On December 21st, pro-Israeli groups are planning to deliver Israeli foodstuffs to homeless shelters and food banks as a way to undermine support for the Palestinian appeal for BDS. The move is cynical and hypocritical.
The same people who support Israel's mass bulldozing of Palestinian homes, the mass creation of homelessness are claiming to help the homeless here in Britain. Individuals who support Israel dropping 500lb bombs on the most crowded area of Earth, the Gaza Strip, who endorse the razing of entire residential neighbourhoods in Gaza, will bring Israeli produce to homeless shelters on Sunday December 21st to show a "humanitarian face". While thousands of Palestinians are made homeless and kept homeless as a result of deliberate Israeli Government policy, pro-Israel activists will masquerade as friends of the homeless in Britain.
Food banks will also be offered donations of Israeli produce by people who support Israel's destruction of Palestinian farms, and who agree with Israel forbidding the use of many foodstuffs to the imprisoned people of Gaza. Those carrying donations of food – Israeli food only - also support capping the food intake of people in Gaza at a level that will produce widespread malnutrition but stop short of mass starvation. An Israeli Government advisor, Dov Weissglass, once 'joked' publicly that "The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger." The Israelis have announced a daily per person calorific intake they will allow to Palestinians in Gaza, micro-managing Palestinian hunger in line with Dov Weissglass' announcement.
To counteract the widespread revulsion at Israeli massacres that has led millions to shun Israeli produce, the UK Zionist response is to exploit the misery of the homeless and the hungry to promote Israeli produce.
Ken Loach directed the classic BBC play Cathy Come Home about homelessness in Britain; the outcry it generated led to the setting up, one month later, in November 1966, of the homeless charity Shelter, which still helps homeless people and also campaigns to end the political scandal of mass homelessness. Ken Loach is clear that "the foundation of Israel was based on a crime against the Palestinians. Israel is still committing crimes against humanity...We should not have anything to do with projects that are supported by the State of Israel. You cannot just stand by and watch people live their lives in refugee camps forever." The cynical donors of Israeli food – tainted ethically and politically – should not be allowed to benefit from this shameless ploy.
Even a Zionist observer was sickened, "The project organisers are using the poor, placing them in intolerable political positions that have nothing to do with them and taking away their dignity and independence, all for their own political ends".
Many of us with a roof over our heads and enough to live on have taken a decision to boycott Israeli produce; being homeless or having to rely on food banks limits a person's or a family's options. SPSC understands that homeless shelters and food banks have a duty to accept the food in order to help their needy clients. We also know that the sort of people who dedicate their time to helping the victims of this Government's austerity drive are likely to be opposed to injustice abroad as well as at home.
We ask you to deny any propaganda publicity to these pro-Israeli campaigners, the supporters of homelessness and hunger for Palestinians who come bearing Israeli foodstuffs. It is part of their effort to defeat the Palestinian call for BDS and their struggle for freedom. Supporting the manufacture of homelessness and hunger in Palestine; exploiting homelessness and hunger in Britain to sanitise the perpetrators, the Israeli State.
Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign
c/o Peace & Justice Centre
Edinburgh EH2 4BJ