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  • NYC city council anti-BDS bill meets resistance from protesters
    • Thank you 1000 times to Black Lives Matter, New York City Students for Justice in Palestine, Al-Awda NY, and the New York 4 Palestine Coalition, and everyone who made noise for boycotting Israel. This was a huge victory because it landed some loud defiance against Israel directly into the mass media.

      It sounds like at least one City Council member would support a resolution for the city government to boycott all Israeli products to the maximum extent allowed by law. This would create even more noise for boycott -- who cares what the vote count is? What counts is a good loud voice for boycott in the mass media.

      Thanks again to all of these New Yorkers who found their voice for boycott. I hope the students on 100 campuses heard you loud and clear, and will do the same.

  • In overwhelming vote, leading Lutheran branch calls on US to cut off aid to Israel
    • The abolition of slavery was a good thing. The abolition of the apartheid state of South Africa was a good thing. The abolition of the apartheid state of Israel will be an equally good thing, for the same reasons.

      I am sure every active promoter of BDS resolutions will proudly agree that the abolition of slavery was a good thing. They will also agree that the abolition of the apartheid state of South Africa was a good thing.

      I am sorry if the BDS movement is not unanimously and loudly for the abolition of the apartheid state of Israel. It is no badge of honor to want to preserve an apartheid state.

      When the BDS movement gets enough backbone to utterly reject the state of Israel, Palestine will be free. Until then, the shyness of the BDS movement will just add to the mountains of Palestinian dead. Of course, without the BDS movement, Israel would feel free to kill even more.

    • This is an excellent piece of news. If similar boycott, divestment, and sanction (BDS) resolutions flood the campuses all year long, then the state of Israel will be abolished, like slavery was abolished.

      In fact, there is a 2016 National SJP Conference at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia from November 4th-6th: link to facebook.com
      Does that mean more BDS resolutions on campuses? I hope so.

  • Palestine stands for the larger divide in the Democratic party
    • Exactly! It goes against recorded history to ignore the long history of Black solidarity with the Palestinian and Arab masses who are regularly massacred by Israel.

      For example, the 1970 full-page ad in the New York Times you can see here:
      link to blackforpalestine.com

      It's entitled "An Appeal by Black Americans Against United States Support for the Zionist Government of Israel".

  • US media fail to report video of soldiers shooting desperate Palestinian girl holding knife overhead
    • Mondoweiss again whimpers that New York Times is biased in favor of Israel. Truly an original observation. Do tell us more. A thousand more articles on the subject, please. Surely your whimpering will embarrass the Times into dropping its bias! Right? Wrong!

      Only loud, angry crowds, lawfully demanding boycott, divestment, and sanctions ("BDS") against Israel, will stop Israel and its pet media. You have thousands of city councils and student governments in walking distance of your homes. You can easily push any BDS resolution there. No Southern sheriffs with water-hoses will disperse you. If you are flush with cash, spend 50 cents on a cardboard sign. If you feel especially brave, sign up to speak, too.

      That is what a movement does. Whimpering is not enough.

      There is one City Council where a 14-year campaign for BDS is still going on. So far Mondoweiss has not chosen to publicize it. Judge for yourself: shouldn't people know about the Ann Arbor City Council campaign to boycott Israel? It's a pretty good model for every city, and it doesn't cost a penny.

      * See here in 2012: link to annarbor.com
      * See here in 2014: link to youtube.com
      * See here in 2016: link to youtube.com

      You can easily create a movement like that in your own city council, your own student government. What on Earth are you waiting for, after all these years, after so many massacres?

  • As Dems vote against Palestine, Cornel West warns it is the 'Vietnam War' of our time
    • Your article says the BDS movement is based on a call from Palestinian civil society in 2005.

      Actually, the BDS movement was loudly promoted on some U.S. campuses from 2001 onwards.

      The first successful resolution for total divestment against Israel was approved on April 17, 2003 by the Wayne State University Student Council, in Detroit Michigan.

      You can read the Wayne State divestment resolution, as approved, here: link to 4.bp.blogspot.com

      and here: link to metrotimes.com

      and here, at the top of the list of divestment victories: link to rahimk.tumblr.com

      That is why we ought to be impatient to spread the BDS movement to more campuses and city councils. 15 years is too long to wait. Many, many more BDS movements are needed. Now. This summer, before Israel bombs Gaza again.

  • In long obit for Hedy Epstein, 'NYT' buries Palestinian solidarity
    • I agree with Annie's take on the obituary. Hedy pushed and shoved for Palestinian rights and finally broke down the walls of the New York Times. The result is an obit that is plenty good enough.

      I also agree with the subconscious orientation towards action, action, action -- not whining all day about Zionist media bias. Zionist media bias is everywhere, but I say shut the hell up about it and push for boycotting Israel.

      If you push like hell for boycott, in the face of every media outlet, in your city councils, your grocery store, wherever you feel comfy -- then you will be heard. Even the Zionist media will surrender and print the story, as they did for Hedy.

      For example, I keep pushing for boycotts against Israel in my City Council, and I know I'll be heard. Even though my style lacks grace, lacks nuanced analysis, and (usually) lacks a roomful of enthusiastic youth to demand boycott with me. I will be heard and so will you.

      Just get out in front of the media and yell for boycott. Take this news program, for example: link to youtube.com

      -- Start watching about 1 minute into the broadcast - you can push your own boycott campaign very far if you just won't shut up.

      Good luck to you and me both.

  • UW-Madison graduate student union endorses BDS
    • Big congratulations to these students for getting divestment against Israel approved.

      These divestment and boycott victories save lives. For example, the liberation of Mohammed al-Qiq would not have happened if there were no international pressure on the Israeli state. The happy news of al-Qiq's hard-won freedom reached the mass media worldwide - link to lexpansion.lexpress.fr

  • Wide-ranging interfaith coalition backs 'Freedom of Religion' bill to stop Trump ban on Muslims
    • In reply to Mooser:

      Exactly right. The current BDS movement has not gone for the 1960's protest model, which changed the world.

      No, BDS has gone deep, deep underground. It consists of occasional grumbles at cafe tables and dorm rooms, never any public protest.

      With a few glorious exceptions (like CUNY grad students and University of Chicago students), there has been dead silence on BDS for 12 full months on virtually every U.S. campus.

      Dead silence for 12 months. That is one hell of a strategy.
      Instead, they have thrown themselves into anti-Islamophobia petition campaigns which demand nothing, nothing against Israel.

      We saw this movie before, in 2003. After two great national divestment conferences, both in 2002, the divestment movement largely dissolved into the general anti-war movement. Then when the issue of Palestine popped up inside that anti-war movement, the anti-war movement largely dissolved.

      Poof!

      This strategy is called racing for the lowest common denominator: we're all against Islamophobia, right? We're all against the war, right?

      The problem is that when you smother your conscience about Palestine, seeking some noncontroversial way to be an activist, you're not much good as an activist, nor are the people you've surrounded yourself with. And then your "noncontroversial" movement dissolves.

      So, Mooser, silence about boycotting Israel is a strategy that just begets more silence. And silence = death.

    • In reply to Amigo:

      You seem to share the misconception that using the acronym "BDS" anonymously, or in a blog like this, is the same as a BDS campaign. No, a BDS campaign means real people demanding boycott or divestment against Israel in front of TV or newspaper reporters, so the public will know about it.

      I wish there were such real campaigns. They are the key to liberation for Palestine, because all other avenues are closed.

      You are correct that Israel is panicked about BDS. They would be more panicked if actual public BDS campaigns were happening on the front pages. You know, like the 1963 March on Washington. Like the Black Panther marches to free Huey Newton.

      Marches to boycott Israel, in your city councils all summer, on your campuses all through the autumn - those marches would mean liberation for Palestine. Because those marches would shatter the public atmosphere of silence and complacency and complicity.

      Anything less, like "Amigo" anonymously saying nice things about BDS, is welcome. Thank you, Amigo. But those exercises in anonymity are not a movement. So they will get you something less than liberation.

      Better to yell for boycott in your city council. If you have to do that without giving your name, fine. But you can't sign up to speak anonymously.

    • It seems that Trump has been handed the steering wheel by the whole former BDS movement, because only a tiny handful of campuses have had BDS campaign this year, all of them in the past month or two. Hey, those were wonderful campaigns. They even won. But there only about five of them. Total.

      In practice, BDS has been replaced by campaigns for signatures on petitions against Islamophobia. Certainly at Michigan that's the case. A big petition was published in the campus paper, full of anti-and-pro-Zionist faculty condemning Islamophobia, while BDS has simply vanished from campus discourse. These petition drives are very attractive to terrified ex-BDS proponents because they are on-line; no students need to show their face.

      BDS campaigns required that you physically show up at your student government and ask for divestment resolutions. Students are too terrified to do that.

      So anti-Islamophobia petitions and conferences have sprouted everywhere that BDS used to be, featuring speakers who used to be all about Palestine. Now they're all about Islamophobia.

      So is BDS dead? I'm sorry to say that it is. If it's alive, tell me where. Because I don't see it in any newspaper.

  • 2017 is a crucial year for the Palestine Question
    • BDS victory at Vassar tonight:

      link to miscellanynews.org

    • Thank you, Helena,
      You have produced a big storehouse of valuable resources for activists to read before they go out and demand boycott against Israel. Here it is: link to justworldbooks.com

      Mondoweiss has done the same: created a storehouse of valuable resources for activists to ponder before they go out and demand boycott against Israel.

      Now we have a nationwide network of SJP chapters who spend 11 months out of every year reading your books, and strategically planning, and pondering, before they go out and... spend another year strategically planning. That planning has its fun moments: conferences, banquets, but of course no campus-wide divestment debates.

      And after that fun year of strategy, planning, pondering, and reading, we enter the blessed season (March-April) when a couple dozen divestment resolutions will finally be promoted on U.S. campuses. That starts with Vassar tonight. This is where the public learns that divestment is really being demanded, out in public.

      I am glad for that month or so. Of course, if the Black freedom movement had spent just one month a year marching, and 11 months "strategizing", there would be no such thing as Black voters, outside of Northern cities. There would be no Martin, no Malcolm, no Panthers, nothing outside of a few publishing houses producing weepy memoirs of injustice.

      So I hope the coming month of divestment resolutions goes well. I dread the 11 months after that, because Israel will feel very free to massacre, without fear of campus divestment movements. Then in March-April 2017 we will see a few more divestment resolutions. Then silence until March 2018.

      If ever the campuses would like to speed up that process, with some good loud boycott demands every month, then the liberation of Palestine would actually happen. Until then, I guess that Palestine must wait for March-April 2017. And March-April 2018.

  • Did dodging foreign policy doom Bernie Sanders?
    • Maybe it's not so smart to avoid the central issue of our time:

      Boycotting Israel, stopping the trillion-dollar genocide against Arabs, and investing that trillion into rebuilding the inner cities instead.

      Here's some evidence for that: divestment resolutions are winning and "Israel" is losing, at the University of Minnesota, and at the University of South Florida:

      "Students call for U to divest"
      Feb. 16, 2016
      At: link to mndaily.com

      "U should listen to divestment calls"
      by the Daily Editorial Board
      Feb. 18, 2016
      At: link to mndaily.com

      "Resolution passed at University of South Florida calls for divestment from Israel"
      Jan. 27, 2016
      At: link to palestineinamerica.com

      "SG Senate votes for divestment"
      Jan. 20, 2016
      At: link to usforacle.com

  • Building our Power: Announcing the 2015 national Students for Justice in Palestine conference
    • Thanks, Hanna and Sami. The Chicago divestment story is especially great because (at DePaul) it pushed its way into the Chicago Tribune: link to articles.chicagotribune.com

      Of course Loyola's dynamism, in its divestment campaign, also captured media attention beyond the confines of its campus: link to thecollegefix.com

      And thank you for publishing the list of campus divestment victories at: link to rahimk.tumblr.com

      A couple of us keep going to the University of Michigan student government, every week in fact, demanding a resolution to boycott Israel to the maximum extent allowed by law. If ten students did the same thing, in a number of student governments, you would revive the campus BDS movement beyond your wildest dreams.

      You have already seen the Zionists' most polished arguments, and they are obvious laughable garbage. The only thing holding BDS back is thousands of BDS supporters who are too shy to walk into their student governments and demand BDS at Every. Single. Meeting.

      You will see BDS become the only issue on campus, all year long, if you can actually do that.

      Thank you again. Liberation is coming. Not toothless paralytic "dialogue", but liberation.

  • Berkeley human welfare commissioner fired for backing occupation divestment resolution
  • Israeli gov't used my image for propaganda purposes without my consent
    • Congratulations to Mukarram, and thank you for reminding students of the kind of inhuman dictatorship that Israel works so hard to enforce over Palestinian life, most hellishly in Gaza.

      I want you to know that not all campuses are silent. Two of us spoke at the University of Michigan student government last week, demanding a resolution to boycott Israel to the maximum extent allowed by law.

      Then four people with "Boycott Israel" and "Defeat Israel" signs appeared at a demonstration in downtown Ann Arbor on September 11, 2015.

      Here is what the 'Michigan Daily' reported, at link to michigandaily.com --

      'Attendees also included four noticeably anti-Israel activists, holding signs that read “boycott Israel” and “defeat Israel.” '

      I hope to see this kind of public verbal defiance against Israel spread across U.S. campuses this September. Don't they deserve it?

      2204 dead Palestinians, in Gaza, are always in front of my eyes. I simply can't believe the campuses aren't erupting with cries of "Boycott Israel" from coast to coast.

      Boycott the racist bastard state, and do it now. Don't wait for the next massacre.

  • BDS is here to stay: Message to a CT synagogue
    • * 1000 Black intellectuals just endorsed boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel. Good!

      * Mr. Gelbach has not. He has explained what "BDS" has come to mean in practice. Mr. Gelbach is correct to summarize the current "BDS" movement as follows:

      "Many BDS supporters are selective in their choice of targets: they may oppose only Israeli policies that relate to the occupation, for example, or may focus solely on consumer boycotts..."

      My experience is that, in practice, "BDS" has come to mean never boycotting all Israeli products, never divesting from all investments in Israel, never demanding local or national sanctions to shut down trade, aid, and diplomatic relations with Israel.

      BDS has devolved into extremely modest advocacy for extremely modest goals - like a boycott of a diamond merchant or a soda company.

      * On campus, BDS has come to mean once-a-year requests for divestment from a handful of companies. Even that is presented modestly, more like a respectful church meeting than a real marching movement.

      The campuses open 5 days from now, on September 8th. I hope that at least one student, on at least one campus, will spend his or her September publicly demanding boycott or divestment against Israel. When you look at Gaza, is that really asking so much?

      One divestment campaign in September, on even one campus? Anyone?

  • Over 1,000 Black activists, scholars and artists sign statement supporting freedom and equality for Palestinian people
    • Thank you for the excellent statement against Apartheid Israel.

      It carries forward a strong trend in Black intellectual history dating back to Malcolm X's writings in 1964. That trend was rooted in Black resentment over Israel's war on Egypt in 1956, and over the collapse of white leftists' morals as they rushed to support Israel.

      That trend was further developed in a 1971 full-page ad in the New York Times, entitled "An Appeal by Black Americans Against United States Support of the Zionist Government of Israel". You can read the 1971 ad at: link to a2vigil.org

      So today, in 2015, the bulk of Black political thought calls on "the US government to end economic and diplomatic aid to Israel. We wholeheartedly endorse Palestinian civil society’s 2005 call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel and call on Black and US institutions and organizations to do the same."

      Thank you again. Remember that U.S. campuses open up in a couple of weeks, as September begins. [...]

  • Meeting Jimmy Carter
    • In reply to "Italian Ex-Pat" , to MHughes, and to Annie,

      That comment about the Congo reminded me that Carter, in 1977, approved the shipment of supplies to Mobutu, to help crush a rebellion by the Front for the National Liberation of the Congo.

      Much worse was President Johnson's major military assault on the Congo in 1964, to prevent sympathizers of Lumumba from regaining power. In other words, bombing the hell out of defenseless villagers. That was how Mobutu was finally able to grab and hold power over the shattered body of the Congo.

