BNC Statement

Palestinian civil society calls for escalating BDS to Stop Israel’s racist Prawer Plan, urges Inter-Parliamentary Union to suspend Knesset’s membership

November 30, 2013

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society, strongly endorses the demonstrations taking place today across Palestinian cities and around the world today to oppose Israel’s racist and colonial Prawer Plan.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society, strongly endorses the demonstrations taking place today across Palestinian cities and around the world today to oppose Israel’s racist and colonial Prawer Plan.

Already official Israeli government policy and approved by the Israeli parliament (Knesset), the Prawer Plan aims to achieve the ethnic cleansing of up to 70,000 Palestinian Bedouins from their ancestral land in the Naqab (Negev) desert in the south of the state of Israel that they have owned for generations. The plan would also lead to the wholesale demolition of their homes and communities in order to make way for Jewish-only settlements in the area.

Tens of thousands of Palestinian Bedouins live in villages that predate the Israeli state but are still “unrecognized” by the state and accordingly denied basic health, water, electric, educational and sanitation services.[1]

A calculated and premeditated plan to sever the historical ties that bind Bedouin Palestinian communities to their land, the Prawer Plan reveals once again the colonial nature of Zionism and the apartheid character of the Israeli state. Israel today insists on maintaining an exclusionary “Jewish identity”, affording indigenous Palestinians living in Israel an inferior status and subjecting them to systematic discrimination, racist laws[2] and forced population transfer.

Just as Apartheid South Africa sought to strip black South Africans of their lands and concentrate them into Bantustans, Israel today hopes to concentrate the Palestinian Bedouin into government-approved poverty-stricken townships.

The Prawer Plan is in clear violation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It constitutes forced population transfer, which is defined as a crime against humanity and as an inhuman act of apartheid under the 2002 Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court.[3]

We salute those taking part in today’s Day of Rage and demonstrating across historical Palestine today to resist this latest wave of Israel’s ongoing Nakba (catastrophe) against the Palestinians. We also warmly greet those international campaigners that are holding solidarity demonstrations across more than 15 countries.[4]

Israel’s willful system of colonisation and apartheid is implemented by the Israeli government and approved by the Israeli parliament (Knesset). Given the refusal of the Israel to heed the condemnations of the Prawer Plan[5] and its countless other violations of basic Palestinian rights, we urge governments and parliaments across the world to take effective punitive measures against Israel and its complicit institutions, similar to those applied to apartheid South Africa, as a non-violent means to pressure Israel to comply with basic standards of human rights and international law.

We urge the Inter-Parliamentary Union to suspend the membership of the Knesset until it repeals all of Israel’s racist, discriminatory laws and until it votes to oppose the Prawer Plan. Through its approval and support for the Prawer Plan, the Knesset has once again shown that its actions are inconsistent with the objectives of the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union principles that uphold equality and human rights.

The global grassroots movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) is becoming increasingly well supported and effective in challenging the international support upon which Israeli impunity hinges. We urge civil society organisations and people of conscience to join us in building the international boycott of Israel, in a context-sensitive, gradual and sustainable manner, as the appropriate, moral and effective response to Israel’s on-going system of apartheid, occupation and colonisation.


[3] Rome Statute, Art. 7.2 (d) and (h). For an explanation of how the Prawer Plan violates the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples see http://www.bdsmovement.net/files/2013/07/BNC-Statement-Prawer-Plan-9-Jul-2013.pdf

[5] The Prawer Plan has been condemned by the European Parliament, United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the UN Office for Human Rights, among numerous others

November 30, 2013
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