This Thursday, Jan. 28th, Michael Douglas and Natan Sharnasky will be coming to Brown for a lecture devoted to combatting pro-Palestinian activists on college campuses. Brown will be the first stop of a three-part tour. The Jewish Agency for Israel will be funding the tour as part of a massive push made by the Israeli government to institute a ‘hasbara’ (propaganda) campaign on US college campuses. The Jewish Agency has been the primary vehicle for colonizing the land of Palestine for the last century. It has been involved with land expropriation and massive settler immigration as part of an ethnic cleansing campaign intended to clear the land of Palestinians.
In 2005, Palestinian Civil Society issued a Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) call, intended to nonviolently combat the ongoing Israeli colonization, occupation and apartheid. The BDS movement has been gaining strength especially over the past few years through a range of tactics from academic and cultural boycott to divesting from Israeli corporations. In 2013, the Jewish Agency for Israel released a report stating that their efforts to combat BDS had failed, and thus they laid out a plan to fight the movement like never before. The Israeli government, under Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration pledged a 100 million dollars and individual donors pledged another 200 million dollars.
This event is part of a tactic to claim that the BDS movement is anti-Semitic and threatening to Jewish students. This is the primary reason that Hillel has organized this lecture, as part of their agenda to fight BDS in all its forms. They have accepted money directly from the Israeli government for this cause. We as Students for Justice in Palestine refuse the label of anti-Semitism, knowing that BDS is a movement intended to thwart the ongoing colonization of Palestine. We refuse to allow speakers to conflate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, and strongly condemn propagandists to speak on our campus, just like Sgt. Benjamin Anthony of Our Soldiers Speak whom Hillel brought to defend war crimes in 2014.
On Thursday, Jan. 28th we will be hosting a rally to protest the lecture outside of Salomon at 7pm. We urge all members of the Brown community to boycott this event and join us in protest against this whitewashing of apartheid.
We believe that the call is stronger than ever to support the Palestinian pursuit of liberation, including the BDS movement.
We believe that the call is stronger than ever in light of the slayings of Palestinians over the past few months by Israeli occupation forces.
We believe that the call is stronger than ever as people of conscience throughout the world form critical links of solidarity with Palestinians, noting especially Afro-Palestinian solidarity, which has begun to recognize that the same systems of mass incarceration and structural violence are at work in this US empire and in Palestine.
Join us as we speak out against this racism.
Students for Justice in Palestine