SearchIntroducing BDS Movement Against Occupation and Zionist Apartheid

Introducing BDS Movement Against Occupation and Zionist Apartheid ...
en.wikipedia.org 10/04/2016 Culture

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Introducing BDS: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS Movement) is a global campaign attempting to increase economic and political pressure on Israel to comply with the stated goals of the movement: the end of Israel's occupation and colonization of Palestinian land and the Golan Heights, full equality for Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, and respect for the right of return of Palestinian refugees.
The campaign is organised and coordinated by the Palestinian BDS National Committee. The campaign was started on 9 July 2005 by over 170 Palestinian non-governmental organizations in support of the Palestinian cause for boycott, divestment and international sanctions against Israel. Citing a body of UN resolutions and specifically echoing the anti-apartheid campaigns against white minority rule in apartheid era South Africa, the BDS campaign called for "various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law".
Protests and conferences in support of the campaign have been held in a number of countries around the world. Supporters of BDS include academics, trade unions, political parties and Israeli citizens.
Supporters of BDS compare the movement with the 20th century Anti-Apartheid Movement and view their actions similar to the boycotts of South Africa during its apartheid era, comparing the situation in Israel to apartheid.
There is considerable debate about the scope, efficacy, and morality of the BDS movement. Critics argue that the BDS movement disincentivizes the Palestinian leadership from negotiating with Israel at present, is antisemitic, and that it is a form of anti-semitic anti-Zionism that promotes the delegitimization of Israel. BDS supporters counter arguments of anti-semitism by pointing to the many Jewish and Israeli supporters of the movement,
"Refuse to finance the occupation - Boycott Israel" - a poster by a Swedish network of mainly communist and socialist organisations, but also some youth groups of the Social Democrats, the party currently in power in Sweden, are members. Unlike other Swedish pro-palestinian organisations, this network calls for a total boycott of Israel, not only of goods manufactured in settlements. 15 June 2005, 19:23:10

* * * Background
In 1967, Israel occupied the Palestinian territories and the Syrian Golan. After the signing of the 1993-95 Oslo Accords, the Palestinians expected to establish their own independent state. Israel, however, did not end the occupation.
During the Second Intifada Palestinians began establishing new approaches that concentrated on developing international solidarity and support that could be used to apply pressure on Israel through non-violent means. Calls for a boycott campaign emerged in 2002 and 2003. SodaStream controversy continues to bubble. Patrick Strickland, Al Jazeera, 11 February 2014</ref>
On 9 July 2005, the first anniversary of the advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice in which the West Bank barrier was declared a violation of international law, a large number of organizations representing Palestinians in Israel, Palestine and abroad called upon the international community for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel until it complies with International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights. At the first Palestinian BDS Conference, held in Ramallah in November 2007, the "BDS National Committee" (BNC) was established as the Palestinian coordinating body for the BDS campaign worldwide. The movement's great example and source of inspiration is the 20th century boycott of South Africa by the Anti-Apartheid Movement.
Goals of the BDS campaign
On 9 July 2005, a broad spectrum of over 170 Palestinian non-governmental organizations initiated a campaign for a boycott, divestment and international sanctions against Israel in support of the Palestinian cause. According to the call, the BDS campaign urges various forms of non-violent punitive measures against Israel until it complies with the precepts of international law. These measures should bring about:
Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;
Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.
The BDS campaign is organised and coordinated by the Palestinian BDS National Committee. The committee cites a body of UN resolutions and specifically echoes the anti-apartheid campaigns against white minority rule in apartheid era South Africa, the BDS campaign called for "various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law".
Methods
The BDS Movement uses the means of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. The campaign has organised demonstrations and protests targeting companies which have contracts with the Israeli military or with companies in Israeli settlements. Actions may also target prominent individuals who openly support settlements businesses.
Social media platforms are used to draw attention to BDS activities. With public calls on social media, protests, petitions and in articles, pressure is put on individuals to cancel their participation in events in Israel or in Israeli settlements, such as concerts or academic events. On the other hand, Israeli's are pressured not to take part in activities outside Israel or the Occupied territories. Participants in events are sometimes demanded to declare solidarity with the Palestinian cause.
Naomi Klein has described BDS as one of the few non-violent tactics to protest that Palestinians still have at their disposal.
Israeli Apartheid Week
Main article: Israeli Apartheid Week
Israeli Apartheid Week is an annual series of university lectures and rallies against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. The series is normally held in February or March. According to the organization, "the aim of IAW is to educate people about the nature of Israel as an apartheid system and to build BDS campaigns as part of a growing global BDS movement." Since IAW began in Toronto in 2005, it has since spread to at least 55 cities around the world including locations in Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Austria, Jordan, Japan, Korea, Brazil, Botswana, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, the United States, South Africa, Mexico, Norway, Australia, and Palestine.
Responses by Palestine and Israel
Reactions by Palestinian authorities
In December 2012, following the withholding of taxes collected by Israel on behalf of the Palestinians, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad called for a boycott of all Israeli goods. In the past, he had unsuccessfully called for a boycott of goods made in Israeli settlements.
During a visit to South Africa in 2013, President Mahmoud Abbas stunned reporters and Palestinian activists by stating that the Palestinians do not support a general boycott of Israel. He supported, however, a boycott of settlement products.
In February 2015, activists from Fatah launched a new campaign in reaction on another Israeli punitive withholding of taxes. They called on people to boycott products made by six major Israeli food companies. Abbas apparently did not openly support the boycott, but rather asked the Fatah-led Palestine Liberation Organization to lead the campaign. At the 25th African Union assembly in the South Africa in June 2015, President Abbas urged the African countries to boycott goods produced by settlement companies in the West Bank.
Reactions by Israeli authorities
On 11 July 2011, the Knesset passed a law making it a civil offence to publicly call for a boycott against the State of Israel, defined as "deliberately avoiding economic, cultural or academic ties with another person or another factor only because of his ties with the State of Israel, one of its institutions or an area under its control, in such a way that may cause economic, cultural or academic damage". According to the law, anyone calling for a boycott can be sued, and forced to pay compensation regardless of actual damages. At the discretion of a government minister, they may also be prevented from bidding in government tenders.
The new law drew a lot of criticism. 32 Israeli law professors signed a petition arguing that the law is unconstitutional and does grievous harm to freedom of political expression and protest. Other critics include BDS opponents, such as Gerald Steinberg from NGO Monitor and Morton Klein from the Zionist Organization of America, who criticize the law noting the many better avenues with which to counter BDS.
On 10 December 2012 the Israeli Supreme Court froze the law and issued an interim order to the state of Israel to explain why the law should not be struck down. The court order gave the state until 14 March 2013 to respond. The final hearing on the issue will be before a nine-justice panel of the court presided over by Asher Grunis President of Supreme Court of Israel. Yehuda Weinstein Attorney General of Israel is reported to have called the law "borderline" defensible and admitted in defending the law in the hearing that it had serious problems.
In March 2016 the Israeli Intelligence and Atomic Energy Minister Yisrael Katz argued that Israel should employ “targeted civil eliminations” against leaders of the BDS movement. The expression puns on the Hebrew word for targeted assassinations.
Academic boycotts
See also: Academic boycotts of Israel
The campaign for academic boycotts of Israel is led by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. It has been endorsed by nearly sixty Palestinian academic, cultural and other civil society federations, unions, and organizations, including the Federation of Unions of Palestinian Universities’ Professors and Employees and the Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO) in the West Bank.
Academics in a number of countries have signed on to support the campaign. Since 2010, over 250 Irish artists, students, and professors have pledged to boycott Israel along with over 140 Irish academics. In 2015, 240 Belgian academics and researchers pledged to boycott Israeli academic institutions; 1600 Spanish academics and academic staff signed a statement in support of the academic boycott of Israel; over 300 academics from the UK pledged to boycott Israeli institutions; and over 200 South African academics signed onto the BDS campaign to support the rights of the Palestinian people.
As'ad AbuKhalil, a professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus and supporter of the BDS movement, stated in his blog that the aim of the BDS campaign should be "to bring down the state of Israel", since "Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the state of Israel".
English theoretical physicist and professor Stephen Hawking is a supporter of the BDS movement and supports an academic boycott of Israel. In 2013, Dr. Hawking boycotted the prestigious Israeli Presidential Conference, held by Israeli president Shimon Peres, because, in his words, “I have received a number of emails from Palestinian academics .... They are unanimous that I should respect the boycott." Hawking had accepted the invitation to attend the conference, then declined after receiving "a number of emails from Palestinian academics" asking him to respect the academic boycott against Israel. Hawking then stated about his original intent, "Had I attended, I would have stated my opinion that the policy of the present Israeli government is likely to lead to disaster." He wanted to express his opinion on the prospects of a peace settlement, and to lecture on the West Bank. Among the 20 academics who pressured Hawking to boycott were Professors Noam Chomsky and Malcolm Levitt, with Levitt saying that this was the method available for a scientist to counter the "explicit policy" of "systemic discrimination" against the non-Jewish and Palestinian population. However, Chomsky has also stated that he is against the BDS movement as a whole, which he finds hypocritical.
