❶ From +972 MAGAZINE
ISRAEL’S ‘WAR ON BDS’ MISSES THE POINT
June 1, 2015
Israel’s best-selling daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth and its website, Ynet, launched a special project on Monday. Under the banner, “Fighting the Boycott,” the newspaper entered “trench warfare” against the boycott Israel movement. Star right-wing columnist Ben-Dror Yemini wrote a long article claiming that the boycott movement is borne of a desire to de-legitimize the entire State of Israel, and not just the settlements and the occupation . . . .
____ What is taking place in Israel these days is reminiscent of what took place in South Africa in the 1980s and in Yugoslavia in the 1990s: international pressure that is focused on a specific problem is understood by those states’ citizens as an assault against the entire country, evidenced by the world’s irrational loathing and hatred of it. As a result, nationalism grows, internal dissent is silenced, and various democratic characteristics become weaker, or are weakened.
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❷ From THE PALESTINE CHRONICLE
STANDWITHUS INVESTS NEARLY HALF A MILLION DOLLARS IN ONGOING ANTI-BDS LAWSUIT AGAINST OLYMPIA FOOD CO-OP
May 30, 2015
On May 28, 2015, the Washington State Supreme Court struck down the state’s anti-SLAPP law, following an appeal filed by five individuals who are suing the Olympia Food Co-op for boycotting Israeli products.
____The Israeli advocacy organization StandWithUs immediately hailed the decision as a “BDS Defeat,” “a major setback to the anti-Israel boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) campaign,” and an “overwhelming victory.” In reality the Supreme Court did not rule on the merits of the plaintiffs’ case, much less on BDS. Instead it determined that the state law against SLAPP suits—suits designed to deter free speech by imposing a legal and financial burden on the defendant—violated the constitutional right to a trial by jury.
____As the anti-BDS suit was originally dismissed in Thurston County Superior Court on grounds that it had violated the state anti-SLAPP law—and as the law has been struck down—the case will now resume in that court.
____Before the lawsuit was even filed in 2011, internal StandWithUs documents revealed that the organization was behind the suit—even coordinating with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. . .
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❸ From MONDOWEISS
NEW WEST BANK SETTLEMENT CASTS LIGHT ON CLANDESTINE ROLE OF INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT FOR SETTLERS
Hannah Sterling and Sara Anna
May 29, 2015
Driving south from Bethlehem to Hebron on Route 60, a main settler road in the Occupied West Bank, is Beit al-Baraka, an old church compound made up of eight buildings built from Jerusalem yellow stone. It sits just to the north of Al Arroub refugee camp and for many years it existed as the site of a Presbyterian mission, first as a hospital and later as a hostel. But now its ownership is being questioned, following allegations that it has been sold to right-wing settlers.
____[Jerusalem newspaper] Haaretz published last Friday that the site had been sold to Aryeh King, who was renovating the site in anticipation of moving settlers into it. When we visited Beit al-Baraka we found this consistently denied in the area, however investigations show the extent to which the settler enterprise can go to ensure the real identity and intentions of property purchase are hidden.
____The site proves an important strategic acquisition for the settler movement. One of the primary purposes of settlement building is to enable the annexation of Palestinian land. . .
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❹ From ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
MAY: 135 ARRESTS, 7 DEMOLITIONS IN JERUSALEM
June 2, 2015
In its monthly report, the Wadi Hilweh Information Center reported that Israeli forces killed Amran Omar Abu Adhim, age 42, claiming he attempted to run over soldiers with his car. Abu Adhim is the father of five children.
____Israeli settlers continued to invade the al Aqsa mosque compound in occupied Jerusalem’s Old City, with some 690 settlers and 355 police and intelligence officials entering the area during May.
____Israeli authorities banned 26 Palestinians from entering the al Aqsa mosque area for periods between one week and six months. Of these 26, nine were women and three minors.
____135 Palestinians were arrested in Jerusalem, of whom 17 were women and 48 minors.
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❺ From IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
SOLDIERS KIDNAP 17 PALESTINIANS IN THE WEST BANK AND JERUSALEM
June 02, 2015
Israeli soldiers kidnapped, late at night and earlier on Tuesday, at least seventeen Palestinians in different parts of the occupied West Bank, including seven in East Jerusalem.
____The Jericho Office of the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has reported that several Israeli military vehicles invaded the Ein al-Sultan refugee camp, stormed and searched a number of homes, and kidnapped three Palestinians.
____The kidnapped Palestinians have been identified as Yazan Farid Abu Lawy, Jihad Mahmoud Manasra and Samer Mohammad Ibrahim.
____Soldiers also installed a military roadblock on the main road leading to the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and kidnapped two Palestinians identified as Hikmat Mahmoud Odeh, 25, and Jassem Mahmoud Odeh, 22.
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“OCCUPATION,” BY MAJID ABA GHOUSH
Occupied Ramallah 17/11/06
Strange days cast dour shadows.
Dusk. The fragrance of death
on a windowsill.
In the lingering heat
an impossible burden weighs
down on eyelids and chest;
the throat aches, the spine throbs.
Rose petals all tarnished with foul dust
from the poisoned world.
Black limousines sail past, flying
the skull and crossbones.
The grave yawns open early,
nightmares never leave.
Death squads. Detention camps.
Somewhere, an oud
pronounces its sad chords.
The invaders smile, tap their feet.
Translated by John Glenday
MAJID ABA GHOUSH was born in Amwas. He is a prolific poet, a member of the Secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Writers and a founding member of Poets Without Borders Palestine.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Amazon.com.
MAJID ABA GHOUSH “singing”