Archive for the ‘Boycott Israel’ Category

EU adopts anti-boycott stance in official commercial policy – The Times of Israel

In a reaction to attempts in Europe to boycott Israel, the European Unions report on commercial competition for the first time included a rejection of such initiatives.

The reference to boycotts, which does not name Israel specifically, was introduced earlier this year into the draft of the Report on Competition Policy for 2016 by a pro-Israel European Parliament lawmaker from Italy, Fulvio Martusciello, JTA learned Wednesday.

The clause on boycotts states that the European Commission underlines the need to fight against unfair collective boycotts, defined as a situation in which a group of competitors agree to exclude an actual or potential competitor, as restrictions of competition by object.

A spokesman for Martusciello, the chair of the European Parliaments Delegation for Relations with Israel, confirmed that he introduced the clause to translate for the first time into EU commercial policy the stated objections of EU leaders to BDS, an acronym for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

Martusciello introduced the clause not in his capacity at the delegation a body responsible for maintaining and developing parliamentarian ties between Jerusalem and Brussels but as rapporteur for the Competition Policy Report in the Economic Committee. The clause was introduced with the support of Martusciellos political group the EPP center-right bloc, which is the Parliaments largest.

Martin Schulz, the former president of the European Parliament, has in the past said the European Union will not support attempts to boycott Israel. Several EU politicians have expressed their objections to such initiatives in speeches. However, the stance has not been carried over to official European Parliament documents reflecting a consensus within its increasingly influential legislature.

Separately, Martusciello is also fighting against a plan to remove Israel in 2017 from a list of countries eligible for credit benefits from the European Investment Bank. The Budget Committee of the European Parliament is also considering removing Brunei, Iceland, Singapore, Chile and South Korea in addition to Israel, to exclude high-income countries with high credit rating. It is also considering adding Iran to the list, a member of the committee told JTA.

But Martusciello is arguing for keeping Israel on the list, as this will benefit to Palestine, Jordan and other counterparts in such an unstable region, he wrote in the justification for the amendment he is seeking to the draft of the list for 2018.

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TCDSU Council to Vote on Motion to Boycott Israel – The University Times

Hannah MoodyJunior Editor

Anna Moran for The University Times

A motion proposing a college-wide boycott of the state of Israel is to be brought forward at the next meeting of Trinity College Dublin Students Unions (TCDSU) council, taking place tomorrow.

This proposal follows the failure of a similar motion brought before the Graduate Students Union (GSU) in November 2016. In a tight vote, which saw many students abstain, the union voted against endorsing an academic boycott of Israel, a country which has been found guilty of apartheid on two accounts, and which continues to occupy Palestine despite breaching international law in doing so.

As part of this present motion, it is proposed that TCDSU lobby not only to academically boycott the state of Israel but also to economically divest all university funds from the country and from any companies complicit in the occupation of Palestinian territories. This is in line with what the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement advocates, a movement the motion would see the students union affiliate itself with.

Speaking to The University Times, in February, Ciaran ORourke, a PhD student and founder of the Students for Justice in Palestine group, stated that the BDS movement is modelled on the global struggle against apartheid South Africa. In 1971, the College Board set a precedent among Irish universities by divesting all shares from any company that was trading in South Africa, as well as cutting any research ties with South African institutions.

ORourkes student group currently exists independently within Trinity, though this current motion would see the setup of a student-led Palestinian solidarity lobby group within the union. The group recently came under scrutiny due to its protest at a visit of the Israeli ambassador, His Eminence Zeev Boker, organised by the Society for International Affairs (SOFIA), which led to the cancellation of the event. Provost Patrick Prendergast, in a statement released after the cancelled event, criticised the protesters, whose actions he described as representing the antithesis of what Trinity stands for.

Trinity will remain a home for debate and we will do everything possible to make sure that efforts to suppress the free exchange of ideas do not succeed. I look forward to welcoming Ambassador Boker back to Trinity to speak again in the near future, Prendergast continued.

Following the protest, ORourke attended a disciplinary hearing and was charged with a 150 fine for conduct .. .that frustrates the holding of a previously authorised event, meeting or other function on campus, as he explained in an email to The University Times. The group as a whole did not face any sanctions.

The group were planning to deliver their petition to end research between Trinity College and Israel until Palestinian rights are respected, which has received over 2,000 signatures, to Chancellor of the University, Mary Robinson and Prendergast on Friday, February 24th. However, the College has since cancelled this delivery.

The motion was proposed by science class representative Conor Reddy.

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TCDSU Council to Vote on Motion to Boycott Israel – The University Times

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UN Ambassador Haley: Boycotts of Israel Don’t Fit Any Reasonable Definition of Justice – TheTower.org

Washingtonsambassador to the United Nations on Wednesday slammed efforts to boycott Israel, saying that theybear no connection to any reasonable definition of justice.

Nikki Haley condemned the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign at a UN eventcalled Ambassadors Against BDS, which was organized by the Israeli mission to the UN, the World Jewish Congress, and numerous Jewish organizations,The Times of Israel reported.

During her keynote address, Haleyequated the BDS campaign with efforts to delegitimize Israel at the UN, observing that bothseek to deny Israels right to exist.

And how tragic is it that of all countries in the world to condemn for human rights violations, these voices choose to single out Israel, Haley said. We should boycott North Korea. We should sanction Iran. We should divest from Syria. Not Israel. It makes absolutely no sense. And it has no connection to any reasonable definition of justice.

Israeli ambassador to the UN Danny Danon also spoke at the event, which he said contained a simple message for those who seek to harm the Jewish state and the Jewish people. We will keep fighting until we eliminate BDS completely, from the campuses to the UN, and we will keep fighting until anti-Semitism is finally defeated.

His comments were echoed by Natan Sharansky, the head of the Jewish Agency and a former Soviet prisoner of conscience. In his remarks, Sharansky denouncedthe hypocrisy of human rights bodies that single out Israel for condemnation, as well as efforts to create tensions between feminism and Zionism, whichbirthed the only Mideast nation where there are no honor killings, no shaming of women by rape, where the rights of people are protected. He alsocredited the late President Ronald Reagan with bringing moral clarity to the international stage by denouncingevil, particularly regardingthe abuses perpetrated by the former Soviet Union, andthanked Haley for showingsimilar moral clarity by standing up forIsrael at the UN.

[Photo: Times of Israel / YouTube ]

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Dallas Bank in Spotlight as Texas Senate Passes Bill Against Israel Boycotts – TheTower.org

The TexasSenateoverwhelmingly passed a bill on Wednesday barring the state from contracting with businesses that boycott Israel, placing increased pressure on aDallas-based banking giant to cut ties with an activist group that targets Israel for economic warfare, Benjamin Weinthal reported in The Jerusalem Post.

TheInternational Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), whichsupportsthe Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign against Israel, defendsIrans nuclear program, and has a chapter in North Korea, maintains an account at Comerica Bank.

The IADL excuses the actions of terrorist organizations and denies Israels right to defend itself, saidDaniel S. Mariaschin, executive vice president of Bnai Brith,whose organization testified on behalf of the anti-boycott legislation. Mariaschin asserted that Comerica should cut ties with the group, noting, Banks have recognized that they should not truck or have business with these types [BDS] of accounts.

Jan Fermon, a Belgian lawyer and secretary-general of IADL, acknowledged in a letter to the Post earlier this month that his group supports the BDS campaign. IADL engaged in solidarity with the Palestinian people in a very early stage of its existence because it considers the violations of international law and human rights law by the Israeli authorities as a major obstacle to a just and lasting peace in the region, he wrote.

Texas Senate Bill 29, which passedlast week by a vote of 24 5 with two abstentions, aims to prevent the state from entering into contracts with entities that boycott Israel.

Israel is a valuable trade partner to Texas and an essential USally, the bills sponsor, Sen. Brandon Creighton,statedupon its passage.I am pleased the Texas Senate has taken a stand against the effort to isolate Israel from the globalcommunity.

The Arkansas House of Representatives passed a similar bill 69 3 last week, which was unanimously approved by the state senate earlier in the month. The legislation was sent Friday to the office of Gov. William Hutchinson, who is expected to sign it into law.

Such bills have passed in Michigan,Pennsylvania,Illinois,South Carolina, Arizona,Georgia, Colorado, Florida, Alabama, California,New Jersey,Ohio, Rhode Island, and Iowa.New York governor Andrew Cuomoapproveda similar measure by executive order.

Advocates of these measures haveemphasizedthat they do notraise any First Amendment issues, as private parties are still free to protest, boycott, or speak out against Israel in any way. However,states may be obligated to protect taxpayer money from being used to promote or support discriminationbased onreligion, race, or nationality.

The passage of anti-BDS legislation reflects an understanding that the campaignis not like the civil rights protests, as its supporters love to claim, but rather more like the anti-Jewish boycotts so common in Europe in the 20th century, and in the Arab world until this day, Northwestern University law professor Eugene Kontorovich wrotein The Washington Postin 2015.

German Chancellor Angela Merkels political party, the Christian Democratic Union, echoed this criticism in December, passing a resolutionstating that the party declares with this motion its disapproval and rejection of every form of BDS activity and condemns these activities as anti-Semitic.

ManyBDS leaders have publicly opposedthe two-state solution and affirmed that the movement seeks Israels destruction. Omar Barghouti, the co-founder of the movement,saidin 2014 that Palestinians have a right to resistance by any means, including armed resistance. Leading activist Asad Abu Khalil wrotein 2012 that Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the state of Israel.

[Photo: aptvideo / YouTube ]

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Arkansas legislature passes law prohibiting deals with companies that boycott Israel – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

(JTA) The Arkansas state legislature has passed a billthat prohibits state agencies from contracting with or investing in companies that boycott Israel.

Thebillwas sent to Arkansas State Gov. William Hutchinson on Friday for his signature.

Itpassed the state House of Representatives on Wednesday in a 69-3 vote. Earlier in the month, the state Senate voted 29-0 for the measure with one abstention.

The bipartisan legislation to counter the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS, movement agaisnt Israel was sponsored by state Rep. Jim Dotson and state Sen. Bart Hester.

Israel and Arkansas are great friends, and I thank the people of Arkansas for supporting this essential relationship, which is based on shared values, Josh Block, president and CEO of The Israel Project, said in a statement. By passing this bill today, Arkansans are standing strong against discrimination, and are solidly on the right side of history.

More than a dozen U.S. states have passed similar legislation.

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N.C. House votes to cut ties to any companies that boycott Israel … – Asheboro Courier Tribune

Colin Campbell The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) (TNS)

The N.C. House voted 88-21 Thursday to cut any business ties North Carolina might have with companies that boycott Israel.

House Bill 161 would ban state agencies from contracting with any companies that boycott the country, and no state pension funds could include investments in such companies. The state treasurers office would be responsible for keeping a list of blacklisted companies.

This is a good opportunity for us to say to Israel, we are with you, said Rep. Larry Pittman, a Concord Republican. There are those who deny Israels right to exist as a nation, and I think if we do not give Israel this kind of support, we encourage that. I hope we will stand with Israel today.

One of the bills sponsors, Republican Rep. Jon Hardister of Greensboro, read a letter from the states Jewish Federation in support of the bill.

But Rep. Philip Lehman, a Durham Democrat, said the bill is unnecessary because no American companies are currently boycotting Israel.

We are wading into foreign relations here, he said. This is not something that the state of North Carolina needs to get into.

Lehman said hes concerned the bill could have unintended consequences for schools run by church denominations that boycott Israel.

About half of House Democrats joined Lehman in opposing the bill, while the other half voted yes. The legislation now heads to the Senate.

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N.C. House votes to cut ties to any companies that boycott Israel … – Asheboro Courier Tribune

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BDS Fail: Spanish Court To Try Boycott Israel Leaders For …

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A criminal complaint filed in Valencia, Spains third largest city, charges nine BDS activists with putting pressure, coercion and threats on the organizers of the annual Rototom Sunsplash reggae festival to cancel Matisyahus closing-night gig. The complaint was filed by the Legal Committee Against Discrimination, an association of human rights lawyers combating discrimination and anti-Semitism in Spain.

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According to concert organizers, they were instructed by the Valencia and Catalonia BDS movements to demand that Matisyahu publicly denounce Israel and issue a statement of support for a Palestinian state.

Matisyahu refused to comply, saying he was the only performer being asked to make political declarations.

Following a media firestorm both in Spain and abroad, the festival organizers issued an apology to Matisyahu and re-invited him to perform. Three days of protests erupted in different cities in Spain in support of the singer.

The ex-Hasidic singer accepted their apology and announced that he would perform as scheduled at the festival, saying that he always believed in the power of music to unite all people, regardless of religion, politics or geography.

This was an excruciating decision, as I felt that my core, essential being was being used as a pawn for political convenience. It is my deep conviction however that acceptance and the ability for rebirth allow us to move forward, he wrote on his Facebook page.

Throughout his performance, which was beefed up with extra security as a result of hostilities from boycott-Israel activists in attendance, Matisyahu was harassed and heckled.

Facing charges of incitement to hatred and discrimination, the nine BDS leaders could face jail time if found guilty, the Jerusalem Post reported.

President of the Jewish Community of Madrid David Hatchwell referred to the defendants as BDS militants and anti-Semites.

With this deplorable episode the BDS removed its mask: the goal of that movement is not a two-state solution or the improvement of the Palestinians lives. The real goal is to ostracize the Jews and criminalize defending a Jewish state and its right to exist. The objective is to deny the Jews their own vibrant and diverse democracy.

The BDS movement, like all anti-Semites, aims to condemn the Jews to the role of helpless victims that was sadly reserved to them through history, he said in a statement.

BDS militants are used to getting away with their racist goals and violent methods, Hatchwell said. No one holds them accountable for actions that, carried out against any other ethnic or religious minority, would be shocking and punishable. A civil society that can resort to the rule of law to protect itself from bullying and cowardly abuses, in both the social networks and the real world, demonstrates its maturity.

The Jewish community leader expressed his hope that this time the violent instigators of these anti-Semitic campaigns will suffer criminal sanctions for their actions.

BDS activists have launched a counter-campaign called Defend Human Rights.

We consider this a flagrant violation of our freedom of expression and an attempt to criminalize and suppress our democratic right to defend human rights at home and internationally, they wrote.

The petition denies any threat and coercion and hate crimes on the part of the BDS leaders. Instead, they insist, they employed peaceful campaigning to convince the Rototom Sunsplash Festival to cancel the invitation of an artist based on his track record of defending war crimes and gross violations of human rights, incitement to racial hatred, denial of the existence of the Palestinian people, and documented connections to extremist and violent fundamentalist groups.

We consider the false accusations against us to be part of the much wider, well-funded campaign led by Israel and its lobby groups, to demonize or criminalize peaceful campaigning for Palestinian human rights, and in particular the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian freedom, justice and equality, they wrote.

The activists vowed to expose the fabrications and lies thrown at us by Israels lobby and its supporters in the Spanish state and to mobilize our networks of grassroots support and solidarity.

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House OKs cutting ties with firms that boycott Israel :: WRAL.com – WRAL.com

By Matthew Burns

Raleigh, N.C. North Carolina wouldn’t invest in or award government contracts to companies that boycott Israel under a proposal approved Thursday by House lawmakers.

Some churches and firms have initiated a boycott in response to Israel’s growing presence in the West Bank. House Bill 161 targets companies that try to “penalize, inflict economic harm, or otherwise limit commercial relations specifically with Israel, or persons or entities doing business in Israel or in Israeli-controlled territories.”

The State Treasurer’s Office would have to create a list of such companies based on data collected from government agencies, research firms and nonprofits, and companies would have the chance to prove they don’t belong on the list. Once the list was published, state pension funds would have about six months to divest holdings in any firms on the list and would be barred from investing in them in the future.

The legislation ensures North Carolina “will not unknowingly become a party to discriminatory business practices or boycotts against the state of Israel,” said sponsor Rep. Jon Hardister, R-Guilford, reading from a letter to lawmakers from the Jewish Federations of North Carolina.

Companies on the list also wouldn’t be allowed to bid on state contracts larger than $1,000, and existing contracts with those firms would be allowed to expire.

Rep. Yvonne Holley, D-Wake, questioned the logistics of the restrictions, noting some firms are having a hard time working with an Iran divestment law the General Assembly passed two years ago because they have to check whether subcontractors and vendors have any ties to Iran.

“We feel this is easy to do, but it’s not,” Holley said.

Rep. Phil Lehman, D-Durham, said the isn’t necessary because no U.S. companies would be on the list. Only about a dozen worldwide would qualify, he said, and even some of them are merely choosing not to do business in the West Bank and aren’t really boycotting Israel.

“We are wading into foreign relations here. This is not something that the North Carolina General Assembly needs to get into,” Lehman said, adding that the measure also could penalize church-run childcare or foster care programs if they are part of a denomination that is participating in the boycott.

Twenty religious groups and other organizations, including Jewish Voice for Peace, called on lawmakers to defeat the bill, saying it is a “repressive tactic of silencing free speech and prohibiting protest.”

But Rep. Larry Pittman, R-Cabarrus, said North Carolina needs to stand up for Israel and in solidarity with that country against its enemies.

“There’s an old saying, I believe it comes from the Lord, if you’re not with me, you’re against me,” Pittman said. “This is a good opportunity for us to say to Israel, ‘We are with you.'”

Sponsor Stephen Ross, R-Alamance, said 16 other states already have laws on the books related to boycotts of Israel, and eight more aside from North Carolina have them under consideration.

House Bill 161 passed 88-21 and heads to the Senate.

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Government agencies in Nevada may stop doing business with … – Las Vegas Review-Journal

CARSON CITY Government agencies in Nevada may no longer do business with companies that engage in efforts to boycott Israel.

Senate Bill 26, sponsored by Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison, would require companies to provide written certification that they are not involved in a boycott of Israel or Israeli companies in order to qualify for a contract with a government agency. The bill also calls for scrutiny of the states investments for ties to companies that boycott Israel.

As a state legislator, Hutchison went to Israel and his group was introduced in a restaurant overlooking the Sea of Galilee. He said his group got a standing ovation.

It underscored for me just the importance of that relationship, Hutchison told the Senate Government Affairs Committee on Monday, which didnt take immediate action.

I saw firsthand how much the Israeli people love Americans and how important they are as an ally.

The legislation is in response to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign. The BDS campaign is a worldwide effort to use a boycott to put economic and political pressure on Israel to voice objections about the nations role in the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

Hutchisons bill had wide support from Nevadas Jewish community.

Marla Letizia, board chair of Jewish Nevada, said Jewish groups across the country have taken an active role in speaking out about the issue.

The BDS movement seeks to engage in economic warfare against the state of Israel, she said.

She noted the bill does not prohibit people from advocating or lobbying.

They live in America, she said. They can do what they wish, though it hurts our heart.

Shelley Berkley, a former Nevada Democratic congresswoman, testified in support of the bill.

The bill also has letters of support from U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev.; U.S. Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev.; U.S. Rep. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev.; and U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev

Holly Welborn, a lobbyist with the ACLU of Nevada, said the organization has concerns about the bill infringing on free speech rights. She said compelling a contractor to sign a document aligning with the states political beliefs is in violation with the First Amendment.

If governmental speech rights trumped individual speech rights, the First Amendment would have no meaning, the ACLU said in a letter to lawmakers.

The bill does not apply to companys business decisions only boycotts against Israel that discriminate on the basis of nationality or religion.

About 16 states have passed or introduced similar legislation targeting companies that boycott Israel.

INVESTMENTS SCRUTINIZED

Under the bill, the state treasurer is required to create a list of scrutinized funds with a direct or indirect holding and prepare an annual report. The treasurer is required to sell redeem or divest of all direct holdings within three months of producing the list.

In that same vein, the bill would require the states Public Employees Retirement Board to identify and prepare an annual report about investments of money it makes into companies that boycott Israel.

