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Irish and Dutch governments join Sweden in speaking out for right to call for BDS


The Dutch and Irish governments have publicly stated that calls for a boycott of Israel are legitimate, with the Dutch foreign minister saying that advocating and campaigning for Palestinian rights through the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel are “protected by the freedom of expression”.

The statements dealt a serious blow to Israel’s relentless war of repression that has led governments in the UK, France, Canada and state legislatures across the US to introduce anti-democratic legislation and taking other repressive measures to undermine the BDS movement. Israel has also admitted that it is using its intelligence services to spy on BDS activists overseas.

Irish foreign minister Charles Flanagan responded to a parliamentary question by Deputy Paul Murphy on Israel’s attacks on the movement saying that BDS is not supported by the Irish government but that it is a “a legitimate political viewpoint”.

In response to a question regarding Israel’s travel ban and attempts to revoke the residency of BDS movement co-founder and human rights defender Omar Barghouti, Flanagan said that the Irish foreign ministry “will monitor the ongoing developments” and that “I do not agree with attempts to demonise those who advocate this [BDS] policy”. The Irish Congress of Trade Unions had called on the Irish government to pressure Israel to respect the rights of Palestinian human rights defenders.

Israel has imposed a travel ban on Omar Barghouti, who lives in Acre in present day Israel with his family, and seems intent on revoking his residency to punish him for his BDS advocacy.

In response to a similar question by Green Left MP Rik Grashoff, the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bert Koenders, said that “Statements or meetings concerning BDS are protected by the freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, as enshrined in the Dutch Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights”.

Revealing that Israel regularly raises the topic of BDS in bilateral meetings with the Dutch government, Koenders reiterated his government’s opposition to the boycott of Israel but insisted that “endorsing BDS falls under freedom of expression”.

Riya Hassan, Europe coordinator for the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the broadest coalition in Palestinian civil society that is leading the global BDS movement, said:

“With the Netherlands and Ireland joining Sweden in defending the right to advocate and campaign for Palestinian rights under international law through BDS, Israel’s attempt to get BDS outlawed in Europe and to bully its supporters into silence have been dealt a serious blow”.

In March 2016, the Swedish foreign ministry reaffirmed basic democratic principles by stating that BDS “is a civil society movement” and that “governments should not interfere in civil society organization views”.

More than 350 European human rights organizations, trade unions, church groups and political parties, some of whom do not yet endorse BDS, have called on the European Union to support the right to boycott Israel in response to its occupation and violations of Palestinian rights. Similar statements have been made by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Riya Hassan added:

“Israel’s attacks on our movement appear to be backfiring as they have led to European governments and some of the world’s most famous human rights organisations and political organisations across Europe and the world speaking out in defence of our right to advocate BDS”.

“Across European civil society, there is a fast spreading recognition of the BDS movement as a legitimate form of nonviolent, grassroots human rights advocacy for the UN-stipulated rights of the Palestinian people”.

More than 23,000 people have signed an appeal urging the UN to take measures to uphold and protect the rights of Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights defenders who campaign nonviolently for Palestinian rights, including through the BDS movement. The appeal will be sent to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in the coming few days.

Hassan added: “We’re hugely grateful to each of the 23,000 people who signed our appeal urging the UN to protect our right to campaign for Palestinian rights, and we’re more optimistic than ever that Israel’s desperate legal, spying and propaganda war on our human rights movement will ultimately fail”.

The impressive growth in recent years of support for the BDS movement in mainstream trade unions, churches and pension funds, as well as among student governments, academic associations, anti-racist movements, LGBTQ groups and artists across the world, has prompted the Israeli establishment to admit the strategic impact of BDS.

The fact that large European companies such as Veolia, Orange and G4S are abandoning or announcing plans to leave the Israeli market following BDS campaigns is also particularly worrying for Israel.

Israeli-induced attacks on free speech and civil rights in Europe, the US and Canada, among others, are seen by BDS campaigners as 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”.

Fatin Al Tamimi, chairperson of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign welcomed the government statement. Ms. Tamimi said:

“At a time when our colleagues are being attacked in Britain, France, the US and elsewhere via anti-democratic legislation, it is refreshing that the BDS campaign has been recognised by the Irish Government as a legitimate and democratic movement for justice in Palestine.

“It is, of course, disappointing that the government itself doesn’t actively support the BDS campaign at the moment, but nevertheless we will continue campaigning for sanctions, including an arms embargo, to be imposed on Israel until it complies with its intentional law and human rights obligations”.


– The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) affirmed in February 2016 “the right of all individuals to participate in and advocate for boycott, divestment, and sanction actions”, calling on states and businesses to “uphold their related legal responsibilities”. 

Amnesty International has condemned threats by Israeli ministers against BDS activists, expressing concern for their “safety and liberty” and upholding their right as human rights defenders to campaign “to hold Israel accountable for human rights and other international law violations and advocates for the use of non-violent means in doing so”.

Glenn Greenwald has described the repressive measures taken in the US and Europe against BDS human rights defenders as the “greatest threat to free speech in the West”.

– The American Civil Liberties Union has condemned these anti-democratic legislative attempts to suppress BDS.

Human Rights Watch has condemned the effective travel ban imposed by Israel on Palestinian human rights defender and co-founder of the BDS movement Omar Barghouti stating: “Israel’s refusal to renew Barghouti’s travel document appears to be an effort to punish him for exercising his right to engage in peaceful, political activism, using its arsenal of bureaucratic control over Palestinian lives.”

– The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) affirms the right to hold opinions without interference and the right to freedom of expression, as well as other interrelated rights such as the rights to freedom of assembly and association. While freedom of expression may be subject to restriction, the call for BDS does not fall within the narrow limitation outlined in the ICCPR. In 2014, the UN Human Rights Committee reviewing Israel’s implementation of the ICCPR has criticized the Israeli anti-boycott law in its report (paragraph 22) for this reason.

– In 2012, the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression confirmed in his report on Israel and the OPT (paragraph 34) that “Calling for or participating in a boycott is a form of expression that is peaceful, legitimate and internationally accepted.” The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) has called on states to respect the right to BDS on this basis.

– The right to freedom of expression is widely incorporated into the domestic legislation of states, and in practice, governments have in general accepted the right of their citizens to practice domestic and international boycotts as a means to end violations of human rights, including child and labor rights and environmental abuses. In some occasions, governments and public institutions have also provided at least partial support to such civil society campaigns, the most famous historical examples being the international boycott campaign against apartheid in South Africa and the Civil Rights movement in the United States.

– Legal protection of the right of citizens to boycott is particularly robust in states in which free speech is a constitutional right, such as in the United States. In light of the increasing willingness of US lawmakers to craft anti-BDS legislation explicitly tailored to protect Israel’s violations of international humanitarian law and human rights of the Palestinian people, civil rights organizations such as the New York branch of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have already made clear that:

“To uphold the right to engage in a boycott is not necessarily to support its aims or objectives – just as to uphold freedom of speech is not to endorse the ideas expressed. However, when advancing a bill that addresses the scope of politically motivated speech, assembly, association and expression, lawmakers are bound by certain first principles of a constitutional democracy. These principles compel government to promote, and to protect, the robust contest of ideas. The proposed legislation would violate these constitutional principles.”

More information at: Briefing — BDS: a Legitimate Human Rights Movement to be Respected and Protected by States and #RightToBoycott

Palestinian BDS National Committee

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society. It leads and supports the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. For more information, visit

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29 Responses

  1. just on May 29, 2016, 2:09 pm

    Very encouraging news, indeed. It’s shameful that ‘lawmakers’ in the US ignore the US Constitution and other laws like the Leahy Law. That they would put Netanyahu and Israel before their own citizens’ rights is an abomination that will come back to haunt them, imho.

    This is a terrific article to pass around to those who are not yet fully informed or committed to this great movement. Thank you very much for it.

