Friday, June 26, 2009

Author Naomi Klein Calls for Boycott of Israel

Author Naomi Klein Calls for Boycott of Israel

BILIN , West Bank - Bestselling author Naomi Klein on Friday took her call for a boycott of Israel to the occupied West Bank village of Bilin, where she witnessed Israeli forces clashing with protesters.

[Bestselling Canadian author Naomi Klein on Friday took her call for a boycott of Israel to the occupied West Bank village of Bilin, where she witnessed Israeli forces clashing with protesters. 'Boycott is a tactic . . . we're trying to create a dynamic which was the dynamic that ultimately ended apartheid in South Africa,' she said. (Photograph by: John Kenney, National Post)]Bestselling Canadian author Naomi Klein on Friday took her call for a boycott of Israel to the occupied West Bank village of Bilin, where she witnessed Israeli forces clashing with protesters. 'Boycott is a tactic . . . we're trying to create a dynamic which was the dynamic that ultimately ended apartheid in South Africa,' she said. (Photograph by: John Kenney, National Post)
"It's a boycott of Israeli institutions, it's a boycott of the Israeli economy," the Canadian writer told journalists as she joined a weekly demonstration against Israel's controversial separation wall.

"Boycott is a tactic . . . we're trying to create a dynamic which was the dynamic that ultimately ended apartheid in South Africa," said Klein, the author of "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism."

"It's an extraordinarily important part of Israel's identity to be able to have the illusion of Western normalcy," the Canadian writer and activist said.

"When that is threatened, when the rock concerts don't come, when the symphonies don't come, when a film you really want to see doesn't play at the Jerusalem film festival . . . then it starts to threaten the very idea of what the Israeli state is."

She briefly joined about 200 villagers and foreign activists protesting the barrier which Israel says it needs to prevent attacks, but which Palestinians say aims at grabbing their land and undermining the viability of their promised state.

She then watched from a safe distance as the protesters reached the fence, where Israeli forces fired teargas and some youths responded by throwing stones at the army.

"This apartheid, this is absolutely a system of segregation," Klein said adding that Israeli troops would never crack down as violently against Jewish protesters.

She pointed out that her visit coincided with court hearings in Quebec in a case where the villagers of Bilin are suing two Canadian companies, accusing them of illegally building and selling homes to Israelis on land that belongs to the village.

The plaintiffs claim that by building in the Jewish settlement of Modiin Illit, near Bilin, Green Park International and Green Mount International are in violation of international laws that prohibit an occupying power from transferring some of its population to the lands it occupies.

"I'm hoping and praying that Canadian courts will bring some justice to the people of Bilin," Klein said.

Her visit was also part of a promotional tour in Israel and the West Bank for "The Shock Doctrine" which has recently been translated into Hebrew and Arabic. Klein said she would get no royalties from sales of the Hebrew version and that the proceeds would go instead to an activist group.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Strengthening Campaigns of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS).

International campaigns of BDS against corporations profiting from Israeli human rights abuses of Palestinians are starting to take effect, from Hampshire College divesting from Israeli occupation, to the Church of England divesting from Caterpillar, to Veolia pulling out of the Jerusalem light rail project.

Over the past six months, we've stepped up our corporate BDS campaigns against Motorola and Caterpillar by sending hundreds of BDS organizing packets around the country, by organizing BDS days of action during Israeli Apartheid Week and Rachel Corrie Day, and during these corporations' annual shareholder meetings. In fact, today we're in Chicago working with allies on the ground to organize a protest at Caterpillar's shareholder meeting.

Making Our Voices Heard. Over the last six months, we've greatly expanded our ability to get our perspective into the mainstream media. Our staff and members of our Steering Committee and Advisory Board have been featured in the following media: The New York Times, NBC News, The Detroit Free Press, Al-Jazeera, Democracy Now!, The Black Commentator, Radio Islam, Arab American News, The Jewish Telegraphic Agency, and many more.

We've also paid for advertisements seen by millions of people in The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, Congressional Quarterly, and dozens of blogs. Speaking of blogs, we've also recently created
our own blog featuring unique content, and also expanded our new media presence on Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube.

