We’re seeing more and more establishment institutions taking pro-Palestinian positions and then getting heat. In recent days the Newseum has folded, and so has the Church of Scotland. The US Campaign to End the Occupation is concerned that the Boston Globe is about to come under fierce pressure for its landmark editorial honoring the BDS movement. It states:
On May 11, The Boston Globe published a ground-breaking editorial calling BDS a “movement that… aims to place pressure on Israel through peaceful means,” calling such means “something to be encouraged.” This marks the first U.S. mainstream paper staff to defend BDS. You can imagine the fierce criticism they will face.
The US Campaign is encouraging folks to write to the Globe. Two of the campaign’s talking points leaped out at me:
For years, Western audiences have expected Palestinians to respond to Israel’s incredible violence with nonviolence. That’s precisely what BDS is — a nonviolent response to Israel’s violence.
If the US government and international community were holding Israel accountable for its violations of international law instead of supporting and financing them, civil society actions like this would not be necessary.
These are very powerful arguments. The reason the situation is so volatile in Israel/Palestine is that governments have failed their responsibility. And brave civil society movements have taken up that responsibility because they see fellow human beings being oppressed. (Rachel Corrie and Furkan Dogan were doing what governmental organizations should have been doing when they were killed.) Palestinians have shown incredible restraint over decades of occupation. That’s why I support BDS, because it’s nonviolent pressure in the context of desperate conditions, under which people actually have a right to take up guns.