All posts by Dick Pitt

BDS and Justice for the Palestinians

I signed up for Future Learn.   They run a huge collection of on-line courses on a vast section of subjects from different Universities.  I thoroughly recommend them. 

I believe that people learn from people they disagree with.  (On the grounds that it if two people agree, there will not be much learning going on.)

I signed up to an on-line course on Anti-Semitism at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Centre.  I believe that the holocaust was an incredibly evil act.  The process by which an advanced first world country can be organised for the industrial slaughter of six million Jews should never be forgotten and never be repeated.  (The process is, I believe, at the start of being repeated today, with a new target, Muslims.)

However, the course is irredeemably Zionist.  That is, the course ceased to be educational and flipped over to propaganda.  I only want to talk about one example. 

Here is a video on Boycott Sanctions and Disinvestment, BDS.  The description promises us –  What is the BDS movement, what are its goals and what characterizes its activity?

We are given bland material about Boycotts and South Africa, and that choosing a Spanish orange rather than an Israeli one is not anti-Semitic.  We are told that the aims of BDS are deliberately kept vague, in order to bring in a wide variety of people.  This is not true. Then we are told that behind the nonviolent campaign of BDS is a global invitation to mass violence.  No individual, or organisation is quoted as supporting any violence let alone mass violence.

The key questions are “who called for BDS?” and “What are their demands?”  The presenters both have PhDs.  It took me about 5 seconds to look up BDS on Google and find the answers.  So why would academics with honed research skills not look it up?  I cannot believe that they do not know.  That is when they moved from objective academics to pro-Israel propagandists.  So what do they want to hide?

  1. The BDS movement was launched by 170 Palestinian unions, political parties, refugee networks, women’s organisations, professional associations, popular resistance committees and other Palestinian civil society bodies in 2005.
  2. There are three demands

A             Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall

B             Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality

C             Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194

The demand comes from a people who have lived under Israeli oppression for 71 years.   Palestinians do not like the occupation, the Apartheid Laws, the kidnappings, the daily humiliations let alone water and land thefts.

These academic spokespeople for the oppressor refuse to even accept that the oppressed have made demands.  They refuse to discuss those demands.

It is much easier for them to attack people who answer the call for solidarity with the smear of anti-Semitism than discuss why Palestinians are oppressed and how we can end it.  It is clear to me that we need to build BDS till Israel starts to listen. <

Open Shuhada Street

This is Sundus Azza. She is from the campaign to open Shuhada Street. At a meeting in Sheffield on Tuesday she described the daily humiliations and provocations caused by a small group of Zionist settlers defended by 2,000 Israeli soldiers. Hebron is the most populous city in the West Bank, Shuhada Street was the main market area. In 1994, an American Zionist Goldstein murdered 29 Muslims at prayer. Palestinians demonstrated, Israeli military stepped in. The road has been closed to Palestinians ever since.
In a dignified calm voice she described how she was attacked by a settler Zionist, then arrested by the Israeli military for the incident. One Israeli settler killed a Palestinian, unusually he was found guilty and sentenced to 18 months in his house. The people of Hebron face rubber bullets, arrest, violence, and even bullets. See more here. Her powerpoint is here.