Make a tax-deductible contribution of $42 so that we can continue to bring our message to millions of people through the media by <>clicking here.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Motorola Drops Israeli Wireless Division MIRS

By <>Fayyad

US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation coordinated "Hang up on Motorola" Campaign

Motorola is looking to divest itself from its Israeli cell phone division, MIRS, according to a report in Israeli business newspaper, Globes. The announcement comes only two months after the US telecom firm announced it had sold a controversial unit that produced bomb fuses and other equipment for the Israeli military.

Motorola’s dealings with Israel and its army has made it the subject of boycott campaigns by human rights activists in Europe and North America over the past few years. The boycott campaign’s impact was especially felt by Motorola after Israel’s aggression against the Gaza Strip in December and January in which more than 1400 Palestinians were killed the massive bombardment of the densely populated strip.

MIRS, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Motorola is the sole provider of wireless services for the Israeli Occupation Forces. Despite the divestment of two Israeli divisions, Motorola maintains several operations in Israel, including several R&D facilities and joint ventures with Israeli businesses.

The divestment announcement coincides with another by Veolia Transportation that it is looking to sell off its share of the project to construct and operate a light rail system between predominantly Jewish neighborhoods and settlements around Jerusalem. The French firm had lost over $7 billion in EU contracts as a result of pressure by human rights activists in a coordinated campaign that sought to end its relationship with Israel.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Subject: Caterpillar CEO Endorses Divestment!

Jim Owens Says "If you don't like how CAT does business, you don't have to hold your shares."

Dear Fred,

Last week, Caterpillar's board members faced shareholders, including our allies from Jewish Voice for Peace, the Sisters of Loretto, and Chicagoans Against Apartheid in Palestine. The US Campaign's National Organizer attended and spoke at the meeting as well, on behalf of shareholder Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights. Inside the meeting Matan Cohen of Hampshire College Students for Justice in Palestine spoke on behalf of a resolution that would require Caterpillar to report on foreign sales of weapons related products. During the Q&A portion of the meeting our allies repeatedly demanded to know why CAT continues to risk legal action and alienate investors by providing Israel with the machinery of occupation and apartheid. Repeatedly, Caterpillar CEO, Jim Owens, told those in attendance that if they don't like the way Caterpillar operates, then they don't have to hold on to their stock.

At the end of the meeting, one shareholder who was previously unfamiliar with Caterpillar's complicity in occupation and apartheid confided that his retirement had already been hit hard by corporations which have made bad P.R. moves or lost law suits. On his way out of the meeting, he stated that he would follow Jim Owens' advice to divest of Caterpillar stock. We are thrilled by the success of Jim Owens' endorsement of divestment! Click here to help us spread this message.

We got our message to people outside of the meeting through the media and public protest. View our media hits, including the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Forbes, Democracy Now!, and several local radio stations, by clicking here. Unfortunately, after a lengthy exchange, the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times both rejected our online ad, which we wanted to place on their websites during the CAT shareholder meeting. But we won't accept this censorship. We're going to use contributions from supporters like you to place this ad on blogs and Facebook, educating even more people about our campaign. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to amplify our message online. Each $50 that you donate will inform 80 targeted Facebook users about our campaign. Every $200 will ensure that our blog ad educates 4500 new people about our effective boycott and divestment campaign, which sheds light on Caterpillar's complicity in human rights and international law violations in Israel/Palestine.

US Campaign supporters and member groups rallied outside of the shareholder meeting, educating passersby and the media about CAT's culpability for war crimes in Palestine/Israel. The Church of England and Hampshire College divesting from Caterpillar aren't the only recent victories for the global boycott and divestment movement. French company Violia recently bowed to human rights advocates and withdrew from the Jerusalem Light Rail project that would connect West Bank settlements to West Jerusalem via commuter rail. Similar European campaigns forced international financier Dexia to end its support for Israeli settlements on Occupied Palestinian Territory.


Our blog ads will spread this same message that corporations cannot profit from war crimes. Click here to educate savvy investors about the spreading divestment movement targeting Caterpillar through our blog ads. Our Facebook ads will reach students at campuses to be visited on our October Campus Boycott & Divestment Organizing Tour. Help us use Caterpillar's own words to hold them accountable, make a tax deductible donation to our online advertising campaign now.

You can also continue this campaign's momentum by clicking here to order a local campaign kit to organize Caterpillar boycott and divestment in your community.

US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation


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