    Onward BDS!!!

  2. MHughes976 on May 29, 2016, 3:32 pm

    The legal advice (to my mind absurd, despite its distinguished origin) to the Universities and Colleges Union, which has weighed like a stone on UK BDS, is that – though there is no prohibition on saying in mere words that BDS is justified – the act of organising a BDS campaign against Israel is an act of discrimination against a certain nationality and therefore illegal under our race relations and equality laws. We don’t seem, at that rate, to have accepted the American view that boycott is speech rather than action. I would be interested to know if any American legal authority has addressed counter-boycotts, such as state pension funds boycotting boycotters of whom the State disapproves. Are they free speech or speech coerced by the State?

    • HarryLaw on May 31, 2016, 12:53 pm

      MHughes976 Under the Equality Act 2010, it is possible to discriminate on certain grounds..
      The Equality Act UK 2010 says discrimination can be justified if the person who’s discriminating against you can show it’s a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. If necessary, it’s the courts which will decide if discrimination can be justified. For instance if the courts were to decide today that boycotting South African Apartheid was justifiable in the late twentieth century, they may find discrimination against Israelis justifiable on similar grounds today.

      • MHughes976 on May 31, 2016, 1:27 pm

        Thanks for that information, Harry. The legal advice in question dates from some years before 2010. Were the local authorities that were attacked recently hoping to take advantage of the 2010 Act? I recall that the Government responded by saying that they had no right to pursue a foreign policy, implying that such things were not legitimate purposes for those specific organisations. Would a trade union or religious organisation have to show that seeking international justice, rather than higher wages or more religious observance, was one of its specific aims?
        Do you have any views on how the boycott-counterboyott argument might work out?

    • HarryLaw on May 31, 2016, 4:32 pm

      MHughes976. As I recall the Government advice to Local Councils and other Government funded bodies was just that, advice, although as regards the settlements and BDS in my opinion it would be impossible for the Government to penalize such bodies, since two years ago the Foreign Office in conjunction with the Dept of Trade offered this advice on dealing with settlements,,
      “There are therefore clear risks related to economic and financial activities in the settlements, and we do not encourage or offer support to such activity. Financial transactions, investments, purchases, procurements as well as other economic activities (including in services like tourism) in Israeli settlements or benefiting Israeli settlements, entail legal and economic risks stemming from the fact that the Israeli settlements, according to international law, are built on occupied land and are not recognized as a legitimate part of Israel’s territory. This may result in disputed titles to the land, water, mineral or other natural resources which might be the subject of purchase or investment. EU citizens and businesses should also be aware of the potential reputational implications of getting involved in economic and financial activities in settlements, as well as possible abuses of the rights of individuals. Those contemplating any economic or financial involvement in settlements should seek appropriate legal advice”.
      I think it would be rather difficult to separate which businesses operated in OPT and which in Israel proper, some operate in both, so legislation would be politically and legally problematic.

  3. just on May 29, 2016, 5:03 pm

    “In anti-BDS Move, Italy Bringing Huge Academic Delegation to Israel

    Dozens of researchers and academics from the two countries will meet in ‘unprecedented’ response to campaign to boycott Israeli universities.”

    In a move that Italian officials say aims to counter calls for boycotts and sanctions against Israel, Italian researchers and academics will be meeting with their counterparts in Israel this week for a series of joint conferences and other cooperative events.

    A series of 10 simultaneous conferences will be held across Israel between Tuesday and Friday. Dozens of researchers will be sharing the latest discoveries in fields ranging from robotics to plastic surgery.

    “It’s an unprecedented effort to respond concretely on a very delicate issue,” Francesco Talo, the Italian ambassador to Israel, told Haaretz. “We believe that research and universities should be free and open to dialogue and exchange.”

    While the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement in Italy has been less successful than elsewhere in the West, it has been pushing for local universities to cut ties with Israeli institutions.

    Earlier this year, some 300 Italian academics signed a petition calling on Italian universities to cancel cooperation agreements with Haifa’s Technion and other Israeli universities.

