Boycott needed to force Israel to end occupation in Palestine

The boycott of Israeli products and companies supporting Israel is a peaceful way of putting international pressure on Israel which is following a policy of apartheid.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Supporters of Palestine around the world are promoting a BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement to force Israel to end the occupation of Palestinian land and stop apartheid practices against Palestinians.

These backers of the BDS movement include Palestines supporters in European countries and the United States.

The boycott of Israeli products and companies supporting Israel is a peaceful way of putting international pressure on Israel which is following a policy of apartheid.

The BDS action follows in the footsteps of the successful boycott against South African apartheid.

The most common Israeli exports include fresh fruit and vegetables such as Jaffa citrus fruits and Israeli Medjoul Dates, Ahava cosmetics, SodaStream drinks machines, and Eden Springs bottled water.

In an international conference in Jakarta, a leading Palestinian human rights activist has urged member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to boycott Israeli products to end the occupation, which has led to prolonged suffering of the Palestinian people.

The OIC member states should issue a business contract regulation that ensures that vendors are "clean" when it comes to dealing with occupation businesses, and the products being offered are not from illegal Israeli settlements, Shawan Jabarin, the general director of Al-Haq Law in the Service of Man, an independent human rights organization in Palestine, stated in Jakarta on December 14, 2015.

"Indonesia, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and other countries should issue domestic laws on this issue. Every country must cooperate with the International Criminal Court to impose firm sanctions," he noted.

Since the illegal annexation of East Jerusalem by Israel in 1967, the Israeli Zionist regime has tightened its grip on Jerusalem, carried out ethnic cleansing and evicted Palestinians from the city by force, he pointed out.

Illegal eviction, demolition of homes and expansion of occupation in Jerusalem are daily realities faced by Palestinians under the illegal occupation of Israel.

A total of 120,000 Palestinians had lost their right (in the form of permission) to return to the West Bank between 1967 to 1989. Thousands of people in Jerusalem also lost their residency cards.

New policies had also been developed recently, he said. Israeli authorities were now targeting children. In October and November alone, 700 children, some as young as seven years old, were detained without charge, he said.

It is time for states to sever cooperation with Israel, ban settlement products and implement sanctions. Without those and other similar actions, the situation would remain the same or worsen, Jabarin stated while speaking at a two-day international conference on Jerusalem, themed "Addressing the present and shaping the future of Jerusalem," also known as Al-Quds Al-Sharif, held in Jakarta.

The recent violence that culminated since October 2015 has left at least 118 Palestinians, mostly teenagers, including unarmed school girls, dead, all at the hands of Israeli military and settlers.

In the light of Israels systematic aggression against the Palestinian people, Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Reyad al-Maliki blamed the world for failing to provide the Palestinian people with international protection, and to hold the Israeli occupation power accountable for its violations.

"What are the world countries waiting for to intervene and stop the Israeli procedures in Jerusalem, which contradict with international law?" al-Maliki asked at the conference.

He reiterated his call for the international community to uphold its responsibility and compel Israel to abide by international law.

Meanwhile, Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Iyad Madani, said the sanctity of Jerusalems holy sites directly intertwines with stability and security in the region.

He reiterated his call for the international community to protect the Palestinian people, according to WAFA News Agency.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi has said Israel has not shown any genuine commitment towards achieving peace and continues to illegally occupy East Jerusalem, which is the capital of Palestine.

"Israel continues to commit terror attacks in the land it has occupied. This is a blatant violation of international law," the minister said in her opening address to the conference.

The Israeli occupation of Jerusalem must be stopped because it threatened international law and order, caused tensions among countries and created instability in the Middle East, she said.

The minister said Indonesia adopted a firm stand on East Jerusalem and this stand would not change. Indonesia will stick to its stand as per the Resolution of the UN General Assembly 67/19 issued on November 29, 2012.

"East Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine and thus, the UN resolution on the status quo of the historical city, which is part of the final solution to the Palestine issue, must be respected," she said.

Indonesian senior diplomat Makarim Wibisono, in his capacity as the special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, stated in the meeting that peace in Palestine must begin with respect for human rights.

Until East Jerusalem becomes the standing capital of an independent state of Palestine, the international community must continue to apply pressure on Israel to abide by human rights and international humanitarian law, Wibisono said.

Amid recent violence, peace had remained a distant goal, he affirmed.

"The victims are the Palestinian mothers, fathers, sons and daughters for whom there is little or no recourse to justice in the face of ongoing violations. The victims are also all Israelis and Palestinians who are kept in a perpetual state of slow-burning conflict," he stated.

To realize a viable Jerusalem, more efforts need to be undertaken as of now to better protect the human rights of Palestinians and to ensure respect for international humanitarian law, Wibisono noted.

Tensions around Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third Islamic holiest site, have been high since September 2015, as Israeli forces often met Palestinians in the compound with tear gas and stun grenades.

The Israeli attacks were aimed at preventing worshipers from performing prayers in the mosque, where the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) himself had urged Muslims to pray at Al-Aqsa.

Israel has been enforcing a unilateral temporal division at the mosque, banning Palestinians from entering the compound during specific hours, while settlers are provided with a police escort into the Islamic holy site.

The Israeli brutality has triggered strong reactions from Muslims all over the world, including in Indonesia.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest mosque in Islam after Al-Haram Mosque in Mecca and Nabawi Mosque in Madina, Saudi Arabia.

The ancient mosque is also the second mosque to be ever built on earth and the first qibla, the direction Muslims face while praying.

Director General of Multilateral Affairs of the Indonesian Foreign Ministry Hasan Kleib said the conference on Jerusalem was participated in by delegations from 25 member countries of CEIRPP and observers from 24 countries.

Participants in the opening session included OIC Assistant Secretary-General for Palestine Affairs Samir Bakr; UN Resident Coordinator in Indonesia Douglas Broderick, representative of the UN Secretary General; Assistant Secretary-General of the Arab League for Palestine and Occupied Arab Territories Dr Said Abu Ali; and Deputy Chairman of CEIRPP Desra Percaya.(*)

Comments