Movement to stop BDS against Israel championed by Hillary Clinton and Justin Trudeau


by Ann Garrison

KPFA Weekend News broadcast March 19, 2016


KPFA Weekend News Anchor Lola Akanmu: Bernie Sanders made headlines this week by declining to attend the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference held this week in Washington, D.C. Sanders was the only remaining Democratic or Republican Party candidate not to attend, but he gave no reason except that he felt it was more important for him to be campaigning in Arizona.

BDS protest in Melbourne, Australia against Israel’s Gaza Blockade and attack on humanitarian flotilla in 2010.
BDS protest in Melbourne, Australia against Israel’s Gaza Blockade and attack on humanitarian flotilla in 2010.

High on AIPAC’s agenda were bills designed to stop the nonviolent BDS movement to “boycott, divest or sanction” Israel for its mistreatment of the Palestinian people. KPFA’s Ann Garrison has more.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: There is now a full-fledged national movement to counter the BDS movement, with AIPAC-supported bills moving forward not only in Congress but also in two dozen state legislatures. These bills mimic legislation passed by the Israeli Knesset in 2014 and a resolution passed by Canada’s House of Commons, by a vote of 229 to 51, on Feb. 22 this year.

The Canadian resolution read, “That, given Canada and Israel share a long history of friendship, the House rejects the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which promotes the demonization and delegitimization of the State of Israel, and calls upon the government to condemn any and all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups or individuals to promote the BDS movement, both here at home and abroad.”

Liberal Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau supported the resolution and has readily condemned BDS. Canadian journalist Murray Dobbin wrote an essay titled “Justin Trudeau’s Shame: Extending Carte Blanche to Israel.” The essay was published in Counterpunch and Canada’s The Tyee. Dobbin, speaking to Phil Taylor on the CIUT-Toronto Taylor Report, said this was typical of Canadian governments and politicians:

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. presidential contender Hillary Clinton
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. presidential contender Hillary Clinton

Murray Dobbin: It’s typical of virtually every Canadian government and actually every Canadian political leader. And this particular resolution was so appalling. I mean it really doesn’t actually change a whole lot, but it’s just so offensive.

It’s not even so much about Israel. It’s a Conservative resolution in the House that condemns anyone who supports the boycott, divest and sanction campaign against Israel, which of course is a campaign that began really back in … oh, I guess it was like 2008, I think.

It was a campaign that was decided upon as an alternative to armed struggle against Israel, which of course is the fifth most powerful army in the world, so you’re not likely to win an armed struggle with them. So this was a decision to pursue a peaceful strategy.

But for the liberal government, especially given that Justin Trudeau’s father was the one who brought the Charter of Rights to life in Canada, to condemn people for promoting a peaceful action is just so offensive. It smacks of political cowardice.

BDS smashes apartheid wall cartoon by Latuff 2013KPFA: Dobbin also said that Canada’s Israel lobby is powerful but not nearly so powerful as the Israel lobby in the U.S.

Hillary Clinton expressed her support for the anti-BDS movement in a letter to well-known Israeli-American businessman Haim Saban, in which she wrote, “Dear Haim, I am writing to express my alarm over the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, or BDS, a global effort to isolate the state of Israel by ending commercial and academic exchanges. I know you agree that we need to make countering BDS a priority.”

Haim Saban has donated $6.4 million to Hillary Clinton’s campaign in a combination of individual and PAC contributions.

In Berkeley, for Pacifica, KPFA Radio, I’m Ann Garrison.

Oakland writer Ann Garrison writes for the San Francisco Bay View, Black Agenda Report, Black Star News, Counterpunch and her own website, Ann Garrison, and produces for AfrobeatRadio on WBAI-NYC, KPFA Evening News, KPFA Flashpoints and for her own YouTube Channel, AnnieGetYourGang. She can be reached at In March 2014 she was awarded the Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza Democracy and Peace Prize for promoting peace in the Great Lakes Region of Africa through her reporting.


  1. Israel the tail which wags the American dog.. do what A.I.P.A.C say's or be ought spent out of office the illegal nation of Israel one day will receive it's karma r u listening water tank head benni net n yee haw?

  2. Re your patently untrue and unsupported assertion "nonviolent BDS movement to “boycott, divest or sanction” Israel for its mistreatment of the Palestinian people."

    See the below quotes of actual BDSholes and BDS leaders:

    First, a few notes on the BDS:

    It is dedicated to end Israel’s existence under the false pretense of being a peaceful organization.

    They don’t wish to kill the Jews, they just want to make sure Jews don’t have a state – and be at the mercy of others.

    None of the organizations leaders supports a peaceful two state solution,

    They use the washed term peaceful “coexistence” … under one state, which is bulls*it and de-facto – means ending Israel’s existence.