    “We thought that the best answer would be action: to concretely do exactly the opposite of what some people ask us to do and bring a significant number of Italian researchers and academics to Israel,” Talo told Haaretz in a telephone interview on Sunday. “Everybody is free to say what they want, but we will respond with actions.”

    Rome has frequently voiced its opposition to the BDS campaign. During a visit to Israel last year, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said in a speech to the Knesset that whoever boycotts Israel “is boycotting himself” and “betraying his own future.” …”

    read more:

    Hope pro- justice students and other people will mobilize ASAP.

    • Marnie on May 30, 2016, 12:42 am

      “It’s an unprecedented effort to respond concretely on a very delicate issue,” Francesco Talo, the Italian ambassador to Israel, told Haaretz. “We believe that research and universities should be free and open to dialogue and exchange.”

      To quote someone else “Bollocks”. Will Palestinian universities be included in this open dialogue and exchange? Of course not. Nor will Palestinian academics (like the professor under house arrest) partake in this “open dialogue and exchange”. It’ll be interesting to see how these europeans feel about the enclosure they’ll be in during this bull#[email protected]! fest. They’ll get an up close and personal look at the ongoing plans education minister Bucky Bennett has for the continual dumbing down (mindnumbingly) of israeli youth, where all they’ll be learning is Jewish history, religion and the occupation of all of the land between the river and the sea.

      • just on May 30, 2016, 10:58 am

        Great comment, Marnie. With regard to the esteemed Palestinian astrophysicist, there has been a typical and grotesque Israeli persecution:

        “Israeli Army Charges Palestinian Astrophysicist With Incitement to Violence and Terrorism

        Army prosecutors produce charges against Prof. Imad Barghouthi three days after judge rules he poses no immediate danger and orders his release from administrative detention. …

        Jawad Boulos, the director of the legal department of the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club, said Sunday morning that before Barghouthi’s release he was transferred to a Shin Bet security service facility for further interrogation and the announcement came later in the day that it had been decided to indict Barghouthi for incitement to violence.

        Boulos called the decision scandalous and said it indicated clearly that the authorities in Israel are using baseless claims to oppress the Palestinians. He noted that on Thursday the military court had ruled that Barghouthi did not constitute a danger and ordered him released and that only two days later evidence was presented sufficient to prosecute him. …

        … During the hearing, Boulos, who is representing Barghouthi, presented the court a petition calling for his immediate release signed by more than 350 of academics worldwide.  

        Signatories to the petition presented to the court included eminent researchers Freeman Dyson, Professor Emeritus of Physics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton; Fields Medal laureate David Mumford, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Brown University; and Chandler Davis, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the University of Toronto. Notable pro-Palestinian scholar Noam Chomsky also signed the petition. 

        The petition stated that Barghouthi’s arrest was part of a broader oppression of the Palestinian education system. It said that Gaza University had been bombarded many times and Bir Zeit University had been closed at least 15 times by the Israeli army and its former president had been deported, adding that students and lecturers were often arrested because of their Facebook posts.”

        read more:

        I guess they had to jail him before the Italians arrive, eh? Israel is more than unwell…

      • Marnie on May 30, 2016, 11:39 am

        Yep, israeli is one sick puppy.

    • Shmuel on May 30, 2016, 3:28 am

      The Israeli state comptroller was just saying that anti-BDS hasbara is underfunded, and here comes the Italian government to the rescue — with my tax euros. How comforting, especially at a time of drastic, across-the-board cuts to universities and research in Italy (departments closed, scientists laid off, young researchers forced to emigrate, lab materials rationed or simply unavailable, etc.).

      If the minister and rectors are truly concerned with “free and open … dialogue and exchange”, they would do well to concern themselves with the pitiful state of research in Italy, rather than spending public funds to support Israeli efforts to suppress freedom of speech and political action in Italy and around the world.

      • just on May 30, 2016, 11:02 am

        Wow. I was not aware of the ” drastic, across-the-board cuts to universities and research in Italy (departments closed, scientists laid off, young researchers forced to emigrate, lab materials rationed or simply unavailable, etc.).”

        Thanks for the additional info and perspective, Shmuel.

  4. Kay24 on May 29, 2016, 9:23 pm

    It is encouraging to know that there are Western nations that can refuse to dance to the zionists tune, and they have the courage to do what is right in upholding free speech as any democratic nation must do. I hope there will be others who will join the Netherlands, Ireland and Sweden.

    Meanwhile in the nation that proudly claims to be the world’ greatest democracy, and who attacks other nations so that they can take democracy over there, you can insult the President of the US, accuse him of many crimes, criticize the policies of our nation, and yet dare not call for boycott of Israel, criticize their policies, nor and crimes. Strange situation that.

  5. Ossinev on May 30, 2016, 8:02 am

    “In anti-BDS Move, Italy Bringing Huge Academic Delegation to Israel”

    From the Haaretz article:
    “The conferences will focus on different topics in the sciences and the humanities, including new treatments for heart disease; the use of robotics to help elderly and disabled people; the latest advances in plastic surgery; research into cures for rare diseases; bioethics, psychology and economics”

    No doubt the JSILis will take the opportunity to organise a tour of the West Bank for the delegates to point out the streamlined high tech medical response and care facilities for the local people – ie the settlers. Perish the thought that that they be given any insight into the appalling medical facilities available to the non Brooklynite natives and the deliberate and calculated disruption of Palestinian medical response teams by way of further encouragement to them to leave Bibliland.

    Oh and they may even get the opportunity to advise IDF medics on end of life treatment.


  6. just on May 30, 2016, 12:27 pm

    Still much work to do, but heck- yeah!!!

    “Survey: One-third of Americans Support Boycotting Israel …

    One-third of Americans support the movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, as do 40 percent of Britons, states a survey conducted by the Ipsos global market research and public opinion firm, Channel 2 News reported on Monday.

    At the same time, a larger number of people – 62 percent of Americans and half of Britons – consider the BDS movement to be a modern form of anti-Semitism. …

    … The poll implies that the BDS movement, on campuses in particular and elsewhere, is having a real effect on public opinion.

    The Democratic Party may now be on the verge of a major fight on the issue too. Last week, U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders appointed three critics of Israel to help draft the party’s platform ahead of the convention in Philadelphia. Hillary Clinton and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz appointed supporters of Israel to the committee drafting the Democratic platform.”

    read more:

    “a modern form of anti-Semitism”??? Who comes up with this stuff? Oh, wait…

    • Kay24 on May 30, 2016, 12:40 pm

      Yep the MSM did the zionists the usual favor by regurgitating Israeli propaganda that BDS is anti-semitism, which is a huge pile of zionist bull crap. If boycotting Israel is anti-semitism, then what did the boycotts of Iraq, Libya, and Iran, Cuba, and even South Africa mean? Those zionists sure know how to cry victim and whine like spoilt brats.

  7. amigo on May 30, 2016, 12:40 pm

    I have had a BDS “Boycott Israel ” sticker on my rear window since the last Gaza slaughter.I had worried for a while if a cop might decide I was breaking the Law.I am pleased to learn that Ireland once again refuses to bow to zionist pressure either from within or without.

    Hopefully , these three nations will be able to sway others in the EU to accept that our free speech is far more important than the whining of a bunch of zionist thieves and murderers.

    Ireland in the forefront of the battle for equality and justice.Well done Ireland.

    • Kay24 on May 30, 2016, 2:47 pm

      You are lucky to live in a nation that seems to be immune to zionist influences and threats.
      Now that is what I call a true democracy.

  8. Ossinev on May 30, 2016, 1:39 pm

    Best advice my friend just in case you find yourself driving in in the”Democratic Republic of France” and have forgotten to remove the BDS sticker. Get hold of a “Boycott North Korea” sticker and place it on the other side of the rear window. That`ll at least confuse the gendarmerie.

    • amigo on May 30, 2016, 2:38 pm

      Good advice 0ssinev .I will keep it in mind in case I absolutely have to travel to a nation whose leaders don,t understand the concept of free speech.

  9. lonely rico on May 30, 2016, 6:58 pm



    as does Ken Loach (Palme d’or à Cannes) –

  10. rolf on May 31, 2016, 8:48 am

    • 1st Palestinian embassy in EU!! opens in Sweden ; ) 2015-02-10 Tue

    • 1st EU country to recognize Palestine 2014-12-12: Portugal

    • 3rd EU country to recognize Palestine: Greece 2015-12-22

    • UN recognition of Palestine flag 2015-09-10

    • UN recognition of Palestine 2015-11-30

  11. just on May 31, 2016, 9:54 am

    “Jewish Insider’s Daily Kickoff: May 31, 2016

    HAPPENING TODAY:  … Ambassador Danny Danon is hosting an international summit to discuss BDS at UN Headquarters in New York. The conference, co-hosted by the World Jewish Congress, will kick off with a morning session in the UN General Assembly Hall with more than 1,500 guests from around the world, and will feature speeches by Ambassador Danon, WJC’s Ronald Lauder and Justice Elyakim Rubinstein, Vice President of the Supreme Court Of Israel. Breakout sessions include a panel on Fighting BDS on Campus with Shoham Nicolet, David Sable, and Frank Luntz, moderated by David Suissa. Justice Rubinstein and ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt will speak at an interactive experience workshop on the legal aspects of boycotts and de-legitimization.”

    read more:

    Anyone smell the desperation?

    • just on May 31, 2016, 11:26 am

      More on this:

      “Matisyahu to headline anti-BDS event at UN

      Jewish reggae singer to perform at UN General Assembly as part of conference against BDS.

      … Slated for May 31st, the conference is a joint effort of the Israeli Mission to the UN and a wide range of organizations including the World Jewish Congress, Keren HaYesod/United Israel Appeal, the American Center for Law and Justice, the ADL, StandWithUs, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), Israel Bonds, Bnai Brith International, the Hillel movement, and CAMERA.

      The event, which is expected to draw some 1,500 activists, jurists, and media figures, will be headlined by Jewish reggae star Matisyahu, who will give a special performance in the UN’s General Assembly Hall.

      Matisyahu was himself targeted by BDS activists in 2015, when a Spanish festival initially cancelled his appearance. The Rototom Sunsplash Festival later backtracked, however, following a public outcry, with Matisyahu being ultimately allowed to perform. …”

      Good luck with that…

  12. Ossinev on May 31, 2016, 1:23 pm

    This is the same Danny Danon who:
    In 2013, Danon asserted that the Likud party has no place for anyone supporting a peace agreement with the Palestinians. He is opposed to a two-state solution. He argues for extending Israeli sovereignty over the majority of the West Bank, ‘with the minimum number of Palestinians.'[10][11]

    In May 2011, Danon wrote an opinion published in the New York Times where he advocated that Israel annex all West Bank settlements and “uninhabited areas”. He concluded that Israel would bear no responsibility to Palestinians in the West Bank, who would live in their own “unannexed” towns and that this solution would avert the “threat to the Jewish and democratic status of Israel by a growing Palestinian population”.[12]

    ” has made controversial comments suggesting Israel should undertake punitive attacks and action against civilian infrastructure and civilians. On 10 November 2011, in a Facebook post, he stated “for every missile that falls in our southern towns, we retaliate by deleting a neighborhood in Gaza”.[13][14] In July 2014, after the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier, Danon was quoted as saying “If we don’t get the soldier back within a few hours we should start levelling Gaza.” In July 2014, Danon advocated cutting off all electricity and fuel supplies to Gaza to induce Hamas to request a cease-fire.(‘wikepedia).

    Lots of Zionist Fascists are cuddly looking until they engage brain (limited intellectual content) open mouth and spew out Zionist Fascism as above.

    Ref: “reggae star” Matisyahu. “Reggae star my Bob Marley an energetic anti – apartheid campaigner and human rights activist would spit on him if he were alive. He is just another weird variation on the archetypal Jewhadi colonist. Pensylvania to Jerusalem via Brooklyn and screw the natives – a true Zionist role model.

    • just on May 31, 2016, 7:02 pm

      Thanks for your review and analysis, Ossinev!!

      From today:

      “Danon Chides UN for ‘Opening the Door to BDS’ at Summit Against Boycott Movement …

      In an international student summit on ways of combating the BDS movement organized by the Israeli Mission to the UN, and held at the UN, Israel’s permanent representative to the UN Danny Danon borrowed from Winston Churchill, promising to fight the BDS movement in campuses, in courts of law and in the halls of the UN, but also used the podium at the general assembly hall to attack the United Nations.

      In front of 15,000 people, Danon praised the American students present for being “the Iron Dome of the State of Israel,” and promised to win the “battle” against the BDS movement, which he referred to as “the true face of modern anti-semitism.”

      “Everyone will hear us, our friends but also our enemies,” promised Danon, and added that BDS protestors are screaming outside, even though if there was a demonstration, it was really hard to spot. “I have a message for those standing right now outside the UN, holding banners and screaming hatful lyrics against the state of Israel – you will never win. Our people have overcome every threat and every enemy. We stand strong, we stand together and we will defeat you, once and for all.”

      The promise to defeat BDS once and for all generated enthusiastic applause, as Danon continued using militarized language to threaten the BDS movement: “We will fight them on campus, we will fight them in the courts of law, we will fight them in the halls of the UN.” However, Danon also used the podium at the general assembly hall to attack the United nations, hinting that the enemy may actually be larger than BDS activists.

      “BDS has already infected the UN, yes even the UN,” said Danon. “Just recently, the UN human rights council voted to blacklist anyone who does business in Judea and Samaria, in Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. With this disgraceful resolution, the UN crossed a red line. Can you imagine, that 70 years after the Holocaust, the UN is creating lists to encourage the boycott of Jewish companies? This is exactly the kind of hatred that the UN was founded to eradicate. When the UN is opening the door to BDS, we have to respond.””

      read more:

      War talk, Holocaust, vitriol, anti- semitism, and lies at the UN~ sounds like Bibi, himself. Despicable. Wonder if he got many ovations, and if Matisyahu rocked the GA hall. Funny that no other article that I read mentioned students before this one…

      Huge thanks to all those peaceful pro- BDS folks outside!!!

  13. just on May 31, 2016, 9:27 pm

    “French court overturns “illegal” ban on BDS event

    A court in France struck a blow for free speech when it overturned a government ban on a meeting to support individuals facing trial for their Palestine solidarity activism.

    The decision comes as governments and organizations around the world are showing increasing willingness to defend the legitimacy of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement in support of Palestinian rights.

    On 26 May, the mayor’s office in the southern city of Toulouse banned the gathering scheduled for Tuesday evening at a public facility, featuring Mohammed Khatib of the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network and writer Eric Hazan.

    The meeting was sponsored by the Support Committee for the BDS Accused of Toulouse, a coalition of dozens of groups backing four activists facing trial next month for handing out leaflets calling for the boycott of Israeli goods.

    But on Monday, the Toulouse administrative court overturned the mayor’s ban and ordered the city to provide a space for the meeting to take place.

    The court stated that the mayor’s ban on the meeting was “a grave and manifestly illegal infringement of the fundamental freedom of assembly,” according to BDS France and Association France Palestine Solidarité.

    A photo posted on the Facebook page of the Support Committee for the BDS Accused of Toulouse shows that the meeting went ahead as planned on 31 May. …”

    much more @

    Hurrah! One step in the correct direction.

    • annie on June 1, 2016, 3:03 am

      wow, great news just!

      • just on June 1, 2016, 5:44 pm

        It certainly is, Annie. France still has a long way to go, but this was a very pleasant turnaround.

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