Category Archives:
Activism

New report details UK complicity in Israeli human rights abuses, calls for arms embargo

Ryvka Barnard on
Protest in England,  Summer 2014

In the four months directly following last summer’s Israeli attacks on Gaza, the UK licensed £4 million of arms exports to Israel. This figure and others can be found in a new report, ‘Arming Apartheid’, published by War on Want, Campaign Against Arms Trade and Palestine Solidarity Campaign. The report details the UK’s complicity in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people, with a specific focus on the multi-million pounds’ industry that is the UK-Israel arms trade. The authors call for an immediate two-way arms embargo against Israel, and for pressure on the UK government and arms producers to end this horrendous trade in death.

Activists call on Oprah Winfrey to distance herself from Leviev over human rights abuses

Annie Robbins on
Graphic Adalah-NY

To commemorate her magazine’s 15th anniversary, US megastar talk show host and social justice philanthropist Oprah Winfrey glammed out wearing pearl-shaped 69 carat Leviev diamond earrings on the cover of the May 2015 edition of O, the Oprah Magazine. Activists are asking Winfrey to cut ties from Leviev which has been tied to notoriously brutal human rights abuses in Angola and thousands of illegal Israeli settlement homes built on Palestinian land in the West Bank.

The Flotilla didn’t make it to Gaza, but Israel didn’t win

Medea Benjamin on
Activists aboard the Marianne before it shipped off, Gaza bound. (Photo:Freedom Flotilla)

The Israeli military violently intercepted the Swedish boat named Marianne in the early hours of June 29 to prevent it from landing in Gaza, using tasers against unarmed passengers. The Marianne was originally part of a flotilla comprised of four boats with 48 passengers, including human rights activists, journalists, artists, and political figures representing 17 countries. Young people in Gaza from the “We Are Not Numbers” project share their thoughts about the flotilla and the Israeli siege.

Flotilla members still imprisoned as video emerges of violent Israeli attack during capture

Mondoweiss Editors on
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It has been more than 50 hours since Israeli navy attacked the “Marianne” in international waters, 100nm from Gaza, during one of its usual acts of State piracy, always behaving as the bullying state of eastern Mediterranean. 18 participants on board were kidnapped and brought by force and against their will to the military Ashdod port. During the operation of seizure of the “Marianne”, which IDF called “uneventful”, Israeli soldiers used violence against participants on board.

United Church of Christ votes to boycott & divest from companies profiting from Israel’s occupation

Mondoweiss Editors on
The UCC vote.

Today, in a vote of 508 in favor and 124 against, the plenary of the 30th United Church of Christ General Synod passed a resolution calling for boycotts and divestment from companies that profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands. “As disciples of Jesus, we hear and seek to heed his call to be peacemakers, responding to violence with nonviolence and extending love to all,” said Rev. John Deckenback, Conference Minister of the Central Atlantic Conference of the UCC, which submitted the resolution to the synod. “It is in that spirit of love for both Israelis and Palestinians, and a desire to support Palestinians in their nonviolent struggle for freedom, that the United Church of Christ has passed this resolution.”

Netanyahu issues ‘welcome letter’ as Gaza flotilla is seized by Israeli navy

Allison Deger on
Passengers aboard the Freedom Flotilla. (Photo: Freedom Flotilla)

Early Monday three Israeli naval ships seized a vessel bound for Gaza carrying activists and humanitarian aid while still in international waters, said activists. The Freedom Flotilla III, headed by the Swedish ship the Marianne of Gothenburg, was attempting to break the eight-year siege on the Gaza Strip. The boat and its 18 passengers were being towed to Ashdod, where it was expected that the activists would be deported.

Irish activists hit hard against 1st Irish dance competition in Israel

Stan Hoben on
#DontDance4Israel Photo by @Ruthanasia

In March, The Carey Academy, Israel announced the 1st Israeli Feis, a competitive tournament of traditional Irish dancing, to take place in Tel Aviv in August. In response, the Irish Palestinian Activist Collective has called on organizers to cancel it in solidarity with the Palestinian BDS call: “Your performance in Israel is the moral equivalent to performing in South Africa during the apartheid era.”

The United Church of Christ and divestment

Marc H. Ellis on
United Church of Christ

The United Church of Christ’s divestment resolution from Israeli occupation, to be heard in Cleveland in late June, is revolutionary. But the UCC should go further, and not endorse dialogue with the official Jewish organizations. For the Jewish establishment and the local congregations are enablers of occupation.

Netanyahu likens BDS to Nazi Germany

Annie Robbins on
Poland's Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna

We suppose it was bound to happen eventually; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said BDS, the Palestinian led nonviolent global movement for justice in Palestine, resembled Nazi Germany. He said it during a meeting with Poland’s Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna today, in speaking of the “defamation” of the Jewish people in Poland when Nazis controlled the country. “The attacks on the Jews were always preceded by the slander of the Jews. What was done to the Jewish people then is being done to the Jewish state now,” Netanyahu said.

BDS could cost Israel $4.7 billion a year

James North on
BDS Movement Logo

According to FT, an Israeli financial newspaper says a leaked government report estimates that BDS could cost Israel’s economy $1.4 billion a year. While Rand Corporation, the US think-tank, says the costs could be more than three times higher: $47bn over 10 years.

Divestment with a bite

Marc H. Ellis on
Image via WaronWant.org

Church divestment from the occupation is not enough. Churches have to do more than shift stocks. A church should dedicate the next five years of its corporate life specifically to Israel-Palestine. Declare Israel an apartheid state.

How will Sheldon save Israel?

Katie Miranda on
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Sheldon Adelson is devoted to fighting Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions to preserve the Jewish state. Katie Miranda has some ideas for his new tactics.

The Peter Beinart Double Standard: Why is this boycott different from all other boycotts?

Isaiah Silver on
Peter Beinart (Photo: New America Foundation/Flickr)

Peter Beinart’s criticism of the BDS movement displays a shocking ignorance of how a boycott – any boycott – actually works. If he truly is willing to acknowledge that the state of Israel is running an apartheid system – even if he believes that it is only in the West Bank and Gaza Strip – then he has a responsibility to endorse the nonviolent solution which actually targets the responsible party: boycotting, divesting from, and bringing sanctions to bear on Israel itself.

Netanyahu government ramps up effort to combat BDS

Kate on
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at his Jerusalem office, Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Gali Tibbon, Pool)

Ynet reports: Benjamin Netanyahu held talks with several officials over the weekend regarding the possible plans of action to combat BDS. The talks included Strategic Affairs and Information Minister Gilad Erdan, whose office’s purview includes fighting BDS, as well as other officials from relevant ministries. Netanyahu and Erdan agreed that his office will receive at least NIS 100 million, most of which will go to fighting BDS. Erdan’s office will also receive 10 new positions for employees who will deal solely with the boycott and de-legitimization activities against Israel. The minister mentioned that he is flooded with calls from Jewish leaders from across the globe, who want to join the effort against BDS.