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SJP activists call on California community colleges to divest from human rights abuses in Palestine

Mondoweiss Editors on
BDS Movement Logo

Students for Justice in Palestine at Los Angeles Valley College: “We urge that the Student Senate for California Community Colleges, that has the privilege of representing all 112 of California’s community colleges, to stand on the right side of history by urging divestment from companies that profit from human rights abuses in Palestine—in which our tuition dollars is invested, and to send a message that human rights abuses is unacceptable no matter where they may be.”

Faithwashing: the Muslim Leadership Institute and the academic boycott

Sa'ed Atshan on
Hartman Institute

The BDS call represents as close to a consensus as possible within Palestinian civil society. It targets academic institutions, including the Muslim Leadership Institute of the Shalom Hartman Institute, which has now sent two small cohorts of Muslim-American leaders to Israel/Palestine. MLI’s stated purpose is to shape the understanding of these cohorts with regards to Judaism and Zionism.

Italian BDS activists call on Unicef to pull out of cartoon festival honoring Israel

Stephanie Westbrook on
Israeli bombs are real, Not cartoons! (Graphic: Stephanie Westbrook)

On April 16, the international Cartoons on the Bay animation festival will kick off in Venice, Italy. The festival and will be awarding Israel the Pulcinella Award 2015 as a tribute to the country’s ability to produce “interesting, original and innovative” animated cartoons despite its “delicate geopolitical context.” In an open letter to festival organizers, BDS Italy asked what criteria was used to select Israel as “guest country” to a festival of animation for children “when it has shown that it has absolutely no regard or respect for Palestinian youth and children?”

BDS Victory: Veolia sells Israel businesses targeted by Palestinian-led boycott campaign

Palestinian BDS National Committee on

Palestinian civil society activists have heralded the decision by French corporate giant Veolia to sell off nearly all of its business activity in Israel as a huge victory for the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The sale follows a worldwide campaign against the company’s role in illegal Israeli settlements that cost the firm billions of dollars of lost contracts.

Mainstreaming BDS in Italy

Ester Garau and Stephanie Westbrook on
A mural by students in Cagliari, Italy

A series of events in Italy during the month of March show that, despite the government’s strong ties with Israel and recent efforts to shut down the debate on Palestine, the boycott divestment and sanctions movement is becoming more and more mainstream.

Fans of Barcelona basketball team show support for Palestine despite attacks on free speech

BDS Catalunya on
A Palestinian flag is hung at a basketball match against Maccabi Tel Aviv (Photo: BDS Catalunya)

On March 12, Maccabi Tel Aviv played against FC Barcelona at a Euroleague Basketball match. After four days of tension between Barcelona supporters and FC Barcelona authorities due to the prohibition by the Catalan club on exhibiting Palestine solidarity, Maccabi Tel Aviv was received by waving Palestinian flags at the Palau Blaugrana (FC Barcelona Stadium).

The 15 billion dollar deal that will make or break Israel’s regional hegemony

Juman Asmail on
Activists outside the Jordanian Embassy in London protest the Israel-Jordan gas deal.

The past week has seen international efforts to prevent an Israeli-Jordanian gas deal grow. Jordan BDS has called upon the international boycott movement to stand against the deal, and on Friday, February 20th activists in Denver, London and South Africa took to the streets to join the call to action. If the gas deal goes through it will increase Israeli dominance in the region by controlling the energy supply to bordering countries, and undermine the growing BDS movement.

Stanford re-votes, divestment passes in a landslide victory

Mondoweiss Editors on
Graphic: Stanford Out of Occupied Palestine (SOOP) coalition

On February 17, the Undergraduate Senate of Stanford University voted 10-1-4 to pass a resolution to divest from the occupation of the Palestinian Territories. Senate leaders motioned to reconsider the resolution after it was narrowly defeated by one vote last week (9 for, 1 abstention, 5 against). The senators stated that the hostile environment opponents of divestment created at last week’s hearing impeded their ability to vote with clarity and requested the opportunity to align their votes with their true opinions.

