Ten years to the Palestinian call for BDS, One year to the attack on Gaza

Sunday, July 12th, 2015 | 14:47

The BDS movement and its supporters in Israel have been subject in the past few years to increasingly more blatant and institutional forms of silencing and public demonization. First flagged by the extreme right, support for BDS is now restricted by law, through the anti-boycott legislation (July 2011). In April 2015 this anti-democratic law won the stamp of legitimacy from the Israeli High Court of Justice. Most recently the issue has been taken up by public figures, politicians and the Israeli media in an orchestrated campaign to turn the BDS movement and its supporters into the enemies of the state and a “strategic threat.”

In the shadow of this inflammatory rhetoric and institutional incitement, we must defend the legitimacy of positions critical of the Israeli government policies of brutal occupation and apartheid. We at the Coalition of Women for Peace support and defend the rights of Palestinians to live in freedom and in dignity. We support their legitimate struggle to put an end to the Israeli occupation and ongoing oppression, and we support the call for cultural and economic boycott, divestment and international sanctions to increase pressure on Israel from the international community. This form of civil resistance is recognized as a legitimate tool within Non-Violent struggles all over the world and is particularly effective against Israel that systematically violates international norms. It is our civilian duty to resist the disenfranchisement of the Palestinian people, the political imprisonment of hundreds including children and minors, egregious military violence, land grab, and economic profiteering from the occupation.

We therefore call upon organizations who are active in the struggle against the occupation, and particularly the feminist movements in Israel, to actively defy any anti-democratic law aimed to restrict our activities and silence our protest, to stand up clearly in support of the Palestinians, and to use any legitimate tool to continue the struggle against Israeli policies and for human rights. It is of vital importance that we, activists from Israel/Palestine, join campaigns in the international arena to discourage international support and diplomatic backing for Israel’s policies. We call upon activists in Israel and all over the world to use effective means and pressure governments and the business community in order to stop their complicity with the occupation and bring about change in the status quo.

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