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Jordanian BDS activists reject gas deal with Israel

Mondoweiss Editors on
Leviathan offshore gas field

On September 26th, 2016 Nobel Energy signed a deal with Jordan’s National Electric Power Company Ltd. (NEPCO) to import gas from the Leviathan field off the shores of Haifa. Jordan BDS categorically rejects the agreement for strategic, economic and moral reasons as it ties Jordan’s energy, economic and political security to Israel for the coming 15 years.

‘An attack on local democracy’: UK gov’t and Spanish High Court issue decisions against BDS

Kate on
Dozens of Spanish cities declaring themselves ‘Free of Israeli Apartheid’ (Graphic: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement )

A Spanish High Court of the Asturias region upheld a decision last week declaring a Langreo City Council agreement to boycott Israel illegal. And last month the UK government’s Department for Communities and Local Government published guidance for local authorities stating that “using pension policies to pursue boycott, divestment and sanctions against foreign nations and UK defence industries are inappropriate”.

Over 1,000 faculty members sign statement condemning ‘Canary Mission’ blacklist

Nada Elia on
Screenshot of the Canary Mission homepage

Over the past few years, as support for Palestinian rights has grown across the United States, student members of SJP chapters nationally have been facing intense online harassment for speaking up for Palestinian rights. One particular organization, the Canary Mission, has led multiple concerted attacks against students and faculty, tweeting about them as “Jew haters” and “terrorists” to potential employers. Over 1000 professors, representing a variety of viewpoints on Israel/Palestine, signed a statement insisting that the Canary Mission has no place on university campuses, and should not be taken seriously by university departments when evaluating prospective students for admission.

Honor Edward Said’s legacy by supporting BDS

Nada Elia on
Edward Said

September 25, 2016 marked the thirteenth anniversary of the passing of Professor Edward Said, one of the most influential intellectuals of the twentieth century, and a political icon for anyone invested in the Question of Palestine. And as happens with many historical icons, Said’s legacy is causing a tug-of-war between “liberal Zionists” on the one hand, and the thousands of anti-Zionist critics and BDS activists his radical scholarship and political engagement have spawned.

NYC city council anti-BDS bill meets resistance from protesters

Wilson Dizard on
Protesters outside the New York City Council meeting. (Photo: Samidoun)

The two sides of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement squared off in New York’s City Hall on Thursday, with BDS activists disrupting a hearing where city council members discussed a resolution condemning BDS. “New York City Council should stay out of the business of condemning non-violent human rights movements,” Radhika Sainath, staff attorney with Palestine Legal, said in a statement. “By passing this resolution, New York City Council will chill the speech of New Yorkers eager to be part of an international human rights movement.”

Dozens of Spanish cities declare themselves ‘Free of Israeli Apartheid’

Palestinian BDS National Committee on
Dozens of Spanish cities declaring themselves ‘Free of Israeli Apartheid’ (Graphic: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement )

Cadiz, provincial capital in the autonomous community of Andalusia in the Spanish state, has become the latest municipality to pass a motion supporting the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights and declaring itself an Israeli “Apartheid Free Zone”. Cadiz joins more than 50 cities and towns across the Spanish state which have voted to declare themselves spaces free from Israeli apartheid.

A new milestone: BDS at the Olympics

Nada Elia on
Islam El Shehaby refuses to shake Or Sasson's hand. (Photo: Getty images)

“I have no problem with Jewish people or any other religion or different beliefs. But for personal reasons, you can’t ask me to shake the hand of anyone from this state, especially in front of the whole world.” These words, spoken by an individual who has just engaged in a gesture of support for the Palestinian people, are a standard response to the accusation of anti-Semitism which is routinely hurled at pro-justice activists. Yet as Egyptian judoka Islam El-Shehaby uttered them last week in Brazil, they signified a new milestone: the sports boycott had arrived at the 2016 Olympic Games.

