Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Alice Walker refuses to authorise Israeli publication of 'The Color Purple' in protest against apartheid

Alice Walker, author of “The Color Purple,” refused to authorize a Hebrew translation of her prize-winning work, citing what she called Israel’s “apartheid state.”

In a June 9 letter to Yediot Books, Walker said she would not allow the publication of the book into Hebrew because “Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people, both inside Israel and also in the Occupied Territories.”

In her letter, posted Sunday by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel on its website, Walker supported the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and offered her hope that the BDS movement “will have enough of an impact on Israeli civilian society to change the situation.”

It was not clear when Yediot Books, an imprint of the daily Yediot Achronot newspaper, made the request, or whether Walker could in fact stop translation of the book. At least one version of the book has already appeared in Hebrew translation, in the 1980s.

Walker said Israeli policies were “worse” than the segregation she suffered as an American youth and said South Africans had told her it was worse than Apartheid. more

Hunger-striking footballer Mahmoud Sarsak will be released on July 10th

Mahmoud's brother Imad al Sarsak celebrates news that hos brother will be released

After 92 days of hunger striking in protest of three years of detention without charge of trial, Palestinian footballer Mahmoud Sarsak is to be released.

Ma'an news agency reported that Sarsak's lawyer, Mohammad Jabareen, had told them that Sarsak was to be released on July 10th, after agreeing to begin eating food again. Mohammad Jabareen was also quoted by Associated Press as saying that the deal was reached at an Israeli prison clinic, where Sarsak broke his 92 day hunger strike by eating a piece of chocolate given to him by his lawyer.

Mounting international pressure on Israel from the likes of FIFA president Sepp Blater and footballer Eric Cantona, as well as the severity of Sarsak's deteriorating health helped to lead to the Israeli Prison Authorities brokering a deal with Sarsak's lawyer for his release. more

Tourism in Israeli settlements: practice shooting Palestinians

Israeli newspaper Yidioth Ahronot published today (June, 18th, 2012) about a tourist’s activity offered by Gush Etzion settlements, where visitors can practice how to shoot “terrorists”.

Stories about such tours both in settlements and army bases are always published, but no serious attention given to such scary culture of hatred and violence. (see here one example in Hebrew from 2003)

Tourists from across the globe visit Gosh Etzion settlements, where they are offered by settlers “enjoyable” package under the name “Hebrew Extreme Tourism” with range of activities that include: story telling about battles, view live shooting performance and an activity where visitors can practice shooting at “terrorists-mechablim”‘s cardboard pictures hung on the wall.

The word used for terrorist in Hebrew is “Mechabel” (mechablim for terrorists). In Israeli discourse this is a synonym for Palestinian. more

Israel fires on Gaza Strip, 2 teens killed, al-Qassam Brigades fires rockets at Israel

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Two Palestinian teens were killed in an Israeli operation in the central Gaza Strip overnight Monday, medics told Ma'an.

Israel's army said warplanes "targeted a terrorist squad identified handling an explosive device near the security fence," adding that a hit was identified.

Locals told Ma'an Israeli tanks fired on Palestinians after crossing the Gaza border south of al-Maghazi refugee camp. Red Crescent teams evacuated the bodies of two teens on Tuesday morning, after a two-hour search operation.

Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra identified the victims as 16-year-olds Muhammad Bassam Abu Mueliq and Yousif Talbani, noting that their bodies were riddled with bullets.

Meanwhile, Hamas' military wing claimed responsibility for firing four rockets at an Israeli military base in Zikim, north of Gaza. An Israeli military spokesman said three rockets hit the Hof Ashkelon regional council, without causing damage or injuries. more