domingo, 25 de março de 2018

Israeli Apartheid Week III : Red Card for FIFA, Adidas, and the IDF

In a World Cup year, it's fair to bring back FIFA's obligation to boycott Israel football clubs and national team. 
In a 2016 report, Human Rights Watch detailed how world football governing body FIFA profts from serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law by allowing the Israel Football Association to conduct games in West Bank settlements.
Palestinians and human rights defenders campaigned for several years to get FIFA to exclude the settlement clubs.
But despite promising to address the issue, FIFA repeatedly bowed to Israeli pressure.
Last May, FIFA boss Gianni Infantino effectively rigged a vote in the body’s congress to protect Israel from sanctions.
In October, FIFA made what appeared to be the final capitulation, giving Israeli teams a green light to continue playing on occupied land, in violation of FIFA’s own policies barring one member association from holding matches on the territory of another without permission.
Palestinians now appear to be targeting their campaign directly at sponsors.
The Palestinian clubs warn Adidas that continued complicity with Israel’s settlements “may expose it to consumer-led boycott campaigns in the Arab world and globally.”
The Palestinian clubs caution Adidas that its involvement in the settlements makes it eligible to appear in a UN database of companies that profit from Israel’s illegal colonization of Palestinian land. 
Backing the call, former Palestinian national team player Mahmoud Sarsak stated that “Palestinian footballers are routinely forced to endure Israeli military raids and tear gas on our fields, denied by Israel our right to travel to matches, and have seen our teammates killed and our stadiums bombed.”
Sarsak himself was jailed by Israel for three years without charge or trial and only released after a three-month hunger strike that brought him to the edge of death.
“Adidas’ sponsorship of the IFA prominently places its iconic logo on Israel’s abuses of our rights,” Sarsak added. “The company must immediately cut ties with the IFA.”
There is a growing consensus among human rights defenders and legal experts that any business activity in the settlements is incompatible with respecting human rights and violates international law.
Human Rights Watch has called on businesses to end all activities in or with Israeli settlements. Amnesty International has called on governments to ban the import of all settlement goods.
In February, Honda abandoned a motorcycle racing event that had been scheduled to take place in an Israeli settlement after appeals from human rights defenders and warnings from Palestinians that the Japan-based multinational could face boycott calls.
While race organizers blamed safety concerns and the weather, Israeli media credited the impact of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement for the cancellation.
Meanwhile, a big sportswear, Adidas, may face boycott calls if it doesn’t end its sponsorship of the Israel Football Association over the inclusion of teams based in settlements in the occupied West Bank.
The German sportswear giant received the warning in a letter this week signed by 130 Palestinian football clubs and sports associations.
The letter cautions Adidas CEO Kasper Rørsted that as the main international sponsor of the Israel Football Association (IFA), “Adidas is lending its brand to cover up and whitewash Israel’s human rights abuses” and give “international cover to Israel’s illegal settlements.”
Adidas is one of the top sponsors of teams in European leagues, including Arsenal, Real Madrid and Juventus.
In other regions Adidas also seeks to raise its profile by backing top clubs. For example in South Africa, Adidas sponsors the Orlando Pirates and Ajax Cape Town, both of which play in the country’s premier league.
Adidas also owns the Reebok brand.
The football clubs point out that Adidas previously ended its sponsorship of Israel’s “Jerusalem marathon” after widespread protests against the race, which passed through occupied East Jerusalem.
Hind Awwad from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel noted too that in 2016 Adidas ended its sponsorship of the International Association of Athletics Federations, citing doping and corruption scandals plaguing the organization as a breach of contract.
“Surely involvement in Israeli settlements built in violation of international law should be grounds for ending sponsorship” of the Israeli association, Awwad stated. “Adidas has a responsibility to do the right thing and heed the call from Palestinian football clubs to end its sponsorship of the IFA.”
Adidas states that it “recognizes its corporate responsibility to respect human rights.”
It remains to be seen how the company will respond to demands that it respect the human rights of Palestinians
As the world continues to turn, I must say a few words about Russia's presidential elections.
The first thing that catches the eye in all analytic articles written about the subject is the assumption about Vladimir Vladimirovitch Putin overtaking Joseph Stalin in terms of political longevity.
This assertion implicitly draws parallels with the Stalin era, which in the West is commonly referred to as more than authoritarian; sometimes even "fascist" . In addition, Valdimir Putin is criticised for his "irrepressible" desire for power.
