South African citizens (and many in the UK and in Canada) are – to say the least – shocked.
Why did the Canadian and Brittish goverments pass motions to repress BDS? They must be under severe pressure from Israel and the Zionist lobby. For those who want the good things in life only for themselves and are willing to diminish a whole people in the process are really scared of the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign, because it is winning rapid ground. Besides putting pressure on Israel, BDS also unmasks Israel’s lies about its longstanding, illegal oppression of the Palestinians in the name of religion and greed.
How can the UK and the Canadian goverments say that economic pressure as a way to achieve full civil and human rights for all in Israel and Palestine is illegal? The very same strategy played a huge role in ending apartheid in South Africa. Do the same countries not also have sanctions in respect of many other countries?
In 2014 over a hundred thousand people from all walks of life took to the streets in Cape Town to raise awareness of Israel’s war on Gaza as can be seen in these photos. Now Cape Town’s Palestine Solidarity Campaign calls for a clear, public response against these goverments who supress free speech and non-violent, economic pressure on Israel through BDS:
29 February 2015
BRITISH GOVERNMENT RESORTS TO REPRESSION TO COUNTER BDS CAMPAIGN AGAINST ISRAEL
THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT stated last week that it is will be illegal for “local [city] councils, public bodies, and even some university student unions … to refuse to buy goods and services from companies involved in the arms trade, fossil fuels, tobacco products, or Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.”
Thus, any entities that support or participate in the global boycott of Israel or even products and companies that operate in illegal settlements will face “severe penalties.”(via “The Intercept).
It is with outrage and disappointment that we, in the South African Palestine solidarity movement, note the British government’s ban on free speech and political expression relating to public sector boycotts of Israel and its illegal settlement goods. This means that workers in British parastatal companies like British Telecom or Rail-Track or any arm of government such as the Department of Welfare, the Airports Authority, Customs & Excise, the NHS etc. could be dismissed for promoting such boycotts in the workplace and managers could be sacked for committing their branches to such actions.
Recent successful actions by pro-Palestinian groups in Britain against companies such as G4S, the notorious British security company, which operates in some Israeli prisons and illegal settlements (and shamefully, operates also in South African airports, a prison and numerous public enterprises) would be stopped in their tracks by this bill. We also note the almost immediate removal of anti -Israel Apartheid Week posters in London’s Underground this week by the London authorities following Netanyahu’s recent demands to the UK government to do so, as a sign of closer collusion between the racist Israeli government and their British counterparts.
The enormity of such a draconian crackdown in Britain on behalf of Netanyahu’s racist and increasingly fascist Apartheid Israeli government could best be judged by imagining if a similar ban had been put in place in the UK during the Apartheid years to prevent boycotts of South Africa by the British state, its organs and thousands of public sector workers. The backlash then from public sector workers would have been instant and extremely difficult to control. Sadly, the public sector in Britain is so diminished in size and the unions so cowed into subservience by decades of Thatcherite neo-liberal bludgeoning, that not much of an uproar has been heard – even from Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party which is pre-occupied with internecine strife within its ranks.
No doubt, David Cameron, who is a self-confessed Zionist stalwart, calculated that his US patron and its compliant Canadian neighbour, would be right behind him. In fact Canada’s new “Liberal” government under Trudeau, almost immediately pushed a similar motion through his US-hired and bribed parliament. The US Congress, controlled now by rabid Zionist Republicans, is also pushing for blanket bans on any anti-Israeli boycotts in the US and even for the outlawing of demonstrations and media calls for such actions. These are the same governments of the West who have invaded sovereign states in the Middle East in order to achieve “regime change” and install “democracy”.
As things stand, the BDS campaign is the only meaningful and peaceful means of pressuring Israel and its Western allies to end its brutal and murderous occupation of Palestine and institute one democratic state where everyone will enjoy equal rights.
South Africans must not underestimate the implications of these Orwellian moves by the USA and its British, European client states. Their governments will use their massive economic and military influence to blackmail smaller, independent countries such as ours, to turn away from supporting the Palestinian struggle against the colonial Israeli regime and their systematic, incremental genocide.
As the stalwart anti-surveillance and freedom of speech activist, Glen Greenwald, living in exile in South America, stated in response to this British move:
“There is a very coordinated and well-financed campaign led by Israel and its supporters literally to criminalize political activism against Israeli occupation, based on the particular fear that the worldwide campaign of Boycott, Sanctions, and Divestment, or BDS — modeled after the 1980s campaign that brought down the Israel-allied apartheid regime in South Africa — is succeeding”.
WE THEREFORE URGE THE ANC GOVERNMENT TO SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE BRITISH/AMERICAN CRACKDOWN ON FREE SPEECH AND TO REAFFIRM ITS SUPPORT FOR THE PALESTINIAN CIVIL SOCIETY’S CALL ON ALL PEOPLE TO BOYCOTT ISRAEL.
WE CALL ON BRITISH PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY WORKERS IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR, TO VIGOROUSLY CAMPAIGN AGAINST THEIR GOVERNMENT’S ATTACK ON BASIC DEMOCRATIC FREEDOMS OF SPEECH AND THEIR RIGHT TO PROTEST.
WE ALSO CALL UPON ALL PALESTINIAN SOLIDARITY ACTIVISTS AND SOUTH AFRICAN CITIZENS CONCERNED ABOUT THE BRITISH CRACKDOWN ON POLITICAL FREEDOMS TO SHOW THEIR OPPOSITION IN FRONT OF THE BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION IN CAPE TOWN ON FRIDAY 18 MARCH BETWEEN 13.30 AND 14.30.
Contacts: Mike Makin 0845039156 Martin Jansen 0828702025
4 thoughts on “Shocked South Africans call for public protest against the UK and Canadian stance on BDS”
Freedom of speech and boycott zionist israel is a choice for the people not nuttyahoo …BDS is a good way to protest this disgusting state and its stealing of the Palestine lands ..
Along with the systematic destruction of International Law by Israel and her Western lapdogs comes the unsettling news of new anti-BDS, pro-Israel laws first in England and now in Canada. While Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank struggle on in sub-human conditions the unprincipled South African Jewry sink to new lows by entertaining rabid Zionists Bernard-Henri Leví and Shimon Peres. Leví, who has single-handedly undone the French philosophic tradion, is seen in a multitude of press photographs not only encouraging the IDF but exhorting France and NATO to attack and destroy Libya in North Africa. Peres is up to his neck in the blood of Palestinian innocents. The time has come to extend the BDS focus to include the West and their Arab coalition paymasters.
Well, remember that the US and the UK supported the original Apartheid regime up until its dying moments.
On 12th March 2014, at a speech to the Knesset, David Cameron said “So let me say to you very clearly – with me you have a British Prime Minister whose belief in Israel is unbreakable and whose commitment to Israel’s security will always be rock solid.” (https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/david-camerons-speech-to-the-knesset-in-israel)
On 10th September 2015, Netanyahu visited London, then on 3rd October Conservative UK government Ministers said they would amend pension and procurement policies to prevent politically-motivated boycotts and removal of investments by local councils.
Our Conservative government is a disgrace. Cameron lied to win the election, and since then it’s been a constant battle to prevent them introducing legislation that attacks the poor, the disabled and the sick. They are also trying to get rid of Freedom of Information and Human Rights legislation, so that we can’t find out what they are doing. It’s claimed that 80% of Conservative Members of Parliament are members of Conservative Friends of Israel (https://cfoi.co.uk/). 12% of the opposition party are members of Labour Friends of Israel (http://www.lfi.org.uk/).
Netanyahu is panicking because BDS is obviously being effective.