An official political blacklist. Yes, it’s really 2016.

The shift has been underway for years now: opponents of Palestinian human rights have de-emphasized actual debate about Israeli policies. Nowhere is this more clear than among those who oppose the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

Don’t get me wrong, they still try to slander Palestinian human rights activists as inherently anti-Semitic and wipe away increasingly shocking right-wing rhetoric from Israeli leaders. But they are rapidly shifting focus. Now, they are zeroing in on our most important tool: principled popular protest. In 2016 alone, more than 20 states have floated bills attacking the basic right to boycott.

On June 5, 2016, New York Governor Anthony Cuomo took this McCarthyite trend to a whole new level. He penned an executive order requiring New York state agencies to divest from businesses that respect the BDS call, and created an official blacklist of organizations that support the BDS movement.

These are all signs that we are actually gaining ground. Why this executive order? Because a legislative version failed. Why anti-BDS legislation in the first place? Because our movement is clearly gaining moral currency. Why not double-down supporting Israeli policies? Because they are increasingly obviously indefensible.

And that perfectly illustrates where things stand right now movement-wide. Fundamentally, we are pushing public opinion forward. But as we do, we better get used to fending off increasingly extreme, anti-democratic counter-attacks.

Ultimately, we should feel cautiously optimistic that the courts will throw this order out. But right now, we’re fighting. In Manhattan. In Albany. Even at Cuomo’s Westchester home. Eight JVP chapters are taking action, supporting a coalition that includes nearly every Palestinian human rights organization in the state – and heavy hitters in the civil liberties world, including the New York Civil Liberties Union.

Moreover, we have the media’s attention, with a presence in The New York Daily News, The Washington Post and The New York Times.

What happens in New York is going to determine whether or not these executive orders roll out nationally. So far, we’ve created a far greater political cost than Cuomo or his advisors anticipated.

Will that be enough to convince other Governors to step back? Only time will tell.



Deadly-Exchange-Both-Mockup-Social

GET THE DEADLY EXCHANGE REPORT

Researching the American Israeli Alliance and Jewish Voice for Peace’s report reveals the extent of massive training programs between U.S. law enforcement and Israeli police, military, and the Shin Bet.

End the Deadly Exchange

When US law enforcement trade tactics with the Israeli police and military, Israel deepens its military occupation and the US heightens its violence of policing.

Write to dareen tatour

Just weeks ago Dareen Tatour, a young Palestinian, walked through the gates of the prison where she’ll spend the next five months – for writing a poem. This absurd criminalization of her poetry could not be a clearer demonstration of the repression Palestinian cultural voices face.

Senators: Investigate Israeli Violence!

No one should be killed for taking part in a peaceful protest. It’s up to us to call on progressive Senators to investigate Israel’s massacre in Gaza that killed over 100 Palestinians wounded 12,000 others.

Huge Palestinian march with text overlaid reading "support the #greatreturnmarch"

Booking.com: Tell the Truth

Days ago, Booking.com bowed to pro-Israel activists and started describing all of Jerusalem as a “city in Israel” – literally erasing Palestinian East Jerusalem. Let’s get Booking.com to tell the truth: East Jerusalem is occupied territory.

bds movement NOMINATED FOR nobel prize

Norwegian MP Bjørnar Moxnes has nominated the Palestinian-led movement for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions for the Nobel Peace Prize!