The BDS Movement

Common Ground endorses the 2005 call by Palestinian civil society and the 2009 call by Kairos Palestine for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel and companies profiting from the Israeli occupation until Israel ends its illegal occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank, lifts its blockade of Gaza, and upholds the right of Palestinian Israelis to full equality (Discriminatory Laws in Israel) and the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN General Assembly Resolution 194.

Intercultural/Interfaith Endorsement of BDS ~ 

“In solidarity with Palestinians as they peacefully struggle for self-determination and liberty, the American Muslims for Palestine stands with the Palestinian BDS National Committee in commemorating Land Day this year.” — AMP endorses Global BDS Movement in commemoration of Land Day / 2011

“In late July, 2011, the Palestine Israel Network’s Steering Committee joined the Episcopal Peace Fellowship’s National Executive Council in endorsing the International Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign against Israel until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights.” — Episcopal Peace Fellowship endorsement of BDS

“Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) endorses the call from Palestinian civil society for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) as part of our work for freedom, justice and equality for all people.  We believe that the time-honored, non-violent tools proposed by the BDS call provide powerful opportunities to make that vision real.” — Jewish Voice for Peace on Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions | 2015

Common Ground endorses the boycott and divestment campaigns of the Interfaith Boycott Coalition (http://interfaith-boycott), We Divest (www.wedivest.org), the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation ( www.endtheoccupation.org) , The BDS Movement (www.bdsmovement.net) , the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (www.pacbi.org), Boycott From Within (http://boycottisrael.info), etc.

Stephen Hawking makes a peaceful protest — (Boston Globe editorial, May 11th, 2013)

“The decision to withdraw from (Israel’s Presidential) conference is a reasonable way to express one’s political views. Observers need not agree with Hawking’s position in order to understand and even respect his choice. The movement that Hawking has signed on to aims to place pressure on Israel through peaceful means. In the context of a Mideast conflict that has caused so much destruction and cost so many lives, nonviolence is something to be encouraged. That is equally true of attempts to inspire cooperation on the Palestinian side. Foreclosing nonviolent avenues to give people a political voice — and maybe bring about an eventual resolution — only makes what is already difficult that much more challenging.” http://mondoweiss.net/2013/05/hawkings-nonviolent-pressure.

I’m Jewish, and I want people to boycott Israel (2016) — Rebecca Vilkomerson, Jewish Voice for Peace
“I believe that Israel won’t change its policies until outside pressure becomes impossible to ignore. BDS is a powerful way to encourage the state to act. And during my time with the movement, we’ve had growing success. Mainsteam churches have divested from companies profiting from the occupation. Dozens of American campuses have passed divestment resolutions. More than 100 artists refuse to perform in Israel, and multinational corporations like G4S and Veolia have withdrawn from the Israeli market.”

Governor Cuomo, Put Me on Your BDS Blacklist — Yousef Munayyer, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (2016)
“If Governor Cuomo wants to create a list of those nonviolently demanding accountability for Israel’s denial of basic Palestinian rights, please sign me up. One day, when the system of imposed inequality ends in Israel-Palestine, this resistance to it will be looked back on as a badge of honor. I, along with an ever-growing number of Americans, want to be counted among those who stood on the right side of history.”

US Campaign for Palestinian Rights ~  

“In 2005, Palestinian civil society issued a call to the world to apply boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel until it upheld international law. Signed by over 170 Palestinian coalitions, unions, refugee groups, human rights and social justice groups, in the occupied territories, within Israel, and in exile, this call is truly representative of the support that the Palestinian people believe they must have to survive and achieve their rights.

“The US Campaign National Assembly of member groups voted to endorse the call shortly thereafter, at the 2005 National Organizers Conference. Academic & Cultural Boycott were endorsed in at the 2009 conference.

“Prior to and since the call, the National Assemblies have endorsed multiple BDS campaigns targeting Caterpillar, Motorola, Veolia, Ahava Beauty Products, the We Divest Campaign (calling on financial giant TIAA-CREF to divest), and various faith-based and campus-based divestment initiatives.” (www.endtheoccupation.org)

Jewish Voice for Peace encourages Christian divestment from Israeli occupation ~

A Moral Choice: Divesting from the Israeli Occupation
“Seek peace and pursue it.” — Proverbs 34:14

“Brave Decisions — Several Christian denominations have taken brave, constructive decisions to investigate whether their churches’ investments contribute to violence and oppression in Israel and Palestine. Churches are reviewing investments as a means to ending the humiliation and brutality faced by Palestinians under occupation — an occupation that causes great harm to Israeli society as well. As long as one nation occupies another, neither can enjoy true peace and security. These churches understand that investing in corporations that profit from the occupation is unethical. Examining the impact of their investments is a practical, effective way for American Christians to do good rather than cause harm.

“The decision to divest from the occupation is also critically important for Jews everywhere. The quest for justice is at the core of Jewish tradition and identity. When Jews support the Israeli occupation, we are acting from fear due to centuries of intense persecution and genocide. When the U.S. government supports the Israeli occupation in the face of international human rights violations, it is acting out of self-interests that have nothing to do with Jewish values, traditions or security. The very essence of Jewish values is a tradition of justice. We know that Jews will not be truly free or secure until the oppression of the Palestinians ends. By examining the economic underpinnings and voting to divest from companies that benefit from the Israeli occupation, Christian churches are acting as partners with Jews in our own liberation.” (http://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/toolkit#church)

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The 2013 TIAA-CREF divestment shareholder resolution sponsored by We Divest states:

The International Court of Justice concluded in 2004 that “the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (including East Jerusalem) have been established in breach of international law”;

Israel continues to maintain and even accelerate settlement of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, even after the UN General Assembly in December 2012 recognized Palestine as a non-member state, with only eight countries voting “nay”;

The U.S. officially opposes continued Israeli settlement activity;

Human Rights Watch calls on companies that “contribute to and/or benefit from violations of Palestinian residents’ human rights” to either end their involvement in such violations or end operations altogether, “where business activity directly contributes to serious violations of international law, including prohibitions against discrimination”;

The U.N. Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories has recommended boycotting such companies, including Veolia Environment, and has warned that these companies may expect damage to their public image, impact on shareholder decisions and share price, and potential criminal or civil liability for breaches of international human rights and humanitarian law;

Leaders of 15 major churches in the U.S. in October 2012 called on Congress to suspend U.S. military aid to Israel if investigation discloses that Israel is using such aid in violation of U.S law;

The United Methodist and Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Church of Canada have called for boycott of Israeli settlement goods;

South Africa, the U.K., and Denmark advise that settlement goods not be labeled as ‘Made in Israel,’ and over 20 NGOs are asking the European Union to take similar steps;

THEREFORE, shareholders request that the Board end investments in companies that, in the trustees’ judgment, substantially contribute to or enable egregious violations of human rights, including companies whose business supports Israel’s occupation. (https://wedivest.org/sign/64/national-petition?gid=18#.U7FnyLGGaP8)