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North Korea raps Israel’s “brutal massacres” in Gaza

Palestine Information Center – May 26, 2018

North Korea has condemned Israel’s use of violence against unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza, describing what happened with them as “brutal massacres.”

Kim Yong-nam, head of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of North Korea, sent a message of sympathy to Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, with the state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper calling Israel’s actions as a “bloody suppression”.

The newspaper said that Yong-nam in the message expressed deep condolences to the victims and their families.

“He vehemently denounced Israel for its brutal massacres and indiscriminate use of force against peaceful demonstrators demanding their legitimate rights.”

He affirmed North Korea’s unwavering support for and solidarity with the just cause of the Palestinian people and their struggle to build an independent state with east Jerusalem as its capital and obtain their inalienable legitimate rights.

North Korea backs Palestine in its dispute with Israel, an occupying power financed and supported by the US regime.

When North Korea was largely propped up by the Soviet Union during the Cold War, it regularly sent aid and weapons to Palestine.

During the 2014 Gaza War, North Korea also condemned Israel.

The country’s foreign ministry then strongly denounced “Israel’s brutal killings of many defenseless Palestinians through indiscriminate military attacks on peaceable residential areas in Palestine.”

“They are unpardonable crimes against humanity” the ministry said.

May 26, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | 3 Comments

Syrian Kurds rally to demand Turkey withdrawal

Press TV – May 26, 2018

Hundreds have demonstrated in Syria’s northeastern city of Qamishli, in response to a call by Kurdish authorities for global protests against Turkey’s military presence in the flashpoint Afrin region.

Turkish forces and allied Syrian militants seized the northwest region of Afrin from Kurdish forces in March, after a two-month military offensive that prompted tens of thousands of people to flee.

Since then, thousands of people displaced from other parts of Syria — notably the Eastern Ghouta suburb of Damascus — have been resettled in the emptied city.

Syria’s Kurds, who have built up their own autonomous administrations in the chaos of the country’s seven-year war, say that amounts to demographic change.

On Saturday, men and women marched through the Kurdish-controlled city of Qamishli to protest Turkey’s military presence.

They waved the yellow, green, and red flag that represents Kurdish part of Syria, as well as signs that read: “No to Turkish occupation.”

Ghassan Juli, a 38-year-old resident of Qamishli, described the Afrin developments as a “disaster.”

“Our people were forced out, and fighters from other areas were brought to live there,” he said.

Her head wrapped in a shawl that matched the Kurdish flag, Bahia Hassan said Afrin’s original residents were afraid to return because of fears of abduction or worse.

“Enough killing, enough kidnapping our boys! Enough killing women and children. We won’t accept this,” said the 45-year-old.

Syria’s Kurds control swathes of the country’s north, and many of those who fled to Afrin escaped into nearby Kurdish-held territory.

Around 135,000 stayed in Afrin, more than a third of them in the urban center that shares the same name, according to the United Nations.

Since war broke out in 2011, half of Syria’s population has been displaced, including more than five million outside the country and another six million internally.

May 26, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism | , | 1 Comment

MESA: Israeli Government Involved in Cyberbullying US College Students

A letter from the Middle East Studies Association to Israeli Security Minister Gilad Erdan charges Israeli government harassment of American students.

By Judith Tucker | May 25, 2018

Dear Minister Erdan:

We write on behalf of the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) to express our dismay that the Israeli government has been involved in facilitating and directing abusive actions, including cyberbullying, against students at universities in the United States who have been active in campaigns for divestment from companies that profit from Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. This constitutes unwarranted interference by a foreign power in these students’ free speech rights and threatens academic freedom at institutions of higher education in the United States.

MESA was founded in 1966 to promote scholarship and teaching on the Middle East and North Africa. The preeminent organization in the field, MESA publishes the International Journal of Middle East Studies and has nearly 2,500 members worldwide. MESA is committed to ensuring academic freedom of expression, both within the region and in connection with the study of the region in North America and elsewhere.

The most recent incident of which we are aware took place at George Washington University (GWU) in Washington, D.C. during April 2018. On 16 April 2018, a Student Senate vote on a resolution urging the university to divest from a number of companies (including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Elbit Systems, Caterpillar, CEMEX, General Electric, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Motorola Solutions) was cancelled after students witnessed two unidentified individuals placing threatening posters around the university. The vote was rescheduled for 24 April 2018 and on that date the divestment resolution was approved by a vote of 18-6, with 6 abstentions.

