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Forum Post: can there be honest disagreement on bds?

Posted 8 years ago on March 26, 2012, 1:02 p.m. EST by flip (7101)
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AMY GOODMAN: Well, today we’ll host a debate on the wider BDS movement, the call to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel. Dr. Mustafa Barghouti is joining us from Washington, D.C. He supports the movement. He’s a member of the Palestinian Parliament. He’s the secretary general of the Palestinian National Initiative. He was also a presidential candidate in the 2005 elections. Rabbi Arthur Waskow is opposed to BDS, founder and director of the Shalom Center in Philadelphia.

We welcome you both to Democracy Now! Professor Barghouti, why don’t you start off by explaining what BDS is and why you think this vote in Brooklyn, New York, is so important?

DR. MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI: Well, BDS is a part of a larger movement of nonviolent resistance in Palestine, civil resistance, very similar to the civil actions and civil activities that were led by Martin Luther King here in the United States against segregation, and very similar to what Gandhi led in India as a nonviolent resistance against foreign dependence of India. What we live in as Palestinians is a situation of apartheid and segregation and occupation that has become the longest in modern history, and this segregation is destroying our life.

The talks, the so-called peace talks, have become a peace process that is a substitute to peace. It’s not producing any results. It has become a cover for Israeli expansionist policy of settlement activity that is destroying the very last opportunity of two-state solution. And there can be no results of talks as long as there is no balance between the two sides, as this, there is no—as long as there is no change in the balance of power. And the whole nonviolent movement is about changing the balance, about producing a new situation which would allow a solution and allow peace to take place.

BDS—Boycott, Divestment, Sanction—campaign is one way of international solidarity with the Palestinian people, as was the case of BDS with the struggle of the people of South Africa against apartheid. It’s nonviolent. It’s peaceful. It’s not against Israelis as Israelis; it’s against Israeli occupation, against Israeli apartheid and against Israeli segregation. At the end of the day, we believe this campaign is for the sake of both Palestinians and Israelis, because it would help us liberate ourselves from the last segregation and occupation system in the world. And it would help liberate the Israelis from the last colonial settler system in modern history. Without Palestinians being free, Israelis themselves will not be free. And that’s why a BDS movement in a place like the United States can help also change the United States’ policy, as has happened in the case of the struggle of the people of South Africa against apartheid system.

AMY GOODMAN: Rabbi Arthur Waskow, founder and director of the Shalom Center in Philadelphia, why are you opposed to BDS?

RABBI ARTHUR WASKOW: First, Amy, let me say, shalom, salaam, peace, to you, to Dr. Barghouti. And I want to say, Dr. Barghouti—

DR. MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI: Shalom to you, too.

RABBI ARTHUR WASKOW: —for me, you are a respected, important and creative leader of the Palestinian people, and I think the BDS movement, as it is presently shaped and framed, is a mistake. It targets all of Israeli society, which is not a way of enacting, in the present, a future in which, as I know you have said you believe, there should be a two-state solution. You mentioned Dr. King. Even when Dr. King clearly, publicly, vigorously opposed the Vietnam War, he did not call for a boycott of all American products and producers. He didn’t do that in Europe or in the United States. He targeted where he was aiming. And I think BDS, as presently framed, doesn’t target. I, myself, don’t buy products made by, produced by Israeli settlers on the West Bank, and I encourage others not to do that. But that’s a laser-beam boycott. That’s a boycott of the oppressive acts of the Israeli government and of settlers on the West Bank. It is not a demonization of Israeli society as a whole. And it seems to me that the present framing of BDS, that it aims at all Israeli institutions and processes and products, and that it talks about not only ending the occupation, but, for example, it seems to be talking about the return of millions of descendants, families, of refugees to within the legitimate boundaries of Israel. I think that is—adds up to an attack on the legitimacy of Israel as a whole. You may not intend that, but I—and I know that you have called for a two-state solution, but the result of the way BDS is framed, on almost everyone I have talked to who feels attracted to it, is that the society, as well as the government, of Israel is wrong, and it must be attacked. That, I think, even using methods that are not outright violence, is not a nonviolent approach.RABBI ARTHUR WASKOW: In the Occupied Territories, the Israeli government’s policies are disgusting and probably analogous to apartheid. But I want to point out that the two hunger strikes were pointed like laser beams at very particular disgusting and vile behavior of the Israeli government. They were not directed at all of Israeli society. I think the hunger strikes, aimed as they were, as I say, like a laser beam, at the illegitimate detention and the illegitimate occupation, they are laudable, praiseworthy, and they were not directed against all of Israeli society.

As for effectiveness, I’m sorry to say that I think, no matter whether the boycotts would be directed like laser beams or broader, none of them are going to be effective. There is only one center of power capable of changing the Israeli government’s behavior by appealing to the desires of the Israeli people, and that’s the government of the United States, which has utterly failed for the last three-and-a-half years to do what many of us hoped, to have said, "This is not acceptable." The Arab League’s proposal for a full peace treaty, a region-wide peace treaty with Israel, with a Palestinian state on the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, that is a policy of decent peace. And the United States government has not insisted to the Israeli government that it will bring this about, that it will insist on this happening. I understand why a president of the United States might be so frightened of domestic politics as not to do that. Perhaps after the next election, it will be possible for the next president of the United States to say, "It’s pass nisht! This doesn’t go," to use Yiddish. "This doesn’t go." And the occupation has to end. There has to be an independent Palestinian state at peace with and alongside Israel, in exchange for which Israel gets peace and security with all its neighbors. That probably has to be expanded to include Iran, as well as the Arab states. But that is what effectiveness would be.



