South African Dock Workers to Boycott Israel
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
February 5 2009
Israel faces a new boycott as the huge Cosatu trade union of South Africa vowed to refuse “apartheid Israeli” goods due to arrive in the port of Durban on Thursday and Sunday. The union previously has refused to unload goods from countries it calls “dictatorial and oppressive.”
The local Palestine Solidarity Committee and Young Communist League announced a series of protests starting on Thursday in Durban, Johannesburg, Cape Town and the city of Benoni, according to the South African Daily News website. “This follows the decision by Cosatu to strengthen the campaign in South Africa for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against apartheid Israel,” they explained.
The union also revealed that western Australian workers refused to handle Israeli goods.
“We call on other workers and unions to follow suit and to do all that is necessary to ensure that they boycott all goods to and from Israel until Palestine is free,” said the joint statement by Cosatu and the Palestinian and Communist committees.
The union called on workers all over the world to follow suit in an effort to strangle Israel economically. A boycott by dockworkers “should shockwaves to [Israel’s] arrogant patrons in the United States who foot the bill for Israel’s killing machine.”
The South African Jewish Board of Deputies charged that the union’s is a political action intended “to show its muscle” towards upcoming national elections. “It is a pity Cosatu cannot show the same solidarity with its own brothers in the African continent,” Board chairman Zev Krengel told the Daily News. “More than 3,000 people in Zimbabwe have died of cholera, yet we do not see any protest about that.”
Foreign Minister spokesman Yigal Palmor said responded, “If these people think that by refusing to unload shipments from Israel they are promoting peace, they should go back to school because they have misread the situation in the Middle East big time.”
In Turkey, the Consumers Association has urged a boycott on Israeli products, and the Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia is calling for a boycott of products by several large United States companies to protest the American government’s not denouncing Israel for the Cast Lead counterterrorist campaign in Gaza.
Among the companies whose products consumers are urged to avoid are Colgate-Palmolive Co., Coca-Cola and the Starbucks coffee chain. A similar boycott in the country aganist McDonalds’s has proven ineffective.
SAPA: Workers to boycott Israeli ship
South African Transport & Allied Workers Union
Durban dock workers are expected to refuse to off-load an Israeli ship as part of a week of action against “apartheid” Israel, Cosatu and the Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC) said on Tuesday.
Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven and PSC spokesperson Salim Vally said dock workers would refuse to off-load the ship arriving on Sunday, February 8, as part of a refusal to support oppression and exploitation across the globe.
SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) general secretary Randall Howard said the union’s members were committed to not handling Israeli goods.
Last year, Durban dock workers refused to off-load a shipment of arms from China that was destined for Zimbabwe.
The arms would have been used to “prop up the Mugabe regime and to intensify the repression against the Zimbabwean people”, Craven said.
“In 1963, just four years after the Anti-Apartheid Movement was formed, Danish dock workers refused to off-load a ship with South African goods.
“When the ship docked in Sweden, Swedish workers followed suit. Dock workers in Liverpool and, later, in the San Francisco Bay Area also refused to off-load South African goods,” he said.
Western Australian members of the Maritime Union of Australia supported the “campaign for boycotts, divestment and sanctions” against Israel and had called for a boycott of all Israeli vessels and all vessels bearing goods arriving from or going to Israel.
“This is the legacy and the tradition that South African dock workers have inherited, and it is a legacy they are determined to honour, by ensuring that South African ports of entry will not be used as transit points for goods bound for or emanating from certain dictatorial and oppressive states such as Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Israel.”
Cosatu called on other workers and unions across the globe to follow suit and to do all that is necessary to ensure that they boycott all goods to and from Israel until Palestine was free.
The week of action would include a protest in front of the South African Zionist Federation and the South African Jewish Board of Deputies in Johannesburg on Friday, a rally on the same day in Actonville on the East Rand and a picket in front of Parliament in Cape Town.
The protest would be addressed by Howard and former Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils, Craven said.
The rally on Friday would be addressed by Vally, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, South African Council of Churches general secretary Eddie Makue and Kasrils.
A protest at Durban harbour and a rally in Cape Town were planned for Sunday February 8, Craven said.
Anti-Apartheid Talk a Hit at UCLA
By Pat McDonnell Twair
(L-r) Diana Buttu, Rev. Makue, and Katherine Fuchs (S. Twair photo).
AS PART OF a national U.S. tour entitled “Separate Is Never Equal: Stories of Apartheid,” sponsored by the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, South African Rev. Eddie Makue and international law advocate Diana Buttu spoke Nov. 19 at the University of California, Los Angeles.
“As a black person, I was essentially born guilty in apartheid South Africa.” explained Reverend Makue, who has been an activist for three decades. He stated that the implementation of separation laws is more severe in Palestine than it was in his homeland. “My liberation will not be complete until the people of Palestine are free,” he vowed.
