Published on Global Exchange (http://www.globalexchange.org)
Speaking Event: Who profits from the Israeli occupation and how can we make a difference?
Who profits from the Israeli occupation? What economic interests further entrench the colonization and exploitation of Palestinian land and resources? How can we influence corporate policies in Palestine – and through this work weaken and isolate the occupation?
Dalit Baum, Ph.D., is a feminist scholar, teacher, and activist in Israel. She is a co-founder of "Who Profits from the Occupation"(www.whoprofits.org ), an activist research initiative of the Coalition of Women for Peace in Israel. During the last four years, "Who Profits" has become a vital resource for dozens of campaigns around the world, providing information about corporate complicity in the occupation of Palestine.
Currently, she is with Global Exchange in a new program, "Economic Activism for Palestine," which aims to support existing corporate accountability campaigns  in the U.S. as well as help new ones through education, training, networking and the development of dedicated tools.
Location: University of San Francisco. San Francisco, CA 94117.
Venue: Cowell Hall, Room 107 (see map http://www.usfca.edu/campusmap/). Cowell is in the middle of lower/main campus near the library and Kalmanovitz Hall and across from the large construction area.
Start Date: Wed, 2011-11-09
Speaker: Dalit Baum  CA 94117
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Contact Phone: (760)420-9854
Time Start: Wed, 2011-11-09 18:00 Time End: Wed, 2011-11-09 19:30
Related issues: Economic Activism for Palestine 
00:13 Hi Everyone and welcome. Thank you all for coming out tonight. My name is Rabell Afridi and I'm the president of the Muslim Students Association for this year. I want to thank our sponsors for making this event happen tonight. So thank you to the Politics Department and the Middle Eastern Studies department. I want to remind everyone to silence their cell phones and be respectful of our speakers tonight. We will have a question/answer session at the end. So, more MSA members will hopefully come in, but if you see people wearing tee-shirts like this we'll have (?) cards in our hands and you can grab one and write down your question if you have one. We probably won't get to all of them but we'll try to get most of your questions answered. Before we begin I would like to take care of a formality. The presence of a guest speaker on the campus of the University of San Francisco does not necessarily imply approval or endorsement by the university of the views expressed by the guest speaker or by anyone (?). I'd like to ask professor Stephen Zunes to come up and introduce our speaker for tonight.
1:34 Zunes: Thank you for coming out this evening. When I was the age of most of you here, I was involved in a campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions. The target at that time was the apartheid regime in South Africa. It was an important campaign in many ways because it brought to the attention the oppressive system in South Africa where there were designated areas for Whites and for Blacks. There were White only areas where Blacks could only go. They had to have a permit and a pass card and do labor. It was a very oppressive system; violated basic international legal (?) around human rights and the way that corporations in the United States and Western countries were profiting from that system - making it possible. There was a way where people could get involved - everything from the stock holdings of a university that were invested in some of these varied companies to consumer boycotts and other kinds of issues. It was a way to raise awareness to also show the oppression that was happening on the other side of the world. That we still had connections as individuals and choices as consumers on the part of individuals. Indeed it was a Divestment Campaign which played a major role in the belated sanctions against Apartheid South Africa, which played a major role in the downfall of that regime and bringing the democratic majority rule to that African country. I'd like to mention the University of San Francisco's one of the first colleges and universities to Divest. And again, even if a majority of colleges and universities never did, it raised consciousness to a whole generation of students particularly in the '80's which was the time of Reagan conservatism in terms of this kind of consciousness, that we really are ultimately interconnected. Some people oppose the Israeli occupation - they say It's not really an (?). They say, Oh yes, there is an Apartheid kind of system going on in the West Bank to be sure but Israel itself, despite discrimination against the Arab minority it's not an Apartheid State quite like South Africa was. Whereas in South Africa foreign direct investment was a primary means of state supported Apartheid South Africa whereas the abilities of our tax dollars go every year to military and economic aid, not to mention vetoes at the United Nations and the like and they seem to be in some ways more important, some of you would argue than how corporations are doing. Nevertheless there is much, we'll be hearing from our guest speaker tonight to be said about the use of Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions as a means of raising awareness, of working to challenge the Israeli occupation, and whether you agree or disagree, it's certainly a perspective that needs to be heard. This disclaimer that we heard before of course has been the policy of this university and virtually all universities for many, many years. Yet it still jumped out that they still felt obliged to say this. I've been teaching here for 15 years. I think it's the first time I ever heard it explicitly read out loud. It's true for every speaker but why it had to be said I think is just an indication that it's a challenge sometimes to raise human rights issues when you are dealing with a strategic ally of the United States. It's fine to criticize human rights records in countries you don't like but when it's a strategic ally suddenly it becomes controversial. I think that its particularly important that we have an Israeli here today who will be making a case for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. Not just any Israeli, but a prominent feminist scholar and teacher and activist. She's the cofounder of Who Profits from Occupation. Check it out at www.whoprofits.org/ Its an activist research initiative of the Coalition of Women for Peace in Israel. During the past 4 years Who Profits has become a vital resource for dozens of campaigns around the world - providing information about corporate complicity in the Israeli occupation. Currently, she is with Global Exchange in a new program, "Economic Activism for Palestine," which aims to support existing corporate accountability campaigns in the U.S. as well as help new ones through education, training, networking and the development of dedicated tools. And I think that it is particularly impressive that Dalit is here, to talk about it. Because she is doing it at some personal risk. Because a new law has been passed in Israel, where advocating Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions can leave one open to lawsuits by Israelis who believe that they may have been negatively impacted economically by sanctions and the like. And this is pretty shocking because Israel despite its human rights abuses in the occupied territories has generally been considered a democracy at least for its Jewish citizens. But now even Israeli Jewish critics of the occupation are now being targeted. But our guest tonight does feel strongly enough about this initiative that she is going to come here tonight as well as other places around the country to make this case. So, we are honored to have tonight this outstanding scholar and human rights activist Dr. Dalit Baum
8:20 Baum: Thank you so much for having me, for inviting me, thank you (?) for bringing me. And MSA yeah - of course! I actually the talk tonight (?) even though (?) I want us to focus on just a part of it - which is the economic part of it. So let me just try and find out what people here know before. How many of you have heard of the (?) Palestine before? Ok. How many of you have participated in any kind of campaign or action the past (?) Ok. So, my goal coming here is not really to tell you something coming from Israel or from Palestine. Many times in the past I would come here - every year or two and give a talk - it was kind of a report back about our activism back in Palestine-Israel. I don't think of myself this year as a report back (?) call for action. In fact the activism can be done here (?) and my goal is to give you some background, to try to answer your questions and tell you about the initiatives on board that have been successful. So, maybe give you some ideas for things to do over here. That's my goal. So, in order to do that I want to talk a little bit about the economy of the occupation. So, I hope many of you experience now - How many of you have never seen this (?). But this is Israel-Palestine. It's a small land -has many names. I've been an activist in a movement in this country for some years now and the movement also has many names. Some people used to call it the Peace Movement and then the Peace and Justice Movement and then the Free Palestine Movement and then all these different names. We really like to call it now The Democracy Movement. Even when I am active with organizations within what is called 1948, which is the (?) area. We call (?borders?) or the State of Israel. That all of our organizations are joint - Jewish and Palestinian. The idea of having a Jewish only organization inside Israel would be like having a White only anti-racist organization here. So, when we talk about activism in Israel, many times we're talking about joint Palestinian-Jewish organizers. And much of it of course is solidarity work with a Palestinian movement in the occupied Palestinian territories. So to begin with, we're talking about the Palestinian movement - if we are invited, if we are lucky enough to join. So that's the goal. The goal is to have a joint movement because you can't have a joint future or think of a joint future or have some kind of a joint vision without being able to actually work with the (?)
The map on the right is just the West Bank - this part. and we will be talking mostly about the West Bank because the topic of today's talk is 'Who Profits from the Occupation' and we mean very specifically the 1967 occupation which is the occupation of West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, east Jerusalem of course (?) going to find the West Bank. When we talk about profits we will look mainly at the West Bank because this is where some of the most profit is to be had. This is the map from B'tselem an Israeli Human Rights organization and all the blue patches here, the black-blue patches are Israeli settlements. They look very much like housing developments in southern California (?) near settlement (?) They really look like housing developments. If you saw them you'd probably remember them. The brown-yellow patches are Palestinian towns and villages. And as you can see the population is all over the place. And not only that but the main roads in the West Bank are taken over by the settler, (?) the Israeli regime. And you have this kind of a weird situation where Palestinians who live here - there are about 3 1/2 million Palestinians (?) are disconnected from each other into big enclaves and I'll show you on the map and I'm sure some of you have already seen it. While the Israelis who live on those lands here - they live on the main transportation roads. They can travel from within Israel to any place in the West Bank - from the Jordan Valley which is totally ethnically cleansed as you can see here and not even see that they have crossed any borders. There are all these interesting games with borders in this country. On the one hand Israel has not recognized borders. No borders recognized by the international community. No borders recognized by its own laws because it applies its laws differentially (?) parts of the area took by force which is illegal by international law. On the other hand there are so many borders there. Wherever you go, there are more and more fences and walls and checkpoints and areas for this kind of person or that kind of person. If you're Jewish you can come (?) area. If you're not Jewish you cannot come to some others. If you are Palestinian you cannot even go there. Inside Israel many of the areas are also totally segregated ethnically and religiously. And so borders upon borders upon borders in a country that has no borders. People want to look at the economy of that. There's a lot of discussion about the economy of that occupation and most of its focused on the costs of the occupation. So you might have heard things like that before in the politics over here. People talk about 'bring our war dollars home'. Don't spend that money in Iraq and Afghanistan. You can take that money and open libraries here and put more money in to welfare. You've heard that -yes? We have heard this argument in Israel many times. The occupation is very expensive. Mostly security costs. (?)The fence requires all sorts of special security. There should be some patrol around it. I don't know about all these roads to not let Palestinians use it. All of that takes money. Using construction is costly. Security apparatus is very costly. There are other costs here and I'll not go over all of them. But mainly the main discussion on the (?) of the occupation is about cost to the Israeli state. And also there is an interesting analysis showing that after the early '80's the occupation was very profitable for Israel. There were many direct profits that Israel gained from the occupied territories such as dumping low grade goods on the captive Palestinian market. For example - dairy is getting very close to the expiration date so you can't really sell it in a regular grocery store because the people will not buy it. It goes bad tomorrow. But you can dump it on some cheaper market where people will buy it for very cheaply because that's the best product they can get. Many countries in the west dump lower grade goods on the government market but it's expensive to do so because they have to ship them somewhere else. The West Bank is very close to Israel. It's about 20 minutes away from Tel Aviv which is the main economic center of the country so it's very, very cheap to dump low grade goods on this cheap market.
And this cheap market is a captive market for Israeli goods. (?) because of the Israeli control of this market they can more or less control which goods will be sold there and how to prevent any kind of competition.
So for the people who just came in, I'm talking about the economy of the occupation. Mainly in the West Bank. We're talking about the cost occupation but what I really want to discuss with you is the profits from the occupation. So, we'll flip this chart upside down and look at the profits. So, even though the (?) stops being profitable to the Israeli state, somewhere around the outbreak of the first Intifada 1987 - for good reason - because Palestinians stopped buying Israeli goods. That's one of the reasons why and also because there were major bans from working within Israel in 2002. So, there are cheap labor - (?) couldn't be exploited anymore. So, there were all these losses (?) regular gains. Looking at the cost of the progression now the assessment is that is costs something like 6 billion shekels (?) 6 million dollars a year and the cost is going way up. And I remind you that the US military aid to Israel is about 3 billion dollars. It doesn't cover it. So, what does it mean for profits. The answer is that we need to look at the (?) profits. (?) but individuals, corporations. And that's one of the emphasis of neo-colonialism. There is this idea that the state will come in - put a bunch of money in to occupying Iraq and there will be all these (?) security companies and mercenaries that will come in and make a bunch of money. Oil companies and weapons companies. So, there are all these corporations that make a bunch of money from a situation that is very, very expensive for the state. Ok. Exactly what is happening here. This is another chart (?) cost of the occupation which is not shown in this chart. But see how the security cost which is part of the total cost is going very, very fast. The security cost of the occupation is actually because of Palestinian resistance. So, looking at it from that point of view, it's been very effective. We want to break down the profits. Who is profiting from the occupation. And we started looking in to that in 1906 (means 2006?) just after the Palestinian civil society called for Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions - a unified (?) civil society. I can tell you more about it later. I was then an activist with the group called the Coalition of Women for Peace in Israel which is a joint Palestinian-Jewish coalition organization. The Palestinian civil society call was specifically addressed to Israelis. People of conscience around the world and Israelis. So, it was a call upon us for our solidarity. They said please use the tools of non-corporation. The non-violent tools of boycotts and sanctions as a message. Such as the ones used in South Africa to help us stop the occupation, to achieve equality between Jews and Palestinians obviously and guarantee equal rights for Palestinians including the Right of Return. That was a call. So, whatever you think of the call, you have to respond to that. If you are part of the movement that is a joint movement and you are working to achieve some joint future on that matter. You have to the entire Palestinian civil society (?). That means all the women's organizations, youth organizations, youth movements, unions, Muslim organizations, feminist organizations. You know people who usually don't agree with each other on anything - colonists. This is the mainstream - all of the Palestinian civil society. And you can't say - I'll deal with that some other time. You have to respond. And our response was slow. We didn't know how to respond at first. So we started a research project. This is how my research project started. This was a consensus decision. This is our compromise. People said this and people said that. And we said we have to do something, we can't just talk about it. So that's what started the research project. We all agree that we want to stop the occupation. That was our first consensus. We all agree that whoever is the corporations that are profiting from the occupation they need to be exposed. They need to be challenged. Because they have a stake in the continuation of the occupation. And these corporations as we know, have more and more political power. And they influence decision makers. And therefore we need to know what's going on. We need to know who they are and we need to also know how to influence their decisions. And their voices. (?) We'd never worked in that field before (?) organization. We were working in the field of changing public opinion, (?), ideologies, people stereotypes, people's hopes and dreams. (?) We started just by asking questions. Who profits from the occupation? And the focus is on corporations. We don't look at individuals and we don't look at state bodies and institutions. Because corporations actually follow the bottom line. That's what leads them. So we need to know where is their profit. So just introduce you to the basic categorization - you can find it online on our website www.whoprofits.org (3) for 3 categories (?) occupation. The first one is very famous - it's called repression. It's also called on the website Control of Population for holding millions of people under a military occupation. Then you need to have an army for this, an apparatus, you need to have a lot of technology. You need to have somebody operating checkpoints and you have special ID's at the checkpoints. And all the private contractors, all the (?)corporations that provide this courtesy are profiting and have a stake in it. So just give you one example one or maybe two for each one of these categories. There are 3 so (?).
This is one of the demonstrations against the separation wall in Palestine. For me when I joined these demonstrations in 2003, it was one of the biggest turning points in my life. Because for the first time I was part of a huge, popular non-violence movement that was facing extreme violence - violence by the Israeli military. (?) And coming from the Israeli movement which is very marginalized and vilified, I was walking then with a group called Black Laundry in Israel - Queers against the Occupation. We were doing all sorts of creative funny, direct actions in Tel Aviv against the occupation connecting different struggles (?) and we were always looked upon with a little scorn and a little bit of and a little bit of surprise. We were marginal -ok. And we enjoyed it I have to admit. But coming from that movement was a different experience because this was a counter demonstration and everybody opens their houses to you and offers you tea and (?) part of it - a huge popular movement. Very, very different from (?) (?) with these demonstrations over the last few years - it started in 2003 but they are still ongoing. There are a few every week is that the armies response has escalated. And its escalated to using deadly fire and deadly force more than again and again. There are a few dozen that were killed in these non-violent demonstrations, there were hundreds that were injured and there are several (?) who are still in prison. So, organizing non-violence (?) So, this has been escalating. And in fact that changed the (?deal/feel?) of these demonstrations for me and I'm sure for many others. Because tear gas is not fun. And being a non-violent activist, I don't like violence so being faced with extreme violence is not something that I would choose to do every day. And then if you don't go you feel absolutely guilty because a friend died there and (?) got injured.So, during this whole dynamic what you do and these demonstrations go on and my heart is with them and sometimes I go but I feel like I'm dying of fear. So, there are two things that can be done. One is research. We found our tool of how to do direct action from home without tear gas. (?) tear gas is (?) Tear gas is horrible but if you try and look for the tear gas manufacturer maybe you can help the demonstrators just as well. This is a picture of a tear gas canister that I took in my home over my table in my kitchen. It's personal ok. (?CVS or CBS?) a Combined (??) is subsidiary of a company called Combined Systems Incorporated working out of Pennsylvania I think - an American company. But an American company with tear gas canisters and (?) lethal weapons were found also on the streets of Alexandria, during the Egyptian uprising; in the streets of Greece with the latest demonstrations in Greece. And my question to you is - How come 2 Israeli entrepreneurs, left Israel, went to Pennsylvania to start this company in order to sell tear gas (?) to the Israeli army. Why did they have to go to Pennsylvania? Why couldn't they start the company in Israel if their first and most important client was the Israeli army?Anybody have an idea?
Audience member: The majority of their customers are American police forces.
Dalit: In the beginning this was not their major plan. Anybody have an idea? In fact not a unique situation. How many such cases of Israeli entrepreneurs starting a Homeland Security or weapons company in the US? And how the main client be the Israeli army? Must be cheap. Must be some economic reason, yes? Must be cheaper for the Israeli army to buy from them then it was for them to buy from an Israeli company. Why is it cheaper? The US military (?) in Israel mostly stayed in this country. About 35% of it is immediately sent to American weapons manufacturers. It's a substitute from the US government to the military industrial (?) over here. What does it mean? It means that for the Israeli army they buy from Israeli producer. They pay (?) cash money but if they buy from an American producer, they don't pay anything! It's free and therefore its cheaper. Ok.
30:06 One more example: This is a (?sounds like sun) company. This is a huge company. I don't know if you've heard of it, but if you go past any Bank of American branch, these are the guards outside. This company has a contract with Bank of America. It's a security company and its the second biggest private employer in the world. Does anybody know who the first biggest private employer in the world? Do you know? The company that is the biggest employer in the world? Wal-Mart! Thank you! Wal-Mart is #1 and this is #2 and you've never heard of it. G4S is a security company. It's actually Danish-British and we're looking at it because it provides systems - security systems for Israeli prisons, including this very, very, very terrible prison - awful prison which is inside the West Bank and it serves mainly for Palestinian political prisoners. It's a horrible, horrible place. And now when I am in Israel I try at least once a week, or month to go and visit. You can't go into the prison itself but you can go (?) inside the prison, which is the (?) where you can actually go in as an Israeli citizen and sit there and watch there what is being done. And what you see is kids, 13-14 years old kids who are dragged from their houses in the middle of the night foreign army by army - not police, army - foreign army, that speaks a foreign language; held there in tents outside - it’s a really cold place. They were dragged from their houses in the middle of the night at gunpoint - taken to that place; held there for a week or so and then brought to the courtroom - not charged with anything but just in order to testify about other people in their village who might have organized non-violent demonstrations. They're brought to court in shackles. The mothers are (?) at the back of the room to see (?) trying to look pretty courageous saying 'mom don't worry I'm fine' - trying to be macho. (?) It's very close to where I live but it’s a different universe. You have to go there once in awhile. This is the company that provides security systems for the walls of this and other prisons in Israel. They also provide security apparatus for checkpoints on the West Bank and later when we talk about activism around the world, I'll tell you what has been done about this company. I have a million examples - I could explain them if you want but it could take all night. But how could you not.
33:15 This is a very famous company. Elbit Systems. It's one of the biggest weapons companies in Israel. The biggest non-governmental weapons company in Israel. They were involved in the construction of the separation wall. But they also developed this gadget which is called (?Value?) It's a robot. It's a car. It's an Unmanned Ground Vehicle - UGV it's called. And it is used to patrol roads in the West Bank in what they call the Seam-Line Expanse in the middle of the West Bank. And the thing about it - it's not remote control . It's (?) So, you have this robot, which is patrolling in the West Bank and it is armed. And when it meets with people it can - people can talk to you through the loudspeakers in the car and then they can shoot you. And (?) but it's already operating. (?) and that's going around the world and (?) which is already being used. And we who profits. We used to go to all this security exhibitions and ask the salespeople; where is it being used? how do you know it works?' These are the questions they ask in such sales exhibitions and we hear it again and again from different companies. Oh, this is being used here and there. It's been used in Gaza, it's used in the West Bank. This is a good sales pitch. To tell people that the machinery has already been in active use, in combat use, then they have an advantage over other gadgets and inventions around the world that have not been in active use. And they use it to that advantage. In fact they brag about the machinery that’s being tested in the field - tested on Palestinians. And we see many such gadgets and inventions that appear on the field in the West Bank. This is a great source of profit. Even if their contract with the Israeli army wasn't very big - I don't know what it was - this is secret but telling around the world afterwards and saying this has been used - this is very profitable for this company. I put here some text from one of the brochures about this car which is called "The Genius". This is the name of it - Genius. And again and again and again used for (?) without risking your life. Because there is no soldier inside.
35:50 Caterpillar I hope you've heard about Caterpillar one of the biggest campaigns in this country around the corporations that profit from the occupation. We think of Caterpillar as making bulldozers and shoes - I don't know if they sell them here but where I come from they also sell shoes and some clothes. You know civil engineering tools. But the Israeli army uses these tools for warfare, in fact they have a system of going in first which huge (?) bulldozers, like this one. They used it in Gaza - (?) the occupation of Gaza. They did it in Lebanon (?) the occupation of South Lebanon. Now they also have a whole (?) they are also unmanned - in other words, remote control (??) They have these huge building size bulldozers that are totally, totally (?) like tanks - you can see that - and they go in to civilian neighborhoods and they flatten them. And they flatten them because this is the fastest way to deal with civil resistance or militias hiding in those buildings or maybe booby trapped buildings and so on. And what happens is that people are buried under these buildings. They issue a very small short warning to the people inside - this is what they do. This is their modus operandi. This is how they work. They issue a very quick warning - people should run out. They can't take any of their belongings. They cannot take any of their family albums. They have to run for their lives. And if you are very young or very old or unlucky or maybe you are asleep - you die. They are also responsible for many house demolitions, including the action in Gaza, in Rafah, in which Rachel Corrie, the American peace activist was killed by such a bulldozer while she was trying to save a house from demolition. Ok. This is just the first category and I spent too much time on it so and so I will try to pick and choose I hope.
38:03 The second category is settlements. Why am I looking at these (?) developments in the West Bank- because they are illegal. Now people here are not that clear about that - but in Europe it is a very, very well known fact. One of the lessons that the international community has learned from World War 1 was that this is not a good idea to let states hold on to whatever they occupied in a war and take it over and extort things. Why because (?) to more war. So there is the idea of international conventions and international laws. And one of them is the Geneva Convention. And the First Geneva Convention on which all the members of the UN are signatories including Israel. These are the basics of international law. The idea that humankind can develop beyond wars of conquest. That was the idea. It's a great idea. What does it mean? It means that according to the Fourth Geneva Convention, no state is allowed to take over another country's land by force and make it its own. Cannot do that. There is such a thing as of legal war unfortunately - so there is an idea of legal occupation, to take over some land during war but then you hold it and you hold it only temporarily - it has to be temporary until you reach some kind of an agreement with the other side. And there are all these ideas of what to do during that time and how you have to protect and serve the local population. And what you can and cannot do as a military occupier. Israel has been holding on to the West Bank since 1967 - that's how many years? A lot. And it has broken some of these laws again and again and again. And the first violation is the violation of moving your population into the occupied area. It is strictly forbidden. (?) is illegal by international law. And that means for once, for us, the Justice movement, you have the law on our side. That's great ok. That means that we can sue some of these companies that are involved in the colonization (??) This is just a big (?) This is just to show you what it looks like. (?)
I'm moving forward… This is a campaign that was in New York against a developer called Lev Leviev who was the richest man in Israel at the time before the big financial collapse. And he also owns a big construction company in Israel called Africa Israel. He made his money in the diamond trade. One of the things that he does in Palestine was building settlements. So, there was a group of activists in New York called Adalah-New York who took him as a cause because he just opened a big diamond store in New York. They started picketing his store. You can go to their website Adalah New York and see some of the creative, fun actions they've done in front of his store. Ok, on the one hand, the richest man in Israel, Lev Leviev, and he's building settlements which are supported passively by the US government - although officially the US government opposes settlement construction. On the other hand you have a bunch of activists in New York City, who are singing songs in front of his diamond store. What can be achieved? They were very successful. Because this is one of the first (?) of the movement. Because what happened at the time was there was a financial collapse and he was owing money and some of his big housing projects in the former Soviet Union were put on hold - for he needed cash. And at the same time because of the noise made by (?Velem?) some investors in Europe had decided to divest from his company Africa Israel including the Norwegian Pension Fund, the National Norwegian Pension Fund. It's a company called BlackRock which is a big investment company - very famous. So (?) some of that publicity and he lost some investment. And in the case of this very delicate financial crisis does when you lose some famous investors you might lose some more and finally you cannot get credit as much as you could and they got really nervous. And they were in a really bad situation for many different reasons, not just this one, and one of the reactions to the crisis was to issue an announcement saying 'the company presently is not building any settlements in the West Bank and has no plans to build them. At the same time, part of their announcement was that they do not guarantee that they will not have such plans in the future. So, they had to deal with the political pressure on all sides. But this is a huge victory for (?). Singing and dancing.
43:26 There aren't that many industries (?) People talk a lot about settlement products and how these products are products of illegal activities. So, people want to boycott settlement products. This is very much in consensus in the Israeli left for example. I think that settlement products are not ok. They are also not ok because they are not made in Israel and many times they are illegal, they (?) made in Israel and that's consumer fraud. Those aren't ok because its labeled 'made in Israel'. Many times they enjoy the preferential trade agreements that Israel has with the EU and with the US so they don't pay customs. Israel has a free trade agreement both with the EU and the US. But they shouldn't because they were not made in Israel. They were made outside the borders of Israel, unrecognized by the EU and the US. So,(?) And many of these products were challenged in courts over the years about the mis-labeling which is a consumer fraud and a tax fraud. But if you actually look at what these products are - there are about 1400 companies registered in the West Bank. There are 17 different industrial zones that exploit very cheap land. Why is the land cheap? Much of these bigger industrial zones are built on confiscated Palestinian land - much of it private Palestinian land that was confiscated earlier on. They also enjoy very cheap Palestinian labor. Why is Palestinian labor cheap? And also because they cannot organize. There are many reasons why. First of all, we don't have a choice. Secondly, they cannot organize. They are under military occupation. Any kind of organization under military occupation is illegal. If they are organized they might lose their security clearance, and therefore their ability to work anymore, or to even travel from one place to another within the West Bank. And last but not least, Israeli law for many years, didn't require Israeli employers to pay minimum wages to Palestinian workers. In fact until 2007 settlers in the West Bank did not have to pay income tax until somewhere late in the '80's. I don't remember the date right now. They didn't have to pay any kind of tax. Now they are required by the Supreme Court in Israel to pay minimum wages to the Palestinian workers but they're still not required to pay (?) anything that they have to pay to Israeli workers. And since the workers themselves can't organize and the state does not regulate or check the workers' rights it is very easy and very common to exploit them. These are signs outside some of these settlement industrial zones. This is one from (?) And there was an interview in the Newspaper with Arush who was the manager of the industrial zone, trying to get more industrialists to move and set up their plant there. So, she says that 'Land is very cheap. You pay about 20% of the taxes that you would pay 20 minutes away from there, inside Israel. The rent is cheap, the taxes are very, very cheap and the labor is very cheap. And when she was asked by the interviewer, 'Why is the labor so cheap, now that you have to pay them minimum wages?' She said, 'yeah but most Palestinian workers do not insist on it.' They don't insist on it. She was very clear about what people said about workers and (?). They are hard workers, they don't insist on the full wages.
47:22 When looking for settlement products that reach this country. Have you heard of any? Settlement products that reach this country? Well, there are only two that I could think of right off the top and they are here. One of them is Ahava - a cosmetic product that comes from the Dead Sea - the occupied area of the Dead Sea. And actually in some of the product they also sell mud from the Dead Sea which you excavate it at the shores of the Dead Sea. So, it breaks another section of international law. It's not just that you can't move your own population into the occupied area. You also cannot take natural resources from the occupied area and use them for your own benefit. They have a special name if you do that. It's a special (?) taking natural resources for your own benefit and using it for your own economy. You know what it's called? It's called pillage. So, they're also responsible for pillage because they take this non-renewable, natural resource, special mud of the shores of the Dead Sea and package it themselves. They cannot do that - cause it is not their land.
And this is the other product shown here. (?) very strongly in to the US market this year because they registered as a US company and they went out on Nasdaq. It's called Soda Spring. It's a little gadget that makes soda at home. There is a big international campaign against both these products. Ahava has just had to close its main store in London in Covent Garden because (?). Soda Spring for example had to face charges in the European Court of Justice for mis-labeling because they do write Made in Israel on all their packaging but their devices are made in this factory in the Occupied West Bank. So, they were charged and they lost the court case in Europe.
49:40 You should know about that. You should educate people about that. If you see (?) It's important people know about it. But the major most important category of profits is also exploitation of natural resources, of labor, of the Palestinian market. And here I can give you plenty of examples - if you want ask me later. I've been collecting (?). I'll just tell you about one of them. This is the industrial zone in the occupied West Bank. It's called Buds of Peace. It is home to some of the most polluting industries in the country. We have reports telling us that when the wind shifts they close production. So when the wind blows in to Israel, they close production. Because it produces (?) and smog and they are afraid Israelis will complain. But when the wind blows into - it's on the wall - it's just on the green line border, when it blows in to Palestine, to the town Tulkarem which is just next door - they of course continue production. There are reports in Tulkarem it creates cancer in the whole neighborhood, that people have had to evacuate because dirty water coming from the plants; unprocessed waste water that was killing their gardens. Reports of exploitation of waters. People who were injured on the job and were just thrown out and had to find a cab home. No (?) at all. We have reports of different working conditions for Israeli and Palestinian workers within the plant. Some have good conditions and some don't. What a charming place (?) What it means though is that when you have these areas which is the wild East - the wild West Bank. Where the state doesn't regularly regulate its business; where they can work with impunity and they can pollute with impunity. Then of course some corporations will step in and exploit it and take advantage. And these corporations will have a say in the continuation of that situation and the (?) will continue. And in a country such as Israel, which is getting even more and more like the US - where the business community has more and more political power , this is politically significant. These people who (?) our politicians and many times pay for their elections - have a vested interest in the continuation of this (?) .
52:38 I'm just jumping ahead so we will have time for Q+A. I will just focus on a few more companies that are around (?) some of the bigger campaigns that I hope you might consider joining. So, here is one - Motorola Solutions. It is an American company. It is not the same company that makes the cell phones. They split up. There was one Motorola now there are two Motorolas - Mobility and Motorola Solutions. Mobility makes the cell phones. Solutions makes a lot of other gadgets. This is one of them. This gadget is called the Moto Eagle. It was specifically developed for the Israeli Security apparatus in the Ministry of Defense in Israel. And it is a system that provides a virtual fence. And why do we need a virtual fence? Settlements in the West Bank - as you saw on the map - they are all over the place but actually - this is why I put this map here - actually all of these areas in orange on this map restrict the movement for Palestinians. So there are about 65% of the West Bank is closed off to Palestinians who population who is the indigenous population of Palestine. Politically. And the way it was achieved is by the intricate systems of roads and checkpoints and (?) that clearly ethnically cleansed the Jordan Valley - this area, this is by the way where (?our?) is located, on the (?shore?)- and then made it so that in order to travel from one place to another, Palestinians have to obtain special permits. But in order to take more and more land, what they did was each and every settlement, Israeli settlement has around it something called the Special Security Zone where Palestinians are not allowed. So incase the settlement is very small, the special security zone can be very, very, very big around it - many times over the original settlement. And it takes over peoples' properties, peoples' fields, peoples' water resources just because sometimes they decided to set up their farm there in the name of their security. So, this system of virtual fences cuts in order to solve the problem for some of these settlers. They didn't want to be surrounded by a fence. Because first of all they are ugly and they destroy the view and we don't like them. We want the Palestinians to be surrounded by a fence and I am saying sarcastically but this is actually how settlers speak - 'They should be surrounded by a fence - not us. We don't want to destroy our view.' So, in order to have this special security zone around them they think these things called virtual fences which are made of radar systems and cameras and (?) cameras that do not break in the night and any weather and there's a control room where people can see any movement in that area. And if they detect Palestinian movement they send in the troops. So, this is that system - It's called Moto Eagle Surveillance. That's their brochure. You see the people crouching in the night and the eagle protecting them. so, that's the settlement. This is the special Security area around them. This is how you take over more and more and more land.
55:55 Professor Zunes discussed earlier the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa. And I really want to recommend a great film for you that I just watched recently by Connie Field. It's called "The Bottom Line". It's part of her series about the anti-apartheid movement - "Have You heard from Johannesburg" . It's part of a series. Maybe you should have a training night or something about - it's called "The Bottom Line. It's about corporate accountability complaints in the anti-apartheid movement. And it shows how for years and years people have targeted corporations, global corporations that were directly supporting the Apartheid regime in South Africa. They are supposed to get these corporations to stop supporting apartheid regime or divest from South Africa. And by (?) supposed to educate general public about apartheid and also to educate people about the way in which they can change things here. Because one of these (?) will show - it was very famous. Another one was the - how do you call the instant pictures camera - Polaroid! Polaroid was a big target cause Polaroid systems were used in the (?) system in South Africa. This is how the Apartheid government made these special permits that restricted movement in South Africa. So, (?) is our goal - I know that's a big thing to say but this is how I see. Hewlett-Packard which is a very famous company. You know, they make printers and computers. You've seen them all around I'm sure. Hewlett-Packard is making a special system for checkpoints in Palestine. It's a biometric identification system. And it is a system that is (?) at all of the main checkpoints. You talk about it as a small thing - just trying to identify people determined to (?) Israel but now it is used almost everywhere and people who (?)already have all of the data on the system. And this is biometrically - a biometric system. In other words you can identify people by their faces and their palm prints, their thumb prints (?) fingerprints - And so this is kind of a big brother system which is used for checkpoints. And recently they decided to extend this system to the entire Israeli population. So, all of the Israeli ID's will be biometrically recorded and will have the main database of biometric information about all the citizens in the country and the non-citizens and the immigrant workers and so on and so forth. I just want to say that this is typical of any Homeland Security gadget. Once the company has produced this product they will want to study more and more tests. Now they have this product they want to (?) And governments - they want more and more control over their citizens. So, it will come here - don't worry.
59:33 I want to answer the question about profits. So the answer is that Israeli economy is highly centralized. Centralized means that a small group of actors control most of the market. And there are many ways to measure that. There are all these different studies that measure that in different ways. There are (?) of control that control the Israeli economy. Israel is a company (?) ok. You work for someone and then you go and buy groceries somewhere and then you go and buy a car somewhere and in the end it's the same person. That's the way it is - a small, small country - small country, small economy (?) and also highly exposed internationally. All of these international tycoons that control the Israeli economy - sometimes they are called the 18 families. It can be counted as 10 or as 20 or 18 - you can play with the data - but it's about that number. So, the 18 families control the Israeli economy. Almost all of them are family. They are actually biological family. Not all of them but that's why they are called the 18 families. The Ofer brothers that control the Dead Sea and also the entire shipping company. You know the tycoons that control the Israeli economy and all of them are involved in one way or another - very intimately (?) in the economy of the occupation. And one of the three or two or five of the three categories that I told you about - either settlements or repression or population or exploitation . So in a way when we ask about profits the answer is the big companies. I know, it's not very surprising an answer, sorry. People ask me (?) and if you go to our website online you can see all these great things that I cannot tell you about because it would take too much time. Go to www.whoprofits.org/ Under the headline Newsletter you can see our reports - we have dedicated reports to sections of the Israeli economy. We have our report about the banks. Somehow all of the Israeli banks, in fact the Israeli economy, are directly implicated in settlement construction. And the same thing we that told you was totally illegal internationally and even against US foreign policy, Israeli banks are intimately involved with settlement construction - construction of new settlements.
We have another report about the wine industry showing how all the Israeli big wineries are using grapes from the occupied territories and how they (?)So what we're trying to show and we show that by showing actual examples and data. The Israeli economy is highly centralized and its very small. You cannot really separate the economy of the occupation from the economy of Israel. There might be small economic players that have nothing to do with the occupation because all they have is a grocery store in Tel Aviv and I don’t know where they buy their products but it's very local. (?) like that. But whenever you look at any big player in the Israeli economy - any big player that has exposure internationally - that exports - they will be part of one of these reports.
1:103:22 I'll just give 2 more examples. My favorite. It seems the (?) of the BDS movement because the BDS they need to focus on something - they don't know what . Well actually you don't need to boycott anything. You if you don't boycott, you have to divest. But I have no investments. What do I do. No. So, boycotts, divestments, sanctions - these are just examples of types of actions that you can use. But the idea is try and find something around you which connects that to the crimes against Palestinians. And try to do something over here that will influence the bottom line over there. When you trace you your own lines of the possibilities, you also find the traces where you can be effective. So in fact, boycotts, divestments and sanctions is not the way to distance ourselves from the crimes (?). I don't want to do anything - I don’t want to buy their products and I don't want to see them because they are evil. It's just the opposite. I want to know everything I can about them. And I want to know everything I can about how I am integrated in this. How the products that I buy are related to crimes over there. How the companies allow me are related to crimes over there. How people and organizations that come from my community are related to crimes over there. And I want to do that not in order to feel guilty but in order to make a difference. In order to organize and make a difference. And this is one good example. This is a company, a French company called Veolia and people here don't care about it much. This is a French company that provides local services, privatized local services all around the world. They privatize public transportation, they privatize water services - private water, yes. They privatize waste disposal and waste water services. (?) municipalities. Their clients are schools such as this one ok. And they're usually not very (?) cause people don't like privatization of services. When you privatize services usually you (?halve) the level of service. Workers rights unions usually don't like privatization of services because usually it cannot be unionized under these private contracts. So, there are many allies to working in such a company. And why do we want people to organize against these companies? Because they provide the same services in the occupied West Bank - in settlements. This is the example. They operate buses - this is a picture of the bus and it is on road number 443 in this area where this road is a Jewish only road. It's a segregated road. This road goes through the West Bank. You see operates between the settlements - the blue patches. But it also goes along the road where there are Palestinian towns and villages. You see the brown patches. They don’t have access to the road and they don't have access to the buses. So in effect these are segregated buses. You don't even get to sit in the back of the bus. You don't get to the bus. You cannot get near the road. They'll shoot you. So that's one thing.
They also operate other services for the settlements. They have a landfill in the ethnically cleansed Jordan Valley which operates its services in settlements and also Israeli towns and villages - they dump their waste there. Another violation (?) a natural resource. You can't dump your waste in the occupied territory but they do. And they also - farmers in this very highly contested light rail project in Jerusalem that connects settlements to Jerusalem in a infrastructure project that is there to last unilaterally taking over east Jerusalem for the Israeli side. So, why do I tell you about that - like that at the end of the story?Because this was the crown campaign of the BDS movement. There are communities all around the world that organized against Veolia contracts. So, they checked. If they didn't have a contract with Veolia in their community, they passed a resolution in their local cities saying that they were Veolia free. Go away! (?) is Veolia free! And that's sending a message to the French government. Other cities and towns where they had contracts with Veolia - when they came for renewal, people organized against it. And they started costing them big contracts, the biggest one was in Stockholm. The underground in Stockholm was operated by this company for 10 years and they lost the contract because of organizing in Stockholm. So, it's estimated that they lost over $13 billion in contracts around the world - because of people all around the world organizing against contracts with this company in their community. And lo and behold Israel is a small country and even big contracts like the one Veolia had in Palestine are tiny if you compare them to the contracts they have around the world. So, Veolia is on the run. Veolia is trying to pull out of some of the occupation projects. And it's not the only company. In Q+A I'll tell you about many more such victories. We can use our leverage as a global movement to get corporations that are trans-national (?) because even if they don't care about Palestine, they care about their bottom line and they have much to lose by being the symbol of Apartheid in Palestine.
1:08:58 Dalit: This year I am with Global Exchange and we are putting online information about these companies and (?) campaign and if you want to be on our email list or you just want to hear more about me or write something to me, you can put your names and addresses.
(Passing out cards to write questions on)
1:09:25 Zunes: While she's passing out the cards I want to make an announcement of another event tomorrow night that everybody is invited to. There will be a screening of the Academy Award winning documentary "Inside Job" which tells about the financial collapse in September 2008 that (?) this recession we've been in ever since and it talks about the (?) Wall Street brokers that deliberately take these very risky kinds of investments (?) and the government bailed them out and cost millions of people their jobs and the country tumbled into a recession. Very, very powerful film. (?) won an Academy Award this past year. So, for some of you wondering why it's so hard to get a job this is a very good answer that describes it. It's going to be tomorrow night in….
1:11:05 Dalit: I put here on the screen some of our email addresses. This is the email address for more information from the database. There are people working there now. We have 3 coordinators who are doing research on corporations and answering questions about corporations involved in your community - ask them questions - Ok. In case you found something 'is this connected to the occupation?' Ask them. They might have figured it out. (?) You shouldn't be shy. Ok. Is someone in contact with BDS activists around the world? Right there its starting progress right now - cities, universities , organizations etc. We've had 2 huge victories just recently. I can tell you about. One is a bank. The bank- a Belgian bank that decide to divest from Israel. It sounds preposterous - we're not that far ahead. To think the anti-Apartheid movement - it took years for banks to divest from South Africa. This bank is called Dexia. It's in Belgium. and the reason why they decided - is they managed to put pressure on the bank to divest from its Israeli activity is because the bank was implicated by its profits by giving long term loans to settlements - which I remind you are illegal under international law. So, the bank had a stake in the continued existence of the prosperity of these settlements because they had their future revenues as collateral. And the bank was nationalized. Remember there was a financial crisis and many banks were bailed out. They were bailed out by the government, it was nationalized and finally you had the Belgian government providing long term loans to Israeli settlements which the government opposes. So, it puts them in an impossible legal and political situation and they have announced - they haven't announce yet - that they would divest from Israel.
Another big success was with Veolia. We have a list of successes with Veolia all around the world. It's a very easy target for local organizing that's why. Most of our victories were in Western Europe, North Western Europe. These are places where people are - It doesn't matter if big success. A company called Agrexco. (?) Agrexco was the governmental big exporter of fruits and vegetables from Israel. And it was proven again and again and again that they also export settlement fruits and vegetables into the European market. Europe is a major export market for Israel. So, there was a lot of organizing against them, preventing them from opening a new port based in Europe and together with other financial problems they had - they just had to close down. They actually closed down. I hope I asked your question.
Q: Dalit: Oh. This is a great question about the philosophy of change: Is there a way to start changing this occupation system internationally? Or will real change only come from a grassroots or underground movement?
A: Dalit: Well of course you cannot have real change without an on the ground movement so I agree with the premise of the question. But the international movement can be very supportive of the on the ground movement. What is happening with the victories of BDS around the world, is that for me, as an Israeli activist working on Israeli public opinion I see some of the most powerful effects that are happening. I'll give an example. Elbit. Remember that Israeli weapons company that made these robots that patrols Gaza. So Elbit are making weapons. And they also make these drones - the drones that kill people, you know - all around the world - also in Gaza and South Lebanon. So, they are a big weapons company. They don't claim to be socially responsible or anything like that. The Norwegian Pension Fund - the National Norwegian Pension Fund with all their oil money - big pension fund had decided publicly to divest from Elbit. And when they did - it was almost a year and a half ago - almost three years ago - and when they did, the Minister of Finance in Norway who was a woman at the time - I don't know if she is still in office. She announces that they divest from Elbit because of Elbit's involvement in the separation wall - because Elbit made cameras for the separation wall - which is also illegal by the international (?) So, that's what the official announcement of the Finance Minister in Norway about their divestment. So people in Israel were kind of - we were really surprised. We're like -what? They want to divest from Elbit(?) but not because of some protective mechanism like the separation wall which is obviously only built for security - it’s a defensive mechanism. They should divest from Elbit because Elbit makes weapons. They make these drones and missiles that kill people. You know we can understand that. They didn't divest from Elbit because of their involvement in the wall. They didn't understand that. And when this thing was discussed in the news, then for the first times Israelis learned about the cause of justice decision against the wall. The advisory court decision said that the separation wall was illegal. I've been part of the anti-wall movement for years. People were gassed and shot at for years trying to raise public opinion - we're saying to people (?) this wall and then there was one decision of (?) government - Norwegians are very, very friendly to Israel that brought some of that (?) in peoples' minds and reached them. I'm not saying that they agreed with that decision - not at all. But where we are right now in Israeli public opinion, we are all the time being blown further and further to the right. The situation is getting more and more racist - more overtly so. And people are very much discouraged and people don't see any kind of possibility for peace or equality justice. And they use that in order to justify actions by their government that are getting more and more overtly violent and crazy. So, our goal I think from within, at this small movement, the grassroots movement from within, is to create more incentives for change on the Israeli side. Because the prevailing discourse is that 'what we have now is the best that we can have. We cannot solve this conflict, we can just manage it. It's terrible that we have to do these things but we have to. And part of the reason why people can say that and believe that is because on some level it is a convenient situation for them. They think that it is sustainable over time. And part of the press of BDS is telling them 'you know what - it's not that sustainable. Because you will become isolated like South Africa. We just recently - one of these tycoons that was on the board of the Ofer brothers, they signed a new peace deal - The Israeli Peace Initiative, a few months ago. When they were interviewed in the press about their support of this new peace initiative they said well we don't want Israel to become like South Africa. They actually said that.
Q: Dalit: Iran. I don't know anything about Iran. Sorry about that. I don't know what's going on. I hope they don't attack.
Q: Dalit: So what reasons are exclusive segregated (?) roads for Palestinian population? Well there isn't an exclusive. Very often security. So security for the Israeli settlers or for Israelis traveling on these roads - you know how it justifies a lot with threatening people with (?) People support security (?) they think they support their own lives. But, very, very clearly if you speak to the people on the ground for example, the person who planned the original route of the separation wall that goes in to the West Bank and takes over land and water and so on. He was very clear about this motivation. this was a good opportunity to take over more land and to make it so that there won't be a contiguous Palestinian state there. So, different factions of the Likud movement have been in power over the last few years - different factions of this party that became different parties on their own - this was their pronounced policy and ideologies for many years now - it started with Ariel Sharon, whose idea of building these settlements and taking over these roads and building in the end also the separation wall. It was all about taking over the West Bank permanently because it is considered as Jewish land for millennia, biblically promised and so on. So, pushing away the Palestinian population into small enclaves that are mostly urban and taking over most of their land in the first place.
Q: Dalit: In the special security zones that extend beyond the settlements, what sort of a (?) goes on in there if any? Very little. Palestinians cannot walk freely in them and there are procedures (?) area. People can go on hikes. And go where there are settlers to see the beauty of nature and so on but there is not much going on there.
Q: Dalit: You mention struggling to decide to go to some situations that may become violent. Are you willing to share your own experience? Well. You if any of you have been to Oakland you know. It is the same tear gas by the way. (?) It didn’t get worse I have to tell you. I hate tear gas. I have course: Activism and Non-violence one of my classes in Israel and in my Haifa University class I always have some students go and write a paper about some struggle somewhere and they (?) I had 2 students who went to Bil'in. Bil'in is a village in the West Bank that has been struggling to get its lands back for years now, non-violently. Go tohttp://bilin-village.org/ to learn more about them. They are an amazing, creative, beautiful struggle. So 2 of my students - of course they got an A - they were really good. They went to Bil'in. They made a little documentary about it. They participated in a demonstration. And one of the was hit by tear gas so bad that she really choked. She couldn't breathe. They had to call an ambulance, take her to a hospital. You know, you can die from tear gas. People have choked on tear gas. So she was reporting back to the (?) of mine and she said, 'It was so terrible I thought I was going to die'. And then she said 'to die for 2 units?' You have to have a good reason. But she got an A.
Q: Dalit: How does the inference of Zionism play in the economic political (?) in Israel and eventually America? I don't know what's wrong with Zionism in this country. But I grew up in a country where Zionism is the state religion. And also to a very Zionist family. I never questioned Zionism. In fact saying Zionism where I come from is saying something (?) To say somebody is a Zionist you mean that they love (?) That's what it means. It has no other meaning. The first time I met anybody who thought differently about Zionism was with the immigration wave from the former Soviet Union - so many Jews (?)who came to visit in Israel and for them growing up, Zionism was everything that was bad in the world. Because the state had used the word Zionism to mean evil. To say Zionist would mean to say (?) So, I think this word is highly misunderstood. So, when people here say, 'I'm a Zionist, I'm an anti-Zionist' you should know that these words have different meanings in different places. And it's good to be very precise about your meaning. So today when I'm asked about whether or not I'm a Zionist (?) I usually try and be more specific about what I believe or not. So people will not think that I'm (?) on one hand (?) on the other. And the answer is that I started by saying that I'm part of a movement that calls itself a Democracy Movement. So, instead of debating, like people have been doing for many years about the merits of this solution over another solution. There's almost a (?)about that. One state, two states, (?) or no. What could happen? The whole idea of the BDS movement is ok - let's start doing. Let's start doing and working together toward building some joint future. When we say joint future we already mean the 3 principles of BDS. Which are Equality, Freedom and Return. So, insuring that this is a rights based approach; insuring that full and equal rights of everybody who lives on that land. And then people come together and they want to have a state or 2 states or 3 states or 15 states or no states at all. As long as everybody has equal civil, political rights and everybody gets to vote to the regime that governs their lives. Which is not the case today. Then I'm for it. I'll be there.