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March 2010

The apartheid walls of Jerusalem breached on Palm Sunday

Rights Blog 2010

28 March 2010
Wow, what a day: over 100 native Palestinian Christians and Muslims and internationals including Israelis, breached the tight security separating the Palestinian cities of Bethlehem from the occupied city of Jerusalem. Donkeys and people arrested!

We were initially some 150 strong and started from the Church of Nativity at 11:45 AM carrying palm leaves an banners asking for freedom of worship and movement (as demanded by international law). The demonstration included individuals riding 2 donkeys and a horse. Appropriate since Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey. Like him, we knew this was not going to be an easy entry but we did believe in the goodness of humanity. We arrived at the main gate used for tourist buses at around 12:30 and decided to just keep going. The few soldiers and police at the gate tried to close it but we managed to get in and the huge 8 meter high metal gate stopped half way perhaps as a safety mechanisms since there were dozens of people passing and they could be crushed if it continued.

The Israeli security forces tried to close other fences but we kept going. As word reached their offices, the Israeli army was mobilizing its forces and soon several army jeeps arrived and blocked the road half way between the gate and Deir Mar Elias (the monastery at the edge of the city). The blocked our way. Ibrahim Salah riding his donkey was speaking to them in Hebrew and saying why can’t we go to Jerusalem. It is our right to travel. He was the first to be violently knocked down off his donkey and arrested. The next was an American girl, then some Palestinians. All violently wrestled to the ground when even many were just peacefully walking back to the gates. It seemed like a calculated move to punish some of us so that others get the message not to try this again.

Some 60 of us ended up being rounded up in between a wall, a hill, a gate, and a cordon of police officers. We expected to be all arrested. The occupation soldiers instead plucked random people that they thought were the key people.

We had significant local and national and international media coverage (email us if you are a media outlet and want to do a story or receive video and and/or pictures). The people are willing to pay the price. Israeli forces released 4 Israelis and the one American student. They kept 11 Palestinians that they kidnapped and are charging them with “incitement”, “participating in an unauthorized demonstration” “entering ‘Israel’ without a permit (as if occupied Arab East Jerusalem is Israel)”, and “interfering in police business”. Lawyers will show that this is all bogus. But in any case, the popular resistance movement is growing and is willing to pay the price for such significant achievement as this.

Oh and yes, a donkey and a horse belonging to Ibrahim were also arrested by the mighty army of apartheid Israel for they too need permits from the Israeli military to get in. Maybe more arrests will come tonight. The repression only strengthened our collective will to move forward. We were all elated at this success. We know some Israeli officers; maybe the private “security” company that is contracted by the Israeli government to manage these apartheid wall system. Entering Jerusalem beyond the apartheid wall on Palm sunday shoed what popular resistance can achieve. When I talked to one of the people they kidnapped, he indicated they were all in good spirits and were holding together.

While we hear “Arab leaders” met in Libya and issued more useless declarations, the popular resistance celebrates this victory in Bethlehem and will work to achieve others. A demonstration will be held on Monday at noon in front of the gate at Bilal’s mosque/Rachel’s tomb area. Hope to see those of you who can there.


Great March of Return Protest, Gaza Strip, 18.1.2019
Shepherds Nights Festival 2017

Published stories

Israeli Troops Attack Palm Sunday Protest In Bethlehem, Detain 15 Including Two Journalists (in

Here are the names of our 11 friends who were kidnapped by the Israeli army
for daring to do what every human being on earth is entitled to do (move
freely within their own country):

Abbas Zaki, member of the Fatah Central Committee
Ibrahim Salah, from Bethlehem
Mohammad Al-Hubani, from Bethlehem
Mahmoud Zawahreh, Al-Ma’sara
Fadi Hamad, Associated Press photographer from Bethlehem
Hassen Breijeiyah, Al-Ma’sara
Marwan Fararjeh,Bethlehem
Toni Shahwwan, Beit Jala
Ahmad Al-Azza, from Azza Refugee Camp
Shadi Fawaghreh, Wad Rahhal
Marwan Abushaaban

Oh and yes, a donkey and a horse of Ibrahim are also held by the might army
of apartheid Israel for they too need permits from the Israeli military to
get in. Palestinian Christians have demanded entry to Jerusalem without the
regime of special permits (apartheid system): see We will continue to demand this basic
human right for all Palestinians regardless of their religion. The train of
freedom is on the march and we are all asked to get on board.

