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‘We want him to speak up on Palestine’: Boston SJP statement on being kicked out of Bernie Sanders rally

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(Photo: Boston Students for Justice in Palestine)

On Saturday, October 3, members of Boston Students for Justice in Palestine were removed from a Bernie Sanders rally for holding a sign that read “Will Ya #feeltheBern 4 Palestine?”. The Sanders campaign has since said the activists should never have been kicked out of the rally, but Boston SJP says Sanders needs to do more: “Sanders speaks up for those hurt by low wages, gender inequality, school tuition, corporate power, and climate change. We want him to also speak up for those hurt by US foreign policy and military aid: we want him to speak up on Palestine. ”

UK activists target radio station’s ‘Win a trip to Israel’ contest

Annie Robbins on
Israel where the sun never sets on apartheid

A group of UK BDS activists have been making inquiries after hearing several advertisements on the UK’s Magic 105.4 radio broadcast hyping a “Win a trip to Israel” contest. The station has already backed down from suggesting Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.

Syrian and Palestinian refugees can be helped by better representation on TV and in film

Susan Youssef on

Help support filmmaker Susan Youssef make her new film ‘Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf’: “Our screens are a reflection of our society. We need an honoring of Syrian and Palestinian life as equal as our own as Americans and Europeans. Supporting media by Arabs and Muslims about Arabs and Muslims is one way that we can instigate the process of healing and hope.”

Israeli citizens for boycott call on Reykjavik to stand by its decision

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“We, as Israeli citizens, are very limited in our ability to create change in the current political climate,” the Israeli group Boycott from Within writes to the Reykjavik City Council in urging it to stand by its decision to boycott Israeli products

New Yorkers take action on Syrian crisis

Sarah Aziza on
Hannah Lann and Katrina Leung support Pro-Syrian refugees at rally in Manhattan’s Union Square, New York City Sept.12, 2015  (Photo: Sarah Aziza)

While thousands demonstrated in support of Syrian refugees across Europe on Saturday, a crowd of over 200 New Yorkers gathered in Manhattan’s Union Square on Saturday to show they are tired of feeling their own community was neglecting the issue. “People in the United States seem to feel that the Syrian crisis is Europe’s problem,” says 25-year-old Syrian American Nader Atassi, who helped organize a pro-refugee rally. “We’re here to say it’s a human problem, and we want our government to do more to help.”

Tell Kanye West: Don’t be ‘heartless’ — Don’t play apartheid Israel!

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Activists call on Kanye West to respect the growing international movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions and cancel his September 30 concert in Israel, a racist regime that Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and other veteran freedom fighters have described as worse than apartheid South Africa.

Update: UK petition calling for Netanyahu to be arrested for war crimes reaches 100,000 signatures

Annie Robbins on
Screenshot: UK petition supporting Netanyahu's arrest for war crimes when he arrives in London. 6:40 am GMT+1 September 5, 2015

On August 7, UK citizen Damian Moran posted a petition on the UK Government and Parliament E-petition website calling for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “be arrested for war crimes upon arrival in the U.K for the massacre of over 2000 civilians in 2014”. The petition spread swiftly on social media and as of September 4th it has garnered over 99,000 signatures. The UK government has promised to respond to all petitions over 100,000 signatures including considering them for debate in Parliament.

BDS is here to stay: Message to a CT synagogue

Robert Gelbach on
Robert Gelbach

The real meaning of BDS is that ending injustices requires substantial change in the way Israel has chosen to act and to think about itself, Bob Gelbach of Jewish Voice for Peace tells a groundbreaking forum on the movement at a CT synagogue

100 women leaders, scholars, activists sign statement supporting Iran deal

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A CODEPINK protest in support of the Iran deal.


100 American women leaders, scholars, and activists have released a statement in support of the Iran deal. The statement, “We Women Support the Iran Nuclear Deal; We Say No to War and YES to Diplomacy,” was organized by women-led peace group CODEPINK. The statement is signed by leading women’s and civil rights activists Alice Walker, Angela Davis, Gloria Steinem, Barbara Ransby, Jane Fonda, Barbara Ehrenreich, and Eve Ensler, among others.

Read the historic United Electrical Workers Union resolution endorsing BDS

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Logo of the United Electrical Workers union (UE).

“We reached a breaking point when Israel launched the war on Gaza in 2014, killing over 2,000 people including 500 children. Because Israel has been unwilling to engage in real negotiations to bring about a just resolution to the occupation, this is a necessary step for labor to take in order to bring about a peaceful end to the conflicts there,” Carl Rosen, president of UE’s Western Region and a member of the national executive board.

