Dear supporter of Palestinian rights,
As the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the broadest coalition in Palestinian society that leads the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, we wanted to write and thank you for your continued support for our movement throughout this year. Effective international solidarity is a key part of our struggle for freedom, justice and equality and helps to keep our hope alive.
Before the year draws to a close, we wanted to let you know about two important recent developments.
Firstly, British security company G4S has just announced that it has sold its subsidiary in Israel and therefore ended its role in securing Israel’s prison system and military checkpoints.
This is undoubtedly the result of the international campaign against G4S we launched in 2012 and saw unions, councils, universities and private companies in countries from Lebanon to Brazil, from the UK to Norway, boycott the company. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Methodist Church and several UN agencies in Jordan have divested or ended contracts with G4S.
G4S continues to help Israel run a police training centre and to be invested in a company that builds illegal settlements, so our boycott campaign continues. But this latest massive exit of G4S from the Israeli economy shows how significant our movement has become.
Earlier this month, the Palestinian BDS National Committee and our network of inspiring partner organisations across the world organised one of the biggest BDS actions ever.
More than 125 actions took place across 6 continents as part of the global week of action targeting US-based company HP over its deep involvement in Israel’s prisons, siege of Gaza and settlements.
We want to ramp up the pressure on HP and other multinationals that help Israel to violate human rights. Can you help us by making a small donation?
Even before these two important steps forward, 2016 had already been a hugely significant year for the international movement for Palestinian freedom, justice and equality. To give just a few examples:
• Major multinationals, including Orange and CRH, abandoned their involvement in Israeli projects that infringe on Palestinian rights.
• Tens of city councils, mainly in Spain, but also in France and Norway announced themselves “Israeli Apartheid Free Zones” or decided to boycott Israeli settlement products.
• Major churches in the US divested from Israeli banks or international companies that support the occupation.
• The logic of sustained international pressure on Israel is gaining important institutional support. For example, in March the UN Human Rights Council decided to create a database of Israeli and international corporations that are complicit in and profiting from Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise.
• We’re succeeding in fighting off Israel’s war on our movement. We’ve won mainstream support from the European Union, Amnesty International and the American Civil Liberties Union, and many others, for the idea that supporting Palestinian rights by boycotting Israel, as apartheid South Africa was boycotted, is a free speech issue.
Israel and its allies are pouring tens of millions of dollars into their efforts to attack, smear and undermine our nonviolent human rights movement.
We can’t compete financially, but the creativity, persistence and growing strength of the individuals and organisations that make up our BDS movement mean that we don’t have to.
Our campaigning infrastructure is an important part of our ability to challenge international support for Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights.
In recent years, public donations have allowed us to launch a new website for the BDS movement, enlarge our small staff team, and successfully expand BDS activism in Latin America and the Arab world.
We need to reach even more people, further increase our media profile and build campaigns that are even more hard hitting and impactful.
So today, we’re asking supporters of Palestinian rights to consider making a small donation to the Palestinian leadership of the BDS movement. Can you help us with a donation today? Please spread the word.
Palestinian BDS National Committee
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