April 11, 2019
The Arab American Institute, Foundation for Middle East Peace, and the John Brademas Center of NYU presented a conversation on the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement.
Peter Beinart, Non-Resident Fellow, Foundation for Middle East Peace, engaged Omar Barghouti, Co-Founder, Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Movement, in a discussion about the official BDS movement and Omar’s role as a leader of it. Jim Zogby, Co-Founder and President, Arab American Institute, gave the introduction.
Whether as an individual choice or in affiliation with the BDS movement, activists around the world are increasingly engaging in and advocating for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions targeting Israel and/or Israeli settlements. The BDS movement has become a lightning rod, condemned by the Israeli government and its allies as anti-Israel and anti-Semitic, but touted by its supporters as a conscientious campaign in support of basic Palestinian human rights. In an effort to combat BDS, U.S. states have passed laws that violate First Amendment rights to free political speech, and Congress is considering legislation that would criminalize some forms of boycotts of Israeli settlements.
Omar Barghouti is a Palestinian human rights defender and co-founder of the Palestinian civil society Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign. He is a co-recipient of the 2017 Gandhi Peace Award. His commentaries and views have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, among others.
Peter Beinart is a Non-Resident Fellow at the Foundation for Middle East Peace. He is also a Professor of Journalism and Political Science at the City University of New York, a Contributor to The Atlantic, a Senior Columnist at The Forward, and a CNN Political Commentator.