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More Jewish Support for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Against Israel

By Udi Aloni

EAFORD, January 11, 2010

Why Do We Support the Non-violent BDS Movement?

I find it appropriate that the Israeli public be notified of the emerging movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel (BDS), which has been growing at a breathtaking pace. Following bewildered reports published by Yedioth Aharonot journalist Sever Plocker, who noticed that BDS has moved from the circles of the radical western left to the circles of the bourgeois centre, I can add that this is now true for Israel-loving Jews as well.

Obviously, this shift is taking place against the backdrop of Israel's war on Gaza, waged one year ago, the publication of the Goldstone report, and the local strain of apartheid policy nurtured by Israel, which differs from the old South African one in some aspects. This policy has local makings and signature. It is not only an Israeli High Court of Justice ruling to evacuate Palestinian living in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarah from their homes, applying a "right of return for Jews only" rule, while Palestinians, on the other hand, are being denied this right. It is also the denial of Palestinian rights to send Palestinian policemen to carry out a "targeted assassination" of Jewish terrorist Yaacov Teitel (it should be noted that we object to all extrajudicial executions), while the alleged Palestinians murderers of a Jewish Rabbi in Samaria can be extrajudicially executed, with the ballistic weapon examination proving their guilt being performed retroactively by the executioners, not by a court of law (the appropriate instance in this case should be an international tribunal, since most Palestinians are sure that at least two of the three had nothing to do with the murder).

I am presenting these cases to illustrate the extreme inequality in our joint life, in this land, and emphasize the reasons behind the emergence of the popular global movement for solidarity with the Palestinian people. And please do not rush to your feet, protesting and chanting: "The whole world is against us, never mind, we shall overcome!", because we shall not overcome.

The aforementioned violations of human rights are precisely the reason why many Jews all over the world have joined the BDS campaign, a key issue for those of us who are trying to prevent violence against Israel while simultaneously countering its arrogant and aggressive policies against the Palestinians living under its rule.
Necessary Violence

The head of the New School's philosophy department (located in NYC) has argued that "Violence is never justified even if it is sometimes necessary". This statement lays a heavy burden of guilt on numerous resistance movements all over the world, who have been compelled to resort to violence against occupying forces.

When the children in the Palestinian village of Bil'in, whose land is being grabbed by Israel in broad daylight under the pretext of "lawful conduct", using heavily armed IDF soldiers, throw stones at soldiers, the village elders tell them: "Your act of stone-throwing is totally justified resistance, but we have chosen non-violent resistance for this village, and therefore violence is unnecessary here". As part of our support for this type of non-violent action in places like Bil'in, and following forceful, violent IDF actions against the residents of the village, we, Israeli activists, have formulated our position in favor of BDS.

When the state quells the non-violent yet effective resistance of a right-less minority with violent unlawful means, then violent resistance to the military forces enforcing this oppression is justified. Indeed, such resistance may not always be necessary, may not always serve the goals of the struggle, and its shortcomings may outweigh its advantages, but it is still justified in principle.

In comparison, non-violent resistance in such instances is always justified and also always necessary. Regrettably, such resistance is not always possible.

Therefore, we must try to create the preconditions for non-violent resistance to emerge, in order to render violent resistance unnecessary.

The most provably-effective form of pressure known to us so far is BDS. Thus, BDS action does not amount to negative, counter-productive action, as many propagandists try to portray it. On the contrary, BDS action is a life-saving antidote to violence. It is an action of solidarity, partnership and joint progress. BDS action serves to preempt, in a non-violent manner, justified violent resistance aimed at attaining the same goals of justice, peace and equality.

If a critical mass of privileged Israeli citizens joins the non-violent struggle from the inside, standing shoulder to shoulder with the disenfranchised, perhaps outside pressure will no longer be necessary. The three very basic principles of BDS are:

- An immediate end of the occupation
- Full equality to all Palestinian citizens of the state of Israel
- Legal and moral Recognition of the Palestinian refugees' right of return
(Obviously, each community's position will be taken into consideration during the desired negotiations).

No right wing lobby, not even the messianic-evangelical lobby, and no lawyer from the Alan Dershowitz school can hold back for long the global popular movement which wants to see an end to our local conflict and regional peace, according to the principles of international law, in the benefit of both peoples.


5 route des Morillons, CP 2100.  1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
Telephone: (022) 788.62.33 Fax: (022) 788.62.45  e-mail:



5 Route des Morillons, CP 2100.  1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland

Telephone: (022) 788.62.33 Fax: (022) 788.62.45  e-mail:



End Israeli Apartheid

Cairo Declaration

1 January 2010



Gaza Freedom Marchers issue the "Cairo Declaration" to end Israeli Apartheid

(Cairo) Gaza Freedom Marchers approved a declaration aimed at accelerating the global campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israeli Apartheid. Roughly 1400 activists from 43 countries converged in Cairo on their way to Gaza to join with Palestinians marching to break Israel's illegal siege. They were prevented from entering Gaza by the Egyptian authorities. As a result, the Freedom Marchers remained in Cairo. They staged a series of nonviolent actions aimed at pressuring the international community to end the siege as one step in the larger struggle to secure justice for Palestinians throughout historic Palestine. This declaration arose from those actions:

We, international delegates meeting in Cairo during the Gaza Freedom March 2009 in collective response to an initiative from the South African delegation, state:

In view of:

Israel's ongoing collective punishment of Palestinians through the illegal occupation and siege of Gaza; the illegal occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the continued construction of the illegal Apartheid Wall and settlements; the new Wall under construction by Egypt and the US which will tighten even further the siege of Gaza; the contempt for Palestinian democracy shown by Israel, the US, Canada, the EU and others after the Palestinian elections of 2006; the war crimes committed by Israel during the invasion of Gaza one year ago; the continuing discrimination and repression faced by Palestinians within Israel; and the continuing exile of millions of Palestinian refugees; all of which oppressive acts are based ultimately on the Zionist ideology which underpins Israel; in the knowledge that our own governments have given Israel direct economic, financial, military and diplomatic support and allowed it to behave with impunity; and mindful of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (2007)

We reaffirm our commitment to:


Palestinian Self-Determination

Ending the Occupation

Equal Rights for All within historic Palestine

The full Right of Return for Palestinian refugees

We therefore reaffirm our commitment to the United Palestinian call of July 2005 for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) to compel Israel to comply with international law.

To that end, we call for and wish to help initiate a global mass, democratic anti-apartheid movement to work in full consultation with Palestinian civil society to implement the Palestinian call for BDS.

Mindful of the many strong similarities between apartheid Israel and the former apartheid regime in South Africa, we propose:


1)     An international speaking tour in the first 6 months of 2010 by Palestinian and South African trade unionists and civil society activists, to be joined by trade unionists and activists committed to this programme within the countries toured, to take mass education on BDS directly to the trade union membership and wider public internationally;

2)     Participation in the Israeli Apartheid Week in March 2010;

3)     A systematic unified approach to the boycott of Israeli products, involving consumers, workers and their unions in the retail, warehousing, and transportation sectors;

4)     Developing the Academic, Cultural and Sports boycott;

5)     Campaigns to encourage divestment of trade union and other pension funds from companies directly implicated in the Occupation and/or the Israeli military industries;

6)     Legal actions targeting the external recruitment of soldiers to serve in the Israeli military, and the prosecution of Israeli government war criminals; coordination of Citizen's Arrest Bureaux to identify, campaign and seek to prosecute Israeli war criminals; support for the Goldstone Report and the implementation of its recommendations;

7)     Campaigns against charitable status of the Jewish National Fund (JNF).

We appeal to organisations and individuals committed to this declaration to sign it and work with us to make it a reality.


Please e-mail us at


Signed by:


(* Affiliation for identification purposes only.)


1.         Hedy Epstein, Holocaust Survivor/ Women in Black*, USA

2.         Nomthandazo Sikiti, Nehawu, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), Affiliate International Officer*, South Africa

3.         Zico Tamela, Satawu, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) Affiliate International Officer*, South Africa

4.         Hlokoza Motau, Numsa, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) Affiliate International Officer*, South Africa

5.         George Mahlangu, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) Campaigns Coordinator*, South Africa

6.         Crystal Dicks, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) Education Secretary*, South Africa

7.         Savera Kalideen, SA Palestinian Solidarity Committee*, South Africa

8.         Suzanne Hotz, SA Palestinian Solidarity Group*, South Africa

9.         Shehnaaz Wadee, SA Palestinian Solidarity Alliance*, South Africa

10.         Haroon Wadee, SA Palestinian Solidarity Alliance*, South Africa

11.         Sayeed Dhansey, South Africa

12.         Faiza Desai, SA Palestinian Solidarity Alliance*, South Africa

13.         Ali Abunimah, Electronic Intifada*, USA

14.         Hilary Minch, Ireland Palestine Solidarity Committee*, Ireland

15.         Anthony Loewenstein, Australia

16.         Sam Perlo-Freeman, United Kingdom

17.         Julie Moentk, Pax Christi*, USA

18.         Ulf Fogelström, Sweden

19.         Ann Polivka, Chico Peace and Justice Center*, USA

20.         Mark Johnson, Fellowship of Reconciliation*, USA

21.         Elfi Padovan, Munich Peace Committee*/Die Linke*, Germany

22.         Elizabeth Barger, Peace Roots Alliance*/Plenty I*, USA

23.         Sarah Roche-Mahdi, CodePink*, USA

24.         Svetlana Gesheva-Anar, Bulgaria

25.         Cristina Ruiz Cortina, Al Quds-Malaga*, Spain

26.         Rachel Wyon, Boston Gaza Freedom March*, USA

27.         Mary Hughes-Thompson, Women in Black*, USA

28.         David Letwin, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN)*, USA

29.         Jean Athey, Peace Action Montgomery*, USA

30.         Gael Murphy, Gaza Freedom March*/CodePink*, USA

31.         Thomas McAfee, Journalist/PC*, USA

32.         Jean Louis Faure, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN)*, France

33.         Timothy A King, Christians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East*, USA

34.         Gail Chalbi, Palestine/Israel Justice Project of the Minnesota United Methodist Church*, USA

35.         Ouahib Chalbi, Palestine/Israel Justice Project of the Minnesota United Methodist Church*, USA

36.         Greg Dropkin, Liverpool Friends of Palestine*, England

37.         Felice Gelman, Wespac Peace and Justice New York*/Gaza Freedom March*, USA

38.         Ron Witton, Australian Academic Union*, Australia

39.         Hayley Wallace, Palestine Solidarity Committee*, USA

40.         Norma Turner, Manchester Palestine Solidarity Campaign*, England

41.         Paula Abrams-Hourani, Women in Black (Vienna)*/ Jewish Voice for Just Peace in the Middle East*, Austria

42.         Mateo Bernal, Industrial Workers of the World*, USA

43.         Mary Mattieu, Collectif Urgence Palestine*, Switzerland

44.         Agneta Zuppinger, Collectif Urgence Palestine*, Switzerland

45.         Ashley Annis, People for Peace*, Canada

46.         Peige Desgarlois, People for Peace*, Canada

47.         Hannah Carter, Canadian Friends of Sabeel*, Canada

48.         Laura Ashfield, Canadian Friends of Sabeel*, Canada

49.         Iman Ghazal, People for Peace*, Canada

50.         Filsam Farah, People for Peace*, Canada

51.         Awa Allin, People for Peace*, Canada

52.         Cleopatra McGovern, USA

53.         Miranda Collet, Spain

54.         Alison Phillips, Scotland

55.         Nicholas Abramson, Middle East Crisis Response Network*/Jews Say No*, USA

56.         Tarak Kauff, Middle East Crisis Response Network*/Veterans for Peace*, USA

57.         Jesse Meisler-Abramson, USA

58.         Hope Mariposa, USA

59.         Ivesa Lübben. Bremer Netzwerk fur Gerechten Frieden in Nahost*, Germany

