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BDS

Bloomberg once accused BDS supporters of wanting Israelis to be ‘massacred’

Michael Arria on

As NY Mayor, Mike Bloomberg said BDS supporters want Israel to be “torn apart.” But he said trying to suppress BDS advocates’ free speech rights would help the movement. “If [you] just shut up, it would have gone away! It would be a bunch of kids on a campus. Nobody would have gone to listen to them and nobody [would have] seen it. Now they’ve created the very monster that they say they’re opposed to.” 

UN releases database of companies operating in illegal West Bank settlements

Yumna Patel on

After countless delays, the UN released the highly-anticipated database of companies that operate in Israel’s hundreds of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. Among the international businesses listed are several companies in the travel industry previously known to operate in settlements, like Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, and TripAdvisor. American food manufacturer General Mills and telecommunications giant Motorola Inc. are also on the list.

South Dakota Governor signs anti-BDS executive order

Michael Arria on

On January 14, South Dakota’s Republican Governor Kristi Noem signed an executive order that prohibits state offices from doing business with companies that boycott Israel. South Dakota becomes the 28th state to pass legislation that targets the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

GOP lawmakers are using recent attacks on Jews as an excuse to push anti-BDS, pro-Israel curriculum in public schools

Michael Arria on

On January 9, Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) introduced H. Res. 782. The legislation, which is cosponsored by Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and David Kustoff (R-TN), would encourage “public schools to design and teach a curriculum about the history of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, and the vital and historic importance of the Jewish State of Israel.” The bill also cites the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which it claims is spreading “rampant anti-Semitism” across college campuses.

Court lifts ban on Arizona’s controversial anti-BDS law

Michael Arria on

In 2016, the Arizona Legislature passed HB 2617. The legislation (which was signed into law by Governor Doug Ducey) prohibited the state from investing or contracting with groups that boycott Israel. The law also established a blacklist of businesses that support the BDS movement. The legislation prompted a challenge from Mikkel Jordahl, the owner of a law firm that contracts with Coconino County Jail District to provide legal services for prisoners. He’s a supporter of BDS and the law required him to certify that his firm would not engage in the boycott. 

Pro-Palestine campus groups are being targeted via federal complaints thanks to the Trump administration

Michael Arria on
File photos of UMass Amherst Students for Justice in Palestine protesting, July 11, 2014. (Photo: UMass Amherst Students for Justice in Palestine/Facebook)

Last month, two civil rights complaints were filed against Columbia University in the wake of the Trump administration’s recent executive order on campus antisemitism. The Lawfare Project launched one complaint on behalf of an Israeli-American student who claims he was a victim of “systematic discrimination” from professors and pro-Palestine groups such as Students for Justice for Palestine and Columbia University Apartheid Divest.

The last decade brought the conflict to the U.S., and that is progress

Philip Weiss on
Rep. Rashida Tlaib addressing the House of Representatives on H.Res.326.

The assault on BDS in the US and the rise of Democratic Party organizations to support Israel are evidence of the progress on the Palestine issue in the U.S. in the last decade. At last the matter is politicized. Some Democratic pols openly support Palestinian rights. This is where the struggle really needs to be, in Washington; and we can thank Benjamin Netanyahu and Bari Weiss for the damage they’ve done to their own cause.

BDS as a way of resistance

Majed Abusalama on
Palestinian children play in front of a gate painted with a mural by the German artist Akot on the walls of houses destroyed during the 2014 war in the Gaza Strip, Gaza City on June 11, 2015. (Photo: Mohammed Asad/APA Images)

Majed Abusalama writes that Palestinians are tired of demanding their obvious human rights, but there is now an opportunity to compel the international community to humanize Palestine and to treat Palestinians with full rights — the BDS movement.

A Massachusetts lawmaker is pushing a bill that targets BDS and creates a blacklist of companies that support the movement

Michael Arria on
State Representatives Steve Howitt

Although a new bill in the Massachusetts State House didn’t mention the BDS movement, its sponsors left no doubts about its intentions. “This is a proud moment where the legislature can stand together in support of Israel” said State Representatives Steve Howitt after introducing it, “This bill clarifies to businesses that either support BDS or who boycott Israeli-owned businesses and products that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will not engage in commerce with them. I look forward to its quick passage.”

After Trump executive order, GOP lawmaker tries to get Georgetown funding pulled over ‘anti-Israel, pro-Islamist’ bias

Michael Arria on

On December 11, President Trump signed an executive order that effectively weaponizes antisemitism as a cudgel to beat back BDS activities on college campuses. The order threatens to withhold federal funding from universities if the government determines that they’ve failed to prohibit discrimination. Trump’s move was barely announced before a member of congress attempted to use the new playbook. Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA) has sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos asking for Georgetown University to be investigated over its alleged anti-Israel bias.

New project aims to establish Palestine’s place in the broader progressive movement

Michael Arria on
Image from the Freedom is the Future website

Freedom Is the Future is a joint project recently launched by US Campaign for Palestinian Rights and Adalah Justice Project to establish Palestine’s place in the broader progressive movement by promoting a rights-based framework. “This came about in part because there was a recognition that there was an absence of a framework and reference points within progressive organizing here in the United States that was Palestinian-authored and Palestinian-centered,” Yousef Munayyer explains.