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WATCH: Is BDS a feminist movement?

Nonviolent tools of resistance tend to be more accessible to women, and the leaders of revolutionary struggles often become the political leaders of tomorrow. Can the Palestinian call for BDS be a feminist movement? Can it be a tool for the empowerment of women? ‘Woman to Woman’ sets out to answer those questions and more.

Read more:
In Israel, BDS is winning
The right to boycott is non-negotiable
The American Jews prying open the conversation on the occupation

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    1. Lewis from Afula

      Feminism is a failed movement and so is bad donkey sh#t (BDS). So, yes they go together.

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    2. i_like-ike52

      I find it amusing when “progressives” try to tie together their favorite causes as all having “progressive” values. The most prominent example was when Prof Judith Butler proclaimed HAMAS and HIZBULLAH as “progressive” movements simply because they hate Israel.
      This attempt to tie BDS and Feminism together is another example. Of course I don’t think the one who posted this piece really thinks all anti-Israel movements are Feminist at heart. I recall during the Palestinian violence of the 1980’s, “progressives” were writing about how women were supposedly ‘leading’ the intifada and were supposedly encouraging their menfolk to go out and be the cannon fodder for Arafat, but their life-styles at home, under HAMAS and Islamic Jihad, would not be considered as liberated as their “progressive” sisters in the US, EU or even in Israel for that matter. Ultimately, for Butler and the rest, fighting Israel and Jews is more important than anything. This is sort of like how a serial exploiter of women, possibly even a rapist like Bill Clinton remains popular with Feminists and other “progressives” because the only thing that really matters for them is him saying the right things. His personal character, like that of HAMAS and HIZBULLAH is of no real concern to these “progressives”.

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    3. Susan

      The Israeli left supports BDS, because its too incompetent to convince the average Israeli to vote for them. I say this as someone who wants to end the occupation.

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      • Ben

        @Susan: If the cretinism and the crank preoccupations exemplified respectively by the two commenters here preceding you are any indication, the “average Israeli” is not someone rational argument will “convince.” Look, you can’t blame the “incompetence” of the Israeli left. For example, Breaking the Silence is anything but incompetent. They are admirably competent. But the average Israeli absolutely refuses to listen. Which is why the competent segments of the Israeli left support BDS. I don’t see any alternative.

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    4. Yaniv Cogan

      You make some interesting points, but I legitimately don’t understand some of the suggestions you make:
      I struggle to see how the fact that BDS as a platform is more accessible to women makes it feminist. The people who are supposed to benefit from BDS aren’t the people boycotting Israel (the participants in the movement), but rather the Palestinians living under the occupation.
      Since BDS isn’t meant to serve those who participate in it, whether or not the platform (in this case, a non-violent boycott) it’s welcoming to women is irrelevant to whether or not the movement itself has feminist ideals. Not to mention that boycotting still gives women in average less power to make a change, if you consider the wealth gap, and the fact that what will really get BDS going is big companies adding their weight behind it – and big companies are, unfortunately, disproportionally managed by men) – and that doesn’t make BDS sexist, either, because it’s not about the boycotters – but about the victims of horrifying policies in the occupied territories.
      To claim otherwise would be to minimize the potential of BDS from a status-quo rocking stance, to an escapist white-savior-fantasy shelter for those who don’t want to feel complicit to the occupation.

      The question “Can the Palestinian call for BDS be a feminist movement?” rings weird to me – of course every progressive movement should acknowledge other social struggles, and can be transformed into a safe space for women and minorities to share their thoughts and take action. With both BDS and feminism having progressive branches, there is no doubt that in theory BDS could move in the direction of an intersectional message.

      But trying to find feminist elements in the already established parts movement without engaging in it and actively changing it in that direction comes off as bending over backwards in order to present something you agree with in an even more positive light.

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