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United Church of Christ votes to boycott & divest from companies profiting from Israel’s occupation

Mondoweiss Editors on
The UCC vote.

Today, in a vote of 508 in favor and 124 against, the plenary of the 30th United Church of Christ General Synod passed a resolution calling for boycotts and divestment from companies that profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands. “As disciples of Jesus, we hear and seek to heed his call to be peacemakers, responding to violence with nonviolence and extending love to all,” said Rev. John Deckenback, Conference Minister of the Central Atlantic Conference of the UCC, which submitted the resolution to the synod. “It is in that spirit of love for both Israelis and Palestinians, and a desire to support Palestinians in their nonviolent struggle for freedom, that the United Church of Christ has passed this resolution.”

Netanyahu issues ‘welcome letter’ as Gaza flotilla is seized by Israeli navy

Allison Deger on
Passengers aboard the Freedom Flotilla. (Photo: Freedom Flotilla)

Early Monday three Israeli naval ships seized a vessel bound for Gaza carrying activists and humanitarian aid while still in international waters, said activists. The Freedom Flotilla III, headed by the Swedish ship the Marianne of Gothenburg, was attempting to break the eight-year siege on the Gaza Strip. The boat and its 18 passengers were being towed to Ashdod, where it was expected that the activists would be deported.

Irish activists hit hard against 1st Irish dance competition in Israel

Stan Hoben on
#DontDance4Israel Photo by @Ruthanasia

In March, The Carey Academy, Israel announced the 1st Israeli Feis, a competitive tournament of traditional Irish dancing, to take place in Tel Aviv in August. In response, the Irish Palestinian Activist Collective has called on organizers to cancel it in solidarity with the Palestinian BDS call: “Your performance in Israel is the moral equivalent to performing in South Africa during the apartheid era.”

The United Church of Christ and divestment

Marc H. Ellis on
United Church of Christ

The United Church of Christ’s divestment resolution from Israeli occupation, to be heard in Cleveland in late June, is revolutionary. But the UCC should go further, and not endorse dialogue with the official Jewish organizations. For the Jewish establishment and the local congregations are enablers of occupation.

Netanyahu likens BDS to Nazi Germany

Annie Robbins on
Poland's Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna

We suppose it was bound to happen eventually; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said BDS, the Palestinian led nonviolent global movement for justice in Palestine, resembled Nazi Germany. He said it during a meeting with Poland’s Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna today, in speaking of the “defamation” of the Jewish people in Poland when Nazis controlled the country. “The attacks on the Jews were always preceded by the slander of the Jews. What was done to the Jewish people then is being done to the Jewish state now,” Netanyahu said.

BDS could cost Israel $4.7 billion a year

James North on
BDS Movement Logo

According to FT, an Israeli financial newspaper says a leaked government report estimates that BDS could cost Israel’s economy $1.4 billion a year. While Rand Corporation, the US think-tank, says the costs could be more than three times higher: $47bn over 10 years.

Divestment with a bite

Marc H. Ellis on
Image via

Church divestment from the occupation is not enough. Churches have to do more than shift stocks. A church should dedicate the next five years of its corporate life specifically to Israel-Palestine. Declare Israel an apartheid state.

How will Sheldon save Israel?

Katie Miranda on

Sheldon Adelson is devoted to fighting Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions to preserve the Jewish state. Katie Miranda has some ideas for his new tactics.

The Peter Beinart Double Standard: Why is this boycott different from all other boycotts?

Isaiah Silver on
Peter Beinart (Photo: New America Foundation/Flickr)

Peter Beinart’s criticism of the BDS movement displays a shocking ignorance of how a boycott – any boycott – actually works. If he truly is willing to acknowledge that the state of Israel is running an apartheid system – even if he believes that it is only in the West Bank and Gaza Strip – then he has a responsibility to endorse the nonviolent solution which actually targets the responsible party: boycotting, divesting from, and bringing sanctions to bear on Israel itself.

Netanyahu government ramps up effort to combat BDS

Kate on
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at his Jerusalem office, Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Gali Tibbon, Pool)

Ynet reports: Benjamin Netanyahu held talks with several officials over the weekend regarding the possible plans of action to combat BDS. The talks included Strategic Affairs and Information Minister Gilad Erdan, whose office’s purview includes fighting BDS, as well as other officials from relevant ministries. Netanyahu and Erdan agreed that his office will receive at least NIS 100 million, most of which will go to fighting BDS. Erdan’s office will also receive 10 new positions for employees who will deal solely with the boycott and de-legitimization activities against Israel. The minister mentioned that he is flooded with calls from Jewish leaders from across the globe, who want to join the effort against BDS.

Divestment activists face attempts to silence Palestinian students at Marquette University

Rawan Atari on
Students pack the divestment vote at Marquette University. (Photo: #MUDivest)

On April 27th, Students for Justice in Palestine and the #MUDivest coalition presented their recommendation for socially responsible investment and divestment to the Marquette University Student Government (MUSG) at the last meeting of the year. The resolution targeted the following major companies: Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard , G4S, and United Technologies. The supporters making up the coalition expected an uphill battle during the months leading up to the divestment vote, but they did not expect to encounter the unjust proceedings set forth by MUSG and attempts by student senators to remove the Palestinian voice entirely.

Israeli President: Academic boycott of Israel is ‘strategic threat of the first order’

Kate on

Haaretz reports: President Reuven Rivlin yesterday described academic boycotts against Israel as a “strategic threat of the first order.” During a discussion of the issue at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, the chairman of the Council of Presidents of Israeli Universities, Technion president Prof. Peretz Lavie, said it was still possible to stop the snowball effect of the movement, but warned that “we are at the 90th minute.”

‘Peace Now’ and ‘Breaking the Silence’ leader call on Americans to oppose peace talks (Netanyahu is ‘anathema to peace’)

Philip Weiss on
Avner Gvaryahu

The new Israeli government is deadset against a two-state solution– as Allison Deger and the Institute for Middle East Understanding have both documented. And yet the other day the New York Times promoted a fantasy: Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu wants to enter into negotiations. Two voices from the liberal Zionist camp are saying flatly that […]

StandWithUs invests nearly half a million dollars in ongoing anti-BDS lawsuit against Olympia Food Co-Op

Phan Nguyen on
StandWithUs logo

On May 28, 2015, the Washington State Supreme Court struck down the state’s anti-SLAPP law, following an appeal filed by five individuals who are suing the Olympia Food Co-op for boycotting Israeli products. The Israeli advocacy organization StandWithUs immediately hailed the decision as a “BDS Defeat,” “a major setback to the anti-Israel boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) campaign,” and an “overwhelming victory.” But in reality the Supreme Court did not rule on the merits of the plaintiffs’ case, much less on BDS.