Petition in support of call by United Nations General Assembly President Miguel D’escoto Brockmann for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel
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During the 57th Plenary Meeting on the Question of Palestine, President of the General Assembly Miguel D’escoto Brockmann broke a diplomatic taboo by describing Israeli policies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories as similar to those of the defunct apartheid regime in South Africa.
Brockmann also urged the United Nations to use the term ‘apartheid’ without fear, and recommended that the United Nations
“….should consider following the lead of a new generation of civil society, who are calling for a similar non-violent campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions to pressure Israel to end its violations.”
Unsurprisingly, Brockmann has been branded as an antisemite by apologists for Israel.
We are appalled by the recurrent use of baseless accusations of antisemitism; they silence calls for compassion and humanity in the name of the Palestinian people. The use of such accusations to defend massive violence against civilians offends all people of conscience. The false invocation of the slur of antisemitism positions Israel, with great political and military advantage, as a victim, while desecrating Jewish histories and trivializing the real experiences and outcomes of antisemitism.
Likening Israel’s policies to apartheid is not antisemitic. It is common sense. Israel’s policies have been widely described in these terms by, among others, Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter, Jamal Zahalka, Azmi Bishara, Gideon Levy, John Dugard, Omar Barghouti, Danny Rubinstein, Amira Haas, Shulamit Aloni, Meron Benvenisti, and Ami Ayalon.
Calling for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel is not antisemitism. It is the recognition that only such a campaign can lay the ground for a long-lasting peace based on justice and reconciliation. In the words of Nelson Mandela,
“The responses made by South Africa to human rights abuses emanating from the removal policies and apartheid policies respectively, shed light on what Israeli society must necessarily go through before one can speak of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East…”
As Israel continues to ignore the growing outrage over the blockade of Gaza, and as Israel repeatedly breaks the cease-fire, blocks humanitarian aid and prevents journalists from covering the catastrophic impact of its actions, we the undersigned express our support for President Brockmann and urge the United Nations and all member states to adopt his recommendation without delay.