Archive for December, 2009

رفض لبناني لإسرائيل في نقابات المحامين

Posted in Anti-Normalization, Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions on December 24, 2009 by Marcy Newman

رضوان مرتضى

«لن نحضر إن كانت إسرائيل موجودة، وإذا حضرت فسننسحب»، هذه الكلمات اختصرت شرط نقيب المحامين في طرابلس أنطوان عيروت لحضور اجتماعات نقابات المحامين في دول حوض البحر المتوسط في مدينة نابولي الإيطالية، التي تأسس خلالها اتحاد نقابات المحامين. نقيب المحامين في طرابلس أكّد تثبيت ذلك في محاضر الجلسات أيضاً، وبالفعل رضخ الاتحاد. فقد حضر الاجتماعات ممثّلون عن نقابات المحامين لدول حوض البحر المتوسط ما عدا إسرائيل. وتجدر الإشارة إلى تغيّب كلّ من نقابتي مصر والأردن.
ألقى النقيب عيروت كلمة في هذه الاجتماعات، شكر فيها المؤتمرين «الذين رفضوا رفضاً تاماً فكرة انتساب دولة إسرائيل العدوة». فقال «إنني باسم نقابة المحامين في طرابلس لبنان، أتمنى التوفيق للمؤتمرين، والشكر للنقابة المضيفة وللنقيب كايا ولأصحاب الفكرة»، وكرر ما أكده المؤتمرون من رفض تام لانتساب دولة إسرائيل العدوّة.
النقيب عيروت أكّد حصول «وشوشات في أروقة إيطاليا بوجوب تمثيل إسرائيل»، باعتبار أنها من دول حوض المتوسط. لكنه لفت إلى إصرار لبنان على تطبيق القرارات، لأن «مشاركة إسرائيل مخالفة لقانون تأسيس الاتحاد». وذكر عيروت أن قانون الاتحاد الذي شارك لبنان في وضعه يمنع الإسرائيليين من المشاركة، وبالتالي «مشاركة إسرائيل مخالفة للقانون توجب انسحابنا».

كذلك أشار عيروت إلى «أن الهدف من تأسيس الاتحاد هو تأليف الإطار الصحيح لتوحيد جهود نقابات وهيئات المحامين على ضفتي البحر المتوسط لتعزيز الإنماء الاجتماعي والاقتصادي ولمجابهة التحديات والعراقيل في عصر العولمة والتجارة الإلكترونية». ورأى نقيب المحامين «أن تبادل الآراء والتجارب والخبرات، كان ولا يزال، العنصر الأساسي لتطوير المهنة التي باتت تنوء تحت الكثير من أخطاء العدالة المزعومة»، مشيراً إلى «أن الهدف أيضاً هو تعزيز الروابط المهنية والتقارب والتعاون وخلق مناخات ثقافية وقانونية بين الحضارات المتنوعة التي تحيط بالمتوسط».

وقد خلصت الاجتماعات إلى التوقيع على ميثاق الاتحاد والاتفاق على موعد الاجتماع المقبل الذي سيُعقد في المغرب في شهر آذار من العام المقبل 2010 ، والذي يتوقّع أن يحضره ممثلون عن جميع الدول الأعضاء. يشار إلى أن الوفد الذي مثّل لبنان في الاجتماعات، تألّف من نقيب المحامين في طرابلس أنطوان عيروت، وأمين السر سعد المقدم، ونائب مجلس النقابة ناظم العمر، إضافة إلى دوللي فرح وماري القوّال وأحمد شندب وسهير درباس.

يذكر أن المشترع اللبناني أصدر قانون مقاطعة إسرائيل بتاريخ 23/6/1955، فحظر على كل شخص طبيعي أو معنوي أن يعقد بالذات أو بالواسطة اتفاقاً مع هيئات أو أشخاص مقيمين في إسرائيل أو منتمين إليها بجنسيتهم أو يعملون لحسابها أو لمصلحتها، وذلك متى كان موضوع الاتفاق صفقات تجارية أو عمليات مالية أو أي تعامل آخر مهما كانت طبيعته. وتعدّ الشركات والمؤسسات الوطنية والأجنبية التي لها مصانع أو فروع تجميع أو توكيلات عامة في إسرائيل في حكم الهيئات والأشخاص المحظور التعامل معهم حسبما يقرر مجلس الوزراء بقرار ينشر في الجريدة الرسمية (م1).

عدد الخميس ٢٤ كانون الأول ٢٠٠٩

What is the Aim of the Gaza Freedom March? – Interview with Dr. Haidar Eid

Posted in Apartheid, Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions on December 22, 2009 by Marcy Newman

By Bianca Zammit – Gaza

As the days of December 2009 draw in, two events which each have a role to play in world peace draw closer. The first is on the 27th and is commemorating the start of the 22 day attacks on Gaza, an operation which targeted unarmed civilians, schools, hospitals, journalists and emergency staff. The second, The Gaza Freedom March will take place on the 31st. The Gaza Freedom March is a historic moment, the magnitude of which has not been seen in Palestine since 1967. Chiseled on the lessons learnt from South Africa’ struggle for liberation against apartheid and from Gandhi’ Satyagraha approach during the campaign for India’ independence, the Gaza Freedom March is walking in the same shoes.

In order to find out more about the Gaza Freedom March I met up with Dr. Haidar Eid, a member of the Steering Committee for the March in Gaza.

What is the aim of the Gaza Freedom March?

The goal of the Gaza Freedom March is to commemorate Gaza 2009. In January 2009 right after the end of operation Cast Lead we were all faced again by the deadly hermitic siege. The March is calling for an end to this siege.

How did the Gaza Freedom March come about?

In June CodePink led a delegation into Gaza and they started talking about a march. I was contacted by Palestinian solidarity groups from around the world and asked for my opinion. I liked the idea but it required a political context and it needed to be led by the people of Gaza. That is when Palestinian grassroots organizations came together to discuss the march and we suggested to the International Coalition to End the Siege that they include a statement of context which called for an end to the siege and which acknowledged the long history of Palestinian non-violent direct action inspired by South Africa and Gandhi. This includes the weekly demonstrations which take place at Bilin, Nilin and Al’ Masara, the entry of international boats in Gaza’ port which had not happened since 1967 and the work of international solidarity movements. More importantly, it has to acknowledge the growing BDS campaign.

