Boycott divestment and sanction (bds)

BDS is a worldwide movement with one clear intention, to bring global pressure to bear on Israel to stop its expansionist movement into Palestinian territories and to bring Israel into a genuine, respectful and peaceful dialogue with Palestinian authorities.  The movement is not antagonistic to the security of the State of Israel.  On the contrary, I and others who support BDS in Australia believe that Israel’s security will be immeasurably strengthened if it negotiates a peaceful and respectful settlement which allows for a Palestinian State alongside a secure Israel based on 1967 borders.   Supporters of BDS, like me, are labelled anti-Semitic by the Zionist lobby. This pathetic name calling almost certainly results from the effectiveness of the programme.  There are several reasons why this name calling is wrong and in its own way a continuation of abuse from the powerful towards the victims of that pow

  1. The Palestinians suffer grievous oppression at the hands of a Netanyahu led administration. An oppressed people have only three possible options open to them: resist violently, resist non-violently or simply accept the oppression.  Fair minded people would agree that the last is unthinkable while the first is counter-productive and invariably continues the unending cycle of violence. Non-violent resistance is the only option. BDS is an expression of non-violent resistance. To condemn it is by implication to push the oppressed into resistance which will intensify the oppression.  Perhaps that is what Israel wants – an excuse to intensify oppression.
  2. Businesses targeted from supporters of boycott programme in Australia are often not Jewish, or even Israeli.  They are companies that profit from the building of settlements in the Palestinian territories. How is this ‘anti-Semitic’? Disinvestment is targeted towards similar companies. 
  3. Boycott of Israeli academic or cultural institutions is most often promoted by members of those in the Australian Jewish community who are appalled and feel demeaned in their Jewish identity by the actions of  a Netanyahu government acting outside the ethical standards expected of Jewish culture and tradition.  
  4. The hypocrisy of the Zionist lobby is breath taking. Every attempt is made by the Israeli government to maintain an economic boycott of Palestine and Palestinians. Palestinian business people and entrepreneurs are not free to engage with and trade internationally. Energy and communications in the Palestinian territories are administered to give maximum benefit to Israel. The division of Palestine into areas A, B and C ensures that the very considerable tourism to the Holy Land benefits Israel and not Palestine etc etc.

The Israeli lobby would like legislation passed in Australia to prosecute the promotion of BDS. The Victorian Premier, speaking to a Jewish gathering, is reported to be sympathetic to this notion.   Should he proceed to have such legislation drafted in the Victorian parliament it will give a wonderful platform to BDS supporters to make known the real agenda of BDS  and the oppressive violations against international law of the Israeli government.

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