Friday, December 28, 2012

13 year old Palestinian girl, Ah'd Tamimi, wins Hanzala Award for Courage.

 Dear friends,
Ah'd Tamimi, the daughter of my friends Bassem and Nariman Tamimi from the village of Nabi Saleh has just been awarded the Hanzala Courage Award in Turkey.

Many of you will have seen photos of Ah'd and other children from Nabi Saleh regularly challenging Israeli occupation forces who invade the village and terrorise the residents on a regular basis.  

Ah'd comes from a family of activists who have refused to be cowered by the Israeli state and/or the Israeli military.  Her father, mother and siblings actively take part in Nabi Saleh's popular unarmed resistance against Israel's occupation and apartheid politics.

Ah'd's father, Bassem, is currently in prison for participating in and leading non-violent civil disobedience actions against Israel's occupation and apartheid system.  Bassem spent a year in prison for being a leader of the non-violent struggle in Nabi Saleh and has been imprisoned again for participating in the first BDS action carried out in an illegal Israeli colony in the occupied Palestinian Territories.  

Ah'd's mother, Nariman, has been also been arrested several times for her non-violent activism against Israel's occupation and apartheid policies.   Earlier this year, A'hd's brother was also arrested and detained by the Israeli military. 

On 17 November (2012), Ah'd's uncle, Rushdi Tamimi was killed by Israeli Occupation Forces who shot him during an unarmed protest in Nabi Saleh in opposition to Israel's recent assault on Gaza.  At the time, IOF soldiers invaded the village using extensive force, firing live ammunition, rubber coated steel bullets and tear gas. 

Ah'd, along with the other children of Nabi Saleh and Palestine, show amazing courage every single day in the face of a brutal occupation and apartheid regime. 

Please find below, a news article from Time's Turkish online magazine about A'hd's award.

in solidarity, 

A'hd receiving award in Turkey

Palestinian girl gets courage award

Ahed Tamimi who challenged the Israeli soldiers that had arrested her brother was awarded with 'Handala Courage Award'.

27December 2012

Palestinian girl Ahed Tamimi who challenged the Israeli soldiers that had arrested her brother was awarded with "Handala Courage Award" in Istanbul on Wednesday.

Visiting Turkey as being the guest of Basaksehir Municipality of Istanbul, 13-year-old Tamimi attended a series of events ahead of the award ceremony and opened an art exhibition titled "Being children in Palestine".

She thanked Turkish children for welcoming her as she was one of them, and called on the Palestinian children to stand tall, at the ceremony.

Tamimi said she was proud to get the Handala award which would enhance her strength. She said she showed her fist to the soldier and thought she could make Palestine free.

Answering questions of AA correspondent, Tamimi said she would like to be a lawyer in order to contribute to the Palestinian issue.

Handala Courage Award, handed out by the Basaksehir Municipality, was named after the cartoon character Handala created by Palestinian cartoonist Naji Salim al-Ali noted for the political criticism of the Arab regimes and Israel in his works.

Handala, a 10-year-old boy, became an icon of Palestinian identity and defiance. (aa)

 Ah'd attempting to stop the arrest of her mother, Nariman.
Ah'd arguing with an Israel soldier after her 15 year old brother Wa'ad was arrested for participating in an unarmed demonstration against the occupation in their village.  A week earlier A'hd's father Bassem had been arrested for participating in a non-violent BDS action in an illegal Israeli colony/

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Australian Activists: Don't Buy Israeli Apartheid for Christmas

Dear friends,
please find below my article which appeared on Mondoweiss about the Melbourne "Don't Buy Israeli Apartheid for Christmas" action.

Mondoweiss have embedded the shorter of the two videos from the action.  While I have posted up these videos before, I will embedded both videos again with the article so people do not have to go searching for the earlier post.

in solidarity, Kim 

Australian Activists: Don't Buy Israeli Apartheid for Christmas

by Kim Bullimore: Mondoweiss: 17 December 2012

On December 7, more than 140 Palestine solidarity activists and human rights supporters in Melbourne staged a peaceful BDS action as part of the "Don't Buy Israeli Apartheid for Christmas" national week of action around Australia.  The Melbourne action was organised by Students for Palestine and supported by the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (Melbourne).

Palestine solidarity activists sang Christmas Carols, which had been adapted to reflect the situation faced by Palestinians living under Israeli occupation and apartheid, to encourage Christmas shoppers to think about the oppressive conditions faced by Palestinians and to encourage them to join the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign in support of the Palestinian people. 

Joining the “festive” spirit at Melbourne’s City Square, where a huge Christmas tree and Nativity setting are located, Palestine solidarity “carolers” sang a version of “Ode to Joy” and John Lennon’s “So this is Christmas”.  Jeremy Gibson and Patrick Alves from Students for Palestine noted the similarities between the struggles of the Palestinian people and the struggle of Indigenous Australian, acknowledging Aboriginal ownership of the land and giving respect to Aboriginal elders past and present.

