Five years ago the movement named in the above title was formed to strike back against Israel and its treatment of the Palestinians; it was formed to the sound of much derision and bluster from Israeli inspired groups who described it as a puny attempt to damage Israel which was doomed to failure. That is of course exactly what was said by reactionary racist observers of the Anti Apartheid Movement in South Africa. Those reactionary racist observers are now to be found in Israel and various other places where Israel’s influence is strong, mainly America. The organisation calls for Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions against the State of Israel and has now spread from Europe to the USA itself.
It is designed to force Israel to recognise the decisions of the UN to end its occupation, abandon its illegal settlements on Palestinian land, end racial discrimination against its Palestinian population and recognise that Palestinian refugees have the right to return to their homes taken from them by Israeli force. This is similar to what the progressive fair minded people of the world supported to end Apartheid and support the Civil Rights movement in America.
Financial companies in several countries are boycotting Israel and people all over the world are now “reading the labels” in supermarkets to make sure they are not buying Israeli goods. Some particularly devious Israeli’s have been stamping “produce of the West bank” on their goods when in fact they are West bank settlements, stealing Palestinian land and then pretending that they are Palestinians to sell their goods is just about as low as you can get in my book but some Israeli’s have no problem with it. Where are the protests from Jewish communities around the world who are opposed to such behaviour? At the very least they should be shouting that as Jews they do not support Israel, to their credit some already do this but not enough.
Trade Unions around the world including in America are on board and well known celebrities like Elvis Costello, Meg Ryan and Gil Scott-Heron have refused to perform there and Jimmy Carter and Archbishop Desmond Tutu among others have condemned Israel. Those I referred to who said it would be a dismal failure are now being forced to think again. Some brave Israelis are supporting a protest movement called “Boycott from Within” The vicious Israel Govt. have responded with a quick bill through the Knesset which will impose heavy fines on any Israeli citizen who takes part in such boycotts. Remember this is the state which keeps telling us that they are the only democracy in the Middle East, Israeli democracy means “Buy what we tell you and if you refuse you will be breaking the law” this is proof positive that the State of Israel is only too aware that what started as a small protest in South Africa and became world wide is descending on them and it can’t come soon enough. Do your bit however small and “read those labels” no matter how small the amount is don’t spend it on Israeli goods I guarantee you will feel better for having done something.