BDS Scores, #ArgentinaNotGoing

The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement for Palestinian human rights achieved another high-profile victory last week after the Argentine national soccer team announced cancellation of a scheduled friendly match with Israel in Jerusalem.

The news illustrated the growing sway of pro-Palestinian solidarity advocates who took to social media to call for the boycott of the match. And it comes on the heels of actress Natalie Portman’s decision (albeit explicitly distancing herself from BDS) to rescind her decision to attend a ceremony in Jerusalem citing “the mistreatment of those suffering from today’s atrocities.

Beyond the quotidian brutality and humiliation of millions of Palestinians under 51 years of Israeli occupation, there is an ongoing atrocity in the weekly gunning down of now over 125 Palestinians marching for their rights in Gaza. Those killed by Israeli snipers, often from hundreds of feet away, include civilians, and clearly marked journalists and paramedics.

[Special Series | Sports and the Palestinian BDS Struggle]

Many Israelis may feel no shame expressing jubilation as Palestinians are killed by Israelis forces, but people around the world hoped the Argentine team would do better than commence a match so close to Gaza’s killing fields. Moreover, many noted Israel’s attacks on Palestinian soccer players. The hashtag #ArgentinaNotGoing was widely used:

Pro-Israel partisans appeared to shift tactics in their campaign against BDS. Betraying increasing panic after repeated failures to block BDS’s momentum, apologists for Israeli occupation have shifted from their disingenuous plea to “engage” with Israel or tired, unfounded accusation of anti-Semitism. The new ploy (sometimes in a Trumpesque voice) is to smear those who answer BDS’s call for justice as capitulators to threats and terrorism. This included the unsubstantiated assertion that Argentine players were personally threatened to boycott the match. Ironically, such partisans, whose modus operandi is intimidation, accuse BDS supporters of intimidation.

The award for chutzpah goes to the American Jewish Committee, which accused Palestinians of inviting their own deaths:

But as long as the occupation remains, BDS will not go away:

Under Trump, Israel is comforted by an ignorant, insouciant president; his coterie of anti-Palestinian, pro-settlement advisers; and an American ambassador who tells journalists critical of Israel to keep their mouth shut and behaves like a Likud apparatchik. With U.S. veto power preventing action in the Security Council, and without even perfunctory American disapproval of settlement expansion, BDS led by millions of grassroots activists is the only force capable of holding Israel accountable and advancing the Palestinian cause. After weeks of horrific news in Gaza, it was a bit uplifting to see the Palestinians score a goal.

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About Khelil Bouarrouj 44 Articles
Khelil Bouarrouj is a Junior Fellow at the Institute for Palestine Studies.

1 Comment

  1. I would like to point out that just because this Administration stands with Israel in not helping the Palestinian people, that the rest of the American people feels the same way cause we don’t. Many stand with the Palestinian people. I pray that peace will come and Israel and Palestine would live together. But the truth is that Israel doesn’t want to live with anyone, why would they build a wall if they say that they want peace. Smh

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