How Israel’s war industry profits from violent US immigration “reform”April 10, 2014
Immigrant rights advocates in the US organized a national day of action on 5 April, the day they expected President Barack Obama’s record-breaking rate of deportations to reach a total of 2 million during his administration.
But scant attention has been paid to the list of global benefactors awaiting the profits from legislation escalating border militarization.
Israel, America’s closest ally, tops the lineup of patrons eager for rewards while advocates demanding a meaningful overhaul of US immigration and border enforcement continue their defiant battle in the streets. In this setting, rights supporters must know which global partners stand beside the US in repressing undocumented im/migrant communities.
But how does the situation in Palestine — thousands of miles away — affect US immigration reform and vice versa? What does one have to do with the other?
Quite a lot, actually.
“Border security on steroids”
Take the recent news that Israeli arms manufacturing giant Elbit Systems won a USDepartment of Homeland Security (DHS) contract to provide surveillance technology along the southern divide with Mexico, initially in Arizona.
Specifically, Elbit will provide its sensor-based Peregrine surveillance system for Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Integrated Fixed Tower project, which consists of ground radar and camera technology mounted on towers strewn throughout the borderlands. Congress approved the plan earlier this year.
A Bloomberg trade analyst estimated that Elbit’s $145 million award “may eventually reach $1 billion if legislation to rewrite US immigration laws passes Congress and helps fund the project’s expansion in the Southwest” (“Israel’s Elbit wins US border work after Boeing dumped,” 27 February 2014).
The little-discussed Corker-Hoeven amendment attached to the 2013 Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744) is the key legislation referenced by the Bloomberg analyst. The Senate passed the bill last June; the House of Representatives has stalled on voting on the package in any form.
Promoted as “border security on steroids” by the bill’s co-author, Republican Senator from Tennessee Bob Corker, the measure sets aside $46 billion for security “triggers” that must be in place in areas including Arizona before a pathway to citizenship can be opened for an estimated 11 million people living undocumented in the US today.
No wonder that DHS’s $145 million payment to Elbit could skyrocket by 700 percent. And that’s just one bid by one Israeli company. There could be many more to come.
Israel and the “homeland security” industry
Journalist Todd Miller, author of the book Border Patrol Nation (City Lights Books), interviewed numerous corporate leaders and scoured boundary-enforcement security fairs and expos across the Southwest.
Miller described to The Electronic Intifada his constant encounters with Israeli security peddlers in the borderlands.
During his research for the book, Miller wasn’t looking for Israel anywhere. Yet the state’s agents kept surfacing at every turn, he said.
Israeli companies, specialists and top military brass have become an increasingly visible presence at border and “homeland security” trade shows in the years since the 11 September 2001 attacks.
The US has spent $100 billion on immigration enforcement in the decade since then.
In that time, Israel became the world’s sixth-largest defense exporter and a leading supplier and consumer in the budding border-security industrial complex (“Israel ranks as the world’s sixth largest arms exporter in 2012,” Haaretz, 25 June 2013).
Companies large and small such as Elta Systems, Elbit Systems and NICE Systems have provided technologies including radar, virtual fencing and CCTV surveillance for Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Phoenix, Arizona department, as Jimmy Johnson has reported (“A Palestine-Mexico Border,” North American Congress on Latin America, 29 June 2012).
The Golan Group (founded by former Israeli special forces officers) provided training sessions for the US Border Patrol, as Naomi Klein notes in her 2007 book The Shock Doctrine.
Israel aids deadly “deterrence” strategy
Elta Systems got a boost in late 2012 when, Haaretz reported, the US Border Patrol hired the company to provide radar along the border “to protect the US-Mexico border against illegal migrant infiltration.” US Border Patrol’s deal offered the company “a potential market worth hundreds of millions of dollars.”
The US partnership with Israel is reciprocal: where the US has the finances, Israel has the expertise.
On the company’s end, according to Raanan Horowitz, CEO of Elbit Systems of America, the Peregrine system “will meet the demanding mission requirements of the Customs Border Protection (CPB) while enhancing its agents’ safety” (“Elbit Systems of America awarded contract for US Customs Border Protection integrated fixed towers project,” Elbit Systems, 8 March 2014).
But what does this situation look like in terms of human consequences? In CBP’s statedmission of “keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the US,” under the pretext of personal safety, Border Patrol agents have killed at least 19 persons in recent years, often under the alleged threat of rock-throwing (“Border Patrol’s use of deadly force criticized in new report,” Los Angeles Times, 27 February 2014).
In this deadly equation, the reform legislation’s amendment calls for a “military-style surge” of 700 more miles of “border fencing” and doubles the current number of Border Patrol agents to 40,000 (“Border security: Boost for Senate immigration bill,” Associated Press, 20 June 2013).
Two decades of border militarization
Increased deployment of military-style resources to strategic areas along the border has mushroomed since the early 1990s, as Joseph Nevins documents in his book Operation Gatekeeper: The Rise of the “Illegal Alien” and the Making of the US-Mexico Boundary.
President Bill Clinton, expanding on past boundary security-enforcement trends under his predecessors Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, instituted a new “deterrence” strategy designed to “reroute” migrants away from urban areas and into “geographically harsher,” more “remote and hazardous border regions” where the treacherous terrain would potentially kill them (“656 Weeks on the Killing Fields of Arizona,” The Huffington Post, 12 November 2012).
In such a way, planners devised, the “mortal danger” of the “geography would be an ally to us.”
This aggressive shift came less than a decade after the last immigration overhaul. In 1986, the Immigration Reform and Control Act opened the door to citizenship for three million people of extra-legal status and increased border controls for those continuing to come, but without addressing the US-based economic and political policies driving migration.
Predictably, within a decade of the “deterrence” policy’s onset, “Arizona had become a killing field,” Tucson-based journalist Margaret Regan describes in her book The Death of Josseline: Immigration Stories from the Arizona Borderlands.
Israel continues to reap the benefits from US border militarization as the levels of death and suffering grow in line with an enriching investment climate.
Border death rate doubles
A June 2013 study by scholars and forensics specialists at the University of Arizona’s Binational Migration Institute and the local county medical examiner’s office found that the rate of migrant deaths had nearly doubled in the previous two years (“A continued humanitarian crisis at the border: undocumented border crosser deaths recorded by the Pima County office of the medical examiner, 1990-2012” [PDF]).
As more and more bodies are recovered, government and media continue to report all-time lows in apprehensions by the Border Patrol. Yet the simultaneous increase in border deaths remains enormously underreported.
But this is all good news to Senator Corker, who urged those concerned with border security not to worry because the bill is so tough that it’s “almost overkill.”
In fact, the package “is not only sufficient, it is well over sufficient,” Arizona Republican Senator John McCain concurred. “We’ll be the most militarized border since the fall of the Berlin Wall,” McCain boasted.
More drones
One provision in S. 744 would add 18 more unmanned aerial vehicles (also known asdrones or UAVs) to the already ballooning fleet operated by Customs and Border Protection.
Israeli-built “Hermes” drones were the first deployed along the southern border with Mexico as early as 2004. Currently, the fleet buzzing throughout the borderlands skies is wholly comprised of US-made Predator B drones, according to a CBP spokesperson.
Rivaling the US as the world’s leader in such technology, Israel can still view immigration reform as a hefty bounty for its “battle-proven” military technology that is “tried and tested on the West Bank and Gaza.”
As proposed in the legislation, the path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented people in the US would take at least 13 years. Even then, the measures would benefit only those who are able to afford the mounting fees associated with the process, according to an analysis by Coalición de Derechos Humanos.
Though it won overwhelming approval in the Democrat-controlled Senate, the bill has stalled for nine months in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
Many House members are hostile to any pathway to citizenship for undocumented people. Worse, House Republicans, like their Senate counterparts, have shown a penchant for fueling the fantasy of border security as a sound solution to US immigration issues.
A new military occupation
The US and Israel both continue to dispossess indigenous people of their lands, and even of their existence.
In the US, Native peoples are left out of the “immigration reform” discourse altogether. Even though some are US-born, they are “undocumented” in every sense of the term, since they were born at home and lack a birth certificate.
The ancestral lands of the Tohono O’odham people span from modern-day Sonora, Mexico into southern Arizona — bisected by the Mexico-US border wall. Some were born on one side of the divide but grew up or spend most of their time on the other side and are therefore considered suspect by Border Patrol.
Miller writes in Border Patrol Nation: “While it may seem that the days of killing or corralling Native Americans and annexing their territories are an ancient and forgotten chapter in US history, the experience of the Tohono O’odham Nation show us that nothing can be further from the truth.” O’odham people regularly face abuse, harassment and even death at the hands of US Border Patrol.
Some of the country’s largest Border Patrol stations (and at least one US military outpost in a remote location, known as a “forward-operating base”) surround the Tohono O’odham Nation as the second-largest reservation in the US, and military-style checkpoints control all movement entering and leaving the nation. According to Miller, this presence of federal forces occupying permanent positions on Tohono O’odham lands is the largest in US history.
The extra layers of militarized infrastructure isolates the nation while still in Arizona, Miller observes, “as if the nation itself were a foreign country under a new, post-9/11 form of military occupation.”
Full article

How Israel’s war industry profits from violent US immigration “reform”
April 10, 2014

Immigrant rights advocates in the US organized a national day of action on 5 April, the day they expected President Barack Obama’s record-breaking rate of deportations to reach a total of 2 million during his administration.

But scant attention has been paid to the list of global benefactors awaiting the profits from legislation escalating border militarization.

Israel, America’s closest ally, tops the lineup of patrons eager for rewards while advocates demanding a meaningful overhaul of US immigration and border enforcement continue their defiant battle in the streets. In this setting, rights supporters must know which global partners stand beside the US in repressing undocumented im/migrant communities.

But how does the situation in Palestine — thousands of miles away — affect US immigration reform and vice versa? What does one have to do with the other?

Quite a lot, actually.

“Border security on steroids”

Take the recent news that Israeli arms manufacturing giant Elbit Systems won a USDepartment of Homeland Security (DHS) contract to provide surveillance technology along the southern divide with Mexico, initially in Arizona.

Specifically, Elbit will provide its sensor-based Peregrine surveillance system for Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Integrated Fixed Tower project, which consists of ground radar and camera technology mounted on towers strewn throughout the borderlands. Congress approved the plan earlier this year.

A Bloomberg trade analyst estimated that Elbit’s $145 million award “may eventually reach $1 billion if legislation to rewrite US immigration laws passes Congress and helps fund the project’s expansion in the Southwest” (“Israel’s Elbit wins US border work after Boeing dumped,” 27 February 2014).

The little-discussed Corker-Hoeven amendment attached to the 2013 Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744) is the key legislation referenced by the Bloomberg analyst. The Senate passed the bill last June; the House of Representatives has stalled on voting on the package in any form.

Promoted as “border security on steroids” by the bill’s co-author, Republican Senator from Tennessee Bob Corker, the measure sets aside $46 billion for security “triggers” that must be in place in areas including Arizona before a pathway to citizenship can be opened for an estimated 11 million people living undocumented in the US today.

No wonder that DHS’s $145 million payment to Elbit could skyrocket by 700 percent. And that’s just one bid by one Israeli company. There could be many more to come.

Israel and the “homeland security” industry

Journalist Todd Miller, author of the book Border Patrol Nation (City Lights Books), interviewed numerous corporate leaders and scoured boundary-enforcement security fairs and expos across the Southwest.

Miller described to The Electronic Intifada his constant encounters with Israeli security peddlers in the borderlands.

During his research for the book, Miller wasn’t looking for Israel anywhere. Yet the state’s agents kept surfacing at every turn, he said.

Israeli companies, specialists and top military brass have become an increasingly visible presence at border and “homeland security” trade shows in the years since the 11 September 2001 attacks.

The US has spent $100 billion on immigration enforcement in the decade since then.

In that time, Israel became the world’s sixth-largest defense exporter and a leading supplier and consumer in the budding border-security industrial complex (“Israel ranks as the world’s sixth largest arms exporter in 2012,” Haaretz, 25 June 2013).

Companies large and small such as Elta Systems, Elbit Systems and NICE Systems have provided technologies including radar, virtual fencing and CCTV surveillance for Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Phoenix, Arizona department, as Jimmy Johnson has reported (“A Palestine-Mexico Border,” North American Congress on Latin America, 29 June 2012).

The Golan Group (founded by former Israeli special forces officers) provided training sessions for the US Border Patrol, as Naomi Klein notes in her 2007 book The Shock Doctrine.

Israel aids deadly “deterrence” strategy

Elta Systems got a boost in late 2012 when, Haaretz reported, the US Border Patrol hired the company to provide radar along the border “to protect the US-Mexico border against illegal migrant infiltration.” US Border Patrol’s deal offered the company “a potential market worth hundreds of millions of dollars.”

The US partnership with Israel is reciprocal: where the US has the finances, Israel has the expertise.

On the company’s end, according to Raanan Horowitz, CEO of Elbit Systems of America, the Peregrine system “will meet the demanding mission requirements of the Customs Border Protection (CPB) while enhancing its agents’ safety” (“Elbit Systems of America awarded contract for US Customs Border Protection integrated fixed towers project,” Elbit Systems, 8 March 2014).

But what does this situation look like in terms of human consequences? In CBP’s statedmission of “keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the US,” under the pretext of personal safety, Border Patrol agents have killed at least 19 persons in recent years, often under the alleged threat of rock-throwing (“Border Patrol’s use of deadly force criticized in new report,” Los Angeles Times, 27 February 2014).

In this deadly equation, the reform legislation’s amendment calls for a “military-style surge” of 700 more miles of “border fencing” and doubles the current number of Border Patrol agents to 40,000 (“Border security: Boost for Senate immigration bill,” Associated Press, 20 June 2013).

Two decades of border militarization

Increased deployment of military-style resources to strategic areas along the border has mushroomed since the early 1990s, as Joseph Nevins documents in his book Operation Gatekeeper: The Rise of the “Illegal Alien” and the Making of the US-Mexico Boundary.

President Bill Clinton, expanding on past boundary security-enforcement trends under his predecessors Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, instituted a new “deterrence” strategy designed to “reroute” migrants away from urban areas and into “geographically harsher,” more “remote and hazardous border regions” where the treacherous terrain would potentially kill them (“656 Weeks on the Killing Fields of Arizona,” The Huffington Post, 12 November 2012).

In such a way, planners devised, the “mortal danger” of the “geography would be an ally to us.”

This aggressive shift came less than a decade after the last immigration overhaul. In 1986, the Immigration Reform and Control Act opened the door to citizenship for three million people of extra-legal status and increased border controls for those continuing to come, but without addressing the US-based economic and political policies driving migration.

Predictably, within a decade of the “deterrence” policy’s onset, “Arizona had become a killing field,” Tucson-based journalist Margaret Regan describes in her book The Death of Josseline: Immigration Stories from the Arizona Borderlands.

Israel continues to reap the benefits from US border militarization as the levels of death and suffering grow in line with an enriching investment climate.

Border death rate doubles

A June 2013 study by scholars and forensics specialists at the University of Arizona’s Binational Migration Institute and the local county medical examiner’s office found that the rate of migrant deaths had nearly doubled in the previous two years (“A continued humanitarian crisis at the border: undocumented border crosser deaths recorded by the Pima County office of the medical examiner, 1990-2012” [PDF]).

As more and more bodies are recovered, government and media continue to report all-time lows in apprehensions by the Border Patrol. Yet the simultaneous increase in border deaths remains enormously underreported.

But this is all good news to Senator Corker, who urged those concerned with border security not to worry because the bill is so tough that it’s “almost overkill.”

In fact, the package “is not only sufficient, it is well over sufficient,” Arizona Republican Senator John McCain concurred. “We’ll be the most militarized border since the fall of the Berlin Wall,” McCain boasted.

More drones

One provision in S. 744 would add 18 more unmanned aerial vehicles (also known asdrones or UAVs) to the already ballooning fleet operated by Customs and Border Protection.

Israeli-built “Hermes” drones were the first deployed along the southern border with Mexico as early as 2004. Currently, the fleet buzzing throughout the borderlands skies is wholly comprised of US-made Predator B drones, according to a CBP spokesperson.

Rivaling the US as the world’s leader in such technology, Israel can still view immigration reform as a hefty bounty for its “battle-proven” military technology that is “tried and tested on the West Bank and Gaza.”

As proposed in the legislation, the path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented people in the US would take at least 13 years. Even then, the measures would benefit only those who are able to afford the mounting fees associated with the process, according to an analysis by Coalición de Derechos Humanos.

Though it won overwhelming approval in the Democrat-controlled Senate, the bill has stalled for nine months in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

Many House members are hostile to any pathway to citizenship for undocumented people. Worse, House Republicans, like their Senate counterparts, have shown a penchant for fueling the fantasy of border security as a sound solution to US immigration issues.

A new military occupation

The US and Israel both continue to dispossess indigenous people of their lands, and even of their existence.

In the US, Native peoples are left out of the “immigration reform” discourse altogether. Even though some are US-born, they are “undocumented” in every sense of the term, since they were born at home and lack a birth certificate.

The ancestral lands of the Tohono O’odham people span from modern-day Sonora, Mexico into southern Arizona — bisected by the Mexico-US border wall. Some were born on one side of the divide but grew up or spend most of their time on the other side and are therefore considered suspect by Border Patrol.

Miller writes in Border Patrol Nation: “While it may seem that the days of killing or corralling Native Americans and annexing their territories are an ancient and forgotten chapter in US history, the experience of the Tohono O’odham Nation show us that nothing can be further from the truth.” O’odham people regularly face abuse, harassment and even death at the hands of US Border Patrol.

Some of the country’s largest Border Patrol stations (and at least one US military outpost in a remote location, known as a “forward-operating base”) surround the Tohono O’odham Nation as the second-largest reservation in the US, and military-style checkpoints control all movement entering and leaving the nation. According to Miller, this presence of federal forces occupying permanent positions on Tohono O’odham lands is the largest in US history.

The extra layers of militarized infrastructure isolates the nation while still in Arizona, Miller observes, “as if the nation itself were a foreign country under a new, post-9/11 form of military occupation.”

Full article

Contractor for Israel’s apartheid wall wins US border contract
March 6, 2014

One of the two lead contractors for Israel’s apartheid wall in the occupied West Bank, Elbit Systems, has won a $145 million contract from the US Department of Homeland Security(DHS) to provide similar systems on the Mexico-US border.

This is the second time Elbit, which tests its technology on Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation, has won a major US border surveillance contract.

Elbit was a Boeing subcontractor when that firm won a 2006 DHS contract for SBInet as part of the George W. Bush administration’s Strategic Border Initiative.

SBInet was to provide surveillance and communications technology to increase the US presence on the Mexico-US border. Elbit was subcontracted by Boeing through Kollsman, one of Elbit’s US-based subsidiaries, to provide the project’s camera and radar systems.

Work on the contract halted in 2008 and DHS officially canceled SBInet in January, 2011.

Dividing indigenous land

The new DHS contract calls for “Integrated Fixed Tower systems” that will “assist [Border Patrol] agents in detecting, tracking, identifying and classifying items of interest” along the border. This contract largely reprises Elbit’s role in the Boeing contract. Initial installations will be in Arizona.

Both the US and Israeli projects affirm settler-state partitions of indigenous land: Palestinian land in the Israeli case and Tohono O’odham land in Arizona.

The Tohono O’odham Nation is just one of several indigenous nations facing further partition because of US and Mexican border policies.

And both projects intend to stop the movement of persons under the guise of “security.”

Tested on Palestinians

Elbit tests its technology in Palestine so deployment in an analogous circumstance for the US is unsurprising.

The Elbit Systems of America 2012 promotional video above, for instance, boasts of “Proven Technology, Proven Security” and “10+ years securing the world’s most challenging borders.” Israel began building its apartheid wall in the early 2000s and the structure was declared to be illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004.

The video also says Elbit’s technology has been “operationally tested on the US Southwest Border.”

The video shows maps of Arizona and images of human walking through landscape, on military-style displays.

Drones

The Arizona border was also the site of a 2004 contract where Elbit provided Hermes 450 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) — commonly known as drones — to the Border Patrol in the first significant deployment of UAVs for US border surveillance.

In addition to the US settler state furthering the partition of indigenous land, the DHS contract also affirms anti-Latin@ racism in the relations between the US and Mexico, and is just one example where Elbit and other Israeli firms play roles in “securing” wealthier European borders against migrants from poorer Black and Brown nations.

Elbit, NICE Systems and Aeronautics Defense Systems all provide technology, used first against Palestinians, for border surveillance and control systems throughout Fortress Europe.

Source

freeusapress
fala7idreams:

Detained: Testimonies from Palestinian children imprisoned by Israel
Text and photos by: Samar Hazboun
“Over the past 11 years, according to Defence for Children International, some 7,500 children have been detained in Israeli prisons and detention facilities. Muhammad Daoud Dirbas, at the age of six, was the youngest child to have been detained by Israeli soldiers. Such practices are considered illegal under international law, as are other policies that children are subjected to, such as solitary confinement.
I started working on “Detained” about one year ago, because of the lack of visual documentation on the subject. I contacted some human rights organizations, which put me in contact with a few children. Unfortunately, those children refused to be interviewed; having been contacted several times by journalists, they were afraid of repercussions. I then decided to contact people I knew from Palestinian cities like Nablus and Hebron where child detention is most prevalent. Through these friends, I was able to find and contact additional children. Sadly, it was quite easy to find them since it is such a common phenomenon.
In most cases, I found children who suffer from various traumas. Some were not able to talk about what had happened in prison; others burst into tears, and it was sometimes hard for me to hold my own tears back as I was conducting the interviews. Many children agreed to talk to me “off the record”; I thus know their stories but was not able to officially interview them or take their pictures. In some cases, I was able to talk to the parents once the child left the room, and thus obtained more detailed information about how the children were dealing with what had happened to them.
In many cases, the children suffer from insomnia, involuntary urination, nightmares, depression, and fear of going out and facing people. “It is a very humiliating experience for my son. I pray everyday that he forgets about what had happened to him. We avoid talking about it at home because I want him to forget and this is why we prefer not to have journalists in the house,” one mother told me.
All the children I interviewed decided not to take further legal action, out of fear of the repercussions of doing so, and the lack of belief that they will be guaranteed protection.
The following photographs and texts present the stories of the children as they and their families told them to me. It was not possible to independently corroborate all of the facts told by the children and their families. These are their stories, in their words.
Dates, names and places have been changed in order to protect the children’s identities…” (continue reading)

fala7idreams:

Detained: Testimonies from Palestinian children imprisoned by Israel

Text and photos by: Samar Hazboun

“Over the past 11 years, according to Defence for Children International, some 7,500 children have been detained in Israeli prisons and detention facilities. Muhammad Daoud Dirbas, at the age of six, was the youngest child to have been detained by Israeli soldiers. Such practices are considered illegal under international law, as are other policies that children are subjected to, such as solitary confinement.

I started working on “Detained” about one year ago, because of the lack of visual documentation on the subject. I contacted some human rights organizations, which put me in contact with a few children. Unfortunately, those children refused to be interviewed; having been contacted several times by journalists, they were afraid of repercussions. I then decided to contact people I knew from Palestinian cities like Nablus and Hebron where child detention is most prevalent. Through these friends, I was able to find and contact additional children. Sadly, it was quite easy to find them since it is such a common phenomenon.

In most cases, I found children who suffer from various traumas. Some were not able to talk about what had happened in prison; others burst into tears, and it was sometimes hard for me to hold my own tears back as I was conducting the interviews. Many children agreed to talk to me “off the record”; I thus know their stories but was not able to officially interview them or take their pictures. In some cases, I was able to talk to the parents once the child left the room, and thus obtained more detailed information about how the children were dealing with what had happened to them.

In many cases, the children suffer from insomnia, involuntary urination, nightmares, depression, and fear of going out and facing people. “It is a very humiliating experience for my son. I pray everyday that he forgets about what had happened to him. We avoid talking about it at home because I want him to forget and this is why we prefer not to have journalists in the house,” one mother told me.

All the children I interviewed decided not to take further legal action, out of fear of the repercussions of doing so, and the lack of belief that they will be guaranteed protection.

The following photographs and texts present the stories of the children as they and their families told them to me. It was not possible to independently corroborate all of the facts told by the children and their families. These are their stories, in their words.

