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Tag Archives: BDS
Debate on divestment and Israel exploded on college campuses last night. For the second time in two weeks, Loyola University’s student government voted to call on their school to divest from corporations involved in the Israeli occupation. But in the vote that captured the most attention, the University of Michigan’s student government voted down a call for divestment. Still, students in support of the resolution said it was a victory to spark a campus-wide debate on the occupation and Palestine.
The University of Michigan student government’s move to indefinitely postpone a vote on a resolution to divest from occupation profiteers has sparked an uproar on campus. The tabling of the resolution caused immediate outrage, with hundreds of students holding an impromptu rally outside to call for their school to divest from corporations like Caterpillar. And last night, over 100 students declared an “indefinite” sit-in at the student government building, calling for a vote on the divestment bill.
On Tuesday night, Loyola University Chicago became the first Jesuit University in the United States to pass a student government resolution to divest from companies complicit in aiding the Israeli occupation. The Senate voted 26-0, with 2 abstentions, to call on the school to remove its holdings from eight corporations that play an active role in the human rights abuses committed by the Israeli government.
The boycott-divestment, sanctions movement (BDS) is unlikely to hurt the Israeli economy or the western governments’ support for Israel in the near future. Where it will have a huge impact, though, is on the cultural, intellectual and financial elite in Israel who have purveyed the country’s image abroad and are highly sensitive to world opinion. At first, the vast majority of this group rejected BDS, and called it anti-Semitic. With time however, BDS will become harder and harder for this group to dismiss with the kind of facile arguments offered by Israeli diplomacy and advocacy.
Despite being at Berkeley, with its liberal reputation, I was reminded repeatedly that talking about Palestine, standing up for Muslim and Arab students, and opposing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan not only made tongues wag with accusations of anti-Americanism, it also simultaneously brought the intense scrutiny of state agencies with respect to my activism and paradoxically the conscious neglect of the state when I received death threats –Snehal Shingavi
Two members of the House of Representatives from Illinois have introduced a bill against the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. With the Orwellian name of the “Protect Academic Freedom Act,” it seeks to bar federal funds from going to academic institutions that back the BDS movement. “Congress has a responsibility to fight back against these hateful campaigns, which contradict academic freedom and are designed to delegitimize the Jewish State of Israel,” said GOP Representative Peter Roskman, who introduced the bill along with his Democratic colleague, Rep. Dan Lipinski. A chorus of voices have slammed the legislation as unconstitutional.
Rafi Gozlan, the chief economist at Leader Capital Markets, one of Israel’s top investment banks, is speculating that the threat of boycott and sanctions against Israel, as well as the controversy surrounding Scarlett Johansson’s global ambassadorship for SodaStream, could have attributed to the weakening of the shekel.
Several reporters expressed annoyance with US deference to Israel at yesterday’s State Department briefing
Battle over SodaStream anticipates a battle over whether John Kerry’s peace framework could result in a viable Palestinian state on what chunks of land the Palestinians get in the West Bank
Palestinians living near West Bank SodaStream factory urge Scarlett Johansson to end role with occupation profiteer
A network of Palestinians living near the SodaStream factory in the illegal settlement of Ma’ale Adumim in Occupied Palestine, as well as Israeli and international grassroots activists who work with them, have issued a press release today calling on Scarlett Johansson to step down as SodaStream spokesperson.
The New York Senate has passed a bill by a vote of 56-4 that prohibits colleges and universities from spending taxpayer funds on academic groups that support boycotting Israel. Introduced by Democratic Senator Jeff Klein, above, the bill’s passage marks the first time a legislative body has successfully passed a bill to target the ASA over its decision in December to boycott Israeli academic institutions. A companion bill is currently being considered in the Assembly. If it passes there–48 lawmakers are co-sponsors of it–it will be up to Governor Andrew Cuomo to either sign the bill or veto it.
The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society, including trade unions, political parties, popular committees and NGOs, calls on Oxfam to immediately sever ties with Hollywood actor Scarlett Johansson over her vocal support for illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territory.
A New York bill to cut off state funding to the American Studies Association over its Israel boycott has the support of 48 lawmakers.
The backlash against the American Studies Association’s decision to boycott Israel has started to migrate from the ivory tower to the halls of state power. New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, one of the more powerful politicians in the state, announced Friday that he plans to introduce a bill that would target the ASA. And a Congressional letter circulating in Washington that condemns the academic boycott of Israel has garnered the support of over four dozen politicians.
Wesleyan University president Michael Roth’s attack on the American Studies Association (ASA) boycott of Israel received a lot of attention. What those passing around Roth’s article miss is that he either misread or misrepresented the resolution’s carefully considered language. The truth of the matter is that Roth and many of the most high profile, vocal critics of the ASA resolution are less interested in defending academic freedom than defending the occupation, the expansion of settlements, and the blockade of Gaza.
Only 407 Israeli academics signed a petition asking the Israeli government to allow Palestinians the same freedom enjoyed by Israeli academics. Out of 10,000 to whom the petition was circulated.
A letter to Cyndi Lauper from an Israeli activist. Lauper is planning to preform in Israel in January, 2014.
Sarah T. Roberts responds to several of the false claims made against the American Studies Association’s resolution for an academic boycott of Israel.
Peter Beinart’s latest attempt to enter the Israel fray comes with his analysis of the American Studies Association boycott resolution.
Edward Snowden is a throwaway for Obama. Palestinians are throwaways for the American Jewish community. And BDS is a throwaway. All will come back, with power, says Marc Ellis
A landmark in the boycott movement: In an election that attracted 1252 voters, the largest number of participants in the American Studies Association’s history, the majority of votes (66%) supported the boycott.
The American Studies Association has called for an academic boycott of Israel. The National Council of the American Studies Association (ASA) made the unanimous decision after the group’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., where the academic boycott call was debated. The ASA Council’s endorsement “represents a principle of solidarity with scholars and students deprived of their academic freedom and an aspiration to enlarge that freedom for all, including Palestinians,” a statement on their website read. The call for academic boycott of Israel comes seven months after an Asian American academic group endorsed the boycott call.
Jazz guitarist and pianist Stanley Jordan has cancelled an appearance at an Israel festival, in recognition that the festival supports and masks apartheid
When United Methodist delegates gather as a plenary to vote on church policies this week, two petitions will be presented that reflect opposing approaches to helping Palestinians.
Delegates to the United Methodist Church General Conference (UMGC) were shown Wednesday a vision of what the future could look like if Israel were to finally end its control of the Palestinian territories.