October 2011, Week 3


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Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>
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Mon, 17 Oct 2011 22:09:28 -0400
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Occupy Wall Street not Palestine!

We are part of the world's 99% yearning for freedom,
justice and equal rights! Palestinian BDS National

If a people one day wills to live fate must answer its
call And the night must fade and the chain must break.

- Abou-Al-kacem El-Chebbi (Tunisia)

The Bullet *** Socialist Project * E-Bulletin No. 557
October 17, 2011


The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions
National Committee (BNC), the largest Palestinian civil
society coalition struggling for Palestinian rights, is
proud to stand in solidarity with the movements
struggling for a new world based on democracy, human
rights and economic justice. From New York to Athens,
from Madrid to Santiago, from Bahrain to Rome, these
huge mobilizations provide a much needed reminder of
something that Palestinians have always known - that
another world, a dignifying one, is possible and
ordinary people can create it.

Our aspirations overlap; our struggles converge. Our
oppressors, whether greedy corporations or military
occupations, are united in profiting from wars,
pillage, environmental destruction, repression and
impoverishment. We must unite in our common quest for
freedoms, equal rights, social and economic justice,
environmental sanity, and world peace. We can no longer
afford to be splintered and divided; we can no longer
ignore our obligations to join hands in the struggle
against wars and corporate exploitation and for a
human-friendly world community not a profit-maximizing
jungle. Inspired Movements

The Occupy Wall Street movement and its counterparts
across the U.S., Europe, Latin America and elsewhere
are -- at least partially -- inspired by the Arab Spring
for democracy and social justice. Leaders of the Arab
popular revolts tell us that they, in turn, were
largely inspired by our own, decades-old struggle
against Israel's occupation of our land, its system of
discrimination that matches the UN's definition of
apartheid, and its denial of the right of Palestinian
refugees to return home.

The rapidly emerging movement for Boycott, Divestment
and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies
with international law is a key and effective part of
the Palestinian struggle. Anchored in universal
principles of human rights and struggling for freedom,
justice and equality, the BDS movement, established in
2005, is deeply rooted in decades of Palestinian
peaceful resistance to colonial oppression and is
inspired by the South African struggle against
apartheid as well as the civil rights movement in the
United States. It is adopted by a near consensus among
Palestinians everywhere, with all the main political
parties, trade unions, professional syndicates, women's
unions, student groups, NGO networks and refugee
advocacy networks represented in the BNC, the reference
for this growing movement to end Israeli impunity.

The Palestinian-led BDS movement is a global effort of
groups, from South Africa to Britain, from Canada to
India, and within Israel itself, all committed to
ending Israel's denial of basic Palestinian rights. It
is endorsed by towering moral leaders of the calibre of
Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Holocaust survivor and
co-author of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
Stephane Hessel. It is supported by world renowned
cultural and intellectual figures such as Alice Walker,
Naomi Klein, Roger Waters, Judith Butler, Sarah
Schulman, John Berger, Ken Loach, John Greyson, and
Adrienne Rich. Massive trade union federations such as
COSATU (South Africa), CUT (Brazil), TUC (UK), ICTU
(Ireland), among many others, have also adopted BDS.

The movement has scored in the last two years some
spectacular achievements when internationally renowned
artists and music groups heeded the cultural boycott of
Israel and refused to perform there or cancelled
scheduled appearances. These have included the Pixies,
Elvis Costello, Snoop Dogg, Meg Ryan, Vanessa Paradis,
Gil Scott-Heron, among many others. The Norwegian state
pension fund, among others, major European banks and
some corporations have all been convinced to divest
from businesses implicated in Israel's violations of
international law. Increasingly, BDS is recognized as a
civic movement capable of ending Israeli impunity and,
crucially, contributing to the global struggle against
the war-mongering, racist agenda which Israel has
persistently played a key role in.

So as you break your own chains and build your own
effective resistance against corporate tyranny, we ask
you to demand a just peace for all the peoples in the
Middle East, based on international law and equal human
rights. Palestinians, too, are part of the 99 per cent
around the world that suffer at the hands of the 1 per
cent whose greed and ruthless quest for hegemony have
led to unspeakable suffering and endless war. Corporate
power has not just profited from our suffering but has
colluded in maintaining Israel's occupation and
apartheid to perpetuate an unjust order that profits
oil and military companies and multinational financial

We call upon all the spreading social movements of the
world to think critically when considering their
attitude toward the Israeli 'social justice' protests,
which have almost completely ignored the key issue at
the heart of all of the problems faced by ordinary
Palestinians and even Israelis: Israel's costly system
of occupation, colonialism and apartheid over the
Palestinian people. Without putting an end to that
multi-tiered Israeli system of oppression, our entire
region will never enjoy a comprehensive and lasting
peace, one that is based on justice and human rights.
Money for jobs, health and education, not for racist
oppression and occupation!

Nowhere is this more important than in the United
States. Despite Israel's persistent denial of
Palestinian rights, the U.S. has provided Israel with
unconditional political and military assistance that
directly contributes to the denial of Palestinian
rights, but also to the problems faced by ordinary U.S.
citizens. Could the $24-billion of military aid
provided to Israel in the period 2000-2009 not been
better spent on schools, healthcare and other essential
services? Did Israel not play a major role in prodding
the U.S. to launch and continue its wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan, at immense human and material cost, mainly
borne by the poorest in those countries?

But, we must remind ourselves all the time that this
struggle will never be easy, and reaching our
objectives never inevitable. As Martin Luther King once

Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability,
but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must
straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man
can't ride you unless your back is bent.

The refreshing scenes of determined peaceful protest
for justice from around the world tell us that we, the
99 per cent of the world, are in the process of
straightening our backs, collectively, with unwavering
fortitude and boundless hope. 

This statement originally published at 


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