Last updated on: 10/13/2015 | Author:

What Is the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement?

General Reference (not clearly pro or con)


This site was archived on Aug. 3, 2021. The two-state solution is no longer the most popular solution among the jurisdictions involved. A reconsideration of the topic is possible in the future.

Rachel Zoll, MA, National Religion Reporter for the Associated Press, in a Mar. 1, 2015 article for the Daily Herald titled “Israel Divestment Push Gains Traction,” available from the Questia website, wrote:

“The boycott-divestment-sanctions movement grew from a 2005 international call from Palestinian groups as an alternative to armed struggle over control of the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, which Israel captured in 1967 and Palestinians seek for an independent state.

Supporters of Israel say that boycotting the country is no way to make peace, especially since many BDS supporters do not differentiate between protesting Jewish settlements on occupied lands or Israel as a whole.

But BDS advocates have a range of views, and advocates say the movement, based on the campaign against South African apartheid decades ago, is aimed at Israeli policy, not Jews, in response to two decades of failed peace talks and expanded Israeli settlement of the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

In the U.S., activists have pressed for boycotts of Israeli products and cultural events, and for divestment by churches and investment funds.”

Mar. 1, 2015

Adam Horowitz, MA, Coeditor of the Mondoweiss website, and Philip Weiss, Founder and Coeditor of the Mondoweiss website, in a June 9, 2010 article for The Nation titled “The Boycott Divestment Sanctions Movement,” available from The Nation website, wrote:

“The [BDS] campaign traces its origins to a July 2004 advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice (the World Court), which found Israel’s separation wall in the West Bank to be ‘contrary to international law.’ The ICJ also recommended that the parts of the wall built inside the occupied territories be dismantled and that Palestinians affected by the wall be compensated. When a year passed with no sign that the opinion would be enforced, a wide-ranging coalition of more than 170 organizations representing Palestinian civil society issued a call for boycott, divestment and sanction of Israel ‘until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights.’ Compliance meant three things: ending the occupation, recognizing equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel and respecting the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194 of 1948…

Today the BDS movement is loosely coordinated by a body called the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions Campaign National Committee (BNC), which is made up of nongovernmental organizations representing Palestinian civil society. The BNC is not affiliated with any political party (though it has been endorsed by some) and does not take positions on issues that fall outside the specific principles of the ‘call.’ Thus it does not endorse either a one-state or two-state solution to the conflict…

BDS represents three strategies: boycotts are commonly carried out by individuals, divestment by institutions and sanctions by governments. For example, organizers have called on people to avoid buying products made in Israeli settlements; on churches to sell stocks of companies such as Caterpillar… and on politicians to make conditional or end US aid to Israel. BDS’s proponents argue that unless Israel experiences material, political and moral pressure, it will maintain the status quo…

[Opponents] fear that BDS is advancing the likelihood of the dissolution of the Jewish state – the delegitimization issue.”

June 9, 2010