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…Read More... | 11 Comments
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,…Read More... | 28 Comments
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/Activestills.org 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…Read More... | 6 Comments
Ironically, the boycott movement actually expresses some level of faith in Israeli democracy by assuming a little pressure might motivate it to change. When the most recent flotilla set sail for Gaza to protest Israel's eight-year blockade, Prime Minister Netanyahu wrote an open letter to the activists. In a tone dripping with sarcasm, he suggested they had taken a wrong turn on the way to Syria. It’s part of a theme repeated obsessively: “there are worse violations elsewhere, but no one ever protests them. Therefore, protesting the occupation on behalf of Palestinians is hypocritical, anti-Israel or anti-Semitic. Therefore, it can be…Read More... | 9 Comments
In a landslide vote, the United Church of Christ passes a divestment and boycott resolution targeting 'companies profiting from, or complicit in, human rights violations arising from the occupation.' Text by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org The United Church of Christ voted by an overwhelming margin Tuesday to divest from companies complicit in the Israeli occupation. The resolution, which passed by a 508 to 124 vote, also calls for a boycott of settlement products, congressional accountability regarding U.S. foreign military aid to Israel, and ongoing commitment to interfaith dialogue. [tmwinpost] According to a UCC news report, the resolution, which had initially been…Read More... | 7 Comments
As more U.S. churches vote on divestment, Jewish Voice for Peace aims to provide key support to a movement often accused of anti-Semitism. An interview with JVP's advocacy director Sydney Levy. By Ryan Rodrick Beiler / Activestills.org This week, three more U.S. churches are voting on resolutions to divest from companies complicit in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory. A United Church of Christ (UCC) committee unanimously approved a divestment resolution Sunday night with a final vote by the church’s general assembly expected Tuesday in Cleveland, Ohio. [tmwinpost] The Episcopal Church is debating no fewer than seven resolutions related to…Read More... | 10 Comments
Opponents of church-based boycott initiatives often accuse advocates of unfairly 'singling out' Israel while ignoring Islamist violence in Syria and elsewhere. Here's why they're wrong. Text and photos by Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org In the coming days, three more U.S. churches will consider resolutions to apply economic leverage against the Israeli occupation. The Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA), United Methodist Church (UMC), and various Quaker bodies have taken similar actions in previous years. Now, as the United Church of Christ (UCC), the Episcopal Church, and Mennonite Church USA (MCUSA) meet for national conventions, divestment activists say their case has never been clearer.…Read More... | 30 Comments
Miri Regev's attempts to pull funding from artists who 'delegitimize' Israel expose the lengths to which this government will go to try and silence its critics. Last week Israel's new Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev threatened to pull state funding from a children's theater in Jaffa after its manager, Norman Issa, an actor with the Haifa Theater, refused to perform in a West Bank settlement. She claimed that as opposed to her, Issa is not an advocate for coexistence. After it provoked some backlash, she went on the defensive and stated that because her Likud party won 30 Knesset…Read More... | 10 Comments
The fact that there are human rights abusers worse than Israel should not obscure the fact that the Palestinian-led BDS movement is asking for one thing: solidarity. One of the most common claims one hears against the BDS movement is that it is hypocritical. "Why don't they boycott Iran/Syria/Hamas/ISIS?" is a question that comes up quite often. The answer? We actually do boycott other countries and groups. Iran and Syria are facing a harsh sanctions regime. Hamas is considered a terrorist organization across Europe and the United States, and the Gaza Strip is under siege by Israel and Egypt. Nearly…Read More... | 21 Comments
(This article was first published in Arabic on Bokra) Omar Barghouti is one of the most infamous names in pro-Israel and Israeli government circles at the moment. Officials have portrayed this Palestinian human rights activist and leader of the BDS movement — which he co-founded a decade ago and now leads — as a threat to the State of Israel. How big of a threat? Well, just last week the country’s best-selling newspaper, Yedioth Ahronot, featured a front-page story about him, dubbing him "Explosive Omar." And if he and his boycott movement are giving both Zionist officials and their media…Read More... | 25 Comments
Israel's government, economy and citizens regularly exploit everything they can from the West Bank, leaving the Palestinians the bare minimum for survival. If Israelis want change, they'll have to come to terms with reality. Contrary to popular belief, the boycott is not the greatest threat facing Israel, at least not at the moment. However, now that BDS has become a household name, it is perfect opportunity for Israelis to have an honest conversation about the occupation. As opposed to the angle being peddled by Yedioth Ahronoth — which has been leading an open campaign against the BDS movement through a series of…Read More... | 23 Comments
Israeli members of Knesset, along with journalists, commentators and others are taking advantage of the boycott movement in order to delegitimize Israeli human rights groups at home. As all eyes in Israel obsessively turned their attention to BDS, a subplot emerged that has gone by the wayside — one that I believe is the real story regarding the boycott movement's current role within Israeli society. [tmwinpost] Last week Israel's Foreign Ministry called on Switzerland to pull its funding from an event put on by Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence, in an effort to force the organization to cancel its upcoming exhibit featuring soldiers'…Read More... | 21 Comments
Boycott is all anybody can seem to talk about this week in Israel. But neither side should rush to declare victory quite yet: Israel still refuses to see that the occupation is the problem, and boycotters have yet to make any real gains. If you got your news exclusively from the Israeli media over the past two weeks it would be entirely reasonable to wonder if the sky is falling. It seems like there has been near-24-hour coverage of the attempt to boot Israel from FIFA, university presidents warning that the academic boycott is snowballing toward a point of no…Read More... | 17 Comments
OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTERSubmit
Full coverage of the BDS movement, international pressure on Israel to end the occupation.
The Beaten Path
Travel writer and tour guide Yuval Ben-Ami deconstructs the Holy Land's tourist trail.
On the challenges facing a growing population of asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.
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