It gives all of us at Oban Concern for Palestine the greatest pleasure to forward a couple of heartening messages on the same subject, received from our friends at JVP – Jewish Voice for Peace – and at PSC – Palestine Solidarity Campaign, signifying a big win for the BDS movement – Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions, despite the Israeli government’s massive efforts to undermine it by spreading lies attempting to ‘pocket’ the UK and U.S. government – more on that in a different post shortly.
For now, please enjoy reading the messages from JVP and PSC below! Oban Concern for Palestine have been doing our small bit *) to contribute to this great success. Today, we stand proud with our friends, and we will keep on keeping on.
On 10 March 2016, Rebecca from JVP – Jewish Voice for Peace wrote:
‘This is big news: yesterday, private “security” conglomerate G4S announced that they were selling off their Israeli subsidiary, and getting out of the U.S. and U.K. youth prison businesses within the next two years.
‘This is a huge win for our movement.
‘The reason G4S made this decision could not be more clear: the worldwide coalition that has been putting on smart, tenacious, creative pressure for years to make it happen. I am so proud that all of us at JVP were able to play our part.
‘As reported in the Financial Times,
‘“…the company is extracting itself from reputationally damaging work, including its entire Israeli business, which employs 8,000 people and has a turnover of £100m.”
‘Here’s a translation: the global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement for Palestinian human rights has enough power to force a company worth $2.8 billion to change course, and stop profiting from Israel’s human rights abuses.
‘We need to make the most of this incredible victory. Please, take 20 seconds to spread the news about this win by sharing this photo on Facebook and Twitter:
‘This win shows the power of building coalitions in solidarity with one another based on a common principle – challenging mass incarceration and racist policing whether it is happening in the US, UK, or Israel.
‘It’s critical that we amplify this victory because there is still so much to do. In the words of Adv. Sahar Francis, Director of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association:
‘“The latest reports that G4S will sell its subsidiaries in Israel is welcome news but this has no immediate effect on those facing human rights violations inside Israel’s prisons today.”
‘G4S is still a reprehensible company making big money from prisons, detention centers, and mercenary armies around the world. The number of people in prisons – in Israel, the US, or the UK – is no smaller today than it was yesterday. So our job as activists for peace and human rights is to take wins like these, and use them as launching pads to our next, bigger impact.
‘Help us amplify our message – share this victory on social media, and let’s keep on building our movement. [OC4P emphasis]
‘Because this is a victory for our whole movement. JVP’s North Carolina chapter, leading a coalition of faith groups, social justice organizers, students, and peace activists, forced Durham County to drop a $1 million security contract with G4S in 2014. Along with dozens of other campaigns worldwide, this proves that change happens when people just like you and me step up to the plate.
‘The path ahead is long. Israel’s repression of Palestinian rights continues unabated. And ultimately, the problem isn’t the contractors who profit from this work — it’s the policies that try to “solve” dissent against oppression with policing and imprisonment.
‘So we have to keep moving. We need to amplify this win as quickly and as loudly as possible. We need to make sure every other company that profits off Israeli oppression, every lawmaker considering a vote on anti-BDS legislation, and most of all, every friend, family, and community member that we know is waiting for that moment of inspiration to step off the sidelines — we need to make sure they know about this.
‘And most of all, that they know that we all did it, together.
‘It will take less than a minute to share this good news – but it will make the hard work of literally thousands of people all over the world visible.
Earlier today, 12 March 2016, we heard from our friends at PSC – Palestine Solidarity Campaign:
‘Great news! G4S have finally announced they’ll be selling their subsidiary “G4S Israel” – their stake in the Israeli occupation.
‘Together with our partners and friends across the world, we’ve stood up to this mighty conglomerate and won! G4S are a massive company with huge profits. But by standing together and never giving up, even after years of campaigning – we’ve shown them that propping up occupation and profiting from apartheid is not an acceptable business model.
‘We are part of a Palestinian-led world wide movement that uses the simple, peaceful protest of boycott, divestment, and sanctions [OC4P emphasis]. And we know that together we will end the Israeli Government’s occupation and human rights abuses.
‘So let’s savour this moment. And set our sights on the next big challenge… (Hewlett Packard). I can’t wait to win the next victory with you!
‘Tricia and everyone at PSC‘
*) For example by screening Children in Chains, Jon Pullman’s harrowing documentary about the abuse of Palestinian children in the Israeli Military Court System, at Oban Phoenix (Community) Cinema on 27 February 2014.