What the economic boycott of Israel can achieve

Nada Elia on
Palestinian fishermen hold banners in a protest to demand the boycott of the Israeli agricultural products, during the 10th annual Israeli Apartheid Week, at the seaport of Gaza City on March 16, 2014. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

Palestinian writer and activist Nada Elia responds to claims that an economic boycott of Israel is bound to fail: “BDS will never bankrupt Israel, and that is not necessary for it to achieve its goals: showing that the emperor has no clothes, and empowering justice-minded people everywhere to disengage from a hyper-militarized, violent rogue state, until it stops violating international law and the human rights of an oppressed people.”

NLRB upholds union’s right to support Israel boycott

Mondoweiss Editors on
Logo of the United Electrical Workers union (UE).

The National Labor Relations Board has reaffirmed its dismissal an unfair labor practice charge brought by an Israeli law firm against a U.S. union, the United Electrical Workers, over its support of protests against Israeli policies including the union’s endorsement of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) movement. UE National President Peter Knowlton said that UE in the past had “withstood attempts by the U.S. government to silence us during the McCarthy era in the 1950s,” and was “unbowed by the latest attempt of a surrogate of the Israeli government to stifle our call for justice for Palestinian and Israeli workers.”

BDS and Normalization: A Palestinian perspective

Haidar Eid on

Gaza-based activist and academic Haidar Eid responds to queries sent by some activists about international gatherings and conferences that are being organized to address BDS-related issues without acknowledging the Palestinian leadership of the movement.

BDS victory in Mennonite Church Canada

Rachelle Friesen on

The BDS Movement celebrated a victory at the Mennonite Church Canada Assembly this weekend in Saskatoon, with an overwhelming majority of delegates supporting a resolution on that encourages BDS. With 350 delegates in attendance only one person opposed the resolution.

BDS is a war Israel can’t win

Stanley Cohen on
Demonstration in Support of the Right to Boycott and BDS, Albany N.Y. June 15, 2016

The old narrative of a blameless Israel, fighting off Palestinian “terrorists”, is over. BDS will win because it is the brave and steady labour of people of conscience to move the stalled, bogus “peace process” forward by applying economic pressure, plain and simple.

Philadelphia expands date boycott during Ramadan 2016

Abbas Naqvi on
(Image: American Muslims for Palestine)

For a third consecutive year the Philadelphia Coalition for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel (Philly BDS) held its annual boycott of Israeli dates during the month of Ramadan, and this year successfully mobilized different businesses across the city to formally pledge not to serve nor buy Israeli date products that are in direct violation of international law.

Kuwait’s government pension divests from G4S following BDS pressure

Palestinian BDS National Committee on
Graphic: Boycott Israel Network

The Public Institution for Social Security (PIFSS) in Kuwait has decided, as reported in the Kuwaiti media, to divest its funds from G4S, a company that is profiting from the Israeli occupation and has a notorious record of human rights abuses. Guman Mussa, BDS Campaigns Coordinator in the Arab World, welcomed the new victory against G4S saying: “The decision of PIFSS in Kuwait to respond to a call made by Palestinian civil society and BDS Kuwait affirms that the Palestinian cause is part and parcel of the consciousness of the Kuwaiti people. Kuwait shines a glimmer of hope against normalization with Israel’s regime of occupation and settler-colonialism”.

BDS campaign hopes to take Israeli goods off Palestinian dinner tables during Ramadan

Sheren Khalel on
"Ramadan Tov" posters enourages consumers not to buy Israeli products during Ramadan. (Photo: Sheren Khalel/Mondoweiss)

The Boycott, Divest and Sanction campaign has made huge strides in the occupied West Bank over the past two years, but campaign organizers are no where near done. At the start of Ramadan, the campaign, partnered with several other local community and BDS initiatives across the occupied West Bank, set out with a mission: To get Israeli products off Ramadan dinner tables.

