Statement on Affiliation with the BDS Movement and the Use of the BDS Acronym
1 July 2019
The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society and the leadership of the global, decentralized BDS movement, is inspired by the growth of the movement globally, and the establishment of local, regional and national groups across the world that are affiliated to the movement.
International BDS partners uphold the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people that are stated in the BDS Call of 2005 and abide by the BDS movement’s commitment to nonviolence as well as its ethical and anti-racist principles.
There have been a few unusual cases of small groups that use the BDS name or even the BNC logo, without any coordination with the BNC, while violating the BDS movement’s ethical principles. When detected, these groups are privately approached and asked to either comply with the principles and the BDS Call, or to remove the BDS acronym and the BNC logo from their name and activities, as they cannot be part of this movement.
In order to ensure compliance with the movement’s ethical and anti-racist principles and protect the growing movement, the BNC has set the following criteria for any group that considers itself affiliated to the BDS movement and is using or wishing to use the BDS name in its solidarity work:
1) The BNC encourages all solidarity groups to familiarize themselves not only with the 2005 BDS call but also with the statement on the ethical and anti-racist principles of the BDS movement. In addition, we encourage solidarity groups to ensure that these principles are respected in all aspects of their organizing and solidarity work, both on the ground and online.
2) Any group using the BDS acronym in its name or activities must support the three Palestinian rights stated in the BDS Call of 2005 and comply with the BDS movement’s anti-racist principles.
3) While we encourage BDS groups around the world to use and widely publicize the BDS acronym, we discourage partners from using the BNC logo (which appears on top of our website and all BNC statements) as their own, whether in their publications and/or their social media accounts, to avoid confusion about the source of materials and posts. We encourage partners to create their own logos, reflecting their own reality.
4) Any group that propagates or tolerates forms of expression or activities that conflict with the movement’s principles of anti-racism and non-violence or undermines the Palestinian rights stated in the BDS Call cannot be part of the BDS movement and will be considered outside the BDS movement and will be asked, by the BNC, to no longer use the BDS acronym or claim any affiliation to the movement.
5) Any group that is affiliated with a group or organization that is known to tolerate views that conflict with the BDS movement’s ethical guidelines or anti-racism principles cannot be part of the BDS movement and will be asked to remove the BDS acronym from its name and logo.
6) If a group undermines any of the ethical and anti-racist principles of the BDS movement, the BNC will privately ask the group to drop the BDS acronym and to stop presenting itself as part of the BDS movement. If the group does not heed the BNC request within a specified deadline, the BNC will publicly censure the group and distance the BDS movement from it.
The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) subscribes to the words of Martin Luther King, that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” We strive to be morally-consistent in our struggle, and this is why we continue to have zero-tolerance for any kind of racism or bigotry.
Misusing the BDS acronym is wrong on principle and harms our entire movement. It emboldens the far-right Israeli regime’s attacks on the BDS movement for Palestinian rights. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that our movement is morally consistent and adheres to ethical, anti-racist principles in the struggle for freedom, justice and equality.