By Phan Nguyen, Jan 5 2015, Mondoweiss
Following the controversial termination of Steven Salaita’s hiring at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), the university’s Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure (CAFT) initiated an investigation into whether the termination violated the university’s statutes and bylaws and academic freedom.
The CAFT issued its findings and recommendations in a report on December 23, accusing the administration and board of trustees of violating shared governance and academic freedom, and calling on the university to reconsider Salaita’s application and financially compensate him for his unjust termination.
This is the first of two articles exploring elements of the CAFT report. In this first article, I demonstrate how Salaita’s critics—the same ones who misrepresented Salaita’s tweets—are now misrepresenting the CAFT report.
In particular, I focus on the claims made by two prominent critics of Salaita: William Jacobson, who is the editor of the Tea Party Zionist blog Legal Insurrection, and Liel Leibovitz, senior writer for Tablet magazine. Continue reading
Neil censors video exposing the Palestinian reality behind his scheduled concert in Israel
Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign
For immediate release: July 7, 2014
Neil Young has claimed copyright infringement forcing Youtube to remove the video entitled “Neil Young – Honour the Boycott” criticizing Neil’s scheduled concert in Israel on July 17. The censored video mashup is part of a campaign calling on Neil to honour the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of Israel and cancel his concert in Tel Aviv. The censored youtube link now leads to a blank video with the statement “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Neil Young.”
The censored video – NOW AVAILABLE ON VIMEO – legally incorporates copyrighted material on the basis of “Fair Use” and strictly follows the “Online Video Best Practices for Fair Use” that is linked from the Youtube copyright fair use page.
Posted in Other Campaigns
To Dr. Alan Wildeman, President & Vice-Chancellor, University of Windsor
I am writing to tell you how dismayed I am by your attempt to have the student union on your campus suppress the results of a student referendum in which a substantial majority voted to support the international campaign of boycott, divestment, and sanctions that seeks, through peaceful means, to induce the state of Israel to comply with international law and end its oppression of the Palestinians.
I believe that the position you have taken violates the principle of academic freedom–which I regard as being not just a privilege to which tenured academics lay claim, but a foundational principle of the university, and something to be protected for all members of the university community. Of course, a commitment to academic freedom implies at the same time a commitment to civil, humane, and rational discourse, whose goal might be described, in the simplest terms, as one of determining truths (to the best of our abilities) and disseminating them. Continue reading
By Tyler Levitan, Mondoweiss March 13, 2014
In a historic victory for the BDS movement in Canada, the University of Windsor undergraduate students voted in a campus-wide referendum to endorse the BDS movement, and to push for university divestment from companies that are complicit in Israel’s systematic violations of international law. The University of Windsor Palestinian Solidarity Group (PSG) carefully followed the protocols in place for this referendum, having had their question vetted and approved by the University of Windsor Student Alliance (UWSA) lawyer, and having met with the university’s president, Alan Wildeman, in advance of the referendum. Over 10% (which is quorum) of voters cast their vote, with 798 out of 1393 votes in favour of divestment.
Why, then, has there been so much pressure from the university’s administration to prevent a ratification of the results? President Wildeman wrote a letter to students following the BDS victory indicating that several complaints about the process of the referendum required an investigation from the administration into its validity. Wildeman has also attended a recent UWSA meeting with the goal of preventing the UWSA from performing its duties by ratifying the referendum results. The undergraduate referendum does not fall within the purview of the administration. The UWSA has autonomous mechanisms in its by-laws that deal with appeals. There have been other “controversial” UWSA referendums that have not seen any interference from the administration. So why are they interfering with this one? Continue reading
Palestinian Solidarity Group BDS Referendum Statement
The University of Windsor Palestinian Solidarity Group (PSG) would like to clear up the misinformation that’s been spread by the media in regards to the BDS referendum which was recently passed, as well as respond to the recent statements by President Alan Wildeman.
Many have falsely claimed the referendum was on a “boycott of Israel” or of companies which “support or are from Israel.” Various other inaccuracies in the coverage show how easy it is to get away with complete fabrications when it comes to Palestinian human rights activism.
Almost nowhere in the media coverage has the actual referendum question been presented. In actuality, the referendum question asks the UWSA to participate in BDS by simply divesting from “companies that support or profit from Israeli war crimes, occupation and oppression,” which is following the BDS approach of the United Church of Canada, CUPE Ontario, and the many other student unions who have passed BDS. Continue reading
Committee to Stop FBI Repression, Oct 22, 2013
A Palestinian woman, Rasmieh Odeh, was arrested at her home this morning, Oct. 22, by agents of the Department of Homeland Security.
She is charged with immigration fraud. Allegedly, in her application for citizenship, she didn’t mention that she was arrested in Palestine 45 years ago by an Israeli military court that detains Palestinians without charge – a court that has over 200 children in prison today and does not recognize the rights of Palestinians to due process.
The arrest today appears to be related to the case of the 23 anti-war activists subpoenaed to a grand jury in 2010. Well-known labor, community and international solidarity activists around the Midwest had their homes raided by the FBI when the U.S. attorney alleged that they had provided material support to foreign terrorist organizations in Palestine and Colombia. Continue reading
Marty Roth, MondoWeiss, October 16, 2013
In October, 2013, ten ads went up in Vancouver transit stations depicting loss of Jewish land in the middle east since 1000 BCE. It turns out that in that time Jewish land had shrunk by a factor of five or so. These advertisements were responding to ads put up in transit stations and on sides of buses over a month before by the Palestine Awareness Coalition. PAC had the more modest aim of showing Palestinian loss of land only since 1946, which ended in a small continuous patch called Gaza and specks of discontinuous territory in the West Bank.
The response ads were put up by a group called StandWithUs which bills itself as “supporting Israel around the world.” The organization had previously countered pro-Palestinian advertising in Denver, Houston, Helena, Missoula and elsewhere. “A combination of anti-Israel groups pretend to be pro-Palestinian,” StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein said. “The bottom line is they don’t want an Israel. They want Israel to be gone.” Continue reading
When the state of a country comprehensively and secretly, in violation of it’s own laws, monitors the private communications of its citizens; when an employee of that state reveals this illegal practice and that state then pursues him with the aim of subjecting him to a rigged trial, imprisonment and silencing; then those who uphold the democratic right of freedom of expression have the responsibility to defend the persecuted against this injustice. In this spirit, the Seriously Free Speech Committee expresses its deepest respect and most profound best wishes to Edward Snowden.
Oh, and the direct connection with trying to silence critics of Israeli policies and practices? According to The Guardian, 11 September 2013: “The National Security Agency routinely shares raw intelligence data with Israel without first sifting it to remove information about US citizens, a top-secret document provided to the Guardian by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals. Details of the intelligence-sharing agreement are laid out in a memorandum of understanding between the NSA and its Israeli counterpart that shows the US government handed over intercepted communications likely to contain phone calls and emails of American citizens. The agreement places no legally binding limits on the use of the data by the Israelis.”
The Support Edward Snowden facebook page can be found at: facebook.com/pages/Edward-Snowden-Support-Page
By Brian Campbell, Seriously Free Speech Committee, rabble.ca, Sept. 12, 2013
Palestinians and supporters of Palestinian human rights are constantly frustrated by the near-monopoly of the Zionist perspective in the dominant media. Most people find it difficult to learn the consequences of illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine and to hear the stories of Palestinians.
Avenues explored to increase international awareness of the Palestine situation have included Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, protests, conferences, teach-ins, web sites and alternative media. These efforts have contributed to the dramatic changes taking place in North American and European understanding of the occupation and the daily lives of Palestinians.
Using billboards and transit advertising space to present a public educational message about Palestine has been a recent tactic. Following the lead of other North American cities, Vancouver Palestine supporters bought advertising space on buses for maps depicting Disappearing Palestine. The Palestine Awareness Coalition (PAC), consisting of seven Vancouver solidarity organizations with a wide-range of political and activist orientations, purchased $15,000 worth of advertising space in one Skytrain station and on the sides of 15 buses for one month. Continue reading
Letter to the Editor of the Vancouver Sun and Vancouver Courier
Several weeks ago ads from the Transit Ad Coalition first appeared in Vancouver showing four historic maps of Israel/Palestine. Since that time there have been a variety of critical responses emanating from various Zionist organizations and from some journalists across the country. However, nothing compares to the outrageous and libelous comments printed in Thursday’s Vancouver Sun and the scandalous lack of research displayed in Allen Garr’s column in Friday’s Courier. Continue reading