By: Matthew Champion
France is mourning the death of 12 people after three suspected Islamist extremists attacked the Paris offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
The paper’s editor and cartoonists were all killed in the attack, believed to be in response to its historical publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohamed.
French president Francois Hollande condemned the shooting as an “act of indescribable barbarity”.
Joining the condemnation was France’s Muslim community. Imam Hassen Chalghoumi of the Drancy mosque in northern Paris arrived at the scene of the attack yesterday to say: “I am extremely angry. These are criminals, barbarians. They have sold their soul to hell. This is not freedom. This is not Islam and I hope the French will come out united at the end of this.”
Initiated by an overwhelming majority of Palestinian grassroots organisations in 2005 and inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement, the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement is now a widespread international movement.
BDS is proving capable of winning mass support and persuading companies, cultural institutions, artists and governments to join or observe the boycott of Israel.
The successes and growth of the global BDS movement has only been possible because of the creative and determined action by conscientious people and organizations and unions across the world.
The BDS movement is supported and led by the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), and we’ve put together this set of ideas on how to support in the BDS movement.
Get involved today and help to build the international BDS movement against Israel’s regime of occupation, colonialism and apartheid.
- Boycott goods of Israeli companies as well as international companies involved in Israel’s human rights violations
The most basic step is to stop buying products and services of Israeli companies and, whenever feasible, of international companies involved in Israel’s human rights violations. Try to encourage your friends, family and community to join you in doing so.
It differs from country to country, but the most common Israeli exports include:
– fresh fruit and vegetables such as Jaffa citrus fruits and Israeli Medjoul Dates
– Ahava cosmetics
– SodaStream drinks machines
– Eden Springs bottled water
– Golan Heights Wineries and other Israeli wines
There are many international companies that are complicit in Israeli violations of international law. Examples include HP, Caterpillar, Volvo, Hyundai, among many others.
Trying to boycott the products of every single company that participates in Israeli apartheid is a daunting task that has a slim change of having a concrete impact.
It makes more sense to focus on optimal targets that are being targeted as part of national or international campaigns. Consumer boycotts are most effective when part of a broader campaign against a particular product or aiming to pressure a retailer to stop selling a particular Israeli product.
Get in contact with a BDS organisation in your area to find out what companies and products are being targeted and how to support local campaigns. If no such organization exists, start your own campaign, in coordination with well-recognized BDS organizations.
- Follow us on social media and help spread the word
There are new BDS successes and developments nearly every day. Help to magnify the impact of the BDS movement by following us on Twitter and Facebook and sharing news of BDS successes on social media.
You can also sign up for our regular newsletter and email updates.
- Learn more and share information about the BDS movement
You can Tweet about the BDS movement and follow developments using the hashtag #BDS.
- Get involved in your area
There are vibrant organisations and campaigns in towns and cities all over the world that make an enormous contribution to boycott campaigns and the BDS movement as a whole.
Enter your details into our Get involved with a local BDS campaign form to be put in touch with a nearby group and start getting involved in local campaigning today.
- Take action online
Online petitions and letter writing actions can be an important part of building pressure, especially when they are part of vibrant local campaigning too.
Check out bdsmovement.net/takeaction to find out about on-going online actions. If you have your own suggestions for BDS campaigns, please share them with us through email.
- Campaign against your own community’s complicity in Israel’s violations of international law
Israel is only able to maintain its occupation and apartheid system because of the massive, unconditional support it receives from international governments, companies and institutions, such as universities.
Get in touch for ideas on how to research and campaign against links between your local community and the companies and institutions that enable Israel’s occupation and apartheid policies. Divesting pension or investment funds from companies involved in Israel’s human rights violations is a major component in many such campaigns.
- Encourage an organisation you are a member of to endorse BDS
All across the world, trade unions, student unions, NGOs, faith groups and other organisations are getting behind the BDS movement, launching their own BDS campaigns and divesting any shares they hold in Israeli companies or international companies such as Veolia, G4S and HP that are implicated in Israeli occupation and apartheid.
Persuading a union or association that you are a member of to endorse the Palestinian civil society’s BDS call can be a long-term project but is a particularly effective way to reach large numbers of people and build mainstream support for the boycott movement.
- Organise a boycott action at a retailer that sells Israeli goods
Boycott actions such as a protest or creative flashmob can be a great way to build awareness and support for the boycott of Israel and to pressure a retailer to stop stocking a particular product or Israeli goods in general.
Check out CODEPINK’s guide to organising a creative boycott action targeting Israeli cosmetics company Ahava. The guide works well for actions targeting other complicit products and companies too.
- Share this list
Help to inspire others to take action by sharing this list via social media.
The Turkish humanitarian relief organisation (IHH) is currently organising a “Freedom Flotilla II” which will carry humanitarian aid to the besieged Gaza Strip, IHH chairman Bulent Yildrim said Thursday.
In statements to Gulf Online, Yildrim said that his organisation has embarked on legal procedures and paperwork required to obtain a permit for the trip. As soon as a final permit is issued, the IHH along with other international organisations will immediately set up the convoy.
The chairman of IHH, a major organiser of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla I, said that Turkish army troops will accompany the ships to protect it from any potential attack, pointing out that his organisation demanded the government to provide protection for them as Turkish citizens.
Maze Keheil, the president of the European Campaign for Lifting the Siege on Gaza, confirmed his campaign’s intention to take part in the new flotilla, as it did in first one in 2010.