person:gilad erdan

  • Les Ethiopiens d’Israël manifestent après le « meurtre » d’un des leurs par la police
    Par Le Figaro avec AFP Publié le 02/07/2019 à 21:57

    Des Israéliens d’origine éthiopienne manifestaient mardi leur colère après la mort d’un membre de leur communauté, tué par un policier qui n’était pas en service et dans des circonstances encore troubles.

    La mort dimanche soir de Solomon Teka, âgé de 18 ou 19 ans, a ravivé parmi les Ethiopiens d’Israël les accusations de racisme policier à son encontre. Depuis lundi soir, ces Israéliens manifestent à Kiryat Haim, près de Haïfa (nord), lieu où a été abattu Solomon Teka. Mardi, jour de son enterrement, la contestation a repris. La mort de Solomon Teka n’est rien d’autre qu’un « meurtre », a accusé sur les ondes de la radio israélienne Amir Teka, cousin de la victime. Les manifestants ont bloqué plusieurs routes et une quinzaine de carrefours, brûlant des pneus et attaquant parfois les véhicules qui tentaient de passer leurs barrages improvisés. Au moins 19 contestataires ont été interpellés, selon la police.

    « Nous devons faire tout notre possible pour nous assurer que la police cesse de tuer des gens à cause de leur couleur de peau », a déclaré à l’AFP l’un des manifestants, Mengisto, 26 ans. « Nous avons besoin d’obtenir des garanties de la part de l’Etat ou de la police que cela ne se reproduira plus », a-t-il exigé.

    Israël : des manifestations dégénèrent après la mort d’un Israélien d’origine éthiopienne (VIDEOS)
    3 juil. 2019, 16:02

    A la suite de la disparition de Solomon Tekah, probablement tué par un policier, la communauté éthiopienne d’Israël a manifesté sa colère. Différentes villes ont connu des affrontements au cours desquels manifestants et policiers ont été blessés. (...)


    • Family of Ethiopian Israeli Shot Dead by Police Urges Halt to Protests

      Major Tel Aviv junction blocked in third day of unrest ■ Dozens of demonstrators arrested
      Yaniv Kubovich, Almog Ben Zikri, Josh Breiner , Bar Peleg, Noa Shpigel and Aaron Rabinowitz Jul 03, 2019 7:45 PM

      The family of an Ethiopian Israeli teen whose shooting death by an off-duty police officer sparked a wave of prortests across the country called Wednesday for demonstrations to be put on hold, as they enter their third day.

      A friend of the 18-year-old Solomon Teka’s family said his father asked for protests to halt until the seven days of Jewish mourning, known as shiva, are over.

      Although police warned earlier on Wednesday they would not allow roads blockages, demonstrators were attempting to disrupt traffic in a number of locations across Israel.

      Seven people who were trying to block a road south of Tel Aviv, were forcibly removed by police and detained. One protester has been arrested in the northern city of Kiryat Ata, where about 100 people have gathered and begun marching toward the Zevulun police station. Five more people were detained for attempting to block access to a police station in Yavne.

      Speaking at a meeting of ministers tasked with advancing the integration of the Ethiopian Israeli community Wednesday evening, Prime Minister Netanyahu called on lawmakers to “exert their influence” and stop the violence immediately. “The death of Solomon Teka is a big tragedy, but we cannot tolerate this violence,” he said.

      Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said that police forces were bracing for heightened tensions after Tuesday night’s protest against police brutality and racism toward Jews of Ethiopian descent turned violent, with 136 arrests and 111 injured policemen. The arrests were for allegedly attacking policemen, vandalism, and gross disturbance of public order.

      One protester’s remand was extended until Friday, for allegedly setting a car on fire in Tel Aviv. Another protester’s remand has been extended until 8:00 P.M. Wednesday for attempting to run over a police officer. A 24-year-old was arrested in Ashdod after he was caught on video lighting a border policeman’s uniform on fire. Police identified him and arrested him Wednesday.

      Erdan also noted that police had information that some protesters were planning to arm themselves and try to shoot policemen during the upcoming protests.

      The police announced that it will not allow protesters to block main roads on Wednesday, after roads were blocked throughout Israel on Tuesday evening, causing mass traffic jams. Magen David Adom stated that in the protests the night before, beyond the 111 officers who were hurt, 26 protesters were also injured, nine passers-by, and one firefighter. MDA also said that seven of its ambulances and four emergency first-aid motorbikes were damaged by rock-throwers.

      Police employed means of riot control Tuesday, including tear gas and stun grenades, as protesters closed down main city arteries, burning tires and vandalizing cars. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan told Army Radio that while he understands the frustration and suffering of tens of thousands, the police did what they had to do. Erdan also vowed that the violence would not recur, and that if necessary, police would defend themselves.

      People were incited through social media, he said, boosting the violence to levels previously unknown, such as the throwing of a firebomb at a police station. He reiterated intense regret and sorrow over Teka’s death but added that the incident is not representative of change in the Israeli police in recent years.

      Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that the “Ethiopian community is dear to us,” however the state is not prepared to tolerate blocking of roads or violence “including firebombs thrown toward our forces, the burning of cars or any other civilian property. We are a law-abiding nation. We demand that everyone respect the law.”

      Netanyahu convened a committee of ministers Wednesday night to advance the integration of the Ethiopian community and discuss “excessive policing and the patterns of behavior toward of those of Ethiopian descent.” Netanyahu added, “we’ve already seen improvement in this area and it seems that we need to make many more improvements.”

      In the northern city of Kiryat Ata, over a thousand marched on the Zevulun police station and smoke grenades were thrown into the station. Around 200 demonstrators in Afula blocked traffic on one of the northern city’s main streets. Meanwhile, major roads in several cities, including Tel Aviv and Haifa, were blocked by demonstrators burning tires.

      President Reuven Rivlin called for restraint and dialogue: “The rage must not be expressed in violence,” he tweeted. “The handful who chose violence are not the face of the protest and must not become the face of the protest, which we very much understand.” Rivlin called for a meeting together with representatives of all the parties involved in public safety: “Only through open conversation, difficult as it is, can change be achieved.”

      On Monday the police said that Teka may have been hit by a bullet ricocheting off the ground.

    • Rage Against the Police: 13 Photos From Ethiopian Israelis’ Protest

      Escalating demonstrations over the death of 18-year-old Ethiopian Israeli teen Solomon Teka are entering the third day
      By Haaretz Jul 03, 2019

      Israelis of Ethiopian origin are demonstrating throughout Israel following the death Sunday of 18-year old Solomon Teka, who was shot by police.

      Some of the protests quickly became violent when demonstrators blocked main roads and set on fire a car of a passerby who tried to drive through the blockade.

      A protester is throwing a scooter at a burning car during the Ethiopian Israeli protest in Tel Aviv. Credit : Tomer Appelbaum

      Protesters show photos of 18-year old Solomon Teka of Ethiopian descent, who died after he was shot by police, in Tel Aviv. Credit : Tomer Appelbaum

      A protester stands opposite to a policeman during the protest of Ethiopian Israelis, in Tel Aviv. Credit \ CORINNA KERN/ REUTERS

    • Nouvelle journée de manifestations après la mort d’un Israélien d’origine éthiopienne
      3 juillet 2019

      (Belga) Des manifestations ont eu lieu mercredi à Tel-Aviv et dans le nord d’Israël pour la troisième journée consécutive, après le décès d’un jeune Israélien d’origine éthiopienne, tué par un policier, la communauté éthiopienne dénonçant un crime raciste.
      Solomon Teka, âgé de 19 ans, a été tué dimanche soir par un policier qui n’était pas en service au moment des faits, à Kiryat Haim, une ville proche du port de Haïfa, dans le nord d’Israël. Des dizaines de policiers ont été déployés mercredi dans la ville de Kiryat Ata, non loin de Kiryat Haim. Des manifestants tentant de bloquer une route ont été dispersés par la police. Malgré des appels au calme lancés par les autorités, des jeunes se sont aussi à nouveau rassemblés à Tel-Aviv. Une centaine de personnes ont défié la police en bloquant une route avant d’être dispersées. En trois jours, 140 personnes ont été arrêtées et 111 policiers blessés par des jets de pierres, bouteilles et bombes incendiaires lors des manifestations dans le pays, selon un nouveau bilan de la police. Les embouteillages et les images de voitures en feu ont fait la une des médias. Le Premier ministre Benjamin Netanyahu et le président israélien Reuven Rivlin ont appelé au calme, tout en reconnaissant que les problèmes auxquels était confrontée la communauté israélo-éthiopienne devaient être traités. « La mort de Solomon Teka est une immense tragédie », a dit le Premier ministre. « Des leçons seront tirées. Mais une chose est claire : nous ne pouvons tolérer les violences que nous avons connues hier », a-t-il déclaré mercredi lors d’une réunion du comité ministériel sur l’intégration de la communauté éthiopienne. « Nous ne pouvons pas voir de routes bloquées, ni de cocktails Molotov, ni d’attaques contre des policiers, des citoyens et des propriétés privées », a-t-il ajouté. (...)

    • Les Israéliens éthiopiens s’interrogent : « Nos vies ont-elles moins de prix ? »
      Selon les manifestants, c’est un racisme systématique qui s’exprime derrière les violences policières répétées contre les jeunes noirs en Israël - et qui ont pu entraîner la mort
      Par Simona Weinglass 3 juillet 2019, 14:41

      Pour ces jeunes Israéliens d’origine éthiopienne qui manifestent, mardi, pour dénoncer le meurtre d’un membre de leur communauté par un policier, ce n’est pas seulement l’expression d’une colère contre ce qu’ils considèrent comme un racisme systématique profondément ancré du côté des forces de l’ordre.

      C’est aussi un cri exprimant une frustration entraînée par des promesses de changement, maintes fois répétées et qui n’ont rien changé.

      Dans tout le pays, ce sont des milliers de manifestants issus de la communauté et leurs soutiens qui ont bloqué les routes pour faire part de leur fureur après la mort de Solomon Tekah, qui a été abattu cette semaine par un agent de police qui n’était pas en service à ce moment-là.
      Une jeune femme d’une vingtaine d’années, vêtue d’une robe d’été et originaire de Ness Ziona, dans le centre d’Israël, confie : « Je suis complètement bouleversée. D’abord, on se dit : OK, c’est arrivé une fois mais ça n’arrivera plus. La fois suivante, on se dit : d’accord, peut-être qu’ils vont enfin régler ça ».

      « Mais quand ça devient systématique, alors là vous vous demandez si effectivement votre vie a moins de prix qu’une autre ? », lance-t-elle.

      « Ce jeune », ajoute-t-elle en évoquant Tekah, « ses parents lui ont donné tout ce qu’ils avaient. Ils l’ont élevé pendant toutes ces années. Et un jour, quelqu’un a décidé qu’il était autorisé à l’abattre ».

      Tekah est mort au cours d’une altercation survenue dimanche à Haïfa, dans le quartier Kiryat Haim.

      Un témoin de la fusillade aurait indiqué au département des enquêtes internes de la police, qui dépend du ministère de la Défense, que contrairement à ce qu’a pu affirmer le policier incriminé, ce dernier ne semblait pas être en danger quand il a ouvert le feu.

      L’agent a été brièvement placé en détention avant d’être assigné à domicile, attisant la colère au sein de la communauté.(...)

  • Comment les services de renseignement israéliens collaborent à la lutte contre #BDS à travers le monde

    Mossad involved in anti-boycott activity, Israeli minister’s datebooks reveal - Israel News -

    The datebooks of Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan for 2018 reveal that he cooperated with the Mossad in the fight against the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

    The diaries, which were released in response to a Freedom of Information request, show that Erdan met with Mossad head Yossi Cohen about “the struggle against the boycott.” The request was made by the Hatzlaha movement, an organization promoting a fair society and economy, to all ministers, deputy ministers and ministry directors-general.

    Officials in the Strategic Affairs Ministry are proud of their work with the state’s security agencies, but hide the content and full scope of these activities on grounds that if these would be revealed, it would undermine the covert efforts being made against BDS and its leaders. Officials in Erdan’s office said that the meeting with Cohen was merely a “review,” but sources familiar with the ministry’s activities told Haaretz that the ministry indeed cooperates with the Mossad.

    Erdan’s datebooks also show meetings with the head of the National Security Council and the head of the NSC’s intelligence branch, as well as meetings with representatives of numerous Jewish organizations, including the American Jewish Committee, B’nai B’rith, the American Jewish Congress, the umbrella organization of French Jewry, the U.S. Reform Movement and others. There are also logs of various meetings and phone calls that Erdan’s chief of staff held with foreign leaders and diplomats, as well as meetings with settler leaders, including the heads of the Samaria Regional Council and the Hebron Hills Regional Council.

    Many of Erdan’s meetings in 2018 were devoted to establishing a public benefit corporation which at first was called Kella Shlomo but whose name was later changed to Concert. Its aim was to covertly advance “mass awareness activities” as part of “the struggle against the campaign to delegitimize” Israel globally. This corporation, which received 128 million shekels (about $36 million) in government funding and was to also collect 128 million shekels in private contributions, is not subject to the Freedom of Information Law.

    In early 2018 Haaretz published the list of shareholders and directors in the company, which include former Strategic Affairs Ministry director general Yossi Kuperwasser; former UN ambassador Dore Gold, a former adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; former UN ambassador Ron Prosor; businessman Micah Avni, whose father, Richard Lakin, was killed in a 2015 terror attack in Jerusalem; Amos Yadlin, who heads Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies; Miri Eisin, who served as the prime minister’s adviser on the foreign press during the Second Lebanon War; former National Security Council chief Yaakov Amidror; and Sagi Balasha, a former CEO of the Israeli-American Council.
    Demonstrators wear shirts reading “Boycott Israel” during a protest in Paris, Dec. 9, 2017.
    Demonstrators wear shirts reading “Boycott Israel” during a protest in Paris, Dec. 9, 2017. AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu

    According to a government resolution, the funding was granted to implement part of the ministry’s activities related to the fights against delegitimization and boycotts against the State of Israel. It says the company would raise the private portion of its financing for the initiative from philanthropic sources or pro-Israel organizations. A steering committee was to be appointed for the initiative to comprise representatives of the government and the other funding partners.
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    According to a ministry document revealed by The Seventh Eye website, the organization was expected to carry out mass awareness activities and work to exploit the wisdom of crowds, “making new ideas accessible to decision-makers and donors in the Jewish world, and developing new tools to combat the delegitimization of Israel.”

    Elad Mann, Hatzlacha’s legal adviser, said, “Revealing the date books of senior and elected officials is crucial to understanding how the government system works and it has great value taken together with other details of information. This is how to monitor the government and its priorities or the actions it takes with more efficiency and transparency.”

    Erdan’s office said that he “met during this past term with heads of the security echelons to give them a survey of the ministry’s activities in the struggle against the delegitimization and boycott of Israel.”

    Josh Breiner contributed to this report.

  • Un tribunal israélien approuve l’#expulsion du directeur de #HRW

    Un tribunal israélien a approuvé mardi une décision du ministère de l’Intérieur d’expulser le directeur local de Human Rights Watch (HRW), accusé de « soutenir le boycott d’Israël ».

    Le tribunal de Jérusalem a accordé à #Omar_Shakir, un citoyen américain, jusqu’au 1er mai prochain pour quitter le territoire, après avoir rejeté son appel contre un ordre d’expulsion. Il peut toutefois faire appel devant la cour suprême.

    le tribunal avait reporté son expulsion en mai 2018 après un recours de l’organisation de défense des droits humains contre une décision du ministère de l’Intérieur.

    Dans sa déclaration mardi, le tribunal de Jérusalem a affirmé qu’il « a été prouvé » que M. Shakir « continue à appeler publiquement au boycottage d’Israël et en même temps demander qu’il (l’Etat hébreu) lui ouvre ses portes ».

    Le ministre des Affaires stratégiques Gilad Erdan a salué la décision de la justice israélienne, précisant que c’est son ministère qui avait fourni les éléments à charge pour incriminer le directeur du HRW et recommander son expulsion.

    « Les activistes du BDS doivent réaliser qu’il y a un prix à payer pour leur activité contre Israël et ses citoyens », a ajouté le ministre.

    Les autorités israéliennes avaient indiqué en 2018 que M. Shakir était depuis des années un militant du BDS soutenant le boycott d’Israël de manière active.

    Le BDS (Boycott, désinvestissement et sanctions), l’une des bêtes noires des autorités israéliennes, est une campagne mondiale de boycott économique, culturel ou scientifique d’Israël destinée à obtenir la fin de l’occupation et de la colonisation des Territoires palestiniens.

    Le gouvernement israélien combat farouchement tout ce qui ressemble à une entreprise de boycott et en 2017, il a adopté une loi interdisant à tout militant BDS d’entrer en Israël.

    HRW a démenti que son directeur ait soutenu le BDS, et affirmé mardi vouloir saisir la cour suprême israélienne.

    Tom Porteous, adjoint au directeur des programmes de HRW, a affirmé dans un communiqué que la décision de justice constituait une « nouvelle et dangereuse interprétation de la loi » car elle assimilait la critique des entreprises opérant en Cisjordanie à un boycott d’Israël.
    ping @nepthys @reka

  • La Grande-Bretagne a-t-elle un problème avec le Hezbollah ?
    Abdel Bari Atwan - 27 février 2019 – Raï al-Yaoum – Traduction : Chronique de Palestine – Lotfallah

    La décision de la Grande-Bretagne de s’attaquer au Hezbollah est non seulement cynique mais aussi stupide.

    Le projet du gouvernement britannique d’interdire le mouvement Hezbollah dans son intégralité – qu’il s’agisse de la branche politique ou militaire – et de le qualifier d’organisation terroriste ne peut être considéré isolément des tentatives américaines et israéliennes de mobiliser pour la guerre contre l’Iran. Cette mobilisation a été implacable au cours des dernières semaines aux niveaux régional et international.

    Le gouvernement conservateur britannique de droite a rompu avec la politique européenne de longue date en déclarant qu’il traiterait désormais les ailes militaire et politique du Hezbollah comme une seule et même entité. Le ministre de l’Intérieur, Sajid Javid, a annoncé que l’interdiction déjà actée de l’aile militaire serait désormais appliquée à l’aile politique, et que toute l’organisation serait interdite.

    Cette mesure a été prise en réponse aux pressions des États-Unis et d’Israël et il n’est pas surprenant que le ministre israélien de la Sécurité publique, Gilad Erdan, ait été parmi les premiers à s’en féliciter. Il a exhorté les autres pays européens à faire de même, et nous ne devrions pas être surpris si Donald Trump vomisse bientôt un tweet disant la même chose.

    C’est le gouvernement britannique qui a eu pour la première fois l’idée de faire la distinction entre les ailes politique et militaire des mouvements de résistance. Il avait uniquement interdit l’aile militaire de l’armée républicaine irlandaise (IRA) lorsqu’elle luttait pour l’unification de l’Irlande.

    Mais sa dernière initiative rompt avec ce concept, illustrant la manière dont de doubles normes sont appliquées aux Arabes et aux Musulmans, et en particulier dans le cadre du conflit israélo-arabe.

    Le Hezbollah s’est habitué à de telles initiatives et nous doutons que l’organisation soit très affectée par la décision du Royaume-Uni. Depuis des décennies, il est sans cesse attaqué par les États-Unis, Israël et divers régimes arabes, et il s’est adapté à toutes les difficultés qui en résultent pour effectuer des transferts financiers et recevoir des dons de ses soutiens à l’étranger. De plus, le Hezbollah ne possède pas en son nom propre des dépôts dans les banques occidentales ni aux noms de ses dirigeants. (...)

  • Activists block Israeli ’Apartheid Road’ near Jerusalem
    Jan. 23, 2019 5:38 P.M.

    RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Palestinian, Israeli and international activists shut down the recently opened “Apartheid Road” near Jerusalem, which separates Palestinian and Israeli drivers by a wall, on Wednesday.