60.         Sheila Finan, Mid-Hudson Council MERC*, USA

61.         Joanne Lingle, Christians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East (CPJME)*, USA

62.         Barbara Lubin, Middle East Children’s Alliance*, USA

63.         Josie Shields-Stromsness, Middle East Children’s Alliance*, USA

64.         Anna Keuchen, Germany

65.         Judith Mahoney Pasternak, WRL* and Indypendent*, USA

66.         Ellen Davidson, New York City Indymedia*, WRL*, Indypendent*, USA

67.         Ina Kelleher, USA

68.         Lee Gargagliano, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (Chicago)*, USA

69.         Brad Taylor, OUT-FM*, USA

70.         Helga Mankovitz, SPHR (Queen’s University)*, Canada

71.         Mick Napier, Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign*, Scotland

72.         Agnes Kueng, Paso Basel*, Switzerland

73.         Anne Paxton, Voices of Palestine*, USA

74.         Leila El Abtah, The Netherlands

75.         Richard, Van der Wouden, The Netherlands

76.         Rafiq A. Firis, P.K.R.*/Isra*, The Netherlands

77.         Sandra Tamari, USA

78.         Alice Azzouzi, Way to Jerusalem*, USA

79.         J’Ann Schoonmaker Allen, USA

80.         Ruth F. Hooke, Episcopalian Peace Fellowship*, USA

81.         Jean E. Lee, Holy Land Awareness Action Task Group of United Church of Canada*, Canada

82.         Delphine de Boutray, Association Thèâtre Cine*, France

83.         Sylvia Schwarz, USA

84.         Alexandra Safi, Germany

85.         Abdullah Anar, Green Party – Turkey*, Turkey

86.         Ted Auerbach, USA

87.         Martha Hennessy, Catholic Worker*, USA

88.         Louis Ultale, Interfaile Pace e Bene*, USA

89.         Leila Zand, Fellowship of Reconciliation*, USA

90.         Emma Grigore, CodePink*, USA

91.         Sammer Abdelela, New York Community of Muslim Progressives*, USA

92.         Sharat G. Lin, San Jose Peace and Justice Center*, USA

93.         Katherine E. Sheetz, Free Gaza*, USA

94.         Steve Greaves, Free Gaza*, USA

95.         Trevor Baumgartner, Free Gaza*, USA

96.         Hanan Tabbara, USA

97.         Marina Barakatt, CodePink*, USA

98.         Keren Bariyov, USA

99.         Ursula Sagmeister, Women in Black – Vienna*, Austria

100.         Ann Cunningham, Australia

101.         Bill Perry, Delaware Valley Veterans for Peace*, USA

102.         Terry Perry, Delaware Valley Veterans for Peace*, USA

103.         Athena Viscusi, USA

104.         Marco Viscusi, USA

105.         Paki Wieland, Northampton Committee*, USA

106.         Manijeh Saba, New York / New Jersey, USA

107.         Ellen Graves, USA

108.         Zoë Lawlor, Ireland – Palestine Solidarity Campaign*, Ireland

109.         Miguel García Grassot, Al Quds – Málaga*, Spain

110.         Ana Mamora Romero, ASPA-Asociacion Andaluza Solidaridad y Paz*, Spain

111.         Ehab Lotayef, CJPP Canada*, Canada

112.         David Heap, London Anti-War*, Canada

113.         Adie Mormech, Free Gaza* / Action Palestine*, England

114.         Aimee Shalan, UK

115.         Liliane Cordova, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN)*, Spain

116.         Priscilla Lynch, USA

117.         Jenna Bitar, USA

118.         Deborah Mardon, USA

119.         Becky Thompson, USA

120.         Diane Hereford, USA

121.         David Heap, People for Peace London*, Canada

122.         Donah Abdulla, Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights*, Canada

123.         Wendy Goldsmith, People for Peace London*, Canada

124.         Abdu Mihirig, Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights-UBC*, Canada

125.         Saldibastami, Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights-UBC*, Canada

126.         Abdenahmane Bouaffad, CMF*, France

127.         Feroze Mithiborwala, Awami Bharat*, India

128.         John Dear, Pax Christi*, USA

129.         Ziyaad Lunat, Portugal

130.         Michael Letwin, New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW)

131.          Labor For Palestine






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