on boycotting nestlé

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as if we needed another reason to boycott nestle (known as osem in the zionist entity) along comes evidence that it is attached directly to the israeli terrorist forces:

The global Nestle food company is, for the first time in its history, producing a new breakfast cereal in the southern Israeli town of Sderot.

The new cereal was developed in Israel and is based on a technology that was originally developed for the production of Osem’s nougat-filled Bamba snack.

The new cereal will be named Crunch Rolls Nougat and is composed of cylindrical-shaped cereal filled with nougat.

The development of the technology began at Nestle’s research and development center in Sderot some seven years ago.

The technology, that is registered as a global patent, allows for the first time ever, the inflation of a corn or cereal product in the shape of a cylinder with open sides, through which the filling can be seen.

Up until now, Nestle has not produced any food products in Israel, and its products are imported to Israel by Osem.

It seems that the sweeping success of Bamba Nougat has prompted Nestle, one of the world’s leading breakfast cereal producers, to implement the new technology in its products as well.

Osem’s nougat-filled Bamba was born at the request of soldiers who would eat Bamba with chocolate paste. The project was initially launched in a limited edition as a marketing campaign, but quickly became a hit.

In the first stages, the new cereal will be sold in Israel and was expected to be on shelves this week. The company also plans to market the new product around the world.

nestle/osem in najd, palestine (colony of sderot)
nestle/osem in najd, palestine (colony of sderot)

together against tyranny lists some of the many additional reasons to boycott nestle such as (click link below for footnotes/documentation):

Nestle owns over half of the Osem Group, Israel’s giant food manufacturer, and has immensely aided in the growth and development of the subsidiary company in Israel, including promoting Osem’s international trade via Nestle’s own distribution channels.

The Nestle Purina Israel, Director and Corporate Executive at Osem Investment Ltd and CEO of Osem International Ltd., Gad Propper, is the Chairman of the Israel-European Union Chamber of Commerce.

He is also Chairman of L’Oreal Israel, 30% owned by L’Oreal,another prominent supporter of Israel.

Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Nestle’s CEO since 1997, was awarded the Jubilee Award by the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, the highest tribute ever awarded by the “State of Israel” in recognition of those individuals and organizations, that through their investments and trade relationships, have done the most to strengthen the Israeli economy.

Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, CEO of Nestle, is also on the Board of Directors of L’Oreal, that has a history of breaking laws to support Israel. He is also a director of Credit Suisse, which is a board member of the Swiss-Israeli Chamber of Commerce. Brabeck-Letmathe is also on the foundation board of the World Economic Forum (WEC), which in 2006 removed from its Global Agenda Magazine an article that called for a peaceful boycott of Israel until it complied to international law and human rights. In contrast to the WEC’s promotion of peaceful free speech, the article was said to be “totally in contradiction to … the Forum’s mission and values”.

Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, set up their R&D Center in Israel (greatly enhancing Israel through their technical know-how, expertise and distribution channels). This R&D center was built on Sderot – stolen and illegally occupied Palestinian land that was once a town called Najd. The presence of Nestle’s plant effectively sabotages the Palestinians’ right to return as stated by UN Resolution 194 and also the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 13, Section 2.

Nestle and Osem own over half of the goodwill and assets of Israel’s largest infant formula producer, Materna.

Through Osem, Nestle invests heavily in Israel’s development, such as $80m in new salad plants, logistics centers for distribution, development labs, and so on.

Nestle also partners with JNF through Osem. JNF is one of the foremost Zionist organizations that for decades has persistently uprooted Palestinians and destroyed their villages and towns to make way for Israel’s illegal expansion and occupation.

palestinian village of najd, 1948 palestine (colony of sderot)
palestinian village of najd, 1948 palestine (colony of sderot)

the images here are of the nestle/osem company on the village of najd, which houses the zionist terrorist colony of sderot on which ariel sharon owns a farm and which he buried his wife on land which used to be a palestinian muslim cemetery.

lily sharon (ariel sharon's wife) buried on top of a muslim cemetery, najd, palestine
lily sharon (ariel sharon's wife) buried on top of a muslim cemetery, najd, palestine

here are a few important facts from the lebanon boycott group about why one should boycott nestle:

* In 1997, Nestle invested 10% in the Israeli food company, Osem. It soon increased its ownership to 50.1% of the company, ie. the controlling share.

* Nestle-Osem runs several factories and research centers in Jewish-only settlements on lands confiscated from Palestinians.

* Nestle’s main Israeli site is in Sderot, a settlement that was founded near Gaza in 1951 to accommodate an influx of Sephardic Jews and to spread Jewish presence uniformly throughout Israel.

* Sderot is built on the lands of the Palestinian town Najd, which was ethnically cleansed in 1948.

* Today Sderot is home to 23,000 Jewish immigrants from Morocco, Ethiopia, and the former Soviet Union, half of whom came in the last ten years.

* Now a “development zone” in the words of the Israeli state, Sderot lacks basic facilities that make for a comfortable living. With a 10% unemployment rate among adults, a full 30% of the children living in Sderot depend on charity. 25% of the recent immigrants’ children do not finish school.

* Nestle-Osem runs a 700 m2 factory in Sderot, and in 2002 the company opened a 1,700 m2 research and development (R&D) center there.

* The Research & Development center in Sderot is considered particularly beneficial to Osem’s growth as it “gives [Osem] advantages in technological know-how and increased export opportunities through Nestle’s distribution network.”

* Nestle’s Sderot R&D also contributes to the development of Israeli education: “Schools receive assistance through the Join the Industry project which introduces various aspects of Israeli industry to the classroom. Senior managers visit schools and teach classes about their industry. Schools are also welcome to visit the Company’s factories. Students receive guidance from Osem’s executives.”

* In 2002, Nestle received a grant from the Israeli government for 24% of the cost of its Sderot research center. The Israeli government gives such grants to companies that can help it transform social problem sites into nice places to live.

* Building in development zones also means building over the remains of Palestinian habitation.

 When the old stone buildings and stubborn cactus plants are covered over, so, too, it is hoped, will be the grounds for the Palestinian Right of Return.

* In total, Nestle-Osem currently has over 4000 Israeli employees at 11 plants, with the following all in “development zones”: A Factory and an R&D at Sderot (Najd); A Tzabar Salads (an Osem subsidiary) plant in Kiryat Gat (Al-Faluja and Iraq al-Manshiyya); A ready-baked cakes factory in Ahihud; A logistics center in Nachsholim (Tantoura)

* How did Tantoura “develop” into Nachsholim?

* According to Israeli historian Teddi Katz, a major massacre in 1948 forced Palestinians to flee Tantoura. The mosque and graveyard of Tantoura were later ploughed and transformed into a sea-side parking lot for Nachsholim…. Do Nestle employees park there?

* As for Kiryat Gat, it is founded on the Palestinian villages of Al-Faluja and Iraq al-Manshiyya. Iraq al-Manshiyya’s cactus and village buildings are barely visible before the factories of Kiryat Gat.

