Thursday, July 14, 2011

When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty - Israeli activists and the new anti-boycott laws

Dear friends,
As you may be aware, the Israeli Knesset on Monday night (Israeli time, 11 July) passed a new law making it illegal to call for, advocate or participate in a boycott against the Israeli state, its institutions or any Israeli citizen. In addition, the new law makes it illegal to call for a boycott of Israel’s settlements or products manufactured in these colonies which are illegal under international law.

In effect, the new law normalises Israel's occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, erasing the "greenline" (1967 armistice line), as it does not differentiate between Israel or the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Under the new law, any NGO which calls for or participates in a boycott against Israel will be denied tax exemption status. Any individual who does the same will be open to legal action. Any litigant can claim damages against both individuals and organisations for the advocating or participating in a boycott of Israel and be awarded financial compensation WITHOUT having to prove that the call for boycott or that an actual boycott has caused him/her and/or the company any financial damages.

Israeli activists both before the passing of the law and after the passing of the law are mobilising to campaign against it. Tali Shapiro and Bekah Wolf, who are just two of the amazing Israeli activists involved in the joint popular struggle and who I have been very lucky to meet in the Occupied Territories, have already issued public statements in support of an Israeli boycott. In issuing their statements, Tali and Bekah, are actively, deliberately and proudly breaking Israeli law.
It should be noted that In the time that it has taken me to put this email together, more and more Israelis have begun to join Tali and Becca, issuing a public statement announcing their support for a boycott of Israel. One such activist, who also issued a statement is Ofer Neiman, who spoke via skype at the first National BDS Conference in Australia in 2010. No doubt many other Israeli activists, in coming days, will engage in similar “illegal” acts, which actively and deliberately seek to break Israeli law.

I have included below, a copy of both Tali and Bekah’s statements, as well as links to some articles by Israeli activists and commentators on the new anti-boycott law.
In addition to the individual stands being taken by activists like Tali, Becca and Ofer, the Israeli group Peace Now, which supports a selective boycott of settlements, has announced that it will publicly launch a campaign calling for boycott. According to reports in the media, more than 2000 people joined their boycott campaign facebook within a few hours (see also here)

Israeli human rights organsiations, Adalah and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel have announced that they will petition the Israeli High Court to have the law struck down

As the old saying goes: When Injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty!
Please support these inspiring “law breakers” and join the BDS campaign today!
In solidarity,

For more information on the new bill and what is means see:
explains the impact of the law and has a link to an English translation of the law
outlines the political ideology of the new law
why the law is undemocratic

Tali Shapiro

I call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against the State of Israelby Tali Shapiro on Tuesday, July 12, 2011
I call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against the State of Israel in order to harm the State of Israel by means of boycott. If this is not clear enough, I will clarify: I (Tal Shapira, ID number: 039986310) hereby call for any person to deliberately avoid economic, cultural or academic ties with another person or another factor only because of his ties with the State of Israel, one of its institutions or an area under its control, in such a way that may cause economic, cultural or academic damage. I knowingly publish a public call for a boycott against the State of Israel, hoping that according to the content and circumstances of the publication there is reasonable probability that the call will bring about a boycott; I am aware of this possibility.

אני קוראת לחרם, הימנעות מהשקעות וסנקציות על מדינת ישראל במטרה לפגוע במדינת ישראל באמצעות חרם. אם זה לא מספיק ברור, אבהיר: אני (טל שפירא, מס׳ תעודת־זיהוי: 039986310) קוראת בזאת לכל אדם באשר הוא להמנע במתכוון מקשר כלכלי, תרבותי או אקדמי עם אדם או עם גורם אחר, רק מחמת זיקתו למדינת ישראל, מוסד ממוסדותיה או איזור הנמצא בשליטתה, המנעות שיש בה כדי לפגוע בו פגיעה כלכלית, תרבותית או אקדמית. אני מפרסמת ביודעין קריאה פומבית זו להטלת חרם על מדינת ישראל, בתקווה שעל פי תוכנה של הקריאה והנסיבות שבהן פורסמה יש אפשרות סבירה שהקריאה תביא להטלת חרם כאמור; אני מודעת לאפשרות כאמור.
הקריאה הספציפית הזאת נוסחה במקור כאן:
מוזמנות ומוזמנים להטמיע את שמכןם ולהפיץ בנוט משלכןם.