The siege is an effect of occupation and a continuation of the apartheid system initiated in 1948. Since then two thirds of the Palestinian people have lost their land. The occupation is illegal and found to be so by the United Nations under resolution 194 which calls for the return of all refugees.

Who is represented on the steering committee?

We have all sectors of society. There are representatives of unions, labour, political, religious, youth, women, students and also Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC).

Who will participate?

As soon as we issued the statement of context all Palestinian civil organisations endorsed the Gaza Freedom March and there was global consensus.

The registration has now closed and 1400 people from 42 countries have registered and been processed. Palestinians living in 1948 land will also be participating in the March from the other side of the Erez Border Crossing.

What are the activities planned?

The 1400 internationals will join us hand in hand for a march that will start at 10am in Izbit Abed Rabbu towards the Erez Border Crossing with Israel. Izbit Abed Rabbu is the area which suffered the most damage and most horrendous war crimes during operation Cast Lead, something Judge Goldstone alluded to in his report. When we get to Erez there shall be speeches.

The attacks on Gaza will be commemorated New Years Eve at the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem. A member of the Steering Committee for the March will address the people gathered in Bethlehem for this event.

Palestinian refugees living in refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan shall partake in the March by organizing their own rallies.

How can those people who cannot come to Gaza show their solidarity with the people of Gaza?

We are calling on 1.5 million conscientious people of the world to simultaneously rally with the 1.5 million inhabitants of Gaza in front of Israeli embassies in their country. Richard Falk, the 2008 appointed UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territories has called Gaza the “world’s largest concentration camp”. Ilan Pappe has described the siege as “slow motion genocide”. After the 22 day massacre last winter we returned to the ongoing siege.

We ask freedom loving people to put pressure on their governments to sever all ties with Israel and to support the boycott of Israel.

Why do you believe this will be a historic moment for Palestine?

The March shall be the first mass mobilization of this size since 1967. Internationals will walk hand in hand with Palestinians modeled on the South African anti-apartheid movement of the 1980’s. This siege has been imposed upon Palestinian people due to them exercising their democratic choice. The significance of this March, however, also goes beyond the siege. As Palestinians 750,000 of us have been displaced and forced to become refugees. Palestinians living in 1948 land experience racial discrimination on daily basis and there is systematic policy of ethnic cleansing in place.

What is your message to the international community?

If I could put into a slogan the current climate in Gaza I would say “we are fed up”. The international community has only given us empty rhetoric and lip service and in the meantime we have been suffering. For this reason we rely on the people of the world and their power to change the course of the future. We believe in people to people solidarity in order to bring down the Israeli apartheid regime. We want peace with justice. This March shall be the first crack, the first concrete step to end the siege and the illegal occupation. This shall be a wake up call to the international community that as Palestinians we shall no longer tolerate hypocrisy.

What is your message to Israel?

You cannot go on committing war crimes and crimes against humanity as witnessed by judge Goldstone with impunity forever. Recent events in the UK against Livni have shown that also the world will not tolerate Nazi like acts committed by a Nazi like government against civilians.

To the people of Israel I say you voted for the most fascist government since 1948 expecting your government to completely get rid of Palestinians. History has shown us that this will only backfire and bring more wars affecting not only Palestinians but the entire Middle East and inevitably Israel. Exactly like apartheid South Africa campaigned when their state became a pariah state; this is your time to put pressure on your government to implement the UN resolution which calls for an end to the occupation and allows the return of refugees. Peace without justice is not peace.

What will happen after the March?

The March is not symbolic but rather we expect it to be part of a series of events which will lead to the end of the siege. We want to intensify and continue building a global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign which is human rights based and calling for the implementation of international law and an end to the occupation.

We will continue to host international delegations visiting us and together we will be calling for Israeli war criminals to be tried in international courts.

– Bianca Zammit is a member of the International Solidarity Movement in Gaza and of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement. She contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.

Long Live Gaza: Remembering one year since the massacre

Posted in Apartheid, Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions on December 22, 2009 by Marcy Newman

One year ago, Israel launched ‘Operation Cast Lead’ – intense and unprecedented attacks on the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip. The war crimes of this assault are part of a wider context: the continuing illegal blockade as well as Israel’s apartheid system of control of the Palestinians. Learn the facts – then act.

Omar Barghouti: BDS as response to repression of Palestinian nonviolence

Posted in International BDS Actions on December 22, 2009 by Marcy Newman

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Many of you have already heard of the most recent arrest by Israel of a leader of Palestinian nonviolent resistance to occupation and apartheid. Our allies at Stop the Wall have information and action steps that you can take to demand the release of Jamal Juma’, who joins Mohammad Othman and Abdallah Abu Rahmeh in the current list of Palestinian nonviolent resisters being held in administrative detention, with no charges and no trial.

Omar Barghouti, a leader in the BDS movement and a speaker at the US Campaign’s last National Conference, has this to say about how human rights advocates should respond to this latest campaign of repression against nonviolent resistance to occupation and apartheid:

“This Israeli campaign of repression needs to be exposed and countered effectively and comprehensively. Appeals to the Israeli authorities to respect due legal process or release Jamal should not be the only form of protest over this gross violation of Palestinian rights. Intensifying BDS, ultimately, is the most consequential form of protest. If Israel gets the message that its arrest of civil resistance leaders will only intensify the already massive BDS campaigns against it, it may think.”

How can you “intensify the already massive BDS campaigns” against Israel’s violations of international law and Palestinian human rights?

Here are three suggestions:

1) If you haven’t already, sign the Motorola boycott pledge, and sign up to receive a Hang Up on Motorola organizing packet. Incorporate the resources in the organizing kit into your Gaza Freedom March solidarity actions or other local events in your community.

2) Introduce BDS to your campus, union, or faith community. Use our resources for campus organizing, the call from the Palestinian Christian community for churches to participate in BDS, resources for starting a divestment campaign and examples of BDS in action, and the recent open letter from Labor for Palestine to AFL-CIO.

3) Ask your organization to endorse the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI). If you are a faculty member at an academic institution or a cultural worker, you can individually endorse the USACBI call. The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation officially endorsed academic and cultural boycott at its 2009 National Organizers’ Conference.

Transcript: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (including Abbas on BDS)

Posted in Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions, Palestinian Economy on December 22, 2009 by Marcy Newman

DECEMBER 22, 2009

‘We Are Open to All Possibilities’

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas spoke with The Wall Street Journal’s Charles Levinson at the Palestinian Authority embassy in Amman, Jordan, on Dec. 20. Read a transcript of the interview.

A recent opinion poll shows that 57% of Palestinians support you over Hamas, which got just 37% support, a big change over polls from just two months ago. The Fatah and PLO leaderships have similarly asked you to remain in office. So can you start by explaining why you decided not to run for reeelection?

The decision I took had a number of reasons. The main reason is the stopping of the peace process and [Benjamin] Netanyahu’s refusal to stop the settlements according to the road map and his refusal to recognize UN resolutions 242 and 338 as the framework of the negotiations. That is what was agreed in the road map. We negoatiated with [Ehud] Olmert on this basis under the supervision of the Americans. Then Netanyahu came and rejected all this, even though the American government, as we heard from [Barack] Obama himself, said that Israel must stop all its building in the settlements including natural growth. The moratorium on settlements Netanyahu did exempts Jerusalem, and 3,000 residential units and public buildings. So for this reason we felt the horizon for the political process that we promised our people wasn’t there.

There are also other reasons connected to the Palestinian reconciliation efforts. We signed this agreement and everybody agreed and then Hamas reneged on its agreement. They then asked to have the signing in Damascus, meaning Hamas was not against the contents of the agreement but it just wants to change the place of the signing from Egypt to Damascus, which we refused. The Goldstone issue I consider secondary, but it is also among the important issues. We felt there was an unjust campaign against us and the Palestinian Authority without any justification. For that I decided that I will not run in the elections. We are waiting for the new elections and someone other than me will run.

Who do you want to run after you? The same poll showed that Marwan Barghouti enjoyed the support of 67% of Palestinians. Do you think Marwan could be a good leader of the Palestinian people or would you prefer to see someone else succeed you?

I don’t have a candidate. It’s not for me to tell the Palestinian people to elect a specific person. It’s for the Palestinian people to decide. If Marwan runs, he is a man who has a good reputation and a good history of resistance, and it’s not out of the question that he will run. But the matter is in the hands of the voters, not in my hand, and the door is open for anyone to run. I don’t have a candidate.

It appears Mr. Netanyahu has not accepted your conditions for resuming direct negotiations. As long as there are no talks, then what is your strategy for advancing the Palestinians toward statehood?

First, let me say that these aren’t preconditions. We don’t have conditions to go to negotiations. There is a road map binding on all and that all agreed to. There are obligations to Israel and obligations for the Palestinians. There is a part [of the road map] that talks about an independent Palestinian state and ending the occupation of ’67. The Arab peace initiative also became a main part of the road map. It calls on Israel to withdraw from the Palestinian territories and 57 Arab and Islamic countries will normalize relations with Israel.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu says ‘I call on Abbas to negotiate, but he has to understand that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel, that’s not up for discussion. The refugees — there will be no talk about them at all. He has to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.’ So who is putting conditions. I’m not putting them. He is putting conditions. Now the ball is in the international community’s court and specifically in America’s court. It should see how Europe addressed the problem. Europe stressed that the Palestinians’ lands of 1967 are occupied lands, and east Jerusalem is occupied and at Annapolis all the states participating without exception called for stopping the expansion of settlements. The international community supports our position, and so it’s up to them to move to apply international law and not to take a position just to take a position.

So are you just waiting for the international community to step in and solve the problem for you or do you have your own strategy?

We have experience of direct negotiations with Israel. We had direct negotiations with Israel in January 1993, leading to the Oslo Agreement. Not a single other country had anything to do with that, not America, Russia, Europe or others. The Israeli administration at that time led by Yitzhak Rabin desired peace. If I see that Netanyahu is interested in peace, I would have no problem negotiating with him. The negotiations with Olmert were all direct between him and me. The Americans didn’t get involved. I am not against direct negotiations, but on what basis do we go to negotiations. I am not putting conditions.

So as long as you’re not negotiating for a Palestinian state, what is your plan?

Today it’s very important to understand the relations between us and the Israelis are continuing with all the arms of the Israeli government without exception, defense, security, water, health. With all the ministries, without exception, the contacts are ongoing. The only thing that isn’t continuing are the political negotiations. We are now waiting for what is the American position. [George] Mitchell will come in the beginning of next month and we will see what will happen. We are waiting for the Quartet meeting in Moscow and we will see what comes out of that. There is political movement, but the results of this haven’t yet come out.

We are open to all possibilities. Any party that wants to play a role in the peace process we are willing to hear them out. And then we’ll decide. But we want someone to move. When the Americans talk about indirect negotiations between us and the Israelis, we want to know what it is they mean exactly. I’ve heard this talk about indirect negotations, but until I hear something concrete from the American side, I can’t judge.

You have criticized the Obama administration’s role in the peace process recently. What is your opinion of the role Obama has played in the peace process thus far?

We still have hope that Obama can play a role in the political process. Maybe we don’t agree with him on the recent issue that we come to negotiations on the basis of the Israeli moratorium. We don’t agree with that. But that doesn’t mean we have lost hope in the American administration or President Obama. We are still seeing that President Obama can do something.

Do you stand by the comments you made to a South American newspaper during your visit there recently that President Obama has done nothing for Mideast Peace?

I didn’t say that. What I said was that what has happened we are not agreeing with, but he’s still in the first year of his presidency and we have to wait and judge him after. The difference between him and past U.S. presidents is that from the beginning of his term he started to take up the peace process and that’s a positive sign. We will not judge him from the beginning and say forget it, he’s hopeless.

What do you want from Obama?

I want him to put the peace process on the track. Until now, I don’t think they have succeeded. But the American administration says establishing a Palestinian state is an American strategic interest and also at the same time it will protect Israel. They have to convince the two sides to solve this. They have to come and say this is the end game and pressure the Israeli government to accept it. Why don’t they pressure the Israeli government. The Israeli government sometimes needs someone to come and help it see its own interests and the interests of its people.

