19.

#CancelRIMPAC: International Day of Action

Thousands of people across Aotearoa and the world joined in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter to stand against systemic racism both inside the United States and everywhere. The US police are intimately tied to the US military that enforce white supremacist violence across the globe under the rubric of the “war on terrorism.” New Zealand should have no involvement with the US empire and its forces of violence. Instead we must stand for a free and independent Pacific. The global day of action – this Saturday 20 June – is about educating people and building solidarity across the Pacific between those who resist RIMPAC 2020.

DAY OF ACTION EVENT on FACEBOOK

Ideas for actions:

Key Messages for actions:

  • DECOLONISE! DEMILITARISE!
  • Stop US Wars. No RIMPAC 2020
  • Healthcare NOT warfare. Cancel RIMPAC wargames
  • Solidarity Across the Pacific. Resist RIMPAC 2020
  • For a Nuclear-free, Weapons-free & Independent Pacific
  • Cancel RIMPAC, Protect Hawai’i
  • For a Free, Independent & Indigenous Pacific
  • Peace in the Pacific
  • You cannot simultaneously prepare for war and for peace. NZ out of RIMPAC.

Key Hashtag for the Day of Action: #CancelRIMPAC

Resources to Use:

For more info about RIMPAC

If you would like to know more or find support for holding your action, you can email Auckland Peace Action at aucklandpeaceaction@gmail.com
Ngā mihi mahana.

Israeli army strikes sites in besieged Gaza

17 Jun

Palestine Chronicle, 17 June 2020

The Israeli army attacked by air and tank fire several sites in the besieged Gaza Strip on Monday.

The tensions came after Hamas called for unity among Palestinians and resistance against Israeli plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli army said that a rocket had been fired from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip “into Israel”, the first such act in more than a month.

Earlier on Monday, senior Hamas official Salah al-Bardawil told a news conference “we call for the annexation project to be confronted with resistance in all forms”.

“We call on our people to transform this hardship into an opportunity to get the Palestinian project back on track,” Bardawil said.

Bardawil also called for a meeting between Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization, which includes various other Palestinian groups.

On June 1, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu renewed his pledge to annex part of the occupied Palestinian West Bank in July.

Palestinians have expressed outrage, appealing to the international community to block the Israeli step, which, if implemented, would be considered the final nail in the two-state solution’s coffin.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced on May 19 that the PA is canceling all agreements with Israel and the US, as a direct response to Israel’s annexation plans.

(Palestine Chronicle, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, Social Media)

Exposing Israel’s link to America’s police violence

16 Jun

An officer discharges pepper spray towards protesters on Sunday, 31 May, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo)

By Ramzy Baroud, Arab News, 16 June 2020

The banning of deadly police practices by many American states and cities following the murder of African-American George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers is once more shedding light on US-Israeli collaboration in the fields of security and crowd-control.

From California to New York, and from Washington State to Minneapolis, all forms of neck restraints and chokeholds that are used by police while dealing with suspects are no longer allowed by local, state or federal authorities. This is only the beginning of what promises to be a serious rethink in police practices that disproportionately target African Americans and other minority and marginalized communities across the US. 

The refashioning of the American police, in recent years, to fit some kind of a military model is a subject that requires a better understanding than the one currently offered by mainstream US media. Certainly, US racism and police violence are intrinsically linked and date back many years, but the militarization of America’s police and its use of deadly violence against suspected petty criminals, or even non-criminals, is a relatively new phenomenon.

While an urgent conversation is already underway in US cities regarding the need to reimagine public safety, or even to defund the police altogether, little is being said about the link between the US “war on terror” and American elites’ fascination with the “Israeli example” in its dealing with besieged Gaza and Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. 

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Angela Davis on Black liberation and Palestinian solidarity

15 Jun

VIDEO: Democracy Now!, 14 June 2020

Last year, legendary Black liberation activist and scholar Angela Davis was awarded the Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Shortly after the announcement, the Institute rescinded the award after facing backlash for Davis’s support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and advocacy for Palestinian human rights. The decision was again reversed after an uproar from the Black community, and Davis will receive the award later this month in a virtual ceremony.

