The Israeli Defense Forces have rendered a hellish battleground among the civilians in the Balata and Jenin refugee camps. We are getting reports of pure horror [The international conventions that protect non-combatants in times of conflicts] are worthless, if they are not adhered to precisely at times of the greatest blood-letting. The world is watching, and Israel needs to end this pittyless assault on civilian refugee camps.
UNRWA High Commissioner Peter Hansen, UNRWA press release End the Horror in the Camps, 7 April 2002
Despite death, destruction, and the humanitarian crisis, however, Israels US-backed military campaign will not achieve the surrender of the Palestinian people.
THE PALESTINIAN PEOLE WILL NOT SURRENDER, BECAUSE ALL OF US, in Jenin, Nablus, Balata, Tulkarem, Qalqilya, Bethlehem, Beit Jala, Aida, Deheishe and elsewhere in occupied Palestine, HAVE PROOF THAT WE ARE NOT ALONE! We are overwhelmed and empowered by the tremendous expression of solidarity we witness daily in all parts of the world. Confined to our homes by military curfews and in the mid of the rumbling of Israels tanks and the terrifying sound of shooting and shelling, and with the United States Apaches and F-16s roaming above our homes, we have seen you. On our TV screens we have seen the tens- and hundreds of thousands of you marching in al-Ribat, Cairo, Amman, Damascus, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, New York, Paris, Rome, Brussels, Antwerpen, Berne and everywhere on this globe for the sake of justice in Palestine. You, the global solidarity movement, must know that you have been our source of strength in these dark days, and that you will remain our source of strength for a better future.
Against the background of governments unwillingness to provide international protection for the Palestinian people and apply sanctions against Israel, we call upon the global solidarity movement to launch and coordinate a broad CAMPAIGN TO BOYCOTT ISRAELI GOODS AND SERVICES everywhere in the world for the sake of a better future for the Palestinian, Arab and Israeli people in the region. More than 50 yeas after the Palestinian Nakba of 1948, Israel must no longer be permitted to stand above international law, and the impunity of war criminals must end.
BADIL Resource Center welcomes the launching in the United States of the Boycott Israeli Goods (BIG) grassroots campaign. BIG advocates consumer boycotting of Israeli agricultural and industrial products, divestment of US funds in Israeli companies and in State of Israel bonds, as well as boycott of tourism, until Israel will end its occupation of all areas occupied in 1967 and respect international law and human rights, including the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands. Similar boycotts have been launched in Europe, the West Coast of the United States, many African and Asian countries, and in Israel itself.
It is time now, based on the broad consensus of civil society organizations at the third World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) in Durban, South Africa, to TRANSFORM THE IMPRESSIVE GLOBAL DEMONSTRATION OF SOLIDARITY with the Palestinian people into a BROAD AND SUSTAINED ISRAEL BOYCOTT CAMPAIGN similar to the boycott movement that finally removed the repressive apartheid regime in South Africa. Consumers and activists should not only boycott Israeli products and services, but also use the opportunity to educate others about repressive and apartheid-like Israeli policies supported by governments worldwide, especially by the United States.
For more information and coordination about global boycott initiatives, see:
Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign
Visit the website to find links to other boycott initiatives around the world.
For information about the Palestinian NGO position paper submitted to the WCAR at Durban, as well as the NGO Declaration and Joint Program of Action/WCAR.