Posts tagged BDS

EU diplomats to Brussels: Put your money where your mouth is


At face value, the European Union heads of mission report on the Israeli settlement enterprise is a scathing indictment and call to action against Israel’s illegal settlement activities. In between the lines, however, the report reflects a frustration by European diplomats and bureaucrats at their own governments’ inaction. They are not implementing the existing legislation, decisions and declarations they themselves regularly make against Israel and its settlements.

The EU’s rhetoric against Israel’s settlement policies has always been damning, but its actions have never lived up to its words.

Read the full report here

“The EU and its member states now face the urgent challenge of translating the observations and recommendations of their own senior diplomats into concrete and effective policies that indeed maintain the possibility of the two-state solution,” a document obtained by +972 stated.

Reflecting the (perhaps naïvely optimistic) sense of a closing window for resolving (more…)

Could UNHRC’s settlement report put the ‘S’ back in BDS?


The UNHRC-sanctioned International Fact Finding Mission’s report on Israeli settlements is by no means the harshest UN document on Israel. But its last paragraph introduces one element that previously existed only in small pro-Palestinian and human rights activist circles. Namely, it puts the “S” back in BDS.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign has had mixed, but limited, success since its official launch in its current iteration nearly seven years ago. Divestment and boycott campaigns have claimed small victories after targeting educational and labor pension investment funds, transportation companies serving Israelis in the occupied Palestinian territories, academic conferences and musical and cultural events. But many “big-picture” observers will admit that its successes have led to little if any change in Israeli policy, and subsequently, in the Palestinian reality.

While former international officials have called for limited sanctions against Israel should it fail to cease its settlement enterprise, and current officials have hinted at limited travel sanctions against violent settlers, the notion of sanctions against Israel has largely taken a back seat to the more constricted and arguably less impactful boycott and divestment campaigns.

Last week’s UN report, however, advanced the prospects of – and possibly laid the beginnings of (more…)

A Discussion with J Street (Part I): BDS and the Boycott Law


This piece is the first part of a series of articles exploring the relationship of American Jews with Israel, with a special focus on J Street. The remainder of the series will be published here in the coming days.

Earlier this week, the Knesset passed a law that made calling for boycotts against West Bank settlements a legal cause of action. Prior to the new law, the merits and goals of settlement boycotts and the broader Palestinan-led global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign have become particularly divisive in Diaspora Jewish communities in recent years. Very few American Jews, however, have come out against the tactic of boycott itself. Doing so would be difficult as boycotts represent the successes of many of the last 70 years in American liberal causes.

Boycotts remain one of the most powerful tools in the hands of civil society when engaging in social struggle. From the Montgomery Bus Boycott during the 1960s Civil Rights era, to the César Chavez-led Grape Boycott in the 1980s, to the fall of South African Apartheid in the early 1990s, boycotts have played an integral role in (more…)

An ambivalent rejection of BDS


The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign launched in 2005 has an uncomfortable appeal to many who accept that the occupation of Palestinian lands and people must come to an end but find themselves disillusioned by the lack of any meaningful progress. One aspect of the BDS movement, however, makes it absolutely impossible for two-state advocates to support. This deal-killer, all-too-often left out of the discussion, is the BDS movement’s absolute demand for a Palestinian right of return outside the framework of negotiations (which would see millions of Palestinian refugees settled in Israel, upsetting the delicate balance that allows it to be both Jewish and democratic).

Unfortunately, BDS’s supporters, and even its detractors, tend to discuss the movement’s tactics in far greater detail than they do its goals and their implications, which can lead well-intentioned people to support a cause that contradicts their own beliefs. A recent slew of articles on +972mag have discussed the merits of BDS in the framework of its effectiveness without bringing up the movement’s goals. But to present only a partial view, is to create a fallacious discussion. (more…)

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