Israeli exports hit by European boycotts

The Guardian reports that “A fifth of Israeli exporters report drop in demand as footage of Gaza attacks changes behaviour of consumers and investors.”

Israeli companies are feeling the impact of boycott moves in Europe, according to surveys, amid growing concern within the Israeli business sector over organised campaigns following the recent attack on Gaza.

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Divestment campaign gains momentum in Europe

Once again, the Swedes lead the way – the latest news from the BDS front in Europe:

The Swedish national pension fund AP7 is the latest institution to follow the socially responsible investment example of Dutch ASN Bank by excluding the French transportation giant Alstom from its portfolio. Alstom was excluded because of the company’s involvement in Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land.

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Open Letter to Mira Awad: Don’t help Israel whitewash its atrocities!

PACBI urges ‘Arab Israeli’ singer to reconsider singing for the apartheid state at Eurovision.

Palestinian artists and intellectuals in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip are disappointed by the news of your intention to represent Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest. The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) is writing to urge you not to participate on behalf of Israel in this contest.

To represent Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest will serve to polish the international image of an aggressive occupying state that has long been engaged in ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. It will communicate to the rest of the world that Israel’s war crimes and violations of international law are acceptable to us as Palestinians! May we remind you of some of the actions of the state you will be representing: the ethnic cleansing of more than 750,000 Palestinians in 1948; the subjugation of 3.6 million Palestinians to a system of occupation and apartheid in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since 1967; the long history of extra-judicial killing of Palestinian leaders and activists; the imprisonment of tens of thousands of Palestinians since 1948; the building of the apartheid wall; the recent vicious attack on occupied Gaza and the murder of more than 1,440 people (of whom at least 400 were children).

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‘Worse than Apartheid’ – The Movement to Boycott Israel

Stephen Lendman on boycott, divestment, sanctions and prosecutions.

Enough is enough. After 61 years of Palestinian slaughter, displacement, occupation, oppression, and international dismissiveness and complicity, global action is essential. Israel must be held accountable. World leaders won’t do it, so grassroots movements must lead the way.

In 2004, Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote:

“The end of apartheid stands as one of the crowning accomplishments of the past century, but we would not have succeeded without the help of international pressure – in particular the divestment movement of the 1980s. Over the past six months, a similar movement has taken shape, this time aiming at an end to the Israeli occupation.”

In July 2008, 21 South African activists, including ANC members, visited Israel and Occupied Palestine. Their conclusion was unanimous. Israel is far worse than apartheid as former Deputy Minister of Health and current MP Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge explained:

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Victory for student movement: Strathclyde University to end complicity with Gaza conflict

Photo by Zuraeda Ibrahim
Photo by Zuraeda Ibrahim

A vibrant and wonderful student movement has flowered a the Strathclyde University which has scored two major victories for peace and justice within this month. We at PULSE salute all the students, in particular Strathclyde Stop the War, Action Palestine, and the Strathclyde University Muslim Students Association (SUMSA) for their indispensable work. In today’s excellent guest editorial, Kim Bizzarri, who has himself lead from the front, reports on these successes and the prospects for future.

GLASGOW, February 21 – Students at Strathclyde University won the vote on Thursday to cut the university’s ties with arms manufacturer BAe Systems which supplied components used by the Israeli military in the recent massacre of Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

Students win majority support in historic AGM

The vote, which took place in relation to a motion submitted by a group of students to their Union’s General Meeting (AGM) – the student’s highest decision-making body – won with an overwhelming majority of the over 200 students who queued in the union’s corridors and stairs to participate in the event. Such a high student attendance had been unprecedented in any previous AGM, most of which failed in the past 10 years to even reach quorum.

Despite attempts by the Union’s administration to dilute the substance of the motion and have it voted upon by the conservative Student Representative Council (SRC) – who had already rejected a similar popular motion two years earlier given the uncomfortable position it placed the University vis-à-vis its corporate funders – the fervent group of passionate students were successful in galvanising sufficient support amongst their fellows to turn the motion into student policy.

Within weeks of occupying the McCance Building – heart of the University’s administration – the original 60 students involved in the occupation have already gained the support of a sizable number of their fellow students.

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Irish Trade Unionists Launch Boycott

From the Belfast Telegraph:

Trade unionists are to launch a boycott of Israeli goods as part of a major campaign to secure a peaceful settlement in the Middle East, Stormont heard today.

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) launched a report on Israel and Palestine compiled by senior members who visited the troubled region.

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Academic Friends of Israel Prepare for Boycott

In an article in the Haaretz titled It’s ‘Boycott Israel’ Season Again in the UK, Ronnie Fraser reveals that Academic Friends of Israel are preparing to hamstring what he considers a popular boycott proposal through false legal claims of discrimination.  There’s nothing like doing things democratically — Academic Friends of Israel seem to believe that if you can’t win the debate you should stifle it.

UCU activists are up against it; challenged by the internal academic lobby and externally by the British Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM), a rather slick PR and media lobbying organisation, that created a group Stop the Boycott which has been effective at dominating main stream media debate on the topic.

Next month will be critical for the fight against academic boycotts of Israel in the U.K., according to the founder of Academic Friends of Israel, Ronnie Fraser. March is the month boycott proposals will be submitted to the academic organizations, making time of the essence, says Fraser – whose organization played a part in the 2007 shelving of a planned academic boycott of Israel by the University and College Union.
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