Archive for the ‘Boycott Israel’ Category

Texas town says you cant get hurricane relief if you …

A police officer wades through the Hurricane Harvey floodwaters in Alvin, Texas August 29, 2017. .(photo credit: RICK WILKING / REUTERS)

The American Civil Liberties Union criticized a city in Texas for requiring applicants for Hurricane Harvey rebuilding funds to certify in writing that they will not take part in a boycott of Israel.

The website for Dickinson, Texas, is accepting applications for individuals and businesses who need assistance following the devastating August hurricane. According to the application, those who sign must verify that the applicant (1) does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of this Agreement.

Dickinson City Management Assistant Bryan Milward attributed the clause to a state law, signed in May, that requires all state contractors to certify that they are not participating in boycotts of Israel. Milward emphasized that the city will not be verifying compliance with the clause, and said he doesnt expect any applications to be rejected because of it.

Because our application also functions as a contract, it was included in there, Milward told JTA Friday. Were not checking up on that. Our city secretary is not digging into anyones background. Were not running background checks or anything like that. Theyre attesting that theyre not boycotting, and were accepting that based on good faith.

Dickinson, a city of about 19,000, was hit especially hard by Harvey. More than three-quarters of its homes were damaged by the hurricane, and 830 were destroyed, according to Milward.

ACLU calls the Dickinson application a violation of free speech rights.

The First Amendment protects Americans right to boycott, and the government cannot condition hurricane relief or any other public benefit on a commitment to refrain from protected political expression, said ACLU of Texas Legal Director Andre Segura in a statement. Dickinsons requirement is an egregious violation of the First Amendment, reminiscent of McCarthy-era loyalty oaths requiring Americans to disavow membership in the Communist party and other forms of subversive activity.

On Oct. 11, the ACLU filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of a public school math teacher in Kansas who was denied a state contract because she participates in the anti-Israel boycott.

Supporters of laws aimed at the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement argue that refusing to do business with a country is not protected speech, and that longstanding laws forbidding support for foreign state boycotts of Israel apply to the business transaction, not the political motivations. If anti-boycott laws are considered unconstitutional, proponents argue, then Americans would be free to violate existing sanctions preventing business with countries like Iran, Cuba or Sudan.

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November 29, 2017   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

Wisconsin becomes latest state to pass anti-boycott Israel …

Governor of Wisconsin and potential Republican U.S. Presidential candidate Scott Walker refers to the book “Jesus Calling” at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition’s forum in Waukee, Iowa.(photo credit:REUTERS)

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin issued an executive order on Friday barring state agencies from engaging in business with entities that discriminate against Israel.

The executive order came ahead of the departure for Israel on Friday of a 15-member trade group led by Walker, which will be in the country through Thursday.

We stand firmly against discrimination in any form and we wholly support our friends in Israel, said Walker, adding, I look forward to leading a trade delegation to Israel to foster new trade partnerships between Wisconsin and Israeli businesses.

Wisconsin (population almost 6 million) is the 24th US state to promulgate either a law or an executive order forbidding the state from conduction business with firms engaged in BDS activity targeting Israel.

The order states: Consistent with existing Wisconsin nondiscrimination provisions and regulations governing purchases…

agencies may not execute a contract with a business entity if that entity is engaging in a boycott of Israel. Further, agencies shall reserve the right to terminate any contract with a business entity that engages in a boycott of Israel during the term of the contract.

The order says boycotts based on religion, national origin, ethnicity or residence are discriminatory, and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel serves to inflame conflict; and over 20 states have enacted laws or resolutions against the BDS campaign.

Israel-Wisconsin trade is flourishing, with Wisconsin exporting over $80 million annually to Israel and importing over $200m. annually from Israel, according to Walkers statement.

The governor is a Republican who was a presidential candidate in 2016.

Walker in his statement expressed support for a state bill that would prohibit any entity in state government or local government from adopting a rule, ordinance, policy or procedure that involves the entity in a boycott of Israel, or a boycott of a person doing business in Israel or in a territory under Israeli jurisdiction. The bill also requires that state contracts for materials, supplies, equipment and services include a provision that the vendor is not currently participating in and will not participate in a boycott of Israel during the contract.

The legislation was co-authored by Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Brookfield) and Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield).

The Israel Projects CEO and president Josh Block said, The Israel Project is grateful to Governor Walker for his leadership in fighting against BDS discrimination. For years, Israel and only Israel has been targeted by this deceptive attempt to delegitimize its very right to exist. BDS proponents do not seek a better life for the Palestinians, nor do they aim to create a political environment favorable to a lasting peace between Israel and its neighbors.

Their true aim is the destruction of the Jewish state.

Block added, From the North to South, in blue [predominantly Democrat] and red [predominantly Republican] states and with strong bipartisan support lawmakers in 24 states have now declared BDS a form of discrimination and sent a clear signal that their states will not tolerate or condone taxpayer dollars going to subsidize anti-Israel hate.

Walkers decision was praised on Twitter by the Israel Action Network.

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Did a City in Texas Require Harvey Aid Recipients to …

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As of October 2017, would-be recipients of a repair grant from Dickinson, Texas, must promise not to boycott Israel.

With communities in Texas attempting to recover and rebuild from the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey in late 2017, an administrative measure taken by one Texas city has attracted national attention.

Texas Monthly reported:

The city of Dickinson, in Galveston County, was among the hardest-hit places whenHurricane Harveys torrential rains slammed Texas. Residents now seeking Harvey relief face a strange ultimatum: agree not to boycott Israel, or your application for aid will be denied.

The Houston Chronicle wrote:

A recently passed state law prohibits Texas governmental entities including cities from contracting with or investing certain public funds in companies that boycott Israel.

Anti-Israel policies are anti-Texas policies, and we will not tolerate such actions against an important ally, Gov. Greg Abbott said in a news release earlier this year.

Dickinsons application for aid to rebuild homes and businesses requires residents to state that they will not boycott Israel during the term of the agreement, according to a form on the citys website.

We received several inquiries from readers wondering about the veracity of these reports.

As of 24 October 2017, the city of Dickinson, Texas, does indeed require anyone applying for a Hurricane Harvey Repair Grant to promise not to boycott Israel.

Those seeking a grant are required to sign an agreement with the city of Dickinson for the purpose of providing funds to assist in rebuilding a home or a business impacted by Hurricane Harvey within the City in a timely manner that will maintain the Citys ad valorem and sales tax revenues, along with other benefits for the City as a whole.

One of the terms of the application is:

11. Verification not to Boycott Israel. By executing this Agreement below, the Applicant verifies that the Applicant: (1) does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of this Agreement.

Dickinson Mayor Julie Masters told local TV news channel KHOU that the city was required to include that condition on the release of the funding by a recently-passed Texas state law House Bill 89, which Governor Greg Abbott signed in May, and which came into effect on 1 September 2017.

The law states:

A governmental entity may not enter into a contract with a company for goods or services unless the contract contains a written verification from the company that it:

Does not boycott Israel; and

will not boycott Israel during the term of the contract.

