Palestine

Australian activist Bridget Chappell was arrested by Israeli security forces in February along with Spanish activist Ariadna Marti, in the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank. Chappell and Marti were working for the International Solidarity Movement supporting peaceful Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation. Below, Chappell details the increased repression by Israel against all forms of resistance in the occupied territories.

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Veteran left-wing academic and author Noam Chomsky was banned from entering Israel on May 17. Chomsky, a strong critic of Israel and US foreign policy, had been planning to give a lecture at Bir Zeit University in the Israeli occupied West Bank.

On May 18, English singer Elvis Costello announced he was cancelling two planned gigs in Israel, citing the “grave and complex" sensitivities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”, Christian Science Monitor said on May 19.

One hundred people rallied in Brisbane Square on May 14 to commemorate Al Nakba —— “the catastrophe”. Al Nakba took place on May 15, 1948, when Israeli forces drove hundreds of thousands of Palestinian civilians out of their lands, and consolidated the Jewish state.

Palestinian civil society has called on Elton John to respect their call to boycott Israel and cancel his June 17 concert in Tel Aviv. If he does so, he'll be joining artists Santana and Gil-Scott Heron, who recently cancelled planned concerts in Israel. This video suggests six reasons why Elton should join the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement.

For more info, please visit:
www.bdsmovement.net
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

Israeli queer activists organised a protest on April 29 in front of the Israeli foreign affairs ministry in Jerusalem to protest against an “Israeli LGBT Festival” being organised in San Francisco called “Out in Israel”. The US event is funded by the Israeli consulate and Jewish organisations' together with support from the Israeli foreign affairs ministry.

Palestinian Ambassador to Cuba Akram Samhan told an event in Havana on April 17 that Israeli jails have locked up more than 760,000 Palestinians since 1967. The event marked the 35th Palestinian Prisoner Day.

The staggering number of Palestinians jailed by Israel is equal to 20% of the population of Gaza, the West Bank and Eastern Jerusalem. Samhan said this demonstrates that the occupying force has been met with Palestinian resistance that will continue until their homeland is free.

Two hundred and seventy people gathered for the Resistance 2010: The World Can't Wait! conference in Thirroul, near Wollongong, over April 24-26. The national conference brought together young activists from all over Australia to discuss a broad range of political issues and to get organised in the face of an uncertain future.

African American artist Gil Scott-Heron, whose political poetry influenced a generation of rap artists, sensationally announced the cancellation of his planned gig in Tel Aviv on April 24.

Speaking onstage at London’s Royal Festival Hall, Scott-Heron told the audience he “hated war” and told the packed audience his Israel tour date would not be going ahead.

Fans dismayed at the planned gig had earlier disrupted his concert. They repeatedly heckled the performer and asked him to cancel.

As of February 12, it was still unclear who will end up forming the next Israeli government following the February 10 parliamentary elections, with negotiations to form a new ruling coalition possibly continuing for six weeks.

However, what is clear is that regardless of who the eventual prime minister is or which parties are in the cabinet, the brutal ethnic cleansing of Palestinians is set to intensify.

Winner of Best Documentary at Respect Human Rights Festival in Belfast, Radiance of Résistance tells the story of Janna Ayyad 9 years' old, and Ahed Tamimi 14 years' old who have become global ambassadors for Palestinian human rights.

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