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Recent Articles about Mashriq / Arabia / Iraq Community struggles
Israel-Palestine, the Boycott Israel and milder colonialist settlements boycott gather momentum
mashriq / arabia / iraq | community struggles | news report Wednesday July 13, 2011 17:55 by Ilan S. - AAtW, A-infos, Matzpen ilan at shalif dot com Tel Aviv
The first BDS call in Israel was initiated by Matzpen during the first year of the first intifada, in February 1988. It called for a boycott of the products of the colonialist settlements (see http://www.matzpen.org/index.asp?p=kria, in Hebrew). It played a marginal role in the political arena till the Peace Bloc (Gush Shalom) started to promote it (Do not confuse the radical, though sill marginally Zionist, "Gush Shalom" and the firmly left-Zionist "Peace Now", or Shalom Achshav). This prepared the background for the more radical call of international Jewry for "Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions", initiated by anti-authoritarians and anti-capitalists (and the anti-Zionist organization, Matzpen) and friends in 2001. (See http://matzpun.com). It took years for the Palestinians to adopt it in 2005, but then slowly drew more and more support from all over the world, including Israel which gave birth to the movement of "boycott from within".
Over the last few years, the softer boycott of products from the colonialist settlements and the hardcore "Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions" have collected momentum. As official Israeli efforts to defame it as "anti-Semitic" is hampered by the activity of international Jewish radicals and more so by Israeli Jews ("Boycott From Within" and the milder ones calling for partial boycott), the Israeli leadership has taken a desperate step. They have initiated and passed in the Israeli parliament a law against activists who call for boycott.
WE WILL NOT BE SILENT
STATEMENT IN REGARD TO ISRAELI ANTI-BOYCOTT LAW
"We’re going to arrest you, but it’s difficult with you because all you do is talk.”We, Israeli citizens, members of Boycott!, hereby reiterate our support and promotion of the Palestinian Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights. We declare this in spite of the new legislation by the Israeli Knesset, which aims to penalize our and our partners' activities, curbing freedom of speech and political organizing and most importantly – banning Israeli citizens from acting according to their conscience when it conflicts with the deplorable policies of the state.
The anti-BDS law is not the first attempt at silencing the BDS campaign. Throughout the years, Israel has detained Palestinian leaders, activists, speakers and organizers under administrative detention and without charges, or at times under various draconian charges such as 'incitement' and the organizing of 'illegal demonstrations'. On September 22nd 2009, Mohammad Othman, 34, was detained at the Allenby Crossing upon his return to the occupied West Bank following a meeting with Norwegian finance minister Halvorsen. Earlier that month, minister Halvorsen had announced Norway’s divestment from the Israeli company Elbit due to “ethical concerns”. Othman was arrested and held without charges or trial, under an unlawful administrative detention order and had spent much of the 113 days in detention under solitary confinement. Imprisonment of political activists is an almost routine practice against Palestinian human rights defenders.
Like such repressive practices, the newly approved Israeli law, which specifies fines and the payment of 'compensation' by Israeli citizens or residents, who initiate or encourage a boycott of Israel – is also bound to fail. We hereby support and promote the recent Palestinian call for an immediate and comprehensive military embargo on Israel due to its consistent resort to violence and deadly attacks on Palestinians and Arab civilians; we stand with Jewish Voice for Peace in their campaign to bring TIAA-CREF to divest from the Israeli occupation; and, we support and encourage all other BDS-related divestment campaigns, such as the campaign to Derail Israel’s Unlawful A1 Train Project.
Lastly, we urge artists scheduled to perform in Israel to send a clear message that the Israeli occupation, the institutionalized discrimination of Israel's own Palestinian citizens and Israel's denial of the right of return and compensation of the Palestinian refugees - are neither okay nor normal, as Maxi Jazz from Faithless once put it. Roxette, Ziggy Marley, Dream Theater, George Benson, Nino Katamadze, Paul Simon and John Cale – we may risk persecution for saying this – heed the Palestinian call for BDS and cancel your shows in Israel!
[77 signatures of the finest activists of the Anarchists Against the Wall and other Israeli radical activists]
On behalf of
Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within
 Our full name is: "Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within". Aka: "Boycott from Within".
Wed 19 Jun, 21:54
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