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Resistance Strategies and boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Israel Apartheid Week - 2010, AUB Rania Masri Greenresistance.wordpress.com
Already Established…✔✔✔ • Israel is an Apartheid State -- throughout the land of Palestine– ✔✔✔ • The prolonged occupation and colonization of Gaza and the West Bank, including east Jerusalem, and other Arab territories; • The system of racial discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel; and • The persistent denial of the UN-sanctioned rights of the Palestinian refugees, paramount among which is their right to reparations and to return to their homes of origin, in accordance with UNGA Res. 194.
… Already Established ✔✔✔ • Israel is an Apartheid State -- throughout the land of Palestine– ✔✔✔ • Israel, as a Zionist State, is – and will continue to be – an enemy to Lebanon and Lebanese - ✔✔✔ • Israel, as a Zionist State, is – and will continue to be – an enemy to the region (dictatorial, oppressive, fascist regimes aside)- ✔✔✔ • Zionism is an enemy to all - ✔✔✔
Global Anti-Apartheid Movement • “… what prevented South Africa’s white supremacist government from escalating their own violence to Israeli levels of cruelty and audacity was not that they had greater scruples than the Zionist regime. It was recognition that they alone could not stand against a global anti-apartheid movement that was in solidarity with the internal resistance. • “Israel’s ‘military deterrent’ has now been repeatedly discredited as a means to force Palestinians and other Arabs to accept Zionist supremacy as inevitable and permanent. Now, the other pillar of Israeli power — Western support and complicity — is starting to crack. We must do all we can to push it over.” – Ali Abunimah, 2009
Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions (BDS) • Boycott: Form of pressure through non-cooperation. • Divestment: The selling of stocks or bonds from a company proﬁting from unjust practices. • Sanctions: Economic and diplomatic restrictions imposed by governments against other governments.
Critical Elements for Change, from the South African example • Sustainability (long-haul) • Careful research • Linking of struggles • Support of Palestinian grassroots organizations … and
… The Key BDS applies pressure on a target government to change its unjust policies by consistently and systematically isolating it internationally. So what does that mean for our actions…?
Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions (BDS) • Boycott: Form of pressure through non-cooperation. Consumer actions include product (economic boycott), academic, cultural, and sports boycott. • Divestment: The selling of stocks or bonds from a company proﬁting from unjust practices. This is done by institutional investors like churches and universities. • Sanctions: Economic and diplomatic restrictions imposed by governments against other governments.
Which Companies to Boycott? • Companies that invest in Israel/OPT • Companies that invest in Israeli firms • Companies that make gifts to Zionist Charities • Companies that support Zionism • Companies that open research enters in Israel
“From the depth of our hearts – thanks to the IDF.” Tel Aviv highway, April 2002 Gush Shalom & Moulouk Y. Ba-Isa, www.indymedia.org.il/imc/israel/webcast/25130.htm
Burger King’s branch at Maale Adumim (picture from settlement’s web-site)
“Maale Adumim is home to many American immigrants who particularly felt at home with the kosher Burger King in their midst.”*From “Burger King Meddles in Mid-East Politics and Loses” • in Kosher Today, Sept., 1999
Coca-Cola supports Israel Economically: Prigat Juice Golan Heights Winery Neviot Water, $25 M Kosher Today, Aug. 18, 2003; Sharon Berger, Jerusalem Post, July 17, 2000; Coca-Cola stepping into wine market,” Yediot Ahranot, Jan. 23, 2002.
Coca-Cola supports Israel • …By sponsoring Israeli sports teams • Coca-Cola sponsors Israel’s national basketball team, “in which it invests great amounts of money annually” as well as Israeli national marathons, tennis competitions, etc.* *www.cocacola.co.il/information/cola-israel/index.htm
Coca-Cola supports Israel … • by promoting Israel as an international arts center. • Coca-Cola funds the yearly public sculpture and jazz festival in Arad. www.cocacola.co.il/information/cola-israel/index.htm
Zionist • “While the local Israeli market is small and unable to generate significant tax revenue, approximately 40% or more of government expenditure goes to military. Thus, little money is left over for other social services. • Social giving literally saves the state money.”* *Joseph Morgenstern, The Origins of Israeli High-Tech, Jewish Virtual Library, www.us-israel.org/jsource/Economy/hitech.html
By turning this: Askalan, an Arab town, in 1975 into this: A Coca-Cola factory
In 2003, Coca-Cola paid $8.4 million to the Israel Land Administration for land on which to build a Coca-Cola factory in Askalan.* A Coca-Cola factory *Elazar Levin, Jerusalem Post, June 15, 2003
Coca-Cola supports Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights • Coca-Cola’s investment in the Golan Heights Winery helps make the occupation economically viable and put economic pressure on the Israeli government not to return the Golan to Syria.* Commercial vineyards in the Occupied Golan Heights *The Future of Water and Wine,” Jerusalem Post, Dec. 17, 1999
So while Coca-Cola in Lebanon plants trees in Jezzine to grow a better public relations image…
…on the other side of the border, Coke is supporting the community that steals the land and water. Kiryat Shmona built on Lebanese land. Any wonder why they’re drinking Coke in Kiryat Shmona?
Nestle-Osem runs a 700 m2 factory in Sderot, • in 2002 the company opened a 1,700 m2 research and development (R&D) center there.
Nestle…in sum • builds on stolen Palestinian lands • covers up the ruins • provides jobs and opportunities that realize the Zionist goal of a purely Jewish presence in Israel • then sells the products of such an apartheid system abroad so that the Israeli economy can flourish
Linking struggles… • Nestle… • Coca-Cola… • McDonalds… • And many others
More recently in Lebanon… • Gloria Jean’s Coffee (Australian franchise) • Has a store in “Israel” • H & M (Spanish company) • Will open the 1st of 6 planned stores in occupied Jerusalem on 11 March
Not just economics… Elton John's world tour includes a concert in Tel Aviv on June 17, 2010. Others: Rod Steward, Rihanna, and The Pixies to perform this summer. • Isolation. Carlos Santana has already canceled his planned concert in Jaffa this June, after receiving several letters from Pro-Palestinian groups, and Human Rights Groups. He received messages that 'it's better' not to perform in Israel.
(recent) Supporters of BDS • Canadian Union of Public Employees Ontario’s University Workers Coordinating Committee • Fédération autonome du collégial (FAC), Quebec College Federation • Scottish Trade Union Congress • An Australian dock workers union • British fire fighter union (Fire Brigades Union) – calls for complete boycott of Israel (August 2009) • Academics from England, Scotland, France, United States
And Academics in Israel: Boycott Us “We, as Israeli citizens, raise our voices to call on EU leaders: use sanctions against Israel's brutal policies and join the active protests of Bolivia and Venezuela. We appeal to the citizens of Europe: please attend to the Palestinian Human Rights Organisation's call, supported by more than 540 Israeli citizens (www.freegaza.org/en/home/): • boycott Israeli goods and Israeli institutions; • follow resolutions such as those made by the cities of Athens, Birmingham and Cambridge (US). This is the only road left. Help us all, please!” – [January 17 2009]
Victories thus far? • In the U.S., Hampshire College (MA) set a historic precedent by announcing its divestment from 6companies profiting from the Israeli occupation. Significantly, Hampshire was also the first college in the US to divest from apartheid South Africa in the 1970s. • In Wales, Cardiff University acceded to demands by students and decided to divest from companies supporting the occupation. • In Britain, Britain's trade unions passed a resolution to boycott Israeli goods; • In South Africa, dock workers refused to off-load a ship full of products from Israel – after a decision by the South African Trade Unions Congress to engage in boycott and sanctions against apartheid in Israel. • In Canada, the Canadian Union of Public Employees voted to boycott Israel. • In Norway, the Norwegian Pension Fund divestment from Israel's security company Elbit;
Victories thus far… • Motorola Israel Ltd sold its Government Electronics Department – which made several products to enable Israel’s military occupation. The protests had called on Motorola and its fully owned subsidiary, Motorola Israel Ltd., to end their sales of bomb fuses, communication devices, and surveillance equipment to the Israeli military. • a global campaign against Lev Leviev's Africa-Israel diamond company leading to American, Norwegian, and English divestment; • The French company Veolia withdrew from operating the rail project to connect the city center of Jerusalem with settlements in the West Bank (June 2009) • [Arab Contractors Company… ?]