* Al-Faluja was in Arab hands until 1949 when it was handed over to Israel through a UN armistice on the condition that “those of the civilian population who may wish to remain … are to be permitted to do so. . . . All of these civilians shall be fully secure in their persons, abodes, property and personal effects.” “Arab civilians . . . at Al-Faluja have been beaten and robbed by Israeli soldiers….” and “[the Israelis] were firing promiscuously” on the Arab population.” — Ralph Bunche, UN Observer, 1949

* “Nowadays we’d call the Al-Faluja events ethnic cleansing.” Noting that native Americans won compensation in several major cases once Congress adopted procedures for dealing with such claims, [the lawyer] said, “It sounds as if there’s potential in the long run for recovery here.” –Henry Norr

* Many companies active inside ‘48 enjoy low-skilled Palestinian labor because it is advantageous to use a captive resident population that is at once socially deprived (no insurance or union), politically oppressed, and able to provide its own food and board.

* What about the Nestle factory in Karni, Gaza? Human rights organization, Btselem has reported that PA area factories host even harsher conditions and less respect for employee rights.

* In sum, Nestle: builds on stolen Palestinian lands; covers up the ruins; provides jobs and opportunities that realize the Zionist goal of a purely Jewish presence in Israel; then sells the products of such an apartheid system abroad so that the Israeli economy can flourish

* No wonder Nestle received in 1998 the Jubilee Award, “the highest tribute ever awarded by the State of Israel in recognition of those individuals and organizations, that through their investments and trade relationships, have done the most to strengthen the Israeli economy.”

* Since 1977, Nestle has been the subject of an international boycott for its deceptive promotion of artificial baby milk as a superior alternative to mother’s milk.

* Nestle has attracted criticism for its use of genetically modified ingredients, the safety of which has not been tested.

* Nestle is, also, under attack for allowing its cocoa suppliers in Africa to enslave children.

* In 2000, Nestle donated $20 million to Holocaust reparations funds, because, “As the legal successor of [Nazi] corporations, Nestlé nevertheless accepts its moral responsibility to help alleviate human suffering, all the more so since this injustice was committed in the Company’s domain.”

* We demand that Nestle end its economic and moral support for a racist social system. The company must close its Israeli factories and sell its shares of Osem.

* If Nestle knows that in Sderot/Najd, Kiryat Gat/Iraq al-Manshiyya and Al-Faluja, and Nachsholim/Tantoura it cannot ever produce enough to cover the costs of business lost in the Arab world and abroad, then it will have no choice but to divest from Israel.

* Nestle’s Israeli adventure began only after the thawing of the Arab boycott in 1993, so let the company know that our objections to Israel have not been reduced by the “peace process” but rather increased.

* Britain’s largest union, UNISON, and Christian Aid, a major Christian activist group, have decided to boycott Nestle in addition to their general boycott of Israel goods.

* How do we boycott Nestle? Don’t buy: Nescafé, Taster’s Choice, Hills Bros, Cerealac, Nido, Fitness & Fruit, Appleminis, Cheerios, Chocapic Cornflakes, Shreddies, Golden Grahams, Trix, Perrier, Sohat, Vittel, Pure Life, Carnation, Libby’s, Nesquik, Maggi, Buitoni , Milkybar, KitKat, Quality Street, Smarties, Oreo, After Eight, Lion, Aero, Polo, Toll House Morsels, Crunch, L’Oréal, Alcon Eyecare, Mint Royal, Rowntree, Rolo, Minute Maid, Petit Gervals, Contadina, Alpo, Purina, Tidy Cats, Meow Mix, Mighty Dog, Friskies, Felix

nestle in the distance on the land of najd, palestine
nestle in the distance on the land of najd, palestine

for those who want a comprehensive list of nestle products check out this link to nestle’s website where you can see what other brands are a part of nestle/osem. you can also use the site to send a letter telling them why you are choosing to boycott their products. boycotts do not work unless the company is aware of your boycott. it is also worth noting that there is a longstanding boycott of nestle for its practices around the world of encouraging women to stop breastfeeding and use its infant formula instead, which is worth for the health of the baby and often complicated by factors related to unsafe drinking water, which is needed for preparing baby formula.

قطاع نستله

عام 1977 اشترت نستله 10% من شركة ”أوسم“ الاسرائيلية للأغذية. ثم زادت ملكيتها إلى 50.1% من أسهم الشركة المذكورة، بما يتيح لها التحكم فيها

تدير شركة ”نستله-أوسم“ عدة مصانع ومراكز أبحاث في مستوطنات يهودية صرْف صودرت من الفلسطينيين

أهم موقع لشركة نستله في دولة ”اسرائيل“ يقع في سيديروت، وهي مستوطنة أنشئت قرب غزة عام 1951 من أجل إسكان موجة من اليهود الغربيين ولتوزيع اليهود بشكل متجانس على امتداد أراضي الدولة

اليوم يسكن في سيديروت 23 ألف مهاجر يهودي من المغرب وأثيوبيا والاتحاد السوفياتي، نصفهم قدِم إلى هنا في الأعوام العشرة الأخيرة

والآن سيديروت، لكونها ”منطقة تنمية“ كما تسميها دولة ”اسرائيل“، تفتقر إلى التسهيلات الأساسية التي تضمن حياةً مريحةً لساكنيها. فثمة 10% من الراشدين عاطلون عن العمل، و30% من أطفالها يعيشون على الأعمال الخيريّة، و25% من أطفال المهاجرين الجدد لا يُنْهون مدارسَهم

ولكنْ دخلتْ نستله إلى سيديروت:
وهي اليوم تدير مصنعاً هناك مساحته 700 م2 . 
وفي العام 2002 أعلنتْ نيتها فتح ”مركز أبحاث وتنمية“ بمساحة م2 1700 م2

”هذا المركز يُفيد في نموّ شركة أوسم بشكل خاص لأنه يعطيها ”أفضليات الخبرة التقنية وفي زيادة فرص التصدير عبر شبكة توزيع نستله“

كما ان المركز يساهم في نمو قطاع التعليم الاسرائيلي:

”فالمدارس تتلقى المساعدة من خلال برنامج (التحق بالمصنع) الذس يعرِّف الطلاب على جوانب مختلفة من الصناعة الاسرائيلية.
ويزور مديرون من مناصب عالية هذه المدارس ويعلِّمون الصفوف عن تلك الصناعة.

كما يتّم الترحيب بزيارة الطلاب لمصانع الشركة. ويتلقون إرشادات من مديري أوسم.“

عام 2002 تلقّت نستله منحةً من الحكومة الاسرائيلية مقدارها 24% من كلفة مركز أبحاثها في سيديروت. وتعطي الحكومة الاسرائيلية مثل هذه المنح للشركات التي تساعدها على تحويل الأماكن التي تعاني مشاكل اجتماعية إلى أماكن ممتعة للسكن.

بناء المصانع في ”مناطق التنمية“ يعني أيضاً طمس بقايا الحياة الفلسطينية قبل 1948. ولعلّ اسرائيل تأمل في أن يؤدي طمس المباني الحجرية القديمة وشجرات الصبير العنيدة إلى طمس أي مبررات لحقّ الفلسطينيين في العودة.

