Statement: call for boycott of Oslo at 30 normalizing conference


The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the broadest coalition in Palestinian society, and the leadership of the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement for freedom, justice and equality of the Palestinian people, calls for the boycott of the “Oslo at 30: Legacies, Hard Realities and Alternatives for Israel-Palestine” conference, to be held on 27 and 28 September 2023 in Washington, Brussels and online. 

After an examination of the conference materials and program, and following an exchange with the organizers of the conference, the BNC has reached the conclusion that the conference is in violation of the BDS movement’s consensus-based anti-normalization guidelines. The conference deliberately brings together an Israeli ex-official (who does not publicly recognize the comprehensive inalienable, UN-stipulated Palestinian rights) alongside Arab, including Palestinian, speakers. It thus adopts “the false premise of symmetry/parity between the oppressor and the oppressed” or assumes that “both colonized and colonizers are equally responsible for the ‘conflict’.” This amounts to deliberate normalization and therefore warrants a call for boycott. 

Furthermore, and regardless of intentions, by providing a platform to a former Israeli leader (minister of foreign affairs and internal security) who is also credibly accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity, this conference falls under the category of events that “serve to cover the underlying system of apartheid and settler-colonialism” and promoting impunity for these crimes.   

The BDS movement calls on all speakers and participants to boycott this conference to avoid normalizing Israel’s system of oppression and whitewashing Israeli war crimes. 

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