Category Archives:
Activism

Where is the antiwar movement?

Alex Kane on
Protesters from CODEPINK interrupted a hearing on the war against ISIS. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The last time President Obama said he intended to strike Syria, anti-war sentiment surged in the U.S. But this year, as airstrikes against the Islamic State continue to pound targets in Iraq and Syria, the anti-war movement is facing a different battle. Organizers are struggling to gain traction in the face of headwinds that include fear over the Islamic State, a media incessantly broadcasting news of ISIS atrocities and the loss of one obvious leverage point: Congress

Israeli rightists wave ISIS-style flags in protest of African asylum-seekers

Allison Deger on
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Israelis hoisted an ISIS-inspired black and white flag in an anti-African march in Tel Aviv today, to protest a recent court ruling that rendered illegal a desert detention facility where African asylum seekers are being held without charge, reports Simone Wilson of the Jewish Journa

‘Tip of the BDS iceberg': Kuwait excludes Veolia from $750m contract

Palestinian BDS National Committee on
Anti-Veolia graffitti

The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) warmly welcomes the decision by the Kuwait City Municipality exclude the French company Veolia from a huge solid waste management contract, valued at $750 million, citing the BNC appeal to that affect. Basing its decision on Veolia’s complicity in Israeli projects that violate international law, the municipality also decided to exclude Veolia from “all future projects.”

‘Jews Against Genocide’ take the blood bucket challenge at Yad Vashem

Kelly Lynn on
JAG activist Neta Golan recites a memorial statement in front of Yad Vashem, Jerusalem's holocaust museum after dowsing herself in fake blood. (Photo: Kelly Lynn)

Activists from Jews Against Genocide have released a video compilation depicting their version of the Blood Bucket Challenge, an extreme spin on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which flooded Facebook feeds for the last three months. Originally conceived by Ohio University student senate president Megan Marzec, who received a barrage of death and rape threats following the release of her video, activists poured buckets of fake blood over themselves after reciting “we remember…,” statements in memorial of the more than 2,100 Palestinians killed in the last Israeli assault on Gaza. The activists filmed themselves in front of Yad Vashem, the holocaust museum in West Jerusalem, the US embassy in Tel Aviv, the Israeli Supreme Court in Jerusalem, the Israeli military radio station in Tel Aviv, and the Knesset, Israel’s parliament building in Jerusalem

Why is the United Nations doing business with G4S, notorious prison supplier?

Kali Rubaii for Friends of Sabeel—North America on
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In early September, I accompanied an Iraqi friend to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees office in Amman, Jordan to help register him officially as a refugee. There was a G4S logo on the gate attendant’s shirt. And G4S all over the compound. Why is the British company that serves Israeli prisons a UN contractor?

Champaign-Urbana holds Rosh Hashanah service for Professor Salaita

Samantha Brotman on
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CHAMPAIGN – A group of students, faculty and community members from Champaign-Urbana gathered Thursday to observe the Jewish ritual of Tashlich. Tashlich takes place during Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and involves a symbolic casting off of sins through the tossing of pebbles or bread crumbs into a natural body of water. In this

Ads Against Apartheid comes to Chicago’s south side

Annie Robbins on
Ads Against Apartheid billboard Chicago

A war of ads has begun over Palestine between Pam Geller’s Islamophobic group and Ads Against Apartheid, which asks a simple question: “When a country steals land does it really want peace? Freedom for Palestine now.”

‘Blood on their hands': Glasgow activists shut down drone manufacturer

Annie Robbins on
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Activists from Scotland’s Glasgow Palestine Action scaled their way inside the perimeter fence of a Thales UK factory in Govan, Glasgow in the early hours of the morning Tuesday, blockaded multiple entrances, climbed onto the roof top and shut down the weapons manufacture for the day protesting the companies collaboration with Israeli defense behemoth Elbit Systems, currently producing ‘Watchkeeper’ drones for the Israeli military

The pinkwashing of ‘Out in the Dark’

Brady Forrest on
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Almost every year on college campuses it happens, the queer Jewish student group or the pro-Israel student group hosts a showing of an Israeli movie featuring two gay men, one Palestinian and one Israeli. The movie isn’t political, it’s about love triumphing over all. The most recent of these movie is Out in the Dark, directed by Michael Mayer, an Israeli based out of Los Angeles who also co-wrote the the script with Yael Shafrir

Jewish students, faculty and staff at the University of Illinois continue to stand in solidarity with Steven Salaita

Samantha Brotman on
Steven Salaita speaking at the University of Illinois, September 9, 2014. (Photo: Facebook)

Following the firing of Steven Salaita from his position at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), a group of Jewish faculty, students, staff, alumni, and community members from UIUC issued a letter to Chancellor Phyllis Wise and the Board of Trustees. Now, the Jewish students, faculty and staff of UIUC who stand in solidarity with Steven Salaita seek support in reemphasizing and strengthening their message to the university administration

Russell Tribunal on Palestine: Delegitmisation of Israeli apartheid has to happen in the courtroom too

