Free Palestine: organising opposition to Israel’s apartheid

20 responses to “Free Palestine: organising opposition to Israel’s apartheid

  1. Duncan, I can assure you that the person you refer to is not the “last of the Auschwitz internees”. As usual, your “facts” are part dramatisations of your inner needs. I take my hat off to Hajo Meyer, and look forward to more courageous Arabs coming forward to critique their Islamist “brothers” and their foolish Western abettors. Quite a few have been mentioned on this blog, and I suggest you read what they have to say.

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  2. To answer Loewda’s question, readers can view my public life on these pages but not my private life.

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  3. Restricting Israel’s Arab minority
    Legitimacy of Israeli democracy threatened as racism increases under discriminatory laws against Palestinian minority.
    Mel Frykberg Last Modified: 02 Jan 2011 13:50 GMT
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    Israelis who have continued to rent homes to Palestinians, despite a religious ruling by rabbis forbidding it, have received threats and have been publicly shamed by right-wing organisations [EPA]
    A number of recent incidents discriminating against Israel’s Palestinian minority has prompted Israeli Knesset (parliament) members to debate whether Israel is becoming increasingly racist.

    Ronit Sela from the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (Acri) has no doubts. “Israel’s democracy is under threat as an increasingly large racist element raises its collective head. A number of racist occurrences have taken place in a climate conducive to racism. This wouldn’t have happened prior to the current right-wing Israeli government,” Sela said.

    Recently an organisation called Jews for a Jewish Bat Yam (a suburb near Tel Aviv) held a protest against “assimilation of young Jewish women with Arabs living in the city or in nearby Jaffa.”

    “It’s a local organisation of Bat Yam residents, because the public is tired of so many Arabs going out with Jewish girls,” explained one of the organisers, Bentzi Gufstein. “In addition to the protest, we will hand out pamphlets explaining the situation.”

    For all the fear of “being swamped by the Arabs”, the amount of social, political and public interaction between Israel’s Jewish majority and its Palestinian minority remains restricted.

    Prof. Shlomo Hasson from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem argues that relations between the two communities are largely influenced by social and economic interaction.

    “There is very limited integration between Israel’s Arab and Jewish citizens. Unemployment amongst Israeli-Arabs is much higher than amongst Jewish citizens,” said Orna Cohen from Adalah, The Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel.

    “In the public sector Arab employment is basically limited to the health and educational sector where they work with fellow Arabs. There is some integration in the private sector where Arabs are employed and they are also hired for private services,” Cohen said.

    “There is also some mixing in mixed residential cities such as Haifa. But there are many Jewish communities where Arabs are refused the right to live and not allowed to buy land,” added Cohen.

    “I don’t know the extent to which Arabs and Israelis are inter-dating, but that really is irrelevant.”

    Several weeks ago Knesset members hotly debated an earlier development when a number of leading Israeli rabbis signed a religious ruling forbidding renting homes to gentiles, specifically aimed at Palestinians living in the Israel town Safed, while studying at a local college.

    “We don’t need to help Arabs set down roots in Israel,” said Rabbi Shlomo Aviner of the Beit El settlement. He stated that Jews looking for apartments should be given preference over gentiles and that the growing number of Palestinians with Israeli citizenship were becoming a nuisance.

    Israelis who have continued to rent to Palestinians have received threats and been publicly shamed by right-wing organisations who have drawn up lists.

    According to Israeli daily ‘Y Net’, a recent survey shows 41 percent of secular Israelis support municipal religious leaders’ call not to rent apartments to non-Jews, as do 64 percent and 88 percent of Israel’s traditional and Haredi Jews, respectively.

    Haneen Zoabi, an Israeli-Arab member of the Knesset who participated in the ill-fated Mavi Marmara attempt to break the siege of Gaza in May, expressed outrage that some Israeli parliamentarians were feigning shock at recent developments.

    “Three months ago the Knesset approved a law that villages with populations smaller than 500 residents could remain Jewish to ‘maintain their cultural identity’. Furthermore, there have been approximately ten laws passed during the last year aimed against the Arab minority,” Zoabi said.

    “Israel has double standards. Some Knesset members accused the rabbis of being racist despite the loyalty oath they supported and passed several months earlier. This calls for the Israeli citizenship of the Palestinian minority to be dependent on swearing allegiance to Zionism and Israel’s Jewish character despite this conflicting with their rights as an ethnic minority,” she said.

    “These rabbis authored the letter despite the fact they are Israeli public servants and on the government payroll. We wrote to the justice minister and got a legal injunction asking the minister to look into the matter. We have received no reply and nothing has been done about it,” added Sela.