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[-] 2 points by bensdad (8977) 8 years ago

is there a country or a people called Mt. Everest ?
is there a country or a people called Long Island ?
is there a country or a people called Palestine ?
provocative headline?
It’s more than that. It is the truth.
Truth does not change.
Truth is not relative.
Truth is truth.
If something was true 50 years ago, 40 years ago, 30 years ago, it is still true today.
And the truth is that only 30 years ago, there was very little confusion on this issue of "Palestine".
You might remember the late Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir making the bold political statement:
“There is no such thing as a Palestinian people.”
The statement has been a source of ridicule and derision by Arab propagandists ever since. They love to talk about Golda Meir’s “racism.” They love to suggest she was in historical denial. They love to say her statement is patently false – an intentional lie, a strategic deception – so they say.
What they don’t like to talk about, however, are the very similar statements made by Yasser Arafat and his inner circle of political leadership years after Golda Meir had told the truth –
that there is no distinct Palestinian cultural or national identity.
So, despite the fact that “conventional wisdom” has now proclaimed that there is such a thing as the “Palestinian” people, I’m going to raise those uncomfortable quotations made by Arafat and his henchmen -
when their public-relations guard was down – and made the mistake of telling the truth.
On March 31, 1977, the Dutch newspaper Trouw published an interview with
Palestine Liberation Organization executive committee member Zahir Muhsein. :

”The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians and Palestinians and Syrians and Lebanese.
Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people,
since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a
distinct “Palestinian people” to oppose Zionism. For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.”

That’s pretty clear, isn’t it? It’s even more specific than Golda Meir’s statement. It reaffirms what I have written on this subject. And it is hardly the only such statement of its kind. Arafat himself made a very definitive and unequivocal statement along these lines as late as 1993. It demonstrates conclusively that the Palestinian nationhood argument is the real strategic deception – one geared to set up the destruction of Israel.

On the same day Arafat signed the Declaration of Principles on the White House lawn in 1993, Arafat said: “Since we cannot defeat Israel in war, we do this in stages. We take any and every territory that we can of Palestine, and establish a soverignty there, and we use it as a springboard to take more. When the time comes, we can get the Arab nations to join us for the final blow against Israel.”

No matter how many people delude themselves that the aspirations for “Palestinian” statehood are genuine and the key to peace in the Middle East, they are still deceiving themselves. In the history of the world, Palestine has never existed as a nation.
The region known as Palestine was ruled alternately by Rome,
by Islamic and Christian crusaders,
by the Ottoman Empire and, briefly,
by the British after World War I.
The British agreed to restore at least part of the land to the Jewish people as their ancestral homeland.
It was never ruled by Arabs as a separate nation.
Why now has it become such a critical priority?
The answer is because of a massive deception campaign and relentless, barbaric terrorism over 40 years.
Golda Meir was telling the truth.
Her statement is validated by the truth of history and by the candid, but not widely circulated,
pronouncements of Arafat and his lieutenants.
Israel and the West must not surrender to terrorism by granting the killers
just what they want – a public relations triumph and a strategic victory.
It’s not too late to say no to terrorism.
It’s not too late to tell the truth about "Palestine". by Joseph Farah

And do we really have to work hard to figure out where BDS fits in ?

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

you are twisted - is there an apache nation?

[-] 1 points by ShubeLMorgan2 (1088) from New York, NY 8 years ago

What have leading Israeli figures said about the Nakba?

Moshe Sharett, Israel's second Prime Minister (1953-1955):

"We have forgotten that we have not come to an empty land to inherit it, but we have come to conquer a country from people inhabiting it" (from Benny Morris, Righteous Victims, p. 91)

On partition: "The [Palestinian] Arab reaction would be negative because they would lose everything and gain almost nothing ...They would lose the richest part of Palestine; they would lose major Arab assets, the orange plantations, the commercial and industrial centers and the most important sources of revenue for their government which would become impoverished; they would lose most of the coastal area, which would also be a loss to the hinterland Arab states...It would mean that they would be driven back to the desert." (from Nur Masalha, Expulsion of the Palestinians, p.59)

"With regard to the refugees, we are determined to be adamant while the war lasts. Once the return tide starts, it will be impossible to stem it, and it will prove our undoing. As for the future, we are equally determined to explore all possibilities of getting rid, once and for all, of the huge [Palestinian] Arab minority [referring to the Palestinian Israeli citizens of Israel] which originally threatened us. What can be achieved in this period of storm and stress [referring to the 1948 war] will be quite unattainable once conditions get stabilized. (from Simha Flapan, The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities, p. 105)

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

what the israeli and us governments have done to the palestinians is sickening

[-] 1 points by ShubeLMorgan2 (1088) from New York, NY 8 years ago

Yes. What the Israelis and US have done is sickening. Here we need to do what we can to delegitimize zionism in the eyes of the people.

[-] 0 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

so now we have a tactical question on how best to achieve the goal of just peace - do you know the answer - i do not - nobody can see the future - we are all guessing - what is your guess?

