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January 10 2018

mr-absentia

Israel publishes BDS blacklist: These are the 20 groups whose members will be denied entry

“Palestinians promoting a non-violent boycott campaign will now be barred from returning to their own homes in Palestine, as Israel’s systematic attempts to cleanse the land of Palestinians continues.‘The only democracy in the Middle East’ is denying entry to those pushing for peace through non-violent means.”palestinianliberator

May 22 2015

mr-absentia

Illinois Prohibits Funds from Going to Companies Working with Boycott Israel Groups

from jspacenews.com (May 14 2015):

The Illinois State House of Representatives Executive Committee unanimously passed a bill yesterday that would ban state pension funds from including companies that participate in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel in their portfolios.

The 10-0 committee vote follows the 49-0 passage of the measure in the Illinois State Senate and precedes a vote among the full Illinois House, after which point the bill would go to the desk of Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner for a signature into law.

B’nai B’rith International said in a statement that it “applauds Illinois citizens and their representatives for taking such a strong stance against a movement rooted in anti-Semitism that ultimately impedes the peace process by opposing constructive dialogue between Israel and Palestinians.”

State legislatures in Indiana and Tennessee last month passed resolutions condemning the BDS movement, but those measures were non-binding, as opposed to the Illinois legislation’s concrete economic action against BDS. According to B’nai B’rith, the Illinois bill’s proposed removal of BDS-participating companies from state pension portfolios “is based on existing legislation that the Illinois Investment Policy Board currently enforces, mandating that state pension funds be divested from foreign firms doing business in Iran, Sudan or other countries with known human rights violations.”

The Christian Zionist organization Proclaiming Justice to the Nations (PJTN), which initiated the anti-BDS resolution in Tennessee, has released a list of 17 U.S. states that are considering or have already passed legislation that opposes BDS.

“I am calling on Christians, Jews, and people of conscience in the remaining 33 states to add their voices to this groundbreaking initiative by contacting PJTN.org and launching this initiative in their states. It’s time to confront these people (BDS proponents) and call them what they are—anti-Semites!” PJTN founder Laurie Cardoza-Moore said in a statement.

May 13 2015

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Tags: Israel BDS
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Canadian Government to Use Hate Crime Laws on Critics of Israel | News | teleSUR English

“Canadian Government Just Killed Free Speech”standwithpalestine

“In January, Canada signed a memorandum of understanding with Israel to cooperate in effort to oppose a boycott campaign against Israel, boldly conflating criticism of Israel with ‘anti-Semitism.’

Israel already makes it illegal to participate in the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign.

Shortly after the signing of that agreement, Canadian Public Security Minister Steven Blaney attempted to tie the work of the peaceful BDS campaign with violent actions, adding that Canada would take a ‘zero tolerance’ approach with respect to largely student activist.

When asked by the CBC for clarification, an aide for Blaney responded by highlighting aspects of the criminal code that criminalize promotion of hatred against an identifiable group. The aide specifically mentioned the recent change that now disallows the targeting of a group of a shared ‘national or ethnic origin.’

The BDS campaign has attracted support from a wide range of groups in Canada, including labor unions and religious groups, who now fear they may be targeted and accused of committing a hate crime.

A spokesperson for the United Church of Canada, one of the groups supporting BDS, told the CBC that this was an effort by the Harper government to clamp down on dissent, while tying this effort to a recent piece of legislation passed by the Canadian House of Commons that greatly expands domestic spying powers.

Groups that defend civil liberties told say the work of the BDS campaign is constitutionally protected and that efforts to charge anyone with hate crimes for promoting a boycott of Israel would likely not survive a constitutional challenge.”

“The Harper government has been one of Israel's most ardent supporters, backing Israel's regular attacks on the Gaza strip, including the 2014 assault that left thousands of Palestinian civilians dead.”

May 08 2015

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Israeli company loses 2016 Rio Olympics’ security contract it had claimed to have been awarded | BDSmovement.net

“More than 30 Brazilian social movements and progressive organisations had called on the Brazilian government to exclude International Security and Defence Systems from Olympics contracts after the Israeli company announced in October 2014 that it had been awarded a $2.2bn deal to coordinate security at the games.

On April 8, the Ministry of Justice’s Special Secretariat for Mega-events (Sesge/MJ) replied to their letter by explaining that ISDS has not been awarded any contracts.

The reply from Sesge/MJ also stated that ‘any contract made by Rio 2016 won’t result in compromises by the Brazilian government’, a phrase campaigners are interpreting as a clear sign that government officials were sympathetic to their demands.

