Outraged at apartheid Israel’s crimes against Palestinians? Here are 5 things you can do.

In many countries, governments and corporations are deeply complicit with Israel’s decades-old regime of military occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid, just as they were complicit in the apartheid regime in South Africa. Israel can only sustain this regime of oppression with international complicity. 

Here are the 5 most effective things YOU can do to challenge this complicity and support the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality:

  1. Work with progressive networks to pressure parliament and government to (a) end all military-security cooperation and trade (military funding in the US case) with apartheid Israel and similarly criminal regimes of oppression worldwide, (b) ban all goods/services of companies operating in Israel’s illegal colonial settlements; and (c) demand a UN investigation of Israeli apartheid.

  2. Mobilize pressure in your community, trade union, association, church, social network, student government/union, city council, cultural center, or other organization to declare it an Apartheid Free Zone (AFZ), ending all relations with apartheid Israel and companies that are complicit in its system of oppression.

  3. Boycott products/services of, and/or mobilize institutional pressure to divest from, Israeli and international companies and banks that are complicit in Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity. This includes all Israeli banks (Leumi, Hapoalim, etc.) and major multinationals such as: Elbit Systems, HP, G4S/Allied Universal, AXA, CAF, PUMA, Caterpillar, General Mills/Pillsbury, Hyundai Heavy Industries, JCB, Volvo, Barclays Bank, Alstom, Motorola Solutions, and CEMEX.

  4. Cancel all academic, cultural, sports, and tourism engagements in Israel or supported/sponsored by Israel (or its lobby groups and complicit institutions).

  5. Join a BDS campaign or a strategic Palestine solidarity group near you to act collectively and effectively.

Channel your anger and mobilize to dismantle apartheid and all forms of racism and oppression.

In the News

Dutch pension giant divests from 5 Israeli banks

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 12.48.16 Dutch pension fund PGGM announced on the front page of its website today that it had withdrawn tens of millions of Euros worth of investments from five Israeli banks. The fund cited the ba

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 12.48.16

Dutch pension fund PGGM announced on the front page of its website today that it had withdrawn tens of millions of Euros worth of investments from five Israeli banks.

The fund cited the banks’ unethical and illegal practices in the West Bank.

PGGM said in statement that it had been in discussions with Bank HapoalimBank Leumi, the First International Bank of Israel, the Israel Discount Bank and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank for several years.

The fund had tried to convince them to reconsider their financial backing for Israel’s West Bank settlements which “are considered illegal under international humanitarian law” – but to no avail.

PGGM said “given the day-to-day reality and domestic legal framework they operate in, the banks have limited to no possibilities to end their involvement in the financing of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.”

This is a reference to 2011 Israeli legislation which outlawed any form of boycott, rendering it a legal tort – something punishable with potentially heavy fines.

PGGM manages the pensions of 2.5 million people and claims assets worth more than €153 billion ($208 billion).

More BDS on the way

Today’s news is the latest boost for the burgeoning boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. Things have reached such a stage that one Israeli lawmaker now considers BDS “the greatest threat” facing Israel.

And Israel’s so-called justice minister (and war crimes suspect) Tzipi Livni admits BDS is “moving and advancing uniformly and exponentially.”

Indeed, in a foreshadowing coda to their statement today, PGGM makes it clear that it “continues its dialogue with a small number of other companies on the same issue.”

Israeli banks have been a BDS target for some time.

In the 2011 book that I edited with Frank Barat, Mirav Amir of Who Profits showed that “There is solid evidence of the involvement of most of the major Israeli commercial banks” in a long list of financial services to settlements. These include “special loans” made with the explicit purpose of encouraging Israeli colonization of Palestinian land in the West Bank.

Indeed, Amir said, “most Israeli banks” have branches open in settlements. This is another example of how Israel has erased the 1949 “Green Line” ceasefire boundary, and rules the entire historic land of Palestine de facto as one state – an apartheid state where half of the population has no say.

In November, after a sustained BDS campaign, the US pension fund TIAA-CREF divested over $1.2 million worth of shares in French firm Veolia. The company provides infrastructure and transport services to illegal Israeli settlements.

In June 2012, Norway excluded Israel’s largest real estate firm from its government pension fund, also citing settlements.


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