The author of the Harry Potter series of novels, JK Rowling, has disappointed many of her fans by signing a letter opposing a boycott of Israel. The letter, which was also signed by other British cultural figures, such as TV presenter Melvyn Bragg, popular historian Tom Holland and author Hilary Mantel, proclaims its support for what it called “an independent UK network” called Culture for Coexistence.
Members of an Australia Palestine Advocacy Network study tour in front of the Apartheid Wall in the West Bank in January last year. Photo from APAN.org.au.
Hundreds of university professors in Britain have declared a boycott of Israeli schools in an effort to draw attention to the Israeli government's many human rights offenses against Palestinians and violations of international law, TeleSUR English said on October 28. The petition, titled “A Commitment by U.K. Scholars to the Rights of Palestinians”, was printed as a full-page advertisement in the October 27 Guardian.
The city council in Iceland's capital, Reykjavík, has voted to boycott Israeli goods as long as the nation continues its illegal occupation of Palestine. The Israeli government responded by claiming it was victim of a “volcano of hatred” after the capital of Iceland decided to boycott Israeli products due to the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the ongoing atrocities committed against the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank.
BDS action in Adelaide's Rundle Mall. Adelaide may be as far from Palestine as it gets, but a dedicated group of activists have just celebrated 10 years of BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaigns. Their weekly actions in the Rundle Mall highlight what BDS has become — a growing, grassroots, global phenomenon that presents a real threat to Israeli apartheid.
The Israeli military may be flagging social media users as potential terrorists for using key words such as “boycott” or the Arabic name for Jerusalem “Al-Quds,” Israeli magazine +972 reported on July 15.
Two new global developments emphasised the growing momentum of the global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign targetting Israel. The campaign was launched in 2005 by more than 100 Palestinian civil society groups in a bid to isolate Israel over its polices of occupation and apartheid against Palestinians.
Let me be clear: I am not happy, as such, that Likud Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won Israel's March 17 elections. Netanyahu is a blood-soaked killer. He should be put on trial for his many crimes, from the relentless theft of Palestinian land to last summer’s massacre in Gaza — and I yearn to see that day.
Associate Professor Jake Lynch, a member of Sydney Staff for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), was assaulted by an elderly Zionist woman during a demonstration in support of Palestine on March 11. The assault occurred at Sydney University, during a pro-Israel talk given by Colonel Richard Kemp, a former commander of the British forces in Afghanistan and supporter of Israel. Demonstrators interrupted Kemp’s talk, targeting his support for the Israeli occupation in Palestine, chanting “Richard Kemp, you can’t hide, you support genocide.”
More than 700 creative professionals living in the Britain — including writers, visual artists, actors, musicians and many others — have signed up to a pledge to boycott collaboration with Israeli state-funded projects. The announcement marks a significant step for the British cultural boycott campaign. There have been many open letters and other statements of support for Palestine from British artists, but the pledge brings together a huge number of creatives in one coordinated effort.
"We are here today,” Professor Stuart Rees told a media conference at Queens Square on October 30, “to express our outrage that a so-called independent law centre from Israel could attempt to stamp out freedom of speech in Australia.” "We call on the mainstream media to take an objective stand on the issue of Palestinian human rights.” The gathering concerned the move by Shurat HaDin, an Israeli-based law centre, to file a case in the Federal Court against Professor Jake Lynch of the University of Sydney's Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies.
As a huge fan, I'm really disappointed to hear that, despite looking at the situation closely, Amanda Palmer has decided to cross the picket line of the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of Israel and organise a gig in Tel Aviv. I had the honour for the first time of rocking out with Palmer live for myself earlier this month.
About 50 people joined a rally at Sydney University on August 28 to show solidarity with academics Jake Lynch and Stuart Rees, who have been threatened with legal action over their strong backing for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against apartheid Israel. Lynch, Rees and the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPACS) at Sydney university are facing a legal suit by Shurat HaDin, an Israeli Law Centre.
Palestine Action Group Sydney released this statement on May 2. *** Supporters of Palestine have responded to a May 2 report in the Australian that asserted that Max Brenner Israel has no direct shares in Max Brenner Australia as irrelevant to the solidarity campaign for justice in Palestine. Palestine solidarity activists are bemused that the Australian has given front page coverage to this “scoop”. The YouTube video of the rally in question, which took place on September 21 last year, has also just been released.
About 40 protesters rallied outside the University of New South Wales main library on April 30 to oppose the planned opening of a Max Brenner chocolate store on campus, and call for UNSW to adopt the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israeli apartheid.
On February 3, Artists Against Apartheid Australia (AAPA) sent an email to the organisers of WOMADelaide 2013 with a request to reject funds it received from the Israeli embassy for the upcoming show of the Alaev Family. The call is part of the global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign, initiated by a wide range of Palestinian groups. It targets Israel in a bid to force it to abandon its apartheid policies against Palestinians.