organization:bds

  • Rashida Tlaib Plans to Lead Delegation to Palestine
    Alex Kane, Lee Fang | December 3 2018
    https://theintercept.com/2018/12/03/rashida-tlaib-palestine-israel-aipac-congress-trip

    Rashida Tlaib, a Democratic representative-elect from Michigan, belongs to a cohort of incoming members of Congress who’ve vowed to upend the status quo — even on third-rail issues in Washington like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. To that end, Tlaib is planning to lead a congressional delegation to the Israeli-occupied West Bank, she told The Intercept. Her planned trip is a swift rebuke of a decades-old tradition for newly elected members: a junket to Israel sponsored by the education arm of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, known as AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel lobby group.

    The AIPAC trips are among the lesser-known traditions for freshman members of Congress. They’re typically scheduled during the first August recess in every legislative session and feature a weeklong tour of Israel and meetings with leading Israeli figures in business, government, and the military. Both critics and proponents of the AIPAC freshmen trip say the endeavor is incredibly influential, providing House members with a distinctly pro-Israel viewpoint on complex controversies in the region. In recent years, the Democratic tour has been led by incoming Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md. Incoming Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., traditionally leads the Republican trip. (...)

    #Rashida_Tlaib

    • Et affiche son soutien au mouvement BDS :

      Tlaib’s challenge to AIPAC isn’t limited to leading a separate trip to the region. In her interview with The Intercept, she for the first time came out in support of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, the movement known as BDS that seeks to punish Israel over its human rights abuses.

      “I personally support the BDS movement,” said Tlaib. She added that economic boycotts are a way to bring attention to “issues like the racism and the international human rights violations by Israel right now.”


  • Israel’s Supreme Court grants Lara Alqasem’s appeal; she will be allowed to enter the country
    Haaretz.com | Noa Landau and Jonathan Lis Oct 19, 2018 5:18 AM
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israel-s-supreme-court-accepts-lara-alqasem-s-appeal-she-will-be-a

    U.S. student Lara Alqasem will be allowed to enter Israel after the Supreme Court accepted on Thursday her appeal against the decision to prevent her entry. Alqasem, whom the state claimed was a BDS activist, was held over two weeks in a detainment center at Ben-Gurion International Airport despite receiving a student visa from an Israeli consulate prior to her arrival.

    Alqasem, 22, was detained at Ben-Gurion Airport upon her arrival on October 2 after she was flagged as a BDS activist. Alqasem, who has a student visa and is enrolled in a master’s program in human rights at the Hebrew University, has been detained ever since.

    “I’m relieved at the court’s decision and incredibly grateful for the work of my amazing and tireless lawyers Yotam Ben Hillel and Leora Bechor as well as the support of my family and friends. I will be happy to say more when I’ve had a chance to rest and process,” Alqasem told Haaretz following her release.

    “Since the appellant’s actions do not raise satisfactory cause to bar her to entry to Israel, the inevitable impression is that invalidating the visa given to her was due to the political opinions she holds,” read the verdict. “If this is truly the case, then we are talking about an extreme and dangerous step, which could lead to the crumbling of the pillars upon which democracy in Israel stands,” the verdict continued.

    “The Law of Entry to Israel is intended to protect the state’s sovereignty, and the public’s safety and security. It does not have a component of penalty, or revenge for previous bad behavior,” Justice Neal Hendel said.

    “Despite the obstacles in her way the appellant insists on her right to study at the Hebrew University. This conduct is not in keeping, in an understatement, with the thesis that the she’s an undercover boycott activist,” he continued.

    “The Interior Ministry has openly admitted that it does not have any evidence of the appellant’s engaging in boycott activity since April 2017, except for mysterious ’indications’ whose essence hasn’t been clarified and regarding which no evidence has been submitted,” Neal noted.

    “The material submitted regarding the appellant’s activity in the SJP organization shows that even at that stage the boycott activity was minor and limited in character,” Neal added. “There’s no doubt the SJP cell indeed supported boycotting Israel – and this position must be roundly condemned. It is also presumable that the appellant, who played a role in the cell and for three years was one of its few members, was partner to this unworthy activity. However, it is impossible to ignore the cell’s sporadic and relatively minor character. In itself, it certainly was not one of the prominent boycott organizations and it is doubtful whether the appellant could be seen as filling the criteria [required in the law?] even when she had a position in it.”

    Neal continued, saying that “alongside the random indications of the appellant’s involvement in BDS activity during her studies, it is impossible to ignore the testimonies of her lecturers about her complex approach, the curiosity she displayed toward Israel and Judaism and her readiness to conduct an open, respectful dialogue – which is in stark contrast to the boycott idea.”

    “The struggle against the BDS movement and others like it is a worthy cause. The state is permitted, not to say obliged, to protect itself from discrimination and the violent silencing of the political discourse. It may take steps against the boycott organizations and their activists. In this case, preventing the appellant’s entry does not advance the law’s purpose and clearly deviates from the bounds of reasonability,” Neal concluded.

    Justice Anat Baron said that “there was no place to deny the appellant the entry visa she had been granted, because clearly she doesn’t now and hasn’t for a long time engaged in boycotting Israel, not to mention engaging in ’active, continuing and substantial’ work in this matter. The decision to deny the appellant’s entry visa is unreasonable to the extent that it requires intervention.”

    #Lara_Alqasem #BDS #Douane #Frontière #Aéroport #expulsions_frontières (d’israel)

    • @kassem ???

      La Cour suprême annule l’interdiction d’entrée de Lara Alqasem
      L’étudiante américaine, accusée d’être en faveur du BDS, entamera un master en droit à l’Université hébraïque de Jérusalem dès la semaine prochaine
      Par AFP et Times of Israel Staff 18 octobre 2018, 20:36
      https://fr.timesofisrael.com/la-cour-supreme-annule-linterdiction-dentree-dune-etudiante-americ

      L’étudiante avait interjeté un ultime appel dimanche, le jour où elle devait être expulsée du centre d’immigration de l’aéroport où elle était détenue depuis deux semaines.

      Il s’agit d’un des cas les plus médiatisés de refus d’accès au territoire israélien en vertu d’une loi adoptée en 2017 : celle-ci permet d’interdire l’entrée aux partisans du mouvement BDS (Boycott, Désinvestissement, Sanctions) appelant au boycott économique, culturel ou scientifique d’Israël.

      Lara Alqasem avait présidé en 2017, au cours de ses études en Floride (sud-est des Etats-Unis), une branche du « Students for Justice in Palestine », organisation menant des campagnes de boycott contre Israël. Mais elle a dit avoir quitté ensuite le mouvement.

      Lors d’une audience devant la Cour suprême mercredi, l’avocat de Lara Alqasem avait déclaré que l’Etat devrait faire preuve de bon sens quant à l’application de la loi contre les partisans de la campagne BDS.

      « Pourquoi voudrait-elle entrer en Israël pour appeler à boycotter ? » ce pays, s’était interrogé son avocat, Me Yotam Ben Hillel.


  • Private Israeli Spies Proposed Attack On #BDS Advocates – The Forward
    https://forward.com/news/national/411798/israeli-spy-firm-that-approached-trump-first-proposed-dirty-tricks-against

    In late 2015, the Israeli private intelligence firm #Psy-Group approached an ad hoc group of Jewish donors with a proposal to covertly undermine the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. According to a summary of the proposal reviewed by the Forward, Psy-Group said it would seek to damage specific individuals and organizations associated with the BDS movement by disrupting their activities, or leading them to be investigated by the authorities. It also said it would run a media influence campaign.

    Psy-Group, whose employees were veterans of the Israeli intelligence apparatus, emphasized that it would work in utmost secrecy, covering up any financial or technological links to its activities. It said that none of the actions would be traceable to Jews or Israelis.


  • George P. Smith, lauréat du prix Nobel est un pro palestinien de longue date et militant de BDS
    AURDIP - 5 octobre | Allison Kaplan Sommer pour Haaretz |Traduction CG pour l’AURDIP
    https://www.aurdip.org/george-p-smith-laureat-du-prix.html

    Le scientifique « antisioniste » dit s’opposer à la « souveraineté ethnique juive sur d’autres peuples » et il apparaît sur le site internet de la controversée Mission Canary

    George P. Smith, un des lauréats du Prix Nobel de chimie 2018 est un vétéran du soutien au mouvement de boycott, désinvestissement et sanctions, dans le cadre de son militantisme pro palestinien.

    Smith, qui est professeur émérite de biologie de l’Université du Missouri à Columbia, a été désigné mercredi comme co lauréat du prestigieux prix pour ses efforts de maîtrise du développement de la production de nouveaux enzymes et anticorps.

    L’activité politique de Smith en a fait une figure controversée à l’Université du Missouri, où il est professeur titulaire et une cible de groupes pro israéliens. On peut le voir sur le site internet controversé de la Mission Canary qui publie des dossiers en ligne sur des professeurs, des étudiants et des intervenants pro palestiniens sur les campus ; et il a été signalé par des représentants d’Israël dans le cadre du refus de laisser entrer des militants dans le pays. (...)

    • Nobel Prize Winner Supports BDS Movement For Palestinian Rights, Ending Military Aid to Israel
      October 6, 2018 5:16 AM IMEMC News
      http://imemc.org/article/nobel-prize-winner-supports-bds-movement-for-palestinian-rights-ending-milita

      Dr. Samia Botmeh, Dean at Birzeit University in the occupied Palestinian West Bank and leading activist in the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), said:


      Congratulations to Professor George P. Smith for winning the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. His principled commitments are evident in both his scientific work to protect human life and his support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights.

      Professor Smith has consistently spoken out against Israel’s egregious violations of Palestinian human rights, and taken the extremely important step of calling on his government in the United States to end arms sales to the Israeli military. His call to end military aid to Israel is not only deeply principled, but a critical and effective form of solidarity that we hope to see multiplied. The US government should be investing in human needs, including health, education and dignified jobs, rather than giving Israel $3.8 billion in military aid a year to repress and destroy Palestinian life.

      Thank you Professor Smith for your inspiring solidarity.


  • Official documents prove: Israel bans young Americans based on Canary Mission website - Israel News - Haaretz.com

    Some Americans detained upon arrival in Israel reported being questioned about their political activity based on ’profiles’ on the controversial website Canary Mission. Documents obtained by Haaretz now clearly show that is indeed a source of information for decisions to bar entry

    Noa Landau SendSend me email alerts
    Oct 04, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-official-documents-prove-israel-bans-young-americans-based-on-cana

    The Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy Ministry is using simple Google searches, mainly the controversial American right-wing website Canary Mission, to bar political activists from entering Israel, according to documents obtained by Haaretz.
    >>Israeli court rejects American visa-holding student’s appeal; to be deported for backing BDS
    The internal documents, some of which were submitted to the appeals tribunal in the appeal against the deportation of American student Lara Alqasem, show that officials briefly interviewed Alqasem, 22, at Ben-Gurion International Airport on her arrival Tuesday night, then passed her name on for “continued handling” by the ministry because of “suspicion of boycott activity.” Israel recently passed a law banning the entry of foreign nationals who engage in such activity.

    >> Are you next? Know your rights if detained at Israel’s border

    Links to Canary Mission and Facebook posts are seen on an official Ministry of Strategic Affairs document.
    The ministry then sent the officials at the airport an official report classified “sensitive” about Alqasem’s supposed political activities, which included information from five links – four from Facebook and one, the main source, from the Canary Mission site, which follows pro-Palestinian activists on U.S. campuses.
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    A decision on Alqasem’s appeal against her deportation was expected Thursday afternoon.
    Canary Mission, now the subject of major controversy in the American Jewish community, has been collecting information since 2015 about BDS activists at universities, and sends the information to potential employers. Pro-Israel students have also criticized their activities.

    Lara Alqasem.
    This week, the American Jewish news site The Forward reported that at least $100,000 of Canary Mission’s budget had been contributed through the San Francisco Jewish Federation and the Helen Diller Family Foundation, which donates to Jewish education. The donation was handed to a group registered in Beit Shemesh called Megamot Shalom, specifically stating that it was for Canary Mission. A few hours after the report was published, the federation announced that it would no longer fund the group.
    Over the past few months some of the Americans who have been detained for questioning upon arrival in Israel have reported that they were questioned about their political activity based on “profiles” about them published on Canary Mission. The documents obtained by Haaretz now show clearly that the site is indeed the No. 1 source of information for the decision to bar entry to Alqasem.
    According to the links that were the basis for the decision to suspend the student visa that Alqasem had been granted by the Israeli Consulate in Miami, she was president of the Florida chapter of a group called Students for Justice in Palestine, information quoted directly from the Canary Mission. The national arm of that organization, National Students for Justice in Palestine, is indeed on the list of 20 groups that the Strategic Affairs Ministry compiled as criteria to invoke the anti-boycott law. However, Alqasem was not a member at the national level, but rather a local activist. She told the appeals tribunal that the local chapter had only a few members.

    Canary Mission’s profile of Lara Alqasem.
    The ministry also cited as a reason for barring Alqasem’s entry to Israel a Facebook post showing that “In April 2016 [her] chapter conducted an ongoing campaign calling for the boycott of Sabra hummus, the American version of Hummus Tzabar, because Strauss, which owns Tzabar, funds the Golani Brigade.” Alqasem told the tribunal that she had not taken an active part in this campaign. Another link was about a writers’ petition calling on a cultural center to refuse sponsorship by Israel for its activities. Yet another post, by the local Students for Justice in Palestine, praised the fact that an international security company had stopped operations in Israel. None of these links quoted Alqasem.
    She told the tribunal that she is not currently a member of any pro-boycott group and would not come to study for her M.A. in Israel if she were.
    The Strategic Affairs Ministry report on Alqasem is so meager that its writers mentioned it themselves: “It should be noted that in this case we rely on a relatively small number of sources found on the Internet.” Over the past few months Haaretz has been following up reports of this nature that have been the basis for denying entry to activists, and found that in many other cases the material consisted of superficial Google searches and that the ministry, by admission of its own senior officials, does not collect information from non-public sources.
    skip - Facebook post calling for the boycott of Sabra hummus

    The ministry’s criteria for invoking the anti-boycott law state clearly that in order to bar entry to political activists, they must “hold senior or significant positions in the organizations,” including “official senior roles in prominent groups (such as board members).”
    But the report on Alqasem does not indicate that she met the criterion of “senior” official in the national movement, nor was this the case for other young people questioned recently at the airport. In some cases it was the Shin Bet security service that questioned people due to past participation in activities such as demonstrations in the territories, and not BDS activities.
    “Key activists,” according to the ministry’s criteria, also means people who “consistently take part in promoting BDS in the framework of prominent delegitimization groups or independently, and not, for example, an activist who comes as part of a delegation.” In Alqasem’s case, however, her visa was issued after she was accepted for study at Hebrew University.


  • Israel is too strong
    If Israel were weaker, it would work harder to be accepted in the region. If it were less strong, Israel would have had to put an end to the curse of the occupation
    Gideon Levy | Sep 08, 2018 11:36 PM
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-israel-is-too-strong-1.6464641

    In the end, after deducting all the other ills, we find that the worst of them all, the mother of all disasters, is that Israel is too strong. If it weren’t so strong – too strong – it would be more just. If it couldn’t do whatever it felt like doing, its conduct would be more moral and more considerate. A good part of its crimes and whims comes from its power drunkenness. A good part of what it does stems from the fact that it simply can. It can thumb its nose at the whole world; ignore international law; control another people by force for generations; infringe on the sovereignty of its neighbors; act like it’s the be-all and the end-all, only because it has the power to do so.

    Like any other country, Israel needs to be strong. Weakness might indeed lead to its destruction, as Israelis are told constantly from the day they are born. But too much power has ruined it and caused it damage of a different kind. It’s not its weakness, as it describes itself – surrounded by enemies that seek only to destroy it, little David facing Goliath – that molded its character. It’s the overabundance of power that it has accumulated that has molded it more than anything else. If Israel were weaker, it would work harder to be accepted in the region. If it were less strong, Israel would have had to put an end to the curse of the occupation.

    Even if it was born in sin, Israel is not a country of particularly bad people. Even the arrogance Israelis show the whole world is not an inborn trait. Israel probably did not intend to become what it is: a regional power, which largely dictates to the most powerful country, the United States, how it should conduct itself; a country that many others court and even fear and at the same time is considered an outcast by anyone with a conscience. Israel has become this way because it is brimming with power. It accumulated it gradually, and today it has reached its zenith.

    Israel has never been stronger. It is not by chance that now its image is at the lowest point in its history. That’s the price of too much power.

    Israel is walloping the whole world. Not only with the occupation, which it continues undisturbed despite the opposition of most of the world; not only in the horrific siege on Gaza and its cruel attacks on it, which include war crimes that Israel is never punished for; not only with the settlements, whose legitimacy most of the world also doesn’t recognize – the entirety of its foreign policy says hubris.

    The daily bombings in Syria and other countries and regular flyovers of Lebanon as if there were no border and no tomorrow; arrogant, criminal, unrestrained international assassinations; leading the world to fight the Iranian nuclear program; the shocking international criminalization campaign against the BDS movement; the fact that it refrains from signing international treaties to which all democratic countries are signatories; that it endlessly disregards resolutions by international bodies; attempts to interfere in the domestic matters of its neighbors, becomes involved in wars that have nothing to do with it and even attempts to stir things up in the European Union and lead to disunity there; takes subversive action against the (former) president of the United States and closes its embassy in Paraguay only because the latter took a step that Israel didn’t like – doing all of these things like it’s a superpower.

    It’s hard to think of another country that is not the United States, Russia or China that would dare to act like this. Israel can.

    Ostensibly, this is a dizzying success of the Zionist enterprise. Who would have dreamed that we’d become like this? In fact, this is the greatest threat to its justness. Except for a few mishaps, like in 1973, this power drunkenness has so far continued without Israel having to pay any significant price, except in terms of its image, which it has also learned to disregard.

    On the eve of the new year, Israel is not facing challenges that endanger its belligerent super-powerful status. It seems that it can probably go on doing what it is doing – in the occupied territories, the Middle East and the whole world.

    Only history itself insists on reminding us from time to time that such shows of unbridled power drunkenness usually end badly. Very badly.


  • L’article d’une DJ israélienne à propos des annulations récentes. Quelques points à noter :
    1) elle n’est pas surprise de l’annulation de Lana del Rey
    2) elle est surprise en revanche de l’annulation de DJs, car ce milieu n’était pas touché par la politique et BDS, et elle se demande si ce n’est pas le début de quelque chose...
    3) elle cite Gaza, la loi sur l’Etat Nation, les arrestations d’activistes à l’aéroport, mais aussi la proximité entre Trump et Netanyahu, qui influence surtout les artistes américains
    4) on apprend que tout le monde sait qu’il y a des artistes, et non des moindres, qui même s’ils ne le disent pas ouvertement, ne viendront jamais en israel : Beyoncé, The Knife, Grizzly Bear, Arcade Fire, Deerhunter, Sonic Youth, Lil Yachty, Tyler the Creator, Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper, Vince Staples, Moodymann, Kyle Hall, the Martinez Brothers, Ben UFO, DJ Ricardo Villalobos, Matthew Herbert, Andrew Weatherall... C’est ce qu’on appelle le boycott silencieux...
    5) il y a aussi le cas de ceux qui ne viennent que si les concerts sont organisés par des Palestiniens : Acid Arab et Nicolas Jaar
    6) même si cela me semble faux, le fait d’accuser certains artistes de boycotter parce que c’est à la mode est un aveu que BDS a le vent en poupe dans le milieu de la musique

    The Day the Music Died : Will BDS Bring Tel Aviv’s Club Scene to a Standstill ?
    Idit Frenkel, Haaretz, le 7 septembre 2018
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-the-day-the-music-died-will-bds-halt-tel-aviv-s-club-scen

    Lana Del Rey should have known better. And if not Del Rey herself, then at least her managers, PR people and agents.

    As the highest-profile artist who was scheduled to appear at the Meteor Festival over the weekend in the north, it was clear she’d be the one caught in the crossfire , the one boycott groups would try to convince to ditch an appearance in Israel. That’s the same crossfire with diplomatic, moral and economic implications that confronted Lorde, Lauryn Hill and Tyler, the Creator: musicians who announced performances in Israel and changed their minds because of political pressure.

    Del Rey, however, isn’t the story. Her cancellation , which included some mental gymnastics as far as her positions were concerned, could have been expected. Unfortunately, we’ve been there many times and in many different circumstances.

    Tsunami of cancellations

    The ones who caught us unprepared by drafting an agenda for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict turned out to be DJs like Shanti Celeste, Volvox, DJ Seinfeld, Python and Leon Vynehall, who also dropped out of Meteor. Why was this unexpected? Because Israel’s nightlife and clubbing scene – especially in Tel Aviv – had been an oasis regarding cultural boycotts, an extraterritorial hedonistic space with no room for politics.

    The current tsunami of cancellations, while it might sound trivial if you’re untutored in trance music, could reflect a trend with effects far beyond the Meteor Festival. In the optimistic scenario, this is a one-off event that has cast the spotlight on lesser-known musicians as well. In the pessimistic scenario, this is the end of an era in which the clubbing scene has been an exception.

    Adding credence to the change-in-direction theory are the cancellations by DJs who have spun in Tel Aviv in recent years; Volvox, Shanti Celeste and Leon Vynehall have all had their passports stamped at Ben-Gurion Airport. And those times the situation wasn’t very different: Benjamin Netanyahu was prime minister, the occupation was decades long and there were sporadic exchanges of fire between the sides.

    Moreover, two of the DJs spearheading the struggle on the nightlife scene regarding Mideast politics – the Black Madonna and Anthony Naples – have been here, enjoyed themselves, been honored and promised to return, until they discovered there’s such a thing as the occupation.

    Americans and Brits cancel more

    So what has changed since 2015? First, there has been a change on the Gaza border, with civilians getting shot. These incidents have multiplied in the past three months and don’t exactly photograph well.

    Second, news reports about the nation-state law and the discrimination that comes with it have done their bit. Third, the arrests and detentions of left-wing activists entering Israel haven’t remained in a vacuum.

    Fourth, and most importantly, is Donald Trump’s presidency and his unconditional embrace of Netanyahu, including, of course, the controversial opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. As in the case of Natalie Portman’s refusal to accept a prize from the state, the closeness between the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government – under the sponsorship of evangelical Christians – has made Israel a country non grata in the liberal community, of which Hollywood is one pole and nightlife the other.

    It’s no coincidence that the DJs canceling are either Americans or Brits on the left; that is, Democrats or Jeremy Corbyn supporters in Labour – people who see cooperation with Israel as collaboration with Trump and Britain’s Conservative government.

    Different from them is Honey Dijon, the black trans DJ from Chicago who in response to the protest against her appearance at the Meteor Festival tweeted: “All of you people criticizing me about playing in Israel, when you come to America and stand up for the murder of black trans women and the prison industrial complex of black men then we can debate. I play for people not governments.” Not many people tried to argue with her. Say what you will, contrarianism is always effective.

    The case of DJ Jackmaster

    Beyond the issue of values, at the image level, alleged collaboration can be a career killer, just as declaring a boycott is the last word in chic for your image nowadays. That’s exactly what has happened with Scotland’s DJ Jackmaster, who has gone viral with his eventual refusal to perform at Tel Aviv’s Block club. He posted a picture of the Palestinian flag with a caption saying you have to exploit a platform in order to stand up for those who need it. The flood of responses included talk about boycotting all Tel Aviv, not just the Block.

    Yaron Trax is the owner of the Block; his club is considered not only the largest and most influential venue in town but also an international brand. Trax didn’t remain silent; on his personal Facebook account he mentioned how a few weeks before Jackmaster’s post his agent was still trying to secure the gig for him at the Block.

    “Not my finest hour, but calling for a boycott of my club at a time when an artist is trying to play there felt to me like crossing a line,” Trax says. “Only after the fact, and especially when I saw how his post was attracting dozens of hurtful, belligerent and racist responses – and generating a violent discourse that I oppose – did I realize how significant it was.”

    Trax talks about the hatred that has welled up in support of Jackmaster’s Israel boycott – just between us, not the sharpest tool in the shed and someone who has recently been accused of sexual harassment. As Trax puts it, “The next day it was important to me to admonish myself, first off, and then all those who chose to respond the way they responded.”

    In a further well-reasoned post, Trax wrote, “I have always thought that people who take a risk and use the platform that is given to them to transmit a message they believe in, especially one that isn’t popular, deserve admiration and not intimidation or silencing.” Unsurprisingly, the reactions to this message were mostly positive.

    Notwithstanding the boycotters who have acceded to the demands of Roger Waters and Brian Eno – the most prominent musicians linked to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement – there are plenty of superstar musicians like Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and the Rolling Stones who have come to Israel as part of their concert tours, even though they suffered the same pressures. The performers most vocal about their decision to appear in Israel have been Radiohead and Nick Cave.

    At a press conference on the eve of his concert, Cave expressed his opinion on the demand to boycott Israel: “It suddenly became very important to make a stand, to me, against those people who are trying to shut down musicians, to bully musicians, to censor musicians and to silence musicians.”

    Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke took the message one step further and tweeted: “Playing in a country isn’t the same as endorsing its government. We’ve played in Israel for over 20 years through a succession of governments, some more liberal than others. As we have in America. We don’t endorse Netanyahu any more than Trump, but we still play in America.” As Yorke put it, music, art and academia are “about crossing borders, not building them.”

    There’s a lot of truth in Yorke’s declaration, but whether or not musicians like it, appearances in Israel tend to acquire a political dimension; any statement becomes a potential international incident. Thus, for example, after Radiohead’s statement, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan saluted the band, and after Cave’s press conference, Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon tweeted “Bravo Nick Cave!”

    The trend continues when we step down a league from the A-listers, like Beyoncé, who doesn’t intend to perform in Israel despite her annual declaration that she’ll come “next year.” There’s the second level, the cream of international alternative rock and pop – refusals to appear in Israel by bands “of good conscience” like the Knife, Grizzly Bear, Arcade Fire and Deerhunter.

    The most prominent voice from this territory is that of former Sonic Youth guitarist and vocalist Thurston Moore. Yes, he appeared with his band in Tel Aviv 23 years ago, but since then he has become an avid supporter of BDS, so much so that he says it’s not okay to eat hummus because it’s a product of the occupation.

    ’Apartheid state’

    At the next level of refusers are the major – and minor – hip-hop stars. In addition to Lil Yachty and Tyler, who canceled appearances, other heroes of the genre like Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper and Vince Staples have refused from the outset to accept invitations to Israel. It’s quite possible that the connection between BDS and Black Lives Matter is influential. As early as 2016, Black Lives Matter published a statement supporting BDS and declaring Israel an “apartheid state.”

    Which brings us to electronic music and the cultural phenomenon that goes with it – the club culture. In numerical terms, club culture is smaller, but the information that flows from it on the ground or online flows much faster.

    Moreover, not only is club culture more sensitive to changes and far more alert to ideas and technological advances, its history is marked by struggles by oppressed groups. It can be said that African-Americans, Hispanics and gay people were the first to adopt the “night” way of life, back in the days of New York’s clubs and underground parties in the ‘70s. Accordingly, these groups have been the ones to nurture this lifestyle into today’s popular culture. Hence also the association with movements like BDS.

    Boiler Room Palestine

    Indeed, the current trend points to a step-up in the discourse; in the past year the top alternative culture magazines – of which the electronic music magazines play a key role – have published articles surveying musical and cultural happenings in Palestinian society.

    The online music magazine Resident Advisor has had two such stories, the first about a workshop for artists with the participation of the Block 9 production team, musicians Brian Eno and Róisín Murphy (formerly of Moloko) and American DJ the Black Madonna. The workshop, which included tours, discussion groups and joint musical work, was held at the Walled Off Hotel in Ramallah, also known as Banksy’s hotel because of the street artist’s involvement in its planning in the shadow of the separation barrier.

    The second article surveyed the Palestinian electronic scene and its leading players – promoters, DJs and producers who are operating despite the restrictive military regime. In addition, the writer accompanied the production of Boiler Room Palestine in Ramallah in June. (The wider Boiler Room franchise has been the world’s most popular pop party for the past five years.)

    Another example includes the style magazine Dazed, which wrote about the cultural boycott movement immediately after the cancellation of Lorde’s concert, and just last month New York Magazine’s culture supplement Vulture set forth its philosophy on the boycott (also in the context of Lana Del Rey). It predicted that the awakening we’re seeing today is only in its infancy.

    This partial list isn’t a clear declaration about “taking a stance” – after all, progressive media outlets in culture laud Israeli artists (for example Red Axes, Moscoman and Guy Gerber) or local venues, like the Block club. But if you add to these the scores of Facebook battles or Twitter discussions (like the one Del Rey found herself in), you’ll get noise. And noise generates questions, which generate more noise and raise consciousness. And from there to change on the ground is a modest distance.

    ’These are people who slept on my sofa’

    Refusals of invitations or cancellations of concerts in Israel by artists didn’t begin with BDS or the increasing volume of the past two years. After all, a visit to Israel all too often requires an intrusive security check. It’s hard to complain about a DJ who isn’t keen to have his underwear probed.

    Also, there’s a stratum of artists who’ve appeared in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem or Haifa and have decided to stop coming – unless there’s a Palestinian production. Two examples are the French band Acid Arab (Parisians Guido Minisky and Hervé Carvalho) and the American producer – and darling of the hipster community – Nicolas Jaar . Jaar appeared in Tel Aviv a bit under a decade ago, just before he became a star, while Acid Arab not only performed in Tel Aviv but was also involved in projects with Israeli musicians – so plenty of people called the duo hypocrites.

    “I have no problem with strong opinions, but in the case of Acid Arab it annoyed me at the personal level – these are people who slept on my sofa, recorded with local musicians, and the day they put up their post announcing they wouldn’t play in Tel Aviv, they also asked me to send them some music,” says Maor Anava, aka DJ Hectik.

    “I have no problem with people changing their minds on the go; it’s clear to me that a visit to the separation fence can do it, but what bothered me is that it’s entirely a PR and image move, apparently at the advice of their agent,” he adds.

    “We’ve reached a situation in which a boycott of Israel is the trendiest thing and situates you in the right place in the scene – as a supporter of the Palestinian freedom fighters against the terrible Zionist occupier, something that can get you to another three big festivals. If you performed in Tel Aviv, apparently they’d do without you.”

    Thus at the end of last year, Acid Arab and Nicolas Jaar appeared in Haifa and Ramallah at parties produced by Jazar Crew, the only electronic collective in Israel that isn’t afraid to mix in politics.. So it surprised no one when Jazar received laudatory – and justified – coverage not only in Bar Peleg’s Haaretz piece but also in Resident Advisor.

    Is the party over?

    So are we seeing the onset of the electronic boycott of Tel Aviv, one of the world’s clubbing capitals? Well, the city is still a flourishing center of parties and club events every week. “ As of today it hasn’t yet happened that we’ve directly encountered an attempt by the cultural boycott to influence artists who are slated to appear at the club,” Trax says.

    “But we’re definitely seeing a change in the surrounding behavior. Nasty responses that people are leaving for a DJ who announced an upcoming gig with us have led to fewer famous DJs announcing appearances at the Block – even those who always promote themselves.”

    He notes a slowdown in the past two years. “A number of DJs who used to appear with us – Moodymann, Kyle Hall, the Martinez Brothers – have announced they won’t be returning, ” Trax says, referring to three American acts. “But there isn’t any set reason why. If the cultural boycott has an influence here I wouldn’t be surprised, because the Detroit junta is very political. And this also applies to UFO,” a successful British DJ and a high-profile voice in the European underground arena.

    Not all DJs who have chosen not to come to Israel have taken their stance amid the strengthening of the BDS movement. Some of the top people in the dance industry – including star Chilean-German DJ Ricardo Villalobos and British DJs and producers like Matthew Herbert and Andrew Weatherall – have for years been refusing to spin in Israel. They’ve made clear that this is their way of opposing Israel’s activities in the territories.

    Another great DJ, Tunisian-born Loco Dice who lives in Germany, is also considered a vocal opponent of Israel. But in December he played at the Block, and Trax doesn’t recall any signs that his guest was hostile to the country. This shows that a change of awareness works both ways.

    There’s a similar story: the decision by DJ Tama Sumo of the Berghain club in Berlin to play in Israel after a long boycott. She and her partner DJ Lakuti, a pillar of the industry, donated the proceeds of her Tel Aviv set to an organization for human rights in the territories.

    “As of now I don’t feel that the names who have decided to stop coming will change anything regarding the Block, because our lineup of VIPs isn’t based on them,” Trax says. “But if the more commercial cream of the clubs – DJs like Dixon, Ame and Damian Lazarus, or the big names in techno like Nina Kraviz, Ben Klock, Jeff Mills or Adam Beyer – change their minds, that will be a real blow to us, and not just us.”

    Amotz Tokatly, who’s responsible for bringing DJs to Tel Aviv’s Beit Maariv club, isn’t feeling much of a change. “The cancellations or refusals by DJs and artists based on a political platform didn’t begin just this year. I’ve been encountering this for many years now. There are even specific countries where we know the prevailing mood is political and tending toward the boycott movement. For example England. The rhetoric there is a priori much stronger,” Tokatly says.

    “But take Ben UFO, who has played in Tel Aviv in the past. When we got back to him about another spinning gig he said explicitly, ‘It simply isn’t worth it for me from a public relations perspective, and it could hurt me later on.’ DJs like him make their own calculations.”

    Tokatly doesn’t believe in a “Meteor effect” that will send the visiting DJ economy to the brink of an abyss. “I’m giving it a few weeks to calm down, and in the worst case we won’t be seeing here the level of minor league DJs who have canceled due to the circumstances,” he says.

    “In any case, they’re names who would have come here – if at all – once a year. Regarding artists who have a long-term and stable relationship with the local scene, we haven’t seen any change in approach yet.”

    Unlike Trax and Tokatly, Doron “Charly” Mastey of the techno duo TV.OUT and content director at Tel Aviv’s Alphabet Club says the recent goings-on haven’t affected him too much; his club is unusual in that doesn’t base itself on names from abroad.

    “I don’t remember any case of a refusal or cancellation because of political leanings,” he says. “But with everything that’s happening now regarding Meteor, and if that affects the scene down the road and the airlift to Tel Aviv stops, I’m not at all sure that’s a bad thing.”

    Mastey has in mind the gap between the size of the audience and the number of events, parties and festivals happening in Israel right now. “The audience is tired, and indifferent,” he says.. “And if this kick in the pants – of cancellations – is what’s going to dismantle the scene in its current format, then it will simply rebuild itself. I hope in a way that’s healthier for everyone.”

    In any case, if the rest of the world has realized that it’s impossible to separate politics from anything, and definitely not from club culture, which started out as a political and social movement, then the best thing we can do is try to hold the discussion in an inclusive a way as possible. An Israeli DJ working in Berlin who requested anonymity thinks that these ideas should be taken one step further.

    “Nowadays, for artists who want to go to Israel, two proposals are on the table,” he says. “Support the boycott or support the occupation. These two things are depicted even if they aren’t accurate, and between the two options there are a thousand more levels.”

    He believes there is scope for taking action. “The local scene must know how to fill the vacuum and craft alternatives to the boycott’s demands,” he says. “For example, by showing artists other ways to take a stand, whether by cooperating with Palestinians or suggesting that they donate the proceeds of their Tel Aviv appearances to a human rights group.”

    The voices calling for a cultural boycott of Israel, whether in sports, concerts or the subfield of electronic music, aren’t going to disappear. If anything, they’re only going to grow louder.

    Moreover, if we take into account the complexity of the conflict, maybe we should seek to communicate these insights in a way that drops the imagery of absolutes like left-right, bad-good, Zionist-anti-Semitic. The club culture exists to connect extremes, not separate people. Our demand to continue a vibrant electronic scene is just as legitimate as that of the boycott supporters’ attempts to create awareness.

    Even if we don’t agree with the idea of the boycott, it’s still possible to accept the realization that there are people who think differently – who want to perform for the other side as much as they want to perform for us. This doesn’t make them an existential danger.

    Moreover, as the Israeli DJ working in Berlin says, the Israeli scene needs an arsenal of proposals for constructive activism; it must provide alternatives to the BDS call to boycott – and not automatically flex an insulted patriotic muscle. This might not be the easiest thing to do, but hey, this is Israel. It’s not going to be easy.

    #Palestine #BDS #Boycott_culturel


  • BDS success stories - Opinion - Israel News | Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-bds-success-stories-1.6455621

    More than the achievements of the economic, academic and cultural boycott, BDS has succeeded in undermining the greatest asset of Israeli public diplomacy: Israel’s liberal and democratic image in the world.

    Gideon Levy SendSend me email alerts
    Sep 05, 2018

    Gilad Erdan is a great success story of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, as is the Strategic Affairs Ministry that he heads. So is the anti-boycott law. Every human rights activist who is expelled from Israel or questioned at Ben-Gurion International Airport is a BDS success story. The European Broadcasting Union’s letter is another success of the global movement to boycott Israel.
    More than Lana Del Rey canceling her visit, more than SodaStream moving its factory from the West Bank to the Negev and more than the achievements of the economic, academic and cultural boycott, BDS has succeeded in a different area, effortlessly and perhaps unintentionally. It has undermined the greatest asset of Israeli public diplomacy: Israel’s liberal and democratic image in the world. It was the European Broadcasting Union, of all things, a nonpolitical organization, very far from BDS, that best described the extent of the damage to Israel: The organization compared Israel to Ukraine and Azerbaijan in the conditions it set for these countries to host the Eurovision Song Contest.
    To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
    Ukraine and Azerbaijan, which no one seriously considers to be democracies, in the same breath as Israel. This is how the Eurovision organizers see Israel.
    The song contest was held in Jerusalem twice before, and no one thought to set conditions to guarantee the civil liberties of participants. Now it is necessary to guarantee, in advance and in writing, what is self-evident in a democracy: freedom of entry and freedom of movement to everyone who comes for the competition.
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    In Israel, as in Ukraine and Azerbaijan, this is no longer self-evident. In the 13 years since it was founded, the BDS movement couldn’t have dreamed of a greater triumph.
    The main credit, of course, goes to the Israeli government, which in declaring war on BDS and made a great contributions to the movement. With a commander like Erdan, who is outraged over the interference with the “laws of a democratic state” and doesn’t understand how grotesque his words are, and with a ministry that is nothing but an international thought police, the government is telling the world: Israel isn’t what you thought. Did you think for years that Israel was a liberal democracy? Did you close your eyes to the goings-on in its backyard? Did you think the occupation was separate from the state, that it could be maintained in a democracy, that it was surely temporary and would be over momentarily? That at least sovereign Israel is part of the West? Well, you were wrong.


  • Eurovision’s demands should serve as wake-up call for Israel - Haaretz Editorial - Israel News | Haaretz.com

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/eurovision-s-demands-should-serve-as-wake-up-call-for-israel-1.6450815

    In a different time, the demands of the European Broadcasting Union, the organizer of the Eurovision Song Contest, would have been received in Israel with a shrug, as self-evident.
    To really understand Israel and the Palestinians - subscribe to Haaretz
    According to a report by the Israel Television News Corporation, the broadcasting union is asking for an Israeli authority, preferably the prime minister, to promise that Israel will grant entry visas for the event regardless of applicants’ political opinions; that visitors be able to tour the country regardless of their political opinions, religion or sexual orientation; that there be freedom of the press and complete freedom of expression for all participants; that there be no religious restrictions on rehearsals on Saturday; and that Israel’s public broadcasting company, Kan, be given complete independence in editing the broadcasts.

    • D’après cet article de Haaretz :
      https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-eurovision-organizers-set-conditions-for-contest-to-be-held-in-isr

      1) l’Eurovision demande qu’israel s’engage par écrit à laisser entrer tous les spectateurs, quelque soient leurs opinions (y compris s’ils soutiennent BDS), donc critique les nouvelles pratiques de sélection à l’entrée du pays sur des bases politiques

      2) l’Eurovision demande une complète liberté d’expression et de circulation pour les participants, les délégations et la presse

      3) l’Eurovision demande que les répétitions aient lieu le samedi (shabbat)

      4) plusieurs membres du gouvernement appellent Netanyahu à refuser ces conditions

      5) la télé israélienne demande une rallonge financière du ministère des finances qui pour l’instant refuse

      #Palestine #Eurovision #BDS #Boycott_culturel

    • BDS success stories
      More than the achievements of the economic, academic and cultural boycott, BDS has succeeded in undermining the greatest asset of Israeli public diplomacy: Israel’s liberal and democratic image in the world.
      Gideon Levy | Sep. 5, 2018 | 11:16 PM
      https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-bds-success-stories-1.6455621

      Gilad Erdan is a great success story of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, as is the Strategic Affairs Ministry that he heads. So is the anti-boycott law. Every human rights activist who is expelled from Israel or questioned at Ben-Gurion International Airport is a BDS success story. The European Broadcasting Union’s letter is another success of the global movement to boycott Israel.

      More than Lana Del Rey canceling her visit, more than SodaStream moving its factory from the West Bank to the Negev and more than the achievements of the economic, academic and cultural boycott, BDS has succeeded in a different area, effortlessly and perhaps unintentionally. It has undermined the greatest asset of Israeli public diplomacy: Israel’s liberal and democratic image in the world. It was the European Broadcasting Union, of all things, a nonpolitical organization, very far from BDS, that best described the extent of the damage to Israel: The organization compared Israel to Ukraine and Azerbaijan in the conditions it set for these countries to host the Eurovision Song Contest.

      Ukraine and Azerbaijan, which no one seriously considers to be democracies, in the same breath as Israel. This is how the Eurovision organizers see Israel.

      The song contest was held in Jerusalem twice before, and no one thought to set conditions to guarantee the civil liberties of participants. Now it is necessary to guarantee, in advance and in writing, what is self-evident in a democracy: freedom of entry and freedom of movement to everyone who comes for the competition.

      In Israel, as in Ukraine and Azerbaijan, this is no longer self-evident. In the 13 years since it was founded, the BDS movement couldn’t have dreamed of a greater triumph.

      The main credit, of course, goes to the Israeli government, which in declaring war on BDS and made a great contributions to the movement. With a commander like Erdan, who is outraged over the interference with the “laws of a democratic state” and doesn’t understand how grotesque his words are, and with a ministry that is nothing but an international thought police, the government is telling the world: Israel isn’t what you thought. Did you think for years that Israel was a liberal democracy? Did you close your eyes to the goings-on in its backyard? Did you think the occupation was separate from the state, that it could be maintained in a democracy, that it was surely temporary and would be over momentarily? That at least sovereign Israel is part of the West? Well, you were wrong.

      The government has torn off the mask. Not only BDS, but all supporters of human rights, should be grateful to it. The war on BDS, a legitimate, nonviolent protest movement, has dragged Israel into new territory. Omar Barghouti and his colleagues can rub their hands together in satisfaction and pride. They have begun to dismantle the regime inside Israel as well. No democracy has a strategic affairs ministry that spies on critics of the state and its government worldwide and draws up blacklists of people who are banned from entry on account of their worldview or political activities. No democracy asks its guests for their opinions at its borders, as a condition for entry. No democracy searches its visitors’ computers and their lifestyles when they enter and leave. Perhaps Ukraine and Azerbaijan do, Turkey and Russia too.

      It could have, and should have, been argued previously as well that Israel did not deserve to be seen as democracy, on account of the occupation. But now Israel has crossed the line. It hasn’t erased only the Green Line, it has begun to the task of annexation, including a gradual westward movement of the regime in the West Bank. The gap between the two regimes, in the occupied territories and in Israel, is still huge, but laws passed in recent years have narrowed it.

      The state’s fancy display window, with all the bright neon and rustling cellophane of freedom and equality; of Arab MKs and pharmacists; gay-friendly, with a vibrant night life and all the other shiny objects, is beginning to crack. The Eurovision organizers recognize this.


  • #BDS: how a controversial non-violent movement has transformed the Israeli-Palestinian debate | News | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/aug/14/bds-boycott-divestment-sanctions-movement-transformed-israeli-palestini

    Par Nathan Thrall

    In the Jewish diaspora, BDS has created new schisms on the centre-left, which has been forced into a vice by the rightwing and pro-settlement Israeli government on one hand, and the non-Zionist left on the other. It has prompted liberal Zionists to grapple with why they sometimes accept the boycott of products from settlements but not the boycott of the state that creates and sustains them. It has compelled Israel’s more critical supporters to justify their opposition to non-violent forms of pressure on Israel, when the absence of real pressure has done nothing to bring occupation or settlement expansion to an end. It has put the onus on liberal Zionists to defend their support not for the abstract ideal of what they hope Israel might one day become, but for the actual, longstanding practices of the state, including expropriations of Palestinian land for Jewish settlement; detention of hundreds of Palestinians without trial or charge; collective punishment of two million Gazans living under a more than decade-long blockade; and institutionalised inequality between Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel. BDS has deprived Israel’s liberal supporters of the excuse that an aberrant occupation or rightwing governments are mainly to blame for the state’s undemocratic practices.

    Perhaps most significantly, BDS has challenged the two-state consensus of the international community. In so doing it has upset the entire industry of Middle East peace process nonprofit organisations, diplomatic missions and think tanks by undermining their central premise: that the conflict can be resolved simply by ending Israel’s occupation of Gaza, East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank, leaving the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel and refugees unaddressed.

    For many diaspora Jews, BDS has become a symbol of evil and repository of dread, a nefarious force transforming the Israel-#Palestine debate from a negotiation over the end of the #occupation and the division of territory into an argument about the conflict’s older and deeper roots: the original displacement of most of the Palestinians, and, on the ruins of their conquered villages, the establishment of a Jewish state. The emergence of the BDS movement has revived old questions about the legitimacy of Zionism, how to justify the privileging of Jewish over non-Jewish rights, and why refugees can return to their homes in other conflicts but not in this one. Above all, it has underscored an awkward issue that cannot be indefinitely neglected: whether #Israel, even if it were to cease its occupation of the West Bank and #Gaza, can be both a democracy and a Jewish state.

    #sionisme #industrie_du_proccessus_de_paix


  • A law that tells the truth about Israel
    The nation-state law makes it plain. Israel is for Jews only, on the books. It’s easier this way for everyone
    Gideon Levy Jul 12, 2018 5:01 AM - Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-a-law-that-tells-the-truth-about-israel-1.6267705

    The Knesset is about to legislate one of its most important laws ever, and the one most in keeping with reality. The nation-state law will put an end to Israel’s vague nationalism and present Zionism as it is. The law will also put an end to the farce about Israel being “Jewish and democratic,” a combination that never existed and could never exist because of the inherent contradiction between the two values that cannot be reconciled, except by deception.

    If the state is Jewish, it cannot be democratic, because of the lack of equality; if it’s democratic, it cannot be Jewish, because a democracy does not bestow privilege based on ethnicity. So now the Knesset has decided: Israel is Jewish. Israel is declaring that it is the nation-state of the Jewish people, not a state of its citizens, not a state of the two peoples that live within it, and has therefore ceased to be an egalitarian democracy, not just in practice but also in theory. That’s why this law is so important. It is a truthful law.

    The uproar over the bill was intended mainly as an effort to continue the policy of national ambiguity. The president and the attorney general, the ostensible guardians of decency, protested and received compliments from the liberal camp. The president shouted that the law would be “a weapon in the hands of Israel’s enemies,” and the attorney general warned about the “international ramifications.”

    The prospect of Israel’s veil being removed before the world prompted them to act. Reuven Rivlin, it must be said, cried out with great vigor and courage against the clause allowing community-acceptance committees to screen residents and its implications for the regime, but most liberals were simply horrified to read the reality when it was worded as a law.

    Mordechai Kremnitzer, in Tuesday’s Haaretz, also cried out in vain when he said the bill would “foment a revolution, no less. It will spell the end of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state ...” He added that the bill would make Israel “a leader among nationalist countries like Poland and Hungary,” as if it isn’t already and hasn’t been for a long time. In Poland and Hungary there is no tyranny over another people lacking rights, which has become a permanent reality and an inseparable part of how this state and its regime operate, with no end in sight.

