The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign started in autumn 2000 in response to the Palestinian second uprising against Israeli occupation (intifada). The SPSC has branches and groups of supporters in several Scottish cities and universities, as well as individual members across Scotland. We are all volunteers, independent of all political formations, and wholly dependent on donations to finance our activities. We are unaligned with any Palestinian factions and support the right of the Palestinian people as a whole to self-determination.
A complete withdrawal of all Israeli military and paramilitary forces from the areas occupied by Israel in 1967
- The right of all Palestinian refugees ethnically cleansed from their homes and their descendants to return to their homes or the areas from which they were driven, in line with UN Resolution 194.
- An end to the Zionist project of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.
- Self-determination for Palestinians.
- Equal rights for Palestinians living in Israel.
- An end to all British arms sales to Israel.
We work with a generally sympathetic Scottish public at every level from the Parliament to street publicity events..
We detect a huge shift in popular support away from Israel and towards support for the human and national rights of the Palestinian people. We are committed to building effective solidarity with the people of Palestine - solidarity which can send a message of hope inside the ghettoes Israel is now building across the whole of Palestine, and which will also send a message to people in Israel that they will face mounting world-wide opposition if they continue along their present path.
Boycott is the key
There is always a need to educate the public about the history of Palestine, its present day realities, and the real danger of Israel accelerating its ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the future. We believe, however, despite general press and official UK Government positions of support for Israeli crimes, that a sufficient awareness has been reached among broad sectors of public opinion to sustain a successful campaign of active protest against Israeli crimes in Palestine and the wider region.
Most SPSC activities are related in some way to the Palestinian appeal for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israeli companies and state-supported institutions. We have identified Israel's Achilles' Heel: while the regional super-power can kill lightly-armed Palestinians with virtual impunity, the Zionist State has become deeply unpopular around the world and vulnerable to boycott. Wherever we unearth institutional collaboration with Israel in Scottish society, whether in universities, city councils, and the Scottish Parliament, we are able to challenge it with every chance of succeeding. We are always working to solve the fundamental problem of how the many citizens already sympathetic to Palestine can make a real difference.
Working for BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) against Israel
The major part of our work, therefore, is responding to the appeal from the entirety of Palestinian civil society for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, as long as the Zionist State denies Palestinian human rights and violates international law. The SPSC focuses on specific targets where we can measure our successes and setbacks.
- SPSC and Friends of Al Aqsa organised a vigorous protest on June 15th against the Iraeli sporting ambassadors playing Scotland in the UEFA Women's tournament
- The Israeli cricket team were forced to withdraw from their planned Glasgow games in 2006 after vigorous and prolonged protests during their games.
- The Israeli Under-21s football team played in Hamilton, Scotland in September 2002 in front of well over 500 protesters, many of them protesting publicly for the first time. The Israeli team lost (1-2) and Israeli officials later complained that the players, all but one off-duty soldiers, were upset by the volume and anger of the protests against the murder and dispossession of Palestinians.
- SPSC and partners in the Don't Dance with Israeli Apartheid coalition organised three days of vigorous against Israeli cultural ambassadors Batsheva at the 2012 Edinburgh International Festival.
- The Edinburgh International Film Festival returned sponsorship money from the Israeli Embassy after it became clear that protests would be staged at all the EIFF showings and we would launch an appeal internationally for film makers to stay away from this prestigious film festival.
The Jewish National Fund (JNF-KKL)
This racist organisation is one of the basic institutions for the past and ongoing dispossession of the Palestinian people. The JNF-KKL operates in the UK as a charity, although its stated aims are to acquire land in Israel/Palestine which can never be re-sold to a Palestinian, or any non-Jew, and is to be used exclusively for the benefit of Jews.
We work to strip the JNF of its charitable status because:although many others have failed before us, there is in the present climate, a real chance of winningmost Scottish people, when told of the activities of the JNF, are appalled at it being given charitable status
The Israeli-owned Eden Springs water cooler company
We work to spread the boycott against this particular Israeli company, Eden Springs. Contracts with Eden Springs are beginning to be cancelled. We focus on Eden Springs because:
it is vulnerable: almost everybody in Britain can reach and punish this Israeli company, either using their local council democracy or by petitioning and protesting to their employer. Eden Springs has contracts with most universities, health trusts and local authorities in Scotland. Eden Springs actively and undeniably violates international law in the Occupied Golan. Eden Springs is part of a harsh system of water apartheid which privileges illegal Jewish settlers over resident Arabs.
Any campaign for active boycott of Israeli institutions has, obviously, to be based on convincing enough people that Israel's crimes are of such a magnitude, and the British Government's complicity so clearly wrong, that British civil society has to act.
Scottish PSC runs well-attended public events regularly. We also use video-conferencing technology to link up Palestinian and international audiences and speakers. In this way a large number of Scottish and other universities can combine to participate in pro-Palestinian events, sometimes several thousands of people at a time. Speakers have included the late Edward Said, as well as Azmi Bishara, Noam Chomsky and a host of others.
Delegations to Palestine
SPSC organises regular delegations to Palestine with the specific aim of motivating participants to return to Scotland to build the BDS campaign against Israel. The searing testimonies they receive first-hand while in Palestine are powerful motivators to work on their return for effective solidarity with Palestine.
Funds raised through donations and memberships fees assists Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign to develop our agitation throughout Scottish society, using the available weapons of non-violent democratic action, especially our right to boycott and disinvest, to isolate and de-legitimise the apologetics of supporters of Israeli human rights violations, ethnic cleansing and mass killings.