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Timeline: International attempts to boycott BDS

2016- present

  • 15 January 2018: Chairman of the Knesset House Committee Yoav Kish proposes a bill that prevents BDS movements from financing trips made by Members of the Knesset abroad
  • 15 January 2018: The Israeli government is looking to ‘apply Israeli law to institutions of higher learning in the West Bank’, with a draft bill that has already passed its preliminary vote in the Knesset
  • 10 January 2018: Mental health workers have described as ‘disconcerting’ the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy’s refusal to consider calls to move its next conference away from Israel, saying the body is ‘stack[ing] the deck in favour of the official Israeli view at every level’
  • 10 January 2018: The France-Palestine Solidarity Association (AFPS) and BDS-France denounce the Israeli government’s decision to include them on a list of 21 foreign NGOs whose members are banned from entry into Israel
  • 07 January 2018: Pro-Israel organisation NGO Monitor claims UNICEF is working with BDS activists to blacklist the Israeli army and list it as a body which violates children’s rights in an effort to discredit a UN report due to be published soonAttachments area
  • 07 January 2018: US-funded projects in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) are facing a grassroots backlash following President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital
  • 07 January 2017: Israel publishes a “blacklist” of 22 NGOs from Europe, the United States, South America and Africa whose activists are barred from entry
  • 28 December 2017: The Israeli government establishes a specific ‘public relations commando unit’ which would launch campaigns against pro-Palestinian projects such as the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign
  • 27 December 2017: Mental health experts have called on the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy’s to reconsider its decision to hold its 2019 international meeting in Israel because of the latter’s aggression towards Palestinians
  • 27 December 2017: Israel’s ambassador to New Zealand Itzhak Gerberg calls on singer Lorde to meet him to discuss her ‘regrettable’ decision to cancel her gig in Tel Aviv in support of BDS
  • 24 December 2017: New Zealand singer Lorde cancels show in Israel after open letter from fans who called on her to join the boycott as ‘an effective way of speaking out against these [Israeli] crimes’
  • 22 December 2017: Pop star Lorde considers cancelling her planned concert in Israel in response to calls for her to respect the Palestinian call for boycott

Pop star Lorde performing at Coachella in 2014 [Thomas Hawk/Flickr]

  • 20 December 2017: The African National Congress (ANC), South Africa’s ruling party,  resolves to downgrade the South African embassy in Israel to a liaison office
  • 13 December 2017: South Africa’s Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) officially endorses the Palestinian call for an academic boycott of Israel, and imposes a ban on ties with Israel and Israeli institutions
  • 07 December 2017: The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) files a federal lawsuit on behalf of attorney Mikkel Jordahl ‘challenging an Arizona law prohibiting state contractors from supporting boycotts against Israel, saying it violates his right to free expression’
  • 4 December 2017: More than 400 Israelis, including former attorney general Michael Ben-Yair, former director-general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry Alon Liel, former Israeli ambassador to South Africa Ilan Baruch, have signed a petition urging the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to publish a list of companies involved with West Bank settlements
  • 29 November 2017: A new draft bill sponsored by members of Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition calls for activists who promote the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) campaign to face criminal charges and jail time
  • 22 November 2017: More than 120 human rights organisations, unions, ethical tourism associations, sports and faith-based groups from over 20 countries urge premier cycling event Giro d’Italia to move its 2018 “Big Start” from Israel over the latter’s violations of international law and Palestinians’ human rights

A photo of a flyer urging the famed cycling race Giro d’Italia to relocate the start of its 2018 race from Israel

  • 22 November 2017: New Israeli legislation that “would allow anyone harmed by calls to boycott Israel to sue without proof of damages” passes its preliminary reading in the Knesset
  • 07 November 2017: US faith groups have published a statement asserting that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign is protected by the First Amendment.
  • 5 November 2017: Ron Brummer, executive director for operations of the Israeli Ministry for Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy, says that activists in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign are doing a “great job”, but warned that there “will be a price tag” for their actions
  • 5 November 2017: A new measure targeting the BDS campaign, a bill which, if ultimately passed into law, will make it easier to sue ‘people encouraging boycotts of Israel or the settlements’ by removing the need for ‘proof of damages’, receives the backing of the Ministerial Committee for Legislation
  • 02 November 2017: Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan seeks to advance a ‘Boycott Bill’ that would ‘render a body or person working to encourage the boycott of Israel eligible to be sued for 100,000 shekels [$28,500] without proof of damages – or 500,000 shekels [$142,500] with proof of damages’

Israeli Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan [Avi1111/Wikipedia]

  • 01 November 2017: US President Donald Trump’s nominee for Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the Department of Education, Kenneth Marcus, equates ‘the movement to boycott Israel with anti-Semitism’
  • 30 October 2017: Israeli authorities deny entry to a senior official at Amnesty International USA, citing ‘public security’ considerations after questioning Palestinian Raed Jarrar about Amnesty’s calls for a boycott of Israel
  • 28 October 2017: Wisconsin becomes the latest US state that prohibits ‘any entity in state government or local government from adopting a rule, ordinance, policy, or procedure that involves the entity in a boycott of Israel
  • 27 October 2017: FIFA  announces that it will “refrain from imposing any sanctions or other measures on either the Israel FA or the Palestinian FA” in an effort to remain ‘neutral’ this comes as calls for the sports body to take action against 6 Israeli teams which contravene FIFA rules by operating in occupied Palestinian territory without permission
  • 24 October 2017: Israel has secretly been using a US law firm  Sidley Austin in order to fight the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in Europe, North America, and elsewhere
  • 20 October 2017: Texas refuses aid to supporters of BDS following the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey

Homes in ruin due to Hurricane Harvey in Texas, US [Climate Central‏/Twitter]

  • 11 October 2017: Danish pension fund Sampension, excluded four companies for their ties to Israeli settlements in, and the extraction of natural resources from, the occupied Palestinian territory
  • 2 October 2017: A major Danish pension fund excludes four companies for their ties to Israeli settlements in, and the extraction of natural resources from, the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)
  • 27 September 2017: The UN sends letters to 150 companies, informing them of their potential inclusion in a database of companies doing business in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory
  • 26 September 2017: Renowned Israeli doctor and human rights activist Ruchama Marton, says BDS is ‘the only nonviolent lever that can cause Jewish-Israeli society to feel the yoke and pain of the occupation’
  • 22 September 2017: Famed cycling race Giro d’Italia has been urged to “steer clear of apartheid” by relocating the start of its 2018 race from Israel. Israel will be the first non-European country to host the start of a Grand Tour.
  • 17 September 2017: The Jerusalem Post reports that Bahrain’s King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa says he is tired of the Arab world’s boycott of Israel
  • 12 September 2017: Israeli reports that the government is to take punitive measures against the country’s branch of Amnesty International as a result of its call for BDS in a new campaign
  • 8 September 2017: British police arrested a pro-Palestinian human rights activist during protests against one of the largest arms expos being held in the London. British Palestinian, Huda Ammori, was highlighting the ongoing persecution of Palestinians by Israeli occupation forces who are selling arms used to kill and maim civilians in the besieged Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank as ‘battled tested weapons’

Image of a BDS rally in Washington, US [Elvert Barnes/Flickr]

