In the past 18-months, at least 15 political NGOs involved in anti-Israel advocacy, as well as their UN allies, have issued publications accusing Israel of “apartheid.” This offensive term is used to advance a narrative of unparalleled Israeli immorality, and to promote demonization through BDS and lawfare, including in the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Discriminatory BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) campaigns aim to isolate Israel internationally through political warfare — the exploitation of human rights, double standards, comparisons to apartheid South Africa, and false accusations of “war crimes.”
Through its ratings and reports on companies, Sustainalytics promotes discriminatory BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) campaigns against Israeli companies and businesses operating in Israel and the West Bank.
On January 12, 2021, the Israeli NGO B’Tselem launched a high-visibility international campaign, under the headline, “A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid,” escalating its political and ideological condemnations that go far beyond criticism of policies.
JCB (J.C Bamford Excavators), a UK-based manufacturer of construction equipment, has become a target of BDS campaigns due to its sale of equipment to the State of Israel. These campaigns, primarily from British NGOs, intensified in 2020 after JCB was included on the discriminatory UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) “blacklist” of companies operating in Israel, published in February 2020.
Al-Haq and GLAN’s Not-So-Subtle BDS Agenda: Analysis of Submission on “Business and Human Rights in Occupied Territory”
On April 27, 2020, Al-Haq and Global Legal Action Network (GLAN, Ireland) published, “Business and Human Rights in Occupied Territory: A Guidance for Upholding Human Rights" that attempted to mainstream BDS against Israel in a UN framework
- International Criminal Court (ICC)
- Irish BDS bill
- Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)
- Richard Falk
Since the publication of the UN BDS blacklist, and in spite of the current global COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic turmoil, NGO activists have been targeting companies with using the list.
The 2017-2021 Joint Strategic Framework for Belgian aid to Palestinians, coordinated by Oxfam Solidarity, M3M, SolSoc and APEFE, commits its signatories to promoting a variety of anti-Israel campaigns, through advocacy and lobbying in Belgium and the EU.
On March 30, 2020, the EU Representative Office to the West Bank and Gaza sent a “clarification letter regarding the EU-funded contracts” to Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO) appearing to give in to Palestinian pressure and effectively annul EU regulations that prohibit the transfer of EU funds to terror groups or individuals connected to these groups.
In April 2019, the Essex Business and Human Rights Project (EBHR) at Essex University (UK) and Norwegian People's Aid published “Investor Obligations in Occupied Territories: A Report on the Norwegian Government Pension Fund. The report exemplifies how not to conduct human rights due diligence in situations of conflict and primarily reflects the ideological agendas of its pro-BDS backers.
Since 2016, NGOs, including a number of groups with ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), have been actively lobbying the UN by signing multiple letters and statements calling for the database to be implemented without further delay.