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European Jews say current silencing of criticism of the occupation is "totally unacceptable"

The current campaign being waged in Germany and Austria by Jewish and other groups against people, whether of Jewish or other backgrounds, who have stated their legitimate criticism of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, is totally unacceptable. Israel is no more immune to criticism than any other country which violates human rights. Individuals and peace groups based in Israel itself recognize this as do many others around the world. If intellectuals of the countries who were most closely associated with crimes of genocide are forced into silence by pressure being put on them, or those inviting them to speak out, we fear that future generations will rightly accuse ours of compliance with this pressure because of silence about the war crimes in Palestine. 

The ongoing betrayal of Palestinian children (2/2)

There is a risk that Palestinian children who grow up under violence will perceive their parents and adults as being unable to protect them. This psychological reaction is a direct threat to the relationship between a child and their parents. The impact of violence caused by the occupation on children can be life long. It can distort their outlook on life, which will not only influence their lives, but also those of future generations. For how long will the international community continue protecting Israel? What will it take before it finally shifts its attention to protecting Palestinian children? For those not intimately connected with the events in Palestine, it is almost impossible to imagine how the world has been able to turn a blind eye for so long to their pain and suffering. 

The ongoing betrayal of Palestinian children (1/2)

The Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, dispossession of Palestinian land and properties and discriminatory policies in Israel have hit Palestinian children hard. Recent research of the Palestinian Counselling Centre (PCC) has conclusively established that the wall has had a profound negative impact on the mental health of Palestinian children1 and created a major obstacle to them obtaining an education.2 In this article, Adri Nieuwhof and Jeff Handmaker examine certain violations of children’s rights caused by the formation of the State of Israel and following Israel’s occupation since 1967 and further explore their social and psychological impacts on children. 

Agrexco Blockaders Acquitted in UK Trial

In a remarkable judgement, Thursday 26th Jan 2006, after a half time application by the defence team in the Uxbridge 7 trial, a District judge ruled that seven anti-apartheid protesters who had blockaded the Israeli agricultural export company, Agrexco UK, had no case to answer and the case was dismissed. The charges of Aggravated Trespass and Failure to Leave Land were dismissed after District Judge Barnes sitting in Uxbridge Magistrates Court, found that the evidence against the defendants was too tenuous� to justify continuing with a trial. The trial had been listed for seven days but ended on the morning of the fourth day with the dramatic acquittals. 

Palestine’s New Paradigm

Policies have repercussions, sometimes bitter ones. The historic election landslide victory of the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, in Palestine on January 25 was merely a confirmation of this basic fact. Palestinians simply voted in a manner that reflects their reality. Secular Palestinians, such as myself, are not thrilled to see an Islamist movement come to the forefront of the historically secular Palestinian struggle to end the occupation and continue with the state-building process. However, those of us willing to look beyond the daily headlines, which emerge out of professionally spun mainstream media, are fully aware that Hamas’ victory does not emerge from a vacuum. 

Graphic of the Day: Variety Cover

BNN offers a “Graphic of the Day” inspired by the short comedic piece, Browntown, written by Sam Younis. Graphic of the Day is a BNN feature which offers a graphic on a day, and calls it “Graphic of the Day”. It is very similar to our “Photo of the Day” feature. This is not to imply that this is a regular feature, nor that this graphic is truly the mother of all graphics for the day in question. Usual disclaimers apply. 

The Palestinian Call for Academic Boycott Revised: Adjusting the Parameters of the Debate

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) has decided to omit from its 2004 Call for Boycott (enclosed below) an exclusion clause which has been justifiably misunderstood by supporters and misrepresented by critics as inconsistent with the institutional boycott advocated by PACBI. With this revision, PACBI sincerely hopes that, rather than being sidetracked by discussions on a formal and unintentional discrepancy in the drafting of our Call, the debate will once again focus on the very real grounds for this boycott Call, namely Israel’s military occupation and colonization, its denial of refugee rights and its system of racial discrimination against its own Palestinian citizens. 

The Hamas Victory: Green Dawn, Red Dusk?

Less than 24 hours after the sweeping Hamas victory in the Palestinian Legislative Council elections, it is clear that the consequences of this event are likely to be so profound that they are capable of bringing about a political tsunami once the wave finally reaches shore. Although the final implications of the elections are yet to be seen regarding how Hamas will form its governing coalition, what this means for the “peace process”, and how this will affect Palestinian-Israeli and Palestinian-World politics, certain things can already be deduced from the structure of prevailing power relations. 

Press Action Hero of the Week: Ali Abunimah

If you ever need a dose of clarity on Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, go to the Electronic Intifada website and read Ali Abunimah’s excellent analysis. In his latest article, Abunimah explains that Hamas’ success in this week’s Palestinian parliamentary elections is as much an expression of the determination of Palestinians to resist Israel’s efforts to force their surrender as it is a rejection of Fatah. “It reduces the conflict to its most fundamental elements: there is occupation, and there is resistance,” Abunimah writes. Abunimah, co-founder of Electronic Intifada, argues that it’s still entirely too early to speak of a Palestinian “government” being formed out of the election results. 

Hamas election victory: A call for good governance and respect of Palestinian rights

Hamas is now challenged with finding ways to respond to the legacy and the multi-facetted public expectations of its victory and new leadership role. The Palestinian vote has correctly been described as a political earthquake or tusnami that poses deep challenges to the Palestinian body politique, including the secular forces of the Palestinian left. The ball, however, is in the court of the international community - diplomats, governments, and civil society - who will have to show whether they are able and willing to hear and engage based on the message of Palestinian voters in the occupied Palestinian Territory. The 25 January elections to the Palestinian Legislative Council were conducted democratically and peacefully with a voter turnout of almost 78%.