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Posts tagged ‘free speech’

Anti-BDS bill: For Israel, the terrain is shifting unfavourably

A battle over efforts to suppress the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign has become headlines news in the United States, in the context of an ongoing federal government shutdown.

Last Thursday, the Senate failed for a second time to advance a bill that includes “The Combating BDS Act” legislation giving cover to states that penalise businesses and individuals who participate in boycotts against Israel and Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory. Read more

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Concern over Israel’s attacks on NGOs betrays anti-Palestinian racism

Two weeks ago, the Israeli cabinet gave itsapproval to proposed legislation that would “impose new regulations on Israeli non-profit groups that receive funds from foreign governments.”

The ‘Transparency Bill’ will compel NGOs that receive more than half of their funding from foreign governments to state so in all official publications, and to “provide details about that funding in any communication with elected officials.” Read more

Southampton furore marks the unravelling of hysterical Israel lobby

Earlier this week, the University of Southampton pulled the plug on a forthcoming conference about Israel and international law.

The decision to withdraw permission for the event was taken on “health and safety” grounds, but came after months of pressure by pro-Israel groups who objected to the conference’s contents. A legal challenge to the decision is now underway.

Whatever the final outcome, this story is significant for the way in which it illustrates not so much the pro-Israel lobby’s power, but its weaknesses. Read more

Israel lobby’s attack on academic freedom

For years, Israel lobby groups have slammed the Palestinians’ call for a boycott of Israeli universities as an attack on “academic freedom”. Now the mask has well and truly slipped.

Next month, the University of Southampton in the UK will hold a conference on Israel and international law to bring together “scholars from law, politics, philosophy, theology, anthropology, cultural studies history and other connected disciplines”.

However, in an unashamed attack on free speech, the university has come under increasing pressure to cancel the gathering. Read more