maandag 27 november 2017

November 2017 - WAC MAAN Newsletter

November 2017 - WAC MAAN Newsletter

Gains for WAC MAAN signal its unique role as a union that unites Arabs and Jews on a progressive agenda    
On Thursday, November 16, 2017, WAC-MAAN signed a collective agreement for the employees of the nonprofit Physicians for Human Rights (PHR). The agreement regulates their job conditions and salaries, while creating a mechanism by which the workers will participate in decisions on policy, recruitment, and budgetary reductions. In addition there was a 3% raise in payment every year that would distributed in proportion that reflects an egalitarian approach of the employees through division of pay hikes in a way that gives less to older and better paid and more to new ones.
Additionally, on November 13, negotiations started toward a collective agreement on behalf of the 225 employees of the educational association Hand in Hand, which operates six bilingual schools (Arabic and Hebrew). Teachers and other workers there began organizing with WAC in May 2017, after queries regarding conditions and pay were left unanswered by management. It was a complex challenge to organise a workforce that is spread over six widespread locations, but the workers have shown impressive cooperation and initiative in their dealings with the WAC team. At the start of the process, the management put up various delaying obstacles, but after almost half the workforce had signed up (106 so far), management agreed to negotiate.
It is no coincidence that precisely these two organizations have joined us. WAC's uniqueness lies in a deep commitment to social justice, human rights, and peace. For the last quarter century, PHR has been a leading factor in the medical treatment of Palestinians from Gaza and the West Bank, and it is devoted to the vision of Israeli-Palestinian partnership. For its part, the schools of Hand in Hand maintain bilingual classes (Hebrew and Arabic) from the earliest ages; it too is considered a leading force for understanding between the peoples. For employees in associations like these, it is only natural that they prefer WAC-MAAN as their representative organization.
In defence of Palestinian workers 
WAC continues to organise among Palestinians who work in the Israeli Settlement Industrial Zones of the occupied West Bank (Area C). Links are being forged with several groups in the Zone of Mishor Adumim (between Jericho and Jerusalem).
Activity in East Jerusalem 
WAC is also expanding its work in East Jerusalem, where it focuses on combating poverty, realizing the rights of the Palestinian residents, and empowering Palestinian women—whose advancement is essential for improving the economic situation.
Advancing Arab women employment opportunities
WAC is also proud to report the successful completion of a course by the first cohort of Arab women trained as personal-care workers. This unique project was carried out in collaboration with the Israeli Ministry of Health; it has the potential to provide job opportunities for hundreds and perhaps thousands of Arab women in a field of ever increasing demand for skilled workers.
The annual Bread & Roses exhibition
These days we are also working to advance the annual Bread and Roses art exhibit, in which hundreds of Jewish and Arab artists contribute, through the sale of their works, to our projects in the field of women's employment.
You may notice the new design of our November Newsletter. It was created as a contribution to WAC-MAAN by the graphic designer Tali Eisner. Also included are several articles about our activities, published in local media.
Contribute to WAC-MAAN 
If you consider our work important, please translate your support and solidarity into a donation. Press here to contribute.
We welcome your remarks and suggestions 
Any ideas, comments, or questions will be most welcome.
In solidarity
Assaf Adiv 
Executive Director
Ph\whatsapp +972-50-4330034
Palestinian workers choose to organize - The Nation reporter Miriam Burger tells the story of workers in Mishor Adumim who refuse to accept exploitation and humilation of the occupation and join WAC MAAN to fight for their righs 

Support WAC MAAN - help us do our job
On Sunday, October 1, 2017, 29 Arab women organized by WAC celebrated the graduation ceremony of the first course for the training of Arab nursing workers in nursing homes for the elders. The Course took place at Hillel Yaffe Medical Center with the support of the Ministry of Health – see the report 
Copyright © 2017 WAC MAAN, All rights reserved.
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Israël doet alles om VN-lijst foute bedrijven tegen te houden

Explained // UN 'Blacklist': Why Israel Is 'Doing Everything It Can' to Thwart the Human Rights Council

'The council’s bias against Israel is so extreme that it has lost all relevance in the world,' wrote an Israeli CEO targeted by the UN's 'blacklist'

Haaretz and The Associated Press Nov 26, 2017 12:24 PM

Weeks ahead of the expected completion of a UN database of companies that operate in Israel’s West Bank settlements, Israel and the Trump Administration are working feverishly to prevent its publication.

