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BDS or emigration: pick one

Ofer Neiman on
Aluf Benn

Aluf Benn urges Israeli elites to fight BDS because it will transform Israel into a state of its citizens, possibly ending up with an Arab prime minister. But that’s what decolonization means.

It is time to stop celebrating Jewish dissent in the Palestine solidarity movement

Nada Elia on
Michael Chabon

Pulitzer Prize laureate Michael Chabon’s recent interview in which he describes the horrors he witnessed while on a tour of Hebron has been circulated amongst Palestinian-rights activists like brush fire, often prefaced with an explanation that he is a “Jewish-American writer.” Nada Elia says, “Israel does not now, and indeed never did, speak for all Jews. It is time we put an end to that myth by putting an end to the celebration of Jewish voices denouncing Zionism as ‘exceptional,’ or ‘heroic.’ They belong with all other such voices, and must magnify, rather than occupy, the Palestinian narrative.”

NYU and UMass Graduate Employee unions vote to divest from Israeli apartheid

Mondoweiss Editors on
(Photo: GSOC-UAW Local 2110 Facebook Page)

This past week the NYU Graduate Employee Union (GSOC-UAW 2110) and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst Graduate Employee Union (GEO-UAW 2322), both representing 2,000 members each, endorsed by full membership vote the call from all major Palestinian trade unions and civil society groups to impose Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. These resolutions by aspiring educators of future generations significantly contribute to the already evolving discourse on justice for Palestinians.

Maryland coalition defeats anti-BDS bill in State Assembly

Mondoweiss Editors on
The Maryland State House

The Freedom2Boycott in Maryland coalition won a significant victory when the 2016 Maryland legislative session ended April 11 with no anti-boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) bill being introduced into the General Assembly.

Another interview on Israeli TV

Alice Rothchild on
Alice Rothchild

Alice Rothchild is portrayed as an extremist for supporting BDS on Israeli television, and her Facebook page lights up with rage. She responds: Israelis, you must wake up from your stupor and see how the world sees you.

Whose Birthright?

Sophia Goodfriend on
An image from the zine Whose Birthright?

Tufts student Sophia Goodfriend introduces the new ‘zine ‘Whose Birthright’ which seeks to expose the politics embedded in each site visited on the Birthright Israel trip and challenge the explicitly Zionist Jewish identity that Birthright Israel imparts.

We Stand with Palestine in the Spirit of ‘Sumud’: Statement from the U.S. prisoner, labor and academic solidarity delegation to Palestine

Mondoweiss Editors on
US Prisoner, Labor and Academic Delegation with colleagues from 
the Institute for Women's Studies at Birzeit University, Birzeit, 
Palestine, March 29, 2016

At a moment of growing resistance to state violence and injustice the world over, a delegation including former U.S.-held political prisoners and social prisoners, former Black Panther Party members, prison abolitionists, trade unionists and university professors traveled to Palestine in March 2016. On April 17, the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian Prisoners, the delegates have released a statement that reads in part, “We express our support for the struggle for a free Palestine as a central struggle in the worldwide movement against U.S. imperialism. We are committed to employing a variety of tactics in solidarity with Palestine, including Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, and we condemn Israeli and Zionist attacks against advocates for justice for/in Palestine in our communities and on our campuses. We connect prisoner and labor movements across the borders; and apply the spirit of sumud to all our struggles for liberation within the United States.”

BDS takes two big strides, at CUNY and U of Chicago

Philip Weiss on
Palestinian flag at U of Chicago divestment launch

BDS makes big strides at American schools. University of Chicago student council overwhelmingly supported divestment from 10 companies doing business with “apartheid,” while the CUNY grad doctoral students’ council voted by a similar margin for academic boycott of Israel.

As threats against BDS grow, it is time for ‘sumoud’ in activist communities

Nada Elia on
BDS action in France. (Photo via The Alternative Information Center)

Palestinians have given the world many terms. “Nakba,” the Palestinian catastrophe, and “Intifada,” the “shaking off” of an oppressive system are two examples. Another term is “Sumoud,” the persistence of the Palestinian people, despite close to a century of a denial of their right to exist. As attacks on BDS, and BDS organizers, are intensifying globally, Nada Elia says, “Now is the time for sumoud not just in the homeland, but in activist communities worldwide. Just as Palestinians refuse to surrender their rights to freedom, dignity, self-determination, activists will not give up our right to organize for justice.”

After wins abroad, BDS conference in West Bank sees local traction

Allison Deger on
5th BDS Conference held in the West Bank on April 9, 2016 in al-Bireh outside of Ramallah. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Tamam Abdul, 60, sells Israeli goods in her West Bank supermarket, but she would rather not. “All of the products we receive are Israeli, unfortunately,” she said Saturday outside of Ramallah at a fifth conference about the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel, otherwise known by the acronym BDS.

Unitarian Universalists divest from companies profiting from Israel’s occupation

Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East on
Graphic: Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East

The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has adopted a human rights investment screen focusing on conflict zones that includes human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories. The UUA divested from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, HP Inc., and Motorola Solutions. The UUA has also divested from Caterpillar Inc., due to concerns over its environmental and social practices. These four companies have been the target of boycott and divestment campaigns due to their complicity in violations of Palestinian human rights.

‘Rethinking Schools’ endorses BDS

Editors of Rethinking Schools on
BDS protest in Montreal (Photo: Scott Weinstein)

The education journal ‘Rethinking Schools’ endorses BDS: “When the United States was about to invade Afghanistan and again in the lead-up to the war against Iraq, Rethinking Schools argued that these were situations of such magnitude that educators had a moral and an educational responsibility to speak out. We think that Palestine is just such a situation. We’ve had long discussions about what that means for us as educators. One important piece of that responsibility, we believe, is joining the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel (BDS) for its denial of human rights to Palestinians.”

Italian students launch the “Studenti Contro Il Technion Campaign” to support BDS

Progetto Palestina on
Graphic: #StopTechnionItalia

On January 29th 168 Italian scholars from more than 50 universities signed a pledge calling on their institutions to cut ties with the Israel institute of Technology (Technion) in Haifa. The number has soared rapidly, topping 332 signatures last week. The petition follows similar endorsements by scholars and academic associations across Europe, the US and South Africa.

Eric Alterman contradicts himself about anti-Semitism on campus

James North on
Eric Alterman speaking at CUNY Queensborogh Community College in 2008. (Image: YouTube)

Eric Alterman says he’s never heard “a single anti-Semitic syllable uttered” in 12 years on the CUNY faculty. Then he asserts without evidence that there is “no doubt” anti-Semitism at campuses across the U.S. Which is it?