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

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October 19, 2010

Dutch police’s National Crime Squad raids the offices of the Riwal Holding Group

Dutch police raided the offices of a company leasing cranes for building the West Bank Separation Fence and settlements. Company executives, including the Israeli Doron Livnat, may face trial for violating International Law. Dutch government warned the Riwal Company two years ago not to engage in construction in the Occupied Trritories. Gush Shalom: another warning sign of the abyss of international isolation into which the Government of Israel leads us

A few days ago, the Dutch police’s National Crime Squad raided the offices of the Riwal Holding Group in the city of Dordrecht, confiscating computers documents relating to the leasing of cranes owned by the the company’s Israeli branch for the construction of the “Separation Wall” and of settlements in the Occupied Territories. Police findings have been passed on to the Dutch State Prosecution, which should decide whether or not to prosecute the corporate executives – including the Israeli businessman Doron Livnat – on charges of violating International Law.

The affair started with the 2004 ruling by the International Court in The Hague, which determined that construction of the “Separation Wall” within the West Bank territory constituted a violation of International Law, and that if Israel wants to build a border fence to prevent infiltration into its territory it should have been placed on the border, i.e. on the  Green Line. Accordingly, the International Court judges called for upon all UN member states and Geneva Convention signatories not to cooperate with erection of the Wall and to prevent their citizens from any such cooperation.

In 2006, a Dutch television crew filmed cranes active in construction of the Separation Fence and of settlements, which bore the Riwal Company logo. Dutch Labour Party MP’s raised the issue and addressed parliamentary questions to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. As a result, the Dutch Government in 2008 warned the Riwal company not to engage in activities at the Occupied Territories. But the organization “United Civilians for Peace” in Amsterdam found evidence that the company ignored the government warning and continued this activity.

Last year the Palestinian human rights organization Al Haq of Ramallah engaged the Dutch law firm Bohler. On its behalf, Adv. Liesbeth Zegveld lodged this year a complaint to the legal authorities. The raid on the Riwal Dordrecht offices is a tangible result of this activity.

Gush Shalom, the Israeli Peace Bloc, regards this episode as yet another alarming sign of Israel’s deteriorating international position, fast slipping down to a disastrous total isolation. “A decade ago, authorities in the Netherlands would not have considered taking such measures. The Israeli Government,  renewing settlement construction, promoting loyalty oaths and ever new provocations, confronts the entire the world, alienates Israel’s best friends and takes us on a mad gallop into the abyss”.

 

Riwal is the largest company in the Netherlands in the field of building cranes, and among the largest in the world.  The Riwal Israel Company, active also under the name “Lia Holding”,  was in the news a few years ago when a business dispute between it and the competing “Avi Cranes” escalated  into violence and the setting of cranes on fire.

 

 

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Ali Abunimah: Let the Sun Shine In: Israel lobby tries to censor my appearance at University of New Mexico

October 13, 2010
It has come to my attention that the Jewish Federation of New Mexico and Hillel at the University of New Mexico are actively trying to censor
my lecture at the University of New Mexico next month by writing to departments and professors who may co-sponsor it as they co-sponsor countless other educational events on campus. Below is a copy of a letter that has been sent to departments, signed by Sam Sokolove, Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of New Mexico and Sara Koplik, Director of Hillel at the University of New Mexico.

Typically, they throw in everything to try to defame and tar me: Hamas, Hizbullah, anti-Semitism, making Jewish students feel uncomfortable — all the usual defamatory silencing tactics to try to suppress debate and discussion about Israel’s apartheid and the alternatives that respect everyone. As they surely know, I have been an unflagging advocate of full equality and human rights for all Palestinians and Israeli Jews and others living in historic Palestine, and am guided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Why do they not want students at the University of New Mexico to hear this message?

Instead of trying to censor my speech and intimidate departments from co-sponsoring it with the most lurid, false and manipulative charges, I invite them to attend and to urge students to attend and listen and ask me any questions they want.

Dear XXXXXXXXXX

It has come to our attention that the XXXXXXXXXX Department at UNM is co-presenting an appearance by Ali Abunimah, co-founder of the Electronic Intifada at the University of New Mexico campus on Sunday, November 7th. We are deeply troubled by the implications of the XXXXXXXXXX Department lending its support to this presentation.

