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Practical Action for Palestinian Rights
Sunday November 27, 2005 17:12 by David L
IPSC hold Conference on Disinvestment and Boycott
About 40 people gathered in the Teacher’s Club on Saturday, November 26th to discuss the practicalities of disinvestment and boycott of Israel as a means of defending Palestinians. This is a report on that conference.
With a panel that included two speakers from Israel – Dr Ilan Pappe and Dr. Oren Ben-Dor – the discussion ranged from broad debates around the boycott to the more practical issues of how to launch and conduct a boycott and disinvestment campaign.
The case of South Africa, where civil society boycott – conducted by both Unions and NGOs - led to state sanctions was highlighted by both Terence McCaughey and Brendan Archibald of MANDATE. Brendan stressed that we need the lead of the Palestinian people in deciding what to do, and noted that over 80 Palestinian NGOs are supporting the call to boycott. There was total agreement that any action must avoid the canard of being anti-Jewish; that it is the illegal actions of the Israeli state which is being targeted.
While most were in favour – theoretically – of boycotting Israeli goods and cultural products (including an academic boycott) and of promoting financial disinvestment, some thought a general boycott was not pragmatic at this time, and that we should concentrate on certain companies which benefited from the occupation. CRH, an Irish company which owns 25% of the cement industry in Israel, and which is helping to build the Wall in the West Bank was signalled out as a company which should be targeted through a sustained disinvestment campaign. For more on CRH in indymedia:
Dr Ilan Pappé, a noted supporter of the boycott of Israeli academic institutions who has been on a speaking tour of Ireland, outlined the complicity of Israeli academia in the occupation. Israeli academia, he noted, provides a ‘cloak of respectability’ to the actions of the Israeli state, as well as very practical assistance to the occupation. Israelis now believe that they can do what they want to the Palestinians without anyone else caring; he promoted a boycott as a non-violent way of showing them this is not the case.
For more by Pappé on the academic boycott:
And for more articles by him, check out the list at
To find out more about the boycott and what’s happening, the best thing to do is to contact the Irish Palestinian Solidarity Movement who, like MacDonalds, has branches all over. You can go to their website at http://www.ipsc.ie or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org