In December 2013, the American Studies Association (ASA) decided to join the boycott of all Israeli academic institutions. Israel is the first nation ever boycotted by the ASA in the 52 years since the organization's founding. The New York Times reported that ASA's president Curtis Marez argued that America has "a particular responsibility to answer the call for boycott because it is the largest supplier of military aid to the state of Israel" (see below).
The Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) endorsed the boycott of Israeli academic institutions in December 2013. Its declaration "encourages NAISA members to boycott Israeli academic institutions because they are imbricated with the Israeli state."
In March 2014, in Ireland, members of NUI Galway Students' Union voted 64% to join the BDS campaign, making it the first Irish students' union to endorse a boycott of Israel. The vote is non-binding on the university.
In May 2014, the UK's National Union of Students Black Students conference passed Motion 402: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions by an "overwhelming" majority endorsing the Palestinian call at their national conference at the University of Warwick.
In November 2015, the annual business meeting of the American Anthropological Association voted to join the academic boycott campaign, by a margin of 1,040 to 136. The resolution will be put to the full body of the membership in early 2016.
Business boycotts
United Nations Special Rapporteur on "the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967", Richard A. Falk, in his 2012 report to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) recommended that "businesses highlighted in the report – as well as the many other businesses that are profiting from the Israeli settlement enterprise – should be boycotted until they bring their operations into line with international human rights and humanitarian law and standards." He specifically named the United States' Caterpillar Inc., Hewlett Packard and Motorola; Israel's Ahava, Elbit Systems and Mehadrin; Sweden's Volvo Group and Assa Abloy; France's Veolia Environment; United Kingdom's G4S, Belgium's Dexia Group, Netherlands' Riwal Holding Group and Mexico's Cemex. At a news conference Falk said: "The focus on business activities is partly an expression of frustration about the inability to obtain compliance with these fundamental legal obligations of Israel and the ineffectiveness of the U.N. efforts to condemn settlement expansion." He also stated "The whole issue of Palestinian self-determination is at risk here."
In December 2012 the New Zealand Superannuation Fund excluded three Israeli companies from its portfolio because of their involvement in the construction of Israeli settlements and the Israeli West Bank barrier. The fund's manager for responsible investment stated that "Findings by the United Nations that the separation barrier and settlement activities were illegal under international law were central to the fund's decision to exclude the companies." The New Zealand Herald described "the fund's investments in the firms", which amounted to less than $83,000, as "insubstantial".
In late 2013, Luxembourg's state pension fund, FDC, "excluded from authorised investment universe" eight major Israeli firms, including Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, and AFI Group, for "financing" or "supporting construction" of "illegal settlements in occupied territories", namely the State of Palestine, or, in the case of Elbit Systems, "providing security systems for illegal separation barrier on occupied territories". FDC also excluded American firm Motorola Solutions for "assisting in human rights violations in occupied territories" in the State of Palestine.
In January 2014, the government of Norway announced that its pension fund will no longer invest in two Israeli companies (Africa Israel Investments and Danya Cebus) "due to contribution to serious violations of individual rights in war or conflict through the construction of settlements in East Jerusalem". Norway's YMCA-YWCA joined the boycott in 2014, announcing that it will support " broad economic boycott of goods and services from Israel and Israeli settlements".
In January 2014, Danske Bank, which is the largest bank in Denmark, blacklisted Israel's largest bank, Bank Hapoalim, for "acting against the rules of international humanitarian law" due to its funding of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Previously, Danske Bank had withdrawn its investments from Africa Israel Investments Ltd. and Danya Cebus for the same reasons.
On 21 July 2014, the government of the Maldives announced the annulment of three bilateral trade agreements with Israel, and a government boycott of all Israeli goods. Mohamed Hussain Shareef, the minister at the President's Office, also announced that the government planned to ban the import of Israeli goods into the state.
In February 2016, Crepes & Waffles, a Colombian restaurant chain with international presence in Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Spain, decided to terminate its security transport contracts with the British G4S citing that "contracting G4S ran counter to the chain’s ethical principles and offended many of its loyal clients." G4S has provided equipment to Israeli prisons where human right abuses have been reported to occur.
Cultural boycotts
The organizers of the week long Rototom Sunsplash music festival held in Spain in 2015, cancelled the scheduled appearance of Jewish American rapper Matisyahu after he refused to sign a statement supporting a Palestinian state. Matisyahu stated that it was "appalling and offensive" that he was singled out as the "one publicly Jewish-American artist." After criticism from Spain's daily paper El País, the Spanish government as well as Jewish organisations, the organisers apologised to Matisyahu re-inviting him to perform. They stated that "it made a mistake, due to the boycott and the campaign of pressure, coercion and threats employed by the BDS País Valencià."
Impact of BDS
Effects on Israel
The effectiveness of the movement has been questioned. Many reports from both in and outside of Israel indicated that the movement had made very little impact on the Israeli economy, and suggested that it was unlikely to for the foreseeable future.
In June 2015, the Rand Corporation reported that a successful Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel, if it could be maintained for 10 years, could potentially cost the Israeli economy $47 billion - this figure, which was not published in the report, was reportedly determined by using a model examining previous attempts to boycott countries. However, the Rand Corporation also noted that "evidence on the effectiveness of sanctions is mixed, making an assessment of the potential economic effects of the BDS movement problematic."
Effects on Palestinian employment
Opponents of BDS argue that BDS destroys employment for Palestinians. They argue that companies in settlements are beneficial for Palestinians. They claim that they offer employment with high wages compared with Palestinian factories and that the Palestinians are happy with their jobs and do not feel exploited. Proponents of BDS allege that in 2011 many Palestinians worked in settlements without permits and earn less than the Israeli minimum wage or even less than half the minimum wage. In the former SodaStream factory in Ma'ale Adumim, for example, for entry-level employees there was not much difference in the salaries between SodaStream and Palestinian factories. The majority of Palestinian employees at SodaStream had renewable seasonal contracts that last only three months each. Palestinians work in settlements because they have no other choice and 82% of Palestinians working in Israeli settlements would quit those jobs if viable alternatives were available. Omar Barghouti said that the fact that "tens of thousands" of Palestinians work in settlements is the direct result of Israeli policy. For decades, Israel has been "systematically destroying Palestinian industry and agriculture, confiscating our most fertile lands and richest water reserves, and imposing extreme restrictions of movement preventing many from reaching their workplaces". According to Who Profits, all of the Palestinian trade unions and labor unions and almost all Palestinian civil society organizations, including political parties, support the BDS call for boycott, divestment and sanctions.
Supporters
Political organizations
The African National Congress, South Africa's governing political party, endorsed BDS in 2012. The party declared itself to be "unapologetic in its view that the Palestinians are the victims and the oppressed in the conflict with Israel." Scotland's Green Party endorsed a boycott of Israel in October 2015.
Trade unions
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) supports the campaign for BDS against Israel, fully endorsing it in July 2011. During the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict, COSATU vowed to "intensify" their support for the campaign, picketing Woolworths for stocking Israeli goods.
In April 2014, the UK's National Union of Teachers, the largest teacher's union in the EU, passed a resolution backing boycotts against Israel. In July of that year, the UK's Unite the Union voted to join BDS.
In April 2015, The Central Council of the Confederation of National Trade Unions, Quebec, Canada, representing 325,000 in nearly 2,000 unions, voted to join the campaign for BDS and support a military embargo against Israel.
Other prominent people
Other supporters of BDS include Pink Floyd musician Roger Waters, Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Alice Walker.
Jewish individuals and organizations outside of Israel
Peter Beinart has repeatedly written in support of a settlements boycott in order to "save Israel". Beinart supports a targeted approach to boycotting West Bank settlements, specifically calling on American Jews: "We should lobby to exclude settler-produced goods from America’s free-trade deal with Israel. We should push to end Internal Revenue Service policies that allow Americans to make tax-deductible gifts to settler charities. Every time an American newspaper calls Israel a democracy, we should urge it to include the caveat: only within the green line". In 2011, the liberal Zionist organization Meretz USA called on American Jews to boycott West Bank settlement goods to "Buy Israel—Don't buy Settlements". Naomi Paiss, the vice president of public affairs for the New Israel Fund shows support for the same type of targeted approach, claiming that "boycotting settlements is not anti-Israel". At the same time, she clearly opposes the BDS movement, calling it "inflammatory and counter-productive." The Australian Jewish Democratic Society, "has become the first Australian community-affiliated Jewish organization to adopt the view that some boycotts of Israel may indeed be justified", according to their website. The group only supports "selected BDS actions designed to bring about an end to the Israeli occupation, blockade and settlement on Palestinian lands lying outside of the June 1967 Israeli borders." The organization resolves to boycott settlement products as well "specific academics openly supportive of the Occupation".
In 2014, an international Jewish group, Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, issued a list of signatories endorsing the American Studies Association academic boycott of Israel. Peter Slezak, co-founder of Independent Australian Jewish Voices, Jewish human rights activist, and professor at the University of NSW stands in favour of the academic boycott through his vocal support of Sydney University’s Professor Jake Lynch. Jewish American academic, Colin Dayan has also written in support of a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. Charles H. Manekin, an orthodox Jewish studies and philosophy professor who divides his time between Israel and the United States, stated in 2014 that he is "sympathetic" to the BDS movement.
