Chomsky Responds to House Anti-BDS Resolution

I wouldn’t have voted for the resolution.

There are things wrong with the “BDS movement,” but BDS – more accurately BD (there are no sanctions in the offing) – can be quite effective when done sensibly, with tactical choices guided by concern for the victims and careful thought about the consequences of particular actions – which should be second nature to activists.

BD was initiated in 1997 by Uri Avneri’s Gush Shalom, focused on the occupation, a sensible choice.  That’s where pressure matters and can be effective, not arousing side issues that divert attention from the fate of Palestinians.  It’s been pursued effectively since, notably by the Presbyterian Church, which also crucially brings in US corporations that participate in the occupation.

It has been quite effective, and could be more so if BD activities were focused this way and not sidetracked by questions that only divert attention from the issues at hand.  There is much more that can be done along these lines. A good argument can be made that US military aid to Israel is in violation of US law (the Leahy Lawthe Symington Amendment – which in fact would bar economic aid as well).

There are many possibilities that are not being pursued actively enough, that could make a major difference, gaining popular support and not leading to anti-BDS resolutions.

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