By Cecilie Surasky, @CecilieSurasky on Twitter
A few weeks ago, Brooklyn College stood up against a tsunami of whacked out, only-in-NY extremist-Israel politics and refused to either cancel or sever ties with a planned campus talk on the nonviolent Palestinian-led human rights movement known as Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). (Pictured: Jewish Voice for Peace board member Donna Nevel at Brookyln College Students for Justice in Palestine press conference.)
So it was just a matter of time before the pro-occupation crazies came back with something else equally guaranteed to waste valuable public resources and strike fear in the hearts of cash-strapped students. Continue reading
Omar Barghouti got a “No thank you” response from the San Francisco area Jewish Community Relations Council head Rabbi Doug Kahn, the key author of recent McCarthyite Federation funding guidelines, but he did finally get his BDS debate– with well-known peacenik Rabbi Arthur Waskow–on Democracy Now. Meanwhile, here’s Barghouti’s Open Letter from Kabobfest:
by Omar Barghouti, a leader of the international movement to boycott Israel
Open Letter to Rabbi Doug Kahn
Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council
It has recently come to my attention that pending the advice of a working group of which you were a member, the Jewish Community Federation has chosen to itself boycott groups advocating a Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) program targeting Israel. As one of the founding members of the global BDS campaign, I cannot but note the irony of your use of boycott as a tool to suppress views that support the boycott against Israel. I can only conclude that you do approve of the efficacy and appropriateness of boycotts, as a non-violent form of activism and a catalyst for change, but condemn them when the change they set out to achieve is related to ending Israel’s occupation as well as its grave violations of international law and Palestinian rights.
For years, Palestinian civil society has been advocating the tool of boycotts, divestment and sanctions, or BDS, as a means of challenging Israel’s impunity and redressing the wrongs done to the Palestinian people by the violent and oppressive Israeli policies and actions. Wouldn’t you agree, given you in-principle embrace of boycotts, that this effective, non-violent form of struggle is far superior, morally speaking, to the “tactics” of white phosphorous, Walls, siege, forced displacement and apartheid?