Professor Stephen Hawking
Ali Abunimah: Boycotting Israel as a stance for justice is going mainstream — Israelis can no longer pretend theirs is in an enlightened country
… When we look back in a few years, Hawking’s decision to respect BDS may be seen as a turning point – the moment when boycotting Israel as a stance for justice went mainstream.
What is clear today is that his action has forced Israelis – and the rest of the world – to understand that the status quo has a price. Israel cannot continue to pretend that it is a country of culture, technology and enlightenment while millions of Palestinians live invisibly under the brutal rule of bullets, bulldozers and armed settlers.
|—||Certified scientific genius Stephen Hawking on the apartheid conditions in Israel today (2009, Al-Jazeera)|
It’s the busiest shopping season of the year, and we know Walmart will try to cover this up. We can’t let that happen.
BREAKING: WALMART WAREHOUSE WORKERS ANNOUNCE SECOND STRIKE
You can support Walmart warehouse workers fighting retaliation for speaking out. Take the Cyber Monday pledge today. Together, we will send a powerful message to the world’s largest retailers — workers matter.
Get the facts. Take the pledge. Spread the word.
Check out Warehouse Workers United facebook page for more info on the strike.
Also check out these great organizations supporting Walmart workers:
United Food and Commercial Workers International Union
National Guestworker Alliance
Organization United for Respect
Warehouse Workers For Justice
I would rather not vote at all than vote for something that I don’t want. Obama — and the 1% that ultimately back both his Party and the GOP — need to be sent a message from working people that he can’t just ride roughshod over us as he chases the dollars of Wall Street. If he wins the election with a lot of support, he won’t get any message at all. He’ll think he’s doing fine.
I want him to win by the skin of his teeth, if at all. I want him to sweat thinking he’s going to lose the election because he screwed over the most vulnerable Americans and continued many of the exact same bellicose, oppressive, and punishing policies of the Bush administration.
Hell — I think in 2012, we’d all send a much more powerful message to the political elite if we engaged in a massive boycott, rather than if we just pinch our noses and vote for the “lesser-evil.” That way, whoever wins, American “democracy” would be exposed as a sham.
The most important factor in determining the course of history in the near future is not the 2012 elections, but the fate of the Occupy movement, and any mass struggles that emerge as a result of the changed political landscape it has created.
Photo at left: Obama and Rick Perry, Governor of Texas and Republican candidate for President.
Today’s news not only brings us this study by Middle East expert, Stephen Zunes, documenting the brazen extent to which Israel continues to act as the world’s most rogue of outlaw nations (see below), but also the following outrage:
Apparently, the Israeli government yesterday enacted a new law that would put the most anti-democratic of Middle East dictators to shame.
It is now a crime for any Israeli citizen to even vocalize support for the boycott of Israeli goods or state institutions, including those within the illegal (as defined by the UN) Israeli settlements in the ‘occupied territories.’
So, as the New York Times reports, this action, which occurred last year, would now be considered criminal activity:
Last year, Israeli theater artists refused to perform at a new cultural center in the urban settlement of Ariel and in other West Bank settlements, causing a public uproar. They were followed by scores of leftist Israeli academics, writers and intellectuals who said that they would not lecture at the center or in any of the settlements.
Imagine if something like this happened in the U.S. (which is unfortunately not too hard to imagine in these post-PATRIOT Act days). All of the Americans who have been calling for a boycott of Arizona, in the wake of that state’s passage of the anti-immigrant SB-1070 law, would now be considered criminals engaging in unlawful activity!
Increasingly, when Israeli advocates claim that it is the only “democracy” in the Middle East, I feel like Inigo Montoya from that incomparable film, The Princess Bride: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means”
Israel holds the record for ignoring United Nations Security Council resolutions, according to a study by San Francisco University political science professor Steven Zunes.
He systematically went through all the states given instructions by the security council to find out how common a phenomenon it was. His results were somewhat surprising: “Some of the countries are considered and are known to be friendly to the U.S.,” he told Ha’aretz yesterday. “In the vast majority of cases I examined, the governments violating UN Security Council resolutions are countries that receive significant military, diplomatic and financial aid from the U.S.”
Israel leads the list. Since 1968, Israel has violated 32 resolutions that included condemnation or criticism of the governments’ policies and actions.
On March 30, 1774, in response to the Boston Tea Party, the British Parliament enacted the Boston Port Act, effectively shutting down all commerce and travel in and out of Massachusetts colony. The law, known as one of the Intolerable Acts, was enforced by a British naval blockade of Boston harbor. These punitive acts, which collectively punished an entire colony for the acts of resistance and frustration of a few, served to unite the disparate colonies in their fight for self-determination, sovereignty, and natural and constitutional rights. Colonies as far away as South Carolina sent relief supplies to their compatriots in Massachusetts. As a result of British imperial overreach, the First Continental Congress was convened on September 5, 1774. The Congress, in turn, established the Continental Association, a solidarity pact between the colonies to boycott all British goods and, in the event of continued British aggression, to stand as one in their fight for independence.
237 years later …
A new solidarity movement emerges against the ‘Intolerable Acts’ enforced by Israel against its semi-colonial subjects in Gaza …