Friday, December 5, 2008

Flyer for Protest against Zionist Fundraiser, December 11, 2008

Click on flyer to enlarge it.

It is also on-line at:


Flyer text is below:

Who Am I? What Am I Waiting For? *

Stand for Justice.
Protest Israel’s Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.
Thursday, December 11, 6:00 PM
Yspilanti Marriott at Eagle Crest

We will gather in peaceful protest at the intersection of Huron St. and James L. Hart Parkway, just south of [I-94] Exit 183.

Israel is funded in part by your tax dollars and monies raised by the Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor.

The Federation is planning to raise one million dollars this Thursday.
At least 25% of these funds go directly to assist Apartheid Israel in completion of their planned ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian People. [Ref: The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine by Ilan Pappe].

Help us protest this continued assault on the people of Palestine.

* Answers: My name is Handala. My artist creator, Naji Salim Al-Ali promised to expose my face at the end of Jewish Supremacism in Palestine. He was assassinated in London in the summer of 1987.

Sponsored by Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends.
Endorsed by Middle East Task Force.


Berkeley: Zionist bone-breakers at work.

Boycott the Barbaric State of Israel.

See the "Daily Cal" article today--

"Historical Meaning of The Palestinian Flag"

DAILY CALIFORNIAN (University of California at Berkeley)

Political Zionism-the quest to establish and hold a Jewish-majority state within historic Palestine-has largely been predicated on the belief that Palestinians should not have the right to live on their ancestral lands. In 1948, Israel's founders carried this philosophy to its logical conclusion and used military force to drive more than 700,000 Palestinians out of their homes in a carefully planned campaign of ethnic cleansing. In 1967, Israel conquered and occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and then proceeded to build hundreds of colonies in violation of international law while abusing the human rights of the indigenous Palestinian population.

In December 1987, Palestinians organized a grassroots uprising in an effort to liberate themselves from Israel's occupation. Palestinians refused to pay taxes, they boycotted all Israeli goods and they planted backyard gardens. And they displayed the Palestinian national flag, which was illegal under the terms of the occupation.

Then-Israeli defense minister Yitzhak Rabin ordered his soldiers to break the bones of Palestinians who participated in this uprising or who displayed their flag. Israeli soldiers injured, jailed and killed thousands of Palestinians for their crimes of struggling for human rights and self-determination.

On Nov. 13, three Palestinian students displayed their national flag from Eshelman Hall balcony. However, unlike in the occupied Palestinian territories, free speech is at least theoretically legal in the United States and on this campus. But that didn't appear to matter to the members of Tikvah and Zionist Freedom Alliance who apparently assaulted the Palestinians while yelling racist epithets. One wonders what would have happened had this assault taken place in the occupied territories, where so many bones have been broken, lives taken and land stolen.

The assault was a microcosm of Israel's oppression of the Palestinians. It was yet another example of right-wing Zionism attempting to crush any symbol of the Palestinian people's existence.

During the 1987 uprising, Palestinians sought an alternative way to affirm their existence. The Palestinian flag is green, red, and black, so instead of holding up flags, Palestinians held up watermelons. Perhaps to be safe on the UC Berkeley campus, Palestinian students should also hold up watermelons instead of their flag.

At a recent ASUC meeting, Senator John Moghtader refused to answer the question, "What do Tikvah members mean when they chant 'From the river to the sea, Israel will be free?'" Moghtader's response was, "It means the liberation of the Jewish people."

Moghtader didn't want his fellow senators to know the truth: that this hateful slogan stands for the complete triumph of the Zionist project, resulting in a permanent Israeli Apartheid state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea in which all Palestinians are either subjugated or expelled. An independent Palestinian state would never emerge, and the Palestinian flag would effectively cease to have any meaning. Tikvah's vision is becoming more real every day, as the international community has done nothing to end Israel's Apartheid rule over the Palestinians. U.S. taxpayers fund Israel's military hardware, and this university is deeply invested in corporations that profit from Israel's Apartheid.

I hope someday the U.S. and the university end their shameful role in supporting the right-wing Israeli/Tikvah agenda of permanent Apartheid in Palestine. In the meantime, students on this campus have an opportunity to stand up for justice. Five conscientious Boalt Hall law students initiated a petition to recall Senator Moghtader as a result of his role in the Nov 13 incident as well as other behavior that "silences" others and "undermines the physical safety of students." Support the recall of Senator Moghtader.


Matthew Taylor is a UC Berkeley student. Reply to


Thursday, December 4, 2008

December 11-- "Protest Israel’s Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine"

Stand for Justice:
Protest Israel’s Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.

Thursday December 11, 2008, at 6:00 PM.
Yspilanti Marriott at Eagle Crest,
Ypsilanti, Michigan.

At 6 PM, we will gather in peaceful protest at the intersection of Huron St. and
James L. Hart Parkway, just south of [I-94] Exit 183.

Inside the Marriott, the Jewish Federation of Washtenaw County will be raising money, in large part for Israel.

As Gaza starves, the Federation will be inside enjoying desserts, "pre-glow dinner", and the so-called "insights" of NPR Political Correspondent Mara Liasson, who is also a FOX News Channel Political Analyst.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Massachusetts: Major vote against Apartheid Israel

"Americans Vote Yes for Equality Between Jews and Non-Jews Inside


by the Somerville Divestment Project

Full article on the Web at:

November 5, 2008

Election day in the United States, 2008, will be remembered in most history books as the day
Americans elected the first African-American as president. But it also deserves to go down in
history for another reason. It was the first day when Americans rejected the instructions of their pro-Israel politicians and newspapers and instead voted for the principle that non-Jews should be equal with Jews under the law inside Israel, and not discriminated against as they are today in apartheid Israel.

