Category Archives:
Activism

Open Hillel’s big month: Swarthmore ‘Kehilah’ is born and a student resigns over Hillel restrictions

Alex Kane on
Open Hillel members listen to activist Dorothy Zellner speak at the Open Hillel conference. (Photo: Alex Kane)

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.

Scripted Hate: What to expect when Campus Watch writes about you

Elliott Cola on
Campus Watch logo

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.

World Water Day protest targets Massachusetts-Israel Water Partnership

Nancy Murray on
Demonstration outside the MassCEC office, where the Massachusetts-Israel Water Partnership is housed. (Photo: Heike Schotten)

“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.’

Zochrot and BADIL bring Nakba to U.S. audience

Alex Kane on
Zochrot's Liat Rosenberg, on the left, and BADIL's Basem Sbaih speaking at an Upper West Side church. (Photo: Bud Korotzer/DesertPeace)

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.

Landmark New York Synagogue attempts to shut down Nakba discussion

Annie Robbins on
Lincoln Square Synagogue
180 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY (Photo: CetraRuddy Architecture)

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 students highlight plight of Palestinian political prisoners with week-long installation

Ben Norton on
norton6

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.”

Day 2 at JVP: Anti-colonial visions, border fences and the right of return

Claire Paddock on
A Jewish Voice for Peace tote bag from the national membership meeting. (Photo: Jules Cowan)

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.

Fans of Barcelona basketball team show support for Palestine despite attacks on free speech

BDS Catalunya on
A Palestinian flag is hung at a basketball match against Maccabi Tel Aviv (Photo: BDS Catalunya)

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).

In support of a just sentence for Rasmea Odeh

Rabbi Brant Rosen on
Rasmea Odeh

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.

Paris university reverses decision, allows Israeli apartheid event with Blumenthal

Mondoweiss Editors on
Max Blumenthal event at Paris University 8 March 9

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.

BADIL and Zochrot Speaking Tour: Centering the Nakba and the right of return

Donna Nevel on
NEP tour schedule feat

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.

Cornel West joins boycott of Univ. of Illinois Urbana-Champaign over Salaita firing

Mondoweiss Editors on
Dr. Cornel West

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.”

Protesters aim to #ShutDownAIPAC ahead of Netanyahu speech

Yasmine El-Sabawi on
Protest outside the AIPAC policy conference. (Photo:  Yasmine El-Sabawi)

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.

Hillel’s segregated lunch counter

Philip Weiss on
Dorothy Zellner

“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.