UPDATE: Letter from people that started hunger strike in Bir el-saba’ prison

Be’er Sheva 9 July 2011

1) Immediate and unconditional freedom to travel to Palestine and take part in the activities of “Welcome to Palestine”

2) Immediate and free access to the other groups of the initiative

3) Access to international communication so that we can directly inform our families and friends

4) The European states have to defend the interests of their citizens and their humanitarian and political rights – especially the right of free movement

5) An independent investigation of the attitudes and the practices of the European airlines

(welcometopalestinenews.blogspot.com / 09.07.2011)

Anti-Zionism growing among Jews

Pro-Palestine Jewish activists and organisations blame Israel for ‘crimes against humanity’

Anti-Zionism growing among Jews

  • Image Credit: Gulf News
  • The state of Israel, the manifestation of Zionism, declares IJAN, is “a colonial project that dishonours the memories of the European Jews who perished in the genocide in Europe”.

A large group of Jewish activists opposed to the Zionist ideology are challenging Israel’s occupation, racist and colonial policies against Palestinians and calling for the return of Palestinian refugees.

The International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) of organisations and activists in western countries firmly support the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel as a moral tool in response to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands.

The state of Israel, the manifestation of Zionism, declares IJAN, is “a colonial project that dishonours the memories of the European Jews who perished in the genocide in Europe”.

Rejecting the Zionist ideology and institutions as “unjust…. leading to further entrenchment of an apartheid system and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people”, the Network further indicates that such policies are implicating every Jew “in the oppression of the Palestinian people and in the debasement of Jewish heritages, struggles for justice and alliances with fellow human beings”.

Along this line, IJAN has been launching campaigns to draw support to its activities, with one targeting and seeking to halt support to the National Jewish Fund, responsible since the early years of the twentieth century for capturing Palestinian lands or seizing their ownership papers.

In June 2010, IJAN hosted in Detroit, USA, the first anti-Zionist gathering, the ‘Assembly of Jews: Confronting Racism and Israeli Apartheid’. The gathering was declared a success. IJAN activists also joined campaigns in 2009 and 2010 in the USA, held in support of the BDS movement, led by a Palestinian coalition of civil society organisations.

Earlier in February 2009, IJAN published an appeal by an anti-colonialist Israeli citizen calling on Unesco to ‘revoke Israel’s membership’. In fact, when in February, 2011, the Zionist organisations in America and around the world issued a statement condemning the BDS campaign, IJAN’s 34 anti-Zionist Jewish individuals and organisations issued a counter statement declaring: (a) The BDS activities “are a moral tool of non-violent, peaceful response to more than 60 years of Israeli colonialism, and (b) “Rightfully place accountability on Israeli institutions (and their allies and partners) that use business, culture and academic ties to white-wash Israel’s responsibility for continuing crimes against humanity”.

These anti-Zionist Jewish activists and organisations put the blame for ‘crimes against humanity’ on Israel and its colonial structure in order to prevent blaming all Jews for the actions of Israel.

They have categorically rejected the label of anti-Semitism attached by the Zionists to the BDS campaigns, saying such “campaigns the world over are not rooted in anti-Jewish sentiment against the daily, brutal occupation of Palestine and military threat to the region by the state of Israel.”

False claims of anti-Semitism, according to IJAN, “distort the true nature of the Palestinian struggle and are an affront to, and betrayal of the long history of Jewish survival and resistance to persecution”.

Such groups of Jewish activists are asserting the need “for justice in Palestine which does not include the domination and colonisation of the Palestinian people which have made Israel a racist state that is only for the privilege of Jews”.

Law of reciprocity

These groups of Jews around the world have always considered themselves as the voice of conscience that should sound the danger bell against persecution based on gender, race, creed, colour or ethnicity. When a certain community was being persecuted by a racist/colonial system, Jews were the first to oppose it fearing they might be the next in line to face such an action.

Conscientious Jews take to their hearts the certainty of the law of reciprocity, sent down to Moses and which stood behind the ‘Golden Rule’ that says: “Treat thy neighbour as thyself”. The law of reciprocity is commonly known as “what goes around shall come around”.

In the Torah it says: “Who lives by the sword shall die by the sword”. Where the Zionist entity is concerned, it means that who live by dispossessing others of their lives and lands, shall be dispossessed in the same way. Ending the Israeli apartheid system is the strategy of the BDS campaign backed by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, a strategy that once brought an end to South Africa’s racist regime.

Indeed, conscientious Jews are opposed to the Zionist ideology being aware of the fact that its basic principle is racist and discriminatory and is bound to lead to the destruction of the Zionist entity. They are trying to protect Jewish communities from the aftermath of the predicted destruction being anticipated by every Christian fundamentalist in the West, and by Western intelligence agencies.

