BDS campaign

There is plenty of evidence that the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign targeting Israel, initiated by dozens of Palestinian civil society groups in 2005 in protest against Israel’s apartheid policies, is frightening the Israeli state, writes Lisa Gleeson.

“Israel is carrying out a murderous assault against protesting Palestinians, with its armed forces killing and maiming demonstrators who pose no imminent threat to them,” Amnesty International said on April 27 as thousands of Palestinians taking part in Great March of Return rallies in Gaza faced Israeli bullets for the fifth week in a row.

Over those weeks, Amnesty said, “the Israeli military has killed 35 Palestinians and injured more than 5500 others — some with what appear to be deliberately inflicted life-changing injuries”.

As 17-year-old Palestinian girl Ahed Tamimi remains in prison awaiting trial for slapping a soldier who invaded her family’s yard, three 17-year-old Israeli girls are at the centre of a lawsuit over the decision by New Zealand singer Lorde to cancel a planned Tel Aviv concert.

British comedian Eddie Izzard was told he was not welcome at a marathon in the occupied West Bank after refusing to respect the cultural boycott of Israel.

The cultural boycott is part of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign initiated by more than 170 Palestinian groups in 2005 in protest against Israel’s apartheid policies towards Palestinians

Quito-based research institute, the International Centre for Advanced Studies in Communications for Latin America (CIESPAL), has decided against renewing its contract with the British security company G4S after meeting with BDS activists who informed it about G4S’s complicity with Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights. 

Palestinian artists, cultural groups and human rights supporters have welcomed the Australian-British singer Natalie Imbruglia’s of her planned March performance in Tel Aviv and thanked her for deciding to be “on the right side of history, on the side of the oppressed”.

Ottawa, Canada. July 2014. Members of the Green Party of Canada made history at their August 5–7 convention in Ottawa, passing a resolution to support the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign targeting economic activities in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel. The BDS campaign was first launched in 2005 with a call from more than 170 Palestinian non-government organisations. It has generated growing support across the world.
Israel is intensifying its efforts to crack down on activists working for freedom, justice and equality for Palestinians. On August 7, interior minister Aryeh Deri and public security minister Gilad Erdan formed a new inter-ministerial task force that will, as the The Times of Israel reported, “target supporters of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement”. The task force aims to prevent the entry of foreign activists allegedly affiliated with groups that support BDS. It also aims to expel those who have already entered territories under Israeli control.
Justice for Palestine Brisbane activists branded former Queensland premier Peter Beattie a hypocrite on July 27 as they crashed a lunch at the Hilton Hotel at which he was the keynote speaker.
There has been plenty of heat this Palestinian winter in the campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. There have been some important victories, helped by the increased scrutiny of Israeli state violence since October. And equally, the hysteria from Israeli and Western political establishments over the “threat” posed by the BDS campaign has reached new levels.
“Stop the blackmail: Anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism.” Paris, July 2014.
The author of the Harry Potter series of novels, JK Rowling, has disappointed many of her fans by signing a letter opposing a boycott of Israel. The letter, which was also signed by other British cultural figures, such as TV presenter Melvyn Bragg, popular historian Tom Holland and author Hilary Mantel, proclaims its support for what it called “an independent UK network” called Culture for Coexistence.
The city council in Iceland's capital, Reykjavík, has voted to boycott Israeli goods as long as the nation continues its illegal occupation of Palestine. The Israeli government responded by claiming it was victim of a “volcano of hatred” after the capital of Iceland decided to boycott Israeli products due to the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the ongoing atrocities committed against the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank.
BDS action in Adelaide's Rundle Mall. Adelaide may be as far from Palestine as it gets, but a dedicated group of activists have just celebrated 10 years of BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaigns. Their weekly actions in the Rundle Mall highlight what BDS has become — a growing, grassroots, global phenomenon that presents a real threat to Israeli apartheid.
The University of Sydney has found no grounds to dismiss Associate Professor Jake Lynch as director of the university’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, following its investigation into possible breaches of its code of conduct. Lynch will keep his job and has been cleared of serious misconduct after an investigation into a campus protest left him facing dismissal. This follows an announcement by the university in April clearing Lynch of accusations of anti-Semitism.
Two new global developments emphasised the growing momentum of the global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign targetting Israel. The campaign was launched in 2005 by more than 100 Palestinian civil society groups in a bid to isolate Israel over its polices of occupation and apartheid against Palestinians.

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