“We will do everything we can to ensure that this list does not see the light of day,” Israel’s UN ambassador, Danny Danon, told The Associated Press.

While Israel is usually quick to brush off UN criticism, officials say they are taking the so-called “blacklist” seriously, fearing its publication could have devastating consequences by driving companies away, deterring others from coming and prompting investors to dump shares of Israeli firms. Dozens of major Israeli companies, as well as multinationals that do business in Israel, are expected to appear on the list.

The UN's top human rights body, the Human Rights Council, ordered the compilation of the database in March 2016, calling on UN rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein to “investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on Palestinians.”

The international community overwhelmingly considers the settlements, built on occupied land claimed by the Palestinians for a future state, to be illegal. Israel rejects such claims, citing the land’s strategic and religious significance, and says the matter should be resolved in negotiations.

Israeli officials say that about 100 local companies that operate in the West Bank and east Jerusalem have received warning letters that they will be on the list. In addition, some 50 international companies, mostly American and European, also have been warned.

The companies have not been publicly identified, but one official said they include Israeli banks, supermarkets, restaurant chains, bus lines and security firms, as well as international giants that provide equipment or services used to build or maintain settlements. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter with the media.

The only company to confirm receiving a warning letter has been Bezeq, Israel’s national telephone company. Bezeq’s chief executive, Stella Handler, posted a copy of the letter sent by Zeid’s office in September on her Facebook page. It accused Bezeq of using West Bank land for infrastructure, providing phone and Internet services to settlements and operating sales offices in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Handler angrily wrote that Bezeq provides service to all customers, regardless of race or where they live.

“The council’s bias against Israel is so extreme that it has lost all relevance in the world,” she wrote. “We will not cooperate with a move that is all in all anti-Israeli propaganda.”

But hours later, Handler removed the post, saying she had done so at the request of the government. The Israeli official confirmed the government has asked companies not to speak about the issue. Bezeq declined comment.

Israel has long accused the United Nations, and particularly the rights council, of being biased against it.

Israel is the only country that faces an examination of its rights record at each of the council’s three sessions each year. Some 70 resolutions, or about quarter of the council’s country-specific resolutions, have been aimed at Israel. That is nearly triple the number for the second-place country: Syria, where hundreds of thousands have been killed in a devastating six-year civil war.

Israeli leaders and many non-governmental groups also complain that some of the world’s worst violators of human rights, including Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Congo and Cuba, sit on the council.

Some Western diplomats have said the database could set a harmful precedent by blurring the line between business and human rights on issues that are better left to trade policy than the Geneva council.

Israel seems to have little leverage over the council. But its campaign has received a big boost from the United States. The Trump administration has taken a tough line against the UN, demanding reforms and in October, withdrawing from the cultural agency UNESCO because of alleged anti-Israel bias.

In a speech to the council last June, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley railed against its makeup and demanded that Israel be removed as a permanent fixture on its agenda. She also hinted that the U.S. could quit the council.

The upcoming release of the database could test that commitment. It has triggered a quiet, but high-stakes effort by Israel and the U.S. to try to block its release.

“We just view that type of blacklist as counterproductive,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said recently.

Danon, the Israeli ambassador, accused the council of unfairly targeting Israel at a time of conflict throughout the world, saying it amounted to a “blacklist” of Jewish companies and those who do business with the Jewish state.

He also said it would turn the rights council into “the world’s biggest promoter of BDS,” an acronym for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement — a grassroots international boycott movement against Israel. Most of the companies linked to the blacklist are frequent targets of the BDS movement.

“What kind of message will this send?” Dannon said.

But Nabil Shaath, a senior Palestinian official, said the list is an “important step” moving from verbal condemnation to practical action against the settlements. He expressed hope that it would lead companies to stop doing business with the settlements and even lead to sanctions against those that continue.

The original resolution calling for the list stipulates only that the council’s high commissioner is requested “to transmit the data therein in the form of a report” to the council.

To that end, Israel and its allies have been encouraging the council to leave the list out and submit only a basic, broad-strokes report that doesn’t name names, according to several UN diplomats familiar with the discussions. The diplomats were not authorized to comment publicly and demanded anonymity.

The pressure campaign has shown some signs of success. After an earlier delay, Zeid’s office said the release of the “report” has been pushed back again, from December to early next year.

For now, it does not appear that the list’s publication would be the direct trigger that leads the U.S. to quit the council. Haley’s office said it is focused on implementing reforms on the council, though publication of the list could make U.S. participation “less likely.”

Eugene Kontorovich, the director of international law at the Kohelet Policy Forum, a conservative think tank in Jerusalem, said he was “deeply skeptical” the report will not be published and said the Israeli government would be better off trying to discredit the report ahead of time. “I think it’s important for people to understand how bad this is,” he said.

The resolution, he warned, would cause “reputational harm” to companies and put “a cloud over business in Israel.” Although nonbinding, he said it could be used as a basis for future legal action. “The goal of this is to cause problems for Israel,” he said.

dinsdag 21 november 2017

Despite Reconciliation, PA Continues to Punish Gaza’s Teachers, Professors

By Anna Majavu
Hundreds of tertiary education staff in the Gaza Strip are set to strike this week after facing eight months of extreme salary cuts and threats of forced retirement by the Palestinian Authority.
The approximately 831 academic and administrative staff of in Gaza will be striking because the Palestinian Authority withdrew most of their salaries eight months ago, leaving them with between 20 and 25% to survive on ever since.
The Palestinian tertiary institution staff have now decided to call on the universities they work for to pay 25% of their salaries from now on, until the Palestinian Authority restores their salaries to their normal levels.
The problems for the tertiary education workers began in April this year, when the Palestinian Authority unilaterally slashed the salaries of all staff working at universities and other tertiary institutes, leaving them without enough of a wage to survive on. Every month since then, the staff have been shocked to see the same pattern repeated – for eight months in a row now.
Despite this, the staff have continued to report for duty every day and work to the best of their abilities as usual.
As local Palestinian media have reported, the situation worsened for the staff in August this year when Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas then decided that all 831 tertiary education personnel would be placed, along with other civil servants in Gaza, on early retirement. This despite the fact that most of the academic staff are under the age of 50 and had never expressed any wish to retire!
None of the staff were given any valid reason for this unjustified action and could only note reports by Ma’an News that the decision seemed to be motivated by a factional hatred on the part of the ruling party in the Palestinian Authority (Fatah) for Hamas, after PA spokesman Yousif al‐Mahmoud said that it was a temporary move seeking to pressure Hamas to hand over control over the small coastal enclave to the PA.
The academics then wrote to the President of the European Commission, Jan Jonker, to protest this draconian action, which appears to have had some effect because on 26 August 2017, the Palestinian academics were then suddenly informed that they would be “re‐hired”.
However, this came with a bizarre proviso – they would be “re-hired” but would no longer be paid salaries at all – instead they would only get the monthly pension that they would have received after retiring, which is less than 25% of their salaries.
Effectively, all university workers in Gaza have been forced into early retirement but are still expected to work ‐ for a fraction of their former salaries.
All measures taken against civil servants based in the Gaza Strip amount to a form of collective punishment based on a policy of exclusion of a particular component of the Palestinian people. They have also been strongly condemned by major Palestinian human rights organisations.
It is a heinous action to deprive predominantly young people of their inalienable right to education. Supporters of the tertiary education staff believe that this action of educide must be seen in the light of the brutal 69 year old occupation and colonization of Palestine by the Israeli regime and the ongoing and barbaric Israeli siege of Gaza, which includes a total ban on imports of basic goods and exports of all Palestinian goods, severe restrictions on construction materials and cooking gas, and the obstruction of hundreds of gravely ill Palestinians every month, who have been referred for medical treatment to Israeli or West Bank hospitals, according to the Gaza‐based Palestinian Committee for Human Rights.
The petition, which will be run online and also signed in hard copy and delivered to Palestinian embassies and consulates around the world, calls on Palestinian PM, Rami Hamdallah & Education Minister, Sabri Saidam to cease their punishment of Palestinian university staff in Gaza, permanently revoke any threat of forced early retirement, pay the full salaries with immediate effect and back pay the staff the salary amounts that have been confiscated since April 2017.
It is the sincere hope of those petitioning that the PA will reverse the punitive measures they have taken against the Gaza Strip, in general, and against the education and health sectors in particular, as these measures punish the civilians and threaten their lives in a way that violates all international norms and conventions that lay down obligations on governments to respect human dignity.  The Palestinians of Gaza have already suffered enough under the brutal 69 year long Israeli rule and ongoing siege.
The euphoria created by reconciliation deal signed two months ago after Hamas’s decision to dissolve the Administrative Committee, which was used as an excuse by the Fatah-led PA to justify the punitive measures taken against the residents of Gaza, has led to no change whatsoever in the lives or ordinary Gazans! The PA has not taken any concrete step to revise those punitive measures.
petition has been launched calling for urgent intervention.
– Anna Majavu is a Palestine solidarity activist and currently a PhD journalism candidate at the University of Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand

zondag 19 november 2017

Combat proven Nederlandse militaire relaties met Israël / Stop wapenhandel, juni 2016


In dit rapport heeft Stop Wapenhandel de militaire relaties en de import en export van militaire goederen tussen Nederland en Israël in kaart gebracht.

De Israëlische wapenindustrie is grotendeels in staatshanden en heeft het Israëlische leger als voornaamste klant. Onderling zijn er nauwe banden, er is constant contact vanuit 'het veld' met de industrie over ontwikkelingen en verbeteringen van militaire producten. Dat leidt ertoe dat Israëlische wapens populair zijn op de internationale markt, omdat ze het label ‘combat proven’ of ‘battle tested’ hebben. Israël en zijn wapenindustrie profiteren van de kennis en ervaring die is opgedaan door de bezetting van de Westelijke Jordaanoever en de blokkade van Gaza. Een bezetting en blokkade die gepaard gaan met mensenrechtenschendingen en overtredingen van het internationaal recht.

Met het exporteren van hoogwaardige militaire- en 'beveiligingsproducten' trekt de Israëlische wapenindustrie profijt van deze kennis en ervaring. Landen die producten van de Israëlische wapenindustrie kopen of met deze industrie samenwerken, zoals Nederland, profiteren zo in feite van kennis opgedaan bij het schenden van mensenrechten en overtreden van internationaal recht. Minister van Defensie Hennis verklaarde in 2014 bij een bezoek aan Israël dat Nederland de militaire banden met Israël wil aanhalen. Het Korps Commandotroepen maakt gebruik van Israëlische trainingsfaciliteiten. Ook hier profiteert Nederland van kennis en ervaring die is opgedaan tijdens bezetting en blokkade.
Behalve het stimuleren van de wapenindustrie door aankoop van Israëlische ‘combat proven’ producten draagt Nederland nog op andere manieren bij aan het faciliteren van de bezetting en het conflict. Zo is er een aanzienlijke kans dat in Nederland geproduceerde en ontwikkelde onderdelen voor F-16s, Apache helikopters, Hellfire-raketten en in de nabije toekomst onderdelen van de F-35, ook bekend als Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), via de Verenigde Staten in Israël belanden, ook al zou Nederland zelf nooit rechtstreeks dit soort producten aan Israël leveren. Nederland heeft na de uitvoer van de geproduceerde wapenonderdelen geen controle meer over de Amerikaanse export.

Daarnaast vindt nog steeds export van zogenaamde dual-usegoederen plaats, goederen die zowel een civiele als een militaire toepassing kennen. Verontrustend zijn met name de levering van onderdelen van nachtzichtapparatuur aan het Israëlische leger en de levering van chemicaliën die als grondstof voor chemische wapens kunnen dienen. Vooral omdat Israël als een van de weinige landen het Chemische Wapens Verdrag niet heeft geratificeerd. Sommige analisten vermoeden bovendien dat Israël een chemische wapenprogramma heeft.
De Israëlische militaire industrie wordt niet alleen gesteund door aankopen uit Europese landen, ook gaan er grote sommen onderzoeksgeld naar Israëlische wapenproducenten. Israël kan deelnemen aan lucratieve EU onderzoeksprogramma’s door het in 1995 gesloten Associatieverdrag met de Europese lidstaten. Gedurende de looptijd van het Europees innovatiesubsidieprogramma FP7, van 2007 tot en met 2013, hebben Israëlische instellingen meegedaan aan ruim 1500 projecten. Israël heeft daarbij voor 780 miljoen euro aan subsidie ontvangen. Een deel van dit bedrag belandde bij de Israëlische wapenindustrie.
Na druk vanuit maatschappelijke organisaties besloot de Europese Commissie dat projecten in Horizon 2020 een exclusieve focus moeten hebben op civiele toepassingen. Ondanks dat blijkt dat er nog steeds veel van de Europese innovatiesubsidie naar de wapenindustrie gaat, mede doordat de grens tussen civiele (‘beveiligings’), dual-use en militaire producten erg vaag is. Onder meer worden met Europees belastinggeld wapenproducten als Elbit en ISLspace gesteund, bedrijven wiens producten een grote rol spelen bij de bezetting van de Westelijke Jordaanoever en de oorlogen en blokkade van Gaza.
De houding van Nederland en de EU ten aanzien van militaire relaties met Israël is dus zeer tweeslachtig. Nederland en de EU spreken ze zich uit tegen de Israëlische bezetting en de schendingen van internationaal recht en mensenrechten. Zowel de Nederlandse regering als de Europese Commissie stelt niet samen te werken met bedrijven die gevestigd of werkzaam zijn in bezet gebied. Maar tegelijkertijd wordt handel met de Israëlische wapenindustrie wel toegestaan, en belandt er in Nederland geproduceerd wapenmateriaal in Israël, en vice versa.
Lees verder


Publicaties van Stop Wapenhandel
§ Border wars. How the European arms industry profits from the refugee crisis. (Ook verschenen als: Oorlog aan de grenzen. Hoe wapenhandelaren profiteren van de Europese vluchtelingentragedie). I.s.m. Transnational Institute. Juni 2016
§ Combat proven, Nederlandse militaire relaties met Israël. Juni 2016
§ Beleggingen pensioenfondsen in Airbus. April 2016
§ Wapenexportcontrole in de Oekraïne. Maart 2016
§ Tax evasion and weapon production ; Letterbox arms companies in the Netherlands. I.s.m. Transnational Institute. December 2015
§ Topjaar 2014, analyse Nederlandse wapenexport. December 2015
§ Dutch arms trade with coalition forces in the Yemen war. November 2015
§ Pensioengeld voor de JSF. Augustus 2015
§ “Het is wel mijn geld” – Pensioengeld voor kernwapens. Mei 2015
§ Reactie op Initiatiefnota D66 en PvdA Wapens en Principes. April 2015
§ Wapenpromotie bij foute vrienden: Nederlandse bedrijven op IDEX wapenbeurs. Januari 2015

Zonder donateurs geen Stop Wapenhandel Steun ons met een gift op rekening NL11 TRIO 0390 4073 80 t.n.v. Stop Wapenhandel, Amsterdam

vrijdag 17 november 2017

Palestijnse arbeiders uitgebuit door de Israëlische belastingdienst

Ook de fiscus draagt bij aan sociale en economische ongelijkheid

Palestijnse arbeiders uitgebuit door de Israëlische


Assaf Adiv 1

De Palestijnse arbeiders in de Israëlische nederzettingen vallen onder
 de Jordaanse belastingwetten. Zij betalen meer belasting dan hun collega's
 in Israël of in de gebieden van de Palestijnse Autoriteit. Als het om de
 nederzettingen gaat, dan negeert Israël het internationaal recht. Maar 
voor rechten van arbeiders, geldt de verplichte naleving van de internationale wetgeving.

Lees verder

Nederlandse overheid en bedrijven in zee met foute Israëlische supermarkt

Nederlandse overheid en bedrijven in zee met foute Israëlische supermarkt

Opnieuw blijkt de Nederlandse ambassade in Tel Aviv zich te hebben ingelaten met een ‘fout’ Israëlisch bedrijf. Ook bedrijven als Campina blijken zaken te doen met supermarktketen Shufersal.

Nederlandse producten voor de illegale Israëlische nederzettingen. Beeld uit de promotievideo van supermarktketen Shufersal voor de ‘Dutch month’.YouTube 
De Israëlische supermarktketen Shufersal, de grootste van het land, staat deze maand in het teken van Nederlandse producten. De zogenoemde ‘Dutch month’ werd geopend door de CEO van Shufersal en de Nederlandse ambassadeur in Israël. Op Twitter attendeerde de ambassade het publiek op de verkrijgbaarheid van ‘Dutch iconic products’.

