The BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions) campaign targeting Israel is not a new phenomenon. Various Arab boycotts have been used for many decades as weapons against Israel.
BDS is the main component of the “Durban strategy” – adopted by the virulent NGO Forum of the UN’s Durban Conference (2001), and based on the use of false claims of “war crimes,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “apartheid.” From this foundation, pro-Palestinian groups expanded their efforts to promote economic and cultural boycotts of Israel (2002), particularly the call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions (2003).
In July 2005, a number of groups issued the “Palestinian United Call for BDS against Israel,” further expanding the radius of these activities and increasing the resources devoted to this form of political warfare. BDS supporters deny the Jewish people the right of national self-determination.
BDS campaigns would not exist without financial backing. Funding facilitates non-governmental organizations (NGO) staff, conferences, publications, speaking engagements, websites, advertisements, lawyers’ fees, airfare, t-shirts, video equipment, and more. Money sustains the BDS movement.
Boycotts of products, culture, and academics – BDS activists lobby stores not to carry Israeli products and encourage others not to purchase them. They send letters to artists, musicians, authors, and academics, imploring them not to perform and appear in Israel or cooperate with Israeli institutions. Boycotts undermine liberal values, such as academic freedom and freedom of expression, by restricting openness and tolerance. They represent the immoral collective punishment of Israelis and those who associate with them.
Divestment from companies that do business with Israel – Distorting the concept of ethical investing, NGOs accuse companies that conduct business in Israel of involvement in war crimes and violations of international law. The NGOs approach investors, primarily large banks and pension funds, and push for the exclusion of these companies. When Israeli corporations were removed from funds devoted to developing countries, due to Israel’s stable and advanced economy, divestment proponents falsely proclaimed victory.
Sanctions against self-defense measures – Anti-Israel activists demand that the international community enact comprehensive sanctions against Israel – treating Israel as a pariah state. The ultimate goal is legally enforced sanctions by the UN Security Council. Other forms of sanctions include arms embargoes, which are premised on baseless charges of war crimes. Similarly, legal proceedings are initiated against Israeli officials to punish Israel for defensive actions.
BDS is immoral
By singling out Israel and using double standards, BDS undermines and is the antithesis of universal human rights values.
Collectively punishes Israelis and supporters.
Applies false comparisons to apartheid South Africa, attempting to transform a complex political dispute into a question of racial discrimination.
As acknowledged by BDS ideologue Omar Barghouti of PACBI, BDS undermines liberal values, such as academic freedom and freedom of expression, through intolerance and by restricting debate.
BDS is anti-peace
Boycotts are the antithesis of dialogue, cooperation, and developing peaceful ties between Israelis and Palestinians.
EU, Holland, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden
funding not transparent
*The NDC mechanism is the Human Rights and Good Governance Secretariat, established and funded by Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, and managed by the NGO Development Center in Ramallah. Governmental funding provided in 2008-2013.
(Originally produced April 7, 2010, updated July 14, 2011)