No Dough for the Occupation, called BDS

BDS movement has called to boycott Pillsbury Company, which manufactures frozen baked goods in a factory in Atarot Industrial Zone, an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied Palestinian territory.


BDS movement@BDSmovement
·

Bake for Palestinian rights! Join our No Dough for the Occupation campaign to hold @Pillsbury and parent company @GeneralMills accountable until they stop manufacturing on stolen Palestinian land! Share your own photos with the hashtag

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#BoycottPillsburyhttp://BoycottPillsbury.org

On February 12, 2020, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights published a list of companies that have been involved in Israel’s illegal settlement activities in occupied Palestinian territories, which considered illegal under international law.

The list of 112 companies includes major multinational corporations such as Airbnb, Motorola Solutions and JCB, and General Mills.

The activities related to illegal Israeli settlements included, as the UN report issued:

•Supplying equipment and materials facilitating the construction and expansion of settlements and Israel’s West Bank barrier.

•Supplying equipment for the demolition of housing and property, and the destruction of farms, greenhouses, olive groves and crops
Providing services and utilities supporting the maintenance and existence of settlements, including transport.

•Banking and financial operations helping to develop, expand or maintain settlements and their activities, including loans for housing and businesses.

The Palestinians said the report was a “victory for international law”, but the occupation state called it “shameful”.

Pillsbury Company included in the list

General Mills is a multinational food conglomerate headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It has been described as one of ten companies that “control almost every large food and beverage brand in the world.” The company owns more than 100 brands.

General Mills bought the Pillsbury Company in 2001 and has owned the Pillsbury brand ever since.

However, Pillsbury manufactures frozen baked goods in a factory in Atarot Industrial Zone, an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied Palestinian territory, violating international law and contributing to gross human rights abuses.

The factory is owned by Israeli company Shalgal (Food) Ltd and is used exclusively to make Pillsbury products as the Israeli licensee of Pillsbury.

The factory started manufacturing Pillsbury products for General Mills in 2002, and was expanded that year using $2 million of Israeli government money.

Here’s why you should boycott Pillsbury

Atarot Industrial Zone is located north of Jerusalem and is part of the area of the West Bank known as “East Jerusalem,” which Israeli occupation illegally annexed during the 1967 war.

The Pillsbury factory was built on land that belongs to Beit Hanina, a Palestinian town that Israeli occupation made into a neighborhood of Jerusalem and later split into two by the apartheid wall.

Illegal under international law, these settlements are built on confiscated Palestinian land and have been used to justify forcing Palestinians out of their homes; restricting their movement; severely limiting Palestinian access to basic resources, including land and water; and perpetuating a system of segregation and inequality between Palestinians and Israelis.

They also violate Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the move of populations into an area occupied by force, to prevent more wars of expansion.

Pillsbury and the other companies directly contribute to the settlement economy and help perpetuate this system of control and expropriation in denial of Palestinians’ basic rights.

(Source / 14.12.2020)

Trump administration plans to release list of BDS groups

The Trump administration plans to release a list of organizations that support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), a senior Trump administration official told JNS.

The groups are still in the works, according to the official.

This step comes after the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared last month that the US will label the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign as “anti-Semitic” and would withdraw funding from groups that support the BDS movement.

“We will immediately take steps to identify organizations that engage in hateful BDS conduct and withdraw US government support for such groups. The time is right,” Pompeo stated.

Aside from government-funding issues, the purpose behind the list is to issue a “public condemnation” of the BDS movement, according to the official.

The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement works to end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law.

(Source / 10.12.2020)

Amnesty International: State Department’s attack on the BDS movement violates freedom of expression and endangers human rights protection

Deze afbeelding heeft een leeg alt-atribuut; de bestandsnaam is Bob.jpg

Amnesty: 19 November 2020, 15:49 UTC

Responding to the United States Department of State announcement designating the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement as antisemitic and planning to identify organizations supporting BDS with a view to reviewing and halting their funding, Bob Goodfellow, the Interim Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, issued the below statement:

“The Department of State’s targeting of groups advocating for using peaceful means, such as boycotts, to end human rights violations against Palestinians as antisemitic violates freedom of expression and is a gift to those who seek to silence, harass, intimidate and oppress those standing up for human rights around the world. This is simply the latest attack from a US government determined to undermine the universality of human rights and the global fight against racism and discrimination, including antisemitism.The Department of State’s targeting of groups advocating for using peaceful means, such as boycotts, to end human rights violations against Palestinians as antisemitic violates freedom of expression and is a gift to those who seek to silence, harass, intimidate and oppress those standing up for human rights around the world.Bob Goodfellow

“Advocating for boycotts, divestment and sanctions is a form of non-violent advocacy and of free expression that must be protected. Advocates of boycotts should be allowed to express their views freely and take forward their campaigns without harassment, threats of prosecution or criminalization, or other measures that violate the right to freedom of expression. Instead of attacking and restricting BDS activities the US should end such measures and instead ensure that BDS advocates are free to express their views and take forward their campaigns without harassment or threats of prosecution.”

