Israel remands BDS coordinator Mahmoud Nawajaa’s by eight days

Ramallah (QNN) – Ignoring Amnesty International’s call for his immediate and unconditional release, an Israeli military judge yesterday extended by eight days the detention of Palestinian human rights defender and BDS coordinator Mahmoud Nawajaa for continued interrogation, according to Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association.

Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, which is interrogating Nawajaa at the Al-Jalameh interrogation center near Haifa, has presented no charges or evidence against him to date, even during yesterday’s hearing, held at a military court near Jenin.

Since his arrest on 30 July from his home near Ramallah, in the occupied Palestinian territory, Nawajaa has not been allowed to exercise his right to see his lawyer, appointed by Addameer.

On 7 August, Amnesty International issued a statement that said:

“Israeli authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Palestinian human rights defender Mahmoud Nawajaa, 34, the General Coordinator of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT)…. He has been detained solely for exercising his rights to freedom of expression and association and is therefore a prisoner of conscience.”

The Amnesty statement called for pressure on Israel to release Nawajaa, saying that Israel has interpreted the international community’s failure “to take concrete action” to pressure it “as a green light” to pursue its illegal policies, including the persecution of Palestinian human rights defenders.

An international campaign with the hashtag, #FreeMahmoud, has grown to include parliamentarians, trade unions, solidarity groups, and social movements in many countries.

Speaking for the BDS movement for Palestinian rights, Stephanie Adam said:

“This further extension of the illegal detention of Mahmoud by Israel’s military court system, which is notorious for its near 100% conviction rate of Palestinians, proves once more that only sustained international pressure, coupled with internal popular struggle, can help Palestinians achieve liberation from Israel’s apartheid and colonial system.

“Mahmoud’s detention is an attack on the entire non-violent global BDS movement. With the support of millions of people of conscience worldwide, we’ll continue growing our movement until all Palestinians can enjoy freedom, justice and equality.”

The BDS movement has called on human rights activists worldwide to increase pressure in their respective countries to secure Israel’s immediate release of Mahmoud Nawajaa.

(Source / 10.08.2020)

BDS coordinator Mahmoud Nawajaa’s detention extended for 8 days

Ignoring Amnesty International’s call for his immediate and unconditional release, an Israeli military judge yesterday extended by eight days the detention of Palestinian human rights defender and BDS coordinator Mahmoud Nawajaa for continued interrogation, according to Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association.

Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, which is interrogating Nawajaa at the Al-Jalameh interrogation center near Haifa, has presented no charges or evidence against him to date, even during yesterday’s hearing, held at a military court near Jenin.

Since his arrest on 30 July from his home near Ramallah, in the occupied Palestinian territory, Nawajaa has not been allowed to exercise his right to see his lawyer, appointed by Addameer.

Read More: Activists worldwide demand immediate release of BDS coordinator Mahmoud Nawajaa

On 7 August, Amnesty International issued a statement that said:

“Israeli authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Palestinian human rights defender Mahmoud Nawajaa, 34, the General Coordinator of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT)…. He has been detained solely for exercising his rights to freedom of expression and association and is therefore a prisoner of conscience.”

Read More: Israel extends detention of Jerusalem Governor Adnan Gheith for 7 more days

The Amnesty statement called for pressure on Israel to release Nawajaa, saying that Israel has interpreted the international community’s failure “to take concrete action” to pressure it “as a green light” to pursue its illegal policies, including the persecution of Palestinian human rights defenders.

An international campaign with the hashtag, #FreeMahmoud, has grown to include parliamentarians, trade unions, solidarity groups, and social movements in many countries.

Speaking for the BDS movement for Palestinian rights, Stephanie Adam said:

“This further extension of the illegal detention of Mahmoud by Israel’s military court system, which is notorious for its near 100% conviction rate of Palestinians, proves once more that only sustained international pressure, coupled with internal popular struggle, can help Palestinians achieve liberation from Israel’s apartheid and colonial system.

“Mahmoud’s detention is an attack on the entire non-violent global BDS movement. With the support of millions of people of conscience worldwide, we’ll continue growing our movement until all Palestinians can enjoy freedom, justice and equality.”

