Category Archives: Palestine

US airman dies after setting himself alight, to ‘no longer be complicit in [Gaza] genocide’

This story should have been top of the news agenda all day.

A serviceman in the US Air Force walked up to the Israeli embassy in Washington DC, doused himself in flammable liquid and set himself alight, saying that he would “no longer be complicit in genocide”. He has since died of the injuries he sustained.

That man was Aaron Bushnell. He was saying US support for Israel in its conflict with Hamas in Gaza makes every member of the American armed forces complicit in the murder of more than 30,000 people – half of them children, and in the horrific injuries inflicted on around 70,000 others.

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That’s not even mentioning the wholesale destruction of Gazan buildings and societal infrastructure.

Some have called Mr Bushnell’s mental health into question. It is possible that his mental equilibrium was disturbed by events in Gaza. Who could blame him, as a member of the military-industrial complex that is Israel’s biggest supporter and therefore the largest supporter of the genocide?

For a more general appraisal of this man, let’s have the words of one of his colleagues:

Here’s footage of what actually happened. Be warned: you may find this extremely disturbing:

Notice that even in a situation where the only harm this man was committing was to himself, a member of Israeli embassy staff still drew and aimed a gun on him:

In the video clip above, you can hear someone shouting, “I need fire extinguishers, not guns!” But the man wielding the gun still doesn’t leave or put it away.

This is the last Facebook post he published:

The event attracted almost no coverage from TV news crews – at first. Here’s a summary of what happened in the States, with a fair opinion of why:

There was a report on it in Good Morning Britain…

But as I type this, the article on the BBC News website appears to have been up for only an hour or so. It’s 8.50pm (GMT). Was it withheld until the amount of material on the social media made it impractical to stay quiet any longer?

Oh, but Israel seems to have had something to say about it, even if the western news media did not. Try to hold your bile down:

Self-immolation has been a known form of protest since at least 1963, when Thích Quảng Đức set himself alight in Saigon, in protest against the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government.

It is also a form of protest that has been subjected to news blackouts in the recent past.

This Site has reported on the failures of UK news media to report on such protests – by benefit claimants whose mistreatment by the government had pitched them into depression.

I wrote, then, what I’ll repeat now:

We are left with evidence that those with the ability to bring this horror to the attention of the public have been deliberately covering it up.

… To prevent the kind of social change we saw in South Vietnam, Tunisia and other Arab states, prompted by the same trigger?

If so, it would be grotesquely irresponsible of all those involved – they would be colluding to allow persecution of the extremely vulnerable to continue.


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Israel ponders ceasefire in Gaza as world protests continue

Israel is considering a ceasefire after promising talks with Palestinian representatives in Paris, it seems. Perhaps the fiasco of the ceasefire debate in the UK’s Parliament was worthwhile after all.

Or perhaps the protests against the ongoing genocide in Gaza have finally started to wear down its Israeli architects? This seems less likely but should not be discounted.

That is especially true when the protests are taking place in Tel Aviv, despite Israeli government attempts to discourage them:

Here’s a protest in Bath, that took place on Saturday (February 24, 2024):

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Here’s why protest at the popular level is important:

Meanwhile, in the Middle East:

Here in the UK, fallout from the farcical mess that Keir Starmer and Commons Speaker Lyndsay Hoyle made of the SNP’s Opposition Day debate on a ceasefire in Gaza is still happening:

So the Israeli government is having a change of heart because the people of that country are turning against it, but the agony is still going on at the moment. In the UK, Labour is losing votes because Keir Starmer sabotaged a vote for a ceasefire, and organisations in the UK that are helping Israel’s genocide are in danger of prosecution.

Does that just about cover it? More to follow.


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Debunked: the Islamophobic propaganda that perverted Parliament’s Gaza vote

Islamophobia: what’s the best way to end it? We could start by getting rid of Islamophobic MPs who may be influenced by the government of Israel.

What an eye-opening thread.

Voters in the constituencies represented by the pro-Israel MPs mentioned below may wish to transfer their loyalties to candidates who don’t have the shadow of Zionism hanging over them.

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Was Streeting’s about-turn on Gaza just a pose?

Wes Streeting: look at that smug smirk.

Take a look at Wes Streeting, laughing and joking in a London restaurant after Labour hijacked the SNP motion for a ceasefire in Gaza and made it meaningless:

He was acting as though he didn’t have a care in the world. He certainly didn’t seem to care about what he and his party had just done.

To clarify: after the SNP tabled a motion calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and an end to the collective punishment (a war crime) meted out on Palestinian non-combatants there by Israel, Keir Starmer’s Labour (of which Streeting is a leading MP) tabled an amendment removing that reference, adding verbiage sympathetic to Israel and saying any ceasefire should happen at Israel’s convenience.

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When it came to the vote, SNP and Tory MPs had walked out of the Commons chamber in protest at Speaker Lyndsay Hoyle’s decision to allow the Labour amendment to be debated (it was against convention for another opposition party to table an amendment when the government had also tabled one), so Labour MPs were free to approve their amendment, meaning the SNP could not have a vote on its own motion.

This is a clear abuse of Parliamentary procedure (and Hoyle had been warned of this very fact by his clerk, before he adopted the Labour amendment). It brought the entire debate into disrepute.

And then we see video of Streeting laughing afterwards, without a care in the world.

It makes a mockery of his words on Sky News on Monday: “What we have seen are actions that go beyond reasonable self-defence and also call into question whether Israel has broken international law. The ICJ [International Court of Justice] are now investigating and we take all of that seriously.

“I think, objectively, yes, Israel has gone too far. And we have seen that with a disproportionate loss of innocent civilian life.”

“A disproportionate loss of innocent civilian life” suggested that Streeting agreed with the SNP’s motion that said Israel was inflicting collective punishment on the non-combatant citizens of Gaza – punishing them for the actions of Hamas.

And then Labour tabled its watered-down amendment, he supported that, and went off to have a laugh and a joke over a slap-up meal while Gazans like him were being shot, bombed, slaughtered.

He and his party do not deserve to form a government – and the people know it:

If you thought you would support Labour at the next election, think again.


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UK to demand Israel/Gaza ceasefire – but only after ‘chaos’ in the Commons

Lindsay Hoyle: his choices in the ceasefire debate led to considerably more contrition than you can see in this image.

What an unholy mess.

After Commons Speaker Lyndsay Hoyle broke convention to accept an Opposition amendment to an Opposition motion calling for a ceasefire in the Israel/Gaza conflict, the debate on the most serious issue facing the world today descended into a farcical row about procedure.

Hoyle left the Speaker’s chair while the debate was still ongoing, prompting Stephen Flynn, the SNP’s Westminster leader, to demand that he return to the House of Commons to explain what had happened.

He said if the Labour Party’s amendment was carried, then the SNP vote would not be held. He said this amounted to telling the SNP “our views and our votes in this house are irrelevant to him”.

According to the BBC, Conservative and SNP MPs then walked out of the Commons chamber in protest at Hoyle’s handling of the debate. Concerns were repeated that he had been pressured into accepting Labour’s amendment with threats that, otherwise, he would not be re-elected as Speaker after the general election.

On top of all this, some smartass called for the remainder of the debate to be held in private – meaning all members of the public must leave, broadcasting of proceedings ends, and the official record Hansard does not produce a transcript of what MPs say – but decisions are still recorded.

If it had passed, this would have raised more concerns about a lack of democracy and accountability. It didn’t, though.

Labour’s amendment – and then the SNP’s amended motion – was then passed without a vote – while SNP and Tory MPs were still outside the Commons chamber.

Because they walked out in protest at the Speaker, they did not have the opportunity to register their votes on the calls for an immediate ceasefire. So Labour MPs were very nearly the only ones voting.

