Q. How did the BDS effort get started?
A. In 2005, Palestinian civil society asked the world to do for them what it had done for South African — end Israel’s occupation, apartheid and violations of their human rights through the non-violent tool of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS). Individuals, organizations, and institutions around the world have responded by boycotting Israeli products and divesting from Israeli companies and other companies that are supporting these human rights violations. See www.bdsmovement.net.
Q. Why address Israel’s human rights violations?
A. Our government provides Israel with monetary aid, military weapons, and political cover that facilitates Israel’s continued violations of the rights of the Palestinians. U.S. aid is in excess of $3 billion dollars a year, more money than is given to any other single country.
Q. What are Israel’s violations of International Law?
A. Since its founding in 1948, the state of Israel has repeatedly violated the Geneva Conventions and International Law, defying over seventy U.N. resolutions (see jewsagainsttheoccupation.org for a partial list). Israel has ignored the rulings of the International Court of Justice to dismantle its illegal settlements and the apartheid wall. Israel has been charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity for its 22-day attack on Gaza December ’08 – January ‘09. On a daily basis, Israel violates the rights of the 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank, against whom it maintains an illegal military occupation, confiscates Palestinian land and water, and demolishes Palestinian homes, farms and orchards. See “More” section for more information on Israel’s human rights violations.
Q. What products are made in Israel?
A. There are many products made in Israel or by Israeli-owned companies. Click on “Campaigns” to see some of the products carried in Sacramento.
Q. Is BDS Anti-Jewish?
A. No, BDS is about human rights, not religion. This false accusation is used as a tactic by those seeking to silence critics of Israel. As stated by Sacramento Jewish Voice for Peace: “JVP rejects the assertion that boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) is inherently anti-Semitic. JVP defends activists’ right to use the full range of BDS tactics without being persecuted or demonized. We support divestment from and boycotts of companies that profit from Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. This includes companies operating in or from occupied Palestinian territory, exploiting Palestinian labor and scarce environmental resources, providing materials or labor for settlements, or producing military or other equipment or materials used to violate human rights or to profit from the Occupation.”
Q. How would the success of this effort affect Israel?
A. Like the apartheid regime in South Africa, the Israeli government would have to change its policies and practices that violate the rights of the Palestinians and it would have to restore to Palestinians refugees their homes and lands or compensate them for these. It would have to remove its military and colonists from the West Bank and the Golan Heights. It would have to become a full democracy for all its citizens, regardless of their religious or ethnicity. As it has over past sixty years, it would receive more immigrants, this time, Palestinian refugees returning to their homes. These changes will require adjustments but such changes open the possibility for a better future where human rights are respected. Not making these changes assures a worse future for all who reside in Palestine/Israel.
Q. How can I get more involved?
A. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer.