Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Reality vs Propaganda: the truth about the An Nabi Saleh protests

Dear friends,
please find below my latest article. A version of the article has been published by Palestine Chronicle at:http://www.palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=16755

As mentioned in the article, I recently produced about An Nabi Saleh, which includes interview with Naji and Bassem Tamimi. YOu can view the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FnaYdG2MJU (or below on this blog).

Please feel free to distribute the article and the video to your networks.

in solidarity, Kim


Reality vs Propaganda: the truth about the An Nabi Saleh protests
By Kim Bullimore

On 26 March, a piece of Israeli Occupation Forces propaganda masquerading as journalism was published by YNet, an Israeli news website, which publishes in both Hebrew and English. The Ynet article, headlined “Secrets of Nabi Saleh protests” purported to offer a “behind-scenes look at [the] most violent protests around” [1]. However, the article by Yair Altman did nothing of the sort. Instead it gave carte blanche coverage, with little questioning, to the preposterous and often ridiculous assertions by Israeli Occupation officials against the recently arrested non-violent Palestinian leaders from An Nabi Saleh's Popular Committee against the Occupation.

According to Altman, An Nabi Saleh village leader, Naji Tamimi, who was arrested on 6 March when the Israeli military raided his home at 1.30 am in the morning, was a “pied piper” who “organised [an] army of boys”. Quoting an unnamed Israeli military police official, Altman writes: "Tamimi oversees an army of demonstrators divided in an extremely organized fashion into regiments of 14-17 people”.

Naji Tamimi in An Nabi Saleh

According to Altman's unnamed military police source, Naji Tamimi is “a very charismatic and militant person and is well versed in the rules of the game – what's allowed and what isn't. He does nothing by chance. Every action is well planned – not a folksy protest. He excites them and directs them towards confrontations with IDF forces”.

Altman goes onto state, with absolutely no proof to back up his assertions, that Naji Tamimi directed the demonstrations by phone from “the roof of one of the village's structures”. Altman also asserts in the article that the shabab (young boys) of the village were under the command of another village leader, Bassem Tamimi, who was arrested on March 24 when dozens of Israeli military stormed his home.

When I first read Altman's article, I burst out laughing. I have known both Naji Tamimi and Bassem Tamimi, along with their families, for more than fifteen months. The men described in Altman’s article, along with the actions ascribed to them, bore little resemblance to the men I know or their activities in relation to the non-violent struggle being carried out by their village. Having spent large quantities of time with both men and their families and having attended numerous demonstrations in An Nabi Saleh, very little in Altman's article rang true. Instead it held the stench of unadulterated Israeli military propaganda.

I first met Naji Tamimi and Bassem Tamimi, when I attended the first demonstrations in An Nabi Saleh. In December 2009, An Nabi Saleh - a small village of just 500 people – began holding weekly non-violent demonstrations in opposition to the illegal Israeli colony of Halamish annexing and stealing of more of the village’s land. At the conclusion of the first demonstration I attended in the village, I was invited to visit Naji's home by his brother-in-law. At Naji's home, I was introduced to not only Naji and his family but also to Bassem and his family and other families who were also visiting at the time. In the weeks that followed, I visited the village many times, both on the days of the demonstrations and on days when there were no demonstrations. During my visits to the village, I spent time with Naji and Bassem's families. We spent our time discussing the impact of Israel's occupation on the village and the Palestinian people and the non-violent struggle of the village against the attempts to steal more of the village's land. During these visits, I also played games with the children, learning to bake bread and tried to practice and improve, with the help of my new friends, my limited and badly pronounced Arabic. Over the course of the next year, after I had returned back home, I kept in regular touch with both Naji and Bassem and their families. When I returned to Palestine recently, An Nabi Saleh was the first place I visited in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

The focus of the dozens of conversations that I had with both men was the importance of the development of a non-violent model of protest. Both Naji and Bassem believed in the power of non-violent struggle and the challenge it provided, in stark contrast, to the brutal colonial violence meted out each week by Israel's Occupation Forces against their tiny village and its non-violent protests.
During the many demonstrations that I attended in An Nabi Saleh, myself and other internationals, as well as Israeli activists opposed to their government’s policies, would join with Naji and Bassem and other members of the village to walk unarmed and peacefully from the centre of the village, out onto the main street of An Nabi Saleh in order to make our way peacefully to the village’s land which were being stolen by the Israeli colony of Halamish.

