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Survey: Nearly one-quarter of Jewish-Israelis boycotting Arab businesses

Written by JTA   
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 10:21

Some 51 percent of those surveyed also said that businesses that do not fire employees who criticize the Israel Defense Forces should be boycotted

JERUSALEM (JTA) — One in four Jewish-Israeli consumers is boycotting Arab businesses in the wake of the summer’s Gaza conflict, according to an Israeli business daily.
The 24 percent is down from the 29 percent who said they were boycotting Arab-owned businesses during the 50-day Operation Protective Edge, Globes reported, citing a telephone survey by the Tel Aviv-based Geocartography Knowledge Group research institute. The number was down significantly from the 47 percent of Jewish-Israelis who said during the operation that they planned to boycott such businesses.
Some 51 percent of those surveyed also said that businesses that do not fire employees who criticize the Israel Defense Forces should be boycotted, and that some 11 percent of Jewish-Israelis are boycotting such businesses. Another 40 percent said they would boycott such businesses if they could identify them, the survey found.
Globes quoted unnamed sources among suppliers who said that sales to Arab-owned markets are down substantially in recent months.

Read more: http://www.jta.org/2014/10/01/news-opinion/israel-middle-east/survey-nearly-one-quarter-of-jewish-israelis-boycotting-arab-businesses


Senate Letter to Kerry: No reconstruction until Hamas out, Palestinians punished if they try to hold Israel accountable

Written by Wyden, Merkley, and 86 other Senators   
Tuesday, 30 September 2014 17:12

The full text of the senators’ letter is below:

The Honorable John Kerry

Secretary of State

U.S. Department of State

2201 C Street, NW

Washington, DC 20520

Dear Secretary Kerry,

We were pleased to see that Hamas finally accepted an Egyptian cease-fire plan last month.  Sadly, Hamas continued its attacks on Israel for weeks after Egypt’s initial proposal, leading to unnecessary and increased suffering in Gaza and Israel.

As we look ahead to the next few months, we urge you to focus on three key objectives:  (1) preventing Hamas from rebuilding its military capabilities; (2) enabling the Palestinian Authority to move toward becoming the Palestinian governing authority in Gaza; and (3) preventing negative developments at the UN General Assembly, UN Human Rights Council, and the International Criminal Court that could derail any prospects for the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

First, we fully support the urgent provision of humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza.  We must also condition reconstruction assistance on the establishment of a system to prevent Hamas from rearming and rebuilding its military capability.  In the past, Hamas has diverted construction materials intended for civilian use to the construction of the tunnel networks that were used during this last conflict to smuggle weapons and attack Israelis. We must support Israeli and Egyptian efforts to implement strict, comprehensive controls so that no assistance is diverted to Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza.  The international community has twice spent billions to rebuild Gaza, only to see Hamas transform economic assistance into the means of war.  For the sake of Israelis and Palestinians alike, we cannot let this happen again.  Ultimately, we must seek Gaza’s demilitarization.

Second, we must support efforts to enable the Palestinian Authority to exercise real power in Gaza.  Hamas has demonstrated conclusively both that it has no interest in peace with Israel and that it has no concern for the well-being of Gaza residents.  Meanwhile, the West Bank has experienced periods of significant relative economic growth and stability, in part due to cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian security forces there.  All Palestinians deserve a government that will seek to advance their safety and prosperity—not use them as human shields.  Real peace between Israelis and Palestinians will require a Palestinian partner that controls the West Bank and Gaza, is focused on economic development and stability in both areas, and will accept Gaza’s demilitarization.  We must start this process now.

Third, while we work with the Palestinian Authority to extend its effective jurisdiction to Gaza, we must work equally hard to ensure that Palestinian officials do not take further harmful steps at the UN General Assembly, the UN Human Rights Council, or the International Criminal Court.  The Palestinian Authority must avoid steps that would undermine the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.  We must let Palestinian Authority President Abbas know that America’s willingness to cooperate with him will continue to depend on his willingness to return to the negotiating table with the Government of Israel and avoid unilateral measures that bypass direct negotiations.

We look forward to working with you on these critical matters, as our nation strives both to prevent another Hamas-instigated war and to create the conditions that will allow Israelis and Palestinians to move closer to peace. 



Robert P. Casey, Jr.

Kelly A. Ayotte

James M. Inhofe

Richard Blumenthal

Susan M. Collins

Edward J. Markey

Mike Crapo

Joe Manchin III

Pat Roberts

Jeanne Shaheen

Jeff Flake

Tim Kaine

David Vitter

Michael F. Bennet

John Boozman

Kirsten Gillibrand

John Thune

Tim Johnson

Jerry Moran

Debbie Stabenow

Roy Blunt

Patty Murray

John McCain

Kay R. Hagan

James E. Risch

Mark Begich

Marco Rubio

Ron Wyden

Patrick J. Toomey

Barbara Boxer

Dean Heller

Benjamin L. Cardin

John Barrasso

Mark Udall

Richard Burr

Mazie K. Hirono

Lindsey O. Graham

Brian Schatz

Mitch McConnell

Amy Klobuchar

Thad Cochran

Heidi Heitkamp

Deb Fischer

Jon Tester

John Cornyn

Sherrod Brown

Rob Portman

Mark L. Pryor

Michael B. Enzi

Barbara A. Mikulski

Mark Kirk

Maria Cantwell

Lamar Alexander

Martin Heinrich

Orrin G. Hatch

Mary L. Landrieu

Tim Scott

Tom Udall

Roger F. Wicker

Tom Carper

John Hoeven

Charles E. Schumer

Mike Lee

Joe Donnelly

Chuck Grassley

Al Franken

Ted Cruz

Christopher A. Coons

Johnny Isakson

Sheldon Whitehouse

Mike Johanns

Cory Booker

Ron Johnson

Carl Levin

Saxby Chambliss

Bill Nelson

Dan Coats

Mark R. Warner

Richard Shelby

Angus S. King, Jr.

Claire McCaskill

John Walsh

Richard J. Durbin

Chris Murphy

Robert Menendez

Jack Reed

Dianne Feinstein

Jeff Merkley




Central Pacific Conference of the United Church of Christ calls for boycott and divestment from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territories

Written by Palestine-Israel Network of the Central Pacific Conference   
Monday, 29 September 2014 12:45

For the original text see:


Central Pacific Conference of the United Church of Christ calls for boycott and divestment

from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territories

September 29, 2014 Contacts:

! 503-479-5668 Rev. Catherine Alder, Palestine-Israel Network of the Central Pacific Conference – United Church of Christ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

! 971-599-1211 Rev. Diane Dulin, Palestine-Israel Network of the Central Pacific Conference – United Church of Christ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Pendleton, Oregon – The Central Pacific Conference of the United Church of Christ has adopted a resolution calling for boycott and divestment from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territories. The resolution, which calls on church members and church financial bodies to boycott and divest, was adopted overwhelmingly (101 in favor, 11 opposed, 2 abstentions) by delegates to the Annual Meeting of the Central Pacific Conference on September 26-28.

The Central Pacific Conference is the fourth Conference (or “local region”) of the United Church of Christ to pass a resolution for boycott and divestment of companies profiting from the Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territories. Previously the New York Conference, the Central Atlantic Conference and the Northern California Conference passed similar resolutions. The Central Pacific Conference includes 49 individual churches located throughout Oregon, northern Idaho and southern Washington.


How Israel Silences Dissent

Monday, 29 September 2014 03:53

JAFFA, Israel — On July 12, four days after the latest war in Gaza began, hundreds of Israelis gathered in central Tel Aviv to protest the killing of civilians on both sides and call for an end to the siege of Gaza and the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. They chanted, “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies.”

Hamas had warned that it would fire a barrage of rockets at central Israel after 9 p.m., and it did.

But the injuries suffered in Tel Aviv that night stemmed not from rocket fire but from a premeditated assault by a group of extremist Israeli Jews. Chanting “Death to Arabs” and “Death to leftists,” they attacked protesters with clubs. Although several demonstrators were beaten and required medical attention, the police made no arrests.

The same thing happened at another antiwar protest in Haifa a week later; this time, the victims included the city’s deputy mayor, Suhail Assad, and his son. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made no statement condemning the violence, even though he had previously stated his primary concern was the safety of Israeli citizens.

The vilification of the few Israelis who don’t subscribe to right-wing doctrine is not new. Similar acts of incitement occurred before the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995. But now they have multiplied, escalated and spread.

On July 10, the veteran Israeli actress Gila Almagor did not show up to perform at Tel Aviv’s Habima Theater; she had received threats that she would be murdered on stage. In an interview in the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot a few days earlier, she had expressed feeling ashamed after a 16-year old Palestinian, Muhammad Abu Khdeir, was kidnapped and burned alive by Jewish extremists.

In an interview during the Gaza war, the popular comedian Orna Banai said she felt terrible that Palestinian women and children were being killed — she was subsequently fired from her position as spokeswoman for an Israeli cruise ship operator. And Haaretz hired bodyguards for its columnist Gideon Levy after he wrote an article criticizing Israeli Air Force pilots.

The aggressive silencing of anyone who voices disapproval of Israeli policies or expresses empathy with Palestinians is the latest manifestation of an us-versus-them mentality that has been simmering for decades. It is based on the narrative that Palestinians are enemies who threaten Jewish sovereignty and are solely to blame for the failure to achieve peace. The Israeli peace camp — which remains obsessively focused on stopping settlement expansion and pursuing the ever-elusive two-state solution while ignoring Israel’s failure to separate religion and state and guarantee equal rights for Arab citizens — has been incapable of challenging this mentality.

Read more on the NY Times . . .


Move on? Work to reclaim Univ. of Illinois has has only just begun

Written by Vicente M. Diaz   
Monday, 29 September 2014 02:51

The Electronic Intifada
26 September 2014

Students and faculty are determined to keep challenging University of Illinois administrators’ decision to fire Steven Salaita. (Jeffrey Putney/Flickr)

This is the testimony given by Professor Vicente M. Diaz before the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Faculty Senate on 22 September 2014. Diaz spoke about the matter of Steven Salaita, whose hiring by the American Indian Studies program was formally rejected by the university’s board of trustees earlier this month after a sustained smear campaign by pro-Israel donors, organizations, faculty and students:

My name is Vicente M. Diaz. I am an Associate Professor in American Indian Studies and Anthropology. I am also an affiliate faculty member in History and Asian American Studies. I represent American Indian Studies; in fact, I co-chaired the search committee that recommended the hire of Steven Salaita.

I’m here to express moral indignation and outrage at the University of Illinois Board of Trustees’ denial of Professor Salaita’s hiring.

Far from over, and even further from correct, our leadership’s decision is a wrongheaded and misguided action that has tarnished our university’s reputation among academics who know and understand how academia is supposed to work.
Read more: Move on? Work to reclaim Univ. of Illinois has has only just begun


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