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Wednesday, 28 January 2009

The Nazi Mentality of Zionism's Devotees



























































Auschwitz gas chamber - above

There is nothing more guaranteed to anger apologists for Israel's works and its soft-left 'critics' then any comparison with the Nazis. This is 'insulting to Jews'. It is defined by the European Monotoring Committee as 'anti-Semitism' - something adopted by Dennis MacShanes joke of a Parliamentary Committee on anti-Semitism.

I therefore decided, in the interests of fairness, to put up a few photos showing how tolerant and liberal Israeli society is. Use of Nazi epithets is, in fact, very common in Israeli society and among Zionists and it doesn't take much for one Zionist to accuse another of being a 'nazi' or anti-semitic.

Many of these photos were taken in Hebron and they have been daubed by the settlers there. But in case you think, oh well, they are just a few nutcases, remember that that war criminal, Ehud Barak - leader of the Israeli Labour Party - insisted at the time when the Oslo Accords were still on a life support machine - that the settlers in Hebron had to stay. So these Judaeo Nazis [as the late Yeshayahu Leibowitz, winner of the Israel Prize and philosophy professor at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem called them] are there courtesy of the Israeli Labour Party and Histadrut.

Tony Greenstein

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

More Nazi Rabbis - 'there are no innocent civilians'


As I have already documented, Israel's Orthodox Rabbinate has been in the forefront of providing the ideological and spiritual justification for the worst of the barbarities in Gaza. Former Sephardi Chief Rabbi, Mordechai Eliyahu and his son, Chief Rabbi of Safed, have justified any amount of war crimes by declaring that the civilian population of Gaza are equally guilty as the fighters. And that of course includes children.

Below is another article from Ha'aretz, this time on the Army Rabbis who performed a not dissimilar function to that of the Reich Church priests who accompanied German soldiers to the front in World War 2. They are the harbingers of death and destruction.

Note how reference is made to the myth that the Palestinians were recent immigrants that people like Joan Peter's (From Time Immemorial) a plagiarised book that Alan Dershowitz plagiarised (& which Norman Finkelstein exposed in his 'Abuse of anti-Semitism'.

'The Palestinians claim they deserve a state here, when in reality there was never a Palestinian or Arab state within the borders of our country. Moreover, most of them are new and came here close to the time of the War of Independence."

The ignorance of rabbis is well known but the death of innocent civilians can be traced directly to the lies of Israel's propagandists.

Tony Greenstein

IDF rabbinate publication during Gaza war: We will show no mercy on the cruel
By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent

During the fighting in the Gaza Strip, the religious media - and on two occasions, the Israel Defense Forces weekly journal Bamahane - were full of praise for the army rabbinate. The substantial role of religious officers and soldiers in the front-line units of the IDF was, for the first time, supported also by the significant presence of rabbis there.

The chief army rabbi, Brigadier General Avichai Rontzki, joined the troops in the field on a number of occasions, as did rabbis under his command.

Officers and soldiers reported that they felt "spiritually elevated" and "morally empowered" by conversations with rabbis who gave them encouragement before the confrontation with the Palestinians.
But what exactly was the content of these conversations and of the plethora of written material disseminated by the IDF rabbinate during the war? A reservist battalion rabbi told the religious newspaper B'Sheva last week that Rontzki explained to his staff that their role was not "to distribute wine and challah for Shabbat to the troops," but "to fill them with yiddishkeit and a fighting spirit."

An overview of some of the army rabbinate's publications made available during the fighting reflects the tone of nationalist propaganda that steps blatantly into politics, sounds racist and can be interpreted as a call to challenge international law when it comes to dealing with enemy civilians.

Haaretz has received some of the publications through Breaking the Silence, a group of former soldiers who collect evidence of unacceptable behavior in the army vis-a-vis Palestinians. Other material was provided by officers and men who received it during Operation Cast Lead. Following are quotations from this material:

"[There is] a biblical ban on surrendering a single millimeter of it [the Land of Israel] to gentiles, though all sorts of impure distortions and foolishness of autonomy, enclaves and other national weaknesses. We will not abandon it to the hands of another nation, not a finger, not a nail of it." This is an excerpt from a publication entitled "Daily Torah studies for the soldier and the commander in Operation Cast Lead," issued by the IDF rabbinate. The text is from "Books of Rabbi Shlomo Aviner," who heads the Ateret Cohanim yeshiva in the Muslim quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem.