Buttu, who was born in Canada to Palestinian Israeli citizens and holds a master’s degree in law from Stanford University, worked on litigation at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, which decreed Israel’s apartheid wall to be illegal.
“Instead of implementing the World Court’s ruling and dismantling the wall, Israel said ‘so what?’” stated Buttu. She noted how Israel cuts off Jews from Palestinians with a separate Jews-only highway system, checkpoints to cripple Palestinian movement, curfews and economic controls. Gaza has been blockaded into a walled open air prison.
Campaign national organizer Katherine Fuchs advised the rapt audience that the best means to stop Israeli apartheid is to follow the South African tools of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS).
The Campaign has focused on boycotting two U.S. corporations which sell equipment to Israel: Motorola and Caterpillar.
Motorola manufactures fuses used in Israeli MK-84 bombs, mountain roads security systems Israel uses in its truck-mounted checkpoints, and Wide Area Surveillance Systems (WASS).
“Write letters to Motorola protesting this and let it know you will boycott all its products,” Fuchs urged.
A national campaign targeting Caterpillar shareholders is making inroads, she added. Increasingly at each annual meeting, shareholders complain about Caterpillar selling mammoth D-9 bulldozers used to demolish Palestinian homes.
“Check if your university endowment funds include Motorola and Caterpillar and insist that it divests them,” Fuch said.
During the question-and-answer session, the audience groaned when a coed asserted that Israel strives for peace.
“If Israel wanted peace, it would stop building settlements,” Buttu responded. “The fourth largest Israeli political party is calling for the expulsion of Arab citizens.”
The coed then directed a question to Reverend Makue: “Blacks never bombed whites in South Africa like Palestinians do Jews in Israel.”
Makue replied: “Show me any Palestinian who is implementing apartheid laws. The word terror is being abused. Apartheid created terror against blacks.
“Apartheid laws were drawn up in South Africa and in Israel in 1948. Nelson Mandela recognized the similarities and cooperation of these two systems. In 2007, when the United Nations asked Nobel Peace Laureate Bishop Desmond Tutu to see firsthand conditions in Gaza, the Israeli government barred him from entering.”
Buttu concluded to the protesting coed: “You are implying only Palestinians commit terrorist acts. Dropping bombs on civilians, targeting children is terrorism. Focus on the disease of occupation and lack of freedom rather than on their symptom of violence.”
Irish Civil Society Calls For Boycott of Israel
January 31 2009
The following letter was published in a full-page advertisement in The Irish Times on 31 January 2009:
The original ad, including signatures may be downloaded here. [PDF]
Israel’s bombardment of Gaza killed over 1,300 Palestinians, a third of them children. Thousands have been wounded. Many victims had been taking refuge in clearly marked UN facilities.
This assault came in the wake of years of economic blockade by Israel. This blockade, which is illegal under international humanitarian law, has destroyed the Gaza economy and condemned its population to poverty. According to a World Bank report last September, “98 percent of Gaza’s industrial operations are now inactive.”
The most recent attack on Gaza is only the latest phase in Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people and appropriation of their land.
Israel has never declared its borders. Instead, it has continuously expanded at the expense of the Palestinians. In 1948, it took over 78 percent of Palestine, an area much larger than that suggested for a Jewish state by the UN General Assembly in 1947. Contrary to international law, Israel expelled over 750,000 Palestinians from their homes. These refugees and their descendants, who now number millions, are still dispersed throughout the region. They have the right, under international law, to return to their homes. This right has been underlined by the UN General Assembly many times, starting with Resolution 194 in 1948.
In 1967, Israel occupied the remaining 22 percent of Palestine: the West Bank and Gaza. Contrary to Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel has built, and continues to build, settlements in these occupied territories. Today, nearly 500,000 Israeli settlers live in the illegal settlements in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), and the number grows daily as Israel expands its settler program.
Israel has resisted pressure from the international community to abide by the human rights provisions of international law. It has refused to comply with UN Security Council demands to cease building settlements and remove those it has built (Resolutions 446, 452 and 465) and to reverse its illegal annexation of East Jerusalem (252, 267, 271, 298, 476 and 478). Since September 2000, over 5,000 Palestinians, almost 1,000 of them minors, have been killed by the Israeli military.
Eleven-thousand Palestinians, including hundreds of minors, languish in Israel jails. Hundreds are detained without trial. In addition, Israel is breaking international law by imprisoning them outside the occupied territories, thereby making it almost impossible for their families to visit them. Every year, hundreds of Palestinian homes are demolished. The Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza livesw imprisoned by walls, barriers and checkpoints that prevent or impede access to shops, schools, workplaces, hospitals and places of worship. They are subjected to restrictions of every kind and to daily ritual humiliation at the hands of occupation soldiers and checkpoint guards.
