UC Davis Protest Israeli Diplomat George Deek

 

Statement of Action

Today, UC Davis students, alumni, and members of the broader community came together in response to the presence of George Deek – the so-called “Arab-Israeli” diplomat- on our campus. Our response was not organized by any single organization or group but rather, emerged from shared principles of anti-colonialism in general, and anti-zionism in particular. The protest took the form of a walk-out accompanied by the following chants:

 

Free, free Palestine

Long live the Intifada

Intifada, intifada

Israel is an apartheid state

Israel is anti-Black

When Palestine is occupied, resistance is justified

Palestine will be free, fight white supremacy

 

While we recognize our actions to be minimal in relation to the history of Palestinian resistance we invoke, we felt a responsibility to reject the zionist agenda that George Deek furthers – a settler-colonial agenda that is xenophobic, Islamophobic, and anti-Black. We refuse all efforts to normalize the Israeli occupation and recognize that the state of Israel was born and remains possible through the genocide and displacement of Palestinians. We did not participate within the established framework of the event because we are aware of how discourses about ‘dialogue’ and ‘democracy’ function to silence anti-zionist voices. We recognize that Israel’s voice is already over-represented in the media, our classrooms, and history books and refuse to provide the State another platform through which to normalize colonial violence. We have no more ‘tolerance’ for Israeli propaganda.

George Deek, a self-identified Israeli born to a Palestinian family, perfectly embodies the project of zionist liberal-democracy, which seeks to assimilate Palestinians into non-existence, after the exhaustion of genocidal State strategies. Deek’s public references to Israeli willingness to ‘dialogue’ and denunciations of Palestinians’ so-called self-victimization not only disregards the disparity of power between colonizer and colonized, but also erases the history of Palestinian resistance against occupation. We reject the kind of identity politics that values Deek’s Palestinian identity at the expense of asserting his function as a colonial collaborator.

In light of recent events on the UC Davis campus we also feel obligated to note the Israeli state’s foundational anti-Blackness. Israel’s investments in prison systems and direct involvement with American policing should preclude any bonds of solidarity between supporters of Israel and dispossessed communities, particularly the Black community. We note the continuity between the foundational racism of Israel and that of the United States, and see the continuity between Israeli anxiety over the reproduction of non-white, non-Ashkenazi bodies and the history of sterilization of indigenous and Black women in the United States.

We, therefore, are opposed to entities that impose or directly enable these injustices to persist, and we will not tolerate or allow for such people to have a platform to speak on our campus, nor will we engage in pseudo ‘dialogue’ with them.

Signed,
Pro-Palestine Supporters and Community

Rasmea Odeh: Another Example of US Courts’ Political Bias

rasmeaReblogged from Mufta

After only two hours of jury deliberations, Palestinian-American activist, Rasmea Odeh, has been convicted of “unlawful procurement of naturalization” for failing to disclose that she was conviction by an Israeli military court, forty-five year ago, on dubious and discredited terrorism charges. The conviction came after Odeh was kidnapped, tortured, and raped by Israeli soldiers, who induced her to confess to a crime she denied committing. Though she renounced the forced confession, an Israeli court convicted Odeh anyway and sentenced her to life in prison. She was eventually released in a prisoner exchange and immigrated to the United States in 1995. Journalist Charlotte Silver recently recounted these events in a piece for the Nation:

When she was 21, in 1969, Odeh was arrested in the middle of the night by Israeli soldiers at her home, and for twenty-five days her interrogators tortured her. She was beaten from head to toe with sticks and metal bars; her body, including genitalia and breasts, was subjected to electric shocks after she was forced to watch a male prisoner tortured to death in this very way. All the while, she was told she would die if she did not confess. But it was not until they brought in her father, threatening to force him to rape her, that she agreed to sign a confession stating that she had helped orchestrate two explosions in West Jerusalem that killed two civilians. Even then, her torturers raped her with a thick wooden stick.

