Devyn Springer reflects on the legacy of Black activists in the South organizing in solidarity with Palestinians: “No, solidarity organizing for Palestinians is not contained to the South. In fact, this organizing likely occurs across the country at varying rates probably higher in other places. However, the South has a legacy that cannot be ignored in this fight; one that is being reckoned with, actualized, and drawn upon as political and emotional spectacle to form its new movement for Palestine.”
Category Archives: BDS
Former MLA President Margaret Ferguson has resigned from the organization following passage of a resolution banning further debate over the academic boycott of Israel. Ferguson writes, “My experience in Israel-Palestine is one of the many reasons I am giving up my membership in an organization I have participated in and learned from for over 40 years—long enough to acquire the privileges of “life membership.” Those privileges are now a burden to me.”
The First Amendment and organizers of a year-long campaign to uphold the right to boycott won an important victory in Massachusetts when the state legislative committee considering an “anti-BDS” bill refused to advance it to the floor, ending its chances of being passed this session. Here’s how grassroots organizing beat the bill.
Norwegian parliamentarian Bjørnar Moxnes officially nominated the BDS movement for Palestinian rights for a Nobel Peace Prize. He did so with the support of his party, the progressive Rødt (Red) Party, explaining why BDS “should be supported without reservation by all democratically-minded people and states.”
An Israeli ‘legal rights group’ said Wednesday it is suing two New Zealanders for “moral and emotional injury” after they allegedly convinced the pop singer Lorde to cancel her performance in Israel. The lawsuit appears to be the first filed under a contentious Israeli anti-boycott law.
Granted an op-ed in the New York Times to spread distortions and lies regarding Israel’s critics, the country’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett attempts to whitewash the recent Israeli ban against BDS activist groups, by demonizing them as “enemy soldiers” and slyly comparing them to those who “helped Nazi Germany.”
After pressure from local pro-Israel organizations, the New Orleans City Council yesterday voted unanimously to rescind a human rights resolution that the body passed exactly two weeks ago. “The hoods are off. We see the way Zionist organizations like the Anti-Defamation League and Jewish Federation are willing to kill a human rights resolution and undermine entire movements to protect Israel,” Anna Baltzer, Director of Organizing and Advocacy with the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, said.
On Monday the Central Council of the PLO, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, officially announced its support for the BDS movement and called, for the first time, on the international community to “impose sanctions on Israel” to end its ongoing, grave violations of Palestinian rights as stipulated by international law. This marks the most explicit and official adoption of the BDS movement by the PLO.
After backlash to the New Orleans City Council resolution in support of human rights, which was pushed by Palestinian solidarity activists, Councilmember-At-Large Jason Williams who voted in support of the resolution stopped discussing parallels between South Africa during Apartheid and Israel.
Israel has long labored to convince its allies that the BDS movement is anti-Semitic, but Nada Elia says the new entry ban reveals Israel’s true concern: “Ultimately, the oddly selective blacklist is not about protecting Israel from anti-Semitic attacks, it is about defending it from the one strategy, BDS, that seems to be working. Shunning the charade of ‘talks’ and ‘process,’ BDS has exposed the racist ideology at the very heart of Zionism, allowed the Palestine solidarity movement to build global alliances and enabled individuals to enact their solidarity in concrete ways that have secured many victories, big and small. No blacklist banning entry into Israel can stop this.”
Israel issued a blacklist of 20 organizations that support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Among those barred entry are Code Pink, AFSC, American Muslims for Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace. “We wear this designation as a badge of honor,” said Yousef Munayyer of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights.
Nada Elia says that when the singer Lorde decided to cancel her concert in Tel Aviv she was not caving to BDS pressure, she was rising to the occasion.
The pop singer Lorde announced on Sunday that she would be canceling her June 5th performance in Tel Aviv after pressure from the Palestinian BDS movement. “I had done a lot of reading and sought a lot of opinions before deciding to book a show in Tel Aviv, but I’m not too proud to admit I didn’t make the right call on this one,” the singer wrote on social media explaining her decision.
Today, the overwhelming majority of the world’s nations at the UN General Assembly voted 128-9 in favor of a resolution calling on the United States to overturn its decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Omar Barghouti, speaking on behalf of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), responded by saying: “This vote is further proof that the far-right Israeli-Trump alliance is more isolated than ever as the overwhelming majority of nations are finally recognizing its fatal attempt to undermine both Palestinian rights and the very rule of international law. Holding Israel accountable for its egregious, decades-old human rights violations is crucial to upholding both.”
LA Jews for Peace’s Jeff Warner and Dick Platkin make the case that now is the time to advocate for U.S. sanctions on Israel: “a December 2016 Brookings public opinion poll reveals that nearly half of the U.S. public supports sanctions on Israel – including a majority of self-identifying Democrats. This increased support for U.S. government sanctions indicates that now is the time for political groups committed to a just resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict to lead public opinion, not follow or ignore it.”
Just before Massachusetts state lawmakers are to vote on an anti-BDS bill, 13 of them were whisked away on an all-expenses paid trip to Israel by a group that is lobbying for the legislation. “The trip is disturbing on many levels,” states Elsa Auerbach of JVP Boston. “First, of course, no public official who is considering a piece of legislation should accept an all-expense paid trip from the very lobbying group that has written the legislation.”
We must translate all this anger worldwide over Trump’s Jerusalem announcement into a plan of action, writes Haidar Eid. It is time to get rid of the racist two state solution, renounce the Oslo Accords, and come up with a democratic alternative. We must use BDS, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions as the leading torch towards peace with justice in Palestine.
Cycling fans around the world were shocked by the news in September that the first of the three great annual bike races– the Giro d’Italia, which kicks off in May — would start in occupied Jerusalem. A coalition of 120 groups, joined by Noam Chomsky and Richard Falk, are calling on the Giro to move the start, saying that it is an effort to mask Israel’s human rights record and clean up its international image on its 70th birthday.
The BDS Gulf conference, which was welcomed by the speaker of the Kuwaiti parliament and attended by a number of parliamentarians from several GCC countries, called for the adoption of national laws and regulations that would require private entities and public institutions alike to exclude companies complicit in Israel’s regime of occupation, colonialism and apartheid from bids and contracts.
Ron Brummer from Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Hasbara, recently confirmed that there is no separate economic system for Israel inside the occupation and outside it. “If you want to divest from the West Bank… you have to divest from Israel.” This is clarifying. Liberal Zionists who have supported settlement boycotts only need to choose sides. Are they for freedom or apartheid?
Brisbane musicians rework Nick Cave’s classic ballad “The Ship Song” to call on him to cancel his upcoming shows in Israel and respect the Palestinian picket line. #BDS
In 2014 when nine activists climbed onto the roof of the Elbit UK drone factory to protest the Israeli war on Gaza, Nick Cave’s support helped spread the news of their protest. Now, those same nine activists write Cave to ask him to support the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions and to cancel his upcoming show in Israel.
Israeli musicians write Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds to ask them to cancel their upcoming show in Israel: “Israel prides itself for being tolerant and culturally open, but in fact uses culture to limit divergent narratives and voices, and to whitewash its crimes. When performing in Israel one should always remember that they play in a country that discriminates huge populations of invisible people that have no citizenship and no freedom of movement, and are subject to a separate (military) court system. When performing in Israel one should always remember that they play only in front of the privileged. By choosing not to perform you can send them a strong message.”
Musicians Roger Waters, Thurston Moore and Tunde Adebimpe, poet Michael Rosen, philosopher Judith Butler and political activist Angela Davis are among many high profile figures who have called on Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds to cancel their concerts in Tel Aviv on November 19 and 20 this year.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed an executive order Monday barring state business with those who support BDS. Saqib Ali, co-founder of Freedom2Boycott and a former Maryland state legislator, said Monday’s executive order shows the hubris of staunchly pro-Israel voices and their disregard for democratic institutions. “You don’t have to be somebody who pays close attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to be outraged by this,” Ali told Mondoweiss.