Ewa Jasiewicz on
London session of the Russel Tribunal on Palestine in November 2010 which explored. ”Corporate Complicity in Israel’s violations in international human rights law and international humanitarian law”. (Photo: Kristian Buus/Russel Tribunal)

The Russell Tribunal will be holding a Special Session in Brussels starting tomorrow on examining the crime of genocide in Gaza. Ewa Jasiewicz writes: “Delegitimization of Israeli apartheid and colonialism doesn’t just happen on the streets, in classrooms, at the check-out or in boardrooms. It’s got to happen in the courtroom too. One of the only breaks on Israeli officials’ sense of impunity, unaccountability, and untouchability, is the threat of international law actually being used as it should be, by citizens and lawyers, to mobilise justice for the victims of Israeli violations. Israel calls it ‘lawfare’ and sees it as an attack on its’ freedom to ‘defend’ itself by any and all means necessary; we call it lawfare too, a weapon in resisting the degradation of human lives to the point that they become expendable; inevitable collateral damage under a logic of the powerful emboldened to do whatever, to whoever, whenever they want

Leading writers and editors protest Israeli sponsorship of Brooklyn book festival

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Junot Diaz, Elif Batuman, Ahdaf Soueif, Seth Tobocman, Anthony Arnove, Amit Chaudhuri, Sarah Schulman, Remi Kanazi and Astra Taylor among those writers and editors protesting Brooklyn Book Festival’s funding from the Israeli government just weeks after Israel’s bloody 50-day assault on the Gaza Str

Yale official barred discussion of Israeli settlements and apartheid at monthly meeting

Philip Weiss on
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Bruce Shipman, who was forced out of his job as an Episcopal chaplain at Yale for a letter he wrote to the New York Times saying that Gaza was helping to foster anti-Semitism, has responded to the controversy with a clear, strong piece in the Hartford Courant declaring that he will not stop talking about Palestinian apartheid

South Africa High Court rules in favor of BDS South Africa billboard

Annie Robbins on
Billboard- Johannesburg,  South Africa (Photo: BDSSouthAfrica)

After a months long court battle BDS South Africa (BDS-SA) won a “precedent-setting” freedom of expression court case last Thursday, September 11. In October 2012 BDS-SA along with the Palestine Solidarity Alliance purchased advertisements on billboard’s across South Africa. With no warning South Africa’s Con­ti­nen­tal Out­door Media removed two BDS South Africa (BDS-SA) ads prior to their contractual expiration date without giving any notice to BDS-SA or the Palestine Solidarity Alliance. A judge of the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg ruled in favor of BDS South Africa, declaring that the removal of the billboards was both “unlawful and unconstitutional” and ordering Continental to re-erect the billboards within 10 days and pay all court costs. The court also ordered the City of Johan­nes­burg to amend their bylaws.

Dutch activists disrupt Israeli apartheid whitewashing event in Amsterdam

Annie Robbins on
Promotional Israeli apartheid whitewashing event in Amsterdam (Graphic: On Spot Threatre/Amsterdam)

Saturday night activists in Amsterdam pulled off a fantastic action at an Israeli whitewashing event promoted as “Israel=Culture” the first Israeli theatre mini-festival in Amsterdam, “three days of presenting the rich and vibrant theatre culture of Israel.”

Five lessons from the struggle to reinstate Steven Salaita at the University of Illinois

Tithi Bhattacharya and Bill V. Mullen on
Protester at the University of Illinois Board of Trustees meeting. (Photo: Facebook)

Tithi Bhattacharya and Bill V. Mullen share five lessons they learned from the efforts to reinstate Steven Salaita at the University of Illinois. As they watched the protests over Salaita’s firing they saw protesters connecting the dots between Apartheid Israel and the violation of labor rights at home and realized that the protesters at UIUC were showing us the way to a new social movement that could constitute a fighting force against neoliberalism, both at home and abroad

The rise of ‘If Not Now’ and the collapse of the pro-Israel consensus

Alex Kane on
If Not Now members hold up a banner at a New York City protest. (Photo: BUD KOROTZER/DESERTPEACE)

Meet If Not Now: a new, Jewish group that emerged out of the wreckage of the Gaza conflict. Dedicated to demanding that mainstream Jewish leaders take an anti-occupation stand, the group’s grassroots, social media-savvy messaging has lead others around the nation to take up its banner. The rise of If Not Now, a group whose founding members are deeply rooted in Jewish communal life, is just one of the latest signs that dissent on Israel is rising amongst young people.

Some thoughts on the Cornell-Technion partnership in light of the 2014 Israeli invasion of Gaza

Eric Cheyfitz on
Young men look for their belongings in the remnants of a Gaza apartment building, August 2014. (Photo: Dan Cohen)

Cornell professor Eric Cheyfitz writes: “It is no secret that Cornell’s institutional partner in the New York City tech campus is Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. It is also no secret that Technion is substantially involved in the development of systems used in the militarization of the Occupied Territories. The question might arise, then, at least in some minds, as to Cornell’s possible complicity in Israeli state policy in the Territories, including the latest invasion of Gaza and the ongoing blockade.”