Edward Said's last known lecture 19 February, 2003

Edward Said was on his last breath when he made this lecture at University of California, Berkeley just weeks before the USA and Britain launched their illegal invasion of Iraq. He died 7 months later on 24 September 2003 at the young age of 68. His words still resonate to this day.


As It Happened In South Africa, So It Will In Israel

Pink Floyd star’s new Israel boycott letter to "family of Rock and Roll"

Roger Waters performs The Wall Live in Barcelona, 2011.

Roger Waters performs The Wall Live in Barcelona, 2011. (Wikipedia)

Pink Floyd star Roger Waters has today published a long-awaited open letter calling on his fellow musicians to boycott Israel.

The letter explains that Waters has been part of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement for seven years, and has been mulling the letter over for some time.

He condemns Israeli human rights violations and explains the reasons to act:

Given the inability or unwillingness of our governments [to act] … it falls to civil society and conscientious citizens of the world, to dust off our consciences, shoulder our responsibilities, and act. I write to you now, my brothers and sisters in the family of Rock and Roll, to ask you to join with me, and thousands of other artists around the world, to declare a cultural boycott on Israel … proclaiming our rejection of Apartheid in Israel and occupied Palestine, by pledging not to perform or exhibit in Israel or accept any award or funding from any institution linked to the government of Israel …


In an exclusive interview with The Electronic Intifada’s David Cronin back in March, Waters revealed he had been drafting the letter.

“What caused me to write this public letter was an affair where Stevie Wonder was hired to play a gala dinner for the Israeli Defense Forces,” he said, recounting how he and others wrote to Wonder asking him to cancel – which he eventually did.

The interview went viral at the time, gaining the attention of Rolling Stone, among others.

By April the letter had yet to appear and, following an interview with The Huffington Post that Waters says was “misinterpreted,” several media reports claimed Waters was “reconsidering” his position on boycotting Israel.

Waters wrote on Facebook soon afterwards that he had only meant he was considering the text of the letter, and not “my position on the Israel/Palestine issue” overall.

The publication of this letter today makes Waters’ position in favor of on the boycott of Israel clear – in support of the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

Full letter

18th August 2013, Warsaw To My Colleagues in Rock and Roll

Nigel Kennedy the virtuoso British violinist and violist, at The Recent Promenade Concerts at The Albert Hall in London, mentioned that Israel is apartheid. Nothing unusual there you might think, then one Baroness Deech, (Nee Fraenkel) disputed the fact that Israel is an apartheid state and prevailed upon the BBC to censor Kennedy’s performance by removing his statement. Baroness Deech produced not one shred of evidence to support her claim and yet the BBC, non political, supposedly, acting solely on Baroness Deech’s say so, suddenly went all 1984 on us. Well!! Time to stick my head above the parapet again, alongside my brother, Nigel Kennedy, where it belongs. And by the way, Nigel, great respect man. So here follows a letter last re-drafted in July.

25th July 2013 To My Colleagues in Rock and Roll.

In the wake of the tragic shooting to death of un-armed teenager Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of his killer Zimmerman, yesterday, Stevie Wonder spoke at a gig declaring that he will not perform in the State of Florida until that State repeals its “Stand your ground” Law. In effect he has declared a boycott on grounds of conscience. I applaud his position, and stand with him, it has brought back to me a statement I made in a letter I wrote last February 14th, to which I have referred but have never published.

The time has come, so here it is.

This letter has been simmering on the back burner of my conscience and consciousness for some time.

It is seven years since I joined BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) a non violent movement to oppose Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and violations of international law and Palestinian human rights. The aim of BDS is to bring international attention to these Israeli policies, and hopefully, to help bring them to an end. All the people of the region deserve better than this.

To cut to the chase, Israel has been found guilty, independently, by international human rights organizations, UN officials, and the International Court of Justice, of serious breaches of international law. These include, and I will name only two;

  1. The Crime of Apartheid: The systematic oppression of one ethnic group by another. On 9 March 2012, for instance, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination called on Israel to end its racist policies and laws that contravene the prohibition against racial segregation and apartheid.

  2. The Crime of Ethnic Cleansing: The forcible removable of indigenous peoples from their rightful land in order to settle an occupying population. For example, in East Jerusalem non Jewish families are routinely physically evicted from their homes to make way for Jewish occupants.

There are others.