As we marched peacefully onto the street, we would be hit almost immediately with a barrage of teargas and rubber bullets fired at the peaceful, non-violent demonstration by the Israeli military. On numerous occasions, live ammunition was also fired at us, despite the fact that this is in direct violation of Israeli military operating orders which forbid such actions when Israeli citizens are present at the demonstrations. The non-violent demonstrations would start at noon and the violent assault on the village by the Israeli military would continue for the next five or six hours until the Israeli Occupation Forces would finally leave the village at dusk.

As Bassem noted in a recent video interview I did with both him and Naji before their arrests, the Israeli military was determined to break An Nabi Saleh's model of non-violent resistance to the occupation [2]. The primary aim of the Israeli military, as Bassem noted, was to try and force Palestinians to engage in violent resistance to the occupation by crushing the non-violent resistance by increased Israeli military violence. This way, Israel could justify its continued occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people.

A recent article by the Israeli newspaper, The Jerusalem Post, similarly noted that the primary concern of the Israeli Occupation Forces, particularly in the wake of the recent Egyptian revolution, has been to contain and crush any possible Palestinian non-violent resistance to Israel's ongoing occupation. According to the February 18 Jerusalem Post article, the Israeli military were “concerned by the prospect of the Palestinians replicating [non-violent] Egyptian style mass demonstrations with dozens of simultaneous marches and protests in the West Bank [3]. The Jerusalem Post article reported that “the IDF is beginning to build rapid-response forces”, as the Israeli Occupation Forces Central Comment had assessed “that Palestinians could resort to so-called non-violent resistance, on a scale previously unknown in Israel, in the absence of peace negotiations”. The article went on to note that the primary aim of the rapid response teams would be to “quickly manoeuvre throughout the West Bank and arrive at the scene of a demonstration in its early stages in an attempt to contain it”, with this containment possibly “lead[ing] to a high number of casualties”.

The attempts by the Israeli state and its military to crush the non-violent Palestinian resistance is not new. In 2004, I interviewed the leaders of the non-violent struggle in the tiny village of Budrus about the attempts by the Israeli military to crush their non-violent resistance to the building of the Apartheid Wall. At the time, one of the village leaders told me that he had been informed by commanders of Israel's military that the Israeli Occupation Forces “would do everything in its power to stop the [non-violent] movement, even if it meant people died” [4].

Approximately two years ago, unable to stop the non-violent resistance by Palestinian villages against the building of the Apartheid Wall and the Occupation, the Israeli state and its military introduced its current tactic of arresting and jailing leaders of the non-violent struggle. In 2009, Adeeb Abu Rahma and Abdullah Abu Rahma, two of the leaders of the Bil'in non-violent struggle were arrested and jailed. This month, less than 10 days after the release of Abdullah Abu Rahma, after he had spent a year and half in Israel's prisons for his non-violent activism, Bassem Tamimi was arrested for his non-violent activism. Just twenty-four hours before his arrest on March 24, Bassem had met with leaders of the Bil'in Popular Committee Against the Wall, one of whom had quipped “Now that Abdullah Abu Rahma has been released from jail, the Israeli soldiers and the honorable military tribunal judges will have time for Bassem Tamimi” [6]

Bassem Tamimi (centre) in Bil'in with Abdullah Abu Rahma (on left) after Abdullah's release from Israeli prison.

One of the few positive things about Altman's article about the popular non-violent resistance in An Nabi Saleh is that it clearly outlines the ridiculous charges being levelled against Naji Tamimi by the Israeli Occupation Forces. According to Altman, the charges include “incitement, supporting a hostile organization, taking part in an illegal procession and entering a closed military area ...”. Of course, what Altman or the Israeli military fail to mention is the fact that an occupied people do not need the permission of their occupier to hold demonstrations, instead under international law they have the right to resist colonial occupation and repression and to engage in civil disobedience and demonstrations. While international law affords Palestinians the right, as an occupied people, to engage in armed struggle against their occupier, the people of An Nabi Saleh choose to engage in unarmed and non-violent struggle against their oppressors and occupiers. In addition, far from “entering a closed military area”, Naji Tamimi was simply in his own village and the Israeli military came to him and imposed a closed military zone on the streets and fields of his home.

Altman also points out in his piece that the Israeli Occupation Forces had arrested several boys from the village, all under the age of 16 and that their testimony was being used against Naji Tamimi and Bassem Tamimi. However, as Jonathan Pollak, an Israeli activist who is belatedly quoted in Altman's article notes, what the Israeli military police fail to mention is that the testimonies were extracted from the children via verbal, emotional and physical abuse. The testimony being used against both Naji Tamimi and Bassem Tamimi was obtained primarily from 14 year old Islam Tamimi, as well as his younger brother, 11 year old Kareem.

Islam Tamimi was kidnapped from his home at gun point at 3 am on 23 January by the Israeli military. He was kept incommunicado, beaten and verbally abused. Islam's parents and lawyer were denied access to him. In early February, Kareem was kidnapped from the streets of An Nabi Saleh and held for five hours during which the terrified child was verbally, emotionally and physically abused. The behaviour meted out to both boys was typical of the treatment visited on Palestinian child prisoners by the Israeli military

Islam Tamimi, 14 years old.

As a recent report issued by the UN in January 2011 points out in 2010 Israeli occupation forces regularly arrested children “at checkpoints, off the street or, most commonly, from the family home” [7]. The Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, went onto note that “in the case of house arrests, large numbers of Israeli soldiers typically surrounded the family home in the middle of the night. Children were beaten or kicked at the time of arrest and put at the back of a military vehicle where they were subject to further physical and psychological abuse on the way to the interrogation and detention centre. Upon arrest, children and their families were seldom informed of the charges against them”. According to the UN report, “Children were often subject to abuse during interrogation”. The report noted that abuse of children in many cases included the children being given electric shocks and sexually assaulted and it was only after this treatment that the children provided their interrogators with confessions

The UN report noted that “each year, approximately 700 Palestinian children (under 18) from the West Bank are prosecuted in Israeli military courts after being arrested, interrogated and detained by the Israeli army”. The report went onto highlight the fact that Palestinian children are subject to a dual legal system which operates in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. This dual system sees settler children, who are rarely apprehended in any violent acts they may have carried out, prosecuted in the Israeli civil courts, while Palestinian children are brought before a military court system, which impose higher degrees of accountability at lower ages.

In the weeks before I left Palestine, I spoke with both Naji and Bassem many times. They knew their arrests were imminent but the remained steadfast and committed to the non-violent popular struggle and the struggle of their village for human rights and dignity. As Naji told me, “we cannot live under the occupation ... we want, like all the people in the world, our rights. We want to build our state and we want a good future for our children”.

Non-violent protest in An Nabi Saleh - Photo by Oren Ziv.

Naji has now been in prison for three and half weeks. It took the Israeli military 19 days to finally come up with charges against him. The Israeli military court has also ordered that he will be kept under indefinite remand until the military legal procedures against him are concluded. No news has come through yet on Bassem since his arrest, but in the coming days we can expect to hear that similar preposterous accusations and charges, similar to the ones outlined in Altman's article against Naji Tamimi, will be laid against him.
Despite the arrests and the repression, the people of An Nabi Saleh are not bowed and they will continue their struggle against the occupation and the stealing of their land. As Bassem told me when I interviewed him before his arrest, “Our duty is to resist the stealing of our life and our land”.
“We are under occupation, the normal thing is to resist against the occupation. The non-normal thing is to be quite and not do anything”.