“The US administration is following Israeli government’s approach in using false and politically motivated accusations of antisemitism to harm peaceful activists, including human rights defenders, and shield from accountability those responsible for illegal actions that harm people in Israel, in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and here at home. The process comes across as particularly hypocritical and deceitful coming from an administration that has emboldened neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other groups who advocate violence and discrimination, shown a callous disregard for international law, and favored Israeli policies that result in institutionalized discrimination and systematic human rights violations against millions of Palestinians.The US administration is following Israeli government’s approach in using false and politically motivated accusations of antisemitism to harm peaceful activists, including human rights defenders, and shield from accountability those responsible for illegal actions that harm people in Israel, in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and here at home.Bob Goodfellow

“This process also hurts Jewish people by equating Israel with Judaism and likening criticism of Israeli government policies and practices to antisemitism. It undermines our work in the Middle East and other regions to protect the rights of religious and other minorities.

“We will continue to support our Israeli and Palestinian colleagues, including BDS activists, who like human rights defenders around the world, speak up when justice, freedom, truth, and dignity are denied.”

Read more:

Pompeo announcement on Israeli settlements places occupied Palestinians at increased risk (November 18, 2019)

Criticism of Israeli Government’s Policies are Free Speech, Not Antisemitism (August 15, 2019)

This statement is available at: https://www.amnestyusa.org/press-releases/statedepartmentantisemiticprocess/

(Source / 20.11.2020)

State Department’s decision against BDS violates freedom of expression, said Amnesty

State Department’s decision against BDS violates freedom of expression, said Amnesty

In a joint press with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Thursday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued the US will label the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign as “anti-Semitic.”

“Today I want to make one announcement with respect to a decision by the State Department that we will regard the global anti-Israel BDS campaign as anti-Semitic,” he said.

Responding to the United States Department of State announcement, Amnesty issued a statement stating that such decision “violates freedom of expression and is a gift to those who seek to silence, harass, intimidate and oppress those standing up for human rights around the world.”

“This is simply the latest attack from a US government determined to undermine the universality of human rights and the global fight against racism and discrimination, including antisemitism,” saud Bob Goodfellow, the Interim Executive Director of Amnesty International USA.

Goodfellow also stated that “advocating for boycotts, divestment and sanctions is a form of non-violent advocacy and of free expression that must be protected.”

He also said that instead of taking such decisions and attacking BDS activities, the US should stop such measures and ensure that BDS advocates are free to “express their views and take forward their campaigns without harassment or threats of prosecution.”

In addition, Goodfellow declared that this decision also “hurts Jewish people by equating Israel with Judaism and likening criticism of Israeli government policies and practices to antisemitism. It undermines our work in the Middle East and other regions to protect the rights of religious and other minorities.”

Amnesty has also confirmed its continued support to its “Israeli and Palestinian colleagues, including BDS activists, who like human rights defenders around the world, speak up when justice, freedom, truth, and dignity are denied.”

(Source / 20.11.2020)

Pompeo: BDS movement to be branded ‘anti-Semitic’

‘We want to stand with all other nations that recognise the BDS movement for the cancer that it is,’ Pompeo said

The US will brand the pro-Palestine rights Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as anti-Semitic, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared on Thursday.

Pompeo termed the movement, a non-violent Palestinian led global initiative to protest Israel’s military occupation, “a cancer,” Agence France Presse reported.

He added that Washington “will regard the global anti-Israel BDS campaign as anti-Semitic… We want to stand with all other nations that recognise the BDS movement for the cancer that it is.”

Pompeo made the comments during a joint appearance with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who interrupted the US diplomat’s speech to tell him the announcement “sounds simply wonderful”.

The US Secretary of State is in Israel preparing to visit Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which are considered illegal under international law.

Pompeo is also expected to breach diplomatic protocol by visiting the Syrian Golan Heights, which has been occupied by Israeli since the 1967 War of Attrition.

The territory was unilaterally recognised as part of Israel by the US last year.

