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Despite US anti-boycott laws, BDS grows: millions join boycott in India

Indian farmers and peasants organization AIKS joins BDS

Earlier in October, some 16 million Indian members of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), the peasants and farmers wing of the CPIM (Communist Party of India Marxist), joined the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israeli apartheid in support of the rights of the Palestinian people and to resist the corporate takeover of Indian agriculture sector by Israeli companies.

AIKS was formed in 1936 as part of the popular mobilization efforts to end British colonialism, and today plays a role in resisting India’s neoliberal policies that are a deathtrap for farmers and agricultural workers.

India-Palestine solidarity stamp

The South Asia Coordinator with the Palestinian BDS National Committee, Apoorva, stated that, “by joining the BDS movement, AIKS is saying no to the hateful politics of Prime Minister Modi, Netanyahu, and Trump, and is joining us to build a more free, just, and equal world.”

The Indian and Israeli states have had diplomatic ties for 25 years now, and India-Palestine solidarity at the grassroots level is not particularly new.

However, the renewed support for Palestinian liberation by millions of working-class Indians in the wake of strengthening ties between the right-wing governments of Netanyahu and Modi sends a clear message; a message of mass resistance to the reactionary nationalism and religious extremism that is being fueled by both governments to rally support for the genocidal persecution and mass displacement of oppressed peoples.

AIKS understands the importance of preventing Israel and its corporations from reaping profits in India because these profits help finance military occupation and apartheid in Palestine.

Anti-boycott Israel laws in U.S.

After hurricane Harvey ravaged Dickinson, Texas, the Dickinson Harvey Relief fund application included a clause that required residents and businesses to vow in writing that they would not boycott Israel, in line with the Texas statewide anti-boycott legislation adopted in May that declared, “anti-Israel policies are anti-Texas policies.” Upon push back by the ACLU and pro-Palestine groups, the provision has been removed for residents while businesses still have to pledge to not boycott the Zionist state.

At least 24 states in the U.S. have enacted laws or resolutions against the BDS Israel campaign, with Wisconsin becoming the most recent addition to the list. The CEO of The Israel Project, a pro-Israel lobby group, proclaimed: “From the North to the South, in blue [predominantly Democrat] and red [predominantly Republican] states—and with strong bipartisan support…lawmakers in 24 states have now declared [BDS] a form of discrimination and sent a clear signal that their states will not tolerate or condone taxpayer dollars going to subsidize anti-Israel hate.”

That anti-BDS laws and resolutions enjoy wide bipartisan support both at the state and national level reveals the hypocritical and superficial stance of the Democratic Party establishment’s support for human rights. While they reject the BDS campaign under the guise of opposing “hate,” the Democrat politicians neither have concern for the rights of the oppressed Palestinian people nor have they reserved any condemnations for the genocidal policies of the Israeli state.

While U.S. politicians are concerned about taxpayer dollars subsidizing “anti-Israel hate,” they don’t even so much as flinch when taxpayer dollars, $38 billion dollars in military aid over the next 10 years to be exact, are used to drop bombs on Gaza or displace and kill Palestinians through occupation. The terrorist actions of the Israeli state are excused while the self-defense of the Palestinians is condemned.

In contrast to the cowardice and despicable morality of imperialist politicians, ordinary working-class and oppressed people across the world are continuing to stand in solidarity with Palestinians for justice and against the Zionist Israeli project of apartheid. As imperialists push for more anti-BDS laws in hopes that the masses can be fear-mongered into abandoning the Palestinian liberation struggle, the people are not falling for it, and are fighting back.

From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!


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