Dates, names and places have been changed in order to protect the children’s identities…” (continue reading)

Floods in Gaza Strip exacerbate humanitarian crisisDecember 22, 2013
 Hamdi al-Shami, 54, woke up in the densely populated Zaytoun area of Gaza City on 11 December to find raw sewage flowing down his street at a height of more than two meters. It was just one of several sewage overflows to occur in his neighborhood over the last five weeks.
On 13 November, more than 35,000 cubic meters of raw sewage overflowed when the Zaytoun pumping station failed, affecting 3,000 nearby residents. Just as the mess was being cleaned up, the area was again inundated — this time with approximately twice as much waste — when heavy rains fell over the Gaza Strip between 11 and 15 December.
In Gaza City, one of the worst-hit areas, the municipality estimated that hundreds of thousands of cubic meters of sewage and rainwater overflowed from pumping stations and manholes, flooding streets and homes.
“It was horrible. We lost many things when the sewage came from everywhere around us — the doors, manholes and sinks. This cannot be forgotten,” said al-Shami, speaking about November’s flooding.
That flooding was attributed to a combination of factors: power outages disrupting the city’s sewage pumps and a shortage in capacity, spare parts and facilities because of a seven-year blockade against Gaza.
At the time, residents were told that a rapidly-established power connection to the Israeli grid would prevent future problems. But with the recent rainfall, the situation in al-Shami’s neighborhood has only worsened.
He was stranded amid water and sewage for days.
“It hit us again, but harder this time,” al-Shami said on 12 December. “With every passing hour, the water level was rising. It was incredible. We called rescue teams to help us before it is too late. It was not only the electricity issue; we were also cut off from basic needs and clean water.”
With power outages and pump shortages, the Municipality of Gaza estimated it would take up to two weeks to drain the water and clean the sewage off the streets. It has brought in water pumps from other areas and expanded the artificial pond at Nafaq Street to speed up the process.
According to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the floodingaffected 21,000 persons, including thousands who were displaced and sought shelter for days in schools or with relatives. Two persons died and 108 were injured, mainly in southern Gaza, OCHA said, in the worst storm the Middle East has seen in decades.
OCHA said Gaza received 75 percent of its average seasonal rainfall in those four days. Other estimates put the figure even higher, at about 111 million meters, or 92 percent of the average seasonal rainfall.
Full article

Floods in Gaza Strip exacerbate humanitarian crisis
December 22, 2013

 Hamdi al-Shami, 54, woke up in the densely populated Zaytoun area of Gaza City on 11 December to find raw sewage flowing down his street at a height of more than two meters. It was just one of several sewage overflows to occur in his neighborhood over the last five weeks.

On 13 November, more than 35,000 cubic meters of raw sewage overflowed when the Zaytoun pumping station failed, affecting 3,000 nearby residents. Just as the mess was being cleaned up, the area was again inundated — this time with approximately twice as much waste — when heavy rains fell over the Gaza Strip between 11 and 15 December.

In Gaza City, one of the worst-hit areas, the municipality estimated that hundreds of thousands of cubic meters of sewage and rainwater overflowed from pumping stations and manholes, flooding streets and homes.

“It was horrible. We lost many things when the sewage came from everywhere around us — the doors, manholes and sinks. This cannot be forgotten,” said al-Shami, speaking about November’s flooding.

That flooding was attributed to a combination of factors: power outages disrupting the city’s sewage pumps and a shortage in capacity, spare parts and facilities because of a seven-year blockade against Gaza.

At the time, residents were told that a rapidly-established power connection to the Israeli grid would prevent future problems. But with the recent rainfall, the situation in al-Shami’s neighborhood has only worsened.

He was stranded amid water and sewage for days.

“It hit us again, but harder this time,” al-Shami said on 12 December. “With every passing hour, the water level was rising. It was incredible. We called rescue teams to help us before it is too late. It was not only the electricity issue; we were also cut off from basic needs and clean water.”

With power outages and pump shortages, the Municipality of Gaza estimated it would take up to two weeks to drain the water and clean the sewage off the streets. It has brought in water pumps from other areas and expanded the artificial pond at Nafaq Street to speed up the process.

According to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the floodingaffected 21,000 persons, including thousands who were displaced and sought shelter for days in schools or with relatives. Two persons died and 108 were injured, mainly in southern Gaza, OCHA said, in the worst storm the Middle East has seen in decades.

OCHA said Gaza received 75 percent of its average seasonal rainfall in those four days. Other estimates put the figure even higher, at about 111 million meters, or 92 percent of the average seasonal rainfall.

Full article

revolutionaryriots

ardora:

The Emmy Comes to Bil’in, Palestine 

Emmy International Award winner, Emad Burnat, brought his award back to Bil’in today (29.11.2013) - the Palestinian village where his documentary, Five Broken Cameras, was filmed - for the weekly Friday protest against Israel’s Wall and land theft.

There’s no Holywood ending for Bil’in as the struggle enters its 9th year. In the past few months Israel’s army has ramped up it’s repression of the demonstrations, with many more injured and arrested. They include Emad’s brother, who was shot in the leg three weeks ago.

Withdrawal of Prawer Plan bill “major achievement” for PalestiniansDecember 13, 2013
The Israeli government today announced that it had withdrawn a bill that proposed the expropriation of land and the forcible transfer of tens of thousands of Bedouins from 35unrecognized villages in the Naqab (Negev) desert in the south of present-day Israel.
Known as the Prawer Plan, the Israeli government scheme was met with mass protests throughout historic Palestine, including several “Days of Rage.”
As Linah Alsaafin and Budour Youssef Hassan commented for The Electronic Intifada in September:
These protests have succeeded in drawing local and international attention to the threats posed by the Prawer proposal, and mobilized youth to take to the streets, including many who were not politicized. They also managed for the first time in a while to unite efforts across the fragmented sections of Palestinian society for one cause, as Palestinians in the 1948 territories, the West Bank and Gaza Strip all organized protests on the days of rage.
These protests, which faced state violence and intimidation, are being credited for making it impossible for the bill to move forward to become law, at least for the time being (Haaretz reported today that it “is not clear whether the bill has been shelved or just temporarily postponed”).
As news emerged that the bill was about to be withdrawn, some Israeli officials, such as foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, stated that in its current form, the plan had been, if anything, too generous to Bedouins.
Haaretz also reported that contrary to the Israeli government’s claims, the Prawer Plan had never been approved by the Bedouin community.
“The withdrawal of the Prawer Plan bill is a major achievement in the history of the Palestinian community in Israel,” Adalah, the legal center for Arab minority rights in Israel, stated today.
“It shows that popular action, legal advocacy and international pressure can succeed in defending the rights of 70,000 Arab Bedouin residents of the unrecognized villages in the Naqab to live with freedom and dignity on their own lands and in their villages.”
The group added:
The government was forced to reveal the Plan’s details after intensive media attention and public activism against the Prawer Plan in recent weeks. On 30 November 2013, thousands demonstrated against the Prawer Plan in Hura and Haifa, where they were met by police who used excessive force and made dozens of arrests. Adalah and other volunteer lawyers defended the detained protesters in court and filed official complaints to the Police Investigation Unit (“Mahash”) against the police’s violent conduct.
While today’s announcement marks a major victory, the rights of Bedouins in the Naqab are still under threat.
Adalah added that “the cancellation of the bill is a platform to continue the dedicated work in the struggle to prevent the Israeli government from implementing the Prawer Plan. The government’s plans for the Naqab will lead to the demolition, evacuation and confiscation of Bedouin homes and lands, among which is the village of Atir-Umm al-Hieran, which will be destroyed in order to build a Jewish settlement and a forest over its lands.”
Source

Withdrawal of Prawer Plan bill “major achievement” for Palestinians
December 13, 2013

The Israeli government today announced that it had withdrawn a bill that proposed the expropriation of land and the forcible transfer of tens of thousands of Bedouins from 35unrecognized villages in the Naqab (Negev) desert in the south of present-day Israel.

Known as the Prawer Plan, the Israeli government scheme was met with mass protests throughout historic Palestine, including several “Days of Rage.”

As Linah Alsaafin and Budour Youssef Hassan commented for The Electronic Intifada in September:

These protests have succeeded in drawing local and international attention to the threats posed by the Prawer proposal, and mobilized youth to take to the streets, including many who were not politicized. They also managed for the first time in a while to unite efforts across the fragmented sections of Palestinian society for one cause, as Palestinians in the 1948 territories, the West Bank and Gaza Strip all organized protests on the days of rage.

These protests, which faced state violence and intimidation, are being credited for making it impossible for the bill to move forward to become law, at least for the time being (Haaretz reported today that it “is not clear whether the bill has been shelved or just temporarily postponed”).

As news emerged that the bill was about to be withdrawn, some Israeli officials, such as foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, stated that in its current form, the plan had been, if anything, too generous to Bedouins.

Haaretz also reported that contrary to the Israeli government’s claims, the Prawer Plan had never been approved by the Bedouin community.

“The withdrawal of the Prawer Plan bill is a major achievement in the history of the Palestinian community in Israel,” Adalah, the legal center for Arab minority rights in Israel, stated today.

