Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign Statement
29 July 2017
Scottish PSC is not inclined to take seriously the so-called 'research' of a pro-Israel blogger whose primary purpose is to smear organisations that support Palestinian rights (1), to deflect attention away from what Palestinians have to endure on a daily basis – home demolitions, expulsions, killings, torture and threats of genocide from Israeli politicians (2). This effort is only the latest in attempts to undermine and criminalise the Palestine solidarity movement. Most recently a Glasgow Sheriff reprised the decision of an Edinburgh colleague in 2010 and threw out absurd charges of racism levelled against two members of SPSC for protesting against Israel's 2014 brutal military attack on Gaza and the complicity of a company involved in the pillage of Palestinian resources (3).
We stand by our record as an anti-racist organisation that actively campaigns in support of the Palestinian call for a campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against the state of Israel, and the institutions and corporations that are complicit in Israel's violations of Palestinian rights. We resist attempts to conflate Zionism and Judaism and reject notions that Jews have a natural loyalty and affinity with the state of Israel and the Zionist ideology.
Jewish Human Rights Watch, David Collier and the various pro-Israel organisations working in partnership with the Israeli government are primarily concerned with defending the actions of a state (4), under the guise of ensuring the safety of Jewish communities in the UK. Any attempt to implicate Jews and Jewish communities in Scotland in the crimes of the state of Israel is not only incorrect but also irresponsible and dangerous and should be challenged whenever they are made. This is why we will continue to highlight and educate the public, our members and supporters of Palestinian rights on the history of Zionism, of Palestine and of the reality of Israel's policy of apartheid and continuing colonisation of Palestinian land.
Sofiah MacLeod (Chair)
On behalf of Scottish PSC
Building effective solidarity with the Palestinian people
Scottish PSC is an extension to the Palestinian struggle for freedom against Israel's programme of ethnic cleansing and genocide in Palestine.
SPSC exists to channel public opposition to the Zionist settler colonial project into an effective and dynamic Scottish component of the global campaign that sends a powerful message of solidarity with the Palestinian people and a warning to Israel that its crimes must end.
Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign was established in September 2000 in response to the second Palestinian uprising (intifada) against Israeli settler colonialism, occupation and apartheid. Scottish PSC has members, branches, and affiliates across Scotland.
We are a voluntary unincorporated association and a membership organisation. SPSC has no charitable aims, our work is political and we campaign to build effective solidarity with the Palestinian people.
The SPSC National Committee (NC) provides strategic leadership, reaches decisions on urgent matters and is responsible for the day to day running of the national campaign.
The NC consists of the National Chair, National Secretary, National Vice-Chair, National Treasurer and National Membership Secretary plus five additional Committee members elected at the AGM. The NC also includes Branch Representatives defined as up to two members nominated by each Branch, and any roles created by the NC as required.
We work to build effective solidarity with the Palestinian people, with a generally sympathetic Scottish public at every level of Scottish society.
“Many killings of Palestinian children by Israeli armed forces have been unlawful…and meet the definition of crimes against humanity under international Law” (Amnesty Report, 20 November 2004)
Israeli “crimes against humanity” have long been public, while British Government support for Israel continues despite a popular opinion that is hostile to the Apartheid State and its “crimes against humanity”.
29 December 2015
The challenge is huge; Scottish and UK weapons continue to flow to the Israeli military. As with any other settler-colonial project, extreme violence and a tendency to genocide is built-in to Zionism. The Egyptian dictatorship matches its Israeli ally in brutality, preventing Palestinians from escaping the Gaza concentration zone. Only a united and determined campaign linking and organising across Scotland, the UK and internationally can hope to defeat Israel's genocidal plans. SPSC aims to play its part in building it. Join us in that endeavour.
A recent report in the Herald, On the frontline with the Palestinian Red Crescent, describes Israeli soldiers shooting unarmed demonstrators in Gaza who posed no threat to them. It adds to the public record of calculated Israeli murder of Palestinian children and adults. Cameron and successive UK governments know what they’re doing in supporting Israel; they will continue to do so until they are forced to change by an enraged public opinion that they fear. Real change has always been forced from reluctant rulers - the savage public schoolboys currently running Britain are no exception.
SPSC has been effective at what we do, mainly by focussing our very modest forces on specific targets, e.g. against the Israeli State’s Brand Israel deployment of cultural troupes to whitewash the crimes of its uniformed troops, consistent protests against the racist JNF (Jewish National Fund) in Scotland, or the close-run fight against Israeli settler company Eden Springs that led them to successfully appeal to the Scottish Government for aid to fight off the boycott campaign.
The truth, however, is that we are not strong enough to force an end to Scotland’s and the UK’s supply of the means of murder to the apartheid state. The merchants of death and their bankers are not yet afraid of the public and that needs to change before they will forego the profits they make from the UK-Israel arms trade and the broken Palestinian bodies by the thousand that result.
SPSC faces attacks because we are a significant threat, as our enemies acknowledge. David Cameron threatened BDS campaigners in a speech to a pro-Israel business group in London in October 2012: “We know what you are doing - trying to delegitimise the State of Israel - and we will not have it.” The Tory government now threatens to criminalise local councils that support call for BDS, with some councils in retreat south of the border. Join us to organise voters and council tax payers in a united campaign to support those four Scottish councils still committed to BDS and to win other Councils to support the Palestinian call for BDS, divesting their huge pension funds from companies that help sustain Israel’s occupation. (“Israel is fortunate that the minister now responsible for pensions is Baroness Ros Altmann,” part of whose family lives in Israel.)
SPSC members again face a series of trials in the New Year for peaceful BDS activities.
You can make a difference - join SPSC today in driving the change we need. Our means are exclusively peaceful but whether peaceful or violent a struggle must be a struggle. Join us - here - to deliver solidarity to the Palestinian people.
Founding member of SPSC in 2000
29 December 2015
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The struggle between Israel and the Palestinians is not unique -- whatever the news media may suggest. Lorenzo Veracini argues that the conflict is best understood in terms of colonialism. Like many other societies, Israel is a settler society. Looking in detail at the evolution of other colonial regimes -- apartheid South Africa, French Algeria and Australia -- Veracini presents a thoughtful interpretation of the dynamics of colonialism, offering a clear framework within which to understand the middle east crisis.