Open Hillel has made waves in the Jewish community over the past month. Hillel International’s threat to sue the Swarthmore chapter for hosting speakers that buck their guidelines lead to a backlash from segments of the Jewish community. The student president of a Hillel chapter resigned over the parent organization’s refusal to host civil rights veterans. And after Hillel head Eric Fingerhut pulled out of the J Street conference, Open Hillel members who attended the J Street confab marched on Hillel’s Washington, D.C. offices, and received a promise from Fingerhut to meet with them.
Category Archives: Activism
The insults Arabic scholar Elliott Cola has received from Campus Watch pale in comparison to the kind of hate and contempt it reserves for the Arab and Muslim figures it defames. But it is hate speech all the same, designed to hurt and intimidate.
The Missouri History Museum canceled a presentation on Ferguson and Palestine after being pressured by a local Jewish group to remove the Palestine part, emails released by Jewish Voice for Peace disclose.
“Massachusetts see the light. Water is a human right!” On Friday, March 20, more than 30 protesters gathered outside the headquarters of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center to protest the Israel-Massachusetts Innovative Water Partnership. Demonstrators urged the Commonwealth not to be complicit with Israel’s theft of Palestinian water and policies that have been widely denounced as ‘Water Apartheid.’
On March 19, representatives from Zochrot and BADIL, two groups working for Palestinian refugee rights, spoke at an Upper West Side church about the Nakba. It was the latest talk put on by the Nakba Education Project, a new initiative trying to bring the roots of the Israel/Palestine conflict to Americans around the country. The speakers say the right of return is the most critical issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Executive Director of the Lincoln Square Synagogue has attempted to cancel an event scheduled to take place this evening featuring representatives from Palestinian and Israeli human rights organizations discussing the Nakba. The event instead will take place a nearby church, but event organizer Julia Kessler of the Nakba Education Project says the episode points to a broader issue in the Jewish community: “Given the election results in Israel, in which it is clearer than ever that Israel is becoming increasingly anti-democratic and unapologetic in its occupation of the Palestinian people, it’s obvious that we have to do more talking, not less, about the crucial issues like the Nakba and what happened in 1948 and how its effects are being felt, even today. Shutting down discussions and closing the doors to differing views will not help us to arrive at justice for all peoples.”
Oberlin College was one of many schools to take part in Israeli Apartheid Week in March. But students at the Ohio liberal arts college put a creative twist on the week. Oberlin Students for a Free Palestine (SFP) created a giant rock installation in their university’s library, in order to raise awareness about the imprisonment of Lina Khattab, a teenage Palestinian college student and dancer in the prominent El-Funoun Palestinian Popular Dance Troupe who was arrested in December 2014 on charges of “throwing stones” and “participating in an unlawful demonstration.”
Claire Paddock pens her impressions from the second day of the Jewish Voice for Peace national membership meeting. She writes that scholar Andrea Smith implored the crowd to think about creating a completely new system in Israel/Palestine, one that has nothing to do with colonialism, and relates Liat Rosenberg’s message that the international community needs to apply pressure to compel the Israelis to assume responsibility for Palestinian refugees.
On March 12, Maccabi Tel Aviv played against FC Barcelona at a Euroleague Basketball match. After four days of tension between Barcelona supporters and FC Barcelona authorities due to the prohibition by the Catalan club on exhibiting Palestine solidarity, Maccabi Tel Aviv was received by waving Palestinian flags at the Palau Blaugrana (FC Barcelona Stadium).
When documentarian Tom Hayes had made a film about refugee camps on the Cambodian border, “No one threatened my funding or phoned in bomb threats to the theater or my house.” All that changed when he turned to Palestine.
It would be a grave injustice to imprison Rasmea Odeh, Rabbi Brant Rosen writes. As an elderly woman and a survivor of torture, the effects would be truly devastating on her. A prison sentence would most certainly deprive the Chicago community of a devoted and important leader.
The president of a progressive Parisian school, University Paris 8, decided at the last minute to ban a conference, titled Israel apartheid is real, featuring Max Blumenthal and Bilal Afandi, set for March 9. Even as the school features We Are Charlie posters in solidarity with Islamophobic magazine victimized by terror attack.
Addressing head-on the Nakba and the Palestinian right of return are integral to achieving justice for the Palestinian people. This March a speaking tour featuring Zochrot, an Israeli organization working to promote accountability for the ongoing injustices of the Nakba and to address head-on the right of return as imperative to achieving justice, and BADIL, a Palestinian organization devoted to protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees and internally displaced persons, will visit four cities in the U.S. to discuss these important issues.
Dr. Cornel West has cancelled a high-profile lecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in support of a boycott of the university over the firing of Professor Steven Salaita. In a statement West said, “My change of mind in regard to my cancellation of my lecture constitutes a line in the sand I could not cross,. The case of my dear brother Professor Steven Salaita is a moral scandal of great proportion and the suffering of precious Palestinians under a vicious Israeli occupation is a crime against humanity, even in a world in which ugly anti-Jewish hatred escalates.”
As NBC’s new action series ‘Dig’ premieres tonight on USA Network, human rights activists are again protesting the network for its complicity in whitewashing Israel’s military occupation and illegal colonization of East Jerusalem.
On March 3 after Netanyahu’s speech to Congress and as thousands of American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) activists finished their visits with members of Congress, about 150 protesters gathered for the JVP-DC Metro’s “Netanyahu, You Don’t Speak for Me” rally in freezing rain on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building.
Ali Abunimah’s book on Palestinian activism, the Battle for Justice in Palestine, is running second in an Atlantic magazine readers’ poll on the nonfiction book for March
Freezing rain and dangerously icy sidewalks on Sunday afternoon didn’t deter protesters gathered outside the Washington Convention Center, where a sit-in was staged to block one of the entrances to the annual AIPAC conference underway inside.
“And I am a supporter of BDS.” Dorothy Zellner said those magic words at Harvard Hillel Wednesday night. But she and other Jewish veterans of the civil rights movement have been barred from speaking at UMass and MIT Hillels because of support for the boycott movement against Israel.
Kamau Franklin thanks the women who educated him about the politics of Palestine and the Middle East, including Suheir Hammad, Suzanne Adely, Rama Ali Kasad and Lamis Deek.