Divestment

Divestment calls for the withdrawal of stocks and funds from corporations complicit in the violation of international law and Palestinian rights and ensures that investment portfolios and public funds are not used to finance or purchase products and services from such companies. These campaigns can take advantage of voluntary and mandatory corporate responsibility mechanisms.

There are a variety of funds in which individuals and constituents hold considerable stake and influence such as churches, unions, universities, local authorities and pension funds, and these are the potential sites of strong BDS campaigns. Activists can also pressure public and private sector institutions not to invest in or have dealings with these companies. These efforts raise awareness about the reality of Israel’s policies and encourage companies to use their economic influence to pressure Israel to end its systematic oppression of the Palestinian people.

Individuals can withdraw their personal investments in Israeli companies. However, divestment is similar to sanctions in that it largely relies upon securing certain actions by others (in this instance, share-holders, companies or public authorities withdrawing their investments or contracts) as the majority of BDS campaigners are not in a position to divest significant capital.

Campaigners use tactics such as letter-writing campaigns, lobbying campaigns, media exposure and shareholder activism, whereby individuals buy a small amount of shares in a given company in order to be able to raise the issue of their investments supporting Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights and international law from within the official decision making processes.

During the divestment campaign against South African apartheid, a downward spiral whereby investing in South Africa became too risky a prospect. Divestment as a solidarity strategy can hurt a regime or company economically. More importantly, it forces its target to reflect on why it is being targeted. In this respect divestment advocacy work, even if unsuccessful financially, can bring about changes to the overall climate in which the offender is viewed and raises the profile of the BDS campaign considerably.

For more ideas on how to get involved, see the popular divestment campaigns around Veolia and Alstom, Eden Springs and the Arms Trade.

Recent Divestment Articles

News

BDS en 2015: Siete formas en que nuestro movimiento marcó nuevos rumbos en contra del colonialismo y el apartheid israelíes

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English here 2015 será recordado como el año en que la resistencia popular palestina se extendió por toda la Palestina histórica, y decenas de miles de palestinos y palestinas salieron a las calles para resistir y enfrentar al régimen israelí … Continue reading 

News

BDS en 2015: reseña completa

English here Enero: Israel muestra creciente preocupación ante el crecimiento del BDS El movimiento estudiantil por la desinversión florece en Estados Unidos El órgano de gobierno estudiantil de la Universidad de California en Davis vota por abrumadora mayoría a favor … Continue reading 

Statements

Palestinians welcome United Methodist Church divestment

BNC salutes the United Methodist Church (UMC) for declaring the five largest Israeli banks off limits for investment and for divesting from the two that it held in its portfolios.

News

Irish corporation CRH becomes latest big European firm to exit Israel

Activists in Palestine calling for CRH to end its complicity with the construction of Israel's Wall and settlements

The BDS movement has been calling for CRH to divest from Nesher Cement over its role in the construction of Israel’s illegal Wall and settlements

News

BDS in 2015: Seven ways our movement broke new ground against Israeli settler-colonialism and apartheid

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Ten years since the launch of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, 2015 was also a landmark year for BDS, as our detailed round-up of the year shows

News

BDS: full 2015 round-up

A look back at the major BDS developments during 2015

News

BDS roundup: Lauryn Hill cancels Israel concert and Israeli company loses Olympics security contract

Plus: 20 South African businesses boycott security company over prison links, BDS campaign launched in Egypt, UK bank divests from Israeli arms company, French multinational Veolia sells nearly all Israeli businesses and Quebec union federation adopts BDS

News

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.

News

SodaStream: is BDS hitting where it hurts?

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SodaStream’s stock is now 70% off its all-time high set in July 2011

News

European investors continue to divest from Israeli apartheid

Photo credit: Flikr user Joshua Wanyama

Investing in Israeli settlements continues “cycle of violence”, says Desmond Tutu

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