[-] 1 points by ShubeLMorgan2 (1088) from New York, NY 8 years ago

My "guess" is that when organized Palestinian civil society asks the world to boycott Israel, and when that Palestinian civil society maintains a demand for the return of Palestinian refugees to their homes that I support that because I am on their side. Your "guess" is to call them "fanatics" and proclaim that they are not going to gain their objective. Chomsky's "guess" is to ridicule them, call them hypocrites and anti-Semites, and say of right of return "it's not gonna happen."

So we guess differently.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

you either cannot read well or want to distort things to fit your agenda - if you really think chomsky is on the side of the israeli state then you are insane. i have not published anything on the subject so you cannot really know my views but no excuse to pretend chomksy ridicules the palestinian cause - he has written and advocated for them for 40 years or more. i notice that barghouti is not calling those that disagree with him pro israel fascists.

[-] 1 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 8 years ago

Rabbi Waskow is an honest liberal Zionist. Of course he is against a boycott of Israel. He opposes the Palestinian right of return. Dr. Mustafa Barghouti is a diplomat who has to schmooze people like Waskow.

You probably know there was a vote last night in the Prospect Park food cooperative and a proposal that the cooperative join BDS was defeated.


Boycott measure goes down, 60-40, at Park Slope Food Co-op by Philip Weiss on March 28, 2012 14

Members of the Park Slope Food Co-op turned out in droves last night to hear arguments for and against a resolution to have a referendum of all members on boycotting Israeli products. The pro-boycott measure lost, 1005 to 635. Here is the New York Times account.


Here's a statement from Park Slope Food Coop members for BDS:

We are saddened to announce that the Park Slope Food Co-op will not at this time be holding a membership-wide referendum on whether to join the international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel's illegal occupation and colonization of Palestinian lands and other violations of Palestinian rights.

Many people came out last night and spoke with bravery and conviction about the importance of continuing this conversation through the process of a referendum. Our supporters have stood strong for months now in the face of both verbal and physical assaults outside the co-op, misinformation in the co-op publication the Gazette, a number of media reports downplaying the strength of our movement and misrepresenting our goals and motivations, and a slanderous and outrageous verbal attack from Mayor Bloomberg in the final hours before the vote.

Although we finished with a very significant level of support, almost 40%, the results of the vote show that there remains much work to do in our efforts to educate co-op members on the importance of BDS. Despite our loss tonight, we have succeeded in one of our goals: BDS has entered the consciousness of thousands of co-op members and others who had never heard the term before.

We remain committed to getting the facts out about the struggle for peace and justice for Palestinians, and the important role the nonviolent BDS movement has to play in that struggle.

Here's a statement from boycott leader Omar Barghouti:

Chapeau to supporters of Palestinian rights in New York, particularly those who are members of the Park Slope Co-op, for their heroic efforts and principled position.

While our partners in NY lost the vote -- for now -- one cannot but be very impressed with the actual result: 40% with us and 60% against us, that is a 2:3 ratio. If this is an indicator of support for BDS in Park Slope, an affluent Jewish neighborhood of NY, as everyone likes to remind us, then the movement is doing quite well. No wonder soft Zionists, like Peter Beinart, are terrified!

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

you are nuts - one of the worst kind - keep it to yourself - i have no need to hear your nonsense - talk to others please

[-] 1 points by frogmanofborneo (602) from New York, NY 8 years ago

flip, you ask if there can be honest disagreement and then you go and discredit yourself with personal attacks. I don't believe you can come up with an honest reply to 5440.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

[-] 1 points by fiftyfourforty (242) 1 day ago

You're a chomsky zombie.[-] 7 points by nomdeguerre (761) from Brooklyn, NY 3 weeks ago

Noam Chomsky is a left-gatekeeper fraud. A government paid pied piper tasked with misleading the left and drawing the boundaries of "acceptable dissent". ↥like ↧dislike reply permalink [-] 1 points by fiftyfourforty (242) 3 weeks ago

It looks that way, doesn't it? this would be silly if it weren't so damaging to ows and any move towards reigning in the move to the right by bush, obama and the u s gov't in general.

[-] 0 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

well you would have to read all of the back and forth with 5440 to make a judgement - things like chomsky is a paid gov't agent are as dumb as they come - the right of return is a non starter - cannot happen unless the world goes bizzarro - what pissed off the bds fanatics is that chomsky opposed it - they freaked and attacked him and anyone else who is against their idea - look for the other posts on bds - you will find some entertaining shit

[-] 2 points by frogmanofborneo (602) from New York, NY 8 years ago

The right of return remains a demand of the Palestinian people. It is a just and lawful demand. Who are you or Chomsky or Finkelstein to rule it out? What looks to be the real non starter though is the two state solution.

Oh, these following facts are all over the internet, and millions of people do see through Chomsky:

From: "Bob Feldman" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> Subject: MIT Professor Chomsky's military ties Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 18:00:23 -0400

Regarding the documentation of MIT Professor Chomsky's ties to the military during the McCarthy era of the 1950s:

"In 1955, Chomsky's friend Roman Jakobson arranged for him to work as a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Chomsky, in his own words, had no identifiable field or credentials in anything', but MIT,a scientific university which didn't care much about credentials,' was willing to overlook his lack of certifiable `professional competence'. Chomsky was made an assistant professor and assigned, ironically, to a machine translation project of the type he had often criticized. The project was directed by Victor Yngve and was being conducted at the MIT Research Laboratory of Electronics, which was subsidized by the U.S. military.

