Police arrested 15 members of IfNotNow outside Birthright HQ in NY today after 100s of Jews demonstrated against the organization’s propaganda tours of Israel. Protester Yonah said that when he asked questions about Palestinians on his trip, his tour guide sat him down and said, “If you keep pulling this shit, I’m going to have to report you.” Yonah was “terrified” and shut up.
Category Archives: Activism
Rasmea Odeh dramatically had her visa revoked in Germany after pressure from the Israeli government grew to cancel her participation in a Berlin event on International Women’s Day. Her would be co-panelist, Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour explains how the events unfolded,”I was also supposed to read some of my poems. When I arrived at the event hall, I was surprised by something else. The venue was vandalized with graffiti.”
“Now I’m done, I’m coming home.” In an odd twist, the lyrics of the song that will represent Israel at the 2019 Eurovision competition provides the perfect summary of what protesters in Gaza have been communicating through the Great March of Return.
In a historic first, around 300 Israelis protested in Tel Aviv for the right of return and in solidarity with the Great March of Return against the siege of Gaza.
New York City residents write an open letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio saying his recent statements about Israel and antisemitism are extremely troubling and damaging: “You speak about Israel providing Jewish safety. Standing up for Israeli apartheid, as you have repeatedly done, does not promote safety. Quite the contrary.”
Israeli artists join Palestinians in calling for contestants in the Eurovision Song Contest to boycott: “We, as Jewish Israelis who yearn to live in a peaceful, democratic society, recognize that there is no way to achieve that without ending our government’s oppression of millions of Palestinians.”
Under the Trump administration, AIPAC has maintained a strong relationship with Republican members of congress, far right-wing Israeli politicians, and Christian Zionist groups. But the organization is facing a serious challenge: It increasingly has no cred with young Jews.
Even as pro-justice activists were celebrating the fact that many Democratic politicians– including the main 2020 presidential hopefuls–have skipped this year’s AIPAC conference in DC, a national campaign was hastily being launched to urge Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League) and Amy Everitt (California head of NARAL) not to speak there.
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.
Faculty at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, NY have been threatened with a lawsuit, smeared in the right-wing press, and received threatening letters and emails. City University of New York faculty have issued a statement to clarify the recent events at Kingsborough Community College, and sound the alarm to others who may be in the crosshairs of these right-wing groups.
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.
Clare Maxwell writes, “At a time when real anti-Jewish rhetoric and violence is growing in the country, we all need to stand up, condemn it, and find ways to protect Jews and other threatened religious groups. But disingenuous accusations of anti-Semitism that are hurled at Palestinians, or at human rights activists can cause damage as well. I know this because I’ve been there.”
Roman Levin, 19, is the latest Israeli soldier to be imprisoned for refusing to continue serving in the military after on moral objections to the occupation: “I heard soldiers talk about how they raid villages at night to detain suspects. It grieves me to see how the Jews, in the past one of the most oppressed peoples, now occupy another people.”
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.
Hammam Farah says Palestinians in Canada are witnessing an attempt to redefine their identity away from a collective political emancipation to one where national symbols like the kuffiyeh or the olive tree are denuded of their meaning. “We are left with a culture that is being depoliticized and being ‘made safe’ for our elites’ integration into Canada’s ruling classes at an alarming rate,” Farah writes, “while exploitation and oppression suffered by the majority among us only deepen.”
Following Israel’s expulsion of the TIPH observer group from Hebron last month, a group of Palestinian activists from the city formed their own team of observers to fill in the gaps. Mondoweiss followed the team around one morning, and in the span of half an hour, the group, including our cameraman, were attacked and harassed by Israeli settlers, while one international activist who was filming the altercation was arrested by police.
The Palestine Advocacy Project is relaunching a billboard ad campaign honoring Palestinian medics who put their lives on the line to rescue and treat injured protesters in Gaza’s ongoing Great March of Return demonstrations. The campaign comes nearly three months after its previous run was cut short after the billboard company received pressure calling the billboards antisemitic.
The recent fury and attacks on Ilhan Omar and her forthright statements exposing and criticizing the role of the Israel lobby come at time when issues of political framing are roiling Jewish and progressive communities. Alice Rothchild says the controversy further clarified her understanding that Palestine solidarity work is most effectively accomplished within an anti-racist, anti-white supremacist framework.
BDS Austria registered on time as a participant and co-sponsor of the Rosa Luxenberg conference. But the registration for an information table was refused and the fee refunded. BDS activists intervened at the start of the final panel discussion March 2 to object. “What are you afraid of?”
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.”
Danielle Alma Ravitski: As a political and human rights activist, I came to realize that the debate on a one-state solution in Israel/Palestine reveals a more profound issue of boundaries – not geographical ones, but psychological ones. This is especially true for Israeli liberal leftists, who talk about “one-state” with two contradictory voices.
The charges of anti-Semitism in the UK Labour Party reflect a program by Israel supporters to smear those who bear witness to apartheid in Palestine who are slowly changing the country’s global reputation. Today a growing number of Jews support Palestinian rights, while Israel is forging a strange alliance with Islamophobes and nationalists.