Justice for Palestine: A Challenge, A Victory, and the Work Ahead


Yesterday New York Governor Cuomo signed an executive order that would punish groups involved in the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement supporting Palestinian rights. He made this shameful, anti-democratic move just before joining the Celebrate Israel parade on New York City’s Fifth Avenue. Please join us in denouncing this assault on the First Amendment and our right to boycott.

Sign the petition demanding Governor Cuomo immediately rescind executive order 157

If you are a New York State resident please also call Governor Cuomo’s office 1-518-474-8390 and tell him that you want him to rescind executive order 157. Sample script below:

I am calling to ask Governor Cuomo to immediately repeal Executive Order 157. It is unconstitutional to punish those who use boycott and divestment as a means to bring about political change. Boycotts are a constitutionally protected and time-honored nonviolent tactic to achieve social justice. 

When we started our boycott campaign against settlement profiteer Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories in 2009, Israeli officials dismissed the efforts of the BDS Movement as inconsequential. Seven years later we can see that our principled work is so effective that the Governor of New York has signed this anti-democratic and unconstitutional Executive Order. He is trying to stifle speech and to punish those using the time-honored non-violent tactic of boycott to hold Israel to account for its violations of human rights and international law. Governor Cuomo may think he can employ this bullying tactic to stop people and groups from using boycott and divestment to end Israel's occupation and its apartheid policies, but he has misread the law and underestimated our commitment to justice and equality.

Sign the petition telling Governor Cuomo to rescind order 157

Our original plan for this message was to celebrate the release of Palestinian feminist parliamentarian Khalida Jarrar after fourteen months in an Israeli prison, and we want to pause to savor this victory. International outcry, including letters from CODEPINK members, about Jarrar’s being held in administrative detention for months without charge, resulted in a trial in Israeli military court where Jarrar accepted a plea deal as the means to earliest possible release. (With the hope of actual justice non-existent, the vast majority of Palestinians facing Israeli occupation courts take plea deals.) What were Jarrar’s crimes? She admitted to being a member of the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a leftist political party that she was elected to represent, and to other offenses such as making a political speech, attending a book fair, and advocating on behalf of Palestinian prisoners. Upon her release last Friday, Jarrar said, “I know that the occupation wants to put all of Palestinian society into prison.” khalidafree.jpg

As Israel’s occupation enters its fiftieth year, we pledge to redouble our efforts for justice in Palestine. We know how crucial the BDS movement is, and that is why we are pushing to get companies like RE/MAX and Airbnb to stop selling, renting, and advertising homes in illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Last Friday, CODEPINK and the rest of the Stolen Homes coalition organized actions in 18 cities across the world to pressure Airbnb to stop violating international law by listing homes in the settlements. Read about the actions here.

From our successes with Ahava and SodaStream to our continued work on the RE/MAX and Airbnb campaigns, we know that together we can have an impact. This is why it is so important that we protect our right to engage in boycott as a form or nonviolent action. Sign the petition, and if you are a New York State resident call Governor Cuomo.

Working for freedom, justice, and equality,

Nancy K., Alli, Ariel, and the entire CODEPINK team

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.