PLO launches online platform to attack BDS right after sabotaging UN vote on settlements

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) today launched a new online forum whose main priority appears to be to undermine the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

This came just days after the PLO sabotaged a UN Human Rights Council resolution that could have hastened international action against Israel for its continued illegal colonization of Palestinian land.

New “Engage” forum launched with attacks on BDS movement

The PLO delegation in Washington launched “Engage,” an online blog hosted on its official website.

Two of the first three posts are attacks on the increasingly successful BDS movement. In “Connecting the Dots on American campuses,” Samer Anabtawi, a graduate student at the University of Chicago, claimed that the Palestinian solidarity movement on campuses is “heavily fragmented” and needed to be unified in a broad network. (Note: Shortly after the publication of this post, the PLO Delegation deleted Anabtawi’s article from its website. Here’s a screenshot of the deleted article).

What is standing in the way of this unification? Anabtawi singled out Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) whose national organizing and support for BDS has made it an increasingly important factor in the struggle.

For many, “Students for Justice in Palestine” might as well be the network they need. However we cannot deny that today’s student movements for Palestine lack an essential element to political engagement in the U.S.: an appeal to a broad base of audiences. The Palestinian network needs to couch its objectives in a rhetoric that resonates with young Americans who cherish liberal values of democracy, individual rights, freedom of speech, and equality.

After this backhanded claim that SJP is out of touch with mainstream values, Anabtawi presses his attack:

To remain true to its causes, the network should refrain from creating a laundry list of policies and political beliefs that its member groups and activists are encouraged to adhere to;

In other words, principles are bad; abandon them. So what does Anabtawi think should happen instead?

rather the network should aim at fostering a healthy debate on how to advance the Palestinian cause. For instance, instead of instructing chapters to support BDS campaigns against Israel, our cause must encourage discussions on the efficacy and morality of BDS and whether BDS is the most effective tool. By doing so, the network would expand beyond a narrow political agenda, allowing it to engage a broader audience.

Anabtawi speaks of SJP as if it is a national organization with chapters who follow “instructions.” In fact, each SJP is autonomously and locally organized, and only in the past two years has a national umbrella been formed. No one “instructs” SJPs or other Palestinian solidarity groups to support BDS.

Anabtawi accuses Students for Justice in Palestine of having a “narrow political agenda,” when in fact the points of unity adopted at the first National Students for Justice in Palestine conference in October 2011 embrace the rights of the entire Palestinian people.

And contrary to his claims, SJP has been very successful at making important new allies for the Palestinian cause. Thanks to the work by SJP activists with their Chican@ and Latino comrades, MEChA, the largest association of Latin@ youth in the US, voted overwhelmingly to endorse the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions last year.

This year’s MEChA conference, attended by SJP representatives, deepened the commitment to joint solidarity work.

Anabtawi even proposes that Palestinians ally themselves with J-Street, a Zionist lobby group that explicitly opposes BDS and rights for all Palestinians, and indeed does have a narrow political agenda of preserving Israel as a racist state with a guaranteed Jewish majority at the expense of the rights of Palestinian refugees and Palestinian citizens of Israel.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Anabtawi was an “Intern at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Palestine,” a relevant institutional affiliation not disclosed in the blog post.

In the second piece, “BDS Role in Palestinian Economy,” Laila Ikram poses the question of whether “abandoning BDS” is the way for Palestinians to go, before proposing that divestment be “researched” in order to be adopted alongside “positive investment.” Encouraging “positive investment,” it turns out, is the very strategy used by the Israel lobby to undermine and derail divestment efforts.

Of course this is not the first effort by the Palestinian Authority to undermine BDS. In 2010, Salam Fayyad, the externally-imposed Palestinian Authority “prime minister,” launched a call on Palestinians to boycott goods from Israeli settlements.

While this brief campaign grabbed headlines, it was actually an attempt to undermine BDS more broadly because while calling for a boycott of settlements goods only, PA officials were assuring Israel of their desire to maintain expand econonomic ties with Israel in defiance of the Palestinian BDS call.

PLO cave in leads to “missed opportunity” for Palestinian rights

On 22 March, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a weak resolution on a recent report about Israeli settlements. The resolution was condemned by a coalition of Palestinian human rights groups as a “missed opportunity.”

The human rights groups blamed the “influence of European States in dictating that a stronger, more detailed resolution would not have received consensus support at the Council.”

But this failure was entirely the fault of the PLO delegation, which is effectively a puppet of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.

As The Electronic Intifada exclusively reported last week, the PLO delegation had the support and opportunity to present a stronger resolution that would undoubtedly have gained a majority and could have led to concrete international action against Israel. But the PLO apparently refused to do so in order to appease its international sponsors.

Start from scratch?

Although the venerable name of the PLO has cachet, and the idea of the PLO still commands the loyalty of millions of Palestinians, in practice this body long ago lost any legitimacy or representativeness among Palestinians.

Its loss of legitimacy is so severe that in a recent analysis for The Electronic Intifada, Osamah Khalil proposed that Palestinians should abandon it altogether and start from scratch.

The latest antics at the UN and with the “Engage” forum can only bolster those who agree with Khalil.

This post was expanded and updated after initial publication.

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Comments

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Actually, all that was needed in the above was the suggestion that SJP groups aleign themselves with J-Street, which is correctly described as Zionist. The author should be aware that J-Street is a self-described "pro-Israel" organization.

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the PLO has outed itself as a tool of the U.S. Government? ... I would have been surprised 20 years ago .. not anymore

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I applaud the forum, not for it's contents as they do not represent me, for the mere fact that the PLO delegation to the US has opened a space aimed at healthy discussion as it says under submissions. The least you could have done is write a piece with your views instead of defaming an office and its staff. Above all, it also says the views expressed are solely the author's alone. Also, the PLO delegations to the US and to the UN are not the same crowd. Conflating the two while misleading the public to prove a saddening point is simply wrong. What happened to Palestinians coming together? Why spend the energy and effort to defame each other? Why remain so fragmented? Why accept a reality where the most that can be done is simply a rant? Why? Why? Why?

Ali Abunimah's picture

This is a predictable response. No one was “defamed.” Everything was properly documented. The argument that the personnel in the UN and US offices are different is bizarre and irrelevant. Both the UN and US delegations supposedly represent the “State of Palestine” and its policies, not the individuals who staff these dakkakin.

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It's like the mirror image of what Bush said: "Either you're with us, or you're with the Zionists." Look at all the attacks on Finkelstein now: His activism for the Palestinians cost him 30 years of his life and his job, but now that he's come out against BDS, he's apparently just been a closet Zionist all along.

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If Finkelstein is NOT against it - he is for it. Sorry, but denying to Palestinians their right of return on the basis that Zionists would not like it is a Zionism.

A lot of Zionists were and still are critical of various details of Zionist colonization. Uri Avenri is one of the most famous. But they all still are Zionists. BDS means the end of Zionist colonization. Ergo, Finkelstein is a Zionist. Was he a Zionist before is not relevant.

And to cite Bush as an example is a not the wisest movie.

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Dear Ali,

As someone who has admired your work, I am deeply hurt and surprised that your attacks manipulate my words in order to satisfy your rhetoric in this article. First let me say that my maiden name is Laila Alkahlout. Feel free to google that name—in fact, I encourage it. You will find that at my University I ran for Senate with the support of SJP and passed the BDS bill for my school. Additionally, I store the mock apartheid wall in my garage, free of charge, while SJP gathers the funds to store it themselves. So naturally I did not expect the “I’m right and you’re stupid” attitude from someone who shares my views.

Your argument that we shouldn’t explore positive investment because Israel wants that is flawed. If you want to think of the situation in such a black and white way then why not dissuade all humanitarian aide to Palestine too? It also allows Israel to continue to systematically abuse Palestinians.

What I was trying to say in a matter of fact way, sir, was that I want them both to be researched so that they can be applied in a collaborative way, potentially as a transitional phase to help Palestinians while forcing Israel to transform into a nonracist state for both peoples. My exact words: “Ultimately both methodologies must be more thoroughly researched so that they can be simultaneously applied to stop companies profiting from Israeli abuse and reward those companies that are helping Palestinians resist.”

Sincerely,
-Laila

Ali Abunimah's picture

Fair enough Laila. I did not call you “stupid” and I commented on what you wrote in your article, not on what you store in your garage although I suppose it is commendable that you are not charging SJP for storing the apartheid wall.

