A group of activists and trade unionists in Scotland have launched a campaign to stop the supply of weapons and military equipment from Scottish factories to Israel. The campaign, called Stop Arming Israel, aims to expose the complicity of Scottish companies in the Israeli occupation and oppression of Palestinians, and to pressure them to end their contracts with the Israeli military.
The role of Scottish companies in the Israeli war machine
According to the campaign, several Scottish companies are involved in the production and export of arms and military technology to Israel. These include Leonardo, Raytheon, Thales, and Chemring. These companies have factories in Edinburgh, Glenrothes, Glasgow, and elsewhere in Scotland, where they manufacture components for drones, missiles, bombs, and other weapons that are used by the Israeli army against Palestinian civilians.
The campaign claims that these companies are violating international law and human rights by supplying weapons to Israel, which has been accused of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in its attacks on Gaza and the West Bank. The campaign also argues that these companies are undermining the Scottish government’s commitment to peace, justice, and human rights, and are harming the reputation of Scotland as a progressive and ethical nation.
The aims and actions of the campaign
The campaign, which is supported by several trade unions, anti-war groups, and Palestinian solidarity organisations, has three main objectives:
- To raise awareness among Scottish workers and the public about the role of Scottish companies in the Israeli arms trade, and to expose the hypocrisy and double standards of these companies.
- To mobilise workers and trade unions to take action against these companies, and to demand that they stop arming Israel and respect the rights of the Palestinian people.
- To support the global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which calls for an end to the Israeli occupation, the right of return for Palestinian refugees, and equal rights for all in Israel and Palestine.
The campaign has already organised several actions, such as protests, pickets, and leafleting, outside the factories and offices of these companies. It has also launched a petition, which has gathered over 2,000 signatures, calling on the Scottish government to stop supporting these companies and to impose an arms embargo on Israel. The campaign plans to escalate its actions in the coming weeks and months, and to coordinate with other campaigns across the UK and internationally.
The response of the companies and the government
The companies that are targeted by the campaign have not responded publicly to the allegations and demands of the campaign. However, some of them have tried to justify their involvement in the Israeli arms trade by claiming that they are following the UK government’s export regulations, and that they are not responsible for how their products are used by their customers.
The Scottish government has also not commented on the campaign, or on the petition that was submitted to it. However, the Scottish National Party (SNP), which leads the government, has expressed its support for the Palestinian cause, and has condemned the Israeli aggression and violations of human rights. The SNP has also called on the UK government to stop selling arms to Israel, and to recognise the state of Palestine.