Two men wearing bird costumes and masks, apparently evoking the Canary Mission website which features some two thousand derogatory and generally inaccurate and misleading profiles of students and faculty who have advocated for Palestinian rights, along with someone who appeared to be coordinating their activities, stood outside the room in which the Senate Senators were meeting to vote on the resolution. The clear intent was to intimidate the Senators as well as student supporters of the resolution. These individuals were later seen putting up posters around campus that read, “SJP [Students for Justice in Palestine], you saw two of us, we saw all of you.”

After the vote, administrators of the Act.il app, which media reports indicate your ministry was integrally involved in developing and promoting in order to combat the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, began directing its users to “like” and share a Facebook page set up to threaten and bully the GWU Student Senators who voted in support of the resolution. The Facebook page was taken down soon after the Senate vote, but Act.il did not remove its listing of the cyberbullying campaign as a “mission” to be conducted by anti-BDS activists until it expired.

We note in this connection that you personally promoted the launch of Act.il at the February 2017 Celebrate Israel Parade and that your ministry placed paid articles advertising the app in the Jerusalem Post and The Times of Israel (see The Forward ).

Your status as an official of the Israeli government makes your involvement, and that of the ministry you head, in campaigns to try to intimidate American college and university students and to inhibit or suppress their freedom of expression especially egregious. These students have a right to be free of harassment, intimidation and cyberbullying by people who are in effect agents of the Israeli government. We therefore call on you and your ministry to cease promoting or supporting such campaigns of harassment, whether online or in person, and to refrain from interference of any kind when students and faculty in the United States exercise their constitutionally protected right of free speech and their academic freedom rights.

We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Judith E. Tucker
MESA President
Professor, Georgetown University

Amy W. Newhall
MESA Executive Director

Judith E. Tucker is the President of the Middle East Studies Association of North America and writes on behalf of the MESA Committee on Academic Freedom. She is Professor of History at Georgetown University, former Director of the Master of Arts in Arab Studies Program, former Editor of the International Journal of Middle East Studies. 

May 25, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Al Awda” (The Return) Boarded & Searched by German Coast Guard en route to Kiel

 Freedom Flotilla Coalition – May 23, 2018

Just before noon local time, the Freedom Flotilla vessel Al Awda (The Return) was boarded by the German Coast Guard, at the orders of the German Ministry of Interior.

They collected all the passports on board, wrote down everyone’s personal data, searched the vessel thoroughly, asked for detailed information about ports of call along the way to Gaza, and inquired about the whereabouts of the Swedish sailing boats traveling with us in parallel.

The Scandinavian crew on this ship are all veterans of earlier Freedom Flotillas and attested that they have previously been harassed by other Coast Guards from European countries.

Of course, our vessel is in international waters and we are doing nothing illegal – and this is by no means standard procedure.

The massive German Coast Guard ship had been tailing Al Awda all morning, and finally sent a rubber dinghy with a crew of four to check it out.

We are within an hour-and-a-half of Kiel, having arrived early, and are moving slowly so that the sailboats can catch up with us and we can all arrive in unison at Kiel harbour.

Reporting from the high seas off the coast of northern Germany.

May 23, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , | Leave a comment

Israel’s Premature Celebration: Gazans Have Crossed the Fear Barrier

By Ramzy Baroud | Palestine Chronicle | May 23, 2018

60 Palestinians were killed in Gaza on May 15, simply for protesting and demanding their Right of Return as guaranteed by international law.

50 more were killed since March 30, the start of the ‘Great March of Return’, which marks Land Day.

Nearly 10,000 have been wounded and maimed in between these two dates.

‘Israel has the right to defend itself’, White House officials announced, paying no heed to the ludicrousness of the statement when understood within the current context of an unequal struggle.

Peaceful protesters were not threatening the existence of Israel; rock-throwing kids were not about to overwhelm hundreds of Israeli snipers, who shot, killed and wounded Gaza youngsters with no legal or moral boundary whatsoever.

8-months old, Laila al-Ghandour was one of the 60 who were killed on May 15. She suffocated to death from Israeli tear gas. Many, like her, were wounded or killed some distance away from the border. Some were killed for simply being nearby, or for being Palestinian.

Meanwhile, Ivanka Trump, daughter of US President, Donald Trump, ushered in a new era of international relations, when she and her companions unveiled the new US Embassy in Jerusalem.

She was ‘all smiles’ while, at the exact same moment, hundreds of Gazans were being felled at the border. The already dilapidated hospitals have no room for most of the wounded. They bled in hallways awaiting medical attention.

