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…Read More... | 4 Comments
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... | 12 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
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
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
(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
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
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…Read More... | 27 Comments
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…Read More... | 16 Comments
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…Read More... | 21 Comments
Congress uses U.S. trade policy to undercut European pressure against Israeli settlements. A new U.S. bill legitimizes Israeli settlements and delegitimizes Palestinian non-violent resistance to the occupation. The United States Congress is about to pass a law that erases the Green Line and delegitimizes one of the most effective non-violent tools Palestinians have for fighting the 48-year-old Israeli occupation. The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act legally authorizes the White House to negotiate and sign trade deals. An amendment in that bill now defines Washington’s principal objectives in those negotiations to include the discouragement of boycott, divestment and sanctions moves…Read More... | 80 Comments
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The Iran Deal
Can Netanyahu torpedo the Iran deal? Will he destroy U.S.-Israeli relations trying?
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