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Fifteen years of BDS has united all Palestinians and their supporters

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Today marks 15 years since the official foundation of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in Palestine. The movement against Israeli apartheid has a long history and deep roots, but it was on 9 July 2005 that it was established formally with the publication of the “Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS”.

Endorsed by essentially all of Palestinian civil society – unions, political parties, professional associations, women’s groups, human rights organisations and religious and cultural associations – the document called for a global BDS movement against Israeli’s violations of Palestinian rights. It is modelled on the successful movement to boycott apartheid South Africa, and is entirely peaceful.

The document is a key part of the history of the Palestinian liberation struggle. It is most notable for its clarity and principles, for making a set of three clear demands and for its unifying effect on the Palestinian body politic.

“Fifty seven years after the state of Israel was built mainly on land ethnically cleansed of its Palestinian owners,” it stated, “a majority of Palestinians are refugees, most of whom are stateless. Moreover, Israel’s entrenched system of racial discrimination against its own Arab-Palestinian citizens remains intact.”

READ: BDS and its critics

In this way, BDS raised global consciousness of the fact that the Palestinians are, and have been since 1948, a diasporic people.

The settler-colonial Zionist movement’s expulsion of about 800,000 Palestinians in and around 1948 marked a stark break in Palestinian history. The expulsion and dispersion of the Palestinian people........

© Middle East Monitor

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