03 May 2012Dear Friends and Comrades,
A recently posted YouTube video provides a glimpse of the thriving resistance of the Palestinian people, and the depravity of the Israeli military.
In the video, a young Palestinian woman climbs over an Israeli military water cannon, effectively neutralizing the vehicle, while defiantly waving the Palestinian flag atop the water canon. Sadly, the video also shows Israeli occupation forces attacking protesters with pepper spray, aimed directly (and deliberately) into their eyes and from close range.
This year Palestinian civil society and human rights organizations marked Palestinian Prisoners’ Day with a call to action against the security company, Group 4 Securicor (G4S). G4S maintains, services and provides equipment to Israeli prisons, checkpoints and settlements - all against international law. In effect, G4S profits from the Israeli Occupation and prison system. Earlier this year, the Edinburgh University Student Association (EUSA) passed a motion to block their university's contract with G4S, and just last month the European Union declined to renew its contract with G4S … its time to have G4S excluded from all airports, campuses and other public spaces until it ends its complicity with Israeli crimes. Read this report and take action in your community, town, city or university campus: http://whoprofits.org/g4s_report
In recent days there have been some major worldwide BDS activities:
1. UK Consumer Boycott Victory: UK’s fifth largest food retailer, The Co-operative Group, announced last week that it will “no longer engage with any supplier of produce known to be sourcing from the Israeli settlements”. The decision will impact four Israeli companies and trade contracts worth more than £350,000 (over 4 million rands).
2. Cultural Boycott Victory: On Monday, the Irish music group, the Dervish, posted a FaceBook status update announcing the cancellation of their upcoming Israeli performances. In their FaceBook message they state: "At the time we agreed to these [Israeli] performances we were unaware there was a cultural boycott in place. We now feel that we do not wish to break this boycott”.
3. Sports Boycott Victory (Adidas): The Arab Youth and Sports Council of Ministers (a regional body made up of government sports ministers) declared a boycott of the German sportswear company, Adidas, due to its sponsorship of an Israeli marathon that violates international law and whitewashes Israel’s illegal occupation of Jerusalem. Consequently, last week Thursday the Egypt Football Association confirmed that Egypt will, with immediate effect, boycott Adidas - despite the financial penalties it will incur as a result of doing so.
4. Israeli President, Shimon Peres on BDS: Last week Wednesday, Israel's president, Shimon Peres, warned of the growing impact of BDS on Israel. He said: "In order to export you need good products, but you also need good relations....[If] Israel's image gets worse, it will begin to suffer boycotts. There is already an artistic boycott against us and signs of an undeclared financial boycott are beginning to emerge."
5. "The hardest words I have ever written," By Archbishop Desmond Tutu [Church Divestment]: Yesterday afternoon, the General Conference of the United Methodist Church called for an explicit boycott of all Israeli companies “operating in the occupied Palestinian territories” and stopped just short of an all-encompassing BDS resolution. The process leading to yesterday's vote marks a milestone in the efforts of Christians around the world and Methodists in particular to end Israel’s occupation, put truth to action and bring justice and freedom for all in the land that is the birthplace of Christianity. Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote this personal appeal in anticipation of yesterday's vote: www.tampabay.com/opinion/columns/justice-requires-action-to-stop-subjugation-of-palestinians/1227722
Finally, Palestinians and progressive Israelis have asked the international music band, the Red Hot Chili Peppers not to perform in Israel later this year. You can assist in appealing to them by signing this petition: www.change.org/petitions/red-hot-chili-peppers-cancel-your-performance-in-israel
BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT AND SANCTIONS in SOUTH AFRICA (BDS SOUTH AFRICA)
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"In order to export you need good products, but you also need good relations... [I]f Israel's image gets worse, it will begin to suffer boycotts. There is already an artistic boycott against us and signs of an undeclared financial boycott are beginning to emerge."
Israeli President, Shimon Peres (25 April 2012)
Israeli President, Shimon Peres (25 April 2012)