Category Archives:
Activism

‘Break Down Borders 5K’ in San Diego highlights injustices at border regions around the world

Jennifer Moghannam on
Poster for the event

On Saturday, January 24th, 2015, the Palestinian Youth Movement – San Diego and Colectivo Zapatista co-organized their 2nd Break Down Borders 5K along the U.S. side of the U.S.-Mexico Border. The 5K draws parallels between injustices happening at borders in Palestine under Israeli military control and the border between the U.S. and Mexico. It also highlights the violence and injustices that indigenous and oppressed communities face at colonial border regions around the world.

Northwestern students launch divestment campaign

Moira Geary on
(Graphic: NU Divest)

Last week students at Northwestern University launched NU Divest, a grassroots student campaign demanding that Northwestern divest its holdings in corporations that profit from human rights abuses against Palestinians. The campaign has received an outpouring of support from students, student organizations, alumni, and community members and the much-expected reactionary opposition, including unsanctioned acts of vigilante censorship.

Salaita sues donors for ‘injecting’ themselves into U of Illinois decision, threatening to withhold gifts unless he was fired

Philip Weiss on
Steven Salaita

In a suit filed today in federal court against the administration of the University of Illinois seeking his reinstatement as a professor at the school, scholar Steven Salaita also sued unnamed “John Doe donors” of the university for “injecting” themselves into the university hiring process and threatening “future donations” unless he was fired last summer because of the outspoken tweets he published during the Israeli onslaught in Gaza. Salaita was fired a week before classes were to begin.

Hillel campaign to ‘thwart’ divestment exposed at University of South Florida

Ben Norton on
SJP USF posing with the 10,000 pro-divestment signatures it collected over a period of months. (Photo: Facebook)

Following the controversial rejection of a campus-wide campaign to get the University of South Florida (USF) to divest from the Israeli occupation, students have discovered that members of the USF Foundation Board have ties to Israel Bonds and secretly met with Hillel officials in a campaign to “thwart” a Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) divestment campaign.

The growing ties between #BlackLivesMatter and Palestine

Alex Kane on
Delegates on the Dream Defenders delegation pose in front of Israel's West Bank wall, near Qalandia checkpoint (Photo: Christopher Hazou, IMEU)

Founded after Black teen Trayvon Martin’s 2012 death, the Dream Defenders are focused on challenging racism in America. They have helped lead the burgeoning #BlackLivesMatter demonstrations that have swept the nation and recently have joined U.S. Palestinian rights groups in calling for an end to Israeli human rights abuses. At the start of 2015, members of Dream Defenders went on a delegation to Palestine along with members of other U.S.-based racial justice groups to expose the activists to the Israeli occupation. After returning, the participants have drawn parallels between the Black and Latino experience in the U.S. and the Palestinian experience.

BDS in Urbana-Champaign: A Response to Cary Nelson

David Green on
Cary Nelson (photo: Don LaVange)

David Green responds to Cary Nelson’s talk in Israel which attacked the BDS movement at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus. In short, “The picture Nelson paints regarding pro-Palestinian activism on the UIUC campus is false.”

Jim Crow’s polite sons

Ned Rosch on
Martin Luther King in Memphis supporting striking sanitation workers, 1968. AFSCME president Jerry Wurf at right.

Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.’s life in the era of police shootings means recognizing the racism in American society. And it also inspires Ned Rosch to work as a Jewish American for Palestinian freedom.

80+ Cartoonists And Comics Workers Tell Comics Industry: ‘No Business As Usual With Israel’

Mondoweiss Editors on
(Image: Ethan Heitner)

More than 80 cartoonists and other workers in the comics industry from over 20 countries signed an open letter to the head of the prestigious International Festival of Comics at Angoulême demanding it sever ties with Sodastream, an Israeli manufacturing company complicit in the occupation of Palestinian land. The authors of the letter include 10 prize winners at Angoulême itself, two winners of the MacArthur “Genius Grant,” many Eisner and Ignatz awardees, and a Palestinian cartoonist previously imprisoned for his work by the Israeli military.

In MLA straw vote, the winds shift– for Palestine

David Lloyd on
Steven Salaita

On Saturday, the Modern Language Association’s Delegate Assembly affirmed in a straw poll by 48 votes to 26 that boycotts help to protect academic freedom. The vote represents progress toward a goal of boycotting Israeli academic institutions.

Coalition of more than 40 NYC community groups calls on City Council to cancel delegation to Israel

Eamon Murphy on
David Galarza, member of the Justice Committee of the National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights, speaks at rally calling on New York City Council members to cancel a delegation to Israel as Conor Tomás Reed of CUNY for Palestine holds the pictures of the Baker boys killed in Gaza. (Photo: Eamon Murphy)

A coalition of more than 40 New York City community groups held a press conference outside City Hall on Monday calling for the City Council to cancel a planned delegation to Israel. A diverse group of speakers addressed the city’s progressive politicians, asking how they could reconcile their opposition to racism and state violence at home with support for Israel’s policies against the Palestinians.

Book Review: In Our Power – U.S. Students Organize for Justice in Palestine

Samantha Brotman on
In Our Power: U.S. Students Organize for Justice in Palestine~
Cover Art

Nora Barrows-Friedman’s In Our Power: U.S. Students Organize for Justice in Palestine , published by Just World Books, is a timely and powerful read, detailing the scope and substance of the Palestine solidarity movement in the United States. Samantha Brotman reviews it and says, “In Our Power should therefore be required reading for anyone in the world of Palestine activism.” Read the review and an excerpt from the book here.

Anti-Semitism at Fordham?

Bruce Robbins on
Doron Ben-Atar

To call someone an anti-Semite is a very serious charge. It is an accusation that can produce a great deal of personal unhappiness, destroying friendships and careers, reminiscent of the McCarthy period. But a professor at Fordham University made the charge irresponsibly last year.

The year ahead in academic boycotts of Israel

Alex Kane on
bds

2014 was a big year for academic boycotts of Israel. And 2015 is shaping up to be one as well. Anger over Israel’s continuing occupation, and its assault on Gaza last summer, is driving the discussion. Two more prominent academic associations, the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), could consider the academic boycott. Both associations are already embroiled in debate over boycotting Israel.

Israeli activists protest Palestinian home demolitions at Jerusalem mayor’s Chanukah candle lighting event

Sarah Levy on
Israeli activists came out last week to protest Mayor Nir Barkat's ritual Chanukah candle lighting in Jerusalem. (From left to right): "No building allowed. Yours, the City"; "House demolitions = Or Lagoyim" [Jewish phrase for lighting the way to Gentiles]; "Stop the 'quiet transfer policy'" (Photo: Sarah Levy)

Israeli activists came out last week to protest Mayor Nir Barkat’s ritual Chanukah candle lighting in Jerusalem and to bring a message that holiday cheer should not mask the fact that Palestinians in East Jerusalem are suffering due to his policies. While Barkat spoke to a crowd of about 80 Israelis across from the Yehuda Market in Jerusalem, protesters stood on the side holding signs that read “There’s no sanctity in an occupied city”, “Stop the ‘quiet transfer policy'” and two people stood behind Barkat’s platform and unfurled a large banner that said “STOP EAST JERUSALEM HOUSE DEMOLITIONS.”

Shmuley Boteach taunts Palestinian solidarity demonstrators in NY

Philip Weiss on
Boteach outside Leviev's old store, from Andrew Kadi's twitter feed @imAK48

The very-well-connected Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, simultaneously a friend of rightwinger Sheldon Adelson and of Obama’s ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, taunts anti-occupation demonstrators in New York over the weekend. He breaks off shouting, “Down with Palestinian–” when he sees he’s being video’d.

Ads Against Apartheid hits LA with Mandela campaign

Annie Robbins on
Ads Against Apartheid's Mandela campaign in Los Angeles (photo: Jeff Warner)

Ads Against Apartheid’s (AAA) National ad campaign for Palestinian human rights launched earlier this month in Los Angeles with more than 30 billboards across the city showcasing Nelson Mandela’s famous quote: “Our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”

The Milsteinian candidate

Philip Weiss on
Pro-Israel philanthropist Adam Milstein (far right) with Sheldon and Miriam Adelson and Milstein's wife, Gila. (Photo: Facebook/Adam Milstein)

Adam Milstein, LA real estate mogul, convicted tax felon, and Israeli-American, says American Jews are “naive” about the threat to Israel. So is that why he wants to buy elections on California campuses?