Twelve years ago this week, the broadest spectrum of Palestinian civil society organizations issued a historic call for Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) by the international community to hold accountable Israel and other institutions complicit in its colonial, apartheid regime.
In just a dozen years, BDS has seen extraordinary victories worldwide. In the U.S. alone, by 2015, ten years after the BDS call, there had been 100 BDS wins — an extraordinary number that has since doubled over the last two years to 200 U.S. BDS wins! Check out the impressive list compiled by the US Campaign — and you can submit new ones anytime!
As BDS turns 12, here are 4 BDS-related actions and opportunities we wanted you to know about:
Two years after passing a ground-breaking resolution to divest from corporations profiting from Israel’s occupation, the United Church of Christ (UCC) just passed a strong resolution calling for the protection of Palestinian children in Israeli detention and for U.S. military sanctions on Israel due to its ongoing mistreatment of Palestinian children. Congratulations to member group UCC Palestine Israel Network! Sign Friends of Sabeel – North America’s thank you letter today!
2. JOIN BDS WEBINAR TOMORROW, July 6, 5pm PT / 8pm ET: “Mobilizing the Grassroots: The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement & You!” Register here!
Learn all about BDS from US Campaign Steering Committee member Andrew Kadi in this webinar organized by member group Interfaith Peace-Builders. BDS strategies have proven effective in mobilizing support for Palestine and other progressive causes. Kadi will share insights on BDS campaigns and provide tips and ideas for how you can implement BDS campaigns in your own communities to pressure a wide range of corporations and state entities complicit in oppression of Palestinians and the exploitation of their land and resources.
3. MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Special Facebook Live BNC webinar on Saturday, July 15 at 10am PT / 1pm ET!
Marking 12 years of BDS, the BDS National Committee (BNC) will host a webinar with Pink Floyd superstar Roger Waters. Follow the BNC on Facebook where it will broadcast live!
4. STOP the Federal Israel Anti-Boycott Act: Tell your Members of Congress to vote NO!
One indicator of the success of BDS in threatening Israel’s apartheid regime is the lengths to which Israel and the U.S. government are going to stop it. The Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which may come up for a vote this month, threatens to impose criminal penalties on corporations for boycotting Israel or Israeli settlements. This and other draconian attempts to quell time-honored, constitutionally-protected tactics for social justice show precisely how effective BDS has become in the struggle for Palestinian rights.
This anniversary is a great time to join or start your own BDS campaign. Check out some of the current U.S. campaigns here, and if you haven’t yet explored the new BDSmovement.net website and signed up for updates and action alerts, you should!
P.S. The US Campaign is on the ground in Orlando where the Mennonite Church is voting tomorrow afternoon on a resolution to prohibit investment in any companies involved in Israel’s occupation, and more. The vote is expected to start around 2pm ET, but things often change. Follow Mennonite Palestine Israel Network on Facebook and sign up to watch the vote livestream here!