Texas officials are facing an onslaught of criticism after a speech pathologist lost her job at an elementary school for refusing to sign a pro-Israel pledge mandated by state law—a case that has cast a spotlight on efforts to neutralize the global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which opposes Israel’s oppression and slaughter of Palestinians.
According to a database maintained by a U.S.-based pro-Israel group, through executive orders and state-level legislation, elected officials in 26 states have imposed restrictions on people who wish to back BDS—a movement that was inspired by the 1980s initiative that helped force an end to racial apartheid in South Africa. Continue reading →
In bill author Clemmons’ view, discussing the military occupation of the West Bank, a reality recognized even by Israel’s Supreme Court, would be considered anti-Semitic under the new South Carolina law.
Rep. Alan Clemmons delivers an address from the steps of the South Carolina Statehouse in a speech given via satellite to the Restoring Courage rally in Jerusalem in 2011.
The state of South Carolina will become the first state in the nation to legislate a definition of anti-Semitism that considers certain criticisms of the Israeli government to be hate speech. The language, which was inserted into the state’s recently passed $8 billion budget, offers a much more vague definition of anti-Semitism that some suggest specifically targets the presence of the global boycott, divestment and sanctions, or BDS, movement on state college campuses. The law requires that all state institutions, including state universities, apply the revised definition when deciding whether an act violates anti-discrimination policies.
Once it is reconciled with an appropriations bill previously passed by the state House, the measure will become law and take effect this July. However, the law will last only until the next budget is passed, meaning that the new legal definition of anti-Semitism must be renewed on a yearly basis unless new legislation making the language permanent is passed in the future. Continue reading →
“JVP members are now joining Palestinians as well as Muslims from around the world, people of color, and other activists who are often barred from entry,” said Jewish Voice for Peace executive director Rebecca Vilkomerson. (Photo: Alisdare Hickson/flickr/cc)
Advocacy groups vowed to continue their fight for peace and justice on Sunday after the Israeli government announced they are banned from the country for their support of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement known as BDS.
“By banning the leaders of peace organizations like CODEPINK, Israel is isolating itself even further as an apartheid state,” said Ariel Gold, national director of CODEPINK. “Their BDS blacklist is contrary to democratic principles and Jewish values. As an American Jew, I am proud of my work to challenge Israel’s policies of repression. I will not give up the fight.” Continue reading →
Dickinson, TX — Government suppression of free speech can take many forms. It’s not always censorship in the media or storm troopers in the streets bashing in the heads of protesters. For proof of this, one need look no further than Dickinson, Texas.
The small coastal town southeast of Houston took some of the worst Hurricane Harvey had to offer, with almost 7,400 homes damaged — many of them beyond repair. In response, the city council decided to set up a relief fund. People can donate to the city, and then a committee distributes the money to residents on a case-by-case basis. Continue reading →
“This latest weapon in the intensifying Israeli legal, espionage, and propaganda war against the BDS movement for Palestinian rights is a strong indicator of how desperate and irrational Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism, and apartheid has become,” said campaign spokesperson
A campaigner in the West Bank puts up a poster in support of a BDS campaign. The Israeli government wants you to report this man. (Photo: Palestinian BDS Movement)
Amplifying the growing crackdown on dissent and specifically the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights, the Israeli government this weekend unveiled a new initiative to track and deport activists suspected of supporting the campaign.
Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan and Interior Minister Arye Dery on Sunday announced the creation of a new government task force charged with gathering intelligence on pro-Palestininian activists and organizations with the intent, as Haaretzput it, of collecting enough evidence to legally deport them from Israel or the occupied West Bank. Continue reading →