Shimrit Baer writes, “The territories occupied in 1967 have become the focus of international activism because every aspect of life is controlled by the occupier, there are walls and checkpoints, shootings and tear gassing of civilians, detentions without charge, child arrests, bulldozed houses and fields, military raids, unfit drinking water, humanitarian crises–“etc.” The strategic focus on West Bank colonial “settlements” is something that few question. Meanwhile, the placebos of power within the state are serving to inhibit significant internal/external pressures for historical redress. In the scheme of things, importance has to go to Zionist Space as an arena of change. Any civil rights activism without the conscious disruption of Zionist Space is only make-belief.”
Category Archives: BDS
Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi explores the roots of Puerto Rican-Palestinian solidarity, beginning with movements in the 1970s, “Palestinian Puerto Rican solidarity is extensive and includes various organizations and individuals in multiple locations and during different time periods. In Chicago for example, the solidarity expressed by the embrace of the two freed political prisoners, Rasmea Odeh and Oscar López Rivera goes back to the 1970s. The late Palestinian community leader Samir Odeh was instrumental in forging those ties of solidarity. In fact, leaders who accompanied Oscar López to the Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York remembered Samir as one of their comrades from “back in the days.” In New York, even before Palestinian and Arab students began to organize themselves within the Organization of Arab Students (OAS), the Young Lords Party had already declared support for the Palestinian anti-colonial struggle. During the 2011 delegation to Palestine in which Angela Davis participated, former Young Lords Party and Puerto Rican Student Union member and long-time anti-war and trade union organizer Jaime Veve, recalled how, as a young student involved in the Oceanhill-Brownsville struggle for community control, he had two posters on his wall, Angela Davis and Leila Khaled.”
On Monday June 12, 2017, Palestinian Christians of the National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine issued an open letter to the World Council of Churches ahead of their upcoming gathering in occupied Bethlehem, “We need you and we need you now more than ever. We need your costly solidarity. We need brave women and men who are willing to stand in the forefront. This is no time for shallow diplomacy Christians…Things are beyond urgent.”
Westchester County legislative committee passes a resolution describing BDS as a campaign to “malign the Jewish people,” by a 12-1 vote despite efforts of human rights activists. Sole holdout is Alfreda Williams. “It’s a lost cause, perhaps, but in my experience, most good causes begin as lost,” writes Priscilla Read.
Badia Dwaik, the Palestinian coordinator of Human Rights Defenders Group along with several others from the Hebron-based Palestinian organization Dismantle the Ghetto, were invited to the home of Mufeed Sharabati for the first meal after sundown during the Ramadan month. In typical iftar fashion, a full spread was packed up by Dwaik and company including a large maqloube, a Palestinian meal of rice, vegetables, and chicken that is flipped upside down from a cooking pot when it’s ready to serve—maqloube literally means “upside down” in Arabic.
Yet the iftar dinner among friends grew complicated when Dwaik and the others were denied entry through the Hebron checkpoint that divides the city in two—the maqloube was also not allowed through the checkpoint.
There has been much talk about 2017 as the 50th anniversary since Israel occupied the Palestinian Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem. But the 50th anniversary can only be understood within a broader context of other key anniversaries this year. 2017 marks: 100 years since the Nov. 2, 1917 Balfour Declaration; 70 years since the UN’s Nov. 29, 1947 partition allotting 54% of historic Palestine for a Jewish state; 50 years since Israel occupied all remaining Palestinian lands June 5-10, 1967; and 10 years since Israel made permanent a crippling blockade of the Gaza Strip on June 15, 2007, creating an open-air prison subject to monstrous bombing to further Israel’s containment and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.
“The solidarity between Black and Palestinian people internationally is rooted in a profound historical framework, one of shared struggles and collective identities that push us to challenge notions of international solidarity,” writes activist and writer Devyn Springer.
Shimrit Baer writes that Zionism should be resisted by non-Zionists: “The non-Zionist class/caste can and should be an agent for change. In this the non-Zionist class/caste must draw lessons from discourses elsewhere, for example from pan-African movements in South Africa and elsewhere, where spatial reform is seen as a prerequisite to equal rights, power, and self-determination.”
The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee commemorates the 69th Anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba: “No iron wall of theirs can suppress or overshadow the rising sun of our emancipation.”
Today, the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions, representing close to one million workers, endorsed a full boycott of Israel to achieve Palestinian rights under international law. The federation is the largest and most influential umbrella organization of labor unions in Norway.
Throughout the month of May, members of the Modern Language Association will be voting on a resolution which seeks to ban the association from endorsing of the Palestinian call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. During the 1980s, to its undying disgrace, the MLA rejected a resolution that would have supported the divestment and boycott movement against South African apartheid. In this essay, formerly South African scholar and MLA member Derek Attridge affirms the value of academic boycott in that struggle and points to the connections between the South African divestment campaign and the current BDS campaign.
