Trump’s poisoned Gift

Trump’s Poisoned Gift to Israel  

Haaretz  editorial

The U.S. declaration could provide a tailwind to the right-wing plan of annexation

The change in the American policy on the legal status of the West Bank settlements should be no cause for rejoicing in Israel. If this is a gift, then it’s a poisoned one. Official American permission to settle in the occupied territories not only does not contribute to Israel’s strength and status, it could push it into an irreversible situation of an apartheid state.

It seems that U.S. President Donald Trump’s strategy regarding the conflict can be summed up as follows: If for decades, previous administrations have tried and failed to make peace, then we’ll take the beliefs that guided our predecessors and do the exact opposite. After “taking off the negotiating table” core issues such as the status of Jerusalem and the problem of the refugees, by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and striking a blow against UNRWA, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s is a crass attempt to negate the assumption at the basis of the traditional American approach to the conflict, by which peace requires the evacuation of settlements.

It’s been three years since Trump was elected president and the “deal of the century” was declared the solution to the old conflict, and the region has not moved even one step forward toward reconciliation. What is left of these pompous declarations are poisoned gifts that Trump has given to his protégé Netanyahu, which benefit him electorally and strengthen the right-wing camp.

Netanyahu indeed thanked the Americans who in their statement “clearly rejected the false claim that Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria are inherently illegal under international law.”

The liar of course is Netanyahu, who knows full well that despite the declaration by the Americans, they cannot legitimize the illegitimate. The settlements were built on occupied land in opposition to international law and UN resolutions. What’s worse, the American declaration could provide a tailwind to the right-wing plan of annexation. Netanyahu might be aware of the destructive implications of such a step, but the state and its future have not been at the forefront of his mind for a long time now, only his own future.

What is even more infuriating is the response of Kahol Lavan chairman MK Benny Gantz, who thanked the American government for the declaration. Instead of representing those who seek peace with our neighbors based on a division of the land as the only possibly solution that would recognize the national aspirations of both peoples through respect of the right to self-determination – Gantz shows himself to be a pale replica of Netanyahu when it comes to his diplomatic concepts.

If Gantz really wants to be a worthy alternative, he must realize that the greatest danger looming over Israel is – along with the dissolution of the fabric of Israeli society and descent into a culture of corruption – deterioration to the point that Israel must decide whether it is an apartheid state or a binational state, when each of those possibilities means the end of the Zionist dream.

Dr. Ashrawi’s Statement: 

Trump administration is a threat to international peace and security

The announcement made by US Secretary of State has no legal validity. The US neither has the right nor agency to rewrite international law and deface the rules-based international order based on its perverse ideological leanings.

Israeli settlements are a grave violation of international law, including international humanitarian law. They also constitute a war crime according to the Rome Statute. These are solid facts that the Trump administration cannot alter or unravel.

This announcement reaffirms Palestine’s assessment that the Trump administration is a threat to international peace and security because it is a partner in Israeli crimes and provides political cover for its pervasive violations.

This administration is a threat the international community must confront with consistency and moral clarity.

The Palestinian leadership will continue to pursue justice and redress through all available legal and political avenues. Palestine remains solidly committed to international law and at the forefront of defending the values and principles for which it stands. It is time for responsible states to take collective action that rises to the level of threat this administration’s lawlessness presents to the world.

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Michael Lynk, Canadian law professor and UN human rights expert emphasized the fact that “the illegality of the Israeli settlements has been accepted by virtually every country in the world,” and by departing with this consensus, the US is legitimizing “the significant human rights and humanitarian violations perpetuated by the settlements.”

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Palestinian-American activist and human rights lawyer Noura Erekat wasn’t particularly surprised by Pompeo’s announcement or what seems to be a sudden change in US foreign policy.

“What Pompeo is announcing is not a rupture in US foreign policy, but a culmination of it,” she said, adding that since 1967 the U.S. has “spoken out of both sides of its mouth.”

On the one hand, the US has maintained, until now, that settlements are inconsistent with international law and counterproductive to the peace process, but “out of the other side of its mouth, the US has provided Israel with unequivocal military, financial, and diplomatic aid in order to continue that settlement process.”

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The blogger Mysterioso

The obvious solution: Palestinians and Jews return to their actual homelands, i.e., Palestinians return to Palestine, the lands between the River and the Sea where prior to about 1,250,000 being brutally dispossessed and expelled by Zionist Jews of foreign origin, they and their ancestors had lived continuously for at least 15,000 years and Jews return to Poland, Russia, Europe, the U.S., etc., their lands of origin.

