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Updated: 7 hours 51 min ago

Palestinians call on Oscar nominees to reject Israel propaganda trip

Wed, 02/10/2016 - 11:15

Palestinian human rights activists are calling on Oscar nominees not to accept travel vouchers supplied by the Israeli government as part of the gift bag that will be given to the nominees in the acting and directing categories.

A statement from the Israeli ministry of tourism boasted that its initiative is a chance to have “leading opinion-formers” share their visit “among millions of fans and followers”.

Omar Barghouti from the Palestinian BDS National Committee, the largest coalition of Palestinian civil society organisations that leads the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, said:

“There are no Hunger Games in Gaza but there is real hunger, and it is induced by years of Israeli occupation and siege. We hope Oscar nominees will take the moral path of rejecting this free propaganda gift from Capitol while its brutal troops and settlers burn and colonize our District 12.”

In 2012, it was revealed that Israel used “calorie count” to severely limit food supply to the 1.8 million Palestinian under siege in Gaza. A top advisor to Israel’s prime minister in 2006 said: “The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.”

“Israel is desperately trying to fight its increasing international isolation through bribes and intimidation rather than by ending its occupation and apartheid.”

An increasing number of Israeli politicians and intellectuals have admitted that Israel is practicing apartheid against Palestinians. The publisher of Haaretz, a prominent Israeli daily, has recently written that “only international pressure will end Israeli apartheid.”

A recent US poll has shown a significant shift among the Democratic Party’s “opinion elites,” whereby 47% of the party’s “opinion elites” viewed Israel as a “racist state” and as high as 31% supported boycott and sanctions against it.

“Just as Jonathan Demme and Martin Scorsese founded Filmmakers United Against Apartheid to protest the racist regime in South Africa in the 1980s,” added Barghouti, “Palestinian artists and civil society expect Hollywood figures to act with conscience by refusing to lend their name to Israel’s desperate attempts to cover up its war crimes and racism against the Palestinian people.”

“The proposed tour sets out to create the impression that occupied East Jerusalem, including the Old City, is part of Israel despite the fact that the UN, including the US, recognises it as occupied Palestinian territory. This comes at a time when Israel is accelerating its ethnic cleansing and killing of Palestinians in Jerusalem and entrenching its colonialism and apartheid policies.”

Two of this year’s Oscar nominees, Mark Ruffalo and Mark Rylance, have criticised Israeli policies.

The European Union has issued guidelines stating that governments should not recognise Israeli sovereignty over occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.

The news about the decision of the Academy to allow Israel to use the awards as a propaganda vehicle comes in the midst of the #OscarsSoWhite scandal. Israel has over 50 racist laws that directly discriminate against its indigenous Palestinian citizens on the basis of race, meeting the UN definition of the crime of apartheid.

“The Academy’s association with Israel further tarnishes its image regarding racism and evokes memories of Hollywood’s past collaboration with criminal regimes,” said Barghouti.

The nonviolent BDS movement for Palestinian rights, launched by Palestinian civil society in 2005, seeks freedom, justice and equality in accordance with international law.

Israeli officials associated with the “Brand Israel” campaign have repeatedly admitted that Israel uses culture as a propaganda tool to show its “prettier face” and whitewash its crimes in an attempt to counteract the fast growing reach and impact of the BDS movement.

Celebrities such as Roger Waters, Elvis Costello and Lauryn Hill have refused to perform in Israel. Thousands of artists and cultural figures in Canada, South Africa, Ireland, the UK, Norway, and elsewhere have come out in support of an institutional cultural boycott of Israel.

Major European firms Veolia, Orange and CRH have all recently quit Israel as a result of BDS campaigns.

Foreign direct investment in Israel dropped by 46% in 2014 as compared to 2013, according to a UN report, partially due to BDS campaigning, as stated by one of the report’s authors.

The Israel Export Institute has revealed that Israel’s exports in 2015 have dropped by 7% over 2014.

Moody’s, a leading credit ratings agency, has warned that “the Israeli economy could suffer should BDS gain greater traction.

Several mainline US churches and student governments across the US have voted to support divestment from companies and banks that are implicated in Israeli violations of international law.

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Mon, 01/25/2016 - 21:56

BDS en 2015: Siete formas en que nuestro movimiento marcó nuevos rumbos en contra del colonialismo y el apartheid israelíes

Fri, 01/15/2016 - 21:25

English here

2015 será recordado como el año en que la resistencia popular palestina se extendió por toda la Palestina histórica, y decenas de miles de palestinos y palestinas salieron a las calles para resistir y enfrentar al régimen israelí de ocupación, colonialismo y apartheid.

Diez años después del lanzamiento del movimiento de Boicot, Desinversión y Sanciones (BDS), 2015 fue también un año clave para el BDS, como lo muestra nuestro detallado resumen del año.  

A todas las personas increíbles cuyo compromiso y esfuerzos incansables están haciendo esto posible: gracias. Nuestros logros colectivos nos inspiran, nos motivan y nos dan esperanza.

Sigamos construyendo nuestro movimiento de apoyo a la libertad, la justicia y la igualdad en Palestina.

Por favor, si puedes, dona para ayudarnos a que el movimiento crezca más aún en 2016.

1. Mostramos que nuestro movimiento puede tener un impacto económico real sobre Israel

Los autores de un informe de la ONU dijeron que el BDS fue un factor clave para la caída del 46 % de la inversión extranjera directa en Israel en 2014. El Banco Mundial también citó al BDS como un factor clave en la caída del 24 % de las importaciones israelíes en Palestina. El gobierno israelí y la Corporación Rand publicaron informes donde predicen que el BDS le costará a Israel miles de millones de dólares.

Moody’s, una agencia líder en calificaciones crediticias, dijo que “la economía israelí podría sufrir si el BDS sigue cobrando fuerza”.

Un importante empresario israelí se quejó de que la fuerza creciente del movimiento BDS ha hecho que muchas de las grandes compañías europeas ahora eviten invertir en Israel.  

2. Ganamos la increíble campaña contra Veolia

Veolia, el gigante corporativo francés, liquidó todos sus negocios en Israel. Fue el resultado directo de nuestra campaña de 7 años contra su involucramiento en proyectos de infraestructura para las colonias israelíes ilegales, y que le costó más de 20.000 millones de dólares en licitaciones y contratos perdidos. ¡Nuestra organización de base persuadió a un gigante corporativo de que abandone Israel completamente!

Y no es sólo Veolia: el gigante de telecomunicaciones Orange respondió a la presión del BDS en Francia, Egipto y otras partes anunciando que para 2017 se retirará de Israel. G4S ha empezado a hablar de terminar su contrato con el servicio de prisiones de Israel.

3. Más de 1000 artistas se sumaron al boicot cultural

Prominentes artistas como Lauryn Hill y Thurston Moore de Sonic Youth dijeron
que no van a actuar en Israel, y más de 1000 artistas de Irlanda, Reino Unido, Estados Unidos y Bélgica han dicho que apoyan el boicot cultural a Israel.

El latinoamérica el movimiento también cresce: en Brasil, el cantante Caetano Veloso anunció que cree que no volverá a actuar en Israel, y en Colombia, cuatro festivales de cine se sumaran al boicot cultural.

4. El boicot académico se vuelve más importante en todo el mundo

Las universidades israelíes juegan un papel clave en planear y ocultar los crímenes de Israel, pero ahora la comunidad académica en todo el mundo está tomando medidas efectivas. Importantes asociaciones académicas de Estados Unidos, incluyendo la conferencia de la American Anthropological Association y la US National Women’s Studies Association han votado en adhesión al BDS.

Más de 500 académicos/as del Reino Unido, 450 de Bélgica, 1600 académicos/as y personal académico de España y más de 200 de Sudáfrica han firmado declaraciones en apoyo al boicot académico.

La Federación de Estudiantes de la Universidad de Chile (FECH) canceló su apoyo a la presentación de un coreógrafo israelí auspiciado por la embajada de Israel, e hizo una declaración llamando a “rechazar los vínculos con todas las iniciativas, apoyos y auspicios en los que estén implicados el Estado de Israel o sus cuerpos diplomáticos”.

5. Nuestro movimiento se está expandiendo hacia nuevas regiones y ganando nuevos apoyos

En Malasia y Egipto se han formado nuevas coaliciones de BDS, y el movimiento está creciendo rápidamente en América Latina y el mundo árabe.

Importantes órganos sindicales como la rama de la AFL-CIO en Conneticut y la Confederación Nacional de Sindicatos de Quebec  se sumaron a las docenas de sindicatos nacionales que ya apoyan al BDS.

6. La lucha por la justicia para Palestina se ha convertido en un asunto clave para estudiantes y jóvenes en todo el mundo

Las universidades de Stanford, Princeton, California y otras seis de Estados Unidos aprobaron mociones de desinversión, y la Unión Nacional de Estudiantes del Reino Unido se sumó a los más de 30 gremios universitarios estudiantiles que ya apoyan al BDS.

La Semana contra el Apartheid Israelí tuvo lugar en más de 150 ciudades en el mundo. Hay grupos estudiantiles organizándose en toda Europa, Canadá, Sudáfrica y América Latina.

7. La reacción de Israel demuestra que nuestro ‘poder blando’ está teniendo un impacto real

Israel sabe que está perdiendo el debate, y está usando todo lo que tiene para sabotear nuestro movimiento, dedicando dinero, personal gubernamental y aparentemente también sus servicios de seguridad para debilitar al BDS. Israel está exportando su mentalidad de represión y reclutando a sus aliados en Occidente para llevar a cabo ataques macartistas contra la libertad de expresión en Estados Unidos, Francia, Reino Unido, Italia, Canadá y en todas partes.

Hay que estar inspirado para inspirar a otros. En el movimiento BDS estamos definitivamente motivados, inspiradas y llenos de esperanza. Ayúdennos no sólo a buscar la libertad, la justicia y la igualdad para el pueblo palestino, sino también a demostrar que, en la búsqueda de la justicia, los poderes hegemónicos también pueden ser llamados a rendir cuentas en todo el mundo.

 

BDS en 2015: reseña completa

Fri, 01/15/2016 - 21:11

English here

Enero: Israel muestra creciente preocupación ante el crecimiento del BDS

El movimiento estudiantil por la desinversión florece en Estados Unidos
El órgano de gobierno estudiantil de la Universidad de California en Davis vota por abrumadora mayoría a favor de desinvertir de las corporaciones que lucran con la ocupación israelí. Los órganos estudiantiles de 7 de los 9 colegios de la Universidad de California han votado en apoyo al BDS.  

A lo largo de 2015 también se ganaron votaciones de desinversión en estos centros universitarios de Estados Unidos: San Jose State University, Princeton, Earlham College Student Senate, Toledo, Ohio, Oglethorpe University y Stanford.

El gobierno israelí lanza nuevas advertencias sobre el BDS
Según el diario israelí Yedioth Ahronoth, un informe clasificado del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Israel predice un crecimiento continuo del movimiento BDS, en tanto el ex Primer Ministro Ehud Barak califica al BDS como “un problema serio”.

Elbity System en aprietos por acciones directas de activistas
En el Reino Unido quedan sin efecto las acciones legales contra nueve activistas que ocuparon el techo de la fábrica perteneciente a la mayor compañía de armas israelí durante el ataque a Gaza de 2014. Los medios informaron que el caso colapsó tras la negativa de Elbit y del gobierno británico a hacer públicos los documentos relativos a las exportaciones a Israel de componentes para drones.

63 miembros del Parlamento Europeo exigen terminar las relaciones comerciales con Israel
Un grupo de 63 legisladores/as de los cinco mayores bloques políticos en el Parlamento Europeo pidieron a la jefa de la diplomacia europea que suspenda el Acuerdo de Asociación Unión Europea-Israel. La carta sigue a un pronunciamiento similar de 300 organizaciones sociales de toda Europa, incluyendo algunas de las principales centrales sindicales, partidos políticos y ONG del continente.

Compañía de autobuses israelí pierde un contrato en Holanda
El gobierno provincial de Haarlem, en Holanda, decide no otorgarle un contrato por 10 años a la compañía de transporte israelí Egged, tras una vigorosa campaña local de boicot. En diciembre, Egged también perdió un contrato con la región de Friesland.

Febrero: importantes artistas del Reino Unido se suman al boicot cultural

Más de 1.000 figuras de la cultura del Reino Unido adhieren al boicot cultural
Más de 1.000 artistas del Reino Unido se comprometen a no actuar en Israel. Entre las y los firmantes se encuentran Brian Eno, Gillian Slovo, Alexei Sayle, John Berger, Richard Ashcroft, Riz Ahmed, Miriam Margolyes y Ken Loach.

Estudiantes, docentes y personal de la SOAS votan a favor del boicot académico
73 % de las más de 2000 estudiantes, docentes y personal de la famosa Escuela de Estudios Orientales y Africanos (SOAS) de la Universidad de Londres votaron a favor de suspender todos los vínculos con las universidades israelíes. La SOAS actualmente tiene lazos formales con la Universidad Hebrea de Jerusalén.

Marzo: las ambiciones israelíes en materia de gas reciben un golpe

La Compañía de Generación Eléctrica de Palestina se retira del acuerdo gasífero con Israel
El Comité Nacional Palestino de BDS (BNC) saluda el anuncio de la Compañía de Generación Eléctrica de Palestina sobre su “retiro pocos meses atrás del acuerdo con los responsables del yacimiento de gas natural Leviatán (israelí)”. Israel ha estado tratando de expandir sus exportaciones e ingresos de petróleo y gas.

Compañía francesa se retira de un proyecto de colonización en Jerusalén tras advertencia del gobierno
Safege y Puma cancelan su participación en un proyecto de teleférico en Jerusalén destinado a conectar las colonias ilegales con Israel, después de recibir la advertencia de los ministerios de Finanzas y Relaciones Exteriores de Francia y de movimientos de solidaridad europeos sobre los riesgos y problemas legales que enfrentarían.

El apoyo estudiantil al BDS continúa creciendo en el Reino Unido
Estudiantes de la Universidad de Sussex en el Reino Unido votan abrumadoramente a favor de que su gremio adhiera al movimiento BDS, sumándose así a la Unión Nacional de Estudiantes (NUS) y a docenas de gremios estudiantiles de primer grado que apoyan al BDS en el Reino Unido.

Más de 150 ciudades participan en la Semana contra el Apartheid Israelí
Paneles de debate, proyección de películas y acciones creativas en más de 150 ciudades de todo el mundo redoblan el apoyo al movimiento BDS, de liderazgo palestino.

Organizaciones ambientalistas italianas se desmarcan de Israel
Greenpeace y WWF niegan las afirmaciones del grupo de propaganda “Israel bonito” sobre su  colaboración con las dos grandes organizaciones ambientalistas.  

60 parlamentarios/as no asisten al discurso de Netanyahu en el Congreso de Estados Unidos
Tras una campaña masiva (#SkiptheSpeech), más de 60 legisladoras/es de Estados Unidos se rehúsan a asistir al controvertido discurso del Primer Ministro de Israel.

Abril: Barclays desinvierte de Elbit Systems

El banco Barclays ya no es accionista de Elbit Systems
El banco británico Barclays retira sus inversiones de Elbit Systems, la empresa militar y armamentística de Israel que juega un papel central en las brutales masacres israelíes, tras una campaña mundial de Avaaz apoyada por 1.800.000 personas y acciones de protesta en más de 20 sucursales del banco.

La Corte Suprema de Israel confirma la ley anti BDS
La llamada Ley para la Prevención del Daño al Estado de Israel mediante el Boicot permite a entidades demandar (y recibir indemnización) a individuos u organizaciones que promuevan el boicot económico, cultural o académico. También permite al Ministerio de Finanzas penalizar económicamente a cualquier organización que recibe financiación estatal y participa en actividades de BDS.

Se lanza campaña de BDS en Egipto
Una coalición de 11 partidos políticos, 4 movimientos revolucionarios, 6 sindicatos, 6 movimientos estudiantiles y un importante número de personas se unen para poner en marcha la coalición BDS Egipto.

20 empresas en toda Sudáfrica se adhieren al boicot a G4S
Más de 20 empresas sudafricanas terminan sus contratos con G4S debido a su complicidad con los abusos de derechos humanos y las prisiones israelíes.

Veolia liquida sus negocios en Israel tras ser blanco de la campaña de boicot de liderazgo palestino
El gigante corporativo francés Veolia liquida prácticamente todas sus actividades comerciales en Israel. La liquidación de todos sus negocios se completaría en agosto (ver abajo).

La Confederación de sindicatos nacionales de Quebec se une al BDS
El Consejo Central de la Confederación de sindicatos nacionales de Quebec, Canadá, resuelve adherir al movimiento BDS y apoyar el llamado a imponer un embargo militar a Israel. La CSN representa a 325.000 trabajadores/as de todos los sectores de actividad en unos 2.000 sindicatos de todo Quebec.

