The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that targets companies cooperating with the Israeli occupation and its apartheid system has transformed from just a movement, particularly in the United States, to a conviction and way of thinking that draws the attention of and support from human rights defenders and supporters of the Palestinian people.
The ice cream company, Ben & Jerry’s, decision to terminate its license to sell its products in the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, which was considered a severe blow to the racist Israeli occupation policies by one of the giant companies, has become an incentive for other companies to follow suit.
The policy of boycott has become an approach for thousands of people and institutions in their dealings with companies and institutions that support the occupier state, Israel, which prompted many of them to shift their positions and change their general policies for the benefit of the Palestinian people, especially universities, scientific centers, unions and parliaments that condemned Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians and racist laws in many American institutions that support Israel.
Observers believe that the boycott campaigns and the growing conviction that rejects Israel’s policies have brought back the image of the Israeli violations against the Palestinians and the illegal settlement expansion to the fore in the US arena, particularly after media networks backed by the Jewish lobby have been falsifying facts for decades about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
With the help of social media, the popular base in support of Palestinian rights is growing gradually, deepening the Israeli fears of losing popular and governmental support in the US at the states’ level with the increase in the number of American Jews who reject the Israeli government’s home and foreign policies.
Yassar Dahbour, Chair of the Arab American Caucus of the California Democratic Party, said the Israel boycott movement is gradually being transformed from the margins to the popular level in the United States, and the position of Ben & Jerry’s is evidence that BDS has succeeded in creating an environment that fosters a boycott of Israel among the American people and institutions, in addition to the ongoing boycott campaigns in the universities and the boycott of products to contribute to supporting the positions of these companies.
He said that Ben & Jerry’s boycott, even if it is limited to boycotting the settlements only, remains a step in the right direction that we must support, especially in light of the threats of the Israeli leaders to the companies and the arrogant Zionist voices to boycott them.