Such an assumption may produce an impression on Western readers (although the growth of popularity of Mussolini, Salazar and Franco in corresponding countries breaks all records), but Russia and socialists worldwide have long learned to separate flies from meat chops and look at Stalin's figure dialectically. Yes, Stalin was a dictator, who killed too many; but on the other hand, he was a politician who turned the Soviet Union into an industrial power, who was intolerant of corruption, who attached first priority to Soviet family, culture and education; and won World War II at the cost of millions of brave Russian lives, although Hollywood propaganda sells otherwise.
As for political longevity, it is the people of Russia who elect Putin, in contrast, for example, Germany, where Angela Merkel has been elected by a handful of elites for 20 years already.
Which option is more democratic?
The second thing that attracts one's attention about the coverage of Russian presidential election in the West refers to opposition activist Aleksei Navalny, barred from the race because of a criminal conviction seen as politically motivated. He is depicted as a victim, almost a hero; nevertheless, scratch a little and you will see that he is far from being somewhere near Sakharov or Solzhenitsyn.
Thirdly, mainstream Western media say that the Russian authorities used the administrative resource to ensure a high turnout. Yes, they did, but it was not used to call to vote for Putin, but to encourage to go and vote. Which are two different things.
Fourthly, Western media buy into the idea that the reason for Putin's victory is his ability to play on the desire of the Russians to rebuff the West in Syria, Ukraine and everywhere else. Moreover, they assert that this "tsarist chauvinism" is brought up on the ill interpretation of friendly intentions of the West to sow democracy in "bad countries". Which is hypocritical and controversial.
Westen media rightly conclude, though, that British Prime Minister Thereza May, when trying to consolidate the British on the eve of Brexit and being unable to see a log in her own eye, played into Putin's hands with the case of Sergei Skripal.
Fifthly, a lot has been said about violations and manipulations; "hidden tools of intelligence and special services" and that Russia negletcts "the rules of civilised behaviour". Really!? ... Cast the first stone.
What is troubling is that Western analysts do not understand why Trump came to power, and why Putin can still retains it.
Today's middle class Americans live worse than their parents lived. But in today's Russia, the younger generation are less educated than their grandparents but lives better than their parents.
Above all, however, the Russians have always put the national idea above material well-being.
Which I have not seen elsewhere.
The fact is that Russian President Vladimir Vladimirovitch Putin, who has already dominated the political landscape for the last 18 years, extended his rule over the world's largest, and, today, most powerful country, for another six years at a time when his ties with the West are on a hostile trajectory exactly because of his leadership and assertiveness.
Vladimir Vladimirovitch's thumping victory will extend his total time in office to nearly a quarter of a century, until 2024, by which time he will be 71. He is 65 and has been in power, either as president or prime minister, since 2000.
Actually, the result may be a vindication of his tough stance towards the West, which is at odds with him over Syria, Ukraine, allegations of Russian election meddling and cyber attacks, and the poisoning in Britain of a former Russian spy and his daughter.
Relations between Moscow and the West are at a post Cold War low.
Despite or because of that, he is laud in Russia as a father-of-the-nation figure who has restored national pride and expanded Moscow's global clout with interventions in Syria and Ukraine.
Anyway, the big question that people keep asking is how long Putin wants to stay in power.
The answer is uncertain.
Russian constitution limits the president to two successive terms, obliging him to step down at the end of his new mandate - as he did in 2008 after serving two four-year terms. The presidential term was extended from four to six years, starting in 2012.
Putin has six years to consider a possible successor.
As far as I know, he has selected no heir apparent, and any names being circulated are the product of speculation, not knowledge of Putin's thinking.
What is sure is that he will never, never, leave Russia's national (and international, for that matter) governance before making sure to find the right replacement: a strong, bright, educated, Russian patritot who can take over an administration which is essentially Vladimir Vladimirovitch's personal project.
 Israeli Apartheid Week continues 

Ahed Tamini will is still in prison, but...
The Israeli military was forced to give in and drop 8 of the charges against Ahed as part of a plea bargain, in which Ahed recognized in court the fact that she slapped the soldier and called for protests. In return, Ahed will get the minimum sentence of 8 months instead of spending at least 3 years in prisonbased on what the military prosecutor was initially seeking. Lawyers at Ofer Military Court told us we would be lucky if they offered a 2 year plea bargain. But now, Ahed will be out in July — early enough to go to her first year in college. For the next 4 months in prison, Ahed will focus on her studies and take her final year exams. Ahed’s mother, Nariman, will also be released at the same time.
