Sunday, August 29, 2010
"Muslim shops ban Israeli produce in Palestine protest"
THE HERALD (Scotland)
by Deborah Anderson
29 Aug 2010
In a move that has worried Jewish groups, Muslim families who own stores in Glasgow’s south side are refusing to stock Israeli goods in protest at Israel’s West Bank settlements and policy towards Palestinians.
Around 30 stores in Muslim communities in Pollokshields, Pollokshaws and Govanhill are supporting the drive and yesterday campaigners took to the streets to applaud shopkeepers who are no longer stocking Israeli products.
The campaigners, who toured stores handing out flyers to shoppers, say shops which continue to stock Israeli goods will be “named and shamed”.
Led by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Friends of Al Aqsa Glasgow, many stores in the area are now displaying posters declaring “No Israeli Produce sold here”.
Organisers say that following its success in Glasgow, the campaign is expected to be rolled out across the country.
The focus of the boycott is fruit such as dates, traditonally eaten by Muslims in the holy month of Ramadan. Some of the dates sent to the UK are produced on highly contentious Israeli settlements in the Jordan Valley.
Saddaqat Khan, of Friends of Al Aqsa, Glasgow, said: “Many Muslims are unaware of this and unwittingly purchase Israeli dates, thereby supporting the Israeli economy.”
Campaigners, some draped in the Palestinian flag, held a day of action in Allison Street in Govanhill to target store owners and customers.
Rizwan Khan, who owns Rizwan stores on Allison Street, dumped a box of dates after being told of their origin and is supporting the boycott. He said: “I have been wary of the dates I buy, but had been stocking Jordan Valley dates thinking these were safe.”
Customer Isahaq Ali, 50, said: “I know what to look out for when buying these items and wouldn’t give stores who stock them my custom.”
However, Edward Isaacs, president of the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council, said: “We have excellent relations in the Jewish Community with our Muslim friends and we think that bringing Middle East politics into the Glasgow sphere to this extent is not a good idea. Everyone is entitled to have their views on the Middle East, but we don’t think a boycott is the correct way to advance their political process.”
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
"Support builds for boycotts against Israel, activists say"
Aug. 22, 2010
WASHINGTON — In May, rock legend Elvis Costello canceled his gig in Israel. Then, in June, a group of unionized dock workers in San Francisco refused to unload an Israeli ship. In August, a food co-op in Washington state removed Israeli products from its shelves.
The so-called “boycott, divestment, and sanctions’’ movement aimed at pressuring Israel to withdraw from land claimed by Palestinians has long been considered a fringe effort inside the United States, with no hope of garnering mainstream support enjoyed by the anti-apartheid campaign against South Africa of the 1980s.
But in recent months, particularly after an Israeli raid on a flotilla delivering supplies to Palestinians, organizers are pointing to evidence that the movement has picked up momentum, even as Israelis and Palestinians are moving toward a new round of peace talks.
“Peace talks have been going on for decades and all they have resulted in are more dispossession,’’ said Nancy Kricorian, a New-York-based staff member for Code Pink, an antiwar group that launched a boycott of the cosmetic company Ahava because its products are manufactured in an Israeli settlement.
Kricorian, who grew up in Watertown, said Code Pink experienced increased interest by groups wanting to endorse the boycott during the Israeli operation in Gaza last year, and again since a May 31 Israeli raid on a flotilla left nine pro-Palestinian activists dead. Ahava did not respond to an e-mail request for comment.
Susanne Hoder, a member of a “divestment task force’’ set up by the Lawrence-based New England Conference of the United Methodist Church, said she believes activists will continue efforts until the Israeli military leaves the West Bank.
“Slowly but surely people are starting to recognize that some action is needed,’’ she said...
Sunday, August 15, 2010
by CONOR SULLIVAN
A CULTURAL boycott of Israel was launched yesterday, with more than 150 Irish artists announcing that they intend not to perform or exhibit in Israel, or to accept any funding from institutions linked to the Israeli government.
The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) said it was in protest at Israel’s “treatment of the Palestinian people”.
Raymond Deane of the IPSC cited a statement from the Israeli Foreign Ministry in 2005 saying they considered culture a propaganda tool.
He said: “Artists who perform there are backing it [the Israeli government] whether they like it or not.”
The pledge signed by the artists states the boycott would continue, “until such time as Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights”. Mr Deane said: “You can’t really pin this down”, but it means, “at least an end of the occupation of Palestine; dismantling or at least stopping the settlements; and Israel negotiating in good faith with the Palestinians”.
An Israeli embassy spokesman said the boycott “was regrettable and ill-advised” and that “vilifying and ostracising Israel and promoting a lose-lose programme of boycotts is not the way to secure legitimate Palestinian rights”.
Singer and songwriter Damien Dempsey hoped the boycott would encourage young people in Israel who disagreed with the government to “speak out”.
He said that the military were running the show in Israel and that they needed the world to stand up against them.
Musician Donal Lunny said he was taking part to “express solidarity with the Palestinian people”.
When asked about the boycott’s chances for success, Eoin Dillon, a performer with Irish and world music band Kila, said: “It worked in South Africa.”
Many more victories are ahead this Fall, for the movement to boycott and divest from Apartheid Israel.