Quarterly Updates for (1 Jul 2019 — 30 Sep 2019)

               There were some big wins for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement this quarter, including the labeling of settlement products in Canada. A court in Canada ruled that wine made in Israeli settlements must be labelled as such rather than “Products of Israel,” calling the mislabeling “inaccurate and misleading.”

               The supreme court of New York annulled Fordham University’s 2016 decision not to allow students to open a chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) on campus. The university decided to veto the student government’s decision to approve SJP, leading to students suing the university. The University of Illinois in Rockford tried to prevent a group called Truth Squad of Rockford from renting space available for off-campus groups because the Israeli-American pro-Palestine activist Miko Peled would be speaking. After Palestine Legal intervened, the university allowed the event to take place as Palestine Legal pointed out that it would be unconstitutional for a public entity to engage “in viewpoint or content-based discrimination.”

               The German city Aachen withdrew the Aachen Art Prize of $10,900 given to artist Walid Raad. The city’s mayor cited Raad’s support of the BDS movement. Similarly, the German city of Dortmund withdrew the Nelly Sachs award worth $17,600, given to the author Kamila Shamsie, over her support for the BDS movement. Subsequently, more than 250 writers signed an open letter criticizing the city from stripping Shamsie of the award, “punishing an author for her human rights advocacy.”

               The council of the British town Tower Hamlets refused to host a charity named the Big Ride for Palestine. According to documents obtained by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign via a freedom of information request, the council was worried that the language on the Big Ride for Palestine’s website violated the controversial International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism. (For more about the IHRA’s working definition of anti-Semitism, see the IPS publication Zionism, Israel, and Anti-Semitism: Dangerous Conflation.)

               For anti-BDS legislation, see United States.