La Organización Árabe del Trabajo adopta resolución de BDS
La resolución de la conferencia Árabe del Trabajo (Kuwait, 18 al 25 de abril) expresa su adhesión al movimiento BDS hasta que Israel cumpla con el derecho internacional.

Mayo: Lauryn Hill cancela su actuación en Israel mientras el BDS avanza en gran escala en el estado español

La estrella estadounidense de hip hop Lauryn Hill cancela su concierto en Israel
Hill lo hace en respuesta al llamado de organizaciones de solidaridad palestinas, israelíes e internacionales y tras una gran campaña en las redes sociales.  

1.600 académicas/os del estado español adhieren al boicot académico
Más de 1.600 docentes e investigadores de la academia en todo el estado español firman una declaración de apoyo al boicot académico a Israel.

Marinah se convierte en la primera cantante del estado español en cancelar un concierto en Israel
La artista tenía planeado participar en el Festival Mediterráneo de Ashdod el 11 de junio y también en el Festival Mundial de la Música de Tel Aviv.

La Universidad de Helsinki cancela contrato con G4S por su rol en las prisiones israelíes
La Universidad de Helsinki (Finlandia) cancela un contrato de seguridad con la empresa G4S tras una campaña de estudiantes y docentes que denunció su complicidad con el sistema de prisiones de Israel y sus violaciones del derecho internacional.

Olimpíadas 2016: tras la presión del BDS, el gobierno brasileño niega tener relaciones con la compañía israelí ISDS  
Más de 30 movimientos sociales y organizaciones progresistas brasileñas habían pedido al gobierno que excluyera a ISDS de los contratos para los Juegos Olímpicos, después de que la compañía israelí anunciara en octubre de 2014 que había firmado un acuerdo por 2.200 millones de dólares para coordinar la seguridad del torneo. El 8 de abril, el gobierno de Brasil anunció que no había otorgado ningún contrato a ISDS.

Más de 10.000 estudiantes marcharon en Sudáfrica contra los vínculos comerciales de las Tiendas Woolworths con Israel
Sindicatos y grupos de solidaridad sudafricanos están llamando al boicot de la cadena minorista Woolworths por su negativa a dejar de vender productos israelíes.

El Fondo Nacional Judío excluído de festival en Finlandia
La organización del World Village Festival prohíbe la participación del FNJ, un pilar de la colonización de Palestina, que ahora pretende participar en eventos culturales presentándose como organización ambientalista.

Más de 450 académicas/os belgas se suman al boicot
Las más de 450 figuras académicas se han comprometido a apoyar el boicot a las instituciones académicas israelíes.

Junio: Israel en pánico por los informes que predicen el daño del BDS a su economía

La inversión extranjera directa en Israel se desploma
Según un informe de la ONU, la inversión extranjera directa en Israel cayó un 46 % en 2014, en comparación con 2013. Los autores atribuyeron en parte esa caída a la fuerza creciente del BDS.

Los informes pronostican mayores perjuicios económicos para Israel
Un informe filtrado del gobierno israelí estima que el BDS podría costarle a la economía israelí 1.400 millones de dólares al año, mientras un estudio de la Rand Corporation estima que en 10 años el costo podría ser de 47.000 millones de dólares.

El gobierno de Netanyahu intensifica los esfuerzos para combatir al BDS
En medio del pánico mediático por el crecimiento del BDS y de una campaña de difamación contra el movimiento por parte de Netanyahu y otros importantes políticos israelíes, el Ministerio de Asuntos Estratégicos recibió 25,6 millones de dólares para combatir al BDS.

La Iglesia Unida de Cristo (UCC) vota por boicotear y desinvertir de compañías que lucran con la ocupación israelí
La UCC, una de las iglesias protestantes con larga trayectoria en Estados Unidos, vota 508 contra 124 a favor del boicot y la desinversión en compañías que colaboran con Israel en la violación del derecho internacional.

La compañía Ahava insinúa que cerraría su fábrica en una colonia israelí
Tras una campaña de BDS de varios años de duración, la compañía israelí de cosméticos Ahava dice que está considerando trasladar su fábrica ubicada en una colonia judía en Cisjordania ocupada.

El artista belga Campo cancela su show en el Festival Israel de Jerusalén
El festival no logra atraer a grandes estrellas internacionales.

Julio: Orange anuncia su retiro de Israel

Tras campaña de boicot, el gigante de telecomunicaciones Orange anuncia el fin de su presencia en Israel
Activistas de solidaridad con Palestina saludan que la multinacional francesa Orange anuncie que se va a deshacer de su filial israelí en el plazo de 18 meses. Tras una campaña contra Orange en Francia, la nueva coalición egipcia de BDS llamó a boicotear a la compañía en Egipto debido a su asociación con Partner Communications, una compañía israelí de telecomunicaciones que opera en las colonias ilegales y brinda apoyo financiero al ejército israelí.

Líderes del movimiento dan una conferencia de prensa para celebrar los 10 años del BDS
El jefe tribal y parlamentario sudafricano Mandla Mandela (nieto de Nelson Mandela), el músico libanés Marcel Jalife y la directora de Voces Judías por la Paz (JVP) Rebecca Vilkomerson, entre otras figuras, participaron en la conferencia de prensa de la sociedad civil palestina para marcar los 10 años del BDS (BDS@10) y el primer aniversario de la masacre de 2014 en Gaza.

La Facultad de Geografía e Historia de la Universidad de Valencia se suma al BDS
Al declarar dicho centro académico como “espacio libre de todo apartheid”, la facultad se convierte en la primera de Europa en adherir oficialmente a la iniciativa BDS.

Las protestas cierran cuatro fábricas de Elbit, la compañía de armas israelí
Activistas en el Reino Unido y Australia cierran varios sectores de las fábricas, incluyendo uno que produce motores para los aviones mortales.

La Cumbre Social del Mercosur exige poner fin al tratado de libre comercio con Israel
La declaración final de la Cumbre Social del Mercosur, que reúne a movimientos sociales de los países del bloque sudamericano, llama a los gobiernos a terminar el tratado de libre comercio Mercosur-Israel y a imponer un embargo militar a Israel.

Estudiantes de Chile aplican el boicot
La Federación de Estudiantes de la Universidad de Chile (FECH) canceló su apoyo a la presentación de un coreógrafo israelí auspiciado por la embajada de Israel, e hizo una declaración llamando a “rechazar los vínculos con todas las iniciativas, apoyos y auspicios en los que estén implicados el Estado de Israel o sus cuerpos diplomáticos”.

SodaStream se queja del impacto del boicot
En una audiencia especial sobre el BDS en el Congreso de Estados Unidos, el CEO de SodaStream dice que la empresa ha enfrentado numerosos boicots, incluyendo el de cadenas minoristas en el Reino Unido y Dinamarca, de la municipalidad de Trieste en Italia, del Festival Internacional de Comics y del dueño de un local en Tokio. El BDS jugó un papel clave en la implementación de la mayoría de estos boicots.

200 profesionales de salud mental rechazan una conferencia en Israel
Importantes profesionales de salud mental de varios países protestan la decisión de la Asociación Europea de Terapeutas Cognitivo-Comportamentales de celebrar su conferencia en Israel.

Thurston Moore, de Sonic Youth, adhiere al BDS
“Actuar con mi banda en Israel implicaba estar en conflicto directo con mis valores”, explicó el famoso artista después de cancelar su concierto en Tel Aviv.

Agosto: Veolia liquida todas sus operaciones en Israel

El BDS se anota una gran victoria con la completa retirada de Veolia
La enorme corporación francesa Veolia se retira del tren ligero de Jerusalén (JLR), un sistema de tranvía ilegal construido para facilitar el crecimiento y la expansión de las colonias israelíes en Jerusalén Oriental ocupada.

La venta de su participación en el proyecto JLR significa el fin de la presencia de Veolia en el mercado israelí, incluyendo así todos los proyectos que violan el derecho internacional humanitario y los derechos humanos del pueblo palestino.

Esta retirada es resultado de una campaña de boicot de 7 años contra Veolia por su complicidad en la ocupación de Palestina, y cuyas pérdidas en todo el mundo fueron estimadas en más de 20.000 millones de dólares.

Líderes del movimiento negro en EEUU afirman que la liberación de Palestina es “una cuestión clave de nuestro tiempo”
Cornel West, Angela Davis y Patrisse Cullors (co-fundadora del movimiento Black Lives Matter) están entre las más de 1.000 firmas de un histórico llamado al BDS y la lucha conjunta.

La adhesión de artistas de Irlanda al boicot cultural a Israel alcanza las 500 firmas
Las 500 firmas incluyen desde algunas de las figuras artísticas irlandesas más conocidas internacionalmente hasta artistas que recién están empezando sus carreras.

Artistas de Italia lanzan una iniciativa de boicot
Veinte destacadas figuras artísticas italianas lanzan en la Bienal de Venecia una campaña llamando al boicot cultural a Israel.

Septiembre: la Unión Europea introduce el etiquetado de productos de las colonias

La Unión Europea introduce el etiquetado de productos de las colonias
Dejando claro que la medida no es suficiente para cumplir con las obligaciones de la Unión Europea (UE) en virtud del derecho internacional, la sociedad civil palestina saluda con tibieza la noticia, considerándola una señal de que la UE está empezando a reaccionar ante las demandas de la opinión pública para que aplique las normas europeas en la materia.

Sindicatos y redes europeas rechazan los intentos de usar el acuerdo comercial EEUU-UE para reprimir al BDS
Más de 150 organizaciones de toda Europa se comprometen a resistir los esfuerzos de Estados Unidos para frenar las campañas en favor de los derechos palestinos mediante el controvertido acuerdo TTIP.

Brasil rechaza a un líder colono como embajador de Israel
La presidenta Dilma Rousseff rechaza el nombramiento de Dani Dayan como embajador israelí en Brasil debido a sus vínculos con el movimiento de colonos en Cisjordania ocupada.

El sindicato de trabajadores de la electricidad de EEUU adopta el BDS
El UE (United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America) se convierte en el primer gran sindicato nacional de EEUU en adherir al BDS.

SodaStream abandona su fábrica en una colonia ilegal   
La empresa israelí que elabora máquinas para hacer soda casera deja de producir en su fábrica ubicada en una colonia ilegal de Cisjordania ocupada, luego de años de campaña BDS de alto perfil. No obstante la campaña contra SodaStream continúa, debido a su complicidad con los planes israelíes de limpieza étnica de la población beduina palestina en el desierto del Naqab (Negev).

Octubre: nueva oleada de resistencia popular palestina, mientras el boicot palestino a las importaciones israelíes empieza a golpear

El movimiento BDS se moviliza en apoyo a la resistencia popular palestina
Mientras la gente en Palestina iniciaba una nueva oleada de resistencia popular contra el apartheid y el colonialismo israelíes, el Comité Nacional Palestino de BDS (BNC) promovió una ola internacional de acciones y protestas en solidaridad con la resistencia popular palestina, pidiendo presionar a gobiernos, instituciones y corporaciones para que pongan fin a su participación en los crímenes de Israel. La respuesta fue inspiradora: hubo más de 70 protestas y acciones en más de 20 países de todo el mundo bajo la consigna #SolidarityWaveBDS.

Cifras del Banco Mundial muestran que el boicot palestino a las importaciones israelíes está creciendo
Las cifras del organismo muestran una caída del 24 % de las importaciones palestinas provenientes de Israel en el primer trimestre de 2015. Es una clara señal de que el boicot palestino a los productos israelíes está empezando a golpear la economía de Israel.

Compañías de armas israelíes mencionan “un menor interés por los productos israelíes” como  causa de la caída dramática de sus exportaciones
Las exportaciones militares israelíes caen de 7.500 a 5.500 millones de dólares, y los líderes de la industria bélica afirman que un factor clave en esa caída es el “menor interés por los productos israelíes”.

La rama de Connecticut de la central sindical AFL-CIO exhorta a la Federación Nacional a adoptar el BDS
En una decisión sin precedentes, la rama de la AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations) en Connecticut se convierte en la primera en adoptar el BDS, exhortando a la Federación Nacional de la central a apoyar la resolución en su conferencia política.

Más de 500 académicas/os del Reino Unido se comprometen a apoyar el boicot académico
La declaración pública firmada por importantes académicos/as del Reino Unido en el diario The Guardian afirma que no aceptarán invitaciones para hacer visitas académicas a Israel ni a cooperar con universidades israelíes, debido al rol que ellas juegan en sostener la ocupación y el apartheid israelíes.

Moody’s reconoce la amenaza del BDS a Israel

La agencia líder en calificaciones crediticias, cuyas calificaciones tienen un papel clave en la economía global, reconoció la amenaza potencial que el BDS representa para la economía israelí.

Spanish state: 26 local and regional governments endorse BDS and the Apartheid Free Zones initiative
More than 26 local authorities including in Sevilla, Gran Canaria, Badalona and Terrassa have passed resolutions in support of BDS initiatives.

En el estado español, 26 gobiernos locales y regionales adhieren al BDS y a la iniciativa Espacio Libre de Apartheid
Más de 26 gobiernos locales, incluyendo los de Gran Canaria, Badalona, Terrassa, Santiago de Compostela y la Diputación de Sevilla han aprobado resoluciones en apoyo a las iniciativas de BDS.

El club de fútbol Sevilla rechaza el patrocinio del gobierno de Israel
José Castro, presidente del Sevilla, dice que la decisión de rechazar la oferta de 5 millones de euros se tomó por fidelidad “a los principios del club, los cuales valoran la ética por encima de las razones económicas”.

Cuatro festivales de cine de Colombia se suman al boicot cultural
Los festivales de cine “Globale Bogotá”,  “Derecho a Ver”, “Muestra Arrecheras Heterodisidentes” y “Festival Internacional de Cortometrajes y Escuelas de Cine El Espejo” adhieren al boicot cultural contra el régimen israelí.

Farmacias de Holanda dejan de vender productos Ahava
La cadena holandesa de farmacias Alphega confirma que ha dejado de vender productos fabricados por Ahava, la compañía israelí de cosméticos que opera en una colonia ilegal.

180 artistas de Bélgica se comprometen a no actuar en Israel

Las empresas europeas rehuyen invertir en Israel, dice un líder empresarial
“En las reuniones generales de las principales compañías [europeas], aun si consideraron invertir en empresas israelíes, lo sacarán de la agenda de inmediato debido al impacto del BDS”, explicó el prominente empresario israelí Édouard Cukierman.

Noviembre: académicos/as y artistas de EEUU respaldan el boicot

Por mayoría aplastante, antropólogos/as de Estados Unidos respaldan el boicot a Israel
La conferencia de la American Anthropological Association (AAA) aprueba por abrumadora mayoría una resolución de apoyo al llamamiento palestino al boicot de las instituciones académicas israelíes. La US National Women’s Studies Association también vota en adhesión al BDS.

Artistas de Nueva York se suman al boicot cultural
La actriz de televisión y teatro Kathleen Chalfant (nominada al premio Tony), el músico Roger Waters (fundador de Pink Floyd), los músicos Kyp Malone y Tunde Adebimpe (de TV on the Radio) están entre los firmantes de la declaración.

España emite orden de arresto al Primer Ministro de Israel Benjamín Netanyahu por el ataque a la Flotilla que se dirigía a Gaza en 2010  
Netanyahu y otros siete ex o actuales funcionarios del gobierno israelí quedan en riesgo de ser arrestados si pisan suelo español debido a que un juez de ese país emitió una orden de arresto contra ellos.

Cumbre América del Sur-Países Árabes
La reunión de la UNASUR y la Liga Árabe (ASPA) llama a los estados miembros a abstenerse de comerciar productos provenientes de las colonias israelíes ubicadas en territorio palestino ocupado, a evitar las relaciones comerciales con todas las compañías que lucran con la ocupación israelí y a desalentar la inversión en las colonias israelíes.

El cantante brasileño Caetano Veloso anuncia que no volverá a actuar en Israel
Después de rehusarse a cancelar su concierto en Tel Aviv a pesar de los numerosos pedidos brasileños, palestinos e internacionales, Veloso escribió que “todos los planteos de [activistas del] BDS tienen fundamento”.

El Concejo de Amsterdam deja sin efecto acuerdo con Tel Aviv
Después de meses de debates y campañas, el Concejo municipal de Amsterdam vota negativamente una propuesta para que la ciudad iniciara oficialmente un hermanamiento con Tel Aviv. En su lugar, opta por la cooperación individual o basada en proyectos.

Diciembre: la Universidad de Barcelona vota a favor del BDS

La Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona vota a favor de la iniciativa Espacio Libre de Apartheid
El Claustro de la UAB aprueba sumarse al movimiento BDS instando al Rectorado a sumarse al boicot académico a Israel.

Más de 200 académicas/os de Sudáfrica adhieren al boicot académico a Israel.