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
A Bedouin in Cyberspace, a villager at home
Popular Committee to Resist the Apartheid Wall and Settlements-Beit Sahour
Professor, Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities
Chairman of the Board, Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between People,
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HumanRights newsletter

Omar Released after beating

Yesterday, after 6 days of kidnapping and beating our friend Omar Mousa Ala’eddin from the village of Al-Ma’sara, the Israeli occupation authorities released him broken and battered. We spend much of the day with him. Omar is an English student at Hebron University and was returning with other students and two of his professors from a field trip to Ramallah where they watched a play. On the way back, a soldier at the checkpoint entered into a verbal exchange with Omar when Omar tried to explain to him about a fellow female student who did not have her ID card with her since Omar spoke Hebrew. The soldier ordered him out of the bus and the first blows were delivered to Omar in front of his friends and teachers. After they took him to a back room and have received information about him (perhaps that he had been in jail or that he participated in the weekly nonviolent protests), the beatings became more regular. The initial beating of Omar on the face and head made his mouth bleed and his head hurt and he was not able to speak to the soldiers and this only made them beat him more for not answering their questions. Omar told our friend Sevtap that one of the soldiers told him “do you think the international solidarity will protect you”. Omar was transferred during those 6 days from the container checkpoint to a police station in the settlement of Maale Adumim, then to a military doctor at an unknown location (but the doctor only looked briefly at him and basically told him to shut up, then to the Russian compound prison in Jerusalem, then to Ramle prison, then to Ofer prison, and finally to Ramleh prison again. On the last day, he was brought before a judge and assigned a state lawyer who made a deal for him to be released on bail. Many hours passed because the prison authorities refused to let him make a call to get someone to come pay the bail. After the bail was paid, Omar was not released but finally, the military brought him to the South of Ramallah and dumped him on the side of the road. Omar was initially treated at Al-Hussain hospital in Beit Jala and released but his condition deteriorated and his family decided to take him to a hospital in Hebron where he spent last night. He might be released at noon today. Video of Omar at Hospital at com/watch? v=JcMMyRkKAhM

Photos of injuries before his situation deteriorated is at com/photos/ activestills/

source :

Open Letter to Rabbi Doug Kahn

by Omar Barghouti, a leader of the international movement to boycott Israel

Rabbi Doug Kahn Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council

It has recently come to my attention that pending the advice of a working group of which you were a member, the Jewish Community Federation has chosen to itself boycott groups advocating a Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) program targeting Israel. As one of the founding members of the global BDS campaign, I cannot but note the irony of your use of boycott as a tool to suppress views that support the boycott against Israel. I can only conclude that you do approve of the efficacy and appropriateness of boycotts, as a non-violent form of activism and a catalyst for change, but condemn them when the change they set out to achieve is related to ending Israel’s occupation as well as its grave violations of international law and Palestinian rights.

For years, Palestinian civil society has been advocating the tool of boycotts, divestment and sanctions, or BDS, as a means of challenging Israel’s impunity and redressing the wrongs done to the Palestinian people by the violent and oppressive Israeli policies and actions. Wouldn’t you agree, given you in-principle embrace of boycotts, that this effective, non-violent form of struggle is far superior, morally speaking, to the “tactics” of white phosphorous, Walls, siege, forced displacement and apartheid?

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Who is the British Dog ?

Gilad Atzmon

March 23, 2010

Israeli officials and politicians sharply criticized the intention of the UK government to expel an ‘unnamed’ Israeli ‘diplomat’ in response to its passports being used in the Dubai assassination of Hamas Freedom Fighter Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.

MK Aryeh Eldad (Israel National Union) doesn’t show much respect to the Brits whom he compares to dogs: “I think [the] British are behaving hypocritically and I don’t want to offend dogs on this issue, since some dogs are utterly loyal,” Eldad told Sky News.

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Clone wars: Mossad’s London chief expelled over forged passports

The 12 suspected members of the hit-squad that struck in Dubai, whose pictures appeared in cloned British passports
Clone wars: Mossad’s London chief expelled over forged passports

New details are revealed showing how Israeli security services stole British citizens’ identities. Foreign Office advises travellers to Israel that they risk having their passports cloned

By Kim Sengupta, Diplomatic Correspondent and Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Britain has expelled Mossad’s most senior official in London after concluding there was compelling evidence that UK passports used by a hit squad in Dubai were cloned by Israel. The Independent has learnt that the documents were cloned at Ben Gurion airport, and officials then made follow-up calls to check surreptitiously that the travel plans of those whose identities had been stolen would not interfere with the assassination.

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Open letter in defence of the right to boycott Israel

Open letter in defence of the right to boycott Israel l

March 2010

We, the undersigned, condemn the attempt by Scottish prosecutors to criminalise the growing international campaign to boycott Israel until Israel comes into line with international law.

