The HyperTexts

The Global BDS Movement against Israel

There are encouraging signs that the global BDS movement against Israeli racism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing is gathering steam ...

BDS Summary (Details Follow)

SodaStream closes its factory in an illegal Israeli settlement; its stock drops precipitously; spokesperson Scarlett Johansson quits Oxfam after international protests.
More than 60,000 signatories, including Nobel Peace laureates, have called for a military embargo on Israel.
Haaretz reports that 28 member nations of the European Union have threatened Israel with economic sanctions if it continues its racist policies.
The Burch-Elberry Peace Initiative proposes a bigger, faster worldwide BDS movement based on the American creed of equal rights for all human beings.
More than 500 anthropologists from around the world have signed a new call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.
Students at the University of Exeter have voted overwhelmingly (86%) in support of a boycott of goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements.
The government of Kuwait has announced that it will not deal with 50 companies due to their role in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.
Blacklisted companies include some of the top corporate targets of the BDS movement, including Volvo, Heidelberg Cement, Dexia, Pizzarotti, Alstom and Veolia.
Veolia intends to sell off large parts of its business in Israel after boycott campaigns cost the company more than $23bn in lost potential contracts.
British security giant G4S has pledged to end some aspects of its involvement in torture-ridden Israel’s prison system and checkpoints due to cancelled contracts.
The Presbyterian Church (USA) voted to divest from Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions, and Hewlett Packard over their role in Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory.
BDSmovement.net tracks and reports successes around the world.
The Council of the Royal Institute of British Architects has asked the International Union Of Architects to exclude the Israeli Association of United Architects.
Judith Butler, Rashid Khalidi and over 150 other scholars have condemned censorship and intimidation of critics by Israel.
Dutch pension giant PGGM announced it was divesting from five Israeli banks due to their support for illegal Israeli settlements.
The sovereign fund of Luxembourg had taken a similar step, excluding nine Israeli banks and firms from its portfolio.
Banks and pension funds in Norway, the Netherlands, the US and Denmark made similar announcements.
End the Occupation is conducting a U.S. campaign to end the Israeli Occupation.
The Jordan BDS Movement―known in Arabic as Alurdun Tuqate’―announced that more than 60 civil society institutions have called for boycotts and anti-normalization.
The Block the Boat coalition of Los Angeles claimed another victory after an Israeli cargo ship, the Zim Savannah, delayed docking at the port of Long Beach for at least 34 hours.
The Israeli air force was prevented from taking part in multinational military training exercises on the Italian island of Sardinia following a campaign by anti-war activists.

Well-Known Individuals and Organizations that have Joined the BDS Movement or have otherwise Opposed Israel's Racism, Apartheid and/or Ethnic Cleansing

Jewish Intellectuals

Albert Einstein
Sigmund Freud
Isaac Asimov
Erich Fromm
Franz Kafka
Dr. Noam Chomsky (considered by many of his peers to be the world's greatest living scholar)
Gabriel Kolko
Dr. Tony Judt (University Professor at New York University and director of the Remarque Institute)
Jacques Derrida
Judith Butler
Erich Fried
Israel Shahak
Ilan Pappé
Richard Falk
Dr. Norman Finkelstein (the child of Holocaust survivors who has called Israel a "lunatic state" for murdering peace activists)
Hannah Arendt
Sidney Hook
Elmer Berger
Sir Edwin Montagu (who opposed the Balfour Declaration and Zionism as being as being anti-Semitic)
Arthur Hays Sulzberger (publisher of The New York Times)
Lessing J. Rosenwald (chairman of Sears, Roebuck & Company)
Judge Richard Goldstone

