'A New York City bookseller faced threats of violence from Israel supporters before it caved in to demands to sign a statement repudiating the nonviolent BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions – movement for Palestinian rights.
The statement, written by a local rabbi, also declares that Israel has a “right to exist.”
Columbia University Students for Justice in Palestine and Columbia/Barnard Jewish Voice for Peace are reaffirming a call to boycott the bookseller, Book Culture, unless it rescinds the statement.
Book Culture issued the statement in the wake of threats and intimidation because it was promoting a children’s book called P is for Palestine.
The petition, signed by 18 faculty members and almost 200 students, alumni and community members, accuses Book Culture of “bowing to pressure from pro-Israel groups that seek to silence literary representations of the Palestinian right to resist.”
“Book Culture’s suppression of literary freedom is profoundly demoralizing, especially given its stated allegiance to free speech and progressive values,” the petition adds.
Many students from Columbia and other area colleges order their course books through the independent bookseller.
The student groups liken Book Culture’s capitulation to the recent retreat by the New Orleans city council, which repealed a human rights measure due to concerns it could be used to hold Israel accountable. They also compare it to the United Nations’ suppression of a report on Israeli apartheid.'
Read more: New York bookseller bowed to Israel supporters after violent threats
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7 November 2018
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