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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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  • Nabi Saleh's weapon against occupation: Humiliation

    The residents of the small West Bank village, who were recently propelled into the international spotlight, know that neither slingshots nor sophisticated camera angles are their best weapon against military rule. Many Israelis never heard of Nabi Saleh before a video of a soldier struggling with a child and his women family members went viral. It wasn’t just the violence of a soldier’s overwhelming might rushing the delicate body of an injured kid that made the video upsetting. There was something horrible about seeing a grown man lose his armed-to-the-teeth cool to a mere child, struggling and cursing as if fighting…

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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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  • 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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  • No, BDS does not unfairly 'single out' Israel

    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…

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  • 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/ 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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  • 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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  • 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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