Bekah Wolf


My name is Rebekah Wolf Gomez. I became an Israeli citizen in 2007 as the only way to ensure I would be able to stay with my husband, a Palestinian from the West Bank, and not fear deportation from the Israeli government, which they did do to me in 2005.
I unequivocally, unabashedly, and with total pride call on everyone across the world to Boycott Israel, in particular, everything called for for boycott by PACBI. I fully support the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions and in all of my public speaking outside of Israel I call for support for BDS and will continue to do so.
I am making this statement because the Israeli government recently made it illegal to do so. There is much discussion about whether or not people should sign statements against it with their own names. People are referring to the "decline" in Israeli democracy. Many want to know the risk involved.

My husband, the people of his village, and indeed in all of Palestine, have not had the luxury of deciding how "risky" an act of defiance against Israeli occupation and apartheid will be. So long as Palestinians risk imprisonment, injury, and death for the sake of freedom, I won't cower in the face of much less risk. I think every other Israeli citizen should do the same. Worry about having your bank accounts frozen is no excuse at all.

Israel: come and get me. Tariq Al Ayn, Beit Ommar. The military's knows the way.

[NOTE from Kim: Bekah’s husband is Mousa Abu Maria, one of the leaders of the non-violent struggle in Beit Ommar. Bekah is one of the co-founders of the Palestine Solidarity Project based in Beit Ommar ]

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Support the ‘Boycott Israel 19’ Defence campaign: Stand up for Palestinian human rights! Stand up for civil rights in Victoria!

Support the ‘Boycott Israel 19’ Defence campaign: Stand up for Palestinian human rights! Stand up for civil rights in Victoria! Oppose the criminalisation of protests in support of Palestine!

On 1 July 2011, the Victorian police viciously attacked a peaceful pro-Palestine demonstration in Melbourne’s CBD. In one of the largest political arrests in a decade, 19 non-violent protesters were arrested during a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) action against Israeli-owned Max Brenner store. The chocolateria in the Queen Victoria Centre is owned by the Israeli conglomerate ‘Strauss group’; a company that provides “care rations” for the Israeli military, including the Golani and the Givati brigades – two of the key Israeli military brigades involved in Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza in December 2008/January 2009, which killed more than 1300 Palestinians, the majority of whom were civilian, including over 300 children.

The peaceful picket was ‘kettled’ by police before leading activists were individually targeted in an unprovoked attack by the police riot squad. ‘Kettling’ is the tactic of completely surrounding a group of protesters. The majority of those arrested have been charged with “trespass” and “besetting”, while a small number of the demonstrators were also charged with “behaving in a riotous manner”. Video taken of the demonstrations shows that the pro-Palestinian activists were completely peaceful before being attacked by the Victorian police. If found guilty the activists face an incredible $30,000 of fines.

The protest against Max Brenner occurred as part of the global Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against the apartheid Israeli state. Inspired by the South African struggle against apartheid, the BDSanctions campaign was launched by Palestinian civil society in 2005. Endorsed by more than 171 Palestinian civil society organisations, including political parties, women’s groups, trade unions, associations, the BDS campaign is conducted in the framework of international solidarity and resistance to injustice and oppression and calls for non-violent punitive measures to be maintained until Israel meets its obligation to recognise the Palestinian people's right to self-determination and fully complies with international law.

The attack on the peaceful BDS action in Melbourne highlights increasing attempts to criminalise pro-Palestine solidarity activism both in Australia and internationally. Currently in the US, France and Greece, hundreds of pro-Palestine activists are facing criminal charges for non-violently standing up for Palestinian human rights. It also highlights the increasing attacks on civil liberties, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly in Victoria by the Baillieu government. For instance, in June Bailleu’s government introduced new laws extending police powers, allowing the Victorian police to issue on-the-spot fines of up to $240 for using “offensive” language. The government has also established a new 42 member "Public Order Response Team”. According to the Melbourne’s Herald Sun newspaper, one of the primary functions of Baillieu’s new riot squad will be “breaking up public protests”.

Civil liberties lawyer Rob Stary in a media release issued by the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid in the wake of the violent police attack on the peaceful BDS protest outside Max Brenner said the attack and arrests showed that “the new Victorian government is prepared to criminalise legitimate dissent."

