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The Boycott

Everything you need to know about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and international pressure on Israel to end the occupation.

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  • How Israel is turning anti-occupation activists into dissidents

    Israel is seeing a worrying resurgence of attempts to curtail and suppress dissent, particularly among anti-occupation and human rights activists. That process does not take place in a vacuum. [Updated July 12, 2016] Israel's parliament passed the so-called “NGO Law” Monday night, a piece of legislation meant to stigmatize left-wing and human rights organizations in Israel as agents of foreign powers. [tmwinpost] The law singles out non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that receive the majority of their funding from foreign state entities (friendly European governments), and compels them to prominently declare their foreign funding in any publication or public engagement such as…

  • French pro-Israel group threatens to 'scalp' thousands of BDS activists

    The 'Brigade Juive' claims to have sent the threatening email to 8,000 activists worldwide, lamenting that since French law doesn't do enough against boycott supporters it must take matters into its own hands. By Yael Marom A right-wing group calling itself the “Brigade Juive” (Jewish Brigade) says it sent thousands of threatening emails and messages to boycott Israel activists around the world overnight Thursday, promising to “put an end to BDS.” The messages were apparently sent primarily to activists in France, Australia and Israel. [tmwinpost] The senders, who addressed recipients as “dear boycotters” (in French), warned (in English): “We have…

  • Senior Israeli minister: Make BDS activists in Israel 'pay a price'

    Public Security Minister Erdan says ‘the message has to be that it’s not worth being a BDS activist,’ reveals his plans to create government-sponsored legislation to that end. Israeli Public Security, Strategic Affairs and Information Minister Gilad Erdan says that BDS advocates inside Israel must be made to pay a price and that he is working to create legislation that would do just that. “The message has to be that it’s not worth being a BDS activist,” the minister said at a panel on BDS at the Herzliya Conference on Thursday. “Anybody who works to delegitimize Israel, to bring an…

  • Famed feminist British historian refuses prestigious Israeli award

    Catherine Hall withdraws from $330,000 prize due to Tel Aviv University's complicity in the occupation. Famed British feminist historian Catherine Hall announced she will withdraw her acceptance of a prestigious award presented by Tel Aviv University for political reasons. Hall was awarded $330,000 by the Dan David Foundation, and was supposed to accept the award at a university ceremony held Sunday. The BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement called on her and other recipients to refuse the prize due to Tel Aviv University's complicity in the occupation. [tmwinpost] Three months ago it was announced that Hall would be awarded the prize…

  • Israel puts 'travel ban' on BDS campaigner Omar Barghouti

    Officials have indicated for months they are considering bureaucratic measures to punish the BDS movement co-founder. The de facto travel ban is part of a possible revocation of his residency status; Barghouti has lived in Israel for 22 years. Israeli authorities have put a de facto travel ban on Palestinian boycott campaigner and BDS Movement co-founder Omar Barghouti and are considering revoking his residency status in the country. [tmwinpost] The boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign is a Palestinian-led call to pressure Israel into ending the occupation, ensure full equality within its borders, and recognize the rights of Palestinian refugees.…

  • WATCH: Is BDS a feminist movement?

    Nonviolent tools of resistance tend to be more accessible to women, and the leaders of revolutionary struggles often become the political leaders of tomorrow. Can the Palestinian call for BDS be a feminist movement? Can it be a tool for the empowerment of women? ‘Woman to Woman’ sets out to answer those questions and more. Read more: In Israel, BDS is winning The right to boycott is non-negotiable The American Jews prying open the conversation on the occupation

  • Latest boycott victories signify new momentum for BDS

    That people are openly questioning whether policy changes by multinational corporations are the result of BDS is itself already a victory. Boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activists have had quite a bit to celebrate in recent months. High profile companies targeted by BDS like SodaStream, Orange, Veolia, and now Ahava and G4S have all moved out of Israeli West Bank settlements or out of the Israeli market altogether. [tmwinpost] Of course, none of those companies, with the partial exception of SodaStream and Orange, will admit the changes have anything to do with the Palestinian-led movement trying to build international pressure…

  • The right to boycott is non-negotiable

    Regardless of one’s views of BDS, it is ridiculous that one should have to tell self-proclaimed ‘democracies’ that the right to boycott is a basic civil right, not a punishable crime.  Last week, over 120 people attended a conference in Nazareth on the subject of “BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) and ‘48 Palestinians (citizens living inside Israel’s 1948 borders).” Although the discussions were lively, many participants were cautious with their choice of words: Israel’s Anti-Boycott Law – which allows groups and citizens to be sued for calling for a boycott of Israeli institutions, including settlements – cast a heavy shadow…

  • Israel is egging the boycott movement on

    In attempting to hold off European plans to label West Bank settlement products, Israel could easily overplay its hand. The Netanyahu government's bunker mentality will only increase international isolation. It’s pretty difficult to find a minister in the Israeli government who will go on record supporting a two-state solution in any sincere terms these days. Of course we want a Palestinian state, they say, but god forbid we hand over control of the West Bank and withdraw our troops. [tmwinpost] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has been saying as much for years. “I think the Israeli people understand now what I…

  • Using Palestinians as a human shield against BDS

    In response to the Reykjavik City Council's — since reversed — decision to boycott Israeli goods until the occupation is ended, Israeli politician Yair Lapid wrote an open letter to the Icelandic people titled 'The Hypocrisy of Boycott.' In his oped, Lapid argued that Israel should not be boycotted because doing so would harm its Arab citizens. One of those citizens responds. (Translated by Ofer Neiman) Dear Yair, What is Israeli to you?[1] Actually, no need to answer. The time has come for you to hear what Israeli is to me. So what is Israeli to me? You are. I am…

  • The quieter, more dangerous boycott

    Three recent divestment cases indicate that even when there are no flashy headlines, maybe especially so, boycott and divestment efforts can have a major impact where it hurts. The largest supermarket chain in Luxembourg, Cactus, may be considering taking Israeli produce off its shelves unless suppliers can prove they do not come from occupied territory, Israeli news site Ynet reported this week. If the chain follows through, this would be the latest in a number of related incidents that show European companies' growing discomfort with contracts, holdings and investments in Israel. The discomfort appears rooted not in ideology or politics, but in…

  • A litmus test for the American Jewish left

    I hesitate to critique BDS, but there is still something in the campaign that troubles me — a sense that some on the left are inadvertently using boycott as a tool with which to sort through, measure, and reject other progressive voices. By Penina Eilberg-Schwartz Palestinians living in Israel are all too familiar with litmus tests, most of which boil down to the question of Israel’s “right to exist.” In its politics, most brazenly suggested in the 2014 nation-state bill which suggested to define Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, Israel demands that Palestinians in Israel both recognize…

  • No, BDS does not unfairly 'single out' Israel

    Ironically, the boycott movement actually expresses some level of faith in Israeli democracy by assuming a little pressure might motivate it to change. When the most recent flotilla set sail for Gaza to protest Israel's eight-year blockade, Prime Minister Netanyahu wrote an open letter to the activists. In a tone dripping with sarcasm, he suggested they had taken a wrong turn on the way to Syria. It’s part of a theme repeated obsessively: “there are worse violations elsewhere, but no one ever protests them. Therefore, protesting the occupation on behalf of Palestinians is hypocritical, anti-Israel or anti-Semitic. Therefore, it can be…