Lonely Rico to Pompeio

Right again Mike. There will be a resolution to the conflict only when the US stops its unconditional support for the cruel racist Israeli repression of the indigenous people of Palestine.

Israel creates anti-Semitism

Living in denial like never before. I cannot think about one society that lives in such denial like the Israeli society, and again it includes left and right.

Gideon Levy Haaretz March 2, 2018

If liberty means anything at all, surely it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

George Orwell

Phil Weiss reported on Mondoweiss the obvious link between Israel’s brutal behaviour and the rise of anti-Semitism.

30 years ago Yehoshafat Harkabi director of  Military Intelligence in his book Israel’s Fateful Hour made a similar point

“We Israelis must be careful lest we become not a source of pride for Jews but a distressing burden. Israel is the criterion according to which all Jews will tend to be judged. Israel as a Jewish state is an example of the Jewish character, which finds free and concentrated expression within it. Anti-Semitism has deep and historical roots. Nevertheless, any flaw in Israeli conduct, which initially is cited as anti-Israelism, is likely to be transformed into empirical proof of the validity of anti-Semitism. It would be a tragic irony if the Jewish state, which was intended to solve the problem of anti-Semitism, was to become a factor in the rise of anti-Semitism. Israelis must be aware that the price of their misconduct is paid not only by them but also Jews throughout the world. In the struggle against anti-Semitism, the front line begins in Israel.” 

While anti-Semitism has always been with us, after the Nazi madness Jews were well accepted in the Western world. They lived and do live secure lives and had so many not bought Zionist propaganda and stood mute as Palestinian lives were destroyed, anti-Semitism would be dramatically lessened.

Weiss  writes below about another Israeli  with the impeccable credentials  of Harkabi who makes  a similar point

On October 26  a former Israeli security official urged American Jews to restrain Israel’s “unjust” war in Palestine because it fuels anti-Semitism around the world. The statement is remarkable because that view is generally seen as anathema: saying that Israel’s actions have any role in the growth of anti-Semitism.

Ami Ayalon, a Navy commander and former head of the Shin Bet, spoke at a J Street conference and said that Israelis believe they are fighting a just war of defense for their existence, and that the world refuses to acknowledge that. But in fact Israel’s existence is established, and American Jews can see that Israel is engaged in an unjust war. (Emphasis mine)

What you see from the outside is us fighting two separate, totally different wars. The first is indeed a just war, a war to establish Israel within the 1967 borders based on international resolutions. You correctly say that we have won that war….

“We continue to fight a second war, a war in order to expand our border to the east, to build more settlements, and to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state next door. That second war is not a just war. It denies the Palestinians the right to self determination, which was recognized by the international community. As a former commander of the Navy and director of the Shin Bet, as a person who fought in too many wars, as someone who represents the views of a vast majority of the IDF top command, past and present, I tell you today that the second war, the unjust one, cannot be won with force alone. There is no military decision in this war. That is why unless we choose a totally different approach, this war will continue for generations to come, it will lead to more violence and terror. After we beat Hamas and Islamic Jihad, we will face ISIS. And after that, who knows what will come.

But I can assure you it will definitely be more extremist. This second war to expand our borders will isolate Israel even more and increase anti-Semitism around the world, but the most important thing, the most dangerous thing, is that this war will be the end of Israel as the founding fathers of Zionism envisioned it. I’m here to tell you that the question of which war we are sending out young men into is tearing Israeli society apart…

“You see that reality. We in Israel refuse to see it. We cannot see it. We are too close to the events, we are in too much pain to see clearly. We still use the language of guilt, not of responsibility. We need you by our side on this long and hard road. We need you to tell us the truth the way you see it. So when we say [Hebrew phrase] which means, All Israel are responsible for each other, we are in a way saying, You have the right, and in times of crisis, like today when you see the writing on the wall and we do not or cannot, you also have the duty to stand up and tell us your truth. This is the real meaning of mutual responsibility.”

Ayalon said just that: that in the spirit of one Jewish people, American jews should tell Israel to stop making wars

H/t Adam Horowitz and James North.

Israeli war crimes ho hum

Israel is silencing the last voices trying to prevent abuse of Palestinians writes Jonathan Cook https://www.jonathan-cook.net

It has been a week of and sticks it in the father’s face.committed by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank – little different from the other 2,670 weeks endured by Palestinians since the occupation began in 1967.

The difference this past week was that several entirely unexceptional human rights violations that had been caught on film went viral on social media.

One shows a Palestinian father in the West Bank city of Hebron leading his son by the hand to kindergarten. The pair are stopped by two heavily armed soldiers, there to help enforce the rule of a few hundred illegal Jewish settlers over the city’s Palestinian population.

The soldiers scream at the father, repeatedly and violently push him and then grab his throat as they accuse his small son of throwing stones. As the father tries to shield his son from the frightening confrontation, one soldier pulls out his rifle and sticks it in the father’s face.

It is a minor incident by the standards of Israel’s long-running belligerent occupation. But it powerfully symbolises the unpredictable, humiliating, terrifying and sometimes deadly experiences faced daily by millions of Palestinians.

A video of another such incident emerged last week. A Palestinian man is ordered to leave an area by an armed Israeli policewoman. He turns and walks slowly away, his hands in the air. Moments later she shoots a sponge-tipped bullet into his back. He falls to the ground, writhing in agony.

It is unclear whether the man was being used for target practice or simply for entertainment.

The reason such abuses are so commonplace is that they are almost never investigated – and even less often are those responsible punished.

It is not simply that Israeli soldiers become inured to the suffering they inflict on Palestinians daily. It is the soldiers’ very duty to crush the Palestinians’ will for freedom, to leave them utterly hopeless. That is what is required of an army policing a population permanently under occupation.

The message is only underscored by the impunity the soldiers enjoy. Whatever they do, they have the backing not only of their commanders but of the government and courts.

Just that point was underlined late last month. An unnamed Israeli army sniper was convicted of shooting dead a 14-year-old boy in Gaza last year. The Palestinian child had been participating in one of the weekly protests at the perimeter fence.

Such trials and convictions are a great rarity. Despite damning evidence showing that Uthman Hillis was shot in the chest with a live round while posing no threat, the court sentenced the sniper to the equivalent of a month’s community service.

In Israel’s warped scales of justice, the cost of a Palestinian child’s life amounts to no more than a month of extra kitchen duties for his killer.

But the overwhelming majority of the 220 Palestinian deaths at the Gaza fence over the past 20 months will never be investigated. Nor will the wounding of tens of thousands more Palestinians, many of them now permanently disabled.

There is an equally disturbing trend. The Israeli public have become so used to seeing YouTube videos of soldiers – their sons and daughters – abuse Palestinians that they now automatically come to the soldiers’ defence, however egregious the abuses.

The video of the father and son threatened in Hebron elicited few denunciations. Most Israelis rallied behind the soldiers. Amos Harel, a military analyst for the liberal Haaretz newspaper, observed that an “irreversible process” was under way among Israelis: “The soldiers are pure and any criticism of them is completely forbidden.”

When the Israeli state offers impunity to its soldiers, the only deterrence is the knowledge that such abuses are being monitored and recorded for posterity – and that one day these soldiers may face real accountability, in a trial for war crimes.

But Israel is working hard to shut down those doing the investigating – human rights groups.

For many years Israel has been denying United Nations monitors – including international law experts like Richard Falk and Michael Lynk – entry to the occupied territories in a blatant bid to stymie their human rights work.

Last week Human Rights Watch, headquartered in New York, also felt the backlash. The Israeli supreme court approved the deportation of Omar Shakir, its Israel-Palestine director.

Before his appointment by HRW, Mr Shakir had called for a boycott of the businesses in illegal Jewish settlements. The judges accepted the state’s argument: he broke Israeli legislation that treats Israel and the settlements as indistinguishable and forbids support for any kind of boycott.

But Mr Shakir rightly understands that the main reason Israel needs soldiers in the West Bank – and has kept them there oppressing Palestinians for more than half a century – is to protect settlers who were sent there in violation of international law.

The collective punishment of Palestinians, such as restrictions on movement and the theft of resources, was inevitable the moment Israel moved the first settlers into the West Bank. That is precisely why it is a war crime for a state to transfer its population into occupied territory.

But Mr Shakir had no hope of a fair hearing. One of the three judges in his case, Noam Sohlberg, is himself just such a lawbreaker. He lives in Alon Shvut, a settlement near Hebron.

Patinkin floats above the suffering

Carla Maga in the Star recently introduced the multi-talented performer Mandy Patinkin’s 2 show appearance in Toronto next week this way:

We know him for his timeless characters — Inigo Montoya from “The Princess Bride,” Georges Seurat from Stephen Sondheim’s “Sunday in the Park With George,” Saul Berenson in “Homeland.” Often calling himself a “mailman,” Mandy Patinkin, however largely he looms over Broadway, film and TV, is never one to boast about his own talents or intellect. According to him, he’s the vessel for the real artists who write the songs he sings and the words he speaks.

When we started working on that one in the studio, every time we got to the words, “I’m so tired of you, America,” that’s what Rufus wrote, I sang, “I’m so tired of you …” and then I just let the music play. I couldn’t say the word. So I said to Thomas, “I usually don’t do this, but I’m thinking something else, I’m picking up the word “Jerusalem.” He said, “Then sing it.”

Then the song, to me, was everything I had to say about my lifetime experience of observing the history of that Holy Land for all humanity, all over the world, through all time. I sang it for all people, on every side, from Christian, Jew, Muslim, Palestinian, Israeli, American, Hindu, Buddhists. It became a prayer, to me — to stop the killing, the hatred and the violence. I’m singing for everyone on every single side of the issue. I want everyone to feel that both now and in the future they feel that they have freedom, justice and dignity, and equality, and that they all can live together and be neighbours. It’s even OK to be comfortable with one’s discomfort and not feel that everything has to be fixed and made to be perfect, because perfect doesn’t exist.

These are indeed noble sentiments but sadly disengenuous.

Painkin self-identifies as a Jew  so for many reasons he cannot come out and openly place the fundamental  blame where it belongs—almost totally in the lap of the state violence of Israel. It’s not that there isn’t Palestinian violence and it needs to be vociferously condemned especially against innocents which indeed is rare

This is not the point.Palestinian Violence #2 the response to the overwhelming state violence,the primary state violence of the land theft of 1948,67 and ongoing settler colonialsismin the West Bank, illegal collective punishment condemned by international law —house demolitions, targetted assassinations, racist exclusion from state jobs.The brutality and humiliation is endless

There simply is no equivalence here and Patinkin knows it—but he can’t or wont  say it. He hides in abstract generalities which never  touch the ground of massive Palestinian suffering.There is no flesh, no incarnation here. His words are ethereal, much too evasive and ultimately dishonest.

Patinkin also is an artist who does not want the Zionist thought police outside the Ed Mirvish theatre  when he performs here. If he spoke the truth as many brave Jews do and have, he would have to deal deal with the charges of being a self-hating Jew and a useful idiot. I mean Mandy is 65 and has an excellent career. Pickets wherever he goes he does not need. In Yiddish he would say who needs this tsuris, this grief. So his words  lack flesh, context and honesty.”Singing for everyone “is a cop out.

We get it. At one level it’s understandable.

On another level, it’s sad.

Bishop Tom Shaw come on back

The Prophet is an iconoclast, challenging the apparently holy, revered and awesome. Beliefs cherished as certainties, institutions endowed with supreme sanctity, the prophet exposes as scandalous pretensions. The prophet’s word is a scream in the night. While the world is at ease and asleep, the prophet feels the blast from heaven.

Abraham Heschel

Tom Shaw was the much loved former Anglican bishop of Massachusetts who died of brain cancer in 2014. His priestly life reads  as a model for discipleship in Jesus.

Unknown to most of us other than his Anglican family a cursory view of  the life of this humble pastor and church leader would inspire any Christian.He seemed to be on the gospel side of most issues but on one issue he was amazingly prescient and downright prophetic. Clad in his bishop’s garb in October of 2001 he dared to publicly call out Israel for its abundant brutalization of Palestinian life.

18 years ago on that October day Shaw incurred the ire of Jewish leaders when he joined others outside the Israeli consulate in Boston to protest that country’s treatment of Palestinians. Shaw was way  head of the curve at that time. Prophets always are.

This gift of solidarity and advocacy was no flavor of the month. Shaw was a man of deep prayer and like all prophets he had to speak as the majority of rabbis chose the tribalist defence of Israel while  Christian clergy kept their silence. they plugged their ears to the palestinian scream and God’s scream in the night.This brave brother Bishop Shaw knew what he was talking about having seen the reality to Israel/Palestine. He chose to ignore  the societal  third rail which inhibits any just criticism of Israel.

Today this crucial issue, this long-suffering wound issue scares the hell out of the priestly class, terrified at being labelled anti-Semitic instead of acting a pro-justice solidarity.This bishop refused to walk on by the Palestinian body at the side of the road. It cried out to him and he responded.The predictable cries of protest erupted”-”unbalanced, ”,“one-sided” and the lamest canard of them all, “anti-Semitic.”

Tom Shaw wrote:

My witness that cold evening in late October was an extension of my prayer for peace, in which I was not only speaking to God  but listening to God. If the work of God calls us to do in our baptismal covenant, to ‘strive for peace and justice among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being’ is not not advocacy, what is it?

I came to the conclusion that advocacy on on behalf of justice is deeply rooted in the Jewish and Christian tradition. Injustice has to be made visible if there is to be any reconciliation.Seeking justice and peace is not about avoiding conflict or protecting our brothers and sisters from them selves or unjust action, it is about taking risks on behalf of the victims of injustice.That is what the prophets did in Israel, what Jesus did to the Roman empire, what Gandhi did in India, what Desmond Tutu did in South Africa..The church is to be like that.

Tom Shaw knew his scriptures. He understood Jesus call of the kingdom was not about balance. It meant risk. He knew the prophets and his own Lord was never about ‘balance’. He noted:

When Jesus acts against he institutional structures of Judaism, or denounces the Pharisees and Scribes he is not attacking the faith of fellow Jews, to its shame as is often taught. In fact he is holding up to the Jews the tradition of of the Mosaic covenant, calling them back to the prophetic faith of the exodus.

Where in this land  is such episcopal leadership?

Shaw’s witness reminded me of the wise Vatican ll Belgian cardinal Leo Suenen’s line

Prudence is everywhere

courage is nowhere 

and we shall all die of wisdom.

As the Christian churches of the West our “hands in the water” are dying of wisdom, the Palestinian people, their “hands in the fire” are begging for solidarity. 

Don’t say we didn’t know

Now therefore hear the word of the Lord You say ‘Do not prophesy against Israel..’

Amos 7:16

Amos Gvirtz is one of those great Israelis of Conscience who simply can not live with the largely hidden war on the real indigenous people of Palestine, the Bedouins. He has become one of their ardent defenders.

These citizens have been in the Negev since Abraham was a baby (about 4,000 years) and they are now called “trespassers on State land.” Their travail is hidden from North Americans who are knee jerk supporters of Israel come what may but their treatment reflects just how low Zionism has sunk. It is no wonder that many young Jews who made aware by the omnipresence of social media indeed now do know. They see this as a betrayal of their Judaism  and are divorcing themselves from Zionist policies described  by historian Ilan Pappé as “incremental genocide.”

Growing up on a kibbutz north of Tel Aviv, Gvirtz always heard the lame excuse of many Germans that they did not know what was transpiring in Nazi Germany. He has made it his mission to tell his fellow Israelis and indeed the world, what is happening to the most vulnerable citizens of Israel, the Bedouin, a people who are seeing their land stolen from under them.

So one more time the ever faithful Amos an Israeli of conscience who still lives on a kibbutz, himself a veritable  avatar of the biblical Amos (of Tekoa circa 750 BCE) who also spoke truth to power and bad religion(Amaziah the priest of Bethel}. That  “dresser of sycamore trees” the biblical Amos was told to bugger off

“O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah earn your bread there and prophesy there

Amos 7:11

The indefatigable modern day Amos for the 669th time alertsthe state and his hundreds of readers of which I am one, the continuous saga of wanton cruelty of Israeli toward its indigenous citizens. His spare but accurate deceptions of brutal state power are quite similar to the biblical Amos

Hear this,you that trample on the needy

and bring to ruin the poor of the land

Amos 8:4

Here is misive 669

As every year, now too Palestinians harvesting their olives suffer assaults by Jewish settler-colonists who damage their olive groves and destroy the crop (or steal it). Often Israeli soldiers chase the victims off their own lands.

Thus, for example, on Monday, October 21, 2019, a family from the Palestinian village of A-Sawiya (close to the settler-colonies of Rechelim, Ma’ale Levona, and Eli) harvested its olives. At the end of the day’s work, armed settler-colonists arrived, chased the family from its own olive grove and trashed the olives.

On Friday and Saturday, October 18 and 19, a Palestinian family from Karyut village (east of the settler-colony of Eli and north of the settler-colony Shiloh) went out to harvest its olives. Israeli soldiers arrived and prevented the family from reaching its groves that are situated in an area where coordination with the Israeli army is not required. On Saturday the soldiers hurled teargas and stun grenades at them.

On Wednesday, October 23, 2019, Israeli government agents escorted by police came to the unrecognized Bedouin village of Al Arakib in the Negev and demolished the present structures yet again.

On Thursday, October 24, Israeli government agents escorted by police demolished a home in the Bedouin village of Za’arura, in the Negev.

