BDS was formally launched in 2005 by a coalition of about 170 Palestinian grassroots and civil society groups.
BDS started in 2005—just one year after the International Court of Justice issued an advisory opinion that “Israel’s building of a barrier in the occupied Palestinian territory is illegal.”
Boycotts, although a common form of non-violent protest and an effective way to raise awareness around an issue, are often not effective in creating a significant or immediate economic dent or policy change. In the late fifties, the African National Congress in South Africa called for foreign governments to withdraw investments, halt trade and enact a broad boycott South African consumer goods, academia and sports. In the 1790s, English and American abolitionists boycotted sugar produced by slaves.
In 1945, the Arab League—a collection of close to two-dozen Middle Eastern and African countries began an economic boycott of Israeli companies and goods.
In some ways, BDS continues and was born out of the lack of alternative ways to express Palestinian grievances. “Every other form of Palestinian resistance has been criminalized and made unavailable,” says Noura Erakat, a human rights attorney and assistant professor at Rutgers University. “It’s not that BDS is integral. What do we have besides it?”
Practically no critics of BDS are quoted (except for a brief quote by Rabbi David Wolpe.) while crtitics of Israel are quoted at length. As far as answering the question by Noura Erekat - whose Palestinian origins are not mentioned - perhaps one alternative is if the Palestinians would negotiate with Israel in good faith and accept the existence of a Jewish state, as Bahrain and the UAE have.
The article also includes a link to the BDS webpage - but the article has no similar links to any BDS critics.
The BDS national committee says that it does not advocate for any particular solution to the conflict in terms of a “one state” or “two state” solution but that their focus is on Palestinian human rights and regaining control of occupied territories. “Under international law, no political regime, especially a colonial and oppressive one, has any inherent “right to exist,” said Omar Barghouti, human rights defender and co-founder of the BDS movement, in an email to TIME. “No state, whether apartheid South Africa in the past or apartheid Israel today, has a right to be racist or supremacist, privileging part of its population based on identity, and excluding another part, which happens to be the indigenous nation.”
Is BDS anti-semitic?BDS leaders and supporters have vehemently denied that the movement is anti-semitic, saying that they “target the Israeli state” for “serious violations of international law” and do not go after “any individual or group simply because they are Israeli.” When Pompeo conflated BDS with anti-Semitism, Palestinians, as well as national and international civil rights advocates, objected.
Mansoor gives practically no arguments that prove that BDS is an antisemitic movement.
BDS doesn't recognize the Jewish people as a people, only a religion. It advocates boycotting only Jewish businesses in Israel, not Arab-owned businesses. It puts a litmus test on Israeli Jews, and only Jews, to declare themselves to be explicitly anti-Zionist in order to allow them to speak on campus - and it often objects to Jews in any political role on campus unless they are anti-Zionist. it objects to only the Jewish state and not any other state that defines itself in ethnic terms.
You wouldn't know any of this from this article.
She also doesn't mention that the German parliament and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared BDS to be antisemitic. Instead she frames it as only being opposed by right-wing Jewish groups and Mike Pompeo.
“If you say anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism then you’re basically condemning all Palestinians as anti-Semites because they decide to exist,” Erakat says. The reason that BDS has been met with fierce opposition is because it “morally challenges Zionism as a political project,” she adds.
Jews and Jewish groups are not united on the issue about whether BDS is anti-semitic. While many conservative Jewish groups criticize BDS for unfairly singling out Israel and worry that it’s ultimate aim is to delegitimize any notion of a Jewish state, dozens of progressive Jewish groups have taken issue with the characterization of BDS as anti-Semitic, fearing that doing so overshadows “legitimate critiques of Israeli policies.”
Almost one quarter of American Jews under 40 support the boycott of products made in Israel, according to a National Jewish Survey of 8000 Jewish voters in the 2020 election from J Street, a “pro-Israel, pro-peace” group that identifies as progressive—they oppose Israeli occupation but are also against the global BDS movement.
Student bodies at a few dozen U.S. colleges have voted to divest from or boycott companies that profit from Israeli occupation and human rights violations, according to the National Students for Justice in Palestine, whose chapters have been advocating for BDS.
This is not an objective description of BDS. It is a thinly disguised piece of pro-BDS propaganda.