But my question is why does divestment have to be “researched”? What are your doubts about it? Is there any doubt at all that it’s a good idea to divest from Israel and from companies that profit from its occupation? Please explain what the “research” questions are that you think need to be explored because that wasn’t in your article. Also I have never heard of a company that has supported Palestinian resistance. Can you provide an example of one?

You also write:

Your argument that we shouldn’t explore positive investment because Israel wants that is flawed. If you want to think of the situation in such a black and white way then why not dissuade all humanitarian aide to Palestine too? It also allows Israel to continue to systematically abuse Palestinians.

My argument is not that “we shouldn’t explore positive investment because Israel” wants it. Rather, I made an accurate observation that Israel and its lobby use “positive investment” as a way to undermine and divide the BDS movement and derail it into activities that Israel knows pose no threat to its power.

And, although I would not discourage all of it, indeed much of the “aid” and “investment” in the Palestinian Authority bantustan has been extremely damaging. Here’s two pieces I recommend on those issues:

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You must be confusing the PLO delegation site with that of Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs!

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This article misrepresents my views on BDS and SJPs. To clarify, the point of my article is clear and simple, I am trying to advance the Palestinian cause for justice on college campuses through the creation of a network that serves the purpose of allowing pro-Palestine activists to connect, pool resources, and engage in collective action. I do not call for replacing or undermining SJPs, and my blog post never argued for any form of cooperation with J-Street. Since you have a copy of my article attached, I recommend the readers to read it. It is clear on what I stand and don't stand for.

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Samer, you're thinking too much of yourself. No one really cares what you personally stand for. What you are doing and saying is very clear to my mind and the other leaders. This is not a game for school kids. The entire Middle East is going up in flames and you are discusing how many angels can dance on the tip of a pin! Coming from someone who know better, your words hurt, but they are mostly a disappointment. Nothing more. We've seen it all before. Please go back to sleep!

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Then, in the first place, why was your blog article deleted? Why are you defending a withdrawn statement?

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Samer and Laila, can you please clarify these comments, then? Because they're rather vague and general, and I don't see how it applies to SJP:

"The Palestinian network needs to couch its objectives in a rhetoric that resonates with young Americans who cherish liberal values of democracy, individual rights, freedom of speech, and equality"

As a member of SJP (and a former president), I don't see how SJP is counter to the liberal values of democracy, individual rights, freedom of speech, and equality. SJP's entire aim is to inform the general public about the injustices committed against the Palestinians, and to promote equality and freedom of speech. Can you provide examples of how SJP doesn't espouse these values?

Also:

"To remain true to its causes, the network should refrain from creating a laundry list of policies and political beliefs that its member groups and activists are encouraged to adhere to;"

Can you explicate EXACTLY what "Laundry list" the network should refrain from adhering to? Is it the Palestinian right of return? The insistence that Israel should go back to the 1967 borders? Because I don't understand how a Palestinian state is even possible if Palestinians aren't even allowed to return to Palestine, and if there's no land for a state to exist on.

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Yes, why was you article removed, then? Besides the fact that it is poorly written, your anti-BDS position comes across very clear, unless you have regretted writing it. But, then, you can apologize and explain why you had to write it, or who instructed you to do that!

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This article confirms much of the fact that many people outside of Palestine have come to view to PLO as a collaborationist body. I am not saying every person who works for the PLO is a traitor to the Palestinian cause, but the people who make the important deciscions and decide policy in the PLO have definitely betrayed the cause. Some might say traitor is a strong word but it is the only proper word for someone who collaborates with the enemy. I also want to make a remark: the disinformation has been spreading in many official news outlets that the two-state solution is no longer given the large number of illegal Israeli settlements in occupied West Bank?! This is nonsense! These illegal settlements will be brought down and the Israeli colonists sent back to where they came from when the struggle for Palestinian freedom and independence becomes intensified. Mirza

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Does anybody know whether there has been any attempt anywhere to create a "certification/denomination of origin" seal for Palestine's products?

Gart Valenc
Twitter: @gartvalenc

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Dear Amane,

Since you requested a clarification. I am happy to provide you with more details.

• My article is not about SJP. The group, which I highly respect, was mentioned in the initial article once. The article clarifies a vision of what a new grassroots initiative, which is the ‘network’ I proposed should entail. This does not mean that those are components absent in SJPs. When I say the network should couch itself in liberal values, this is my description of this new initiative, and in no way should be read as if other initiatives do not already do that. Many do, and among them SJP.

• I will avoid a laundry list of beliefs. What do I mean by that? There are many pro-Palestine activists, including myself who have different long lists of detailed policies they view as the ‘right’ approach to challenging injustice. For example, some pro-Palestine activists believe in a Two-State solution, land-swaps, 1967 borders, going through the UN etc. Other pro-Palestine activists hold different views such One-State, or using BDS campaigns, nonviolent struggles, etc. I argued that I personally would shy away from creating a new list of policies for this new tool I'm developping. The network is simply a tool (not a structured organization) that connects anyone and everyone who believes in the Palestinian cause to justice even if they disagree on the approach they individually prefer. Together, these members can discuss their differences and intellectual disagreements on various issues and approaches. Every great movement in the world has its own intellectuals who constantly have internal debates about the morality and efficacy of every thing they do and stand for. Discussion, research, and debates about anything we do are not unpatriotic. This is not a question of whether you stand with us or with Israel. Our movement is intellectually alive and thriving insofar as a lively discussion is happening among its members.

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I believe the rifle approach(cf. shotgun) is best by concentrating our efforts to first achieve the desired outcome from the BDS movement...call it Phase 1. Later on, segue into Phase 2, the promotion of investment opportunities that would benefit the Palestinian economy, which would be difficult to achieve in such a hermetically sealed space which is Gaza. In the West Bank, the controlling power can hasten or retard development on a whim. BDS should be our sole focus until the Palestinians can achieve some success in their quality of life .

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Palestinians need a government which is more representative of the actual dreams and needs of the Palestinian people.

To achieve this goal of representation; Should the Palestinian debate or fight be centered upon which government institutions to engage and work with on a national agenda and which institutions to disrupt or destroy? Or would the Palestinian cause be better served by working within the established systems and institutions to achieve the needed governmental and societal changes?

Palestine is facing the question of change through revolution or evolution.

I for one prefer change through evolution, but of course evolution is the harder and slower road to travel, so it is not as popular with the fast and loose, but for me it is the more righteous and sure road to our common destination of liberation.

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The posts by Samer Anabtawi and Laila Ikram are the product of a failed strategy which produced Oslo and the Palestinian Authority. Having nothing positive to suggest, they instead skirt around the issue of BDS calling for a 'debate' on it.

The fact that the Israeli govt. under Lieberman/Netanyahu made support for Boycott unlawful in Israel is proof positive itself. But Ikram and Anab instead of condemning BDS choose to pretend that it is one of a series of menu options.

The PA is a Quisling authority, a transmission belt for US and Israeli demands. It and Fayad have no democratic legitimacy. 'Positive investment' would play into Israel's hands and continue the absurdity of Fayad's belief in statehood by stealth.

There will always be liberals who are not convinced of BDS. The same was true with South Africa and you know what? We challenged those who believed in 'constructive engagement' with Apartheid because this is what is really being argued.

So why not change direction entirely? Abandoning BDS and pursuing positive investments seem like the answer –the easy one. But Laila Ikram and co. dare not say it out loud. Instead the remnants of the PLO, like Shaher Saeed of the PGFTU try to sabotage and undermine BDS behind closed doors. The fact that Histadrut spends most of its time abroad trying to argue against BDS suggests it is the right strategy.

But if your concern is the survival of the PA and its 'land swaps' and other racist pipe dreams, then of course BDS is an obstacle.

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"they instead skirt around the issue of BDS calling for a 'debate' on it."
So BDS is the new religion and we can't debate it?

"choose to pretend that it is one of a series of menu options."
Well, let's see. We can also engage in protests, or do civil disobedience, or document human rights abuses, or run educational campaigns, or freedom flotillas. In South Africa, BDS certainly wasn't just THE answer, and it shouldn't be our only tactic here either.

