Israel has stepped up its construction of illegal settlement building. Defence for Children international reports that Israel continues to kill Palestinians, including many hundreds of children, using drones and other means of delivering high explosives to defenceless Palestinians. The ethnic cleansing of Palestinian citizens of Israel is ongoing; the Palestinian village of Umm el-Hieran is being demolished to make way for an exclusively Jewish village of Hiran. How can we respond?
Saturday 7th December is the next stage in the UK-wide campaign to pressurise Sainsbury's supermarket chain to follow the Co-op's lead and stop trading with occupation profiteers, i.e. companies which help to fasten Israel's illegal military occupation onto the long-suffering Palestinian people. In Scotland, SPSC is asking Palestine supporters to support by either joining one of the groups already formed around a particular Sainsbury's store or organising one at a Sainsbury's near you.
Take a look at this map to see where groups are already coming together and also where there are Sainsbury's stores still waiting for this to happen.
We aim to spread this action month by month until every Sainsbury's in Scotland is covered each month. There is the same commitment from participants in England and Wales.
It's only a couple of hours a month but it can make a difference if we get Sainsbury's to emulate the Co-op and have a genuinely ethical purchasing policy. We will work to sustain this effort over the months ahead, to involve more people in each activity and to inject creativity and energy into this key campaign.
We will be seeking sponsorship and affiliations to STOP (Stop Trading with Occupation Profiteers), the Scottish component of this UK-wide campaign. If you are involved in your trade union or other body, ask them to support this initiative in answer to the appeal from Palestine for effective solidarity.
After Saturday August 3rd, Saturday September 7th will be the next opportunity to support the call by the Palestinian people for a boycott of Israel until it ends its war crimes and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.
Here are two reasons to get involved:
1. Israel's never-ending war on Palestinians includes retail groceries. Zaki Sabah, a Palestinian bagel seller was sentenced to ten years in prison for selling bagels without a permit from the illegal occupation authority. (Sentence was later commuted.)
2. Palestinian farmer Nasser Abu Zaid makes a personal appeal:
"My name is Nasser Abu Said, I am a farmer in the Gaza Strip, Johr Al Deak. We were poor but we had a family and we had a life, even if we lived by the Israeli border where bulldozers and regular shooting at our farm workers from Israeli soldiers and jeeps limited how much we could farm there. They knew who we were, it is open land, and they did not attack us during Cast Lead in 2009. Then, on a quiet day in July 2010 my wife Na'eema and 5 children were enjoying the sunshine.
"They fired 5 tank shells and a flechette shell at our house. My five children were there and my wife Na'eema ran outside to bring in Jaber the youngest. She was hit by the nails of the flechette shell and I could hear small noises coming from her. I knew she was dying. For hours the Israeli military prevented an ambulance from coming. The children watched as she lay dying in front of their eyes. I was holding myself in, especially in front of the children. The children were crying hysterically and some had wet themselves. I lost my wife and the children have never recovered.
"They attacked again with missiles in April 2011, this time burying 2 of my children in the home, injuring others but we all survived. We gave up once the house was half destroyed a second time, and have been living in tents ever since.
"By stocking Israeli agricultural products you are giving a green light to Israel, telling them its business as usual, even if my story has happened so many times in Gaza. Is the blood of my wife not worth anything? There is a chance to help make a difference and joining the boycotts until Israel stops ruining families through occupation and siege, like they did for mine. The international community must do something so that what happened to my wife and family does not happen to any other farmers in Gaza."
Nasser Abu Zaid
See also Palestinian Agricultural Organizations and Civil Society Networks Call for Ending International Trade with Israeli Agricultural Companies