‘The war against terrorism’ is a battle with multiple fronts designed to prevent the use of mass destruction weapons hitting Tel Aviv and major western cities, especially New York City and Washington D.C.

This is why the safety and survival of the Palestinian people are linked to Jewish survival, both, according to IJAN, are being threatened by Israel’s racist and colonial Zionism.

(gulfnews.com / 09.07.2011)

Wetenschap misbruikt in slachtdebat

Jaap Goudsmit, hoogleraar infectieziekten AMC en Universiteit van Amsterdam − 11/05/11, 18:30
Zegel van een Amsterdamse slagerij waar vlees op koosjere wijze werd geslacht. COLLECTIE JAAP VAN VELZEN/JOODS HISTORISCH MUSEUM

opinie Het ‘Wageningse onderzoek’ waar tegenstanders van ritueel slachten mee schermen, stelt weinig voor: wetenschap wordt gebruikt om vooringenomen standpunten te ondersteunen. De Tweede Kamer debatteert volgende week over het onderwerp.

Bij het pleidooi voor het verbieden van het koosjere slachten wordt te pas en te onpas geschermd met universitair onderzoek. Het bewijs dat koosjere slacht pijnlijker zou zijn dan de gewone slacht zou geleverd zijn door onderzoek van de Universiteit Wageningen. Ik kan met geen mogelijkheid dit onderzoek vinden.

Wel is er een rapport verschenen in 2008 ‘Ritueel Slachten en het Welzijn van Dieren’, geschreven door twee medewerkers van de Animal Sciences Group van de Wageningse universiteit, op verzoek van het ministerie van landbouw. Het is een buitengewoon summier rapport, dat de praktijk van ritueel slachten in het buitenland beschrijft. Het rapport is gebaseerd op een zeer beperkt aantal publicaties, waaronder geen enkele Nederlandse.

Het Wageningse rapport bevat geen enkele analyse die aantoont dat de koe die koosjer is geslacht, subjectief meer stress, pijn of ongemak ervaart of objectief meer pijn lijdt dan de koe die gewoon geslacht is. De onderzoekers namen niet de moeite resultaten van de aangehaalde studies aan een analyse te onderwerpen. Ze volstaan met het commentaar: ‘De in de literatuur gevonden gedragsobservaties lopen wijd uiteen’, waarbij onduidelijk blijft of onderzoekers er iets uit kunnen afleiden.

De conclusies van het rapport zijn niet gewettigd door de aangehaalde publicaties. Zo staat er in die conclusies dat het vastzetten van het dier bij koosjer slachten, ‘veel stress kan veroorzaken’ (zou inderdaad kunnen!); dat ‘de halssnede zelf een ernstige pijnprikkel zal veroorzaken’ (altijd of slechts bij uitzondering?); dat het ‘niet uitgesloten is, dat runderen relatief lang na de halssnede bij bewustzijn blijven’ (zolang het niet is onderzocht, is niets uitgesloten). Zonder enige vorm van eigen onderzoek wagen de medewerkers van de Animal Sciences Group een aantal aanbevelingen te doen om, zoals zij zelf zeggen, ‘onnodige stress en pijn bij ritueel slachten te voorkomen’.

Er is sindsdien wel een Nederlandse publicatie verschenen. Het is een klein onderzoekje naar verschillende vormen van halal slachten, een vorm van ritueel slachten die in een aantal opzichten verschilt van kosjer slachten. Dit onderzoek uit september 2010, ‘Bedwelmd ritueel slachten van runderen volgens de islamitische ritus’, is gedaan door de Wageningse livestock research Group.

Het bescheiden onderzoek met maar 3 tot 5 dieren per geteste procedure, gaat niet over dierenwelzijn of de mate van stress en pijn. Het vraagt zich uitsluitend af of het op zijn kop draaien van de koe de hartslag verhoogt en of bij een schot met een slachtpistool het dier sneller buiten bewustzijn raakt dan bij het afsnijden van de hals. Dit onderzoek suggereert dat de hartslag bij het op zijn kop zetten van de koe omhoog gaat. Een koe die gedood wordt door de hals door te snijden blijft 80 seconden bij bewustzijn, tegen maar 4 seconden met een slachtpistool.

Ook in dit onderzoek wordt stress en pijn als maat voor dierenwelzijn niet gemeten. Het trekt daarover ook geen conclusies. De onderzoekers raden de halal slachter wel aan om de koe staande te slachten en om de hals pas door te snijden als de koe buiten bewustzijn is.

De vraag is of dit onderzoek uit 2010 iets zegt over dierenwelzijn of de mate daarvan. Het onderzoek is niet ontworpen om de halal slacht te vergelijken met de normale slacht. Er is niet gekeken hoe vaak het schot met het slachtpistool zijn doel mist. De schatting is dat tienduizenden dieren in Nederland onnodig lijden bij normaal slachten.

Wetenschap wordt maar al te vaak gebruikt om vooringenomen standpunten te ondersteunen. Voor het gemak worden conclusies getrokken die het betreffende onderzoek op geen enkele manier wettigen. Politici die met bewijs zwaaien, kunnen pluis niet van niet pluis onderscheiden, als ze het onderzoek al hebben bestudeerd.

Ik stel voor dat de Koninklijke Akademie van Wetenschappen een commissie van biologen, veterinaire onderzoekers en gedragswetenschappers instelt die zich buigt over de vraag of het eerste Wageningse rapport eenduidig en overtuigend bewijs levert dat koosjer slachten in Nederland meer stress en pijn bij het dier veroorzaakt dan gewoon slachten. De commissie zou daarnaast de opzet van het tweede onderzoek en de relatie tussen bewustzijn en pijn en stress aan een analyse moeten onderwerpen.

Er lijkt vooralsnog te weinig steekhoudend bewijs om ineens een kleine bevolkingsgroep, die volgens de joodse wetten leeft en geen andere kant op kan, het slachtoffer te laten worden van de twijfel over het welzijn van de miljoenen koeien die jaarlijks worden geslacht, waar noch de joodse noch de islamitische gemeenschap bemoeienis mee heeft.

(www.trouw.nl / 09.07.2011)

Clashes Between Marchers and Israeli Soldiers on Kalinda Checkpoint

Ramallah – PNN – Clashes occured today at noon between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers near the Kalinda checkpoint, south of Jerusalem, after activists began march advocating nonviolent activities against the Israeli occupation.

Image

PNN

The demonstration marks the anniversary of the High Court decision against Israel building the separation wall.The march started from Kalinda refugee camps opposite the military checkpoint between Ramlaah and Jerusalem. Several internationals insisted on attending as the march begins a string of demonstrations and action that will last one week.

The protestors say they are fighting the wall and discrimination and also asking the world to implement the High Court’s decision. The coordinator of the campaign, Jamal Joma, told PNN that this week of demonstrations are to tell the world that “they should help break the siege, implement the International Court of Justice, and stop their silence against Israeli aggression.” Joma expects that the Israeli army will respond to the protests aggressively, because this is what usually happens.

Joma believes the Israeli authorities are angry because of the concurrent campaigns led by the Gaza flotilla and the arrival of pro-Palestinian activists at Ben-Gurion airport. He added, “the International Solidarity Movement is an important movement in the struggle against the Israeli occupation because it gives the real image of the occupation.” He assured that he and his peers would continue the struggle despite the Israeli decision forbidding internationals to enter in the Palestinian territories.

Joma added finally that this Israeli opposition will increase the amount of people sympathetic to solidarity as it show that nonviolent resistance is the right way to defeat Israel’s occupation.

(english.pnn.ps / 09.07.2011)

Report: Salah to remain in jail

TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — A British court ruled Friday that Sheikh Raed Salah will remain behind bars after denying an appeal filed by the leader of the Islamic Movement’s northern branch, Israeli media reported.

In upholding the decision to deport him, the judges noted that Salah entered the United Kingdom illegally and should therefore be banished, the Israeli news site Ynet reported.

Salah was arrested in London last Tuesday following pressure from local community leaders not to allow the sheikh into the United Kingdom for a speaking tour that was to include a talk at the British parliament

(www.maannews.net / 09.07.2011)

Flotilla II & Flytilla 090711

seems a;; demos are over today, Tweeters in Bethlehem, is anything happening tomorrow in Beit Sahour or Walajeh?

#AirFlotilla: ACTION – #Paris policemen arrest ppl by force, put in buses. One said “Go back to ur countries”, he forgot that WE’RE FRENCH!

Protesters didnt want to enter through the fences since their number is very small, they might cut it in different location now #Qalandia

Protesters managed to cut the fences, weird thing is that the army didn’t arrive to the scene #Qalandia

The response to #flotilla2 and #flytilla speaks volumes about character of Israeli govt. The world is watching & many more will take action

Report: Of +110 illegal Israeli outposts in #oPt, NONE was dismantled in 1st half of 2011, instead ~100 new units were added.

The power of solidarity and the need for freedom are forces that cannot be stopped by mere tricks. Our will is strong. #flotilla #flotilla2

Cutting the fences in #Qalandia started, people are busy in work, will update you as soon as I can

#AirFlotilla: Pic – ACTION – Activists banned from boarding protesting near #Paris townhall.

The activists are still sitting in the bus waiting for another bus of activists to arrive and start the demo at #Qalandia

URGENT ACTION ALERT RT ▶ #AirFlotilla:Action surprise a l’Hotel de Ville de #PARIS NOW! Venir avec tshirts, RT! Slogan:”Liberez nos amis!”

Wissam Nassar / Maan Images Palestinians call for military sanctions on Israel 7 years after ICJ ruling

Launch of Military Embargo Call, UN Ramallah, July 8 2011 - 6, on Flickr

The launch of the call for a military embargo against Israel in Ramallah, 8 July 2011.

The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Committee (BNC) announced today a call for an urgent military embargo against Israel, “similar to that imposed against apartheid South Africa in the past.”

The call was symbolically delivered by youth in Ramallah to the United Nations office there. The call is also supported by Nobel Peace Prize winners such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mairead Maguire, Betty Williams and Adolfo Perez and is supported by Alternative Nobel Prize winners Walden Bello and Chico Whitaker and journalist Naomi Klein, as well as the South African trade union COSATU and the Brazilian trade union confederation CUT, according to the below press release.

The full text of the call can be found here. The BNC stated in a press release circulated today:

The largest Palestinian coalition encompassing all Palestinian political parties, trade unions, NGOs and mass organisations, the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), today called for an immediate and comprehensive military embargo on Israel.

“A comprehensive military embargo on Israel is long overdue. It forms a crucial step towards ending Israel’s unlawful and criminal use of force against the Palestinian people and other peoples and states in the region, and it constitutes an effective, non-violent measure to pressure Israel to comply with its obligations under international law,” reads the BNC’s call.

The call comes amidst mounting pressure to hold Israel accountable to international law, including from the Freedom Flotilla 2 and the Welcome to Palestine “Fly-in” which began arriving at Tel-Aviv airport this morning amidst chaotic scenes despite many activists being prevented from flying from Western airports.

Palestinian activists with the Hirak Shababi youth movement gathered in front of the United Nations office in Ramallah to symbolically deliver the call along with evidence of international military collusion with Israel.

Youth activist Aghsan said: “We face Israeli repression and violence on a daily basis. Our generation has grown up under occupation and seeing friends and relatives killed, injured or imprisoned. We demand that the international community stops funding and profiting from the military and security apparatus that sustains the colonial Israeli apartheid regime. All trade and cooperation must stop. Young Palestinians demand a comprehensive military embargo now.”

Supporters of the military embargo call include Nobel Peace Prize winners Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mairead Maguire, Betty Williams and Adolfo Perez Esquivel. Alternative Nobel Prize winners Walden Bello and Chico Whitaker and best-selling Canadian writer and journalist Naomi Klein have also supported the demands of the call.

“I endorse this call for an arms embargo because we desire peace and justice for Palestinians and Israelis through non-violent ways,” said Archbishop Tutu.

Trade union confederations such as the South African COSATU and the Brazilian CUT, have announced their support for the campaign.

A spokesperson for COSATU said: “States and inter-state organizations, such as the United Nations, have a legal obligation to ensure that Israel complies with international law, but they have failed to do so. Impunity emboldens Israel while its international military trade relations bankroll and entrench its continued violence, militarism and expansionism.”

Civil society groups from more than a dozen countries are set to announce their support for the campaign and the actions they intend to take over the course of the launch.

The European Network Against the Arms Trade will announce its support of the military embargo call on Monday.

The call has been released to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the International Court of Justice ruling confirming the illegality of Israel’s West Bank apartheid Wall and the sixth anniversary of the Palestinian civil society call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law.

The BNC has today published a detailed legal and political analysis of international military relations with Israel and their impact [download the PDF].

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation also announced today its contribution to this global initiative — the launch of its latest website www.fundcommunityneeds.org, “as part of its ongoing campaign to end more than $3 billion per year of US military aid to Israel.”

The US Campaign stated in an email to supporters:

The website provides activists with ideas, resources, and inspiration for running effective, long-term campaigns to pass city council resolutions calling on the federal government to end U.S. military aid to Israel and redirect that money to unmet needs here at home.

Josh Ruebner, National Advocacy Director, noted:

“At a time when cities across the country are struggling with budget deficits, it is more important than ever for people in the United States to reexamine the financial and moral problems posed by providing Israel $30 billion in weapons from 2009 to 2018. These U.S. weapons are misused by Israel to commit human rights abuses of Palestinians, making us complicit in Israel’s illegal 44-year military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip. We should be spending money building affordable housing, rather than paying for Israel to misuse Caterpillar bulldozers to demolish Palestinian homes.”

The new website joins others in a series designed to educate people in the United States about the financial and moral costs of providing Israel with weapons:

The website www.aidtoisrael.org highlights the community costs of providing $30 billion in taxpayer-funded weapons to Israel from 2009 to 2018 and the budgetary trade-offs involved.

The website www.weaponstoisrael.org documents in detail the more than 670 million weapons given to Israel by the United States from 2000 to 2009 and the devastating impact these weapons have on Palestinian civilians.

(electronicintifada.net / 09.07.2011)