Standing before a military court less than one month later, Odeh renounced the confession. But the panel of judges ignored that, and Odeh was sentenced to ten years plus life in prison. Ten years later, she was released in a prisoner exchange, along with seventy-five other Palestinians. That same year, in 1979, Odeh traveled to Geneva, where she described to the United Nations precisely how she came to be convicted of terrorism by Israel. In the years following, Odeh lived in Lebanon and Jordan, where she obtained a law degree. In 1995 she immigrated to the United States, joining her brother and father, both US citizens, and the large Arab-American communities in Detroit and, later, Chicago.

Odeh did not divulge the conviction on her U.S. naturalization papers or to immigration representatives, before being granted citizenship in 2004. About a year ago, she was arrested by officials from the Department of Homeland Security and charged with unlawfully obtaining her naturalization, a crime that carries anywhere from probation to ten years in jail.

But for the U.S. government’s active pursuit of Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim activists since 9/11, Odeh’s Israeli court case may never have been discovered…

Read the entire article here.

A Brief History of Block the Boat, Oakland: Organization, Planning, Autonomy, Spontaneity Combine for a Spectacular Direct Action at the Port

IMG_3410

Emily Loftis/MintPress

From Hyphenated Republic

In August, 2014, an ad hoc coalition and ever-changing group of autonomous activists prevented the Zim Piraeus from offloading it’s good for four days and caused subsequent entanglements that prevented the vast majority of its cargo from touching dry Oakland land. Much has already been said about the relationship between labor and the BTB coaltion that was necessary for such a monumental win. I would like to speak of another hand in hand relationship that received less attention or press, but was just as important, and perhaps even more so, to the final impact of the Block the Boat coalition’s unprecedented victory in Oakland.

That relationship between organizations in the Bay Area organizing scene that comprised the Block the Boat coalition and action taken through existing solidarity networks and individuals, acting autonomously. To understand the remarkable victory of Block the Boat, Oakland, one has to first trace the line of this uneasy partnership, and the incredible feedback loop it unintentionally unleashed, amping the Block the Boat signal higher and higher towards success*.

Block the Boat Begins

2014’s Block the Boat began at the end of an otherwise dreary pro-Palestinian [and pro-Immigrant] rally, with an uncharacteristically high, and thus, indicative, turn-out of about 100 people marching listlessly in a circle in front of the Federal Building in Oakland. At the end of the action, a call was made by some organizers to create an ad hoc assembly to discuss the possibility of blockading a Zim shipping lines ship. From the outset, the assembly made it clear that they sought to emulate the successful action by a coalition of labor and social justice groups in 2010 which blockaded a Zim ship for two work shifts as protest against the Mavi Marmara atrocity. Zim, an iconic Israeli company with ownership, voting and vetoing power vested in the state itself, was seen as a perfect BDS target–emphasis on the S for sanction, especially for those at the assembly who wanted to bring BDS further into the direct action sphere. The atmosphere was charged with anger and sadness about the shocking death toll in Gaza at Israeli military hands, the sense of urgency was palpable.

Read the entire piece here.

 

UPDATED: Bay Area Protesters Speak: 3-Day Ship Blockade, Colonization and Gaza

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Photo from Bay Area Intifada

[Update:] On the fifth day that autonomously- organized protesters returned to picket, the Zim ship finally sailed out to Tacoma. Despite some official reports, only a tiny portion of the shipment intended for Oakland ports was unloaded (This was witnessed by dockworkers, a Ports of America worker, a port trucker, vigilant protesters on the ground and our own contributor here at Bay Area Intifada). 

For the third consecutive day, an Israeli ship, the Zim Pireaus, has been blockaded by Bay Area protesters in solidarity with Gaza. In the wee hours of Monday morning, with very little mobilization, a dozen or so people held a picket. With the support of longshore workers, the ship–which had already been delayed for two days at the Port of Oakland–sat unloaded. [Read details, watch videos and see photos from Saturday and Sunday blockades here.]IMG_3410

In the evening, enough people came through to create pickets. Though police officers pushed a pathway through protesters, longshore workers again refused to cross the pickets. It is yet to be determined how much the blockade has cost Israel.

Adam and Ankash were part of the bike block and had been riding to the port the last three days. They spoke with us on the blockade, Gaza and colonization. Continue reading

Khutbah with Dr. Hatem Bazian: Do not be utilized to support the empire.

Midday prayers held at the UN Plaza during SF rally for Gaza.

Midday prayers held at the UN Plaza during SF rally for Gaza.

On Friday’s rally for Gaza in San Francisco, Brother Hatem Bazian gave the khutbah for Friday prayer services. He warned Muslims living in the US against being a cog in the machine of the “colonial mother land” –be it through direct aid to the military industry, work of so-called human rights organizations or seamless assimilation into a society/culture with a historical legacy of colonization, slavery and genocide.

[Side note: In the middle of the khutbah, a woman stood a couple feet from Brother Hatem and antagonized him as he spoke. Some organizers led her away from the front. Hatem briefly responded to the small commotion by criticizing the State’s neglect of social services and encouraging listeners to love and support people with mental health issues.]

Listen to the entire khutbah below:

[Find Video Here ]Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Google Attempt to Suppress Video Of Palestinians Youth Cutting Power To Settlements

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 6.10.04 PM

Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Google have actively suppressed videos of Palestinians cutting down power lines to a settlement west of Ramallah.

On Monday July 21st people woke up to find various posts had been deleted from social media sites. This post in particular was wiped off a number of sites, but seems to be viewable from the original source. A number of social media users who shared the post however had their accounts deleted without warning.

Here are a couple links to where the video can be viewed:

1: Liveleak

2: Shehab News Agency

Direct Action Gets the Goods…

 

*UPDATE*

Israel to coordinate with Google, YouTube, to censor Palestinian videos of conflict

The Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister, Member of Knesset Tzipi Hotovely, held meetings this week with representatives of YouTube and Google, to find ways of cooperating to censor Palestinian videos from occupied Palestine, videos she dubbed as “inciting violence and terrorism”, as stated by IMEMC.

Israeli newspaper Maariv said Hotovely will be working with Google and YouTube officials in a joint mechanism that will be in charge of “monitoring and preventing” any publication of materials deemed by Tel Aviv to be “inflammatory.”

 

[Photos] Afghans Protest Israeli Aggressions Against Palestine

Jalalabad, Afghanistan

Source: Reuters

Afghan protesters shout slogans and torch an effigy of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli flag during a demonstration against Israeli attacks on the Palestinian territories in Jalalabad on July 13, 2014. Hundreds of residents of the eastern Nangarhar province gathered to condemn Israeli airstrikes over the Gaza Strip. AFP PHOTO/Noorullah Shirzada (Photo credit should read Noorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images)

Continue reading

Video: Israeli Occupation Forces Execute Palestinian, Demolish Home

Photo by Issam Ramawi

After he was pulled from the rubble. Photo by Issam Ramawi

From a BAI contributor in Palestine

BIRZEIT NEAR RAMALLA/WEST BANK TODAY: Israeli occupation forces destroyed the house of the Wahsheh family and killed Mu’taz Wahseh who was 24 years old. After demolishing part of the house, the army set fire to it, preventing the family members from going inside. They watched it burn.

This is the video of the family being allowed to reach their house after the army left this afternoon. The video below is heart-wrenching.

Since the collaborative Palestinian Authority’s public return to negotiations, 45 Palestinians have been killed and over 2000 were arrested.

Video from Palestine TV.

There was an angry march in Ramalla. It’s Friday, so it’s possible that things could escalate. Continue reading

80% of Gaza Factories Stopped Working

MP Jamal al-Khudari in a press conference (February 8, 2014: ALRAY Photo)

MP Jamal al-Khudari in a press conference (February 8, 2014: ALRAY Photo)

From International Middle East Media Center, 9 February 2014

Khudari, who is Head of the Popular Committee against the Siege, said in a press statement, on Saturday, that the Israeli authorities are banning hundreds of raw material items from entering Gaza, causing the factories to stop working.

Al Ray reports that Khudari has insisted that “the Israeli occupation carefully decides the raw material items to be denied access to Gaza so that Gaza economy would be brought to a standstill and, thus, thousands of workers and engineers active in construction sector laid off.”

Gaza has been under an extreme economic blockade since 2007. Israel has since allowed limited quantities of construction supplies destined for international projects.

The smuggling tunnels which Gazans were forced to rely on for their needs, mainly of building materials and fuels, were semi-completely destroyed following Egyptian military’s disposition of president Morsi, in July of 2013.