BDS, Arab Land and the Custodian of Absentee Property

Paul Larudee

Photo: The Ruweidi family outside their home in Silwan May 9, 2012. - After two decades of legal struggle, the Ruweidi family from Silwan has been granted recognition by the courts that they are indeed the rightful owners of their home. The decision rejects the Jewish National Fund’s claim that the home is the property of the State of Israel. (Moriel Rothman/+972)

The 2005 call by more than 170 Palestinian organizations, both within Palestine and without, to boycott Israeli products and services, divest from companies that support and sustain Israel and sanction the Israeli state and its agencies is one of the most important and potentially one of the most effective strategies to end the injustices perpetrated against the Palestinian people as a result of the creation of a Zionist state and by Zionist actions even before.

Nothing in this article is intended to criticize or undermine BDS as a strategy. On the contrary, BDS should be encouraged and pursued as vigorously as possible. I am among those that believe that the only way to end the injustices is to end the state itself, but the participants in BDS need not agree about this in order to undertake BDS actions.

Recently, I and others have expressed concern about an apparently unauthorized change in the wording of the 2005 BDS call, posted on the BDS National Committee (BNC) website. This is also not a criticism of the strategy or of the movement, but rather of the actions of unknown parties that appear to have committed a breach of trust with the signatories of the 2005 call, by altering the wording of that call without consulting them.

Some have argued that the change of wording is insignificant and that the meaning remains unchanged. This is absurd. Why bother to change the wording if there is no change in meaning? That change in wording is important to someone. But to whom? And why? And by what protocol (if any) was the change made? Has this action been accountable in any way?

Abunimah Did It Again

Gilad Atzmon

Is it really possible that not a single Palestinian or Palestinian solidarity activist would stand up for Greta Berlin, one of the founders of the Free Gaza Movement and its spokesperson for the last several years? Is it possible that not a single peace activist would rush to defend the person who was directly and physically involved in every naval attempt to break the siege on Gaza? Apparently, yes.

A few days ago Greta Berlin had been subject to a vile Israeli and Zionist smear campaign following her facebook post containing the following message: “Zionists operated the concentration camps and helped murder millions of innocent Jews.” Berlin also added to her Facebook post a link to a video of a lecture by Eustace Mullins. I am not familiar with the work of Mullins but I guess that he is far from being a popular political thinker in Tel Aviv or Golders Green.

Zionists and hasbara agents were very quick to slander Berlin. They tagged her as an ‘anti Semite’ and a ‘Holocaust denier’. But clearly there is no Holocaust denial in Berlin’s message.

A Lingering What?

A Review by Paul Larudee of The Wandering Who? by Gilad Atzmon

The Wandering Who? is brutally honest in its presentation, and if the reader is equally honest in the reading, her thinking will evolve in unexpected ways.
In the late 1970s, The Origin of Consciousness in the breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, a book by Princeton psychologist Julian Jaynes, gained minor celebrity for its original but controversial views concerning the evolution of the human brain/mind relationship. To this day, I don’t know how much of the thesis I accept, but it gave me a perspective that has now become a part of how I look at my fellow human beings on a daily basis.

Gilad Atzmon’s The Wandering Who? has had something of the same effect.  It is very original in its thinking, and even iconoclastic.  Even though there are very few readers who will agree entirely with everything Atzmon has to say, the effect is to question one’s assumptions and to recognize a new perspective. 

In fact, to say that Atzmon is an iconoclast is something of an understatement; as soon as one chapter forces you to build new assumptions, the next one compels you to tear them down again. True, he provides you with new building blocks of interpretation and understanding. However, I found myself unsure of the new structure. Doubtless, many readers will have to digest these ideas and test them before they feel confident about accepting or rejecting them.

"War Criminals" Leak Strikes at Heart of Israeli Society

Paul Larudee

When unknown elements in Israel leaked the name, rank, identification number and other information about two hundred Israeli military personnel who reportedly participated in the 2008-2009 invasion of Gaza, the effect was sudden and profound, according to sources in Israel.

Although the first site on which it appeared was taken down by the host, it has continued to circulate via email, and has appeared on at least one other site, 200 Israeli War Criminals. The Israeli military and other Israeli agencies are reportedly doing all they can to shut down every site on which it appears, and to prevent it from "going viral." At least one popular blog that links to the site has received a record number of death threats.

What is so special about the list? As several critics have pointed out, it doesn't even state the crimes that the listed individuals are alleged to have committed.

The root of the problem, according to the sources in Israel, is a poorly kept secret - namely, that it is hard to serve in the Israeli military without committing war crimes, because such crimes are a matter of policy. What Israeli soldier has not ordered a Palestinian civilian to open the door to a building that might house armed militants or be booby-trapped? Who has not denied access to ambulances or otherwise prevented a Palestinian from getting to medical care, education, or employment?


Gilad Atzmon
Gilad Atzmon's Blog

London Jazza festival is behind us. It was stressful and we took a massive risk, but it turned into a great success. For some of us, it was the most musically meaningful event we have ever participated in.

It occurred to me a while back that as far as Palestinian affairs are concerned, the tide has indeed changed -- The struggle of the Palestinian people has now become a part of a Western collective conscience. We are a mass movement becoming increasingly aware of itself. At our last week's first Jazza Festival, leading artists of all genres united together with an audience from all walks of life to side with the Palestinians. In the Scala London, we stood together, protesting against Israeli brutality. Funds were raised for the Free Palestine Movement, an organization that challenges many aspects of the occupation, and will soon bring the all important question of the 'Right of Return' right to the heart of Tel Aviv.

Jazza is an event though, which is above political agendas: like the peace activists on board the Mavi Marmara, we have a humanitarian mission to accomplish. We are artists who very simply believe that beauty is hope. And we know that it is our duty to depict an alternative reality through our music.

Naturally enough, we were supported by every possible Palestinian and Arab media outlet: The Palestine Telegraph rallied with us, as did the Palestine Chronicle. Middle East Online covered the production process and covered the event. Press TV promoted us and sent a team to cover the event.

We were supported by the dissident network too: the SWP featured us on its front page, as did The Truth Seeker, Salem News,,, The People Voice, Uprooted Palestinians and many others.

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