Other present day Jewish critics of Zionism and Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians includes renowned author Philip Roth, acclaimed poet Adrianne Rich, TIME columnist Joe Klein, actor Ed Asner, actress Rosanne Barr, Jeff Halper, I. F. Stone, Paul Wellstone, Maxine Rodinson, Moshe Menuhin, Yehudi Menuhin, Alfred Lilienthal, Roger Cohen, Professor Don Peretz, journalist Eric Rouleau, Harvard Professor Sara Roy, Professor Jennifer Loewenstein, former South African government mnister Ronnie Kasrils, Professor Saul Landau, Professor Zachery Lochman, Professor Joel Beinin, Professor Ian Lustick, Professor Edward Herman, writer Stephen Lendman, Anthony Loewenstein, Professor Steven Zunes, Stanley Heller, Danny Schechter, Lenni Brenner, Jeff Blankfort, author and journalist Alain Gresh, Professor Cheryl Rubenberg, Professor Michael Selzer, Professor David Fromkin, Howard Zinn, author Seymour M. Hersh, Bob Simon, Senior CBS Foreign Correspondent Barry Lando, Democracy Now radio host Amy Goodman, media critic Norman Solomon, writer Bennett Muraskin, Professor Lawrence Davidson, Jerome M. Segal, Professor Mark Levine, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Rabbi Brant Rosen, Jewish Voice for Peace activist Sydney Levy, Mark Braverman, author Phylis Bennis, journalist and editor David Finkel, Professor Mark Ellis, Joel Fischer, Professor Noel Ignatiev, Professor Bill Robinson, Allan C. Brownfeld editor of the American Council for Judaism Issues magazine, New York University Professor Bertrell Ollman, Dr. Gideon Polya, activist and writer Ralph Schoenman, writer Mike Marquisee, Swedish activists Snorre Lindquist and Lasse Wilhelmson, New York Times journalist Anthony Lewis, journalist Robert Scheer, journalist and blogger Philip Weiss, journalist Adam Horowitz, blogger Richard Silverstein, activist and writer Tim Wise, Professor Eric Alterman, Tsela Barr, Judith Laitman, Haley Michaels Pollack, Michelle Goldberg, activist and writer Adrienne Weller, Dan Leiberman editor of Alternative Insight, Dr. Marc Sapir, Hannah Mermelstein, Anna Baltzser, Professor Sharon Weill, Professor Randall Kuhn, author Ben Ehrenreich, Henry Siegman, Dr. Norton Mezvinsky, Dr. Joel Kovel and many other leading Jewish activists, intellectuals and religious figures.

Jewish and Israeli Peace and Humanitarian Organizations

Breaking the Silence (Israeli soldiers tell the truth about the Occupation)
Rabbis for Human Rights
Jews for Justice for Palestinians
Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions
B'Tselem
Jewish Voice for Peace
American Jews for a Just Peace
Gush Shalom
Jews Against the Occupation
and many others ...

Nobel Peace Laureates

Desmond Tutu
Nelson Mandela
Jimmy Carter
Adolfo Peres Esquivel
Jody Williams
Mairead Maguire
Rigoberta Menchú
Betty Williams

Christian Churches and Organizations

Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America
Episcopal Peace Fellowship’s Palestine Israel Network
Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA)
Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace
Presbyterian Peace Fellowship
Quaker Palestine Israel Network
United Church of Christ Palestine Israel Network

Other Individuals and Organizations

Amnesty International
Vanessa Redgrave (she sold a house to raise money to film a documentary about the plight of the Palestinians)
Roger Waters
Brian Eno
Boots Riley
Alice Walker (author of The Color Purple)
Michael Ondaatje
Edward Said
Rashid Khalidi
David Palumbo-Liu
Mira Nair
Mike Leigh
Ken Loach
John Pilger

BDS Details
 
SodaStream has announced plans to close its factory in the illegal Israeli settlement of Mishor Adumim following a high profile boycott campaign against the company.
The BDS campaign pressure has forced retailers across Europe and North America to drop SodaStream, and the company’s share price has tumbled in recent months.
Grassroots boycott activism saw SodaStream dropped by major retailers across North America and Europe, including Macy’s in the US and John Lewis in the UK.
SodaStream was forced to close its flagship store in Brighton in the UK as a result of regular pickets of the store.
Soros Fund Management, the family office of the billionaire investor George Soros, sold its stake in SodaStream following BDS pressure.
SodaStream’s share price fell dramatically in recent months as sales dried up, particularly in North America.
After reaching a high of $64 per share in 2013, the stock fell to around $20 per share in 2014.
SodaStream has estimated its third quarter revenue will be $125 million, down almost 14 percent from the same period last year.
Following an worldwide campaign urging Oxfam International to end its relationship with Scarlett Johansson for endorsing SodaStream, the actress decided to quit Oxfam.
SodaStream's Palestinian workers are paid far less than their Israeli counterparts.
SodaStream fired 60 Palestinians following a dispute over food for the breaking of the Ramadan fast.
According to bdsmovement.net, some Palestinian workers have said they are treated "like slaves."

More than 60,000 signatories, including Nobel Prize laureates, have called for a military embargo on Israel. As international donors prepare to gather in Cairo on October 12, 2014 for a conference to rebuild Gaza after the devastation inflicted by Israel in its 51-day assault last summer, the Palestinian Boycott Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) delivered a petition signed by over 60,000 people including Nobel Laureates, artists and public intellectuals, to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calling on the UN and governments around the world to take immediate steps to implement a comprehensive and legally binding military embargo on Israel, similar to that imposed on South Africa during the apartheid era. The petition highlights the complicity of the United States, the European Union, and other countries, through their entrenched military trade agreements with Israel, in the crimes Israel is committing against the Palestinian people. It states: “By importing and exporting arms to Israel and facilitating the development of Israeli military technology, governments are effectively sending a clear message of approval for Israel’s military aggression, including its war crimes and possible crimes against humanity.” Mahmoud Nawajaa, the general coordinator of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), said: “The recent brutal Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip, which killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, the vast majority of them civilians, including 501 children, could only be carried out because of the impunity and military aid Israel is provided by the international community. During the donor reconstruction conference on October 12, we want to remind governments of their complicity in Israel’s violations of international law, and their legal and moral responsibility for ending it. The governments of the world cannot provide Israel the military hardware it uses to destroy Palestinian lives and at the same time claim that they support Palestinian rights. It’s time for world leaders to put their money where their mouths are and to support nonviolent Palestinian-led efforts such as this to defend themselves and secure their rights.” Signatories to the petition include Nobel Peace laureates Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Adolfo Peres Esquivel, Jody Williams, Mairead Maguire, Rigoberta Menchú and Betty Williams; intellectuals and academics such as Noam Chomsky, Rashid Khalidi, Judith Butler, Ilan Pappé, and David Palumbo-Liu; artists such as authors Alice Walker and Michael Ondaatje, musicians Roger Waters, Brian Eno, and Boots Riley, and filmmakers Mira Nair, Mike Leigh, Ken Loach, and John Pilger; and faith groups such as American Jews for a Just Peace, the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, the Episcopal Peace Fellowship’s Palestine Israel Network, the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace, the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, the Quaker Palestine Israel Network, and the United Church of Christ Palestine Israel Network. The call for an arms embargo against Israel is also supported by human rights organizations such as Amnesty International.
 
Students at the University of Exeter have voted overwhelmingly in support of a boycott of goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements. The referendum, which garnered 86% approval, generated the largest voter turnout in university's history.

The government of Kuwait has announced that it will not deal with 50 companies due to their role in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory in a move being welcomed by campaigners as a landmark success for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The blacklisted companies include some of the top corporate targets of the BDS movement, such as Volvo, Heidelberg Cement, Dexia, Pizzarotti, Alstom and Veolia. Veolia was recently excluded from a $750m contract, and “all future contracts,” by Kuwaiti authorities over its role in the illegal Jerusalem Light Rail project and other projects that serve illegal Israeli settlements. The blacklisted companies are expected to be excluded from contracts worth billions of dollars, especially if other Arab countries take similar steps. According to media reports, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Commerce and Industry is also investigating the Kuwaiti operations of G4S, the British security company that secures Israeli military checkpoints and colonies and helps Israel run prisons at which Palestinian political prisoners are tortured, with a view to cancelling its license to operate if it does not terminate its participation in Israeli violations of international law. Zaid Shuaibi, a spokesperson for the Palestinian BDS National Committee, the largest coalition of Palestinian trade unions, parties, NGOs and popular committees that leads the global BDS movement, said: “This landmark decision means that international companies will now pay an even heavier price for participating in Israeli violations of international law. As European banks and pension funds continue to divest from Israel’s occupation and companies such as Veolia and G4S lose billions of dollars as a result of sustained, effective grassroots campaigning, many firms will now be wondering whether supporting Israel’s regime of occupation, colonialism and apartheid is good for business.”

Veolia recently announced that it intends to sell off large parts of its business in Israel after boycott campaigns cost the company more than $23bn―not counting Veolia’s latest losses in Kuwait―in lost potential contracts.

British security giant G4S has pledged to end some aspects of its involvement in torture-ridden Israel’s prison system and checkpoints after trade unions, NGOs, universities and other public bodies cancelled contracts with the company.
 
The Presbyterian Church (USA) voted in June to divest from Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions, and Hewlett Packard over their role in Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory.

The Council of the Royal Institute of British Architects has voted to call on the International Union Of Architects to exclude the Israeli Association of United Architects over its refusal to oppose Israel’s construction of illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian territory.

