From Israel to Arizona, boycott racism!

Press Release, US Campaign for the
Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, 2 July 2010

July 2, 2010

The following press release was issued by the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural
Boycott of Israel (USACBI)
on 27 June 2010:

The US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI)
endorses and supports the call for Boycott of Arizona on account of its
manifestly racist laws, HB1070 and SB 2281.

SB1070 calls for police officers to require documentation from people to
establish resident status. The law essentially requires police to
engage in racial profiling and discrimination on the basis of
appearance. SB 2281 outlaws the teaching of ethnic studies in Arizona
schools. It builds a pretext for the censorship of books and suppression
of historical texts which are perceived by the state as political

USACBI calls attention to the similar plight of Palestinians in occupied
Palestine. Analogous to Arizona’s policies, Palestinian narratives are
suppressed by the state of Israel, including a new piece of legislation
outlawing the commemoration of al-Nakba, the ethnic cleansing of
Palestine in 1948. Israel also requires identification papers of
Palestinians in order to engage in routine and essential daily tasks.
These ID cards, which not all Palestinians are granted, forces many
Palestinians from the diaspora to be foreigners in their own land and
often denies them entry into their own country or results in expulsion
from it.

Palestinians, like many Mexicans and Mexican Americans, are forced to
resist borders that were imposed on them by foreign powers. In this
context we also call attention to stark similarities between Israel’s
Apartheid Wall and the US Apartheid Wall. Israel’s Apartheid Wall
confiscates Palestinian water and land for the sole benefit of illegal
Israeli settlements, and strangles the lives and livelihoods of

The two walls have much in common — not only because both are built on
land that was occupied by conquest, that displace indigenous people, and
that separate families, but also because these walls are built by the
same colonial forces. The Israeli firm, Elbit Systems, played a leading
role in the construction of both walls. Naomi Klein warned that the US
Apartheid Wall (which the US, like Israel, calls a "fence") will have
similar consequences to the one on Palestinian land:

"In April 2007, special immigration agents with the US Department of
Homeland Security, working along the Mexican border, went through an
intensive eight-day training course put on by the Golan Group. The Golan
Group was founded by ex-Israeli Special Forces officers and boasts more
than 3,500 employees in seven countries. ‘Essentially we put an Israeli
security spin on our procedures,’ Thomas Pearson, the company’s head of
operations, explained of the training course, which covered everything
from hand-to-hand combat to target practice to ‘getting proactive with
their SUV.’ The Golan Group, now based in Florida but still marketing
its Israeli advantage, also produces X-ray machines, metal detectors,
and rifles. In addition to many governments and celebrities, its clients
include ExxonMobil, Shell, Texaco, Levi’s, Sony, Citigroup and Pizza
Hut" (The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, New
York: Metropolitan Books, 2007, p 438).

The US wall will further segregate border communities, break families
apart and increase the number of deaths on the border as migrant workers
are pushed deeper into the desert.

Both walls protect imperial interests, not those of indigenous people
whose rights are violated by these states and their structures. Like
Israeli settlers, militia organizations like the Minute Men have found
legitimacy for attacking economic refugees crossing the border. These
armed, racist groups find their counterparts in groups of Israeli
settlers shooting at Palestinian farmers attempting to access their own
land, visit families, or travel between home and work.

USACBI expresses its solidarity with organizations that strive for
equality and justice of oppressed indigenous peoples, particularly the
move to boycott Arizona until it reverses these racist laws. We call on
others to join us in the boycott of Arizona and to build divestment
campaigns targeting companies like Elbit that profit from the oppression
of indigenous people on stolen land whether in the US or Palestine.

:: Article nr. 67573 sent on 03-jul-2010 12:02 ECT

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