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A letter to Gaza

Amani Sawari on
On October 8th, Students for Justice in Palestine and the African Students’ Association at John Jay College in collaboration with Students for Justice in Palestine at Hunter and City Colleges and CUNY RSCC held a Die-In/Vigil in solidarity from Ferguson to Palestine as racism, injustice and human rights violations are being committed against people of color. (Photo: John Jay SJP)

Amani Sawari responds to Mohammed Alhammami’s essay ‘A letter from Gaza to black America’: Until recently I’d felt as though the African American community was alone in the fight against these types of injustices. After reading your letter I’m hopeful that the connection between Black people in America and people of color around the world, which has always been present, will only continue to strengthen.

Necessary Transformations: Ending the claim to exclusivity

Nada Elia on
(Photo: Twitter)

Nada Elia responds to recent statements from Jewish Voice for Peace and Marc Ellis on Yom Kippur which appeal to Jewish values: “Yes, there is an urgent need for accountability and transformation. But maintaining claims to exclusivity is a hindrance, not a contribution to a solution that hinges on co-resistance to racism.”

Jordanian BDS activists reject gas deal with Israel

Mondoweiss Editors on
Leviathan offshore gas field

On September 26th, 2016 Nobel Energy signed a deal with Jordan’s National Electric Power Company Ltd. (NEPCO) to import gas from the Leviathan field off the shores of Haifa. Jordan BDS categorically rejects the agreement for strategic, economic and moral reasons as it ties Jordan’s energy, economic and political security to Israel for the coming 15 years.

Why I left the cult

Avigail Abarbanel on
Avigail Abarbanel, as a girl in Israel

Avigail Abarnabel grew up in Israel and came to view the society as a cult. Here she writes a letter to Israeli Jews explaining why she decided to leave: “I left the cult because I wanted to find out who I was. I refused to accept that the only purpose of my life was to defend the cult and allow it to continue.”

‘An attack on local democracy’: UK gov’t and Spanish High Court issue decisions against BDS

Kate on
Dozens of Spanish cities declaring themselves ‘Free of Israeli Apartheid’ (Graphic: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement )

A Spanish High Court of the Asturias region upheld a decision last week declaring a Langreo City Council agreement to boycott Israel illegal. And last month the UK government’s Department for Communities and Local Government published guidance for local authorities stating that “using pension policies to pursue boycott, divestment and sanctions against foreign nations and UK defence industries are inappropriate”.

Fighting BDS, one Upper West Side synagogue at a time

Rob Bryan on
Exposing BDS event, at Lincoln Square synagogue in NY Sept 28

Pro-Israel activists at a NY synagogue say that 10 percent of Americans love Israel, another 10 percent don’t, and the 80 percent in the middle can be reached via progressive messaging aimed at stopping BDS. But the Jewish participation in the ’60s civil rights movement is not going to thrill young people today.

‘Women’s Boat to Gaza’ set to arrive this week

Mondoweiss Editors on
Solidarity from l to R Sandra Barralilo, MP Jeannette Escarilla, Ann Wright, Ambassador , Dr. Fauziah, Mairead Maguire, MP Samira Douliafia. Above MP Marama Davidson. Olympic Athlete Leigh-Ann Naidoo. (Photo: Women's Boat to Gaza)

Thirteen women including several parliamentarians, an Olympic athlete, Nobel Laureate, Mairead Maguire and former US Diplomat, Ann Wright are days away from breaking the Israeli blockade by reaching Gaza shores. Sources indicate that the Israel navy has been given orders to intercept the boat.

No responsibility. No morality. No comment. No boycott.

Robert Cohen on
Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis

Let’s call out the absurd arguments by the Jewish diaspora against boycotting Israeli settlement project. Everywhere else in the world, genuine democracy appears to strengthen national stability, but in Israel it’s presented as the worse possible thing that could happen.

Over 1,000 faculty members sign statement condemning ‘Canary Mission’ blacklist

Nada Elia on
Screenshot of the Canary Mission homepage

Over the past few years, as support for Palestinian rights has grown across the United States, student members of SJP chapters nationally have been facing intense online harassment for speaking up for Palestinian rights. One particular organization, the Canary Mission, has led multiple concerted attacks against students and faculty, tweeting about them as “Jew haters” and “terrorists” to potential employers. Over 1000 professors, representing a variety of viewpoints on Israel/Palestine, signed a statement insisting that the Canary Mission has no place on university campuses, and should not be taken seriously by university departments when evaluating prospective students for admission.