Israeli individuals and organizations
Settlement boycott
In 2006 the Israeli peace activism group headed by Uri Avnery, Gush Shalom, published "a list of several hundred products made in areas beyond the Green Line. The list, containing many food products, also includes businesses operating in the Golan Heights." In 2011, Israel enacted a law that established civil penalties on any individual who called for a boycott of Israel or of the settlements. Consequently, Gush Shalom appealed to Israel's Supreme Court to rule the law as unconstitutional, joined by several minority rights groups, including: The Civil Rights Association, Yesh Din, Adalah, the Women’s Coalition for Peace, The Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism, Knesset member Ahmed Tibi and The Arab Monitoring Committee Similarly taking a stand in the eye of the public, Israeli politician, Zehava Gal-On, head of the Meretz opposition party, "said that while she opposes international boycott efforts against Israel as a whole, she refrains from consuming settler products because there must be a 'price to the occupation.'" Civilian support for the boycott of settlement goods continues to grow amongst Israelis, causing manufacturers and producers in the West Bank and Gaza to "encounter obstacles" in the marketing of their goods "Not just overseas, also in Tel Aviv".
Academic boycott
In 2009, the Israel-based Alternative Information Center released a report which alleged the complicity of all Israeli universities in the Occupation of Palestinian territory.
In 2013, a group of Palestinian, Israeli and other oral historians and academics from Europe, South Africa, Oceana, Asia, and the Americas issued an international call for the boycott of the "International Oral History Conference" organized by The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
General boycott
The Israeli activist organisation Boycott from Within supports the BDS campaign, including the call for a cultural boycott of Israel. Boycott From Within regularly releases statements calling on musicians to cancel concerts scheduled in Israel.
Reaction
Australia
Support
In 2011, a series of protests were staged at Max Brenner outlets, a franchise of the Israeli food manufacturer Strauss Group, which provides soldiers in the Israeli Defence Forces with care packages.
The NSW Greens State Conference prior to the 2011 NSW State Election adopted a resolution in support of BDS. In support of the statement, Senator Lee Rhiannon said it was "motivated by the universal principles of freedom, justice and equal rights" and also "I see the value of that tactic as a way to promoting Palestinian human rights." Following the election, Federal leader Bob Brown said that he had conveyed his disapproval of this policy emphasis to Rhiannon.
In December 2011, the NSW Greens reviewed their support for the BDS campaign against Israel, bringing the branch more closely in line with the federal Greens Party position. However, they did vote to support BDS as a "legitimate political tactic". Rhiannon said that this was not a defeat, but rather, "The resolution recognizes the legitimacy of the BDS as a political tactic."
Oppose
In October 2011, Izzat Abdulhadi, head of the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia said that he is against the "full-scale" BDS campaign, and condemned the occasionally violent protests at the Max Brenner stores in Australia, saying, "BDS is a non-violent process and I don't think it's the right of anybody to use BDS as a violent action or to prevent people from buying from any place."
In New South Wales in 2011, Walt Secord of the Labor Party's NSW Legislative Council, called on the NSW Minister for Police, Michael Gallacher, to "provide assurances for the protection of businesses with Israeli links" after two BDS protesters were arrested outside a Max Brenner store. Also in New South Wales, on 19 April 2011, Marrickville municipal council held a fiery meeting over whether to support the global BDS campaign. Though they struck down the motion, one councillor went on record hoping Israelis and Palestinians could "live in peace in the future without Marrickville Council trying to interfere".
In August 2012, Liberal MP David Southwick said in parliament that Labor MP Martin Foley had links to BDS group through union membership. Foley responded by saying "I seek his withdrawal of these comments where he has sought to associate with this racist, anti-Semitic and anti-Israel boycott movement."
Following the incident, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said that the "campaign does not serve the cause of peace and diplomacy for agreement on a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine", and added that Australia has always had firm opposition to the BDS movement. Others, including former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, also condemned the protests in a follow-up article by the Australian discussing protests at the University of New South Wales.
Representing the Coalition prior to the 2013 federal election, Liberal Party deputy leader Julie Bishop reaffirmed Gillard's stance by promising to cut off federal grants for individuals and institutions who support the BDS campaign. On 29 May 2013, Jewish Australian academics Andrew Benjamin, Michele Grossman, and David Goodman condemned the Coalition's election promise as "an anti-democratic gesture par excellence".
Canada
See also: CUPE Ontario and disinvestment from Israel
Support
The most visible face of organizing in support of BDS in Canada is Israeli Apartheid Week, originally started in Toronto in 2005. The United Church of Canada voted to boycott products from Israeli settlements. In March 2014, the University of Windsor Student Alliance is considering plans to implement the results of a referendum vote in which the majority of voters called for the University to boycott companies with ties to Israel.
In Québec the political party Québec solidaire, the second largest public sector union Centrale des syndicats du Québec and the feminist organization Fédération des femmes du Québec have all supported the BDS campaign. Amir Khadir has sponsored a petition to the National Assembly of Quebec calling for the suspension of Québec's cooperation accord with Israel.
In 2006, the Canadian Union of Public Employees voted to join the boycott of Israel "until that state recognizes the Palestinian right to self-determination" and "until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people's inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law".
Oppose
In February 2011, the Québec National Assembly voted against a motion that condemned boycotts of Québec businesses that sell products made in Israel and "reiterates Québec's support for the understanding on co-operation between the government of Québec and the government of the State of Israel, which was signed in Jerusalem in 1997 and renewed in 2007".
Israel
Support
An Israeli activist group launched in 2009 to support BDS from within Israel. It concentrates on cultural boycott by appealing to international personalities, artists and academics who consider visiting Israel.
The 'Who profits?' project is another Israeli group involved in the BDS campaign that documents and publicizes how profits are made from the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, including documentation of who benefits from the occupation. According to 'Who Profits?', both Israeli and international corporations are involved "in the construction of Israeli colonies and infrastructure in the Occupied Territories, in settlements' economy, in building walls and checkpoints, in the supply of specific equipment used in the control and repression of civilian population under occupation".
Oppose
A group of Israeli businessmen have started a sales website called "Shop-a-Fada" in order to promote Israeli products. Tal Brody is the honorary chairman of the initiative and said the purpose is to "fight back against those who think that they'll be able to destroy Israel by waging economic warfare".
Some Jewish factory managers who employ Palestinian labor have condemned the boycott, claiming a boycott of Israeli products will result in the loss of Palestinian jobs.
The Netherlands
The lower house of the Dutch Parliament passed a motion on 18 March 2014 undermining the concept of BDS. It came in response to water company Vitens' BDS support. Kees van der Staaij of the Reformed Political Party and Joel Voordewind of the ChristianUnion jointly submitted the motion. It calls on the government "to indicate in a visible and convincing way that it encourages relations between Dutch and Israeli businesses and institutions" because "economic cooperation promotes peace, security, stability in the region." It passed by a large majority.
Romania
Claiming "respect for international law, the positions of the EU and the protection of Romanian citizens", Romania announced in 2012 that it will not allow Romanian labourers to be sent to Israel unless guarantees are provided that they will not be employed in construction projects in the West Bank. Commenting on the refusal to grant this condition for Romanian workers, Israeli MK Michal Rozin stated that "Israelis are being harmed by the government's activity in the territories."
South Africa
The University of Johannesburg has issued conflicting stances toward BDS. In 2011, it voted not to renew a joint agreement with Israel's Ben-Gurion University for research in biotechnology and water purification. A campaign before the vote cited BGU's cooperation with the military, occupation and apartheid. The vote did not preclude faculty members from individually choosing to continue in the joint project. However, two days after the vote, Vice Chancellor Ihron Rensburg, a principal of UJ, stated that "UJ is not part of an academic boycott of Israel. ... It has never been UJ's intention to sever all ties with BGU, although it may have been the intention of some UJ staff members."
On 31 August 2012, the Wits University Students' Representative Council (Wits SRC) adopted a declaration of academic and cultural boycott of Israel. Several days later, the Executive Committee of Wits Convocation, representing the alumni and academic staff of the university, distanced itself from the declaration. The South African Union of Jewish Students, sharply criticized the resolution, calling it "a vicious and one-sided resolution aimed at shutting down all debate and discussion surrounding the Israeli–Palestinian conflict".
In March 2013, eleven student BDS supporters at the Wits University were charged by the university after they forced the cancellation of a concert by Israeli pianist Yossi Reshef. They were subsequently sentenced by the university to community service. At a follow up concert held on 28 August 2013, which featured Israeli jazz saxophonist Daniel Zamir, dozens of BDS protesters gathered outside. Due to security measures implemented by the University, the protesters were unable to disrupt the performance, as they were kept from entering the venue. However, concert goers were subject to verbal abuse including the singing of a song that included the lyrics "Dubula iJuda" (Shoot the Jew), at as well as chants of "There is no such thing as Israel" and "Israel apartheid". Some attendees were also pelted with sheets of paper. The actions of the protesters were condemned by University Vice-Chancellor Adam Habib and by the South African Jewish Board of Deputies. Muhammed Desai, coordinator of BDS South Africa later went on to justify the actions. Several days later, however, BDS released an official statement condemning the chants of "dubula ijuda". Desai was later called on to resign by BDS supporters.
