Saturday, 11 April 2009

Defend the right to protest - New Scotland Yard 16 April

From: Stop the War Coalition <>
Date: 10 April 2009 18:44:50 BST

No. 1089  9 April 2009    
Tel: 020 7801 2768   



Called by Stop the War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity    
Campaign, British Muslim Initiative and others.

The tragic death of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests confirms    
what the Stop the War Coalition has been saying for some time;    
that the police's current attitude towards protest is    
confrontational, provocative and dangerous. In June 2008 the   
Metropolitan police banned and attempted to criminalise a   
protest at the visit of George Bush to London. They have since    
tried to bring serious charges against up to 20 participants.    
In January this year they brutally attacked demonstrators   
protesting against the Israeli invasion of Gaza. Since then   
the police have raided the homes of some of those that    

The tactics of forcible corralling - so called 'kettling',   
police assaults on overwhelmingly peaceful protestors and home    
raids on participants add up to to a major attack on the right    
to protest.

The Stop the War Coalition, the British Mulsim Initiative and    
Palestine Solidarity Campaign and others have called a protest    
at Scotland Yard on Thursday April 16th to demand action on   
these issues.

We ask all our supporters to attend this protest.



Stop the War is supporting the march in commemoration of Ian   
Tomlinson who died at the G20 protest this Saturday. Please   
wear black and bring flowers to lay where he died.



Stop the War is supporting the Sri Lanka demonstration on   
Saturday, called by the Tamil Forum UK. The march will be   
assembling at 1pm at Embankment Tube. The Stop the War    
contingent will be assembling at 12.30 outside the tube.


Nearest Tubes - Euston, Kings Cross

The conference is a chance for anti-war activists to discuss   
the state of the war on terror and plan the next steps for the    
movement. The Conference will enable an exchange of ideas   
about local campaigning and how best to strengthen local   

This year has seen the biggest wave of anti-war protest since    
the invasion of Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of people up and   
down the country marched and took action against Israel's   
brutal invasion of Gaza. The campaign for Gaza continues as   
the siege goes on and Israel lurches to the right.

Although Barack Obama was elected on a wave of anti-war   
sentiment, his actions are failing to live up to the tone of   
his speeches. He has ordered a surge in Afghanistan which can    
only lead to more tragedy in a devastated country. This   
'AfPak' war is pushing Pakistan to the brink of collapse.

His decision to continue with the Missile Defence Shield has   
increased tension in Central Europe and with Iran.

The Conference will address all these issues and there will   
also be sessions on Islamophopbia and Civil Liberries,    
building local groups and the Media and the War.

Appearing at the conference will be Palestinian writer Karma   
Nabulsi, Tony Benn, Ex ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray,    
George Galloway MP, Rose Gentle from Military Families Against    
the War, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Kate Hudson from CND, filmmaker Ken    
Loach and many others.

Each Stop the War group can send up to 4 delegates, if its   
affiliation is up to date. Other affiliates: 2 delegates with    
up to 1,000 members, up to 4 with 1,000-10,000, up to 6 with   
10,000 plus.

Individual members can come as delegates with speaking and   
voting rights, if they were members by 1 January 2009. New   
members can come as observers.

* BY POST: Send a cheque made out to Stop the War Coalition to    
Stop the War Coalition, 231 Vauhall Bridge Road, London SW1V   
* BY CREDIT CARD: Call 020 7801 2768.    



The Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War, BMI and CND   
have called this demonstration on the anniversary of the Naqba    
- the catastrophe in 1948.

The siege of Gaza continues, those who organised the invasion    
remain unpunished and Britain and the US continue to support   
and sell arms to Israel. Stop the War is asking all its   
supporters to mobilise as widely as possible for this    
important demonstration. Full details to follow shortly.


From my iPhone

G20 police out of control and violent

More witnesses to the police brutality on the day. Riot police a law
unto themselves. Get on today's demo 11am Bethnal Green.

We need police numbers/pics to identify the thugs in uniform.

CIA predicts collapse of Israeli state

According to respected international lawyer Franklin Lamb a recent CIA report gives the Israeli state 20 years before it collapses. Apparently members of the US Senate Intelligence Committee have seen the report which argues that a two-state solution is no longer realistic and that a one-state solution is the only viable democratic option. It predicts:

"an inexorable movement away from a two-state to a one-state solution, as the most viable model based on democratic principles of full equality that sheds the looming specter of colonial Apartheid while allowing for the return of the 1947/1948 and 1967 refugees. The latter being the precondition for sustainable peace in the region."

According to Lamb the CIA refers to the rapid and unexpected downfall of Apartheid South Africa (unexpected by the CIA that is which was of course a supporter of the racist regime, with the US government refusing to support sanctions, along with Thatcher's Britain) and of the Soviet Union.

The authors of the CIA paper believe that hundreds of thousands of Israelis will leave for the US. Half a million Israelis currently hold US passports. It also forecasts that a further one and a half million Israelis could move to Europe and Russia over the next 15 years. The falling birth rate among Israelis, in contrast to the rising one among Arabs, underlines the precarious position of the Zionist project in historic Palestine.

The study, also forecasts the eventual return of all Palestinian refugees to the occupied territories, a key demand of the Palestinian liberation movement.

"So I think the writing at least among the public in Israel, is on the wall...[which] suggests history will reject the colonial enterprise sooner or later," Lamb emphasised in an interview with the Iranian channel Press TV.

Lamb argues that recent Israeli conduct towards the Palestinians, and in particular those in the open-air prison that is the Gaza Strip, is turning American public opinion away from Israel, despite the blatant bias of the US media and government, and people may 'not take it [the US/Israel alliance] anymore'.

The way in which the neo-cons and the pro-Israel crowd has overplayed its hand in the recent Chas Freeman appointment controversy in the US could well prove to be a watershed, heralding the beginning of a shift in US policy away from its up to now totally uncritical support for Israel, although the CIA report of course does not refer to these political developments.

The fact that the CIA is now openly thinking the unthinkable is testament to the strength of the resistance of the Palestinian people, the widening base of support it has engendered globally and the failure of Israel's attempt to snuff out that resistance through brute force.

To add to Israeli leaders' undoubted discomfort with news of the existence of this report, we hear from the Boston Globe that US officials are urging the Obama administration to open talks with Hamas.

Dr. Franklin Lamb
, is an international lawyer and author of Israel's War in Lebanon: Eyewitness Chronicles of the Invasion and Occupation. Dr Lamb is based in Beirut and can be reached at

'Unprofessional' pathologist used in first Ian Tomlinson post mortem

Pathologist used in first post mortem had been refered to General
Medical Council because of his lack of professionalism. The IPCC could
have used a panel of nine pathologists but chose not to. Unbelieveable.

How the IPCC works, or rather doesn't, needs to be investigated

And still no news from the second post mortem...

After the Israeli elections: is there an Israeli left?

Two young socialists who recently left Israel have written an excellent piece in the Socialist Worker newspaper in the UK.

Natalie Adler and Ron Oppenheim explain the weakness of the Israeli left in its collusion with the oppression of Palestinians and how advocating a 'two-states' solution ties them to the core zionist idea of a 'Jewish-only state'.

Natalie and Ron, lay bare the racism at the heart of Israeli society, how this racism is used as an excuse for being oppressive. They show how anger at growing inequality in Israeli society is more than matched by hatred of 'the backward Arabs', so workers and the left always have this fatal weakness - a settler mentality.

The hounded tiny minority that stand up for Palestinians face being ostracised The writers argue that the for the 'left' to be a real left it will have to break form zionism and argue for a one-state democratic solution that accepts the right of Palestinians to return to historic Palestine.

The Zionist dream of creating a homeland for Jewish people in historic Palestine produced a nightmare for the citizens of Israel and Arab countries. Constant war and the brutal oppression of the Palestinians have transformed the popular acceptance of Israel around the world into deep revulsion over its actions.

This was most notably seen in the huge anti-war movement against Israel’s recent assault on Gaza. But one place seems to be an exception – Israel itself.

While Britain and the US have witnessed people rise in mass movements against the imperialist policies of their government in the “war on terror”, Israel has seen very little opposition to the state’s wars.

In fact, as last week’s elections showed, Israeli society is moving even further to the right. Natalie Adler and Ron Oppenheim are two young socialists who recently left Israel.

Racism and war distort Israeli society. It is a colonial settler state built on the ruins of Palestine. As a colonial enterprise, Israel is dependent on the backing of imperial powers. In return it acts as imperialism’s watchdog in the Middle East.

Israel has created many myths to justify its actions, among them that it is a democratic and enlightened society founded on socialist principles.

But Israel has very few progressive forces. It is a society where even those who consider themselves to be on the left accept the basic premise that Israel should remain a Jewish state. This means that there are no strong ideological grounds for Israel’s left to found itself on.

Most of the left see the 1967 war – when Israel launched a pre-emptive strike on Jordan, Syria and Egypt, occupying the West Bank, Gaza and Golan Hights – as the root of the present conflict.

They advocate a two state solution, with Israel keeping the majority of historic Palestine while giving some territory back to its original inhabitants.

This is a fatal flaw, for it keeps the left firmly within the boundaries of Zionism. What’s missing is an understanding of the history of Zionism itself and that Israel was founded on the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948. In this light, it becomes obvious that the 1967 war was part of a larger scheme to grab more land.

Moshe Machover and Akiva Orr, two Israeli anti-Zionists, wrote The Class Character of Israel in 1972. In this pioneering Marxist analysis they wrote, “The permanent conflict between the settlers’ society and the indigenous, displaced Palestinian Arabs has never stopped and it has shaped the very structure of Israeli sociology, politics and economics.”


The Israeli left accepts the “necessity and legitimacy” of Israel’s existence. The same people who will campaign for peace, want a halt to aggression towards the Palestinian civilians, and advocate returning the occupied territories also accept the lie that Hamas, the Palestinian resistance ­movement, is “backward and must be dealt with”.

So if Palestinian civilians are killed during a military operation it is because Hamas uses them as “human shields”, or because they “operate in densely ­populated” areas. This is why many left wing intellectuals in Israel supported the war on Gaza, as they did the 2006 war on Lebanon.

Many on the left would genuinely like to see Palestinians having freedom and a livelihood – but the moment that Israel’s existence comes into question, they are swept up by nationalism.

This means there is no genuine socialist tradition in Israel despite the feeling among many Israelis that it was founded on “socialist principles”.

Much is made of Israel’s origins as an apparently egalitarian society. In the 1950s the difference between rich and poor was the lowest in the Western world.

The Israeli trade union federation, the Histradut, was a key plank of the foundation of the country. In the first decades of the state it employed the majority of workers. But this union was formed to exclude Arab workers – it was a union that sought to organise only Jewish workers.

This same principle was applied to the Kibbutz movement, the “egalitarian” farming communities. The Kibbutz was once a central part of Israeli society, and was often regarded as a socialist experiment.

In reality these farms were built on land seized from Palestinians – much like all the early Zionist settlements. Despite the equality of life inside the Kibbutz for Jews, Arabs were excluded.

And many of these “socialist” enclaves have now disappeared. Today Israel has one of the highest disparities between wealth and poverty in the western world. Israeli society is riddled with corruption.

Many Israelis hate this corruption, and are angry with the government. They see that the country is tumbling into poverty and the division between the poor and rich is rapidly increasing. Many realise that the education system has deteriorated. People are angry at all of these things.

This does lead to an understanding of solidarity between workers, but this solidarity is easily contained within the context of the Israeli worker against the Israeli boss. It does not extend to Arabs.

There have been many strikes in Israel, but they collapse once the question of the security of the state is raised. Many Israeli workers want a larger share of the pie, but they do not want share it with the Palestinians.

Tony Cliff, a Palestinian Jew who came to Britain in 1947 and went on to found the Socialist Workers Party, wrote, “Israel is not a colony suppressed by imperialism, but a settler’s citadel, a launching pad of imperialism. It is a tragedy that some of the very people who had been persecuted and massacred in such bestial fashion should themselves be driven into a chauvinistic, militaristic fervour, and become the blind tool of imperialism in subjugating the Arab masses.”

This transformation from the “oppressed to the oppressor” has shaped Israeli society, and bred deep-seated racism that permeates all walks of life.


Racism offers an excuse for being oppressive. The other side are “like animals” so they are “aggressive”. But “our actions” are legitimised in the “interest of national defence”.

This racism is advocated through education, politics and the media. But it is not just directed at the Arabs and Palestinians.

There is a high level of racism within Israeli society itself – between the Ashkenazi (European Jews) and Mizrahi (oriental or eastern Jews). There is discrimination against the Mizrahi – they are paid less, and it is harder for them to get jobs or to rise in the ranks in the army.

But these divisions are superseded by the fear and hatred towards the Palestinians. So many at the “bottom” of Israeli society are also those who vote in large numbers for the more extreme Zionist parties.

Most of the characteristic “Israeli ways” are formed by the colonialist nature of the country.

On a subconscious level many Israelis understand that the Palestinians have suffered, but they fall back on racism as a mechanism that can help them cope with this feeling.

At its core Israel is a military state. It is a country constantly at war, because its very existence depends on denying rights of the Palestinians.

Those Israelis who refuse to serve in the army have a much harder time finding work. The army offers very prestigious and well paid jobs, as well as funding higher education. It is very attractive to the majority of Israelis, especially from among the poor.

But it is also within the army that some of the bravest opposition voices have emerged, but always at a high personal cost.

One soldier told us that once he was posted to Palestinian areas he began to confront the ugly truth of Israel. He discovered that Palestinians live in terrible conditions, and was disgusted by the way the military “handles the Occupied Territories”.

When soldiers were bored they would start shooting into crowds of Palestinians, and the Palestinian police would be blamed for “starting an incident” if they fired back. Soldiers he knew would take their weapons and grenades home during the weekend “to kill Arabs”.

He said he entered the army as a “good Israeli boy” and left questioning every aspect of Israeli society. He discovered the secret history of Israel, from the plan Dalet (known as Plan D) – the blueprint for the ethnic cleansing in 1948 – to the realisation that the wars we were told were instigated by “the other side” were started by Israel in order to grab more land.

When Israelis question these myths and lies they face being ostracised from family, friends and work. Many of those who come to similar conclusions end up leaving, or being forced to leave the country.

This is the harsh choice the left in Israel faces – accept Zionism and accept that there will never be justice for Palestinians. Or advocate a one state solution, that is a democratic state for Arabs and Jews. But this means rejecting the notion of a “Jewish only state” and accepting that Palestinians have a right to return.

From Socialist Worker