Boycott, divestment, sanctions, and Israel


Sir, – Stephen Oliver Murray’s purported perplexity (February 21st) at my assertion that the campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) is “growing” among “global civil society”’ is premised on the false assumption that BDS is primarily intended to damage the Israeli economy. On this basis he cites the ongoing and unsurprising collaboration between states, corporations and Israel as “evidence that the BDS campaign has no momentum”.

However, my key phrase was “civil society”. Worldwide, artists, athletes, faith-based organisations (including, crucially and increasingly, Jewish ones), students, academics, unions and activists are joining the campaign to support Palestinian rights and to isolate the Israeli state. Ultimately, if the word democracy has any meaning, governments will be forced to listen to the voices of their citizens and end their complicity in the destruction of Palestinian society.

If BDS lacks momentum, it’s hard to see why the Israeli government has established a special ministry to counter it and why it has resorted to the unprecedented and profoundly anti-democratic step of barring 20 organisations supportive of BDS (including Jewish and Quaker organisations) from entering the country. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 1.