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BDS

California ethnic studies curriculum delayed after attack on its comparison of Israel to South Africa

Michael Arria on
Berlin Radical Queer March, July 27, 2019, Berlin, Germany. (Photo: Facebook/Palästina Spricht)

A bill that would have required all California high school students to take an ethnic studies course will be delayed for at least a year after pro-Israel groups complained that the curriculum failed to address anti-semitism and singled “Israel out for condemnation.” Some of the backlash was initiated by an organization that is funded by the Israeli government.

Political upheaval over Tlaib and Omar shows the power of BDS

Philip Weiss on
Representative Rashida Tlaib and Representative Ilhan Omar

By banning Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from visiting the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, Israel has created a political upheaval in the U.S., with many Americans now favoring cutting aid to the country. One thing achieved this result: The women support BDS, and they have demonstrated the power of the nonviolent campaign.

Will Israel now ban supporters of the two-state solution?

Jonathan Ofir on
Tzipi Hotovely

The Netanyahu government barred Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar over their support for BDS, but earlier this week Israeli lawmakers sent a letter to Congress saying the two-state solution is more dangerous than BDS. Will Netanyahu bar two-state supporters next?

Netanyahu: Tlaib and Omar delegation banned because ‘sole purpose of trip is to harm Israel’

Allison Deger on
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House, Washington DC, March 5, 2018. (Photo: Haim Zach/GPO)

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave details behind the decision to ban Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from entering Israel and the West Bank on a Congressional delegation this afternoon in a statement that alleged terrorism ties on the part of the trip’s coordinator and said “the sole purpose of their visit is to harm Israel and increase incitement.”

Israeli activists to Ayanna Pressley – Palestinians are equally deserving of your solidarity

Boycott from Within on
Ayanna Pressley at a rally for Elizabeth Warren in Cambridge, MA (Photo: Flickr)

Israeli BDS activists write to Rep. Ayanna Pressley: “We were disappointed to learn of your recent vote in favor of HR 246. Your condemnation of the BDS movement – a global, grassroots-based, non-violent campaign for equality in human rights does not do justice to your relentless work for human rights and human dignity for marginalized populations.”

Israeli lawmakers to Congress: two-state solution far more dangerous to Israel than BDS

Michael Arria on
Tzipi Hotovely waving an Israeli flag with the Dome of the Rock in the background, in a 2014 promotion

On August 12, Twenty-one Israeli lawmakers sent a letter to members of Congress criticizing a bill that condemned the boycott of Israel because it endorsed a two-state solution. “We would like to make our position clear that the establishment of a Palestinian state would be far more dangerous to Israel than BDS,” the letter reads.

I said no to a Netflix audition because I support Palestinian rights

David Clennon on
David Clennon

David Clennon was invited to audition for a new Netflix television series that he learned was being produced by the creators of the Israeli series “Fauda.” As much as he needed the work he passed due to their connection to the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s “Brand Israel” campaign: “I haven’t been employed for a year and a half. So, with considerable reluctance, but inspired by the example of so many others, I chose not to participate in the whitewashing of Israel’s image.”

The first major legal win for campus Palestine activists just happened at Fordham

Michael Arria on

In 2016, Fordham University tried to block a Palestinian advocacy group from being formed. After a two year legal battle, students at the school have won a landmark victory which legal advocates are calling “the first major legal victory for free speech for advocates of Palestine on college campuses,” and a Students for Justice in Palestine club can now be established on their campus.

If Ayanna Pressley wants to hear from ‘people closest to the pain’, she must listen to Palestinians

Nada Elia on
Ayanna Pressley at a rally for Elizabeth Warren in Cambridge, MA (Photo: Flickr)

Nada Elia on Ayanna Pressley’s dangerous talking points on Palestine: “One cannot speak of the pain on ‘both sides’ of Israel’s war on the Palestinian people without being a normalizer of violent settler-colonialism that hinges on racism. It is tantamount to Trump’s claim that ‘there are fine people on both sides’ of rallies promoting white supremacy, and the protests against these displays of hatred.”

‘Full equality’ for Palestinian citizens poses threat to ‘Jewish state,’ ‘NYT’ reveals in BDS story

James North and Philip Weiss on

The New York Times would never run an article asking a very legitimate question, “Is Zionism racist?” But it ran a full-page to answer whether BDS is anti-Semitic. The article was surprisingly fair to BDS, including the explanation that Israel supporters feel threatened by BDS because the call for “full equality” for Palestinian citizens would undermine the basis of the “Jewish state.”

Our Lives, Our Streets! — Palestine solidarity and the 2019 Berlin Radical Queer March

Queers for Palestine on
Berlin Radical Queer March, July 27, 2019, Berlin, Germany. (Photo: Facebook/Palästina Spricht)

On Saturday, organizers of the Berlin Radical Queer March instructed police to block and ban the participation of the Queers for Palestine contingent, a group of 500 Arab and Jewish-led marchers. Queers for Palestine write: “The very fact that we need to defend ourselves against physical and police violence at a ‘radical queer march’ is infuriating and deeply shameful.”

‘Progressive’ votes on anti-BDS bill offer a political defense of the indefensible

David Lloyd on
Rep Ro Khanna, D-Calif., speaks at a rally against Mike Pompeo's nomination for Secretary of State on April 11, 2018, in Washington.

David Lloyd writes that congressional resolutions that affirm the duplicitous language of Zionist lobbies and apologists for apartheid will have little impact on the continuing growth of the BDS movement, “but ‘progressives’ who endorse them stand to lose sight of what is crucial to all fundamental political change: the moral force of social movements out of which, from abolitionism to civil rights to BDS, all substantial transformation has come.”

AOC is now cosponsoring Ilhan Omar’s boycott bill

Michael Arria on

A resolution affirming that Americans have the right to participate in the boycott of foreign countries has four new cosponsors, including New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The number of cosponsors on the bill has more than doubled since the House overwhelmingly passed a resolution condemning the BDS movement earlier this week.

Ilhan Omar’s case for foreign influence is more convincing than Mueller’s

Philip Weiss on

Imagine the Russians having the power over Congress the Israel lobby has. Imagine a wildly lopsided Congressional vote condemning a grassroots campaign for human rights in Russia. Trump, contrary to liberal fantasies, has done things that Putin doesn’t want, including opposing a pipeline to Germany from Russia. He has given Israel almost everything it wants except an actual US war against Iran.

Progressive Reps defend anti-BDS vote: Khanna cites Lincoln, Pressley ‘solidarity with Jewish families’

Michael Arria on
Ayanna Pressley at a rally for Elizabeth Warren in Cambridge, MA (Photo: Flickr)

Notable progressives backed the House resolution condemning BDS, including Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA). Both faced intense criticism on Twitter for their votes. Khanna responded, Lincoln was not an abolitionist “early in his career”. While Pressley said, “Voting yes on this resolution affirmed to my constituents raised in the Jewish faith Israel’s right to exist.”

House overwhelmingly passes bill opposing BDS, but the Israel boycott fight is just beginning

Michael Arria on
Images of Reps. Rashida Tlaib (l) and Ilhan Omar

Despite the overwhelming passage by the House of a resolution condemning BDS, many Democratic politicians are torn about how much to support Israel. Rep. John Lewis voted for the resolution but also supports a bill that affirms the right to boycott. Go figure! And two leading presidential candidates have said that Israel should suffer reductions in aid for human rights violations.