UK National Union of Students Joins BDS
by Stephen Lendman
NUS calls itself “a voluntary…confederation of 600 students’ unions (including) more than 95 percent of all higher and further education unions in the UK.”
It “represents the interests of more than seven million students. (It) fight(s) discrimination, isolation and injustice.”
It wants seven million “student voices” to make a difference. On Tuesday, its executive council passed a Solidarity with Palestine motion to boycott Israeli goods because of its egregious violations of Palestinian human rights.
The motion allies NUS with the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. It called on Britain’s government to stop selling arms to Israel.
NUS adopted earlier supportive Palestinian positions. During Israel’s summer 2014 Gaza aggression, it called for a UK arms embargo.
It urged its members to boycott “corporations complicit in financing and aiding Israel’s military, including G4S and Hewlett Packard.”
Last summer’s vote, other supportive actions, and the latest BDS backing firmly allies NUS with the Palestinian cause.
Netanyahu reacted as expected. He lied saying “(t)his is less than a year after (NUS) refused to support a boycott of ISIS.”
“They boycott Israel but they refuse to boycott ISIS. That tells you everything you want to know about the BDS movement. They condemn Israel and do not condemn ISIS. They condemn themselves.”
“Israel has an exemplary democracy. We have academic freedom, press freedom, human rights.”
Israel’s “exemplary democracy” exceeds the worst apartheid South African practices. It’s ruled by hawkish hate-mongering racists.
It viciously persecutes Palestinians for not being Jews – including cold, calculated premeditated wars of aggression at its discretion.
It treats is 20% Arab population like fifth column threats. It denies them fundamental rights mandated under international humanitarian law.
In December 2014, NUS passed a resolution condemning ISIS “as a reactionary terrorist organization that carries out atrocities” against ordinary people in areas it controls.
Months earlier, it rejected a Kurdish solidarity motion unrelated to ISIS because it encouraged students to spy on each other.
It supports Kurdish rights. It urged rewriting the motion omitting its unacceptable portions. It was done and the motion passed.
Netanyahu repeatedly blusters about an “international campaign to blacken (Israel’s) name.” He shamelessly claims it’s “not connected to our actions. It is connected to our very existence.”
Israel is treated unfairly, he rails. It’s only enemies are ones it invents. It faced no threat since the 1973 Yom Kippur war. Claims otherwise are Big Lies.
New York Times editorial policy one-sidedly supports Israel. Its Jerusalem correspondent Jodi Rudoren featured Netanyahu’s unjustifiable criticisms – while ignoring BDS campaigners’ responses to his hate-mongering.
On May 31, she headlined
“Netanyahu Lashes Out at Criticism of Israel,” quoting him saying:
It’s “a phenomenon that we have known in the history of our people…(claiming Jews) are the focus of all evil in the world (and) drink the blood of little children.”
“(T)his campaign to delegitimize Israel…seeks to deny our very right to live here.”
Rudoren highlighted Netanyahu’s denunciation of BDS as “anti-Semitic (and) immoral” without explaining it solely supports acting against Israel’s unaccountable high crimes.
She irresponsibly regurgitated Israel’s claim about diaspora Palestinians’ right of return amounting to a “demographic death warrant (for the) Jewish state.”
Attacking BDS isn’t new. Billionaire Netanyahu supporter Sheldon Adelson, Haim Saban and other top Israeli backers arranged a closed-door meeting to discuss strategies for countering BDS – including campus campaigns increasingly gaining traction.
The BDS Campaign’s web site says “(s)upporting the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is one of the most important steps that student unions internationally can take to stand in solidarity with our struggle for freedom.”
Holding Israel accountable for its decades of high crimes against Palestinians is an idea whose time has come. Efforts by Adelson and other like him won’t stop it.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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