Over 40 academics and activists from across the globe will gather in Tunisia this summer to discuss how to further the growing movement to boycott Israel.
Under the title “Boycott as a Strategy to Counter Israel’s Occupation and Apartheid: Present-day Realities and Aspirations”, the conference will be organised by the Doha-based Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS) in the capital city of Tunis from 4 to 6 August 2016.
It will discuss the re-emergence of boycotting as an expression of solidarity with Palestinians by the world community, allowing participants to share their experience and analysis concerning the global campaign to boycott Israel – known as Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) – as a means to combat the occupation, which is gaining more momentum.
“This growing movement allows the Palestinians to take the reins of their national struggle, and to rebuild alliances with progressive forces around the world,” read the upcoming event’s background paper.
“It also gives long-time friends of the Palestinian movement a role to play, after having been relegated to the role of bystanders in the negotiations process,” it added, describing the movement as a “cornerstone” of the Palestinians’ popular resistance to the Israeli occupation.
“This forms a sharp break with history, when the commercial boycott of Israel was limited to official Arab circles, enjoined by member states of the Arab League.”
Initiated by Palestinian civil society in 2005, BDS describes itself as a global movement of citizens that carries out and advocates for non-violent campaigns of boycotts, divestment and sanctions as a means to overcome the Israeli regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid, as well as to achieve freedom, justice and equality for the Palestinian people.
The movement called on civil society around the world to launch broad boycotts, implement divestment initiatives, and to demand sanctions against Israel, until Palestinian rights are recognised in full compliance with international law.
|This growing movement allows the Palestinians to take the reins of their national struggle, and to rebuild alliances with progressive forces around the world.|
The BDS call was endorsed by over 170 Palestinian political parties, organisations, trade unions and movements. The signatories represent the refugees, Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories, and Palestinian citizens of Israel.
Based on volunteerism, the BDS movement is not subject to financial pressures from external parties, drawing strength from the fact that its aims embody the unassailable, legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, enshrined in UN resolutions.
The pressing questions that prominent scholars and commentators hope to answer during the conference’s sessions include:
– Is the boycott movement merely a protest movement that responds instantaneously to Israeli aggressions? Or is it, instead, a complete strategy with both medium- and long-term aims?
– What role is there for Arab states, and emigre communities to play in the boycott movement?
– To what extent can Palestinians living both within the Occupied Territories or within the Green Line be expected to take part in the boycott movement?
For more information about the full conference agenda and speakers, click here.
(Source / 31.05.2016)