PUMA says it’s “complicated.” Palestinians say it’s apartheid.

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), April 13, 2022

Take action to thank Dua Lipa for standing up for Palestinian rights and urge her, as a prominent PUMA ambassador, to help convince PUMA to end complicity in Israel’s regime of apartheid.

    “These are the lives and homes of innocent people – the world needs to intervene and put a stop to this. No more ethnic cleansing!!!!!” — @dualipa

That’s what global star Dua Lipa posted to her 80M followers on Instagram last May following apartheid Israel’s escalation of violence against Indigenous Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem and elsewhere.

When smeared by right-wing, racist extremist Shmuley Boteach in a full-page ad in the New York Times, she didn’t back down.  She tweeted:

    “I stand in solidarity with all oppressed people and reject all forms of racism.” — @dualipa

Dua Lipa is a prominent PUMA ambassador. PUMA must listen to her.

As Israel once again escalates its violence against Palestinians, thank Dua Lipa for her stand and urge her to help convince PUMA to end complicity in Israel’s regime of apartheid.

Dua Lipa, help us push PUMA over to the right side of history.

PUMA is the main sponsor of the Israel Football Association, which governs and advocates for teams in illegal Israeli settlements dispossessing Palestinians. 

PUMA’s own internal memo shows its ambassadors are alarmed over its role in Israeli apartheid. But PUMA says it’s “complicated.”

Urge Dua Lipa to join Palestinians, Amnesty International and a growing consensus globally. 

Dua Lipa, Palestinians know it’s not complicated.
PUMA supports Israeli apartheid.

Dua Lipa is a vocal supporter of justice for all.

Fans at Dua Lipa’s concerts in Manchester and Dublin have urged her to take her principled stand to PUMA. 

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April 25, 2022: Wisconsin Premiere of the Film Boycott

Just Vision’s new documentary, Boycott, will have its Wisconsin Premiere at the Milwaukee Film Festival on Monday, April 25 at 5:45pm. Boycott follows the stories of a news publisher, an attorney and a speech therapist, who, when forced to choose between their jobs and their political beliefs, launch legal battles that expose an attack on freedom of speech across America.

The film traces the impact of state legislation passed in 33 states – including Wisconsin – designed to penalize individuals and companies that choose to boycott Israel due to its human rights record. A legal thriller with “accidental plaintiffs” at the center of the story, Boycott is a bracing look at the far-reaching implications of anti-boycott legislation and an inspiring tale of everyday Americans standing up to protect our rights in an age of shifting politics and threats to freedom of speech.

We call hypocrisy on PUMA

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), April 6, 2022

PUMA enacted swift measures to hold Russia accountable for its illegal weeks-long military invasion of Ukraine. Yet PUMA has been hiding behind the flimsy excuse of not getting involved in politics for years now to justify its ongoing support for Israel’s decades-long apartheid regime. Take action now to call out PUMA’s hypocrisy. 

Hypocrisy.

That’s the only way to describe PUMA’s actions.

PUMA enacted swift measures to hold Russia accountable for its illegal weeks-long military invasion of Ukraine. PUMA first ended a sponsorship contract with the Russian Basketball Federation and subsequently suspended its operations in Russia.

Yet PUMA has been hiding behind the flimsy excuse of not getting involved in politics for years now to justify its ongoing support for Israel’s decades-long apartheid regime.

Never has PUMA’s “we don’t do politics” excuse fallen flatter. Never has its hypocrisy been more exposed.

Tell PUMA: No more hypocrisy. End support for Israeli apartheid now. 
    

Puma continues to maintain its sponsorship contract with the Israel Football Association, which governs and advocates on behalf of teams in illegal settlements forcing Indigenous Palestinians off their land in the occupied Palestinian territory.

More than 200 Palestinian sports teams have called on PUMA to end its support for Israel’s military occupation. According to a leaked PUMA memo, an increasing number of PUMA’s own business partners and ambassadors are raising ethical concerns.

Take action now to call out PUMA’s hypocrisy.

Hey PUMA, now that you “do politics,” stop supporting illegal Israeli settlements
  

PUMA should take action now to end its complicity in oppression and suffering everywhere. Selective action is just another stain on its tarnished image.

In solidarity,
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)

ps: We’re planning actions ahead of the PUMA shareholders meeting in early May. Mark your calendars and please get in touch if your group would like to join.

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Global Rally Against Israeli Apartheid!

Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) Webinar
March 26th at 9AM CDT / 5PM Palestine Daylight Time

Join us for the 2022 Global Rally Against Israeli Apartheid!

On this day, we will be joined by artists from around the world centering art and culture as critical arenas of our collective resistance to Israeli apartheid and all forms of racism and oppression. From dance, to music, to poetry, the rally will highlight the critical role that culture and art play in decolonizing our minds.

Some of these artists, speakers and creatives include: Sanaa Moussa, El Funoun Dabke Troupe, Rana Nazzal, Radiodervish, Kayda Aziz, Badiaa Bouhrizi, Estefania Vega, and more!

This rally comes as part of the Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW), which over the last 18 years has propelled discussion of Israeli apartheid and organizing for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns into the popular narrative in order to help bring an end to this crime against humanity.

This year, from March to April, communities around the globe will come together to organize inspiring IAW actions and events to show that now, more than ever, we are #UnitedAgainstRacism.

Register Here!

Overview

Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) is a tool for mobilizing grassroots support on the global level for the Palestinian struggle for justice. It is a grassroots mechanism to raise awareness about Israeli apartheid and to mobilize support for strategic BDS campaigns to help bring an end to this system of oppression.

IAW provides an opportunity to network and strengthen the links between the Palestinian liberation struggle and other struggles against racism, oppression, and discrimination. In 2022, as in every year since 2005, we will once again join our voices to denounce apartheid and celebrate our diversity. This year, we plan to shed light on the role of culture, and art in particular, in decolonizing our minds in our collective struggles against cultural appropriation and oppression. From March to April, communities around the globe will come together to organize inspiring actions and events to show that now, more than ever, we are #UnitedAgainstRacism.

All Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) activities must conform to the BDS movement’s anti-racist principles and respect its affiliation guidelines.

Register Here!

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Inside the Illinois state pension board seeking to promote Israeli control over the West Bank


JB PRITZKER AND BRUCE RAUNER (ARMANDO L. SANCHEZ/CHICAGO TRIBUNE)

FRAN ZELL, MONDOWEISS, FEBRUARY 10, 2022

A coalition of Palestinian rights activists in Illinois believes it is past time to overturn the state’s anti-BDS law and do away with the small board dominated by right-wing extremists that enforces it. The Ben & Jerry’s issue was the tipping point that prompted the formation of the Illinois Coalition for Justice, Equality and Free Speech, now 20 member groups strong. It started last August when six activists attended the meeting of the Illinois Investment Policy Board (IIPB), at which the board voted unanimously and without discussion to begin the process of punishing Ben & Jerry’s for deciding to stop selling its ice cream in the West Bank and East Jerusalem settlements. 

At that meeting the IIPB agreed to send notice to parent company Unilever that its socially responsible subsidiary had 90 days to reverse course. Otherwise Illinois public pension funds would be divested from all 400 Unilever brands. And ultimately, at a crowded meeting in late December, the board finalized the punishment by adding Unilever to its “restricted” list.

The media framed it as the state of Illinois’ war on Ben & Jerry’s. But in reality it’s a war being waged by an extremist pro-Israel lobby that put both the law and the board in place, and as FOIA emails show, is now using the board to promote their agenda of establishing Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank. However, a growing number of Illinois citizens are demanding the law be overturned, and the board it created be disbanded. 

The pro-Israel ideologue behind the Illinois Investment Policy Board

The person quietly at the center of it is Richard Goldberg, a Chicago-based pro-Israel neocon. He is currently a Senior Adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a hawkish foreign policy “think tank” that according to the Jewish News Syndicate helped guide the Trump administration’s Iran strategy.

