Nelson Mandela’s grandson slams ‘Israeli apartheid’

Zwelivelile Mandela says Israeli apartheid is the worst form of apartheid ever witnessed.

by

London, United Kingdom – The grandson of anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela has delivered a damning condemnation of “Israeli apartheid”, in a high-profile expression of solidarity between South Africans and Palestinians.

Zwelivelile Mandela, an MP of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), made the comments on Saturday at the Palestine Expo, an annual event in London aimed at showcasing Palestinian history, heritage and culture. Last year, it attracted 15,000 visitors.

Addressing a large audience, Mandela said that the Nation-State Law passed in 2018 declaring Israel to be the historical homeland of the Jewish people “confirmed what we have always known to be the true character and reality of Israel: Israel is an apartheid state”.

He also outlined what had constituted apartheid for black South Africans – from the creation of bantustan reservations to land expropriation and the daily assault on dignity.

“All these characteristics were present in apartheid Israel since its inception but have now been codified and given a constitutional status and expression by the Nation-State Law.

“Apartheid Israel perpetuates statutory discrimination through the very definition by the law as a Jewish state; by doing so it renders non-Jews as second-class citizens, alternately as foreigners in the land of their birth.”

Anti-Semitism allegations

Also speaking at the event was Israeli journalist Gideon Levy, who criticised efforts by the United States to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through investment.

He told the London audience that not only could the deal not be taken seriously, but if it were pursued it would put an end to “all Palestinian rights and aspirations”, and added that, as a result, a global intervention was now required to put pressure on Israel.

“We need the world because Israel will not change by itself – as long as Israel and Israelis are not punished and don’t pay for the occupation, for the crimes, don’t expect any change. It will not come from within Israel.”

Levy was also scathing about how Western politicians and media have succumbed to a “very efficient” campaign by Israel to label any criticism of the country’s activities as anti-Semitic.

“Here we face now a new stage in which criticising Israel becomes not only impossible but almost criminal. I have never seen such a phenomenon in which struggling for justice becomes criminalised – this is unheard of.

“The formula is very formalised and very efficient, and we shouldn’t let it be so efficient: you dare to criticise the occupation? You dare to criticise Israel? You dare to have some sympathy with the Palestinians, the victims? You dare to speak about justice? You know what you are: you are an anti-Semite. This paralyses everybody.”

Ilan Pappe, a professor at the University of Exeter and director of the European Centre for Palestinian Studies, also blasted the mainstream media’s coverage of Israeli activities and how these have been concealed behind the “fabrication of institutional anti-Semitism”.

Pappe said it was important to acknowledge the historical context in which the treatment of Palestinians in areas such as Gaza had taken place.

“Unfortunately, the world doesn’t know what goes on in Gaza. In this country, the mainstream media, whether it is Sky News or the BBC, or the main newspapers, don’t mention the Gaza Strip.

“They mention every word that they think attests to institutional anti-Semitism in the Labour Party but they would not mention what happened yesterday when 49 young Palestinians were shot by Israeli snipers. Neither did they mention the 52 who were shot last week.”

Home demolitions

Human rights activist Issa Amro, who is based in Hebron – which is at the sharp end of Israeli settler appropriation of Palestinian land – told attendees that the city had become the “micro-centre of apartheid, discrimination and segregation”.

Amro described his activism trying to resist the growing scale at which Palestinian homes were being demolished by the Israeli authorities in order for settlers to take their land and resources.

He said demolitions had increased significantly since Donald Trump became the US president in early 2017, and current Israeli policy was to now even require some Palestinians to demolish their own homes.

“Don’t be afraid of ‘anti-Semitism’ because the message of this conference should be that criticising Israeli human rights violations is not anti-Semitism,” he said.

Daphna Baram, director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions UK, outlined the scale of demolitions, pointing out that 201 Palestinian structures were demolished in June alone – bringing those destroyed since 1967 to 49,336.

“This is the daily grind of the occupation that is turning the life of the Palestinians impossible,” she said. “This is not by accident, this is making the lives of the Palestinians impossible by design.

“This has been the design of the Israeli government for generations to get rid of the Palestinians and make them go away in various ways, shapes and forms, and one of the main ways to do this is by house demolitions.”

Global south ‘neglect’

Palestinian journalist and author Ramzy Baroud – who had just returned from a 10-day solidarity tour to Kenya – told the event in the UK capital that a new front in Palestinian activity should be aimed at the developing world.

Palestinian activism had neglected the “global south” because of the Oslo peace process and a changing discourse that had convinced people that their fate lay in the capitals of the developed world.

“But Israel has rediscovered the global south and they have penetrated Africa and South America and other places,” Baroud said. “We need to go back there and we need to resurrect their solidarity.

“One thing about Africa that I noticed is that we don’t have to contend with the tiny little bits of the discourse – nobody accuses you of anti-Semitism, it is not even on the agenda of African audiences: what they talk about there is national liberation.”

SOURCE: Al Jazeera News

Cross-Canada Day of Action to End Israel Apartheid

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On May 18th we will be marching down the streets of Toronto to honour the Nakba and to call for an end to Israeli Apartheid. The energy and strength of Palestinians has been relentless in resisting colonial violence. Please join us on the streets and support our call by sharing the event with your network of activists and organizers. This is the Facebook page

We will be gathering at Yonge-Dundas Square at 2PM and marching to Yonge and Bloor to the Israeli Consulate. Please bring your energy and enthusiasm as well as your banners and placards. 

We urge you to endorse this day of action and our call for the right of return of Palestinians. An endorsement can mean simply stating your support to us, sharing the event page on Facebook, and/or supporting with resources. Some endorsing organizations include:

  • Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME)

  • Al-Quds Committee

  • Labour for Palestine

  • Canadians for Palestine

  • Canadian Federation of Students (CFS)

  • Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP)

  • Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW)

  • Socialist Action

  • Canadian Council for Justice and Peace

  • International Socialists

  • Hugo Chavez People’s Defence Front

  • Independent Jewish Voices (IJV)

  • Canadian Union of Postal Workers

If you would like to endorse, please reach out to Toronto BDS on Facebook

Hope to see you all out on May 18th!

The Gaza Ghetto uprising

By Gideon Levy

May 06, 2019 “Information Clearing House” –  

The cruelty and temerity of the people in Gaza once more reached new heights Saturday: dozens of rockets on Israel before the week of its Independence Day, just after its Holocaust Remembrance Day, and worst of all, two weeks before its Eurovision. How dare you Gaza, how dare you.

Israel still hasn’t recovered from the Holocaust, is preening itself for its Independence Day, the musicians are starting to arrive at Ben-Gurion Airport, and you’re firing Qassam rockets. How will we be able to celebrate? News reports give the impression that Israel is under siege; Gaza is threatening to destroy it. Twitter has already suggested “Eva’s Story on the Gaza Border” – a play on the social media campaign about the Holocaust.

Pundits explain that it’s all because of Hamas’ greed. Ramadan is beginning and “they’re under crazy pressure for cash.” Or, “It’s all because of the weak security policy that has gotten the terror groups used to Israel; we only strike buildings.”

And so they shoot, those villains. Hamas wants money, Israel’s too soft on them, they are terror, we are peace; they were born to kill. On Friday the army killed four protesters by the Gaza border fence, but who’s counting. In Israel a teenage boy tripped while running for a shelter. “When a lack of policy and continuity yields to blackmail,” a voice of wisdom mumbled, and nobody could figure out what he was proposing. Benny Gantz, the alternative. This is what we have an opposition for.

Everything is completely disconnected from context and reality, intentionally and willfully. Half a week after Holocaust Remembrance Day,  the knowledge that 2 million people have been locked up more than 12 years behind barbed wire in a giant cage doesn’t remind Israel of anything and doesn’t arouse anything. Half a week before Independence Day, the struggle for freedom and independence of another people is perceived as murderous terror for no reason.

Even the desperate attempt to prevent the brink of starvation is perceived as greed; the effort to somehow impart the appearance of a holiday in the holiest month of the year is depicted as extortion. That’s how low the brainwashing goes and no one protests. Everyone accepts it with a shrug.  Anyone who doubts how hollow and destructive the inculcation of the Holocaust is in Israel should look at the responses in Israel to this Gaza Ghetto Uprising. Anyone who ignores the reality in Gaza or tries to deny its disaster has learned nothing.

Gaza is a ghetto and what’s happening in the south is a ghetto uprising. There’s no other way to describe it. You can make claims against Hamas but you can’t make any claims against Gaza. It’s fighting for its freedom and no struggle is more just than its struggle, and Hamas is its leader.

The countdown to Hamas’ death has already begun: Only seven more months until the UN report, until Gaza is unfit for human habitation. But Israel yawns and its spokespeople only know how to tout “deterrence,” that monster we’ve created to justify every killing, closure and bout of destruction, as we lie ourselves to death that there’s something to deter 2 million unemployed, desperate, humiliated people, some of whom are hungry or dying for lack of medical care, and all of whom are locked up.

No one in Israel can imagine life in Gaza over the past 12 years. There are people who see to it that we don’t know, including Israel’s ban on the entry of Israeli journalists, which has stoked no protest at all. “Eva’s Story” should be filmed in Gaza way before it’s filmed in the Gaza border area.

A country that is established on the memory of the ghettos, which only a few days ago sanctified that memory, hides its face from the much larger ghetto that it built with its own hands and doesn’t want to see, one hour from the center of that country. A country that was established in a bloody struggle will not recognize the justness of the struggle of another people and wonders whether that people even exists. A society that considers itself exemplary, which was established on the world’s indifference to its suffering, shows monstrous heartlessness to the suffering it is causing.

“What were they before?” a woman asked me Friday in a lecture I gave in Tel Aviv. And what were we? What have we become?

