Tariq Ali: Uprising in Palestine

The Palestinian people have tried every method to achieve some form of meaningful self-determination. ‘Renounce violence’, they were told. They did, apart from the odd reprisal after an Israeli atrocity. Among Palestinians at home and in the diaspora, there was massive support for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions: a peaceful movement par excellence, which began to gain traction worldwide among artists, academics, trade unions and occasionally governments. The US and its NATO family responded by trying to criminalize BDS across Europe and North America – claiming, with the help of Zionist lobby groups, that boycotting Israel was ‘antisemitic’. This has proved largely effective. In Britain, Keir Starmer’s Labour Party has banned any mention of ‘Israeli apartheid’ at its upcoming national conference. The Labour left, scared of being expelled, has fallen silent on this issue. A sorry state of affairs. Meanwhile, most of the Arab states have joined Turkey and Egypt in capitulating to Washington. Saudi Arabia is currently in negotiations, mediated by the White House, to officially recognize Israel. The international isolation of the Palestinian people looks set to increase. Peaceful resistance has gone nowhere.


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