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.
Category Archives: Activism
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.”
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.
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.
A pro-Israel lobby group held packed briefings in the European Parliament last summer during the Gaza onslaught, to describe “inspiring stuff” Israel was doing in technology and to say that Israelis were experiencing “the worst” of a conflict that killed 2300 Palestinians, including nearly 500 children.
A new billboard at the U of South Florida in Tampa says 10,000 students’ demand for divestment from companies complicit in human rights violations in Palestine has been dismissed by the school without consideration
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.
A call by alumni of a prestige Israeli academy on students to refuse to serve the occupation army gets pickup on Israeli and Russian TV, and angers the Israeli acting education minister, Avi Wortzman.
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.
On May 15, 2014, Mohammad Abu Daher, 16, was fatally shot in the back by an Israeli soldier in the occupied West Bank city of Beitunia. One hour earlier, Israeli forces shot and killed Nadeem Nawara, 17, in the same spot. With your help, Defence for Children Palestine can demand accountability for their killing.
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.
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.
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.
The video “The Jewish Voices on Campus,” has had nearly 148,000 viewings; David Green debunks its claims regarding pervasive anti-Semitism on college campuses.
In a brave act of resistance, over fifty alumni, former educators and staff members of the Israel Arts and Science Academy, Jews and Palestinians, have published a letter calling the high-school community – students and alumni alike – to refuse service in the Israeli military.
Facing a breakaway movement of idealistic Jews who are open to criticism of Israel, Hillel International announces a smartphone app that equates statements against Israel with anti-Semitism and hate speech
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.”
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’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.”
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?
On behalf of Palestinian rights activists here at Harvard, including members of the Progressive Jewish Alliance who helped us tremendously in this effort, the Harvard Palestine Solidarity Committee would like to thank Harvard University Dining Services and the Harvard administration for their decision to stand on the side of international justice as well as sensitivity to their own students by refusing to make future purchases of SodaStream machines. The discussion surrounding this move was enlightening, and we hope these events will only spur further discussion on the issues of Palestinian human rights and a lasting peace for Israelis and Palestinians.
Harvard University’s dining services has ended purchases of SodaStream seltzer makers after students in solidarity with Palestinians say they were offended by the company, which has an operation in the occupied West Bank.
Avi Oved and Avinoam Baral are pro-Israel advocates at UCLA who hold student government offices. Funding for their campaigns was provided by a rightwing Israel supporter, LA real estate exec Adam Milstein
UAW 2865, a labor union representing over 13,000 teaching assistants, tutors, and other student-workers at the University of California, has become the first major U.S. labor union to hold a membership vote responding to the Palestinian civil society call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israeli occupation and in solidarity with Palestinian self-determination. The vote passed, with 65% (almost 2/3) of voting members in support. The measure calls on: 1) the University of California to divest from companies involved in Israeli occupation and apartheid; 2) the UAW International to divest from these same entities; 3) the US government to end military aid to Israel. 4) 53 % of voting members also pledged not to “take part in any research, conferences, events, exchange programs, or other activities that are sponsored by Israeli universities complicit in the occupation of Palestine and the settler-colonial policies of the state of Israel” until such time as these universities take steps to end complicity with dispossession, occupation, and apartheid.