BDS calls for boycott of Dubai Expo

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign has called for a boycott of the Dubai International Expo which it says the UAE and Israel are using to “whitewash and distract attention from their grave human rights violations.”

Dubai Expo is set to launch in October and will be held over the course of six months, with more than 191 states reportedly participating, including Israel.

In a statement, the BDS campaign said: “Both the UAE and Israel are shamelessly using the World Expo in presenting a prettier face to whitewash and distract attention from their grave human rights violations…

“Israel plans to use this propaganda pavilion to normalise and whitewash its system of oppression against Palestinians in front of an Arab and Muslim audience.”

The statement added that Israel “is desperately trying to replace its reality-based image in the region as a regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid, and as an economy that is largely dependent on field-tested military and security exports, which are more exposed than ever for their role in supporting death squads, deadly spyware, mass surveillance and militarised police training.”

BDS said the UAE is helping Israel to improve its image by granting them the pavilion and at the Expo.

Dubai cityscape

“The Israeli Pavilion at the Dubai Expo, led by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has been welcomed like no other pavilion by the UAE dictatorship, in its scramble to find new protectors of its shaky crown in the light of the precarious U.S. imperial presence in the region.”

The participation of Israel in Dubai Expo comes a year after the signing of the “Abraham Accords” in the United States between Israel and the UAE. Palestinians have rejected the accords and called them “stab in their back.”

On its website Dubai Expo says it will be an event that “aims to increase awareness about the challenges faced by humanity on a global scale. It is the world’s largest meeting place and offers many opportunities such as networking and promoting international relationships.”

The Expo was planned for 2020 but due to the global pandemic it was postponed to this year.

BDS is a global campaign that promotes boycott, divestment and economic sanctions against Israel. It aims to seek support to raise cost of occupation for the Israel by seeking to mobilise economic and political pressure on Israel. It also demands equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel.

The campaign started in July 2005 when an alliance of 170 Palestinian civil society groups called on the “people of conscience” to support their “legitimate demands.”

The movement is supported by prominent celebrities along with hundreds of thousands of citizens across the globe.

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