Israel is a country in breach of almost all of its obligations under international law. Sanctions were the final blow to the apartheid regime in South Africa, and given the dependency of Israel upon global markets, sanctions at a state, regional or institutional level will be a highly effective measure to bring about real pressure.

Israel’s membership in or association with various diplomatic and economic forums, such as the United Nations, EU and OECD, provide an unwarranted veneer of respectability and material support for its crimes. Free trade agreements with Israel play a key role in normalizing and whitewashing Israel’s crimes and in emboldening its impunity. By calling for sanctions against Israel, campaigners educate society about Israel’s violations of international law and seek to end the complicity of international institutions and other states in these violations.

The principle problem of sanctions is that action rests on states and global institutions, many of whom have a long history of supporting or implementing colonialism and occupations in the Middle East. However more recently several states have engaged in measures that may be considered first steps towards sanctions. The decision by many OECD member countries to boycott an OECD tourism conference or recent efforts targeting Israel’s involvement in the European Union such as the recent call for sanctions from 26 ex-EU leaders are two recent examples.

There are three areas to which sanctions can be applied: military links, including partnerships, agreements and joint operations; economic links, including trade, co-operation, forums, agreements, and joint research initiatives; and diplomatic links, including relations on an official level, participation in international institutions, external forums and networks and meetings between state representatives.

Recent Sanctions Articles


ANC and Scottish Green Party Call for BDS


The ANC also called for “the isolation of the UN List of businesses that [illegally] operate in the [Israeli] occupied territories in Palestine.”


Portland Takes First Step Towards Becoming Occupation Free


Portland Human Rights Commission endorses placing companies on a “Do Not Buy” List for human rights abuses in Israel/Palestine


Solidarity with the Palestinian popular resistance! Boycott Israel now!


Israel is not just oppressing Palestinians; it is exporting its ruthless model of securitization and repression to the world.


Iceland’s capital adopts Israeli goods boycott

The motion states that Reykjavík will boycott “as long as the occupation of Palestinian territories continues.”


EU-US trade deal mustn’t stifle calls for Israel boycott, say unions


More than 150 organizations from across Europe are vowing to resist efforts by the United States to stifle campaigns for Palestinian rights by means of the controversial TTIP trade deal

News, Statements

EU labelling of Israeli colonies’ products is hardly enough to bring about European compliance with international law

Merely labeling, rather than banning, illegal settlement goods indicates political hypocrisy par excellence


2016 Olympics: After BDS pressure, Brazilian government denies relations with Israeli company ISDS

More than 30 Brazilian social movements and progressive organisations had called on the Brazilian government to exclude International Security and Defence Systems from Olympics contracts after the Israeli company announced in October 2014 that it had been awarded a $2.2bn deal to coordinate security at the games


New report exposes Thailand’s complicity with Israeli apartheid

Palestinian activists enter a Rami Levi supermarket located in the Sha’ar Binyamin settlement to protest against the Israeli occupation and settlements and to call for BDS. Yotam Ronen/Activestills

Palestine Solidarity Campaign-Thailand launched a report denouncing Thailand’s complicity with Israel’s regime of occupation, colonialism and apartheid.


EU must cease “material support” for Israel’s crimes, say leading trade unions

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The appeal is one of the most widely endorsed statements by European organizations on Palestine to date.


Cairo donor conference: Palestinian civil society calls for public scrutiny of aid and zero complicity with Israeli violations of international law

The BNC calls for public scrutiny of aid. Like governments and private business, agencies delivering aid to Palestinians must be held accountable for their routine disregard of the principle of “do no harm” and the promotion of political agendas through their operations.


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