BDS is people like you and me choosing not to do business with Israel until it respects Palestinians' human rights and upholds international law.
For decades, Palestinians have faced military occupation and been denied their fundamental rights. With BDS we are showing companies that profiting from occupation and discrimination is not acceptable. And we are holding Israel to account where our government has failed to act.
Boycott is a tool human rights defenders have used throughout history. It worked for Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, and Nelson Mandela - and it's working for us.
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What is BDS?
Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions is a non-violent strategy that people of conscience around the world are using to stand up for justice in Palestine. Boycott is a traditional and effective form of people power and has been used by civil and human rights campaigners throughout history.
The Palestinian call for BDS demands that Israel:
- Ends its occupation and colonisation of all land occupied in June 1967 and dismantles the Wall;
- Recognises the fundamental rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
- Respects, protects, and promotes the rights of Palesinian refugees to return to their homes.
In 2005, Palestinian civil society - students, trade unions, and political parties - came together to call on people around the world to pursue a campaign of BDS against Israel.
We have already achieved significant victories from SodaStream closing its factory in an illegal settlement, Veolia losing contracts worth millions and pulling out of Israel, and now even G4S have promised to sell its subsidary G4S Israel. Together we are standing up to the might of the corporations profiting from occupation and we are winning!
To be as effective as possible we focus our attention on a few companies. We work to amplify Palestinian voices and pick the targets that will have the most impact. Currently we are focusing on HSBC, UK universities,
We’ve done the research for you, so use it! Does your local council have a contract with HP? Does your university of workplace use G4S for security? Find out and start a campaign to cut the contracts or divest!
Work with others – we are stronger together! Find out where your local Palestine campaign is. Whether it’s at a university, with a local PSC branch, or through your trade union, get active.HP
HP provides infrastructure for the Israeli army and navy who commit devastating acts of violence, and daily intimidation and arrests of Palestinians. HP technology extends into illegal Israeli settlements, responsible for the violent colonisation of Palestinian land, key to Israel’s apartheid regime.
G4S has recently announced that they’ll be selling their subsidiary “G4S Israel” and therefore pulling out of Israel. But we need to keep up the pressure until it has followed through on its promise.
But SodaStream’s activities in Palestine show its far from ethical. Its original manufacturing plant was in an area built on the remains of seven Palestinian villages, all destroyed to make way for the illegal settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. After a successful campaign, SodaStream announced its move to the Naqab (Negev desert) where Palestinian Bedouin are being forced off their land.
SodaStream exploits the incredibly insecure lives Palestinians are forced to live, employing them under terrible conditions. Palestinians have no choice but to earn a living with companies tied to the occupation like SodaStream, the very thing responsible for their own displacement.
Support the boycott of consumer produce as part of the Palestinian call for BDS. Don’t buy things like Israeli avocados, organges, herbs and dates whether grown in an Israeli settlement or within Israel. The most important thing to remember is always check the label. If is says “Made in Israel” don’t buy it!
Speak to the store manager. Tell them their products are funding violence, oppression, and apartheid. Spread the word in your local area and put pressure on the store to stop stocking those products. And when they’re available, buy Palestinian goods!
Spread the word with boycott stickers and badges too – you can get these at our online shop here.
Follow the money!
Divestment tells companies: stop doing business with Israel until it ends its occupation and recognises Palestinians rights, or lose money. It strikes at the heard of what companies do: make profit. Using our collective power, we can push universities or pension funds to stop investing in companies profiting from Israel’s occupation; showing them doing business with Israel is toxic.
Israel participates in trade and diplomacy as if it’s just another “normal” country. Yet its war crimes make it far from normal. Israel even exports its weapons as “field-tested” which in reality means “tested on Palestinians”.
Our government must respect international law, and implement an arms embargo on Israel, ban the import of settlement goods, and suspend EU agreements that give Israel preferential movement.
Find out more about our Stop Arming Israel campaign.
The cultural and academic boycott
Israel’s occupation denies Palestinians their fundamental right to education and artistic expression which many of us take for granted.
Artists and academics around the world are refusing professional engagements in Israel, just as they did in apartheid South Africa. Artists like Lauryn Hill, Snoop Dogg and Bono have cancelled gigs. Others including Roger Waters from Pink Floyd and author Naomi Klein, have explicitly endorsed the boycott.
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) calls for a boycott until Israel dismantles its system of apartheid, withdraws from the land it has occupied, and agrees to UN resolutions.
For more information visit the PACBI website.
Join the movement!
BDS is a growing global movement that uses peaceful-yet-effective people power to hold the Israeli government to account. And we’ve had some amazing victories: We persuaded John Lewis to stop selling Soda Stream – pickets and petitions finally forced John Lewis to stop stocking their products made in illegal Israeli settlements. With BDS partners from around the world we made Veolia sell their shares in the Jerusalem light railway and G4S sell off their subsidiary G4S Israel – both companies are pulling out of Israel.
We are only powerful because we stand together. So join us!
Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr, and Nelson Mandela all used boycotts as part of their civil and human rights struggles. It worked for them - and it's working for us too!
- The huge campaign victories we have seen can only happen through people power. Become a PSC member or donate to us, to make sure we can keep campaigning against Israeli racism and occupation, and keep the pressure on companies profiting from it.
- Get involved in our boycott HP campaign and sign the pledge. Show HP that their actions will make them a toxic company.
- Get involved in with our Stop Arming Israel campaign. Our campaigns have the power to put an end to the arms trade with Israel, which causes death and destruction on a daily basis. Join us to end this now!