Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Obama bombs Yemen.


Obama bombs Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia.


Obama bankrolls Israel, as it destroys Gaza.


___________________________

Yes, Obama makes war on Yemen, too.

But the
U.S, U.K, and Israel already destroyed Yemen's development (1962-1980's).

Before that, the U.K. militarily occupied Yemen from 1839 to 1967.



Look:


Source-- Britain and the Yemen Civil War, 1962-1965: Ministers, Mercenaries and Mandarins, by Professor Clive Jones, published in 2004 by Sussex Academic Press (Brighton, Great Britain; and Portland, Oregon), page 36.


Professor Jones was a senior visiting research Fellow at the University of Haifa, Israel in 2002.




Mercenary forces, supplied by the U.K. & Israel, destroyed Yemen’s chance at independence from British occupation (1962-1965)

Source: Britain and the Yemen Civil War, 1962-1965, page 36:



The U.S. has intervened in Yemen since President Kennedy flew jet fighters to the Yemeni border:


In 1962, the British-supported Yemeni monarchy was overthrown. So in March 1963, U.S. President Kennedy agreed to deploy a squadron of U.S. Air Force F-4s to Saudi Arabia, to fly close to the Yemeni border, and to train Saudi pilots, as a demonstration of U.S. support for Saudi Arabia, as it fought to restore the overthrown Yemeni monarchy. U.S. naval visits to Saudi Red Sea ports were also increased, and U.S. training of the Saudi military was stepped up. The U.S.A.F. personnel also trained Saudi pilots.


-- Source: Uncle Sam, Supreme Guardian of the Saudi Crown”, By Herman F. Eilts, U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia (1965 to 1970), in the Spring 2000 issue of American Diplomacy.


__________________________________


The U.K., Israel, and the U.S. kept South Yemen under military & economic siege until the 1970’s:



--Source: “Women and Development in the Republic of Yemen”, by Helen Lackner, in Gender and development in the Arab world-- women's economic participation: patterns and policies (Published by Zed Books Ltd. for the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research, 1995; page 73.

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Carter allowed Saudi Arabia to buy tanks and fighter jets for use against South Yemen.


Carter also trained exiles to invade South Yemen (1979)


Weeks after U.S. President Carter allowed Saudi Arabia to buy tanks and fighter jets for North Yemen, fighting broke out between the North and South Yemen. Then the U.S. increased its arms package for North Yemen (allied with Saudi Arabia and the United States) and rushed a portion of it there, along with military advisers who would train North Yemen in their use.

Carter sent an aircraft carrier task force and surveillance planes to the region; and he offered U.S. fighter jets to Saudi Arabia to expand Saudi Arabia’s ability to use air power in North Yemen.

Carter also agreed to a plan that involved training personnel who had been exiled from South Yemen inside Saudi Arabia and using them to invade South Yemen. That operation was blown, as the exile force was captured and confessed as to U.S. involvement.


--Sources: “Yemen, Sudan to Get Added Arms,” New York Times , 12 February 1979; also other articles, 27 February, 6, 8, 13, 20, 29 March, 1 April 1979, 6 February 1980; “Carlucci Launched CIA Operation in Yemen That Collapsed,” Washington Post , 4 December 1986.

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Ronald Reagan then claimed that South Yemen is likely to send Cuban forces to attack Oman! (1980)




Source: AP story in the “Lakeland Ledger” (Florida), February 8, 1980, page 5A.

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Monday, December 28, 2009

500 demonstrators demand:


"Freedom for Palestine and boycott for Israel"




"Call for Permanent Boycott of Israel for Palestine:

"Activists in Istanbul demonstrated for a boycott against Israel because of the country's attacks on Gaza one year ago. The demonstrators criticized that Turkey is acting on double standards regarding the issue of Palestine."


BİA News Center
Istanbul, Turkey
December 28, 2009

On the Web at:



On the first anniversary of Israel's attacks against Gaza, demonstrators in Istanbul called for a boycott of the middle-east country. Approximately 500 human rights defenders gathered on Istanbul's centrally located Istiklal Avenue yesterday (27 December) and claimed that Israel should be protested in any aspect, e.g. in the areas of economy, politics, culture, academics and military.


Israel carried out military operations in Gaza starting from 27 December last year and lasting for a total of 3 weeks. 1,500 people were killed during the attacks, 5,300 were injured. More than 20,000 houses were damaged. Israel imposed an embargo on the region which is still in effect till today.


"Erdoğan acts hypocritical"


The demonstrators demanded a Boycott Initiative against Israel for Palestine and protested the country's intervention, which they called a massacre.


Walking down Istiklal Avenue, the demonstrators carried a banner saying "Boycott against Israel for lifting the Gaza blockade, ending the occupation, tearing down the wall of shame, and for the refugee's right to return". The crowd was continuously shouting slogans such as "Freedom for Palestine and boycott for Israel", "Tear down the wall and lift the blockade", "Don't deceive in Davos, Israel is here" or "Field exercise in Konya [city in central Anatolia], disaster in Gaza". The protest march was supported by the applause of many bystanders.


The crowd walked towards Taksim Square, where Ali Çerkezoğlu, member of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) Central Council, made a press release on behalf of the group at the end of the protest march. Çerkezoğlu declared, "A drama is being experienced on Palestine territory for more than 60 years, the peoples of the world are united in solidarity for the Palestinian people".


Mentioning that Turkey and its ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) are maintaining relations with Israel, Çerkezoğlu pointed out that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan acts hypocritically on this issue.


"It will be the most significant step for Turkey as the most important ally in the region to organize a boycott campaign against Israel and against Zionism for a consistent and influential international solidarity for the Palestine people against anti-imperialism and Anti-Zionism", Çerkezoğlu stated.


The Initiative of a Boycott against Israel for Palestine declared at the demonstration that their boycott against Israel has started. The Initiative emphasized that the boycott does not only cover products but also targets isolation of areas such as military, politics, economics, culture or academics. (BÇ/VK)


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Friday, December 18, 2009

CIA considers its trained force of torturers, in Palestine, to be CIA property:


http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/cia-link-to-torture-of-hamas/story-e6frg6so-1225811878445


RAMALLAH: Palestinian security agents who had been detaining and allegedly torturing supporters of the Islamist organisation Hamas in the West Bank had been working closely with the CIA, reports said yesterday.


Less than a year after US President Barack Obama signed an executive order that prohibited torture and provided for the lawful interrogation of detainees in US custody, The Guardian reported the CIA was co-operating with Palestinian security agents whose continuing use of torture had been widely documented by human rights groups.


The relationship between the CIA and the two Palestinian agencies involved - Preventive Security Organisation and General Intelligence Service - was said by some Western diplomats and other officials in the region to be so close that the US agency appeared to be supervising the Palestinians' work, the report said.


One senior western official told the paper: "The agency considers them as their property, those two Palestinian services."


A diplomatic source added that US influence over the agencies was so great they could be considered "an advanced arm of the war on terror".


The CIA and the Palestinian Authority deny the US agency controls its Palestinian counterparts, but neither denied that they interact closely in the West Bank.


Details of that co-operation were emerging as some human rights organisations questioned whether US intelligence agencies may be turning a blind eye to abusive interrogations conducted by other countries' intelligence agencies with whom they were working, The Guardian said.


According to the Palestinian watchdog al-Haq, human rights in the West Bank and Gaza have "gravely deteriorated due to the spreading violations committed by Palestinian actors" this year.


Most of those held without trial and allegedly tortured in the West Bank have been supporters of Hamas, which won the Palestinian elections in 2006 but is denounced as a terrorist organisation by the PA, the US and EU.


In the Gaza Strip, where Hamas has been in control for more than two years, there had been reports of its forces detaining and torturing Fatah sympathisers in the same way, the paper said.


Among the human rights organisations that had documented or complained about the mistreatment of detainees held by the PA in the West Bank were Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, al-Haq and the Israeli watchdog B'Tselem, it said.


Even the PA's human rights commission had expressed "deep concern" over the mistreatment of detainees.


The most common complaint is that detainees are severely beaten and subjected to a torture known as shabeh, during which they are shackled and forced to assume painful positions for long periods, the report said. There have been reports of sleep deprivation, and of large numbers of detainees being crammed into small cells to prevent rest.


Instead of being brought before civilian courts, almost all the detainees enter a system of military justice under which they need not be brought before a court for six months.


According to PA officials, 400 to 500 Hamas sympathisers were held by the PSO and GI, The Guardian said.


Some of the mistreatment has been so severe that at least three detainees have died in custody this year. The most recent was Haitham Amr, a 33-year-old nurse and Hamas supporter from Hebron who died four days after he was detained by GI officials last June.


Extensive bruising around his kidneys suggested he had been beaten to death.


While there is no evidence the CIA has been commissioning such mistreatment, human rights activists told the paper it would end promptly if US pressure were brought to bear on the Palestinian authorities.


A diplomat in the region told the paper that "at the very least" US intelligence officers were aware of the torture and not doing enough to stop it.


_____________________________



Thursday, December 17, 2009

Boycott of Israeli film festivals is pushed in India


British academic: Boycott Israel film festivals


Baiju NT [December 16, 2009, 1:30:28 PM]


In MALAYALAM GALATTA (India), at:


http://malayalam.galatta.com/entertainment/malayalam/livewire/id/British_academic_urges_to_boycott_Israel_film_festivals_33532.html



Tom Hickey, a British academic and leading member of the international campaign for an academic and cultural boycott of Israel, urged Kerala on Tuesday to boycott major Israeli events such as film festivals as a mark of solidarity with the Palestinian cause.


Tom was speaking at an open forum on ‘Cine, Truth and Resistance’, organized as part of the ongoing 14th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) in Thiruvananthapuram.


Being one of the leading centres of progressive activism, Kerala should take the lead in declaring the boycott, he said. Kerala should take the cue from film-maker Ken Loach, who refused to allow screening of his film at the Edinburgh International Film Festival till an Israeli entry was withdrawn, he pointed out.


Kerala Culture Minister M.A. Baby, film-makers Prasanna Vithanage and Saeed Mirza and writer Beatriz Florez Silva participated in the forum.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Boycotting Israel across Great Britain--

"Electrifying" tour of union leaders, and anti-apartheid fighters, pushes boycott hard.


" ‘Electrifying’ tour calls for Israel boycott"


by John Rose

December 19, 2009


On the Web at:

http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=19841



Leaders from South Africa’s freedom struggle joined a key Palestinian activist for an electrifying tour of meetings last week.


Representatives of the African National Congress (ANC) and Cosatu, the South African trade union federation, spoke alongside Omar Barghouti, Palestinian spokesperson for the call for Boycott, Disinvestment & Sanctions (BDS) on Israel, at meetings in London, Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh and Glasgow.


The UCU lecturer’s union had brought this international team to London for a special conference, agreed at the union’s annual congress.


The meetings, arranged by BRICUP – the British committee for solidarity with Palestinian universities – discussed how to build an international anti-apartheid type movement.


Israel recently showed its nervousness at the growth of BDS with a hysterical reaction to mild British government suggestions that supermarkets clearly label illegal West Bank settlement goods.


An official Israeli spokesman denounced the move as “a slide towards a more general boycott”.


At the meetings, Ronnie Kasrils – a leader of Jewish origin of the ANC’s underground military wing and an ex- South African ANC government minister – warned that Zionism was worse than apartheid because it wanted to force the ethnic exclusion of Arabs from their own country or reduce them to a status of native Americans. Apartheid, he said, had “merely” exploited black labour along ethnic lines.


He insisted that a boycott movement was an essential tool of solidarity that sometimes tipped the balance in the battle against apartheid.


The powerful presence of Cosatu leaders Bongani Masuku and George Mahlangu symbolised the centrality of organised labour in the struggle against Israeli oppression.


Earlier this year Cosatu-backed dock workers refused to unload an Israeli ship.


Tarek Moustafa, from the newly independent tax collectors’ union in Egypt, joined the panel for the London meeting. He talked about how the emergence of free trade unions in Egypt increased prospects for solidarity with Palestine.


Palestinian boycott leader Omar Barghouti helped shape the UCU conference final statement. Omar stressed the four demands of the Palestine Boycott National Committee, which has united all factions in Palestine: end the occupation, apply international law, end racial discrimination in Israel, the right of return for refugees.


Omar also pressed conference on the need to sever relations with the Histadrut, the official Israeli trade union, which serves as an arm of the Israeli state in its oppression of the Palestinians.


The Scottish TUC, which hosted the Glasgow meeting, will identify practical targets and mount pressure on the Scottish government. Omar Barghouti welcomed this, pointing to successful pressure on Norway’s government to disinvest a major pension fund from the Israeli company Elbit which provides security systems for the Israeli Apartheid Wall.


So successful says Omar that Israel arrested anti-Wall activist Mohammed Ottman for no other reason than “revenge”.


The British TUC Congress call for BDS now needs to move beyond resolutions and into action.




"British student solidarity with Gaza"

Some of the goods won by the student occupations for Gaza – which swept Britain’s universities at the start of this year – are on their way to Palestine.


Equipment promised by universities in response to the student actions have been packed on board the Viva Palestina convoy, which is travelling to Gaza in time for 27 December – a year after the start of Israel’s bombing campaign.


The London School of Economics (LSE) student union has voted to twin with the Islamic University of Gaza as part of a continuing campaign of solidarity.


Students at other many other universities have raised money for the goods to be transported on the convoy.


____________________________________



Friday, December 11, 2009

March on Washington:

"U.S. Out of Afghanistan and Iraq Now!"

"Free Palestine!"



Click on poster to enlarge it.

________________________



Israeli aircraft join the occupation of Afghanistan --


"10 Israeli UAVs headed for Afghanistan"


Dec. 10, 2009

by Yaakov Katz , THE JERUSALEM POST

On the Web at:

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1260447411166&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter


"Ten new Israeli-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will debut in Afghanistan in the coming weeks, after the Israel Aerospace Industries made the first delivery of the Heron UAV to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) on Thursday.


"Under the $91-million lease, the RAAF will receive 10 Heron UAVs, mission payloads, Automatic Ground Control Stations as well as spare parts. Canadian company MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) already provides maintenance for the Canadian Air Force - which operates Herons in Afghanistan - and will support the RAAF mission as well.


"The Heron was also recently leased to the German military and last month the Brazilian government announced that it was prepared to sign a $350-million deal to purchase Heron UAVs to patrol its cities and borders, and provide security for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games.


"The first UAV was delivered to the RAAF during a ceremony at the Ein Shemer landing strip in the North attended by the Canadian military attaché, Col. Geordie Elms, the Australian military attaché, Col. Wayne Fleming, and representatives from the Ministry of Defense, MDA and Israel Aerospace Industries.


"The RAAF chose the Heron from among a number of competitors after it successfully completed a series of tests of its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. Under the deal, the Heron will begin operations in early 2010 for one year, with an option for an additional two years...."


________________________________________

Monday, December 7, 2009

Zionists try to silence fighters against Apartheid Israel


From COSATU, the South African labor union federation, comes news that Bongani Masuku, a COSATU leader who is attending a Palestine Solidarity Conference in London, is facing Zionist demands to prevent him from speaking there.

Masuku is campaigning for the worldwide effort to boycott the Apartheid state of Israel:





Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU)



07 December 2009

On the Web at:


http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71654?oid=153738&sn=Detail




"SAHRC errs in hate speech ruling against COSATU's Bongani Masuku"


The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the Palestine Solidarity Movement in South Africa are shocked and appalled by the decision of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), which found that COSATU's International Relations Secretary, Bongani Masuku, is guilty of hate speech and called on him to apologise to the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD).

In a submission to the SAHRC, the SAJBD had accused Bongani of hate speech for comments he made during a lecture at the University of the Witwatersrand, hosted by the Palestine Solidarity Committee and the Young Communist League, as well as comments he had made on a Zionist blog and in a personal email to a Zionist detractor.

As Bongani's response to the SAJBD complaint illustrates, none of his comments can be regarded as hate speech in terms of the South African Constitution. Furthermore, his comments, in the main, referred to South Africans who supported the illegal Israeli military occupation - irrespective of their religious or ethnic backgrounds.

These comments were certainly a trenchant critique of Israel and its apologists and supporters in South Africa, but were not directed at the Jewish community or any other ethnic group.


Section 16 of the South African Constitution, the section on Freedom of Expression, states:

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which includes-

§ freedom of the press and other media;

§ freedom to receive or impart information or ideas;

§ freedom of artistic creativity; and

§ academic freedom and freedom of scientific research.



(2) The right in subsection (1) does not extend to-

§ propaganda for war;

§ incitement of imminent violence; or

§ advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or

§ religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm.


None of Bongani's statements can be regarded as being ‘advocacy of hatred' based on ‘race, ethnicity, gender or religion'. He did not refer to Jews, as is being alleged. The gleeful and smug comment by the SAJBD (see here), following the SAHRC decision, is simply untrue. Their claim that Bongani's comments ‘advocate and imply that the Jewish and Israeli community are to be despised, scorned, ridiculed and thus subjecting them to ill-treatment on the basis of their religious affiliation' is a pack of lies.

It is through such lies and intimidation that the SAJBD, the South African Zionist Federation, and other apologists of Israel have sought to chill free expression in South Africa and to prevent any critique of Israeli war crimes. Their repeated accusations of ‘hate speech' against criticisms of Israel have become wasteful of public resources, and trivialise the very serious charge of ‘hate speech'.

Furthermore, their constant, frivolous, and false accusations of ‘anti-Semitism' against critics of the state of Israel and the calumny of ‘self-hating Jews' against those Jews who support the just struggle of the Palestinian people against racism and oppression is an attempt to silence and intimidate those who, using their own experience of racism and oppression in Apartheid South Africa, feel they can contribute to a just resolution of the problems in the Middle East.

Indeed, we believe that SAJBD's statement during the Gaza massacre of December 2008-January 2009, wherein it defended all Israeli actions in that massacre - including the use of white phosphorous against civilians, the bombing of United Nations buildings, the murder of civilians, the bombing of civilian infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and places of worship - violates Section 16 of the Constitution in attempting to incite South Africans (especially South African Jews) to violence against Palestinians, and in being clear and obvious propaganda for war.

We are shocked that the SAHRC, after receiving a written complaint and a written response to that complaint, saw fit to make such a finding - with the potential weighty precedent that it can set - without even entertaining a hearing on this matter. We do not believe this constitutes due process and believe it to be unprocedural in terms of the manner in which the Commission should operate and in terms of its mandate to ensure the realisation of Constitutional rights - including the right to free expression. We are also surprised that the Commission made such a decision which blatantly contradicts previous rulings it has made on similar issues.

Bongani, with the support of COSATU and various solidarity organisations in South Africa, will study the SAHRC ruling and decide whether there are grounds for an appeal. We shall defend Bongani's right to free expression - as guaranteed by our Constitution - in the Equality Court and in any other court in South Africa.

COSATU also condemns attempts to silence Comrade Bongani Masuku, who is attending a Palestine Solidarity Conference in London to take forward the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. Pro-Israeli elements are trying to get his invitation withdrawn, on the basis of the SAHRC ruling, which was issued the day before the event started.

COSATU is consulting its lawyers on the SAHRC ruling and how it can be dealt with.


--Statement issued by the Palestine Solidarity Committee and the Congress of South African Trade Unions, December 4 2009

_________________________________________


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009

"most of the weapons that the South African government used to enforce apartheid were supplied by Israel... Even the water cannon..."


"...most of the weapons that the South African government used to enforce apartheid were supplied by Israel in violation of an international arms embargo on South Africa. Even the water cannon that they used to suppress demonstrations were made in a kibbutz in northern Israel."

--Ali Abunimah, speaking at the Campus Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions conference at Hampshire College in Massachusetts, November 21, 2009.


On the Web at:

http://mondoweiss.net/2009/12/abunimah-there-is-a-tremendous-struggle-to-be-waged-that-will-force-israeli-introspection-and-change.html


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Saturday, November 28, 2009

University student government calls on other universities to boycott Israel.





"University of Sussex students vote to boycott Israeli goods"


By Elham Asaad Buaras


The Muslim News

November 27, 2009


On the Web at:

http://www.muslimnews.co.uk/paper/index.php?article=4378



Students at the University of Sussex voted to boycott Israeli goods on November 5. The decision follows the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, which calls upon the Israeli state to respect international law and end the occupation of Palestine.

In a campus-wide referendum, 56% of students voted in favour of the boycott.

The referendum was held by the University of Sussex Students’ Union (USSU), which represents the institution’s 11,000 students.

Goods from Israel will no longer be stocked in USSU shops on the university campus, and USSU will be lobbying the University administration to observe the boycott.

USSU President, Tom Wills, told The Muslim News, “Israel has broken more UN resolutions than any other state. No other Western-backed democracy has committed such egregious violations of international law, but the international community has failed to hold Israel to account.

“Sussex was one of the first universities to boycott South Africa during apartheid, and we hope that this will help kickstart an international movement on a similar scale to put pressure on Israel to end its oppression of the Palestinian people.

“We call on students at other universities to table boycott motions in their own unions.”

Earlier this year, the Israeli attack on Gaza triggered resurgence in student activism when hundreds of students in 30 universities occupied theatre rooms across the country in January and February (see The Muslim News issue 238).

The student boycott comes after the Trades Union Congress (TUC) backed a boycott of Israeli settlement goods in September.


_____________________________

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Israel arrests Black bus passengers; Israel spies on Blacks & Muslims in airports.



"Dhoruba and Naji were ordered off the bus before Israeli border officials had any idea of their country of origin or personal histories. They only knew that they were Black."



Interview on YouTube at:



"The NLG NYC Condemns the Israeli Government for the Detention of African American Political Activists"


MONTHLY REVIEW

25 November 2009

On the Web at: http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/israel261109.html


The New York City Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild condemns the actions of the Israeli government for its unlawful and racially motivated detention of two African-American political activists.


On November 23, 2009, Dhoruba Bin Wahad, a former U.S. political prisoner and leader of the Black Panther Party, and Naji Mujahid, a student-activist from Washington D.C., were on a tourist bus en route from Amman, Jordan to the West Bank of occupied Palestine.


Both had been invited to attend a conference on political detention in Jericho that was sponsored by the Palestinian Authority.


As the bus crossed the King Hussein Bridge that connects Jordan with the Israeli-occupied West Bank, it stopped for a border inspection by Israeli officers.


Of the numerous individuals on the bus, only Dhoruba and Naji were ordered to disembark. Significantly, both were the only Black people on the bus. Within a short time, the border officials searched under Dhoruba's name on the Internet. They discovered that he is Muslim, a former Black Panther leader, and someone who spent 19 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.


(Dhoruba, a target of COINTELPRO, was arrested in 1971 and sentenced to life in prison. His conviction was overturned in 1990).


Both Dhoruba and Naji were interrogated, strip-searched, and their property confiscated and searched. Despite their cooperation and offer to return into Jordan, their detention continued for over 12 hours.


They were ultimately released but denied permission to enter occupied Palestine and returned to Jordan.


The treatment accorded Dhoruba and Naji would be outrageous if it occurred to anyone. And as Naji Mujahid himself stated shortly after returning to Amman, "the humiliation and frustration that we endured was a small taste of what we can be sure the Palestinians go through on a daily basis." But the incident is rendered even more shameful because its genesis appears to have been racial profiling.


Dhoruba and Naji were ordered off the bus before Israeli border officials had any idea of their country of origin or personal histories. They only knew that they were Black.


Moreover, the incident occurred only days after it was reported that the South African government deported an Israeli official following allegations that a member of Shin Bet, the Israeli secret police, had infiltrated the airport in Johannesburg in an effort to get information on South African citizens, particularly Black and Muslim travelers (Reuters, November 22, 2009)...


_____________________________________________



Israel spies on Black and Muslim passengers in airport:



Video:

"Israeli Shin Bet spies uncovered in South African Airports working for EL AL airlines"

On YouTube at:


____________________________________________________



Monday, November 23, 2009

Israel spies on thousands of Black and Muslim South African travelers.

Now its agents face deportation from South Africa.



"Israeli spies ‘infiltrate’ Johannesburg airport"


by Jonathan Cook
Foreign Correspondent
THE NATIONAL (UAE)

At:

http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091123/FOREIGN/711229870/1184/enewsletter/retry=a0db9a9f4c7af5a03692


* Last Updated: November 22. 2009


Photo: Television footage shows an undercover reporter being interrogated by an El Al official at the airport in Johannesburg.


--------------------------------------------------


NAZARETH, Israel // South Africa deported an Israeli airline official last week following allegations that Israel’s secret police, the Shin Bet, had infiltrated Johannesburg international airport in an effort to gather information on South African citizens, particularly black and Muslim travellers.

The move by the South African government followed an investigation by local TV showing an undercover reporter being illegally interrogated by an official with El Al, Israel’s national carrier, in a public area of Johannesburg’s OR Tambo airport.



The programme also featured testimony from Jonathan Garb, a former El Al guard, who claimed that the airline company had been a front for the Shin Bet in South Africa for many years.

Of the footage of the undercover reporter’s questioning, he commented: “Here is a secret service operating above the law in South Africa. We pull the wool over everyone’s eyes. We do exactly what we want. The local authorities do not know what we are doing.”



The Israeli foreign ministry is reported to have sent a team to South Africa to try to defuse the diplomatic crisis after the government in Johannesburg threatened to deport all of El Al’s security staff.


Mr Garb’s accusations have been supported by an investigation by the regulator for South Africa’s private security industries.

They have also been confirmed by human rights groups in Israel, which report that Israeli security staff are carrying out racial profiling at many airports around the world, apparently out of sight of local authorities.

Concern in South Africa about the activities of El Al staff has been growing since August, when South Africa’s leading investigative news show, Carte Blanche, went undercover to test Mr Garb’s allegations.

A hidden camera captured an El Al official in the departure hall claiming to be from “airport security” and demanding that the undercover reporter hand over his passport or ID as part of “airport regulations”. When the reporter protested that he was not flying but waiting for a friend, El Al’s security manager, identified as Golan Rice, arrived to interrogate him further. Mr Rice then warned him that he was in a restricted area and must leave.

Mr Garb commented on the show: “What we are trained is to look for the immediate threat – the Muslim guy. You can think he is a suicide bomber, he is collecting information. The crazy thing is that we are profiling people racially, ethnically and even on religious grounds … This is what we do.”

Mr Garb and two other fired workers have told the South African media that Shin Bet agents routinely detain Muslim and black passengers, a claim that has ignited controversy in a society still suffering with the legacy of decades of apartheid rule.

Suspect individuals, the former workers say, are held in an annex room, where they are interrogated, often on matters unrelated to airport security, and can be subjected to strip searches while their luggage is taken apart. Clandestine searches of their belongings and laptops are also carried out to identify useful documents and information.

All of this is done in violation of South African law, which authorises only the police, armed forces or personnel appointed by the transport minister to carry out searches.

The former staff also accuse El Al of smuggling weapons – licensed to the local Israeli embassy – into the airport for use by the secret agents.



Mr Garb went public after he was dismissed over a campaign he led for better pay and medical benefits for El Al staff.



A South African Jew, he said he was recruited 19 years ago by the Shin Bet. “We were trained at a secret camp [in Israel] where they train Israeli special forces and they train you how to use handguns, submachine guns and in unarmed combat.”

Mr Garb claimed to have profiled 40,000 people for Israel over the past 20 years, including recently Virginia Tilley, a Middle East expert who is the chief researcher at South Africa’s Human Sciences Research Council. The think tank recently published a report accusing Israel of apartheid and colonialism in the Palestinian territories.

“The decision was she should be checked in the harshest way because of her connections,” Mr Garb said.

Ms Tilley confirmed that she had been detained at the airport by El Al staff and separated from her luggage. Mr Garb said that during this period an agent “photo-copied all [her] documentation and then he forwarded it on to Israel” – Mr Garb believes for use by the Shin Bet.



Israeli officials have refused to comment on the allegations. A letter produced by Mr Garb – signed by Roz Bukris, El Al’s general manager in South Africa – suggests that he was employed by the Shin Bet rather than the airline. Ms Bukris, according to the programme, refused to confirm or deny the letter’s validity.

The Israeli Embassy in South Africa declined to discuss evidence that it, rather than El Al, had licensed guns issued to the airline’s security managers. Questioned last week by Ynet, Israel’s largest news website, about the deportation of the airline official, Yossi Levy, an Israeli foreign ministry spokesman said he could not “comment on security matters”.



A report published in 2007 by two Israeli human rights organisations, the Nazareth-based Arab Association for Human Rights and the Centre Against Racism, found that Israeli airline staff used racial profiling at most major airports around the world, subjecting Arab and Muslim passengers to discriminatory and degrading treatment in violation both of international law and the host country’s laws.

“Our research showed that the checks conducted by El Al at foreign airports had all the hallmarks of Shin Bet interrogations,” said Mohammed Zeidan, the director of the Human Rights Association. “Usually the questions were less about the safety of the flight and more aimed at gathering information on the political activities or sympathies of the passengers.”



