Here is a selected listing of some of the most egregious muzzling of Palestine solidarity activities from the past week alone.
Tag Archives: BDS
Congressional Republicans continue to push legislation that targets the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and their first move of 2020 is the Israel Anti-Boycott Act.
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.
Last week, Jewish and Palestinian student activists with the group Jewish Voice for Peace were in Iowa to demand that Democratic candidates stop funding Israel’s occupation and embrace Palestinian rights.
The Department of Education is investigating another university over pro-Palestine events. The move comes just one month after President Trump signed an executive order that effectively allows the government to crack down on pro-Palestine campus organizing.
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.
A new University of Maryland Critical Issues Poll gives us further insight into what Americans think about the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement. One obvious conclusion is the high-profile BDS battles of 2019 have raised awareness for the movement, and that awareness has come with increased support.
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.
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 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.
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.
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement hit back at UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plans to ban public authorities from participating in the international movement boycotting Israeli goods, and likened the move to Margaret Thatcher’s decision to ban local British councils from boycotts and divestment against apartheid South Africa.
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.”
If you think Zionism is out of step with 21st century norms, then Trump’s declaration of war on anti-Zionism and BDS is the battle you have been waiting for.
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.
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.
President Trump is on the verge of signing an executive order aimed at cracking down on the campus Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. The order recognizes Judaism as a nationality and uses a civil rights loophole that will allow the government to withhold funding from schools that failed to effectively crack down on discrimination, which in this case might mean criticism of Israel. “This is a baldfaced attempt to silence the movement for Palestinian rights on college campuses – something that has been at the top of the Trump administration’s agenda,” said Palestine Legal director Dima Khalidi says.
The US Campaign for Palestinian Rights is the target of a $90 million lawsuit that accuses the group of engaging in environmental terrorism. “The lawsuit is a ludicrous abuse of U.S. courts to silence calls for Palestinian freedom,” says the Center for Constitutional Rights Deputy Legal Director Maria LaHood.
Research by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in the U.K. reveals that British universities invest over £456 million in companies complicit in Israeli violations of international law. The research was published as hundreds of students across the country take action as part of ‘Apartheid Off Campus’ day of action, with banner drops and protests at campuses across the UK.
“I am convinced that the loss of legitimacy of the Zionist idea, of the idea of a special state for a special people, is irreversible, that that cannot be resurrected in the 21st century, a time when we at least preach if not practice universal rights and equality,” the writer Ali Abunimah said in a landmark speech ten years ago, and his remarks have proved to be prophetic in describing the anti-Zionist movement inside progressive life.
Robert Kraft, New England Patriots owner and winner of Israel’s version of the Nobel Prize has revealed how he will spend his million-dollar award: funding groups that portray Israel positively.
Democratic politicians voted overwhelmingly to condemn BDS, but a new poll carried out by Data for Progress says 44% of Democratic voters support BDS, with just 15% opposing it. 53% agree that the movement is legitimate, and 48% of Dems are opposed to anti-BDS laws, with just 15% supporting them.
Haidar Eid writes, images of an entire family killed in an airstrike in Gaza while they slept will haunt Palestinians for generations to come. “We will tell our remaining children about this heinous massacre the same way our parents and grandparents told us about the Deir Yassin massacre.”
Michael Bueckert has been tracking Israel’s anti-BDS app for two years. Mondoweiss spoke to him about the app, its use during the recent attacks on Gaza, and where it is having an impact.
The European Union’s highest court has ruled that products made in Israeli settlements must be clearly labeled as such when being sold on shelves in EU countries.