Friday, June 03, 2016


Palestinian BDS Operatives: Activities of US Peace Groups Are Destroying Anti-Normalization Efforts

Gaza BDS activist Haidar Eid said that there was resentment among BDS activists toward Palestinian authorities for allowing American peace groups such as One Voice, Seeds of Peace, and the Peace Alliance, to operate in the West Bank and Gaza. "Allowing such groups to operate in the Gaza Strip destroys the boycott campaign," he said.

BDS activist Omar Barghouti said that the Right of Return was "the most important of the three rights upon which we are insisting."

They were speaking on the Lebanese channel Palestine Today TV on April 10, 2016.
Barghouti (who, remember, went to Tel Aviv University while saying that all normalization with Israel by everyone else is absolutely prohibited) gives a nice list of BDS fails in the Arab world:

- Israeli security delegations in Saudi Arabia
- Israeli sports delegations in Qatar
- Israeli trade delegations in the UAE
- Other Israeli delegations in Bahrain, Morocco and elsewhere.

Barghouti laments how poorly the BDS movement is doing among his Arab brethren at the same time he tells Bloomberg News that even though Israel's foreign investment has tripled since he started the BDS movement, "BDS is not just working. It is working far better and spreading into the mainstream much faster than we had anticipated."

Bloomberg notes:
Despite the appreciating shekel -- a sign of foreign investor confidence -- Israeli startups raised $3.76 billion last year from non-Israeli investors, the highest annual amount in a decade, according to data collected by IVC Research Center. Foreigners, who are responsible for at least 50 percent of total yearly investment in Israeli startups, spent an additional $5.89 billion acquiring them. Chinese buyout firm XIO Group’s $510 million purchase of Lumenis Ltd. led high-tech mergers and acquisitions followed by a U.S. private equity firm’s $438 million buyout of ClickSoftware Technologies Ltd. (Acquisitions aren’t captured as part of foreign investment in startups.)
UPDATE: Transcript of the interview:

Omar Baghouti: "The BDS movement embraces international law, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This is intrinsic to our movement, not something alien to it. Ever since we established the movement, we insisted that it would not be exclusionary, and would include anybody who abides by international law and human rights, and who believes in the rights of the Palestinian people – the entire Palestinian people, in the homeland and in the diaspora. We are talking about putting an end to the occupation, and to apartheid – Israel's racist system of segregation – and about the need for the return of the refugees, the most important of the three rights upon which we are insisting, because some 68% of the Palestinians, in Palestine and the diaspora, are refugees."
Haidar Eid: "To be honest, I embrace this opportunity to point out that there is resentment among the BDS activists in Palestine, both in the 1948 and the 1967 borders, at all the normalization projects, which are allowed to operate in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip – especially in the West Bank."
Host: "Are you saying that normalization activities are taking place in Gaza?"
Haidar Eid: "I would not call this 'normalization activities,' but rather, the undoing of the standards of the boycott in the Gaza Strip, by authorizing pro-normalization American organizations, such as One Voice, Seeds of Peace, or the Peace Alliance, which was established after the Geneva Accord, which gave up the Right of Return of the Palestinian refugees, even though approximately 75% of Gaza's residents are refugees, to whom international law has guaranteed the Right of Return. Allowing such organizations to operate in the Gaza Strip destroys the boycott campaign."
Omar Baghouti: "Unfortunately, the official Arab and even Palestinian normalization is on the rise. We hold the official Palestinian circles primarily responsible for this, because they are the gateway to Arab-Israeli normalization. If official Palestinian normalization had not reached this level, nobody would have dared to host Israeli delegations in Saudi Arabia, sports delegations in Qatar, trade delegations in the UAE, and delegations in Bahrain, Morocco, and so on. Official Arab normalization has reached critical proportions. In light of the oppression of Arab liberties and civil society, our allies and BDS activists in the Arab world oppose this normalization, but with great difficulty. They are in need of help, but the litmus test is, first and foremost, putting an end to Palestinian normalization."

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