Queens Museum reinstates Israeli UN event following outcry over cancellation

NEW YORK (JTA) – The Queens Museum will host an event commemorating the United Nations decision to establish a Jewish state, reversing a decision to cancel it.

The museum, run by the New York City borough of Queens, is housed in the same building where the General Assembly vote partitioning Palestine into Jewish and Arab states took place on Nov. 29, 1947. Israel’s mission to the United Nations reserved space in June to mark the event’s 70th anniversary and invited senior UN dignitaries. [Read more…]


More than 200 liberal rabbis want Israel to lift travel ban on BDS leaders

(JTA) – More than 200 rabbis from the liberal movements of North American Judaism signed a letter opposing Israel’s travel ban on leaders of the boycott movement against Israel.

The rabbis signing Wednesday’s letter were responding to an incident last month in which Rabbi Alissa Wise of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), which supports the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, was prevented from boarding an Israel-bound airplane leaving Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C. [Read more…]


Radiohead concert in Tel Aviv draws 47,000

(JTA) – Radiohead played its longest concert in 11 years for the 47,000 fans who flooded a Tel Aviv park.

“A lot of stuff was said about this. But in the end, we played some music,” frontman Thom Yorke told the crowd Wednesday in Yarkon Park before the last song of the night, a reference to calls from artists affiliated with the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement for the British rock band to cancel its performance. [Read more…]


Radiohead’s Thom Yorke: ‘We don’t endorse Netanyahu any more than Trump, but we still play in America’

(JTA) – Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke asserted that playing a concert in a country is not the same as endorsing its government.

Yorke, responding to a critical tweet from British filmmaker Ken Loach for playing Israel next week, wrote on Twitter: “Playing in a country isn’t the same as endorsing its government. We’ve played in Israel for over 20 years through a succession of governments, some more liberal than others. [Read more…]


BDS movement’s campaign against Jewish comedian is anti-Semitism, Tunisian watchdog says

(JTA) – A Tunisian watchdog group on racism accused promoters of a boycott against Israel of anti-Semitism after they protested the invitation extended to a Jewish comedian to appear at a local festival.

The accusation Thursday by the Tunisian Association for Support of Minorities was over an open letter sent earlier this week to the Tunisian Ministry of Culture and the organizers of the annual Catharge Festival of music next month to protest the invitation extended by organizers to Michel Boujenah, a well-known Tunisia-born French Jewish standup artist. [Read more…]


Scuffle erupts at rally against CUNY’s hosting of BDS promoter Linda Sarsour

(JTA) – A scuffle broke out between supporters and critics of the City University of New York’s plan to host Linda Sarsour, an activist opposed to U.S. President Donald Trump and a supporter of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

The incident occurred Thursday night outside the CUNY building in Manhattan, where activists against radical Islam, including Pamela Geller and Milo Yiannopoulos, had rallied in protest of the decision by the institution’s School of Public Health to host Sarsour on Friday as a commencement speaker, the New York Daily News reported. [Read more…]


SodaStream bringing 74 West Bank Palestinians back to work at Negev plant

SodaStream’s West Bank factory was relocated to the Negev following international criticism. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

SodaStream’s West Bank factory was relocated to the Negev following international criticism. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

(JTA) – Some 74 Palestinian employees of SodaStream, who lost their jobs when the company shut its West Bank plant in the face of international pressure, will return to work at its factory in southern Israel.

The employees’ work permits, which allowed them to enter Israel from the West Bank, expired in February 2016. [Read more…]


Norwegian Jewish leader: Trade union’s boycott vote was anti-Semitic

(JTA) – In a rare rebuke, the leader of Norway’s Jewish community said that anti-Semitism motivated a local trade union to pass a resolution urging a boycott of Israel.

Ervin Kohn, president of the Jewish Community in Oslo, said the vote last week by the assembly of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions “is anti-Semitic in the way that it singles out Israel.” [Read more…]