• Does Being ’Zionist Feminist’ Mean Betraying Women for Israel? - Tikun Olam תיקון עולם

    Rasmea Odeh participates in Detroit Black Lives Matter rally

    March 16, 2017 by Richard Silverstein Leave a Comment

    Yesterday, I wrote a critique of Emily Shire’s diatribe against the Women’s Strike Day USA protest. She especially singled out platform statements supporting Palestinian rights. Shire, a professed Zionist feminist, dismissed the criticisms of Israeli Occupation contained in the event platform as irrelevant to the issue of women’s rights. Then she launched into an attack on one of the conveners of the Strike Day, Rasmea Odeh. Shire alleges that Odeh is a convicted terrorist and former member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a U.S. designated terror group.

    A comment Deir Yassin published yesterday here got me to thinking further about this issue. I researched Rasmea’s case and the torture she endured. My view is this is precisely the sort of case and individual any women’s movement should embrace. Here is a summary of the facts of the case. In 1969, a cell of the PFLP planted bombs at a Jerusalem Super-Sol. They exploded, killing two Hebrew University students.
    shin bet torture

    Afterward, security forces arrested Odeh and jailed her without charges or access to counsel. She was tortured, by her account, for 45 days. Here is how she described her treatment in testimony to a UN commission on torture in Geneva:

    …”They beat me with sticks, plastic sticks, and with a metal bar. They beat me on the head and I fainted as a result of these beatings. They woke me up several times by throwing cold water in my face and then started all over again.”

    In addition to this physical torture, Odeh also faced sexual torture. Her father, a U.S. citizen, was also arrested and beaten, “and once they brought in my father and tried to force him under blows to take off his clothes and have sexual relations with me.” Later, interrogators “tore my clothes off me while my hands were still tied behind my back. They threw me to the ground completely naked and the room was full of a dozen or so interrogators and soldiers who looked at me and laughed sarcastically as if they were looking at a comedy or a film. Obviously they started touching my body.” In her father’s presence, interrogators threatened to “violate me” and “tried to introduce a stick to break my maidenhead [hymen].” Shackled naked from the ceiling, interrogators “tied my legs, which were spread-eagled, and they started to beat me with their hands and also with cudgels.”

    Every method described in her account is known from previous descriptions of the treatment of Arab terror suspects. We know, for example, that Doron Zahavi, an IDF AMAN officer, raped Mustafa Dirani in Prison 504. The beatings and positions she describes are also previously described in testimony by the Public Committee to Prevent Torture in Israel. Therefore, it’s not just conceivable that Rasmea endured the treatment she claims, it’s almost a certainty. Especially given that two Israelis were killed in the bombing.

    In summary, the Shin Bet tried to force her father to rape her. The interrogators themselves raped her and further degraded her sexually. And her father was tortured as a means of compelling her to confess. If this isn’t a perfect portrait of a cause that all feminists should embrace, I don’t know what is. So when Shire claims that Palestine is the farthest thing from what Women’s Strike Day’s mission should be, she’s engaging in willful blindness to the plight of another woman. A woman who happens to be Palestinian.

    Rasmea was tried and convicted in an Israeli military court, which features military judges and prosecutors using rules that favor the prosecution and shackle the hands of the defense. It can rule any evidence secret and so prevent the defense from seeing it, let alone rebutting it. Such a conviction could never withstand scrutiny under U.S. criminal procedures or even Israeli civilian courts.

    Further, Shire justifies her denunciation of Odeh by noting that Israel denies torturing Rasmea. So you have an Israeli security apparatus which is well-known for lying when evidence against it is damning. And you have Rasmea’s testimony, supported by scores of accounts by other security prisoners as to their treatment under similar circumstances. It reminds me of the story of the husband who returns home to find his wife in bed with another man. The man jumps out of bed and says: “Hey, this isn’t what this looks like. Nothing happened. I swear it. Who are you going to believe? Me, or your lyin’ eyes?” Emily Shire prefers to believe the agency that lies to her with a straight face. In doing so, she shows that she is a Zionist first and foremost; and a feminist second, if at all.

