Friday, February 03, 2017

The 8 most significant BDS Wins in 2016

The Palestine BDS National Committee announces the eight most significant indicators of BDS impact in 2016:

1.Three more multinationals ended their involvement in illegal Israeli projects. Orange, the French Telecommunications giant, announced the termination of its franchise relationship with the Israeli company Partner Communications, which provided telecommunication support, subscription fee waivers, and entertainment services to Israeli soldiers during the 2014 war on Gaza. 
    The Irish building materials corporation CRH sold off its 25% equity stake in its Israeli operation, Nesher Cement, over links to Israel's illegal Wall and settlements on Palestinian land. 

G4S, the world's largest private security company, ended most of its involvement in illegal Israeli business. Considered a top BDS target for years due to its provision of products and services to Israeli prisons, police, military roadblocks and illegal colonies, G4S severed ties with Israel after it lost lucrative contracts or faced prominent divestment decisions in Kuwait, Norway, South Africa, Colombia, the European Union, Jordan, Lebanon, and the U.S.

    2. The European Union upheld the right to boycott Israel as a legitimate form of freedom of expression protected by European Human Rights Conventions. Previously, the right to boycott had been supported by Sweden, Ireland, and the Netherlands, as well as Amnesty International, the ACLU, the International Federation of Human Rights, and hundreds of political parties, trade unions and social movements around the world.

3. Municipal Councils in France, Norway, and Northern Ireland joined BDS, while in the U.S., Portland, Oregon became the first U.S. city to endorse divesting from Caterpillar. 

4.  Israel’s global isolation intensified as appeasement began to give way to sustained international pressure: 

    The UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2334: Israel’s settlements built on occupied Palestinian land constitute a “flagrant violation under international law.” Even though the US abstained from the UN decision, current polls indicate that 46% of the public and 60% of Democrats supported imposing sanctions or taking more drastic measures against Israel to compel it to end its colonization of Palestinian lands. 

Similarly, the U.N. Human Rights Council decided to create a database of Israeli and international corporations that are complicit in and profiting from Israel’s occupation. This remarkable development has made many companies nervous about their own involvement in Israel’s violations of international law.  

5. More mainstream churches around the world adopted BDS-related measures in support of Palestinian human rights. These are: the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa, the United Methodist Church, the Catholic Conference of Major Superiors of Men, the Presbyterian Church USA, The Alliance of Baptists, the Peace United Church of Christ in Santa Cruz, and the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly (US).

6. The BDS campaign against Hewlett Packard went viral.
A global Week of Action was organized around November 29, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, to hold HP accountable for providing technology that enables Israel’s system of occupation and racial segregation. The spread of the HP boycott actions exceeded all expectation. Over 150 actions were organized in 101 cities across 30 countries.

  7. The academic and cultural boycott of Israel spread further among student unions, academics, artists, and writers, especially in the Global South. Groups in 225 cities and university campuses registered their participation in Israeli Apartheid Week. 

8. International trade 
unions intensified support 
for BDS measures in 
solidarity with Palestinian

Of course, Israel's right wing 
    took exception to all this. Oh well...

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