De CEO van Shufersal en de Nederlandse ambassadeur verrichtten de opening van de ‘Dutch month’.Twitter, NLinIsrael
Shufersal publiceerde op YouTube een korte video waarin de Nederlandse maand wordt gepromoot. In de video zijn producten te zien van onder meer De Ruijter, Remia, Hak, Koopmans en andere Nederlandse leveranciers. Ook de Goudse kaas van Campina is goed vertegenwoordigd.
Shufersal profiteert van illegale kolonisering
Volgens de Israëlische website Who Profits, die de betrokkenheid van Israëlische en internationale bedrijven bij Israëls illegale kolonisering van de Palestijnse gebieden monitort, beschikt Shufersal over 238 winkels (Wikipedia vermeldt 248 winkels en 12.400 werknemers). Tenminste drie daarvan zijn gevestigd in illegale kolonies (‘nederzettingen’): Mishor Adumim en Ariel op de Westelijke Jordaanoever, en Gilo in Oost-Jeruzalem.
Daarnaast lanceerde Shufersal in 2009 de dochteronderneming Yesh Supermarkets, met vestigingen in meerdere illegale kolonies op de Westoever en in Oost-Jeruzalem, waaronder Modi’in Illit, Ariel, Bithar Illit en Ramat Eshkol.
Ook voert Shufersal onder eigen naam een huismerk. Onder dit merk worden producten verkocht die worden geproduceerd of verpakt door bedrijven in de illegale Israëlische kolonies, waaronder Mishor Adumim, Imanuel en Barkan.
In 2015 startte Shufersal een eigen lijn van melk- en zuivelproducten. De melk die daarin wordt verwerkt is afkomstig van de door Israël bezette en gekoloniseerde Golan-hoogvlakte, en wordt geleverd door Ramat Hagolan Dairies. De kaas die Shufersal verkoopt wordt volgens opgave van Who Profits en een artikel in The Jerusalem Post mede geproduceerd door het Nederlandse zuivelbedrijf Campina.

Ambassade schendt Nederlands beleid

Nederland voert een officieel ‘ontmoedigingsbeleid’ ten aanzien van de Israëlische kolonisering van de bezette Palestijnse gebieden. Nederlandse bedrijven worden opgeroepen geen economische relaties aan te gaan met bedrijven die opereren in de Israëlische kolonies. Shufersal is, gezien zijn omvang en activiteiten, een van de boegbeelden van die bedrijven.
Van de ambassade in Tel Aviv mag worden verwacht dat zij het Nederlandse ontmoedigingsbeleid adequaat uitvoert. Aan de speelruimte die de ambassade daarbij geniet werd al in 2013 door het Nederlandse kabinet een duidelijke grens gesteld. Minsiter Timmermans (PvdA) schreef toen aan de Tweede Kamer:
De ambassade in Tel Aviv en andere onder verantwoordelijkheid van de overheid vallende instellingen, verlenen geen diensten aan bedrijven die gevestigd zijn in Israëlische nederzettingen.
Vastgesteld moet worden dat de actieve betrokkenheid van de Nederlandse ambassade bij de Hollandpromotie door Shufersal in strijd is met die door het kabinet gestelde grens, en in strijd is met het door diezelfde ambassade uitgedragen regeringsbeleid. De ambassade had zich verre dienen te houden van de Israëlische onderneming.
Het omstreden handelen van de ambassade staat niet op zichzelf. In december 2013 ontstond een rel toen bekend werd dat Israëlische bedrijven met activiteiten in de illegale Israëlische kolonies zich hadden ingeschreven voor een Nederlands-Israëlisch Samenwerkingsforum. De Nederlandse ambassade trad daarbij op als bemiddelaar.
Minister Timmermans nam de ambassade destijds in bescherming door te stellen dat die niet op de hoogte was van de activiteiten van omstreden Israëlische bedrijven als Mekorot, Top Greenhouses en Trendlines Agtech Mofet. Desondanks was de boodschap duidelijk: laat dit niet nog een keer gebeuren.

Promotievideo van Shufersal voor de ‘Dutch month’.YouTube

Bedrijven schenden beleid en conventies

Voor Nederlandse bedrijven – waaronder Campina, De Ruijter, Remia, Hak en Koopmans – geldt dat het aangaan van een economische relatie met Shufersal taboe is. De aanwezigheid van hun producten in illegale Israëlische kolonies is in strijd met hun verantwoordelijkheid voor een schone productieketen. Daarnaast schenden zij het Nederlandse ontmoedigingsbeleid.
De plichten van het bedrijfsleven ten aanzien van de Israëlische kolonisering werden juist de afgelopen dagen nog eens door het kabinet onderstreept. Vooruitlopend op de begrotingsbehandeling van het ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken beantwoordde de nieuwe minister Halbe Zijlstra (VVD) een reeks vragen over het onderwerp. In zijn antwoord op vraag 19 stelde de minister:
In het kader van Internationaal Maatschappelijk Verantwoord Ondernemen (IMVO) wordt van Nederlandse bedrijven verwacht dat zij onder eigen verantwoordelijkheid, met inachtneming van de OESO Richtlijnen voor Multinationale Ondernemingen, tot een afgewogen besluit komen waarover zij bereid zijn publiekelijk verantwoording af te leggen.
Op de website van de Rijksoverheid is een speciale pagina gewijd aan het thema Mensenrechten en bedrijfsleven. Daar worden bedrijven erop gewezen dat zij zich hebben te houden aan de UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, waarvan onder de titel Nationaal Actieplan bedrijfsleven en mensenrechten een op Nederland toegespitste versie verscheen.
Volgende maand wordt de publicatie verwacht van een zogenoemde zwarte lijst door de Mensenrechtenraad van de Verenigde Naties. Het betreft een database waarin naar verluidt 190 Israëlische en internationale bedrijven zijn opgenomen die zaken doen met Israëls illegale kolonies. Het Israëlische online nieuwsmedium Ynet publiceerde in oktober een voorproefje van de lijst, waaruit blijkt dat Shufersal erop voorkomt.


