From Avaaz – Stop the Violence, End the Occupation!

18 Jul

Dear friends,

As a new round of violence kicks off in Israel-Palestine and more children are killed, it’s time to take definitive non-violent action to end this nightmare. Our governments and companies have continued to aid, trade and invest in the violence, but we can help stop it if we call on key banks, pension funds and businesses to pull out their investments.

It’s not enough just to call for another ceasefire. It’s time to take definitive non-violent action to end this decades long nightmare.

Our governments have failed — while they have talked peace and passed UN resolutions, they and our companies have continued to aid, trade and invest in the violence. The only way to stop this hellish cycle of Israel confiscating Palestinian lands, daily collective punishment of innocent Palestinian families, Hamas firing rockets, and Israel bombing Gaza is to make the economic cost of this conflict too high to bear.

We know it works — when EU countries issued guidelines not to fund the illegal Israeli settlements it caused an earthquake in the cabinet, and when citizens successfully persuaded a Dutch pension fund, PGGM, to withdraw, it created a political storm.

This may not feel like a direct way to stop the current killing, but history tells us that raising the financial cost of oppression can pave a path to peace. Click to call on 6 key banks, pension funds and businesses to pull out — If we all take smart action now and turn up the heat, they could withdraw, the Israeli economy will take a hit, and we can turn the calculation of the extremists politically profiting from this hell upside down:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/israel_palestine_this_is_how_it_ends_loc/?byfdzfb&v=42613

In the last five weeks three Israeli teenagers were murdered in the West Bank, a Palestinian boy was burnt alive, an American kid was brutally beaten up by Israeli police, and now over 40 Gazan kids have died in Israeli air strikes. This is not the “Middle East conflict”, it’s becoming a war on children. And we are becoming numb to this global shame.

The media makes out like this is an intractable conflict between two equal warring parties, but it is not. Palestinian extremists’ attacks on innocent civilians must be condemned and ended but the root of the conflict lies elsewhere — in the dispossession of the Palestinian people. Israel currently occupies, colonises, bombs, raids, and controls the water, trade and the borders of a legally free nation that has been recognised by the United Nations. In Gaza, Israel has created the largest open-air prison in the world, and then blockaded it. Now as bombs fall, the families, literally have no way to get out.

These are war crimes and we wouldn’t accept that anywhere else, why accept it in Palestine? Half a century ago Israel and its Arab neighbours went to war and Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza. Occupying territory after war happens all the time. But no military occupation should turn into a decades long tyranny which only fuels and benefits extremists who use terror to target the innocent. And who suffers? The majority of loving families on both sides that just want freedom and peace.

To many, particularly in Europe and North America, calling for companies to withdraw investments from financing or taking part in Israel’s occupation of Palestine sounds completely biased. But it’s not — this is the most potent non-violent strategy to end the ritual violence, ensure Israelis’ security and achieve Palestinian freedom. Israel’s power and wealth dwarfs Palestine, and if it refuses to end its illegal occupation, the world must act to make the cost unbearable.

Dutch pension fund, ABP, invests in Israeli banks that help fund the colonisation of Palestine. Massive banks like Barclays invest in suppliers of Israeli arms and other occupation businesses. Computer giant Hewlett-Packard supplies sophisticated surveillance to control the movement of Palestinians. And Caterpillar provides bulldozers that are used to demolish Palestinian homes and farms. If we can create the biggest global call ever to get these companies to pull out, we will show clearly that the world will no longer be complicit in this bloodshed. The Palestinian people are calling on the world to support this path and progressive Israelis support it too. Let’s join them:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/israel_palestine_this_is_how_it_ends_loc/?byfdzfb&v=42613

Our community has worked to bring peace, hope, and change to some of the world’s toughest conflicts, and often that means taking difficult positions to address the root cause. For years our community has looked for a political solution to this nightmare, but with this new round of horror unfolding in Gaza, the time has come to turn to sanctions and disinvestment to finally help end the horror for Israelis and Palestinians.

With hope and determination,

Alice, Fadi, Ben, Laila, Anna, Ricken, Jo, Nell, Mais and the entire Avaaz team

MORE INFORMATION:

UN independent expert calls for boycott of businesses profiting from Israeli settlements (UN)
http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=43376#.U7_ynqhMrRI

12 more EU countries warn against trade with Israeli settlements (Haaretz)
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.603030

Israelis, Palestinians Pro Peace Process, but Not Hopeful (Gallup)
http://www.gallup.com/poll/161456/israelis-palestinians-pro-peace-process-not-hopeful.aspx

Under pressure, a strong EU-Israel relationship faces uncertain future (Middle East Monitor)
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/articles/debate/9675-under-pressure-a-strong-eu-israel-relationship-faces-uncertain-future

Israel-Gaza conflict: 80 per cent of Palestinians killed by Israeli strikes are civilians, UN report says (The Independent)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israelgaza-conflict-80-per-cent-of-palestinians-killed-by-israeli-strikes-are-civilians-un-report-says-9606397.html

Rule 156. Definition of War Crimes (ICRC)
http://www.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v1_cha_chapter44_rule156

Palestinians: Most Gaza dead are children, women, elderly (Haaretz)
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.604443

Caught on Tape: US Teen Allegedly Beaten by Israeli Police (ABC News)
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/caught-tape-us-teen-tariq-abu-khdeir-allegedly-24449873

A policy of displacement (Visualizing Palestine)
http://visualizingpalestine.org/infograhic/a-policy-of-displacement

Exposing the Israeli Occupation Industry
http://www.whoprofits.org/

Additional sources for this campaign:
http://avaaz.org/en/israel_palestine_this_is_how_it_ends_sources_a/?blast

How We Know We’re Grown

24 Jun

As a single, childless, 30-something woman, I have been thinking hard about ways Western society defines “adulthood”, “being grown”, or “grown-up”. I believe this to be especially relevant for women, who tend to be infantilized, and remain so, as long as they are unmarried and/or not mothers (and sometimes are still treated as children even then).

Recently, I was visited by a younger woman who came to my house for dinner. I cooked some pasta with a red sauce, accompanied by a salad, and we opened a bottle of wine she had chosen – a Chilean cabernet, maybe, or a malbec – I’m not great with wines – and poured it into a couple of regular glasses. “You don’t have any wine glasses?” she asked, surprised. “No,” I replied. I never seemed to have a need for them before. “You have to at least get a couple of wine glasses,” she chided me, as if I was missing out on some adult household essential by not having them. Continue reading

Video

Interview with Melissa Gira Grant on Sex Work

19 Apr

Excellent Vice interview with journalist Melissa Gira Grant on sex work with a powerful historicized and politicized contemporary analysis. She challenges myths around sex work, critiques binary perspectives on women’s sexuality, and argues that sex work is work.

http://www.vice.com/en_au/read/the-vice-podcast-talking-to-journalist-melissa-gira-grant-about-sex-work

“Our anxieties about the way all of our labour is commodified, everything we do in the world has a price on it. I think it’s much easier to talk about how anxious that makes us feel, and where our personhood is compromised by being in the world and having to survive – those anxieties get heaped on sex workers in a way that I don’t see them heaped on other workers.”  – M. G. Grant

Re-blog: The Trigger Warned Syllabus

7 Mar Featured Image -- 2077

Sista Resista:

Excellent article by TressieMC on universities co-opting the notion of “trigger warnings” from online culture in order to further advance the goals of the marketized education system and make student-customers more “comfortable” with what they are asked to learn…

Originally posted on tressiemc:

Apparently universities are issuing guidelines to help professors consider adding “trigger warnings” to syllabi for “racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, ableism, and other issues of privilege and oppression,” and to remove triggering material when it doesn’t “directly” contribute to learning goals.” One example given is Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” for its colonialism trigger. This from New Republic this week.

I have no desire to enter the fray of online discussions on trigger warnings and sensitivity. I have used trigger warnings. Most recently, I made a personal decision to not retweet Dylan Farrow’s piece in the New York Times detailing Woody Allen’s sexual abuse. I was uncomfortable shoving a very powerful description at people without some kind of warning. I couldn’t read past the first three sentences. I couldn’t imagine how it read for others. So, I referenced the article with a trigger warning and kept it moving.

But, I’m…

View original 469 more words

Video

Body Love – Mary Lambert

31 Jan

“The time for us has to reclaim our bodies.”

We love you, Mary Lambert. Thank you.