Saturday, 25 October 2014

US BDS action: Why we are blocking the boat

Why we are blocking the boat.

Because it’s time to disrupt Israeli business as usual. It has been time since 1948. And the summer of 2014 only served us a reminder to the world that the Palestinian struggle for liberation is calling on us to join them in their fight to end colonialism.

During the summer of 2014 thousands of Palestinians lost their lives, hundreds of thousands were displaced, and entire neighborhoods flattened to rubble. The physical destruction compounded with the environmental and psychological impact of the Israeli assault on Palestine is now etched in the story of the Palestinian struggle for liberation. People all over the world flooded the streets in protest, demanding an end to the siege on Gaza, an end to the colonial occupation of Palestine, and the freedom of all our political prisoners and the right of return of all of us Palestinians refugees. People in Palestine heard our chants, they felt the rumble of our marches. But Israel continued its assault. What forced Israel to stop their bombings was indeed the resilience and resistance of Palestinians. So this leaves us to wonder what exactly is our role as activists, allies and Palestinians in diaspora? Beyond massive demonstrations, many of us know that we must economically, politically and culturally weaken the state of Israel. And we see Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) as the way to do just that—de-normalize Zionism and end apartheid once and for all.

In July and August 2014, the San Francisco Bay Area saw some of the largest local demonstrations for Palestine. We raised our anti-Zionist and anti-colonial slogans and together and raised the bar on Bay Area solidarity with Palestine. And with Block the Boat, we raised the bar on BDS.


Israel troops kill US-Palestinian teen in West Bank

WASHINGTON (AFP) -- Washington confirmed that a Palestinian teenager shot dead by Israeli troops was a US citizen -- the second time this week an American child has fallen victim to the ongoing conflict.

The army said that the youth killed Friday had been about to hurl a petrol bomb at Israeli motorists near the West Bank city of Ramallah.

An army spokeswoman said troops posted at the village of Silwad to protect a major road widely used by Jewish settlers in the occupied territory spotted a person about to hurl a petrol bomb.

"The forces fired immediately to neutralize the danger ... and confirmed a hit," she said.

Palestinian officials named the youth as Orwa Hammad, 17, saying he was shot during a stone-throwing protest against troops, a regular occurrence at Silwad, near Ofra settlement.

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the US "expresses its deepest condolences to the family of a US citizen minor who was killed by the Israeli Defense Forces."

Calling for "a speedy and transparent investigation," Psaki said officials from the US consulate in Jerusalem were in touch with the family of the slain youth.

"We continue to urge all parties to help restore calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of the tragic recent incidents in Jerusalem and the West Bank," said Psaki.

Locals in Silwad said Hammad's father lives in the United States.

Also on Friday, police in annexed east Jerusalem clashed with Palestinians, firing tear gas to disperse stone-throwing protesters.

They were deployed in force ahead of weekly Muslim prayers as the army restricted access to a flashpoint mosque, after a deadly Palestinian attack sent tensions soaring. more

Israeli forces shoot, kill Palestinian teenager near Ramallah

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian teenager late Friday during clashes in Silwad village near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, medical officials said.

Orwa Abd al-Wahhab Hammad, 14, was shot multiple times with live bullets. He was taken to Palestine Medical Complex where he was pronounced dead.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said that soldiers fired at a Palestinian adult who was hurling a Molotov cocktail at forces in the area.

Witnesses said Hammad was hit by an Israeli sniper from close range, insisting the soldier shot to kill.

Orwa was a US national. His uncle was killed during the First Intifada. more