Tag Archives: Government repression

Mondoweiss: Australian pro-Palestine activists beat charges

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

IMEMC: Israel To Indict Journalist Uri Blau

International Middle East Media Center,  May 30, 2012  by Circarre Parrhesia

Israeli journalist, Uri Blau, will be indicted for possession of classified Israeli military documents, by Israel’s Attorney General, Yahuda Weinstein, Haaretz reports. Blau, who reports for Israeli newspaper Haaretz, received the documents from Anat Kamm, who was convicted in February of passing the documents on without authorization.

The State Prosecutor’s office stated during the announcement that he intends to indict Blau, that there was no connection between Blau’s activity as a professional journalist and the possession of the classified documents and that “betrayed his duty – and later his commitment before the state – to cease possession of them.” Continue reading

Globe and Mail: Toronto Pride grant in limbo as Queers Against Israeli Apartheid plan to march

Globe and Mail, May 22, 2012

Toronto Pride Week’s funding from the city is safe – for now.

Council’s economic development committee on Tuesday endorsed more than $6-million in grants to Toronto’s 10 major arts organizations, including $123,807 for Pride Toronto, without questions or debate.

“We appreciate the support and [we’re] glad with the result today, obviously,” Kevin Beaulieu, the executive director of Pride Toronto, said after the committee vote. “It certainly helps us to put on the festival every year.”

But the Pride grant’s passage likely won’t be as smooth at city council, where some members have already talked about withholding Pride’s funding if a controversial group called Queers Against Israeli Apartheid is allowed to march in the Pride Parade July 1. Continue reading

Occupation Magazine: Judicial proceedings against Muhammad Bakri would be a severe Violation of the Freedom of Expression

Occupation Magazine, Vardit Shalfy and Rani Blair, May 14, 2012

Hundreds of Israeli cultural and intellectual personalities and concerned citizens wrote to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, calling upon him to reject the idea of prosecuting actor Muhammad Bakri over his film `Jenin, Jenin`.

Among those signing the petition: Anat Gov, Edna Mazya, Rennie Blair, Ohad Naharin, Orly Zilbershatz, Noa Dar, Shevi Gabison, Alon Ophir, Hillel Mittelpunkt, Savyon Liebrecht, Ofira Henig, David Ginton, Iris Le`al, Orly Lubin, Dina Riklis, Tzur Shezaf, Professor Avraham Oz, Tali Itzhaki, Ya`el Ronen and others. The signatories state that any such action – which the Attorney General is reported to be mulling – would constitute a severe and completely unwarranted violation of the Freedom of Expression in Israel. Continue reading

AlJazeera: 39 ways to limit free speech

David Cole – Al Jazeera English, May 2, 2012

Is freedom of expression really free when the government can punish that expression because of its political content?

Washington, DC – Google “39 Ways to Serve and Participate in Jihad” and you’ll get over 590,000 hits. You’ll find full-text English language translations of this Arabic document on the Internet Archive, an internet library; on 4Shared Desktop, a file-sharing site; and on numerous Islamic sites. You will find it cited and discussed in a US Senate Committee staff report and Congressional testimony. Feel free to read it. Just don’t try to make your own translation from the original, which was written in Arabic in Saudi Arabia in 2003. Because if you look a little further on Google you will find multiple news accounts reporting that on April 12, a 29-year old citizen from Sudbury, Massachusetts named Tarek Mehanna was sentenced to 17 and a half years in prison for translating “39 Ways” and helping to distribute it online.  Continue reading

CAIA: Joint Statement on Minister Jason Kenney’s Condemnation of Israeli Apartheid Week

March 9, 2012

As organizations and groups committed to protecting freedom of expression and public debate on Palestine/Israel, we demand that Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney immediately retract his March 7th statement “condemning Israel Apartheid Week”. http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/statements/2012/2012-03-07.asp

This statement is the Conservative government’s latest attempt to silence activist groups and organizations in Canada that act or speak in support of the basic human rights of the Palestinian people. While Kenney’s statement claims to value “free exchanges of ideas” and “academic dialogue,” his targeted condemnation of Israeli Apartheid Week events on Canadian universities this week (and in previous years) is a blatant attempt to shut down free expression for Palestine solidarity on campus.

The Harper government’s track record clearly reveals that it does not actually value the university as “an environment in which academic discourse can take place freely”. Indeed, it has been actively involved in undermining this ideal that it claims to uphold. Continue reading

CIM: Minister Kenney issues statement on ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’


Ottawa, March 7, 2012 – The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, issued the following statement on ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’:Like many Canadians I am concerned with the rise of anti-Israel activities on campuses across Canada, culminating in the so-called ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’ (IAW), which is often promoted in a manner that disregards the rights and safety of Jewish students and professors.Universities are meant to offer an environment in which academic discourse can take place freely. Jewish faculty and students have the right to engage in this debate without feeling the need to conceal their identity, or to self-censor.  Continue reading

defendfreespeech.ca: Defend Palestine House. Defend free speech.

Defend Free Speech campaign

Stop Jason Kenney’s attacks on Palestine solidarity.

Palestine House has become the latest target of Jason Kenney’s ongoing attacks on free speech rights and Palestine solidarity in Canada. Last week, Palestine House was informed by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, including its minister, Jason Kenney, that all funding for Palestine House’s immigration settlement program had been cut. Before Kenney’s announcement, department officials had praised Palestine House, a Palestinian cultural and educational organization based in Mississauga, for its highly successful settlement program.

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mississauga.com: Government ends funding for Palestine House


Mississauga-based Palestine House has had government funding for its newcomer settlement and language instruction services cancelled because of what Ottawa calls the cultural centre’s “pattern of support for extremism.”
Palestine House officials say Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s recent decision to pull the plug on funding — money that’s been coming annually for the past 18 years or so — is part of a campaign by the Conservative government to target organizations that support the human rights of Palestinians.  Continue reading

Electronic Intifada: Bill in Congress seeks to investigate US Boat to Gaza for “terrorist” ties

by Ali Abunimah, Electronic Intifada, 11/11/2011

A bill introduced in the United States Congress last month would require the State Department to investigate “The sources of any logistical, technical, or financial support for the Gaza flotilla ships, including the Audacity of Hope, that were set to set sail from Greece on July 1, 2011.

The bill, which contains numerous inflammatory and unsubstantiated claims from an Israeli “anti-terrorism” organization, would further criminalize American citizens’ solidarity with Palestinians (link) .

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