Activists call on Kanye West to respect the growing international movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions and cancel his September 30 concert in Israel, a racist regime that Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and other veteran freedom fighters have described as worse than apartheid South Africa.
Category Archives: BDS
The real meaning of BDS is that ending injustices requires substantial change in the way Israel has chosen to act and to think about itself, Bob Gelbach of Jewish Voice for Peace tells a groundbreaking forum on the movement at a CT synagogue
“We reached a breaking point when Israel launched the war on Gaza in 2014, killing over 2,000 people including 500 children. Because Israel has been unwilling to engage in real negotiations to bring about a just resolution to the occupation, this is a necessary step for labor to take in order to bring about a peaceful end to the conflicts there,” Carl Rosen, president of UE’s Western Region and a member of the national executive board.
From the United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America report on its recent national convention: Delegates upheld the UE tradition of taking courageous stands on foreign policy issues when they adopted the resolution on Palestine and Israel that calls for cutting off U.S. aid to Israel, U.S. support for a peace settlement on the basis of self-determination for Palestinians and the right to return. The resolution also endorses the worldwide BDS movement making UE the first U.S. national union to endorse BDS. Speaking for the resolution were Angaza Laughinghouse, Local 150, Matt Braddon, Local 222; Chris Wolford, Local 170; Autumn Martinez and Elizabeth Jesdale, Local 255. Martinez and Jesdale both said they had met Palestinian trade unionists when they attended the World Social Forum in Tunisia, and Martinez said, “It’s absolutely disgusting what is going on. Free Palestine!”
Veolia has sold the last of its remaining businesses in the occupied Palestinian territories, becoming the first major BDS target company to fully withdraw from all of its various Occupation enterprises. Barbara Harvey says the successful BDS campaign against Veolia makes a persuasive case that profiteering from legal and human rights violations can be bad for business when the opposition is organized.
Al Haq Director Shawan Jabarin argues that “Ban” should be added to the BDS lexicon: “Products originating from Israeli agricultural and industrial settlements are essential to reinforcing the illegal settlement enterprise, and provide vital revenues that help ensure their viability and growth. Accordingly, states fail to comply with their international legal obligations by allowing settlement products to enter domestic markets. By not implementing a ban on settlement products, states themselves are politicizing a legal issue and shifting the burden to consumers.”
PACBI is convinced that the pressure campaign waged by human rights activists in Spain to cancel this bigoted artist’s performance at this progressive festival is a well justified “common sense” boycott campaign, even though it falls outside the realm of the BDS institutional boycott guidelines.
Jewish American rapper Matisyahu (the stage name of Matthew Paul Miller) was disinvited from a music festival in Spain because of his support for Israel. Organizers of the Rototom Sunsplash European Reggae Festival say they were pressured to cancel the performance by supporters of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. After Spain’s foreign ministry condemned the cancellation of the performance, the festival apologized and re-invited Matisyahu. Denying accusations that the decision to cancel Matisyahu’s performance was motivated in any way by anti-Semitism, Spanish BDS activists maintain that they objected to Matisyahu’s “incitement to racial hatred and his defense of Israeli war crimes, including in his lyrics,” and “his hateful and racist views that dehumanize Palestinians and justify their oppression.”
Over 1,000 Black activists, artists, scholars, students, and organizations have released a statement reaffirming their “solidarity with the Palestinian struggle and commitment to the liberation of Palestine’s land and people.” The list of signatories includes scholar-activists Angela Davis and Cornel West, political prisoners Mumia Abu-Jamal and Sundiata Acoli, rappers Talib Kweli, Boots Riley and Jasiri X, and Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors. 40 organizations signed, including the Florida-based Dream Defenders and St. Louis-based Hands Up United and Tribe X, which were founded after the killings of Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown, respectively, as well as the 35-year-old Organization for Black Struggle in St. Louis. The statement debuted Tuesday afternoon on the website of Ebony, the largest Black publication in the US.
Israeli banks are preparing for a “political-economic tsunami” owing to a possible European boycott of any financial transactions that support the illegal settlement project.
What did then secretary of state Hillary Clinton care about whether the Edinburgh Film Festival returned $465 to the Israeli government in 2009? Well, her pro-Israel political supporters cared about it; so she hopped on it.
Gulf Labor Coalition’s creatively interjected Palestinian resistance and BDS into the 2015 Venice Biennale on Sunday. GLC’s exhibition artists staged an intervention performance adding a stencil of Handala to their exhibition banner hung prominently in the Pavilion Arsenale exhibition hall, read a ‘Statement on Palestine’ and occupied the 2nd floor of the Israeli Pavilion.
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.”
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.”