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


South African Parliament’s Solidarity Conference Adopts BDS against Israel

South Africa’s Parliamentary Portfolio Committee held a “Solidarity Conference in Support of the Peoples of Palestine, Western Sahara and Cuba” on Thursday, 6th February 2014. The session was opened by an icon of the anti-apartheid struggle, Ahmed Kathrada. He was … Continue reading 


UN year of solidarity with the Palestinian people begins with boycott success

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Just three weeks into 2014, the BDS movement has already achieved important successes


Round-up of BDS successes in 2013

This round-up was published in conjunction with a Palestinian BDS National Committee statement looking ahead to 2014.


Dutch legal experts write to Dutch foreign minister on cooperation forum with Israel

The Dutch government is obligated to promote the realisation of the Palestinian right to self-determination and to refrain from facilitating the Israeli settlement policy


Latin America roundup: BDS campaigns target complicity with Israeli apartheid

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Brazilian social movements campaign against the free trade agreement between the Mercosul and Israel, Colombian groups launch Veolia petition and Mexican activists protest Israeli propaganda events


UK government warns businesses about illegal Israeli settlement enterprise

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The UK government has published guidance warning businesses about the problems and risks associated with doing business with illegal Israeli settlements


Israel is not a reference: Occupation, Colonisation and Apartheid are not our model for Catalonia


Organisations in Catalunya condemn the official visit to Israel by senior Catalunyan politicians, who have described Israel as a ‘model’ for Catalunya


European Union must not bow to US pressure to disregard human rights

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More than 40 Palestinian civil society organisations urge the EU to resist US pressure to scrap new guidelines on Israeli settlements and to take further action

Briefing, News

Dangerous Liaisons: Norwegian ties to the Israeli Occupation

The report demonstrate that Norwegian authorities and companies, through financial investments and trade, are involved in activities that contribute to Israel’s breaches of international law and human rights


Demonstrations across Palestine and international BDS actions mark Palestinian Land Day

Palestinians are today commemorating with action Land Day, a day in 1976 when Israeli military forces shot and killed six young Palestinian citizens of Israel. These brave youth were among thousands protesting the Israeli government’s expropriation of Palestinian land. International supporters of the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality are marking Land Day with actions and initiatives to further campaigns for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.


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