Support the boycott campaigns against Israel

Support the boycott campaigns against Israel
Comment: It is up to the people to demand justice for Palestinians when governments won't. A good start would be to support the boycott campaigns against Israel.
4 min read
01 Apr, 2015
Demonstrations outside the UK parliament protesting Israel's Gaza assault last year [AFP]

A very strange thing has been taking place in the UK this week.

The city of Leicester has been re-burying a Plantagenet king of England who died in battle in 1485. There has been a week of ceremony and pomp, with no expense spared, to honour this man who - if our greatest poet and playwright William Shakespeare is to be believed - murdered his two young nephews in the Tower of London to keep power for himself and ravaged England through many years of war.


     The good news is that Binyamin Netanyahu has revealed his true colours.

It has made me quite sick to think of all those children who have been murdered in the West Bank and Gaza over the last few years so that the Zionists who now rule Israel, can keep all the land for themselves, with as few Palestinians remaining as possible.

How much attention have they received from Western governments or our religious leaders even?

The good news is that Binyamin Netanyahu has revealed his true colours and despite trying to apologise this week for his comments during the last days of his election campaign, every world leader knows now he has no intention of supporting a two-state solution for the region, nor never has he had.

This is something that many of us in the UK have been saying for some time, even warning that Israel was endangering her own long term existence by this policy.

Sadly, we have been accused of anti-Semitism, forced to apologise, or in my own case, to resign from my parliamentary party to avoid making an apology which I simply could not make.

Will these events now make a difference? That is the problem.

Will Barack Obama manage to overrule the Israel lobby and the power of the US arms industry and actually take action at the UN to support the creation of a Palestinian state?

Will Europe stand alone and suspend the Israel-EU Trade Association agreement until Israel stops breaking International Law and the Geneva Conventions?

Will Germany overcome the shame of the Holocaust and support some action?

All our governments protest enough about Israel's actions but no country takes any action. I am constantly asked why. The answer, of course, is complex.

There is fear of anti-Semitism and Holocaust guilt among European governments, on top of worries about exports and imports and the effect that shaking alliances would have on the economy. There is also pressure from big business.

But it is significant how guarded our political leaders were, in making any comment during Operation Protective Edge - Israel's murderous onslaught on Gaza last summer.

I know that was because the Israel lobby has power in the UK, and Europe - just like in the US.

Huge efforts and money from the Zionists go into supporting candidates and parties in the run up to the election here and, just like in the US, politicians do not want to risk that help by criticising Israel - and Netanyahu in particular.

As much as we hope President Obama will take action, the risk of dozens of congressmen and women losing financial support for their campaigns will weigh very heavy on him.

I hope things will be better after the UK election, but don't bank on it. It remains to be seen whether Obama will be brave enough to take action.

The Palestinians have no such lobby to protect their interests and, sadly, some Arab states collude with the West simply because their business interests align.

The result of all these failures, and I do not deny the Balfour Declaration was made by Britain, is increasing extremism and civil war all over the Middle East.

I do not pretend now, that a just solution for Palestine would stop what is happening, but it would make a huge contribution.

Sadly, politicians will not act and the only hope is that the people of Israel will call a halt to their government risking their country's future - and that the people of Europe and America will support the boycott movement which is spreading fast, to put pressure on the Israeli government to change.

It worked against South African Apartheid - and many Jewish people led that campaign.

We need help in this campaign from people all over the Middle East.

If governments will not take action - and not even listen to votes in their parliaments to support a Palestinian state, we the people must take action ourselves and support the boycott campaigns against the state of Israel.

Opinions expressed in this article remain those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of al-Araby al-Jadeed, its editorial board or staff.