The Edinburgh IWW’s boycott campaign in Leith has received some press coverage following a tweet by local councillor Susan Rae. We are issuing this statement to reaffirm the goals of the campaign, our branch’s stance concerning the ongoing genocide in Palestine, and our relationship to political parties.

To begin with, as written in our publications, the objective of our campaign is to encourage residents of Leith to put pressure on businesses to discontinue trading, selling, and dealing with Israeli goods and services. This will allow us to cut our links of complicity in Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights – establishing a Zionist Free Zone.

While planning our campaign, we anticipated the accusation of antisemitism now levied against us. These accusations follow a well-documented trend of weaponising legitimate concerns of religious bigotry against those fighting for Palestinian liberation. The aim of these accusations is always to misdirect attention from the 31,000+ civilians, mostly women and children, murdered by the Zionist regime.

We unequivocally denounce these accusations as baseless and racist as: (1) conflating Judaism with Zionism presents those who follow the Jewish faith as monolithic, ignoring the heterogeneous political, cultural, and racial dimensions within the faith. This reinforces as opposed to dispels religious stereotypes, the cornerstone of bigotry. (2) This conflation turns its back on, and is an insult to, the anti-Zionist Jewish movement which has existed since the foundation of the Zionist movement and continues to exist within and outside of the Zionist settler colony. This includes our own members within the IWW and other groups and organisations such as Jewish Voice for Peace, If Not Now, and Edinburgh-based Kehillah.

Second, since day one, the Edinburgh IWW’s position has been loud and clear, we believe that what is happening in Palestine is: a genocide; that this genocide is a continuation of the long-standing project of ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people used to establish the settler-colonial regime in 1948; that we recognise and stand in solidarity with the Palestinian’s right to self-defence by any means necessary; and that the conflict in Palestine cannot end until the entire land from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea is decolonised. This includes an end to the siege of Gaza, the lifting of the occupation in the West Bank, the return of displaced Palestinians, and the equal treatment of all within Palestine is established.

Finally, the IWW does not, nor will it ever endorse a political party as a whole or a representative of any political party. We are an international grass-roots union open to all members of the working class. Our place is and always will be among workers in the streets, in their workplaces, and in their communities, not the halls of state institutions. Having said this, we extend our support and solidarity to councillor Susan Rae as a fighter for Palestinian rights as she faces attacks from those who seek to rob us of the freedom to boycott and organise in our communities.

An injury to one is an injury to all!