Category Archives:
Activism

No responsibility. No morality. No comment. No boycott.

Robert Cohen on
Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis

Let’s call out the absurd arguments by the Jewish diaspora against boycotting Israeli settlement project. Everywhere else in the world, genuine democracy appears to strengthen national stability, but in Israel it’s presented as the worse possible thing that could happen.

Over 1,000 faculty members sign statement condemning ‘Canary Mission’ blacklist

Nada Elia on
Screenshot of the Canary Mission homepage

Over the past few years, as support for Palestinian rights has grown across the United States, student members of SJP chapters nationally have been facing intense online harassment for speaking up for Palestinian rights. One particular organization, the Canary Mission, has led multiple concerted attacks against students and faculty, tweeting about them as “Jew haters” and “terrorists” to potential employers. Over 1000 professors, representing a variety of viewpoints on Israel/Palestine, signed a statement insisting that the Canary Mission has no place on university campuses, and should not be taken seriously by university departments when evaluating prospective students for admission.

Honor Edward Said’s legacy by supporting BDS

Nada Elia on
Edward Said

September 25, 2016 marked the thirteenth anniversary of the passing of Professor Edward Said, one of the most influential intellectuals of the twentieth century, and a political icon for anyone invested in the Question of Palestine. And as happens with many historical icons, Said’s legacy is causing a tug-of-war between “liberal Zionists” on the one hand, and the thousands of anti-Zionist critics and BDS activists his radical scholarship and political engagement have spawned.

Read the article on censorship of Palestinian solidarity pulped by a German union publication under pressure from Zionist organizations

Christoph Glanz on
Christoph Glanz

Are Germans afraid to hear the truth about Palestine. Activist and high school teacher Christoph Glanz says maybe his views of the conflict are wrong, but there is no way to establish that without free speech; and his recent article endorsing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions was pulped by Germany’s leading trade union under pressure from Zionist groups.

The right to educate

Nada Elia on
Simona Sharoni, from Cornell University photographer

A campaign against education continues. Professor Rabab Abdulhadi of San Francisco State University says: “The McCarthyist attack by Campus Watch/Middle East Forum, led by Daniel Pipes and David Horowitz, named as leading Islamophobes by the Southern Poverty Law Center, is no more than a witch hunt campaign aimed at silencing me and our commitment to justice-centered knowledge production.”

Why I single out Israel

Noah Mlyn on
Long Island Jewish center with Israeli and American flags at half mast after Ariel Sharon's death in January 2014, photo by Scott Roth

When Zionists work so hard to center Israel in the Jewish community and shower it with praise, can they blame me as a young Jew for using just as much energy to single out Israel and hold it responsible for its crimes?

Stand with Standing Rock, and say no to Dakota Access Pipeline

Palestinian Youth Movement on
No Dakota Access Pipeline, image by Chameleon Horse Art & Design

Palestinian Youth Movement opposes the Dakota Access Pipeline as another opportunity to destroy Native environment and it will caravan from California to Standing Rock, North Dakota in solidarity this month.

NYC city council anti-BDS bill meets resistance from protesters

Wilson Dizard on
Protesters outside the New York City Council meeting. (Photo: Samidoun)

The two sides of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement squared off in New York’s City Hall on Thursday, with BDS activists disrupting a hearing where city council members discussed a resolution condemning BDS. “New York City Council should stay out of the business of condemning non-violent human rights movements,” Radhika Sainath, staff attorney with Palestine Legal, said in a statement. “By passing this resolution, New York City Council will chill the speech of New Yorkers eager to be part of an international human rights movement.”

Dozens of Spanish cities declare themselves ‘Free of Israeli Apartheid’

Palestinian BDS National Committee on
Dozens of Spanish cities declaring themselves ‘Free of Israeli Apartheid’ (Graphic: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement )

Cadiz, provincial capital in the autonomous community of Andalusia in the Spanish state, has become the latest municipality to pass a motion supporting the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights and declaring itself an Israeli “Apartheid Free Zone”. Cadiz joins more than 50 cities and towns across the Spanish state which have voted to declare themselves spaces free from Israeli apartheid.

Pro-Israel groups declare ‘lawfare’ on BDS movement in Canada

Hammam Farah on
Students for Justice in Palestine at UOIT-DC

Groups closely aligned with the far-right Israeli government have declared “lawfare” on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in Canada. Recent events in Canada’s parliament, the Ontario Legislature and on Canadian campuses reveal the increasingly forceful trajectory of this strategy.

