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Mike Marqusee: 'If not now, when?' On BDS and 'singling out' Israel's apartheid

By Mike Marqusee

January 4, 2014 -- http://www.mikemarqusee.com, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- This is an edited version of a letter I've just sent to a relative in the United States who's been trying to figure out the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) issue in the wake of the recent onslaught against the American Studies Association's decision to support the academic boycott of apartheid Israel.

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The “singling out” objection seems to me quite perverse. It's not possible to campaign against any injustice anywhere without “singling it out”. When people campaigned and boycotted South Africa, they were “singling it out” -- and that accusation was in fact frequently made by apologists for South Africa. “What about the black dictatorships in Africa?”, they would say. This was always an evasive manoeuvre, a poor excuse for allowing gross racial oppression to continue unhindered. Many of those who raise this objection now in relation to Israel would have or indeed did dismiss it when it was raised in relation to South Africa.

United States, Iran, Russia, Syria and the geopolitical shift: Anything for the region’s oppressed?

Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov (right) and US Secretary of State John Kerry during a May 2013 joint press conference in Moscow on "finding ... common ground" on the conflict in Syria.

Click HERE for more on Syria.

By Michael Karadjis

December 19, 2013 -- Syrian Revolution Commentary and Analysis, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission -- In recent weeks and months, a pronounced geopolitical shift in US policy related to the Middle East has been widely discussed. This shift consists mainly of the US-Russia deal with Syria’s Assad regime to get rid of its chemical arsenal, in exchange for the US dropping its brief threat of air strikes over Assad’s chemical attack on August 21; and the high-level US-Iran negotiations over its nuclear arsenal, which led to a new agreement, involving a slight reduction on imperialist sanctions on Iran in exchange for Iranian concessions on its civilian nuclear program.

Solidarity saved me from Hitler: Now it must save Palestine

BDS-Sticker2009

 

By Suzanne Weiss

December 8, 2013 -- Johnriddell.wordpress.com, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- In October 2013 I accompanied Suzanne Weiss in a trip back into the history of rural France under Nazi occupation. Suzanne’s interviews there provided a framework for the following talk given by her to Solidarity for Palestine Human Rights at the University of Western Ontario on November 20, 2013. A portion of her speech has been published by Electronic Intifada; the full text first appeared in Bullet, a publication of Socialist Project. -- John Riddell.

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Egypt’s military rulers help imprison Palestinians of Gaza

A Palestinian (right) in Rafah on the Gaza-Egypt border talks to an Egyptian soldier.

By Rupen Savoulian

October 3, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal/Antipodean Athiest -- The online magazine Common Dreams carried the following incisive article about the situation on Egypt’s contribution to the ongoing siege of the Gaza Strip: "Egypt joins Israel as Gaza’s jailer".

The article, co-authored by Medea Benjamin and Pam Bailey, focuses on how, in the past, Israel was the specific target of condemnation by human rights and activist groups for its blockade of Gaza. While the Israeli state still receives its fair share of criticism for its role in economically strangling Gaza and inflicting suffering on the Palestinians, the Egyptian militarist dictatorship should also by the target of stinging criticism. The Egyptian generals have not only continued to block off Gaza, the critical lifeline for the Palestinians through Rafah, previously open to humanitarian aid for the Palestinians, will also be restricted by the Egyptian military.

The article quotes from the Washington Post:

Syria: War threat, the US-Russia deal and some left delusions

Click HERE for more on Syria.

By Michael Karadjis

September 25, 2013 -- Syrian Revolution Commentary and Analysis, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- For two and a half years, the Bashar Assad regime has waged a barbaric war against the Syrian populace, using long-range missiles, fighter aircraft, helicopter gunships, tanks, artillery, cluster bombs and almost certainly chemical weapons, not to forget everyday machine gunning and torture, in a bid to crush the heroic uprising of Syria’s “wretched of the earth”, the peasants and urban poor, against his gangster-capitalist regime.

Issues in the current stage of Syrian revolution

A street in Homs shows the extent of damage by government forces during the two-year conflict in Syria. The image taken on May 14 was provided to Syria Witness by Lens Young Homsi.

[For more on Syria, click HERE.]

By Michael Karadjis

July 9, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Recent weeks saw seemingly contradictory developments regarding imperialist plans for Syria. First, on June 14, the US government announced it had finally agreed to provide some small arms directly to “vetted” sections of the Syrian armed opposition, following alleged US “confirmation” that Syria’s Assad regime had used chemical weapons. Then on June 18, the G8 meeting between the US, Russia and six other major imperialist powers issued a joint declaration calling for all parties to the Syrian conflict to attend the Geneva peace summit, declaring the need for a political solution.

Adam Hanieh on Palestine: The Oslo illusion, 20 years later

[For more by Adam Hanieh, click HERE.]

By Adam Hanieh

June 3, 2013 -- The Bullet -- This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the signing of the Oslo Accords between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Israel government. Officially known as the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, the Oslo Accords were firmly ensconced in the framework of the two-state solution, heralding “an end to decades of confrontation and conflict”, the recognition of “mutual legitimate and political rights” and the aim of achieving “peaceful coexistence and mutual dignity and security and … a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement”.

Is there a 'US war on Syria'? The Syrian uprising, the Assad regime, the US and Israel

By Michael Karadjis

May 11, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In the wake of two Israeli airstrikes on targets in Syria on the May 4-5 weekend, the second causing massive explosions close to Damascus and killing at least several dozen Syrian troops, discussion rages about the aims of this aggression and the relationship it has to the ongoing mass uprising and civil war in Syria.

Israel claimed both attacks were aimed at Iranian long-range rockets, or the military depots where they were housed, that were in transit via Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon. As the Zionist regime has continually indicated that its “red line” was the transfer of any significant “game-changing” weaponry to either Hezbollah in Lebanon (which is currently aligned to Syria’s besieged Assad regime) or to the Sunni Islamist rebels fighting to overthrow that regime, this explanation seems plausible.

Adam Hanieh: A strategic overview of the struggles in the Middle East (video)

April 21, 2013 -- SocResVideo -- Adam Hanieh addressed the 2013 April 2013 Socialist Resistance conference in Britain on the social upheavals in the Middle East and their strategic context.

[Adam Hanieh is a lecturer in development studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He is author of Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab States (Palgrave-Macmillan 2011) and a member of the editorial board of the journal Historical Materialism. For more by Adam Hanieh, click HERE.]

South Africa: ANC endorses 'boycott Israel' campaign

By Ali Abunimah

December 21, 2012 -- Electronic Intifada -- For the first time ever, the African National Congress (ANC), the ruling party in South Africa, today made the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) on Israel part of its official policy.

Mbuyiseni Ndlozi of BDS South Africa said the decision “by the ANC’s National Conference, its highest decision making body, is by far the most authoritative endorsement of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel campaign”.

In a press release, BDS South Africa explained: "In October 2012, the ANC’s International Solidarity Conference (ISC) declared its full support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel campaign.

"Today, Lindiwe Zulu announced at the ANC’s 53rd National Conference plenary session, the ANC’s official endorsement .... Giving muscle to resolution 39 (b), the ANC has committed to set up a steering committee to implement these ISC resolutions.

Palestinian workers in Israel's illegal settlements: Who profits?

Palestinian, Israeli and international protesters break into Rami Levi supermarket in the Shaar Binyamin settlement near Jerusalem, to protest against the Israeli occupation and call for a boycott of Israeli settlements, October 2012. Photograph by Yotam Ronen, ActiveStills/Whoprofits.org.

January 2013 -- Whoprofits.org -- In order to work in Israel's settlements, Palestinians must obtain work permits from the Israeli Civil Administration, which also entails the approval of the Israeli internal security service (the Shin Bet). This permit can be annulled at any time, especially when workers demand their rights or try to unionise, or if they (or one of their family members) engage in any kind of political activity. This situation exposes Palestinian workers to extortion by the Israeli internal security service.

Malaysian socialists condemn Israel's Gaza massacre

Released by Choo Chon Kai, International Bureau, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (Socialist Party of Malaysia)

November 21, 2012 -- Parti Sosialis Malaysia -- The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) condemns Israel for its latest brutal assault on the Palestinian people.

Israel has once again intensified its aggression against the Palestinian people of Gaza, by launching airstrikes since November 14, 2012. Israel has amassed troops on the border and threatened a ground invasion on the Gaza Strip. More than 100 Palestinians including at least 23 children have been killed since the new massacre called “Operation Pillar of Defense” began.

Israel escalated the assault on Gaza on the eve of its upcoming legislative election as its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is attempting to gain votes with Palestinian bodies.

The Zionist regime of Israel has attempted numerous times to destroy Hamas, the organisation that leads the struggle of the Palestinian people against oppression by Israel, since Hamas won the Palestinian election in January 2006. Such savage attempts include blockade of the Gaza Strip from 2007 until 2011, which turned Gaza into the largest concentration camp in the world imprisoning 1.5 million Palestinians living in dire conditions. The massacre by Israeli armed force in December 2008 to January 2009 killed more than 1400 people and wounded over 5300 people in a period of three weeks.

Former Israeli soldiers break the silence on the criminal occupation of Palestine

October 24, 2012 -- Green Left TV -- Former Israeli paratrooper Avner Gvaryahu, now an activist with Breaking The Silence, explains to Green Left Weekly's Peter Boyle how 850 former Israeli soldiers have given testimony about the gross injustices against the Palestinian people they have witnessed and made to participate in as part of Israel's military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. He was visiting Australia to promote the book Our Harsh Logic (Scribe Publications).

Tariq Ali: Israel wants Gaza colonised, peace killed with Hamas leader


November 16, 2012 -- Russia Today -- Tariq Ali analyses Israel's latest attacks on the Palestinian people in Gaza.

