Howard Davidson writes: “If Palestinians’ academic freedom is to be valued as it is for Israelis, then a boycott of Israel state sponsored research and teaching is justified until the forces that deny academic freedom for Palestinians no longer exist. It is admirable to treasure academic freedom and to bristle at any suggestion of boycotts. It is hypocrisy to admonish the BDS call for academic boycott of Israeli institutions with no protest against a colonial regime that is denying Palestinian the same freedom.”
Category Archives: BDS
Dear Caetano Veloso, You are not simply a world-famous singer; you are also known as a world-famous fighter for justice. Your presence in Israel can have no effect but to promote long-standing policies I have no doubt you abhor. Sincerely, Donna Nevel
On 11 June 2015, the Israeli Anthropological Association passed a resolution, for the first time in its 42 year history calling for an end to the occupation, while simultaneously opposing the call for academic boycotts of Israeli academic institutions. Although the recognition of Palestinian rights is a necessary first step, both the timing and content of the statement raise serious questions about the sincerity of the organization’s newfound commitment to ending human rights abuses.
In response to Israel’s obstruction of the Swedish vessel Marianne of Gothenburg’s humanitarian mission on June 28, Boston area Students for Justice in Palestine demand that their government officials hold the state accountable for its ongoing violations of international law.
Last week Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions marked the anniversaries of Israel’s brutal 51-day attack on Gaza last summer and the 10th anniversary of the BDS movement by releasing the document “Boycotting Israeli Academic Institutions — Advice for Anthropologists,” which provides advice to scholars on how to implement the boycott in their individual capacities.
Enacting sanctions on Israel, that is ending the U.S. government’s unflinching support of Israel, should be the key action item for organizations leading the BDS movement, yet most of them are conspicuously silent on this topic.
Mondoweiss co-editors Adam Horowitz and Philip Weiss talk with Palestinian human rights activist and co-founder of the BDS movement Omar Barghouti on the tenth anniversary of the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions again Israel.
Following an intense campaign by Irish BDS activists, organizers of the 1st Israeli Feis, a first time competitive tournament of traditional Irish Dance in Israel, announced the cancellation of the event on their Facebook page yesterday. In the initial cancellation announcement, the event accused the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC), of threatening to kill “everyone” participating in the event, by shooting them in the head. Talk about massive social media fail.
Legendary Brazilian artists and political activists Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil are scheduled to perform to an already sold out crowd in Tel Aviv on July 28. Brazilian and international BDS activists have implored the artists to cancel their performance. Read a letter from Roger Water to Veloso on why he should cancel the concert.
Today, in a vote of 508 in favor and 124 against, the plenary of the 30th United Church of Christ General Synod passed a resolution calling for boycotts and divestment from companies that profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands. “As disciples of Jesus, we hear and seek to heed his call to be peacemakers, responding to violence with nonviolence and extending love to all,” said Rev. John Deckenback, Conference Minister of the Central Atlantic Conference of the UCC, which submitted the resolution to the synod. “It is in that spirit of love for both Israelis and Palestinians, and a desire to support Palestinians in their nonviolent struggle for freedom, that the United Church of Christ has passed this resolution.”
In op-eds timed to Episcopal and United Church of Christ conventions, church leaders say BDS is not anti-Semitic and is required as a moral response to new Israeli government’s expansionist policies
James Michie writes the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori to ask her to support six resolutions relating to Israel and Palestine at the upcoming 78th General Convention later this month.
In March, The Carey Academy, Israel announced the 1st Israeli Feis, a competitive tournament of traditional Irish dancing, to take place in Tel Aviv in August. In response, the Irish Palestinian Activist Collective has called on organizers to cancel it in solidarity with the Palestinian BDS call: “Your performance in Israel is the moral equivalent to performing in South Africa during the apartheid era.”
Israeli diplomats “are not allowed to speak” on US campuses, while North Korean and Iranian diplomats are, Akiva Tor, head of World Jewish Affairs in the Israeli Foreign Ministry, lamented in a panel called “The Coming Storm: BDS on campus” at the American Jewish Committee June 9
According to FT, an Israeli financial newspaper says a leaked government report estimates that BDS could cost Israel’s economy $1.4 billion a year. While Rand Corporation, the US think-tank, says the costs could be more than three times higher: $47bn over 10 years.
Peter Beinart’s criticism of the BDS movement displays a shocking ignorance of how a boycott – any boycott – actually works. If he truly is willing to acknowledge that the state of Israel is running an apartheid system – even if he believes that it is only in the West Bank and Gaza Strip – then he has a responsibility to endorse the nonviolent solution which actually targets the responsible party: boycotting, divesting from, and bringing sanctions to bear on Israel itself.
Ynet reports: Benjamin Netanyahu held talks with several officials over the weekend regarding the possible plans of action to combat BDS. The talks included Strategic Affairs and Information Minister Gilad Erdan, whose office’s purview includes fighting BDS, as well as other officials from relevant ministries. Netanyahu and Erdan agreed that his office will receive at least NIS 100 million, most of which will go to fighting BDS. Erdan’s office will also receive 10 new positions for employees who will deal solely with the boycott and de-legitimization activities against Israel. The minister mentioned that he is flooded with calls from Jewish leaders from across the globe, who want to join the effort against BDS.
Further signs of the crisis in Israel’s international reputation. Yair Lapid is the former Israeli finance minister and the head of a centrist party called There is a Future (Yesh Atid) and is supposedly sophisticated, in the Israeli frame anyway. Yair Lapid says BDS movement is “A puppet operated by Hamas and Islamic Jihad” — […]
This June, three more U.S. churches—the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ (UCC), and the Mennonite Church USA (MCUSA)—will join the growing list of those considering resolutions to end financial support for the Israeli occupation.
On April 27th, Students for Justice in Palestine and the #MUDivest coalition presented their recommendation for socially responsible investment and divestment to the Marquette University Student Government (MUSG) at the last meeting of the year. The resolution targeted the following major companies: Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard , G4S, and United Technologies. The supporters making up the coalition expected an uphill battle during the months leading up to the divestment vote, but they did not expect to encounter the unjust proceedings set forth by MUSG and attempts by student senators to remove the Palestinian voice entirely.
Haaretz reports: President Reuven Rivlin yesterday described academic boycotts against Israel as a “strategic threat of the first order.” During a discussion of the issue at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, the chairman of the Council of Presidents of Israeli Universities, Technion president Prof. Peretz Lavie, said it was still possible to stop the snowball effect of the movement, but warned that “we are at the 90th minute.”
While companies like Caterpillar and Hewlett-Packard have taken the center stage of the BDS movement, activism against Boeing has also been making its way to the front over the past year.
On April 30, Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia became the first university in the southeastern United States to successfully pass an Israeli divestment resolution, a huge victory for supporters of the BDS movement as adversaries have shown renewed vigor in pushing for anti-BDS legislation in an attempt to stop the tactic.
To date, the tactics of boycott and divestment have produced successes after only a few years of the official BDS Campaign’s existence. Amjad Alqasis writes that after ten years of successful struggle, the most urgent issue that needs to be raised today is the “S” in the BDS acronym, or the campaigning for sanctions against Israel.