There’s no room on campus to be progressive and pro-Israel

Annie Robbins on
Students at Oberlin College (photo: The Forward)

Israel supporter Seffi Kogen writes at the Forward that Jewish students want to be involved with progressive causes on campus, and the pro-Israel cause too. But it’s impossible to reconcile these political programs.

Beyond the flag

Nada Elia on
Celtic FC fans prominently displayed Palestinian flag on Wednesday during match against Israel's Hapoel Beer Sheva (Photo: Reuters)

Nada Elia says that for those who strive to rise above nationalism, activism for justice in Palestine is rooted in a belief in justice and equal rights for everyone, everywhere. Yet, many of these same activists celebrated with millions around the world when Celtic FC fans flew the Palestinian flag at a game in Glasgow against Israel’s Hapoel Be’er Sheva. She explains that even though activists were waving the Palestinian flag, those events were not about nationalism: “The Palestinian flag has come to symbolize defiance to censorship, a rejection of the Zionist narrative that would have people believe Israel is “defending itself” rather than brutally maintaining its occupation and apartheid policies, and grassroots opposition to state violence, to colonialism, to brutal military oppression.”

Critiques not fit to print: Students and allies respond to ‘NYT’ coverage of Palestine activism on campus

Leah Muskin-Pierret on
Tufts Students for Justice in Palestine. (Photo: Greg Cook)

The New York Times August 3, 2016 article “Students and the Middle East Conflict” misrepresented student activism and served as an implicit endorsement of a right-wing “dialogue” effort. Following the article, the Times published a strategic compilation of letters to the editor that constructs the future of Israel/Palestine as an internal Jewish conversation largely concerned with dialogue. In response, Tufts SJP alumni gathered letters by students and their allies critiquing the article and dialogue efforts that take attention away from ending the Israeli occupation. The Times refused to publish any of the letters, but you can read them here.

#PayPal4Palestine campaign urges PayPal to serve Palestinians, not just Israelis

Wilson Dizard on
PayPal headquarters

PayPal refuses to do business with Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but allows Israelis and Israeli settlers to use their digital payment service. After PayPal ignored their requests for a meeting, Palestinian activists launched a social media campaign on Friday to call out the company in public with the hashtag #PayPal4Palestine.

Scottish football fans raise over 100,000 pounds for Palestine following flag controversy

Wilson Dizard on
Screenshot from a Lajee Center video thanking Celtic fans. The center is a Palestinian cultural organization in the Aida Refugee Camp.

The defiant display of Palestinian flags in Glasgow last week by Scottish fans of the Celtic soccer team has roused over £100,000 (just over $130,000) in donations online, all marked for helping Palestinians. As the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is mulling what consequences Celtic fans should face for showing solidarity with the “illicit banner,” the Green Brigade, the hardcore cadre of Celtic fans who raised the Palestinian flag, responded to the threat of sanction with a call for donations for Palestinian medical aid and a refugee camp.

A new milestone: BDS at the Olympics

Nada Elia on
Islam El Shehaby refuses to shake Or Sasson's hand. (Photo: Getty images)

“I have no problem with Jewish people or any other religion or different beliefs. But for personal reasons, you can’t ask me to shake the hand of anyone from this state, especially in front of the whole world.” These words, spoken by an individual who has just engaged in a gesture of support for the Palestinian people, are a standard response to the accusation of anti-Semitism which is routinely hurled at pro-justice activists. Yet as Egyptian judoka Islam El-Shehaby uttered them last week in Brazil, they signified a new milestone: the sports boycott had arrived at the 2016 Olympic Games.

In overwhelming vote, leading Lutheran branch calls on US to cut off aid to Israel

Annie Robbins on
Albert Asfour, Anna Baltzer, Pastor Kahder Khalila  (photo: Christopher Hazou)

This weekend the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) overwhelmingly approved two resolutions calling on the U.S. government to end all financial and military aid to Israel until Israel “compl[ies] with internationally recognized human rights standards”, freezes settlement construction on occupied Palestinian land, and for the church to adopt an investment screen to avoid profiting from Israel’s Occupation, at ELCA’s triennial 2016 Churchwide Assembly in New Orleans.