Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"First they ignore you...": Threats to "sabatoge" international efforts for justice and accountability show efficacy of BDS movement

Need more proof that the international movement for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) is shaking the defenders of Israeli occupation and apartheid to the core? Writing at Electronic Intifada, Ali Abunimah exposes the Orwellian details of a recent call for the use of Israel's government resources to go after leaders of the international movement for justice and accountability in Israel/Palestine:
"An extraordinary series of articles, reports and presentations by Israel's influential Reut Institute has identified the global movement for justice, equality and peace as an "existential threat" to Israel and called on the Israeli government to direct substantial resources to "attack" and possibly engage in criminal "sabotage" of this movement in what Reut believes are its various international "hubs" in London, Madrid, Toronto, the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond."
If the reports language sounds a bit...aggressive to you, you're not the only one:
"The use of the word "sabotage" is particularly striking and should draw the attention of governments, law enforcement agencies and university officials concerned about the safety and welfare of their students and citizens....At the very least, Reut seems to be calling for Israel's spy agencies to engage in covert activity to interfere with the exercise of legal free speech, association and advocacy rights in the United States, Canada and European Union countries, and possibly to cause harm to individuals and organizations. These warnings of Israel's possible intent -- especially in light of its long history of criminal activity on foreign soil -- should not be taken lightly."
And who are to be the targets of this "sabotage"?
"The "Delegitimization Network"... is made up of the broad, decentralized and informal movement of peace and justice, human rights, and BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) activists all over the world. Its manifestations include protests against Israeli officials visiting universities, Israeli Apartheid Week, faith-based and trade union-based activism, and "lawfare" -- the use of universal jurisdiction to bring legal accountability for alleged Israeli war criminals."
Hey, that's us! Apparently our work to end to U.S. and corporate complicity in Israeli occupation and apartheid is starting to worry those intent on maintaining inequality and injustice in Israel/Palestine. Abunimah agrees that the Reut Institute report reveals the efficacy of BDS campaigns:
"Reut is apparently unaware even of the irony of trying to reform "Brand Israel" as something cuddly, while at the same time publicly recommending that Israel's notorious spies "sabotage" peace groups on foreign soil. But there are two lessons we must heed: Reut's analysis vindicates the effectiveness of the BDS strategy, and as Israeli elites increasingly fear for the long-term prospects of the Zionist project they are likely to be more ruthless, unscrupulous and desperate than ever."
Read the full article here. The Reut Institute report sounds scary and Orwellian. But ironically it's a huge affirmation of our work. All of our efforts to ensure that international law, human rights, and equality for all will serve as the basis for a just peace are paying off, and it's freaking out those who would rather keep the ever-worsening status quo. If it's true that "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win," then we are getting awfully close to winning. Join the winning side today. Find out about upcoming BDS trainings and get involved in Israeli Apartheid Week. You can also learn about and register for our upcoming Grassroots Advocacy Training and Lobby Day, or get involved with a US Campaign member group near you. The Reut Institute wants to sabotage the movement for justice--let's let them, the Israeli government, and their backers in the U.S. government and multinational corporations, that we won't be threatened and we won't be stopped.