3 February 2012

Asia and the Pacific

Australian Friends of Palestine Association continues to organize its weekly Adelaide Seacret protest in front of the Israeli Seacret skin care store at the Myer Center shopping mall in Adelaide, South Australia, within the framework of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign. This marks the 71st week of protests.

Association France Palestine Solidarité on 25 January called for the French telecommunications company France Télécom-Orange to end its contract with its Israeli partner company Partner Communications, and asked supporters to sign an online petition.

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) in a medicines crisis appeal on 26 January said that the Palestinian Ministry of Health had reached zero stock levels of essential medicines and medical equipment in Gaza. MAP also voiced concern that this problem was growing in the West Bank with stocks reaching zero for the first time.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) from 30 January to 3 February organized the “Palestine Awareness Week 2012” at Bradford University in the UK. Events included film screenings, workshops, lectures, art exhibits and a memorial space.

The Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden (PGS) on 30 January rejected Italian company “Sodastream’s” answer to their request to stop business activities in Israel. PGS said that the company’s letter, which was delivered through PR firm Edelman, was irrelevant and did not touch on the basic questions of its violations of International Humanitarian and Human Rights laws and the prolonging of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian Territory.

Red Solidaria contra la Ocupación de Palestina (RECOP) on 1 February published an open letter to the Cuban government, condemning the establishment of an Israeli company, BM corp., on the island, and calling attention to the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) on 3 February organized a presentation in London by freelance journalist and author Ben White entitled “Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination and Democracy.” He will discuss why Israel's definition as a Jewish state, which privileges one ethno-religious group, cannot be seen as compatible with democratic values and that this will undermine any attempts to find a lasting peace.

Deutscher Koordinationskreis Palästina Israel (KOPI) on 3-4 February organizes a campaign workshop in Frankfurt/Main. The workshop will address issues related to the Palestine-Israel conflict and educate participants on tools for political activism, including media campaigns, addressing parliamentarians and the use of internet and social media.

Association Belgo-Palestinienne on 4 February organizes a demonstration at Liège Airport in Belgium entitled “Operation j-10,” to denounce the use of the airport as a transit hub for agricultural products that are imported from Israel to Europe.

The Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden (PGS) on 4 February organizes a presentation in Stockholm entitled “Elections in Palestine” by Michael Schulz, fellow and researcher at the University of Gothenburg. Mr. Schulz will talk about the different political parties in Gaza and the West Bank that will run in the upcoming elections in May and about Palestine’s application for UN Membership.

Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC), in cooperation with The Queens University Belfast Palestine Solidarity Society, on 6 February organizes a talk in Belfast by Professor Norman Finkelstein entitled “The Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Reality, Human Rights & International Law.”

Comité pour une Paix Juste au Proche-Orient (CPJPO) on 7 February organizes a panel discussion in Luxemburg with guest speakers Nurit Peled and Samira Alayan entitled “Is Teaching History a Political Game?” The speakers will examine the role of education and class materials in history courses as a point of tension between Israel, Palestine and Luxemburg.

Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) on 10 February organizes a talk in Dublin by Dr. Tariq Mukhimer entitled “Dehumanising the Dehumanised, Gaza under the blockade.”

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) on 11 February, organizes a protest entitled “BDS Action in London - Protest Against Veolia.” Veolia, a large French multinational, has helped to build and operate a tramway linking illegal settlements in East Jerusalem with Israel. The settlements contravene article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention forbidding an occupier transferring its own civilians into the territory it occupies. The tramway tightens Israel’s hold on occupied East Jerusalem, ties the settlements more firmly into Israel and undermines chances of a just peace for the Palestinian people.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) on 15 February organizes a film screening of “Budrus” in Frome, near Bristol. Budrus is a film about a village where the route of the Israeli separation wall was designed to cut it off the olive groves on which it depended. One villager, Ayed Morrar, led a non-violent protest that united Palestinians and Israelis and eventually resulted in the Israeli government re-routing the wall. This film, made by Julia Bacha in 2009, has won prizes all over the world. According to the Boston Globe, "This film will single-handedly change how many people view the conflict. It’s that good, and that important."

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) UK on 9 and 16 February will be promoted in London by the English-Jewish comedian Ivor Dembina, an ICAHD supporter, in his show “Not a Subject for Comedy.” The show is an offering which he describes as “a story with jokes,” his own comedic take on Israel, Palestine and the Jews.

Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Adalah in its January Newsletter published a position paper by attorneys Hassan Jabareen and Sawsan Zaher entitled "The Israeli Supreme Court's Decision in the Citizenship Law Case."

Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement on 24 January in a news release entitled “For the first time since 2007, non-agricultural goods are cleared for export from the Gaza Strip, though not to the West Bank,” details exports from the Gaza Strip to Jordan.

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) and the Geneva Centre for Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) on 24 January held a workshop for journalists at Maan News Agency’s headquarters in Bethlehem on the right of access to information.

The MA’AN Development Center published a research report in Arabic that addresses the complex reality for Palestinian laborers in the agricultural settlements established on confiscated land in the West Bank, with the hope of finding alternatives and effecting change.

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) in a report entitled “The Judaization of Palestine: 2011 Displacement Trends” provides a political analysis of the root causes and consequences of Israel's house demolition policy, focusing on the demolition of Palestinian homes and other structures in the Occupied West Bank.

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) on 4 February will organize the next tour to East Jerusalem. The tour begins with a short briefing that explores the historical and political background of this area. Following the briefing, tour participants will drive through the area of Talbie, where in 1948 hundreds of Palestinians were expelled from their homes.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) in a press release on 24 January condemned the detention of Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) Member Mohammed Toutah, PLC Member Abdul Jaber al-Foqaha' and the former Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Khaled Abu 'Arafa by Israeli Forces at the head office of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) in East Jerusalem.

North America

Human Rights Watch in its annual report on 22 January, noted that serious violations in Israel and the OPT were ongoing in 2011. It listed Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip, ongoing settlement expansion in the West Bank and home demolitions in East Jerusalem.
But it also noted Palestinian rocket and mortar fire from Gaza at southern Israeli population centers. And it condemned Hamas for carrying out three judicial executions, and for allegedly torturing scores of Palestinian detainees, some of whom died. The Palestinian Authority was criticized for its part in arbitrarily detaining hundreds of Hamas supporters.

Harvard University’s Center for Middle East Studies and The Middle East Forum on 25 January organized a public event in Cambridge, Boston, entitled “The Israeli-Jewish Collective Memory of the 1948 Palestinian Exodus, 1949-2008” with Dr. Rafi Nets, Post-doctoral Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions USA (ICAHD-USA)’s Director Jeff Halper, in an op-ed on 26 January, said that Israeli forces had destroyed homes on three sites in the West Bank town of Anata that for years had been identified with ICAHD's resistance activities. Halper said that this was clearly an official, government-sponsored “price-tag” assault on Palestinians in order to "send a message" to ICAHD.

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation on 26 January called on its followers to sign a petition in support the Presbyterian Church USA’s Committee on Mission Responsibility Through Investment’s “Recommendation for Presbyterian Divestment from Companies that Support or Profit from the Israeli Occupation of the Palestinian Territory.”

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation on 2-6 March is organizing five days of film screenings, teach-ins, performing arts, direct actions, trainings and grassroots advocacy during the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC's) annual policy conference in Washington D.C., in an initiative entitled “Occupy AIPAC.” The Occupy AIPAC summit is co-sponsored by The Nation, the Institute of Policy Studies, CODEPINK and Just Foreign Policy, and endorsed and supported by a variety of organizations including the Interfaith Peace Builders (IFPB), the US Palestinian Community Network (USPCN), Jewish Voice for Peace, Students for Justice in Palestine chapters, and over 120 other groups.

On The Ground, in partnership with the Palestinian Fair Trade Association, on 4-8 February organizes a Run Across Palestine (RAP) to raise funds and awareness for fair trade olive growers in Palestine. The runners will start their activity from Hebron in the southern edge of the West Bank and run across Palestine to the north in five days.


The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS), on 24 January published an open letter from Palestinian students and youth to UK student activists, condemning their participation in a propaganda tour of Israel.

United Nations

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, occupied Palestinian territory, in a press release on 25 January announced the launch in Ramallah of the Humanitarian Appeal for the OPT in 2012. The appeal seeks USD 416 million to respond to the humanitarian needs generated by the ongoing violations of basic human rights in the OPT.

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, Mr Maxwell Gaylard, in a statement on 27 January called for an immediate end to the demolition of Palestinian homes by the authorities of the Government of Israel in the occupied West Bank. During a visit on 26 January to Anata village on the outskirts of Jerusalem, Mr Gaylard saw the ruins of seven Palestinian homes demolished earlier in the week and met with representatives of the displaced families.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 1 and 2 February 2012 traveled to the OPT and visited UNRWA in Gaza. “I am in the region to encourage the parties to continue the talks they have started in Jordan - and to see for myself the progress and challenges on the road to peace,” the SG said in remarks at a press encounter at Khan Younis housing project in southern Gaza.

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