    “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not rebuked the rabbis. The fact that public servants are able to incite to this degree, despite there being no major changes in Israel’s judiciary in the country’s 62-year history, speaks volumes about the current political climate in Israel,” Sela said.

    Adalah, has meticulously documented the discrimination against Palestinians with Israeli citizenship.

    This includes over 30 laws ranging from the law of return applying only to Jews; the ease with which Palestinians can be stripped of their citizenship; under-representation in the judiciary and politics; under-funding of Arab education and social services; higher rates of unemployment; and inadequate access to land and planning rights.

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  4. Here is an interesting story about a holocaust survivor (the last of the Auschwitz internees) from the Herald Scotland:\
    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/politics/auschwitz-survivor-israel-acts-like-nazis-1.1000918

    Auschwitz survivor: ‘Israel acts like Nazis’

    Dr Hajo Meyer’s lecture tour includes three dates in Scotland
    Exclusive: Graeme Murray and Chris Watt

    24 Jan 2010
    One of the last remaining Auschwitz survivors has launched a blistering attack on Israel over its occupation of Palestine as he began a lecture tour of Scotland.

    Dr Hajo Meyer, 86, who survived 10 months in the Nazi death camp, spoke out as his 10-day tour of the UK and Ireland – taking in three Scottish venues – got under way. His comments sparked a furious reaction from hardline Jewish lobby groups, with Dr Meyer branded an “anti-Semite” and accused of abusing his position as a Holocaust survivor.

    Dr Meyer also attended hearings at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday, where five pro-Palestine campaigners are accused of racially aggravated conduct after disrupting a concert by the Jerusalem Quartet at the city’s Queen’s Hall.

    Speaking as his tour got under way, Dr Meyer said there were parallels between the treatment of Jews by Germans in the Second World War and the current treatment of Palestinians by Israelis.

    He said: “The Israelis tried to dehumanise the Palestinians, just like the Nazis tried to dehumanise me. Nobody should dehumanise any other and those who try to dehumanise another are not human.

    “It may be that Israel is not the most cruel country in the world … but one thing I know for sure is that Israel is the world champion in pretending to be civilised and cultured.”

    Dr Meyer was born in 1924 in Bielefeld, Germany. He was not allowed to attend school there after November 1938. He then fled to the Netherlands, alone. In 1944, after a year in the underground, he was caught by the Gestapo and survived 10 months at Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.

    He now lives in the Netherlands, and is the author of three books on Judaism, the Holocaust and Zionism.

    Dr Meyer also insisted the definition of “anti-Semitic” had now changed, saying: “Formerly an anti-Semite was somebody who hated Jews because they were Jews and had a Jewish soul. But nowadays an anti-Semite is somebody who is hated by Jews.”

    A spokesman for the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, of which Dr Meyer is a member, said criticising Israel was “not the same” as criticising Jews.

    Mick Napier, Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign chairman and one of the five demonstrators facing charges when the court case continues in March, said: “Palestinians are happy to have him as an ally in their cause.

    “Hajo knows that Israel has a long history of abusing the tragic history of the Holocaust in order to suppress legitimate criticism of its own crimes.

    “Especially since Gaza, people are no longer taken in by their claim that anyone that criticises Israel is anti-Semitic.”

    Dr Meyer’s claims met with a furious reaction from pro-Israel groups, who branded him “a disgrace”.

    Jonathan Hoffman, co-vice-chairman of the Zionist Federation, said: “I shall be telling him he is abusing his status as a survivor, and I shall be telling him that if Israel had been created 10 years earlier, millions of lives might have been saved.

    “Whether he is a survivor or not, to use Nazi comparisons in relation to Israel’s policies is anti-Semitic, unquestionably.”

    The tour was cynically timed, Mr Hoffman added, to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27.

    Dr Ezra Golombok, Scottish spokesman for the Israel Information Office, accused the anti-zionist lobby of “exploiting” Dr Meyer, who he described as someone “who’s got into a situation he doesn’t understand”.

    “This is a propaganda exercise by Mick Napier and his friends, and nothing more. It’s preposterous to compare Israel with Nazi tactics.”

    The lecture series, entitled Never Again – For Anyone, continues until January 30.

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  5. There are plenty of blogs/websites where we can read programmed and stock responses by pro-Israel groups.

    We have heard these arguments many times – false claims that Jordan is really Palestine, that Israel is democratic, that the Palestinians left their villages voluntarily in 1948, that Israel is a David surrounded by Goliath – such claims originally broadcast by terrorist leaders like Ben-Gurion (Haganah) and Menachem Begin (Zionist militant Irgun) are recycled endlessly (even here by Loewdabulla).

    Meanwhile the Mossad continues its murderous work of assassination around the world.

    Defamatory statements claiming that John T is a cocaine addict underlie the lowest ebb of accusation and lies so evident in the work of The Jewish National Fund (JNF).

    I lack the resources to combat JNF spam but am sick and tired of being forced to see (and read) it.

    I am unable to attend Gareth Smith’s sculpture (Palestinian Sand Village at Brunswick Heads).

    I wish him well in this thoughtful protest against the genocidal policies of Israel such as the bulldozing of Palestinian houses and villages to make room for Jewish settlements.

    Ian

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  6. Apartheid might be a crime against humanity, Duncan, but Israel does not pracrtice apartheid. All its citizens have equal rights and equal rights to worship who they want.

    cabn’t wait for your so-called non-violent BDS against the real practitioners of gender and sexiual apratheid in the ME, Saudi Arabia, UAE, iran, Egypt, where Chrisitians are killed daily FOR BEING CHRISTIANS!
    Your precious Palestinians have gone on record as saying they want a ‘palestine” ‘clean” of israelis, Jews and settlers. Abbas has denied the Holocaust, and wants a jew-free ‘Palestine”. the other Arab countries ethnically cleansed themselves of their Jews decades ago.

    You racist little scumbuckets don’t care about that do you? Or the truth of what the Muslim Nazis did in Bosnia to Jews and Bosnians.
    and the leader of these muslims nazis – the PALESTINIAN MUFTI HAJ AMIN EL HUSSEINI, great pal of Hitler, Himmler and promoter of death for Jews in Nazi Gernamy death camps.

    What wonderful dinner parties you deathgroupies must have! Probably tally up how many Jews you wanted to kill, but didn’t ahve the nerve to.

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  7. Duncan, the only reason the ‘international community” is against israel is because the Eu made a deal with the Arabs for OIL in the latwe 60s and 70s to support the Arabs and make the “Palestinians” an issue.
    The PLO donated LOTs of money to the IRA – do you care about that?
    Jimmy Carter gets Arab money to speak against Israel.

    BDS = Bigotry Defamation and Slander, the latter two are illegal in Australia.
    Nelson Mandela’s ANC is a terrorist oprganisation – burning necklaces, anyone?

    Israeli Knesset Druze Arab minister Ayoob Kara Visits Vienna and The Freedom Party (FPÖ) to Defend Israel and All Other Secular Liberal Democratic Countries

    KNESSET DRUSE ARAB MINISTER AYOOB KARA VISITS VIENNA AND THE FPÖ…….
    http://tundratabloids.com/2011/01/druse-arab-minister-in-the-knesset-visits-vienna-and-the-fpo.html

    Ayoob Kara:

    It is important to cooperate with every element, organization or party to fight terror, religious fundamentalism, which is a problem and danger to the entire world. I want to mee with Europeans because the same thing happened 60 years ago [alluding to the dangers prior to the Nazi takeover of Germany and World War II]. People were naive back then, they are naive now. People are not speaking out loud about the problems. Muslims are killing people everyday, but nothing is happening [no one is reacting].
    I want to thank Mr. Strache, FPÖ, and all parties in Europe that Israel is on the frontline [of this war]. In the future there will be organizations in the every corner. Today in Israel, tomorrow in Sweden in Austria, everywhere.

    I am not Jewish, but I am more Jewish than the Jews themselves. Non-Jews in Israel feel the same as Jews. I will fight with my Druse friends. They [the Muslims] hate us, they kill [us], and we defend Israel, we fight for Israel. There are only two million of us [Druse]. In Syria, Druse are sent to jail, there is no defense possible.

    Other Arab states are sending messages to Israel that they are afraid of Iran and fundamentalism, but they cannot say it publicly. People are afraid because there are no human rights in the Middle East.

    We must stop these fundamentalist organizations. Islam says: “We have the solution. All must submit to Islam.” But I like liberal life. They hate my policies. I speak out: I want the world to be free. Seventy years ago, people were quiet and did nothing to stop the situation. I am here today [to say]: Let us stop Islamic fundamentalism together before Iran attacks us. If you are afraid, you cannot stop anything. [But] we must stop this.

    In Israel, they are saying: “Why are you going to Austria?”

    I say: “Let us be together! I am glad to be sitting here next to my friend HC Strache!”

