Israeli peace group calls for a growing BDS movement

Jeff Halper, founder of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), ups the ante:

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) was the first Israeli organization to endorse a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign and formulate a statement calling on the international community to pursue it. Indeed, ICAHD issued its call in January, 2005. Over the past decade and a half ICAHD has played a key role in expanding the BDS campaign and working with groups around the world in identifying effective targets. This revised statement reaffirms ICAHD’s support for BDS as an instrument of Palestinian liberation and brings our call into the framework of the Unified Palestinian Civil Society Call of 2005.

After more than four decades of diplomatic and grassroots efforts aimed at inducing Israel to end its Occupation while nevertheless watching it grow ever stronger and more permanent, ICAHD is issuing this statement in support of a campaign of BDS based upon the fundamental principles of the Palestinian civil society call:

”¢ Ending Israel’s occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;
Ӣ Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
Ӣ Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

Such a formulation addresses the fundamental issues underlying the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians; it targets Israel’s Occupation policy and its structured discrimination against its Arab-Palestinian citizens rather than Israel per se. Without specifying a particular solution to the conflict, a BDS campaign will be in effect either until Israel becomes a truly democratic state of all its citizens living peacefully alongside a Palestinian state or a single state, bi-national or unitary, which encompasses both peoples.

Since sanctions are a powerful, non-violent means of resisting oppression, ICAHD supports the following actions:
Ӣ Stopping the purchase of Israeli arms, security products and services by governments, local authorities and corporations, while making the sales or transfer of arms to Israel conditional upon their use in ways that do not perpetuate the Occupation or violate human rights and international humanitarian law;
Ӣ Divesting from companies that profit from involvement in the Occupation or help perpetuate it;
”¢ Boycott of settlement products, including annulment of the “Association Agreements” between Israel and the European Union due to Israeli violations of marketing settlements products as “Made in Israel” and the Agreements human right provisions;
Ӣ Boycott of Israeli academic institutions, which have not fulfilled their responsibility of upholding the academic freedoms of their Palestinian counterparts. Our call for an academic boycott of Israeli universities is targeted at the institutions, opposing, for example, the holding of international academic conferences in Israel or funding joint research ventures. It does not call for boycotting individual scholars or researchers in any way; and
Ӣ Holding individuals, be they policy-makers, military personnel carrying out orders or others, personally accountable for human rights violations, including trial before international courts and bans on travel to other countries.

ICAHD calls on the international community – the UN, governments, political parties, human rights and political groups, trade unions, university communities and faith-based organizations, as well as concerned individuals – to do everything possible to hold Israel accountable for its occupation policies and actions while ensuring the equal rights and security of both the Palestinian and Israeli peoples. We also call on the Palestinian Authority and other Palestinian political organizations to adhere to human rights conventions and support the joint efforts of our civil societies to reach an end to this tragic conflict and usher in a just peace for all the peoples of the region. The urgency of this appeal is of the utmost.

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