Scottish PSC Statement, 17 November 2015
Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) has been committed to campaigning for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) of Israel since the call was launched from Palestine in 2005. Even before that call SPSC had worked to defeat the bases of support for Israel in Scotland, for example, by campaigning vigorously and successfully against the racist JNF and by protesting Israeli football and cricket teams visiting Scotland.
The growth, proven effectiveness and future potential of the BDS movement has led the Israeli Government to finance and train anti-BDS personnel worldwide and in Scotland. A new tactic being used by the Israeli Embassy in London is to send invitations to and open 'dialogue' with individuals holding pro-Palestine positions whom the apartheid regime believes it can detach from others it considers 'extreme', i.e. committed to BDS.
We have seen attempts in Scotland to urge some individuals to attend or otherwise open relations with the Israeli Embassy. SPSC condemns in the strongest terms attempts at normalisation with the Israeli Embassy or other Israeli State agents. Dealing with Israeli State bodies is a red line for SPSC and would be counter to our successful actions aimed at isolating the state that dispossesses, tortures and massacres the Palestinian people.
The Palestinians are fighting for their freedom, indeed for their survival, against a genocidal regime. Those who urge Palestine supporters to attend the Israeli Embassy are, whether knowingly or unknowingly, doing the work of the Israeli State. This core position is non-negotiable, and only by responding strategically in Scotland to the Palestinian call for BDS have we been able to contribute to the international developments that have led JK Rowling, Boris Johnson and many others to attack the BDS movement, and have led many pro-Israel groups to move from public derision to alarm.
SPSC reaffirms our commitment to the BDS Call and therefore our opposition to normalisation. We also recognise that the efforts of the Israeli government demonstrate a degree of desperation on the part of the Zionist State faced with the palpable momentum of an increasingly organised international campaign of BDS.
“Both within the Israeli community and around the world, there exists a great deal of discomfort and confusion about the tactics and intentions of anti-normalisation work. Many people find the BDS campaign, among others, to be “imbalanced” or overly punitive; many believe the Palestinians should “dialogue” with the Israelis about what’s happening in the oPt, because the problem is just a lack of information and mutual understanding; many believe that only a “positive” approach will do, and BDS doesn’t qualify.
“Unfortunately, these claims are not only patronizing and ineffectual, but also irrelevant.”
Read the full article ‘Thoughts on normalisation in the Israel-Palestine conflict’ by Rifat Odeh Kassis
“Nothing Normal About It” – Palestine, Normalization and Dialogue on Campus– a comic made by Ethan Heitner in partnership with Tanya Keilani of Columbia SJP, contains the complete text of the Statement of Palestinian Students Against Normalization
Read comic (pdf): nothingnormaldisplayorderopt