We call on all supporters of human rights, freedom of speech and civil liberties to stand in solidarity with the 19 BDS/pro-Palestine activists who were beaten and arrested by the Victorian police on July 1. Support and/or join the "Boycott-Israel19" Defence campaign today!

How you can support the ‘Boycott Israel 19”

1.Add your name/groups name to this solidarity statement, circulating it among supporters where possible.
2.Check out for ongoing updates on the campaign. Email the campaign at
3.Donate to the Boycott-Israel19 defence fund (very important)Palestine Solidarity CampaignCommonwealth Bank: BSB: 063-262 Account: 1052 9148Please tag your donation with the following identifier: DF19

More than 100 arrested at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, moved to Israeli prison

By Joseph Dana: +972 Magazine

More than 100 ‘Welcome to Palestine’ activists reportedly barred from entering Israel and will spend the weekend in detention facilities, while hundreds others banned from boarding flights; on Friday, bystanders jeer, assault Israeli activists as police look on.

Israeli activist Matan Cohen being detained by police at Ben Gurion airport (photo: Oren Ziv /

Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv – On one of the busiest travel days of the week, Ben Gurion International Airport just outside of Tel Aviv was in a state of near chaos this afternoon. Hordes of tourists mixed with hundreds of police officers and journalists in the grand arrival terminal as Israel prepared for the landing of hundreds of pro-Palestinian tourists attempting to travel to the West Bank. Last night, two pro-Palestinian American activists, who were also passengers on the US boat to Gaza, were detained by immigration authorities as they attempted to enter Israel. They were the first of reportedly hundreds activists who have been banned from entering the state of Israel in the last 24 hours. Hundreds of other tourists were not allowed to board their flights to Tel Aviv after Israeli security authorities sent their names to airlines such as Air France which were carrying suspect activists to Israel.

Several dozen activists arrived at Tel Aviv in the afternoon from Switzerland, London and Germany. Israel has moved the passengers to a different terminal, where they were interrogated by security forces. Later this evening, it was reported that more than one hundred passengers who declared their wish to visit the West Bank or were suspected to be pro-Palestinian will spend the weekend in detention facilities, before they are to be deported from Israel on Sunday.

Over the past week, Israeli media has been frantically reporting that hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists planned to arrive at Ben Gurion airport with clear intentions to visit the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Part of a Europe-based campaign, “Welcome to Palestine,” their political protest has been labelled the “air flotilla” or “flytilla” by the international press, despite organizers rejecting connections to the flotilla, which was recently stopped by the Greek coast guard from sailing to the Gaza Strip. The Israeli media, at the time of writing, is referring to the event as a “Gaza fly-in“ despite no proof or comment that passengers intend to travel to Gaza. In fact, the organizers have been clear in their desire to travel freely and openly to the West Bank and not Gaza.

Visitors to the West Bank usually hide their destination for fear of being deported from Israel, but participants of “Welcome to Palestine” decided to openly declare their wish to visit Palestinian towns and villages.

Israeli Policemen at Ben Gurion Aiport, June 8 2011 (photo: Oren Ziv /

This morning, hundreds of plain clothes and uniformed police scoured the Ben Gurion arrival hall in order to “establish calm” ahead of the arrival of the activists. By 13:00, Israeli and foreign journalists had taken over the arrival terminal as the first flights landed. At approximately 13:30, several Israeli activists belonging to the leftist group Anarchists against the Wall held up small signs reading “Welcome to Palestine.” Some protesters held up Palestinian flags before undercover and regular cops pounced on them and dragged them outside the terminal.

Several dozen people, who had been waiting in the terminal to pick up loved ones, began chanting, “Pieces of shit” and “Go to Syria” as the protesters were taken to waiting police vans. Some of the onlookers spit, kicked and punched the protesters while they were in police custody. Police officers did nothing to prevent these attacks.

At one point, Jerusalem Post columnist Larry Derfner was detained as he pleaded with the angry mob of onlookers to stop attacking the detained activists.

“You can’t enter the West Bank without military permission even as a tourist,” Prime Minister’s Office Arabic spokesman Ofir Gendelman remarked after the Israeli activists were arrested. His statement confirms Israel’s absolute military control over the West Bank. “These pro-Palestinian activists do not recognize the State of Israel and this is a clear provocation against us,” he continued in the buzzing terminal. When asked if passengers will be deported for stating intentions to travel to the West Bank as tourists, his response was dismissive: “We know that some of these passengers have connections with Hamas and this is unacceptable.”

