Not so Peaceful BDS reaction to the Israel-UAE deal – the mask slips

The official Palestine National Committee (PNC) of the BDS movement was quick to respond negatively to the announcement of the peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. The deal was described as “the UAE regime’s gravest betrayal of the struggle for Palestinian liberation and self-determination”, and the PNC issued a call for Arabs in general to actively resist this “abject normalization”. However, a comparison of the BDS English and Arabic language websites shows that BDS language and demands are significantly different, and milder in English.
The English headline “UAE dictatorship sells out Palestinian rights through agreement with Israel” becomes “The agreement of shame between the UAE and the Israeli enemy is a consecration of betrayal, with American blessing” in Arabic.

The sections below compare the list of actions demanded in Arabic and English

1. The Emirati national forces, with a long history, denounce this step and consider it a treacherous step in support of the Israeli settler colonialism and apartheid regime, and the consecration of the Emirati tyranny that undermines the rights of its people and daughters and commits crimes against humanity against the brotherly Yemeni people.

2. The Arab people in the Emirates should continue to reject normalization, including the normalization activities that the Emirati regime is proud to organize with the global Zionist movement under the slogan of “interfaith dialogue”, and to boycott the manifestations of this agreement and its manifestations, in particular all forms of diplomatic, economic, academic, cultural and sports exchange with Israel, and to refrain from visiting historical Palestine, especially occupied Jerusalem, through the Israeli portal. Any Emirati-Israeli meeting at any level is tantamount to treason for the martyrs of the nation, including Palestine.

3. Arab peoples to escalate pressure on authoritarian and repressive regimes in order to stop all normalization relations with the occupation state and its representatives, including diplomatic, security, economic, tourism, cultural and sports relations, as it is the main enemy that threatens all peoples of the region, and supports the campaigns of the “boycott, divestment, and imposition” movement Sanctions against it (BDS) and the boycott and resistance to normalization movements in the Arab countries.

4. Arab citizens (who are not residents of the Emirates) to boycott all forums and activities organized in the Emirates under the auspices of the regime, including commercial, sports, cultural, artistic, tourism and others, such as the “Dubai Expo”, which is supposed to be held next year with Israeli participation, and the “Festival Dubai Shopping ”and others, and boycotting any Emirati, Arab or international company that colludes in implementing the shame agreement between the Emirati and Israeli regimes.

5. The Palestinian people, in all their places of existence, must escalate popular resistance, including boycotting Israel and resisting normalization with it in all fields, and upholding its inalienable rights to return, national liberation and self-determination.

In general, the language used in Arabic is more inflammatory than that used on the English language pages. Absent is the demand that Palestinians wherever they live should escalate “popular resistance” against Israel. Popular resistance is itself a convenient catch-all phrase that implies the participation of all possible segments of society, is not limited to organized factions or political parties and encompasses both peaceful and non-peaceful means. Even Palestinian researchers have asked “Peaceful popular resistance – is it an option?” claiming that many Palestinians leaders confuse the concepts of ‘popular resistance’ and ‘peaceful popular resistance

Boycotting and divesting from any Emirati or other corporation that becomes complicit in implementing this normalization agreement with Israel. Refraining from travel to present-day Israel and the OPT, including the al-Aqsa mosque, under this unethical agreement, and from participating in faithwashing initiatives that underpin this so-called “Abraham Accord.”
Clearly the PNC believes it can protect its claim that BDS is a peaceful movement by issuing only lightly veiled calls for armed insurrection and resistance on its Arabic site but not its English site.

by Teresa Trainor

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