Boycotts have a persistent presence in the world of anticolonialism in general, and Palestinian history in particular. Whereas they are often associated today with the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS), this article shows that they have been consistently utilized in Palestine since 1908, responding to a long continuum of colonization. The article accounts for their varying origins, instrumental functions, contextual relationships to other tools of struggle, and modes of articulation. It examines shifts in Palestinian boycott practice and discourse, emphasizing the importance of considering this tactical form not in the abstract terms of social movement theory, but in light of its concrete relationship with broader anticolonial structures and strategies. Drawing on lessons from boycott’s long history in Palestine and other anticolonial contexts such as South Africa, it further reflects on its position in contemporary Palestinian politics. It argues that, in the post-Oslo environment, boycott shifted from a tactic serving a revolutionary strategic vision to a tactical solidarity response addressing the absence of a comprehensive national strategy. Boycott plays a crucial role in the global war of position in which the Palestinian solidarity movement is currently engaged, but this does not alter the need for a rejuvenation of representative national structures that are capable of deliberating and implementing broader anticolonial strategies.

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