But with extreme reasoning, the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement promotes divestment rather than investment. And it is a reason that was not articulated in the last GA. The BDS movement isn't interested in dialog nor do they want any real cooperation between Palestinians and Israelis. No cooperation, that is, unless it is in the form of “resistance” and “exposure of the Israel occupation.”
To do the opposite is supposedly to normalize an “abnormal” Israel. Reading an article on Al Shabaka: the Palestinian Policy Network, “The Palestinian Capitalist That Have Gone Too Far,” by Tariq Dana, I followed his link to the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement web page to find out the meaning of the normalization of Israel. Dana linked to their page after complaining:
Economic normalization is institutionalized in a wide range of joint activities such as joint industrial zones, Israeli-Palestinian business forums, Palestinian investments in Israel and its settlements, and joint management of water resources. This is the highest level of normalization activity in the history of the Palestinian struggle for national liberation.
The BDS Palestinian movement, on its campaign to boycott Israel's cultural and academic institutions page, gives this definition of the normalization of Israel:
The Palestinian Campaign for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel (PACBI) has defined normalization specifically in a Palestinian and Arab context 'as the participation in any project, initiative or activity, in Palestine or internationally, that aims (implicitly or explicitly) to bring together Palestinians (and/or Arabs) and Israelis (people or institutions) without placing its goal as resistance to or exposure of the Israeli occupation and all forms of discrimination and oppression against the Palestinian people. [2} This is the definition endorsed by the BDS national committee (BNC).
This is an all encompassing definition and aim. It is meant to prevent any joint ventures of good will, any dialogue between factions, any compromise that could bring peace to the area. And since the BDS movement completely demonizes Israel and acknowledges nothing but good toward the Palestinians, whether they are moderate or extremist, it leaves no place at all for peace. Such attitudes will lead to utter and endless war.
Jesus has given us a road map toward, at least, an inner peace, but with that we are able to work for peace waiting for that great day of peace, the return of Messiah. In his beatitudes he states, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his book The Cost of Discipleship gives commentary on all of the beatitudes. Among other thoughts on being peacemakers, Bonhoeffer reminds the Christian reader that it is Jesus who is their peace, and he also reminds them that peacemakers “maintain fellowship where others would break it off.”
When all of the activist enter whatever committee addresses these issues in the 221st GA may those who name themselves as Christians not follow along with the Boycott, Divestment, Movement, whose only goal is too often to shame rather then bring reconciliation to the troubled Holy Land. Here is a wonderful video of Palestinian and Israeli young people talking honestly about their fears and issues. It is very well done by Presbyterians for Middle East Peace.
Voices / Peace from PFMEP on Vimeo.
Picture by Penny Juncker