The BDS movement has called on human rights activists worldwide to increase pressure in their respective countries to secure Israel’s immediate release of Mahmoud Nawajaa.

(Source / 10.08.2020)

Luton Town FC heeds BDS’ call, kicks out Israeli occupation sponsor Puma

LONDON, PALESTINOW.COM — Activists in the UK are celebrating a victory for Palestinian rights, after Luton Town Football Club dropped German sportswear brand Puma as its supplier.

“We would like to thank Luton Town FC for their constructive responses to our calls to boycott Puma, and for notifying us directly of their decision to drop the company as their kit supplier,” said Markus Keaney, spokesperson for Luton Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

“We hope other clubs will follow suit and choose to stand with justice, freedom and equality.”

More than 200 Palestinian sports teams and athletes have called for a boycott of Puma because it sponsors the Israel Football Association, which includes teams in Israeli settlements built in the occupied West Bank in violation of international law.

In case you missed it: @LutonTown have announced they will be dropping @PUMA, who are complicit in Israeli violations of Palestinian rights, as their kit suppliers.

Well done again to our branch activists at @lutonpsc for this fantastic victory 🇵🇸 #BDS #BDSVictory #FreePalestine pic.twitter.com/8tDZpYtxWx

— PSC (@PSCupdates) July 27, 2020

The Electronic Intifada has seen correspondence involving Luton FC officials, confirming that the team raised these human rights concerns with Puma before deciding to go with another supplier.

The Championship League club announced last week that its players will be wearing kit made by Umbro starting with the 2020-21 season.

As well as direct engagement with the club by local activists, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign said that thousands of emails were sent to Luton management calling on the team to drop Puma.

.@Puma supports illegal settlements that Israel plans to formally & illegally annex.

Settlements force Palestinian families from their homes & are war crimes under international law.#BoycottPuma until it ends support for Israel’s crimes. #StopAnnexation https://t.co/Nt5Jqwt2ou pic.twitter.com/dhPVIEQe92

— PACBI (@PACBI) July 14, 2020

“This decision will give a huge boost to the international campaign, which PSC is leading in the UK, to boycott Puma until it ends its complicity with Israel’s violations of international law,” Palestine Solidarity Campaign director Ben Jamal said.

“It’s a reminder to all sports organizations of their responsibilities to ensure their commercial relationships reflect their obligations to act ethically and not be complicit in rights abuses.”

(Source / 06.08.20)

Humboldt3: Another BDS victory over Israel’s apartheid

Berlin (QNN)- Berlin’s Moabit Criminal Court has dropped the trespassing charges against BDS activists, who protested a visit by an Israeli suspected war criminal three years ago, adding another BDS victory over ‘Israel’.

The judge ruled to drop the trespassing charges against Majed Abusalama, a Palestinian journalist and survival of an Israeli war on Gaza, and Ronnie Barkan, an Israeli Jewish human rights defender. Stavit Sinai, an Israeli Jewish anti-colonial scholar and philosophy teacher, however was charged with assault by the prosecution

 barkan.crypto@ronnie_barkan
#Humboldt3

trial update: Judge rules to drop the trespassing charges against Majed and myself. @Stav_Si is still charged with assault by the prosecution. Even though the judge is not in favor he is obligated to follow through on these charges, currently requestioning Spaney.

“The trial started with the judge negating the trespassing charges altogether on the basis of formality flaws by the prosecution. He suggested that the prosecution will drop the case in its entirety”, said Ronnie Barkan in a statement issued today. “The state prosecutor needed to consult with her superiors, this ritual repeated itself three times throughout the day, where the judge encouraged her to drop the case and each time she was instructed by her bosses to carry on no matter what.”

After five hours of deliberations that included misogynistic tropes, the judge sided with the state by handing in a guilty verdict albeit keeping it to the bare minimum.

https://twitter.com/Stav_Si?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1290255230932672513%7Ctwgr%5E&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fcdn.embedly.com%2Fwidgets%2Fmedia.html%3Ftype%3Dtext2Fhtmlkey%3Da19fcc184b9711e1b4764040d3dc5c07schema%3Dtwitterurl%3Dhttps3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2Fstav_si%2Fstatus%2F1290255230932672513image%3D

Stavit stated that during the 2017 visit by the Israeli suspected war criminal, Aliza Lavie, to give a speech at Humboldt University, she banged on the door of the lecture room, insisting on re-entering to find out the details of the person who had just punched her in the face. A video that was given to the court proved Stavit’s testimony.

This is the second time of the three activists to be brought to court over taking part in a June 2017 protest at Humboldt University, in the German capital Berlin, against Israeli Knesset Member (MK) for the Yesh Atid party, Aliza Lavie, who was part of the Israeli war on Gaza in 2014, which resulted in 2,200 Palestinians being killed, including 551 children.

(Source / 04.08.2020)

Germany sues 3 BDS activists again for protesting Israeli MK visit

‘I stand here today as the accuser, not the accused’, said Ronnie Barkan in his speech in a Berlin court

Palestinian activist Majed Abusalama and Israeli activists Ronnie Barkan and Stavit Sinai – are facing trial for taking part in a June 2017 protest against Israel MK Aliza Lavie at Humboldt University 

Berlin (QNN)- Three BDS activists are being tried for the second time in Germany after they took part in a June 2017 protest at Humboldt University, in the German capital Berlin, against Israeli Knesset Member (MK) for the Yesh Atid party, Aliza Lavie.

The hearing of the Humboldt 3, as they are known – Award winning Palestinian journalist Majed Abusalama, a survivor of Israel’s massacres in Gaza; acclaimed Jewish Israeli human rights defender Ronnie Barkan; and Dr Stavit Sinai, a Jewish Israeli scholar of the sociology of knowledge and postcolonial studies – has started a few hours ago at Moabit Court in Berlin.

Leaked photo from Humbolds3 hearing in Moabit Court in Berlin. August 3, 2020

In his speech at the court, Barkan reiterated his position. “I also stand here today as the accuser, not the accused”, he said. “If there is any wrongdoing on my part then it is of not doing enough to end the grave crimes that the State of Israel is responsible for.”

“I also stand here as a privileged Israeli-Jew who works to dismantle apartheid.
“A privileged Israeli-Jew”, just like the term “apartheid”, is not a matter of personal opinion but strictly a matter of legal definition. You see, your honor, I don’t define myself as being Israeli or Jewish, but that is the way that the State of Israel defines me — that is my legal status under Israeli apartheid”, Barkan added.

Knesset member Aliza Lavie, as a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, oversaw the 2014 attack on besieged Gaza that resulted in 2,200 Palestinians being killed, including 551 children.

Several human rights organizations stressed that ‘Israel’ committed war crimes in its war on the besieged enclave. Meanwhile, ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, had stated that there was “a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into” Israeli war crimes in Palestine.

In 2017, Lavie used her speech to depict ‘Israel’ as a haven for LGBTQ rights, but when the three activists in the audience challenged her speech by quoting from a United Nations report which accused the occupation state of practicing Apartheid, they were ejected from the meeting. Later they charged with trespassing and one of the activists has also been charged with assault.

During the vigil a letter addressed to the German Ambassador condemning the German states prosecution of the Humboldt 3 was delivered to the embassy.

Protests and vigils took to the streets of several European cities to show solidarity with the Humboldt 3.

(Source / 03.08.2020)

QNN Exclusive: Shawan Jabarin from Al Haq speaks about the Israeli exploitation of the West Bank’s natural resources

Israel’s pillage of Palestinian resources represents approximately 8 billion dollars every year, which means that if Palestine had access to its resources, it wouldn’t need foreign help.

Shawan Jabarin, General Director of Al-Haq Palestinian human rights organization

QNN exclusive- After the Israeli government missed its self-imposed deadline of July 1, to begin the annexation of parts of the West Bank, the prospect of the annexation has become unclear. However, the Israelí official imposition of its law on Palestinian lands in the West Bank is only one side of the coin. The other is the de-facto Israelí colonization of the West Bank which continues to expand, regardless of the changes Israeli politics.

