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Why Israel sees BDS as a ‘strategic threat’

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As leaders of a state that is totally alien to the region and its indigenous peoples, Israeli political and military planners are obsessed with what they term “strategic threats”.

Such “threats” have varied over the years. The prime targets have included former Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser, the Palestine Liberation Organisation and, since 1988, Hamas, Palestine’s Islamic liberation movement.

The PLO, “the Hamas” (or “the Khamas” as Israeli leaders constantly – and wholly incorrectly – insist on naming it) have been joined in the last decade or so by “the BDS” – the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

The habitual, and mistaken, Israeli use of the definite article in reference to BDS is an interesting wrinkle, one more revealing of the thinking behind Israeli propaganda than may at first be apparent.

In adding “the” to BDS, Israelis and their supporters give away that they are thinking of BDS as a unitary organisation – a sort of grand conspiracy against Israel. In fact, BDS is a strategy, not an organisation.

Read: New Zealand BDS activists raise $12k for Gaza after Israel fines them $12k

There are many and varied Palestine solidarity groups all around the world which embrace the BDS strategy. This is a popular movement, not some nefarious plot against the “Jewish state”.

Although the idea of boycotting Israel has older roots, BDS began formally in 2005, with a document signed by hundreds of Palestinian civil society organisations. The BDS call has formed the........

© Middle East Monitor