Gaza’s message to Italy BDS conference - video

“The absence of meaningful action from governments to hold Israel accountable to international law leaves upon one path for citizens of conscience: to take this responsibility upon themselves, as done against apartheid South Africa … I believe that the BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctions] initiative is a moral strategy which has the demonstrated its potential for success.”

- Stephane Hessel, French resistance hero, Nazi concentration camp survivor and co-author of the 1948 International Declaration of Human Rights

Late last month an assembly was held in the city of Cagliari to strategize in opposition to military drills and weapons testing in Sardinia — which has badly damaged the environment — and to establish concrete and long-lasting pathways to implement and develop boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns in Sardinia in support of Palestinian rights.

I was asked to participate in the meeting via Skype. However, I am in Gaza and cannot guarantee that I would have power at the appointed time — households here only receive approximately six hours of electricity per day. So I recorded the above video to ensure that a message from Gaza would be presented at the meeting. In addition, a group of photos were sent from Gaza which show Palestinians calling for an immediate and comprehensive military embargo on Israel. 

In the video, recorded immediately after the 51 days of bombing came to an end, I describe the final days of this summer’s Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip and encouraged Italians and Sardinians to pressure their elected government to stop Italian military cooperation with Israel.

Building and strengthening cohesion, support and coordination across local and international boundaries through conferences like this is crucial for solidarity movements to be effective.

I am tremendously grateful to our Italian comrades who organized this conference for their steady and painstaking efforts as well as to all solidarity activists around the world.

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As you know, the Zionist State of Israel is not only "dependent" on the US
and EU and others, it is also deeply involved in the enormous international
weapons market. It makes and sells weapons, engages in contracts ("deals")
for "training" around the globe, "shares intelligence". At this time, business
is extremely good ....for the Israelis.

Statements of good intentions (eg by Caterpillar re: its profitable
sales of the Caterpillar D-9 with the generous assistance of the US Army)
and much, much more are only parts of these enterprises.

Sometimes it feels as though the US has chosen to assist the Axis powers
during World War II. Private corporations did, in fact, support Hitler.Examples
include Ford, IBM and others.

But this past war is not the issue here. Our plans for the future are our
focus.

PS: I have already written my Representative in Congress on several
occasions but I know in advance that politically this can have no result
in this state (Massachusetts). I hope that BDS can have a greater effect
on an international basis.

----Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

Ayah Bashir

Ayah Bashir's picture

Ayah Bashir holds a master’s degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She is a member of the Gaza-based organizing committee for BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) against Israel, a member of the PACBI Steering Committee and a member also of the One Democratic State Group. She can be followed on Twitter at: @Ayah_Gaza