الخلاصة أن نستله-أوسم توظف أكثر من 4000 اسرائيلي في 11 مصنعاً، فضلاً عن (وكله في مناطق تنمية):

مصنع ومركز أبحاث وتنمية في سيديروت (النجد)

مصنع ل“سلائط كزايبار“ (التابع لأوسم) في كريات غات (الفالوجة وعراق المنشية)
مصنع للحلويات الجاهزة في أحيحود
مصنع لوجستي في ناخشوليم (الطنطورة)

لنتأمل عن كثب ما هو الذي ”تنميه“ نستله تحديداً في الدولة الاسرائيلية

كيف، يا تُرى، ”تطورت“ الطنطورة إلى … ناخشوليم؟

بحسب المؤرخ الاسرائيلي تيدي كاتز، حدثت مجزرة كبرى عام 1948 أجبرت الفلسطينيين على مغادرة الطنطورة.
لاحقاً تم جرف جامع البلدة ومقبرتها، وحوِّلتا إلى موقف للسيارات لبلدة ناخشوليم.

فهل يصّف عمال نستله اليوم سياراتهم هناك؟

أما كريات غات فبنيت على أنقاض بلدتين فلسطينيتين:
الفالوجة وعراق المنشية

صبير عراق المنشية والمباني القديمة لا تكاد تظهر أمام مصانع كريات غات

كانت الفالوجا عربية حتى عام 1949، حين سُلِّمت إلى اسرائيل بموجب هدنة باشراف الأمم المتحدة شرط أن ”يسمح للسكان المدنيين الذين يريدون البقاء بذلك… وسيكون كل هؤلاء المدنيين آمنين تماماً في أرواحهم ومساكنهم وممتلكاتهم…“

لكنّ اسرائيل سرعان ما انتهكت بنود هذه الهدنة المذكورة.

”المدنيين العرب … في الفالوجة ضُربوا وسُلبوا على يد الجنود الاسرائيليين“ وراح هؤلاء يطلقون النار عشوائياً على المواطنين العرب Ralph Bunche, UN Observer, 1949

”اليوم بمقدورنا أن نسمّي أحداث الفالوجة تطهيراً عرقياً“

وقد لاحظ أحد المحامين الأميركيين أن الأميركيين الأصليين كسبوا تعويضات في عدة قضايا كبرى بعد أن تبنّى الكونغرس اجراءات للتعامل مع دعواهم فقال ”يبدو أن هناك إمكانية في المدى البعيد لاسترجاع (الأراضي والأملاك) هنا في (الفالوجة) أيضاً“ (Henry Norr)

والآن ماذا عن مصنع نستله في كارني، غزة

هناك عدة مصانع عاملة في فلسطين 48 تتمتع بيد عاملة فلسطينية ذات مهارات فقيرة، ذلك لأنه من المفيد لهذه المصانع أن تستغل جمهوراً سجيناً، ومحروماً من أية ضمانات صحية أو نقابية، ومسحوقاً سياسياً، بل وعليه أيضاً أن يؤمن بنفسه طعامه ومسكنه!

ذكرت منظمة ”بيتسالم“ لحقوق الانسان أنّ المصانع في مناطق السلطة الفلسطينية تعاني ظروفاً أشدَّ قسوةً وانتهاكاً لحقوق الموظفين من المصانع في مناطق 48

منذ عام 1977 ونستله تتعرض لمقاطعة عالمية بسبب ترويجها المضلِّل لحليب الأطفال الاصطناعي بديلاً من حليب الأم

كما تعرضت لانتقاد عالمي لسبب استخدامها موادّ معدّلة جينياً

عُرضةٌ أيضاً للهجوم لسبب سماحها لتجار الكاكاو والذين تتعامل معهم في افريقيا باستعباد الأطفال.

عام 2000 قدمت نستله 20 مليون دولار لصندوق تعويضات ضحايا الهولوكوست (المحارق النازية) والسبب أن نستله ”بوصفها خلفاً شرعياً للشركات (النازية) تقبل مسؤوليتها الأخلاقية عن المساعدة في التخفيف من المعاناة البشرية، ولا سيّما لأن هذا الظلم جرى في أراضي الشركة“

نطالبها بانهاء دعمها الاقتصادي والمعنوي للنظام الاسرائيلي العنصري. على نستله أن تغلق مصانعها الاسرائيلية وأن تبيع حصتها في شركة ”أوسم“.

إذا علمت نستله أنها لن تستطيع في سيديروت (النجد) وفي كريات غات (الفالوجة وعراق المنشية) وفي ناخشوليم (الطنطورة) أن تنتج ما يكفي للتعويض عن خسائرها في العالم العربي والعالم أجمع بسبب المقاطعة، فلن يكون أمامها إلاّ سحب استثماراتها من اسرائيل.

لنتذكَّر أن مشاريع نستله الكبرى بدأت بعد ذوبان المقاطعة العربية لاسرائيل عام 1993. 
فلتعلم هذه الشركة أنّ اعتراضنا على اسرائيل لم يخفّ بعد ”عملية السلام“، بل على العكس زاد.

، فضلاً عن منظمة UNISON كما أنّ أكبر اتحاد في بريطانيا، وهو 
، وهي منظمة مسيحية ناشطة كبرى، قد قررا CHRISTIAN AID 
مقاطعة نستله إضافة إلى مقاطعتها لكلّ البضائع الاسرائيلية

lebanese academic boycott of zionism launched

in honor of يوم الأرض (land day) and the palestinian national boycott movement’s call for land day to be global bds day the campaign has finally be launched in lebanon here is the article that rania and i wrote in al akhbar today explaining our bayan, which you will find below:

في يوم الأرض… فلنقف مع المقاطعة الأكاديميّة

رانية مصري ــ مارسي نيومن*

إذ نتذكر يوم الأرض في 30 آذار/ مارس 1976 ونحيي ذكراه، ذكرى اليوم الذي قتلت فيه القوات الإسرائيلية ستة فلسطينيين وجرحت حوالى مئة في سخنين خلال تظاهرات غير مسلّحة نُظمت احتجاجاً على مصادرة أراضٍ فلسطينية في الجليل، إذ نتذكر الهمجية الإسرائيلية بحق الفلسطينيين في غزة في كانون الأول/ ديسمبر، إذ ندرك استمرار الاعتداءات بحق الفلسطينيين، إذ نتذكر الأعمال الوحشية العديدة والمتواصلة بحقّ اللبنانيين، دعونا نقف وقفة دعم فعّال لحركة تتمتع بالقوة وبالقدرة الضرورية على المساهمة بشدة في هذا النضال من أجل الحرية وتحقيق الذات ضمن إطار المعركة ضد الصهيونية.

