Why Cornel West Supports BDS: Democratic National Convention Platform Hearing

If support for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) in the US was once limited to long-time Palestinian solidarity activists, as is evident from the video recording of the debate at the Democratic National Convention Hearing,  BDS has now become the basis upon which, Cornel West, a Democratic Platform Committee member, is advocating for Palestinian rights as crucial to balancing the Party’s policy on Israel and Palestine. In the clip below,  West announces his support for BDS on the grounds that the BDS movement is aimed at achieving justice for Palestinians, who are subject to the Israeli occupation. West also eloquently refutes efforts to discredit BDS by associating it with anti-Semitism. Pro-Israel members of the party platform committee, such as Robert Wexler, ground their defense of Israel in the special relationship between the two countries, implying the unique status of Israel, and consequently the US’s shared responsibility for Israeli abuses of Palestinian human rights. While Wexler aims to maintain and build the Democratic Party’s pro-Israel position, West calls out the American Israeli Political Action Committee’s (AIPAC) hold on the Democratic Party and the US government’s disregard for Palestinian lives.  For more analysis and a longer clip of the debate, see the Electronic Intifada report on the debate.