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Palestinian political analyst gives lecture on the ‘BDS Imperative’

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Yousef Munayyer, a Palestinian American gives a lecture on why imposing costs on Israel is necessary. (Christina Yacono/Daily Collegian)

Yousef Munayyer, a Palestinian American gives a lecture on why imposing costs on Israel is necessary. (Christina Yacono/Daily Collegian)

Yousef Munayyer, a Palestinian Israeli citizen and political analyst, delivered his “BDS Imperative: Why Imposing Costs on Israel is Necessary” lecture in Hasbrouck Laboratory Monday night.

Munayyer argued that calling for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel (BDS) is important because it carries with it the goals of the Palestinian struggles.

The BDS movement is a tactic of Palestinian resistance, demanding Israel to give Palestinian refugees the rights of return, Palestinians in Israel their rights to full equality as well as self-determination for Palestinians in occupied areas.

According to Munayyer, Palestinian Israeli citizens are often referred to as “demographic threats” and Palestinians in the occupied areas, such as the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, are often discussed as “demographic spill over.”

Munayyer said minorities in Israel – mainly Arabs and Africans – are marginalized and discriminated against on a daily basis as well.

The state of Israel has no incentives to change or take part in a peace agreement because they are profiting from the current system, according to Munayyer. He explained that under the occupations, Israel has been able to monopolize control of its lands’ natural resources, with these resources generating the nation billions of dollars.

“The Israelis do not want to see change, for the same reasons whites did not want to see changes in Alabama … it is a cycle that continues because at the foundation there is inequality,” Munayyer said.

He added that the Israeli government has monopolized political power and is using a system that abuses humans rights. Munnayer said that western countries have enabled Israel to maintain this status quo.

Munayyer disagreed with many individuals who say that violence is the only way to end the occupation. He said that history has shown Palestinians are the ones who pay when the struggle turns violent.

Instead, Munayyer said he wants to see a change in the cost to Israel under the current circumstances. He called on foreign governments and companies to boycott Israel, saying the entire state needs to understand that the settlements and occupations are problematic.
“Anything that shows that the Israeli policies are unwelcomed in the international community is helpful,” he said.

Munayyer added that although most Jewish Israeli citizens don’t interact with the occupation unless they are in the army, he still wants them to join the fight and to look at the situation and say that “we cannot continue with this.”

He said he wants Jewish Israelis to know that, “This is about boycotting the Israeli state, not the Israeli people or Jewish people.” Munnayer said that the participation of Jewish Israelis is crucial.

Emily Miller, a member of the Western Massachusetts Jewish Voice for Peace, said that she “came to the event to support Students for Justice in Palestine and to learn more from the Palestinian perspective.

“It is important for our organization to challenge the notion that there is a U.S. Jewish consensus in support of the government of Israel,” Miller said. “There are many Jewish citizens in Israel and in the United States who do not support the policies of the state of Israel.”

Munayyer said that the most important message students should take away from his talk “is that without pressure, the Israeli state is not going to change its policies of human rights violations and violations of international laws toward Palestinians.”

He continued, “BDS campaigns allow students to organize and effectively target interests that are invested in the Israeli occupation and other Israeli human right(s) abuses and violations of international laws.

“Aside from just seeking out targets that economically invest, it also gives students an opportunity to build coalition, educate new allies and expand the support base for justice on this issue.”

Sorelle Mbakop can be reached at [email protected]

10 Comments

10 Responses to “Palestinian political analyst gives lecture on the ‘BDS Imperative’”

  1. Melson Andella on March 24th, 2015 6:19 am

    Boycott what exactly? All of product Israeli? This will hurt Palestinians as well and besides vast majority of israeli export is Busienss to business and money speaks louder than anything.

    BDS is one of the dumbest ideas since integration.

