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Why the PA is distancing itself from BDS movement

Israel must understand that the marginal BDS movement is not its main strategic threat — the occupation is.
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While the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement is viewed and described by the Netanyahu government as a strategic threat to Israel’s international legitimacy, in the Palestinian government, there is only lukewarm support for the movement.

A senior PLO official in charge of relations with Israeli civil society told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity that the Palestinian Authority (PA) supports the BDS movement, but has been careful not to make it its own official policy. He claims that Israeli institutions being boycotted may indeed present a moral boost to many Palestinians, but in terms of the Israeli occupation policy, the real damage has so far been minimal. The policy of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is to initiate dialogue with many segments of the Israeli public in favor of the Palestinian cause. “As long as our strategy is a peaceful one aimed at negotiating a two-state solution, we have to convince important parts of the Israeli constituency that a two-state solution is in their favor,” the PLO official said. “President Abbas has instructed us to follow a systematic policy aimed at affecting the hearts and minds of Israelis.”

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