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British pro-Palestine activists prove that direct action and BDS are effective

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Pro-Palestine supporters were celebrating victory last night after Scotland lived up to its reputation of being "enemy territory" for Zionists, with the country's last local authority pension fund announcing that it has divested from the controversial Israeli Bank Hapoalim. Years of campaigning and pressure, led by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign and other concerned Scots, has paid off.

This proves once again the power of the peaceful Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, which is a Palestinian-led initiative working for freedom, justice and equality. BDS is reviled by the pro-Israel lobbies for doing nothing more than insisting that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity.

"Scotland is now a Bank Hapoalim-free zone," declared SPSC co-founder Mick Napier after announcing that the Lothian Pension Fund, which represents the quartet of East, Mid and West Lothian and Edinburgh City councils, has divested from the Israeli bank. Hapoalim is listed in the UN's database of business enterprises involved in activities that impact on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

READ: Britain should end, not extend, its military cooperation with Israel

A UN investigation found that Bank Hapoalim's activities relate to the provision of services and utilities supporting the maintenance and existence of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, including transport networks. The banking and financial operations also help to develop, expand or maintain the illegal Israeli settlements and their activities, including loans for housing and the development of businesses.

The Lothian Pension Fund is the second largest local authority pension fund in Scotland, with 84,000 members and £8 billion of assets. It is the third such fund — and the last — to divest from Bank Hapoalim. Falkirk Pension Fund was the first to divest in 2018 in response to SPSC campaigns supported by pressure from trade unions. The following year, Tayside Pension Fund divested, leaving the Lothian Pension Fund as the only Scottish council pension fund to retain holdings in the bank.

Now news has come through that it too........

© Middle East Monitor

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