What is it?
A Boycott is an invitation not to buy something for ethical reasons. It’s a nonviolent tactic to increase the pressure for social change. Boycotts have been used to get companies to change their practices (Nestle, Nike), or they can be used against a country (France when it resumed nuclear testing, South Africa to end Apartheid).
In 2005, 171 Palestinian civil society groups launched the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement – asking the world to boycott Israeli goods, divest from its companies, and for countries to impose sanctions.
The call has been taken up by many different groups in different ways. There have been intense debates in church synods and forums about full boycotts and divestment. Many Trade Unions support BDS, as have some Governments (particularly in Europe and in South Africa).
“Enough is enough. No more words without deeds. It’s time for action.”
These words were issued nearly eight years ago as part of a statement by a World Council of Churches gathering, and affirmed recently by a meeting of senior Palestinian Christians and their supporters in the Kairos Palestine 5th Anniversary statement, which noted that things have become worse, not better, for Palestinians since then. We have heard the cry of Palestinian Christians asking the international community to join boycott and divestment campaigns. We have seen Churches internationally respond to the request. We have seen many Jewish people support these nonviolent economic strategies. We believe, with deep conviction, that the products made in the illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank represent a serious and blatant disregard for Palestinian human rights, and must be opposed.
We ask you to join us in moving from words to action.
Why we shouldn’t buy goods made in illegal Israeli settlements
Israeli settlements are exclusively Jewish communities that have been established in Occupied Palestine. Their existence and ongoing expansion confiscate large areas and are widely accepted by the international community as being against international law. Additionally their presence leads to a wide array of problems for Palestinians: road-closures; loss of farming livelihoods; checkpoints; exposure to settler violence; military control by Israel of daily life, and many more. To buy goods from these settlements is therefore not only undermining international law but implies support for the Israeli military occupation of Palestine. The devastating effects of these settlements on daily Palestinian life cannot be overstated. Read more.
Worldwide Christian and Jewish responses to goods from Israeli settlements
In recent years many churches and Jewish groups around the world have been campaigning against goods made in settlements, and against companies profiting from the occupation. We have documented some of these campaigns. Read more.
CALL TO ACTION: Help us find dates being sold from illegal Israeli settlements
PIEN’s first campaign will focus on dates sold in Australia from Israeli settlements. We’ve identified one importer, and are negotiating directly with them to stop these imports. But we want to see who else is selling and/or importing these dates – and we’re looking for your help. Find out more.
Download a PDF version of campaign materials. And make sure you’re on our email list to receive future updates!