Long-distance relationships can form stronger bonds than face-to-face ones

Long-distance couples disclose more and idealize partners’ behaviors.

The long-distance relationship has plagued college students and people relocated for work for ages. These relationships are seen as destined to fail, but are they actually creating stronger bonds than a geographically closer relationship? A recent paper published in the Journal of Communication found that people in long-distance relationships often have stronger bonds from more constant, and deeper, communication than normal relationships.

Crystal Jiang, City University of Hong Kong and Jeffrey Hancock, Cornell University, asked dating couples in long-distance and geographically close relationships to report their daily interactions over different media: face-to-face, phone calls, video chat, texting, instant messenger, and email. Over a week, they reported to what extent they shared about themselves and experienced intimacy, and to what extent they felt their partners did the same thing. When comparing the two types of relationships, Jiang and Hancock found that long-distance couples felt more intimate to each other, and this greater intimacy is driven by two tendencies: long-distance couples disclosed themselves more, and they idealized their partners’ behaviors. These two tendencies become more manifested when they communicated in text-based, asynchronous and mobile media because they made more efforts to overcome the media constraints.

Long-distance relationships have been unexplored for years. One of the reasons is that the general public believes it is rare and not normal. Previous studies have focused on how couples cope with problems, such as jealousy and stress, but until recently, several studies have shown that long-distance relationships are not always problematic. Some surveys even indicate that long-distance couples have equal or better relationship qualities than geographically close couples. This study was designed to observe what exactly happens in long-distance relational communication, particularly in comparison to geographically close ones.

Long-distance romance is much more common nowadays. Couples get separated for a variety of reasons, due to modern mobility, and they choose to maintain the relationships through all kinds of communication technologies. Recent statistics show that 3 million married couples in the US live apart; 25- 50% college students are currently in long-distance relationships and up to 75% of them have engaged in one at some point. On the other hand, people think long-distance relationships are challenging.

“Indeed, our culture, emphasizes being together physically and frequent face-to-face contact for close relationships, but long-distance relationships clearly stand against all these values. People don’t have to be so pessimistic about long-distance romance,” said Jiang. “The long-distance couples try harder than geographically close couples in communicating affection and intimacy, and their efforts do pay back.”

Source Article from http://www.sott.net/article/264061-Long-distance-relationships-can-form-stronger-bonds-than-face-to-face-ones

Paranormal investigators visit Ukiah home family believes is haunted

Haunted House

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When Juan De Los Santos kids’ bicycles got stolen from outside his house, he put up security cameras, hoping to catch any thieves in the act the next time.

But what De Los Santos caught on camera scared him much more than prowlers, as he believes the footage shows his home is being haunted.

“I get chills talking about it,” De Los Santos said, describing the weird occurrences that have been escalating at his house on Warren Drive: the dog barking for no reason, doorknobs shaking, furniture moving and, worst of all, the faces and demon shapes he sees hovering in his backyard in the camera’s footage.

“I turned it off, I didn’t want to see anymore,” he said of the images, explaining that he immediately called a priest and asked him to come bless the house.

De Los Santos said the blessing “helped a little, but not to where I’m satisfied,” describing the scariest encounter as when he felt and heard something big behind him when he went outside to investigate noises.

“The motion detector light did not go on,” he said, adding that he got chills up his spine and goosebumps when he heard grunting and saw the bushes move.

Others have had unsettling encounters in his home, so much so that his sister-in-law won’t come over anymore and he won’t allow his kids to sleep in their rooms, where a lot of the activity seems to be centered around.

When the blessing did not solve the problem, De Los Santos turned to paranormal investigators California Haunts, an organization founded by Charlotte Kosa and based in Sacramento.

Kosa said her team began by visiting the family the weekend of July 6 for a “preliminary investigation,² which she said is primarily done to evaluate the people requesting help.