The following questions are posed in one publication: "Is it possible to compare today's Palestinians to the Philistines of the past? And if so, is it possible to apply lessons today from the military tactics of Samson and David?" Rabbi Aviner is again quoted as saying: "A comparison is possible because the Philistines of the past were not natives and had invaded from a foreign land ... They invaded the Land of Israel, a land that did not belong to them and claimed political ownership over our country ... Today the problem is the same. The Palestinians claim they deserve a state here, when in reality there was never a Palestinian or Arab state within the borders of our country. Moreover, most of them are new and came here close to the time of the War of Independence."

The IDF rabbinate, also quoting Rabbi Aviner, describes the appropriate code of conduct in the field: "When you show mercy to a cruel enemy, you are being cruel to pure and honest soldiers. This is terribly immoral. These are not games at the amusement park where sportsmanship teaches one to make concessions. This is a war on murderers. 'A la guerre comme a la guerre.'"

This view is also echoed in publications signed by Rabbis Chen Halamish and Yuval Freund on Jewish consciousness. Freund argues that "our enemies took advantage of the broad and merciful Israeli heart" and warns that "we will show no mercy on the cruel."

In addition to the official publications, extreme right-wing groups managed to bring pamphlets with racist messages into IDF bases. One such flyer is attributed to "the pupils of Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburg" - the former rabbi at Joseph's Tomb and author of the article "Baruch the Man," which praises Baruch Goldstein, who massacred unarmed Palestinians in Hebron. It calls on "soldiers of Israel to spare your lives and the lives of your friends and not to show concern for a population that surrounds us and harms us. We call on you ... to function according to the law 'kill the one who comes to kill you.' As for the population, it is not innocent ... We call on you to ignore any strange doctrines and orders that confuse the logical way of fighting the enemy."

The Israeli human rights organization Yesh Din has called on Defense Minister Ehud Barak to immediately remove Rabbi Rontzki from his post as chief rabbi.

In response, an IDF spokesman said that: "Overall, letters that are sent to the chief of staff [such as the request for Rontzki's dismissal] are reviewed and an answer is sent to those who make the request, not to the media."


"I don’t believe that there are any innocent civilians."

Rabbis: ‘Gazans Aren’t Innocent, Don’t Risk Soldiers’
"With operation Cast Lead ongoing, rabbis and legal scholars have taken the position that the Arabs who democratically elected Hamas are not innocent bystanders in the conflict. As seen on Arutz Sheva." IsraelNN.com

Rabbi David Bar-Chayim says in this news bulletin:
"We’re talking about a society that is dedicated to murder and savagery and barbarism."
"It is against the Torah, and for that matter against common sense and basic universal human morality that we should endanger even one of our soldiers when fighting such evil, the sole purpose of which is to destroy us."

"‘When the evil are destroyed, there is rejoicing.’ … These people are evil. When such people are destroyed, we have no tears to shed."
"I don’t believe that there are any innocent civilians."
This is what Israelis watch, night after night, on their TV sets…

GAZA APPEAL - GIVE GENEROUSLY AND SAVE ON A BBC LICENSE!









It is now very clear that the last reason the BBC didn’t want to show the Appeal for Gaza was because of the danger of its independence being compromised. Indeed the exact opposite is the case.

It is precisely because the film shows at least some of the devastation of Gaza that the BBC has avoided showing that it doesn’t want to broadcast the film. Watch it and donate!

Watch it and see

Tony Greenstein
UPDATE
The DEC is comprised of 13 charities: ActionAid, British Red Cross, CAFOD, Care International, Christian Aid, Concern, Help the Aged, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Oxfam, Save the Children, Tearfund, World Vision.
If you would like to contribute to the DEC fund, both to be helpful to Palestinians in Gaza and to show your displeasure with BBC policy of helping Israel, the US and the EU make Palestinians suffer, you can make a donation to the DEC at

Monday, 26 January 2009

Palestine Solidarity Campaign Executive Ducks Challenge Over Histadrut


‘The Nazis boycotted Jewish shops and Histadrut boycotted Arab produce
















Histadrut recognises the urgent need for the State of Israel to operate against the command and control structures of the organisational terror network belonging to Hamas… No democratic country in the world would allow its sovereignty to be violated and its citizens subjected to terror attacks on a daily basis…. Israel had no choice but to respond to the repeated attacks and aggression as an act of justifiable self-defense.’

Statement of 13.1.09.

Palestine Solidarity Campaign in Britain is the largest solidarity group over Palestine in Britain. Formed in 1982, just before Israel’s invasion of Lebanon, by a number of people, myself included, it now has about 3,000 members. In the past month, as a result of what has been happening in Gaza, it has attracted another 600 members.

