Thursday, July 9, 2009

Why Does July 9th Matter?

Today is a very important anniversary for our movement. Five years ago today, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued an advisory opinion ruling Israel's apartheid wall illegal. Four years ago today, myriad Palestinian civil society groups issued the Palestinian Unified Call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions. Join us, as we celebrate these important anniversaries, click here to learn more about how you can get involved. The Palestinian Unified Call was a direct response to the ICJ's ruling. After years of cooperation with South African anti-apartheid activists Palestinian civil society decided that the most relevent solidarity action that it could call for was economically, culturally and academically isolating Israel until they ended their military occupation and apartheid practices targeting Palestinians. For four years, the US Campaign has focused on the economic isolation component by focusing on two U.S. corporations directly profiting from Israel's violations of international law, Caterpillar and Motorola. The popularity of boycott and divestment campaigns has grown tremendously in the past four years, and especially since "Operation Cast Lead." Consumer boycott is growing with campaigns like Stolen Beauty, and Don't Buy Into Apartheid. Other aspects of the global boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement have also developed since the 2005 Palestinian Unified Call. Cultural boycotts, from the Yes Men withdrawing from Israeli film festivals to protests at Israeli performances in the United States, are becoming increasingly popular. Even the hotly debated idea of academic boycott is advancing with the growth of the new group US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. In light of the explosion of new boycott and divestment work happening around us, we will be devoting a major part of our upcoming organizers' conference to revisiting the scope of our boycott and divestment work. Join us in honoring July 9th, and become part of the conversation by joining us at our conference in September!