  2. Genghis Khan on March 24th, 2015 9:45 am

    I strongly object to multiple points in the article by Sorelle Mbakop about Yousef Munayyer’s talk. In
    the first sentence, his argument begins to lose force. He is described as an Israeli citizen. But…
    but… but apartheid. So how is he a citizen? How is he allowed to move? If he is a Gaza resident,
    I wonder if he goes to the bright sandy beaches, or his wife shops in the three-story mall that opened
    a few years ago – or maybe she’s availing herself of plastic surgery, it being a growth industry in
    Gaza. Perhaps his children ride horses in the documented horse-riding academies, or play in the water
    parks there. Maybe he’s taken a vacation at one of the five-star hotels advertised in Europe to rave
    reviews. Some “prison camp”.

    He goes on to say the Palestinians want autonomy. Let’s walk back to 2005. Israel GAVE Gaza autonomy.
    Uprooting Jews who had lived in Gaza for decades, forcibly, Israel granted complete autonomy to the
    residents. Left behind were Synagogue buildings, which were vandalized and burned. A thriving hydroponic
    industry, a cash-cow growing flowers and other plants, were purchased from their Jewish owners by American
    philanthropists and donated to the residents. What was done with those greenhouses? They were burned,
    and then used to hide the entrances to the tunnels into Israel that were started almost from Day One.
    The purpose of those tunnels? To penetrate Israel in a mass attack, kidnap dozens, scores of Jews, and
    hold them as hostages.

    You want peace, Munayyer? Stop launching rockets and mortars into Israel, an average of three per day.
    Israel’s blockade of Gaza was a RESULT of those attacks. Oh, and be glad it was Israel you were attacking.
    If you were doing the same to Putin’s Russia, you would have been stomped flat and bulldozed into the
    sea by now.

    Stop having Palestinian Authority (PA) TV preaching the glories of martyrdom, especially to children who
    sing of the joys of being a Shahid. Even now, after 2014, Hamas is once again digging tunnels into
    Israel with concrete that could have gone to rebuilding; the concrete in the earlier tunnels could have
    gone to schools, hospitals, and other public infrastructure. It’s all about killing Jews.

    You speak of the 1948 refugees. What of the 600,000+ Jewish refugees from Arab lands, and THEIR
    property? But you see, Israel accepted them and integrated them. You want to point fingers? Point
    at your fellow Arabs, who have kept you in camps, who denied you citizenship, who refused you the right
    to vote – all as a weapon against Israel. Until 1967 – almost two decades – Egypt controlled Gaza,
    not Israel, and Jordan controlled the West Bank, not Israel. You were kept in camps, used as living
    leverage against Israel. Even today Palestinians are treated as the n*ggers of the Arab world… but
    you blame Israel.

    Israel offered the Palestinians independence in Gaza and the West Bank, with a capital in East Jerusalem.
    You refused. Arafat walked away from that offer, and started the Intifada. Abbas walked away from that
    same offer. The chant “From the river to the sea…” demonstrates your real goal: Israel’s elimination.
    It’s in Hamas’ charter. It shows in the Palestinian Authority’s maps of the area that show no Israel. Because Jews.

    So don’t give me Taqquiyya about wanting to coexist. A few years ago a little Palestinian boy was
    being treated in Israel for a problem that would have been fatal otherwise. Donations of money and
    toys poured in from all over Israel – donations given by Jews. What did the mother say, even as her
    son was being operated on by Jews? That she hoped her son would grow up to kill Jews.

    Because it’s about Jews, not Israel.

  3. Hingham Guy on March 24th, 2015 10:14 am

    The war against the Jews continues, aided and abetted by the anti-Jewish bigots of the SJP. BDS is a morally bankrupt policy that has failed. There are over 50 Arab Muslim states in the world. The existence of one tiny Jewish majority state, the size of New Jersey, is too much for the anti-Jewish bigots to tolerate. The guest speaker seeks to demonize the citizens of the State of Israel that just want to live in peace but which is surrounded by Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Queda and ISIS. He is added by wannabe far left radicals who wish to celebrate Islamist radicalism from the comfort of the Pioneer Valley.

    If the Palestinian terrorists lay down their arms there will be PEACE. If Israel allows the Palestinian terrorists to infiltrate Israel, there will be the extermination of Israel.

