Archive for the ‘Ideas and Projects’ Category

Since its first days, Palestine Think Tank has been supported by a wonderful site and by the truly dedicated activists there. Alter Info has been under a lot of pressure from the usual Israeli Lobby organisations, this time in France. We wish to express our support of Alter Info, to hope that they are able to win this case, and that some benefactors are able to help them with the growing legal costs. Please read their press communiqué and, if you are able to, show your support of those who provide information so that the lies and propaganda will not win, and that peace and justice will prevail.
Dear friends, Alter Info readers,

Since the beginning of our legal issues, many have supported us and showed their solidarity. Thanks to you, we managed to face adversity with dignity and honour. Therefore it is natural that I keep you informed of the legal outcomes and political games around this case in order that each of you realizes to what great extent not only this website but more generally freedom of speech and particularly individual freedoms are under attack.

In addition to the two complaints filed by UEJF & J’Accuse, I’ve been called up one more time by the police because a second complaint was filed against me; this time owing to the apparent transgressions of Ginette Hess Skandrani, an old lady and sincere militant that we know only through her writings. Nevertheless her fight was honourable and we felt that she deserved to be heard through our website. However this second complaint is unlikely to lead to legal prosecutions, which is not the case with our detractors from UEJF & J’Accuse. It’s as if their power goes beyond what the Law permits to such non-profit organisations, such that it seems like “human courts acquit the strong, and doom the weak, as therefore wrong.”**
Of the various accusations of defamation I received, death threats have had less of an effect on me than the cases filed by l’UEJF & J’Accuse; apparently being threatened with death and slandered is less important than being accused of “hate incitement” and so-called “denial of crime against humanity.” It’s unfair that in a nation under the Rule of Law the strongest is always right. Yet “power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true.”*

At the end of December 2007, we received a letter from Mr Lilti, attorney for the UEJF & J’Accuse organisations, formal notification asking for the removal of a translated article by Henry Makow entitled Capital Imperialism and published in September 2007. In this letter, Mr Lilti, among the usual clichés and predictable accusations of anti-Semitism, declared that even if we removed Ms Skandrani’s article, he would nevertheless file a case against me for “hate incitement.” What I find a little bit puzzling is that the Attorney General added a “crime against humanity” charge to the other insanities my detractors are accusing me of.

After the first provisional order, a second one was canceled thanks to the perspicacity of the President of the High Court: I had sent a letter to the President of the Paris court and tried to show good faith by removing the offending article before a second provisional order could be issued. I told him about the nefarious plot of our detractors and the fallacious reasons brought up just to harm us financially and shut us up. For reasons unknown to me, the Attorney General of Mulhouse proceeded nonetheless to quote from the second provisional order in order to accuse me of “denial of crime against humanity.” Despite the lucid decision of the President of the Paris court, UEJF & J’accuse intend to use the second provisional order as a new tool of censorship and coercion. Having failed miserably in their provisional order attempt, they still managed to coerce the Mulhouse Attorney General to hear their complaint.

The provisional order requires us to remove the article and pay damages to the two plaintiffs. It galls me to submit to this insidious blackmailing, especially as we had taken precautions before publishing the article. We included a preamble forewarning the reader of the article’s tendentious words. I naively thought that the Court of Appeals would analyze the substance rather than the form of the case – normal procedure during provisional orders – so we decided to appeal its decision. We were amazed that despite having proven the dishonesty of our detractors – who drew analogies and comparisons between our case and the Muhammad drawings case (for which precedents would have favoured our case), the Court of Appeals nevertheless sided with UEJF & J’accuse.

“Noble passions are like vices; the more they are satisfied, the greater they grow.”*

So, according to our attorney, on May 17th 2008, the appeal judge confirmed the provisional order conclusions. In addition, he doubled the damages. Though we have not yet received legal notice of the appeal judgment, the attorneys and solicitors of the plaintiffs are rushing us to pay for their fees and the costs we are also liable to. However, not having received a legal notice of the appeal judgment, we can still lodge an appeal with the Supreme Court – for up to 30 days after receiving this document.

Since December 2007, our detractors have induced financial costs exceeding more than 5 times the yearly operating budget of our association i.e. more than 20,000 euros.

UEJF & J’Accuse, two so-called anti-racism organisations, are sub-agencies of CRIF (Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions). This self-proclaimed institution assumes the right to speak and act in the name of all French Israelites and Jews. At annual dinners, the leaders of this organization don’t hesitate to lecture our political and media elites, “suggesting” legislation, even humiliating some attendants. We don’t know which legal or moral right, which values allow this organization to hold such strong political influence and to hijack the voice of all French Israelites, given that less than 4% of this population are members of CRIF.

The deeds of organisations whose methods are similar to those of CRIF sub-agencies UEJF & J’accuse are not democratic at all and are in fact contrary to any republican principle. Indeed, lobbying is a common and legal activity amongst Anglo-Saxon societies, and even if European Union institutions are trying to integrate lobbying into their governance model, the French Constitution does not allow lobbying. Their constitutionality notwithstanding, some lobbies have greater political influence than others and often they are the ones responsible for instigating social tension.

If the CRIF and its sub-agencies were only lobbying on behalf their members (which is after all their raison d’etre), even though morally reprehensible, it would be acceptable to a certain extent. The trouble is that CRIF is more likely to fight for the interests of Israel than to address the problems faced by its members or the rights of the community it’s meant to defend. While the CRIF is trying to take all French Jews hostage, see what some anti-Zionist associations like the UFJP (French Jewish Union for Peace) think of the CRIF in the open letter below:

Letter from the UJFP to the CRIF
Sunday, February 8th 2009
French Jewish Union for Peace (UJFP)

Open letter to the leaders of the CRIF

The masks have fallen and that’s enough for now!

You have absolutely no right to speak neither in our name nor in the name of our own who were penned in ghettos, murdered in pogroms, killed in death camps, but who were also part of all the struggles, from the International for a better world to the Resistance against the Nazi intruder, against colonialism and for freedom, justice, dignity and equality of rights.

You cheered and supported the crimes of the IDF, crushing under its bombs the population you call “a hostile entity”, bringing down houses, devastating crops, targeting schools, mosques, hospitals, emergency cars and even a graveyard … Now you are on the side of the Apartheid supporters, oppressors and modern barbarians, and the blood of their victims is spilling on you.

Meanwhile, you lost all human sentiment, all compassion in front of this distress, you’ve outraged and soiled us by assimilating all the Jews to the supporters of a bunch of war criminals in the same way you soiled the memory of Rachi, Edmond Fleg, Emmanuel Levinas and many others – all that French Judaism was carrying in terms of human worth, intelligence and light.

You’ve tried to transform a colonial and geopolitical conflict into a communitarian conflict and by pretending that “95% of the French Jews support the Israeli invasion”, you stir up anti-Semitism while claiming to be concerned with its return, like pyromaniac firemen. No, Ladies and Gentlemen who are leading the so-called “representative” council of the French Jewish Institutions, in our eyes you represent nothing except the zelators of an abject slaughter.

