FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
As the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) continues to grow, so have the illegal attacks against it from the Israeli government and U.S. state legislatures.
Israel has been widely condemned for building settlements on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank in violation of international law, and for violating the human rights of Palestinians. This reached new heights when the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) gunned down thousands of mostly unarmed Palestinians as they approached the fence that imprisons them in Gaza during last spring’s Nakba Day protests. (Al Jazeera, 11/12/18)
Meanwhile, Israel is waging a worldwide campaign against the free speech rights and economic freedom of ordinary U.S. citizens. At least 26 state legislatures have passed legislation similar to a bill passed in Louisiana that would “terminate existing state contracts with companies if they are currently boycotting Israel or supporting those who do.” (Jewish News Syndicate, 5/23/18)
In that regard, Airbnb has been in the headlines for daring to have instituted a policy of not publishing listings on the occupied West Bank for their travel service. These laws are now being invoked in calls to prosecute an American company for merely conducting its business — this despite the fact that Airbnb does not even support BDS. Airbnb, which claims 20,000 listings in Israel, says its policy is based on the status of the region itself, not on the status of the individuals offering rooms.
Just speaking out against Israel is also taboo.
Temple University Professor Marc Lamont Hill has been fired from CNN for condemning Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people in a UN speech in which he called for “a free Palestine from the river to the sea.” There is now a campaign afoot demanding his firing from his tenure at Temple. The charges are not that Hill violated any policy or law, but rather that “conservatives claimed to be offended, traumatized and hurt by Hill’s political views on Israel and Palestine.” (Glen Greenwald, Intercept, 11/29/18)
Green Party Speaks Out.
Green Party of the United States (GPUS) 2016 vice presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka commented on Twitter: “Benjamin Netanyahu — with the blood of hundreds of Palestinians on his hands — is an honored guest of Congress but Marc Lamont Hill is fired for reminding people that Palestinians are human with rights, including the right to self-determination and to resist. What hypocrisy!”
“We stand four-square in support of both Marc Lamont Hill and Airbnb for their stands,” states Rose Roby, co-chair of the Pinellas County local of the Green Party. “and I condemn Florida Governor-Elect Ron DeSantis’ statements Monday saying he was researching whether Airbnb’s West Bank ban puts it in violation of Florida state law.
“As a proud American Jew, I support the fact that the GPUS Platform is unequivocal in its support for the Palestinian people, including calling for ending the occupation and colonization of all Palestinian lands and dismantling the Wall in the West Bank. We support the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.
“Just as the international community’s boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaign was instrumental in ending apartheid South Africa, we believe that BDS can become one of the most effective nonviolent means for achieving justice and genuine peace between Palestinians and Israelis.”
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