In his essay, “Resistance as a necessary condition for development in the colonial context: BDS campaign as an example,” Omar Barghouti criticizes foreign funding for polishing the occupation’s chains rather than supporting the Palestinians’ struggle to break them – and so emancipate themselves from their shackles. This analysis leads to the core concern regarding the “donor community’s” relationship to the occupation, and its inability – or unwillingness – to transcend the dominant hegemonic relation that the occupation has imposed through the denial of Palestinians’ fundamental rights.
The essay emphasizes the importance of popular resistance tools as part of a bigger project to rebuild and consolidate the relationship between the Palestinian community and its supporters on the one hand and away from official policies, discourse and intellectuals on the other. This can be done with the use of boycotts, anti-normalization activities and out-reach to progressive and anti-Zionist forces around the world. To achieve this requires setting out the facts faced by the Palestinians as well as challenging many common assumptions, including normalization with Zionism and Zionists. It requires an account of why it is necessary to boycott Zionism and Zionists at a global level rather than restricting debate about the conflict to the local (i.e. Palestinian) or regional (i.e. Arab) levels.
When dealing with resistance, the essay criticizes a deceptive political process and directs criticism at foreign donors’ failure to acknowledge the nature of the ongoing Israeli occupation. In addition, it denounces donors’ attempts to impose post-colonial paradigms as a basis for Palestinian development.