In a first ever in the Congress the Palestinian American congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, and the Somali American congresswoman Ilhan Omar, besides being the first Muslim congresswomen, had endorsed the BDS movement against Israel.
Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) representing 64 student unions across Canada representing 530,000 students endorsed BDS movement. New York University (NYU) Student Government Assembly and NYU Students of justice in Palestine (SJP) representing 61 student groups and 34 faculty members passed divestment resolution targeting Caterpillar Inc., Lockheed Martin, and General Electric. An academic conference held by South African Jews for Free Palestine (SAJFP) in the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa cancelled the participation of Israeli academics from the Hebrew University, Beersheba and Tel Aviv Universities.
Artists from all over the world had also joined the BDS movement cancelling their concert tours to Israel and educating their fans on the Israeli colonization of Palestine. Among these artists are Pop star Lorde, Shakira, Giberto Gil, Lana Del Ray, musician Shlohmo (Henry Laufer), British DJ Shanti Cleste, Swedish DJ Seinfeld, Turkish singer Selda, Austrlian DJ Mall Grab, American DJ The Black Madonna, Roger Waters, and even the Israeli American actor Natalie Portman refused to receive an award in al-Quds (Jerusalem).
City councils in Europe and Latin America had also passed strong resolutions in support of the BDS campaign. Among them are Nonaghan and Dublin city councils in Ireland, Valdivia in Chile, Bologna in Italy, Trondheim and Tromso of Norway, and over 30 cities in Spain among many others. International solidarity with Palestinians and BDS movement are constantly growing. Based on UN resolution 2334 Irish and Denmark parliaments decided to boycott all Israeli goods from occupied colonies.
After initially ignoring the BDS movement, Israel is now aggressively pushing against it branding it anti-Semitic and adopting a law barring foreigners who support it from entering Israel.
AIPAC prodded their bribed Senators to pass an Israel Anti-Boycott Act (S. 720) in the Congress. Critics of this bill, including the American Civil Liberties Union and several Palestinian rights organizations, asserted the bill would violate the First Amendment and penalize political free speech. The bill did not pass. Some states, whose governors are pro-Zionist attempted to mandate their own anti-BDS laws despite local oppositions.
American Senators have to sign an Israel loyalty oath in order to keep receiving Zionist financing. This Israel loyalty oath has been expanded to include anti-BDS clause and is being pushed onto all federal employees. Those who don’t sign are being laid off jobs similar to what had happened to Bahia Amawi; a US citizen of Palestinian descent, who lost her Texas elementary school job after refusing to sing the anti-BDS pledge.
Similarly, Pro-Palestinian activists, who endorse BDS, have become the target of smear campaigns similar to what had happened to Angela Davis; professor and activist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and author of “Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement”, whose Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award was revoked because of her support to BDS and justice for Palestine.
After the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) issued a statement condemning the Israel Anti-Boycott Act as an attack on free speech rights that would punish individuals for their political beliefs, numerous senators decided to re-consider their support.
Despite Senator Ben Cardin’s; the lead author of the bill, claim that he will amend the law to address ACLU’s concerns, he is making behind-the-scenes push to slip the law into a last-minute spending bill that is waiting for the government to re-open.
The success of the BDS movement is a sign that Israel is becoming increasingly isolated on the international arena. Israel has been the most condemned country at the UN as confessed by Nikki Haley; the American ambassador to the UN.
She stated “The General Assembly has passed over 700 resolutions condemning Israel and not one single resolution condemning Hamas”. In 2018 alone the General Assembly had passed at least 20 resolutions against Israel for its human rights abuses, illegal colonies on usurped Palestinian land and its continued occupation of East Jerusalem.
Successive Israeli governments had been riddled with corruption and scandals. Its leaders were gangsters, opportunists, immoral, corrupt politicians, who sought power, prestige and financial gain any way they can get it. Israeli political parties are in chaotic conflicts against each other, and political leaders abuse power and take advantage of their constituencies.They have led their people to extreme prejudice, racism, hatred and violence.
The Israeli society is racially, ethnically, and religiously divided and conflicting. Their only uniting factor is their God’s chosen people psychotic elitist hatred and disdain of all other nations especially of Palestinians, which will eventually lead to their own destruction. This irrational elitism was the only cause for Jews being persecuted and kicked out of so many countries in the past.
Despite Netanyahu’s allegations of alleged increased Arab/Israeli normalization and security cooperation, Israelis feel less secure and in fear of the inevitable upcoming next war. Israel has surrounded itself with walls on its three fronts; north, east and south, with the sea in the west, in a false belief that such barriers would provide them with security. It seems that the ghetto complex still resides deep in the Zionist Jewish psyche.
It is true that during the past 70 years Israel’s military power had overshadowed its Arab enemies, and was able to achieve military victories in its blitzkriegs. The myth of the undefeatable Israeli army was due to the fact that Arabs of the past did not have weapons to defend themselves against the Israeli aggressions, and all the battles took place on Arab territories.
But the situation, now-a-days, is totally different. Hezbollah on the north has acquired hundreds of thousands of missiles that could reach the Israeli depth. Syria on the north east had emerged victorious from the internationally supported terrorist war, battled hardened and with more sophisticated weaponry that could target every Israeli city. Palestinian freedom fighter factions of Gaza Strip on the south had developed more effective rockets that could reach all the neighboring Israeli colonies.
The next war will be on Israeli territories and in every Israeli major city. The Arab states are large in territory and were able to withstand years-long wars of aggression perpetrated by Israel, by the US, and by internationally supported terrorist groups. Israel, in comparison, is a small entity, and would not be able to withstand one week-long war with rockets literally raining (this time) on its cities from all three directions. American and NATO help, if any, would not be able to reach in time to save Israel.
Israeli leaders are aware of the inevitable future end, and in desperation they bomb the same Syrian targets again and again in a bullying attempt to assert its existence as a regional power hoping that the UN may issue a resolution that would draw borders and restrain Arabs. With the failure of the western plan for a new divided weak Middle East, the defeat of the terrorist groups, the withdrawal of American troops, the increasing influence of Russia and Iran in the area, and with Hezbollah and Syrian army as the ideal example to follow on the path of freedom, 2018 ushers the beginning of the end of Zionist terrorist state.
All these devastating wars and destructions in the Middle East have been the painful birth bangs that had given birth to an infant of a new world order of United Arab States in the region that will grow stronger with time.
Dr. Elias Akleh is an Arab-American from Palestinian descent. His family was evicted from Haifa, Palestine after the 1948 Nakba when Zionists stole his family’s property. Then the family was evicted again from the West Bank during the 1967 Naksah, after Zionists again, occupied the rest of Palestine.