Sept. 14 2018
Speaking at the EU Parliament in Brussels, the Jerusalem-based Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid criticized Europe for turning a blind eye, for centuries, to the economic plight of Gaza, saying that “dignity can be achieved only via economic prosperity.” Accusing the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement of “trying to use the Palestinians in order to gain power and money,” Eid said that if Europe cut its funding, like Trump was cutting the funding of UNRWA, the BDS movement would cease to exist within six months. Europe should give the money directly to the Palestinians, he said, adding that the slogans uttered by BDS members that short-term suffering was necessary in order to gain long-term benefits were similar to slogans uttered by Arab leaders in 1948. He also criticized the Palestinian Authority for preventing activists from participating in coexistence events. Eid’s statements were posted on his YouTube channel on September 5, 2018.