  • 29 August 2017: Manchester University has been accused of breaching the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by refusing to share details concerning its relation with Israeli institutions
  • 29 August 2017: Israeli Diaspora Minister Naftali Bennett says the sight of Nazi flags at a rally in Charlottesville, US, as well as white supremacist slogans ‘Jews will not replace us’, were not as significant a form of anti-Semitism as the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) campaign
  • 23 August 2017: Switzerland suspends funding of a Palestinian NGO which supports the BDS movement, claiming it has links to “terrorism”
  • 30 July 2017:  The head of Mexico’s Social Encounter Party, Hugo Cervantes, condemns BDS and says of the occupied West Bank: ‘There is no territory that is more Israeli than here’
  • 28 July 2017: Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon working to introduce a set of measures to revoke tax benefits from Amnesty International’s supporters, in accordance with the Boycott Law.
  • 26 July 2017: Calls for escalating G4S boycott over its involvement in Israeli aggression on Al-Aqsa Mosque
  • 24 July 2017: Jewish Rabbi Alissa Wise is banned from entering Israel due to her work in support of Palestinian human rights and the BDS movement.
  • 21 July 2017 – The Texas Senate passed a bill to outlaw BDS efforts against Israel. No senators spoke in opposition to the bill.
  • 17 July 2017 – Israel advances law which will make its efforts to combat BDS exempt from the Freedom of Information Act thus making them a secret, as bodies working on the campaign “do not want to expose their connection with the state”.
  • 11 July 2017 – South Africa’s Council of African Independent Churches (CAIC) pledges its support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. The organisation called Israel’s activities ‘appalling’ adding that it had ‘mastered’ apartheid.
  • 7 July 2017:  The Mennonite Church USA votes overwhelmingly in support of a resolution to ‘withdrawing investments from companies that are profiting from the occupation.’
  • 7 June 2017: Amnesty International launched a new campaign calling for a ban on settlement-made products, urging the international community to ‘put an end to the multimillion dollar profits that have fuelled mass human rights violations against Palestinians’
  • June 2017 – Egged Bus Systems loses a tender worth €190 million ($216 million) to the public transport department in northern Holland after a BDS campaign against it because of its involvement in the Israeli apartheid regime.
  • 1 July 2017 – Spain officially recognises activists’ right to “promote the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns”.
  • 22 June 2017 – UK government loses bid to ban BDS
  • 16 June 2017 – Move to criminalise BDS blocked by Swiss parliament
  • 12 May 2017 – The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO), representing close to one million workers, endorsed a full boycott
  • 3 May 2017 –  Israel refuses to extend the visa of Dutch journalist Derk Walters forcing him to leave the country by July. Walters has been critical of the occupation and of Israel’s anti-BDS laws
  • 28 April 2017 – Leaked documents name Head of Israel’s anti-BDS efforts as Shai Har-Zvi, according to the Electronic Intifada.
  • 19 April 2017 – Spain’s Barcelona’s City Council passed an official declaration in support of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
  • 31 March 2017 – Nearly 1,500 attend first anti-BDS summit held by Israel in the UN
  • 29 March 2017 – Israel holds second anti-BDS summit at UN headquarters in New York
  • 20 March 2017–  Co-founder of the BDS movement Omar Barghouti is arrested by Israel for alleged tax evasions. Activists believe this to be a new way in which Israel is attacking rights campaigners.
  • 14 March 2016 – South African human rights activist, Mpho Masemola, is held for nine hours at the King Hussein Bridge between Jordan and Israel before he is sent back to Amman. He was on his way to speak at a conference on Palestinian prisoners.
  • 12 March 2017 – Former chairman of BDS Hugh Lanning denied entry into Israel
  • 10 March 2017– Arcotel Kaisserwasser cancels a talk by lawyer and consultant for the human rights group Al-Haq Salma Karmi-Ayyoub after allegations of anti-Semitism
  • 8 March 2017– Israeli activist and author Jeff Harper detained by Israeli police in the illegal Ma’aleh Adumim settlement for suspected incitement. Police said they acted on a complaint he had ‘materials related to BDS’ in his possession
  • 8 March 2017 – Swiss parliament passes a law to prevent the state financing any organisation which supports racism, anti-Semitism or BDS
  • 7 March 2017 – Israel’s parliament approved new law banning anyone found to support the BDS movement
  • 4 March 2017 – WUK, a cultural institution in Vienna, barred BDS Austria from holding an event during Israel Apartheid Week
  • 3 March 2017 – Senior officer in Britain’s National Union of Students (NUS) censured for his role in the scandal to oust NUS President Malia Bouattia
Image of NUS President Malia Bouattia [Friends of Al Aqsa/Facebook]

Image of NUS President Malia Bouattia [Friends of Al Aqsa/Facebook]

