Jessica Morrison (VIC) responds to Mark Aarons on BDS in The Monthly 5Jun11 June 8, 2011

I am not sure where Mark Aarons (May, 2011) has gained his understanding of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign, however his presentation appears to be a misinformed smear on this nonviolent movement seeking for Israel to comply with international law.

He states that “To compare Israel’s actions with apartheid is shallow and inaccurate” – would he also say this to Archbishop Desmond Tutu who has been one of the clearest voices naming Palestine’s situation as apartheid?  Or to black Christian theologians in South African who released a statement stating they  “consider the Zionist ideology as racist. Furthermore we consider the State of Israel to be an apartheid state. For South Africans, the similarities between the situation faced by Palestinians and the situation faced by us under apartheid are clear, striking and extremely painful.”

The UN has passed more resolutions condemning Israel than it has all other nations combined.  Israel continues to flaunt these resolutions and a range of aspects of International law. There must be no shirking these facts.

The BDS campaign t has strong backing from a wide range of civil society groups within Palestine, including trade unions and many human rights groups.  It is also being taken up by unions and Parliamentarians around the world, predominantly in Europe.  This is no fringe campaign, but an opportunity for people over the world to work nonviolently for an end to the extremism within Israel.

Mark provides no source for his direct quotation from a BDS founder, and it certainly doesn’t return any results on Google.  I would hope that if a campaign is to be labelled fundamentalist, then at least a semblance of a strong argument should be presented.

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