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.”
Category Archives: Activism
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Two dioceses of the Lutheran Church of Sweden sponsored a Kairos Palestine summer camp to consider ramping up the pressure on Israel by increasing support of the BDS movement. “We have waited 41 years” as the situation has gotten worse and worse in Israel and the Occupied Territories, said Rev. Anna Karin Hammar. “We are cowards.”
The New York Times August 3, 2016 article “Students and the Middle East Conflict” misrepresented student activism and served as an implicit endorsement of a right-wing “dialogue” effort. Following the article, the Times published a strategic compilation of letters to the editor that constructs the future of Israel/Palestine as an internal Jewish conversation largely concerned with dialogue. In response, Tufts SJP alumni gathered letters by students and their allies critiquing the article and dialogue efforts that take attention away from ending the Israeli occupation. The Times refused to publish any of the letters, but you can read them here.
PayPal refuses to do business with Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but allows Israelis and Israeli settlers to use their digital payment service. After PayPal ignored their requests for a meeting, Palestinian activists launched a social media campaign on Friday to call out the company in public with the hashtag #PayPal4Palestine.
Last November Israeli author Amos Oz said he won’t participate in Israeli Foreign Ministry events because the government was too right wing. Well he’s scheduled to appear at a literary festival in Paris sponsored by the Ministry in September.
The defiant display of Palestinian flags in Glasgow last week by Scottish fans of the Celtic soccer team has roused over £100,000 (just over $130,000) in donations online, all marked for helping Palestinians. As the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is mulling what consequences Celtic fans should face for showing solidarity with the “illicit banner,” the Green Brigade, the hardcore cadre of Celtic fans who raised the Palestinian flag, responded to the threat of sanction with a call for donations for Palestinian medical aid and a refugee camp.
“I have no problem with Jewish people or any other religion or different beliefs. But for personal reasons, you can’t ask me to shake the hand of anyone from this state, especially in front of the whole world.” These words, spoken by an individual who has just engaged in a gesture of support for the Palestinian people, are a standard response to the accusation of anti-Semitism which is routinely hurled at pro-justice activists. Yet as Egyptian judoka Islam El-Shehaby uttered them last week in Brazil, they signified a new milestone: the sports boycott had arrived at the 2016 Olympic Games.
Hundreds of fans of Glasgow’s Celtic soccer team defied Scottish law and risked arrest by flying Palestinian flags at a Champions league game against a visiting Israeli team, Hapoel Beersheba. Celtic won the game 5-2. The team faces potential punishment from the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).
The International Jewish anti-Zionist Network strongly embraces the entire Movement for Black Lives platform, and affirms its support for the Palestinian struggle and efforts to Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Israel.
Jews for Palestinian right of return celebrate Movement for Black Lives: Your internationalism echoes Malcolm X, SNCC, the Black Panther Party, Muhammad Ali, and other freedom fighters of the 1960s who stood in solidarity with Palestine. It recalls Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s opposition to the Vietnam war
This weekend the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) overwhelmingly approved two resolutions calling on the U.S. government to end all financial and military aid to Israel until Israel “compl[ies] with internationally recognized human rights standards”, freezes settlement construction on occupied Palestinian land, and for the church to adopt an investment screen to avoid profiting from Israel’s Occupation, at ELCA’s triennial 2016 Churchwide Assembly in New Orleans.
Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign bus ad in San Francisco uses slogan Stop Anti-Boycott Legislation and features a list of previous social justice boycotts, including boycotts against British tea in 1773, segregated buses in Montgomery in 1956, and South African apartheid from 1959 to 1994.
LA Jews for Peace does not believe that the Movement for Black Lives Platform’s incorrect use of the term “genocide” negates an otherwise powerful statement for social, racial, political, and economic justice enunciated in the Platform’s other 37,000 words. That is why LA Jews for Peace proudly endorses the Platform of the Movement for Black Lives.
Palestinian BDS National Committee responds to Movement for Black Lives policy platform: “We pledge to firmly and consistently stand in solidarity with our black sisters and brothers in the United States and around the world by supporting the demands and policy proposals in this platform.”
Israel will soon search for, deport, and prevent the entry of international activists involved in the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement, based on intelligence provided in part by hotline tips to a task force, said Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan Sunday.
On Monday, the Dream Defenders along with 50 other organizations, representing hundreds of Black people across the country launched “A Vision for Black Lives”, an agenda that clearly defines policies, organizing tactics and resources to advance Black liberation. The platform included a call for the US government to divest from military expenditures and US aid to the State of Israel and instead, invest this war-making money towards building infrastructure to support Black and Brown communities in the US. Since the launch, some Zionist organizations have condemned the platform and have announced that they will cut all ties with the Movement for Black Live, going so far as to label some in the BLM movement anti-semitic. Their response has made it all the more clear why we stand in solidarity with Palestine and with Black and Brown people around the world fighting for justice.
A number of the prominent leaders who fought hard for LGBTQ rights in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have stood as the biggest obstacles in the struggle for Palestinian witness in the denomination, writes longtime Presbyterian activist Noushin Framke. These PEP’s throw their bodies in the way of holding any event that might be critical of Israel.
On July 17, 2016, a group of young American delegates traveled to Israel-Palestine in order to observe the conditions under which Palestinians live, and to gain a better understanding of the situation on the ground. Upon their arrival, a US Campaign staffer and four other members of the group — all carrying US passports — were interrogated by Israeli border police about their backgrounds and political involvement. Four of the five delegates who were questioned, held, and denied entry were people of color and Muslim, and the fifth had a long beard. Israel has ethnically and religiously profiled visitors so often that the State Department’s travel advisory for Israel reads: “Some US citizens of Arab or Muslim heritage not on the Palestinian Population Registry or otherwise prohibited from entering Israel have experienced significant difficulties and unequal and hostile treatment at Israel’s borders and checkpoints.”
Palestinian writer and activist Nada Elia responds to claims that an economic boycott of Israel is bound to fail: “BDS will never bankrupt Israel, and that is not necessary for it to achieve its goals: showing that the emperor has no clothes, and empowering justice-minded people everywhere to disengage from a hyper-militarized, violent rogue state, until it stops violating international law and the human rights of an oppressed people.”
A group of Berlin queers against pinkwashing apartheid were attacked when they protested the fact that the annual pride day march invited the Israeli ambassador. One attacker used the Israeli flag as a club.
The National Labor Relations Board has reaffirmed its dismissal an unfair labor practice charge brought by an Israeli law firm against a U.S. union, the United Electrical Workers, over its support of protests against Israeli policies including the union’s endorsement of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) movement. UE National President Peter Knowlton said that UE in the past had “withstood attempts by the U.S. government to silence us during the McCarthy era in the 1950s,” and was “unbowed by the latest attempt of a surrogate of the Israeli government to stifle our call for justice for Palestinian and Israeli workers.”