Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions
Palestinians have suffered from Israeli repression and human rights abuse for over 60 years, during which time governments all over the world have allowed Israel to act with impunity.
Palestinian civil society called for a grassroots citizens' response. In 2005, a coalition of over 170 Palestinian groups called on the world to join them in a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel until it complies with international law. War on Want is one of the signatories to the international call.
The BDS movement goes from strength to strength. It is now endorsed by trade unions, student unions, faith groups, prominent writers and artists and solidarity movements from all over the world.
Read War on Want's groundbreaking report on BDS
Boycotts can be consumer, sporting, cultural or academic. In the UK the primary target of the boycott has been consumer goods produced in Israel, with a particular focus on goods from Israel's illegal West Bank settlements. High street supermarkets like Tesco and Waitrose continue to sell these goods despite growing consumer pressure. Carmel Agrexco, the Israeli state-owned agricultural company, has been targeted by campaigners and faced direct action.
Divestment means targeting corporations which are complicit in the Occupation and ensuring funds such as university investments or pensions funds are not invested in such companies. War on Want has been running a campaign on divestment from companies making a killing from the Occupation since the launch of our report Profiting from the Occupation. Our Caterpillar Alternative report exposed the role of Caterpillar bulldozers in demolishing Palestinian homes.
Sanctions are an essential part of demonstrating disapproval for a country's actions. War on Want was one of the founders of the Stop Arming Israel campaign, which is calling on the UK government to put in place a two-way arms embargo on Israel. War on Want is also calling for the immediate suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, which ensures preferential treatment for Israeli trade in Europe.