Posts Tagged ‘bds’

BDS comes to Penn

by Ahmed Moor

The past few years have seen the BDS movement electrify campus activism – a bright spot on the landscape of Palestine advocacy. The movement has enabled students around the country to engage constructively with the big moral question of our era – apartheid in Palestine. Thanks to BDS, thousand-mile expanses no longer stand in the way of direct non-violent action.

Still, the movement has some way to go before it can boast the levels of support that the South African call once enjoyed. That’s part of the reason that students at the University of Pennsylvania are organizing an on-campus BDS conference there. The two-day event will take place on the weekend of February 4th and 5th and will examine ways to strengthen campus-based activism.

As you can imagine Zionist groups have reacted badly to the news. The Jewish Exponent picked up the story, while the Israeli Foreign Ministry-affiliated Stand With Us organization has already posted a smear targeting Penn BDS on its website (see here and here for Ali Abunimah’s and Alex Kane’s posts about SWU’s fabricated quotes). Other groups have also contacted university officials in an attempt to abort the conference and silence dissenting voices.

The University – my alma mater – has been clear in its unequivocal support of Israel, but it has also emphasized its commitment to free speech. So while no moves have been made to block the conference the administration hasn’t been supportive either.

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01 2012

Prioritizing Boycott: The Right Side of History

The recent attacks by Israel on the humanitarian Flotilla is yet another signal for us, as Muslims and citizens of the United States, to hold the Israeli regime accountable for its reckless and illegal behavior. Israel has consistently prevented aid from entering Gaza, including medical supplies, cement and food. Consequently, the three-year old blockade has turned Gaza into the world’s largest “open air prison,” with an entire population being slowly starved and deprived of the most basic of necessities.

The simple yet tragic truth is that Israel acts with such disregard because of the international community’s failure to hold it responsible for its ongoing occupation and apartheid against the Palestinian people.  But that is slowly changing as more and more people around the globe have begun to question Israel’s policies, with an increasing number taking more active roles and joining local solidarity movements.

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08 2010