Swedish Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel Newsletter No 29

Swedish TV reports on the boycott of Israel

On the 13th of February the Swedish channel TV2 had a report on the BDS campaigns against Israel. It was reported that artist Scarlet Johansson had been sacked from Oxfam due to her campaign for the SodaStream company. The US foreign minister John Kerry was shown when referring to the BDS campaign as attempts to ‘delegitimize’ Israel in the presence of an irritated Prime Minister Netanyahu. Researcher Björn Brenner said that Palestinians in general support the boycott, adding that the boycott sensitive to Israel because of its strong dependency on foreign trade. See: http://www.svt.se/aktuellt/se-program/aktuellt-194?autostart=true (30 min into the programme).

Israel Apartheid Week 2014

The Swedish network Isolera Israel participated in the Israel Apartheid Week in collaboration with the Palestine Solidarity Association (PGS) 13-15 March. Especially invited were spoken word artists Rafeet Ziadah and Randa Wahbe of Addameer (working for Palestinian prisoners and against the G4S company). Read more at: https://www.facebook.com/events/435896999846587/ and at http://isoleraisrael.nu/. See video with Rafeef Ziadh: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKucPh9xHtM

Annual meeting of Isolera Israel: bring BDS into EU and Swedish elections

Isolera Israel held its 5th annual meeting in Uppsala the 1st of March. It noted that the network now has 15 local members. It was decided to try to raise the issue of BDS in the elections to the European Parliament in May and the general Swedish elections in September. The meeting was preceded by a panel discussion with Göteborg activist Gunnar Olofsson, David Henley, who had worked as a medical doctor in Palestine and Lina Suleiman, researched with a Palestinian background.

The Left party supports young women on the West Bank

Lana Adnan Baker of DFLP; Majd Akram Samhan of FIDA and Amanda Manasra of the Palestinian People’s Party visited Stockholm and Malmö at the end of March. They said that the left is a major force behind the Palestinian BDS movement. The Left International Forum supports a project for youth and women in Palestine. Read more: https://www.facebook.com/groups/531797606872142/. http://www.vansternsinternationellaforum.se/vif-aktiviteter-pa-gang-i-stockholm-och-malmo/.

Cinema Palestine Film Festival
Sunday 23 March the Swedish Ship to Gaza organisation and he PGS arranged a film show in Årsta Folkets Hus, Stockholm. Among the films were documentaries from the Freedom Flotilla that was attacked by Israeli Defence Forces in 2010, when nine persons were killed on board the ship Mavi Marmara. Read more: http://www.palestinagrupperna.se/nyheter/2014-03-05/cinema-palestine- filmfestival-i-%C3%A5rsta-folkets-hus

“Bring Israel to the International Court of Justice”

At its meeting in Trondheim 1st of February the major Norwegian trade union federation LO adopted a resolution in which demands were formulated such as Stop to the settlement policy, Dismantle the wall, Boycott the state of Israel and Bring Israel to the International Court of Justice. Read more (in Norwegian): http://palestinakomiteen.no/trondheimkonferansen-2014-still-israel-for-den- internasjonale-domstolen/

What is so controversial in boycotting Israel?

This question is asked in an article of the radical Swedish magazine Dagens Arena, which states that the BDS has scored unexpected successes in mainstream media. Read more (in Swedish): http://www.dagensarena.se/opinion/varfor-sa-kontroversiellt-att-bojkotta-israel/.

BBC says no to occupation profiteer G4S after major campaign

The £80 million contract across all the BBC’s premises was awarded to G4S’rival, First Security. The three-year contract, which has an option to be extended for two extra years, comes into effect on 1 April. Read more: http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/amena-saleem/bbc-says-no-occupation-profiteer-g4s- after-major-campaign?utm_source=EI+readers&utm_campaign=8ce830cd54- RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e802a7602d-8ce830cd54-297297241.

The Royal Institute of British Architects supports the suspension of Israel’s architects association from the International Union of Architects

After a tough debate on 19 March, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) decided to support actions to be taken by the International Union of Architects to suspend the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA). Read more: http://apjp.org/riba-votes-to-suspend-israeli/. Also the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) moved to support the initiative, and condemned the design and planning of buildings on occupied Palestinian territory. Read more: http://www.urbanrealm.com/news/4705/RIAS_Council_condemn_architects_role_in_Israeli_settlement_building.html.

Agreement with MEKOROT in La Plata City, Buenos Aires state suspended
The Federation of Argentinian-Palestinian and Stop the Wall announced the suspension of shady business with Mekorot, a water treatment plant that promotes Israeli apartheid. Read more: http://alethonews.wordpress.com/2014/03/09/la-plata-mekorot-deal-suspended/. Authorities in Buenos Aires suspended a proposed $170m water treatment plant after a campaign by local trade unions and human rights groups. Read more: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?tab=wm#label/BDS/144d6369b49b89b7. See film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xunD5IgGFyc&feature=player_embedded#t=0.

Palestinians demand Israel expelled from FIFA

Jibril Rajoub, chairman of the Palestinian Football Association, has said they will seek expulsion of Israel from FIFA at the next FIFA Congress, and that he has the support of other Arab and North African nations. Read more: http://www.insideworldfootball.com/world-football/asia/14122- palestinians-to-demand-fifa-expels-israel-and-say-they-have-support.

Luxembourg state pension fund joins divestment groundswell

Luxembourg’s state pension fund has excluded nine major Israeli banks and firms and one US company because of their involvement in Israeli settlements and human rights violations. Read more: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?tab=wm#label/BDS/144d6369b49b89b7.

Richard Falk’s final report calls for a ban on Israeli settlement goods
“Through prolonged occupation, with practices and policies which appear to constitute apartheid and segregation, ongoing expansion of settlements, and continual construction of the wall arguably amounting to de facto annexation of parts of the occupied Palestinian territory, the denial by Israel of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people is evident” writes Richard Falk, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories. Read more: http://www.alternativenews.org/english/index.php/politics/politico/7805-richard-falk-s-final-report- recommends-ban-on-imports-of-produce-from-israeli-settlements. The full report can be downloaded at: http://www.alternativenews.org/english/images/stories/PDF/PDF_files/Falk_Final_Report_Feb2014.pdf.


Dick Urban Vestbro, Prof Emer, dickurba@gmail.com
The Action group at KTH for boycott of Israel, http://psabi.se/ Member of the coordination committee of BDS Sweden, http://isoleraisrael.nu/