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Champaign-Urbana holds Rosh Hashanah service for Professor Salaita

Samantha Brotman on
Screen shot 2014-09-26 at 9.15.46 AM

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

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

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

Adalah-NY on

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

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.

The elephant in the room, in Marin County

Annie Robbins on
Elephant in the room (Graphic by Zoe Goorman)

When Zoe Goorman tried to explain to Democratic politicians in Marin County, California, that Israel is the elephant in the room that they’re not talking about, she let them know graphically: with a poster of an elephant in the room. Maybe others should follow suit?

‘Stop$30Billion’ coalition unveils new digital billboard in Albuquerque, NM

Annie Robbins on
Albuquerque digital billboard

It’s been a busy time for Palestine solidarity folks in Albuquerque. Five and half years ago after Israel’s 08-09 massacre in Gaza, the Coalition to Stop$30Billion to Israel, a grassroots group of ordinary citizens, launched a campaign erecting 10 billboards in their city that inspired campaigns in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Portland, Washington DC, Boston, Arizona, and Seattle, just to name just a few. They’re at it again. Last Monday Sept.8 the coalition up their first digital billboard in response to the recent carnage in Gaza.

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.”

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.”

Toronto activists intensify campaign against SodaStream

Haseena Manek on
(Photo: CAIA)

On Sunday, August 31st, the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) gathered to share information with members of the Toronto community about the current campaign to boycott SodaStream, a carbonated beverage company whose main production facility is in Ma’ale Adumim, an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied Palestinian West Bank. “In the wake of Israel’s deadly assault on the people Gaza we must intensify our BDS campaigns,” said CAIA member Kat Lapointe. “We know for a fact that the global campaign against SodaStream is having a significant impact. People will no longer tolerate companies that profit off of Israeli apartheid.”

The real issues in the Salaita case: Palestine, neoliberalism, and the corporate university

David Green on

It’s not all about academic freedom: Steven Salaita is targeted because of what he has said about Palestine. He is targeted because he was to be the first Palestinian voice at the University of Illinois. He’s targeted at a national level because the Israel lobby is afraid that it’s losing its control of the narrative. For even the Jewish community in Illinois has been divided by the Gaza onslaught and leaders hope that the rifts won’t be exposed

Cycling4Gaza to stage Philly to DC trek in mid-September

Annie Robbins on
Cycling4Gaza 2013 Berlin Ahmed Abu Chaaban, Lina Abu Chaaban, Alia Mobayed and Reema Attyeh (Photo:C4G)

Cycling4Gaza began in 2009 as four London friends recruited cyclists to raise funds for Gaza. Now it is teamed with the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund and coming to the U.S., with a Philadelphia to Washington trip on Sept. 18-21.

As protest over Gaza grew, so did attacks on speech supporting Palestinian freedom

Radhika Sainath on
Brooklyn Bridge, NYC (Photo: @SanduKanKanack)

Palestine Solidarity Legal Support offers a roundup of summer incidents in which people lost their job, were investigated or otherwise sanctioned because they were critical of Israel’s policies, or merely expressed support for Palestinian rights. These incidents share much in common including that Israel advocacy groups frequently demand that individuals supporting Palestinian rights be investigated and punished relying on false accusations of anti-Semitism.

The checkpoint is burning

Badee Dwaik on

Shuhada Street in Hebron has been closed to Palestinians for many years. In August a military checkpoint on the street was set afire. The Israeli occupying forces cracked down on Palestinians for the fire, further limiting their movements