Over 300 members attended PSC’s AGM in January. Keynote speeches were delivered by Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and by Nadia Hijab, Executive Director of Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network. (You can read their speeches here and here.) The meeting also heard from Bassem Tamimi, leader of popular resistance in Nabi Saleh and father of Ahed Tamimi, the 17 year old Palestinian recently arrested and facing imprisonment for slapping a soldier who was seeking to enter her family property unlawfully.
PSC’s annual plan passed by the AGM confirmed the following key campaigning objectives in 2018:
- A ban on the import of settlement Goods into the UK
- Action to end the two- way arms trade with Israel, including campaigning for HSBC Bank to end its complicity with companies supplying arms to Israel
- For the UK Government to place meaningful pressure on Israel to end the abuse of Palestinian children held unlawfully in Israeli military detention
- To build pressure on UK Government to act with international partners to end the Blockade of Gaza
- To use the financial influence of the Local Government Pension Schemes and other Pension schemes to put pressure on companies supporting Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights
- To support the campaign for the Israeli Football Association to be suspended from FIFA until Israel respects the rights of Palestinians and observes international law
Underpinning all of PSC’s work is the overarching strategic aim to mainstream the campaign which means building popular cross-party support and making Palestine a core issue in all arenas of political decision making. Central to achieving this objective is locating our campaign within a clear human rights, equality and anti-racist framework. Disparate Palestinian communities experience Israel’s imposition of unjust structures of power: whether living under siege in Gaza, living under direct military occupation in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, living as citizens of Israel denied full equality under the law, or expelled in 1948 and 1967 and denied the right of return. This year our campaigns will be driven by publicising our and others’ analysis that Israel’s structure of power over Palestinians meets the definition of apartheid and emphasising that acceptance of this is an important step in convincing the international community to respond to the call of Palestinian civil society for a campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions until Israel complies with international law.
The AGM also noted that 2018 will be the 70th anniversary of the Nakba. Marking the Nakba as a continuing process affecting disparate Palestinian communities will be a central part of our messaging and work in 2018 alongside our core campaigns.