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Evoking memories of the South African apartheid regime’s massacre of peaceful protesters in Sharpeville in 1960,  Israel’s military committed a new massacre against Palestinian civilians as they were peacefully calling for an end to Israel’s brutal blockade of Gaza and asserting the UN-stipulated right of return for Palestinian refugees. The Palestinian BDS National Committee, the largest coalition in Palestinian society and the leadership of the global BDS movement, calls for effective accountability measures against Israel, particularly a two-way military embargo, as was imposed against apartheid South Africa.

Activists call for boycotting Israel. (Photo via BDSMovement.net)

On Monday the Central Council of the PLO, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, officially announced its support for the BDS movement and called, for the first time, on the international community to “impose sanctions on Israel” to end its ongoing, grave violations of Palestinian rights as stipulated by international law. This marks the most explicit and official adoption of the BDS movement by the PLO. 

Today, the overwhelming majority of the world’s nations at the UN General Assembly voted 128-9 in favor of a resolution calling on the United States to overturn its decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Omar Barghouti, speaking on behalf of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), responded by saying: “This vote is further proof that the far-right Israeli-Trump alliance is more isolated than ever as the overwhelming majority of nations are finally recognizing its fatal attempt to undermine both Palestinian rights and the very rule of international law. Holding Israel accountable for its egregious, decades-old human rights violations is crucial to upholding both.”

The BDS Gulf conference, which was welcomed by the speaker of the Kuwaiti parliament and attended by a number of parliamentarians from several GCC countries, called for the adoption of national laws and regulations that would require private entities and public institutions alike to exclude companies complicit in Israel’s regime of occupation, colonialism and apartheid from bids and contracts.

The UN is sending letters to 150 companies around the world warning them that they could be added to a database of complicit companies doing business in illegal Israeli settlements. U.S. companies that received letters include Caterpillar, Priceline.com, TripAdvisor, and Airbnb. Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the BDS movement, says, “this UN database of companies that are complicit in some of Israel’s human rights violations may augur the beginning of the end of Israel’s criminal impunity.”