The Somerville Divestment Project (SDP) placed Question 4 on the ballot in two state
representative districts, one in Somerville and the other in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The
question asked, "Shall the state representative from this district be instructed to vote in
favor of a non-binding resolution calling on the federal government to support the right of
all people, including non-Jewish Palestinian citizens of Israel, to live free from laws that
give more rights to people of one religion than another?"

The "Yes" votes outnumbered the "No" votes 9,100 to 5,542 in Somerville, and 9,637 to 3,650 in Cambridge. If Obama had won by this kind of a margin it would have been declared a Super-Landslide!

Not a single politician or newspaper supported Question 4. On the contrary, the Somerville
Journal reported in its election week edition that, "The City of Somerville, including all city
aldermen, does not support questions 4 and 5, said spokesman Tom Champion. The mayor of
Somerville also opposed Question 4 and the so-called “Progressive” Democrats of Somerville
were silent (apparently supporting equal rights is not part of the “progressive” agenda.) The only other Somerville newspaper, the Somerville News, editorialized, "The Somerville Divestment Project has divided Somerville residents by bringing up far-away, world conflicts in a municipal context. Reject the tactics of the Somerville Divestment project and vote no on Question 4."

Apparently the voters saw things differently.

In 2006 the SDP placed two questions (5 and 6) similar to Question 4 on the ballot in Somerville.
One called for Somerville to divest from Israel and the other called for supporting the right of all
refugees, including Palestinian refugees, to return to their homeland.

In spite of intense “Vote No” campaigning by the Boston Globe, both Somerville newspapers and the Israeli Consul for New England, as well as Mayor Curtatone, Congressman Capuano, and both candidates for governor—Deval Patrick (now the Democratic Party governor) and Kerry Healy the Republican--featuring glossy mass mailings and signboards with photographs of all four politicians saying “We Stand With Israel, Vote No on Questions 5 and 6,” and despite the unanimity of all these “respectable” leaders making many voters wonder if perhaps the SDP’s ballot questions that seemed so reasonable on the surface might actually reflect some kind of bad hidden agenda, despite all this the “Yes” vote was 31% for divestment and 45% for supporting the right of return of Palestinians.

Tuesday’s vote was therefore not the first time voters rejected the mainstream politicians to
support human rights for Palestinians.....

The Significance of This Vote is Enormous

The significance of this vote is enormous. It demonstrates that Americans support the principle of equality, and believe that Israel is wrong in discriminating against non-Jews under the law. It
shows that Americans do not want their government to support this discrimination inside Israel,
regardless of whether Israel is "our ally" or a "Jewish state."

It shows, in other words, that when given a chance to choose between the principle of equality versus the Zionist principle of inequality (that Israel must be a "Jewish" state in which the sovereign authority is "the Jewish people" and not all citizens equally) then Americans chose equality, even when their politicians and newspapers tell them not to....


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

150 Protesters Accuse the President of Apartheid Israel of being a "War Criminal", and of starving Gaza

"Peres. Unmoved by protest"
Photo: AP


"UK protestors call Peres 'war criminal' "

"President's address in front of 1,000 Oxford University students interrupted by small group of demonstrators claiming Israel ethnically cleansed Palestinians, calling for end to Gaza siege.

"Peres: We don't need your permission to stay alive"

by Hagit Klaiman

Published: 11.19.08, 07:28 / Israel News

See the full article in YNet News at:,7340,L-3625214,00.html

Pro-Palestinian protestors interrupted President Shimon Peres' speech Tuesday evening at Britain's Oxford University. The angry students called Peres a "war criminal" and called for an end to the Israeli occupation in the Palestinian territories.

Peres was expected to address the two houses of the British parliament on Wednesday.

The Israeli president spoke before some 1,000 British students at Oxford, while dozens of other students protested outside the lecture hall. They carried signs reading, "A person cannot be called 'a man of peace' if he develops nuclear weapons", and chanted "free Palestine" and "occupation is a crime".

A propaganda leaflet, titled "Peres is a war criminal", was handed out outside the hall.

The leaflet read, "In the past 60 years he contributed to and was responsible for Israeli terror and the ongoing occupation. He recruited and armed the Hagana terrorists who led the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948.

"This man is responsible for the only nuclear weapons cache in the entire Middle East. As the president of Israel, he is responsible for starving a million and a half Palestinians subject to a siege in Gaza."

Protestors inside the hall interrupted Peres' speech several times. One of them shouted at him, "I am here on behalf of a million and a half residents of Gaza who are being bombed by Israel every day. I am here in the name of 11,000 Palestinian prisoners. I am here in the name of the 800,000 refugees expelled. War criminal, you should be ashamed of yourself."

'Hitler would also remain silent'

The audience did not keep quiet in light of the ongoing attacks. When one of the demonstrators called Peres a "war criminal", most of those present booed her. She did not hesitate and replied, 'If Hitler were here now, he would remain silent as you are silent and listen to Peres' speech."

The president, who remained composed and kept his restraint, responded to one of the protestors by saying, "We have the right to stay alive. We don't need your permission."

One of the students, who claimed to be demonstrating on behalf of all of Gaza's residents, was told by Peres, "Sometimes it's not so terrible to open your eyes and ears and keep your mouth closed for a different opportunity."

At the end of the event, Peres said he was unmoved by the demonstration and would continue his PR efforts for Israel....


"Unflappable Peres delivers consistent message"

by Anshel Pfeffer
November 19, 2008

In the "Jewish Chronicle" (London, U.K.).

See the full article at:

President Shimon Peres showed grace under fire on Tuesday night when he was systematically heckled and barracked by Oxford students at the city's Sheldonian Theatre.

