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“Boycotts work”: An interview with Omar Barghouti

Be sure to check out this interview with Omar Barghouti, a leader of the BDS movement, on Electronic Intifada.  It focuses heavily on the academic boycott, but also provides useful context for the BDS movement as a whole.  Some excerpts:

We don’t have to prove that Israel is identical to apartheid South Africa in order to [justify] the label “apartheid.” Apartheid is a generalized crime according to United Nations conventions and there are certain criteria that may or may not apply to any specific situation… According to the basic conventions of the UN defining the crime of apartheid, Israel satisfies almost all the conditions to be granted the label of apartheid.

For a hundred years, well before the South African inspiration, we have been mainly inspired by our own history and roots of civil resistance. In a hundred years of conflict with the settler-colonial conquest of Zionism, we have resisted Zionism mostly by civil resistance and not violent or armed resistance, unlike the common myth that Palestinian resistance is only armed. This is not true. For more than a hundred years Palestinians have resisted with cultural and artistic resistance, strikes, demonstrations, women’s and trade union organizing, and so on. The majority of people were involved in nonviolent resistance before the inspiration of Gandhi and that of South Africa.

I must clarify that the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement takes no position on the shape of the political solution. It adopts a rights-based, not solutions-based, approach… There are three segments of the Palestinian people [those living in Gaza and the West Bank, Palestinian citizens of Israel, and refugees and their descendents in exile] — unless you address the basic requirements of justice for all three segments than we will not have exercised our right to self-determination.

Read the complete interview here.