Honor Edward Said’s legacy by supporting BDS

Nada Elia on
Edward Said

September 25, 2016 marked the thirteenth anniversary of the passing of Professor Edward Said, one of the most influential intellectuals of the twentieth century, and a political icon for anyone invested in the Question of Palestine. And as happens with many historical icons, Said’s legacy is causing a tug-of-war between “liberal Zionists” on the one hand, and the thousands of anti-Zionist critics and BDS activists his radical scholarship and political engagement have spawned.

Read the article on censorship of Palestinian solidarity pulped by a German union publication under pressure from Zionist organizations

Christoph Glanz on
Christoph Glanz

Are Germans afraid to hear the truth about Palestine. Activist and high school teacher Christoph Glanz says maybe his views of the conflict are wrong, but there is no way to establish that without free speech; and his recent article endorsing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions was pulped by Germany’s leading trade union under pressure from Zionist groups.

The right to educate

Nada Elia on
Simona Sharoni, from Cornell University photographer

A campaign against education continues. Professor Rabab Abdulhadi of San Francisco State University says: “The McCarthyist attack by Campus Watch/Middle East Forum, led by Daniel Pipes and David Horowitz, named as leading Islamophobes by the Southern Poverty Law Center, is no more than a witch hunt campaign aimed at silencing me and our commitment to justice-centered knowledge production.”

Why I single out Israel

Noah Mlyn on
Long Island Jewish center with Israeli and American flags at half mast after Ariel Sharon's death in January 2014, photo by Scott Roth

When Zionists work so hard to center Israel in the Jewish community and shower it with praise, can they blame me as a young Jew for using just as much energy to single out Israel and hold it responsible for its crimes?

Stand with Standing Rock, and say no to Dakota Access Pipeline

Palestinian Youth Movement on
No Dakota Access Pipeline, image by Chameleon Horse Art & Design

Palestinian Youth Movement opposes the Dakota Access Pipeline as another opportunity to destroy Native environment and it will caravan from California to Standing Rock, North Dakota in solidarity this month.

NYC city council anti-BDS bill meets resistance from protesters

Wilson Dizard on
Protesters outside the New York City Council meeting. (Photo: Samidoun)

The two sides of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement squared off in New York’s City Hall on Thursday, with BDS activists disrupting a hearing where city council members discussed a resolution condemning BDS. “New York City Council should stay out of the business of condemning non-violent human rights movements,” Radhika Sainath, staff attorney with Palestine Legal, said in a statement. “By passing this resolution, New York City Council will chill the speech of New Yorkers eager to be part of an international human rights movement.”

Dozens of Spanish cities declare themselves ‘Free of Israeli Apartheid’

Palestinian BDS National Committee on
Dozens of Spanish cities declaring themselves ‘Free of Israeli Apartheid’ (Graphic: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement )

Cadiz, provincial capital in the autonomous community of Andalusia in the Spanish state, has become the latest municipality to pass a motion supporting the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights and declaring itself an Israeli “Apartheid Free Zone”. Cadiz joins more than 50 cities and towns across the Spanish state which have voted to declare themselves spaces free from Israeli apartheid.

Pro-Israel groups declare ‘lawfare’ on BDS movement in Canada

Hammam Farah on
Students for Justice in Palestine at UOIT-DC

Groups closely aligned with the far-right Israeli government have declared “lawfare” on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in Canada. Recent events in Canada’s parliament, the Ontario Legislature and on Canadian campuses reveal the increasingly forceful trajectory of this strategy.

There’s no room on campus to be progressive and pro-Israel

Annie Robbins on
Students at Oberlin College (photo: The Forward)

Israel supporter Seffi Kogen writes at the Forward that Jewish students want to be involved with progressive causes on campus, and the pro-Israel cause too. But it’s impossible to reconcile these political programs.

Beyond the flag

Nada Elia on
Celtic FC fans prominently displayed Palestinian flag on Wednesday during match against Israel's Hapoel Beer Sheva (Photo: Reuters)

Nada Elia says that for those who strive to rise above nationalism, activism for justice in Palestine is rooted in a belief in justice and equal rights for everyone, everywhere. Yet, many of these same activists celebrated with millions around the world when Celtic FC fans flew the Palestinian flag at a game in Glasgow against Israel’s Hapoel Be’er Sheva. She explains that even though activists were waving the Palestinian flag, those events were not about nationalism: “The Palestinian flag has come to symbolize defiance to censorship, a rejection of the Zionist narrative that would have people believe Israel is “defending itself” rather than brutally maintaining its occupation and apartheid policies, and grassroots opposition to state violence, to colonialism, to brutal military oppression.”