Wednesday, February 24, 2016

US, Britain and Canada Endorse Anti-BDS Measures

US, Britain and Canada Endorse Anti-BDS Measures

by Stephen Lendman

Global BDS activism is the most vital initiative against Israel’s ruthless agenda, essential to support - why Washington, Britain and Canada want its effectiveness neutralized.

Last year, Obama signed into law so-called fast track “trade promotion authority (TPA)”, enabling him to expedite the legislative process for pending Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) bills.

Anti-BDS provisions were included - so-called guidelines aimed discouraging European, Asian and other governments from permitting BDS activities, leveraging US trade as an incentive to prohibit them.

In mid-February, Obama announced his intention to sign into law the House and Senate passed Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 - legislation failing to distinguish Israeli goods and services from illegal settlement ones.

The measure includes an anti-BDS provision, authorizing pressure aimed at “discourag(ing) politically motivated boycotts of, divestment from, and sanctions against Israel.”

It’s a slippery slope toward prohibiting BDS activities altogether - a First Amendment guaranteed right.

Last October, a French court ruled against BDS activism, outrageously calling it hate speech.

The global BDS Movement explained impending new UK rules “make it harder for local councils and other public bodies including universities to make ethical procurement or investment decisions” - aimed at countering growing BDS activism, a step toward banning it altogether.

UK Palestinian BDS National Committee spokesperson Rafeef Ziadah responded, saying:

“Rather than working to hold Israel to account for its ongoing human rights violations, UK ministers continue the arms trade with Israel and attack local democracy in order to shield it from any criticism.”

“What sort of message does this send to UK companies like G4S and JCB that aid and abet Israel’s violations of international law?”

“The BDS movement in the UK has achieved wide support precisely because of the failure of successive UK governments to take action in response to Israel’s war crimes.”

“Far from thwarting the growing public support for the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality, these measures simply shine a spotlight on the UK’s deepening support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and underline the need for solidarity campaigning.”

Cameron’s support for Israel’s worst crimes matches Margaret Thatcher’s South Africa apartheid advocacy.

Canada marches in lockstep, one-sidedly supporting Israel, ignoring its high crimes, backing them by failing to act responsibly against them.

On Monday, a parliamentary motion condemning “any and all attempts” to promote BDS activism at home and abroad passed overwhelmingly.

It calls for condemning BDS activism in all forms, claiming it “promotes the demonization and delegitimization” of Israel.

A National Council of Canada Arab Relations (NCCAR) response stressed “Canadians’ right to free speech,” stating:

NCCAR “invites Canadians to revisit their country's commendable history with BDS movements and its long-standing relationship with Canadian democratic principles.”

Anti-BDS measures violate the letter and spirit of free expression rights, “enshrined in Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms” - core principles of democratic governance.

According to NCCAR chair Gabriel Fahel, “freedom of speech and conscientious objections to buying products from countries that contravene international law are core values of a free and democratic society.”

Israel is a fascist police state, run by racist Zionist zealots. Canadian liberal and conservative governments one-sidedly support it, like US Republicans and Democrats - partnering in its highest of high crimes.

Israel turns truth on its head, calling BDS activists anti-Semites, along with labeling Jews opposing its rogue policies self-hating.

On February 17, AP News discussed Israel’s covert scheme to combat BDS activists online, saying:

It’s “using its world-leading expertise in cyber security to” challenge global BDS activism - “allot(ing) nearly $26 million in this year’s budget…”

Intelligence gathering efforts along with cyber-attacks aim to counter BDS effectiveness. “(F)looding the internet” with pro-Israeli content aims to drown out BDS messages.

BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti said “quite a few web pages” BDS sites linked to mysteriously disappeared. He holds Israeli cyber-sabotage responsible - at the same time, explaining it failed to diminish BDS effectiveness.

Founded in July 2005, global BDS activism proved remarkably resilient. It’s a vital just cause idea whose time has come - deserving universal support.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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