Omar Barghouti: BDS as response to repression of Palestinian nonviolence

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Many of you have already heard of the most recent arrest by Israel of a leader of Palestinian nonviolent resistance to occupation and apartheid. Our allies at Stop the Wall have information and action steps that you can take to demand the release of Jamal Juma’, who joins Mohammad Othman and Abdallah Abu Rahmeh in the current list of Palestinian nonviolent resisters being held in administrative detention, with no charges and no trial.

Omar Barghouti, a leader in the BDS movement and a speaker at the US Campaign’s last National Conference, has this to say about how human rights advocates should respond to this latest campaign of repression against nonviolent resistance to occupation and apartheid:

“This Israeli campaign of repression needs to be exposed and countered effectively and comprehensively. Appeals to the Israeli authorities to respect due legal process or release Jamal should not be the only form of protest over this gross violation of Palestinian rights. Intensifying BDS, ultimately, is the most consequential form of protest. If Israel gets the message that its arrest of civil resistance leaders will only intensify the already massive BDS campaigns against it, it may think.”

How can you “intensify the already massive BDS campaigns” against Israel’s violations of international law and Palestinian human rights?

Here are three suggestions:

1) If you haven’t already, sign the Motorola boycott pledge, and sign up to receive a Hang Up on Motorola organizing packet. Incorporate the resources in the organizing kit into your Gaza Freedom March solidarity actions or other local events in your community.

2) Introduce BDS to your campus, union, or faith community. Use our resources for campus organizing, the call from the Palestinian Christian community for churches to participate in BDS, resources for starting a divestment campaign and examples of BDS in action, and the recent open letter from Labor for Palestine to AFL-CIO.

3) Ask your organization to endorse the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI). If you are a faculty member at an academic institution or a cultural worker, you can individually endorse the USACBI call. The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation officially endorsed academic and cultural boycott at its 2009 National Organizers’ Conference.

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