[Marxism] Row over NYC Palestine Activists' Critical take on BDS

A.R. G amithrgupta at gmail.com
Thu Oct 8 18:10:55 MDT 2015

NYC Students for Justice in Palestine, a coalition of radical anti-colonial
Palestine solidarity organizers, just released this statement calling for a
more critical understanding of the growing BDS movement, seeing it as a
tool rather than an end in itself, and criticizing the increasing
dependence of the movement to defer to bourgeois elements of so-called
Palestinian Civil Society.

Surprisingly there was an almost immediate response from a handful of
initiatives in Gaza, in turn megaphoned by the Ramallah-based BDS National
Committee, accusing the students of attacking and mischaracterizing BDS.

The latter statement is, in my view, highly contradictory for reasons I am
willing to elaborate on personally, but as I am not privy to the details of
this row I'd rather just post it here for discussion. I know Louis and
others on the left have been critical of BDS for lacking class analysis and
being overly deferential to "international law". I think those are
legitimate areas of criticism for a movement that has an increasingly
liberal and bourgeois character and is largely represented by Western NGOs
rather than the Palestinian civil society.

As tensions continue to rise in occupied Palestine and others speak of a
third intifada, I think it is time we begin to have a more critical
discussion of exactly whom in Palestine peace activists, Marxists, and
leftists should align themselves with and whether or not many of the
international efforts for Palestine are being appropriately accountable.

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