Ivanka has never been to Gaza – and will unlikely ever visit or be welcomed there. Gazans do not register in her moral conscience, if she has any beyond her immediate interests, as people deserving of rights, freedom, and dignity.

At the border, many Gaza kids have been coloring their bodies in blue paint, dressing up in homemade costumes to imitate characters from the Hollywood movie, ‘Avatar’. They hoped that, by hiding their brown skin, their plight and suffering could be more relatable to the world.

But when they were shot, their blood gave them away. They were still human, still from Gaza.

The international community has already condemned Trump’s decision to relocate his country’s embassy to Jerusalem, and declared his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital ‘null and void’, but will it go further than mere words?

Will the international community remain trapped between hollow statements and no action? Will they ever truly recognize the humanity of Laila al-Ghandour and all the other children, men, and women who died and continue to perish under Gaza’s besieged skies? Will they ever care enough to do something?

The plight of the Palestinians is compounded with the burden of having a useless ‘leadership’.  The President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has been busy of late, demanding allegiance from the occupied Palestinians in the West Bank. Large signs and larger banners have been erected everywhere, where families, professional associations, unions, and companies have announced, in large font: the “Renewal of Loyalty and Support to President Mahmoud Abbas.”

‘Renewal’? Abbas’ mandate expired in 2009. Besides, is this what Abbas and his Fatah party perceive to be the most urgent matter that needs to be addressed, while his people are being massacred?

Abbas fears that Hamas is using the blood of the Gaza victims to bolster its popularity. Ironically, it is a shared concern with Israeli leaders, the likes of Israeli army spokesman, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus. The latter said that Hamas has won the PR war at the Gaza border by a ‘knockout.’

This propaganda is as false as it is utterly racist; yet, it has persisted for far too long. It proposes that Palestinians and Arabs lack human agency. They are incapable of mobilizing and organizing their collective efforts to demand their long-denied rights. They are only pawns, puppets in the hands of factions, to be sacrificed at the altar of public relations.

It did not dawn on Conricus to note that, perhaps, his army lost the ‘PR war’ because its brutes shot thousands of unarmed civilians who did nothing, aside from gathering at the border demanding an end to their perpetual siege; or that, just maybe, the PR war was lost because Israel’s top leaders announced proudly that Gazans are fair game, since, according to Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, “there are no innocents in Gaza.’

Ivanka will go down in Israel’s history as a hero. But Palestinian Resistance is not fueled or subdued by Ivanka, but by the sacrifices of the Palestinians themselves, and by the blood of Laila al-Ghandour, who was denied even a celebration of her first birthday on God’s besieged earth.

The US government has decisively and blatantly moved to the wrong side of history. As their officials attended parties, galas and celebrations of the Embassy move, whether in Israel or in Washington and elsewhere, Palestinians dug 60 more graves and held 60 more funerals.

The world watched in horror, and even western media failed to hide the full ugly truth from its readers. The two acts – of lavish parties and heartbreaking burials – were beamed all over the world, and the already struggling American reputation sank deeper and deeper.

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, may have thought he had won. Comforted by his right wing government and society on the one hand, Trump and his angry UN bully, Nikki Haley, on the other, he feels invulnerable.

But he should rethink his power-driven logic. When Gazan youth stood bare-chested at the border fence, falling one drove after the other, they crossed a fear barrier that no generation of Palestinians has ever crossed. And when people are unafraid, they can never be subdued or defeated.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and editor of Palestine Chronicle. His forthcoming book is ‘The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story’ (Pluto Press, London).

May 23, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 2 Comments

A New Flotilla Steams Towards Gaza

By Elizabeth Murray | Consortium News | May 22, 2018

Al Awda (The Return): Sailing to Gaza

“Islands Bruegge,” an idyllic harbor park that stretches along the east bank of Copenhagen, was alive with a celebratory crowd on Monday as three ships were about to steam towards Gaza. The 2018 Freedom Flotilla—two ships from Sweden and one from Norway — will call at ports in Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal and Italy before traveling through the Mediterranean Sea to its final destination: Gaza harbor.

Volunteer boat guides explained the history and mission of the Gaza Flotilla movement, which has organized a number of journeys to demonstrate solidarity with the people of Gaza and break the illegal economic siege. An independent U.N. panel and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) say the blockade violates the Geneva Conventions and is illegal.

Israel dragged the last Israeli settlers from Gaza and withdrew the Israeli Defense Force in 2005. When the Palestinian Authority lost a 2006 election in Gaza to Hamas, Israel imposed the illegal blockade. A considerable number of young Danish people learned about Gaza for the first time and walked away with new political awareness of the injustices suffered by Gaza’s children, who are denied the same carefree life enjoyed by Danish children.

I feel proud and privileged to join a group of international passengers aboard the Norwegian ship “Al Awda,” (“The Return” in Arabic) as we prepared to embark on the first leg of our journey. Along our route we hope to raise awareness and educate people about the plight of Palestinians, especially in Gaza, who are denied the basic freedoms and human rights the rest of us take for granted.

Earlier this month as Gazans held The Great March of Return to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Nakba (or the Catastrophe) — in which 800,000 Palestinians were forcibly driven from their land and homes by Israel in 1948 — Israeli snipers cut down peaceful demonstrators one by one, killing hundreds and maiming thousands, generating shock and outrage around the world and providing further incentive for people to support the burgeoning Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS).

Targeting Athletes

Elizabeth Murray: Boarding her boat to Gaza

Israel seems to have reserved a special brand of sadism for Gaza’s athletes — several promising young cyclists and soccer players have become amputees, since Israel refused to allow them to leave Gaza to obtain the necessary medical attention that would have saved their legs. Reports of such heinous acts — documented widely in social media posts by those on the ground in Gaza — have served to further isolate Israel internationally and alienate peace-loving people around the world, who deplore the moral depravity of its government.

Reaching the harbor of Gaza (which means “jewel” in Arabic) should be as simple and straightforward as entering any harbor in Germany, France or Spain. But instead, Israel has denied Gazans use of their own harbor for commerce, trade and travel, and has bombed it on numerous occasions, along with their electric power plants and sewage systems, making life miserable for the local population and rendering 97 percent of the drinking water toxic.

As the Freedom Flotilla embarks on its peace odyssey, it is our hope to bring a light of hope and solidarity to the people of Gaza, who deserve the peaceful, dignified and joyful existence that is their right.

Elizabeth Murray served as Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East in the National Intelligence Council before retiring after a 27-year career in the U.S. government, where she specialized in Middle Eastern political and media analysis. She is a member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

May 22, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 2 Comments

Head of Portugal’s national theatre endorses BDS, cancels Israel cultural event

Portuguese director and playwright Tiago Rodrigues [PACBI/Twitter]
MEMO | May 21, 2018

A Portuguese director and playwright who was scheduled to take part in next month’s Israel Festival, has announced that he is officially joining the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment movement (BDS).

According to the Israeli Haaretz, Tiago Rodrigues was supposed to perform in Israel twice in the beginning of June but decided to reverse his decision after learning that the festival was part of Israel’s 70th Independence Day celebrations.

In a Facebook post explaining his decision, the artist said he had initially agreed to take part because he believed that the festival was being organised by “non-profit organisation that presents itself as an artistic project”. Once he realised that the event was tied to the government and to the celebration of Israel’s founding he declined the offer saying he does “not accept the use of [my] artistic work for political purposes without my agreement.”

Rodrigues added that he decided not to perform in the Israel Festival because he believed “that it is the only guarantee that my artistic work will not be used to condone and promote a government that deliberately violates human rights and is currently violently attacking the Palestinian people.”

Rodrigues admitted that given the fact the he also serves as the director of Portugal’s national theatre his “decision might originate diplomatic discomfort.” But he insisted he needed to “remain true, above all, to [my] conscience”.

He concluded by saying that having seen the terrible violence perpetrated by the Israeli government he had “decided to join the cultural boycott of Israel, convinced that global and collective pressure might produce similar results to the boycott of South Africa during apartheid”.

May 21, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Ireland’s book of condolence for Palestinians killed in Gaza blocked by pro-Israel groups

MEMO | May 21, 2018

A request by the Irish Republican Party, Sinn Fein, to open a book of condolence in Belfast city council for Palestinians killed in Gaza last week was blocked by Unionists allied with the Northern Ireland Friends of Israel group.

Denouncing the book of condolence as “deeply shameful”, the Israeli lobby group accused Sinn Fein of supporting terrorists for wanting to mark the killing of Palestinians by Israeli occupation forces in Gaza.

The two main Unionist parties, who have strong ties with the pro-Israel lobby group, blocked the request, which forced Sinn Fein to open an internal book of condolence. According to the rules, a book of condolence can only be opened with the agreement of all parties at City Hall.

