Like the recent Barnard BDS vote, Natalie Portman’s refusal to attend the Genesis Prize award presentation shows how deep the cracks in Zionism are running for a growing number of Jews who today find it “increasingly tricky” to reconcile one’s familiar love for Israel and one’s decency, and eventually opt towards dissociating themselves from Zionism.
Category Archives: BDS
Barnard and Columbia University administrations have often targeted Palestinian solidarity and censored Palestinian voices on campus, but yesterday Barnard students voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution calling on the university to divest from companies complicit in Palestinian human rights violations. With 1,153 total votes cast, yesterday’s turnout was the largest in Barnard’s history according to the Student Government Association. The final vote 64.3% in favor and just 35.7% opposed.
On the eve of a divestment vote by George Washington University’s student senate, multiple students witnessed two men who they say clearly did not attend the university, posting flyers around campus attacking the student group responsible for the resolution, as well as Students for Justice in Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace, and Student Association Senators. The vote was cancelled due to safety concerns and rescheduled for April 23.
Fifty student organizations at New York University have issued a statement endorsing BDS: “We support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement for Palestinian human rights as it is a non-violent method of resisting Israeli apartheid from abroad. We call on NYU to divest its holdings from companies and funds that are complicit in the Israeli occupation of Palestine.”
Over 100 musicians, artists, scholars, union members and activists, as well as 33 social justice organizations, have called on the Philadelphia Orchestra to cancel its planned June tour in Israel. In a March 21 letter, they explained that the orchestra’s trip is part of “the Israeli government’s Brand Israel propaganda strategy,” and called on the orchestra “not to lend your good name to covering up Israel’s oppression of Palestinians.”
Evoking memories of the South African apartheid regime’s massacre of peaceful protesters in Sharpeville in 1960, Israel’s military committed a new massacre against Palestinian civilians as they were peacefully calling for an end to Israel’s brutal blockade of Gaza and asserting the UN-stipulated right of return for Palestinian refugees. The Palestinian BDS National Committee, the largest coalition in Palestinian society and the leadership of the global BDS movement, calls for effective accountability measures against Israel, particularly a two-way military embargo, as was imposed against apartheid South Africa.
Studying abroad in Israel? Campaigners for Palestinian human rights launch a boycott of study abroad programs that send college students to Israeli institutions: “To enroll in a study abroad program at an Israeli institution means ignoring if not perpetuating the ongoing violation of the academic–and, indeed, human–freedoms of Palestinians.”
Student members of the Palestine Solidarity Alliance at Hunter College recently made public their proposed ‘Resolution Demanding CUNY to Adopt a Socially Responsible Investment Policy,’ a landmark first step towards pressuring the City University of New York to end its ties with US companies complicit in Israel’s ongoing violations of Palestinian human rights.
Today, over 130 Palestinian football clubs and sports associations called on German sportswear giant Adidas to end its sponsorship of the Israel Football Association (IFA) over its inclusion of football clubs based in illegal Israeli settlements built on stolen Palestinian land.
Yesterday, students, campus workers, and allies from across the University of California system were in Los Angeles to call on the UC Regents to listen to student voices and divest university funds from corporations that profit from human rights abuses against the Palestinian people.
Cyclists and supporters of Palestinian human rights took to the streets in 20 cities across the world on Saturday, March 10, 2018 for the #RelocateTheRace International Day of Action. Bike rallies and actions called on Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the governing body of cycling to relocate the start of the famed Giro d’Italia cycling event, set for May 4 in Jerusalem.
Are Texas and Arizona banning free speech on campus? The University of Houston and Arizona State University are forcing speakers to disavow boycotts against Israel in order to speak at events on campus.
Devyn Springer reflects on the legacy of Black activists in the South organizing in solidarity with Palestinians: “No, solidarity organizing for Palestinians is not contained to the South. In fact, this organizing likely occurs across the country at varying rates probably higher in other places. However, the South has a legacy that cannot be ignored in this fight; one that is being reckoned with, actualized, and drawn upon as political and emotional spectacle to form its new movement for Palestine.”
Former MLA President Margaret Ferguson has resigned from the organization following passage of a resolution banning further debate over the academic boycott of Israel. Ferguson writes, “My experience in Israel-Palestine is one of the many reasons I am giving up my membership in an organization I have participated in and learned from for over 40 years—long enough to acquire the privileges of “life membership.” Those privileges are now a burden to me.”
The First Amendment and organizers of a year-long campaign to uphold the right to boycott won an important victory in Massachusetts when the state legislative committee considering an “anti-BDS” bill refused to advance it to the floor, ending its chances of being passed this session. Here’s how grassroots organizing beat the bill.
Norwegian parliamentarian Bjørnar Moxnes officially nominated the BDS movement for Palestinian rights for a Nobel Peace Prize. He did so with the support of his party, the progressive Rødt (Red) Party, explaining why BDS “should be supported without reservation by all democratically-minded people and states.”
An Israeli ‘legal rights group’ said Wednesday it is suing two New Zealanders for “moral and emotional injury” after they allegedly convinced the pop singer Lorde to cancel her performance in Israel. The lawsuit appears to be the first filed under a contentious Israeli anti-boycott law.
Granted an op-ed in the New York Times to spread distortions and lies regarding Israel’s critics, the country’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett attempts to whitewash the recent Israeli ban against BDS activist groups, by demonizing them as “enemy soldiers” and slyly comparing them to those who “helped Nazi Germany.”
After pressure from local pro-Israel organizations, the New Orleans City Council yesterday voted unanimously to rescind a human rights resolution that the body passed exactly two weeks ago. “The hoods are off. We see the way Zionist organizations like the Anti-Defamation League and Jewish Federation are willing to kill a human rights resolution and undermine entire movements to protect Israel,” Anna Baltzer, Director of Organizing and Advocacy with the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, said.
On Monday the Central Council of the PLO, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, officially announced its support for the BDS movement and called, for the first time, on the international community to “impose sanctions on Israel” to end its ongoing, grave violations of Palestinian rights as stipulated by international law. This marks the most explicit and official adoption of the BDS movement by the PLO.
After backlash to the New Orleans City Council resolution in support of human rights, which was pushed by Palestinian solidarity activists, Councilmember-At-Large Jason Williams who voted in support of the resolution stopped discussing parallels between South Africa during Apartheid and Israel.
Israel has long labored to convince its allies that the BDS movement is anti-Semitic, but Nada Elia says the new entry ban reveals Israel’s true concern: “Ultimately, the oddly selective blacklist is not about protecting Israel from anti-Semitic attacks, it is about defending it from the one strategy, BDS, that seems to be working. Shunning the charade of ‘talks’ and ‘process,’ BDS has exposed the racist ideology at the very heart of Zionism, allowed the Palestine solidarity movement to build global alliances and enabled individuals to enact their solidarity in concrete ways that have secured many victories, big and small. No blacklist banning entry into Israel can stop this.”
Israel issued a blacklist of 20 organizations that support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Among those barred entry are Code Pink, AFSC, American Muslims for Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace. “We wear this designation as a badge of honor,” said Yousef Munayyer of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights.
Nada Elia says that when the singer Lorde decided to cancel her concert in Tel Aviv she was not caving to BDS pressure, she was rising to the occasion.
The pop singer Lorde announced on Sunday that she would be canceling her June 5th performance in Tel Aviv after pressure from the Palestinian BDS movement. “I had done a lot of reading and sought a lot of opinions before deciding to book a show in Tel Aviv, but I’m not too proud to admit I didn’t make the right call on this one,” the singer wrote on social media explaining her decision.