Israeli Ministry Trying to Compile Database of Citizens Who Support BDS

[So much for acting like a Democracy]

read more:  http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.778516

Senior officials say attorney general vehemently opposes Minister Gilad Erdan's bid, arguing his ministry has no legal authority to collect information on Israelis.

Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan wants to set up a database of Israeli citizens who are involved in promoting and supporting boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel or the settlements.

Senior Israeli officials noted that Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit is vehemently opposed to Erdan’s proposal, arguing that the Strategic Affairs Ministry has no legal authority to collect information on Israeli citizens.

Read more: Israeli Ministry Trying to Compile Database of Citizens Who Support BDS

Anti-Boycott Bills Are Part of Wider Crackdown on Protest

A number of commentators have noted two different trends. First, across the nation Republican lawmakers are pushing for bills criminalizing protests. Second, a number of state legislatures have passed or considered, often at the impetus of Democratic lawmakers, bills aimed at silencing the movement for Palestinian human rights by targeting boycotts of Israel. 

These trends should not be viewed separately from one another. It is important to understand that the more general anti-protest bills and those aimed specifically at the Palestinian human rights movement are motivated by the same factors. The bills aimed at silencing supporters for Palestinian human rights are anti-protest bills. All of these anti-protest bills are not arising exclusively out of a general disdain for public participation, but out of a disdain for the public participation of particular social movements that the bills’ sponsors fear will be successful. Together, the two trends amount to a bi-partisan attack on the First Amendment.

Read more: Anti-Boycott Bills Are Part of Wider Crackdown on Protest

Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid

Courtesy of Mondoweiss, here is the copy of the UN Report on Israeli Apartheid that was removed from the UN website due to severe political pressure.

Read more about the controversy on Mondoweiss!

 

Israeli-Practices-towards-the-Palestinian-People-and-the-Question-of-Apartheid.pdf

UN agency labels Israel ‘apartheid regime’– and Israel likens organization to Nazis

A United Nations agency today labeled Israel an “apartheid regime,” in a report that found the country guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt” of the “grave charge” of operating systematic discrimination and oppression against the Palestinian people. 

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) published the document, “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian, People and the Question of Apartheid,”[PDF]. ESCWA is mandated to review Israeli aggressions.  

The findings of the report are non-binding and reflect contributions from professor of political science at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale Virginia Tilley and former UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk. It concluded UN organs should sanction Israel and coordinate with civil society groups in boycott campaigns. Apartheid, the report described, is “a crime against humanity” and defined as:

Apartheid, the report described, is “a crime against humanity” and defined as:

“[I]nhuman acts…committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial groups or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.”

While neither Jews or Palestinians are racial groups, the report stated, the apartheid standard was met because ESCWA found a “racial character” to the policies of the Israeli government enacted toward both Jews and Palestinians. This is expressed inside of Israel through separate categories for a citizen’s “nationality” (Jewish or Arab) and in the occupied territories by the absence of citizenship for Palestinians. 

Israel was said to have divided Palestinians into different spheres of governance, each with fewer rights than Jewish-Israelis. Sub-sections of the report outline Palestinians citizens of Israel, West Bank and Gaza residents, Jerusalem residents, and external refugees, all of whom have unequal rights in comparison to Jewish-Israeli citizens. 

“Strategic fragmentation of the Palestinian people is the principal method by which Israel imposes an apartheid regime,” ESCWA said. Individual treatment to each group may not meet the apartheid definition, when taken together the report said, it does. 

The UN body regarded Israel as producing “one comprehensive regime developed for the purpose of ensuring the enduring dominion over non-Jews in all land exclusively under Israeli control in whatever category.”

Read more on Mondoweiss.

Read more: UN agency labels Israel ‘apartheid regime’– and Israel likens organization to Nazis

Jim Crow is alive and well in Israel

Long before Israel erected separate communities, the United States perfected the art of the artificial divide.


Stanley L Cohen is an attorney and human rights activist who has done extensive work in the Middle East and Africa.
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/02/jim-crow-alive-israel-170226083918015.html


For years, Israel has sold, and we in the United States have bought, the cheap peel-away sticker that it is the "lone democracy" in the Middle East.

It has a nice, assuring ring to it, sort of like "opportunity" or "peace", whatever these chants may, in practice, mean. But, like beauty, it remains very much in the eye of the beholder, and like reality, sooner or later the truth surfaces, no matter how well its fiction is packaged.

We in the US are damn good at packaging ourselves, and our charade of equality and justice is second to none. We sell stuff; lots of it. Much of it false. Very much like a willing stepchild, Israel has learned from us that if you say something long enough with vigour, power and money to back it, it begins to take on a surreal life of its own, no matter how much reality puts the lie to its embroidery. Indeed, we are quite accomplished at obfuscation. We know it all too well. We've hidden behind the fog of it for so long that, even today, those who remind us that the earth is, in fact, not flat, remain heretics to be scorned. Have we found the weapons of mass destruction yet?

Long before Israel erected separate communities divided by will of law to segregate its Jewish citizens from its almost two million Palestinian Arab ones, the US perfected the art of artificial divide.

With the accuracy of delusion, from coast to coast, could be heard the refrain that race-based segregation was lawful as long as the facilities provided to each race were equal.

For decades, the legal fiction of "separate but equal" was the mantra that state and local governments, throughout the US, held out to justify the artificial, indeed lawful, separation of tens of millions of Americans on the basis of race and nothing more.

Whether in services, facilities, public accommodations, transportation, medical care, employment, voting booths or in schools, black and white were segregated under the cheap shibboleth that artificial isolation of the races insured equality, as long as the conditions of their separation were legally equal.

These laws came to be known simply as Jim Crow.

Read more: Jim Crow is alive and well in Israel

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