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.
Ten years since the launch of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, 2015 was also a landmark year for BDS, as our detailed round-up of the year shows.
To all of the amazing people whose commitment and tireless efforts are making this happen: thank you. Our collective achievements inspire us, motivate us and give us hope.
Let’s continue to build our movement in support of Palestinian freedom, justice and equality.
1. We showed our movement can have a real economic impact on Israel
The authors of a UN report said that BDS was a key factor behind the 46% drop in foreign direct investment in Israel in 2014. The World Bank cited BDS as a key factor behind the 24% drop in Palestinian imports from Israel. The Israeli government and the Rand Corporation both published reports predicting that BDS will cost Israel billions of dollars.
Moody’s, a leading credit ratings agency, said “the Israeli economy could suffer should BDS gain greater traction.”
One senior Israeli businessman even complained that the growing strength of the BDS movement means that major European companies now avoid investing in Israel.
2. We won our incredible campaign against Veolia
French corporate giant Veolia sold off all of its businesses in Israel. This was a direct result of our 7-year campaign against its role in infrastructure projects for illegal Israeli settlements that cost it more than $20 billion in lost tenders and contracts. Our grassroots organising persuaded a corporate giant to completely abandon Israel!
And it’s not just Veolia: telecoms giant Orange responded to BDS pressure in France, Egypt and elsewhere by saying it will pull out of Israel by 2017. G4S has started talking about ending its contract with the Israeli prison service.
3. 1000+ artists join the cultural boycott
Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 14.19.53Prominent names like Lauryn Hill and Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth said they won’t perform in Israel, and more than 1000 artists across Ireland, the UK, the US and Belgium have said they support the cultural boycott of Israel.
– Read more: 2015: Seven Ways BDS Broke New Ground against Israeli Settler-Colonialism and Apartheid – BDSMovement.net