Facebook hires longtime Netanyahu adviser

Dorgham Abusalim on
Jordana Cutler (Photo: Twitter)

Jordana Cutler, who is currently the Chief of Staff at the Israeli embassy in Washington DC, and a longtime advisor to Netanyahu, has been named as head of policy and communications at Facebook’s Israel office. The appointment comes as the Israeli government has put pressure on the social network to monitor “incitement” and material critical of the country. Cutler’s position as a diplomatic government official suggests that her role will be to bring Facebook and the Israeli government closer together.

Viet Thanh Nguyen, 2016 Pulitzer Prize winner, endorses academic and cultural boycott of Israel

Mondoweiss Editors on
Viet Thanh Nguyen

Scholar and writer Viet Thanh Nguyen, 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction winner and associate professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, has endorsed BDS and the cultural and academic boycott of Israel in support of Palestinian rights. “Always remember, never forget. These powerful words compel us to think about both the injustices of the past and the injustices of the present. One of those contemporary injustices that we struggle to remember is the Israeli occupation and the deprivation of Palestinian rights. For any of us concerned with justice, the imperative is clear: we must stand with the disempowered and the forgotten against militarism and the state,” said Nguyen.

Local boycotts of G4S: Responding to the Orlando massacre

Kali Rubaii and Rochelle Gause on
Graphic: Boycott Israel Network

In the wake of the massacre at the Pulse nightclub, G4S stock prices fell as people learned that the Orlando shooter was an employee of the company. Kali Rubaii says it is a sign that the world sees the direct links between corporate profit and mass violence, and now is the time for policy change to stop unconditional support for the Security-Industrial Complex.

Wide-ranging coalition rallies in Albany to demand Cuomo rescind anti-BDS order

Jesse Rubin on
Activists call on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to rescind his recent anti-BDS executive order. (Photo: Jesse Rubin)

On Wednesday June 15, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent anti-BDS executive order galvanized a diverse coalition of nearly 200 —Palestine solidarity activists, civil liberties defenders, faith organizations, elected officials, antiwar groups and more—to travel from across the state to Albany on Wednesday to deliver a petition calling on Governor Cuomo to rescind the order. Mark Mishler, an activist with the Albany chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace, called Cuomo’s actions “frightening,” but marveled at the organized activist pushback. “What Governor Cuomo did is gave us all strength to come together,” Mishler told Mondoweiss. “Whether we all agree on everything or not, we certainly all agree that it is wrong for Governor Cuomo to think that he can silence people who are speaking up for human rights.”

Global Palestine – An Interview with Jeff Halper

David Kattenburg on
Jeff Halper (Photo: David Kattenburg)

In his new book War Against the People, Israeli-American writer-activist Jeff Halper argues that Israel has positioned itself as the preeminent vendor of hi-tech tools and tactics for waging “full spectrum” war, smashing “terrorist” entities, policing borders and internal ghettos, and “securitizing” restive populations — all combat-proven, under real-life conditions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and besieged, hopeless Gaza. In the global, post-9-11, permanent war economy, says Halper, Israel has parlayed its permanent subjugation of the Palestinian people into a huge competitive advantage — deeply attractive to powerful elites within the “core” and far off in the periphery.

Activists descend on Cuomo NYC office to defend right to boycott

Jesse Rubin on
(Photo: Jewish Voice for Peace)

Hundreds of protesters descended on New York State Governor Cuomo’s midtown Manhattan office on Thursday, June 9 to stand against state-sanctioned suppression of the right to boycott. Adalah NY, Jewish Voice for Peace and Jews Say No! organized an emergency response to Cuomo’s June 5 executive order attacking the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in the State of New York. Rani Allen, president of the Palestine Solidarity Alliance of Hunter College, called Cuomo’s decision “an act of retaliation.” “I think it’s a sign of our success,” Allen told Mondoweiss. “It’s a response based on fear of our movement which has been getting larger and larger with time.”