Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign
16 February 2016
The UK Government plans to criminalise the adoption of BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) policies by local authorities, health boards and student unions. It will act directly "against organisations that impose boycotts" and it will encourage "others to take such bodies to court”. Tories echo the dishonest Zionist claim that BDS campaigning against Israeli apartheid leads to "anti-semitism”.
Israel no longer dismisses the international BDS campaign, viewing us as a “strategic threat”. The Government attacks mean that solidarity with the Palestinian people is now linked to our right to oppose the crimes of Government. Not even disgraced Tony Blair thought of outlawing opposition to his crimes.
Cameron is far from original: domestic opponents of Britain’s invasion of foreign lands and massacres of colonial peoples have always faced repression, although nothing like the insane levels of naked violence faced by those resisting British invaders on their own soil. Gordon Brown made moves to criminalise BDS when he was Prime Minister.
SPSC calls for defiance of the UK Government’s effort to stifle non-violent opposition to the violent crimes of Israel. We call on student unions to pass motions supporting the Palestinian call for BDS, and for citizens to organise support for councils adopting BDS positions.
Powerful and wealthy enemies cannot be defeated unless you act. The Israeli Government, unworried by decades of sombre denunciations of their crimes as long as the weapons and aid kept flowing, has allocated 100m shekels to fight the BDS threat. The Israeli Embassy in London funds lobbying efforts north of the border to deny Palestinians solidarity, while Israeli bulldozers destroy homes, and settlers and soldiers steal, terrorise, torture and murder Palestinians at will.
Palestinian people are being slaughtered by highly profitable British and Scottish weapons technology. To oppose this effectively we also have to defend our own rights to free association and free expression. These rights were hard won and we must not allow them to be taken away by a Tory Government held in widespread contempt, who lack any democratic mandate in Scotland.
Scottish PSC is an extension to the Palestinian struggle for freedom against Israel's ethnic cleansing and genocide in Palestine. Friends and foes acknowledge our determined efforts; join us to strengthen the effective and dynamic Scottish component of the global BDS campaign, to send a powerful message of solidarity to the Palestinian people and a warning to Israel that its crimes must end.
The Scottish Government has condemned "any attempt to limit local authority’s autonomy and people’s right to protest, and we have made it clear that we do not dictate to cultural institutions, organisations or individuals on what approach they should take.” The fight is on and we need to let every MP and MSP know how we feel: