Newsletter Archive:.
  June 2014  

Presbyterians Vote to Divest Holdings to Pressure Israel

After passionate debate over how best to help break the deadlock between Israel and the Palestinians, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted on Friday at its general convention to divest from three companies that it says supply Israel with equipment used in the occupation of Palestinian territory.

The vote, by a count of 310 to 303, was watched closely in Washington and Jerusalem and by Palestinians as a sign of momentum for a movement to pressure Israel to stop building settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and to end the occupation.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), one of a handful of historic mainline Protestant denominations and the church of many American presidents, is the largest yet to endorse divestment at a churchwide convention, and the vote follows a decade of debate — and a close call at the assembly two years ago, when divestment failed by only two votes. 


What the MLA vote showed: Israel is losing the battle for liberal support

North America’s largest association of scholars in the humanities, the Modern Language Association, announced the results of its membership ballot on Resolution 2014-1. The resolution gained the support of an overwhelming majority, 1560 of the 2623 votes actually cast.


Human Rights Groups Accuse NBC of Deceit About DIG Filming Locations

 Human rights groups are accusing NBC of complicity in Israel’s violations of international law and human rights by filming its new series DIG in occupied East Jerusalem, after clearly stating that they would not do so.

G4S "to end" Israel prison contracts as pressure mounts over torture complicity

 British-Danish multinational security and prison profiteering firm G4S is to pull out of Israeli prisons completely.  The news comes after a number of well-known artists, activists and politicians publicly called on G4S to end its complicity in Israel’s abuse of child prisoners.


PACBI Editorial 

Israel must be held accountable for its collective punishment of Palestinians

 (This month, PACBI offers a press release by the BDS National Committee (BNC) in lieu of our regular editorial)

Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activists are urging governments and international civil society to take action to hold Israel to account for its continued collective punishment of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza following the disappearance and death of three Israeli settlers.

Zaid Shuaibi, a spokesperson for the Palestinian BDS National Committee, the civil society coalition that leads and supports the BDS movement, said:

 “Israel’s on-going actions are designed to terrorise Palestinians and constitute collective punishment. Military violence, collective punishment and the deliberate targeting of civilians are endemic to Israel’s of decades old system of occupation, colonisation and apartheid.”

 Samia Botmeh, a professor at Birzeit University and a steering committee member with the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, said:

 “Israel’s latest violations against Palestinian universities are part of its long history of oppression aimed at Palestinian education. Closure of universities for periods stretching to years, murder and detention of students and professors, destruction of universities’ properties and labs as well as the banning of lists of books have been Israel’s systematic policies targeting Palestinian education.”

 “It must be emphasized that throughout the decades of oppression, no Israeli university or association of Israeli academics has ever protested the sustained assaults on Palestinian universities.  It is essential to intensify all forms of BDS, including the academic and cultural boycott, until Israel ends its violations of Palestinian rights.”


Over 100 Artists and Intellectuals Call for Withdrawal from Creative Time Exhibition

The call is based on the grounds that the exhibition is currently showing at an institution with a “central role in maintaining the unjust and illegal occupation of Palestine.”



Anthropologists Should Embrace BDS

Endorsing an academic boycott is a moral obligation for anthropologists in particular; and a BDS resolution would be consistent with past and current AAA statements and policies.


USACBI condemns Israeli attacks on Palestinian universities

This is the sort of assault on Palestinian education that led the American Studies Association (and other scholarly groups) to endorse the academic boycott of Israel.

  Risala in Arabic means mission, message or letter