    From http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/01/just-released-new-york-2009-report-hate-crimes-against-jews-251-hate-crimes-against-muslims-11.html#comments
    “..One was a TV program about some Arabs in Israel, probably tens of thousands, who claim their ancestors were Jews who were forced to convert to Islam. Including an entire Bedouin tribe of about 5-8,000 people who claim they are still Jewish. They claim the women in their tribe kept the Jewish traditions going in secret. The man interviewed had a mezuzah, a religious artifact Jews hang in the enternce of their homes, hidden under a chair, attached to the bottom of the seat. That wasn’t much of a surprise to anyone who knows the genetic research in the local populations since there are genetic evidence that some of the “Palestinians” are of a Jewish origin (according to the prevalence of the Cohen haplotype). The odd thing was that the participants agreed to be interviewed only under condition of anonimity. This is strange since this is a Jewish state, it is majority Jewish, the majority in the authorities are Jews, so why should any Israeli citizen be afraid to say he believes his ancestors were Jews?

    Then there was the video I posted here of an Israeli Arab, a Druze, who expressed support in Israel and said to westerners and even Arabs (in Arabic) to support Israel. He expressed twice a fear of being killed for what he said. He also said his Christian and Muslim friends lie because they’re afraid that one day this country will diasappear and their brothers from the Arab countries around will come here and kill them.

    Then there was an Israeli Christian Arab who wrote about it in a forum. To my surprise he said he sees himself first as a Christian, then as an Israeli and only then as an Arab. He said he doesn’t understand the Christians in Israel who say they support Hamas and are against Israel. He said they suck up to the Muslims because they’re scared of them. ..”

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  8. http://www.abc.net.au/rn/encounter/stories/2011/3090037.htm

    Aboriginal poet Oodgeroo Noonuccal, formerly known as Kath Walker, from Stradbroke Island in South East Queensland, was one of Australia’s best-known writers and leaders. What is not commonly remembered is her experience on a hijacked BOAC aircraft in 1974 when Palestinian terrorists threatened passengers and took the life of a young German banker.

    Kath Walker pleaded for the banker’s life and the lives of the other passengers. The experience and the man’s execution haunted her deeply. Brisbane writer and academic Sam Watson is Oodgeroo’s bloodline nephew. He has been inspired by her stories and her poetry throughout his life and in 2009 his play Oodgeroo: Bloodline to Country was performed in Brisbane. This Encounter tells the story of the play and Sam Watson’s own experience of Aunty Oodgeroo for her time and his own.

    (Thanks Viola)

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  9. The contents of the BDS manual available here:
    http://australiansforpalestine.com/33119
    Contains an informative quote from Nelson Mandela:
    “Apartheid is a crime against humanity. Israel has deprived millions of Palestinians of their liberty and property. It has perpetuated a system of gross racial discrimination and inequality. It has systematically incarcerated and tortured thousands of Palestinians contrary to the rules of international law and waged war against a civilian population, in particular children”.

    That is indeed a telling observation from someone formerly labelled a ‘terrorist’ ,or what the Australian newspaper’s Greg Sheridan might call an ‘independence activist’ – a term he reserves for the likes of Menachem Begin a former member of the Irgun in a recent column.

    Former US president Jimmy carter has this to say:
    “When Israel does occupy this territory deep within the West Bank and connects the 200-or-so settlements with each other, with a road, and then prohibits the Palestinians from using that road….this perpetrates even worse instances apartness, or apartheid, than we witnessed even in South Africa”.

    I tend to find the comments of international figures of great standing more robust than the rabid opinions and ad hominem attacks of some of the individuals commenting on this thread.

    The organisation of opposition to Israel’s apartheid state shares a common moral origin with the South African boycott movement although there are significant differences. Noam Chomsky comments in his recent book ‘Hopes and Prospects’ that the South African boycott had little effect until the US got behind it. The same is true for the the Israeli boycott. Both were largely symbolic. The value of that symbolism lies in its capacity to enable a wider understanding of the situation on the ground that may otherwise go unnoticed.

    I became aware of the issues in Northern Ireland after the London bombings in the seventies. I became aware of the Palestine issue after the plane hijackings around the same time. Both activities were violent and illegal but nonetheless made the headlines and the issues were suddenly on the table.

    There are factions that still believe in Mao’s edict that ‘true power comes out of the barrel of a gun’. The Israeli government is one such faction, the Al Qassam Brigades and the Salafi another.

    What is important about the BDS movement is its non-violent aspect. It derails the traditional armed response favoured by Israel when its policies are questioned or opposed. You cannot justify shooting someone if they simply refuse to buy your products.