The human rights groups approached four international airports – in New York, Paris, Vienna and Geneva – where passengers said they had been subjected to discriminatory treatment, to ask under what authority the Israeli security services were operating. The first two airports refused to respond, while Vienna and Geneva said it was not possible to oversee El Al’s procedures.


jcook@thenational.ae


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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Protests against government assassination of Imam Luqman: "End FBI Death Squads"


"Groups call for DOJ investigation of FBI raid"

By Khalil AlHajal
ARAB AMERICAN NEWS

Saturday, 11.21.2009

http://www.arabamericannews.com/news/index.php?mod=article&cat=Community&article=2663



Several major rights advocacy organizations sent a letter to the U.S. Justice Department on Monday calling for an investigation into potential civil rights violations commiteed during the Oct. 28 FBI raid conducted in Dearborn in which a religious leader was killed.




Photo: Demonstrators protest the Oct. 28 FBI killing of Imam Luqman Abdullah at the federal building in downtown Detroit on Nov. 5.

Imam Luqman Abdullah, leader of the Detroit-based Masjid Al-Haqq made up primarily of African Americans, was killed during a raid in a Dearborn warehouse where undercover agents lured members of the group in a sting operation involving stolen goods.

The groups who signed the letter included the Council of American-Islamic Relations—Michigan, The American Civil Liberties Union—Michigan, the National Lawyers Guild, the Congress of Arab American Organizations, the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice and The Michigan Emergency Committee Against War and Injustice.

The groups asked for an investigation specifically seeking clarity on nine points in which there have conflicting accounts of what happened that day, including "the number of times Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah was shot, as well as how many rounds were fired at him by the federal agents;" "whether excessive use of deadly force was employed by the federal agents under the circumstances;" whether an FBI canine killed at the scene "was trained and subsequently directed by the FBI agents to attack Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah," and "whether Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah was dead at the time he was handcuffed."




Photo: CAIR Executive Director Dawud Walid speaks during a press conference in Southfield on Tuesday on a joint letter sent to the Justice Department requesting an investigation into the Oct. 28 FBI raid in which an imam was killed. PHOTOS: Pan-African News Wire


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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Shooting of Detroit Imam is protested:




The Michigan Citizen, 1055 Trumbull, Detroit, MI 48216 (313) 963-8282


"Muslims protest FBI’s ‘terrorism’ "




Imam Abdullah demonstration -
DIANE BUKOWSKI PHOTOS


"Imam Abdullah’s family, followers and allies protest FBI raid"


By Diane Bukowski
The Michigan Citizen

November 15, 2009

On the Web at:

http://michigancitizen.com/default.asp?sourceid=&smenu=1&twindow=&mad=&sdetail=7983&wpage=1&skeyword=&sidate=&ccat=&ccatm=&restate=&restatus=&reoption=&retype=&repmin=&repmax=&rebed=&rebath=&subname=&pform=&sc=1070&hn=michigancitizen&he=.com




DETROIT — “The community loves us, and they are wondering who will be there to feed and clothe them now that my father is dead,” said Omar Regan, son of Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah, 53, who was shot to death in an FBI raid Oct. 28. “People there trust Muslims more than they trust the police.”

Regan, with his brother Jamil Carswell by his side, spoke at a demonstration of at least 75 people outside the federal McNamara Building in Detroit, Nov. 4. A town hall meeting that drew several hundred took place the next day at the Muslim Center of Detroit on East Davison.

The Imam’s mosque is located in one of Detroit’s poorest neighborhoods, on Clairmount near Linwood. It is 98.6 percent African American, with only half of its residents over 16 working, and 31 percent living under the poverty level, according to the most recent figures from the U.S. Census.

“Of my father’s 13 children, none of us have criminal records,” Regan said. “That was how my father taught us. It is not right for people to set up traps to lure innocent people. They want to shoot us down — for what? Because we want to stand up and say stop hurting us? My father was targeted — he knew they were going to kill him. It’s not just Muslims, but any organization that is fighting for freedom and justice for the people is trying to overthrow the government.”

Clayton Dafney, a lifelong friend of Imam Abdullah, said everything Abdullah said or did was about Allah and Islam.

“I once got put out of the mosque because I went astray and started drinking,” said Dafney. “But Luqman said, ‘As long as this brother is coming to the mosque to worship, he is welcome.’ Luqman was not the type of brother to come out and open fire on the U.S. government. They do not understand Islam. They murdered him because of his beliefs.”

One of the speakers at the town hall meeting was Imam Dawud Walid, head of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

He earlier told The Michigan Citizen that members of Muslim and African communities across the world have expressed extreme concern about Imam Abdullah’s death.

“I’ve been on Al Jazeera three times, and on South African radio, and we have also been contacted by Muslims in Iran,” he said. “We are calling for an independent investigation ... There are many unanswered questions and irregularities involved. There is a long history in our nation, in Detroit in particular, of African American men being subjected to unnecessary and sometimes lethal force by law enforcement.”

Imam Walid questioned the use of agent ‘provocateurs’ and informants in houses of worship, particularly where there has been no evidence of criminal activity. He said the event calls to mind the activities of the FBI’s COINTELPRO program against the Black Panthers and other groups in the 1960s and 70s.

A total of 12 alleged members of Imam Abdullah’s Masjid El-Haqq Mosque remain charged with offenses including dealing in stolen goods, weapons possession and sales, and mail and insurance fraud.

Attorney Jeffrey Edison, who represents one of the men, said preliminary examinations will happen soon. “Preliminary exams in federal court are not the same as in state courts,” Edison said. “They allow hearsay, and usually only have the case agent testify regarding what is in the reports.”

Many believe Imam’s murder and arrests of members of his mosque are part of a rash of recent FBI set-ups of African American Muslims in the U.S. In May, four New York City residents were indicted by a grand jury and later arrested on charges of “conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction” against synagogues in the Riverdale section of the Bronx and to down a plane.

The FBI admitted its undercover agents supplied the men with plastic explosives and a Stinger missile — all phony — then arrested them as they allegedly sought to use the weapons.

Meanwhile, the Council of Islamic Organizations in Michigan (CIOM), headquartered in Warren, revealed recently that they met with Detroit FBI Director Andrew Arena, FBI Spokeswoman Sandra Berchtold, and U.S. Attorney Terence Berg the day after the raid.

