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Boycotts, Benjamins, and America’s university leaders

David Klein on
A BDS pamphlet

Do American university leaders oppose the academic boycott of Israel because they actually believe that it undermines academic freedom, or are there other reasons?  If academic freedom were the real reason, wouldn’t their reactions to targeted boycotts of other regions besides Israel, U.S. states for example, be the same?

On boycotts, Palestine, and resistance: a review of ‘Assuming Boycott’

Kim Jensen on

Kim Jensen writes: Why do critics of cultural boycotts insist on framing them as a form of censorship, rather than as an invitation to imagine and enact more principled forms of engagement? Are cultural and academic boycotts an effective strategy when some artists and allies may be marginalized in the process? These are the kinds of questions that are explored in a useful new collection of essays, “Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency, and Cultural Production,” which offers a rich and lively analysis of historical and present-day boycotts and the ethical, political, and practical issues they raise.

Why I’m not a ‘Champagne boycotter’

Robert Cohen on

Robert Cohen, British anti-Zionist, is accused of being a “champagne boycotter,” because he urges boycott of Israel while using computer products from companies heavily invested in Israel. But BDS doesn’t target Intel, because it has a virtual global monopoly and thus a boycott would not succeed. The real hypocrisy is talking up human rights and opposition to nukes while enforcing an apartheid system and secretly holding nukes.

In response to ASA boycott vote, Lawrence Summers calls academic boycotts ‘abhorrent’ and then calls for a boycott of the ASA

Adam Horowitz on

Larry Summers was on the Charlie Rose show yesterday and was asked about the American Studies Association (ASA) vote on the academic boycott of Israel. This isn’t the first time Summers has taken on the issue of boycotts. In 2002, when Summers was serving as president of Harvard University, he said of the divestment movement […]

Boycotts from Arizona to Palestine

David Hosey on

Tell me if this sounds familiar: A new order allows enforcement officials to stop anyone who “looks illegal” (read: has brown skin) and demand that they produce documents proving their right to be in a place they call home. Failure to produce such documents can lead to fines, jail time, or deportation. Widely seen as […]

Some boycotts are kosher

Philip Weiss on

The "Lobby for Jewish Values" in Israel is pushing for a boycott of restaurants and hotels that put up Christmas trees. Some rabbis are down with it. There’s a quote about the "Jewish soul" and Torah I couldn’t get to the end of… h/t Eva Smagacz

No, those Israel boycotts are not illegal

Radhika Sainath on

On December 1, the Wall Street Journal published an oped titled, “Those Israel Boycotts Are Illegal” after members of the American Anthropological Association overwhelmingly voted in favor of endorsing a resolution calling for the academic boycott of Israeli institutions. In response, Palestine Legal staff attorney Radhika Sainath submitted the following letter to the editor, which the Journal refused to run.

Israel’s siege on Palestinian music

Jonathan Ofir on

The Israeli Supreme Court backed the state in only permitting Gazan music students to take part in the Jordanian part of a workshop and concerts – not the part in Ramallah. And it piously intoned, “[M]usical development…is not necessarily bound by location”.

Boycott Israel?

Marc H. Ellis on

This is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page. It could be any street in Israel, Jerusalem, Haifa or Tel Aviv. Israeli soldiers guarding the public. Israeli soldiers even protect those who come from afar to serve Palestinians in Jerusalem and […]

Bill targeting Israel boycotters introduced in Maryland

Alex Kane on

The New York measure aimed at academic groups boycotting Israel is stalled for now, but a similar bill has emerged in Maryland. Authored by State Senator Joan Conway Carter, the Maryland bill bars public universities from providing funds to academic organizations that support boycotts of Israel. The purpose of both the New York and Maryland bills […]

If Israel is unwilling to differentiate itself from the settlements, then boycotters shouldn’t either

Jonathan Ofir on
The Israeli flag flying over Israeli settlements in the West Bank (Photo: Reuters)

A new Israeli law bars entry to those involved in boycotting Israel and criminalizes even those who have supported a ‘partial’ boycott targeting settlements. Activists and organizations, even the liberal Zionist ones who have supported boycott of settlements, now have to ask themselves: If Israel does not differentiate between itself and its occupied territories, if Israel bars entry to any foreigner who boycotts (even if they are Zionist), why should the boycotters make the differentiation between Israel and its settlements?

Boycotts, literary festivals and the responsibility of writers

Antony Loewenstein on

‘For thirty years the country [Sri Lanka] went through a kind of hell and endured untold economic and cultural deprivation. Now, with things looking up, we need all the friendly input we can get from well-meaning outsiders. Let the writers and the artists and the goodwill ambassadors come here and brighten up our lives, for […]

Boycott is Kosher

Iris Keltz on

Iris Keltz was shocked when she first heard leaders of the Jewish community in Albuquerque denounce the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement started by Palestinians. “Call me naive, but considering Israelis had been living under the threat of bombs exploding on buses, in shopping malls, restaurants, and other public places, there should have been a collective sigh of relief when Palestinian civil society chose a non-violent means to resist a fifty year old military occupation.”

The ethics of study abroad in Israel

David Lloyd on

David Lloyd says that the outrage that has greeted University of Michigan’s John Cheney-Lippold refusal to write a letter of reference for a student who wished to participate in a Study Abroad Program in Israel is astonishingly hypocritical. “No professor and no institution should engage in furthering programs that so systematically violate our long-cherished equal-opportunity and anti-discrimination policies, inscribed both in federal law and campus codes. US academics should do the right thing by following Professor Cheney-Lippold’s courageous example and refusing to participate in any institutional endorsement of study abroad in Israel,” Lloyd writes.

Pro-BDS anthropologists publish guide to boycotting Israeli academic institutions

Annie Robbins on

Last week Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions marked the anniversaries of Israel’s brutal 51-day attack on Gaza last summer and the 10th anniversary of the BDS movement by releasing the document “Boycotting Israeli Academic Institutions — Advice for Anthropologists,” which provides advice to scholars on how to implement the boycott in their individual capacities.

The Peter Beinart Double Standard: Why is this boycott different from all other boycotts?

Isaiah Silver on

Peter Beinart’s criticism of the BDS movement displays a shocking ignorance of how a boycott – any boycott – actually works. If he truly is willing to acknowledge that the state of Israel is running an apartheid system – even if he believes that it is only in the West Bank and Gaza Strip – then he has a responsibility to endorse the nonviolent solution which actually targets the responsible party: boycotting, divesting from, and bringing sanctions to bear on Israel itself.

Settlement boycott starts to bite

Pamela Olson on

Haaretz today notes that the settlers are becoming apoplectic because the Palestinians won’t stop boycotting settler goods, despite explicit requests by the Israelis that they do so. The article lists several settlement companies that are targeted: "Shamir Salads, Kobi Burekas, Ramat Hagolan Dairies, Jerusalem Granola, Bagel Bagel, Mei Eden, Soda Club, Barkan Wineries, Ramat Hagolan […]

Boycott, from within and without

Jonathan Ofir on

The United States applies pressure on countries all over the world, including sanctions on Iraq that killed 500,000 children. Yet any boycott of Israel is treated as terrorism or an inappropriate attempt to impose a solution from outside. Even some Israeli Jews are calling for boycott.

More on ‘Boycott from Within’

Annie Robbins on

Off my radar until today, Boycott from Within is a group of courageous Israeli citizens, both Palestinians and Jews united, inspired by the struggle of South Africans against Apartheid who have joined Palestinian Civil Society in their call for International Boycott Divestment and Sanctions against Israel. From their website (my bold): As people devoted to […]

Why I’m for boycott

Philip Weiss on

Qalandiya checkpoint, West Bank, Occupied Palestine (photo This is a great week in New York because the idea of boycotting Israel is in the news, and many people will become informed about the issues. The usual grip of the Israel lobby over the conversation has been loosened, and two boycott advocates will be speaking […]