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Boycott Israeli Goods Day of Action - Actions across the UK planned today

Tom Hayes | 07.10.2006 11:03 | Campaign against Carmel-Agrexco | Lebanon War 2006 | Anti-militarism | Palestine | London | South Coast

As the Lebanese people are reeling from Israel's illegal bombing campaign, and the people of the West Bank and Gaza are suffering a continuous onslaught by the Israeli military the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and the Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign (BIG) activists nationwide have joined a Boycott Day of Action against Israel.

The PSC and the BIG campaign are responding to calls from Palestine and calling for a boycott of Israel until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights. On 9th June 2005 a coalition of Palestinian Civil Society Organisations issued a ‘Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions’ against Israel until it complies with International Law’.

During the day of action on 7th October, pickets and demonstrations are taking place at stores selling Israeli products across the UK. Concerned individuals will took part in creative actions to persuade the public not to buy Israeli goods and demand that retailers do not stock them. Pickets, street theatre and demonstrations are taking place in Bradford, Camden, Whitechapel, Hackney, Brighton, East London, Oxford, Slough, Cambridge, Halifax, Exeter, Brent, Cardiff, Reading and Leeds.

The Day of Action follows a UK wide day of action on 24th June when pickets and demonstrations took place at stores selling Israeli products across the UK in Liverpool, Brighton, Camden, Hackney, Islington, Southport, Cardiff, Darlington, Brixton, Oxford, Nottingham, Birmingham, Exeter, Halifax, Brent, Durham, Sheffield and Manchester. A further day of action was held by the Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, with actions held in Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Sligo, on the anniversary of the Israeli collusion in the massacres in Sabra and Chatila.

Over the summer the movement for a boycott of apartheid Israel has been gathering momentum. Concerned individuals have taken action to show their anger over Israeli actions in Lebanon and the occupied territories. Many activists have targeted the supply of arms to Israel by invading bases being used to transport weapons components to Israel or taking action against arms companies dealing with Israel. In Derry, during the bombing of Lebanon, activists broke into US arms manufacturer Raytheon’s main office burning thousands of documents, while in Brighton protesters have caused major disruption to EDO MBM, supplier of electrical weapons components to Israel, throughout the summer.

Since the bombing of Lebanon began Palestinians have renewed calls for a cultural boycott of apartheid Israel. Several international film festivals, including those at Lussass and Edinburgh have handed back Israeli embassy sponsorship. On September 19th the Irish group, Academics for Justice, followed in the footsteps of British academic trade unions NAFTHE and the AUT and called for an academic boycott of apartheid Israel.

PSC and BIG hope that the dynamic action taken this summer will build into a mass campaign similar to that of the boycott of apartheid South Africa.

In addition to its brutal occupation and theft of Palestinian land, the Israeli state also operates an entrenched system of racial discrimination against its own Palestinian civilians which is among the reasons many South African activists label it an apartheid state.

Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights in 1967 in contravention international law.

Since Israel then has moved over 380,000 settlers into these occupied territories in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention (article 49), the Hague Regulations and United Nations Security Council Resolutions.

Israel continues to build an illegal apartheid wall inside the West Bank despite the Advisory Ruling of the International Court of Justice in 2005 that the wall is illegal. Fifty five illegal Israeli settlements will be on the Israeli side of the wall separated from the West Bank.

Since 2000 Israel has demolished 628 Palestinian houses, home to 3, 983 people, in acts of collective punishment. These demolitions constitute a war crime. (Above statistics confirmed by Israeli Information Centre Btselem see
3, 808 Palestinians have been killed as a direct result of Israeli military actions and 29, 456 injured during the current upraising which began in September 2000.
PSC calls on the government and the EU to place sanctions against Israel which continues to build an illegal apartheid wall inside the West Bank despite the Advisory Ruling of the International Court of Justice in 2005 declaring the wall illegal.

Tom Hayes
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