Monday, 23 February 2009

Israeli officer 'shoed' in Netherlands protest

Throwing shoes at war criminals is now a permanent feature of the arsenal of the pro-Palestinian and anti-war movements.

From ynetnews
Holland: Shoes thrown at IDF officer during speech

Captain (Res.) Ron Edelheit asked to speak to members of Jewish community on situation in Israel and Gaza, gets four shoes hurled at him by three pro-Palestinian protestors before even opening his mouth. Suspects detained; Edelheit tells Ynet, 'Slander is just words – here they crossed the line'

Binyam Mohamed back in UK today says UK intelligence directed torture

Can't wait to hear how UK foreign secretary Miliband tries to explain this one.

From the Guardian
Binyam Mohamed, a former UK resident who is flying home after four years of incarceration at Guantánamo Bay, today accused Britain of involvement in his alleged torture.

"I have to say, more in sadness than in anger, that many have been complicit in my own horrors over the past seven years," he said in a statement his lawyers released shortly before the chartered plane bringing him back from the US detention camp in Cuba was due to land at RAF Northolt, near London.

"For myself, the very worst moment came when I realised in Morocco that the people who were torturing me were receiving questions and materials from British intelligence," he said.

"I have met with British intelligence in Pakistan. I had been open with them. Yet the very people who I had hoped would come to my rescue I later realised had allied themselves with my abusers.

"I am not asking for vengeance, only that the truth should be made known so that nobody in the future should have to endure what I have endured."

Again from the Guardian - His Moroccan experience included the torturers lascerateing his testicles
The full horror of Gitmo inmate's beatings
During medical examinations last week, doctors discovered injuries and ailments resulting from apparently brutal treatment in detention.

Mohamed was found to be suffering from bruising, organ damage, stomach complaints, malnutrition, sores to feet and hands, severe damage to ligaments as well as profound emotional and psychological problems which have been exacerbated by the refusal of Guantánamo's guards to give him counselling.


I think it's important to recognise that, not just Binyam, but also the former Guantanamo detainees who were British citizens have a case against the British government for the illegal detention and complicity in that for false imprisonment, and for the torture that took place of British citizens with the knowledge of the British intelligence services so as I say, watch this space. This case will become bigger as more is brought to light.

Byam Shaw brings some creativity to the party

Byam Shaw are doing it in style over in Archway, north London. I love art schools. They have now taken over the entire building but are not disrupting classes. And they use computers from GazaSolidarity's favourite US corporation, if one can have such a thing - Apple Inc (Steve Jobs is adopted but his birth-father is Syrian).

From Aerobics to artful posters - and some good-looking food, it's all there. This occupation goes directly to matters concerning how the college is run. They have taken their inspiration from the Gaza student occupations.

Lets hope other unis/colleges in turn take their cue from Byam Shaw and start extending demands to the whole gamut of how higher education is run in the UK, which is increasingly as a business. Byam Shaw students are putting a spoke in that wheel.

Stop the War launches Gaza roadshow

Solidarity with Gaza - End the war on terror

The Stop the War Coalition is going on the road. We are organising meetings in towns and cities up and down the country, with speakers including Palestinians, activists, representatives of the Muslim community and well known figures such as Tony Benn,Bruce Kent and Jeremy Corbyn.
The title of the meetings is 'Solidarity with Gaza, end the war on terror' and they are aimed at sustaining the momentum of the mass movement round Palestine while mobilising for the week of protests around the G20 and NATO in early April. Below is a list of meetings already booked. More are being organised. If you would like a meeting in your area, please let us know. We will provide speakers and help you to organise and publicise it.


Blackburn: 13th March. More information: 0207 278 6694

Brighton: 13th March with Tony Benn & Andrew Murray + others tbc
7.30pm, The Metropole Hotel, Sea Front. More information: 07962
940 355

Bristol: 6th March with Tony Benn, Dr Mohammed Odeh, Farooq
Siddique, Hiba Ayyad, Rawan Abu Amriyeh & Chris Nineham.
7.30 pm, The City Academy, Russell Town Avenue, Bristol, BS5 9JH.
More information:

Doncaster: 3rd March with Lindsey German & Andrew Murray. More
information: 0207 278 6694.

Ealing: 6th March with Lindsey German, Maryam Abu Dayya (activist
from Gaza)
19.30, Ealing Town Hall, New Broadway W5. More information:

Hackney: 2nd March: No to Nato Get out of Afghanistan with Tony
Benn; Gan Majicek - No to Bases Initiative, Czech Republic;
Lindsey German; Haci Ozdemir - Refugee Workers Quarter
Association. Abney Hall, 73a Stoke Newington Church St, N16.
Entry: £2. More information: 07932 714 833

Haringey:19th March with Lindsey German & more tbc. More
information: 020 72786694.

Kings Lynn: 18th March with Lindsey German
7.30, Friends Meeting House, 38 Bridge St, Kings Lynn
More information: 01366 500 799

Ladbroke Grove: March 26th with Andrew Murray, Tony Benn and
others. Notting Hill Arts Centre. More information Julie 07738

Lambeth: 21st March, An afternoon on Palestine

Middlesbrough: 10th March with John Rees & Andrew Murray. St
Mary's Centre, Corporation Road, Middlesborough. More
information: 0207 278 6694

: 9th March with Jeremy Corbyn MP & John Rees
More information: 0207 278 6694

: 23rd February with Kate Hudson & Andrew Murray

: 11th March with Bruce Kent CND, Muhammed Ali - Islam
Channel, Lindsey German. More information: 0207 278 6694.

