Timeline: International attempts to boycott BDS


  • 1990 – Yusuf Islam turned away from Israel along with his eight-year-old son
  • 13 January 2000 – Yusuf Islam deported from Israel for allegedly backing a militant Islamic group
  • 30 December 2001 – Israeli forces prevented 300 international peace activists from entering Hebron
  • 2 April 2002 – Australian International Solidarity Movement (ISM) volunteer Kate Edwards sustained internal injuries from rounds fired by Israeli forces at a protest in Beit Jala. Edwards later succumbed to her injuries
  • 22 November 2002 – UNRWA relief project manager Iain Hook shot and killed at a protest in Jenin
  • 22 November 2002 – Irish ISM volunteer shot and injured by Israeli forces in Jenin
  • 2003 – French Lellouche law introduced which is later used to convict BDS activists. A person calling for a boycott in France can be fined up to €45,000 ($47,850) and jailed for up to a year
  • 16 March 2003 – Rachel Corrie crushed under a bulldozer in Rafah during the Second Intifada
  • 5 April 2003 – British photography student and volunteer for ISM Tom Hurndall is shot in the head by an Israeli sniper and left clinically brain dead
  • 5 April 2003 – Israeli forces shoot ISM volunteer Brian Avery in the face, seriously disfiguring him
  • 1 December 2003 – Stefan Christoff, member of ISM and media activist, barred from entering Israel after being deemed a ‘security threat’
  • 13 January 2004 – Tom Hurndall dies
  • 11 August 2005 – Israeli ex-solider who killed Tom Hurndall jailed for eight years


  • December 2007 – The Cour de Cassation in France officially ruled that boycotting Israeli companies in France is illegal and criminal
  • May 2008 – Former US President Jimmy Carter’s request to visit Hamas in the Gaza Strip is denied
  • 23 May 2008 – Norman Finkelstein barred from entering Israel
  • 24 October 2008 – Yusuf Islam uninvited to a peace conference in Tel Aviv
Yusuf Islam

Yusuf Islam

  • 14 December 2008 – Then UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories Richard Falk is denied entry to Israel
  • 13 March 2009 – American demonstrator Tristan Anderson critically wounded after being shot by Israeli forces with a tear gas canister near Nil’in. In hospital he underwent brain surgery and had to have a portion of his front lobe and fragments of shattered bones removed
  • 26 September 2009 – French activists accused of taking part in a demonstration at a Carrefour shop in Illzach, near Mulhouse, calling for a boycott of Israel
  • December 2009 – Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs convened the third conference of the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism, which focused efforts on fighting BDS and Palestinian activism
  • 3 April 2010 – Israel bans Apple’s iPad on the grounds it is too powerful. The ban is later lifted
  • 24 April 2010 – Maltese activist Bianca Zammit shot in the thigh by Israeli forces during a demonstration in Gaza
  • 16 May 2010 – Noam Chomsky denied entry into Israel on his way to lecture at Palestinian university Bir Zeit. Interrogators told the professor he had written things the Israeli government did not like
  • 31 May 2010 – American journalist Emily Henochowicz lost her left eye after being struck by a tear gas canister whilst protesting near Qalandiya checkpoint


  • 11 July 2011 – Israeli Knesset passes a law to make it a civil offence to call publicly for a boycott of the State of Israel. A 2015 ruling on the law upheld most provisions
  • 14 April 2012 – 200 activists on a silent protest on bicycle, foot and bus, were stopped by Israeli forces near Highway 90 and asked not to continue for their own safety. Four activists sustained face and back injuries
  • 18 July 2014 – French authorities ban pro-Palestinian groups fromholding a rally in Paris planned for that coming Saturday against thewar in Gaza
  • 22 April 2015 – The Tennessee General Assembly pass a resolution condemning BDS
  • 4 June 2015 – South Carolina’s state legislature passes legislation banning the state from entering into contracts with companies that participate in certain kinds of boycotts
  • 22 June 2015 – New York State Assembly passes resolution denouncing BDS
  • 23 June 2015 – Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner becomes the first state leader to sign the first anti-BDS legislation, considered the first state-based concrete action against BDS. It targets taxpayer funded public pension funds that invest in companies that have adopted a BDS stance towards Israel
  • 3 October 2015 – The UK Conservative party press release announces government’s intention to introduce ‘new rules to stop politically-motivated boycott and divestment campaigns by town halls against UK defence companies and against Israel’
File photo from the UK, where the supermarket giant, Tesco, is seen specifying Israeli settlements as a source for a pack of dates

File photo from the UK, where the supermarket giant, Tesco, is seen specifying Israeli settlements as a source for a pack of dates

  • 20 October 2015 – France’s court of appeals confirms rulings that people promoting a boycott against Israel are guilty of inciting hate or discrimination
  • 9 December 2015 – Four activists who support BDS tried in a court in Toulouse, France, under a month-old precedent that rendered the movement illegal
  • 30 December 2015 – California-Israel Commerce Protection Act passes; it requires the State of California and all public entities to divest from companies that participate in boycotts against Israel

2016- present

  • 20 January 2016 – New York State Senate approves bill prohibiting the state and state entities from doing business with companies that support the BDS movement
  • 16 February 2016 – Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signs law SJR-6 states the BDS movement in Alabama is ‘harmful to the state’s relationships with Alabama’s Jewish citizens’, and unequivocally denounces and rejects BDS
  • 24 February 2016 – The Iowa House of Representatives votes to block the state from investing in companies that support BDS
  • 26 February 2016 – Colorado House of Representatives passes law HB-16-284 to add all companies that participate in BDS to a list of restricted companies, sends notices to them to stop supporting BDS within 180 days and if they don’t, to divest from that company
  • 1 March 2016 – Indiana State Senate approves bill HB-1378 requiring mandatory state divestment from any company that participates in BDS
  • 10 March 2016 – Florida’s Governor Rick Scott signed SB-86 calling for the repeal of US customs and border protection’s requirements that West Bank products are not marked ‘Made in Israel’
  • 10 March 2016 – Florida House of Representatives passes HB-527 to create a list of companies that engage in boycotts of Israel and instructing government entities to divest from them
  • 10 March 2016 – Both Virginia House of Delegates passed identical resolutions condemning BDS as ‘inherently antiethical’ and damaging for peace, equality and human rights
  • 18 March 2016 – Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed law HB-2617 which prohibits state investment in companies that participate in BDS
  • 26 April 2016 – Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed bill SB-327 which prohibits the state from entering into contracts or agreements with companies involved in BDS
  • 27 April 2016 – Iowa State Senate approves SF-2281 making it illegal for a public entity in Iowa to invest or enter into a contract worth over $1,000 with a company that boycotts Israel
  • 10 May 2016 – Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signs bill SB81 preventing Alabama government entities from contracting with companies engaged in Israeli boycotts
  • 5 June 2016 – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issues executive order requiring state agencies to divest from organisations and companies that participate in Israeli boycotts stating: ‘If you boycott against Israel, New York will boycott you’
Protestors outside John Lewis, protesting against the sales of 'Soda Stream' a product from an Illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank

Protestors outside John Lewis, protesting against the sales of ‘Soda Stream’ a product from an Illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank

  • 11 July 2016 – Israel passes the controversial ‘NGO transparency law’ which critics have said is a blow to groups who target human rights groups critical of Israeli government policy
  • 16 August 2016 – New Jersey Governor Christ Christie signs law S-1923 requiring state public worker pension funds to divest from companies that boycott Israel
  • 16 October 2016 – Cross-party committee of the UK House of Commons writes an open letter to President of the NUS Malia Bouattia to issue a full and formal apology to Jewish students accusing her of racism, anti-Semitism and of referring to Birmingham University as a ‘Zionist outpost’
  • 4 November 2016 – Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania signed HB2107 prohibiting the government of Pennsylvania from contracting with any entity that engages in BDS activity
  • 1 December 2016 – The Legislative Assembly of Ontario passed a resolution that ‘calls on the legislature to stand against any movement that promotes hate, prejudice and racism’ and reject the differential treatment of Israel by the BDS movement
  • 12 December 2016 – UK government announces it will formally adopt a definition of what constitutes anti-Semitism, which will include criticism of Israel.
  • 19 December 2016 – Ohio Governor John Kasich signed bill HB-476 to ban agents from entering into or renewing contracts with companies that don’t contractually declare they are not boycotting or disinvesting from Israel
  • 10 January 2017 – Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signs bills HB-5821 and 5822 to ensure that Michigan state agencies don’t enter into contracts with people unless the contract says they are not involved in a boycott with a ‘strategic partner’
  • 12 January 2017 – Israeli parliamentary committee advances a draft new law that allows the Interior Minister to ban anyone who supports BDS
  • 24 January 2017 – French BDS activist appeared in court in Metz because an Israeli pharmaceutical company TEVA blames BDS for encouraging French pharmacists not to sell their medicine
  • 24 February 2017 – Israel denies a work permit for Israel and Palestine director of Human Rights Watch, Omar Shakir, on the grounds that the organisation engaged in ‘politics in the service of Palestinian propaganda’
  • 3 March 2017 – Senior officer in Britain’s National Union of Students (NUS) censured for his role in the scandal to oust NUS President Malia Bouattia
Image of NUS President Malia Bouattia [Friends of Al Aqsa/Facebook]

Image of NUS President Malia Bouattia

  • 4 March 2017 – WUK, a cultural institution in Vienna, barred BDS Austria from holding an event during Israel Apartheid Week
  • 7 March 2017 – Israel’s parliament approved new law banning anyone found to support the BDS movement
  • 8 March 2017 – Swiss parliament passes a law to prevent the state financing any organisation which supports racism, anti-Semitism or BDS
  • 8 March 2017 – Israeli activist and author Jeff Harper detained by Israeli police in the illegal Ma’aleh Adumim settlement for suspected incitement. Police said they acted on a complaint he had ‘materials related to BDS’ in his possession
  • 10 March 2017 – Arcotel Kaisserwasser cancels a talk by lawyer and consultant for the human rights group Al-Haq Salma Karmi-Ayyoub after allegations of anti-Semitism
  • 12 March 2017 – Former chairman of BDS Hugh Lanning denied entry into Israel
  • 14 March 2016 – South African human rights activist, Mpho Masemola, is held for nine hours at the King Hussein Bridge between Jordan and Israel before he is sent back to Amman. He was on his way to speak at a conference on Palestinian prisoners.

(Source / 16.03.2017)

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