Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Naomi Klein and Israeli publisher Yael Lerer talk BDS with Cecilie Surasky of Jewish Voice for Peace

The conversation about boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) continues to grow in media outlets large and small! On Alternet today, Cecilie Surasky, of US Campaign member group Jewish Voice for Peace, interviews Naomi Klein and Israeli publisher Yael Lerer on why boycotting Israel will pressure the country to live up to international law. Check out the full interview here.

Lerer, whose Andalus publishing company focuses on translating Arabic literature into Hebrew, explains why Israelis should support boycott:
"Twenty years ago I could never have imagined this semi-apartheid situation. I care about the future in this place. I care about my fellow Israelis. I have a huge family here and many, many friends. I know many people who don't have any other passports, and who don't have any other options. I think that the solution for this place, the only possible future, is living together. Unfortunately, at this stage, I don't see how this future can be achieved without international pressure. And I think that boycott is a nonviolent tool that has already shown us that it can work. So I'm asking: please boycott me."
Klein, who recently organized a book tour to promote the Hebrew translation of her book The Shock Doctrine that was in accordance with the Palestinian civil society call for BDS, argues that BDS is an effective tool for changing public opinion and policy in the United States:
"I also believe this movement could be a game-changer in the United States. Let's remember that a huge part of the success of the anti-apartheid struggle in the eighties was due to popular education....The Palestinian BDS call could play that kind of movement-building role today, giving people something concrete they can organize around in their schools and communities.... Whether he recognizes it or not, Obama needs the Palestinian struggle to be a popular, grassroots issue like the South African struggle was....[The] only hope of not just having him hold to this tentative position but actually improving this position is if there’s a popular movement that is very clear in its demands for Israel abide by international law on all fronts, and that's exactly what BDS is."
Check out the full article here; and find out how you can get involved in BDS by clicking here.