How?

I want him to declare the framework for negotiations and to ask Israel to stop the settlements along the lines of what I presented to the Israeli Minister of Defense. I told the Israeli Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak, that he can do an undeclared but total moratorium for five months without announcing it, without publicity, just tell the Americans. But it must be a total freeze that includes East Jerusalem.

Obama tried to ask the Israelis for a complete freeze…

…and he couldn’t do that. He needs to be fair, meaning, based on international law ask both sides to implement their obligations. I’ll give you an example. When we began to implement the road map they were always asking me, do this, do that, do this. We have done everything that was required of us under the first stage of the road map. We said to the Americans, now tell the Israelis to do their parts. And they said we will ask them. And what happened in the end is we did everything that was asked of us and the Israelis didn’t do a single thing. As long as something clear is asked of me and I did it, then America should now ask Israel to do its part. That hasn’t happened and that’s why I’m not running for reelection.

And you’re serious about this. No way you’re going to reconsider?

This is, God willing, very serious.

And if there are no elections, will you remain in power or will you resign?

This is an important point. I said that I will not run in the elections. I will exert all possible efforts to make sure there are elections. In the Egyptian brokered accord there is total agreement with all the factions that there should be elections on June 28. If tomorrow, Hamas signs this agreement, then there will be elections on June 28. There is no problem with holding elections. If there is no hope for any sort of elections, then I have other options. What are those other options? I’m not talking about them yet.

Many people are talking about the possibility of a third intifada erupting. Is this just talk, or is this a real possibility and what would have to happen for this to happen?

I will not allow a new intifada. As long as I’m in office, I will not allow anybody to start a new intifada. Never never. But if I leave, it’s no longer my responsibility and I can’t make any guarantees. It could happen. It’s not my business to follow up. I promise and I can do. And I already promised and I did during the invasion of Gaza. At that time everybody asked me to go to a third intifada, but I prevented anybody from doing it.

The evidence is that in three years it hasn’t happened. The evidence is that every day there are provocations and there hasn’t been a violent response. So I have control of matters and I am confident that I can control things as long as I’m in office.

This means stepping down carries a big responsibility with it, that by stepping down you could be responsible for a new round of violence.

It could happen. It will pain me. I will be very angry if something happens in the future because it’s not the proper act to be done by the Palestinian people. But at that time it’s not my responsibility. I am responsible as long as I am in office. The moment I leave it’s not my responsibility.

You said this isn’t proper for the Palestinian people? Why are you against violence?

Since the 1970s, I believed in peace, and I worked for peace and for the relations and the contacts between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Until now I am convinced that peace is the only choice for both sides, for the Palestinians and the Israelis. The other choice is destructive.

From the first day of the intifada I said I am against this intifada. From the first day and I didn’t change my mind. When I ran in the elections I said publicly, I am against the armed intifada, I am against the futile rockets and I am for peace. If you want to elect me, okay, if you don’t, it doesn’t matter.

At the PLO conference last week and again tonight you seem more comfortable, more relaxed.

Now I am relaxed. I know what I will do. I told everybody about my intentions. And now I am relaxed.

We appear to be close to a prisoner swap deal for Gilad Shalit. How will this deal impact the domestic Palestinian political stage?

Shalit, the most famous soldier around the world. I am for this deal. We have to get rid of this fast. This man should return back to his family and at the same time at least 1,000 prisoners will be released and come back to their families. It’s not important whether Hamas concluded this deal or anybody else. At the end the result is there are some people who will go back to their families and this deal will give hope to the others to be released. I don’t think it will have a big effect on the Palestinian political stage. In the Palestinian society everybody will be happy with it. Maybe it will give Hamas some popularity. For me that doesn’t matter. Let them get whatever they want to get. But at the end some people will be happy with this deal.

There have been a number of reports lately, from human rights groups, and even from the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Interior, alleging that prisoners in Palestinian custody have been mistreated or tortured, and some have even died as a result. Another report has alleged the CIA is connected to these government bodies allegedly responsible for this. Is there truth to these complaints? What is the CIA’s exact relationship to the Palestinian intelligence apparatus?

We have no relationship with the CIA at all. We have a relationship with the State Department. The State Department sends us some Americans to train and rebuild the Palestinian security apparatuses. That’s it. There is not any kind of cooperation with the CIA. We have no connection to the CIA. There is U.S. training of our forces. We don’t deny that at all. But not just American. Russia, and Jordan and France and many countries help in training us. And Dayton’s team is from a number of countries, not just America. America gives us nothing but training. If we want weapons we have to buy it or bring it as grants from other countries to Jordan and we keep it in Jordan until we have the permission from the Israeli side to import it. If we do not have this permission we cannot bring even one single bullet. In other words, we are not smuggling anything.

What is the message you want to direct to the Israeli people?

If we reach a final solution, we will drop all kinds of other demands. The second point is, there will be a third party on our territories agreed upon by the Israelis and the Palestinians. From where? Maybe NATO, the Americans, the Europeans, whatever they want. They will be there for a while to preserve the borders and keep it under control so the Israelis will be safe.

Beside that, they tried us and we are working very hard to preserve our own security and also to prevent anybody from committing any acts against the Israelis. On the other hand, every day there is an invasion in one of our cities from the Israeli army and from the settlers themselves. Last time they burned a mosque in one of our villages. Every day they go to Jerusalem either to occupy some of our houses or to demolish houses. There is no cooperation between the Israelis and us in this area. They do not help us.

We are saying to the Israelis: We are serious in building peace with you, in building a Palestinian state that lives side by side with Israel on the ’67 borders in peace and stability. And we also, through the Arab peace initiative, will bring 57 Arab and Islamic countries to recognize you. I think this is an historic opportunity for the Israeli people to live in peace. I know that 70 percent of the Israeli population are for peace, but if your government doesn’t want peace, nobody knows what will happen, and how the situation will get worse. And we don’t want this. This is an opportunity to be seized. This is my message for the Israeli people.

What do you want to say in response to those who criticized you for agreeing to delay a vote on the Goldstone report?