Kim Bullimore is a volunteer with the International Women’s Peace Service in Palestine (www.iwps.info). Kim writes regularly on the Israel-Palestine conflict for the Australian newspaper, Direct Action (www.directaction.org.au) and has a blog at www.livefromoccupiedpalestine.blogspot.com

[1] http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4047503,00.html
[2] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FnaYdG2MJU
[3] http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?ID=208786&R=R1?
[4] http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/30781
[5] http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/mighty-israel-and-its-quest-to-quash-palestinian-popular-protest-1.352248
[6] http://richardfalk.wordpress.com/2011/02/14/report-of-special-rapporteur-to-the-un-human-rights-council-on-occupied-palestinian-territories/

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Boycotting Israel from within: Israelis explain why they have joined the BDS campaign

Dear friends,
please find below a very good article, which includes interviews with Israeli activists explaining why they have joined the Palestinian initiated BDS campaign.

In solidarity,Kim

Boycotting Israel ... from within
Israelis explain why they joined the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement.
Mya Guarnieri Last Modified: 26 Mar 2011 14:56

Al Jazeera

It was Egypt that got me thinking about the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement in a serious way. I was already conducting a quiet targeted boycott of settlement goods - silently reading labels at the grocery store to make sure I was not buying anything that came from over the Green Line.

I had been doing this for a long time. But, at some point, I realised that my private targeted boycott was a bit naïve. And I understood that it was not enough.

It is not just the settlements and the occupation, two sides of the same coin, which pose a serious obstacle to peace and infringe on the Palestinians' human rights. It is everything that supports them - the government and its institutions. It is the bubble that many Israelis live in, the illusion of normality. It is the Israeli feeling that the status quo is sustainable.

And the settlements are a bit of a red herring, a convenient target for anger. Israelis must also face one of the major injustices that have resulted from their state - the nakba, the dispossession of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.

While BDS addresses that, among other concerns - the three principles of the movement are respect for the Palestinians' right of return, as outlined in UN resolution 194, an end to the occupation and equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel - I remained reluctant to get involved.

I have to admit that I was frightened by the movement. I did not think it would help. I was sure that BDS would only encourage Israel to dig its heels in deeper. It will only make things worse for everyone, I reasoned.

Egypt was the tipping point for me. I was exhilarated by the images of people taking to the streets to demand change. And while the Palestine Papers prove that the government seems intent on maintaining the status quo, I know plenty of Israelis who are fed up with it.

There are mothers who do not want to send their children to the army; soldiers who resent guarding settlers. I recently spoke with a 44-year-old man - a normal guy, a father of two - who told me he wants to burn something he is so frustrated with the government and so worried about the future.

And Egypt is on many Israeli lips right now. So, what can be done to help bring it to Israeli feet? What can be done to encourage Israelis to fight for change, to fight for peace, to liberate themselves from a conflict that undermines their self-determination, their freedom?

BDS has stacked up a number of successes, which is one reason the Israeli Knesset is trying to pass a bill, known as the Boycott Law, that would effectively criminalise Israelis who join the movement, subjecting them to huge fines.

And some of those involved with BDS are already feeling an immense amount of pressure from the state.

'Israel's mask of democracy'

Leehee Rothschild, 26, is one of the scores of Israelis who have answered the 2005 Palestinian call for BDS. Recently her Tel Aviv apartment was raided. While the police did this under the pretense of searching for drugs, she was taken to the station for a brief interrogation that focused entirely on politics.

"The person who came to release me [from interrogation] was an intelligence officer who said that he is in charge of monitoring political activity in the Tel Aviv area," Rothschild says. It was this officer who had requested the search warrant.

Since Operation Cast Lead, Israeli activists have reported increasing pressure from the police as well as General Security Services - known by their Hebrew acronym, Shabak.

The latter's mandate includes, among other things, the goal of maintaining Israel as a Jewish state, making those who advocate for democracy a target.

House raids, such as the one Rothschild was subjected to, are not uncommon, nor are phone calls from the Shabak.

"Obviously [the pressure] is nothing compared to what Palestinians are going through," Rothschild says. "But I think we're touching a nerve."

When asked about the proposed Boycott Law, Rothschild comments: "If the bill goes through, it will peel off, a little more, Israel's mask of democracy."

Tough love

As for her involvement in BDS, Rothschild remarks that she was not aware of the movement until it became a serious topic of discussion within Israel's radical left, which she was already active in. And even after she heard about it, she did not jump onboard right away.

"I had reservations about [BDS]," Rothschild recalls. "I thought about it for a very long time and I debated it with myself and my friends.

"The main reservation I had was that the economic [aspects] would first harm the weak people in the society - the poor people - the people who have the least effect on what's going on. But I think that the occupation is harming these people much more than the divestments can."

Rothschild points out that state funds that are poured into "security and defence and oppressing the Palestinian people" could be better used in Israel to help those in the low socioeconomic strata.

"Another reservation I have had is that it might make the Israeli public more extremist, more fundamentalist," Rothschild adds. "But I have to say that the road it has to go to be more extreme is very short right now."

As an Israeli, Rothschild considers joining the BDS movement to be an act of caring. It is tough love for the country she was born and raised in.

"I hope that, for some people, it will be a slap in their face and they will wake up and see what's going on," Rothschild says, adding that the oppressor is oppressed, as well.

"The Israeli people are also oppressed by the occupation - they are living inside a society that is militant; that is violent; that is racist."

'Renouncing my privileges'

Ronnie Barkan, 34, explains that he took his first step towards the boycott 15 years ago, when he refused to complete his mandatory military service.

"There's a lot of social pressure [in Israel]," Barkan says. "We're raised to be soldiers from kindergarten. We're taught that it's our duty [to serve in the army] and you're a parasite or traitor if you don't want to serve."

"What is even worse is that people are raised to be deeply racist," he adds. "Everything is targeted at supporting [Jewish] privilege as the masters of the land. Supporting BDS means renouncing my privileges in this land and insisting on equality for all."

Barkan likens his joining of the boycott movement to the "whites who denounced their apartheid privileges and joined the black struggle in South Africa".

When I cringe at the "a-word," apartheid, Barkan counters: "Israel clearly falls under the legal definition of the 'crime of apartheid' as defined in the Rome Statute."

'Never again to anybody'

Some oppose BDS because it includes recognition of the Palestinian right of return. These critics say that the demographic shift would impinge on Jewish self-determination. But Barkan argues that "the underlying foundation [of the movement] is universally recognised human rights and international law".

He emphasises that BDS respects human rights for both Palestinians and Jews and includes proponents of a bi-national, democratic state as well as those who believe a two-state solution is the best answer to the conflict.

He also stresses that BDS is not anti-Semitic. Nor is it anti-Israeli.

"The boycott campaign is not targeting Israelis; it is targeting the criminal policies of Israel and the institutions that are complicit, not individuals," he says.

"So let's say an Israeli academic or musician goes abroad and he is turned away from a conference or a venue just because he's Israeli ... " I begin to ask.

"No, no, this doesn't fall under the [boycott guidelines]," Barkan says.

"Because that's not a boycott. It's racism," I say.

"Exactly," Barkan responds, adding that the Palestinian call for BDS is "a very responsible call" that "makes a differentiation between institutions and individuals and it is clearly a boycott of criminal institutions and their representatives".

"Whenever there is a grey area," he adds, "we take the gentler approach."

Still, Barkan has faced criticism for his role in the boycott movement.

"My grandmother who went to Auschwitz tells me, 'You can think whatever you want but don't speak up about your politics because it's not nice,' I tell her, 'You know who didn't speak up 70 years ago.'"

Barkan adds: "I think that the main lesson to be learned from the Holocaust is 'never again to anybody' not 'never again to the Jews.'"

Mya Guarnieri is a Tel Aviv-based journalist and writer.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Israel Occupation Forces arrest Bassem Tamimi, leader of non-violent struggle in An Nabi Saleh

Dear friends,

at around 12 noon Palestinian time (9pm Australian time) on 24 March, my friend Bassem Tamimi was arrested by the Israeli military when they invaded his home in the village of An Nabi Saleh, arresting him and assaulting his wife and young daughter. Bassem is a key leader of the An Nabi Saleh Popular Committee against the Occupation.

Bassem's arrest comes just under three weeks after the arrest of another dear friend and leader of the An Nabi Saleh non-violent popular resistance, Naji Tamimi, on March 6. Naji was arrested after his home was raided at 1.30am by the Israeli military.

For many months now, An Nabi Saleh has been facing numerious raids and their non-violent demonstrations have been brutally repressed by the Israeli Occupation Forces. At least 10% of the village has been arrested for participating in the non-violent demonstrations. Both Bassem and Naji were aware that they would most likely targeted for arrest for their non-violent resistance against Israel's occupation.

I was in the process of finalising the production of a short 15 minute film/video about An Nabi Saleh and their struggle, when the news of Bassem's arrest came. It has now been completed and the video has now been uploaded on to youtube.

Please feel free to distribute the video to your networks and post to your websites or blogs, as we hope to use it to raise awareness about Naji and Bassem's arrests and the situation in Nabi Saleh, as well as the situation faced by Palestinian people living under Israel's occupation.

As the video notes at the end, one of the ways you can support the people of An Nabi Saleh is by becoming active in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. To find out more about the campaign visit. www.bdsmovement.net

Please find below a media release from the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee on Bassem's arrest. The release also gives an update on Naji's situation.

In solidarity, Kim

An Nabi Saleh and the non-violent struggle against Israel's occupation

Press release - Popular Struggle Coordination Committee
Thursday, 24 March 2011

Israeli Soldiers Arrest Bassem Tamimi, Head of Nabi Saleh Popular Committee

Bassem Tamimi, coordinator of the Nabi Saleh popular committee, was arrested when dozens of soldiers raided his house at noon today beating his wife and daughter in the process. Only yesterday the military court had ordered the indefinite remand of Naji Tamimi, another member of the Nabi Saleh population committee.

Minutes after Bassem Tamimi entered his home to prepare for a meeting with foreign diplomats, dozens of Israeli soldiers stormed his house at the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh and arrested him. The soldiers tried to prevent Tamimi's wife, Nariman Tamimi, from filming the arrest, hitting her and trying to grab the camera from her. When she passed the camera to her 10 year-old daughter, the soldiers grabbed it from her using violence and threw it outside in the mud.

Tamimi is one of the prominent figures of the Palestinian popular struggle in the West Bank and considered by many as the engine behind Nabi Saleh's grassroots mobilization against the occupation and for the protection of the village's lands from settler take over.

Just yesterday, another leading protest organizer from Nabi Saleh, Naji Tamimi, was indicted on charges of incitement and organizing illegal demonstrations. The court extended his arrest until the end of legal proceedings. Bassem Tamimi is expected to face the same charges.

For more information: Jonathan Pollak +972-54-632-7736

Over the past two months, the army has arrested eighteen of Nabi Saleh's residents on protests related suspicions. Half of those arrested are minors, the youngest of whom merely eleven.

The majority of recent Nabi Saleh arrested are made based on incriminations extracted from a fourteen year-old boy from the village, recently arrested at gun-point during a military night raid. The boy was then subjected to verbal and emotional pressure during his interrogation, denied his fundamental right to legal consul and interrogated in absence of his parents, albeit obliged by law. The interrogators have also never bothered informing the boy of his right to remain silent.

Ever since the beginning of the village's struggle against settler takeover of their lands, in December of 2009, the army has conducted 64 arrests related to protest in the village. As the entire village numbers just over 500 residents, the number constitutes a gross 10% of its population.

Tamimi's arrest last night corresponds to the systematic arrest of protest leaders all around the West Bank, as in the case of the villages of Bil'in and Ni'ilin.

Only recently the Military Court of Appeals has aggravated the sentence of Abdallah Abu Rahmah from the village of Bilin, sending him to 16 months imprisonment on charges of incitement and organizing illegal demonstrations. Abu Rahmah was released last week.