On 8 March 2015, outside a South African Zionist Federation event, BDS supporters staged a protest at which protesters threatened to kill Jews. They chanted antisemitic slogans such as "You think this is Israel, we are going to kill you!" and "You Jews do not belong here in South Africa!" The picketers who were joined by members of the South African Communist Party also included the head of the ruling African National Congress (ANC)'s International Relations, Government Deputy Minister Obed Bapela who accused Israel of oppressing Palestinians. In another March 2015 event in South Africa, a mob of BDS supporters threw rocks, broke equipment, and looted a store that sells products from Israel.
United Kingdom
See also: Academic boycotts of Israel
On 22 April 2005, the Association of University Teachers (AUT) Council voted to boycott two Israeli universities: University of Haifa and Bar-Ilan University. The motions to AUT Council were prompted by the call for a boycott from Palestinian academics and others. The AUT Council voted to boycott Bar-Ilan because it runs courses at colleges in the occupied West Bank (in Ariel College) and "is thus directly involved with the occupation of Palestinian territories contrary to United Nations resolutions". It boycotted Haifa because it was alleged that the university had wrongly disciplined a lecturer. The action against the lecturer was supposedly for supporting a student who wrote about attacks on Palestinians during the founding of the state of Israel (he withdrew the claims when sued for libel and the University denied having disciplined the lecturer). The boycott, which was not compulsory, was set to last until Haifa "ceases its victimisation of academic staff and students who seek to research and discuss the history of the founding of the state of Israel". and by Universities UK.
After both internal and external backlash and condemnation, members of the AUT, headed by Open University lecturer Jon Pike – gathered enough signatures to call a special meeting on the subject. The meeting was held on 26 May 2005, at Friends Meeting House in London. At the meeting the AUT decided to cancel the boycott of both Israeli universities. Reasons cited for the decision were the damage to academic freedom, the hampering of dialogue and peace effort between Israelis and Palestinian, and that boycotting Israel alone could not be justified.
At the 2006 annual conference of the United Kingdom lecturers' union, the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE), members were asked to support a motion calling for a boycott of Israeli academics and universities that did not distance themselves from "apartheid policies". Although the motion was passed it ceased to be official policy just two days later when the union merged with the Association of University Teachers.
Prior to the NATFHE debate the Federation of Unions of Palestinian University Professors and Employees and the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel described the campaign in a letter to the Times Higher Education Supplement as "the only non-violent forms of action available to people of conscience the world over" adding, "We salute those who recognise that, since justice for Palestinians cannot be expected from the international centres of world power, they must organise to further the cause of justice and genuine peace." In contrast, Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg argued:
"it is never a good idea for academics to boycott colleagues in other countries on political grounds. During the Cold War, American and Soviet scientists were careful to keep intellectual communication open; this not only served the cause of science, but promoted personal relationships that led to initiatives in arms control. In a similar spirit, when I ran the Jerusalem Winter School of Theoretical Physics we did what we could to recruit Arab students from Muslim countries whose governments discriminated against Jews. We never dreamt of boycotting them."

Protest against Israel's Gaza Blockade and attack on humanitarian flotilla - Melbourne 5 June 2010. As the MV Rachel Corrie was being intercepted by Israeli commandos for running the Israeli blockade of Gaza, thousands of people were gathering in Sydney and Melbourne to protest Israel's attack on the flotilla of 6 ships carring humanitarian aid to Gaza that resulted in the death of 9 innocent volunteers. The protest heard from a spokeperson from the Turkish community, muslim leaders, Greens MLC Colleen Hartland, President of the Victorian Trades Hall Council Kevin Bracken, and representatives from FAMSY and Australia Asia worker Links.

* * * Background
In 1967, Israel occupied the Palestinian territories and the Syrian Golan. After the signing of the 1993-95 Oslo Accords, the Palestinians expected to establish their own independent state. Israel, however, did not end the occupation.
During the Second Intifada Palestinians began establishing new approaches that concentrated on developing international solidarity and support that could be used to apply pressure on Israel through non-violent means. Calls for a boycott campaign emerged in 2002 and 2003. SodaStream controversy continues to bubble. Patrick Strickland, Al Jazeera, 11 February 2014</ref>
On 9 July 2005, the first anniversary of the advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice in which the West Bank barrier was declared a violation of international law, a large number of organizations representing Palestinians in Israel, Palestine and abroad called upon the international community for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel until it complies with International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights. At the first Palestinian BDS Conference, held in Ramallah in November 2007, the "BDS National Committee" (BNC) was established as the Palestinian coordinating body for the BDS campaign worldwide. The movement's great example and source of inspiration is the 20th century boycott of South Africa by the Anti-Apartheid Movement.
Goals of the BDS campaign
On 9 July 2005, a broad spectrum of over 170 Palestinian non-governmental organizations initiated a campaign for a boycott, divestment and international sanctions against Israel in support of the Palestinian cause. According to the call, the BDS campaign urges various forms of non-violent punitive measures against Israel until it complies with the precepts of international law. These measures should bring about:
Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;
Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.
The BDS campaign is organised and coordinated by the Palestinian BDS National Committee. The committee cites a body of UN resolutions and specifically echoes the anti-apartheid campaigns against white minority rule in apartheid era South Africa, the BDS campaign called for "various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law".
Methods
The BDS Movement uses the means of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. The campaign has organised demonstrations and protests targeting companies which have contracts with the Israeli military or with companies in Israeli settlements. Actions may also target prominent individuals who openly support settlements businesses.
Social media platforms are used to draw attention to BDS activities. With public calls on social media, protests, petitions and in articles, pressure is put on individuals to cancel their participation in events in Israel or in Israeli settlements, such as concerts or academic events. On the other hand, Israeli's are pressured not to take part in activities outside Israel or the Occupied territories. Participants in events are sometimes demanded to declare solidarity with the Palestinian cause.
Naomi Klein has described BDS as one of the few non-violent tactics to protest that Palestinians still have at their disposal.
Israeli Apartheid Week
Main article: Israeli Apartheid Week
Israeli Apartheid Week is an annual series of university lectures and rallies against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. The series is normally held in February or March. According to the organization, "the aim of IAW is to educate people about the nature of Israel as an apartheid system and to build BDS campaigns as part of a growing global BDS movement." Since IAW began in Toronto in 2005, it has since spread to at least 55 cities around the world including locations in Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Austria, Jordan, Japan, Korea, Brazil, Botswana, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, the United States, South Africa, Mexico, Norway, Australia, and Palestine.
Responses by Palestine and Israel
Reactions by Palestinian authorities
In December 2012, following the withholding of taxes collected by Israel on behalf of the Palestinians, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad called for a boycott of all Israeli goods. In the past, he had unsuccessfully called for a boycott of goods made in Israeli settlements.
During a visit to South Africa in 2013, President Mahmoud Abbas stunned reporters and Palestinian activists by stating that the Palestinians do not support a general boycott of Israel. He supported, however, a boycott of settlement products.
In February 2015, activists from Fatah launched a new campaign in reaction on another Israeli punitive withholding of taxes. They called on people to boycott products made by six major Israeli food companies. Abbas apparently did not openly support the boycott, but rather asked the Fatah-led Palestine Liberation Organization to lead the campaign. At the 25th African Union assembly in the South Africa in June 2015, President Abbas urged the African countries to boycott goods produced by settlement companies in the West Bank.
Reactions by Israeli authorities
On 11 July 2011, the Knesset passed a law making it a civil offence to publicly call for a boycott against the State of Israel, defined as "deliberately avoiding economic, cultural or academic ties with another person or another factor only because of his ties with the State of Israel, one of its institutions or an area under its control, in such a way that may cause economic, cultural or academic damage". According to the law, anyone calling for a boycott can be sued, and forced to pay compensation regardless of actual damages. At the discretion of a government minister, they may also be prevented from bidding in government tenders.
The new law drew a lot of criticism. 32 Israeli law professors signed a petition arguing that the law is unconstitutional and does grievous harm to freedom of political expression and protest. Other critics include BDS opponents, such as Gerald Steinberg from NGO Monitor and Morton Klein from the Zionist Organization of America, who criticize the law noting the many better avenues with which to counter BDS.
On 10 December 2012 the Israeli Supreme Court froze the law and issued an interim order to the state of Israel to explain why the law should not be struck down. The court order gave the state until 14 March 2013 to respond. The final hearing on the issue will be before a nine-justice panel of the court presided over by Asher Grunis President of Supreme Court of Israel. Yehuda Weinstein Attorney General of Israel is reported to have called the law "borderline" defensible and admitted in defending the law in the hearing that it had serious problems.
In March 2016 the Israeli Intelligence and Atomic Energy Minister Yisrael Katz argued that Israel should employ “targeted civil eliminations” against leaders of the BDS movement. The expression puns on the Hebrew word for targeted assassinations.