The Belfast Telegraph reported that the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) council group leader Tim Attwood said he was “disappointed” that Unionists blocked the book of condolence “to mark the killings and injuries inflicted on the people of Gaza”.

“People of Belfast are horrified and wish to express their sympathy at the tragic loss of life,” he added.

Meanwhile,  Sinn Fein group leader on the Belfast City Council, Deirdre Hargey, was reported as saying that her party would be opening its own book of condolence in the party’s room at City Hall, open to all members of the public.

The request for the book of condolence came after a number of Palestinian solidarity protests were held across Northern Ireland last week. Sinn Fein reacted to the killing and the pro-Palestinian demonstration by also demanding the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador.

This is the second time in two months that the plight of Palestinians became a cause of tension in Belfast. In March the Northern Ireland Friends of Israel group invited the Israeli ambassador to the UK, Mark Regev, to speak at an event in the local public library. Activists denounced the decision saying that Regev “has a long history of excusing, apologising and justifying [Israel’s] murder, torture and genocide as well as land theft from the indigenous population of Palestine.”

Members of the community in Belfast who supported the decision to open a book of condolence were disappointed by the Unionist parties. They told MEMO that many Unionist politicians and councillors were members of the Friends of Israel and revealed that Unionist parties have all hosted friends of Israel events.

May 21, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli police break activist’s leg while in custody: Report

Press TV – May 20, 2018

Activists say Israeli police have brutally beaten an Arab-Israeli NGO worker after arresting him at a Haifa demonstration, which landed him in hospital with a broken leg.

Jafar Farah, the CEO of the Mossawa Center, was one of the 21 people arrested on Friday during a demonstration against the May 14 Israeli carnage in the Gaza Strip.

Footage of Farah’s arrest shows him being escorted away from the protest on his own feet and in handcuffs.

However, the police said the activist is now hospitalized, without providing further details on his condition.

Farah’s relatives and Adalah, an organization dedicated to Palestinian legal rights in Israel, accused the police of breaking the campaigner’s leg while in custody.

Adalah said in a statement that the Israeli police had dealt with the Haifa demonstration “like a war,” beaten those who attempted to escape and denied the detainees access to lawyers for over an hour after their arrest.

“All the detainees were handcuffed for the entire night and kept sitting on the police station floor. Many of them experienced serious bruising to their wrists. Adalah considers these arrests to be illegal, as the police violence in Haifa was unprecedented and unprovoked,” the statement read.

Additionally, the Mossawa Center said on Facebook that Farah had been assaulted while in police custody and is now in Bnai Tzion Hospital with a broken leg.
Israeli policemen arrest a protester in Haifa on May 18, 2018.

Israeli lawmaker Ilan Gilon said he had passed an urgent question to Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan regarding Farah’s arrest.

“I demand to know if police brutality led to the broken leg by Jafar Farah,” he said on Facebook. “The idea that a protester leaves his home to use his democratic right and is taken to an interrogation because of that, and as it ends it turns out his limbs are broken, is a thought that makes my blood run cold.”

In a Twitter post, Merav Michaeli, another Israeli lawmaker, called Farah “a partner in the struggle for equality and peace,” condemning his “frightening” treatment at the hands of policemen.

Member of the Knesset (MK) Ayman Odeh, who met the Haifa detainees, said police forces brutally oppressed the protest without any explanation.

He said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s regime “wants to silence any voice of resistance and dissent coming from here, to silence any voice that embarrasses it and its actions.”

MK Aida Touma-Suleiman also spoke against the Israeli police clampdown on Haifa demonstrators, saying, “the attempts to scare and silence people will fail again!”

“The violence exerted on protesters was unchecked. Interrogators continued to beat up the detainees after they were arrested without any explanation or justification. As a result, some of them were injured. Jafar Farah’s leg was broken,” she added.

Israeli forces killed at least 65 Palestinians during protests near the Gaza fence on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Nakba Day (the Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with the US embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.

More than 2,700 Palestinians were also wounded as the Israeli forces used snipers, airstrikes, tank fire and tear gas to target the demonstrators.

The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) convened on Friday, demanding an “independent, international commission of inquiry” into the Gaza killings and denouncing “the disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force” by Israeli forces against Palestinians.

Israeli officials angry with UN rights council

The move infuriated Israeli officials, with the minister of military affairs claiming that the council had become a “cheerleader for terrorists.”

