It has never been clearer that the status quo in Israel/Palestine is unacceptable. In the wake of the 2014 assault on Gaza, the election of the most right-wing government in Israeli history, the collapse of peace talks, and a clear rejection of a potential Palestinian state by Prime Minister Netanyahu, little hope is left that Israel will change on its own.
Words of criticism are not enough—concrete consequences are necessary to end the continuing human rights violations, systemic oppression, and inequality that Israel imposes on Palestinians. As American Jews whose values demand our support for justice, even when it means confronting our own community, we implore those who stand on the side of freedom and equality to join us in embracing and encouraging all forms of nonviolent pressure on Israel. It is way past time.
The power of the global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement has grown significantly in the last year, lending hope to the idea that people of conscience, mobilizing around the world, can bring pressure to bear on the Israeli government to comply with international law and human rights norms.
In 2005, Palestinian civil society groups issued a call for global civil society to use the tactics of boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel. The call states:
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