The Palestine Brief (3) Israel Becomes More Isolated As It Continues Its Violations


A weekly report published by the Center for Political and Development Studies (CPDS), Gaza on the latest developments in Palestine.

 May 27, 2012

 International activism to boycott the racial policies of the Israeli occupation

             Denmark, South Africa and Ireland Boycott Apartheid Israel

             Ireland joins the boycott battle

The Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) put pressure on the Irish folk bands Dervish and Irish novelist Gerard Donovan to cancel planned visits to Israel.

UK student union to support campus boycott initiatives

The National Union of Student’s (NUS) National Executive Council has unanimously adopted a proposal mandating the body to work with local Student Unions to lobby universities to cancel contracts with Eden Springs. Recommendation 404 (p.68 of this PDF) describes how Israeli company Eden Springs has a bottling plant in the Syrian Occupied Golan Heights, and notes the illegality of settlements under international law.[1]

SA defends its decision on West Bank labeling

The South Africa Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies on Monday defended a call for public comment on whether products manufactured in Israeli-occupied territories should reflect that fact on their labels. “South African consumers had the right to make buying decision based on accurate labeling”, Davies told journalists in Cape Town.

“Our recognition is the 1967 borders of Israel. There is a distinction between products from within borders and products from territories outside, notably the West Bank.

A number of products are entering South Africa as products of Israel even though they are actually products of the occupied territories.”[2]

The labeling issue was stoked further when a Danish newspaper reported Sunday that the same restrictions would be applied in Denmark, albeit optionally, where products made in the West Bank may be declared so or not.

The step “clearly shows consumers that the products are produced under conditions that not only the Danish government, but also European governments which do not approve of. It will then be up to consumers whether they choose to buy the products or not,” Israeli daily the Jerusalem Post quoted Danish Foreign Minister Villy Sovndal as saying.[3]

Background

The global movement for a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights was initiated by Palestinian civil society in 2005, and is coordinated by the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), established in 2007.

W.H.O condemns Israel

The General Assembly of W.H.O adopted a resolution on Friday, May 25 2012 which condemns Israel’s siege of Gaza and its treatment of Palestinian patients. The resolution was proposed by Saudi Arabia. 56 countries supported the resolution; six voted against it, 48 abstained while the representatives of 72 countries didn’t attend the session. [4]

  • Israel continues violations

A boy in pink grabs media attention

An Orthodox Jewish man grabbed the Palestinian flag from the hands of a 10 year-old boy and refused to return it. The boy, enraged, tried to take it out of the Jewish man’s hands. A Border Police officer, seeing the struggle between a 10 year-old Palestinian boy and a fully grown Jewish man, chased the Palestinian boy rather than ordering the Jewish man to return the flag.[5]

Montage posted on pro-Palestinian Facebook page (photo: facebook.com/welcometopalestine)

Border Police officer chasing Palestinian boy on Jerusalem Day (photo: Activestills)

Israeli activist Sahar Vardi intervenes to stop Border Police officer from arresting Palestinian child (photos: Haim Schwarczenberg)

Background

JERUSALEM is divided into Occupied East Jerusalem and West Jerusalem. Referring to the two sectors as simply “Jerusalem” is inaccurate and conflicts with international law and the policies of the United Nations, the United States or the European Union.

HISTORY:

    According to the United Nations Partition Plan of 1947 that legitimized the creation of the State of Israel, the areas which are now East and West Jerusalem (and their environs, including Bethlehem), were not allocated to either the Arab or Jewish state but were instead to be internationally administered as a separate entity. The borders of the UN Partition Plan remain the only internationally recognized borders of Israel.

    In 1980, in an attempt to annex East Jerusalem, the Israeli government amended the “Basic Law” by which it extended Israeli jurisdiction to the occupied portion of the city.[6]

Travel Restrictions, Checkpoints Suffocate Palestinians

Israel still imposes travel restrictions on Palestinians moving in and out of the occupied territories. This includes travel restrictions imposed on traveling between Gaza and the West Bank and Palestinians moving from one city to another in the West Bank. Visiting Jerusalem is still a dream for most of Palestinians.

Two Palestinian prisoners are still on a hunger strike

Two Palestinian prisoners are still on a hunger strike. They are Mahmoud Al-Sarsak who has been on hunger strike for 68 days and Akram Al-Rikhawi who has been on hunger strike for 44 days. The purpose of their hunger strike is to accelerate their release.

Dirar Abu-Sisi told Prisoners Club’s lawyer “I am still held in solitary confinement.” “I will go on hunger strike if the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) does not transfer me to a prison just like others prisoners.


[6] Negotiations Affair Department of the PLO http://www.nad-plo.org/etemplate.php?id=24

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