UJFP national office on 02-07-2009 Union Juive Française pour la Paix (UJFP) – 21 ter rue Voltaire, 75011 Paris. Phone: 06 61 33 48 22. E-mail: contact@ujfp.org. Website: www.ujfp.org

Following the Zionist entity’s attack against Lebanon in 2006 and more recently against the martyred people of Gaza, the CRIF can no longer hide its real nature. By the way, the UEJF, one of the associations who initiated legal proceedings against us, was leading the demonstrations supporting the IDF while it was committing atrocious crimes against children, women, poor and elderly – already exhausted from hunger and misery.

For any political leader to explicitly and cynically support a foreign power by accepting CRIF directives that are detrimental to the interests of his nation is not only morally reprehensible, it’s high treason.

Israel is more than a morally illegitimate state; it’s the fruit of an abject colonialism under the guise of an heroic and romantic epic, cleared by the myth of the wandering people, oppressed for more than 2,000 years. Oppressed yes, wandering no!

In addition their oppressors have always been Europeans; never in the territory of Islam did Jews experience pogroms or mass crimes. On the contrary, each time Jewish communities were oppressed they always found shelter in the territory of Islam.

However, Zionist propaganda takes effect insidiously and stirs up anti-Muslim racism. The CRIF has several masks; a public one that allows this organization to maintain the illusion of inclusiveness within inter-faith and inter-community dialogues; and a more hideous, insidious one serving dark schemes that seed hate and fear between communities and try to muzzle any criticism of Zionism and Israel.

The story of the “wandering People” is just an historic myth serving an ideology, a biblical alteration, a mythology that justifies the application of so-called “divine right” that supersedes even international right. We can’t fix an injustice by creating a greater one. This is however the role these self-proclaimed organizations are limited to; monopolizing noble causes like the fight against racism, while diverting them from their original goal in order to benefit the Zionist ideology.

These details about the CRIF are important since they help us understand the abject methods this multifaceted organization uses in serving one single goal: to defend Israeli policy at all cost. It uses front agencies like UEJF in order to maintain its status as an honorable organization. By the way, Marc Knobel, President of the J’Accuse organisation, and co-plaintiff, is one of its active members.

*Honoré de Balzac
**Jean de la Fontaine
Traduit par
http://www.sott.net/

WRITTEN By Stephen Lendman
Enough is enough. After 61 years of Palestinian slaughter, displacement,
occupation, oppression, and international dismissiveness and complicity, global action is essential. Israel must be held accountable. World leaders won’t do it, so grassroots movements must lead the way.
 
In 2004, Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote:
“The end of apartheid stands as one of the crowning accomplishments of the past century, but we would not have succeeded without the help of international pressure – in particular the divestment movement of the 1980s. Over the past six months, a similar movement has taken shape, this time aiming at an end to the Israeli occupation.”
 
In July 2008, 21 South African activists, including ANC members, visited Israel and Occupied Palestine. Their conclusion was unanimous. Israel is far worse than apartheid as former Deputy Minister of Health and current MP Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge explained:
 
“What I see here is worse than what we experienced – the absolute control of people’s lives, the lack of freedom of movement, the army presence everywhere, the total separation and the extensive destruction we saw….racist ideology is also reinforced by religion, which was not the case in South Africa.”
 
Sunday Times editor, Mondli Makhanya, went further: “When you observe
From afar you know that things are bad, but you do not know how bad. Nothing can prepare you for the evil we have seen here. It is worse, worse, worse than everything we endured. The level of apartheid, the racism and the brutality are worse than the worst period of apartheid.”
 
Activist Opposition to a Fundamentally Evil Occupation

In July 2005, a coalition of 171 Palestinian Civil Society organizations created the global BDS movement – for “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel Until it Complies with International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights” for Occupied Palestinians, Israeli Arabs, and Palestinian diaspora refugees. 

Since 1948, hundreds of UN resolutions condemned Israel’s colonialoccupation, its decades of discriminatory policies, illegal land
seizures and settlements, international law violations, and oppression of a civilian population, and called for remedial action.
 
Nothing so far has worked. Palestine remains occupied. Its people continue to suffer. Their human rights are denied. These abuses no longer can be tolerated. In solidarity, people of conscience demand justice and “call upon international civil society organizations and (supporters everywhere) to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to (apartheid) South Africa.” Pressure is needed for “embargoes and sanctions….for the sake of justice and genuine peace.”
 
Nonviolent punitive measures should continue until Israel: 
— recognizes Palestinian rights to self-determination; 
— respects international law; 
— ends its illegal occupation; 
— dismantles its Separation Wall; 
— grants Israeli Arabs equal rights as Jews; and 
— complies with UN resolution 194 affirming the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and property or be fully compensated for loss or damage if they prefer.
 
Dozens of Palestinian political parties, organizations, associations,
coalitions, campaigns, and unions endorse the project, including:  
— the Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine; 
— the Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizen’s Rights (PICCR); 
— the Consortium of Professional Associations; 
— the Lawyers Association; 
— the Network of Christian Organizations; 
— the Palestinian Council for Justice and Peace; 
— the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI); and  
— the US Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel.
 
PACBI 
In April 2004 in Ramallah, Palestinian academics and intellectuals launched it by “buil(ding) on the Palestinian call for a comprehensive economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel issued in August 2002 (followed by further calls) in October 2003.”
 
In July 2004, its statement of principles read: 
— “to comprehensively and consistently boycott all Israeli academic and cultural institutions until Israel withdraws from all lands occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem;  
— removes all its colonies in those lands;  
— agrees to United Nations resolutions relevant to the restitution of
Palestinian refugee rights; and  
— dismantles its system of apartheid.”
 
PACBI states: 
“Boycotting Israeli academic and cultural institutions is an urgently needed form of pressure against Israel that can bring about its compliance with international law and the requirements for a just peace.” Israel won’t comply. Why should it when world governments are supportive and complicit and offer Palestinians no relief. Thus, grassroots pressure is crucial. That’s why organizations like PACBI are essential.
 
So is the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (CACBI). It’s comprised of US academics, “educators of conscience….unable to stand by and watch in silence Israel’s indiscriminate assault on the Gaza Strip and its educational institutions.” They call for:
 
(1) boycotting all “academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions” not opposed to their government’s policies towards Palestinians;  
(2) “a comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions at the national and international levels (including) all forms of funding and subsidies….;” 
(3) divestment and disinvestment from Israel;  
(4) academic, professional, and cultural groups condemnation of Israel; and 
(5) support for Palestinian academic and cultural institutions.
 
Israel flaunts the rule of law, pursues violence, not peace, and discriminates against everyone not Jewish. Terror bombing Gaza and daily West Bank incursions illustrate its arrogance and intentions. CACBI “believe(s) that non-violent external pressure (through) academic, cultural and economic boycott” are crucial. Worldwide support and unwavering pressure must  happen as well.
 
In solidarity with PACBI, CACBI, and non-academic bodies globally, Australian academics issued their own mission statement, calling on like-minded activists to join them. Others elsewhere have done the same. 
 
Inception of the Academic Boycott Idea 
On April 6, 2002, UK professors Steven and Hilary Rose first presented the idea in an open letter to the London Guardian. They wrote:  
“Despite widespread international condemnation for its policy of violent repression against the Palestinian people in the Occupied Territories, the Israel government appears impervious to moral appeals from world leaders.” For its part, America “seems reluctant to act. However, there are ways of exerting pressure from within Europe….many national and European cultural and research institutions….regard Israel (alone in the Middle East) as a European state for the purposes of awarding grants and contracts. Would it not therefore be timely” for a pan-European moratorium of all further support “unless and until Israel abides by UN resolutions and opens serious peace negotiations with the Palestinans” along the lines of proposed “peace plans.”
 
By July, 700 signatures were registered, including from 10 Israeli academics, but not without controversy and opposition. Questions of ethics and effectiveness were raised. Academic freedom, anti-Semitism, and unfairly singling out Israel as well. 
 
On April 22, 2005, the UK Council of Association of University Teachers (AUT – with support from 60 Palestinian academics) voted to boycott two Israeli universities – Haifa and Bar-Ilan. Haifa for wrongly disciplining a lecturer who supported a student’s writing about 1948 Israeli attacks on Palestinians and Bar-Ilan for conducting courses in the West Bank, complicit with the occupation. 
 
Criticism of the AUT was immediate and harsh by Jewish groups and its own members. Zvi Ravner, Israel’s deputy ambassador in London, said the “last time Jews were boycotted in universities was in 1930s Germany.” By May, pressure was intense, forcing AUT to cancel its boycott, but the idea stayed viable.
 
In May 2006, the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE) passed motion 198C, a call to boycott Israeli academics who refused to speak out against their government. As expected, criticism again was intense but those in support stayed firm. 
 
On May 30, 2007, the congress of the University and College Union (UCU – created by AUT and NATFHE’s merger) voted 158 – 99 on Motion 30 for a Palestinian trade unions boycott petition. It asked lecturers to “consider the moral implications of existing and proposed links with Israeli academic institutions.”
 
On September 28, after considerable opposition, UCU abandoned its effort in a press release stating that lawyers advised that “an academic boycott of Israel would be unlawful and cannot be implemented.” 
 
Nonetheless, despite start-and-stop efforts and enormous opposition, the BDS movement remains viable and has taken root globally. In January 2009, the Ontario branch of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) proposed banning Israeli academics from teaching, speaking at, or doing research at Ontario universities unless they condemn Israel’s war on Gaza. After CUPE national president’s opposition, local branch officials removed the proposal from its web site but replaced it with a statement calling for a boycott “aimed at academic institutions and the institutional connections that exist between universities here and those in Israel.” It will also  introduce a resolution on the ban.
 
On January 31, hundreds of Irish activists ran a full page ad in The Irish Times condemning decades of Israeli militarism, oppression, occupation, and violations of international law. They called for the Irish government to: 
— “cease its purchase of Israeli military products and services and call publicly for an arms embargo against Israel;  
— demand publicly that Israel reverse its settlement construction, illegal occupation and annexation of land in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions and to use its influence” to achieve this;  
— “demand publicly that the Euro-Med Agreement under which Israel has privileged access to the EU market be suspended until Israel complies with international law;  
— veto any proposed upgrade in EU relations with Israel; (and for)  
— The Irish people to boycott all Israeli goods and services until Israel abides by international law.” 
 
On February 1, a new alliance of American Jews for a Just Peace issued this statement against Israel’s war on Palestine:  
“Israel recent War on Gaza resulted in worldwide popular condemnation. Perhaps this marks an important turning point in the relationship between Israel and the world community. We will not stand by while Israel instigates a war, annihilates civilian infrastructure, targets civilian shelters, blocks medical teams from reaching victims, uses chemical weapons,” and commits various other atrocities and illegal acts. This isn’t how a democratic state functions, one that respects international laws and norms. “On the contrary, they are actions of a rogue state….fully supported by the US government.”
 
“American Jews for a Just Peace calls for: 
— immediate suspension of all US military aid to Israel pursuant to the Arms Export Control Act;  
— the US Congress to open an investigation into possible war crimes as violations of the Arms Export Control and Foreign Assistance Acts in the war on Gaza;  
— businesses and individuals to refuse to purchase Israeli-made products that originate in or support Jewish settlements in Occupied Palestine and the apartheid system of racial separation and oppression in Israel/Palestine; 
— the Israeli government to sign the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid that was adopted by the United Nations in 1973…; 
— the Israeli government to end the blockade and siege of Gaza and allow unhindered access to all humanitarian aid organizations as well as international journalists; and  
— efforts by all activists to promote awareness of and resistance to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, which continues through the ongoing blockade, siege, displacement, annexation, and Israeli state-sponsored terror.” 
 
On February 3, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported that “The only Palestinian university (Al Quds) to maintain ties with Israeli colleges and oppose international calls for an (academic) boycott….suspended contacts with Israeli universities in the wake of the war in Gaza.” 
 
Al Quds has 10,000 students on three West Bank campuses – in El Bireh, Abu Dis, and East Jerusalem. By unanimous decision of its board on February 1, it froze (but didn’t end) 60 joint projects for six months, pending a policy review and possible change. Its statement cited no justification for  continued ties and that cutting them “is aimed at pressuring Israel to abide by a solution that ends the occupation, a solution that has been needed for far too long and that the international community has stopped demanding.”
 
Al Quds’ board called on local, regional, and international academics to support its position by halting their own cooperation with Israeli universities.
 
On February 5, Durban, South African dock workers refused to offload an Israeli ship docked in the city’s harbor. At the same time, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) called on “workers and activists for justice and peace to join the ever growing movement of people in solidarity with the suffering masses of Palestine.” COSATU asked workers globally to follow their lead not to offload Israeli ships or handle Israeli goods in retail stores. It also affirmed its stand to “strengthen the campaign in South Africa for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against apartheid Israel.” 
 
Despite its efforts, the Port of Durban used non-union workers to offload the Israeli ship on February 6. On the same day, COSATU and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign affirmed their boycott initiative by protesting in front of the South African Zionist Federation offices in Johannesburg.
 
On February 6, stopwar.org.uk reported a “Wave of Gaza solidarity action on UK campuses” over the past two weeks at 22 universities and colleges so far. Student demands include:  
— providing scholarships for Palestinian students;  
— sending books and computers to Occupied Palestine;  
— condemning Israeli attacks on Gaza; and  
— divesting from Israel and BAE Systems that supplies Israel with arms.  
 
