On the 21st of November, the Green Party of the United States endorsed a statement calling for a comprehensive strategy of boycott and divestment against Israel. The resolution, introduced by the Wisconsin Green Party and passed by the party’s National Committee, comes within a growing global trend among left wing and progressive parties to adopt the Palestinian call for the Isolation of Apartheid Israel. (See text below)
In their statement, the Greens note the direct complicity and support that the United States provides for the Occupation. Even the most conservative estimates suggest that $105 billion of tax-payers money has been pumped into the Occupation of Palestine since 1949. This does not include the recently proposed assistance such as the $1.2 billion package for Zionist âdevelopmentâ projects in the the Negev and Galilee which are aimed at cleansing Palestinian communities from their land.
Ruth Weill, one of the backers of the motion explained the partyâs step underlining that it was “proven in South Africa in the 1980s, divestment and boycott are an effective means to achieve justice for the oppressed.” Other party members, such as Mohammed Abed, a member of the partyâs Wisconsin branch highlighted that “Israel’s treatment of Palestinians — those who are Israeli citizens as well as those in the territories — is comparable in many ways to South African Apartheidâ. Furthermore, the Greens state that the ‘peace process’ will ensure neither peace nor human rights, and have called the Gaza Disengagement Plan a smokescreen to buy time and accumulate political capital for the Sharon regime while it pursues a plan to force Palestinians into disconnected reservations on less than half the West Bank.
The Green Party is already on record as supporting the dismantling of the Apartheid Wall; the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and to receive compensation for their losses; suspension of U.S. military and foreign aid to Israel; and serious consideration of a single secular, democratic state.
In its boycott resolution, the Green Party does not only state its own course of action but calls for support to civil society groups already engaged in BDS campaigns and upon the wider social justice movement to come on board. It calls on student branches to take active part in the divestment and boycott campaigns on US campuses. Furthermore, it calls upon the anti-war movement to promote the call for BDS in its activities. The focus on a broad popular movement to strengthen the momentum for the new anti-apartheid movement is crucial. Awareness raising strategies amongst the anti-war movement – around the aggression and ongoing occupation on Iraq – form a fundamental part in these efforts. It is time to overcome the short sightedness of elements of the peace movement reluctant to see the full framework of the colonization process in the Middle East, and to understand that justice and liberation in the Arab world can only be achieved if the movement takes up strategies of effective support to the Palestinian struggle.
RESOLUTION on the Boycott of Israel
Adopted by the Green Party of the United States, November 21, 2005
1. The Green Party of the United States (GPUS) publicly calls for divestment from and boycott of the State of Israel until such time as the full individual and collective rights of the Palestinian people are realized.
To maximize the effect of the Green Party’s support for divestment and boycott of Israel:
2. The party calls on all civil society institutions and organizations around the world to implement a comprehensive divestment and boycott program. Further, the party calls on all governments to support this program and to implement state level boycotts.
3. The party urges the Campus Greens network to work in cooperation with other campus organizations to achieve institutional participation in this effort.
4. The GPUS National Committee directs the Green Peace Action Committee (GPAX) to encourage the larger anti-war movement to promote the divestment/boycott effort.
5. The GPUS National Committee directs the International Committee to work with our sister Green parties around the world in implementing an international boycott.