Category Archives: Israel Lobby

Federal agencies express concerns about Israel’s entry into the Visa Waiver Program

us israel flags

Israel has long sought to enter the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, which allows citizens from participating countries to obtain an automatic 90 day visa to travel to the United States. Yet, Israel has not been admitted to the program because of its ongoing discrimination against Palestinian and Arab Americans. In a State Department press briefing on Friday, spokesperson Jen Psaki again acknowledged Israel’s pattern of discrimination noting the “unequal treatment of Palestinian Americans and other Arab Americans receive at Israel’s borders and checkpoints.”

Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | Tagged | 30 Comments

Florida university president who condemned boycott has financial ties to settlements

Earlier this year, University of South Florida President Judy Genshaft condemned the American Studies Association’s boycott of Israel as “antithetical to the core values of academic freedom.” Now, critics of the president are pointing to her extensive ties to Israel and financial interests in the country. Genshaft’s family foundation accrues interest from corporate bonds from the Industrial Development Bank of Israel, which is co-owned by two banks that are deeply invested in illegal West Bank settlements.

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel Lobby, US Politics | Tagged | 41 Comments

New book explores intersection of Islamophobia and support for Israel

Elly Bulkin and Donna Nevel have a new book out that explores the intersection of Islamophobia and Israel—and the ways that the U.S. “war on terror” impacts both.

Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics, War on Terror | 5 Comments

Appeals court upholds dismissal of anti-BDS lawsuit against Olympia Food Co-op

On Monday the Washington State Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of the anti-BDS lawsuit against the Olympia Food Co-op. The suit had been filed by five Co-op members in 2011 to force the Co-op to rescind its boycott of Israeli goods. Several pro-Israel interests became involved in the case as well, ranging from the multimillion-dollar Israel advocacy group StandWithUs, to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and most recently the Lawfare Project.

Posted in BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine | 30 Comments

‘A Painful Price’: The escalating war on Palestine solidarity at U of Michigan and beyond

Max Blumenthal attended the University of Michigan divestment debate last week and was able to witness firsthand the tactics pro-Israel students and organizations are using to defeat BDS by any means necessary. Blumenthal writes, “Under the influence of a zealous cast of communal elders and with a powerful, astroturfed political apparatus at their disposal, pro-Israel forces on campus initiated a campaign of subterfuge and manufactured persecution designed to intimidate and silence students inclined toward Palestine solidarity activism. It was a disturbing spectacle to behold, especially at such an intimate distance.”

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | Tagged | 266 Comments

‘The Shondes’ singer Louisa Solomon endorsed BDS, so– DC JCC cancels her band’s gig

Brooklyn rock group The Shondes, whose critically-acclaimed 2013 album “The Garden” was praised by mainstream and Jewish press alike, were scheduled to headline the Washington Jewish Music Festival on June 2, but the DC Jewish Community Center (DC JCC) has now reneged on their invitation, citing lead singer Louisa Solomon’s past comments on Israel, specifically her support for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Movement.

Posted in American Jewish Community, BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | Tagged | 11 Comments

The Israel lobby’s trojan horse: ‘Reforming’ education laws to defund Middle East studies programs

Pro-Israel groups are laying the blueprint for an attack on Middle Eastern studies programs. At a recent panel in Washington, D.C., Israel advocates outlined their plan: use amendments to an education law to pull federal grants from Middle Eastern studies programs they deem overly critical of Israel.

Posted in Activism, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | Tagged | 14 Comments

Loyola student government president vetoes divestment resolution

Two votes in a row calling for divestment were not enough to convince the Loyola student government president to let the measure stand. Pedro Guerrero, the president of the Loyola United Student Government Association, vetoed a resolution calling on the school to divestment from corporations involved with the Israeli occupation. The Students for Justice in Palestine chapter at the school said Guerrero had “caved” under pressure.

Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 38 Comments

Ohio State Hillel member calls Desmond Tutu a ‘neo Nazi’ for criticizing Israel

Monday morning, a student member of the Ohio State University Hillel Center made racist references to Desmond Tutu, a leader and veteran of the South African struggle against apartheid, as a “neo Nazi.”

Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine | 121 Comments

AIPAC’s 2-state lip-service: conference featured university in settlement

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) claims to support a two-state solution. But the lobby group’s actions tell a much different story. AIPAC invited Ariel University to show off its research at the policy conference’s “village.” The move exposed how AIPAC is, in reality, in favor of a Greater Israel.

Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Settlers/Colonists, US Politics | 10 Comments

The battle over Palestine is raging–and Israel is losing: Ali Abunimah on his new book

Ali Abunimah’s new book, The Battle for Justice in Palestine, chronicles how Palestine solidarity activism in the U.S. is on the move, with the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement growing in leaps and bounds. Mondoweiss’ Alex Kane sat down with Abunimah to discuss the state of the battle over Palestine, lessons learned from the end of South African apartheid and the potent coalitions the BDS movement is forging in the U.S.

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | Tagged , , | 45 Comments

Coming out in support of SJP, Northeastern NLG concerned school ‘unduly influenced by wealthy donors vocal in their support for Israel’

The Northeastern University School of Law chapter of the National Lawyers Guild supports the Northeastern chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine and formally opposes the administration’s decision to suspend the group and sanction its members.

Posted in Activism, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 4 Comments

Randi Zuckerberg to headline event for new AIPAC ‘technology division’

Randi Zuckerberg, sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, will be helping AIPAC promote its new “Technology Division” at a New York event March 31st hosted with the New York Observer.

Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 16 Comments

Northeastern University Israel advocates applaud suspension of SJP chapter

Campus Israel advocates at Northeastern University (NEU) are showing full-throated support for the school’s suspension of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) over mock eviction notices. A letter published by Huskies for Israel, a campus pro-Israel group, applauded the school’s decision. Two members of the group have received training from right-wing Israel lobby groups. And Israel lobbyists that have long targeted Northeastern–like the anti-Muslim activist Charles Jacobs–also lauded the suspension of SJP.

Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 12 Comments

Scarlett Johansson parrots SodaStream CEO in attack on Oxfam

SodaStream starlet Scarlett Johansson parrots company’s CEO in accusing Oxfam of funding the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Media, US Politics | 14 Comments

BDS supporting rock star Roger Waters hits back against vicious smears

For months, rock star Roger Waters has been the subject of vicious smears. His support for Palestinian rights has led Israel advocates to call him an “anti-Semite” who engages in “blood libels.” Now, Waters is hitting back. He explains his advocacy for Palestine in a Salon Op-Ed.

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 81 Comments

University of Windsor President pressures Student Union to not ratify BDS referendum following demand from pro-Israel donor

In a historic victory for the BDS movement in Canada, the University of Windsor undergraduate students voted in a campus-wide referendum to endorse the BDS movement, and to push for university divestment from companies that are complicit in Israel’s systematic violations of international law. A recent letter sent to President Wildeman from a Zionist donor, explicitly shows the kind of pressure that university administrations receive from the Israel lobby when the issue of Palestinian rights gains broad campus appeal.

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine | 53 Comments

Open letter from NYC Iranians to Mayor de Blasio: When you stand by AIPAC, you do not stand by us

Letter from Iranians in NYC calling on Mayor de Blasio to cut ties with AIPAC.

Posted in Iran, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 7 Comments

Barnard removes SJP banner calling on students to ‘Stand for Justice, Stand for Palestine’

On March 10th, Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine hung a banner on Barnard Hall. The banner was placed after members of C­SJP went through the required bureaucratic channels and processes in order to give voice and presence to our week­long events as part of Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW), a global period of action and awareness ­raising that has been occurring throughout the world for the past ten years. This morning we awoke to find that our banner – which simply read “Stand for Justice, Stand for Palestine,” and featured the logo of our group (the silhouette of historic Palestine) – has been taken down by the administration of Barnard College after they caved to pressure from other groups. Barnard administration offered no explanation, and no warning that they planned to remove our banner.

Posted in Activism, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 20 Comments

Northeastern University SJP chapter suspended as members are subjected to police interrogation

Northeastern University’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter has been suspended by the school administration for at least a year because the group distributed mock eviction notices. The remarkable move by the school leadership was followed up with phone calls and visits from campus police officers, while two SJP members were threatened with expulsion. The suspension is the culmination of a long-running campaign against the group led by powerful pro-Israel outfits based in Boston.

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel Lobby, US Politics | Tagged | 57 Comments

J Street cheerleading for Kerry features Congressman warning Palestinians will demand the vote if two states fails

J Street is going all in for Secretary of State John Kerry’s quest to broker a two-state solution. Last night, the liberal Zionist group held their latest town hall gathering in New York City to amplify calls for a two-state solution. The event featured Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and former Shin Bet head Ami Ayalon, among others. Nadler told the crowd there would be no Palestinian right of return, but that settlers who wanted to stay in a state of Palestine should be able too–a revealing double standard.

Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | Tagged | 45 Comments

Grindr in Hebron: A dispatch from the last debate

Max Blumenthal recounts a recent event at Boston University where Blumenthal and Sa’ed Atshan debated Richard Landes and Simon Deng.

Posted in American Jewish Community, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 98 Comments

‘NYT’ piece on Israel coexistence singer leaves out his latest gig: AIPAC

If David Broza is really seeking to bridge the Israeli-Arab divide, as the New York Times’ Jodi Rudoren reports from Israel, why did he play AIPAC, the rightwing Israel lobby conference, last week? And why didn’t the Times tell readers about that gig?

Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine | 16 Comments

Battle over Maryland’s anti-boycott Israel bill heats up

Maryland legislators heard testimony on Israeli human rights abuses and the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement last week at two separate hearings on a bill that would prohibit spending public funds on academic groups in favor of boycott. Some Israel advocates testified in favor of the bill by calling BDS anti-Semitic. The legislation has split the Israel lobby, though, with some groups arguing the effort will backfire by bringing attention to boycotters. Meanwhile, civil liberties and Palestine solidarity groups continue to mobilize to kill the bill.

Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | Tagged | 9 Comments

House delivers for AIPAC, 410-1, passing Israel as ‘strategic partner’ bill

The House of Representatives passed the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act by a 410-1 vote today. The legislation, a major priority for the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), designates Israel as a “major strategic partner”–a first for any U.S. ally. AIPAC members lobbied Congress to approve the bill on Tuesday, in addition to asking elected officials to sign letters stressing that Congress should be informed of the nuclear negotiations with Iran. Only Thomas Massie of Kentucky voted against the bill.

Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | Tagged | 40 Comments