ISDS had originally announced it had been awarded a contract by the Organising Committee for the 2016 Games. When overall responsibility for security at the games shifted to the Brazilian government, Brazilian social movements began calling on the Brazilian government to ensure that the apparent deal would not remain in place.

The letter to key Sesge/MJ official Andrei Rodrigues signed by Brazilian social movements, political parties, workers unions, and different associations set out how ISDS is accused of having ties to coups, death squares and dictatorships in Central America, as well as close links with the Israeli military.

Campaigners are now preparing to pressure the Olympics Committee to cancel a separate ‘official supplier’ deal with ISDS.

Jaman Juma, coordinador of the Stop the Wall movement, said:

‘For us, boycotting this company is paradigmatic: Israel develops its methodologies and technologies through the killing and repression of the Palestinian people, and then it sells them worldwide. The end of military and security relations with Israel is an act of defense. Not only for the Palestinian people, it is an act of defense for humanity.’

Julio Turra, executive director of the biggest Brazilian workers’ union, CUT, one of the signatories of the letter to Coesrio2016, said:

‘We are glad with the information the government distances itself from ISDS. It would be illegal and shameful to hire a company that develops its technologies in complicity with Israeli crimes and that accumulates complaints about its participation in Central American dictatorships.’

Mahmoud Nawajaa, General Coordinador of the BDS Palestinian National Committee (BNC), said:

‘We welcome the fact that the Brazilian government categorically states it has no commercial relation with ISDS. We expect that no similar company will be hired. It is important that Brazil walks towards a fully military embargo against Israel’.

‘Brazilians can be sure they will have the support from the Palestinian and international civil society on this campaign against ISDS in the Olympic Games’.”

May 03 2015

mr-absentia

US Senate approves bill protecting Israeli settlements

  • “The US Senate approved the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 on Wednesday in a move which is clearly designed to protect illegal Israeli settlements built across the occupied Palestinian territories, Al-Quds newspaper has reported. The act is intended to counter boycott and divestment initiatives, including the labelling of goods originating in the settlements. Such activities will now be ‘against US law and consequently illegal’, even though international law deems all settlements to be illegal. One of the senators who worked on the legislation is Ben Cardin of Maryland, a known supporter of Israel.”

  • “The first Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) initiative against the Israeli occupation of Palestine was launched in the US 11 years ago. It targeted illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. Pressure has also been applied on US universities dealing with Israeli scientific institutions, demanding that Israel ends its aggression against Palestinians.”

  • “America's main pro-Israel lobby organisation, AIPAC, has so far failed to connect the deal about Iran with several issues, but has succeeded in getting overwhelming support in the legislature to fight the BDS movement and the labelling of Israeli settlements as ‘illegal’. It has even persuaded US politicians to label such initiatives as a general boycott of Israel as ‘illegal’.”

March 23 2015

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February 25 2015

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Israeli intelligence veterans threatened to launch a major cyber attack on South Africa unless the government crushed a pro-Palestinian activist movement, according to leaked documents revealed Tuesday.

On June 28, 2012, South Africa's then Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan received a letter issuing an ultimatum: unless the South African government stamp out the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign within 30 days his country's financial sector and banking network would be thrown into chaos by aggressive cyberattacks.

The details of the letter were revealed in leaked documents obtained by Al Jazeera and the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper.

The cyberattacks appear to never have taken place, though according to an Al Jazeera report, the authors of the letter received by Gordhan claimed to be former agents from Israeli intelligence agency Mossad.

The authors boasted of being part of the team that developed Stuxnet – a virus that devastated Iran's nuclear program in 2010.

Earlier this month, Russian researchers discovered malware related to Stuxnet that is difficult to detect even for security experts, and almost impossible to remove.
Israeli Ex-Agents Threatened South Africa over Boycott Campaign (teleSUR, Feb. 25 2015)

February 06 2015

mr-absentia

UK government tries to smear "boycott Israel" call as anti-Jewish | The Electronic Intifada

“In one section, the [recent British government] report uses the following wording:

Calls to boycott contact with academics working in Israel are an assault on academic freedom and intellectual exchange. We recommend that pro-democracy lecturers in the new University and College Lecturers Union are given every support to combat such selective boycotts that are anti-Jewish in practice. We would urge the new union’s executive and leadership to oppose the boycott.

