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Israel wages major bid to ward off BDS boycott campaign

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Palestinians walk past a sign painted on a wall in the West Bank biblical town of Bethlehem calling to boycott Israeli products coming from settlements, June 5, 2015. (© AFP)

As the global anti-Israel protest campaign Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement gains momentum, the Israeli regime has launched a major bid against the movement and its threat of economic sanctions targeting Israel.

Even Israeli opposition leaders recently joined the regime’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in waging diplomatic and economic war against the BDS, a growing coalition of Palestinian and international institutions and groups that Tel Aviv claims is “inherently anti-Semitic” and bent on its termination, the US-based Defense News reported Friday.

According to the report, even Israeli military firms, led by Elbit Systems, are bracing for international protests against their products, trade partners and subsidiaries as Tel Aviv struggles with its push to undermine the movement and its anti-Israeli boycott campaign.

BDS has already claimed credit for prompting Barclays Bank and Norway’s pension fund to divest from Elbit stocks as wells as cancelling a small research satellite project with an Elbit subsidiary in Brazil and for causing disruptions at three Elbit factories or subsidiary facilities in Europe.

To mark the anniversary of last summer’s Israeli military onslaught on the besieged Gaza Strip, the movement is calling for a mass protest rally on July 6 at UAV Engines, an Elbit subsidiary near the British city of Birmingham.

Nearly a dozen organizations, the report added, are promoting the upcoming protest event, which is due to begin in a bid to disrupt workers about to start their shifts.

“Groups and campaigners from across the UK are going back to Elbit’s factory to demand that the UK stop arming Israel,” said a group called Block the Factory in an advertisement on its Facebook page.

In addition to urging a military embargo on the Israeli regime, the BDS is also targeting Elbit and other contractors for providing intrusion detection systems as well as other devices used to bolster Israel’s so-called ‘security barrier’ around the West Bank.

Other firms targeted by the movement for what it describes as their support for Israel’s “apartheid wall,” include Magal Security Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries’ Tamam division and Controp Precision Technologies.

Initiated as a grassroots movement in 2005, BDS aims to use economic sanctions to end Israel’s occupation of disputed territories captured in 1967, dismantle the separation barrier raised around the West Bank including East al-Quds (Jerusalem) and promote the right of return for Palestinian refugees forced out from their native land by Israeli forces in 1948 as part of efforts to establish Israel.


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