Earlier this week, a media release by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office labeled the Welcome to Palestine campaign as “part of an ongoing attempt to undermine Israel’s right to exist.”

After the detained activists were driven away from the airport, police officers began inspecting the press credentials of all the journalists present. Two journalists, carrying valid Israeli government issued press cards, were asked to leave the airport and were escorted to the exit by armed soldiers. The journalists, both well-known leftists, believe that they were asked to leave the airport because of their political affiliations with prominent left-wing groups in Israel. You can read the account of one of the journalists in Hebrew. No other journalists were barred from covering the event.

Israeli journalist Haggai Matar expelled from Ben Gurion airport by police, June 8 2011 (photo: Oren Ziv / activestills)

It seems that some passengers have made it through the passport controls and are currently on their way to Bethlehem where there will be a large celebration marking their arrival this evening. Exact numbers of activists that successfully entered Israeli is unknown at this point. Israeli lawyers are at the airport working with the detained passengers.

This post has been updated. Noam Sheizaf contributed to this piece from Tel Aviv.

“Air Flotilla” successful in exposing Israeli blockade of West Bank

Dear Friends,
hopefully you will have heard about the "Welcome to Palestine fly-in" to Ben Gurion airport which is scheduled to take place on Friday July 8. Anywhere between 400 and 1000 international activists and human rights supporters will attempt to fly into Israel and state their intention to go to the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

As many of you will be aware and/or know from first hand experience that it is not possible to enter the West Bank without first having to go through Israel and its "border controls". Israel regularly stops and/or deports visitors who express solidarity with the Palestinian people or visit the West Bank in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle. As a result, it is "normal" practice for Palestine solidarity activists to either not admit they are going to the Occupied West Bank or lie about what they will be doing.

The idea behind the air flotilla is similar to the sea flotillas, to highlight Israel's occupation and apartheid practices. This will be done by Palestine solidarity activists and human rights supporters simply arriving en-masse at Ben-Gurion airport in Tel Aviv and honestly stating that they wish to visit the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For more information on this, please see the media release issued by the Welcome to Palestine campaign and an article by Sam Bahour from the Right to Enter campaign in the Guardian

Apparently, the Israeli government and its "security" forces were completely oblivious to the scheduled fly-in until till a few days ago, despite the fact that there had been public organising around it for sometime (from memory, I recall first hearing about the fly-in last year sometime). Reports published in the Israeli media and coming in from both Israeli and internationals activists indicate that news of the fly-in has sent the Netanyahu government in panic. Israeli news site, YNET, for example reported an anonymous Israeli government official as saying "Everyone here is hysterics".

Reports are now coming in from international, Israeli activists and the media, that Israel has already deported 5 activists who arrived in the last couple of days and have working to get international airlines to cancel the tickets of anyone they suspect is flying to Israel as part of the Welcome to Palestine campaign. According to Israeli activists involved in the campaign, at least one Swiss activist has reported that her airline had contacted her to inform her that they had cancelled her flight booking to Israel at the request of the Israeli Ministry of Interior. In addition it is being reported that the Israeli government has contacted all airlines with flights coming into Israel, sending out a list of at least 350 people demanding that they not be allowed to fly into Ben Gurion.

Associated Press is also running reports that at least 8 participants in the fly-in from France have been blocked from their flights The activists told AP that when they had been stopped from boarding their flight, the airline showed them a list containing almost 400 names of people Israel did not want boarding flights to Israel.

International activists in France (which has one of the largest contingents of activists involved in the fly-in) have reported that they will be staging solidarity rallies in several French cities.

I have included below Noam Sheizaf's article on the "air flotilla" and Israel's reactions. Noam notes that not only has the Israeli government "lost the plot", he correctly points out that the air flotilla has already succeeded in its stated aim and has exposed very quickly and clearly Israel's blockade and occupation of the West Bank.

in solidarity,

French woman holds up sign "Checkpoint Israel" during a spontaneous demonstration at Paris' airport when participants in the Welcome to Palestine campaign are denied the right to board their flights to Tel Aviv.