An essential part of this colonization is the Israeli exploitation of Palestinian natural resources. Most of these resources are located in the areas classified as (c) under the Oslo accords, controlled in all aspects by the occupation state. These areas include Israelí settlements, some of which have agricultural or industrial functions, but they also include tens of stone quarries. One of Palestine’s historical economic resources. In the Jordan valley, all of the arable lands, except for the city of Jericho and its immediate surroundings are under Israeli direct control. Most of these lands are exploited by Israeli private capital or locally-based Israeli settlers. But most importantly, the area (c) lands contain the largest and most important natural water reserves, vital for the survival of Palestinian cities, towns, villages, and Bedwin communities.

To discuss the effects of Israeli colonization on Palestinian resources, Quds News Network met Shawan Jabarin, the General Director Al-Haq, the largest Palestinian human rights organization, which has been documenting Israeli exploitation of natural resources for years. We spoke about the involvement of international companies in this exploitation, and about the UN database, released last February exposing these companies. Shawan Jabarin gave us his evaluation of this database, and what is needed to make it effective in the future, as a deterrent for international businesses, engaged in illegal activities, benefiting from the Israeli colonization. In addition, we spoke of legal responsibilities, and of the role of the international community and third-party states.

The world expected the annexation of the Jordan valley and other parts of the West Bank by the occupation state, to take place on July the 1st, but it didn’t. Will it eventually happen? And what will it really change?

It is important to remember that the issue of annexation is not about a specific date. It doesn’t really matter if it happens in July or in December, this year or the coming one. What really matters and is that there is a political decision in Israel to annex parts of the West Bank.

At the same time, we have to remember that although the annexation is already happening in the practical meaning in many ways, it’s legal extension would have dramatic consequences on the Palestinian population.

The Israelí annexation wall in the Palestinian town of Hizma, separating it from the city of Jerusalem while including Israelí settlements which houses can be seen behind the wall

The most important effect would be that the Israelí law would be implemented in these parts of the West Bank instead of Israelí martial law. This means that the law for the properties of absentees will be implemented, which means that Palestinians who haven’t been able to use their lands because of military restrictions for years, will legally lose them. Until now, Palestinians are still right holders to their lands, even if they are taken by settlers or by the army and Palestinian owners can still argue for their property rights in Israelí courts. If the Israeli law is implemented, that will no longer be the case, because Palestinian owners are not Israelis, they haven’t been using their lands for years, and as a consequence, they will lose their property rights.

Politically, the Israeli legal, official annexation, is the last step to officially end the two-states solution. Concretely, the annexation would deprive any potential Palestinian state from any borders, geographical continuity, or natural resources.

A partial view of Maale Adumim, the second-largest Israeli settlement in the West Bank, between Jerusalem and the Jordan valley

Your organization’s documentation shows that the occupation state has been exploiting Palestinian natural resources in the West Bank for decades. When did this start? And what is the size of this exploitation?

It started from day One. Since it occupied the West Bank, Israel began to exploit the natural resources of the West Bank in violation of the international humanitarian law, which strictly forbids the exploitation of natural resources in the benefit of the occupying power’s economy. Israelí exploitation of Palestinian natural resources in the West Bank started through military orders. This continued when private businesses started to move in, especially Israelí businesses, followed then by foreign companies.

The first resource to be exploited was water, then agricultural land, and then the aerial space that was used for telecommunications. But it extended to stone and lime queries, the Dead Sea minerals, touristic sites, and in the recent years, oil reserves that were discovered in the North-West of Ramallah, in addition to the natural gas fields discovered in the waters of Gaza. According to our estimates, Israel’s pillage of these resources represents approximately 8 billion dollars every year. If Palestine had access to these resources, it’s resources, it wouldn’t need foreign help. Instead, these resources are generating benefits for the Israelí economy. We call this ‘pillage’.

Israelí water extraction and transportation pipes, on the Israelí high-way between the settlement of Maale Adumim and the Dead Sea, in the occupied Palestinian West Bank
An Israelí-exploited stone quarry near the Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, next to the houses of a Palestinian Bedwin community

You mentioned international companies involved in illegal activities on Palestinian resources. Do you think that the UN database of these companies which was published last February, exposed the real dimensions of foreign capital participation in the Israelí exploitation of Palestinian resources?

The UN database was an important step forward, especially after three years of work and big pressure from many countries to not see it published. At the same time, it is not enough. The database has to be updated yearly and there is a clear mechanism to do that.

To understand the importance of this yearly update, we should consider that the database only included 18 international companies, while we know there are many more companies that are active in the Palestinian territory benefiting the occupation state’s economy, in violation of international law.

In fact, all companies were contacted by the UN and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, on their involvement in illegal settlements, before the publishing of the database. Some of these companies said that they were already preparing to exit the occupied territory and end their activities there, and therefore were not included in the database. This is why it’s so important to ensure the yearly update, so that those companies would know that if they continue to do business on stolen Palestinian resources, they will be exposed in the future.

What is the responsibility of the states to which these companies belong?

Third-party states, or member states of the international community have the responsibility of not assisting the business violation of human rights by any means. These states have the obligation to make sure that their private companies do no profit from human rights violations.

However, most of the states have only issued warnings to their national private businesses, of the legal consequences of their activities in the occupied territory, like the Netherlands. But without taking action to prevent the continuation of this business involvement in the pillage. This is a serious contradiction because by warning their companies, states are recognizing the violation, while at the same time they allow it to continue. Other states haven’t even issued warnings, like the US and the UK. In fact, the US continues to give facilitations to American companies to help them continue doing business in Palestine, benefiting from Israelí occupation and pillage.

How do you evaluate the role of European states in particular so far?

Most states recognize the illegal aspect of Israel’s pillage of Palestinian resources and of their countries’ companies participation in it, but they continue to allow it. The clearest example is the European decision to label all Israeli products coming from settlements in the West Bank, while continuing to allow these products to sell in European markets. The European Union also continues to hold a discourse that is in line with international law, especially of not recognizing the effects of Israelí settlement and possible official annexation. But at the same time, it continues to give the occupation state a privileged trade status, through the European-Israelí association agreement. If the occupation state continues to benefit from privileged treatment and sees no practical consequences to its violations, then political stands and declarations will have no effect, and the violations will continue.

A bill-board in Hebrew, Arabic and English, indicating that the Kalia beach follows the Israelí Magilot settlement council
A closed gate of Israelí dates plantation near the Dead Sea in the Palestinian occupied West Bank

The international community and especially Europe have the capacity and the responsibility to make real pressure on the occupation state, by at least imposing sanctions on it. But also by regulating their countries’ companies’ activities in Palestine, preventing them from participating in the occupation’s violations.

(Source / 20.07.2020)

Why we need to support the BDS movement?

PALESTINOW.COM — What is BDS? Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) is a Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice and equality. BDS upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity.

The Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom, justice and equality needs your support. It’s simple to get involved with the BDS movement today.

Here are 15 reasons to support the BDS movement for Palestinian rights on its 15th anniversary:

  1. Because BDS is an ethical appeal from the largest coalition of Palestinians living under Israel’s military occupation, apartheid, and denial of refugees’ right.
  2. Because BDS works!
  3. Because I believe in a world with equal rights for all and not privileges for some.
  4. Because I was against apartheid in South Africa and will not accept apartheid in Palestine.
  5. Because my government, as well as corporations and institutions based in my country, are complicit in Israel’s crimes against Palestinians.
  6. Because I am against all forms of oppression and discrimination.
  7. Because I want to stop corporate complicity in human rights violations.
  8. Because I support the rights of all Indigenous peoples, including Palestinians, over their ancestral lands, cultural heritage and natural resources.
  9. Because I support the global struggle against racism in all its forms, and so does BDS.
  10. Because I believe in people’s power to change the world.
  11. Because I stand against pinkwashing, greenwashing, faith-washing, sport-washing, art-washing or otherwise whitewashing Israeli apartheid.
  12. Because I believe that no state, including Israel, should be granted impunity for violating international law and human rights.
  13. Because Palestinian liberation is organically tied to the struggles in my country for Indigenous, social, racial, economic, gender, and climate justice.
  14. Because I subscribe to Martin Luther King’s words that ethically-consistent boycotts entail “withdrawing our cooperation from an evil system,” and that is a basic moral obligation.
  15. Because I cannot and will not stay silent while Israel perpetrates war crimes and crimes against humanity, including apartheid, ethnic cleansing, collective punishment, detention of prisoners of conscience, and the siege and massacres in Gaza.

