Recent Divestment Articles
- BDS roundup: Lauryn Hill cancels Israel concert and Israeli company loses Olympics security contract
- New report exposes Thailand’s complicity with Israeli apartheid
- SodaStream: is BDS hitting where it hurts?
- European investors continue to divest from Israeli apartheid
- Ireland’s biggest food retailer drops Israeli produce, as European boycotts surge
- Veolia Fact Sheet
- Companies building the Wall
- Divest Now! A handbook for student divestment campaigns
- Palestinian civil society and human rights organisations mark Palestinian Prisoners’ Day with call for action against Israeli prison contractor G4S
- Derail Israel’s Unlawful A1 Train Project – End International Complicity
- Derail Israel's Unlawful A1 Train Project – End International Complicity
- Veolia and Alstom feel the heat – BNC calls for intensifying pressure!
Divestment calls for the withdrawal of stocks and funds from corporations complicit in the violation of international law and Palestinian rights and ensures that investment portfolios and public funds are not used to finance or purchase products and services from such companies. These campaigns can take advantage of voluntary and mandatory corporate responsibility mechanisms.
There are a variety of funds in which individuals and constituents hold considerable stake and influence such as churches, unions, universities, local authorities and pension funds, and these are the potential sites of strong BDS campaigns. Activists can also pressure public and private sector institutions not to invest in or have dealings with these companies. These efforts raise awareness about the reality of Israel’s policies and encourage companies to use their economic influence to pressure Israel to end its systematic oppression of the Palestinian people.
Individuals can withdraw their personal investments in Israeli companies. However, divestment is similar to sanctions in that it largely relies upon securing certain actions by others (in this instance, share-holders, companies or public authorities withdrawing their investments or contracts) as the majority of BDS campaigners are not in a position to divest significant capital.
Campaigners use tactics such as letter-writing campaigns, lobbying campaigns, media exposure and shareholder activism, whereby individuals buy a small amount of shares in a given company in order to be able to raise the issue of their investments supporting Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights and international law from within the official decision making processes.
During the divestment campaign against South African apartheid, a downward spiral whereby investing in South Africa became too risky a prospect. Divestment as a solidarity strategy can hurt a regime or company economically. More importantly, it forces its target to reflect on why it is being targeted. In this respect divestment advocacy work, even if unsuccessful financially, can bring about changes to the overall climate in which the offender is viewed and raises the profile of the BDS campaign considerably.
For more ideas on how to get involved, see the popular divestment campaigns around Veolia and Alstom, Eden Springs and the Arms Trade.
Recent Divestment Articles
BDS roundup: Lauryn Hill cancels Israel concert and Israeli company loses Olympics security contract
Plus: 20 South African businesses boycott security company over prison links, BDS campaign launched in Egypt, UK bank divests from Israeli arms company, French multinational Veolia sells nearly all Israeli businesses and Quebec union federation adopts BDS
The Presbyterian Church (USA) general assembly has voted to divest its holdings from three US corporations on the basis of their well-documented record of complicity in the oppression and denial of human rights of Palestinians.
The student government at the University of California at Santa Cruz passed a divestment resolution early Wednesday morning.