Category Archives:
BDS

The real free speech threat

Radhika Sainath on

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.

It happened! Cork conference overcomes academic censorship!

DeeDee Halleck on

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.”

In gratitude and hope: A message from Omar Barghouti

Omar Barghouti on

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.”

Sports and the Palestinian BDS Struggle (Part 3): Looking Ahead

Aubrey Bloomfield on

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.

UN agency labels Israel ‘apartheid regime’– and Israel likens organization to Nazis

Allison Deger on

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.

Legal organizations condemn anti-BDS bills fast-tracked in New York Senate

Palestine Legal on

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: ‘Racism and racial discrimination is the antithesis of freedom, justice and equality’

Palestinian BDS National Committee on

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.

Campus wars

Nada Elia on

Activists for Palestinian rights have long known that our universities are overwhelmingly hostile environments where freedom of speech about, and critical inquiry into, Israel’s oppressive policies are heavily censored. Over the past few weeks, two separate and noteworthy incidents have illustrated this heavy-handed approach.

BDS activists score a first victory in Ecuador

Palestinian BDS National Committee on

A Quito-based research institute — the International Center for Advanced Studies in Communications for Latin America (CIESPAL) — decided against renewing its contract with the British security company G4S after meeting with BDS activists who informed it about G4S’s complicity with Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights.

Sports and the Palestinian BDS struggle

Aubrey Bloomfield on

Despite considerable evidence to the contrary, the myth that sports and politics do not mix endures. There is a long history of repressive regimes using sports as a vehicle for normalization, just as there is a parallel history of activists using sports as a venue for political protest. Nowhere has this been more obvious than in the global campaign against Apartheid South Africa. Recently, sports have begun to play a small but steadily increasing role in the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that targets Israel for its ongoing violations of international law and Palestinian human rights.

Welcome to the resistance

Nada Elia on

From the grassroots to the upper levels of government, the national conversation today reflects a new development in the U.S. where resistance is widespread, diverse, and aboveground. As we march and strike to denounce this country’s multiple wrongs now is the time for an intentional revisiting of how we can organize to win. Nada Elia says the leadership of this new movement are the perfect leaders for this moment, “The leaders of national and transnational resistance movements are mostly young, overwhelmingly gender non-conforming women of color, with a critical understanding of violence encompassing intimate as well as institutional, state-sanctioned violence. It’s a leadership grounded in an experiential understanding of intersectionality.”

Despite fawning praise in press, Batsheva receives a cold welcome in Brooklyn for complicity in occupation

Jesse Rubin on

As the Batsheva Dance Company winds its way across North America, the media has clamored to laud the show on its artistic merits, glossing over the political implications of the group’s visit. However dozens of protestors welcomed the group to Brooklyn this weekend, calling attention to its role in the Brand Israel program which seeks to take attention away from the Israeli occupation.

Brooklyn protest to call for boycott of Israeli dance company

Adalah-NY on

On Saturday, February 4, New Yorkers will protest Batsheva Dance Company’s evening performance at Brooklyn Academy of Music due to their role as a cultural ambassador for the Israeli government. The protest will call for a boycott of Israeli cultural institutions like Batsheva that are complicit in Israel’s human rights violations.

Inside the ‘secret’ public-private partnership Israel is using to fight BDS

Hilary Aked on

Little is known about the “Global Coalition for Israel,” an effort by the Israeli government to bring together leaders of pro-Israel organizations from 25 different countries to fight BDS. But despite the semi-covert nature of the coalition’s project, which is now entering its seventh year, it is possible to piece together an understanding of its structure and aims from scraps of information online.