(Source / 13.07.2020)

‘Israel’ trains U.S. police… American minorities and Palestinians suffer

As long as U.S. police is trained by an occupation state there will be more George Floyds

A third night of angry protests has been rocking the United States over the death of George Floyd, who was killed when white policemen crushed his neck.

Protests against police brutality have been sweeping cities across the US, including Minneapolis, Denver, New York and Oakland following the killing of the 46-year-old black man, whose death was videotaped.

A white officer handcuffed him and kneeled on his neck for several minutes as Floyd pleaded that he could not breathe. The officer appeared smiling to the camera while ignoring Floyds appeals.

The heartbreaking scene and brutal behavior, which shocked the world and stirred outrage, seemed, however, normal for African-Americans as well as their brothers in suffering on the other side of the globe, the Palestinian people.

African-Americans know well that being Black means that you’re less human in the eyes of white supremacists and institutional racism. The same applies to Palestinians in their own land; being a native Palestinian means that only Israelis have the right to decide if you deserve another day to live or not.

But, how could two scenes be that similar although they take place in completely different spots of the world? The answer is simple: joint training exercises by a chronic human rights violator- Israel.

In August 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice published a report that documented “widespread constitutional violations, discriminatory enforcement, and culture of retaliation” within the Baltimore Police Department (BPD).

what hasn’t received as much attention is where Baltimore police received training on crowd control, use of force and surveillance: Israel’s national police, military and intelligence services.

Baltimore law enforcement officials, along with hundreds of others from FloridaNew Jersey, Pennsylvania, CaliforniaArizona, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, North CarolinaGeorgiaWashington state as well as the DC Capitol police have all traveled to Israel for training. Thousands of others have received training from Israeli officials in the U.S.

The state of Minnesota, where Floyd was killed, trains its police officers in the best that Israel has to offer in the art of suppression. At least 100 of its law enforcement officers attended a counterterrorism conference with their Israeli counterparts in 2012. Concerns that law enforcement operations could violate civil rights were apparently discussed during the conference.

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) has documented thousands of law enforcement officials being sent from across the U.S. to the occupation state.

“Participants were schooled in Israeli military approaches to intelligence gathering, border security, checkpoints, and coordination with the media, and met with high-ranking officials in the Israeli police and military, the Shin Bet, and the Ministry of Defense”, according to the “Deadly Exchange” report.

Amnesty International also argued that ‘Israel’ is a “chronic human rights violator” which exports its suppression techniques.

Many of the exchange trips, according to Amnesty International, are taxpayer funded while others are privately funded. Since 2002, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee’s Project Interchange and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs have paid for police chiefs, assistant chiefs and captains to train in the occupation state and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).

The report proved that these exchanges reinforced American law enforcement practices of racial profiling, among other practices such as expanding surveillance and suppressing public protests through use of force.

JVP argues that many of the draconian measures adopted by US law enforcement agencies, including police forces, have been refined through such exchange programmes. The inherent racism of Israeli society, in which every Palestinian is viewed as a potential threat to Israel’s Jewish citizens, is replicated by white law enforcement officers in their views about black Americans, Muslims and other minority groups. In such a mindset, they are turned from citizens with civil and other rights into threats from which white Americans must be protected at any cost.

George Floyd’s killing wasn’t the first and probably will not be the last. “As long as these programs exist,” says Dawn O’Neal of Us Protecting Us, formerly Black Lives Matter Atlanta, “as long as police are sent into war zones to train, there will continue to be Tamir Rices and Trayvon Martins. There will continue to be Kathryn Johnstons.”

