On Wednesday, July 11th, a group human rights defenders disrupted a Jewish National Fund event at St. Louis University Law School. The event was titled “Israel’s Borders in International Law” and featured an Israeli lawyer, Eugene Kontorovich, a settler who lives in an Israeli colony near Bethlehem. Mina Aria writes, “In staging this disruption we sent a clear message that the Jewish National Fund and supporters of ethnic cleansing and colonization are not welcome in St Louis.”
Category Archives: Activism
“Israel is effectively declaring itself an apartheid state and dropping its worn-out mask of democracy,” Omar Barghouti says. And now that it is constitutionally mandated “to racially discriminate against” Palestinian citizens, “this should stir people, institutions and governments to take effective action to hold Israel accountable.”
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism equates antisemitism with advocacy for Palestinian rights and undermines both the Palestinian struggle for freedom and the global struggle against antisemitism, say 39 Jewish groups around the world that do not oppose BDS.
Censorship over Israel at an elite NYC school? First a Riverdale Country School teacher is suspended over his views on Gaza, next another teacher resigns because his Israeli-Palestinian conflict class is canceled. Now, outraged alumni are speaking out.
Ariel Gold on getting denied entry to Israel: “My denial of entry received an enormous amount of coverage in Israeli and American Jewish media. Though I am disappointed I was not able to get into the country, I am glad that what happened to me contributed in a strong and positive way to the conversations that are taking place right now in Israeli and diaspora Jewish communities around Palestinian rights and democracy. But, refusing to allow me into the country is only a small glimpse of Israel’s border policies.”
The Irish senate has voted in favor of a bill banning the importation of products from illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, paving the way for the country to become the first EU nation to enforce a boycott of Israeli settlement goods.
The Episcopal Church voted today at its general convention in Austin, Texas, to divest from companies involved in Israel’s human violations against Palestine. The Church had defeated such measures before but now joins nearly a dozen other Christian denominations in taking economic action.
Younger people are better at separating Judaism from support of Israel, wrrites Marilyn Garson, “Their co-activism imagines co-existence. British youth say kaddish for the Gazans who have died, and IfNotNow is protesting Birthright. Their parents need a positive, pro-Jewish walkout – a NotTooLate.”
In the past few days, two incidents involving Jewish individuals’ experiences in Israel made the news in progressive Palestine rights circles. The first is that of the young women walking away from a Birthright tour to visit parts of Palestine that were not on the itinerary, and the second is the case of Code Pink national organizer Ariel Gold, who was denied entry into Israel, even though she had obtained a student visa for a summer course at the Hebrew University. While it can be argued that in both cases, the activists meant no harm to Palestinians, Nada Elia writes that the incidents nevertheless reflect the ongoing normalization of Zionism. “In light of Israel’s open embrace of Jewish supremacy,” Elia writes, “it is incumbent on progressive Jews who want to challenge Israel’s racism today that they stop taking advantage of their unearned privilege.”
Since 2016, suicide rates in Gaza have been rising, reflecting rising levels of despair and hopelessness in the population, the Guardian reports. Until recently suicide in Gaza had been rare, partly due to strong clan networks, but mostly because killing oneself is forbidden in traditional Muslim societies.
Prominent Israeli scientist David Harel and writer and translator Ilana Hammerman penned a joint op-ed for the Guardian last week calling on the international community to intervene on behalf of Palestinians, before time runs out. The pair are not marginal public figures, they do not consider themselves BDS activists or anti-Zionists, but they are calling on the international community to pressure Israeli society because “the state of Israel is facing a catastrophic situation, which could, alarmingly soon, lead to extensive bloodshed.”
Activist Ariel Gold is deported from Israel because of support for BDS, as a Jew. Minister of Interior Aryeh Deri said: “I am again using my authority to prevent the entry into Israel of a woman who came to act against Israel and call for its boycott. This is a Jew who tried to abuse this fact. Those boycott activists must understand that the rules of the game have changed.”
Israelis flip out after a group of five young American Jewish women on Birthright, their free propaganda trip to Israel, kept demanding information about the occupation, and yesterday at last left the trip to join a tour of occupied Hebron by the Israeli dissident group Breaking the Silence. Their Israeli guide berated them for not having a “clear heart” for Israel and warned them about possible threats to their lives.
“The fight in America is the fight in Israel,” labor leader Randi Weingarten says. The idea that Trump has screwed up America the way Netanyahu has screwed up Israel is a theme among liberal Zionists, from Tammy Zandberg to Jeremy Ben-Ami to Dahlia Scheindlin.
Protesters in Gaza called on supporters around the world to hold demonstrations with the photos of those killed in the Great March of Return.
The Gay Liberation Network’s “We Stand With Palestine” contingent in the Chicago Gay Pride Parade – with its huge 160 sq foot banner, “Israel: STOP killing Palestinians!” – was met with almost universal approval by the approximately 1 million people who lined the four-mile parade route.
Naji El Khatib and Ofra Yeshua-Lyth respond to a recent essay where Jeff Halper outlined the contours of a possible one state solution in Palestine. They say it is essential to advocate for a secular and democratic state, not a bi-national state: “We see it as essential that the One Democratic State take a new path, towards the creation of an entity that unifies its citizens under one cohesive identity. This alone gives us a chance of lasting future resolution.”
Palestinian organisations in Gaza are calling upon all people of conscience around the world, to make posters of the fallen heroes of the recent Great March of Return and plaster these all over your cities and towns, especially opposite Israeli and American embassies.
Last week Roger Waters performed in Munich following a campaign to cancel his concert backed by the city’s mayor, Dieter Reiter, who accused Waters of anti-Semitism. Waters punched back from the stage at Munich’s Olympic Hall: “I believe all people, all of us, all of our brothers and sisters, all of our fragile globe, whatever their ethnicity or religion or nationality deserve the same basic human rights under the law.”
The slaughter on the Gaza border has given Palestinian writers an opening in the mainstream media they have not had before. And this could lead to a public opinion shift. It shouldn’t take the deaths of 128 Palestinians to open the world’s ears. Haneen Abo Saud and Rana Shubair of We Are Not Numbers are two Gazans writing about freedom who deserve global support.
Given their own history, the Irish understand the implications of Israeli settler colonialism and Palestinians appreciate Irish people’s support. Despite collaboration between Israel and Ireland, Irish universities have been hospitable to pro-Palestinian voices. And an independent Irish senator is planning to introduce a bill seeking to prohibit the import and sale of goods originating in illegal settlements in occupied territories.
In recent days, Palestinian legislators have submitted three legislative measures before parliament to explode the illusion that Israel is a western-style liberal democracy. A bill to revoke the quasi-governmental status of international Zionist organizations like the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and the Jewish Agency that discriminate against non-Jews was defeated when all the Jewish parties voted against it.
On Tuesday, May 15th, students at the Beacon School in New York announced a moment of silence for Palestinians killed in Gaza. Some Zionist parents of students called for the removal of the principal who allowed the commemoration. Hebh Jamal writes, “The careful targeting of academic institutions is a tactic that occurs in New York City all the time as any pro-Palestinian rhetoric is written off as terrorism or anti-semitism.”
A dishonest ‘NY Times’ article blames threat of ‘violence’ for canceling Argentina-Israel soccer match — and does not ask a single Argentine player why they chose to cancel the friendly match on June 9 in Jerusalem, which would have served Israeli propaganda purposes.
Today, an anonymous group of Israeli-Jewish activists, calling themselves “RETURN” hung photos of the martyrs of the Great Return March on the Gaza Apartheid Fence. One of the activists of RETURN stated, “The Palestinians besieged in Gaza are marching home, back to the villages and cities from which they were expelled. The courage and sacrifice of these people demand of us all to stand up and ensure an end to Israeli impunity. Apartheid must end and we are the ones who must end it.”