Attacks on Thinking
One of the Mental Health Network’s Aims is to encourage the mental health community to address the challenge posed by the combined voice of Palestinian civil society: should we stand in solidarity with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS)? see this link, ‘what is BDS?’:
To answer this question meaningfully we need full information and open debate, and free access to the range of relevant opinions and perspectives on the history and current condition of Palestine/Israel. The ‘friends of Israel’ are working hard to deprive us of these basic elements of a civilised and democratic society, seeking to criminalise non-Zionist thought and to demonize the proponents of a democratic solution to Palestine’s desperate situation.
Despite intense hostility, the BDS movement has continued to extend its influence across the Western world. In frustration, Israeli politicians have long made many threats against Omar Barghouti, the co-founder of the BDS movement. Omar has now been arrested, and has undergone four days interrogation on charges of tax evasion. His arrest comes with a travel ban that will prevent him from receiving the Ghandi Peace Award, (which he has been awarded jointly with Ralph Nader), at a ceremony at Yale University in the USA.
Here Omar speaks at a conference marking the memory of Rachel Corrie, on the subject ‘BDS explained’:
We shall keep you informed of moves to protect and support Omar. Here is a statement by the BDS National Committee:
What better time to address the question of boycott head-on, in Omar’s honour?
Recently the British rock band Radiohead declared that it was going to play in Tel Aviv. This has dismayed many fans. The group’s music and public stance suggested some integrity and a reasonably sophisticated understanding of the political world. Here is an appeal to the group to reconsider their decision, made by a Palestinian devotee:
The members of Radiohead face a predicament of its own making: the decision to play in Israel places them in a dilemma. They can turn a blind eye to the moral implications of fulfilling their contractual obligations, and become part of the iron boot that is relentlessly stamping down on the Palestinians, intent on their destruction; or they can reconsider, and join the long list of artists from around the world who recognise a responsibility to stand shoulder to shoulder with those fighting to turn Palestine/Israel into a democracy. They might be helped in their decision by reading this pamphlet, ‘The Case for a Cultural Boycott of Israel’, issued by Artists for Palestine UK is available here:
For good measure, here is an Israeli TV host who agrees that he lives in an Apartheid society, and looks forward to a time when this is recognised by the mass of Jewish Israeli society:
UMESCWE Report: Israel/Palestine an Apartheid society, endorses BDS
And then, just this week, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for West Asia issued a report that detailed the relationship between Israel and the Palestinian people, and which concluded that Israel has indeed constructed an Apartheid system in Palestine. The report endorsed BDS as a tactic to challenge this illegal regime. Moments after its publication, the report was withdrawn from UN websites. Thankfully, the full text is available here: