BDS Movement

The global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement called for by the majority of Palestinian civil society has made huge strides it was launched in 2005. People of conscience around the world are taking effective action to end Israeli impunity and hold Israel accountable under international law. This timeline, launched at the occasion of the 8th anniversary of the BDS call, charters the key successes of the movement.

2004-07-06 23:58:29

Palestinians issue call for academic and cultural boycott of Israel (ACBI)

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel was launched in Ramallah in April 2004 by a group of Palestinian academics and intellectuals to join the growing international boycott movement.

2005-07-09 01:47:37

Palestinian civil society calls for BDS

On July 9 2005 Palestinian civil society issued a call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law.

2006-02-07 07:01:08

Church of England votes to divest from Caterpillar

The decision comes after examination by the Churchís Ethical Investment Advisory Group of whether the shares held in Caterpillar were consistent with the Churchís ethical investment policy, which prohibits investment in arms companies or companies making weapons platforms such as naval vessels or tanks.

2006-03-22 05:57:44

Dance Europe magazine declares policy of accepting only Israeli ads which oppose occupation

This London-based dance magazine, with a circulation of 17,500, joins the cultural boycott. “We are opposed to the occupation,” says advertising director Naresh Kaul. Dance Europe screens its ads: “If any company in Israel cooperates with us by adding a disclaimer saying it is opposed to the occupation, settlements and everything else, we will cooperate with them.” The magazine prints Israeli ads if the advertiser includes a statement saying the firm disapproves of the occupation.

2006-06-05 23:58:29

National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (UK), vote to support Academic Boycott of Israel

Britain’s largest faculty association voted to urge its 67,000 members to consider the appropriateness of a boycott of Israeli faculty who fail to ’publicly dissociate themselves’ from Israel’s apartheid policies, including construction of the exclusion wall and discriminatory educational practices. They asked British college teachers to consider their own responsibility for ensuring equity and nondiscrimination in contacts with Israeli educational institutions or individuals.

2006-06-27 10:56:27

Belgian Hi-Tech Company refuses to buy Israeli products

U2U does not wish to tie itself with Israeli products, the firm’s manager told his Israeli suitor, citing "the devastating and inhumane war crimes Israel perpetrated in Lebanon" and "the apartheid regime" it inflicts on Palestine. The Israeli hi-tech representative said he countered that "Israel is a technological hub and that many of the Microsoft products which [you use] are developed here in Haifa."

2006-07-19 23:58:29

Dublin Tram Workers refuse to train Israeli engineers for East Jerusalem light-rail

Tram drivers refused to allow the Dublin tram system (“Luas”) to be used to train Israeli drivers and engineers for a new light-rail system in East Jerusalem that will serve illegal settlements. In response, the local Irish authority cancelled its training plan with Connex, the French firm that will operate the Israeli system (and that also operates Dublin trams). “When you do business with Israel, you invariably do business with the Occupation,” said a representative of the Irish Palestinian Solidarity Committee, congratulating the tram drivers on their stand. “We must cut ties with Israel in order to force it to end its Occupation.”

2006-08-29 17:13:00

Director Ken Loach joins boycott of Israel

Ken Loach: "I support the call by Palestinian filmmakers, artists and others to boycott state-sponsored Israeli cultural institutions and urge others to do join their campaign. Palestinians are driven to call for this boycott after 40 years of the occupation of their land, destruction of their homes and the kidnapping and murder of their civilians. They have no immediate hope that this oppression will end."

2006-09-08 15:33:13

United Nations International Conference of Civil Society in Support of Middle East Peace calls for sanctions on Israel

The annual conference, meeting in Geneva, called on the UN and its member states "To encourage and impose sanctions, in the form of ending the murderous arms trade with Israel, and to end sanctions that have been imposed against the elected Palestinian Authority and the collective punishment of the Palestinian people." The group decided to expand its global campaign of Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions, adopted in 2005, and to mark the 40th anniversary of the Occupation with a global Day of Action on June 9, 2007, under the slogan "The World Says No to Israeli Occupation." The Conference’s follow-up work is carried out by ICNP, the International Coordinating Committee on Palestine.

