Category Archives:
Activism

Irish and Dutch governments join Sweden in speaking out for right to call for BDS

Palestinian BDS National Committee on
Photo: BDSmovement

The Dutch and Irish governments have publicly stated that calls for a boycott of Israel are legitimate, with the Dutch foreign minister saying that advocating and campaigning for Palestinian rights through the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel are “protected by the freedom of expression”.

‘Why is water dangerous?’ A Palestinian plea to the US Congress

Donna Baranski-Walker on
El-Atrash at the Senate (with the author)

The Israeli Army has initiated a crisis of demolitions in the West Bank’s Area C, displacing more Palestinian families this year than in all of 2015. A stated program of forced relocation is underway. The Rebuilding Alliance urges Americans to call Congress to oppose US support for the project.

‘My country right or wrong’ — indoctrination in defense of Israel

Robert Herbst on
Former Israeli Ambassador Danny Ayalon explaining that there was no such thing as Palestine

A consortium of pro-Israel groups hold a conference at SUNY Purchase to explore “anti-semitism on campus,” but smearing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and saying there has never been a Palestine is not the way to win the hearts of young Jews.

Holocaust survivor and activist for justice Hedy Epstein dies at 91

Mondoweiss Editors on
Hedy Epstein (Photo: Humans of St. Louis/Lindy Drew)

Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein, 91, died at her home in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, on May 26, 2016. An internationally renowned, respected and admired advocate for human and civil rights, Hedy was encircled by friends who lovingly cared for her at home. Born August 15, 1924, in the Bavarian region of Germany, her lifelong commitment to human rights was formed by the horrific experiences she and her family endured under the repressive Nazi regime. As part of her lifetime of working for social justice, Epstein had been devoted to working for peace and justice in Israel and Palestine since the 1982 massacre at Sabra and Shatila.

Acclaimed Irish literary festival’s refusal to accept Israeli state funding welcomed by artists and human rights campaigners

Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) on
BDS logo

The decision by Listowel Writers’ Week Festival, an internationally acclaimed literary festival in the Irish heritage town of Listowel County Kerry, to refuse funding from the Israeli Embassy in Ireland has been welcomed by artists, human rights campaigners and Palestine solidarity activists in Ireland, and is being hailed as victory for the growing Palestinian-led global Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement.

French premier says ‘loathing of Jews’ is behind BDS

Philip Weiss on
Jeff Halper

Two irresponsible charges of anti-Semitism are leveled against Israel critics. French premier Manuel Valls says BDS is based on anti-semitism, while the Asheville Citzen-Times runs a letter defaming human rights activist Jeff Halper as an anti-Semite.

UW-Madison graduate student union endorses BDS

Mondoweiss Editors on
(Photo: Teaching Assistants’ Association at the University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Members of the Teaching Assistants’ Association at the University of Wisconsin-Madison vote overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution to divest from the State of Israel and corporations that profit from the illegal occupation of Palestine. During a two-week vote distributed to all union members, the Teaching Assistants’ Association (TAA/AFT Local 3220) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the oldest graduate student labor union in the United States representing over 9,000 graduate workers and students, voted overwhelmingly (81% of voting members) in favor of adopting a resolution to divest from Israeli state institutions and international corporations complicit in the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the ongoing violations of Palestinians’ human rights.

354 European human rights organisations, church groups, trade unions and political parties call on the EU to support their right to boycott

Mondoweiss Editors on
European Parliament

More than 300 human rights and aid organisations, church groups, trade unions and political parties from across Europe have called on the EU to uphold its legal responsibilities and hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law and to defend the right of individuals and institutions to take part in the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for justice and equality.

JM Coetzee and Colum McCann headline 9th Annual Palestine Festival of Literature

Mondoweiss Editors on
Palestine Festival of Literature, 2015. (Photo: PalFest)

From May 21st to 26th, the annual Palestine Festival of Literature (PalFest) will be held in cities across historic Palestine as international literary stars – including Nobel laureate JM Coetzee, Pulitzer Prize finalist Laila Lalami and National Book Award winners Colum McCann and Barry Lopez – perform free, public events in Ramallah, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Haifa and Nablus.

‘Train of Return’ rolls through Bethlehem as refugees commemorate Nakba Day

Sheren Khalel on
“It means a lot to be here to today, because the Nakba means a lot to us,” Abdo said, as the train rolled down Bethlehem’s main street. “I don’t care if we take a train, or a bus or a car or if we have to walk, what we are saying is we will return to our homes.” (Photo by Sheren Khalel)

Several hundred Palestinians marched through Bethlehem on Sunday in commemoration of the 68th anniversary of the Nakba, when an estimated 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly expelled from their homes and hundreds of others are believed to have been killed. The theme of the march this year was the “Train of Return,” and a massive train was made by volunteers from the three refugee camps in Bethlehem city for the march. “The idea behind the train was to show that we will return to our original villages,” Mohammed Abu Srour, one of the volunteers who helped build the train told Mondoweiss. “It is a simulation of our dreams to come back to our land.”

Vermont artist creates 45-foot ‘street comic’ telling story of the Nakba

Mondoweiss Editors on
Image from “Najawa: A Story of Palestine”

“Najawa: A Story of Palestine” is a 45-foot “street comic,” composed of eight large panels, which tells the story of a Palestinian woman’s life over the course of eight decades, beginning with the Nakba of 1948. It was created by Vermont artist Michelle Sayles, in collaboration with artist and educator Jen Berger, and Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel.

Defying official censorship orders, Brown and RISD students hold Nakba discussion inside Hillel

Mondoweiss Editors on
Brown and RISD students discuss the Nakba at Hillel. (Photo provided by Sophie Kasakove)

Wednesday night 70 Jewish students at Brown and RISD held a discussion of the Palestinian Nakba inside the Hillel, featuring films by Zochrot, in defiance of Hillel official standards on appropriate programming. Organizer Sophie Kasakove says, “In order for Hillel to maintain its integrity as a pluralistic Jewish space, the community must embrace Jews who currently feel excluded from mainstream Jewish discourse and who seek to question dominant narratives about Israel.”

Human rights advocates attend RE/MAX shareholder meeting to demand that the global real estate giant stop selling homes in illegal Israeli settlements

Ariel Gold on
Protesters at the RE/MAX shareholder meeting. (Photo: Ariel Gold)

Human rights advocates were present both inside and outside of RE/MAX’s annual shareholder meeting in Denver, Colorado last Thursday. Driving into the entrance of the Marriott Tech Center Hotel, RE/MAX board members and shareholders were greeted by around 30 protesters from CODEPINK, Jewish Voice for Peace, Friends of Sabeel – North America, and Coloradans for Justice in Palestine. The group held signs, banners, and cardboard boxes painted like Israeli settlements to express their demand that RE/MAX immediately stop profiting from Israeli apartheid by selling, renting, and advertising homes in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Students explain why they protested Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat at San Francisco State University

Mondoweiss Editors on
Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat talks to students as protesters disrupt the event.

Students at San Francisco State University explain why they protested Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat: “As students, we are deeply disturbed that our University, which claims to advocate for social justice, is actively involved in creating safe spaces for hate speech and the promotion of international law violations by offering a stage for Barkat. It is our responsibility as student leaders for equality to act ethically and stand up against oppression wherever it may occur, including in Palestine.”

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.”