Do Unto Others focuses on the Middle East, (nonviolent) social movements, and how I make sense of my place in the world. I'm currently based in Cairo, Egypt doing peacebuilding and community development.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

CPT officially supports the BDS movement

Christian Peacemaker Teams, with whom I work in the occupied Palestinian territories, has officially supported the boycotts, divestments, and sanctions movement against Israel.  I am glad that we have supported the Palestinian civil society call for BDS against Israel.  I hope this begins to open a dialogue in churches, Christian circles, and society at large.  Here's the statement:  

CPT-Palestine has decided to endorse formally the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, as called for by Palestinian NGOs, because sixty years of negotiations and diplomacy have only enabled Israel to solidify its military occupation of Palestine.  The international community has long called for Palestinian society to resist the violence of the Occupation nonviolently, so we, as members of an international peace organization, believe that when Palestinians mount nonviolent campaigns against the Occupation, we are morally obligated to support them.


 We affirm the words of Palestinian Christian leaders in their Kairos Document: "These advocacy campaigns must be carried out with courage, openly and sincerely proclaiming that their object is not revenge but rather to put an end to the existing evil, liberating both the perpetrators and the victims of injustice.  The aim is to free both peoples from extremist positions of the different Israeli governments, bringing both to justice and reconciliation.  In this spirit and with this dedication we will eventually reach the longed-for resolution to our problems, as indeed happened in South Africa and with many other liberation movements in the world."


 We recommend that members of our constituency review the following resources, so they can better understand the context from which the BDS movement has arisen:

 1) The Kairos Palestine Document, "A moment of truth: A word of faith, hope and love from the heart of Palestinian suffering." The document is available as a PDF file in seven languages at
http://www.kairospalestine.ps/?q=node/2 and at http://www.oikoumene.org/gr/resources/documents/other-ecumenical-bodies/kairos-p\
 alestine-document.html <
http://www.oikoumene.org/gr/resources/documents/other-ecumenical-bodies/kairos-palestine-document.html>

 2) "Palestinian Civil Society Calls for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel Until it Complies with International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights 9 July 2005": 
http://www.bdsmovement.net/?q=node/52

 3) "Who Profits from the Occupation?"
http://www.whoprofits.org/

 4) A 2009 report by a fact-finding committee of South African social scientists, which notes that "three pillars of apartheid in South Africa" are all practiced by Israel in the Occupied Territories: demarcating people into racial groups and allotting superior rights, privileges and services to the dominant racial group; segregating people into different geographic areas and restricting their movements, and suppressing any opposition to the regime using administrative detention, torture, censorship, banning, and assassination."
http://www.hsrc.ac.za/Media_Release-378.phtml# <http://www.hsrc.ac.za/Media_Release-378.phtml>

 5) Dr. Neve Gordon's reflection, "Boycott Israel: An Israeli comes to the painful conclusion that it's the only way to save his country," 
http://articles.latimes.com/2009/aug/20/opinion/oe-gordon20. See also "Palestinians, Jews, citizens of Israel, join the Palestinian call for a BDS campaign against Israel <http://boycottisrael.info/content/points-unity> and video clip by Israeli-American rap artist, Invincible, in support of the BDS movement:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MepX0PcjzfA
 After Gordon's piece appeared in the 
Los Angeles Times, he nearly lost his job at Ben Gurion University.  See the critique of Gordon's position by famed peace and human rights activist Uri Avnery:  http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1251547904 (which contains Archbishop Tutu's thoughts on the efficacy of boycotts) and subsequent critiques of Avnery's position by South African Ran Greenstein ("I agree more with Gordon than Avnery") http://gush-shalom.org.toibillboard.info/RanGreen.htmAbraham Simhony http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/archive/1251974606/ and Alternative Information Center director, Michel Warschawsky "Yes to BDS!" http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article1733

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