    The Popular Struggle Coordination Committees (PSCC) said, in a press release, that dozens of activists closed the gates to the newly opened road.

    Israeli forces detained two protesters, while four others were injured as they (Israeli forces) attempted to re-open the road for traffic.

    Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan called the highway “an example of the ability to create coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians while guarding (against) the existing security challenges.”

    The Palestinian Authority (PA) denounced the opening of the “Apartheid Road” and said, “It’s a shame on the international community to see an apartheid regime being established and deepened without doing anything to stop it.”

    The road, divided in the middle by a high concrete wall; the road’s western side serves Palestinians who cannot enter Jerusalem, whereas its eastern side serves Israeli settlers, is the first road to have a wall along its entire length, dividing Palestinian and Israeli drivers, however, the West Bank has many segregated roads.


    Israeli Soldiers Abduct A Palestinian And An Australian Peace Activist In Jerusalem
    January 23, 2019

    Israeli soldiers abducted, Wednesday, a Palestinian and an Australian peace activist during a nonviolent protest near Anata town, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem.

    Palestinian, Israeli and international peace activists were nonviolently protesting the new Jewish-only, ‘Apartheid Road’, built on Palestinian lands near Anata town.

    The protesters carried Palestinian flags and chanted for ending Israel’s segregation and apartheid policies against the indigenous Palestinians in their homeland, before the soldiers fired many concussion grenades at them, and assaulted several nonviolent protesters. The soldiers then abducted one Palestinian and one Australian. (...)

  • Airbnb to remove listings in Jewish West Bank settlements - Israel News -

    Home-renting company Airbnb Inc said on Monday that it had decided to remove its listings in Jewish settlements in the West Bank, enclaves that most world powers consider illegal for taking up land where Palestinians seek statehood. In response, Israel’s Tourism Minister Yariv Levin instructed the ministry to restrict the company’s operations across the country.
    A statement on Airbnb’s website said: “We concluded that we should remove listings in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank that are at the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.” 
    It did not say when the decision, which according to Airbnb affects some 200 listings, would take effect. 
    Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan called on Airbnb hosts harmed by the decision to file lawsuits against the company in accordance with Israel’s anti-boycott law and said he’ll turn to senior U.S. officials to check if the company’s decision violated the anti-boycott laws “that exist in over 25 states.”
    He said that “national conflicts exist throughout the world and Airbnb will need to explain why they chose a racist political stance against some Israeli citizens.”

    The Yesha Council of settlements said in response that “a company that has no qualms about renting apartments in dictatorships around the world and in places that have no relationship with human rights is singling out Israel. This can only be a result of anti-Semitism or surrendering to terrorism – or both.”

    Levin demanded Airbnb cancel its “discrimantory” decision, saying it was a “shameful and miserable decision.”
    Top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that Airbnb should have included East Jerusalem and should have said settlements “are illegal and constitute war crimes.” He added: “We reiterate our call upon the UN Human Rights Council to release the database of companies profiting from the Israeli colonial occupation.”

    Airbnb came under Palestinian criticism for such listings, which some find misleading for failing to mention the property is on occupied land claimed by the Palestinians.
    The Palestinians say that by contributing to the settlement economy, Airbnb, like other companies doing business in the West Bank, helps perpetuate Israel’s settlement enterprise. 
    “There are conflicting views regarding whether companies should be doing business in the occupied territories that are the subject of historical disputes between Israelis and Palestinians,” the Airbnb statement said. 
    The statement continued: “In the past, we made clear that we would operate in this area as allowed by law. We did this because we believe that people-to-people travel has considerable value and we want to help bring people together in as many places as possible around the world. Since then, we spent considerable time speaking to various experts. We know that people will disagree with this decision and appreciate their perspective.”
    Oded Revivi, mayor of the West Bank settlement of Efrat and a representative of Yesha, described the Airbnb decision as contrary to its mission, as stated on the website, of “help(ing) to bring people together in as many places as possible around the world”. 
    Israel captured the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem in the 1967 war and began building settlements soon after.
    While Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, the settler population in east Jerusalem and the West Bank has ballooned to almost 600,000. The Palestinians claim these areas as parts of a future state, a position that has wide global support.
    Airbnb said that as part of their decision-making framework, they “evaluate whether the existence of listings is contributing to existing human suffering” and “determine whether the existence of listings in the occupied territory has a direct connection to the larger dispute in the region.”
    The Associated Press contributed to this report


  • Liberté pour Lara Alqasem, l’étudiante américaine arrêtée à l’aéroport Ben Gourion
    8 octobre | Haaretz |Traduction SF pour l’AURDIP |

    Lara Alqasem, une étudiante américaine de 22 ans qui est arrivée en Israël la semaine dernière pour entreprendre un master à l’Université Hébraïque, entame lundi son sixième jour de détention à l’aéroport Ben Gourion. Son « délit », selon le ministère des Affaires Stratégiques, est, alors qu’elle était en licence en Floride, d’avoir présidé la section de cet état d’un groupe qui encourage au boycott, au désinvestissement et aux sanctions contre Israël, comme moyen de lutter contre l’occupation.

    Un rapport spécial du ministère sur ses activités politiques, exagérément qualifié de « sensible » inclut une information issue de cinq pages internet. Quatre d’entre elles viennent de Facebook et la cinquième vient d’un site internet appelé Canary Mission, qui exerce une honteuse surveillance civile sur des militants de gauche sur les campus des collèges universitaires américains. Selon la même information « sensible », lorsque Alqasem était membre de la section, qui comptait moins de dix membres, le groupe a promu le boycott d’une marque israélienne de Houmous, soutenu la pétition d’un auteur contre le financement par Israël d’un centre culturel et appelé une entreprise internationale de sécurité à cesser ses activités en Israël.

    On a peine à croire que ce genre de raisons ridicules soient utilisées par un ministère gouvernemental, dirigé par le ministre anti boycott Gilad Erdan, pour justifier l’expulsion et la longue détention de l’étudiante. Dans son témoignage en cour d’appel (qui a rejeté sa demande de rester), elle a dit : « Je ne soutiens pas BDS. Si c’était le cas, je ne pourrais pas venir en Israël comme étudiante ». Alqasem a ensuite déclaré que pendant son séjour en Israël elle n’appellerait pas au boycott ni ne participerait à des activités de BDS. Pour autant, elle reste en garde à vue et son expulsion est prévue, en attendant un second appel qu’elle a interjeté près le Tribunal du district de Tel Aviv.

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

  • 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

    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

  • La vérité sur la relation spéciale du Royaume-Uni avec Israël
    Middle East Eye - Mark Curtis - 10 août 2018

    (...) Theresa May a déclaré qu’Israël était « l’une des grandes réussites du monde » et un « phare de la tolérance », tandis que son secrétaire d’État à la Défense Gavin Williamson a affirmé qu’Israël était une « lumière pour les nations » dont les relations avec le Royaume-Uni « reposent sur un sens partagé des valeurs de justice, de compassion et de tolérance ».

    Cette exubérance traduit un soutien britannique continu à Israël sur la scène internationale, un soutien qui l’aide à protéger cet état voyou de l’ostracisme. Ainsi, la Grande-Bretagne s’est abstenue lors du vote de l’ONU sur l’autorisation d’une enquête sur les tueries de Gaza, sous le prétexte que celle-ci n’incluait pas d’investigations sur le Hamas ; à la place, le Royaume-Uni soutient Israël dans sa volonté de mener sa propre enquête.

    L’année dernière, le ministère des Affaires étrangères britannique a refusé de signer une déclaration commune lors de la conférence de paix de Paris sur la Palestine, l’accusant de « se dérouler contre la volonté des Israéliens ».

    « [La relation entre le Royaume-Uni et Israël est] la pierre angulaire de beaucoup de ce que nous faisons au Moyen-Orient »

    - Gavin Williamson, secrétaire d’État à la Défense

    La Grande-Bretagne a approuvé des ventes d’armes à Israël pour une valeur de 445 millions de dollars depuis la guerre de Gaza en 2014, et il ne fait quasiment aucun doute que certains de ces équipements ont été utilisés contre des Palestiniens dans les territoires occupés.

    Le Royaume-Uni exporte des composants de drones britanniques alors qu’Israël utilise des drones pour ses opérations de surveillance et ses attaques armées. Le Royaume-Uni exporte des composants pour avions de combat alors que les forces aériennes israéliennes effectuent des frappes aériennes à Gaza, causant la mort de civils et la destruction des infrastructures. Le gouvernement britannique admet qu’il n’a pas évalué l’impact sur les Palestiniens de ses exportations d’armes vers Israël.

    Cette politique fait pourtant suite à un rapport de 2015 du Home Office indiquant qu’Israël promeut un « modèle croissant » consistant à tirer délibérément sur les enfants palestiniens et que les Palestiniens sont généralement « de plus en plus tués […] en toute impunité » par les forces israéliennes. Depuis 2000, Israël a tué près de 5 000 Palestiniens non impliqués dans les hostilités, dont environ un tiers âgés de moins de 18 ans. (...)

  • Israel is using an online blacklist against pro-Palestinian activists. But nobody knows who compiled it

    Israeli border officials are using a shadowy online dossier as an intelligence source on thousands of students and academics

    The Forward and Josh Nathan-Kazis Aug 07, 2018

    Last December, Andrew Kadi flew to Israel to visit his mother. As he walked through Ben Gurion International Airport, officials pulled him aside and said that the security services wanted to speak with him.
    Kadi is among the leaders of a major pro-Palestinian advocacy group, and border authorities always question him when he travels to Israel to see his family. This time, however, something was different.

    During his second of what ended up being three interrogations, spanning more than eight hours, Kadi realized that much of what the interrogator knew about him had come from Canary Mission, an anonymously-run online blacklist that tries to frighten pro-Palestinian students and activists into silence by posting dossiers on their politics and personal lives.

    Kadi’s interrogator asked question after question about organizations listed on his Canary Mission profile. A pro-Palestinian organization that Kadi had been involved with but that wasn’t listed on his Canary Mission profile went unmentioned. Hours later, a third interrogator confirmed what Kadi had suspected: They were looking at his Canary Mission profile.

    Canary Mission has said since it went live in 2015 that it seeks to keep pro-Palestinian student activists from getting work after college. Yet in recent months, the threat it poses to college students and other activists has grown far more severe.
    The site, which is applauded by some pro-Israel advocates for harassing hardcore activists, is now being used as an intelligence source on thousands of students and academics by Israeli officials with immense power over people’s lives, the Forward has learned.
    Rumors of the border control officers’ use of the dossiers is keeping both Jewish and Palestinian activists from visiting relatives in Israel and the West Bank, and pro-Palestinian students say they are hesitant to express their views for fear of being unable to travel to see family.
    >> Twitter account of Canary Mission, group blacklisting pro-Palestinian activists, deactivated
    Meanwhile, back on campus, pro-Israel students are facing suspicion of colluding with Canary Mission. The students, and not the operatives and donors who run it from behind a veil of anonymity, are taking the blame for the site’s work.

    The dossiers
    Canary Mission’s profiles, of which there are now more than 2,000, can run for thousands of words. They consist of information about the activist, including photographs and screenshots, cobbled together from the internet and social media, along with descriptions of the groups with which they are affiliated.
    The phrase, “if you’re a racist, the world should know,” appears on the top of each page on the site.
    In addition to the thousands of profiles of pro-Palestinian students and professors, Canary Mission has also added a smattering of profiles of prominent white supremacists, including 13 members of Identity Evropa and a handful of others.
    The site’s profiles appear to be based entirely on open source intelligence that could be gathered by anyone with a computer. But the researchers are thorough, and some of what they post is exceptionally personal. Canary Mission’s profile of Esther Tszayg, a junior at Stanford University whose profile went online in May, includes two photographs of her as a young child and one taken for a campus fashion magazine.
    “It feels pretty awful and I really wish I wasn’t on that website,” said Tszayg, the president of Stanford’s chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace, a pro-Palestinian group.
    Canary Mission’s profile of Rose Asaf, a leader of the local chapter of JVP at New York University, includes nearly 60 photographs of her and screenshots of her social media activities. It went online in November of 2017, when she was a college junior.
    Liz Jackson, a staff attorney at the legal advocacy group Palestine Legal, said that she was aware of one case in which Canary Mission posted old photographs a student had deleted a year before. The student believes that Canary Mission had been tracking her for over a year before they posted her profile.
    Some of what Canary Mission captures is genuinely troubling, including anti-Semitic social media posts by college students. But often, the eye-catching charges they make against their subjects don’t quite add up. A profile of an NYU freshman named Ari Kaplan charges him with “demonizing Israel at a Jewish event.” In fact, he had stood up at a Hillel dinner to make an announcement that was critical of President Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.
    “It’s really weird when they’re trying to have someone who looks like me [as] the face of anti-Semitism,” said Kaplan, joking that he looks stereotypically Jewish.
    The border
    It’s these profiles that Israeli border control officers were looking at when they interrogated Kadi, who is in his 30s, and is a member of the steering committee of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights. Kadi is a U.S. citizen, but his mother and her family are Palestinian citizens of Israel.
    Kadi’s case is not unique. In April, before deporting Columbia University Law School professor Katherine Franke and telling her she will be permanently banned from the country, an Israeli border control officer showed her something on his phone that she says she is “80% sure” was her Canary Mission profile.
    The officer, Franke said, had accused her of traveling to Israel to “promote BDS.” When she said that wasn’t true, the officer accused her of lying, saying she was a “leader” of JVP. He held up the screen of his phone, which appeared to show her Canary Mission profile, and told her: “See, I know you’re lying.”
    Franke, who had previously sat on JVP’s academic advisory council steering committee but at that time had no formal role with the group, told the officer she was not on JVP’s staff. The officer deported her anyhow.
    “Canary Mission information is often neither reliable, nor complete, nor up to date,” said Israeli human rights attorney Emily Schaeffer Omer-Man, who represents activists and human rights advocates denied entry to Israel. Schaeffer Omer-Man says that the site, as such, shouldn’t legally qualify to be used as the basis for a deportation decision by border control officers, as it doesn’t meet reliability standards set by Israeli administrative law.
    Yet incidents like those experienced by Franke and Kadi are on the rise. Schaeffer Omer-Man said that clients for years have said that they suspected that their interrogators had seen their Canary Mission profiles, based on the questions they asked. More recently, she said, clients have told her that border control mentioned Canary Mission by name.
    Rumors of these incidents are spreading fear among campus activists.
    “I have family in Israel, and I don’t expect I will be let in again,” said Tszayg, the Stanford student.
    Palestine Legal’s Liz Jackson said that a large majority of people who get in touch with her organization about their Canary Mission profile are mostly worried about traveling across Israeli borders. “That really puts the muzzle on what people can say in the public sphere about Palestine,” Jackson said.
    Israel’s Ministry of the Interior, which oversees the country’s border control agency, did not respond to a question about whether it is ministry policy for its interrogators to use Canary Mission as a source of information on travelers. It’s possible that the officers are finding the Canary Mission dossiers on their own, by searching for travelers’ names on Google.
    But absent a denial from the interior ministry, it’s also possible that the dossiers are being distributed systematically. When Schaeffer Omer-Man reviews her clients’ interrogation files, as attorneys have the right to do under Israeli law, she has never seen a mention of Canary Mission. What she has seen, however, in summaries of the interrogations, are references to material provided by Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, the arm of the Israeli government tasked with opposing the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement worldwide, largely through a secret network of non-governmental organizations that help it defend Israel abroad.
    The Israeli connection
    When Gilad Erdan, the strategic affairs minister, took over his agency in 2015, the Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy, as it is officially known in English, had a tiny staff and a small budget. In just a few years, he has turned it into a major operation with a budget of over $100 million over two years, according to reporting by the Israeli investigative magazine the Seventh Eye.
    At the core of the MSA’s operation is a network of more than a hundred non-governmental organizations with which it shares information and resources. “A key part of the strategy is the belief that messaging by ‘real people’ is much more effective than plain old hasbara [propaganda] by official spokespersons,” said Itamar Benzaquen, an investigative journalist at the Seventh Eye, who has done extensive reporting on the MSA.
    The Forward has learned that the people who run Canary Mission are in direct contact with the leadership of, a pro-Israel propaganda app that is a part of the network, and has benefited from a publicity campaign funded by the MSA, according to Benzaquen’s reporting.
    The founder and CEO of, Yarden Ben Yosef, told the Forward last fall that he had been in touch with the people who run Canary Mission, and that they had visited his office in Israel.
    Neither Canary Mission nor the MSA responded to queries about their relationship to each other.
    The operators
    Canary Mission has jealously guarded the anonymity of its operators, funders, and administrators, and its cloak of secrecy has held up against the efforts of journalists and pro-Palestine activists alike.
    Two people, granted anonymity to speak about private conversations, have separately told the Forward that a British-born Jerusalem resident named Jonathan Bash identified himself to them as being in charge of Canary Mission.
    The Forward reported in 2015 that Bash was the CEO of a pro-Israel advocacy training organization, Video Activism, that appeared to have numerous ties to Canary Mission. At the time, Bash denied there was any relationship between the organizations.
    Neither Canary Mission nor Bash responded to requests for comment.
    The response
    As Canary Mission has become an increasingly prominent feature of the campus landscape, students have adapted to its threat. Increasingly, student governments vote on divestment resolutions by secret ballot, partly in an attempt to keep Canary Mission from profiling student representatives who vote in favor.
    Student activist groups, meanwhile, strategically mask the identities of vulnerable members. Abby Brook, who has been a leader in both the Students for Justice in Palestine and JVP groups at George Washington University, said that her fellow activists had strategized about who would be a public-facing leader of the group, and shoulder the risk of appearing on Canary Mission. When her profile went up last year, she was ready.
    “We made strategic decisions within our organization about who would be out-facing members and who would be in-facing members, knowing that Canary Missionwould have different consequences for different people,” Brook said. She said that the names of members of her chapter of SJP who are Palestinian are not listed publicly, and that those individuals have stayed off of Canary Mission.
    “We deliberately keep those people private,” Brook said. “I’m not Palestinian; I won’t be prohibited from being able to go home if I’m listed on Canary Mission. It has a lot less consequences for me as a white person.”
    While Brook’s Palestinian colleagues have been able to hide their identities while being active on the issue, others have chosen not to take the risk. Palestine Legal’s Jackson said that she has fielded questions from students who want to take political action in support of Palestinian rights, but have been afraid to do so because of what being listed on Canary Mission could mean for their families. One student activist told Jackson she wanted to be a leader in SJP, but asked Jackson if getting a Canary Mission profile could damage her family’s naturalization application.
    “I said I don’t know, honestly,” Jackson said.
    Another student told Jackson that she had wanted to write an op-ed about the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, a controversial piece of federal legislation that critics say could limit free speech, but that she was afraid to be published because she wanted to be able to go visit her grandparents in the West Bank, and couldn’t risk being profiled on Canary Mission.
    For students who do find themselves on Canary Mission, there is little recourse. Canary Mission has posted a handful of essays by “ex-canaries,” people who have written effusive apologies in return for being removed from the site. Jackson said that some profiles have been temporarily removed after the subjects filed copyright complaints, but that they were reposted later with the offending images removed.
    There do not appear to have been any defamation suits filed against Canary Mission. The authors of the profiles are careful about what they write, and pursuing a lawsuit would place a heavy burden on the plaintiff. “Students who are naturally concerned about the reputational damage of being smeared as a terrorist usually don’t want to go through a public trial, because that only makes it worse,” Jackson wrote in an email. “It’s tough to take on a bully, especially in court. But litigation is not off the table.”
    Campus spies
    In the meantime, Canary Mission’s utter secrecy has created an atmosphere of suspicion on campuses. While the operatives behind Canary Mission hide behind their well-protected anonymity, pro-Israel students take the blame for its activities, whether or not they were involved.
    A number of students listed on the site who spoke with the Forward named specific pro-Israel students on their campuses who they suspected of having informed on them to Canary Mission.
    Tilly Shames, who runs the local Hillel at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, said that Canary Mission has led to suspicion of pro-Israel students on her campus. “It has created greater mistrust and exclusion of pro-Israel students, who are assumed to be involved in Canary Mission, or sharing information with Canary Mission, when they are not,” Shames said.
    Kaplan, the NYU sophomore, said that he’s now wary talking to people who he knows are involved in pro-Israel activism on campus.
    “I’ll want to be open and warm with them, but it will be, how do I know this guy isn’t reporting to Canary Mission?” Kaplan said. He said he didn’t intend to let the suspicions fomented by Canary Mission keep him from spending time with other Jewish students.
    “I’m not going to live in fear; I love Jews,” he said. “I’m not going to not talk to Jewish students out of fear of being on Canary [Mission], but it would be better to have some solidarity from the Jewish community of NYU.”
    For more stories, go to Sign up for the Forward’s daily newsletter at

  • Israël craint que les tactiques de sa sale guerre contre BDS soient affichées au grand jour
    Agence Media Palestine | Par Ali Abunimah, le 26 juin 2018

    (...) Dans un article détaillé, le rédacteur en chef et fondateur du journal The Times of Israel, David Horovitz enquête sur la nouvelle arme d’Israël dans la guerre contre le mouvement de solidarité avec la Palestine.

