Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions

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BDS protest April 2017.

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) is a Palestinian-led movement promoting boycotts, divestments, and economic sanctions against Israel. Its objective is to pressure Israel to meet what the BDS movement describes as Israel's obligations under international law, defined as withdrawal from the occupied territories, removal of the separation barrier in the West Bank, full equality for Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, and "respecting, protecting, and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties". The movement is organized and coordinated by the Palestinian BDS National Committee.

BDS is modeled after the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. Its proponents compare the Palestinians' plight to that of apartheid-era black South Africans. Protests and conferences in support of the movement have been held in several countries. Its mascot, which features on its logotype, is Handala, a symbol of Palestinian identity and "right of return".

Some critics accuse the BDS movement of antisemitism, a charge the movement denies, calling it an attempt to conflate antisemitism with anti-Zionism. The Israel lobby in the United States has made opposing BDS one of its top priorities. Since 2015, the Israeli government has spent millions of dollars to promote the view that BDS is antisemitic and have it legally banned in foreign countries. BDS supporters see it as a human rights movement.

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