It has been very hard to understands what Airbnb’s actual policy concerning illegal Israeli settlement listings is. A statement in Hebrew was issued saying it halted the ban policy, and was later contradicted by another saying it had not changed, and that this is all “incredibly complex and emotional.”
Category Archives: Activism
On Monday December 10th, Esther Farmer, along with dozens of members of the Bubbie Brigade, joined over 400 New Yorkers in protesting the Anti-Defamation League. “This self-proclaimed civil rights group is sending American cops to be trained by the Israeli military. And we are horrified,” Farmer writes.
On Wednesday, November 28th, CNN commentator, Marc Lamont Hill, gave a speech at the United Nations in which he reaffirmed his support for the boycott, divestment, and sanctions against the state of Israel, and a one state solution that established a secular, democratic state in Israel-Palestine. CNN fired Marc Lamont Hill within 24 hours of that speech. Hill falls in a line of over 50 years of corporate media silencing Black people who stood in solidarity with Palestine, such as Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela, SNCC, and the Movement for Black Lives.
The New York University Student Government Assembly passed a resolution calling for the university to divest from corporations that violate Palestinian human rights and for NYU to adopt a socially responsible investment policy that upholds human rights for all. “I co-authored this resolution because I have a role and stake in the Palestinian struggle for liberation and justice,” Bayan Abubakr, a Senator-at-Large and Students for Justice in Palestine NYU member explained. “I want NYU to reckon with the fact that it profits off of the destruction of Palestinian livelihoods, communities, and homes.”
Students for Justice in Palestine and the Palestinian Youth Movement write a letter to the University of California’s Task Force on University wide policing drawing the linkages between divestment from Israeli colonization/occupation and the need to remove the presence of police and policing from UC campuses: “Students recognize that these patterns and structures of oppression are deeply interlinked, often enabling and sustaining one another, and that the call for prison and police abolition, even in local spaces/contexts, is consistent with the imperative to support Palestinian freedom and liberation.”
When activists learned that the Northampton, MA, police chief had accepted an invitation from the Anti-Defamation League to train with Israeli “counter-terrorism” experts, they mobilized and the chief decided not to go. The ADL is seeking to enforce a highly-politicized mission of supporting Israel on law enforcement agencies that are supposed to be above partisanship. More and more police forces in the Northeast are declining to go.
Can leftist Jews really be part of the struggle for justice for Palestinians—a justice that hinges on an end to the violation of basic human rights, including the Right of Return of refugees—by making Aliyah to the country that privileges them, simply because they are Jewish?
November 30th marked the 8 month anniversary of the Great March of Return. Every Friday since March 30th, thousands of Palestinians in Gaza have taken to the borders with Israel to demand the right of return of refugees to their ancestral homelands in present day Israel, and an end to the siege on Gaza. Despite reported efforts from political officials to bring the Great March of Return to a close, protesters maintain that they will continue demonstrating until the siege is lifted once and for all.
Nada Elia says that one of the more encouraging aspects of the BDS victories over 2018 was that most were accomplished by local individuals, groups, and coalitions with no direct involvement from the “leaders” of the BDS movement. These victories illustrate that the years of political discussion that were catalyzed by the 2005 Palestinian call for BDS against Israel are bearing fruit.
On November 16th-18th, National Students for Justice in Palestine hosted its annual conference at UCLA. This year’s theme was “Radical Hope: Resistance in the Face of Adversity.” Unfortunately, while the theme is certainly fitting for an event exploring the Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice, many organizers, presenters and attendees came to realize that it was also unexpectedly fitting for the simple attempt to hold the conference itself at an institution of higher learning. The “adversity” against which we needed to shoulder forward just to be able to hold a convening came from all levels, from the political to the administrative as well as in the form of intense, militant harassment and intimidation from off-campus, Zionist vigilante groups.
Airbnb’s decision to pull listings in Israeli settlements has shed light on another service that offers listing in illegal colonies in the West Bank – Booking.com, which does not seem inclined to act similarly. It seeks to avoid a storm, which is surely coming anyway.
This year’s DC Palestinian Film & Arts Festival was a reminder of the worsening conditions for migrants and refugees as a result of the Trump administration’s policies. Syrian Palestinian filmmaker Samer Salameh was denied a visa to the U.S., a victim of the so-called Muslim ban preventing travel to the U.S. for Syrian nationals.
Airbnb will no longer host rentals for stays in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The company said it will “evaluate whether the existence of listings is contributing to existing human suffering.” The announcement came one day before Human Rights Watch is schedule to release a lengthy report on vacation rentals in the occupied Palestinian territory.
After seeing the effort by UCLA to ban the conference of Students for Justice in Palestine, Nada Elia couldn’t help but marvel at how some administrators bend over backwards to accommodate any representatives and requests from Zionist organizations, while also bending over backwards to censor and criminalize any representatives and requests from pro-Palestine rights organizations. Justice for Palestine? OMG, what a heinous crime!
Academics and activists say anti-Semitism conference at University of Vienna is promoting speakers who are “an embarrassing mistake, or as an attempt to promote the broadest possible academic discussion, but the co-sponsorship of the event by the Israeli Embassy, and the choice of an embassy official for the opening address are simply unacceptable.”
Maha Nassar writes about the debacle over the National SJP conference at UCLA and attempts to cancel it: “As a professor of Middle Eastern studies who interacts regularly with students of various political viewpoints, it’s clear to me that allowing the conference to go on is further evidence that demonizing SJP actually strengthens the pro-Palestine movement on campuses.”
NJ Senator Cory Booker used the Pittsburgh massacre to justify taking a stance against Palestinian rights by co-sponsoring a Senate bill that criminalizes forms of support for BDS. The Jewish group BDS has mounted a campaign to stop Booker from signing on to the bill.
David Kattenburg gives an update on his effort to prevent wine from Israeli West Bank settlements labeled “Product of Israel” from being sold on Canadian store shelves.
Thirty-nine newcomer Congresswomen and men, and 5 newcomer Senators are going to Capitol Hill in January! To give members of Congress and their constituents the opportunity to see for themselves, Rebuilding Alliance, is hosting a Congressional Leadership Learning Mission to Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza, December 14-21st. Constituents in their state or district have the most influence in convincing them to take this important trip — invite your’s today.
“In light of the white supremacist violence in Pittsburg, I feel more compelled to pursue this resolution in the name of justice. I understand that my liberation, as a Jewish person, is tied up with the liberation of Palestinians. Our only safety is through solidarity.” – Rose Asaf, Senator at-Large and Jewish Voice for Peace-NYU
The Palestinian-American writer Susan Abulhawa was detained at Ben Gurion airport Thursday morning as she entered Israel en route to a literary festival in Palestine. Israeli authorities sought to deport her on the grounds that she did not have a visa. She has appealed the deportation and is in a detention center, according to a friend who has spoken with Abulhawa’s lawyer.
Earlier this month, BDS Vancouver activists launched a campaign after learning that Ballet BC was planning to perform in Israel in January, 2019. The petition that was started has now garnered over 4200 signatures, with a clear call to Ballet BC to not be complicit in helping Israel cover up its war crimes.
Young Jews have blocked the entrance to the Metropolitan Republican Club in New York City Tuesday afternoon, protesting the GOP in the wake of the killing of 11 Jews at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill over the weekend.
“As we mourn this horrendous act of violence against Jewish communities, we know that this is not an isolated attack and our response cannot be isolated either. The attack on the Pittsburgh synagogue is part of the growing threats and acts of murderous violence based on white supremacy, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Jewish hatred, misogyny, homophobia and transphobia.”
Hanan Ashrawi notes that the $3.8 billion the U.S. sends Israel is costing American children extracurricular programs — during a “tele-summit” on the best strategies in leading Palestinian solidarity, led by the artist and activist Katie Miranda. The summit also features Haidar Eid and Neta Golan.