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Presented By: Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies

CMENAS Teach-In Town Hall. What is BDS? And Why Does it Matter?

Susan Abulhawa, Tom Pessah, and Huwaida Arraf

Lorde cancelled her show in Israel in protest. So did the Pixies, Elvis Costello, Roger Waters, and Santana. More than one 100 artists and musicians have joined the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement in solidarity with Palestinian and Israeli nonviolent activists. What motivates them? Since 2014, twenty-five U.S. states have passed anti-BDS legislation, citing anti-Semitism. In recent days though, federal courts in Kansas and Arizona have ruled that such laws violate First Amendment rights to freedom of expression. What is fair and just, in light of our diverse histories: members of the U-M community recall boycotts of Jewish businesses in Nazi Europe, America's history of civil rights boycotts, and boycotts in response to Palestinian displacement under Israeli Occupation?

The CMENAS Teach-in Town Hall will explore this vital moment in world history with experts and take stock of BDS, now active for thirteen years. Meet our speakers:

Susan Abulhawa, author of Mornings in Jenin (2010) and The Blue Between Sky and Water (2015), poet, political commentator, human rights activist, and founder of Playgrounds for Palestine

Tom Pessah, Israeli sociologist and activist, board member of Zochrot

Huwaida Arraf, Civil Rights Attorney and Co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement, which was nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize

Everyone is welcome!

Funding Support: CMENAS Endowments, Institute for the Humanities, Department of Anthropology, Arab and Muslim American Studies, Department of American Culture, the International Institute, Conflict and Peace Initiative, Colonialism, Race, and Sexualities Initiative (through IRWG), Middle Eastern Law Students Association (MELSA), Department of Women Studies, and the College of LSA

If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to attend this event, please reach out to us at least 2 weeks in advance of this event. Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange. Contact:

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