What is the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement?
Supporters of human rights for Palestinians boycott Israeli businesses because Israel is carrying out racial discrimination against non-Jews in Palestine - similar to the racism in South Africa at the time of Apartheid - and we hope that our non-violent, democratic campaign will bring about change.
Who supports the boycott, divestment, sanctions movement?
BDS is supported by human rights groups throughout the world. Over 150 organisations inside Palestine have called for this boycott.
Israel has told the world that they seek a two-state solution with a Palestinian state, but all the while they have expanded their settlements in the West Bank. Many of us out in the world, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, know that just asking Israel to do the right thing and end the occupation of Palestine has not worked. Palestinians and human rights organisations from Israel have asked for the international community to boycott Israeli businesses, in the hope that a campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions will lead Israeli people to put pressure on their government to end the occupation of Palestine.
Can this one small action make a difference?
Its effectiveness relies on business-people experiencing a downturn in demand, and knowing why, and then taking the message to their government: What you are doing doesn’t just hurt the Palestinians, it also hurts us!
Has a boycott like this ever worked before?
You may question whether such change is possible, and whether ceasing to buy Israeli goods can actually mean anything in the scheme of things. We believe that it can. The boycott and sanctions campaign against Apartheid South Africa was made up of many small actions, and it brought about peaceful democratic change in that country. We believe that we can help to achieve an end to the apartheid system in Israel / Palestine. We are far away in Australia, but we have a voice as business-people and as consumers to not give support to regimes that carry out human rights abuses. We are attempting to be part of the solution, and we hope that in this one small way you will help too.
Is it anti-Semitic to target Jewish or Israeli-owned businesses?
No. Many thoughtful Jews around the world support the BDS movement!
The sanctions campaign is led by activists who reject any form of ethnic stereotyping or targeting. The labeling of the BDS campaign as anti-Semitic is a mischievous attempt to divert attention from the people who are really engaged in racial and ethnic persecution – the Israeli government.
To treat people differently on the basis of their religion or race is morally abhorrent no matter who is doing it. It was abhorrent in the 1930s when it was done to people of the Jewish faith and other minorities in Europe, and it is abhorrent in Palestine / Israel when it is done to non-Jews. The boycott targets Israeli businesses and international businesses with links to the apartheid Israeli regime. Whether or not these businesses are owned by people identifying as Jewish is irrelevant. The point is that these businesses are providing material support to a racist apartheid system, and hence are legitimate targets of our non-violent campaign.
PRODUCTS TO BOYCOTT
DATES - Israeli dates grown in the occupied West Bank
Please boycott any of these dates if you find them in Australian stores. Have a look at the short video by the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) above, and tell the store why you choose to boycott.