Thursday, July 7 2011|Noam Sheizaf
“Air Flotilla” successful in exposing Israeli blockade of West Bank

Israeli authorities deployed hundreds of police officers to arrest and deport pro-Palestinian visitors. The Minister of Tourism announced that “good tourists” will be greeted with flowers

Panic. There is no other way to describe the Israeli reaction to a plan organized by a few activists—no more than a thousand, according to the most generous estimates—to try and travel to the West Bank via Ben Gurion International Airport. A handful of those visitors arrived (five of them have already been deported), and it seems that the whole country has gone mad.

Haaretz has reported a special deployment of hundreds of police officers and special units both inside and outside the terminals, “in case one of the arrivals tries to set himself on fire.” The Petach Tikva court, in charge of the airport area, is to have more arrest judges on alert, and the minister for Hasbara (propaganda) Yuli Edelstein demanded that the government take no chances, “because we should remember what happened on 9/11.”

All this, lets not forget, in order to welcome between a few dozen to a few hundred Westerners (most of them quite old, according to reports), who would arrive on separate flights and on different hours, who went through extensive security checks before boarding their planes, and who openly declared their intentions to visit the Palestinian territories. This is the national threat that has captured all the headlines for some days now in a country armed with one of the strongest armies in the world as well as an extensive arsenal of nuclear bombs.

While events at the airport are more absurd than tragic (there is a torrent of jokes on twitter about this, like: “attention all units, attention all units, a Swedish woman is now getting off flight 465″, or “security personnel have been ordered to report all those not singing ‘Heve’nu Shalom’ at landing”), one cannot watch the government’s handling of this situation and not question the judgment of Israeli decision makers, or wonder about the things they are capable of doing if and when they sense a more substantial threat. One of the sole voices of reason was Yedioth’s Eitan Haber, former secretary of Prime Minister Rabin, whose commentary today had the title: “We simply lost it” (“ירדנו מהפסים”).
The lunacy started at the top. Earlier this week, Netanyahu’s office has released a statement saying that the “welcome to Palestine” campaign “is part of a continuing effort to undermine Israel’s right to exist.” This call for action was supposed to have expired long ago from over use (I wonder what doesn’t constitute, in Netanyahu’s eyes “an effort to undermine Israel’s right to exist?”), but it did spark the desired result in the government. Internal Security Minister Itzhak Aharonowitz (Israel Beitenu) has put his forces on high alert, promising “not to let the hooligans enter Israel,” and senior police officers promised “harsh treatment” for those who will manage to board their flights to Tel Aviv.

The real nugget was revealed today, when Tourism minister Stas Misezhnikov sent his people to the airport to hand flowers to those arrivals that are not planning to travel to the West Bank. “Handcuffs to the activists, flowers to the tourists,” one of the headlines read. The tourism office, it was reported, fears that arrivals to Israel will “meet unpleasant sights of riots and arrests.”

“My office will welcome ["normal"] tourists in a respectful way that will convey the message that Israel is asafe, advanced and attractive place to visit,” Minister Mazesnikow told the press. His statement would have seemed to invoke the practices of the Soviet regime, if I weren’t sure that Mazesnikow, an immigrant from the former Soviet Union, knew better.

There is a deeper point to make here: By dividing the tourists to “evil” ones and to “good” and “honest” ones, according to their political motivation and their views on the Palestinian issue, Israel is confirming the logic of the BDS movement – that any business or contact with Israel is political, and probably serves Israeli policy. Much in the way the Israeli Foreign Ministry promotes on its Facebook wall articles on artists who plan to visit Israel next to pieces denouncing the Palestinians, the tourism office now views every visit to the county, whether for business, religious or personal reasons, as a sign of support in the face of “an effort to undermine our existence.”

In recent days, government officials have made a single talking point regarding the “Welcome to Palestine” campaign: that every country has the right do defend its sovereignty. If the United States, France and Japan can reject people from entering their territory without bothering to cite their reasons, why can’t Israel? Yet these are the same people who on any other week of the year deny even the term “occupation”, claiming that since the Oslo agreement, “Palestinians control their own lives.” PR people and supporters of the Israeli government repeat this idea all the time, and while everyone familiar with the reality in the West Bank knows that the Palestinian Authority has more or less the authority of a local US municipality, it is always surprising how widespread is the notion that Israel has effectively removed its control from the territories.

