Opinions of Peter Belmont
Speaking Truth to Power

UN Member States should enact BDS Legislation against Israel, following Turkey’s lead

by Peter A. Belmont / 2010-08-24
© 2010 Peter Belmont


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After the Israeli atrocity against the humanitarian-aid ship Mavi Marmara, Turkey appears to be effecting BDS-like strictures against Israel. However, it is doing so at the level of foreign policy rather than legislation.

I propose that Turkey and all other UNGA Member States (or at least the large majority of them which are signatories of the Geneva Conventions) enact BDS-like legislation to ensure Israeli compliance with the Fourth Geneva Convention at least to the extent of removal of all settlers and the separation wall from all occupied territories and ending the blockade of Gaza.

How can people (“civil society”) try to turn around Israeli lawlessness? Of course we must use blogs, emails, telephone calls, etc., in the BDS program.

In addition, I believe, it makes sense to ask our national governments to adopt BDS legislation. Turkey has come close: although so far as I know it has not enacted BDS legislation, by its recent (8/2010) actions, it is almost acting as though it had enacted BDS!

We should ask all nations to do the same, and ask them to coordinate via the UNGA.

An interesting news report shows that Turkey (affronted by Israel’s attack on the humanitarian aid ship Mavi Marmara) is beginning to take BDS-like actions against Israel.

Other reports indicate that the Turks are considering prohibiting Israeli ships from docking in Turkish ports, impeding Israeli businesspeople and not to encourage Israeli tourism. Turkish officials are also contemplating filing suits against Israel with the International Court of Justice at The Hague and voting against Israel in various international forums.

“It is clear today that Erdogan only wants to worsen relations with Israel,” said yesterday top Foreign Ministry officials. “Stage by stage he is going to deteriorate them — all the way to severing relations.”

This is a very good thing.

Imagine the impact on Israel and on the USA if many (or all) UNGA Member states did similar things!

Imagine how even better it would be if these actions were coordinated and were clearly principled (to avoid the false claim of anti-Semitic motivation)!

Imagine if all these states enacted legislation which cited Israeli violations of international law, called for Israeli respect for the law, and enacted boycotts and sanctions to remain in effect until Israel had (for example) removed all settlers and the separation wall from all occupied territories and ended the cruel and lawless blockade of Gaza.

I imagine a UNGA resolution which recommends to its Member States National Legislation along these lines:


WHEREAS Israel has violated international law for 43 years and continues to do so at a steeply accelerating pace today and has been cited for such violations in the following UNGA and UNSC resolutions and the ICJ’s July 9, 2004, advisory opinion

List of UN Materials

and WHEREAS Member State has undertaken to “ensure respect for” the Fourth Geneva Convention “in all circumstances”,

and WHEREAS the UNSC has the power to compel Israel to respect the Convention but has for 43 years failed to do so and appears to be unable or unwilling to do so

NOW THEREFORE this Member State, with the purpose of fulfilling its own undertaking to ensure respect for the Fourth Geneva Convention (in the default of the UNSC to do so) enacts the following statutory provisions:

[A] Beginning immediately and continuing in force until Israel either makes a peace treaty with the PLO and thereby ends the occupation which commenced in 1967 or, in the alternative, removes all settlers from all territories occupied by Israel after the 1967 war and removes from the West Bank the separation wall—in the manner set forth in the ICJ advisory opinion of July 9, 2004—and ends the siege of Gaza

[B] this Member State imposes the following boycotts and sanctions:
Here each Member State writes its own list of Boycotts and Sanctions, perhaps chosen from the following suggestions:

[1] Member State’s ambassador to Israel is recalled
[2] Member State suspends civil aviation between Member State and Israel
[3] Member State suspends issuance of tourist or other visas to Israelis
[4] Member State suspends sports competitions between persons or teams from Member State and persons or teams from Israel (worldwide)
[5] Member State suspends visits by musical and other cultural and entertainment groups from Israel to Member State and vice-versa
[6] Member State suspends trade between Member State and Israel

[C] the boycotts and sanctions set forth in paragraph [B] hereof being enforced by the following penalties
for the duration of the period of effectiveness of this statute set forth in paragraph [A] hereof


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