Zionism - Israeli Flag

The (anti) Zionism (anti) Israel boycotts

home  Web definitions about issues history  photo gallery documents  links personalities antizionism contact

Introduction - A brief history of anti-Zionist and anti-Israel boycotts

Compiled by Andre Oboler and Ami Isseroff

The current anti-Israel boycott campaigns attempt to revive the Arab League boycott of Israel which was enforced beginning after the Israeli War of independence until courageous US action put a stop to it in the 70s. Most Arab countries still ban Israeli products, but European and Japanese countries are no longer afraid to do business. with Israel

There are presently  two major initiatives, begun since 2000 and advanced by various groups. Divestment is an attempt to get large institutions to drop their investments in firms that do business with Israel, or firms whose products are supposedly used "in the occupation." In fact, any product that is sold to Israel for any purpose may be used anywhere, including the occupied territories. Therefore, the divestment campaign is an attempt to enforce a trade embargo against Israel. Thus far the Presbyterian Church of the USA has taken up this initiative and others are considering it. The second initiative is an academic boycott. This is particularly unfair since it would hurt Israeli academics whose work has nothing to do with the occupation, and scholars who have spoken out against the occupation, and because the boycott was adopted in a rather undemocratic way.

The boycott activities are undoubtedly fueled in part by anti-Semitism, and, they may also help generate more racist sentiment.

Other Sources


Title: Away with him.

The long arm of the Ministry of Education pulls a Jewish teacher from his classroom.

March 1933 (Issue #12) Caricatures from "Der Sturmer"

Source: German Propaganda Archive

The British Academic Boycott of Israel

The merged British academic union, the UCU and the boycott

At the first meeting of the new union, the UCU (a result of the previous union the AUT and NATFHE merging) the boycott was back on the table. A motion was passed expressign support for a boycott and urging academic to consider the "moral implications" of working with Israeli academics. As one student asked when a motion against the UCU policy was passed without opposition at a student union, "Why now? What are the Israeli Universities supposed to have done now?" The answer if ofcourse nothing. The boycott is back not in response to anything immediate, but because it is that time of year and campaign against Israel is unrelenting. Were Israel and the Palestinian authority about to sign a peace deal that would create a two state solution, the boycott proponents would still be pushing their motion a nd claiming only one state is acceptable. The only solution is for union members to put these people in their place. They may be entitled to their opinion, but they are entitled to persue their own agendas when supposedly representing their members. But that is for the UCU membership to tell them.

Details on the UCU boycott support motion (2007) can be seen at our Anti-Israel Academic Boycott Resource Centre

The NATFHE Boycott of Israeli Universities

Following the AUT overturning their boycott, a year later the other lecturers union started a boycott. This was pure symbolism as any policy passed would fall within a month as the two union (NATFHE and AUT) merged.

For more about the NATFHE Boycott please see our Anti-Israel Academic Boycott Resource Centre

The AUT Israel Boycott

The British Association of University Teachers (AUT) recently voted to boycott Haifa and Bar-Ilan Universities because of alleged human rights and academic freedoms violations. The AUT vote was based on allegations that Ilan Pappe was threatened with expulsion from Haifa University because of his defense of a thesis by his student, Teddy Katz. However, Haifa University has not moved to expel Pappe, and took no action at all regarding the thesis, which was the subject of a court dispute.

Thus far, the AUT Israel Boycott seems to have generated a great backlash from numerous organizations, including those who are passionate defenders of the Palestinian cause.

Note - the boycott was rescinded May 26 - we may not have heard the last of this... 

For more about the AUT Israel Boycott please see our AUT Israel Boycott resources pages


Divestment Initiatives

The following summary is from

Progressive Jewish Perspectives on Divestment from Israel: Updated April 17, 2005

by Chicago Peace Now President Gidon D. Remba
Israel Zionism and the Church
Commentary by Prof Paul C Merkely, August 17th 2005

Remarks to the Chicago Presbytery Assembly on
Divestment and Palestinian-Israeli Peace

Gidon D. Remba, April 12, 2005

Americans for Peace Now Statement on Divestment

Americans for Peace Now strongly opposes one sided actions and statements, including divestment, that appear to solely blame Israel for the current conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. These types of initiatives are morally and historically inappropriate and destructive to reconciliation between the Jewish state of Israel and Palestinian statehood. The process of providing Israel with security and the Palestinians with self-determination should be the primary focus of all those who are concerned about the conflict.


Rabbis for Human Rights
Bad Waters: An Open Letter From Rabbis For Human Rights to the Presbyterian Church USA

Rabbis for Human Rights is the rabbinic voice of conscience in Israel, giving voice to the Jewish tradition of human rights. It promotes justice and freedom, while campaigning against discrimination and inhumane conduct.

Meretz USA Condemns Divestment
Letter protests action of General Assembly of Presbyterian Church (USA) to consider disinvestment from companies doing business with Israel

Meretz USA: for Israeli Civil Rights and Peace works to support full and genuine peace between the State of Israel and its neighbors in the Middle East, including the Palestinian people. The agency supports full civil and human rights for all who live in the State of Israel, as well as the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights, regardless of in whose political authority they dwell. The Meretz-Yahad Party in Israel is headed by Yossi Beilin, the lead negotiator on the Israeli side for the Geneva Initiative, the unofficial model peace treaty drafted by a group of leading Palestinians and Israelis.

Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, The Shefa Fund
Divestment from Israel: Is It An Effective Strategy?
The Shefa fund is a "significant funder of Israeli peace organizations."

Brit Tzedek V'Shalom/The Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace Statement on Divestment

Brit Tzedek v'Shalom believes that American Jews have an important role to play in influencing U.S. foreign policy with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Our work is to mobilize our community in support of a negotiated two-state solution, because we believe that the support of American Jews is essential for movement towards a just peace. Divestment campaigns from corporations doing business with Israel alienate many Jews and divert focus and energy from the shared goals of the Israeli-Palestinian peace movement.

Brit Tzedek v'Shalom believes that there are many ways to support the Palestinian people that contribute positively to the goal of a negotiated solution to the conflict. We support investment in economic support and development projects that have the potential to bring people together rather than driving them apart. Donating to organizations that invest in Palestinian businesses, loan money to development banks involved in micro-lending, help rebuild the infrastructure of the West Bank, invest in promoting dialogue and understanding or provide humanitarian relief for victims of violence are a few examples of how individuals, corporations, organizations and the United States government can support the Palestinian people and activists for a just peace.

Labor Zionist Alliance Opposes Divestment

The Labor Zionist Alliance works for peace, economic justice and pluralism in Israel and America through a variety of programs and activities and is affiliated with the Labor Party in Israel.

Statement Against Divestment from a Group of Progressive Jews in Somerville Mass

Let's Work Together for Middle East Peace, Somerville Journal


Additional Jewish Perspectives on Divestment

Joint Statement to Protestant Churches on Potential Economic Sanctions against Israel from Five Major Jewish Organizations:
The American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the Union for Reform Judaism, and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism

United Jewish Communities Opposes Presbyterian Church USA Moves on Divestment: Resolution Unanimously Passes

Presbyterians Against Israel Chicago Jewish News, January 28, 2005

More About Zionism and Israel

Please tell us about your favorite links and we will review them for inclusion.

Copying - Please do copy these pages, and especially these links to your Web site,  giving credit to Zionism on the Web  www.zionismontheweb.org

 Thank you.

Please link to our Sister Web sites - at  http://www.zionism-israel.com   Information about Israel and Zionism

and http://www.zionism.netfirms.com The Zionism Pages

Wikipedia article about Zionism - A comprehensive article including the history of Zionism  as well as links to specific topics and articles about anti-Zionism.

Zionism - Table of contents at the Jewish Virtual Library

Zionism article at Infoplease

Zionism - Definition and Brief History - A balanced article that covers the definitions and history of Zionism as well as opposition to Zionism and criticisms by Arabs,  Jewish anti-Zionists.

Labor Zionism - Early History and Critique - Contribution of Labor Zionism to the creation of the Jewish state, and problems of Labor Zionism in a changing reality.

The US Library of congress has a comprehensive and balanced set of articles about Zionism:

Zionist Precursors - US Library of Congress

Political Zionism - US Library of Congress

Cultural Zionism - US Library of Congress

Labor Zionism - US Library of Congress

Revisionist Zionism - US Library of Congress

Essential Texts of Zionism

Jewish Agency Zionism pages - Links to basic information about Zionism from the Jewish Agency

Ambassador Herzog explains Zionism in the UN


Active Zionism - A Zionist advocacy site with many useful links

Realistic Religious Zionism - moderate religious Zionist Web site


Zionism On The Web Directory

Learn more about this site at our main page. Comment and add your thoughts to our forums. See our special section on the British Academic Boycotts of Israel. Learn more at our Zionism Commentary collection. Extend your learning through out collection of links or at our links directory