Italian PM in Knesset: BDS is “futile and stupid”

During his visit to Israel, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi gave a speech to the Knesset in which he stressed the relationship and friendship between Italy and Israel, affirming that “Italy will always be in the front line against all forms of boycott, which are futile and stupid “.

In protest, BDS Italia movement said that Renzi’s statement demonstrates his “utter lack of knowledge of the movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) launched in July 2005 by a broad coalition of Palestinian civil society as a necessary and moral response to the failure of international institutions to halt Israel’s continuing violations of international law.” [1]

Statement by BDS Italia said that Israel, for decades and with complete impunity, has carried out policies of occupation and colonization, appropriating Palestinian land and resources, building settlements and the Apartheid Wall, approved laws that discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel and forced half of the Palestinian population to live as refugees or in exile. [2]

A year after the operation “Protective Edge”, Israel’s third military operation bombarding the Gaza Strip in five years, which caused the death of over 2,200 people, the vast majority civilians and a quarter of them children, Israel continues to prevent the reconstruction of the 18,000 homes damaged with the illegal blockade it has imposed for eight years. [3]

“BDS serves to break the status quo in which Israel continues to violate rights with impunity, thanks to the inaction of States and institutions, and businesses, including Italian firms, continue to profit from this illegal situation,” BDS Italia said. [4 ]

“In these ten years, the BDS movement has grown steadily, garnering ever more consensus and successes. Among the endorsers of the campaign are trade unions, movements, churches, NGOs, artists and intellectuals, including Ken Loach, Naomi Klein, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd and South African Archbishop and Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu. Thanks to the work of civil society around the world, businesses, banks and pension funds have divested from the Israeli economy and complicit international companies and consumers refuse to buy Israeli products,” they added. [5]

The boycott is a recognized and time-honored non-violent means to apply pressure and withdraw support from systems of injustice, just as was the case of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. Now more than ever, the BDS campaign in Italy must be intensified in order to end complicity of Italian institutions and companies.

BDS concluded by saying that it is “futile and stupid” to continue to ignore the violations of Israel instead of taking concrete measures to ensure respect for human rights, international humanitarian law and UN resolutions and support the Palestinian call for freedom, justice and equality.

BDS Italia is a movement supporting boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, comprised of associations and groups throughout Italy, who endorse the 2005 call from Palestinian civil society and work to promote BDS campaigns and initiatives locally and nationally.

Read More: 

Italian PM: Palestinians must accept Israel as a reality

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[1] The Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) 

Endorsements in Italy:

[2] The Discriminatory Laws Database
      Palestinian refugee numbers / whereabouts

[3] Fragmented lives Humanitarian Overview 2014

Eight months after Gaza war, ‘not a single home has been rebuilt’ – UN agency

The Gaza Strip: The Humanitarian Impact of the Blockade

[4] The multi-utility ACEA SpA signed an agreement with Mekorot, Israel’s national water company,       which extracts water from Palestinians aquifers and serves the illegal Israeli settlements.

Pizzarotti SpA is building the high speed railway linking Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, which cuts through the occupied West Bank, confiscating Palestinian land for a tranportation system reserved for Israelis only.

Alenia Aermacchi sold 30 M-346 trainer jets to Israel.

In January of this year, the same Israeli pilots who razed entire neighborhoods in Gaza last summer began training with the “Made in Italy” aircraft.

[5] The key successes of the BDS movement