During his trip, Pompeo is expected a visit Psagot, an illegal Israeli settlement near Ramallah and the site of a winery that has produced a label carrying his name.

The company was recently ordered by the European Union’s top court to label products it sells in the EU as being produced in the illegal West Bank settlements.

US regulations have also stipulated that products produced in illegal Israeli settlements should be labelled as “Made in the West Bank” since the Oslo Accords in 1995, but these regulations are rarely enforced.

(Source / 19.11.2020)

Racist comments by Nas Daily attacking Arabs and calling them “enemies of success”

Following BDS calls against the program for promoting normalization, Nas Daily issued racist remarks calling Arabs enemies of success and blaming them for being part of the third world

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- Nuseir Yassin, a Palestinian-Israeli blogger, who created Nas Daily, produced a new video in Arabic only, attacking Arabs and calling them enemies of success.

The video, titled “Beware of loser Arabs”, starts with Yassin repeating the sentence “beware of Arabs”, then talking about his achievements visiting several countries around the world and showing their positive aspects.

“After four years, 30 million people decided to follow me and I decided to show those people the positive aspect of the Arab world”, Yassin says.

“How Morocco is a beautiful country, how Arabs are among the most generous people in the world, how Egyptians love life, how Jordanians are generous, how Palestinians are smart and we have to give them a chance to succeed.”

Yassin goes on to respond to accusations that have been allegedly made against him, including being an Israeli agent, admiring the Israeli government, and having an Israeli passport.

However, he never responds to the movement’s accusations against him of promoting normalization with the occupation state of ‘Israel’ through his Nas Academy project and whitewashing Israeli crimes by presenting the occupation state as a normal country.

Instead, he blames Arabs for belonging to third-world countries, which has become an arena for settling scores between developed countries. “Beware of loser Arabs because they will try hard to make you a loser as well”, he says.

“This problem is in our Arabic culture. If you have a look at Arab countries, all of them have problems, wars, ISIS, murder, poverty, why? I’ve never seen such a culture. I’ve lived in the Asian, American, and European cultures, but there is nothing like this culture”.

The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement in Palestine had called on content creators and influencers in the Arabic region to boycott Nas Daily for its efforts to drag content creators to normalization and cover up Israeli crimes.

“While authoritarian Arabic regimes, such like those in the UAE and Bahrain, race to have normalization deals with the Israeli enemy, the later is trying to hack the consciousness of the Arab peoples, which believe that its freedom, development, and struggle for justice are linked to the freedom of the Palestinian people and the right of return”, the movement said.

“Israel is allocating enormous sums of money for misleading normalization media campaigns that present non-political content, which shows Israel as a normal developed country that may help its Arab neighbors, ignoring all its crimes against the Palestinian people and the Arabs and the historic hostility with it as a colonization and racist regime.”

Responding to former Huffington Post and VICE journalist Ahmed Shihab-Eldin on Twitter, Nuseir Yassin repeated his argument, attacking Shihab-Eldin and calling him “the worst, most state-run propaganda Journalist” but rejecting to respond to his accusation of defending the Israeli occupation during clashes at Al Aqsa mosque.


Ahmed Shihab-Eldin@ASE
·Sep 16, 2020

I once met @nasdailyvideos in Jerusalem after reporting on clashes at Al Aqsa & being beaten by an Israeli soldier.

It was a shitty day made shittier after having to endure his repeated unsolicited lectures about my “scripts” & how the occupation really isn’t that bad.

Nas Daily@nasdailyvideos

Omg. I literally was thinking yesterday of who the worst, most state-run propaganda Journalists I met in my life were. And your name was on TOP of the list. What a coincidence. Good to hear from you again. Aren’t you glad Nas Daily succeeded?

8:03 PM · Sep 16, 2020

(Source / 18.09.2020)

BDS calls to boycott Nas Daily over efforts to promote normalization

Ramallah (QNN)- The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement in Palestine called on content creators and influencers in the Arabic region to boycott Nas Daily for its efforts to drag content creators to normalization and cover up Israeli crimes.

The movement said the program adopts projects that aim at promoting the colonization of Arabs’ minds and the Israeli colonization as a de facto status, and whitewashing Israeli crimes and apartheid against the Palestinian people.

“While authoritarian Arabic regimes, such like those in the UAE and Bahrain, race to have normalization deals with the Israeli enemy, the later is trying to hack the consciousness of the Arab peoples, which believe that its freedom, development, and struggle for justice are linked to the freedom of the Palestinian people and the right of return”, the movement said.

