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Wednesday, July 22

Israeli boycott movement scores successes
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Companies, pension funds, even governments in countries around the world have thrown their support behind the Israeli boycott.

By Olivia Ward Foreign Affairs Reporter

BDS achievements
The BDS movement has scored notable tactical successes in the decade since it was launched by Palestinian activists, claiming 100 victories in the U.S. alone. Here are some of its gains:
ECONOMIC
KLP: The Norwegian insurance giant divested from Germany’s Heidelberg Cement and Mexico’s Cemex over their use of Palestinian natural resources in the occupied territories.
Veolia: The French conglomerate sold almost all of its business in Israel after losing major international tenders because of its involvement in Israeli projects in the occupied territories.
G4S: The security company has been hit by millions of dollars in divestments from the Gates foundation and the American United Methodist Church pension fund because of its involvement in Israeli prisons where Palestinians are incarcerated.
U.S. Presbyterian Church: Divested from three international companies involved in the occupation, including Caterpillar, HP and Motorola Solutions.
George Soros Fund Management: Divested all its stock in the Israeli company SodaStream, which operates in the occupied territories.
PGGM: The major Dutch pension management fund divested from five Israeli banks over their involvement in the occupied territories.
Norway: The country’s giant sovereign wealth fund divested from two Israeli companies involved in settlement construction.
Europe: Governments have issued guidance notices to their citizens and businesses advising them against involvement in Israeli projects in the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem. The EU issued guidelines against funding Israeli projects and entities in the territories.
CULTURAL
International petition: Almost 1,000 British cultural figures signed a pledge for a cultural boycott of Israel, joined by others in Montreal, Ireland and South Africa. Major U.S. filmmakers, writers, musicians and artists refused to participate in Israeli cultural events.
Holocaust survivors criticize Israel: A half-page New York Times ad signed by 327 Jewish Holocaust survivors condemned Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and called for a “full economic, cultural and academic boycott.”
Academic boycott: More than 1,200 Spanish university staff joined an academic boycott of Israel, along with Belgian students and the Teachers’ Union of Ireland. The American Studies Association and three other major U.S. academic groups endorsed an academic boycott of Israel.


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