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Mar 24, 2008 at 03:08 PM
Sixty Years of Dispossession and Ethnic Cleansing

Boycott the “Israel at 60” Celebrations!

How can you celebrate?  The establishment of the State of Israel sixty years ago was a settler colonial project that systematically and violently uprooted more than 750 thousand Palestinian Arabs from their lands and homes. Sixty years ago, Zionist militias and gangs ransacked Palestinian properties and destroyed hundreds of Palestinian villages.  How can people of conscience celebrate this catastrophe?

Israel at 60 is a state that continues to deny Palestinian refugees their UN-sanctioned right to return to their homes and receive compensation, simply because they are “non-Jews.”  It still illegally occupies Palestinian and other Arab lands, in violation of numerous UN resolutions.  It persists in its blatant denial of fundamental Palestinian human rights, in contravention of international humanitarian law and human rights conventions.  It still subjects its own Palestinian citizens to a system of institutionalized discrimination, strongly reminiscent of the defunct apartheid regime in South Africa.  And Israel gets away with all this, thanks to the unprecedented immunity granted to it by the unlimited and munificent US and European economic, diplomatic, political, and academic support.

In view of this multi-faceted oppression that is the reality of Israel today, we regard any Arab or international participation, whether individual or institutional, in any activity that contributes, either directly or indirectly, to the “celebrations” of Israel’s establishment, as collusion in the perpetuation of the dispossession and uprooting of refugees, the prolongation of the occupation, and the deepening of Israeli apartheid.  Inviting Israel as a “guest of honour” to the Turin and Paris book fairs, for example, is not only a deliberate betrayal of basic principles of human rights, including those enshrined in the laws of the European Union itself, but is also a deliberate attempt to cover up Israel’s crimes against the Arab people, especially its successive war crimes in Lebanon and Palestine, and its acts of slow genocide against a million and a half Palestinians in the besieged and collectively punished Gaza Strip.  In short, celebrating “Israel at 60” is tantamount to dancing on Palestinian graves.

We urge international civil society in all its components, particularly institutions and individuals working in the arts, academia, sport, trade unions, and communities of faith to boycott the “Israel at 60” celebrations wherever they are held in the world.  These celebrations, by definition, insult our history, violate our rights, and deepen our oppression.  They also render the path to justice, freedom, equality, and sustainable peace based on international law longer than ever before.

Please send institutional endorsements to PACBI at: 
info@BoycottIsrael.ps

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Blood and Champagne
EVERY PEOPLE elevate the profession in which they excel.

If a person in the street were asked to name the area of enterprise in which we Israelis excel, his answer would probably be: Hi-Tech. And indeed, in this area we have recorded some impressive achievements. It seems as if hardly a day passes without an Israeli start-up company that was born in a garage being sold for hundreds of millions. Little Israel is one of the major hi-tech powers in the world.

But the profession in which Israel is not only one of the biggest, but the unchallenged Numero Uno is: liquidations.

This week this was proven once again. The Hebrew verb "lekhassel" - liquidate - in all its grammatical forms, currently dominates our public discourse. Respected professors debate with academic solemnity when to "liquidate" and whom. Used generals discuss with professional zeal the technicalities of "liquidation", its rules and methods. Shrewd politicians compete with each other about the number and status of the candidates for "liquidation".

INDEED, FOR a long time now there has not been such an orgy of jubilation and self-congratulation in the Israeli media as there was this week. Every reporter, every commentator, every political hack, every transient celeb interviewed on TV, on the radio and in the newspapers, was radiant with pride. We have done it! We have succeeded! We have "liquidated" Imad Mughniyeh!

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