The Boycott Israel movement http://www.bdsmovement.net/ plans to launch a smartphone application soon that will allow users to boycott Israeli products if they wish to, in support of the campaign for Palestinian rights.
- It will allow “The average Joe to dynamically and quickly identify products that fall within the BDS boycott guidelines,” said Abbas Naqvi, the Founder of PennBDS.
The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement is all set to launch a beta version of a smartphone application, which will draw upon a comprehensive database of warehousing product names and descriptions. The application is equipped with a Barcode scanner and the users can scan products to check if they fall within the BDS’ boycott guideline.
The application in the final stages of development, but available for download in near future and will take the campaign, “promoting freedom and justice in Palestine, to the next level”, added the Founder.
BDS is a self-proclaimed movement for Palestinian rights that:
- Target products and companies (Israeli and international) that profit from the violation of Palestinian rights, as well as Israeli sporting, cultural and academic institutions.”
Their website accuses Israel of denying Palestinians:
- Their fundamental rights of freedom, equality and self-determination through ethnic cleansing, colonisation, racial discrimination and military occupation”.
The group was in news recently when it demanded that Oxfam drop Scarlett Johansson, the Hollywood actress, as an ambassador for her endorsement of SodaStream, an Israeli based company operating in the West Bank.
- A refusal to part ways with Johansson will tarnish the charity’s credibility among Palestinians and many people of conscience around the world,” said the BDS in a statement.
Their cause has support from notable and prominent figures such as Stephen Hawking, who canceled his trip to Israel to express solidarity with the Palestinians. Stevie Wonder also canceled a concert for the Israeli organization, Friends of IDF.
Support has also poured in from the Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu who criticized Israeli policies towards Palestinians as “humiliating.”
- I have witnessed the systemic humiliation of Palestinian men, women and children by members of the Israeli security forces,” said the civil rights leader.
- Their humiliation is familiar to all black South Africans who were corralled and harassed and insulted and assaulted by the security forces of the apartheid government,” the Nobel laureate commented.
The group has also forced many companies, mostly belonging to the European Union, to limit their exposure to Israeli investments.
Recently, a Dutch pension fund, PGGM, wound up investments in five Israeli banks. Likewise, Deutsche Bank and Danske Bank have placed Israel’s bank Hapoalim on a list of ethically questionable companies.
The growing influence of the BDS globally has forced the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, to acknowledge them.
The Israeli prime minister brands the campaign as “anti-Semitism in a modern guise.”
- I think that it is important that the boycotters be exposed for what they are, they are classical anti-Semites in modern garb,” Netanyahu said.
The peace talks between Israel and Palestine were thrown out of gear when the Israeli prime minister asked the Palestinian Prime Minister, Mahmud Abbas, to “abandon fantasy” and recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
This has met with sharp criticisms from the US President, Barrack Obama, who said Netanyahu needs to articulate an alternative approach, if a peace deal with the Palestinians is not the right thing according to Israel.