links for 2011-07-14

  • Israel makes boycotts illegal. One of the time-tested, non-violent ways in which people have attempted to force grass-roots change is by boycotting the products or services of an entity whose actions they dislike. Now, Israel made such boycotts illegal.
    Given how deeply social media is twined into contemporary political action, this makes certain types of online actions as illegal in Israel as they are in non-democratic countries.
  • The narrative of the immigrant housekeeper assaulted by a European official perfectly illustrates an axiom of violence and power: the wider the gap between genders and races, the greater the latitude of injustice.
    Yet the same story plays out every day on an endless loop around the globe: a retaliatory rape against a young girl sends a warning to the enemy militia; a wife is pummeled into bloody silence, her bedroom beyond the purview of traditional local courts; a daughter is married off to pay down a farm debt. The stories weave into a pattern that a media-fatigued public has come to normalize.
    (tags: DSK Rape)
  • In a bold ruling defending the right to freedom of expression and political speech, the South African media watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), unequivocally dismissed all complaints relating to the  SA Artists Against Apartheid radio advert that called for the boycott of Israel and compared Israel to Apartheid South Africa
  • Hey here is something that only happens every other week or so! The news is reporting on something maddeningly crazy that Hugo Chavez has said, only when you conduct your own independent investigation involving sophisticated journalistic techniques (Google) you find out that it is all, in fact, complete bullshit. Here's how it worked this time, pretty much exactly like it works every other time:
  • Shabby Toxic shelters built by Bill Clinton in Haiti – But headaches were not the only health problems students, staff and parents at the Institut Haitiano-Caribbean (INHAC) told us they've suffered from since the inauguration of the classrooms. Innocent Sylvain, a shy janitor who looks much older than his 41 years, spends more time than anyone in the new trailer classrooms, with the inglorious task of mopping up the water that leaks through the doors and windows each time it rains. He has felt a burning sensation in his eyes ever since he began working long hours in the trailers. One of his eyes is completely bloodshot, and he said, "They itch and burn." He'd previously been sensitive to eye irritation, but he says he's had worse "problems since the month of January"–when the schoolrooms opened their doors.
  • A group of Indigenous and Women of Color feminists who recently returned from a visit to Palestine has issued a strong statement endorsing the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. Explaining their decision to travel to Palestine, the group wrote:
  • Haneen Maikey from the Palestinian queer group Al Qaws was in Amsterdam in June talking about their struggles for sexual emancipation and against the Israeli occupation