Pitzer College’s governing council voted March 14 to suspend a program in Israel for the same reason US institutions ended collaborations with Apartheid South Africa in the 1980s. Pitzer President Melvin Oliver’s veto of the resolution not only harms Pitzer but harms Palestinians and Jewish Israelis, as it blocks a material contribution to expanding the possibility of justice and peace for all, Pitzer Professor Daniel Segal writes.
Category Archives: BDS
The 15th annual Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW), the largest global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) mobilization for Palestinian rights, opened on Monday with more than 80 events in 40 cities across Europe, North America and Palestine, featuring protests, lectures, film screenings, and cultural events. IAW is expected to be held in more than 200 cities worldwide.
Social justice leaders nation-wide, including scholars, activists, and educators write an open letter in support of students at Swarthmore College who have faced targeted online harassment from right-wing social media accounts for their work in solidarity with Palestine.
Today, a Palestinian-American and two Palestinian villages, whose properties are the very properties that Israeli settlers have listed on Airbnb, filed counterclaims against the settlers in their suit against Airbnb, arguing that their actions constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and discrimination on the basis of religion and national origin.
Last week, the German organization Jewish Voice for a Just peace in the Middle East received a peace prize from the city of Göttingen. The mayor promptly revoked the prize because the group supports BDS. Iris Hefets explains why it is so important that Jews say things about Israel other Germans cannot.
Four activists were arrested at a protest outside of a UK bulldozer manufacturer where they shut down deliveries for the morning: “Netanyahu said Khan-Al- Ahmar would be destroyed before the Israeli Elections in April 2019, and JCB and Caterpillar Bulldozers have been used to clear the ground there.”
Three activists are on trial in Berlin for disrupting a talk by Israeli lawmaker Aliza Lavie at Humboldt University. In his opening statement the court, Ronnie Barkan made it clear the activists would use the case to take Israel to court. “If there is any wrongdoing on my part then it is of not doing enough to end the grave crimes that the State of Israel is responsible for,” Barkan said. “The accused today, your honor, are the criminal State of Israel and its accomplices who will be mentioned in this courtroom for aiding and abetting in Israeli crimes against humanity.”
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
The BDS campaign doesn’t want to destroy Israel but to end its Zionist regime, Yossi Gurvitz explains. No people have the right to self-determination in another people’s homeland. Yet this is precisely what happened in Israel, and this is precisely what Zionists are defending: a country based on denial of the rights of others.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pitzer College alumna Diane Shammas tells Pitzer President Melvin Oliver “the time is overdue” for American institutions to take a stance against discrimination against Palestinians by Israel. The Pitzer faculty has voted to suspend a year-abroad program at Haifa University. Oliver said doing so would be a “blow” to the college’s reputation.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”