Given the inability or unwillingness of our governments, or the United Nations Security Council to put pressure on Israel to cease these violations, and make reparations to the victims, it falls to civil society and conscientious citizens of the world, to dust off our consciences, shoulder our responsibilities, and act. I write to you now, my brothers and sisters in the family of Rock and Roll, to ask you to join with me, and thousands of other artists around the world, to declare a cultural boycott on Israel, to shed light on these problems and also to support all our brothers and sisters in Palestine and Israel who are struggling to end all forms of Israeli oppression and who wish to live in peace, justice, equality and freedom.

I am writing to you all now because of two recent events.

1) Stevie Wonder. Word came to me, the first week of last December that Stevie Wonder had been booked to headline at a gala dinner for the Friends of The Israeli Defence Force in LA on 6th December 2012. An event to raise money for the Israeli armed forces, as if the $4,300,000,000 that we the US tax payers give them each year were not enough? This came right after The Israeli defence Force had concluded yet another war on Gaza, (Operation Pillar of Defence), according to human rights watch, committing war crimes against the besieged 1.6 million Palestinians there.

Anyway, I wrote to Stevie to try to persuade him to cancel. My letter ran along these lines, “Would you have felt OK performing at the Policeman’s Ball in Johannesburg the night after the Sharpeville massacre in 1960 or in Birmingham Alabama, to raise money for the Law Enforcement officers, who clubbed, tear gassed and water cannoned those children trying to integrate in 1963?” Archbishop Desmond Tutu also wrote an impassioned plea to Stevie, and 3,000 others appended their names to a petition. Stevie, to his great credit, cancelled!

2) Earlier that week I delivered a speech at The United Nations. If you are interested you can find this speech on you tube.

The interesting thing about these two stories is that there was NOT ONE mention of either story in the mainstream media in the United States.

The clear inference would be that the media in the USA is not interested in the predicament of the Palestinian people, or for that matter the predicament of the Israeli people. We can only hope they may become interested as they eventually did in the politics of apartheid South Africa.

Back in the days of Apartheid South Africa at first it was a trickle of artists that refused to play there, a trickle that exercised a cultural boycott, then it became a stream, then a river then a torrent and then a flood. (Remember Steve van Zant, Bruce and all the others? “We will not Play in Sun City?”) Why? Because, like the UN and the International Courts of Justice they understood that Apartheid is wrong.

The sports community joined the battle, no one would go and play cricket or rugby in South Africa, and eventually the political community joined in as well. We all as a global, musical, sporting and political community raised our voices as one and the apartheid regime in South Africa fell.

Maybe we are at the tipping point now with Israel and Palestine. These are good people both and they deserve a just solution to their predicament. Each and every one of them deserves freedom, justice and equal rights. Just recently the ANC, the ruling party of South Africa, has endorsed BDS. We are nearly there. Please join me and all our brothers and sisters in global civil society in proclaiming our rejection of Apartheid in Israel and occupied Palestine, by pledging not to perform or exhibit in Israel or accept any award or funding from any institution linked to the government of Israel, until such time as Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights.

Roger Waters


A Tree as a form of Theft.

‘I was not a party to, and never will be, to the planting of trees on expropriated and stolen land’: Former South African Ambassador to Israel rejects JNF trees planted in his name

by Adam Horowitz on 14 June 2013

Former South African Ambassador to Israel, Ismail Coovadia, has announced that he will be returning a certificate given to him informing him that 18 trees were planted in his honor by the Jewish National Fund (JNF). The trees were planted in the "Ambassadors Forest" at the completion of Coovadia's service in Israel last December. The "Ambassadors Forest" was inaugurated in December 2005 and sits on the demolished Bedouin village of al-Araqib.

In a letter to filmmakers Mark Kaplan and Heidi Grunebaum that was provided to Mondoweiss, Coovadia says planting the trees in his name without his knowledge "is nothing less than an offence to my dignity and integrity. I was not a party to, and never will be, to the planting of '18 trees', in my 'honour', on expropriated and stolen land. " Kaplan and Grunebaum's new film, The Village under the Forest, tells the story of "South Africa Forest" which the JNF created on the ruins of the Palestinian village Lubya after it was destroyed during the Nakba.

Coovadia's letter reads in full:

10 June 2013

Dear Mark Kaplan and Heidi Grunebaum,

Thank you ever so much for allowing me to have a preview of your aptly titled film "Village under the Forest".

Needless to say, the forced removal by Israel of Lubyans from their place of abode bears all the hallmarks of Apartheid South Africa’s forced removals of the legitimate inhabitants of Sophiatown.

I have recently completed serving my term as the fifth Ambassador of democratic, non-racial South Africa to the State of Israel.

The racist actions of the Israeli parastatal, the Jewish National Fund, together with various other Israeli state institutions to forcibly remove the Palestinians and Bedouins from their legitimate homes is yet another repeat of the ongoing injustice meted out by the Israeli Defence Forces, etc.....