zaterdag 11 november 2017

PSI 2017 - Palestina-resolutie unaniem aanvaard! Geen woorden maar daden, nu.

Voorafgaand aan het verslag van de PSI-conferentie van begin deze maand alvast:
De Palestina-resolutie nr. 50 werd aanvaard (zie een bericht van 30-10), nu unaniem.
Unaniem, aangezien de Israëlische vakbond zich van de conferentie had teruggetrokken.
De bij ons ex-AbvaKabo bekende Anan Qadri gaf opnieuw aan dat de bezetting door Israel zo snel mogelijk volledig beëindigd moet worden. Het aanvaarden van de resolutie werd beantwoord met applaus met het uiten van de slogan 'Free Palestine'.
We hopen Anan Qadri snel weer snel te zien.

dinsdag 7 november 2017

Enschede: Palestina Anders Belicht

zaterdag 4 november 2017
Vanmiddag vond in de Openbare Bibliotheek Enschede de opening plaats van de fototentoonstelling "Palestina Anders Belicht". Veel foto's van Palestina die tot ons komen laten vaak de confrontatie zien en hebben 'de bezetting' als thema. De fotoserie die deze maand in de bibliotheek staat opgesteld laat echter een ander beeld zien. Veel meer dat van het dagelijks leven.
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zondag 5 november 2017

De FNV en racisme

De FNV en racisme

Gisteravond was in Amsterdam de derde in de reeks “Racisme werkt niet”-bijeenkomsten van de FNV. “Wat moet de FNV met racisme?” was deze keer het thema. Het lijkt er sterk op dat er dingen aan het veranderen zijn bij de FNV als het om racisme gaat, maar of dat ook daadwerkelijk blijvend het geval zal zijn moet nog blijken. Over één ding waren de meeste van de bijna honderd aanwezigen het eens: wanneer de FNV zich niet actief gaat inzetten tegen racisme in de samenleving, en in de arbeidersbeweging zelf, dan heeft de bond over een jaar of 15 haar relevantie volledig verloren. Achterhaald door politieke en demografische ontwikkelingen.
De bijeenkomst werd geopend door organizer Cihan Uğural, een van de initiatiefnemers van de reeks bijeenkomsten. Uğural sprong meteen in het diepe met een verwijzing naar de opmerking van activiste Arzu Aslan op de eerste bijeenkomst – in december 2015 – dat racisme wel degelijk werkt: voor de bazen en voor alle witte arbeiders die voorgetrokken worden boven hun niet-witte collega’s, onder meer op de arbeidsmarkt. Maar uiteindelijk zijn alle arbeiders, zwart, bruin en wit, slachtoffer van de verdeeldheid die racisme zaait. Want alleen samen staan we sterk tegenover de mensen met geld en macht.

