BDS targets may differ, but the goal is the same

A protester holds a sign promoting BDS on Jun 9, 2018 in Berlin. (photo: AFP)
In the global quest to attain justice for Palestinians, we must coordinate and celebrate each other’s success, from Beirut to the US.

By Nada Elia | Middle East Eye | Aug 26, 2018

As a movement that exposes, challenges and organizes to dismantle racism, BDS can take many forms, so long as these steer clear of racism itself. . . . In the US, anti-Zionist Israelis play a critical role in the struggle against state-sanctioned disenfranchisement of Palestinians. This flexibility allows us to optimize our organizing, guided by a vision of justice and unshackled by rigid criteria that do not work in all contexts.

With Israel officially enshrining apartheid with its newly passed nation-state law, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement was boosted once again as the most viable grassroots strategy to end Israel’s violation of international law. As Professor Richard Falk put it, “If BDS continues to gain momentum around the world, and especially in the West, it will strengthen the will of governments to do the right thing, and gain sufficient momentum to shake the foundations of the Zionist insistence on a Jewish state in what is still essentially a non-Jewish society.”

Meanwhile, there is renewed discussion in the West around whether it is still relevant to boycott only products from the settlements or all Israeli products. After all, the new law affirms that “the state views the development of Jewish settlement as a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation.”

The distinction between settlement products and products from “Israel proper,” however, is one that only functions in a context where such products are indeed available to the consumer. In Arab countries that are implementing the Arab League boycott, the criteria have always been different.

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