On February 7, the Church of England announced that late last year it divested over 2.2 million British pounds from Caterpillar, a company whose bulldozers and equipment is used to demolish Palestinian homes. It’s a small step but an important one, given the Church’s importance. Hopefully it will inspire others to take similar steps and divest entirely from Israel and companies with which it does business. 
 
On February 9, Hampshire College in Amherst, MA became the first one in America to divest from companies involved in Israel’s occupation of Palestine. It marked a successful outcome of an intensive two-year Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) campaign that pressured the school’s Board of Trustees to act. Over 800 students, faculty and alumni were involved. Their efforts worked and shows that other campus campaigns nationwide and globally may as well. This is an important first step.
 
On February 10, the Belfast Telegraph reported that the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) “launch(ed) a boycott of Israeli goods as part of a major campaign to secure a peaceful settlement in the Middle East.” 
 
Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) dismissed the idea but Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams expressed support in saying:….”Gaza has been the target of an all-out military assault by Israeli forces. Over 1300 people were killed, many of them children.” 
 
Northern Ireland’s Social Democratic and Labour Party’s (SDLP) Carmel Hanna said that her country’s experience with the “Troubles” should inspire support for Middle East peace. “We have learned from the conflict here that violence does not work and creates bitterness.” 
 
On February 19, the Secretariat of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee called on “all (globally) to unite our different capacities and struggles in a Global Day of Action in Solidarity with the Palestinian people and for a (BDS action) against Israel on 30 March 2009” – as part of a “Global Week of Action against the Crises and War from 28 March to 4 April.” 
 
March 30 actions will focus on: 
— “Boycotts and divestment from Israeli corporations and international (ones) that sustain Israeli apartheid and occupation.  
— Legal action to end Israel’s impunity and prosecute its war criminals through national court cases and international tribunals.  
— Canceling and blocking free trade and other preferential agreements with Israel and imposing an arms embargo as the first steps towards fully fledged sanctions against Israel.” 
 
The time for these actions is now. It must be sustained until Gaza is free, the occupation of all Arab lands ends, the Separation Wall is demolished, Israeli Arabs have equal rights as Jews, and Palestinian refugees get their international law right to return to their homes and property or receive full compensation for loss or damage if they prefer. 
 
On February 23, Amnesty International (AI) issued a press release headlined: “Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories – Evidence of Misuse of US-Weapons Reinforces Need for Arms Embargo.” 
 
AI found evidence of US-supplied weapons and munitions and “called on the UN to impose a comprehensive arms embargo.” It also accused Israel of using “white phosphorous and other weapons supplied by the USA to carry out serious violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes. Their attacks resulted in the death of hundreds of children and other civilians and massive destruction of homes and infrastructure,” according to Donatella Rovera, head of AI’s Gaza and southern Israel fact-finding  mission.
 
“As the major supplier of weapons to Israel, the USA has a particular
obligation to stop any supply that contributes to gross violations of the laws of war and of human rights. The Obama administration should immediately suspend US military aid to Israel.” 
 
During the week of March 1 – 8, the fifth annual Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) will be held – last year in over 25 cities and this year likely many more in the wake of the Gaza war and subsequent world outrage. IAW is part of the growing global BDS movement – from Abu Dis to Atlanta, Barcelona to Bethlehem, Chicago to Copenhagen, Halifax to Hebron, New York to Nablus, Washington to Waterloo, and on and on in an effort to make it unstoppable. 
 
Background Information and Member Global BDS Movement Countries 
Organizations in 20 countries participate under the banner of the International Coordinating Network on Palestine (ICNP). Formed in 2002, it calls itself “a body of civil society organizations….under the auspices of the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.”
 
Its mission “is to strengthen the role of civil society in supporting and demanding, of governments and international institutions, the full implementation” of all Palestinian rights under international law, including to self-determination, national independence, and sovereignty.   ICNP coordinates global campaigns; facilitates communication; aids local organizations; plans civil society conferences; and mobilizes global BDS support. In the spirit of internationalism, it strives for representation on every continent in many more nations than now. 
 
Participating organizations are currently in the following countries:  
— Australia;  
— Belgium; 
— Canada; 
— the autonomous Catalonian northeast Spanish community and its capital, Barcelona;  
— Denmark; 
— France; 
— Egypt; 
— Greece; 
— Iceland; 
— Italy; 
— Netherlands; 
— Norway; 
— Scotland; 
— South Africa; 
— Spain; 
— Sweden; 
— United Kingdom; and 
— United States.
 
Formal Asian and Latin American representation is noticeably absent, but BDS leaders look for change. They also promote broad international BDS initiatives:
 
— academic and cultural boycotts by “refusing to participate in cultural exchange, artists, and cultural institutions” to tell Israel that its “occupation and discrimination against Palestinians is unacceptable;” Israel promotes apartheid; non-Jewish voices are excluded; Israeli children are taught to deny a Palestinian identity; Israel monitors this closely and cracks down hard on non-compliers; 
— consumer boycotts of Israeli products and services through public awareness, bad publicity, pressuring stores to remove merchandise denoting Israeli origin, and encouraging companies to stop buying Israeli technology; overall, to create an inhospitable climate for Israeli commerce;  
— a sports boycott to highlight Israeli oppression and discrimination and to stop its self-promotion as a “fair player” by participating in bilateral and international competition; at the same time, to promote a Palestinian presence in these events to support their right to identity and self-determination; 
— divestment/disinvestment in Israel and companies globally that support its occupation and oppression; encourage and pressure individuals,  businesses, organizations, universities, pension funds, and governments to shed their Israeli investments to provide pressure for change; 
— sanctions – starting with open debate and raising awareness on applying them; followed by implementing comprehensive economic, political, and military measures to isolate the Jewish state; ending Israel’s membership in economic and political bodies like the UN, WHO, Red Cross, WTO, and OECD; 
— end cooperation agreements under which Israel gets preferential treatment on trade, joint research and development, and various other projects; Israel’s Export and International Cooperation Institute reported in 2006 that participation of its companies in international projects in 2005 grew by 150% – from $600 million in 2004 to $1.5 billion in 2005; Israel is the only non-European country participating in the EU’s Sixth Framework Programme for R & D and gets preferential treatment as a member; many international agreements have clauses that bind participating countries to human rights, international law, and democratic standards; Israel disdains them; it must be challenged and excluded as a result; 
— efforts at the local, regional, and institutional levels to build greater individual awareness and support; 
— ending military ties is also vital; Israel is a serial aggressor; militarism defines its culture and existence; despite its own technology, it’s heavily dependent on America and other nations for hardware and munitions supplies; breaking that connection can curb its crimes of war and against humanity; raising public awareness is crucial toward accomplishing this goal; 
— involve faith-based bodies and institutions in the campaign; explain religion isn’t the issue; morality and human rights are at stake; religious leaders can be enormously influential in building BDS support and enhancing its legitimacy; and  
— work cooperatively with trade unions; Palestinian ones faced Zionist attacks since the 1920s, especially from the Histradrut General Federation of Laborers in the Land of Israel; it’s replaced Arab workers with Jewish ones; in 1965, the General Union of Palestinian Workers (GUPW) was founded to organize West Bank, Gaza and diaspora labor; in 1986, the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) grew out of Occupied Palestine’s labor movement; today it’s ineffective given conditions in the Territories and Israeli discrimination against its Arab citizens, consigning them to low wage, few or no benefit jobs; Histadrut represents Jews alone. 
 
The Global BDS movement seeks worldwide support for Palestinian liberation and self-determination. Its campaign continues to grow. 
 
Calls for Prosecuting Israeli Officials for Crimes of War, Against Humanity, and Genocide
 
For over six decades, Israel has tried to eliminate a Palestinian presence throughout Greater Israel – through occupation, oppression, impoverishment, discrimination, isolation, displacement, aggression, and genocide. The time for  accountability is now. Efforts are going forward and were pursued earlier.
 
On February 3, the Australian Sun reported that International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo “was conducting a preliminary analysis of alleged (Israeli) crimes during (its) recent (Gaza) offensive….” He received communications from the Palestinian justice minister, Ali Kashan, the PA, and over 200 from others, including NGOs. 
 
He wasn’t encouraging in saying that he’ll “examine all relevant issues, including on jurisdiction,” (but) preliminary analysis….is not indicative that an investigation will be opened.” Earlier, his office stated that the ICC “had no competence over the Gaza situation.” The court can only try individuals for crimes committed by a signatory to the Rome Statute. Israel is not. The prosecutor may also investigate at the behest of the Security Council or if a non-party state accepts court jurisdiction. A guaranteed US veto rules out the former. The PA is pursuing the latter even though Palestine is not an independent state. 
 
Earlier in September 2006, Al Jazeera reported that “Three Moroccan lawyers said last month they were suing (then) Israeli defence minister, Amir Peretz, over the recent (Lebanon and Gaza) offensives. Israel Radio reported that a Danish politician also tried to have (foreign minister) Tzipi Livni detained and prosecuted during a recent visit to Copenhagen but the request for an arrest warrant was” denied. 
 
On January 24, Iran Daily reported that 30 “International attorneys have filed war crime charges against 15 Israeli political and military officials including Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak.” The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) believes the evidence is compelling, including IDF use of illegal weapons and large-scale atrocities in Gaza. 
 
Names of those accused were submitted to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, even though Israel isn’t a member. Nonetheless, Israelis have been warned to check before traveling abroad to be sure no arrest warrants for them were issued. 
 
French lawyer Gilles Dovers is involved and called for an “open investigation into war crimes” committed by Israeli forces in Gaza. He said 500 complaints were submitted by Arab, European and Latin American officials. Venezuela and Bolivia are preparing their own cases. 
 
Iran Daily said “a group of French lawyers (intend) to file a complaint on behalf of French citizens of Palestinian origin to the French courts against Israeli officials,” and this effort “is gaining attention” in Paris and eastern France.
 
“Coordination with other lawyers in Belgium and Spain is (also) underway….in Brussels and Madrid.” 
 
On February 6, AP reported that a Turkish prosecutor “launched a probe into whether Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip counts as genocide, torture and crimes against humanity.” The prosecutor’s office proceeded after an Islamic human rights group filed an official complaint naming Shimon Peres, Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni. Turkish laws allow for trials against persons accused of genocide and crimes against humanity. 
 
Other efforts are proceeding as well. The Sabra Shatila Foundation issued a petition to hold Israel accountable for war crimes in Gaza and urged people of conscience to sign it. The International Organization for the elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD), Tlaxcala Universal Petition, and International Lawyers without Borders also advocate Israeli war criminal prosecutions. 
 
On December 31 in Global Research.ca, international law expert Francis Boyle called for “An Israeli War Crimes Tribunal (ICTI as) the Only Deterrent to a Global War.” He asked the UN General Assembly to “immediately establish an (ICTI) as a ‘subsidiary organ’ under UN Charter Article 22” similar to the Security Council’s ICTY for Yugoslavia. Its purpose “would be to investigate and prosecute Israeli war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against the Peoples of Lebanon and Palestine.” 
 
It would provide “some degree of justice” and serve as a deterrent to future regional aggression and a potential “global catastrophe.” Boyle also accused Washington of aiding and abetting Israeli genocide against the Palestinians. Instead of “rein(ing) in the Israelis (by cutting off all funding), the United States government, the US Congress, and US taxpayers instead support the ‘Jewish’ state to the tune of about 4 billion dollars per year….” He calls it “dishumanitarian intervention (or) humanitarian extermination” by both countries “against the Palestinians and Palestine.” 
 
“In today’s world, genocide pays so long as it is done at the behest of the United States and its de jure or de facto allies such as Israel.” Boyle wants Israel’s UN General Assembly and entire UN System membership suspended. He also proposes imposing economic, diplomatic and travel sanctions and for “the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine to sue Israel in the International Court of Justice (ICJ)” for committing genocide in violation of the 1948 Geneva Convention. 
 
In his 2003 book, “Palestine, Palestinians, and International Law,” Boyle states that world governments and people of conscience should organize a comprehensive economic divestment/disinvestment campaign against Israel. It can be modeled after the successful South African anti-apartheid one. The 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid is the standard. It applies to Israel, defines apartheid as a “crime against humanity,” and calls guilty parties international criminals. 
 
In a May 20, 2002 Counterpunch article, Boyle wrote “In Defense of a Divestment Campaign Against Israel” and based it on his November 30, 2000 Illinois State University public lecture calling for a nationwide campaign. UC Berkeley Students for Justice in Palestine responded with their own. Others followed, including Palestinian students at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where Boyle teaches. Soon after, over 30 US campuses joined the effort and others later on. 
 
Faculties as well, including at the University of California where 143 professors petitioned the UC system “to use its influence – political and financial – to encourage the United States government and the government of Israel to respect human rights of the Palestinian people” and for divestment until Israel complies with international law. 
 
Last February, the London School of Economics Students Union (LSESU) voted overwhelmingly for its university and the National Union of Students (NUS) to divest from companies that have commercial and military ties to Israel.
 
On January 18 in the Electronic Intifada, Elna Sondergaard, Director of the Human Rights Program and American University (Cairo) Law Professor, said it’s “Time for Israel to be put on trial.” In the wake of the Gaza war, she cited atrocities and grievous crimes of war and against humanity that must not go unpunished.
 
“The crucial question is: To which courts of justice can Palestinian victims bring their claims?” Palestinian courts have no jurisdiction over Israeli crimes, and as stateless people can’t adjudicate before the ICC. They’re also denied “legal protection offered by classic interstate diplomacy,” and pursuing claims in Israeli courts is fruitless.
 
