All posts for July 2009

Photos: Night demonstration in Bil’in

July 31st, 2009 | Posted in Boycott, Canada, Palestine, Quebec
    photo essay by Yotam Ronen ActiveStills

Photo: Yotam Ronen: ActiveStills. Palestinian lands under Israeli occupation at night.

Bil’in, Palestine has become an inspiring example of popular resistance to many across the world, as the small village in occupied Palestine has engaged in a consistent struggle against Israeli colonization, through weekly creative protests against the Israeli apartheid wall which is set to annex an estimated 60% of Bil’in’s land.

In June 2009, Bil’in village launched a historical lawsuit in Montreal against Green Park International and Green Mount International, two companies registered in Quebec. Members of Bil’in’s Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements and Emily Schaeffer, an Israeli lawyer representing the village of Bil’in were present in Montreal for the first hearings and also toured eleven cities across Canada. Bil’in’s lawsuit is rooted in the fact that the two companies are constructing illegal Israeli colonies on Bil’in’s lands in the West Bank which violates both international and Canadian law, specifically the Geneva Convention.


A night in Bilin

July 31st, 2009 | Posted in Boycott, Palestine
    Jody McIntyre, Electronic Intifada, 31 July 2009

    Photo: ActiveStills. Night demonstration in Bil’in, Palestine.

Over the last few weeks, the residents of Bilin have been subjected to constant night raids by the Israeli military, in retaliation to their weekly nonviolent demonstrations, now in their fifth year, against the Apartheid Wall, which has stolen over half of their land. So far, 17 youths have been arrested, some as young as 16 years of age, usually for their participation in the demonstrations. Many of the boys will not see their family again for months. With the situation getting critical, local activists of the Bilin Popular Committee called for a night demonstration to protest against the raids.

The village has become somewhat of a symbol of the Palestinian resistance, but they have often paid a heavy price for their spirit and resolve — the Israeli army respond to their non-violent actions with brutal force; tear gas, rubber-coated bullets, and live ammunition, in April of this year resulting in the death of Bassem Abu Rahma, a local resident.


United Church of Canada to debate boycott, divestment, and sanctions for Israel

July 31st, 2009 | Posted in Boycott, Canada, Palestine
    Georgia Straight, by Omar Barghouti and Sid Shniad.

    Photo: Palestinian walking in lands under Israeli occupation.

For several decades, the world has watched in frustration as the crisis in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory deepened. Confused by the details of what is alleged to be a highly complicated situation and loathed to be attacked for criticizing Israel lest they be vilified as anti-Semites, people who would otherwise be expected to play an active role in striving for an end to Israel’s occupation, colonization, and system of discrimination in accordance with international law have chosen to focus their attention elsewhere.


Israel admits white phosphorus use

July 31st, 2009 | Posted in Palestine
    Al Jazeera Friday, July 31, 2009.

    Photo: Palestinian boy killed by Israeli military forces in Gaza.

Israel has admitted to using white phosphorus during its war on the Gaza Strip earlier this year, but says it did so in accordance with international law.

The admission came in a 163-page document published by the Israeli foreign ministry on Thursday ahead of a UN report next week.

The Israeli army “used munitions containing white phosphorus” in Gaza, the document said, but it denied violating international law, saying it had not fired such weapons inside populated areas.


Report: Palestinian children prisoners

July 31st, 2009 | Posted in Palestine, Prisoners
    DCI-Palestine submits alternative report to UN Human Rights Committee.

    Photo: Darren Ell. Palestinian children in Rafah, Gaza Strip.

Ramallah, 30 July 2009 – On 29 July 2009, Defense for Children International (DCI-Palestine) submitted an Alternative Report to the UN Human Rights Committee which is scheduled to review Israel’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) (ICCPR) in October 2009.

The report focuses on the right to life (Article 6), torture and ill-treatment (Article 7), arbitrary detention (Article 9) and fair trial rights (Article 14) in the Israeli military court system which has operated in the Occupied Palestinian Territory for the last 42 years.


Gaza children shatter world record

July 30th, 2009 | Posted in Palestine
    Al Jazeera, by Ayman Mohyeldin in Gaza, July 30th, 2009.

    Photo: Palestine kite in the open sky.

It was an unlikely place to shatter a world record, but the beaches of the Gaza Strip were the venue for thousands of Palestinian children who flew the largest number of kites simultaneously from the same place.

The record that once stood at 713 has been broken, thanks to the efforts of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and about 6,000 kite-flying children.

The event is part of the Summer Games programme run by UNRWA – an activities and curricular programme set up for students during their break from the academic school year.


Entertaining Apartheid Israel Deserves No Amnesty!

July 30th, 2009 | Posted in Boycott, Palestine, Quebec
    open letter to Amnesty International, July 30, 2009

    Photo: Israel’s apartheid wall in Palestine.

In May, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) called on singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen to heed the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of Israel and avoid complicity with Israel’s violations of international law by cancelling his planned September concert in Israel, particularly in view of Israel’s war crimes in Gaza earlier this year. Sadly, according to a July 28 article in the Jerusalem Post, Amnesty International USA has agreed to cooperate with Cohen in dealing with Israel on the basis of business as usual.

Amnesty International USA will serve as sponsor of a new fund that will whitewash the money raised at Cohen’s concert in Israel by using it to finance programs for “peace.” Being one of the world’s strongest proponents of human rights and international law, you shall thus be subverting a non-violent, effective effort by Palestinian and international civil society to end Israel’s violations of international law and human rights principles. We call on you to be true to your values and immediately withdraw support for Leonard Cohen’s ill-conceived concert in Israel.


Israel bans use of Palestinian term ‘nakba’ in textbooks

July 30th, 2009 | Posted in Palestine
    Reuters, July 22nd, 2009.

    Photo: Palestinian Nakba in 1948.

Israel will remove from school textbooks an Arabic term that describes its creation in 1948 as a “catastrophe”, the Education Ministry said on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said when he was opposition leader two years ago the word “nakba” in Israeli Arab schools was tantamount to spreading propaganda against Israel.


Norway examines the ethics of its Israel investments

July 29th, 2009 | Posted in Boycott, Palestine
    Haartez, by Amira Hass, July 27th, 2009.

    Photo: Palestine solidarity graffiti in Europe.

Norway is reexamining its investments in several Israeli companies, in particular Elbit Systems. Two representatives of the Council on Ethics of the Norwegian finance ministry visited Israel at the beginning of June, in the wake of growing criticism of Israel in Norway in the months following last winter’s Israeli offensive in Gaza. The representatives met with, among others, groups of Palestinians and Israelis who claim that Norway invests in businesses directly involved in the Israeli occupation, which, they say, contradicts its commitment to abide by international law and to a just solution for the area.


Israel: Trendy bar bans soldiers in uniform

July 29th, 2009 | Posted in Boycott, Palestine
    Jerusalem Post, July 29th, 2009, by Abe Selig.


    Photo: Smoke over Gaza during Israeli army bombardment.

At a recently opened eco-friendly bar in Tel Aviv, customers can enjoy vegan delicacies, politic with left-wing activists or indulge in green-colored beer.

But wearing green may get them thrown out.

The Rogatka Bar – the word means “slingshot” in Russian and was used colloquially to describe slingshots used by Palestinian youth during the first intifada – has found itself at the heart of a fiery debate, after Army Radio reported earlier this week that the vegan eatery does not allow entry to IDF soldiers in uniform.


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