• Academics seek action to stop genocide of Palestinians
By Ronald L. Ray
“BDS” may be the three peaceful actions which can stop Israeli crimes against humanity in Zionist-occupied Palestine. That, at least, is what an internationally growing number of people believe. The BDS movement seeks to isolate the racist, apartheid, genocidal state of Israel on three fronts: academic, cultural and economic.
The academic boycott, for example, includes the likes of famous physicist Stephen Hawking, and also the 5,000-member American Studies Association (ASA). And now, in early January 2014, a group of academics at the annual meeting of the 28,000-member Modern Language Association (MLA) has sought to join the burgeoning human rights movement.
Over 100 people attended a members-only roundtable discussion of two proposals. An emergency resolution, condemning “attacks” on and “intimidation” of the ASA because of its boycott decision, unfortunately failed.
However, MLA Resolution 2014-1 passed 60-53. It “exhorted the U.S. State Department to investigate alleged ‘denials of entry’ of American scholars traveling to . . . the West Bank” for teaching and research. The measure now goes to the MLA executive committee. If approved, it will then be voted upon by the entire membership. While this is a modest gain, it builds on some notable successes in both Europe and America, which already have cost Israel both prestige and purchasing power.
The BDS movement was initiated in July 2005 by over 170 Palestinian organizations seeking to help the terrible plight of their people and homeland. The Palestinian BDS National Committee coordinates the non-violent campaign and is supported within Israel by a large number of Arabs and justice-seeking Jews.
But, whereas academicians once were praised for similar efforts to end apartheid in South Africa and were joined by many Jews, now the shoe is on the other foot for the Zionists, and they are screaming about pinched toes.
While Jewish groups angrily demand BDS efforts against Iran, these emotional adolescents verge on apoplexy in their condemnations of peaceful efforts to convince Israel to follow international law and the basic morality of the Ten Commandments. The usual suspects in the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish-owned and –controlled media wax suddenly eloquent about “academic freedom” and warn cynically of a “backlash” against those who care about the human dignity of oppressed Palestinians, while these Zionists themselves mischaracterize and falsify the facts.
While Jewish groups angrily demand BDS efforts against Iran, these emotional adolescents verge on apoplexy in their condemnations of peaceful efforts to convince Israel to follow international law and the basic morality of the Ten Commandments. The usual suspects in the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish-owned-and-controlled media wax suddenly eloquent about “academic freedom” and warn cynically of a “backlash” against those who care about the human dignity of oppressed Palestinians, while these Zionists themselves mischaracterize and falsify the facts.
The truth, however, is against Israel. A year ago, the UN Fact Finding Mission on Israeli Settlements issued a report accusing Israel of war crimes and violations of humanitarian law that require a third-state response and impose legal obligations on businesses.
“BDS” is working. One major investment firm has partially divested from Israeli holdings, and the multinational company Veolia, which provides illegal Israeli transportation services in Palestine, has been forced to curtail activities.
We encourage AMERICAN FREE PRESS readers to support and promote the BDS movement to stop Israel’s genocide of innocent Palestinians. A good place to start would be a major protest and boycott of Caterpillar, the manufacturer that builds the massive D9 bulldozers with which the Israel Defense Forces destroy Palestinian homes and murdered American peace activist Rachel Corrie.
Ronald L. Ray is a freelance author and an assistant editor of THE BARNES REVIEW. He is a descendant of several patriots of the American War for Independence.
Israeli Minister to U.S: Shut Up, Pay Up
By Victor Thorn
The Israelis’ disdain for the Obama administration was revealed in a January 14 article on the website of the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, literally, Latest News, the most widely circulated paper in Israel, where Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon chided Secretary of State John Kerry in ways rarely seen on the global stage.
Referring to Kerry as a “weak link” and a “glory hound,” Ya’alon openly blasted the peace process that is currently being brokered by the United States.
“The American security plan to us is not worth the paper it’s written on,” Ya’alon seethed. “Kerry, who turned up here determined and acting out of misplaced obsession and messianic fervor, cannot teach me anything about our conflict with the Palestinians.”
In spite of the fact that U.S. taxpayers give the Israelis over $4B annually in military aid and gifts, Ya’alon disclosed how the Israelis have been taking the world for a ride.“In reality, there have been no negotiations between us and the Palestinians for all these months,” Ya’alon said, “but rather between us and the Americans.”
To provide some context here, author Jamal Kanj, who was born in a Palestinian refugee camp, wrote on January 22, “Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon articulated publicly what Israeli leaders say privately [about the U.S.]: give us your tax money, weapons and veto power [in the UN], but ‘leave us alone.’”
In essence, that’s what the Obama administration has been doing. Kanj conveyed the extent of Kerry’s ineffectiveness.
“Since last July, [the Israeli government] has authorized building 7,500 Jewish-only homes on the occupied West Bank while demolishing 200 Palestinian residences,” he said.
To better understand the mindset at play here, on January 24 this reporter spoke with Ori Nir, a spokesman for the group Americans for Peace Now. Nir worked as a journalist for the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz, and has personally met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and interviewed Ya’alon.
As someone in the know, Nir told this newspaper: “The current Israeli government is not committed to peace with the Palestinians. The majority of this government’s central core, which consists of Likud Party members, doesn’t view the peace process as crucial to Israel’s survival or stability in the Middle East. Whereas the U.S. political and military establishment sees peace in the Middle East as vital to its national security, the Israeli government and Netanyahu don’t share that view.”
Responding to the current administration’s apparent weakness in regard to Netanyahu, Nir stated: “Obama and Kerry recognize that they’re dealing with a tough Israeli leader who simply does not want to make concessions to Palestine.”
Nir offered another observation.
“Right now, the Israeli people see Netanyahu as the most appropriate person to lead their country,” he said. “His popularity exceeds [what it was] when he was elected.”
They’re not the only ones championing Netanyahu and his militaristic, apartheid Likud government. On January 14, 350 Israeli clerics from the Rabbinical Congress for Peace mailed a letter to Ya’alon congratulating him for the scathing comments he directed at Kerry. Thanking the defense minister for not buckling under U.S. pressure to surrender illegally held territory to the Palestinians, the rabbis saluted Ya’alon “for his clear and fearless remarks [to Kerry] that enough is enough.”
As it stands now, Ya’alon and the far-right Likudites feel little if any threat from Kerry and his bosses in Washington. When asked whether Barack Obama could deliver a solution that was favorable to the Palestinians, Nir responded, “No, it won’t be likely. In a recent interview Obama said the odds are 50-50 for success, but they’re much lower. The odds are not promising or optimistic.”
Victor Thorn is a hard-hitting researcher, journalist and author of over 40 books.