This conference seeks to explore the multiple, complex and inter-related ways that anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim racisms are being constructed in relation to the question of Palestine/Israel. In particular it seeks to examine how the histories of Zionist settlement, anti-colonial and nation-building struggles and 20th century warfare in the Middle East region are being transformed in the current historical conjuncture. Of particular importance in this context will be ideological and political alliances that have emerged locally, regionally and globally around notions such as the ‘New Antisemitism’, and ‘Islamophobia’ and how these relate to racialised discourses against Jews and Muslims. Drawing on the expertise of scholars and activists from a variety of backgrounds, the aim of the conference will be to serve as a first step for building a transversal anti-racist political vision that will aim to destabilize some of the oppositional dichotomies which are currently hegemonic in discourses around Jews, Muslims and Middle East politics.
Israel seems to fear non-violent resistance even more than rockets – it gives the lie to its accusation that all Palestinians are terrorists, shaming it in front of the world. So the village of Bil’in, still demonstrating every week after more than five years against the illegal theft of its land, and joined by a handful of Isralies and internationals, is subject to increasing harassment and physical violence.
Regular demonstrator Roy Wagner reports for +972 magazine
Beset by declining demand for its products especially in the US, labour disputes in its occupied territory factory at Ma’aleh Adumim, and a developing worldwide boycott movement which claims to have persuaded George Soros to divest among its many achievements, Sodastream is set for a revamp which will almost certainly include closing its factory on the West Bank. Who says targeted boycotts don’t work?
A debate will take place in the House of Commons on Monday October 13th, 2014 to debate the motion put by Gerald Kaufman MP and Grahame Morris MP. The PSC and JfJfP are urging supporters to lobby their MPs in favour of the motion, plus there is a 38 degrees petition. The right-wing ‘JMA’ is trying to organise a counter-lobby.
The ‘stonking’ speech of JfJfP signatory 19-year-old Barnaby Raine at the huge march and rally against the Israeli war on Gaza in London on Saturday, August 9th, 2014.
As the text makes clear, this statement was published in today’s Guardian because of the refusal of the Jewish Chronicle to allow our views to be expressed in its pages.
A song from the heart for Gaza and for all of us
The campaign to get FIFA to exclude the IFA because it does not abide by the rules of anti-racism may not have kept Israel from competing in this year’s World Cup but has succeeded in forcing attention to the barriers against Palestinian youth playing football imposed by Israeli security. Updated with Petition and story of security officials at an Israeli-Honduras soccer match in Houston stopping a woman waving a Palestinian flag because it was a ‘racial slur’.
The tradition of Jewish involvement in progressive movements may seem to have withered as more Jewish groups settle into the establishment; Jewish campaigns against Israel’s occupation and siege of Gaza can paralyse other Jews with uncertainty. But here we have a rabbis’ letter urging us all to stay true to the Make Poverty History ambitions while Michele Hanson and chums can’t abandon a life of protest – even if online like this website – is the only feasible option.
Zochrot – “Remembering” – is an Israeli organisation, whose activists include Jews and Palestinians. It is dedicated to educating Israeli Jews about their history i.e. the Palestinian dispossession on which the state is founded. Next week it launches an I-Nakba phone app which will allow users to locate any Arab village that was abandoned during the 1948 war on an interactive map, learn about its history (including, in many cases, the Jewish presence that replaced it), and add photos, comments and data.
Ian Black reports for the Guardian
A press release received today tells of an attempt to blast Gaza’s Ark – a boat being prepared to sail goods from Gaza in protest against the blockade – out of the water. It is followed by a report from today’s Ha’aretz.
Whistleblowers are the heroes of the secret and dangerously malfunctioning business or state . Their reward is penury, persecution, prison (Vanunu) or exile (Edward Snowden). Lest we forget – a letter from Paul Oestreicher and article from Duncan Campbell. Although Vanunu was abducted in Rome via London whither he came to reveal Israel’s nuclear facilities, there has been scant effort in the UK to support or honour his courage – tho Paul Oestreicher sticks with CND. Petition to sign for Vanunu.
The RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) has never been a conservative body since its origin in 1834. It is an influential body of international standing so the decision of its Council this week to pass a resolution for the suspension of the Israeli architects’ association from the international architects’ union (UIA) because of settlements will help to design the future. Desperate editorial from the Jewish Chronicle alleging an antisemitic conspiracy.
Students for Justice in Palestine are springing up in many American universities. They put on demonstrations of the Wall and military checkpoints, and join the movement for BDS. Enraged, the Jewish establishment is doing what it can to shut down or silence these activists. A handful of billionaires and the Israeli government fund re-education projects, professional advocates and legal cases – with little return on their investment.
In the latest of David Shulman’s illuminating reports, Ta’ayush volunteers try to engage in discussion the settlers and soldiers who are driving the Palestinian herders away. These men know nothing of international – or national – law; they live by the word of God (their unique interpretation) and of their commanding officer. In their ignorance of law, the soldiers terrify the shepherds by threatening to shoot them if they don’t go.
From isolated protests over several years at Israel’s participation in FIFA, which is a constitutionally anti-racist body, the protests have gained momentum and publicity. Red Card Israeli Racism has launched a petition to FIFA for the Israel Football Association to be suspended from membership. The issue is linked to the many obstacles Israel places in the way of Palestinians playing football.
An angry Uri Misgav writes in Haaretz about ‘why I no longer want to live in the most racist state in the free world.’ The state has developed a racist hierarchy of groups. The rankings and exclusions are ‘like the Nuremberg Laws, only in reverse’. For Jews who do not wish to be claimed as members by The Jewish State, One Democracy has launched a petition to make this public.
Europe is the most important destination of Israel’s exports and Europe is the place where demands for boycott are strongest. The German publication, DW, reports on the impact of the boycott on business dependent on trade relations with European companies; Time magazine reports on Palestinian support for boycott as the path to peace, but does not give new detail of who among the Palestinians supports boycott.
At the annual Israel-US love-in, the AIPAC conference, speakers politely refrain from uttering a critical word about Israel’s policies, preferring to reassure Americans, Israelis, that the country’s security is Americans ‘first concern’ (Kerry). Bibi has no restraint, delighting his audience with a no-holds-barred attack on BDS supporters as antisemites, bigots and in the tradition of those who used the blood libel. Robert Cohen and Ali Abuminah comment.
After Scarlett Johannson’s straw-sucking plug for Sodastream created mass free publicity for the opposition to illegal settlements, Sodastream’s share price plunged. Share-buyers may invest in all sorts of tacky enterprises as long as no-one makes a fuss. Its reputation may be a company’s most precious asset which is tarnished by a fuss. Targetting the shareholders may be the BDS’s movement most effective tactic.