Israel lobby will face blowback, eventually


Pro-Palestinian demonstrators protest in the halls of York University in Toronto. (Photo: via Twitter)

Recent events show the strength of Israeli lobbying efforts to marginalize those who criticize the Palestinian civil society-led Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.

By Yves Engler  |  The Palestine Chronicle |  Oct 2, 2020

A week ago Israel lobby groups convinced Zoom to cancel a San Francisco State University talk with Palestinian resistance icon Leila Khaled, former South African minister Ronnie Kasrils, director of women’s studies at Birzeit University Rula Abu Dahou, and others. It is thought to be the first time Zoom has ever suppressed a university-sponsored talk.

How much is too much? When will Israeli nationalists in North America completely discredit themselves by overusing their power to crush those defending Palestinians?

The recent ruthlessness of the Israel lobby is remarkable. Recently they’ve convinced Zoom to cancel a university-sponsored talk, a prominent law program to rescind a job offer, a public broadcaster to apologize for using the word Palestine and companies to stop delivering for a restaurant.

A week ago Israel lobby groups convinced Zoom to cancel a San Francisco State University talk with Palestinian resistance icon Leila Khaled, former South African minister Ronnie Kasrils, director of women’s studies at Birzeit University Rula Abu Dahou, and others. It is thought to be the first time Zoom has ever suppressed a university-sponsored talk.

Last month the Israel lobby pressed the University of Toronto’s law school to rescind a job offer to head its International Human Rights Program. The pressure to block the hiring committee’s candidate, Valentina Azarova, came from judge David Spiro, who was a former Toronto Co-chair of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) and whose uncle Larry Tanenbaum owns the Toronto Raptors and grandmother Anne Tanenbaum financed the University of Toronto’s center for Jewish studies. While Spiro’s efforts were covert, B’nai B’rith has openly called on the University of Toronto administrators to block the hiring committee’s decision.

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