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.
Category Archives: Activism
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.”
Gaza-based activist and academic Haidar Eid responds to queries sent by some activists about international gatherings and conferences that are being organized to address BDS-related issues without acknowledging the Palestinian leadership of the movement.
Noura Erakat and Nour Joudah have combined to write a 20-minute film that explains the Israel-Palestine conflict in simple terms, as springing from a settler colonial project that has used the peace process and Hamas rockets as useful distractions from its goal of gaining as much Palestinian land with the minimal number of Palestinians.
From July 26th to 28th Palestinian physicists and the international group “Scientists for Palestine,” are organizing the first ever ‘Palestinian Advanced Physics School’ at the Arab American University in Jenin. Professor Stephen Hawking, a member of the project’s International Advisory Board, says “Physics does not respect borders and international collaborations are the engines of rapid scientific progress. I am delighted to see that physics education and research in Palestine continues to grow and strengthen its international connections. I wish the students the best of luck!”
Each year since 2002, activists have marked the Nakba in major Israeli cities on Independence Day. The organization De-Colonizer produced a video showing this year’s action where activists asked partygoers celebrating Israeli independence if they would wear a sticker that said “Can you bear the NAKBA on Independence Day?”
The BDS Movement celebrated a victory at the Mennonite Church Canada Assembly this weekend in Saskatoon, with an overwhelming majority of delegates supporting a resolution on that encourages BDS. With 350 delegates in attendance only one person opposed the resolution.
Over 150 renowned writers, poets, translators, artists and literary figures signed an open letter in solidarity with Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour. Susan Abulhawa, Rae Armantrout, Carl Dennis, Dave Eggers, Carolyn Forché, Jorie Graham, Naomi Klein, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Naomi Shihab Nye, Claudia Rankine, Tracy K Smith, Natasha Trethewey, Ayelet Waldman, Alice Walker and Jacqueline Woodson were among the award-winning literary figures who joined the call for the immediate release of the Palestinian poet who was imprisoned for her poetry.
The old narrative of a blameless Israel, fighting off Palestinian “terrorists”, is over. BDS will win because it is the brave and steady labour of people of conscience to move the stalled, bogus “peace process” forward by applying economic pressure, plain and simple.
Bar-Ilan University students demanded the head of business teacher Uri Weiss when he said settlers exhibit “collective psychosis” and school disciplined him. But Weiss continues to criticize occupation.
Yesterday, a diverse group of about 150 New Yorkers protested in front of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Westchester County residence, calling on him to rescind his recent executive order attacking the grassroots boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement (BDS) for Palestinian rights. They chanted, “Andrew Cuomo, what a shame, playing Joe McCarthy’s game.”
For a third consecutive year the Philadelphia Coalition for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel (Philly BDS) held its annual boycott of Israeli dates during the month of Ramadan, and this year successfully mobilized different businesses across the city to formally pledge not to serve nor buy Israeli date products that are in direct violation of international law.
On the occasion of his death, Kali Rubaii remembers the time she met Elie Wiesel and explains how his work led her to work for Palestinian freedom, even if Wiesel himself would never join her, “We are given the stories we are given. I was given the Holocaust first, the Nakba second. It is the way Palestine came to me, it is how Handala and I were introduced. Elie Wiesel cannot stop that. I cannot change that. It is my duty to recognize and act upon the memories that prepare me for the present, even if the arbiters of those memories are unwilling. ‘To forget is a crime,’ he insisted. So I remember. And so we much act.”
Members of the Chicago Faith Coalition on Middle East Policy convened at the Kluczynski Federal Building on Thursday morning to deliver a petition with over 1,340 signatures to US Senator Dick Durbin, urging him to martial his and his colleagues’ political leverage to end the blockade of Gaza.
On 17 July 2014, three children from the Shuheibar family were killed by a missile most likely fired by an Israeli drone operator, while another two children were seriously injured. A component of that missile, collected by the family, had “France” written on it. Experts established that it was produced by Eurofarad, a French company later acquired by Exxelia Technologies. French human rights organization ACAT together with a local partner from Gaza, collected evidence and testimonies, and with the help of Ancile-avocats legal office submitted a complaint against the French weapons manufacturer for their complicity in war crimes and involuntary manslaughter.
The Public Institution for Social Security (PIFSS) in Kuwait has decided, as reported in the Kuwaiti media, to divest its funds from G4S, a company that is profiting from the Israeli occupation and has a notorious record of human rights abuses. Guman Mussa, BDS Campaigns Coordinator in the Arab World, welcomed the new victory against G4S saying: “The decision of PIFSS in Kuwait to respond to a call made by Palestinian civil society and BDS Kuwait affirms that the Palestinian cause is part and parcel of the consciousness of the Kuwaiti people. Kuwait shines a glimmer of hope against normalization with Israel’s regime of occupation and settler-colonialism”.
Anna Baltzer writes, “Two years ago, Presbyterians passed divestment by a razor thin margin of just 7 votes. This year, they moved boldly forward with huge majority votes on further strong measures. Meanwhile, the Unitarians achieved a majority on their first attempt at divestment (remember, the Presbyterians took 10 years!). It is clear that we are in a new moment, and that we have much work ahead of us. We are honored to have you by our side during these historic moments in the struggle for freedom and justice in Palestine.”
The Presbyterian Church (USA) continued its strong support for Palestinian rights with the passage of several overtures at its biennial conference including calling on RE/MAX to end sales of houses in illegal Israeli settlements and affirming the use of boycott as a tool for social change.
The Boycott, Divest and Sanction campaign has made huge strides in the occupied West Bank over the past two years, but campaign organizers are no where near done. At the start of Ramadan, the campaign, partnered with several other local community and BDS initiatives across the occupied West Bank, set out with a mission: To get Israeli products off Ramadan dinner tables.
After author Miko Peled criticized Israel at an April event at an Episcopal church on the Upper West Side in NY, the rector organized a session on how to talk about the conflict which featured a city councilman and rabbi opposing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. The Episcopal church is demonstrating moral cowardice by not supporting the non-violent movement to end atrocious Palestinian conditions.
Today, Center for Constitutional Rights, Palestine Legal and Jewish Voice for Peace filed a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request seeking documents relating to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent executive order that will blacklist institutions and companies that abide by Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns related to Israeli human rights abuses and violations of international law.