2006-09-22 01:45:07

COSATU adopts boycott of Israel

In a pioneering move, the South African trade union congress representing 1.8 million workers passed a resolution endorsing BDS

2006-11-26 01:47:37

Dutch ASN Bank ends relations with Veolia

The Bank once refused to deal with companies that were linked in any way with apartheid South Africa.

2006-12-15 01:47:37

Authors, filmmakers and musicians call for a cultural boycott of Israel

In a letter published in The Guardian, the 94 cultural icons call on their colleagues not to visit, exhibit or perform in Israel.

2006-12-15 20:04:45

International authors, film-makers, musicians and performers ask colleagues not to visit, exhibit or perform in Israel

Nearly 100 artists, including Brian Eno, Sophie Fiennes, and Arundhati Roy had signed a boycott letter written by noted author John Berger, stating "the day to day brutality of the Israeli army in Gaza and the West Bank continues. Ten Palestinians are killed for every Israeli death… UN resolutions are flouted, human rights violated as Palestinian land is stolen, houses demolished and crops destroyed. For Archbishop Desmond Tutu... the situation of the Palestinians is worse than that of black South Africans under apartheid. Meantime, Western governments refer to Israel’s ’legitimate right’ of self-defense, and continue to supply weaponry. The challenge of apartheid was fought better. The non-violent international response was boycott, divestment, and finally UN sanctions that enabled the regime to change without terrible bloodshed."

2007-02-14 10:42:25

London School of Economics students vote for divestment from Israel

A motion, brought to the weekly Union General Meeting of more than 400 LSE students by the LSESU Palestine Society, resolved to lobby the LSE and NUS to divest from companies that provide military support for the Israeli occupation, facilitate the maintenance of the illegal "annexation" wall or operate on illegally occupied land or within Jewish only settlements. With a six to one margin, the Union voted to support the aim of targeted divestment until companies cease such practices or until Israel ends its discriminatory oppression and colonisation of Palestinian communities.

2007-07-06 15:00:11

Irish Congress of Trade Unions calls for boycott and divestment

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) — representing trade unions and trades councils from the whole island of Ireland — passed a motion to commitment to “actively and vigorously” promote a policy of boycott and of divestment.

2007-10-21 17:13:00

National Coalition of American Nuns publicly encourages boycott of Caterpillar

"We encourage a boycott of Israeli goods in order to hasten a more just civil order in the Holy Land. The U.S. Arms Export Control Act Prohibits the use of US-made machinery or weapons against a civilian population. Because Caterpillar (CAT) bulldozers are used as weapons of war in the Occupied Territories in violation not only of the U.S. Arms Export Control Act, but also of international law and the corporation's own code of conduct, we call for divestment from Caterpillar, municipal boycotts of CAT machinery, and a consumer boycott of other CAT products."

2008-01-18 17:48:51

Oxfam refuses money from Israeli settlement financier

Oxfam clarifies that it does not receive money from Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev following letter from campaign group Adalah-NY

2008-01-21 00:00:00

Stockholm drops Veolia from €3.5bn contract

The decision by the Stockholm City Council was taken following a lengthy campaign by Swedish civil society organisations

2008-04-17 19:51:19

Canadian Union of Postal Workers Endorses BDS

Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) votes to endorse BDS and recognize Israel as an Apartheid state

2008-06-02 17:13:00

French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard has scrapped plans to attend a Tel Aviv film festival

As reported by Reuters, a source close to his office, which declined public comment, cited political pressure for his reason to cancel the visit.

2008-06-21 03:44:48

UNICEF severs ties with Lev Leviev

UNICEF decided to review its relationship with Leviev after a campaign by Adalah-NY and found "at least a reasonable grounds for suspecting" that Leviev companies were building settlements in Palestinian territory, a UNICEF official said.

2008-10-22 05:56:06

Dutch Triodos Bank announces that Veolia and Alstom do not meet its criteria for investment

When asked about their policy on investing in Veolia and Alstom, the bank replied it does not and will not invest in the companies.