"...He was...interviewed by laboratory director Jerome Wiesner for the position...Chomsky was hired as a full-time faculty member, which meant that he was required to spend half his time workin in the research lab...Here, his ASPECTS OF THE THEORY OF SYNTAX was hatched...The funding for the research published in ASPECTS was provided by `the Joint Services Electronics Program (U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force), the Electronics Systems Division of the U.S. Air Force, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and NASA..." (from NOAM CHOMSKY: A Life of Dissent by Robert Barsky)

Jerome Weisner later became the head of JFK's Science Advisory Committee during the early 1960s; and according to the 1965 annual report of the Ford Foundation-subsidized Institute for Defense Analyses Pentagon weapons-research think-tank, Jerome Weisner was an Adviser to IDA's Jason Division group of university professors who performed counter-insurgency, Vietnam War-related weapons research every summer during the 1960s Viet Nam War Era. When students shut down Columbia University in 1968 in support of the demand that Columbia resign its institutional membership in IDA, MIT Professor Chomsky constructed a left anti-war rationalization for opposing the Columbia student revolt--but he did not disclose at the time that an IDA Jason Division consultant, Jerome Weisner, was the person who hired him as an MIT professor and military lab researcher during the McCarthy Era. As Barsky also notes in his NOAM CHOMSKY: A Life of Dissent book: "While he admired the challenge to the universities' that the students were so vehemently presenting, Chomsky thought their rebellions werelargely misguided,' and he `criticized [them] as they were in progress at Berkeley (1966) and Columbia (1968) particularly." Today, of course, MIT is still the 12th-largest recipient of U.S. Air Force war research contracts.


[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

it is a right and just demand but will never happen as you must know if you know anything about the world - the american indians should get their country back - it is a right and just demand but will never happen

[-] 3 points by frogmanofborneo (602) from New York, NY 8 years ago

flip, you want to change the subject. Over four million Palestinians demand the right to return to their homes. It is a just and lawful demand.

Folks like you and Chomsky ought to quit pretending to be on the side of the Palestinians if you cannot support their just and lawful demands. It's really that simple, and it would clarify who is who. And I've posted above information about Chomsky. As a cult follower you cannot even process it, let alone respond.

Your conduct gives an answer to your own question. There cannot be an honest difference about BDS among those who actually support the rights of the Palestinian people. Those who oppose those rights, like Noam and you, are honestly against BDS.


[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

well froggie i disagree - what you are asking for is right and just but lots of things are right and just and will never happen - in my opinion this is one of them and many palestinians will tell you that - it is a negotiating position not a deal breaker. unless there is a change of leadership in the world (and i mean radical change) if you insist on the right of return you will destroy any chance of making real peace. this is a matter of opinion since nobody can see the future but don't tell me that i am on the side of the israeli gov't - you know nothing about me and apparently nothing about chomsky even though anyone who wants the facts can get them. you do not have a monopoly on the truth - fanatics are not helping here!

[-] 1 points by frogmanofborneo (602) from New York, NY 8 years ago

Call it a deal breaker or call it a negotiating position. It's for the Palestinians to do their negotiating and fighting as they see fit. It's for their allies to back them up in their position, and not trash them as "fanatics" as you have and ridicule them as has Noam Chomsky. You seem to be on the Israeli negotiating team.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

wow - you are either a right wing agent provocateur or stupid - which is it?

[-] 1 points by frogmanofborneo (602) from New York, NY 8 years ago

It's you who attacks the Palestinians, not me.

It's for the Palestinians to do their negotiating and fighting as they see fit. It's for their allies to back them up in their position, and not trash them as "fanatics" as you have and ridicule them as has Noam Chomsky.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

and your palestinians are a monolithic block they all think bds is the way to go - you are the fanatic i was referring to not palestinians. you seem to think you have a monopoly on the truth - not sure but that might be the definition of a fanatic

[-] 1 points by frogmanofborneo (602) from New York, NY 8 years ago

Where is your list of Palestinian civil society organizations opposing BDS?

[-] 1 points by frogmanofborneo (602) from New York, NY 8 years ago

Posts below show a partial list of Palestinian "fanatics" by your lights, and anti-Semitic hypocrites as per Noam choomsky. This is the voice of all Palestinian political parties, NGO's in refugee camps, labor unions.

Internationally this list includes Desmond Tutu, a fanatical anti Semitic hypocrite right?

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

i agree that wea re not going anywhere - we can disagree without being assholes - well i can sometimes

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

this is exactly the problem - you either cannot read or do not want to - nobody has called the palestinians fanatics or anti semites - i called you and your buddy fanatics - me, i did it so i know exactly what i meant - i stand by that statement! there is a serious disagreement and you are not helping by calling chomsky -a man who for 50 yrs has given much to help oppressed people everywhere, names and distorting his position. my statement was and is that you are the fanatic - if you notice barghouti did not do this to waskow - why not - did you ever consider that there can be an honest disagreement between people who have the same objective. ok, so the list is impressive but that points out another problem - it is one thing to call a boycott on your own nation as the south africans did - it is another to call a boycott on the nation of someone else - i doubt you can understand the distinction - personally i do not have a position in this instance - not sure what is the correct way to play this. i do know that the power lies in washington and since it is our country that is where our efforts should be directed mainly. also i know that anyone who distorts chomsky's record and calls his integrity into question has lost their perspective - as i said - i doubt you can make sense of this so take your last shot - make some stupid ego gratifying statements but take note how barghouti handles the situation - he is the one whose life is one the line - you sit in your comfortable park slope brownstone and stand to lose nothing - ego gratification is what you do not serious work - throw some rocks at the windows of jpm - that would really help - it would make you feel like you are doing something while it discredits the movement. reread barghouti and tell me what you see!

[-] 1 points by frogmanofborneo (602) from New York, NY 8 years ago

flip, I think this entire discussion is just going around in circles and no one here is going to have their mind changed. I'm sure we all have better things to do.

[-] 1 points by frogmanofborneo (602) from New York, NY 8 years ago

Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS

Palestinian Civil Society Calls for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel Until it Complies with International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights

9 July 2005

Click here for language versions: Arabic - Spanish – French – Italian - German – Hebrew

Click here to see the endorsements as of July 9, 2005


One year after the historic Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which found Israel’s Wall built on occupied Palestinian territory to be illegal; Israel continues its construction of the colonial Wall with total disregard to the Court’s decision. Thirty eight years into Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian West Bank (including East Jerusalem), Gaza Strip and the Syrian Golan Heights, Israel continues to expand Jewish colonies. It has unilaterally annexed occupied East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights and is now de facto annexing large parts of the West Bank by means of the Wall. Israel is also preparing – in the shadow of its lanned redeployment from the Gaza Strip – to build and expand colonies in the West Bank. Fifty seven years after the state of Israel was built mainly on land ethnically cleansed of its Palestinian owners, a majority of Palestinians are refugees, most of whom are stateless. Moreover, Israel’s entrenched system of racial discrimination against its own Arab-Palestinian citizens remains intact.

In light of Israel’s persistent violations of international law; and

Given that, since 1948, hundreds of UN resolutions have condemned Israel’s colonial and discriminatory policies as illegal and called for immediate, adequate and effective remedies; and

Given that all forms of international intervention and peace-making have until now failed to convince or force Israel to comply with humanitarian law, to respect fundamental human rights and to end its occupation and oppression of the people of Palestine; and

In view of the fact that people of conscience in the international community have historically shouldered the moral responsibility to fight injustice, as exemplified in the struggle to abolish apartheid in South Africa through diverse forms of boycott, divestment and sanctions; and

Inspired by the struggle of South Africans against apartheid and in the spirit of international solidarity, moral consistency and resistance to injustice and oppression;

We, representatives of Palestinian civil society, call upon international civil society organizations and 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. We appeal to you to pressure your respective states to impose embargoes and sanctions against Israel. We also invite conscientious Israelis to support this Call, for the sake of justice and genuine peace.

The Palestinian political parties, unions, associations, coalitions and organizations below represent the three integral parts of the people of Palestine: Palestinian refugees, Palestinians under occupation and Palestinian citizens of Israel.

Unions, Associations, Campaigns

• Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine (Coordinating body for the major political parties in the Occupied Palestinian Territory)

• Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizen’s Rights (PICCR)

• Union of Arab Community Based Associations (ITTIJAH), Haifa

• Forum of Palestinian NGOs in Lebanon

• Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU)

• General Union of Palestinian Women (GUPW)

• General Union of Palestinian Teachers (GUPT)

• Federation of Unions of Palestinian Universities’ Professors and Employees

• Consortium of Professional Associations

• Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees (UPMRC)

• Health Work Committees – West Bank

• Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC)

• Union of Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC)

• Union of Health Work Committees – Gaza (UHWC)

• Union of Palestinian Farmers

• Occupied Palestine and Syrian Golan Heights Advocacy Initiative (OPGAI)

• General Union of Disabled Palestinians

• Palestinian Federation of Women’s Action Committees (PFWAC)

• Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)

• Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign

• Union of Teachers of Private Schools

• Union of Women’s Work Committees, Tulkarem (UWWC)

• Dentists’ Association – Jerusalem Center

• Palestinian Engineers Association

• Lawyers’ Association

• Network for the Eradication of Illiteracy and Adult Education, Ramallah

• Coordinating Committee of Rehabilitation Centers – West Bank

• Coalition of Lebanese Civil Society Organizations (150 organizations)

• Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR), Network of Student-based Canadian University Associations

Refugee Rights Associations/Organizations

Al-Ard Committees for the Defense of the Right of Return, Syria

Al-Awda Charitable Society, Beit Jala

Al Awda – Palestine Right-to-Return Coalition, U.S.A

Al-Awda Toronto Aidun Group – Lebanon Aidun Group – Syria Alrowwad Cultural and Theatre Training Center, Aida refugee camp

Association for the Defense of the Rights of the Internally Displaced (ADRID), Nazareth

BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, Bethlehem

Committee for Definite Return, Syria Committee for the Defense of Palestinian Refugee Rights, Nablus

Consortium of the Displaced Inhabitants of Destroyed Palestinian Villages and Towns

Filastinuna – Commission for the Defense of the Right of Return, Syria

Handala Center, ‘Azza (Beit Jibreen) refugee camp, Bethlehem

High Committee for the Defense of the Right of Return, Jordan

(including personal endorsement of 71 members of parliament, political parties and unions in Jordan)

High National Committee for the Defense of the Right of Return , Ramallah

International Right of Return Congress (RORC)

