Year End Report, 2012
Highlights of 2012
LEV LEVIEV – Adalah-NY continued its campaign, begun in 2007, against the Israeli diamond magnate and settlement builder Lev Leviev. This campaign has had a number of successes, with governments, investment banks, celebrities, and international aid agencies distancing themselves from Leviev and his company Africa Israel. In 2012, we continued to place pressure on Leviev to end his settlement construction activities in the occupied West Bank:
- December 15, 2012: Held the 6th Annual Anti-Apartheid Holiday Caroling at the Leviev jewelry store in New York City.
- December 12, 2012: The New Zealand Superannuation Fund, which invests money on behalf of New Zealand’s government, announced on December 12 that it is divesting from Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev’s company Africa Israel and its construction subsidiary Danya Cebus because of their construction of Israeli settlements.
- November 2012: ongoing: Initiated a campaign asking City Harvest to end their connection with Lev Leviev. This work included a letter-writing campaign and a number of press releases that received media attention.
- June 18, 2012: Released photos showing that Lev Leviev’s flagship company, Africa Israel, has continued to build Israeli settlements, despite its November 2010 statement that it was not involved in settlement construction.
- January 2012: Continued a campaign (initiated in November 2011) asking the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation to end their connection with Lev Leviev. Work in 2012 included publicizing an open letter from Jayyous, a number of press releases, and passing out flyers at FIT.
TIAA-CREF – In 2011, Adalah-NY adopted the We Divest campaign against the pension giant TIAA-CREF, which was originally begun by Jewish Voice for Peace and endorsed by numerous human rights groups across the globe. We aim to promote this national campaign here in New York City, where TIAA-CREF is headquartered and where many of its participating institutions are based. The campaign calls for TIAA-CREF to divest from companies supporting and profiting from Israeli apartheid, violations of international law, and human rights abuses. These companies include Elbit, Caterpillar, Motorola, Northrop Grumman, Veolia and Hewlitt-Packard.
- August 15, 2012: At We Divest Campaign Student Leadership Team Summer Institute, participated in multiple panels and workshops about designing creative campaigns and implementing effective internal organizing structure.
- July 17, 2012: Worked with We Divest campaign partners to organize a rally in front of TIAA-CREF headquarters at the 2012 Annual Shareholders meeting. We Divest representatives were also inside the meeting to challenge, as concerned shareholders, TIAA-CREF’s investments in the Israeli occupation.
- June, 2012: TIAA-CREF removed Caterpillar, Inc. from its Social Choice Funds portfolio.
- March 30, 2012: In collaboration with other New York City activist and student groups, released 6 ½ minute video of street theater action “TIAA-CREF's Checkpoint Reality Check - Land Day special preview” in commemoration of Palestinian Land Day.
CULTURAL BOYCOTT – The cultural boycott against Israel aims to counteract Israel’s use of cultural works and events to normalize its illegal occupation of Palestine and whitewash its violations of international law and Palestinian human rights. As part of this movement, Adalah-NY has participated in a number of actions aimed at isolating Israeli cultural institutions complicit in their government’s actions.
- October 25, 2012: Organized a protest of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) performance at Carnegie Hall and helped to coordinate protests nationwide at locations where the IPO played. An open letter to Carnegie Hall was signed by artists, including Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker, Palestinian spoken word artist Remi Kenazi and Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters.
- March 7, 2012: Organized a lively and creative protest – including a live dance performance – of Batsheva Dance Company at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
BDS MOVEMENT BUILDING – Adalah-NY organized panels, took part in a number of conferences and events, and carried out workshops to present our work and participate in an ongoing discussion to further develop the BDS movement in the United States and internationally. Activities included:
- December 19, 2012: “Resistance and Revolution: Gaza, the Arab Spring and the New Middle East.” Participated in panel organized by the International Socialist Organization at the Brooklyn Friends Meeting House, New York City.
- December 17, 2012: Interfaith Peace-Builders: presented on-line training workshop “Mobilizing the Grassroots: The BDS Campaign and You.”
- December 7-10, 2012: Puerto Rican Summit on Human Rights, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Presentation on Palestinian resistance and the BDS movement.
- December 2, 2012: Brooklyn Cares (Palestine Children’s Relief Fund and Brooklyn For Peace benefit dinner to support PCRF’s new pediatric oncology unit in Beit Jala) tabling, New York City.
- November 29, 2012: "Behind the Headlines: A Teach-In on Gaza." Participated in a panel at Columbia University organized by student activists there.
- November 10, 2012: Institute for Middle East Understanding Annual Benefit Dinner in San Francisco. Presented on Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement.
- October 6-7, 2012: Helped with registration and other logistics of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, New York Session at Cooper Union's Great Hall.
- September 22, 2012: Free University. Participated in teach-in organized by the Occupy Wall Street Global Justice Working Group on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaigns in the United States, New York City.
- July 15, 2012: Havaar: Iranian Initiative Against War, Sanctions and State Repression. Teach-in and roundtable discussion on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, New York City.
- May 30, 2012: Canadian Academic Congress. Presented on panel “The Role of the Academic Boycott and Campus Divestment Campaign” organized by Faculty 4 Palestine, University of Waterloo, Canada.
- April 9-10, 2012: NYC Anarchist Book Fair tabling and workshop, New York City.
- March 16-18, 2012: Left Forum tabling and presentations, New York City.
- February 28, 2012: Organized “Solidarity in Action: Witnessing Apartheid, Supporting the BDS Call” (with Premilla Nadasen and Jasbir Puar), a public panel as part of 2012 Israeli Apartheid Week in New York City.
- February 27, 2012: Invited by Students for Justice in Palestine of Florida Atlantic University to speak at event “Why Do I Boycott Israel?” This panel was part of Palestine Awareness Week 2012 (during Israeli Apartheid Week) at FAU in Boca Raton, FL.
- January, 2012: Released updated “Why I Boycott Israel” consumer boycott flyer.
SOCIAL MEDIA – This year Adalah-NY established a dedicated social media team to amplify our presence on Facebook and Twitter. Over the course of the year we saw our Facebook page grow from 700 LIKES to over 1000 (members), and our Twitter following grew from 900 to almost 2,000.
- We used both social media platforms to disseminate information about our campaigns and events, and also worked in coalition with other groups to organize Twitter actions in support of hunger striking Palestinian prisoners, cultural boycott initiatives, and targeted boycott campaigns.
- November 27, 2012: Organized a demonstration to support divestment from war-profiteer General Electric, whose engines power the Israeli F-16s and Apache helicopters that drop bombs on Gaza. Demonstration was organized in partnership with Jewish Voice for Peace; Jews Say No!; NYU Students for Justice in Palestine; Granny Peace Brigade; Women In Black-Union Square; and Peace Action of New York State.
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