The trip to Oxford on Tuesday evening was always going to be the most unpredictable part of the presidential visit. On the one hand there was Mr Peres' insistence on plunging head-first into the academic boycott issue, and on the other, the preparations of various pro-Palestinian groups to protest against the visit of the man they described as a "war criminal" caused a lot of worry to the security detail.

In the event, the detail of mounted police with riot gear outside the Sheldonian Theatre, where Mr Peres was to give his lecture on "The Globalisation of Peace" was unnecessary. About 150 demonstrators gathered outside but they seemed content to chant "Free, free Palestine" and hand out leaflets detailing Mr Peres' "crimes against humanity" and blaming the Americans for 9/11. But the main concern was what was going to happen inside the splendid hall. The university had ruled that any student with a valid university card would be allowed in on a first come, first served basis- and trouble was expected. A team of bodyguards and a group of proctors were ranged around the theatre in readiness.

On arrival, Mr Peres was received with thunderous applause and no sign of any dissent. But three minutes into his lecture, when he was explaining how Barack Obama's election was the realisation of the Zionist dream of eradicating antisemitism and racism, a young man stood up and shouted: "I am here as the representative of 800,000 Palestinians ethnically cleansed by Israel."

A few people shushed him; Mr Peres continued speaking as if nothing had happened and the protestor sat down. But for the next hour, every five minutes or so, another student got up to represent a different sector of the downtrodden Palestinian people. Only once, when one actually started walking towards the president, shouting: "How dare you, leader of an apartheid state," was he bundled out of the hall by the proctors.

Throughout these disturbances, Mr Peres carried on unflappably, though towards the end he seemed to be chafing a bit. To one heckler who claimed to be representing "thousands of farmers who had their land taken away by Israeli settlers" he said: "It's not bad to open the eyes and ears and keep the mouth for a later occasion...."


Monday, November 17, 2008

Ballot question against Israeli state racism--

"Palestinian Rights Win on Question #4"

November 5, 2008

On Boston Indymedia at:

In Somerville and Cambridge, Massachusetts, a ballot question supporting the right of Palestinians to "live free from laws that give more rights to people of one religion than another" passed in both cities, on November 4, 2008.

This was an effort launched by the Somerville Divestment Project (SDP) last year.

SDP has worked in coalition with organizations such as, Cambridge Residents for Human Rights (CRHR) and Jamaica Plain Residents for Human Rights (JPRHR), to highlight the needs of Palestinians to live free of intimidation on their lands.

This letter describes the successful ballot question in more detail:



"Question 4 targets Israel"

In "Cambridge Chronicle" & "Cambridge TAB", at:

Oct 30, 2008

Cambridge -

If a country has laws that explicitly discriminate against people of a given religion then it impossible for victims of the discrimination to appeal to a court of law for redress since the laws themselves are discriminatory. This is the subject of Question 4 in Somerville and Cambridge.

Question 4 calls for our federal government to “support the right of all people, including non-Jewish Palestinians citizens of Israel, to live free from laws that give more rights to one group than another.”

That such laws exist in Israel is undeniable. The Law of Return explicitly allows Jews from anywhere in the world to immigrate to Israel automatically, without any complications, while non-Jews cannot. Even non-Jews whose relatives are UN-registered refugees from the area are denied the same rights as Jews are given.

This has real consequences for non-Jewish citizens of Israel. A non-Jewish person, who has a sick grandfather that wants to come to live in Israel in order to be taken care of by loving relatives, is out of luck. A Jewish person in the same situation can bring his/her grandfather with no questions asked.

Not surprisingly any person, Jewish or non-Jewish, who advocates that laws change to make Israel a real democracy with equal rights for all citizens is explicitly forbidden to participate in government (see Basic Law 7A).

Legalized discrimination is not new. The US and South Africa once had such systems; they were unfair and dehumanized both the advantaged group and the disenfranchised group. The only chance for reconciliation of conflict in the Middle East begins with ending the legalized discrimination against people who are supposed to be “equal citizens” in a supposed “democracy.” Indeed, what kind of democracy does Israel have if 20 percent of its citizens live under dramatically different laws because on their religion?

Legalized discrimination is a core illness in Israel, in place since its founding, and has resulted in many decades of unfortunate symptoms that involve human rights violations against Jews and non-Jews. Instead of judging people by the “content of their character” Israel’s founders chose to judge people by the Jewish content of their blood.

A “yes” vote on Question 4 sends a signal that blatantly discriminatory laws against non-Jewish Christian and Muslim people is not the way toward resolving the conflict and in fact is the way to perpetuate it.




Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Boycott Israel: Protest Israeli orchestra at University of Michigan.

By hosting these two Israeli government-sponsored institutions--the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and the Batsheva Dance Company...

...The University Musical Society is openly disrespecting the will of the occupied Palestinian people, as expressed in numerous boycott calls.

Therefore, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra's appearance will be the cause of a very visible protest outside Hill Auditorium, this Sunday, November 16, 2008, at 3 PM:

Click on the flyer to enlarge it.


November 16th protest:

BOYCOTT ISRAEL: Boycott the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Israeli Apartheid Institutions: The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra & the Batsheva Dance Company

The Middle East Task Force of Ann Arbor, Michigan is organizing a nonviolent protest outside the Hill Auditorium on Sunday, November 16, 2008, at 3:00 PM in support of the boycott of two Israeli cultural organizations touring the US. Both organizations will be hosted by the University Musical Society (UMS), based in Ann Arbor.

The rationale for the boycott is adequately developed in the letter to UMS President Ken Fischer here. The purpose of this post is to provide more information about the two organizations in question, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra (JSO) and Batsheva Dance Company (BDC).