One would expect PSC therefore to be in the vanguard of the campaign to Boycott Israel and Zionist organisations. In particular one would expect it to be fully in support of a Boycott of Zionism’s racist and apartheid ‘trade union’ Histadrut. Unfortunately this is not the case. PSC Executive believes you can have a Boycott campaign which doesn’t boycott key Zionist organisations like Histadrut, which more than any other organisation, was responsible for the founding of the Israeli state, including Hagannah and Palmach, which carried out the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1947-9.

PSC Executive, the leading members of which are supporters of various offshoots of the old International Marxist Group (Socialist Action & Communist League), worked overtime to prevent the passage of a motion from Scottish PSC calling for the breaking of links with Histadrut and also against a milder motion from Brighton and York PSCs calling for a re-examination of such links, education etc. The only motions they didn’t object to was an amendment from Bricup (Academic Boycott campaign) which didn’t mention boycotting Histadrut and of course their own motion which said nothing.

The vote on the motion to break links with Histadrut was much closer than last year – with us getting over 40% of the vote. Approximately 112-84 supported the Executive, with about 50 abstentions. It was only after Bernie Regan, the TU organiser, mobilised various minor trade union executive members and bureaucrats to speak against the SPSC motion that it was defeated. The main argument they used was that we couldn’t prescribe the tactics of activists in individual unions.

However as both Mick Napier of SPSC and myself made clear, what was being proposed was policy for PSC not tactical questions for each union. My own branch of UNISON has already proposed a motion to annual conference calling for the cutting of links. Others may not wish to go that far but even a moderate union like TSSA has disaffiliated from Trade Union Friends of Israel. It is clear that now is the time, if ever there was a time, to inflict a decisive wound on the Zionists and their front organisations in the trade unions. But PSC Executive baulked at such a step. Why?

There are a number of reasons. PSC now has about 18 unions affiliated to it. It also receives considerable financial support from some unions, e.g. UNISON has recently given a grant for £20,000. Much of this work is due to Bernie Regan and his close links with various union leaders. Bernie was previously a left member of the NUT Executive for the Socialist Teachers Alliance. He undoubtedly fears that if the unions are pushed to actually back up their fine words of support with concrete action, such as cutting links with Histadrut, they will be less generous to PSC.

Yet this misses a crucial question. What is the point of securing affiliations via friendly contacts and mates if it comes at a political price? If the result is that they pressurise you to not expect them to support a meaningful boycott then that affiliation becomes meaningful. Building PSC is secondary to building support for the Palestinians.

Instead of taking the path of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions call for boycott and divestment PSC Executive took the least line of resistance – flowery words involving nothing concrete.
More disgracefully were reports from what PSC Executive Members such as General Secretary Betty Hunter and others were saying. It was being suggested that some unions, including UNISON, would disaffiliate. Betty Hunter was explicit that those supporting cutting the links with Histadrut were seeking to split PSC. This was the nonsense that advocates of the position of breaking links were facing. Noone had ever advocated splitting PSC yet this was being openly peddled by an Executive worried that for the first time ever they might be defeated at conference. And like the right-wing of trade unions they reacted with horror stories. Some people seem to think that if their authority is challenged then that is a call for breaking up PSC as if the organisation were their personal property.

PSC Executive has had a catastrophic loss of nerve as well as a severe case of tunnel vision. In the wake of the Gaza genocide Israel and Zionism has suffered enormous political damage. The pictures of children’s schools being bombed with phosphorous are not designed to win friends and influence enemies. That is what lies behind even New Labour Ministers like Douglas Alexander and Hazel Blears attacking the BBC for refusing to screen the Gaza charity appeal. To start being cautious and timid at a time like this, when the people of Gaza have suffered so enormously, makes it clear that PSC Executive is becoming a stumbling block to effective action.
Executive members, despite their socialist pedigree in some cases, have lost all semblance of any class analysis. Palestinian national unity is everything regardless of who it is that is being unified with. Noone doubts the need for Palestinian unity. That is the essence of any national liberation struggle, but do you unite with collaborators and quislings? In any national movement, as with the ANC, there are radical working class forces which are less likely to cave in to diplomatic pressure or sacrifice Palestinian national rights, such as the Right of Return, to their own economic interests.

Yet we had the utterly ludicrous situation when the Communist Party of Britain (Morning Star group) moved a motion giving what passed for their analysis of the motives behind Israel’s attack on Gaza. Now the CPB carry some weight among left union leaders although numerically they are small. Yet their motion was politically illiterate, the bastard child of their Stalinist upbringing.

