The carnage in Gaza continues. While most of the world sees what is really happening as Israel terrorizes 1.5 million people in the open-air prison of Gaza, the US Congress again makes sure that the US acts in a manner contrary to world opinion. The vote definitely does not reflect the US opinion, though – and it is time to flex some muscles. Time to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement
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 and has been adopted as a tool of the ICNP (International Coordinating Network on Palestine) to support efforts of networking and coordination.
Oh, why bother, you may think!
Israel is a small nation with limited availability of natural resources. It is therefore highly dependent on trade – more so than most other nations. South Africa – a much bigger nation, rich in resources – eventually succumbed to the international pressure to end apartheid. Ironically, there were very tight bonds between Israel and South Africa during the apartheid regime. For some unexplained reason it now seems as if Israel is tracing South Africa’s steps into apartheid, rather than out of it.
In her op-ed in the Guardian today, she comes out strongly in support of such actions:
It’s time. Long past time. The best strategy to end the increasingly bloody occupation is for Israel to become the target of the kind of global movement that put an end to apartheid in South Africa. In July 2005 a huge coalition of Palestinian groups laid out plans to do just that. They called on “people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era”. The campaign Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions was born.
Read her article to see the arguments against the most common objections to such action:
- Punitive measures will alienate rather than persuade Israelis.
- Israel is not South Africa.
- Boycotts sever communication; we need more dialogue, not less.
And there are signs that BDS will soon become a potent factor in this conflict.
The removal of Coca-Cola from thousands of restaurants in Malaysia in protest at US support for Israel will hurt the local economy, the company has said.
The drinks company was responding to boycotts of US-made goods called by Muslim groups in Malaysia.
Former leader Mahathir Mohamad has also called for a global boycott of the US dollar and US products.
Norway has been the site of a flurry of Palestine solidarity activism and BDS initiatives over the past week, as tens of thousand of people have called for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador to Oslo, and major trade unions are mobilizing in support of a comprehensive boycott and divestment campaign.
POLITICAL STRIKE: Thursday ALL trains in the whole of Norway, and all trams
and subways in Oslo, will stand still for two minutes as a result of a
political strike organized by the Norwegian Locomotive Union and the Oslo
Tram Workers Union in protest of the Israeli invasion of Gaza.
A large selection of Norwegian trade unions and organizations has endorsed a
new campaign for the withdrawal of all State investments in Israel. The call
is endorsed by so far 6 of the largest national trade unions.
The Union of Trade and Office Workers calls on all members to ask their
employers to remove Israeli produtcts from stores. The union is the by far
largest union of workers in all types of private and public stores in
The confederation of Norwegian Trade Unions (LO), with apr. 1/5 of the whole
Norwegian population as members, condemns the Israeli bombing and invasion
in Gaza and calls for demonstrations.
The Norwegian Church has protested Israels invasion of Gaza and was,
according to media, “called to the carpet” by the Israeli embassador.
Where else have people had enough of the war crimes
Israel’s current assault on the Gaza Strip cannot be justified by self-defense. Rather, it involves serious violations of international law, including war crimes. Senior Israeli political and military leaders may bear personal liability for their offenses, and they could be prosecuted by an international tribunal, or by nations practicing universal jurisdiction over grave international crimes. Hamas fighters have also violated the laws of warfare, but their misdeeds do not justify Israel’s acts.
[Yes! – of all places – that is an op-ed from today’s Wall Street Journal!]
Have you started already?