Speaking to KHOU, Mayor Masters said:

We had to include that verbiage [from] that statute that was required in that statuteWere just the messenger dont crucify us. Were just following state law.

H.B. 89 does not appear to require that any release of public funds come with a commitment by the recipient not to boycott Israel. Rather, it states that Texas (or cities and towns within Texas) cannot enter into a contract with anyone for goods or services without adding the no boycott clause.

Under Dickinsons repair grant application and agreement, the city would provide financial assistance directly to the recipient for the purpose of repairing and rebuilding private homes and businesses. So its unclear how the city receives goods or services in return for the grant.

However, the agreement also defines the grant recipient as an independent contractor.

According to KHOU, Masters is set to consult with Texas state officials over the wording of the law.

The American Civil Liberties Union has criticized both the Dickinson agreement and the state law, saying it was reminiscent of McCarthy-era loyalty oaths.

In a statement, ACLU of Texas Legal Director Andre Segura said:

The First Amendment protects Americans right to boycott, and the government cannot condition hurricane relief or any other public benefit on a commitment to refrain from protected political expression.

Got a tip or a rumor? Contact us here.

Reigstad, Leif. Dickinson Residents Must Take Stance on Israel to Get Harvey Relief. Texas Monthly. 20 October 2017.

Lewis, Brooke A. and Margaret Kadifa. Dickinson Demands Hurricane Harvey Victims Agree to Not Boycott Israel. Houston Chronicle. 22 October 2017.

City of Dickinson, Texas. Hurricane Harvey Repair Grant Application and Agreement. Unknown publication date.

Chapin, Josh. City of Dickinson Defends Harvey Relief Requirement Regarding Israel. KHOU-TV. 20 October 2017.

King, Phil. House Bill No. 89. Texas State Legislature. 2 May 2017.

ACLU of Texas. Texas City Tells People no Hurricane Harvey Aid Unless They Promise Not to Boycott Israel. &nbsp 20 October 2017.

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Prize-winning photographers launch Israel boycott pledge – The Electronic Intifada (blog)

Ali Abunimah Activism and BDS Beat 21 August 2017

A Palestinian photographer works amid tear gas fired by Israeli forces during confrontations with Palestinian protestersnear the boundary between Israel and the central Gaza Strip, October 2015.

More than 40 Portuguese photographers, photography teachers and students have launched a pledge to reject professional invitations or funding from the Israeli state, and to refuse to collaborate with Israeli institutions complicit in Israels regime of occupation, colonialism and apartheid.

The photographers are pledging to boycott Israel until it complies with international law and respects the human rights of Palestinians.

They are urging other photographers to join the call, which they launched to coincide with World Photo Day on Saturday, an annual celebration of the transformative influence of photography.

Their pledge comes in response to the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of Israel, as Israel uses culture to whitewash and obscure its violations of Palestinian rights.

Those supporting the pledge include Joo Pina, winner of the 2017 Prmio Estao Imagem Viana do Castelo, Portugals only photojournalism award, and Nuno Lobito, a photographer and television personality who has traveled to almost every country in the world.

It is time for Israels brand of apartheid to enjoy the same treatment as South African apartheid and be target of a comprehensive international boycott until it respects human rights, Lobito said.

Photographers can no longer be silent about the treatment of their Palestinian colleagues living under an indefensible occupation that has lasted for over half a century, Lobito added.

Palestinians have called for solidarity through boycotts and this pledge is our practical contribution to their struggle.

Palestinian arts photographers, photojournalists and videographers have been frequent targets of violence by Israeli occupation forces.

In 2014, the year it launched a massive military assault on Gaza, Israel was the second most lethal country in the world for journalists.

In May this year, an Israeli settler shot and injured Majdi Mohammed, a photographer for the Associated Press, while he was covering a protest near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus.

The settler shot dead a Palestinian protester in the same incident.

The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned Israeli occupation forces inaction toward the suspected shooter.

Israeli authorities should not allow a man who by his own admission shot at a crowd, injuring a journalist and killing a young man, to rest comfortably at home, unmolested by police, the groups Middle East and North Africa coordinator Sherif Mansour said.

Israel must show that its citizens cannot shoot journalists or other unarmed civilians with impunity.

Unprovoked attacks on press photographers and journalists by Israeli occupation forces have been met with similar impunity.

Last month, there was a surge in attacks on journalists, including photographers, by Israeli forces who reacted with violence to Palestinian civil disobedience against tightened restrictions on entry to Jerusalems al-Aqsa mosque compound.

Earlier this month, Oren Ziv, a photographer with the collective ActiveStills, told The Electronic Intifada that Israeli soldiers and police regularly attack Palestinian and other journalists who cover smaller Palestinian demonstrations, but the events in Jerusalem were unusual because of the wide attention they received.

Miguel Carrio, winner of the 2012 Concelho da Bienal de Vila Franca de Xira award, urged fellow photographers to observe the boycott.

Having witnessed first-hand the crimes Israel is committing daily against Palestinians, signing up to this initiative has become a natural step, Carrio said.

It is fundamental to promote this effort through all means possible.

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So Now American Zionists Want to Boycott Israel

Several prominent American Zionists including long-time supporters of Israel are so outraged at the Israeli government’s recent decision regarding the Western Wall and non-orthodox conversion, that they are urging American Jews to reduce or even eliminate their support for Israel.

According to an article by Elliot Abrams in Mosaic, Ike Fisher a prominent member of the Aipac board, threatened to “suspend” all further financial support for Israel.

Daniel Gordis, a leading voice for Conservative Judaism, urged American Jews to cancel their El al tickets and fly Delta or United. He also proposed “withholding donations to Israeli hospitals, so that ‘They start running out of money’ and ‘begin to falter.'”

This sort of emotional response is reminiscent of the temper tantrum outgoing President Barak Obama engaged in when he refused to veto the UN’s recent anti-Israel resolution.

I strongly disagree both with the Israeli government’s capitulation to the minority of ultra-Orthodox Jews, who wield far too much influence in Israeli politics, and with the proposals to cut back on support for Israel by some of my fellow critics of the Israeli government’s recent decisions with regard to religion.

I strongly support greater separation between religion and state in Israel, as Theodor Herzl outlined in his plan for the nation-state of the Jewish People in Der Judenstaat 120 years ago: “We shall . . . prevent any theocratic tendencies from coming to the fore on the part of our priesthood. We shall keep our priests [by which is meant Rabbis] within the confines of heir temples.”

It was David Ben Gurion, Israel’s founding Prime Minister, who made the deal with the Orthodox Rabbinate that violated Herzl’s mandate and knocked down the wall of separation between religion and state.

He allocated to the Chief Rabbinate authority over many secular matters, such as marriage, divorce and child custody. He also laid the ground work for the creation of religious parties that have been a necessary part of most Israeli coalitions for many years.

So don’t blame Israel’s current Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, for the recent capitulation.

His government’s survival depends on his unholy alliance with allegedly holy parties that threaten to leave the coalition and bring down his government unless he capitulated.

The alternative to a Netanyahu government might well be far to the right of the current government, both on religious matters and on prospects for peace.

Reasonable people may disagree as to whether Netanyahu did the right thing, but I believe that given the choice between the current government and what may well replace it, PM Netanyahu acted on acceptable priorities.

This is not to say that I am happy with the end result.

As a post-denominational Jew, I want to see a part of the Western Wall opened to conservative and reform prayer.

I also want to see conservative and reform and modern orthodox rabbis deemed fully competent to perform rituals including marriage and divorce. I will continue to fight for these outcomes, and I think we will ultimately be successful.

But in the meantime, I will also continue to fly El Al, contribute to Israeli hospitals, attend APAC events, and encourage Americans to support Israel, both politically and financially. To do otherwise is to engage in a form of BDS the tactic currently employed by Israel’s enemies to delegitimate the Nation state of the Jewish people.

Supporters of BDS will point to these benign boycotts as a way of justifying their malignant ones. If BDS is an immoral tactic, as it surely is, so too is punishing the people of Israel for the failure of its government to be fully inclusive of Jews who do not align themselves with the ultra-Orthodox.

Tough love may be an appropriate response in family matters, but boycotting a troubled nation which has become a pariah among the hard-left is not the appropriate response to the Israeli government’s recent decisions regarding religion.

The answer is not disengagement, but rather greater engagement with Israel on matters that involve world Jewry.

I, too, am furious about the arrogant and destructive threats of the ultra-Orthodox parties in the current government.

I, too, would prefer to see a coalition that excluded the ultra-Orthodox parties.

I, too, would like to see a high wall of separation that kept the Rabbi’s out of politics.

But I do not live in Israel, and Israel is a democracy.

Ultimately it is up to the citizens of Israel to change the current system. The role of American Jews is limited to persuasion, not coercion.

In the end, we will be successful in persuading the Israeli people to take the power of religious, coercion out of the hands of the ultra-Orthodox minority because that would not only be good for secular Israelis who are a majority but also for religious Israelis. History has proved that separation of state from religion is better not only for the state, but also for religion.

This article was originally published by Gatestone Institute.

You can follow Alan Dershowitz on Twitter (@AlanDersh) and Facebook (AlanMDershowitz).

Professor Alan Dershowitz is the author of “Taking the Stand: My Life in the Law” and most recently, “Electile Dysfunction: A Guide for Unaroused Voters.” Read more reports from Alan M. Dershowitz Click Here Now.

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Artists boycott Israel sponsored festival in Germany – Middle East Monitor

Four artists have cancelled their scheduled performances at an international festival in Berlin citing the festivals partnership with the Israeli embassy and their support for the Palestinian call for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The Pop-Kultur festival, which is due to take place in Berlin next week, is an annual event that attracts thousands of visitors. While the two-day event also boasts over 30 sponsors including several internationally recognised brands, Israel appears to be the only foreign country taking a keen interest.

Tunisian singer-songwriter Emel Mathlouthi, one of the four to cancel their performance, said in a statement posted on Facebook yesterday that she was looking forward to playing until [I] realised the festival was sponsored by Israeli embassy. The musician went on to say: As things get tougher inside and outside Palestine, what each one of us can always do is show solidarity and empathy, as artists it starts by being true and faithful.

Announcing their cancellation, the Egyptian group Islam Chipsy said on Monday that they had cancelled their performance because of the participation of the Israeli embassy. The group posted on Facebook that they wanted to make it clear that their music seeks to resist violence, persecution and discrimination of any kind against each other.

Mohammad Abu Hajar of the Mazzaj Rap Band, who was previously jailed in Syria for his activism, explained why his group had cancelled its appearance last week:

It did not take us a minute to know what we had to do; we will not participate in a festival that accepts the partnership with an embassy representing a state and a government led by right-wing party Likud and Netanyahu which openly declared on many different occasions anti-Arab, anti-Muslim and anti-Black attitudes.

Given this and its perpetration of all previous governments colonial behaviour, we understand the partnership with an embassy as an attempt to whitewash the image of its government and an endorsement of its behaviour.

Read:Palestinians protest Radioheads support for apartheid Israel

Abu Hajar went on to say that the festival cannot achieve its stated aim of bringing artists from different backgrounds together on one stage under such conditions. Our stand is not against a culture, but resistance against a discriminatory, colonial government, he added. It is not merely an opinion that we disagree with, but a whole set of oppressive structures, manifesting themselves in the policies of the Israeli state.

Syrian DJ and producer Hello Psychaleppo, the third artist to cancel, said on Monday that at the time he agreed to take part in the festival over a couple of months ago, he was not aware that the Israeli embassy was amongst the sponsors of the event.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) welcomed the cancellations saying in a statement released yesterday: [PACBI] salutes the artists who have cancelled their participation in Pop-Kultur to protest Israels sponsorship.

As in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, a regime of oppression and racism should never be welcomed in cultural spaces claiming to advocate for openness, inclusion and human rights.

PACBI, a founding member of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) National Committee, went on to condemn Pop-Kulturs acceptance of Israels sponsorship describing the decision as a conscious act of complicity in whitewashing Israels regime of occupation and apartheid.

Pop-Kultur responded to the string of cancellations in a statement yesterday to confirm that the four artists had cancelled their performances at this years festival due to its partnership with the Israeli embassy. They also confirmed that the Israeli embassy partly contributes to the travel expenses for artists performing at the festival.

Meanwhile, Artists for Palestine UK (APUK) published an open letter addressed to UK musicians scheduled to perform at Pop-Kultur calling on them to withdraw from the event.

When you signed up to play Berlin Pop-Kultur, you possibly didnt know that the Israeli embassy in Germany was a sponsor. Maybe you also dont know that Palestinian civil society, living under Israeli military occupation or in exile, is appealing to artists not to take part in events sponsored by the state of Israel, in solidarity with the Palestinians long struggle for rights and freedom.

But now that you do know, will you follow the example of the musicians who have withdrawn from Pop-Kultur in the past few days?

APUK, whose pledge to uphold the cultural boycott of Israel has been signed by more than 1,200 UK artists continued:

You have the power to tell the Palestinians they are not alone under occupation and in exile. Please use your power. Please withdraw from Berlin Pop-Kultur.

Pop-Kultur is one of several cultural festivals which the Israeli embassy has been keen to support. The Edinburgh Fringe, one of the UKs major festivals, also partnered with the Israeli embassy. Critics say that under the banner of coexistence and cultural cooperation Israel is trying to whitewash its brutal occupation of Palestine and the long list of human rights abuses committed by its occupying forces against the Palestinians.

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Clarity on Israel Anti-Boycott Act – HuffPost

The Israel Anti-Boycott Act was introduced to reinforce bipartisan consensus that boycotting Israel is inimical to U.S. foreign policy interests. The Act simply extends existing U.S. law prohibiting participation in boycotts led by foreign governments against Israel to include boycotts led by international governmental organizations such as the United Nations and the European Union.