Activists declare victory in #RaptorsDontGo campaign

sportswashing – when a corrupt or tyrannical regime uses sport to enhance its reputation

Marion Kawas 

The Canadian BDS Coalition issued a statement on October 22, 2019, declaring victory in the campaign to stop the NBA 2019 champions, the Toronto Raptors, from going as a team on a “promised trip” to Israel. The Coalition noted that the new 2019-20 National Basketball Association NBA season has officially started, and “no reported public team visit” to Israel has occurred.

Their release stated: “Our campaign was launched in June 2019, immediately following the Raptors victory in the NBA championship; and after team co-owner Larry Tanenbaum received extensive coverage in the Israeli media stating he would bring the team to visit Israel if they won the championship. The Israeli Embassy in Ottawa highlighted the issue, and tweeted the Raptors promising ‘we’ll call you…to help with the arrangements’.”

The outreach and strength of the #RaptorsDontGo campaign exceeded even the organizers’ expectations; the reaction was immediate, loud and global. The blatant nature of this particular sports-washing attempt was so crude and so exploitative that it seemed to outrage a wide swath of people. Roger Waters took time off from his schedule in New York to do up a video message adding his voice to the #RaptorsDontGo campaign, a message that was later slammed in a tweet by Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs. This was not the first tweet from Gilad Erdan’s ministry on this subject; they also tweeted on June 18, 2019 telling the Raptors “We’re looking forward to your visit to Israel”.

4IL@4ILorg

Co-owner of @Raptors Larry Tanenbaum said that if Toronto wins the #NBAFinals, he’s bringing the team to our pretty little country!

The campaign activists also explained in the statement why they felt the trip had not happened:

“Why exactly the Raptors team never went on the “promised trip” may have been the result of several factors, not the least of which was the quick and overwhelmingly negative response by so many basketball fans. This must surely have been noticed by the team’s owners – Bell 37.5%, Rogers 37.5% and Tanenbaum’s company Kilmer Sports 25%. Although Tanenbaum’s entity may not be impacted by public opinion on this issue, Bell and Rogers certainly are and have their broader business agenda to consider.  Also, the protests that happened in Israel after the police shooting of an Ethiopian teenager on June 30, 2019, some referencing slogans of the Black Lives Matter movement, would have been a politically damaging backdrop for such a team visit.”

The public backlash was a definite factor. And the protests mentioned in the statement that happened in Israel after the shooting of an Ethiopian teenage were definitely what analysts would term “bad optics”. Especially for a team of majority black players, some of whom had been vocal about their refusal to visit Trump’s White House in opposition to policies affecting black communities in the U.S.  Further, the Raptors team had other internal issues to focus on, such as rebuilding the team after losing some top players, and may not have savored the prospect of having to do damage control for an unpopular trip to Israel.

In an interesting development that got wide media attention and favourable social media response, the Raptors team last month were the first NBA team to introduce a new line of team-branded athletic hijabs for Muslim women. According to CBC: “The Toronto Raptors say a new line of team-branded hijabs is part of a broader effort to be more inclusive to fans of all cultures. The team’s parent company, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, unveiled the Nike Pro hijabs emblazoned with the team logo in a social media post…”. The same article goes on to quote MLSE Senior Marketing Director Jerry Ferguson as saying that “the Raptors want to send a message of inclusion to its widely diverse fan base, which grew substantially during the playoff run that saw the team win its first NBA championship earlier this year.” 

Of course, something that facilitates the active involvement of more women, especially younger women, in sports is a positive development. But one wonders if the desire of the Raptors management to showcase a “message of inclusion” was also an effort to balance the fallout of the Israel trip fiasco.

.The release from the Coalition concludes this way:

“The Canadian BDS Coalition is grateful that this visit did not materialize, as it would have given legitimacy to Israel’s war crimes. We feel the #RaptorsDontGo campaign also demonstrated the strength of popular grassroots campaigns that can mobilize to achieve justice for Palestinians. As with the Boycott Puma campaign, that calls out that company’s sponsorship of the Israeli Football Association which includes teams from the illegal settlements, the push-back on sportswashing of Israel’s dispossession of a whole nation and people is a critical part of the struggle for Palestinian rights.”

Marion Kawas is a long-time pro-Palestinian activist, a member of BDS Vancouver-Coast Salish

. Misterioso 

Well done Canadian BDS Coalition!! Another major success. The more successes, the more that will come. The documented truth about Zionism and its spawn, “Israel” is becoming main stream.