Friday, December 6, 2013

Big Victory for the Boycott-Israel Movement

"Big Win for Boycott Movement"
Inside Higher Ed

December 5, 2013


The National Council of the American Studies Association announced Wednesday that it has unanimously endorsed a boycott of Israeli universities and other Israeli institutions -- and urged its members to vote to make the boycott official policy of the association.

The move by the council, even if awaiting approval by the membership, is seen as a major victory for the movement for an academic boycott of Israel. The academic movement to boycott Israel has considerable support in Europe, but has been largely opposed by major academic associations in the United States, citing longstanding objections to countrywide boycotts as antithetical to academic freedom. But in April, the Association for Asian American Studies became the first disciplinary group to endorse the academic boycott of Israel, and the American Studies Association now appears to be the second.

Supporters of the boycott have argued that just the discussion of the idea at a meeting as large as the American Studies Association marks a significant departure for American academe. A post on the pro-Palestinian site The Electronic Intifada said that the debate over the proposal indicated that "the taboo on boycotting Israel has been broken..."

Thursday, March 14, 2013

More Divestment Resolutions are Approved:

These news items are all from March 14, 2013:

1. Clackmannanshire Council adopts policy of boycott against Israel, & support of the Palestinian freeedom struggle. See the above announcement from Twitter.

-- It is the third Scottish council to approve a resolution supporting boycott against Israel.

2. "UC San Diego Student Government calls for divestment from Israeli Occupation", at:

3. "UCSD Divestment 2013 Vote"
(Start watching 4 minutes into the video)

Today's divestment resolution was approved by the University of California's San Diego campus student government, by a large majority of 20 in favor, only 12 against, and 1 abstaining.

It follows recent votes for divestment at the student governments of UC Riverside and UC Irvine, and many others.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Divestment victory at the University of California-Riverside:

Another Student Government Enters the History of the Palestine Freedom Movement --

Overwhelming Vote for Divestment against Apartheid "Israel" at the University of California-Riverside.

The vote was 11-5, and it overrode a veto that attempted to kill the divestment resolution.

This follows a recent vote for divestment at UC-Irvine's student government (in the L.A. Times at ).

It also follows earlier student government votes for divestment at:

* Wayne State University (at ),

* The University of Michigan-Dearborn (at ), 


* The University of Wisconsin-Platteville faculty senate approved its own divestment resolution (at ), 

* MEChA, the largest association of Chicano youth in the U.S., voted overwhelmingly at its 2012 national conference to endorse the global call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel ( ),

* South Africa’s governing party, the African National Congress, voted to make boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel part of its official policy in December 2012 (at ), and
* The Olympia Food Co-op, in 2010, voted to boycott all Israeli products (at )

In these votes, every argument that apartheid could make was rejected. After all, the arguments favoring Apartheid Israel are identical to the arguments made to preserve the old dead Apartheid State of South Africa.

Furthermore, Apartheid South Africa was tighly allied to Apartheid Israel. (See )

Another divestment vote is coming at UC San Diego next week.
UCSD just adjourned their meeting following eight hours of divestment debate last night (see )

Monday, February 25, 2013

Protest against Israel torturing a Palestinian to Death:

A February 2013 Gaza protest -- against Israel's torturing a Palestinian to death:

Isn't it time to demand a total boycott against Israel?
Isn't it time to cut all ties to the apartheid state?


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

"Boycott Israeli apartheid"

-- In the University of Pennsylvania student paper:

Boycott Israeli apartheid

Guest Column

Omar Barghouti at Penn: the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, one year later

· February 5, 2013, 12:10 am
University of Pennsylvania student newspaper.

Tonight at 7 p.m. in Claudia Cohen Hall, G17 Auditorium, PennBDS — with Philly BDS, Philadelphia Jewish Voice for Peace, Philadelphia Jews for a Just Peace, Temple Students for Justice in Palestine, the American Friends Service Committee and the Christian-Jewish Allies of Greater Philadelphia — will host Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

Given the fortuitous timing of Mr. Barghouti’s talk — one year after the National BDS Conference held at Penn last February — we would like to reflect on the progress that BDS and the Palestinian non-violent resistance movement have made over the last year. But first, some background.

The official call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel — modeled on the decades-long campaign to end South African apartheid — was issued by Palestinian civil society organizations in 2005....

...In addition to the nonviolent activism by Palestinians and Jewish Israelis of conscience throughout the past year, on Jan. 31, the United Nations Human Rights Council ruled that Israeli settlements violate the Geneva Conventions and took the unprecedented step of recommending that all states and corporations cease doing business with any entity connected to the settlements.

By endorsing a full settlement boycott, the Human Rights Council aligns itself with those working on the grassroots level globally to promote justice for Palestinians. We would like to highlight some of the most significant victories of the BDS movement this past year.

• In March 2012, on both Palestinian Land Day and Cesar Chavez Day, the national association for Chicano students, M.E.Ch.A. (Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlan) officially endorsed the BDS call.

• In April, the student government at the University of Massachusetts in Boston voted to divest from Boeing, a company that profits from Israeli human rights abuses.

• In May, thanks to the work of Philly BDS and others, Columbia Law School professor Katherine Franke withdrew from the annual LGBT Equality Forum in Philadelphia, in protest of the summit’s decision to highlight Israel as its “featured nation,” with a keynote by Israel’s ambassador to the United States Michael Oren.

• In June, Arizona University’s student government demanded that the university divest from any companies profiting from the Israeli occupation. Also in June, thanks to the efforts of Jewish Voice for Peace, TIAA-CREF, one of the country’s largest investment funds, divested all shares in their Social Choice Funds portfolio from Caterpillar, a company that manufactures the weaponized bulldozers used by the Israeli army to demolish Palestinian homes.

• In July, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) adopted a full settlement boycott of goods made in illegal Israeli settlements.

• In November, the Associated Students at University of California, Irvine unanimously called for divestment from companies that profit from the occupation. Also in November, at the behest of BDS groups, Stevie Wonder refused to play for a Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces benefit in Los Angeles.

• At the end of last year, the governing party in South Africa, the African National Congress, which also led the anti-apartheid struggle, voted to make BDS part of its official policy.

These victories symbolize the growing refusal of people around the world to silently comply with Israel’s denial of freedom and self-determination to millions of Palestinians on the basis of their ethnic and religious background. We invite you all to hear more about this ongoing struggle at Mr. Barghouti’s talk tonight.


Protest against AIPAC (the Israel lobby) at their Southfield, Michigan synagogue event:

Click on photo to enlarge it.

SOUTHFIELD -- 10 human rights campaigners held a peaceful vigil to protest the 2013 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) event held at Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Southfield, Michigan on January 28. A message on the congregation's website states "Our synagogue partners with AIPAC, America's pro-Israel lobby, in educating our community on issues affecting the U.S.-Israel relationship."

This originally appeared in the Arab American News (Dearborn, Michigan), February 2-8, 2013, page 16.