David Bloom

Palestinian non-violent leader calls for boycotts

The following is from a speech by farmer Sharif Omar of Jayyous in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, a long-time leader of the Palestinian non-violent movement and member of Qalqilya District's Land Defense Committee. This speech was given at a May 21 rally at Trafalgar Square in London.


My friends, how can the United Kingdom help us to achieve our just requirements? We know well that the international community imposed boycotts against South Africa with sanctions until the people there won their freedom and rights. We the Palestinians have the right to expect the same commitment and effort and to dream of having the same results. So your government is invited to lead the international community in serious and complete boycott with sanctions against Israel.

Some settlers push back, pt. 3: Palestinians attacked near Jewish militant redoubt

Right-wing settlers from the West Bank have been holed up in the Maoz Hayam hotel in the illegal Jewish colony of Gush Katif in the occupied Gaza Strip. Some 30 families have moved in the past few weeks to fortify resistance to the expected pullout of Jewish settlements. Among them are key Kach militants. Some Jewish militants residing in the hotel went on a rampage Saturday night, June 18, beating and wounding four Palestinians, residents said, in the neaby Muassi area, near the beach. One of the victims was shot. The settlers tried to claim the Palestinians made them attack them, in self-defense, but one unnamed IDF officer was skeptical:

"The Screamer" sparks violence at Bil'in protest

Israeli security forces suppressing non-violent protest in Bil'in have been using a sound weapon lately called "the screamer," which emits piercing noises to incapacitate and disperse crowds as a non-lethal crowd control measure. According to Ha'aretz, on June 20 the use of the device sparked violence at an otherwise peaceful protest:

Some 15 demonstrators and three members of the security forces were lightly injured Friday during a demonstration against the separation fence near the village of Bil'in west of Ramallah. Hundreds of Palestinians, accompanied by Israeli leftists, took part in the demonstration, which began quietly, but turned violent after the IDF operated a device that emits powerful sound waves. Soldiers and police shot rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas at the crowd, and the Palestinians threw stones. (Ha'aretz, June 20)

Palestinian non-violent organizers arrested by Israel

An action call from the International Solidarity Movement -- two of the main Palesinian non-violent organizers in the occupied West Bank village of Bil'in, which holds weekly protests against Israel's "separation barrier" being built illegally on its farmland, have been arrested and detained under false charges by the occupation authorities. For more on Bil'in, the collective punishment of the village, and its cooperation with Israel activists, see Meron Rapaport's Ha'aretz article, Ghandi Redux.

Action Alert – Non-violent organizers from Bil'in Still Imprisoned!

Abdullah and Rateb Abu Rahma, brothers, organizers and non-violent activists from the village of Bil'in near Ramallah, were arrested at a non-violent demonstration against the annexation barrier on Friday, June 17th. As of today, June 19th, they are still being held in Ofer camp and a date for their hearing has not been set. Abdullah is accused of `disturbing with an office in the course of duty' and Rateb of throwing stones at soldiers. Both proclaim their innocence. A video recording made by an Israeli activist corroborates their stories completely. However, the Israeli police refused to watch the part of this recording relating to them, while agreeing to release three Israeli activists based on the very same tape!

Palestinian village water supply choked off: action call

Dorothy, an Israeli activist, forwarded the following message from Fareed, a villager in Qira, in the Salfit region of the West Bank, south of Nablus and near the major Israeli settlement of Ariel. The town faces an acute water shortage directly caused by the diversion of water by Israeli occupation authorities, and requests urgent action. Details follow.

Dorothy Noar (dor_naor@netvision.net.il)
Sun, 19 Jun 2005

Dear All,

Fareed, below, calls attention to the water crisis in Qira--while settlers use the water for swimming and gardens, the residents of Qira are deprived of water. Among the several consequences for the villagers is one that Fareed omits to mention: a high proportion of children in Qira suffer from kidney problems. One possible reason for this, it has been suggested, is insufficient water. Water problems are endemic for Palestinians throughout the West Bank. For more information about the problems and their sources, see:

Pro-academic boycott piece by Israeli activists

In the Chronicle of Higher Education, June 17, 2005, two Israeli activists protest the reversal of a recent decision by Britain's Association of University Teachers (AUT) in support of a limited academic boycott of Israel.

A British Union Reverses a Boycott

By Yehudith Harel & Anon.

Many Israeli academics and their supporters welcomed the reversal of the AUT boycott. However, we are Israeli human-rights activists who want to express our disappointment and to reaffirm our support for a comprehensive boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions. We do so because, in Israel, "academic freedom," the main argument raised against the boycott, is being used to legitimize racism of the worst kind.

Koran desecration reported in Israel

More Koran desecration is being reported -- this time in Israel. Israeli parliamentarian Ahmed Tibi has called for a Knesset investigation of the incident, which is supposed to have taken place in Megiddo prison on June 7. Ha'aretz reports:

Prisoners claim that at approximately 10:00 A.M., security forces who raided the prison in order to disperse a riot entered the prisoner cells, where they ripped pages out of the Islamic holy book and, in some instances, stepping on them.

Palestinian security prisoners told Tibi that they have launched a hunger strike and that they will refuse to see visitors in protest to the alleged desecration.

"Giuliani time" in Israel?

The following item was featured in JTA on June 7:

Rudy to the rescue?
Rudolph Giuliani offered to help Israel fight crime.

"I am prepared to help you but it would have to be done on a clandestine basis, not publicly and not through a newspaper," the former New York City mayor said Tuesday when asked by Yediot Achronot about recent calls by Israeli authorities to emulate his law-enforcement policies, which curbed crime in New York City. Giuliani noted that during his time as mayor, New York had 55 police officers for every 10,000 citizens, more than twice the figure in Israel.

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