According to a recent article on the ardently pro-Israel web site, ISRAEL21C:

The orchestra was founded in the 1940s as an adjunct to BBC radio in Mandatory Palestine, and became the Kol Israel (Voice of Israel) national radio orchestra with the establishment of the State of Israel. In the 1970s, it was expanded and became the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA).


Thursday, October 2, 2008

"Support Palestinian Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel"

Web site for International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network:


Support Palestinian Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel

We, representatives of Palestinian civil society, call upon international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era. We appeal to you to pressure your respective states to impose embargoes and sanctions against Israel. We also invite conscientious Israelis to support this Call, for the sake of justice and genuine peace.

IJAN encourages its members to take up actions in support of the, "Call from Palestinian Civil Society for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel (text of full call). Rather than lead BDS efforts, IJAN encourages and supports participation of its members in local, national and international campaigns. Where such organizing is not yet happening, we encourage our members to identify like-minded organizations to develop a BDS campaign plan, starting with some actions that individuals can do themselves, with a few friends or fellow IJAN members, and/or with other organizations.

You don't need to wait for an organized campaign to participate in some of the following BDS activities described below. IJAN can support you in getting connected with people all over the world who are involved in BDS work. There are also many tool kits and resources created in Palestine and available on-line-several of these are listed below.

1) Consumer boycott of Israeli goods:

Individual consumers can show their opposition to Israel's project by participating in a consumer boycott of Israeli goods and services. A consumer boycott works in two ways: firstly by generating bad publicity for the offender and secondly by applying economic pressure for change.


The Israeli barcode starts with 729

Do it yourself! Go to the BDS Movement website above for the details on the following 5 easy things you can do to participate in the consumer boycott of Israeli goods.

1. Don't buy Israeli goods

2. Identify and lobby retail outlets that stock Israeli goods and ask them to de-shelve Israeli products

3. Boycott and picket outlets that do not respond to lobbying

4. Set up a local campaign and website promoting the boycott

5. Take it a step further...

2) Academic/cultural boycott:

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel was launched in Ramallah in April 2004 by a group of Palestinian academics and intellectuals to join the growing international boycott movement. The Campaign built on the Palestinian call for a comprehensive economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel issued in August 2002 and a statement made by Palestinian academics and intellectuals in the occupied territories and in the Diaspora calling for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions in October 2003.

We, Palestinian academics and intellectuals, call upon our colleagues in the international community to comprehensively and consistently boycott all Israeli academic and cultural institutions as a contribution to the struggle to end Israel's occupation, colonization and system of apartheid, by applying the following:

  • Refrain from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions;
  • Advocate a comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions at the national and international levels, including suspension of all forms of funding and subsidies to these institutions;
  • Promote divestment and disinvestment from Israel by international academic institutions;
  • Work toward the condemnation of Israeli policies by pressing for resolutions to be adopted by academic, professional and cultural associations and organizations;
  • Support Palestinian academic and cultural institutions directly without requiring them to partner with Israeli counterparts as an explicit or implicit condition for such support.

3) Sports Boycott:

International sporting events can play an important role in shaping a country's image in the rest of the world. A sporting boycott of Israel would send a powerful message that its policy of occupation, expulsion and racism against Palestinians is unacceptable.


Swiss activists disrupts Israel's World Cup qualifier, September 2007

Do it yourself! Go to the BDS Movement website for the details on the following 3 easy things you can do to participate in the sports boycott:

For the BDS campaign to be successful, fans, players and sporting institutions need to be drawn into concerted lobbying efforts. The first step is to transform perceptions of Israel, building a climate in which teams and players refuse to play in Israeli sports grounds, not because of any potential "danger" or "risk", but as a statement of protest against Israel's occupation and apartheid.

1. Identifying and lobbying clubs who maintain relations with Israel

2. Lobbying pro-Palestinian sports bodies, clubs and personalities

3. Lobbying sports personalities who lend their support to Israel

4) Divestment from the Israeli Economy:

Divestment (or disinvestment) means putting and end to investments in Israel and companies supporting Israeli occupation and apartheid.

Encourage and pressure individuals, financial institutions and companies to shed their investments in Israel in order to curb the profits of Israel's war and apartheid economy. To raise awareness about Israel's policies and true nature among companies, and encourage them to use their economic influence to put pressure on Israel to end the discrimination and expulsion of the Palestinian people and the occupation of their land.

Do it Yourself! Go to the BDS Movement website for the details on the following 4 ways to divest from Israel:

1. Get rid of your own investments in Israel

2. Lobby financial institutions:

3. Put pressure on organizations that you are a member of

4. Shareholder Activism

5) Pressure local government to divest from and enforce sanctions on Israel:

Action at the level of local and regional governments aims to cut all ties between municipalities or regional councils and Israel at cultural, economic, and diplomatic levels. This can be achieved by passing measures or resolutions targeting Israeli produce, institutional ties and cooperation or investments and bonds the local government may hold in Israel.

Do it Yourself! Go to the BDS Movement website for the details on the following 4 ways to pressure your local government to divest from and pass sanctions against Israel:

1. Motions, resolutions and twinning

2. Engage with your local politicians

3. Establish a local campaign group to put pressure on local politicians and administrations

4. Link local activism to other BDS campaigns

6) Organize your union to divest from and enforce sanctions on Israel:

A trade union boycott of Israel means that trade unions cut economic, social and political ties with Israel and build ties with Palestinian unions. Trade unions should respond to the BDS call that has, among others, been put forward by the major Palestinian trade unions. Palestinian workers are suffering under Israeli apartheid policies of exploitation that aim to bring in the profits necessary to maintain the occupation. Trade unions globally must transform workers solidarity into practice and ensure that they are not indirectly providing financial support to the Occupation by propping up the Israeli economy.