    All those years of hypocrisy were pleasant. It was nice to say that apartheid was only in South Africa, because there everything was rooted in racial laws, and we had no such laws. To say that Hebron is not apartheid, the Jordan Valley is not apartheid, and that the occupation really isn’t part of the regime. To say that we were the only democracy in the region, even with the occupation.

    It was nice to claim that since Israeli Arabs can vote, we are an egalitarian democracy. To point out that there’s an Arab party, even if it’s excluded from any influence. To point out that Arabs can be admitted to the Jews’ hospitals; that they can study in the Jews’ universities and live anywhere they choose. (You bet.)

    How enlightened we are; our Supreme Court ruled in the Kaadan case that an Arab family could buy a home in Katzir, after years of litigation and endless evasion. How tolerant we are that the Arabs are permitted to speak Arabic, an official language. The latter was certainly a fiction; Arabic never was remotely treated as an official language, the way Swedish is in Finland, where the minority is far smaller than the Arab minority here.

    It was comfortable to ignore that the lands owned by the Jewish National Fund, which include most of the state’s lands, were for Jews only – with the progressive Supreme Court backing that stance – and claim we’re a democracy. It was much more pleasant to think of ourselves as egalitarian.

    Now there will be a law that tells the truth. Israel is for Jews only, on the books. The nation-state of the Jewish people, not of its residents. Its Arabs are second-class citizens and its Palestinian subjects are hollow, nonexistent. Their fate is determined in Jerusalem, but they aren’t part of the state. It’s easier this way for everyone.

    There remains a small problem with the rest of the world, and with Israel’s image, which this law will tarnish somewhat. It’s no big deal. Israel’s new friends will be proud of this law. For them it will be a light unto the nations. And people of conscience all over the world already know the truth and have long been struggling against it. A weapon for the BDS movement? Certainly. Israel has earned it, and will now legislate it.


  • U.S. House committee approves bill that would pave way for penalizing Israel boycotts
    If it passes a House vote, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act would give the government authority to punish institutions and companies who boycott Israel
    Amir Tibon | Jun. 29, 2018 | 6:50 AM
    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-u-s-house-committee-approves-israel-anti-boycott-act-1.6221634

    WASHINGTON – The Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives approved on Thursday a bill that would give the Trump administration authority to penalize American institutions and companies that participate in international boycotts of Israel and its settlements in the West Bank. Following the committee’s approval, the bill will advance to a vote on the House floor.

    The controversial bill, known as The Israel Anti-Boycott Act, was first introduced by Republican and Democratic lawmakers last year. However, it has not advanced until recently, because of strong criticism it faced from civil rights groups, most notably the American Civil Liberties Union, who warned that it hurts free speech and is therefore unconstitutional. A number of Democratic lawmakers came out against the bill, and one prominent legislator, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, withdrew her support forthe legislation.

    Following that wave of criticism, the bill went through some modifications. The version that passed the committee vote on Thursday is different than the original version, but critics of the bill claimed on Thursday that it is, in fact, even more harmful to free speech than previously, because the new version gives the Trump administration influence in determining who is involved in such boycott activities and how to respond.

    One group, the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, which is affiliated with the BDS movement, has stated that under the new version, “Congress will be essentially abrogating its legislative duties and turning the keys over to the Trump administration. This would be a reckless threat to the rule of law, especially given the Trump administration’s record on executive actions such as the Muslim ban and immigrant family separation. Once again, Congress will be trying to push anti-boycott laws past the limit of the First Amendment.”

    The bill passed the committee unanimously, with support from both Democrats and Republicans. In order to become law, it will now have to be approved in a vote on the House floor, and also in the Senate. The original bill received strong support from the pro-Israeli lobby group AIPAC, but AIPAC hopes to advance it on the basis of a strong bi-partisan consensus, which means that leading Democrats in the Senate could still have influence on its final phrasing.

    #BDS


  • Israel denies entry to four American civil rights leaders
    +972 Magazine | By Mairav Zonszein |Published May 3, 2018
    https://972mag.com/israel-denies-entry-to-prominent-american-civil-rights-leaders/135059

    Four members of an American human rights delegation to Israel and the West Bank, were detained at Ben Gurion Airport, denied entry, and deported by Israeli authorities on Sunday. The rest of the delegation was allowed through.

    Two of the four deported are Vincent Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), and Katherine Franke, chair of CCR’s board and Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Columbia University. The two others who were deported did not want to be named or interviewed. Franke was accused of being affiliated with the BDS movement; Warren appears to have been deported simply by association.

    #expulsion #BDS

    • Interpellés puis expulsés : des juristes américains défenseurs des droits humains se voient interdire d’entrer en Israël
      8 mai | Amy Goodman, Juan Gonzalez, Katherine Franke, Vincent Warren pour Democracy Now |Traduction SM pour l’AURDIP
      http://www.aurdip.fr/interpelles-puis-expulses-des.html

      Deux juristes américains, défenseurs des droits humains, ont été retenus pendant 14 heures dimanche (29 avril) à l’Aéroport international de Tel Aviv-David Ben Gourion avant d’être renvoyés aux États-Unis. Katherine Franke, de l’université Columbia, et Vincent Warren, directeur général du Centre pour les droits constitutionnels, ont été interrogés à plusieurs reprises au sujet de leurs relations avec des groupes qui critiquent Israël. Ils faisaient partie d’une délégation de militants américains des droits civiques qui se rendaient en Israël et en Palestine pour s’informer de la situation des droits humains et rencontrer des militants locaux. Dans la matinée de lundi (30 avril), ils étaient de retour à New York.


  • That’s the spirit, Ms. Portman, but it’s just a start
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-that-s-the-spirit-ms-portman-but-it-s-just-a-start-1.6014090
    Gideon Levy Apr 22, 2018 8:24 AM

    Natalie Portman’s refusal to appear at the Genesis Prize ceremony was a huge shot in the arm. Her clarification blunted the force of the step she had taken

    Natalie Portman’s announcement of her decision to boycott the Genesis Prize ceremony was a tremendous shot in the arm. Here it is, coming from the heights of glamor, from a lover of Israel like she is, Jewish, Jewish, Hebrew-speaking, born in Israel, a citizen of Israel and a source of pride for Israel, who has a lot to lose. Not an anti-Semite or a fundamentalist, not extreme right or radical left, not Roger Waters, not even BDS. From smack in the middle, from the heart of the Jewish center: criticism of Israel, the Biblical “wounds of a friend,” even a kind of boycott.

    While “leftist” Israeli artists are scared of far-right rapper “The Shadow” and especially of their own shadow, an artist of her caliber goes and makes a clear statement about Israel. Together with a conscience, a large helping of courage is required for such a step, especially in the face of Jewish, Zionist, ruthless Hollywood, which will neither forgive Portman nor forget.

    Nor will the Israeli right wing forgive her for this: The minister of war (against the BDS movement), Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, was quick to publish a letter explaining the situation to Portman. What’s happening in Gaza is not because of us, it’s all because of Hamas. The usual propaganda of lies and nonsense, on the very day when Israeli army sharpshooters killed another 15-year-old in cold blood and the photo of Mohammed Ayoub bleeding in the sands of Gaza was made public around the world. It soon turned out that Erdan, like many others, was sure that the slaughter of protesters in Gaza was what lit the fire in Portman’s belly. But that was not the case.

    Portman’s clarification blunted the force of the step she had taken: “I chose not to attend because I did not want to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu,” she wrote. A great step forward and a small step backward. Netanyahu is indeed a problem, but he is not the problem over which Portman, as a person of good conscience and a Zionist, must make her voice heard. Netanyahu is Israel.

    Portman has come a long way, not only between her first film and her Oscar, but also between the letter she published in the Harvard Crimson 16 years ago defending Israel and denying its apartheid conditions, and the step she took on Friday.

    The change in her, which has apparently taken place in many Jews, is good news, as is her courage. But the road is still long. Portman wrote that she would not come because of “violence, corruption, inequality, and abuse of power.” Not one direct word about the original sin, the occupation.

    Neither is Portman’s protest directed to the right address. It is self-protective to blame Netanyahu for everything. Like most liberal Jews (and Israelis), Portman considers Netanyahu the root of all evil. And what about his predecessors, those who sowed the seeds of destruction and killing in Gaza and in Lebanon, who imposed a cruel closure on Gaza, who strengthened the occupation in the West Bank and tripled the number of settlers – she shakes their hands, just not Netanyahu’s?

    Portman’s media power is enormous. Friday morning her statement on Instagram already had 100,000 “likes.” The Jews breathed a sigh of relief, as did many Israelis. Portman is against BDS and against Netanyahu, but she continues to celebrate “Israeli food, books, art, cinema and dance.”

    With all respect, Ms. Portman, Israeli food, dance and cinema are also tainted by the occupation to a greater or lesser extent. We are all to blame for it. The way to end it, which is the first and essential condition for making Israel a more just country, passes through courageous steps like the one you took, but they must address the core of the inferno and not just its edges; the focus of the cancer and not just its metastases. They must become practical steps, like those the BDS movement calls for. That’s the only way to shake Israel out of its complacency.

    I humbly take my hat off to you for your courage, Ms. Portman. Your direction is the right one; without a tailwind from people like you, nothing here will change. But it’s just a start.


  • Israel-Gaza
    Natalie Portman says, Enough !

    Natalie Portman says, Enough !
    http://mondoweiss.net/2018/04/natalie-portman-enough

    The Gaza killings have hurt Israel’s image in the world, and tonight the damage got even bigger. In an astonishing move, the Israeli-American film star Natalie Portman, 36, informed an Israeli foundation she would not show up at the awards ceremony for Israel’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize, because, as the JTA reports:

    The [Genesis] foundation said that Portman’s representative notified it that “[r]ecent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her and she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel” and that “she cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony.”

    The statement is surely a reference to Israel’s killing of nearly 40 unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza, which have shocked Jews around the world.

    The $1 million prize was announced last November. Tonight Hasbara Central is burning midnight oil to try and counter this stunning blow from a woman who was born in Israel, and has in the past spoken out in support of the Jewish state. In the highly-competitive world of media and film, we can only guess what kind of courage this move has taken, not to mention the potential family tensions with Israeli relatives.

    Portman has long resisted calls to boycott the state. She has been highly critical of Benjamin Netanyahu, decrying his racism, but insisted:

     “I feel like there’s some people who become prominent, and then it’s out in the foreign press. You know, shit on Israel,” Portman said. “I do not. I don’t want to do that.”

    She directed a film based on liberal Zionist hero Amos Oz’s Jerusalem memoir, A Tale of Love and Darkness.

    And recently Portman has been outspoken about sexual harassment in Hollywood.

    This is a shock for all Israel supporters. Daniella Greenbaum, columnist at Business Insider:

    The Genesis Prize ceremony has just been cancelled because Natalie Portman, who was awarded the prize, has decided that recent events in Israel make her “uncomfortable participating in any public events in Israel.”

    this is ridiculous and a shanda and sad and someone with more of a following than me like @jpodhoretz or @bariweiss or @Yair_Rosenberg should tell the world

    Portman won an Oscar in 2011 for her role as a ballerina in Black Swan, and she was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in Jackie, a 2016 biopic about Jacqueline Kennedy. Her acting talent is unquestionable. We can only hope that she continues to get excellent roles, following this courageous act.

    Lately one of us wrote that Israel had lost American Jews with the killings of unarmed protesters. This is a sign that assertion is true.

    • Natalie Portman boycotte une cérémonie en son honneur
      Jeanne Poma.
      20/04/18 - 08h47 Source : Hollywood Reporter
      http://www.7sur7.be/7s7/fr/1527/People/article/detail/3413524/2018/04/20/Natalie-Portman-boycotte-une-ceremonie-en-son-honneur.dhtml ?

      L’actrice Natalie Portman était censée recevoir un prix par une fondation en Israël en novembre, pour saluer sa carrière. Elle a décidé d’annuler son voyage pour des raisons politiques.

      Le prix Genesis honore des personnalités remarquables « qui inspirent les autres par leur dévouement à la communauté juive et aux valeurs juives » mais la cérémonie a été annulée suite à l’annonce de l’actrice.

      « Mme. Portman est une actrice accomplie, une activiste engagée et un être humain merveilleux. Le personnel de la Fondation a aimé apprendre à la connaître au cours des six derniers mois, nous respectons son droit de désapprouver publiquement la politique du gouvernement d’Israël ».

