One of the core areas of IJAN’s work is strategic defense against backlash. Over the years, IJAN has worked in partnership with a variety of organizations trying to defend themselves, their communities, or their campaigns from backlash. In the U.S., IJAN has been working with students, faculty, activists, and lawyers to create a national network for strategic defense. Our recently released report, “The Business of Backlash: The Attack on Palestinian and Other Social Justice Movements” outlines the forces behind much of the backlash we face as well as who funds them.
IJAN has recently been working with students, faculty, activists, and lawyers from around the U.S. to create a national network for strategic defense. Our hope is that this network will be able to serve as a conduit for mobilizing our organizations, communities, and movements when rapid and strategic response to backlash is needed, whether on or off campus. Our recently released report, The Business of Backlash: The Attack on Palestinian and Other Social Justice Movements, similarly aims to offer information and analysis of the interests and funding behind backlash, the tactics these forces employ, and some of the implications for movement-building.
We jointhe National Lawyers Guild in expressing support for the UN Special Rapporteur,Richard Falk, in his statement on the need for the U.S. to examine its foreignpolicy.
Dr. Falk,in an editorial in Foreign Policy Journal titled "A Commentary on the Marathon Murders," appealedfor the U.S. to be self-critical and examine the effects of "irresponsible andunlawful warfare [as the] centerpiece of American foreign policy." He listssome of the more egregious actions of the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,including Abu Ghraib, drone attacks, torture, and rendition and says: "TheAmerican global domination project is bound to generate all kinds of resistancein the post-colonial world. In some respects, the United States has beenfortunate not to experience worse blowbacks…" Dr. Falk continues the essay withdiscussion of Barack Obama’s abandonment of the Palestinians and anyinvolvement in bringing about a just peace. Obama’s recent visit to Israel,says Falk, was a "love letter to the Israeli public" and "obsequious diplomacy"rather than a serious attempt at achieving justice.
La Red Judía Antisionista Internacional (IJAN) en Argentina trabaja en conjunto con la Federación de Entidades Argentino Palestinas (FEDERPAL) para la promoción en Argentina de la campaña por el Boicot, Desinversión y Sanciones (BDS) contra el apartheid israelí y para la realización del Tribunal Ético contra la Ocupación y el Colonialismo por Israel en Palestina. Las instituciones sionistas, en particular el Centro Simon Wiesenthal (que posee una de sus sucursales en Argentina), presionó al gobierno argentino para que desistiera de la aprobación del uso de la Biblioteca Nacional para la realización del Tribunal. Como resultado de esto, y de una campaña de difamación lanzada a través de los medios de prensa, donde se intentó caracterizar al Tribunal con las tradicionales acusaciones de "antisemitismo", el tribunal tuvo que ser cancelado y reprogramado para el año 2013. La denuncia de IJAN fue publicada aqui.
A Community Speak Out and Forum was held in response to Pamela Geller’s racist ad campaign, carried on SanFrancisco municipal buses this summer. The event was hosted by theCouncil on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA), Asian Law Caucus (ALC), ArabResource & Organizing Center (AROC), and Arab Cultural & CommunityCenter (ACCC).
This community forum was intended as a space for Arabs,Muslims, and their allies to express their concerns to city officials,including the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, about the harm which hasresulted from the Geller ads and to send the message that the community willnot tolerate Islamophobia and racism. The event was standing roomonly, and those in the audience included members of municipal institutions(e.g. the Municipal Transit Authority Board, San Francisco Board ofSupervisors, San Francisco Department of Public Health) and community members,groups and organizations, such as Students for Justice in Palestine, PeopleOrganized to Win Employment Rights (POWER) and the National Lawyers Guild. Speakersincluded Dr. Hatem Bazian, Zahra Billoo, Dr. Rabab Abdulhabi, and HusamEl-Qoulaq, as well as a MUNI bus driver who refused to drive his bus with thisad on it, Arab youth, and leaders of grassroots organizations.
IJAN was asked to speak at the event and below is the text of our statement
The International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) applauds and stands behind the November decision of the Associated Students of UC Irvine to urge the university to divest from Caterpillar, General Electric Company, Hewlett Packard, Raytheon, and other companies profiting from the Israeli occupation of Palestine. This unanimous vote was the first successful effort of student governments in the U.S. to pass a resolution to hold their college or university accountable for its complicity in Israel’s ongoing colonization and occupation of Palestinians and their land. The Associated Students of UC Irvine’s decision joins the international movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it honors the full rights of all Palestinians. Modeled after the boycott movement that was instrumental in bring about the end of apartheid in South Africa, BDS is a means for civil society to demand accountability where governments and international institutions have failed to.
IJAN is a network of Jews throughout the world who work towards justice and dignity for all, and in particular for the self-determination of peoples who have been victims of colonization. The settler colonial state of Israel has been ethnically cleansing colonized and displaced Palestinians from their homes and land since the early twentieth century, and the campaign continues with ferocity today, stripping the Palestinians of their human rights with the aid of companies like G4S, Caterpillar, General Electric, SodaStream and many others. IJAN stands by the student body’s decision to divest from these corporations and rejects any attempts to undermine its historic move, whether it be by the university or any outside organization that stands in the way of justice. UC Irvine has the opportunity to be a leader and a trailblazer in demanding accountability for the continuing dispossession of Palestinians perpetrated by Israel. We fully expect the university to comply with the expressed will of its student representative body and eagerly anticipate their divestment.