Israel boycott needs targeted approach

28 April 2011

The boycott Israel movement is its own worst enemy by overstating its case and asking for too much, argues Associate Professor Ben Saul in an opinion piece for The Drum.

"The global movement of Boycott, Disinvestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel is over-broad because by targeting the whole Israeli economy and sporting, cultural and academic institutions, it collectively punishes all Israelis regardless of their responsibility for harming Palestinians," Associate Professor Saul asserts.

"That approach is crude, simplistic, and alienates many in Israel who are sympathetic towards the Palestinian cause.

"I have international law colleagues in Israeli universities, for example, who are often involved in human rights challenges to Israeli actions.

"Isolating them, and others like them, is foolish and counterproductive.
"Those who oppose any action wear rose-coloured glasses in looking at Israeli violations of international law - Israel is portrayed as a blameless democracy that is always the victim of scurrilous efforts to undermine it.

"It is true that the occupation of Palestinian territories is not of itself illegal.

"Under international law, occupation is a question of fact.

"Either a foreign power controls a foreign territory, establishing an occupation, or it does not."
View the entire article - Israel boycott needs targeted approach - The Drum

Contact: Greg Sherington

Phone: +61 2 9351 0202

Email: 2826530e47183f173b063c223b250a26221133455d3a74280531052201