2008-11-25 01:47:37

Eden Springs closes factory in Scotland

Decision follows after loss of hundreds of contracts, including ones with Scottish councils.

2008-12-01 01:47:37

Unilever divests from Israeli factory in West Bank settlement

Food and soap manufacturing multinational Unilever announced it would sell its 51 percent stake in the Beigel & Beigel factory in Ariel settlement, illegally built on land confiscated from Palestinians.

2008-12-11 15:00:11

Catalan Workers' Union Passes BDS Resolution

The Catalan Workers’ Union in Spain, known as the Intersindical Alternativa de Catallunya (IAC), passed a resolution calling for broad boycotts against Israel

2008-12-31 00:41:56

British telecom firm severs ties with Israeli counterparts

FreedomCall, a British telecom firm, informed Israel’s MobileMax, provider of international service for cellular phones, that "we will no longer be in a position to consider doing business with you or any other Israeli company...as a result of the Israeli government action" during the assault on Gaza.

2009-01-06 15:00:11

Pashmina store chain (UK) boycotts Israel following Operation Cast Lead

Pashmina, a British firm, began a boycott of Israel following Israel’s massive assault on the Gaza Strip in December 2008 and January 2009

2009-01-10 03:50:18

Author Naomi Klein declares her support for BDS

Klein: "It's time. Long past time. The best strategy to end the increasingly bloody occupation is for Israel to become the target of the kind of global movement that put an end to apartheid in South Africa."

2009-01-14 09:20:00

New Zealand Council of Trade Unions calls for cutting ties with Israel

The motion, passed while Israel bombed Gaza relentlessly, called on the New Zealand government to cut diplomatic ties with Israel, end military cooperation and boycott Israeli goods.

2009-01-14 10:42:25

Bolivia cuts diplomatic ties with Israel

olivian President Evo Morales said his country cut diplomatic ties with Israel over the offensive in the Gaza Strip that has killed hundreds of Palestinians. "Bolivia had diplomatic relations with Israel," Morales said in a speech before diplomats in the government palace. "Considering these grave attacks against ... humanity, Bolivia will stop having diplomatic relations with Israel."

2009-01-16 23:58:29

Produce importers in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, England, and Jordan boycott Israel

Israel’s Organization of Fruit Growers reported that fruit was rotting in warehouses. A spokesman said: "It’s getting worse, and more voices can be heard calling to boycott Israeli merchandise."

2009-01-20 07:01:08

Veolia loses lucrative contract in Stockholm

Stockholm community council in Sweden announced that the French company Veolia, which has been the operator of the subway’s in Stockholm County for the past ten years lost the contract to the MTR-cooperation. The contracts for the next eight years were worth 3,5 Billion Euro and had been the biggest ongoing public contract procurement process in Europe.

2009-02-03 23:58:29

South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) refuses to offload Israeli cargo

SATAWU announced its decision not to offload Israeli cargo to arrive on 8 February 2009 in the port of Durban in protest of Israel's assault on Gaza. This decision inspired similar actions around the world.

2009-02-06 10:42:25

Strathclyde University cancels Eden Springs contract after student pressure

Danny McGregor, speaking on behalf of the protesters, said: "We are happy with what we have achieved. We were in there for 24 hours and we feel we made a lot of progress. "What we've managed to get so far is fantastic, but it's just the start. We couldn't get what we wanted with BAE, but there's a massive movement among the students against their presence here, and we're going to take this forward to the Students' Representative Council."

2009-02-08 23:58:29

S African dockers refuse to unload Israeli ship

South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) announced they would not offload a ship from Israel scheduled to dock in Durban

2009-02-12 01:47:37

Hampshire college divests from Israel

Hampshire College in Amherst, MA became the first of any college or university in the U.S. to divest from companies on the grounds of their involvement in the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

2009-02-27 12:05:53

Cardiff University students win divestment from the arms companies supporting occupation

Cardiff University has given students written confirmation that they have divested from the arms trade and have instructed fund managers not to reinvest.

