Palestinian Lives Matter: A Discussion with Sarit Michaeli, B’Tselem

 

 On Saturday, 12 October 2019, 15:30 (doors open at 15:00)

at the Spiegelzaal, De Markten Gemeenschapscentrum

Oude Graanmarkt 5, 1000 Brussel

 Een Andere Joodse Stem (Another Jewish Voice, Belgium) is proud to host a public lecture of Sarit Michaeli, international advocacy officer of B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories. 

Sarit Michaeli’s talk will focus on the systematic shirking of Israel’s obligation under international law to ensure accountability for the killing and injury of Palestinians by its security forces, and on how This ongoing state of affairs is one of the cornerstones of the occupation and of Israel’s control of the Palestinian population. In 2018 only, Israeli security forces killed 290 Palestinians, among them 55 minors, most of them in the Gaza Strip. These incidents are a direct result of Israel’s reckless open-fire policy, authorized by the government and the top military command, and backed by the judicial system. This policy includes, among other things, shooting to kill incidents, permitting live fire at unarmed demonstrators by the Gaza-Israel fence, and bombarding densely populated areas within Gaza. Aside from rare, publicized incidents, no one is held accountable for these incidents, and the military law enforcement system whitewashes them.

Sarit Michaeli has been part of B’Tselem’s staff since October 2004, serving as the organization’s spokesperson for 12 years before becoming its international advocacy officer. As well as working with the diplomatic community and international civil society groups, she documents demonstrations in the West Bank, with a focus on security forces’ misuse of crowd control weapons, and has authored B’Tselem’s report on the subject. B’Tselem was founded in 1989 to document Israeli violations of Palestinians’ human rights in the occupied West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip.


Practical information:

The lecture will be followed by an open discussion with the audience. The event will be in held in English.

Doors open at 15:00, the event will start at 15:30 sharp. We will end the event with a toast to mark the Jewish new year, for a year of freedom, dignity and justice to all.

Seating is limited. To ensure participation, please register at: infoeajs@gmail.com

Participation is free, but we will appreciate any donation that could assist us in covering the event costs (recommended sum: €5 per person).

Protest Letter by European Jewish organizations

On Tuesday, September 24th 2019, we sent the following letter to EU Commission President Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker and Commissioner Ms. Jourova, together with 5 other Jewish organizations, warning against a EU endorsement to Israeli attempts to stifle European Jewish voices for peace and justice in Israel/Palestine:

 

Dear Commission President Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker, dear Commissioner Ms. Jourova,

It has come to our attention that the Israeli Minister of Public Security, and Minister of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy Gilad Erdan of the Likud party will be attending an event at the European Parliament, with participation by EU Commission coordinator on Combating Antisemitism Katarina von Schnurbein, on September 25th, 2019.

This unfortunately indicates a concerning lack of due diligence on behalf of the event’s organizers and of Ms. Von Schnurbein. Inviting Mr. Erdan, an Israeli hardliner, to a public forum involving a European Commission coordinator puts European politicians, officials and civil society actors at risk and violates the obligation of EU officials to maintain the safety and security of their co-workers and interests abroad. Ms. Von Schnurbein mandate is to protect European Jewish communities from harm. By participating in this event, she panders instead to Israeli right-wing interests that directly conflict with the safety and prosperity of Jewish communities in Europe, including our own.

As the minister responsible for the Israeli Police, Mr. Erdan is holding ministerial responsibility for several extra-juridical police killings and discriminatory policies, both in occupied east Jerusalem and within Israel. On his additional capacity as the Minister of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy, Mr. Erdan has been involved in publishing a report titled “The Money Trail: European Union Financing of Organizations Promoting Boycotts against the State of Israel” in January 2019 (2nd Edition). The report is signed only by the ministry, and therefore should be seen as representing Mr. Erdan’s political position.