      So in case you are wondering why I don't "get with the program" and join your mad love for Jimmy Carter and the whole homicidal gang known as the Democratic Party -- that will give you a clue.

      You ask me who I would prefer as a political model? Here's your answer: thousands of marching Arab students, demanding a total boycott against Israel, the racist bastard state. I would like to see them allied with Black students, demanding a trillion-dollar Congressional investment in the inner cities, to eliminate poverty and racism now.

      That kind of loud, marching campaign to end racism at home and abroad makes sense. Waiting for some proven killer like Carter (or whatever Democrat you currently love) to save you is really no substitute for a large, loud boycott-Israel movement.

    • Historians give Lyndon Johnson some credit for adopting some civil rights measures. Those historians try to avoid discussing Johnson's fierce resistance to civil rights in his campaign to get into the U.S. Senate. They also are generally silent about his incineration of Vietnam with a war, and his torturing Brazil and Greece with military coups.

      So today, Mondoweiss (and the whole Palestine solidarity "movement") shower Jimmy Carter with love for his acknowledgement that the Israeli occupation can be called apartheid. Then he expressed regret about using the A-word. And he has never campaigned for boycott or divestment against Israel in any publicized way.

      Remember that Carter gave Israel billions while in the White House. Remember that Carter supported the Shah and hosted him to the bitter end. Remember Carter's refusal to boycott the hell out of Apartheid South Africa when he had the chance. Remember how he let Andy Young get thrown out as UN Ambassador for sitting in a room with the PLO representative.

      In other words, Carter was a real enforcer of U.S. racist brutality worldwide, despite his "human rights" rhetoric, despite his winks to the liberal Democratic Party base.

      But Carter did so much more to really savage the planet: he and his National Security Advisor (Zbigniew Brzezinski) created something that had never existed before: a so-called Muslim army to destroy Afghanistan from top to bottom, just because Afghanistan's government struck them as bad for the U.S. National Interest. That Afghan government was also spreading schools to every girl and boy in Afghanistan, and empowering Afghan women big-time.

      So Carter and Brzezinski (and then Reagan) created a million corpses in Afghanistan with their creation, the so-called mujahideen, later known as Al-Qaeda, later known as ISIS or Nusra or Daesh. Read Brzezinski gloating about it:

      link to counterpunch.org

      That same so-called mujahideen, or Al-Qaeda, was unleashed on Syria, Libya, Yemen, Iraq, etc. by Obama and his NATO allies, to make sure that not a single Arab nation can sleep in safety on any night of the year.

      So don't tell me how you love Carter. After his cancer finishes him off, he will burn in hell for what he did to Afghanistan, to Iran, to so much of the world -- all in the name of the "U.S. national interest". His mild two-faced whimpering for Palestinians, while never ever defying the legitimacy of the Israeli state, is really not enough to atone for his crimes. He is lucky the Hague never got him and Brzezinski.

      Boycott Israel, to hell with Israel, and what a shame that Carter is your model and ideal.

  • Roundtable on the Palestinian solidarity movement and Alison Weir
    • In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. So too, since 2002, when the vibrant, marching student movement for Palestine withered into private meetings, no one is left but the occasional guest lecturer (Alison Weir and a few others) and the one month in which weak divestment resolutions are promoted on a couple of dozen campuses (April, right before campuses empty out.)

      To all of these poor remnants of the movement I give thanks, but I wish the thousands of students who gripe privately on Facebook would start marching to boycott Israel, in every city council and every campus.

      To encourage students to march for boycott is a worthy effort. To instead waste your time hunting for ill motives in Alison's presentations is an extremely unworthy effort, and a fool's errand too. Any sane student reading these attacks on Alison will wonder why you aren't directing your voices against the rancid, racist state of Israel instead.

      Alison's lectures (pretty much the same lecture for many years) feature a colorful kind of slideshow demonstrating the mass media's overwhelming bias against the value of Palestinian life and limb. I have seen it many times now.

      Once in February 2002, at the first national divestment conference, Alison showed a wonderful film clip of a Berkeley divestment demonstration from 2001. That was great! I hope she will put it on YouTube and on Mondoweiss.

      So what on Earth is wrong with that? Let her keep doing her slideshow. Without that, humanity is less, not more.

      Years ago, Alison defended me at a demonstration in Washington when I wore a sign showing maximum contempt for the racist state of Israel. At that same rally, the End-the-Occupation people were throwing all their might into blocking my sign from view and trying to remove me from the presence of anyone who might see it.

      So if Palestine is incinerated again, like Gaza in 2014 and 2008-2009, I think Alison would have more of a heart, and a stronger voice, for Palestinian life than her accusers do today.

      Boycott Israel, to hell with Israel, and stop disgracing yourself by attacking Alison and her pretty useful slideshow.

  • Mother of Palestinian baby burned to death tried to save her child
    • I am dumbfounded at the lack of boycott action after this baby was incinerated. Still no boycotts in any city council? Still no hint of a September campus campaign to boycott "Israel", that racist bastard state?

      Why the inaction, even now? Contrast that with the gigantic worldwide outcry for extradition of Cecil the Lion's killer.

  • Once we were embattled, now we are insurgent
    • Yes, there are now divestment resolutions launched in April of each year, on some campuses, right before the campuses empty out.

      Why not in September? Why the 7-month wait, each and every year?

  • Front-page attack in New York Times says BDS movement is driven by minorities' 'hostility toward Jews'
    • In reply to Mooser:

      Certainly Annie has the right to reject raw video, and raw scribblings. She can't be bothered to edit every unpolished submission, and I am not the greatest writer.

      But that couldn't be Annie's reason for flatly omitting the Ann Arbor Boycott-Israel campaign, especially during the Gaza Massacre of 2014. I sent her numerous mainstream media links to that Boycott-Israel campaign, as it was unfolding. None of them were ever front-paged in Mondoweiss. Do you want some examples?

      * See link to mlive.com (2014)

      * See also link to mlive.com (2014)

      * From 2011-2013, there are many mainstream media articles on the "Boycott Israel" bus ad, including this one: link to annarbor.com

      So Mondoweiss had their choice of mainstream boycott articles to showcase. They got a ton of them directly from me, too. In some of these links, you can see a packed City Council chamber -- young people chanting "Boycott Israel" over and over.

      Is that really something of no interest to Mondoweiss readers?

    • In reply to Annie,

      My point is that there is scarcely ever room in Mondoweiss for frontal boycott assaults on the legitimacy of "Israel", and that's the shame.

      Certainly Annie has the right to reject raw video, and raw scribblings. I will even give her a sure-fire excuse: she is short on time. She can't be bothered to edit every unpolished submission, and I am not the greatest writer.

      But that was not Annie's reason for rejecting the very dramatic boycott campaign in Ann Arbor during the Gaza Massacre of 2014. I sent her numerous mainstream media links to that Boycott-Israel campaign, as it was unfolding. None of them were ever front-paged or back-paged in Mondoweiss. And she told me of her horror at the kid who complained that Palestinians were going through a Holocaust. She also expressed her opinion that the kid thereby made the whole movement look bad.

      Certainly Annie is no censor. Certainly she sincerely wants to put the best face on the BDS movement. Virtually the entire BDS movement agrees with Annie: they feel revulsion to see anyone say "Boycott Israel entirely", or "Fuck Israel", or similar blanket rejections of the Israeli state. They feel it would bring down an intolerable amount on condemnation on the BDS students' heads, and would sink the enterprise.

      Yet the Black freedom movement of the 1960's desperately needed such loud voices: Malcolm, Stokely, the Panthers, DRUM, RAM, the whole spectrum of healthy outraged protest. The extremely polite and accommodating BDS movement needs an impolite wing that actually says "Boycott Israel", "Fuck Israel", and "Cut all Ties with Israel".

    • To justicewill prevail,

      No, justice will not prevail if you are unable to even speak your name! Otherwise, your point is a perfectly good one: how can someone complain about the weak posture of the divestment movement when that someone is unwilling to set a stronger example themselves?

      The answer is this: I have publicly demanded a total boycott of Israel, to the maximum extent allowed by law.

      Look here: link to mlive.com
      Look here too: link to annarbor.com

      I have done this at multiple city councils, at many student government meetings, at public demonstrations, and in a federal lawsuit demanding "Boycott-Israel" bus ads.

      Mondoweiss' answer was that our "Boycott-Israel" demonstrations would make the BDS movement look terrible -- hence they refused to front-page them.

      Annie saw the video of our city council demonstration. She was horrified that the huge crowd of demonstrators included a student who felt that Palestinians are going through a Holocaust themselves. That student was 100% right in my opinion, and 100% wrong in Annie's opinion.

      So an excellent example of how to demand a boycott of Israel never made it to Mondoweiss readers, although of course Annie could change her mind the next time Israel incinerates Gaza. I would hope she doesn't wait that long.

      Annie represents the dominant thinking in he BDS movement- that looking good is more important than showing Panther-style defiance in our rhetoric towards the apartheid state.

      Even after Israel torched 2200 Palestnians to death last summer, there is still no place in the current BDS movement for my opinion. Not even in Mondoweiss.

      My opinion is that we must loudly call for cutting all ties with Israel, at the highest volume allowed by law, or else Palestine simply can't be heard at all. Palestine is not Superman. It's only made of flesh and bone.

      How long can Palestine survive unless students shout for boycotting Israel all year long? One month a year of timid BDS resolutions, on a tiny handful of campuses, just isn't enough. Nor is so much timidity necessary to protect the students. There is no Bull Conner police force willing to brutalize lawful BDS demonstrators on television.

      You must know that my opinion is right smack in the mainstream in Palestine, especially among those who keep getting incinerated by "Israel". I hope it will be adopted by Mondoweiss before Palestine is bulldozed out of existence.

    • Yes, the students are still terribly fearful.

      So they anticipate the Zionists' howls and build their BDS campaigns to dodge those howls.

      Thus BDS has morphed into a series of whimpers to please form college committees to please consider possibly selling off stock in a few American companies which do bad things to Palestinians.

      See? No actual divestment from Israel. No boycott of Israel. No chance that the "anti-Semitism" insult can ever be invoked, right? Wrong. No matter what you say, if you try to protect Palestinian life, you will be called an "anti-Semite".

      Just get used to it, ignore it, stop whining, and say Cut All Ties with "Israel".

      Or else you'll be on your knees whimpering until the last Palestinian is dead.

      Those are your choices.

    • More whining about the New York Times. Thank you Phil.

      Just be glad that several thousand students have pushed divestment onto the front page of the Times. Stop whining abut the how the article is unfair to those brave students. Did you expect better? You'll get better articles when divestment resolutions are stronger, louder, and non-stop, all semester, every semester.

      If you want a better article, try yelling for a total boycott against Israel, to the maximum extent allowed by law. Do you really believe "Israel" is a racist bastard state? Then try sounding like you mean it.

      Look at the Black Panthers. They spoke as if Black life truly mattered. Try speaking that way about Palestinian life -- if you believe it.

      Look at Wayne State University's Student Council. Their divestment resolution had a backbone. It demanded "divestment from all companies doing business in Israel." Look: link to tinyurl.com

      But if you whimper and whine, how do you think you'll be treated? Grow a backbone.

      Try saying "Cut all Ties With the Racist State". It worked on South Africa, didn't it?

  • Spanish Jews resisted oppression in tunnels and, exiled, clutched their keys
    • Kris:

      No problem. Let everyone speak as they please, including Max. Let them be funny or serious, as they wish. The problem is that there is nothing yet that resembles a movement.

      The Civil Rights Movement was a movement, as were the Black Panther Party. They made sharp, clear, loud demands, and they won important victories. Until the "BDS" movement acts like that, Israel will continue bombing Gaza.

      Fun tours of Spain might be insufficient to save Gaza. Loud boycotts (against Israel) will do the job. Loud marches demanding boycott, too.

    • To "Just",

      Absolutely right, on both counts. So why bother with Mondoweiss? Because it's an extremely valuable resource for boycott-Israel activists on campus -- what's missing is the activists. There is no student on any campus campaigning for boycott of Israel. They are terrified to even be accused of that.

      So the very few, honorable students pushing for "BDS" spend one month a year pushing to form committees to consider divesting from a few companies that contribute to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Israeli bombardment of Gaza.

      Does that sound convoluted? Yes -- the BDS crew has designed it to be really hard to understand. This is how they protect themselves from accusations that they seek to boycott Israel itself. Yet they really should demand total boycott of Israel itself.

      So we get one month of weak divestment resolutions each year, and a menu of tasty Mondoweiss articles -- but that is all we get. Better than nothing, but not enough to protect Gaza from regular incineration by "Israel".

      Where is the booming voice of total boycott and total liberation? What student will make that happen, on what campus?

    • Max,

      I guess if you have a craving for history, that drives you as far as Spain, go ahead and indulge that craving. But don't pretend that this junket has anything to do with freeing Palestine.

      The Palestine solidarity "movement" is still tiny and fragile and terrified. That means you.

      That "movement" still runs a millions miles, to Spain and beyond, to avoid simply standing in your own city council, or your own university, and demanding a total break with "Israel". What is so hard about openly campaigning for a boycott resolution in your home town, week after week? A divestment resolution, if you prefer that.

      A few years ago, I begged you, in Ann Arbor to please mention boycotting Israel in your presentation. You simply could not do it. Now it's fashionable -- so you do speak favorably of BDS, to those who invite you. A good time is had by all -- and it never appears in the mass media.

      If the abolitionists had insisted on touring Spain, Germany, and the globe-- rather than loudly confronting their own government and demanding an immediate end to slavery-- then you can be sure slavery would continue today.

      Enjoy your junket, lubricated with the tears of 15th-century European exiles. It would have been timely and important 600 years ago.

      But today, if you're not marching into the big city councils of the United States, demanding a total boycott against "Israel", you are no more than coffee-table chatter for those few who read Mondoweiss.

  • A 22-year-old Palestinian dies after imprisonment, then his cousin, 27, is killed at his funeral
    • I've noticed that Mondoweiss is flatly not covering a number of divestment campaigns, for example at the University of Michigan two weeks ago.

      Your emphasis is less on protest, more on whining without acting.

      All of you are fully capable of loudly pushing for resolutions to boycott Israel in your various city councils, all summer long. What is your excuse, this year, for sitting on your hands?

      Would you rather just keep whining helplessly?

  • Debate over trip to Israel reveals fissures in Muslim American community
    • When I think of boycott, I think of the loud public campaigns to boycott South Africa that landed in the newspapers and helped to abolish the entire apartheid state. Marches on the university President's office demanding boycott. Marches on city council demanding boycott. That's a boycott. That's worth spending your energy on.

      But all of this huffing and puffing about a few pitiful saps who allow themselves to be paraded around Israel by Zionists? Yeah, they are wrong to do it, sure. Yeah, ADC and the rest are right to say so. But is that what they want to spend their energy on?

      I would feel a lot better about ADC (and the rest) if they were marching into city councils demanding resolutions to boycott all Israeli products. That's a real boycott. Until they do that, they won't be heard by anyone outside of little websites like this one.

      A movement requires loud marching in front of news cameras, demanding something. Otherwise, you won't be seen or heard.

  • Book Review: In Our Power - U.S. Students Organize for Justice in Palestine
    • Mooser:

      I hope you don't really find a marching, self-assertive Boycott-Israel movement so "stinky".

      The only way any human rights movement succeeds is through mass mobilizations -- loud public demands for what is obviously right - like boycotting the apartheid state of Israel until every Palestinian is free.

      As of now, the main body of the Palestine solidarity movement, the students on campuses, are like that very sporadically - almost never. Yet only that kind of mass march, repeated a hundred times, on a hundred campuses, is what will save Palestine. That will politically end Zionism; nothing else will. Certainly today's back-door BDS mentality, perpetually postponing any public demands, waiting at the back door for permission to enter, will do nothing but invite more Gaza massacres.

      Watch "Selma".

    • Helena,

      Annie is quite right! Although there was a fantastic, inspired divestment campaign which made huge public noise at the University of Michigan in March 2014, which Mondoweiss covered very well, and "Electronic Intifada" covered with love and inspiration. In fact, the EI reporter traveled twice to Michigan to witness it all unfold, the hundreds of students chanting "Divest", etc.

      These were highly inspired and capable students, overwhelmingly Arab students - no one else has the heart, the first-hand experience, and the numbers to push the boycott campaign through to victory, although of course everyone is welcome to try.

      You could compare the campus BDS situation to the first critically important Selma march in 1965, when Black marchers and Black intellectuals made it all happen. Except that no one is marching on the campuses. Sorry, Annie, but that's the truth.

      Miraculously, in the summer of 2014, hundreds marched to boycott Israel in Ann Arbor, and even marched into the City Council to say so loudly.

      So of course in September 2014, I expected a nationwide outpouring of inspired, loud campus campaigns for boycott or divestment against Israel. Instead, the campuses (with a microscopic number of exceptions) were silent, from September until today in 2015.

      Why? Can't they smell how close liberation is? No, they can't. You tell them to go march for boycott. Nothing less will have any impact. Nobody will stop these students, once they emerge from their coma. There are no Southern sheriffs shooting fire hoses at them.

    • Helena,
      You have written and spoken well for the boycott campaigns. Except that after Spring 2014, the expected tsunami of boycott demands, against Israel, never even started. Incredibly the explosion of enthusiasm for BDS at Michigan and DePaul in Spring 2014 never spread.

      From June 2014 until January 2015, with a few wonderful exceptions (see UCLA's victory -- link to mondoweiss.net ) the campuses have been stone-cold-silent.
      ,
      Again watch "Selma" at a movie theater near you. That is what a movement looks like. Marchers with a clear demand that will change everything, and who insist on constant dominance of news media coverage. That's a movement.

    • The subtitle of that book is "U.S. Students Organize for Justice in Palestine".

      It's now 2015. There are over 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States. Not even one of them has a single visible or audible campaign that demands boycott or divestment from Israel.

      Check Google, under the news tab. Enter the words divestment israel.

      There is not even one (1) student publicly demanding boycott or divestment on any campus.

      Apparently we are supposed to wait until April, when the university newspapers cease publishing for the year, for any such demands to be voiced in any public forum. Furthermore, we are expected to call that a movement.

      Watch the movie "Selma" tonight. Then tell me what the United States would look like if the Selma movement had confined itself to a brief squeak of activity for one month (April) of each school year.

  • Next U.S. elections threaten Israel's 'total isolation' -- and the Israeli public is worried
    • Marnie,

      I did leave you a reply to your thoughtful comments. I hope that Mondoweiss will post it.
      Thanks.

    • Dear "catporn",

      Oo, that hurts. Grousing about grousing. Yup.

      I have to admit Mondoweiss has grown way past its comfort level. And they still print my comments; God only knows why.

      But they are called upon to do better and faster. If no one else is marching for a total boycott against Israel, then I expect Mondoweiss to do it. Even if that just means Phil, Adam, and Annie strolling into an NYU student government meeting and demanding a boycott resolution.

      Do I ask too much? Of course. But without a demand, you get nothing.

    • Dear "CigarGod",

      Thanks. Yes, the higher that BDS banner is held, the better. And I prefer to say "Boycott Israel" because 99% of the United States has no idea what BDS even stands for.

      As far as any cosmetic governmental actions like the European recognition of some Abbas rump state - those actions are a very inadequate accommodation to the audible boycott-Israel voices that can be heard ( a little bit) across Europe. So the louder the movement becomes, the more positive governmental actions you will see.

      Without an audible boycott-Israel movement, you get bupkis.

    • Hi Jimby,

      Yes, you may be right. It may take centuries for a marching, nationwide "Boycott Israel" movement to develop. Of course, by then Israel will have gobbled the entire Middle East plus Pakistan, and abolished the Arabic language and alphabet too.

      So it would be better to try and accelerate the boycott movement, before Israel has bombed its way across the entire Middle East.

      Think of the great, seemingly impossible achievement of the abolitionist movement (which was ultimately led by slaves walking away from their plantations and joining the Union Army). That movement stopped slavery before it could spread all the way through Latin America.

      Zionism has the same kind of racist dynamic as slavery, except they simply want the lands of the Middle East, not the people. You see what they do to the people.

      Better to jump-start the boycott-Israel movement now, not later.

    • In case you were wondering why the entire Palestine solidarity "movement" is so in love with Mondoweiss, this column is your answer.

      You walk away from this column in good spirits, because you don't need to march for a boycott of Israel!

      After reading Mondoweiss, you will imagine that you don't even need to march for the anemic BDS resolutions which await April 2015 before they can be unveiled. Why?

      According to Mondoweiss, you can just relax because the 86-year-old Dean of American Foreign Policy (the unknown Mr. Pfaff) has done all the heavy lifting for you. Yes, Mr. Pfaff is grousing about the latest massacres committed by Israel.

      But wait, there's more! Mondoweiss has uncovered some similar grousing in a speech by an Obama advisor, Philip Gordon. Gordon wishes dearly that Israel can be "broadly and universally accepted among the community of nations", but he is grousing because Israel's behavior may prevent that.

      You call that a movement? It is momentary grousing which will be read by no one. Less than 1% of the United States could identify either Pfaff or Gordon to save their life. Nor does anyone know or care what they grouse about.

      But wait, Mondoweiss also implies that the U.S. President candidates will magically form a tsunami of condemnation against Israel and isolate it in 2016! Yet none of the candidates have done any such thing -- ever!

      Read history. Without any audible movement on the campuses, the city councils, the mass media and the streets, there will be zero change in U.S. policy. Zero. For how many years has Phil Weiss enthused over some magic sea change ending U.S. support for Israel? Many. Never has that "sea change" materialized.

      Shall I remind you of the most blatant Israeli massacres of Arabs, just since the year 2000? After each one, there is a brief murmur of protest on some campuses, and then more massive aid to Israel from the U.S. government.

      Contrast that with the Civil Rights Movement of the early 1960's, which could not be silenced or kept off the front pages of the mass media. Ditto for the Black Power Movement of the late 1960's.

      Those were real movements, unlike the BDS non-movement, which is invisible for 11 months every year.

      The Black freedom movement gave birth to every movement worth a damn in U.S. politics, most notably the anti-war movement which helped end the Vietnam War, and the anti-apartheid movement, and whatever consciousness exists about Palestine in this country: that all started with Malcolm X, with SNCC, and with the Black Panther Party in the 1960's.

      The Black freedom struggles of the 1960's were actual marching, visible movements which broke the back of white supremacy worldwide, especially in this country.

      Contrast that with the tiny pitiful squeaks for "BDS" which wait silently for April every year before they can be heard at all. Those squeaks are no movement. Their tone is always timid, always vanishing before it is even perceived by mass media outlets. God, how the squeakers love Mondoweiss, for validating their strategy of silence 11 months out of every year.

  • Shaking the campus from the US to Palestine
    • Excellent words, Kristian. Just the kind of solidarity that's needed - if it really happens on the campuses.

      Before Thanksgiving, I hope to see student government meetings filled with "Boycott Israel" banners, or at least a crowd chanting "Divest, Divest, Divest" as we saw at Michigan in March 2014.

      That would make this column true - a door flung open to liberation, much more than just words.

  • Israel and the g-word
    • Just read the United Nations' own definition of genocide. You may be surprised to learn that it fits Israel like a glove. Israel really is committing a genocide against the people of Palestine.

      I am therefore surprised to see so few campuses demanding a blanket boycott against all Israeli goods, as was done to Apartheid South Africa.

      Where is the BDS movement this semester? After the last Gaza massacre, I had thought dozens of campuses would host loud movements for boycott or divestment against Israel. Where are they? It's now mid-October.

  • Thirteen arrested as protesters tell Senators Menendez and Booker: 'No more blank check for Israel's crimes'
    • Thank you! I hope to see similar news from your own city council one day.

    • There are also multiple efforts to persuade City Councils to approve resolutions to boycott all products imported from Israel:

      "Tensions mount at city council meeting over ‘Boycott Israel’ proposal"
      ARAB AMERICAN NEWS
      At: link to arabamericannews.com

      "Ann Arbor protesters call for Israel boycott; mayor says he won't support bid"
      DETROIT NEWS
      link to detroitnews.com

      "Video: Police escort anti-Israel protesters from Ann Arbor city hall"
      ANN ARBOR NEWS/ MLive.com
      link to mlive.com

      "Ann Arbor officials discussing how to deal with anti-Israel protesters disrupting meetings"
      ANN ARBOR NEWS/ MLive.com
      link to mlive.com

      "Group Calling On Ann Arbor Boycott Of Israel Expected At Monday City Council Meeting"
      WEMU Radio (Ypsilanti, Michigan)
      At: link to wemu.org

      --------------------------------------------------------------

  • 'Day of rage' tomorrow: Palestinian resistance 'starts with the tongue'
  • #SDSUdivest: Divestment leads the social justice agenda at San Diego State University
    • A wonderful account from SDSU Divest! This is a big chapter in divestment history.

      Major thanks to these students. It's been 11 years since the first major divestment victory at Wayne State University's student council - link to 4.bp.blogspot.com

      Now at SDSU, UC Davis, Michigan, and so many campuses, there's a buzz for BDS that can only grow louder -- until liberation.

      Over the summer, it would be nice to see a divestment effort at a City Council, too.

  • U. Mich student government move to table divestment resolution sparks uproar
    • Wonderful.

      You should have seen 300 students chanting "Divest-Divest-Divest" in the Central Student Government meeting, March 18th, soon after a representative claimed that "none of my constituents" were interested in the divestment resolution.

      Now the entire student government gets a chance to re-assess their definition of the phrase, "none of my constituents".

  • 'Northeastern SJP will not be silenced or intimidated': SJP responds to suspension from Northeastern University
    • We need some good news now and we have it:

      University of Michigan students have officially launched a divestment campaign in the student government. A good number of students spoke up for that resolution March 11th in the Central Student Government last night.

      The big meeting and vote will happen Tuesday, March 18th, 7:30 pm on the 3rd floor of the Michigan Union, 530 South State Street, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

  • Stirring debate on BDS, 'NYT' allows readers to speak out about inequality
    • Phil, I can't complain. The whole Mondoweiss team is doing its best to push for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against the last apartheid state - Israel. Boycott (or "BDS") really is the most vivid tool to push for liberation, when it comes to Palestine today.

      And the entire student movement for Palestine knows it, in every inch of North America, Europe, and Africa. They know it, but won't act on it.

      So I hope that students on U.S. campuses will finally come out of their closets and publicly demand boycott against Israel. When they finally start that ball rolling, it will end with liberation for Palestine and for the entire region.

      Every tyranny in the entire region is directly or indirectly kept alive by the cold heartless racism of the Israeli state, which is still backed by all three branches of the U.S. government.

      So when you abolish the apartheid state, you topple tyranny across the region, too.

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