Key 2017 BDS Achievements
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions activism is the single most effective campaign against Israeli ruthlessness.
A previous article explained the organization was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. War criminals and establishment figures nearly always win.
Wanting Israel held accountable for decades of Palestinian repression rules the BDS movement out for consideration. It operates by a higher standing. Doing the right thing is its own reward.
The global BDS movement for freedom, justice and equality highlighted its top 2017 achievements, calling them a “short list,” having accomplished much more.
It’s why Israel and Washington try undermining its activities. Both countries oppose equity and justice. They partner in each other’s high crimes.
Below are last year’s top BDS achievements:
1. The UN Falk/Tilley report explained Israel is a ruthless apartheid state. Heavy pressure by Washington and Israel got Secretary-General Guterres to remove the report, shaming himself for refusing to acknowledge the truth.
2. South Africa downgraded its diplomatic ties with Israel.
3. Democratic Socialists of America represent the worldview of Frederick Douglas, Eugene Debs, Mother Jones, Martin Luther King and many other activists for justice.
It declared full support for the Palestinian liberation struggle, endorsing the BDS movement.
4. Hundreds of Spanish officials endorsed BDS. Its parliament affirmed the right of Spanish citizens to advocate for Palestinian rights through BDS.
5. Barcelona’s city council adopted procurement guidelines, excluding companies profiting from occupation harshness. Dozens of other Spanish cities declared themselves “Apartheid Free Zones.”
6. A UK court ruling for the Palestine Solidarity Campaign called government efforts to restrict local authorities from divesting in companies complicit with Israeli human rights violations illegal.
7. Swiss lawmakers rejected Israeli efforts to criminalize support for BDS.
8. Six NFL players turned down Israeli-offered all expense trips to the country – refusing to be propaganda props for its regime.
9. Noted artist Lorde cancelled her concert in Tel Aviv (discussed in a previous article). Over 100 prominent artists supported her act of conscience.
10. Israel’s propaganda LGBT film festival was boycotted.
11. In support of Palestinian rights, performers in nine musical acts withdrew from Berlin’s Pop-Kultur festival.
12. Prominent Portuguese photographers pledged to refuse professional invitations or financing from Israel to collaborate with its cultural institutions.
13. The South African Council of Churches and Council of African Independent Churches (representing over a million Christians) endorsed BDS.
14. The Mennonite Church USA overwhelmingly approved divesting from companies profiting from illegal Israeli occupation.
15. 23 US churches declared themselves Hewlett-Packard (HP)-free – for its complicity with Israel’s human rights abuses.
16. Norway’s largest trade union federation, LO, representing nearly a million workers, endorsed BDS.
17. So did the All India Kisan Sabha 16-million member national farmers’ union.
18. Canada’s largest private sector union, Unifor, endorsed BDS to end Israel’s militarized occupation.
19. BDS Gulf held its first conference in Kuwait City, featuring numerous regional activists and political figures.
20. Major Colombian social movements and unions endorsed BDS.
21. So did over 200 Latin American organizations, coalitions and social movements.
22. BDS activism cost G4S customers for its complicity with Israeli oppression.
23. Denmark’s third largest pension fund, Sampension, divested from four banks for its investments in illegal Israeli settlements.
24. Israel’s largest public transportation operator Egged lost a major Netherlands contract.
25. Air Canada ended a maintenance contract with Israel Aerospace Industries – two years before its termination date.
26. Australia’s Royal Flying Doctors, one of the world’s largest aeromedical organizations, refused services from Israel’s military/tech company Elbit Systems.
27. South Africa’s Tshwane University of Technology endorsed BDS.
28. Two Chilean universities cancelled Israeli-embassy-sponsored events. Medical students at Chile’s largest university severed ties with Israeli universities.
29. Student governments at the University of Michigan, Tufts University, California State University, De Anza College, Pitzer College, the University of South Florida and University of Wisconsin voted to divest from companies profiting from Israeli occupation harshness.
30. Belgium’s Catholic University of Leuven withdrew from LAW TRAIN – an EU-funded research project complicit with Israeli police and its public security ministry.
Each BDS success story hopefully advances things closer to eventual Palestinian liberation. The movement deserves universal support.
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