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

SodaStream to Close Illegal Settlement Factory in Response To Growing Boycott Campaign

  • SodaStream to benefit from Israel’s displacement of Palestinians in Naqab
     
  • Retailers and investors dropped SodaStream over BDS pressure. Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists have welcomed news that SodaStream has announced it will close its factory in the illegal Israeli settlement of Mishor Adumim, following a high profile boycott campaign against the company.
     

“SodaStream’s announcement today that it will close its factory in the illegal Israeli settlement of Mishor Adumim shows that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is increasingly capable of holding corporate criminals to account for their participation in Israeli apartheid and colonialism,” said Rafeef Ziadah, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), the broad coalition of Palestinian civil society organisations that leads and supports the BDS movement. She added,

BDS campaign pressure has forced retailers across Europe and North America to drop SodaStream, and the company’s share price has tumbled in recent months as our movement has caused increasing reputational damage to the SodaStream brand.

The news of this major success against a company famed for its role in illegal Israeli settlements broke amidst intensifying demonstrations against Israel’s policies of colonisation in Jerusalem.

Grassroots boycott activism saw SodaStream dropped by major retailers across North America and Europe including Macy’s in the US and John Lewis in the UK.

SodaStream was forced to close its flagship store in Brighton in the UK as a result of regular pickets of the store.

Soros Fund Management, the family office of the billionaire investor George Soros, sold its stake in SodaStream following BDS pressure.

SodaStream’s share price fell dramatically in recent months as sales dried up, particularly in North America.

After reaching a high of $64 per share in October 2013, the stock fell to around $20 per share this month. SodaStream has estimated its third quarter revenue will be $125 million, down almost 14 percent from the same period last year.

But Ziadah warned that SodaStream will still remain actively complicit in the displacement of Palestinians in the Naqab and will remain a focus of boycott campaigning. She said,

Even if this announced closure goes ahead, SodaStream will remain implicated in the displacement of Palestinians. Its new Lehavim factory is close to Rahat, a planned township in the Naqab (Negev) desert, where Palestinian Bedouins are being forcefully transferred against their will. Sodastream, as a beneficiary of this plan, is complicit with this violation of human rights.

SodaStream’s participation in Israel’s forced displacement of Palestinians gained international notoriety when A-list celebrity Scarlett Johansson signed up to be a brand ambassador for the company. Following an international campaign urging Oxfam end its relationship with Johansson for endorsing SodaStream, the actor decided to quit Oxfam.

SodaStream has also come under fire for its treatment of Palestinian workers in its West Bank factory, as Ziadah explains:

Any suggestion that SodaStream is employing Palestinians in an illegal Israeli settlement on stolen Palestinian land out of the kindness of its heart is ludicrous.

Palestinian workers are paid far less than their Israeli counterparts and SodaStream recently fired 60 Palestinians following a dispute over food for the breaking of the Ramadan fast. Workers have previously said they are treated ‘like slaves’.

Palestinians are forced to work inside settlements in sub-standard conditions because of Israel’s deliberate destruction of the Palestinian economy. There’s an urgent need for the creation of decent and dignified jobs within the Palestinian economy.

SodaStream has said all workers will be offered jobs at its new plant, although Israel’s apartheid wall and severe restrictions on movement will make the commute to the new plant difficult for its Palestinian workers.

All of the main Palestinian trade unions have called for boycott and are members of the Palestinian BDS National Committee, the civil society coalition that leads the BDS movement and helped to initiate the campaign against SodaStream.

 

NOTE: The BNC quotes included in this release can be found in the following coverage of this story:

New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/31/world/middleeast/sodastream-to-close-factory-in-west-bank.html?_r=0

Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/oct/29/sodastream-move-factory-west-bank-israel-slash-forecast

Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2813830/SodaStream-factory-West-Bank-Scarlett-Johansson-hot-water-close-operations-Israel-company-says.html

Bloomberg: http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2014-10-29/sodastream-to-close-factory-at-center-of-israelpalestinian-spat

International Business Times: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/israel-bds-movement-scores-victory-sodastream-close-controversial-factory-west-bank-settlement-1472320


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