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.”
Tag Archives: BDS
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.
Congressional Progressive Caucus leader Rep. Ro Khanna doesn’t believe BDS should be criminalized, but he’s backing legislation that many believe will be used as a weapon against BDS supporters.
Lawmakers in New Jersey have introduced an antisemitism bill that would prohibit certain criticism of Israel in public schools and universities. The proposed legislation comes on the heels of similar bills being passed in South Carolina and Florida. The legislation takes its cues from the State Department.
Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar has introduced a bill affirming that Americans have the right to participate in boycotts. Although the legislation doesn’t specifically mention the BDS movement, it coincides with an anti-BDS resolution that is currently being pushed by many Democrats.
House Democrats, including 9 of the 11 ViceChairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, are backing an anti-BDS bill that they think is constitutional but it’s destined to backfire on them.
Gilad Erdan, Israeli minister of strategic affairs under Netanyahu, says his government campaign against BDS has produced laws in U.S. “Our efforts are producing results. 27 US states now have counter-BDS legislation.” He vows to “promote” even tougher laws against advocacy for boycott. And you worry about Russian interference in U.S. politics?
NBA champions have refused to go to the White House for the last two years, and the Toronto Raptors should reject part-owner Larry Tanenbaum’s notion that the team will visit Israel. There has been silence about the plan for 3 weeks. But activists have been rallying opposition to the trip, and Marion Kawas hopes it is in the dustbin of history.
Israeli citizens opposed to their government’s policies of oppression, occupation, apartheid and ethnic cleansing ask Jennifer Lopez to honor the Palestinian call for BDS and cancel her upcoming concert in Tel Aviv.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is scheduled to announce his support for a new resolution that targets the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement today. “I have long believed that the BDS effort is a profoundly biased campaign to delegitimize the state of Israel, and I look forward to Congress passing the resolution with overwhelming bipartisan support,” Schumer told the online publication Jewish Insider.
Last week, the news broke in Israeli media that Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs had launched a “stealthy campaign” that resulted in the shuttering of some 30 bank accounts affiliated with the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement. Ramallah-based human rights NGO, Al-Haq, slammed Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan’s smear campaign against Palestinian rights groups as “spurious, unsubstantiated and libelous,” constituting what it called an “illegal interference” with Palestinian civil society under the Hague Regulations.
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has pledged $20 million to establish a foundation that will fight anti-Semitism and BDS (the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement). Kraft made the announcement while in Israel accepting The Genesis Prize, a $1 million award that Time Magazine has called “the Jewish Nobel.”
Andom Ghebreghiorgis is challenging Israel lobby-stalwart Eliot Engel in the his upcoming Democratic primary. “Whether it’s in the U.S. or abroad, I believe in equal rights and freedom for all. We therefore must commit to a political solution that centers those values for Israelis and for Palestinians. Sadly, Eliot Engel has been one of the staunchest supporters of Israel’s right wing policies,” Ghebreghiorgis tells Mondoweiss.
Israel’s threat of annexation is a crisis for liberal Zionists because it makes them confront a reality: There is not going to be a two-state solution. Yesterday Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street warned supporters: “Members of the Trump administration are opening the door to a one-state scenario where Palestinians will live as second-class citizens.” But that scenario exists right now, and liberal Zionists have done precious little to oppose it.
Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis signed a new law that would limit criticism of Israel in Florida schools. Anti-Semitism includes “Applying a double standard to Israel by requiring behavior of Israel that is not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation…”
MA Rep. Seth Moulton has taken progressive stances on Israel, supporting a bill against funding Israel’s detention of Palestinian children and standing up for BDS advocates’ right of free speech. But he appears to have flipflopped on both positions now that he is running for president and the blob hit him.
Palestinians activists are protesting this weekend at storefronts and offices for the German athletic wear manufacturer Puma. The reason? Puma sponsors the Israel Football Association (IFA), which includes six teams in settlements in the West Bank.
A House amendment that would have required some individuals who boycott Israel to report as much to the IRS and potentially be penalized for it was narrowly defeated in the House, as 12 Democrats joined in support, including Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, who is running for president.
In a Huffington Post interview published on June 5, U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker announced that he now supports a federal anti-BDS bill, which would allow states to punish contractors for boycotting Israel.
Sara Roy challenges the German parliament over its resolution equating boycott of Israel and anti-Semitism: “I lost a large extended family to fascism and racism. By endorsing the motion that alleges that BDS is anti-Semitic, you are criminalizing the right to free speech and dissent and those who choose to exercise it, which is exactly how fascism takes root.”
Amith Gupta comments on the controversy over NYU President Andrew Hamilton’s undermining of campus free speech when he censured Steven Thrasher’s NYU commencement speech celebrating BDS. He says lost in the discussion is any meaningful discussion about which ideas are being suppressed at NYU in the first place — and which ideas are being promoted.
Last week, the German Parliament passed a resolution that demonizes the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel. Hatim Kanaaneh writes to German politicians, “you dare to pass judgement on us for peacefully demanding our rights under international law. Now you have the audacity to ascribe to me your predecessors’ innermost ugly sentiments in order to aid and abet our continued victimization as surrogate Germans and anti-Semites.”
Middle East Monitor reports that Israel has embarked on a massive recruitment drive to support the country’s online propaganda campaign one day after its companies were exposed for spreading disinformation on Facebook and meddling in the elections of several African, Asian and Latin American countries.
NYU president Andrew Hamilton roundly condemned graduation speaker Steven William Thrasher for endorsing BDS against “apartheid” Israel in a speech at commencement Wednesday. Hamilton issued a statement saying remarks were one-sided and made some feel “unwelcome.” Astounding obeisance to Israel supporters! And not a word about Thrasher calling Trump a “fascist.”
The German government’s campaign against BDS has taken its next step – an outright labelling of BDS as anti-Semitic, and association of it with Nazi boycotts of Jews. Palestinian civil society has now responded to the assault.