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I have a parallel blog in French at http://anniebannie.net

Date

August 15, 2010

Support ISM work in Palestine

The ongoing suppression of the Palestinian grassroots resistance has
included targeting international solidarity activists. Numerous
volunteers with the International Solidarity Movement have been
arrested or deported in past months.

A tactic of challenging the occupation and the Israeli authorities is
via legal measures.
As Israel’s crackdown on popular resistance escalates, International
Solidarity Movement activists are working on the ground to fight the
authorities’ attempts to arrest, imprison and deport us – all
strategies employed by Israel in their attempts at disconnecting us
from our role in the struggle against apartheid. Legal challenges are
an important battle field in non-violent resistance because often the
occupation is forced to change their policies when these are held up
to scrutiny.

The past six months have seen a surge in Israel’s crackdown on
Palestinian and international activists involved in the popular
resistance, marked by a wave of arrests targeting grassroots
organizers from the popular committees of Bil’in, Ni’lin, Al Masara
and Nablus and international activists involved in these regions’
struggles. Several ISM activists have been illegally abducted by
Israeli forces and continue to fight lengthy legal battles against the
Israeli state for these cases, in addition to the frequent arrests of
activists at the growing number of West Bank demonstrations that the
military has struggled in vain to crush.

American ISM activist Ryan Olander was arrested on December 18 in
Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem. He was then illegally re-arrested by
“Oz” immigration unit the following day, just moments after his
release. He spent 29 days in Ramle Givon detention center resisting
deportation before he was released. On June 3 the Israeli District
Court ruled in Olander’s favor, the precedent-setting ruling
articulating that the police and “Oz” immigration unit practices were
illegal. This victory paves the way for a legal grounding for future
activists (see: http://palsolidarity.org/2010/02/11278/).

Czech activist and ISM media co-ordinator Eva Novakova was kidnapped
by Oz forces in a night raid operation on her Ramallah apartment on
January 11. Australian activist and ISM international co-ordinator
Bridget Chappell and Spanish activist Araidna Jove Marti were abducted
by Israeli military forces in a similar night raid on the ISM media
office in Ramallah on February 7 (see: http://palsolidarity.org/2010/02/11224/).
All three activists pursued the issue in the Israeli Supreme Court,
bringing Israel’s repreated violation of the Oslo accords in to focus.
In the case of Chappell and Marti, the State Prosecutor was forced to
admit the their arrests had been outside the legal framework, with the
judge declaring their detention illegal.

These legal battles, taking the Israeli power structures on at their
own game, constitutes a form of “resistance” that has the potential to
set decisive precedents and alter Israeli policy, while at the same
time exposing the level of corroboration between various Israeli
departments in the occupation’s implementation.

This kind of legal work comes at a high price tag, we currently owe
around 18,000 NIS to our lawyers. The ISM is asking its supporters to
donate now to support the work of the ISM’s solidarity with the
Palestinian movement against apartheid. Activist groups may consider
throwing fund-raising events to raise money, and continue raising
awareness for the cause. You can donate online via Paypal (not through
AJ Muste), please see http://palsolidarity.org/donate for details.

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From Italy with the new Freedom Flotilla


Beesan Ramadan August 15, 2010 at 1:59pm

The “Palestinians in Italy” association has held a meeting on 31st July 2010 in Rome with different Italian organisations in support of the Palestinian cause. The meeting was attended by more than 70 representatives of the Italian society institutes as well as well respected Italian personalities.

As a representative of the ECESG in Italy, Mohammad Hannoun conducted the meeting accompanied by Germano Monte, the representative of the biggest Italian forum supportive of the Palestinian cause. It was agreed to form an Italian Committee which will be the contact point for the Freedom Flotilla 2. Several participants and journalists expressed their wish to join the Freedom Flotilla 2. As most people are on their summer on vacations these days, it is not the best time for holding meetings and therefore, this matter will be pursued as soon as the summer holidays season is over.

Action minutes of the meeting were taken and signed by the attendants. Some preferred to wait for consultation with their organisations. We are continuously receiving signatures in support of the Italian Freedom Flotilla 2 Committee. The participating organisations have posted the invitation on their websites. Some were rejected after consultation to prevent troublemakers. We are now preparing to meet some Italian politicians in order to introduce the committee to them briefly.

The meeting showed strong support to the Freedom Flotilla 2, the new humanitarian mission that is aiming to break the siege that is still oppressing the people of Gaza. This mission is an important step to respond firmly to the crime committed by Israel against the activists of the previous Flotilla on 31st May 2010.

It was agreed upon during the meeting in Rome to initiate an immediate awareness campaign aiming for the participation in the new international flotilla with one or more Italian vessels composed of Italian activists carrying either collected or purchased humanitarian aid. The meeting has also expressed its support for the initiatives of other convoys planning to reach Gaza by land.

The participants have finally decided to proceed with the coordination between all organisations and individual activists who identify with the objectives of the Freedom Flotilla 2 which are: practical support for people subjected to the embargo, to break the siege of Gaza and to restore the rights of the Palestinian People.

We appeal to all democratic political forces, trade unions, the voluntary sector and international solidarity, peace and antiwar movements, all men and women committed to a just and lasting peace in the Middle East, to join the Freedom Flotilla 2 and participate in all the efforts aiming for ending the siege of the Palestinians in Gaza and the recognition of the legitimate Palestinian people’s right to life, land and freedom.

link

FAMILIES AT RISK FROM ISRAELI DEMOLITION

Aseel Bseiso August 15, 2010 at 9:59am

Ninety-two people from the Palestinian village of Hmayyir, in the al-Farisiya area of the occupied West Bank, have had their homes demolished as the Israeli authorities continue with large-scale destruction there. On 5 August, 27 tents that people were living in and 10 other properties used for agricultural purposes were demolished. People are at risk across the West Bank.

Israel military officials returned to Hmayyir at around 7.30am on 5 August, using two bulldozers to flatten the area. The 27 tents destroyed were newly erected tents and had been donated to families by the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Local Government as an emergency measure, after the Israeli army destroyed 74 properties, including family homes, on 19 July, affecting over 100 people, including 52 children. The destruction yesterday displaced a further 22 people, of whom 11 are children.

According to the latest figures from the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, 135 people in total were affected by the demolitions on 19 July and 5 August.

Hmayyir lies within the 60 per cent of the West Bank designated as “Area C”, which is completely under Israeli control; Palestinians living there face destruction of their property and severe restrictions on building .

The latest demolitions reflect an extremely worrying trend in the Israeli government’s apparent policy to increase the destruction of property. According to OCHA, 550 Palestinians have lost their homes or sources of livelihood in recent weeks. More than two thirds of demolitions carried out in 2010 occurred in July alone.

Between the beginning of the year and end of July, according to UN statistics, 230 structures were demolished, affecting 1,122 people, of whom 410 are children. Only two days ago, the Israeli army demolished two brick structures used for livestock in ‘Azzun ‘Atma, in Qalqiliya, on grounds the family did not have permission to build.

On 29 July, the UN Human Rights Committee expressed concern at Israel’s “frequent administrative demolition of property, homes, as well as schools in the West Bank and East Jerusalem…” and called on Israel to “review its housing policy and issuance of construction permits with a view to implementing the principle of non-discrimination regarding minorities, in particular Palestinians…”

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Hebrew, English or your own language:
Calling on the authorities to place an immediate moratorium on house demolitions and forced evictions in the West Bank and to “review its housing policy and issuance of construction permits” in accordance with the UN Human Rights Committee’s recommendations;

Condemning the demolition of the homes in al-Farisiya and urging them to cease further destruction;

Calling for responsibility for planning and building regulations in the Jordan Valley to be placed solely with the local Palestinian communities.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 10 SEPTEMBER 2010 TO:

Minister of Defence
Ehud Barak
37 Kaplan Street, Hakirya
Tel Aviv 61909, Israel
Fax: +972 3 691 6940/696 2757
Email: minister@mod.gov.il

Salutation: Dear Minister

Military Judge Advocate General
Brigadier General Avihai Mandelblit
6 David Elazar Street
Hakirya, Tel Aviv, Israel
Fax: +972 3 569 4526/608 0366
Email: avimn@idf.gov.il

Salutation: Judge Advocate General

Check the label

Ramadhan check the labelRamadhan is a time of year when we remember those who are less fortunate than ourselves. When we break our fasts with dates, it would be an affront to us all if the dates were the produce of illegal Israeli settlements built on land stolen from Palestinians.

Israeli produced Medjoul dates are grown in the Jordan Valley within illegal Israeli settlements. They form a large part of the agricultural produce from these settlements which are then exported all over the world. Buying these dates means that you are actually helping Israeli settlers steal Palestinian land.

Israelis claim Palestinians are given jobs working on the land of these settlers and a boycott will harm them. In actual fact, these Palestinians are employed for paltry wages, to do the back-breaking work that the Israeli settlers will not do themselves.

Settlers exploit Palestinian children, who are forced to miss out on their education and work long hours under the hot baking sun for small sums of money. The price of settlement produced dates are cheaper compared to those produced by Palestinian farmers as a result

Don’t let your money go towards entrenching Israel’s occupation of Palestine

Check the label. Do not buy dates that come from: Israel, West Bank or Jordan Valley

Support the Palestinian economy by buying Palestinian produced fair trade Medjoul dates from Zaytoun: find your local stockist at http://www.zaytoun.org.

source

Gideon Levy in the UK

Gideon Levy in conversation with Jon Snow

Tuesday 24th August 2010 – 8.15pm

Amnesty International UK’s Human Rights Action Centre, 17-25 New Inn Yard, EC2A 3EA http://www.amnesty.org.uk/content.asp?CategoryID=10151
Acclaimed Israeli journalist Gideon Levy will be speaking with C4 Newsreader Jon Snow about his new book “The Punishment of Gaza,” published by Verso in July 2010.

Described by Le Monde as a “thorn in Israel’s flank,” Gideon Levy has reported from the West Bank and Gaza for the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz since 1982.

Copies of the book will be on sale at the venue and Gideon Levy will be available (time permitting) to sign them.

Admission is free but pre-registration is essential – please email: info@palestinecampaign.org

Presented by Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Palestine Solidarity Campaign & Verso

Gideon Levy will also be speaking in Edinburgh on the 18th August and in Manchester on the 19th August (details on PSC website, events section).

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