What is BDS?

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A sign is held aloft during a rally for Palestinian liberation in Berlin. (photo: Reuters)

BDS is a global non-violent movement using economic pressure to oppose to Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

By Ramzy Baroud / Telesur / Oct 1, 2017


What are the goals of BDS?

    1. End the military occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and other Palestinian lands.
    2. Allow Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.
    3. Assure equal rights for all Israeli citizens, regardless of ethnicity or religion.

 


The BDS Movement was the outcome of several events that shaped the Palestinian national struggle and international solidarity with the Palestinian people.

BDS stands for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. The BDS Movement was the outcome of several events that shaped the Palestinian national struggle and international solidarity with the Palestinian people following the Second Uprising (Intifada) in 2000.

Building on a decades-long tradition of civil disobedience and popular resistance, and invigorated by growing international solidarity with the Palestinian struggle as exhibited in the World Conference against Racism in Durban, South Africa in 2001, Palestinians moved into action.

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Israeli settlers turn archeological sites into political tools

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The Biyar Aqueduct has become a tourist attraction for Israeli settlers. (photo: Duane Vander Klok)

Every year, some 100,000 women, children and men visit the Biyar Aqueduct, built some 2,000 years ago to supply water to Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple.

By Akiva Eldar / Al-Monitor / Oct 3, 2017


“There is clear evidence at the Biyar Aqueduct — as there is at other sites — of the presence of the sons of the Judean Kingdom or of Jews at various periods. The problem is that these sites are being used as propaganda tools to establish the right of Jews to those lands, and the multicultural aspect of thousands of years of history is sidelined or even wiped out of the whole story.”
— Archaeologist Yonathan Mizrachi


The Israeli left made no bones about its glee over the empty bleachers at the September 27 jubilee celebration of the liberation of Judea, Samaria, the Jordan Valley and Golan Heights organized by the settlers in the occupied West Bank. The left views the photos of the empty seats as proof of the settlers’ failure to occupy the hearts and minds of the general Israeli public. The leftists argue that not only did the billions poured by successive Israeli governments into the settlements for 50 years lure fewer than 5% of Israelis to live there — about 400,000 according to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics — the vast majority avoided the wasteful “liberation festival.”

Yet the pleasure taken by the left in the seeming failure of the settlers and their patrons is somewhat pathetic. Granted, the right-wing concept of a return to the land of the forefathers has not created a major demographic shift of Israelis moving to the settlements. Nonetheless, the notion has ingrained itself in the minds of broad swathes of the Israeli public and of tens of thousands of visitors from around the world. It happens daily in Jerusalem’s Old City and throughout the West Bank.

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Administrative detention “worst of all possible worlds”

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Protesters supporting Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails. (photo: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters)

Critics blast Israel’s practice of holding Palestinians on secret evidence, without charge or trial.

By Dalia Hatuqa / Al Jazeera / Oct 3, 2017


“For the last 50 years, Israeli authorities have been using administrative detention as a substitute for criminal proceedings in cases where there’s not enough evidence [for formal proceedings].”
— Magdalena Mughrabi, Amnesty International deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa


At first glance, a legislator, a circus performer and an NGO worker might not appear to have much in common. But all three Palestinians are former or current political prisoners who have been subjected to an obscure legal procedure called administrative detention, which allows Israel to imprison people without charge or trial for an indefinite amount of time.

Israeli authorities have been using this procedure for more than half a century, basing it on secret evidence. The Palestinian Prisoners Society, a detainee support group, noted a sharp rise in administrative detentions in August, with more Palestinians held without trial than during any other month this year. The rise, to 84 detentions, came amid increased tensions in the occupied West Bank after the stabbing of three Israeli settlers by a Palestinian on July 21.

As of September, there were 449 administrative detainees being held in prisons inside Israel, almost all of them Palestinian, according to data provided to rights group Hamoked by the Israel Prison Service.

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The Israeli Right’s “coexistence” in the West Bank

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The separation wall near the Qalandiya checkpoint outside of Jerusalem. (photo: Maya Levin / Flash90)

The “colonialists” accept the status quo, the “apartheidists” want complete separation, and the “transferists” openly await a third Nakba.

By Naam Sheizaf / +972 Magazine / Sep 11, 2017


The Right’s imagined coexistence in the occupied territories is uncannily similar to the kind whites dreamed of in Rhodesia. That is, we can get our cars fixed for cheap, and they can come work for us, bereft of any rights. In the meantime, they can continue living in their crowded cities and squalid refugee camps.


There is nothing the Israel Right loves more than adopting the criticism of its rivals on the Left in order to justify its rule. Strangely, this criticism has turned into a main aspect of the language settlers use when describing their “coexistence” with the Palestinians in the occupied territories.

Their argument goes as such: while Tel Aviv is a bubble where rich, liberal Jews love Arabs in theory only, in the West Bank we truly see the Palestinians as humans and as neighbors. The Left fantasizes about peace agreements with people it doesn’t even know, but the Right’s version of coexistence includes real people — who are sometimes filled with hate and sometimes are not, who work and live together but want to keep their own culture, and who see each other as equals.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

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Is it bad for Israel that Palestine joined Interpol?

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Palestine’s membership shouldn’t pose a new concern for Israel.

By Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian / Foreign Policy / Sep 27, 2017


“Almost every country in the world is a member of Interpol, with the notable exception of North Korea. Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, Syria, Yemen, Iran — these are all member countries I’m assuming that, for Israel, would be not particularly friendly countries.”
— Bruno Min, a legal and policy officer at Fair Trials


Interpol, the international police organization, has voted to accept Palestine as a member country — which will heighten fears in Israel that Palestine could use Interpol to target Israeli officials.

Interpol membership will bring several benefits to Palestinian police. They’ll get access to information that other police agencies around the world have shared about criminal activity and will be able to issue red notices, which function as international nonbinding warrants requesting the extradition of criminal fugitives.

And that’s what makes Israel nervous.

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State of Palestine joins Interpol

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Interpol’s headquarters in Lyon, France. (photo: Laurent Cipriani / AP)

Despite strong opposition from Israel, the international police organization approves Palestine’s membership by a vote of 75–24.

By Peter Meaumont / The Guardian / Sep 27, 2017


Israel campaigned to block the Interpol move and made a series of procedural moves in an attempt to prevent the issue coming to a vote. . . . After Israel blocked the last Palestinian attempt to join Interpol — at last year’s annual general meeting in Indonesia — the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said his country’s diplomatic efforts had secured a major victory. The Israeli foreign ministry made no immediate comment on Wednesday’s decision.


Interpol has voted to admit Palestine as a full member, dealing a significant diplomatic blow to Israel, which has strenuously lobbied against Palestinian admission.

In a secret vote of representatives of the international police organization’s members in China, Palestinian membership was approved by 75 to 24 votes, with 34 abstentions — exceeding the two-thirds requirement of yes to no votes.

“The State of Palestine and the Solomon Islands are now Interpol member countries,” the organization tweeted after the ballot.

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The Zionist Tango: Why I Prefer Ayelet Shaked

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Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, March 2017. (photo: Eliyahu Hershkovitz)

Why the racist honesty of Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked is preferable to the fake views of the Israeli left.

By Gideon Levy / Haaretz
Sseptember 3, 2017

[Ed. note: This is the last of a quartet of articles that appeared recently in Haaretz. We are posting them in succession and recommend that they be read in order.]


With [Shaked], what you see is what you get — racism. In its actions and deeds, the Zionist left has done everything to implement Shaked’s views, only in polished words and without acknowledgement. The Zionist left is embarrassed by things Shaked and her colleagues are not ashamed of. That doesn’t make the left any more moral or just. It has merely been quasi-Shaked in its actions.


Ravit Hecht attributes a “fragrance of true love” for my “honest, brave princess,” Justice Minister Shaked, in her op-ed “When Gideon Levy fell in love with Ayelet Shaked.” Hecht knows my taste in women is slightly different than that, and that, despite what she writes, I don’t know how to dance the tango. But my appreciation for Shaked and her ilk is that they do not deceive: they openly acknowledge their nationalism and racism.

They don’t hide their belief that the Palestinians are an inferior people, indigenous inhabitants who will never gain the rights Jews have in the Land of Israel-Palestine; that no Palestinian state will ever be established here; that Israel will ultimately annex all of the occupied territories, as it already has done in practice; that the Jews are the Chosen People; that Zionism is in contradiction to human rights and superior to them; that dispossession is redemption; that biblical property rights are eternal; that there is no Palestinian people and no occupation; and that the current reality will last forever.

Many of these views are also held among the Zionist left, Hecht’s ideological camp. The only difference is that the Zionist left has never admitted it. It envelops its views in the glittering wrapping paper of peace talks, separation and hollow rhetoric about two states, words it has never really meant and has done precious little to realize.

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