    Il s’agit d’une organisation se disant non gouvernementale et indépendante, appelée Kela Shlomo, c.-à-d. « la fronde de Salomon ».

    Or, l’enquête de Horovitz révèle qu’il ne s’agit là ni plus ni moins que d’une couverture pour le gouvernement israélien, permettant à celui-ci de dissimuler des activités peu avouables et de s’immiscer dans la politique et dans la société civile d’autres pays en contournant leur législation.

    La direction de Kela Shlomo est un véritable Who’s Who de l’élite politique et militaire israélienne. On y trouve notamment les anciens diplomates Dore Gold et Ron Prosor, l’ancien responsable de la sécurité nationale Yaakov Amidror, ainsi que l’ancien responsable du renseignement militaire Amos Yadlin.

    L’organisation travaille en collaboration avec le très opaque Ministrère des affaires stratégiques d’Israël.

    Ayant à sa tête Gilad Erdan, ce ministère est en charge des opérations secrètes d’Israël visant à contrer le mouvement BDS. Sa directrice générale, Sima Vaknin-Gil est une ancienne haut gradée du renseignement militaire.

    L’organisation compte également parmi ses fondateurs Yossi Kuperwasser, un autre ancien haut gradé du renseignement militaire, qui a précédé Vaknin-Gil à ce poste.

    Lorsqu’Erdan annonçait la création de l’organisation de Kela Shlomo en décembre dernier, il affirmait que l’organisation augmenterait la capacité d’Israël à combattre et à vaincre BDS.

    Kela Shlomo est financée par des donateurs privés anonymes, mais « l’accord de coopération » avec le ministère serait financé par « des fonds de contrepartie », ce qui suggère que de l’argent du gouvernement est également impliqué, même si celui-ci n’est pas versé directement sur les comptes de Kela Shlomo. (...)


    BDS : Ceux qui le combattent au nom d’Israël doivent rester irréprochables
    Après des années de médiocres relations publiques, une nouvelle structure privée œuvre avec un ministère bien doté pour contrer le BDS. Ils doivent veiller à bien dépenser l’argent
    Par David Horovitz 19 juin 2018

  • Still too ‘tough on Arabs’ - Haaretz Editorial - Israel News |
    Police violence against the Arab community in Israel appears part of a racist policy led by Benjamin Netanyahu’s government

    Haaretz Editorial May 21, 2018

    Over the weekend there was a demonstration in Haifa protesting the killings along the Gaza border fence. The violent suppression of this protest and the detention of 21 demonstrators, including Jafar Farah, the director of the Mossawa Center that advocates for Israeli Arabs’ rights, are a further sign of the growing restrictions on the democratic space available to this community.
    The harsh events in Gaza should have brought multitudes out onto the streets, particularly in light of the complexities plaguing relations between Arab citizens and the state. In practice, the protest in Arab society was minor and measured: a partial strike lasting only a day and local protest gatherings. Despite this, the police failed to contain the demonstrations.
    True, the protest in Haifa on Friday evening had no permit, but these are precisely the times when the police must use their discretion and show restraint. They should have used the presence of Farah, a veteran activist who once headed the Arab student union and who for years has been a partner to civic initiatives for Arab civil rights and against racism. A wise police force would have seen his presence as a channel for dialogue and an opportunity for calming tensions. Instead, the police used him to quell the protest.
    In footage taken at the demonstration one sees that the police did not suffice with arresting him but marched him handcuffed through Haifa’s streets as a warning to others. Even though Farah was seen walking, he was hospitalized the next day; relatives said one of his knees had been broken in detention.
    The Arab community is calling for an investigation into the police’s conduct in the demonstration, and the police are expected to carry out an internal probe into the Farah case. But this doesn’t suffice; the violence by the police against Arab protesters appears not random but intentional, part of an inflammatory and racist policy against the Arab community in Israel that Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is leading.
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    Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich talk a lot about the importance of making police services more accessible to the Arab community, using every public platform to announce the opening of new police stations and the recruitment of Arab police officers. But the conduct in Haifa shows yet again that the police showed unwarranted “resolve” while ignoring the ramifications on the Arab community’s faith in law enforcement.
    The Public Security Ministry and police brass must understand that the delegitimization of elected Arab officials and prominent Arab activists, as well as the suppression of any political protest by brutal arrests, won’t contribute to a sense of trust. On the contrary, police violence against Arab citizens widens the circle of mutual suspicion and deepens this community’s alienation.

    • By +972 Blog |Published May 21, 2018
      ’Police broke my knee, threatened my doctors,’ Arab civil society leader tells court
      By Oren Ziv, Yael Marom, and Meron Rapaport

      Seven require medical treatment for injuries sustained during their arrests or while in custody, including Jafar Farah, who says an officer broke his knee inside the police station. Police file criminal complaint against Arab MK Ayman Odeh for calling the officers who refused to let him visit a hospitalized protester ‘losers’.
      “But we shouldn’t be surprised by police violence and this isn’t that big a story,” Atrash continued. “What are a few punches compared to the murder of children in Gaza? What’s important is that all of us in Haifa, Gaza, Ramallah or Beirut — we are one. We don’t want nicer police officers, we want the apartheid regime to end.”
      ”The demonstration on Friday was the third to take place in Haifa last week, and police had already employed aggressive tactics to try to shut them down. In addition to several arrests at the protests themselves, police arrested and detained a number of Palestinian and Jewish activists in Haifa to deter them from participating in and organizing protests.


  • That’s the spirit, Ms. Portman, but it’s just a start
    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 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:

    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?

    • Revealed: Theresa May knew of Priti Patel secret meeting but she was told to hide it | The London Economic

      The Jewish Chronicle just revealed that Number 10 WAS aware of Priti Patel’s extra meeting with an Israeli minister – but she was told to keep them quiet.

      As Priti Patel aborts an official visit to Uganda to return to the UK in a growing crisis over secret meetings with Israeli ministers and plans to divert foreign aid to Israeli Defence Force administered projects, this latest revelation raises serious questions about Theresa May’s actions.

    • Priti Patel, ministre embarrassante pour Teresa May | Euronews

      Les ennuis continuent pour Teresa May qui pourrait perdre un nouveau membre de son gouvernement. Priti Pattel, la secrétaire d’Etat britannique au Développement international pourrait démissionner. En cause : des rencontres secrètes avec des dirigeants israéliens. Objectif recherché selon elle : financer l’assistance humanitaire apportée à des blessés syriens dans le Golan. Dans son mea culpa, elle aurait omis de dire que cette aide impliquerait de financer l’armée israélienne, dont Londres ne reconnaît pas l’occupation partielle par Israël. Si la Première ministre l’a simplement réprimandée, la presse britannique, elle réclame sa tête.


    • What the Priti Patel scandal tells us about the dark operations of UK’s powerful Israel lobby

      Another window on Israel’s meddling opened briefly last week. The BBC’s political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, took to Twitter to relay a damning comment from an unnamed “senior” member of Ms Patel’s party. In a clear reference to Israel, the source observed: “The entire apparatus has turned a blind eye to a corrupt relationship that allows a country to buy access”.

      A short time later, presumably under pressure, Ms Kuenssberg deleted the tweet. The BBC has not reported the comment elsewhere and the senior Conservative has not dared go public. Such, it seems, is the intimidating and corrupting influence of the lobby.


      Rarely identified or held to account, the lobby has entrenched its power.

      That is under threat, however. Social media and Palestinians with camera phones have exposed a global audience to systematic abuses by the Israeli army the western media largely ignored. For the first time, Israel supporters sound evasive and dissembling.

      Meanwhile, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s strident efforts in the US Congress through 2014 and 2015 to prevent a nuclear accord with Iran dragged the lobby even farther out of the shadows.

      The Israel lobby’s dirty tricks in the UK were exposed earlier this year too. An Al Jazeera TV documentary showed Conservative party officials colluding with the Israeli embassy to “take down” Alan Duncan, a foreign office minister who supports the Palestinian cause.

      It is noteworthy that Ms Patel’s downfall came about because of social media. Israeli officials like police minister Gilad Erdan were so unused to scrutiny or accountability themselves that they happily tweeted photos with Ms Patel. Mr Erdan is a key player in the lobby, running a “smear unit” to target overseas critics of Israel.


      There is growing hysteria about foreign interference in US and European politics. Is it not time for western states to show as much concern about the malign influence of Israel’s lobbyists as they do about Russian hackers?

  • Une initiative dystopique dans les prisons israéliennes –
    Yoav Litvin | Publié le 6/10/2017 sur Counterpunch | Traduction : Jean-Marie Flémal

    (...) Israël est l’un des principaux fournisseurs d’armes mondiaux. Il possède un palmarès nébuleux de vente d’armes à certains des régimes et milices les plus violents qui soient. Depuis des décennies, l’industrie israélienne de l’armement alimente des guerres et des crises dans le monde entier, ce qui s’est traduit par des milliers de victimes. Ne serait-ce que très récemment, les ventes d’armes au Myanmar par Israël ont fait l’objet de débats intenses et de multiples condamnations, en raison de l’épuration ethnique du peuple rohingya appliquée actuellement par le régime birman.

    Israël est également un pays de pointe dans les services de sécurité. La police américaine et d’autres forces de sécurité bénéficient régulièrement de formations et d’entraînements en Israël, malgré – ou plutôt en raison de – sa longue histoire d’occupation, de pratiques répressives et de violations des droits de l’homme.

    Israël a servi de source d’inspiration pour les politiques et idéologies les plus régressives, xénophobes et répressives. En fait, le président américain Donald Trump et le Premier ministre israélien Benjamin Netanyahou ont des visions très semblables d’un futur dominé par des économies ethnocentriques, hyper-militarisées, privatisées et contrôlées par le monde de la grosse entreprise, un futur qui profitera à leurs riches amis au dépens des simples citoyens et dans lequel l’accent sera mis sur l’appauvrissement incessant du Sud planétaire et le déni du moindre tout droit aux communautés de couleur, indigènes et immigrantes.

    Dernièrement, le gouvernement israélien a annoncé une initiative absolument dystopiques. Selon Walla News, le ministre de la Sécurité intérieure Gilad Erdan et le président de l’Université de Bar-Ilan Aie Zaban collaborent à la mise en place d’une « prison d’enseignement universitaire », dans le même sens que l’on parle d’hôpitaux d’enseignement universitaire.

    La prison sera gérée par le Service pénitentiaire israélien (IPS) et des universitaires de l’Université de Bar-Ilan auront le champ libre pour mener des « expériences » et autres tâches (non spécifiées). Erdan a ajouté qu’il croyait que la nouvelle prison universitaire « pourrait inspirer d’autres pays ».(...)

  • Israeli police turn East Jerusalem hospital into battlefield amid hunt for dying Palestinian

    A ’barbaric’ Israeli police raid on Makassed Hospital could have ended in a massacre, director says
    By Gideon Levy and Alex Levac | Jul. 28, 2017 | 6:19 PM

    Through the window of his office, Dr. Rafiq Husseini has a view of the courtyard of the hospital he directs, the stone wall that surrounds it and the pine grove on the other side. The wall is still speckled with bloodstains, now turned brown.

    This is the blood of Mohammed Abu Ghannam, 22, who was shot and killed by Israeli security forces during the rioting over the Temple Mount last Friday. Why is his blood smeared on the wall? Because friends of the dead young man rushed to smuggle his body out of the hospital, just minutes after he died in the corridor, to elude the unbelievable hunt for the cadaver conducted by the Border Police and the Jerusalem District’s men in blue.

    The body, wrapped in a bloodstained sheet, swayed from side to side as the group ran with it and passed it over the wall, which is several meters high. For a moment it seemed that the body was about to slide out from under the sheet, but in the end it reached the other side safely. From there it was carried to a nearby monastery and then, swiftly, was transported in a private car to the cemetery of the A-Tur neighborhood – “our village,” as residents call it – on the Mount of Olives. On the way, the car carrying the body was stopped by police at an intersection, but it was permitted to proceed on condition that no more than seven people be present at the burial.

    In the end, hundreds defied the police to accompany accompanied Abu Ghannam on his final journey, though the funeral was conducted hastily and not in accordance with the tradition of first going to the home of the deceased and then to the mosque – all because of the policy of pandering in human bodies that’s being pursued by Israel’s Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, hero of the Temple Mount disturbances.

    But that was not enough for the Jerusalem police. On Sunday, officers arrested Hassan Abu Ghannam, 47, the bereaved father, for reasons that remain unclear. The next day, the police returned to the mourning tent set up in the youth’s memory and tore down all the photographs of him. They threatened to levy a fine for each additional photo hung and also to dismantle the tent. Thus shall it be done.

    But in Dr. Husseini’s office in East Jerusalem’s Makassed Hospital, not far away, a semblance of tranquility prevails. At 65, he’s a man of snow-white hair and otherwise distinguished appearance, who studied microbiology and health-care management. He has on his computer footage taken by the security cameras last Friday, documenting minute by minute what transpired in the corridors of the hospital he runs.

    At 1:30 P.M., the hospital began readying to receive individuals injured in demonstrations in East Jerusalem. By the end of the day, 120 people with wounds of varying severity would pass through the Makassed ER. At midweek only five were still hospitalized, two of them in intensive care. Most of the injured wanted to get first aid and leave immediately, to avoid possible arrest by policemen, who they feared would arrive at any moment. For the most part, the wounds were caused by rubber-coated bullets fired from short range – possibly a new version of this type of ammunition, as the damage it caused was more severe than what Husseini says he has seen in the past.

    The police had already raided the hospital on Monday last week, to arrest Ala Abu Taya, a 17-year-old who’d been badly wounded in an incident in Silwan. He was in serious condition; three police officers were assigned to guard his room in the ICU. They left on Wednesday, but since then policemen have been coming occasionally to check his status. They just show up and enter the unit.

    But what happened on Friday is something else again. Husseini arrived at his office, on what should have been his day of rest, at about 3:30 P.M., when it was clear that dozens had already been wounded. Upon his arrival he was told that Border Police troops were present and making their way to the operating rooms. Three were in the one Husseini entered – their very presence a violation of the rules of operating-theater hygiene. They were looking for Mohammed Abu Ghannam. He wasn’t there, so the police ordered Husseini to take them to the morgue – without saying whom they were after, Husseini says now. Earlier, noticing a nurse wearing bloodstained surgical gloves, the policemen asked whose blood it was, but it turned out to belong to a different patient who had undergone surgery.

    As he left the operating suite, Husseini saw dozens more Border Police personnel in the corridors. He estimates their number at about 50, though the hospital security guards we spoke with later think there were even more. In any event, the force moved in the direction of the morgue. On the way they passed the blood bank, where they told the dozens of people who were waiting to give blood to leave the premises immediately. The video footage shows one donor departing with a needle still stuck on his arm. “It turned into a madhouse,” Hussein recalls.

    Fortunately, a force of regular members of the Israel Police, led by two senior officers, also arrived at the hospital. Thanks to them, a major disaster was averted, the hospital director says. In the atmosphere that prevailed, and with dozens of Border Police striding through the corridors like they owned the place, he said he saw disaster looming. After he spoke with the civilian officers, they ordered the Border Police to leave the hospital. On their way out, the latter threw stun grenades and tear-gas grenades at the crowd that had gathered in the courtyard. The metal covering of the wall at the entrance clearly shows the impact of two rubber-coated bullets that struck it. A male nurse was knocked to the ground by Border Policemen, suffering light injuries; the video shows the troops pushing him over.

    “It was a very grave situation – I’ve never seen anything like it,” says Husseini. In 2015, a police force invaded the hospital in an attempt to confiscate a detainee’s medical file, and also behaved liked lords and masters, but he says it was nothing like this.

    “They were vicious,” Husseini says of those who perpetrated last Friday’s raid. “I think they lost control and it could have led to a massacre. We never had a Border Police raid. They were always police in blue or in black. The Border Police have no respect for the civilian population. What were they looking for? Weapons? Armed terrorists? The police could have come to me and said that there was a wounded person [they were seeking], and asked me about his condition in a civilized way, and not entered the operating rooms with their contaminated boots. Something like this would never happen at Hadassah Hospital.”

    Mohammed Abu Ghannam, a computer science student at Bir Zeit University and the object of the search, was in the ER in critical condition at the time. He had been hit in the chest and neck by two live rounds at the entrance to A-Tur, where he was participating in the violent demonstration that took place there that day, after returning from prayers at the entrance to the Temple Mount.

    An attempt was made to take the patient to an operating room, but police stopped the staff and friends who were pushing his gurney there. Abu Ghannam can be seen in the video footage, hooked up to an I.V., his bed bloodied. Footage from the hospital’s security cameras also shows armed Border Police advancing in the corridors as a young female photographer in a helmet and jeans documents the events, apparently on behalf of the police. Every so often they throw people aside. A sea of helmets at the reception desk, a sea of helmets at the blood bank. Suddenly the bed on which Abu Ghannam is lying can be seen opposite the police – it’s not clear whether he was alive or dead at that point – and then there’s a huge melee and the bed disappears from the frame.

    After the force left, a large quantity of blood remained on the floor, where the bed of the living-dead Abu Ganem passed. There’s part of a green hospital uniform too, along with an employee badge.

    “It was a barbaric attack,” Husseini repeats. “Many people could have been wounded here.”

    The guard at the hospital’s entrance, Rabia Sayed, who photographed everything with his cellular phone, adds, “What were they looking for? A dead man. What were they going to do with him? They killed him and also wanted to take him? Why? Halas. He’s dead. A cadaver. This is a hospital.”

    Asked for comment, a spokesperson for the Israel Police – which includes the Border Police – told Haaretz: “During violent disturbances in East Jerusalem last weekend, the police received a report that a person wounded by gunfire had been taken to Makassed Hospital. The police who went to the hospital to clarify the circumstances of the event and the truthfulness of the report encountered violent disturbances that included stone-throwing from the premises. The police entered the hospital in order to locate the person wounded by gunfire, and when the hospital director was asked, he misled the police and said the wounded person had left the place.

    “Mohammed Ghannam’s father was arrested by the police on suspicion of threatening to commit an act of terror. He was taken for questioning at the police [station] and the court afterward remanded him, emphasizing that these were serious statements.

    “The Israel Police will continue to act with determination, in all places and at all times, against everyone who disturbs the public order and tries to harm police officers or innocent civilians, all in the name of the security of the citizens of the State of Israel.”

    A few minutes’ drive from the hospital, in the heart of A-Tur, a group of men are mourning their dead son, relative and friend under tarpaulins stretched over the courtyard of the family home. The rage and frustration here are boundless; some of the remarks made against the police who tried to snatch the body and against those who tore the pictures off the wall in the mourning tent are unfit to print.

