Last week, the Mennonites passed a historic BDS resolution regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The thrust of the resolution focuses on adopting a “third way” in Israel-Palestine, meaning a dual solidarity with Palestinians and Jews. Marc Ellis writes, “The question must be faced: Do these BDS resolutions, as important as they are symbolically, actually, because of their limitations, enable the further conquest of Palestine? The interfaith ecumenical dialogue/deal has always been contextual. As times have changed the details of the dialogue/deal have changed as well. The dual solidarity with Jews and Palestinians seems to be the devil in the details. While moving forward, Christians want it both ways.”
Category Archives: BDS
At the annual Mennonite Church USA assembly in Orlando, FL, the religious denomination voted in favor of “withdrawing investments from companies that are profiting from the occupation,” with an overwhelming 98 percent of delegates voting in favor.
This year, for the first time, Vermonters for Justice in Palestine (VTJP) organized a band of members to march in the annual, Independence Day parade in Montpelier, Vermont and they released their own Declaration of Independence.
Over 60 theater artists signed a letter asking the Lincoln Center to say no to “brand Israel” and cancel performances sponsored by the Israeli government.
Amith Gupta reports on the accusations of anti-Semitism made against the Chicago Dyke March: Many Jews paraded with religious symbols, only three combative pro-Israel advocates were asked to leave.
Jesse Rubin reports on the latest break in virtual pro-Israel advocacy, an online hasbara app that Israel’s strategic affairs minister calls the “Iron Dome of Truth”: “Combining military-language with an advanced technology sector—two things which Israel prides itself on—users can choose from a long list of ‘missions’ and receive points upon completion. The tasks can be as simple as liking a Facebook page called ‘Uncovering Bias and Real Human Rights Abuses at the UN’ or sharing a tweeted photo of Mariah Carey landing in Israel.”
Jewish-identified organizations back the Chicago Dyke March in their decision to ask three Zionist marchers to leave. They waved rainbow flags with the Star of David, similar to the Israeli flag, during the annual protest.
“When I go home to Palestine, the Israelis don’t see me as LGBTQ; they see me as a Palestinian–and they’re really racist about it,” says Izzadine Mustafa in an interview with Susie Day.
A loud and festive protest against the Israeli occupation of al-Quds, also known as Jerusalem, convened in Times Square on Friday, June 23, 2017.
Israeli musicians write an open letter to Radiohead’s Thom Yorke asking him to honor the Palestinian BDS call and cancel the band’s upcoming concert in Israel: “Israel is increasingly notorious for being a place that forward-thinking artists who care about equality and freedom want little to do with. We are confident that this reality will contribute to moving the Israeli government to change its unjust policies, and help convince companies to divest from Israel, just as they did in apartheid South Africa. Canceling your show will disrupt the ‘business as usual’ facade that international performances in Israel perpetuate. Please reconsider violating the Palestinian call for boycott.”
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.”
“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,” writes Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi.
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.
When Israeli soldiers prevented Palestinian dinner guests from crossing a checkpoint that separates downtown Hebron from the rest of the West Bank city on Monday, the group laid their home-cooked dishes on the pavement and held an iftar at 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.”
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.”
Norway’s largest trade union, representing one million workers, endorses boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.
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.