Spare a moment’s pity for the mega-corporations, like G4S, which enjoyed such a bonanza with the privatisation of once-basic state services. Their profits are not within their own control. At a whim of a government, or a miscalculation by their CEO, they can lose those profits and their reputation. Such is the fate of G4S whose profits and reputation have slumped, not least because of their willingness to serve the Israeli occupation’s treatment (illegal) of Palestinians taken prisoner. (Not an issue in their hasty new ethical policy). Join the protest at this year’s AGM on June 6th, London.
Stephen Hawking, one of the world’s best-known physicists, has pulled out of the fifth Israeli Presidential Conference in Jerusalem on 18–20 June 2013. He had headed the list of international speakers at the ‘Facing Tomorrow’ conference. He came under pressure to withdraw as his condemnation of Operation Cast Lead as out of proportion and likening of Israel to an apartheid state were well known. UPDATE: the reaction
As we have posted before, the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013 comes straight from AIPAC’s wish list. It allows Israelis to enter the USA without a visa – and allows Israel to continue to discriminate against anyone on the grounds of ethnicity, religion and political beliefs. This is so contrary to the modern American ethic that it has prompted unusual condemnation for an AIPAC initiative. Annie Robbins of Mondoweiss reports.
Israeli propaganda which insists that Israel is the one and proper home for all Jews and true representative of Jewish interests has prompted more and more people to argue the opposite; our homes are in the countries we live in, we have no right to live in Israel, ‘diaspora’ life has a long, rich history which we value.
Protests against one of the world’s biggest companies, G4S, which provides Israel with paramilitary and prison services, has forced the company to give up its contracts in the occupied territories. The cost to its reputation – it was voted the world’s third worst company last January – is not worth it.
How complicit is Israel’s architectural profession with the consolidation and extension of the occupation? And is the prestigious Wolf Prize in effect a prize awarded by the state of Israel with a political agenda in mind?
Building Design journal reports on the controversy raised by the decision to offer world-renowned architect Souto de Moura the 2013 Wolf Prize for Architecture and by his decision to accept it.
Samer Issawi is, as far we know, still on hunger strike while in hospital in Haifa. He has refused an offer of his freedom in exchange for exile to the Gaza Strip. He wishes to return to his home village of Issawye. There have been many warnings to the Israeli government and prison service, including from UK diplomats, that if another prisoner dies they will not to be able to control the consequences.
So far this year nine Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces – much higher than last year – mostly in West Bank clashes. Two young men were killed this week and one prisoner suffering from cancer, who had not been moved to hospital until late March, also died. Is it possible that Israeli authorities have not grasped the impact of killings and imprisonment on Palestinians – or think they can triumph over anything with enough force?
Just over 10 years ago, on March 16 2003, a young woman from Olympia, Washington state, was crushed to death by an armoured Caterpillar bulldozer driven by a soldier who was trying to demolish the home of Palestinian Samir Nasralla. Rachel was working with International Solidarity Movement, using non-violent action to protect Palestinians’ homes. She is remembered with deep respect by many Palestinians and her parents have established the Rachel Corrie foundation to commemorate and continue her work.
In the 2nd article here, Ramzy Baroud challenges the argument that settlement goods only should be boycotted; they could not be produced without huge support from Israel. In the first article, Dalia Hatuqa looks at the failure of the EU to achieve a ban on settlement products via honest labelling of provenance.
The EU has two voices on Israel and Palestine The quiet voice discreetly makes preferential trade deals with Israel. The louder, political one – including the EU consuls in the West Bank and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton – is angry that Israel has rejected all diplomatic means to establish a Palestinian state. Israel wants to sell its goods, without labelling settlement products, to a market it treats with contempt.
On Tuesday 19, on the 211th day of his hunger strike, a court refused to release Samer Issawi. Protests have spread across the West Bank and Gaza. He is being held on administrative detention – a state order which allows people to be imprisoned without charge or trial. JfJfP opposes the use of administrative detention orders as lacking all due process, and supports the right of prisoners to protest against their use.
You might think Labour MPs would not want to favour a company which practised racial discrimination, paid its workers less than half the minimum wage, on casual terms, in poor working conditions, which mislabelled its products in order to fool consumers. When you add this company has based its production facility on a site which made a longed-for peace settlement impossible you do wonder why Labour Friends of Israel were happy to attend an event (1) publicising Sodastream (2, Who Profits report. Send this to an LFI member (List, 3)!
These are a few excerpts from the comprehensive annual report by the ACRI. It documents the loss or denial of civil rights to Israelis especially Palestinians. Many of these are local rules (building,use of Arabic) reminiscent of the ‘Jim Crow’ laws of the federally ‘equal’ but actually segrated southern US. A new factor is the privatisation of police and judicial services which will leave Palestinians and the poor with little access to justice..
Who does more damage to human rights, Goldman Sachs, Shell or G4S? John Grayson and Adri Nieuwhof throw their weight behind G4S, a company which ‘privatises warfare, benefits from the occupation of Palestinian lands, enables the detention of Palestinian children – and seven more reasons . Look left to Action Alert for more information on the Public Eye vote.
Jewish Voice for Peace has initiated a public letter to President Obama asking him to act on an obvious principle: Israel should not receive state money from the US (or any country) if it does not comply with national and international laws. This follows a letter from 15 Christian leaders saying ‘unconditional U.S. military assistance to Israel has contributed to this deterioration (of peace prospects)’. JfJfP endorses the public letter to Obama. To sign, click on link in posting. The letter will be delivered on Inauguration Day, January 21.
Surprise Update: NWLA announces won’t decide on contract until next March, no reason given.
The North London Waste Authority is considering tenders for the massive job of waste disposal in North London. People who are concerned about the responsible disposal of waste are equally concerned about respect for international law and human rights. As Veolia flouts these laws in Israeli settlements local campaigns against Veolia getting this contract have become intense. UPDATES: Richard Falk adds voice to campaign. Hackney resident prevented from speaking to Council about contract. Jonathan Hoffman of the Zionist Federation claims denying Veolia a contract would be illegal.
It is evident that both Hamas and the Israeli government breached international rules of conduct, though neither party is a signatory to these rules. But Israel’s claim of ‘self-defence’ for launching its onslaught and its excuses for civilian deaths are most questionable says an Al Jazeera Opinion. Interpretations on BBC news and by PCHR differ, though not on these two main charges.
In a terse statement in the trade media, Veolia announces that it has ended its 4-year sponsorship of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition. The petition against this wildly inappropriate sponsorship by a law-breaking, waste-dumping company was started by Richard Kuper and JfJfP. 1,175 had signed by 18 Nov – the petition is still running!
Demonstration this Saturday, 24 November, demanding an end to the siege of Gaza. Assemble 12 noon at Downing Street. Organised by Palestine Solidarity Campaign with support fom JfJfP and many others.