Dear supporter of Palestinian rights,
We in the Palestinian BDS National Committee, the widest coalition of Palestinian organisations that leads and supports the BDS movement, recently took some time to take stock the BDS movement’s most important moments during 2016. You can can read our thoughts in our new blog post where we explain how despite the pain, 2016 witnessed impressive gains for BDS.
There are eight really significant signs that the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality took important steps forward during 2016:
- Three more multinationals, Orange, CRH and G4S were compelled under BDS pressure to end involvement in illegal Israeli projects, indicating a start of a domino effect.
- Israel’s global legal war on BDS suffered fatal setbacks after the EU upheld the right to boycott Israel under freedom of speech.
- Israeli Apartheid Free Zones or settlement-free zones were declared by dozens of municipal councils across Europe.
- Israel’s global isolation intensified as the logic of appeasing its regime of oppression started to give way to the logic of sustained international pressure, including at the UN.
- More mainstream churches, from the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA) to the United Methodist Church in the US, adopted BDS-related measures in support of Palestinian human rights.
- Our BDS campaign against apartheid profiteer Hewlett Packard (HP) went viral globally. There were actions and events in more than 100 cities as part of our recent week of action.
- BDS reached the Oscars and the Olympics, as the academic and cultural boycott of Israel spread even further among student unions, academics, artists and writers, especially in the global South.
- International trade unions intensified support for BDS measures in solidarity with the Palestinian people and Palestinian workers.
You can read more about all of the things we achieved together during 2016 at our blog post.
Since we published our blog post, it has emerged that the Israeli embassy in the UK has been working to smear and undermine politicians and civil society leaders that support Palestinian rights. A main theme in the subversive efforts of Israel’s lobby, it is now confirmed, is targeting BDS and measures aimed at holding Israel accountable for its oppression of Palestinians.
Recognizing the strategic impact of the BDS movement in the struggle for Palestinian rights, Israel is pouring tens of millions of dollars into its war of propaganda, legal attacks, and defamation tactics.
We can’t compete with Israel financially. But the impressive things our movement has achieved show that we don’t have to.
In recent years, public donations have allowed us to launch a new website for the BDS movement, enlarge our small staff team, and successfully expand BDS activism in Latin America and the Arab world.
Palestinian BDS National Committee
The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society that leads and supports the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Visit www.bdsmovement.net and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.