Re: “Co-op boycott ignores rights reality” (letter 7-23).
Israel indeed upholds many human rights for Jewish Israelis, but many Israeli laws violate the rights of non-Jewish Israelis. And Israeli policies and practices in the territories that Israel’s kept under military occupation since 1967 – the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza (Gaza’s still occupied because Israel controls its borders) – horribly violate Palestinian human rights.
Boycotting Israel isn’t “anti-Israel” or “pro-Palestinian.” It’s anti-apartheid, anti-occupation, anti-colonialism
(a 2009 report by the South Africa-based Human Sciences Research Council found elements of Israel’s military occupation constitute colonialism and apartheid). It’s pro-human rights, pro-justice, pro-law, pro-freedom.
Israel’s occupation and illegal settlements have rendered a Palestinian state impossible. Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem reports in “By Hook or By Crook” that the settlement network now consumes 42 percent of the West Bank. And Israel keeps taking more.
Last week, Israel’s apartheid barrier (apartheid means “separation”) took the majority of land belonging to the village Walaja. Like with South Africa, the fake “state” that gets offered is for handfuls of disconnected bantustans, and permanent subjugation.
Many attribute the end of South African apartheid to bds (boycott, divestment, sanctions). Governments supported the apartheid regime and had the African National Congress listed as a terrorist group. BDS enabled civil society to move their governments to support for, rather than obstruction of, equal rights and freedom.
It is widely hoped that the global boycott movement initiated by Palestinian civil society will similarly, nonviolently bring an end to Israeli apartheid.