When a Regime Separates and Discriminates – It’s Apartheid

ACTION AGAINST “ISRAELI APARTHEID INC.” IN AUSTRALIA STARTS 6PM, FRIDAY FEBRUARY 10, BOURKE ST MALL, MELBOURNE

Israel Apartheid Week 2012 Australia

The 8th Annual Israeli Apartheid Week 2012 :

To accommodate various university schedules across regions, IAW will take place at slightly different times between February and March. Here is a list of dates for the regions confirmed so far:

Europe: February 20 – March 10
Palestine: March 12-19
United States: February 26 – March 3
Canada: March 5-9
Arab World: March 5-11
South Africa: March 5-11.

Follow @apartheidweek for updates, and check out the website at www.apartheidweek.org

Omar Barghouti: ‘Justice and equality only destroy their negation, injustice and apartheid, and this is precisely what Israel and its lobbies are running scared of, the effective and sustainable challenge of Israeli apartheid and colonial rule.’

Related Links

Compendium of Israeli apartheid links are here:

Israeli Apartheid is Worse Than South African Apartheid

Palestine / Israel Links

Current US opportunistic racism analysed by Daoud Kuttab: ‘Bashing Palestinians remains an easy political pastime, especially at election time.’
Israel is aiming to ethnically cleanse Bedouins from lands which it covets and on which it wishes to build Jews only settlements.
Jewish settlers attack Palestinian village, steal sheep herd
Abbas, Mashaal agree to form unity government
Hamas condemns Israeli attempts to wipe out Islamic, Christian shrines
Settlers attacked the Jerusalemite boy Amer Hejaij
Gaza fuel shortage ups risk of imminent health crisis
Settlers raid Ramallah village, vandalize property
International thoughts: Coping with the reality of Israeli occupation

I have experienced the checkpoint as an international, Muslim woman who wears the veil and observed the ignorant and mostly arrogant behavior of these young teenage soldiers. I am horrified, angry, and left paralyzed by confusion as I try to comprehend this behavior. I simply cannot imagine that the Palestinian people have to go through that every single day without having the possibility to leave as I do–without knowing that they can go home and are safe.

Happy Birthday, Dear Vittorio (RIP) by @ShahdAbusalama
Lawyers speak on academic freedom at @PennBDS conference

Other Links

Does your Australia senator or MP care more about US interests than the welfare of Australian citizen, Julian Assange?
The roles of class and culture in racism toward Indigenous Australians. Essential reading.
Electoral funding figures show Labor’s donations collapse
“Each star is a US base. But just to be clear, Iran is the one that is threatening us.”

“Justice is the essence of peace” – Ali Abunimah’s Address at Penn BDS

Some memorable quotes:

“If our demands, these rights, threaten the existence of Israel, what does that say about Israel?”

“The hysteria about this conference tells us soemthing about the moment we are in, we are in the endgame.”

“Israelis don’t have a right to superiority.”

“We’re here for the dozens of children born at military checkpoints because Israelis have not allowed ambulances through.”

“We are here in solidarity with the prisoners, including nearly 200 Palestinian children.”

“It’s the occupation forces who should be standing trial, not the children.”

“We stand together against all forms of bigotry: against racism, against Islamophobia, against anti-Semitism; we are one against sexism, against homophobia, against discrimination due to physical ability; we affirm and embrace the rights, dignity and equality of all human beings; and all are welcome here tonight.”

“Palestinians are told: ‘you must be nonviolent’. Why don’t we hear that said to Israel?”

“End the military occupation, end all forms of discriminationa against Palestinians in Israel, recognise Palestinians’ right of return. None of these goals contradict the rights of Israelis.”

“We are the 99%, we have to link this struggle to so many other struggles, here and round the world.”

“We have an abuse of the Civil Rights act, insteading of opening the campus, it’s designed to silence discussion.”

“The BDS movement grew out of the realisation that the US and UN were not upholding their responsibilities.

They don’t because of the power realities. We have to do it ourselves. We’d like to reach a state where states acted responsibly. US resisted sanctions against SAfrica to the very end – it’s often citizens’ movements that push governments to act responsibly from the bottom up, not the top down.

The amazing thing about the movemetn is that it is led by Palestinians, the BNC, but the implementation is done by local initiatives and creativity all over the world. The question is where do you think it will go over the next 5 yrs – I look forward to your creativity. We have to do that work as part of the broader solidarity movement … It’s true Palestine has been a taboo even on the left in this country for a very long time.

Palestine was always pushed to the side, but this is changing. The shift is that Palestine is part of a much larger global struggle.”

