Friday, January 9, 2009
Boycott, Divest, Sanction
Naomi Klein, in The Nation:
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 apartheid struggle. 'The boycott on South Africa was effective, but Israel is handled with kid gloves... This international backing must stop.'
Aluf Benn, Haaretz Correspondent: Israel is moving toward a decision to occupy the whole Gaza Strip. The message yesterday from Jerusalem was that it is impossible to end Operation Cast Lead without an achievement, and if in the next two days there is no satisfactory diplomatic solution, Israel will have to broaden the operation... Israel is in a bind. If it pulls out now from Gaza, it will appear to have cut and run at the first sign of trouble battling Hamas. And if it goes on to a full occupation of the Strip, it may pay a heavy economic and political price without achieving its political goals.