BDS roundup: The victories of 2012

2012: A year of BDS successes

electronic intifada

Worldwide: From Glasgow to Cairo, Jerusalem to Olympia, activists tirelessly campaigned on behalf of the Palestinian-led BDS movement to hold Israel accountable for its ongoing human rights violations.

Here’s a look back at The Electronic Intifada’s coverage of the significant BDS victories of 2012.



  • In Canada, the University of Regina’s student body adopted a BDS motion “as a means of pressuring Israel to comply with international and human rights law.”
  • US jazz vocalist Cassandra Wilson canceled her performance in Holon. She announced, “as a human rights activist, I identify with the cultural boycott of Israel.”
  • Israeli cosmetics company Ahava — which pillages resources from the Dead Sea in the occupied West Bank, and produces the cosmetics in an illegal settlement colony while labeling them as “made in Israel” — was de-shelved across Japan. DaitoCrea, the Japanese distributor for Ahava’s cosmetics line, announced that they would immediately stop carrying Ahava products because of that company’s fraudulent labeling policy.


  • Global water justice organization Blue Planet officially endorsed BDS, condemned Israel’s water discrimination and inaccessibility policies against Palestinians.
  • M.E.Ch.A., the largest association of Latin@ youth in the US, voted overwhelmingly to endorse the Palestinian call for BDS (Latin@ is a gender neutral term for Latino and Latina.) The announcement came on 30 March, which is both Palestinian Land Day — commemorating Israel’s murder, injury and mass arrest of Palestinians protesting land confiscation in 1976 — and César Chávez Day, commemorating the Chicano civil rights leader who led boycotts and strikes for the rights of farmworkers.


  • The second Mediterranean Delight International Belly Dance Festival, which was to be held in Marrakech, was canceled due to apparent intervention by Moroccan authorities, who were pressured by Palestine solidarity groups across Morocco’s religious and cultural spectrum. Additionally, the Belly Dance Festival was partly sponsored by the Israeli business Sea of Spa, which has ties to Ahava.
  • UK supermarket chain The Co-op decided to expand its boycott of goods produced in Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land into a complete boycott of Israeli companies that source any goods in settlements.


  • Columbia professor Katherine Franke joined the academic boycott of Israel and announced that she would not speak at the Equality Forum because Israel was selected as the conference’s “featured nation,” and because Israeli ambassador Michael Oren was picked to be the keynote speaker.
  • The international Quaker Friends Fiduciary Corporation announced that it would divest $900,000 worth of shares from Caterpillar, the corporation which sells bulldozers to the Israeli military that are used to demolish Palestinian homes, land and property. Caterpillar bulldozers have also killed Palestinians and internationals such as US activist Rachel Corrie in 2003, who attempted to defend a Palestinian family’s home in Rafah, Gaza, from imminent demolition.





  • The Quaker Friends Fiduciary Corporation (FFC), which handles investments for more than 300 Quaker meetings, schools, organizations, trusts, and endowments around the US, announced that it divested $390,000 from Hewlett-Packard and Veolia Environment.
  • After sustained media attention and pressure from BDS activists, several Danish charities and a bank decided to end security service contracts with the British-Danish security company G4S for the company’s role in Israel’s occupation.


  • Iraqi MC The Narcicyst (Yassin Alsalman) also pulled out of the Creative Time Summit in Dubai, adding: “My decision is based only my support of Palestine and its people, our people, my people. As an Iraqi, I wish people took the same stand for all injustices.”



  • In Toronto, Canada, the York University Graduate Students’ Association voted in favor of a resolution to support BDS, and urged the university to divest from companies which profit from Israel’s “human rights violations, war crimes and oppression.”

More BDS successes and activism can be found on this excellent, comprehensive list compiled by Don’t Play Apartheid Israel, which we encourage our readers to check out.

2012 was a year of significant growth of the Palestinian-led boycott movement. 2013 will surely and steadily build upon these victories worldwide.

Please keep us informed of your BDS actions by emailing us at

Source: BDS roundup: The victories of 2012