In the meantime, Hoyle was located and reappeared to claim that he had not been put under any pressure by Keir Starmer or any other Labour MP.

“I wanted to do the best by every member of the house,” he said.

“I regret how it’s ended up. It was not my intention. I wanted all to ensure they could express their views. As it was, in particularly the SNP, were unable to vote on their own proposition.

“It is with my sadness that it ended in this position. It was never my intention. I recognise the strength of feeling of this house and its members. I will reflect on my part in that. I do not want it to have ended like this.”

He said he would meet party leaders and chief whips to discuss the best way forward, and added: “I thought I was doing the right thing. I do take responsibility for my actions.”

That was not enough for Mr Flynn. He acknowledged Hoyle’s apology but said the Speaker was warned that his decision would lead to the SNP not having a vote: “I am afraid that is treating myself and my colleagues in the SNP with complete and utter contempt.”

To Hoyle, he said: “Your position is intolerable.”

He clarified his position to journalists outside, saying there could be no vote on the SNP’s motion because the Labour party put pressure on the Speaker so that “Labour’s show was the only show in town.”

“This was all about something so much bigger than us and yet here we are talking about all of the wrong things” he says.

He said he had wanted to call for a ceasefire in Gaza with his party’s motion, but “this place has turned it into a complete pantomime.”

It is easy to understand why the SNP should be unhappy with Labour’s amendment, which is far more sympathetic to Israel than their motion would have been.

The amendment calls for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza, but does not mention the “collective punishment of the Palestinian people” which was part of the SNP motion and amounts to a war crime.

The Labour amendment also “condemns the terrorism of Hamas” and notes “that Israel cannot be expected to cease fighting if Hamas continues with violence”. And it calls for the release of hostages and international aid to be allowed into Gaza.

Some have said the amendment amounts to demanding a ceasefire “when Israel feels like it” – which is no good at all because Israel will feel like it after Gaza is leveled and every last child, woman and man there is dead or has been expelled.

So, thanks to Labour’s saboteurs, a debate that should have condemned Israel’s genocide of Palestinians in Gaza became a silly squabble about procedure, with an amendment that makes Israel look like the victim passed almost unnoticed.

Benjamin Netanyahu must be laughing like the maniac he is.

Labour foiled as SNP supports ceasefire amendment to maximise chance of success

Outflanked: too bad, Tel Aviv Keith!

Keir Starmer’s apparent bid to spoil the SNP’s motion for the UK to demand a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza has been foiled after Scottish MPs supported his amendment.

The Labour amendment adds in a significant amount of wording that seems intended to give Israel reasons to ignore the call for peace.

It should not have been called during an Opposition Day debate (as the SNP is also a party that opposes the Tory government) – but Commons Speaker Lyndsay Hoyle broke with Parliamentary convention to do so.

It seems he had been told by Starmer that Labour would not support his re-election as Speaker after the general election if he did not. That’s blackmailisn’t it?

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Many will see this as further proof that Starmer is a puppet of the Israeli government and more invested in pursuing its interests than in working for the good of people here in the UK.

But all of that became academic when the SNP’s Westminster leader, Stephen Flynn, said he would support Labour’s amendment. He said it follows “months of public and SNP pressure”.

His statement said: “While the Labour Party amendment is deficient in a number of ways, we will nonetheless vote for it to maximise the chance of the UK parliament supporting an immediate ceasefire.

“Should it fall, we urge all MPs to back the SNP motion in kind.”


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Is Labour sabotaging Gaza ceasefire motion to appease Israel

Keir Starmer: see that flag behind him? Is it the emblem of his real bosses?

Today’s the day! But will it be the day Labour sabotages the Gaza ceasefire motion in a bid to appease Israel?

As This Writer types, MPs in Westminster are set to vote on whether to demand a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in what is left of the Gaza Strip.