Jermana Youth Forum for the Defense of the Right of Return, Syria

Laji Center, Aida camp, Bethlehem Local Committee for Rehabilitation, Qalandia refugee camp, Jerusalem

Local Committee for Rehabilitation of the Disabled, Deheishe refugee camp, Bethlehem

Palestinian National Committee for the Defense of the Right of Return, Syria

Palestinian Return Association, Syria Palestinian Return Forum, Syria Palestine Right-of-Return Coalition (Palestine, Arab host countries, Europe, North America)

Palestine Right-of-Return Confederation-Europe (Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden)

Palestinian Youth Forum for the Right of Return, Syria

PLO Popular Committees – West Bank refugee camps

PLO Popular Committees – Gaza Strip refugee camps

Popular Committee – al-’Azza (Beit Jibreen) refugee camp, Bethlehem

Popular Committee – Deheishe refugee camp, Bethlehem

Shaml – Palestinian Diaspora and Refugee Center, Ramallah

Union of Women’s Activity Centers – West Bank Refugee Camps

Union of Youth Activity Centers – Palestine Refugee Camps, West Bank and Gaza

Women’s Activity Center – Deheishe refugee camp, Bethlehem

Yafa Cultural Center, Balata refugee camp, Nablus

[-] 1 points by frogmanofborneo (602) from New York, NY 8 years ago


Abna’ al-Balad Society, Nablus Addameer Center for Human Rights, Gaza

Addameer Prisoners’ Support and Human Rights Association, Ramallah

Alanqa’ Cultural Association, Hebron Al-Awda Palestinian Folklore Society, Hebron

Al-Doha Children’s Cultural Center, Bethlehem

Al-Huda Islamic Center, Bethlehem Al-Jeel al-Jadid Society, Haifa

Al-Karameh Cultural Society, Um al-Fahm

Al-Maghazi Cultural Center, Gaza Al-Marsad Al-Arabi, occupied Syrian Golan Heights

Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, Gaza

Al-Nahda Cultural Forum, Hebron Al-Taghrid Society for Culture and Arts, Gaza

Alternative Tourism Group, Beit Sahour (ATG) Al-Wafa’ Charitable Society, Gaza Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ)

Arab Association for Human Rights, Nazareth (HRA)

Arab Center for Agricultural Development (ACAD)

Arab Center for Agricultural Development-Gaza

Arab Educational Institute – Open Windows (affiliated with Pax Christie International)

Arab Orthodox Charitable Society – Beit Sahour

Arab Orthodox Charity – Beit Jala Arab Orthodox Club – Beit Jala Arab Orthodox Club – Beit Sahour Arab Students’ Collective, University of Toronto

Arab Thought Forum, Jerusalem (AFT)

Association for Cultural Exchange Hebron – France

Association Najdeh, Lebanon Authority for Environmental Quality, Jenin Bader Society for Development and Reconstruction, Gaza

Canadian Palestine Foundation of Quebec, Montreal

Center for the Defense of Freedoms, Ramallah

Center for Science and Culture, Gaza

Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ramallah- Al-Bireh District

Child Development and Entertainment Center, Tulkarem

Committee for Popular Participation, Tulkarem Defense for Children International-Palestine Section, Ramallah (DCI/PS)

El-Funoun Palestinian Popular Dance Troupe

Ensan Center for Democracy and Human Rights, Bethlehem

Environmental Education Center, Bethlehem FARAH – Palestinian Center for Children, Syria

Ghassan Kanafani Society for Development, Gaza

Ghassan Kanafani Forum, Syria Gaza Community Mental Health Program, Gaza (GCMHP)

Golan for Development, occupied Syrian Golan Heights

Halhoul Cultural Forum, Hebron Himayeh Society for Human Rights, Um al-Fahm

Holy Land Trust – Bethlehem Home of Saint Nicholas for Old Ages – Beit Jala

Human Rights Protection Center, Lebanon In’ash al-Usrah Society, Ramallah International Center of Bethlehem (Dar An-Nadweh) Islah Charitable Society-Bethlehem Jafra Youth Center, Syria Jander Center, al-Azza (Beit Jibreen) refugee camp, Bethlehem

Jerusalem Center for Women, Jerusalem (JCW)

Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC )

Khalil Al Sakakini Cultural Center, Ramallah

Land Research Center, Jerusalem (LRC)

Liberated Prisoners’ Society, Palestine Local Committee for Social Development, Nablus

Local Committee for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled, Nablus

MA’AN TV Network, Bethlehem Medical Aid for Palestine, Canada MIFTAH-Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy, Ramallah

Muwatin-The Palestinian Institute for the Study of Democracy

National Forum of Martyr’s Families, Palestine

Near East Council of Churches Committee for Refugee Work – Gaza Area

Network of Christian Organizations – Bethlehem (NCOB)

Palestinian Council for Justice and Peace, Jerusalem

Palestinian Counseling Center, Jerusalem (PCC)

Palestinian Democratic Youth Union, Lebanon Palestinian Farmers’ Society, Gaza Palestinian Hydrology Group for Water and Environment Resources Development-Gaza

Palestinian Prisoners’ Society-West Bank Palestinian Society for Consumer Protection, Gaza

Palestinian University Students’ Forum for Peace and Democracy, Hebron

Palestinian Women’s Struggle Committees Palestinian Working Women Society for Development (PWWSD)

