OK

In the mid-19th century, influenced by the nationalism then sweeping much of the continent, some European Jews concluded that the remedy to centuries of persecution and pogroms in Europe and Russia was the creation of a nation state for Jews in Palestine. Some of them subsequently began emigrating to the Holy Land. In 1874, there were about 14,000 Jews in Palestine, and about 426,000 Arabs.
http://imeu.org/...
Since that time, the Palestinian people have been subjected to colonialism, ethnic cleansing, massacres and atrocities, terrorism, and dispossession, martial law, blockade, and occupation at the hands of first the early Zionists and then the state of Israel, with a big assist from many Western and Arab powers.

The Palestinians have tried every which way to halt and reverse their dispossession, as anyone would. They have tried revolts, rejectinga partition plan, terrorism, non-violent resistance, violent resistance, working with Israel, recognizing Israel , participating in peace processes, shunning Hamas, unifying with Hamas, maintaining quiet for Israel, non-violent protest, appealing to international bodies, appealing to international law. The result has been further dispossession and regularly-scheduled bouts of grass-mowing by Israel, which is where they find themselves today.

What can we as liberals do to help the Palestinians, and frankly, to try to protect ourselves from the blowback to our government's pro-Israel policies? I do write to my representatives and the White House even though I'm probably just spitting in the wind. I believe it might helpful to let our reps know there are more of us out there. However, due to domestic political considerations, until there is serious campaign finance reform in this country, I think it is unrealistic to expect US politicians to take any meaningful stand against Israel.

If we are interested in justice for the Palestinians, and safety from blowback from our government's stand on Israel, then the only way forward is boycott, sanctions and divestment from Israel (BDS).

We the people are going to have to leave the US government behind on this one, just like we did in South Africa. You many recall that the US government clung to the SA apartheid government until the end.

What is BDS?


BDS is a call to global citizens to respond (non-violently) to Israel's continued denial of Palestinian rights to freedom, equality, and self-determination through its ethnic cleansing, colonization, racial discrimination, and military occupation.
On July 9 2005, a year after the International Court of Justice’s historic advisory opinion on the illegality of Israel’s Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), a clear majority of Palestinian civil society called upon their counterparts and people of conscience all over the world to launch broad boycotts, implement divestment initiatives, and to demand sanctions against Israel, until Palestinian rights are recognised in full compliance with international law.

The campaign for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) is shaped by a rights-based approach and highlights the three broad sections of the Palestinian people: the refugees, those under military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and Palestinians in Israel. The call urges various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law by:

Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall;
Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

http://www.bdsmovement.net/...

BDS doesnt advocate for a one-state solution, or a two-state solution. It is rights-based, advocating for the human, civil and legal rights of Palestinians. The campaigns under the movement are: an academic boycott, a cultural boycott, a consumer boycott, divestment, and sanctions.

What Can you Do?

1. Personally boycott products from either the illegal Israeli settlements, or Israel, or both. You can read more at this link: http://www.bdsmovement.net/...
. The movement suggests:

Trying to boycott the products of every single company that participates in Israeli apartheid is a daunting task that has a slim change of having a concrete impact.

It makes more sense to focus on optimal targets that are being targeted as part of national or international campaigns. Consumer boycotts are most effective when part of a broader campaign against a particular product or aiming to pressure a retailer to stop selling a particular Israeli product.

That means we can focus on Ahava cosmetics, SodaStream, Eden Springs bottled water, Golan Heights wineries, Israeli Medjoul dates and other fruits and vegetables from the settlements, HP, Caterpillar, Volvo and Hyundai.

There is also an app available for smartphones call Buycott that lets you choose causes you want to participate in, and then lets you scan barcodes of products to tell you whether the product is aligned with your goals. Freeing Palestine is one of the causes you can sign up for.

2. Agitate for American businesses to stop profiting from the Israeli occupation.
http://www.whoprofits.org

3. Advocate for divestment from corporations doing business with either Israel, the settlements or both.
http://www.bdsmovement.net/...

4. Advocate for an arms embargo on Israel. There is a campaign on now. You can add you name to a list that includes Nobel laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Adolfo Peres Esquivel, Jody Williams, Mairead Maguire, Rigoberta Menchú and Betty Williams as well as Noam Chomsky, Roger Waters from Pink Floyd, playwright Caryl Churchill, US rapper Boots Riley, João Antonio Felicio, the president of the International Trade Union Confederation, and Zwelinzima Vavi, the general secretary of the Confederation of South African Trade Unions.
http://www.bdsmovement.net/...

5. Advocate for better coverage of the issue by the main stream media. I don't believe there is an organization for this, but there should be. Fair.org is a progressive website that follows the media and currently has a lot to say about the coverage of this crisis. The key is to register your complaints with the media as they happen.

6. Advocate for your favorite artists to refuse to perform in Israel (politely) and encourage those who have already joined the boycott. This can be done on Twitter and Facebook.
http://www.bdsmovement.net/...

Successes in the last 18 months

July 23 2014 - The African Liturature Association joined the academic boycott.
http://electronicintifada.net/....

July 3 - Brighton, UK, Sodastream store shuts down after two years.
http://www.haaretz.com/...

June 20 2014 – Presbyterians voted to divest from 3 American business that profit from the occupation
http://www.nytimes.com/....

Feb 2014-Norway's $810 billion sovereign wealth fund divested from two Israeli companies.
http://www.ft.com/....

The Dutch pension fund, PGGM, with over $210 billion in assets, announced it has divested from five Israeli banks, effective January 1, 2014.
http://www.reuters.com/....

December 15 2013 - The Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) announced that it will join the boycott of Israeli academic institutions.
http://www.dailykos.com/....

Dec 2013, American Studies Association endorsed the Association’s participation in a boycott of Israeli academic institutions
http://www.theasa.net/....

May 2013, Stephen Hawking joined academic boycott
http://www.theguardian.com/....

May 7th, 2013 - Oberlin College Student Senate endorses divestment resolution
http://electronicintifada.net/...

April 2013 – Association for Asian American Studies joined academic boycott
http://www.insidehighered.com/....

March 16th, 2013 - Mennonites Divest From Israeli Occupation
http://mcc.org/...

March 14th, 2013 - UC San Diego Students Vote to Divest (non-binding)
http://electronicintifada.net/...

March 9th, 2013 - The Netherlands calls on Retailers to Distinguish Between Israeli Produce and Produce Grown in Illegal Settlements
http://www.haaretz.com/...

Israeli Captains of Industry Fear Boycott
http://www.ynetnews.com/...

European Boycotts Begin to Bite Catching Israel's Attention
http://www.csmonitor.com/...

The time is now. Please join us.

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Will You Join BDS?

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