Quakers Call For Israel Boycott & Divestment

Breakthrough! Quakers Spanning 3 States Call For Boycott & Divestment

Anna Baltzer, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation National Organizer, September 4th, 2013

Quakers Call for Boycott & Divestment!
Quakers call for boycott & divestment!

Exciting news! Lake Erie Yearly Meeting, a regional Quaker organization encompassing Ohio, Michigan, and Western Pennsylvania, has become the first Quaker Yearly Meeting to officially endorse boycott and divestment targeting companies complicit in the Israeli occupation. The recently adopted minute states:

“Lake Erie Yearly Meeting calls for Friends to join the boycott of products made in Israel’s illegal West Bank settlements and to divest from companies that support Israel’s military occupation and repression of the Palestinian people.”

Congratulations to member organization Palestine-Israel Action Group of Ann Arbor Friends Meeting and the many others who helped achieve this breakthrough, the latest in a string of Quaker decisions and actions in support of Palestinian rights, including (click here for a complete list):

  • Last year, the Friends Fiduciary Corporation, which manages more than 300 Quaker institutions, divested more than $1.2 million in holdings of Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard and Veolia following advocacy by Ann Arbor Friends working for Palestinian rights.
  • The American Friends Service Committee implemented a screen banning investment in 29 companies that benefit from the Israeli occupation. Earlier this year, the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) U.S. unanimously adopted the same screen!
  • Illinois Yearly Meeting, Blue River Quarterly Meeting, St. Louis Monthly Meeting and Colorado Springs Monthly Meeting all came out in support of the We Divest Campaign (check out the new website!) urging financial giant TIAA-CREF to divest from the Israeli occupation.

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Anthony Bahl Obituary

Anthony “Tony” Joseph Bahl, age 72, of Chicago, died peacefully on August 1st after a courageous battle with Mesothelioma surrounded by his daughters, Michele Bahl of Madison, WI, and Amy Lee of Chicago, and son-in-law Brendan Lee.

Tony was a dedicated high school English teacher and a steadfast social justice advocate and longtime participant at the College of the Complexes. However, most of all, he was a tremendous friend, father, and grandfather to his two grandchildren, Bella (2) and Dylan (3). Tony touched so many people by his generous and empathetic spirit.

Tony is preceded in passing by his late wife Judith (Hutensky) Bahl of Waterbury, CT. In addition to his children and grandchildren, Tony is survived by his siblings Mary Ellen (Jerry) White, Ruth Ann (Richard) Vaske, Virginia (David) Burget, Andrew (Marie) Bahl, and Kathryn (Michael) Shareck. Two sisters, Margaret and Cecilia, preceded Tony in death. A private memorial service will be held in September.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Tony’s name to Madison Rafah Sister City Project, P.O. Box 55371, Madison, WI, 53705.

Published by the Chicago Tribune Media Group on Aug. 4, 2013

It’s Kosher to Boycott Israeli Goods

Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods, July 1, 2013

An extensive list of 153 signatories from 24 different countries (below and at http://www.bdsmovement.net/2013/150-orgs-stand-french-repression-11117) have signed a solidarity message in support of French activists on trial for their BDS campaigning work.

Updates about the trial and demonstrations outside are being posted on twitter hashtag #solidariteprocesbds and on the BDSmovement.net website.

Here is the message as circulated by the Palestinian BDS National Committee.

International solidarity with French BDS activists facing repression

June 26 2013 – As more than 150 Palestine solidarity and social justice organizations from across the world, we stand in solidarity with all of the French campaigners for Palestinian rights facing legal action and repression for participating in demonstrations calling for a boycott of Israel.

French campaigners have faced criminal charges for their solidarity activity since 2009. Despite a previous ruling that advocating boycott is not illegal and should be permitted as part of the right to freedom of speech, three activists were brought to trial earlier this month in Perpignan, seven more will attend court on June 27 in Alencon and further trials will take place later this year.

In all of these cases, campaigners have been charged with “incitement, provocation to discrimination, hatred or violence against a person or group of persons, due to their ethnicity, race, religion or nation” following their participation in actions at supermarkets calling for a boycott of Israeli goods.

