In an unprecedented move, Jill Ellen Stein, the Green Party’s Nominee for the US Presidential Elections 2016, has voiced support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) against Israel, in a statement released by her campaign.
The campaign voiced support for the BDS Movement against Israel at a time when the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, issued a decree that criminalized BDS supporters and threatened them to a boycott by New York if they dared to boycott Israel.
The campaign stated that it “supports actions of nonviolent resistance to the policies of the occupation and of the Israeli apartheid regime, including those of the global boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign”.
The statement read, “The Jill Stein campaign calls for ending support for governments committing war crimes and massive human rights violations, including Israel and Saudi Arabia.”
The campaign urged the US to change its policy in the Middle East, which made the United States less secure over the last 14 years. “Our failed wars of the past 14 years have cost us 5 trillion dollars, left over a million people dead in Iraq alone, and killed or maimed tens of thousands of US service men and women. Yet we – and the Middle East – are far less secure, not more secure.”
The Green Party campaign believes that the United States has encouraged Israel to go ahead with its policies that continue to violate the basic human rights of Palestinians: “With regards to Israel, the United States has encouraged the worst tendencies of the Israeli government as it pursues policies of occupation, apartheid, assassination, illegal settlements, demolitions, blockades, building of nuclear bombs, indefinite detention, collective punishment, and defiance of international law. Instead of allying with the courageous proponents of peace and human rights within Palestine and Israel, our government has rewarded consistent abusers of human rights.”
The Stein campaign called for “ending military and economic support for the Israeli government while it is committing war crimes and defying international law.”
These remarks come at a time when the non-violent BDS Movement is gaining more momentum globally. The Israeli government has taken various measures to fight BDS, including signing agreements with governments, and most recently, banning the co-founder of the Movement, Omar Al-Barghouthi from traveling.