Friday, 26 June 2015

SSP Dundee Branch Calls on Dundee City Council to Support BDS

As internationalists it is our duty to ensure that the rights and freedoms we cherish for our own society is prevalent around the world. The ongoing conflict in the Middle East highlights the need for our support, continued activism and education on the matter. The solution to the continual struggle in Palestine will only be completely resolved when an open and transparent dialogue takes place between the two states. However that will only occur when both nations are recognised by each other and the international community.

This recognition is unlikely to occur anytime soon with the re-election of the Lukid Party giving the incumbent Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu his fourth term. Throughout his tenure Netanyahu has presided over a regime of oppression and open hostility to the people of Palestine, ensuring that any hopes of a peaceful solution in the short term have all but evaporated.

Since August of last year there has been at least 2100 Palestinian citizens killed of which over 1500 have been civilians. It is not solely through armed force that the Palestinians are being persecuted. Theft of Palestinian land for Israeli only roads and houses supported by Israeli courts . The lands natural resources and energy are also being held hostage, with blackouts and sanitary water in short supply in some parts of Gaza and the West Bank.

Thanks to an ever globalised media we have seen human tragedy and unspeakable acts of terror. Yet the sounds of Israelis cheering as missiles reigned down on the Gaza strip will live long in the memory of those with any semblance of a conscience. This reflection of the Israeli public feeling towards Palestine is indicative of a right wing reactionary government backed by one of the most technologically advanced forces in the world. The Israeli Defence Force.

Perhaps it is due to the persecution of the practitioners of the Jewish faith in history that makes this more shocking than it would in other conflicts. As a religion or indeed as they define themselves, a race; the genocide of Jews in Nazi Germany and Occupied Lands will forever be a scar in our human psyche. Yet the actions of the Israeli Government, condoned and backed by the United States and other Western countries towards Palestinians are tantamount to the persecution and destruction the forefathers of the Israeli state once endured.
Palestinian families facing constant fear and oppression

Thankfully we are now beginning to see a sense of action within the international community.  Sweden has became the first EU country to recognise the state of Palestine. Many political parties, communities and campaigns are now calling for, and implementing a ‘Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).’ motion in an attempt to combat the oppression of the Palestinian people in a language the Neo-Liberal Israeli Government will understand. The desire not to associate with the actions of the Israeli Government is growing and will continue to do so unless there is an extreme U-turn in Israeli Policy.

Netanyahu’s response to this campaign has been predictable aligning any criticism of his government as an Anti-Semitic attack. The reality of the situation is that the Israeli Government imposes sanctions on the Palestinian Authority by refusing to hand over tax revenue that belongs to them and supports any US led legislation that encourages divestment from any nation which recognises the rights of Palestinian people. Yet when BDS is applied to them, Netanyahu cries foul, claims Anti-Semitism and ‘hopelessly biased.’ This is not the case at all. Instead it should be clear to everyone that BDS is a profoundly moral response to the behaviour of Israel in oppressing the state of Palestine and it’s citizens.    

Already in Scotland the councils of Clackmannanshire and West Dunbartonshire have adopted motions to boycott the purchase of Israeli goods and divestment from affiliated companies. The latter was thanks to the hard work of SSP councillor Jim Bollan. Dundee has always prided itself on its links with the Palestinian people, twinned already with the city of Nablus. It seems an obvious decision that the council should take in adopting BDS of Israeli goods and links. The Scottish Socialist Party Dundee Branch have put forward a motion supporting this to the council. We will work with councillors and the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign to ensure that Dundee City Council reflect the public support and pass the SSP’s motion to boycott Israeli goods.

The people of Palestine face daily life each day uncertain if it will be their last, Living in constant fear, that their homes may be taken away. The Scottish Socialist Party stands shoulder to shoulder with them in solidarity. We urge Dundee City Council to do the same and support the motion presented.

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