Here, for example, is a quote the glossary section in the internet site of the Propaganda organization “Stand with US”

Israel never formally annexed the West Bank or Gaza, and the Palestinians are not Israeli citizens and wish to have their own state. Today, Palestinians have their own government, the Palestinian Authority.

This is Morton Klein, head of Zionist of America, in often-cited 2002 article titled “There is no Occupation“:
Following the signing of the Oslo accords, the Israelis withdrew from nearly half of the territories, including the cities where 98.5% of Palestinian Arabs reside. The notion that the Palestinian Arabs are living under “Israeli occupation” is simply false. The areas from which Israel has not withdrawn are virtually uninhabited, except for the 2% where Israelis reside.

And this is another mouthpiece for the occupation, Washington Post’s blogger Jennifer Rubin:

Now ninety-five percent of Palestinians are under the jurisdiction of the PA, which is responsible for everything from local police to schools. Israel’s official interaction with West Bank Palestinians is limited to intelligence gathering and extraction of terrorists.

The Welcome to Palestine campaign was meant to prove that not only did Israel never remove its control from the Palestinians, but also that the West Bank is effectively under an Israeli blockade. Every person and all good entering the Palestinian Authority must be cleared first by Israel. Some might argue that this is a legitimate security precaution, but the history of this policy proves that security concerns are not the factor determining whether people receive permission to enter or leave the West Bank; rather, the determining factor is the political need to maintain the occupation. Two high profile recent cases were that of Prof. Noam Chomsky and a Spanish Clown, both of whom were denied entry for their support of Palestinian independence, but these kind of things happen on a daily basis.

Considering all this, it’s clear that even before a dozen activists landed here, the “Welcome to Palestine” campaign won the day. Israel has played its part perfectly, spreading threats and promising to immediately deport anyone who stated his intention to visit the West Bank or cited a political motivation for his travel. Israel has even prevented a couple of Dutch pro-Palestinian journalists from boarding an El-Al flight, perhaps fearing that they might report something Jerusalem won’t like.

When the first news items on the “air flotilla” appeared in the Hebrew media, some of Israelis wondered in comments why the activists didn’t enter the West Bank through the crossing point at the Jordanian border, believing it to be controlled by the Palestinians themselves. The myth of the Oslo withdrawal was so successful, that even some Israelis took it as a fact.

After a week of headlines on the activists’ invasion, everybody knows that even more than Gaza—which can be entered through Rafah, where there is no Israeli presence—the West Bank is under an Israeli blockade.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Occupation/Military Court Judgement in the matter of Nagi Tamimi (Translated from Hebrew)

Dear friends,
please find below a translation by solidarity activist Frank Khan from Hebrew into English of the Occupation/Military Court judgement against my good friend Naji Tamimi. Naji was arrested in March when his home was raided at 1.30am in the morning by the Israeli Occupation Forces. Naji's "crime" was to be a leader of the An Nabi Saleh non-violent resistance against Israeli's occupation. Also imprisoned with Naji, is my friend Bassem Tamimi who has also played a lead role in Nabi Saleh's non-violent resistance.

The “evidence” used to convict Naji was based on testimony obtained from a 14 year old child who was kidnapped at 3am, at gun point at from his home and his 11 year old brother who was kidnapped from the streets of Nabi Saleh and detained for 5 hours. Islam Tamimi, who was kidnapped from his home in the middle of the night, was held incommunicado from his parents and lawyers and physically and emotionally by Israeli occupation forces.

Please see my article, Reality vs Propaganda: the An Nabi Saleh Protests which was published by Palestine Chronicle, which responds to many of the false accusations against Naji, which were initially outlined in an article in YNET and referred to in the military court ruling. You can read it (here)

A big thanks to the amazing Frank Khan, one of the Jewish activists who each Friday stands in solidarity with the people of Nabi Saleh against Israel's brutality, for translating the Military occupation court judgement against Naji into English from Hebrew.

In solidarity, Kim


Naji in military occupation court - 26 June 2011, photo by Frank Khan.


