In 2005, Palestinian civil society—suffering under an increasingly repressive occupation, expanding colonization by Israeli settlers, a corrupt and inept Palestinian Authority, a growing challenge by Hamas and other hardline Islamists, and a doomed “peace process” facilitated by the principal diplomatic, financial, and military backer of their occupiers—coalesced to call for an international campaign of boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel.

By this point, most Palestinians recognized that in addition to being flagrantly illegal and morally reprehensible, terrorism was politically counterproductive. There was also an awareness that armed struggle against Israeli Occupation forces, while more legitimate, would be utterly futile and lead to additional suffering on a massive scale.

Furthermore, any realistic hope for a diplomatic solution was being undermined by the United States’ refusal to apply any tangible pressure on a succession of Right-wing Israeli governments to make the necessary compromises for peace and preventing the United Nations from enforcing...

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