    An uncle of the deceased, Izhak Abu Ghannam, says he saw Mohammed not long before he was shot, as they young man was returning from Friday prayers outside the Temple Mount. He maintains that the Border Police, by invading the hospital as they did, prevented his nephew from receiving medical treatment, and may have been responsible for his death.

    Some of the young people in the tent are the same ones who rescued Mohammed’s body from the Border Police’s kidnapping attempt. They all speak Hebrew.

    Hassan, the bereaved father, is still under arrest and no one knows where he is. He was rousted from his bed at 4 A.M. on Sunday morning. He’d already been called a few times over the weekend by the police and the Shin Bet security service, who threatened that if he didn’t ensure that the village remained quiet, he would be arrested.

    “We have goats here in the village that know how to behave better with people than your policemen and soldiers,” says Uncle Izhak.

  • These four things will get you barred from entering Israel under its new BDS travel ban

    After BDS activists pulled off plane to Israel, senior minister warns, ’The rules of the game have changed’

    Judy Maltz Jul 25, 2017
    read more:

    A day after five activists in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement were pulled off a flight from the United States bound for Israel, senior government ministers published an official statement explaining their decision to keep them out of the country.
    “These were prominent activists who continuously advocate for a boycott and who sought to come [to Israel] as part of a delegation of extremist boycott organizations whose entire purpose is to harm Israel,” Interior Minister Arye Dery and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said in a joint statement. 
    In March, the Knesset passed a law that bars from Israel any foreigners who have publicly expressed support for boycotting Israel. In their statement, Dery and Erdan said the BDS supporters were pulled off the plane because of this new law.
    Separately, Erdan said that “the rules of the game have changed” and that organizations seeking to harm Israel’s “national security” through boycotts would be denied entry to the country. “We will not let key boycott activists in here to harm us,” he said.

    The interior minister is responsible for enforcing the new law. A spokeswoman said that decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, usually in compliance with recommendations from the Ministry of Strategic Sffairs, which monitors the international boycott movement.
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    “The Interior Ministry prevented in this case and will also prevent in the future the entry of boycott activists whose key objective is to work against the State of Israel,” said Dery.
    The five activists pulled off the flights were part of a 22-member interfaith delegation. They were about to board a Lufthansa flight from Dulles Airport when a representative of the airline notified them that instructions had been received from Israeli immigration authorities not to allow them on the flight. The activists prevented from flying with the group were members of three organizations that support the boycott: Jewish Voice for Peace, American Muslims for Palestine and Presbyterian Peace Fellowship.
    On Monday, the Interior Ministry published a list of criteria that determine which organizations and activists fall under the controversial new ban. The organizations that will be targeted, according to these criteria, are those that promote a boycott “actively, consistently and continuously.”
    The document notes, however, that just because an organization is “anti-Israel or pro-Palestinian, or has an agenda that is critical of Israeli government policy” is not an excuse to ban its members from the country.
    The ban on BDS activists, the document said, will apply to activists in those organizations that have been targeted as well as to independent activists who meet one of the following criteria:
    1. They hold senior-level positions in the targeted organizations;
    2. They are key activists in the boycott movement, whether or not they operate independently or through the targeted organizations;
    3. They are establishment figures (such as mayors) who openly support a boycott;
    4. They operate on behalf of targeted organizations.
    A complete list of organizations that have been targeted by the new law will be published in the near future, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Strategic Affairs said.

    #BDS #Israël

  • New guideline allows Israel to deny entry to visitors over ’BDS activity’ -

    Regulation follows the passing of a law this past March that forbids the issuance of a visa or other entry permit to foreign citizens who have called for a boycott of Israel or the settlements

    Ilan Lior Jul 06, 2017
    read more:

    The Population, Immigration and Border Authority last month issued a directive implementing the recently-passed law that blocks entry to Israel of visitors because of “BDS activity.”
    The regulation, entitled “Handling entries at Israel’s international border crossings,” lists 28 reasons for refusing someone entry to Israel, and constitutes the first time such a policy has been set down in writing. “BDS activity” is specifically listed. The regulation follows the passing of a law this past March that forbids the issuance of a visa or other entry permit to foreign citizens who have called for a boycott of Israel or the settlements.
    Other reasons the regulation gives for refusing entry include risk of security or criminal activity; lies told at the border; suspected intent to remain in Israel illegally; lack of cooperation with border officials; an inappropriate visa; entry with the intent to work illegally; disrupting public order; impersonation; violent behavior; suspected intent to carry out missionary activity and past refusal of entry or illegal presence. Another reason to refuse entry is “suspicion of becoming a burden on the state,” presumably meaning someone suspected of not having the financial means to finance his stay in Israel.
    The regulation makes it clear that this is not a definitive list and that border guards are permitted to refuse entry for other reasons as well.
    Over the past year, at the instruction of Interior Minister Arye Dery and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan, Israel has blocked the entry of a few people known to support the BDS movement, which calls for boycotting, divesting from and sanctioning Israel to pressure it to end the occupation, at the very least. In December, entry was denied to Dr. Isabel Phiri, a Malawi citizen who lives in Switzerland and is a senior official in the World Council of Churches. At the time, the Population Authority said, “This is actually the first time the State of Israel is refusing the entry of a tourist because of anti-Israel activity and the promotion of economic, cultural and academic boycotts against Israel.”

    #BDS #Israël

  • Sexy women, ’missions’ and bad satire: Israeli government app recruits online soldiers in anti-BDS fight

    The missions include sharing positive news about Israel, reporting and complaining about designated YouTube and Facebook posts, and even emailing UNESCO’s director general to ask that her organization ’stop their bias toward Israel’

    Allison Kaplan Sommer Jun 13, 2017 8
    read more:

    “Welcome to BDS News! Where we pretend to care about Palestinians, but really just want to see Israel disappear!”
    Thus opens one of the videos the Israeli government hopes will go viral in what is billed as a new large-scale “cyber second strike” campaign. Supported and spearheaded by the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, the campaign enlists Israel’s supporters as foot soldiers against online efforts to “demonize” and “undermine” the country’s legitimacy. 
    The campaign, branded as under the slogan “Stop the Hate,” is being paired with a mobile application developed by a trio of organizations in the U.S. and Israel. Two of them – the Israeli-American Council and the Maccabee Task Force – are nearly solely funded by American Jewish billionaire and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who is also Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s buddy. The third partner is the Interdisciplinary Center in Herziliya, to which Adelson is a major donor.
    The app – geared to digitally-aware millennials – turns Israel advocacy into a competitive game in which young defenders perform “missions” on various social media platforms, earning points and badges. The missions include sharing and retweeting positive news about Israel, reporting and complaining about designated YouTube and Facebook posts to the platform’s companies, signing online petitions and even emailing UNESCO’s director general to ask that her organization “stop their bias towards Israel.”
    The initiative was unveiled with fanfare last week in New York City at the Salute to Israel Parade by Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan, who promoted the project as being an “Iron Dome of Truth.”

  • Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike in Israeli jails ends - Palestinians - Haaretz

    The hunger strike of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails ended after 40 days on Friday night, according to the Israel Prison Service and Palestinian officials.
    The hunger strike ended after Israel reached an agreement with the Palestinian Authority and the Red Cross over prisoners’ visitation rights, according to the prison service. The sides agreed that the prisoners would be eligible for two visits a month, as was in the past before being reduced to one visit a month.
    The strike ended in time for the month-long Muslim fast of Ramadan, which begins on Saturday.
    Despite Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan’s remarks according to which there will be no negotiations and that the prisoners’ demands won’t be met, the strike ended following days of talks that peaked on Friday night. This, while the prison service attempted to reach some understandings over the strike prior to U.S. President Donald Trump’s arrival in Israel earlier this week. The prison service stressed that there were no negotiations with the prisoners, but rather that “understandings” had been reached.

    #Palestine #grèvedelafaim #Israël

  • Inside the clandestine world of Israel’s ’BDS-busting’ ministry

    The Strategic Affairs Ministry’s leaders see themselves as the heads of a commando unit, gathering and disseminating information about ’supporters of the delegitimization of Israel’ – and they prefer their actions be kept secret.
    By Uri Blau Mar 26, 2017
    read more:

    The Haaretz report that Minister Gilad Erdan wants to set up a database of Israeli citizens who support the BDS movement has led to questions about the boundaries of freedom of expression and the government’s use of its resources to surveille people of differing opinions. The report also shone a light on the Strategic Affairs Ministry, which Erdan heads, and cast doubt about its ambiguous activities and goals.
    >> Get all updates on Israel and the Jewish World: Download our free App, and Subscribe >>
    Now, through official documents, Haaretz reveals some elements of the ministry’s clandestine activities, whereby even its location is a secret, described only as “greater Tel Aviv.” Its internal terminology comes from the world of espionage and security; its leading figures appear to see themselves as the heads of a public affairs commando unit engaged in multiple fronts, gathering and disseminating information about people they define as “supporters of the delegitimization of Israel.”
    That definition does not necessarily include only supporters of BDS, but intentional ambiguity remains, alongside campaigns and public diplomacy activities against these individuals in Israel and abroad.

    Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan. Olivier Fitoussi
    “If you want to win the campaign you have to do it with a great deal of ambiguity," the ministry’s director general, Sima Vaknin-Gil, who is a former IDF chief censor, explained to a Knesset panel recently. “The way I worked with military issues like Hezbollah or terror funds or Syria or any other country against which I conducted a campaign as an intelligence officer – we didn’t tell the other side what we intended to do; we left it ambiguous.”
    The ministry spends tens of millions of shekels on cooperative efforts with the Histadrut labor federation, the Jewish Agency and various nongovernmental organizations in training representatives of the “true pluralistic face” of Israel in various forums.

    The Strategic Affairs Ministry was established mainly as a consolation prize for ministers when the need arose to pad them with a semi-security portfolio during the formation of governing coalitions, and has taken on various forms. It was founded in 2006 as a portfolio tailored to Avigdor Lieberman. It was dismantled two years later and reestablished in 2009 in a different format. Under each ministry it was given new meaning and content.

