As a coalition of more than 300 organizations, the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights decries the ongoing campaign of repression that Israel and its international backers are waging against Palestinian rights activists using employing nonviolent BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) tactics from North America to Europe to Palestine and beyond in a desperate and ineffective attempt to stifle this popular, global movement grounded in principles of justice and international law.
The recent attempts to threaten and muzzle BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti are part of a longer campaign to silence Barghouti, who has been a highly compelling and principled leader and spokesperson in the movement for Palestinian rights. Israel is likewise targeting Israeli activists for their conscientious support of BDS, while McCarthyist, unconstitutional anti-BDS resolutions are being quietly forced through at the municipal, state, and federal level of the U.S. government.
The lengths to which the Israeli government and its partners are going in order to counter BDS efforts demonstrate just how impactful this global activism has become. Israeli apologists seek to silence opposition because of their utter failure, time and time again, to win the battle of ideas following grassroots boycott and divestment campaigns.
These draconian efforts to crush a nonviolent, rights-based movement will only backfire. Since the most recent wave of anti-BDS legislation in Israel and the U.S., the number of U.S. church and campus divestment wins has grown exponentially; this month alone brought landslide victories for the first community college and first city college in the U.S. to pass divestment resolutions. The anti-BDS attacks serve to further expose the true face of Israeli aggression, further isolating the apartheid state and illustrating its clear alignment with the repressive and racist policies of the Trump administration, contrasted with the flourishing international Palestinian rights movement of everyday people of conscience working toward freedom, justice, and equality.