“It shows that popular action, legal advocacy and international pressure can succeed in defending the rights of 70,000 Arab Bedouin residents of the unrecognized villages in the Naqab to live with freedom and dignity on their own lands and in their villages.”

The group added:

The government was forced to reveal the Plan’s details after intensive media attention and public activism against the Prawer Plan in recent weeks. On 30 November 2013, thousands demonstrated against the Prawer Plan in Hura and Haifa, where they were met by police who used excessive force and made dozens of arrests. Adalah and other volunteer lawyers defended the detained protesters in court and filed official complaints to the Police Investigation Unit (“Mahash”) against the police’s violent conduct.

While today’s announcement marks a major victory, the rights of Bedouins in the Naqab are still under threat.

Adalah added that “the cancellation of the bill is a platform to continue the dedicated work in the struggle to prevent the Israeli government from implementing the Prawer Plan. The government’s plans for the Naqab will lead to the demolition, evacuation and confiscation of Bedouin homes and lands, among which is the village of Atir-Umm al-Hieran, which will be destroyed in order to build a Jewish settlement and a forest over its lands.”

Source

Israel approves detention without charges for African immigrantsDecember 11, 2012
Israel’s parliament has approved a law which allows undocumented immigrants from Africa to be detained for up to a year without trial in the latest in a series of measures aimed at reducing the numbers of African migrants in the country.
The new bill passed by 30 votes in favor to 15 against during a late-night vote in the 120-member Knesset, Israel’s parliament, and was announced Tuesday. A previous law, which was overturned by the Supreme Court in September, had set a maximum detention period of three years.
Supporters of the bill in the government see the migrants as illegal job-seekers, but critics say many of the migrants are asylum-seekers fleeing hardship and persecution in their homelands.
Members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party praised the new legislation. Interior Minister Gideon Saar said it would “allow us to keep illegals away from our cities.”
Miri Regev, another Likud Knesset member, said Israel should “send them all back to their countries.” 
"This law is needed in order to deter potential infiltrators. The present reality is a human ticking time bomb," Regev, who also heads the Knesset’s Interior Committee, told parliament.
Full article

Israel approves detention without charges for African immigrants
December 11, 2012

Israel’s parliament has approved a law which allows undocumented immigrants from Africa to be detained for up to a year without trial in the latest in a series of measures aimed at reducing the numbers of African migrants in the country.

The new bill passed by 30 votes in favor to 15 against during a late-night vote in the 120-member Knesset, Israel’s parliament, and was announced Tuesday. A previous law, which was overturned by the Supreme Court in September, had set a maximum detention period of three years.

Supporters of the bill in the government see the migrants as illegal job-seekers, but critics say many of the migrants are asylum-seekers fleeing hardship and persecution in their homelands.

Members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party praised the new legislation. Interior Minister Gideon Saar said it would “allow us to keep illegals away from our cities.”

Miri Regev, another Likud Knesset member, said Israel should “send them all back to their countries.” 

"This law is needed in order to deter potential infiltrators. The present reality is a human ticking time bomb," Regev, who also heads the Knesset’s Interior Committee, told parliament.

Full article

6 Things you buy that help support Israeli brutalityNovember 5, 2013
When tax time rolls around each year, every American citizen gives $21.59 in military aid to Israel, according to the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation. But that’s not the only way American citizens contribute to the Israeli military, which has occupied Palestinian land for 46 years, and the West Bank settlement project that accompanies the occupation.
Consumers may not know it, but buying products like Sabra hummus and Sodastream helps fuel Israel’s military control over Palestinians. Some companies have factories located in one of the 125 officially recognized settlements in occupied Palestine, which are illegal under international law. Other companies contribute to the maintenance of an occupation through cooperation with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), whose main goal is to protect illegal settlements and exercise dominion over the lives of millions of Palestinians. Buying these products gives profits to companies who exploit Palestinian land and resources.
Here are six consumer products and companies that help keep the Israeli occupation rolling along. All of them have been targeted by the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, a Palestinian-led international campaign to isolate Israel for its violations of international law. BDS groups have called on consumers to boycott these products as a way of sending an economic signal to Israel.
1. SodastreamThis soda-making company is ubiquitous nowadays. Sodastream products, which turn water into sparkling water and other flavored drinks, have been incredibly successful in the U.S. According to CNN, sales of their products have skyrocketed, with the company bringing in $436 million in 2012, a 51% increase from the previous year. The company, which was bought by an Israeli company that eventually sold it to a private equity firm, has touted itself an environmentally friendly company
But the less-progressive side of Sodastream lies in the location of its factory. The main facility where Sodastream products are made is in the industrial settlement area of Mishor Adumim, which is right outside Jerusalem and even closer to the mega-settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. Mishor Adumim serves Ma’ale Adumim by providing the settlement with employment for Israelis and business for nearby Israeli companies.
Sodastream claims it’s not violating international law by operating in a settlement because its factory benefits the local population of Palestinians. It’s true that Sodastream employs Palestinian laborers. But according to Who Profits?, an Israeli-based organization that tracks occupation profiteers, “the workers in the SodaStream factory suffer from harsh working conditions.” Palestinian workers are seen as a cheap labor force to be exploited, and have complained that when they protest for better wages, they are fired.
By bolstering Ma’ale Adumin, Sodastream’s factory in Mishor Adumim contributes to the death of any chance for a viable and contiguous Palestinian state. Ma’ale Adumim was strategically built as a settlement that cuts off easy access between Ramallah and Bethlehem, two important cities in the West Bank.
For those who love Sodastream but are looking for an alternative, have no fear. A number of similar products allow consumers to make their own bubbly water without giving money to a company operating on occupied land. The alternatives include Cuisinart’s beverage maker and a company named SodaSparkle.
2. Sabra HummusSabra is another Israeli company that seems to be in every Americans’ refrigerator and brand-name supermarket. It may taste good to dip chips and vegetables in, but it also boosts the Israeli military while marketing hummus as exclusively Israeli.
The hummus company has embarked on a major push to sell its products to consumers. Sabra has ramped up its advertising in recent years, and it’s been quite successful. Earlier this year, the Huffington Post reportedthat it has captured 60% of a hummus market whose sales have been increasing in the U.S.
Sabra hummus is partly owned by an Israeli company named the Strauss Group, which has “adopted” an elite IDF unit. (PepsiCo also owns Sabra.) The company’s website has boasted of providing the Golani Brigade “with an ongoing variety of food products for their training or missions, and provide personal care packages for each soldier that completes the path.” The Strauss Group has also said it gives funds to the IDF unit for “welfare, cultural and educational activities, such as pocket money for underprivileged soldiers, sports and recreational equipment, care packages, and books and games for the soldiers’ club.”
While that language is no longer found on the Strauss Group website, the company still defends the IDF. In 2011, Ofta Strauss, the company’s chairwoman, told Forbes magazine that “Israeli soldiers are not army; Israeli soldiers are our kids.”
The Golani Brigade played key roles in the Israeli army’s assault on the Gaza Strip in 2008-09 during “Operation Cast Lead.” Widespread human rights abuses and possible war crimes were committed by the Israeli army during the assault.
3. Tribe HummusTribe is the second largest hummus company in the U.S. It is also tied to problematic Israeli practices.
The company is partly owned by Osem, which partners with the Jewish National Fund, a group that has worked intimately with the Israeli government. The JNF played a key role before the establishment of the State of Israel by participating in plans with Israel’s founder, David Ben-Gurion, to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their land in 1948. The JNF’s record hasn’t gotten much better since then.
After Israel was established, the state leased the JNF land, and eventually the fund came to own 13 percent of all land in Israel, the majority of which was originally owned by Palestinians. Their charter explicitly limits the leasing of their land to Jews only in a state where 20 percent of the population is Palestinian. The JNF has planted forests all around Israel, some of them on top of destroyed Palestinian villages.
One of the more egregious actions the JNF has participated in recently is the repeated bulldozing of the Bedouin village of Al Araqib, one of many “unrecognized” areas in Israel the government refuses to connect to electricity or water systems. The JNF has partnered with Israeli police to destroy Al Araqib an astonishing 50 plus times in order to build a forest in the village.
4. AhavaPlenty of stores carry Ahava, which means “love” in Hebrew. You can find its Dead Sea-extracted beauty products in New York City’s Ricky’s shops, in Nordstrom and in Bed, Bath and Beyond, among others. But what the products won’t tell you is that they’re manufactured in a West Bank settlement, owned by settlements and that they’re illegally exploiting Palestinian natural resources.
Ahava, which rakes in about $150 million a year, is partly owned by West Bank settlements themselves; 37.5 percent of the company is owned by the settlement of Mitzpe Shalem, while 7.5 percent is owned by the settlement of Kibbutz Kalia. Furthermore, 37 percent of the company is owned by Hamashbir Holdings, which also invests in the Orad Group, a company that produces electronic detection systems for use on the West Bank separation barrier.
The main factory where Ahava products are made is in Mitzpe Shalem, which sits in the eastern part of the West Bank and is on the shore of the Dead Sea. Ahava excavates mud from the shores of the Dead Sea, despite it being a violation of international law to exploit the resources of an occupied territory.
Since 2009, the group CodePink has led a campaign aimed at boycotting Ahava and urging stores to drop its products.
5. Hewlett PackardThe popular information technology company is most well known in the U.S. for making printers. Hewlett Packard also makes products like digital cameras, personal computers and smartphones. It holds the top spot globally for shipments of PCs.
But that’s not all HP manufactures. Services it provides have been sold to the Israeli military.
According to Who Profits?, HP owns EDS Israel, which since 2009 has been referred to as “HP Enterprise Services.” This branch of Hewlett Packard provides the Israeli Ministry of Defense with what’s called the “Basel System,” a biometric access control system that regulates the permit system for Palestinian workers.
In 2009, HP was contracted to administer the Israeli Navy’s information technology infrastructure, and eventually was paid to administer the entire army’s technology systems. HP also won a contract in 2009 to provide all computer equipment to the Israeli army.
In addition, HP is involved with the West Bank settlement project. The IT company provides services and technologies to two major settlements, and also “takes part in the ‘Smart City’ project in the illegal West Bank settlement of Ariel, providing a storage system for the settlement’s municipality,” the Who Profits? project reports.
6. MotorolaThis company also profits from its relationship to the Israeli army. In 2011, the company, which was most well known for its phones, was split into two. One of the spin-offs, named Motorola Solutions, has a close working relationship with the Israeli government and army through its Israeli subsidiary—Motorola Solutions Israel. (Motorola Solutions does not make phones, though it does produce mobile computers, tablets and computer accessories. Still, Motorola had a relationship with the Israeli army when it was a singular company producing phones.) 
According to Who Profits?, Motorola Solutions Israel won a contract in 2005 to provide Israeli settlements with fences, and its radar detection systems have been installed in at least 20 illegal settlements throughout the West Bank. The same system is also used for Israel’s separation barrier, which was ruled illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004.
The company also created a mobile communication system for the Israeli army so that soldiers could speak with one another when serving in the West Bank.Lastly, Motorola Solutions Israel provided the army with electronic bomb fuses until 2009, when the specific department of the company that made the fuses was sold to Aeronautics Defense Systems.
Source
You can find other companies that profit from the Israeli occupation here.

6 Things you buy that help support Israeli brutality
November 5, 2013

When tax time rolls around each year, every American citizen gives $21.59 in military aid to Israel, according to the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation. But that’s not the only way American citizens contribute to the Israeli military, which has occupied Palestinian land for 46 years, and the West Bank settlement project that accompanies the occupation.

Consumers may not know it, but buying products like Sabra hummus and Sodastream helps fuel Israel’s military control over Palestinians. Some companies have factories located in one of the 125 officially recognized settlements in occupied Palestine, which are illegal under international law. Other companies contribute to the maintenance of an occupation through cooperation with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), whose main goal is to protect illegal settlements and exercise dominion over the lives of millions of Palestinians. Buying these products gives profits to companies who exploit Palestinian land and resources.

Here are six consumer products and companies that help keep the Israeli occupation rolling along. All of them have been targeted by the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, a Palestinian-led international campaign to isolate Israel for its violations of international law. BDS groups have called on consumers to boycott these products as a way of sending an economic signal to Israel.

1. Sodastream
This soda-making company is ubiquitous nowadays. Sodastream products, which turn water into sparkling water and other flavored drinks, have been incredibly successful in the U.S. According to CNN, sales of their products have skyrocketed, with the company bringing in $436 million in 2012, a 51% increase from the previous year. The company, which was bought by an Israeli company that eventually sold it to a private equity firm, has touted itself an environmentally friendly company

But the less-progressive side of Sodastream lies in the location of its factory. The main facility where Sodastream products are made is in the industrial settlement area of Mishor Adumim, which is right outside Jerusalem and even closer to the mega-settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. Mishor Adumim serves Ma’ale Adumim by providing the settlement with employment for Israelis and business for nearby Israeli companies.

Sodastream claims it’s not violating international law by operating in a settlement because its factory benefits the local population of Palestinians. It’s true that Sodastream employs Palestinian laborers. But according to Who Profits?, an Israeli-based organization that tracks occupation profiteers, “the workers in the SodaStream factory suffer from harsh working conditions.” Palestinian workers are seen as a cheap labor force to be exploited, and have complained that when they protest for better wages, they are fired.

By bolstering Ma’ale Adumin, Sodastream’s factory in Mishor Adumim contributes to the death of any chance for a viable and contiguous Palestinian state. Ma’ale Adumim was strategically built as a settlement that cuts off easy access between Ramallah and Bethlehem, two important cities in the West Bank.

For those who love Sodastream but are looking for an alternative, have no fear. A number of similar products allow consumers to make their own bubbly water without giving money to a company operating on occupied land. The alternatives include Cuisinart’s beverage maker and a company named SodaSparkle.

2. Sabra Hummus
Sabra is another Israeli company that seems to be in every Americans’ refrigerator and brand-name supermarket. It may taste good to dip chips and vegetables in, but it also boosts the Israeli military while marketing hummus as exclusively Israeli.

The hummus company has embarked on a major push to sell its products to consumers. Sabra has ramped up its advertising in recent years, and it’s been quite successful. Earlier this year, the Huffington Post reportedthat it has captured 60% of a hummus market whose sales have been increasing in the U.S.

Sabra hummus is partly owned by an Israeli company named the Strauss Group, which has “adopted” an elite IDF unit. (PepsiCo also owns Sabra.) The company’s website has boasted of providing the Golani Brigade “with an ongoing variety of food products for their training or missions, and provide personal care packages for each soldier that completes the path.” The Strauss Group has also said it gives funds to the IDF unit for “welfare, cultural and educational activities, such as pocket money for underprivileged soldiers, sports and recreational equipment, care packages, and books and games for the soldiers’ club.”

While that language is no longer found on the Strauss Group website, the company still defends the IDF. In 2011, Ofta Strauss, the company’s chairwoman, told Forbes magazine that “Israeli soldiers are not army; Israeli soldiers are our kids.”

The Golani Brigade played key roles in the Israeli army’s assault on the Gaza Strip in 2008-09 during “Operation Cast Lead.” Widespread human rights abuses and possible war crimes were committed by the Israeli army during the assault.

3. Tribe Hummus
Tribe is the second largest hummus company in the U.S. It is also tied to problematic Israeli practices.

The company is partly owned by Osem, which partners with the Jewish National Fund, a group that has worked intimately with the Israeli government. The JNF played a key role before the establishment of the State of Israel by participating in plans with Israel’s founder, David Ben-Gurion, to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their land in 1948. The JNF’s record hasn’t gotten much better since then.

After Israel was established, the state leased the JNF land, and eventually the fund came to own 13 percent of all land in Israel, the majority of which was originally owned by Palestinians. Their charter explicitly limits the leasing of their land to Jews only in a state where 20 percent of the population is Palestinian. The JNF has planted forests all around Israel, some of them on top of destroyed Palestinian villages.

One of the more egregious actions the JNF has participated in recently is the repeated bulldozing of the Bedouin village of Al Araqib, one of many “unrecognized” areas in Israel the government refuses to connect to electricity or water systems. The JNF has partnered with Israeli police to destroy Al Araqib an astonishing 50 plus times in order to build a forest in the village.

4. Ahava
Plenty of stores carry Ahava, which means “love” in Hebrew. You can find its Dead Sea-extracted beauty products in New York City’s Ricky’s shops, in Nordstrom and in Bed, Bath and Beyond, among others. But what the products won’t tell you is that they’re manufactured in a West Bank settlement, owned by settlements and that they’re illegally exploiting Palestinian natural resources.

Ahava, which rakes in about $150 million a year, is partly owned by West Bank settlements themselves; 37.5 percent of the company is owned by the settlement of Mitzpe Shalem, while 7.5 percent is owned by the settlement of Kibbutz Kalia. Furthermore, 37 percent of the company is owned by Hamashbir Holdings, which also invests in the Orad Group, a company that produces electronic detection systems for use on the West Bank separation barrier.

