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Genesis Prize cancels ceremony after 2018 winner Natalie Portman said she won't visit Israel PDF Print E-mail
Apr 21, 2018 at 02:05 PM

April 19, 2018

Josefin Dolsten

This is a developing story.

(JTA) - The Genesis Prize announced it was canceling its prize ceremony in Israel in June after 2018 recipient Natalie Portman said she would not take part in light of 'recent events'.

On Thursday, the Genesis Prize Foundation, which awards what it calls the 'Jewish Nobel', said it was 'very saddened' that the Israeli-American actress would not take part in the ceremony. The foundation said that Portman's representative notified it that '[r]ecent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her and she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel' and that 'she cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony.'

The Genesis Prize Foundation cancelled the prize ceremony, saying in a statement that its organizers 'fear that Ms. Portman's decision will cause our philanthropic initiative to be politicized, something we have worked hard for the past five years to avoid.'

Portman did not specify which events caused her distress, although the United Nations and the European Union recently called for investigations into the use of live ammunition by Israel's military following clashes along the border with Gaza that have left dozens of Palestinians dead and hundreds wounded. Israel celebrated the 70th anniversary of its independence on Thursday.

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Air Canada Terminates their Main Contract with Israel Aerospace Industries PDF Print E-mail
Nov 05, 2017 at 03:41 PM

Canadian BDS Coalition Declares Partial Victory in #AirCanadaComplicity Campaign

On November 2, 2017, in a surprise development, the Canadian BDS Coalition was able to declare partial victory in their #AirCanadaComplicity campaign. Following is the official statement that was released by the Coalition wherein they thanked the many grassroots supporters both in Canada and around the world that endorsed the Open Letter campaign; they also pledged to continue to pressure Air Canada to halt any remaining complicity with Israeli war crimes. 

Canadian BDS Coalition Statement:
“On November 1, 2017, we were informed in writing by Air Canada management that the 5-year contract with Israel Aerospace Industries Bedek Group for heavy maintenance on its B767 jets had been terminated early. That contract, reported to be worth tens of millions of dollars, was set to run until March 2019.

Leaked report highlights Israel lobby's failures PDF Print E-mail
Apr 28, 2017 at 08:59 PM

Key Israel lobby groups have conceded that they have failed to counter the Palestine solidarity movement, despite vastly increasing their spending. The admission is contained in a secret report that The Electronic Intifada has obtained.

The report, published here in full for the first time, outlines Israel’s failure to stem the "impressive growth" and "significant successes" of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights. 

It also sets out strategies, endorsed by the Israeli government, aimed at reversing the deterioration in Israel’s position.

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Inside the BDS court case against the AMS at UBC PDF Print E-mail
Mar 27, 2017 at 01:56 PM

 http://thetalon.ca/inside-the-bds-court-case-against-the-ams/

On Monday March 6, 2017, Toronto-based lawyer Alexi Wood appeared in the BC Supreme Court to defend the Alma Mater Society (AMS) against a lawsuit brought forth by a UBC Commerce student, Logan Presch. The litigation involved the proposed Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) referendum question that was put to the AMS by the student group Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) after receiving over 1000 signatures of endorsement from the university student body meeting the requirement of bylaw #4(1). The same referendum question was used in the 2015 referendum:

Do you support your student union (AMS) in boycotting products and divesting from companies that support Israeli war crimes, illegal occupation and the oppression of Palestinians?

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G4S leaving Israel shows that the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign is winning PDF Print E-mail
Mar 11, 2016 at 12:00 AM

G4S has finally announced that it will be selling its subsidiary, G4S Israel, “in the next 12 to 24 months”. The news has been greeted with jubilation from campaigners who have led a sustained boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against the organisation over the last four years. 

According to a G4S spokesperson: "G4S provides and maintains technical equipment such as access systems, cameras and baggage screening machines in some Israeli prisons and at some crossing points along the separation barrier."

The domination of G4S’ annual general meetings over several years by protests against the company’s involvement in Israeli prisons was undoubtedly a factor in the company’s announcement two years ago that it intended to pull out of Israeli prisons.

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In Rachel Corrie verdict, Israel deals new blow to international law
The verdict on the 2003 killing of Rachel Corrie absolved Israel of any wrongdoing, essentially blaming the victim for her death. The trial revealed Israel’s approach to the most fundamental principles of international law, and especially to the duty to protect non-combatants.

By Jeff Halper

For those who hoped for a just verdict on the death of Rachel Corrie, the American student and ISM activist killed by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza in 2003 as she was defending a Palestinian home about to be demolished, this is a sad day. Not surprising, but still sad and bitter. The judge who decided the case, Oded Gershon, absolved the army of all blame, despite massive and internally contradictory testimony to the contrary. Moreover, he essentially blamed Rachel for her own death, commenting that a “normal person” would have run away from the bulldozer rather than confront it.

Palestinians and Israel human rights activists have learned that justice cannot be obtained through the Israeli judicial system. The Haifa District Court, in which the trial was held, could not have ruled other than how the state wanted. For the past 45 years of Israeli occupation, the Supreme Court has excluded from its rulings all reference to international humanitarian law and to the Fourth Geneva Convention in particular, which protects civilians living in conflict situations and under occupation. Only Israeli law applies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories – military law and orders – and the courts have restricted even that form of law by declaring that in instances of “security,” they defer to the military. As in Rachel’s case, the IDF thus has carte blanche to commit war crimes with impunity, with no fear of accountability or punishment.

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