Friday, January 20, 2017

Fordham University turns to the dark side

Earlier this week we got word of some really disconcerting news: Fordham University in NYC banned a Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) group from forming on its campus!
University officials claimed the SJP would be too “polarizing” for the campus to tolerate and that the call for BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) against Israel “presents a barrier to open dialogue.” But we know well that it is Israel’s policies that impose barriers and intolerance -- in violent and illegal ways. As member group Palestine Legal has made clear in their letter to Fordham, this decision to censor SJP violates free speech and academic freedom
The students at Fordham were put through a year-long process to get the SJP approved. Now that they have been banned, they need your supportto deliver a strong message to Fordham officials that this decision is unacceptable. Click here to send them an email. 
There has been widespread suppression of Palestinian rights advocacy across the country for years. This blatant shutting down of Palestine activism is particularly concerning on the eve of a Trump presidency that promises even further suppression of organizing for freedom, justice, and equality while the administration speaks of pushing forward policies that will entrench Israel’s oppression.
Students have been at the forefront of so many social movements for justice. Make it clear today that the shutting down of campus advocacy for Palestine will not be tolerated
Thank you for taking action. 
Director of Grassroots Organizing 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Palestinian BDS National Committee

Dear supporter of Palestinian rights,

We in the Palestinian BDS National Committee, the widest coalition of Palestinian organisations that leads and supports the BDS movement, recently took some time to take stock the BDS movement’s most important moments during 2016. You can can read our thoughts in our new blog post where we explain how despite the pain, 2016 witnessed impressive gains for BDS.

There are eight really significant signs that the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality took important steps forward during 2016:
  1. Three more multinationals, Orange, CRH and G4S were compelled under BDS pressure to end involvement in illegal Israeli projects, indicating a start of a domino effect.
  2. Israel’s global legal war on BDS suffered fatal setbacks after the EU upheld the right to boycott Israel under freedom of speech.
  3. Israeli Apartheid Free Zones or settlement-free zones were declared by dozens of municipal councils across Europe.
  4. Israel’s global isolation intensified as the logic of appeasing its regime of oppression started to give way to the logic of sustained international pressure, including at the UN.

    Can you help us make sure that we achieve even more during 2017? 

  5. More mainstream churches, from the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA) to the United Methodist Church in the US, adopted BDS-related measures in support of Palestinian human rights. 
  6. Our BDS campaign against apartheid profiteer Hewlett Packard (HP) went viral globally. There were actions and events in more than 100 cities as part of our recent week of action. 
  7. BDS reached the Oscars and the Olympics, as the academic and cultural boycott of Israel spread even further among student unions, academics, artists and writers, especially in the global South.
  8. International trade unions intensified support for BDS measures in solidarity with the Palestinian people and Palestinian workers.
You can read more about all of the things we achieved together during 2016 at our blog post.

Since we published our blog post, it has emerged that the Israeli embassy in the UK has been working to smear and undermine politicians and civil society leaders that support Palestinian rights. A main theme in the subversive efforts of Israel’s lobby, it is now confirmed, is targeting BDS and measures aimed at holding Israel accountable for its oppression of Palestinians.

Recognizing the strategic impact of the BDS movement in the struggle for Palestinian rights, Israel is pouring tens of millions of dollars into its war of propaganda, legal attacks, and defamation tactics.

We can’t compete with Israel financially. But the impressive things our movement has achieved show that we don’t have to.

In recent years, public donations have allowed us to launch a new website for the BDS movement, enlarge our small staff team, and successfully expand BDS activism in Latin America and the Arab world.

Kind regards, 
Palestinian BDS National Committee


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