Judith Butler, Rashid Khalidi and over 150 other scholars condemn censorship, intimidation of critics by Israel

In January, Dutch pension giant PGGM announced it was divesting from five Israeli banks due to their support for illegal Israeli settlements. In February, it emerged that the sovereign fund of Luxembourg had taken a similar step, excluding nine Israeli banks and firms from its portfolio. In the months that followed, banks and pension funds in Norway, the Netherlands, the US and Denmark made similar announcements.

The Jordan BDS Movement―known in Arabic as Alurdun Tuqate’―published today its statement which more than 60 civil society institutions have signed onto, including labor and trade unions, women’s associations, cultural and charitable societies, sports clubs, human rights organizations and business associations, affirming that they reject any dealings with Israel and call upon all Jordanian institutions from civil society and the public and private sectors to join them in boycott and anti-normalization. This announcement coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Wadi Araba Treaty thus affirming once again that the Jordanian civil society –representing a broad segment of Jordanians- absolutely refuses to normalize relations with Israel when it continues to perpetrate crimes against Arab peoples. The latest such crimes were the assault on Gaza and the desecration of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. The stance of those who signed onto the “Jordan Boycotts” statement was not only limited to boycotting Israel and its institutions, but also called upon other Jordanian establishments to adopt boycott and anti-normalization. By the same token, the signatories affirmed they are conveying the message to their Arab and international networks and urging said networks to isolate Israel until it terminates its occupation of Arab lands, allows the return of the Palestinian refugees to their homes and until the Palestinian people attain their rights completely. Further, the signatories expressed their position clearly against multinational corporations colluding with Israel, stating that these corporations must choose between either the Arab market, or working with the Zionist entity. This statement is supportive of the call by Palestinian civil society institutions for boycott, dated July 9, 2005 and supports the steadfastness of the Palestinian people.

More than 500 anthropologists from around the world have signed a new call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. The scholars call upon Israel to: (1) End its siege of Gaza, its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967, and dismantle the settlements and the walls; (2) Recognize the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel and the stateless Negev Bedouins to full equality; and (3) Respect, protect, and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194. The initial list of signatories featured more than 250 names, including academics from Australia, Canada, China, Holland, India, Lebanon, Palestine, Sweden, Turkey, the UK and the United States. Colleagues from Spain, Ireland, Belgium, Chile, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Kuwait, Portugal, Qatar, Mexico, the Philippines and South Africa, among others, have added their support.

The Israeli air force was removed from the list of armed forces taking part in multinational military training exercises on the Italian island of Sardinia following a campaign by anti-war activists. During Israel’s deadly 51-day bombing campaign on Gaza in July and August, anti-militarization and Palestine solidarity groups mobilized against the military drills in general, and Israel’s participation in particular. Palestinians in Gaza, standing in the rubble of destroyed homes, posted photographs appealing directly to Italy not to “train the pilots who bombs us.” The prospect of Israeli F-16s using the island to train for bombing missions, combined with the ill-timed delivery to Israel of two Italian trainer jets just after the attacks on Gaza began, created public outrage in Italy, with multiple calls for an embargo on weapons cooperation with Israel. The Italian defense ministry published a note in an attempt to calm the waters. Without mentioning Israel, the ministry note stated that the planning stages for the drills had not yet been completed and only upon completion would the participating countries be confirmed. The drills were scheduled to run until December 2014. As speculation on the possible exclusion of Israel continued, so did the mobilizations. A demonstration on September 13, 2014 at the Capo Frasca firing range, where Israel was to train, saw large-scale participation. More than 350 people broke into the military area in an act of civil disobedience.

The Block the Boat coalition of Los Angeles claimed another victory after an Israeli cargo ship, the Zim Savannah, delayed docking at the port of Long Beach for at least 34 hours. Cookie Partansky, an organizer with the LA Block the Boat coalition, reported that approximately 150 activists gathered at the Los Angeles port at 6am on Saturday, October 18, 2014. The morning’s action followed weeks of communication with the longshoremen’s union and educating workers about Israel’s brutal occupation of Palestine, as well as the group’s reasons for targeting Zim, an Israeli shipping line. The coalition―representing nineteen different activism groups―showed up at the port Saturday morning despite being informed at 5am by a member of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 13 that the ship was still at sea and no workers had been called in to unload it. “The fact that the boat is delayed for 24 hours is already costing Zim shipping a significant amount of money because their entire schedule will be delayed. This is already a victory for us,” Partansky said Saturday afternoon.

