BDS: Why it Works

BDS: Why it Works

Lisa Taraki, founder of the Palestinian campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, sums up the goals of BDS:

“BDS is a rights-based strategy to be pursued until Israel meets its obligations to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable rights to self-determination and complies with the requirements of international law.”

Professor Richard Falk, on BDS:

Richard Falk, the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, said the following about BDS in 2010:

“It is politically and morally appropriate, as well as legally correct, to accord maximum support to the BDS campaign.”

Trade & Students’ Unions Support BDS!

COSATU, South Africa’s largest trade union federation was one of the first unions to endorse the BDS call. Earlier in 2013, the ULU, the largest student union in Europe, passed motion to support BDS!

Logic of the BDS Movement:

BDS is based on pressure, not diplomacy, persuasion or dialogue. BDS argues that focusing on dialogue means the two sides are somehow equally culpable in the Occupation. Taraki states that dialogue does not promote change, it only reinforces the status quo. Taraki also states that using the term dialogue makes Israelis feel they are taking action when in fact they are not. In contrast, she states, the logic of BDS is the logic of pressure, and that pressure has certainly been growing as we have seen with students’ unions and pension funds like TIAA-CREF divest from Occupation Profiteers like SodaStream.

Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb has also stated that “boycott and divestment offer the most forceful, nonviolent tool for change.”

She stressed that BDS requires strategy and research to identify effective targets.

According to David Wildman, a Methodist human rights activist, BDS works for five reasons. He said the movement works because it’s moral, it’s nonviolent, it’s something churches have done before and it’s a response to calls for action from Palestinian civil society.

He said 10 different United Methodist Church regional groups have adopted divestment resolutions in recent years against companies profiting from Israeli occupation.

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