“Israel is allocating enormous sums of money for misleading normalization media campaigns that present non-political content, which shows Israel as a normal developed country that may help its Arab neighbors, ignoring all its crimes against the Palestinian people and the Arabs and the historic hostility with it as a colonization and racist regime.”

The movement added that Nas Daily aims at training eight content creators in its academy, which is headed by an Israeli settler and funded by an Emarati company that was founded only two months ago.

The movement noted that Nas Daily has been trying to show the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as a conflict between two powers of equal weight, ignoring the rights of the indigenous Palestinian people and the right of return and blaming Palestinians for not accepting “peace” as ‘Israel’ and the US present it.

(Source / 15.09.2020)

Pro-BDS Palestinian doctor arrested over fabricated links to New IRA

The lawyer of Issam Hijjawi stressed that his client was entrapped by an M15 agent

Belfast (QNN)- A Palestinian doctor, also former chairman of the Association of Palestine Communities in Scotland, was arrested and charged over fabricated links to the New IRA.

Doctor Issam Hijjawi -Bassalat has been arrested at Heathrow Airport two weeks ago over alleged acts of terrorism in connection with a meeting in Omagh in July.

He appeared in court alongside David Jordan, who is accused of directing terrorism, belonging to a proscribed organization and two counts of preparatory acts of terrorism.

Dr Bassalat’s lawyer, Gavin Booth, told QNN that his client is in good spirits and that “faces a single count of preparatory acts of terrorism in connection with the alleged meeting in Co Tyrone”, stressing that he was entrapped by an agent who lured him to a meeting under false pretences and that the defence intend to fight the case fully.

“Mr Basslats case is that he was entrapped by a now exposed MI5 agent who asked that he come to Belfast to address a public meeting”, Booth said.

“Mr Bassalat initially refused to come to Belfast and was pestered by this person named as Dennis McFadden to come on numerous occasions”, he added. “When in Belfast this alleged agent drove him to the public meeting miles away from Belfast and when there Mr Basslat spoke about politics and the situation in Palestine.”

Dr. Bassalat used to chair the Palestinian Society in Scotland, a peaceful and democratic organization, which aims at raising awareness of the Palestinian cause.

According to The Irish News, McFadden is believed to have been an MI5 agent for over a decade. Saoradh party said that he has been in constant contact with his family and that “under the direction of his MI5 superiors, [he] set out to entrap republicans at the behest of the British government”.

“Since the entrapment case occurred this MI5 agent has contacted his family to admit what he is, sent his handlers to their doors and MI5 even attempted to kidnap them into ‘protective custody’ – which they resisted and refused”, revealed Saoradh.

Quoting District Judge Peter Magill, The BBC reported that the charges in the case, in which doctor Bassalat as well as IRA members were arrested, are very serious and that “there are indications of connections with Middle Eastern organizations also, exploration of joint ventures and exploration of attracting finance and training.

“There are also discussions in respect of discipline within the organization (and) there are discussions of terrorist acts in furtherance of the aims of at least one Middle Eastern organization.”

When asked about the Judge’s statement, Booth said that “the links are claimed to be between the PLFP and the New IRA.”

Doctor Bassalat is originally from the West Bank in Palestine. He is a well-known advocate for Palestinian rights, often speaking at public meetings and protests.

(Source / 06.09.2020)

Israel approves funds for ‘anti-Muslim hate group’ to fight BDS

Activists stage a rally condemning the Israeli violence at the Gaza Strip’s eastern border in Brooklyn, New York, United States on 14 May, 2018 [Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency]
Activists in New York stage a rally condemning Israel’s attack on Palestinians on 14 May, 2018 

Casting further light on the nexus between Zionism and the rise of the Islamophobia industry, the Israeli government has approved a grant to an American “anti-Muslim hate group”.

Documents obtained by Jewish-American magazine, Forward, through a Freedom of Information Act request, revealed that Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, transferred $40,000 to a Tennessee-based Christian Zionist organisation which is on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLT) watch list of hate groups.

SPLT, an American non-profit legal advocacy organisation specialising in civil rights and public interest litigation, has compiled an extensive list of anti-Muslim hate groups, many of whom are staunch advocates of the state of Israel. According to SPLT, “these groups frequently traffic in conspiracy theories involving the infiltration of the government by Islamist extremists, warn that the US legal system is being subverted by Shariah law and portray Muslims in general as potential terrorist threats”.

