May 15th is Nakba Day - commemorating 64 years since the establishment of Israel and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, many of whom, with their descendants, are still refugees.
Hind Awwad, a co-ordinator with the Palestinian BDS National Committee, writes:
As the world watched the Arab Spring, many Palestinians saw traces of Palestine's revolution, particularly of the first Intifada-the popular uprising of 1987—and in the beautiful spirit of the young revolutionaries.
The fall of the regimes in Tunisia and Egypt was celebrated in Palestinian households not only because it promised a return of Arab resistance, a constant dimension of the Palestinian cause but hijacked by the dictatorships for so many years, but also because it was a reminder that Palestine continues to bring people together: those struggling in many places around the world against injustice of all kinds...
The BDS movement has provided a way for us to break our collective chains.
Awwad's piece, BDS: Six Years of Success, goes on to chart some of the many successes of the BDS movement over the last few years. Read the full piece at Ceasefire.
Also published today, esteemed Israeli 'new historian' Ilan Pappe explains why he supports BDS and why he believes that it will work:
So while I still believe that change from within is key to bringing about a lasting solution to the question of the refugees, the predicament of the Palestinian minority in Israel, and the future of Jerusalem, other steps must first be taken for this to be achieved.
What kind a pressure is necessary? South Africa has provided the most illuminating and inspiring historical example for those leading this debate, while, on the ground, activists and NGOs under occupation have sought nonviolent means both to resist the occupation and to expand the forms of resistance beyond suicide bombing and the firing of Qassam missiles from Gaza. These two impulses produced the BDS campaign against Israel. It is not a coordinated campaign operated by some secret cabal. It began as a call from within the civil society under occupation, endorsed by other Palestinian groups, and translated into individual and collective actions worldwide.
These actions vary in focus and form, from boycotting Israeli products to severing ties with academic institutes in Israel.
Some are individual displays of protest; others are organized campaigns. What they have in common is their message of outrage against the atrocities on the ground in Palestine...
Supporting BDS remains a drastic act for an Israeli peace activist. It excludes one immediately from the consensus and from the accepted discourse in Israel. Palestinians pay a higher price for the struggle, and those of us who choose this path should not expect to be rewarded or even praised. But it does involve putting yourself in direct confrontation with the state, your own society, and quite often friends and family. For all intents and purposes, this is to cross the final red line—to say farewell to the tribe.
This is why any one of us deciding to join the call should make such a decision wholeheartedly, and with a clear sense of its implications.
But there is really no other alternative. Any other option—from indifference, through soft criticism, and up to full endorsement of Israeli policy-is a wilful decision to be an accomplice to crimes against humanity.
Read the full piece here.