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.
Category Archives: Activism
On February 3, 2019 New Yorkers demonstrated at Carnegie Hall against a fundraising brunch and performance by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
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.
Marc Lamont Hill delivered an inspiring keynote address to a standing-room only celebration of radical organizing for Palestine as the organization Existence is Resistance celebrated its 10-year anniversary in New York City.
Activists Eyad Kishawi, Max Ajl, and Liliana Cordova-Kaczerginski applaud Jewish Voice for Peace’s recent statement outlining its “unequivocal opposition to Zionism,” but raise a critique that it gives credence to the idea that Zionism emerged from Jewish life, and was not a colonial ideology developed to expand western imperialism in Palestine. “Anti-Zionism is not merely criticism of current Israeli policies or even the idea of a Jewish nation-state,” they write, “It is a rejection of an imperially-imposed, racist, settler-colonial state.”
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.
California Scholars for Academic Freedom call on the University of California Regents to distance themselves publicly from the Canary Mission, and also from UC donors who have contributed to supporting the Canary Mission, such as the Diller Foundation.
In the splintering of the movement around the Women’s March, Alice Rothchild writes, “Today, the angry chorus of accusations are coming from white Jews who are accustomed to the privileging of their victimhood and the power of their class. The voices of Jews of color have been largely sidelined from this conversation.”
Nada Elia says there is no need to rewrite history where Martin Luther King Jr. is involved, as we have ample documentation of the direction the civil rights leader was heading: one opposed to militarism and fascism globally, along with his unflinching commitment to end segregation and apartheid–two evils that have become the hallmark of modern-day Israel.
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.
The Democratic Party is dividing over Israel. Buzzfeed quotes Waleed Shaheed saying that every presidential candidate will be asked where they stand on Netanyahu. Rep Rashida Tlaib says she will vote against aid to Israel till it gives equality and dignity to her grandmother. And Russ Douthat of the NYT says the party must debate anti-Zionism openly.
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.
Last week the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that the Canada Revenue Agency, under pressure from Palestine solidarity activists, began an audit of the Jewish National Fund over projects linked to the Israeli military.
Zillah Eisenstein comments on the controversies within the Women’s March, “‘We’, the big we, need to come together committed to moving with and through our limitations and contradictions to find a world free of exploitation and racial hatreds especially white supremacy, antisemitism, xenophobia, capitalism, nationalisms, misogyny and its gender binaries.”
Walaa Al Ghussein writes about why she is crowd sourcing to raise funds for her tuition, “You’d think someone who grew surrounded by war could survive anything, but the pressure of being a foreign student from Gaza in a place like the United States should not be underestimated.”
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.
In the late 1960s as black organizations began to weigh in on the national discourse on the Arab-Israeli conflict, black radicals and their critiques of Israel became a source of much anxiety for civil rights groups who fear support for Palestinians would jeopardize their cause.
On December 22, 2018, the 39th week of the Great March of Return, anti-Zionist Israeli activists joined Palestinian protestors at Khuza’a Return protest camp from the east side of the fence. Soldiers shot live rounds to prevent the activists from reaching the fence. Despite the military’s aggression, a phone conversation was held with Sabrine al-Najjar, the mother of Razan al-Najjar. She recognized the BDS movement as a positive factor in ending the occupation and contributing to the Palestinian cause of freedom and equality.
On Christmas, Robert Herbst calls on Christians to intervene with the Jewish community over Israel. “Speak truth to our power. Talk to us critically about what we are doing to the Palestinians. Not once, not twice, but over and over again.”
Many Jews have kept their silence about Israel, knowing that a critique of Israeli policies (not to mention Zionism) can get you labeled as a “self-hater” and have detrimental consequences to reputation and career. I know such people, and I don’t blame them. But it appears that this climate is beginning to change.
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.