Why I chose to avoid Gilad Atzmon’s questions about a Jewish global conspiracy. Like this one: “Can you imagine a peace loving Jewish political existence?”
Artists for Palestine UK send an open letter to the rock band Radiohead about their upcoming concert in Tel Aviv: “Please do what artists did in South Africa’s era of oppression: stay away, until apartheid is over.”
Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb interviews advocates for nonviolent peacemaking between Jews and Palestinians in the Holy Land, Israeli Dr. Yoav Litvin and Palestinian Sami Awad. Gottlieb says, “People who resist the systemic violence of Israeli Occupation in Palestine and Israel have a lot to teach us about building nonviolent movements for justice and social change under extremely challenging conditions.”
Monday, April 10, 2017, marked a significant victory for social justice activism in the state of Maryland. After a vigorous and well-organized campaign, legislation targeting the BDS movement was roundly defeated for the third time in four years. Kim Jensen talks to the activists who went up against powerful outspoken anti-BDS advocates like Dennis Ross, Governor Larry Hogan, and Senator Ben Cardin and won.
Omar Barghouti, a leader of the BDS movement, will travel to New Haven Sunday April 23 to receive a Gandhi peace award. The trip was in doubt because Barghouti was under a travel ban. A judge suspended that ban to allow him to come.
Radhika Sainath of Palestine Legal: “There’s a lot of writing these days about the Left being oversensitive crybabies that can’t handle free speech. Students shutting down racists like Milo Yiannopoulos and Charles Murray at the University of California Berkeley and Middlebury in Vermont made headlines in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CNN, and Fox News.” But Sainath argues the real forces with the most successes in shutting down free speech do not come from the Left, but far-right Zionist organizations that have pressured universities into firing employees and changing curriculums.
After three years of cancellation after cancellation the “International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism” conference finally takes place in Cork Ireland. DeeDee Halleck writes, “For many of the attendees, the timing this spring couldn’t have been better. The ascendancy of the right wing in Europe and the United States and the recent vociferous reactions to the UN report by Richard Falk and Virginia Tilley made the discussions all the more timely and necessary. The warm Irish welcome was such that the first two days were actually held in the atrium auditorium of Cork’s City Hall. The sessions were packed at both City Hall and the Sunday session at the University of Cork. Although there was security hired by conference organizers, there were no violent incidents, nor even any sustained complaints from the audience. The only sustained reactions were the enthusiastic applause outbursts whenever the courage and persistence of the conference organizers was mentioned.”
On Friday, in a partial victory for the American Studies Association, a district court in Washington D.C. dismissed plaintiffs’ claim that the organization operated beyond its corporate charter by passing a resolution endorsing the academic boycott of Israel in 2013.
BDS movement co-founder Omar Barghouti writes a letter to supporters after being arrested by Israeli authorities on charges of tax evasion. Barghouti says the arrest is part of a government-led attack on the BDS movement: “Many of you have asked how best you can support me to face this latest persecution. My answer is, without hesitation … more BDS! We need to expand, mainstream and build on our many inspiring BDS campaigns, academic, cultural and economic, as the most effective way to respond to the new McCarthyism designed by Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid and exported to states where its lobby groups enjoy massive influence. Further growing our movement for freedom, justice and equality is the answer.”
A “game-changer,” that is how the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), a national coalition of groups that advocates for Palestinian rights, described the decision by six National Football League (NFL) players to boycott an Israeli government-sponsored propaganda trip. Only time will tell if this is truly a game-changer, but it certainly represents a significant boost both for the profile of sports boycotts within BDS and for the Palestinian struggle within the sports world, particularly in the United States.
A United Nations agency today labeled Israel an “apartheid regime,” in a report where the country was said to be guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt” of the “grave charge” of operating systematic discrimination and oppression against the Palestinian people.
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) who published the document, “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian, People and the Question of Apartheid,”[PDF] is mandated to review Israeli aggressions.
A wide coalition of Palestinian and international organizations denounced FIFA president Gianni Infantino’s failure to compel Israel’s national football league to exclude six football teams based in illegal Israeli settlements and called for the dissolution of the FIFA Monitoring Committee Israel-Palestine.
On March 8, three anti-BDS bills were fast-tracked out of committee and passed without debate by the New York State Senate. Palestine Legal and the Center for Constitutional Rights oppose the move saying: “These bills are blatantly unconstitutional attacks on First Amendment rights to protest and dissent. They resurrect widely-condemned tactics used to undermine democracy: creating McCarthyite blacklists, punishing dissent, attacking academic freedom, and cracking down on student organizing.”
BDS movement: The global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for freedom, justice and equality of the Palestinian people is an inclusive, nonviolent human rights movement that rejects all forms of racism and racial discrimination. The principles of the BDS movement call for proactive solidarity with oppressed communities worldwide and with all the victims of racist acts and rhetoric, as ours is a common cause.