Secret EU document outlines sanctions against Israel if it thwarts two-state solution. Proposal is still at early stage, but is said to offer far more ‘stick’ than ‘carrot’ to Israel if it makes a two-state solution unviable. (By Barak Ravid, Haaretz, Nov. 16, 2014) The European Union has distributed a confidential document to its 28 member states that contains the draft of a proposal for sanctions to be imposed on Israel if it takes action in the West Bank that could make the two-state solution impossible, European diplomatic sources and senior Israeli officials said. The representatives, who received the document from the EU’s European External Action Service (EEAS), were asked to keep its distribution limited and not to show it to Israel yet. Israeli diplomats in a number of European capitals reported the existence of the document to the Foreign Ministry, adding a few details about its content. However, they were unable to obtain the full document. Three European diplomats and two senior Israeli officials, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said the document deals mainly with “sticks and carrots” for Israel with regard to maintaining the two-state solution, although they said the document contained mainly sticks. “The peace process is in deep freeze, but the situation on the ground is not. There is big frustration in Europe and zero tolerance for settlement activity. This paper is part of the internal brainstorming being done in Brussels these days, about what can be done to keep the two-state solution alive,” a European diplomat familiar with the details of the discussion around the document said. According to current EU policy, any upgrading or development of ties to Israel is conditioned on actions it might carry out to advance the peace process and the two-state solution. The principle in the new document is that the EU will respond with sanctions and restrict its ties with Israel in response to actions that could make the two-state solution impossible. European diplomats familiar with the document say it discusses Israeli actions that would constitute a red line for the EU. For example, it mentions advancement of construction in the E1 area between Ma’aleh Adumim and Jerusalem; construction of the Givat Hamatos neighborhood and additional construction in Har Homa south of Jerusalem, both of which are over the Green Line in Jerusalem. The EU believes that such construction puts at risk territorial contiguity of the Palestinian state and might make it impossible for Jerusalem to be the capital of both states. Sanctions mentioned by the document include marking products manufactured in the settlements in EU supermarkets; limiting cooperation with Israel in various areas; and even restrictions on the free-trade agreement with Israel. The document is in the initial stages of discussion. So far, it been discussed in two meetings of the Mashreq/Maghreb Working Party (or MaMa), which consists of diplomats from all EU countries who are specialists in the Middle East. “This paper is an uncooked dish and the process is only beginning, but it is slowly continuing,” a senior European diplomat told Haaretz. The EU’s embassy in Israel declined to respond to Haaretz’s queries on the subject. The document itself, and the great secrecy surrounding it, have led to concerns in Jerusalem. EU diplomats and senior Israeli officials noted that the framer of the document is Christian Berger, the director for Middle East of the EEAS. The Austrian was also behind EU sanctions against settlements in July 2013. Senior Foreign Ministry officials said Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman raised the issue of the document in his talks with the EU’s new high representative for foreign affairs, Federica Mogherini, two weeks ago in Jerusalem. Lieberman asked Mogherini to make sure that any action taken by Berger―who was appointed by Mogherini’s predecessor, Catherine Ashton―conformed to her policies and directives. Last month, Haaretz revealed that another internal EU document included directives to the EU ambassador in Israel, Lars Faaborg-Andersen, to convey a message to the Foreign Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Bureau in Jerusalem, in the name of the 28 EU countries. The message included a proposal to launch talks between the EU and Israel, with the goal of reaching understandings that Israel would refrain from crossing EU red lines concerning the West Bank that would endanger the two-state solution. Jerusalem was concerned at the time that these talks were preparations for sanctions―a kind of hearing before punishment is delivered. Senior Foreign Ministry officials said over the weekend that the secret document containing the “sticks and carrots” shows that their concerns were well founded. “Even before we began the talks that the EU requested, they had already started planning for them to fail and to impose sanctions,” a senior Foreign Ministry official said.
 
French multinational Veolia helps to operate the illegal Jerusalem Light Rail that facilitates the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements and owns a landfill site in an illegal Israeli settlement.
Swedish multinational Volvo provides heavy machinery used for the demolition of Palestinian houses in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, construction of Israeli settlements and construction of the illegal apartheid Wall.
Belgian bank Dexia Israel has been giving long-term loans and other financial services to municipalities of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. |
Italian firm Pizzarotti is assisting with the construction of an illegal Israeli railway that passes through illegally occupied Palestinian territory.

The HyperTexts