The Act should hardly be controversial; the current law passed in 1977. Yet three objections have been raised: that the new law would infringe on free speech, that the new law is confusingly written, and that the new law extends the prohibition to goods manufactured in the West Bank.

The American Civil Liberties Union believes that the law unconstitutionally impairs free speech, but the ACLU is wrong. Both this bill and existing law prohibit specific commercial conduct, not free speech. Any person and any company is free to boycott Israel and to advocate for boycotts of Israel under current law and the proposed law. But cooperation with foreign governments, and under the new law, with international governmental organizations, is prohibited. The same conduct that would be prohibited if done independently of a foreign government is prohibited if done at the behest of a foreign government. Intent matters; intent is a common element of criminal conduct, including hate crimes.

The current prohibition against cooperating with foreign governments to boycott Israel has withstood First Amendment challenges, and so has hate crime legislation. If current law is constitutional, then so is the proposed law.

Some have argued that the new law is hard to understand because it includes numerous cross-references, deletions, and additions. But that is how laws are written, and how they have to be written to fit into existing statutory framework. To suggest that the law was written this way to make it hard to follow reflects either disingenuity or ignorance of the legislative process. Aside from the sloppiness of its legal analysis, perhaps the most disturbing part of the ACLUs position is its benign description of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, which is a close paraphrase from the description on the BDS website. The BDS movement seeks to delegitimize Israel and advocates for policies that would effectively eliminate Israel as a Jewish state. One would have thought that intellectual honesty would have compelled the ACLU to at least mention the bipartisan concerns about BDS that motivated the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, but one would have been wrong.

The proposed legislation covers boycotts of goods manufactured on the West Bank. But one can vigorously support a two-state solution and see settlements as an obstacle to peace, as I do, and still understand why boycotts of the West Bank are counterproductive. In practice, boycotts of West Bank goods will hurt Israelis and Palestinians on both sides of the green line. More important, those who advocate boycotting West Bank goods assume that all that is needed to reach a two-state solution is pressure on Israel.

Jews and Palestinians are two peoples, each with claims to all of Israel and all of the West Bank. A two-state solution will require both Jews and Palestinians to relinquish their claims to land that they believe is rightfully theirs. Peace will only occur when both sides recognize and act on this reality. Putting pressure only on Israel, as if Israel can unilaterally solve this problem, will only stiffen Israeli resistance and encourage Palestinian intransigence. The path to peace lies in bringing the two sides together and building trust, not in pressuring only one side, as if only that side is wrong and as if that side can act without a partner willing to reciprocate. And yet under the proposed legislation, any American would be free to advocate for and participate in just such a boycott. All that would be prohibited is commercial conduct in compliance with foreign-organized boycotts of Israel.

By including within its purview the West Bank, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act does not legitimize West Bank settlements or represent a change in U.S. policy; the bill itself provides that it shall not be construed to alter the established policy of the United States or to establish new United States policy concerning final status issues associated with the Arab-Israeli conflict, including border delineation, that can only be resolved through direct negotiations between the parties.

One can legitimately ask if the proposed legislation could be drafted more clearly or to what extent it responds to a real threat. Those issues can and should be debated in Congress. But the progressive and peace communities should not oppose this bill based on the specious grounds that have thus far been advanced.

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Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters calls on musicians to boycott … – Zee News

New Delhi: Co- founder of the famous rock band ‘Pink Floyd’- Roger Waters, in an interview in Washington DCon Wednesdaycalled out to his fellow musicians for not abiding by the cultural boycott on Israel, Press TV reported.

Here is the Twitter post by Press TV:

Pink Floyd co-founder, Roger Waters calls on fellow musicians to boycott Israel pic.twitter.com/KXiwqfWlzB

Press TV (@PressTV) August 10, 2017

Roger Waters said:

‘Tom Yorke is wrong about not endorsing the policies of the Israeli govt by playing there. Spokespersons of that govt have said how excited they are that this is the next thing that’s happened for their Hasbara, which is explaining to the rest of the world what a wonderful and precious democracy Israel is. And willy- nilly when they cross the picket line, they are making a public statement that they DO endorse the policies of the government, whatever they say because that’s what would be reported in Israel and that is what gets reported around the world. That is why Radiohead are being so soundly criticized by anybody with progressive ideas about human rights.’

‘Civil soc in Palestine in 2005 started the PDS movement themselves. This isn’t something imposed by a bunch of foreign rock musicians. This is something that they started and they have made an appeal to all artists, writers, musicians, actors, directors, anybody in the rest of the world to observe the picket line which they have drawn and to ask us to observe a cultural boycott of the country. ‘

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NC’s Right Move On Israel – The Daily Record (registration)

North Carolina taxpayers will no longer be forced to support corporate boycotts of the United States strongest Mideast ally and the only true democracy in the region.

Gov. Roy Cooper has signed House Bill 161, which will eliminate state pension plan investments from companies and groups participating in the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to exert economic pressure on Israel to withdraw from territory it seized during the 1967 Six-Day War.

The Democratic governor is taking flak from his left flank, as self-styled social justice organizations are apoplectic over the legislation that will take effect Oct. 1.

In a joint statement, 20 groups including Jewish Voice for Peace, the Muslim American Public Affairs Council and the N.C. Council of Churches called the bill a repressive tactic of silencing free speech and prohibiting protest.

The hand-wringing is naked hypocrisy. North Carolina isnt squelching anyones free speech; its employing the exact same tactic as businesses in the BDS movement voting with its wallet.

Private groups have every right to choose how they will and wont invest their money. If a majority of a company, charity or churchs membership believes the state of Israel is committing human rights abuses against the Palestinian people, it naturally follows that the organization would decline to enrich Israeli interests with the cash in its investment portfolio.

Local, state and national governments enjoy the same right. With taxpayer money being invested, its wise to prevent North Carolinas pension plan from being used to make divisive political statements that are supported by neither the voters nor their elected representatives.

Rep. Stephen Ross, R-Alamance, introduced the bipartisan bill. His co-sponsors include Rep. Jeff Collins, R-Nash; Rep. Ken Goodman, DRichmond; Rep. Jason Saine, R-Lincoln; and Rep. Michael Wray, D-Halifax.

Today is a significant day for North Carolina, Ross told his hometown newspaper, the Times-News of Burlington. Its important for our state to stand with Israel against boycotts that threaten Israels sovereignty. This bill protects North Carolinas economy from efforts to restrict trade and affirms our states economic commitments to Israel.

At the end of the day, this bill is less about Israel than it is about economic freedom. Corporations and governments vote with their wallets every day, as do individuals. On the personal level, its known as ethical consumerism. Our decisions on how to use our purchasing power should be guided by information on the causes favored by those with whom we transact business.

Supporters of the BDS movement are disingenuous in their criticism of House Bill 161. Their argument is self-defeating.

Boycotting those who boycott Israel is merely applying the same economic pressure they exert, but in reverse. Turnabout, after all, is fair play.

