Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Nadia Hijab: Settling for...Settlements

US Campaign Advisory Board member Nadia Hijab is, like the rest of us, less than impressed with what the "settlement freeze" has turned out to looks like:
"The Arabs have a saying for someone who’s not getting anywhere: “He’s managed to explain, after considerable strain, that water is water.” And so it is with US envoy George Mitchell: After considerable effort he’s apparently settled for a settlement freeze that involves more settlements."
How to respond to the continuing unwillingness of the United States to cut military aid to Israel even when U.S. demands for an end to settlements go totally unheeded? Hijab argues that Palestinian civil society provides the answer:
"The other hopeful trend remains the work of the Palestinian civil society, whose boycott call against Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights bears new fruit almost every day. Most recently Jane Fonda, Naomi Klein, Alice Walker, Danny Glover joined over 50 artists to protest the Toronto International Film Festival spotlight on the city of Tel Aviv. They are not against showing Israeli films but rather are against the staging of "a propaganda campaign on behalf of … an apartheid regime.” And then there is the Norwegian pension fund decision to divest from the Israeli company Elbit Systems for its involvement in construction on occupied Palestinian land. "We do not wish to fund companies that so directly contribute to violations of international humanitarian law," explained Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen."
Check out Nadia Hijab's full article here.