- Created: Monday, 21 May 2018 18:22
- Written by London Branches
Following the horrific massacre of more than 60 Palestinians in Gaza by the racist Israeli state on Monday 14 May, supporters of the RCG and Victory to the Intifada in London came together with other supporters of Palestine to call for an end to all British support for Israel. The lively rolling picket targeted shops with links to the Zionist state, speaking out, petitioning, and spreading information about supporters of Israeli occupation and violence on Britain's high streets.
The protest met at Barclays bank on Tottenham Court Road, highlighting the British bank's longstanding support for the state of Israel, and its continuing support for the arms trade. Barclays quickly closed its doors, and many customers expressed their outrage having discovered the bank's role in the oppression of the Palestinians. The protest then moved off down Oxford Street, highlighting other businesses which have trade, financial or ideological links with Israel. Other targets included Carphone Warehouse - which stocks Motorola phones -, Boots, the clothes shops Zara and H&M, HSBC, and finally Marks & Spencer's - one of Britain's biggest corporate sponsors of Israel which the RCG and Victory to the Intifada have picketed consistently since the outbreak of the intifada. (See below for information on these shops links to Israel).
The protest made clear to passers-by the need to support the continuing Palestinian resistance to occupation, and oppose the role played by Israel in furthering imperialist aims in the Middle East. The complicity of Britain, both historically and today, in supporting Israel was underlined, as well as the importance of defending the right to defend Palestine against the attempts of Zionists to conflate anti-Zionism with anti-semitism in the Labour Party and elsewhere. True support for Palestine is an anti-racist and anti-imperialist struggle, and it must be part of building a new movement in this country which challenges British imperialism.
End British support for Israel!
Zionism is racism!
Freedom for Palestine!
Some of our targets:
- Is a British bank with longstanding investments in a number of major Israeli companies.
- It is THE largest global investor in the arms trade – including BAE Systems and Raytheon which sell military equipment to Israel and Saudi Arabia. It holds 4.25 percent shares in BAE systems which sold Israel components used in F16 fighter jets among other things.
- It previously profited from selling British Elbit drones to Israel.
- Was boycotted during the anti-apartheid struggle as it was a staunch supporter of the South African apartheid regime.
Carphone Warehouse: Stocks Motorola phones. Motorola:
- supplies Israel with the military tools it needs to sustain its occupation and oppression of the Palestinians - military encrypted comms systems with transportable units which deploy with the army in to the battle field; advanced radar/thermal camera surveillance systems for the settlements; metal detection gates used at checkpoints; and a cellular network tailored for the settlements. Its economic investment in Israel, which dates back to 1948, is huge and in recognition Motorola has received the Jubilee Award.
- the company signed a $100 million deal with Israel in January 2014 for encrypted smartphones for its soldiers and security personnel, called ‘Mountain Rose’. This allows the Israeli army, which consistently and severely violates Palestinian human rights, to communicate securely anywhere they operate.
- Similar practices by Motorola during South African apartheid prompted a successful boycott against them.
- Underwrites the Israeli state budget and supports Israel to issue its state bonds on international capital markets.
- Holds shares in the global arms industry totalling £450.6 million
- Serves as principal banker to BAE systems
Marks & Spencer:
- Israeli firm Delta Galil supplies M&S with clothing
- M&S continues to stock Hadiklaim dates packaged as an own brand product
- Buys from Mehadrin (Jaffa brand)
- Is a long standing financial supporter of Israeli state and business.
- ‘We take all our dates from Israel as they are of such superb quality and we have long-standing relationships with Israeli suppliers’ M&S date buyer, Zeina Chapman (Sept 2015).
- Also see: M&S: Ally of Israel.