23.10.2014 Author: Christof Lehmann
In October 2014, the UK parliament voted in favor of recognizing Palestine. The vote followed a landslide in opinion, likely to have been caused by alternative media, some of which noted a several hundred-fold increase in readers who were seeking information on the Palestine – Israel discourse during the 2014 Gaza war. Meanwhile, mainstream media were bleeding viewers, listeners and readers.
Published on Oct 18, 2014
Short trailer of a forthcoming multimedia piece covering the aftermath of a war on Gaza in summer of 2014.
Destruction, orphans and a smell of death are constant remainders of the war still too fresh to let Palestinians live daily life normally. Now the invisible struggle has turned into cruel reality of inhuman suffering into a nightmare from which is impossible to wake up.
SCUMBAG NETANYAHU, YOU CAN GO FLY KITE PALESTINE WILL BE A SOVEREIGN STATE VERY SOON WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT BECAUSE THE WORLD WILL DECIDE:)
With support for the BDS Movement growing globally from organised labour, the potential economic threat to the Zionist regime is staggering
Last month saw the extraordinary possibility of a change in the power dynamic between Palestine and Israel. It confirmed the fact that a heretofore almost unnoticed, nonviolent campaign called Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement has Israel on the run.
We already know the gross military imbalance of power between the parties. Politically speaking, one is the occupier and the other is the occupied. One is the oppressor, the other the victim. One is highly organised with one of the most powerful armies in the world, fighting with F16s, the other wielding stones and other crude weapons. The peace process has been completely discredited. And, after Israel’s latest assault on Gaza, it was exposed as little more than another weapon in Israel’s arsenal of repression and land grab. The situation, until recently, seemed hopeless. But due to the remarkable growth of a global solidarity movement, there may be a glimmer of hope for the Palestinians. In 2004, a call from Palestinian civil society for an international economic and cultural boycott of Israel has been gaining support from activists, labour and human rights organisations around the world. Because of the brutalities of the latest Israeli attack on Gaza, the conscience of people around the world galvanised them into action. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets and support for the boycott has grown immeasurably. In the past, writers signed petitions; artists cancelled performances; university professors expressed their opposition; and outspoken parliamentarians refused to keep quite. Yet, it seemed to have little effect as Israel continued with its brutal occupation.
But something has changed.
Former Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, speaking this summer at the World Summit on Counter-Terrorism, emphasised that the BDS Movement hopes to destroy Israel. He asserted that BDS supporters hoped to succeed where the Arab armies and terrorist organisations had failed. Oren stated the simple fact that the latest assault on Gaza had changed everything. BDS has gained momentum and can no longer be ignored. He was alarmed that ‘Operation Protective Edge’ had resulted in a further delegitimisation of Israel in the eyes of the world. Oren said: “In California, port workers would not unload Israeli goods. Some places won’t deliver mail to Israel. The ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ (IAW) is ongoing. I was called a criminal in a lecture. In Europe, millions were withdrawn from Israel … BDS wants to turn Israel into a leper state. BDS is very coordinated and is designed to undermine the security and existence of Israel.”
The momentum to recognize a Palestinian State is unstoppable
Palestine moves towards post-Oslo phase
About the Author
Richard Falk is Albert G Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University and Research Fellow, Orfalea Center of Global Studies. He is also former UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights.
Downgrading the significance of the UK vote on Palestine is part of Israel’s tactical response
Palestine has already been accorded recognition by 134 states, writes Falk [Getty]
On October 13, the UK House of Commons by an overwhelming vote of 274-12 urged the British government to extend diplomatic recognition to Palestine.
At first glance, it would seem a rather meaningless gesture. It is a non-binding resolution, and Prime Minister David Cameron has already declared that this expression of parliamentary opinion will have no effect whatever on existing government policy. So far Britain – along with the states in Western Europe – adheres to Israel’s stubborn insistence, echoed by Washington, that Palestinian statehood can only be established through a solution to the conflict negotiated by the parties.
Even if the British vote was binding, why should it be seen as a dramatic move in Palestine’s favour? After all, Palestine has already been accorded recognition by 134 states since Yasser Arafat declared the existence of a Palestinian state within 1967 borders back in 1988.
Such downgrading of the significance of what took place is also part of Israel’s tactical response. Its ambassador in London now declining even to comment on the decision after earlier indicating extreme disapproval. Before the vote, Israeli leaders used their many levers of influence to discourage the vote. Benjamin Netanyahu even insisted that such a step would seriously diminish prospects for resumed negotiations and would harm peace prospects. Afterwards, the Israeli tone changed, calling the vote meaningless and devoid of importance.