Excerpts of State Department Report on Israeli Human Rights Abuses
In light of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's meeting with President Barack Obama on Monday and his address to the annual AIPAC policy conference on Tuesday, the IMEU offers the following excerpts regarding Israel's treatment of Palestinians from the US State Department's 2013 Human Rights Report for Israel and the Occupied Territories, which was released on Thursday.
Today, 20 years after Baruch Goldstein cut down so many innocent lives in a burst of hateful rage, the poisonous anti-Arab racism that turned him into a mass murderer is alive and well in Israel. Hopefully, it won’t take another similar tragedy to shake the world's conscience and turn empty words of condemnation into concrete action to protect the millions of Palestinians who live at the mercy of Israeli settlers and soldiers in the occupied territories.
Maryland bills would stifle academic freedom
Bills before the Maryland Senate and House would prevent the use of public college and university funds to support scholarly involvement in academic organizations that have voted to boycott Israel. The legislation is a serious threat to academic freedom, and it should be withdrawn from consideration. If there is a vote, the state's legislators should take a strong stance against this attempt to shut down open discussion of U.S. policy toward the Middle East.
Israel's waiver to discriminate
The so-called visa waiver bill would reward Israel by allowing Israelis to travel to the United States without a visa - a privilege that is supposed to hinge on Israel reciprocating the gesture. The bill's main co-sponsor, Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, has defended a key provision of the bill that would allow Israel to continue discriminating against U.S. citizens... In other words, being American will count for nothing at Israel's borders, and Israel will be free to continue discriminating against Americans it unilaterally deems unacceptable.
I Traveled to Palestine-Israel And Discovered There is no 'Palestinian-Israeli Conflict'
Contrary to what's been reported in the news for years, there is no Israeli-Palestinian conflict. None, zero, zilch, diddly-squat. I can say with confidence that Palestinians have no agency. The Israeli government controls everything in the country... Currently, there is no 'conflict,' only the omnipresent power of the Israeli government and those who resist it. This is important to understand.
Under pressure, a strong EU-Israel relationship faces uncertain future
A pro-Palestinian campaigner in Brussels, summarising prospects for the rest of 2014, feels optimistic. "There is this dynamic about guidelines and messages to business, the potential failure of the peace process - and just a growing noise about BDS and government and corporate measures. I think the EU is a bit overwhelmed." Perhaps we will soon see that the EU's relationship with Israel, despite its officials' best efforts, is ultimately shaped by pressures and developments outside of Brussels' control.
Scarlett Johansson controversy shows Hollywood's fading Zionism
What at first seemed like an enviable endorsement deal had transformed into a PR nightmare for one of Hollywood's rising stars. Johansson had become the target of widespread derision on social media, with viral internet memes mocking her cynical motives and humanitarian pretensions. The campaign gained so much mainstream traction that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu weighed in on Twitter, calling BDS "immoral and unjust".
A Chill on Speech
The New York Legislature is moving to pass a bill that would bar state financing for academic groups that have taken official action to boycott higher-education institutions in Israel. The initiative, which last week passed the State Senate, is now pending before the Assembly. It should be voted down by lawmakers, or, if they prove feckless, Gov. Andrew Cuomo should veto it.
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