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Right to education, from Pine Ridge to Palestine

Osama Mor, Amira Sakalla and Kristian Davis Bailey on
Students from Birzeit on the first Right to Education tour (Photo: NSJP)

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.

Video: Meet the brave shoemaker who filmed Israeli soldier executing a Palestinian

Philip Weiss on
Imad Abu Shamsiya at his sewing machine

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.

Why I chose to get arrested at AIPAC

Ariel Gold on
Ariel Gold participating in a protest at the 2016 AIPAC Policy Conference.

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.”

Indiana lawmakers seek to silence critics of Israel

Bill V. Mullen and Edward E. Curtis IV on
Photograph of campus activism from the Students Supporting Israel website

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.

Young liberal Zionists, it’s time to let go and move on

Robert Cohen on
Peace badges. Credit, UJS

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.

Portland’s socially responsible investments committee recommends putting Caterpillar on city’s ‘do-not-buy’ list

Mondoweiss Editors on
IDF Caterpillar D9 armored bulldozer displayed on Israel 66th Independence Day. (Photo: Zachi Evenor/ Wikimedia)

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.”

Israel’s legal warfare on BDS fosters repression and McCarthyism across the world

Palestinian BDS National Committee on
A BDS logo

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.

Over 60 Massachusetts organizations protest ‘anti BDS’ legislation

Nancy Murray and Liza Behrendt on
Hundreds of people supporting Palestinians marched to the Massachusetts State House, July 22, 2014. 
(Photo: Marilyn Humphries)

“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.

BDS Victory: Ahava moving factory out of occupied West Bank

Annie Robbins on
Photo: Code Pink's Stolen Beauty Ahava Boycott Campaign

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.

Palestinian students rally local businesses to support BDS in occupied West Bank

Sheren Khalel and Abed Al Qaisi on
March in support of BDS in Bethlehem (Photo: Abed Al Qaisi)

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.”

By opposing nonviolent BDS, McGill and Canadian government put themselves on wrong side of history

Mondoweiss Editors on
McGill BDS Action Network (photo: McGill Daily)

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.

BDS Victory: Security company G4S announces plans to exit Israeli market

Palestinian BDS National Committee on
Protest outside the G4S Annual General Meeting in London 2013, which was also disrupted inside. (Photo: Stop G4S)

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.”

Feminist Palestinian legislator’s letter from an Israeli jail on International Women’s Day

Allison Deger on
Khalida Jarrar appears at trial in Ofer Military Court outside of Ramallah, 2015.

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.”

Why we are calling on the University of Minnesota to divest

Sara Halimah on
University of Minnesota Divestment Graphic: SJPUMN

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.

‘No Open House on Stolen Land’: CODEPINK disrupts RE/MAX convention to protest settlement profiteering

Ariel Gold on
RE/MAX protesters (Photo: Code Pink)

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.”

Why I’m going to DC

Peter F. Cohen on
Poster for the upcoming National March to Support Palestine and Protest AIPAC

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.