هذه الحركة هي حركة المقاطعة وسحب الاستثمارات وفرض العقوبات، وأحد أبرز مطالبها مقاطعة الشركات الإسرائيلية والعالمية التي تدعم التمييز العنصري والاستعمار اللذَين تمارسهما إسرائيل، والانسحاب منها. ونحن نعرف، من المَثَل الذي قدّمته جنوب أفريقيا، أن استراتيجية تجمع بين المقاومة المسلّحة من جهة، والمقاطعة وسحب الاستثمارات وفرض العقوبات من جهة ثانية، قد أدت إلى انهيار نظام التمييز العنصري، وبالتالي تتمتع بمقومات النجاح. والتركيز على المقاومة الاقتصادية يربط هذه الحركة بجذور حركة المقاومة الفلسطينية التي سعت تاريخياً إلى تحرير فلسطين، كما سائر المنطقة، من إمبريالية يفرضها الغرب من خلال سياساته الاقتصادية الاستعمارية الجديدة.

نعرف أيضاً أن لبنان لا يخلو من المنتجات الصهيونية. من مستحضرات التجميل إلى الثياب، ومن الجرافات إلى القهوة، نستهلك منتجات تنتجها شركات تدعم إسرائيل جوهرياً، إمّا عبر الاستثمار في إسرائيل، وإما بدعم إسرائيل مالياً أو دبلوماسياً (وفيما إلغاء بعض المنتجات الصهيونية، مثل منتجات إنتل، أمر صعب، فإنّ إخلاء أسواقنا من الأكثرية الساحقة من المنتجات، مثل نستله وإيستيه لودر، سوف ينعش اقتصادنا فعلياً عبر زيادة الاستثمارات في المنتجات والأعمال المحلية).

بالإضافة إلى الشكل الواضح الذي تتخذه المقاطعة الاقتصادية (غالباً ما يحدث التباس بينها وبين الحظر)، ثمة وسيلة مهمة تتمثل بالمقاطعة الأكاديمية والثقافية. وتتضمن المقاطعةُ الأكاديمية الإحجامَ عن المشاركة في أي نوع من أنواع التعاون الأكاديمي أو الثقافي مع مؤسسات إسرائيلية، وعن المساهمة فيها والانضمام إلى مشاريع معها، والعمل، في النهاية، على دفع الجامعات نفسها إلى الانسحاب من أي مساهمة أو تعاون مع أي مؤسسة إسرائيلية. الأساتذة الجامعيون في جنوب أفريقيا دعوا أيضاً زملاءهم في أرجاء العالم إلى المقاطعة لنزع الصفة الشرعية عن نظام التمييز العنصري وعزله. وقد نجحت حملة المقاطعة في جنوب أفريقيا بسبب هذا العزل الذي قُرِن بمقاطعة اقتصادية وسحب الاستثمارات، فقاد ذلك في النهاية إلى فرض عقوبات على النظام، ما أدى إلى زواله.

إن أقوى سلاح في المقاطعة الأكاديمية هو رفض تشريع الصهيونية، تلك الإيديولوجية التي بُنيت عليها إسرائيل، الإيديولوجية التي تسمح لمجموعة واحدة من الناس بأن تنهب وتقتل وتطرد، إيديولوجية عنصرية بجوهرها وبكليتها. فالصهيونية هي التي يجب أن تُقهر.

تتنامى حركة المقاطعة الأكاديمية والثقافية لإسرائيل عالمياً، فهي ناشطة في كندا والمملكة المتحدة منذ بضع سنوات الآن، وانتقلت إلى أوستراليا والولايات المتحدة. وتمثّل الدعاية المحيطة بهذه الحركة سلاحاً قوياً بقوة الحركة نفسها، لأنها تدعو أيضاً إلى إعادة التفكير في حق إسرائيل في الوجود كدولة يهودية. حتماً أصبحت حركة المقاطعة قوية جداً الآن لدرجة أن المستعمرين الإسرائيليين يدفعون مليونَي دولار لتحسين صورتهم عالمياً.

لقد ضم أكاديميون من لبنان أصواتهم إلى هذه الحركة المتنامية. فقد وقّعت كلياتٌ من جامعة البلمند، والجامعة الأميركية في بيروت، والجامعة اللبنانية ــ الأميركية، وجامعة سيدة اللويزة، والجامعة اللبنانية، وجامعة بيروت العربية، وجامعة الروح القدس، والجامعة اللبنانية الدولية، والجامعة العالمية، على بيان يدعو إلى مقاطعة تامة لإسرائيل وللمؤسسات الإسرائيلية، ودعوا زملاءنا في العالم أجمع، ولا سيما أولئك في العالم العربي الذين يدّعون التضامن مع الفلسطينيين، إلى مقاطعة كل المؤسسات الأكاديمية والثقافية الإسرائيلية والانسحاب منها انسحاباً شاملاً وثابتاً، وإلى الإحجام عن التطبيع في أي شكل من أشكال التعاون الأكاديمي والثقافي مع مؤسسات إسرائيلية، وعن المساهمة فيها أو إنشاء مشاريع مشتركة معها، وذلك مساهمةً منهم في النضال الهادف إلى إنهاء الاحتلال والاستعمار ونظام التمييز العنصري الذي تفرضه إسرائيل.

لإضافة توقيعك، الرجاء مراجعة الموقع الآتي:
اليوم، 30 آذار/مارس 2009، هو يوم العمل العالمي لحركة المقاطعة وسحب الاستثمارات وفرض العقوبات. فلنقف معاً.

* رانية مصري هي أستاذة مساعدة في جامعة البلمند، ومارسي نيومن أستاذة مساعدة لمادة اللغة الإنكليزية في جامعة النجاح الوطنية.

عدد الاثنين ٣٠ آذار ٢٠٠٩

here is our bayan:

بيان صادر عن أكاديميّين في لبنان

لقد هاجمت إسرائيل، في هذه الحرب الضارية الأخيرة التي تشنها على الفلسطينيين، جامعة، ووزارة التربية، ومدارس عبر قطاع غزة، والعديد من المدارس التابعة للأونروا. وليست مثل هذه الاعتداءات على مراكز تربوية غريبة عن إسرئيل. فمنذ 1975 خصوصاً، انتهكت إسرائيل حق الفلسطينيين في التعليم عبر إغلاق الجامعات والمدارس ودور الحضانة، ومن خلال قصف مئات المدارس والعديد من الجامعات على امتداد الأراضي الفلسطينية المحتلة، وإطلاق النار وشنّ غارات عليها. ولم تقتصر هذه الأعمال الهجومية على الفلسطينيين، فالاعتداءات الإسرائيلية على المراكز التربوية مألوفة جداً بالنسبة إلينا نحن الأكاديميين في لبنان. وفي آخر عدوان شنته إسرائيل على لبنان سنة 2006 مثلاً، دمرت أكثر من 50 مدرسة في شتى أرجاء البلد، ولا سيما المدارس المخصصة للمحرومين اقتصادياً في الجنوب.