Contact Ben Botkin at bbotkin@reviewjournal.com or (775) 461-0661. Follow @BenBotkin1 on Twitter.

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EU adopts anti-boycott stance in official commercial policy – The Times of Israel

In a reaction to attempts in Europe to boycott Israel, the European Unions report on commercial competition for the first time included a rejection of such initiatives. The reference to boycotts, which does not name Israel specifically, was introduced earlier this year into the draft of the Report on Competition Policy for 2016 by a pro-Israel European Parliament lawmaker from Italy, Fulvio Martusciello, JTA learned Wednesday. The clause on boycotts states that the European Commission underlines the need to fight against unfair collective boycotts, defined as a situation in which a group of competitors agree to exclude an actual or potential competitor, as restrictions of competition by object. A spokesman for Martusciello, the chair of the European Parliaments Delegation for Relations with Israel, confirmed that he introduced the clause to translate for the first time into EU commercial policy the stated objections of EU leaders to BDS, an acronym for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. Martusciello introduced the clause not in his capacity at the delegation a body responsible for maintaining and developing parliamentarian ties between Jerusalem and Brussels but as rapporteur for the Competition Policy Report in the Economic Committee. The clause was introduced with the support of Martusciellos political group the EPP center-right bloc, which is the Parliaments largest. Martin Schulz, the former president of the European Parliament, has in the past said the European Union will not support attempts to boycott Israel. Several EU politicians have expressed their objections to such initiatives in speeches. However, the stance has not been carried over to official European Parliament documents reflecting a consensus within its increasingly influential legislature. Separately, Martusciello is also fighting against a plan to remove Israel in 2017 from a list of countries eligible for credit benefits from the European Investment Bank. The Budget Committee of the European Parliament is also considering removing Brunei, Iceland, Singapore, Chile and South Korea in addition to Israel, to exclude high-income countries with high credit rating. It is also considering adding Iran to the list, a member of the committee told JTA. But Martusciello is arguing for keeping Israel on the list, as this will benefit to Palestine, Jordan and other counterparts in such an unstable region, he wrote in the justification for the amendment he is seeking to the draft of the list for 2018.

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TCDSU Council to Vote on Motion to Boycott Israel – The University Times

Hannah MoodyJunior Editor Anna Moran for The University Times A motion proposing a college-wide boycott of the state of Israel is to be brought forward at the next meeting of Trinity College Dublin Students Unions (TCDSU) council, taking place tomorrow. This proposal follows the failure of a similar motion brought before the Graduate Students Union (GSU) in November 2016. In a tight vote, which saw many students abstain, the union voted against endorsing an academic boycott of Israel, a country which has been found guilty of apartheid on two accounts, and which continues to occupy Palestine despite breaching international law in doing so. As part of this present motion, it is proposed that TCDSU lobby not only to academically boycott the state of Israel but also to economically divest all university funds from the country and from any companies complicit in the occupation of Palestinian territories. This is in line with what the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement advocates, a movement the motion would see the students union affiliate itself with. Speaking to The University Times, in February, Ciaran ORourke, a PhD student and founder of the Students for Justice in Palestine group, stated that the BDS movement is modelled on the global struggle against apartheid South Africa. In 1971, the College Board set a precedent among Irish universities by divesting all shares from any company that was trading in South Africa, as well as cutting any research ties with South African institutions. ORourkes student group currently exists independently within Trinity, though this current motion would see the setup of a student-led Palestinian solidarity lobby group within the union. The group recently came under scrutiny due to its protest at a visit of the Israeli ambassador, His Eminence Zeev Boker, organised by the Society for International Affairs (SOFIA), which led to the cancellation of the event. Provost Patrick Prendergast, in a statement released after the cancelled event, criticised the protesters, whose actions he described as representing the antithesis of what Trinity stands for. Trinity will remain a home for debate and we will do everything possible to make sure that efforts to suppress the free exchange of ideas do not succeed. I look forward to welcoming Ambassador Boker back to Trinity to speak again in the near future, Prendergast continued. Following the protest, ORourke attended a disciplinary hearing and was charged with a 150 fine for conduct .. .that frustrates the holding of a previously authorised event, meeting or other function on campus, as he explained in an email to The University Times. The group as a whole did not face any sanctions. The group were planning to deliver their petition to end research between Trinity College and Israel until Palestinian rights are respected, which has received over 2,000 signatures, to Chancellor of the University, Mary Robinson and Prendergast on Friday, February 24th. However, the College has since cancelled this delivery. The motion was proposed by science class representative Conor Reddy.