Goldstone, when he came to investigate, Hamas attacked him, saying he was a Zionist Jew and that he was biased against the Palestinian people. We welcomed him because we wanted the world to know who attacked the Palestinian people so they could be held accountable. Goldstone put out a 575-page report and it went to Geneva to the human rights council and the matter was discussed there. The council didn’t reach a decision so it was decided to refer it to the next session, so I agreed. And the world turned upside down saying I had sold the Palestinian cause, and the world and the media, and the satellite channels all attacked us. Even the Israelis attacked us. After these attacks, I decided to return the matter to the human rights council and that’s what I did. Now it is at the general assembly. The accusation that I am the one who alone agreed to delay it is not true.

You have encouraged recently Palestinians to boycott products made in the settlements, but many of your Palestinian critics would like to see you go further in leading a non-violent resistance movement against Israel. Do you support those who are calling for a broader boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel?

This is our right to boycott the settlements. The settlements are taking our land and selling the products to the world so we ask the world not to buy these products. These are our rights. The people of Bilin and Nilin go out and protest peacefully against the wall. I am with any peaceful protest that expresses the opinion of the people. I support this. But I am against the bullets and the rockets. We are asking every day the European countries and the world to stop buying these products and not to buy these products. But we never said boycott Israel. We never boycotted Israel. We have contacts with them every day. We buy from them electricity, water, and even the air. We buy air! They sell us air! Truly, the air. Cell phone frequencies. And they haggle with us over the air. ‘We’ll give 3.1 of air’ they say, and we say ‘no we want 3.8,’ and they say ‘no way you’ll get .8 of air.’ AIR!

People say you aren’t prepared to make concessions for peace and they say that if you were, you wouldn’t have rejected the Olmert peace offer. Is this true?

Never. Not true. We were negotiating, and remained negotiating until the last day of the Bush administration. Condoleezza Rice suggested we meet again on January 3 in Washington to seize the last chance, and we agreed to that, but in that time, there was the attack on Gaza, and still I agreed to go, but the Israeli administration said it can’t do it in these circumstances.

Do you think Benjamin Netanyahu wants to make peace with you?

I can’t say Netanyahu doesn’t want peace, I can’t see what’s inside him, but his policy suggests he doesn’t. We have to keep hope. If we say there is no hope then we put our people in a corner. I’m prepared to wait.

If and when you step down as president, how do you think people will remember your term? What accomplishments are you proud of, and what do you regret not having accomplished?

The people will decide what I did and what I didn’t do. They will decide if I succeeded or if I failed. I am proud of my role in the Oslo accords and for sticking to peace and maintaining law and order in the West Bank. I am proud the economy is developing, and the social situation is improving. I reached an agreement to reconcile with Hamas but Hamas backed out. I did all that I can do. What I couldn’t do is conclude a peace treaty with the Israelis. But that’s not due to my mistake. Maybe it’s the other side’s mistake. I want people to know that I have held to the core values the PLO adopted in 1988 and never compromised them. I never conceded on ’67 borders, or on East Jerusalem as the capital, and have always insisted on the rights of refugees, and that the problem be solved in accordance with the Arab peace initaitve. But, peace with Israel. I couldn’t reach this. It’s not my fault.

TEN DAYS LEFT TO BOYCOTT ISRAEL FOR CHRISTMAS

Posted in Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions, Profiting from Zionism, Why Boycott?! on December 22, 2009 by Marcy Newman

As Americans are in the annual frenzy of Christmas shopping, they must be reminded of those less fortunate. They must be reminded of those actually living in the Land that Jesus called home and what has become of that land and its people.

The Christmas season is supposed to be a time of love and giving. Buying Israeli goods or supporting Israeli’s working illegally in almost every mall across the nation destroys the very meaning of what Christmas is meant to be.

Every year around Christmas, hundreds of Israelis — most of them 20- and 30-something singles on tourist visas — come to work illegally in the U.S. Most sell products that require demonstration in shopping mall carts across the country. And while a raging national debate over undocumented workers turns mostly on Hispanic illegals, the situation of the Israeli “Christmas” workers remains under the radar.

These enterprising young Jewish men and women, who don’t celebrate these holidays themselves, try to make fast cash by pitching their wares to holiday consumers. Their product lines encompass a wide range of items such as mineral cosmetics, hair-straightening irons, sunglasses, toys and more.

“The Israelis dominate malls in which demonstrations of products is needed because of their excellent salesmanship,” said Yaron, an Israeli owner of more than 40 shopping carts across the country. He is living in the U.S. legally but has hired hundreds of undocumented Israelis to work for him over the past 10 years. Yaron is satisfied with the results. “They have the Israeli chutzpah; they are not embarrassed,” he said.

The above is from THIS article…

The Christian community of Palestine has called for a boycott and isolation of Israel. I urge you to support that call.

There are products to boycott … HERE you can read about the ‘top ten’ companies to keep away from, and the reasons why.

There are THOUSANDS of other reasons to join in to support this boycott….. THIS is what you support with every dollar that comes to Israel. Is that what you really want? Is that the spirit of Christmas you were brought up with? Somehow, I think not.

You can make Christmas, and every day of the year, a truly glorious day for the people of Palestine. You are the only ones that can stop the continual persecution and destruction of an entire nation. Just say NO to Israeli products. Say NO to apartheid. Say NO to murder. Say NO to zionism! Remember that the zionists continue to kill the family of Jesus with their genocidal policies. DON’T SUPPORT THOSE POLICIES!

Jerusalem Diary: Choir caught in disharmony

Posted in BDS Success, Cultural Boycott, International BDS Actions on December 22, 2009 by Marcy Newman

By Tim Franks
BBC News, Jerusalem

CHOIR FEELING FLAT OVER BOYCOTT ROW

It should be a time of unalloyed joy for Tim Brown. The director of one of Britain’s most well-regarded choirs is beginning a six-concert tour of Israel this week.

The choir of Clare College, Cambridge, will be singing Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Israel Camerata Orchestra. But the singers have not, as a choir, been able to perform in East Jerusalem or Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, after a Palestinian protest against the choir’s tour of Israel.

The choir has been caught in the passionate arguments over whether Israel should be boycotted.

Tim Brown says he is very disappointed. He had been hoping that the choir could precede its tour of Israel with a visit to St George’s Cathedral in East Jerusalem, and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. They had been invited to sing in both locations by the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem.

But that was before the London-based Palestine Solidarity Campaign swung into action. The campaign wrote a letter, signed by more than 200 people, asking that the choir cancel its tour of Israel or risk, in their words, “appearing indifferent to Palestinian suffering”.

The Palestinian Authority joined in.

According to one of those involved, the PA asked the Bishop of Jerusalem to withdraw the invitation for the choir to sing in East Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

The choir was informed that it would not be welcome in Bethlehem, should its members try to come in, en masse, as part of the bishop’s pilgrimage.

The choir’s director says his frustration is borne of what he describes as his own pro-Palestinian stance: he has taught and performed with Palestinian musicians. Mr Brown was very keen for his students to see the West Bank barrier and, as he put it, the “privations” caused by the Israeli occupation.

Betty Hunter, the general secretary of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, says that desire to travel to the West Bank does not excuse the choir’s tour of Israel. That tour, she says, is “surprising and shocking” – something which, in her words, “promotes Israel as a normal state rather than one which represses Palestinians”.

The issue of whether Israel should be boycotted has gained publicity in recent months with campaigns led by British trades unions. Separately, some Israeli MPs reacted angrily to the British government issuing guidelines over the labelling of produce imported from Israeli settlements in the West Bank. British officials are keen to stress that their move has nothing to do with a boycott.

But Betty Hunter says that these are but the opening skirmishes of a whole new boycott campaign that she says will open up over the next few months.

Labor for Palestine: Response to Defamatory Attacks and Call to Action

Posted in International BDS Actions, Labor Organizing on December 22, 2009 by Marcy Newman

Please post and forward widely

Labor for Palestine’s Response to Defamatory Attacks and Call to Action

December 21, 2009

Labor for Palestine’s December 14 “Open Letter from U.S. Trade Unionists to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka: Boycott Apartheid Israel” has met with an overwhelmingly positive response.

Posted at, http://www.laborforpalestine.net/wp/2009/12/19/trumka-letter/, the Open Letter supports the growing international campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, by calling on trade unionists in the United States to Divest from State of Israel Bonds, support workers’ refusal to handle Israeli cargo, break ties with the racist Histadrut, and oppose U.S. military and economic aid for Israel.

In just a few short days, the letter has been published by Electronic Intifada, Dissident Voice, Global BDS Movement, Indymedia, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, MRZine, Palestinian World, Socialist Worker (U.S.), Tehran Times, U.S. Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel, and U.S. Palestinian Community Network. It has also been endorsed by nearly 64 additional U.S. labor signers (see below), for a total of 94, and the number continues to grow.

The letter comes in response to the Palestinian call, adopted around the world and supported by all Palestinian trade unions, for BDS as an essential international action to support Palestinian rights.

It has also become clear that growing support for BDS is seen as a threat by those who would continue U.S. labor officialdom’s support for the apartheid state of Israel, as evidenced by new attacks on Labor for Palestine.

On December 17, two of the letter’s initial signers, Fred Mason (a co-convener of U.S. Labor Against the War and head of the Maryland AFL-CIO) and Clayola Brown (A. Philip Randolph Institute), issued identical written statements demanding that their names be removed from the letter. The statements assert that they “had never seen such a letter or engaged in discussions about its content,” and that it was “disrespectful that someone would attach my name to a document and circulate such a document without contact with me, or consent from me.”

Brown’s statement has been posted on the website of “Trade Unions Linking Israel and Palestine” under the heading, “Leading Black trade unionist expresses ‘disgust and dismay’ at misuse of her name by pro-BDS campaigners.” http://www.tuliponline.org/?p=1262. As explained in LFP’s Open Letter, TULIP was founded to derail the growing international labor support for BDS that has followed Israel’s massacres in Gaza.

LFP immediately honored the requests to remove both names. However, the claim that either had been listed without their knowledge of permission is a complete fabrication.

In fact, Fred Mason and Clayola Brown were among 21 people who signed the letter at a USLAW national meeting held in Chicago on December 5. Their endorsements, written in their own hand (signatures 5 and 6.) can be viewed at: http://www.aaumc.org/drupal/system/files/uslaw-signatures.pdf. Nonetheless, “TULIP” has refused to remove Brown’s defamatory statement from its website.

These false assertions come as no surprise. Dishonesty underlies the entire attempt to undermine BDS, and to shore up Israeli apartheid, occupation and oppression.

As the first anniversary of Israel’s massacre in Gaza approaches, LFP will escalate this campaign by posting the expanded list of Open Letter signers, activating a new and expanded website, creating a listserv for LFP supporters, and organizing future action. We ask you to join LFP in supporting the call for BDS, and in standing up against any attempt to silence U.S. workers’ voices in solidarity with our Palestinian brothers and sisters.

Workers around the world responding to the Palestinian call to cut ties with apartheid oppression. In the 1980s, workers stood together around the world to combat South African apartheid — and we can do no less today.

To help make this possible, please:

* Post and forward this report.

* Enlist and refer additional Open Letter signers to: http://www.laborforpalestine.net/wp/2009/12/19/trumka-letter/#endorse

* Write to Cbrown[at]aflcio.org, fmason[at]mddcaflcio.org, and info[at]tuliponline.org (cc: laborforpalestine.us[at]gmail.com)
to demand immediate retraction of their false accusations against LFP.

