Inspired by the struggle of South Africans against apartheid and the solidarity of the international community in the form of boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaigns, Palestinian civil society organizations have called on the world to say no to Israeli apartheid.
On July 9, 2005, one year after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) declared Israel’s apartheid wall illegal, Palestinian civil society organizations called upon international civil society and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel, similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era, until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people's right to self-determination and fully complies with international law. The call for BDS has been endorsed by over 170 Palestinian parties, organizations, trade unions, and movements representing Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, and Palestinian refugees in the diaspora.
Through decades of occupation, colonization, ethnic cleansing, and racial discrimination, Israel has denied Palestinians their fundamental rights for freedom, equality and self-determination. Despite repeated condemnation of Israel’s policies by the United Nations, countless human rights organizations, and governments, Israel continues its war crimes and apartheid system with impunity. BDS is the most effective non-violent and morally consistent means for achieving justice and genuine peace in the region through concerted international pressure. Like the global movement against apartheid in South Africa, the BDS movement takes as its task the organization of grassroots efforts to pressure institutions to hold Israel accountable.