The writers’ organization PEN urges Enrique Iglesias not to play Azerbaijan because of its political prisoners, but it accepts money from Israel as a “champion” of its world voices festival, even as Marilyn Hacker, Richard Ford and Junot Diaz urge it not to accept the money.
Category Archives: Activism
Officials of Brooklyn’s Park Slope Food Coop issue a crazy fiat: to “stop scheduling any events related to SodaStream, BDS, Israel or boycotts related to these subjects in the meeting room.” The censorship begins after a meeting this Sunday about SodaStream’s new facility in the Negev and the treatment of Bedouins there.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
A delegation from advocates for Palestinians held an impromptu meeting with PEN American Center Executive Director Suzanne Nossel on Tuesday regarding the call for PEN to reject Israeli government sponsorship of the World Voices Festival in NY next week and came away disappointed.
Antony Lowenstein talks with Amany Khalifa and Fayrouz Sharqawi from the organization Grassroots Jerusalem to discuss fighting Israeli occupation, media misrepresentation of Palestinians and the dangers of foreign funding for NGOs.
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.”
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks of England says that anti-Zionism is an effort to scapegoat Zionists for Jews. But anti-Zionists are focused on a group that has obviously committed human rights violations. So the claim is a fallacy.
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.
Donna Nevel says more Jews have left fantasy notions of Zionism far behind and joined the growing movement for justice in Palestine. But there is still lots of unlearning to do in the progressive Jewish community.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
In a letter made public today over 100 writers, including Pulitzer Prize winners Junot Díaz, Richard Ford, and Alice Walker, and award-winning author Louise Erdrich, have called on the PEN American Center “to reject support from the Embassy of Israel” for PEN’s annual World Voices Festival.
Jen Marlowe’s play “There Is a Field” centers on the case of Aseel Asleh, a 17-year-old Palestinian youth killed in the second intifada in Oct. 2000. Marlowe did extensive research to write the play, which focuses Asleh’s family.
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.
Today, Palestinian Land Day, the National Lawyers Guild submitted a regulatory challenge to the IRS requesting an investigation into the charitable status of the Jewish National Fund on grounds of discrimination and contravention of U.S. policy.
In an open letter to the city of New Orleans, the New Orleans Palestinian Solidarity Committee ask supporters to sign an online petition demanding the City Council pass a resolution making it illegal to carry products that directly support the Israeli occupation.
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?
A group at University of Chicago announces a divestment campaign from Boeing, Caterpillar, Motorola, and seven other companies that “perpetuate apartheid” in Palestine. Meanwhile an Israeli farmer says, “Contrary to what you get told, the boycott and BDS are working, and how.”