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Pitzer SJP to display mock Apartheid Wall despite administration attempts to censor free speech

Mondoweiss Editors on
Pitzer Students for Justice in Palestine with the mock Israeli apartheid wall. (Photo: Pitzer Students for Justice in Palestine)

On Tuesday, March 31st, Pitzer Students for Justice in Palestine will display a mock Israeli apartheid wall on campus to raise awareness about Palestinian suffering and the realities of the Israeli occupation, as well as to stimulate conversation around necessary changes in global and domestic human rights policy. SJP is continuing with this demonstration despite attempts by the administration to censor free speech.

Dear Senator Blumenthal, Thank you for your dreadful letter

John Fearey on
Sen. Richard Blumenthal

As conservative Israelis push for a Greater Israel that pushes Palestinians off their land, now is the time for Americans to get vocal with their Democratic representatives. John Fearey shares his (frustrating) correspondence with Sen. Richard Blumenthal of CT

World Water Day protest targets Massachusetts-Israel Water Partnership

Nancy Murray on
Demonstration outside the MassCEC office, where the Massachusetts-Israel Water Partnership is housed. (Photo: Heike Schotten)

“Massachusetts see the light. Water is a human right!” On Friday, March 20, more than 30 protesters gathered outside the headquarters of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center to protest the Israel-Massachusetts Innovative Water Partnership. Demonstrators urged the Commonwealth not to be complicit with Israel’s theft of Palestinian water and policies that have been widely denounced as ‘Water Apartheid.’

Zochrot and BADIL bring Nakba to U.S. audience

Alex Kane on
Zochrot's Liat Rosenberg, on the left, and BADIL's Basem Sbaih speaking at an Upper West Side church. (Photo: Bud Korotzer/DesertPeace)

On March 19, representatives from Zochrot and BADIL, two groups working for Palestinian refugee rights, spoke at an Upper West Side church about the Nakba. It was the latest talk put on by the Nakba Education Project, a new initiative trying to bring the roots of the Israel/Palestine conflict to Americans around the country. The speakers say the right of return is the most critical issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Landmark New York Synagogue attempts to shut down Nakba discussion

Annie Robbins on
Lincoln Square Synagogue
180 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY (Photo: CetraRuddy Architecture)

The Executive Director of the Lincoln Square Synagogue has attempted to cancel an event scheduled to take place this evening featuring representatives from Palestinian and Israeli human rights organizations discussing the Nakba. The event instead will take place a nearby church, but event organizer Julia Kessler of the Nakba Education Project says the episode points to a broader issue in the Jewish community: “Given the election results in Israel, in which it is clearer than ever that Israel is becoming increasingly anti-democratic and unapologetic in its occupation of the Palestinian people, it’s obvious that we have to do more talking, not less, about the crucial issues like the Nakba and what happened in 1948 and how its effects are being felt, even today. Shutting down discussions and closing the doors to differing views will not help us to arrive at justice for all peoples.”

Oberlin students highlight plight of Palestinian political prisoners with week-long installation

Ben Norton on

Oberlin College was one of many schools to take part in Israeli Apartheid Week in March. But students at the Ohio liberal arts college put a creative twist on the week. Oberlin Students for a Free Palestine (SFP) created a giant rock installation in their university’s library, in order to raise awareness about the imprisonment of Lina Khattab, a teenage Palestinian college student and dancer in the prominent El-Funoun Palestinian Popular Dance Troupe who was arrested in December 2014 on charges of “throwing stones” and “participating in an unlawful demonstration.”

Surging support for Palestine fuels JVP’s biggest meeting yet

Alex Kane on
Scholar Angela Davis speaking to Jewish Voice for Peace members in Baltimore. (Photo: Jules Cowan)

On March 13th, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) kicked off its national membership meeting in Baltimore. What followed over the next three days showcased JVP’s transformation from scrappy California-based group to national force in the American Jewish community and the Palestine solidarity movement.

Day 2 at JVP: Anti-colonial visions, border fences and the right of return

Claire Paddock on
A Jewish Voice for Peace tote bag from the national membership meeting. (Photo: Jules Cowan)

Claire Paddock pens her impressions from the second day of the Jewish Voice for Peace national membership meeting. She writes that scholar Andrea Smith implored the crowd to think about creating a completely new system in Israel/Palestine, one that has nothing to do with colonialism, and relates Liat Rosenberg’s message that the international community needs to apply pressure to compel the Israelis to assume responsibility for Palestinian refugees.

Fans of Barcelona basketball team show support for Palestine despite attacks on free speech

BDS Catalunya on
A Palestinian flag is hung at a basketball match against Maccabi Tel Aviv (Photo: BDS Catalunya)

On March 12, Maccabi Tel Aviv played against FC Barcelona at a Euroleague Basketball match. After four days of tension between Barcelona supporters and FC Barcelona authorities due to the prohibition by the Catalan club on exhibiting Palestine solidarity, Maccabi Tel Aviv was received by waving Palestinian flags at the Palau Blaugrana (FC Barcelona Stadium).

In support of a just sentence for Rasmea Odeh

Rabbi Brant Rosen on
Rasmea Odeh

It would be a grave injustice to imprison Rasmea Odeh, Rabbi Brant Rosen writes. As an elderly woman and a survivor of torture, the effects would be truly devastating on her. A prison sentence would most certainly deprive the Chicago community of a devoted and important leader.

Paris university reverses decision, allows Israeli apartheid event with Blumenthal

Mondoweiss Editors on
Max Blumenthal event at Paris University 8 March 9

The president of a progressive Parisian school, University Paris 8, decided at the last minute to ban a conference, titled Israel apartheid is real, featuring Max Blumenthal and Bilal Afandi, set for March 9. Even as the school features We Are Charlie posters in solidarity with Islamophobic magazine victimized by terror attack.

BADIL and Zochrot Speaking Tour: Centering the Nakba and the right of return

Donna Nevel on
NEP tour schedule feat

Addressing head-on the Nakba and the Palestinian right of return are integral to achieving justice for the Palestinian people. This March a speaking tour featuring Zochrot, an Israeli organization working to promote accountability for the ongoing injustices of the Nakba and to address head-on the right of return as imperative to achieving justice, and BADIL, a Palestinian organization devoted to protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees and internally displaced persons, will visit four cities in the U.S. to discuss these important issues.

Cornel West joins boycott of Univ. of Illinois Urbana-Champaign over Salaita firing

Mondoweiss Editors on
Dr. Cornel West

Dr. Cornel West has cancelled a high-profile lecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in support of a boycott of the university over the firing of Professor Steven Salaita. In a statement West said, “My change of mind in regard to my cancellation of my lecture constitutes a line in the sand I could not cross,. The case of my dear brother Professor Steven Salaita is a moral scandal of great proportion and the suffering of precious Palestinians under a vicious Israeli occupation is a crime against humanity, even in a world in which ugly anti-Jewish hatred escalates.”

Palestine Advocacy Project goes national

Annie Robbins on
Palestine Advocacy Project ads in D.C., part of the Project’s first national campaign, which will run on public transit systems and billboard trucks in seven major U.S. cities in 2015.  (Graphic: Palestine Advocacy Project)

Due to the overwhelming response and support to the “ONE WORD” campaign, Ads Against Apartheid has gone national as the Palestine Advocacy Project. They are currently running ads in public transit systems and on mobile billboard trucks in Washington, DC, New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, San Diego, and San Antonio.