Councils around the world boycott Israel

Irish activists handing in a petition against a confiscation of Palestinian flags. (Photo courtesty of John Hurson)

Local authorities in Ireland and Chile have become the latest to join a growing global wave of resistance to Israel’s war crimes against the Palestinians.

Monaghan last week became the fifth county or city council in Ireland to declare support for BDS, the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, after Israel’s latest massacres of unarmed protesters in the Gaza Strip.

More than 100 Palestinians have been gunned down by Israeli snipers in response to the Great Return March demonstrations that began on 30 March, including 15 children.

In April, Dublin City Council became the first European capital to endorse a boycott of Israel, voting to discontinue a contract with HP, a computer firm that has long been complicit in Israel’s military occupation in Palestine.

It was soon followed by local authorities in Donegal, Galway and now by Monaghan. Derry had previously declared a boycott in 2016.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) welcomed the news, reacting that “Irish solidarity is beautiful!”

Also last week, in Chile, the southern city of Valdivia passed a motion endorsing the BDS movement and declaring the city an “apartheid free zone,” in line with the BNC campaign of the same name.

The measure was introduced by the city’s mayor Omar Sabat, who is of Palestinian descent – part of the large Palestinian diaspora in Chile.

The country has a particularly active Palestine solidarity movement. Last year, the director of the county’s Palestinian Federation was barred from entering Palestine by Israeli authorities, who cited a new anti-BDS law.

More than 30 local authorities in Spain have also endorsed the BNC campaign. Many Spanish cultural centers and small businesses such as cafes and shops have also declared themselves “apartheid free zones.”

Cities in Spain voting for measures ranging from condemnation of Israel to calling for military and economic embargos have included the capital Madrid, Catalonia’s capital Barcelona, and regional capitals Valencia and Pamplona.

In May, Bologna, Italy’s seventh largest city, also called for a military embargo on Israel.

Despite the growing number of city and regional authorities around the world which support Palestinian rights, some local governments are accommodating Israeli war crimes.

The council in the Scottish city of Glasgow is being condemned by activists for allowing Israeli arms dealers into the city next week.

The council is due to sponsor the Undersea Defence Technology Fair, “a military fair featuring companies that fuel wars and military oppression around the world, including Israeli military companies,” the BNC wrote, calling for campaigners to email their objections.

Meanwhile, Ireland’s largest sporting organization, the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), was forced to deny this week it had banned Palestinian or other national flags from its grounds.

More than 1,200 GAA members, including two prominent Irish sportsmen, had signed a petition to the organization. The petition criticized how GAA officials in the Ulster region had ordered the removal by police of two Palestinian flags during a Gaelic football game last month.

The petition read: “we, the undersigned members of Cumann Lúthchleas Gael [the GAA], abhor the ongoing genocide in Palestine and call on all right thinking people to continue to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people and support their demands for basic human rights.”

Corrected to reflect the fact that Derry declared a boycott in 2016.

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Comments

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We owe you a lot of love from Palestine❤ and thank you for the support that God will keep you❤

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Thank you to the cities around thd world for supporting thd Palestinians struggle for freedom from the oppressed, racist, anti islamic, child murdering, thieving lying govt in Israel.

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I would ask for the language used in articles like this to please reflect reality.
The term, "war crimes" would be apt if there was indeed a war. There is not a war however and suggesting such opens the 'self defense' excuses used by this illegal occupier.
This is a genocide, ethnic cleansing at best.
I you ask you to please, please, change the language used.

Other than that, an excellent article.

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Steve, that's an interesting comment. I always think of Israel as being a state run by war criminals. But I take your point because of your logic in recognizing the excuse the IDF, et. al., use to "retaliate" against the Palestinian defenses, feeble though they may be, and thus treat it as a war. Good insight. Thank you.

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Asa Winstanley

Asa Winstanley's picture

Asa Winstanley is an investigative journalist and associate editor with The Electronic Intifada. He lives in London. Biography here.