Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Non-Violent Campaign

Remarks by Mai Abdul Rahman on March 22, 2010

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign is a non-violent movement based upon conventional international law principles. It is a campaign opposed to all forms of discrimination, racism and bigotry that utilize peaceful means to influence intractable Israeli policies. This non-violent campaign offers every American the means to bring peace among Palestinians and Israelis, support our peace efforts in the Middle East, and help protect our troops.

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) peaceful campaign is subscribed worldwide by governments, nongovernmental organizations, religious leaders, peace advocates and consumers.  It is a global movement supported by diverse religious and secular groups that intends to influence and change Israeli discriminatory practices, its illegal settlement policies, end the Gaza siege and the occupation of Palestinians.  

Last month the EU Court of Justice ruled that imports produced or manufactured in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank shouldn't benefit from a trade agreement between Israel and the European Union. The court’s decision was based on world consensus and established international law as stipulated in the Fourth Geneva Convention that prohibits “Israel” the Occupying Power from deporting or transferring parts of its civilian population into the territory it occupies; and the Hague International Court rulings on the “Israeli Separation Wall” and settlement policy, which confirmed "the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (including East Jerusalem) have been established in breach of international laws.”

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement offers Americans the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to help end the Israeli occupation of  the Palestinian occupied Territories, Israel's Gaza siege, illegal settlement policy and discriminatory practices and actions toward the Palestinians, which Vice President Joe Biden, General David Patraeus, and Admiral Mike Mullen say are putting our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq in danger and are hurting our interests and world standing.

Americans can help advance peace, support our interests and protect our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan by simply refusing to purchase Israeli consumer products such as: Ahava Dead Sea Cosmetics, which operate in the Israeli settlement of Mitzpe Shalem in the occupied West Bank; Sabra Hummus, owned by an Israeli company that supports the Israeli army brigade Golani Brigade notorious for human rights abuses in Gaza and the West Bank; Agrexco Agricultural Export Company products "Carmel" produced in illegal settlements; Soda-Club, Ltd. products manufactures in the Mishor Adumin settlement; and Motorola, which arms and assists the Israeli military in the construction of the illegal "apartheid wall" in the West Bank. Americans active in their churches can help advance peace, support our country and troops by calling their local, regional, and national religious organizations to sanction companies linked to the Israeli occupation by divesting from mutual funds that invest in Caterpillar, Terex, or ITT, General Electric, and United Technologies-- All are American companies that benefit from Israeli war crimes and the Israeli occupation.

Participating in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) campaign offers Americans the opportunity to join a world wide peaceful movement to influence Israel to end it discriminatory practices, stop its illegal settlement support, end the occupation of Palestinians and the strangulating Gaza blockade, while advancing our interests in the region and improving our country's standing in the world.