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Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) campaigns played a vital role in dismantling the apartheid regime in South Africa. Israel's treatment of the Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza often is compared to apartheid. It is time for a BDS campaign against Israel?

Naomi Klein, one of the most important thinkers of our time, certainly thinks it is overdue.

It's time. Long past time. The best strategy to end the increasingly bloody occupation is for Israel to become the target of the kind of global movement that put an end to apartheid in South Africa.

In July 2005 a huge coalition of Palestinian groups laid out plans to do just that. They called on "people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era." The campaign Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions—BDS for short—was born.

Every day that Israel pounds Gaza brings more converts to the BDS cause, and talk of cease-fires is doing little to slow the momentum. Support is even emerging among Israeli Jews. In the midst of the assault roughly 500 Israelis, dozens of them well-known artists and scholars, sent a letter to foreign ambassadors stationed in Israel. It calls for "the adoption of immediate restrictive measures and sanctions" and draws a clear parallel with the antiapartheid struggle. "The boycott on South Africa was effective, but Israel is handled with kid gloves.… This international backing must stop."

I'm beginning to wonder myself. Is the BDS campaign justified? Is there an argument against it that doesn't involve minimizing Israel's heinous crimes against the Palestinians?

 

2 comments

  1. opit Says:
  2. You've got me scratching my head at your particular concern - a not unprecedented situation, though our paths haven't crossed for a while.
    Are you in fact wasting effort wondering if the minimizing of Israel's disproportionate response isn't justified ? Check B'Tselem or such then. I recall I reviewed Peoples Geography at WordPress when you too were on my radar - from visits to Kay's thread at White Noise Insanity. Ann is an Aussie from Lebanon and has made no bones about the injustices done to Palestine. Slow-motion genocide is the gist of what's been going on.
    I see you visit Rick B at Ten Percent.
    The Heathlander has been another eye opener.

     
  3. GDAEman Says:
  4. Yes.

     

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