Middle East Monitor.com By Asa Winstanley Fri., May 31, 2019
One of the primary targets of the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement over the past year was the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest that took place in Tel Aviv earlier in May. Despite the protests, the contest went ahead and, on the day, none of the acts scheduled to appear in the final pulled out.
Why, then, am I claiming that the BDS campaign actually succeeded? The short answer is media coverage. Even though it did not achieve the goal of totally isolating Eurovision Tel Aviv, or convincing the headline acts to pull out, the BDS campaign succeeded in raising a massive amount of awareness of the plight of the Palestinian people.
The main point of BDS, like other consumer boycotts, is not to make us feel good about only buying the “right” things. The aim is to make a real difference and to extend a real hand of solidarity to the people of Palestine.
That is why the BDS movement has instead focused on concentrated campaigns against two or three different brands at a time in each particular country. The Palestine Solidarity Campaign in Britain, for example, is currently focusing its efforts on HSBC due to its investments in companies that arm Israel; Puma, because of its sponsorship of the Israel Football Association; and British universities that have investments in Israel-linked companies.
The strength of BDS, and of the Palestine solidarity movement in general, is that is a genuine global grassroots campaign in which people stand together…
Another important aspect of the way that the BDS movement operates, and a major reason for its ongoing successes almost 14 years after it was formally established is simple — education. BDS is a win-win strategy, because it succeeds consistently in educating people about the violent, racist and unjustified way that Israel treats the Palestinians. It keeps the issue alive, when Israel would prefer Western audiences to look the other way.