“Whatever its imperfectness, BDS is the most powerful tool available for forcing the Palestine issue, so systematically sidelined and distorted by the mass media, to the fore.”
If Palestinians aren’t struggling for their self-determination in the occupied territories, then BDS will have no effect. Just like in the 1960s during the Civil Rights Movement. The only reason people paid attention is because blacks were being ACTIVE in the South.
“Claiming that South Africa was an apartheid state “rang true”. ”
It rang true because both sides of the South African conflict didn’t dispute the “apartheid” label, just the justice/injustice of the term. The BDS movement won’t even be clear about where “apartheid” exists and the other side opposes the use of the term. That’s partly why you’re unsuccessful in selling the term’s application to Israel. Israel is different from South Africa. And pretending they are the same is hindering the solidarity movement’s success.
As for the right of return, Mouin Rabbani states that the right of return was regarded as a humanitarian issue and not a political issue at the time it was prescribed. The Palestinian case for a state vanished after 1948 and only re-emerged in the 1970s. Can you garner international support for bringing back millions of Palestinians to Israel? That’s not even remotely possible. You’re living on Mars. That’s not to say the Palestinians don’t deserve recognition and compensation. They do. But this issue is going to have to be negotiated, and there will probably necessitate some sacrifice on the Palestinian side on full implementation of the right of return.
“With this reasoning, no injustice could ever be targeted except the one that is (according to criteria of one’s choosing) the absolute most egregious on the planet. All others need simply point the finger downward.”
This is a political matter. You have to sell this cause. And you have to be careful with what arguments and tactics you use. The US is inextricably linked to the occupied territories. It looks grossly hypocritical to only target Israeli academic institutions. And it raises too many problems regarding academic freedom. Academic boycott toward apartheid South Africa targeted racist hiring practices. Is that what you’re promoting? Academic boycott is just a very hard sell.
As for Stephen Hawking, that was not an academic boycott. It was the Israeli Presidential Conference hosted by Shimon Peres.
“The “D” of BDS does implicitly mean boycott of US interests involved in Israeli militarism. Divestment from American companies such as Caterpillar or Hewlett-Packard is no longer considered a fringe campaign, thanks to BDS.”
You know full well that divestment from those companies had nothing to do with your vague “Israeli militarism” but of the “Israeli occupation”. That’s the kind of deceitful language that’s going to get you in trouble. All your so-called BDS victories have specifically targeted the occupation, not all of Israel.
“The cumulative wealth of documentation and activism is extraordinary. Yet Professor Chomsky dismisses the movement for justice in Israel-Palestine as not having done its homework?”
Okay. So are we on the verge of victory? How many people from Congress support our cause? How many prominent politicians? Just like when the Marxists were on the verge of victory in the United States of transforming the US into a socialist republic.
You don’t understand Chomsky’s statement, “There is no reason to expect Israel to accept a Palestinian population it does not want.” What he means is the one state solution you’re calling for already exists, and it doesn’t look good for the Palestinians. Israel is fully aware of a potential demographic problem, which is why it doesn’t take over ALL of the occupied West Bank. It doesn’t want to incorporate the Palestinians. And when Israel wants land, it expels the population (if it’s able to quietly) and builds an all-Jewish settlement. If it can’t expel Palestinians quietly, it makes life hell for them until they leave. That’s the one state that will materialize if we allow it: an expanded Israel without any Palestinian in sight.