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2018年05月23日

Statement: We welcome Daimaru department store's decision to cancel the sale of illegal Israeli settlement wine

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Statement: We welcome Daimaru department store's decision to cancel the sale of illegal Israeli settlement wine

In the midst of Israeli atrocities against peaceful protesters in Gaza demanding the end to the blockade and the return to their homeland, Daimaru’s Tokyo store was planning to hold its Mediterranean Food and Wine Fair on May 9-15 with a sales booth for wine-importer Naturael. Naturael sells illegal Israeli settlement wine almost exclusively. In response to an inquiry from a member of the Committee for the 15 Day Action for Solidarity with Palestinian’s Great March of Return, Daimaru initially responded that they were considering whether they would allow the sale of settlement wine or not at the Mediterranean Food and Wine Fair. Then, just before the event began Daimaru made clear that they had decided not to provide a booth for Naturael.

Daimaru says that their decision is not due to the “politics”. However, after examining the process of the decision, we are convinced that the decision to exclude illegal settlement wine was in response to our criticism regarding the legal and ethical problems inherent with doing business with illegal Israeli settlement businesses.

We welcome Daimaru's decision. Israel’s ethnic cleansing and apartheid policy against Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and against Syrians in the Occupied Golan Heights shouldn't be promoted.

The past few years have seen a string of significant wins for Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement campaigns against illegal Israeli settlement wine. Last July in Canada the Liquor Control Board of Ontario ordered vendors not to sell Israeli settlement wine labelled as "Made in Israel." In Japan successes have included the withdrawal of Osaka branch of JETRO, a Japanese government-relatied organisation tasked with promoting trade and investment, from the Israeli Embassy wine promotion event in November 2016 and the suspension of illegal settlement wine sales at Ginza Mitsukoshi department store in September 2017. We believe that these successes were significant in Daimaru's own decision.

However, Daimaru's Wine Fair continued to sell some Israeli wine other than the settlement wine. Who Profits, an Israeli peace organization, has reported that those wines which are allegedly made in Israel proper, could in fact be made with using grapes grown in illegal settlements. Furthermore, Israel is pursuing aggressive policies to block the development of Palestinian industry through the illegal settlements, land exploitation, and restrictions on movement, making the Palestinian territories quite literally a “captive market” for Israel. Therefore we would like to bring to the attention of all parties involved in the wine industry - including importers, retailers and consumers - the ethical and human rights problems driven by Israeli wine, which has been promoted on the exploitation of resources of Palestinian winemakers and other Palestinian businesses.

May 2018
Committee for the ”15 Day Action for Solidarity with Palestinian’s Great March of Return”

2018年03月22日

Lectures in Osaka(4/7) & Tokyo(4/12): From the Anti-Apartheid Movement to the Palestinian BDS Movement

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From the Anti-Apartheid Movement to the Palestinian BDS Movement: Palestine from the Perspective of South African civil society

  • Speaker: Basheera Surty (BDS South Africa)

(Language: English with consecutive Japanese translation)

<< OSAKA >>

  • Date/Time: April 7(Sat), 2018, 14:00-16:30
  • Place: Dawn Center, Seminar Room 2 (5th floor)

(5 min walk from Temmabashi Station: Keihan and Tanimachi lines)
https://osaka-info.jp/en/page/mice-osaka-prefectural-women-center-dawn-center

  • Admission: 800 Yen (student: 500 Yen)
  • Sponsor: BDS Japan preparatory committee, Palestine Forum Japan

<< TOKYO >>

  • Date/Time: April 12(Thu), 2018, 18:30-21:00
  • Place: Tokyo Women’s Plaza, audio-visual room C

(7 min walk from Omotesando Station: Ginza, Hanzomon and Chiyoda lines)
https://www.timeout.com/tokyo/art/tokyo-womens-plaza#tab_panel_2

  • Admission: 500 Yen (donation is welcome) 800 Yen (student: 500 Yen)
  • Sponsor: BDS japan preparatory committee, Queering Futu-no-LGBT etc.


Today, the BDS movement, which calls for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, is globaly spreading and having quite a strong political influence on the Palestine/Israeli problem. This movement began in 2005 by reference to the boycott movement against the Apartheid regime of South Africa.

Since the abolition of Apartheid, South Africa has been one of the most
active centers of the Palestine solidarity movement and a driving force of the international BDS movement. Desmon Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of South Africa, supported the BDS movement saying, "In South Africa, we could not have achieved our democracy without the help of people around the world, who through the use of non-violent means, such as boycotts and divestment, encouraged their governments and other corporate actors to reverse decades-long support for the apartheid regime."

We'd like to invite Basheera Surty to inform us about the current situation of solidarity movement for Palestine in South Africa and its historical and social background.

[In Tokyo lecture, the program will include discussion on the counter activities against "Pinkwashing," the Israeli efforts for the normalization of the Israeli occupation of Palestine through the LGBT marketing.]

2017年10月05日

Ginza Mitsukoshi store stopped selling wine made in illegal Israeli settlements!

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photo: from Forbidden Fruit: The Israeli wine industry and the Occupation (whoprofits, 2011)

“Israeli wine” event scheduled to be held at Ginza Mitsukoshi store in Tokyo till October 3rd, 2017 has been backed off after civil society in Japan raised their concern about their products made in illegal Israeli settlements. According to the Facebook post by the distributor of Israeli wine “Naturael”, they have significantly cut down the wine list and shortened their event period.

A lot of wine products at this tasting & promotion event are produced in Israeli settlements inside the Syrian territory of Golan Heights where Israel has been illegally occupying since 1967. All the products
made in Israeli settlements were removed from the event and the sales period has been shortened till October 1st.

Half century-long occupation of Golan Heights by Israel is not just about land theft by military force but it is about depriving Palestinians from accessing its biggest water source. Moreover, Israeli settlement in the West Bank is one of the pillars of apartheid Israel that treats Palestinians inhumanly, together with the construction of apartheid walls, blockade of Gaza Strip and discrimination of Palestinian citizens inside the Israeli territory. In general, agriculture and agrotechny industry in Israel come at the expense of human rights, life and industry of Palestinians.

As these facts are known by more people, legal and voluntary boycott movements of businesses in Israeli settlements are gaining momentum in many countries and regions. In Japan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted a warning on their website in July 2017 that “settlement activities in the West Bank including East Jerusalem are in violation of international law and one must be aware of the financial, reputational and legal risks when involving with economic activities in these areas” (http://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/area/israel/data.html *in Japanese only).

The prompt action of Ginza Mitsukoshi store, responding to the voices from the civil society shall be highly appreciated in accordance with the values of international human rights, justice and peace.

We strongly wish that other department stores and companies will learn from this speedy and concrete action taken by Ginza Mitsukoshi this time and take a strong stance against Israeli businesses related to occupation, military and settlement.

October 1, 2017
Palestine Forum Japan / individual network of BDS activists in Japan

2015年10月23日

An open letter to a pianist Hiromi Uehara: Please cancel the concert in Israel

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Hiromi Uehara, a Japanese Jazz pianist is scheduled to perform in Tel Aviv on 16th of November, while Israeli attack on Palestinian people are escalating. We, as a coalition of civil society, have sent email to require her to cancel the concert.

Below is the English translation of the message (in Japanese) sent to Hiromi Uehara via email:

Dear Ms. Hiromi Uehara

Please cancel the concert in Tel Aviv, in the Apartheid state



We are a coalition of civil society concerned with Israeli war crime and serious human-rights abuse on Palestinians that is working locally for ending such an injustice.

The violence committed by Israeli army is being intensified day by day recently: more than 50 Palestinians were killed only in October. We are strongly concerned that your concert in Israel would contribute to amplify the Israeli propaganda of only "cultural, democratic and normal" state in the Middle East and make its aspect of the apartheid policy invisible.

You might have read an open letter by Roger Waters to Bon Jovi to call cancellation of the gig in Israel. He says: “You stand shoulder to shoulder/ With the settler who burned the baby/ With the bulldozer driver who crushed Rachel Corrie/ With the soldier who shot the soccer player’s feet to bits/ With the sailor who shelled the boys on the beach/ With the sniper who killed the kid in the green shirt/ And the one who emptied his clip into the 13-year-old girl/ And the Minister of Justice who called for genocide”

And he continues: “On the side of justice/ With the pilot who refused to bomb refugee camps/ With the teenager who chose eight prison terms over army service/ With the prisoner who fasted for 266 days until freedom/ With the doctor banned from entry for saving lives/ With the farmer who was cut down marching to the wall/ With the legless child growing up in the rubble/ And the 550 others who won’t grow up at all/ Because of the missiles and tank shells and bullets we sent”

Roger concludes: “To stand by silent and indifferent is the greatest crime of all.” You, living in the US, might come up with the words that Martin Luther King Jr. left: The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.

Here is a link to the letter by Roger. You can jump from the page to the articles about the sailor, the sniper, the pilot and the doctor that are mentioned in the letter.

We especially recommend you to read the article on the incident that the Israeli forces shot two Palestinian soccer players repeatedly into their legs and feet - 2 bullets into Adam and 10 bullets into Jawhar. Don’t you think that the soldiers shot deliberately breaking their legs and feet to force them to grieve over the loss of their lives as soccer players?

Ms. Hiromi Uehara, please imagine that you are shot on your fingers - due to your career as a pianist. Please think of the Palestinians’ grief. And, please be determined not to perform in Israel until it abandons the policy of apartheid.


23rd of Oct, 2015

  • Artists against Occupation
  • Feminism and Lesbian Art working group
  • Palestine Forum Japan
  • Palestine-Sendai Friendship Group
  • Support Organization for Ahli Arab Hospital
  • Stop SodaStream Japan