Owen Cosgriff from Students for Palestine also noted that if the “three wise men” of the Nativity “were to try and follow the star to Bethlehem in this day and age that they would find themselves detained at one or multiple checkpoints in the West Bank”.  He went on to point out that this was the lived daily reality for Palestinians who continue to live under  Israel’s brutal military occupation.  Cosgriff noted that the caroling action hoped to highlight that at Christmas time when many people were out doing their Christmas shopping and there were songs being sung about peace and good will to everyone, that the suffering of Palestinians does not stop in the West Bank and Gaza. 

Palestine solidarity activists then took their “caroling” to the streets of the Melbourne CBD, singing renditions of “Little Drummer Boy” and “I wish you a Merry Christmas”.  Outside the Myer Christmas windows in Bourke Street Mall, Jo Mettam from the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid in Melbourne, announced the launch of the group’s new SodaStream BDS campaign, which will commence later this month.   

Mettam noted that SodaStream, which is sold widely by many Australian retailers, is the largest manufacturer, distributor and marketer of Home Carbonation Systems and has its main production plant in Mishor Adumim, an industrial zone located in the illegal Israeli colony of Ma'ale Adumim in the Occupied West Bank.  She went onto explain that as a settlement factory, SodaStream receives regular tax benefits/breaks from the Israeli government and employ Palestinians under exploitative labour conditions.   

The peaceful action then made its way to one of the two Max Brenner Chocolate shops located in Melbourne city.  Early this year, in July, sixteen Palestine solidarity activists who had been arrested at a pro-boycott demonstration outside of Max Brenner in 2011 had charges of“trespassing” and “besetting” dismissed against them.  The solidarity activists had been arrested on July 1, 2011 at a peaceful protest organised by the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid, which sought to highlight the complicity of the company Max Brenner Chocolate and its parent company, the Strauss Group, in Israel’s occupation and apartheid policies.

The Strauss Group, which owns Max Brenner, is one of Israel’s largest food and beverage companies. On its website, the Strauss Group has highlighted its support for the Israeli military, providing care packages, books, games and sports and recreational equipment for soldiers. In particular, Strauss has boasted of its support for the Golani and Givati brigades, who have a long record of human rights abuses against Palestinians and in Lebanon.  Both brigades were heavily involved in Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s 2008-09 assault on the Gaza Strip, which resulted in the killing of approximately 1,400 Palestinians, including approximately 350 children.

Similar "Don't Buy Israeli Apartheid for Christmas" activities and solidarity actions will be taking place in Sydney, Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane as part of the national week of solidarity between 8-15 December.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Don't Buy Israeli Apartheid for Christmas 2012

Dear friends,
On December 7 in Melbourne, Palestine solidarity activists and human rights supporters staged a peaceful BDS action as part of a national week of action, "Don't Buy Israeli Apartheid for Christmas".

Palestine solidarity activists sang Christmas Carols, which had been adapted to reflect the situation faced by Palestinians living under occupation and apartheid, to encourage Christmas shoppers to think about the oppressive situation faced by Palestinians and to join the Palestinian Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign in support of the Palestinian people.

Please find below some photos and the video I shot of the action.

In solidarity,

Don't Buy Israeli Apartheid for Christmas - full version (11 mins)

No profit for Israeli apartheid - short version (4 mins)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Photo Essay: Solidarity with Gaza and the Palestinian people - Melbourne (23 November 2012)

Dear friends,
Please find below (albeit a little late) photos from the November 23 Palestine solidarity rally in Melbourne.  Over 1000 people marched in support of the people of Palestine, opposing Israel's assault on Gaza.  

Palestinian activist, Moammar Mashni from Australians for Palestine who co-chaired the rally, along with Vashti Kenway from Students for Palestine, read out an email from one of the Norwegian doctor working in Shifa hospital in Gaza giving a first hand account of the impact of Israel's assault on the Palestinian population in Gaza.

Speaking at the rally in support of the Palestinian people were: Aboriginal elder, Robbie Thorpe; Luke Kilihari, Victorian Trades Hall Council; Senator Scott Ludlum (Greens); Peter Slezak, Australian Independent Jewish Voices; Palestinian activist, Enas Sammak; Josh K from Jews against Israeli Apartheid.

The rally took place one day after the announcement of the so-called "ceasefire".  However, despite this, supporters of the Palestinian people, in Melbourne and around the world, still came out onto the streets in large numbers because they recognised that the so-called "ceasefire" did not mean an end to Israel's violence against Palestinians. Instead, Israel's violence would continue in the form of the siege and occupation of Gaza and the occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Between the end of Operation Cast Lead and the beginning of this assault on Gaza, Israel killed 270 Palestinians in Gaza and 43 in the West Bank.  In the last week, since the "ceasefire" was announced, Israel has continued to break it and fire on unarmed Palestinians, killing at least two people. 

Now more than ever, it is important to continue to take a stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people and your local Palestinian solidarity group and/or the Palestinian BDS campaign.

In solidarity, Kim  

Robbie Thorpe, Aboriginal elder speaks in solidarity with the Palestinian people.  Robbie noted the similarities between the struggle of Indigenous Australians and the people of Palestine.  He was joined by other members of the Aboriginal community at the front of the rally.

more than 1000 supporters of Palestine and human rights gathered at the 
State Library of Victoria to oppose Israel's assault on Gaza.