Global public opinion at present is generally more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, creating real concern among Israelis that an international boycott movement, called BDS, could pick up some support.
Israel is extremely unpopular worldwide. In one BBC poll of 22 countries, Israel was the fourth-most-disliked nation (behind only Iran, Pakistan, and North Korea).
The BDS movement, which coalesced in 2005, aims to capitalize on international anger with Israel. The movement’s strategy is to create costs to Israel’s Palestinian policy through boycotts of Israeli goods and institutions, divestment from Israeli companies, and sanctions on the nation itself (hence the name BDS).
BDS plans to continue boycotting Israel until 1) all of the settlements are dismantled, 2) they believe Palestinians have been given equal rights inside Israel’s borders, and 3) Palestinians refugees are granted the “right of return,” which means to return to the land and homes they used to inhabit in what is now Israel.
As the Israeli-Palestinian conflict drags on, many Israelis worry that BDS will become more mainstream. Former Secretary of State John Kerry warned that BDS could end up being a real problem for Israel if it fails to come to terms with the Palestinians.
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