From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : BDS Movement
Mains level : Anti-Semitism, Racism, Apartheid
- An article in a German newspaper accused Indian poet Ranjit Hoskote of “anti-Semitism” and supporting the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement.
What is BDS Movement?
- BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement was launched in 2005 by over 170 Palestinian groups.
- It aims to garner international support for Palestinian people’s rights.
- BDS describes itself as an “inclusive, anti-racist human rights movement” opposing all forms of discrimination, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.
- It draws inspiration from the South African anti-apartheid movement.
- BDS calls for nonviolent pressure on Israel until it complies with international law, with three key demands:
- Ending Israel’s occupation and colonization of Arab lands and dismantling the Wall.
- Recognizing the rights of Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality.
- Respecting, protecting, and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, as per UN Resolution 194.
Strategies of BDS
- BDS involves boycotts of Israeli government, associated institutions, and companies involved in human rights violations.
- Divestment campaigns urge institutions to withdraw investments from Israel.
- Sanctions campaigns seek to pressure governments to fulfill legal obligations to end Israeli apartheid.
- BDS focuses on a smaller number of carefully selected companies and products for maximum impact.
Israeli Government’s Response
- Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has linked BDS to anti-Semitism.
- BDS argues that criticism of Israel’s violations of international law should not be equated with anti-Semitism.
- Israeli Minister Gilad Erdan led efforts against the economic boycott of Israel but downplayed the threat.
Economic Impact of BDS
- BDS has led to some brands and celebrities refusing to work in Israel.
- Impact on an entire state’s economy is challenging to measure due to various factors.
- BDS aims to become a powerful tool in ending western support for Israeli apartheid and settler colonialism.