I would like to echo Senator Walton Brown’s comments concerning Israel, although I think he – and the PLP as a whole – should go further than meekly asking the UK to step up to bat when it comes to Israel.
I am one of those who see the current Israeli-Palestinian situation as being on par to that of Apartheid South Africa, complete with discrimination of Israeli Arabs, townships and general oppression towards the Palestinians. During Apartheid SA there were a group of Bermudians, mostly from within the organised labour movement, who not only opposed Apartheid but took it upon themselves to become anti-apartheid activists, calling for boycotts of SA products and demonstrating against US and UK leaders who refused to help enforce sanctions and boycotts against Apartheid SA.
The situation today with Israel is no different. It is time that our progressive labour movement reawakens and organises to actively oppose Apartheid Israel. The Bermuda Government should, preferably by its own volition, otherwise through pressue from civil society and the unions, ensure that it has no dealings with Israel or any companies connected to either the Israeli state or otherwise involved in Israel. All Israeli products should be banned from Bermuda.
I will try and compile a list of Apartheid Israeli products and companies that can be found in Bermuda and should be boycotted as a result, but I would appreciate if any readers have any thoughts of companies or products at the moment.
I want to stress that I am not calling, in any way, for discrimination of our Jewish community (who have suffered discrimination in Bermuda since our founding in 1609) or products solely on the basis of being in any way related to Judaism. The oppression of the Palestinian people and the discrimination towards Israeli Arabs is far removed from the religion of Judaism, even though some may try to cloak this oppression with religion.