Is anti-BDS group Sawtona impersonating Palestinians?

by Charlotte Silver, Electronic Intifada

Claiming to be a group of Palestinians opposed to the growing boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement in the US, an organization calling itself Sawtona – “our voice” in Arabic – has emerged over the last two months.

But the organization does not appear to be what it says it is.

The group first emerged at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) last month when faculty and students were meeting to discuss BDS and support for Palestinians.

It then popped up at City University of New York (CUNY), just ahead of today’s scheduled graduate student council vote on a resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions.

The group claims to be a voice “from the ground” in Palestine that is dedicated to ending Israel’s occupation. But so far the only objective Sawtona has in fact pursued is to stop BDS, claiming it does more harm than good for Palestinians.

And some evidence – including fraudulent postings on Facebook – cast significant doubt on the group’s central claim that it is run by Palestinians.

Rather, the group would appear to be based in present-day Israel – not Palestinian cities in the occupied West Bank where people representing Sawtona claim to live.

Sawtona has emerged at a moment when Israel has greatly stepped up its efforts to sabotage and attack the BDS movement, including efforts to undermine it by Israeli intelligence agencies.

[read more here]

Glenn Greenwald: Hillary Clinton Has Embraced Some of the Most Brutal Dictators in the World (video)

(Yeah, Glenn has his issues, but he’s right on this one)

How the New York Times Whitewashed a Gruesome Videotaped Israeli Execution (B’tselem video included)

(Could you imagine how much coverage this would have received from the MSM had the soldier been Iranian, North Korean or Syrian? For the record, this is what a real execution video looks like so compare it to the fake “ISIS” ones if you like.)

from Alter Net

…The NYT chose this headline “Israel Soldier Detained in Shooting of Palestinian” to cover a crime that was filmed—and, had it not been recorded, one that would otherwise likely have gone unnoticed. The crime is composed of two disturbing scenes, both equally severe (and painful): In the first, an Israeli soldier executes a motionless and injured young Palestinian man in Hebron by a bullet in the head from point zero, and the other soldiers carry on as if nothing happened. And in the second, Israeli medics and soldiers ignore the injured Palestinian (before he was shot the second time) and leave him lying on the ground as if he were a piece of trash.

(video after break. It is disturbing)

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Bernie Sanders Gives Tepid/Measured Speech on Israeli/Palestinian Conflict (video and partial transcript)

by Scott Creighton

UPDATE: For comparison purposes, you can read the transcript of Donald Trump’s war-mongering, sycophantic pandering speech to AIPAC, here.

Bernie Sanders politely declined an invitation to speak at this year’s AIPAC convention in D.C. yesterday. The other presidential candidates went there and pandered to the Likudnik Lobby as if their professional lives depended on it, slandering everyone from Iran to Palestinian children “being taught to hate” the Jewish state for no other reason than… Muslims.

Bernie gave a lengthy stump speech in Utah then he gave a little press conference type address in which he delivered what he claims would have been his AIPAC speech. It is notable for a number of reasons but the most obvious is… he chose not to give it to the AIPAC crowd… which probably would have booed him off the stage if he gave it there or physically dragged him off the stage, exposing AIPAC and it’s rabid followers for what it and they really are.

So, was his decision to give this speech half a country away a decision he made in his best interests or in theirs? Hard too say. My guess is “both”

I have copied part of the transcript of his speech from his website and posted the full video below my comments.

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Ala: Israeli occupation of Palestine and Syrian Golan the worst form of settler colonialism ever

(In honor of yesterday being AIPAC Day)

from SANA

Syria’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations in Geneva Hussam Eddin Ala stressed that the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the Syrian Golan represents the worst form of settler colonialism in the 21st century and it is a breach of human rights and the international humanitarian law applied in Arab territories occupied since 1967.

The ambassador was speaking at a panel discussion on human rights in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories held within the framework of the 31st session of Human Rights Council at the UN headquarters in Geneva.

Ala said that the International ignorance amounts to complicity in attitudes expressed by some states which instead of calling upon the Human Rights Council to hold the Israeli occupation authorities accountable for their crimes, they demanded other states to refrain from condemning Israeli practices and violations of international humanitarian law and human rights in the occupied territories.

[read more here]

It’s AIPAC Day in America!!!

by Scott Creighton

Do we have an American Canada Public Affairs Committee? Do we have an American Ireland Public Affairs Committee? An American Guam one? Nope.

But we do have American Israel Public Affairs Committee, known as AIPAC, and today all our presidential candidates save one are rushing over to D.C. to attend their annual conference to swear fealty and their undying love to and for everything Israel.

It has been rumored that Hillary Clinton has been missing from the campaign trail these past few days because she was crawling on her knees to the conference all the way from New York in order to prove her loyalty. That’s just a rumor, of course.

Continue reading

EU orders consumer warning labels on goods produced in Israeli occupied lands

from RT

The European Commission has adopted new guidelines on labeling of products from Israeli-occupied Arab settlements. Brussels says the move is technical but Israel has called it discriminatory.

The European Commission “adopted this morning the Interpretative Notice on indication of origin of goods from the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967,” Reuters quoted an EU official as saying.

EU Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen was called to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem to be reprimanded over the decision, Haaretz reports.

“Whereas the upcoming labeling guidelines are presented by the EU as a purely ‘technical measure’ designed to protect European consumers, there is no doubt that the main purpose of the measure is to exert political pressure upon Israel,” the Israeli Foreign Ministry said prior the EU decision.

“These measures are discriminatory in nature. It is intolerable that Israel is the only country that has been singled out by the EU for such a policy, despite the fact that there are over 200 disputed territories worldwide,” the statement added.

This move shouldn’t come as a surprise to Israel, US State Department Deputy spokesman Mark Toner said on Tuesday before the ruling was published.

“Israel continues to expand settlement activity. It should not come as a surprise that some in the international community seek to limit commercial ties to the settlements. This underscores the urgent need for Israel to change its policies with regard to settlements,” he said, quoted by the Jerusalem Post.

[read more here]

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