Title

“War by other Means” or Nonviolent Resistance? Examining the Discourses Surrounding Berkeley’s Divestment Bill

Department

School of Conflict Management, Peacebuilding and Development

Additional Department

School of Conflict Management, Peacebuilding and Development

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-1-2012

Abstract

This article explores the discourses surrounding the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement aimed at ending the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Although the boycott strategy is a form of unarmed resistance and thus nonviolent in scope, it has not been widely framed as a “nonviolent” movement. Furthermore, the boycott movement has often been framed in negative terms in Western media, and Israeli representatives have gone so far as to call the BDS movement anti-Semitic, claiming it seeks to delegitimize the State of Israel. This article parses out how activists and opponents frame the movement and the extent to which these framings reflect actual practice and goals of the movement, through focusing on the case of the University of California, Berkeley student government’s effort to pass a divestment bill in spring 2010. The authors argue that supporters and opponents use different approaches to peace and conflict, which influences how they view the BDS movement.

Journal

Peace & Change

Journal ISSN

1468-0130

Volume

37

Issue

3

First Page

389

Last Page

412

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1111/j.1468-0130.2012.00756.x

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