Friday, 20 March 2009

Canada bans Galloway from entering country

Fresh from the dastardly and sinister business of delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza with the Viva Palestina convoy, George Galloway was planning to go to Canada to speak at an anti-war meeting in Toronto at the end of the month. But his plans have now been thrown into confusion by a banning order slapped on him by the Canadian government who have declared that he is a threat to national security.

This really is the height of hypocrisy by the right-wing government in Canada that claims it has troops in Afghanistan to promote democracy but at home it is doing all it can to suppress it.

The government's move comes after some university authorities in Canada took it upon themselves to ban a poster produced for Israel Apartheid Week, depicting in graphical form children being targeted by Israeli Apache gunships.

What the hell is going on in Canada? How can a Member of Parliament be banned from a country for being against war? This is the same Canada that used to have an honourable tradition of taking in war resisters ('deserters') from the US armed forces.

Shame on Canada. George intends to fight the ban.
Read his statement at the Respect Party website

Israel bans Palestinian cultural festival in Jerusalem

The illegal occupation authorities in Jerusalem are preventing the Palestine Authority from holding is Palestinian Culture Festival in the old city as part of the on-going attempt to eradicate Arab and Islamic culture from the city. Hillary Clinton will no doubt describe it as 'troublesome' but will do nothing about this latest attempt to 'Judaise' the city. The Israeli poilce say they are determined 'to enforce the law' - that's their illegal laws by the way.
Jerusalem Police announced on Friday they would prevent the so-called Palestinian Culture Festival the Palestinian Authority plans to organize in the city on Saturday.

The PA is planning to fly a glider plane painted in the colors of the Palestinian national flag over the walls of the Old City as part of the festival, which is meant to declare the city to be "the capital of Arabic culture for 2009."

The police said that they were determined to enforce the law, whereby any event organized and funded by the PA is prohibited within Jerusalem's municipal jurisdiction. more

Book: The Myths of Zionism by John Rose

This book by John Rose is a critical account of the cultural roots of Zionism. John Rose shows how this powerful political force is based in ancient stories and mythology: many of these stories, as with other mythologies, have no basis in fact.

However, because Zionism is a living political force, these myths have been used to justify very real and political ends -- namely, the expulsion and continuing persecution of the Palestinians. Chapter-by-chapter, John Rose scrutinises the roots of the myths of Zionism.

He separates fact from fiction presenting a detailed historiography of their origins and development. This includes an examination of biblical archeology, as well as a detailed exploration of Judaism's links to this particular region of the Middle East. He shows clearly that Zionism makes many false claims on Jewish religion and history.

He questions its rationale as a response to European anti-Semitism, and shows that, if there is ever to be peace and reconciliation in the land of Palestine, this intellectual dishonesty must be addressed.

Buy the book here

Churchill's Gaza play gets stagings and reading in New York and Washington

Caryl Churchill's play, Seven Jewish Children: A Play for Gaza is coming to New York. Excellent news. It's an outrage the BBC doesn't feel it can air the play on Radio 4 because it might damage its 'impartiality', but it had a sell-out run at the Royal Court. The Israeli war on the people of Gaza has produced a crop of plays of which Go to Gaza , Drink the Sea is a stunner, but has also attracted criticism from the pro-Israel crowd. See our answer to these critics in our post Why Gaza plays take a stand for justice, and our earlier report on Churchill's play, and the Zionist attack dog Melanie Phillips, here
The New York Theater Workshop and two theaters in Washington will hold staged readings this month of Caryl Churchill’s provocative new play, “Seven Jewish Children: A Play for Gaza,” along with talk-back sessions with audiences about the piece’s controversial portrayal of some Israelis, leaders of the theaters said Sunday.

The play, which runs just 8 to 10 minutes, features members of a Jewish family instructing children about how to view violence affecting them, from the Holocaust to the Palestinian uprisings and the Israeli military campaign in Gaza this winter. Ms. Churchill, who opposed the Gaza offensive, includes some incendiary comments about Palestinians in the script, with one character saying, “I wouldn’t care if we wiped them out.”

From the New York Times

Scottish Muslim leaders offer physical protection for synagogue after anti-semitic attack

From the Scotsman
By Michael Howie

MUSLIM leaders have offered to stand guard outside a Scottish synagogue after it was vandalised in an alleged anti-Semitic attack.
Two men have appeared in court in connection with the attack on the synagogue in Edinburgh last week, when several window panes were smashed.

Scottish Islamic Foundation chairman Ken Imrie has written to Rabbi David Rose of the Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation to voice the group's "revulsion and horror" at the attack.

"We trust you have adequate security arrangements in place, in line with places of worship across the country. If not, such is our strength of feeling on this matter, we would wish to physically guard the synagogue ourselves," he added in the letter.

It is the second time the Newington synagogue, which serves an estimated 700-strong Jewish community in Edinburgh, has come under attack in seven years and comes amid a reported increase in the number of anti-Semitic attacks in Scotland and across the UK following the recent conflict in Gaza.

The Scottish Islamic Foundation's offer to provide security at the synagogue is intended as a show of strength between the two religious communities in a bid to prevent further unrest.

Mr Imrie wrote in his letter: "We wish you to know that the Muslim community stand full square with you in revulsion and horror at this vandalism. To violently damage any building is wrong. That this is a respected place of worship, faith and spirituality makes the crime even more heinous."

Mosque leaders are to be briefed on the incident so they can echo the sentiments of Mr Imrie's letter during prayers tomorrow.

Rabbi Rose could not be reached last night, but other Jewish representatives welcomed the offer.
More at the Scotsman

Cambridge University students' vigil for US activist shot in head by Israel

CAMBRIDGE University students are holding a vigil after a close friend of one was shot in the head in Gaza.

Dozens of students gathered outside the city's Guildhall at 5pm yesterday (Thursday, 19 March) as activist Tristan Anderson fought for his life in a Tel Aviv hospital.

The 37-year-old American is a close friend of a Darwin student, who cannot be named.

He has been at Tristan's bedside and will return to the West Bank to continue the protest against the wall built by the Israelis.

Tristan was critically injured on Friday when Israeli soldiers fired a tear gas canister at his head at the close of a weekly non-violent protest.

He underwent brain surgery on Saturday, and parts of his right frontal lobe and shattered bone fragments were removed.

See Raymond Brown's report at the Cambridge Weekly News
See our report on Tristan and the sixth anniversary of Rachel Corrie's death

Sheffield University opens negotiations with Gaza solidarity sit-in

Sheffield University management is opening negotiations with the student union and the occupiers. The occupation is sending a delegation to the talks between SU sabbatical officers and the university.

The Vice Chancellor and one of his Pro-Vice-Chancellors met with seven members of the Union of Students Executive this morning and agreed that lines of communication should be re-established with the University of Sheffield student body over the issues raised by a number of different interest groups concerned with events in Gaza.

More at the Sheffield Uni occupation blog