Israel

A Palestinian solidarity conference held in Sydney over May 14-15 brought together more than 200 people to discuss the campaign in Australia in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for freedom. The conference took place on the anniversary of al Nakba (“the catastrophe”) — as Palestinians call the day that marks their dispossession that accompanied the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. See also: Sydney community discusses the 'boycott Israel' campaign
It’s wonderful that WikiLeaks and Julian Assange are getting good publicity and support for their great efforts exposing the lies and deceptions of the US, Israel and others. But I also would like to draw some attention to the fate of two Israeli whistleblowers and political prisoners held in Israel, Mordechai Vanunu and Anat Kamm. In 1986, Vanunu took a courageous moral stand against nuclear weapons. Vanunu exposed Israel’s secret nuclear weapons arsenal to the world after becoming disillusioned with his work at Dimona Nuclear Research Centre in Israel.
A ferocious media campaign, led by the Murdoch press, has been unleashed against Sydney’s Marrickville Council over a motion it passed endorsing the global campaign of boycott, disinvestment and sanctions targetting Israel. The council debated the motion, which was originally supported by all Greens and Labor Party councillors, on April 19.
Below is a letter published in March by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network that endorses the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. The letter was issued in response to a February 15 statement by Zionist (pro-Israel) groups that said the BDS campaign was anti-Semitic and “antithetical to freedom of speech”. * * * Because academic, cultural and commercial boycotts, divestments and sanctions of Israel: • are being called for by Palestinian civil society in response to the occupation and colonisation of their land,
Below is an extract of a letter Archbishop Desmond Tutu sent to the student leaders at UC Berkeley in March 2010 regarding Berkeley’s decision to divest from Israel. * * * I am writing to tell you that, despite what detractors may allege, you are doing the right thing. You are doing the moral thing. You are doing that which is incumbent on you as humans who believe that all people have dignity and rights, and that all those being denied their dignity and rights deserve the solidarity of their fellow human beings.
The Israeli feminist organisation Coalition of Women for Peace released an open letter to Justice Richard Goldstone on April 6. It is published below. It is in response to Goldstone’s recent statements retracting some of the findings of the United Nations-commissioned Goldstone report into Israel’s 2008-09 war on Gaza that were critical of Israel. It is abridged from Coalitionofwomen.org. * * * Dear Justice Richard Goldstone,
Roger Waters, best known as a member of British band Pink Floyd, released the statement below on February 25 — explaining his decision to support the international “boycott, divestment and sanctions” campaign targeting Israel. It is reprinted from Alternativenews.org. * * * In 1980, a song I wrote, “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2”, was banned by the government of South Africa because it was being used by Black South African children to advocate their right to equal education. That apartheid government imposed a cultural blockade, so to speak, on certain songs — including mine.
This went up on IS singer Macy Gray's Facebook page on January 17: "I'm booked for 2 shows in Tel Aviv. I'm getting a lot of letters from activists urging/begging me to boycott by NOT performing in protest of Apartheid against the Palestinians. What the Israeli government is doing to the Palestinians is disgusting, but I wanna go. I gotta lotta fans there I don't want to cancel on and I don't know how my NOT going changes anything. What do you think? Stay or go?"
One of the claims made most often by Israeli officials and supporters is that Israel is the “only democracy in the Middle East”. But in recent weeks, media outlets around the world have reported on a string of new laws in the Knesset (the Israeli parliament) meant to curtail the work of human rights non-government organisations (NGOs). Foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman has even referred to such groups as “terrorism aids”. The targeted NGOs report on human rights abuses in the entire area under Israeli control: that is, within the state of Israel, as well as the West Bank and Gaza.

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