‘Oglethorpe stands with Palestine’: BDS comes to the American south (Updated)

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Update (6/1/2015):

Following the Oglethorpe University Student government’s passage of a resolution calling for the school to divest from the Israeli occupation, the university’s Board of Trustees issued the following statement:

“The Oglethorpe University Board of Trustees Finance Committee has reviewed the resolution submitted by the Oglethorpe Students for Justice in Palestine and has decided to continue with our current investment policy. The university values any efforts by our students to make a difference in the world, and encourages constructive, open dialogue among its students and greater campus community.”

Original Post:

On April 30, Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia became the first university in the southeastern United States to successfully pass an Israeli divestment resolution, a huge victory for supporters of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement as adversaries have shown renewed vigor in pushing for anti-BDS legislation in an attempt to stop the tactic. As president and founder of the Oglethorpe chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP-OU), I could not be more proud of my university and fellow students for taking a stance against the systematic injustice and humiliation suffered by the Palestinian people on a daily basis. Given the historic nature of this victory, I would like to provide some background information on our organization and the campaign in general. More importantly, however, I would like to use this opportunity to encourage the university’s investment committee and administration to heed the call of our student body and actively divest from the companies found to be complicit in Israel’s crimes.

We founded the Oglethorpe chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine in February 2014, shortly before Israel would unleash havoc on Gaza, yet again, with even more destruction and devastation than the previous offensives. The summer 2014 assault, known as Operation Protective Edge, claimed the lives of over 2,100 Palestinians, over 70% of which were civilians. Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza have sadly become accustomed to the systematic violation of their human rights, basic dignity, and any meek sense of security one may be able to foster in such an environment.

It was after my first trip to the West Bank that I was initially inspired to create the group, where I saw firsthand the conditions and oppression the Palestinians were forced to endure. Upon returning to the United States, and after much deliberation on how best we could show our solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for self-determination, we decided to found a chapter of SJP at Oglethorpe University.

Students for Justice in Palestine is a nationwide, non-hierarchical student organization with over 80 chapters working independently towards the same goal: an end to Israel’s violation of human rights and a just resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Reading on the success and organization of various SJP chapters across North America, I was inspired to continue the struggle to educate and advocate in our student community by creating such a student organization. This seemed the most effective way as students to make a tangible impact on our community; and to this we succeeded. Our success culminated in the passing of the first divestment resolution in the southeastern United States.

When Oglethorpe’s SJP was founded, there was one other active SJP chapter in Georgia, at the University of Georgia at Athens (UGA). There are now SJP chapters at Oglethorpe, UGA, Emory University, Georgia State University, and three within the Atlanta University Center including Morehouse College, Clark Atlanta University, and Spelman College. Students at Georgia Southern University and Berry College are currently laying the preparatory groundwork to establish chapters as well. Recent years have seen a massive surge in the establishment of Palestine solidarity groups on Georgia campuses, which have drawn generously upon the help, guidance, and support of local community groups such as Jewish Voice for Peace and Joining Hands for Justice.

Oglethorpe students sport the Palestinian keffiyeh on campus. (Photo: John Yager)

Oglethorpe students sport the Palestinian keffiyeh on campus. (Photo: John Yager)

From the group’s inception, we worked extensively with these groups and others, building community networks and coordinating joint events across Greater Atlanta. SJP-OU co-organized the first ever annual Atlanta Palestine Film Festival in 2014, and hosted a number of films and discussion sessions. These on-campus activities helped to foster a supportive student network and raise awareness on the conflict. As we petitioned for support for our divestment, we distributed keffiyehs to hundreds of students, who wore them with pride.

These activities worked to build the SJP presence on campus in preparation for our largest and most important project – a divestment resolution. After meeting with Oglethorpe’s CFO and head of the investment committee, we were allowed access to Oglethorpe’s financial information. Our research into Oglethorpe’s investment found a number of funds with holdings in companies directly complicit in Israel’s violation of human rights including Caterpillar, United Technologies, Bezeq Israeli Telecom, Bank Leumi Israel, Israel Discount Bank, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Hewlett-Packard Company, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and General Dynamics Corporation.