Popular Art Centre, Al-Bireh Prisoner’s Friends Association – Ansar Al-Sajeen, Majd al-Krum

Public Aid Association, Gaza Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies

Saint Afram Association – Bethlehem Saint Vincent De Paule – Beit Jala Senior Citizen Society – Beit Jala Social Development Center, Nablus Society for Self-Development, Hebron Society for Social Work, Tulkarem Society for Voluntary Work and Culture, Um al-Fahm

Society of Friends of Prisoners and Detainees, Um al-Fahm

Sumoud-Political Prisoners Solidarity Group, Toronto

Tamer Institute for Community Education, Ramallah

TCC – Teacher’s Creativity Center, Ramallah Wi’am Center, Bethlehem Women’s Affairs Technical Committee, Ramallah and Gaza (WATC)

Women’s Studies Center, Jerusalem (WSC)

Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counseling, Jerusalem (WCLAC)

Yafa for Education and Culture, Nablus

Yazour Charitable Society, Nablus YMCA-East Jerusalem Youth Cooperation Forum, Hebron YWCA-Palestine Zakat Committee-al-Khader, Bethlehen Zakat Committee-Deheishe camp, Bethlehem The Palestinian Center for Rapprochement between People (PCR) Alternative Voice in the Galilee (AVIG) Back to top

[-] 1 points by ShubeLMorgan2 (1088) from New York, NY 8 years ago

Flip supports something as "unrealistic" as #OWS with its call for global revolution, but opposes Palestinian right to return because Israel is against it and Israel is just too strong (?). Contradiction there.

[-] 1 points by frogmanofborneo (602) from New York, NY 8 years ago

Sure is...

[-] 1 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 8 years ago

You're a chomsky zombie. Of course I will honor your request and no longer communicate with you.

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

oh, please no - keep sending me dumb shit - what would i do otherwise?

[-] 0 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 8 years ago

flip, stop acting like an ass.

[-] 0 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

Noam Chomsky is a left-gatekeeper fraud. A government paid pied piper tasked with misleading the left and drawing the boundaries of "acceptable dissent". - 5440 says - It looks that way, doesn't it? - utter nonsense - i have no idea where you are coming from. obviously you believe in bds and struggle with those who think it is a bad idea. i have no opinion on the matter for the most part - the usa is the problem and that is where our effort should be directed - at our own gov't! the israeli occupation is a nightmare as chomsky has said many times - no need to attack my boy noam - this is what the left has done too many times - if you think noam is a zionist and a gatekeeper then i am not an ass - you have some serious rethinking to do!

[-] 0 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 8 years ago

Liberal Zionism has an answer to BDS called Zionist BDS. It advocates boycott of products from the occupied territories.


Beinart’s ‘Zionist BDS’ will only help entrench the occupation by Gabriel Ash on March 20, 2012 24 Peter's Beinart argument for why boycott only settlements' goods never made any sense. According to Beinart,

boycotting anything inside the green line invites ambiguity about the boycott’s ultimate goal — whether it seeks to end Israel’s occupation or Israel’s existence. (New York Times, March 18, 2012 )

But that is simply not true. The Boycott is a strategy for pressure, not a strategy of representation. If I don't buy Avocados from Israel, this is not because Israelis use avocados to oppress Palestinians. It is because I send a message that I am willing to take punitive action against Israel. The actual pressure is not a representation of the offense, just as the prison term that I would like Tzipi Livni to serve is not a representation of the crime of bombing civilians.

Beinart is taking advantage of the fact that the BDS movement does not offer a blueprint for a resolution in order to read into a purely strategic question, what pressure is effective, a symbolism that simply isn't there. There is no logical reason why, for example, a "Zionist BDS" of the kind Beinart envisages would not boycott high tech products made in Tel Aviv on the basis of an explicit demand that Israel return to the 67 borders.

Most of the left critique of Beinart focuses on his misguided attachment to a state that is Jewish for Palestinians and democratic for Jews. I completely concurs with that critique but I think it is equally important to understand Beinart's strategy.

For a few years now, the Reut Institute has emerged as the strategic brain of a coordinated approach to defending Israel from the international grassroots struggle against it, and most importantly from BDS, which the Reut institute dubbed a "strategic threat" to Israel. The Reut institute proposes a strategic defense based on a number of principles, of which I want to highlight three that are most important (see for e.g.: link to www.reut-institute.org)

Countering the growing grassroots solidarity with Palestinians by aping its key methods, including relying on networks, community work and division of labor between local work and global coordination. A big tent approaches that accepts the legitimacy of criticism of Israel, even harsh, provided that the "red line" of "denying Israel's right of self-determination" is not crossed. Driving a wedge between those who support BDS but are not committed to supporting full Palestinian rights and those who do. According to Reut, the latter, called "catalysts," are relatively few but have an enormous impact. They can therefore be isolated and neutralized. There is a lot to be said about this reactionary agenda, but it serves no purpose to deny that the Reut institute makes a reasonably good effort to provide intelligence and strategy services for a "counter-insurgency" campaign against BDS based on the familiar "winning hearts and minds" model.

In responding to his right-wing critics, Beinart effectively defended his own effort by highlighting its compliance with the Reut institute's template:

Let’s imagine you’re some left-leaning Christian denomination. You’ve recently sent some of your ministers to the West Bank and they’ve come back appalled because, well, most people who see the occupation up close come back appalled. They want to do something. Their local BDS activists tell them to boycott Israel. Their local Jewish organizational officials tell them that doing so would be anti-Semitic.

Right now, they have no way to oppose Israel’s occupation without opposing Israel’s existence. Zionist BDS offers them that alternative. Without it, the Jewish organizations may pressure them into not boycotting Israel this year, but every time they go back and see the settlements expanding further, they’ll be more inclined to do so. And the more they see the one state reality that settlements are creating, the more they’ll embrace for practical reasons what BDS activists embrace for ideological ones: a future that dismantles Israel as a Jewish state. (Beinart, The Daily Beast, March 20, 2012 )

Thus, the virtue of a Boycott of the settlements that Beinart highlights is that it would drain support for BDS by separating soft supporters from the BDS leadership, offering an alternative that allows criticism of Israel but doesn't threaten it too much, and working with wavering organizations, individuals and communities in a manner that copies the BDS model. The limitation of the boycott to the settlements is a convenient branding, since it isn't material to any of Beinart's professed goals.

I'll be charitable and accept that Beinart honestly believes that his proposed strategy can also end the occupation. It is worth noting that this is not the opinion of the Reut Institute which has no interest in ending anything.

Surely, a credible and persistent commitment by Israel for a peace that establishes a Palestinian state and brings about an “end of conflict” would weaken the grounds of Israel's delegitimization. However, the viability of the peace process is undermined by several structural obstacles, such as the effective actions of the resistance network to sabotage it and the constitutional and political crisis within Palestinian politics. This reality necessitates an Israeli strategy to fight delegitimization within the context of political stalemate. (Eran Shayshon, The Jewish Journal, 4/27/2010)

In other words, ending the occupation would be nice, but it can't be done because the Palestinians aren't ready, so let's focus on what's important, defending Israel.

Beinart's proposal, if it were to put to work, would be a joint effort by deluded but honest folks and cynical strategists like Shayson. There is little chance that it would achieve even the limited goals of ending the occupation. Why? Because the strength of BDS is tied to its Palestinian leadership and the way it puts Palestinian concerns at the center of the struggle. It is this commitment that both captures the imagination of solidarity activists and creates dynamics that sidestep distractions, build unity and focus energies on effective action. The movement that Beinart proposes would be, in contrast, led by Jews and put Jewish concern at its center. Jews, however, are not those who are oppressed by Israeli apartheid. Thus, a large part of the energy and commitment that Beinart movement will have to mobilize in order to succeed will always be derivative. Beinart himself describes his key motivation as fear over the destruction of Zionism. Beinart's movement will have to mobilize primarily on the basis of that fear which is generated by BDS rather than on the basis of principles of justice that demand the end of the occupation (that is not to deny that Beinart truly finds the occupation abhorrent). Fear is a reactive driver. As long as BDS advances, such an anti-BDS movement built on fear could theoretically piggy back on it and grow as well. But if the Shayson strategy succeeded in weakening BDS, a critical mass of Beinart's activists would go home, and the occupation would continue. It's like mistaking a thermostat for a water heater.

Taking into consideration the willingness of the New York Times to publish such calls as well as the deep similarities between Beinart's proposal and Reut's model of counter-insurgency, this development should be taken seriously. Beinart wants to offer an alternative big tent to BDS. Criticizing the ideological premises of this effort is important. But it is also important to say to those who are still dreaming of ending the occupation and keeping a Jewish state that what they are being offered is snake oil and more occupation. While I support and prefer a single, democratic state, I have no crystal ball to predict what kind of resolution will follow if we succeed in putting on Israel unbearable pressure. But I can predict with confidence that Beinart's effort can only help entrench the occupation. That is not a step in the right direction, even if the intention is halfway decent.

This post originally appeared at Jews sans frontieres.


[-] 1 points by freewriterguy (882) 8 years ago

im telling you we should forsake israel, or else it will be to our detriment. You see in the wisdom of our Lord who gave israel a letter of divorcement, he has extending his blessings unto us here in "the promised land" but if the people do not wake up and see it. Then their prophecy will become fulfilled where he will remove his blessing from us, and remember his ancient covenant people israel whom he divorced, and give it to them, (also in scripture) and in that day he will strengthen them (as he has strengthened us in times past) and we shall have no more power over them. Thus it will be to our detriment. This may be hard for people to hear, but remember that i told you about this long before it happened.

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

sorry but i don't think i am with you here - governments are different from nations and peoples. our government must stop supporting the government of israel - god and the bible have nothing to do with this - believe what you like but keep you religion out of my world

[-] 1 points by freewriterguy (882) 8 years ago

i agree with you when i said, "we should forsake (as in forget about) israel".

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

i am into this type of scripture - The wealthy man begins the conversation by asking Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life, to which Jesus answers with this:

You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’

When the rich man explains that he has done these things since childhood, Jesus responds with this challenge:

One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will havetreasure in heaven; and come, follow me. --- not this - You see in the wisdom of our Lord who gave israel a letter of divorcement, he has extending his blessings unto us here in "the promised land" but if the people do not wake up and see it. Then their prophecy will become fulfilled where he will remove his blessing from us, and remember his ancient covenant people israel whom he divorced, and give it to them, (also in scripture) and in that day he will strengthen them (as he has strengthened us in times past) and we shall have no more power over them. Thus it will be to our detriment. This may be hard for people to hear, but remember that i told you about this long before it happened.