Round-up of BDS successes in 2013
This round-up was published in conjunction with a Palestinian BDS National Committee statement looking ahead to 2014.
During 2014, the BDS movement stepped further into the political mainstream and saw major institutions join the boycott, the statement noted.
French translation here.
Veolia Withdraws from California Water Contract Bidding Following Outcry Against its Abuses of Palestinian Rights
Veolia’s withdrawal from bidding on the $325m contract followed efforts by citizens of Yolo County to prevent Veolia’s being awarded the contract due to the company’s involvement in Israel's illegal settlement infrastructure
5 main Unions in Galicia in Spanish state adopt BDS
Five major trade unions in the Galicia region of the Spanish state announce their support for BDS.
Concordia Graduate Students’ Association Endorses BDS Campaign against Israeli apartheid
The General Assembly of the Graduate Students' Association at Concordia University in Montréal voted overwhelmingly to participate in the BDS movement
South African agricultural company cuts ties to Israeli exporter Hadiklaim
Karsten Farms also undertook not to enter into any future relations with any Israeli entity complicit in the illegal Israeli Occupation of Palestine
South African Toy Store Reggies Ends Support for JNF
The JNF is an Israeli para-statal directly involved in Israeli human rights abuses against the Palestinian people. Reggies Toy Stores had previously endorsed, partnered and financially-contributed to Israel’s JNF
Hyundai ends relationship with home demolition equipment firm
Korean company Hyundai had supplied excavators to Israeli company AEG used by Israeli authorities to destroy Palestinians homes
Guitarist Stanley Jordan cancels performance at Israeli jazz festival
An internally acclaimed and innovative guitarist, Jordan had been billed as a headliner at the festival
German metal band Kreator cancels Israel gig
Kreator, who played in Israel in 2006, cancelled their gig and then chose not to reschedule
Protests in Gaza and 40 European cities urge end to trade with Israeli agriculture firms
Palestinian farming organisations launched an appeal for civil society action against Israeli agricultural export companies such as Mehadrin and Arava due to their role in the colonisaShuggie Otistion of Palestine and Israel's destructuion of Palestinian farming. The appeal and accompanying briefing titled Farming Injustice were launched as part of a day of action that saw demonstrations take place in Gaza and across 40 cities in Europe.
UN Fact Finding Mission on Israeli Settlements calls for sanctions
The report from a UN Fact Finding Mission on illegal Israeli settlements urged states to accord Israel the treatment reserved for states responsible for such serious violations — meaning a ban on trade with the settlements, and boycotts and sanctions against the State of Israel and its institutions
Dundee University Students’ Association votes to cut ties with G4S
Students of the Dundee University Students’ Association (DUSA) in Scotland voted overwhelmingly in its annual general meeting to cut ties with Anglo-Danish private security provider G4S over its role in Israel's prison system and occupation.
Shuggie Otis cancels Israel gig
Legendary singer songwriter Shuggie Otis quietly cancels a gig in Israel
Demonstrations across Palestine and international BDS actions mark Palestinian Land Day
International supporters of the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality mark Land Day with actions and initiatives to further campaigns for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.
Australian student union drops SodaStream competition
La Trobe University Student Union implements policy in support of BDS by cancelling a competition in which a SodaStream machine was due to be the prize. SodaStream is an Israeli company whose drinks machines are manufactured in an illegal Israeli settlement.
California students vote to support BDS
Student councils at University of California colleges in San Diego, Irvine, Riverside and Berkeley vote to support
Clackmannanshire Council becomes third local Scottish government to support boycott of Israel
“Just as individual sanctions against apartheid in South Africa led ultimately to its demise there, so individual and collective sanctions against the state of Israel will end apartheid and suffering in Palestine,” says local government motion. West Dunbartonshire and Stirling councils also support boycott.
York Federation of Students Endorses BDS Campaign
The board of the York Federation of Students in Canada votes to support BDS by 18 votes to 2 and and urges York University to withdraw its investments from companies that are selling weapons and military equipment to Israel.
UK academic union’s right to boycott Israel upheld by employment tribunal
Pro-Israel organisations fail comprehensively in their Israeli government-backed efforts to have a UK employment tribunal rule the boycott position of the University and College Union discriminatory.
US Mennonite Church divests from Israeli human rights abuses
The board of directors of the Mennonite Central Committee unanimously decided that MCC U.S. will not knowingly invest in companies that benefit from products or services used to perpetrate acts of violence against Palestinians
Prisoners day marked with global actions against G4S
G4S provides security equipment at Israeli prisons, checkpoints and settlements. Actions against G4S were organised in 11 countries to coincide with Palestinian political prisoners day. Protests were held outside G4S offices and the Scottish Trade Union Congress and organisations across the Middle East issued statements in support for the campaign against G4S.
University of Toronto Scarborough Students’ Union (SCSU) becomes ninth Canadian student union to join BDS movement
Belgian students call for academic boycott
A federation representing 100,000 Belgian students in higher education has called for a freeze of all academic partnerships with Israeli academic institutions
Association for Asian American Studies unanimously approves academic boycott resolution
The General Membership of the Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS) in the United States voted unanimously in favour of a resolution in support of the boycott of Israeli academic institutions.
Sussex students urge university to cancel Veolia contracts
Thousands of students at Sussex University in the UK vote in favour of resolution urging the student union to back campaign pressuring the university to cancel its contract with Veolia over the role the French multinational plays in operating infrastructure for illegal Israeli settlements.
Teachers Union of Ireland backs academic boycott
The motion by the annual congress of the Teachers Union of Ireland, which refers to Israel as an “apartheid state”, calls for “all members to cease all cultural and academic collaboration with Israel, including the exchange of scientists, students and academic personalities, as well as all cooperation in research programmes”. The motion was passed by a unanimous vote during today’s morning session.
Sydney students back academic boycott
“Israel does not listen to words or motions and continues to abuse human rights and to act in violation of international laws. As in South Africa, it is only through the peaceful actions of campaigns such as the BDS that any change will happen,” argued the statement approved by the Student Representative Council at the University of Sydney.
Association for Asian American Studies joins academic boycott
The Association for Asian American Studies votes to support the academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions, becoming the first US academic organisation in the US to do so.
Stephen Hawking joins academic boycott of Israel
World renowned physicist Stephen Hawking pulls out of conference in honour of Israeli president Shimon Peres. A statement published by the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine with Hawking's approval described it as "his independent decision to respect the boycott, based upon his knowledge of Palestine, and on the unanimous advice of his own academic contacts there".
Charity Commission opens investigation into whether JNF racial discrimination is lawful
The decision to open an investigation follows an application from the Stop the JNF campaign to the Charity Commission for the removal of Jewish National Fund charities from the UK register of charities.
Sheffield University dumps Veolia
The University of Sheffield decided not to renew its waste collection contract with multinational corporation Veolia following a campaign initiated by the campus Palestine Society and supported by the student union. The decision capped a year of successful and intense activity by UK student activists.
United Church of Canada begins settlement boycott campaign
The campaign has been named Unsettling Goods: Choose Peace in Palestine and Israel
South African diplomat rejects JNF honour
A former South African ambassador to Israel says he’ll be returning a certificate informing him that 18 trees had been planted in his honour in an Israeli forest by the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs
More than 150 solidarity organisations stand in solidarity with French campaigners facing legal action
French campaigners have faced criminal charges for their BDS solidarity activity since 2009
Director Mira Nair supports cultural boycott
Director of Bombay! and Monsoon Wedding refuses an invitation to take her latest film The Reluctant Fundamentalist to Israel, citing the Palestinian call for cultural boycott in a series of Tweets.
US rock giants The Killers pull out of Israel gig
The Killers had already received half of their fee for the gig when they announced that they were cancelling the performance following letters and appeals from campaigners.
EU excludes settlement entities from receiving loans and funding
Following years of lobbying by civil society on the issue, the EU issues guidelines preventing Israeli ministries, public bodies and businesses that operate in occupied Palestinian territory from receiving loans worth hundreds of millions of Euros each year from the European Investment Bank. The guidelines also stop awarding grant funding to Israeli ministries, public bodies or private businesses for activities that take place in occupied Palestinian territory, even if they are headquartered inside Israel’s pre-1967 borders.
Latin American social movements call for end to free trade agreement with Israel
Civil society from all five Mercosur countries (Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Uruguay and Paraguay) adopted in the XV Social Summit once again a clear call for an end to the Free Trade Agreement between the Mercosur and Israel
New interactive timeline of BDS movement charts success
Timeline launched to commemorate the occasion of the 8th anniversary of the BDS call
US pension fund giant TIAA-CREF drops SodaStream stock
“No matter the reason TIAA-CREF dropped SodaStream, we view this as a conscientious decision.” said Sydney Levy of the We Divest Campaign, who campaign for TIAA-CREF to divest from companies that participate in Israeli violations of international law.
