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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/22/10

The Lessons of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions

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The Lessons of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) - by Stephen Lendman


Established in 1989, the MA'AN Development Center is "an independent Palestinian development and training institution....work(ing) towards sustainable human development in Palestine" through its various programs. On October 31, it released a publication on the Palestinian BDS campaign titled, "Boycott, Divestment, & Sanctions: Lessons learned in effective solidarity."


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It's another of the many BDS initiatives multiplying to support Palestine. In July 2005, a coalition of 171 Palestinian Civil Society organizations created the global movement for "Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel Until it Complies with International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights" for Occupied Palestine, Israeli Arabs, and Palestinian diaspora refugees.


MA'AN covers BDS history and outlines current efforts and challenges to be overcome. Past Palestinian boycotts showed they work. The 1936 six-month strike against the British Mandate demanded a representative government in Palestine, prohibition of land sales to Jews, a cessation of Jewish immigration, and immediate elections. The strike brought the economy to a halt and got the Peel Royal Commission to recommend limited Jewish immigration and plans for eventual partition.

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In 1948, the Arab League banned all commercial and financial transactions between Israel and League members.


In 1951, each nation set up a national boycott office, linked to the Damascus headquarters. It maintained a central blacklist of companies.


In 1973, OPEC embargoed oil to America and other countries that supported Israel in the October war.

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In November 1975, UN General Assembly Resolution 3379 "determine(d) that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination." Under pressure from GHW Bush and Israel as a condition of its Madrid Peace Conference participation, Resolution 46/86 revoked it (in December 1991) saying only that:


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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.
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