Since 1948, Israel has denied Palestinians their fundamental rights of freedom, equality, and self-determination through ethnic cleansing, colonization, racial discrimination, and military occupation. Despite abundant condemnation of Israeli policies by the UN, other international bodies, and preeminent human rights organisations, the world community has failed to hold Israel accountable and enforce compliance with basic principles of law. Israel’s crimes have continued with impunity.
In view of this continued failure, Palestinian civil society called for a global citizens’ response. On July 9 2005, a year after the International Court of Justice’s historic advisory opinion on the illegality of Israel’s Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), a clear majority of Palestinian civil society called upon their counterparts and people of conscience all over the world to launch broad boycotts, implement divestment initiatives, and to demand sanctions against Israel, until Palestinian rights are recognised in full compliance with international law.
As a result of Israel’s war in Gaza, with its death toll of over 1,300 Palestinians and allegations of multiple war crimes, there has been a large upsurge in support for the already growing global campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it fully complies with its obligations under international law and recognises the fundamental human rights of Palestinians.
The BDS campaign has been endorsed by over 170 Palestinian political parties, organizations, trade unions and movements. The signatories represent the refugees, Palestinians in the OPT, and Palestinian citizens of Israel. It is worth noting that a boycott is also supported by many Israeli citizens and Jewish organizations including European Jews for a Just Peace, Breaking the Law of Return (consisting of over 100 American Jews) Ilan Pappe (Israeli Professor of History based in UK) and Michel Warschawski (Israeli journalist).
Artists who have voiced support for the campaign or cancelled appearances in Israel citing political reasons include musicians Elvis Costello, Brian Eno, Gil Scott Heron, Pete Seeger, The Pixies, Roger Waters, writers Eduardo Galeano and Arundhati Roy, filmmakers Ken Loach and Jean-Luc Godard. In 2010, UNITE, the UK’s largest trade union, unanimously called for BDS.
History ultimately proved the effectiveness and necessity of the boycott campaign in helping bring an end to Apartheid in South Africa. Amid the desperate pleas of Palestinians and concerned Israelis, we can no longer resort to the same discredited arguments that were used against boycotting Apartheid South Africa. The illegal Israeli occupation on Palestine must end.
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To the Branch Manager (local supermarkets in the Cambridge area)
We stand with Palestinian civil society and people of conscience around the world in support of the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) until Israel recognizes the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and complies with the precepts of international law by:
• Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands
• Dismantling the Separation Wall
• Recognizing the fundamental rights of all Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality
• Respecting, promoting and protecting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands as stipulated by the Geneva Conventions and U.N. Resolution 194.
WE CALL ON ALL SUPERMARKETS IN THE CAMBRIDGE AREA TO BOYCOTT PRODUCTS FROM ISRAEL. For over sixty years, Israel has imposed occupation, ethnic cleansing, and apartheid on Palestinians, violating their human rights, ignoring international law, and disregarding criticism. A product boycott is a legitimate, moral, nonviolent action to pressure Israel to comply with basic legal and moral obligations. The time has come to hold Israel accountable for ongoing crimes against the Palestinian people and to demand equal rights for all Palestinians and Israelis. We urge you to lead the way amongst supermarkets in the UK to withdraw Israeli products from your shelves until the conditions of the BDS campaign are met.
We believe that most Israeli products that you sell can be easily replaced with produce from other countries and that the majority of customers would support the boycott movement. We call on you, the branch manager, to remove all Israeli produce from your supermarket.
The Boycott Israeli products and support the BDS Campaign petition to Local Supermarkets was written by Cam PSC and is in the category International Affairs at GoPetition.