Second UK-based Israeli drone factory shut down by protesters

London Palestine Action on
(Photo: London Palestine Action)

Instro Precision, an arms company near Broadstairs (Kent), was occupied at 5am this morning to protest its sales to both Israel and Afghanistan. Four people are on the roof with banners to shut the factory down, with ten more on the ground, one of whom is locked to the fence. This is the second UK-based Elbit factory to be targeted by activists, after the successful occupation last summer of a drone engine factory near Birmingham.

Closed-door debate on divestment by U of Toledo student gov’t to include officials from Jewish Federation

Philip Weiss on
Jewish Federation of Toledo logo

This is one of the craziest stories we’ve ever reported. The student government at the University of Toledo is so frightened by a debate over divestment from Israel that it is rigging the debate on the topic tonight. It will hold the debate behind closed doors and limit how many students can come to the meeting. Only five representatives from two campus organizations. And each organization has to leave the room when the other side is making its case. Though guess what– two officials of the Jewish Federations of Greater Toledo are invited to the debate! “We are fully 100 percent opposed to this model of debate,” says Derek Ide of SJP

Univ of Toronto faculty await answers in JDL’s disruption of divestment event

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Meir Weinstein of Canada JDL, at a demonstration outside the Toronto Star newspaper

Last October the Jewish Defense League disrupted a University of Toronto event in favor of divestment from Israel. The school’s administration has failed to take appropriate action to safeguard campus speech from intimidation, a group of 23 faculty complain in a letter to VP Angela Hildyard

Stanford professors call for divestment from Israeli occupation ahead of student govt vote

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Within the past four days, over 29 Stanford professors have signed on to a faculty letter calling on Stanford University to “stop investing in companies that profit from the occupation of Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967.” Tonight the Stanford Undergraduate Senate will be voting on a resolution calling for divestment from companies violating human rights in occupied Palestine.

In historic vote, UC Student Association endorses call for divestment in support of Palestinian rights

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The UC Student Association is the official voice of the student body of the University of California, and represents hundreds of thousands of undergraduate and graduate students across the UC system. Over the weekend it became the first multi-campus student association to vote in favor of divestment from companies engaged in the systematic violation of Palestinian rights in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. This landmark vote is undoubtedly the largest victory thus far in the campus divestment movement in the United States.

Northwestern students launch divestment campaign

Moira Geary on
(Graphic: NU Divest)

Last week students at Northwestern University launched NU Divest, a grassroots student campaign demanding that Northwestern divest its holdings in corporations that profit from human rights abuses against Palestinians. The campaign has received an outpouring of support from students, student organizations, alumni, and community members and the much-expected reactionary opposition, including unsanctioned acts of vigilante censorship.

Hillel campaign to ‘thwart’ divestment exposed at University of South Florida

Ben Norton on
SJP USF posing with the 10,000 pro-divestment signatures it collected over a period of months. (Photo: Facebook)

Following the controversial rejection of a campus-wide campaign to get the University of South Florida (USF) to divest from the Israeli occupation, students have discovered that members of the USF Foundation Board have ties to Israel Bonds and secretly met with Hillel officials in a campaign to “thwart” a Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) divestment campaign.

BDS in Urbana-Champaign: A Response to Cary Nelson

David Green on
Cary Nelson (photo: Don LaVange)

David Green responds to Cary Nelson’s talk in Israel which attacked the BDS movement at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus. In short, “The picture Nelson paints regarding pro-Palestinian activism on the UIUC campus is false.”

80+ Cartoonists And Comics Workers Tell Comics Industry: ‘No Business As Usual With Israel’

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(Image: Ethan Heitner)

More than 80 cartoonists and other workers in the comics industry from over 20 countries signed an open letter to the head of the prestigious International Festival of Comics at Angoulême demanding it sever ties with Sodastream, an Israeli manufacturing company complicit in the occupation of Palestinian land. The authors of the letter include 10 prize winners at Angoulême itself, two winners of the MacArthur “Genius Grant,” many Eisner and Ignatz awardees, and a Palestinian cartoonist previously imprisoned for his work by the Israeli military.

In MLA straw vote, the winds shift– for Palestine

David Lloyd on
Steven Salaita

On Saturday, the Modern Language Association’s Delegate Assembly affirmed in a straw poll by 48 votes to 26 that boycotts help to protect academic freedom. The vote represents progress toward a goal of boycotting Israeli academic institutions.