Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) is a Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice and equality. BDS upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity.
In May 2002, long before the Palestinian call for academic boycott of Israel was issued , and in support of the early British efforts to impose a moratorium on the European Union’s scientific association with Israel, Tanya Reinhart was a pioneer in laying the logical and political foundations for what later developed into an institutional academic boycott movement. In a letter refuting the anti-boycott arguments of her fellow Israeli academic, Baruch Kimmerling, Tanya wrote with her typical clarity and resoluteness :
“I have no doubt that you supported the South Africa boycott.
In a press conference held on February 11 2007, the Trade Unions and Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign addressed this call to the Arab and International Trade Unions and, in particular, the International Confederation of Arab Trade Unions, the Arab League, the Arab Labor Organization, the International Labor Organization, the International Trade Union Confederation, the Organization of African Trade Union Unity, the Palestinian people and the international community.
A further press conference is scheduled to be held in the Gaza Strip.
Below is the English translation of the statement:
To date, official diplomacy has failed in enforcing scores of UN resolutions and relevant principles of international law aimed at ending Israel's occupation, colonization, displacement and dispossession of the Palestinian people. US-led Middle East diplomacy, favoring military intervention and unilateralism over respect for international law, is also directly implicated in wars and occupation in Iraq and Lebanon, complicit with Israel's colonial regime in Palestine, and actively encouraging division and civil war in the region.
During the latest assault against the village of Beit Hanoun in the north of Gaza, civilians were greatly affected by the brutal practices of the Israeli army during six continuous days. Women in labour gave birth on the road while waiting for permission to go to hospital. Some of the injured bled to death while waiting for the same permission. Four emergency health rescue officers were killed while on duty and wearing clearly visible uniform.
The letter, published in the Irish Times on September 16th, has caused a public stir in Israel; the education minister Yuli Tamir has travelled to England to 'verify if they [the signatories] are lecturers who have influence'.
In trade fair that is taking place in Tulkarem city, Palestinian citizens and traders gathered in the refugee camp to buy and sell Palestinian products in a statement of boycott and resistance to the Israeli occupation.
Goods produced in the camp itself were on sale, including carob energy drinks, children's clothes and packaged cakes.