The American Christian Zionist group, Proclaiming Justice to the Nations (PJTN) is named amongst the 40 or so anti-Muslim hate groups. PJTN lobbies against the teaching of Islam in American schools, claiming that children were being indoctrinated into the religion. It is a petition on its website protesting against what it calls the “Access Islam curriculum in US schools.”

The Israeli government approved funds for PJTN for its lobbying of US lawmakers to proscribe state agencies from working with groups that support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. It’s also thought that PJTN was rewarded for mobilising Christian Zionists in South Africa, which is said to be a prime target of Israel’s public-diplomacy efforts.

READ: Israel is frustrated at the failure to tackle the BDS movement

Forward reported that the grant to PJTN was part of a broader push by the ministry to support pro-Israel groups fighting BDS in the United States, which has raised questions about whether those groups properly disclosed the support they received from foreign entities.

The Israeli government’s approval of funds to PJTN highlights the nexus between pro-Israel groups and the global rise in anti-Muslim hatred over the past two decades. Often described as the “Islamophobia industry”, the number of groups peddling hatred for Muslims and Islam has risen exponentially since the 2001 terror attack in New York.

A 2015 paper by Dr Hilary Aked concluded that there exists an “undeniable overlap” between right-wing Zionism and Islamophobia. The paper sought to identify the source of rising anti-Muslim hatred and found Israel related funding from Islamophobia industry donors to be a contributing factor.

(Source / 03.09.2020)

“The European Court recognition of the freedom of boycott is one step forward, we will build on it”


Henri Eichholtzer, one of twelve BDS activists who won historical case in the European Court of Human Rights speaks to Quds News Network

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Last June, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) gave a major blow to the pro-Israeli propaganda, which has for decades associated the Palestinian struggle and international solidarity with Palestine, to antisemitism. The court ruled in favor of twelve French Palestine solidarity activists from the Alsace branch of the France- Palestine Solidarity Association.

The activists were sued in French courts for charges of antisemitism and incitation to racial hatred, after they performed a public call for the boycott of Israeli products in the French city of Mulhouse, in the Alsace, in 2009. After years of judicial battling in French courts, the ECRH acquitted the twelve activists and recognized the boycott of Israeli products as a legitimate form of freedom of speech. The court decision sets a judicial precedent in Europe, at a time in which the Palestine solidarity movement faces attempts of delegitimization, and at a time in which the occupation state makes all efforts to normalize its relations with the Arab states.

Quds News Network met Henri Eichholtzer, one of the twelve activists acquitted by the ECHR, in an exclusive interview. He spoke of the ECHR ruling and its importance, of the Palestine solidarity movement in France and the challenges it faces, of the pro-Israeli groups’ use of antisemitism to repress the solidarity speech, and of the relation between the Palestinian people’s struggle and the international solidarity movement. Following is his full dialogue with our correspondent, Qassam Muaddi:

Did you expect, when you were first accused, that your case will bring about a European judicial precedent, establishing the boycott of ‘Israel’ as freedom of speech? How did it happen?

No, we didn’t. It all started in 2009, when about fifteen of us, all belonging to the France-Palestine Solidarity Asociation (AFPS) were holding a peaceful activity in a supermarket in Mulhouse, Eastern France. We placed some Israeli products in a shopping cart and made a public statement about it, demanding the supermarket to remove the products from their shelves because they fund occupation in Palestine. Next thing we knew we had a law-suit against us filed by a pro-Israeli group for antisemitism and incitation to racial discrimination.

First, the court of Mulhouse acquitted us, but then the pro-Israeli group appealed in front of the court of Colmar, and then we were sentenced to a heavy fee. We took it to the last instance of French justice, the court of cassation, which confirmed the sentence against us.

What was your reaction?

It was a shock. A hard blow to us and to the Palestine solidarity movement. It was then that we decided to go to the European Court of Human Rights -ECHR. We were confident of our case, and we were not willing to give up. Eventually, as we expected, the ECHR acquitted us and recognized the boycott of ‘Israel’ as a form of freedom of expression.

Although your activities focused on the boycott of commercial products, you were sued for racial incitation and antisemitism. What is the connection?

I would like to know that too, we should ask the pro-Israeli groups in France. In fact, these groups usually can’t face our message on Palestinian rights, which is why they evoke antisemitism and slander us. Many of these groups make part of the ‘CRIF’ (The representative council of Jewish institutions in France), whose direction is usually close to the Israeli government policies. In 2009, when our case started, the French minister of interior at the time, Michelle Alliot-Marie, had promised the CRIF in one of its PR dinners to block all anti-Israel boycott speech as a form of antisemitism.

