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BDS Victories: Online retailer drops Ahava; Kuwait boycotts companies with settlement ties

Adam Horowitz on

Two victories on the BDS front that show the Israeli settlements in the West Bank are increasingly considered beyond the pale in the U.S. and international community. Online shopping site GILT has dropped Ahava cosmetics and the government of Kuwait has announced “it will not deal with 50 companies due to their role in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.”

Resistance is our duty, too

Marc H. Ellis on
Gideon Levy

Gideon Levy says Palestinians have a duty to resist occupation, and Marc Ellis says American Jews have a duty to resist the American Jewish Zionist establishment, too, in what is a historical opening

Shaking the campus from the US to Palestine

Kristian Davis Bailey on
The Palestine contingent at Ferguson October. (Photo: Twitter/@nashalam)

This weekend, Kristian Davis Bailey will be one of hundreds of Students for Justice in Palestine organizers in Boston for its 2014 national conference. He writes: “Our theme this year is “Beyond Solidarity: Resisting Racism and Colonialism from the US to Palestine.” The theme reflects our understanding that the struggles of people under these systems are deeply connected, and that our everyday work to support Palestinian self-determination and full human rights should bolster local communities facing similar issues of dispossession, discrimination, and occupation. The urgency of Israel’s deadly assault on Gaza, high-profile police killings of black people, and child refugees along our southern border formed the impetus for this year’s conference.”

Why we are blocking the boat

Lara Kiswani on
Protesters at the port of Oakland. (Photo: Block the Boat Coalition)

Lara Kiswani writes about the rationale behind the Block the Boat movement: “Because it’s time to disrupt Israeli business as usual. It has been time since 1948. And the summer of 2014 only served us a reminder to the world that the Palestinian struggle for liberation is calling on us to join them in their fight to end colonialism.”

SJP and the impossible dream

Hani Azzam on

Hani Azzam reflects on his time with the Tufts chapter of Students for Justice Palestine ahead of the national SJP conference that will be held at Tufts this weekend.

Feminist scholars call on Obama to drop the torture-based charges against Rasmea Odeh

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US Department of Justice alleges that the feminist leader Rasmea Odeh failed to disclose on her naturalization application that she had served time in Israeli jail. But that sentence was based on a confession she made 49 years ago during torture. She faces 10 years in US prison. 124 feminist scholars call on Obama to drop the charges.

Academic institutions that violate academic freedom deserve to be boycotted

Isaiah Silver on
Protesters hold signs during the University of Illinois faculty senate meeting at the Illini Union Ballroom in Urbana on Monday, September 22 , 2014. (Photo: Robin Scholz/The News-Gazette)

Opponents of the academic boycott like to pretend that BDS supporters target Israeli universities for crimes that are beyond their control. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. As long as Israeli academic institutions participate in the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory, discriminate against Palestinian students, and punish those who would dissent, they too must be boycotted. Academic freedom must apply to all. When an institution – be it the University of Illinois or the Israeli university system – blatantly violates this principle, it is not only our right but it is the duty of all who believe in academic freedom to pressure these institutions to uphold the basic ethics of any scholarly institution. Doing so is a defense of, not an attack on, academic freedom

Junot Díaz comes out in support of the academic and cultural boycott of Israel

Adam Horowitz on

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz has come out in support of the academic and cultural boycott of Israel. He said in a statement: “If there exists a moral arc to the universe, then Palestine will eventually be free. But that promised day will never arrive unless we, the justice-minded peoples of our world, fight to end the cruel blight of the Israeli occupation. Our political, religious and economic leaders have always been awesome at leading our world into conflict, only we the people alone with little else but our courage and our solidarities and our invincible hope can lead our world into peace.”

ASA: Israeli scholars welcomed to attend annual conference but association has not changed stance on academic boycott

Mondoweiss Editors on
ASA logo tiff (1) copy

From an American Studies Association press release: “In recent days, several erroneous reports have circulated claiming that the American Studies Association (ASA), the nation’s oldest and largest association devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history, will bar Israeli academics from participating at our upcoming annual conference in Los Angeles, November 6-9. This allegation is false. There will not be discrimination of any sort against anyone. Subsequent reports also stated, erroneously, that the ASA had changed our policy regarding support for the academic boycott. We have not.”

Chomsky at 85

Marc H. Ellis on
noam chomsky

Marc Ellis comments on Noam Chomsky’s recent appearance at the United Nations

The Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ passes divestment resolution

Annie Robbins on
IDF Caterpillar D9R armored bulldozer with cage armor and FN MAG 7.62mm machine gun (Photo: Wikimedia)

More great news for BDS. 400 delegates at the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ (CTUCC), representing 240 churches and 97,000 members throughout the state of Connecticut, voted to divest from all companies “profiting from the occupation of the Palestine Territories by the State of Israel” at their 147th annual statewide conference on Friday

California leads the way in the ‘Block the Boat’ movement

Ben Norton on
Block the Boat LA activists (Photo: Facebook)

A new phase is developing in the US Palestinian solidarity movement: Block the Boat. The weekend of October 18th, Palestinian solidarity activists in Los Angeles will be holding another Block the Boat action. Block the Boat Los Angeles is organizing a community picket at 6 am at the intersection of Pier A Way and Pier A Plaza, on Long Beach, to prevent a Zim ship from unloading. Organizers say their principal goal is to stop ships “from unloading cargo made in Israel in an effort to peacefully apply economic pressure and fight Israeli Apartheid.”

‘Do not plan our expulsion!': Activists protest Palestinian businesses involved in Bedouin relocation plan

Stop the Wall on
(Map: UN OCHA)

The Israeli policies to ethnically cleanse the Palestinian Bedouin communities from the Jordan Valley and the area east of Jerusalem include the construction of three apartheid-style townships. Once expelled, these communities should be relocated there. However, in the last weeks Palestinian campaigners and Bedouin communities have made great advances to obstruct this plan: They have directly targeted the companies involved in the construction of the two townships currently being developed

Help break the blockade and clothe Gaza’s children this winter

Donna Baranski-Walker on
Neighbors found Rebuilding Alliance's request on and and came to help. (Photo: Debbi Vasquez)

This past month, Rebuilding Alliance’s office in San Mateo filled with thousands of bags of gently-used clothes, shoes, and bedding for those in Gaza who lost everything. A hundred volunteers — all faiths and backgrounds — sorted and packed over 600 boxes. Albayk Restaurant donated lunch each day and Home Depot discounted tape and boxes. The United Nations is helping Rebuilding Alliance get this first shipping container into Gaza for delivery to the Al Basma Club for the Disabled (ABCD). ABCD is the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organization in Gaza City who will distribute to the families who need it most

Katie Miranda’s ‘tele-summit’ for Palestinian freedom

Katie Miranda on
Phil Weiss cartoon, by Katie Miranda

Katie Miranda introduces a “tele-summit” for action on Palestine: Huge shifts are happening in the struggle for Palestinian self-determination. If you’re ready to hear new ideas that will help invigorate the struggle, I invite you to join the Palestine Solidarity Telesummit