PALESTINE: Boycott movement’s appeal for support
Hope? How can we cling on to hope, some may ask, when Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid is intensifying its brutal oppression to unprecedented levels and trying to sear into our consciousness the futility of resistance?
Despite decades of ethnic cleansing, dispossession, siege and denial of our human rights, we continue to resist oppression and to assert our quest for “the full menu of rights,” as Archbishop Desmond Tutu would say.
An inclusive, anti-racist, and strategic movement, BDS has today become a key part of our popular resistance and the most important form of international solidarity with our struggle for our rights under international law.
As our round-up of the year shows, the strategic impact of the BDS movement has increased to unprecedented levels in 2016.
Please donate to the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) today to help us continue building the BDS movement for Palestinian rights
After failing to quell the BDS movement for years, Israel has finally adopted since 2014 a new strategy of legal warfare, cyber sabotage, espionage, and propaganda on steroids, evoking memories of McCarthyism.
A ministry of “Strategic Affairs” was established primarily to fight BDS. Israeli ministers have imposed a travel ban on me, threatened me and other BDS human rights defenders with “civil assassination,” and established a “tarnishing unit” to smear us, all in a desperate attempt to bully me and my colleagues into silence.
I am unnerved by their mafia-like threats and smears, but I am most certainly undeterred.
The oppressors’ attempts to colonize our minds with fear, complacency and despair have failed. With the inspiring solidarity of millions around the world, our struggle for freedom, justice and equality is stronger than ever. We march on, with passion, with resolve, and with boundless hope.
Help us in nourishing this hope by donating to the Palestinian BDS National Committee
While Israel’s regime is rejoicing at the rise of the similarly-minded xenophobic and supremacist right in Europe, the US, and elsewhere, we in the BDS movement are celebrating the gradual emergence of a broad, global, progressive intersectional community that includes movements for racial, economic, social, gender and climate justice.
With its shift to the unmasked far right, Israel’s “brand” is steadily deteriorating and its international isolation at the grassroots level is worsening, mainly due to effective and strategic BDS campaigning. From mainstream churches to large trade unions, from student governments to academic associations, and among artists, LGBTQ activists, feminists, indigenous groups, Black rights movements, progressive Jewish groups, and others, BDS is growing, organically and steadily, in the Arab world, in the Global South, as well as in the west.
Israel has used its enormous influence to enlist complicit governments in its war of repression against Palestine solidarity and BDS in particular. As a result, the governments of France, the UK, and Canada, along with several state legislatures in the US have duly adopted authoritarian and patently anti-democratic measures against BDS, a time-honored strategy for resisting injustice.
But Israel’s legal war on the movement has suffered a major setback. The European Union, Sweden, Ireland and Netherlands, as well as Amnesty International, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), among others, have defended the right to boycott Israel as a matter of freedom of speech.
Help us in confronting this new McCarthyism by donating to the BDS movement today
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, boycott is essentially “withdrawing … cooperation from an evil system.” If you think about it, this is hardly an act of charity. It is a profound moral obligation to do no harm. And that is the very first and necessary form of solidarity with the oppressed.
As in the struggles for Civil Rights in the US and against apartheid in South Africa, no repression can ultimately quash the power of well-rooted hope.
Co-founder of the BDS movement for Palestinian rights