Boycott and divestment
Boycott and divestment.
“Global Actions to End Israel’s Occupation” is an extensive list (currently 88 pages) of actions taken by organizations, governments, and businesses. The compilation was initiated by the Palestine-Israel Action Group of the Michigan Quakers (Ann Arbor, MI) and is routinely updated by the Interfaith Peace Initiative.
What is BDS?
The Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) is based on international law and universal principles of human rights and urges various forms of boycott against Israel until it fully complies with its obligations under international law.
“The global BDS movement for Palestinian rights presents a progressive, anti racist, sustainable, moral and effective form of civil, non-violent resistance for Palestinian human rights that is also fast becoming one of the key political catalysts and moral anchors for a strengthened, reinvigorated international social movement capable of ending the law of the jungle and upholding in its stead the rule of law, reaffirming the rights of all humans to freedom, equality and dignified living.”
—Omar Barghouti, an independent researcher, commentator and activist committed to upholding international law and universal human rights. He is a founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.
Campaigns and Organizations
Tips for starting a Divestment Campaign are available from the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. http://endtheoccupation.org/section.php?id=267
Included on the US Campaign’s website is a handbook for students interested in organizing on college campuses: “This handbook provides an overview of campus divestment strategies, focusing on student campaigns for divesting school endowments of support for Israel’s occupation and apartheid policies. Boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns must be uniquely tailored to each campus where they operate; this handbook provides a generic framework for organizing BDS campaigns well as tips on navigating questions that will have to be worked out on individual campuses.”
The US Campaign has resources on several Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions initiatives in the US. http://endtheoccupation.org/article.php?list=type&type=203
Specific campaigns among the US Campaign’s nationwide efforts target Motorola http://endtheoccupation.org/section.php?id=209 for its sales to the Israeli military and Caterpillar Corporation http://endtheoccupation.org/section.php?id=158 for its sale of armor plated D-9 or D-11 bulldozers which are used by the Israeli government to demolish thousands of Palestinian homes, uprooted countless olive trees, and carved gaping holes in roads, making them impassable.
Jewish Voice for Peace
In the summer of 2010, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) launched a new divestment initiative focused on the financial services corporation TIAA-CREF http://jvp.org/campaigns/tiaa-cref-divest-occupation. JVP asks TIAA-CREF to stop investing in companies that proﬁt from the Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Flyers and background information can be accessed on JVP’s website. http://jvp.org/toolkit
Code Pink launched in the summer of 2009 the campaign “Stolen Beauty” http://www.stolenbeauty.org/ a boycott campaign against Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories, (www.ahava.co.il) is a privately held Israeli cosmetics company that manufactures products using minerals and mud from the Dead Sea. The company’s main factory and its visitors’ center are located in the Israeli settlement of Mitzpe Shalem in the Occupied West Bank. Ahava products are labeled as of ‘Israeli origin,’ but according to international public law, the West Bank cannot be considered to be part of the State of Israel. Ahava uses in its products mud from the Dead Sea, excavated in an occupied area, and thus it exploits occupied natural resources for profit, which is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. For more information and to participate in this campaign click here.
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) http://www.pacbi.org
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel was launched in Ramallah in April 2004 by a group of Palestinian academics and intellectuals to join the growing international boycott movement. The Campaign built on the Palestinian call for a comprehensive economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel issued in August 2002 and a statement made by Palestinian academics and intellectuals in the occupied territories and in the Diaspora calling for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions in October 2003.
BDSMovement.net is born out of the need to offer all those interested and active in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement a shared space for information, analysis, exchange of ideas and experiences. This website is overseen by the steering committee of the Palestinian BDS National Committee http://bdsmovement.net/?q=node/126 and has been adopted as a tool of the ICNP (International Coordinating Network on Palestine) to support efforts of networking and coordination. This site aims to give an overview of the Palestinian calls for BDS, the myriad local initiatives and resources online, related background information and analysis to inform and guide visitors and activists. BDSMovment.net is updated by a range of Palestinian and global BDS activists and is a continual work in progress. As the movement develops, new interactive tools and spaces will be added.
The Occupation Industry Research Project http://www.whoprofits.org/About.php is a database continually being updated as part of an ongoing grassroots investigation effort by activists in The Coalition of Women for Peace (http://coalitionofwomen.org/home/english), a leading Israeli feminist peace organization, dedicated to ending the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights and reaching a just peace in Israel/ Palestine. In exposing companies and corporations involved in the occupation, the Coalition of Women for Peace hopes to promote a change in public opinion and corporate policies, leading to an end to the occupation. Currently, they focus their attention on three main areas of corporate involvement in the occupation: The Settlement Industry, Economic Exploitation and Control of Population. At this stage in their project, they are not investigating the vast industry of military production and arms trade. The information they provide on the exploitation of Palestinian labor and production is also very limited. Other organizations (Kav LaOved, Adva Center, and The Alternative Information Center) have investigated these fields of involvement in depth, and wherever necessary, the site shows a link to their publications.
BDS: A Global Movement for Freedom and Justice
By Omar Barghouti
While media attention over the past few months has focused on a brewing third Palestinian intifada in response to the expansion of Israeli settlements in the Occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, Al-Shabaka policy advisor Omar Barghouti argues that a far more widespread, nonviolent grassroots movement originating in the Occupied Palestinian Territories has been building and spreading around the world. He reviews the formation and evolution of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement, including its rights-based (as opposed to solutions-based) approach, its collective leadership, its call to Israelis of conscience, and its promotion of context-specific strategies.
By Phyllis Bennis, August 20, 2010
A growing grassroots movement is using the techniques of the anti-apartheid movement to challenge U.S. support for Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories. “Decades of uncritical U.S. financial, military, and diplomatic support has ensured that Israel’s military power—nuclear and conventional—remains unchallengeable. A U.S. pattern of using UN Security Council vetoes to protect Israel from accountability has ensured that Israel can essentially do whatever it likes with those U.S.-provided weapons, regardless of what U.S. or international laws may be broken…. But increasingly, across the country, people and organizations are standing up to say no to U.S. support for those policies of occupation and apartheid. BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] is a strategic effort to change U.S. policy to support human rights, equality, and an end to the occupation rather than continued military build-up.”
by Adam Horowitz and Philip Weiss, June 28, 2010
Editors of Mondoweiss (www.mondoweiss.net), a news website devoted to covering American foreign policy in the Middle East, chiefly from a progressive Jewish perspective, provide an overview of the BDS movement: when did the movement begin, why is it growing, and what does it want. This Nation magazine feature length article printed in June 2010 provides essential background about the various boycott, divestment, and sanctions efforts in the United States, including divestment campaigns on college campuses and cultural boycott initiatives, and the responses by mainstream and progressive Jewish organizations.
Open Letter to the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA)
by The Rabbinical Council of the Jewish Voice for Peace, March, 2012
“To advocate for an end to an unjust policy is not anti-Semitic. To criticize Israel is not anti-Semitic. To invest your own resources in corporations which pursue your vision of a just and peaceful world, and to withdraw your resources from those which contradict this vision, is not anti-Semitic….In fact, many of us in the Jewish community recognize that the continuing occupation of Palestine itself presents a great danger to the safety of the Jewish people, not to mention oppressing our spirits and diminishing our honor in the world community.”