Israel’s strategic affairs minister flew into London on Sunday to meet with top officials to discuss the growing BDS movement. The aim of the visit is to try and fight the BDS movement at all fronts.
Minister Gilad Erdan will be meeting with minister for communities, local government, university, public security and Internet safety. He will also be meeting with leaders at Scotland Yard, which will include a tour of its Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit.
Erdan’s visit shows that the BDS movement is working. In his own words, “Great Britain is the world center of the anti-Israeli BDS campaign. I’m going there to battle the boycott and delegitimisation in every arena…” His statements are a reflection of the fears of the Israeli government over the increasingly popular boycott movement.
Israel and its lobby have desperately tried to attack the BDS movement and have invested time and money into trying to counter the BDS movement. This year Israel used £26 million for its budget for anti-BDS activities.
Students are about to embark on another academic year filled with events and talks on Palestine. Palestine fresher packs are ready to be distributed to hundreds of universities across the UK. Educating students about issues from illegal settlements, political prisoners and refugees.
In addition to academic boycotts, consumers are taking a stand against Israel’s illegal occupation by boycotting produce from illegal settlements. Organisations that are complicit in Israel’s brutal occupation are also increasingly feeling the impact. Over 10,000 signatures were collected from the public condemning Coca-Cola’s operations in two illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
On a political level, land sliding victories have been won in support of boycotts. Leicester city councils high court case is an example of this. The council won its high court review allowing them to boycott products from illegal settlements. The move has already had a rippling effect on other councils who have taken similar action.
The UK is a clear stronghold for the BDS movement. The call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel will continue until the occupation comes to an end, and Palestinians are given a chance to live free and fulfilling lives. Israel will have to continue to pour millions into its counter BDS strategy as more people are standing with human rights and justice.