    Strategic Affairs Ministry Director General Sima Vaknin. Alon Ron
    During Lieberman’s tenure, its authority was defined mainly as “thwarting the Iranian nuclear program.” In addition, Nativ, which maintained contact with Jews in Eastern Europe during the Cold War and encouraged aliyah, came under its aegis. Then, under Moshe Ya’alon (2009-2013), the ministry focused on “Palestinian incitement” as well as the Iranian threat. During the term of Yuval Steinitz (2013-2015), the ministry was unified with the Intelligence Affairs Ministry into the “Intelligence Ministry.” In May 2015, it was once again separated out and given to Erdan, incorporating the Public Diplomacy Ministry, which had been removed from the Prime Minister’s Office.
    A harsh state comptroller’s report in 2016 concerning the “diplomatic-media struggle against the boycott movement and manifestations of anti-Semitism abroad,” noted that the transfer of authority to fight BDS from the Foreign Ministry to the Strategic Affairs Ministry was damaging to the powers of the Foreign Ministry and created unnecessary duplication that paralyzed government action in that area, as Barak Ravid reported extensively at the time.
    According to the comptroller, after years of contention and mutual entrenchment, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had given in to pressure and shifted more powers for fighting BDS from the Foreign Ministry to the Strategic Affairs Ministry, together with major funding.
    In October 2015, the security cabinet finally gave the Strategic Affairs Ministry responsibility to “guide, coordinate and integrate the activities of all the ministers and the government and of civil entities in Israel and abroad on the subject of the struggle against attempts to delegitimize Israel and the boycott movement.”
    Nevertheless, tensions with the Foreign Ministry remained. The reason for this might also be a difference in approach. According to the comptroller’s report, the Foreign Ministry’s strategy of action against BDS “focuses on expanding dialogue with individuals, bodies, organizations, corporations and institutions abroad” – i.e., dialogue – as opposed to surveillance and more aggressive public diplomacy activities by the Strategic Affairs Ministry.

    Tzahi Gavrieli. Tomer Appelbaum

  • Le chauffeur bédouin tué par la police israélienne n’effectuait pas d’attaque, un ensemble de preuves le montrera .

    Bedouin driver shot by Israeli police was not carrying out attack, probe set to show
    Yaniv Kubovich Feb 22, 2017 12:42 PM

    Netanyahu and security officials were quick to call the incident a terrorist attack, but an investigation is set to prove otherwise. Findings are ’not good for police,’ legal experts say.

    A Bedouin driver who had run over a police officer during clashes in a Negev village did not intend to carry out an attack, a probe into the incident is expected to show in the coming days.

    The January incident took place during a Bedouin demonstration against the demolition of the unrecognized Negev village of Umm al-Hiran. At the demonstration, Yakub Abu al-Kiyan ran over officer Erez Levi before being killed by police gunfire.

    The Justice Ministry’s department for the investigation of police officers’ probe should be completed within two weeks, but officials may come out sooner with a statement saying that the evidence collected indicates that Kiyan did not plan or commit a terror attack that caused Levi’s death.

    According to legal experts, the investigation findings so far are “not good for the police,” which claimed immediately after the incident that Kiyan was a terrorist who planned to run over policemen for political motives.

    According to the findings, Kiyan was driving at a low speed, never exceeding 20 kilometers per hour. Professionals who have studied this incident and others believe that someone who wished to commit a vehicular ramming attack would not have been driving so slowly when he had sufficient distance to accelerate. Also, the shooting was done from a further distance than claimed by the police officers and commanders in the field, and Kiyan’s intentions were not possible to discern.

    Testimony from the police about the location of where Kiyan began driving and the location where he was asked to stop also did not match the findings in the field. Nor did the claim that he did not have his lights on, which was refuted by the video of the incident that was publicized.

    On Tuesday, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said that “A difficult and regrettable incident took place in Umm al-Hiran a few weeks ago. We mustn’t let anyone try to take this particular incident − in which unfortunately both a policeman and a civilian were killed − and draw inferences from it regarding the totality of the relationship between the Bedouin population and the police.”

    Legal experts took his comments as an indication that he was reneging on his previous characterization of incident as a terror attack, noting that he aware of the investigation’s findings.(...)

  • Almost famous: Israel recruits D-list celebrities to counter BDS
    Why should the government pay for flights and stays of Hollywood actors in order to combat the boycott movement?
    By Itamar Zohar | Jan. 3, 2017 | 12:30 AM

    If in the next few days you come across social media photos of minor American actors who are in Israel, either at the Western Wall or the Jordan River, you should know that they are the guests of Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan. As part of his roles as information minister and strategic affairs minister, and as part of the cabinet’s efforts to block the campaign calling to boycott Israel, Erdan invited actors Daniel Dae Kim (“Lost” and “Hawaii-Five-O”), Meagan Good (“Deception”), Sonequa Martin-Green and Kenric Green (“The Walking Dead”) and Mark Pellegrino (“Dexter” and “Supernatural”) to Israel.

    You don’t recognize these names? You’re not alone. On their Instagram pages you’ll at least be able to find out what they did here – visit the Western Wall and the Dead Sea, while making sure to stay away from politics. Daniel Dae Kim stressed on Instagram that his visit to Jerusalem was apolitical. Of course it was. But coming on a government-sponsored visit posed no problem for him.

    The visit of this delegation of minor Hollywood actors was the initiative of America’s Voices in Israel, an organization that strives to promote Israel’s image in the United States. It has already sponsored similar visits in the past. It now appears that the government wishes to join this initiative.

    The question is, why should the government pay for flights and stays of Hollywood actors, well-known or less-known, in order to combat the boycott movement? This money could have been used to help people who live here, not for casual visitors who will forget what they saw here by next week.

    Even if, as the official description of their visit contends, “they will document their visit for 50 million of their followers on social media,” their ability to impact anything here is marginal. For them it’s a freebie, an opportunity to collect yet another country’s stamp in their passports while touring it at someone else’s expense.

    Erdan writes that the aim of the visit is “to expose the complex reality of Israel without any biased mediation,” but this is precisely what he’s doing. He’s a cabinet member trying to further its policies. What could be more biased than that? At the end of his announcement he writes “we see great importance in bringing influential people from diverse areas here, in order to show them the truth about Israel. We’re building bridges between Israel and communities around the world in all spheres of life.” (...)


  • When Israelis can no longer go to Macy’s
    The policy of deporting anyone who disagrees with government policy is wreaking havoc on what little remains of Israel’s positive image .
    By Gideon Levy | Dec. 11, 2016 | 3:17 AM

    Israel presents: The thought police. The Deutsche Demokratische Republik at Ben-Gurion Airport. After denying entry to those whom it views as endangering its security, a standard of unparalleled flexibility and arbitrariness, and after interrogating and humiliating those whose origins reveal their dangerousness – another arbitrary standard – the next stage has arrived: Israel is deporting those whose opinions that state doesn’t like.

    It began with BDS supporters – there’s already a network of government informers – but it won’t end with them. Soon, it will be entry for Zionists only. He loves us, he loves us not: He loves us? Enter. He doesn’t? Go home.

    No such thing exists anywhere in the free world. Only in Israel would a high-ranking theologian be deported because someone thinks her organization supports boycotting Israel.

    This is the same Israel that dared to deport Noam Chomsky, no less, and also Norman Finkelstein – two famous intellectuals for whom even being Jewish was to no avail – as well as a Spanish clown who came to entertain the Palestinians, an American author who came to dedicate a playground for them and even an Israeli exile who wanted to visit his elderly mother on kibbutz. And we haven’t yet said anything about what happens to Israeli Arabs.

    In the spirit of the time and place, which is the spirit of Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, this problem will only get worse. The gates of our military base will gradually close, not only on those deported, but on us. If it could, the state would long since have preventing Israelis not to its liking from entering their own country. That will be the next step.

    This policy is wreaking havoc on what little remains of Israel’s positive image, which was based entirely on its being a democracy for its own citizens. Every deportation like this sparks angry reactions in the deportee’s country of origin, which does more damage than any group like Breaking the Silence.

    Over the weekend, I attended a conference in Bethlehem that the deported theologian, Dr. Isabel Phiri, was also supposed to attend; her absence was embarrassing. She was the swallow that heralds the arrival of a McCarthyist autumn at Ben-Gurion Airport.

    Most of those deported are moral exemplars. Today, there is isn’t a single person of conscience in the world who supports the occupation, and most such people believe Israel deserves to be boycotted. But Israel won’t allow such people to enter. It’s a punishment.

    Some of them in any case only want to visit the occupied territories – to which there is no entry without Israeli permission – in order to express their solidarity with the victims. That’s their right, and their duty. Israel has no right to bar them from doing so, in territories that aren’t under its sovereignty and where its propagandists claim the occupation has ended, or that it never began.

    This ugly practice, which arouses no interest in Israel, can be countered in only one way: measure for measure. Interrogation for interrogation. Deportation for deportation. No country has yet dared to do so, for fear of Israel. But it seems they owe this to themselves, to their own honor and their own deported citizens.

    It could begin within stringent interrogations of anyone who lives in the occupied territories. In the same way that Palestinian-Americans are interrogated and humiliated at Ben-Gurion Airport, an Israeli from the settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim arriving at a Canadian airport will be questioned about his activities, his origins, his friends, his plans and his sex life; his computer will also be searched, just like they do at Ben-Gurion. After all, these are residents of communities that the rest of the world views as illegitimate.

    After the first settler is strip-searched at JFK Airport and his friend is detained for a day at Charles de Gaulle Airport, Israel will presumably start acting differently. But if that isn’t enough, it’s possible to emulate it further and deport Israelis on all kinds of pretexts more convincing than those Israel offers. If a critical theologian is denied entry to Israel because of her opinions, why should an Israeli pilot not be denied entry to Britain because of his past? And it will quickly snowball: Every settler, and perhaps even every Israeli, will require a visa, which will entail an investigation of his military record.

    Does anyone want all this? Has anyone been through the interrogations and humiliations at Ben-Gurion Airport? Has anyone tasted the experience of deportation en route to a sale at Macy’s, or to a Maccabi Tel Aviv game in Liege? Only once that happens will Israel become a country more open to all opinions.