6 years ago Israel’s aerial bombardment and ground invasion of Gaza killed over 2,200 Palestinians, nearly a quarter of them children. Attacking densely populated civilian areas, it destroyed 18,000 residential units, and left over 100,000 Palestinians homeless. Even in the face of widespread condemnation of Israel’s deliberate targeting of civilians by the UN, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and others, the UK continues to arm Israel.
Stop Arming Israel Day at the Stop DSEI Week of Action 2019. (Credit: Darren Johnson)
Between 2014-18, the UK issued licences for £364 million of military equipment and technology for export to Israel, as well as 20 secretive ‘open’ licences, allowing unlimited deliveries over 3-5 years. And the UK continues to buy weapons from Israel too, advertised as ‘battle-tested’ – on the Palestinian people.
CAAT stands in solidarity with Palestinian civil society in their call for an immediate two-way arms embargo to Israel.
But it’s not just the government which is complicit. HSBC bank invests and provides services worth millions to companies that supply Israel with equipment – including BAE Systems and Raytheon, whose weapons components were used in the attacks in 2014, and Caterpillar, in which HSBC held £99.5 million of shares in 2017.
Caterpillar sells its bulldozers to the Israeli military knowing they are used to demolish Palestinian homes, factories, agricultural land, and water pipes. It provides equipment used to reinforce the illegal Apartheid Wall, and to build illegal settlements on Palestinian land.
HSBC’s investment gives these companies the cash and the social licence to continue to support and even profit from human rights abuses. The complicity must end.
We can use bad PR to shame HSBC into action. It’s worked before – in 2018 HSBC announced it had divested from Israeli arms company Elbit Systems under public pressure.
TAKE ACTION: Tell HSBC to end its complicity
- Print out a Stop Arming Israel sign by clicking on one of the images at the bottom of this page or get creative and write your own message.
- On Saturday 22 August, take a photo of you holding the sign to share on your social media – invite your household, or safely assemble a group if you can, while social distancing.
- If you have a branch of HSBC near you and you’re able to get there safely, why not take the photo outside the branch?
- Check PSC’s website for the latest planned photo calls already happening around the UK which you could join.
- Use the hashtag #StopArmingIsrael and tag @HSBC_UK and @CAATuk
For any queries on local actions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people on Stop Arming Israel Day of Action.
Don’t forget to follow the hashtag #stoparmingisrael on Saturday 22 August to see and amplify what’s going on around the UK. Let’s flood social media with our resistance!