Tag Archives: Palestine

Broad Coalition Stops Anti-Boycott Bill in Illinois


By Bill Chambers

In December 2013, the American Studies Association (ASA) , the largest association of academics devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history, passed a resolution to endorse the 2004 call from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel endorsed by the great majority of Palestinian civil society organizations. Since that vote, there has been a backlash of bills and resolutions introduced at the national and state level that condemn academic boycotts for “singling out Israel” for human rights abuses; suggest that boycott supporters are anti-Semitic; and in some cases threaten public universities with the loss of funds when their faculty support boycott activity of any kind. A broad coalition of human rights, civil rights, academics, and graduate student groups mobilized and stopped the bill and the resolution in Illinois.

Anti-Boycott Bills Threatening Academic Freedom Spread to Illinois


By Bill Chambers

In December 2013, the American Studies Association (ASA) , the largest association of academics devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history, passed a resolution to endorse the call of Palestinian civil society for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

Most Important Player in the Middle East Peace Process: The BDS Movement


By Bill Chambers

At the beginning of February, a remarkable exchange took place between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Benjamin Netanyahu when Kerry warned that Israel could find itself increasingly targeted by a boycott if it fails to reach a peace deal with the Palestinians. It isn’t important that he didn’t quite say that and Israeli government officials predictably reacted with accusations of his statements being “hurtful,” “unfair” and “intolerable”. What is important is that for the first time in a U.S. brokered Middle East peace process stretching back to the U.S. Secretary of State Rogers Plan in 1970, the U.S. actually warned of a real and tangible threat to Israel’s position and the Israeli government acknowledged the threat.

Social Media Drives BDS Movement in the U.S.


By Bill Chambers

Scarlett Johansson quit her role as global ambassador at Oxfam, a humanitarian aid organization fighting world poverty and injustice, because of a three week campaign by activists protesting her multi-year deal as “global brand ambassador” for SodaStream. SodaStream is a target of the global boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement because one of its primary manufacturing plants is in the illegal West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim about 10 minutes from Jerusalem.

Scarlett Johansson is an iconic woman (and has poor political views)


By Hadeel Hejjacm_logo-thumbnail

Interestingly, there seems to be a stigma when it comes to women in the media industry, where ideals are taken for face value and the reality is hidden underground and erased from the populations conscious. Notably, the famed “Avengers” actress Scarlet Johansson is a textbook example of this scenario. She is a prominent actress, having recently starred in the movie “Her” directed by Spike Jonze, and is recognized as beautiful. To add to her great resume, she was, until recently, a member of a humanitarian group Oxfam, who condemn any breaking of international laws, especially when those laws dealt with human rights, and specifically having a position of disagreement with illegal Israeli settlements.

When those who justify state-sponsored terrorism complain about a Palestine map on a team jersey


By Sami Kishawi (courtesy of Sixteen Minutes to Palestine)

A Chilean team’s newest kits have put the squad under pressure following accusations that the shirts, which feature a map of historic Palestine, “foment terrorist intent”.
Yes, you read that correctly. A club football team is being accused of promoting violence and terrorism because of a map on the back of its jerseys.

Selective Memory in Eulogizing Mandela and what this Means for Palestinian Resistance


By Hannah Khalidcm_logo-thumbnail


The death of Nelson Mandela, the face of the South African resistance to white colonial domination, the man who helped build a nation after a grassroots uprising against apartheid and systematic oppression, ushered in a period of mourning and a deep sense of loss in the international community. We lost one of the most important revolutionaries of our time. Someone truly devoted to the struggle for equality and justice – not only for his own people, but the freedom of Palestinian people as well.

Palestinian Arab Idol hopes to inspire unity


By Naomi Schmidtcm_logo-thumbnail

Mohammad Assaf became the first Palestinian to win Arab Idol last summer, making him a potential spokesperson for national unity.  While his musical talent has launched him into the spotlight, the 23-year-old sensation refuses to be politicized.

After winning the second season of the American Idol spin-off, massive celebrations erupted in the streets throughout his homeland, including Gaza, East Jerusalem, and Ramallah. The participants exclaimed their adorations for Assaf’s smooth voice and charming smile, but they also embody a war-torn population in need of a peaceful representative for the Palestinian cause, allowing them “to feel as one people, forgetting at least for a while their political and geographical split”.

Large influx of refugees causing unique urban issues worldwide


By Talha Fazal Ahmad 

A recent article by Murtaza Haider in the Pakistan-based publication Dawn highlighted the blight of cities in Pakistan due to their rapid, unplanned urban development and wrong-headed urbanization schemes.

November 6th marked a conference on Pakistan’s rapid urbanization courtesy of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. This conference featured the main issues facing Pakistan’s dense urban centers: rubbish-lined streets, gridlocked traffic, increasing violence, and dangerous, unsanctioned building projects.

Helen Thomas: Notes on her ringside seat to history


By Rhys Leahy

Fidel Castro once said that the difference between democracy in Cuba and democracy in the United States is that “I don’t have to answer questions from Helen Thomas.” During her 70 year career, journalist Helen Thomas was renowned for her unabashed questioning of US politics, and her remarkable tenure in the White House Press Corp, spanning ten American presidents, from Kennedy to Obama. She served as the first female president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, the first female member of the Gridiron Club, as well as the first female officer of the National Press Club.