Invasion, occupation and plantation of their land is the reality that Palestinians have faced for decades and still face on a daily basis, as their country is reduced remorselessly. Unless, and until, this Israeli aggression is halted, and the democratic rights of the Palestinian people are vindicated, there will be no justice or peace in the Middle East. Israel’s 40-year occupation of the West Bank and Gaza must be ended.
The occupation can end if political and economic pressure is placed on Israel by the international community. Recognizing this, the Palestinian people continually call on the international community to intervene.
We, the signatories, call for the following:
- The Irish Government to cease its purchase of Israeli military products and services and call publicly for an arms embargo against Israel.
- The Irish Government to demand publicly that Israel reverse its settlement construction, illegal occupation and annexation of land in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions and to use its influence in international fora to bring this about.
- The Irish Government to demand publicly that the Euro-Med Agreement under which Israel has privileged access to the EU market be suspended until Israel complies with international law.
- The Irish Government to veto any proposed upgrade in EU relations with Israel.
- The Irish people to boycott all Israeli goods and services until Israel abides by international law.
Academic boycott of the Israeli terrorist state spreads to US, Canada, & Al-Quds University
Academic boycott of Israel spreads to US & Jerusalem universities
Monday February 02, 2009 03:18 by Saed Bannoura – IMEMC News
Hundreds of professors and scholars in the US have, for the first time, joined in an academic boycott of the terrorist state of Israel, in an effort to pressure the Zionist racist Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian land, and disenfranchisement of the Palestinian people. In addition, Al-Quds University in Jerusalem, a Palestinian-run university, has joined the call for boycott.
The US boycott comes in the wake of dozens of similar boycotts launched in various parts of the world, including in England, Spain, Canada and Australia.
The Canadian boycott began in Quebec when academics signed a letter stating:
“We are a group of teachers and employees at Quebec colleges and universities who stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people, and with the people of Gaza who have suffered through the Israeli siege as targets of Israel’s brutal military attack. It will take more than ceasefires to bring a just and lasting peace in Palestine and Israel. We are acting in response to an appeal for support issued January 2, 2009 by the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees. In the wake of the Israeli bombing of the Islamic University of Gaza, the Federation of Unions has urged academics around the world to support a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.” The Canadian Union of Public Employees Ontario proposed, “Israeli academics be barred from speaking, teaching or conducting research at the province’s universities unless they condemn Israel’s actions in Gaza.”
In the US, professors and scholars declared, “As educators of conscience, we have been unable to stand by and watch in silence Israel’s indiscriminate assault on the Gaza Strip and its educational institutions.” They launched the U.S. Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel after Israel’s 3-week long assault on the Gaza Strip which ended on January 18th, in which 1400 Palestinians were killed, many of them civilians. The professors call for divestment initiatives and boycotts of Israeli academic institutions and joint educational and cultural initiatives. They make a comparison between the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the apartheid policies of South Africa, which ended in 1993.
al-Quds University in Jerusalem, with branches in the West Bank, has stated that it will phase out all cooperation with Israeli universities. In a statement issued by the University, officials stated:
“If the two-state solution is as far away today as it was ten years ago, there is no justification for continued academic cooperation based on reaching that solution. And there is no justification for continued official and non-official cooperation in other fields, foremost security coordination between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel. Ending academic cooperation is aimed at, first of all, pressuring Israel to abide by a solution that ends the occupation, a solution that has been needed for far too long and that the international community has stopped demanding.”
The University Board of Directors also noted that the decision to cut ties came “in response to the prior Israeli onslaught [on Gaza]; the acts and policies of Israeli governments over the past ten years, including settlement construction in East Jerusalem, the tightening of the siege on the occupied territories and thwarting any negotiated peace process that will lead to an independent Palestinian state living in peace alongside Israel.”
The UN is unable to get Israel to abide by the law. One has to wonder if they really even try. For About 60 years Zionists in Israel have terrorized Palestinians and still no solution.
Boycotting Israel is the way to go.
Anyone who supports Israel in any way, is supporting their Genocide.
They are supporting Criminal activity including War Crimes. They are also supporting Apartheid. Israel is a threat to all neighbouring countries as well. Israels weapons of mass destruction must be taken from them. They are more dangerous then any other country in the Middle East. They are the problem. They threaten everyone continually.
Israel is the terrorists in my opinion. They terrorize everyone with their threats.
The US must stop all Aid to Israel as well. They need 6.5 million a day for what? To bomb their neighbours maybe?
Zionists are nothing but warmongers just as George Bush and company were. Over the years they are and always have been the problem.
Jews in Syria get along just find. Jews in Iran get along just fine. They are treated with respect and allowed to practice their religion freely. The problem is Israeli Zionists. They are fanatics. They use the propaganda machine to try and make themselves look so sweet and innocent. It is just that propaganda and lies.
For links to the “conventions, treaties” go to “ICC stats analysis of Gaza war crimes allegations”