Palestine: The Message and the Messenger
No matter how truthful and brilliant a message can be, its success always depends on the messenger who transmits it. And so are causes in our world which have utterly failed in spite of their validity because the transmitters were not up to the task to creatively project to others their righteousness. Indeed, we see great religious thoughts that were and still are being misused by non-spiritual minds that turned them into pure unadulterated evil (harm). The number of innocent souls that perished in the name of religion that is supposed to save them as a primary goal is almost beyond any calculation. Therefore, it is always the messenger together with the message that makes the difference.
Our focus here is Palestine. The validity of its righteous cause is beyond question, but the immense abuse it had experienced at the hands of the Zionists/ Israelis and even some Palestinians and Arabs is also beyond question and doubt. Yet, the Palestine cause has never witnessed a public relation campaign that reached a creative level bonding with millions of hearts and minds across the world like the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (PSC). The Organization has been raising public awareness about the occupation of Palestine and the legitimate daily struggle of the Palestinians which, slowly but surely, is causing the State of Israel to lose favor and even its legitimacy as a State among law abiding nations.
Because of the many campaigns of the PSC, Israel has increasingly become one of the most hated states in our world, similar to apartheid South Africa in the 1980s. This civil Palestinian organization has been turning an ever-growing number of Jewish and Israeli minds and hearts to support the basic rights of the Palestinian people. One of its latest general achievements was a vote of support by the British Trade Union Congress (TUC), representing 6.5 million workers in the United Kingdom. TUC voted on September 14th, 2011 “to support Palestine and review links with organizations complicit with Israel’s occupation”. The Union decided to “work closely with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign to actively encourage affiliates, employers and pension funds to disinvest from, and boycott the goods of companies who profit from illegal (Israeli) settlements and occupation as well as the construction of the (separation) Wall”.
Such a development calls for appreciation of the organized efforts of the PSC which is an independent, non-governmental and non-party political organization with members from many communities across the world who have come together from all faiths and political parties, student organizations and trade unions to work for justice for the Palestinian people. Indeed, the PSC with a head office in Central London is opposed to all forms of racism, including anti-Jewish prejudice and Islamo-phobia. PSC has an executive committee of 20 members in addition to two members representing the PSC’s trade union advisory committee. The Organization depends on volunteers to manage and run specific campaigns and branches across the world in addition to producing publications. As an example, some of its activities included during October, 2011, the “Negev Bedouin Story” event held in Oxford highlighting the plight of thousands of Bedouins facing transfer from their lands by Israel. Another event held in Cambridge focused on ‘ Israel’s Hidden Victims’ while a day of films was dedicated to Palestine in Southampton entitled ‘Gazawood’. The ‘ Revolutionary Change in the Arab World: What Prospects for the Palestinians?’ was the main focus of an activity held in London.
A major campaign of PSC is the ‘Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)’ against Israel, primarily initiated by a grassroots movement that grew in the occupied Palestinian lands. Omar Barghouti a fellow Palestinian and a leader of the movement managed, together with his colleagues, to found the BDS (which has spread across the world) as early as 2005 with a campaign of and a call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights. A truly global movement against Israeli Apartheid is rapidly emerging in response to this call. “Don’t collaborate with Israeli Apartheid” was an appeal from Palestinian civil societies to European and American universities, academies, students and people of conscience. All the time, BDS activists are urging unions to review relations with the Israeli trade union (Histadrut) and all western companies to stop their dealings with Israeli commercial enterprises which are exploiting annexed occupied Palestinian lands. As a result, many trade unions and student organizations in many universities as well as retirement funds in Europe have now adopted the BDS goals against the Israeli apartheid occupation of Palestine. In addition to such activities, a number of resources are made available to volunteers to run the various campaigns all over the world drawing attention to the illegal status of the Israeli settlements/colonies and calling for a boycott of their products. One PSC leaflet carried the question title of ‘ Would You Buy Stolen Goods?’ in reference to goods being produced by the settlers/colonizers in stolen Palestinian lands. Other publications came under titles such as ‘Israeli Settlements/Colonies Goods: Ban Them, Don’t Buy Them’, ‘Basic Facts about Settlements/colonies’ and ‘Israel’s Colonial Settlement Policy’.
Again, ‘it is the messenger together with the message’, that can fulfill noble goals. When the messenger and his colleagues in the PSC reach a high level in the service of their righteous cause, they are literally able to budge immense rocks with the BDS campaign against the colonial Israeli rule in occupied Palestine. Indeed, we are truly blessed to have the likes of Omar Barghouti and his companions in the PSC who work tirelessly towards bringing justice to the Palestinians.