- June 13, 2011

Palestinian land loss due to Zionist land grabs for Israel’s creation and its ongoing expansion
disappearing Palestine
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Australians for Palestine fully endorses Palestinian Civil Society’s call for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights. It joins the global movement against Israeli Apartheid and will concentrate its efforts on developing material and providing information about the BDS call and how it can be implemented. AFP’s BDS aims and guidelines can be found HERE. AFP has also created a learning video called “BDS explained – DID YOU KNOW?” which can be seen HERE and OMAR BARGHOUTI, founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) explains BDS and answers the arguments against it HERE A list of products to boycott can be found HERE (by no means comprehensive) or in our BDS Manual which can be downloaded from our website (top of left hand column).
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VLAZNA: Colonial partners in Israel’s crimes 27Jan14 - January 27, 2014

by Vacy Vlazna      -      Intifada-Palestine      -      25 January 2014

Vacy“Imperialism after all is an act of  geographical violence”  Edward Said

 Is it just me, or do you also see a thread of colonial superiority and racism binding US, Australia, Canada to Israel?

Think about it. All are ex-British colonies and like Israel, have a shameful history of genocide committed against their respective Indigenous Peoples and all continue to treat their First Peoples as third class citizens.

I can’t speak for the US and Canada, but, apart from realpolitik and arms trade, an underlying colonial arrogance goes a long way to explain why my ‘civilised’ ‘democratic’ Australian government is complicit in granting Israel impunity to daily perpetrate war crimes and crimes against humanity against generations of Palestinian families.

The tragic past and near narratives of the suffering of unspeakable colonial atrocities against Indigenous Palestinians and Indigenous Australians bear close resemblance and are written in blood and great injustice.

Just as Israel’s Independence Day and the Palestinian Nakba Day (in remembrance of  deportation and dispossession) have a bloody symbiosis,  Australia Day  or Invasion Day, on the 26th January, is celebrated or mourned  according to the victors or the vanquished. Read More…

SHERWOOD: Goodbye Gaza – our correspondent reflects on her time in the Middle East 27Jan14 - January 27, 2014

by Harriet Sherwood     -     The Guardian    -    26 January 2014

Palestinians enjoy the weather on the beach in Gaza CityHazem Balousha was uncharacteristically despondent when he greeted me recently at the end of my long walk through the open-air caged passageway that separates the modern hi-tech state of Israel from the tiny, impoverished, overcrowded Gaza Strip.

Hazem has been a colleague and a friend for three and a half years, a relationship built over more than 20 visits I’ve made to Gaza. He arranges interviews and provides translation; but most importantly he helps me understand the people, the politics and the daily struggle of life in Gaza. We have talked for hours in his car, over coffee, at his home. He has accompanied me to grim refugee camps and upmarket restaurants; to the tunnels in the south and farms in the north; to schools and hospitals; to bomb sites and food markets; to the odd wedding party and rather more funerals. In the face of Gaza’s pressure-cooker atmosphere and bleak prospects, he – like so many I’ve met here – has always been remarkably good-humoured.

But not this time. As we waited for Hamas officials sporting black beards and bomber jackets to check my entry permit, I asked Hazem: “How’s it going?” He shrugged, and began to tell me about the many phone calls he’d had to make to find a replacement cooking gas canister recently, and how his small sons whine when the electricity cuts out for hours each day, depriving them of their favourite TV shows. Read More…

SAUL: Settlements illegal under what law? Take your pick, minister 25Jan14 - January 25, 2014

by Ben Saul    -    The Conversation     -    24 January 2014

794mt6q7-1390446097The Australian government has become an apologist for Israeli war crimes and a wrecker of sacred international humanitarian law principles. Last week, Australia’s foreign minister Julie Bishop asked to see which international law declared Israel’s settlements in Palestine illegal.

Australia’s new position contradicts almost 50 years of international consensus in the United Nations General Assembly, the Security Council and the International Court of Justice.

The Abbott government earlier reversed Australia’s long-standing bipartisan opposition to the settlements in the UN.

During her interview while in Israel, Bishop also claimed that deeming the settlements a war crime “is unlikely to engender a negotiated solution”.

There is no credible legal basis at all for the view that the settlements are legal, unless the self-serving legal fantasies of Israel and its Zionist supporters are naively accepted. The government’s legal advisers would never have told the foreign minister that the settlements are legal. They are too good to say that.

That leaves two possibilities. Either Bishop never sought their advice, or she deliberately ignored it for political reasons. Read More…

COOK: Israel – divide-and-conquer in Nazareth? 18Jan14 - January 18, 2014

by Jonathan Cook
17 January 2014

20141147162391734_20Mounting efforts by Israel to divide its large Palestinian minority along sectarian lines have heightened fears that the Biblical city of Nazareth may be about to return to the scenes of violent clashes witnessed 15 years ago. 

Tensions in the city, the hometown of Jesus and a destination for hundreds of thousands of tourists each year, have risen sharply in recent months after the Israeli government unveiled plans to encourage Christian school leavers to serve in the military. 

Although Nazareth and its surrounding villages are home to the bulk of the 130,000 Palestinian Christians with Israeli nationality, the city itself has a Muslim majority. 

The local leadership has accused the government of Benjamin Netanyahu of pursuing a “colonial policy of divide and rule” towards the country’s 1.5 million Palestinian citizens, who comprise one-fifth of the population. “Netanyahu is playing a very dangerous game, seeking to inflame tensions so that he can pit Christians against Muslims and weaken us as a community,” said Hanna Swaid, a Christian representative in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset.  Read More…

POLLARD: Egypt upheavals threaten to suffocate Gaza 18Jan14 - January 18, 2014

by Ruth Pollard
The Age
18 January 2014

1389940115740.jpg-620x349Gaza City: His wedding gift to her was a booking for two at Gaza’s Rafah border crossing with Egypt – a ticket to freedom to mark the beginning of their married life.

Ayman and Sameeha, who met and fell in love in while Ayman was studying in Paris, planned to return to the city where it all began.

The couple would attend a conference in Geneva, then travel to Paris to honeymoon in a place that allowed them to breathe, away from the siege of Gaza.

It wasn’t to be. After obtaining the appropriate permission and documentation required to leave Gaza – from both Hamas and the Egyptian authorities – Egypt did not open its border, leaving the newlyweds and hundreds of others stranded. Read More…

ABULHAWA: Of negotiations and high treason – Israel-Palestine ‘peace’ 17Jan14 - January 17, 2014

by Susan Ablhawa
16 January 2014

20131229192317382734_20No good for Palestinians will come of the current Middle East talks. Worse, harm seems likely. These negotiations threaten to undo years of work by Palestinian civil society and solidarity partners around the world who have been working tirelessly for a just peace. Their work has been done -principally- through global nonviolent resistance campaigns such as the Boycott Divestment & Sanctions campaign (BDS), the Russell Tribunal, and mounting popular local and international protests, among other tactics.

What we are hearing is that US Secretary of State John Kerry has presented both parties with an interim agreement to “serve as a framework for continued negotiations towards a permanent agreement”. The “final status agreement” would be “based on the 1967 borders”. Concrete concessions with profound implications are being demanded of the Palestinians, but not so for Israel, which is “negotiating” on territory, rights, and resources that already belong to Palestinians. Read More…

BASHARAT: I’d move to Palestine, if it were real 16Jan14 - January 16, 2014

by Oudeh Basharat
14 January 2014

3023295901The creature known as the Arab citizen was the product of a traumatic rape. Yet even he has the right to think about his future.

There are those who see Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s comments about transferring the Triangle region and all its Arab residents to the Palestinian Authority as a devastating blow to Israel’s Arab citizens who, when push comes to shove, would prefer to live in Israel, despite their sloganeering.