    The BDS actions against Seacret are great opportunities to spread the word about the crimes against humanity committed by the Israeli regime, crimes generally covered up by a compliant media that constantly repeats the mantra about Israel’s security needs.

    I was lucky enough to attend David Forde’s presentation on behalf of Amnesty International regarding the situation in Gaza and the West Bank. There is no doubt of the serious inequalities experienced by the Palestinians on a daily basis compared to the relative freedoms enjoyed by Israeli citizens. The appalling inhumane daily treatment of Palestinians is an ongoing war crime in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the International Covenant on Human rights to name two. These and countless other internationally recognised conventions and treaties ignored or flouted by Israel are the reasons for the growing worldwide solidarity with the Palestinian people and the increasing support for their just cause for establishing an independent state.

    80-90% of the ‘international community’ recognise the state of Palestine along the 1967 borders with Brazil laying the foundations the first Palestinian embassy in the western hemisphere last week. the US, Israel (unsurprisingly), Australia (sadly) and a few micronesian states dependent on grant money oppose the sovereign rights of the Palestinian people. The recent debate on Palestine in the UN resolved a vote of 165 to 7 against upholding the sovereign rights of the Palestinian people. Australia voted against.

    So it is clear from the facts that most of the world disagrees with Israel’s position regarding the rights of the Palestinians which by and large depends on the US promise of veto in any UN resolutions unfavourable to Israel’s wants. Their is growing resentment in the US to the huge amount of aid given to Israel from the public purse – some USD30bn per annum – while the US struggles with unemployment and a dysfunctional health care system. Incidentally 78% of that ‘aid’ is spent on US manufactured arms thus funding the global death industry.

    When the US taxpayer decides this is unacceptable and the US realises that Israel is a liability due to the necessity for it to compensate for the financial effects of the global boycott against it, then and only then will the US change its position and demand Israel’s compliance with the rule of law.

    The international community insists on it.

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  10. John T, get off the coke, get on an aeroplane and check it for yourself! There is PLENTY of freedom for Muslims in the Jewish state, they ahve religious control of the Temple Mount for God’s sake, and are busily ethnically cleansing Christians from Bethlehem, Iraq, Syria, Kurdistan (they already got rid of all the Jews in Arab cpountries), Jewish religious artefacts from all over Israel, including Jerusalem, and there are Muslim Parliamentarians in the Knesset!!

    Seriously, can you even read, or has someone locked you up in a room with a five line mantra to repeat every day?
    how can anyone take you seriously when you don’t know what you’re talking about?

    Do you even realise how retarded you sound when the rest of us live in the real world where Muslims have free rein whereever they live, and especially have freedom to worship, over the rights of Jews and Chriustians in Israel?
    Are you even over twelve?

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  11. Hi Everyone (please circulate widely)

    Australian Artists Against Apartheid (AAAA) have received notification from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) that Australian musician Joseph Tawadros who has music released by ABC Classics and has also received ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) award nominations will be performing at the Red Sea Winter Jazz Festival (RSWJF) which is sponsored by the Israeli government. He has already been sent an open letter from Gaza (attached), and from AAAA (attached and below), and will receive a letter from PACBI shortly.

    Paste the links below to read his biography and his confirmation on the festival web site.

    http://www.aco.com.au/?url=/Joseph-Tawadros

    Confirmed on the festival site :
    Here are the links:
    http://www.redseajazzeilat.com/en/artists/

    http://www.redseajazzeilat.com/en/artists/?artist=48

    It would be great if as many people as possible can encourage him to cancel his performance like the other many courageous musicians who have refused to entertain apartheid such as The Pixies, Carlos Santana, the Klaxons and Gorillaz, Elvis Costello, John Berger, Adrienne Rich, Massive Attack, Faithless and Gill Scot-Heron. His website email address is joe_oud@tpg.com.au

    For more information or to join our campaign please write to the address below. We intend to issue a support statement for the cultural boycott in
    the new year.

    Australian Artists against Apartheid australianaaa@gmail.com

    Artists Against Apartheid is an international alliance committed to Equal Rights and Justice, and the elimination of apartheid in our world. To join the alliance, visit http://join.artistsagainstapartheid.org .
    Contact Email: action@artistsagainstapartheid.org
    Website: http://www.artistsagainstapartheid.org

    This is a model letter sent by Artists Against Apartheid in the USA to American musicians performing at the festival (with the name changed)

    STOP ENTERTAINING APARTHEID: LETTER TO JOSEPH TAWADROS

    December 22nd, 2010

    Dear Joseph Tawadros,

    We are writing in advance of your planned performance in the apartheid state of Israel, which we hope you will cancel. The Red Sea Winter Jazz Festival (RSWJF) is sponsored by the Israeli government, which additionally sponsors the dispossession of Palestinians from their homes, and many laws discriminating against “non-Jews” in a segregated and undemocratic apartheid system.

    State-culture propaganda initiatives, such as the RSWJF serve to brand Israel to the world as a “vibrant cultural hub”, while it continues its profitable human rights violations and colonialism on the ground.

    In response to decades of oppression under Israeli apartheid, coupled with the failure of international institutions to support their quest for equal rights and justice, the Palestinian people have called for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (see BDS movement) until Israel is in compliance with international law and human rights conventions.

    Given Israel’s extensive use of cultural propaganda, the BDS movement includes a campaign for cultural boycott. A multitude of artists, including renowned musicians such as Elvis Costello, Gil Scott-Heron, and Santana, have heeded the boycott call and canceled planned performances in Israel. All international artists appearing at the RSWJF would violate two key criteria of the cultural boycott of Israel: (1) By performing at a state sponsored event and (2) By performing at an apartheid venue in Israel.

    Please cancel your upcoming appearance at RSWJF and help to realize equal rights and justice in Palestine-Israel. By heeding the Palestinian call for international solidarity we can stop entertaining apartheid.

    Signed,
    Australian Artists Against Apartheid

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  12. Hey Loewda
    I’ve enjoyed your posts: witty, knowledgable and passionate, but will have to leave you to hold the fort alone. I’ve decided not to put any more energy into debating people, who are neither Palestinian nor Israeli, and who imagine you can win the peace via playing the blame game, demonising one side against the other. For those readers who are willing to try a different path, there are many grassroots projects between Palestinians and Israelis who eschew extremism, and want to work together to build a brighter future. I have suggested a number of such websites in this blog. My final offering is “The alliance for middle east peace” http://www.allmep.org/.
    Judy
    Judy

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  13. loewdabulleaaa

    I support a secular state policy too. There is no freedom for Muslims in a Jewish state just as there is no freedom for jews in a muslim state. Only a secular state can embrace religious diversity such as exists in Palestine.

    The Arabs are children of Abraham too. Any religious state that excludes or genocides them has nothing to do with the God of Abraham.

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  14. John T – demonistation is what Israel cops all the time.

    Ian deserves criticism. He’s a big boy. He knows that the mark of maturity is to listen to criticism and assess it thoughtfully – just like he and his allies expect Israel to listen to their “criticism”.

    Having read your letter here again, just to make sure I didn’t misunderstand it the first time, I can see -surprise surprise surprise – you have no idea what you’re talking about.
    Talking about godlessness on the blog of a person who says he wants a SECULAR Palestinian State? Are you sure you’re even on the right blog?
    There is no god in Ian’s world, and there seems to be nothing in yours.

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  15. Jihn T – Judaism is not a suicide pact.
    And don’t get the idea that, you, as a commenter on this anti Israel-blog get any respect from me.
    Meanwhile, the Originator of the Boycott is not even a Palestinian Arab!
    Born in Qatar, raised in Egypt, STUDYING IN TEL AVIV!
    Hypocrisy, thy name is Bhargouti!!

    “Omar Barghouti, a PACBI co-founder—who travels from campus to campus denouncing Israel as an apartheid state and opposing Palestinian-Israeli collaboration as “providing a fig leaf covering up Israel’s …crimes against the Palestinian people”—is himself enrolled as a graduate student in philosophy (ethics) at Tel Aviv University.

    When challenged about this blatant double standard, Barghouti dismisses it as irrelevant. “My studies at Tel-Aviv University are a personal matter and I have no interest in commenting,” he answered a Maariv reporter who questioned him about it.

    But Barghouti is hardly an “oppressed” Palestinian with no choices. Born in Qatar, he grew up in Egypt and attended Columbia University in New York before moving to Ramallah as an adult. He could have continued his studies in Qatar, Egypt, or New York, or he could have attended either Bir Zeit University or Al Quds University near his home and thus support a Palestinian academy. Instead, he chose to take advantage of the educational opportunities at an Israeli institution (which he presumably supports through fees) – one which he demands everyone else shun.

    Barghouti does not merely call for sanctions against supposed racist policies; his professed goal in calling for boycott, like that of other BDS supporters, is to permanently end Jewish autonomy in the region. He advocates for a Palestinian state to replace a Jewish one within all of historic Palestine.

    His charges of Israeli racial apartheid are supported with distortions and outright canards. For example, he claims that Israel uses water as “a tool of apartheid and a means of ethnic cleansing” by stealing Palestinian resources. In fact, the opposite is true. Since 1967, when Israel began to administer the territories, the Palestinians have received far more fresh water than ever before. Under Israel’s administration, Palestinians’ share of water from aquifers that extend across both sides of the Green Line has risen while Israel’s own share of water from these aquifiers has decreased. In addition, and despite water shortages of its own, Israel transfers more than 40 million cubic meters of water per year to Palestinian water providers from aquifiers inside pre-1967 Israel—which is the principal source of Israel’s water.
    More here:
    http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=7&x_issue=51&x_article=1803

    “My studies at Tel-Aviv University are a personal matter and I have no interest in commenting.”
    Oh yeah – he’s a believer.

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  16. I criticise Ian a lot on BT. I like to think there is some substance to my criticism and I offer it in the hope that I might provoke some discussion of issues.

    However the attacks on him in this thread and others by pro-Israel people do not seem to have any substance at all. He has respectfully answered all the questions and challenges, and in my opinion done so quite thoroughly. I wish he would answer my critique in the same thoroughness as he has answered pro-Israel challenges.

    Yet facts, ideas and analysis do not seem to have a part in the pro-Israel attacks here. The attacks are just emotive abuse.

    I have a great deal of respect for Zionism. I love the bible and you can’t understand the bible without understanding Zionism. But at the heart of the law and the prophets is a deep and unrelenting bias for the poor and oppressed.

    Any attempt to embrace Zionism without a corresponding embrace of justice is a betrayal of the law and the prophets.

    Jude and loewdabulleaaa do not seem to consider the sins of the Hebrew people to be at all relevant, they dismiss the genocide and apartheid of the status-quo and demonise Ian for daring to openly discuss it.

    If there is anything at all to learn from the spiritual tradition of Judaism, it is not to dismiss the relevance of collective and national sin. The scriptures are all about this and has very specific things to say about it.

    If Jude and loewdabulleaaa want to defend a U.S. (Babylon) puppet state in the holy land and throw emotional shit at the modern prophets (like Ian) who publically support the poor and oppressed, then at least have the honesty and integrity to identify yourselves as a part of the non-religious political movement to support Babylon’s outpost.

    But if Judaism has anything at all to do with the land of Abraham and Moses’s covenants, then the principles of those covenants need to be asserted today just as in the middle east dreamtime.

    The absence of spiritual law in the petty abuse of the pro-Israel people here is a clear example of the Godlessness of the modern illusion of a “Jewish” state.

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  17. Ian,
    the PA mandates DEATH for anyone who sells land to JEWs.
    Apartheid.

    Jordan mandates DEATH to those who sell land to Jews.
    Apartheid.
    Saudi Arabia will not allow Israeli Jews into Saudi.
    Apartheid.
    At the Fatah conference last year (and the one more recently) , it was declared that a palestinian State would be “clean” of settlers. No Jews allowed in a Palestinian (Islamic) state.
    Apartheid.

    Watch ANY Hamas video calling for the KILLING of Jews.
    Apartheid.

    Notice any Jews in Egypt? Jordan? Saudi Arabia? Iraq? Syria? Yemen? (recently ethnically cleansed).
    Apartheid!

    You sad little Jewhater. Arabs too psycho for you to take on huh? They’d probably behead you like they did Daniel Pearl so you’re sucking up to them.
    There’s more bravery in the little finger of the stupidest Israeli than there is in your entire pathetic being.
    Apologies Judy, but I was calling Ian a Jew hater before you, so I’m not copying you. But I applaud your doing it too.

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  18. Apart from the stupid call to ban Islam the leaflet is substantially correct. Ian you have not explained at all why you so vociferously call just one kettle black when there are so many there are so manydirty pots all around. It is a cowardly pitiful act to march on a stall in a glamorous shoppingmall screeching like banshees and intimidating the single Israeli worker. Or maybe 2 workers. You still have not answered why you do not boycott Chinese shops about Tibet. Or why you do not boycott SAudi oil. Until you do I continue to call you an antisemitic pot making accusations against Jewish kettles notwithstanding that you hide behind a few misguided Jewish idealists. Ps and don’t try to hide behind arguments that antisemitism has no meaning because Arabs are Semites too

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  19. At the demonstration at the Seacret’s store a person appeared and handed me a leaflet that said that Jews are not allowed live in countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria.

    He said that it is Arab countries that practice apartheid not Israel.

    His leaflet states that if we want to free Palestine, Ban Islam.

    I certainly do not wish to defend Saudi Arabia whose princes steal money from their own people in the name of Islam and seek allegiance with US power.

    But the argument is false, we should not be less critical of Israel’s apartheid just because Saudi princes are bad. Of course I am critical of Saudi and the US for plotting to attack Iran and for exploiting their own people. But why should that stop me from being critical of israel’s apartheid. The argument is often made here and elsewhere but the logic is false.

    Palestinians, Lebanese and Syrians have lived alongside Jewish people for many years. There is more tolerance in these countries. I refer to an article titled ‘Return to the Valley of Jews’.

    During the Civil War in Lebanon, Jews fled to America, Christians fled to France and Muslims fled to Damascus. Now each group has returned. Why? T o understand why, this article is worth reading , here is a quote:

    “It is hard to imagine today, but the valley was once a vibrant centre of Jewish life in the heart of an Arab capital. Half way across the world in New York, Lisa’s old neighbours – who fled decades ago – still rave about the good life in Beirut. They produce old photo albums with black and white pictures of lavish weddings attended by Muslim and Christian dignitaries at Beirut’s main synagogue; they reminisce about family picnics in the mountains and long summers at the beach.”

    People anywhere when under pressure will become less tolerant but when the pressure is reduced the tolerance returns.

    It is the systematic use of apartheid by the state of Israel that I object to.

    The full text of the leaflet I was handed at the Seacret store is shown below:

    “BOYCOTT APARTHEID
    It is the Arab Muslim countries, not Israel, that practise Apartheid.
    Countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria.
    There are about 1 million Arab Muslims living in Israel.
    Can Jews live in Saudi Arabia or Gaza? NO.
    Arab Muslims can get jobs in Israel and government positions in Israel.
    Can Jews do this in Arab countries? NO.
    Arab Muslims can build mosques and worship freely in Israel.
    Can Jews build synagogues in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria or Gaza? NO.
    FREE PALESTINE
    Muslim armies under Caliph Omar invaded !Palestine’ in the year 637AD and brutally occupied and oppressed the Christian and Jewish peoples. Israel was created by the League of Nations in 1925 from the British Mandate of 1917.

    The UN established a TWO STATE solution in 1948, with Arab Muslims getting 78% for Jordan and Israel only 22% of their original allocation.
    If you want to free Palestine, EXPEL the Muslims!
    Islam preaches hatred and demands that Muslims fight and kill all the Jews before (the Last Hour’. [Muslim book 41 number 6985]
    Palestinian parents teach this hatred to their children and encourage them to be martyrs.
    If you want to free Palestine and make it safe, BAN Islam!
    So when you see the fist pumping crowds shouting ((FREE, FREE PALESTINE”, here are a few responses to rhyme.
    or this:
    FREE, FREE PALESTINE
    EXPEL MUSLIMS, THEN ALLIS FINE
    FREE, FREE
    BAN ISLAM,
    PALESTINE
    FOR ALL TIME”

    I think that this leaflet is based on ignorance, racism and bigotry and does not reflect the situation in the region.

    Ian
    December 2010

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  20. Your motley crew are pathetic! How about boycotting your own t-shirts, probably made in China, for what the Chinese did in Tibet, and that’s just for starters. Or how about anything based on oil because of Saudi apartheid against women.

    And you should change your blog title to Workers of All Countries (except Israel) Unite.

    I think it’s amazing the way you people single out Israel, stereotype Jews who don’t agree with you as Right-Wing Zionists, and imagine you are anti-racists. Yes, the Jews are not a race, so I would call you Jew-haters, the most insidious form of what used to be known as racism. Or the belief that the Jews should not be permitted to live anywhere on the face of the earth unless they are willing to relinquish their identities and assent to the defamation of their. Which is not to say that Israel does not have a lousy right-wing government pushed further right religious extremists. But you didn’t call for the boycott of Australia while John Howard was PM, or the boycott of the USA for that matter.

    I would be very pleased to hear a lucid reason for why you are singling out Israel, a country that like the porcupine, is now forced to arm itself to the teeth after 60 years of constant attrition, for doing a lot less worse than what your ancestors did to the Aborigines.

    Read this from an Moslem Palestinian Journalist, who elsewhere argues that Western Anti-Zionists hate Israel more than the Palestinians do. http://www.hudson-ny.org/1715/palestinians-peace

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