    So, in their own words:
    “Going back to the two-state solution, besides having passed its expiry date, it was never a moral solution to start with. We are witnessing the rapid demise of Zionism, and nothing can be done to save it, for Zionism is intent on killing itself. I, for one, support euthanasia.“
    -Omar Barghouti (founder, Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel)
    “Israel is the oppressor, not the settlements.”
    -Hind Awwad (National Coordinator, BDS Committee)
    “Good riddance! The two-state solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is finally dead. But someone has to issue an official death certificate before the rotting corpse is given a proper burial and we can all move on and explore the more just, moral and therefore enduring alternative for peaceful coexistence between Jews and Arabs in Mandate Palestine: the one-state solution.”
    -Omar Barghouti
    “(The one state solution means) a unitary state, where, by definition, Jews will be a minority.”
    -Omar Barghouti
    “I am completely and categorically against bi-nationalism because it assumes that there are two nations with equal moral claims to the land.”
    -Omar Barghouti
    “Ending the occupation doesn’t mean anything if it doesn’t mean upending the Jewish state itself…BDS does mean the end of the Jewish state. But can’t I see the value in reaching across the aisle, so to speak? The movement may be burgeoning but remains too small. Why shouldn’t we indulge in ad hoc partnerships to get things done? Richard Silverstein, Richard Goldstone, and many other self-proclaimed Zionists have done an immeasurably positive amount of work in skinning the Zionist cat (That’s a deliberate analogy. I don’t kid myself about how difficult it must be for a Jewish person to criticize the Zionist state), shouldn’t they be asked to join the BDS movement?
    To be sure, I’m not dogmatically against cooperating with people whose views I find objectionable. If it came down to it, I’d be happy to work with the racist up the street to get the city to fix a neighborhood pothole.”
    -Ahmed Moor (Pro-BDS Author)
    “BDS represents three words that will help bring about the defeat of Zionist Israel and victory for Palestine.”
    -Ronnie Kasrils
    “[Israel] was Palestine, and there is no reason why it should not be renamed Palestine.”
    -Omar Barghouti
    “The real aim of BDS is to bring down the state of Israel….That should be stated as an unambiguous goal. There should not be any equivocation on the subject. Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the state of Israel.”
    -As’ad AbuKhalil
    “Peace-or better yet, justice-cannot be achieved without a total decolonization (one can say de-Zionization) of the Israeli state.”
    -Michael Warschawski (BDS activist)
    “[Palestinians have a right to] resistance by any means, including armed resistance. [Jews] aren’t indigenous just because you say you are….[Jews] are not a people…the UN’s principle of the right to self-determination applies only to colonized people who want to acquire their rights. ”
    -Omar Barghouti
    “I think the BDS movement will gain strength from forthrightly explaining why Israel has no right to exist.”
    -John Spritzler (Pro-BDS Author)

  3. ________________________________________
    “BDS’s stated goals (ending the Occupation, equality for non-Jews and Jews, and the right of return of the Palestinian refugees) logically imply the end of Israel as a Jewish state….The “state of the Jews” is actually an instrument by which a Jewish elite ruling class of billionaires and generals and politicians secures its oppressive grip on ordinary Jews in Israel…This is why there should not be a Jewish state.”
    -John Spritzler
    “I mean we have to be honest, and I loathe the disingenuousness. They don’t want Israel. They think they are being very clever; they call it their three tier. We want the end of the occupation, the right of return, and we want equal rights for Arabs in Israel. And they think they are very clever because they know the result of implementing all three is what, what is the result? You know and I know what the result is. There’s no Israel!
    “They say no they’re not really talking about rights. They’re talking about they want to destroy Israel. And in fact I think they’re right I think that’s true. I’m not going to lie. But this kind of duplicity and disingenuous, “oh we’re agnostic about Israel.” No you’re not agnostic! You don’t want it! Then just say it!
    “The moment you go out there Israel will start to say ‘What about us?’ and ‘They won’t recognize our right’ and in fact that’s correct. You can’t answer the Israelis on that because they’re making a statement that’s factually correct. It’s not an accidental and unwitting omission that BDS does not mention Israel. You know that and I know that. It’s not like they’re ‘oh we forgot to mention it.’ They won’t mention it because they know it will split the movement. Cause there’s a large segment of the movement that wants to eliminate Israel.”
    -Norman Finkelstein (BDS activist)
    “There’s no Israel. That’s what it’s really about.”
    -Norman Finkelstein
    “The goal of #BDS is the full restoration of Palestinian rights, not an agreement to create an artificial mini-state in order to save Zionism”
    -Ali Abunimah (BDS activist)
    “Zionists complain [that BDS] demands spell the end of the “Jewish state.” They are correct. A “Jewish state” is by definition dedicated to the supremacy of Jews over non-Jews in Palestine, and is therefore irreconcilable with the justice advocated by BDS.”
    -David Litwin (BDS activist)
    “Any call for boycott, divestment, or sanctions, for whatever motive (even on behalf of the settlers!) is seen, rightly, as a blow against the legitimacy of Israel… it will be rightly perceived by the pro-Israel crowd as a threat, even an “existential one,” to use Prime Minister Netanyahu’s characterization of all BDS.”
    -Jeremiah Haber (BDS supporter)
    “The ‘two state solution,’…as dictated by Israel, omits basic Palestinian rights…[and] would be yet another act of British complicity in bestowing legitimacy on Israel’s unjust order.”
    -Omar Barghouti
    “[The two state solution] was a charade to begin with, and has played itself out.”
    -Kumars Salehi (BDS supporter)
    “A Jewish state in Palestine in any shape or form cannot but contravene the basic rights of the indigenous Palestinian population and perpetuate a system of racial discrimination that ought to be opposed categorically….Definitely, most definitely we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine. No Palestinian, rational Palestinian, not a sell-out Palestinian, will ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine.”
    -Omar Barghouti [5:50]
    “Bringing down Israel will really benefit everyone in the world and everyone in society, particularly workers,”
    -Lara Kiswan (executive director of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center, BDS activist)
    “I think the end-all of BDS is to weaken Israel, to isolate Israel, and give the global community a role in the liberation of Palestine and support the resistance on the ground in Palestine.”
    -Lara Kiswani
    “We’re resisting colonialism in Palestine, and colonialism entails all of occupied Palestine, from Haifa, to Jerusalem, to Ramallah…”
    -Lara Kiswani

  4. ________________________________________
    “You can’t have coexistence with Zionists. Their purpose of Zionism is discrimination, elimination and ethnic cleansing of a group of people, so if you want to talk about coexistence, I’m not talking with you because you’re going to try to kill me. I’m Muslim.”
    -Azka Fayyaz (BDS leader at UC Davis)
    “You cannot reconcile the right of return for refugees with a two state solution….a return for refugees would end Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. A two-state solution was never moral and it’s no longer working.”
    -Omar Barghouti
    “[Jews] did not suffer in Arab countries. There were no pogroms. There was no persecution.”
    -Omar Barghouti
    “We need to wipe out Israel.”
    -Anna Baltzer, pro-BDS activist
    “I clearly do not buy into the two-state solution.”
    -Omar Barghouti

    Credit to the good people at BDS Cookbook for collecting this hate speech.

    Agree with them, disagree with them. Just don’t try and sell anyone on this “pro” and “peaceful” myth,

    This organization is all about “anti” and “hateful”.

    It's always good for a laugh, seeing headlines on channels like Russian RT showing “Peace activists” chanting “Palestine will be free from the river to the sea”.
    The “river” is the River Jordan,
    The “sea” is the Mediterranean sea…
    In between they DON’T want Israel.

    These people are not about pre 67 (Which actually would mean Palestinians under Egyptian and Jordanian occupation, but they are a bit weak on history): they are about pre 48 – before Israel.

    Some of them do this because they ARE Jew-haters, some just hate Israel.

    It’s a truly fascinating two headed pseudo intellectual monster that brings together the extreme right wing and extreme left wing in a disgusting treaty of hateful solidarity.

    It is an organisation full of hypocrites, self righteous and blind to anything other than blaming Israel and only Israel on pretty much everything.

    It is also a pathetic joke with practically zero effect. And a good thing too.

    (Source and URLs for above quotes:

  5. I have been supporting the BDS for some time now, BUT I have to say that I am am quite disappointed because you don't seem to be making who you are, and what you are really all about to people. Far too many do NOT even know about you, or what you are doing. I became interested mostly because you seem to be coming our of California, where I lived for many years, before returning to Tennessee on retirement. For instance, why don't you inform the public all across this country about the products that come from Israel, because many do not even know about them. Even I don't and I keep up with mostly everything that is going on, and write and speak about it. And who are some of the people with your organization, which would certainly be more helpful, since folks like to know who they are following. PUT OUT MORE INFO !!! — Rev. George Brooks in Murfreesboro, TN. (615) 494-9056 And

  6. So Bernie doesn't want to coddle war criminals. What's the big deal?

    Boycotts are not hate crimes. On the other hand, Israeli-Palestinian Apartheid is a crime against humanity. The Gaza situation is a freaking hate crime.

    And don't give me that "anti-semites want this" garbage. So what? Hitler wanted people to quit smoking. Should I start doing that to? Have some sense.

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