A very significant — not to mention daring — statement by MK Ahmad Tibi, Palestinian member and deputy speaker of the Israeli Parliament, explicitly lays out the three key injustices that Israel has perpetrated against the Palestinian people for decades (precisely concurring with those mentioned in the BDS Call as the motives for BDS). He also calls for a full boycott against companies involved in any of these three injustices. He writes:
“Because I believe in ending the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, equal rights for Palestinians and Jews, and the right of return for Palestinian refugees forced from their homes and lands in 1948, I support boycotting — and calling on others to boycott — all Israeli companies that help perpetuate these injustices.”
He left out the need to boycott, as well, all institutions that are implicated in these injustices, but that can be implied.
Despite some misguided language on Israeli “democracy” (perhaps the price for publication in the IHT) being hurt by this draconian anti-BDS law (and that is what this law really is, make no mistake), Tibi’s discourse here surpasses that of ANY Palestinian official.
The Israeli Parliament’s antiboycott legislation is an unprecedented effort to undercut nonviolent resistance to Israeli oppression. Many people believe that making nonviolence more difficult will make violence inevitable. I do not. Approving such irresponsible and reactionary legislation highlights Israel’s long decades of injustice to Palestinians and hands us something of a political victory. Through this legislation, Israel has drawn further attention to its violent occupation of Palestinian territory and routine violations of international law.
Colonizing settlers and their elected representatives now rule Israel’s political landscape, and few dare to stand against them. This reticence in the face of repeated abuses by settlers reflects poorly on Israeli society and the U.S. government.
One of Israel’s leading newspapers, Haaretz, noted in an editorial that the antiboycott legislation “is a politically opportunistic and antidemocratic act, the latest in a series of outrageously discriminatory and exclusionary laws enacted over the past year, and it accelerates the process of transforming Israel’s legal code into a disturbingly dictatorial document. It casts the threatening shadow of criminal offense over every boycott, petition or even newspaper op-ed. Very soon, all political debate will be silenced.”
More at IHT.
Update: Original version of this post stated that the piece appeared in the New York Times. The International Herald Tribune is at the NYT site, but the piece did not appear in the Times.