The boycott of Israeli goods and the campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) more generally are a key form of peaceful international pressure on Israel. Israel continues to build illegal settlements and the wall, controls Gaza, denies Palestinian refugees their right to return, grows produce and sets up industrial zones on stolen Palestinian land. Only international pressure can deliver a just peace for Palestinians.
As Governments have failed to hold Israel accountable, it is up to people of conscience in civil society worldwide to heed Palestinian calls for protection and justice. Only international pressure can make Israel cease its violations of international law and human rights.
It lets the Palestinian people know that they are not forgotten and the justice of their cause is recognised.
It sends a signal that the world will not sit by whilst Israel flouts UN resolutions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva Convention and other international laws – Israel cannot be allowed to act with impunity.
It enables decisions made in their everyday lives by people outside Israel and Palestine to refresh and reinforce their opposition to Israeli policy.
It exerts moral pressure on the British Government by giving expression to the desire to move towards a more ethical foreign policy.
It provides an excellent way of stimulating public debate, offers a focus for leafleting and discussion, as well as exerting moral and economic pressure on Israel to comply with international legislation and principles of justice.
Apartheid was weakened by a similar international movement of solidarity that succeeded in branding South Africa as a pariah state. Despite obvious differences between these two forms of oppression, this antecedent provides an inspiring model.
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