Boycott Israel to Stop its War Crimes in Lebanon and Gaza!

Palestinians in Ramallah demonstrate in solidarity with Lebanon 17 July 2006 (MaanImages/Fadi Arouri)

Statement by the Palestinian Civil Society Campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel — Acting Steering Committee

Over the past six days since it launched its devastating military aggression against Lebanon, ostensibly in retaliation for Hizbullah’s capture of two of its soldiers, Israel has committed war crimes that should be more than sufficient to invite at least unequivocal condemnation from the United Nations and world powers and their stern backing for an immediate cease-fire. Instead, the UN Security Council, toeing the US line, decided to give Israel ample time to “finish the job,” destroying Lebanon’s infrastructure and killing and maiming its civilians to a degree that would turn the Lebanese public against the resistance movement and bolster Israel’s designs for pushing this resistance outside of southern Lebanon. Even Israel’s reported use of the internationally-proscribed phosphorous bombs and its massacre of at least 23 fleeing civilians in Marwaheen on Saturday failed to shake the world’s conscience or to break its deadly silence.

In the meanwhile, Israel’s almost forgotten attack on Gaza continues unabated, with total impunity, leaving behind a trail of death, an imminent health disaster, and widespread destruction of vital infrastructure. Again, the pretext that all this criminal devastation, which already caused the death and injury of hundreds of innocent Palestinians, was intended to win the release of one Israeli soldier captured by the Palestinian resistance, does not stand the test of reality or logic. The truth is that Israel is premeditatedly and systematically trying to bring Palestinians under its occupation to their knees, to punish them for democratically electing the “wrong” government and to bring about their acquiescence to Israel’s plans for further dispossessing them and forestalling any prospects for a sovereign Palestinian state emerging in the occupied territory.

This new double-failure by the international political system to hold Israel to account for its grave violations of international law on both fronts is the most recent indicator of the urgent need for international social movements and civil society organizations to take the lead in applying a comprehensive regime of boycott, divestment and sanctions on Israel, similar to that successfully used to end apartheid in South Africa. Specifically, people of conscience everywhere are called upon to:

  • boycott all Israeli products and services;
  • boycott Israeli academic, cultural, athletic and economic institutions;
  • pressure unions, professional associations and civil society organizations to divest from Israel;
  • pressure governments to stop all military trade with Israel, as a first step towards adopting total sanctions against it.

    All these measures should be maintained until Israel fully complies with international law and respects fundamental human rights of Arabs, whether in Lebanon or Palestine.

    Israel’s criminal dehumanization of its Arab victims, whether in Lebanon or Palestine, should not go unpunished. Only boycott, of all sorts, against Israel has any chance of fostering hope for a just peace in the Middle East.

    Related Links

  • BY TOPIC: Israel attacks Lebanon (12 July 2006)
  • BY TOPIC: Israel invades Gaza (27 June 2006)
  • BY TOPIC: Aid, Boycotts & Divestment

    Contact: On behalf of the Palestinian BDS Campaign:,