YEAH….the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions efforts continue!
By Mondoweiss Editors
This past week the NYU Graduate Employee Union (GSOC-UAW 2110) and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst Graduate Employee Union (GEO-UAW 2322), both representing 2,000 members each, endorsed by full membership vote the call from all major Palestinian trade unions and civil society groups to impose Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. These resolutions by aspiring educators of future generations significantly contribute to the already evolving discourse on justice for Palestinians.
This Is Waiting for Our Voice
While our country is caught up in continuous election sensationalism and while the world braces itself for more terrorist attacks, my anger is tempted to spike. The international audiences continue to be silent as injustices loom in an unprecedented magnitude in Palestine these days. Orders for the Israeli Military to shoot, use lethal force as a deterrent when ANY form of Palestinian resistance to Israeli Occupation is used have become the “rule of the day.” Perhaps, the U.S’s obsession with candidates for the presidency, and the worldwide fear that just about anything can happen anywhere anymore have helped to create the “perfect” time for Israel to “make the most of” Palestinian resistance to the Occupation. This is not the first time “politically correct” times for more land grabs have happened.
An escalation of violence throughout the West Bank began in October 2015 when settlers from a nearby settlement burned the house of a Palestinian baby and the child’s family in Duma, Palestine. Though the Israeli legal and political systems called the action “abhorrent” no one, as is almost always the case, has been held accountable. Since that date a string of killings has occurred as Palestinians resist most often with stones and knives such violent actions from their Occupier nation. Over 200 Palestinians and 30 Israelis have died since October, 2015.
Most recently, the Israeli government and the Israeli Military and settlers have carried out even greater incendiary actions. On Apr 2 – Israeli forces shot a Palestinian teen in the back of the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet while he was walking to school in the Silwan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem. Likewise, a video that has gone viral http://palsolidarity.org/2016/02/video-willful-killing/ has captured some of the additional horror of these days, including the electrocution of a Palestinian teen who lay immobile on the ground. A soldier then cocked his gun in full view and shot the youth in the head. This is plainly extrajudicial electrocution. The soldier, I am sure, will not suffer serious consequences. The viewer of this difficult video can’t help but wonder how such actions from the army boasting of being “ the most moral army in the world” can go without the legal system of Israel condemning them. Rather, Netanayhu has said that the Military has his “complete backing” to shoot at every form of Palestinian resistance—stones, Molotovs, knives, etc. The soldiers are not to hesitate. They are furthermore promised impunity from both the politicians and the legal entities of Israel.
Such “permissions,” such fear mongering directives coming from the top, such field commands have never been tolerated by the International Community. I ask why now?? Do we turn our head because this is Israel who enjoys a one-of-a-kind-exceptionalism in law with the International Community? Is it because no country and few if any legislators will demand Israel be taken to the International Criminal Court for such crimes? Is it perhaps because we are afraid of being labeled as anti-Semitic when it is obvious we are not criticizing the faith but rather the policies of Israel? We as U.S. citizens must act in the name of justice for all. When asked to step forward, we generally do. Now, in the midst of such violence against a people, we must have the guts to demand of Israel what we demand from every other country in justice for all its people. Occupied people have rights in International Law from the Occupier. Call Senators Brown (202) 224-2315 and Portman (202) 224-3353. Let Representative Jim Jordan know your voice. (202) 225-2676. These men need your comments about this issue. In sincere thanks, sr. Paulette Schroeder