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100 women leaders, scholars, activists sign statement supporting Iran deal

Ben Norton on
codepink protest iran deal

100 American women leaders, scholars, and activists have released a statement in support of the Iran deal. The statement, “We Women Support the Iran Nuclear Deal; We Say No to War and YES to Diplomacy,” was organized by women-led peace group CODEPINK. The statement is signed by leading women’s and civil rights activists Alice Walker, Angela Davis, Gloria Steinem, Barbara Ransby, Jane Fonda, Barbara Ehrenreich, and Eve Ensler, among others.

Read the historic United Electrical Workers Union resolution endorsing BDS

Mondoweiss Editors on
Logo of the United Electrical Workers union (UE).

“We reached a breaking point when Israel launched the war on Gaza in 2014, killing over 2,000 people including 500 children. Because Israel has been unwilling to engage in real negotiations to bring about a just resolution to the occupation, this is a necessary step for labor to take in order to bring about a peaceful end to the conflicts there,” Carl Rosen, president of UE’s Western Region and a member of the national executive board.

First national trade union in the US votes to endorse BDS

Kate on

From the United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America report on its recent national convention: Delegates upheld the UE tradition of taking courageous stands on foreign policy issues when they adopted the resolution on Palestine and Israel that calls for cutting off U.S. aid to Israel, U.S. support for a peace settlement on the basis of self-determination for Palestinians and the right to return. The resolution also endorses the worldwide BDS movement making UE the first U.S. national union to endorse BDS. Speaking for the resolution were Angaza Laughinghouse, Local 150, Matt Braddon, Local 222; Chris Wolford, Local 170; Autumn Martinez and Elizabeth Jesdale, Local 255. Martinez and Jesdale both said they had met Palestinian trade unionists when they attended the World Social Forum in Tunisia, and Martinez said, “It’s absolutely disgusting what is going on. Free Palestine!”

Lessons from Veolia: Supporting the occupation is bad for business

Barbara Harvey on
JVP Boston activists protest outside Harvard Kennedy School where Veolia CEO, Mark Joseph, gave a lecture about "Issues in Transportation". In Cambridge, MA on November 14, 2012. (Photo: Tess Scheflan/

Veolia has sold the last of its remaining businesses in the occupied Palestinian territories, becoming the first major BDS target company to fully withdraw from all of its various Occupation enterprises. Barbara Harvey says the successful BDS campaign against Veolia makes a persuasive case that profiteering from legal and human rights violations can be bad for business when the opposition is organized.

BDS call for boycott should not ignore states’ responsibility to uphold international law

Shawan Jabarin on
Protesters call for a boycott of SodaSteam,  whose main production site is in the illegal West Bank settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim and the industrial zone of Mishor Edomin.

Al Haq Director Shawan Jabarin argues that “Ban” should be added to the BDS lexicon: “Products originating from Israeli agricultural and industrial settlements are essential to reinforcing the illegal settlement enterprise, and provide vital revenues that help ensure their viability and growth. Accordingly, states fail to comply with their international legal obligations by allowing settlement products to enter domestic markets. By not implementing a ban on settlement products, states themselves are politicizing a legal issue and shifting the burden to consumers.”

In victory for activists, drone manufacturers linked to Gaza war cross-examined in Scottish courts

Glasgow Palestine Action on
Protest at Thales UK factory on 23rd September, 2014 in response to the war in Gaza.

In a major victory for Palestine activists against the arms industry, a member of Thales senior management was summoned by the Scottish courts to answer questions as to the nature of their business. Under cross examiniation Senior Manager of Thales UK, Ian Lindsay, admitted that components manufactured on the Clyde in Glasgow are used in military drones. This is significant because it is rare that arms companies are called to face the courts as to the nature and legality of their business.

Gulf Labor Artist Coalition stages BDS intervention at 2015 Venice Biennale

Annie Robbins on
G.U.L.F. intervention outside Israel's National Pavilion at 2015 Venice Biennale Aug.2, 2015 Photo: G.U.L.F.

Gulf Labor Coalition’s creatively interjected Palestinian resistance and BDS into the 2015 Venice Biennale on Sunday. GLC’s exhibition artists staged an intervention performance adding a stencil of Handala to their exhibition banner hung prominently in the Pavilion Arsenale exhibition hall, read a ‘Statement on Palestine’ and occupied the 2nd floor of the Israeli Pavilion.

Israel vs the Violin

Tom Suarez on
Cartoon by Sainatee Suarez

This past semester Tom Suarez was the violin and viola teacher at the Gaza branch of Palestine’s National Conservatory of Music—”though I never met my students, because Israel blocked me from entering the coastal strip. So I taught by Skype from the West Bank as best I could”

What about Palestinian academic freedom?

Howard Davidson on
Gaza school attacked by Israel, 2014.

Howard Davidson writes: “If Palestinians’ academic freedom is to be valued as it is for Israelis, then a boycott of Israel state sponsored research and teaching is justified until the forces that deny academic freedom for Palestinians no longer exist. It is admirable to treasure academic freedom and to bristle at any suggestion of boycotts. It is hypocrisy to admonish the BDS call for academic boycott of Israeli institutions with no protest against a colonial regime that is denying Palestinian the same freedom.”

Once we were embattled, now we are insurgent

Ahmed Moor on
Denver protest, July 2014: Young women march in Palestinian protest, one wears hijab other wearing keffiyeh on head and carries sign about racism, other marchers in background with American flag and Palestinian flags. Photo by Chris Goodwin

Young people studying the Middle East are almost all sympathetic to the Palestinian point of view. Many are conversant on the history of the region and root causes. They understand BDS as a moral imperative. Once we were embattled; today we are insurgent.

The great Highway 17 billboard contest

Philip Weiss on
Hwy 17 billboard contest in British Columbia, Canada

Israel supporters in Canada have countered an ad calling for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel (BDS) because of apartheid practices with an “I Love Israel” billboard. Is that really an answer?