Occupied and still-besieged Gaza, 5 September 2014–From the ruins of our towns and cities in Gaza, we send our heartfelt appreciation to all those who stood with us and mobilized during the latest Israeli massacre. In the occupied West Bank, Israel has embarked on one of its largest illegal land grabs in decades by confiscating another 1000 acres of Palestinian land to expand its illegal colonies. Now, our battle to hold Israel accountable for its fresh war crimes and crimes against humanity has begun. The outcome of this battle to end Israeli impunity will determine whether Israel’s latest assault will be yet another stage in Israel’s “incremental genocide” of Palestinians or the turning point that will bring an end to Israel’s status as an entity above the law—the world’s dangerous pariah. The outcome of this battle depends on you.
Two months after its 2008-09 massacre in Gaza, Israel’s prize was an upgrade in trade relations with the European Union. By 2012, western powers in cooperation with the UN Secretary General had effectively prevented all investigation by the United Nations and the International Criminal Court (ICC) into the war crimes and crimes against humanity that Israel committed during the attack.
During the most recent massacre, on August 2nd 2014, three days after the occupation forces bombed the designated UN humanitarian shelter in Jabalya refugee camp, killing 20 civilians and wounding at least 150 people as they slept, the US Congress approved $225 million in additional military aid to Israel. The following day, the occupation forces bombed another UN shelter in Rafah killing ten civilians and injuring dozens. Also during the massacre, Germany sold Israel an attack submarine with nuclear capability, and Britain refused to freeze its arms sales to Israel. These and other forms of criminal complicity from world governments and official bodies pave the way for Israel’s ongoing genocidal attacks. It is up to people of conscience and all those who seek peace with justice worldwide to make sure this complicity ends now.
We urge you to stand with the Palestinian people in its entirety and to demand that Israel be held accountable for the war crimes and crimes against humanity it has committed and continues to commit against the Palestinian people everywhere. We urge you to intensify boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns to further isolate Israel economically, militarily, academically and culturally.
Intensify BDS against Israel in all fields, including by taking the following actions:
1. Working to have arrest warrants issued against Israeli war criminals and for them to be tried before your courts.
2. Pressuring governments to impose a comprehensive military embargo on Israel.
3. Pressuring governments to suspend all free trade and bilateral agreements with Israel until it complies with international law.
4. Building effective direct action against Israel and Israeli companies, such as the inspiring Block the Boat actions that prevented Israeli ships from unloading in California and Seattle, and the occupations of Israeli weapons company Elbit Systems’ factories in the UK and Australia.
5. Working within trade unions to raise awareness about Israel’s regime of oppression and engaging in effective BDS measures such as stopping handling of Israeli goods, divesting trade union funds from Israel and complicit companies, and boycotting complicit Israel trade unions. The trade union movement has a proud history of successful campaigning against apartheid in South Africa, and the Congress of South African Trade Unions has joined Palestinian trade unions in calling for trade union action to end Israel’s impunity.
6. Holding to account those corporations and retailers that support and profit from Israel’s regime of occupation, colonialism and apartheid, including by boycotting their products and taking creative and direct action. The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) has suggested a list of corporate criminals to target: http://www.bdsmovement.net/make-an-impact.
The majority of the world’s people are waking up to the reality of Israel’s rogue regime of oppression and racism. For the rest of what is supposed to be the International year of solidarity with the Palestinian people, demand an end to Israel’s criminal impunity. Stand with Gaza, and act for freedom, justice and peace in Palestine.
Issued by the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) and the following Gaza organizations/unions:
Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions
University Teachers’ Association in Palestine
Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network (Umbrella for 133 orgs)
Medical Democratic Assembly
General Union of Palestine Workers
General Union for Health Services Workers
General Union for Public Services Workers
General Union for Petrochemical and Gas Workers
General Union for Agricultural Workers
Union of Women’s Work Committees
Pal-Cinema (Palestine Cinema Forum)
Herak Youth Movement
Union of Women’s Struggle Committees
Union of Synergies—Women Unit
Union of Palestinian Women Committees
Women’s Studies Society
Working Woman’s Society
Palestinian Students’ Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel
Gaza BDS Working Group
One Democratic State Group