Related Links

Video of my Penn BDS speech and how Zionist filmmaker pretended to be from Canada’s CBC
Keynote speaker Ali Abunimah presents to a full house at the @PennBDS conference on BDS
Douchowitless on @PennBDS & Jews supporting it: “Jews voted for Mussolini, Jews supported Stalin”
BDS Leader: ‘End Game’ Coming in Mideast
Professors take sides on BDS conference : Some professors participated in the discourse of the BDS movement
Panel on faith-based approach to BDS unites Christian, Jewish and Muslim groups
Susan Abulhawa : “There is something humiliating in perpetually having to prove that we are human”.
More whining by anti-BDS folk
Organizers say pro-Israel filmmaker with controversial past deceives, disrupts Penn BDS conference
Archbishop Desmond Tutu endorses PennBDS

Irish Chief Rabbinate Links to Extremist Groups

The Irish Chief Rabbinate has some unsavoury associations, linking to extremist Jewish groups:

‘The JDO is a self-described “militant” organisation, though others have labelled it a “terrorist group”. It is a splinter group from the more infamous Jewish Defence League (JDL), and like the JDL subscribes to the extremist Zionist ideology of Kahanism, and boasts of physically attacking pro-Palestinian activists in the US.’

Gideon Levy tells it like it is on Iran

Israel should be afraid of its leaders, not Iran:

‘All Israeli wars since 1973 were flawed wars of choice. Israel initiated all of them. None of them was inevitable, none resulted in any benefit that could not have been achieved using different means. In fact all of them were disastrous for us, even if the disaster was even greater for the other side. The most megalomaniac of them all, the Second Lebanon War, was also the most disastrous of them all. This bears remembering when debating the even greater megalomania of an attack on Iran. ‘

Israel / Palestine Links

Israel before democratic protest: Zionist extremist member for Caulfield David Southwick @SouthwickMP slanders BDS
Boycott apartheid Israeli blood diamonds
The Australian Greens showed they were “joining the bastards” when they watered down their platform on BDS.
Human Rights Watch: ‘Israeli policies have arbitrarily denied thousands of Palestinians the right to live in or travel to and from the West Bank and Gaza’
Ben White debunks BICOM’s lies and looks at some of the laws privileging Jews at the expense of Palestinians in apartheid Israel.
‘A wide variety of youth organizations has organized the protests to oppose the French acquisition of $500 million worth of drones from Israeli Airspace Industries.’
Ethnic cleanser in waiting, Yair Lapid – “Jerusalem belongs only to the people of Israel”
Israel’s grab of West Bank heritage sites funded by ‘charitable’ tax-deductible donations through the United Israel Appeal and Keren Hayesod worldwide continues.
‘In cooperation with our allies internationally, PACBI members will be supporting various IAW 2012 activities wherever possible. We see IAW, which has spread dramatically over the past years to include events in over 100 cities, as a clear sign of the growing momentum of the BDS movement globally and on university campuses specifically.’
Bilal Hassan explains the obvious: Israeli preconditions kill talks before they begin.
Who made Netanyahu the leader of the Jewish people?

Growing up as a Jewish anti-apartheid activist in South Africa, I was often told by white racists to “go back to Israel”. The idea that Jews don’t belong among non-Jews is the traditional language of anti-Semitism – and also of the modern ideology of Zionism that emerged in the late 19th century. Zionism’s founder, Theodore Herzl, believed that anti-Semitism of the sort I encountered was inevitable and even “natural” whenever Jews lived among gentiles. He effectively concurred with the anti-Semites’ remedy: that I should “go back to Israel”.

Apartheid, by the way, denied black people the rights of citizenship on the basis that their “national homelands” were in Bantustans such as Transkei and Kwazulu – bogus “states” in which they supposedly would exercise their right to self-determination.

Jews have certainly suffered for the right to live in security and safety, but the majority have chosen to exercise that right not in a separate Jewish nation state, but instead as Americans, Argentines, British or French. When Mr Netanyahu proclaims himself not just the prime minister of Israel, but also the “leader of the Jewish people”, that’s an expression of an ideology that holds that we’re a separate nation. I don’t believe that the majority of diaspora Jews are comfortable with the idea that they’re not really Americans or other nationalities, but are instead part of a separate people whose “national home” is Israel. While their grandparents’ experience may have been one of Jewish persecution and impermanence, most young Jews in the West today are not assuming that their gentile neighbours are going to turn on them.

