A letter from BRICUP

Dear Supporter,

We would not normally write to you about the affairs of another organisation, however PSC, with whom BRICUP has worked increasingly closely, is the central British organisation in the campaign for Palestinian rights and decisions taken by PSC in relation to BDS critically affect the work of BRICUP.

If you are a member of PSC we urge you to attend the PSC AGM which is taking place this Saturday, 24 January in Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, W1

Among the motions will be proposals to move PSC towards a boycott of the Histadrut, the Israeli trade union federation. BRICUP’s agreed policy is to campaign for boycott of the Histadrut since it has always been a Zionist organisation which is seen by Palestinian workers as part of the problem, not part of the solution. Their recent statement on the Israeli assault on Gaza underlines this:

The Histadrut would have preferred that the current situation had not developed this way. Israel embarked on operation “Cast Lead” after acting with great restraint for many years towards unbearable constant terror attacks from Gaza and making every diplomatic attempt to avoid confrontation. Israel agreed to a “state of calm”, while Hamas exploited the agreement to build up its forces and rearm. Not only did Hamas rearm itself, but it terminated the calm by launching up to 80 rockets a day at Israeli civilians. By this time, Israel had no choice but to respond to the repeated attacks and aggression as an act of justifiable self-defense…

The Histadrut will not cease in its efforts to promote peace and mutual understanding between Israelis and Palestinians. We will not allow ourselves to be frustrated by the extremist, whose views and actions, does not assist individual Palestinians nor the Palestinian cause.

The full statement should be at: http://www.labourstart.org/israel/Histadrut_on_Gaza.pdf

or at https://exchange.lse.ac.uk/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.labourstart.org/israel/Histadrut_on_Gaza.pdf but this seems to be broken.

BRICUP is supporting the amendment to the York PSC motion which softens and broadens it somewhat, in the hope of achieving unity on this somewhat contentious topic. However, we are also supporting the stronger motion by Scottish PSC which calls for outright boycott of the Histadrut. We hope that at least one of these motions will be carried.

Almost unprecedentedly, two of the main PSC offices are being contested. Clearly this represents some differences of opinion about PSC”s direction and policy, which it would be difficult to go into here in detail. We would however point out that Monica Wusteman, who is an active member of BRICUP (as well as an inspirer of the super-active PSC branch in York) is standing for Chair; and Jenny Najar, until recently PSC Director is standing for Treasurer. We are confident that both of these would pursue policies which BRICUP supporters would approve of.

After the AGM there will be a ‘Lift the Blockade’ demonstration called by PSC and others, starting nearby at the BBC, and we encourage our supporters to participate in this.”

Mike Cushman

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