Sunday, 15 February 2015

700 British artists pledge to boycott Israel

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- 700 British artists have signed a pledge to boycott Israel as long as it "continues to deny basic Palestinian rights," the latest major success for the global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions of Israel movement.

"In response to the call from Palestinian artists and cultural workers for a cultural boycott of Israel, we pledge to accept neither professional invitations to Israel, nor funding, from any institutions linked to its government until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights," the call reads, according to the group Artists for Palestine UK, which organized the pledge.

"We support the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality."

The signatories include artists from many fields, including writers, film directors, comedians, musicians, actors, theater directors, architects, and visual artists. more

Palestine celebrates definance of freed schoolgirl, 14, imprisoned for two months

BEITIN, West Bank (AFP) -- A 14-year-old girl who has become a symbol for Palestinian minors arrested by Israel insisted on Saturday after serving a 45-day sentence that she had been unjustly imprisoned.

"I do not admit to any crime: I was not throwing stones -- I had no knife on me," Malak al-Khatib told AFP.

She was arrested on her way home from school on Dec. 31, and a military court sentenced her in late January to two months as part of a plea bargain in which she admitted to picking up a stone to throw at Israeli cars.

Malak was convicted of being in possession of a knife with the intention of using it to stab security personnel if arrested.

"After two hours of interrogation, a soldier forced me to sign a paper in Hebrew," said Malak, who does not understand the language.

A white and black Palestinian kuffiyeh scarf draped across her shoulders, Malak sat among friends as relatives, Palestinian officials and journalists paraded through the family home, as they have since her release on Friday.

"I'll definitely have plenty to tell my classmates when I go back to school" in three days, she said at her house in Beitin near Ramallah in the West Bank, such as "how cold it is inside prison."

She served her time in a cell with three older Palestinian girls. The Palestinian Prisoner's Society said two weeks were deducted from the sentence because of her age. more