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the BDS is not a religion, in fact, i totally boycott 'israel', before knowing what bds is, and follow my own guidelines on it however, boycotting and divesting from 'israel'... is realistically speaking... the most successful resistance on the ground that palestinians have achieved especially outside Palestine... to question it and 'research' it, to criticize it (non constructively)... can actually be a sign that one may be looking for something less 'radical' to 'fight' zionism by literally saving it... the boycotting campaign and aprtheid week and sjp events in the states and world wide scares the shit out of the zionists... meanwhile wanting to connect with j-street makes them absolutely happy!!!!

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I sense a contradiction:
"BDS is not a religion"
"to question it and 'research' it, to criticize it (non constructively)... can actually be a sign that one may be looking for something less 'radical' to 'fight' zionism by literally saving it"

so BDS is a religion then, if we can't criticize it. this is the mirror image of what right-wing Zionists say. just as they say criticism of Israel makes you an anti-semite, now you say criticism of BDS makes you a Zionist.

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notice... i NEVER said you can't criticize it... :) i also never said criticizing bds makes you a zionist... i criticize bds myself sometimes... i clearly tho say boycotting israel is one of the most successful ways palestinians have resisted outside palestine... it scares the crap out of israel... to say palestinians should simply not use it and turn to J-Street (which is what i meant by criticizing non constructively) or in other words to suggest palestinians leave a successful way of resistence to GIVING UP COMPLETELY is definitely in favor of zionism... if you see a contradiction in this or a similarity with zionists making every criticism of israel = to anti-semitism... i'm sorry but you simply haven't read clearly or simply do not understand what i'm saying!

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I sense another contradiction:
"i NEVER said you can't criticize it"
"to say palestinians should simply not use [BDS]... is definitely in favor of zionism"

So I can criticize BDS, but if I say we shouldn't use BDS, I'm a Zionist? That's confusing. I don't have a problem with boycotts against settlements, but I do think boycotting Israel is useless, so I don't think we should "use" BDS as BDS is currently defined. Do you think I'm just in the pocket of J Street?

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honestly i see no point replying to you, because you are taking a part of my comments and not looking at the whole thing... yes if you think of only boycotting settlements, and think that palestine is only the 1967 and forget that JAFFA and HAIFA are also Palestine, and are also colonized ethnically cleansed lands then yes you are inline of the zionist agenda 100%... and as far as your comments you seem to think the palestinian problem started with settlements, palestinian problem started way before that it started with the creation of zionism... it started with herzl... so yes boycotting only settlements products is absolutely useless, meanwhile boycotting 'israel' as most palestinians call for... is absolutely succefull... now either take my entire comment as a whole (rather than half a sentence)... or simply don't reply... :)

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Fair enough then, let's look at boycotting all of Israel. First of all, I don't dispute that the Nakba began before 1967, and that the Zionist project ruined millions of lives before that. I would say, though, that two wrongs don't make a right. Namely, Jaffa and Haifa are part of Israel, and to make it otherwise would be far more disruptive than constructive for the people living there. The American extermination of its indigenous people was even worse, but I don't see any justice in kicking Americans and Canadian and Australians and white South Africans off their land; what ought to be done is make them 1) first live in peace with the native inhabitants (accomplished in those places, not in Israel) and 2) live on equal terms (some progress has been made, but that still hasn't happened anywhere).
So, what I think ought to be done is make two states on the 1967 borders (maybe with land swaps, as long as they're fair) and the borders will gradually be dismantled with trade and communications across them, as always happens in times of relative calm.
Now whether or not you think one state or two states is better is irrelevant. If it was about opinion, speaking as an anarchist, I would say go with 0 states. But what matters is the fact that there's a strong international consensus for 2 states, which we can use effectively to pressure America and Israel. If we go with one-state (as BDS seems to endorse) then we start from nowhere.
Another problem I have with BDS is how its so poorly targeted. If we boycott a few companies that directly aid the occupation, yeah that can shut it down. But if we say we're boycotting everybody (since everybody does business with Israel) then we boycott nobody. And even if we (Palestinians, Arabs, and a marginal group of Westerners) do boycott every Israeli company, I don't think that would change a whole lot. What about the US diplomatic support and $3.1 billion in annual aid? I say just go for the jugular.

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you don't seem to talk like an anarchist... a 2-state is a NO SOLUTION... honestly i don't need someone from god knows what ountry to tell me (a palestinian) whats best for me... or that JAFFA is israeli??? because my grandfathers house is there... and I WILL RETURN to it :) notice also, I do differenciate between the BDS campaign and the act + idea of boycotting israel in my comments... you should too... to say boycotting what is known as israel is not constructive shows you don't really sense the results... well the results to me as a palestinian are considered some of our biggest successes outside of palestine (besides current hacktivism attack) ... please re-read my comments carefully... if you prefer connecting with j-street and boycotting only illegal settlements rather than colonization as a whole...then go for it, but don't come trying to tell me and my people what to do, and don't speak in the name of palestinians (unless you are) :) because yes you do sound like someone looking for an easy non-solution... like someone who simply wants an end to this 'conflict' or someone who's known as a 'leftist zionist' by saying oh "what matters is the fact that there's a strong international consensus for 2 states, which we can use effectively to pressure America and Israel. If we go with one-state (as BDS seems to endorse) then we start from nowhere." which to me seems very inaccurate, absolutely harmful to our cause (because like i said me and most palestinians are indeed refugees who should be able to live in haifa and akka without having to kick anyone out like they were kicked out)... sounds very defeatist too...and there's no explanation as tou why you think a one-state solution = starting from nowhere?? also it makes no sense to either think 0 borders is best or create more borders as a solution??? how does that make sense?? creating more borders can never help us reach our goals of justice and non-aparthied!

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Let's be clear about some things:
1) I do NOT advocate joining J Street
2) I'm American, and if I was living back in the '60s, I would be telling black people it wouldn't be a good idea to join the Black Panthers and use those tactics. How you and other Palestinians conduct resistance is ultimately your choice, but I reserve the right to give suggestions.
3) I support the right of return, as provided in UN SC resolution 194
4) Yes, there's nothing contradictory about being an anarchist and supporting a two-state solution--same thing with Noam Chomsky. The point is that, as anarchists, we recognize political realities, and factor that in when deciding what we work toward. If that were irrelevant then we wouldn't work for a 1-state solution--that would be unjust--rather, me, Chomsky, and everyone from Anarchists Against the Wall would be campaigning for a 0-state solution, because states aren't just to begin with.
Obviously that's ridiculous, because it does matter what we CAN achieve. The 2-state solution is supported by international law, practically every country in the world, and even most of the American public, which, in the end, is what will make the difference. The 1-state solution is NOT in international law, supported only by a few Arab countries, and no part of the public except a few activists.
Now if we implement a 2-state solution under the international consensus, we solve the refugee question, dismantle the settlements, checkpoints, and wall, end the blockade, and end the white phosphorus raining down every few years. It doesn't solve everything (neither does 1 state) but it goes pretty far in the way of justice.
On the other hand, if we put all our energy into a 1-state solution, the Palestinians will live through at least another generation of occupation. The international community doesn't even accept it, Americans don't accept it, so it'll take forever for the American government to accept it.
So in the end, 2 states means more justice.

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last comment here, please look up when Arab countries and Palestinians stopped wanting a 1-state solution and what it was that helped them reach that.... speaking of realities, to claim that 2-state solution is an actually just solution is very absolutely unrealistic.... I stopped agreeing with chomsky on many things once i found out he believes in 2 state solution which is absolutely in favor of zionism... and telling palestinians to accept colonization because international community is in favor of it is very harmful to my home palestine, and again very unrealistic to me)... you are in no place to tell me that a 2-state means more justice... thats absolute bs... and your argument for it is pretty weak... look into history as to how the world changed in favor for a 2-state soluton, this is about 30 years old... it's not how it has always been... FOR THERE TO BE JUSTICE COLONIZATION MUST STOP, AND I SHOULD BE ABLE TO LIVE IN SAFAD...if you read ali abu nihma's article in response to norman finklesteins accusations ... i highly recommend it! titled
"Finkelstein, BDS and the destruction of Israel".... maybe u'll learn a few facts on BDS and justice :)

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I did read that Abunimah article a while back, didn't find it very convincing.

"I stopped agreeing with chomsky on many things once i found out he believes in 2 state solution"
So you rejected a bunch of things he said because he also said that? How about just evaluating his arguments on their own merits rather than "he must be wrong"?

"you are in no place to tell me that a 2-state means more justice"
i think we can agree it would be far better than how it is now, and since it will clearly happen faster than 1 state, it means palestinians won't have to deal with the occupation longer. you can go advocate for a 1 state solution if you want, and i can advocate a (more just) 0 state if i wanted to. but as an American, i can tell you that neither of those will get anywhere, and the purpose of social movements is not to take everything all at once, but to set realistic goals and get them one at a time.

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As an American... you can tell your government to stop supporting apartheid and colonization.... and you can tell me absolutely nothing (especially when you are a defeatist)... the 2-state solution is absolutely unrealistic, if you think it's realistic then you don't know much! and that is clear!!!

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As an American, I do try to tell my government that, and I can also tell you that a 1-state solution is a non-starter with Americans. The conflict won't be resolved until enough Americans are convinced of a peace plan, and I can tell you, 1-state gets you nowhere. On the other hand, its pretty easy to convince Americans for a 2-state plan, I just cite the international consensus, international law, and I'm done in 60 seconds.

You can keep saying I don't know anything, and that 2 states is unrealistic, but you haven't actually refuted my central argument, namely that 2 states is much more widely supported and easier to implement than 1 state. If we can agree on that, it follows that a 1 state solution means Palestinians will have to suffer under the Occupation for a lot longer, and that's the worst solution.

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a 2 state solution is more widely accepted... me being considered a terrorist or camel jockey or some backwards person is also widely accpeted.... so what??? that doesn't mean it is whats best for me and my people... in fact in a 2-state solution my suffering continues... the fact you want me to accept something just because it's easier or because america accepts it is absolutely weak and defeatist... that's all i'm saying, also that i don't need an american's advice on my country... especially one who's telling me i should give up because thats whats best for me (if you ask me you sound like the zionist left exactly...) and as a palestinian i advice you to get rid of your defeatist thoughts if you want to help anyone in this world (and i still think there is nothing realistic about reaching peace and a 2-state solution based on olmert's and obama's false promises)... your argument is weak: it's what the world wants, the world wants palestinians to live in 22 percent of there land (even less) so you must accept it.... well the world accepts that africa remains in poverty it seems...the world accepts that natives in the amazon be forcibly removed, the world accepts that 1% of the people own 99% of the wealth in the world...and guess what?? I WILL NOT ACCEPT IT.. so please leave your advice to yourself...thank you

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By your logic, a 1 state solution is being defeatist, because it leaves a state there, and states are unjust, violent, and tyrannical. Shouldn't we, in that case, advocate a 0 state solution?

You know, I'm in the Progressive Student Alliance at my college, and all of us agree that capitalism has to go. But that's not what we campaign about. We're campaigning to have Adidas pay its $1.8 million in legally mandated severance pay to its workers in a sweatshop it closed down in Indonesia. We're not calling for the overthrow of capitalism, we're not even trying to abolish sweatshops. Does that make us defeatist?

If we called that defeatist, we would instead just run a campaign calling for the end of capitalism, and we would not help those workers in Indonesia, we would not make any progress in the long struggle against capitalism, we would get nowhere.

The reason why we don't do that is because most Americans support capitalism, but there is large public support for companies to respect the human rights of their workers.

I never said anything about "giving up." It's not like we here are giving up after those 2800 workers get their severance pay, we'll find a new campaign to push back the power of neoliberalism, and another, and another, until we're finally in a position to take it down for good.

And in Palestine, once we get a 2 state solution, it's not like that's how everything will be locked forever. At that point, the Palestinians will be in a better position to get their rights.

Just as capitalism will be overthrown faster if we beat at its edges first, I would wager that a truly just peace in Palestine would happen faster if we used stepping stones.

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and i will quote my self... its too clear for you to try to make it seem like i said that criticizing bds makes u a zionist.... as you see I DID NOT SAY THAT "to say palestinians should simply not use it and turn to J-Street (which is what i meant by criticizing non constructively) or in other words to suggest palestinians leave a successful way of resistence to GIVING UP COMPLETELY is definitely in favor of zionism..." please read carefully before you claim i contradict my self... dont read two words and use them as proof... :) not very clever you know... just a tad weak!