Israël-Palestine discussion 2016: How to (not) boycott Israël

Since the onset of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, several parties have argued about potential resolutions. Recently one of the pressing matters is the question whether a boycott could motivate Israel to respect the Palestinian civil and political rights.

A boycott of Israel can be managed in several ways. The country could be refused right to join diplomatic discussions. Companies could end their trade agreements, universities could forgo alliances with Israeli educational institutions and consumers could refrain from buying Israeli products from the supermarket.

But under which circumstances is such a boycott justified? Which strategy is efficient? And what are the moral implications of such measures? Tonight three prominent guests will discuss their view on this complicated matters, respond to each other and answer questions from the audience.

We focus on the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, a global campaign attempting to increase economic and political pressure on Israel to comply with the stated goals of the movement: 1) the end of Israel’s occupation and colonization of Palestinian land and the Golan Heights, 2) full equality for Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, and 3) respect for the right of return of Palestinian refugees. (source: WIKIPEDIA)

Samer Abdelnour, works at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, will discuss why the aforementioned three goals are important and legitimate for the Palestinians.

Norman Finkelstein, American political scientist and publicist will explore the circumstances under which an international boycott can be effective. He will also reflect on and scrutinize certain aspects of the BDS-campaign.

Farid Esack, professor theology at the University of Johannesburg will give a historical perspective based on his experience during the international fight against apartheid in South-Africa.

The evening is moderated by Paul Aarts, expert on the Middle East at the University of Amsterdam. Due to the international participants the language is English.

The annual Israel-Palestine discussion is organized by the Leonhard-Woltjer Foundation in collaboration with Een Ander Joods Geluid / A Different Jewish Voice and De Nieuwe Liefde.

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