Politically BDS has coaxed more and more governments to legitimise Palestine, even going as far as to delegitimise an apartheid Israel. Important steps include:
- Venezuela and Bolivia cutting diplomatic relations with Israel in 2009 after the invasion of Gaza, Nicaragua after the attack on the Freedom Flotilla in May 2010.
- Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay recognising a “free and independent” Palestine with 1967 borders in 2010, with Paraguay to follow suit in the spring.
- Norway and Britain upgrading their Palestinian Authority representative to consul, with the new year promising more European countries to follow suit.
- Edinburgh city council rejecting a bid by French company Veolia to take over public services due to its complicity with Israeli crimes.
- Also in Scotland, Stirling city council approving a comprehensive boycott campaign against Israel’s “open aggression and disregard for international law.”
- Marrickville, Australia, a sister city to Bethlehem since 2007, recently voting to support a comprehensive BDS campaign.
Israel besieges Gaza. BDS calls on the world to “besiege the siege”, to starve Israel of its export and import markets and pressure it to make a just peace with its captives. There were many victories on this economic front in 2010 too. Examples include:
- Qatar cutting its trade relations with Israel;
- deals cancelled with Turkey, the UK, Egypt and Gulf States;
- a Turkish company demanding that Israeli companies sign a document condemning the Israeli massacre in Gaza to continue doing business. Israeli businessmen in Turkey now have to hide their identity;
- Japan’s MUJI abandoning plans to invest in Israel, facing immense pressure from citizens in Japan and South Korea;
- European Union guidelines requiring supermarkets to mark the origin of produce on labels to allow consumers to distinguish between Palestinian, Israeli and settlement produce;
- Dutch pension fund PFZW disposing of the Israeli companies in its portfolio. Major Swedish and Norwegian investment funds sold their shares in all Israeli companies involved in building settlements and the separation wall;
- the Chilean parliament’s decision to adopt a boycott of Israeli products made in settlements; and,
- The decision by companies such as Multilock to close their West Bank businesses because of human rights organisation pressur
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