BDS News

Coalition Stop AXA Assistance to Israeli Apartheid

AXA profits from Israel’s oppression of Palestinians. The French insurance company, the second biggest insurance company in the world, is active in 57 countries and has over 108 million clients.


Even though AXA has human rights and environment policies it invests $7 million in three Israeli banks named in the UN database of companies involved in business with Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise: Bank Leumi, Israeli Discount Bank and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank. These banks operate branches in illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian and Syrian territory (Golan Heights), providing mortgage loans for settlers and financial services to settlements’ local authorities for building projects.


These complicit banks also work as “accompanying partners” by ensuring that the bank provides the construction company with all of the main financial services until the completion of the project. Without these banks many of the illegal Israeli settlement projects would have difficulty being implemented.


AXA also owns 9 % of Equitable holdings (EHQ), which invests 157 million dollars in 5 Israeli banks, Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, First International Bank of Israel, Israel Discount Bank, and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank, as well as in Israel’s largest arms company, Elbit systems. Elbit is notorious for profiting from Israel’s siege on Gaza, “battle-testing” its killer drones, white phosphorus, sniper bullets and fighter jet parts, all deployed by the Israeli occupation army to murder or maim Palestinians. Elbit Systems’ Hermes 900 drones were among Israel’s drones that murdered 164 Palestinian children in Gaza in 2014.


The Coalition “Stop AXA Assistance to Israeli Apartheid” campaign calls on individuals, organisations and institutions worldwide to boycott AXA until it ends its complicity with Israeli apartheid and human rights violations.
Sign the pledge here.
Until AXA ends its support for Israeli apartheid and human rights violations against Palestinians,


I Pledge to boycott AXA by refusing to buy its insurance products.


I Appeal to other individuals, businesses, sports teams, institutions and trade unions to end all business, sponsorship and insurance contracts with AXA.


Link to the BDS page here:


A THANK YOU from Palestinian activist, Mahmoud Nawaja

Dear supporter 


It was 3:30 am, just before Eid al-Adha. We had prepared ourselves to celebrate the holiday in our new dream home, which took us years to finish. Tens of Israeli soldiers, with dogs, stormed our home, terrifying our three children. They took me blindfolded and handcuffed to a military interrogation center near Haifa. I wish I could visit beautiful Palestinian Haifa under different circumstances!


Free Mahmoud Nawajaa

Leading BDS activist Mahmoud Nawajaa was dragged from his home on 30th July at 3:30am. Israeli forces stormed his house, blindfolded him, handcuffed him and took him away from his wife and three young children. No charges or evidence of criminal activity have been presented against Mahmoud, yet he remains in administrative detention in Israel. Write to your MP today to demand his release! (more…)

The Episcopal Church (USA) adopts and implements an Investment Screen

At their fall meeting in Montgomery, Ala. the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church adopted and implemented a human rights investment screen to respond to a 2018 General Convention resolution, which directs The Episcopal Church to “join with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America’s action, CA 16.06.31, “Justice for the Holy Land Through Responsible Investment.”


Kairos Palestine calls on Bundestag to reverse BDS decision


India Scraps $500M Military Deal With Israel Amid Rising Popular Concern About India’s Complicity With Israeli Crimes

From IMEMC News, 21 November. Yesterday, media reported that the Indian Ministry of Defense scrapped the $500M deal with Israeli arms manufacturer Rafael Advanced Defense Systems for its missile systems. Years in the making, the deal had been celebrated in international media and was finalized after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel in July.  (more…)

Israel bars entry of European MPs over boycott

From The Palestinian Information Center, 13 Nov.

Israel’s Minister of Interior, Aryeh Deri, adopted recommendations by Israel’s Minister of Strategic Affairs and Public Security, Gilad Erdan, not to allow the entry of a delegation composed of European MPs and heads of French local councils.  (more…)

Danish pension fund excludes four companies for role in Israeli occupation

Sampension, a DKK290 billion ($43.5 billion) Danish labour market pension fund, made the announcement in a press release last week, stating that two Israeli banks, Hapoalim and Leumi, as well as Heidelberg Cement and Israeli telecommunications company Bezeq, are now excluded.   (more…)

America’s BDS law is an attack on far more than free speech

From +972: The world long ago made clear to the Palestinians that violence is not a legitimate path for seeking independence. Now Congress is trying to criminalize one of the few nonviolent tools left. (more…)

Spain defines BDS as protected speech

The Spanish parliament has unanimously passed a motion recognizing the right to advocate for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) as protected under the right to freedom of expression and association.


BDS Movement Turns 12, Marks Anniversary With List of 12 Wins in 2017

July 9, 2017 marks 12 years since the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement was born. It’s been 12 years since an impressively large and diverse coalition across Palestinian civil society surmounted incredible odds to unify around three basic Palestinian rights and a nonviolent, inclusive, anti-racist path of struggle to achieve them. (more…)

LA Times calls BDS a ‘classic tool of peaceful political expression’

We keep track of the growing awareness inside the U.S. mainstream press of the far-right character of Israeli political culture; and this weekend the LA Times published a long editorial slamming the Israeli government for “trying to wall out its critics.” The editorial grants dignity to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) and rejects a new law that bars visits to the country by boycott supporters. (more…)

US Mennonites vote in favour of divestment from Israeli occupation

On 6th July the Mennonite Church (USA) voted to create an investment screen for the purpose of “withdrawing investments from companies that are profiting from the occupation.” The resolution was approved near unanimously, with approximately 98% of the 548 voters supporting it. (more…)

Israel accuses BDS founder Omar Barghouti of tax evasion

The BNC – leaders of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement -have issued a statement following the arrest and interrogation of founder Omar Barghouti in March


BNC Statement on Israel’s Ongoing Campaign to Silence Omar Barghouti and repress BDS

Israeli ministry trying to compile database of citizens who support BDS

From Haaretz, March 21.

Senior officials say attorney general vehemently opposes Minister Gilad Erdan’s bid, arguing his ministry has no legal authority to collect information on Israelis. (more…)

Israel detains one activist and deports another amid international outcry over boycott ban

From Mondoweiss, 13 March. The longtime Israel activist Jeff Halper was detained for allegedly sharing pro-boycott materials during an occupation tour of East Jerusalem. And the head of the British Palestine Solidarity Committee, Hugh Lanning, was deported from Israel last night when he tried to enter. (more…)

Activists defiant on Israel’s travel ban

‘It’s a sign we’re winning’ – travel ban on BDS supporters heavily criticised, even by those opposed to boycotts, Democracy Now reports. (more…)

WCC gravely concerned over Israel’s travel ban

March 9 – The World Council of Churches (WCC) today expressed grave concern about a new law passed on Monday by the Knesset which reportedly forbids granting entry visas to foreign nationals who call for economic, cultural or academic boycotts of either Israel or the Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.  (more…)

New video made in Palestine – 28th February 2017

The BDS National Committee has released a beautiful, short new video made in Palestine. It’s called “In Their Own Words: Palestinians Champion BDS,” and features Palestinians of different ages, genders and backgrounds expressing why they champion the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.


Update from the BDS National Committee

We in the Palestinian BDS National Committee, the widest coalition of Palestinian organisations that leads and supports the BDS movement, recently took some time to take stock the BDS movement’s most important moments during 2016. You can can read our thoughts in our new blog post where we explain how despite the pain, 2016 witnessed impressive gains for BDS.


What we can legally do against the anti-BDS campaign

Salma Karmi-Ayyoub, barrister and legal consultant for Al Haq, writes in Al Jazeera on the solid legal strategy needed to resist states succumbing to Israel pressure and imposing BDS bans. (more…)

Israeli newspaper says BDS achieved global successes

Israeli newspaper Maariv said that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement had achieved global successes. In a report about BDS, Maariv reported remarks of an Israeli researcher that contradicted previous reports by Netanyahu that BDS is busy in side battles related to defending its legal status.
The former Israeli Ambassador to Amman Oded Eran said that Netanyahu’s reports were “exaggerations” because BDS is supported in many countries that have good relations with Israel.
Read more from Middle East Monitor

Israeli plan to deport and ban BDS activists met with outcry

From Ma’an News, 9 Aug

The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) denounced on Monday a recent move by the Israeli government seeking to identify and deport foreigners involved in pro-Palestinian activism in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.


The list of BDS victories keeps growing

This month marks 11 years since the Palestinian civil society call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) as tools to end worldwide complicity with Israel’s regime of colonization and apartheid, and to support freedom, justice, and equality for the Palestinian people.