The fact that a child will be jailed for 8 months for slapping a soldier whose troops just shot her 15 year old cousin in the face is extreme, but in the context of the 99% conviction rate in the Israeli military court system and right-wing incitement against Ahed, this compromise by the Israeli military shows they have decided to back down in the face of growing pressure to release Ahed. In fact, they were begging Ahed’s lawyer, Gaby Lasky, to accept the plea bargain. Below are the 3 main reasons why the Israeli military was forced to back down, and give Ahed the minimum possible sentence:
1. Ahed refused to be coerced so there wasn’t enough evidence to convict her.
Israel subjected Ahed Tamimi to intense military interrogations led by a member of Israel’s military intelligence. The interrogation tactics were meant to coerce her into admitting guilt on the 12 charges brought against her.Detained children, who are often beaten, disoriented, and afraid, end up saying anything the interrogator wants them to — but Ahed courageously maintained her right to remain silent throughout the entire interrogation.
Unable to break Ahed, the Israeli military arrested 10 other Palestinians from Nabi Saleh, 8 of them children. These children also remained steadfast and refused to allow the military to coerce them into giving false testimony to indict Ahed.
Hence, the prosecutor did not have enough evidence to indict Ahed, which made it difficult to complete here trial, especially while it was garnering significant international attention.
2. Ahed’s case created massive global uproar from citizens to diplomats: millions around the world watched in shock as a 16 year old girl was terrorized, and Israel failed to spin the story.
After a massive right-wing Israeli campaign calling for the arrest, and sometimes even murder, of Ahed, which was followed by her arrest, Ahed quickly became a symbol of Palestinian children. Dozens of media networks flocked to cover her story, and in so doing shed a spotlight on the detention of Palestinian children in Israeli military courts. Over 1.75 million people around the world took action with Avaaz and demanded that Ahed and Palestinian children be released. Amnesty and Human Rights Watchjoined her campaign — and news networks from the BBC to Xinhua, and from CNN to Al Jazeera reported her story.
In an effort to spin the story in Israel’s favor, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, claimed that the ‘Tamimi family were actors’, which journalists did not buy. Oren further claimed that the Knesset had a committee investigating the “authenticity” of the family, which was quietly ridiculed in diplomatic circles as a sign of Israel’s paranoia and its inability to humanize Palestinians.
In a last ditch effort to defame the Tamimi family, 15 year old Mohammad Tamimi, whose skull was shattered when a soldier shot him in his face, was arrested. Ahed slapped the soldier because she heard her cousin Mohammad was shot and in critical condition — and that story intensified global support for her case. The Israeli military interrogated Mohammad and successfully coerced him into saying he got his head injury (a third of his skull was missing and he needed surgery to replace it) from falling off of a bicycle. Major General Yoav Mordecai posted Mohammad’s “confession” on his Facebook page. However, the Tamimi family quickly released x-rays, footage, and hospital records that proved without a doubt that Mohammad was shot, forcing the military to retract.
Diplomatically, many nations that were already worried about the ill-treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli military prisons spoke up. The EU said it was “deeply concerned” about the arrest of minors. Diplomats from around the world were mobilised to watch Ahed’s hearing, with representatives from Germany, France, Belgium, Spain, and many others attending her trial.
3. Ahed’s arrest was supposed to deter Palestinian youth but instead it inspired them to organise.
The Israeli military hoped that the arrest of Ahed would deter the youth of Nabi Saleh (Ahed’s village) and Palestinians across the region from protesting. What happened was the opposite: The youth were inspired by Ahed’s agency, and protests in Nabi Saleh and elsewhere became larger and more intense.
Youth from the villages around Nabi Saleh also joined its protests. And Palestinian students began the process of organising a #March_for_our_freedom. Fearing further upheaval, and unwilling to make Ahed a bigger hero, the Israeli military was forced to give in and drop 8 of the charges against Ahed. Instead of spending over 3 years in prison based on what they had initially pursued, she will now be out in July — early enough to go to her first year in college. The only thing she was booked for were the things in the video — slapping a soldier and calling for protests. They dropped the charge of inciting to bombings and stabbings for her and her mother, and the charge of stone throwing. For the next 4 months in prison, Ahed will focus on her studies and take her final year exam.
It is essential that we tell Ahed’s story as it is, one of steadfastness in prison and a failure by the military to break her. In court, Ahed said: “There is no justice under occupation.” She’s right, and that’s why this plea deal, as unfair as it is, was the best she could hope for and the biggest possible compromise the Israeli military, under pressure, could give. There are 356 children, all like Ahed, still in military confinement. Every year over 750 children are arrested. Let’s continue to take action until they are all free.



Apartheid Adventures
Abro espaço para outra colega falar sobre a Marielle.
"Desde 2012, a equipe do laboratório analisa dados de eventos político digitais e o caso da vereadora do PSOL, alvejada por quatro tiros no Centro do Rio de Janeiro, é o de maior repercussão desde que o trabalho foi iniciado.Se às ruas compareceram milhares de cidadãos “comuns”, além de militantes de direitos humanos, partidos e organizações, as redes sociais deram, igualmente, projeção à imagem de Marielle como figura que encarna a renovação política, explica Malini. “Grupos, organizações, somados a artistas e celebridades, fizeram com que a movimentação fosse intensa, gerando alto impacto.”
Nas plataformas, diz, “também vimos a emergência de novos atores, mediados não por fatores políticos tradicionais”. O tuíte mais compartilhado após o assassinato da vereadora partiu do perfil de @badcat, uma jovem de 17 anos, negra e militante. “O caso Marielle é um sintoma de que há forte resistência, de um caso que extrapola quem tradicionalmente atua em campos políticos.”
Se a propagação da imagem de Marielle como liderança crítica às forças de segurança foi enorme, o contra-ataque também foi intenso, numa tentativa de desqualificar a trajetória militante da vereadora morta. Desde que descobriram o valor das redes sociais como instrumento da disputa política, por volta de 2013, os reacionários raramente haviam sofrido uma derrota tão fragorosa na batalha da opinião. Foi uma espécie de 7 a 1 a favor da solidariedade.
Logo no dia seguinte ao assassinato começaram a circular pelo WhatsApp áudios e fotos falsos que tentavam associar a vereadora ao crime organizado. Segundo essas fake news, Marielle teria sido casada com o traficante Marcinho VP. Na sexta-feira 16, o deputado demista Alberto Fraga, expoente da bancada da bala, deu vazão às mentiras. Em sua conta no Twitter, escreveu que a parlamentar era usuária de drogas, ex-esposa de Marcinho VP e eleita pelo Comando Vermelho.
A desembargadora Marília Castro Neves, do Tribunal de Justiça do Rio de Janeiro, endossou a mentira, que tem um histórico de ofensas a minorias e a “comunistas”, embarcou. A magistrada anotou que Marielle estava “engajada com bandidos” e repetiu a versão de que ela teria sido eleita pelo Comando Vermelho.
Além disso, chamou-a de “cadáver comum”. Após reação das redes, o deputado apagou a postagem. Diante da reação, tentou se justificar em mensagens posteriores, até se ver obrigada a apagar seus perfis no Facebook e no Twitter. Não foi de grande valia. Alvo de representações do PSOL, do PT e da Associação Brasileira de Juristas pela Democracia, a desembargadora será investigada pelo Conselho Nacional de Justiça.
O histórico de difamações de Castro Neves depõe contra a sua defesa. Em 2015, descobriram advogados que se voluntariaram para rastrear os discursos de ódio dirigidos a Marielle, a juíza atacou o deputado federal Jean Wyllys, militante gay. Escreveu a desembargadora: “Eu, particularmente, sou a favor de um paredão profilático para determinados entes.... O Jean Willlis (sic), por exemplo, embora não valha a bala que o mate e o pano que limpe a lambança, não escaparia do paredão”.
Um seguidor da magistrada acrescentou: “Quanto ao paredão, de costas, ele adoraria”... Castro Neves replicou: “Tenho dúvidas... o projétil é fininho”. As representações no CNJ questionam a imparcialidade e a sanidade da desembargadora para ocupar o cargo público. Fraga também se viu forçado a admitir que distribuiu conteúdo mentiroso.
Embora não seja exatamente um intelectual nem se destaque pelo uso correto da língua, o pastor Marco Feliciano achou engraçado fazer uma piada em entrevista a uma rádio concedida no calor da comoção pela morte da Marielle: “O cérebro do esquerdista é do tamanho de uma ervilha. Há pouco tempo fiquei sabendo que deram um tiro num esquerdista no Rio de Janeiro e levou uma semana pra morrer porque a bala não achava o cérebro”.
