Ramadan Israeli Occupation Date Boycott Talking Points

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May 21, 2015
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Why Palestine?

• As Muslims we are directed to fight injustice wherever we see it.

• All causes are important.

• But Muslims have a special obligation to Palestine because it is part of our faith.

• Allah swt made it so when he took our Prophet (pbuh) on the night journey from Makkah to the farthest mosque, Al Aqsa. Sura 17:1.

• The covenant Allah swt made with Ibrahim was based on Taqwa, not bloodlines. 

• “He said, ‘I have appointed you a leader of all mankind.’ Abraham asked, ‘And of my descendants?’ He answered, ‘My covenant does not extend to the transgressors (those who do not submit to the Oneness of God).” Sura 2:124.

• This means that the covenant is for all those who follow the path of Ibrahim and Muhammad (May Allah be pleased with them), based on the belief in One God. 

• When Muhammad (pbuh) led all the prophets in prayer at Al Aqsa, he inherited all the previous covenant and Palestine became the home of all who had the belief in the Oneness of God. 

• Al Aqsa mosque is the third holiest place in Islam and a prayer offered there is worth 500 prayers. 

Why BDS?

• The boycott, divestment and sanctions movement began in 2005 when 170 Palestinian civic, labor and academic organizations put out a global call to use BDS as a peaceful means to achieve justice. 

• So we are boycotting Israeli products in response to a call from Palestinians themselves. 

• BDS is necessary in the absences of political, diplomatic and financial pressure on Israel to get it to abide by international law. 

• BDS’ goals include the end of the occupation of Arab lands; the right of return of Palestinian refugees and equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel. 

Does BDS work?

• Yes. While it is just picking up steam in the United States, BDS has been quite successful in Europe and other countries such as South Africa and Australia.

• In 2011, Agrexco, Israel’s largest agricultural exporter filed for liquidation because of BDS pressure.

• In 2013, Israeli settlement farmers lost 14 percent of revenue from exports, or $29 million, because of BDS in Europe, their biggest trade partner, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

• After heavy international pressure, carbonate beverage machine maker Soda Stream was forced to close its factor in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. 

• In 2010, an Israeli policy and defense think tank, The Reut Institute, declared BDS was an “existential threat to Israel.”

• The fact the Zionist lobby in the US is pushing anti-BDS bills in Congress and state legislatures is proof BDS is working and they are trying hard to stop the momentum.

• The Presbyterian Church, Quakers, United Methodist have all passed some sort of divestment or boycott measure and the United Church of Christ will be voting on these issues this summer. 

• Global conglomerates such as Veolia and G4S, which profit from the occupation, have lost billion of dollars in contracts worldwide over the past few years. 

• As pressure mounts, companies will start to distance themselves from Israel, which in turn will force Israel to abandon policies that maintain the occupation and that violate international law and human rights. 

Isn’t BDS anti-Semitic as well as bad for Palestinians?

• BDS is a tool to force political change.

• BDS does not target individuals but rather institutions and companies that profit from or help maintain the occupation and oppression of Palestinians.

• BDS is a political action, not a religious one.

• Many Jewish groups such as Jewish Voice for Peace, Jews for Justice in Palestine and the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network support BDS.

• BDS is considered political speech and is protected by the First Amendment.

• Palestinians are willing to suffer job loss in the short term to try to bring an end to the occupation.

• It was Palestinians themselves who called for BDS.

• Every single labor union in Palestine has joined the call for BDS.

• If the occupation and settlements did not exist, Palestinians themselves would be benefiting from the export of dates from their own farms, which have been stolen by Israeli settlers. 

BDS and your tax money

• Israel is the largest recipient of US foreign aid, receiving $121 billion since 1949, in non-inflation-adjusted dollars.

• The US gives Israel $3.1 billion per year in Foreign Military Assistance Funds.

• In addition, Israel receives grants from other government agencies; receives millions of dollars for the Iron Dome missile defense system; loan guarantees and free or reduced-cost weaponry. Some estimates rise as high as $15 billion per year. 

• Americans have to pay taxes. BDS is one way to ameliorate the impact of our tax money, which directly supports and maintains the occupation. 

About AMP’s Ramadan Date Boycott

AMP initiated the first-ever nationwide boycott of dates produced in settlements during Ramadan 2012. In coalition with our chapters in New York, New Jersey, Detroit, Minnesota, Chicago and Sacramento, as well as partners in Washington DC and Philadelphia, AMP answered the 2005 Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions by urging grocery store owners to remove Israeli dates from their shelves.

More than 100 stores joined the boycott in 2012. That number continues to grow.  

Last year, AMP distributed 20,000 postcards with the brands to boycott nationwide and our social media campaign reached 1.6 million in one hour. 

Please join us this Ramadan by pledging to boycott Israeli dates.

For more information:

Date Boycott – www.ampalestine.org/justicedates
BDS movement – www.bdsmovement.net