Kareem Abdul-Jabbar reverses decision to visit Israel

June 28, 2011

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was slated to receive an award from the Jerusalem Film Festival for On the Shoulders of Giants, but Abdul-Jabbar cited “concerns arising ‘after the Nakba Day violence‘” as his reason for not attending. As with Alice Walker’s piece about joining the Freedom Flotilla II, Abdul-Jabbar’s boycott stems from long engagement with civil rights. Here’s a paragraph from the statement by the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation:

Abdul-Jabbar’s film documents the policies of segregation and racism that characterized the world of basketball in the 1930s. “Ironically,” the signatories told Abdul-Jabbar, “the majority of Muslim and Christian Palestinians could not even have attended such a screening because they are excluded from entering Jerusalem on the basis of their ethnic and religious background.”


Israel threatens to ban journalists for 10 years

June 26, 2011

If journalists cover the Freedom Flotilla II, Israel threatens to confiscate their equipment and ban them for ten years.

flying the Goodman, Chaney, Schwerner flag to Gaza

June 25, 2011

Alice Walker is 67 years old, and she’s sailing to Gaza. In “Why I’m joining the Freedom Flotilla II to Gaza,” Walker interweaves civil rights, anti-Semitism, and anti-apartheid in Palestine in a poignant and insightful piece. This is a fine read.

Freedom Flotilla II — Europe leads the way

June 19, 2011

Freedom Flotilla II is supposed to sail the third week of June to Gaza, and if you go to the Witness Gaza website, you can see all the European countries who are participating, from Turkey (the main organizer) to Germany to Italy to Denmark to Ireland, and more. Some excellent YouTube videos to check out:
Gaza Island
Message in a Bottle

best first sentence almost ever

June 14, 2011

First sentence of Diane Ackerman’s An Alchemy of Mind: The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain:

Imagine the brain, that shiny mound of being, that mouse-gray parliament of cells, that dream factory, that petit tyrant in a ball of bone, that huddle of neurons calling all the plays, that little everywhere, that fickle pleasuredrome, that wrinkled wardrobe of selves stuffed into the skull like too many clothes in a gym bag.

Boycott divest sanctions flashmobs

June 14, 2011

Lots of flashmobs appearing in support of the BDS movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction against companies that support Israeli occupation and apartheid. The Philly BDS Flashdance against Sabra and Tribe hummus is a great example.