    UMass students are smart enough to realize that diversity and multiculturalism in the Mideast requires the acceptance of one tiny state in which Jews can live in peace. Every day of the week Muslims are slaughtering the Muslims in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. However, there are no SJP meetings to discuss the over 300K people murdered by Muslims in Syria, and the millions of refugees from Syrian. Given that the Palestinian terrorists threaten Israel every day, and Muslims murder Muslims with impunity, Israelis are smart to not endanger their lives by letting Hamas terrorists into Israel.

    Israel, that has seven millions citizens (20% of which are non-Jews) is surrounded by states that do not even allow Christians and Jews to live as free citizens and peace. Support diversity, support Israel!

  4. Genghis Khan on March 24th, 2015 8:35 pm

    I strongly object to many points in the article by Sorelle Mbakop about Yousef Munayyer’s talk. In
    the first sentence, his argument begins to lose force. He is described as an Israeli citizen. But…
    but… but apartheid. So how is he a citizen? How is he allowed to move? If he is a Gaza resident,
    I wonder if he goes to the bright sandy beaches, or his wife shops in the three-story mall that opened
    a few years ago – or maybe she’s availing herself of plastic surgery, it being a growth industry in
    Gaza. Perhaps his children ride horses in the documented horse-riding academies, or play in the water
    parks there. Maybe he’s taken a vacation at one of the five-star hotels advertised in Europe to rave
    reviews. Some “prison camp”.

    Israel offered the Palestinians independence in Gaza and the West Bank, with a capital in East Jerusalem.
    You refused. Arafat walked away from that offer, and started the Intifada. Abbas walked away from that
    same offer. The chant “From the river to the sea…” demonstrates your real goal: Israel’s elimination.
    It’s in Hamas’ charter. It shows in the Palestinian Authority’s maps of the area that show no Israel.

    He goes on to say the Palestinians want autonomy. Let’s walk back to 2005. Israel GAVE Gaza autonomy.
    Uprooting Jews who had lived in Gaza for decades, forcibly, Israel granted complete autonomy to the
    residents. Left behind were Synagogue buildings, which were vandalized and burned. A thriving hydroponic
    industry, a cash-cow growing flowers and other plants, were purchased from their Jewish owners by American
    philanphropists and donated to the residents. What was done with those greenhouses? They were burned,
    and then used to hide the entrances to the tunnels into Israel that were started almost from Day One.
    The purpose of those tunnels? To penetrate Israel in a mass attack, kidnap dozens, scores of Jews, and
    hold them as hostages.

    You want peace, Munayyer? Stop launching rockets and mortars into Israel, an average of three per day.
    Israel’s blockade of Gaza was a RESULT of those attacks. Oh, and be glad it was Israel you were attacking.
    If you were doing the same to Putin’s Russia, you would have been stomped flat and bulldozed into the
    sea by now.

    Stop having Palestinian Authority (PA) TV preaching the glories of martyrdom, especially to children who
    sing of the joys of being a Shahid. Even now, after 2014, Hamas is once again digging tunnels into
    Israel with concrete that could have gone to rebuilding; the concrete in the earlier tunnels could have
    gone to schools, hospitals, and other public infrastructure.

    You speak of the 1948 refugees. What of the 600,000+ Jewish refugees from Arab lands, and THEIR
    property? But you see, Israel accepted them and integrated them. You want to point fingers? Point
    at your fellow Arabs, who have kept you in camps, who denied you citizenship, who refused you the right
    to vote – all as a weapon against Israel. Who controlled Gaza until 1967? Egypt. The people in
    Gaza were kept in camps… by your FELLOW Arabs. Same for the West Bank, controlled by Jordan.

    So don’t give me Taqquiyya about wanting to coexist. A few years ago a little Palestinian boy was
    being treated in Israel for a problem that would have been fatal otherwise. Donations of money and
    toys poured in from all over Israel – donations given by Jews. What did the mother say, even as her
    son was being operated on by Jews? That she hoped her son would grow up to kill Jews.

    Until that attitude changes, until Hamas stops launching rockets at civilians and digging tunnels, until
    the PA stops its shows and programs teaching kids the glories of being a Shahid, and the Palestinian people stop
    demonstrating by their word and deed – dancing in the streets at the stabbing death of a three-month-old in
    its crib, and glorifying those who did it even as they openly-regretting not finding every one of the Fogel
    children – that it’s all about dead Jews… until then, there will be no peace. And it will be your fault,
    not Israel’s.

  5. David Kaufman on March 25th, 2015 9:12 pm

    This is a JOKE. Why do we continue to push an agenda on a national and school-level scale. This movement is disgusting and based on falsehoods and myths. Israel just opened a R&D office in Israel, so I can’t wait for these BDS supporters to give up their Mac laptops. Horrid piece of writing I couldn’t be more embarrassed.

  6. Genghis Khan on March 26th, 2015 6:16 am

    @David: Yes, indeed, let’s have all those anti-Semitic BDS folks give up everything Israel touches technologically.

    Let’s include the new medical developments.

  7. Matti Schreibman on March 26th, 2015 10:16 am

    Internal Palestinian studies have shown over and over again that the BDS movement is directly harming the Palestinian people. An example is when Soda Stream cut back production, they were forced to close their facility in Gaza, causing hundreds to lose their jobs. In terms of public support within Israel, there is some, but its pretty hard to want to help people when others from the Palestinian region when you’re town is hit by rockets every day, or a family member is stabbed on the way to work.

  8. Genghis Khan on March 27th, 2015 6:49 am

    @Matti:

    Actually doing harm to the Palestinians is immaterial to the BDSers. It’s all about two things:

    1. Feeling good about how virtuous and noble they are.
    2. Hating Jews.

    Turkey has occupied part of Cyprus for ages. Not a peep. Boko Haram slaughters more in a DAY than Israel killed in the last war. Not a peep. ISIS throws gays off buildings, Iran hangs them. Not a peep. Because Jews, that’s why.

  9. Zafar Nizami on March 29th, 2015 10:01 pm

    None of you have the faintest notion of what you’re talking about. Read a book, for Christ’s sake.

  10. Genghis Khan on March 30th, 2015 6:37 pm

    Everything I needed to know I learned when, in 2005, Israel withdrew from Gaza completely and the Palestinians started shooting rockets into Israel with their new-found independence.

    Everything I needed to know was confirmed I learned that Israel offered the Palestinians Gaza, virtually all of the West Bank, and a capital in East Jerusalem… not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES. And the Palestinians said no. And it was doubly-confirmed when, last year, tunnels using MILLIONS of pounds of cement were discovered with the intent of channeling scores of terrorists into Israel with the intent of killing as many as possible, and kidnapping Israelis to be dispersed through Gaza as human shields.

    So who, pray tell, should Israel negotiate with? Hamas, with its charter to destroy Israel and the Jews man, woman, and child? The Palestinian Authority, who names squares and streets after terrorists who kill Jews? The PA who has TV shows teaching children the glories of being a shahid, and whose official document maps show no Israel?

    Through word and deed the Palestinians show they are a lost people, unworthy of a state and untrustworthy to keep their word.

    Any shred of sympathy I had died with the three-month old Fogel infant, stabbed to death in its crib, and the Palestinians danced in the streets and handed out candy when the news got out.

    And I’m sick and tired of hearing the Taquiyya about how Gaza is an open-air prison camp. You lie. It’s what your prophet, Mohammed, piss be upon him, did in his life, it’s what he sanctioned, it’s what you do now.

    So here’s my peace plan:

    For every mortar launched from Gaza, Israel destroys a house. For every rocket, Israel destroys five houses. For every tunnel found, Israel carpet-bombs a mile-wide strip of Gaza, bulldozes it flat, fortifies and annexes it. If you can’t grow up as a people – and make Gaza the tourist-and-trade paradise it has the potential to be well, scrape you off and take it over.

    I’m sure Barackus Rex, with his “get in your face” and “if they bring a knife, draw a gun” attitude, would approve.

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