I have had the opportunity to visit both, the "South Africa Forest" and the "Ambassador's Forest" in Israel where trees are reportedly planted in the name of South Africa. In regard to the latter case, my queries, to the Israeli Foreign Ministry officials, have gone un-answered for over a year.

Regrettably, my permission was not sought to plant a tree/s in my or the name of a South African Ambassador on usurped land, the rightful land of the Palestinians and Bedouins. I reserve the right to the usage of my name with or without my permission.

I have supported the struggle against Apartheid South Africa and now I cannot be a proponent of what I have witnessed in Israel, and that is, a replication of Apartheid!

The "Certificate" awarded to me by Mr. Rafael Barak, the Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the backing of the Jewish National Fund, is nothing less than an offence to my dignity and integrity. I was not a party to, and never will be, to the planting of "18 trees", in my "honour", on expropriated and stolen land.

In view of this inhuman act against ordinary people, I shall be returning the "Certificate" to the Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs with a humble request to remove the "18 trees...... planted... in my 'honour'".

Your awareness-raising film, hopefully, will also inspire other recipients to consider returning trees that were planted in their names.

I am pleased to be associated with the film "Village under the Forest", a truly objective , honest and a far reaching story on the screen , that requires national and international viewing.

With all good wishes for successful showings of "Village under the Forest."


Ismail Coovadia

The Village Under the Forest has already been creating waves in South Africa. Following the premier of a film at the Encounters International Documentary Festival, the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference announced it will end all collaborations with the JNF. The West Cape News reports:

Commenting about the film, the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) said their collaborations with JNF had been “based on ignorance” and would not partner with an organisation alleged to be oppressing Palestinians and forcing them off their land.

Father Michael Deeb of the SACBC’s Justice and Peace department said they were “very concerned” about JNF’s alleged role in trying to erase the identity of Palestinians who lived in Lubya.

You can learn more about Lubya and The Village Under the Forest here:

About Adam Horowitz
Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of


All the the rest of the world On Palestinian Prisoners Day


In honor of Palestinian Prisoners Day, Addameer confirms that now is the time to hold the Occupation accountable for crimes against the prisoners and detainees, and launches a global campaign against administrative detention.

Occupied Ramallah, 17 April 2013 – On Palestinian Prisoners Day, Addameer reaffirms its commitment to freeing the Palestinian prisoners and detainees in the Occupation’s prisons.Addameer reaffirms that the prisoners’ cause is the cause of the Palestinian people as a whole. Their struggle is central to the liberation of Palestinian land and the return of its’ people. It represents the front line of peace and justice.

Since the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967, there have been more than 750,000 arrests of Palestinians, a figure which represents 20% of the Palestinian population of the occupied lands (including the 1948 Territories, Gaza, and the West Bank), 40% of the male population, and 10,000 females.

Since the Second Intifada erupted in September 2000, Occupation forces have arrested 78,000 Palestinians, among them 950 women, over 9,000 children and more than 50 ministers and Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) members. Since 1967, Occupation forces have issued more than 50,000 administrative detention orders (both new orders and renewals), 23,000 of them after September 2000.

According to new data released in April 2013, Occupation forces are currently detaining 4,900 Palestinians, including 14 women, 236 children and 168 administrative detainees, including 8 PLC members. These figures include 183 Jerusalemites, 190 Palestinians from the 1948 Territories and 433 from the Gaza Strip. Approximately 530 of them have life sentences, and more than 77 have languished for more than 20 years behind bars. 25 of these prisoners have spent more than 25 years in prison and 105 were arrested before the Oslo Accords agreement in September 1993.

204 Palestinians have been martyred in the Occupation’s prisons, either as a result of torture, deliberate medical neglect, murder, or excessive beatings. Since 1 January 2011, five prisoners have been martyred in Israeli jails. 1 January 2011 coincides with the signing of an agreement between the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Israel Prison Service (IPS) to decrease medical services provided by ICRC to sick prisoners as well as to decrease the ICRC’s financial contributions to medical services, thereby allowing the IPS to evade its mandate to provide treatment to prisoners and detainees in its custody.

Data from organizations that work on Palestinian prisoners’ issues indicates that more than 1,000 prisoners and detainees suffer from various diseases. Among them are 16 prisoners residing in Ramleh Prison Clinic permanently. 85 prisoners currently suffer from a variety of disabilities, 170 prisoners require urgent surgery, and 25 prisoners suffer from cancer.