Do it Yourself! Go to the BDS Movement website for the details on the following 3 ways to pressure your union to divest from and pass sanctions against Israel:

1. Motions, measures and resolutions

2. Form or join a "Friends of Palestine" group inside your union

3. Show the commitment of your union at national and international level

The following two websites offer a vast selection of educational materials, posters, toolkits, sticker templates and other materials to support BDS efforts:

The BDS Movement:

Stop the Wall Campaign:



IJAN News:


Launch Campaign

Confront Zionism - Divest from Israel

Call to Action

Join Us!

Support Palestinian Call

for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel

sign up for our
mailing list:

Saturday, September 27, 2008

"The Israelis at the airport acted like Jim Crow segregationists of old, never forsaking an opportunity to publicly humiliate black people."


Freedom Rider:
"Boycott Israel"

On the Web at:

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

To call attention to Israel's apartheid policies is to ask for immediate labeling as an "anti-Semite." Just ask former president Jimmy Carter. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performer Abdur-Rahim Jackson was separated from the troupe and made to dance for Israeli airport security - twice - to prove he wasn't a danger to the Jewish State, based on his name.

"Israel's dismal human rights record has created numerous calls for economic boycotts of that nation," and cultural boycotts, as well. "The Israelis at the airport acted like Jim Crow segregationists of old, never forsaking an opportunity to publicly humiliate black people." Israel acts like the U.S. "did in its own apartheid era."

Freedom Rider: Boycott Israel

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

"The Israelis at the airport acted like Jim Crow segregationists of old."

When Zionism is legitimately called racist, the howls of protest are predictable and immediate. Critics of Israel are vilified by charges of anti-Semitism and disparaged or ignored by the press. The American media include criticism of Israel among the many subjects that are taken off the table and disappeared from the list of permitted subjects of discourse.

Yet there are times when Israel's racism becomes obvious in a way that cannot be ignored. Recently the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performed in Israel as part of an international tour. When one of the dancers, Abdur-Rahim Jackson, went through security at Jerusalem's Ben Gurion airport he was taken aside by Israeli security where he was asked to dance, not once but twice.

"To be greeted like this because of my name, it took me back a little bit," said Mr. Jackson. Jackson attempted to explain that he was a dancer when the security officer told him to perform. "I stood up. I asked what type of dance? He said, ‘Just do anything.' I just moved around." Jackson was interrogated a second time and was again asked to dance.

He was told that his Muslim name was cause for concern and he was advised by the security officers to change it. Mr. Jackson was understated in his reaction to this affront. He admitted being "embarrassed" but declined to file an official complaint. The company performed as scheduled and little more was said about the incident. "Aside from the incident at the airport, we've received a warm welcome from the people of Israel," said artistic director Judith Jamison.

"Jackson attempted to explain that he was a dancer when the security officer told him to perform."

The incident was outrageous and should have been treated as such by Mr. Jackson, the Alvin Ailey company, the United States government and the people of Israel, who we are always told are the only civilized people in that part of the world. That is just one of the propaganda talking points about Israel that has been etched in American consciousness. Israel is good, its neighbors are bad and they are unworthy of any consideration that their grievances might be legitimate.

This narrative persists despite easily verified reports of continued Israeli human rights abuses. There are documented reports of Gazans in need of medical care being denied permission to leave their prison nation unless they agree to spy for Israel. The Israeli Defense forces use civilians as human shields, destroy thousands of Palestinian homes, and detain more than 10,000 who sit behind bars, without charge or trial.

Israel's dismal human rights record has created numerous calls for economic boycotts of that nation. The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel was formed in 2004. They requested that their colleagues around the world "comprehensively and consistently boycott all Israeli academic and cultural institutions until Israel withdraws from all the lands occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem; removes all its colonies in those lands; agrees to United Nations resolutions relevant to the restitution of Palestinian refugees rights; and dismantles its system of apartheid."

"The Israeli Defense forces use civilians as human shields, destroy thousands of Palestinian homes, and detain more than 10,000."

It is awful that an internationally recognized and respected institution like the Alvin Ailey company would defy this simple and reasonable request made by fellow artists. Yet in fairness, it must be pointed out that respecting the boycott would be difficult for the Alvin Ailey group to carry out, even if predisposed to do so. Cultural institutions are dependent on the largesse of wealthy benefactors, and the good will of powerful people. If the invitation had been rejected the Alvin Ailey company might have endangered its very existence.

The Israelis at the airport acted like Jim Crow segregationists of old, never forsaking an opportunity to publicly humiliate black people. Israel does function as America did in its own apartheid era. It does so with impunity, comfortable in the knowledge that no one who speaks the truth about that government will ever be powerful enough to take action against it.

Despite the embarrassment and trauma he endured, Abdur-Rahim Jackson is actually luckier than others who ran afoul of the IDF. He could have been shot dead, like BBC camera man James Miller, or crushed by a tractor like Rachel Corrie. Jackson was made to feel less than human, but he isn't dead. Perhaps he knew what he was doing when he decided not to complain.

Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgandaReport.Com.

Ms. Kimberley maintains an edifying and frequently updated blog at More of her work is also available at her Black Agenda Report archive page.

Comments (39)add comment

Sanction Israel

written by Mike , September 17, 2008

Another great article by Ms Kimberley. I'm waiting for members of the Black Congressional Caucus to weigh in on this issue(sike.) We all know, like Obama their probably shit'in in their pants. However, I'm surprized that Ms Jamison continued the performance.

Israel is a racist, aparthied, terrorist, occupying force which is an abomination onto humanity. And Obama has no problem supporting the evil that is Israel. It was indeed embarrassing to watch Obama campaign deny former presindent Carter due honors to speak at the recent democratic convention.

