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Generation Palestine: Voices from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement

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The unique model of apartheid, colonisation and military occupation that Israel imposes on the Palestinians, along with myriad violations of international law, have made Palestine the moral cause of a generation. Yet many people continue to ask, ‘what can we do?’ Generation Palestine helps to answer this question by bringing together Palestinian and international activists The unique model of apartheid, colonisation and military occupation that Israel imposes on the Palestinians, along with myriad violations of international law, have made Palestine the moral cause of a generation. Yet many people continue to ask, ‘what can we do?’ Generation Palestine helps to answer this question by bringing together Palestinian and international activists in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The movement aims to pressure Israel until it complies with International Law, mirroring the model that was successfully utilised against South African apartheid. With essays written by a wide selection of contributors, Generation Palestine follows the BDS movement’s model of inclusivity and collaboration. Contributors include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Ken Loach, Iain Banks, Ronnie Kasrils, Professor Richard Falk, Ilan Pappe, Omar Barghouti, Ramzy Baroud and Archbishop Attallah Hannah, alongside other internationally acclaimed artists, writers, academics and grassroots activists.


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The unique model of apartheid, colonisation and military occupation that Israel imposes on the Palestinians, along with myriad violations of international law, have made Palestine the moral cause of a generation. Yet many people continue to ask, ‘what can we do?’ Generation Palestine helps to answer this question by bringing together Palestinian and international activists The unique model of apartheid, colonisation and military occupation that Israel imposes on the Palestinians, along with myriad violations of international law, have made Palestine the moral cause of a generation. Yet many people continue to ask, ‘what can we do?’ Generation Palestine helps to answer this question by bringing together Palestinian and international activists in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The movement aims to pressure Israel until it complies with International Law, mirroring the model that was successfully utilised against South African apartheid. With essays written by a wide selection of contributors, Generation Palestine follows the BDS movement’s model of inclusivity and collaboration. Contributors include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Ken Loach, Iain Banks, Ronnie Kasrils, Professor Richard Falk, Ilan Pappe, Omar Barghouti, Ramzy Baroud and Archbishop Attallah Hannah, alongside other internationally acclaimed artists, writers, academics and grassroots activists.

35 review for Generation Palestine: Voices from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement

  1. 4 out of 5

    Malcolm

    The call by around 170 groups that make up Palestinian civil society in 2005 for a comprehensive boycott, divestment and sanction against the state of Israel has found new public profile in the last two years. There has been increasing public awareness related to events such as divestment campaigns at UC Berkeley and Stephen Hawking’s withdrawal from a high powered conference in Israel. As I have noted in my review of Andrea Lim’s edited collection The Case for Sanctions Against Israel, the BDS The call by around 170 groups that make up Palestinian civil society in 2005 for a comprehensive boycott, divestment and sanction against the state of Israel has found new public profile in the last two years. There has been increasing public awareness related to events such as divestment campaigns at UC Berkeley and Stephen Hawking’s withdrawal from a high powered conference in Israel. As I have noted in my review of Andrea Lim’s edited collection The Case for Sanctions Against Israel, the BDS campaign has three criticisms of Israel: 1. its occupation and colonisation of Palestinian lands and construction of a segregation wall across the West Bank; 2. the more limited rights granted Palestinian citizens of Israel, and therefore the lack of equality among its citizens; and 3. Israel’s failure to allow Palestinian refugees to return to the homes and property. In framing their call, Palestinian groups were careful not to call for boycotts and sanctions against individual Israelis, but against the Israeli state. In fact, the campaign groups actively encourage contact and work with Israeli’s outside Israel but note also that state funding comes with the requirement to promote government polices; there is so much that undermines that claim to being a democracy (including the legislation that makes it illegal to advocate boycotts or divestment from and sanctions against Israel). This useful overview of the campaign to date (the papers were all written in late 2011 and early 2012) places the BDS movement in the context of the South African anti-apartheid movement – the campaign most often invoked by BDS activists, the Indian independence movement with its widespread use of the boycott tactic and the US Civil Rights and Black Liberation Movements, which also made widespread use of the boycott tactic. In addition, there are several useful essays that outline the emergence and justification for the BDS tactic in as a Palestinian tactic. The second half to the book then explores various aspects of activism – the cultural and academic boycott, and other activist campaigns with a more economic slant. A recurrent and important theme is the analysis of Israel in terms of the 1973 UN definition of apartheid. Under international law (the UN and International Criminal Court) apartheid is defined as an “institutionalised régime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group”. The authors of this collection see this in the differential treatment of Palestinians and Jews under Israeli law, but are also careful throughout to argue that their critique is of Zionism as the political ideology that brings this about in the State of Israel, not of the individuals who it affects. The distinction is central to the argument and leads the BDS campaign to call for three changes: These are; 1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall 2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and 3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194. The dominant voices in western media discussions of Palestine are Zionist along with their allies the US and EU setting, corrupted Palestinian political leaders, such as those who lead the Palestinian Authority and forces such as Hamas who do not offer an progressive way forward. In this context, this collection suggests (along with Andrea Lim’s) and new and emerging powerful voice in Middle East politics that points to real solutions by cutting to the core of the real problems; a colonial state with colonising politics. The essays outlining the rationale for the BDS call explore the pressures in and condition of Palestinian society, the problem of the right of return, the global and local discourses that normalise colonisation and occupation, the legal basis of BDS and the place of Palestinian Christian communities in the campaign. These are not voices normally heard in these debates. Alongside the discussions of activist campaigns they show why the campaign emerged, why it is necessary and how difficult it is going to be. If anything, the weakness of the book is that in some places the rhetoric of success gets in the way of a clear assessment of the difficulties; this is alongside the necessary observation that the anti-apartheid BDS campaign took almost 45 years to bring about change in South Africa, and hard as it is to admit that change was probably easier to effect than Palestine/Israel will be. That said, this collection is a useful and important report on the state of the play. Highly recommended.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Beorn

    I'll admit that the title of this book was somewhat misleading. I believed it would be a view of the BDS movement from the ground level of people within the movement and how it affects their daily life. It is, however, more of an analysis of the applications of the boycott and comparisons with other similar social activity movements. Though I have scored it three out of five, that is based on only a number of the essays contained within. Some of the essays I'll admit were fairly lost on me as they I'll admit that the title of this book was somewhat misleading. I believed it would be a view of the BDS movement from the ground level of people within the movement and how it affects their daily life. It is, however, more of an analysis of the applications of the boycott and comparisons with other similar social activity movements. Though I have scored it three out of five, that is based on only a number of the essays contained within. Some of the essays I'll admit were fairly lost on me as they were quite cold and sterile, almost like you were being lectured rather than impassioned with a desire for justice. Some however, such as by the likes of (the now late) Iain Banks or one of the movements co-founders Omar Barghouti, along with an intriguing one by Rafeef Ziadeh, are all well worth the read. This book will most probably only really appeal to those people already firmly entrenched either within the BDS movement (on whatever level from leader or developer to grass roots supporter) or with a firm interest in the fight for justice for Palestinians. If you're a curious outsider to the situation, there are other books I would recommend you read first which are more entry-level and open the issue up far more accessibly. That said, while this is far from the most galvanizing or inspiring books I've read, it's still a good addition to the debate on the issue at hand.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jesper

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ramona

  5. 4 out of 5

    Annie Fletcher

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cara G

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dave Hazzan

  8. 5 out of 5

    وعد

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alaa | آلاء

  10. 5 out of 5

    Peter

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kerry

  12. 4 out of 5

    Naraya Ligouri-sztam

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sylvia

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nina Naser

  15. 5 out of 5

    David

  16. 4 out of 5

    Pluto Press

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Nasution

  18. 5 out of 5

    Naji

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jennrp

  20. 4 out of 5

    Zoe

  21. 5 out of 5

    Noor

  22. 5 out of 5

    Amani

  23. 4 out of 5

    عبدُ الرَّحمن

  24. 4 out of 5

    Marcy

  25. 5 out of 5

    Chris Tempel

  26. 5 out of 5

    megan

  27. 4 out of 5

    David

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Benmargi

  29. 5 out of 5

    Max Malter

  30. 4 out of 5

    masha

  31. 5 out of 5

    Ina Cawl

  32. 4 out of 5

    Munazza

  33. 4 out of 5

    Skye Lovett

  34. 5 out of 5

    .

  35. 5 out of 5

    Marwa Fatafta

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