What the economic boycott of Israel can achieve

BDS will never bankrupt Israel, and that is not necessary for it to achieve its goals: showing that the emperor has no clothes, and empowering justice-minded people everywhere to disengage from a hyper-militarized, violent rogue state, until it stops violating international law and the human rights of an oppressed people. (more…)

11 Years of BDS in South Africa

To mark the huge success of the BDS campaign in South Africa, the BDS movement in South Africa has produced an excellent video covering the highlights of the last 11 years.  (more…)

Presbyterian Church (USA) reaffirms strong support to Palestinian rights

During its 222nd biennial General Assembly, which took place in Portland, Oregon this week, the Presbyterian Church (USA) continued its strong support for Palestinian rights with the passage of a series of overtures.


New BDS iPhone App will allow you to search for a company’s link to Israel

Jack Moore reports in the International Business Times that the new app could take the BDS campaign to the next level. (more…)

G4S reneges on promise to exit Israel

War on Want report that G4S recommitted to doing business in Israel during the AGM last week. (more…)

European call for support for the right to boycott

Sabeel-Kairos is one of the 354 European human rights organisations, church groups, trade unions and political parties that have called on the EU to support their right to boycott.


Mark Braverman: BDS is not anti-Semitic, it’s the best hope for Israel

Sabeel-Kairos USA Executive Director Mark Braverman writes in the Santa Cruz sentinel challenging the accusations of BDS as anti-Semitic and offering a different viewpoint. (more…)

Dutch political parties call for sanctions on Israel

Two Dutch political parties are calling for sanctions on Israel for its ongoing violations of Palestinian rights.


Christian leaders denounce the recent wave of anti-BDS legislation

173 Christian Leaders in America have expressed concern at the recent wave of anti-BDS legislation.


Letter to PEN America: Don’t partner with Israel

Eleven organisations and 61 individuals have written an open letter to PEN America to protest that Israel limits freedom on expression and should be subject to a cultural boycott.


Christian Leaders denounce Anti-BDS legislation

118 Christian Leaders have added their names to a petition denouncing the recent wave of anti- BDS legislation that has been sweeping across the globe. (more…)

Unitarians to divest from companies complicit in violation of Palestinian Rights

The Unitarian Universalist Association is to divest from Corporations complicit in the Violation of Palestinian Rights at Unitarian Universalists 2016 Assembly.


Israeli Companies Leaving West Bank in Apparent Response to Boycott Pressure


“Responding to international boycott pressures and other constraints, a growing number of Israeli companies operating in the West Bank are moving their facilities to locations within the country’s internationally recognised borders.”


G4S to pull out of Israel

The private “security” conglomerate G4S has announced that they are selling off their Israeli subsidiary, and getting out of the U.S. and U.K. youth prison businesses within the next two years.

This is a huge win for the BDS movement.


Columbia University professors sign petition in support of BDS

 Forty Columbia University faculty members have signed a petition urging the New York school to divest from companies that
“supply, perpetuate, and profit from a system that has subjugated the Palestinian people.”


Palestinians in Israel hold first BDS conference


Sabeel-Kairos Palestine: Letter of support regarding Government plans to stop companies divesting from occupation

In support and solidarity of UK civil society members and groups who are opposing the government plans to stop local councils making their own ethical decisions about their investments, here is a letter from Sabeel-Kairos Palestine (more…)

Take Action: The government plans to stop local councils making ethical decisions on their investments

Several organisations have opposed the government plans and have set up campaign actions that you can take. (more…)

Prominent New York-linked artists endorse cultural boycott of Israel

Leading artists with ties to New York have expressed their support for the cultural boycott of Israel in a new video from campaign group Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel. The video features actor Kathleen Chalfant; musician Roger Waters, a founding member of Pink Floyd; musicians Kyp Malone and Tunde Adebimpe.



BDS 2015: A Year of Phenomenal Growth

2015 was a year of phenomenal growth for the BDS movement. MEMO’s Jehan Alfarra takes a look at the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement, with exclusive interviews with academics and activists.



BDS in 2015: Seven ways our movement broke new ground against Israeli settler-colonialism and apartheid

The year 2015 will be remembered as the year that Palestinian popular resistance spread across historic Palestine and that saw tens of thousands of Palestinians take to the streets to resist and confront Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid.


Palestinian BDS National Committee


Reykjavík City will boycott Israeli products

The City of Reykjavík will no longer purchase goods made in Israel. The City Council voted yesterday that the city would not purchase any goods manufactured in Israel as long as the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories continues.


