3 January 2020

Jaarlijks overzicht: 2019. Druk op Israël door overheden, bedrijven, universiteiten, artiesten en actiegroepen.

Het overzicht van de internationale BDS website is een selectie uit honderden gebeurtenissen en acties die in 2019 plaatsvonden. Zuid-Afrika verlaagde de bijvoorbeeld de status van zijn ambassade  in Tel Aviv, met de officiële motivering dat dit gebeurde ter ondersteuning “van het recht van het Palestijnse volk op zelfbeschikking”.

  1. South Africa downgraded diplomatic relations with Israel, stripping its Embassy in Tel Aviv of political, economic and trade mandates. President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the policy in support of “the right of the Palestinian people to self determination.”
  2. Major European trade unions supported holding Israel accountable for violating Palestinian rights. The European Federation of Public Services Unions, representing eight million public service workers, passed a resolution calling to suspend the EU-Israel association agreement. The UK’s Trades Union Congress, representing 48 unions and six million people, voted for ending arms trade with Israel that violates Palestinian rights, and to pressure corporations to end complicity in violations of Palestinian rights.
  3. Major international companies withdrew from bidding to build Israel’s illegal settlement railway on stolen Palestinian land in occupied East Jerusalem, as pressure mounted over complicity in Israel’s rights violations. They included Australia’s Macquarie, Canada’s Bombardier, France’s Alstom, Germany’s Siemens, and a Greek consortium.
  4. Support continues to grow among US progressives and liberals for BDS and the right to boycott. 44% of US Democratic voters support BDS, while only 15% oppose it. 72% of all Americans oppose laws penalizing people boycotting Israel, with 80% of Democrats opposing such laws. Democratic congressional Representatives Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and John Lewis introduced a historic House Resolution affirming the right to boycott, and the Democratic Socialists of America committed to national BDS organizing.
  5. More and more artists are cancelling performances and taking public positions in support of the cultural boycott of apartheid Israel. As examples, Brooklyn rapper Kota cancelled a Tel Aviv show. Award-winning author Kamila Shamsie made a powerful case on UK TV for artists to boycott Israel. Napalm Death’s vocalist endorsed cultural boycott. An Emmy-award winning actor turned down an audition in support of BDS. And a winner of the prestigious Turner Prize endorsed
  6. Campaigns for a military embargo against Israel grew and won victories. The French insurance giant AXA partially divested from Israeli arms company Elbit Systems. 200 organizations and individuals representing Global South movements called for a military embargo against Israel. A Popular Tribunal in Mexico found Israel and Mexico’s governments, and partner companies, guilty of collaborating to violate Palestinian and Mexican human rights. Canada Revenue Agency revoked the charitable status of a non-profit over its support to the Israeli army.
  7. The 15th annual Israeli Apartheid Week was an even bigger success in 2019, featuring more than 200 events, across 30 countries, on five continents, all under the theme “Stop Arming Colonialism.”
  8. In Europe, more steps are being taken towards banning goods and services produced in Israel’s illegal settlement. Oslo’s City Council banned settlement goods and services from its procurements, and the European Court of Justice ruled that settlement goods must be accurately labeled. Ireland’s lower house of Parliament passed a bill to ban settlement goods, moving the ban closer to becoming law.
  9. Victories at colleges in the US, India and UK showed growing support for the academic boycott of Israel and campus-based divestment. In the US, an NYU department and the Pitzer College Council voted to boycott study abroad in Israel. Brown University’s Advisory Committee on Corporate Responsibility in Investment Policies (ACCRIP) voted to recommend that the school divest from companies that facilitate Israeli human rights violations. An Indian University agreed not to host future Israeli Government events following student protests. The British Society for Middle Eastern Studies endorsed the Palestinian academic boycott call.
  10. The US Episcopal Church, with 1.7 million members, is divesting from Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions and Israel Discount Bank for their complicity in Israel’s human rights violations. The church is continuing critical engagement with Facebook, Booking.com and TripAdvisor.
  11. The campaign to Boycott HP is growing, with trade unions taking the lead. Unions voting to boycott HP included FNV in the Netherlands, with 1.2 million members; Unite, the UK’s second largest union, with 1.1 million members; and the Maritime Union of Australia – Sydney Branch. Additionally, 11 organizations in India declared their offices HP Free Zones.
  12. The UK Labour Party reaffirmed its support for suspending arms sales to Israel, in order to hold Israel accountable for violating Palestinian rights.
  13. And the winner of Eurovision in apartheid Tel Aviv was… the BDS movement for Palestinian rights. More than 150,000 people, hundreds of artists and over 100 LGBT+ organizations joined our calls to boycott Eurovision 2019. Only 10% of the expected tourists showed up.
  14. As supporters of Palestinian rights and BDS came under attack in Germany, 240 Jewish and Israeli scholars signed a letter to the German government defending the right to call for BDS as a legitimate and non-violent tool of resistance.
  15. Apartheid Free Zones (AFZ) in Italy have grown by 50% since they were launched in June. 150 commercial, cultural and sporting activities in Italy have declared themselves free of Israeli apartheid.
  16. In an anti-normalization victory, an Israeli delegation of businessmen and government officials cancelled their participation in a business conference in Bahrain, following protests and opposition in the Arab world, and in Bahrain itself.
  17. Important court victories countered campaigns to repress the BDS movement, bolstering the right to boycott. A In three cases, German courts ruled in favor of the rights of BDS supporters to hold events. In the US, a judge stopped enforcement of Texas’ anti-BDS laws. Another judge allowed a lawsuit against that law to proceed. A judge threw out a lawsuit against the academic boycott of Israel, and students at Fordham won the right to establish a Students for Justice for Palestine chapter.
  18. 50 actions were held in 20 countries for the second #BoycottPuma Global Day of Action. Supporters of Palestinian human rights, sports fans, and former Barcelona football player Oleguer Presas, called on Puma to end its support for Israel’s military occupation.
  19. BDS Latin America’s online #StopCemex Day of Action, targeting Mexican cement company Cemex, which helps build Israel’s wall and settlements, hijacked the company’s annual Cemex Day. On a day Cemex devotes to celebrating itself, one million people were instead reached online with the message: #StopCemex from building Israeli apartheid.
  20. Following a BDS campaign, Panamericana, the largest bookstore chain in Colombia, dropped its contract with global security company G4S over its complicity in Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights.

Geplaatst door de redactie

BDS Nederland op Twitter