The Wilson Times

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August 10, 2017   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

Texas town says you cant get hurricane relief if you …

A police officer wades through the Hurricane Harvey floodwaters in Alvin, Texas August 29, 2017. .(photo credit: RICK WILKING / REUTERS) The American Civil Liberties Union criticized a city in Texas for requiring applicants for Hurricane Harvey rebuilding funds to certify in writing that they will not take part in a boycott of Israel. The website for Dickinson, Texas, is accepting applications for individuals and businesses who need assistance following the devastating August hurricane. According to the application, those who sign must verify that the applicant (1) does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of this Agreement. Dickinson City Management Assistant Bryan Milward attributed the clause to a state law, signed in May, that requires all state contractors to certify that they are not participating in boycotts of Israel. Milward emphasized that the city will not be verifying compliance with the clause, and said he doesnt expect any applications to be rejected because of it. Because our application also functions as a contract, it was included in there, Milward told JTA Friday. Were not checking up on that. Our city secretary is not digging into anyones background. Were not running background checks or anything like that. Theyre attesting that theyre not boycotting, and were accepting that based on good faith. Dickinson, a city of about 19,000, was hit especially hard by Harvey. More than three-quarters of its homes were damaged by the hurricane, and 830 were destroyed, according to Milward. ACLU calls the Dickinson application a violation of free speech rights. The First Amendment protects Americans right to boycott, and the government cannot condition hurricane relief or any other public benefit on a commitment to refrain from protected political expression, said ACLU of Texas Legal Director Andre Segura in a statement. Dickinsons requirement is an egregious violation of the First Amendment, reminiscent of McCarthy-era loyalty oaths requiring Americans to disavow membership in the Communist party and other forms of subversive activity. On Oct. 11, the ACLU filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of a public school math teacher in Kansas who was denied a state contract because she participates in the anti-Israel boycott. Supporters of laws aimed at the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement argue that refusing to do business with a country is not protected speech, and that longstanding laws forbidding support for foreign state boycotts of Israel apply to the business transaction, not the political motivations. If anti-boycott laws are considered unconstitutional, proponents argue, then Americans would be free to violate existing sanctions preventing business with countries like Iran, Cuba or Sudan. Share on facebook

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November 29, 2017   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

Wisconsin becomes latest state to pass anti-boycott Israel …

Governor of Wisconsin and potential Republican U.S. Presidential candidate Scott Walker refers to the book “Jesus Calling” at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition’s forum in Waukee, Iowa.(photo credit:REUTERS) Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin issued an executive order on Friday barring state agencies from engaging in business with entities that discriminate against Israel. The executive order came ahead of the departure for Israel on Friday of a 15-member trade group led by Walker, which will be in the country through Thursday. We stand firmly against discrimination in any form and we wholly support our friends in Israel, said Walker, adding, I look forward to leading a trade delegation to Israel to foster new trade partnerships between Wisconsin and Israeli businesses. Wisconsin (population almost 6 million) is the 24th US state to promulgate either a law or an executive order forbidding the state from conduction business with firms engaged in BDS activity targeting Israel. The order states: Consistent with existing Wisconsin nondiscrimination provisions and regulations governing purchases… agencies may not execute a contract with a business entity if that entity is engaging in a boycott of Israel. Further, agencies shall reserve the right to terminate any contract with a business entity that engages in a boycott of Israel during the term of the contract. The order says boycotts based on religion, national origin, ethnicity or residence are discriminatory, and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel serves to inflame conflict; and over 20 states have enacted laws or resolutions against the BDS campaign. Israel-Wisconsin trade is flourishing, with Wisconsin exporting over $80 million annually to Israel and importing over $200m. annually from Israel, according to Walkers statement. The governor is a Republican who was a presidential candidate in 2016. Walker in his statement expressed support for a state bill that would prohibit any entity in state government or local government from adopting a rule, ordinance, policy or procedure that involves the entity in a boycott of Israel, or a boycott of a person doing business in Israel or in a territory under Israeli jurisdiction. The bill also requires that state contracts for materials, supplies, equipment and services include a provision that the vendor is not currently participating in and will not participate in a boycott of Israel during the contract. The legislation was co-authored by Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Brookfield) and Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield). The Israel Projects CEO and president Josh Block said, The Israel Project is grateful to Governor Walker for his leadership in fighting against BDS discrimination. For years, Israel and only Israel has been targeted by this deceptive attempt to delegitimize its very right to exist. BDS proponents do not seek a better life for the Palestinians, nor do they aim to create a political environment favorable to a lasting peace between Israel and its neighbors. Their true aim is the destruction of the Jewish state. Block added, From the North to South, in blue [predominantly Democrat] and red [predominantly Republican] states and with strong bipartisan support lawmakers in 24 states have now declared BDS a form of discrimination and sent a clear signal that their states will not tolerate or condone taxpayer dollars going to subsidize anti-Israel hate. Walkers decision was praised on Twitter by the Israel Action Network. Share on facebook

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November 25, 2017   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

Did a City in Texas Require Harvey Aid Recipients to …

‘;if (currentUrl.indexOf(‘.asp’) > -1) { jQuery(‘#image-error’).html(errorMarkup);} As of October 2017, would-be recipients of a repair grant from Dickinson, Texas, must promise not to boycott Israel. With communities in Texas attempting to recover and rebuild from the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey in late 2017, an administrative measure taken by one Texas city has attracted national attention. Texas Monthly reported: The city of Dickinson, in Galveston County, was among the hardest-hit places whenHurricane Harveys torrential rains slammed Texas. Residents now seeking Harvey relief face a strange ultimatum: agree not to boycott Israel, or your application for aid will be denied. The Houston Chronicle wrote: A recently passed state law prohibits Texas governmental entities including cities from contracting with or investing certain public funds in companies that boycott Israel. Anti-Israel policies are anti-Texas policies, and we will not tolerate such actions against an important ally, Gov. Greg Abbott said in a news release earlier this year. Dickinsons application for aid to rebuild homes and businesses requires residents to state that they will not boycott Israel during the term of the agreement, according to a form on the citys website. We received several inquiries from readers wondering about the veracity of these reports. As of 24 October 2017, the city of Dickinson, Texas, does indeed require anyone applying for a Hurricane Harvey Repair Grant to promise not to boycott Israel. Those seeking a grant are required to sign an agreement with the city of Dickinson for the purpose of providing funds to assist in rebuilding a home or a business impacted by Hurricane Harvey within the City in a timely manner that will maintain the Citys ad valorem and sales tax revenues, along with other benefits for the City as a whole. One of the terms of the application is: 11. Verification not to Boycott Israel. By executing this Agreement below, the Applicant verifies that the Applicant: (1) does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of this Agreement. Dickinson Mayor Julie Masters told local TV news channel KHOU that the city was required to include that condition on the release of the funding by a recently-passed Texas state law House Bill 89, which Governor Greg Abbott signed in May, and which came into effect on 1 September 2017. The law states: A governmental entity may not enter into a contract with a company for goods or services unless the contract contains a written verification from the company that it: Does not boycott Israel; and will not boycott Israel during the term of the contract. Speaking to KHOU, Mayor Masters said: We had to include that verbiage [from] that statute that was required in that statuteWere just the messenger dont crucify us. Were just following state law. H.B. 89 does not appear to require that any release of public funds come with a commitment by the recipient not to boycott Israel. Rather, it states that Texas (or cities and towns within Texas) cannot enter into a contract with anyone for goods or services without adding the no boycott clause. Under Dickinsons repair grant application and agreement, the city would provide financial assistance directly to the recipient for the purpose of repairing and rebuilding private homes and businesses. So its unclear how the city receives goods or services in return for the grant. However, the agreement also defines the grant recipient as an independent contractor. According to KHOU, Masters is set to consult with Texas state officials over the wording of the law. The American Civil Liberties Union has criticized both the Dickinson agreement and the state law, saying it was reminiscent of McCarthy-era loyalty oaths. In a statement, ACLU of Texas Legal Director Andre Segura said: The First Amendment protects Americans right to boycott, and the government cannot condition hurricane relief or any other public benefit on a commitment to refrain from protected political expression. Got a tip or a rumor? Contact us here. Reigstad, Leif. Dickinson Residents Must Take Stance on Israel to Get Harvey Relief. Texas Monthly. 20 October 2017. Lewis, Brooke A. and Margaret Kadifa. Dickinson Demands Hurricane Harvey Victims Agree to Not Boycott Israel. Houston Chronicle. 22 October 2017. City of Dickinson, Texas. Hurricane Harvey Repair Grant Application and Agreement. Unknown publication date. Chapin, Josh. City of Dickinson Defends Harvey Relief Requirement Regarding Israel. KHOU-TV. 20 October 2017. King, Phil. House Bill No. 89. Texas State Legislature. 2 May 2017. ACLU of Texas. Texas City Tells People no Hurricane Harvey Aid Unless They Promise Not to Boycott Israel. &nbsp 20 October 2017.

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November 25, 2017   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

Prize-winning photographers launch Israel boycott pledge – The Electronic Intifada (blog)

Ali Abunimah Activism and BDS Beat 21 August 2017 A Palestinian photographer works amid tear gas fired by Israeli forces during confrontations with Palestinian protestersnear the boundary between Israel and the central Gaza Strip, October 2015. More than 40 Portuguese photographers, photography teachers and students have launched a pledge to reject professional invitations or funding from the Israeli state, and to refuse to collaborate with Israeli institutions complicit in Israels regime of occupation, colonialism and apartheid. The photographers are pledging to boycott Israel until it complies with international law and respects the human rights of Palestinians. They are urging other photographers to join the call, which they launched to coincide with World Photo Day on Saturday, an annual celebration of the transformative influence of photography. Their pledge comes in response to the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of Israel, as Israel uses culture to whitewash and obscure its violations of Palestinian rights. Those supporting the pledge include Joo Pina, winner of the 2017 Prmio Estao Imagem Viana do Castelo, Portugals only photojournalism award, and Nuno Lobito, a photographer and television personality who has traveled to almost every country in the world. It is time for Israels brand of apartheid to enjoy the same treatment as South African apartheid and be target of a comprehensive international boycott until it respects human rights, Lobito said. Photographers can no longer be silent about the treatment of their Palestinian colleagues living under an indefensible occupation that has lasted for over half a century, Lobito added. Palestinians have called for solidarity through boycotts and this pledge is our practical contribution to their struggle. Palestinian arts photographers, photojournalists and videographers have been frequent targets of violence by Israeli occupation forces. In 2014, the year it launched a massive military assault on Gaza, Israel was the second most lethal country in the world for journalists. In May this year, an Israeli settler shot and injured Majdi Mohammed, a photographer for the Associated Press, while he was covering a protest near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus. The settler shot dead a Palestinian protester in the same incident. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned Israeli occupation forces inaction toward the suspected shooter. Israeli authorities should not allow a man who by his own admission shot at a crowd, injuring a journalist and killing a young man, to rest comfortably at home, unmolested by police, the groups Middle East and North Africa coordinator Sherif Mansour said. Israel must show that its citizens cannot shoot journalists or other unarmed civilians with impunity. Unprovoked attacks on press photographers and journalists by Israeli occupation forces have been met with similar impunity. Last month, there was a surge in attacks on journalists, including photographers, by Israeli forces who reacted with violence to Palestinian civil disobedience against tightened restrictions on entry to Jerusalems al-Aqsa mosque compound. Earlier this month, Oren Ziv, a photographer with the collective ActiveStills, told The Electronic Intifada that Israeli soldiers and police regularly attack Palestinian and other journalists who cover smaller Palestinian demonstrations, but the events in Jerusalem were unusual because of the wide attention they received. Miguel Carrio, winner of the 2012 Concelho da Bienal de Vila Franca de Xira award, urged fellow photographers to observe the boycott. Having witnessed first-hand the crimes Israel is committing daily against Palestinians, signing up to this initiative has become a natural step, Carrio said. It is fundamental to promote this effort through all means possible.

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August 22, 2017   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

So Now American Zionists Want to Boycott Israel

Several prominent American Zionists including long-time supporters of Israel are so outraged at the Israeli government’s recent decision regarding the Western Wall and non-orthodox conversion, that they are urging American Jews to reduce or even eliminate their support for Israel. According to an article by Elliot Abrams in Mosaic, Ike Fisher a prominent member of the Aipac board, threatened to “suspend” all further financial support for Israel. Daniel Gordis, a leading voice for Conservative Judaism, urged American Jews to cancel their El al tickets and fly Delta or United. He also proposed “withholding donations to Israeli hospitals, so that ‘They start running out of money’ and ‘begin to falter.'” This sort of emotional response is reminiscent of the temper tantrum outgoing President Barak Obama engaged in when he refused to veto the UN’s recent anti-Israel resolution. I strongly disagree both with the Israeli government’s capitulation to the minority of ultra-Orthodox Jews, who wield far too much influence in Israeli politics, and with the proposals to cut back on support for Israel by some of my fellow critics of the Israeli government’s recent decisions with regard to religion. I strongly support greater separation between religion and state in Israel, as Theodor Herzl outlined in his plan for the nation-state of the Jewish People in Der Judenstaat 120 years ago: “We shall . . . prevent any theocratic tendencies from coming to the fore on the part of our priesthood. We shall keep our priests [by which is meant Rabbis] within the confines of heir temples.” It was David Ben Gurion, Israel’s founding Prime Minister, who made the deal with the Orthodox Rabbinate that violated Herzl’s mandate and knocked down the wall of separation between religion and state. He allocated to the Chief Rabbinate authority over many secular matters, such as marriage, divorce and child custody. He also laid the ground work for the creation of religious parties that have been a necessary part of most Israeli coalitions for many years. So don’t blame Israel’s current Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, for the recent capitulation. His government’s survival depends on his unholy alliance with allegedly holy parties that threaten to leave the coalition and bring down his government unless he capitulated. The alternative to a Netanyahu government might well be far to the right of the current government, both on religious matters and on prospects for peace. Reasonable people may disagree as to whether Netanyahu did the right thing, but I believe that given the choice between the current government and what may well replace it, PM Netanyahu acted on acceptable priorities. This is not to say that I am happy with the end result. As a post-denominational Jew, I want to see a part of the Western Wall opened to conservative and reform prayer. I also want to see conservative and reform and modern orthodox rabbis deemed fully competent to perform rituals including marriage and divorce. I will continue to fight for these outcomes, and I think we will ultimately be successful. But in the meantime, I will also continue to fly El Al, contribute to Israeli hospitals, attend APAC events, and encourage Americans to support Israel, both politically and financially. To do otherwise is to engage in a form of BDS the tactic currently employed by Israel’s enemies to delegitimate the Nation state of the Jewish people. Supporters of BDS will point to these benign boycotts as a way of justifying their malignant ones. If BDS is an immoral tactic, as it surely is, so too is punishing the people of Israel for the failure of its government to be fully inclusive of Jews who do not align themselves with the ultra-Orthodox. Tough love may be an appropriate response in family matters, but boycotting a troubled nation which has become a pariah among the hard-left is not the appropriate response to the Israeli government’s recent decisions regarding religion. The answer is not disengagement, but rather greater engagement with Israel on matters that involve world Jewry. I, too, am furious about the arrogant and destructive threats of the ultra-Orthodox parties in the current government. I, too, would prefer to see a coalition that excluded the ultra-Orthodox parties. I, too, would like to see a high wall of separation that kept the Rabbi’s out of politics. But I do not live in Israel, and Israel is a democracy. Ultimately it is up to the citizens of Israel to change the current system. The role of American Jews is limited to persuasion, not coercion. In the end, we will be successful in persuading the Israeli people to take the power of religious, coercion out of the hands of the ultra-Orthodox minority because that would not only be good for secular Israelis who are a majority but also for religious Israelis. History has proved that separation of state from religion is better not only for the state, but also for religion. This article was originally published by Gatestone Institute. You can follow Alan Dershowitz on Twitter (@AlanDersh) and Facebook (AlanMDershowitz). Professor Alan Dershowitz is the author of “Taking the Stand: My Life in the Law” and most recently, “Electile Dysfunction: A Guide for Unaroused Voters.” Read more reports from Alan M. Dershowitz Click Here Now. 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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August 19, 2017   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

Artists boycott Israel sponsored festival in Germany – Middle East Monitor

Four artists have cancelled their scheduled performances at an international festival in Berlin citing the festivals partnership with the Israeli embassy and their support for the Palestinian call for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The Pop-Kultur festival, which is due to take place in Berlin next week, is an annual event that attracts thousands of visitors. While the two-day event also boasts over 30 sponsors including several internationally recognised brands, Israel appears to be the only foreign country taking a keen interest. Tunisian singer-songwriter Emel Mathlouthi, one of the four to cancel their performance, said in a statement posted on Facebook yesterday that she was looking forward to playing until [I] realised the festival was sponsored by Israeli embassy. The musician went on to say: As things get tougher inside and outside Palestine, what each one of us can always do is show solidarity and empathy, as artists it starts by being true and faithful. Announcing their cancellation, the Egyptian group Islam Chipsy said on Monday that they had cancelled their performance because of the participation of the Israeli embassy. The group posted on Facebook that they wanted to make it clear that their music seeks to resist violence, persecution and discrimination of any kind against each other. Mohammad Abu Hajar of the Mazzaj Rap Band, who was previously jailed in Syria for his activism, explained why his group had cancelled its appearance last week: It did not take us a minute to know what we had to do; we will not participate in a festival that accepts the partnership with an embassy representing a state and a government led by right-wing party Likud and Netanyahu which openly declared on many different occasions anti-Arab, anti-Muslim and anti-Black attitudes. Given this and its perpetration of all previous governments colonial behaviour, we understand the partnership with an embassy as an attempt to whitewash the image of its government and an endorsement of its behaviour. Read:Palestinians protest Radioheads support for apartheid Israel Abu Hajar went on to say that the festival cannot achieve its stated aim of bringing artists from different backgrounds together on one stage under such conditions. Our stand is not against a culture, but resistance against a discriminatory, colonial government, he added. It is not merely an opinion that we disagree with, but a whole set of oppressive structures, manifesting themselves in the policies of the Israeli state. Syrian DJ and producer Hello Psychaleppo, the third artist to cancel, said on Monday that at the time he agreed to take part in the festival over a couple of months ago, he was not aware that the Israeli embassy was amongst the sponsors of the event. The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) welcomed the cancellations saying in a statement released yesterday: [PACBI] salutes the artists who have cancelled their participation in Pop-Kultur to protest Israels sponsorship. As in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, a regime of oppression and racism should never be welcomed in cultural spaces claiming to advocate for openness, inclusion and human rights. PACBI, a founding member of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) National Committee, went on to condemn Pop-Kulturs acceptance of Israels sponsorship describing the decision as a conscious act of complicity in whitewashing Israels regime of occupation and apartheid. Pop-Kultur responded to the string of cancellations in a statement yesterday to confirm that the four artists had cancelled their performances at this years festival due to its partnership with the Israeli embassy. They also confirmed that the Israeli embassy partly contributes to the travel expenses for artists performing at the festival. Meanwhile, Artists for Palestine UK (APUK) published an open letter addressed to UK musicians scheduled to perform at Pop-Kultur calling on them to withdraw from the event. When you signed up to play Berlin Pop-Kultur, you possibly didnt know that the Israeli embassy in Germany was a sponsor. Maybe you also dont know that Palestinian civil society, living under Israeli military occupation or in exile, is appealing to artists not to take part in events sponsored by the state of Israel, in solidarity with the Palestinians long struggle for rights and freedom. But now that you do know, will you follow the example of the musicians who have withdrawn from Pop-Kultur in the past few days? APUK, whose pledge to uphold the cultural boycott of Israel has been signed by more than 1,200 UK artists continued: You have the power to tell the Palestinians they are not alone under occupation and in exile. Please use your power. Please withdraw from Berlin Pop-Kultur. Pop-Kultur is one of several cultural festivals which the Israeli embassy has been keen to support. The Edinburgh Fringe, one of the UKs major festivals, also partnered with the Israeli embassy. Critics say that under the banner of coexistence and cultural cooperation Israel is trying to whitewash its brutal occupation of Palestine and the long list of human rights abuses committed by its occupying forces against the Palestinians.

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August 16, 2017   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

Clarity on Israel Anti-Boycott Act – HuffPost

The Israel Anti-Boycott Act was introduced to reinforce bipartisan consensus that boycotting Israel is inimical to U.S. foreign policy interests. The Act simply extends existing U.S. law prohibiting participation in boycotts led by foreign governments against Israel to include boycotts led by international governmental organizations such as the United Nations and the European Union. The Act should hardly be controversial; the current law passed in 1977. Yet three objections have been raised: that the new law would infringe on free speech, that the new law is confusingly written, and that the new law extends the prohibition to goods manufactured in the West Bank. The American Civil Liberties Union believes that the law unconstitutionally impairs free speech, but the ACLU is wrong. Both this bill and existing law prohibit specific commercial conduct, not free speech. Any person and any company is free to boycott Israel and to advocate for boycotts of Israel under current law and the proposed law. But cooperation with foreign governments, and under the new law, with international governmental organizations, is prohibited. The same conduct that would be prohibited if done independently of a foreign government is prohibited if done at the behest of a foreign government. Intent matters; intent is a common element of criminal conduct, including hate crimes. The current prohibition against cooperating with foreign governments to boycott Israel has withstood First Amendment challenges, and so has hate crime legislation. If current law is constitutional, then so is the proposed law. Some have argued that the new law is hard to understand because it includes numerous cross-references, deletions, and additions. But that is how laws are written, and how they have to be written to fit into existing statutory framework. To suggest that the law was written this way to make it hard to follow reflects either disingenuity or ignorance of the legislative process. Aside from the sloppiness of its legal analysis, perhaps the most disturbing part of the ACLUs position is its benign description of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, which is a close paraphrase from the description on the BDS website. The BDS movement seeks to delegitimize Israel and advocates for policies that would effectively eliminate Israel as a Jewish state. One would have thought that intellectual honesty would have compelled the ACLU to at least mention the bipartisan concerns about BDS that motivated the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, but one would have been wrong. The proposed legislation covers boycotts of goods manufactured on the West Bank. But one can vigorously support a two-state solution and see settlements as an obstacle to peace, as I do, and still understand why boycotts of the West Bank are counterproductive. In practice, boycotts of West Bank goods will hurt Israelis and Palestinians on both sides of the green line. More important, those who advocate boycotting West Bank goods assume that all that is needed to reach a two-state solution is pressure on Israel. Jews and Palestinians are two peoples, each with claims to all of Israel and all of the West Bank. A two-state solution will require both Jews and Palestinians to relinquish their claims to land that they believe is rightfully theirs. Peace will only occur when both sides recognize and act on this reality. Putting pressure only on Israel, as if Israel can unilaterally solve this problem, will only stiffen Israeli resistance and encourage Palestinian intransigence. The path to peace lies in bringing the two sides together and building trust, not in pressuring only one side, as if only that side is wrong and as if that side can act without a partner willing to reciprocate. And yet under the proposed legislation, any American would be free to advocate for and participate in just such a boycott. All that would be prohibited is commercial conduct in compliance with foreign-organized boycotts of Israel. By including within its purview the West Bank, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act does not legitimize West Bank settlements or represent a change in U.S. policy; the bill itself provides that it shall not be construed to alter the established policy of the United States or to establish new United States policy concerning final status issues associated with the Arab-Israeli conflict, including border delineation, that can only be resolved through direct negotiations between the parties. One can legitimately ask if the proposed legislation could be drafted more clearly or to what extent it responds to a real threat. Those issues can and should be debated in Congress. But the progressive and peace communities should not oppose this bill based on the specious grounds that have thus far been advanced. The Morning Email Wake up to the day’s most important news.

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August 13, 2017   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters calls on musicians to boycott … – Zee News

New Delhi: Co- founder of the famous rock band ‘Pink Floyd’- Roger Waters, in an interview in Washington DCon Wednesdaycalled out to his fellow musicians for not abiding by the cultural boycott on Israel, Press TV reported. Here is the Twitter post by Press TV: Pink Floyd co-founder, Roger Waters calls on fellow musicians to boycott Israel pic.twitter.com/KXiwqfWlzB Press TV (@PressTV) August 10, 2017 Roger Waters said: ‘Tom Yorke is wrong about not endorsing the policies of the Israeli govt by playing there. Spokespersons of that govt have said how excited they are that this is the next thing that’s happened for their Hasbara, which is explaining to the rest of the world what a wonderful and precious democracy Israel is. And willy- nilly when they cross the picket line, they are making a public statement that they DO endorse the policies of the government, whatever they say because that’s what would be reported in Israel and that is what gets reported around the world. That is why Radiohead are being so soundly criticized by anybody with progressive ideas about human rights.’ ‘Civil soc in Palestine in 2005 started the PDS movement themselves. This isn’t something imposed by a bunch of foreign rock musicians. This is something that they started and they have made an appeal to all artists, writers, musicians, actors, directors, anybody in the rest of the world to observe the picket line which they have drawn and to ask us to observe a cultural boycott of the country. ‘

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August 10, 2017   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

NC’s Right Move On Israel – The Daily Record (registration)

North Carolina taxpayers will no longer be forced to support corporate boycotts of the United States strongest Mideast ally and the only true democracy in the region. Gov. Roy Cooper has signed House Bill 161, which will eliminate state pension plan investments from companies and groups participating in the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to exert economic pressure on Israel to withdraw from territory it seized during the 1967 Six-Day War. The Democratic governor is taking flak from his left flank, as self-styled social justice organizations are apoplectic over the legislation that will take effect Oct. 1. In a joint statement, 20 groups including Jewish Voice for Peace, the Muslim American Public Affairs Council and the N.C. Council of Churches called the bill a repressive tactic of silencing free speech and prohibiting protest. The hand-wringing is naked hypocrisy. North Carolina isnt squelching anyones free speech; its employing the exact same tactic as businesses in the BDS movement voting with its wallet. Private groups have every right to choose how they will and wont invest their money. If a majority of a company, charity or churchs membership believes the state of Israel is committing human rights abuses against the Palestinian people, it naturally follows that the organization would decline to enrich Israeli interests with the cash in its investment portfolio. Local, state and national governments enjoy the same right. With taxpayer money being invested, its wise to prevent North Carolinas pension plan from being used to make divisive political statements that are supported by neither the voters nor their elected representatives. Rep. Stephen Ross, R-Alamance, introduced the bipartisan bill. His co-sponsors include Rep. Jeff Collins, R-Nash; Rep. Ken Goodman, DRichmond; Rep. Jason Saine, R-Lincoln; and Rep. Michael Wray, D-Halifax. Today is a significant day for North Carolina, Ross told his hometown newspaper, the Times-News of Burlington. Its important for our state to stand with Israel against boycotts that threaten Israels sovereignty. This bill protects North Carolinas economy from efforts to restrict trade and affirms our states economic commitments to Israel. At the end of the day, this bill is less about Israel than it is about economic freedom. Corporations and governments vote with their wallets every day, as do individuals. On the personal level, its known as ethical consumerism. Our decisions on how to use our purchasing power should be guided by information on the causes favored by those with whom we transact business. Supporters of the BDS movement are disingenuous in their criticism of House Bill 161. Their argument is self-defeating. Boycotting those who boycott Israel is merely applying the same economic pressure they exert, but in reverse. Turnabout, after all, is fair play. The Wilson Times comments

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August 10, 2017   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed


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