Saturday, August 29, 2015

Revised thoughts on BDS

The BDS movement continues to gather notice in the media. Recently the online magazine CounterPunch has carried approving stories of their work.
I have previously written things on this blog that went way over the line. Why is simple, I was not writing with a clear head. What, using verbiage that was insulting to both individual members and their efforts, was unnecessary and uncalled for.
I remain skeptical of the BDS three-tier program because of the logical conclusion of its aims. I also feel that there has developed, in recent months, a sort of backlash against various personalities in the Palestine solidarity movement that is problematic, such as the case of Alison Weir at IfAmericansKnew.org and Norman Finkelstein. Weir has been banished from certain groups because of her appearances on right-wing radio shows. Finkelstein has seen his speaking engagement calendar significantly impacted by backlash over his comments regarding the three-tier program. I do not think these sorts of things are beneficial to a solidarity movement and there are more mature ways to resolve such conflicts.
But to insult and degrade a group because of differences likewise is unacceptable. In a recent biography of Lenin I am currently reading, I came upon a point that intrigued me. Throughout the period prior to the Russian Revolution, Ilyitch engaged in great debates with various members of the Social Democratic movement, both within the Bolsheviks and outside it. However, despite his differences, he also never sacrificed his comrades and would send what monies he could to even his opponents when possible. That is what I feel is a lesson for all leftists to emulate, especially myself. While I remain skeptical of the program, I must say I respect activists of whatever stripe for the courage I myself might not exhibit. I apologize to anyone I have previously offended and will also reach out in private to certain individuals who deserve an explanation.
Long live the Palestinians!

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