23 Jan 2011
Superstar Macy Grey asked her fans to “take a stand.” Will she take the right stand?
If I hear one more person say, “Well if Macy Grey plays in Ramallah too, she can play in Tel Aviv.” Um no, that’s not how it works.
1. “Israelis” aren’t being boycotted, Israeli institutions are being boycotted
2. Palestinians living inside of Israel can go to the concert, but since they don’t have equal rights, Israeli institutions would and should still be boycotted.
3. Palestinians from West Bank and Gaza can’t go to the concert, never mind leave for medical emergencies.
4. If it was about “bringing Arabs & Jews together,” the concert be held in the West Bank or Gaza, and socially conscious Israelis could attend against the will of the Israeli government, like they would a wall demo.
5. This isn’t about, “hey Palestinians want to come to the concert too.” Artists not whitewashing apartheid is part of a larger strategy that goes back to the formation of the call, to put international pressure on Israel until three simple criteria are met: 1. End the occupation of all Arab lands. 2. Equality for all Palestinians living in Israel. 3. Right of return for refugees or compensation for those who decide not to return.
The team found that Israel’s policy and practices violate the prohibition on colonialism, which the international community developed in the 1960s in response to the great decolonization struggles in Africa and Asia. Israel’s policy is demonstrably to fragment the West Bank and annex part of it permanently to Israel. Through these measures, Israel has denied the indigenous population the right to self-determination, and has indicated a clear intention to assume sovereignty over portions of its land and natural resources. The team also found that Israel’s laws and policies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) fit the definition of apartheid in the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. Israeli law conveys privileges to Jewish settlers and disadvantages Palestinians in the same territory on the basis of their respective racial identities. (Student Researchers: Josette Canilao, Ashley Housley, Crystal Schreiner, and Ashlee Plouffe (Sonoma State University), Nolan Higdon and Kajal Shahali (Diablo Valley College) Faculty Evaluators: Andrew Roth and Heather Smith (Sonoma State University) Mickey Huff (Diablo Valley College)
#3 Amnesty International has uncovered Israel’s monopoly on water in the occupied West Bank. The international human rights organization has accused Israel of denying Palestinians the right to adequate water access. Israel uses over 80 percent of the Mountain Aquifer, the only quality water source for populations in the West Bank. Though Israel has various other sources of water, it also uses the Mountain Aquifer and restricts access to it, leaving Palestinians to struggle with less than enough water. “Some 180,000 to 200,000 Palestinians living in rural communities have no access to running water and the Israeli army often prevents them from even collecting rainwater. In contrast, Israeli settlers, who live in the West Bank in violation of international law, have intensive-irrigation farms, lush gardens and swimming pools.” Many Palestinians suffer from lack of water access, subsequently adjusting their life to just subsist. Water restrictions imposed by Israel have affected Palestinian farmers, and the general way of life. “Restrictions imposed by Israel on the movement of people and goods in the OPT further compound the difficulties Palestinians face when trying to carry out water and sanitation projects, or even just to distribute small quantities of water.” Amnesty International has termed Israel’s water restrictions in the West Bank as “discriminatory policies” that deny basic human rights to Palestinians.
#4 The Guardian/ U.K. has covered violence on Palestinians while they nonviolently protest Israeli occupation. Palestinian marchers devoted to nonviolent protest have fallen under abuse by the Israeli military, who claim the protesters created a “violent and illegal riot.” In an attempt to act on their concerns of occupation, Palestinians marched toward the West Bank barrier to display their opposition. On April 17, a Palestinian caught in the danger, Basem Abu Rahmeh, was a victim of the military violence and died by a tear gas canister to the chest. Another vicitim, American demonstrator Tristan Anderson, lost sight in his right eye and incurred debilitating brain damage when a tear gas canister hit him in the head. “The Bil`in [village in West Bank] demonstration was always intended to be nonviolent, although on Friday, as is often the case, there were half a dozen younger, angrier men lobbing stones at the soldiers with slingshots. The Israeli military, for its part, fires tear gas, stun grenades, rubber-coated bullets and sometimes live ammunition at the crowd.”
The restriction on entry for foreign passport holders deepens the isolation and separation Israel has imposed on the West Bank territory. The enforced regulation has created rifts and obstacles for Palestinians who have gone abroad, but settled in the West Bank territory. Thousands of Palestinians who have done this have been denied residency permits and are required to renew visas every three months in different regions. Palestinian resident Sam Bahour told reporters, “The latest rule change should be understood as one measure in a web of restrictions strangling normal Palestinian life that has been imposed by Israel, which controls the population registers for both Israelis and Palestinians.” Bahour further observes that this new regulation is another attempt to forward Israel’s goal to rid the territory of Palestinians.