Richard Goldberg (Photo: Foundation for Defense of Democracies)
Richard Goldberg (Photo: Foundation for Defense of Democracies)

At FDD Goldberg is said to have worked behind the scenes in 2018 to kill support within the Trump administration for the Iran Nuclear Deal. He is described as the Iran hawk John Bolton brought onto the National Security Council (2019-20), where he coordinated Trump’s “maximum pressure campaign” against Tehran. According to the Jewish News Syndicate, the campaign included sanctions, military force and the assassination of Qasem Soleimani. A few days after the assassination, Goldberg left the Trump administration and returned to the FDD.

Goldberg’s latest target through FDD is the United Nations for “demonizing” Israel. He has branded  UNRWA as antisemitic and linked to terrorism and guilty of perpetuating a “myth of Palestinian refugees.” When Trump defunded UNRWA in 2018, Goldberg told AP News that it was a “‘win for U.S. taxpayers and peace’…that would make Palestinians more self-sufficient…” 

He is also the person who “spearheaded the first ever” anti-BDS law, which “sparked a nationwide initiative in state capitols around America,” as he asserts in his FDD bio.

Goldberg has remained closely associated with the Illinois Investment Policy Board since its beginnings in 2016, according to a reliable source. “He attends IIPB meetings and is involved in its operations,” the source said.  “If you want to know anything about the statute and how it is interpreted, talk to Richard Goldberg.”

Goldberg did not return a call asking for information about his involvement with the board. 

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‘I thought I was a free man’: the engineer fighting Texas’s ban on boycotting Israel

Rasmy Hassouna, a Palestinian American, is suing the state over a provision that bans him or his company from protesting Israel or its products


Rasmy Hassouna: ‘If I don’t want to buy anything at WalMart, who are you to tell me not to shop at WalMart?’ Photograph: Courtesy Rasmy Hassouna

Erum Salam, The Guardian, 7 Dec 2021

For more than two decades, Texan civil engineer Rasmy Hassouna was a contractor for the city of Houston. Hassouna has consulted the city on soil volatility in the nearby Gulf of Mexico – a much needed service to evaluate the structural stability of houses and other buildings.

He was gearing up to renew his government contract when a particular legal clause caught his eye: a provision that effectively banned him or his company, A&R Engineering and Testing, Inc, from ever protesting the nation of Israel or its products so long as his company was a partner with the city of Houston.

For Hassouna – a 59-year-old proud Palestinian American – it was a huge shock.

“I came here and thought I was a free man. It’s not anybody’s business what I do or what I say, as long as I’m not harming anybody,” he told the Guardian. “Were you lying all this time? If I don’t want to buy anything at WalMart, who are you to tell me not to shop at WalMart? Why do I have to pledge allegiance to a foreign country?”

But Hassouna’s reaction did not stop at anger. He took action, launching a case that is challenging the Texas law and – by example – similar provisions that have spread all over the US that seek to stop government contractors from boycotting Israel and can be found in more than 25 US states. Along with the Arkansas Times newspaper, A&R Engineering and Testing Inc is now one of only two companies fighting this kind of law in the nation.

Hassouna’s case – which was filed on his behalf by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) – will be heard in federal court on Tuesday and is based on the idea that such laws violate free speech. If ruled unconstitutional, the 2019 ban on boycotting Israel will be illegal in the state of Texas.

But Hassouna’s decision to sue is not without a price. It could cost him a substantial amount of his yearly revenue, his lawyer said.

“They weren’t counting on Rasmy Hassouna from Gaza, whose family has suffered so greatly. He believes that Americans have the right to boycott whatever entity, foreign or domestic, that they want to. That’s what he’s doing – putting his money where his mouth is,” said Gadeir Abbas, a senior litigation attorney for CAIR who is representing Hassouna.

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More Withdraw from the Miss Universe Pageant in Israel

Miss Universe Greece is not the only contestant who will be a no-show at the pageant which takes place in Eilat, Israel on 12 December. Contestants from Malaysia, Indonesia, and Laos have all bowed out of visiting the controversial venue. Barbados has also withdrawn, but cited COVID as the official reason…

Also, South Africa has withdrawn its support for Miss South Africa to attend, although so far she is refusing to withdraw. Nelson Mandela’s grandson has been prominently among those publicly urging a boycott, saying “nothing about Apartheid is beautiful”.