The Imams Committee of CIOM issued a statement: “We emphasize that no criminal acts be confused with what Islam and Muslims stand for. Our religion stands for justice and we hope justice will be served. We support the law of the land. ...”

Arena is scheduled to co-chair a banquet Nov. 19 for ALPACT, a group including numerous law enforcement agencies and community organizations, many of them from the Arab-American community. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will attend.


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Dublin, Ireland: Hundreds Rally against Israeli Apartheid, and for Boycott against Israel:



Click on photo of rally, to enlarge it.



Click on poster to enlarge it.


14 Nov 2009


"Dublin: Hundreds Attend Rally Against Israeli Apartheid in Palestine"


http://cosmos.ucc.ie/cs1064/jabowen/IPSC/ipsc/displayRelease.php?releaseID=175



Today Saturday 14th November 2009 hundreds of Palestinians and solidarity activists rallied in Dublin to protest against Israel’s apartheid practices in Palestine.

The rally - part of an international week of global mobilisation against the walls of apartheid in Palestine from November 9th to 16th 2009, called by the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign – was compèred by Freda Hughes (IPSC PRO), Caoimhe Butterly (renowned Irish human rights activist), Ger Cassidy (Viva Palestina), Sameh Habeeb (Gazan Journalist and human rights activist), John Hurson (Where Do the Children Play?), Pete St. John-Jones (International Solidarity Activist in Bil’in).



Speakers highlighted the brutality of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, with particular reference to the Siege of Gaza and the Israel’s Apartheid Walls in Palestine. They spoke of their efforts, both in Ireland and in Palestine, to raise awareness among civil and political society, as well as their various efforts to help people on the ground in Palestine. Freda Hughes, the IPSC PRO, stressed the need to build a broad based social mass-movement to convey the reality of the situation in Palestine to mainstream society.

Following the speeches protestors marched around the central reservation on O’Connell Street chanting slogans in support of the Palestinian people, carrying colourful flags, placards and banners in a loud and spirited demonstration.

After the rally, an IPSC press conference was held in the Teachers’ Club. The reason for the conference was to raise awareness of the ongoing media difficulties surrounding the occupation of Palestine, to highlight the impressive role the Irish trade union movement has played in pushing for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, and to launch the IPSC’s campaign aimed at building public support to convince Irish multinational CRH to divest from Israel [1].

Peter McLoone, General Secretary of IMPACT, who was a member of the ICTU delegation that visited Palestine in November 2007, spoke of his experiences in Palestine during the trip. Mr. McLoone said: “There is no doubt that the people of Palestine are suffering. There is no doubt that people are dying and there is no doubt that people are living in fear. No amount of Israeli propaganda can counteract what I have seen on the ground.”

Mr. McLoone continued: “The trade union movement in Ireland is determined to take Palestinian solidarity activism to a new level. We are determined to engage with other trade unions to encourage them to adopt a policy of boycott, divestment and sanctions.”

Sameh Habeeb, Gazan journalist and human rights worker who reported prolifically and bravely during the Israeli onslaught in Dec 2008 /Jan 2009, gave an emotive account of the current situation in Gaza. He spoke of the dire medical conditions and the fact that the economy has completely collapsed. He also talked about the difficulties faced by those in education and the cripplingly high unemployment rate in the beleaguered coastal strip which is home to 1.5 million Palestinans.

Mr. Habeeb stated: “The war on Gaza was not a retaliation against Hamas rockets, the ceasefire was breached by Israel on November 4th 2008 – a fact that has been openly admitted by Israeli military sources. This was a pre-planned war. Israel’s denials regarding its targeting of civilians is propaganda and fabrication and is abhorrent in a time of such unequal conflict.”

Harry Browne, journalist and lecturer in DIT, spoke of the mainstream media bias in favour of Israel and its official sources which he said were often accepted at face value without the application of critical analysis on behalf of reporters. He stressed that some of the best and most honest reporting from Gaza came from Gazans themselves, like Sameh Habeeb, because very few Western media outlets had a presence there when the war was launched. He referred to this as “real reporting”. He also made reference to the importance of New Media such as blogs, social networking sites and independent media outlets in delivering genuine and unfiltered news coverage on an international scale.

John Dorman, the IPSC’s Divestment Officer, officially launched the IPSC’s campaign aimed at building public support to convince Irish multinational CRH to divest from Israel (For background see Note 1).

Mr. Dorman outlined the steps the IPSC are taking in this multifaceted and long-term campaign which include research, education, legal and civil aspects. He urged those concerned with CRH’s role in Israel to get involved in the campaign by contacting the IPSC, and at the very least to sign the IPSC’s petition - http://www.ipsc.ie/crhdivest

Mr. Dorman concluded: “CRH boast on their website that they adhere “to the highest standards of corporate and social responsibility” and that they state that the support the UN Declaration of Human Rights and consider human rights implications where applicable in all contracts. In light of this, we the undersigned call for CRH to immediately divest from the Mashav Group and to end its collusion with Israel’s Apartheid Regime.”

Concluding the meeting David Landy, Chair of the IPSC, encouraged people to get involved, either at home by getting involved in the IPSC and the BDS campaign, or by visiting Palestine to see the suffering of the people first hand and getting involved with grassroots and NGO campaigns there.


Notes:

1. CRH’s Israeli subsidiary the Mashav Group is to acquire Hanson Israel, Israel's 2nd largest building materials company, which operates illegal quarries, asphalt, aggregate and cement factories in the Occupied West Bank.

Added to this CRH (through Mashav) owns a 25% stake in the Nesher Cement company that provides 85% of all cement in Israel. Therefore, the Irish company CRH is currently complicit in the violation of international law through illegal mining activities in Palestine, as well as the construction of Israel's Apartheid Wall in the West Bank, checkpoints and settlement-colonies.


Related Link:
http://www.ipsc.ie/


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Saturday, November 14, 2009

University of Michigan silences debate about Palestine.


All demands for boycott against Israel have been officially silenced, at all meetings of the Michigan Student Assembly (University of Michigan; Ann Arbor, Michigan).

Click on today's article in the "Arab American News", in the November 14-20, 2009 issue:




Here is the same "Arab American News" article, from the November 14-20, 2009 issue, as it appears online:



"UM silences debate about Palestine"

By Nick Meyer


Tuesday, 11.17.2009, 09:55pm

On the Web at:

http://www.arabamericannews.com/news/index.php?mod=article&cat=Community&article=2624


The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor has long been a haven for political movements, and many times, they've been started at least partly by non-students.

But the right for non-students to speak at Michigan Student Assembly meetings has been compromised since the MSA passed a controversial resolution on Oct. 27 that will restrict "community input" at its weekly meetings, with preventing political talk about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict suspected by many to be a key motive.

The resolution required a two-thirds majority and passed on its second vote by a 23-7 count after amendments were added to the first failed proposal requiring a written report each time community members are turned away from speaking. The first proposal failed by a 17-16 vote.

Now, the MSA will require that speakers show a valid, non-expired "MCard" confirming that they are affiliated with the university first. Non-affiliates must request permission from the executive board before speaking and their time will be shortened from five minutes per person to three minutes and from an hour to a half hour total for the segment.

The official explanation for the ruling was that the MSA wanted to limit the amount of time spent on "community concerns," now titled "community input," so it could focus more on campus-specific issues.

But MSA Representative Kate Stenvig of the Rackham Graduate School on campus, who voted against the resolution two separate times, said she believed that silencing political discussion was the main objective behind its passing.

"Really, I think what prompted this was the debate around Gaza," said Stenvig. "I think they use it is an excuse to limit any political debates they possibly could…there's a particular fear of debate around Israel and any political issues."

Stenvig said that the topic of Gaza and a potential divestment from Israel resolution is brought up often at meetings.

Blaine Coleman is one non-student who has pushed for a resolution regarding Gaza and divestment from Israel from the MSA on and off for the last nine years, as well as from the Ann Arbor City Council, which once was presented with a list of 1,000 signatures. He's seen the community comments segment shut down temporarily in the past, most notably in October 2000 when he said about 100 students asked the MSA for a divestment from Israel resolution.

Coleman doesn't believe that time is as big of an issue as the MSA has made it out to be.

"Why do they spend all semester working hard to shut these people up when it's just a lousy five minutes?" he asked. "They call it community concerns, and now they have just effectively banned the community from community concerns."

Also raising a few eyebrows was the MSA's decision to move the meeting from its usual place on the third floor of the Michigan Union Building to the Laurie Engineering Center on the north end of UM's campus.

Stenvig has been on campus since 1999 and said that the only other time such a move occurred was when it was moved to a larger venue to accommodate a large expected turnout.

This time, however, the meeting was held in seclusion away from students and community members, where Stenvig said some voting members of the MSA were locked out before being let in.

Stenvig agreed with Coleman that the time restriction explanation wasn't enough justification for the resolution and said she believes the MSA has more influence than it has let on in the political sphere.

"Any argument that our student government can't have an effect on political issues is historically wrong and it's cynical and it's ridiculous," she said.

Stenvig said that many of the student organizations on campus have non-student members who deserve to speak and she plans to fight the resolution, having filed a case with the central student judiciary and saying that it violates the student constitution.

"What me and other people have really argued is that they're limiting free speech rights and political participation of students who want them to take action on the issue," she said.

"Student government should be playing a role to make campus more welcoming to minority students and immigrant students and this resolution was an expression of a whole series of attacks on basic democracy."


--END--


____________________________________________




As you can see, at first the Michigan Student Assembly refused to do it.

Quickly, a second meeting was held at a locked, distant location. Even members of the Assembly were locked outside. Finally the Assembly agreed to eliminate all community speakers, except those granted advance approval by an "executive board".

This move was in total defiance of the Constitutional "Right to Free Speech", and of the Open Meetings Act.

Yet the Zionists are so frantic to kill the Boycott-Israel movement, they will openly choke off your freedom of speech to do it.

You may not believe it, but that famous campus newspaper, the "Michigan Daily", has thrown its weight behind the effort to silence even the word "Gaza" from being spoken:


____________________________________________


MICHIGAN DAILY
Editorial, October 11, 2009--

At: http://www.michigandaily.com/content/daily-assembly-required


"Some students may recall the mockery that the Michigan Student Assembly made of itself last winter when it spent several meetings debating the passage of a resolution on the conflict in Gaza. In light of the derailment of MSA that resulted from discussing these issues at length, MSA is now considering a resolution that would focus debate by changing the policies for hearing community concerns. MSA should approve the proposal..."


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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Boycott of Israel at New Orleans Middle East Film Festival:


"But after the invasion (of Gaza) and Israel's refusal to let rebuilding materials in, I decided to join the international call for a cultural boycott of Israel," Broussard said. "I know I'm going to get heat from it, but ..."


See article below:

_____________________________


"New Orleans Middle East Film Festival cranks up today"



By Mike Scott,
The New Orleans Times-Picayune

November 12, 2009, 12:24PM

On the Web at:

http://www.nola.com/movies/index.ssf/2009/11/new_orleans_middle_east_film_f.html



Originally, the New Orleans Middle East Film Festival was to be held every two years because of the limited number of films available from countries in the region. That was the plan, anyway.


Apparently, Middle Eastern filmmakers had other ideas. With a wealth of films from or about the Middle East at his disposal, organizer Rene Broussard has turned the festival into an annual event...

...One thing from years past that attendees won't see is a strong presence from Israeli filmmakers. That's by design, Broussard said.


"The first two years we had a very strong presence from Israel. This year, all of the films that deal with Israel are from the point of view of the Palestinians," he said. "I was reluctant (to do that) in the first few years of the film festival, because I wasn't doing a Palestinian film festival, I was doing a Middle East film festival -- I was trying to get a very balanced point of view.


"But after the invasion (of Gaza) and Israel's refusal to let rebuilding materials in, I decided to join the international call for a cultural boycott of Israel," Broussard said. "I know I'm going to get heat from it, but ..."


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