Palestinian lawmaker: Boycott of Israel is our best ‘weapon’
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'Rights are not given, but taken by force,' says former peace negotiator

Palestinian lawmaker: Boycott of Israel is our best ‘weapon’

Senior Fatah official Nabil Shaath urges economic pressure on Jewish state, says ‘Israel does not give anything to anybody for free’

Nabil Shaath at his Ramallah office, January 18, 2012 (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Nabil Shaath at his Ramallah office, January 18, 2012 (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

A top Palestinian lawmaker on Tuesday urged a boycott of Israel, terming it the best “weapon” against the Jewish state.

Fatah official Nabil Shaath, who in the past has served in a number of important roles, including as a top peace negotiator, said in an interview with The Arab Weekly that “a consumer boycott should be the Palestinians’ weapon against Israel,” the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reported.

In the interview, Shaath said the peace process with Israel is dead and Palestinians must work against Israel by means of public action and boycotts, as “rights are not given, but taken by force.”

“Israel does not give anything to anybody for free,” Shaath said. “It will never give us our land if the cost of occupying this land is not far higher than leaving it.”

According to Ma’an, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has been gaining in popularity among Palestinians since the 2014 war in Gaza. A poll taken by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in 2015 reported that 86 percent of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are in favor of an economic boycott against Israel.

The BDS movement has emerged as an increasing threat to Israel in recent years, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu describing at as an “anti-Semitic movement par excellence.” While a number of US states and European countries have passed laws banning boycotts of Israel, BDS is still popular on many university campuses and has successfully pressured some companies and pension funds to divest from Israeli companies.

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