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Photo Essay: Caves bring depopulated villages in the south Hebron Hills back to life

Ahmad Al-Bazz and Anne Paq on

For weeks under the cloak of night Palestinians secretly renovated four caves and built a tin-roofed house in secret in the West Bank hamlet of Ar-Rakeez where only a handful of residents live. Because of rigid Israeli planning restrictions and frequent settler harassment, most of the Ar-Rakeez’s villagers moved to the nearby city of Yatta over the last 20 years. Yet in recent years locals have developed a strategy to repopulate the abandoned village by renovating caves, a legal loophole that circumvents Israeli policies of demolishing homes constructed or upgraded without a permit. Last week they opened the homes in a “bringing life back” ceremony.

Copenhagen mayor awards BDS activists for their courage

Jonathan Ofir on

The “Humboldt 3” are three BDS activists who face a criminal trial in Berlin next month for disrupting a pro-Israel event by an Israeli lawmaker at a university in 2017. Israel has silenced Germany on Palestinian rights using Holocaust guilt, but in Copenhagen the three activists received an award for their courage in exposing apartheid.

‘Daily Californian’ solicits, then kills, op-ed on academic boycott of Israel

Andrew Ross and John King on

After the University of California chancellors posted an anti-BDS statement in December, Daily Californian editors solicited an op-ed response from the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. Editors were initially receptive to a submitted article and planned to publish it quickly, but later killed it after saying the “upper management team” found it potentially libelous. Read the op-ed article the Daily Californian would not run.

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.

Anti-Zionism is a rejection of racism and imperialism, not just criticism of Israel

Eyad Kishawi, Max Ajl and Liliana Cordova-Kaczerginski on

Activists Eyad Kishawi, Max Ajl, and Liliana Cordova-Kaczerginski applaud Jewish Voice for Peace’s recent statement outlining its “unequivocal opposition to Zionism,” but raise a critique that it gives credence to the idea that Zionism emerged from Jewish life, and was not a colonial ideology developed to expand western imperialism in Palestine. “Anti-Zionism is not merely criticism of current Israeli policies or even the idea of a Jewish nation-state,” they write, “It is a rejection of an imperially-imposed, racist, settler-colonial state.”

#IsraeliApartheidWeek – the embodiment of the human spirit of solidarity and love

Michia Moncho on

Michia Moncho reports on the amazing success of 2018’s Israeli Apartheid Week in South Africa which saw over 150 activities, including events with over 5,000 people in attendance: “Not out of arrogance, but humility, we can confidently claim that in this last year’s #IsraeliApartheidWeek, South African civil society (across the gender, racial and religious spectrum) undoubtedly played a role in advancing the struggle for the freedom of the Palestinians.”

Israeli militarism and U.S. border imperialism — two crimes, one weapons company

Ariel Gold and Ursula Rozum on

Israeli weapons giant Elbit Systems is reaping profits from the suffering both in Gaza and at the U.S.-Mexico border. Ariel Gold and Ursula Rozum of CODEPINK say that divestment from Elbit will play a major role eroding the institutional and economic support that allows Israel to commit war crimes with impunity and the U.S. to increase border repression.

University of California Regents: Distance yourself from Canary Mission

California Scholars for Academic Freedom on

California Scholars for Academic Freedom call on the University of California Regents to distance themselves publicly from the Canary Mission, and also from UC donors who have contributed to supporting the Canary Mission, such as the Diller Foundation.

The 2019 Women’s March: privileging victimhood and the power of class

Alice Rothchild on

In the splintering of the movement around the Women’s March, Alice Rothchild writes, “Today, the angry chorus of accusations are coming from white Jews who are accustomed to the privileging of their victimhood and the power of their class. The voices of Jews of color have been largely sidelined from this conversation.”

The ‘arc of the moral universe’ bends towards justice for Palestine

Nada Elia on

Nada Elia says there is no need to rewrite history where Martin Luther King Jr. is involved, as we have ample documentation of the direction the civil rights leader was heading: one opposed to militarism and fascism globally, along with his unflinching commitment to end segregation and apartheid–two evils that have become the hallmark of modern-day Israel.  

Boston Jewish establishment org moves to ostracize venerable Workmen’s Circle for rubbing shoulders with anti-Zionists

Philip Weiss on

The Jewish establishment is reactionary when it comes to Israel: The Boston Jewish Community Relations Council voted overwhelmingly Thursday to move towards throwing out one of its founding members, the Boston Workmen’s Circle, because BWC had signed on to statements with Jewish Voice for Peace, which is anti-Zionist and supports Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) targeting Israel. JCRC sided with members AIPAC, Camera, and the Zionist Organization of America.

Tlaib and Omar’s support for BDS is now a lightning rod for Republicans

Philip Weiss on

BDS shakes up the House! Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s support for BDS “is inconsistent with our national values,” says a Republican congressman, while the Dems’ appointment of BDS-supporter Ilhan Omar to House Foreign Affairs shows “the days of the Democrats’ support-Israel-at-all-costs stance are numbered,” as the young Jewish group IfNotNow proclaims.

Every day brings another sign that Democrats are dividing over Israel

Philip Weiss on
Members of Justice Democrats pose in front of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez's new Congressional office. (Photo: Alexandra Rojas, Twitter)

The Democratic Party is dividing over Israel. Buzzfeed quotes Waleed Shaheed saying that every presidential candidate will be asked where they stand on Netanyahu. Rep Rashida Tlaib says she will vote against aid to Israel till it gives equality and dignity to her grandmother. And Russ Douthat of the NYT says the party must debate anti-Zionism openly.

Pro-Israel groups are trying to split the Women’s March with a Zionist alternative

Amith Gupta on

WoMen4All, a bizarre rip-off of the Women’s March, has set up an alternate network of “sister marches” to split the Women’s March. It is dedicated largely to condemning Palestinian rights and promoting Zionism by mixing naked Israeli war propaganda with standard feminist causes, such as enacting the Equal Rights Amendment.

Beyond free speech

Nada Elia on

The fight to block the criminalization of BDS should go beyond the focus on making it a matter of American freedom of expression, and American citizens’ constitutional rights, Nada Elia writes.  It is a matter of solidarity with an oppressed people, suffering under brutal occupation, a genocidal siege, and apartheid.

Marching for all of it, 2019

Zillah Eisenstein on

Zillah Eisenstein comments on the controversies within the Women’s March, “‘We’, the big we, need to come together committed to moving with and through our limitations and contradictions to find a world free of exploitation and racial hatreds especially white supremacy, antisemitism, xenophobia, capitalism, nationalisms, misogyny and its gender binaries.”

Walaa from Gaza needs your help to graduate

Walaa Ghussein on

Walaa Al Ghussein writes about why she is crowd sourcing to raise funds for her tuition, “You’d think someone who grew surrounded by war could survive anything, but the pressure of being a foreign student from Gaza in a place like the United States should not be underestimated.”

BDS victory: HSBC divests from Elbit Systems

Palestine Solidarity Campaign UK on

On the 10th anniversary of Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s murderous assault on Gaza which killed over 1000 Palestinians in 3 weeks, the movement to ‘Stop Arming Israel’ is stronger than ever before. 

How the 1960s civil rights and black power movements split on Israel

Michael R. Fischbach on

In the late 1960s as black organizations began to weigh in on the national discourse on the Arab-Israeli conflict, black radicals and their critiques of Israel became a source of much anxiety for civil rights groups who fear support for Palestinians would jeopardize their cause.

Talking to the mother of Razan al-Najjar from the other side of the fence

Return on
Return Solidarity protests along side the Great Return March, December 22, 2018

On December 22, 2018, the 39th week of the Great March of Return, anti-Zionist Israeli activists joined Palestinian protestors at Khuza’a Return protest camp from the east side of the fence. Soldiers shot live rounds to prevent the activists from reaching the fence. Despite the military’s aggression, a phone conversation was held with Sabrine al-Najjar, the mother of Razan al-Najjar. She recognized the BDS movement as a positive factor in ending the occupation and contributing to the Palestinian cause of freedom and equality.