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Israeli President: Academic boycott of Israel is ‘strategic threat of the first order’

Kate on

Haaretz reports: President Reuven Rivlin yesterday described academic boycotts against Israel as a “strategic threat of the first order.” During a discussion of the issue at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, the chairman of the Council of Presidents of Israeli Universities, Technion president Prof. Peretz Lavie, said it was still possible to stop the snowball effect of the movement, but warned that “we are at the 90th minute.”

‘Peace Now’ and ‘Breaking the Silence’ leader call on Americans to oppose peace talks (Netanyahu is ‘anathema to peace’)

Philip Weiss on
Avner Gvaryahu

The new Israeli government is deadset against a two-state solution– as Allison Deger and the Institute for Middle East Understanding have both documented. And yet the other day the New York Times promoted a fantasy: Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu wants to enter into negotiations. Two voices from the liberal Zionist camp are saying flatly that […]

StandWithUs invests nearly half a million dollars in ongoing anti-BDS lawsuit against Olympia Food Co-Op

Phan Nguyen on
StandWithUs logo

On May 28, 2015, the Washington State Supreme Court struck down the state’s anti-SLAPP law, following an appeal filed by five individuals who are suing the Olympia Food Co-op for boycotting Israeli products. The Israeli advocacy organization StandWithUs immediately hailed the decision as a “BDS Defeat,” “a major setback to the anti-Israel boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) campaign,” and an “overwhelming victory.” But in reality the Supreme Court did not rule on the merits of the plaintiffs’ case, much less on BDS.

Why some BDS activists are buying stock in Boeing

Katy Carlson on
Boeing shareholder's meeting protest.

While companies like Caterpillar and Hewlett-Packard have taken the center stage of the BDS movement, activism against Boeing has also been making its way to the front over the past year.

‘Oglethorpe stands with Palestine': BDS comes to the American south

John Yager on
(Photo: John Yager)

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 BDS movement as adversaries have shown renewed vigor in pushing for anti-BDS legislation in an attempt to stop the tactic.

Tell Congress Now: Israeli military detention is no way to treat a child

Lynn Pollack on
'No Way to Treat a Child' advocacy days logo

Abed was only 15 years old when he was awoken late one night by a masked Israeli soldier standing over his bed pointing a rifle at him. “Wake up Habibti (my darling),” the soldier said, shortly before he blindfolded and handcuffed Abed tightly behind his back. This was the start of an ordeal that this child and his family endured when he was arrested in the middle of the night, taken to an undisclosed location, harshly interrogated and imprisoned on the suspicion of stone throwing. This grim scenario is played out in hundreds of homes each year across the West Bank. To bring attention to this horrific aspect of the Israeli occupation, the No Way to Treat a Child Campaign and the American Friends Service Committee will hold a Congressional Briefing on June 2.

Losing public opinion on BDS, activists turn to ‘lawfare’

John Dworkin on
Bruce Rauner, Illinois Governor

A bill to penalize those who boycott Israel that passed both houses of the Illinois General Assembly May 18th places the economic welfare of Israel before U.S. interests, tacitly endorses the full annexation of the West Bank into Israel, and violates our country’s First Amendment rights.

Letter from Baltimore

Allison Deger on
Mural of Freddie Gray in Sandtown-Winchester, Baltimore. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Having covered two wars, and nearly three years of reporting from the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel, Allison Deger decided to visit the Baltimore projects last week in the wake of the National Guard’s deployment. Although it bears little resemblance to the Middle Eastern conflicts she has seen, the televised images of the National Guard and tear gas, and public art works on walls that captures politics and death drew a superficial parallel she wanted to investigate further.

Understanding the ‘S’ in BDS: It’s time to demand sanctions on Israel

Amjad Alqasis on
(Image: US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation)

To date, the tactics of boycott and divestment have produced successes after only a few years of the official BDS Campaign’s existence. Amjad Alqasis writes that after ten years of successful struggle, the most urgent issue that needs to be raised today is the “S” in the BDS acronym, or the campaigning for sanctions against Israel.

Why Ship to Gaza is sailing again

Ann Ighe and Mikael Löfgren on
Marianne of Gothenburg departs. (Photo: Ship to Gaza)

On May 9th, the trawler Marianne of Gothenburg departed from its home port heading for the Eastern Mediterranean and Gaza. Ship to Gaza Sweden and Norway have joined forces with the international Freedom Flotilla to once again to attempt to peacefully break the inhumane, illegal blockade of the besieged Palestinian population on that narrow coastal strip between Israel and Egypt.

International calls rise for FIFA to suspend Israel

Red Card Israeli Racism on
Kick Israel out of FIFA (graphic: Stephanie Westbrook)

A letter signed by a number of progressive writers, film makers, politicians and activists calls for FIFA to suspend the Israeli Football Association (IFA) at the FIFA annual congress in Zurich on 28-29 May 2015. Signatories include former UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk, Palestinian refugees’ champion Salman Abu Sita, Breyten Breytenbach, Noam Chomsky and Ronnie Kasrils.

Israeli military attacks Nakba Day protests with live fire

Kate on
Protestor shot in his leg with live ammunition during protest in West Bank village of Kafr Qaddum. (Photo: International Solidarity Movement)

AFP reports: “Israeli soldiers fired tear gas, rubber and live bullets at Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip on Friday, wounding at least 21 people, medics and security sources said. Clashes took place near Ramallah and farther north in Nablus, after a new Israeli cabinet took office and as Palestinians marked 67 years since the Nakba.”

It’s time to boycott Ben & Jerry’s

Mark Hage on
Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel say it's time for a boycott.

Despite what it knows and the values that define its corporate identity, Ben & Jerry’s refuses to stop the Israeli franchise from making money in Israeli settlements. Therefore, Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel say it’s time for a boycott.

‘Forward’ reports what ‘NYT’ covers up: Jews for BDS

James North and Philip Weiss on
Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin

The Forward has two articles describing the Jewish presence in the BDS movement: many Jews who go on Birthright end up observing racism in Israel and boycotting the place; and a rabbi argues that young Jews need an inoculation of Jewish education so as not to “capitulate” to BDS on campus. The NYT deceived its readers about this truth.

Human rights activists thank Lauryn Hill for canceling upcoming concert in Israel

Mondoweiss Editors on
(Image: US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation)

Palestinian rights activists are celebrating Lauryn Hill’s announcement that she is cancelling her concert in Tel Aviv, which was scheduled for May 7. The singer posted the announcement on her Facebook page Monday, writing: “It is very important to me that my presence or message not be misconstrued, or a source of alienation to either my Israeli or my Palestinian fans. For this reason, we have decided to cancel the upcoming performance in Israel, and seek a different strategy to bring my music to ALL of my fans in the region.”

Tell your congressperson or senator to speak out against repeated destruction of Al Araqib in the Negev

Donna Baranski-Walker on
Dianne Feinstein

The Government of Israel has demolished Al Araqib village 83 times and levied huge fines and an outrageous lawsuit against the villagers to press them to give up their land. Please ask your senators and representative to press the Government of Israel to withdraw the outrageous fines and lawsuit against the residents of Al Araqib and recognize their right to live on the land they own.

As pressure rises on Robbie Williams and UNICEF over Israel gig, conflict of interest emerges between singer and NGO

Ben Whitaker on
Robbie Williams representing UNICEF in Mexico. (Photo: UNICEF)

Roger Waters has joined the chorus of voices calling on British pop-star Robbie Williams to cancel his May 2nd concert in Tel Aviv. Pressure is also falling on UNICEF as Williams is also one of the organization’s “goodwill ambassadors,” and currently the face of the ‘Children in Danger’ campaign, aiming “to protect children from violence, disease, hunger, and the chaos of war and disaster.” Williams has yet to respond to the campaign, but how about UNICEF? It turns out the organization might have something to gain from Williams’ concert as Tim Clark, vice president of UNICEF UK, is also Robbie Williams’s manager.