Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Boycott Israel's Apartheid on Palestinian Lands


I went to a statewide meeting of the Maine BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) Coalition yesterday.  Folks were reporting on their efforts here in Maine around the boycott RE/MAX campaign.  Some interesting things happening.

A 2013 United Nations report exposed that the international realtor agency called RE/MAX illegally profits from the sale and rental of homes in Israeli-only settlements on occupied Palestinian Territory.  These settlements violate international law, have created a serious refugee crisis, and are an impediment to peace.  RE/MAX is now on the list of companies boycotted by advocates for human rights in the US, Europe, and beyond.

Activists in Maine have been visiting local RE/MAX realtor agencies as most of those who work there know little about these issues.  The goal has been to bring pressure on RE/MAX to get out of the business of selling stolen property.  RE/MAX provides its name, as well as training, technological resources and marketing to its franchises, and in return, it earns revenue from each home sale.

More than 600,000 Jewish settlers live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in a violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.  The settlements restrict Palestinian freedom of movement, obstructing farmers' access to their agricultural land.  Selling property in the Israeli settlements, the UN report states: "contributes to the commission of the international crime of transferring citizens of the occupying power onto occupied territory."


The Israeli government is currently making policy and legislative moves in the US, UK, Canada, France and other countries to suppress the free speech rights of citizens calling for the boycott of Israel over its human rights abuses.

Israel is now planning to significantly step up its efforts to thwart the Palestine solidarity movement, through its embassies in key capitals.


 

There are even more companies on the boycott list.  See the whole thing here

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