      La Fondation a ajouté : « Nous sommes très attristés qu’elle ait décidé de ne pas assister à la Cérémonie du Prix Genesis à Jérusalem pour des raisons politiques et nous craignons que la décision de Mme Portman ne politise notre initiative philanthropique. »

      #BDS

    • L’actrice Natalie Portman boycotte une cérémonie en Israël
      Par RFI Publié le 20-04-2018
      Avec notre correspondant à Jérusalem, Guilhem Delteil
      http://www.rfi.fr/moyen-orient/20180420-natalie-portman-boycotte-israel-prix-genesis

      (...) Natalie Portman ne précise pas les événements qui la touchent ainsi, mais Israël est depuis trois semaines critiqué pour sa réponse à la « Grande marche du retour » organisée dans la bande de Gaza. Les tirs à balles réelles de l’armée ont fait plus de 35 morts.

      Natalie Portman avait déjà critiqué le Premier ministre israélien Benyamin Netanyahu, mais elle avait combattu des appels à boycotter son pays natal. La Fondation du Prix Genesis a fait part de son regret, mais assuré que l’actrice conservera sa récompense financière : deux millions de dollars qui devraient être redistribués, selon le souhait de Natalie Portman, à des associations militants pour le droit des femmes.

    • natalieportman
      https://www.instagram.com/p/BhzyyPWhnVf

      Instagram

      My decision not to attend the Genesis Prize ceremony has been mischaracterized by others. Let me speak for myself. I chose not to attend because I did not want to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu, who was to be giving a speech at the ceremony. By the same token, I am not part of the BDS movement and do not endorse it. Like many Israelis and Jews around the world, I can be critical of the leadership in Israel without wanting to boycott the entire nation. I treasure my Israeli friends and family, Israeli food, books, art, cinema, and dance. Israel was created exactly 70 years ago as a haven for refugees from the Holocaust. But the mistreatment of those suffering from today’s atrocities is simply not in line with my Jewish values. Because I care about Israel, I must stand up against violence, corruption, inequality, and abuse of power.
      Please do not take any words that do not come directly from me as my own.
      This experience has inspired me to support a number of charities in Israel. I will be announcing them soon, and I hope others will join me in supporting the great work they are doing.


  • You bet it’s apartheid

    With Ahed Tamimi’s sentence to jail, the truth has come out about Israel

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-you-bet-it-s-apartheid-1.5939683

    They might not have intended it – this is too big for them, and perhaps even too big for their arrogance, but they are the initiators of the regime, or at least its harbingers. They studied law and went to work (“to serve”) in the military courts. They were promoted and became military judges. That’s what they call the clerk-officers who work for the moral army as judges of the occupied in the occupied territories. They work in a military unit with a biblical name: the “Judea Military Court,” and they decide people’s fate. No doubt they’re certain they’re working in a legal system, like they were taught at university. There are, after all, prosecutors and defense attorneys in it. There’s even a translator.
    Most of the work attracts no attention. In Israel, who cares what happens in the prefabs at the Ofer military base? They have sent thousands of people to an aggregate tens of thousands of years of imprisonment, and almost never exonerated anyone; at their workplace, there’s no such thing. They have also approved hundreds of detentions without hearings, even though there is no such thing in a country of law. Day after day, it’s just another day at the office.
    And then Ahed Tamimi came to them. Almost 2 million people around the world signed a petition calling for her release. And the forces of Israeli military justice just kept at it, clerks devoted to the system. Now they must be thanked. This time they exposed to the world the naked truth: They are working for an apartheid system. They are its harbingers. They are its formulators. They are its contractors, small cogs in a big machine, but reflective of reality.
    The three officers who judged the teenage girl in various military courts, Col. Netanel Benishu, president of the Military Court of Appeals (there’s no shortage of titles here), who approved the hearing in the dark behind closed doors; Lt. Col. Menahem Lieberman, president of the Judea Military Court, who approved the plea bargain by which Tamimi and her mother would serve eight months in prison for nothing, or for her heroism, and Lt. Col. Haim Balilty, who approved her remaining in custody throughout the trial. One day they’ll be appointed to the Supreme Court. A colonel, and two lieutenant colonels who told the world: There’s apartheid here.
    Only by chance were the three all religious, a kind of innocent coincidence. We don’t know who among them is a settler, but that of course means nothing either. They went to work in a military court of the occupation to protect human rights in the territories, in the name of the Lord of Hosts.After their rulings on Tamimi, there are no fair-minded people left in the world, not even in brainwashed Israel, who can seriously claim that an apartheid regime does not exist in the territories. The BDS movement should congratulate the officers who lifted all doubt from those who still had any doubts. The legal system that has one law for Jews and another for Palestinians, without apology, without whitewashing, should be appreciated for its honesty. A legal system that sentenced a soldier who shot a wounded man to only one more month than its sentence for a teenage girl who slapped a soldier – this is a system that openly admits it considers slapping the occupier equal to the murder of a person under occupation. Only one month separates the two.


  • “Hate Speech” Does Not Incite Hatred - Quillette
    http://quillette.com/2018/01/18/hate-speech-not-induce-hatred

    The United States Supreme Court has recently reaffirmed that “[s]peech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground” is protected under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. However, the protections of the First Amendment extend only to government efforts to punish or censor speech. Private entities remain free to take action against people who engage in speech which ostensibly demeans others, and private actors from Harvard University to Facebook and Twitter have punished or censored individuals whose speech they have found to be “hateful.”

    Those who advocate the censorship of so-called “hate speech” claim that it causes various ills, but perhaps the most common claim is that “hate speech” engenders hatred towards particular groups, and thereby causes violence against members of those groups. Such claims have been particularly common in recent years, and have included allegations that “anti-police hate speech” on the part of Black Lives Matters supporters has led to violence against police officers; that Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric has led to an increase in hate crimes; and that anti-Muslim hate speech on the Internet can motivate some people to commit acts of violence against Muslims.

    The claim that “hate speech” causes hatred, and thereby causes violence, is superficially appealing, but the more one thinks about it, the less sense it makes. Is it really likely that otherwise reasonable people will be driven to hate others, and to violently attack those others, simply because they were exposed to hate speech? The proponents of that view rarely, if ever, offer direct evidence for that claim. There is a simple explanation for that failure: such evidence does not exist.

    At first blush, that would seem to be an outlandish claim. What about the infamous “hate radio” in Rwanda? Doesn’t everyone know that those broadcasts caused people who had peacefully coexisted with their neighbors to engage in genocide? Well, in fact, there is no evidence that that is true. This common understanding of the role of “hate radio” overlooks basic facts of Rwandan history, including the fact that the genocide took place in the midst of a Tutsi-dominated insurgency that had begun in 1990, and which had resulted in hundreds of thousands of internally displaced Rwandans as insurgent forces approached the capital in 1993, just a year before the beginning of the genocide. Thus, the myth that Rwanda was an Arcadia of ethnic harmony before the “hate radio” broadcasts began is just that: a myth.

    A father in Rwanda searches for his lost child. ©ICRC/Benno Neeleman

    Perhaps more importantly, the popular narrative regarding the role of “hate radio” ignores twenty years of scholarship which finds little evidence that the radio broadcasts caused people to engage in genocide. For example, a 2017 study published in Criminology found no statistically significant relationship between radio exposure and killing.1 Moreover, the anthropologist Charles Mironko interviewed one hundred convicted perpetrators and found that many either did not hear the “hate radio” broadcasts or misinterpreted them, and University of Wisconsin political scientist Scott Straus found that peer pressure and personal appeals, not hate radio, is what motivated most perpetrators.2 Similarly, political scientist Lee Ann Fujii’s book-length study of the Rwandan genocide found that those who participated in the genocide did not show unusual levels of fear or hatred of Tutsis. Instead, they participated through personal relationships with local elites, often because they feared repercussions if they did not participate. Hate had nothing to do with it.

    Professor Fujii’s findings are consistent with a recent study that was published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, which found that villages with better radio reception had higher levels of participation in the genocide, but which credited that effect not to the creation of hatred, but rather to the fact that the broadcasts told those who were already willing to participate how to coordinate with others, and assured them that the government supported the killing and hence that they would not be punished.

    At this point, an alert reader might object that several “hate radio” executives were convicted of genocide-related offenses, and might also point to the well-known claim that some of the killers “had a radio in one hand and a machete in the other[.]” That is true, but it is also true that immediately after the assassination of the Rwandan president, the “hate radio” broadcasts shifted from general propaganda to broadcasting specific advice and instructions to those already participating in the genocide regarding who to kill and where to find them.3 It was for only those post-assassination broadcasts that radio executives were convicted, rather than for the pre-genocide, more generalized “hate speech.”

    Finally, these findings regarding the role of “hate radio” in the Rwandan genocide is consistent with what we know about the effects of propaganda in general. Contrary to popular belief, there is little evidence that propaganda is able to change minds; rather, it is generally effective only among those who already agree with it, and counter-productive among those who disagree.4 That was true even of Nazi anti-Jewish propaganda, which decreased denunciations of Jews by ordinary people in areas which had not historically been anti-Semitic.5

    Therefore, the scholarly consensus is clear: “Hate speech” does not engender hatred. Rather, to the extent that is has any effect on violence at all, it makes it somewhat easier for those already inclined towards violence to act, largely by placing an imprimatur of official approval on acts of violence, and thereby making people who are already hateful and prone to violence believe that they can get away with acting violently.

    This implies that censoring “hate speech” by ordinary persons is pointless – it is only “hate speech” by elites that can be dangerous (and even then not by creating hatred). There is no evidence that “hate speech” by ordinary persons has any effect on violence whatsoever. Thus, the efforts of such private actors as Facebook and Twitter to scrub the internet of what they deem to be “hate speech” by ordinary persons are, at best, misguided. But such efforts can also be dangerous because they help create excuses for governments to use allegations of “hate speech” to silence ideas that they dislike. Indeed, Freedom House has noted that that has already occurred in Russia, French courts have upheld “hate speech” convictions of advocates of the BDS movement to boycott of Israel, and in Spain, Catalan separatists who burned photographs of the Spanish monarch were fined on the grounds that they had incited violence and promoted hate speech.

    Finally, efforts to censor extremists can backfire by causing them to see themselves as a persecuted minority who are justified in using violent means to be heard. Therefore, as painful as American law’s protection of “hate speech” can be, the alternative is almost certainly worse. In addition, given that even the Supreme Court recognizes that, in the contemporary world, “the most important places … for the exchange of views … is cyberspace …, and social media in particular[,]” Twitter, Facebook, and other private actors should resist calls to censor hateful speech; they might believe that doing so serves the public interest, but in fact it does quite the opposite.

    Gordon Danning is History Research Fellow at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). He has published a law review article on the free speech rights of high school students and conducted research on political violence.

    References:

    1 Hollie Nyseh Brehm. 2017. Subnational Determinants of Killing in Rwanda. Criminology, 55(1): 5-31. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1745-9125.12126/full
    2 Scott Straus, 2007. What is the relationship between hate radio and violence? Rethinking Rwanda’s “Radio Machete”. Politics & Society, 35(4): 609-637. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0032329207308181
    3 Richard Carver. 2000. Broadcasting and Political Transition: Rwanda and Beyond. African Broadcast Cultures: Radio in Transition, edited by Richard Farndon and Graham Furniss, 188-197. Oxford: James Currey 190.
    4 Hugo Mercier. 2017. How Gullible Are We? A Review of the Evidence from Psychology and Social Science. Review of General Psychology, 21(2): 103-122. http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/gpr/21/2/103
    5 Maja Adena, Ruben Enikolopov, Maria Petrova, Veronica Santarosa, Ekaterina Zhuravskaya. 2015. Radio and the Rise of The Nazis in Prewar Germany. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 130(4): 1885–1939. https://academic.oup.com/qje/article-abstract/130/4/1885/1916582?redirectedFrom=PDF


  • The Oscar-nominated ’Good Arab’ Ziad Doueiri
    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/oscar-nominated-good-arab-ziad-doueiri-180124083313190.html

    In an interview for the online publication Forward, Doueiri openly talked about his anti-BDS stance.

