Friday, August 22, 2008

Detroit Demonstration against "Israel" Celebration... Michigan State Fairgrounds

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."

--End of article--


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.


Boycott Israel!

Video on YouTube at:


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Michigan Zionists say: "Fuck racist Malcolm X".

University of Michigan Zionists have apparently gone crazy.

A video, calling for boycott against Israel, has made the Zionists show their true colors.

Look at the Zionists' ugly hatred, on Facebook, at:

* The Michigan Zionists now say: "Fuck racist Malcolm X".

* The Michigan Zionists say: "So go back to the Middle East where everyone else is racist and barbaric like you."

* The Michigan Zionists say: "Palestinians (excuse me...Jordanians) love death- they are taught such and boycotting Israel is ridiculous, it will never happen..."

* The Zionists also say: "Where do any American arabs have the right to say anything about anything?"

Click on each one of the 7 pages below, to enlarge their comments.
Then you will see how arrogant the Zionists have become, at the University of Michigan:

Friday, August 15, 2008

5 million refugees. Hundreds of thousands dead.

"The reason for all this is the Zionist regime."

Islamic Republic of Iran News Network, Tehran

August 15, 2008

Reprinted by a U.S. Web site at:

In a press conference in Istanbul broadcast live on IRINN on 15 August, Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinezhad commented on Israel. He said:

"We welcome the release of any area of the occupied lands. But the issue of the Zionist regime will not be settled through such measures. It [Israel] is a sixty-year wound. A disease cannot be cured before its cause is identified. You know that the Zionist regime is totally a fake and occupying regime. We should find the root cause of the problems in the Middle East and address it.

"During the past sixty years, more than three heavy wars have taken place[in the region]. The Zionist regime has been the cause of all these wars.

Five-million people have been displaced. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed. The region is overshadowed by threat. The reason for all this is the Zionist regime. The root cause of all problems is the existence of the Zionist regime.

"You know that some Western powers were wishing to dominate our region for hundreds of years. By defeating the Ottoman Empire, they finally found the chance to dominate our region. The Ottoman Empire acted like a barrier in the face of their historic desire.

"When this government collapsed this barrier was also destroyed. They entered our region extensively. But in order to stay here they needed a base. Traditionally speaking, they had no base in our region. In a political plan, a ridiculous play and by lying, they paved the way for displacing the Palestinian nation at the gunpoint. Afterwards, by gathering a number of people from other parts of the world, they imposed a criminal regime on the countries in the region.

"This regime is in fact been created to impose the colonial objectives of big powers against the nations in the region. The slogan of this regime was that it intended to rule from Nile to Euphrates. That is to say, they want to have hegemony over all nations of the region. This regime has been made for war, aggression, terror, creating dispersion and paving the way for the hegemony of big powers over the nations of the region.

"If it fails to do so, it will have no existence. I raised a question on the Holocaust to draw the attentions to this fact. I intended to unveil a historical deceit. I also wanted to clarify the philosophy of existence of this regime to the world.

"If we want to settle the problems of occupation, war, terror, Palestine and the Middle East, the root cause of the problem which is the nature of the Zionist regime should be addressed.

"In order to distract public opinion, the Zionists and big powers accuse us of being against the Jews. This is a big lie. The Zionists are neither Jews, nor Christians nor Muslims. They do not have any religion. They are a criminal party. In order to settle the problem of Palestine, we have a very clear and democratic solution. We suggested that in order to settle this sixty-year problem, there should be a free referendum in the Palestinian land. All Palestinians including Muslims, Jews and Christians should have a share in determining their fate directly. This is also in compliance with the UN Charter, as well as democracy and the rights of nations.

"But the self-professed supporters of democracy reject this very clear suggestion. I should however tell you that the expiry date of this regime has arrived. This regime is isolated in the world today. The nations of the world do not want it anymore. Many governments do not want it either. It has even become isolated within its own land.

"We believe that the big powers have also come to the conclusion that what they spend on this regime is more than what they gain out of it. The time for the occupation of the Zionist regime has come to an end. Therefore the best scenario would be that those who have created this regime by their lies should remove it, or allow the Palestinian nation to make its choice.

"Our suggestion is a fundamental, humane and democratic solution."


"Boycott the Companies that Support Israeli Apartheid"

Click on the flyer to enlarge it.


"Israel" is the Rapist; Palestine is the Victim.

Boycott Israel.

Home > Archives > August_2008 > Ilan Pappe Blames West’s “Conspiracy of Silence” Condoning Israel’s Ethnic Cleansing

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, August 2008, pages 44-45;

Southern California Chronicle

"Ilan Pappe Blames West’s 'Conspiracy of Silence':
"Condoning Israel’s Ethnic Cleansing"

By Pat and Samir Twair

Dr. Ilan Pappé (Staff photos S. Twair).


August 2008

On the Web at:

PROFESSOR Ilan Pappé of Exeter University gave three separate lectures in three days—May 14, 15 and 16—at the University of California at Irvine, University of California at Los Angeles and the al-Awda convention. At UCLA on May 15, the Oxford University-educated Israeli historian noted that, on any other day, many in his audience would be protesting Israel’s criminal acts against the Palestinians, but that on this date, people should contemplate what happened 60 years ago on the pronouncement of the founding of Israel.

According to Pappé, who resigned last year from his teaching post at Haifa University because of right-wing harassment over his books and his support of the boycott against Israeli universities, Zionists crystallized their formula in the 1930s. Their credo was that in order to create a Jewish nation, the indigenous population must be cleared.

By 1947, Pappé stated, it was obvious that the Zionists had failed, as only 7 percent of the land had been purchased, and Jews—mainly newcomers—accounted for only one-third of the population. In 1948, under orders from soon-to-be Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, Zionists opted for ethnic cleansing, which meant razing 530 Palestinian villages and looting all their possessions, including furniture, books and bank accounts.

A conspiracy of silence on the part of the International Red Cross and Western journalists covered up the Zionist crime, Pappé continued. The message to the Jews, he said, was that Europe wanted to atone for its silence during the Nazi persecution of Jews. A go-ahead signaled that building their state would bring closure to what the West allowed to happen to Jews during World War II.

With the 1967 capture of Gaza, the West Bank and Golan Heights, Israel seized more land—but also got more Palestinians. Israeli leaders conducted extensive meetings from May 1967 to January 1968, Pappé said, and concluded that Israel could possibly withdraw from the Golan, but that the West Bank and Gaza were necessary to the state’s existence.

According to Pappé, following the 1967 conquest Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol and Minister of Defense Moshe Dayan decided not to annex the West Bank and Gaza in order to deny full citizenship to the Palestinian inhabitants. The Israeli leaders conceived a mega prison in which the Palestinians could run their domestic affairs without interference from the wardens. If they resisted, however, the population would suffer terrible collective punishment.

The Israelis took pains to package their policy in the language of peace so as to manipulate Washington into going along with the charade.

Pappe urged the audience not to use the word “conflict” when describing what is going on in Israel/Palestine. “There is no conflict between the rapist and his victim nor the occupier and the occupied,” he explained to audible gasps in the audience.

“Your role,” he concluded, “is to convince the U.S. government that it must be fair and that no solution that looks like another prison is acceptable.”


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Half the population in Gaza have "spent some time in [Israeli] detention."

Boycotting Israel is a powerful rhetorical weapon against that.

Derek Summerfield:

"Apartheid revisited"

When is the doctor a doctor? And when is he a citizen?

14 - 20 August 2008
Issue No. 910

On Al-Ahram at:

Derek Summerfield

It's been more than a decade since British psychiatrist Derek Summerfield called for a medical academic boycott of Israel. Growing up in South Africa during apartheid, the child of a Zimbabwean Afrikana mother and British father, he knows all too well what racial discrimination and segregation means. He lived it.

Even before visiting the Palestinian territories towards the end of the first Intifada (1987-1992), where he saw for himself Israel's systematic and institutionalised torture of Palestinians, Summerfield "had always been angry at Israel".

"Watching the behaviour of young Israeli soldiers towards an elderly Palestinian man on my first day in Jerusalem at a checkpoint felt very familiar," he says. "I'd seen this in South Africa where I grew up."

Summerfield has spent the last 16 years exposing Israeli war crimes and publishing scathing critiques in Britain's leading medical journals on the complicity of Israeli doctors. Today, the name of this honorary senior lecturer at London's Institute of Psychiatry and teaching associate at the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford, stands out in the much talked about British academic boycott of Israeli universities. Because he's a doctor, his approach and activism have been focussed on the medical aspect of the boycott campaign where he has been raising compelling questions on the ethical and moral responsibility of the medical profession. He's public enemy number one for Jewish pressure groups in the UK, and for the Israeli Medical Association (IMA), because he poses the right questions.

"I've always been a doctor interested in human rights and wider questions and you could say that doctors have as much a responsibility to speak out about the social and political causes of distress and disease as they have to treat the individual patients," he told Al-Ahram Weekly during a recent two-day visit to Cairo. Summerfield had been invited to give the annual Okasha lecture, an event organised by leading Egyptian psychiatrists Ahmed Okasha, Farouk Lotaief and Mohamed Ghanem. He chose to speak about human rights and the responsibility of the medical profession.

Summerfield's interest in the Palestinian question goes back a long time. While working for the London-based Medical Foundation for Victims of Torture in the early 1990s he met many Palestinian patients who had been tortured by Israeli soldiers. And during his first visit to the occupied Palestinian territories it became clear to him that Israel had long ago adopted torture "as state policy". Back then, he says, Gaza was "in a bad state though not remotely as bad as it is now".

Summerfield then became involved with the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme.

"I was in Gaza on the day the so-called peace process was signed in Oslo in August 1993 and it was very interesting because most of the people I knew there were incredibly happy. They thought it was the end of it all. But a minority of Palestinians said -- and they turned out to be right -- this wasn't a deal and were pessimistic and that Yasser Arafat didn't know what he was signing."

What he saw -- "the most awful crime has been played out down there by a colonial power that considered itself part of Europe. They were grabbing Palestinians' land and torturing them in ways that were reminiscent of South Africa but, as it turns out, far, far worse than South Africa" -- compelled him to become active in the Palestinian question.

Having witnessed the first and second Intifadas, Summerfield declares that the behaviour of the Israeli occupation in the latter was "much more openly brutal and the major powers didn't say anything."

"There was a time" he says, "when before they went on a raid the Israeli defence board used to discuss how it would look in Europe and the US. They don't bother with that any more. So clearly torture was a major question there."

According to Summerfield, half the population in Gaza have "basically spent some time in [Israeli] detention, some of them for years." The proportion of the Gazan adult male population interrogated and tortured, he adds, is probably higher than any population in the world.

The more he saw the more determined Summerfield became. He started publishing pieces quoting human rights reports, Amnesty International, the International Committee of the Red Cross and UN committees, "all of which pointed to consistent torture as state policy in Israel and the appalling use of indiscriminate fire power against children who throw stones". Twenty five per cent of the deaths in the first Intifada were children -- approximately 400 -- which "looks mild" compared to the second Intifada. Since 2000 Israeli soldiers have killed 1,000 children. Most of them, he notes, have been killed "close-range by snipers: a single bullet to the head or neck". It is appalling, he says, how the Israeli medical profession remains "completely silent" about the health and human rights consequences of the occupation.

This gradually led to a conflict with the IMA, the official body that is supposed to give ethical guidance to young doctors and ensure that Israel meets international standards, the benchmark of which is the Declaration of Tokyo of the World Medical Association, outlining how doctors should behave. Summerfield explains: "They should not condone or be present during torture and they should speak out if they come across it."

It is ironic, he sighs, that the World Medical Association was born after World War II precisely because of what German doctors had done to Jewish prisoners. "The Israeli Medical Association is a signatory to these declarations yet it became clear that it was in complete complicity in the war crimes committed by the Israeli state."

The articles he published in the world's oldest and most prestigious medical journals -- The Lancet and the British Medical Journal ( BMJ ) -- US medical journals refuse to publish on Palestinian suffering, he says -- exposing this complicity placed him in direct conflict with the IMA.

His most controversial article, "Palestine: the assault on health and war crimes" which appeared in the BMJ in 2004, stated that the Israeli army has killed "more unarmed Palestinian civilians since September 2000 than the number of people who died on 11 September 2001."

"I don't cite my opinion. I quote international rights groups and UN bodies. The facts are there already," says Summerfield. He simply puts them together and then struggles to have them published.

Many doctors are still afraid that they will be called anti-Semitic if they criticise Israel. Not Summerfield.

"I'm called that all the time. It doesn't inhibit me. If anything, it encourages me because it means I'm getting through to them. So they make a fight but the point about a fight is that it creates more publicity and its conscientising. It wakes up people one way or the other. And part of the story here is: when is the doctor a doctor? That is to say it's a humanitarian profession, supposedly it has a moral authority in a society, healing people regardless of politics. And when is a doctor a citizen? This is another matter altogether and what I've discovered is that at the end of the day Israeli doctors have made it clear, their loyalty is to Israeli citizenship and if Israel says they must torture Palestinians and shoot children in the street, then those doctors will do their best to cover it up or make it sound OK, to put a nice face on it. They're putting a nice face on the occupation."

"Evidence" of the involvement of Israeli doctors, he insists, is "overwhelming in the everyday torture of Palestinians" which leads him to conclude that the IMA is in fact "an arm of the security state".

But is not Israel an exception in that it is the only state in the world where the entire adult population are army reservists? It is a completely militarised society.

"Exactly," snaps Summerfield, "which makes the question 'are you a citizen or a doctor?' more poignant."

And doesn't that make Israeli apartheid by default?

In 1999 the IMA received a delegation from the human rights organisation Summerfield was working for which was concerned about torture. "The head of the IMA, who is in charge of medical ethics, knows that doctors have a duty to speak out against torture but he said to them: 'Come on, what's a couple of broken fingers when you interrogate a Palestinian man for the information we can get?'"

Summerfield's immediate reaction was to publish the remark and other incidents of systematic torture of the Palestinians. His 2004 BMJ article provoked the Jewish establishment in the UK which not only attempted to intimidate him, but also the journal's editors who received thousands of hostile e-mails and threats. Summerfield's response was to fight harder, eventually leading him to the academic boycott campaign.

Summerfield was in Ramallah when the UK Union of University Lecturers passed a motion to boycott Israeli universities in 2006.

"Just the symbolism of it was so important," he says. "These are academics so they have a certain public status."

But the motion was short-lived as the "outraged" and powerful pro-Israel Jewish establishment in the UK managed to pressure on the union's president. A second motion defeated the boycott decision.

A year later, on 30 May 2007, UK university lecturers voted to force their union into a year- long debate over boycotting work with Israeli universities. Delegates voted 158 to 99 to recommend boycotts in protest at Israel's "40-year occupation" of Palestinian land and to condemn the "complicity" of Israeli academics.

Says Summerfield: "Of course it's difficult to run it and there are tremendous pressures but we're optimistic." His group -- the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine, a UK-based organisation whose mission is to support Palestinian universities and oppose illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands -- is sparing no effort in its attempts to influence British public opinion and politicians to see and react to Tel Aviv's breaches of international conventions on human rights and refusal to accept UN resolutions or rulings of the International Court of Justice and, just as important, acknowledge Israel's persistent suppression of Palestinian academic freedom.

"Boycott", he argues, "brings out what's happening. And the point is the collusion of the academic establishment in Israel. Not one Israeli university protested when Palestinian universities were shut. Berzeit University was shut for three years at one point. Students are shot at check points, they can't get to lectures, doctors can't get to see patients. Nothing. Some Israeli universities are now founded on Palestinian land, stolen land. Academia, especially medical academia, is in complete collusion with the colonial expansionist state."

Although his group is in need of more support, Summerfield says they have managed to create a network of professionals and others around the world. Last year they published a letter in The Guardian signed by 130 British doctors calling for a boycott of the IMA. And their campaigning isn't just on the political level. "We try to get aid in to Gaza, teach in universities in Palestine and we give Palestinian students places to study in Britain."

It is striking, says Summerfield, how Israeli doctors react to him. "An Israeli doctor will applaud me and buy me a drink if I write about Sudan, Guatemala or China. If I were to cross out Israel and put Sudan, that would be great. But because I say it's Israel they say to me you're a pro terrorist propagandist or they call me Nazi. In psychology we say we have many rooms in our head and one has to ask which one are you in and speaking from? In some of our rooms we don't behave the same. The fact is that I've been consistently bold on Israel and they tell me there must be some weird reason why I am an anti- Semite."

"Support for Israel is embedded in Western systems without doubt. The US and the UK regard Israel as a European country. Israel continues to play the Holocaust story and anti- Semitism as a way of blocking the truth."

"It's a much harder struggle than the struggle against apartheid. So none of us fools ourselves. But I think we've had some modest effects and I think they continue. Israel, certainly, has taken them extremely seriously. Every time an Israeli cabinet minister comes to London the first thing he wants to talk about is the boycott. What they fear is the rhetorical power that these things echo. That's what they're afraid of."

What would be an effective measure?

"Ultimately, what would be effective would be not buying Israeli goods and trying to get companies to take their investments out of Israeli- linked companies."

In 2004 the US Presbyterian church, along with some other churches, discussed selective divestiture in companies operating in Israel, taking their money out of companies like Caterpillar tractors which were involved in demolishing Palestinian houses. "There's a growing tide," believes Summerfield, though he concedes that, "of course its terribly slow and of course most people are not political."

"Clearly we have to influence the politicians... but out of 550 MPs in Britain more than 200 were drawn in as Friends of Israel and their concern is to block these things, to hide it. It is extraordinary how strong the lobby is."

Yet Israeli academics and doctors "are starting to feel more uncomfortable" than they used to be in the face of changing public opinion.

Summerfield often challenges Jewish doctors by posing a moral question to them: "Do you realise you have more power to do good in the world if three or four Jewish professors who have connections with the IMA say that involvement of Israeli doctors in interrogation rooms has to stop. The torture will have to stop because then Shabak (the General Security Services) wouldn't be able to proceed in their usual way. I tell them that not doing this is moral corruption."

All this, a full time job (he is one of Britain's most eminent psychiatrists), his research and his family (he has a 12-year-old daughter), how does Summerfield make the time?

And does he feel his efforts receive enough support from the Arab world, where the notion of an academic boycott of Israeli universities is barely addressed? Summerfield smiles.

"Here in Egypt, for example, torture is endemic. I'm using Israel-Palestine as my case example, but the wider question is whether we should expect higher standards from doctors and accountants or bankers and journalists in the Arab world and elsewhere. That's the point."


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)


Unions from Ireland, Britain, Canada, and South Africa are pushing for Boycott against Israel.

The PSC 'has been publicly calling for banning settlements' products entering the UK.'

"The Campaign against Settlements' Trade"

By Ruth Tenne – London


August 11, 2008

On the Web at:

Through a great part of my life the only food I have eaten came from an Israeli source for the simple the reason that I was born in Israel and it was the only choice available. Little was I aware that a significant part of the produce I consumed was grown on fields confiscated by the State of Israel from Palestinian villages which were razed to the ground in the aftermath of the 1948 Israel's "war of independence". No one in my kibbutz ever gave much thought to this fact. Indeed, as children we were taught to believe that the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish nation by law, and is part of our biblical and traditional heritage.

As an adult, who does not live in Israel any longer, I no more purchase, or consume, Israeli produce and goods. In fact, I am a member of a Jewish group, which is Boycotting Israeli Goods (J-Big) and is being an active section of the global BIG campaign. Our group is an outcome of the deep frustration felt by Jewish peace activists towards the inaction displayed by the Jewish community with regard to Israel's repressive occupation of Palestinian land. J-BIG's founding statement (2007) proclaims that Israel's policies "constitute a betrayal of the best trends in Jewish ethical tradition" and operate a form of racism, which is reminiscent of South African Apartheid - inflaming hatreds that render impossible the achievement of a just peace for both Israelis and Palestinians. Along with the wider BIG campaign, members of our group are taking part in direct actions aiming to prevent the marketing and selling of goods and produce originating from the illegal settlements in the West Bank. The global BIG campaign has been gaining momentum. In recent years trade unions from Britain, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and South Africa declared their public support for the boycott of Israeli goods.

Government's opposition to the ongoing expansionism of the illegal settlements in the West Bank was re-affirmed by David Miliband (25th July) who publically stated - "I was dismayed to learn of plans for a new settlement construction in the Jordan Valley. These are clearly outside Israel's Roadmap and Annapolis commitment ". Settlements are also illegal under international law. UN Security Council resolutions 446 and 465 deplore the building of settlements on Palestinian land and instruct member states not to assist the building of settlements. Likewise, the Geneva Convention states that the transfer of a civilian population into occupied territory is a war crime. Being ancillary to this crime is also regarded as a crime in English law and the UK government's policy is quite clear on that. The government's website states: "Settlements are illegal under international law" and settlement construction is viewed as an obstacle to peace. It follows from this statement, that the import of settlement produce into the UK could not, and should not, be considered as legal.

The UK forms a large part of the market for settlement produce, which is marketed by an Israeli 50% state-owned company - Carmel-Agrexco. The company clearly profits from Israel's illegal occupation and from the entrenched system of racial apartheid in the occupied Palestinian territories. In the Jordan Valley of the West Bank, Carmel-Agrexco sets its farms on confiscated Palestinian land offering Palestinian farmers less than a living wage. Carmel-Agrexco can deliver fruits and vegetables to Europe in 24 hours while the produce of Palestinian farmers cannot get through the Israeli military checkpoints and has to be left to rot in the field.

In its recent press release (30 June) the Palestinian General Delegation to the UK has stated "whilst encouraging, protecting and providing economic incentives for illegal settlers in the occupied territory to steal and farm Palestinian land, Israeli authorities have been applying unjust policies aiming at strangulating Palestinian economic activities particularly the agricultural sector. Among other policies, the confiscation of land, the building of the Wall, creeping annexation and expansion of settlements, construction of hundreds of bypass roads for Israeli settlers only, denying access to natural resources particularly water, movement restrictions and siege, all meant that Palestinian economy is near collapse and the Palestinian people are being imprisoned in an ever shrinking Bantustans.

We commend our many British friends who are standing firm in defending the laws of the UK that safeguard the right of British consumers for accurate information and in upholding international law."

Taking Action

The call of the Palestinian delegation, which was repeated by the Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, ought to appeal to any member of society who cares about safeguarding British and international law. In allowing import from illegal settlements the British Government knowingly contravenes international and human rights laws, thus, colluding with Israel's colonial expansionism in the West Bank.

The Palestinian Solidarity Campaign has been publicly calling for banning settlements' products entering the UK .The British people have the choice of:

A. Acting as responsible consumers by joining the BIG campaign for banning Israel produce - especially that which is sourced from the West Bank settlements. This could include fruits and vegetable such as oranges, lemons, Gallia melons, grapefruits, avocados, peppers, strawberries and Medjoul dates which are grown in the Jordan valley. In many cases the source of such produce is not clearly labelled, or purposely mislabelled as West Bank - thus, leading consumer to believe that they support the Palestinian economy while, in fact, they encourage trade from the illegal settlements. Recent reports by ITN and The Observer's (6 July) revealed that illegal Israeli settlement produce from the Palestinian Occupied Territories has found its way to British supermarkets and continues to do so by being misleadingly labelled as produce of Israel. Moreover, it appears that settlement produce unlawfully benefits from preferential rates of customs duty granted to the State of Israel under its trade agreement with the EU (2000). This could cost British taxpayers millions of pounds in unpaid customs duties as well as constituting an unlawful breach of the Agreement.

According to the regulations of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA, 2003) the source of produce should be made clear to consumers, and retailer labelling has to state the exact local source of the sold product. In practice, consumers' request, for clear labelling could be channelled through the Manager of their local supermarket, or by complaining to the Head Office of the company. Conscientious consumers may also join store picketing and campaign events organised regularly by BIG, (details could be found on the website -

B. Concerned citizens may wish to write to their constituency MP complaining about the entering of produce from the illegal West Bank settlements into the UK market. Such a letter may ask the MP to raise this issue with the Foreign Minister - David Miliband - requesting that produce and goods from the illegal settlements should be banned altogether (a model letter could be found on the website of the BIG campaign-as above). Equally, conscientious citizens may wish to meet with their MP (individually, or in groups) and raise their concern face to face, or hand the MP a signed petition/letter stating their demand.

By acting as ethical consumers and conscientious citizens British people of all faiths have the choice of taking a stance against the unjustifiable (if not unlawful) Government's practices which stand in contradiction to international law and to publicly declared policies regarding the illegality of the West Bank settlements.

Personally, I travelled a long journey from being brought up on the unshakable belief that the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people by a divine right, to the painful realization that Zionist expansionism, in form of brutal occupation and colonialist settlements, constitutes a brazen violation of international and human rights laws. My hope is that the members of civil society will take the same road, which I, along with thousands of peace campaigners, have been taking in order to achieve justice for the Palestinians.

- Ruth Tenne contributed this article to


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Boycott-Israeli-Goods movement has gathered over 700 Rainbow shoppers' signatures, to boycott Israeli goods.

"RBIG renews request for meeting with Rainbow Grocery"

On the Web site of "Rainbow Boycott Israeli Goods", at:

Open Letter to Rainbow Workers:

RBIG is a group of workers and shoppers organized to
encourage Rainbow to boycott Israeli goods. After
Israel invaded Lebanon in July 2006, RBIG requested a
meeting with Rainbow about initiating such a policy.
We are renewing our request for a meeting for the
following reasons:

** The month of May is the 60th anniversary of the Nakba-
the zionist expulsion and ethnic cleansing of
Palestinians from their homeland.

** On April 24th the United Nations declared that Israel¹s
embargo of fuel has made it impossible to continue
its food aid program in Gaza, leaving 1-1/2 million
Palestinians without drinking water and food.

** RBIG now has over 700 Rainbow shoppers¹ signatures,
gathered at our weekly tabling, which petition the store
to boycott Israeli goods.

Enclosed is a letter, signed by workers and shoppers who are
people of color, expressing their strong objections to Israel¹s
racist policies and adding their voices to this request for a

Also enclosed are the five letters we sent Rainbow over the last
20 months stating our reasons for urging the store to consider
initiating such a boycott.

Nell Myhand (510)-485-6065
Jean Kuchinsky Pauline
Tom Brown


"We have taken up the boycott of Israeli goods because the issue of Zionism is first and foremost a racial justice issue."

Photo: Rainbow Grocery Cooperative store, Folsom Street, San Francisco.

People of Color Support Rainbow Grocery to Boycott Israeli Goods

On the Web at:


Dear Rainbow Grocery

We are writing as shoppers at Rainbow Grocery who are people
of color. Some of us are in RBIG (Rainbow Boycott Israeli
Goods) which as you know has been asking for a meeting with
the collective since mid 2006. We have taken up the boycott of
Israeli goods because the issue of Zionism is first and foremost
a racial justice issue.

Some of us are fairly new to the Bay Area and some of us have
been Rainbow shoppers since the 1980’s. We shop at Rainbow
because we are fighting for our lives in a racist (and sexist)
system that relentlessly assaults our health and wellbeing.
Rainbow is a very important resource for both knowledge of and
access to healthy living food and other natural supports for
disease prevention and cure. We also believe in and support
the concept of collectives.

We also shop at Rainbow because we expect progressive
organizations like Rainbow be responsive to community and
to take a position and strong action for justice. As you know,
the Palestinians are being subjected by Israel to an apartheid
system where people with darker skins are humiliated and
brutalized every day and treated in a savagely racist way. This
is the 60th anniversary of the Nakba, when Israeli soldiers went
from village to village massacring Palestinians young and old.
Israeli policies of ethnic cleansing and seizure of lands from the
indigenous people are eerily reminiscent of the way Native
Americans were treated in this country.

In the April 2008 issue of Vanity Fair, the role of the Bush
administration in deepening the suffering of Palestinian people,
who are people of color, is presented in great and gory detail.
“Vanity Fair has obtained confidential documents, since
corroborated by sources in the U.S. and Palestine, which lay
bare a covert initiative, approved by Bush and implemented by
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Deputy National
Security Adviser Elliott Abrams, to provoke a Palestinian civil
war.” This article exposes how at the behest of the US
government, Israel has unleashed an unimaginable level of
violence aimed at expelling those Palestinians who can/will go,
and killing/maiming as many people as they dare of those who

As individuals and organizations (including small businesses)
we must confront the question of what it means if we refuse to
stand with people of color around the world and to protest our
racist enemies’ closest friends abroad. As people of color we
daily, must confront the question, what does it mean for our
struggle against racism that Bush's closest ally is empowered
to do as they like with complete impunity by those of us who
consider ourselves to be anti-racist.

We are adding our voices to those calling immediately for a
meeting with Rainbow to discuss Rainbow’s boycotting Israeli


Nell Myhand
Synthia Green
Shirley Yee
Faris Barhoum
Pablo Jim
Samia Shoman
Jahahara Alkebulan Maat
Sharon Lungo
Chris Lymbertos
Lily Haskell
Adnan Hamwi
Sannah Rahim
Phil Hutchings
Jess Ghannam
Happy Hyder
Joyce Umamoto
Ayesha Gill
Chris Mazaleh
Nissor Ahmed
Ali Abong
Patricia Hemphill
Grace Shalhoub


How Zionists Fear any Talk of Boycotting Apartheid Israel:

Photo: The Israeli Apartheid Wall, built to starve Gaza to its knees.


It took 2 months for the Rainbow Grocery Co-op to say... they won't even meet with anybody who wants to boycott Israel--

Rainbow Grocery Declines Meeting with RBIG, Again

On the Web at:

"August 1, 2008


"From: Rainbow Grocery Cooperative- Board of Directors
"Re: Meeting request regarding boycott of Israeli Goods

"We received your letter requesting a meeting to discuss a boycott of Israeli products dated May 28th. We would like to take the opportunity to clarify the Board of Directors role within the collective in general and in relation to our boycott policies specifically.

"As you may be aware we are a worker-owned cooperative that does not operate in a traditional fashion. Decision making happens at Rainbow through the democratic efforts of our members rather than in a hierarchical “top-down” manner. The Board of Directors is not a body with the agency usually seen in a corporation. We are charged with the responsibility of overseeing the financial and legal aspects of our collective. Decision making on nearly all levels requires a collaborative effort by both the Board of Directors and the 230 worker-owners who comprise the Membership. Regardless of the desires of the Board of Directors, it is not a body that has the authority to institute any changes that would have a significant impact independently of our Membership.

"Our boycott policies specifically limit the ability of any single body- including the Board of Directors, to institute any boycott or ban. The only responsibility that the Membership has charged the Board of Directors with is the publishing of a statement to the public related to any boycott decision. The Board of Directors cannot institute a boycott, supersede our boycott policies or begin the process of instituting a boycott without acquiring the necessary 20% of Membership to bring the issue to a vote. In short, it is only the Membership, and at that 2/3 of the entire Membership, that can affect a boycott for any reasons.

"For these reasons, we respectfully decline your request to arrange a meeting with the Board of Directors of Rainbow Grocery Cooperative. The only manner in which an outside group such as yours can influence the cooperative to institute a boycott is to take the issue directly to the Membership via a worker-owner who will agree to be the sponsor of such an item and follow our boycott procedure. Any single worker can begin this process, but in the end it is only the 2/3 of Membership that can enact such a decision.

"We hope that this helps clarify our boycott procedure generally and the Board of Directors’ responsibility specifically. If you have any other questions, please let us know and we will do our best to answer them."

Board of Directors- Rainbow Grocery Cooperative


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Demonstration against U.S.-Israeli War on Iran.

Obama is "in favor of 20,000 more troops going to Afghanistan, and invading Iran and Pakistan"

"Protesters slam Obama's, Israel's stances on Iran"

August 3, 2008


On the Web at:,CST-NWS-protest03.article

More than 100 political activists took to downtown streets Saturday to protest any war that would involve the United States and Iran, as the political discourse surrounding that country's nuclear program intensifies.

Representing 18 community and political groups citywide, they marched from the Thompson Center to the Israeli Consulate and the campaign headquarters of Barack Obama, chanting: "We want justice, we want peace. U.S. out of the Middle East!"

Marchers criticized Obama for failing to rule out a possible attack on Iran if negotiations break down on nuclear talks with that country.

They condemned Israel's simulated bombings against Iran's nuclear facilities, reportedly carried out in June.

"You are hypocrites. You're breakers of the nuclear proliferation treaty," Bill Chambers, of the Palestinian Solidarity Group, yelled outside the consulate.

Obama also drew criticism from marchers for recently acknowledging the possibility of an Israeli strike against Iran without offering a peaceful alternative to a potential war in that region.

Protesters said Obama has proclaimed himself the "peace candidate," while displaying indecisiveness regarding the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

"He says he doesn't want a third-term Bush, yet he says he's in favor of 20,000 more troops going to Afghanistan, and invading Iran and Pakistan," said Andy Thayer of the Chicago Coalition Against War and Racism.

Obama's campaign later responded that the senator would continue to encourage Iran to cease its nuclear program.

"A nuclear-armed Iran would be a threat to the United States and to Israel, and would threaten a nuclear arms race in the Middle East," a campaign spokeswoman said in a statement Saturday.


Friday, August 1, 2008

Boycotting Apartheid Israel-- from Dearborn to Ann Arbor:


"Local activists urge boycott of Israel"

By Khalil AlHajal

Dearborn, Michigan

Friday, August 1, 2008

On the Internet at:

ANN ARBOR — A small group of tenacious Ann Arbor activists have been staging weekly local demonstrations against what they call apartheid in Israel, imploring institutions like the People's Food Co-op to boycott the Jewish state.

Two protestors even made appearances at recent Dearborn School Board meetings, in an effort to encourage Arab Americans to more actively and openly assert themselves on both domestic and international human rights issues.

Activist Blaine Coleman said the group was inspired to appear at the meetings when hundreds of Arab Americans organized and appeared at a May meeting in defense of a high school principal who was facing accusations — which were later withdrawn — of assaulting a student.

"It's been proven that hundreds of Dearborn students and parents will mobilize themselves to defend their rights," Coleman said.

Coleman and fellow activist Mozhgan Savabi appeared at that meeting and two others, carrying large signs that read "Boycott Israel." They intended to speak at the meetings, but were prevented from doing so because, officials said, they did not submit requests to comment at the proper time during the meetings.

Coleman and Savabi feel they were purposely prevented from speaking because of their message.

The group has protested in front of the People's Food Co-op in Ann Arbor on many weekends, because the grocery store sells some products made in Israel.

"I'm Jewish incidentally. I'm horrified at Israel," said protestor Marcia Federbush, 74, during one demonstration in front of the store.

Federbush said she became outraged at Israeli practices in the occupied Palestinian territories after reading several books on the subject including Jimmy Carter's "Peace Not Apartheid."

"I was extremely upset about the way we were behaving in Iraq in 2003. And I started hearing talk about how Israel treated the Palestinians," she said about first becoming involved in the boycott movement.

Some passersby during the weekly protests said the group can sometimes seem overzealous and counterproductive.

"You can't create dialogue with people if the only way is to be adversarial," said local college instructor Sam Rosewig.

He said some signs the group has carried in the past have been overly inflammatory, associating the Star of David with a swastika.

"The only time I see people move toward accepting other people is when they are listened to first," he said.

"If holding a cardboard sign that says boycott Israel is too much," said Coleman in response, "Then what are you supposed to do? Palestinian rights demand that we yell for boycotting the racist state of Israel… You cannot tune your voice to please Palestine haters."

Operations Manager of the Co-op Derek Kiesgen said the issue of boycotting Israeli products was brought to members for a vote, and that it was voted down. He believes the group made their point and should move on.

"We only sell three Israeli products," he said.

Kiesgen said the group should protest at a federal building of some sort, "not a three-aisle grocery store."

"I think everyone's now more against them if they were for them in the beginning."

He said in the past they held signs that read "F___ Israel," but that they have since "toned it down."

He also said he's had to call police on several occasions because of complaints protesters were cornering and yelling at people.

"We would be in prison right now if we cornered anyone," Coleman said. "If you value Palestinian life at such a low level, than you will come up with these excuses."

He did not deny carrying ‘F___ Israel" signs, saying a U.S. Supreme Court decision protects his right to do so.

"If you hide your outrage," said Savabi, "people will think Palestine isn’t very important."

She said for as long as people have been trying to be subtle about protesting U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, things have gotten worse in the region.

"It used to be just Palestine and Lebanon. Now it's Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Iran… We're dignified people. How long before we say enough is enough?" she said.

"We're getting old and we're dying so if we don't get help from young people, we're in trouble," said Savabi, 49.

Coleman said one main goal of their efforts is to generate news coverage "that will embolden them to fight for a boycott of the racist state of Israel."


Protest the "Israelization" of Michigan Fairgrounds, August 21, 2008--

(Click on the poster, to enlarge it)

On August 21, 2008, Zionist organizations "will have exclusive use of the State Fairgrounds" to celebrate Israel's 60th anniversary.

The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit is calling it "A Fair to Remember" (see announcement below). It's a fair to be ashamed of. Following the lead of Palestinian civil society organizations and in view of the multi-faceted oppression that is the reality of Israel, we regard participation in "celebrations" of the Nakba/Israel's establishment as collusion in the perpetuation of the dispossession and uprooting of refugees, the prolongation of occupation, and the deepening of Israeli apartheid.

All supporters of justice and peace can nonviolently protest the "Israelization," as the Jewish Federation puts it, of the Michigan State Fairgrounds.

When: Thursday, August 21, 2008
Time: 5 PM to 7 PM
Where: Michigan State Fair & Exposition Center, 1120 W. State Fair Ave. (at Woodward) in Detroit. Meet in the grassy area just north of the SmartBus State Fair Transit Center off Woodward Ave.

To co-sponsor or get more info, send an e-mail to


This is the Zionist announcement of their shameless celebration of the State of Israel:

(Click to enlarge it)

It can only be seen as a celebration of the destruction of Palestinian society.

Protest it, August 21, 2008.