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Palestinian Leaders Blast BDS, Putting 4 Activists on Trial

Journalist Khaled Abu Toameh reported today that the Palestinian Authority regards the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as inimical to their interests.

In the West, BDS activists often present themselves as champions of the Palestinian cause. Ironically, many Palestinians don’t see them that way.

Abu Toameh writes:

For some PA officials, BDS is a movement that acts against the true interests of the Palestinians. They say that the actions of those promoting BDS make the Palestinians appear as if they are not interested in peace and coexistence with Israel. BDS activists in Ramallah have succeeded in preventing several planned meetings between Israelis and Palestinians in Ramallah and east Jerusalem.

The Palestinian Authority is also worried that BDS is harming the Palestinians’ relations with other countries. The most recent example of BDS efforts to damage Palestinians’ relations with friendly countries occurred a few weeks ago, when the “anti-normalization” activists tried to disrupt a performance by an Indian dance troupe in Ramallah.

Abu Toameh reports that four BDS activists are going on trial in July for “provoking riots and breach of public tranquility” for interrupting that performance. Though the troupe was performing in Ramallah, the activists were protesting that it had also performed in Tel Aviv, which they viewed as sign of “normalization” with Israel. Palestinian Authority officials were at the performance and the incident “embarrassed the Palestinian Authority leadership.”

Last December, while he was at the Nelson Mandela’s funeral in South Africa, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told reporters, “No, we do not support the boycott of Israel.”

In the April 2014 issue of The Tower Magazine, Molly Rosen described her experiences student government meetings at in Staring Down the Devil at the University of Michigan. Instead of discussing “new curriculum requirements or better dining facilities” at these meetings, she was often confronted with “anti-Israel and anti-Semitic hate speech.” In the March 2014 issue of The Tower Magazine, Howard Wahl observed in Why Liberals Must Repudiate the BDS Movement, “any critics of Israel who are not political extremists feel suffocated and abused by their more extreme colleagues.”
[Photo: Kate Ausburn / Flickr ]