Achtergronden: 100 jaar Balfour 2017 - 1917

The racist worldview of Arthur Balfour

David Cronin Rights and Accountability 18 October 2017

The Balfour Declaration led to the expulsion of Palestinians. (Wikimedia Commons)
Arthur James Balfour will, no doubt, be praised effusively by supporters of
Israel in the coming weeks for a brief document he signed 100 years ago.
As Britain’s foreign secretary in November 1917, Balfour declared his backing
 to the Zionist colonization project. Through his declaration, Britain became
the imperial sponsor of a Jewish state – euphemistically called a “Jewish
national home” – that would be established in Palestine by expelling its
indigenous people en masse.
An assurance in that document about protecting Palestinian rights proved
 worthless. Balfour himself was quite happy to negate that assurance.
In 1919, he argued that Zionist aspirations were “of far profounder import
than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that
 ancient land.”
Rather than being marked “with pride,” as Theresa May, the current British
 prime minister, has promised, the centenary of the Balfour Declaration ought
 to be a time for sober reflection. One useful exercise would be to examine
Balfour’s wider record of violence and racism.
From 1887 to 1891, Balfour headed Britain’s administration in Ireland. On his appointment to that post, Balfour proposed to combine repression and reform.
The repression he advocated should be as “stern” – in his words – as that
of Oliver Cromwell, the English leader who invaded Ireland in 1649.
Cromwell’s troops are reviled in Ireland for the massacres they carried out
in the towns of Wexford and Drogheda.
Siding with the gentry against what he called the “excitable peasantry,”
Balfour prioritized repression over reform. When a rent strike was called
in 1887, Balfour authorized the use of heavy-handed tactics against alleged
Three people died after police fired on a political protest in Mitchelstown,
County Cork. The incident earned him the nickname of “Bloody Balfour.”

Blessings of civilization?

Balfour penalized dissent. Thousands were jailed under the Irish Crimes
 Act that he introduced.
John Mandeville, a nationalist campaigner, was one of the first to be
imprisoned during Balfour’s stint in Ireland. Mandeville died soon after his
 release and a coroner’s inquest attributed his death to ill-treatment
suffered while in detention.
Balfour tried to smear Mandeville by claiming he had taken part in a
“drunken row” before suddenly falling ill. Mandeville, according to some
accounts, was actually a teetotaler.
Balfour was a British and a white supremacist. “All the law and all the
 civilization in Ireland is the work of England,” he once said.
He used similar terms while defending the subjugation of other peoples.
In 1893, he spoke in the British parliament of how Cecil Rhodes, an imperial
marauder in Southern Africa, was “extending the blessings of civilization.”
While serving as prime minister from 1902 to 1905, Balfour insisted that
Europeans must enjoy greater privileges than Black natives in South Africa.
“Men are not born equal,” he said in 1904.
Two years later – then in opposition – he said that Black people were “less
intellectually and morally capable” than whites.


There are strong reasons to suspect that Balfour was also anti-Semitic.
In 1905, he pushed legislation aimed at preventing Jews fleeing persecution
in Russia from entering Britain on the grounds they were “undesirable.”
One reason why Balfour may have been in favor of establishing a Jewish
state in Palestine was that he disliked having Jews as neighbors. He once
described Zionism as a “serious effort to mitigate the age-old miseries created
for western civilization by the presence in its midst of a body which is too long
regarded as alien and even hostile, but which it was equally unable to expel
or absorb.”
Balfour was often callous. He tried to justify the use of Chinese slave labor
in South Africa’s gold mines and atrocities committed by British forces in
the Sudan. He opposed giving aid to people at risk of famine in India.
Despite his apparent commitment to law and order, Balfour encouraged
illegal behavior when it suited him. He was a staunch supporter of militant
loyalists who insisted that Ireland’s north-eastern counties should not become independent from Britain.
When the Ulster Volunteer Force managed to smuggle 30,000 rifles from
Germany into the north of Ireland, Balfour effectively approved the 1914
gun-running operation by telling the British parliament: “I hold now, and I
held 30 years ago that if home rule was forced upon Ulster, Ulster would
fight and Ulster would be right.”
It was extraordinary that a former prime minister should voice approval
for subversion. Yet that stance did no harm to Balfour’s political career.
Within a few years, he was back in government as foreign secretary – it was
in that role that he issued his declaration on Palestine.
The effects of that declaration were swift and far-reaching. Through
pressure exerted by Chaim Weizmann (later Israel’s first president) and
other senior figures in the Zionist movement, it was enshrined in the
League of Nations mandate through which Britain ruled Palestine
between the two world wars.
Herbert Samuel, himself a staunch Zionist, introduced a system of racial
 and religious discrimination when he served as Britain’s first high
commissioner for Palestine from 1920 to 1925. Those measures facilitated
 and financed the acquisition by European settlers of land on which
Palestinians had lived and farmed for many generations. Mass evictions
ensued: more than 8,700 Palestinians were expelled from villages in
Marj Ibn Amer, an area in the Galilee, as they were bought up by Zionist
colonizers during the 1920s.
Balfour was unperturbed by the upheaval that he set in motion. Worse, he
denied that any problem existed.
In 1927, he wrote “nothing has occurred” that would cause him to
question the “wisdom” of the declaration he signed a decade earlier.
The remark says much about Balfour’s hubris. He was prepared to
trample on an entire people and to dismiss their grievances as irrelevant.