Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Israel-Palestine, The Boycott Israel and the milder boycott the colonialist settlements collect momentum.

The first BDS call in Israel was initiated by Matzpen during the first year of the first intifada, in February 1988. It called for a boycott of the products of the colonialist settlements (see in Hebrew).

It played a marginal role in the political arena till the Peace Block (Gush Shalom) started to promote it. (Do not mix between the radical though sill marginally Zionist "Gush Shalom" and the firmly left Zionist "Peace Now" - Shalom Achshav.)

This was a preparation of the back ground for the more radical call of international Jewry for "Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions" initiated by the anti authoritarian anticapitalist (and anti Zionist Matzpen) and friends, 2001. (See

It took years till the Palestinians adopted it on 2005. It slowly draw more and more supporters all over the world - including in Israel which gave birth to the movement of "boycott from within".

Last few years, the softer boycott of the products of the colonialist settlements and the hard core "Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions" collected momentum. As the official Israeli efforts to defame it as Anti-Semite was hampered by the activity of international Jewish radicals and more so by Israeli Jews ("Boycott From Within" and the milder ones who call for partial boycott) the Israeli leadership took a desperate step. They initiated and passed in the Israeli parliament a law against the activists who call for boycott.

The harsh law have the boomerang effect and intensify the struggle of boycott from within.

Following is the statement in response to the new law signed by lot of radical activists in a self incriminating call as a defiance of the new law.



"We’re going to arrest you, but it’s difficult with you because all you do is talk.”
- Israeli soldier to Palestinian organizer Mohammad Othman, 2009 [1]
We, Israeli citizens, members of Boycott![2], hereby reiterate our support and promotion of the Palestinian Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights[3]. We declare this in spite of the new legislation by the Israeli Knesset, which aims to penalize our and our partners' activities, curbing freedom of speech and political organizing and most importantly – banning Israeli citizens from acting according to their conscience when it conflicts with the deplorable policies of the state.
The anti-BDS law is not the first attempt at silencing the BDS campaign. Throughout the years, Israel has detained Palestinian leaders, activists, speakers and organizers under administrative detention and without charges, or at times under various draconian charges such as 'incitement' and the organizing of 'illegal demonstrations'. On September 22nd 2009, Mohammad Othman, 34, was detained at the Allenby Crossing upon his return to the occupied West Bank following a meeting with Norwegian finance minister Halvorsen. Earlier that month, minister Halvorsen had announced Norway’s divestment from the Israeli company Elbit due to “ethical concerns”[4]. Othman was arrested and held without charges or trial, under an unlawful administrative detention order and had spent much of the 113 days in detention under solitary confinement. Imprisonment of political activists is an almost routine practice against Palestinian human rights defenders.
Like such repressive practices, the newly approved Israeli law, which specifies fines and the payment of 'compensation' by Israeli citizens or residents, who initiate or encourage a boycott of Israel – is also bound to fail. We hereby support and promote the recent Palestinian call for an immediate and comprehensive military embargo on Israel[5] due to its consistent resort to violence and deadly attacks on Palestinians and Arab civilians; we stand with Jewish Voice for Peace in their campaign to bring TIAA-CREF to divest from the Israeli occupation[6]; and, we support and encourage all other BDS-related divestment campaigns, such as the campaign to Derail Israel’s Unlawful A1 Train Project[7].
Lastly, we urge artists scheduled to perform in Israel to send a clear message that the Israeli occupation, the institutionalized discrimination of Israel's own Palestinian citizens and Israel's denial of the right of return and compensation of the Palestinian refugees - are neither okay nor normal, as Maxi Jazz from Faithless once put it[8]. Roxette, Ziggy Marley, Dream Theater, George Benson, Nino Katamadze, Paul Simon and John Cale – we may risk persecution for saying this – heed the Palestinian call for BDS and cancel your shows in Israel!

[77 signatures of the finest activists of the Anarchists Against the Wall and other Israeli radical activists]
On behalf of
Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within

[2] Our full name is: "Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within". Aka: "Boycott from Within".

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