Cornel West speaks with a Stanford professor about the divestment effort and Palestinian activism
David Palumbo-Liu, writing in salon.com, Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015
One of the fundamental questions with regard to the critique of — and activism against — the Israeli occupation: How does this connect up with other social movements, and other struggles? Is the case of Israel and Palestine so specific, so complex, as to resist analogy? And if so, what does that mean for those who would be inclined to sympathize with the plight of the Palestinians, but unable to see their way clear to act in solidarity with them, as they might for others? Continue reading
[Caught between its long-discredited mythological claim of “democracy” and its Jewish (Settler-Colonial and Palestinian-Expelling) State reality, the discrediting and de-legitimizing of Israel and theits power relations is accelerating by the day. Even Israel’s closest backers are finding that the defense of Israel’s ethnic cleansing and war crimes carries an exceptional political price, so large that it not only damages the credibility of Israel, but the credibility of its backers, with no chance of recovery. — Frontlines ed.]
Israel has no answer to BDS, Barghouti tells packed hall at Columbia
Philip Weiss on December 6, 2014
Omar Barghouti’s appearance at Columbia University on Tuesday night felt like a landmark in the Palestinian solidarity movement in the U.S. A large hall at the law school was crowded to overflowing and the mood was celebratory. Luminaries of the community were in attendance, among them Lila Abu-Lughod, Rula Jebreal, Rashid Khalidi, Rebecca Vilkomerson, Nadia Abu El-Haj, Dorothy Zellner, Lia Tarachansky. Barghouti’s speech was hugely optimistic. He said that the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement was racking up victories far faster than the organizers had imagined when they began nine years ago, faster than the South African movement had progressed. And the BDS movement has the “closet” support of the Netanyahu administration, which was doing its utmost to demonstrate the fallacy of a Jewish democracy.
The suspense of waiting for the Israel supporters to say something was a bit of a fizzle, not the big drama it used to be at such events. Law professor Katherine Franke had urged the crowd not to be civil in discussing one of the most challenging moral questions of our time, and at the end, a man at the back said he had a short question.
“Do you believe that the Jewish people have a right to self determination?” And if so, “Where should it be?”
Barghouti said it was not up to him as a Palestinian to decide whether Jewish communities make up a nation, and where they should have a state. Though he pointed out that there was not consensus among Jews globally about whether they are a people; this is a recent debate, and in fact up till the 1945 the majority of Jews did not support Jewish nationhood. Then he said sharply:
[The campaign to stop the export of Israeli goods via the ZIM shipping line continues to have significant effect on the Israeli economy and on the growing strength of the BDS movement worldwide. The article below analyzes the impact of this campaign, and announces a “Block the Boat” action for October 25. And another action has been announced by the Stop ZIM Action Committee for this Saturday, September 27: “Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) Endorses September 27th community picket of Zim Shanghai at Port of Oakland. …Citing the historic four-day blockade of the Zim Piraeus initiated by the Block the Boat coalition last August, the endorsement salutes Oakland dockworkers and community activists for their ‘principled, ongoing and effective solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality’….The Stop ZIM Action Committee, an ad hoc committee formed to organize the September 27th blockade, appeals to all activists to join the picket lines when the Zim Shanghai arrives. We are currently projecting the first assembly at the West Oakland BART Station at 5am on Saturday, September 27th. Please text ‘Join’ to 88202 or monitor @StopZimOak on Twitter for updates closer to the picket date, since the ship may arrive earlier or later.” — Frontlines ed.]
by Kumars Salehi, jacobinmag.com, 24 September 2014
Nothing is more crucial to the success of BDS than the movement’s relationship with organized labor.
Over the past year, the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign has finally gained some widespread political attention in the United States: from the American Studies Association’s vote to endorse the academic boycott of Israel, to the flurry of student votes for divestment at the University of California and other US campuses, to the unprecedented criticism that met Scarlett Johansson when she quit her role as global ambassador for Oxfam so she could continue as global ambassador for SodaStream.
Last month’s protests at West Coast ports point not only to the momentum with which BDS has moved forward – more quickly than most activists could have predicted – but also to the possibility of direct action posing an ever graver threat to business as usual for Israel, particularly when organized labor is on board.
Until now, no one had ever kept an Israeli cargo ship from unloading for two consecutive days; we blocked the Zim Piraeus for four.
From Saturday, August 16 to Tuesday, August 19, activists at the Port of Oakland protested Israeli human rights abuses by picketing the berths where the ship intended to offload its cargo.
By Anthony Cuthbertson, International Business Times, August 7, 2014
An app that allows users to search for a product linked to targeted companies or countries in order to boycott them has seen a significant surge in users signing up to anti-Israel campaigns.
Buycott catalogues brands and their affiliations and lets users set up campaigns to either help or avoid funding certain causes. By scanning a product’s barcode with their smartphone camera, consumers are able to determine which brands are associated with which campaigns.
The two most popular campaigns currently on Buycott are Long Live Palestine Boycott Israel and Avoid Israeli Settlement Products. Between them they have close to 350,000 supporters, over a quarter of which have joined in the last 12 hours (at time of publication).
Included on the list of companies implicated by the Long Live Palestine Boycott Israel campaign are McDonald’s, Intel, Nestle and Marks & Spencer.
“This campaign is about ordinary people around the world using their right to choose what they buy in order to help bring about an end to oppression in Palestine,” the campaign’s page states.
[The international boycott of Israeli academics is growing, as the following statement from India indicates. And it challenges the abstract claims of “academic freedom” and “objectivity” by describing the actual function of academic work–for instance, regarding studies of water management, it points out that “Israel’s R&D in water …. has in effect stolen water from the the West Bank aquifers to provide water to illegal Israeli settlements, while depriving Palestinians of their own water.” — Frontlines ed.]
InCACBI Condemns the Growing Partnership between the State of Gujarat and the State of Israel
No partnership with Apartheid Israel!
New Delhi – 2 Feb. 2013
We, a group of academics, activists and artists in India, came together in 2010 to campaign against yet another apartheid regime by extending support to the international campaign for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel. (Visit our website www.incacbi.in for more information.)
The Israeli state consistently and ruthlessly tramples on the academic freedom and cultural life of the Palestinian people; and a continued association with the instruments of such a state is unconscionable to any freedom loving person.
This is why we condemn recent efforts to strengthen an already reprehensible partnership between the State of Gujarat and the State of Israel. On January 30th, 2013, the Israeli ambassador to India, Alon Ushpiz, and the Israeli Consul General in Mumbai, Orna Sagiv, met Chief Minister Narendra Modi at his residence to discuss furthering Research and Development (R&D) ties between Gujarat and Israel. Continue reading
Richard Falk Does His Duty
By Chandra Muzaffar
29 October, 2012
Once again, the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur for the Palestinian Territories, Professor Richard Falk, has shown tremendous courage and integrity in calling for the boycott of major Multi-National Corporations (MNCs) that have dealings with Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem “until they adhere to international rights, standards and practices.”
The call was made in Falk’s report to the UN General Assembly on the 24th of October 2012. In his report, he named companies such as Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard, Motorolla, the Volvo Group and Cemex, among others, as companies that have violated international human rights and humanitarian law by “exploiting Palestinian resources and helping Israel construct illegal settlements and providing security for them.” A boycott of these companies may compel them to pressurize the Israeli regime to change its behaviour towards the Palestinians. It may result in the withdrawal of Israeli settlers from the West Bank and in the dismantling of the settlements paving the way for a genuine peace founded upon justice. Continue reading
Israel Dropped the Ball on Human Rights, but We Won’t!
by Anna Baltzer, National Organizer, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
October 18th, 2012
Last week, more than 100 organizations worldwide — including dozens of US Campaign coalition members — signed onto a letter of support for the first Israeli sports team boycott campaign in the United States, organized by member group Minnesota Break the Bonds Campaign (MN BBC). The Israeli basketball team Maccabi-Haifa has been in the United States playing U.S. teams including the Minnesota Timberwolves.
When the Timberwolves refused to cancel their game with the Maccabi, almost two dozen activists protested inside the stadium calling on the team to “Stop Playing with Apartheid!” The protestors were ejected from the game for “disruptive and inappropriate messages” (meanwhile, counter-protestors waving Israeli flags were allowed to stay). According to a press release on the MN BBC website, a legal observer and civil rights attorney was assaulted and temporarily arrested by local security and police.
|A boycott of Apartheid South Africa’s sports teams proved to be a particularly effective tool in the struggle to end oppression there. At the time, South African teams that had not taken a public stance against apartheid would not be invited by any self-respecting tournament or venue. It should be no different with Apartheid Israel today.|
In the same way that South African teams were, almost all Israeli sports teams are cynically used as ambassadors of an apartheid state. Additionally, Maccabi is sponsored by Ya’akov Shahar, chairman of Mayer’s Cars and Trucks Ltd., the official importer to Israel of Volvo. Both companies are heavily involved in the Israeli occupation, as documented by Who Profits?, an Israeli research project. Israeli sports teams like Maccabi are also notorious for racism and racial discrimination against Palestinians.
As the activists in Minnesota stated: “Love Basketball; Hate Apartheid.”
The Palestinian call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) first made its way into U.S. basketball discourse when the US Campaign learned that legendary player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar canceled participation in an Israeli film festival following Israel’s killing of twelve unarmed Palestinian refugees attempting to exercise their internationally-recognized right of return.
It’s time to slam dunk Israeli Apartheid!
For more information on this and related campaigns, see: http://endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=3293
For background on the international boycott of South African apartheid’s sports, see this video documentary clip, and the articles which follow: Continue reading
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Pension Giant Dumps $73 Million Caterpillar Stock Over Israel Ties
“By selling weaponized bulldozers to Israel, Caterpillar is complicit in Israel’s systematic violations of Palestinian human rights,” said Rabbi Wise. “We’re glad to see that the socially responsible investment community appears to be recognizing this and is starting to take appropriate action.”
Rafeef Ziadah – ‘We teach life, sir’, London, 12.11.11
sternchenproductions on Nov 13, 2011
RAFEEF ZIADAH is a Canadian-Palestinian spoken word artist and activist. Her debut CD Hadeel is dedicated to Palestinian youth, who still fly kites in the face of F16 bombers, who still remember the names if their villages in Palestine and still hear the sound of Hadeel (cooing of doves) over Gaza.
By Kali Akuno
The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions or BDS movement, launched in 2005 to uproot the zionist settler-colonial project and dismantle the Israeli apartheid state following the various setbacks to the Palestinian liberation movement stemming from the Oslo accords, is rapidly growing into a powerful international political force. As the movement continues to grow and expand it is bound to encounter more obstacles and roadblocks. One way to defeat these limitations is to study and learn how other peoples’ movements that have employed BDS strategies and tactics on an extensive level organized themselves to overcome or maneuver around the roadblocks on their path. One such movement is the Black Liberation Movement (BLM) in North America. The BLM has employed BDS strategies and tactics extensively for the greater part of the last 200 plus years in its unfinished question for liberation. What follows is a brief summary of the BLM’s experience and a short exploration of some of the lessons learned from this extensive experience. Continue reading
Wed, March 02, 2011
Seeger, 92, one of the fathers of American folk music, is a veteran political and peace activist.
By Nir Hasson
American folk music legend Pete Seeger on Monday officially joined the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign – an international movement to pressure and sanction Israel through economic means.
Seeger, 92, one of the fathers of American folk music, is a veteran political and peace activist. In the 1950s he was interrogated by the McCarthyist House Unamerican Activities Committee and two years ago performed for U.S. President Barack Obama’s inauguration concert.
Seeger contributes half of the royalties from “Turn, Turn Turn” to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.
On Monday, Seeger withdrew his support of a project associated with the Jewish National Fund’s American branch, after Israeli and Palestinian activists told him of the JNF’s role in driving the Bedouins out of their Negev areas. Continue reading
Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign http://www.stopthewall.org
Stop the Wall: Make Apartheid History!
Eight years into the construction of the Apartheid Wall, over 60% has already been built to ghettoize communities, threatening over 260,000 people with displacement and stealing land and water resources.
The international community continues to ignore the 2004 decision of the International Court of Justice, which calls for the Wall to be dismantled and for the international community to fulfil its legal obligations: to enforce Israeli compliance with international humanitarian law and not to aid and abet the construction and maintenance of the Wall.
The Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign is more than ever determined to smash down the 12-meter concrete blocks of the Wall.
We will not let the Wall define the limits of our Bantustans and our future! We call on you to mobilize in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle against the Wall:
Join the 8th Week against the Apartheid Wall, November 9-16 2010!
The Palestinian popular resistance has grown incredibly in the past year. More and more villages have joined weekly action. Al-Ma’sara, al-Walajeh, Wadi Rahal, Beit Jala, Bil’in, Ni’lin, Nabi Saleh, Awarta, , Iraq Burin, Burin, Beit Rima and many other communities all across the West Bank are mobilizing against the Wall and the settlements. Continue reading