(Source / 29.05.2020)

International Solidarity Movement Responds to Report of FBI Probe

This is the statement from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) in response to a report  published by The Intercept detailing an investigation of the ISM conducted by the FBI from 2004 – 2006, using informants as well as physical and telecommunications surveillance.

The International Solidarity Movement is a Palestinian-led movement of international solidarity that promotes non-violent witness, accompaniment and civil disobedience to challenge the Israeli military’s violent occupation of Palestinian land. The group has always strictly adhered to the principle and practice of non-violence as a tactic.

Here is the group’s statement:

We, at the International Solidarity Movement, denounce this shameless abuse of power and misuse of public funds in an attempt to criminalize Palestinian solidarity and anti-occupation activism, as well as the current ongoing campaign in some American states to criminalize the BDS movement. ISM activists have been secretly spied on and targeted by various intelligence services, including British, Israeli, and U.S.,  for over 19 years, merely for standing up for the rights of Palestinians.

We call on those who believe that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity to take action and raise awareness about local, state, and national attempts to criminalize nonviolent resistance such as BDS and Palestinian advocacy, and boycott those profiting off the Occupation of Palestine.

According to the Intercept report, an FBI investigation was launched after an American volunteer with ISM was shot and wounded by Israeli forces at a protest in Occupied Palestine. Instead of investigating the foreign army that injured an American citizen exercising his First Amendment-protected right to peaceful protest, the FBI’s response was to probe the survivor. While the 2 primary investigations were launched by the Los Angeles and St. Louis FBI Field Offices, agents from at least 11 cities were involved in spying on various ISM activists and related organizations. Using far right and extremist news sources, the investigation attempted to link ISM to international terrorism.

After two years of investigation, multiple rights and privacy violations, hundreds of pages of reports and tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars wasted, the investigation only proved what we have always maintained: ISM is a non-violent movement committed to ending the Occupation of Palestine through non-violent means.

Notably, the investigation began in March 2004, shortly after the murder of American Rachel Corrie and Briton Tom Hurndall (2003) by the Israeli army. The probe coincided with an Israeli government campaign to de-legitimize ISM and discredit Palestinian rights activists. It also reflects the increase in recent years of FBI investigations into non-violent activist organizations such as Black Lives Matter and Antiwar.com. Today, lobby groups, politicians, and leaders in the United States continue to violate First Amendment-protected rights to free speech through criminalizing non-violent Palestinian activism, such as the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.

“The fact that ISM was under this kind of extensive investigation is ridiculous and a complete waste of taxpayer money. ISM has always been open and transparent about who we are, what we do, and what we stand for, which is purportedly what this country stands for — freedom and human rights.” — ISM co-founder Huwaida Arraf

“In Dr. King’s time, surveillance was justified in terms of alleged Communist influence; in recent years, surveillance has been justified by alleged association with terrorists. In both cases, U.S. citizens were employing nonviolent action to confront injustice and oppression.” — ISM activist spied on by the FBI, Mark Chmiel

(Source / 08.04.2020) 

GERMANY BANS PALESTINIAN WRITER ENTERING COUNTRY OVER PALESTINE SUPPORT

Berlin (QNN)- The German authorities decided to prevent the Palestinian writer Khaled Barakat from entering the country for four years, in compliance to pressure from the zionist lobby.

Barakat has been denied a renewal of his residency and forced to leave the country six months ago.

The German police had arrested Barakat in June 2019 while he was in Germany to participate in a seminal about Trump’s Middle East plan. He was given one month to leave the country.

The German police claimed in a 24-page statement that Barakat “constitutes a security risk” because of “his beliefs and continuous talking about liberating Palestine from the river to the sea” and “working on a strategy to liberate Palestine” in addition to “insisting that ‘Israel’ has no right to exist”, which German authorities deem to be anti-semitic.

The German authorities also claimed that its decision was taken because of Barakat’s influence on the beliefs of Arabs in the country, which confirms that the decision is political and it has nothing do with security or legal aspects.

Barakan was prosecuted before by the German authorities over his support for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Movement (BDS).

The German Parliament had ruled that BDS is anti-semitic, a motion which was seen by human rights activists as a violation of freedom of speech.

(Source / 10.03.2020)