Tuesday, August 20, 2019

BDS faces escalating attacks due to success, report states


By Ary Gotlib - December 11, 2018
TAGS:
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [BDS]

On November 13, the Transnational Institute (TNI) published a new report stating there is an increasing pressure from governments against the international boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS).

 
In 2005, the BDS Movement was founded by Palestinian civil society groups and trade unions around three main demands; the end of Israeli occupation, full equal rights for Palestinian people and the full right of return for Palestinian refugees.
 
In the presentation of the report, researchers Bina Ahmad, Ben White, Phyllis Bennis state the space for dissent within Palestine is shrinking.  
 
“Governments and corporations alike are working to suppress and silence movements, organisations and individuals who organise against repression,” the researchers continued.  
 
“Israeli officials were initially slow to respond to BDS” and prefer to ignore it, remind the report.
 
But with the successes earned by the movement these last years, this strategy was no longer possible. Israel started trying to discredit and demonize the movement, as a recently censored Al-Jazeera documentary showed.
 
But, “despite powerful and globally coordinated Israeli attacksagainst the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, BDS is not simply surviving; it is thriving,” noted MEMO.
 
As an example, the withdrawal three weeks ago of AirBnB rentals situated in the occupied West Bank was a huge win for BDS though once agains faced backlash in the US.
 
“In the wake of Airbnb’s decision to ban Jewish homes in Jerusalem and the West Bank, we made it clear, the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is wrong and it has no place in the free enterprise of the United States of America,” US Vice-president Mike Pence stated, as reported in Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
 
Ahmad, Bennis and White write that “BDS is facing an escalating set of attacks precisely because it is winning.”
 
They also remind that “each of these movements [US Black rights movement and South-African boycott] was branded as divisive, violent, criminal, facing official government sanction and criminalization, but each of those movements continued to resist – and each of those movements ultimately won.”
 
The three researchers described BDS as a dynamic grassroots movement which “attract support from numerous kinds of trade unions, church groups, political advocacy groups, human rights bodies, student associations, peace activists, anti-racism campaigners and ordinary people increasingly outraged by Israeli actions.”
 
Most likely as a new illustration of the rise of BDS, French Republic's 2018 Human Rights Prize will be granted to B’Tselem and Al-Haq NGO especially involved in BDS support, report i24News.
 
Haneen Zoabi, the first Arab woman to enter Israeli parliament in the Arab Joint List pointed out that when people say Israel is a state acting against human rights its image as a liberal and human state begins to be broken.
 
“BDS contributes to the erosion of Israel's image,”Zoabi stated, as reported in OrientXXI.

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