0723 GMT January 20, 2019
The boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign, or BDS, against Israel, is a “perfectly legitimate political initiative,” said Philip Giraldi, a former military intelligence officer with the CIA.
The BDS “is a non-violent method to of putting pressure on Israel,” said Giraldi, the Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a group that advocates for more even-handed policies by the US government in the Middle East.
“Clinton basically is taking this position with her [US] Jewsih supporters who essentially demand that Israel have a special place in a Clinton administration and I would suggest that this is a confirmation that Hillary will lean heavily toward Israel,” Giraldi told Press TV on Tuesday.
As a large Methodist conference is set to convene in Portland, Oregon, on Tuesday with plans to consider the BDS campaign against Israel, Clinton has written a letter denouncing the movement.
Clinton, a Methodist Christian, wrote a letter on Sunday to leaders of prominent Jewish groups who had written to her about their concerns that the BDS movement, which is critical of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.
“I believe that BDS seeks to punish Israel and dictate how the Israelis and Palestinians should resolve the core issues of their conflict. This is not the path to peace,” Clinton wrote.
The BDS campaign against Israel over its apartheid policies toward the Palestinians has gained momentum globally in recent years in its quest to end the Israeli occupation and colonization of Palestine.
BDS activists expect the United Methodist Church, which has nearly eight million members in the US, to join the movement this year, underscoring the growing momentum of the US protest movement against Israel.
Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967 and imposes a wide range of restrictions on its 2.5 million Palestinian residents. Several hundred thousand Israelis have also established unlawful settlements in the West Bank which the United Nations and much of the international community consider illegal.