Socialist Worker

New rules target Palestine solidarity movement

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2474

The Tories plan to force through rules to stop councils from boycotting Israel.

Proposed pension legislation changes aims to stop councils from boycotting or divesting from foreign countries or the British defence industry.

The move is clearly aimed at at the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. BDS targets companies profiting from Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

Tory aides said the legislation was supposed to stop “militant actions of left wing councils”. 

The move comes as the BDS campaign is gathering strength.

A few local councils in Britain are already implementing BDS policies. 

Leicester City Council passed a resolution last year to boycott products made in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

And earlier this year outsourcer Veolia ended all its business in Israel. 

BDS campaigners had forced at least ten councils in Britain to end waste management contracts with Veolia.

A recent World Bank report has also shown that a boycott of Israeli goods in the Palestinian territories alone had cost over £300 million between 2013 and 2014.

And the BDS campaign elsewhere is helping to isolate Israel and build support for Palestinians internationally.

That’s why the Tories want to stop BDS—and why it’s important to keep up the pressure.


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