A call for International Protection of Palestinians from Israeli-Sanctioned Murder
Lawlessness and violence against Palestinian civilians reached new levels during the March 28 anti-BDS rally in Jerusalem. The Israeli minister of transportation, intelligence and atomic energy, Yisrael Katz, said that Israel must carry out a “targeted civil thwarting of the BDS leadership,” naming Omar Barghouti and other Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions activists. (“Targeted thwarting” is an Israeli military term for “assassination.”) Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri escalated the fear-mongering by claiming that Barghouti and other BDS activists are paid by terrorist organizations hostile to Israel.
Friends of Sabeel North America condemns this dangerous and violent rhetoric by Israeli leaders. As a Palestinian Christian organization, FOSNA affirms the sanctity of every human life and asserts that murder and intent to assassinate targeted civilians runs contrary to our religious principles and international law. We reject statements by extremist religious leaders who distort the teachings of their own scriptures, religious law, and prophets by justifying murder with hate speech. A central principle of our Judeo-Christian-Islamic scriptures and traditions is the responsibility “to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke.”
Please contact Secretary of State John Kerry in support of Senator Patrick Leahy’s request to investigate “gross violations of human rights” in Israel. Write to your local newspaper in support of sanctions against Israel in light of these threats. Speak to your congregations about the violence Palestinians experience under occupation. In a climate of rising extremism among Israeli settlers and the military, Western powers need to intervene to protect increasingly vulnerable Palestinians in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza Strip.
Hosts Celeste Carey and Cecil Prescod speak with Ned Rosch about the
recommendation of Portland’s Socially Responsible Investments Committee
for the City of Portland to put Caterpillar on City’s Do-Not-Buy List
Portland’s Socially Responsible Investments Committee (SRIC) voted – 4 in favor, 2 opposed – at its March 17th meeting to recommend that City funds should not be invested in Caterpillar, citing concern that Caterpillar Corporation violates a number of the City’s socially responsible investment criteria.
Caterpillar, which provides militarized bulldozers that are used to demolish Palestinian homes, has long been a target of human rights activists. Maxine Fookson, from Occupation-Free Portland, which pushed for Caterpillar to be placed on the Do-Not-Buy List, said, “This is an important victory for human rights. The SRIC today took a stand on the right side of history making it clear that companies, like Caterpillar, that are knowingly engaged in human rights violations in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land should not be supported by Portland investments.”
The SRIC’s recommendation was based on review of an MSCI analysis which rates companies for their investment potential and includes a screen that looks at environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns. In addition, the SRIC heard powerful testimony at their February meeting from supporters of Occupation-Free Portland, a campaign committed to getting Caterpillar, G4S, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions placed on Portland’s Do-Not-Buy List for their complicity in – and profiting from – the many human rights violations that are part of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands.
Later this year, the SRIC will recommend to the City Council a list of corporations that should be on Portland’s Do-Not-Buy List. Members of the City Council will consider the SRIC recommendations and make the final decision in this matter.
An IDF soldier was filmed shooting a Palestinian in the head at close range in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of occupied Hebron Thursday, after he and another Palestinian reportedly stabbed a different soldier, lightly wounding him.
Most Israeli media outlets initially went with the usual headline, “Soldier stabbed, assailants killed.” A few hours later, however, video of the incident was released showing that the Palestinian man was already shot and lying on the ground wounded, presenting absolutely no threat to anyone at the time he was shot in the head, murdered.
OCHA Flash Update
Third large-scale demolition in Khirbet Tana in 2016
24 March 2016
On 23 March, the Israeli authorities destroyed 53 structures in the Palestinian community of Khirbet Tana, located in Area C of the occupied West Bank, on grounds of lack of Israeli-issued building permits. This is one of the largest incidents since OCHA began systematically tracking demolitions in 2009.
The targeted structures included 22 homes, resulting in the displacement of 87 people, among them 35 children and 22 women. The other structures destroyed were animal shelters (19), latrine units (6), traditional ovens (5) and a water reservoir. Eighteen (18) of the demolished structures were donor-funded humanitarian assistance, the majority provided following previous demolitions this year. During the operation, five residential caves were also damaged and four vehicles belonging to the residents were confiscated.
Read more: Third large-scale demolition in Khirbet Tana in 2016
Fantastic news, Haaretz reported Thursday that Ahava Dead Sea cosmetics, a company that pillages mud products from occupied Palestine and longtime target of Code Pink’s Stolen Beauty Ahava boycott campaign, plans to move their factory from the occupied West Bank to within Israel’s pre-1967 borders.
The announcement comes after 7 long years, an onslaught of protests including activists chaining themselves to concrete blocks inside Ahava’s London store, and persistent online social media actions by dedicated activists spanning continents since the campaign was launched in 2009.
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