Anielle Silva, irmã da vereadora, revolta-se com os ataques: “Esperava um pouco mais de respeito com a nossa dor, achei que não fossem começar com essa onda tão rápido. Mas já que começou, vou até o fim para responder. E provar que é mentira”.
Não foram só as redes sociais que propagaram mentiras. Vários meios de comunicação repercutiram as declarações de Fraga e Castro Neves sem esclarecer sua origem falsa. “Ao assumir essas notícias como verdadeiras, se impulsionou a boataria, aquilo que estava restrito a um nicho que consome informações ultraconservadoras. Isso leva à ideia de que nosso problema não são apenas as fake news.
As reportagens caça-cliques também são um grande problema, pois capazes de irradiar mais intensamente do que as notícias falsas”, ressalta Malini. Ainda assim, o pesquisador aponta a derrota dos boatos nesse episódio. “Os conteúdos que prevalecem são os de luta, questionadores. Tanto que a notícia continua a irradiar no mundo inteiro.”
O assassinato gerou uma comoção internacional. The Washington Post chamou de “símbolo global”. Passeatas em Londres, Paris, Munique, Estocolmo, Lisboa e Nova York pediram justiça. Celebridades como a atriz Viola Davis e a cantora Katy Perry se manifestaram. O papa Francisco ligou para a mãe de Marielle.
“As fake news não pegaram. Os progressistas levam vantagem em relação aos conservadores perante a opinião pública. O que tem prevalecido é a imagem de uma pessoa que faz a diferença, de esquerda, gay”, acredita João Feres, professor de Ciência Política do Instituto de Estudos Sociais e Políticos da Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro.
Para Esther Solano, professora e pesquisadora da Universidade Federal de São Paulo, está claro que a repercussão nas redes é muito mais pró-Marielle, com número maior de mensagens de luto e apoio do que de mensagens contrárias. Ela chama atenção para o fato de que as redes sociais não refletem a sociedade como um todo.
“A rede social é usada como meio de formação e informação política por uma camada específica da sociedade, mais urbana, jovem, branca. Tem uma camada mais empobrecida, mais rural, mais velha que não está representada”. Ou seja, embora o conteúdo de apoio, progressista, prevaleça nas redes, “isso não indica que as pautas offline, na vida fora das redes, não tenham sido mais conservadoras.”
Solano acredita, porém, ser importante tomar cuidado, pois se a retórica de Michel Temerem defesa do aumento do punitivismo ganhar espaço, o cenário pode mudar. A morte de Marielle, diz, poderia reanimar o discurso a favor do endurecimento de penas e do aumento da militarização da segurança pública. “Sustenta-se que qualquer assassinato é uma ofensa à democracia, mas aproveitando o episódio para reivindicar a intervenção como necessária.”
No chamado campo progressista, o problema, acredita a pesquisadora, é a carência de propostas concretas sobre segurança. “A retórica é muito mais no campo das ideias, muito abstrata, sem coisas muito programáticas.”
Para ela, politicamente, as mobilizações são muito importantes, “mas falta canalizar para o plano político uma proposta programática para a segurança pública. Senão, corre-se o risco de não se aproveitar a indignação coletiva”.
Uma possível reconfiguração política do campo reacionário pós-morte de Marielle Franco ainda não está definida, acredita o professor de Ciência Política da Universidade de Brasília, Luis Felipe Miguel. “Estão avaliando estratégias”.
silêncio do presidenciável Jair Bolsonaro, acredita, “é muito significativo”, pois exemplifica o dilema do campo conservador, dividido entre desqualificar Marielle e as bandeiras que ela defendia, como fez o deputado Alberto Fraga, e a ressignificação da vida da vereadora de forma a colocá-la num lugar contrário ao que ela defendia, como pretende fazer a Rede Globo, avalia. Ou seja, “transformá-la numa vítima da violência urbana, como justificativa a mais para a intervenção no Rio”. A postura que vai predominar, explica Miguel, “dependerá da capacidade do campo popular de manter ou não um grau de mobilização”.
Na terça-feira 20, Michel Temer afirmou que a intervenção federal no Rio de Janeiro receberá 1 bilhão de reais em recursos adicionais. Os militares acham pouco. De acordo com o comando do Exército, seriam necessários ao menos 3 bilhões de reais para dar conta do trabalho."
Tatiana Merlino
Leia mais: A morte de Marielle inibirá o discurso conservador nas eleições?

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