Analysis News

BDS movement

  • At Open Hillel conference, Jews demand their spot at the communal table

    By demanding their voices be heard, Open Hillel students are making dissent within the Jewish community impossible to deny. By Sarah Anne Minkin Hillel is the Jewish home for college students. With more than 550 Hillels worldwide, mainly in North America, it is one of the primary sites where young Jews express, explore, and cultivate their Jewishness. So a few years ago when Hillel International, the parent organization, imposed strict guidelines around engagement with Israel, many students were upset to find themselves facing formal prohibitions. After years of struggles within Hillels over who was in the “big tent” of Jewish…

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  • Why this isn't a 'new' intifada

    What we're seeing today is not a new intifada, but an ever-more sophisticated version of the one Palestinians have been fighting all along. In a pre-interview with a television news producer yesterday, I found myself stammering over a familiar question: as a Palestinian, do you have any hope for the future? Steeped in the day-to-day of our "conflict" with Israel, I find it difficult to respond to such banalities - not least because I'm in no position to represent all Palestinians. So after attempting something articulate with the producer, I decided to get in touch with my friend, Emad Burnat, the…

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  • The bigoted rants of Shmuley Boteach, 'America’s rabbi'

    If any gentile in America wrote about Jews the way he just wrote about Presbyterians – for any reason – he or she would be ostracized from public life for good. So many pro-Israel Jews are coming down on the Presbyterians as anti-Semites because of their divestment vote, which is a slander. But why aren't any of them calling out Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, "America's rabbi," for the bigotry he has been spewing? From his Jerusalem Post column a few days ago: The rotting corpse of the Presbyterian Church got another nail in its coffin with the vote on Friday ... Now the…

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  • Ten reasons why the anti-Apartheid movement is immoral, hinders peace

    Alan Dershowitz published an op-ed in Haaretz on Wednesday giving his top 10 reasons why boycotting Israel is immoral. What if he wrote the same article in 1974 about the anti-Apartheid movement? It might look something like this. By Sol Salbe Ten reasons why the anti-Apartheid movement is immoral and hinders peace The anti-South African movement threatens the reconciliation process by promoting extortion rather than negotiation, and discourages blacks from agreeing to any reasonable peace offer. By Alan M. Dershowitz | Feb. 12, 1974 | 4:00 PM 1. The anti-Apartheid movement immorally imposes the entire blame for the continuing Apartheid and…

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  • A year in review: Anti-African racism and asylum seekers in Israel

    While most Israelis were focused on the latest war on Gaza or the last election, verbal incitement, physical attacks, incarceration without trial and forced deportation of Africans continued unabated. A timeline of Israel's war on African asylum-seekers between November 2012 and May 2013. By David Sheen Last Thursday, May 23, 2013, marked exactly one year to the day when a thousand Jewish Israelis ran rampant through the streets of Tel Aviv, smashing and looting African-operated businesses and physically assaulting any dark-skinned person they came across. Sadly, the Israeli economic, political and religious establishment - who were in large measure responsible for…

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  • Attack on NY 'boycott Israel' panel threatens academic freedom

    After Alan Dershowitz started a campaign against a BDS panel at Brooklyn College, the institution's funding was threatened by 'pro-Israel' officials. The college stuck to its guns, but the entire fiasco is an excellent example of the double standard ailing the debate on Israel in the U.S. Israel is once again at the center of a heated debate in the U.S., pitting the so-called "pro-Israel" types against the so-called "anti-Israel" types. This time it's not Obama, it's not Chuck Hagel – it's Brooklyn College. An event scheduled to take place at the institution tomorrow (Thursday) will feature UC Berkeley professor and Jewish Voice…

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  • The Palestinian dilemma: Between ideology and reality

    Palestinians in the West Bank often face an internal clash between identity, ideology, politics and reality. In truth, they live in a place where making any decision in life is a dilemma. A few weeks ago, on a tour I was leading through the Old City of Jerusalem, I stopped next to a souvenir shop with a t-shirt display outside. I wanted to explain certain cultural and political things that were printed on these shirts. On one of the shirts was the famous cartoon figure "Handala," created by Naji al-Ali, the most well known Palestinian cartoonist. Al-Ali was assassinated due…

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  • Amira Hass on BDS: "Don't make it into a religion"

    UPDATE: Please read the clarification on +972 Magazine's policy regarding BDS commentary at the end of this post (in italics). According to a recently-passed  Israeli law, a citizen who advocates for a boycott of Israeli services, institutions or products, either in Israel or the West Bank, can be sued in civil court and a serious financial penalty imposed. A plaintiff need not show damages in order to win his case; it is enough to convince the judge that there is a potential for damage. Since +972 Magazine has no financial resources, we decided that we had no choice but to censor…

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  • What is the anti-boycott law? Who does it affect?

    Israel's parliament, the Knesset, is set to pass (after some convoluted last minute wrangling) today one of the most anti-democratic measures in the country's history, the so-called "Anti-Boycott Law." A link to the full text's translation can be found here. Simply put, the law seeks to penalize those who call for boycotting Israel, the settlements, or anyone related to the occupation. If a person, for example, calls for a boycott of academic institutions that participate in the occupation, he could be sued in civil court, and ordered to pay compensation. If a company agrees not to purchase products manufactured in…

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  • Voices of People III: 'To make peace, build on what works'

    Dahlia Shaham: "Two states may be the right format for a sustainable political arrangement… But to think that this separation is like a divorce is to live in a world that doesn’t exist. No political border can separate people that way" Dahlia Shaham is a professional over-achiever. She grew up in Haifa and served in a legendary, slightly secretive IDF unit. She completed a law degree (LLB) at Hebrew University, worked as an analyst and team leader on social and economic affairs at the Reut Institute, a policy think-tank, and then did a Master of Law and Diplomacy in international political economics at…

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  • Is BDS strong at American universities?

    Yesterday I blogged a quote about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement uttered by Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak in a long interview with Haaretz. In a rare move, Barak acknowledged the power of the BDS movement.The following piece, published in The Forward about the power of BDS on American university campuses, is a nice continuation to the 'how strong is BDS' debate. Note that the piece solely concerns the United States. [vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/23291357[/vimeo] Particularly interesting to me was that the writers found a lot of rhetoric from both sides of the issue and few concrete results.

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  • Israeli musician argues with Roger Waters over BDS

    With no other argument against boycott, Kobi Oz reverts to old “no Palestinian partner” line Unfortunately, the Middle East isn’t the most stable place, so Israelis know we have to be very careful as we pursue peace. We could sign an agreement with a moderate regime and suddenly find ourselves confronted with a fundamentalist enemy. We withdrew from Gaza and got Hamas. We pulled out of southern Lebanon, and now Hezbollah dominates the Lebanese government. We gave back the Sinai, and now Egypt is a great unknown. This is an excerpt  from a letter Israeli musician Kobi Oz wrote to Roger…

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