Jan 13, 2011

#BDS: The “South Africa moment”: Palestine, Israel and the boycott

"Israel faces a new challenge—one the country’s leading strategists consider increasingly effective. This does not come mainly from the towns and refugee camps of the West Bank or Gaza, but from an energetic global movement of solidarity with the Palestinians. Since its launch in 2004 the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) has stimulated a host of collective actions across five continents, demanding an end to military rule and to Israel’s occupation, and raising important questions about the Zionist movement and imperial power in the Middle East.

The invasion of Iraq in 2003 refocused attention on imperialist interests in the region, highlighting the complex web of relationships through which the US and its allies maintain access to oil and strategic territory. With support from Egypt, Turkey and the Gulf States, the US mobilised overwhelming military force against Iraq’s Ba’athist regime. At the same time it made enormous efforts to exclude Israel from the confrontation. Even the most strident neoconservatives among advisers of President George W Bush were aware of the danger to US allies of direct Israeli engagement in the Arab world."
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