ACNUR de Jordania termina su contrato con G4S
El organismo de la ONU en Jordania, que ha estado recibiendo presiones para que ponga fin a sus vínculos con la compañía de seguridad G4S por su papel en las violaciones de los derechos palestinos por parte de Israel, anuncia que ya no tiene contratos con la empresa.

El distribuidor minorista portugués Worten abandona SodaStream
La decisión llega tras la presión de las campañas y activistas que denunciaban el papel atroz de la compañía en la violación de los derechos humanos palestinos.

El biógrafo de Hillary Clinton rechaza la oferta de una editorial israelí
El periodista Doug Henwood citó su apoyo al BDS al anunciar que rechazó la oferta de una editorial israelí para traducir al hebreo y publicar su libro sobre Clinton.

Palestinians welcome United Methodist Church divestment

Wed, 01/13/2016 - 19:10

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society leading the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, salutes the United Methodist Church (UMC) for declaring the five largest Israeli banks off limits for investment for the Church’s $20-billion Pension and Health Benefits Fund.

The BNC congratulates the United Methodist Kairos Response (UMKR) group within the Church for its relentless and effective leadership in raising awareness among Methodist communities about Palestinian rights and the need for the church to end all its investments in companies that profit from Israel’s occupation and human rights violations.

Bisan Mitri, a spokesperson for the BNC, warmly welcomed the decision: “This historic step shows, with concrete measures, the ethical commitment of the United Methodist Church to peace and justice. Israeli banks finance the decades-long occupation and oppression of Palestinians and are a key pillar in sustaining the brutality of Israel’s military, the unrelenting expansion of Israel’s settlements, and the plundering of Palestinian resources.”

A report published by the Israeli rights group Who Profits in 2010 details the involvement of Israeli banks in Israel’s violations of international law and war crimes.

This complicity is summarized in six key areas: 1) the provision of mortgage loans for homebuyers in settlements; 2) special loans for building projects in settlements; 3) financial services to Israeli local authorities in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights; 4) operating branches in Israeli settlements; 5) providing financial services to businesses in settlements; and 6) holding captive the Palestinian monetary market.

The banks named by UMC are Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, First International Bank of Israel, Israel Discount Bank, and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank.

Rifat Kassis of the Kairos Palestine initiative said: “The UMC’s decision is inspiring and morally courageous. Years of conscientious engagement with the church are bearing fruit. UMC is only the latest of the church denominations to take to heart the do-no-harm principle that Christian denominations hold dear. We are getting closer to a united Christian front taking a principled, moral and effective stand against Israel’s occupation and violations of international law.”

In just five months, UMC’s General Conference will take place when the church will consider divestment from Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions, and Hewlett Packard, as proposed by UMKR, and creating an occupation-free investment screen. Years of UMC engagement with the three US-based companies have failed to end their complicity in Israel’s occupation.

In 2012, UMC General Conference fell short of voting for divestment from these companies. Meanwhile church activists have continued their dialogue with Palestinian groups that call for BDS against Israel’s regime of occupation, colonization and apartheid in the pursuit of freedom, justice and equality.

Already in 2016, Irish building materials corporation CRH announced its exit of the Israeli market, selling off its 25% equity stake in its Israeli operation Nesher Cement, mainly due to effective BDS campaigning in Ireland.

Days earlier, French telecoms giant Orange announced the termination of its franchise relationship with Israeli occupation-profiteer Partner Communications, confirming the BDS movement’s announcement last year that this was likely to happen.

In September 2015, French corporate giant Veolia sold off all of its businesses in Israel. This was a direct result of a 7-year campaign against its role in infrastructure projects for illegal Israeli settlements that cost it more than $20 billion in lost tenders and contracts.

A leading France-based Israeli businessman recently told the Israeli media that the growing strength of the BDS movement means that most major European companies now avoid investing in Israel.

Foreign direct investment in Israel dropped by 46% in 2014 as compared to 2013, according to a UN report, partially due to the impressive growth of the BDS impact, as stated by one of the report’s authors.

The Israel Export Institute has revealed that Israel’s exports in 2015 have dropped by 7% over 2014.

Moody’s, a leading credit ratings agency, has warned that “the Israeli economy could suffer should BDS gain greater traction.” 

Correction: an earlier version of this release suggested that UMC Pension and Health Benefit Fund had announced the exclusion of Israeli military company Elbit Systems from its portfolio in this recent announcement. While Elbit Systems is indeed off-limits to UMC’s investment portfolio this decision had been implemented a while ago.

Irish corporation CRH becomes latest big European firm to exit Israel

Mon, 01/11/2016 - 15:15

Activists in Palestine calling for CRH to end its complicity with the construction of Israel’s Wall and settlements

  • CRH sells off Israeli operation following campaign over links to Israel’s illegal Wall and settlements
  • Announcement mirrors decision by Orange to end Israel franchise

Irish building materials corporation CRH has become the second major European corporation to exit the Israeli market in the space of a week after it announced it has sold off its 25% equity stake in its Israeli operation Nesher Cement.

The boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement has been campaigning for CRH to sell its stake in Nesher Cement because it supplies cement used in the construction of Israel’s apartheid Wall and settlements on occupied Palestinian land, both of which have been declared illegal by the International Court of Justice.

The decision mirrors the January 5 announcement by French corporation Orange that it it was to end its franchise agreement with Israeli telecoms company Partner following a high profile international BDS campaign protesting Partner’s support to the Israeli military and its involvement in illegal Israeli settlements.

In March, the Irish Independent newspaper reported that CRH had placed its holdings in Nesher under review, seemingly in response to public pressure.

More than 10,000 people signed a petition urging CRH to divest from Nesher and the Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign repeatedly demonstrated at CRH annual general meetings in Dublin as part of a widely supported mass campaign.

Campaigners made an official complaint about CRH to the OECD in 2012.

Jamal Juma’, the general coordinator for Stop the Wall, the grassroots Palestinian campaign against the apartheid wall, which is a member organisation of the BDS National Committee, said:

“This decision strikes a blow to Israel’s current escalation of forcible transfer  of Palestinian communities in the West Bank and its construction of the infrastructure of settler colonialism and apartheid.”

“Companies such as Nesher make huge profits from being involved in the construction of Israel’s illegal Wall and settlements that confine Palestinians in ever smaller patches of land. Companies that participate inthis Israeli crime  must be held to account.”

“Since October, tens of thousands of Palestinians have taken to the streets to protest Israel’s accelerating ethnic cleansing and apartheid policies.”

“Thanks to the global BDS movement, we are seeing the strengthening of a trend where major corporations and investors are realising that being associated with Israeli apartheid and settler-colonialism is bad for business.”

“We warmly thank and congratulate the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign and all those involved in the campaign that through their effective solidarity are strengthening our struggle for justice, equality and freedom.”

IPSC Chairperson Martin O’Quigley said:

“This is an important victory for Palestinians whose lives and livelihoods have been destroyed by the unceasing construction of the Apartheid Wall, which steals Palestinian lands, divides communities, destroys the social fabric and makes normal life impossible.

“It is disappointing that it has taken CRH so long to divest itself from its shameful investment in these toxic Israeli assets and to stop profiting from the occupation of Palestine, but it is better late than never.”

In September 2015, French corporate giant Veolia sold off all of its businesses in Israel. This was a direct result of a 7-year campaign against its role in infrastructure projects for illegal Israeli settlements that cost it more than $20 billion in lost tenders and contracts.

A leading France-based Israeli businessman recently told the Israeli media that the growing strength of the BDS movement means that most major European companies now avoid investing in Israel.

Foreign direct investment in Israel dropped by 46% in 2014 as compared to 2013, according to a UN report, partially due to the impressive growth of the BDS impact, as stated by one of the report’s authors.

The Israel Export Institute has revealed that Israel’s exports in 2015 have dropped by 7% over 2014.

Moody’s, a leading credit ratings agency, has warned that “the Israeli economy could suffer should BDS gain greater traction.

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. To organise interviews with Palestinian and Irish activists involved in the campaign against CRH, contact info@bdsmovement.net

2. Further information available in a press statement from the Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign: http://crh.com/docs/press-releases-2016/dev-strat-update-07012016_2.pdf?sfvrsn=2

3. For more information regarding the recent successes of the BDS movement, see

http://bdsmovement.net/2015/7-ways-our-movement-broke-new-ground-13634

4. In a January 8 statement, CRH stated that it had “completed 13 divestments in 2015, the largest of which was the disposal of CRH’s 25% equity stake in its Israeli operation.”  That 25% stake was held in the Mashav group, the holding company for Nesher Cement, the sole producer of cement in Israel. The CRH statement is available in full at http://crh.com/docs/press-releases-2016/dev-strat-update-07012016_2.pdf?sfvrsn=2

5. In 2004, CRH management admitted in 2004 that “in all probability” Nesher cement is being used in the construction of the wall. For more information regarding the complicity of CRH in Israeli violations of international law, see the following report from the Who Profits research centre
http://www.whoprofits.org/company/crh-formerly-cement-roadstone-holdings

Orange drops Israel affiliate following inspiring BDS campaign

Thu, 01/07/2016 - 15:00

The Israeli affiliate of Orange has “adopted” a military unit that was in action in locations where hundreds of civilians were killed.

French telecoms giant Orange has announced the termination of its franchise relationship with Israeli company Partner Communications, confirming the BDS movement’s announcement last year that this was likely to happen.

In June 2015, the Orange CEO stated his desire to end the relationship with Partner after campaigners in Egypt began to organise a mass boycott of Orange-owned operator Mobinil and after campaigners in France took action to shine a spotlight on Partner’s deep complicity in Israeli war crimes.

Partner provided telecommunication support, subscription fee waivers and entertainment services to Israeli soldiers during the summer 2014 genocidal war on Gaza. A statement signed by dozens of French organisations condemned Partner’ provision of services to illegal Israeli settlements.

The campaign pressuring Orange to cut its ties with Partner began in 2010. A broad range of unions and campaign groups in France, Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt were all part of the six-year long campaign.

Guman Mussa, the Arab World campaigns officer with the the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the broadest Palestinian coalition that leads the global BDS movement, said:

“This news is a significant success for the BDS movement and shows that international companies and investors are waking up to the fact that being linked to Israel’s regime of colonisation, occupation and apartheid is bad for business.”

“We congratulate and thank all of the activists and organisations involved in this inspiring 6 year international campaign.”

“Pressure shall continue until the termination agreement is fully implemented and we further urge Orange to end its complicity with Israeli violations of international law as quickly as is feasible.”

Abdulrahman Abou Salem, a member of BDS Egypt coalition of trade unions, political parties and campaign groups, said:

“The termination of Orange’s relationship with Partner is a significant victory for the BDS movement. Even if Orange claims that its decision is not related to the pressure of boycott campaigns that would be hard to believe, because just few months prior to announcing its intention to terminate this relationship with Partner, an announcement which followed campaign pressure, the parties had signed a 10-year term agreement.”

Abou Salem further added that: “Indeed, when threatened by the mass boycott which BDS Egypt called for against the 30-million-subscriber Orange subsidiary operating under the name Mobinil in Egypt, Orange had no choice but to realise that investing in occupation, profiteering from Israel’s colonisation of Palestinian land and involvement in violations against Palestinian rights is a commercially bad investment.”

A report outlining Orange’s complicity was co-published by the CGT and Solidaires unions, French human rights organisations CCFD, Ligue des Droits de l’Homme and FIDH, the Association France-Palestine solidarité, and Palestinian organisation Al Haq.

Creative protest actions, gathering huge numbers of signatures on petitions, lobbying of Orange officials and the publication of articles in the mainstream media all helped to pile the pressure on Orange.

The trade union Solidaires and the Orange Sud PTT Federation, which represents Orange workers, have welcomed the end of Orange’s relationship with Partner.

Taoufiq Tahani, President of the Association France-Palestine solidarité, said:

“I welcome this announcement, which has finalized the agreement to sever ties between Partner and Orange. Their decision to end their relationship followed the mobilization, over several years, of numerous organizations committed to solidarity with Palestine.”

A spokesperson for BDS France said:

“This is undoubtedly the result of mobilizations in France and Egypt against this shameful agreement between Orange and Partner.”

“BDS France which, together with other partners, has waged this battle for years, celebrates this victory for ethics and for international law against a state that respects neither. We will continue to diligently follow this case until Orange ends all its engagement with Partner”

When the termination of the relationship is completed, the Orange Israel brand will no longer exist, nor will the familiar “Orange Shalom tune” that Israeli users hear when their call goes unanswered.

Orange is not be the first French company to exit the Israeli market under boycott pressure. Another French company, Veolia, was also involved in Israeli violations of international law and colonisation of Palestine, especially in occupied Jerusalem, but was compelled to end all its illegal operations in Israel in 2015 after losing billions of dollars in tenders due to BDS pressure.

A leading France-based Israeli businessman recently told the Israeli media that the growing strength of the BDS movement means that most major European companies now avoid investing in Israel.

Foreign direct investment in Israel dropped by 46% in 2014 as compared to 2013, according to a UN report, partially due to the impressive growth of the BDS impact, as admitted by one of the report’s authors.

The Israel Export Institute has revealed that Israel’s exports in 2015 have dropped by 7% over 2014.

Moody’s, a leading credit ratings agency, has warned that “the Israeli economy could suffer should BDS gain greater traction.

BDS in 2015: Seven ways our movement broke new ground against Israeli settler-colonialism and apartheid

Tue, 12/29/2015 - 17:30

The year 2015 will be remembered as the year that Palestinian popular resistance spread across historic Palestine and that saw tens of thousands of Palestinians take to the streets to resist and confront Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid.

Ten years since the launch of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, 2015 was also a landmark year for BDS, as our detailed round-up of the year shows.

To all of the amazing people whose commitment and tireless efforts are making this happen: thank you. Our collective achievements inspire us, motivate us and give us hope.

Let’s continue to build our movement in support of Palestinian freedom, justice and equality.

If you can, please donate to our fundraising appeal to help us grow our movement even further in 2016.

1. We showed our movement can have a real economic impact on Israel

The authors of a UN report said that BDS was a key factor behind the 46% drop in foreign direct investment in Israel in 2014. The World Bank cited BDS as a key factor behind the 24% drop in Palestinian imports from Israel. The Israeli government and the Rand Corporation both published reports predicting that BDS will cost Israel billions of dollars.

Moody’s, a leading credit ratings agency, said “the Israeli economy could suffer should BDS gain greater traction.”

One senior Israeli businessman even complained that the growing strength of the BDS movement means that major European companies now avoid investing in Israel.

2. We won our incredible campaign against Veolia

French corporate giant Veolia sold off all of its businesses in Israel. This was a direct result of our 7-year campaign against its role in infrastructure projects for illegal Israeli settlements that cost it more than $20 billion in lost tenders and contracts. Our grassroots organising persuaded a corporate giant to completely abandon Israel!

And it’s not just Veolia: telecoms giant Orange responded to BDS pressure in France, Egypt and elsewhere by saying it will pull out of Israel by 2017. G4S has started talking about ending its contract with the Israeli prison service.

3. 1000+ artists join the cultural boycott

Prominent names like Lauryn Hill and Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth said they won’t perform in Israel, and more than 1000 artists across Ireland, the UK, the US and Belgium have said they support the cultural boycott of Israel.

Donate now: Help us build an even stronger BDS movement in 2016

4. The academic boycott goes more mainstream across the world


Israeli universities play a key role in planning and whitewashing Israel’s crimes but now academics across the world are taking effective action.

Major academic associations in the US including the American Anthropological Association conference and the US National Women’s Studies Association have voted to endorse BDS.

More than 500 UK academics, 450 Belgian academics1,600 academics and academic staff in Spain and more than 200 South African academics have all signed statements in support of the academic boycott.

5. Our movement is spreading to new areas and winning new support

New BDS coalitions have been established in Malaysia and Egypt and BDS is growing rapidly in Latin America and the Arab world.

Major trade union bodies like the Connecticut branch of AFL-CIO and the Quebec Confederation of National Trade Unions joined the dozens of national trade unions that already support BDS.

6. Justice for Palestine has become a key issue for students and youth across the world

Divestment motions were passed at Stanford, Princeton, the University of California and 6 other US campuses, and the UK National Union of Students joined the 30+ individual campus student unions that already support BDS.

Israeli Apartheid Week took place in more than 150 cities. Student groups are getting organised across Europe, Canada, South Africa and Latin America.

7. Israel’s reaction shows that our “soft” power is having a real impact

Israel knows it is losing the argument and is throwing everything it has at sabotaging our movement, dedicating money, government staff and apparently even its security services to undermining BDS. Israel is exporting its mentality of repression and getting its allies in the west to run McCarthyite attacks on free speech in the US, France, the UK, Italy, Canada and elsewhere.

One has to be inspired to inspire others. In the BDS movement, we are definitely inspired, motivated and full of hope. Help us not only in seeking freedom, justice and equality for the Palestinian people but also in proving that the hegemonic powers that be around the world can also be held to account in the pursuit of justice everywhere.

 

BDS: full 2015 round-up

Tue, 12/29/2015 - 17:06
January – Israel shows growing concern at growth of BDS

US student divestment movement flourishes
The student government at the University of California Davis votes in favor of a resolution to divest from corporations profiting from Israel’s occupation by a landslide. Student governments at seven of the nine colleges in the University of California system have voted to support BDS.

During 2015, divestment votes were also won at San Jose State University, Princeton, Earlham College Student Senate and the University of Toledo, Ohio, Oglethorpe University and Stanford.

Israeli government issues BDS warnings
A classified report by the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs predicts continued growth for the BDS movement, according to Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, as former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak describes BDS as “a serious problem”.

Elbit Systems embarrassed by direct action activists
Criminal charges are dropped against nine campaigners who occupied the roof of a UK factory owned by Israel’s biggest weapons company during Israel’s 2014 assault on Gaza. Media reports said the case collapsed after Elbit and the UK government refused to release papers regarding exporters of components for drones to Israel.

63 members of European Parliament call for end to Israel trade deal
A group of 63 members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from across the five largest political blocs in the parliament call on EU foreign policy chief to suspend the EU-Israel Association Agreement. The letter follows a similar statement by 300 organisations across Europe including some of the continent’s main trade unions, political parties and NGOs.

Israeli bus company loses out on Netherlands contract
The Haarlem provincial government in the Netherlands decides not to award a 10-year contract to Israeli company Egged following a vigorous local campaign. Egged also lost a contract with the region of Friesland in December.

February – Mainstream UK artists join cultural boycott

More than 1,000 UK cultural figures join cultural boycott
More than 1,000 artists in the UK pledge not to perform in Israel. Signatories include Brian Eno, Gillian Slovo, Alexei Sayle, John Berger, Richard Ashcroft, Riz Ahmed, Miriam Margolyes and Ken Loach.

SOAS students, academics and staff vote for academic boycott
Of the more than 2,000 SOAS (University of London) students and staff who took part in the referendum between 23 and 27 February, 73 per cent voted in favour of suspending all ties to Israeli universities. SOAS currently has formal ties with Jerusalem-based Hebrew University.

March – Israel’s gas ambitions take a hit

Palestine Power Generation Company withdraws from Israel gas deal
The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) welcomes the announcement by the Palestine Power Generation Company (PPGC) about the company’s “withdrawal a few months ago from the agreement with the developers of the [Israeli] Leviathan natural gas field”. Israel has been seeking to extend its oil and gas exports and revenues.

French firms pull out of Jerusalem colonization project after government warning
Safege and Puma cancel their participation in a Jerusalem cable car project that aims to connect illegal settlements to Israel after being warned about the legal problems and risks involved by the French finance and foreign ministries​ and European solidarity movements.

UK student support for BDS continues to grow
Students at the University of Sussex in the UK vote overwhelmingly in support of their student union being part of the BDS movement, joining the National Union of Students (NUS) and dozens of individual UK student unions in supporting BDS.

More than 150 cities participate in Israeli Apartheid Week
Panels, film screenings, and creative actions across more than 150 cities build support for the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Italian environmental organisations distance themselves from Israel
Greenpeace and WWF deny the “Beautiful Israel” propaganda group’s claims of collaboration with the two large environmental groups.

60 U.S. elected officials #SkiptheSpeech by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
More than 60 US elected officials refuse to attend controversial Netanyahu speech after widespread campaign.

April – Barclays divests from Elbit Systems

Barclays bank no longer listed as Elbit Systems shareholder
Barclays bank divests from Elbit Systems, the Israeli military and arms company that is at the heart of Israel’s brutal massacres, after a global Avaaz campaign supported by 1.8m people and involving sit-ins at more than 20 of its branches.

Israeli Supreme Court upholds anti-BDS law
The so-called Law for the Prevention of Damage to the State of Israel through Boycott allows entities to sue and win compensation from individuals or organizations that call for economic, cultural or academic boycott. It also allows the finance ministry to financially penalize any organization that receives state funding while participating in such calls.

BDS campaign launched in Egypt
A coalition of eleven political parties, four revolutionary movements, six unions, six student movements, and a large number of individuals, come together to start up the BDS Egypt coalition.

20 businesses across South Africa join G4S boycott
Over 20 South African businesses terminate their contracts with G4S over its involvement in Israeli prisons and human rights abuses.

Veolia sells Israel businesses targeted by Palestinian-led boycott campaign
French corporate giant Veolia sells off nearly all of its business activity in Israel. The sale of all of its businesses in Israel was completed in August (see below).

Confédération des syndicats nationaux, Canada joins BDS
The Central Council of the Confederation of National Trade Unions, Quebec, Canada resolves to join the BDS movement and support the call to impose a military embargo on Israel. The CSN represents 325,000 workers in all sectors of activity in nearly 2,000 unions across Quebec.

Arab Labor Organization adopts BDS resolution
The Arab Labor conference – Kuwait (18-25 April) adopts a BDS resolution which resolves that the A.L.O to support the BDS movement against Israel till it complies with international law.

May – Lauryn Hill cancels Israel gig as BDS in Spanish state takes massive steps forward

US hip hop star Lauryn Hill cancels Israel concert
Hill cancels her concert in Israel following appeals from Palestinian, Israeli and Palestine solidarity organisations as well as a big social media campaign.

1,600 academics join academic boycott in Spanish state
More than 1,600 academic professors and researchers from across the Spanish state sign a declaration in support of the academic boycott.

Marinah becomes first singer in Spain to cancel Israel concerts
Marinah had planned to participate in the Méditerranée Festival in Ashdod the upcoming 11th June and also at the World Music Festival of Tel Aviv.

University of Helsinki cancels G4S contract over support for Israeli prisons
The University of Helsinki in Finland cancels its security contract with G4S following a campaign by students and academics that highlighted its complicity in Israel’s prison system and violations of international law.

2016 Olympics: After BDS pressure, Brazilian government denies relations with Israeli company ISDS
More than 30 Brazilian social movements and progressive organisations had called on the Brazilian government to exclude International Security and Defence Systems from Olympics contracts after the Israeli company announced in October 2014 that it had been awarded a $2.2bn deal to coordinate security at the games. On April 8, the Brazilian government explained that ISDS has not been awarded any contracts.

More than 10,000 South African School Students March Against Woolworths over Israel Trade
South African trade unions and solidarity organisations are calling for a boycott of the Woolworths retailer over its refusal to stop selling Israeli products.

Jewish National Fund excluded from Finnish festival
The organisers of the World Village Festival prevent the JNF from participating. A key pillar of the colonization of Palestine, the JNF now tries to participate in cultural events as an environmental organisation.

450+ Belgian academics join boycott
More than 450 academics have now pledged to support the academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

June – Israel panics over reports predicting economic damage from BDS


Foreign direct investment in Israel plummets
According to an UN report, FDI into Israel in 2014 plummeted by 46% as compared to 2013. The authors partly attributed this to the growing strength of BDS.

Reports predict further economic damage to Israel
A leaked Israeli government report estimates that BDS could cost Israel’s economy $1.4bn a year, while a study by the Rand Corporation states that BDS could cost Israel between 1 and 2 per cent annually over 10 years.

Netanyahu government ramps up efforts to combat BDS
In the midst of a media panic about the growth of BDS and a smear campaign against the movement by Netanyahu and other senior Israeli politicians, the Ministry of Strategic Affairs is awarded $25.6m towards fighting BDS.

United Church of Christ votes to boycott & divest from companies profiting from Israel’s occupation
The UCC, one of the mainline US protestant churches, votes 508-124 to boycott and divest from companies that help Israel to violate international law.

Boycott target Ahava hints at quitting Israeli settlement factory
The Israeli cosmetics company Ahava says it is considering moving its factory from a Jewish-only settlement in the occupied West Bank following years of BDS campaigning against it.

Belgian artist Campo cancels Israel Festival show
The festival fails to attract major international stars.

July – Orange announces Israel pull out

Telecoms giant Orange announces end to Israel presence following launch of boycott campaign
Palestine solidarity activists welcome an announcement that the French multinational Orange will dump its Israeli affiliate within 18 months. Following a French campaign against Orange, the new BDS Egypt coalition called for a boycott of Orange in Egypt over its affiliation with Partner Communications, an Israeli telecoms company that operates in illegal settlements and provides financial support to the Israeli military.

Boycott movement leaders address press conference marking 10 years of BDS
Chief Mandla Mandela, South African MP and grandson of Nelson Mandela, Lebanese musician Marcel Khalife and Jewish Voice for Peace director Rebecca Vilkomerson are among those that participate in the press conference marking BDS@10 and one year since Israel’s 2014 massacre of Palestinians in Gaza by Palestinian civil society.

Geography and history department at University of Valencia joins BDS initiative
Declaring its department an Apartheid Free Zone, the faculty becomes the first anywhere in Europe to officially endorse a BDS initiative.

Protests close four factories owned by Israeli arms firm Elbit
Activists in the UK and Australia shut down several parts factories, including one which makes engines used in deadly drones.

Mercosur Social Summit calls for end to Israel trade agreement
The final declaration of the Mercosur Social Summit, a gathering of social movements from across the Mercosur Latin America trade block calls on governments to end the Mercosur-Israel free trade agreement and to impose a military embargo on Israel.

Chilean students implement boycott
The Student Federation of the University of Chile (FECH) cancelled its support for a presentation from an Israeli choreographer sponsored by the Israeli Embassy and  issued a statement calling for “rejecting ties with all initiatives, support and sponsorships in which the state of Israel or its diplomatic bodies are involved”.

SodaStream complains of boycott impact
SodaStream CEO tells a special US Congressional hearing on BDS that they have faced numerous boycotts including by retailers in the UK and Denmark, the Trieste municipality in Italy, the International Festival of Comics and a venue owner in Tokyo. BDS played a key role in the implementation of most of these boycotts.

200 mental health professionals protest Israel conference
Leading mental health professionals protest the decision by the European Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapists to hold its conference in Israel.

Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth endorses BDS
“To perform with my band in Israel was in direct conflict to my values,” the famous artist explains.

August – Veolia sells off all Israel operations

BDS marks major victory as Veolia completely pulls out of Israel
The huge French corporation Veolia withdraws from the Jerusalem Light Rail (JLR), an illegal rail system built to facilitate the growth and expansion of Israeli colonial settlements in occupied East Jerusalem.

The sale of its stake in the JLR project ends all of Veolia’s involvement in the Israeli market, including all projects that violate international law and the human rights of the Palestinian people.

The sale follows an extensive 7-year boycott campaign against Veolia, due to its complicity in the Israeli occupation, which cost it tenders around the world estimated to be worth over $20 billion.

Palestinian liberation is “Key matter of our time,” say black leaders
Cornel West, Angela Davis and Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors among 1,000 signatories of historic call for BDS and joint struggle.

Irish Artists’ Pledge to Boycott Israel reaches 500 signatures
The 500 signatories range from some of Ireland’s most internationally known figures to artists starting out on their careers.

Italian artists launch boycott initiative
Twenty prominent Italian artists launch a campaign calling for a cultural boycott of Israel.

September – EU introduces labelling of settlement products

EU introduces labelling of products from illegal Israeli settlements
Stating that it does not go far enough in fulfilling EU obligations under international law, Palestinians express lukewarm welcome of the news as a sign that the EU is starting to react to shifting European public opinion in support of implementing European policy.

European unions and networks resist attempts to use US-EU trade deal to repress BDS
More than 150 organizations from across Europe vow to resist efforts by the United States to stifle campaigns for Palestinian rights by means of the controversial TTIP trade deal.

Brazil refuses to accept settler as Israeli ambassador
President Dilma Rousseff rejects the nomination of Dani Dayan as Israeli ambassador to Brazil over his links with the settler movement.

United Electrical Workers Union adopts BDS
The UE becomes the first major US national trade union to adopt BDS.

SodaStream leaves illegal settlement factory
SodaStream, the Israeli maker of home fizzy drink dispensers, ceases production at its factory in an illegal West Bank settlement following years of high profile BDS campaigning. BDS campaign against the company continues due to its involvement in Israel’s ethnic cleansing plans for Palestinian Bedouins in the Naqab (Negev).

October – New wave of Palestinian popular resistance as Palestinian boycott of Israeli imports starts to bite

BDS movement takes action in support of Palestinian popular resistance
As Palestinians began a new wave of popular resistance against Israeli apartheid and settler-colonialism, the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) called for a wave of actions and protests in solidarity with the Palestinian popular resistance and for action to pressure governments, institutions and corporations to end their role in Israel’s crimes. The response was inspiring. There were more than 70 #SolidarityWaveBDS protests and actions in more than 20 countries across the world.

World Bank figures show Palestinian boycott of Israeli imports is growing
World Bank figures show a 24% drop in Palestinian imports from Israel during the first quarter of 2015 – a strong sign that the boycott of Israeli goods by Palestinians is starting to hit the Israeli economy.

Israel’s arms companies cite “less desire for Israeli-made products” as factor behind dramatic fall in weapons exports
Military exports drop from $7.5bn to $5.5bn and industry leaders state “less desire for Israeli-made products” is a key factor.

Connecticut branch of AFL-CIO labour union calls on National Federation to adopt BDS
In a groundbreaking move, the Connecticut branch becomes  the first of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations to adopt BDS, calling on the national federation to support it in a resolution at its policy conference.

500+ British academics pledge support for academic boycott
The public statement in the Guardian newspaper from leading UK academics says the they will not accept invitations for academic visits to Israel or cooperate with Israeli universities because of the role that they play in Israeli occupation and apartheid.

Moody’s recognises BDS threat to Israel
Credit ratings agency Moody’s, whose ratings play a key role in the global economy, recognised the potential threat that BDS poses to the Israeli economy.

Spanish state: 26 local and regional governments endorse BDS and the Apartheid Free Zones initiative
More than 26 local authorities including in Sevilla, Gran Canaria, Badalona and Terrassa have passed resolutions in support of BDS initiatives.

Sevilla football club turns down €5m Israel sponsorship
Club president President José Castro says the decision was taken to ensure the club “stayed true to its principles, which value ethics over economic concerns”.

Four Colombian film festivals join cultural boycott of Israel
Four Colombian film festivals join the cultural boycott against Israel’s regime

Dutch pharmacies stop selling Ahava
The Alphega pharmacies chain confirms that it has stopped selling products manufactured by Ahava, the Israeli cosmetics company that operates in an illegal Israeli settlement.

180 Belgian artists pledge not to perform in Israel

European businesses shunning investment in Israel, says business leader
“During general meetings of the leading [European] companies, even if they did examine investing in Israeli companies, it will be off the agenda immediately because of the impact of BDS,” prominent Israeli businessman Édouard Cukierman explains.

November – US academics and artists back boycott

US anthropologists back Israel boycott in landslide vote
The American Anthropological Association (AAA) conference overwhelmingly endorses a resolution backing the Palestinian call for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions. The US National Women’s Studies Association also votes to adopt BDS.

New York artists join cultural boycott
Tony-nominated stage and television actress Kathleen Chalfant; musician Roger Waters, a founding member of Pink Floyd; musicians Kyp Malone and Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio are among signatories.

Spain ‘issues arrest warrant’ for Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu over 2010 Gaza flotilla attack
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and seven other former and current government officials are put at risk of arrest if they set foot in Spain, as a Spanish judge effectively issues an arrest warrant for the group.

Summit of South American-Arab Countries
The Summit of South American-Arab Countries calls on member states to refrain from trade in products from Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories, avoid dealing with all companies profiting from the Israeli occupation and to discourage investment in Israeli settlements.

Brazilian artist Caetano Veloso announces he will never perform in Israel again
After refusing to cancel a concert in Tel Aviv despite wide Brazilian, Palestinian and international appeals, Veloso wrote that “all complaints from BDS [activists] have ground”.

Amsterdam council waters down Tel Aviv deal
After months of discussions and campaigning, the City Council of Amsterdam decides against a proposal that the city start officially cooperating with Tel Aviv. Instead it opts for individual or project-based cooperation.

December – Barcelona university votes to support BDS

Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) votes to support Apartheid Free Zone initiative
The highest representative body of the Autonomous University of Barcelona votes to join the BDS movement and the Apartheid Free Zones initiative.

More than 200 South African academics endorse the academic boycott of Israel.

UNHCR in Jordan no longer contracting with G4S
A UN body that has been facing pressure to end its links with security company G4S over its role in Israeli human rights abuses announces that it no longer has contracts with the company.

Portuguese retailer Worten drops SodaStream
The decision comes after pressure from campaigners pointing at SodaStream’s appalling human rights record against Palestinians.

Hillary Clinton biographer rejects Israeli publisher offer
Doug Henwood cited his support for BDS in his announcement.

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