    As for the citizenship application infractions which the Justice Department is exploiting in order to expel her from the U.S.: she had been tortured once by Israel. Her decision to hide her previous conviction was surely founded on a fear that she might be deported once again back to Israel or Jordan (where Israel had sent her after her release from prison). The Jordanian security apparatus collaborates closely with Israeli intelligence. The former is quite handy with torture itself. Further, the U.S. judge in her first trial prohibited her attorney from raising torture as part of her defense. Her second trial will explicitly permit such testimony. Though I’m not privy to the defense strategy, I hope it will demand that a Shabak officer who participated in her interrogation testify at trial. And if his testimony diverges from the truth, I hope there is means to document this and hold him accountable. It would be one of the first times such an agent would be held accountable legally either inside or outside Israel.

    In the attacks against Rasmea, it’s certainly reasonable to bring up her participation in an act of terrorism: as long as you also examine the entire case against her. She admitted participation in the attack. But she denied placing the bomb in the supermarket. Despite her denial, this was the crime for which she was convicted. Further, Rasmea was released after serving ten years as part of a prisoner exchange. If Israel saw fit to release her, what is the point of using her alleged past crime against her today?

    As for her membership in a terror organization, she has long since left the militant movement. Her civic activism is solely non-violent these days. Further, virtually every leader of Israel for the first few decades of its existence either participated directly in, or ordered acts of terror against either British or Palestinian targets. Why do we grant to Israel what we deny to Palestinians?

    It may be no accident that two days before Shire’s broadside against the U.S. feminist movement (and Rasmea) in the NY Times, the Chicago Tribune published another hit-piece against her. The latter was credited to a retired Chicago professor. Her bio neglected to mention that she is also a Breitbart contributor who is the local coördinator for StandWithUs. This sin of omission attests either to editorial slacking or a deliberate attempt to conceal relevant biographical details which would permit readers to judge the content of the op-ed in proper context.

    The Tribune op-ed denounces Jewish Voice for Peace’s invitation to Rasmea to address its annual conference in Chicago later this month. As I wrote in last night’s post, what truly irks the Israel Lobby is the growing sense of solidarity among feminist, Jewish, Palestinian, Black and LGBT human rights organizations. Its response is to divide by sowing fear, doubt and lies in the media. The two op-eds in the Times and Tribute are stellar examples of the genre and indicate a coordinated campaign against what they deride as intersectionality.

    #Palestine #femmes #résistance #zionisme

  • Préservation de l’environnement : la #Malaisie veut s’inspirer du #Gabon pour produire l’#huile_de_palme propre - GABONACTU.COM

    Libreville, 25 janvier ( – Accusée par l’Union européenne (UE) de non-respect à la préservation de l’environnement, la Malaise, pays leader dans la production d’huile de palme dans le monde, s’inscrit dorénavant selon le « National Geographic », dans le développement durable en s’inspirant des mesures novatrices y relatives prises par le Gabon, pays producteur également d’huile de palme à travers le groupe agroindustrielle Olam.

  • Israel Sabotages Ceasefire Talks, Assassinating Hamas Commander, IDF Senior Commander Also Killed - Tikun Olam תיקון עולם

    Today, IDF commandos invaded Gaza in a night-time raid and murdered seven Hamas operatives, including the commander responsible for the tunnel defense system maintained by the Islamist rulers of the enclave. According to various media sources, the raid was exposed and Palestinian militants fought back fiercely. In order to free the IDF forces, the Israelis had to lay down a massive drone and air attack which permitted them to withdraw back to Israel.

    Israeli senior IDF officer killed Gaza
    The Israeli military censor has prohibited domestic media naming the Israeli commando who was killed. But an Israeli source has informed me he is Lt. Col. Mahmoud Kheireddine from the Druze village of Hurfeish. Another officer who was wounded is from Isfiya. They both served in Sayeret Matkal, Israel’s equivalent of the Navy SEALs. Kheireddine was deputy commander of the unit. Given the death of so high-ranking an IDF officer, something went terribly wrong on this mission.

