Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Building student occupations - video: Gaza - Occupy Your College - from Reel News

Inspiring footage and interviews from SOAS, LSE and King's College. This is a rough cut of a section from the forthcoming film on Gaza by activist video collective REEL NEWS - out February 20th. More info: www.reelnews.co.uk

What’s happening tomorrow in Manchester - ManUni Occupation - Solidarity with Gaza - Rally 12.30 Simon Building EGM 1.30 followed by DEMO

Tomorrow's action - and debate - at Manchester Uni

Exit polls: Kadima's Livni - the butcher of Gaza - set to be biggest party

Right in the ascendancy. Extreme right in third place. 'Left' hammered.

Meanwhile, the Palestinians are still struggling to survive in their
open-air prison.

A life of racism and discrimination: Israel's forgotten Palestinians

Whatever the result of the election Palestinians in Israel will
continue living in an apartheid nightmare.


Yisrael Beiteinu, one of the racist parties in Israel's election. It's leader is ex-nightclub bouncer Avigdor Lieberman. Watch the election broadcast

From the Guardian
Lieberman has made his campaign slogan "No loyalty, no citizenship", directed at Israel's 20% Arab population. [Above] is one of his campaign ads, starting with mugshots of current and former Arab-Israeli Knesset members (MKs).

The narrator's voice intones ominously ...

Former MK Abdel Malek Dehamsheh: "I am ready to be a shahid [martyr]." Monthly state pension: NIS 7,000

An emergency beeping sound is heard as a sign reading "A shame and a disgrace" flashes over Dehamsheh's face. It repeats for the next Arab-Israeli politician.

MK Abbas Zakour: "We are proud of Hamas and all those who support it." Monthly salary paid by the state: NIS 33,000

Again, the emergency beeping sign and "A shame and a disgrace". MK Jamal Zahalka is excoriated for saying that Arab citizens who volunteer for national service are lepers. After the slogan "Only Lieberman understands Arabic" comes footage of students demonstrating against the Gaza war at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The narrator says: "We won't forget that when the military operation in Gaza had just begun, there were those amongst us who supported Hamas." The campaign ad closes with the slogans "No loyalty, no citizenship" and "Lieberman: I believe him".

Union of Jewish Students statement on Gaza solidarity action on campus

Comment posted by Solomon Schonfield at manunioccupation.wordpress.com
What follows is the entirety (apart from the introductory paragraph) of the Union of Jewish Students Statement on the current situation in the middle east.

As a Jew, this does not represent my views and i have written an email to the email address to that effect.

The Union of Jewish Students has strong ties with all Jewish Societies and should be encouraged to be a lot more thorough in its statements and a lot less instructive as to how Jews should respond to the crisis and to the reaction in this country.


As is too often the case, recent events in the Middle East may well lead to heightened tensions and emotions on campus. All students have a right to be a vocal part of their university community without fear or intimidation, and Jewish students are no exception. As students, it is our responsibility to be involved in intelligent debate on campus and to express our views proudly. As always UJS will be right behind every Jewish student in the country.

UJS and Jewish students will not stand by while Israel is vilified and demonized for defending its citizens. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of southern Israel who have lived in fear for too many years. We are all united in the hope for peace and security for all people in the Middle East.

Throughout the year UJS works in partnership with CST to ensure the safety of Jewish students on campus. Please continue to report any suspicious behaviour or antisemitic incidents to the CST on 020 8457 9999 (London and Southern regions), 0161 792 6666 (Manchester and Northern regions) or enquiries@thecst.org.uk. In an emergency always dial 999 and then call CST. CST can be contacted 24 hours a day via the emergency pager - 07659 101 668 (London), 0800 980 0668 (Manchester).

If there are any questions or concerns please be in touch with the UJS office on 020 7424 3299 or office@ujs.org.uk

And here's Melanie Phillips's appalling article attacking the student occupations which of course informs the blinkered thinking that urges Jewish students to defend the indefensible.

Thankfully many Jewish people are not willing to let the Israeli leaders off the hook so easily.

Is Israel really defending its citizens by killing hundreds and hundreds of innocent people? By way of an antidote, see Dan Mayer's article on zionism and anti-zionism here

Glasgow Uni occupiers in solidarity with Gaza still in lockdown - can't get food and refused access to media. Authorities agree to no victimisations

Latest news from Glasgow University on the occupation blog

Gaza solidarity action at Glasgow Uni rattles authorities - Russell plays tough in run-up to campus demo

Glasgow have received their first written response from the authorities. Still no willingness to negotiate on the University's part at this stage
The University is disappointed that students have occupied a floor in the computing science building despite the Principal's offer to meet with a representative group. Sir Muir remains willing to meet with students.

Stop the War coalition demonstrated on Thursday, and gave a list of demands to the University Secretary. They received a full response on Friday evening, including an assurance that they could meet with Sir Muir Russell.

The University respects the right to freedom of speech, but the rights of students and staff to engage in their normal business must always be respected. The University will take appropriate action if the occupation causes serious disruption to staff or students.

This was received unsigned, undated, and printed on a plain white sheet of paper.

We received this response three hours after it was released to press.

Israel Sought ‘Politicide’ Through Gaza Attack - make ALL Palestinians give up fight for self-determination and justice

From Bloomberg
By Saree Makdisi is professor of English literature at the University of California, Los Angeles and author of “Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation.” The opinions expressed are his own.
Israel’s primary justification for the bombardment of Gaza was that it was intended to stop Palestinian rockets fired into Israeli territory.

But Israel failed to accomplish a single one of its declared objectives. It failed to stop the firing of rockets from Gaza. It failed to stop smuggling across the Egypt-Gaza border. And it failed, even in the short run, to bring security to Israel’s own population.

If anything, the bombardment of Gaza left Hamas stronger than ever, for having stood up to three weeks of bombardment and preventing the Israeli army from translating its overwhelming firepower superiority into actual accomplishments on the battlefield -- of which there were none, other than crude destruction...

...for three weeks Israel showered high explosives, white phosphorous and other advanced munitions from land, sea and air on the packed residential neighborhoods of one of the most densely populated areas on Earth, in sweeping disregard for the principles of international humanitarian law...

...Clearly, the aim of the bombardment of Gaza wasn’t to extirpate this population. But it was intended to pound them, and all other Palestinians, into submission, to make them give up their call for self-determination and justice. It was intended to extirpate them in a symbolic sense -- a kind of politicide, to use the term coined by the Israeli sociologist Baruch Kimmerling.

Inside Gaza's tunnels

From the Guardian
...But while the sandy border is marked with many large craters, the damage caused to the tunnels was, in many cases, repaired within days. Already some are operating again and new tunnels are being dug under the close eye of Hamas officials, who walk from one tent to the next clutching their walkie-talkies...

..."Without these tunnels, everything would stop in Gaza," says one of the workers, who gave his name only as Abu Zeid, 22. "And they say we are terrorists. Where are the terrorists here? The world knows very well what's going on, but they don't want us to live. If they opened the crossings, why would we need to do this business?"..

...The Islamists appear not to have grasped the full extent of the devastation suffered in Gaza, or the people's frustration. Shortly after the war, a Hamas official arrived at the rubble of the factory and offered £3,500 towards its repair. "I told him to get the hell out of here," says Al-Wadeya. "What would that buy? Not even new locks for the doors...

Video from the Glasgow occupation (Monday) - demo Wednesday 11am Computer Science Building

more video here

U.N.'s Ban tells Security Council of Gaza inquiry

From Reuters
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the Security Council Monday he was about to set up a commission to look into Israeli damage to U.N. premises during the recent Gaza conflict, diplomats said.

About time to

Germany seeks reasons for student's Egypt arrest

From AP

Sign the petition demanding the release of Philip Rizk here

UN lifts suspension of Gaza food imports

From Xinhu

The UN claims Hamas 'stole' the aid. Hamas said yesterday it had been returned and seizure was not sanctioned by Hamas.