Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Protests at Israel-supporting restaurants in London, Rome, Berlin & Barcelona

Anti-apartheid activists picketed Stazione di Posta in Rome, Tragaluz in Barcelona, Fruehsammers in Berlin and the Cinnamon Kitchen in London to protest their participation in a culinary event in Tel Aviv intended to whitewash Israel’s violent repression of Palestinians.
Dubbed by its Israeli organizers as an offensive of “gastro-diplomacy”, the Round Tables event brought chefs from nine international restaurants for a cook-in in Tel Aviv during the month of November.

A letter sent to the nine restaurants and signed by 130 civil society organizations denounced the event, sponsored by Israeli government ministries and an illegal Israeli settlement business, as a cynical PR ploy while Israel denies Palestinians food sovereignty and even counts how many calories Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip are allowed to consume.

In a video released by the “Apartheid Round Tables” campaign, protesters are seen challenging restaurant management about their participation.

The owner of Tragaluz told protesters she wasn’t aware of Israel’s political exploitation of the event and had she known in good time, they would have pulled out.

“We want to inflict as much bad publicity at this Israeli government cover-up event so no other international restaurant dares to participate in the Tel Aviv Round Tables next year,” said Laia Haurie from BDS Catalunya. “Restaurants willingly lending credibility to Israeli apartheid and its war crimes against Palestinians risk a local boycott.” more

14 Palestinians missing in border tunnel after Egypt pumps in seawater

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Gazan Civil Defense rescue teams on Tuesday morning were battling to save the lives of 14 Palestinians who went missing inside a smuggling tunnel when Egyptian military forces flooded it with seawater.

Muhammad al-Meidana, a Civil Defense official, told Ma'an that rescue teams had been able to save the lives of seven tunnel workers, but that contact was lost with 14 others, who were now missing.

Initial reports that the Civil Defense had established contact with these 14 workers turned out to be false.

Smuggling tunnels that pass beneath the Egyptian border have served as a lifeline to the outside world for Gaza's 1.8 million inhabitants since Israel imposed a crippling siege on the coastal enclave in 2007, which is supported by Egypt.

While the tunnels are used by Hamas as a source of tax revenue and inflow of weapons, they also supply necessary goods for Gazans including food, medicine, as well as infrastructure materials including concrete and fuel. more