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BDS

  • Major U.S. church backs divestment from Israeli occupation

    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…

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  • Interview: Church-based BDS and the Jewish voices beside it

    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…

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  • Church-based BDS does not unfairly ‘single out’ Israel [op-ed]

    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.…

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  • Israel's culture minister is turning artists into enemies

    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…

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  • Why not boycott Iran?

    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…

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  • Interview: The man behind the BDS movement

    (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…

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  • How every Israeli profits from the occupation

    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…

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  • BDS is being used to stifle dissent in Israel

    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'…

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  • BDS-mania takes over Israel — for a week

    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…

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  • Alternative peace initiative comes under fire for 'normalization'

    Pressure from both Palestinian activists and right-wing Israelis has put the spotlight on a conference that will present a new model for peace and coexistence. That is, if it ever happens in the first place. A launch event for an alternative Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative, slated to take place next week in the West Bank, is on the receiving harsh criticism from both Palestinian activists and right-wing Israelis. [tmwinpost] The initiative, titled "Two States, One Homeland," was founded by veteran Israeli journalist Meron Rapoport and Palestinian political activist Awni al-Mashni. The initiative began when Rapoport and al-Mashni, who sat in an…

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  • Israel's 'war on BDS' misses the point

    Israel’s best-selling daily paper enlists in the war against international isolation and boycott. But 'Yedioth,' like many others in Israel, is ignoring the driving force behind boycott and international isolation — the occupation. By Tomer Persico Israel’s best-selling daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth and its website, Ynet, launched a special project on Monday. Under the banner, “Fighting the Boycott,” the newspaper entered “trench warfare” against the boycott Israel movement. Star right-wing columnist Ben-Dror Yemini wrote a long article claiming that the boycott movement is borne of a desire to de-legitimize the entire State of Israel, and not just the settlements and the…

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  • Israel's president calls BDS a 'strategic threat'

    The resources and attention Israel's government is investing in fighting BDS indicates that the Palestinian-led boycott movement is making serious inroads. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin held an “emergency" meeting Thursday with the heads of Israel’s universities and colleges to discuss the academic boycott, which he described as a "strategic threat." Israeli institutions and officials have begun addressing the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions movement more seriously and investing more resources into fighting it in recent months and years. [tmwinpost] New Israeli minister of strategic affairs and public diplomacy, Gilad Erdan, reportedly conditioned his entry into the government on the allocation…

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  • BDS is not a Zionist movement

    The Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is not about the number of states, it's about a just outcome that guarantees basic rights for everyone. Liberal Zionists and progressive Jews have a hard time with the BDS Movement. Many liberal Zionists very much want to support the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign as a non-violent vehicle for opposing the occupation. Unfortunately, they quickly find that they have difficulties with its clearly-defined goals and tactics, the way it defines those goals, and sadly, the fact that it is a Palestinian-led movement. [tmwinpost] Coming at the tail end of countless failed peace…

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