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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/ 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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  • Latin American diplomats: We can be doing more to pressure Israel

    Speaking at a one-day conference in London, Latin American diplomats call for tougher policies, including sanctions and boycotts, against Israel for its 'polices of apartheid.' By Ben White A year after Israel faced widespread censure from Latin America over its attack on the Gaza Strip, diplomats from the region have warned that a further deterioration in relations could be on the cards. Speaking at a conference in London on Saturday, Ecuador’s Minister of Culture Guillaume Long warned that should there be a repeat of the 2014 war, which he described as a “genocide,” then Israel can expect similar, or even…

  • A litmus test for the American Jewish left

    I hesitate to critique BDS, but there is still something in the campaign that troubles me — a sense that some on the left are inadvertently using boycott as a tool with which to sort through, measure, and reject other progressive voices. By Penina Eilberg-Schwartz Palestinians living in Israel are all too familiar with litmus tests, most of which boil down to the question of Israel’s “right to exist.” In its politics, most brazenly suggested in the 2014 nation-state bill which suggested to define Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, Israel demands that Palestinians in Israel both recognize…

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  • Four things every Israeli needs to know about Jewish BDS activists

    A recent feature on Israeli television attempted to cast Jewish-American BDS and anti-occupation activists as self-hating Jews. As anti-Semites. How dare you! By David Harris-Gershon A reporter from Israel's Channel 2, Danny Kushmaro, recently visited Boston on a mission to find American Jews who support BDS and actively oppose Israel's occupation. One of the key interviews in his resulting item was with Alice Rothschild. In the interview, in lieu of asking questions, he made accusations with statements such as: "You want to boycott me, as a citizen of Israel, and boycott my country." [tmwinpost] "This is coming out of a desire to move…

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  • Casting Jewish-American boycott activists as hypocrites

    Israel's top weekend news show forgets about journalistic integrity when painting American Jewish supporters of the BDS movement as hypocritical, ungrateful and misinformed.  Last Friday, Channel 2's popular weekend news show, "Ulpan Shishi," ran a report by senior anchor Danny Kushmaro, who traveled to the United States to interview the Jews behind the boycott Israel movement [Hebrew]. Why Jews, specifically? Because Kushmaro believes Jews must have a special connection to Israel. [tmwinpost] In fact, the report also included interviews with Israel-loving Jews, as well as a reminder to the viewers that prominent American Jews donate money to NYU, which, of course,…

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  • In BDS debate, both Jewish feelings and Palestinian lives matter

    As the BDS movement grows, U.S. churches find themselves caught between a history of anti-Semitism, and a desire to stand alongside Palestinians. Text by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/ In recent weeks, three U.S. churches considered resolutions to divest from occupation-complicit corporations. The United Church of Christ passed its measure with a landslide vote. The Episcopal Church’s resolution was rejected by its House of Bishops. And the Mennonite Church USA—my church—tabled its resolution for two more years. These were only the most recent examples of churches considering some form of boycott, divestment and sactions (BDS) to apply economic pressure on Israel. Last…

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