What is a boycott? A boycott is about applying pressure in an effort to effect change, a nonviolent way of expressing opposition to a particular policy. As part of a wider campaign, it is a way to challenge or end complicity in a practice viewed as objectionable. Boycotts and divestments are strategies of the weak against the powerful, and, in some contexts – such as Palestine/Israel – they are also responses of solidarity with a group that asks for outside support in a struggle for justice.
That is an important place to start because of all the disingenuousness and red herrings used in the discussion by Israel’s apologists and opponents of the boycott. But why is Stephen Hawking right to boycott Israel? Indeed, why are any of the growing list of celebrities, trade unions, faith communities, and student unions right to support the BDS campaign? Read more