United Nations, Israel has hosted a summit at the United Nations in protest at the Palestinian-led ‘Boycott, Divest and Sanctions’ (BDS) movement.
The BDS movement, launched in 2005 as a non-violent campaign to press Israel to obey international law and end its illegal occupation of Palestinian territory, has gathered momentum in recent years.
BDS supporters object to Israel’s continued building of illegal settlements on Palestinian land.
They also accuse Israeli forces of killing and mistreating Palestinians under the pretext of maintaining security. They say neither US universities nor businesses should have any links to their Israeli counterparts.
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told attendees that the BDS mission was misguided.
“How tragic is it, that of all countries in the world to condemn for human rights violations, these voices choose to single out Israel? We should boycott North Korea. We should sanction Iran. We should divest from Syria, not Israel,” she said.
Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador to the UN, watched the summit and told Al Jazeera the anti-BDS campaign would not succeed.
“Why do you bring your supporters and followers to the UN to abuse the facilities and to threaten injecting this issue on the agenda of the UN … If you want to go and combat BDS, go to campuses and universities and conduct your business there,” Mansour said.
Hundreds of university students were invited to the summit at the UN to learn how to counter BDS’s campaign.