Trudeau seriously out of step with Canadian attitudes towards Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights

 Sheryl Nestel

Rabble.ca February 22, 2019

At a Brock University town hall on January 15, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was challenged by an audience member who lauded the PM’s apology for Canada’s role in turning back Jewish refugees from Nazi persecution during the Second World War, but then went on to dispute the PM’s understanding of contemporary anti-Semitism. “I believe, to my consternation,” stated the questioner, “that you equated the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement with anti-Semitism. Will you take this opportunity today to retract your condemnation of the BDS movement?” The PM’s response appeared to come straight from the playbook of Israel-affiliated lobby groups when he declared that the BDS call is anti-Semitic and that “Canadian values” dictate that it must be opposed. Indeed, even Trudeau’s language (“single out Israel,” “delegitimize and demonize”) directly references Israeli government talking points. Adhering to the “anti-Zionism equals anti-Semitism” position of the Israeli government and many pro-Israel Jewish organizations, the PM demonizes and potentially imperils the rights of those who care about and advocate for Palestinian self-determination and an end to violations of the rights of the indigenous population of Palestine.

Just how out of step is Justin Trudeau with the Canadian public’s attitudes towards Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights? The PM’s most recent attack on the non-violent Palestinian civil society-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement appears to be in direct contradiction to the opinions of the majority of Canadians. The evidence for this claim can be found in two surveys conducted recently by the EKOS polling organization. The first survey, conducted in 2017 and sponsored by Independent Jewish Voices Canada and Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, revealed that 46 per cent of Canadians hold a negative view of the Israeli government. In Trudeau’s own Liberal party, the number of those with negative views was a substantial 55 per cent. Nonetheless, Canada’s Liberal government continues to demonstrate virtually uncritical support for Israel. They justify their position by claiming that it is necessary to “support Jews and to oppose anti-Semitism.” This serves to perpetuate the misconception, encouraged by Israel-aligned Jewish communal organizations such as the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) and B’nai Brith Canada, that Jews are ideologically unified in their support for the Jewish state’s current political regime. A recently released EKOS survey of Canadian Jews’ opinions on Israel, sponsored by Independent Jewish Voices Canada and the United Jewish People’s Order, is the first of its kind and demonstrates conclusively that there is no unity among Canadian Jews regarding Israel’s policies.

Indeed, the study concludes that Jewish Canadians are deeply divided in their opinions of the Israeli government. More than a third of Canadian Jews (37 per cent) have a negative opinion of the Israeli government, while only half view it positively. In addition, almost one in three Canadian Jews (31 per cent) oppose the military blockade of the Gaza Strip, and nearly half (45 per cent) oppose the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state. Fifty-eight per cent of Canadian Jews do not see criticism of Israel as necessarily anti-Semitic, and 48 per cent believe that charges of anti-Semitism are often used to silence legitimate criticism of the Jewish state. Astonishingly, over a third (36 per cent) of Jews in Canada think that the Palestinian call for a boycott of Israel is reasonable, while 44 per cent oppose Parliamentary condemnation of those who endorse a boycott of Israel. Unlike Prime Minister Trudeau, 28 per cent of Canada’s Jews believe it is reasonable to impose sanctions on Israel for its violations of Palestinian human rights.

Clearly, Trudeau does not represent general Canadian public opinion when it comes to Israel/Palestine. Moreover, his opposition to BDS, his support for measures that would censure anti-Zionist expression, and his clear mimicking of Israeli Foreign Ministry language and ideology are unacceptable to significant numbers of Canadian Jews who have parted ways with those in the community who march in lockstep with the Israeli government. Trudeau’s position is not only ill-advised, it is dangerous — dangerous for Palestinians whose situation grows graver by the day, and dangerous for Jews in the current climate of rising anti-Semitism from the right. As Oxford philosophy professor Brian Klug has argued, “When anti-Semitism is everywhere, it is nowhere. And when every anti-Zionist is an anti-Semite, we no longer know how to recognize the real thing — the concept of anti-Semitism loses its significance.” It’s time to bring our government’s policies on Israel’s 51-year occupation into alignment with the decidedly more critical, and ultimately more moral, stance of the Canadian public.

Canadians for Palestine – An Evening On Palestine

Thursday Oct 11 @ 7:00 pm

Venue: Arab Cultural Club of Ontario (ACCO)
     1289 Matheson Blvd. E., Mississauga

 

SPEAKERS:

Jonathan Kuttab, A Leading Palestinian Human Rights Lawyer
~ Is Criticizing Israel Anti-semitic? Human Rights Under Siege in Occupied Palestine

 

Atif A. Kubursi, Emeritus Professor of Economics at McMaster University
~ The Economics of Occupation: The Effects of Occupation on the Palestinian Community

 

Robert Holmes, Christian Peacemaker Team
~ Living in Occupied Hebron: A Presentation of My Life Experience Under the Israeli Occupation

 

More Info:

Zatoun Olive Oil