A war crime in progress

A funeral for one of the victims of Israeli airstrikes in Gaza (Jordi Bernabeu Farrús)

A funeral for one of the victims of Israeli airstrikes in Gaza (Jordi Bernabeu Farrús)

Jason Farbman reports on the latest developments in Israel’s war on Gaza, July 14, 2014.

ISRAEL’S RELENTLESS pounding of a trapped civilian population in Gaza entered a frightening new phase as its bombing campaign continued into its seventh day. On July 13, the Israeli military dropped leaflets warning the residents of northern Gaza that whoever stayed behind risked being caught in an intensifying barrage of air strikes, prompting a panicked exodus of tens of thousands from the area.

At least 160 Palestinians have now been killed and more than 1,000 injured in attacks that have targeted mosques and hospitals. NBC reporter Ayman Mohyeldin tweeted: “1,100 strikes on #Gaza over 4 days. If you do the math that is: 1 strike every 5 minutes every day non-stop. 550 #Hamas rockets into #Israel.” No Israeli deaths and only a handful of injuries have been reported. [Read more...]

The Case for Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions

Print[Israel’s current barbarous assault on Gaza has prompted an urgent call from Palestinian civil society to intensify the campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions. The bombardment of Gaza shows the brutality of Israel’s occupation. This week rallies in solidarity with Palestine are planned in Auckland and Wellington and we urge all readers to attend and build these protests. Here we republish an article from the March 2014 issue of our magazine by Kevin Hodder, making the case for BDS.]

The recent picket outside the performance of the Israeli Batsheva Dance Company was New Zealand’s latest blow in a campaign that has been quietly waged between the defenders of apartheid and those fighting for justice for Palestine. A crowd of pro-Zionists faced off a group of 30 or so campaigners from around the country associated with Aotearoa BDS Network, including members of the ISO, calling for a boycott of representatives of the Israeli state.

 

What is BDS?

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanction campaign is a multipronged campaign, called for by the Palestinian Civil Society in 2005. This involves a range of activities design to pressure Israel into meeting its obligations under international law: the boycotting of Israeli consumer products, especially those produced in the occupied Palestinian territories, and of cultural, sporting and academic figures or groups representing the state of Israel, especially those whose work has been used to promote Israeli state policy; the call for local companies and organisations to remove investments from companies which benefit from the continued violation of Palestinian land and rights, especially those working in the occupied territories; and finally state and inter-governmental (e.g. United Nations) level sanctions against the state of Israel while they continue to violate international law.
[Read more...]

The terror state lashes out

Mourners march in a funeral procession for a Palestinian killed in Israel's air strikes

Mourners march in a funeral procession for a Palestinian killed in Israel’s air strikes

Jason Farbman reports on Israel’s escalating violence (from June 8), with the threat of worse to come–and the furious response of Palestinians fed up with being terrorized.

A SUSTAINED wave of violence by Israel in recent days has brought tensions to a boil throughout the West Bank, Gaza and Israel itself.

In the early morning hours of July 8, Israel launched a barrage of missile strikes against more than 50 targets in Gaza, which it claimed were designed to punish Hamas. Preliminary reports said 12 Palestinians were injured and four civilian homes destroyed by the bombs.

Meanwhile, Palestinians throughout Israel were rising up against heavily armed Israeli forces. In town after town, Palestinian crowds are clashing with Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Israeli police in the wake of the grisly murder by six Jewish extremists of Mohammad Abu Khdeir and the savage beating of Tarek Abu Khdeir–the first boy’s cousin–by Israeli police.

According to a report by the prisoners’ rights organization Addameer:

Tarek is one of 11 Palestinians who were beaten and arrested in Shofat last night following the brutal murder of 16-year old child Mohammad Abu Khdeir, who was found beaten and burned on the ruins of the Palestinian destroyed village Deir Yassin hours after he was kidnapped in a retribution act. The Israeli government has instated a gag order regarding the circumstances of Mohammad’s kidnapping and murder.

The July 8 missile strikes on Gaza–dubbed “Operation Protective Edge” by the IDF–could be just the beginning of Israel’s state-sanctioned terror. [Read more...]

Boycott Batsheva at NZ Festival

dontdance-webversionThis year’s NZ Festival includes four performances by the Israeli Batsheva dance company.

Batsheva is an integral part of Israel’s Brand Israel public relations campaign. The dance company receives funding from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), which has described Batsheva as ‘the best known global ambassador of Israeli culture’.

Artists who receive funding from Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs are required to sign a contract committing to ‘promote the policy interests of the State of Israel via culture and art, including contributing to creating a positive image for Israel.’

In the past Batsheva faced protests outside their performances across the USA and in the UK. Palestine solidarity activists target the company specifically because of their role in using art and culture to whitewash over Israel’s human rights violations. [Read more...]

Auckland Palestine Conference a Success: BDS movement gathers momentum

PalestineThe Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement took a step towards building a united, nationwide campaign last weekend when Palestine solidarity activists from around the country gathered in Auckland for a “Conference on Palestine”.

BDS is a global movement started in 2005 by Palestinian civil society organisations that calls for “international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era”.

The label “apartheid” fits the state of Israel just as it once fitted South Africa.  Israel is a racist, colonial state where the indigenous people – Palestinians – are not granted the same rights to life, liberty and self-determination that are enjoyed by non-Palestinian Israelis.  [Read more...]

New Zealand ‘support’ for Palestinian Statehood no step forward

It might seem like an advance for the cause of the Palestinians; Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has announced that New Zealand will be supporting a vote in the United Nations recognising Palestinian statehood. But we need to be very clear. This vote, and the ‘statehood’ it offers, offers no advance for Palestinian national liberation. It is a false offer, and one designed to perpetuate injustice, no resolve it.

[Read more...]

Will Morsi hijack the revolution?

Protesters crowd Tahrir Square to oppose Morsi's power grab

Protesters crowd Tahrir Square to oppose Morsi’s power grab

EGYPT IS facing one of its biggest political crises since the 2011 revolution that toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak as more than 100,000 people protested November 27 in Tahrir Square against President Mohamed Morsi’s bid for virtual dictatorial powers.

The crisis was triggered November 22 when Morsi issued a decree placing himself beyond the review of the country’s judiciary. He barred judges from overturning actions by either the Shura Council, the upper house of parliament, or the Constituent Assembly, the Islamist-dominated committee charged with writing a new constitution. [Read more...]

Mass protests erupt in Egypt against presidential power-grab

Mass protests have been building across Egypt in response to a power-grab by Mohamad Morsi, who last week decreed that all presidential decisions would be immune from judicial review.

 

Morsi’s seven-point Constitutional Declaration was promoted as a necessary defence of the revolution. However, as the wording of Article two clearly shows, the Declaration is an attack on democracy: “Previous constitutional declarations, laws, and decrees made by the president since he took office on 30 June 2012…are final and binding and cannot be appealed by any way or to any entity. Nor shall they be suspended or cancelled and all lawsuits related to them and brought before any judicial body against these decisions are annulled.”

[Read more...]

Statement on Gaza by the Egyptian Revolutionary Socialists

At the start of Israel’s current attacks on Gaza, the Egyptian Revolutionary Socialists issued the following statement:

When will you cut relations with the enemy, if not now?

In the midst of what is called ‘The Arab Spring’, Gaza’s Winter continues. Zionist shelling has so far killed more than ten martyrs, including children and even babies. Hundreds have been wounded, Gaza’s hospitals are overflowing, and the ‘good citizens’ of the world are rolling up their sleeves and preparing to provide relief, as if the people were victims of a volcanic explosion or an earthquake, rather than facing Zionist colonialism which enjoys the support of the Great Powers, and acts as the watchdog for their interests in the region.

[Read more...]

Death in Gaza, lies from Israel

Jihad Misharawi mourns the killing of his 11-month-old son in Gaza

Jihad Misharawi mourns the killing of his 11-month-old son in Gaza

Since Wednesday Israel has carried out a massive bombing campaign against two million people trapped in the Gaza Strip. At the time of writing, 33 Palestinians, including six children, are reported killed [at time of posting, the number of Palestinian dead exceeds 100, including 24 children]. In addition, at least 250 civilians have been wounded. According to the Israeli military, at least 800 air strikes have now been carried out in the attack – named Operation Pillar of Defence.

Throughout the invasion, Israeli officials have repeatedly promoted the lie that Hamas is the aggressor and that Israel is acting in “self defence”. For example, Australian born Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev told Channel 10 News on the second day of the assault: “Our operation is primarily defensive; if Hamas wasn’t shooting these rockets into Israel we wouldn’t be doing anything today.” The facts, however, contradict Regev and Israel’s claim. [Read more...]

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