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Posts Tagged ‘Nicolas Sawaya

Joan Baez opinions on the candidates and the political system

Tonnie Ch shared this link

I’ve had conflicting feelings as to whether or not I should officially endorse Bernie Sanders as the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.

I would be making this decision for only the second time in my life. The first time was for Barack Obama, the master of the spoken word whose brilliance (and smile) brought people together and ignited our spirits for the first time in decades. Aside from endorsing Barack Obama, I have refused to step into the arena of party politics.

My choice, from an early age, has been to engage in social change from the ground up, using the power of organized nonviolence. A distrust of the political process was firmly in place by the time I was 15. As a daughter of Quakers I pledged my allegiance not to a flag or a nation state but to humankind, the two often having little to do with each other.

Ideally, both Obama and Sanders could have used their unique gifts to build a grass roots movement, sidestepping the Oval Office and going directly to the streets to organize from the sidewalks, street corners, living rooms and churches.

Gandhi himself refused to be part of the newly formed Independent India government after he led the country to independence, and remained committed to nonviolent opposition.

Can a true political revolution ever start from within the party system? It does seem like an insurmountable contradiction. And to imagine that more than a fraction of Bernie’s agenda could ever come to fruition is probably setting expectations too high.

Yet Bernie has won my heart. He supports causes in which I have been personally involved for decades.

I take great strength from his firm stance against the death penalty, (amazing!) his belief that Palestinians should have a place at the bargaining table, (unheard of!) his understanding that the prison system must transform its agenda from punishment to rehabilitation, his desire to treat immigrants as human beings, and of course by his grass roots funding and astonishing refusal to sell himself to the devil on Wall Street, or anywhere else for that matter. I am profoundly moved by this elder statesman, his compelling honesty, and his ability to engage young people.

Why am I not spending my time trying to woo Bernie into grass roots organizing? For the moment I’m going with my heart, which I mentioned, he has won. I am not sold on “the system” and never will be. I’m sold on the guy from Brooklyn.

I’ve learned a lot while writing this piece. I know that I am ambivalent about supporting someone who will be thrown to the lions if he wins. He is a lion in his own right, and I want to see him win.

Not just to conquer the growing evil in the other party, but also to see what he can do to bend the system towards a less corrupt and more generous country than we are at present.

I joyfully and wholeheartedly endorse Bernie Sanders to be the nominee for the Democratic Party in the 2016 Presidential Election.

-Joan Baez

Note 1: Nicolas Sawaya My article “Bernie Sanders’ record on Palestine” has been published at Mondoweiss.

Bernie Sanders is clearly more progressive on the Palestinian issue than any other major candidate for the Presidency including Hillary Clinton.
Still, Nicolas Sawaya says that when viewed from a P…
mondoweiss.net

Note 2: Ralph Nader explained how difficult it is to be an independent candidate.

The two-party system is suffocating independent challengers By Ralph Nader March 25, 2016
Follow RalphNader a consumer advocate and author of “Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State.” Ralph Nader: Why Bernie Sanders…

Timeline: boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israeli products in occupied territories

The antidote to apathy is success. For the cynical among us and those who have become jaded over the years regarding the possibility of effecting positive change in Palestine and holding Israel accountable for its various atrocities and violations of International Law since its inception in 1948, please check out the following link:http://www.bdsmovement.net/timeline

It’s a graphical timeline that highlights the successes and victories of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement since July 9th 2005, when the overwhelming majority of Palestinian civil society issued a call for BDS until Israel complies with International Law.

Some of these victories are small, others are larger, but all of them count. Get informed and consider participating.

Introducing the BDS Movement

The global movement for a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights was initiated by Palestinian civil society in 2005, and is coordinated by the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), established in 2007.

BDS is a strategy that allows people of conscience to play an effective role in the Palestinian struggle for justice.

For 6 decades, Israel has denied Palestinians their fundamental rights of freedom, equality, and self-determination through ethnic cleansing, colonization, racial discrimination, and military occupation.

Despite abundant condemnation of Israeli policies by the UN, other international bodies, and preeminent human rights organisations, the world community has failed to hold Israel accountable and enforce compliance with basic principles of law. Israel’s crimes have continued with impunity.

In view of this continued failure, Palestinian civil society called for a global citizens’ response. On July 9 2005, a year after the International Court of Justice’s historic advisory opinion on the illegality of Israel’s Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), a clear majority of Palestinian civil society called upon their counterparts and people of conscience all over the world to launch broad boycotts, implement divestment initiatives, and to demand sanctions against Israel, until Palestinian rights are recognised in full compliance with international law.

The campaign for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) is shaped by a rights-based approach and highlights the three broad sections of the Palestinian people: the refugees, those under military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and Palestinians in Israel.

The call urges various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law by:

  1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall;
  2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
  3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

The BDS call was endorsed by over 170 Palestinian political parties, organizations, trade unions and movements.

The signatories represent the refugees, Palestinians in the OPT, and Palestinian citizens of Israel.

Boycotts target products and companies (Israeli and international) that profit from the violation of Palestinian rights, as well as Israeli sporting, cultural and academic institutions.

Anyone can boycott Israeli goods, simply by making sure that they don’t buy produce made in Israel or by Israeli companies. Campaigners and groups call on consumers not to buy Israeli goods and on businesses not to buy or sell them.

Israeli cultural and academic institutions directly contribute to maintaining, defending or whitewashing the oppression of Palestinians, as Israel deliberately tries to boost its image internationally through academic and cultural collaborations.

As part of the boycott, academics, artists and consumers are campaigning against such collaboration and ‘rebranding’. A growing number of artists have refused to exhibit or play in Israel.

Divestment means targeting corporations complicit in the violation of Palestinian rights and ensuring that the likes of university investment portfolios and pension funds are not used to finance such companies.

These efforts raise awareness about the reality of Israel’s policies and encourage companies to use their economic influence to pressure Israel to end its systematic denial of Palestinian rights.

Sanctions are an essential part of demonstrating disapproval for a country’s actions. Israel’s membership of various diplomatic and economic forums provides both an unmerited veneer of respectability and material support for its crimes.

By calling for sanctions against Israel, campaigners educate society about violations of international law and seek to end the complicity of other nations in these violations.

The BDS National Committee

The efforts to coordinate the BDS campaign, that began to grow rapidly as soon as/once the 2005 Call was made public, culminated in the first Palestinian BDS Conference held in Ramallah in November 2007.

Out of this conference emerged the BDS National Committee (BNC) as the Palestinian coordinating body for the BDS campaign worldwide. See the BNC page for more details.

Timeline

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The global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement called for by the majority of Palestinian civil society has made huge strides since it was launched in 2005.

People of conscience around the world are taking effective action to end Israeli impunity and hold Israel accountable under international law.

This timeline, launched at the occasion of the 8th anniversary of the BDS call, charts the key successes of the movement.

You can view the timeline in full screen here.

 

 

 


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