1,000 African-American activists announce boycott of Israel

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
More than 1,000 African-American activists have announced to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) global campaign against Israel.

More than 1,000 African-American activists in the United States have expressed solidarity with the oppressed people of Palestine and announced to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) global campaign against Israel.

In a recent letter signed by the activists, they “reaffirmed solidarity with the Palestinian struggle and commitment to the liberation of Palestine’s land and people,” Russia Today reported.

Senior civil rights activists, such as scholars Cornel West and Angela Davis, and Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, signed the document.  

African American scholar Cornel West
1960s civil rights activist Angela Davis
Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors

The activists established several connections between the plight of Palestinians living under the Israeli occupation and African-Americans facing discrimination in the US.

They also drew parallels between Israeli troops and US police, who they said train together.

“Israel’s widespread use of detention and imprisonment against Palestinians evokes the mass incarceration of Black people in the US, including the political imprisonment of our own revolutionaries,” the letter reads.

“Soldiers, police, and courts justify lethal force against us and our children who pose no imminent threat,” it adds.

The letter went on to denounce US and Israeli officials, as well as the mainstream American media, for “criminalizing” the existence of African Americans and Palestinians and for denouncing their movements as “illegitimate” or “terrorism.”

“These narratives ignore decades and centuries of anti-Palestinian and anti-Black violence that have always been at the core of Israel and the US,” the letter reads.

“We recognize the racism that characterizes Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is also directed against others in the region, including intolerance, police brutality, and violence against Israel’s African population,” it states.

The letter comes as the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel, known as BDS, is gaining momentum on US college campuses and in many places in Europe.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) global campaign against Israel is gaining momentum.

The BDS movement seeks to end the Israeli occupation and colonization of Palestinian lands and respect the right of return of Palestinian refugees.

The BDS boycott campaign against Israel began in July 2005 by 171 Palestinian organizations, which calls for "various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his subordinates have called the BDS campaign a new form of terrorism to delegitimize Israel.

Supporters of the movement, including a growing number of American Jews, have called such criticism a fearmongering and divisive tactic meant to prevent legitimate debate about the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands.

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