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Posts tagged ‘divestment’

Israel and friends battle the boycott in Britain

On February 17, British Cabinet Minister Matthew Hancock stood alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, and announced the publication of “new guidance” for local authorities concerning procurement. The move was trailed – and presented by the government – as designed to ‘ban’ boycotts of Israeli goods and services by councils.

But did the procurement guidance really criminalise boycotts – and what about additional, pending moves by the British government to restrict how local authorities choose to invest pension funds? What is really going on behind this attack on local democracy, in the name of shielding the Israeli state, its institutions, and complicit corporations from a growing global boycott campaign? Read more

Boycotting Israel isn’t anti-Semitic – how many human rights groups need to condemn it until this is clear?

The Conservative Government is planning a significant assault on political freedoms in the name of protecting those profiting from human rights violations. Specifically, they are seeking to shield Israel from the growing pressure of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. Read more

Israel intimidated by boycott threat to apartheid status quo

As Israeli politicians ramp up the rhetoric against the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, two reports have suggested that much worse is in store for the movement which advocates economic and cultural disengagement from Israel.

First came a secret, Israeli government report obtained by business newspaper Calcalist. The internal document looked at the potential future impact of BDS on the country’s economy – and the results are striking. Read more

At home and abroad, Christian Palestinians under attack by Israel and its apologists

As the Pope visits the ‘Holy Land’, much media coverage has focused on the current problems facing Christian Palestinians, and in particular, the so-called ‘price tag’ attacks being perpetrated by right-wing Jewish extremists. Ahead of the Papal visit, Israeli police even issued restraining orders against known activists. Read more

Under pressure, a strong EU-Israel relationship faces uncertain future

Last week, EU Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen warned on Israeli television that the country would face “increasing isolation” if the peace process collapsed, echoing remarks he made in January about a “price to pay” in terms of boycott and divestment initiatives by European companies. Yet last week also saw the official launch of Israel’s participation in the EU’s Horizon 2020 research programme, making it “eligible to compete for €77 billion worth of industrial research grants over seven years”. This juxtaposition is a useful picture of current EU-Israel relations, with close cooperation continuing even as strains have emerged in the context of a troubled peace process and civil society pressure. Read more

Five reasons why Hawking is right to boycott Israel

As announced by the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) and subsequently covered by The Guardian, Reuters and others, world-renowned theoretical physicist and cosmologist Professor Stephen Hawking has decided to heed the Palestinian call for boycott, and pull out of an Israeli conference hosted by President Shimon Peres in June. After initial confusion, this was confirmed – Hawking is staying away on political grounds.

Here are five reasons why Professor Hawking is right to boycott: Read more

BDS: Can three simple letters spell liberation for one of the world’s most polemical conflicts?

“It is no longer enough to try and change Israel from within. Israel has to be pressured in the same way apartheid South Africa was forced to change.”

Those are the words of Yonatan Shapira, a former captain in the Israeli Air Force turned anti-apartheid activist. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign he supports has grown in just a few years to be a key strategy internationally for the advancement of Palestinian rights. Read more

Church protest

Despite the continued strength and vitality of the Christian Zionist lobby in America, in the last few months there have been signs that it is also amongst the church that significant steps are being taken to pressurise Israel into compliance with international standards, including symbolically-loaded methods such as divestment, boycotts and sanctions. Read more