  • 24 February 2017 – Israel denies a work permit for Israel and Palestine director of Human Rights Watch, Omar Shakir, on the grounds that the organisation engaged in ‘politics in the service of Palestinian propaganda’
  • 24 January 2017 – French BDS activist appeared in court in Metz because an Israeli pharmaceutical company TEVA blames BDS for encouraging French pharmacists not to sell their medicine
  • 12 January 2017 – Israeli parliamentary committee advances a draft new law that allows the Interior Minister to ban anyone who supports BDS
  • 10 January 2017 – Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signs bills HB-5821 and 5822 to ensure that Michigan state agencies don’t enter into contracts with people unless the contract says they are not involved in a boycott with a ‘strategic partner’
  • 19 December 2016 – Ohio Governor John Kasich signed bill HB-476 to ban agents from entering into or renewing contracts with companies that don’t contractually declare they are not boycotting or disinvesting from Israel
  • 12 December 2016 – UK government announces it will formally adopt a definition of what constitutes anti-Semitism, which will include criticism of Israel.
  • 1 December 2016 – The Legislative Assembly of Ontario passed a resolution that ‘calls on the legislature to stand against any movement that promotes hate, prejudice and racism’ and reject the differential treatment of Israel by the BDS movement
  • 4 November 2016 – Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania signed HB2107 prohibiting the government of Pennsylvania from contracting with any entity that engages in BDS activity
  • 16 October 2016 – Cross-party committee of the UK House of Commons writes an open letter to President of the NUS Malia Bouattia to issue a full and formal apology to Jewish students accusing her of racism, anti-Semitism and of referring to Birmingham University as a ‘Zionist outpost’
  • 16 August 2016 – New Jersey Governor Christ Christie signs law S-1923 requiring state public worker pension funds to divest from companies that boycott Israel
  • 11 July 2016 – Israel passes the controversial ‘NGO transparency law’ which critics have said is a blow to groups who target human rights groups critical of Israeli government policy
Protestors outside John Lewis, protesting against the sales of 'Soda Stream' a product from an Illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank

Protestors outside John Lewis, protesting against the sales of ‘Soda Stream’ a product from an Illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank

  • 5 June 2016 – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issues executive order requiring state agencies to divest from organisations and companies that participate in Israeli boycotts stating: ‘If you boycott against Israel, New York will boycott you’
  • 10 May 2016 – Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signs bill SB81 preventing Alabama government entities from contracting with companies engaged in Israeli boycotts
  • 27 April 2016 – Iowa State Senate approves SF-2281 making it illegal for a public entity in Iowa to invest or enter into a contract worth over $1,000 with a company that boycotts Israel
  • 26 April 2016 – Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed bill SB-327 which prohibits the state from entering into contracts or agreements with companies involved in BDS
  • 18 March 2016 – Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed law HB-2617 which prohibits state investment in companies that participate in BDS
  • 10 March 2016 – Both Virginia House of Delegates passed identical resolutions condemning BDS as ‘inherently antiethical’ and damaging for peace, equality and human rights
  • 10 March 2016 – Florida House of Representatives passes HB-527 to create a list of companies that engage in boycotts of Israel and instructing government entities to divest from them
  • 10 March 2016 – Florida’s Governor Rick Scott signed SB-86 calling for the repeal of US customs and border protection’s requirements that West Bank products are not marked ‘Made in Israel’
  • 1 March 2016 – Indiana State Senate approves bill HB-1378 requiring mandatory state divestment from any company that participates in BDS
  • 26 February 2016 – Colorado House of Representatives passes law HB-16-284 to add all companies that participate in BDS to a list of restricted companies, sends notices to them to stop supporting BDS within 180 days and if they don’t, to divest from that company
  • 24 February 2016 – The Iowa House of Representatives votes to block the state from investing in companies that support BDS
  • 16 February 2016 – Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signs law SJR-6 states the BDS movement in Alabama is ‘harmful to the state’s relationships with Alabama’s Jewish citizens’, and unequivocally denounces and rejects BDS
  • 20 January 2016 – New York State Senate approves bill prohibiting the state and state entities from doing business with companies that support the BDS movement


  • 30 December 2015 – California-Israel Commerce Protection Act passes; it requires the State of California and all public entities to divest from companies that participate in boycotts against Israel
  • 9 December 2015 – Four activists who support BDS tried in a court in Toulouse, France, under a month-old precedent that rendered the movement illegal
  • 20 October 2015 – France’s court of appeals confirms rulings that people promoting a boycott against Israel are guilty of inciting hate or discrimination
File photo from the UK, where the supermarket giant, Tesco, is seen specifying Israeli settlements as a source for a pack of dates

File photo from the UK, where the supermarket giant, Tesco, is seen specifying Israeli settlements as a source for a pack of dates