In July 2005, working in close co-operation with partners in South Africa, hundreds of civil society organisations across Palestine produced a call for an international campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions “against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era”.

The boycott did not emerge out of nowhere: according to the recent UN Goldstone report, “The prolonged situation of [Israeli] impunity has created a justice crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory that warrants action.” In the historic absence of any genuine attempt by state actors to hold Israel to account, ordinary people of conscience around the world must exert the pressure that political leaders are unwilling to.

The boycott is focussed on Israeli state institutions; companies (Israeli or not) which profit from the occupation of Palestine; Israeli ambassadors of all kinds (political, cultural, sporting etc.) whose job it is to promote Israeli interests; as well, of course, as all Israeli goods.

In Aug 2008, five members of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) were arrested after protesting a concert performance by the Jerusalem Quartet, who enjoy the official status of cultural ambassadors of the State of Israel.

After standing up during the concert and making statements such as “End the Siege of Gaza”, “Boycott Israel”, “Stand up for human rights”, the campaigners were arrested and later charged with “breach of the peace”.

At the time of the concert, Gaza had already been under a brutal Israeli siege for 2 years. In June 2006, Israeli official, Dov Weisglass, explained that the idea behind the siege was not to starve them to death, just to “put the Palestinians on a diet”.

In Dec 2008 / Jan 2009, Israel massacred 1400 Palestinians in Gaza.

As the massacres began, the President of the UN General Assembly, Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann reminded “all member states of the United Nations that the UN continues to be bound to an independent obligation to protect any civilian population facing massive violations of international humanitarian law – regardless of what country may be responsible for those violations. I call on all Member States, as well as officials and every relevant organ of the United Nations system, to move expeditiously not only to condemn Israel’s serious violations, but to develop new approaches to providing real protection for the Palestinian people.”

In Scotland, rather than meet these obligations, authorities there decided instead to show solidarity with Israel: the Crown levelled new charges of “racially aggravated conduct” at the SPSC campaigners.

It is no more anti-Semitic to boycott Israel to end the occupation of Palestine than it was anti-white to boycott South Africa to end apartheid. Israel has a long history of deflecting criticism of its policies by calling its critics anti-semitic — a tactic typical of those who defend the indefensible. Whilst this is expected from Israel, it is unacceptable that the Scottish Courts should allow themselves to be politicised in this way.

Boycott is a legitimate non-violent means to pressure Israel to end its crimes; the right to boycott must be protected.

We call on Scottish prosecutors to drop the case against the SPSC members and issue a full apology.

John Pilger, Journalist
Haidar Eid, Associate Professor of Cultural Studies at Al-Aqsa University, Gaza
Ronnie Kasrils, former South African government minister and anti-apartheid activist
Omar Barghouti, Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)
Tam Dean Burn, actor
Dr Sue Blackwell, BRICUP
Ismael Patel, Friends of Al Aqsa
Yvonne Ridley, journalist and author
Musheir Al Farra, Sheffield PSC
Zahid Ali, Edinburgh Radio Ramadhan
International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
American Jews for a Just Peace
Moshe Machover, mathematician & philosopher
Mike Marquesee, writer
Richard Haley, Scotland Against Criminalising Communities
Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Prof Haim Bresheeth
Janet Green, Camden PSC
Mike Cushman, Convenor, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods
Coalition contre Agrexco, France
Mike Arnott, Secretary, Dundee TUC
York PSC
Camden PSC
Betty Hunter, General Secretary, Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Sign the letter


Israeli fire kills Palestinian teen


Israeli forces have killed a Palestinian teenager during violent clashes in the occupied West Bank, medics have said.

Muhammad Qadus had been taking part in a demonstration on Saturday, in which stones were thrown at Israeli soldiers in the West Bank city of Nablus.

Palestinian hospital officials said the 16-year-old was struck in the heart by a bullet fired by Israeli forces.

Qadus was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at a local hospital.

Medical sources said that the Red Crescent ambulance sent to collect him was delayed by Israeli forces.

Live ammunition?

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Top Ten Brands to Boycott

Posted by RORCoalition on Thu, 12/03/2009 – 13:05
USACBI — While there are many Israeli and multinational companies that benefit from apartheid, we put together this list to highlight ten specific companies to target.

Many of these produce goods in such a way that directly harms Palestinians — exploiting labor, developing technology for military operations, or supplying equipment for illegal settlements. Many are also the targets of boycotts for other reasons, like harming the environment and labor violations.


This brand’s cosmetics are produced using salt, minerals, and mud from the Dead Sea — natural resources that are excavated from the occupied West Bank. The products themselves are manufactured in the illegal Israeli settlement Mitzpe Shalem. AHAVA is the target of CODEPINK’s “Stolen Beauty” campaign.

2. Delta Galil Industries

Israel’s largest textiles manufacturer provides clothing and underwear for such popular brands as Gap, J-Crew, J.C. Penny, Calvin Klein, Playtex, Victoria’s Secret (see #10) and many others. Its founder and chairman Dov Lautman is a close associate of former Israeli President Ehud Barak. It has also been condemned by Sweatshop Watch for its exploitation of labor in other countries such as Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey.

3. Motorola

While many of us know this brand for its stylish cellphones, did you know that it also develops and manufactures bomb fuses and missile guidance systems? Motorola components are also used in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or “drones”) and in communications and surveillance systems used in settlements, checkpoints, and along the 490 mile apartheid wall. The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation has launched the “Hang Up on Motorola” campaign.

4. L’Oreal / The Body Shop

This cosmetics and perfume company is known for its investments and manufacturing activities in Israel, including production in Migdal Haemek, the “Silicon Valley” of Israel built on the land of Palestinian village Al-Mujaydil, which was ethnically cleansed in 1948. In 1998, a representative of L’Oreal was given the Jubilee Award by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for strengthening the Israeli economy.

5. Dorot Garlic and Herbs

These frozen herbs that are sold at Trader Joe’s are shipped halfway around the world when they could easily be purchased locally. Trader Joe’s also sells Israeli Cous Cous and Pastures of Eden feta cheese that are made in Israel. QUIT, South Bay Mobilization, and other groups have targeted Trader Joe’s with a “Don’t Buy into Apartheid” campaign.

6. Estee Lauder

This company’s chairman Ronald Lauder is also the chairman of the Jewish National Fund, a quasi-governmental organization that was established in 1901 to acquire Palestinian land and is connected to the continued building of illegal settlements. Estee Lauder’s popular brands include Clinique, MAC, Origins, Bumble & Bumble, Aveda, fragrance lines for top designers, and many others. They have been the target of QUIT’s “Estee Slaughter Killer Products” campaign.

7. Intel

This technology company that manufactures computer processors and other hardware components employs thousands of Israelis and has exports from Israel totaling over $1 billion per year. They are one of Israel’s oldest foreign supporters, having established their first development center outside of the US in 1974 in Haifa. Al-Awda (the Palestinian Right to Return Coalition) has urged action against Intel for building a facility on the land of former village Iraq Al Manshiya, which was cleansed in 1949.

8. Sabra

This brand of hummus, baba ghanoush and other foods is co-owned by Israel’s second-largest food company The Strauss Group and Pepsico. On the “Corporate Responsibility” section of its website, The Strauss Group boasts of its relationship to the Israeli Army, offering food products and political support.

9. Sara Lee

Sara Lee holds a 30% stake in Delta Galil (see #2) and is the world’s largest clothing manufacturer, which owns or is affiliated with such brands as Hanes, Playtex, Champion, Leggs, Sara Lee Bakery, Ball Park hotdogs, Wonderbra, and many others. Similar to L’Oreal (see #4), a representative of Sara Lee received the Jubilee Award from Netanyahu for its commitment to business with Israel.

10. Victoria’s Secret

Most of Victoria’s Secret’s bras are produced by Delta Galil (see #2), and much of the cotton is also grown in Israel on confiscated Palestinian land. Victoria’s Secret has also been the target of labor rights’ groups for sourcing products from companies with labor violations, and by environmental groups for their unsustainable use of paper in producing their catalogues. That’s not sexy!

Remember, it’s also important to let these companies — and the stores that sell them — know that we will not support them as long as they support Israeli apartheid!

To report more Product Sightings, email products[at]
source :

How to Write about Africa

Always use the word ‘Africa’ or ‘Darkness’ or ‘Safari’ in your title. Subtitles may include the words ‘Zanzibar’, ‘Masai’, ‘Zulu’, ‘Zambezi’, ‘Congo’, ‘Nile’, ‘Big’, ‘Sky’, ‘Shadow’, ‘Drum’, ‘Sun’ or ‘Bygone’. Also useful are words such as ‘Guerrillas’, ‘Timeless’, ‘Primordial’ and ‘Tribal’. Note that ‘People’ means Africans who are not black, while ‘The People’ means black Africans.

Never have a picture of a well-adjusted African on the cover of your book, or in it, unless that African has won the Nobel Prize. An AK-47, prominent ribs, naked breasts: use these. If you must include an African, make sure you get one in Masai or Zulu or Dogon dress.

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