Action Alert

Military embargo against Israel

December 19, 2023

Urgent action to stop the genocide of Palestinians.

Never was the urgency greater to stop Israel’s #GazaGenocide by ending all military relations with it as well as all complicity in its war crimes and crimes against humanity, including apartheid. Military ties with Israel include the sale, transit or purchase of weapons and military-security technology, including spyware; training; joint research and development projects; provision of equipment and services to Israel’s military; and more. 

Israeli PM and war criminal Benjamin Netanyahu said, “We need three things from the US: munitions, munitions, and munitions.” When the munitions stop, so will Israel’s indiscriminate massacres of Palestinian civilians and its wanton destruction of civilian infrastructure in Gaza.

Buying Israeli military-security technology, field tested on Palestinian bodies and society, also supports Israel’s war chest and benefits from its crimes against and dehumanization of Palestinians, particularly those in the besieged and occupied Gaza Strip.

Without these ties, Israel’s military wouldn’t be able to carry out its current genocide, and its settler-colonial apartheid regime would not be sustainable. Military relations with Israel also violate international law. Weapons trade and transfer with countries which are suspected of committing war crimes is strictly illegal. Read the analysis of Al-Haq.

Military-security ties have many different forms, and fighting them can involve a large spectrum of efforts, including direct action, lobbying and pressuring local and federal governments, corporations, universities and other institutions to end complicity. 

Some examples of complicity include: 

  • The US gives direct military funding to apartheid Israel’s genocide (and other crimes). 

  • US weapons are transferred to Israel typically through nine transit states (some of which export their own weapons to Israel): Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.


  • Over 130 countries buy Israeli “field-tested” weapons, which are often used to perpetrate or exacerbate human rights violations in those countries. 

  • Military cooperation agreements with Israel open the door for Israeli arms companies to sell weapons to countries in which the public opposes arms imports from Israel.

  • Israel is a global leader in using and exporting spyware technology which violates privacy and human rights. 

  • Israeli military companies and their subsidiaries as well as international arms producers have offices and production plants across the globe. 

  • The #NoTechforApartheid campaign warns of the danger of tech companies such as HP, Google and Amazon equipping Israel’s armed forces with dangerous technologies that enable their commission of grave human rights violations and war crimes.

  • Arms fairs allow Israeli arms companies to hawk their weapons. Take action to protest Israeli presence in arms fairs (and of course against arms fairs in general!).

  • The European Union breaks its own rules by financing Israeli military research with money earmarked for civilian research. 

What can groups do locally to impose a comprehensive military embargo on apartheid Israel? 

  1. Start the research

  • The AFSC has recently launched a website to highlight the most important companies which are arming Israel and facilitating its genocide in Gaza:

  • In many countries you can submit freedom of information requests or ask your MP to question government ministers about military and security ties with Israel. 

  1. Build the coalition

  • Raise the slogan of military embargo in all public solidarity actions. Do not allow your country to be complicit in genocide and apartheid or other human rights violations anywhere. Pressure your government to come clean.

  • Once you are aware about a particular case of military relation, ask yourself who else could be affected by this relation? Which other social movements, human rights organizations, trade unions, peace movements, and political parties would be ready to build a campaign to stop it? Call on them to formally request a legal and comprehensive ban on the arms trade with Israel.

  1. Build the pressure

  • Create public awareness by organizing actions, public protests, and other forms of opposition.

  • Lobby relevant policymakers. For example, call on members of parliament to pressure governments with direct questions on the sale and/or transit of weapons to Israel and/or (as the case may be) the import of military and/or surveillance technology and security or police consultancy/training from apartheid Israel.

  • Mobilize pressure on your city council to call for a comprehensive military embargo and to exclude from any procurement and investment contract companies that are implicated in grave human rights violations anywhere. 

  • Consult with legal experts and organizations whether a legal case can be built against these military-security ties and if yes, which organization would be best to lead. Call on human rights groups to put leaders on legal notice that they may be held culpable for complicity in war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, as is happening in several countries, especially the US. 

  1. Promote your impact 

  • Each progress in your campaign, from the growing coalition against military ties with Israel to the moment you reach your campaign goal, represents a step forward in the growth of the BDS movement, its efforts towards a full military embargo on Israeli apartheid, and the empowerment of people to stand up to its genocidal policies and global complicity. Don’t forget that it is crucial to promote and widely share the impact you are having! 


  • Peaceful direct action, when done as part of a strategy, is effective in exposing complicity, raising public awareness, and embarrassing corporations and governments.

  • Campaign building requires planning, media work, coalition building, strategic crafting of messages, and a division of labor between individuals and organizations based on their strengths and their contacts.

  • BDS campaigns are intersectional, ethically considerate of the rights and safety of participants, nonviolent and categorically anti-racist. This must be reflected in military embargo campaigns as well.

If you need support in building your military embargo campaign or you have questions about arms companies in your area or transfer of weapons through your area, please contact us at the BDS movement.

December 19, 2023


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