BDS movement and the Palestinian Principles

by Sameh Habeeb

Palestine, (Pal Telegraph) – The inalienable rights of the Palestinian people are the basic pillars for constructing a legitimate movement seeking justice, peace and reconciliation. Any departure from them or attempts to jettison any part of it is certainly a shameful u turn and an insult against the entire Palestinian people. It insults Palestinians who sacrificed their lives, the many hundreds of thousands that are imprisoned, the millions that live in squalor and degradation as refugees and indeed the entire Palestinian cause.
As the last two decades have shown, concession of fundamental rights is not the road to peace and reconciliation. Under Oslo Palestinian Authority compromised their inalienable rights to no avail.
At the core of Palestinian cause is justice for Palestinian refugees including the Right of Return of all refugees who were forcibly expelled from their homes. Many shameful attempts were made by Israel and America to suppress the just cause of the refugees by settling them in their Diaspora or proposing to allow not more than 150,000 to return not to their original homes but the future Palestinian state in Gaza and West Bank. Previous attempts to dissolve the right of return were proposed by Mark Etheridge, at Lausanne Conference, Gordon R. Clapp and many others. But all failed and Palestinian refugees in the camps remain resolute in their desire to return.
Bluntly speaking, Palestinian Authority –through its officials- implicitly affirmed a fair and just solution to the refugee issue without any reference to the rights of the refugees as stated under international law, and without any frame of reference to suggest what justice for refugees constitutes. This misconceived position leaves an inalienable right of the Palestinian people subject to a process of unequal and unfair negotiations.
BDS Movement and Mission Statement Change
Contrastingly, civil organisations and solidarity movements are closer to Palestinian rights. However few have adopted the PA track of two-state solution based on 1967 borders, which in my view has damaged the – one state solution, is the most appropriate way out for peace– cause of peace and justice in Palestine. It should be clear to any movement or active organisations that their struggle should be built only on the basic rights of Palestinian people. There should be no wavering of rights of the Palestinian people by organizations claiming to stand up for justice for the Palestinians.
It is noticeable that the BDS movement is achieving a resounding success in isolating Israeli apartheid. The movement is drawing assimilation between Israeli apartheid and the South Africa which is totally valid.
Looking at the BDS website, the movement seems to have compromised the most fundamental of Palestinian rights:  In an entirely underhanded way the BDS National Committee had changed the wording of its mission statement from
demanding that Israel ends Its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands
Its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967.

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