The motion has been tabled by the Scottish National Party and enjoys widespread support among the people of the United Kingdom. A petition demanding that MPs also support it has been signed by more than 50,000 people:

But Labour leader Keir Starmer has apparently told his MPs to reject it – because it correctly states that Israel is inflicting collective punishment, which is a war crime, on the non-combatant civilians of Gaza:

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Instead, Labour and the Conservatives have tried to muddy the issue by tabling motions of their own. Here’s Lisa Nandy – is she still the chair of Labour Friends of Palestine? That would be hypocritical now, wouldn’t it? – talking a lot of nonsense about her party’s motion:

The Labour amendment sets conditions for a ceasefire that make it less likely to happen; the claim that the SNP doesn’t stipulate that the ceasefire should be by both Israel and Hamas is nonsense – a ceasefire must involve both sides, and the other conditions are mainly to offer Israel excuses to continue its genocide (or so it seems to This Writer).

Here’s commentary by the ever-brilliant Jess Barnard:

There will be consequences for this – but it seems Starmer is gambling that too few voters will impose those consequences on him:

This Writer abandoned the tactical vote campaign some time ago. I advocate voters actually carrying out their civic duty, which is to read the manifestos and election literature of all candidates in your constituency and vote for whichever of them offers the best package for youNothing else should matter to you – certainly not which of the mainstream Establishment parties (Labour, the Tories, possibly the Liberal Democrats) should form a government.

This is the only way to achieve the change the UK needs and it is ironic that it requires us to do nothing more than what we should always have been doing anyway.

It certainly seems that some Labour MPs will face stern repercussions – such as those in the left-wing Socialist Campaign Group – if they oppose a motion that may help end the murder of innocent people, including children:

The three-line whip claim has been confirmed by ITV political editor Robert Peston. Commentators are asking an obvious question about it:

He’s no kind of leader if he can’t inspire his people to follow him; it strongly suggests that his entire approach is wrong.

And that suggests that we would be wrong to vote for him or his party in an election.

Commentators have already chosen their sides. You can tell from the tone of this article where This Writer stands, and here’s John Smith, son of the late and much-loved Harry Leslie Smith:

If the ceasefire motion is voted down, it will be a clear indication that our MPs are indeed in Parliament for the welfare of the few – the few in question being the Israeli government, its supporters, lobbyists and mouthpieces.

We know from events leading up to the start of World War II that appeasement does not work. If our MPs offer Israel an inch, it will try to take every square mile of Gaza. We must therefore judge our MPs on what they choose today – and respond harshly if their choice is wrong.


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On the day MPs vote on Gaza ceasefire, here’s why Israel must be stopped

MPs were set to vote today on whether the UK should demand a ceasefire between invading Israeli military forces and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Some people in this country may be confused about why their MPs are doing this. Israel was attacked and has a right to defend itself and seek the return of the hostages taken on October 7 last year, doesn’t it? That’s what leaders like Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer have been parroting at us ever since, isn’t it?

Yes they have. And while Israel may be entitled to seek the return of hostages that were taken in a Hamas war crime, it did not have the right to invade Gaza and bomb the entire enclave into rubble; that is also a war crime (as an occupying power – Israel controlled all supplies of food, water and power into Gaza – it had a responsibility to look after the well-being of people there).

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It seems appropriate to remind ourselves of exactly why Israel needs to be stopped.

The invasion of Gaza is not about the return of hostages – and never was.

It was a useful excuse, but it seems clear that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu never intended to halt the slaughter of non-combatant children, women and men in Gaza once those Israeli/Jewish hostages were returned. In fact, he has now stated that his troops will invade Rafah and continue their genocide there, whether hostages are returned or not.

Sayeeda Warsi’s words on this matter are illuminating:

In fact, Israel is quite happy for its own forces to murder Israeli/Jewish hostages taken by Hamas, it seems:

The invasion of Gaza is about committing genocide against the people of Palestine.

These are all actions that Israel has taken and they are all war crimes because they contribute to genocide.

Remember: Israel never had to bomb Gaza indescriminately. Its military is capable of launching precision strikes that target individual people – but chose not to do so. For an example of such a precision strike, we need look no further than Lebanon, today (February 21):

Israeli Defence Force personnel are subjecting Palestinian women and girls to sexual assault, degradation and other human rights violations, including random executions:

Here’s a little more supporting evidence for this:

“At least two female Palestinian detainees were raped while others were ‘threatened with rape and sexual violence’ by Israeli soldiers”, along with all the other findings.

Israeli Defence Force personnel are stealing property belonging to the citizens of Gaza – presumably in the belief that the owners will never need it again, being either murdered or expelled in the genocide they are perpetrating:

This is just information I’ve picked up on the social media today (February 21). The weight of the evidence that has accumulated since October 7 last year must be enormous and I believe the International Court of Justice is to examine it in detail soon – if it has not already started.

But that is for another day. Today, it is the duty of the UK’s MPs to weight up the evidence they can see and reconcile the vote they make on the ceasefire motion with their own consciences. This Writer sincerely hopes they make the right choice.


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As Israeli gunboats attack civilians in Rafah, international calls for a ceasefire grow

Here’s the situation in Gaza now:

Other parts of Gaza are still under attack, with horrifying civilian casualties there:

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In the UK, entertainers seem to have more humanity than politicians. Former Labour Party member (since expelled) and movie director Ken Loach was among those calling for a ceasefire at the Bafta awards ceremony:

Mr Loach seems to have more in common with Labour voters than that party’s MPs. Polling shows that 83 per cent of them also want an end to the bloodshed with an immediate ceasefire:

But look what happened when Labour MP Thangam Debbonaire was asked if she would support the motion for a ceasefire, due to be debated in Parliament on Wednesday:

Her interlocutor is right; whether a motion gives prominence to the attacks on Israel that took place on October 7 last year is neither here nor there when innocent civilians are being murdered by a heavily-armed military machine.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva knows this. And Asa Winstanley’s comment therefore seems right on the button:

In the United States, Susan Sarandon, an actress who lost representation by her agent because of her pro-Palestinian position, attended Congress in a bid to stop the US government passing a new Bill to give more money to the Israeli military. Her comments were well-made but This Writer fears they will have fallen on deaf ears because money talks louder:

And in Spain a former government minister there has said out loud that her country, and the United States are complicit in Israel’s genocide through their arms trade agreements with that country:

The tide has well and truly turned on Israel.

But how long will the international community wait before demands for action change into direct action against our intractable politicians by members of the public themselves?


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Weekend of protests as conditions in Gaza worsen due to Israel’s genocide

Protests have been happening – not just in the UK but around the world, including Israel – as that country’s genocide in Gaza worsens, and it continues its persecution of Palestinians elsewhere.

Here’s what has been happening in Gaza recently. Be warned – it isn’t easy to see.

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https://twitter.com/AbujomaaGaza/status/1759179315436995009

But Gaza isn’t the only place where Palestinians are being mistreated by Israelis. Read what follows to see Israel’s habitual treatment of Palestinians.

Now consider this: an organisation exists that encourages former Israel Defence Force personnel to confess the crimes they have committed while in uniform or on active duty.

 

 

It should hardly be surprising that protests have been taking place against Israel – across the world, including in Tel Aviv:

Members of the UK Labour Party have no power to stop the genocide in Gaza – other than in voting for the UK to call for a ceasefire during a motion in Parliament. Strangely, they seem unwilling to do this – and so they have attracted what many consider entirely justified criticism.

Meanwhile, in the Netherlands:

In London there was yet another big demonstration over the weekend – bigger, it seems, than BBC News was prepared to admit:

Will any of the above affect the Scottish National Party’s ceasefire vote, that we think will be held on Wednesday (February 21)?


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