Mar 31, 2012

#BDS Emma Thompson among group of prominent British actors calling on Globe theatre to withdraw invite to Israeli National Theatre, Eleanor Kilroy

UK groups have for three months been pressing Shakespeare's Globe to withdraw its festival invitation to Habima in response to the Palestinian call to boycott Israeli cultural institutions, and now a group of prominent actors, playwrights and directors have published a letter in the Guardian, 'Dismay at Globe invitation to Israeli theatre'
Read more, here

#BDS South Africans recall their own history during Israeli Apartheid Week

This year’s Israeli Apartheid Week in South Africa created a buzz nationwide. BDS South Africa and other Palestine solidarity groups teamed up with trade unionists, political parties, student bodies, churches, youth organizations and activists in Gaza to reach out to a wide audience. Organizers used various means to inspire broad-based support forboycott, divestment and sanctions activism.
Huge billboards were put up to announce Israeli Apartheid Week. Durban-based GangsOfGraffiti inspired fellow street artists and graffiti writers to participate by creating works with “Free Palestine” as the theme. On walls in several cities, artwork appeared in support of IAW and boycott activism. In thirteen towns around the country, the filmRoadmap to Apartheid was screened, including all major cities and in Soweto (“National film tour, 5-11 March 2012,” BDS South Africa ). Read more, here

Two Israeli refusers on why they support #BDS

Our difficulty with understanding the complex reality of Palestine and Israel was founded on the difficulty of recognizing that crimes were committed in our name, on a daily bases, by virtue of being Israeli citizens. We were born as Israeli citizens, and by virtue of this, the decision was made for us that we were to bear the burden of financing the occupation. Over time we have come to the understanding that as long as these crimes continue, they will be done in our name and at our expense.  Read more, here

#BDS Rome: BDS Action Against Culture as Cover for Israeli Crimes

On Sunday March 18, 2012, at the Cartoons Festival of Rome, a group of 20 activists of the movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel requested, and were granted by the organizers.  Read more, here. 

Queers Say No Pinkwashing in the Pacific Northwest

My friend Selma and I were gripping each other’s hands tightly last Thursday night, March 15th, as Seattle’s LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) Commission voted on whether to cancel an Israeli pinkwashing event that was scheduled to happen the next day at Seattle City Hall. We had both spoken in favor of cancelling the event, and I knew that Selma, a queer Palestinian American activist, couldn’t help but feel like they were deciding on the legitimacy of her personal history. Read more, here

#BDS Canada: Grad Students Vote to Divest from Israeli Occupation

On March 21st and 22nd, graduate students at Carleton University overwhelmingly voiced their support for the Palestinian people, by voting for the university’s pension fund to divest from four companies that are complicit in the occupation of Palestine. With the vote taking place through a referendum question, all graduate students had the power to make their voices heard, and in the end, over 72% took a principled stance, by voting for Carleton to stand on the side of justice, equality, and accountability. Read more, here

Seattle Rejects StandWithUs Pro-Israel Pinkwashing Campaign, Richard Silverstein

Phan Nguyen exposed a good deal of the seamy underside of the StandWithUs-Ministry of Foreign Affairs pinkwashing campaign here in the Pacific NW that ended with the Seattle city LGBT Commission cancelling a gala reception it had planned with an Israeli LGBT delegation brought here to showcase Israel as a haven for gay rights (in opposition to the supposed repression of said rights in the Arab world).  The Seattle city commission took this action after a hearing at which proponents and opponents of the visit by the Israeli delegation got to air their views.  Opponents did not object to meeting with the Israeli delegation.  They objected to the government funding of the tour and the political/hasbara ramifications that went along with such funding. For more, click here

‘Be on our side’: Bay Area ad campaign features Palestinian and Israeli women calling for U.S. sanctions against Israel

 Two Israeli women, one Palestinian and the other Jewish, are the latest activists to appear on San Francisco Bay Area transit posters calling for an end to U. S. military aid to Israel. Images of Lubna Masarwa and Michal Zak, who work together for the threatened Bedouin of the Negev/Naqab Desert, are now greeting commuters on Bay Area Rapid Transit stations in San Francisco and the East Bay. Read more, here

#BDS #Ahava Norwegian retail chain ends sale of Ahava occupation products

AIC 27 Mar -- Norwegian retail chain VITA made public on Friday their decision to stop all sales of products originating from settlements in occupied Palestine. VITA will therefore stop selling products from the cosmetics brand Ahava. VITA has been the main retailer of Ahava products in Norway, and this decision will be a serious blow to the sales of Ahava products in Norway. The principled decision by VITA not to buy products from Israeli settlements in the West Bank is based on a position of not wanting to contribute to violations of international law. Read more, here

Welcome to Palestine campaign April 15th-21st 2012

PNN 2 Mar -- Palestinian civil society organizations and peace and human rights defenders and activists call on the international community to join us on April 15th -21st for peace building in Palestine and to challenge the Israeli siege of the occupied territories. Over 1500 people of conscience from over 15 countries are scheduled to arrive for this year's WTP campaign. The first Welcome to Palestine (WTP) Campaign in December 2010 brought 100 individuals. The second WTP in July 2011 saw hundreds of individuals purchase airline tickets and attempt to board planes to Palestine. Israel sent a "black list" of 342 participants from the ages of 9 to 83 years old to prevent them from boarding planes sparking huge protests in several international airports. The Israeli military also turned the airport near Tel Aviv into a military compound. Read more, here

Roger Waters supports World Social Forum Free Palestine

Roger Waters supports World Social Forum Free Palestine
Roger Waters on tour with his "THe Wall Live" show in Brazil today issued his support for the World Social Forum Free Palestine: "Since visiting Israel and the occupied territories in 2006, I have been part of an international movement to support the Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom, justice and equality. I am honored to have been asked by the Palestinian BDS National Committee, to announce an initiative, to hold the World Social Forum Free Palestine in Porto Alegre, Brazil in November of this year, in cooperation with the Brazilian social movement and international civil society networks.The object will be to create an international gathering there, that will encourage the basic human instinct in all men and women of good faith to unite in support of the Palestinian people in their struggle for self determination. All over the world, our movement is growing. Encouraged by events like the one coming here to Brazil, our voice will grow. Read more, here

#BDS Video: Students in Palestine and the US mark Land Day by calling on TIAA-CREF to to divest

30 Mar -- Marking Palestinian "Land Day", students from Palestine and colleges and universities around the United States have joined the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) in sending a video message to one of the largest financial services companies in the United States: divest from corporations that profit from the Israeli occupation. A three minute video calls on TIAA-CREF to end its investments in corporations that profit from Israel's military occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.  To read more, click here.

Report: New 'fly-in' planned for April

JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 29 Mar -- Pro-Palestinian activists plan to hold a second 'fly-in' to Ben-Gurion International Airport in mid-April, an Israeli newspaper reported Thursday, quoting an organizer.  Mazin Qumsiyeh told The Jerusalem Post that some 1,500 to 2,500 participants from 15 countries were planning to join the initiative, which includes educational and volunteer activities in the West Bank. Last summer Israeli authorities detained and expelled more than 100 people who came on a similar trip. Many others were barred from flight lists by airlines following complaints by Israel. "The point is to show the world that Israel is preventing people from visiting Palestine," Qumsiyeh, an academic at Bethlehem University, told the English-language newspaper. Read more, here

#BDS is endorsed by large Latino/a youth organization at Arizona conference

March 30, 2012 -- At the 19th annual national conference of M.E.Ch.A. (Movímíento Estudíantíl Chícan@ de Aztlán), the largest association of Latin@ youth in the US, chapter leaders voted by a landslide decision to endorse the global call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) on Israel, due to its military occupation and settlement of Palestine.
The announcement that M.E.Ch.A. chapter leaders endorsed BDS comes on the coinciding international observances of “César Chávez Day” and “Land Day,” commemorating ongoing civil rights and anti-colonial struggles for Latin@s and Palestinians. The chapter delegations (including some 600 delegates) met in Phoenix, AZ, last weekend, the site of the very first M.E.Ch.A. conference in 1993.  Read more, here.