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BDS

  • The end of normalcy for Israeli settlements?

    Stricter trade guidelines, harsher rhetoric and corporate responsibility campaigns all send a clear message: Israel's closest allies are no longer willing to passively accept the occupation, and the only consensus on settlements is that they are illegal. The United States appears to be following the European Union in taking symbolic steps to challenge the aura of normalcy with which Israel has cloaked its settlement enterprise for decades. United States Customs officials published a notice last week clarifying that U.S. law does not permit goods manufactured in the West Bank, including in Israeli settlements, to be labeled as “made in Israel.”…

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  • The American Jews prying open the conversation on the occupation

    The Jewish American establishment has been trying to dictate the confines of the conversation on Israel and Palestine on college campuses in the United States. One group of young Jews is trying to ensure their voices are being heard, despite the red lines being drawn around them, by leveraging communal pursestrings. By Tom Pessah On November 8, dozens of young American Jews traveled to Washington D.C. to participate in a groundbreaking protest outside the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America, where they protested the lack of support for young Jews who want to broaden the conversation around…

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  • Why U.S. anthropologists voted to boycott Israeli academia

    The American Anthropological Association is on the way to becoming the largest such association to endorse the Palestinian boycott call. Here's why. By Lisa B. Rofel (see note below) On November 20, a record-breaking 1,800 people showed up to the largest business meeting in the history of the American Anthropological Association, to vote on a resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions until such time as they end their complicity with the state’s systematic human rights violations. When the ballots were tallied, 88.4 percent of the votes had been cast in favor of the boycott resolution. If the measure is approved…

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  • How Americans really feel about equality for Palestinians and Israelis

    The Obama administration is only willing to discuss a one-state solution in terms of apartheid and violence. But asked whether Jews and Palestinians should be equal, the vast majority of Americans suddenly become one-state supporters. And then there's sanctions... Thirty-seven percent of Americans think the United States should respond to ongoing Israeli settlement construction with economic sanctions, or harsher measures, according to a public opinion survey published by the Brookings Institute last week. And that’s a relatively consistent position. Thirty-nine percent of Americans gave an identical answer to the same poll a year ago. On the other hand, 61 percent…

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  • American anthropologists wrong to boycott Israeli academia

    Academic boycotts are fundamentally antithetical to academic freedom. Let's start using anthropological forms of engagement for the sake of progressive change. By Michele Rivkin-Fish What is being described as an overwhelming vote for the boycott of Israel in the American Anthropological Association (AAA) mischaracterizes the scope of support for boycotts in the field and downplays the serious anthropology-based alternative presented at the conference to promote justice for Palestinians and Israelis, as well as academic freedom for Palestinian academics. [tmwinpost] The passage of a resolution to boycott Israeli academia at the AAA’s business meeting two weeks ago represented the views of…

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  • U.S. anthropologists vote to boycott Israeli academia

    American Anthropological Association votes resoundingly to sever all ties with Israeli academic institutions, as a response to Israel's 'widespread, systematic, and ongoing violations of Palestinian rights.' The American Anthropological Association (AAA) overwhelmingly passed a resolution to support the boycott of Israeli academic institutions during its annual business meeting on Friday. The resolution will go into effect only if it is approved by a final vote of all association members sometime in the coming months. [tmwinpost] With over 10,000 members, AAA is by far the largest academic association in the United States to endorse the boycott at an annual meeting. The…

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  • Israel targets boycotters as EU moves against settlements

    On the same day the EU adopts guidelines for labeling settlement goods, the Knesset passes a preliminary reading of a bill to prevent entry to individuals who support a boycott of Israel. The European Union approved a plan Wednesday to begin labeling goods produced in West Bank settlements, raising the ire of the Israeli government, even prompting a response from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On the very same day, the Knesset approved a preliminary reading of a bill to ban individuals who call for a boycott of Israel. [tmwinpost] "The Israeli economy is strong and will withstand this, those who will suffer…

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  • Why do J.K. Rowling and her opponents so misunderstand BDS?

    Whether they support BDS or oppose it, everyone wants to feel like they are Harry Potter fighting off Voldemort. Though perhaps it's best we leave Harry out of this debate. By Jeremiah Haber J.K. Rowling has signed a statement against the cultural boycott of Israel, and has called instead for cultural engagement. Some of her Palestinian fans have objected, pointing to Harry Potters’ fight against Voldemort and the Death Eaters. In her reply she asks her readers to consider Dumbledore’s attempt to engage with Snape, then a Death Eater. As a fan of the Potter series who has expressed solidarity with the global BDS movement…

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  • New anti-boycott law to ban foreign BDS supporters from entering Israel

    A new Israeli law would ban BDS activists from entering Israel and 'regions under its control.' Text and photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org Earlier this week, while most international coverage was focused on the escalating violence in the region, Israeli lawmakers were addressing another threat — as they see it — to Israeli security: nonviolent grassroots activism. A new law proposed by MK Yinon Magal of right-wing Jewish Home party would ban entry to foreigners who promote the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement that aims to pressure Israel to comply with international law and respect Palestinian rights. “Anyone who…

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  • Israel is egging the boycott movement on

    In attempting to hold off European plans to label West Bank settlement products, Israel could easily overplay its hand. The Netanyahu government's bunker mentality will only increase international isolation. It’s pretty difficult to find a minister in the Israeli government who will go on record supporting a two-state solution in any sincere terms these days. Of course we want a Palestinian state, they say, but god forbid we hand over control of the West Bank and withdraw our troops. [tmwinpost] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has been saying as much for years. “I think the Israeli people understand now what I…

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  • Using Palestinians as a human shield against BDS

    In response to the Reykjavik City Council's — since reversed — decision to boycott Israeli goods until the occupation is ended, Israeli politician Yair Lapid wrote an open letter to the Icelandic people titled 'The Hypocrisy of Boycott.' In his oped, Lapid argued that Israel should not be boycotted because doing so would harm its Arab citizens. One of those citizens responds. (Translated by Ofer Neiman) Dear Yair, What is Israeli to you?[1] Actually, no need to answer. The time has come for you to hear what Israeli is to me. So what is Israeli to me? You are. I am…

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  • Labeling settlement goods only strengthens the occupation

    When the Israeli government does everything in its power to erase the Green Line and subjugate the Palestinian economy, boycotting settlement goods does little to challenge the regime. In order to understand the decision by the European Parliament on Thursday to overwhelmingly support a motion in support of labeling of goods produced in West Bank settlements on, one must look at a different event that took place Europe a few weeks back. [tmwinpost] Two weeks ago, a Luxembourg supermarket chain "Cactus" decided to boycott fruits and vegetables made in Israel. The reason: Israeli vegetable suppliers do not mark produce that…

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  • The quieter, more dangerous boycott

    Three recent divestment cases indicate that even when there are no flashy headlines, maybe especially so, boycott and divestment efforts can have a major impact where it hurts. The largest supermarket chain in Luxembourg, Cactus, may be considering taking Israeli produce off its shelves unless suppliers can prove they do not come from occupied territory, Israeli news site Ynet reported this week. If the chain follows through, this would be the latest in a number of related incidents that show European companies' growing discomfort with contracts, holdings and investments in Israel. The discomfort appears rooted not in ideology or politics, but in…

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