Norway Decides that funding for Organizations supporting illegal Israeli settlements no longer Tax deductible.
September 21 – In response to pressure and advocacy work on the part of Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) and the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees (NUMGE), the Norwegian Ministry of Finance deemed the Norwegian organization “Karmel-instituttet” excluded from a list of organisations that the Norwegian public could receive tax deductions for providing gifts to. This decision was due to the fact that Karmel-instituttet provided financial support to Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, which the Norwegian Ministry of Finance declared were “in contravention of international law.”
US Quakers Divest from Veolia and Hewlett Packard
September 24 - Friends Fiduciary Corporation, the investment firm serving over 300 Quaker institutions in the United States, has dropped its holdings in Hewlett Packard and Veolia Environment, multinational corporations that support Israel’s Occupation of the Palestinian territory. According to the Director of Friends Fiduciary, the decision to remove Hewlett Packard from their investments was due to the company’s provision of information technology consulting services to the Israeli Navy. The decision to remove Veolia Environment was linked to their provision of segregated water services to Israeli settlers in the Palestinian territory and their running of a large landfill in the occupied Jordan River valley.
First Spanish State Conference on Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Against the State of Israel
October 19-21 – The First Spanish State BDS Conference was held in Barcelona between the 19th – 21st October hosting more than 500 activists and 50 organizations from Spain’s civil society.
UN Special Rapporteur calls for the boycott of businesses that profit from Israeli Settlements
October 25 – Richard Falk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, has called on the UN General Assembly and civil society to take action against Israeli and International businesses that are profiting form Israeli settlements. Among those business highlighted were: Caterpillar Incorporated (USA); Veolia Environment (France); G4S (United Kingdom); The Dexia Group (Belgium); Ahava (Israel); the Volvo Group (Sweden); the Riwal Holding Group (the Netherlands); Elbit Systems (Israel); Hewlett Packard (USA); Mehadrin (Israel); Motorola (USA); AssaAbloy (Sweden); and Cemex (Mexico).
New report highlights growing consensus for ban on settlement goods
October 30 – 22 European NGOs, alongside Richard Falk, the UN special rapporteur for human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, released reports on financial links with illegal Israeli settlements. The Report is entitled “Trading Away Peace” and acknowledges that while an EU-wide ban on settlement trade may not be realistic, there is potential for individual states, such as Norway, South Africa or Ireland – whose foreign minister has declared himself supportive of an EU-wide ban on settlement trade – to implement such a boycott.
In “an historic move,” UC Irvine students vote to divest from Israel
November 14 – In a unanimous decision, the University of California – Irvine Association of Students voted to divest from companies that profit from Israel’s occupation. The University’s campaign group, Irvine Divest, called the vote “an historic move that could initiate a domino effect across America’s campuses.”
Nobel peace laureates call for Israel military boycott
November 28 – 52 signatories including Nobel peace prize winners, activists and artists have issued a letter calling for the military boycott of Israel following the recent attack on Gaza and condemns what it sees as the “complicity” of Western powers and countries such as the US and the EU. Prominent signatories include Nobel peace laureates Mairead Maguire and Adolfo Pérez Esquivel; the film directors Mike Leigh and Ken Loach; the author Alice Walker; the US academic Noam Chomsky; Roger Waters of Pink Floyd; and Stéphane Hessel, a former French diplomat and Holocaust survivor who was co-author of the universal declaration of human rights.
Major International Trade Union votes to fully support BDS
November 27-30 - Public Services International, one of the world’s largest international trade unions, has voted to fully support the BDS campaign. The decision was made at the PSI World Congress in Durban alongside the resolution made to partake in the annual awareness-raising initiative: the Israel Apartheid Week. PSI represents 20 million workers and 150 countries globally.
European footballers declare support for Palestine
November 29 – On the day of International Solidarity with the Palestinian People a statement was signed by 51 international football players who expressed solidarity with “the people of Gaza who are under siege and denied basic human dignity and freedom.” Attacks and arrests of young Gazan footballers were also condemned in the statement, as was the upcoming UEFA Under-21 European Championship to be held in Israel. The Israeli assault on Gaza was described as “yet another stain on the world’s conscience.”
Stevie Wonder cancels benefit show for Friends of the IDF
November 30 – UN “Messenger of Peace” and renowned musician, Stevie Wonder, was scheduled to headline a benefit show that raises millions annually for the FIDF in Los Angeles, California on December 6th. The musician cancelled his performance following intense social media pressure and two petitions one of which cited his anti-Apartheid activism in South Africa. The Peace-Builders’ African Heritage Delegations to Palestine/Israel and other groups thanked Wonder with a letter and invited him to join the BDS movement.
University of Toronto student union votes to support BDS
December 10 - The University of Toronto Graduate Student’s Union recently voted in favor of endorsing the global campaign for BDS with a 97% majority out of 150 graduate students who voted.
New Zealand cuts funds for settlement-builder companies
December 12 - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund, which invests funds on behalf of New Zealand’s government, has excluded three companies from its $20 billions investment portfolio. The companies are: Africa Israel Investments, a company owned by Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev and its construction subsidiary Danya Cebus due to their link with the construction of Israeli settlements, alongside Elbit Systems Ltd, and Shikun Binui, which are involved in the construction of the Annexation Wall.
South Africa’s ANC reaffirms boycott of Israel
December 21 - South Africa’s ruling party reaffirmed a previous resolution, adopted by the ANC’s International Solidarity Conference in October, to support the Palestinian BDS movement at its 53rd National Conference. The National Conference is the ANC’s highest decision-making body and so this is, by far, the most authoritative ANC endorsement of BDS, setting the groundwork for policy.