Today the fight continues as 4 Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike assume increasing medical risks that endanger their lives. Especially at risk is detainee Samer Issawi, who has been on partial hunger strike for more than 262 days in protest of his re-arrest under Article 186 of Military Order 1651. Joining him is Ayman Abu Daoud, who announced his hunger strike on 14 April 2013; he was re-arrested after gaining his freedom in the last prisoner exchange. Continuing his hunger strike is Younis Huroub, who is protesting the Occupation’s policy of administrative detention, as well as detainee Samer Al-Barq, who started his third hunger strike in protest of his continued administrative detention. All of their lives are in grave danger.

These facts lead us to conclude that the Occupation’s detention policies – especially administrative detention – represent one of many forms of continuous and systematic collective punishment practiced by the Occupation, as well as some of the most flagrant violations of the 4thGeneva Convention. These violations constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity in accordance with the Rome Statute,which founded the International Criminal Court.

Imprisonment is one of the many policies of the Occupation that aims toward the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, the suppression of their cultural identity and the violation of their political rights, all with the overarching goal of removing Palestinians from history once and for all.

Addameer believes that the political compromise resulting from the Oslo Accords in 1993, rather than ending the occupation, further consolidated the Occupation, which now rules the West Bank according to 1,7000 military orders that control every facet of Palestinian life. The Oslo Accords ensured that Palestinians live only under a very limited form of self-rule and failed to secure the release of the Palestinian prisoners from the Occupations’ jails. Most importantly, the Oslo Accords relinquished the Palestinian right to hold the occupying state accountable for the crimes it has committed.

Addameer believes that now is the right time to change course, ending this period of acquiescence and submission. It is time to stop using the prisoners’ issue as a motivation to return to the negotiation table, to move past the provision of legal aid to the prisoners and detainees and to re-focus on the right of prisoners to be freed immediately. It is time to hold the Occupation accountable in the International Criminal Court and in countries that respect the jurisdiction of international law. These efforts should take place in conjunction with serious work on boycott, divestment, and sanctions against the occupying state. Finally, it is time for a boycott of the Occupation’s military courts, especially administrative detention hearings.

Addameer calls on Palestinian legal and human rights organizations to:

Boycott the military courts, especially administrative detention hearings.
Intensify joint efforts to bring international legal action against the occupying state using the mechanisms provided by the United Nations and human rights commissions.
Improve joint efforts to expose the crimes of Israeli special forces in the sessions of the UN Human Rights Council and the Universal Periodic Review Committees.
Engage in advocacy and serious efforts to boycott and divest from the occupying state, both within Palestine and internationally.
Establish an electronic database with images, video and written materials highlighting testimonies from victims of torture amongst the Palestinian prisoners and detainees.
Addameer makes the following recommendations for international organizations:

Addameer calls on UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to work seriously on forcing the occupying state to respect its commitments based on its membership in the United Nations and its accession to the 4th Geneva Convention, as well as its ratification of human rights conventions.Addameer calls on Ban Ki Moon to ensure the application of these agreements on occupied Palestinian land, particularly in the cases of Palestinian detainees and prisoners. Addameer further calls on Ban Ki Moon to work seriously toward the release of all administrative detainees, children, sick prisoners, and Palestinian Legislative Council members currently in Israeli custody.
Addameer calls on the UN Human Rights Commission to force the occupying state to allow international investigative commissions access to prisons and to focus on the conditions faced by prisoners. Addameer further calls on the UN Human Rights Council to launch a serious investigation into the complaints brought by Palestinian detainees and prisoners, especially those related to the crimes committed by the special forces of the IPS.
Addameer calls on the International Committee of the Red Cross to carry out its mission to protect detainees in accordance with its international mandate to ensure the humane treatment of prisoners and detainees in accordance with international humanitarian law.
This Prisoners Day, Addameer is re-launching its international Stop Administrative Detention campaign in over 70 countries. The campaign includes demonstrations and actions in various cities throughout the world. Addameer has prepared fact sheets and detailed legal reports in more than 12 languages to assist in the dissemination of information about the Occupation’s practice of administrative detention.

(See Stop AD Website for more information.)

In honor of Prisoners Day, we say to our people and to our prisoners as our colleague Ayman Nasser, who was detained on 15 October 2012, once said:

“I support the prisoners, even if the cost is my freedom.”


Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association

P. O. Box: 17338, Jerusalem

Tel:+972 (0)2 296 0446 / 297 0136

Fax: +972 (0)2 296 0447




From Al-Araqib to Susiya: Through the use of the "Round-Up" poisonous gas Israel employs against our forgotten people to ensure the land does not produce. A war crime in any language.

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