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The core belief of Palestine Solidarity campaign is anti racism. We hate the fact that Palestinians are denied basic rights because of their ethnicity and religion.
Everyone in SPSC opposes the oppression and murder of Kurds, Yazidis, Moslems, Christians, Jews and Parisians, by ISIS. The question is, will the bombing of Syria by Britain help defeat them?
What are the lessons from the Iraq war?
The JIC [Joint Intelligence Committee] assessed that al-Qaeda and associated groups continued to represent by far the greatest terrorist threat to western interests, and that threat would be heightened by military action against Iraq[i].
A report from the Ministry of Defence stated
“The war in Iraq … has acted as a recruiting sergeant for extremists across the Muslim world … Iraq has served to radicalise an already disillusioned youth and al-Qaida has given them the will, intent, purpose and ideology to act.”[ii]
Spy Chief Eliza Manningham-Buller stated
The Iraq war ” increased the terrorist threat by convincing more people that Osama Bin Laden’s claim that Islam was under attack was correct.”[iii]
There was a statement by the UK think tank Chatham House reported “It [Iraq War] gave a boost to the al-Qaeda network’s propaganda, recruitment and fundraising”. This and many more references can be found here.[iv]
Some may claim that perhaps Cameron was ignorant of these conclusions. It is hard to claim that he was not aware of a joint statement by France, Turkey, the United States, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Britain which expressed concern that Russia’s actions would “only fuel more extremism and radicalisation”[v]. That was in October.
According to the BBC a man wielding a knife attacked three people at a tube station yesterday (5th December) shouting ‘this is for Syria’. The police have called it an act of terrorism.
Four things come out of such acts. First is the tragedy for the innocent victims. Secondly fear grows that any of us could be next, it makes all our lives a little sadder. Third, the Government’s line that Moslems tolerate ideas that lead to terrorism will appear vindicated. There will be more attacks on Moslems. Fourth the various repressive arms of the state will descend even more on the Moslem community.
Nothing good comes of these mad acts, but the war mongers in the West helped him go mad.
What has this to do with Palestine Solidarity Campaign? Under the ‘Prevent’ strategy children who wear PSC badges have been told that this could be extremist. Cameron told MP’s that they should not join Corbyn and ‘a bunch of terrorist sympathisers’.
The Telegraph reported that PSC ‘has had its accounts closed down over fears that it may be inadvertently funding terrorism’.
In Sheffield, we who raise funds for modest projects, a children’s ball pool, a mobile library, and scholarships for women in Gaza are having our accounts closed under accusations of terrorist sympathies, while a factory that makes drones for use in killing people in Gaza is modern business.
We are in a battle of ideas. We can sit back under a sea of abuse of terrorist sympathies and Islamophobia or we can campaign.
The Tory agenda is three fold – move money towards repression (and targeting the Moslem community) bombing Syria so they can be at the Imperial carve up at the end of hostilities, and using the clouds of war, hope to get away with more cuts in welfare.
I think we should oppose all three.
Many of us have banked with the Co-op for years. We do so not because of their financial wizardry, but because of their reputation as an “ethical bank”. We need to think again.
In Sheffield, the PSC account, the Yorkshire Palestine Cultural Exchange account and the Sheffield Palestine Women’s Scholarship Fund (a Registered Charity) have all been given notice of closure.
Across the country, twenty accounts belonging to groups which support the Palestinian cause are to be closed, including national PSC. PSC’s legal challenge to the Co-op is in the pipeline.
The Co-op has decided to define accounts which support legitimate, morally valid work for justice as incompatible with their “risk appetite”. There is more than one kind of risk for a bank. What if all of us who currently bank with Co-op decide that their business is incompatible with our “ethical appetite”?
In the face of increasing colonialist violence, Palestinians continue to resist the occupation and ethnic cleansing. Shallow reporting in the main press ignores the illegality of the occupation and portrays the conflict as one between people of equal strength and rights.
Abut 70 people from Sheffield and Rotherham gathered at Sheffield Town Hall today in solidarity with the Palestinian people in the face of this renewed onslaught.