By Dream Defenders. On Monday, the Dream Defenders along with 50 other organizations, representing hundreds of Black people across the country launched A Vision for Black Lives, an agenda that clearly defines policies, organizing tactics and resources to advance Black liberation. The platform included a call for the US government to divest from military expenditures and US aid to the State of Israel and instead, invest this war-making money towards building infrastructure to support Black and Brown communities in the US. Since our launch, some Zionist organizations have condemned the platform and have announced that they will cut all ties with the Movement for Black Live, going so far as to label some in the BLM movement anti-semitic.
By Staff of Haaretz – Black Lives Matter Network is one of over 50 black-led organizations in the coalition. While the majority of the document addresses issues other than Israel, the section on foreign policy, titled Invest-Divest, objects to U.S. military aid to Israel, which it describes as “a state that practices systematic discrimination and has maintained a military occupation of Palestine for decades.” While the section addresses other foreign policy issues, particularly the movement’s objections to the drug war and the war on terror, it criticizes no foreign country other than Israel.
By Staff of United Electrical Workers. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has reaffirmed its dismissal an unfair labor practice charge brought by an Israeli law firm against a U.S. union, the United Electrical Workers, over its support of protests against Israeli policies including the union’s endorsement of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) movement. At its national convention in Baltimore August 16-20, 2015, the United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) adopted a resolution endorsing the BDS movement to pressure Israel to negotiate peace with the Palestinians and end the occupation. UE is the first national U.S. union to endorse BDS. Read the resolution here. On October 23, the Israeli law firm Shurat Hadin filed a charge with the NLRB alleging that UE’s resolution violated the prohibition in U.S. labor law against “secondary boycotts.” The union disputed the charge, arguing that Shurat Hadin’s action was an attempt to interfere with the First Amendment rights of the union and its members to express opinions on political and international issues, and also that the Israeli firm’s allegation were factually untrue. On January 12, Region 6 of the NLRB dismissed the charge.
By Ali Abunimah for Electronic Antifada – “Why are we using the word Palestinian? There’s no such thing as a Palestinian person,” Brooke Goldstein declared to enthusiastic applause at a meeting of key Israel lobby operatives in New York earlier this month. Goldstein is the director of the Lawfare Project, a legal group that aims, in her words, to “make the enemy pay” – that “enemy” being mainly comprised of Palestine solidarity activists and students. The Lawfare Project was founded with the support of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, an important forum for anti-Palestinian organizing in the US.
By Omar Barghouti for Al Shakaba – Israel’s attacks on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and other human rights defenders living under occupation, such as Al Haq staff, have dominated the headlines in recent weeks, including the direct threats made by leading Israeli officials against BDS activists and in particular against the movement’s co-founder Omar Barghouti. Beyond the headlines, the work goes on, as does continuous debate and discussion to further the movement amongst Palestinians at home and abroad as well as among global solidarity activists. There is much to discuss and some of the issues are difficult ones, including questions of framing.
By Tekendra Parmar for Waging Nonviolence – On June 5, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order to create a blacklist of entities that support the boycott, divestment and sanctions, or BDS, movement for Palestinian rights and remove New York State funds from any “institution or company” determined to advocate for or participate in the BDS movement. In response, protesters picketed outside Cuomo’s New York City office on June 9. The crowd was a mix of old and young — teachers, musicians, lawyers and journalists.
By Robert Fantina for Counter Punch – Now that Israel has declared the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement an existential threat, along with all the countless other things that supposedly represent such a threat to that apartheid nation, United States government officials, who are second to none in their obeisance to Israel, have begun to act. Some states have actually passed laws banning BDS. Since New York was not one of them, its Zionist governor, Andrew Cuomo, issued an executive order, preventing the state from doing any business with businesses that support the movement.
By Staff of Palestinian BDS National Committee – The Dutch and Irish governments have publicly stated that calls for a boycott of Israel are legitimate, with the Dutch foreign minister saying that advocating and campaigning for Palestinian rights through the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel are “protected by the freedom of expression”. The statements dealt a serious blow to Israel’s relentless war of repression that has led governments in the UK, France, Canada and state legislatures across the US to introduce anti-democratic legislation
By the European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine. More than 300 human rights and aid organisations, church groups, trade unions and political parties from across Europe have called on the EU to uphold its legal responsibilities and hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law and to defend the right of individuals and institutions to take part in the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for justice and equality. Signatories to the letter called on the EU commission to “introduce the human rights guidelines guaranteeing freedom of speech and right to boycott and to use all other means you have in your disposal to support European citizens in their struggle to uphold basic human rights.”
By Ryan Rodrick Beiler for The Electronic Antifada – The heads of Palestine’s major Christian traditions recently met with leaders from 24 church denominations for a two-day summit in Atlanta featuring an address by former president Jimmy Carter. Leaders of Palestine’s Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anglican, Armenian and Lutheran churches participated. The historic gathering, hosted by The Carter Center, culminated in a statement committing those assembled “to act for justice and peace in the Holy Land.”
By Carlos Latuff for Mondoweiss – Israel has officially refused to renew the travel document of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement co-founder Omar Barghouti in a move that amounts to a travel ban and is an escalation of its attacks on Palestinian human rights defenders who nonviolently advocate for Palestinian rights under international law. Barghouti, who lives with his family in Acre, has Israeli permanent residency and requires an Israeli travel document to be able to travel in and out of Palestine/Israel.
By Naomi Dann for Lobe Log Foreign Policy – On April 14, the Doctoral Students Council (DSC) at the City University of New York Graduate Center passed a resolution endorsing the boycott of Israeli academic institutions. Citing Israeli-imposed barriers to Palestinians’ right to education, the complicity of Israeli academic institutions in military research and technology, and the DSC’s history of taking action on issues of justice and social change, the resolution passed with 42 votes, 19 opposed, and 9 abstentions.
By Richard Silverstein for Richard Silverstein – The Yediot Achronot conference attacking BDS has become a veritable carnival of hate. Everyone from delusional Hollywood celebrities (Roseanne Barr) to cabinet ministers, to the leader of the Opposition have pledged fealty to the cause. Two of the speakers are under criminal investigation for corrupt political or financial dealings. But the apogee came yesterday when Intelligence Minister Israel Katz called for the “civil targeted killing“of BDS leaders like Omar Barghouti.
By Josh Ruebner for End The Occupation – This is outrageous. Yesterday, Sens. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Reps. Robert Dold (R-IL) and Juan Vargas (D-CA) introduced the “Combating BDS Act of 2016. These bills seek to authorize state and local governments to divest from entities that support the Palestinian civil society-led boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement.