BDS , Boycott The Armed Struggle

by Daniel Mabsout,


The birth of the Boycott movement that started the PCACBI happened at a crucial moment in year 2002 after Israel has been defeated and its vulnerability exposed due to losing the first war since its foundation. The Resistance had triumphed and succeeded in liberating Lebanon and called Palestinians to get inspired from the Lebanese victory and resume the struggle in Palestine to achieve a similar result . It is around this time some strange hybrid started taking birth in the West Bank under the name PCACBI which is a boycott campaign following the South African model . Not only PCACBI never related to this victory over Israel, but broke suddenly with a whole tradition of armed resistance that marked the Palestinian struggle . Recognizing the right of Israel to exist ,the PCACBI asks for withdrawal to the 67 borders and dismantling of settlements and for the right of return of refugees and calls for application of boycott policies namely cultural and academic against the Apartheid state of Israel. Mind you this boycott called for by the PCACBI never followed the usual channels of Boycott as prescribed and carried on by the Arab league and applied by Arab governments.

Who ever wants to consider the birth of such a movement – that took place in the West Bank – as a natural birth must check himself and ask himself why this movement has broken with the Palestinian armed struggle in general, and why -instead of getting inspired from the first military victory achieved over Israel , endorsing it , investing in it and identifying with it, chose to travel to South Africa and draw parallels with the previous Apartheid state and project this Apartheid on the Palestinian condition. Founded by a handful of Palestinian academicians and intellectuals, some of them living abroad the boycott movement does not seem to represent Palestinians in general, but seems to be removed from the Palestinian social and cultural reality and connected to foreign groups instead mostly located outside . The public addressed by this movements is not native Palestinian and No refugee living in camps can identify with this anti Apartheid trip .This has a foreign audience no doubt that includes Jews as well .

The actual BDS movement that is a product of the PCACBI is oriented the same way towards foreigners and even if it is endorsed by Palestinian societies , these societies are mostly NGOs with foreign affiliations. So we are at the same point we started from . BDS came to add more confusion to the whole thing and while the PCACBI was clear in its objectives regarding the recognition of Israel within the 67 borders the BDS remains indecisive as to what territories Israel is supposed to withdraw from -whether the 67 or the whole Arab land – sometimes being specific sometimes not. This fluctuation maybe due to a fluctuating agenda that wants to cater to all tendencies and affiliations .As for the refugee issue it is being stated in confusing terms whereby the issue is to be promoted protected and respected instead of being enforced on Israel .

In what way this whole boycott trip is beneficial to the cause we don’t know. Certainly it is beneficial to Israel to become recognized so broadly as a legal state . Because of this, the whole Apartheid story seemed to be one of the designs of the enemy as a means to acquire recognition and as an alternative to the military option that has failed drastically in Lebanon and, finally, what is left to be known is whether this boycott is as harmful to Israel as is to Palestinians the forsaking of the armed struggle . What BDS wants to boycott –finally- under the attractive label of boycott is the armed struggle itself .

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

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