[ View the story "Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (B.D.S) campaign breaks into U.S. mainstream" on Storify] Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (B.D.S) campaign breaks into U.S. mainstream As more Americans join activism for the Palestinian rights, Israel is beginning to feel the pressure.
AJAMStream· Wed, Feb 12 2014 13:49:44
Boycott movements against the Israeli
of the Palestinian territories are gaining ground in the U.S., leaving some pro-Israel Americans and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu concerned about a potential '
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, (B.D.S.)
targeting Israel has been
as a 'strategic threat' by Prime Minister Netanyahu. The movement aims to end the occupation of Palestinian territories and settlements, achieve equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel, and promote the Palestinian refugees' right of return to Israel.
The boycott of
, an Israeli company that operates in Ma'ale Adumim (an illegal settlement in the occupied West Bank)
controversy after Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson took o an advertising role for the company.
SodaStream maintains that they 'build bridges' when it comes to the conflict, as seen in the video below:
SodaStream: Building Bridgesstandwithus
The company employs roughly 500 Palestinians and
the B.D.S. movement is counteractive to the cause because closing the factory would put Palestinians out of work. However, an
with an anonymous SodaStream employee calls into question some of the claims made in the video, citing poor working conditions and discrimination in the workplace.
Below a woman explains her participation in a rally that opposes the sale of SodaStream products in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C.
Feriha of the Peace House at the Rally to Oppose the Israeli Soda Stream Factory in the West Banktheoccupypeople
American academic associations have also come out in support of B.D.S. The Native American Studies Association, The Association for Asian-American Studies and The
American Studies Association
(A.S.A.) have endorsed participation in a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. In a statement, the A.S.A. cited 'Israel's violation of international law and UN resolutions' along with the noted impact the occupation has had on Palestinian students. They further said:
The resolution is in solidarity with scholars and students deprived of their academic freedom and it aspires to enlarge that freedom for all, including Palestinians.theasa.net
A.S.A.'s resolution has prompted a
in the academic community, including the withdrawal of five academic institutions. Additionally, more than 80 presidents of U.S. colleges have condemned the vote, a noteworthy statistic considering the A.S.A. has only about 4,000 members.
The American Studies Association made a crucial mistake in its campaign against Israel: http://t.co/W19ff4yW1jJeffrey Goldberg
.@JeffreyGoldberg How would you compare the magnitude of this mistake to, say, using a shady source to help sell a horrible war?Michael Arria
The decision inspired
that would take away federal funding from any American university that decides to boycott Israeli institutions. The
Protect Academic Freedom Act
, introduced by two Illinois congressmen, could act as a deterrent for other academic institution who are considering the boycott of Israel.
@AJAMStream True unconstitutionality lies in all the measures being taken to stop/silence/eliminate discussion on BDS in public discourse.Amani أماني الخطاطبه
“However well-intentioned, we are not sure that this bill would be the most effective means of recourse.”buzzfeed.com
Secretary of State John Kerry
that if peace talks fail, Israel will be confronted with deepened pressure from boycott movements. He warned of a delegitimization campaign 'on steroids'. Kerry, who was recently criticized by Israeli leaders for his public warning, also asserted:
Today’s status quo absolutely, to a certainty, I promise you 100 percent, cannot be maintained. It’s not sustainable. It’s illusionary.nytimes.com
Advocates from both sides of the argument have weighed in on the debate: Some feel the B.D.S. movement is dangerous to U.S.-Israel relations:
When a terror group that has committed scores of mass murders endorses #BDS, what, exactly, does that say about BDS? http://t.co/TAtXybZyflAvi Mayer
Dear American Studies Association: Here is a list of countries that jail journalists. Please boycott them as well. https://t.co/sSFmiwwWotJeffrey Goldberg
American Studies Association announces boycott of Israel, non-boycott of US taxpayer money http://t.co/ROU1VScv7ADavid Burge
While others feel the B.D.S. movement brings attention to an important cause:
It’s terrible for US settler fanatics like @AviMayer when nonviolent resistance gains ground. Remember that Israel “doesn’t do Gandhi.”Ali Abunimah
The amount of press #BDS is getting is unprecedented. This Economist article says Israel boycott is going mainstream http://t.co/Ii5K9rxM0bAbbas Al Lawati
.@AJAMStream A global #BDS movement helped end apartheid in South Africa, a similar movement could help end it in #Israel #PalestineThe CCR
What do you think? Can B.D.S. impact U.S.-Israeli relations?