    In response, Hamas has launched missiles into southern Israel and driven hundreds of thousands into air raid shelters. Once again, just as both sides thought they might be close to a ceasefire and/or a prisoner exchange, Israel rescued defeat from the jaws and victory and almost guaranteed a new escalation, if not war, against Gaza.

    A former IDF general has suggested that the raid was not an assassination attempt, but an attempt to capture the Hamas commander:

    Maj. Gen. (res.) Tal Russo, a former commander of the IDF Southern Command, indicated that the operation was likely an intelligence-gathering mission gone wrong, rather than an assassination.

  • Olam to pause Gabon forest clearance in victory for activists

    Olam, one of the world’s biggest traders of agricultural commodities, has agreed to a year-long moratorium on forest clearance in Gabon, marking a breakthrough for campaigners who have targeted the palm oil industry.

    By signing up you confirm that you have read and agree to the terms and conditions, cookie policy and privacy policy.

    The suspension follows criticism last year from a US-based environmental group that Olam has bulldozed rainforest in Gabon, one of central Africa’s prime wildlife sanctuaries due to its dense jungles, to clear land for palm-oil plantations.

    #Gabon #forêt #déforestation #industrie_palmiste #moratoire

  • Gabon: The battle over palm oil - African Business Magazine

    The campaign against palm oil could have profound implications for the sector’s development in Africa. Palm oil cultivation has become controversial because ecologically diverse areas of rainforest are often cut down to allow cultivation to take place. Huge areas of forest have been felled in Indonesia and Malaysia, affecting flora and fauna, and producing air pollution caused by forest fires when land is being cleared for palm oil plantation.

    According to Friends of the Earth and numerous other environmental NGOs, palm oil plantations are the fastest growing cause of rainforest destruction and an increasingly important cause of climate change.

    Palm oil produces almost quadruple oil yeild compared to sunflower or rapeseed oil, and the majority of the palm oil is produced in Indonesia and Malaysia. However, African countries have also been targeted for cultivation more recently.

    Olam is a major player in the global palm oil sector and a big investor in African agri-business. The company currently sources more than 99% of its palm oil from third-party suppliers. In 2011, it set up a palm oil and rubber cultivation joint venture with the government of Gabon, with equity shared 60:40 in favour of the Singaporean firm.

    #industrie_palmiste #plantations #Gabon #Afrique

  • Russia Becomes a Grain Superpower as Wheat Exports Explode

    “Russia will be among the top exporters for a long time, especially given the potential advances in productivity there,” said Tom Basnett, general manager at Market Check, a Sydney-based commodity consultant. “Other producers need to fight harder to maintain their traditional markets.”

    The boom in Russia is attracting some of the world’s biggest trading houses, with Olam International Ltd., Cargill Inc. and Glencore Plc investing into everything from silos to export terminals.

    Rich soil, government support and proximity to Black Sea ports for shipping means Russian costs can be as little as half those of major competitors supplying key import markets in the Middle East, according to researchers at Kansas State University.

    #Blé #Russie

  • Le Gabon veut devenir le premier producteur africain d’huile de palme

    Le président #Ali_Bongo a inauguré vendredi l’usine du groupe singapourien #Olam. AP PhotoAP Photo

    Le #Gabon se donne jusqu’à 2017 pour devenir le premier producteur africain d’#huile_de_palme.

    Le groupe singapourien Olam vient de lancer sa premiere usine de production de cette denrée dans le pays. Située à une centaine de km de Libreville, l’usine a été inaugurée vendredi 14 août par le président Ali Bongo. Ce dernier a fait du développement de ce secteur l’un des pilliers de son projet ’’Gabon vert’’.

    Reportage de Jean-Rovys Dabany, notre correspondant à Libreville

    ... 20 000 ha de #forêt détruite #déforestation...


