One of the greatest services that boycotting does to a community is opening up the conversation inside it – this is an effect we see again and again as group after group speaks up against the occupation and the apartheid involved in it.
The latest group to join the boycott (albeit in a limited way, banning only the illegal Jewish settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories on the West Bank of the Jordan River) is a contingent of stars and performers, who join to support the Israeli theater artists who refuse to perform in the newly-constructed Ariel Culture Hall.
Who’s boycotting and way? Read all about it!
Added on 9 September: Theodor Bikel wrote a wonderful piece about the implications of performing in the Occupied Territories.
Israel’s theaters declared that they will perform in the cultural center being constructed during the “construction freeze” settlement of Ariel. In response many of the actors, directors, and playwrights working for those theaters signed a letter stating that they would boycott any performance being held in Ariel – or anywhere else in the Occupied Territories. Responses from Israeli officials were pretty funny: they claimed that people shouldn’t mix politics with the theater – while simultaneously scheduling performances of works by Bertolt Brecht, who famously said that “art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.
One of the early supporters of the BDS movement is Boycott From Within, an Israeli response to the boycott call.
Author Mark Braverman speaks eloquently on the misunderstandings at the heart of support for the way things currently are done in Israel.
Independent Jewish Voices (Canada) Joins Campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Against Israel
On 17 June 2010 Independent Jewish Voices (Canada) voted to join the growing international campaign in support of the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, at its first Annual General Meeting this past weekend.
This group joins a growing number of faith-based responses to the global BDS call.
Correction! Sid Shniad of Vancouver, BC, Spokesperson for IJV tells us:
1) We endorsed BDS in June 2009.
2) Although ours is a Jewish organization, it is not accurate to describe it as “faith-based.” Our membership is comprised of Jews, religious and non, who subscribe to the view that a just resolution to the conflict in Israel and Palestine should be resolved through the application of international law and respect for the human rights of all parties.
Thanks for writing in with the correction, Sid!
One of the most frustrating accusations made against the local BDS movement has been a blanket accusation of anti-Semitism.
This is unfounded. The BDS movement has much support among Jews, both in the U.S. and in Israel.
A great treasure has been given to us: an endorsement from Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb specifically directed at the Jefferson County WA BDS group. Click on the link to read and share her gracious words.