UK government gave 'unlawful' guidance on BDS pensions policy

UK government gave 'unlawful' guidance on BDS pensions policy
The high court ruled on Wednesday that pensions companies must be allowed to boycott Israeli investments on an ethical basis, finding that current government guidance was 'unlawful'.
2 min read
22 June, 2017
The PSC is popular in South Africa, where a boycott movement helped defeat Apartheid [AFP]

UK pension companies will be allowed to boycott Israeli investments, following a judicial review which found the government had acted unlawfully.

The UK High Court ruled in favour of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), finding that the government's guidance, preventing divestment on an ethical basis, had been unlawful.

The judgement also said that "anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian campaigning is not in itself anti-Semitic"

Hugh Lanning, Chair of the PSC said: "Absolutely everyone has a right to peacefully protest Israel's violation of Palestinian human rights.

"This ruling upholds the right of local councils and their pension funds to invest ethically without political interference from the government of the day."

The PSC drew comparisons in their case with similar campaigns, leading to the financial withdrawal from institutions in apartheid South Africa in the 1980s.

Read the original story:

UK court case on boycotting Israeli investments draws apartheid comparisons


The case, heard by Sir Ross Cranston at the High Court of Justice in London, centred on an ideological battle between the UK government run by the Conservative Party, and local governments mostly controlled by Labour administrations.

The central government in Westminster has consistently said that plans to divest from Israeli investments are "inappropriate" as it claims they run contrary to UK foreign and defence policies.

The boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign began in 2005, after the Palestinian civil society called for a boycott until Israel began to change its policies.

"Our recent YouGov polling shows 43 percent of the public think BDS is reasonable," said Ben Jamal, Director of PSC.

"We couldn't be happier that this right has been upheld by the Court in the month the illegal occupation of Palestine turns fifty years old," he added.