BDS: A Trojan horse? Occupying Minds

Guest writer Sean Bresnahan criticises some aspects of the BDS movement.

How great it is to see such a tremendous rise in awareness and activism on the ongoing situation in occupied Palestine this past few weeks. Due to the murderous assault on the defenceless people of Gaza over the course of the last month and more, social media has witnessed an unprecedented spike in Palestinian-related online-activism, complementing massive street protests in many, many parts of the world and calls for the isolation of the occupying Israeli state. This is inspiring to see but it also brings some subtle challenges in terms of how we relate to the struggle in Palestine.

We must be sure to remember that the primary weapon against the Zionist is the indigenous Palestinian resistance, without whom the occupation would long-since have achieved its immediate goals. Those who place unstinting faith in the BDS movement of Omar Barghouti should remember that boycott is only a tactic useful for ourselves coming from so-called liberal democratic societies where we can't contribute much more than that in practical terms, given our own restricted position in our own societies as virtual slaves to international capitalist power. We should not consider it the be-all and end-all for the wider world or indeed the Palestinians themselves and the people of the wider region. It certainly should not be considered a viable substitute for the legitimate resistance of the people, which we must continue to fully support.

I don't buy the line BDS is our best hope for a resolution in Palestine and have serious reservations about the agenda of this NGO. It seeks a form of recognition for the state of Israel, achieving this position without consultation with the Palestinian people themselves, and is funded by well-known liberal Zionists such as George Soros, who have an agenda of gaining acceptance for an Israeli 'right to exist' if it would only conform to certain standards of behaviour. No. The best hope is support for the continued physical resistance to Zionism and it's expansionist ambitions, be it in Palestine, the Lebanon, Syria or in Iran.

'Everyone, whoever has the means, especially in the Islamic world, they should do what they can to arm the Palestinian nation' - Ali Hosseini Khamenei (July 2014)

What has BDS achieved for the Palestinians in real terms over all the years of its existence in comparison with the incredible gains made by the resistance over the course of the last month alone (albeit at such a terrible cost, though a cost not of their making)? What if the Palestinians had placed all their faith in BDS rather than preparing in secret for the day they knew would soon come again when the Zionist attacked them without provocation and without mercy? Thank God they did not and thank God they were ready, or they would already be razed to the ground.

Instead we now have Zionism on the run, withdrawing unilaterally from the ground and seeking a way out. None of this would be possible without the armed resistance they met in the streets and towns of Gaza, a resistance so effective the supposed mighty armies of Israel were reduced to pummeling a defenceless population and massacring women and children from afar rather than stand toe-to-toe. We seen this before in Lebanon and we are seeing it yet again. Israel is weaker than a spider's web when physically confronted and will withdraw into barbarism rather than face an enemy capable of fighting back.

Boycott, sanction, divest by all means - who would suggest otherwise - but remember the only solution is the complete defeat and reversal of the Zionist project. BDS as an entity in itself is not committed to this end and works towards the decommissioning of the Palestinian physical resistance. And so we must be careful to separate the entity from the strategy, we must be careful that we don't allow our own restricted position in our own societies to frame what is and what is not the best route forward for the people in Palestine. We must be sure we don't allow liberal Zionism to occupy our minds and insert a Trojan horse into the rightful struggle of the Palestinians for complete freedom.

The bottom line is no state set up in the manner of Israel, that has carried out its heinous crimes, should ever be granted a right to exist within ANY borders. It's a frightening precedent if we allow it; the principle of 'right over might' is at stake here. The only long-lasting solution is the total decolonisation of all of Palestine, with all of Palestine returned to its rightful owners and a satisfactory and just way must be found of doing so. This is not the position of the BDS movement who, with its principle endorser 'Electronic Intifada', argues for a recognition of Israel if it can only be forced to concede equal rights to those residing within its borders, completely ignoring the central issue of occupation.

Zionist-envisaged map of 'Eretz Israel'

Because so long as Zionism is tolerated it will continue its relentless expansionism at the expense of the indigenous Palestinians and this we cannot allow. It's totally illegal, the entire Israeli state is totally illegal, devoid of legitimacy and has been so from the very beginning. It should not have been tolerated and nor should it be tolerated now.

