About BDS (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions)
In the past, Israel's fight for survival was on conventional battlefields in the Middle East. Today, the war against Israel has mutated into a global campaign to poison hearts and minds against the Jewish state. Israel is being demonized and isolated by organized movements like BDS: Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions.
How BDS works to delegitimize Israel
The call to "boycott, divest, and sanction Israel" (BDS) is the newest weapon in the ongoing effort to destroy Israel. Using words, images, and actions to spread misinformation and lies, boycott activists try to delegitimize and demonize Israel and brand it as the pariah of the international community. They call for boycotts to promote their views and to isolate and cripple the Jewish state.
The boycott movement is well funded and well organized and operates on college campuses and in churches, organizations, businesses, and communities around the world. We dare not ignore how this creeping movement endangers the well-being and survival of Israel and future support for the Jewish state, especially among the younger generation.
StandWithUs is dedicated to act against this newest threat to Israel. This coming year, StandWithUs plans to tackle the assault with powerful messaging and campaigns.
Consider the inroads the boycott movement has already made this year.
Cultural Boycotts: Popular performers like Elvis Costello and the Pixies have canceled their scheduled concerts in Israel. As we write this, boycotters are actively lobbying other performers to cancel their tours. When Israeli musical groups travel abroad, they meet hostility, demonstrations, and aggressive efforts to cancel their performances.
Economic Boycotts: Economic boycott campaigns take two forms. One urges companies to stop doing business with Israel. Boycott activists typically call, write, and picket corporate offices with anti-Israel slogans, such as those accusing companies of aiding "Israeli baby killers." Boycotters also attended this year's annual meeting of TIAA-CREF, the largest retirement fund in the world, urging it to divest from companies that do business with Israel. Boycotters continue to urge Caterpillar Corporation management to stop selling products to Israel.
The second type of economic boycott urges retailers to stop stocking Israeli goods. In Washington State, after boycotters intensively lobbied the Olympia Food Co-op, the co-op's board voted to stop carrying Israeli products. As we write this letter, boycotters continue to lobby retailers like Trader Joe's, Costco, Starbucks, H&M, Seattle's Madison Market, and others to join the boycott.
Union Boycotts: On June 20, anti-Israel demonstrators tried to prevent longshoremen in Oakland, California, from unloading an Israeli cargo ship. The Longshoremen's Union Local 10 in San Francisco seriously considered an anti-Israel resolution, while some Belgian and Basque trade unions approved the boycotting of Israel.
Church Boycotts: This summer, the Presbyterian Church again debated resolutions to divest from companies doing business with Israel. Thankfully, the anti-Israel forces within the Presbyterian Church did not succeed. Divestment activists also constantly lobby other churches.
Political Boycotts: The boycott activists are working hard on all levels to undermine American support for Israel. They accuse pro-Israel lobbyists of controlling American foreign policy. They work to reduce or end loan guarantees and military aid to Israel. At the local level, a group of boycott activists is strategizing to put a divestment proposition on the upcoming California ballot. In Washington State, a similar bill (I-97) was introduced in 2008.
Travel/Diplomatic Boycotts: In European countries, boycott activists are charging Israeli officials with war crimes and having arrest warrants issued against them. Prominent Israeli officials, including Tzipi Livni, have canceled trips to the UK for fear of arrest.
Sports Boycotts: Israeli athletes have either been excluded from international competitions or forced to play their final matches without fans present because of "security concerns," as happened during the Davis Cup finals in Sweden last year.
Academic Boycotts: Boycott activists have targeted university faculty unions around the world to prevent Israeli professors from participating in academic and scientific conferences, contributing to research journals, and acting as visiting professors. Last fall, a group of Ariel University students, one of ten finalist groups in an international competition to build energy-efficient housing, was suddenly expelled from the competition. In another incident, Israeli experts were suddenly uninvited from an international breast cancer research symposium in Cairo.
Boycotts on College Campuses:
Divestment Campaigns: Last spring, bills to divest from companies connected to Israel were suddenly introduced to the student governments at UC Berkeley and UC San Diego.
Boycotts of Pro-Israel Speakers: Anti-Israel activists have tried to portray pro-Israel speakers as so reprehensible they should not be allowed to lecture. Muslim Student Unions around the country are trying to use their own free speech rights to prevent the free speech of those they oppose. In February 2010, members of UC Irvine's Muslim Student Union orchestrated an effort to silence Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren. After every few sentences of the ambassador's speech, they shouted and jeered, drowning out his voice. A video of this incident that StandWithUs posted online was viewed by more than 700,000 people. Watch the video
The toxic boycott campaign threatens to embolden anti-Israel forces everywhere, especially on our college campuses. Students will continue to face a growing barrage of anti-Israel defamations on far too many campuses. Many will see displays that depict the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as inhumane brutes and that show the Israeli flag dripping with red paint to symbolize blood. They will hear Israel's self-defense policies equated with the 20th century's ugliest crimes, from Nazism to apartheid.
Current Member Organizations of the BDS National Committee:
- Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network (PNGO)
- Occupied Palestine and Golan Heights Advocacy Initiative (OPGAI)
- Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (Stop the Wall)
- Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)
- Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine
- Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU)
- General Union of Palestinian Workers
- Global Palestine Right of Return Coalition
- Federation of Unions of Palestinian Universities' Professors and Employees
- General Union of Palestinian Women (GUPW)
- Charitable Organizations Union
- Independent Federation of Unions – Palestine (IFU)
- Palestinian Farmers Union (PFU)
- National Committee for the Commemoration of the Nakba
- Civil Coalition for Defending the Palestinians' Rights in Jerusalem
- Coalition for Jerusalem
- Union of Palestinian Charitable Organizations
- Palestinian Economic Monitor
- Union of Youth Activity Centers - Palestinian Refugee Camps (UYAC)
Current member organizations of the BDS national committee:
International Coordination Network for Palestine
Who Profits (Coalition of Women for Peace)
- Australians for Peace
- Australians for Justice and Peace in Palestine
- Centrum voor Ontwikkeling Documentatie en Informatie Palestijnen (CODIP)
- Vlaams Palestina Komitee
- Coalition against Israeli Apartheid (Toronto)
- Coalition pour la Justice et la Paix en Palestine (Quebec)
- Sumoud Political Prisoners Solidarity Working Group
- Al-Awda Canada
- Boicot Preventiu
- Am Palestina al Cor
- Comunitat Palestina de Catalunya
- Boykot Israel
- Campagne BDS France
- Egyptian Popular Committee in Solidarity with the Palestinian Intifada
- Intifada Association
- Félagið Ísland-Palestína
- Ireland Palestine Solidarity Committee
- Boicotta Israele
- Coalition of Malaysian NGOs Against Persecution of Palestinians
- Nederlands Palestina Komitee
- Boikott Israel
- Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign
- Palestine Solidarity Committee of South Africa
- Asociación Al-Quds de Solidaridad con los Pueblos del Mundo Árabe (Málaga) y ASPA - Asociación Andaluza por la Solidaridad y Paz
- Asociación Hispano Palestina Jerusalén (Madrid)
- Asociación Pro-Derechos Humanos de Andalucía
- Boicot Preventiu
- Comunitat Palestina de Catalunya
- CSCA (Madrid, Asturias)
- Ecologistas en Acción (Confederal)
- Grupo de ONG (Grupo de ONG por Palestina+ACSUR)
- INTERPUEBLOS - Comité de Solidaridad con los Pueblos (Cantabria)
- MEWANDO (Euzkadi)
- Mujeres por la Paz - Acción solidaria con Palestina (Canarias)
- Paz Ahora
- Paz con Dignidad
- PCE (Madrid)
- Plataforma de Solidaridad conPalestina (Sevilla)
- Red Solidaria contra la Ocupación de Palestina Red de Jóvenes Palestinos
- Red Euromediterranea de Cooperación al Desarrollo
- Taula per Palestina (Illes Balears)
- Xarxa d'Enllaç amb Palestina(Països Catalans)
- Xarxa de Solidaritat amb Palestina de Valencia
- Palestinagrupperna Sverige
- Collectif Urgence Palestine
- Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign
- Palestine Solidarity Campaign, UK
- Divestment Support Committee
- US Campaign to End the Occupation
- Somerville Divestment Project
- Adalah New York
- U.S. Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel