Sunday, 14 July 2013

BDS campaigner: "Israel no longer the attractive investment that it once was"

Rush transcript: Michael Deas, Europe coordinator with National Palestinian BDS Committee

Audio link The Electronic Intifada: Let’s have you assess the last eight years of the BDS movement — how it’s grown since that initial call, and what it looks like now.

Michael Deas: What I think is really exciting is that BDS is now recognized as one of, if not the most important and effective tools of solidarity with the Palestinian struggle. When the BDS call was launched in 2005, lots of solidarity groups and solidarity networks endorsed and took the BDS call as one of their main frameworks of action.

But those groups didn’t just endorse the call, they built BDS campaigns and the built effective BDS campaigns, and they went out and they won support for those campaigns — from trade unions and faith groups, and celebrities and so on. And what we have now is we have BDS winning huge amounts of support from those types of organizations like unions and faith groups and NGOs and political parties and so on, and BDS is increasingly being recognized in the mainstream media and elsewhere, as a key force and a key actor.

I think one of the main things that stands out about the growth of the BDS movement is that it really emerged all across the world as a result of grassroots organizing. Whether it’s things like artists, like Elvis Costello, or Roger Waters from Pink Floyd, refusing to play, or companies like Veolia losing millions of dollars worth of contracts because of its complicity with Israeli apartheid, all of these things in the BDS movement have become successful because of the work that’s been done by people giving up their time to organize at the grassroots level.

That’s really in contrast to Israel’s well-funded hasbara machine, and it means that we now have a movement with a lot of in-built strength and a lot of potential for continued growth and effectiveness. more

Sewage pours onto Gaza beaches

The inhabitants of the Gaza Strip have no other refuge than the Mediterranean coast to escape the summer heat and enjoy some leisure time amid the electricity crisis. However, even in their escape, the sewage problem chases them. There are three sewage drains that dump their water in the Mediterranean, causing massive pollution along the coast.

These sewage drains have been dumping thousands of liters of sewage water into the sea for years. The first drain is located in the Shalehat resort, considered the best in Gaza, while the second faces the basin of Gaza’s main port. The third drain faces the Beach refugee camp.

Fayez al-Safadi said that he took his family to the beach to relax, adding, “We usually go to the beach to escape the intense heat waves back home, but we are never completely happy. The beaches are polluted with sewage.” He clarified that the sewage drains that dump their water in Gaza’s sea constitute a big problem and cause dangerous environmental pollution that threatens the lives of citizens, especially children, relaxing on the beach.more

5-year-old boy killed by stray bullet in Gaza camp

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A five-year-old boy was killed in the Gaza Strip on Saturday after being struck by a stray bullet inside his home, police said.

Yousef Darwish sustained fatal injuries after a stray bullet hit him in Nuseirat refugee camp, Gaza police spokesman Ayoub Abu Shaar told Ma'an.

The boy was taken to a hospital in Deir al-Balah but pronounced dead on arrival. more