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Lara Alqasem’s release is a major win for liberal Zionists and a blow to BDS

Jonathan Ofir on

The defense of Lara Alqasem who was barred entry by Israel for her studies, was based on the notion that she does not currently practice BDS. Thus, her victory at Supreme Court is also a blow to BDS and a victory for liberal Zionists. She has become a pawn in an internal Israeli-Zionist political game, where the right and left compete against each other about who is a “better Zionist”.

Video: Israeli Anti-Zionist activists and Palestinians meet face-to-face at Gaza fence

Haim Schwarczenberg on

On October 10, Israeli anti-Zionist and international activists were invited to the Gaza fence across from an encampment of the Great March of Return. The two groups met and were able to see and speak to each other with only a few dozen meters and the siege fence between them. Armed soldiers arrived and attempted to disperse the meeting. The demonstrators left from both sides without incident, promising to meet each other again.

Lara Alqasem’s case highlights the need for the academic boycott of Israel

Nada Elia on

The case of Lara Alqasem, the American citizen fighting deportation from Israel, is shining a bright light on Israel’s racial profiling of American students, the growing witch hunt against BDS activists, and the very real impact of smear websites. It is also catapulting into prominence the rationale behind the academic boycott of Israel.  

To our friend in letters Dareen Tatour

Refaat Alareer on

Refaat Alareer writes a poem to Dareen Tatour –
I am at the stake
I am being burnt
For being here
For writing poetry
I am in prison.

A guide to principled anti-Zionism

Steven Salaita on

An optimal anti-Zionism is a politics and a discourse, and is a commitment to unimaginable possibilities—that is, to realizing what arbiters of common sense like to call “impossible.” Steven Salaita offers some suggestions on what a principled anti-Zionism looks like.

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.

The problem with singling out anti-Semitism on the Left

Donna Nevel on

Donna Nevel says she frequently hears the sentiment articulated in some progressive Jewish spaces that the left needs to be more concerned about anti-Semitism. But she wonders what exactly is being referred to, and why is anti-Semitism being singled out as a particular problem when other injustices aren’t? “I believe those of us within Jewish social justice spaces who are concerned about anti-Semitism on the left would benefit from deep reflection about what it is we are centering and why,” Nevel writes.

Cyclists will ride from Boston to NY in support of Gaza

Cycling4Gaza on

On October 3-7, cyclists from all over the world will ride 400 km from Boston to NYC to raise awareness and $250,000 that will go towards Women’s Empowerment, Community Rehabilitation targeting disabilities among children and adults, and Mental Health support in the Gaza Strip.

Canadian politicians lead unprecedented smear campaign against advocate for Palestinian rights

Yves Engler on

On Thursday lawyer Dimitri Lascaris called on two Liberal MPs to denounce death threats made by B’nai B’rith supporters against a number of other Liberal MPs and the Prime Minister. But instead of condemning those who called for politicians to face the “guillotine” or “stoning”, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) and Canadian politicians smeared the individual drawing attention to the death threats.

Lana Del Rey did the right thing

Natasha Rappazzo on

Lana Del Rey is one of many artists who recently canceled their performance at the upcoming Meteor Festival in Israel. Natasha Rappezzo writes, “If Lana Del Rey chose to perform at the Meteor Festival, she would have been using her name and influence to whitewash Israeli crimes. As a fan, I am happy that one of my favorite artists has grown and will stand on the side of justice. As a supporter of Palestinian human rights and freedom, it has been incredible to watch Palestinians and the international community rise to action and deliver this win for the movement.”

‘Tashlich’ for justice in Palestine

Donna Nevel and Alan Levine on

Donna Nevel and Alan Levine draw upon the theme of tashlich — a Jewish new year ritual in which Jews throw crumbs or pebbles into moving water to symbolically cast away transgressions — to urge our communities to reflect upon what keeps us from being full-hearted partners to the Palestinian movement for justice.

Palestinian solidarity group in Austria protests EU ministers over cooperation with Israel

BDS Austria on

When EU ministers met in Vienna, BDS Austria was there to protest millions of Euros in research grants to Israeli scientific institutions. While the EU’s rules state that these grants must be for “civilian” programs, many are supporting companies that participate in the repression, surveillance, and exploitation of the Palestinian population.

Zionism is ‘at the heart’ of British Jewish identity, ‘NYT’ author writes

Philip Weiss on

Josh Glancy writes in the New York Times that Jeremy Corbyn is guilty of “classic anti-Semitism” for saying that British Zionists lack irony, but Glancy himself has written that Zionism is “at the heart” of British Jewish identity, and most British Jews are “culturally Israeli.” Thus do Zionists conflate Jews and Israel.

UK Labour Party must reject biased antisemitism definition that stifles advocacy for Palestinian rights

Open Letter on

A coalition of 24 Palestinian civil society groups, including the largest trade unions, professional associations and refugee networks, released a statement urging the UK Labour Party and trade unions to reject the “biased, anti-Palestinian” IHRA definition of antisemitism which seeks to conflate antisemitism with criticism of Israel. The definition they say, “aims to silence criticism of Israeli policies that clearly violate Palestinian human rights.”

BDS movement: SodaStream is still subject to boycott following sale to PepsiCo

Palestinian BDS National Committee on

Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the BDS movement, says that even after being bought by PepsiCo, Sodastream should still be boycotted: “SodaStream is still subject to boycott by the global, Palestinian-led BDS movement for Palestinian rights. Its new factory is actively complicit in Israel’s policy of displacing the indigenous Bedouin-Palestinian citizens of Israel in the Naqab (Negev). SodaStream’s mistreatment of and discrimination against Palestinian workers is not forgotten either.”

Film project ‘Brooklyn, Inshallah’ seeks to boost the Arab and Muslim vote

Ahmed Mansour on

Palestinian filmmaker Ahmed Mansour describes his new film “Brooklyn, Inshallah,” which tells the inspiring story of Khader El-Yateem’s campaign for a seat on the NY City Council. Mansour is hoping to use the film to support voter registration drives and mobilize Arab and Muslim voters for the 2018 midterm elections.

Getting shot in Palestine — a Norwegian activist’s story

Jonathan Ofir on

Norwegian activist Kristin Foss was shot and badly bruised on Saturday in the occupied West Bank by a rubber bullet fired by an Israeli soldier, while posing no danger. The Norwegian media has noticed – will the government do anything about it?