UK Black Students Campaign votes to boycott Israel

There’s been another setback for the apartheid state of Israel, this time in Britain.

The Black Students Campaign (BSC), which represents over one million Asian, Caribbean, African and other ethnic minority students, has voted by an overwhelming majority in favour of a motion (see appendix below) calling for the boycott of, divestment from and sanctions against Israel.

The BSC is a self-governing sub-section of the National Union of Students, which represents the majority of student unions in Britain.

The motion, No. 403, commits the BSC to lobby for an “academic boycott of Israeli universities”, to “support the annual Israeli Apartheid Week initiative”, and advocates for divestment from “key BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] target companies, including G4S, Veolia and Eden Springs”.

It also describes “Israeli expansion on Palestinian land” as “a settler-colonial project, predicated on the ethnic cleansing and expulsion of its indigenous people”.

Mindful of Israel’s persecution of its Palestinian citizens, its occupation of Palestinian lands and its history of aggression against its neighbours – in 1956, 1967, 1978, 1982, 2006, 2008 and 2012, among others – the motion slams the “ongoing 66-year long occupation of Palestine, Israel’s multitude of human rights and international law violations, its flagrancy and unaccountability to the international community”.

Slowly but surely, the world is waking up to the longest-running lie that is Israel.

We salute the Black Students Campaign for its principled stand on the side of justice.

Appendix

Motion 402: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions

Submitted by Bradford Students’ Union

Speech for: waived to Kings College London

Speech Against: Free

Summation: waived to Sheffield University Students’ Union

Conference believes:

  1. The ongoing 66-year long occupation of Palestine, Israel’s multitude of human rights and international law violations, its flagrancy and unaccountability to the international community.
  2. The Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) campaign called for by Palestinian civil society in 2005 to pressure Israel into complying with international law.
  3. The repression used against BDS campaigners both in the UK and abroad, including the recent suspension of students at Witwatersrand University, South Africa for protesting a concert recital on campus.
  4. The numerous BDS successes on campuses this past year, including those against G4S at Southampton, King’s College, Birmingham and Kent University.
  5. The racism directed against Africans and African migrants and refugees within Israel, including internment- without-trial of asylum seekers and anti-African riots.

Conference further believes:

  1. Israeli expansion on Palestinian land to be a settler-colonial project, predicated on the ethnic cleansing and expulsion of its indigenous people.
  2. That racism is systemic within Israeli state policy, with anti-Arab, anti-African and anti-migrant discrimination.
  3. The success in dismantling South African apartheid was due in part to international pressure and sanctions against that regime.
  4. That international solidarity from students is a crucial part of the Palestine liberation struggle.
  5. That international solidarity should be conducted on the terms set by the Palestinian people, as per the BDS campaign.
  6. That the three aims of the BDS campaign are the necessary preconditions for any true peace in the Middle East.
  7. That the Israeli government is feeling the pressure from international BDS.
  8. That all other methods of pressuring Israel and the ending the occupation have failed.

Conference resolves:

  1. To continue the Campaign’s long-standing commitment to the Palestinian cause and anti-colonialism.
  2. To support Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaigns initiated by students.
  3. To lobby Institutions and Unions to divest from key BDS target companies, including G4S, Veolia and Eden Springs.
  4. To work with BRICUP and lobby institutions to adopt academic boycott of Israeli universities.
  5. To disseminate resources and materials on how to run successful BDS campaigns.
  6. To support the annual Israeli Apartheid Week initiative.
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