Archives: December 2005

Fri Dec 30, 2005

Top Jewish group 'terror' apology

Britain's top Jewish body has apologised for branding a Muslim charity a "terrorist organisation".

In an out-of-court settlement, the Board of Deputies of British Jews said it should not have described Interpal in these terms. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Dec 30, 05 | 10:37 am

Thu Dec 29, 2005

Entire Region of Norway to boycott Apartheid Israel!

The regional council of the Sør-Trøndelag in Norway has passed a motion calling for a comprehensive boycott on Israeli goods to be followed up with an awareness raising campaign across the region. Sør-Trøndelag has a population of 270,000 out of Norway’s 4.6 million. Trondheim, Norway`s third largest city, forms part of the region and will participate in the boycott initiative. The council committed itself to this motion as a result of intensive work by Norwegian activists that had launched a national Boycott Israel campaign this June. The success of this motion has marked a massive move forwards for boycotts of Apartheid Israel.

Building from the region`s experience of support for the South African Anti-Apartheid struggle, the people and their representatives in Sør-Trøndelag have once again sided with the calls for justice and liberation. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Dec 29, 05 | 3:55 pm

Cultural Boycott. Why?

In 2004, the 20th Haifa International Film Festival established a section for "New Palestinian Cinema" in cooperation with Masharaf magazine in Haifa and several Palestinian filmmakers were invited to present their films. A number of us at the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) contacted some of these filmmakers to urge them not to participate in that Festival. There were two main reasons for that: the first was that the film festival was sponsored by the Israeli government and held under the patronage of Limor Livnat, a minister in Sharon's government and a member of the Likud party well-known for her racist and Zionist positions and actions, and the second was the fact that a boycott of the festival had been started in 2002, two years earlier, by "Gaslight," the producers of the British documentary "Sunday."1 In their withdrawal letter to the festival, Gaslight wrote:

"... of the many lessons that flow from the story of Bloody Sunday, key among them is the ethical political and long-term military folly of governments attempting to impose military solutions on civil and human rights problems.
"We take this action in support of the Palestinian people and in solidarity with Palestinian artists and filmmakers. It is also done in solidarity with those within Israel (both Israelis and Arabs) who are speaking out and acting (e.g. refuseniks) against the government's murderous policies against the Palestinian people."

Posted by: Mona Baker on Dec 29, 05 | 3:44 pm

Telling It Like It Isn't

ROBERT FISK is Middle East correspondent for the London Independent and the author, most recently, of "The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East," published last month by Knopf.

I FIRST REALIZED the enormous pressures on American journalists in the Middle East when I went some years ago to say goodbye to a colleague from the Boston Globe. I expressed my sorrow that he was leaving a region where he had obviously enjoyed reporting. I could save my sorrows for someone else, he said. One of the joys of leaving was that he would no longer have to alter the truth to suit his paper's more vociferous readers.

"I used to call the Israeli Likud Party 'right wing,' " he said. "But recently, my editors have been telling me not to use the phrase. A lot of our readers objected." And so now, I asked? "We just don't call it 'right wing' anymore." More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Dec 29, 05 | 9:04 am

Wed Dec 28, 2005

The Ethical and Legal Challenges Facing Palestine

Today we hear a lot about legal challenges mounted against the wall in the West Bank. I would like to reflect upon a different wall, a metaphorical wall, the wall which remains ethically and legally unchallenged and whose foundations are actually, albeit unwittingly, being fortified by many of the very people who legally challenge the real, physical wall. The heart of the matter is what we might call the "wall within", the psychic wall of unquestioned identification and uncritically accepted conventions about historiography which confines Israeli Jews, a wall that does not allow them to see the suffering and humiliation inflicted on others. (I refer to Israeli Jews, rather than Israelis, because it is necessary, in this context, to distinguish between the mind-set of the Jewish citizens of the state and that of its non-Jewish minority.) I would like to call for ethical and legal challenges which, even if not successful immediately, would have the effect of destabilizing this metaphorical wall. I must add at the outset, however, that any external challenges to the metaphorical wall will not, by themselves, be enough; their success must be measured by the extent to which they awaken the primordial challenge to this wall which comes from within Israeli Jewish society. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Dec 28, 05 | 3:02 pm

Tue Dec 27, 2005

Israel and the Arab world -- a hidden trade waiting for a

CAIRO -- Staff members at a Riyadh hospital got a surprise
when they looked at the fine print on the paper cups they
were using. More...

Posted by: ldavidson1945 on Dec 27, 05 | 4:39 pm

Sun Dec 25, 2005

Why Saddam is important

The trial of Saddam Hussein is the lynchpin of America's bid for global hegemony and the verdict is already in: America loses, writes Ian Douglas

The trial of Saddam Hussein is the straw that will break the back of America in Iraq, whichever way it goes. A conviction on the basis of what we are seeing will make a martyr of Saddam, reveal the entire process as a foregone conclusion, and steel the national popular resistance for years. Unless the neocons in Washington have a secret agenda of bankrupting the United States, it is already over for them, bar the shouting. The resistance fights not for Saddam, but the trial will be seen -- like the constitution, like the elections -- as another fait accompli railroaded upon Iraq, and to which the resistance will respond. Even if Saddam's defence fails, America has already lost. It is one thing to establish an illegal tribunal (and under articles 64 and 67 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the keystone of international humanitarian law, this tribunal is outlawed), but it is quite another to televise proceedings which expose law as machination in naked iniquity. This is what this trial is achieving. On the other hand, if the prosecution fails, and Hussein walks -- and on the basis of its opening salvo it would be hard to proffer otherwise -- the second shoe falls, after the lies about weapons of mass destruction, and no justification remains for the illegal pre-emptive war the neocons waged. Bye, bye the Iraq chapter of the Project for a New American Century. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Dec 25, 05 | 4:32 pm

Sat Dec 24, 2005

Noam Chomsky v. Alan Dershowitz: A Debate on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

We bring you a debate between Noam Chomsky and Alan Dershowtiz on the question, "Israel and Palestine After Disengagement: Where Do We Go From Here?" Dershowitz argued for a political solution based on an Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian towns and a mobile security fence to protect Israel's borders, while Chomsky insisted that the main obstacle to peace in the region is U.S.-Israeli insistence on maintaining settlements and rejecting minimal Palestinian rights. They faced off at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government last month. More...

Posted by: ldavidson1945 on Dec 24, 05 | 7:15 pm

Fri Dec 23, 2005

Quebec Launches Campaign for Boycott

On Monday, 12th of December, the Coalition for Just Peace in Palestine (CJPP) in Montreal held a press conference to launch its Campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against the Occupation and Israeli Apartheid and for the respect of international law. More...

Posted by: ldavidson1945 on Dec 23, 05 | 2:06 pm

Thu Dec 22, 2005

Hebrew University poll: Half of Israelis favor talks with Hamas

Half of Israelis would favor peace talks with Hamas, despite the Islamic movement's calls to destroy the country, a poll published Wednesday showed. More...

Posted by: ldavidson1945 on Dec 22, 05 | 8:24 pm

Sun Dec 11, 2005

Norwegian government party to launch boycott campaign on Apartheid Israel

The Socialist Left Party, a member of the center-left Norwegian government is to officially launch a solidarity campaign for Palestine beginning in the New Year. The campaign will focus on a consumer boycott of Israeli products and will push for a ban on any arms trade between the Norwegian government and the Israeli regime. After reactions in Parliament, the news of the campaign has already started a heated debate in Norwegian media bringing wider publicity and debate into the boycott and sanctions campaign. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Dec 11, 05 | 3:35 pm

Sat Dec 03, 2005

Arab Distrust of US Growing

People in Arab nations believe the Iraq war has brought less peace, more terrorism and contrary to Washington's claims, will result in less democracy, a new poll indicates. More...

Posted by: LDavidson on Dec 03, 05 | 2:00 pm