- Israel destroys Palestinian lives, livelihoods and homes daily, refuses to stop building its illegal settlements and apartheid wall on stolen land, continues to control Gaza while slicing the West Bank into Bantustans, denies Palestinian refugees their right to return, grows produce and sets up industrial zones on stolen Palestinian land, and operates an apartheid, racist system on both sides of the ‘green line’.
- Only international pressure can make Israel cease its violations of international law and human rights. As Governments have failed to hold Israel accountable, it is up to people of conscience in civil society worldwide to heed Palestinian calls for protection and justice.
- Despite the International Court of Justice ruling in 2004 that the Apartheid Wall is illegal, not a single government has acted to impose sanctions, ignoring the ICJ’s call to all states and parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to take immediate action.
The campaign for BDS is part of the worldwide movement of civil society in support of the Palestinian people for national, civil and human rights and has several purposes:
- It lets the Palestinian people know that they are not forgotten and the justice of their cause is recognised.
- It sends a signal to Israel that if it continues to flout UN resolutions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva Convention and other international laws, and until it ends its brutal occupation, it will meet with the same response as any other oppressive regime breaching international law.
- It enables decisions made in their everyday lives by people outside Israel and Palestine to refresh and reinforce their opposition to Israeli policy.
- It exerts moral pressure on the British Government by giving expression to the desire to move towards a more ethical foreign policy.
- It provides an excellent way of stimulating public debate, offers a focus for leafleting and discussion, as well as exerting moral and economic pressure on Israel to comply with international legislation and principles of justice.
- Apartheid was weakened by a similar international movement of solidarity that succeeded in branding South Africa as a pariah state. Despite obvious differences between these two forms of oppression, this antecedent provides an inspiring model.
‘I’ve been very deeply distressed in my visit to the Holy Land; it reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa. I have seen the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about.’
‘Israelis claim they are the elect of God and find a biblical justification for their Zionist exclusivity. This is just like the Afrikaners of apartheid.’