The main factory where Ahava products are made is in Mitzpe Shalem, which sits in the eastern part of the West Bank and is on the shore of the Dead Sea. Ahava excavates mud from the shores of the Dead Sea, despite it being a violation of international law to exploit the resources of an occupied territory.

Since 2009, the group CodePink has led a campaign aimed at boycotting Ahava and urging stores to drop its products.

5. Hewlett Packard
The popular information technology company is most well known in the U.S. for making printers. Hewlett Packard also makes products like digital cameras, personal computers and smartphones. It holds the top spot globally for shipments of PCs.

But that’s not all HP manufactures. Services it provides have been sold to the Israeli military.

According to Who Profits?, HP owns EDS Israel, which since 2009 has been referred to as “HP Enterprise Services.” This branch of Hewlett Packard provides the Israeli Ministry of Defense with what’s called the “Basel System,” a biometric access control system that regulates the permit system for Palestinian workers.

In 2009, HP was contracted to administer the Israeli Navy’s information technology infrastructure, and eventually was paid to administer the entire army’s technology systems. HP also won a contract in 2009 to provide all computer equipment to the Israeli army.

In addition, HP is involved with the West Bank settlement project. The IT company provides services and technologies to two major settlements, and also “takes part in the ‘Smart City’ project in the illegal West Bank settlement of Ariel, providing a storage system for the settlement’s municipality,” the Who Profits? project reports.

6. Motorola
This company also profits from its relationship to the Israeli army. In 2011, the company, which was most well known for its phones, was split into two. One of the spin-offs, named Motorola Solutions, has a close working relationship with the Israeli government and army through its Israeli subsidiary—Motorola Solutions Israel. (Motorola Solutions does not make phones, though it does produce mobile computers, tablets and computer accessories. Still, Motorola had a relationship with the Israeli army when it was a singular company producing phones.) 

According to Who Profits?, Motorola Solutions Israel won a contract in 2005 to provide Israeli settlements with fences, and its radar detection systems have been installed in at least 20 illegal settlements throughout the West Bank. The same system is also used for Israel’s separation barrier, which was ruled illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004.

The company also created a mobile communication system for the Israeli army so that soldiers could speak with one another when serving in the West Bank.Lastly, Motorola Solutions Israel provided the army with electronic bomb fuses until 2009, when the specific department of the company that made the fuses was sold to Aeronautics Defense Systems.

Source

You can find other companies that profit from the Israeli occupation here.

aloofshahbanou

5centsapound:

Basil AlZeri – The Archivist in the Kitchen

Via the excellent Fuse Magazine:

Cuisine is a vivacious and mutable cultural practice that has history and politics folded right into it. The privileged eaters who make up North American foodie culture may often miss the specific histories of conquest and migration built into their eclectically global palettes, but they are present in each bite. Israeli appropriations of Palestinian ingredients and dishes are illustrative; for instance, the rebranding of tabouleh as “Israeli salad,” and maftoul (a small, round pasta made from wheat and bulgur) as “Israeli couscous.” The complex etymology of the word sabra, commonly known as the name of an Israeli-produced hummus, reveals a complex history of linguistic colonialism. In Arabic and in Hebrew, sabra is a generic word for cactus, plantings of which were used pre-1948 to delineate borders between Palestinian villages. More recently, in Modern Hebrew sabra has become the descriptor for Israeli-born Jews — metaphorically and literally, the beneficiaries of the clearing of the Palestinian cacti. In 1982, residents of the Sabra Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut, Lebanon were massacred by a Lebanese Christian Phalangist militia, in collusion with Israel, one of the most brutal events in the history of the occupation. The name of the hummus, so cunningly appropriated, can’t be separated from this settler-colonial history.

Palestinian cuisine — in Gaza and the West Bank, in camps and in cities worldwide —reflects a history of occupation and displacement. But more than that, it reflects the skills, proclivities and ingredients required to survive those conditions. Basil AlZeri has captured hours of Skype video of his mother teaching him how to cook from her impressive oeuvre of Palestinian dishes. This archive of cultural knowledge is the private counterpart to a series of public food-based performances he has presented since 2011. […] AlZeri began cooking live as a performance with his mother, Suad, instructing him from Dubai, over Skype. Most recently, AlZeri has been working on The Mobile Kitchen Lab, which he will use as an itinerant stage for future cooking performances. AlZeri performs simple and generous gestures, inviting his guests to identify the Palestinian stories of land, resources and labour that are built into his recipes.

This week marked the start of the annual Palestinian olive harvest, an ancient tradition on which 80,000 families still rely for their livelihoods. Yet these families face growing economic hardship due to Israeli land confiscations, access restrictions, settler attacks, and not least the widespread uprooting, destruction and theft of the trees themselves. 
The infographic “Uprooted” focuses on the staggering fact that Israeli authorities have uprooted over 800,000 Palestinian olive trees since 1967, the equivalent to razing all of the 24,000 trees in New York’s central park 33 times. - Visualizing Palestine

This week marked the start of the annual Palestinian olive harvest, an ancient tradition on which 80,000 families still rely for their livelihoods. Yet these families face growing economic hardship due to Israeli land confiscations, access restrictions, settler attacks, and not least the widespread uprooting, destruction and theft of the trees themselves.

The infographic “Uprooted” focuses on the staggering fact that Israeli authorities have uprooted over 800,000 Palestinian olive trees since 1967, the equivalent to razing all of the 24,000 trees in New York’s central park 33 times. - Visualizing Palestine

Residents of a Palestinian village have planted flowers in hundreds of Israeli, spent tear gas canisters, to honor those killed during their weekly protests against the separation barrier.
The village of Bil’in, 12 kilometers west of Palestinian de-facto capital Ramallah, has recently become a symbol of peaceful resistance to the Israeli settlement program. Residents have created an oasis in the middle of the desert landscapes of the West Bank, and sown flower seeds in tear gas canisters, which they collected following clashes with Israeli police. 
“We can make life out of these gas canisters which can kill people. We plant flowers inside these things,” said Khadi Abu Rahma, a Palestinian journalist and one of the garden’s creators.

Residents of a Palestinian village have planted flowers in hundreds of Israeli, spent tear gas canisters, to honor those killed during their weekly protests against the separation barrier.

The village of Bil’in, 12 kilometers west of Palestinian de-facto capital Ramallah, has recently become a symbol of peaceful resistance to the Israeli settlement program. Residents have created an oasis in the middle of the desert landscapes of the West Bank, and sown flower seeds in tear gas canisters, which they collected following clashes with Israeli police. 

“We can make life out of these gas canisters which can kill people. We plant flowers inside these things,” said Khadi Abu Rahma, a Palestinian journalist and one of the garden’s creators.

