Make BDS happen


The world awaits in keen anticipation to see how the several combinations of resistance will end the beastly apartheid-colonial system that Israel has chosen as their apparatus of misrule.

Militant youth confronting the occupation are high on the agenda of resistance. This is assuming forms of courage rarely witnessed before. The holy rage that young Palestinians feel at the humiliation and oppression they confront everyday at the hands of a brutal fascist State is surfacing in multiple ways on the political front. This resistance threatens the Israeli army and especially the Settlers who have become the spearhead of Israeli repression. With an extreme right wing in political charge in Israel, the militancy of the resistance is growing. It is obvious that when Israel drags its tyranny to extremes, the retort is belligerent.

Other examples of resistance include ‘transformative tours’ which break the stereo-types of travelers into Palestine. Many of them have quipped: “We came as tourists and are returning as advocates for justice.” The profound principle of the ‘Come-see-experience’ has had huge numbers of takers especially with the mushrooming of civil society groups and NGOs donning the mantle of ‘truth-tellers’ to the world. The Alternative Tourism group (ATG), a pioneer in the field encourages tourism operators to abandon exploitative mass tourism and to adopt practices that positively affect the host population in Palestine. Through these methods, ATG seeks to promote a positive image of Palestine and its people and to contribute to the establishment of a durable and just peace.

Still, the popular sentiment among Palestinians tilts towards non-violent resistance. Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions (BDS) is one of the foremost and formidable tools of resistance. Launched in 2005 by more than 250 Palestinian civil society organisations calling for the international community to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel, this movement draws parallels from the BDS Movement in South Africa movement. In South Africa, it took three decades to have its international impact.  In Palestine it has now reached 17 years and has posed a formidable threat to Israel. Its three demands are unequivocal namely to end to the occupation of Palestine, equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel, and the right of return for all Palestinian refugees to their homes. It does not allow itself to be distracted by such questions as whether the solution requires a one-state versus two-state solution. It focuses on the plight of the Palestinian people and the stubborn Israeli intent to deny Palestinian rights based on their ethnicity. It has proceeded with alacrity having achieved visible impact between its founding in 2005 and now.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is gaining momentum. There is no doubt about this. The Palestinian-led campaign for an educational, cultural and business boycott of Israel aims to get justice, freedom and equality by ending the colonial machination of the regime in Tel Aviv. 2023 is bound to show galloping leaps and bounds in the BDS Movement. Each of us in small ways can contribute to this. In the end, it is the fusion of grassroots, micro-level actions that will join the ocean of global resistance to dump the racist-fascist Zionist regime.

Ranjan Solomon is a political commentator and human rights activist   


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