When Boycotts Are Acceptable
America’s pro-Israel supporters have made no bones about their defamatory attacks against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement launched by Palestinian civil society in 2005 to rally grass-roots activists against a near half century of Israeli occupation and secure Palestinian self-determination. BDS’ most strident opponents have branded the movement indecent and antisemitic.
The more interesting critique of BDS comes from those pro-Israel types who claim a “liberal Zionism” and swear by the “peace process” and “two people, two states” while aligning themselves against BDS. Their argument is simple: Instead of uniting Israelis and Palestinians, they contend, BDS separates them further by calling on individuals to boycott state-backed Israeli institutions.
In actuality, BDS activists are not opposed to dialogue, but, rather, they have made their demands clear and have received an even louder answer from Israel in the form of continued illegal settlement growth, home demolitions, multiple wars on Gaza…
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