The arrest and trial of Abu Rahmah has been widely condemned by the international community, most notably by Britain and EU foreign minister, Catherin Ashton. Harsh criticism of the arrest has also been offered by leading human rights organizations in Israel and around the world, among them B'tselem, ACRI, as well as Human Rights Watch, which declared Abu Rahmah's trial unfair, and Amnesty International, which declared Abu Rahmah a prisoner of conscience.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Support Marrickville Council and BDS!!

Dear friends,
Marrickville Council in Sydney, recently became the first municipality in Australia to support the Palestinian initiated BDS campaign. They have since become of the target of a harassment campaign by groups pressuring the councillors to change their conscientious decision.


in solidarity, Kim


Marrickville BDS is seeking support of organisations and individuals to do one or several of these things:

1. Encourage the councillors to stay strong by sending a personal email of support to Fiona Byrne, Mayor of Marrickville fbyrne@marrickville.nsw.gov.au

Copy the addresses of the other councillors into the cc field of your email: etsardoulias@marrickville.nsw.gov.au, mhanna@marrickville.nsw.gov.au, mosullivan@marrickville.nsw.gov.au, polive@marrickville.nsw.gov.au, siskandar@marrickville.nsw.gov.au, mphillips@marrickville.nsw.gov.au, vmacri@marrickville.nsw.gov.au, cpeters@marrickville.nsw.gov.au, lwright@marrickville.nsw.gov.au, mkontellis@marrickville.nsw.gov.au, dthanos@marrickville.nsw.gov.au

Include your name, city and country.

2. Endorse the letter (view here: http://marrickvillebds.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/open-letter.pdf) supporting the right of Marrickville Council to endorse Palestinian BDS call as part of its ethical investment and purchasing strategy.

To add your or your organization’s name to the list of endorsers, email marrickvillebds@y7mail.com with your name and either your suburb or any title/position you would like to include.

3. Please forward this information to others, asking them to add their voice!

4. Post the action alert to Facebook. Suggested thing to post:

ACTION ALERT! Counter the harassment campaign trying to reverse Marrickville’s support for BDS! marrickvillebds.wordpress.com/2011/03/03/hello-world/

5. Tweet. Here’s a suggestion:

ACTION ALERT! A harassment campaign is trying to reverse Marrickville’s BDS victory! marrickvillebds.wordpress.com/2011/03/03/hello-world/ (Savvier tweeters may do better.)

Please email your endorsement to marrickvillebds@y7mail.com as soon as possible, no later than Friday 11 March, 2011.

The open letter will be presented to Marrickville Council at the next meeting. Marrickville BDS will be providing a copy of the letter and a list of signatories to all Councillors. The motion to support the worldwide BDS campaign was supported by 10 councillors; ALP, Green and Independent.

Background Info & Resolution:

In December, 2010, the local council of Marrickville, which is a Sister City to Bethlehem, decided as part of its ethical investment and purchasing strategy, to endorse the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel until that country complies with international humanitarian law. More information is available at http://coalitionforpalestine.org/bds/local-government/marrickvillebds or, for links to media articles, http://coalitionforpalestine.org/bds/media-links. Here is the resolution:


1. In particular recognition of its sister city relationship with Bethlehem and the strong support for this relationship from local progressive faith communities and other community members, Marrickville Council support the principles of the BDS global campaign and report back on any links the Council has with organisations or companies that support or profit from the Israeli military occupation of Palestine with a view to the Council divesting from such links and imposing a boycott on any future such links or goods purchases.

2. Marrickville Council boycott all goods made in Israel and any sporting, institutional academic, government or institutional cultural exchanges.

3. Marrickville Council write to the local State and Federal ministers (Carmel Tebbutt and Anthony Albanese) informing them of Council’s position and seeking their support at the State and Federal level for the global BDS movement.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Palestinian Queers for BDS video campaign

Dear friends, please find below three fantastic videos clips produced by Palestinian Queers for BDS.

You can find out more about PQ4BDS by visiting their website at: http://pqbds.wordpress.com/

In solidarity, Kim