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Hillel accuses BDS activists of ‘colonizing’ student groups

Ben Norton on
Hillel at UCLA logo

Hillel at UCLA recently sent an email to the thousands of people on its listserve strongly condemning recent divestment measures voted on by the University of California Student Association. In its message, Hillel accuses the UCSA of “attacking their own country,” and claims that BDS measures have passed due to “the radical ideology of the zealots who somehow have managed to take over various organizations.” Jacob Manheim, president of Jewish Voice for Peace at UCLA responds. “It’s shocking that Hillel at UCLA leadership has decided that the best way to fight divestment is to attack the integrity of student of color organizations that support Palestinian rights.”

The 15 billion dollar deal that will make or break Israel’s regional hegemony

Juman Asmail on
Activists outside the Jordanian Embassy in London protest the Israel-Jordan gas deal.

The past week has seen international efforts to prevent an Israeli-Jordanian gas deal grow. Jordan BDS has called upon the international boycott movement to stand against the deal, and on Friday, February 20th activists in Denver, London and South Africa took to the streets to join the call to action. If the gas deal goes through it will increase Israeli dominance in the region by controlling the energy supply to bordering countries, and undermine the growing BDS movement.

Is flying a nationalist flag ever a progressive act?

Ellen Isaacs on
Palestinian-Americans and others carried an enormous Palestinian flag. (Photo: Block the Boat Coalition)

Progressives should not be picking up nationalist flags: Sierra Leone, Algeria, El Salvador, Haiti, and South Africa show that despite long and bloody liberation struggles, the maintenance of a capitalist system has not led to significant economic betterment of the vast majority of the population.

Stanford re-votes, divestment passes in a landslide victory

Mondoweiss Editors on
Graphic: Stanford Out of Occupied Palestine (SOOP) coalition

On February 17, the Undergraduate Senate of Stanford University voted 10-1-4 to pass a resolution to divest from the occupation of the Palestinian Territories. Senate leaders motioned to reconsider the resolution after it was narrowly defeated by one vote last week (9 for, 1 abstention, 5 against). The senators stated that the hostile environment opponents of divestment created at last week’s hearing impeded their ability to vote with clarity and requested the opportunity to align their votes with their true opinions.

Second UK-based Israeli drone factory shut down by protesters

London Palestine Action on
(Photo: London Palestine Action)

Instro Precision, an arms company near Broadstairs (Kent), was occupied at 5am this morning to protest its sales to both Israel and Afghanistan. Four people are on the roof with banners to shut the factory down, with ten more on the ground, one of whom is locked to the fence. This is the second UK-based Elbit factory to be targeted by activists, after the successful occupation last summer of a drone engine factory near Birmingham.

Closed-door debate on divestment by U of Toledo student gov’t to include officials from Jewish Federation

Philip Weiss on
Jewish Federation of Toledo logo

This is one of the craziest stories we’ve ever reported. The student government at the University of Toledo is so frightened by a debate over divestment from Israel that it is rigging the debate on the topic tonight. It will hold the debate behind closed doors and limit how many students can come to the meeting. Only five representatives from two campus organizations. And each organization has to leave the room when the other side is making its case. Though guess what– two officials of the Jewish Federations of Greater Toledo are invited to the debate! “We are fully 100 percent opposed to this model of debate,” says Derek Ide of SJP

How a Washington state teacher is bringing Palestine into high school classrooms

Alex Kane on
The Palestine Teaching Trunk. (Photo courtesy of Linda Bevis)

53-year-old mother and activist Linda Bevis is bringing Palestine into American high school classrooms. Bevis is the force behind the Palestine Teaching Trunk, an educational tool with hundreds of pages of materials designed for teachers. But as with all things Palestine, the teaching trunk has faced pushback.

Univ of Toronto faculty await answers in JDL’s disruption of divestment event

Mondoweiss Editors on
Meir Weinstein of Canada JDL, at a demonstration outside the Toronto Star newspaper

Last October the Jewish Defense League disrupted a University of Toronto event in favor of divestment from Israel. The school’s administration has failed to take appropriate action to safeguard campus speech from intimidation, a group of 23 faculty complain in a letter to VP Angela Hildyard

Stanford petition misrepresents resolution to divest from occupation

David Palumbo-Liu on
Stanford logo

A new petition at Stanford against divestment from companies doing business in the occupation says that the initiative seeks to delegitimize Israel. In fact, the resolution is aimed at illegal, immoral activities targeting a people under occupation and condemned around the world, David Palumbo-Liu explains.

Stanford professors call for divestment from Israeli occupation ahead of student govt vote

Mondoweiss Editors on

Within the past four days, over 29 Stanford professors have signed on to a faculty letter calling on Stanford University to “stop investing in companies that profit from the occupation of Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967.” Tonight the Stanford Undergraduate Senate will be voting on a resolution calling for divestment from companies violating human rights in occupied Palestine.

When gay rights trample racial justice: Why the NYC Council should cancel its Israel junket

Emmaia Gelman on
Ritchie Torres. (William Alatriste for the New York City Council)

Recently, community groups called on New York City Councilmembers to skip an all-expenses-paid, eight-day junket to Israel. Challenged on Israel’s racism, progressive Councilmembers’ excuses quickly turned to gay rights following the lead of pro-Israel lobbyists who now tout Israel’s LGBT “tolerance” as often as they conjure anti-Semitism. We’re left to wonder what lobby groups like the Jewish Community Relations Council have whispered in the ears of Progressive and LGBT Caucus members to make them stray so far from their principles – and their voters.

Corries to speak on their family’s journey in Columbus tonight

Susie Kneedler on
Cindy and Craig Corrie in Columbus, with Rachel's image between them, November 2013

“No amount of reading, attendance at conferences, documentary viewing and word of mouth could have prepared me for the reality of the situation here. You just can’t imagine it unless you see it – and even then you are always well aware that your experience of it is not at all the reality: what with […]

In historic vote, UC Student Association endorses call for divestment in support of Palestinian rights

Mondoweiss Editors on

The UC Student Association is the official voice of the student body of the University of California, and represents hundreds of thousands of undergraduate and graduate students across the UC system. Over the weekend it became the first multi-campus student association to vote in favor of divestment from companies engaged in the systematic violation of Palestinian rights in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. This landmark vote is undoubtedly the largest victory thus far in the campus divestment movement in the United States.

New York coalition tries, and struggles, to politicize free Israel trip for legislators

Alex Kane on
Protesters outside a New York City Council meeting.

On February 15, a group of New York City Council members, including members of the Progressive Caucus, will jet off to Israel on the dime of the Jewish Community Relations Council. It is a ritual that usually doesn’t garner much attention. But that has changed this year. A vocal coalition has arisen to call on New York City Council members to spurn the free trip. They say it is unseemly to tour Israel following the summer attack on the Gaza Strip, and have pointed out the history of partnership between the New York Police Department and Israeli security forces at a time of national protest against police brutality.