Historic TUC vote on
boycott, divestment and
sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel continues to gather momentum
after receiving a historic vote of support from the British trade union
17 September, in a landmark move, the British Trade Union movement voted to
support Palestinian civil society’s BDS call.
motion was passed at the annual Trade Union Congress by unions
representing 6.5 million workers in the UK support BDS tactics against
Israel until it complies with international law.
Yasmin Khan, senior campaigns officer at War on Want, said: "Over the last
60 years Israel has continuously acted in defiance of UN resolutions,
international law and global outrage. Yet the international community has
failed to act to stop Israel's crimes against the Palestinian people.
Instead the British government amongst others has rewarded Israeli
aggression with financial, military and diplomatic support. "The trade
union movement has taken a courageous decision today to stand up against
this injustice, just like it stood up to racist South Africa in the
"This is a wake up call to Downing Street that there can be no more
business as usual with Israel. A ban on trade with illegal settlements and
a two-way arms embargo with Israel must be implemented immediately."
Boycott, divestment and sanctions were widely used in the anti-apartheid
movement. Palestinian civil society in 2005 launched its call for boycott,
divestment and sanctions against Israel, with the initial endorsement of
over 170 Palestinian organisations including War on Want’s partners Stop
the Wall. War on Want works closely with the Palestinian Boycott National
Committee and has supported the BDS call since its inception.
War on Want will be speaking at a
UK national gathering on BDS on 2-4 October in Northumberland.
What is boycott, divestment and sanctions?
can be consumer, sporting, cultural and academic. The primary target in
the UK has been the boycott of consumer goods produced in Israel. With a
particular focus on fresh produce grown in Israel's illegal West Bank
settlements. British supermarkets such as Tesco and Sainsbury's continue
to sell settlement produce, despite doubts over the legal status of these
means targeting corporations which are complicit in the occupation and
ensuring universities, pensions or other public money is not invested in
such companies. War on Want in 2006 published its groundbreaking report
Profiting from the Occupation, which called for
divestment from companies profiting from the illegal occupation of
are also an essential part of demonstrating disapproval for a country's
War on Want is currently demanding the UK government impose the
sanction of an arms embargo with Israel and suspend the EU-Israel
Association Agreement, which gives Israel preferential trade access to