Dutch retailers boycott settlements
Media reports from the Netherlands that at least two large retail chains in the country have stopped selling goods produced in Israeli settlements.
Major Nordic bank divests from Cemex due to extraction of Palestinian natural resources
Nordea excludes companies following engagement by Norwegian People’s Aid and the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees.
Jazz musicians boycott Red Sea festival
US jazz artists Chris Daddy Dave and Matt Schofield and his band, The Matt Schofield Trio pull out of performing in Israeli music festival
Veolia abandons settlement bus network under boycott pressure
Veolia reveals that it will no longer operate bus lines for settlers in the occupied West Bank as the company continues to lose contracts in Europe and the US due to its support for Israeli apartheid. Veolia continues to operate the illegal Jerusalem Light Rail project.
Dutch firm withdraws from sewage plant for settlers in East Jerusalem
Royal HaskoningDHV announced that it has was withdrawing from a sewage treatment project in eastern occupied Jerusalem following Dutch government pressure
Quakers Spanning 3 US States Call For Boycott & Divestment
Lake Erie Yearly Meeting, a regional Quaker organization encompassing Ohio, Michigan, and Western Pennsylvania, became the first US Quaker Yearly Meeting to officially endorse boycott and divestment targeting companies complicit in the Israeli occupation
Norwegian union ends G4S contract as “act of solidarity” with Palestinians
Industri Energi, a trade union for workers in the energy and heavy industry sectors, sacked G4S as the security provider for its offices over the company's role in Israel's prisons, checkpoints and settlements. In the same week, the East London Teachers Association passed a resolution condemning G4S' role in the detention of Palestinian children.
Deals linked to settlements in occupied territories could be ‘criminal,’ UN expert warns
Richard Falk said that his office has been trying to inform companies, among them the European banking group DexiaSt Louis dumps occupation profiteer Veolia and the United States-based real estate company Re/Max, that continuing their practices in the territories could be “problematic.”
Boycotts force cancellation of Israel rock festival
Circus Maximus (Norway), Haken (UK), and Bumblefoot (USA), were supposed to perform in Israel at the Progstage rock festival. Following their cancellations following discussions with BDS activists, the entire festival is eventually scrapped.
Major US pension fund divests ethical fund from Veolia
US pension giant TIAA-CREF removed Veolia Environnement from its Social Choice Funds portfolio following pressure from the We Divest coalition.
St Louis dumps occupation profiteer Veolia
The opposition Veolia faced due to its role in illegal Israeli settlements caused it to withdraw from the city, with Veolia reportedly deciding St. Louis “is not worth it. It is not worth the damage to [Veolia’s] business.”
South African human rights organisation terminates G4S contract
Cape Town based Trauma Centre issued a public statement opposing G4S role in Israeli prisons where Palestinians are held without trial and tortured.
Parti de Gauche endorses BDS campaign
The major French left party, whose leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon won 11% of the votes in the 2012 presidental elections, also pledged to support campaigns by BDS France.
Second Norwegian university drops G4S over support for Israeli apartheid
The University of Bergen in Norway chose not to use G4S as its security contractor due to the firm’s role in the Israeli prison system and illegal Israeli settlements.
Boycott campaigns cost G4S two university contracts
Two major UK universities opted not to award G4S control of campus security services following student campaigns criticizing the company.
Dutch water company Vitens boycotts Israel's state water carrier
Vitens, the largest supplier of drinking water in the Netherlands, ended its cooperation agreement with Israel’s national water company Mekorot because of its role in the theft of Palestinian water. Meanwhile, the Dutch government takes steps to prevent an Israel-Netherlands business forum being used to develop links with companies operating in illegal Israeli settlements.
UK government warns businesses about illegal Israeli settlement enterprise
The UK government published guidance warning businesses about the problems and risks associated with doing business with illegal Israeli settlements.
Romania stops sending construction workers to Israel over settlements
The Romanian government announced it will stop sending construction workers to Israel if the Israeli government does not pledge they won’t be working in the West Bank.
Rome retailers boycotts SodaStream
Israeli company Sodastream is the target of an international boycott campaign, which has recently seen more than 50 actions in 6 countries
Boycott campaigns gain momentum in Latin America
Brazilian social movements campaign against the free trade agreement between the Mercosul and Israel, Colombian groups launch Veolia petition and Mexican activists protest Israeli propaganda events.
Dutch union dumps G4S for aiding Israel’s human rights abuses
Abvakabo, a trade union with 350,000 members in the Netherlands, has ended its relationship with G4S, a private security firm that has equipped Israel’s prisons in the occupied West Bank