Category Archives:
BDS

Bouquets for Melissa Parke

John Salisbury on
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Melissa Parke (ALP, Freemantle WA) spoke in favor of a petition calling for BDS on the floor of the Australian Parliament on Monday night. John Salisbury writes: “Although her speech was a cri de coeur for common sense and common decency it was remarkable for its uniqueness. No Australian politician, except Parke, would deign to speak up for Palestinian suffering in Parliament. In Australia, as in the US, most politicians are just ventriloquist dolls for the pro-Israel lobby. . . But Monday night Parke walked into no man’s land. The brickbats will inevitably follow as our Australian versions of Haim Saban and Jeffrey Goldberg try to take her down. But Melissa, you don’t deserve the brickbats, you deserve bouquets.”

BDS Victories: Online retailer drops Ahava; Kuwait boycotts companies with settlement ties

Adam Horowitz on
bds

Two victories on the BDS front that show the Israeli settlements in the West Bank are increasingly considered beyond the pale in the U.S. and international community. Online shopping site GILT has dropped Ahava cosmetics and the government of Kuwait has announced “it will not deal with 50 companies due to their role in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.”

Why we are blocking the boat

Lara Kiswani on
Protesters at the port of Oakland. (Photo: Block the Boat Coalition)

Lara Kiswani writes about the rationale behind the Block the Boat movement: “Because it’s time to disrupt Israeli business as usual. It has been time since 1948. And the summer of 2014 only served us a reminder to the world that the Palestinian struggle for liberation is calling on us to join them in their fight to end colonialism.”

Academic institutions that violate academic freedom deserve to be boycotted

Isaiah Silver on
Protesters hold signs during the University of Illinois faculty senate meeting at the Illini Union Ballroom in Urbana on Monday, September 22 , 2014. (Photo: Robin Scholz/The News-Gazette)

Opponents of the academic boycott like to pretend that BDS supporters target Israeli universities for crimes that are beyond their control. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. As long as Israeli academic institutions participate in the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory, discriminate against Palestinian students, and punish those who would dissent, they too must be boycotted. Academic freedom must apply to all. When an institution – be it the University of Illinois or the Israeli university system – blatantly violates this principle, it is not only our right but it is the duty of all who believe in academic freedom to pressure these institutions to uphold the basic ethics of any scholarly institution. Doing so is a defense of, not an attack on, academic freedom

Junot Díaz comes out in support of the academic and cultural boycott of Israel

Adam Horowitz on
junot-diaz1

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz has come out in support of the academic and cultural boycott of Israel. He said in a statement: “If there exists a moral arc to the universe, then Palestine will eventually be free. But that promised day will never arrive unless we, the justice-minded peoples of our world, fight to end the cruel blight of the Israeli occupation. Our political, religious and economic leaders have always been awesome at leading our world into conflict, only we the people alone with little else but our courage and our solidarities and our invincible hope can lead our world into peace.”

ASA: Israeli scholars welcomed to attend annual conference but association has not changed stance on academic boycott

Mondoweiss Editors on
ASA logo tiff (1) copy

From an American Studies Association press release: “In recent days, several erroneous reports have circulated claiming that the American Studies Association (ASA), the nation’s oldest and largest association devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history, will bar Israeli academics from participating at our upcoming annual conference in Los Angeles, November 6-9. This allegation is false. There will not be discrimination of any sort against anyone. Subsequent reports also stated, erroneously, that the ASA had changed our policy regarding support for the academic boycott. We have not.”

The Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ passes divestment resolution

Annie Robbins on
IDF Caterpillar D9R armored bulldozer with cage armor and FN MAG 7.62mm machine gun (Photo: Wikimedia)

More great news for BDS. 400 delegates at the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ (CTUCC), representing 240 churches and 97,000 members throughout the state of Connecticut, voted to divest from all companies “profiting from the occupation of the Palestine Territories by the State of Israel” at their 147th annual statewide conference on Friday

California leads the way in the ‘Block the Boat’ movement

Ben Norton on
Block the Boat LA activists (Photo: Facebook)

A new phase is developing in the US Palestinian solidarity movement: Block the Boat. The weekend of October 18th, Palestinian solidarity activists in Los Angeles will be holding another Block the Boat action. Block the Boat Los Angeles is organizing a community picket at 6 am at the intersection of Pier A Way and Pier A Plaza, on Long Beach, to prevent a Zim ship from unloading. Organizers say their principal goal is to stop ships “from unloading cargo made in Israel in an effort to peacefully apply economic pressure and fight Israeli Apartheid.”

‘Do not plan our expulsion!': Activists protest Palestinian businesses involved in Bedouin relocation plan

Stop the Wall on
(Map: UN OCHA)

The Israeli policies to ethnically cleanse the Palestinian Bedouin communities from the Jordan Valley and the area east of Jerusalem include the construction of three apartheid-style townships. Once expelled, these communities should be relocated there. However, in the last weeks Palestinian campaigners and Bedouin communities have made great advances to obstruct this plan: They have directly targeted the companies involved in the construction of the two townships currently being developed

‘Tip of the BDS iceberg': Kuwait excludes Veolia from $750m contract

Palestinian BDS National Committee on
Anti-Veolia graffitti

The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) warmly welcomes the decision by the Kuwait City Municipality exclude the French company Veolia from a huge solid waste management contract, valued at $750 million, citing the BNC appeal to that affect. Basing its decision on Veolia’s complicity in Israeli projects that violate international law, the municipality also decided to exclude Veolia from “all future projects.”

Why is the United Nations doing business with G4S, notorious prison supplier?

Kali Rubaii for Friends of Sabeel—North America on
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In early September, I accompanied an Iraqi friend to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees office in Amman, Jordan to help register him officially as a refugee. There was a G4S logo on the gate attendant’s shirt. And G4S all over the compound. Why is the British company that serves Israeli prisons a UN contractor?

Ads Against Apartheid comes to Chicago’s south side

Annie Robbins on
Ads Against Apartheid billboard Chicago

A war of ads has begun over Palestine between Pam Geller’s Islamophobic group and Ads Against Apartheid, which asks a simple question: “When a country steals land does it really want peace? Freedom for Palestine now.”

Leading writers and editors protest Israeli sponsorship of Brooklyn book festival

Adalah-NY on
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Junot Diaz, Elif Batuman, Ahdaf Soueif, Seth Tobocman, Anthony Arnove, Amit Chaudhuri, Sarah Schulman, Remi Kanazi and Astra Taylor among those writers and editors protesting Brooklyn Book Festival’s funding from the Israeli government just weeks after Israel’s bloody 50-day assault on the Gaza Str

South Africa High Court rules in favor of BDS South Africa billboard

Annie Robbins on
Billboard- Johannesburg,  South Africa (Photo: BDSSouthAfrica)

After a months long court battle BDS South Africa (BDS-SA) won a “precedent-setting” freedom of expression court case last Thursday, September 11. In October 2012 BDS-SA along with the Palestine Solidarity Alliance purchased advertisements on billboard’s across South Africa. With no warning South Africa’s Con­ti­nen­tal Out­door Media removed two BDS South Africa (BDS-SA) ads prior to their contractual expiration date without giving any notice to BDS-SA or the Palestine Solidarity Alliance. A judge of the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg ruled in favor of BDS South Africa, declaring that the removal of the billboards was both “unlawful and unconstitutional” and ordering Continental to re-erect the billboards within 10 days and pay all court costs. The court also ordered the City of Johan­nes­burg to amend their bylaws.

Some thoughts on the Cornell-Technion partnership in light of the 2014 Israeli invasion of Gaza

Eric Cheyfitz on
Young men look for their belongings in the remnants of a Gaza apartment building, August 2014. (Photo: Dan Cohen)

Cornell professor Eric Cheyfitz writes: “It is no secret that Cornell’s institutional partner in the New York City tech campus is Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. It is also no secret that Technion is substantially involved in the development of systems used in the militarization of the Occupied Territories. The question might arise, then, at least in some minds, as to Cornell’s possible complicity in Israeli state policy in the Territories, including the latest invasion of Gaza and the ongoing blockade.”

Toronto activists intensify campaign against SodaStream

Haseena Manek on
(Photo: CAIA)

On Sunday, August 31st, the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) gathered to share information with members of the Toronto community about the current campaign to boycott SodaStream, a carbonated beverage company whose main production facility is in Ma’ale Adumim, an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied Palestinian West Bank. “In the wake of Israel’s deadly assault on the people Gaza we must intensify our BDS campaigns,” said CAIA member Kat Lapointe. “We know for a fact that the global campaign against SodaStream is having a significant impact. People will no longer tolerate companies that profit off of Israeli apartheid.”

40 Holocaust survivors condemn ‘massacre’ of Palestinians, call for BDS against Israel

Alex Kane on
Holocaust survivors printed an ad in the New York Times condemning Israel's attacks on Gaza. (Photo: Alex Kane)

A group of Holocaust survivors and descendants of those targeted by Nazi Germany have harshly criticized Israeli actions in Gaza and called for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Following a letter from survivors of the Holocaust printed in the New York Times on Saturday, the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, which helped coordinate the

Watch: Huge pro-BDS Palestinian flag unfurled on Manhattan Bridge

Alex Kane on

Hundreds of New Yorkers marched over the Brooklyn Bridge Wednesday in a rally for Gaza. Demonstrators called for boycotting Israel and chanted for a free Palestine. The video above was shot by the MTL Collective. It shows that as demonstrators streamed over the bridge, a huge Palestinian flag with the words “Boycott, Divest, Sanction” and

Lady Gaza comes to Melbourne

Samah Sabawi on
"Lady Gaza" (photo: WACA)

The Melbourne Palestine Action Group, a group consisting of Whistle Blowers Australian Citizens Alliance (WACA) and Renegade Activists, locked down Elbit Systems in the suburb of Port Melbourne and occupied the building’s roof for a few hours. Arriving at the site at 5 in the morning, the activists erected a replica of Israel’s apartheid wall

Top legal scholars decry ‘chilling’ effect of dehiring scholar Salaita

Corey Robin on

Editor’s note: The following piece about reactions in the academic world to the dehiring of Steven Salaita over his criticism of Israel is a combination of two posts on Corey Robin’s blog.  Scholars from law schools at Columbia, Cornell, Berkeley, Georgetown, and other universities have come out with a very strong letter condemning the decision