First national trade union in the US votes to endorse BDS

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From the United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America report on its recent national convention: Delegates upheld the UE tradition of taking courageous stands on foreign policy issues when they adopted the resolution on Palestine and Israel that calls for cutting off U.S. aid to Israel, U.S. support for a peace settlement on the basis of self-determination for Palestinians and the right to return. The resolution also endorses the worldwide BDS movement making UE the first U.S. national union to endorse BDS. Speaking for the resolution were Angaza Laughinghouse, Local 150, Matt Braddon, Local 222; Chris Wolford, Local 170; Autumn Martinez and Elizabeth Jesdale, Local 255. Martinez and Jesdale both said they had met Palestinian trade unionists when they attended the World Social Forum in Tunisia, and Martinez said, “It’s absolutely disgusting what is going on. Free Palestine!”

Lessons from Veolia: Supporting the occupation is bad for business

Barbara Harvey on
JVP Boston activists protest outside Harvard Kennedy School where Veolia CEO, Mark Joseph, gave a lecture about "Issues in Transportation". In Cambridge, MA on November 14, 2012. (Photo: Tess Scheflan/

Veolia has sold the last of its remaining businesses in the occupied Palestinian territories, becoming the first major BDS target company to fully withdraw from all of its various Occupation enterprises. Barbara Harvey says the successful BDS campaign against Veolia makes a persuasive case that profiteering from legal and human rights violations can be bad for business when the opposition is organized.

BDS call for boycott should not ignore states’ responsibility to uphold international law

Shawan Jabarin on
Protesters call for a boycott of SodaSteam,  whose main production site is in the illegal West Bank settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim and the industrial zone of Mishor Edomin.

Al Haq Director Shawan Jabarin argues that “Ban” should be added to the BDS lexicon: “Products originating from Israeli agricultural and industrial settlements are essential to reinforcing the illegal settlement enterprise, and provide vital revenues that help ensure their viability and growth. Accordingly, states fail to comply with their international legal obligations by allowing settlement products to enter domestic markets. By not implementing a ban on settlement products, states themselves are politicizing a legal issue and shifting the burden to consumers.”

Omar Barghouti on Matisyahu: ‘Perfectly reasonable to oppose performance by any bigot’

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Matisyahu performing at the 2015 AIPAC Policy Conference

Jewish American rapper Matisyahu (the stage name of Matthew Paul Miller) was disinvited from a music festival in Spain because of his support for Israel. Organizers of the Rototom Sunsplash European Reggae Festival say they were pressured to cancel the performance by supporters of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. After Spain’s foreign ministry condemned the cancellation of the performance, the festival apologized and re-invited Matisyahu. Denying accusations that the decision to cancel Matisyahu’s performance was motivated in any way by anti-Semitism, Spanish BDS activists maintain that they objected to Matisyahu’s “incitement to racial hatred and his defense of Israeli war crimes, including in his lyrics,” and “his hateful and racist views that dehumanize Palestinians and justify their oppression.”

Over 1,000 Black activists, scholars and artists sign statement supporting freedom and equality for Palestinian people

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A stack of signs from the Palestine Contingent to Ferguson October. Photos of a Palestine2Ferguson sign at the main march during Ferguson October. (Photo by Christopher Hazou)

Over 1,000 Black activists, artists, scholars, students, and organizations have released a statement reaffirming their “solidarity with the Palestinian struggle and commitment to the liberation of Palestine’s land and people.” The list of signatories includes scholar-activists Angela Davis and Cornel West, political prisoners Mumia Abu-Jamal and Sundiata Acoli, rappers Talib Kweli, Boots Riley and Jasiri X, and Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors. 40 organizations signed, including the Florida-based Dream Defenders and St. Louis-based Hands Up United and Tribe X, which were founded after the killings of Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown, respectively, as well as the 35-year-old Organization for Black Struggle in St. Louis. The statement debuted Tuesday afternoon on the website of Ebony, the largest Black publication in the US.

Roundtable on the Palestinian solidarity movement and Alison Weir

Adam Horowitz and Philip Weiss on
Alison Weir

Three submissions reflecting the debate in the Palestinian solidarity community over Alison Weir of If Americans Knew following Jewish Voice for Peace’s decision to not work with her and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation’s decision to ask her organization to leave its coalition due to violation of its anti-racism principles.