Ali Abunimah

Scenes of brutality in Jerusalem have generated outrage and solidarity among Palestinians and around the world, report Ali Abunimah, Maureen Clare Murphy and Tamara Nassar

 

Ali Abunimah argues that despite growing recognition that Israel is an apartheid regime, Europe and the United States continue to facilitate the persecution of Palestinians.

The European Court of Human Rights struck a major blow to Israel’s efforts to silence its critics on June 11, writes Ali Abunimah, when it overturned the criminal convictions against 11 Palestinian rights activists in France.

Palestinians are celebrating the  that Argentina – and its star Lionel Messi – will not be playing the “friendly” football match that had been set for Jerusalem in the coming days.

Palestinians are welcoming the news that Shakira will not play in Tel Aviv in July, as previously announced.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), said Shakira’s decision dashes Israel’s hopes “to use her name to art-wash its latest massacre in Gaza”.

Palestinians are hailing the decision by Brazilian music legend Gilberto Gil to pull the plug on a planned performance in Israel.

Meanwhile, dozens of artists are declaring their support for the cultural boycott of Israel following the latest Israeli mass killings of civilians in the occupied Gaza Strip. They include bands such as Portishead, Wolf Alice and Slaves.

“Israel is carrying out a murderous assault against protesting Palestinians, with its armed forces killing and maiming demonstrators who pose no imminent threat to them,” Amnesty International said on April 27 as thousands of Palestinians taking part in Great March of Return rallies in Gaza faced Israeli bullets for the fifth week in a row.

Over those weeks, Amnesty said, “the Israeli military has killed 35 Palestinians and injured more than 5500 others — some with what appear to be deliberately inflicted life-changing injuries”.

Faten Ahmed was a 26-year-old with a rare form of cancer. She died in August while awaiting an Israeli permit to travel for chemotherapy and radiotherapy not available in the Gaza Strip, which has been subjected to a crippling Israeli siege since 2007.

She had previously missed eight hospital appointments after Israeli “security approval” was delayed or denied, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Ahmed was one of five women who died from cancer in that month alone while waiting for Israeli permission that never came.

Donald Trump’s announcement that his adminstration would recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital will end decades of US policy that such recognition could come only after the status of the city is settled in negotiations.

After 40 days without food, hundreds of Palestinian prisoners have suspended their hunger strike in Israeli jails.

FIFA, the governing body of world football (soccer), has capitulated once more to intense pressure from the Israeli government. It has removed from the agenda of its upcoming congress the issue of teams from Israel’s illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land playing in Israel’s national league.

Calls are mounting on  to require Israel’s national league to exclude teams from West Bank settlements or face suspension from the governing body of world football (soccer).

But there are warning signs FIFA may be succumbing to intense pressure to once again give Israel a pass to continue violating Palestinian rights with impunity.

Leaders of Palestinian political party Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, released a document outlining their guiding principles at a press conference in the Qatari capital Doha on May 1.

Much coverage focused on the document’s acceptance of Israel’s 1967 boundary as the basis for establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel. The document also includes pronouncements on how Hamas views the roots of the conflict, the role of Palestinian resistance and its position towards Jewish people.

Israel is intensifying its efforts to crack down on activists working for freedom, justice and equality for Palestinians. On August 7, interior minister Aryeh Deri and public security minister Gilad Erdan formed a new inter-ministerial task force that will, as the The Times of Israel reported, “target supporters of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement”. The task force aims to prevent the entry of foreign activists allegedly affiliated with groups that support BDS. It also aims to expel those who have already entered territories under Israeli control.
Ten-time Grammy Award winner, US musician Pharrell Williams has cancelled his July 21 performance in Tel Aviv amid conflicting explanations. Over the past year, the “Happy” pop star has faced sustained pressure from the Palestine solidarity movement. Last year, amid rumours that he would be scheduling a Tel Aviv performance, campaigners urged him not to go. In an open letter, the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel said that by performing in Tel Aviv, Williams would show himself “indifferent to the suffering of Palestinian children”.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has filed a lawsuit against Distinctive Assets, the company distributing a luxury gift bag to Oscar nominees that includes an all-expenses paid trip to Israel sponsored by the Israeli government. “Distinctive Assets has been falsely representing that its extravagant 'gift bags' [are] redistributed by the Academy, at its direction, or with its endorsement or approval,” an Academy spokesperson told the Hollywood trade publication Variety.

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