G4S Secure Solutions is also a great concern of ours. Many students at Oglethorpe were shocked to hear last summer that the university abandoned its previous security company and instead contracted G4S Secure Solutions, the largest security firm in the world that holds a more than questionable record on human rights abuses, to handle our own campus security. G4S Secure Solutions is known to provide security equipment to prisons in Israel and the West Bank, such as the Ketziot, Megiddo, and Damon, which hold Palestinian prisoners in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention’s prohibition of the transfer of prisoners from occupied territory to that of the occupier. The al-Jalame and Megiddo prisons, also supplied by G4S, are notorious for detaining Palestinian children.

Students of Palestinian descent were particularly dismayed to hear of the new contract, which was announced by email after the deal was struck. For this reason and more, we see the issue of our university’s financial complicity as not only a violation of our liberal arts values, but also as a negligent affront to those of our students whose families and friends suffer the consequences in occupied Palestine, effectively through their own tuition dollars.

With a list compiled, we wanted to make sure to include these specific companies in the divestment resolution to make our aims very clear – Oglethorpe’s student body, we believed, would vote to reject the university’s financial support for companies helping Israel to maintain its illegal occupation and abuse the rights of the Palestinian populace. On this point we were correct in our assumption, Oglethorpe stands with Palestine.

Politically, passing the resolution was a slightly more complicated. When the resolution was first proposed on April 23, what was set to be the last SGA meeting of the semester, it immediately came under scrutiny. One senator claimed she had never seen the resolution and a few others insisted that the senate refrain from voting on such a document without reaching out to the students for input. This was despite campus campaigning by SJP and a petition with formidable support from the student body; in fact, more participants signed the resolution than had voted in the previous student government elections. SGA did not consider other resolutions with such scrutiny, as the body then deliberated the allocation of $8,000 (not a small amount for a university with 1,200 students enrolled) of student funds to support 10 students’ fully-funded travel, lodging, and car rental for a video documentary competition in Los Angeles, without notifying or “reaching out to the students” on the issue.

We had worked tirelessly to develop a plan of implementation in multiple meetings throughout the semester with the administration and investment committee. We discussed setting up a meeting and forum, in which we could put our divestment case forward to the investment committee for consideration – thus opening a dialogue on campus directly between the investment committee and our student body. Despite these efforts, one senator made the claim that we had no “action plan” in place and hurried to table the resolution until the fall 2015 semester. This was enough to convince other senators that the resolution could wait until the following semester.

Fortunately for our efforts, SGA President Ruwa Romman scheduled a new meeting the following week to reexamine the resolution and hold a vote before the end of the semester. SJP sought to increase outreach and information on the resolution before the next attempt, distributing the document on social media. During the second round, we encouraged senators to consider the historic implications on the university in voting down a resolution calling for the protection of human rights. Our outreach, combined with the help of supporting senators, was able to make the impact needed. A vote was held the next week on April 30, which passed the resolution with near unanimity. One nay and one abstention were recorded.

The timing of our victory is especially important as anti-BDS legislation continues to pop up around the United States. Oglethorpe’s near unanimous support for the resolution flies in the face of those seeking to limit our constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression. I believe that these groups will continue to fail to criminalize our non-violent protest of Israel’s aggression. The global network supporting the rights of the Palestinian people continues to build momentum and apply pressure to Israel to make real concessions. It was popular mobilization among the international community that ended South Africa’s oppressive system of Apartheid, and so it will be the same that brings a just resolution to this conflict and the restoration of Palestinian dignity, the right of self-determination, and freedom from the insecurity of occupation and siege.

About John Yager

John Yager is founder and president of Oglethorpe Students for Justice in Palestine.

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55 Responses

  1. Citizen
    May 28, 2015, 1:18 pm

    Amen

  2. Zaghlul
    May 28, 2015, 2:34 pm

    Outstanding! This made my day!

