Resist Racist Repression, Defend Solidarity with the Palestinian People: National Defense Campaign

USACBI (US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel) is launching a national defense campaign to build solidarity with the academic and cultural boycott movement and with BDS activists facing Zionist harassment and rightwing lawfare.

Since 2016, USACBI organizers have been targeted by a frivolous lawsuit filed by Zionist plaintiffs, including Kenneth Marcus of the Trump administration, and the Louis Brandeis Center. This lawfare is a retaliatory response to the historic academic boycott resolution overwhelmingly endorsed by the American Studies Association. These kinds of attacks are cynical, but well-engineered, efforts to intimidate and silence Palestine solidarity activists and the growing international BDS movement. The lawsuit is also part of the assault on First Amendment rights and scholars of conscience in the Trump era–a form of repression long used against Palestinians and their supporters that is becoming increasingly widespread.

The Brandeis Center lawsuit has many antecedents. It is part of an ongoing war, undertaken by Zionists, of racist assault, defamation, and threats to the job security and personal safety of critics of Israeli policies in recent years.  For example:

—-University of Illinois Champaign-Urban Professor Steven Salaita was fired from a tenure position after Zionists conducted an internet and letter-writing campaign accusing him of being an anti-Semite for criticizing Israel’s massive 2014 war on Gaza.

—The anonymous, online blacklist Canary Mission has attempted to smear as racist or anti-Semitic more than 1,500 students and faculty members for their support for Palestinian human rights.

—A large number of U.S. faculty and students, including Simona Shironi, Angela Davis, Robin D.G. Kelley, and many others, including countless Students for Justice in Palestine activists and contingent faculty,  have been the victims of vicious online and live campaigns accusing them of being anti-Semitic or anti-American and have lost their jobs or had their courses cancelled for their criticism of Israeli settler colonialism and apartheid.

As Zionists persist in their legal harassment and smear campaigns against USACBI members and BDS advocates, notably targeting scholars of color and indigenous activists, we refuse to be silenced! We are committed to  continuing our work in solidarity with the Palestinian people and their freedom struggle.

USACBI has called for a boycott of Study Abroad in Israel programs and for freedom of movement for Palestinians encaged by–and prevented from entering–apartheid Israel. Our work is connected to movements in the U.S., including New Sanctuary and Black Lives Matter that struggle against state violence, militarized borders, racist deportations, travel bans, and all expressions of white supremacy. Let’s work together to resist rightwing repression and censorship while advancing progressive, intersectional activism and build resistance with others!

Bay Area Event

The next event in solidarity with USACBI will take place on Sunday, October 21 from 3 pm to 5 pm at 518 Valencia St in San Francisco.

USACBI is co-sponsoring this event along with Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC), National Lawyers Guild (NLG) – Bay Area, Palestine Legal, Center for Political Education (CPE), Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) and International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN).

This event will:
– highlight the ASA lawsuit as an attack on the academic boycott and BDS movement in the context of broader right-wing and Zionist repression, including of students/GUPS activists
– build support for academic boycott organizing and the Study Abroad in Israel boycott campaign: http://usacbi.org/boycott-study-abroad-in-israel/
– connect freedom of movement across colonial borders in the US/North America and in Palestine, linking Israel’s deportations and ban on Palestinian travel to sanctuary activism and immigrant/refugee solidarity here

Speakers:

Liz Jackson (Palestine Legal) on Zionist repression in the academy
David Palumbo-Liu (USACBI) on lawfare vs USACBI and alt-right repression (including that directed against Campus Antifascist Network )
Sunaina Maira (USACBI) on boycott of Study Abroad programs
Yusra Oweis (GUPS, AROC), about repression at San Francisco State University and attacks on GUPS
Kung Feng (Bay Resistance, Jobs for Justice) on the sanctuary movement in the Bay Area
Sharif Zakout (AROC) will introduce the panel
Moderated by Sara Kershnar (IJAN)