    Referring to himself in the third person, he said that “Ziad is not gonna be the peacemaker, the peaceful nice guy.”

    He also said he wants his next film to be about “the ultimate good and the ultimate bad” because he now thinks that “there is black and white after all”.

    So what is the ultimate bad?

    It is the BDS movement. Doueiri made it clear: “I want to portray people like the BDS in a very negative light ... That’s it. I think I have an agenda against them, and I’m gonna probably do it in my next film.”


  • Israel sets up secret firm with top ex-generals, envoys for online ’mass awareness’ campaign ’to fight delegitimization’

    Among the shareholders are former UN ambassador Dore Gold and ex-generals Amos Yadlin and Yaakov Amidror. The new initiative will not be subject to the Freedom of Information Law

    Noa Landau Jan 09, 2018 3:26 PM
    read more: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.833817

    The Strategic Affairs Ministry has set up a public-benefit corporation to engage in what it calls “mass awareness activities” as part of “the struggle against the delegitimization campaign” against Israel internationally.
    Haaretz has obtained a list of the shareholders and directors of the company, Kella Shlomo, who include former Israeli ambassadors to the United Nations.
    The government recently allocated 128 million shekels ($37 million) to the initiative, in addition to the 128 million shekels it will raise from private donors around the world.
    The new initiative will not be subject to the Freedom of Information Law, in accordance with the secrecy policy of the ministry, which refuses to release detailed information about its activities.
    The shareholders and directors include former ministry director general Yossi Kuperwasser; former UN ambassador Dore Gold, who is also a former adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; and former UN ambassador Ron Prosor.

    Reuven Rivlin with Amos Yadlin. Mark Neiman

    FILE PHOTO: Protestors march behind a banner of the BDS organization in Marseille, southern France, on June 13, 2015George Robert / AP
    They also include businessman Micah Avni, whose father, Richard Lakin, was killed in a 2015 terror attack in Jerusalem; Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin, who heads the Institute for National Security Studies; and Col. (res.) Miri Eisin, who served as the prime minister’s adviser on the foreign press during the Second Lebanon War.
    skip - Israel Publishes BDS Blacklist

    Also on the list are a former National Security Council chief, Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, and Sagi Balasha, a former CEO of the Israeli-American Council, which has casino magnate Sheldon Adelson as a major supporter.

    Most refused to discuss the initiative and referred questions to the office of Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan.
    The most recent data from the Companies Authority shows that the last report the company submitted to the authority came this past October. On December 28, the cabinet approved an allocation of 128 million shekels to the company over three years. The decision to provide the funding was made by the special procedure under which a government resolution is distributed to the ministers and goes into effect automatically if no one objects or demands a discussion.
    According to the government resolution, the funding was granted “to implement part of the ministry’s activities related to the struggle against the phenomena of delegitimization and boycotts against the State of Israel.” It says the agency will work to raise its portion of the financing for the initiative (around half) from “philanthropic sources” or “pro-Israel organizations.” A steering committee will be appointed for the initiative to comprise government representatives and representatives of the other funding partners.

    Ron Prosor at the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon oath ceremony forr his appointment as the Secretary-General of the United Nations for second termShachar Ezran
    Itamar Baz of the media watchdog website The Seventh Eye has been covering the Strategic Affairs Ministry, most of whose activities are concealed from the public. He reported Monday that while ministry officials have for months been advancing legislation that would exclude the company from being subject to the Freedom of Information Law, the law in any case does not apply to this new agency so its activities will be easy to hide.
    He also revealed that Liat Glazer, the ministry’s legal adviser, wrote in a legal opinion that the activities conducted through the company would be “those that require ‘non-governmental’ discussions with various target audiences.”
    According to a ministry document, Kella Shlomo people would work via social networks because “the enemy directs most of its awareness and motivating efforts to this area.” Similarly, the document, published by The Seventh Eye, says the organization was expected to carry out “mass awareness activities” and work to “exploit the wisdom of crowds,” an activity defined as “making new ideas accessible to decision-makers and donors in the Jewish world, and developing new tools to combat the delegitimization of Israel.”
    A report in the daily Yedioth Ahronoth the day after the cabinet approved the funding described the initiative positively, saying it would “raise the level of efforts in the struggle against BDS” — the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. Yedioth said the new company would “provide a speedy and coordinated response to efforts to stain Israel’s image around the world,” for example, in the event of a military operation, terror attacks or UN votes against government policies.
    This would be done by launching online campaigns, lobbying, engaging organizations abroad and bringing delegations to Israel.
    The Strategic Affairs Ministry declined to clarify whether the company would act in accordance with the principles of the Freedom of Information Law.
    “This is a joint initiative that meets all the requirements of the law for this type of engagement and is similar to other government initiatives like Taglit [Birthright] and Masa,” the ministry said.
    “In the agreement with [the company] there are distinct control procedures, as defined by the Finance Ministry and the Justice Ministry during the joint work with them on setting up the project. It will be subject to auditing by the state comptroller,” it added.
    “In addition, as the ministry leading the initiative, one that attributes great importance to it as part of the campaign against the delegitimization of Israel, the ministry has allocated additional control tools and functions to what is required. Both the ministry’s legal adviser and its controller will sit on the steering committee managing the project.”
    skip - WTF is BDS?


  • Honor roll: Israel’s BDS blacklist
    The blacklist’s authors are preparing the ground for worse steps – not against foreign nationals, but against Palestinians.
    Amira Hass Jan 08, 2018
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.833810

    The ban on entering the country that was imposed on activists from 20 international organizations is a badge of honor for them. For all the differences among these organizations in size, experience and background, and for all the political disagreements among them and with them, they deserve praise. They are successfully sabotaging the tendency to present the Palestinian problem as a purely humanitarian one, or as a symmetrical conflict between two supposedly equal powers.

    That this blacklist was prepared by an Israeli ministry already proves one of the organizations’ claims: Israel isn’t a democratic state. A state that has ruled for 50 years already over millions of people who have no right to vote and are denied basic human rights like freedom of movement, the right to earn a living and freedom to demonstrate, doesn’t deserve the name democracy, even if its Jewish citizens can write for Haaretz and protest against corruption.

    Israel’s sadistic rule over the Palestinians (including those within the pre-1967 lines) has millions of agents and tools. Human rights organizations can’t compete with all the resources of the state, which have been invested in agents and methods of dispossession. So the political call for sanctions and boycotts makes the necessary leap and proposes a single, conclusive and suitable response to Israeli oppression and persecution.

    It is unlikely that the Strategic Affairs Ministry bureaucrats deluded themselves that a ban on entering Israel and the occupied territories would stop these organizations from continuing to call for international boycotts and sanctions against Israel, or against the settlements and their produce. After all, the activists base their political analysis and their program for stopping Israeli colonialism on information and testimony from readily available sources, and those sources will continue to be available even without the activists’ physical presence in the country.

    But the authors of this blacklist aren’t stupid people bent on macho vengeance. They, too, are political thinkers, and they are continuing to prepare the ground for even worse steps – not against foreign nationals, but against the Palestinian people.

    Publication of the blacklist puts the countries where these organizations are based to a new test. Israel has been preventing their citizens from entering the West Bank and Gaza Strip (and not just its own sovereign territory) for a long time now, even if they never supported the BDS movement. It’s enough for them to be of Palestinian origin and to have relatives and property in the West Bank, or to want to study or teach at educational institutions in the West Bank, for their entry to be banned.

    Many of the people who have been denied entry are American or Jordanian citizens. But the United States, Europe and Jordan haven’t made much effort to defend two basic principles: equal treatment for their citizens regardless of differences in their ethnicity, i.e. Jews versus non-Jews, or differences in the purpose of their visit, i.e. a visit to Ramallah versus a visit to the settlement of Beit El; and symmetrical application of the right of visa-free entry. After all, millions of Israelis enter Europe and Jordan with no problem, including some who were involved in perpetrating war crimes or other violations of international law: pilots, army commanders, settlers.

    Donald Trump’s America won’t be shocked if Jewish members of the pacifist organization Code Pink or Quaker Christians are barred from entering Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. But what about France, England, Norway and other European countries? Several European countries, under pressure from or at the instigation of Israeli and Jewish lobbies, already ban democratic calls for sanctions on Israel due to the disgraceful equation of criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. It’s hard to imagine them taking action against the new blacklist.

    Israel is taking the international community’s pulse. The measuring device is the sanctions against these organizations, and the goal is our freedom to uproot people, to demolish and steal. In this shrewd manner, Israel is examining how it can deprive the Palestinians of additional basic rights – including through mass expulsions – without the so-called democratic world stopping it.

    #BDS


  • Israel This wasn’t supposed to happen at a conference on anti-Semitism -

    Jews are apathetic to suffering of other minorities, World Jewish Congress counsel tells a Tel Aviv conference, but gets lukewarm response from delegates

    Judy Maltz Dec 11, 2017
    read more: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.828354

    Many would argue that anti-Semitism is no worse than any other hatred. But it’s not every day that a top official at the World Jewish Congress tries to make that case – let alone suggest that Jews are apathetic to the suffering of other minorities.
    So when Menachem Rosensaft, the general counsel of the WJC, an organization dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism, delivered remarks in this vein at a Tel Aviv conference on anti-Semitism on Monday, the audience was – needless to say – caught off guard.
    To really understand Israel and the Jewish World - subscribe to Haaretz
    “Anti-Semitism is sometimes referred to as the most pernicious hatred,” he told delegates. “I respectfully reject that characterization and any suggestion that anti-Semitism is somehow worse than other forms of bigotry.
    He continued: “I’m sorry, but the white supremacist ideology that holds African-Americans and Hispanics to be inferior to Caucasians is every bit as reprehensible as anti-Semitism. So are other kinds of discrimination and oppression on the basis of religion, race and nationality.
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    “The hatred that resulted in the genocide of Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica and of the Tutsi in Rwanda are no less evil than the hatred of Jews that resulted in pogroms and the Shoah,” he added.

    It wasn’t exactly what participants at “The Oldest Hatred Gone Viral” summit had come expecting to hear.
    Rosensaft, who teaches law at Columbia and Cornell, was a keynote speaker at the conference, sponsored by the WJC in cooperation with NGO Monitor, a right-wing organization that tracks the activities of anti-occupation and other civil society groups in Israel.

    Menachem Rosensaft, general counsel of the World Jewish Congress.Courtesy of the World Jewish Con
    Considered an international expert on genocide, Rosensaft suggested that Jews were not sensitive enough to the persecution of other minorities, in particular Muslims and African-Americans.
    “In our fight against anti-Semitism, we must never allow ourselves to lose sight of the fundamental reality: That precisely the same dangerous hatred used to incite violence – sometimes lethal violence – against Jews can just as easily be used against other minorities,” he said.
    Rosensaft said that Jews tend to focus too much on anti-Semitism from the left and ignore anti-Semitism on the right. “I am as concerned about neo-Nazis and white supremacists shouting ‘Jews shall not replace us,’” he said, referring to the violent rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August, “as I am by jihadists or BDS activists who deny Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.
    “We do ourselves a disservice, in my opinion, when some of us focus our attention – primarily, if not exclusively – on the anti-Semitism generated by the anti-Israel left, while minimizing the impact of the bigotry and xenophobia emanating from the extreme right.”
    Rosensaft, a child of Holocaust survivors and considered a leading authority on the second generation, warned that Jewish apathy to the plight of others would cause others to be apathetic to the plight of the Jews.
    “If we do not recognize the suffering of others and the hatred directed against others, for what reason and on what basis can we expect others to look at the hatred directed against us and want to identify with us?” he asked.
    Rosensaft made his remarks during a special session devoted to the memory of Prof. Robert S. Wistrich, a renowned Hebrew University authority on anti-Semitism who died in May 2015.
    In the discussion that followed, members of the audience challenged Rosensaft for asserting that anti-Semitism was comparable to other forms of bigotry.
    Wistrich’s widow, Danielle, drew a large round of applause when she delivered the following statement, summing up the general sentiment among delegates: “I don’t think we Jews need to spend our energy, our money and our time to defend Arabs, because I think they have their own people to do that. I think it is good to be well meaning and wonderful to have a big heart, but let’s keep it for ourselves.”