This misuse of anti-discrimination law is part of a wider attack on solidarity with the Palestinian people. French pro-Israel organizations are plaintiffs in many of the cases against boycott activists and have successfully pressured the French government to support repression of solidarity activity. In 2010, then justice minister Michèle Alliot Marie ordered prosecutors to press charges against boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activists. Police regularly demand the names and addresses of those present at protests calling for a boycott of Israel and Israeli intelligence agency Mossad was deployed to stop protests at a basketball match involving an Israeli team that took place in France.

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McDonald’s Israel rejects West Bank branch proposal


Burger Ranch, a rival, announced it would open a branch in Ariel “for the glory of the state of Israel”

Israelis eat at a kosher McDonald’s restaurant in Tel Aviv. Photograph: Getty Images

Harriet Sherwood in Jerusalem, The Guardian, 27 June 2013

McDonald’s has refused to open a branch in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank in a move that swiftly prompted calls from settler organisations for a boycott of its restaurants.

McDonald’s, which has 180 outlets in Israel and dominates the domestic fast-food industry, declined an offer to open a restaurant in a shopping mall under construction in Ariel, a vast settlement which juts deep inside the West Bank.

The Israeli-owned franchise rejected the invitation, citing a long-term policy not to operate across the pre-1967 green line. “This has always been the policy of Dr Omri Padan [the franchise owner],” McDonald’s said. Padan, chief executive of McDonald’s Israel, was a founding member of Peace Now, the anti-settlement organisation.

Settlers’ representatives condemned the move. “McDonald’s has turned from a business into an organisation with an anti-Israeli political agenda,” Yigal Delmonti of the Yesha Council, a settlement umbrella organisation, told the Jerusalem Post. “We expect that Israeli citizens, especially those living in Judea and Samaria [the biblical term for the West Bank], will take this into account before entering the company’s franchises.”

The mayor of Ariel, Eliyahu Shaviro, told Ma’ariv: “The decision by McDonald’s not to open a branch in the Ariel mall is an unfortunate decision that discriminates against the residents of the city.”

Aerial view of Ariel, West Bank. McDonald’s rival Burger Ranch plans to open a branch in the mall ‘for the glory of the state of Israel’. Photograph: Ariel Schalit/AP

Two members of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, Ayelet Shaked and Zvulan Kalfa of the rightwing Jewish Home party, said they would boycott the burger chain.

Burger Ranch, McDonald’s main rival, announced it would open a branch in the Ariel mall “for the glory of the state of Israel”.

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150 organizations join with BDS activists in France

US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, June 26, 2013

france-bds

USACBI is a signatory of the following statement in solidarity with BDS activists in France facing repression and criminal charges for their organizing for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.

International solidarity with French BDS activists facing repression

http://www.bdsmovement.net/2013/150-orgs-stand-french-repression-11117

June 26 2013 – As more than 150 Palestine solidarity and social justice organizations from across the world, we stand in solidarity with all of the French campaigners for Palestinian rights facing legal action and repression for participating in demonstrations calling for a boycott of Israel.

French campaigners have faced criminal charges for their solidarity activity since 2009. Despite a previous ruling that advocating boycott is not illegal and should be permitted as part of the right to freedom of speech, three activists were brought to trial earlier this month in Perpignan, seven more will attend court on June 27 in Alencon and further trials will take place later this year.

In all of these cases, campaigners have been charged with “incitement, provocation to discrimination, hatred or violence against a person or group of persons, due to their ethnicity, race, religion or nation” following their participation in actions at supermarkets calling for a boycott of Israeli goods.

>This misuse of anti-discrimination law is part of a wider attack on solidarity with the Palestinian people. French pro-Israel organizations are plaintiffs in many of the cases against boycott activists and have successfully pressured the French government to support repression of solidarity activity. In 2010, then justice minister Michèle Alliot Marie ordered prosecutors to press charges against boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activists. Police regularly demand the names and addresses of those present at protests calling for a boycott of Israel and Israeli intelligence agency Mossad was deployed to stop protests at a basketball match involving an Israeli team that took place in France.

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