Success for the BDS French Campaign's third national weekend of training and debates
The third national weekend of training and debates organised by the BDS French Campaign and held in Lyons on 14 and 15 January 2012 was highly successful.
More than 100 activists came from all over France to share their experiences and exchange their views on different aspects of the campaign.
The French campaign's successful operations against the Israeli firm AGREXCO, which had been designated as our priority target last year, were underlined. The citizens' actions and demonstrations played a decisive role in the legal liquidation of the company, which represented an important victory over colonization and apartheid.
2011 was also studded with several successful outcomes for BDS, notably in the field of the cultural boycott.
During this two-day encounter, a dozen separate workshops all showed the importance of working along different lines of action. In 2012, the BDS French Campaign will concentrate its efforts along two major axes:
- The campaign against Mehadrin, the Israeli company handling the mass export to France and Europe of goods from the colonies, i.e. the produce of a war crime. The aim: to achieve no less than the withdrawal of this illegal merchandise from the shelves of the major chain stores.
- The strengthening of the boycott of academic and cultural institutions which play an active role in the Israeli policies of colonization, occupation and apartheid. Cooperation with Europe in the areas of education, research and culture is largely used by Israel as a political weapon with which to boost its image, whilst that state oppresses the Palestinians in those very same areas of activity, as it does in others. We wish to reiterate that this boycott targets institutions and not individuals.
- Simultaneously, the campaign will lay the foundations to develop the sports boycott in France. It will also support the Palestinian BNC, represented by its European Coordinator Michael Deas, in its demand for an immediate military embargo against Israel.
The Russell Tribunal, at its latest session in Cape Town in South Africa, recognized Israel as guilty of the crime of apartheid. The Tribunal's conclusions, presented by its coordinator Pierre Galland during this weekend gathering, underlined once again the importance of reinforcing the BDS campaign and its legitimacy in the face of Israel's impunity.
The increasing media publicity given to the BDS campaign, the growing awareness-raising campaigns aimed at public opinion, and the acquittal of activists prosecuted in France on account of their participation in the campaign, have all served to strengthen our determination.
2012, a New Year of boycott and victories !