New York Times Op-ed on BDS



November 22, 2021

I’m writing to share some news: a few hours ago, The New York Times published an important op-ed by Alan Leveritt, a news publisher in Arkansas who is suing the state over its anti-boycott legislation.

Alan is also one of the protagonists of our new film, Boycott, and his article — “We’re a Small Arkansas Paper. Why Is the State Making Us Sign a Pledge About Israel?” — paints a vivid picture of the impact of legislation designed to silence voices of dissent on Israel-Palestine.

Alan is writing at a crucial time. His case is right now being reviewed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, and he’s not optimistic that the ruling will go his way.

If it doesn’t, the case will likely end up at the Supreme Court, potentially impacting not just the right to boycott Israel for its human rights record — boycott being constitutionally protected under the First Amendment — but also our right to voice dissent on a whole range of issues.

We hope you’ll share Alan’s op-ed widely. Please forward this email or share the article on social media. We just had the world premiere of Boycott at DOC NYC last week. With Alan’s case awaiting a ruling, this is a crucial time to spread the word and raise awareness about the dangers of these laws, which, to date, have largely gone underreported.

With determination,

Suhad Babaa
Executive Director & President, Just Vision
Producer, Boycott

Tell Justin Bieber to Cancel his Performance in Apartheid Israel

Pop star Justin Bieber is scheduled to perform in Israel on October 13, 2022. Sign the petition to him asking him to heed the call from Palestinian civil society to boycott, divest, and sanction Israel. Tell him to support Palestinian human rights by cancelling his show. 

Dear Justin, 

We the undersigned appeal to you to cancel your planned October 13, 2022 performance in Tel Aviv Israel. 

According to Human Rights Watch, the most respected human rights organization in the world, and B’tselem, Israel’s largest human rights organization, Israel is practicing apartheid. From the river to the sea, Israel privileges one group of people (Jews) over another group of people (Palestinians) in order to maintain Jewish Israeli control over demographics, political power, and land. To achieve this, Israel dispossesses Palestinians from their lands, demolishes Palestinian homes, subjects Palestinians to checkpoints, child imprisonment, and numerous daily humiliations and violence. The separate and unequal system that Israel imposes on Palestinians is a daily nightmare.

This fall, Israel designated six Palestinian civil society human rights organizations as “terrorist” organizations. Israel has not been able to evidence that these groups are involved in terror but nevertheless, they are continuing to persecute the groups. Employees of the organizations have been spied on by Israel who implanted spyware on their phones without their knowledge or consent. 

In the West Bank, Israel has two sets of laws for two groups of people. Israeli settlers, who live illegally on Palestinian land and frequently carry out violent attacks, are subject to Israeli civilian law while Palestinians are subject to Israeli military law. Under Israeli military law, protest is illegal and children as young as 12 are arrested and denied their basic rights. Israel is the only country in the world with a juvenile military court and it is for Palestinian children only. 

In Gaza, due to the Israeli blockade, over 50% of the population is unemployed and essential goods, like medicines and fuel are in short supply. 97% of the water in Gaza is unfit for human consumption and electricity is usually only four hours a day at most. Palestinians in Gaza are unable to leave. It’s an open-air prison. 

When you released your album Justice, faced criticism for using samples of Dr. Martin Luther King in the album’s songs. You responded to the criticism by listening and learning and admitting that you “just didn’t know better” and you hadn’t received an education in Black history during your upbringing. “I want to keep growing and learning about just all social injustices and what it looks like for me to be better,” you said. We hope you learn about the crimes Israel commits against the Palestinian people and follow the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King to stand with the oppressed.

If you choose to follow through with your performance in Tel Aviv, it will be seen as an endorsement of Israel’s brutal military occupation and disregard for Palestinian rights. Canceling your performance, on the other hand, would send a strong message that Palestinians, like all people, deserve equal rights and freedom. You would be following in the footsteps of artists like Lauryn Hill, Lorde, Natalie Portman, Lana Del Ray, and others.  We appeal to you to show solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for freedom, dignity, and equality by canceling your October 22 performance in Israel. 

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