We should note that not all the Jewish community in France has the same attitude. Many Jews supported us during our case and many Jews support the Palestinian cause as well. We also recognize that antisemitism does exist in France, but some politicians deliberately use the accusation to slander the Palestine solidarity movement and delegitimize it.

In 2017 French President Emmanuel Macron declared that anti-Zionism was a form of antisemitism. Before him, former Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that both terms were synonyms. Why do you think that French politicians take this position? And how does it affect the Palestine solidarity movement?

They do it because antisemitism is an easy accusation to make in France. It works very well in silencing people, and many politicians are personally close to pro-Israeli groups, who use the antisemitism card to silence us. These groups are very influential and many of them are connected to the Israeli government.

Our mission is to counter this influence, to clarify facts and explain to both our politicians and our society, that our solidarity of Palestine is a legitimate support of a just cause. It’s a difficult task that requires a lot of work and patience, but things are slowly advancing.

Why are they advancing so slowly?

Because there is a big amount of disinformation. People in France get their information from the same places. People from the older generation, like myself, read a specific newspaper that they trust or are used to and watch a TV channel that they prefer. Younger people get their information from the internet, which is more open and diverse, but nevertheless overwhelmed with superficial information and propaganda.

The pro-Israeli groups and ‘Israel’ itself invests heavily in white-washing its own image. A recent example is the Tour de France bike competitions, that were postponed to the end of this month of August. ‘Israel’ managed to get an Israeli team in the competitions, promoting it massively. We are currently engaging the organizers and the public, to explain that this is an attempt to present ‘Israel’ as a normal, liberal state, hiding its true face of occupation and war crimes.

Has there been any evolution in recent years on the level of information about Palestinian reality? How does your case impact such evolution?

Things advance slowly as I said, and again, require a lot of work. But Palestine solidarity is more present than before because the Palestinian cause has proved to be able to unite people from very different backgrounds. You can find far-left activists along-side Catholics and Muslims. Young people from the neighborhoods as well as retired citizens. Palestine as a cause can do that in France because everybody understands the essential values that the Palestinian cause stands for, namely Justice, freedom, and human rights.

As far as our case is concerned, the ruling of the ECHR is very important for freedom of expression. It guarantees our right to communicate, advocate, and inform about Palestine, not only in France but in Europe. At the same time, we have to be humble. Palestine is not on the top-list of public interest in France right now. Our victory in the ECHR had a limited impact on public opinion in France.

All solidarity groups celebrated it, whereas pro-Israeli groups attacked the ECHR, claiming that the ruling of the court will encourage, again, antisemitism. One of their websites called us, the activists acquitted by the court, “Islamo-leftists”. They have a strange way of making up names and slanders, but it doesn’t affect us. We will build on this victory and continue our work of solidarity for Palestine. The ruling of the ECHR is just one step forward.

How do you think the pro-Israeli lobby will respond to this ruling of the ECHR in favor of you and of the right to boycott ‘Israel’?

Normally, they can appeal until September. If they don’t, then the ruling becomes definitive. We don’t think though that they will appeal because the ruling is very solid. It came after a very long procedure and was pronounced by seven judges unanimously. There is no much of a chance to change the ruling, which is why we believe there will be no appeal.

It is a reality now, that the boycott of ‘Israel’ and calling to it is recognized as a right and a legitimate form of freedom of speech. This is not only a victory for the Palestine solidarity movement but rather a victory for freedom of speech in general.

What role do Palestinians have in your efforts in France and in the world?

Palestinians have the main role in continuing their resistance. We support their struggle, but it is their struggle. They also have an important role in acknowledging their cause and countering the false image that has been made of them and their cause.

We believe that it is very important to have a direct connection between the solidarity movement internationally and the Palestinian people in Palestine. We, in the French solidarity movement, have a direct connection with communities in Palestine. We make yearly visits to Palestine to strengthen these ties and get as many solidarity people in France to get in touch with Palestinian reality first-hand. We believe this to be very important because it is the Palestinian voice that we should communicate.

What message would you give to the Palestinian people in these moments, when some Arab states are normalizing relations with the occupation state?

We know that some Arab states are abandoning the Palestinian cause, but Palestinians can count on the solidarity of peoples all over the world. In France, we admire the energy and steadfastness of Palestinians. Your resistance and your determination are an inspiration to us. We know too well that the Palestinian people are not defeated or submitted, but rather the contrary, proud and strong people. We will continue to draw inspiration from your resistance and communicate it to the world.

(Source / 01.09.2020)