How is it possible for Hadassah to mount a panel on Feminism and Zionism, with absolutely no Palestinian perspective, when Palestinians are always pressured to include a Zionist perspective–for “balance”– when they organize panels at US institutions? Nada Elia mulls the damage from a June 9 event in New York.
Category Archives: Activism
On Monday June 12, 2017, Palestinian Christians of the National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine issued an open letter to the World Council of Churches ahead of their upcoming gathering in occupied Bethlehem, “We need you and we need you now more than ever. We need your costly solidarity. We need brave women and men who are willing to stand in the forefront. This is no time for shallow diplomacy Christians…Things are beyond urgent.”
Palestinians living inside Israel have dealt with a “one-state solution” for 69 years. The next step in the Palestinian demand for freedom should be to expand their civil struggle for equal rights on behalf of Palestinians everywhere, writes Rida Abu Rass.
Westchester County legislative committee passes a resolution describing BDS as a campaign to “malign the Jewish people,” by a 12-1 vote despite efforts of human rights activists. Sole holdout is Alfreda Williams.
On Thursday, June 8, Hadassah hosted a discussion panel called “Feminism and Zionism: Exploring Recent Tensions,” which, in typical Zionist fashion, did not feature an anti-Zionist (Jew or non-Jew), and certainly no Palestinian speaker. Nada Elia says one takeaway of the event is that “even as the situation on the ground in Palestine remains dire Palestine rights activists can celebrate one significant accomplishment: the discursive change that has slowly but surely eroded the credibility of the Zionist narrative over the past few years.”
Hadassah panel on tension between Zionism and feminism shows that Zionism is now a dirty word on the left, and with good reason, as an all-Zionist panel led by a NYT editor indulges orientalist critiques of occupied Palestinian culture.
For years Hala Gabriel tracked down and filmed the lives of her family’s former neighbors from the destroyed Palestinian village of Tantura who survived a massacre there in 1948.
When Israeli soldiers prevented Palestinian dinner guests from crossing a checkpoint that separates downtown Hebron from the rest of the West Bank city on Monday, the group laid their home-cooked dishes on the pavement and held an iftar at the checkpoint.
While Palestinian leaders announced the end of the prisoner hunger strike as a major success, the victory is being challenged by the shocking revelation that a secret pact between Israeli and Palestinian leaders could have undermined the strike.
Sometimes a newsworthy event takes place when nothing unusual occurs. Despite months of an opposition campaign to disinvite civil rights activist and co-organizer of the Women’s March, Linda Sarsour, from giving a graduation speech at the City University of New York (CUNY), Sarsour’s keynote went off without a hitch Thursday.
After it was shut out of Boston-area transit ads, Palestine Advocacy Project (PalAd), a Cambridge-based non-profit supporting Palestinian human rights, has unveiled a high-profile, over-sized mobile billboard trailer to protest the 50th anniversary of Israel’s military occupation of the Palestinian territories.
Jeff Warner traveled to the West Bank with the Center for Jewish Nonviolence’s nine-day summer work camp where 133 Diaspora Jews participated in projects across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, “The very existence of the CJNV delegation, perhaps the largest group of Diaspora Jews ever to come together in Palestine to fight the occupation, makes a powerful statement to American and Israeli political leaders. It is another illustration that Jewish American and other Diaspora Jews do not support Israel’s occupation of Palestine, and are ready to stand up and fight for that principle.”
Saturday, after 41 days, the Palestinian prisoner hunger strike came to what seemed to be an end. Issa Qaraqe, director of the Palestinian Prisoners Affairs Commission, declared “80 percent of the demands” of the prisoners were achieved, calling it “an important achievement to build on in the future on the basis of the protection of the prisoners’ rights and dignity.” Israeli Public Security and Hasbara (propaganda) Minister Gilad Erdan countered claims that certain demands were met, saying that “there is absolutely no pledge to grant” any of the other prisoner demands, and said it “appears that this strike failed”. Jonathan Ofir says, “This should be a major source of concern, since it is the Israelis who are the jailer. If they are claiming this essentially did not happen, then there could be a real chance that they would ignore the reported agreements.”
Nada Elia writes, “Throughout history, change for the better has not come from those in official power, but from the grassroots, the oppressed, those at the receiving end of injustice, those whose starving, ailing bodies are on the line. As people around the world show their support for the imprisoned Palestinians, we are sending one clear message: no power can break us.”
Tamara Nassar writes: “The hunger strike is then the reclamation of the body which has been stolen by Israel and confined to a cell-block; the re-assumption of a subjectivity temporarily abducted by military might; a revival of humanity. The hunger strike may be a peaceful reclamation, but it is not non-violent. The violence is simply subdued, transformed into a perpetual struggle between the prisoner and the prisoner’s body. It is a battle: a form of torture that the prisoner inflicts on themselves in a symbolic, but also literal, redemption of agency. It is indeed the body where the Palestinian prisoner finds freedom within the confines of the cell in the larger context of occupation, retrieving the one thing the occupier may never access: Palestinian dignity.”
There has been much talk about 2017 as the 50th anniversary since Israel occupied the Palestinian Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem. But the 50th anniversary can only be understood within a broader context of other key anniversaries this year. 2017 marks: 100 years since the Nov. 2, 1917 Balfour Declaration; 70 years since the UN’s Nov. 29, 1947 partition allotting 54% of historic Palestine for a Jewish state; 50 years since Israel occupied all remaining Palestinian lands June 5-10, 1967; and 10 years since Israel made permanent a crippling blockade of the Gaza Strip on June 15, 2007, creating an open-air prison subject to monstrous bombing to further Israel’s containment and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.
“The solidarity between Black and Palestinian people internationally is rooted in a profound historical framework, one of shared struggles and collective identities that push us to challenge notions of international solidarity,” writes activist and writer Devyn Springer.
Shimrit Baer writes that Zionism should be resisted by non-Zionists: “The non-Zionist class/caste can and should be an agent for change.”
The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee commemorates the 69th Anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba: “No iron wall of theirs can suppress or overshadow the rising sun of our emancipation.”
Norway’s largest trade union, representing one million workers, endorses boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.
The TREYF podcast is a must listen bi-weekly podcast bringing anti-racist & anti-colonial leftist perspectives to the political discussions happening in North American Jewish communities. Help support so-hosts David Zinman and Sam Bick raise money to expand the show.
On Sunday evening, dozens of Seattle residents gathered outside Town Hall where Mayor Ed Murray received an award for his Israel advocacy from Stand With Us, a group that does public relations for a conservative agenda supporting the Occupation of Palestine. Queers Against Israeli Apartheid and Voices for Palestine gathered outside, holding signs such as “No More Fake Progressive Mayors” and “Stop the IDF.” Inside, four Jewish Queer people disrupted Mayor Murray’s acceptance speech, drawing attention to Mayor Murray’s deep connection with a conservative agenda in Israel and his support for militarism and systemic racism both in Seattle and in Israel.
As the mass hunger strike by Palestinians in Israeli prisons is in its critical fourth week the BDS movement calls for intensifying boycott campaigns to hold Israel accountable for its crimes against the Palestinian people.
Jewish students from Williams College are condemning Hillel for ousting an LGBTQ student group that signed up to co-sponsor an event on LGBTQ refugees, along with Jewish Voice for Peace in March.
Throughout the month of May, members of the Modern Language Association will be voting on a resolution which seeks to ban the association from endorsing of the Palestinian call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. During the 1980s, to its undying disgrace, the MLA rejected a resolution that would have supported the divestment and boycott movement against South African apartheid. In this essay, formerly South African scholar and MLA member Derek Attridge affirms the value of academic boycott in that struggle and points to the connections between the South African divestment campaign and the current BDS campaign.