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Steven Friedman

Lessons from the Campaign for Sanctions on Apartheid South Africa

[Mandela on Israeli Apartheid. Image by Carlos Latuff.]

Campaigns for freedom usually seem impossible at the start and inevitably successful at their conclusion. It has become common for opponents of the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign to insist that it cannot emulate the success of the fight to isolate apartheid South Africa. The South African sanctions campaign, we are frequently told, enjoyed moral legitimacy in the West that the Palestinian cause is denied. BDS is thus doomed to fail. This shows deep ...

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Steven Friedman


Steven Friedman is Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy at Rhodes University and the University of Johannesburg. He is the author of “Building Tomorrow Today,” a study of the South African trade union movement and the implications of its growth for democracy, and the editor of “The Long Journey and The Small Miracle” (with Doreen Atkinson), which presented the outcome of two research projects on the South African transition.