Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions

BDS Movement

In 2005, Palestinian civil society initiated the the global movement for a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights. BDS is a strategy that allows people of conscience around the world to play an effective role in support of the Palestinian struggle for justice.

In recent months, a series of bills and resolutions have been introduced, and in some cases passed, by Congress and state legislatures that have as their goal the suppression of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement here in the US and abroad.

Among other things, these bills would: cut off state funding to educational institutions that support the academic boycott of Israeli universities; punish foreign companies, particularly Europeans ones, that abide by BDS by divesting state holdings; and force American companies, non-profits and individuals to certify that they do not support BDS in order to be eligible for government contracts.

These efforts, which are being spearheaded by Israel lobby groups like AIPAC, follow previous attempts to use legal means to suppress BDS in the US, in particular on college campuses.

Take Action

Call NY Governor

On June 5, 2016,  NY Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an Executive Order that will create a blacklist of groups and businesses that advocate for a boycott of Israel. The New York State legislature had failed to pass anti-boycott bills largely part because of questions of constitutionality.

Call Governor Cuomo and urge his office to to REPEAL the unconstitutional Executive Order punishing support for the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) to achieve freedom for Palestinians and protest Israeli human rights abuses. Governor Cuomo: (518) 474-8390 

Contact Your Assembly Member

Contact your Assembly member today to oppose bills the penalize boycotts for human rights. Urge your state legislators to OPPOSE any legislation that curtails our freedom to boycott.

CNY Assemblymembers 
Pamela Hunter: 518-455-5383

Bill Magnarelli: 518-455-4826

Al Stripe: 518-455-4505

Write A Letter to the Editor

Write a Letter to the Editor of our local paper in response to this article about Governor Cuomo’s executive order, which will put institutions and companies that engage in BDS on a blacklist. Letters should be aprox 200 words or less and submitted to  Talking points can include: 

  • This is a McCarthyite attack on a movement for justice and human rights. 
  • Boycotts have long been a tactic to achieve social change and the movement for Palestinian freedom should not be singled out. In fact, Gov. Cuomo supported the boycott of North Carolina in response to their “bathroom” legislation.
  • This move seeks to silence the growing numbers of Americans who support BDS/economic tactics to put pressure on Israel to respect Palestinian human rights, and is part of a larger legal campaign being waged against BDS in the US.
  • Governor Cuomo should rescind this un-democratic order immediately.

Columbia law professor Katherine Franke and the late Michael Ratner of The Center for Constitutional in a recent op-ed give an excellent brief overview of the history of boycott, starting with its use in England in the late 18th century by opponents of the slave trade.  


NY Bill Would Create Blacklist of Boycott Supporters

NY Senate Passes Anti-BDS Legislation

Petition: Stop Repressive Legislation

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