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. 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 organisation has been raising public awareness about the occupation of Palestine and the legitimate daily struggle of the Palestinians which, slowly but surely, is causing Israel to lose favour 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 organisation 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 14, 2011 “to support Palestine and review links with organisations complicit with Israel’s occupation”. Such a development calls for appreciation of the organised efforts of the PSC which is an independent, non-governmental and non-party political organisation with members from many communities across the world who have come together from all faiths and political parties, student organisations 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 organisation 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) drive against Israel, primarily initiated by a grassroots movement that grew in the Occupied Territories.

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.

Boycotting products

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 Occupied Territories.

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 colonies and calling for a boycott of their products.

Again, ‘it is the messenger together with the message’, that can fulfil 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.

Professor As’ad Abdul Rahman is the Chairman of the Palestinian Encyclopaedia.

–Gulf News