Speaking with your economic buying power–an age old tactic
The BDS movement is building an economic boycott of Israel and developing effective campaigns against companies that participate in Israel’s oppression of Palestinians.
International companies aid and abet Israel’s violations of international law, including by operating in illegal Israeli settlements and acting as contractors for the Israeli military and government.
The economic boycott of Israel aims to put pressure on Israel to comply with international law and to persuade private companies to end their participation in Israel’s crimes.
Grassroots BDS campaigning is leading to major companies and investors changing their attitudes towards Israel and its oppression of Palestinians.
The Israeli economy is especially dependent on international trade and investment, making it especially susceptible to international economic boycotts.
Campaigning has led to major companies selling up and leaving Israel altogether and a range of investors divesting from Israeli and international companies.
The UN, the World Bank and other experts say that BDS is having an important economic impact on Israel.
BDS campaigning has had a serious impact on Israeli companies. Carmel Agrexco, Israel’s largest agricultural export company, entered liquidation after a huge boycott campaign against the company pushed Israeli farmers to export their products through other companies. SodaStream was forced to close its operations in an illegal Israeli settlement after BDS campaigning led to retailers taking its products off its shelves. SodaStream is still a boycott target over its role in ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the Naqab (Negev)
Experts report growing economic impact of BDS: According to the authors of a UN report, BDS was a key factor behind at 46% drop in foreign direct investment into Israel in 2014 compared to 2013. The World Bank partially attributed a 24% drop in Palestinian imports from Israel to boycott. Reports by the Israeli government and the Rand Corporation have predicted that BDS could cost the Israeli economy billions of dollars.
Does the BDS movement call for a boycott of all Israeli products or just products and companies from illegal Israeli settlements?
The BDS movement calls for a boycott of all Israeli products. However, some of our biggest campaigns are against companies that operate in illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied West Bank. This is simply because targeting these companies are, at this stage, more capable of winning widespread support and succeeding. As our movement grows, so do our ambitions and the BDS movement is currently in the process of moving away from campaigns focused mainly on illegal Israeli settlements.
Identifying Israeli Products
A barcode starting with 729 usually indicates a product of Israel. But this is not always reliable. The best way to tell if a product is made in Israel is to look for a “Product of Israel” label or to ask the retailer if they can guarantee a product isn’t from Israel.
Consumer Boycott Action List
HP plays a key role in Israel’s oppression of Palestinians. It provides technology, equipment and services to the Israeli military, including for the checkpoints and ID card system that underpin Israel’s apartheid policies and its movement restrictions for Palestinians.HP relies on its good image and its contracts with public organisations, civil society bodies and private businesses. Effective grassroots campaigning can push HP to end its role in Israeli apartheid and settler colonialism.
- Sign the international pledge to boycott HP.
- Join the more than 1.8 million people have signed a petition calling on HP to end its role in Israeli apartheid and settler colonialism.
- Retailers selling HP Products: In Canada consumer boycott focused on Best Buy and Staples, but not limited to these retailers. (see links)
- HP Free Zones: Call on student groups, faith communities, not-for-profits, institutions, other organizations, businesses, along with governments declare that they are HP Free. This could include owning no HP products, publically getting rid of HP products, or declaring will not buy any further HP products and placing “This is my last HP” sticker on all current HP products.
For Palestinians, agriculture is much more than the production of olives, citrus fruit and other fresh produce, or keeping livestock. Farming is tied to the Palestinian people’s identity, history and resistance to Israel’s colonial occupation.
- Boycott based on information provided, and by looking for Country Code 729, Made in Israel and talking with the store manager/retailer.
- Individual actions
- Support Amnesty International campaign calling Canadian government to comply with UNSC resolution 2334 through Occupation@50
- Promote alternate Palestinian products (if source).
Israeli Fruit and Vegetables, including Dates
Fruit and vegetables are one of Israel’s biggest exports and all Israeli agricultural exporters are complicit in Israel’s violations of international law as they operate on stolen Palestinian land.
As an example, approximately 60-70 products labelled “made in Israel” are available through the LCBO in Ontario. Many of these have connection with illegal occupation of Syrian Golan or Palestinian territory.
Include the word “Israel” in the LCBO search to find stores and products to take action
See Canada Palestine Association re wine boycotts here.
Sabra hummus is a joint venture between PepsiCo and the Strauss Group, an Israeli food company that provides financial support to the Israel Defense Forces.
Determine where it is sold in Canada HERE
Plan actions at Consumer Shows across Canada. Check HERE.
Air Canada sells Sabra on board its planes.
Dead Sea Salt
Check out CJPME resources here.
Ahava cosmetics is one of Israel’s best known export companies.
Find locations selling this project HERE.
Action: contact Ahava stores and head office, and the Bay.
SodaStream home drinks machines are one of Israel’s best known exports.
For stores see here.
Major retailers include Hudson Bay, Canadian Tire, Home Outfitters, Walmart, London Drugs and Bed, Bath and Beyond.
See resources from the United Church of Canada and CJPME.
The international HSBC bank is a major shareholder in companies selling weapons and military technology to Israel and also provides those companies with the loans they need to operate.
- HSBC Customers: Boycott HSBC, let HSBC know if you are withdrawing your services.
- Everyone: Head over to the War on Want website to email the head of HSBC, and tell him to end HSBC complicity in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people.
- Everyone: learn about HSBC in Canada and find locations near you. Use your own voice and creativity, along with tools to let HSBC , their customers and other know HSBC’s complicity.
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Committee of Palestinian Citizens of Israel (BDS48) call upon our Palestinian people in the homeland and the Diaspora, the peoples of the Arab world, and people of conscience worldwide to boycott and divest from Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), until it ends its involvement in Israel’s violations of our human rights, particularly in Jerusalem and the Naqab (Negev).
Inform yourself HERE.
- Future purchasers: Don’t buy Hyundai products, and let Hyundai know locally along with their Canadian head office know you will not be buying Hyundai.
- Current Owners: Let local Hyundai know that this is your last Hyundai product if you own Hyundai.
- Everyone: check out Hyundai Canada Use your own voice and creativity, along with tools to let HSBC , their customers and other know Hyundai complicity.
Boycott the Following (research by Who Profits)
CellCom, Bell Distributor in Canada: key to build campaign
Africa Israel: clothing line
Pay Pal (see UCC)
Remax (see CJPME)
Ketter (see UCC)
Aroma Espresso Cafes
Note: several of these organizations have been on leaked UN Blacklists as well. Canada has two companies expected to be on the UN list when it is available but the names have not yet been released. We expect to provide more information on Canadian companies doing business in settlements and in support of the occupation, as well as further information on other products that have been verified by Who Profits and other groups.
The following have had verification work done previously:
Mountain Equipment Company by CJPME
COSTCO by CJPME
H&M by CJPME
IBM by CJPME
IKEA by CJPME
Indigo by CJPME
Pizza Hut by CJPME
Toys’r’us see CJPME
Western Union see CJPME
The Bay see UCC
Walmart see UCC
The global nature of today’s economy means that there are thousands of companies that have links to Israel and are complicit to various degrees in Israel’s violations of international law. However, for our movement to have real impact we need our consumer boycotts to be easy to explain, have wide appeal and the potential for success. That’s why we particularly focus globally on a select few strategic campaigns. We also encourage the principle of context sensitivity, whereby activists in any given context decide what best to target and how, in line with BDS guidelines. There is a lot of information online claiming that some large companies give money to Israel, some of which turns out to be false. BDS has built a reputation for strictly adhering to established facts and producing the most accurate information.
Besides boycotting Israeli goods, what else can I do?
The BDS movement is about much more than consumer boycotts: it is also about campaigning alongside others to pressure institutions, unions, and companies to boycott or divest and to isolate Israel academically, culturally, economically and militarily. Check out the other areas of this Get Involved page for more information and ideas.
Frequent Questions and Answers
Will more items be added?
Yes. More products and organizations will be added as research is completed, and new campaigns added through the BNC, the Canadian BDS Coalition or local organizations.
What if I find a product, company or retailer that might be added to the list?
Provide details to firstname.lastname@example.org
Should i make direct contact with companies and/or retailers before taking an action?
It is always advisable to make contact with the companies and retailers. For BNC campaigns this contact has been made at global level. For those organizations listed by Who Profits, they have been directly contacted by Who Profits. Similarly organizations like CJPME and UCC have made this contact before moving forward with campaigns. As part of publishing this list the Canadian BDS Coalition has made contact with organizations at a national level (still to be done). Best practices would be for local organizations and also individuals to also make such contact related to any boycott action or locally developed campaign.
CJPME: Canadian for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
UCC: United Church of Canada
Interested in being involved locally contact email@example.com