As you are likely aware, Abunimah is a representative of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, a global movement intent on destroying Israel and her credibility in the world. It is an adjunct to what Hamas and Hezbollah are doing frontally, and according to the Anti-Defamation League, “BDS is about the three ‘D’s: “Demonization, Deligitimization, and applying a Double Standard.”

This movement is disinterested in peace, the exchange of ideas or legitimate dialogue. Its tactics deny Israel’s cultural products; deny Israel’s emissaries the right to be heard; delegitimize the Jewish historical ties to Israel; and portray Zionism not as an expression of peoplehood, but as an extension of European colonization.

This is all anti-Semitism in its clearest, most noxious form.

Whatever your personal views are on this matter, you should be aware of two things:

  • The XXXXXXXXXXX Department’s support of this speaker sends a tacit message of support for the anti-Semitic message of BDS;
  • The department’s endorsement sends a chilling message to the Jewish students and faculty of this public institution that the legitimacy of Israel within your department is questioned.

For those who care deeply about true peace, this is not an issue of “equal time” or “balance” on behalf of the pro-Israel perspective. Nor do we oppose Abunimah’s right to speak. Rather, we oppose the patina of respectability that your sponsorship provides to the message of demonizing The Other that is part and parcel of the BDS movement.

We ask in the strongest terms that you reconsider your department’s presentation of Ali Abunimah.

Sam Sokolove
Executive Director
Jewish Federation of New Mexico

Sara Koplik, PhD.
Director
Hillel at the University of New Mexico

 

 

CONVOY FINALLY SETS SAIL FOR GAZA


After a wait in Syria lasting sixteen days, the convoy of 150 vehicles and 370 people is just setting sail from Latakia, Syria, on the final leg of the epic journey to deliver aid to Gaza.
The last formalities have been completed and the vehicles are on board. Convoy members are jubilant that their objective of bringing medical aid to the besieged people of Gaza is finally in sight.
Some 30 of the human rights activists, including survivors of the Mavi Marmara, will make the voyage to Al Arish in Egypt, passing the place at which the Mavi Marmara was attacked. A memorial ceremony will be held at the exact spot where the massacre was carried out.
The convoy will reach Al Arish tomorrow evening. The bulk of the activists from Britain, Northern Ireland, France, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United States, Morocco, Algeria, Jordan, Qatar, Malaysia and more than a dozen other countries will be reunited with their vehicles there, having flown the final leg of the journey into Egypt.
Convoy leaders are now hopeful that the convoy will enter Gaza on Friday.

Scenes from Jazza

A page of links Palestine/Israel

source

Crazy Country
Adam Keller’s blog
Français – articles of Uri Avnery in French
Deutsch – Avnery’s articles in German
Other languages: google for “Uri Avnery” but add words in your language
and you may easily find any links there are to his articles in your language; nb SELECTED ARTICLES “traducido por Carlos Sanchis y revisado por Caty R.” at http://www.rebelion.org/autores.php?id=38
The parents’ circle
Bereaved Families supporting Peace, Reconciliation and Tolerance
Ir Amim
For an Equitable and Stable Jerusalem with an Agreed Political Future
OCHA oPt website
This United Nations office meticulously publishes the facts on the ground
Russian peace site – including translated articles
Alternative Information Center
Ariga
ARIJ
Association of Forty (unrecognized villages in the Negev)
Bat-Shalom
Breaking the Silence
Brit Tzedek v’Shalom
Btselem
Bustan
Citizens for Fair Legislation
Christian Peace Team
Coalition of Women for Peace
Combatants for Peace
Courage to Refuse
Foundation for Middle East Peace
Forum Ezrachy
Geneva-accord
Gush Shalom material translated into German (- 2003)
ICAHD (Israeli Committee Against House Demolition)
IndyMedia Israel
ittijah – union of Arab community based associations
Jerusalemites (a Palestinian site )

Ireland cancels munitions deal with Israel for forging Irish passports used in the Mabhouh assassination

Monday, 11 October 2010 14:30
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Ireland cancels munitions deal with Israel for forging Irish passports used in the Mabhouh assassinationOn Monday (11.10.2010), the Israeli newspaper, Maariv, reported that the Irish Ministry of Defence has cancelled a contract with Israel to supply the Irish army with more than 20 million bullets annually which are used as ammunition by the various Irish military forces.