This report is 34 pages of incitement against a series of civil society organizations, against the individual workers (including Jewish Europeans) and management in those organizations and against the EU bodies who provide financing to these organizations. Without fail, the organizations mentioned in the report are human rights organizations and organizations promoting the implementation of international law and the protection of minority groups. Despite this, the report attempts to make connections between these organizations, and the EU bodies which finance them, and terror organizations. It should be recalled that according to Mr. Erdan, alleged association with terrorism is grounds for the use of lethal force.

Incitement which includes a clear call for the use of violence, based on racial and religious hatred, is prohibited under European law. Until Mr. Erdan withdraws the report and issues a public and official apology, inviting him to speak in a European forum could be considered complicity with a hate crime.

We are especially concerned that EU Commission coordinator to Combat Antisemitism Katarina von Schnurbein considers attending the event. Ms. Von Schnurbein has a responsibility to protect European Jews from hate crimes, and this includes their right to freedom of speech, and to support the civil society organizations in Israel and in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, which Mr. Erdan associates with terrorism.

Should Ms. Von Schnurbein choose to attend the event, European Jewish progressive organizations will be subjected to additional risk, and possible harm, in their exercise of their freedom of expression and belief. In the case that her participation in this event goes ahead, the undersigned organizations will address, in a separate letter, both the current and incoming EU Commissioner for Justice requesting a transfer of Ms. Von Schnurbein from her current post.

 

With regards,

 

The undersigned Jewish European organizations:

Een Andere Joodse Stem (Belgium)

Union Juive Française pour la Paix (France)

Jews for Justice for Palestinians (UK)

Jüdische Stimme für gerechter Frieden in Nahost (Germany)

Judar för Israelisk Palestinsk Fred (Sweden)

Free Speech on Israel (UK)

 

 

Een Andere Joodse Stem on the Freilich – N-VA alliance: The masks have fallen

[Press release, 23-01-2019]

Stigmatizing and derogatory approaches towards Muslims, Palestinians, civil society activists, and even towards progressive Jews have been an earmark of Michael Freilich’s public appearances and editorial tone that dominated the magazine “Joods Actueel”. It is therefore not surprising that Freilich found his natural place in a political party that has tapped into xenophobic sentiments and embraced the anti-immigration discourse of the European extreme right.

Now when the masks have fallen, and Freilich revealed his affiliation with the nationalist right, one can only wonder how come he was embraced by the Flemish media as a representative of the Jewish community as a whole. His polarizing and inciting discourse has inflicted real damage on our communities, which will take many years to heal.

Luckily, many Jews in Belgium do not share Freilich’s political views, and prefer to distance themselves from political forces that have been flirting with fascism and racism in the past and in the present. Unlike Freilich, Een Andere Joodse Stem holds to the Jewish and human values of equality and solidarity, and works to make these values a reality within and outside the Flemish Jewish community, in Belgium and in Europe, as well as in Israel-Palestine.

Public statement by Jewish European organizations on the definition and elimination of anti-Semitism

As Jewish European organizations committed to the elimination of anti-Semitism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and all other forms of racism, we would like to voice our deepest concern regarding the organization of a conference in Brussels (6-7 November 2018), backed by the Israeli government, aiming to label legitimate criticism and protest against Israeli governmental policies as anti-Semitism. We ask the European institutions, including the European Commission, the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), and members of the European Parliament,  to shun attempts by the Israeli government to use false allegation of anti-Semitism to limit and criminalize work by civil society organizations, including those of diverse Jewish communities of Europe, to pursue peace and justice in Israel/Palestine.

The conference, co-organized by the European Jewish Association and two Israeli ministries, has as its goal to persuade all European political parties to sign up to “red lines” that declare legitimate calls for pressure on Israel, including through Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) tactics, to be “fundamentally anti-Semitic.”

We reject their call. Antisemitism is a small but real and growing threat to Jewish populations in Europe – and elsewhere, as the recent outrage in Pittsburgh so tragically demonstrates. Conflating the real threat posed by anti-Semitism with legitimate criticism of the Israeli government and its policies is a dangerous step; it threatens to misdirect European efforts to combat anti-Semitism, turning these instead into a tool to erode the democratic principles of free speech and freedom of assembly, and to aid the Israeli government in its quest to limit Palestinian non-violent civil resistance to the Israeli occupation. These Israeli efforts do not represent the Jewish communities of Europe. The Israeli policies of siege in Gaza and racial segregation in the West Bank, of fatal attacks on civilians and of land expropriation for Jewish-only settlements – are not in our name. We reject attempts to equate opposition to these deplorable policies with anti-Semitism.

In the context of growing Israeli governmental ties with racist, sexist and xenophobic leaders, groups and political parties in Europe and the US (some of which with a past marked by blatant anti-Semitism), there is a real threat of emergent anti-Semitism. The Israeli governmental conference organized in Brussels is not searching for much-needed solutions to this threat. Sadly, it seeks instead to leverage anti-Semitism to maintain an untenable status-quo of occupation, oppression and fear in Israel/Palestine. We stand in opposition to their mission.

As Jewish organizations committed to the promotion of social justice and equality, we have expressed in several occasions the problematic nature of invoking allegations of anti-Semitism in attempts to silence voices opposing Israeli violations. More than 40 Jewish organisations have recently published an open letter expressing their “growing alarm regarding the targeting of organizations that support Palestinian rights in general and the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, in particular” Adding that “These attacks too often take the form of cynical and false accusations of antisemitism that dangerously conflate anti-Jewish racism with opposition to Israel’s policies and system of occupation and apartheid.”

The right to defend human rights, including Palestinian rights, should be safeguarded now more than ever. EU political parties have a responsibility to end complicity of their respective states with the Israeli violations of international law. It is time to act against anti-Semitism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and all other forms of racism. It is time to act against Israel’s decades-long occupation and racial segregation. Don’t lend a hand to the Israeli government attempts to stop us from doing both.

 

Signed by

Een Andere Joodse Stem / Another Jewish Voice (Belgium)

Free Speech on Israel (United Kingdom)

UJFP – Union juive française pour la paix (France)

JFJFP – Jews for Justice for Palestinians (United Kingdom)

ECO-Rete – Ebrei Contro l’Occupazione (Italy)

Een Ander Joods Geluid/A Different Jewish Voice (The Netherlands)

Judar för Israelisk Palestinsk Fred / Jews for Israeli-Palestinian Peace (Sweden)

Jewish Voice for Labour  (United Kingdom)

Jewish Socialist Group (United Kingdom)

Jüdische Stimme für ein gerechten Frieden in Nahost / Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Near East (Germany)

Jøder for en retfærdig fred (Denmark)

Jewish Voice for Democracy and Justice in Israel/Palestine (Switzerland)

EJJP – European Jews for a Just Peace (European Network)

The Poetics of Resistance – A Cry for the Soul of Palestine: an evening with Michel Khleifi

Saturday, April 28th  at 20h15
At UPJB – Rue de la Victoire 61 1060 Saint-Gilles.

Throughout his long career Israeli Palestinian film writer, film director and film producer Michel Khleifi has sought to portray Palestine and her soul. Khleifi was born in Nazareth and has lived in exile in Brussels since 1970. He taught at the Institut Supérieur des Arts du Spectacle. In 1987 Michel Khleifi won the International Critics’ Prize in Cannes for his film Wedding in the Galilee. In 2003 Khleifi and Eyal Sivan filmed Route 181: Fragments of a Journey in Israel-Palestine. The following year the movie was censored in France. Despite immense difficulties and set backs Khleifi has created an œuvre of immense importance. Khleifi stands in the tradition of Mahmud Darwisch, Emile Habibi, Edward Said, Juliano Khmer-Meir and all the women and men who fight and have fought non-violently with their art against the destruction of their homeland and who are striving to preserve and to portray the beauty of Palestinian culture and the dignity of her people.


On April 28 Khleifi will show Ma’loul Celebrates its Destruction, a 30 minute short.
You are invited to join us as Khleifi talks about his career, his upbringing and his life in exile.
You are invited to join us as we seek to envision a future for Palestine in justice and in peace.

Co-organized by EAJS, UPJB and ABP.

Meet the Joint List: On the political representation of the Palestinian citizens in Israel

Wednesday, 8th November 2017, 19:30

Location: Het Goudblommeke in Papier (La Fleur en Papier Doré)

Cellebroersstraat / Rue des Alexiens 55, 1000 Brussels

The political representatives of the Palestinian citizens in Israel can be caught between a rock and a hard place, committed to the liberation of the Palestinians living under Israeli military rule and in exile, while simultaneously struggling to claim civic and collective rights for the Palestinian citizens within Israel. To overcome attempts by Israeli right politicians to exclude the Palestinian members from the Israeli Knesset, the Joint List was established as a parliamentary bloc that includes all Palestinian political parties, including the Arab-Jewish Democratic Front.

In this special evening, we are honored to host three Members of the Knesset from the Joint list for a discussion on the current political reality in Israel and in the region, the challenges faced by Palestinian citizens, the difficulties of representing Palestinians in the Israeli Knesset, and the vision that can be proposed for a better future.

Speakers:

MK Aida Touma-Suleiman

Hadash – Democratic Front for Peace and Equality

Chair of the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality

MK Dr. Jamal Zahalka

Balad – National Democratic Assembly

Chair of the Joint List parliamentary group

MK Masud Ghnaim

Ra’am – the Islamic Movement

 

Introduction: Mr. Jafar Farah, Director of Mossawa – The Advocacy Center For Arab Citizens In Israel

The event will take place in English.

Entry is free of charge, but we welcome a small donation at the entrance to cover expenses.

The event is organized by:

EAJS – Een Andere Joodse Stem / A Different Jewish Voice, www.eajs.be

UPJB – Union des progressistes juifs de Belgique / Belgian Union of Progressive Jews, www.upjb.be

Mossawa Center – The Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel, www.mossawa.org

From ‘Ethnocracity’ to Urban Apartheid, with Prof. Haim Yacobi

From ‘Ethnocracity’ to Urban Apartheid
A talk by Prof. Haim Yacobi
Discussant: Dr. Omar Jabary Salamanca

Saturday, October 7th, 2017, 18:00
Doors open at 17:30
Het Goudblommeke in Papier (La Fleur en Papier Doré)
Cellebroersstraat / Rue des Alexiens 55, 1000 Brussels

Haim Yacobi will speak on logics of segregation in East Jerusalem and the geopolitics of neighbouring.
Omar Jabary Salamanca will open the discussion, followed by Q&A with the audience.

Entrance is free, but donations at entrance to cover expenses are welcome
Registration is not obligatory but recommended, at infoeajs@gmail.com

Haim Yacobi is an Israeli architect and urban scholar working at the intersection of politics, geography and urban studies. He recently joined the Development Planning Unit at University College London as professor in Urban Health. His academic research and publications focus on cities as cultural and social entities, a perspective that enables him to examine wider political issues through the urban model. Yacobi is the author of numerous publications including his latest two books Rethinking Israeli Space: Periphery and Identity (Routledge 2011) and The Jewish-Arab City: Spatio-Politics in a Mixed Community (Routledge 2009).

Omar Jabary Salamanca is an urban geographer, a postdoctoral fellow at Ghent University. His work lies at the intersection of urban studies, settler colonialism, political economy and Middle East studies. Drawing on the histories and geographies of road and electricity infrastructure in Palestine, he studied the ways these socio-technical networks are constructed, imagined and governed but also how they are experienced and contested. He is a member of the steering committee of the International Critical Geography Group and co-organizer of the Eye On Palestine Arts and Film Festival.

The Israeli occupation in its 50th year: How did we arrive here and where are we going to?

