Someone forwarded this very informative article. I think it gets to some of why the boycott has been such a divisive issue. I am going to post a link and an excerpt. - Berd
In 2003, several prominent Jewish philanthropists hired Republican pollster Frank Luntz to explain why American Jewish college students were not more vigorously rebutting campus criticism of Israel. In response, he unwittingly produced the most damning indictment of the organized American Jewish community that I have ever seen.
The philanthropists wanted to know what Jewish students thought about Israel. Luntz found that they mostly didn’t. “Six times we have brought Jewish youth together as a group to talk about their Jewishness and connection to Israel,” he reported. “Six times the topic of Israel did not come up until it was prompted. Six times these Jewish youth used the word ‘they‘ rather than ‘us‘ to describe the situation.”
That Luntz encountered indifference was not surprising. In recent years, several studies have revealed, in the words of Steven Cohen of Hebrew Union College and Ari Kelman of the University of California at Davis, that “non-Orthodox younger Jews, on the whole, feel much less attached to Israel than their elders,” with many professing “a near-total absence of positive feelings.” In 2008, the student senate at Brandeis, the only nonsectarian Jewish-sponsored university in America, rejected a resolution commemorating the sixtieth anniversary of the Jewish state.
As the Mideast Solidarity Project (MSP) enters into its seventh year, the overarching purpose of the festival remains the same: to create space for marginalized and oppressed peoples of the Middle East, and surrounding regions, to self-represent and to strengthen our solidarity with them in their struggles.
The schedule can be found here
This is more relevant than ever in the present
historical moment. Last March marked the 7th anniversary of the US
invasion of Iraq, while the occupation of Afghanistan has entered into
its 9th year and is spreading into Pakistan. Palestinians mourned the
62nd anniversary of the Nakba (catastrophe) this April as billions of US
dollars continue to support the Israeli occupation of their homeland.
Meanwhile, Gaza is still reeling from Israel's assault last year and the
These superficial facts fail to represent the humanity of the occupied peoples and the realities of occupation in their everyday lives. And it is these people who tell their stories in the films, challenging the mainstream Orientalist discourse that has dehumanized them, rewritten their histories, and provided a rationale for continued occupation.
Film and speaker topics this year include occupation and resistance in Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan; labor rights; LGBTQ identity and struggle in Iran; immigration and the Diaspora; Iranian cinema after the '79 revolution; anti-Arab racism in the US and Israel; deconstructing stereotypes of Muslim women; US war resisters; the distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism; and more.
All screenings are FREE of charge and open to the public.
HCC Occupation Post Script:
Some Reflections and Explanations
A protest was rapidly mobilized yesterday in order to confront Representative Jay Inslee about his vote in support of HR 34. A sizable group of around 20 protesters assembled at the Capitol Theater, interacted with hundreds of people who were there to see the film documentary Fuel (which is about alternative energy), and eventually got to speak with and directly confront Congressman Inslee about his vote on the one-sided/lopsided bill, HR 34, which basically supports Israeli aggression against Palestinians.
Here's an account of the protest, as told by Phan Nguyen, one of the protest organizers and participants. Another participant wrote additionally of the encounter that Inslee's first line of defense was to say that Hamas believies in the destruction of the State of Israel. One of the protesters pointed out that although Hamas held that position years and years ago, that's no longer the case. Hamas has changed it's position on wiping out the State of Israel. Here's Phan's great account of the events last night at the Capitol Theater:
I think we mobilized quickly for such short notice about Jay Inslee's appearance. About 20 folks showed up altogether to protest Jay Inslee's pro-war vote. After the film and panel discussion, Inslee agreed to meet with us. I had printed a handbill explaining why we were protesting Inslee, and Inslee admitted that he had read it over dinner.
However, instead of directly addressing anything I had written in the handbill, he proceeded to give a long spiel about how he felt pain for both sides of the conflict and that he supported a two-state solution. In other words, just abstract meanderings that did not address the current situation in Gaza or H.Res.34, which he had voted for yesterday.