  • 3 October 2015 – The UK Conservative party press release announces government’s intention to introduce ‘new rules to stop politically-motivated boycott and divestment campaigns by town halls against UK defence companies and against Israel’
  • 23 June 2015 – Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner becomes the first state leader to sign the first anti-BDS legislation, considered the first state-based concrete action against BDS. It targets taxpayer funded public pension funds that invest in companies that have adopted a BDS stance towards Israel
  • 22 June 2015 – New York State Assembly passes resolution denouncing BDS
  • 4 June 2015 – South Carolina’s state legislature passes legislation banning the state from entering into contracts with companies that participate in certain kinds of boycotts
  • 22 April 2015 – The Tennessee General Assembly pass a resolution condemning BDS
  • 18 July 2014 – French authorities ban pro-Palestinian groups from holding a rally in Paris planned for that coming Saturday against the war in Gaza
  • 14 April 2012 – 200 activists on a silent protest on bicycle, foot and bus, were stopped by Israeli forces near Highway 90 and asked not to continue for their own safety. Four activists sustained face and back injuries
  • 11 July 2011 – Israeli Knesset passes a law to make it a civil offence to call publicly for a boycott of the State of Israel. A 2015 ruling on the law upheld most provisions


  • 31 May 2010 – American journalist Emily Henochowicz lost her left eye after being struck by a tear gas canister whilst protesting near Qalandiya checkpoint
  • 16 May 2010 – Noam Chomsky denied entry into Israel on his way to lecture at Palestinian university Bir Zeit. Interrogators told the professor he had written things the Israeli government did not like
  • 24 April 2010 – Maltese activist Bianca Zammit shot in the thigh by Israeli forces during a demonstration in Gaza
  • 3 April 2010 – Israel bans Apple’s iPad on the grounds it is too powerful. The ban is later lifted
  • December 2009 – Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs convened the third conference of the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism, which focused efforts on fighting BDS and Palestinian activism
  • 26 September 2009 – French activists accused of taking part in a demonstration at a Carrefour shop in Illzach, near Mulhouse, calling for a boycott of Israel
  • 13 March 2009 – American demonstrator Tristan Anderson critically wounded after being shot by Israeli forces with a tear gas canister near Nil’in. In hospital he underwent brain surgery and had to have a portion of his front lobe and fragments of shattered bones removed
  • 14 December 2008 – Then UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories Richard Falk is denied entry to Israel
  • Yusuf Islam
  • 24 October 2008– Yusuf Islam uninvited to a peace conference in Tel Aviv
Yusuf Islam

Yusuf Islam

  • 23 May 2008 – Norman Finkelstein barred from entering Israel
  • May 2008 – Former US President Jimmy Carter’s request to visit Hamas in the Gaza Strip is denied
  • December 2007 – The Cour de Cassation in France officially ruled that boycotting Israeli companies in France is illegal and criminal


  • 11 August 2005 – Israeli ex-solider who killed Tom Hurndall jailed for eight years
  • 13 January 2004 – Tom Hurndall dies
  • 1 December 2003 – Stefan Christoff, member of ISM and media activist, barred from entering Israel after being deemed a ‘security threat’
  • 5 April 2003 – Israeli forces shoot ISM volunteer Brian Avery in the face, seriously disfiguring him
  • 5 April 2003 – British photography student and volunteer for ISM Tom Hurndall is shot in the head by an Israeli sniper and left clinically brain dead
  • 16 March 2003 – Rachel Corrie crushed under a bulldozer in Rafah during the Second Intifada

  • 2003 – French Lellouche law introduced which is later used to convict BDS activists. A person calling for a boycott in France can be fined up to €45,000 ($47,850) and jailed for up to a year
  • 22 November 2002 – Irish ISM volunteer shot and injured by Israeli forces in Jenin
  • 22 November 2002 – UNRWA relief project manager Iain Hook shot and killed at a protest in Jenin
  • 2 April 2002 – Australian International Solidarity Movement (ISM) volunteer Kate Edwards sustained internal injuries from rounds fired by Israeli forces at a protest in Beit Jala. Edwards later succumbed to her injuries
  • 30 December 2001 – Israeli forces prevented 300 international peace activists from entering Hebron
  • 13 January 2000 – Yusuf Islam deported from Israel for allegedly backing a militant Islamic group
  • 1990 – Yusuf Islam turned away from Israel along with his eight-year-old son
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  • Joseph Kelsall

    Just see how far zionism spreads its tacky tentacles. Senators are afraid of the consequences if they speak their mind. I have been several times to Israel and saw no sign of a democracy. I am personally boycotting anything that comes out of these home stealing parasitic cuckoos in Palestine. I will return to Palestine when apartheid finishes.