  • Banque africaine de développement (BAD) du palmier à huile

    La BAD a approuvé le 26 juin un prêt de 80 millions de dollars au géant singapourien du palmier à huile, Olam, pour des investissements dans des unités de transformation de blé et de production d’huile de palme en Afrique. Le prêt est en fait concédé à une filiale « africaine » : Olam Aviv Investment Holdings Mauritius, holding détenue à 100 % par la firme mais qui profite de la fiscalité accueillante de l’île Maurice, paradis des fonds d’investissement dans l’agroindustrie africaine. Toutes les (...)

    226 (...)

    #226_-_juillet-aôut_2013 #Paradis_Fiscaux_et_Judiciaires #Brèves_d'Afrique_et_d'ailleurs

  • Acharnement politico-judiciaire contre Marc ONA ESSANGUI dans sa lutte contre l’accaparement des #terres par le groupe Olam au #Gabon - Survie France

    En effet, alors que de nombreuses familles gabonaises n’ont toujours pas digéré la destruction non concertée de centaines d’habitations à Libreville en 2010 sans indemnisation ni relogement, le gouvernement gabonais décide de concéder près de 300 000 hectares de terre à la compagnie Singapourienne Olam pour la production d’huile de palme et la réalisation de plantations d’hévéa cultures sans consulter au préalable les populations locales et avec une étude d’impacts biaisée, selon la société civile locale. Une contre étude réalisée par les experts de la société civile gabonaise montre les dégâts environnementaux, sociaux et économiques du projet.

    Une pétition ayant obtenue des milliers de signatures des communautés locales s’opposant au projet a eu le soutien d’une cinquantaine d’organisations internationales qui reconnaissaient par là le bien-fondé de cette lutte menée de front par Marc ONA ESSANGUI [2]. Malheureusement, toutes ces réactions n’ont pas suffi pour décourager le groupe Olam et le gouvernement gabonais qui se sont lancés dans des campagnes de séduction dans les médias et auprès des populations. Pourtant une réunion extraordinaire présidée par le Premier Ministre du Gabon a réuni les différents protagonistes et décidé de surseoir le projet. Hélas, le président de la République et les membres de son cabinet qui sont les principaux promoteurs de cette structure asiatique ont rejeté cette décision consensue

  • Coffee Colonialism : Olam Plantation Displaces Lao Farmers

    This was the second delegation to travel to Vientiane to protest what they claimed was unauthorized expansion of a commercial coffee plantation into their ancestral lands. In February, a larger, 10-man group arrived. After a popular call-in radio show interviewed them, the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic abruptly canceled the radio program without public explanation or legal basis, the Southeast Asian Press Alliance reported.

    These delegations, undertaken at great risk and considerable expense, challenged both Lao authorities and the Singapore-based agribusiness giant #Olam International, whose Lao based subsidiary Outspan Bolovens Limited, had taken their lands for a monoculture coffee plantation. Originally granted 150 hectares, #Outspan has already planted almost 1,500 hectares and is planning to cover double that—3,000 hectares—in coffee trees.

    #terres #agrobusiness #Laos

  • #Agrobusiness : le géant Olam poursuit sa stratégie africaine |

    Entre 2007 et mai 2011, Olam a procédé à 24 acquisitions et opérations d’investissement à travers le monde, pour un montant total de 1,2 milliard d’euros. Son portefeuille regroupe quelque 19 produits : noix de cajou, café, cacao, lait, sucre, épices, riz, engrais, bois, huile de palme…

    Le groupe entend ne rater aucune opportunité d’acquisition, aidé par ses différents directeurs répartis à Dakar, Lagos, Accra, Abidjan, Dar es-Salaam, Libreville et Durban. Derniers investissements en date : Crown Flour Mills (minoterie, pâtes alimentaires…) au Nigeria et TT Timber International (1,3 million d’hectares de forêt au Congo et 300 000 ha au Gabon). Biscuiteries, confiseries, industrie du lait, pâtes alimentaires, minoteries… Les prochains deals sont déjà à l’étude mais tenus confidentiels. « Nous allons investir en Afrique 1,4 milliard d’euros », rappelle Ranveer Chauhan, directeur général Afrique d’Olam.