BDS and the politics of ‘radical’ gestures

By: Todd Gitlin, professor of journalism and sociology and chair of the Ph.D. program in Communications at Columbia University

28 October 2014

“Without doubt, BDS looks like a plausible feel-good proposition for people who weary of endless bloodshed. It is not a feel-good proposition for the victims of a blacklist—the Israeli academics whose scholarly collaborations and publications and research trips to the United States BDS proposes to halt, or the scholars who are to be forbidden access to Israeli archives. BDS is not a practical proposition to raise the price Israel must pay for the Occupation: by demanding, say, that the United States cut aid to Israel that goes to sustain and enlarge the Occupation. It is not focused on unjust practices, like divestment from, or sanctions against, particular corporations that sustain the Occupation, like the three companies recently divested by a narrow vote of the Presbyterian Church. It is categorical, absolute. It knows only one set of wrongs, not another. It proclaims that there is but one story to be told of the Middle Eastern tragedy, and it is theirs.”

From: OpenDemocracy


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