If their was ever a county in the universe that deserved to be sanctioned... it's Israel. I'll be calling members of the CBC (cowards) to get their response to the humilation of this black dancer.

Another Biting Commentary

written by T O , September 17, 2008

Thanks again Margaret for remaining unabashed in speaking truth to power. Barack Obama's infantile and naive mentality is dangerous to those who have an appetite for peace in the middle east.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Boycott-Israel Resolution is attempted at Michigan Student Assembly

The Michigan Daily

Previously on the Web at:

By Chris Herring, written on Sep. 24, 2008

By Matt Aaronson
Daily Staff Reporter

Published on THE WIRE, then deleted:

"...An attempted resolution proposal"

Ann Arbor resident and anti-Israel activist Blaine Coleman and a woman who claimed her name was Abeer Hamza tried to propose a resolution “to boycott apartheid-Israel, and to stop apartheid on campus.”

The resolution, handed out to the assembly in a packet, listed three items in its summary: “Boycott all Israeli products,” “Take that $1 trillion you’re spending to kill Muslims, and spend it instead on rebuilding Detroit,” and “Stop 400 years of white privilege—the University should admit every black high school graduate.” As a number of assembly members got up to leave during his speech, Coleman remarked “If you’re against rebuilding Detroit, you’ll want to leave the room now.”

MSA President Sabrina Shingwani reminded the assembly that everyone who takes the floor at meetings is entitled to the same freedom of speech. (Though it’s unclear whether Coleman had a right to be there. More on that later)

The woman who identified herself as Abeer Hamza called Israel “a major force of destruction” and claimed that if “all the things that Israel has done” had been done by another country, the assembly “would be here every night passing resolutions.”

After the speakers finished, Shingwani told the assembly there is currently no such resolution and that the proper procedure for proposing such a resolution had not been followed.

Later, Student General Counsel Michael Benson reiterated the importance of respecting the First Amendment rights of those voicing their opinions before the Assembly. He ripped up his copy of the proposal, as another student representative already had, before yielding back his time.

As for Coleman, he left the meeting when he realized someone from MSA had notified the Department of Public Safety of his appearance at the meeting. Coleman has been told not to return to University property by campus police because of his involvement in past incidents.


Blaine Coleman
said (Sep. 24, 2008 at 1:11AM)
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Thanks to Mr. Aaronson for accurately reporting the substance of the Boycott-Israel Resolution.

It is remarkable that, whenever you peacefully ask for humanitarian boycotts against Israel, Israel’s defenders reach for a gun– in this case, you see MSA members reaching for the police.

Palestinians face worse. Many thousands have been shot dead by the Israeli army, on Palestinian land. Over a million Palestinians are being starved in Gaza, by an Israeli army siege… as MSA members tear up Palestine human rights resolutions in Ann Arbor.

What kind of “democracy” is that?

What kind of “Free Speech” is that?


Friday, September 19, 2008

MSA Resolution to Boycott Apartheid Israel, and to Stop Apartheid on Campus


Malcolm X, meeting with the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1964.

This was sixteen years after European Zionists invaded Palestine, destroying over 400 Palestinian villages.

It was an extremely violent ethnic cleansing operation.

It exiled the majority of Palestinians out of Palestine.


This Resolution has been proposed for an immediate vote by the Michigan Student Assembly, at the University of Michigan.

This Resolution then was torn up by the Assembly's General Counsel, as the "Michigan Daily" reporter watched:

But the Resolution was again presented to the Assembly for a vote.

This Resolution has also been proposed for a vote by the University's LSA Student Government:

Resolution to Boycott Apartheid Israel,

and to Stop Apartheid on Campus

Resolution Summary:

  1. Boycott all Israeli products.
  2. Take that $1 trillion you’re spending to kill Muslims, and spend it instead on re-building Detroit.
  3. Stop 400 years of White Privilege—the University should admit every Black high school graduate.

  1. Boycott all Israeli products

WHEREAS, White Supremacism, including Zionism, is the most genocidal force on Earth,

WHEREAS, Congress has paid $300 billion to Israel, according to Congressman John Dingell,

WHEREAS, Israel spent that money on a genocidal ethnic cleansing campaign against the Palestinian people, which has culminated in the Israeli siege against Gaza,

WHEREAS, Israel has forced 1.5 million Palestinians into a concentration-camp existence in Gaza, where childhood malnutrition and anemia are rampant,

WHEREAS, Israel is threatening to unleash a “Holocaust” on Gaza,

WHEREAS, Malcolm X was right— the Zionists had no “legal or moral right to invade Arab Palestine, uproot its Arab citizens from their homes and seize all Arab property for themselves”

WHEREAS, Israel’s alliance with Apartheid South Africa was "more intimate and more extensive than anything similar in Israel’s history", according to Professor Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi,

WHEREAS, Israel has hundreds of nuclear weapons, which it tried to share with Apartheid South Africa,

WHEREAS, Israel is training its pilots to nuke Iran, a land of 76 million people who have never invaded anyone,

WHEREAS, Israel trained and oversaw SAVAK, the brutal force of torturers who kept the Shah of Iran in power,

WHEREAS, the United States has been bleeding Iran with economic sanctions, then with U.S.-imposed dictatorship, then with U.S.-fueled invasions, almost continuously since 1952,

WHEREAS, those economic sanctions still make it impossible for Iranians to get spare parts for any airplane, from anywhere in the world,

WHEREAS, Israel is demanding even crueler economic sanctions against Iran,

THEREFORE, the Michigan Student Assembly demands that Congress impose a total boycott against all Israeli products,

THEREFORE, we demand that Congress cut off all aid to the racist state of Israel, the last Apartheid State on Earth.