The state of Israel has no desire to make peace and is totally bent on the annihilation of the Palestinian people. We know they are not even for stopping at that and have their eyes on a much larger territory they call 'Eretz Israel' stretching from the Nile delta to the banks of the Euphrates.

This is the cause of so much of the instability in other parts of the region, namely but not exclusively in Syria, the Sudan and Iraq. There is a Zionist hand at work here, as always tightly packed into the glove of the West. This has to be stopped or the world will tear itself apart. Israel needs to be totally dismantled by whatever means necessary and following that the forces of imperialism, for which it is agent, need confronted and defeated. The alternative is unthinkable and can conceivably result in the mass-extermination of the human race itself. Surely the 'right' for a violently racist, colonial entity such as the state of Israel to some form of existence is hardly worth all or any of that.

In an ever-changing world the cause of Palestine, as our own, has withstood the test of time and at this critical juncture in history we must continue to reach out to those who resist the evil machinations of imperialism. The cause of Palestine is the cause of Ireland. The artificial state of Israel is within Palestine's borders; every inch of Palestine - from the river to the sea - needs recovered just as here at home. The so-called 'right to exist' is a similar concept to the principle of consent here in the occupied six-counties, both being tools of the invader to maintain an illegitimate occupation that has no legal standing, having been founded on force. The only just settlement lies in the full retrieval of our national rights and those of our brothers and sisters in occupied Palestine. One struggle - one love: Our day will come.


  1. Sean, great post.
    There is no doubt, obliteration of an entire people was Israel's end goal.
    Arrogance and self serving antagonism has been the ideal that has propelled Israel thus far.
    A country,that blatantly has ignored, UN resolution after resolution. These resolutions were not medicorce they ranged from hostile embargo to all out acts of aggression.
    Now, we await the outcome of another ceasefire and while it is great that the world is watching and acting, it would be greater to witness a hard fought and well deserved lasting solution.

  2. Why do Palestinians seem to have a monolopy on news coverage? They deffo have more empathy globally. I don't see anyone protesting for the whole sale slaughter in Iraq by ISIS.

    On Sunday, IS advanced to Sinjar, which is one of very few cities in the world Yezidis call home. The terrorists identify the Yezidis as "devil worshippers." Persecution against the 4,000-year-old religion is not new, but IS might eliminate the people from the earth. The Pershmerga warned residents that IS was around the corner, and many people did not stay.
    Yezidis receive support from the Christians, who also suffer under IS. Mizra Ismail, chairman of the Yezidi Human Rights Organization, and other Yezidi leaders, visited Washington, D.C., with the Syriac Diocese of Our Lady of Deliverance from New Jersey.

    “We cannot be Christian but to serve the other,” said Syriac Catholic Bishop Barnaba Yousif Habash. “We cannot be Christian but to be for the other. … Their situation is considered worse than ours.”

    “They do not even have this,” he said, holding a glass of water; IS cut off water supply to Christian and Kurdish communities they do not control. “There is no power. There are no hospitals. There are no doctors. There is no peace, no security.”

  3. The only solution is Palestine from the river to the sea but in the meantime the Palestinian people should not be at the whim of Zionist barbarism. Something tells me they'll think twice about going down that road again - providing the resistance does not go down the road of our own. The calls are already being made for Palestinisn disarmament as part of a process. Give them nothing, not a bullet not an ounce. Boycotting Israeki dates did not achieve this situation

  4. Fair dues for bringing that into the equation Frankie, personally I'm well aware of ISIS and have given my thoughts on the situation in Iraq and Syria many times on here before

  5. It's time to identify those thugs creating havoc in Iraq, Syria and the Lebanon by their real names... ISIS, Al-Nusra and Qaeda are imaginary entities and pseudonyms to cover the identity of the real perpetrators - CIA, MI6, the Mossad. Divide and conquer, it's always the same old trick

  6. Frankie,
    I'm sure the Palestinians will tell you, they would swop the so called ' monopoly' for peace as opposed to genocide.
    Iraq is now their failed entity, exposed and laid bare, the slaughter, which as now as much about internal housekeeping by those propped up by the external slaughter mongers, is just left like a running sore.
    It's not the people of Palestine's fault, that the West has ravaged a country and left it full of corpses.
    As a matter of fact, Palestine has not been given the coverage it should have been on the world stage.
    Prince William becoming a rescue pilot was given more time and enthusiasm on the lunch time news.
    If internal networks had not leaked out the extent of the horror, well then the BBC would not have been moving as much as a pile of rubble to expose it.

  7. Isn't it strange how this ISIS hasn't touched the Israeli pipeline that runs through the areas already under their control? As bizarre as these so-called radical clerics issuing fatwa against protesting in support of Palestine... A funny old world eh. I don't think so

  8. Oops! The Iraqi army has discovered Israeli-made weapons in a hideout that belonged to the foreign-backed Takfiri militants in Al-Anbar and Saladin provinces. How bizarre...

  9. Sean,

    what is strange is ISIS appeared out of nowhere and unlike the ragtag outfits; ISIS is a well oiled sophisticated machine that operates like a regular army.

  10. ISIS is a creation of the Brits, the US and the Zionists, ably assisted by regional allies and paymasters in the Persian Gulf - namely Qatar, Kuwait and KSA, who themselves have dual agendas in the 'war on terror'. Have you heard of the 'hornets nest' strategy Edward Snowden revealed earlier this year? British and American Intelligence and the Mossad created this force to draw extremists from all over the world to one place. There are a number of reasons for this, among them to divide and conquer Assad's Syria and Shiite-majority Iraq by placing a force inside the territory capable of occupying the regimes' attentions, in turn strengthening the position of Israel in the global oil and gas market, while also shielding the Zionist entity itself from any potential jihad that it might face otherwise, given its occupation of Jerusalem and wider Palestine. Hezbollah is also targeted here. According to Snowden Al-Baghdadi himself, the new Osama (in many more ways than one), was trained by the Mossad. Make no mistake, this is about protecting the Zionist entity, as it usually is, by creating an enemy near its borders. Zionism is to be protected at all costs because it is nothing more than the Empire. According to Seymour Hersh in his 2007 seminal 'redirection' (which I strongly advise you read) the Pentagon and the wider US Intelligence apparatus, along with the usual allies of course, are intent on drowning the Middle East in a sectarian bloodbath that occupies regional opponents while allowing them to rape and plunder what's left. As I've said on here previously ISIS = ISISrael, it's all one and the same

  11. Fionnuala,
    I didn't say...
    I'm sure the Palestinians will tell you, they would swop the so called ' monopoly' for peace as opposed to genocide.

    What I said was...

    "Why do Palestinians seem to have a monopoly on news coverage? They deffo have more empathy globally. I don't see anyone protesting for the whole sale slaughter in Iraq by ISIS. "

    Deffo not the same ball park. What is happening to Palestinians today has already ready happened to the native American Indian. Almost happened to the Irish.

    As a matter of fact, Palestine has not been given the coverage it should have been on the world stage.

    What about southern Sudan, or Nigeria? Who not only have to deal with the local Taliban who kidnapped over 200 school girls a few months back they've now got ebola thrown into their equation/war. Yet call me Dave sends 1,500 troops to the Ukraine?

    I read about people refusing to buy Israeli products in super markets etc. Why go after the monkey and not the organ grinder? Why don't people stop buying American goods? Why don't unions instruct their member not to touch any American goods...cargo, letters...planes..? Everyone knows uncle Sam is funding Israel.

    What will happen is some sort of 'peace agreement' will be put in place and America will tell Israel to 'accept' the proposals.. They'll go along with the USA and relax the blockade. Hamas need the ceasefire too. They need the breathing space for as long as possible. That was one bloody nose (the lastest round of violence). They need to re-group and take stock. Sooner or later Gaza will take up less inches on newspapers/blogs, less time on the air waves..Then 18ths-2year down the line the whole thing will kick off again only the next time Gaza will be smaller. Israel will increase the buffer zone on the Palestinian side of their illegal oxymoron. They'll use the tunnel excuse..

    As for IS, it has CIA all over it.