Saturday, January 2, 2010

Gaza Freedom March: What We've Accomplished So Far

by Robert Naiman


"CAIRO, Egypt - Some of us reached Gaza and particpated in the Gaza Freedom March as planned. All of us significantly raised the profile of dissent - particularly, American dissent - against the blockade of the people of Gaza imposed by Israel and Egypt, with the backing of the United States and the acquiescence of Europe. The groundwork is being laid for future campaigning in the U.S. for "citizen sanctions" against the Israeli government that could help change the balance of forces influencing U.S. policy, so that U.S. policy becomes a force for peace, rather than continuing to perpetuate the Israel/Palestine conflict as the U.S. is doing today.....

Greater activity in support of sanctions against the Israeli government in trade unions, universities, and churches in the United States could eventually change the political terrain in Washington, by legitimizing the idea that the Israeli government should face real consequences from the United States for continuing its present policies. This year we saw the Obama Administration's initial insistence on a total freeze of Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank fizzle out, in large measure because it wasn't backed by any "or else" - even the idea of conditioning a part of U.S. aid to Israel on a real settlement freeze failed to gain any traction. A newly invigorated BDS campaign in the United States could create hundreds of organizing hooks to build momentum for a real change in U.S. policy."

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