Human rights advocates welcome the decision by PEN America to hold the World Voices Festival of International Literature without funding from the Israeli government.
Category Archives: BDS
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.
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.
Finally, after lying through their teeth that they have “defeated” or “buried” the BDS movement, Israel’s far-right government and its lobby groups in the west are now admitting that they have failed to stop the impressive growth of the BDS movement.
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.”
In response to an email threatening Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Immigrants, Black Lives Matter and LGBT groups, Students for Justice in Palestine demands that NYU President Andrew Hamilton voice his unequivocal opposition to such threats and investigate the email.
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.
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.
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.
Batsheva Dance Company of Israel is on a North American tour. More than a dozen activist organizations call for boycotting its performances unless it ceases its role as an ambassador for the Israeli government and condemns Israeli human rights violations.
David Lloyd, a founding member of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, reflects on the failure of the Modern Language Association to endorse a boycott of Israeli academic institutions: “What was all too clear was that the right to academic freedom does not really extend beyond the boundaries of a quite narrowly defined Western academy, of which Israel’s academy is an honorary member.”
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Lebanon has ended its contract with the world’s largest security company, G4S, following a boycott campaign by activists in the country and across the world over the company’s role in Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights.
The Brandeis Center has sent a letter to the Modern Language Association threatening a lawsuit if the Association passes the resolution to endorse the Palestinian call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. The threatened lawsuit would be frivolous and unlikely to pass muster, but the threat itself is hardly a surprise. On the contrary, it is an index of the growing success of the boycott movement in changing public understanding of Israel’s ongoing violations of international law and human rights.
Last night the Peace United Church of Christ in Santa Cruz, CA voted to refrain from buying Hewlett-Packard (HP) products until HP companies cease to profit from Israel’s violation of Palestinian human rights. The congregation made the move as part of the HP-Free Churches campaign initiated by the Friends of Sabeel North America.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Jordan has dropped its contracts with the world’s largest security firm, occupation profiteer G4S, following an ongoing BDS campaign over the firm’s role in Israel’s violations of human rights.
The steady growth of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian freedom has been met by a wave legislation aimed at punishing or suppressing our 1st amendment rights to free speech and silencing student activism. The latest of these bills is the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, introduced yesterday by U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Tim Scott (R-SC), which redefines anti-Semitism to include criticism of Israel.
In October of 2015, a Florida State Senator from Miami, Dwight Bullard, voted against a measure to blacklist companies that endorse BDS. DNC chairwoman and member of Congress, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, told Senator Bullard that his political future was over and top donors to the Florida Democratic Party called Bullard personally and threatened their support for him and the Democratic Party because of his position on the BDS blacklist measure. Senator Bullard eventually lost his reelection campaign earlier this month, after being labeled a “terrorist sympathizer” by media outlets, pro-Israel groups, and by both his Democratic primary opponent and then his Republican general election opponent.
This week an international alliance of Palestine solidarity and social justice activists begins a coordinated week of actions across the globe that targets occupation profiteer Hewlett-Packard (HP). The Global BDS Week of Action against HP companies- taking place from November 25th through December 3rd, with more than 90 actions planned on six continents- is believed to be the largest coordinated set of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activities since the call for BDS was issued by Palestinian civil society in 2005.
A call for boycott of the Israeli settlements by liberal Zionists including Michael Walzer, Peter Beinart, and Kai Bird in the New York Review of Books shatters a traditional taboo on such measures; and we should do everything to foster this debate and point out the limitations of actions that don’t target the state that promotes these settlements.
Renen Raz, a prominent Israeli activist known as a defender and advocate for the rights of Palestinians and promoter of the BDS movement, died at the age of 28 over the weekend.
His friends said he suffered from brain cancer.
Kenneth Marcus, an Israel supporter, refused to share a stage at a Bard College conference on free speech with Dima Khalidi, president of Palestine Legal, and likened the organization’s positions to Holocaust denial and the stereotype of Jews that their breath stinks. He was apparently referring to the group’s protection of speech in favor of BDS.
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.
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 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.