Thursday, February 3, 2011

Omar Barghouti: "Why Is BDS a Moral Duty Today?"

Why Is BDS a Moral Duty Today? 
A Response to Bernard-Henri Levy

by Omar Barghouti
The Huffington Post
February 1, 2011

In his angry attack on the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, Mr. Bernard-Henri Levy desperately attempts to smear the movement by presenting a number of patently false, regurgitated, and misleading premises and reaching, as a result, unwarranted, even illogical, conclusions. What Mr. Levy peculiarly tries to hide or obscure are the real objectives of the movement, who stands behind it, and the reasons behind its spectacular rate of growth lately, especially in France and other Western countries.

The fact is the BDS Call was launched by a great majority in Palestinian civil society on July 9, 2005, as a qualitatively new phase in the global struggle for Palestinian freedom, justice, and self-determination. More than 170 leading Palestinian political parties, trade union federations, women's unions, refugee rights groups, NGOs, and grassroots organizations called for a boycott against Israel until it fully complies with its obligations under international law. Rooted in a century-old history of civil, nonviolent resistance against settler colonialism, occupation and ethnic cleansing, the effort recalls how people of conscience in the international community have "historically shouldered the moral responsibility to fight injustice, as exemplified in the struggle to abolish apartheid in South Africa," calling upon international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to "impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era."