“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.