Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions: Globalized Palestinian Resistance to Israel's Colonialism and Apartheid
Institute for Palestine Studies
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As part of its Current Issues in Depth series, the Institute for Palestine Studies is pleased to offer its readers this assessment of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement by one of its founders and leaders, Omar Barghouti, in the hope of spreading understanding of its aims and achievements. As this essay shows, the BDS movement is rooted in universal principles and non-violent tactics employed by movements against oppression ranging from colonial Ireland to Birmingham, Alabama in the 1950s. For its defense against the McCarthyite attacks by partisans of Israel, it relies on the principle of freedom of speech enshrined in both the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, a principle that has been upheld by American and European courts. This principle offers a guarantee that the message of equal justice for all – Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews – which is the core of the call for BDS will continue to resonate globally.


Omar Barghouti is a Palestinian human rights defender, cofounder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights, and corecipient of the Gandhi Peace Award in 2017.