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By Maia Carter Hallward (auth.)

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Extra info for Transnational Activism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

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The chapter also examines the central role that contestation over the boundaries of Jewish identity played in the debates and the implications of that struggle not only for the case at hand but also for the broader BDS movement, as well as the unique features of BDS activism on college campuses. Chapter 5 examines the contestation surrounding the decision to boycott (deshelve) all Israeli products from the Olympia, Washington Food Co-op in 2010. This chapter in particular illustrates the importance of local context in the structuring of BDS campaigns, given the city’s culture of social activism, its status as the hometown of Rachel Corrie, who was killed by an Israeli Caterpillar bulldozer while defending a Palestinian home in the Gaza Strip in 2003, and the strategic networking and power mapping used by BDS organizers, all of which help explain why the Co-op board’s decision held despite subsequent legal action by a few disgruntled members.

As the case illustrates, global civil society actors engage with states and international organizations in their strategic efforts, with the United Nations and the International Olympic Committee, for example, playing key roles in the international effort to sanction South Africa for its official policy of racism (Manby 1992; Rosner and Low 2009). Similar to contemporary debates over BDS, arguments against divestment from South Africa varied based on the site of contention, with universities, for example, arguing about the actual and perceived costs of divestment, including high transaction costs for finding securities that were South Africa-free, pressure from alumni and corporate donors, and the fact that South African investments were large, successful, and relatively low risk (Soule 2009, 82–84).

Chapter 3 studies feminist organization Code Pink’s Stolen Beauty campaign that targets Ahava cosmetics for its use of natural resources from the occupied West History and Theory of BDS ● 31 Bank. This chapter looks at the efforts of a loose network of activists to raise awareness about the Israeli-Palestinian conf lict and to reconfigure the issues through creative protest actions such as f lash mobs and bathrobe brigades, using social media and email networks to raise awareness and effect change.

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