Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS)
"BDS" refers to the general boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement, an expressly non-violent human rights movement meant to pressure the Israeli government to end its denial of Palestinian rights and comply with international law. Through BDS activities, individuals can take action for Palestinian rights without waiting for government to act. BDS tactics were used in the struggle against South Africa's apartheid regime and in the U.S. civil rights movement.
A broad coalition of Palestinian civil society groups made a formal call for BDS in 2005. They were joined by, among others, U.N. Special Rapporteur Richard Falk in October 2012. The formal BDS movement has three specific goals, all of which are consistent with international law. They are: 1) the end of the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories; 2) recognition of the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and land; and 3) full equal rights for non-Jewish citizens of Israel.
For arguments supporting boycott, see article by orthodox Jewish studies professor Jeremiah Haber (2012) and BDS campaigner Omar Barghouti's op-ed in the New York Daily News (2013). See also The BDS Movement at 10: An Interview with Omar Barghouti (July 2015).
In May 2016 the Harvard Law Review published a helpful article on how anti-BDS legislation violates the First Amendment.
What to boycott? See "know what to boycott" page and FAQs at bdsmovement.net.
Economic boycotts and divestment, which focus on companies that directly profit from or help to maintain the occupation:
- afsc.org/investigate (company information)
- U.S. Campaign for Palestinians Rights bds campaigns
- justicewithpeace.org/node/2484 (Sabra and Tribe hummus)
- phillybds.org (Sabra and Tribe hummus)
- codepink.org/justice_for_Palestine (Re/max, Airbnb, Ahava, HP)
- vtjp.org/icecream/boycott.htm (Ben & Jerry's ice cream)
- act.stolenhomes.org (Airbnb)
- whoprofits.org. For a list of products made in illegal settlements, choose "settlements' products" in box "involvement category".
Sanctions: While sanctions must be applied by governments, individuals can urge the government to impose sanctions. See Make Military Aid Conditional.