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Resisting normalisation harms the occupation

May 21, 2019 at 2:26 pm

Demonstrators hold a placard urging the international community to support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign [Gali Tibbon/AFP/Getty Images]

The international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement will not stop its activities despite the great efforts by the occupation authorities to pressure several countries to stop the movement and refuse to interact with it and its pressures.

Yes, the Israeli pressures on the German parliament did pay off. It seems that the German parliament supports violence and discrimination, as it voted with a majority in favour of a law that labels the BDS movement against Israel anti-Semitic and has banned its activities and operations in the country. However, this decision is not the end of the road for the BDS movement, even in Germany, as it has already become very influential in Germany, Europe and the world. The occupation authorities are trying to pressure countries to limit and end its activities, but, while the occupation partly succeeded in doing this, it will not be able to eliminate the movement’s strength and influence on many countries as well as international organisations, institutions and figures.

The German parliament did not manage to thwart the pressures of the Israeli lobby in Germany and Israel and it decided to ban the movement’s activities in Germany. However, it will not be able to convince many European countries of following suit. The BDS movement has deep and influential roots in Europe and across the world, and therefore Israel is in a defensive position and is suffering greatly due to the effectiveness and productivity of the movement, which has managed to make great achievements. The most significant of these achievements is boycotting Israeli universities and stopping people from buying settlement products.

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The Arab countries must now pressure the German parliament and government to stop the implementation of this law. The press release issued by the Arab League condemning the decision and urging Germany to back down from it is not enough. This is because the German parliament’s decision contributes to the occupation’s violence and inhumane measures. We need a firm Palestinian, Arab and Muslim stance towards Germany and all means of pressure and strength must be used to stop Germany from implementing parliament’s decision. Just as Israel pressures countries to restrict and eliminate the BDS movement’s activities, the Arab and Muslim countries must put pressure on countries to thwart Israel’s activities.

I believe that the BDS movement against this racist and fascist state will continue and will not stop, despite the German decision. Last Saturday, the Eurovision competition was held in Tel Aviv and American pop singer Madonna performed at the competition despite the BDS movement and the Palestinians’ efforts to convince her not to. However, the activities and efforts of the BDS movement and all of the individuals who are in favour of a just peace and support the rights of the Palestinians ruined the occupation authorities’ joy at hosting the competition. Two of Madonna’s backing dancers wore Palestinian flags on their backs, which upset the occupation authorities, who considered holding up a Palestinian flag at such an event to be a blatant challenge to it. While this had a moral effect, it clearly signified that the BDS movement will continue and will not stop despite all of the pressure against it.

This article first appeared in Arabic in Al-Ghad on 20 May 2019

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.