Occupation/Military Court Judgement in the matter of Nagi Tamimi (Translated from Hebrew)
by Frank Kahn on Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Nagi Mohammad Abed Al Ateef Tamimi, 49 years old, a resident of Nabi Saleh was convicted based on his plea of guilty to the offense of incitement and support of an enemy organization. The original indictment was amended as part of the plea bargain. Nagi has been convicted of being (together with Basem Tamimi) the organizer, party responsible for and inciter of public disturbances and violent demonstrations in Nabi Saleh from January, 2010 until March, 2011.

Nagi & Basem regularly brought together the youth of the village and other nearby villages dividing them into a number of groups with each group having a specific role as part of the violent demonstrations in Nabi Saleh. They briefed the groups during the week in the Municipal Building.

One of the groups was responsible for blocking the security forces (SF) access to the village by blocking the village roads with large garbage dumpsters on Thursday nights. Another group was responsible for drawing the SF into ambushes set up by two other groups that would throw stones at the SF. Another group was responsible for gathering gas grenades which failed to explode and transferring them to another group which threw them at the SF. Another group's job was to close the roads to the SF by burning tires and the use of boulders while another group would throw stones at the SF by the use of sling shots or hurlers. In addition, Nagi organized groups in the villages of Dir Nizam and Aboud to throw stones at Israeli vehicles driving to the Halamish settlement next to Nabi Saleh.

As part of the weekly briefing, Nagi instructed some of the stone throwers to hurl stones directly at the SF while others were to circle behind the SF for the same purpose.In addition to the weekly demonstration, a group of youngsters under Nagi's guidance would gather to throw stones at the watch tower at the village's entrance. Nagi & Basem would hand out material to enable the youngsters to conceal their faces from the SF. During the period cited above and on various Fridays, Nagi gathered the the villagers from Nabi saleh and neighboring villages at the Town Council Building and led them in a mass march towards the village center for the purpose of creating a public disturbance and throwing stones at the SF. Nagi would organize nom violent marches which would then turn around as they approached the SF. This was the sign for the groups described above to act. Sometimes Nagi & Basem would go onto the roofs of the highest buildings in the vallage to view what was happening, incite, direct and caution the groups via their mobile telephones. After the demos, Nagi would go to Basem's house with other activists discuss the instructions given to the youngsters and write a report about the actions taken during the demos. By these actions, Nagi & Basem organized, incited and executed the demos and disturbances and violence every Friday in Nabi Saleh.

The parties to this proceeding presented a plea arrangement whereby i have been asked to fix Nagi's punishment at 12 months actual prison time, an additional 24 months of prison time suspended for a period of 5 years to be activated should Nagi be found guilty of the offense of incitement, organizing and taking part in unlicensed demonstrations and enticing others to throw objects plus a 10,000 shekel fine or 18 months in prison instead of it.

The points presented by the parties in favor of the plea arrangement are Nagi's clean record, his confession and the saving of judicial time. Also the prosecutor said that Nagi was less dominant than his partner.

After considering the parties arguments, the severity of the offenses as evidenced by the offenses of which Nagi has been convicted and the points in favor of leniency I find that the punishment presented by the parties is the most lenient possible punishment under the circumstances.

(The decision then cites sections from the appeals in respect of Adeeb Abu Rahmah & Abdallah Abu Rahma of Bilin neither of which I will not translate, at least not for now, in order to expedite my posting of this translation)

Nagi's actions harmed the status of the SF and were designed to completely undermine the rule of law and those in charge of enforcing it. This in addition to the clear danger posed by incitement to organized violence and the attack of soldiers by rocks in the context of violent public disturbances.

Indeed the agreed upon punishment of Nagi is not only lenient but is in fact on the bottom rung of the ladder of punishment. Nonetheless, I have taken into account Nagi's confession which carries a certain weight in favor of leniency. This did not factor into the cases of Adeeb and Abdallah Abu Rahmah cited above. In light of the foregoing and given the principle that that the Court will accept plea arrangements unless they constitute an extreme deviation from the accepted norm of punishment, I have decided to accept the plea arrangement.

Accordingly, I fix Nagi's punishment as follows:

1. 12 months of actual imprisonment from the day of his arrest.

2. 24 months of imprisonment suspended provided that for 5 years he will not commit an offense of which he has been convicted or the offense of organizing and taking part in unlicensed demonstrations and incitement to throw objects.

3. A fine of 10,000 shekels or 18 months in prison in lieu thereof.