Archive for the ‘Boycott Israel’ Category

Letters on climate change, Israel boycott, public health, homeowners – Wichita Eagle

Letters on climate change, Israel boycott, public health, homeowners
Wichita Eagle
Boycott bill steps on free speech (April 12 Letters to the Editor) took umbrage with a Kansas House bill that would block the state from contracting with those who boycott Israel. The letter made the far-fetched argument that the bill is an attempt

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Letters on climate change, Israel boycott, public health, homeowners – Wichita Eagle

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Bill at MN Senate barring anti-Israel contractors draws unease – Minnesota Daily

A controversial bill moving through the Minnesota Legislature would prohibit state agencies from contracting with businesses that boycott Israel.

Authors of the bill, which awaits a Senate vote after the House passed it in February, say it aims to prevent discrimination, but First Amendment advocates have raised concerns that it might limit speech rights.

But Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, said hes not sure how the bill, if passed, would apply to the University of Minnesota.

Were probably going to have to address that before we put the bill in its final position, he said.

Limmer said the growing boycott, divestment, sanctions movement in general, rather than any specific events, prompted him to author the bill.

In the House, the bill was passed after a phrase clarifying that it would impact Minnesota State Colleges and Universities was removed in the final edit.

Multiple representatives listed as authors did not return calls for comment. A spokesperson for the House Republican Caucus said the chief author, Rep. Ron Kresha, R-Little Falls, declined to comment about why the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities were removed and how the bill would apply the University.

Advocates of the BDS movement say its a Palestinian-led effort to pressure Israel for equality. The state of Israel says the movement seeks to delegitimize the Jewish State.

Those of us who look at that as a discrimination against a certain group, we felt that was important to at least protect that relationship from discrimination when it comes to business vendors, Limmer said.

The proposed legislation would prohibit the state from contracting for $1,000 or more with a vendor that discriminates defined as taking action on the basis of national origin against Israel or Israeli people and businesses.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, which has no stance on the BDS movement, has issued numerous statements against the proposal, citing First Amendment concerns.

Despite several revisions, the legislation could still infringe upon free speech rights, said Minnesota ACLU Legislative Director Ben Feist.

[The bill] has now gotten a little bit difficult for people to understand because, as we would say, it [has become] constitutionally vague and overbroad, he said. Then you get First Amendment problems because people might limit their speech, not knowing just how far they can legally go.

Prohibiting businesses from boycotting Israel if they want to contract with the state would be unconstitutional, Feist said.

Still, Limmer says the bill only addresses discriminatory business decisions and not speech. He added a clause in the bill stating that the legislation wouldnt prevent vendors from engaging in free speech or expression protected under the First Amendment.

Everyone is entitled to freedom of speech, but they do not have a right to discriminate, he said.

These provisions are called savings clauses and wont change whether a bill actually infringes on speech rights, said Adam Steinbaugh, a reporter for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

The proponents of the bill want to stop very specific conduct, and Im not sure how they could achieve that in a way that doesnt have some First Amendment red flags, Feist said.

If passed, the legislation could apply to paid speakers on college campuses, Steinbaugh said, meaning speakers who are boycotting Israel either couldnt charge over $1,000 or couldnt be contracted to appear on campuses.

This could limit academic freedom and freedom of speech because anyone who is advocating a boycott of Israel is likely engaged in boycott or other protest against that nation, he said.

Others are more enthusiastic about the bills potential to limit discrimination against Israel.

We have these kinds of laws in place where we say the state wont contract with companies that discriminate against LGBT people or against people of color, said University student Sami Rahamim, chair of the Israel Committee for Minnesota Hillel and member of the Hillel International board of directors. If a [state-contracted] company wants to boycott an entire country that is discrimination.

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Bill at MN Senate barring anti-Israel contractors draws unease – Minnesota Daily

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April 21, 2017   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

Ireland’s top uni to host conference on academics’ right to boycott … – Jewish News

Irelands top university is to host a conference in September to discuss the rights of academics to boycott Israel.

Academics for Palestine (AfP) issued a call for papers on academic freedom for the one-day event at Trinity College Dublin on 12 September, a week before Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year).

Lecturers and researchers will debate whether universities can still provide space for critical thinking and engaged civil society activism, given the recent pressure on higher education institutions to cancel events linked to Israel Apartheid Week and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

On its website, AfP said lawfare, bureaucratic strictures and threats to employment had been brought to bear on those advocating a boycott of Israel, asking whether effects of the neo-liberalisation of the public university on academic freedom were such that homo academicus should [now] also be homo politicus.

Earlier this year, the group which includes an Israeli-Irish lecturer wrote to the president of University College Cork, urging him to allow a conference called International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism to take place, following pressure from Zionist groups.

They wrote: It is vitally important that such interference is not allowed to happen in Ireland. We urge you to defend the principle of academic free speech and independent inquiry which is the cornerstone of Irelands academic tradition.

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Ireland’s top uni to host conference on academics’ right to boycott … – Jewish News

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German state head gives BDS Bethlehem hate preacher nearly $32000 – Jerusalem Post Israel News

Palestinians walk past a sign calling for a boycott of Israel painted on a wall in Bethlehem. (photo credit:AFP PHOTO)

The Green Party president of Baden-Wrttemberg, Winfried Kretschmann, personally delivered in late March a check for 30,000 ($32,000) to a Lutheran pastor in the West Bank who advocates the destruction of Israel.

Mitri Raheb [the Bethlehem pastor] authored the Kairos Palestine document of Christians in Palestine… the German- Israel Friendship Society already criticized the paper at the time of its publication in 2010, because it calls for economic sanctions against Israel… and speaks out against its right to exist, the friendship societys Stuttgart chapter wrote in a public letter to Kretschmann on April 9.

The Stuttgart chapter said the Kairos paper engages in propaganda against Israel using bogus theological arguments.

The 30,000 is supposed to be used for solar energy technology for the Dar Al Kalima University College of Arts and Culture Bethlehem run by Raheb.

In addition to providing financial support to Raheb, Kretschmann visited Israel with a delegation of companies to establish economic contacts.

Brbel Illi, writing on behalf of the Stuttgart chapter, asked in the letter: How does economic cooperation with Israel go with a boycott of Israel?

Prof. Gerald Steinberg of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor organization said: We welcome the letter from the German- Israel Friendship Society in the Stuttgart region, and join in condemning the transfer of public money by state Gov. Kretschmann to Mitri Raheb. Raheb has a long history of immoral incitement against Israel and against the peace process, including his role as co-author of the infamous Kairos Palestine document, which promotes BDS and also glorifies violence against Israeli citizens. This document asserts that Resistance is a right and a duty for Christians and all Palestinians.

Steinberg continued, Raheb participates in events such as Christ at the Checkpoint, promoting themes that echo theological antisemitism, including references to the DNA of Israeli Jews as coming from an East European tribe who converted to Judaism in the Middle Ages. We join in urging Mr. Kretschmann to rescind his support for hate and violence.

Israeli diplomatic sources in Berlin told The Jerusalem Post in 2012 that Raheb is connected to a document Cairo Palestine that defines Israel as an apartheid state and calls for a boycott of Israel. It is an extremist and racist document which does not contribute to reconciliation and peace between the Palestinians and Israelis. We regret that one of its authors is receiving acknowledgment in Germany.

At the time, German media NGO and former German president Roman Herzog praised Rahebs work at a ceremony in Berlin.

Kretschmanns press office told the Post that on account of the Good Friday, Easter holiday and the vacation situation, we, unfortunately, cannot at short notice answer your question regarding Raheb.

Volker Beck, a Green Party deputy who heads the German- Israel parliamentary group in the Bundestag, told the Post, I am certain that the Baden-Wrttemberg minister president rejects a boycott of Israel and comparisons of Israel with the South African apartheid regime.

Beck said he is not sure if Kretschmann is aware of Rahebs positions and his role in the Kairos Palestine document.

Asked numerous times since April 2016 by the Post about Kretschmanns position on BDS, his spokesman Rudi Hoogvliet refused to answer questions about BDS and its alleged antisemitic nature.

The state of Baden-Wrttemberg (population 10.8 million) owns nearly 25% of the bank Landesbank Baden-Wrttemberg (LBBW), which provides an account to one of Germanys most active BDS groups, the Palestine Committee Stuttgart. Kretschmann has refused to answer Post queries over the last year regarding the account. The German-Israel Friendship Society in Stuttgart closed both of its accounts with the LBBW because it refused to terminate the boycott Israel account.

Three German banks Commerzbank, Bank for Social Economy and DAB shut BDS accounts last year.

Next months Israel Day festival in Stuttgart will take place under the patronage of Kretschmann.

The Israeli Embassy did not immediately reply to a Post query during the Passover week.

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German state head gives BDS Bethlehem hate preacher nearly $32000 – Jerusalem Post Israel News

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

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April 15, 2017   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

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

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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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Letters on climate change, Israel boycott, public health, homeowners – Wichita Eagle

Letters on climate change, Israel boycott , public health, homeowners Wichita Eagle Boycott bill steps on free speech (April 12 Letters to the Editor) took umbrage with a Kansas House bill that would block the state from contracting with those who boycott Israel . The letter made the far-fetched argument that the bill is an attempt …

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Bill at MN Senate barring anti-Israel contractors draws unease – Minnesota Daily

A controversial bill moving through the Minnesota Legislature would prohibit state agencies from contracting with businesses that boycott Israel. Authors of the bill, which awaits a Senate vote after the House passed it in February, say it aims to prevent discrimination, but First Amendment advocates have raised concerns that it might limit speech rights. But Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, said hes not sure how the bill, if passed, would apply to the University of Minnesota. Were probably going to have to address that before we put the bill in its final position, he said. Limmer said the growing boycott, divestment, sanctions movement in general, rather than any specific events, prompted him to author the bill. In the House, the bill was passed after a phrase clarifying that it would impact Minnesota State Colleges and Universities was removed in the final edit. Multiple representatives listed as authors did not return calls for comment. A spokesperson for the House Republican Caucus said the chief author, Rep. Ron Kresha, R-Little Falls, declined to comment about why the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities were removed and how the bill would apply the University. Advocates of the BDS movement say its a Palestinian-led effort to pressure Israel for equality. The state of Israel says the movement seeks to delegitimize the Jewish State. Those of us who look at that as a discrimination against a certain group, we felt that was important to at least protect that relationship from discrimination when it comes to business vendors, Limmer said. The proposed legislation would prohibit the state from contracting for $1,000 or more with a vendor that discriminates defined as taking action on the basis of national origin against Israel or Israeli people and businesses. The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, which has no stance on the BDS movement, has issued numerous statements against the proposal, citing First Amendment concerns. Despite several revisions, the legislation could still infringe upon free speech rights, said Minnesota ACLU Legislative Director Ben Feist. [The bill] has now gotten a little bit difficult for people to understand because, as we would say, it [has become] constitutionally vague and overbroad, he said. Then you get First Amendment problems because people might limit their speech, not knowing just how far they can legally go. Prohibiting businesses from boycotting Israel if they want to contract with the state would be unconstitutional, Feist said. Still, Limmer says the bill only addresses discriminatory business decisions and not speech. He added a clause in the bill stating that the legislation wouldnt prevent vendors from engaging in free speech or expression protected under the First Amendment. Everyone is entitled to freedom of speech, but they do not have a right to discriminate, he said. These provisions are called savings clauses and wont change whether a bill actually infringes on speech rights, said Adam Steinbaugh, a reporter for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. The proponents of the bill want to stop very specific conduct, and Im not sure how they could achieve that in a way that doesnt have some First Amendment red flags, Feist said. If passed, the legislation could apply to paid speakers on college campuses, Steinbaugh said, meaning speakers who are boycotting Israel either couldnt charge over $1,000 or couldnt be contracted to appear on campuses. This could limit academic freedom and freedom of speech because anyone who is advocating a boycott of Israel is likely engaged in boycott or other protest against that nation, he said. Others are more enthusiastic about the bills potential to limit discrimination against Israel. We have these kinds of laws in place where we say the state wont contract with companies that discriminate against LGBT people or against people of color, said University student Sami Rahamim, chair of the Israel Committee for Minnesota Hillel and member of the Hillel International board of directors. If a [state-contracted] company wants to boycott an entire country that is discrimination.

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Ireland’s top uni to host conference on academics’ right to boycott … – Jewish News

Irelands top university is to host a conference in September to discuss the rights of academics to boycott Israel. Academics for Palestine (AfP) issued a call for papers on academic freedom for the one-day event at Trinity College Dublin on 12 September, a week before Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year). Lecturers and researchers will debate whether universities can still provide space for critical thinking and engaged civil society activism, given the recent pressure on higher education institutions to cancel events linked to Israel Apartheid Week and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. On its website, AfP said lawfare, bureaucratic strictures and threats to employment had been brought to bear on those advocating a boycott of Israel, asking whether effects of the neo-liberalisation of the public university on academic freedom were such that homo academicus should [now] also be homo politicus. Earlier this year, the group which includes an Israeli-Irish lecturer wrote to the president of University College Cork, urging him to allow a conference called International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism to take place, following pressure from Zionist groups. They wrote: It is vitally important that such interference is not allowed to happen in Ireland. We urge you to defend the principle of academic free speech and independent inquiry which is the cornerstone of Irelands academic tradition.

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German state head gives BDS Bethlehem hate preacher nearly $32000 – Jerusalem Post Israel News

Palestinians walk past a sign calling for a boycott of Israel painted on a wall in Bethlehem. (photo credit:AFP PHOTO) The Green Party president of Baden-Wrttemberg, Winfried Kretschmann, personally delivered in late March a check for 30,000 ($32,000) to a Lutheran pastor in the West Bank who advocates the destruction of Israel. Mitri Raheb [the Bethlehem pastor] authored the Kairos Palestine document of Christians in Palestine… the German- Israel Friendship Society already criticized the paper at the time of its publication in 2010, because it calls for economic sanctions against Israel… and speaks out against its right to exist, the friendship societys Stuttgart chapter wrote in a public letter to Kretschmann on April 9. The Stuttgart chapter said the Kairos paper engages in propaganda against Israel using bogus theological arguments. The 30,000 is supposed to be used for solar energy technology for the Dar Al Kalima University College of Arts and Culture Bethlehem run by Raheb. In addition to providing financial support to Raheb, Kretschmann visited Israel with a delegation of companies to establish economic contacts. Brbel Illi, writing on behalf of the Stuttgart chapter, asked in the letter: How does economic cooperation with Israel go with a boycott of Israel? Prof. Gerald Steinberg of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor organization said: We welcome the letter from the German- Israel Friendship Society in the Stuttgart region, and join in condemning the transfer of public money by state Gov. Kretschmann to Mitri Raheb. Raheb has a long history of immoral incitement against Israel and against the peace process, including his role as co-author of the infamous Kairos Palestine document, which promotes BDS and also glorifies violence against Israeli citizens. This document asserts that Resistance is a right and a duty for Christians and all Palestinians. Steinberg continued, Raheb participates in events such as Christ at the Checkpoint, promoting themes that echo theological antisemitism, including references to the DNA of Israeli Jews as coming from an East European tribe who converted to Judaism in the Middle Ages. We join in urging Mr. Kretschmann to rescind his support for hate and violence. Israeli diplomatic sources in Berlin told The Jerusalem Post in 2012 that Raheb is connected to a document Cairo Palestine that defines Israel as an apartheid state and calls for a boycott of Israel. It is an extremist and racist document which does not contribute to reconciliation and peace between the Palestinians and Israelis. We regret that one of its authors is receiving acknowledgment in Germany. At the time, German media NGO and former German president Roman Herzog praised Rahebs work at a ceremony in Berlin. Kretschmanns press office told the Post that on account of the Good Friday, Easter holiday and the vacation situation, we, unfortunately, cannot at short notice answer your question regarding Raheb. Volker Beck, a Green Party deputy who heads the German- Israel parliamentary group in the Bundestag, told the Post, I am certain that the Baden-Wrttemberg minister president rejects a boycott of Israel and comparisons of Israel with the South African apartheid regime. Beck said he is not sure if Kretschmann is aware of Rahebs positions and his role in the Kairos Palestine document. Asked numerous times since April 2016 by the Post about Kretschmanns position on BDS, his spokesman Rudi Hoogvliet refused to answer questions about BDS and its alleged antisemitic nature. The state of Baden-Wrttemberg (population 10.8 million) owns nearly 25% of the bank Landesbank Baden-Wrttemberg (LBBW), which provides an account to one of Germanys most active BDS groups, the Palestine Committee Stuttgart. Kretschmann has refused to answer Post queries over the last year regarding the account. The German-Israel Friendship Society in Stuttgart closed both of its accounts with the LBBW because it refused to terminate the boycott Israel account. Three German banks Commerzbank, Bank for Social Economy and DAB shut BDS accounts last year. Next months Israel Day festival in Stuttgart will take place under the patronage of Kretschmann. The Israeli Embassy did not immediately reply to a Post query during the Passover week. Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin

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April 16, 2017   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

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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April 15, 2017   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

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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April 4, 2017   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

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


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