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Feminist scholars call on Obama to drop the torture-based charges against Rasmea Odeh

Mondoweiss Editors on

US Department of Justice alleges that the feminist leader Rasmea Odeh failed to disclose on her naturalization application that she had served time in Israeli jail. But that sentence was based on a confession she made 49 years ago during torture. She faces 10 years in US prison. 124 feminist scholars call on Obama to drop the charges.

Academic institutions that violate academic freedom deserve to be boycotted

Isaiah Silver on
Protesters hold signs during the University of Illinois faculty senate meeting at the Illini Union Ballroom in Urbana on Monday, September 22 , 2014. (Photo: Robin Scholz/The News-Gazette)

Opponents of the academic boycott like to pretend that BDS supporters target Israeli universities for crimes that are beyond their control. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. As long as Israeli academic institutions participate in the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory, discriminate against Palestinian students, and punish those who would dissent, they too must be boycotted. Academic freedom must apply to all. When an institution – be it the University of Illinois or the Israeli university system – blatantly violates this principle, it is not only our right but it is the duty of all who believe in academic freedom to pressure these institutions to uphold the basic ethics of any scholarly institution. Doing so is a defense of, not an attack on, academic freedom

Junot Díaz comes out in support of the academic and cultural boycott of Israel

Adam Horowitz on

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz has come out in support of the academic and cultural boycott of Israel. He said in a statement: “If there exists a moral arc to the universe, then Palestine will eventually be free. But that promised day will never arrive unless we, the justice-minded peoples of our world, fight to end the cruel blight of the Israeli occupation. Our political, religious and economic leaders have always been awesome at leading our world into conflict, only we the people alone with little else but our courage and our solidarities and our invincible hope can lead our world into peace.”

ASA: Israeli scholars welcomed to attend annual conference but association has not changed stance on academic boycott

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ASA logo tiff (1) copy

From an American Studies Association press release: “In recent days, several erroneous reports have circulated claiming that the American Studies Association (ASA), the nation’s oldest and largest association devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history, will bar Israeli academics from participating at our upcoming annual conference in Los Angeles, November 6-9. This allegation is false. There will not be discrimination of any sort against anyone. Subsequent reports also stated, erroneously, that the ASA had changed our policy regarding support for the academic boycott. We have not.”

Chomsky at 85

Marc H. Ellis on
noam chomsky

Marc Ellis comments on Noam Chomsky’s recent appearance at the United Nations

The Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ passes divestment resolution

Annie Robbins on
IDF Caterpillar D9R armored bulldozer with cage armor and FN MAG 7.62mm machine gun (Photo: Wikimedia)

More great news for BDS. 400 delegates at the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ (CTUCC), representing 240 churches and 97,000 members throughout the state of Connecticut, voted to divest from all companies “profiting from the occupation of the Palestine Territories by the State of Israel” at their 147th annual statewide conference on Friday

California leads the way in the ‘Block the Boat’ movement

Ben Norton on
Block the Boat LA activists (Photo: Facebook)

A new phase is developing in the US Palestinian solidarity movement: Block the Boat. The weekend of October 18th, Palestinian solidarity activists in Los Angeles will be holding another Block the Boat action. Block the Boat Los Angeles is organizing a community picket at 6 am at the intersection of Pier A Way and Pier A Plaza, on Long Beach, to prevent a Zim ship from unloading. Organizers say their principal goal is to stop ships “from unloading cargo made in Israel in an effort to peacefully apply economic pressure and fight Israeli Apartheid.”

‘Do not plan our expulsion!': Activists protest Palestinian businesses involved in Bedouin relocation plan

Stop the Wall on
(Map: UN OCHA)

The Israeli policies to ethnically cleanse the Palestinian Bedouin communities from the Jordan Valley and the area east of Jerusalem include the construction of three apartheid-style townships. Once expelled, these communities should be relocated there. However, in the last weeks Palestinian campaigners and Bedouin communities have made great advances to obstruct this plan: They have directly targeted the companies involved in the construction of the two townships currently being developed

Help break the blockade and clothe Gaza’s children this winter

Donna Baranski-Walker on
Neighbors found Rebuilding Alliance's request on and and came to help. (Photo: Debbi Vasquez)

This past month, Rebuilding Alliance’s office in San Mateo filled with thousands of bags of gently-used clothes, shoes, and bedding for those in Gaza who lost everything. A hundred volunteers — all faiths and backgrounds — sorted and packed over 600 boxes. Albayk Restaurant donated lunch each day and Home Depot discounted tape and boxes. The United Nations is helping Rebuilding Alliance get this first shipping container into Gaza for delivery to the Al Basma Club for the Disabled (ABCD). ABCD is the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organization in Gaza City who will distribute to the families who need it most

Katie Miranda’s ‘tele-summit’ for Palestinian freedom

Katie Miranda on
Phil Weiss cartoon, by Katie Miranda

Katie Miranda introduces a “tele-summit” for action on Palestine: Huge shifts are happening in the struggle for Palestinian self-determination. If you’re ready to hear new ideas that will help invigorate the struggle, I invite you to join the Palestine Solidarity Telesummit

Report from Marcelo Svirsky’s epic walk for Palestine

John Salisbury on
Dr. Marcelo Svirsky

John Salisbury reports from Dr. Marcelo Svirsky’s epic walk from Sydney to Canberra. Svirsky covered the distance of 287 kilometers (just over 178 miles) in 10 days to garner support for a petition to present to the Australian Federal Parliament promoting discussion of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Isra

The Titanic of the occupation — SodaStream (Update)

Annie Robbins on

SodaStream makes its seltzer devices under apartheid conditions in the occupied territories and has been the target of international boycott efforts. No wonder its stock, once at $64 is now at $22 and going nowhere fast.

Where is the antiwar movement?

Alex Kane on
Protesters from CODEPINK interrupted a hearing on the war against ISIS. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The last time President Obama said he intended to strike Syria, anti-war sentiment surged in the U.S. But this year, as airstrikes against the Islamic State continue to pound targets in Iraq and Syria, the anti-war movement is facing a different battle. Organizers are struggling to gain traction in the face of headwinds that include fear over the Islamic State, a media incessantly broadcasting news of ISIS atrocities and the loss of one obvious leverage point: Congress

Israeli rightists wave ISIS-style flags in protest of African asylum-seekers

Allison Deger on
Screen Shot 2014-10-05 at 6.46.53 PM

Israelis hoisted an ISIS-inspired black and white flag in an anti-African march in Tel Aviv today, to protest a recent court ruling that rendered illegal a desert detention facility where African asylum seekers are being held without charge, reports Simone Wilson of the Jewish Journa

‘Tip of the BDS iceberg': Kuwait excludes Veolia from $750m contract

Palestinian BDS National Committee on
Anti-Veolia graffitti

The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) warmly welcomes the decision by the Kuwait City Municipality exclude the French company Veolia from a huge solid waste management contract, valued at $750 million, citing the BNC appeal to that affect. Basing its decision on Veolia’s complicity in Israeli projects that violate international law, the municipality also decided to exclude Veolia from “all future projects.”

‘Jews Against Genocide’ take the blood bucket challenge at Yad Vashem

Kelly Lynn on
JAG activist Neta Golan recites a memorial statement in front of Yad Vashem, Jerusalem's holocaust museum after dowsing herself in fake blood. (Photo: Kelly Lynn)

Activists from Jews Against Genocide have released a video compilation depicting their version of the Blood Bucket Challenge, an extreme spin on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which flooded Facebook feeds for the last three months. Originally conceived by Ohio University student senate president Megan Marzec, who received a barrage of death and rape threats following the release of her video, activists poured buckets of fake blood over themselves after reciting “we remember…,” statements in memorial of the more than 2,100 Palestinians killed in the last Israeli assault on Gaza. The activists filmed themselves in front of Yad Vashem, the holocaust museum in West Jerusalem, the US embassy in Tel Aviv, the Israeli Supreme Court in Jerusalem, the Israeli military radio station in Tel Aviv, and the Knesset, Israel’s parliament building in Jerusalem