Socialist Worker

We can still fight Israel

Issue No. 2716

Its legitimate to campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions

It's legitimate to campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (Pic: Socialist Worker)

Despite a huge assault on the right to stand with Palestine, it’s still possible to win victories.

The University of Manchester has withdrawn more than £3 million of investment from companies complicit in Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land.

The divestment followed a campaign by students in solidarity with Palestinians.

The university revealed that it divested from Caterpillar and the parent company of some time between April 2019 and 31 March 2020.

Caterpillar supplies bulldozers to the Israeli army, which are used to demolish Palestinian homes. lists rental properties in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.

Though the university denied that the divestment was connected to the campaign, its information officer did cite its ethical investment guidelines when revealing the decision.

The divestment comes amid attempts to silence solidarity with Palestine and campaigns against Israel. Claims that boycott and divestment campaigns are antisemitic are part of a broader assault on the left that has had a chilling effect on Palestine solidarity.

Boycott campaigns are legitimate. They target Israel for its abuse of Palestinians, not because it’s Jewish, and they stand in a proud tradition of international solidarity campaigns.

What’s more, they can still win.

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