The US Boycott of Palestine

Much Has Been Said About BDS, But What About the De Facto Boycott of Palestine by the US?

by Max Slaughter,
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement is a global campaign against Israel until it complies with international law and respects the rights of Palestinians. Supporters of BDS often cite it as one of the most effective tools to end the occupation of Palestine and achieve justice for the Palestinians. Critics of the movement, however, including many prominent Israeli politicians, have deemed it a threat to the State of Israel and even a form of anti-Semitism.
BDS has created wide discussions and debates about the impact of boycotting Israel, but not so much attention is paid to a de facto, yet still strategic, boycott of Palestine by the United States. Aid from the US to Israel, diplomatic cover and rhetorical support all contribute to this boycott. BDS focuses primarily on economic boycott and sanctions in order to change Israel’s policies and behaviour. The US’s boycott of Palestine, on the other hand, seeks to erase its existence and is sponsoring Israeli colonisation until this is achieved.
The US’s diplomatic and rhetorical endorsement of Israel has also helped to shape the discourse in the Israel-Palestine “conflict”. It has positioned Israel as the victim of Palestinian terror, rather than the actor of state terrorism against the Palestinians. Furthermore, its consistent omission of any discussion of Israel as the occupying entity fails to provide any context to the conflict and continues to justify Israel’s unlawful and entirely disproportionate use of force against the Palestinians.
Richard Falk, former UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, concludes:
“There’s no legal, political or moral argument that would hold the claim that Israel is acting in legitimate self-defence… Gaza, from an international law point of view, is not a foreign state, but an occupied territory. It’s not clear that you can exercise self-defence in relation to a territory that you are responsible for administering in accordance with international humanitarian law.”
Max Slaughter has a BA (Honours) in International Relations and Politics and a MA in Media and International Development.
His writing focuses on human rights, international development, media, refugees and conflict, with a particular passion for peace and justice in Palestine and for Palestinian refugees.
Max has traveled to the Gaza Strip in 2013, the West Bank in 2014 and Lebanon in 2016.
Follow Max Slaughter’s blog here


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