For more coverage of Israel's assault on Gaza, click HERE.

Palestine: Hugo Chavez condemns Israel's “savage” assault on Gaza Strip

Hugo Chavez criticised Israel's assault on the Gaza Strip as “savage” (Telesur).

By Ewan Robertson

November 16, 2012 -- Venezuelanalysis.com – Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has condemned Israel’s latest assault on the Gaza Strip as “savage”, and called for an end to “aggression” against the Palestinian people. “Another aggression against the Gaza Strip has begun. Savage, savage: the state of Israel bombing the Gaza Strip again”, said Chavez to ministers yesterday in reference to Israel’s ”Pillar of Cloud” airstrike campaign against the Palestinian territory.

Israel began its offensive on November 14 by killing the military chief of the Palestinian organisation Hamas. Agencies report that 28 Palestinians and three Israelis have died in the conflict so far, with a further 250 Palestinians wounded.

The Venezuelan president argued that Israel's operation is occurring “because the [Palestinian] president Mahmoud Abbas has insisted that he’s going to request, once again, the entrance of Palestine as a full member state of the United Nations”.

Stop Israel's new massacre in Gaza: Boycott Israel now! -- Palestinian BDS National Committee

By the Palestinian BDS National Committee

November 15, 2012 -- On November 8, Israel carried out an attack on civilians in the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip, shooting 13-year-old Ahmad Abu Daqqa while he played football with friends. By November 14, Israel had intensified its attacks on Gaza and begun to implement an intensive plan of aggression that at the time of writing has killed at least 15 Palestinians, including at least six children, and injured over 150, predominantly civilians.

Despite biased Western media reports to the contrary, it is clear that Israel has initiated and escalated this new assault [1] on the eve of its upcoming parliamentary elections, underlining the time-honoured Israeli formula of Palestinian bodies for ballots.[2]

It is worth noting that a great majority of the Gaza population are refugees ethnically cleansed by Zionist militias and later the state of Israel during the 1948 Nakba and denied by Israel their UN-sanctioned right to return to their homes of origin.

(Updated Nov. 22) Solidarity from the Asian left: 'Stop Israel’s airstrikes on Gaza and the killing of children and civilians!'


A protest in Parramatta, a suburb of Sydney, on November 15, 2012, called for an end to Israel's attacks on Gaza.
 [To be included in this round-up, please send solidarity statements to linkssocialism@gmail.com.]

The Noynoy government must condemn Israel’s actions and support build-up of international pressure to stop Israeli aggression!

Statement by Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM, Party of the Labouring Masses, Philippines)

(Updated Nov. 16) Palestine: Gaza left activist, 'Israel has declared war', solidarity needed now! Ali Abunimah on Israel's goal


November 14, 2012 -- Al Jazeera's Shakuntala Santhrian interviews Ali Abunimah, co-founder of Electronic Intifada. More from Ali Abunimah below the interview with Shamikh Badra.

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Green Left Weekly's Peter Boyle & Patrick Harrison interview Shamikh Badra, Gaza-based activist with the Palestine People's Party

November 15, 2012 -- Green Left Weekly -- Israel has launched a fresh full-scale war on the besieged people of Gaza. As well as assassinating a Hamas spokesperson (and publicly threatening all Hamas representatives), more than 10 people had been killed by November 15. The dead reportedly includes Omar, an 11-month-old baby whose father works for BBC Arabic.

Palestine: The Histadrut -- its history and role in occupation, colonisation and apartheid

Histadrut poster marking the "Twenty Fifth Anniversary of the National Workers Federation" (1959).

By the Trade Union Friends of Palestine (Ireland)

October 11, 2012 -- BDS Movement -- Israel's trade union federation, the Histadrut, was founded in December 1920 in British Mandate Palestine. From its inception its aims were neither to build workers' solidarity nor represent or campaign for workers' rights.

Instead it was founded as an exclusively Jewish organisation to facilitate the colonisation of Palestine. As such it worked in tandem with the Jewish Agency to promote the exclusion of Palestinian labour and produce, and was at the forefront of the movement to turn Palestine from an Arab country into a Zionist one.

Today it continues to work hand in hand with th government of Israel and promotes and defends policies that violate the basic civil, political and human rights of Palestinians.

Video: Ilan Pappe on 'The forgotten Palestinians'

September 16, 2012 -- Green Left TV/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Celebrated Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, whose landmark publication The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine documented the removal of 700,000 Palestinians from their lands in 1948, has written a new book, The Forgotten Palestinians.

In the book and at his September 16, 2012, community meeting at Sydney University above, Pappe reveals the situation for Palestinians who still live within Israel's borders.

The meeting was the first event of Pappe's 2012 Australian lecture tour. It was hosted by the Sydney Peace Foundation with the Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine and Leichhardt Friends of Hebron. Pappe was in Australia to deliver the annual Edward Said Memorial Lecture at the University of Adelaide.

Film by Green Left TV.

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