Category Archives: Palestine

Mealy-mouthed response from Labour’s Streeting after Israelis shoot Palestinian reporter dead

Wes Streeting: it’s all jolly fun in Israel for him.

Apartheid-denier Wes Streeting has been caught in a cleft stick.

He’s currently in Israel on a paid junket, enjoying the hospitality of the right-wing government there that has been inflicting apartheid on the persecuted people of Palestine for many years.

Of course, there’s not a single word of criticism against this cruelty by Labour Friends of Israel member Streeting.

And then a Palestinian reporter was shot in the head by Israeli troops and died – and Streeting had nothing to say about it.

Condemnation has been widespread (where people have been made aware of what happened and of Streeting’s decision to ignore it). Here‘s Skwawkbox‘s take on it:

As the world reeled at horrific footage after [Shireen] Abu Akleh was shot in the head with what appeared to an exploding ‘butterfly’ bullet of the type used by Israeli soldiers, Streeting and LFI posted a string of images of him smiling with Israeli government officials – each of which prompted disgusted responses by Twitter users challenging the appropriateness of the visit and the apparent lack of interest on the part of either Streeting or LFI in condemning the country’s murder of journalists – over fifty in recent years – or reporting on any challenge to the government officials about the actions of their troops.

Visit that site’s story for tweets that are critical of Streeting’s – and Labour’s – response.

But worse was to follow.

At the journalist’s funeral, Israeli forces took it upon themselves to invade the procession and beat the casket-bearers:

This time, Streeting took it upon himself to tweet the sickeningly on-the-fence comment, “Absolutely awful and distressing.”

He didn’t say what was awful and distressing; his comment was carefully-worded to avoid any criticism of the Israeli authorities. Some may say this is because they are his hosts at the moment. Some may say it is because he tacitly supports the violence here. His equivocation lays him open to that.

And that means that Streeting and the Labour Party may now be slammed for failing to condemn this double atrocity – and they have been, as follows:

Labour leader Keir Starmer has had nothing to say for himself about the shocking events – although in fairness he did sum up the courage to retweet a comment by David Lammy:

But it doesn’t add up to the condemnation of Israeli government and armed brutality that the situation requires. Starmer can’t even muster up the courage to admit that Israel is an apartheid state.

The message for people in the UK should be clear.

If Labour can’t take a stand against persecution and brutality in a foreign country, there’s absolutely no way a Labour government will stand against persecution and brutality here in the UK.

Source: Streeting, LFI slammed for happy tweets from Israel with no mention of murdered journalist – SKWAWKBOX

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Banning UK citizens from protesting against Israel’s government is anti-democratic. Here’s why

Anti-Semitism? The Tory government’s plan to ban public bodies from taking part in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against a murderous foreign apartheid regime will be painted as a crusade against anti-Semitism. But it is one that will lack accurate evidence.

One of the (many) planned laws in Boris Johnson’s new legislative programme is one said to “prevent public bodies from adopting their own approach to international relations” by adopting ethical positions against foreign human rights abusers with boycotts of their exports.

It is widely understood that Johnson’s aim is to protect the government of Israel from the growing BDS movement, which seeks to end that country’s apartheid regime in Palestine.

This is – of course – hugely undemocratic. Local authorities and the devolved governments are elected by the UK’s voters and should be allowed to procure goods and services as they see fit, including according to a higher standard of ethics than that of the national UK government itself.

In essence, it seems the legislation is intended to smear those who refuse to tolerate the Israeli persecution of Palestine as anti-Semites. For some of us, it’s a familiar tactic.

Many people, including This Writer, have already been smeared as anti-Semites for opposing the harmful – indeed, homicidal – activities of a national government that presents itself as representing an entire ethnic group (it doesn’t; many Jews around the world are repulsed by the way Palestine is being treated).

Perversely, it is anti-racism campaigners who are being branded as anti-Semites – a brand that the UK’s own government intends to burn into local authorities, devolved governments and other public bodies if they insist on acting against the persecution of Palestine.

You can find out more about what has already happened – and help fight what is happening now – by visiting the website of a relatively new organisation whose title states exactly what it is about: the Campaign Against Bogus Antisemitism.

The organisation’s website states: “It is deeply hurtful to anti-racist campaigners to be branded as antisemitic. People are broken by the embarrassment and shame of attacks they suffer in the media, there for friends, family and other campaigning bodies to see – as if it were the truth… CABA aims to help set the record straight.

“We are a volunteer-led group dedicated to exposing and countering bogus antisemitism- through education and championing those unjustly accused.

“We are building a network of activists across UK, Palestine and further afield, working in a concerted manner, campaigning to allow us to decry apartheid in Israel without being branded ‘anti-Semites’.”

There’s a lot of information on the CABA site – This Writer hasn’t been able to read all of it, and I’m sure that much of it will be disputed by those with an interest in doing so.

But the intention seems an honest one – which is more than the Tory government can offer with its pro-racist, pro-apartheid planned law.

Give it a look and judge for yourself. You may learn a lot.

Source: About Us- and Joining – Campaign Against BOGUS Antisemitism

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Comparison of #Ukraine with #Palestine exposes ugly prejudices

“There is no such place called Palestine,” says ‘Elli’. It is true that Palestine is disappearing – but only due to the genocidal aggression of people like ‘Elli’ him/herself.

This Site welcomes the warm reception given to the article comparing Keir Starmer’s attitude to the Russian occupation of Ukraine with his policy on the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

I note with pleasure the proliferation of posts on the social media pointing out the discrepancy between his behaviours towards the two countries. Here are a few examples.

However, it seems some are less pleased to have their racism questioned. Here’s a commenter to This Site who wishes to hide behind the pseudonym “Elli” rather than be revealed for the bigot they are. Brace yourself because this is shocking:

There is no such place called Palestine, or a race of people. Muslims have no rights to Jewish lands. Jews are on their own lands. So are not ‘occupiers’, as you so ignorantly call them.

I make no reference to Jews in the matter of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. But Israel’s borders were very clearly set out before that country came into being by consent of the United Nations in 1949, as were those of Palestine.

Compare the 1949 borders with the situation today and we can see very clearly the extent of Elli’s lie. There is a state called Palestine – but it has been hugely eroded by Israeli occupation and aggression.

This person’s words are racist, Islamophobic and – at least on the face of it – genocidal. They also attempt to deny the Palestinian people the right to self-determination that is so often claimed by Israel on behalf of Jews – despite the fact that there are Jewish people living all over the world.

I look forward to receiving messages rejecting them – particularly from supporters of Israel like (for example) Keir Starmer.

But I fear I may have a long wait.

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The elephant in the #Ukraine ‘sovereignty’ room – and why #KeirStarmer is a hypocrite

Warmonger Keir: but as you can see from the look on his face, he doesn’t have much of a clue.

Keir Starmer was waxing muscular about Ukrainian sovereignty in Prime Minister’s Questions, after Russia invaded parts of the eastern European country.

See and hear for yourself:

He’s right that a sovereign nation has been invaded.

But he’s not in a position to criticise Russia for doing so.

Because he fully supports the occupation of sovereign nations.

So the question is: why is Starmer so keen to take up arms against Russia over Ukraine when he is perfectly happy to allow other occupations to continue?

And if you don’t know what I mean, allow me to explain with just one word:

Palestine.

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#Amnesty falsely labelled #antisemitic over report on #IsraeliApartheid

Israeli apartheid: this barrier separates Israelis from Palestinians, who are treated as a lower class of human being by the government of Israel.

There is no way that Amnesty International is an anti-Semitic organisation. It simply is not possible when one considers the composition and purpose of that organisation.

The world’s largest human rights organisation, it has just published a report labelling Israel as an apartheid nation and demanding change:

You can read the full report by following the link at the bottom of this article. It is sensible and balanced.

But when UK-based organisations that claim to represent British Jews caught sight of it, they made fools of themselves by denouncing Amnesty:

The joint statement says:

“The report is completely biased and applies standards to Israel that are not applied to any other country.”

A lie.

“The emotive term “apartheid” against Israel is a preposterous slur.”

Another lie. Israeli apartheid is well-documented – not least in the Amnesty video that appears above.

“Despite AI UK’s claim to recognise the Jewish claim to self-determination… it does not support that right.”

A lie. Amnesty does not suggest that Jews should not have that right.

“It chooses to focus on demonising the one Jewish state, holding it to clear double standards.”

A lie. Amnesty’s report attempts to hold Israel to the same standards as any other nation.

“The situation for the Palestinian people is indeed distressing; this will not be alleviated by destroying Israel.”

There is nothing in the Amnesty report that even remotely suggests dismantling Israel.

“This is a bad faith report hostile to the very concept of Israel.”

I think we can all see who is acting in bad faith!

Like all controversial acts, the Amnesty report has attracted detractors (who follow the BoD/JLC attack line) and supporters. Let’s focus on the supporters because they are right:

 

And if it is right to support Amnesty, then it is also right to criticise the BoD and the JLC:

 

The response by the Bod and the JLC has also led to another conclusion:

It’s a fair point, which leads to a further issue: Keir Starmer’s support for apartheid Israel.

We shouldn’t hold our collective breath waiting for a response. Starmer is a coward and will run away from a challenge like this.

While we do wait, we can all read the Amnesty report.

 

Here it is: Israel’s apartheid against Palestinians: a cruel system of domination and a crime against humanity – Amnesty International

Here’s why this #Israeli arms firm was forced to close UK #weapons factory

[Image: Palestine Action.]

Israeli arms manufacturer Elbit Ferranti has been forced to shut down and sell a weapons factory in Oldham, here in the UK, after nearly 18 months of occupation, blockade and other action by campaigners.

According to activists at Palestine Action, drones built at the factory were sold to the Israeli Ministry of Defence and used to attack people in Palestine.

For example, the group says the Hermes 450 drone is “one of the most used drones in the world. The company markets the drone as ‘combat proven’, having battle-tested it on Palestinian people.

“It was used to bomb targets, including people, in the 2014 assault on Gaza – Operation Protective Edge – which killed 2,202 Palestinians.

“During the attack on Gaza, four young children, all aged between 10 and 11, were murdered when they were targeted by Israeli drones. They were playing on the beach when a Hermes 450 captured footage of them. An Israeli air force commander then ordered the operators of a second drone to fire, killing one of the boys. After firing the first missile, the operators of the second drone pursued the rest of the boys. They did not receive orders to shoot again, but fired anyway, killing the other three.”

That is what this arms dealer was making in the UK, in order to kill people in the Middle East.

The members of Palestine Action object to these remote-control killers being built in Britain, and launched a sustained campaign against the Oldham factory in August 2020. On Monday (January 10), they celebrated victory.

According to the group’s press release, “After 18 months of sustained direct action taken at the Elbit Ferranti site in Oldham, Greater Manchester, with 36 people arrested, Elbit have now sold Ferranti technologies, with its continued operation in Oldham appearing unfeasible.

“Activists have occupied, blockaded, smashed, disrupted, and protested regularly at the site, ultimately succeeding in ending the factory’s production of specialist military technologies for Israel’s fleet of combat drones.”

Let’s be perfectly clear: This Site does not condone the employment of illegal methods to achieve a goal. But while 36 activists have been arrested at various times during the campaign, none have been successfully prosecuted for crimes of occupation, disruption and/or protest.

On the other hand, Elbit’s drones have been used to kill thousands of Palestinians. Who would you say occupies the moral high ground?

Former Labour MP, now leading light in the Resist movement, Chris Williamson is clear on the subject:

So is Asa Winstanley of The Electronic Intifada:

And so is This Writer.

Let’s hope Elbit’s other UK factories suffer similar misfortunes in the near future and these death-mongers are forced out of the UK for good.

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Here’s some of the anti-Palestinian racism and terrorism that Keir Starmer’s Labour loves

Keir Starmer: like Priti Patel, he seems to support terrorism rather than condemn it.

It didn’t take long, after Priti Patel announced that the UK was to proscribe the political organisation that forms the government of Palestine, for the attacks on Jeremy Corbyn to start landing.

Here’s some ‘Mercan called Jackson Wolf Pincus demonstrating the kind of ignorance we have come to expect from people of – shall we say – a certain persuasion:

Rather than shut up, though, Jackson doubled down – prompting a well-deserved put-down as follows:

Yes indeed, it does seem the case that Jeremy Corbyn’s pacifist, anti-terror stance appeals both to supporters of Palestinian self-determination and to non-racist Jews (and you should bear in mind that many people are both).

The Hamas story also led to debate about whether Patel’s decision was justified, or if other organisations or governments might deserve similar treatment.

The government of Israel, perhaps?

It’s an accurate criticism. There’s a very clear paper trail that leads from MPs – on all sides of Parliament – to the Israeli Embassy and that nation’s government. Many of our MPs appear to be in that government’s pocket.

Among them is Keir Starmer, the Labour Party leader who persecutes both Muslims and left-wing Jews, sparing his sympathy only for those who echo his wholehearted support for apartheid Israel and its violence to the Palestinians it holds captive.

So it should be no surprise that Starmer has whipped Labour MPs to support Patel’s proscription of Hamas. He wants to make sure Palestinians know that the UK supports Israel against them, no matter which party is in power, never mind the fact that Labour is supposed to support self-determination for both Israel and Palestine, and never mind the fact that Labour’s sovereign decision-maker – the party conference – voted to condemn Israel in September.

Many people, it seems, believe Starmer is right to support Israeli atrocities. Perhaps they don’t understand what is really going on.

If you know such people, show them this:

Let’s focus down onto Palestinian children. Many of us have kids, right?

How would we feel if our children were treated in the same way as those in the thread below – bearing in mind that Keir Starmer supports, to the hilt, everything that has happened to them?

It’s a catalogue of terror – and one that is incomplete because I am sure there are many murders that are hushed up by the Israeli authorities.

Keir Starmer supports this terror, and so does Priti Patel. Remember that she was forced to resign from Theresa May’s cabinet after trying to run her own policy on Israel, using public money, during and after a visit to that country to meet top politicians there, while claiming to be on holiday.

Nobody should excuse deaths and other harm that Hamas or other Palestinians have caused. Blame for the Israel-Palestine conflict lies on both sides.

But when one starts bandying around words like “terrorist”, one should apply it fairly.

Looking at the way Israel forces Palestinian people to live, and the disproportionate number of deaths and injuries suffered by Palestinians in comparison to Israeli, it is clear that Palestine is not the only country run by terrorists.

What does that say about its supporters like Starmer and Patel – and all those UK politicians who have taken money in return for their support?

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Will Starmer attack Young Labour (again) over conference motion on Palestine?

Keir Starmer is probably seething about this.

But he has already shot his bolt with attempts to shut down Young Labour’s conference (the group shifted its events to The World Transformed instead) and to intimidate YL chair Jess Barnard.

All because the group wanted to host speakers who support the cause of Palestinians who face continuing persecution from the Israeli government.

Now YL has announced it is bringing a pro-Palestine motion to the conference that will require Starmer and his cronies to support Palestinian liberation – or face questions on their reasons not to:

The motion states: “Conference condemns the ongoing Nakba in Palestine, Israel’s militarised attack on Al Aqsa mosque, the ethnic cleansing of Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan and the deadly bombardment of Gaza.

“Through the dispossession of Palestinian land, labour and property, the accelerating illegal settlements, and economic exploitation, Israel is working to undermine the viability of Palestinian statehood on anything other than a neo-colonial ‘bantustan’ basis.

“Conference notes the TUC 2020 Congress motion calling this ‘another significant step’ towards the UN Crime of Apartheid. The recent work of B’Tselem and the report by Human Rights Watch, ‘A Threshold Crossed’, details how Palestinians are ‘born unequal’. This is demonstrated by the recent exclusion of Palestinians from Israel’s vaccination programme.

“Conference recognises the settle-colonial character of the oppression of the Palestinian people, condemns any attempts to obfuscate this reality, and that with Israel being the world-leading exporter of weapons per capita, Palestinian liberation is the cause of all oppressed people.

“Conference resolves to be led by and support Palestinian civil society and the trade union movement in their campaign for the boycott, divestment and sanctioning of Israel, and defends the right of the Palestinian people to struggle for liberation from colonial domination under UN resolution 37/43.

“Conference resolves to support the right of the Palestinian people under international law to return to their homes in a free, equal and democratic state.

“Conference resolves that the Labour Party must stand on the right side of history and abide by these resolutions in its policy, communications and political strategy.”

It is a direct challenge to some of Starmer’s most repressive (yet perhaps unwritten) policies.

Being such a great pal of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, which is itself an arm of the Israeli Embassy, he’ll be strongly against the BDS movement in particular.

His attitude appears to be that Israel does not harm Palestinians in any way and only ever responds in self-defence to violence initiated by Palestinians.

So factual evidence that Israelis are inflicting harm on Palestinians habitually is likely to drive him up the wall. Here’s some:

It seems Starmer wants us to think these things aren’t happening.

But you’ve just seen that they are.

This Writer is curious to see whether – and how – Starmer will try to sabotage this motion and ostracise the people responsible for it.

We already know that Jess Barnard has been subjected to terrible stress.

What next?

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Why is James Cleverly refusing to talk about UK weapons being used against Palestinians?

James Cleverly: He was once described as “the Tories’ go-to eejit when they need someone to tweet absolute nonsense or defend the indefensible”. Now it seems he’s not even bothering to say anything at all.

Here’s another story that should be all over the BBC’s prime-time news but, for some reason, seems to have been missed by the mostly-Tory news team there.

The information comes from Declassified UK, an independent investigative site run by Matt Kennard and Mark Curtis. This Writer follows Kennard on Twitter and I am impressed by the information he provides and the opinions he puts forward. Therefore I think his site is trustworthy.

Here’s what it says:

Middle East Minister James Cleverly may be breaking the Ministerial Code by failing to answer questions put to him in the House of Commons. The Code demands that ministers have a duty to “be as open as possible with parliament” and to “give accurate and truthful information”.

The questions were about whether military equipment from the UK was used in Israel’s bombardment of Gaza in May – which killed 66 Palestinian children.

The best response anybody appears to have received – to 14 questions that Declassified has identified – is that the UK “takes its export control responsibilities very seriously”. That is not an adequate answer.

There is an obvious conclusion to be drawn from this – and I’m sure you don’t need me to spell it out for you.

But Cleverly certainly won’t spell out the facts for all of us unless he is forced to do so.

And, given the huge prominence the Israel-Palestine conflict received in the news during May, the absence of such pressure from mainstream media outlets like the BBC is deeply disturbing.

Britain’s Middle East minister James Cleverly is regularly refusing to provide answers to written questions posed to him by members of parliament, especially on UK arms exports to Israel, contravening House of Commons rules.

Source: Foreign minister James Cleverly accused of breaking UK…

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Do Israeli airstrikes in Gaza indicate that the new boss is the same as the old boss?

Rain of terror: Israeli bombs land in Gaza.

Was it a forlorn hope, to believe that a new government in Israel might herald a new relationship with Palestine?

Well, let’s not be fooled by appearances.

Contrary to the BBC’s report, Israeli forces aren’t bombing Gaza again because Palestinian terrorists unilaterally launched incendiary balloons.

It seems those balloons went up because far-right extremists were permitted to march through Palestinian neighbourhoods of Jerusalem, shouting, “Death to Arabs!”

(The BBC does mention the march – close to the end of its story, and right after admitting that the Hamas-launched balloons caused fires in fields and appear not to have harmed anybody at all.)

The operative question, then, is whether the new Naftali Bennett government approved the demonstration. I have a doubt about that.

It takes a bit of time to get permission to hold a big demonstration – or at least, it does here in the UK. My understanding is that permission must be sought days – sometimes weeks – in advance.

Was this one approved by the Netanyahu government as a last act of spite against Palestine? I wonder…

Hamas had threatened action if the march went ahead, but the fact that it wasn’t a rocket attack and seems not to have harmed anybody suggests that it was more an expression of protest than a declaration of war.

But this downplaying of causes and effects can only go so far – and Israel’s decision to blow up even more of Gaza with airstrikes is surely going too far.

Did the new government think failing to respond with violence would be seen as a sign of weakness? This seems highly likely.

But now, looking to the future, we need to ask whether this incident will crystallise attitudes in the minds of Israelis and Palestinians.

Also: a little misdirection can cause a lot of harm. Is the mischaracterisation of the cause of the airstrike an attempt by the news media to stoke animosity that may otherwise have died down?

Source: Israel strikes in Gaza after arson attacks – BBC News

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