By Tom Flanagan
The Edinburgh University Communist Society announced their plans yesterday to hold a hunger strike in protest of the university’s “close ties with Zionist corporations, academics, and groups”.
The group said they have been “forced” into a position where “the only tactic to achieve our goals is one as drastic as a hunger strike”.
Members have called on Edinburgh University to put an end to the strike by meeting a series of demands they have put forward, including removing Israeli produce from campus shops.
Daniel Yahia from the Edinburgh Communists said: “Our demands are simple; we want BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) on campus at the university.”
This has echoed similar calls from Palestine supporters at the University of Stirling for the implementation of BDS on our campus.
This would include any corporation who profits from the land currently occupied by Israel that wasn’t allocated to them in 1948 by the UN, although some activists think the boycott should count the entirety of the Middle Eastern state.
Yahia added: “There should be no relationship between our university and Israeli universities on stolen Palestinian land, nor a platform for academics, groups and individuals who support the genocide of the indigenous Arab population.
“We, as communists, find to aid the Palestinian Revolution is a duty, an honour, and a source of inspiration. We are willing to give up everything: our minds, our bodies and if need be, our university places, to end the suffering inflicted by imperialist Zionist terrorists.
The University of Stirling held its own demo in 2016 over the opposition to Israel’s treatment of Palestine, with PolSoc inviting an official from Netanyahu’s government to speak on campus.
However Edinburgh’s Communist Society has been criticised for their hunger strike plans.
Jol Cohen, an Israeli journalist, wrote that Yahia was a “communist, anti-Semite extremist” and a “well known Soviet Union worshipper”.
Cohen claims that Yahia has met with terrorists from Palestine, and referred to his hunger strike as a “feeble minded attempt at hunger striking for Palestine, sorry I mean anti-Semitism”.
The University of Edinburgh were approached for comment on the issue, however they declined to comment.