The genuine Palestinian statement on academic boycott, however, makes it clear that individual Israeli academics are not the target of the boycott call. Rather, the boycott targets Israeli academic institutions. Guidelines issued by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), state:

Anchored in precepts of international law and universal human rights, the BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctions] movement, including PACBI, rejects on principle boycotts of individuals based on their identity (such as citizenship, race, gender, or religion) or opinion. If, however, an individual is representing the State of Israel or a complicit Israeli institution (such as a dean, rector, or president), or is commissioned/recruited to participate in Israel’s efforts to “rebrand” itself, then her/his activities are subject to the institutional boycott the BDS movement is calling for.

It is also worth noting that many BDS advocates signed a 2012 letter against all forms of racism and bigotry. That letter opposes ‘the cynical and baseless use of the term anti-Semitism as a tool for stifling criticism of Israel or opposition to Zionism, as this assumes simply because someone is Jewish, they support Zionism or the the colonial and apartheid policies of the State of Israel, a false generalization.’”

“Other problematic aspects of the government report include the portrayal of sympathy and solidarity with Palestinian victims of the Israeli war machine by local authorities in Britain as somehow equating to anti-Semitism, as seen in statements such as: ‘This year we also saw councils misjudging their remits, with Leicester City Council, banning Israeli-manufactured products, and Tower Hamlets flying the Palestinian flag.’

In portraying Palestine solidarity as anti-Semitic, the report hews to the line held by the State of Israel, which attempts to claim a representative role in respect of the global Jewish population. In reality, of course, many Jews around the world either have little interest in or reject Israel’s acts.

Claiming that actions such as the flying of the Palestinian flag by the London borough of Tower Hamlets and by other councils in Britain are associated with anti-Semitism obscures and cheapens the existence of a genuine problem of anti-Semitism in many parts of Europe.”

“Antony Lerman — a genuine expert on the problem of anti-Semitism and anti-Jewish violence in Europe — has strongly criticized the CST [Community Security Trust, a Brithsh “charity” which purports to monitor anti-Semitism] for its conflation of anti-Semitism with any moves to question the behavior of the State of Israel.

Lerman accused the CST in 2014 of ‘abusing its mandate’ by going beyond its proper — and entirely legitimate — role of ensuring the safety of Britain’s Jewish community, and instead choosing to defend indefensible acts such as the mass killing of civilians in Gaza.

Lerman went on to say of the CST that its acts in ‘providing political cover for Israel in this way takes the CST into the realm of partisan political action that hardly seems compatible with its charitable status.’

He also suggested that the CST was ‘muddy[ing] the waters when they seem to be encouraging hysteria and feeding paranoia’ through the organization’s claims that anti-Israeli protests during the summer 2014 onslaught on Gaza constituted, first and foremost, a wave of anti-Semitism.”

mr-absentia

Palestinian civil society condemns Canadian government disinformation and repression against boycott movement | BDSmovement.net

“Rather than seeking to hold Israel to account for its war crimes during the recent military assault on Gaza and its intensified colonization of the occupied West Bank, particularly in Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley, the Canadian government is further deepening its collaboration with Israel’s occupation and launching a shameful, propagandistic attack on free speech in the process.”

“The Canadian government’s continued unconditional support for Israel’s colonial policies and its smear campaign against BDS highlight the deeply ideological and reactionary character of this government. Canada is sending Israel the message that it can act with total impunity in violating human rights and international law.”

“Sadly, while claiming to defend free speech the current Canadian government is among the most repressive in the west; it has gone farther than most in suppressing free speech and infringing the rights of its own civil society, including trade unions, community and faith groups, to participate in human rights campaigning, as in boycotts against Israel’s injustices.”

“At a time when people of conscience the world over are joining the Palestinian BDS movement for freedom, justice and equality and connecting it with their own struggles for social and economic justice, equal rights, indigenous rights, minority rights, and environmental protection, the Canadian government is standing on the wrong side of history, supporting a pernicious regime of Israeli occupation, colonialism and apartheid.”

— Rafeef Ziadah, a secretariat member of the the Palestinian BDS National Committee

mr-absentia
It’s time. Long past time. The best strategy to end the increasingly bloody occupation is for Israel to become the target of the kind of global movement that put an end to apartheid in South Africa.
— Naomi Klein, in her 2009 article endorsing BDS against Israel’s regime of occupation and oppression (via BDSmovement.net)

February 05 2015

mr-absentia

@Pray4Pal: University of California approves boycotting Israel

Tags: US Israel BDS

January 30 2015

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August 29 2014

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August 25 2014

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August 21 2014

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August 20 2014

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August 18 2014

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