Palestinian farm dodges Israeli bulldozers - in treehousesAugust 16, 2013
Mazen Saadeh faces a problem. In trying to expand the facilities of the campground and restaurant he manages in Beit Jala, near Bethlehem, he risks attracting the attention of the Israeli authorities tasked with halting Palestinian construction.
Hosh Jasmin, the cooperative farm and tourist destination that Saadeh manages with his partner Aidan Pendleton, is located in the West Bank’s Area C, meaning it lies on Palestinian land under complete Israeli civil and military control. Area C and Hosh Jasmin are under full occupation, a situation that brings with it many challenges, including the threat of demolition. A restaurant just across the valley from Hosh Jasmin has been demolished by the Israeli military three times.
“We need to build. But it’s hard, and it’s forbidden,” Saadeh said. “If we add a centimeter, the Israelis will come and demolish it. Not demolish what we added — they will demolish everything. So it’s a big challenge.”
In response, Saadeh has come up with a unique solution: Since building on the land is prohibited, he builds in the trees.
Saadeh and volunteers at Hosh Jasmin recently completed construction on one treehouse, and they plan to build two more in the coming months. They have also built additional rooms on top of existing structures in a way that allows them to circumvent the language of the law.
The treehouses will be used as rooms for visitors to stay overnight when they visit Hosh Jasmin. Currently, visitors can stay in tents for 50 shekels — around $14. Hosh Jasmin attracts a wide range of foreign and Palestinian tourists, and it was featured in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz last year under the headline “Growing Figs in a Place of War.” But Hosh Jasmin is more than a simple hotel. Taking its name from one used for shared spaces common in Syrian communities, Hosh Jasmin is meant to become a model community where food is produced on-site. In addition to the restaurant and campsite, Hosh Jasmin is home to a farm with 11 kinds of vegetables, as well as chickens, rabbits and sheep. Saadeh’s goal is to eventually serve only food produced on the farm, all grown organically.
“I am sorry to say it, but Palestinian farmers, like Israeli farmers, use huge quantities of chemicals,” Saadeh said. “What you buy in the market is not good.”
Saadeh became concerned about the quality of food produced in Palestine after a friend of his, an agricultural engineer at Bethlehem University, showed him a study he had done on the amount of chemicals used in Palestinian agriculture. “He found 38 percent of that fruit and that vegetable are poisonous,” Saadeh recalls. “He told me, when you go to the market, don’t buy the beautiful apple or beautiful tomato. Buy the bad one, with a bad look. Because a bad look is more natural than a good look.”
According to the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem, over 490 tons of pesticides are used in the West Bank each year, including about 200 tons of methyl bromide, a highly toxic chemical phased out of use in the United States and Europe in the early 2000s. There is widespread use of 14 different pesticides that are, according to the institute, “internationally suspended, canceled or banned.”
But the Hosh Jasmin project extends well beyond the production of healthier food. The volunteers, employees and owners of Hosh Jasmin are actively constructing a new model for life in Area C. Saadeh said an important part of that project is supporting Palestinian work; all of the food Hosh Jasmin buys is produced in Palestine.
“Even the kind of beers we offer is the Palestinian one. It’s very powerful, I think. It’s all Palestinians, with Palestinian hands, with Palestinian farmers from Palestinian areas,” Saadeh said.
Casey Asprooth-Jackson, an American who spent several weeks in Hosh Jasmin and helped construct the first treehouse, had previously worked with a community-supported agriculture project in Upstate New York. He explained what he sees as the similarities and differences between agricultural projects in Palestine versus the rest of the world.
“The way that people live in most places in the world, there’s a disconnection between the land and your life, and that’s something that we want to intercede in and break,” he said. “Here, it’s even further because there is an occupation.”
The demographics of Hosh Jasmin’s employees reflect a commitment to improving life under occupation. All seven of the employees come from Palestinian refugee camps in Bethlehem, Nablus and Qalandiya — areas where it’s often difficult if not impossible to secure a decent job.
Alaa Qsass, a Hosh Jasmin employee from Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem, said there are two reasons he prefers working in Hosh Jasmin to working in the camp.
“One of them is that, in the camp, it’s not allowed to you to have a lot of kinds of work. Just the [low-quality] jobs,” he said. “But the other reason is, you know camp is very, very, very—there’s no space in the camp, you know? You can’t see this view in the camp and you can’t see any tree, actually, in the camp. You can’t walk in the mountain like that. You can’t smell air like that.”
Despite the advantages of working at Hosh Jasmin, Qsass said, there are also difficulties and dangers related to the farm’s status in Area C. “There’s danger to working in Area C. Some nights we worked here, and the Israeli police came and took photos of us. And sometimes they stop us when we come here and ask us questions,” he said.
Another employee at Hosh Jasmin, Jehad Afaghani, was born in Balata refugee camp in Nablus and spent four months working on the farm. He said he thinks Hosh Jasmin represents a model that could be exported to other parts of Area C to improve living conditions around the West Bank.
“It’s a fantastic way to resist, you know? You don’t need to be in contact with the army, but you can improve yourself by existing in one place,” he said. “You could bring back life to Area C.”
Source

Palestinian farm dodges Israeli bulldozers - in treehouses
August 16, 2013

Mazen Saadeh faces a problem. In trying to expand the facilities of the campground and restaurant he manages in Beit Jala, near Bethlehem, he risks attracting the attention of the Israeli authorities tasked with halting Palestinian construction.

Hosh Jasmin, the cooperative farm and tourist destination that Saadeh manages with his partner Aidan Pendleton, is located in the West Bank’s Area C, meaning it lies on Palestinian land under complete Israeli civil and military control. Area C and Hosh Jasmin are under full occupation, a situation that brings with it many challenges, including the threat of demolition. A restaurant just across the valley from Hosh Jasmin has been demolished by the Israeli military three times.

“We need to build. But it’s hard, and it’s forbidden,” Saadeh said. “If we add a centimeter, the Israelis will come and demolish it. Not demolish what we added — they will demolish everything. So it’s a big challenge.”

In response, Saadeh has come up with a unique solution: Since building on the land is prohibited, he builds in the trees.

Saadeh and volunteers at Hosh Jasmin recently completed construction on one treehouse, and they plan to build two more in the coming months. They have also built additional rooms on top of existing structures in a way that allows them to circumvent the language of the law.

The treehouses will be used as rooms for visitors to stay overnight when they visit Hosh Jasmin. Currently, visitors can stay in tents for 50 shekels — around $14. Hosh Jasmin attracts a wide range of foreign and Palestinian tourists, and it was featured in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz last year under the headline “Growing Figs in a Place of War.” But Hosh Jasmin is more than a simple hotel. Taking its name from one used for shared spaces common in Syrian communities, Hosh Jasmin is meant to become a model community where food is produced on-site. In addition to the restaurant and campsite, Hosh Jasmin is home to a farm with 11 kinds of vegetables, as well as chickens, rabbits and sheep. Saadeh’s goal is to eventually serve only food produced on the farm, all grown organically.

“I am sorry to say it, but Palestinian farmers, like Israeli farmers, use huge quantities of chemicals,” Saadeh said. “What you buy in the market is not good.”

Saadeh became concerned about the quality of food produced in Palestine after a friend of his, an agricultural engineer at Bethlehem University, showed him a study he had done on the amount of chemicals used in Palestinian agriculture. “He found 38 percent of that fruit and that vegetable are poisonous,” Saadeh recalls. “He told me, when you go to the market, don’t buy the beautiful apple or beautiful tomato. Buy the bad one, with a bad look. Because a bad look is more natural than a good look.”

According to the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem, over 490 tons of pesticides are used in the West Bank each year, including about 200 tons of methyl bromide, a highly toxic chemical phased out of use in the United States and Europe in the early 2000s. There is widespread use of 14 different pesticides that are, according to the institute, “internationally suspended, canceled or banned.”

But the Hosh Jasmin project extends well beyond the production of healthier food. The volunteers, employees and owners of Hosh Jasmin are actively constructing a new model for life in Area C. Saadeh said an important part of that project is supporting Palestinian work; all of the food Hosh Jasmin buys is produced in Palestine.

“Even the kind of beers we offer is the Palestinian one. It’s very powerful, I think. It’s all Palestinians, with Palestinian hands, with Palestinian farmers from Palestinian areas,” Saadeh said.

Casey Asprooth-Jackson, an American who spent several weeks in Hosh Jasmin and helped construct the first treehouse, had previously worked with a community-supported agriculture project in Upstate New York. He explained what he sees as the similarities and differences between agricultural projects in Palestine versus the rest of the world.

“The way that people live in most places in the world, there’s a disconnection between the land and your life, and that’s something that we want to intercede in and break,” he said. “Here, it’s even further because there is an occupation.”

The demographics of Hosh Jasmin’s employees reflect a commitment to improving life under occupation. All seven of the employees come from Palestinian refugee camps in Bethlehem, Nablus and Qalandiya — areas where it’s often difficult if not impossible to secure a decent job.

Alaa Qsass, a Hosh Jasmin employee from Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem, said there are two reasons he prefers working in Hosh Jasmin to working in the camp.

“One of them is that, in the camp, it’s not allowed to you to have a lot of kinds of work. Just the [low-quality] jobs,” he said. “But the other reason is, you know camp is very, very, very—there’s no space in the camp, you know? You can’t see this view in the camp and you can’t see any tree, actually, in the camp. You can’t walk in the mountain like that. You can’t smell air like that.”

Despite the advantages of working at Hosh Jasmin, Qsass said, there are also difficulties and dangers related to the farm’s status in Area C. “There’s danger to working in Area C. Some nights we worked here, and the Israeli police came and took photos of us. And sometimes they stop us when we come here and ask us questions,” he said.

Another employee at Hosh Jasmin, Jehad Afaghani, was born in Balata refugee camp in Nablus and spent four months working on the farm. He said he thinks Hosh Jasmin represents a model that could be exported to other parts of Area C to improve living conditions around the West Bank.

“It’s a fantastic way to resist, you know? You don’t need to be in contact with the army, but you can improve yourself by existing in one place,” he said. “You could bring back life to Area C.”

Source