Monday, December 20, 2010

Boycott Apartheid Israel

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, the Palestinian based initiative that seeks to use economic pressure to force Israel to end the illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, has attracted worldwide support and continues to grow, as the latest updates on the movement at the Electronic Intifada web site show.

Meanwhile, the brutal occupation continues. In one week, the UN just reported, Israel destroyed 47 Palestinian structures, including homes, barns, and a school, and 61 more people were left homeless. This is in a week. This violence goes on week after week, year after year, going back to 1967 when Israel invaded and occupied the West Bank and Gaza, and back to 1948 when the Zionist gangs and militias grabbed their first big chunk of land, more than half of historic Palestine.

This is besides the nightly raids, when Palestinian families are woke up by pounding at the door and herded into the street in their night clothes while Israeli soldiers spend the next hour going through their belongings, taking anything they want, scattering everything they own on the floors.

To name just one incident, one example of what Palestinians live under day after day, year after year, this involving rabid Zionist settlers -- that is, religiously conservative Jews who routinely shoot Palestinian farmers in their fields and uproot their crops and orchards and slaughter their livestock -- reported by the M'a'n News Agency, some settlers approached Samir Muhammad Bani Fadil as he was grazing his sheep. Having much experience with Zionist settlers Fadil fled to a nearby hillside where he watched the settlers herd his sheep into a confined, bushy area and set it on fire, burning his sheep alive. There went his livelihood, there went a years worth of income. This is not an aberration. This is routine. Another favorite settler trick is to destroy Palestinian olive groves. Another is to let the contests of their hillside settlement's sewage systems loose to flood Palestinian villages and crop land. You'll never see this on Fox News or MSNBC or in any mainstream US newspaper.

Palestinians are fighting back in a variety of ways -- the internet, civil disobedience, and now, borrowing a tactic from the South Africans who brought down apartheid, they are urging people to apply economic pressure by boycotting products of companies, wherever they are, that support or profit from the illegal occupation, to divest from companies that profit off the illegal occupation, and to sanction the government of Israel for its brutal, racist, apartheid policies. Incidentally, South Africans who have visited Palestine report that the situation faced by the Palestinians is similar to, and in some ways worse than anything they ever experienced in apartheid South Africa.

Israel continues to steal more land from Palestinians every day, Israeli Defense Forces and rabid Zionist settlers continue to kill and harass Palestinians, attack Palestinian children on their way to and from school, and tear down their homes and schools and slaughter their livestock, burn their fields and destroy their olive groves.

And the complicity of US politicians continues, like that of my representative Martin Heinrich, and my senators Jeff Bingamam and Tom Udall. Bingaman and Udall, to their credit, don't usually sign on to these letters that members of the Senate and House routinely circulate that profess the unconditional support of the US for whatever it is the Zionists have done lately, like, when Israel commandos boarded a ship carrying peaceful protesters toward Gaza and murdered nine of them. Heinrich, however, signed the House version of that letter.

But none of them ever speak out or do anything else about the situation in Palestine and indeed they support Israel's ethnic cleansing by their votes to approve the massive amounts of military and other assistance the US government provides Israel, which frees up more of their own money to finance the expansion of illegal settlements on Palestinian land.

US politicians in general, to be fair, say and do nothing about Israel, but that is because they live in mortal fear of the Zionist lobby, which has demonstrated itsability to flood money into an election campaign and get anyone they judge to have crossed Israel defeated. In other words, it's all about being re-ected with these people, not about doing what's right. It's more important for them to be re-elected than for the Palestinians to live without the daily humiliation and violence visited upon them by the Israel military and the settlers. You'll hear nothing from Bingaman, Udall or Heinrich about the racist and apartheid laws being passed in the Israeli Knesset or the constant brutality the Palestinians live under. It's more important for them to hold onto their perks, their privileges, their status, than it is for the Palestinians to get any kind of justice, than for the depravity that Zionism has become to cease.

Meanwhile, here is a nice little summary of some of the misdeeds of the United States government we now know about thanks to WikiLeaks.

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