لهذا السبب، نحن الأكاديميين في لبنان، نحثّ زملاءنا، إقليمياً ودولياً، على مناهضة هذه الجرائم المستمرة بحقّ المدارس وعلى دعم هذا الطلب السلمي والمحق بالمقاطعة الأكاديمية وسحب الاستثمارات وفرض العقوبات. وبصورة خاصة، نطلب من زملائنا في العالم أجمع أن يدعموا النداء الذي أطلقته الحملة الفلسطينية للمقاطعة الأكاديمية والثقافية لإسرائيل، لمقاطعة كل المؤسسات الأكاديمية والثقافية والانسحاب منها انسحاباً شاملاً وثابتاً، وللإحجام عن المشاركة في أي شكل من أشكال التعاون الأكاديمي والثقافي أو المساهمة في مشاريع مع مؤسسات إسرائيلية أو الانضمام إليها، وذلك مساهمةً منهم في النضال الهادف إلى إنهاء الاحتلال والاستعمار ونظام التمييز العنصري التي تمارسها إسرائيل.

وندعو كذلك إلى إنفاذ القوانين اللبنانية التي تمنع التطبيع مع إسرائيل، وبالتالي إلى مقاضاة المؤسسات والأفراد في لبنان الذين يخرقون تلك القوانين ويقومون بنشاطات تعاون أو شراكة أو استثمار في إسرائيل أو مع إسرائيليين. ونحن نحيّي البيان الأخير الصادر عن اللجنة الاسكوتلندية من أجل جامعات فلسطين الذي يدعو إلى مقاطعة إسرائيل، والرسالة التي وقّعها 300 أكاديمي كندي ووجهوها إلى رئيس الوزراء هاربر مطالبين بفرض عقوبات على إسرائيل، والدعوة التي أطلقتها لجنة التنسيق بين الاتحاد الكندي لعمال الحقل العام وعمال جامعة أونتاريو والتي تدعم حظر أشكال التعاون بين الجامعات الكندية والإسرائيلية.

بيان يحمل تواقيع أكاديميين في لبنان:

■ أسماء الموقّعين

سوزان عبد الرحيم، سناء أبي ديب، مي عبود، ميشال أبو غنطوس، دانا أبو رحمة، منى أبو ريان، محمد علم الدين، ريان علم الدين، فلاح علي، محمود العلي، ريان الأمين، كرمى بيبي، نبيل دجاني، نبيل فارس، نيكولاس غابرييل، آلين جرماني، صباح غندور، ريما حبيب، سمر هبر، نيكولاس حداد، هراتش هاجيتيان، روجيه حجار، ساري حنفي، سيرين حرب، ديالا حاوي، إهاب حدرج، سامي هرمز، إبراهيم الحصري، مهى عيسى، سامر جبور، بول جهشان، فاطمة الجَميل، ماهر جرّار، رشا الجندي، تامار كاباكيان ـ خاشوليان، فيصل القاق، غادة كلاكش، ربيع كاملة، سمر خليل، نيكولا كوسماتوبولوس، ميشال مجدلاني، جين سعيد مقدسي، جودي مخّول، مايا منصور، مزنة المصري، رانية مصري، زينة مسقاوي، سنتيا منتي، عايدة نعمان، عمر نشابة، هدى نصر الله، يوسف ناصر، مايك أور، حبيب عثمان، جيليان بيغوت، دانيال ف. ريفيرا، جويل رزق، ندى صعب، أمل سعد غريّب، صفية سعادة، نعيم سالم، نسرين السلطي، هيلين سماحة ـ نويهض، ريما صراف، ريتشارد سميث، روزماري صايغ، كيرستين شايد، أوجين سينسينغ ـ دبوس، ربيع سلطان، لينا الطبال، جهاد توما، حنان طوقان، نازك يارد، ماريان يزبك، سمر ذبيان، حسين زيدان، محمد زبيدي، هدى زريق، رامي زريق.

عدد الاثنين ٣٠ آذار ٢٠٠٩

for more information see our website: lebanese campaign for the boycott of zionism

gaza & reslience

before i left al quds my friend took a break from writing her proposal to fund psycho-social programs for the children of gaza. to help to deal with the trauma. she said two more interesting things. the first was that she is writing up plans for gaza not as if she were dealing with trauma in another (so-called) post-war context; instead, she is using models from programs run after a hurricane or an earthquake. why? because children who are dealing with the trauma of a natural disaster cannot be promised that the disaster won’t happen again. likewise, these children–and palestinians in gaza more generally–cannot be promised that the israeli terrorists won’t bomb them again. because the siege is not over. because the borders are not open. because the damage is massive and won’t be back to “normal” anytime soon. but then again, what is “normal” in gaza. and yet palestinians there are endlessly resilient. this was the second thing she reminded me of. indeed, the people there are craving to get back to some sense of normalcy. this is why people came to work the day after the ceasefire at her ngo’s office in gaza. and this is why, amazingly, children in gaza went back to school today:

Students in Gaza went back to school on Saturday as public and UNRWA schools reopened after a one month suspension resulting from Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip.

Thousands of students were seen heading to class throughout the Strip. Some of the schools have been repaired by the de facto Education Ministry and UNRWA, the UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees.

Israel’s bombing destroyed 35 public schools out of 384 facilities, which serve 250,000 students. Israel also damaged several UN schools. At the Fakhoura School in Jabaliya, Israeli shelling killed some 50 Palestinians who had taken shelter in the school. During the height of the war, tens of thousands of Gazans took refuge in UNRWA schools across Gaza.

Schools in the northern Gaza Strip were targeted by Israeli forces more than other area. In the north, 24 schools were completely destroyed and only 10 of these schools have been repaired.

Students who used to study at the destroyed schools were distributed to other schools which will operate two or three shifts.

Because of the reduced amount of classroom space, schools will have to merge two or three classes together, raising class sizes to 120 students in some cases, the Education Ministry says.

As students sit down for class, many of them discovered that their classmates have been killed, injured, or disabled.

The Education Ministry and UNRWA asked teachers to dedicate the first week of school to psychological support in order help children recover from the trauma of 23 days of total war. Teachers have been advised to let students talk about what they experienced with teachers and fellow students.

They were also given directives on how to treat families that are still living in schools temporarily after their homes were destroyed.

Families now residing in UN schools complained of bad living conditions, especially after resumption of classes, appealing to the government and humanitarian organizations to provide them with tents or other places to live.

it is amazing that schools are re-opening given that so many palestinian refugees are having to live in them because their houses were destroyed by israeli terrorists as zeina awad reports on al jazeera:

i meant to post this in my last post on trauma, but jess had sent out a call for helping the psychological sector in gaza. here is the call for those who wish to donate:

Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PsySR) urges our members and friends to contribute to the Gaza Community Mental Health Project, a new PsySR fundraising campaign to support the Gaza Community Mental Health Program (GCMHP), which has suffered extensive damage to its headquarters at a time of escalating demand for its services.

To Donate Now: http://www.psysr.org/gaza

Psychologists for Social Responsibility joins with other advocates of peace, social justice, and human rights in calling for an immediate, concerted, and unrelenting effort to end the devastating violence and the tragic humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

As an organization focused on psychology’s contributions to positive social change, PsySR is also painfully aware of the profound psychological impact of the aerial and ground assault on the individuals, families, and communities of Gaza. Several important short-term and long-term psychological consequences of living in a war zone – which undoubtedly describes Gaza today – are now well-documented. They include the following:

* Psychological distress in war zones is often as great as the physical suffering that receives more widespread attention. For some, including children, coping with issues of family separation, multiple losses, and bereavement can be even more unbearable than other health-related concerns.

