Next week the 2016 Right to Education tour will arrive in the United States. During the first two weeks in April students from universities across Palestine will be speaking at American university campuses about their experiences studying under Israeli occupation and the impact of colonialism on their education. Organizers are putting a spotlight on two locations the tour will be arriving in this year: The University of Hawaii and the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Both of these locations reflect the long history of US settler-colonization and their inclusion in the tour aims to accentuate the continuing struggle of both the Kanaka Maoli and Oglala Sioux indigenous peoples.
Category Archives: Activism
Imad Abu Shamsiyah, the Palestinian who shot the video of an Israeli soldier executing a Palestinian youth in Hebron last week, is a shoemaker who says he will never leave his house despite pressure of Jewish settlers, even though he needs to present his number, 242, at a checkpoint in order to enter the ghetto he lives in.
CODEPINK’s Ariel Gold explains why she engaged in civil disobedience while protesting at the AIPAC Policy Conference: “As the mother to two Jewish American teenagers, it is my responsibility to speak up and clarify that AIPAC and Netanyahu do not speak for me.”
How do we know BDS is working? Because in Indiana as in coastal areas BDS opponents are actively trying to stop the movement. The state legislature is attempting to limit public discussion of BDS, and smear BDS proponents as anti-Semites.
Jewish fears on British campuses stemming from activism against Israel represent an uncomfortable reckoning for young diaspora Jews who are unable to see or accept what has happened to Jews, Judaism and Jewish identity over the last 100 years under the influence of Zionist colonialism.
Americans are finally getting to debate the merits of Zionism, the ideology of a Jewish state in historical Palestine. But right now officials, including Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, are raising the issue by equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.
An Illinois state agency named 11 companies barred from doing business with the state for boycotting Israel or its settlements, the first such designation by an official US body.
Portland’s Socially Responsible Investments Committee (SRIC) voted – 4 in favor, 2 opposed – at its March 17th meeting to recommend that City funds should not be invested in Caterpillar, citing concern that Caterpillar Corporation violates a number of the City’s socially responsible investment criteria. Maxine Fookson, from Occupation-Free Portland, which pushed for Caterpillar to be placed on the Do-Not-Buy List, said “This is an important victory for human rights. The SRIC today took a stand on the right side of history making it clear that companies, like Caterpillar, that are knowingly engaged in human rights violations in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land should not be supported by Portland investments.”
The global movement supporting the Palestinian people’s right to freedom, justice and equality has taken impressive steps into the political mainstream in recent years. As a result, Israel, its lobby groups and its right-wing supporters have launched an unprecedented, well-funded global campaign to silence Palestinian narratives and criminalize BDS advocacy, especially in western countries. Israeli-induced attacks on free speech and civil rights in Europe, the US and Canada, among others, are fostering an ominous environment of bullying, intimidation and repression that has all the hallmarks of the era of McCarthyism in the US and the worst days of the apartheid regime in South Africa.
“Legislation that bars BDS activity by private groups, whether corporations or universities, strikes at the heart of First Amendment-protected free speech, will be challenged in the courts and is likely to be struck down.” Defenders of BDS do not often see eye to eye with Abraham Foxman, who wrote these lines shortly before stepping down last year as the national director of the Anti Defamation League. But this is the message that the Massachusetts Freedom to Boycott Coalition will be taking to the halls of the State House on March 15 when they hand deliver to each legislative office a copy of a statement opposing anti-BDS legislation that has been signed by 61 organizations from across the Commonwealth.
Ahava Dead Sea cosmetics, a company that pillages mud products from occupied Palestine, plans to move its factory from the occupied West Bank to within Israel’s pre-1967 borders. The company had been the longtime target of Code Pink’s Stolen Beauty Ahava boycott campaign, which included activists chaining themselves to concrete blocks inside Ahava’s London store, and persistent online social media actions spanning continents since the campaign was launched in 2009.
Dozens of Palestinian students marched in the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem to encourage business owners to get behind the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement on Sunday. Ibrahim Subhay, a 22-year-old student in Bethlehem, told Mondoweiss that his main goal was to educate business owners on the importance of the BDS movement, “We can’t ask the international community to support us, and not do our part to support ourselves.”
McGill professors committed to justice and equity strongly disagree with the Principal Suzanne Fortier’s official response on behalf of the Montreal university administration to the recent Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) motion in support of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel and the subsequent on-line process which failed to ratify this vote.
Academics, including Noam Chomsky, respond to Suzanne Fortier’s misrepresentation of BDS following McGill University’s failure to ratify a student vote in favor of divestment.
Speaking on Radio Canada on March 6, Roger Waters said of Palestinians, denied self-determination for 70 years, “They need the support of anybody who cares about justice or love in the world to support their cause.”
The usually quiescent world of psychotherapy has been struck by a blast of anti-occupation activism, in the form of a petition signed by over 300 psychotherapists opposing the choice of The Society for Psychotherapy Research to hold its annual meeting in Jerusalem this June.
Vassar officials referred to anti-Semitism a dozen times in a call-in attended by 900 alumni in which President Catharine Hill vowed to oppose Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. The equation of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism comes under pressure from pro-Israel alumni.
British security company G4S, the world’s largest, has responded to a four-year long global BDS campaign protesting its role in Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights by announcing yesterday it will sell its Israeli subsidiary in the coming “12 to 24 months.” In describing the move, The Financial Times reported that G4S was “extracting itself from reputationally damaging work.”
In the West Bank, leading feminist and imprisoned Marxist-Leninist politician Khalida Jarrar released a statement from jail to mark International Women’s Day. Jarrar writes, “This year, our call focuses on the freedom and self-determination of our people, and the freedom and self-determination of Palestinian women: achieving equality and liberation, and ending all forms of oppression and injustice committed against them.”
Sara Halimah explains why Students for Justice in Palestine is calling on the University of Minnesota to divest from companies that enable the Israeli occupation, and responds to attacks that the campaign is anti-Semitic.
Each year around 6,000 real estate brokers and agents from 62 countries around the world attend the RE/MAX annual convention in Las Vegas, so CODEPINK knew where to go challenge RE/MAX’s settlement profiteering. As CODEPINK co-founder Jodie Evans said, “People around the world are waking up to the immorality of settlement profiteering, and it is unclear why RE/MAX continues to risk its brand’s reputation through its involvement in illegal activities in the Occupied West Bank.”
On February 15th, Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of Minnesota launched their UMN Divest campaign #UMNDivest. Soon after, a graphic appeared on social media that replaces an olive branch in the #UMNDivest logo with a swastika.
All heck broke loose last week after students in the Palestinian Solidarity Society (PSS) at the UK’s University of York staged the play Seven Jewish Children: A play for Gaza by British playwright Caryl Churchill at an Israeli Apartheid Week event.
William H. Schaap, radical lawyer and co-founder/publisher of CovertAction Quarterly and Sheridan Square Press, died on February 25, 2016, of pulmonary disease at his apartment in Manhattan. He was 75.
Peter F. Cohen offers an impassioned answer to the question of why he is going to Washington DC for the National March to Support Palestine and Protest AIPAC on March 20.