“There’s a lot of crazies out there, so we meet with people first to weed those out,” said Kosa, who returned the following Saturday with two investigators and plenty of equipment to investigate whether the house is haunted.

“We’re here to help people,” said Kosa, explaining that at least four night vision cameras would be set up inside the home along with other devices designed to pick up EVP — electronic voice phenomenon — and conduct thermal imaging of the walls. A psychic was also brought along.

Sometimes, strange noises have simple explanations, Kosa said. She always asks her clients if they have old, thin windows that easily rattle.

“We keep an open mind and look at all the possibilities,” she said, adding that her team typically spends three to five hours in a home collecting evidence. “We’re very thorough.”

Not knowing what is going on and imagining the possibilities is usually what scares people the most, Kosa said, adding that TV shows which usually point to evil sources of hauntings exacerbate the problem.

“Usually, (the spirits) are family members,” said investigator Karen “Mickey” McIntyre, who, along with Kosa, said she grew up in a haunted home.

McIntyre guessed that about “83 percent” of haunted homes are being visited by spirits who mean no harm.

Kosa said she does not charge clients for her investigations, but does accept donations. Kosa said Tuesdayshe had no yet reviewed the evidence collected from De Los Santos home as her team had an emergency visit elsewhere Sunday.

Source Article from http://www.sott.net/article/264060-Paranormal-investigators-visit-Ukiah-home-family-believes-is-haunted

UFO cover-ups must end, moonwalker Edgar Mitchell says


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On Feb. 5, 1971, Edgar Mitchell became the sixth of only 12 men to step on the moon. Of that elite dozen, which included Buzz Aldrin and the late Neil Armstrong 44 years ago this week, Mitchell is the only one to go on record about his controversial belief in extraterrestrial UFOs — and of a possible government cover-up.

Mitchell, 82, is no dummy. While on active duty as a test pilot for the U.S. Navy, he completed an M.S. in aeronautical engineering at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and a doctorate in aeronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Mitchell also served in combat during the Korean War as a fighter pilot. In 1970, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

After retiring from NASA in 1972, he founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences and later wrote The Way of the Explorer to document his experiences with mysticism and space.

I recently spoke on the telephone with the retired U.S. Navy Captain from his home in West Palm Beach, Florida. He was lucid and convincing with his heavy southern drawl, and just a little guarded.

Moon Golf

Clash: Let’s start with the moon. Did you know your Apollo 14 crewmate Alan Shepard was going to “tee off” up there?

Mitchell: Yes, I knew before it happened. But I didn’t know quite when he was going to fit it in. After we had rolled up the solar wind experiment and put it in the data box, I did my javelin throw and he did a golf shot for the first “Lunar Olympics.”

They were between 50 and 55 feet, and my javelin went four inches further than his golf ball. I’ve got the pictures to prove it!

Clash: Was there any big emotion when you stepped on the moon, or was it just part of a long list of things you had to do?

Mitchell: The latter is correct. Sure it was wonderful, we were pleased to do it and it was enjoyable to be among the first, but it was just part of a checklist we had practiced week after week at Cape Kennedy. We would go through the whole routine, rewrite it and modify it again until we were comfortable with the order.

And, of course, our mission on Apollo 14 was to be the first to do science on the moon, so we had to be careful about getting everything in during the allotted time. Apollo 11 and 12 were more to prove physically we could get (astronauts) down to the surface, then back safely to Earth.

Mars Base

Clash: Do you believe we need to establish a base on the moon before sending humans to Mars, as some of your fellow Apollo astronauts do?

Mitchell: I don’t think there is much value in trying to use the moon as a base to go to Mars. That’s going into one gravity belt and having to get back out of it again. And the moon doesn’t have a lot to offer as a resource base.

There is something we could mine there, I’m sure, but there are better ways to do it. We do need different types of propulsion to get to Mars. I wrote one of the first Ph.D. theses on that in the 1960s.

Clash: You’re also known for your views on UFOs. What’s your experience regarding the Roswell, New Mexico, incident of 1947?

Mitchell: After my space flight, I was contacted by descendants of the original Roswell observers, including the person who delivered the child-sized coffins to the Air Force to contain alien bodies. Another was one of the children of the deputy sheriff who was patrolling traffic around the site.

Alien Bodies

There was also a military officer who was a friend of the families not involved in that particular operation, but who did share office space there. They all seemed credible with their stories that the bodies found were alien.

Clash: If that’s the case, why has it been hushed up?

Mitchell: Initially I think there was justification in that leadership officials thought people weren’t ready to handle it. But we are well past that now. Frankly, and this is just personal opinion, remember what (President) Eisenhower said in his final speech: “Beware the military industrial complex.” I suspect that’s what we’re talking about.

But it’s not just military. It’s a cabal of organizations primarily for a profit motive. We invented aircraft at the beginning of the 20th century.

Money Involvement

Twenty years later, we had an airline industry. Think of what that could mean in terms of space travel with control of UFO machinery, technology. There’s a lot of money involved.

Clash: Have you ever seen a UFO yourself?

Mitchell: I consider myself fairly well informed, although I have not seen one personally. I’m not out there looking — I’m pretty busy.

Clash: Have you been threatened by anyone about your outspokenness on the subject?

Mitchell: No, but they wouldn’t be very successful with me if they tried.

Clash: Are you disappointed that America last visited the moon back in 1972 and has only sent astronauts into low earth orbit since?

Mitchell: There is no question we have to continue with human space development to other planets. But we also need to get our economy running. Then we have to get the world organized to work on this because it is really too much for any one country.

We need a community of nations capable of space flight because we all have to be off this planet sometime in the future. Our sun is going to burn out eventually, and we are not in a sustainable situation.

James M. Clash is the author of The Right Stuff: Interviews with Icons of the 1960s (AskMen, 2012). He writes on adventure for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are his own. This interview was adapted from a longer conversation.

Source Article from http://www.sott.net/article/264059-UFO-cover-ups-must-end-moonwalker-Edgar-Mitchell-says

‘Body in Thames’ at Richmond was giant catfish

Dead Catfish

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Richmond police officers were called to reports of a dead body in the Thames only to discover it was a giant catfish.

Richmond MPS sent a message out on Twitter on Monday, July 15, which read: “Police were called to a body in the River Thames, it was established that it was actually a very large Catfish.”

Other users of the social networking site responded to the message.

Frances Perrow wrote: “Should’ve gone to Specsavers.” A user named Bramble Jelly posted: “My thoughts go out to the Catfish’s family.”

It is rare for catfish to be spotted in the Thames because they are not native to the river but some species of catfish are among the largest freshwater fish in the world.

Source Article from http://www.sott.net/article/264058-Body-in-Thames-at-Richmond-was-giant-catfish

Operation Race Pimps And Lawbreakers: Report Them Now

(Thomas Dishaw)  As the media continues to feed the fire with the George Zimmerman distraction, real issues  continue to be ignored and pushed  aside as high paid  race pimps and over zealous elected leaders do their best to divide the nation and create a race war.

These opportunists use times like these to sign executive orders, pass laws, and commit massive financial crimes while the world is glued to their TV.

Although Zimmerman was found not guilty the criminal leaders who occupy the White House have found it necessary to create an email tip line. Their hope is that enough credible information will be brought in so they can open a federal investigation against Zimmerman and hopefully charge him with a hate crime or civil rights violation. This will create the ultimate reality show, giving Americans the cheap entertainment they desire and lust for.

As an everyday American I’m completely fed up with government. They are out of control and don’t represent the people. 95% of our elected leaders are criminal and should be doing time in prison for the financial and Constitutional crimes they have committed against America.

Since the Department of Injustice has created this email tip line we should use this to our advantage and overwhelm the system with how we really feel about the Obama Administration, The “Fast & Furious” scandal, NSA spying, gun control, IRS targeting conservative groups and the out of control DHS and TSA.

