Banning UK citizens from protesting against Israel’s government is anti-democratic. Here’s why

Anti-Semitism? The Tory government’s plan to ban public bodies from taking part in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against a murderous foreign apartheid regime will be painted as a crusade against anti-Semitism. But it is one that will lack accurate evidence.

One of the (many) planned laws in Boris Johnson’s new legislative programme is one said to “prevent public bodies from adopting their own approach to international relations” by adopting ethical positions against foreign human rights abusers with boycotts of their exports.

It is widely understood that Johnson’s aim is to protect the government of Israel from the growing BDS movement, which seeks to end that country’s apartheid regime in Palestine.

This is – of course – hugely undemocratic. Local authorities and the devolved governments are elected by the UK’s voters and should be allowed to procure goods and services as they see fit, including according to a higher standard of ethics than that of the national UK government itself.

In essence, it seems the legislation is intended to smear those who refuse to tolerate the Israeli persecution of Palestine as anti-Semites. For some of us, it’s a familiar tactic.

Many people, including This Writer, have already been smeared as anti-Semites for opposing the harmful – indeed, homicidal – activities of a national government that presents itself as representing an entire ethnic group (it doesn’t; many Jews around the world are repulsed by the way Palestine is being treated).

Perversely, it is anti-racism campaigners who are being branded as anti-Semites – a brand that the UK’s own government intends to burn into local authorities, devolved governments and other public bodies if they insist on acting against the persecution of Palestine.

You can find out more about what has already happened – and help fight what is happening now – by visiting the website of a relatively new organisation whose title states exactly what it is about: the Campaign Against Bogus Antisemitism.

The organisation’s website states: “It is deeply hurtful to anti-racist campaigners to be branded as antisemitic. People are broken by the embarrassment and shame of attacks they suffer in the media, there for friends, family and other campaigning bodies to see – as if it were the truth… CABA aims to help set the record straight.

“We are a volunteer-led group dedicated to exposing and countering bogus antisemitism- through education and championing those unjustly accused.

“We are building a network of activists across UK, Palestine and further afield, working in a concerted manner, campaigning to allow us to decry apartheid in Israel without being branded ‘anti-Semites’.”

There’s a lot of information on the CABA site – This Writer hasn’t been able to read all of it, and I’m sure that much of it will be disputed by those with an interest in doing so.

But the intention seems an honest one – which is more than the Tory government can offer with its pro-racist, pro-apartheid planned law.

Give it a look and judge for yourself. You may learn a lot.

Source: About Us- and Joining – Campaign Against BOGUS Antisemitism

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4 thoughts on “Banning UK citizens from protesting against Israel’s government is anti-democratic. Here’s why

  1. Martyn Meacham

    WW2 was fought to eradicate fascism…It obviously failed…..Nazism is no longer ‘simmering on the back boiler’….. Those in ‘power’ are determined to keep the rest of his quiet, so that they can carry on with their self serving, evil, crooked and corrupt agenda.

  2. Hecuba

    Typical fascist tory policy criminalise any action which does not support the fascist tories!!! Still believe little england is a democracy??? Well democracy was abolished when the fascist tories gained political power!

  3. mohandeer

    Many thanks for this article Mike. I am a member of B’Tselem, JVP and PSC so any grass roots movement is welcome by myself and the Jewish community. You might want to post a comment on their work: B’Tselem has led the fight for human rights in the Occupied Territories for 30 years. Right now, attempts to silence us are on the rise. We need your help more than ever.
    With your support, our work to expose human rights violations and demand an end to these injustices will continue.
    About B’Tselem:
    B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories strives for a future in which human rights, liberty and equality are guaranteed to all people, Palestinian and Jewish alike, living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Such a future will only be possible when the Israeli occupation and apartheid regime end. That is the future we are working towards. B’Tselem (in Hebrew literally: in the image of), the name chosen for the organization by the late Member of Knesset Yossi Sarid, is an allusion to Genesis 1:27: “And God created humankind in His image. In the image of God did He create them.” The name expresses the universal and Jewish moral edict to respect and uphold the human rights of all people.

    Since B’Tselem’s inception in 1989, we have been documenting, researching and publishing statistics, testimonies, video footage, position papers and reports on human rights violations committed by Israel in the Occupied Territories. The initial mandate we took upon ourselves focused on the occupation regime in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and in the Gaza Strip. However, over the years, it has become clear that the concept of two parallel regimes operating between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan River – a permanent democracy west of the Green Line and a temporary military occupation to the east of it – is divorced from reality. The entire area that Israel controls is ruled by a single apartheid regime, governing the lives of all people living in it and operating according to one organizing principle: establishing and perpetuating the control of one group of people – Jews – over another – Palestinians – through laws, practices and state violence.

    In more than 30 years of work, B’Tselem has earned a place of honor in the local and international human rights community, and has received various awards, including the Carter-Menil Award for Human Rights (1989, jointly with Al-Haq); the Danish PL Foundation Human Rights Award (2011, jointly with Al-Haq); the Stockholm Human Rights Award (2014); and the Human Rights Award of the French Republic (2018, jointly with Al-Haq). B’Tselem’s video project has also received various awards, including the British One World Media Award (2009) and the Israeli Documentary Filmmakers Forum Award (2012).

    B’Tselem is an independent, non-partisan organization. It is funded solely by donations: grants from European and North American foundations that support human rights activity worldwide, and generous contributions by private individuals in Israel and abroad.

    The essence of the apartheid regime in place between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is to promote and perpetuate the supremacy of one group over another. B’Tselem works to change this reality, recognizing that this is the only way to realize a future in which human rights, liberty and equality are guaranteed to all human beings living here, Palestinians and Jews alike.

    Stay in touch with B’Tselem

    Sign up for the newsletter

    In solidarity Mike

  4. Peter Gregson

    Well, if anybody wants to stop the smearing of those who want to campaign against apartheid Israel they can join us at the Campaign Against Bogus Antisemitism at – and if you have been smeared or are under attack from Zionists, we’ll add your story to our Rogue’s Gallery- so that you can put YOUR side of the story

Comments are closed.