Israel lobby efforts fail to dent campaigns for Palestinian rights in the US

Across the country, students are gearing up for another academic year and another season of campaigning for Palestinian rights. They are organising amidst expanded attacks on free speech waged by well-funded Israel lobby groups on and off campus.

State and federal lawmakers are also passing legislation aimed at suppressing or criminalizing activism related to the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign. Israel is actively encouraging such measures as it announced its own plan to root out and expel BDS activists.

Earlier this month, Israel denied entry to Charlotte Kates of the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoners Solidarity Network. Kates was travelling to accompany a delegation of European parliamentarians and lawyers in support of Bilal Kayed, who ended a 71-day hunger strike this week. She was interrogated about her activism with the BDS movement. Despite these efforts, “there’s clearly a growing consensus that the time has come to pull investments from companies that are profiting off of both the occupation and the oppression of the Palestinian people,” said Omar Zahzah, a graduate student at UCLA and a member of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP)”.

Since the beginning of 2016 alone, more than a dozen campuses around the country have passed some form of divestment resolution or boycott measure”.
Read full account in The Electronic Intifada

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