Davis says this is a “teachable moment” speaking to the importance of international solidarity and the crucial links between Black liberation and Palestinian liberation. “There has been this very important connection between the two struggles for many decades,” says Davis. “I am hoping that today’s young activists recognize how important Palestinian solidarity has been to the Black cause and that they recognize we have a profound responsibility to support Palestinian struggles as well.” Watch the full interview with Angela Davis: https://bit.ly/2AtDFXX

Israel’s knee-on-neck Occupation of Palestine

15 Jun

Israeli police officers detain a Palestinian protestor during scuffles outside the compound housing al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City 12 March 2019. (Reuters)

By Leslie Bravery, The Daily Blog, 14 June 2020

Murderous and destructive Israeli Occupation regime

From 26 May to 9 June, inclusive, Israel committed 41 Gaza ceasefire violations, 14 of which comprised Israeli Navy attacks on Palestinian fishing boats. One person in Gaza died of wounds inflicted in 2018 in a March of Return protest. Over the period, Israeli forces conducted 104 raids on Palestinian towns and villages, as well as UN refugee camps. Of these, 46 involved home invasions – 20 of them conducted at night.

Constant, daily, Israeli Occupation destruction of homes and businesses, agricultural sabotage, raids and oppressive population control continued to be inflicted – far too many to recount here. Just one violation from each day must suffice:

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Five things you should know about Israel’s plans to annex the West Bank

15 Jun

‘Not only will annexation happen, but it is already happening and has happened in the past. But Annexation is not the end of the story. Despite the occupation and all its colonial practices, and despite the ineffectiveness of the international system to stop it, Palestinians hold to their land against all odds. Their steadfastness is the first line of resistance and the only fact on the ground that the occupation has not been able to change. This steadfastness could eventually turn the tide, but Palestinians can not make it happen alone. Today more than ever, their resistance needs to have the support of all the peoples of the world, especially when states have failed them in their efforts to regain their rights. After all, our world is made of people, not of states.’

By Qassam Mauddi, Opinion, EuroPal Forum, 15 June 2020

As Israeli annexation plans loom over thirty percent of the Palestinian occupied West Bank, international reactions continue to oppose it, deeming it as illegal. But what exactly does the illegality of this annexation mean and what is it based on?

Here are five things you should know about the Israeli annexation plans of the West Bank:

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European Court upholds right to boycott Israel

12 Jun

Calls to boycott Israel are protected free speech, says European Court of Human Rights.[Konrad K. SIPA]

By Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 12 June 2020 

The European Court of Human Rights struck a major blow to Israel’s efforts to silence its critics on Thursday when it overturned the criminal convictions against 11 Palestinian rights activists in France.

The court ruled unanimously that the convictions against the activists for calling on shoppers to boycott Israeli goods violated the European Convention on Human Rights’ guarantee of freedom of expression.

The court has ordered the French government to pay each of the activists about $8,000 in damages and awarded them their legal costs.

The ruling is a significant boost to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement that aims to pressure Israel to end its crimes against Palestinians and its violations of international law.

“This momentous court ruling is a decisive victory for freedom of expression, for human rights defenders and for the BDS movement for Palestinian freedom, justice and equality,” Rita Ahmad said on behalf of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC).

The judgment will have major implications for state repression of the BDS movement across Europe, especially in Germany where “advocates for Palestinian rights face fierce restrictions on their civil rights,” the BNC added.

Israel and its lobby have in recent years encouraged governments around the world to pass laws and policies aimed at silencing supporters of Palestinian rights.

Amnesty International also welcomed the ruling.

“Today’s landmark decision sets a significant precedent that should stop the misuse of anti-discrimination laws to target activists campaigning against human rights violations perpetrated by Israel against Palestinians,” Marco Perolini, a researcher for the human rights group in France, said.

The ruling comes at a time when Israel is charging ahead with plans to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank, no doubt encouraged by the failure of the European Union and its member states to take any meaningful action to stop it.

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