Friday night, the Swedish Freedom Flotilla boat ‘Freedom’ heading towards Gaza lost all communication at 20:06 local time, merely 40 nautical miles away from the Gaza coast, with 12 crew members, activists and journalists from five countries. It has since been confirmed that the boat was seized.
Category Archives: Activism
Anti-slavery, women’s suffrage, anti-Apartheid and, alas, Zionism needed a clear and inspiring end-vision in order to succeed. So does the One Democratic State agenda in Palestine. We believe in a standard liberal democracy, with separation of legislative, executive and judicial powers. We disagree with the view that collectives should have constitutional rights.
The extreme character of Israel’s nation-state law and its Gaza massacre provides a golden opportunity to activists to mobilize wider and deeper support for the Palestinian struggle, Richard Falk reports from a conference in Beirut.
Yonatan Shapira, a passenger on the Al Awda boat to Gaza: “They slammed the captain’s head against the wall again and again while threatening to take him to the ship’s belly and finish him off when no one is watching.”
A statement in support of embattled San Francisco State University professor Rabab Abdulhadi by an indigenous people’s coalition: “As peoples whose ancestors come from countries in Asia, Hawaii, and the Pacific Islands, and as members of indigenous communities in these regions, we issue this statement of solidarity with the people of Palestine… throughout the world.”
It is well past time for ethical Jews to accept the inherent racist and anti-Jewish nature of Zionism, which has manipulated the Jewish religion to morally justify seventy years of settler colonialism, ethnic cleansing and apartheid of indigenous Palestinians. Unsurprisingly, Israel is now allied with nationalists and racists globally, including Steve Bannon.
Who says BDS isn’t working? Twelve years ago Israel launched “Brand Israel” to transform its image overseas. But marketers for Tel Aviv are seeking to disconnect the city from Israel, because the Israel brand is “contentious” and “less than savory,” a brand development site reports.
The state of Israel has always been an apartheid state. Its founding was based on denying and destroying Palestinian collective life on the land, while encouraging Jewish immigration and participation in a settler-colony, itself based on a classed racial hierarchy among Jews. –International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network response to Israel’s new nation-state of the Jews basic law.
An anti-colonial protest group beamed the phrases, “Fallen heroes” and “Great March of Return” on to high rises across the street from the pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC’s office, and an Israeli bank in New York last week– the latest project of the activist-artist collective, Decolonize This Place or the DTP Crew.
Palestinian hip-hop artist Ibrahim Ghunaim, aka MC Gaza, recorded his latest music video amid chaos during the Great March of Return in Gaza. Now he has relocated to Tunisia and seeks help to further his career.
The recently passed Israeli ‘nation-state’ law is making is pushing liberal-Zionists to take sides. They can’t ignore the overt Apartheid anymore. Daniel Barenboim says he’s “ashamed to be Israeli”. What will he do about it?
A progressive Jewish group calls on congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to stand by her support for Palestinian human rights. Under intense backlash, Ocasio-Cortez has “walked back” her stand, saying she had not used “the right words” in calling out Israeli occupation, and endorsing Israel’s “right to exist.”
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.”
“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.