If the current distribution of the world’s Jewish population changes in the coming decades, Israel’s share is more likely to shrink than to grow. The Israeli government revealed in 2003 that some 750,000 Israeli Jews were living abroad. Israel’s former prime minister Ehud Olmert addressed French Jews a couple of years later and implored them to send their children “home” to Israel. Ironically, his sons were living in Paris and New York at that time.

By insisting that the Palestinians declare Israel “the national home of the Jewish people”, Mr Netanyahu is, in effect, asking Mahmoud Abbas to recognise a claim against which more than half of the world’s Jews have voted with their feet.

Another ‘This Week in Palestine’, Israel attacks, thieves land, demolishes Palestinians’ homes, 56 incursions

‘Charging these “Me Firsters” with principled loyalty to Israel drastically overestimates them. The record suggests that they are, as a rule, in it squarely for themselves. This confusion is significant, for example because a more realistic appreciation of the interests driving the Israel lobby and its sympathisers would draw attention to the ways in which support for Israeli militarism benefits and speaks to elite interests in the US, rather than just in Israel.’ (I’d go further about how US militarism benefits and speaks to elite interests in Israel 🙂

The US is blackmailing the UN again. “Ban told Abbas that continued bids for UN membership would harm the organization, due to further cuts in American funding.”
How illegal Israeli settlers terrorise an Indigenous Palestinian family on their own land without reprimand from Israel, which rarely prosecutes its expansionist vanguard for their crimes. This policy is constitutes a war crime.
Israeli fascists harass elected Palestinian representatives in the Knesset, highlighting Israel’s rancid, thuggish ethnocracy.
13 Injured in Nabi Saleh During Weekly Non-Violent Protest
Israeli international law experts: the Supreme Court erred in permitting Israel to operate quarries in the occupied territories
Anti-Semitism And Israel’s Inherent Contradictions

Other Links

As’ad AbuKhalil critiques the imperialist charade at the UN re Syria
Solidarity with the Egyptian revolution against the US-backed junta.

Getting Australia’s History Right

Calling on Indigenous Young People to get involved in the Constitutional Recognition debate
Call to investigate police after tent embassy protest

“Aboriginal people want to talk about many issues, including economic development, sovereignty, land rights and treaty. These may be uncomfortable issues for the Australian people, but they are issues that must be resolved, sooner rather than later.”

Arrest the real criminals – Gillard and Abbott

Genocide is not just wiping people out in concentration camps, or forcing them to assimilate.

It is also stealing their land so they can no longer exist as a people, Tony. Dispossession is genocide. And that is what the Northern Territory intervention is about, tony. Driving aboriginal people off their land. That’s happening too in the major mining areas of Australia.

Too tolerant of ugly racism
The current state of the Northern Territory intervention – On Line Opinion – 31/1/2012
The National Riot Mismanagement Squad

Indonesia’s Occupation of Terror in West Papua

Papuan activist claim illegal detention in PNG

A West Papuan activist in Australia claims his father and three other men have been illegally detained on trumped up charges in Papua New Guinea.

Ronny Kareni, who fled with his family from West Papua in 1984, says his father and the three men returned to the Indonesian territory to attend West Papuan independence celebrations in October.

Mr Kareni says they were initially detained by the Indonesian military before they fled back to PNG where they were targetted by corrupt police and customs officers.

It’s sheer bloody murder, right on our doorstep – The genocidal settler colonialism of Indonesia in West Papua – fostered and abetted by Australia and the US in service of mercantilism.

In December, pro-independence groups in West Papua claimed 17 people were killed in a couple of days as “Indonesian military forces used mining company helicopters to attack villages in the Indonesian-occupied region.

In actions against TPN, 20,000 people in the Paniai area of West Papua have been left homeless after the army attacks.

They believe an Indonesian counter-terrorism unit Detachment 88 is involved in ongoing military operations in Paniai.

Quoting human rights defender Ferry Marisan, Media Alert says 30 people have died in the latest round of violence, including 17 this week.

”Only 10 of these victims were members of the TPN, according to Marisan.”

Children aged between two and four were among the dead.

The latest conflict area is in the area of the Derewo River Gold, a joint venture between an Indonesian company and Australian investors, Paniai Gold, a fully owned subsidiary of Melbourne based gold mining company West Wits Mining.