Maariv quoted the Irish press as saying that after having purchased millions of Euros worth of ammunition from Israel over the past five years, the Irish Ministry of Defence has decided to cancel its contract with Israel and to sign an alternative deals with Belgium and Brazil among others.

Irish newspapers interpret this decision as a response to the Dubai assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in January of last year. The ring of Mossad assassins, according to international sources, used forged Irish passports.

This indicates that in the past five years, Ireland has bought Israeli made ammunition to the value of 14 million Euros following the government’s insistence on excluding Israel from all boycott – despite international political protest.

However, this year, against the backdrop of developing tensions in relations with Israel due to the Mabhouh assassination, Dublin has decided to transfer the contract to supply the Irish army with ammunition to other countries.

Source: Sama

 

Turkish PM announces boycott of Athens Conference if Netanyahu attends

Tuesday, 19 October 2010 12:25
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Turkey's Prime Minister has announced that he will not attend the climate conference in Athens next Friday if his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu takes part.Israeli-Turkish relations have deteriorated drastically since Operation Cast Lead

Turkey’s Prime Minister has announced that he will not attend the climate conference in Athens next Friday if his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu takes part. In an interview with Greek television on Monday evening, Recep Tayyip Erdogan also stated that Israel was on the brink of losing a very important ally in the region, namely Turkey.

Israeli-Turkish relations have deteriorated drastically since Operation Cast Lead in December 2008 and January 2009 and the subsequent Israeli attack on the Marvi Marmara as it attempted to sail to Gaza and break the Israeli siege. During the deadly assault, nine unarmed Turkish humanitarian activists were killed by Israeli commandos. source

 

Hamas’ Mesh’al lays out new policy direction

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Monday, 30 August 2010 13:48
 

Since 1996, Khaled Mesh’al has been the Chairman of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) Political Bureau. After the assassination of Hamas leader Abdul ‘Aziz Rantisi in 2004 by Israeli forces, Mesh’al became the movement’s overall leader. He lives in exile in Damascus, from where he oversees the movement’s activities both within Palestine and outside.

The most recent interview with Mesh’al was conducted by the Jordanian Arabic-language Al-Sabeel newspaper in July 2010. In it, Mesh’al laid out the policy direction of Hamas on a number of critical issues: negotiations with Israel, recognition of Israel, resistance, Jews, Christians, women, among other issues. In the Arab world, the lengthy interview is being viewed as highly significant, and is regarded as a clear indication of positions that Hamas wants to pursue, especially with regard to its future attitude towards Israel. The Afro-Middle East Centre (AMEC) translated the interview into English and publishes it here to make it accessible to a wider audience, and to allow for greater understanding of the political and other perspectives of a movement which has become one of the most important role-players in the Middle East today. It is an important piece articulating, in its own words, the perspectives of Hamas’ leadership, and is critical reading for observers of the Middle East, and policy-makers for whom the Middle East is important.

read on

Two Peoples, One Future – The Jewish Boat to Gaza mission

Interview with Glyn Secker, captain of the Jewish Boat to Gaza, which was commandeered by Israeli naval commandos as it tried to break the naval blockade of Gaza.

Glyn Secker, a member of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, explains the philosophical and moral motivations for the poignant mission, which was to deliver symbolic consignments of aid to Gazan organisations:

“I will not be associated with the oppression of other people… We were going to put the Israelis in a very difficult situation by being a Jewish boat”

PLEASE SHARE, so we can keep the momentum alive!

Interview footage © Harry Fear (07/10/10, London) – CC License ( http://bit.ly/license71010 )

Archive footage from Russia Today, France24, Democracy Now! and AFP under a Fair Dealing doctrine ( http://bit.ly/fairdealing ), and from Al Jazeera under a license ( http://bit.ly/ajfishingcc )

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