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Why does Israel fear the BDS movement so much?

9 January 2018, 11:50:00

Donald Trump's declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel seemed to confirm a long-held suspicion among many long-time observers: The United States is not interested in a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli impasse that adheres to international law, instead supporting Israeli demands to annex more Palestinian land and create an ethnonationalist state with as few Palestinians as possible.

Meanwhile, Palestinians continue to be forcibly removed from their homes in East Jerusalem to create "facts on the ground" that serve as Israeli talking points for why Jerusalem is already Israel's de facto capital.

With both Trump and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley displaying just how far they are willing to bully other nations into falling in line, ordinary activists are left to contemplate how they can force Israel's hand to abide by international law.

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Here is where the BDS movement comes in. It was launched in 2005 by more than 250 Palestinian civil society organisations calling for the international community to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel. The movement's founders closely studied the Boycott Apartheid South Africa movement that was launched in the 1950s and gained traction in the '80s.

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