Al-Quds,11 Jumadil Awwal 1436/2 March 2015 (MINA) – The public opinion in the United States has shifted against Israel and in support of the Palestinian people during the past twelve years, an antiwar activist says.
Brian Becker, the national coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition, a protest umbrella group consisting of many antiwar and civil rights organizations, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Sunday.
He was commenting on a report which says a decade-old movement for boycotting Israeli goods in the United States is gaining momentum at American universities, Press Tv quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting, Monday.
An increasing number of American students are now joining the Boycott-Divestment-Sanction (BDS) movement, refusing to sell off stock since January with student governments at some universities taking divestment votes, the Associated Press reported on Saturday.
“The movement around BDS, the Boycott-Divestment-Sanction against Israel, is a part of a larger sea change that’s going on within American public opinion, which at one time ratified almost all of Israel’s actions, no matter how outrageous, no matter how brutal, no matter how aggressive they were,” Becker said.
“During the past twelve years, starting with the Israeli reinvasion of the West Bank in March 2002. And since then Israel has engaged in another war of aggression, the 2006 bombing of Lebanon, the 2008-2009 invasion and bombing of Gaza, the bombing of Gaza in 2012, and the last aggression in Gaza last summer, in each and every time American public opinion has more and more shifted against Israel, repudiating its policies, and in support of the Palestinian people,” he added.
“And while that shift has taken placed, of course, there is a greater and greater demand that the activities of the United States’ government in support of Israel also be changed,” he stated.
“Since the US government is refusing to change its fundamental strategy… consciousness in the American public has shifted against Israel. People are taking it upon themselves to launch grassroots movements, like BDS, to force a change in US policy,” Becker noted.
Boycott campaign threatens Israel
Top American Jewish leader say the growing international campaign to boycott Israel over illegal settlements is one of Tel Aviv’s greatest challenges.
“We have to counter the BDS movement in the strongest possible way,” Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said recently.
Israel has faced the widening boycott campaign by some European businesses over its illegal settlement activities on the occupied Palestinian land.
Two of Europe’s biggest financial institutions have boycotted transactions with Israeli companies involved in the settlement construction.
The European Union has also blocked all grants and funding to any Israeli entity based in the illegal settlements.
The American Studies Association has also announced a decision to boycott Israeli institutions and academics over the discriminatory treatment of Palestinians.
Israelis are frustrated in the face of the boycott campaign.
Israeli officials have recently announced plans to build thousands of more illegal settler units on Palestinian territory, despite the opposition of the United Nations and the international community.
More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967.
The UN and most countries regard the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in a war in 1967 and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied lands.
And the apartheid regime of Israel denies about 1.7 million people in Gaza their basic rights, such as freedom of movement, jobs that pay proper wages, and adequate healthcare and education.
Gaza has been blockaded since 2007, a situation that has caused a decline in the standard of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty. (T/P002/P3)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)