Still more victories … • “There is a shift in the effectiveness of the BDS movement against Israel and that if the momentum is maintained and strengthened, Israeli businessmen may decide to move their headquarters away from Israel or to begin to put pressure on the Israeli government to begin respecting international law and ending the occupation.” (March 2009)
Meanwhile, in the Arab World… the past year has seen: • the opening of a Lev Leviev diamond store in Dubai; • the opening of Musa Garments, an Israeli-Jordanian sweatshop exploiting its workers at its Irbid factory; • Abu Dhabi's Tek Signals collaborating with Israel's Orad broadcasting company • IBC solid household waste in Saida using equipment from the Zionist entity; and • Barouk station using telecommunications materials from the Zionist entity.
….and • “A Beirut publishing house is currently printing the first Arabic translation of Amos Oz's best-selling autobiography "A Tale of Love and Darkness." “ - Haaretz. March 3, 2010.
Lebanese Israeli trade? Source: Jerusalem Post, 4, March, 2010 • “The true amount of Arab imports from Israel is impossible to establish because neither side makes it public, with Israeli-made goods moving to Arab customers through third countries - Cyprus or the Netherlands, for example, which list the shipments as local exports…. • The hidden trade is worth about US$400 million a year - about two and a half times what Israel sold to its official Arab trading partners, Egypt and Jordan, in 2004 - said Gil Feiler, the director of Info-Prod Research, a Tel Aviv consultancy specializing in Arab markets, and an economic professor at Bar Ilan University. • Arabs of Lebanese origin in Israel sell counterfeit Lebanese certificates of origin complete with forged government stamps. Some Israeli factories have departments of so-called quality control - where any Hebrew writing or 'Made in Israel' marks are removed from product components. "I saw it with my eyes," he said. There are even ships that sail from the northern Israeli port of Haifa to Beirut, Lebanon - "there is a way to do it," Feiler said, adding that the Beirut Port Authority would denies the practice exists.”
Let’s Assess. • The key is De-Legitimization … • To De-Legitimize Zionism, Israel • To ensure that relations with Israel, in any form, are not viewed as normal. There is no ‘normality’ in occupation and apartheid.
Breadcrumbs? • Arab regimes used to compete for propaganda for the liberation of Palestine. Now certain Arab regimes compete for Israeli acceptance. • Rather than anti-normalization becoming stronger – particularly since the Israeli atrocities are ongoing and increasing – there are those who seek to placate and surrender, to weaken the call and action towards justice and liberation and rather strengthen the acceptance of mere breadcrumbs. • The acceptance of mere breadcrumbs will give us only breadcrumbs.
Legitimacy of the illegitimate: threatened • “Israel's international standing is in dire straits, as the legitimacy of its policies, positions, military operations, and even its very existence as a Jewish-Democratic state, are constantly contested and, as some claim, its legitimacy abroad is being eroded.” - Winning the Battle of the Narrative. Working Paper for the 2010 Herzliya Conference. Feb. 2010. • "There are millions of Indians who love us, a billion Chinese who love us, and millions of evangelicals, who love us. We have a problem with Sweden, but we're working on it.” - Shimon Peres, Feb. 20, 2010. (J. Post)
Let’s Remember. • Lebanon is not Sweden • Lebanon is not Jordan or Egypt
If … • IF the 1955 Lebanese Boycott Law did not exist, we’d call for it • IF the Lebanese Boycott Law is not adequately enforced, let’s enforce it
The Statement of Academics in Lebanon • …. We further call on the enforcement of Lebanese anti-normalization laws with Israel, and thus for the prosecution of individuals and institutions in Lebanon that violate those laws and conduct collaborations, associations or investments in Israel or with Israelis.
www.boycottzionism.wordpress.com • What does anti-normalization mean for the academic community? • What does it mean to separate “politics” from our “professions”? • We are calling for liberation, for freedom; are we ourselves free? Specifically, if we – as organizations - receive funding, say, from USAID, will we be free to stand against Israel, against Zionism and to stand with Palestinians?
Part of this presentation was from a presentation: • Designed and researched by Kirsten Scheid • Picture credits: www.arij.org; www.inminds.co.uk