THEREFORE, we demand that the University of Michigan Board of Regents declare a boycott against all products imported from the racist state of Israel.

  1. Take that $1 trillion you’re spending to kill Muslims, and spend it instead on re-building Detroit.

WHEREAS, Congress has spent $1 trillion to kill millions of Iraqis since 1991,

WHEREAS, Congress has killed over a million Afghans since the 1980’s, using a series of unbelievable excuses,

WHEREAS, the U.S. repeatedly bombs Somalia, using more unbelievable excuses,

WHEREAS, Senator Clinton threatens to “obliterate Iran”, and Senator McCain sings “bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran”,

WHEREAS, Senator Obama threatens to invade Pakistan, then President Bush launches military strikes directly on Pakistan,

WHEREAS, Congress’s trillion-dollar genocide against Muslim lands is conducted at the direct expense of Black America,

WHEREAS, Congress’s trillion-dollar occupation of Muslim lands is conducted at the direct expense of Black America,

THEREFORE, the Michigan Student Assembly demands that Congress immediately remove its trillion-dollar army of occupation from every nation on Earth, because that army only brings coups, torture, racism, and death to the planet;

THEREFORE, we demand that Congress immediately spend that trillion dollars, which was stolen from Black America, on the immediate rebuilding of Detroit, including mass transit that every Detroiter can walk to, including the best elementary, secondary, and university education in the nation, including the best neighborhood clinics, the best neighborhood libraries, and the best housing infrastructure in the nation, and including the necessary industrial facilities to build all of those things, and to employ every Detroiter of working age, with full union wages and benefits,

THEREFORE, we demand that Congress similarly rebuild every U.S. inner city, and that this rebuilding be directed by Black engineers, architects, professors, physicians, educators, and managers, and that this rebuilding be staffed by Black union labor, nationwide, until Black unemployment ceases to exist,

  1. Stop 400 Years of White Privilege—

--the University should Admit every Black high school graduate.

WHEREAS, centuries of government policy, backed up by organized white violence at every level, has attempted to beat down African political power, financial power, industrial power, and landholding power, from the Congo to Chicago,

WHEREAS, Martin Luther King Jr. was right— the U.S. government is “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today”,

WHEREAS, the U.S. has murdered and imprisoned African and African-American leadership on a mind-boggling scale, from Lumumba in the Congo, to Mandela in South Africa, to Fred Hampton in Chicago, to Marcus Garvey, to the Orangeburg Massacre, to the Jackson State Massacre, to the U.S.-Israeli-South-African invasion of Angola in the 1970’s, to the U.S.-Israeli-South-African creation of death squads across the African continent which have murdered millions and stripped Africa of unimaginable wealth,

WHEREAS, today’s white suburban power structure was built with a trillion-dollar federal highway subsidy, and with massive governmental subsidies to build all-white suburban settlements, which have sucked the wealth and political power of Black America into virtually all-white enclaves, while barring the bulk of Black America from entry,

WHEREAS, white political, economic, employment, and educational power has always been built on massive federal subsidies, from the railroads in the 19th century, to the government-backed white academies created to suck away resources from any public educational system that might benefit Black students,

THEREFORE, the Michigan Student Assembly finds it obscene that a violent, 400-year steamroller of white privilege-- where whites use the riches of Black labor to perpetuate a closed circle of privileged white university admissions, a closed circle of white business connections, a closed circle of white jobs, perpetuated by a heavily subsidized white suburban political machine,-- is called a “meritocracy”, while the slightest effort to get Black students into the University is called “reverse racism”;

THEREFORE, the Michigan Student Assembly demands that the University of Michigan Board of Regents immediately guarantee admission, tuition-free, to every Black student who graduates from every Michigan high school, together with year-round tutoring for every new student who needs it;

THERFORE, we declare, in advance, a highly visible picket line and a 3-day student strike, if any state authority attempts to “stand in the schoolhouse door” to block the open admission of Black students to this University.




In 1975, Israel had helped South Africa to invade Angola, sending military advisers and electronic equipment to the front.

The next year, you see the Prime Minister of Apartheid South Africa, John Vorster (second from right), meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (right), with future Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin (left), and with Moshe Dayan, in Israeli-occupied Jerusalem (al-Quds).


Friday, August 22, 2008

Detroit Demonstration against Israel

Community News

"Demonstrators protest apartheid at State fairgrounds

ARAB AMERICAN NEWS (Dearborn, Michigan)
Friday, August 22, 2008

On the Web at:

DETROIT — Dozens of pro-Palestinian, anti-occupation activists demonstrated outside the Michigan State fairgrounds on Thursday.

They protested a celebration of the 60th year since the creation of the state of Israel, put on by the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit (JFMD). Invitees of the JFMD had access to all the rides and other features of the State Fair one day before it opens to the public.

Activist Michelle J. Kinnucan organized the protest, enraged at the idea of holding a celebration of what she calls the "violent ethnic cleansing and colonization of Palestine in 1948," in a poor neighborhood in Detroit.

She said attendees seemed surprised by the demonstration, and hopes their presence will help to get people thinking about the plight of Palestinians.

"They weren't expecting it," she said. "You never know what's going to be effective. You have to do what you can. One of the things that we can do is stand out here and let them know that a celebration of the Naqba is not going to go unchallenged."

Protester Emilio Louchino, 16, an Ann Arbor high school student, said he became conscious of the conflict through reading about it online and hearing anecdotes about West Bank checkpoints from friends who serve in Jordan as members of the Peace Corps.

"I'm just here to speak my mind," he said. "It will maybe make people think about this."

He said the group got some hostile responses from passersby, but that they didn't let it discourage them from trying to raise consciousness of the issue.

"People don't realize that the biggest money in the entire world budget for foreign aid goes to Israel," said Thomas Olechowski, of Detroit. "And most of it goes to arms. It's being done in our name... The exploitation of the Palestinians is the same as the exploitation of the people in the community I live in in Detroit."

Demonstrator Elaine Rumman, 78, a Palestinian American from Ann Arbor who has family living in Bethlehem, said watching hundreds of people enter the State fairgrounds for the event made her intensely sad, but that her pain was eased by the presence of as many as 70 mostly non-Arab protesters outside the event.

"It makes me proud of them. These are the people who have conscience," she said. "Always, justice will rise up, whatever will happen."


Detroit Demonstration against "Israel" Celebration at Michigan State Fairgrounds

Detroit, August 21, 2008:

Scores of anti-Israel protesters made themselves very visible, along Woodward Avenue.

15,000 Zionist celebrators had to pass by this Palestine vigil.

(Click on photos to enlarge them.)

Bloomfield Hills school buses, and thousands of other vehicles, brought the celebrators into their armed camp at the Michigan State Fairgrounds, on Woodward, in Detroit, Michigan.

This protest flyer remained near the Detroit entrance to the fairgrounds, for weeks, because Zionists fear to set foot in Detroit without masses of heavily armed police to surround them.

For the comfort of the Zionists, Michigan State Police swarmed the area, including special mounted police on horses.


Friday, August 15, 2008

"Boycott the Companies that Support Israeli Apartheid"

Click on the flyer to enlarge it.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Amnesty International says:

Growing number of Palestinians, in Gaza, have been pushed into "extreme poverty and suffer from malnutrition."

"Trapped – collective punishment in Gaza"

12 August 2008

A Palestinian boy dumps garbage in a residential street in Gaza City, 17 April 2008

A Palestinian boy dumps garbage in a residential street in Gaza City, 17 April 2008

© AP/PA Photos/Copyright Kevin Frayer

A Palestinian pharmacist serves a customer during a routine power outage in Gaza City, 26 October 2007

A Palestinian pharmacist serves a customer during a routine power outage in Gaza City, 26 October 2007

© AP/PA Photo/Hatem Moussa

12 August 2008

"The Israeli siege has turned Gaza into a big prison. We cannot leave, not even for medical care or to study abroad, and most of what we need is not available in Gaza. We are not living really; we are barely surviving and the outlook for the future is bleak." – Fathi, a Gaza resident

The blockade imposed by Israel on the Gaza Strip over a year ago has left the entire population of 1.5 million Palestinians trapped with dwindling resources and an economy in ruins. Some 80 per cent of the population now depend on the trickle of international aid that the Israeli army allows in. This humanitarian crisis is man-made and entirely avoidable.

Even patients in dire need of medical treatment not available in Gaza are often prevented from leaving and scores of them have died. Students who have scholarships in universities abroad are likewise trapped in Gaza, denied the opportunity to build a future.

The Israeli authorities argue that the blockade on Gaza is in response to Palestinian attacks, especially the indiscriminate rockets fired from Gaza at the nearby Israeli town of Sderot. These and other Palestinian attacks killed 25 Israelis in the first half of this year; in the same period Israeli forces killed 400 Palestinians.

However, the Israeli blockade does not target the Palestinian armed groups responsible for attacks – it collectively punishes the entire population of Gaza.

In April 2008, Robert Serry, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the UN Secretary General, called on Israel to restore fuel supplies to Gaza and allow the passage of humanitarian assistance and commercial supplies.

"The collective punishment of the population of Gaza, which has been instituted for months now, has failed," he said.

Though a ceasefire between Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups has held in Gaza since 19 June 2008, the Israeli blockade remains in place.

Economic collapse and poverty

Israel has banned exports from Gaza altogether and has reduced entry of fuel and goods to a trickle – mostly humanitarian aid, foodstuff and medical supplies. Basic necessities are in short supply or not available at all in Gaza. The shortages have pushed up food prices at a time when people can least afford to pay more. A growing number of Gazans have been pushed into extreme poverty and suffer from malnutrition.

Some 80 per cent of the population now depends on international aid, compared to 10 per cent a decade ago. The restrictions imposed by Israel have resulted in higher operational costs for UN aid agencies and humanitarian organizations. Food assistance costs the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) US$20 per person per day compared to less than US$8 in 2004.

Gaza’s fragile economy, already battered by years of restrictions and destruction, has collapsed. Unable to import raw materials and to export produce and without fuel to operate machinery and electricity generators, some 90 per cent of industry has shut down.

Essential services jeopardized

The fuel shortage has affected every aspect of life in Gaza. Patients’ hospital attendance has dropped because of lack of transport and universities were forced to shut down before the end of the school year as students and teachers could not continue to travel to them. Fuel-powered pumps for wells and water distribution networks are often not working.

Medical facilities in Gaza lack the specialized staff and equipment to treat a range of conditions, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. In addition, hospitals are now under ever greater pressure, as they face shortages of equipment, spare parts and other necessary supplies as a result of the blockade.

With the ceasefire holding, the suffering in Gaza has fallen off the international news agenda. However, Amnesty International members continue to campaign, calling:

  • on the Israeli authorities to immediately lift the blockade, allow unhindered passage into Gaza of sufficient quantities of fuel, electricity and other necessities; and allow those who want to leave Gaza to do so, notably patients in need of medical treatment not available in Gaza and students enrolled in universities abroad, and also to allow them later to return.

  • on Palestinian armed groups not to resume rockets and other attacks on Israeli civilians.

Read More

Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories: Gaza blockade - collective punishment (Briefing, 4 July 2008)