  • Tens of thousands of Israelis protest against Netanyahu in second March of Shame - Israel News - Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.827858

    Demonstrators on Tel Aviv’s Rotschild Boulevard held signs reading, “Out with the corrupt!” and “Not leftist, not rightist, but honest!” Others read, “Being a pig isn’t kosher” and “Bibi go home.”

    Hundreds of protesters against corruption gathered in Haifa as well, with signs reading “Democracy isn’t a suggestion” and “Shame on you.”

    An altercation broke out towards the end of the demonstration when a small group of anarchists carrying signs supporting a boycott of Israel tried to join the protest. Anti-corruption demonstrators verbally attacked the group and the police had to intervene after protesters started shoving them and tore signs supportive of the BDS movement.

    Police forced to intervene after anti-Netanyahu protesters stop pro-BDS anarchists from joining Tel Aviv protest Credit : Hagar Shezaf

    Those that partook in the protest were angered by a new bill that would have prevented police from publicizing recommendations on indictments. The controversial bill was widely believed to have been drafted to protect Netanyahu, who is currently under investigation in two high-profile corruption scandals, by keeping the public in the dark.


  • At anti-Semitism panel, Linda Sarsour asks, ’I am the biggest problem of the Jewish community?’

    The prominent feminist activist and controversial anti-Zionist speaks out against anti-Semitism and the importance of ’organizing at the intersections of oppression’

    Asher Schechter Nov 29, 2017
    read more: https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-1.825582

    Minutes before Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour took the stage at The New School’s Alvin Johnson Auditorium as part of a panel on anti-Semitism, one of the organizers went up to deliver a number of key instructions to audience members in case protesters would try to shut down the event.
    But the fears that the event would be disrupted by right-wing protesters turned out to be for naught. Despite two weeks of a media frenzy, a petition signed by more than 21,000 people and loads of criticism from both left and right, the panel concluded with only two very minor interruptions.
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    >> American Jews, lay off Linda Sarsour | Opinion
    skip - A video of the panel on anti-Semitism at The New School

    “Apparently I am the biggest problem of the Jewish community? I am the existential threat, Apparently? I am confused, literally, every day,” said Sarsour, addressing the controversy that preceded the event.
    Sarsour, a prominent advocate for Muslim Americans, criminal justice reform and civil rights, is the former executive director of the Arab American Association of New York and co-chaired last January’s National Women’s March. During the past year, particularly as her profile in progressive circles increased after the march, Sarsour has raised the ire of conservatives, Zionist activists and so-called alt-right figures who accuse her of supporting terrorists and promoting anti-Semitism – largely due to her support of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and her criticism of Israel.
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    >> Extremists on left and right empowering BDS on U.S. college campuses | Opinion
    “I am deeply honored and humbled to be here on this stage with people who have been some of the staunchest allies of the communities that I come from,” Sarsour said during the panel. “We cannot dismantle anti-Black racism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, every phobia and -ism without also dismantling anti-Semitism.”
    “Intersectionality is not about black and white people organizing together or Jews and Muslims organizing together. It is all of us organizing at the intersections of oppression and seeing oppression [as] connected. Anti-Semitism is one branch on a larger tree of racism,” she added. “You can’t just address one branch, you need to address all branches together so we can get to the root of the problem.”

    In her remarks, Sarsour spoke at length about her criticism of Zionism. “Just in case it’s not clear, I am unapologetically Palestinian-American and will always be unapologetically Palestinian-American. I am also unapologetically Muslim-American. And guess what? I am also a very staunch supporter of the BDS movement. What other way am I supposed to be, as a Palestinian-American who’s a daughter of immigrants who lived under military occupation and still has relatives in Palestine that live under military occupation? I should be expected to have the views that I hold,” she said.
    Regardless of their feelings toward Israel, said Sarsour, Jews and non-Jews alike “must commit to dismantling anti-Semitism. The existential threat resides in the White House, and if what you’re reading all day long in the Jewish media is that Linda Sarsour and Minister [Louis] Farrakhan are the existential threats to the Jewish community, something really bad is going to happen and we are going to miss the mark on it.”
    skip - A tweet from Jonathan Greenblatt

    Apart from Sarsour, the panel also featured Rebecca Vilkomerson, the executive director of Jewish Voices for Peace, Leo Ferguson of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice and Lina Morales, a member of Jews of Color and Mizrahi/Sephardi Caucus of JVP. The event was moderated by journalist and author Amy Goodman, the host of the alternative news program “Democracy Now!”
    The panel, organized by JVP, Haymarket Books, Jacobin magazine, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice and The New School’s Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism program, was preceded by great controversy over Sarsour’s participation. Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, tweeted that “Having Linda Sarsour & head of JVP leading a panel on antisemitism is like Oscar Meyer leading a panel on vegetarianism.” Writing for Tablet Magazine, Phyllis Chesler, a New School alumni, wished that she could give back her diploma.
    “Antisemitism is harmful and real. But when antisemitism is redefined as criticism of Israel, critics of Israeli policy become accused and targeted more than the growing far-right,” read the event’s description.
    The other panelists were similarly critical of Israel and of the Jewish American community that rebukes activists like Sarsour yet embraces far-right figures like Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka. “I am angry at the profound hypocrisy of the institutional Jewish community, which has taught us that loving Israel does not mean that you love Jews,” said Vilkomerson. “Because I care about Jews, I am anti-Zionist,” said Morales. “Nothing can be more counterproductive or hurtful to Jews than to be intentionally confusing the issue of anti-Semitism by spreading false charges of anti-Semitism,” said Ferguson, in reference to the “smearing” of pro-Palestinian activists by Jewish-American organizations. Lobbing false accusations of anti-Semitism, he argued, “slowly erodes our ability to accurately assess threats.”
    Two hours before the debate was scheduled to begin, over 15 policemen and security guards and multiple police cars were already surrounding the venue where it was to be held. A small protest took place across the street, with some demonstrators holding signs and chanting against Sarsour and JVP.
    “This panel is spitting in the face of Jews – four anti-Semites talking about anti-Semitism,” Karen Lichtbraun, one of the demonstrators and head of the New York chapter of the Jewish Defense League told Haaretz. JVP, she charged, wanted to “drive a wedge between Jews” by inviting Sarsour. “[Sarsour] wants to bring Sharia law to America. She is brainwashing a lot of young Jews,” she claimed.
    “Nobody has a monopoly on talking about anti-Semitism,” Rabbi Alissa Wise, deputy director of Jewish Voice for Peace and one of the event’s organizers, told Haaretz. “As a rabbi and a Jew, I feel safer in the world knowing that there are more people, non-Jewish allies, Muslims, Christians, people of no faith, who are taking up the question of anti-Semitism seriously.”
    When asked about the commotion in the media that surrounded the event, Wise said: “There’s something particular about the role that Linda plays in the psyche of the American Jewish community. We’ve done these anti-Semitism events in Indianapolis, Chicago, the Bay Area, Philadelphia, and this is not the only one where a Muslim is speaking. Never before have we seen this kind of frenzy. It just seems like a witch hunt of sorts.”
    Tuesday’s event was not the first time a planned appearance by Sarsour caused controversy: Her invitation to deliver the commencement address at the City University of New York School of Public Health in June raised the ire of pro-Israel activists. The uproar included a protest rally against her speech outside CUNY’s main office building, headed by far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, who called Sarsour a “Sharia-loving, terrorist-embracing, Jew-hating, ticking time bomb of progressive horror.”
    “When I spoke at the CUNY graduate center back in June, something really disturbing happened,” said Sarsour during the panel. “I don’t care if people protest against me. What was confusing to me at that moment was, how is it that people that are Jewish are standing in a really against me with Milo Yiannopoulos, Richard Spencer, and Gavin McInnes? Why are they there with them? I hope the Jewish community stands up and says that’s wrong, that under no circumstance should Jewish people align with people like Milo or Pamela Geller or Richard Spencer or Gavin McInnes.”
    When asked about her previous statement that feminism is “incompatible with Zionism,” Sarsour said: “I am not as important as I am made out to be. I am not the one that actually gets to say who gets to be in the movement and who doesn’t. Let’s stop talking about the civil rights movement that happened 50 years ago because there is a civil rights movement happening right now. We live under fascism, and we need all hands on deck.”

    Asher Schechter
    Haaretz Columnist

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  • Israel secretly using U.S. law firm to fight BDS activists in Europe, North America -

    Israeli government hired lawyers to counter BDS; nature of work is kept a secret, and defined as ’extremely sensitive’

    Chaim Levinson and Barak Ravid Oct 25, 2017
    read more: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.818938

    The government has been secretly using a U.S. law firm to help it fight the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement in Europe, North America and elsewhere, according to documents obtained by Haaretz.
    The government has hired the Chicago-based firm Sidley Austin to prepare legal opinions and handle court proceedings. The Justice Ministry and the Strategic Affairs Ministry have declined to reveal the nature of these activities, for which the state has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past two years. The ministries call the activities “diplomatically extremely sensitive.”
    About two years ago, the security cabinet made the Strategic Affairs Ministry responsible for coordinating the fight against “delegitimization” and earmarked major resources for these efforts. The Strategic Affairs Ministry transfers some of the money to the Foreign Ministry in various places worldwide and some money has been given to Jewish organizations overseas for public relations work on campuses and elsewhere.
    But the Strategic Affairs Ministry is also operating on these matters in ways that have not been made public. In the past, the ministry’s director general, Sima Vaknin, told the Knesset that it is involved in “gathering intelligence and attacking.”
    Over the past year, attorney Eitay Mack has asked government ministries in the name of human rights activists to receive information on all the contracts signed with bodies overseas involving anti-BDS activities. The Foreign Ministry said it had no such contractual obligations, but the Justice Ministry provided censored documents.
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    The documents show that the special-tasks department in the State Prosecutor’s Office, which is responsible for dealing with matters of national security – in cooperation with the Strategic Affairs Ministry – called for bids in early 2016 from international law firms.
    This was for “preparing documents and legal opinions, handling legal proceedings (suits or representation) to the extent needed battling the BDS phenomenon in particular concerning calls and initiatives to impose boycotts and sanctions against Israeli companies and businesses, as well as against foreign companies that have business operations in Israel.”
    The detailed description of the services was censored from the document. The Justice Ministry said the details were redacted because their publication could lead to “damage to the country’s foreign relations and damage to the ability of these bodies to provide the requested service.”
    In February 2016, the Justice Ministry contracted with a law firm, but in May the ministry asked to switch firms after the original outfit was found to have a possible conflict of interest.
    A contract with a different law firm for 290,000 euros was then approved, with the option of increasing the amount by another 200,000 euros for additional work. Another expansion of the original contract was later approved, this time for another 437,000 euros, making a total contract value of 925,000 euros, or 4 million shekels ($1.1 million).
    The tenders committee decided not to publicize the contracts in the government’s Manof information system because of the sensitivity of the matter to Israel’s foreign relations.
    The secrecy surrounding the contracts raises the suspicion that the work involves not only writing legal opinions but also preparing lawsuits against BDS supporters, as Israel does not want to be revealed as supporting such actions, to avoid the perception that it is interfering in the internal affairs of other countries.
    The money is disbursed as budgetary allocations for international contracts. The Justice Ministry’s report on such contracts shows that the government contracted with Sidley Austin in March 2016 for consulting services, without issuing a tender for competitive bidding. In the first half of 2017, the firm received $219,000 in payments. No other law firms were paid under the same budgetary section.
    Sidley Austin did not reply to questions on whether it was working for the Israeli government.
    Sidley Austin is one of the largest American law firms and employs 1,900 lawyers. It is the firm where a young lawyer, Michelle Robinson, met a summer intern named Barack Obama. The firm has four offices in Europe: in Brussels, London, Munich and Geneva.

    Chaim Levinson
    Haaretz Correspondent


  • Ynetnews News - Major Canadian union joins #BDS
    https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5011990,00.html

    Friends of Simon Weisenthal Center for Holocaust Studies President Avi Benlolo voiced his criticism of the decision, saying that “Unifor has proven that it supports an anti-Semitic movement of which no Canadian or member of Unifor will stand to profit.”
     
    Members of the Canadian Jewish community also rejected the decision, stating that joining the BDS movement first and foremost hurts Palestinian workers .

    #Israel #chutzpah #israël #palestine