* Donate to LFP: http://laborforpalestine.net/wp/2009/12/trumka-letter/#donate

——————–

(List in formation — *For identification only)

Initial Signers (revised, as discussed above)
Monadel Herzallah, President, Arab American Union Members Council, California
Larry Adams, Co-Convener, NYCLAW; Former President, NPMHU L. 300*
Michael Letwin, Co-Convener, NYCLAW, Former President, UAW L. 2325/ALAA*; Al-Awda NY; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network/Labor
Brenda Stokely, Co-Convener, NYCLAW, Former President, AFSCME DC 1707*; Co-Chair, Million Worker March Movement
Sam Weinstein, Former President, UWUA L. 132*; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network/Labor
Stanley Heller, AFT L. 1547*, Delegate, CT Central Labor Council*
Marty Goodman, Former Executive Board Member, TWU L.100*
Frank Rosen, General Vice President (retired), UE*
Steve Zeltzer, Producer, Labor Video Project
Anthony Arnove, National Writers Union/UAW L.1981*
Mike Gimbel, Chair, Labor-Community Unity Committee, AFSCME DC 37 L. 375*; Delegate, NYC Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO*
Dave Welsh, Delegate, San Francisco Labor Council*
Lee Sustar, Chicago Labor Against the War
Timothy Kaminski, UAW L. 110* (ret.)
Janice Rothstein, AFSCME L. 3299*
Andy Griggs, UTLA*; LA Palestine Labor Solidarity Committee, Cafe Intifada
Emma Rosenthal, UTLA*; LA Palestine Labor Solidarity Committee, Cafe Intifada
Pete Nowicki, AFSCME L. 145*
Jim Crampton, 1199SEIU/UHWE*
Allan Fisher, AFT L. 2121, SF Community College*
Sharon Black, AFT L. 2*; Bailout the People Movement
Bill Balderson, Oakland Education Assn.*
Sarah Ringler, AFT L. 1936, PVFT*
Frank Pinto, UPTE-CWA L. 9119*
Steve Desavouret, TCU/IAM 6608*
Louis LaFortune, AFT L. 1936, PVFT*
Azalia Torres, Former Executive Bd. Member, UAW Local 2325/ALAA*
Patrick Langhenry, UAW Local 2325/ALAA*
Lucy Herschel, Delegate 1199SEIU/UHWE*
Carol Seligman, South San Francisco California Teachers Association*

Additional U.S. Labor Endorsers
Manzar Foroohar, CFA.*
Joe Iosbaker, Executive Board, SEIU L. 73.*
David Klein, CFA*
Mary Hughes, WGA, West*
Barbara Harvey, Attorney, Labor and Employment Committee, National Lawyers Guild*
Sherna Berger Gluck, Former Vice President, CFA-SEIU L. 1983*
Sabina Virgo, Founding and Past President, AFSCME L. 2620*
Shelia Cassidy, USW*, Riverside, CA
Evalyn F. Segal, CSEA, SEIU Local 1000*
Mark Kaswan, UAW L. 2865*
Roger Dittmann, President, Scientists Without Borders; CFA-SEIU-AAUP*
Larry Duncan, Co-Producer, Labor Beat Cable TV Series; CWA L. 14408*
Andrew Berman, AFGE L. 375 (ret.)*
Stephen Mahood, UAW L. 2322/Graduate Employees Organization*
James Marc Leas, CWA L. 1601*
Hester Eisenstein, Vice-Chair, Queens College Chapter, PSC-CUNY*
Jerry Silberman, Organizer, PASNAP, AFL-CIO*
Howard Lenow, Union Attorney, Lawyers Coordinating Committee, AFL-CIO*
Bob McCubbin, CTA-NEA (ret.)*
Nagesh Rao, AFT L. 2364*
Anna Potempska, PEF*
James L. Richardson, United Domestic Workers*
Tom Lacey, OPEIU, L. 3*
Joseph Levine, Massachusetts Society of Professors, MTA-NEA*
John Levin, WGA, West*
Rogers Turrentine, WGA*
Dennis Kortheuer, CFA*
Leslie Feinberg, NWU, UAW L. 1981*
Noha Arafa, ALAA/UAW L. 2325*
Michael Yates, United Association for Labor Education*
Mike Prokosch, IUPAT, DC 35*
Wendy Thompson, Former President, UAW L. 235*
Mary Lou Finley, San Diego Para Chapter Secretary, CSEA, AFL-CIO*
Sam Blan, SAG*
Jeffrey Klein, President (ret.), NAGE/SEIU L. R1-168*
Fred Hirsch, Executive Board, Plumbers and Fitters L. 393*
Gaby Forrell, AFM, New York, NY
Michel Lyon, AFSCME L. 3299*
Sheila Hoyt, BTU*
Steve Early, NWU/UAW L. 1981*
Gabriel Camacho, UNITE HERE L. 66L*
Edie Pistolesi, CFA*
Erin Breault, PFT*
Donna Blythe-Shaw, Staff Representative, USW, Dorchester, MA
Joe Balkis, Steward, IBT, Calumet City, IL
Robert McCauley, Organizer, NUHW*
John J. McColgan, USW L. 9158*
Dan Kaplan, Executive Secretary, AFT L. 1493, San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers*
Andre Powell, Delegate, Baltimore Metro Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO*
Leila Kawar, GSOC/UAW Local 2110 NYU, AFL-CIO*
Mary Sully, IUE-CWA L. 201 (ret.), McAllen, TX
Saladin Muhammad, International Representative (ret.), UE*
Ann Pett, NEA, Valley Village, CA
Deborah Rosenstein, Labor Educator, University of Minnesota Labor Education Service*
Keith Rosenthal, AFSCME L. 3650*
Patrick Finn, UUP/SUNY Buffalo*
Daniel Bosch, Twin Cities GMB, IWW*
Chelsea Earles, Hear Our Public Employees Coalition (HOPE), Durham, NC
Joseph Agonito, AFT L. 1845*
Scott D. Egan, IWW, Tucson, AZ
Brian Kelly, International Brotherhood of Carpenters, L. 33, Boston (formerly); IUMSWA L25*
Thomas F. Barton, AFSCME DC 37, L. 768*
Dick Wood, CSEA, Sacramento, CA
Keith Sadler, UAW Local 12*

International Endorsers
Rubina Jamil, Working Women Organization; All Pakistan Trade Union Federation*
Tony Leon, Secretary General, Venezuelan Union of Oil Industry Workers*

Additional International Endorsers
Amir M. Maasoumi, Federation des travailleurs du Quebec (FTQ)*
B. Ross Ashley, Retired Shop Steward, SEIU L. 1, Canada*
Boudemi Abdellah, Federation Generale du Travail Belgium*
Christina Rousseau, Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) L. 3903*
Faiz Ahmed, Secretary, Public Service Alliance of Canada, Direct Chartered L. 60550, Union of Graduate Student Workers*
Hanna Braun, National Union of Teachers (ret.)*, London, UK
John M. Darlling, International Typographical Union* (ret.), Toronto, Ontario
Mike Treen, National Director, Unite Union New Zealand*
Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, Life Member, National Union of Journalists (UK)*, member, National Union of Teachers Waltham Forest Branch*
Peter Brogan, Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) L. 3903*
Kelvin Bland, Royal Institute of British Architects*

Organizational Endorsers
BDS National Committee, Palestine
US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

Glossary
AAUP. American Association of University Professors
AFGE. American Federation of Government Employees
AFM. American Federation of Musicians
AFSCME. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
AFT. American Federation of Teachers
ALAA. Association of Legal Aid Attorneys
BTU. Boston Teachers Union
CFA. California Faculty Association
CSEA. California State Employees Association
CTA. California Teachers Association
CWA. Communication Workers of America
GSOC. Graduate Student Organizing Committee
IAM. International Association of Machinists
IBT. International Brotherhood of Teamsters
IUE. International Union of Electronic Workers
IUPAT. International Union of Painters and Allied Trades
IUMSWA. Industrial Union of Marine and Shipbuilding Workers of America
IWW. Industrial Workers of the World
MTA. Massachusetts Teachers Association
NAGE. National Association of Government Employees
NEA. National Education Association
NPMHU. National Postal Mail Handlers Union
NUHW. National Union of Healthcare Workers
NWU. National Writers Union
NYCLAW. New York City Labor Against the War
OPEIU. Office and Professional Employees International Union
PASNAP. Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals
PEF. Public Employees Federation
PFT. Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers
PFVT. Pajaro Valley Federation of Teachers
PSC-CUNY. Professional Staff Congress
SAG. Screen Actors Guild
SEIU. Service Employees International Union
TCU. Transportation Communications International Union
TWU. Transport Workers Union
UAW. United Auto Workers
UE. United Electrical Workers
UHWE: United Health Care Workers East
UPTE. University Professional and Technical Employees
USW. United Steel Workers
UTLA. United Teachers of Los Angeles
UUP. United University Professions
UWUA. Utility Workers Union of America
WGA. Writers Guild of America

As’ad AbuKhalil on Apartheid in Palestine

Posted in Apartheid, Why Boycott?!, Zionism on December 21, 2009 by Marcy Newman

Professor As’ad AbuKhalil talk given University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth:
“Apartheid: Racism and Violation of human rights in South-Africa and Palestine,” organised by People of African descent & Students for justice in the Middle East on 9th December 2009 http://arabichour.org

Carolers Sing for Boycott of Leviev while Israel Jails Palestinian Allies

Posted in BDS Success, International BDS Actions on December 21, 2009 by Marcy Newman

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New York, NY, December 19, 2009 – On a snowy Saturday afternoon, forty-five human rights carolers serenaded Madison Avenue shoppers with familiar holiday tunes outside the storefront of Israeli diamond and settlement mogul Lev Leviev, but their lyrics called for the boycott of Leviev’s companies. The New York protest took place against the backdrop of a growing arrest campaign by the Israeli military against Palestinian protest and boycott activists from West Bank villages where Leviev has built settlements.

Ethan Heitner from Adalah-NY commented, “Today in New York City we celebrated the many victories of the international movement to boycott companies like Leviev’s that support Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people. At the same time, we’re angry that our Palestinian colleagues, like Mohammad Othman from Jayyous, Abdallah Abu Rahmah from Bil’in and Jamal Juma’ from Stop the Wall, have been imprisoned by Israel for organizing nonviolent protests and boycotts. Still, the Israeli government’s desperate measures won’t succeed in crushing the growing movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Instead they just provide further proof to the world of why BDS is necessary.”

Groups worldwide have conducted a successful boycott campaign against Leviev’s companies due to their construction of Israeli settlements in violation of international law, and their human rights abuses in the diamond industry in Angola. With Leviev’s companies in freefall, New York human rights advocates, many wearing Santa hats, returned to his store for a third year of holiday caroling, and greeted Madison Avenue holiday shoppers with choruses like this, to the tune of “Jingle Bell Rock”:

So Lev as you, watch while your, stock goes kaput,
Think of the folks you’ve hurt,
And we’ll keep being the thorns in your side,
Til’ there’s justice for,
Palestinians,
And you’ve paid for your crimes!

In a new development, three heavyset, middle-aged men, seemingly employed by Leviev, videotaped and photographed the carolers from the storefront throughout the event.

Leviev’s companies Africa Israel and Leader have built Jewish-only homes on Palestinian land in the Israeli settlements of Zufim on the land of the village of Jayyous, Mattityahu East on the land of the village of Bil’in, and Har Homa and Maale Adumim, impoverishing Palestinian communities and violating international law. On December 12th in the middle of the night, the Israeli military arrested Abdallah Abu Rahmah, a leading organizer of Bil’in’s five year nonviolent protest campaign to save the village’s land from Israel’s wall and settlements. Many other protesters from Bil’in and from the neighboring village of Ni’ilin, also campaigning to save its land, have been arrested recently in nighttime raids. The Palestinian organization Stop the Wall announced that its Coordinator, Jamal Juma’, was arrested on December 16th. Israeli authorities have jailed Jayyous protest and boycott organizer Mohammad Othman, also from Stop the Wall, without charges since September 22nd. This week, Israeli settlers from Zufim, built on Jayyous’ land, attacked Israeli soldiers who were attempting to slow settlement expansion there.

Leviev is facing a financial crisis,
imperiling his control of his flagship company Africa-Israel, that appears to have been aggravated by the growing boycott movement. UNICEF, Oxfam, The British Government and major Hollywood stars have all distanced themselves from Leviev. The investment firm BlackRock, pension giant TIAA-CREF and the Swedish government recently sold off their shares of Leviev’s company Africa-Israel, though BlackRock and TIAA-CREF denied they did so due to his settlement construction. New reports indicate that the second largest Dutch pension fund PZVW divested from Africa-Israel. Eleven organizations have asked the Norwegian government to sell its pension holdings in Africa-Israel over ethical concerns.

Click here for protest photos.

Click here for the carol lyrics.

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