Israeli Fear Of Boycott

Zionist think tank fears BDS campaign 'can constrain' Israeli military operations in the future

FRIDAY, 12 February 2010 17:57
‘Highly respected’ Israeli think tank says:

BDS campaign is ‘strategic threat’
Israel’s dependence on trade makes it vulnerable
BDS campaign ‘can constrain’ Israeli military operations
Israel is increasingly isolated
Our opponents have now publicly conceded what we already knew: in the aftermath of the latest massacres in Gaza, Israel is vulnerable to a sustained campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS).

The Re’ut Institute exists to advise the Israeli Government. Described as "very influential and highly respected" by a spokesman for Foreign Minister Livni, the Re’ut Institute claims its “experts are of diverse political affiliations coming from all levels of government.” These experts have just sent a report to the Israeli Cabinet (on Feb 11th) which warns that military violence has failed to achieve its ends and has produced a dangerous world-wide revulsion at Israeli crimes:

We failed to achieve decisive successes in confrontations with both Hezbollah and Hamas…And in last year's Gaza operation, our superior military power was offset by an offensive on Israel's legitimacy that led to a significant setback in our international standing, and will constrain future Israeli military planning and operations as effectively as any Arab army could.

Despite their massacres of civilians in both Lebanon in 2006 and Gaza in 2009, Hezbollah repelled Israeli forces while Hamas, under impossible conditions, was not crushed but endured.

Since Israel lost world-wide in the battle for public support – “a significant setback in our international standing” – the Re’ut Institute report sees the BDS campaign as a threat in the years to come, which the Cabinet is advised to treat as a force as real as any military power:

And so, our politicians and military personnel are threatened with lawsuits and arrest when they travel abroad, campaigns to boycott our products gain traction, and our very existence is challenged in academic institutions and intellectual circles. The country is increasingly isolated.”

Able to kill Palestinians at will, the Israeli State is grappling with the limits of its power, and the power of world-wide civil society to respond effectively to its human rights violations. Israel, not even its US patrons, or its supporters inside South Africa, can get their cargoes unloaded at Durban Port against the determined solidarity of the Durban dockworkers with the people of Palestine. (Graduates of one successful anti-apartheid struggle understand the realities for Palestinians under racist domination.)

Israel is well aware that, as awareness grows of Israel’s state-enforced racial separation (often enforced by the JNF), the apartheid nature of the Zionist project is increasingly understood:

The risk posed is that such campaigns will create an equivalency between Israel and apartheid-era South Africa that penetrates the mainstream of public and political consciousness. Given Israel's dependence on vigorous trade, as well as scientific, academic, and technological engagement with other countries, this movement towards isolating the country may pose a strategic threat.

There will be no simple equivalence, of course, with the South African version of apartheid since the Israeli version is so much more violent and dehumanising, indeed genocidal, but there is no doubt that Israeli elites, long accustomed to a strategic edge over the Palestinians as wide as their military gap, are floundering to cope with this developing situation of powerlessness in the face of an aroused world anger. Israeli sporting, cultural and educational ambassadors of the bulldozer State of Israel face constant opposition from human rights campaigners and opponents of ethnic cleansing.

Boycott is Israel’s Achilles Heel. Achilles, the hero of Greek antiquity, was invulnerable over virtually all his body since his mother, Thetis, had dipped him in the magical River Styx. She had had to hold on to him, though, by one heel and that single vulnerability allowed an arrow to fatally strike the heel. So it can be with Israel, with its Pentagon armour, EU economic lifeline, UN Security Council protection, nuclear weapons, and unstinting support from US, UK and other EU Governments.

Popular, democratic, non-violent boycott can indeed “pose a strategic threat” to those who rain white phosphorous on civilian areas of Gaza as part of their vile campaign of clearing Palestine of all Palestinians to make way for Jewish immigrants, colonisers, from around the world.

We can now redouble our efforts in the BDS campaign, safe in the knowledge that we are on the right track. Here is a partial list of successes for those in doubt.

The Boycott Israel Network (BIN) invites you to the second of their BDS weekends, a conference to be held in the English Midlands on Fri-Sun, 26th -28th March to plan the next stage in the BDS campaign: how to build on the Cairo Declaration and realise its practical goals here in the UK and elsewhere


Israel Rogue Racist State

"We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population." David Ben-Gurion (1)

“for the sake of the land of Israel it is permissible to lie” Yitzac Shamir (2)

“ We enthusiastically chose to become a colonialist society, ignoring international treaties, expropriating lands, engaging in theft and finding justification for all these activities....we established an apartheid regime” Michael Ben-Yair, Israeli Attorney General 1993 to 1996 (3)

From 8% of British Mandated Palestine (Jewish owned settlements) at the time of UN resolution 181 in 1947 to summer 2006 whereby Israel controls 100% and colonises over 80% of the land of the Palestinian people. Israel has lied, cheated, bullied, and murdered its way into being. This has taken place in absolute violation of UN wishes and Chapter 6 resolutions. All Chapter 7 resolutions (binding and enforceable) have been vetoed by the USA often with UK support, for almost sixty years. These crimes against humanity continue today.

The tools for the expansion of the Israeli state are terrorism and military force. Victims include those killed and horribly injured in the King David Hotel bombing, the assassination of Lord Moyne, British Resident Minister and Count Brenadotte, UN Mediator. There was extensive ethnic cleansing of hundreds of Palestine villages. The Zionist's wanted room to live - lebensraum. By May 1948 when British forces abandoned Palestinian, Israeli military forces had captured the major cities and forced some 300,000 Arabs from their land. Some sources quote 700,00 by 1949. Since then war without end and an ever expanding state of Israel notably in 1967 when Israel invaded Jordan to control the water of the River Jordan and Lake Tiberias plus the Golan Heights.

Oslo, broken promises. Israel did the reverse of the promised” land for peace” agreement by expanding settlements by 90% on the West Bank, building roads and infrastructure in gross violation of the accord and UN resolutions. Now the new “Security Barrier” is encircling “Greater Israel” with borders of 315 Kils with an Iron Wall of 670 Kils cutting off farmers and communities from their land, from their water from their markets, and laying the foundation for the next expansion of Israel in a few years when it will attempt to incorporate the West Bank into the Jewish state.

In 2006 Israel is again violently attacking its neighbours terrorising them, cutting of water, imposing curfews and making it impossible for Palestinians and Lebanese to sustain their lives. The Israeli airforce is constantly breaking the sound barrier with its US fighter planes - the sonic booms making it impossible for the Palestinians and now the Lebanese to sleep.

Since its occupation of the Palestinian homeland from 1947, Israel has been backed by Britain and the government of the USA plus powerful Jewish communities world wide. Examples:- The US provides around $4 billion annual military support. The GB provided key elements to manufacture plutonium in 1958 thus allowing Israel to become a nuclear power. Israel has used this immensely powerful gift from GB to created a vast stockpile of WMD. In the nineties Germany provided three Dolphin class submarines. These are now fitted with US supplied nuclear armed cruise missiles making Israel the most formidable of expansionist powers with vast range of destructive potential.

The development of Israel, as opposed to every other world state, is openly racist. The law of the land provides 2nd class citizenship for the minority of Israeli Arabs that remained. Palestinian, Lebanese etc., in the latest occupied territories, have the status of “untermenschen” as the Nazis classified Slavs and Jews in WWII.

Now governments and news media point at Palestinians as the aggressors . John Pilger compares what’s happening now in Lebanon and Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto of 1941/2. Penned in with water and most means of human survival cut off, the Nazis bombed civilians indiscriminately. When Jews fought back the Nazis viciously punished the entire community. Was it wrong for the Jews not to go quietly into the dark night ? Now the Lebanese, and Palestinians are being collectively punished with the specific targeting of civilians. Have Arabs the right to fight for their lives or do they not count as fully human ?

Pilger quotes a BBC program where Maureen Lipman says without serious challenge, that “human life is not cheap to the Israelis, and human life on the other side is quite cheap actually.” This sounds how Nazi’s thought about Jews, Slavs, Gipsies. Is this why the BBC makes no attempt to put the repeated conflicts in context and to present a balanced view ?

This is the BBC, Royal Charter and all. The Glasgow University Media Group recently produced an extensive study revealing serious bias in reporting in Israel’s favour. Last year the BBC held an “independent” enquiry which accepted some bias yet still the most respected broadcaster continues to act as propagandist for the Zionist cause. The BBC is not alone. All main media from Fox News to Channel 4 are aligned to the big lie pumped out by Western governments and institutions. Observing the evil of Israel, media outlets follow the lead of Western governments and establishment institutions pretending to see no wrong, they sit with the three wise monkeys when not repeating Israeli, US and GB government spin.

1. May 1948, to the General Staff. From Ben-Gurion, A Biography, by Michael Ben-Zohar, Delacorte, New York 1978
2.Quoted in Ha’aretz. ref. Bad News from Israel page 84.
3. Ben Yair wrote this paragraph in Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz. ref Bad news from Israel page 157
* John Pilger on [Holcaust Denial]


Day 14 – Gaza Update from PSC

A Direct Appeal from Betty Hunter

There is less than 24 hours to go before the PSC ’s next national demonstration. From all the information we have been receiving in the office over the last week it is clear to us that tomorrow will see the largest ever demonstration in support of the people of Palestine. Local PSC groups across the country have been working tirelessly to make sure that the policies and principles of the PSC are seen and heard.

If you’ve yet to decide if you are coming, please do make every effort to be there. This is genuinely your opportunity to be part of a momentous movement and to show to the Israeli government that their barbarity will not go unchecked. It is an opportunity to make clear to Gordon Brown that the UK government must take direct economic and diplomatic action to halt the massacre in Gaza and, finally and equally important, to show the people of Gaza that they are not alone and that millions of people world wide support their legitimate right to a free and peaceful Palestinian state.

The demonstration will leave Speakers Corner, Hyde Park at 12.30 and then march to the Israeli Embassy, then on to a rally at Kensington Gardens . Please come along to the PSC stall to help us on the day, from 10:30am, if you can.

War Crimes

More evidence is emerging of the callous and barbaric way the Israeli Government and the IDF are executing their war against the innocent people of Gaza . Two incidents clearly show that Israel is committing some of the worst war crimes ever to be inflicted on a national population.

An incident uncovered by the Intern ational Committee of the Red Cross in the town of Zeitoun in the east of Gaza shows the depravity of the IDF in their treatment of women, children and the injured.

Yesterday it came to light that the Israeli Defence Force had established a command position near some bombed houses. For four days they sat there while twenty people, several of them wounded, were forced to remain inside without water, food or medical treatment. But the most grotesque thing these twenty survivors of the IDF had to face was to be trapped in the ruins with the corpses of their dead relatives. Children were forced to lie side by side with their dead mothers. Husbands were forced to lie next to the rotting corpses of their dead wives.

So weak were the survivors after four days without food and water that when the Red Cross finally gained access to them they all had to carried out. For days the IDF refused to allow the Red Cross access – for days the IDF were aware of the plight of the women and children inside the building and for days they did nothing. By any standard, moral or legal, the actions of the IDF in Zeitoun are an affront to humanity.

Read more here

And the normally sedate and reserved Red Cross are unable to control themselves with what is happening in Gaza

The depravity with which the Israeli Government is inflicting death on the people of Gaza reached a new low today as news began to leak out of yet another Israeli war crime in the town of Zeitoun .

According to the United Nations the events in a second shelter in the town represents ‘one of the gravest events since the beginning of the offensive.’

Eyewitness accounts obtained by the UN describe how, on the 4th January, the IDF rounded up 110 people, half of them children and moved them into a single story home. The IDF told the people they were being led to their safety.

Then 24 hours later the IDF bombed the shelter killing 30 people. According to the Red Cross and the UN, the IDF’s refusal to allow humanitarian access to the area for four days was because of this incident.

Following this incident the Red Cross issued a statement on the deaths of children killed by the Israeli Army in which they said that there had been a 250% increase in deaths to children since the ground invasion.

Read more by click these links

At the PSC we believe that these two examples among the hundreds of atrocities committed by the Israeli Government are clear evidence of the systematic abuse of international law by Israel and that, once independent monitors are able to gain access to Gaza , then the scale of the war crimes committed will become even clearer.

In the coming weeks PSC will be working with a number of legal experts and human rights lawyers to see how we can bring to justice those who committed these acts and, vitally, those who order these crimes against humanity


Avi Shlai

How Israel brought Gaza to the brink of humanitarian catastrophe The Guardian, Wednesday 7 January 2009

Oxford professor of international relations Avi Shlaim served in the Israeli army and has never questioned the state's legitimacy. But its merciless assault on Gaza has led him to devastating conclusions.

A wounded Palestinian policeman gestures while lying on the ground outside Hamas police headquarters following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City. Photograph: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images

The only way to make sense of Israel's senseless war in Gaza is through understanding the historical context. Establishing the state of Israel in May 1948 involved a monumental injustice to the Palestinians. British officials bitterly resented American partisanship on behalf of the infant state. On 2 June 1948, Sir John Troutbeck wrote to the foreign secretary, Ernest Bevin, that the Americans were responsible for the creation of a gangster state headed by "an utterly unscrupulous set of leaders". I used to think that this judgment was too harsh but Israel's vicious assault on the people of Gaza, and the Bush administration's complicity in this assault, have reopened the question.

I write as someone who served loyally in the Israeli army in the mid-1960s and who has never questioned the legitimacy of the state of Israel within its pre-1967 borders. What I utterly reject is the Zionist colonial project beyond the Green Line. The Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of the June 1967 war had very little to do with security and everything to do with territorial expansionism. The aim was to establish Greater Israel through permanent political, economic and military control over the Palestinian territories. And the result has been one of the most prolonged and brutal military occupations of modern times.

Four decades of Israeli control did incalculable damage to the economy of the Gaza Strip. With a large population of 1948 refugees crammed into a tiny strip of land, with no infrastructure or natural resources, Gaza's prospects were never bright. Gaza, however, is not simply a case of economic under-development but a uniquely cruel case of deliberate de-development. To use the Biblical phrase, Israel turned the people of Gaza into the hewers of wood and the drawers of water, into a source of cheap labour and a captive market for Israeli goods. The development of local industry was actively impeded so as to make it impossible for the Palestinians to end their subordination to Israel and to establish the economic underpinnings essential for real political independence.

Gaza is a classic case of colonial exploitation in the post-colonial era. Jewish settlements in occupied territories are immoral, illegal and an insurmountable obstacle to peace. They are at once the instrument of exploitation and the symbol of the hated occupation. In Gaza, the Jewish settlers numbered only 8,000 in 2005 compared with 1.4 million local residents. Yet the settlers controlled 25% of the territory, 40% of the arable land and the lion's share of the scarce water resources. Cheek by jowl with these foreign intruders, the majority of the local population lived in abject poverty and unimaginable misery. Eighty per cent of them still subsist on less than $2 a day. The living conditions in the strip remain an affront to civilised values, a powerful precipitant to resistance and a fertile breeding ground for political extremism.

In August 2005 a Likud government headed by Ariel Sharon staged a unilateral Israeli pullout from Gaza, withdrawing all 8,000 settlers and destroying the houses and farms they had left behind. Hamas, the Islamic resistance movement, conducted an effective campaign to drive the Israelis out of Gaza. The withdrawal was a humiliation for the Israeli Defence Forces. To the world, Sharon presented the withdrawal from Gaza as a contribution to peace based on a two-state solution. But in the year after, another 12,000 Israelis settled on the West Bank, further reducing the scope for an independent Palestinian state. Land-grabbing and peace-making are simply incompatible. Israel had a choice and it chose land over peace.

The real purpose behind the move was to redraw unilaterally the borders of Greater Israel by incorporating the main settlement blocs on the West Bank to the state of Israel. Withdrawal from Gaza was thus not a prelude to a peace deal with the Palestinian Authority but a prelude to further Zionist expansion on the West Bank. It was a unilateral Israeli move undertaken in what was seen, mistakenly in my view, as an Israeli national interest. Anchored in a fundamental rejection of the Palestinian national identity, the withdrawal from Gaza was part of a long-term effort to deny the Palestinian people any independent political existence on their land.

Israel's settlers were withdrawn but Israeli soldiers continued to control all access to the Gaza Strip by land, sea and air. Gaza was converted overnight into an open-air prison. From this point on, the Israeli air force enjoyed unrestricted freedom to drop bombs, to make sonic booms by flying low and breaking the sound barrier, and to terrorise the hapless inhabitants of this prison.

Israel likes to portray itself as an island of democracy in a sea of authoritarianism. Yet Israel has never in its entire history done anything to promote democracy on the Arab side and has done a great deal to undermine it. Israel has a long history of secret collaboration with reactionary Arab regimes to suppress Palestinian nationalism. Despite all the handicaps, the Palestinian people succeeded in building the only genuine democracy in the Arab world with the possible exception of Lebanon. In January 2006, free and fair elections for the Legislative Council of the Palestinian Authority brought to power a Hamas-led government. Israel, however, refused to recognise the democratically elected government, claiming that Hamas is purely and simply a terrorist organisation.

America and the EU shamelessly joined Israel in ostracising and demonising the Hamas government and in trying to bring it down by withholding tax revenues and foreign aid. A surreal situation thus developed with a significant part of the international community imposing economic sanctions not against the occupier but against the occupied, not against the oppressor but against the oppressed.

As so often in the tragic history of Palestine, the victims were blamed for their own misfortunes. Israel's propaganda machine persistently purveyed the notion that the Palestinians are terrorists, that they reject coexistence with the Jewish state, that their nationalism is little more than antisemitism, that Hamas is just a bunch of religious fanatics and that Islam is incompatible with democracy. But the simple truth is that the Palestinian people are a normal people with normal aspirations. They are no better but they are no worse than any other national group. What they aspire to, above all, is a piece of land to call their own on which to live in freedom and dignity.

Like other radical movements, Hamas began to moderate its political programme following its rise to power. From the ideological rejectionism of its charter, it began to move towards pragmatic accommodation of a two-state solution. In March 2007, Hamas and Fatah formed a national unity government that was ready to negotiate a long-term ceasefire with Israel. Israel, however, refused to negotiate with a government that included Hamas.

It continued to play the old game of divide and rule between rival Palestinian factions. In the late 1980s, Israel had supported the nascent Hamas in order to weaken Fatah, the secular nationalist movement led by Yasser Arafat. Now Israel began to encourage the corrupt and pliant Fatah leaders to overthrow their religious political rivals and recapture power. Aggressive American neoconservatives participated in the sinister plot to instigate a Palestinian civil war. Their meddling was a major factor in the collapse of the national unity government and in driving Hamas to seize power in Gaza in June 2007 to pre-empt a Fatah coup.

The war unleashed by Israel on Gaza on 27 December was the culmination of a series of clashes and confrontations with the Hamas government. In a broader sense, however, it is a war between Israel and the Palestinian people, because the people had elected the party to power. The declared aim of the war is to weaken Hamas and to intensify the pressure until its leaders agree to a new ceasefire on Israel's terms. The undeclared aim is to ensure that the Palestinians in Gaza are seen by the world simply as a humanitarian problem and thus to derail their struggle for independence and statehood.

The timing of the war was determined by political expediency. A general election is scheduled for 10 February and, in the lead-up to the election, all the main contenders are looking for an opportunity to prove their toughness. The army top brass had been champing at the bit to deliver a crushing blow to Hamas in order to remove the stain left on their reputation by the failure of the war against Hezbollah in Lebanon in July 2006. Israel's cynical leaders could also count on apathy and impotence of the pro-western Arab regimes and on blind support from President Bush in the twilight of his term in the White House. Bush readily obliged by putting all the blame for the crisis on Hamas, vetoing proposals at the UN Security Council for an immediate ceasefire and issuing Israel with a free pass to mount a ground invasion of Gaza.

As always, mighty Israel claims to be the victim of Palestinian aggression but the sheer asymmetry of power between the two sides leaves little room for doubt as to who is the real victim. This is indeed a conflict between David and Goliath but the Biblical image has been inverted - a small and defenceless Palestinian David faces a heavily armed, merciless and overbearing Israeli Goliath. The resort to brute military force is accompanied, as always, by the shrill rhetoric of victimhood and a farrago of self-pity overlaid with self-righteousness. In Hebrew this is known as the syndrome of bokhim ve-yorim, "crying and shooting".

To be sure, Hamas is not an entirely innocent party in this conflict. Denied the fruit of its electoral victory and confronted with an unscrupulous adversary, it has resorted to the weapon of the weak - terror. Militants from Hamas and Islamic Jihad kept launching Qassam rocket attacks against Israeli settlements near the border with Gaza until Egypt brokered a six-month ceasefire last June. The damage caused by these primitive rockets is minimal but the psychological impact is immense, prompting the public to demand protection from its government. Under the circumstances, Israel had the right to act in self-defence but its response to the pinpricks of rocket attacks was totally disproportionate. The figures speak for themselves. In the three years after the withdrawal from Gaza, 11 Israelis were killed by rocket fire. On the other hand, in 2005-7 alone, the IDF killed 1,290 Palestinians in Gaza, including 222 children.

Whatever the numbers, killing civilians is wrong. This rule applies to Israel as much as it does to Hamas, but Israel's entire record is one of unbridled and unremitting brutality towards the inhabitants of Gaza. Israel also maintained the blockade of Gaza after the ceasefire came into force which, in the view of the Hamas leaders, amounted to a violation of the agreement. During the ceasefire, Israel prevented any exports from leaving the strip in clear violation of a 2005 accord, leading to a sharp drop in employment opportunities. Officially, 49.1% of the population is unemployed. At the same time, Israel restricted drastically the number of trucks carrying food, fuel, cooking-gas canisters, spare parts for water and sanitation plants, and medical supplies to Gaza. It is difficult to see how starving and freezing the civilians of Gaza could protect the people on the Israeli side of the border. But even if it did, it would still be immoral, a form of collective punishment that is strictly forbidden by international humanitarian law.