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UN Ambassador Haley: Boycotts of Israel Don’t Fit Any Reasonable Definition of Justice – TheTower.org

Washingtonsambassador to the United Nations on Wednesday slammed efforts to boycott Israel, saying that theybear no connection to any reasonable definition of justice. Nikki Haley condemned the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign at a UN eventcalled Ambassadors Against BDS, which was organized by the Israeli mission to the UN, the World Jewish Congress, and numerous Jewish organizations,The Times of Israel reported. During her keynote address, Haleyequated the BDS campaign with efforts to delegitimize Israel at the UN, observing that bothseek to deny Israels right to exist. And how tragic is it that of all countries in the world to condemn for human rights violations, these voices choose to single out Israel, Haley said. We should boycott North Korea. We should sanction Iran. We should divest from Syria. Not Israel. It makes absolutely no sense. And it has no connection to any reasonable definition of justice. Israeli ambassador to the UN Danny Danon also spoke at the event, which he said contained a simple message for those who seek to harm the Jewish state and the Jewish people. We will keep fighting until we eliminate BDS completely, from the campuses to the UN, and we will keep fighting until anti-Semitism is finally defeated. His comments were echoed by Natan Sharansky, the head of the Jewish Agency and a former Soviet prisoner of conscience. In his remarks, Sharansky denouncedthe hypocrisy of human rights bodies that single out Israel for condemnation, as well as efforts to create tensions between feminism and Zionism, whichbirthed the only Mideast nation where there are no honor killings, no shaming of women by rape, where the rights of people are protected. He alsocredited the late President Ronald Reagan with bringing moral clarity to the international stage by denouncingevil, particularly regardingthe abuses perpetrated by the former Soviet Union, andthanked Haley for showingsimilar moral clarity by standing up forIsrael at the UN. [Photo: Times of Israel / YouTube ]

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March 30, 2017   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

Dallas Bank in Spotlight as Texas Senate Passes Bill Against Israel Boycotts – TheTower.org

The TexasSenateoverwhelmingly passed a bill on Wednesday barring the state from contracting with businesses that boycott Israel, placing increased pressure on aDallas-based banking giant to cut ties with an activist group that targets Israel for economic warfare, Benjamin Weinthal reported in The Jerusalem Post. TheInternational Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), whichsupportsthe Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign against Israel, defendsIrans nuclear program, and has a chapter in North Korea, maintains an account at Comerica Bank. The IADL excuses the actions of terrorist organizations and denies Israels right to defend itself, saidDaniel S. Mariaschin, executive vice president of Bnai Brith,whose organization testified on behalf of the anti-boycott legislation. Mariaschin asserted that Comerica should cut ties with the group, noting, Banks have recognized that they should not truck or have business with these types [BDS] of accounts. Jan Fermon, a Belgian lawyer and secretary-general of IADL, acknowledged in a letter to the Post earlier this month that his group supports the BDS campaign. IADL engaged in solidarity with the Palestinian people in a very early stage of its existence because it considers the violations of international law and human rights law by the Israeli authorities as a major obstacle to a just and lasting peace in the region, he wrote. Texas Senate Bill 29, which passedlast week by a vote of 24 5 with two abstentions, aims to prevent the state from entering into contracts with entities that boycott Israel. Israel is a valuable trade partner to Texas and an essential USally, the bills sponsor, Sen. Brandon Creighton,statedupon its passage.I am pleased the Texas Senate has taken a stand against the effort to isolate Israel from the globalcommunity. The Arkansas House of Representatives passed a similar bill 69 3 last week, which was unanimously approved by the state senate earlier in the month. The legislation was sent Friday to the office of Gov. William Hutchinson, who is expected to sign it into law. Such bills have passed in Michigan,Pennsylvania,Illinois,South Carolina, Arizona,Georgia, Colorado, Florida, Alabama, California,New Jersey,Ohio, Rhode Island, and Iowa.New York governor Andrew Cuomoapproveda similar measure by executive order. Advocates of these measures haveemphasizedthat they do notraise any First Amendment issues, as private parties are still free to protest, boycott, or speak out against Israel in any way. However,states may be obligated to protect taxpayer money from being used to promote or support discriminationbased onreligion, race, or nationality. The passage of anti-BDS legislation reflects an understanding that the campaignis not like the civil rights protests, as its supporters love to claim, but rather more like the anti-Jewish boycotts so common in Europe in the 20th century, and in the Arab world until this day, Northwestern University law professor Eugene Kontorovich wrotein The Washington Postin 2015. German Chancellor Angela Merkels political party, the Christian Democratic Union, echoed this criticism in December, passing a resolutionstating that the party declares with this motion its disapproval and rejection of every form of BDS activity and condemns these activities as anti-Semitic. ManyBDS leaders have publicly opposedthe two-state solution and affirmed that the movement seeks Israels destruction. Omar Barghouti, the co-founder of the movement,saidin 2014 that Palestinians have a right to resistance by any means, including armed resistance. Leading activist Asad Abu Khalil wrotein 2012 that Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the state of Israel. [Photo: aptvideo / YouTube ]

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March 30, 2017   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

Arkansas legislature passes law prohibiting deals with companies that boycott Israel – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

(JTA) The Arkansas state legislature has passed a billthat prohibits state agencies from contracting with or investing in companies that boycott Israel. Thebillwas sent to Arkansas State Gov. William Hutchinson on Friday for his signature. Itpassed the state House of Representatives on Wednesday in a 69-3 vote. Earlier in the month, the state Senate voted 29-0 for the measure with one abstention. The bipartisan legislation to counter the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS, movement agaisnt Israel was sponsored by state Rep. Jim Dotson and state Sen. Bart Hester. Israel and Arkansas are great friends, and I thank the people of Arkansas for supporting this essential relationship, which is based on shared values, Josh Block, president and CEO of The Israel Project, said in a statement. By passing this bill today, Arkansans are standing strong against discrimination, and are solidly on the right side of history. More than a dozen U.S. states have passed similar legislation.

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March 28, 2017   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

N.C. House votes to cut ties to any companies that boycott Israel … – Asheboro Courier Tribune

Colin Campbell The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) (TNS) The N.C. House voted 88-21 Thursday to cut any business ties North Carolina might have with companies that boycott Israel. House Bill 161 would ban state agencies from contracting with any companies that boycott the country, and no state pension funds could include investments in such companies. The state treasurers office would be responsible for keeping a list of blacklisted companies. This is a good opportunity for us to say to Israel, we are with you, said Rep. Larry Pittman, a Concord Republican. There are those who deny Israels right to exist as a nation, and I think if we do not give Israel this kind of support, we encourage that. I hope we will stand with Israel today. One of the bills sponsors, Republican Rep. Jon Hardister of Greensboro, read a letter from the states Jewish Federation in support of the bill. But Rep. Philip Lehman, a Durham Democrat, said the bill is unnecessary because no American companies are currently boycotting Israel. We are wading into foreign relations here, he said. This is not something that the state of North Carolina needs to get into. Lehman said hes concerned the bill could have unintended consequences for schools run by church denominations that boycott Israel. About half of House Democrats joined Lehman in opposing the bill, while the other half voted yes. The legislation now heads to the Senate.

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March 26, 2017   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

BDS Fail: Spanish Court To Try Boycott Israel Leaders For …

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER A criminal complaint filed in Valencia, Spains third largest city, charges nine BDS activists with putting pressure, coercion and threats on the organizers of the annual Rototom Sunsplash reggae festival to cancel Matisyahus closing-night gig. The complaint was filed by the Legal Committee Against Discrimination, an association of human rights lawyers combating discrimination and anti-Semitism in Spain. SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER According to concert organizers, they were instructed by the Valencia and Catalonia BDS movements to demand that Matisyahu publicly denounce Israel and issue a statement of support for a Palestinian state. Matisyahu refused to comply, saying he was the only performer being asked to make political declarations. Following a media firestorm both in Spain and abroad, the festival organizers issued an apology to Matisyahu and re-invited him to perform. Three days of protests erupted in different cities in Spain in support of the singer. The ex-Hasidic singer accepted their apology and announced that he would perform as scheduled at the festival, saying that he always believed in the power of music to unite all people, regardless of religion, politics or geography. This was an excruciating decision, as I felt that my core, essential being was being used as a pawn for political convenience. It is my deep conviction however that acceptance and the ability for rebirth allow us to move forward, he wrote on his Facebook page. Throughout his performance, which was beefed up with extra security as a result of hostilities from boycott-Israel activists in attendance, Matisyahu was harassed and heckled. Facing charges of incitement to hatred and discrimination, the nine BDS leaders could face jail time if found guilty, the Jerusalem Post reported. President of the Jewish Community of Madrid David Hatchwell referred to the defendants as BDS militants and anti-Semites. With this deplorable episode the BDS removed its mask: the goal of that movement is not a two-state solution or the improvement of the Palestinians lives. The real goal is to ostracize the Jews and criminalize defending a Jewish state and its right to exist. The objective is to deny the Jews their own vibrant and diverse democracy. The BDS movement, like all anti-Semites, aims to condemn the Jews to the role of helpless victims that was sadly reserved to them through history, he said in a statement. BDS militants are used to getting away with their racist goals and violent methods, Hatchwell said. No one holds them accountable for actions that, carried out against any other ethnic or religious minority, would be shocking and punishable. A civil society that can resort to the rule of law to protect itself from bullying and cowardly abuses, in both the social networks and the real world, demonstrates its maturity. The Jewish community leader expressed his hope that this time the violent instigators of these anti-Semitic campaigns will suffer criminal sanctions for their actions. BDS activists have launched a counter-campaign called Defend Human Rights. We consider this a flagrant violation of our freedom of expression and an attempt to criminalize and suppress our democratic right to defend human rights at home and internationally, they wrote. The petition denies any threat and coercion and hate crimes on the part of the BDS leaders. Instead, they insist, they employed peaceful campaigning to convince the Rototom Sunsplash Festival to cancel the invitation of an artist based on his track record of defending war crimes and gross violations of human rights, incitement to racial hatred, denial of the existence of the Palestinian people, and documented connections to extremist and violent fundamentalist groups. We consider the false accusations against us to be part of the much wider, well-funded campaign led by Israel and its lobby groups, to demonize or criminalize peaceful campaigning for Palestinian human rights, and in particular the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian freedom, justice and equality, they wrote. The activists vowed to expose the fabrications and lies thrown at us by Israels lobby and its supporters in the Spanish state and to mobilize our networks of grassroots support and solidarity.

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March 24, 2017   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

House OKs cutting ties with firms that boycott Israel :: WRAL.com – WRAL.com

By Matthew Burns Raleigh, N.C. North Carolina wouldn’t invest in or award government contracts to companies that boycott Israel under a proposal approved Thursday by House lawmakers. Some churches and firms have initiated a boycott in response to Israel’s growing presence in the West Bank. House Bill 161 targets companies that try to “penalize, inflict economic harm, or otherwise limit commercial relations specifically with Israel, or persons or entities doing business in Israel or in Israeli-controlled territories.” The State Treasurer’s Office would have to create a list of such companies based on data collected from government agencies, research firms and nonprofits, and companies would have the chance to prove they don’t belong on the list. Once the list was published, state pension funds would have about six months to divest holdings in any firms on the list and would be barred from investing in them in the future. The legislation ensures North Carolina “will not unknowingly become a party to discriminatory business practices or boycotts against the state of Israel,” said sponsor Rep. Jon Hardister, R-Guilford, reading from a letter to lawmakers from the Jewish Federations of North Carolina. Companies on the list also wouldn’t be allowed to bid on state contracts larger than $1,000, and existing contracts with those firms would be allowed to expire. Rep. Yvonne Holley, D-Wake, questioned the logistics of the restrictions, noting some firms are having a hard time working with an Iran divestment law the General Assembly passed two years ago because they have to check whether subcontractors and vendors have any ties to Iran. “We feel this is easy to do, but it’s not,” Holley said. Rep. Phil Lehman, D-Durham, said the isn’t necessary because no U.S. companies would be on the list. Only about a dozen worldwide would qualify, he said, and even some of them are merely choosing not to do business in the West Bank and aren’t really boycotting Israel. “We are wading into foreign relations here. This is not something that the North Carolina General Assembly needs to get into,” Lehman said, adding that the measure also could penalize church-run childcare or foster care programs if they are part of a denomination that is participating in the boycott. Twenty religious groups and other organizations, including Jewish Voice for Peace, called on lawmakers to defeat the bill, saying it is a “repressive tactic of silencing free speech and prohibiting protest.” But Rep. Larry Pittman, R-Cabarrus, said North Carolina needs to stand up for Israel and in solidarity with that country against its enemies. “There’s an old saying, I believe it comes from the Lord, if you’re not with me, you’re against me,” Pittman said. “This is a good opportunity for us to say to Israel, ‘We are with you.'” Sponsor Stephen Ross, R-Alamance, said 16 other states already have laws on the books related to boycotts of Israel, and eight more aside from North Carolina have them under consideration. House Bill 161 passed 88-21 and heads to the Senate.

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March 24, 2017   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

Government agencies in Nevada may stop doing business with … – Las Vegas Review-Journal

CARSON CITY Government agencies in Nevada may no longer do business with companies that engage in efforts to boycott Israel. Senate Bill 26, sponsored by Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison, would require companies to provide written certification that they are not involved in a boycott of Israel or Israeli companies in order to qualify for a contract with a government agency. The bill also calls for scrutiny of the states investments for ties to companies that boycott Israel. As a state legislator, Hutchison went to Israel and his group was introduced in a restaurant overlooking the Sea of Galilee. He said his group got a standing ovation. It underscored for me just the importance of that relationship, Hutchison told the Senate Government Affairs Committee on Monday, which didnt take immediate action. I saw firsthand how much the Israeli people love Americans and how important they are as an ally. The legislation is in response to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign. The BDS campaign is a worldwide effort to use a boycott to put economic and political pressure on Israel to voice objections about the nations role in the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Hutchisons bill had wide support from Nevadas Jewish community. Marla Letizia, board chair of Jewish Nevada, said Jewish groups across the country have taken an active role in speaking out about the issue. The BDS movement seeks to engage in economic warfare against the state of Israel, she said. She noted the bill does not prohibit people from advocating or lobbying. They live in America, she said. They can do what they wish, though it hurts our heart. Shelley Berkley, a former Nevada Democratic congresswoman, testified in support of the bill. The bill also has letters of support from U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev.; U.S. Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev.; U.S. Rep. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev.; and U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev Holly Welborn, a lobbyist with the ACLU of Nevada, said the organization has concerns about the bill infringing on free speech rights. She said compelling a contractor to sign a document aligning with the states political beliefs is in violation with the First Amendment. If governmental speech rights trumped individual speech rights, the First Amendment would have no meaning, the ACLU said in a letter to lawmakers. The bill does not apply to companys business decisions only boycotts against Israel that discriminate on the basis of nationality or religion. About 16 states have passed or introduced similar legislation targeting companies that boycott Israel. INVESTMENTS SCRUTINIZED Under the bill, the state treasurer is required to create a list of scrutinized funds with a direct or indirect holding and prepare an annual report. The treasurer is required to sell redeem or divest of all direct holdings within three months of producing the list. In that same vein, the bill would require the states Public Employees Retirement Board to identify and prepare an annual report about investments of money it makes into companies that boycott Israel. Contact Ben Botkin at bbotkin@reviewjournal.com or (775) 461-0661. Follow @BenBotkin1 on Twitter.

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March 22, 2017   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed


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