Omar Robert Hamilton pitches in to the BDS debate

He says “How disappointing to see JK Rowling and Hilary Mantel signing this nefarious letter calling for the need for ‘cultural bridges’ with Israel.”



The BDS debate intensifies

Major groups of artists and academics have been voicing the arguments for and against cultural and academic boycotts of Israel. (more…)

A Commitment by UK Scholars to Human Rights in Palestine

On Tuesday, October the 27th 2015, the Guardian published a full page advertisement by 343 academics affiliated with UK academic institutions pledging not to cooperate with Israeli academic institutions.


If you are an academic affiliated with UK academic institutions, and you wish to sign the Commitment, you can do so by filling this form, or by sending an email with your name, title, institution and discipline to 

Israel needs cultural bridges, not boycotts – letter from JK Rowling, Simon Schama and others

J K Rowling and others have come out against the cultural boycott of Israel.


In a letter to the guardian dated 22nd October, they say:-

We do not believe cultural boycotts are acceptable or that the letter you published accurately represents opinion in the cultural world in the UK.


UK academics boycott universities in Israel to fight for Palestinians’ rights

More than 300 academics from dozens of British universities have pledged to boycott Israeli academic institutions in protest at what they call intolerable human rights violations against the Palestinian people.


Why Christians are finding it hard to boycott Israel

The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement may have been going for ten years but the support it is now attracting and the opposition that is gearing up against it, tells me something very significant is taking place.


So writes Robert Cohen in his blog on 1st November 2015.


Lawyers comment on the new government policy against BDS

Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights (LPHR) has published a short blog providing their initial view on the government’s plans to introduce rules to stop local councils from taking boycott or divestment initiatives in relation to Israel.


Support for Palestinian struggle from the ANC

South Africa’s ruling party, the ANC, has concluded its National General Council (NGC) and adopted strong recommendations on Palestine solidarity, including a strengthening of previous resolutions on the isolation of Israel and Israeli-linked companies.


New government policy to stop BDS

British Conservative ministers have announced a new policy to block local councils from choosing to boycott or divest from companies complicit in the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine. Aides said that the new policy, to be detailed in an amendment to procurement policy guidance, is a response to “militant actions of leftwing councils”.


Veolia’s leaving Israel

From the Palestine Solidarity Campaign:


Veolia has just announced that it is completely pulling out of its contracts with Israeli apartheid! This is a huge victory for solidarity with Palestine and the BDS movement and sends a clear message to other companies – doing business with Israel risks your reputation and profit.

“Olympics without Apartheid!” campaign

The Palestinian-based BDS movement and Brazilian civil society have  launched the ‘Olympics without Apartheid’ campaign, with just one year to the start of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.


BDS 10 years on


With the 10th anniversary of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, the international drive to isolate Israel has been capturing world headlines and causing concern in political circles in Israel.


G4S grilled over Palestine at its AGM


Palestine Solidarity Campaign joined with other groups at the G4S annual general meeting on 4th June to interrogate the security company over its contracts with the Israel Prison Service and MoD.


Israel panic over FIFA suspension

The campaign to suspend Israel from FIFA suffered a setback this week, when the Palestinian Football Association backed down under pressure, and did not submit the motion to suspend FIFA to a vote. The decision to drop the suspension was disappointing, but it doesn’t mean it’s game over for this campaign, with unprecedented levels of support for suspension of Israel from FIFA.


More US Churches consider divesting from Israeli occupation

Israel’s high court recently upheld a law making boycotts of Israeli businesses a civil crime. Within weeks, US Congress introduced a trade measure to “discourage politically motivated actions to boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel”. Now the Illinois state legislature has voted to withdraw state funds from companies boycotting Israel.


Brazil cancels $2 billion contract with Israeli security firm for 2016 Olympics

Brazil’s government has excluded an Israeli “security” company from working at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro following a campaign by Palestine solidarity activists.


Call for Australian boycott of settlement goods

“Illegal settlements are unilateral Israeli land-grabs that now control nearly half of the Palestinian West Bank,”
So said Rev Gregor Henderson of the Uniting Church of Australia, co-convener of the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Network.


Veolia pulls out of Israel

Palestinian civil society activists have heralded the decision by French corporate giant Veolia to sell off nearly all of its business activity in Israel as a huge victory for the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The sale follows a worldwide campaign against the company’s role in illegal Israeli settlements that cost the firm billions of dollars of lost contracts.


Related sections and articles:

BDS Overview

What is Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, and does it help?

Read more

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