BDS is a peaceful, civil disobedience initiative started by Palestinian civil society in 2005, in response to a paralyzed peace process and continued Israeli violations of human rights and humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Among other things, BDS includes academic and cultural boycotts, as well as divestment from companies supporting or profiting from the Occupation. Through BDS, regular individuals around the world have a concrete means to express opposition and outrage against Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Now more than ever, supporting BDS is critical. As our governments and mainstream media institutions continue to ignore and in some cases support Israeli crimes, civil society and people of conscience have a duty to pick up the mantle and do what they can to shift public opinion away from unbridled support for Israel and toward justice and accountability for the innocent victims of its actions.
For those who still aren’t sure why they should support support BDS, click here.
For the rest of you, here are 15 ways you can support BDS, many of which can also be found on the BDSMovement website:
1. Israeli academic institutions promote the military siege and occupation of the Gaza Strip, and other Palestinian territories. Refrain from participating in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration, or joint projects with Israeli institutions.
2. Advocate for a comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions, including suspending funding and subsidies they receive from other countries or international organizations
3. Urge academic, professional, and cultural associations and organizations to pass resolutions condemning Israeli policies toward Palestinians
4. Support Palestinian academic and cultural institutions by collaborating directly with Palestinian academic, cultural, and other organizations, without Israeli mediation or meddling
5. Boycott Israeli cultural institutions, projects, and events, like the Tel Aviv Docaviv International Film Festival, that continue to serve the purposes of the Israeli regime
6. If you are a U.S. artist or cultural worker, sign the statement supporting a cultural boycott of Israel
7. Urge other artists and academics to boycott Israeli cultural and academic institutions
8. Israel receives over $3 billion in military aid from the U.S. government. Support calls for a military embargo against Israel
9. Sign this petition calling for a military embargo against Israel
10. Participate in a consumer boycott of Israeli and non-Israeli companies, goods, and services that support Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights and international law
11. Consumer boycotts are most effective when part of an organized, targeted campaign. Contact your local BDS organization to find out what companies and products are being targeted and how to support these campaigns. If no such organization exists, start your own campaign, in coordination with a well-recognized BDS organization, like the BDS Movement.
12. That being said, here are some of the companies at the top of most lists pushing for consumer boycotts of Israel
SodaStream “operates in the illegal Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim in the occupied West Bank, and the company’s plan to open a factory inside Israel beside Rahat, a planned Palestinian Bedouin township in the Naqab (Negev) desert, amounts to participation in Israel’s plans to forcibly displace at least 40,000 Palestinian Bedouins into townships.”
Hewlett Packard is “involved in various Israeli violations of international law through providing the Israeli occupation forces with a vast range of IT services and infrastructure solutions.”
Caterpillar “bulldozers are regularly used in the demolition of Palestinian homes and farms, and the Israeli army has used unmanned Caterpillar bulldozers in the 2008-09 attacks in Gaza. A CAT bulldozer was also used by Israel in the killing US activist Rachel Corrie in Rafah in 2003.”
Elbit Systems “is Israel’s largest military company. It provides a wide range of equipment and services to the Israeli military, including surveillance equipment used in Israel’s illegal Wall and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), known as drones. Elbit Systems armed drones are widely used by the Israeli military and were documented as being used in attacks on unarmed civilians during the 2008-09 assault on Gaza.”
Israeli banks “provide the financial infrastructure for all activities of companies, military bodies, governmental agencies and individuals in the continuing occupation of Palestinian and Syrian territory and provide significant financing to the construction of illegal Israeli settlements and the on-going colonisation of Palestinian land.”
G4S is “a British security company that provides a wide range of equipment and services to the Israeli government and military including to Israeli checkpoints and to prisons where Palestinians, including many children, are held without trial and subjected to torture.”
Mekorot is “Israel’s national water company and illegally appropriates Palestinian water, diverting it to illegal Israeli settlements and towns inside Israel, and imposes severe obstacles to Palestinians accessing their own water.”
13. Divest from stocks and funds in corporations complicit in the Israeli government’s violations of international law and Palestinian rights, and ensure your investment portfolio does not finance or purchase products and services from such companies
14. If you’re a university student, pension holder, member of a religious congregation, company shareholder, or part of any organization that holds an investment portfolio, push for your institution to divest from Israeli companies that support Israel’s discriminatory policies and human rights violations against Palestinians
15. Contribute to Muftah’s fundraiser for Gaza and support BDS at the same time.