Friday, 13 February 2009

Report on national student activists conference

Over 120 students from 29 colleges met to discuss the way forward.

The meeting produced a charter of five demands based on the common demands of the occupations.

They included demanding that universities withdraw all investment in the arms trade and create scholarships for Palestinians.

Israeli terror kills Palestinian near Khan Younis

One dead, three injured near Khan Younis; IDF says its strike 'targeted terrorists' planning to carry out attack in Israel. Three Qassams hit Israel. I think the terrorists were in the aircraft - a particularly cowardly and detached form of death delivery.

Iranian aid ship's cargo removed

From ynetnews What exactly do they mean by 'weapons-related material'? Virtually any industrial equipment could be construed as such - hence the continual Israeli assaults on engineering workshops in Gaza. Is the ship going to be allowed to continue on its journey to Gaza with the remaining containers? Probably not knowing the UN and the 'international community' - in other words the western countries

Monchegorsk pictured

Cyprus unloads suspect cargo on Iran ship

A number of containers of ship found to be in violation of UN arms sanctions transported to warehouses of Cyprus National Guard.

Cyprus unloaded a cargo of banned weapons-related material on Friday off a ship from Iran found to be in violation of UN arms sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

A number of the ship’s containers, escorted by police, were transported to warehouses of the Cyprus National Guard, the Republic’s armed forces, a local news agency reported.

Diplomatic sources say the Monchegorsk is carrying conventional weapons. The cargo will be stored in Cyprus, a government statement said.

Irish trade unions gear up to boycott Israel

From Haaretz
Irish trade unionists said this week that they plan to launch a boycott of Israeli goods in 2009. Meanwhile, Manchester University Student Union adopted a resolution supporting a boycott of Israel.

In moving ahead with plans to boycott Israel, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) says it is relying on "evidence" left in the aftermath of the Israeli invasion into Gaza in December.

It also said to be drawing from a "fact-finding mission" to Gaza by a dozen of its senior members more than a year ago. Leaders within the Irish Congress of Trade Unions are to hold a conference this year to act as "a springboard" for their campaign.

Congress report is here
Irish Congress of Trade Unions

Edinburgh occupation awaits management response

From Edinburgh occupation blog
Students are still in occupation of the George Square Lecture Theatre. A delivery of Eden Springs water - funded by an Israeli company operating illegally in the Golan - arrived this morning which seemed to be designed as some kind of provocation.
Friday, 12:15pm

We learned recently that Edinburgh University have instructed security staff to be very strict on who can enter the building. A member of the occupying force from Strathclyde University came this morning to give us a talk but was turned away at the door by security staff.

As I write, a team of students is meeting with University staff to discuss our response to the University’s reply to our demands. We will update here when we hear back from them.

There will be a large meeting at some point this afternoon, time to be announced here as soon as it is arranged. more

Settlers kill teenager in Hebron - casualties reported from Gaza airstrike today - truce may be near

Hebron settlers: Dressed to kill

According to Haaretz Arabic daily Al-Hayat reports
Hamas is prepared to sign a deal next week for the release of abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit as part of a long-term truce agreement between Israel and the Gaza Strip, the Arabic daily Al-Hayat reported on Friday.

According to the report, Hamas will cement the truce within the next few days and finalize the deal to free Shalit by Wednesday.
Gaza militants fire three rockets at Israel.

Palestinians: IAF strike caused casualties in Gaza

Palestinian sources in Gaza reported that an Air Force strike east of Khan Younis caused a number of casualties. The sources said at least one missile was fired at a motorcycle, but did not identify the target.

The IDF has not yet responded to the report. ynetnews

Palestinian youth shot to death

Pro-Israel campaign of hate at Rochester

Activists at the University of Rochester NY have brought to our attention the level of hatred being expressed by the pro-Israel elements. These students, if indeed they were students, have turned nasty (nastier) after losing the argument on campus. That someone can think nothing of proclaiming 'No Gaza' shows where blind de-humanising hate can lead. The unrelenting pro-Israeli propaganda pumped out in the US media that rarely tells the Palestinian side of the story leads to this level of hatred.

It is hate-mongering and intimidation - the sort of thing Muslim and Arab-hating Melanie Phillips should be aware of, if not concerned about. And it is the kind of anti-Muslim/anti-Palestinian fear and prejudice that the Dutch racist MP Geert Wilders wants to try and assist in the development of in this country, as well as his own.

He's wasting his time as we have quite enough Islamophobes and racists doing the job already - sometimes they call it 'free speech' when of course, as in the case of Carol Thatcher and Prince Harry - unfortunatly we still have princes here in the UK, it is actually about the 'right' to be an open racist.

This outburst of hate on a US campus is a sign of weakness on the part of the zionists. A welcome by-product of the rebirth of student activism will undoubtedly be seen in the re-affirmation and strengthening of the British student union policy of no platform for racism and anti-semitism.

From Rise Up Rochester

Hate in the Tunnel at the University of Rochester
As I walked through the tunnel of the academic quad on Monday I noticed that some of the advertisements for the event had been defaced. It is a custom for student groups to paint the tunnel to advertise for upcoming events or make various political statements. In preparation for the protest, students had used black paint and stencils to write “NO WAR IN GAZA” and peace symbols, as well as details about the place and time of the event.

I was shocked, however, to notice that someone else had defaced these statements with white paint, covering the words “WAR IN” so that the statement would read “NO GAZA.” There were also white Stars of David painted in various positions and even a giant “X” through one of the peace symbols. I took some pictures and walked away shaking my head.

Whether or not one agrees with Israel’s position it is obvious that such an act is supportive of military aggression. This person has not attempted to defend Israel’s actions as self-defense. Rather, the statement is that Gaza should not exist and that the deaths of all of the Palestinians has been justified. Also, the use of the Star of David comes off as hateful when displayed in this fashion.

It is a shame that this person has chosen to express their views in such a cowardly way. It pains me to imagine how some of the Islamic, Arab or Middle-Eastern students must feel when they see this kind of statement. I have shared these pictures here so that this negative reaction to last week’s event would not go unnoticed. more

Thanks Andrew

Egyptian crackdown on Gaza border continues with aid seizure and arrests - shame on Egypt

From AFP
EL-ARISH, Egypt (AFP) — Egyptian police on Thursday seized 2,200 tonnes of food and medical aid destined for the Gaza Strip and arrested two members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood responsible for the goods.

Hossam al-Shurbagi and Kamel al-Shaarawi, members of the Doctors Syndicate's committee for aid to Gaza and responsible for three warehouses that were raided in northern Sinai, were arrested, Shurbagi told AFP from in detention.

A security official said that the two were accused of illegally storing goods.

UEA occupation ends after offer of negotiations and veiled threats of forceful overnight eviction from authorities

From UEA occupation blog
Occupation ends
The occupation of UEA [University of East Anglia] has just ended, after a hectic 24 hours. The reason for ending the occupation have been two fold. Firstly, the uni authorities have shown a willingness to enter into negotiations over some of our demands (and have provided a letter in writing to that effect) and we will soon present the uni with a list of signatures (over 100 in total so far) in support of what we did, and our aims. The second reason was much less positive, we were told that the university could not guarantee that the occupation would not be forcefully evicted during the night (hands up who can spot the barely veiled threat). Because of this we are entering into negotiations with the university who should grant at least some concessions. Should they renounce this agreed position then it is indeed possible that direct action will flair up again more

The occupiers say direct action will be on the agenda again if the University backtracks on opening negotiations.