The Right to Boycott

Sep 4, 2019

In a tweet last month, President Trump urged  Israel to bar two Democratic Congresswomen from visiting that country. The women support a movement against Israel called B.D.S., which stands for Boycott, Divest, Sanction. Trump said Israel would show weakness by allowing them to enter. 

Supporters say  B.D.S is a nonviolent protest to pressure the Israeli government about its treatment of the Palestinian people.  

Opponents believe its goal is to eliminate Israel as a Jewish state. 

Several states have tried to stop B.D.S. by banning boycotts of Israel. We look at where this legislation comes from, and weigh it against the First Amendment right to free speech. 

Then we travel to the occupied Palestinian territories and meet a man who wanted to protest the Israeli occupation by starting a purely Palestinian business. His answer was to start a mushroom farm. After initial success he ran into unexpected challenges. 

Finally, we turn to the word “boycott” and ask where it came from. Its origin story takes us back to a Catholic priest and rent collector in 19th century Ireland. 

This show was originally broadcast on March 30, 2019.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.