Boycott Israel: Now More Than Ever
by Stephen Lendman
For many decades, Israel waged genocidal war against millions of defenseless Palestinians with impunity.
Accountability is long overdue. High crimes against peace were committed. Culpable Israeli officials must be punished to the full extent of the law.
The global boycott, divestment and sanctions movement for freedom, justice and equality works. Applying them with stepped up teeth more than ever is vital.
It bears repeating what other articles stressed. Israel is a lawless, racist, apartheid, rogue terror state. It must be held accountable for collectively punishing Palestinians lawlessly.
Enough is enough. After 66 years of Palestinian slaughter, mass destruction, displacement, occupation, and oppression, as well as international dismissiveness and complicity, global action more than ever is essential.
In 2004, Archbishop Desmond Tutu said:
“The end of apartheid stands as one of the crowning accomplishments of the past century, but we would not have succeeded without the help of international pressure – in particular the divestment movement of the 1980s.”
“Over the past six months, a similar movement has taken shape, this time aiming at an end to the Israeli occupation.”
Israel must be held accountable. World leaders won’t do it. Grassroots movements must lead the way.
In July 2005, a coalition of 171 Palestinian Civil Society organizations created the Global BDS movement for “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel Until it Complies with International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights” for Occupied Palestinians, Israeli Arabs, and diaspora Palestinian refugees.
Since 1948, hundreds of UN resolutions condemned Israel’s colonial occupation, its decades of discriminatory policies, illegal land seizures and settlements, international law violations, as well as oppression of a civilian population to no avail.
Gaza is besieged. Palestine remains occupied. Its people continue to suffer. Their human rights are denied. These abuses no longer can be tolerated.
Growing numbers of people of conscience “call upon international civil society organizations and (supporters everywhere) to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to (apartheid) South Africa.”
“Pressure is needed for “embargoes and sanctions…for the sake of justice and genuine peace.”
Nonviolent punitive measures should continue until Israel:
- recognizes Palestinian rights to self-determination;
- respects international laws, norms and standards;
- ends its illegal occupation unconditionally;
- ends Gaza’s siege unconditionally;
- ends illegal aggression and other hostilities in all forms;
- dismantles its Separation Wall;
- frees all Palestinian political prisoners unconditionally;
- grants Israeli Arabs equal rights as Jews;
- end its racist apartheid system;
- complies with UN resolution 194 affirming the right of diaspora Palestinians to return to their homes and property or be fully compensated for loss or damage if they prefer;
- recognizes East Jerusalem as Palestine’s exclusive capital within June 1967 borders; and
- gives Palestinians control over their land, borders, air space, coastal waters and resources.
Nothing short of long denied peace, equity and justice is acceptable. Israeli equivocation and refusal to cooperate no longer wash. Pay back time is now. So is ending long denied justice.
The Global BDS Movement lists nine ways to effectively support Gaza by boycotts, divestment and sanctions:
1. Boycott Israeli companies’ goods and services as well as international companies “involved in Israel’s human rights violations.”
2. Follow BDS campaigns online and through the social media. Urge others to do the same.
3. Learn more about BDS activities and spread the word.
4. Get involved in your area for long denied justice.
5. Take action online and through the social media.
6. “Campaign against your own community’s complicity in Israel’s violations of international law.”
7. Urge organizations you’re involved with to endorse BDS.
8. “Organise a boycott action at a retailer that sells Israeli goods.”
9. “Share this list.” Urge others to act for justice.
On July 30, the Global BDS Movement headlined “Stand with Palestinian workers in Gaza: a call for trade union solidarity,” saying:
The Palestinian trade union movement unanimously urges other trade unions internationally to act on behalf of besieged Gazans and hold Israel accountable for high crimes against peace.
Entire families were massacred. Large parts of Gaza lie in ruins. Around 2,000 were murdered in cold blood. Many thousands more were injured.
Israel committed one of history’s great crimes. An unconscionable humanitarian disaster persists.
Critical shortages of housing, food, water, medicines and supplies as well as power and other vital infrstructure exacerbate horrific conditions with little relief in sight.
Pro-Israeli propaganda substitutes for truth and full disclosure. Palestinians are wrongfully blamed for its crimes.
World leaders able to act responsibly yawn and do nothing to help. Israel is free to commit crimes of war, against humanity and genocide with impunity.
Enough is enough. This no longer can be tolerated. Sustained, committed, intensified Global BDS actions against Israel can work as intended.
The movement recommends the following actions:
“1. Stop handling goods imported from or exported to Israel.
2. Divest your trade union pension – and other – funds from Israel Bonds as well as from corporations and banks that complicit in Israel’s occupation and human rights violations.
3. Dissociate from Israeli trade unions which are complicit in the occupation.
4. Support our call for a military embargo on Israel.
5. Share information with your members about the siege and destruction of Gaza and ask your members to boycott Israeli products and to share their knowledge with family, co-workers, and friends.”
Isolate Israel effectively until it complies fully with international laws, norms and standards.
Ordinary people committed for equity and justice can make a difference.
On August 1, the Global BDS Movement reported the loss of a large export deal because of Israel’s Gaza aggression.
The fruit juice producer Priniv was affected. Mounting evidence shows a growing “silent anti-Israeli boycott” by European companies fearful of being associated with a lawless, racist terror state.
Business deals are being cancelled. Others aren’t be negotiated. Israel is being hit harder where it hurts most – in its economy.
On August 1, the Global BDS Movement headlined “Round-up: Israel’s massacre in Gaza prompts international sanctions and boycott action,” saying:
- Chile suspended Israeli trade agreement negotiations;
- five Latin American countries recalled their Israeli ambassadors – Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and El Salvador. Perhaps others will follow;
- Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff condemned what she called Israel’s “massacre;”
- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Israel’s Operation Protective Edge “genocide.”
- Bolivia’s Evo Morales calls Israel a “terrorist state.” He expressed solidarity with beleaguered Palestinians and besieged, suffering Gazans. He encourages BDS.
- South Africa’s ruling ANC party parliamentary group called for the government to recall its ambassador and expel Israel’s envoy.
- Spain announced a “provisional” suspension of military exports to Israel.
- Politicians and political parties worldwide urged similar actions.
- the Maldives government cancelled three bilateral agreements with Israel. It may prohibit importation of Israeli products.
- Six Nobel laureates, dozens of celebrities, other prominent figures, and thousands of ordinary ones urged a military embargo on Israel.
- BDS initiatives are growing worldwide.
According to BDS spokesperson for the Palestinian BDS National Committee, Zaid Shuaibi:
“The trade and diplomatic sanctions taken in particular by countries from the global south are a hugely welcome step that we urge other governments to follow.”
“States have a legal and moral obligation to do all that they can to hold Israel to account for its violations of international law, including by cancelling free trade agreements and imposing a military embargo, as a first concrete step.”
“All across the world, people are echoing the call from Palestinian civil society for a full military embargo on Israel as the most urgent measure of accountability.”
Israel’s on-going massacre, its deliberate and premeditated targeting of schools, hospitals and civilians, including children, in accordance with its criminal Dahiya Doctrine, makes any continued military cooperation with Israel an indefensible act of conscious complicity.
While most governments support Israel, growing numbers of officials and other figures in them are reconsidering what’s no longer justified.
It’s long past time Israel and its culpable officials were held accountable for high crimes against peace too grave to ignore.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu said earlier:
“Those who choose not to act to stop Israel’s massacre, especially those whose governments are implicated in Israeli war crimes, are choosing the “side of the oppressor.”
On Saturday, August 9, the largest ever Palestinian solidarity demonstrations occurred in US cities and others worldwide.
Hundreds of thousands participated for long denied justice. It shows growing numbers of ordinary people care. They no longer tolerate Israeli high crimes against peace.
America and Israel far and away have the world’s worse human rights records. No other nations approach their unprincipled history from inception.
They’re guilty of virtually every high crime imaginable and then some. They remain unaccountable. It’s long past time that changed.
It bears repeating. Committed ordinary people can make a difference. It’s the only way constructive change is possible. Bottom up alone works. Never top down. Israel’s day of reckoning awaits.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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