Greatest Threat to Free Speech in the West: Criminalizing Activism Against Israeli Occupation
The Intercept By Glenn Greenwald and Andrew Fishman
THE U.K. GOVERNMENT today announced that it is will be illegal for “local [city] councils, public bodies, and even some university student unions … to refuse to buy goods and services from companies involved in the arms trade, fossil fuels, tobacco products, or Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.” Thus, any entities that support or participate in the global boycott of Israeli settlements will face “severe penalties.”
This may sound like an extreme infringement of free speech and political activism — and, of course, it is — but it is far from unusual in the West. The opposite is now true. There is a very coordinated and well-financed campaign led by Israel and its supporters literally to criminalize political activism against Israeli occupation, based on the particular fear that the worldwide campaign of Boycott, Sanctions, and Divestment, or BDS — modeled after the 1980s campaign that brought down the Israel-allied apartheid regime in South Africa — is succeeding. Continue reading
By Paul Weiberg, rabble.ca
One of the less discussed questions of the Harper government’s anti-terror bill, Bill C-51, is whether Palestinian rights advocates and advocates of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) will be targeted by CSIS agents armed with new powers to target and disrupt, courtesy of a judicial warrant.
Admittedly, the legislation and its intended objects are vague, except that what constitutes “terrorism,” seems to be broadening beyond wanton acts of violence.
So, we need to be on guard when Public Safety minister Steven Blaney, the author of Bill-C-51, also talks about “zero tolerance” for promoters of the international BDS campaign against Israel.
What does that exactly mean? We know that Harper and his Conservatives have cozied up so close to Israeli government and policy that there appears to be little daylight between them at the moment. Continue reading
Posted in Media
Tagged BDS, C51
Neil censors video exposing the Palestinian reality behind his scheduled concert in Israel
Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign
For immediate release: July 7, 2014
Neil Young has claimed copyright infringement forcing Youtube to remove the video entitled “Neil Young – Honour the Boycott” criticizing Neil’s scheduled concert in Israel on July 17. The censored video mashup is part of a campaign calling on Neil to honour the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of Israel and cancel his concert in Tel Aviv. The censored youtube link now leads to a blank video with the statement “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Neil Young.”
The censored video – NOW AVAILABLE ON VIMEO – legally incorporates copyrighted material on the basis of “Fair Use” and strictly follows the “Online Video Best Practices for Fair Use” that is linked from the Youtube copyright fair use page.
Posted in Other Campaigns
Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign, Nov 3, 2012
If you would like to sign on to this statement, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to use our online form.
Statement on Richard Falk
We, the undersigned, write today to make clear our strong opposition to the recent Canadian government call for the resignation of Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The attack came following comments by Richard Falk on October 24 that highlighted corporate complicity in illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank and Jerusalem. He noted that the settlements are in clear violation of international law, and warned that civil and criminal liability may be extended to companies acting in contravention of international human rights. Falk called for boycott of corporations engaging in such business practices, drawing particular attention to the activities of Caterpillar Incorporated (USA); Veolia Environment (France); G4S (United Kingdom); The Dexia Group (Belgium); Ahava (Israel); the Volvo Group (Sweden); the Riwal Holding Group (the Netherlands); Elbit Systems (Israel); Hewlett Packard (USA); Mehadrin (Israel); Motorola (USA); Assa Abloy (Sweden); and Cemex (Mexico) in establishing and maintaining settlements. Continue reading
October 26, cbc.ca
The UN special investigator on human rights in the Palestinian territories called Wednesday for a boycott of all companies that have dealings with Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem until they adhere to international rights standards and practices.
Israel, the U.S. and Canada all rejected Richard Falk’s report, accusing the UN special rapporteur of bias against Israel and calling for his removal. Continue reading
Response to the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) article in the G&M
by coalition of Christian & Muslim Arab-Canadian organizations
The Globe and Mail, while publishing a piece by the Israeli lobbydesigned to intimidate United Church of Canada (UCC) Commissioners voting on the boycott report, repeatedly chose not to publish opposing letters, including this letter below from key Arab-Canadian Christian and Muslim organizations.
By choosing to publish only an Israeli Lobby op-ed, replete with distortions and trashing the church, “Canada’s national newspaper” covertly, if disingenuously, willfully co-opted itself as an instrument of Israeli State Hasbara “propaganda”. Continue reading
Vashti Kenway, Mondoweiss, July 24, 2012
Australian pro-Palestine activists have had a major victory in their year long court battle with the Victorian state government. A Melbourne magistrate has dismissed the substantive charges against the protesters known as the Max Brenner 16.
The activists were arrested last July 2011 at a demonstration against the Max Brenner chocolate shop; a company owned by the Strauss group which is renowned for its financial and moral backing of two of the most murderous brigades in the Israeli military, the Golani and Givati. These units are notorious for their malicious attacks on Gaza in the assault in 2008/ 2009 and more recently as the shock troops for the Israeli colonies in Hebron.
The charges, ‘trespass in a public place’ and ‘besetting’, were pursued by the Victorian police in a 17 day case, which saw 26 police witnesses, 4 civilian witnesses called to the stand and mounted an estimated 1 million dollars in court costs. The time, money and effort devoted to the case reveals the determination of the Victorian police and the Australian Zionist movement to criminalise dissent and to crack down on pro-Palestine voices. Continue reading
By Lori Lowenthal Marcus, July 24th, 2012, jewishpress.com
A professor of World Arts and Culture who specializes in Native American cultures at the University of California at Los Angeles, David Delgado Shorter, has been given the official green light to continue using university resources to promote the boycott of Israel by the university’s Committee on Academic Freedom.
Several months ago a California-based group focused on protecting Jewish students from academic anti-Semitism, AMCHA, learned from UCLA students that Shorter prominently features links to the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel on his official class website. The students who brought the anti-Israel concerns to AMCHA were too worried about retribution to complain either to Shorter or to anyone else at UCLA. Continue reading
by Peter Martino, The Gatestone Institute, July 12, 2012
Last May, the Cour de Cassation, the Supreme Court of France, ruled that calls for a boycott of Israeli products constitute discrimination and as such are illegal under French law.
The verdict was the final ruling in a legal battle that went on for years. On 9 July 2005, exactly seven years ago, the Palestinian Authority called for a worldwide Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Campaign against the Jewish State. In February 2009, following the Gaza War in the winter of 2008-2009, several leftist and pro-Palestinian organizations in France convened to organize a French BDS campaign. The activists target French and international corporations that do business in Israel, French branches of Israeli companies, and supermarkets selling Israeli products. Continue reading
Rev. Mardi Tinsdall, Moderator
Rev. Nora Sanders, Executive Secretary
The United Church of Canada
Dear Reverends Tinsdall and Sanders,
The Vancouver-based Seriously Free Speech Committee (SFSC) was founded in 2008 to defend activists who were being sued by Canwest for producing a parody of The Vancouver Sun’s one-sided coverage of Palestine and Israel. We have subsequently broadened our activity to defend individuals and organizations who are being attacked because of their criticism of Israel and their defense of Palestinian human rights. We are writing to support the process through which the United Church is reconsidering its policy on Palestine/Israel.
The report of the United Church’s Working Group on Israel/Palestine Policy (WGIP) is an important step forward and provides the basis for a thorough discussion of the issues at the 41st General Council meeting.
We are concerned, however, that the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) has responded by attacking the document, using threatening, inflammatory language: “If the United Church adopts this highly biased report without amendment, it will place the Church outside the genuine peace movement and in the same camp as the most virulent anti-israel activists.” Those who demand that others overlook injustice are not providing help or friendship. They are seeking to intimidate and to silence.
Many individuals and organizations have endured attacks of this nature, sometimes at great personal cost. CIJA’s goal is clearly to suppress free discussion and inquiry on the subject of Palestine/Israel. We encourage the United Church to vigorously defend its right to a full debate on this subject, free from the accusations and slurs used by CIJA, in defense of not only its own rights, but also those of individuals and organizations which do not have the Church’s resources, so that they may continue to engage in the struggle for social justice for the Palestinians.
Brian Campbell and Anne Roberts
Co-Chairs, Seriously Free Speech Committee