Een Andere Joodse Stem/Another Jewish Voice andLe Space invite you to:

The Israeli occupation in its 50th year: How did we arrive here and where are we going to?

an evening with the critical Israeli journalist Amira Hass

Monday, 12 June 2017, 20:00

 

 

Amira Hass has been the reporter and commentator on the Israeli Occupation since 1993 for the daily Israeli newspaper “Haaretz”. She was born in Jerusalem in 1956, a daughter of two Holocaust survivors. She spent three years living in Gaza, where she also wrote her widely acclaimed book, “Drinking the Sea at Gaza.” Since 1997 she has been living in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Two compilations of her articles have been publishedlater, including columns written for the Italian weekly “Internazionale”.

She has been writing extensively on the Israeli regime of movement restrictions and fragmentation of Palestinian territory and society, and was among the first Israeli writers who doubted the Oslo accords.

Amira Hass will share with us insights from her journalistic work, analyze the recent developments in the Israeli rule over the Palestinians anddiscuss how we may expect the situation to develop in the near future. Hass’ talk will be followed by Q&A with the audience.

The event will be held at Le Space, Sleutelstraat 26 Rue de la clé, 1000 Brussels

The Politics of Return: Diaspora, Displacement, Exile” about the failure of the analogy between the Law of Return in Israel and the Right of Return for Palestinians

 

Lecture by Judith Butler (In English). She is Maxine Elliot Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Program of Critical Theory at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of numerous books, such as Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (1990), Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of “Sex” (1993), The Psychic Life of Power: Theories of Subjection (1997), Precarious Life: Powers of Violence and Mourning (2004); Frames of War: When Is Life Grievable? (2009). Her most recent books include: Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism (2012), and Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly (2015). She is also active in gender and sexual politics and human rights, anti-war politics.

May 6th 2017, from 7-9 pm

Brussels (location accessible by public transportation to be disclosed for those who register by email)

From West to East – The Creation of the Mizra’hi Jew

Panterim

From West to East – the Creation of the Mizra’hi Jew

When? Friday, February 24th at 20:00

Speaker: Guilel Treiber

Language: English

Where? Pianofabriek (Arenbergzaal)

Though the statistics are not very clear, we can assume that half of Israel’s Jewish population (if not more) is from North African or Middle-eastern heritage. Nonetheless, Israel is perceived mostly through its European heritage. With the establishment of Israel we see the rise of a new category of Jews – Mizra’hi, the one coming from the east. Mizra’hi is used generically to identify all those Jews who trace their origin to the old territories of the Ottoman Empire and farther. How come this new category arose? What does it mean to be a Mizra’hi Jew in Israel today? Who are precisely the Mizra’hiim? And what is the difference with Sefaradim? In this event we will try to bring to light the rich and long history of the Jews of the Middle East.

Van West naar Oost – De uitvinding van de Mizra’hi Jood

Datum: vrijdag 24 februari 2017

Locatie: Pianofabriek (Arenbergzaal)

Spreker: Guilel Treiber

Taal: Engels

Uur: 20u

Hoewel de statistieken hierover onduidelijk zijn, is het waarschijnlijk dat ongeveer de helft van de Joodse bevolking in Israël (en mogelijks zelfs meer) afkomstig is uit Noord-Afrika of het Midden-Oosten. Desalniettemin wordt Israël vooral bekeken vanuit haar Europese erfenis. Met het ontstaan van de Staat Israël is er een nieuwe categorie Joden ontstaan – de Mizra’hi Joden, afkomstig uit het Oosten. Met de term Mizra’hi wordt de groep Joden bedoeld die oorspronkelijk uit het Ottomaanse Rijk of verder afkomstig zijn. Hoe verklaart men het ontstaan van deze nieuwe categorie? Wat betekent het vandaag om in Israël een Mizra’hi Jood te zijn? Wie zijn ze precies? Wat is het verschil met de Sefardische Joden? Deze lezing reconstrueert de rijke geschiedenis van de Joden uit het Midden-Oosten.