Sondergaard suggests doing it in other countries on the basis of universal jurisdiction, even though past efforts in Belgium, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and America were unsuccessful. She also suggests an “ad-hoc tribunal,” similar to what Boyle proposes, and said doing so “would cost the international community nothing.” Abstaining, however, would leave Gazans “without remedies and hope” and would encourage politicians and soldiers to think they’re immune and can get away with anything. “Thus,” she concludes, “we cannot allow these crimes to remain untried.” 
 
Nor can we abstain from boycotting, divesting, sanctioning, and expelling Israel from the UN System until it complies with international law, recognizes Palestinian self-determination, ends its illegal occupation, disbands its settlements, dismantles its Separation Wall, grants Israeli Arabs equal rights as Jews, and lets Palestinian refugees return home to their property or be paid just compensation if they prefer. A vibrant, committed, grassroots global BDS movement is crucial to achieving these goals.
 
Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net 
Also visit his blog site at http://sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to The Global Research News Hour on www.RepublicBroadcasting.org Monday through Friday at 10AM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with
distinguished guests on world and national issues. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.countercurrents.org/lendman250209.htm

Over three years ago, an idea took shape. That idea was to create a network of activists that would share their material, translating things they considered important from one language, and in exchange, they would be able to circulate things translated by others. We hoped that we could contribute to a more active, involved discourse in our own milieus that would not limited by language. We believed that a good article was like a painting or a song, if it had something to communicate, it could be appreciated in a different context, and we wanted to spread the ideas around as much as we could. We already liked some of the same authors, some of the same sources, and had a common view of the major issues, not less important, we shared a bond of friendship and trust. It was intended to be “for private use”, for our mailing lists, newsgroups, blogs and personal research. We didn’t create it with the intention of making it become a site. Yet, after four months of collaboration, that group of people decided it would be a good idea to share the material we were quickly compiling in great quantity with others. There was no other solution but to open a site, which we launched officially on this day. www.tlaxcala.es

Tlaxcala at the time was a loose assembly of about 25 translator-activists who decided to pool their resources and work in a coalition by agreeing to a common ideal. There have been translation collectives before, and many sites have staff that translates, and most of us had been translating for one site or another as volunteers for a few years, so we weren’t inventing anything new when we started, but there was indeed something “different” about Tlaxcala. The difference of Tlaxcala with other groups is still quite obvious to those of us who answered that first calling to “form a group of anti-imperialist translators”. We have maintained that focus, translating a staggering quantity of material, broadening our vision as a group, but also as individuals. We are trying to keep awareness on what the struggle against “Empire” really is. Together we have discovered how the only way to support liberation from the domination of Empire (be it military, economic, cultural, social, religious, political) is to actively participate, reclaiming the miracle and the mystery of diversity, exalting it even, while making the connection between every struggle, finding their commonalities as well as discovering their unique aspects, and discovering that there are more than a few rays of hope filtering in, and the mainstream media doesn’t seem to want to let people know.

Hegemonic thinking exists in every society, anywhere there is a need for consensus. It is not necessarily damaging to the causes of liberation, and indeed, there are corners of the world where “the people” are influencing “the power elite”, and this too is important news to share. An example among many, for three days the Italian media was hounding about the “mania of dictatorship of Chavez”. The mainstream must have been convinced it was enough to paint him as a megalomaniac and dangerous demagogue, after all, they use the same “Rogue State” menu that they are taught to use by the US. Apparently, it’s easy to call someone a dictator when there is a belief that “the people would not let this happen” and it was basically a given that the Venezuelan referendum would not pass. When it actually did pass, all of a sudden there was silence, this kind of consensus doesn’t seem to find any air time between one fluff story and another. More than that, it would have created a difficult situation to handle: either implying that Venezuelans do not know what democracy is, or that our mass media was busy using a propagandistic element with the Italian public. Either way, they took the easy way out and simply made that story disappear.

Tlaxcala is a group that exists in the realm of language, one that places the struggle for freedom, peace and justice in that sphere. Language is the basis of human existence. We came into a world that was already loaded with meaning, and we learn its codes, its mores and its limits through words. Indeed, our own existence is moulded by the language that we discover, each one of us on our own. It should not be surprising that activists are not expected only to vote or march when called to do so, they are aware of the important position that discourse always has had, of how it evolves, of the way it becomes an action itself, and for an activist-translator, action and language merge their boundaries, they unite into a single instrument.

Since the founding of Tlaxcala, we have grown in number and in dedication. We have obviously fulfilled our purpose of translating material (we now also subtitle videos and have an audio-visual section on our site, in addition to coordinating or supporting international campaigns and petitions), but more than that, we have grown into “Tlaxcala”: an international group with a distinctive character. Not only that, Tlaxcala this month, due to exponential increase in its user base, is upgrading the site, which will be easier to navigate, and will integrate more language pages and with improved features. But the site is only the aspect of Tlaxcala that others see. Tlaxcala is very much more than that.

It actually is hard for me to describe what Tlaxcala really is. Without being a party, sect, social network or NGO, it has managed to create a strong community. There is a human bond and connection of respect, admiration, collaboration and commitment that is so rare it actually does stand out when it happens. I don’t believe a day has gone by when I haven’t learned something, from improving my language skills to learning about the situation in another country to finding out information that otherwise would have been very difficult for me to obtain. I don’t think I would exaggerate to say that many members of Tlaxcala can attest to the same thing. Additionally, I have come into contact with so many outstanding people, people with brilliant minds, generous hearts, a sense of humour, compassion, talent. Every new member brings a whole new patrimony to our group, it is like discovering a new branch on a family tree. Each new member is reason for celebration. This is not to say there are not passionate disputes, that we sit around the campfire singing Kumbayah, but the bond that unites us is strong enough to ALLOW room for debate, dispute and discussion. This is the private side of Tlaxcala, and it is a source of enrichment for those who participate.

Three questions were posed to our members, so that words could convey the relationship between the aspect as an activist and as a translator. Here are replies to these questions from some of our members: I asked them to reply in a language I understood, and I hope the readers of this can also understand the material that is not in English. Check the Tlaxcala site, who knows if it won’t be translated into other languages!?

1)    Do you believe that your participation in our collective has affected your own activism?

Adib: Collective work is always creative and stirs activism and new ideas, man is a social animal, thus always learns from others.  

Atenea: Without a doubt. I believe that activism is about putting your life experience and education at the service of political causes that you strongly support and believe in. Tlaxcala has become one of the key places where I have been able to combine both my profession and principles to contribute, and it has shown me many a times that collective activism is powerful and effective.

Carlos: Naturalmente que si. Primeramente, porque aprendo cada día un oficio que no me es propio, el de traductor, de muy buenos traductores de todo el mundo. Segundo, porque a través de Tlaxcala se produce un importante intercambio de información que es de gran utilidad en otras actividades que hago en redes y organizaciones, con lo que Tlaxcala transciende más allá del  grupo en sí. Tercero porque aporta un enfoque amplio en matices pero bastante estructurado que conforma un tapiz de lo que podríamos considerar una corriente universal de izquierdas en la que es posible y grato trabajar hasta el punto de lamentar muchas veces no disponer del tiempo suficiente para hacerlo. 

Cristina: Mi activismo está ya muy activado, pero Tlaxcala me permite estar al día y acceder a información que de otra manera, a lo mejor, no tenía y propagarla por el mundo.

Diego: Beh, non mi sento un attivista o, almeno, non ritengo paragonabile quello che faccio ad una qualsivoglia forma di attivismo. Detto questo, mi fa piacere far parte di una comunità di persone umane, serie ed intelligenti che, loro sì, hanno molto da insegnare e da cui sono orgoglioso di poter apprendere. Soprattutto, Tlaxcala è un modo per evadere dalla nostra miserabile condizione italiana, soprattutto per evadere dal mare di soprusi e bugie in cui affoghiamo. Tlaxcala, senza retorica, non è solo un modo per conoscere nuova gente e mentalità diverse ma, per me, è una via per far sapere alle persone degli altri paesi che qui in Italia siamo ancora molti a non arrendersi a questo declino morale e sociale che ci sta inghiottendo. In condizioni normali, le idee o gli articoli degli autori che spesso “traduco” circolerebbero senza troppi problemi attraverso i normali canali. Ma non viviamo in condizioni normali e quindi ritengo di dover fare qualcosa per fare sapere almeno all’estero che qui in Italia abbiamo tante persone che meritano di essere ascoltate. E d’altro canto, cercare di contribuire a diffondere le notizie di avvenimenti esteri che qui da noi vengono spudoratamente filtrati, manipolati o censurati. Cmq faccio tutto questo sempre nella consapevolezza che poter scrivere e fare queste cose è un lusso che probabilmente la maggioranza della popolazione mondiale non può permettersi avendo necessità di sopravvivere. E’ uno dei tanti sensi di colpa che mi tormentano da sempre: se ragionassi come molti, dovrei godermi di più la vita proprio per rispetto di chi è meno fortunato, proprio come quando i genitori rimproverano i figli che non consumano fino in fondo il proprio pasto “per rispetto ai bimbi africani”. E’ sbagliato, è come dire che bisogna consumare di più per rispetto di chi non ha niente. In realtà, bisognerebbe rinunciare concretamente ad una parte di quel che abbiamo affinché i bisogni di qualcun altro possano essere soddisfatti. Questa è l’unica via. E, a parte la rinuncia concreta che mi impongo su molte cose, Tlaxcala è un modo come diversi altri per sentirsi più vicini a quelle persone, nella speranza che mi trasmettano un po’ della loro dignità.

 

Dima: it restored my faith in collective activism…

Esteban: Yes, I’m more attentive with the various opinions.

Kourosh: Definitely. Tlaxcala has contributed to my progression immensely. Since I was invited to join the network by Manuel Talens and Mary Rizzo, I made the acquaintance of a number of mindful, intellectual, prosperous and inspirational people who are unassumingly ready for any kind of sacrifice and commitment.

Following my admission into the network, my interviews and articles, fortunately, achieved a broad feedback and reflection internationally, thanks to the constructive contribution and involvement of worldwide translators who work under the umbrella of Tlaxcala, the network of translators for linguistic diversity.

 

As a journalist who pays a high priority to the circulation of his message and the wide distribution of his productions, I’m exceptionally satisfied that my articles, interviews and reports were translated into Arabic, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Swedish and a couple of other languages pursuant to the precious and worthwhile endeavors of Tlaxcalains. I hope this could help the world to hear our call for peace, equality, improvement, tranquility and brotherhood.

 

Manuel: Le ha dado una visión mundial y ha eliminado cualquier resto de nacionalismo que pudiera quedar en mi.

Nadia:  No sólo ha afectado mi activismo, sino que cada día le da forma, de la mayor consistencia. Tlaxcala para mi es algo más, mucho más que un grupo de activistas procedentes de distintos lugares del mundo que comparten ciertos ideales, que persiguen ciertas metas en común, es una escuela, una escuela en la que perfeccionamos nuestras habilidades linguisticas, pero además, y más importante, trabajamos para construir un mundo mejor, un mundo sin exclusiones, sin prejuicios, un mundo en el que todos podamos ver más allá de la punta de nuestras narices. 

Susanne: I am a member of the local WDM (World Development Movement) group and I have been sharing some of the articles and videos with them. The articles I read on and translate for Tlaxcala provide me with view from those that are marginalised or completely ignored in the mainstream media and that helps to inform my own activism.

2)     What feelings and thoughts come to you when you are translating and then when you see your translations published?

Adib: The world is a global village; so you have to know what your next door neighbor and friend believes in to be able to associate with him in a civil manner so as both of you benefit from each other’s work, unless that next door neighbor is an intruding enemy who plans to expand to your living and bed rooms, then kick you out and replace you in them as we Palestinians are suffering with our intruding unwanted “guests”.. Translation helps you to know both your friend, to ally with him, and your enemy, to confront him and put an end to his atrocities. Know both your enemies and friends. Unfortunately what we learned from our enemy is that he is not willing to learn from his own mistakes… We learned that our enemy is digging its grave with its own hands.

When you see your translations published you earn satisfaction as you know that your time was not wasted, on the contrary it benefits others.

 

 

Atenea: I only choose to translate those articles and essays that resonate with my political convictions and interests, so the experience is always rewarding as every time I learn and/or open new windows to further strengthen my position in specific issues. I try to stay away from well-known authors in alternative media as I find it more urgent to lend my skills and profession to convey the ideas and thoughts of those who are not so popular but equally incisive and sharp. Publication and re-publication in other sites only means that we are achieving our goal as a group: giving a voice to those who would otherwise remain unheard, offering people a view into the other side of the (hi)story, and counteracting and counterbalancing the enormous amount of mainstream so-called information that bombards the world 24/7.

Carlos: Si la conciencia colectiva de una comunidad es su idioma, el esfuerzo de traducir a otra lengua diferente de la tuya, la materna, es adentrarse en un horizonte nuevo y abrirse a una nueva mentalidad, y así es como acometo un texto, que escojo en función de varias consideraciones y no sólo de mis preferencias personales puesto que influye la actualidad, la relevancia de lo tratado, los hechos que rodean el texto, su autor, etc..

Cuando un trabajo se ve después publicado pienso en la utilidad que pueda tener y para quién puede tenerla. Busco vestigios de errores y trato de tenerlos en cuenta para la siguiente traducción y también para escoger un nuevo texto. De unos trabajos te sientes más satisfecho que de otros pero, como los temporales en la mar, el peor siempre es el último.

Cristina: Hay veces (me acaba de pasar con un tema de Venezuela) en que me apasiono e implico de tal modo que me sale una traducción con mucha vida y yo llego a emocionarme. ¡Ésas son las mejores! 
No he visto aún ninguna traducción mía publicada porque soy una novata entre vosotros.

Diego: Nell’ordine: camuffare in qualche modo la mia limitata conoscenza della lingua straniera; evitare fraintendimenti e possibili querele (che da noi sono molto di moda) sperare di non commettere troppi errori, visto che tu ed altri dovete sobbarcarvi le revisioni. Quanto alle pubblicazioni fanno piacere ma più che altro implicano la possibilità che ancor più persone possano leggerle.

Dima: I recognise the importance of what we’re doing as translators, seeing the translations on the web affirms my commitment. it’s only a shame I can’t contribute as frequently as i would like to..

Esteban: Je n’en tire aucune gratification personnelle, le seul fait de savoir que le texte d’un auteur engagé pour les mêmes idées que moi sera certainement lu par des personnes qui n’auraient jamais pu le lire et par conséquent n’auraient pas pu avoir une information parallèle ou un avis en dehors du cadre de la pensée unique m’incite à catalyser les deux parties. Tous les textes de Tlaxcala (et d’autres sites également) ne seront jamais imprimés dans la presse impérialiste, et pourtant avec Tlaxcala ils sont à la portée de tout un chacun afin qu’il s’interroge et s’aperçoivent comment les médias manipulent les consciences. Le niveau des textes étant élevé, Tlaxcala est un excellent vecteur d’information, d’apprentissage, de formation et de stimulateur à la lutte.

Kourosh: At the time of writing and translating, I just try to set focus on the job which is assigned to me; a genuine concentration. Due to the overwhelming clutter of works which usually entangle me, sometimes I can not manage to draw the projects to a close and finish up the works timely, for which I should apologize to all of the Tlaxcalains; however, that’s a source of honor and pride for me to see an abundant trust and confidence which the people bestow upon me.

Manuel: Como cualquier otro traductor implicado en un trabajo político colectivo y voluntario, escojo los textos en función de mis propias preferencias. En el proceso de traducción procuro plasmar las ideas del autor original de la manera más clara posible y con la mayor corrección estilística de la que soy capaz. El lector se merece siempre un buen texto. Cuando veo mis traducciones publicadas suelo estar ya haciendo alguna nueva, así que nunca vuelvo la vista atrás.

Nadia: Una traducción publicada es un nuevo cohete qassam lanzado en contra de la ocupación de la que somos objeto, es un acto de protesta y por ende de resistencia. Tal como los combatientes que en algún rincón del mundo elaboran rudimentarias armas para defenderse de aquellos que los oprimen, nosotros, con nuestras traducciones también reivindicamos nuestro derecho a luchar elaborando cada una de nuestras traducciones. En el proceso dejamos el alma, no hay traducción que no cuente, que no aporte, cada una de ellas representa nuestro grito de protesta, ese grito que, como decía el subcomandante marcos, se sumará al de otros en distintos rincones del mundo hasta finalmente ser escuchado por aquellos que resisten y luchan con las armas en nuestro nombre, porque todos somos combatientes, todos somos palestinos, subsaharianos, iraquíes, tibetanos, todos empuñamos la misma arma.

Susanne: Some of the articles in particular made me think about how the things are connected and how the response in the Western corporate media just doesn’t reflect the severity of some conflicts and the suffering in the world because of some powerful interests, it’s like a script being followed. I have noticed how my translations appear on a number of blogs after publication on Tlaxcala, for all those readers who want to get beyond the scripted reporting in the corporate media. It makes me happy.

3)     Have you gained in a personal way from participation in our collective, or have you lost something?

 

Adib: Definitely both in a personal and collective way. How could anybody lose in collective work. Collective efforts is like yeast that matures dough that becomes good bread when baked thus you have your fill that is consumed with pleasure.

Atenea: No original answer here: I have gained a solid network of compañeros whom I share a world and life view with, a really big thing when you actually think about it. I have lost some free time, but have become a more creative time manager!

Carlos: Aparte de algunas clases de saxofón he perdido poca cosa comparado con lo mucho que he ganado, lo más importante de todo: estar en contacto con un creciente grupo de personas extraordinarias, lo cual sería imposible de otra forma. He ganado también  aprendizaje y  posibilidades de expresión. Desde cualquier punto de vista personal la experiencia es enormemente positiva.

Cristina: He ganado el participar en un proyecto como Tlaxcala del que soy admiradora hace años.
Me enorgullece formar parte de un grupo de gente tan luchador, generoso, valiente con cuyas metas y puntos de vista coincido al cien por cien.
No pierdo nada, porque el tiempo empleado me parece un granito más de arena en la montaña que pare la injusticia.

 

Diego: Mi pare di aver risposto in parte già nella prima. Cmq, più che altro, mi pare di star “rincretinendomi”. Ma forse dipende dal fatto che è Tlaxcala stessa ad essere probabilmente qualcosa di un po’ “folle”.

 

Dima: I like being in a world-wide collective and I intend to plan some trips to countries when some Tlaxcala members have a spare bed for me to lie on (watch out everyone!)

 

Esteban: Comme j’ai dit dans la phrase en rouge ci-dessus, elle est pour moi EN PREMIER. Et donc j’ai gagné sur mon chemin personnel et j’espère encore gagner dans mon apprentissage sur les couleurs du monde, dans ma façon de penser et de réagir. Il faut dire que l’activité intense de beaucoup de militants au sein de l’association incite à aller de l’avant.

 

Je profite de ce questionnaire pour dire que : il est vrai que j’ai des préférences pour des textes et des auteurs, mais je n’ai AUCUNE retenue pour les luttes et les combats des peuples, ethnies, communautés ou individu contre l’impérialisme aliénateur. De même, il y a quelquefois des textes auxquels je n’adhère pas entièrement, alors, je m’abstiens de traduire ou de commenter ; pour autant si une majorité des membres actifs pense que ce texte peut être positif pour les luttes (même s’il n’a pas la radicalité qui me convient), alors je m’investis dans cette optique, ET JE L’ASSUME (« Je l’assume » c’est la seule raison qui me fait signer à la fin, sinon je signerais « le collectif »).

 

it’s a part of me…

Kourosh: Undisputedly, working in Tlaxcala added some new values to me. A beneficial sort of communal cooperation with a group of admirable people who are enthusiastic about their works, making new contacts with people who understand the reality of pure dedication, commitment and pledge, fueling the process of advantageous movements to help the oppressed, needy and impoverished worldwide and finally, acting upon the responsibilities which I believe are allocated to me.

Manuel: He ganado un horizonte sin fronteras y he perdido tiempo libre.

Nadia: No he perdido nada, cómo podría? He ganado mucho, he ganado un espacio de lucha y me siento privilegiada por ello, he ganado el martillo y el cincel con los que estoy contribuyendo a modelar el mundo en el que quiero vivir. 

Susanne: It’s only a short time since I have been a member, but in this time I have been very impressed and inspired by the dedication and courage of Tlaxcala’s members and friends. It is very life affirming and gives me hope that the world can be improved.