* The adverse psychological effects of first-hand exposure to the horrors of war are often exacerbated by pre-existing conditions. People already under stress before an attack –from severe poverty, chronic exposure to harsh imposed restrictions, and past bloodshed – are likely to have stronger and more overwhelming reactions to violence.

* Prolonged fears of attack, powerful feelings of helplessness, and deep worries about family and community heighten the damaging psychological effects – such as depression and PTSD – of life-threatening events and can contribute to ongoing cycles of violence.

* The magnitude of psychological suffering in war zones is determined not only by exposure to life-threatening events but also by people’s immediate and continuing access to individual and family supports, along with broader efforts that are locally, culturally, and psychologically-informed.

Ultimately, a just and lasting peace and a brighter future for Palestinians and Israelis alike will require that these psychological consequences and considerations also receive serious and sustained attention.

It is within this context that the recently reported massive damage to the headquarters of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program is particularly distressing. With a special emphasis on vulnerable groups such as children, women, and victims of torture and human rights violations, the GCMHP’s staff provides crucial and irreplaceable mental health services to thousands of Gaza residents. These services will be even more broadly and desperately needed in the days and months immediately ahead. Throughout its history, the GCMHP has also been firmly committed to nonviolent resistance and to working for a world where Palestinians and Israelis can live together in peace.

In recognition of these urgent circumstances, PsySR has initiated a fundraising campaign to provide support to the Gaza Community Mental Health Program as it rebuilds and adapts to meet escalating needs. The GCMHP receives funding from a consortium of the Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish governments, but that funding is specifically targeted for programs favored by the consortium. For years, independent groups such as the Gaza Mental Health Foundation in the U.S. and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, have provided independent funding that can be used more flexibly. Our initiative will supplement these efforts in this time of heightened need.

Organizing help for the GCMHP is one way that we, as psychologists and mental health providers, can counter the despair and hopelessness bred in all parties by this renewed outbreak of seemingly irresolvable violence. In so doing, we make a statement in support of human rights, mutual recognition and security, and pathway to the reconciliation that must underlie a sustainable peace in this region.

We strongly encourage other organizations and individuals to join us in this effort. Today through March 1st, tax-deductible contributions can be made online through our website at http://www.psysr.org/gaza or by check made out to “Grassroots International” (please write “GCMHP” in the memo line) and mailed to PsySR’s national headquarters: PsySR, 208 “I” Street NE, Washington, DC 20002.

All donations will be processed through Grassroots International, which has received a four-star rating from independent charity evaluator Charity Navigator, and its online partner Democracy in Action. For more information, please email our Project Coordinators at gazamentalhealth [at] psysr.org or contact PsySR’s executive director Colleen Cordes by phone at 202-543-5347.

PsySR gratefully acknowledges Psychoanalysts for Social Responsibility and our other coalition partners in this fundraising campaign.

To Donate Now: http://www.psysr.org/gaza

the work of organizations like the gaza community mental health program is needed now more than ever. here is just one more story of a family that will have to deal with severe trauma for who knows how long:

One nine-year-old boy said his father had been shot dead in front of him despite surrendering to Israeli soldiers with his hands in the air.

Another youngster described witnessing the deaths of his mother, three brothers and uncle after the house they were in was shelled.

He said his mother and one of his siblings had been killed instantly, while the others bled to death over a period of days.

A psychiatrist treating children in the village of Zeitoun on the outskirts of Gaza City, where the alleged incidents took place, described the deaths as a “massacre”.

Rawya Borno, a Jordanian doctor, said civilians, including children, were rounded up and killed by Israeli troops.

meanwhile the bbc is refusing to air public service announcements on television to raise money to help people in gaza ( i love that in the television broadcast of this story on al jazeera that they gave the websites and information so their viewers could donate! ).

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has defended its decision not to participate in a television fund-raising appeal for Gaza, saying it did want to avoid compromising public confidence in its impartiality.

Normally all broadcasters show Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeals without charge, but in a statement on Friday, the BBC said: “Along with other broadcasters, the BBC has decided not to broadcast the DEC’s public appeal to raise funds for Gaza.

“The BBC’s decision was made because of question marks about the delivery of aid in a volatile situation, and also to avoid any risk of compromising public confidence in the BBC’s impartiality in the context of an ongoing news story.”

you may complain to the bbc by clicking on this link.

but of course charity is not enough and will never be enough to change the root cause of the problem, to create an environment where trauma can be treated. where children–and adults–can be told that this will never happen again. this is why it is so inspiring to open up my email every day and to see new boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaigns and organizing for war crimes tribunals growing, gaining steam, from so many sectors of society across the globe. here is a new statement on war crimes tribunals from a group of lawyers and human rights activists:

International Federation for Human Rights
Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network
International Commission of Jurists

Gaza/Operation cast lead

Final statement of a mission of prominent lawyers and activists

Paris, Geneva, Copenhagen, January 21st 2009

We are appalled at the horror of the war launched in the Gaza strip, the major loss of civilian lives and the wide scale destruction of civilian property and infrastructure in the context of the operation « Cast Lead, » as well as by the failure of the international community to prevent this tragedy.

Based upon the information our delegation received from Israeli and Palestinian human rights organisations, who have been monitoring the armed conflict, we have strong reasons to believe that Israel has grossly violated international humanitarian law, including the IVth Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilian Populations in Times of Conflict and customary international law governing the conduct of hostilities. Some of these violations constitute crimes under international law. In particular, the Israeli army has engaged in indiscriminate or disproportionate attacks and has failed in its legal obligation to spare civilians and civilian infrastructure from such attacks.

The operations have also gravely impaired the civil, cultural, economic, political, and social rights of the people of Gaza.

No violation of International Humanitarian Law – as perpetrated by Palestinian combatants – can ever legitimise similar or aggravated violations committed by Israel.

Therefore, the members of the mission call for the urgent establishment of an independent commission of investigation into all the alleged violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, which would bring to light the individual responsibilities involved and pave the way for mechanisms of accountability and redress. All parties to the IVth Geneva Convention have a legal obligation to deploy such investigation

The members of the mission also condemn the inability of the United States and of the European Union, partners of the Israeli government, to take strong measures aimed at preventing or stopping the war.

We urge the European Union and the United States to give their immediate and full support to the independent investigation that should be organised immediately.

We urge the international community to exert pressure on Israel to lift the siege of Gaza and end its occupation of all Palestinian Territory.

We call upon the Israeli and Egyptian authorities to ensure prompt access of human rights observers into the Gaza strip.


In the context of the operation « Cast Lead », the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) deployed a joint mission in Israel, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Egypt, from January 17th to 21th, 2009.
The mission was composed of prominent and renowned human rights defenders and activists from European countries and the United States of America.

The objective of the mission was to call the parties to the conflict authorities to:

* an immediate cease fire, in application of UN Security Council resolution 1860,

* enable access of NGOs and Journalists to the Occupied Territories,

* lift immediately, unconditionally and permanently the siege on the Gaza strip

* deploy an international fact-finding mission under UN auspices, documenting the grave violations perpetrated in the context of the conflict,

* prosecute the authors of the international crimes.

The mission also aimed at addressing support and solidarity with the civil society organizations, in particular human rights organisations, operating in Israel and the Occupied Territories at this time.

rami has a piece on boycott in al akhbar this week:

تمثّل المقاطعة عنصراً أساسياً في نضال تحرر الشعوب والأمم من الطغيان والعدوان، وقد لعبت دوراً هاماً في هزيمة نظام الفصل العنصري في جنوب أفريقيا. وللمقاطعة أوجه عدة، تتناول المحاور التجارية، والثقافية والأكاديمية. كما أنها تفسح المجال أمام المواطنين العاديين للمشاركة في العمل السياسي المدني من خلال ممارسة حقهم في الاختيار: من ناحية السلع والمنتجات بحسب مصادرها، والتعامل مع الجامعات ومراكز البحوث ومن يمثلونها بحسب انتماءاتها.

تحاول الدول المستهدفة بالمقاطعة، وعلى رأسها «إسرائيل وشركاؤها»، ترويج فكرة خاطئة عن عدم جدوى المقاطعة. لكن الوقائع تشير إلى غير ذلك، ما دفع الولايات المتحدة الأميركية إلى إنشاء مكتب خاص لمنع مقاطعة إسرائيل.

لا يزال لبنان يعتبر إسرائيل دولة عدوة ويلتزم مقاطعتها.

ويمنع القانون اللبناني الصادر في 23 حزيران 1955 إقامة أي علاقة معها، بما فيها أي اتفاقية مباشرة أو غير مباشرة مع أفراد ومؤسسات إسرائيلية أو غير إسرائيلية لكن تعمل لحساب إسرائيل، أو حتى لديها مصانع أو فروع أو ممثلون فيها. كما يحظر الإتجار بأي منتج إسرائيلي أو حتى بالسلع المصنعة خارج إسرائيل لحساب شركات إسرائيلية. يسهّل هذا القانون على اللبنانييين عملية الالتزام بالمقاطعة، ويلزمهم بها. فكل اللبنانيين مقاطعون بالمبدأ، وعلى رأسهم دولتهم وحكومتهم.
إلا أن من يراقب الأسواق في لبنان، قد يفاجأ بدرجة الاستهتار بهذا القانون، وإهمال الحكومة واجبها القانوني في توعية المواطن عبر تجهيز لوائح المؤسسات والشركات المحظور التعامل معها ونشرها. المطلوب اليوم من الذين يتذرّعون بدولة القانون لتبرير نزع سلاح المقاومة، أن يلتزموا بها، عبر المطالبة بتطبيق قانون حزيران 1955.

and rami posted this statement presented in rome last week:

Stop the Genocide and Ecocide in Palestine

We , representatives of civil society and non-governmental organizations, fisher and farmer movements, indigenous peoples and activists gathered here in Rome on the occasion of the Annual Meeting of the International NGO/CSO Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty (IPC) express our deepest condemnation of the atrocities and genocidal actions committed by the Israeli Government against Palestinian civilians, their environment and sources of livelihood under the so called “war against terror”. The excessive use of power is by no means a justification for any action or reaction. Every day, tens of people of all age groups are being slaughtered, mutilated and butchered while hundreds are wounded, most of whom can never resume their lives as they did before.

We observe with great concern the systematic destruction of farms, crops, water systems, wells, stables etc… which are the main source of livelihood for the majority of Palestinians in living in Gaza.

In view of this, we demand the following:

* An Immediate ceasefire,

* Lifting of all forms of siege and the restrictions of movement of people and supplies to the civilian population in Gaza and the West Bank,

* Insist on Palestinian Food Rights and Food Sovereignty

* Boycott and obtain sanctions against Israel

* Initiate a campaign asking the UN to claim compensation for damages caused by the State of Israel – as obtained by Kuwait after the 1990 Iraq war

* Establish immediately an International Mechanism to assess and report technically the aggressions against human and natural environment in Gaza

* Initiate an international process for the prosecution of the political and military leader in Israel responsible for the mass murder of innocent civilian population of Gaza.

* Launch a worldwide solidarity campaign with the devastated Palestinian people.

the statement comes from the arab group for the protection of nature in jordan. you can follow up on their work through their website.

the oxford city council also passed a resolution this week (where are the u.s. cities passing such resolutions?):

The following Motion was adopted at the meeting of Full Council on 19 January 2009:

Gaza/Israel Conflict

1) This Council is extremely concerned and saddened, as are many Oxford residents, at the tragic loss of life in Gaza and Israel because of military action. We deplore the violence on both sides but believe that that the Israeli military response had been and continues to be disproportionate.

2) We condemn the loss of civilian life and the destruction of homes, mosques, schools and infrastructure, including United Nations facilities, by Israel in Gaza. These attacks will not bring peace and act as a recruiting ground for extremist groups.

3) This Council welcomes the UK Government’s call for a ceasefire and asks the Leader to write to the Prime Minister urging him to act urgently to ensure:

* An immediate end to Israel’s military assault on Gaza
* An immediate end to the blockade and siege of Gaza
* Action to end Israel’s violations of international law
* Support to address the unfolding humanitarian disaster in Gaza.
* Israel should compensate the victims for the loss of the life and property resulting from this unprincipled aggression

4) This Council wishes to see:

* An immediate ceasefire
* The withdrawal of the Israeli military from Gaza
* Greater international pressure through the UN on Israel and the Palestinians to reach a political agreement
* An end to the isolation, impoverishment and virtual imprisonment of the people of Gaza

5) To this end we recognize the importance of:

* Boycotting Israeli products and companies
* Increased support for the friendship links between Oxford and both Neve Shalom/Wahat el Salam (Oasis of Peace) and Ramallah
* An immediate arms boycott of Israel by Britain and other countries

6) We welcome:

* The practical support by Oxfam, Medical Aid to Palestine and others to assist the people of Gaza
* The efforts of both Oxford MPs to persuade the Government to do everything possible to press for an immediate ceasefire, to challenge the blockade and help to bring peace to the people of Palestine and Israel.

ali sent me this letter written to the irish times and signed by over 100 irish academics:

There has been widespread international condemnation of Israel’s bombardment and subsequent invasion of Gaza, which has been defined by international lawyers as a violation of the 4th Geneva Convention. No civilians, Israelis or Palestinian, should be subjected to attack, whether from rockets from Gaza or bombs and bullets from Israel. However, while every government has both the right and responsibility to defend its civilian population, we believe that Israel’s violent actions are disproportionate and constitute collective punishment of a civilian population.

We also note that Israeli spokespersons themselves have admitted that prior to Israels killing of six Hamas members in the Nov 4th attack on Gaza, Hamas appears to have abided by its ceasefire agreement with Israel, firing no rockets and trying to prevent other groups from doing so. This begs the question: what is the real reason behind the onslaught?

