The Israeli/Palestinian Conflict: The Evidence

  evidence-based reports | authored and compiled by
constantine kaniklidis
scholars for peace in the middle east (spme) | director, progressive voices for peace in the middle east (pvpme)


bds - in their own words 


►Lies and Hypocrisies

Omar Barghouti is the self-identified central thinker of the BDS movement, founder of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), and author of the seminal BDS tract "Boycott, Désinvestissement, Sanctions; BDS contre l’apartheid et l’occupation de la Palestine" (“Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: BDS against Apartheid and the Occupation of Palestine”; in Arabic, French edition, 2010).

The coordinating body of BDS, the BDS Campaign National Committee (BNC), claims to not take positions on issues outside the specific principles of “the Call" – the Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS (July 9, 2005) - nor endorse either a one-state or two-state solution. But this putative impartiality is an illusion: Barghouti explicitly admits that "You cannot practically reconcile the right of return for refugees with a negotiated two-state solution" [interview: Ali Mustafa, Electronic Intifada], and openly clarifies that his real aim is the end of Israel itself: as he says, "a Palestine next to a Palestine, rather than a Palestine next to an Israel”. In fact Ali Abunimah, cofounder of the pro-BDS Electronic Intifada, has in campus appearances promoting BDS advocated, along with Barghouti, for a one-state solution as a means towards the elimination of Israel, as has pro-BDS author Ahmed Moor: "Ending the occupation doesn’t mean anything if it doesn’t mean upending the Jewish state itself".

But again in typical illogic, Barghouti admits that no Palestinian party (of the more than 170 Palestinian civil entities) in "the Call" stands for a single state, yet there is apparently no need to defer to that consensus against the manifest real BDS objective of a single-state solution, one now rejected as wholly unrealistic even by Noam Chomsky (a ferocious early supporter). So, we should heed “the Call” from Palestinian Civil Society but should ignore their contrary (to Barghouti and BDS) acknowledgment of the viability of two-state solution.

This unique illogic of BDS is further instanced: Barghouti himself attends Tel Aviv University, operated by a country he claims to be an "apartheid" and "racist" state, claiming that he had no alternative, since "oppressed people don't have a choice of where they go to school" (Q&A, Loyola Law School). But he and Palestinians do have "another choice" besides "attending an Israeli university" or "leaving their homeland", namely of attending a real Palestinian university in the West Bank or Gaza, exactly what hundreds of Palestinians in fact do: there are eight universities, three colleges, 16 community colleges in the West Bank and six universities, three colleges, four community colleges in the Gaza Strip.

An irony is here to be savored, that Zvi Galil, Rector of Tel Aviv University, has successfully defended Barghouti from calls for his expulsion as a radical, so that even Barghouti who seeks not only the boycott of the very institution he attends, but also the eclipse of the Jewish state via the futile notion of a binational / single state solution, receives sanctuary from discrimination, continuing to enjoy the academic freedoms he seeks to deny Israeli academics, protected by this "racist, apartheid” state".

An irony within a hypocrisy.


evidence-based reports: our reporting


Imperative in this context is a new equity in geopolitics that eschews disproportionate approbation of one actor to the exclusion of all others while also acknowledging the competitive narratives of national ambition and identity in the Middle East, with the need for new engagement and negotiation. 

This misplaced and uncritical reliance on ideological and prejudicial sources has evolved to be a formidable obstacle to peace in the Middle East. It has led to what others have termed a new “soft powerlessness” for Israel whose legitimacy has been successively eroded and who stands accused and convicted in the international arena. And it helps account for the current moribund state of peace negotiation. We therefore realized that what is needed to overcome these barriers to peace is effective confrontation through the exposure and refutation of lawfare as practiced by anti-peace NGOs and obstructionist initiatives like BDS. This will in turn require a new rational and equitable discourse in addressing the clash of competitive nationalist aspirations for self-determination in the same land, in order to achieve a fair and durable peace in the Middle East for Israel, and for the Palestinians.

To that end, I as Director of Progressive Voices for Peace in the Middle East (PVPME) and a member of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME), have authored and compiled a series of evidence-based reports (EBRs) on the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict which are founded on an objective critical systemic review of the core issues and a critical appraisal of the relevant arguments, sustained by scrupulous attention to and respect for principles of international and human rights law.  This demands (1) systematic review of all credible sources on an issue, (2) critical appraisal of all sources extracted for factual basis, (3) cross-confirmation of accuracy wherever viable, and (4) use of the highest caliber of sources available, with preference to peer-reviewed literature.

These evidence-based reports hone to the principles of the evidence-based paradigm and methodology as it has evolved from initial domain of application (medicine) into a broad spectrum of evidence-based practice and research
, in the form of evidence-based sociology, evidence-based education and evidence-based teaching, evidence-based psychology, evidence-based crime policy / policing, evidence-based  decision making /policy, evidence-based social work, among many others. We  also commit to industry-standards promulgated by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) in their SPJ Code of Ethics, the guidelines for online  journalism issued by Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism in their What are the ethics of online journalism?, and the elements of PIRC (Public-Interest Responsible Communication), especially the Verification Of The Reliability Of Sources, the Independent Verification of Factual Assertions, the Transparency with Sources, and Assessing Objectivity. (For a good summary, see Elements of "Responsible" Journalism of the Canadian Journalism Project, a project of The Canadian Journalism Foundation in collaboration with leading Canadian journalism schools and organizations). 



progressive voices for peace (PVPME)

Progressive Voices for Peace in the Middle East (PVPME), a Brooklyn based initiative, grew out of the recognition that these next-generation obstacles to peace require effective confrontation through counter-lawfare initiatives and the need for a new rational and equitable discourse in addressing the clash of competitive nationalist aspirations for self-determination in the same land.

Director, Constantine Kaniklidis



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Constantine Kaniklidis | Progressive Voices for Peace in the Middle East | © 2016.  All rights reserved.