Over the past year, Adalah-NY’s campaign to boycott Israeli settlement-builder and rights abuser Lev Leviev has been at the forefront of the US and worldwide movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Highlights of Adalah-NY’s work during just the last two months include:
- Following complaints by at least four major Hollywood stars whose photos were posted on Israel diamond mogul Lev Leviev’s website, Leviev staff removed the entire celebrity photo section from his website www.leviev.com in mid-December. The photos’ removal came after Adalah-NY and Jews Against the Occupation-NYC sent letters to and spoke with representatives for Salma Hayek, Halle Berry, Drew Barrymore, Brooke Shields, Andie MacDowell, Lucy Liu, Whitney Houston and Sharon Stone, all of whose names and photos, apparently wearing Leviev jewelry, were featured in a Celebrity section of Leviev’s website.
- A recent letter in the Guardian by Palestinian civil society leaders calling on the UK government to take a clear stand and pull out of a deal to rent its new Tel Aviv Embassy form Leviev. The UK government already appears to be backing away from the Embassy deal.
- Exposure of backsliding and renewed pressure on the UAE government to meet its April commitment to stop Leviev from selling his diamonds in Dubai.
- A strong October statement by Oxfam America renouncing Leviev’s rights abuses and his efforts to exploit unwitting charities and celebrities, as covered in media like The Forward. This follows UNICEF’s earlier renunciation of Leviev.
- Following an Adalah-NY letter writing campaign, the withdrawal of Leviev from the sponsors list for the prestigious Hollywood fundraising gala The Carousel of Hope Ball, featuring celebrities like Denzel Washington, and Sidney Poitier.
- Opening a new New York City BDS front, Adalah-NY initiated a call to boycott of the Brooklyn-based Hebron Fund which supports racist settlers, and protested at their fundraising event.
- Initiating a local exhibition of Palestinian refugee children’s art, supporting the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation’s Separate is Never Equal anti-apartheid tour in NYC, and issuing a joint action alert calling for an end to the siege and starvation of Gaza.
Adalah-NY began out of the coalition protesting Israel’s 2006 assaults on Lebanon and Gaza. In addition to the BDS campaign, Adalah-NY has hosted or co-hosted dozens of cultural events, speakers, films, and forums on Palestine, Iran, and Iraq, played a significant role in supporting New York's Palestinian community in organizing Nakbah commemorations, and joined anti-war protests in New York and Washington D.C.. Adalah-NY’s creative protests and advocacy have received substantial coverage in the mainstream press, as well as in Arab, Jewish, Israeli and diamond industry media, bringing Palestine and other issues of Middle East justice to the US mainstream (see list of media coverage).