In a post on his Twitter account on Saturday, Avigdor Lieberman rejected the probe into the Gaza killings. He had earlier urged Tel Aviv and the US to immediately withdraw from the UNHRC.

Netanyahu also railed against the UNHRC, saying the Geneva-based body had backed terrorism by launching the Gaza investigation.

“There is nothing new under the sun. An organization that calls itself a council for human rights has once again proven that it is hypocritical and biased” and that its “purpose is to harm Israel and support terror,” the Israeli premier said.

May 20, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 1 Comment

Botswana National Front calls for boycott of Israel

Palestine Information Center | May 19, 2018

GABORONE – Botswana’ main opposition party, the Botswana National Front (BNF), has called on the government of Botswana to terminate all relations with Israel. This comes in the wake of Israel’s massacre of 60 people on the Israel-Gaza border on Monday.

In a scathing statement, BNF’s Secretary for International Affairs, Nelson Ramaotwana said:

“The BNF does not only condemn the barbaric acts of Israel but call upon the government of Botswana to terminate forthwith all diplomatic relations, trade linkages, military and intelligence support from Israel. We call upon Batswana from all walks of life to boycott and disinvest from Israel products and businesses in solidarity with 61 butchered and 2700 injured Palestinians.”

May 19, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Mishaal: Gaza protesters seek to send three messages to the world

Palestine Information Center – May 16, 2018

Former head of Hamas’s political bureau Khaled Mishaal has affirmed that the resistance factions are not behind the protest rallies taking place on the Gaza border but rather an unarmed people seeking to send three messages to the world.

“These messages are: ‘I want to return to my homeland and country which I was expelled from, it is high time the blockade came to an end, and Jerusalem is an Arab and Islamic [city],’” Mishaal stated on Tuesday during an interview on al-Jazeera satellite channel.

“Everyone clearly sees the scene in Gaza, and they are popular rallies par excellence,” he said.

The Hamas official called for necessarily having a national consensus on holding similar popular protests in the West Bank, affirming that such step would deal a major blow to the Israeli occupation state.

As for the growing international calls for probing Monday’s massacre in Gaza, Mishaal belittled any effort to be made in this regard, saying the Palestinians had already seen international investigations into Israeli crimes but all to no avail.

He emphasized that the international community has the ability to end the humanitarian tragedy in Gaza and must work for that end immediately, adding that mobilizing international condemnation against Israel would be more important than any investigation process.

He also said that Israel and the US committed two felonies on Monday by killing and wounding hundreds of unarmed civilians in Gaza and opening the embassy in Occupied Jerusalem.

“What happened in Gaza yesterday was a heinous crime against an unarmed people protesting the blockade and the relocation of the embassy, and demanding their right of return,” he added.

The Hamas official expressed his dismay at not seeing a suitable Arab reaction up to the enormity of the event, but he hailed the good positions of Kuwait, Qatar and Turkey in this regard.

He also urged Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas to assume his responsibilities, work on bringing his people together and end his punitive measures against Gaza.

May 16, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , | 1 Comment

A dozen googlers quit over Google’s military drone contract

boing boing | May 15, 2018

Google’s “Project Maven” is supplying machine-learning tools to the Pentagon to support drone strikes; the project has been hugely divisive within Google, with employees pointing out that the company is wildly profitable and doesn’t need to compromise on its ethics to keep its doors open; that the drone program is a system of extrajudicial killing far from the battlefield; and that the firm’s long-term health depends on its ability to win and retain the trust of users around the world, which will be harder if Google becomes a de facto wing of the US military.

A dozen googlers have put their money where their mouths are, publicly resigning over the contract; 4,000 more googlers have signed an open letter to the company’s CEO asking him to cancel the contract.

Companies have an emergent property of profit-seeking without regard to ethics or human flourishing, but individuals within companies retain their human sense of decency; that’s why we need to include techies in our plan for fixing tech.

A dozen Google employees quit over military drone project [Ron Amadeo/Ars Technica]

One resigning employee questioned why Google is even bothering with such a controversial program when it is already so massive. “It’s not like Google is this little machine-learning startup that’s trying to find clients in different industries,” the anonymous employee told Gizmodo. “It just seems like it makes sense for Google and Google’s reputation to stay out of that.”

“Actions speak louder than words, and that’s a standard I hold myself to as well,” another resigning employee told Gizmodo. “I wasn’t happy just voicing my concerns internally. The strongest possible statement I could take against this was to leave.”

May 16, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Militarism, Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment