Although the Israeli government's crackdown on the BDS movement will doubtless boost sympathy for its cause, progressive settlement boycotters should think twice before getting onboard. By Abe Silberstein When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu compared settlement evacuation to ethnic cleansing last September, it became clear that the Israeli government was redoubling its efforts to improve the reputation of the settlement enterprise. [tmwinpost] Recent moves taken against boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) supporters seem to have cemented this approach: 2017 has seen a travel ban directed at BDS advocates and settlement boycotters, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan’s proposal for a database of Israeli…Read More... | 41 Comments
After J Street U students were attacked at an anti-BDS conference this week, the lobby might want to reconsider the effectiveness of seeking common ground with extremists. Things got ugly at an anti-BDS conference at the United Nations this week when participants turned on a group of liberal university students in attendance. [tmwinpost] The conference, organized by the Israeli mission to the U.N., brought together many of the usual suspects working to counter the effects of the growing boycott movement. Students representing the university arm of J Street, the “pro-Israel, pro-peace lobby,” attracted the ire of the conference when they rose…Read More... | 24 Comments
The question is whether Zionism can make room for a truly inclusive equality. In a recent New York Times op-ed “Does Feminism have Room for Zionists?” Emily Shire, who identifies as a feminist and a Zionist, argues that her belief in “Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state” should not be at odds with her feminism. According to Shire, women who seek to be included in the women's protests against the current U.S. administration should not have to face a "critical of Israel" litmus test. She takes issue with the Strike's platform, which specifically calls for the “decolonization of Palestine,” but which doesn't mention…Read More... | 15 Comments
Israel’s new anti-BDS law is antagonizing some of the state’s most loyal supporters, rewriting a decades-old relationship. Israel ramped up its fight against the global boycott movement last week, when the Knesset passed its own travel ban: a new law barring entry to any non-citizen or non–permanent resident who has publicly called for or pledged to support a boycott of Israel — or its settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. How this new approach will play out politically — whether it will energize the BDS movement or scare off potential supporters — remains to be seen. But one thing is clear: the new…Read More... | 9 Comments
It's impossible to predict how and against whom the new law will be applied, but the message it sends is clear: if your politics don't toe the Israeli government line, you won't be allowed in. Even if your opposition is entirely non-violent. As Donald Trump signed a revised travel ban against nationals of six Muslim countries and many refugees, Israel's Knesset passed a law that bars giving temporary visas or residency to any non-Israeli citizen who has publicly called for or pledged to participate in a boycott of Israel. [tmwinpost] The way the law is worded makes its possible application very…Read More... | 7 Comments
I don't know what sanctions the Israeli government can impose on me for boycotting products made in the settlements, but I'll accept them proudly. By Eitan Kalinski Israel’s Minister for Strategic Affairs, Gilad Erdan, this week recommended to Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon that a special committee be set up to put together a blacklist of companies, organizations and individuals that call for a boycott of products made in West Bank settlements. [tmwinpost] I, the undersigned, am not a limited company nor an organization; I am a private individual who has personally undertaken not to buy products from the settlements. It’s written…Read More... | 20 Comments
An Israeli court rejects a freedom of information request for the names of archeologists digging, under IDF license, in the occupied territories, and where Israel is storing the antiquities they uncover. The reason: so they don't face academic boycott. The Jerusalem District Court on Monday refused to reveal the names of archeologists performing digs at antiquities sites in the occupied West Bank, as is the practice of the Israel Antiquities Authority inside the Green Line. The reason: the archeologists' (and the State’s) fear of academic boycotts, and the difficulties it would pose for ongoing (Israeli) archeological projects in the occupied…Read More... | 6 Comments
At Israel's request, Twitter is blocking Israelis from viewing certain tweets published overseas. Similar take-down notices have been sent to other international online platforms, the Justice Ministry confirms. Israeli authorities are taking steps to block their own citizens from reading materials published online in other countries, including the United States. The Israeli State Attorney’s Office Cyber Division has sent numerous take-down requests to Twitter and other media platforms in recent months, demanding that they remove certain content, or block Israeli users from viewing it. [tmwinpost] In an email viewed by +972, dated August 2, 2016, Twitter’s legal department notified American blogger Richard Silverstein that the Israeli…Read More... | 8 Comments
This year's Palestine Cup, the biggest sporting event in the Palestinian territories, pits Hebron's Ahly al-Khalil against Shabab Khan Younis. Could reconciliation on the field pave the way for national reconciliation? By Yoni Mendel One of Jibril Rajoub's greatest achievements as the Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association, if not the greatest, took place a year ago. For the first time since the Second Intifada, Rajoub renewed the tradition in which the winner of the Palestine Cup in the West Bank plays against the winner in Gaza. [tmwinpost] This occurred after Palestinian representatives in FIFA threatened to vote in favor of boycotting Israel and expelling…Read More...
Public Security Minister Erdan says ‘the message has to be that it’s not worth being a BDS activist,’ reveals his plans to create government-sponsored legislation to that end. Israeli Public Security, Strategic Affairs and Information Minister Gilad Erdan says that BDS advocates inside Israel must be made to pay a price and that he is working to create legislation that would do just that. “The message has to be that it’s not worth being a BDS activist,” the minister said at a panel on BDS at the Herzliya Conference on Thursday. “Anybody who works to delegitimize Israel, to bring an…Read More... | 6 Comments
Officials have indicated for months they are considering bureaucratic measures to punish the BDS movement co-founder. The de facto travel ban is part of a possible revocation of his residency status; Barghouti has lived in Israel for 22 years. Israeli authorities have put a de facto travel ban on Palestinian boycott campaigner and BDS Movement co-founder Omar Barghouti and are considering revoking his residency status in the country. [tmwinpost] The boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign is a Palestinian-led call to pressure Israel into ending the occupation, ensure full equality within its borders, and recognize the rights of Palestinian refugees.…Read More...
Israel leftists should not sit around and wait for the international community to save Israel from itself. There are no quick fixes. The way to bring about a better future for Israelis and Palestinians is to gradually reduce the ails of occupation. By Yariv Mohar It seems like more and more of my leftist friends feel that the solution to the occupation won’t come from inside Israel, which is increasingly radicalizing, but as a result of something external, some kind of international pressure — a deus ex machina, a tremendous foreign power, a UN resolution, the boycott, isolation or a combination…Read More... | 5 Comments
That people are openly questioning whether policy changes by multinational corporations are the result of BDS is itself already a victory. Boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activists have had quite a bit to celebrate in recent months. High profile companies targeted by BDS like SodaStream, Orange, Veolia, and now Ahava and G4S have all moved out of Israeli West Bank settlements or out of the Israeli market altogether. [tmwinpost] Of course, none of those companies, with the partial exception of SodaStream and Orange, will admit the changes have anything to do with the Palestinian-led movement trying to build international pressure…Read More... | 15 Comments
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