Academic boycotts
See also: Academic boycotts of Israel
The campaign for academic boycotts of Israel is led by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. It has been endorsed by nearly sixty Palestinian academic, cultural and other civil society federations, unions, and organizations, including the Federation of Unions of Palestinian Universities’ Professors and Employees and the Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO) in the West Bank.
Academics in a number of countries have signed on to support the campaign. Since 2010, over 250 Irish artists, students, and professors have pledged to boycott Israel along with over 140 Irish academics. In 2015, 240 Belgian academics and researchers pledged to boycott Israeli academic institutions; 1600 Spanish academics and academic staff signed a statement in support of the academic boycott of Israel; over 300 academics from the UK pledged to boycott Israeli institutions; and over 200 South African academics signed onto the BDS campaign to support the rights of the Palestinian people.
As'ad AbuKhalil, a professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus and supporter of the BDS movement, stated in his blog that the aim of the BDS campaign should be "to bring down the state of Israel", since "Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the state of Israel".
English theoretical physicist and professor Stephen Hawking is a supporter of the BDS movement and supports an academic boycott of Israel. In 2013, Dr. Hawking boycotted the prestigious Israeli Presidential Conference, held by Israeli president Shimon Peres, because, in his words, “I have received a number of emails from Palestinian academics .... They are unanimous that I should respect the boycott." Hawking had accepted the invitation to attend the conference, then declined after receiving "a number of emails from Palestinian academics" asking him to respect the academic boycott against Israel. Hawking then stated about his original intent, "Had I attended, I would have stated my opinion that the policy of the present Israeli government is likely to lead to disaster." He wanted to express his opinion on the prospects of a peace settlement, and to lecture on the West Bank. Among the 20 academics who pressured Hawking to boycott were Professors Noam Chomsky and Malcolm Levitt, with Levitt saying that this was the method available for a scientist to counter the "explicit policy" of "systemic discrimination" against the non-Jewish and Palestinian population. However, Chomsky has also stated that he is against the BDS movement as a whole, which he finds hypocritical.
In December 2013, the American Studies Association (ASA) decided to join the boycott of all Israeli academic institutions. Israel is the first nation ever boycotted by the ASA in the 52 years since the organization's founding. The New York Times reported that ASA's president Curtis Marez argued that America has "a particular responsibility to answer the call for boycott because it is the largest supplier of military aid to the state of Israel" (see below).
The Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) endorsed the boycott of Israeli academic institutions in December 2013. Its declaration "encourages NAISA members to boycott Israeli academic institutions because they are imbricated with the Israeli state."
In March 2014, in Ireland, members of NUI Galway Students' Union voted 64% to join the BDS campaign, making it the first Irish students' union to endorse a boycott of Israel. The vote is non-binding on the university.
In May 2014, the UK's National Union of Students Black Students conference passed Motion 402: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions by an "overwhelming" majority endorsing the Palestinian call at their national conference at the University of Warwick.
In November 2015, the annual business meeting of the American Anthropological Association voted to join the academic boycott campaign, by a margin of 1,040 to 136. The resolution will be put to the full body of the membership in early 2016.
Business boycotts
United Nations Special Rapporteur on "the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967", Richard A. Falk, in his 2012 report to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) recommended that "businesses highlighted in the report – as well as the many other businesses that are profiting from the Israeli settlement enterprise – should be boycotted until they bring their operations into line with international human rights and humanitarian law and standards." He specifically named the United States' Caterpillar Inc., Hewlett Packard and Motorola; Israel's Ahava, Elbit Systems and Mehadrin; Sweden's Volvo Group and Assa Abloy; France's Veolia Environment; United Kingdom's G4S, Belgium's Dexia Group, Netherlands' Riwal Holding Group and Mexico's Cemex. At a news conference Falk said: "The focus on business activities is partly an expression of frustration about the inability to obtain compliance with these fundamental legal obligations of Israel and the ineffectiveness of the U.N. efforts to condemn settlement expansion." He also stated "The whole issue of Palestinian self-determination is at risk here."
In December 2012 the New Zealand Superannuation Fund excluded three Israeli companies from its portfolio because of their involvement in the construction of Israeli settlements and the Israeli West Bank barrier. The fund's manager for responsible investment stated that "Findings by the United Nations that the separation barrier and settlement activities were illegal under international law were central to the fund's decision to exclude the companies." The New Zealand Herald described "the fund's investments in the firms", which amounted to less than $83,000, as "insubstantial".
In late 2013, Luxembourg's state pension fund, FDC, "excluded from authorised investment universe" eight major Israeli firms, including Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, and AFI Group, for "financing" or "supporting construction" of "illegal settlements in occupied territories", namely the State of Palestine, or, in the case of Elbit Systems, "providing security systems for illegal separation barrier on occupied territories". FDC also excluded American firm Motorola Solutions for "assisting in human rights violations in occupied territories" in the State of Palestine.
In January 2014, the government of Norway announced that its pension fund will no longer invest in two Israeli companies (Africa Israel Investments and Danya Cebus) "due to contribution to serious violations of individual rights in war or conflict through the construction of settlements in East Jerusalem". Norway's YMCA-YWCA joined the boycott in 2014, announcing that it will support " broad economic boycott of goods and services from Israel and Israeli settlements".
In January 2014, Danske Bank, which is the largest bank in Denmark, blacklisted Israel's largest bank, Bank Hapoalim, for "acting against the rules of international humanitarian law" due to its funding of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Previously, Danske Bank had withdrawn its investments from Africa Israel Investments Ltd. and Danya Cebus for the same reasons.
On 21 July 2014, the government of the Maldives announced the annulment of three bilateral trade agreements with Israel, and a government boycott of all Israeli goods. Mohamed Hussain Shareef, the minister at the President's Office, also announced that the government planned to ban the import of Israeli goods into the state.
In February 2016, Crepes & Waffles, a Colombian restaurant chain with international presence in Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Spain, decided to terminate its security transport contracts with the British G4S citing that "contracting G4S ran counter to the chain’s ethical principles and offended many of its loyal clients." G4S has provided equipment to Israeli prisons where human right abuses have been reported to occur.
Cultural boycotts
The organizers of the week long Rototom Sunsplash music festival held in Spain in 2015, cancelled the scheduled appearance of Jewish American rapper Matisyahu after he refused to sign a statement supporting a Palestinian state. Matisyahu stated that it was "appalling and offensive" that he was singled out as the "one publicly Jewish-American artist." After criticism from Spain's daily paper El País, the Spanish government as well as Jewish organisations, the organisers apologised to Matisyahu re-inviting him to perform. They stated that "it made a mistake, due to the boycott and the campaign of pressure, coercion and threats employed by the BDS País Valencià."
Impact of BDS
Effects on Israel
The effectiveness of the movement has been questioned. Many reports from both in and outside of Israel indicated that the movement had made very little impact on the Israeli economy, and suggested that it was unlikely to for the foreseeable future.
In June 2015, the Rand Corporation reported that a successful Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel, if it could be maintained for 10 years, could potentially cost the Israeli economy $47 billion - this figure, which was not published in the report, was reportedly determined by using a model examining previous attempts to boycott countries. However, the Rand Corporation also noted that "evidence on the effectiveness of sanctions is mixed, making an assessment of the potential economic effects of the BDS movement problematic."
Effects on Palestinian employment
Opponents of BDS argue that BDS destroys employment for Palestinians. They argue that companies in settlements are beneficial for Palestinians. They claim that they offer employment with high wages compared with Palestinian factories and that the Palestinians are happy with their jobs and do not feel exploited. Proponents of BDS allege that in 2011 many Palestinians worked in settlements without permits and earn less than the Israeli minimum wage or even less than half the minimum wage. In the former SodaStream factory in Ma'ale Adumim, for example, for entry-level employees there was not much difference in the salaries between SodaStream and Palestinian factories. The majority of Palestinian employees at SodaStream had renewable seasonal contracts that last only three months each. Palestinians work in settlements because they have no other choice and 82% of Palestinians working in Israeli settlements would quit those jobs if viable alternatives were available. Omar Barghouti said that the fact that "tens of thousands" of Palestinians work in settlements is the direct result of Israeli policy. For decades, Israel has been "systematically destroying Palestinian industry and agriculture, confiscating our most fertile lands and richest water reserves, and imposing extreme restrictions of movement preventing many from reaching their workplaces". According to Who Profits, all of the Palestinian trade unions and labor unions and almost all Palestinian civil society organizations, including political parties, support the BDS call for boycott, divestment and sanctions.
Supporters
Political organizations
The African National Congress, South Africa's governing political party, endorsed BDS in 2012. The party declared itself to be "unapologetic in its view that the Palestinians are the victims and the oppressed in the conflict with Israel." Scotland's Green Party endorsed a boycott of Israel in October 2015.
Trade unions
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) supports the campaign for BDS against Israel, fully endorsing it in July 2011. During the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict, COSATU vowed to "intensify" their support for the campaign, picketing Woolworths for stocking Israeli goods.
In April 2014, the UK's National Union of Teachers, the largest teacher's union in the EU, passed a resolution backing boycotts against Israel. In July of that year, the UK's Unite the Union voted to join BDS.
In April 2015, The Central Council of the Confederation of National Trade Unions, Quebec, Canada, representing 325,000 in nearly 2,000 unions, voted to join the campaign for BDS and support a military embargo against Israel.
Other prominent people
Other supporters of BDS include Pink Floyd musician Roger Waters, Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Alice Walker.
Jewish individuals and organizations outside of Israel
Peter Beinart has repeatedly written in support of a settlements boycott in order to "save Israel". Beinart supports a targeted approach to boycotting West Bank settlements, specifically calling on American Jews: "We should lobby to exclude settler-produced goods from America’s free-trade deal with Israel. We should push to end Internal Revenue Service policies that allow Americans to make tax-deductible gifts to settler charities. Every time an American newspaper calls Israel a democracy, we should urge it to include the caveat: only within the green line". In 2011, the liberal Zionist organization Meretz USA called on American Jews to boycott West Bank settlement goods to "Buy Israel—Don't buy Settlements". Naomi Paiss, the vice president of public affairs for the New Israel Fund shows support for the same type of targeted approach, claiming that "boycotting settlements is not anti-Israel". At the same time, she clearly opposes the BDS movement, calling it "inflammatory and counter-productive." The Australian Jewish Democratic Society, "has become the first Australian community-affiliated Jewish organization to adopt the view that some boycotts of Israel may indeed be justified", according to their website. The group only supports "selected BDS actions designed to bring about an end to the Israeli occupation, blockade and settlement on Palestinian lands lying outside of the June 1967 Israeli borders." The organization resolves to boycott settlement products as well "specific academics openly supportive of the Occupation".
In 2014, an international Jewish group, Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, issued a list of signatories endorsing the American Studies Association academic boycott of Israel. Peter Slezak, co-founder of Independent Australian Jewish Voices, Jewish human rights activist, and professor at the University of NSW stands in favour of the academic boycott through his vocal support of Sydney University’s Professor Jake Lynch. Jewish American academic, Colin Dayan has also written in support of a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. Charles H. Manekin, an orthodox Jewish studies and philosophy professor who divides his time between Israel and the United States, stated in 2014 that he is "sympathetic" to the BDS movement.
Israeli individuals and organizations
Settlement boycott
In 2006 the Israeli peace activism group headed by Uri Avnery, Gush Shalom, published "a list of several hundred products made in areas beyond the Green Line. The list, containing many food products, also includes businesses operating in the Golan Heights." In 2011, Israel enacted a law that established civil penalties on any individual who called for a boycott of Israel or of the settlements. Consequently, Gush Shalom appealed to Israel's Supreme Court to rule the law as unconstitutional, joined by several minority rights groups, including: The Civil Rights Association, Yesh Din, Adalah, the Women’s Coalition for Peace, The Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism, Knesset member Ahmed Tibi and The Arab Monitoring Committee Similarly taking a stand in the eye of the public, Israeli politician, Zehava Gal-On, head of the Meretz opposition party, "said that while she opposes international boycott efforts against Israel as a whole, she refrains from consuming settler products because there must be a 'price to the occupation.'" Civilian support for the boycott of settlement goods continues to grow amongst Israelis, causing manufacturers and producers in the West Bank and Gaza to "encounter obstacles" in the marketing of their goods "Not just overseas, also in Tel Aviv".
Academic boycott
In 2009, the Israel-based Alternative Information Center released a report which alleged the complicity of all Israeli universities in the Occupation of Palestinian territory.
In 2013, a group of Palestinian, Israeli and other oral historians and academics from Europe, South Africa, Oceana, Asia, and the Americas issued an international call for the boycott of the "International Oral History Conference" organized by The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
General boycott
The Israeli activist organisation Boycott from Within supports the BDS campaign, including the call for a cultural boycott of Israel. Boycott From Within regularly releases statements calling on musicians to cancel concerts scheduled in Israel.
Reaction
Australia
Support
In 2011, a series of protests were staged at Max Brenner outlets, a franchise of the Israeli food manufacturer Strauss Group, which provides soldiers in the Israeli Defence Forces with care packages.
The NSW Greens State Conference prior to the 2011 NSW State Election adopted a resolution in support of BDS. In support of the statement, Senator Lee Rhiannon said it was "motivated by the universal principles of freedom, justice and equal rights" and also "I see the value of that tactic as a way to promoting Palestinian human rights." Following the election, Federal leader Bob Brown said that he had conveyed his disapproval of this policy emphasis to Rhiannon.
In December 2011, the NSW Greens reviewed their support for the BDS campaign against Israel, bringing the branch more closely in line with the federal Greens Party position. However, they did vote to support BDS as a "legitimate political tactic". Rhiannon said that this was not a defeat, but rather, "The resolution recognizes the legitimacy of the BDS as a political tactic."
Oppose
In October 2011, Izzat Abdulhadi, head of the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia said that he is against the "full-scale" BDS campaign, and condemned the occasionally violent protests at the Max Brenner stores in Australia, saying, "BDS is a non-violent process and I don't think it's the right of anybody to use BDS as a violent action or to prevent people from buying from any place."
In New South Wales in 2011, Walt Secord of the Labor Party's NSW Legislative Council, called on the NSW Minister for Police, Michael Gallacher, to "provide assurances for the protection of businesses with Israeli links" after two BDS protesters were arrested outside a Max Brenner store. Also in New South Wales, on 19 April 2011, Marrickville municipal council held a fiery meeting over whether to support the global BDS campaign. Though they struck down the motion, one councillor went on record hoping Israelis and Palestinians could "live in peace in the future without Marrickville Council trying to interfere".
In August 2012, Liberal MP David Southwick said in parliament that Labor MP Martin Foley had links to BDS group through union membership. Foley responded by saying "I seek his withdrawal of these comments where he has sought to associate with this racist, anti-Semitic and anti-Israel boycott movement."
Following the incident, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said that the "campaign does not serve the cause of peace and diplomacy for agreement on a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine", and added that Australia has always had firm opposition to the BDS movement. Others, including former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, also condemned the protests in a follow-up article by the Australian discussing protests at the University of New South Wales.
Representing the Coalition prior to the 2013 federal election, Liberal Party deputy leader Julie Bishop reaffirmed Gillard's stance by promising to cut off federal grants for individuals and institutions who support the BDS campaign. On 29 May 2013, Jewish Australian academics Andrew Benjamin, Michele Grossman, and David Goodman condemned the Coalition's election promise as "an anti-democratic gesture par excellence".
Canada
See also: CUPE Ontario and disinvestment from Israel
Support
The most visible face of organizing in support of BDS in Canada is Israeli Apartheid Week, originally started in Toronto in 2005. The United Church of Canada voted to boycott products from Israeli settlements. In March 2014, the University of Windsor Student Alliance is considering plans to implement the results of a referendum vote in which the majority of voters called for the University to boycott companies with ties to Israel.
In Québec the political party Québec solidaire, the second largest public sector union Centrale des syndicats du Québec and the feminist organization Fédération des femmes du Québec have all supported the BDS campaign. Amir Khadir has sponsored a petition to the National Assembly of Quebec calling for the suspension of Québec's cooperation accord with Israel.
In 2006, the Canadian Union of Public Employees voted to join the boycott of Israel "until that state recognizes the Palestinian right to self-determination" and "until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people's inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law".
Oppose
In February 2011, the Québec National Assembly voted against a motion that condemned boycotts of Québec businesses that sell products made in Israel and "reiterates Québec's support for the understanding on co-operation between the government of Québec and the government of the State of Israel, which was signed in Jerusalem in 1997 and renewed in 2007".
Israel
Support
An Israeli activist group launched in 2009 to support BDS from within Israel. It concentrates on cultural boycott by appealing to international personalities, artists and academics who consider visiting Israel.
The 'Who profits?' project is another Israeli group involved in the BDS campaign that documents and publicizes how profits are made from the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, including documentation of who benefits from the occupation. According to 'Who Profits?', both Israeli and international corporations are involved "in the construction of Israeli colonies and infrastructure in the Occupied Territories, in settlements' economy, in building walls and checkpoints, in the supply of specific equipment used in the control and repression of civilian population under occupation".
Oppose
A group of Israeli businessmen have started a sales website called "Shop-a-Fada" in order to promote Israeli products. Tal Brody is the honorary chairman of the initiative and said the purpose is to "fight back against those who think that they'll be able to destroy Israel by waging economic warfare".
Some Jewish factory managers who employ Palestinian labor have condemned the boycott, claiming a boycott of Israeli products will result in the loss of Palestinian jobs.
The Netherlands
The lower house of the Dutch Parliament passed a motion on 18 March 2014 undermining the concept of BDS. It came in response to water company Vitens' BDS support. Kees van der Staaij of the Reformed Political Party and Joel Voordewind of the ChristianUnion jointly submitted the motion. It calls on the government "to indicate in a visible and convincing way that it encourages relations between Dutch and Israeli businesses and institutions" because "economic cooperation promotes peace, security, stability in the region." It passed by a large majority.
Romania
Claiming "respect for international law, the positions of the EU and the protection of Romanian citizens", Romania announced in 2012 that it will not allow Romanian labourers to be sent to Israel unless guarantees are provided that they will not be employed in construction projects in the West Bank. Commenting on the refusal to grant this condition for Romanian workers, Israeli MK Michal Rozin stated that "Israelis are being harmed by the government's activity in the territories."
South Africa
The University of Johannesburg has issued conflicting stances toward BDS. In 2011, it voted not to renew a joint agreement with Israel's Ben-Gurion University for research in biotechnology and water purification. A campaign before the vote cited BGU's cooperation with the military, occupation and apartheid. The vote did not preclude faculty members from individually choosing to continue in the joint project. However, two days after the vote, Vice Chancellor Ihron Rensburg, a principal of UJ, stated that "UJ is not part of an academic boycott of Israel. ... It has never been UJ's intention to sever all ties with BGU, although it may have been the intention of some UJ staff members."
On 31 August 2012, the Wits University Students' Representative Council (Wits SRC) adopted a declaration of academic and cultural boycott of Israel. Several days later, the Executive Committee of Wits Convocation, representing the alumni and academic staff of the university, distanced itself from the declaration. The South African Union of Jewish Students, sharply criticized the resolution, calling it "a vicious and one-sided resolution aimed at shutting down all debate and discussion surrounding the Israeli–Palestinian conflict".
In March 2013, eleven student BDS supporters at the Wits University were charged by the university after they forced the cancellation of a concert by Israeli pianist Yossi Reshef. They were subsequently sentenced by the university to community service. At a follow up concert held on 28 August 2013, which featured Israeli jazz saxophonist Daniel Zamir, dozens of BDS protesters gathered outside. Due to security measures implemented by the University, the protesters were unable to disrupt the performance, as they were kept from entering the venue. However, concert goers were subject to verbal abuse including the singing of a song that included the lyrics "Dubula iJuda" (Shoot the Jew), at as well as chants of "There is no such thing as Israel" and "Israel apartheid". Some attendees were also pelted with sheets of paper. The actions of the protesters were condemned by University Vice-Chancellor Adam Habib and by the South African Jewish Board of Deputies. Muhammed Desai, coordinator of BDS South Africa later went on to justify the actions. Several days later, however, BDS released an official statement condemning the chants of "dubula ijuda". Desai was later called on to resign by BDS supporters.
On 8 March 2015, outside a South African Zionist Federation event, BDS supporters staged a protest at which protesters threatened to kill Jews. They chanted antisemitic slogans such as "You think this is Israel, we are going to kill you!" and "You Jews do not belong here in South Africa!" The picketers who were joined by members of the South African Communist Party also included the head of the ruling African National Congress (ANC)'s International Relations, Government Deputy Minister Obed Bapela who accused Israel of oppressing Palestinians. In another March 2015 event in South Africa, a mob of BDS supporters threw rocks, broke equipment, and looted a store that sells products from Israel.
United Kingdom
See also: Academic boycotts of Israel
On 22 April 2005, the Association of University Teachers (AUT) Council voted to boycott two Israeli universities: University of Haifa and Bar-Ilan University. The motions to AUT Council were prompted by the call for a boycott from Palestinian academics and others. The AUT Council voted to boycott Bar-Ilan because it runs courses at colleges in the occupied West Bank (in Ariel College) and "is thus directly involved with the occupation of Palestinian territories contrary to United Nations resolutions". It boycotted Haifa because it was alleged that the university had wrongly disciplined a lecturer. The action against the lecturer was supposedly for supporting a student who wrote about attacks on Palestinians during the founding of the state of Israel (he withdrew the claims when sued for libel and the University denied having disciplined the lecturer). The boycott, which was not compulsory, was set to last until Haifa "ceases its victimisation of academic staff and students who seek to research and discuss the history of the founding of the state of Israel". and by Universities UK.

A sign on the front door of a Palestinian house which reads "I have a good feeling, do you? This home is free of products produced in Settlements"

* * * After both internal and external backlash and condemnation, members of the AUT, headed by Open University lecturer Jon Pike – gathered enough signatures to call a special meeting on the subject. The meeting was held on 26 May 2005, at Friends Meeting House in London. At the meeting the AUT decided to cancel the boycott of both Israeli universities. Reasons cited for the decision were the damage to academic freedom, the hampering of dialogue and peace effort between Israelis and Palestinian, and that boycotting Israel alone could not be justified.
At the 2006 annual conference of the United Kingdom lecturers' union, the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE), members were asked to support a motion calling for a boycott of Israeli academics and universities that did not distance themselves from "apartheid policies". Although the motion was passed it ceased to be official policy just two days later when the union merged with the Association of University Teachers.
Prior to the NATFHE debate the Federation of Unions of Palestinian University Professors and Employees and the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel described the campaign in a letter to the Times Higher Education Supplement as "the only non-violent forms of action available to people of conscience the world over" adding, "We salute those who recognise that, since justice for Palestinians cannot be expected from the international centres of world power, they must organise to further the cause of justice and genuine peace." In contrast, Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg argued:
"it is never a good idea for academics to boycott colleagues in other countries on political grounds. During the Cold War, American and Soviet scientists were careful to keep intellectual communication open; this not only served the cause of science, but promoted personal relationships that led to initiatives in arms control. In a similar spirit, when I ran the Jerusalem Winter School of Theoretical Physics we did what we could to recruit Arab students from Muslim countries whose governments discriminated against Jews. We never dreamt of boycotting them."

The national emergency demonstration in London on the 3 January, called by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition, British Muslim Initiative and many more organisations.

* * * In March 2009, large scale student demonstrations were held at several UK Universities to protest Israel's actions in Gaza. At Cardiff University the protests led to the University divesting all investments in BAE Systems, an arms manufacturer that co-operates with Israel. In May 2009, advertisements for tourism in Israel were removed from the London underground network in response to pressure from the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign. In July 2009, Dexia, a Belgian-French financial group, stopped all financial services to Israeli settlements in the West Bank. In 2009, the UK's University and College Union passed a resolution to boycott Israeli academics and academic institutions by a large majority. Delegates stated that Israeli academics were complicit in their government's acts against Palestinians. However, the vote was immediately declared invalid as UCU attorneys repeated previous warnings that such a boycott would likely trigger legal action against the union.
In 2013, "a motion calling for blanket sanctions against Israel was rejected by the Oxford University Students' Union." The motion was defeated by a large margin: 69–10.
In July 2014, UK department store John Lewis removed all SodaStream products from all its shelves, amid growing pressure from the public and declining sales. John Lewis' Oxford Street, London, store has been the site of biweekly BDS protests for its sale of SodaStream products. SodaStream operates its primary manufacturing facility in an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank. Additionally, after two years of weekly BDS protests, SodaStream closed its Brighton store in July 2014.
In November 2015, Boris Johnson, Mayor of London and Conservative MP, described proponents of a "so-called" boycott of goods and services, as well as other punitive measures such as sanctions or divestment of shares in Israeli companies, as "corduroy jacketed-academics... by and large lefty academics who have no real standing in the matter and are unlikely to be influential on Britain". He subsequently cancelled planned public events in the West Bank because of security fears, with suggestions that the charity that had invited him to the West Bank had withdrawn their invitation, and that Palestinian politicians had also refused to meet him.
United States
Noam Chomsky is against the formal BDS movement, but supports certain aspects of boycotting Israel. The prominent activist for Palestinian human rights and 2011 Sydney Peace Prize recipient stated he supports the "boycott and divestment of firms that are carrying out operations in the occupied territories" but the current BDS movement's "hypocrisy rises to heaven". He stated that the BDS campaign harms the "whole movement. It harms the Palestinians and it is a gift to the Israeli hardliners and their American supporters", because the BDS's "hypocrisy is so transparent... why not boycott the United States?.. Israeli crimes a fragment of US crimes, which are much worse". He also argued that the Palestinian people don't support boycotting Israel and that the BDS movement is run by "one man NGOs" who falsely claim to represent the Palestinian people. In the same interview, he also criticized BDS founder Omar Barghouti for advocating a full boycott of Israel, despite having studied at Tel Aviv University. Despite his disdain for the formal BDS movement, he was among the academics who lobbied Stephen Hawking to boycott an Israeli conference. (See above.)
Peter Beinart, in his 2012 book The Crisis of Zionism, describes BDS as a "shrewd tactic" in that "s a non-violent movement, it turns the world's attention away from terrorism, which has long undermined sympathy for the Palestinian cause. It gives activists frustrated by America's unwillingness to pressure Israel a mechanism to do so themselves. It harnesses new technologies that empower citizens to organize across national lines. And it capitalizes on the revulsion that many people whose nations were once colonized – or were once colonizers – feel toward an Israeli occupation with clear colonial features."
Norman Finkelstein, a harsh critic of Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory, has also expressed an ambivalent attitude towards BDS. He has supported economic boycott of Israel and said that BDS has the "right tactics", but that it needs to be "explicit on its goal" and that "the goal has to include recognition of Israel, or it won't reach the public". He is hostile towards the BDS movement in its current form, labeling it a "hypocritical, dishonest cult" led by "dishonest gurus" who want to "selectively enforce the law" and try to cleverly pose as human rights activists, whereas their real goal is the destruction of Israel. In addition, he said, "I'm getting a little bit exasperated with what I think is a whole lot of nonsense. I'm not going to tolerate silliness, childishness and a lot of leftist posturing. I loathe the disingenuousness. We will never hear the solidarity movement two-state solution." Furthermore, Finkelstein stated that the BDS movement has had very few successes, and that like a cult, the leaders pretend that they are hugely successful when in reality the general public rejects their extreme views.
In April 2014, the Washington State Court of Appeals upheld a 2012 ruling, affirming the dismissal of a lawsuit against the Olympia Food Co-op for their 2011 decision to boycott Israeli products, mandating the plaintiffs pay $160,000 in statutory damages as well as other legal fees. In a press release, the Center for Constitutional Rights quoted one of the defendants and a Co-op staff member: "We are thrilled to hear that ... our right to freedom of speech has been upheld Boycotts are a longstanding form of non-violent political expression; using the Court system to attempt to silence our right of expression clearly qualifies as a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation."
On 4 December, a chapter of US Student-Workers Union at University of California have voted to support BDS campaign and became the first US labor union to join.
In the sixth of December 2015 Hillary Clinton The democrat contestant and former secretary of the United States, said in the saban forum "As Secretary of State I called out systemic structural anti-Israel basis at the UN and fought to block the one sided Goldstone report particularly at a time when antisemitism is on the rise across the world especially in Europe. We need to repudiate efforts to malign and undermine Israel and the Jewish people. The boycott, divestment and sanctions movement known as BDS is the latest front in this battle. Demonizing Israeli scientists and intellectuals, even young students, comparing Israel to South African apartheid, now no nation is above criticism. But this is wrong and it should stop immediately. Some proponents of BDS may hope that pressuring Israel may lead to peace. Well that’s wrong too."
In January 2016 the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits, the United Methodist Church's investment agency, announced that it would no longer invest in Israel's five main banks since they did not meet their standards for sustainable investment. In February 2016, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church(USA) was lobbied by its Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy (ACSWP) to lay aside a quest for a two state solution and support BDS. This was described as a "one-sided, zero-sum solution", by Presbyterians for Middle East Peace.
Official government responses and legislation
In February 2015, the "U.S.-Israel Trade and Commercial Enhancement Act" was introduced to Congress by Peter Roskam and Juan Vargas. According to its authors, the bill will "leverage ongoing trade negotiations to discourage prospective U.S. trade partners from engaging in economic discrimination against Israel" through the monitoring of pro-BDS activities of foreign companies that trade on American stock exchanges and by prohibiting American courts from "enforcing rulings made by foreign courts against American companies solely for conducting business in Israel." However, the bill does not actually impose penalties for supporting BDS. Roskam justified the bill, which may affect current negotiations for the Transatlantic Free Trade Area, stating that there are "an alarming number of countries within the European Union and beyond have embraced BDS as a form of economic warfare aimed to cripple Israel’s economy and demonize its very existence. These attacks not only threaten Israel but commercial relations across the globe." Another bill introduced in March 2015, the "Boycott Our Enemies, Not Israel Act," would require that contractors with whom the US government does business to certify that they do not participate in boycotts against Israel.
Illinois became the first state in the US to pass a bill that requires state pension funds to divest from companies that support BDS. According to Eugene Kontorovich, professor at Northwestern University School of Law and the head of the International Law Department at the Kohelet Policy Forum, this law and a similar one in South Carolina do not violate the First Amendment.
On 9 April 2015, the Tennessee General Assembly passed a resolution formally condemning BDS. The resolution passed the upper house by a vote of 30-0 and the lower house by a vote of 93-1. The resolution, the first of its kind to be passed by a state government, declared that BDS is "one of the main vehicles for spreading anti-Semitism and advocating the elimination of the Jewish state" and "undermine the Jewish people’s right to self-determination, which they are fulfilling in the State of Israel." The bill was introduced by State Senator Dolores Gresham and co-sponsored with State Representative Sheila Butt. In an interview, Gresham stated that the resolution is proof that the state legislature "chooses to preserve its values by publicly condemning this blatantly anti-Semitic, anti-Israel bigotry, and send a clear message that Tennessee condemns such views."
In April 2015, the Indiana General Assembly passed a resolution that "condemns" the BDS movement for "seeking to undermine the Jewish people’s right to self-determination", "activities that contribute directly or indirectly to the denial, violation, or delegitimization of any people’s academic freedom", "agenda inherently antithetical and deeply damaging to the cause of peace, justice, equality, democracy, and human rights" and "promoting a climate of hatred, intimidation, intolerance and violence against Jews". In January 2016, the Indiana House of Representatives passed a bill that defined “'the promotion of activities to boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel' as meeting the standard of 'extraordinary circumstances' necessary under state law to mandate divestment from a company."
Academic response
As of 2012, "o American university has divested from Israel and prominent campus presidents have said they would oppose such efforts." University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann said in January 2012 that the university "has clearly stated on numerous occasions that it does not support sanctions or boycotts against Israel". She said that the school was not a sponsor of a BDS conference taking place on campus in February 2012.
In January 2012, The Forward published an article about Jewish presidents of universities, saying that "many college presidents" see BDS as a "red line" and "presidents who were previously disinclined to speak out against anti-Israel activity on campus in the name of preserving open dialogue found themselves publicly opposing the movement."
To date, student governments at six of the 10 University of California (UC) system schools (Berkeley, Irvine, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Cruz, and UCLA) have passed resolutions calling for their schools to divest themselves of their investments in Israel. The UC Student Association passed a resolution not only to boycott Israel, but also to boycott the United States and several other countries. In response to this, Herbert London, president of the London Center for Policy Research, wrote University of California President Janet Napolitano, urging her to promote Israel and get personally involved in the debate at UC system schools about divesting themselves of investments in Israel.
Omri Boehm argued in the Los Angeles Review of Books that "a boycott on Israeli academics is an obvious form of a violent political action".
Criticism
According to Yehuda Ben Meir and Owen Alterman in an essay published in the Strategic Survey for Israel 2011 by the Institute for National Security Studies (Israel), by depicting Israel as a racist, fascist, totalitarian, and apartheid state, BDS engages in defamation and demonization of Israel. They state that this is followed by the specific targeting of Israeli diplomatic, economic, academic, and cultural targets—regardless of their position or connection to the conflict, which they describe as incitement.
Alan Dershowitz and the Israeli Action Network point to the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's support of a boycott specific to Israeli businesses that operate in Israeli settlements in the Palestinian Territories over a general boycott of Israel as evidence that the BDS is not in the Palestinians' favor. In Haaretz article Dershowitz adds "The BDS movement is immoral because it would hurt the wrong people" such as Palestinians employees of the firms effected by BDS or patients awaiting medicine made by those firms.
In a 2009 opinion column for the The Jerusalem Post, Gil Troy argued that the BDS movement does not target Israel's policies, but rather targets Israel's legitimacy. The Israeli Reut Institute has argued that the BDS movement singles out Israel, and applies double standards that delegitimize Israel.
Martin Raffel, who oversees the Israel Action Network, argued in March 2011 that Israel's supporters can respectfully debate artists who choose to boycott the West Bank town of Ariel, but that "not recognizing Israel as a Jewish democratic state is a completely different story".
The Economist in 2007 called the boycott "flimsy" and ineffective, noted that "blaming Israel alone for the impasse in the occupied territories will continue to strike many outsiders as unfair," and pointed out that the Palestinian leadership did not support the boycott. By early 2014, however, they noted that the campaign, "nce derided as the scheming of crackpots", was "turning mainstream" in the eyes of many Israelis.
The director of communications for the New Israel Fund wrote in March 2012 that the BDS movement "has accomplished very little" and that it should be relegated "to the trash-heap of failed strategies, where it belongs". Naftali Balanson, writing a response, says "Even if BDS messaging were improved and there was no backlash among 'besieged' Israelis, BDS would still be immoral and inherently wrong."
According to the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, "BDS supports and promotes completely different values than those which currently stand at the heart of the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations."
In July 2014, Noam Chomsky warns that the boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaign could end up harming the Palestinian cause since the demand for a "right of return" for Palestinian refugees has failed to muster significant international support. He also said "if we boycott Tel Aviv University because Israel violates human rights at home, then why not boycott Harvard because of far greater violations by the United States?".
In September 2014, over 620 academics, most of whom are based in North America and Israel, signed an online petition which states that the undersigned "vigorously support free speech and free debate but we oppose faculty or student boycotts of Israel’s academic institutions, scholars and students." The petition states that the BDS movement "violates the very principle of academic freedom" and charges that it engages in "accusations and narratives" that are derived from "overstatements, cherry picked evidence, outright falsehood" or "disputed or highly biased data." Academics who have signed the petition include Alan Dershowitz, Eric Alterman, Judea Pearl and Deborah Dash Moore.
According to an editorial by Judea Pearl, the BDS campaign has an anti-academic character.
A Danish bus company dropped a BDS campaign on 35 buses in the Copenhagen area with the slogan "Our conscience is clean! We neither buy products from the Israeli settlements nor invest in the settlement industry." The company stated the ads were "unnecessarily offensive."
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