Yeovil & Sherborne: 5th March with Chris Nineham
Unity Hall, Central Road, Yeovil (opposite the bus station)
More information: John on 01935 873 028

Stop the War Coalition

Censorship at the BBC

From Tehran Times
The Pacific Quay sit-in was widely reported across the Scottish media. But on the day itself BBC Scotland journalists were initially asked not to film the demonstrators. When one member of staff did shoot footage on a hand-held camera, they were asked not to upload the film onto the BBC's computers, where it could be accessed by other parts of the corporation. When the member of staff eventually did so, the footage was used by BBC News 24, a source said.

After a period of about an hour and half, a full film crew arrived and shot footage of the demonstration.

Peter Murray, deputy leader of the National Union of Journalists' BBC Scotland branch, said the union had received complaints about the incident which it had passed to management. more

Hamas tells Egypt: keep the border open

Hamas calls on Egypt to open Gaza borders forever
GAZA, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) on Monday called on Egypt to immediately open its border with the Gaza Strip freely and forever.

Hamas spokesman in Gaza Fawzi Barhoum said that this step is needed to respond to Israel which "blocked Egypt's efforts aimed at brokering a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip between his movement and Israel."

"The Israeli occupation has no intention to reach any agreement on lull," Barhoum said, adding that Israel "badly invests Egypt's efforts" to release Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier Hamas has been holding hostage since 2006.

Buy Fairtrade Palestinian olive oil

Olive oil production is one of the few ways in which Palestinians in Gaza can make any money. Fairtrade announced in December last year that they intended to offer the product and it has now finally reached the shelves. Gordon Brown after helping the Israelis almost totally destroy the economy is now supporting Fairtrade Palestinian Olive Oil - to show how fair-minded he is I'm sure.
From the Morning Star
THE first olive oil produced by Palestinian farmers to carry the Fairtrade mark will be launched in Britain on Monday.

The olive oil is produced by co-operatives of 265 Palestinian farmers, providing a vital source of livelihood for communities where olive production is often the only feasible agricultural activity.

The launch marked the start of Fairtrade Fortnight, the annual campaign which urges people to buy goods and food carrying the Fairtrade mark.

Fairtrade Foundation chief executive Harriet Lamb said: "We have been working with olive producers in Palestine and we are very excited by the prospect of this new product now being available to the British public. more

Manchester occupation calls national demonstration

The boneheaded Vice Chancellor of Manchester Uni still refuses to negotiate with the student union. In response students are escalating the action and have called a national demo on March 4. Seems a bit far off but the students need your support.
“Now 2 weeks on, University of Manchester students have occupied key buildings in the heart of the campus. The occupation has seen an unprecedented amount of support from students and academics alike most notably in an emergency general meeting in which over a thousand students attended to overwhelmingly support a motion to stand in solidarity with the people of Gaza. Entering their 18th day, the occupation is still strong in both numbers and spirit. The next focus is to pressure the university administration to accede to our reasonable demands but the arrogant and uncompromising Vice Chancellor (send complaints to has failed to make any concessions for the student body claiming that the university cannot take a political position.


BBC stops ignoring Viva Palestina

This is the first report on the Beeb since the convoy left - with the exception of the 'terror' arrests. They probably noticed the rest of the world reporting on the convoy and thought they better catch up, despite their pro-Israel biases.

From the BBC
The border between Morocco and Algeria, closed for almost 15 years, has been temporarily reopened for an aid convoy heading towards the Gaza Strip.

The convoy of 99 vehicles, which left from the UK loaded with medicine, food, clothes and toys, crossed into Algeria near the Moroccan town of Oujda.

The frontier was shut in 1994 after Morocco accused Algeria of involvement in an attack on a hotel in Marrakech.

The convoy is due to cross from Egypt to Gaza in early March

Amnesty calls for arms embargo on Israel

Amnesty International today called for an arms embargo on Israel and accused the IDF of carrying out war crimes in Gaza.

Unfortunately AI's report also accuses Palestinians fighting back in a massively unequal war of also committing war crimes by using unguided weapons. As one freedom fighter during the Algerian war of independence against the French put it: if we had fighter planes we'd use them.

AI in the name of 'balance' is in danger of undermining its own report with such a strange attempt at equivalence. By Amnesty's reckoning virtually every army since the second world war has committed war crimes by firing shells into civilian (unguided munitions) areas, notably the British Army in Basra a few years ago now..

BBC Radio 4's Today Programme this morning reported that among the weapons being used in addition to white phosphorus were specially designed anti-personnel weapons that left metal darts implanted in people's bodies, usually killing them. The awful Mark Ragev also admitted the Today Programme that the IDF had indeed used white phosphorus and 'they were investigating'.

The report, Fuelling conflict: Foreign arms
supplies to Israel/Gaza, can be downloaded here

From the Jerusalem Post
But the bulk of the text detailed Israeli actions against Palestinians in Gaza and US culpability for Israel's 22-day military operation in the Gaza Strip. Amnesty has been highly critical of Israel in past reports.

In this report, Amnesty focused on the issue of arms sales, and explained that due to a 10-year agreement lasting until 2017, the US was due to provide $30 billion in military aid to Israel.