In meeting rooms and conference halls, on high streets and university campuses, the Palestine solidarity movement is changing. In the dozen years following the signing of the Oslo Accords, few doubted the determination and resolve of solidarity campaigns, but there were fears that they were beginning to lose direction. Today, as we mark the fifth anniversary of the 2005 Palestinian Civil Society Call for a campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law, a truly global movement is rapidly emerging whose concrete forms of solidarity is not only changing the discourse surrounding the Palestinian struggle, but are also achieving concrete results towards the isolation of the Israeli regime.
The BDS movement is deeply rooted in the rich history of Palestinian civil resistance against Zionist colonization – especially anti-normalization campaigns that rejected acceptance of apartheid Israel as a normal state – and begun to take form with the outbreak of the Second Intifada in 2000. But it was the rights-based approach of the Palestinian Civil Society Call on 9 July 2005, a year after the historic advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice that ruled Israel’s wall – as well as colonies -- in Occupied Palestinian Territory to be illegal, which set into motion a new form of Palestinian resistance and international solidarity. Based on international law and established principles of human rights, the BDS call identifies the inalienable rights of each of the three parts of the Palestinian people, namely those living inside land occupied in 1967, Palestinian citizens of Israel and the approximately seven million Palestinian refugees. The Call urges for various forms of boycott until Israel complies with international law by:
Ending its occupation of lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall;
Recognizing the fundamental rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality
Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return in accordance with UN Resolution 194.