The Palestine Solidarity Campaign supports the Palestinian lead Boycott Divestment and Sanction (BDS) campaign. Established in 2005 and supported by 171 Palestinian civil society organisation, the campaign calls for:
- the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland,
- the end of Israel’s military occupation including the siege of Gaza, and
- equal rights for Palestinian living in Israel.
To acheive these aims the campaign calls for:
- Boycott to withdraw support from Israel’s apartheid regime, complicit Israeli sporting, cultural and academic institutions, and from all Israeli and international companies engaged in violations of Palestinian human rights and includes consumer boycotts to convince retailers to stop selling products from companies profiting from Israel’s crime.
- Divestment to urge banks, local councils, churches, pension funds and universities to withdraw investments from the State of Israel and all Israeli and international companies that sustain Israeli apartheid.
- Sanctions to pressure governments to fulfil their legal obligations to end Israeli apartheid, and not aid or assist its maintenance, by banning business with illegal Israeli settlements, ending military trade and free-trade agreements, as well as suspending Israel’s membership in international forums such as UN bodies and FIFA.
GM Friends of Palestine actively supports the BDS campaign. It participated in the Dump Veolia campaign, which forced the company to end its support for the East Jerusalem light railway and recycling services of illegal settlement in 2015. It took a leading role in the Stop G4S campaign, that called for an end to the companies involvement in Israeli prison and support for Israel’s illegal settlements and the Apartheid Wall, and also human rights violations in the UK. GM Friends of Palestine also supported the campaign that forced Hewlett Packard (HP) company to end it’s direct involvement in the Israeli occupation by providing the Israeli regime with technologies of surveillance and control used in the occupied Palestinian territory.
Currently, GM Friends of Palestine is actively supports the following campaigns:
- Stop Arming Israel campaign that calls for the government sanctions to end the two-way arms trade with Israel supporting the protest against the Elbit Sytems factory in Oldham . The campaign also tackles corporate complicity by calling on HSBC to divest from companies trading weapons and technology with Israel.
- Boycott Puma campaign to end their sponsorship of the Israel Football Association (IFA), which operates in illegal Israeli settlements on land stolen from Palestinians. By sponsoring the IFA, Puma is complicit in supporting these crimes. By sponsoring its national team it is also promoting Israeli apartheid.
- LGPS Divest Campaign Research has identified that Local Government Pension Schemes (LGPS) funds hold £4.4 billion in companies complicit with Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights . This includes companies active in, or with, Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise on stolen Palestinian land, as well as companies supplying weapons, components, and military technology used in unlawful violence against Palestinians. Across the UK, pension scheme members and their representative trade unions, are calling on the Local Government Pension Scheme to remove investments from companies complicit.
- Stop JCB campaign. JCB is a UK company that manufactures both civil and military bulldozers, selling its equipment to the Israeli police, military and civil administration. These are regularly used to demolish Palestinian property and also the construction of illegal settlements. For this, the company is on the United Nations register of companies complicit with Israel’s occupation.
- Consumer Boycott. GM Friends of Palestine supports consumer boycott of Israeli goods to raise awareness of Israel’s crimes and apply pressure. Many Israeli exporters now complain that it is getting harder for them to export their products. Israeli goods as they can be found in a very wide range of retailers, with Israeli farm produces found in all major UK supermarkets. For many people it would not be possible to boycott all store that sell Israeli, which is why we advocate the boycott of Israeli products rather than of stores that sell Israeli productrs. An exception are the stores that explicitly promote the Israeli apartheid, an example of which was the Kedem Cosmetics store on King Street Manchester that was dedicated to selling Israeli products manufactured from raw materials illegally extracted from the occupied territories and promoting brand Israel.