Since we want our email to get read I suggest we follow these tips.

  • In the subject line don’t put “Obama is a traitor”. Even though this is true the email will probably never get opened and deleted.  A better alternative would be “Zimmerman busted saying the word N$gger on tape” 
  • Please don’t use this opportunity to trash on the lowly email reader. This person may feel the same we you do. We don’t want to be labeled crazy “conspiracy theorists”
  • Don’t threaten officials. This is the quickest way to get a visit from the alphabet boys and find yourself in a corporate prison for a few years.
  • Not everyone is as informed as us. Incorporate links from stories to back up your claims. Most people gravitate to truth. We need to win over every mind and soul possible to have a real change in this world.

The goal of this operation is overwhelm the system with emails and let them know were watching them. We need the government to fear us again. They need to know we will hold them accountable for their actions and voting them out of office should be the least of there worries.

America is a sleeping giant and the one thing they fear is a peaceful revolution. Imagine 10 million people marching on D.C. in unity fighting for a united cause. None divided by race, religion or belief just for the common cause of liberty and freedom.

Please support Operation Race Pimps And Lawbreakers by emailing the  USDOJ Tip line and let them know your outraged  at the current state of the union and will stop at no lengths to change it.

[email protected]



Source Article from http://govtslaves.info/operation-race-pimps-and-lawbreakers-report-them-now/

Photos | Israeli occupation forces suppressed Palestinian journalists in front of the Qalandiya checkpoint – July 17 2013

Ramallah – Israeli occupation forces suppressed Palestinian journalists in front of the Qalandiya checkpoint
Photos by WAFA

Photos by PalToday

July 18, 2013


  • Violations against journalists in Palestine excessive, says press center – Read more

All Attacks on Press and Journalism – Category
Truth does not matter for “Israel”. Buttons Do. To mute.
All Attacks on PalestiniansTimeline Category
Hacking Palestine: A Digital Occupation Al Jazeera

Israel’s War on Truth (& Press)

Listen to Abby Martin! Israel’s War on Truth | Brainwash Update

Source Article from http://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/photos-israeli-occupation-forces-suppressed-palestinian-journalists-in-front-of-the-qalandiya-checkpoint-july-17-2013/

Israeli Army detain nine Palestinians in West Bank

Israeli Army detain nine Palestinians in West Bank

Al Qassam Website | 18-07-2013,10:02

Gaza Strip – Israeli Occupation Forces arrested on Thursday at dawn nine Palestinian citizens from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Witnesses said that an Israeli troop attacked Al-Ezaria and Abu Dis towns in Jerusalem and arrested Mohammed Al-Mohtaseb, Mahmoud Bassa, Mohammed Al-Senawi and Khalil Al-Reshq from Al-Ezaria.

The soldiers raided two houses in Al-Ezaria and searched their contents.

The Israeli soldiers detained the Palestinian youth Anas Bader, Amer Ayyad and Amin Rabi’ from Abu Dis in Jerusalem.

They also arrested Jihad Obayyat,19, from Bethlehem after raiding his house.

All Israeli Attacks Timeline | All Israeli cease Fire Violations – Timeline

Still live in fairy-tale-land about Israel? Time to wake up: The Map of the “Greater Israel” even is hammered on the currency:

All facts at Storify continuously updated. Read what Israeli ‘leaders’ have said and done even before (peace) talks and how their actions contradict the reality and ugly facts which they try to hide from you:

You can forget all details. Save yourself time. It is only about Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine

Israel. Not looking for Peace. Nor Talks. But this…

The facts. Mainly Israeli sources. Continuously updated

Source Article from http://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/israeli-army-detain-nine-palestinians-in-west-bank/

Why boycott can’t be limited only to Israeli occupation and settlements


Electronic Intifada | Andrew Kadi on Wed, 07/17/2013 – 15:38

Israeli columnist Gideon Levy has been writing for Haaretz for at least two decades. His writings have brilliantly illuminated the reality of Israeli apartheid, as it affects Palestinian citizens of Israel, Palestinians living in the Gaza Stip, as well as in Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied West Bank.

Levy describes himself as writing to “(re)humanize the Palestinians,” and focus on how they are treated by Israel.

Yet when it comes to the campaign of boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel called for by more than 170 Palestinian civil society organizations, he has on numerous occasions explained why he does not support the movement. He even – at one point – went so far as to accuse civil society organizations elsewhere in the world of having a “moral double standard” for supporting the boycott.

But he has written supportively of selective boycott actions, limited to what are referred to as settlement or occupation-only boycotts. On 14 July, after seven years of dancing around it, Gideon Levy wrote a column declaring outright support for an economic boycott of Israel:…

… Read the full article at the Electronic Intifada

Frequently Asked Questions :: BDS :: Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions

Thanks for guidance on these answers to:

1 – What is BDS?

On July 9, 2005, Palestinian civil society issued a historic call for “international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era” and to pressure “states to impose embargoes and sanctions against Israel” until Israel “meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law by:

  1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;
  2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
  3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

The call was made by over 170 Palestinian organizations, unions, movements, and political parties representing Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinian citizens of Israel, and Palestinians in the Diaspora.

The call has been endorsed by hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals around the world, including the Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Alice Walker, and Naomi Klein. Specific BDS Campaigns have been endorsed by Noam Chomsky, Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte, Norman Finkelstein, Howard Zinn, Richard Falk, and Neve Gordon, among many others.

2 – What is the call for academic and cultural boycott of Israel?

3 – “Doesn’t BDS hamper progress because it polarizes (and delegitimizes) rather than encouraging dialogue and diplomacy?”

4 – “BDS is opposed by many Israelis who support an end to the Occupation. By calling for BDS, aren’t we alienating those Israeli allies and in effect strengthening the right wing?”

  • Although the views of Israeli supporters should be taken into consideration, Palestinians have the ultimate right to decide on the best method for attaining their own freedom. It is not the role of international and Israeli supporters to dictate the terms of the struggle, especially when Palestinians’ chosen form of resistance is nonviolent, as is the case with BDS.
  • There have always been many Israelis opposing the Occupation, but that has never translated into real change, because—like the majority of Americans who oppose the Iraq War—most do nothing about it. People are more likely to take action when they feel personally affected. Polls have shown Israelis are more worried about boycott than diplomatic pressure or violence.
  • As in the South African case, at first external pressure may indeed bolster the shift to the right in Israel, but only at first. When the boycott starts biting, many Israelis—like their Afrikaner predecessors—will rethink whether occupation and apartheid are worth maintaining.
  • A growing number of Israelis support BDS, including academics, activists, cultural workers, and more. The Coalition of Women for Peace and Boycott!: Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within are just some of many Israeli groups and individuals who support some form of BDS.
  • BDS is a morally sound and effective means of struggle and it is already exerting more pressure on Israel than the Israeli Left or UN resolutions ever have. In short, unlike anything else, it’s working (see Question #10). These factors should be the most important consideration for morally consistent individuals supporting genuine peace.

5 – “The Israeli occupation is totally different from South African Apartheid. You’re using the wrong analogy and thus the wrong tactic.”

  • Defining Israel as an apartheid state depends not on analogy to South Africa but whether or not Israel’s policies fit the UN definition of the crime of apartheid. Apartheid—as stipulated in the 1973 UN International Convention on Apartheid—is defined not by similarity to South African Apartheid, per se, but as any systematic oppression, segregation, and discrimination to maintain domination by one racial group—‘demographic group,’ in Israeli parlance—over another, as through denial of basic human rights and freedoms, including the right to work, education, movement, and nationality; torture or inhuman treatment; arbitrary arrest and illegal imprisonment; and “any measures designed to divide the population along racial lines by the creation of separate reserves and ghettos,… the expropriation of landed property belonging to a racial group… or to members thereof.” The definition fits word for word.
  • While there are differences between Israeli & South African Apartheid, the similarities are huge. Former US President Jimmy Carter describes Israel’s policies in the Occupied Palestinian Territory as apartheid. South Africans like the Archbishop Desmond Tutu and members of the ANC have unequivocally confirmed that this is apartheid (and in some ways even worse than South African Apartheid). A legal academic study sponsored by the South African government reached a decisive conclusion that Israel’s policies constituted “occupation, colonization and apartheid.”
  • We know BDS is an appropriate tactic because it’s working! (See Question #10.)

6 – “BDS is a kind of collective punishment. If you think collective punishment is wrong towards Palestinians, why do you advocate it towards Israelis?”

7 – “Why are you singling out Israel for BDS? Lots of countries violate human rights. Why aren’t you campaigning for a boycott of Saudi Arabian companies, for example?”

  • Successive US governments are the ones that have consistently singled Israel out. Israel has unconditionally received more US economic and military aid than any other country in the world, in addition to virtual immunity in the UN thanks to more than 50 US Security Council vetoes of resolutions criticizing Israeli atrocities. US tax-payers should be particularly concerned with the atrocities Americans are supporting and paying for.
  • Israel is violating more UN resolutions than any other country in the history of the UN, including Iraq & Iran—put together. Other countries are routinely punished for their transgressions. The question is not whether Israel should be singled out, but whether it should be held to the same standard as other countries.
  • BDS is a tactic, not a dogma. We don’t boycott for the sake of boycotting; we boycott when we think it can work (as in the case of Israel, which relies on moral legitimacy more than most countries—see “Israel’s weak-spot” below), and we do it especially because it’s a morally consistent tactic that the great majority of Palestinian civil society has asked us to embrace.
  • If there was a campaign to boycott a company elsewhere also committing heinous crimes, morally consistent people of conscience should endorse that as well, especially if requested by those most directly affected by those crimes. It is not hypocritical to boycott Israel; it is hypocritical to single out Israel to not be boycotted). Supporting BDS against Israel is part of a larger commitment to global justice and anti-racism, consistent with opposition to human rights abuses around the world in Burma, Darfur, Kashmir, Tibet, etc.
  • For Jews, there is a particular responsibility to focus more on Israel’s crimes because Israel claims to speak on Jews’ behalf and acts in Jews’ names.
  • It is actually very difficult for some to criticize Israel publicly. Arabs and Muslims in particular are routinely denied a voice and dismissed as not credible. Faculty members at various U.S. universities have lost their jobs for taking strong positions against Israeli Apartheid. Many others are afraid to speak openly for fear of being branded anti-Semitic. In reality, then, far from singling Israel out, BDS in fact rectifies Israel’s exceptional status in public discourse as immune to critique. (Source: Birthright Unplugged)

8 – “BDS will hurt Palestinians, who are just as dependent on the Israeli economy as Israelis are.”

9 – “BDS only works if there’s widespread support. Don’t we have to first focus on educating people before we start a BDS campaign?”

10 – “Is BDS the right tactic? We’re not nearly as strong as the anti-Apartheid South Africa movement was, and we’re up against so much more opposition.”

  • Actually, at the beginning of the anti-Apartheid South Africa movement, people were up against a lot. This was during the era of McCarthyism and the ANC was widely associated with Communism while South Africa was a staunch Western Cold War ally, fighting Communists in Angola and Mozambique. The ANC, who were backed by Fidel Castro and the PLO, were labeled communists and terrorists; to side with them was taking a major risk. (Source: Michael Berg, St Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee)
  • Clearly the opposition to BDS, especially in the US, is significant. Nevertheless, BDS is growing—quickly! The South African BDS movement took over 20 years to gain the momentum and popularity that the 2005 Palestinian call achieved in its first five years!
  • Obviously, you will lose many campaigns. However, the effectiveness of BDS, especially at this phase, is not as much economic as it is a way of publicly rendering Israel a pariah state. Even if your BDS campaign “fails”, you’ve already won by promoting debate on the real issues and thereby educating people! (See first bullet point in previous question.)
  • We know BDS can work because the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC, the strongest leg of the Israel Lobby)’s executive director told us so! Howard Kohr: “We need to recognize that this campaign is about more than mere rhetoric. This is the battle for the hearts and minds of the world… left unchallenged, allowed to go unchecked, it will work.”
  • BDS is Israel’s weak spot. The average Israeli cares more about Israel’s image, participation, and normalization in the world than about UN resolutions. The Israeli government has even supported the introduction of a proposed law in the U.S. Congress that would ban divestment, and is working with institutions and websites to stop the “danger that we will be exposed to an international boycott as was the case before the fall of the regime in South Africa” (Israeli Minister of Justice, Tommy Lapid, reported in BBC, January, 4, 2004).

11 – “How do I know which products to boycott or divest from?”

12 – “Israel’s contribution to science and high-tech is so great that a boycott would deprive us of important technologies. If we boycott Israel products, won’t we have to throw away our computers?”

13 – “Won’t an academic boycott infringe on academic freedom and silence progressive Israeli academics?”

  • In the West, people associate—rightly or not—academic institutions with beacons of independent and progressive thought. In Israel, academia and the military are deeply intertwined. Settlements are designed in universities and some university campuses are literally built on settlements. Major weapons used against Palestinian civilians are developed and tested by Tel Aviv University (a leading academic institution in Israel) and Technion in Haifa. These are just three examples. Israeli academia is not our partner; it’s at the core of Israel’s occupation and apartheid policies.
  • Academic boycott is institutional, not individual. Individuals are not judged by their beliefs; institutions are judged by their complicity with Israeli oppression of Palestinians.
  • What about Palestinian academic freedom? Where were the Israeli apologists’ protests for academic freedom when Israel closed Palestinian universities for four consecutive years during the first Intifada? Where is their outrage against the daily denial of Palestinian students’ right to go to school unhindered? After 1948, tens of thousands of Palestinian books were destroyed by Israel in an attempt to annihilate both the academic and cultural history of an entire people. At a certain point, priorities must be weighed. Israeli “academic freedom” (often used to develop weapons and settlements) does not supersede Palestinians’ basic rights.
  • No Israeli academic institution has ever issued a statement of condemnation, let alone calling for equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel and refugees. No Israeli academic institution has ever issued a statement demanding Palestinian students’ and professors’ right to even attend their universities. Israeli academia has never been a catalyst for change.
  • Academic boycott doesn’t censor individual Israeli academics; they can write, study, or publish anything they like. BDS demands that the rest of us refuse support for intellectual institutions that downplay or whitewash Israel’s criminal actions against Palestinians.
  • It’s only with BDS against Israel that people want to be so selective. The boycott of South Africa did not exclude academic institutions—in fact, it included a blanket boycott against all individual academics, too! The boycott of Sudan is not just against products made in Darfur, but the whole country and its institutions. Would anyone say normalized collaboration with Sudanese universities is more important than ending the genocide in Darfur as quickly as possible?

14 – “Why punish Israeli artists with a cultural boycott? Don’t art and music transcend politics?

  • Similarly to academic institutions, Israeli official cultural institutions are part and parcel of the occupation and apartheid. They are used cynically to whitewash occupation and apartheid. For example, to salvage its deteriorating image abroad, the Israeli government recently launched a “Brand Israel” campaign to put a pretty face on the country, covering up the crimes of the state with cultural events and performances.
  • Artists commissioned by official entities are expected to perform as cultural ambassadors of the state. Therefore, any politically-tied cultural production will downplay or whitewash Israel’s illegal actions. We are boycotting these efforts, not the artists themselves.
  • To elaborate, cultural boycott is institutional, not individual. Artists are not judged by their beliefs; institutions are judged by their complicity with Israel’s oppression of Palestinians.
  • It’s only with BDS against Israel that people want to be so selective. The boycott of South Africa did not exclude cultural ambassadors. Likewise, we would not today invite the Sudanese state orchestra to play in the United States, because we recognize that there can be no “business as usual” with that genocidal state.
  • What about Palestinian artists, who have been punished for decades? Palestinian musical groups are prevented from performing abroad, arrested based on song lyrics, and affected everyday by all the facets of occupation. Promoting Israel’s normal image comes at the expense of Palestinians’ artistic and human rights.

15 – What good does it do for international artists to refuse to perform/showcase in Israel?

16 – Isn’t culture a way to communicate more progressive messages? Why not go and instead communicate a message of peace?

Main source for answers to #15 and #16:
“Cultural Boycott of Israel Takes Off: After the Flotilla Massacre” (PACBI, June 2010).


Source Article from http://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/why-boycott-cant-be-limited-only-to-israeli-occupation-and-settlements/

Fighting new Nakba in the Negev ~ by Ben White (@benabyad)

Popular resistance against the Prawar plan has united Palestinians of all affiliations and origins.

Al Jazeera |  17 Jul 2013 12:35

Ben White is a freelance journalist, writer and activist, specialising in Palestine/Israel. He is a graduate of Cambridge University.



Ben White sees recent Palestinian protests as reminiscent of earlier movements that have united Palestinians despite deep political and historical divisions [AFP]

From the refugees in 1949 looking over the Lebanese border at the land from which they were expelled, to the students in the Gaza banned by the Israeli Supreme Court from studying in the West Bank, Israeli colonisation has fragmented the Palestinian people over the decades with walls, fences, guns, bureaucracy and propaganda.

Overcoming that fragmentation has become further complicated in recent times on account of the moribund state of representative bodies like the Palestine Liberation Organisation, as well as the long-running split between Fatah and Hamas.

In the last few years, however, there have been moments when particular circumstances have prompted coordinated resistance, at least on a grassroots level, amongst Palestinians wherever they may be. One such example was the widespread protests prompted by the massacre in Gaza in 2008-9 (otherwise known as Operation Cast Lead). Another example is when Palestinians coalesced around the prisoners’ hunger strikes to launch solidarity activities from Haifa to Ramallah.

This week has seen Palestinian flags raised and slogans chanted regarding the same outrage, from Jerusalem to Syria and Tunisia

Now, Palestinians have united around opposition to a pending Israeli government plan to expel tens of thousands of Palestinian Bedouin from communities in the Negev that await destruction in the name of ‘development’.

The Prawer plan, some years in the making, is part of a historical drive by the Israeli government to prioritise and privilege Jewish settlement in the Negev while forcing Bedouin citizens – those who weren’t expelled in the first decade of the state’s existence – to live in approved zones and shanty towns.

Read the full article at Al-Jazeera

prawer plan

  • ‘When I look at the Prawer Plan, I see another Nakba’ –  Source
  • 2005: advisor to Peres already told US Negev “development” plan meant “relocation” of 65,000 Bedouin – Source
  • All the Facts About Bedouin Settlement of the Negev ~ by Rabbis for Human Rights
  • Adalah “Palestinian community prepares for General Strike against the Prawer Plan, get to know the people – Source
  • Every Red Dot on map: 1 of Palestine’s towns eradicated from earth. Now Israel wants to eradicate 45 more towns. – Source
  • Stand with @rhreng and support Bedouin rights! – Source

Related: Israel. Not looking for Peace. Nor Talks. But this… ~ The Facts

Source Article from http://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/fighting-new-nakba-in-the-negev-by-ben-white-benabyad/