Related Links

Vote Freeport Worst Company

West Papua Report January 2012

Indonesian security forces, including the U.S. and Australian supported Detachment 88, conducted “sweeping operations” in the Paniai area of West Papua that destroyed churches, homes and public buildings, and forced hundreds of civilians from their homes. The Indonesia’s National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) urged the Police Commander to remove forces from the region, echoing civil society leaders in Paniai. Jakarta’s failure to provided basic health services to Papuans has led to a high rate of death among mothers at child birth according to a recent report. An unconfirmed report claims that President Yudhoyono has committed to withdraw non-organic troops from West Papua and to suspend the operations of a special unit proposed to address fundamental Jakarta-Papua problems. The cost in human life for Papuans of Jakarta’s decades of neglect of the Papuan population is well documented. Amnesty International met with a senior official in Jakarta to press for release of political prisoners, particularly in West Papua and Maluku. The three-month old strike by workers at the Freeport McMoRan mines appears to be headed toward resolution.

Inadequate Health Care Responsible for High Rate of Death of Mothers at Child Birth

The Jakarta Post reports that maternal deaths in West Papua remain high. Victor Nugraha, an official with the Papuan Health Agency, speaking to media in Manokwari, said that the rate of deaths in 2011 would be at least as high as in 2010. Real figures, he added, were difficult to ascertain because many cases of death during child birth are not recorded due to the shortage of medical personnel to maintain records.

According to the official the main causes of maternal death were hemorrhage, post-pregnancy infections, and hypertension. Anemia due to iron deficiency can lead to hemorrhaging. Beside low iron levels due to poor nutrition, anemia can also be caused by malaria, which is common in West Papua. The official also explained that late pregnancy checks and poor surgery facilities for caesarean sections in clinics also contribute to maternal deaths.

This report echoes a far more detailed study conducted in the Kebar Valley of West Papua in 2008 (see Health care in the Bird’s Head Peninsula. Its conclusions are stark:

Out of 708 pregnancies 4.7% led to miscarriage and 1.4% of the children were born dead.
Out of 665 child births, where the baby was born alive, 213 baby’s and children eventually died. This is an infant mortality rate of 32.0%. This means that almost 1 out of 3 children dies before its fifth birthday.
57.3% of the died children (213) were younger than 1 year old. 27.7% is between the age of 1 to 5 when it dies.
Most baby’s and toddlers (32.9%) died of fever or malaria. Fever in combination with coughing (probably pneumonia) causes a mortality rate of 13.9%.
Diarrhea, icterus, prematures and pulmonary affections like tuberculosis, pneumonia and bronchitis also occur, but in smaller numbers.
In 12.7% of the dead infants the cause of death was unknown, according to the mother.
94.4% of the pregnant women give birth at home, whether or not with the presence of a traditional midwife .
14 children were born twins; 3 are still alive.

3 Papuan prisoners in need of medical treatment for stroke
Papuan Political Prisoners Released in FakFak

Palestine/Israel Links

Israeli military commends itself for saving, not taking, lives
Settler leader says Israeli democracy must be dismantled and in its place a halakhic state, based on Jewish law
Twitter reveals JNF’s approach toward Palestinian Bedouin

South Africa Links

South Africa’s ANC celebrates 100 years
Free Nelson Mandela

End the Racist Intervention Insist Northern Territory Elders and Community Representatives

Statement by Northern Territory Elders and Community Representatives – No More! Enough is Enough!

Melbourne 4 November, 2011

United First People’s Law men and women who are born leaders representing people of Prescribed Areas in the Northern Territory make this statement. Once again, they have gathered to openly discuss the future of our generation who have been subjugated by the lies and innuendo of the Federal Government, set out in the Stronger Futures document (October 2011).

The Stronger Futures report has created a lot of anger and frustration due to the lack of process and the ignorant way in which the views of the people have been reported. We therefore reject this report.

We will not support an extension of the Intervention legislation. We did not ask for it. In fact we call for a genuine Apology from the Federal Government for the hurt, embarrassment, shame and stigma, and for the illegal removal of the Racial Discrimination Act. It is our intention to officially call upon Government for reparation.

The recent consultations report shows that Government has failed to take seriously our concerns and feelings. This report is simply a reflection of pre-determined policy decisions. This is shown clearly by the absence of any commitment to bilingual learning programmes as well as the proposal to introduce welfare cuts and fines to parent of non-attending school children. Once again a punitive policy that is neither in the best interests of the child or the family.

Blanket measures have been central to the Northern Territory Intervention and have been the source of much distress. Where there are problems, they must be addressed on a case by case basis and preferably with the assistance through the appropriate community channels.

Since August 2007 till 2011, more than 45,000 First Nations Peoples living in the Prescribed Areas were traumatised when a Bill was passed through both Houses of Parliament (The House of Representatives and the Senate).

This legislation suspended the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 to put in place the Northern Territory Emergency Response. The Australian Greens were the only party to oppose the legislation.

These actions have placed Australia in breach of its international treaty obligations to the First Nations Peoples. Respectful discussion and negotiation with community elders did not take place before the introduction of the Intervention.

Discussions on a diplomatic basis are essential. There are elders in every Aboriginal Nation invested by the authority of the majority. These are the people with whom Minister Macklin should be negotiating, rather than with the chosen few, as has been her habit.

There has NEVER been acquiescence in the taking of our lands by stealth. Aboriginal people are sovereign people of this Nation. The process that will lead to legal recognition of customary law should be immediately commenced.

We believe that there should be an honest and comprehensive treaty negotiation with the Australian Government and facilitated by the United Nations.

We have a right under international law to self determination and after almost five years of the oppression of the Intervention, we demand that Government hand back to us control over our communities and provide adequate Government, long-term funding to ensure the future of Homelands.

Community Councils have suffered from years of underfunding. The same is happening today with the Shires that have been imposed on us. There is a lack of funding for our Core Service.There is no capacity for Aboriginal communities to engage in long-term services planning without the certainty of long-term funding.

We have had enough! We need our independence to live our lives and plan our futures without the constant oppression and threats which have become central to the relationship between Government and Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory. We will not support policies that have not been negotiates with all elders of Prescribed communities and we will not support an extension of the Intervention, or an Intervention under other names.

Since the Apology and since reconciliation, the level of incarceration of Aboriginal men has increased three-fold; our families are being punished for failure to attend a foreign school design; our capacity to govern our own lives has been totally disempowered; Aboriginal youth suicide rates in the Northern Territory are higher than anywhere else in Australia; and our people have been demonized, labelled and branded. This is not what an apology is and it is not reconciliation. These outcomes are the very opposite to their intent.

Australia is in breach of its international treaty obligations to the first nation’s people through it membership to the United Nations in the elimination of racial discrimination.

We as leaders of the Northern Territory acknowledge other peoples’ views. We acknowledge that some may agree and some may disagree with parts or all of the ‘intervention’; whatever the name the Government chooses to call it. The only right we now have left is to remain silent.

We as Aboriginal people call on the international community to hold Australia to account for its continuing crimes against humanity for its treatments of its first nation’s people. Again, we say to our visits by the Minister’s department; this is not consultation. Proper consultation is about listening and inviting and including the views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Consultation is about outcomes that are progressive and agreeable to all parties.

The future is based on our children having a quality education, but to date this continues to be a systemic failure. A quality education for our people needs to include:
• Bilingualism in schools to be returned and strengthened to ensure our children learn their traditional languages, dialects and cultural knowledges.
• Attendances need to be rewarded, rather than children and families being punished for non-attendance.
• Aboriginal teachers in classrooms and school educational leadership roles are essential to building quality, localized schooling programs. This means also equal pay and entitlements, rewards and opportunities consistent with their important roles.
• Curriculum needs to change and reflect traditional knowledges not just for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, but importantly for the broader Australian population who know very little about their own first peoples.
• Aboriginal teachers need to be treated fairly and equally to their non-Aboriginal counterparts in delivering quality education to our children. This includes the opportunity to tell oral stories of Kinship, Creation Stories, and about important cultural knowledge and skills.

Failure to accept these views and work seriously toward their inclusion will simply mean more of the same.

Rev. Dr. Djiniyini Gondarra OAM
Rosalie Kunoth-Monks OAM
Japata Ryan
Harry Nelson
Djapirri Murunggirritj
Barbara Shaw
Yananymul Mununggurr

SOURCE

Greens Senator Rachel Siewert: “The Government’s Stronger Futures Consultation Report wasn’t surprising, but it was deeply disappointing.”

Other relevant Statements.

Aboriginal Elders statement: 7th Feb 2011

PUBLIC STATEMENT NORTHERN TERRITORY INTERVENTION

REBUILDING FROM THE GROUND UP – AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE NORTHERN TERRITORY INTERVENTION

Basic Rights not BasicsCard – Address to the Say No to Income Management Rally, Bankstown, 6th October 2011 Dr John Falzon – or watch the Video

Rev. Dr. Djiniyini Gondarra full response to Minister Jenny Macklin

Joint letter by Alastair Nicholson QC and others full response to Minister Jenny Macklin

Rt Hon. Malcolm Fraser full response to Minister Jenny Macklin

Related Links

SBS: Elders voice anger over NT intervention
“Statement by Northern Territory Elders and Community Representatives – No More! Enough is Enough!”
http://stoptheintervention.org/
http://www.jumbunna.uts.edu.au/researchareas/alternatives.html
http://www.ourgeneration.org.au/press/
http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1602367/Elders-voice-anger-over-NT-intervention