In addition, we note that during its recent offensive Israel expressly targeted educational institutions, including the Islamic University, the Ministry of Education, the American International School, and three UN schools which were destroyed with massive loss of civilian life. During the illegal sealing off of the Gaza Strip that preceded the current aggression, Israel had prevented numerous Palestinian students from leaving Gaza to avail of Fulbright scholarships to the USA.

We believe that it is time to renew the call made by Irish-based academics in September 2006 for a moratorium on the funding of Israeli academic institutions by national and European cultural and research institutions, and an end to the EU’s practice of treating Israel as a European state for the purposes of awarding grants and contracts. Such a moratorium should continue until Israel ends its repressive policies against Gaza, and abides by UN resolutions (which include the ending of the occupation of all Palestinian territories).

We believe that opposition to such a move based on the principle of academic freedom has lost the last semblance of validity in view of the above-mentioned violations of the right to education enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (art. 26), the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (art. 28 ) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (art. 14). – Yours, etc,

and i received this email yesterday about a protest in minnesota targeting trade relations with the terrorist state of israel:

At 10am this morning, January 23rd, 2009, approximately 20 local residents entered and sought to occupy the Minnesota Trade Office in downtown Saint Paul demanding an immediate end to all trade between Minnesotan companies and the State of Israel. They have issued the following statement signed by some of the participants and their supporters:

“We are here at the Minnesota Trade Office today, as we should be every day, demanding an end to all business between Minnesota and the State of Israel. While the recent devastation of the Gaza strip weighs heavy on
our conscience, the violent occupation of Palestine and the systematic killing of Palestinians is unfortunately nothing new. Although Palestinians, and all people, deserve sovereignty, justice, and peace, we are here today as residents of Minnesota, many of us Jewish, because state-sanctioned genocide in the occupied territories continues without

Over the past three weeks the Israeli army has freely dropped white phosphorous and 300 meter shells over the schools, hospitals, and refugee camps which house the majority of the almost 2 million residents in Gaza. Over the past three weeks more than 400 children have been killed under the pretense of self-defense. And over the past three weeks politicians from both the left and the right have remained passive spectators to the indiscriminate killing of the indigenous people of Palestine. In this absence of a democratic process to implement a politics of ethical accountability we are left with no choice but to take direct action to shut down the business that finances the genocide in Palestine and the military arms that carry it out.

The Minnesota Trade Office is the bureaucratic middleman in the economic relationship between Minnesota and Israel, facilitating the economic collaboration of the nations and their corporations that exceeds $125 million in domestic exports annually, of which $4 million alone comes from military contracts with local arms merchants such as Napco International in Hopkins, and Alliant Techsystems in Edina. Funding over 70% of its total military spending alone, the United States’ continual sponsorship of the State of Israel places its tax-paying residents in a position of direct complicity in the continuation of atrocity, and its corporations in a position of direct profit from mass suffering.

We come here today to demand the immediate end of all Minnesotan business with Israel because it is the business of massacre, it is the business of killing children, of killing doctors, the business of chemical warfare, of starvation. We believe that demanding an end to all economic collaboration with nations violently enforcing policies of racism and dispossession is legitimate and necessary. This demand is part of the urgent project of ending all economic relations between the United States and Israel, relations that directly enable the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian land, people, and culture. We refuse to be obedient in the face of mass murder, and we refuse to allow Minnesotan business to remain unaccountable for the actions of the nations from whom they draw their profits. When a population is being routinely killed on the basis of their race, ethnicity, and nationality, we have not only the right, but the obligation to stand in its way.”

There is an emergency support rally occurring now outside the Minnesota Trade Office on the corner of Minnesota and Fifth Street in downtown Saint Paul. Media inquiries should be directed to liaisons Flo (612.850.4942) and Raphi (847.207.6356).

and in england there was an op ed on boycotting israeli terrorist produce yesterday:

If you’re not in the habit of checking the country of origin on fruit and vegetables to minimise food miles, you may not have noticed just how much Israeli produce is in our shops and supermarkets. At the moment, there are piles of new potatoes (though it’s hard to see why anyone with a scrap of environmental awareness would buy these when our indigenous main crop spuds are still firm and abundant), and that’s just for starters.

If you go out today and buy avocadoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, Medjoul dates, sharon fruit (persimmons), chillies, oranges, pomegranates, grapefruit or fresh herbs, it’s extremely likely that they will be Israeli. Most of this produce carries country of origin labelling or is branded as Carmel, Bio-Top or Jaffa. In the herb category, there’s room – intentional or otherwise – for confusion. Increasingly your dill, tarragon or basil may be labelled as ‘West Bank’. This is not a Palestinian alternative to the Israeli option; it comes from Israeli settlements in Palestine’s occupied territories.

a note to people who want real liberation, however, for palestinians: you must boycott ALL israeli products, not just those that come from the west bank. a much stronger statement–like all statements it seems on this subject–came from a trade union in lambeth:

The Lambeth Branch of UNISON, the second largest trade union in the UK, has voted to condemn the recent slaughter of Palestinians and the ongoing occupation by Israel at a meeting of its Branch Committee this morning.

At its monthly meeting of representatives, the Branch called for, “an immediate end to the slaughter of defenceless people and the [ongoing] siege of Gaza.” The Branch concluded that, “Israel is an…apartheid state,” and has advocated academic, economic and cultural boycotts of Israel in an effort to delegitimise the Occupation of Palestine, and build international and domestic pressure against the state.

For over 6 decades Israel has carried out policies of ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people.1.5 million people live in Gaza, which is now effectively open air prison. For years Israel has blocked the transport of food, medicine and vital supplies forcing the people of Gaza to live in inhumane conditions and the vast majority of people are unemployed.

Palestinian medical sources say at least 1,300 Palestinians have been killed and 5,500 injured as a result Israeli’s latest military offensive. The United Nations states that some 50,800 people are now homeless and 400,000 are without running water. Staff in Gaza report that many more people could die as medical equipment runs out.

Nationally, UNISON has committed to send a donation of 10,000 to Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) and Lambeth Branch is raising its own donations locally. The Branch voted to affiliate with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and to work towards submitting an emergency motion to the UNISON National Delegate Conference in July, demanding diplomatic sanctions and boycotts against Israel. The Branch also resolved to build links with Palestinians, Israelis and Egyptians who oppose the assault on Gaza and to send messages of solidarity to those students at British universities who have undertaken occupations demanding support from their institutions for the Palestinian right to education.

Lambeth UNISON’s International Officer, Gurmeet Khurana, stated: “The British trade union movement played a crucial part in denouncing and delegitimising the racist ideology of Apartheid in South Africa, and now it must do the same for Israel. The only peaceful solution is one brought about by political and economic equality in the Middle East, and as such the policy of the Israeli state in carrying out ethnic cleansing needs to be condemned unequivocally.”

on a final note, my friend adam produced this video called “gaza calling” with checkpoint 303 and dj lethal skillz: