Category Archives: Activism

Palestinian writers bring Gaza’s hardships to American audience

The Gaza Writes Back book tour has brought the lack of Palestinian freedom of movement home to American audiences in an unplanned way. Sarah Ali, a contributor to the book, was supposed to be on tour with Rawan Yaghi, Yousef Aljamal and Refaat Alareer. But she was denied a visa by Israel. Nevertheless, the tour has carried on, with the contributors giving presentations on the realities of life in Gaza and the impact of Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s attack on Gaza at the end of 2008.

Posted in Activism, Gaza, Israel/Palestine | 7 Comments

Florida university president who condemned boycott has financial ties to settlements

Earlier this year, University of South Florida President Judy Genshaft condemned the American Studies Association’s boycott of Israel as “antithetical to the core values of academic freedom.” Now, critics of the president are pointing to her extensive ties to Israel and financial interests in the country. Genshaft’s family foundation accrues interest from corporate bonds from the Industrial Development Bank of Israel, which is co-owned by two banks that are deeply invested in illegal West Bank settlements.

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel Lobby, US Politics | Tagged | 40 Comments

Amira Hass predicts Israel’s ‘colonial project’ will eventually fail–but at what cost?

Reading Haaretz’s legendary correspondent Amira Hass does not invoke hope. She doggedly chronicles the grind of occupation and dispossession in Palestine. But on Wednesday night, at Columbia University, she gave the audience some reason for hope. Hass laid out why Palestinians are not losing the battle with Israel and pointed to a number of Palestinian strengths. She predicted that “in the end, the colonial project will fail.”

Posted in BDS, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government | 50 Comments

American Studies Association adds over 700 new members since Israel boycott call

The American Studies Association says the onslaught of attacks it has faced since voting to endorse an academic boycott of Israel has only accomplished in strengthening the group. They report “over the past several months, the ASA has welcomed more than 700 new members. The ASA has also collected more membership revenue in the past three months than in any other three-month period over the past quarter-century.”

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 11 Comments

‘There’s a lot of anti-Semitism out there’ — Johansson reviews her role as ‘new face of apartheid’

Ynet reports: “Scarlett Johansson says anti-Semitism behind criticism of SodaStream endorsement”

Posted in BDS, Israel/Palestine | 91 Comments

Why LA needs a city-funded Middle Eastern cultural center

Jordan Elgrably argues for the creation of a city-funded Middle Eastern cultural center in Los Angeles.

Posted in Activism, Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics, War on Terror | 8 Comments

New book explores intersection of Islamophobia and support for Israel

Elly Bulkin and Donna Nevel have a new book out that explores the intersection of Islamophobia and Israel—and the ways that the U.S. “war on terror” impacts both.

Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics, War on Terror | 5 Comments

Brandeis retracts plan to honor anti-Muslim activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Last week, Brandeis University announced it would give an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an activist and writer who has called Islam a “destructive, nihilistic cult of death.” Amidst the growing controversy, Brandeis announced yesterday it was withdrawing the honor.

Posted in Activism, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 58 Comments

Appeals court upholds dismissal of anti-BDS lawsuit against Olympia Food Co-op

On Monday the Washington State Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of the anti-BDS lawsuit against the Olympia Food Co-op. The suit had been filed by five Co-op members in 2011 to force the Co-op to rescind its boycott of Israeli goods. Several pro-Israel interests became involved in the case as well, ranging from the multimillion-dollar Israel advocacy group StandWithUs, to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and most recently the Lawfare Project.

Posted in BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine | 30 Comments

‘We ask you to show solidarity with the farmers and their families of Gaza’: Open letter to Neil Young from Gaza agricultural workers

A letter from the Gaza Union of Agricultural Work Committees Association asking Neil Young to cancel his upcoming show in Israel.

Posted in Activism, BDS, Gaza, Israel/Palestine | 31 Comments

‘The struggle for Palestinian liberation has become a mainstream global civil rights movement of our time’: CUNY panel discusses the BDS movement

Jenn Nina reports from “BDS and Academic Freedom” a panel held at The Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY) discussing the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement and academic freedom both within CUNY and in universities throughout the U.S.

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 11 Comments

Maryland legislature passes toned down anti-BDS language

The Maryland legislature has become the first state body to officially condemn the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. But the criticism of boycotters was significantly toned down from the original effort, which would have cut some funding from any public university that subsidized travel to conventions held by the pro-boycott American Studies Association.

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 18 Comments

Why the ‘Forward’s’ support for SodaStream is antithetical to progressive values

The Jewish Daily Forward’s coverage of the Scarlett Johansson-SodaStream affair betrayed Jewish and progressive values, write activists Donna Nevel and Rebecca Vilkomerson. It was deeply dissapointing hat the Forward’s coverage of this issue was inaccurate, sloppy, and unprincipled.

Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, BDS, Israel/Palestine, Media, US Politics | 9 Comments

Ehud Olmert’s JNF-sponsored tour nixed after corruption conviction

Ehud Olmert was scheduled to be in the U.S. this week. Instead, he’s waiting in Israel after being convicted of taking bribes. A Jewish National Fund-sponsored tour bringing Olmert to college campuses was nixed because Olmert is not allowed to travel outside of the country.

Posted in Activism, Israel/Palestine | 41 Comments

Israeli troops fire live ammunition on protest in support of Palestinian prisoners

Israeli troops fired on Palestinian protests today outside Ofer prison in the West Bank with live ammunition. At least 12 protesters were sent to the hospital, some with serious injuries. Israel recently cancelled an agreed upon prisoner release as part of the US-led peace process.

Posted in Activism, Israel/Palestine, Occupation | 4 Comments

‘A Painful Price’: The escalating war on Palestine solidarity at U of Michigan and beyond

Max Blumenthal attended the University of Michigan divestment debate last week and was able to witness firsthand the tactics pro-Israel students and organizations are using to defeat BDS by any means necessary. Blumenthal writes, “Under the influence of a zealous cast of communal elders and with a powerful, astroturfed political apparatus at their disposal, pro-Israel forces on campus initiated a campaign of subterfuge and manufactured persecution designed to intimidate and silence students inclined toward Palestine solidarity activism. It was a disturbing spectacle to behold, especially at such an intimate distance.”

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | Tagged | 266 Comments

Desmond Tutu: Maryland legislature’s anti-boycott effort designed to ‘punish and intimidate’

The battle to officially condemn the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement in Maryland is coming down to the wire. A Maryland delegate has inserted language into the state budget that implies the academic boycott of Israel is anti-Semitic. But Palestine solidarity and civil liberties groups are waging a campaign to erase the language from the budget. And they have an influential figure on their side: South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 13 Comments

MJ Rosenberg’s conundrum

M.J. Rosenberg is a well-known, sharp-minded critic of the Israeli government. But he is also a “liberal Zionist” who believes in the legitimacy and necessity of a Jewish state. This point of view has led him to attack the BDS movement.

Posted in BDS, Israel/Palestine, One state/Two states | 41 Comments

Tell Bill Gates to divest from Israeli occupation profiteer G4S

Ahead of Palestinian prisoner’s day on April 17, Addameer Prisoner Support, Human Rights Association and the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) have issued a Call to action: Join Palestinian political prisoner’s day Free all Palestinian political prisoners! Tell Bill Gates to Divest from G4S!

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel/Palestine, Occupation | 17 Comments

‘The Shondes’ singer Louisa Solomon endorsed BDS, so– DC JCC cancels her band’s gig

Brooklyn rock group The Shondes, whose critically-acclaimed 2013 album “The Garden” was praised by mainstream and Jewish press alike, were scheduled to headline the Washington Jewish Music Festival on June 2, but the DC Jewish Community Center (DC JCC) has now reneged on their invitation, citing lead singer Louisa Solomon’s past comments on Israel, specifically her support for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Movement.

Posted in American Jewish Community, BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | Tagged | 11 Comments

Both Sides: Anti-BDS concerns on campus vs. life in the occupied territories

Katie Miranda contrasts anti-BDS concerns heard on U.S. campuses versus the reality of life for Palestinians in the occupied territories.

Posted in BDS, Gaza, Israel/Palestine, Occupation, US Politics | Tagged | 94 Comments

The Israel lobby’s trojan horse: ‘Reforming’ education laws to defund Middle East studies programs

Pro-Israel groups are laying the blueprint for an attack on Middle Eastern studies programs. At a recent panel in Washington, D.C., Israel advocates outlined their plan: use amendments to an education law to pull federal grants from Middle Eastern studies programs they deem overly critical of Israel.

Posted in Activism, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | Tagged | 14 Comments

UN Human Rights Council resolution warning companies to ‘terminate business interests in the settlements’ or face possible criminal liability gets watered down

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva passed an unprecedented resolution today that calls for States and private enterprises to terminate business transaction beyond the 1949 armistice lines and warns of the probability of criminal liability for corporate complicity in breach of international law.

Posted in BDS, Israel/Palestine, Occupation | 59 Comments

Removal of Barnard Palestine solidarity banner was discriminatory act of censorship

A banner showing a map of historic Palestine with the words “Stand for justice, stand for Palestine” on it was removed by the president of Barnard college. In response, the Center for Constitutional Rights sent a letter to the president, saying that the removal of the banner was an unjustified act of censorship.

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 14 Comments

Repression and resistance in Bethlehem’s Aida refugee camp

Adam Wolf shares a harrowing account of how the refugees of Aida camp in Bethlehem have renewed a campaign of resistance against the apartheid wall that encircles much of their home. Last Friday, youth from Aida drilled a hole in a previously damaged section of the wall beginning a week of Israeli attacks which culminated yesterday with a section of the Wall being destroyed by protesters. Very few avoided the fighting, including the author who was used as a human shield by Israeli forces.

Posted in Activism, Israel/Palestine, Occupation, On the ground reports | Tagged , , , , , | 32 Comments