2009-03-16 15:54:33

Veolia loses out on £1bn UK contract

Contract for waste collection and recycling contract with Sandwell Council worth £1 billion pounds over a 25-years period.

2009-03-19 23:58:29

Israeli citizens respond to Palestinian BDS call

"Boycott from Within" founded with a statement from conscientious Israeli citizens pledging support for the Palestinian BDS call

2009-03-24 21:37:14

Swedish national pension fund AP7 divests from Alstom

AP7, which manages pension savings worth around 90 billion kronor ($15 billion), listed in its annual report for 2008 the companies it has to exclude from investment for ethical reasons. Alstom is pointed out as a company AP7 would have liked to invest in. However, the report said Alstom’s involvement in reported human rights abuses regarding the company’s participation in a railway project in Jerusalem made it not suitable for AP7’s investments.

2009-04-20 15:54:33

Galway City Council (Ireland) adopts motion not to renew Veolia contract

In February 2009, a similar motion was adopted by the Sligo County Council (Ireland)

2009-04-22 01:47:37

Scottish Trade Union Congress calls for BDS

Scottish Trade Union Congress, representing every Scottish trade union, voted overwhelmingly to commit to boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.

2009-04-30 22:39:33

Veolia loses French contract worth €1bn

Greater Bordeaux local government announced that the contract for the biggest urban network in France was awarded to Veolia’s competitor. The contract was worth €1billion

2009-05-19 09:20:00

Edinburgh film festival rejects Israeli embassy money

The decision came after Scottish Director Ken Loach called for a boycott of the festival given the tainted nature of the money involved.

2009-07-13 01:47:37

U.K. hits Israel with partial arms embargo over Gaza war

Britain slapped a partial arms embargo on Israel, refusing to supply replacement parts and other equipment for Sa’ar 4.5 gunships because they were used in Israel’s 2008-2009 winter attack on Gaza.

2009-08-08 03:43:03

Investment Giant BlackRock Divests from Leviev’s Africa-Israel Due to Israeli Settlement

he move comes after a nearly two-year long global boycott campaign of Leviev’s businesses that developed in response to the billionaire’s construction activities in at least four Israeli settlements in the Occupied West Bank, all of which violate international law, and his abusive labor practices in the diamond industry in Angola and Namibia.

2009-08-17 05:57:44

Amnesty International withdraws support for Leonard Cohen concert in Israel

The musician refused to heed appeals from his fans to cancel the concert and chose instead to whitewash his presence with a charity fundraiser which Amnesty refused to collaborate with.

2009-08-27 23:56:05

John Greyson withdraws film from Toronto International Film Festival over decision to highlight works from Tel Aviv

Acclaimed Canadian film maker John Greyson decided to withdraw his new film "Covered" from the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) because of the festival’s decision to make Tel Aviv a focus of its programming this year. In his letter, to the festival, Greyson cited “the devastating Gaza massacre of eight months ago, resulting in over 1000 civilian deaths; the election of a Prime Minister accused of war crimes; the aggressive extension of illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands; the accelerated destruction of Palestinian homes and orchards; the viral growth of the totalitarian security wall, and the further enshrining of the check-point system” as reasons for his decision.

2009-09-02 05:57:44

Artists and Filmmakers Protest Toronto Film Festival decision to spotlight the city of Tel Aviv

They issued the Toronto Declaration, which garnered a lot of media attention, stating that "we object to the use of such an important international festival in staging a propaganda campaign on behalf of what South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and UN General Assembly President Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann have all characterized as an apartheid regime."

2009-09-03 23:58:29

Norway's Pension Fund Drops Israel's Elbit

Norway's Finance Ministry excluded Israel's Elbit Systems Ltd. from the country's vast global pension-fund portfolio because of ethical concerns. The ministry said that the pension fund's council on ethics has found that investment in Elbit Systems "constitutes an unacceptable risk of contribution to serious violations of fundamental ethical norms as a result of the company's integral involvement in Israel's construction of a separation barrier on occupied territory" in the West Bank.

BDS Movement

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