The brutality of Israel's soldiers is fully matched by the mendacity of its spokesmen. Eight months before launching the current war on Gaza, Israel established a National Information Directorate. The core messages of this directorate to the media are that Hamas broke the ceasefire agreements; that Israel's objective is the defence of its population; and that Israel's forces are taking the utmost care not to hurt innocent civilians. Israel's spin doctors have been remarkably successful in getting this message across. But, in essence, their propaganda is a pack of lies.

A wide gap separates the reality of Israel's actions from the rhetoric of its spokesmen. It was not Hamas but the IDF that broke the ceasefire. It di d so by a raid into Gaza on 4 November that killed six Hamas men. Israel's objective is not just the defence of its population but the eventual overthrow of the Hamas government in Gaza by turning the people against their rulers. And far from taking care to spare civilians, Israel is guilty of indiscriminate bombing and of a three-year-old blockade that has brought the inhabitants of Gaza, now 1.5 million, to the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe.

The Biblical injunction of an eye for an eye is savage enough. But Israel's insane offensive against Gaza seems to follow the logic of an eye for an eyelash. After eight days of bombing, with a death toll of more than 400 Palestinians and four Israelis, the gung-ho cabinet ordered a land invasion of Gaza the consequences of which are incalculable.

No amount of military escalation can buy Israel immunity from rocket attacks from the military wing of Hamas. Despite all the death and destruction that Israel has inflicted on them, they kept up their resistance and they kept firing their rockets. This is a movement that glorifies victimhood and martyrdom. There is simply no military solution to the conflict between the two communities. The problem with Israel's concept of security is that it denies even the most elementary security to the other community. The only way for Israel to achieve security is not through shooting but through talks with Hamas, which has repeatedly declared its readiness to negotiate a long-term ceasefire with the Jewish state within its pre-1967 borders for 20, 30, or even 50 years. Israel has rejected this offer for the same reason it spurned the Arab League peace plan of 2002, which is still on the table: it involves concessions and compromises.

This brief review of Israel's record over the past four decades makes it difficult to resist the conclusion that it has become a rogue state with "an utterly unscrupulous set of leaders". A rogue state habitually violates international law, possesses weapons of mass destruction and practises terrorism - the use of violence against civilians for political purposes. Israel fulfils all of these three criteria; the cap fits and it must wear it. Israel's real aim is not peaceful coexistence with its Palestinian neighbours but military domination. It keeps compounding the mistakes of the past with new and more disastrous ones. Politicians, like everyone else, are of course free to repeat the lies and mistakes of the past. But it is not mandatory to do so.

• Avi Shlaim is a professor of international relations at the University of Oxford and the author of The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World and of Lion of Jordan: King Hussein's Life in War and Peace.



Exeter based resistance to Israeli outrages:

Up-date 12th July 2010.

Awaiting conformation regarding a non-violent direct action trainer from ISM with the idea of setting up a training evening, early October, just prior to street event in Exmouth to persuade Sue Boitoult, the proprietor, to reconsider her active promotion of Ahava products. The staff have told me that an active marketing programme is in play with "Ahava Promotion Days" which are being very successful in wining new customers for the stolen Dead Sea beauty products.

I have sent four e-mails and called three times at the shop but have yet to have a response from Ms Boitoult.

More communication to Sue Boitoul can only help in persuading her to respond.


13 Exeter Rd, Exmouth, Devon, EX8 PN

01395 269159

Exeter PSC are going to leaflet at Serenity on Sat, July 24th I hope you will want to join us.


EBRIO: First posted 2 June 2010

[Sent to core group EPSC & Friends of Palestine]This information is sent to further conversation with souls from Friends of Palestine [Exeter Uni] & Exeter PSC following some chatter about "on the street" boycott activity targeting West Bank products.

Product: Ahava

Possible Target: Serenity Exmouth

Date: I hope it comes in good time but a Saturday morning is best.

MUST SEE .... please this is what we need to emulate (if possible)

Code Pink Tel Aviv Hilton demo

Code Pink Boston demo (musical expression of political views)

An event of this type is quite possible and achievable in a highly constructive and strengthening way for souls braced against the next Israeli outrage. It offers the opportunity to censure open complicity in Israel's crimes and to publicise the outrage of Israel policy to the holiday makers and day trippers that will be packing Exmouth on Saturday mornings - well, depends on what season.

To find out more about:

The inspiring women's demonstration:

Code Pink.

Ahava: (Code Pink site)

If you have read this far - a big thanks - more info is on the blog notice board including the basic requirements to proceed SEE:


Exeter based resistance to Israeli outrages
See initial intro mail [click]

Outline: Potential activity to tighten the meaning of "Boycott Israel"

Inspiration: Code Pink. Women centred positive direct action for a better world.

Sector: Beauty products sourced and sold on the inherent value of the minerals and organic materials only found in that location i.e. annexed land - stolen territory.

Target product: Ahava a Code Pink site - valuable info source search for Ahava or do a

Complicit local promoters: (found so far)

Serenity. Exmouth beauty salon

Serenity is a small salon and Ahava only one of the beauty products marketed however they are actively promoting Ahava and hold events, sponsored by Ahava, devoted to marketing the products. These events are becoming increasingly popular and the products are wining new customers in Exmouth.

Beauty Time. Newton Abbot beauty salon

Chi. Umberleigh beauty salon

Rough outline of action & resources required

Saturday morning plea to the owners of Serinity in Exmouth to stop promoting and using Ahava products. The activity will be a very gently communication to the owners trying to win them to our way of understanding international law, human rights and justice. If you have seen Code Pink you will recognise the effect that a camera can capture.

A small successful demo could give some impetus for further action in Exeter itself and help build stronger links between those who are prepared to stand up to this outrageous rogue state. A minimum of ten folks are needed - more would be better. Ten folk formed as a body outside the shop to sing / chant / speak about Ahava (love in Hebrew) the occupied West Bank. Demo based on Code Pink actions / song sheet.

To give confidence and to anchor the gathering for folk new to this type of expression of opinion, a film crew will be in attendance to focus bouts of activity. To supplement this confidence building framework a Non Violent Direct Action workshop is recommended the evening prior to action. I'm seeking contact with a woman from the International Solidarity Movement who participated and supported Cambridge PSC with action in the local Tescos. She comes well recommended. Also local trainers are being sought to supplement this activity.

Afterwards there will be a EPSC garden social in central Exeter to refresh and discuss the action. It is envisioned that it should be possible to replay footage taken of the event.

Equipment / contributions needed:

Press co-ordinator

Leaflet design / production. A joint EPSC & FOP (Exeter Uni)

A supply of placards for supporters / Palestinian flags /

Table for literature / leaflets / petitions etc.

Humus / salad / etc. makers

Mud glorious mud - we cannot buy Ahava mud so we need a safe supply.

Sound system (maybe)

Ahava Exmouth

[Exeter Boycott Activity] [Ahava Devon] [Boycott Index] [Home]

Info page on Serenity, the beauty salon in Exmouth that actively promotes Ahava - stolen Dead Sea beauty resources that Mother Earth & the UN recognise as Palestinian.

Street photos & address phone no. below:

Saturday 24th July 12 o/c

Following no response from the Serenity, Tony Davies, of Exeter PSC, is organising a gathering to express solidarity with the Palestinian people. Leaflets will urge serious consideration of the call from the rightful occupiers of the land for respect for International Law & Human Rights.

A BOYCOTT of Israeli West Bank products is demanded. Please let the proprietor, Sue Boitoult, understand your concern for justice and respect for human rights: Contact her at-

13 Exeter Rd, Exmouth, EX8 1PN
Tel 01395 269159

Please call John on 01363 866414 re car sharing or if you fancy a train journey with others to Exmouth. Life's more fun with two.

Location [Google Maps] type post code EX8 1PN or [Serenity map] See the Ahava products on display

Serenity: Left side shop of white building with oval name plate.

Looking south to shopping plaza. Serenity is on right, three shops before the yellow canopy.

Looking north. Serenity is on left, three shops past the yellow canopy.

Looking north. Serenity is in the region between the white apartment block [in distance] & church spire


John Pilger - Holocaust Denial

The lying silence of those who know

By John Pilger

January 08, 2009 "
Information Clearinghouse" -- -"When the truth is replaced by silence," the Soviet dissident Yevgeny Yevtushenko said, "the silence is a lie." It may appear the silence is broken on Gaza. The cocoons of murdered children, wrapped in green, together with boxes containing their dismembered parents and the cries of grief and rage of everyone in that death camp by the sea, can be viewed on al-Jazeera and YouTube, even glimpsed on the BBC. But Russia's incorrigible poet was not referring to the ephemeral we call news; he was asking why those who knew the why never spoke it and so denied it. Among the Anglo-American intelligentsia, this is especially striking. It is they who hold the keys to the great storehouses of knowledge: the historiographies and archives that lead us to the why.

They know that the horror now raining on Gaza has little to do with Hamas or, absurdly, "Israel's right to exist." They know the opposite to be true: that Palestine's right to exist was canceled 61 years ago and the expulsion and, if necessary, extinction of the indigenous people was planned and executed by the founders of Israel. They know, for example, that the infamous "Plan D" resulted in the murderous depopulation of 369 Palestinian towns and villages by the Haganah (Jewish army) and that massacre upon massacre of Palestinian civilians in such places as Deir Yassin, al-Dawayima, Eilaboun, Jish, Ramle and Lydda are referred to in official records as "ethnic cleansing." Arriving at a scene of this carnage, David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister, was asked by a general, Yigal Allon, "What shall we do with the Arabs?" Ben-Gurion, reported the Israeli historian Benny Morris, "made a dismissive, energetic gesture with his hand and said, ‘Expel them'. The order to expel an entire population "without attention to age" was signed by Yitzhak Rabin, a future prime minister promoted by the world's most efficient propaganda as a peacemaker. The terrible irony of this was addressed only in passing, such as when the Mapan Party co-leader Meir Ya'ari noted "how easily" Israel's leaders spoke of how it was "possible and permissible to take women, children and old men and to fill the roads with them because such is the imperative of strategy … who remembers who used this means against our people during the [Second World] war … we are appalled."

Every subsequent "war" Israel has waged has had the same objective: the expulsion of the native people and the theft of more and more land. The lie of David and Goliath, of perennial victim, reached its apogee in 1967 when the propaganda became a righteous fury that claimed the Arab states had struck first. Since then, mostly Jewish truth-tellers such as Avi Schlaim, Noam Chomsky, the late Tanya Reinhart, Neve Gordon, Tom Segev, Yuri Avnery, Ilan Pappe and Norman Finklestein have dispatched this and other myths and revealed a state shorn of the humane traditions of Judaism, whose unrelenting militarism is the sum of an expansionist, lawless and racist ideology called zionism. "It seems," wrote the Israeli historian Ilan Pappe on 2 January, "that even the most horrendous crimes, such as the genocide in Gaza, are treated as desperate events, unconnected to anything that happened in the past and not associated with any ideology or system … Very much as the apartheid ideology explained the oppressive policies of the South African government, this ideology – in its most consensual and simplistic variety – has allowed all the Israeli governments in the past and the present to dehumanize the Palestinians wherever they are and strive to destroy them. The means altered from period to period, from location to location, as did the narrative covering up these atrocities. But there is a clear pattern [of genocide]."

In Gaza, the enforced starvation and denial of humanitarian aid, the piracy of life-giving resources such as fuel and water, the denial of medicines and treatment, the systematic destruction of infrastructure and the killing and maiming of the civilian population, 50 per cent of whom are children, meet the international standard of the Genocide Convention. "Is it an irresponsible overstatement," asked Richard Falk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and international law authority at Princeton University, "to associate the treatment of Palestinians with this criminalized Nazi record of collective atrocity? I think not."

In describing a "holocaust-in-the making," Falk was alluding to the Nazis' establishment of Jewish ghettos in Poland. For one month in 1943, the captive Polish Jews led by Mordechaj Anielewiz fought off the German army and the SS, but their resistance was finally crushed and the Nazis exacted their final revenge. Falk is also a Jew. Today's holocaust-in-the-making, which began with Ben-Gurion's Plan D, is in its final stages. The difference today is that it is a joint US-Israeli project. The F-16 jet fighters, the 250-pound "smart" GBU-39 bombs supplied on the eve of the attack on Gaza, having been approved by a Congress dominated by the Democratic Party, plus the annual $2.4 billion in war-making "aid," give Washington de facto control. It beggars belief that President-elect Obama was not informed. Outspoken on Russia's war in Georgia and the terrorism in Mumbai, Obama's silence on Palestine marks his approval, which is to be expected, given his obsequiousness to the Tel Aviv regime and its lobbyists during the presidential campaign and his appointment of Zionists as his secretary of state, chief of staff and principal Middle East advisers. When Aretha Franklin sings "Think," her wonderful 1960s anthem to freedom, at Obama's inauguration on 21 January, I trust someone with the brave heart of Muntadar al-Zaidi, the shoe-thrower, will shout: "Gaza!"

The asymmetry of conquest and terror is clear. Plan D is now "Operation Cast Lead," which is the unfinished "Operation Justified Vengeance." The latter was launched by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2001 when, with Bush's approval, he used F-16s against Palestinian towns and villages for the first time. In the same year, the authoritative Jane's Foreign Report disclosed that the Blair government had given Israel the "green light" to attack the West Bank after it was shown Israel's secret designs for a bloodbath. It was typical of New Labor Party's enduring, cringing complicity in Palestine's agony. However, the 2001 Israeli plan, reported Jane's, needed the "trigger" of a suicide bombing which would cause "numerous deaths and injuries [because] the 'revenge' factor is crucial." This would "motivate Israeli soldiers to demolish the Palestinians." What alarmed Sharon and the author of the plan, General Shaul Mofaz, the Israeli Chief of Staff, was a secret agreement between Yasser Arafat and Hamas to ban suicide attacks. On 23 November, 2001, Israeli agents assassinated the Hamas leader, Mahmud Abu Hunud, and got their "trigger"; the suicide attacks resumed in response to his killing.

Something uncannily similar happened on 5 November last, when Israeli special forces attacked Gaza, killing six people. Once again, they got their propaganda "trigger." A ceasefire initiated and sustained by the Hamas government – which had imprisoned its violators – was shattered by the Israeli attack and homemade rockets were fired into what used to be Palestine before its Arab occupants were "cleansed." The On 23 December, Hamas offered to renew the ceasefire, but Israel's charade was such that its all-out assault on Gaza had been planned six months earlier, according to the Israeli daily Ha'aretz.

Behind this sordid game is the "Dagan Plan," named after General Meir Dagan, who served with Sharon in his bloody invasion of Lebanon in 1982. Now head of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence organization, Dagan is the author of a "solution" that has seen the imprisonment of Palestinians behind a ghetto wall snaking across the West Bank and in Gaza, effectively a concentration camp. The establishment of a quisling government in Ramallah under Mohammed Abbas is Dagan's achievement, together with a hasbara (propaganda) campaign relayed through a mostly supine, if intimidated western media, notably in America, that says Hamas is a terrorist organization devoted to Israel's destruction and to "blame" for the massacres and siege of its own people over two generations, long before its creation. "We have never had it so good," said the Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Gideon Meir in 2006. "The hasbara effort is a well-oiled machine." In fact, Hamas's real threat is its example as the Arab world's only democratically elected government, drawing its popularity from its resistance to the Palestinians' oppressor and tormentor. This was demonstrated when Hamas foiled a CIA coup in 2007, an event ordained in the western media as "Hamas's seizure of power." Likewise, Hamas is never described as a government, let alone democratic. Neither is its proposal of a ten-year truce as a historic recognition of the "reality" of Israel and support for a two-state solution with just one condition: that the Israelis obey international law and end their illegal occupation beyond the 1967 borders. As every annual vote in the UN General Assembly demonstrates, 99 per cent of humanity concurs. On 4 January, the president of the General Assembly, Miguel d'Escoto, described the Israeli attack on Gaza as a "monstrosity."

When the monstrosity is done and the people of Gaza are even more stricken, the Dagan Plan foresees what Sharon called a "1948-style solution" – the destruction of all Palestinian leadership and authority followed by mass expulsions into smaller and smaller "cantonments" and perhaps finally into Jordan. This demolition of institutional and educational life in Gaza is designed to produce, wrote Karma Nabulsi, a Palestinian exile in Britain, "a Hobbesian vision of an anarchic society: truncated, violent, powerless, destroyed, cowed … Look to the Iraq of today: that is what [Sharon] had in store for us, and he has nearly achieved it."

Dr. Dahlia Wasfi is an American writer on Palestine. She has a Jewish mother and an Iraqi Muslim father. "Holocaust denial is anti-Semitic," she wrote on 31 December. "But I'm not talking about World War Two, Mahmoud Ahmedinijad (the president of Iran) or Ashkenazi Jews. What I'm referring to is the holocaust we are all witnessing and responsible for in Gaza today and in Palestine over the past 60 years … Since Arabs are Semites, US-Israeli policy doesn't get more anti-Semitic than this." She quoted Rachel Corrie, the young American who went to Palestine to defend Palestinians and was crushed by an Israeli bulldozer. "I am in the midst of a genocide," wrote Corrie, "which I am also indirectly supporting and for which my government is largely responsible."

Reading the words of both, I am struck by the use of "responsibility." Breaking the lie of silence is not an esoteric abstraction but an urgent responsibility that falls to those with the privilege of a platform. With the BBC cowed, so too is much of journalism, merely allowing vigorous debate within unmovable invisible boundaries, ever fearful of the smear of anti-Semitism. The unreported news, meanwhile, is that the death toll in Gaza is the equivalent of 18,000 dead in Britain. Imagine, if you can.

Then there are the academics, the deans and teachers and researchers. Why are they silent as they watch a university bombed and hear the Association of University Teachers in Gaza plea for help? Are British universities now, as Terry Eagleton believes, no more than "intellectual Tescos, churning out a commodity known as graduates rather than greengroceries"?

Then there are the writers. In the dark year of 1939, the Third Writers' Congress was held at Carnegie Hall in New York and the likes of Thomas Mann and Albert Einstein sent messages and spoke up to ensure the lie of silence was broken. By one account, 3,500 jammed the auditorium and a thousand were turned away. Today, this mighty voice of realism and morality is said to be obsolete; the literary review pages affect an ironic hauteur of irrelevance; false symbolism is all. As for the readers, their moral and political imagination is to be pacified, not primed. The anti-Muslim Martin Amis expressed this well in Visiting Mrs. Nabokov: "The dominance of the self is not a flaw, it is an evolutionary characteristic; it is just how things are."

If that is how things are, we are diminished as a civilized society. For what happens in Gaza is the defining moment of our time, which either grants the impunity of war criminals the immunity of our silence, while we contort our own intellect and morality, or gives us the power to speak out. For the moment I prefer my own memory of Gaza: of the people's courage and resistance and their "luminous humanity," as Karma Nabulsi put it. On my last trip there, I was rewarded with a spectacle of Palestinian flags fluttering in unlikely places. It was dusk and children had done this. No one told them to do it. They made flagpoles out of sticks tied together, and a few of them climbed on to a wall and held the flag between them, some silently, others crying out. They do this every day when they know foreigners are leaving, believing the world will not forget them.


Veolia in Lambeth

Update May 2008.

Some attention drawn to the Veolia saga.

In November the Dutch ASN Bank ended its relationship with Veolia.
SEE: ASN letter to

The European Jews for a Just Peace voiced their disagreement with Veolia on the issue and French activists protested at Veolia's shareholders meeting this year.

HOWEVER: The French arm of Veolia is to invest $1 billion in
developing "environmental" water projects. SEE:

The tramline collaboration continues. Israel continues to kill any that stand in their way, including international press personnel.
Reuters cameraman killed by Israeli tank - direct fire
ALSO: Scotsman : deliberately targeted

Disturbingly "Veolia Environmental" is successfully getting its name know world wide as a nice trustworthy and friendly corporation. It's magazines are to found in the premises of many local and international "green" organisations. It is insidiously selling itself as a worthy and responsible environmental champion.

BELOW: info posted autumn 2006 but still relevant to understanding Veolia.

Lambeth Council waste disposal contact awarded to VEOLIA a corporation collaborating with Israel in the ethnic cleansing and settlement of the West Bank

The first three web sites give all round info about Veolia. has interesting reports on Veolia re corruption and breach of contract. The other sites on Israel and Middle East in general. Note at bottom is from correspondence with Lambeth Cllrs suggesting why the issue should be considered important.

Dear Cllr

Line In The Sand

Some say the line in the sand is the same one that Pastor Neimoler referred to in the 30’s. I haven’t found a convincing argument against that assertion both in relation to Israel and to US and British government policy both at home and abroad.

This time, incredibly, the nation of Jewish tribes, that suffered significantly under the jack boot of Nazism, have occupied another peoples land and have been subjecting them to a slow genocide for 60 years.

Dealing with Veolia sanctifies, endorses and supports Zionism and enables Israel to continue its military campaign to win, by force of arms, lands that Zionists and some Orthodox followers see as the historic lands of the Israelites. That includes the West Bank and Gaza and a lot more land currently parts of present day Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Syria.

Regarding apartheid, you will be aware I'm sure of Lambeth's history of anti-racism and links with the struggle against apartheid. These were "lines in the sand" that former Lambeth authorities attempted, quite publicly, not to cross in the 70' 80's etc.

These are difficult questions especially for councilors that have a legal responsibility to a set process in local government.

I hope you will find the enclosed helpful in learning more about the issue and deciding what is a "right, just and honest" response to the take over of Cleanaway by Veloia.

Yours Sincerely John Yates