It’s actually quite exciting to see the issue of Palestinian justice, justice for Palestine, emerge as a topic of popular discourse. We have attempted for so long to encourage a conversation like this. I don’t know whether I enjoy being at the center of the controversy; I think I’ve had my share of controversies in my life. But I’m happy to assist in the process of encouraging more discussion on racism, on anti-Semitism, on justice for Palestine. ...
I have never concealed my support for the boycott, sanctions movement. As a matter of fact, when BDS was created, in 2005, I believe, as a response to efforts by Palestinian civil society to take measures that are in the spirit of the civil rights movement, as a matter of fact, it has been characterized as a nonviolent effort by Palestinian civil society to challenge the repression that is so pervasive in occupied Palestine. I have been a supporter of justice for Palestine almost as long as I can remember, at least since my years in college. More recently, I have been, perhaps, attempting to guarantee, along with many others, that the issue of justice for Palestine be placed on social justice agendas more broadly.
And it is, I think, the fact that those of us who have been doing this work over the last, I would say, seven or eight years, nine years, the last decade or so, have been relatively successful. There is support for justice for Palestine on college campuses across the country. Particularly black student formations have embraced this cause. We know that in 2014, when the Ferguson uprising took place, when the Ferguson protests erupted, it was Palestinian activists who were the first to express solidarity and, as such, helped to develop a global solidarity movement for Black Lives Matter.
So, I think that the characterization of the BDS as a way of acknowledging the South African—the boycott against South African apartheid, and using those strategies within the current situation, is absolutely accurate.