9 March 2009
The Palestinian National Initiative, PNI, has been on the local forefront of encouraging boycott, divestment and sanctions against the state of Israel in response to the ongoing occupation since the unified call was raised by Palestinians on July 9th, 2007.
The Palestinian National Initiative, PNI, has been on the local forefront of encouraging boycott, divestment and sanctions against the state of Israel in response to the ongoing occupation since the unified call was raised by Palestinians on July 9th, 2007. Since the recent massacre in the Gaza Strip, we have begun to pick up more and more momentum in a world slightly more aware of the brutality and asymmetry of our struggle.
Now, in the midst of Israeli Apartheid Week, it is time to build upon this momentum in order to build the truly global movement needed to change realities on the ground.
For this reason PNI, in cooperation and collaboration with hundreds and thousands of organizations and individuals around the world, calls on its supporters to enhance their nonviolent resistance to the occupation of Palestine by:
1. Boycotting Israeli Goods
Israeli products begin with the numbers 729
Boycotts, more than either divestment or sanctions, allow for broad participation amongst supporters of Palestine – regardless of political, geographic or class distinction. Boycotts can be used effectively in consumer-based societies, where individuals can choose to refuse to buy Israeli products, and in elsewhere, where boycotts can become either academic or athletic.
Boycotts send a message to the Israeli public that their government”s behavior in regards to Palestine is unacceptable, and that their failure to change this policy has resulted in the shaming of the efforts of average citizens.
2. Divesting from the Occupation
The American firm, Caterpillar, continues to sell the equipment by which Israel destroys Palestinian homes. Though it has been the target of campaigns for some time, they have resisted change. In the coming months, Israel will demolish hundreds of homes with the help of this company.
Divestment (or disinvestment) means putting and end to investments in Israel and companies supporting Israeli occupation and apartheid. In solidarity work, divestment is similar to sanctions in that it largely relies upon securing certain actions by others (in this instance, share-holders or companies withdrawing their investments) as the majority of BDS campaigners are not in a position to divest capital. There are a variety of institutions in which individuals and constituents hold considerable stake and influence (churches, unions, universities, pension funds), and are the potential sites of strong BDS campaigns *.
3. Pressuring Our Governments to Sanction Israel
For decades, Israel has been in contravention to a number of international laws. The occupation of Palestine, and each of its manifestations, has been deemed illegal or condemned by countless respected international legal bodies. Yet their actions continue.
Sanctions, though the most difficult change for an organization or an individual to bring about, are perhaps the most important tool we have. Israel must be made to realize, through nonviolent pressure, that, in order to be accepted into the various international economic and political arenas, they must be prepared to abide by the norms and laws within them.
It is time for Israel to begin to listen to the Palestinian demands for freedom and democracy – we need you to lend the strength of your voice and actions to our message.
You may feel weak and isolated and afraid to speak out at first, but take strength in knowing that you are not alone, and that is silence, as much as bullets, that kills.
*This quote, and much of the material used in this press release, has come from the Global BDS Movement. Visit their website at: www.bdsmovement.net where you can access many materials about the movement.