  3. jaspeace2day
    May 28, 2015, 4:14 pm

    Excellent bit of journalism; thanks for getting it out. And kudos to the students for persevering in this day & age of insidious & contemptible zionist agendas. I do wonder if their next card has to to do with Bernie Sanders; it scares me that our next president would also have israeli citizenship like many other congressmen, senators and staffers have…. Here’s a list of some of them:
    THE US SENATE [13]
    […]
    HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES [27]
    […]

    • Kris
      May 28, 2015, 6:27 pm

      @jaspeace2day: “it scares me that our next president would also have israeli citizenship like many other congressmen, senators and staffers have…. Here’s a list of some of them:”

      Could you share your links to where you found this info? I just spent a few minutes trying to find out if Sanders is a dual citizen, and couldn’t find anything from a source that seemed trustworthy.

      • lysias
        May 28, 2015, 7:00 pm

        Sanders’s brother Larry Sanders, who just ran as a Green Party candidate for Parliament in the recent British election, “holds dual citizenship”, but presumably the two citizenships meant are U.S. and UK.

        L. Michael Hager’s 2014 Counterpunch article Dual Citizens in Congress? reveals how it is virtually impossible to learn which members of Congress have dual citizenship. It also reveals how easy it is for a Jewish visitor to Israel to be awarded Israeli citizenship unwittingly:

        The recent experience of Lenny Lapon, a Jewish American citizen from Massachusetts, shows how automatic the conferral of Israeli citizenship can be. As Lapon described it when he publically renounced that citizenship last July, his flight to Israel in October 2010 resulted in the award of Israeli citizenship and an Israeli identification number. Thus it is likely that Jewish members of Congress became Israeli citizens if and when they visited Israel. We don’t yet know if this was the case for any or all of the visiting Jewish Members. Nor do we know if any such member has renounced Israeli citizenship.

      • echinococcus
        May 28, 2015, 7:31 pm

        Sanders looks like probable, as he seems to have lived several months on a Kibbutz in a time where everybody going there asked and got the Israel citizenship.

        What I find scandalous is that no one seems to have asked him the question, on the record.

      • catalan
        May 28, 2015, 8:33 pm

        “What I find scandalous is that no one seems to have asked him the question, on the record. – “coccus
        Since you are scandalized why don’t you write him a polite email, I am sure he will be glad to answer. Then share the reply and if it causes an earthquake you can take the credit for breaking the story of the century. I mean, if Bernie Sanders is a dual citizen, wow, that would sure be a huge storm. Awful, that.

      • Jethro
        May 28, 2015, 9:58 pm

        @catalan: Of course it would be scandalous. No President of the United States, or member of Congress should be a dual citizen of ANY country. Israel has that policy, and it a good one. One thing they got right.

      • oldgeezer
        May 29, 2015, 12:22 am

        @catalan

        Since you think that dual citizenship is a non issue how do you defend Israel which requires citizens to give up all citizenships other than their Israeli one before taking the oath of allegiance in the Knesset?

        Frankly I am ok with the Israeli law. Our western laws need to be modified to prevent individuals with multiple citizenships, regardless of country, from operating within the government. That might include you but who cares. Not me.

        There are practical reasons for such laws, including people such as jeffb who openly admits he would commit treason against his country of birth. I don’t suggest it’s many or most but no country should permit those with divided loyalties in positions of power.

        http://mondoweiss.net/profile/jeffb/18#sthash.wJrMhNlt.dpuf

      • RoHa
        May 29, 2015, 2:08 am

        As I have said before, Australian Federal MPs can only have Australian nationality. They must renounce any other citizenship before they stand for election.

      • echinococcus
        May 29, 2015, 4:45 am

        Expected response from Catalan. Of course the failure of the press, not private persons, to investigate and report a double citizenship in a politician is nothing short of scandalous for any civilized country. Failing to even get a statement from the politician in question is even a scandal by the ridiculous standards of American journalism.

        Especially if we are talking about a citizenship that is not naturally acquired but must be by choice, and ideologically motivated, immediately proving where the candidate’s vested interests are!

        Of course, that’s a scandal for civilized people but not for dyed-in-the-wool racist exceptionalists, such as Zionists. Of course they cannot see what the big deal is –as long as it’s them doing it!

      • catalan
        May 29, 2015, 9:34 am

        “That might include you but who cares. Not me.” Oldgeezer.
        No offense taken. Freedom of speech is very important. As to “divided loyalties” surely every reasonably intelligent person has loyalties towards all sorts of things. A Hispanic catholic woman may be “loyal” to Catholicism, womanhood and other Hispanics. I am a non-religious Bulgarian Jew in the U.S. so I also have a whole set of loyalties.
        But if you choose to not like Bernie Sanders because of the suspicion that he might be a dual citizen, that’s your right of course. The man has a one in several thousand chance to become president, so it is all moot anyway.

      • jaspeace2day
        May 29, 2015, 3:10 pm

        Kris: Here’s one of the sources; it certainly warrants looking into even deeper to facts that should be much more transparent then they are which also gives leave to contemplate even deeper issues….

        https://michaelruark.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/members-of-the-us-government-with-dual-citizenship-to-the-us-and-israel/

      • jaspeace2day
        May 29, 2015, 3:43 pm
      • Annie Robbins
        May 29, 2015, 4:17 pm

        jaspeace, your first link “michaelruark.wordpress.com” implies these are dual citizens but doesn’t state they are and offers no supporting evidence other that an unfunctioning alleged link to jewish virtual library w/a url that includes “obamajews”.

        your second link says the source is a website called “viewzone” and i opened the link. it states:

        So, you might ask, are there any other dual Israel-American citizens who hold US government positions that could compromise American security? Yes. Consider the following list that I obtained on the web:

        iow, there’s no supporting source for this list at all other than “the web”. you wrote:

        Here’s a list of some of them:

        you should have written “here is an unsourced, un-researched, list that claims to include american citizens with dual US/Israeli citizenship”. i would not have allowed your initial comment thru because it names names and is strictly conjecture. for this reason i scrubbed your list. try to post more responsibly please.

      • Pippilin
        June 7, 2015, 2:59 pm

        One cannot be a US President having dual citizenship. Just recently Ted Cruz ended his Canadian dual citizenship. Am wondering when Bernie Sanders will announce that he has dropped his Israeli citizenship.

      • Kris
        June 7, 2015, 8:54 pm

        Pippilin, do you have any evidence of this? Please share your source. Thanks.

    • Kris
      June 7, 2015, 8:52 pm
  4. Amelie
    May 28, 2015, 5:05 pm

    Wonderful news!

    • Qualtrough
      May 28, 2015, 11:44 pm

      Catalan – Yeah, just because an elected official is a citizen of another country is no biggie. I am sure that if Sanders was also a citizen of a Muslim country it wouldn’t trouble you at all.

      • catalan
        May 29, 2015, 12:12 am

        “I am sure that if Sanders was also a citizen of a Muslim country it wouldn’t trouble you at all. – ” Catalan
        Nope. It wouldn’t bother me at all. Muslim country, Hindu, whatever. There are probably hundreds of millions of people in the world who are citizens of more than one country. Why disqualify all these people from public office?
        Anyway, seems to me the one thing this world has more than enough of is nationalist bigots. It’s amazing that with the number of lunatics available the possible dual citizenship of this very liberal and idealistic man is such an issue. So sad.

    • jon s
      May 31, 2015, 5:01 pm

      We’ve been over this bogus list before:
      http://mondoweiss.net/2015/02/palestinian-congressional-punishing#comment-744682

      Also, no-one can become an Israeli citizen unintentionally. Every year thousands of tourists, including Jews, visit Israel without becoming citizens.

      • jon s
        May 31, 2015, 5:08 pm

        I see nothing wrong with dual citizenship, especially since I’m one myself.
        I have some relatives who hold triple citizenship.

      • RoHa
        May 31, 2015, 7:24 pm

        Nothing wrong with dual citizenship for most of us. I’m dual, my son is quadruple.

        But when we put people in control of the country, we want those people to work for the well-being of that country, and not act as agents for a foreign power. We think that people of single nationality are more likely to have single loyalty, and so we prefer those people for positions of control.

      • echinococcus
        May 31, 2015, 8:50 pm

        Why unintentionally? Having a dual citizenship is extremely relevant to a politician’s position and failure to disclose it should have very serious consequences. In fact, failure to disclose it can only show sinister intent.

      • Mooser
        June 1, 2015, 11:53 am

        “I see nothing wrong with dual citizenship, especially since I’m one myself.”

        Smart fellow! Always best to have a quick-escape handy when involved in a questionable enterprise! You are very smart, “Jon s”! I wouldn’t bet my life on Israel, either.
        If the colonial enterprise isn’t profitable enough, or get’s too dangerous, you can make an aliyah-oops, and take it on the lam.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 1, 2015, 1:28 pm

        I see nothing wrong with dual citizenship, especially since I’m one myself. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/oglethorpe-palestine-american/comment-page-1#comment-771380

        jon, how would you answer oldgeezer’s question above?

        Since you think that dual citizenship is a non issue how do you defend Israel which requires citizens to give up all citizenships other than their Israeli one before taking the oath of allegiance in the Knesset? – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/oglethorpe-palestine-american/comment-page-1#comment-771380

        do you make a distinction between an ordinary citizen being a dual citizen vs a politician? as echin described

        a citizenship that is not naturally acquired but must be by choice, and ideologically motivated, – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/oglethorpe-palestine-american/comment-page-1#comment-771380

        (vs someone born w/dual citizenship)

  5. Oglethorpe University
    May 28, 2015, 5:20 pm

    Just to clarify, this is a resolution passed by the Oglethorpe Student Government Association, not Oglethorpe University.

    • jfennelly
      May 28, 2015, 6:09 pm

      The Oglethorpe Student Government is setting a wonderful example for the university. You should follow their lead.

      • JustJessetr
        May 28, 2015, 9:43 pm

        But just like every other administration in the Western world so far, they will not follow the student governments lead. That’s what responsible administrators do. They don’t consider moral dilemmas (meaning that there are more than two sides to every story) a suicide pact.

        Universities, food coops, and local US governments are getting the hint. BDS is bad news.

      • James North
        May 28, 2015, 9:48 pm

        BDS is failing so badly that Hasbara Central sends you and others over here all the time to fight it. If BDS were truly inconsequential, Hasbara Central would not waste its resources. I don’t go over to FlatEarth.com and argue with them every single day.

      • JustJessetr
        May 28, 2015, 10:32 pm

        @James North. Hasbra Central doesn’t send me anywhere. That’s a paranoid delusion in your mind that lets you believe in conspiracy theory. The sad reality is that BDS thinks most people are idiots who can’t read between the lines of rhetoric and understand hypocrisy when they see it. Then, when we call BS, you’re left with the losing hand.

      • jon s
        June 1, 2015, 12:42 am

        The point is that the first line in the report is a lie.

      • Sibiriak
        June 1, 2015, 1:38 am

        “jon s: The point is that the first line in the report is a lie.”

        ———–

        Not necessarily. It could be just an inaccuracy.

    • Atlantaiconoclast
      May 29, 2015, 10:02 am

      Hmmm. Thanks for the “clarification.” We already knew that Oglethorpe. By the way, you should know that this resolution puts your school in a good light with millions around the world. We aren’t all cowering in fear of being called “anti Semitic” for doing the right thing.

      • jon s
        June 1, 2015, 5:11 am

        James North ,
        Do you really think that there’s a “Hasbara Central” that sends people to comment on Mondoweiss? If so : do they pay the commenters and do you know how I can get in touch with them?

      • eljay
        June 1, 2015, 7:18 am

        || jon s: … Do you really think that there’s a “Hasbara Central” that sends people to comment on Mondoweiss? ||

        Prime Minister’s Office recruiting students to wage online hasbara battles

        He’s not Bibi “King of all Jews” Netanyahu for nothing!

      • echinococcus
        June 1, 2015, 9:12 am

        There sure is.
        First from their own public organ:
        http://www.hasbarafellowships.org/uploads/HF%204_page_proposal.pdf

        Then some news about the paid and unpaid contributors and organization, still from official documents:
        http://www.haaretz.com/news/israel/.premium-1.541142
        http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2009/jan/09/israel-foreign-ministry-media
        http://www.thenation.com/article/176703/israel-cranks-pr-machine

        Then there is the Diaspora and Propaganda Ministry.

        So now it seems to have at least two centers officially. You have two addresses to apply to, in NY and Illegal Military Occupation Area Jerusalem. Of course, if as a devoted Zionist you still didn’t know about these things, you may be too slow even for your own Propaganda Directorate.
        Don’t worry though, all even halfway intelligent humans have jumped ship, so you may have a chance considering the existing level. That’s why they have to pay some personnel, now.

      • James North
        June 1, 2015, 10:47 am

        jon s: I think you got your answer about the existence of Hasbara Central. What is your response?

      • echinococcus
        June 3, 2015, 2:41 am

        John S,
        Of course North will answer as he wishes, but I was the one who provided you the links showing that Hasbara Central does exist, as a government office directly reporting to the Prime Minister and also as a ministry for Diaspora and Propaganda. So not, as you mendaciously say, just “various organizations” but yes, a “well-organized, efficient, institution” with more means than it can use.
        The use of the word Hasbara Central is, by the way, very charitable and euphemistic; it is in fact the Zionists’ own words (go to the first link.)
        The proper hostile naming should be Propaganda Ministry (which anyway is also the official title of one of the 2 centers) as the well-considered comparator in terms of activity is the Propaganda Ministry of a well-known European occupying power some 70-75 years ago.

    • jon s
      June 1, 2015, 12:36 am

      echinococcus,
      I was responding to lysias’ comment, which included a claim that people could obtain citizenship unintentionally.

      • echinococcus
        June 1, 2015, 1:02 am

        to Jon S
        Well then learn to post responses, first (and that is not rocket science) and to clearly identify what you are supposed to address. Finally, the content is bullshit, as we all have met a good number of people who have been given passports and identify cards without filling out a formal application –just because their name was Rappaport or Goldstein. I was offered an ID and passport without asking but fortunately had time to refuse, when I went there for a funeral. It’s the next step to the Mormon practice of enrolling the dead by conversion.

        Finally, did you think that any statement by a Zionist would be believed on this forum –with the credit rating you guys got? Make me laugh.

      • Mooser
        June 2, 2015, 11:17 am

        “Finally, did you think that any statement by a Zionist would be believed on this forum –with the credit rating you guys got?”

        “echinococcus” I would think that people have accused Jews of lying a lot more than they have accused us of of drinking blood. Therefore to accuse a Zionist of prevaricating is_______.

        But whatever you do, don’t drive after drinking mine.

      • jon s
        June 3, 2015, 12:56 am

        Jjames North,
        (Sorry for not replying earlier, the end of the school year is a hectic time for me…)

        I’ll concede the obvious fact that there are various organizations trying to counter anti-Israel initiatives and propaganda. However, when you use a term like “Hasbara Central” (sounds like “Moscow Center ” in the Le Carre novels) you get the impression of a well-organized, efficient, institution , which does not reflect the real situation. In my view any such “Hasbara” efforts will prove to be pretty futile as far as the impact on western, liberal , public opinion is concerned, as long as the occupation and the settlements continue.

  6. JustJessetr
    May 28, 2015, 9:38 pm

    OMFG! How misleading a headline can you possibly make? And the first sentence, even more so.

    This is the sort of devious, lying, sneaky bullshit that gets BDS a legal kick in the ass.

    Illinois, Indiana, and now the GreenStar Food Coop in Ithica NY. They can’t stand the dishonesty. So sorry, Hostage. You’re no lawyer, so pay attention to ones that have to work for a living.

    http://www.greenstar.coop/component/content/article/103-special-news/1438-a-message-to-the-membership-of-greenstar-co-op-from-its-council-on-the-decision-to-reject-a-referendum-on-boycotting-goods-from-israel

    Aaaaaand….here’s the latest example: Washington State Supreme Court just this morning gagged on the fact that the co-op board of the Olympia Food Coop decided to vote on their own boycott resolution at a regularly scheduled co-op board meeting, but with no mention of a possible vote on the agenda, in a room filled with organized BDS supporters, with no one in opposition present. And in violation of specific requirements of its own board-adopted boycott policy, the Olympia food co-op board voted on the BDS boycott proposal. So the Washington State Supreme Court held, by a vote of 9-0 that a lawsuit can proceed against Olympia Food Co-op board members, challenging their 2011 decision to boycott Israeli products.

    http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/justices-toss-washington-law-countering-bad-faith-lawsuits/

    And I can’t wait until the Europeans have to give up their boycott agendas so they can get ahold of much needed US trade dollars.

    • Kris
      May 28, 2015, 10:12 pm

      @JustJessetr: “So the Washington State Supreme Court held, by a vote of 9-0 that a lawsuit can proceed against Olympia Food Co-op board members, challenging their 2011 decision to boycott Israeli products.”

      Your link to the seattletimes.com doesn’t seem to say what you claim it does. The Washington State Supreme Court didn’t “gag” on the facts of the case. They just said that in cases where the facts are disputed, as they are in the Olympia Co-op case, there is a right to a jury trial.

      Here’s the Associated Press story: http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20150528/NEWS03/150529139

      “In a unanimous opinion Thursday the court said the law, enacted by the Legislature in 2010, violates the right to a trial by jury because it requires judges, not juries, to make determinations about the disputed facts of a case.

      “Such laws are called “anti-SLAPP” statutes for “strategic lawsuits against public participation.” They’re intended to punish those who file frivolous lawsuits to silence free expression or petitioning activities.”….

      “But the Supreme Court said that when facts are disputed — as they were in the Olympia Food Co-op case — the right to a jury applies.”

      • JustJessetr
        May 28, 2015, 10:21 pm

        Way to hone in on one inconsistency without addressing the substance of what I said. Next you’ll be correcting my punctuation.

        BDS is being uncovered for what it is, a devious tactic to bash Israel. It reminds me of when someone at the Park Slope Food Coop wrote a letter to the newspaper claiming that Woody Allen boycotts Israel.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 29, 2015, 6:01 pm

        Way to hone in on one inconsistency without addressing the substance of what I said. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/oglethorpe-palestine-american/comment-page-1#comment-770924

        excuse me? you said this which read very substantive.

        the fact that the co-op board of the Olympia Food Coop decided to vote on their own boycott resolution at a regularly scheduled co-op board meeting, but with no mention of a possible vote on the agenda, in a room filled with organized BDS supporters, with no one in opposition present. And in violation of specific requirements of its own board-adopted boycott policy, the Olympia food co-op board voted on the BDS boycott proposal. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/oglethorpe-palestine-american/comment-page-1#comment-770924

        and then you linked to the seattle times which doesn’t say this.

        fyi http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/standwithus-lawsuit-olympia

        In an article that was published in Haaretz and the Forward a week before the Supreme Court ruling, reporter Debra Nussbaum Cohen mistakenly fell for the process argument:

        In 2011 the food co-op in Olympia, Washington, voted to boycott. Some members, unaware that the issue had been brought to a vote, demanded a new vote in a bid to override the old one.

        When that wasn’t allowed, they launched a lawsuit against the co-op’s board for violating its bylaws.

        Yet this is completely false. The board had in fact asked the plaintiffs if they wanted a member vote on the boycott, and the plaintiffs repeatedly said no. As the plaintiffs’ attorney informed the Co-op prior to filing the complaint:

        You propose as an alternative to litigation that our clients avail themselves of the “member-initiated ballot process.” This suggestion is not well taken.

        How did Nussbaum Cohen get the point of the lawsuit so wrong? It’s possibly because the only individual she acknowledged interviewing about the Olympia case was Robert Jacobs, the Pacific Northwest director of StandWithUs.

        and the washington supreme court has some explaining to do because, according to the article “the court said the law, enacted by the Legislature in 2010, violates the right to a trial by jury because it requires judges, not juries, to make determinations about the disputed facts of a case.” is exactly what the court did when it upheld the seattle metros decision to ban anti divestment billboards while not holding the same standards for pam gellar. they didn’t let a jury hear the disputed facts of a case case, and as judges, made that determination. i’d call that a double standard. and it’s being appealed by ACLU defending seaMAC.

        BDS is being uncovered for what it is, a devious tactic to bash Israel. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/oglethorpe-palestine-american/comment-page-1#comment-771076

        fyi,

        In reality the Supreme Court did not rule on the merits of the plaintiffs’ case, much less on BDS. Instead it determined that the state law against SLAPP suits—suits designed to deter free speech by imposing a legal and financial burden on the defendant—violated the constitutional right to a trial by jury.

        As the anti-BDS suit was originally dismissed in Thurston County Superior Court on grounds that it had violated the state anti-SLAPP law—and as the law has been struck down—the case will now resume in that court.
        ….

        Despite rejection of anti-SLAPP law, lawsuit remains weak

        Contrary to StandWithUs’s claims of a “BDS Defeat at Washington Supreme Court,” the court never actually considered BDS in its ruling.

        The plaintiffs appealed on several grounds, such as that the Co-op’s boycott of Israeli products was not protected speech and that the boycott was unlawfully enacted. To suggest that boycotts are not legally protected speech, the plaintiffs’ attorneys even made a reference to the “checkered history” of boycotts, such as the “anti-integration boycotts in the South during the 1960s,” while conspicuously omitting the more well-known boycotts from that time period.

        Yet by the time the case was finally heard in the State Supreme Court, the issue was not about BDS or even Co-op process, but rather about the constitutionality of the state anti-SLAPP law, with several outside parties filing amici curiae over the issue.
        – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/standwithus-lawsuit-olympia#sthash.D3TqXenU.dpuf

        the “substance” of what you said was supported by stand with us bullshit fabricated lies.

    • oldgeezer
      May 29, 2015, 12:01 am

      @JustaJester

      Well I read your link. I must say your comment bears no similarity with what the supreme court decided. Given that the things you commented aren’t even tangentially referred to in the article you have to given serious consideration for the most blatantly dishonest post of the year award.

      Yeah you hold onto those thoughts about the European Union. They have the second largest economy behind China as of 2014. And they believe in international law. The US needs them more than the other way around.

    • Atlantaiconoclast
      May 29, 2015, 10:04 am

      Someday, perhaps soon, the dollar will be exposed for what it is: fiat currency of no instrinsic value. Then the empire will crumble, and so will Israel’s illegal occupation and Jews only colonization.

  7. Kay24
    May 28, 2015, 10:37 pm

    Apparently the Senate and House have pleased their masters (not their American ones).
    Ah those devious zionists, how sneaky.

    “WASHINGTON — When the Senate passed a high-profile piece of trade legislation last Friday, lawmakers simultaneously approved a little-noticed amendment described by its authors as “pro-Israel.” In doing so, the Senate moved to protect Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories from international sanction — directly contradicting what has been U.S. policy in the region since 1967.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/28/aipac-israel-settlements_n_7461038.html

    • oldgeezer
      May 29, 2015, 12:03 am

      Being a politician may not be the oldest profession but it is the most disreputable one.

  8. RoHa
    May 29, 2015, 2:10 am

    Good to see there is an SJP at Georgia State U. I taught there for a while, years ago.

    • gamal
      June 7, 2015, 9:36 pm

      ” I taught there for a while, years ago.” and finally your efforts are bearing fruit.

      Here is roundtable on Anti-Blackness and Black/Palestinian solidarity from the USA, a lot of it in the inelegant language of “Sociology”, forgive them they know not what they say, but still you may find clauses of interest.

      “Solidarity is about death and social death. We are talking about two groups that are globally perceived as living dead. As a Palestinian, I see clearly, that on a global level, Palestinians do not have a right to exist. Israelis have a right to exist because of a Biblical right and in that narrative we are invaders and are disturbing a world order. This is where I see solidarity between Blacks and Palestinians because the political economy of Blackness is the political economy of Palestinianness whereby there is other-ization and being perceived in zoological terms, in the Fanon sense. Consider the Balfour Declaration- therein we are not even people to be consulted. And the same can be said of Blacks- who are slaves and should not be consulted. They are not there to be consulted, we are not even people.”

      http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/21764/roundtable-on-anti-blackness-and-black-palestinian

      • RoHa
        June 8, 2015, 2:03 am

        “inally your efforts are bearing fruit.”

        I wish it were so. But I suspect any influence I may have had has long since dissipated.

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