But I’m prepared to move, provided that Palestine will be a real country in every way and not just a punching bag. Provided that this longed-for state will have defensible borders, and not porous ones that wink at the neighborhood bully. That there will a Palestinian Defense Force that will defend the state from the sickly hunger of one of its neighbors and that its air force will be able to scare off all attackers. That defensible territorial waters will be assured, with Palestinian missile boats on the lookout; moreover, those Palestinian territorial waters must be under full Palestinian sovereignty, so that there will be no need to worry about the neighbor’s missile boats. That all activities by the “hilltop youth” be stopped, or that they will be punished by Palestinian legal authorities. That the neighbor’s military will not conduct night raids with undercover forces. Read More…

BAROUD: World must act to save Yarmouk camp in Syria 15Jan14 - January 15, 2014

by Ramzy Baroud
Gulf News
14 January 2014
1233678596The title was more baffling than revealing. ‘Abbas orders immediate food supplies to Yarmouk camp in Syria’, was the headline in a news report by the Palestinian News Agency (WAFA) on December 28, 2013. The article itself was no less confounding. The WAFA report, which was written in a way that conveyed a sense of urgency, spoke of orders emanating from Ramallah in the West Bank, to send food and other supplies to Palestinian refugees in Syria’s largest refugee camp, in order to stave off starvation. “The president’s decision came following reports that five Palestinian refugees have died of hunger in the besieged camp,” according to the report.

But the suffering of Yarmouk started much earlier and many have reportedly perished as a result of the war. Why didn’t Abbas issue such ‘orders’ then? Needless to say, by the time of writing this article on January 11, neither any supplies reached the camp nor were Abbas’ ‘orders’ taken seriously.

Yarmouk is disowned, as millions of Palestinian refugees were also disowned when the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and Israel signed the Oslo Accords more than 20 years ago. Read More…

SABAWI: “Politicians are cowards” on Israel, says prominent Australian scholar 15Jan14 - January 15, 2014

by Samah Sabawi
The Electronic Intifada
14 January 2014

5839214898_3b768ee286_bThe prominent Australian academic and ethicist Stuart Rees has been targeted by Zionist lobby groups over his calls for a boycott of Israel.

Rees, professor emeritus at the University of Sydney, was awarded the Order of Australia in 2005 for his services to international relations, among other awards recognizing his work.

During 2013, Shurat HaDin, a group of lawyers with close ties to the Israeli government and security services, threatened to sue him.

In a formal complaint, the group alleged that calls for a boycott of Israel made by Rees and Jake Lynch, his colleague at the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPACS) at the University of Sydney, violated the Australian Racial Discrimination Act.

Although Shurat HaDin does not appear to have acted on its threats against Rees, it has gone ahead with legal action against Lynch.

Refusing to be silenced, Rees has remained active in supporting Palestinian human rights.

He spoke to Samah Sabawi.

Samah Sabawi: You’ve been involved in advocacy for human rights for a long time. Based on your experience how does advocating for Palestinian rights differ from that of other causes?

Stuart Rees: The Palestinian conflict differs from other human rights issues in several ways.

The mainstream media, in particular in Australia takes an “Israel right or wrong” approach in their coverage. Read More…

AMAYREH: Israeli Arabs reject proposed land swap 14Jan14 - January 14, 2014

by Khalid Amayreh   
13 January 2014

201411215118877734_20Leaders of Israel’s Arab community, which accounts for a fifth of the country’s total population, have strongly rejected an informal but highly controversial proposal for swapping some Arab communities in Israel proper for Jewish settlements in the West Bank in the context of a prospective final peace deal with the Palestinians.

The proposal was made by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who argued that the arrangement was by no means taboo and that it would serve and expedite the nationalistic aspirations of both sides.

The Israeli government has yet to officially elaborate on the contentious proposal. A spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to comment on the subject, which observers in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories interpret as indicating that Netanyahu and Lieberman don’t see eye to eye on the issue. Read More…

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