The CPB motion described Israel’s strategy in Gaza as being to destroy the Palestinian Authority of Abbas when anyone with the merest acquaintance with the situation knows full well that one of the aims was to reimpose Abbas’s rule over Gaza! How more stupid could you get? Well that didn’t stop Bernie Regan supporting the motion despite its political illiteracy, incoherence and just plain stupidity. The motion also described Israel as a client state alongside Iraq and Afghanistan and described US policy as creating a Greater Middle East belt up to an including Afghanistan! The difference between Israel and the other states is that Israel is funded and subsidised by imperialism. Neither Iraq nor Afghanistan is a settler colonial state.

PSC Executive, despite Betty Hunter having called Abbas’s regime ‘quisling’ at the PSC fringe meeting at UNISON conference in June 2007, does its best to cultivate good relations with it. We have already carried an Open Letter to Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestine Authority from Palestinians concerning Abbas’s abandonment of the Right of Return and also the use of torture and arbitrary detention by Abbas’s security forces of Palestinians.

There is an abundance of information about the links between the CIA and Abbas’s security forces.
The CIA and Fatah; Spies, Quislings and the Palestinian Authority
Palestine: Possible Fatah Presidential Candidate Financed by CIA
The CIA and Hamas

Why is PSC Executive endorsing political garbage from the CPB, which bears no relation to reality and in practice is similar to previous support for dictatorial regimes such as Saddam Hussein's and Ayatollah Khomeinis (before turning on communists!). Why does it behave with timidity when it comes to Histadrut and endorse motions such as the above?

One reason lies in the way PSC Executive sees itself as a solidarity organisation. Lobbying MPs, petitions etc. are fine but anything which in any way challenges the power structures in this society, which links in western support for Israel with the imperialist nature of the society we live in, is anathema. Any anti-imperialist or anti-Zionist analysis and politics is out. The result is that PSC is content to be what is effectively a lobbying group for the Palestinians inside the trade union movement.

Of course the Zionists are made of sterner stuff. When they are strong, as in the Bakers Union, they use their strength to harass their opponents. Last year PSC was forced to remove boycott literature from its stall. TUFI even tried the same at the PSC stall at UNISON conference – they objected to a picture of an Israeli soldier pointing a gun at a child! Truth hurts – and indeed it was removed until I personally put it back again and made contact with the official who had authorised this. No doubt if a PSC Executive member had been there they would have told us not to make a fuss.

The other reason, which ties into the above, is that PSC Executive are wedded to a 2 State solution in Palestine. No matter that half a million settlers are established in the West Bank and 40% of the land has been confiscated officially. PSC retains the illusion that an Israeli Government (Netanyahu? Lipni?) is going to remove the settlers, demolish the Apartheid Wall and establish friendly relations with a sovereign Palestinian state. Oh and some of them believe that (kosher) pigs will fly too!

On South Africa, the Anti-Apartheid Movement, which PSC fondly believes it is emulating, supported a unitary state solution. PSC Executive effectively supports a cross between an Indian Reservation and a Bantustan. It avoids debate on the topic and retreats behind slogans for a Palestinian state, knowing full well that Oslo is dead and that a genuine anti-apartheid movement would be demanding equal political and civil rights for all Palestinians within what was Mandate Palestine.

It is this nonsense, with the accompanying ‘peace process’ [in fact a war processwhose main purpose is to placate the Arab regimes] which is crippling PSC’s analysis and activity. Routinist activities – demonstrations, petitions, letters, stalls – are fine. Political death blows to links with Zionism are something else.

Initially PSC was reluctant to endorse a Boycott campaign and today it sees it as primarily a consumer boycott of West Bank produce. But consumer boycotts are symbolic. Boycotts which cut links with Israeli state organisations such as Histadrut, are a different matter. When the Association of University Teachers passed a motion 3 years ago to boycott 2 Israeli universities all hell broke loose. Politicians in the US and Britain clamoured to denounce it. Israeli academics fell over themselves to prove (unlike the Gaza invasion) how much they supported peace. We even had 4 Presidents of Israeli Universities petitioning the Israeli Government to stop using road blocks to interfere with Palestinian students ability to study!

There could be no more effective way of aiding both Palestinian workers and demonstrating the loathing that ordinary workers feel regarding what has happened in Gaza than a full-scale campaign against links with Histadrut. Instead Bernie Regan tried to pretend that everyone agrees on the nature of Histadrut and that our disagreements are only tactical. This is false. In private conversations with Bernie at the One State conference 18 months ago he explicitly told me that he thought that now it had divested itself of its industries Histadrut had qualitatively changed. But this misses the point that Histadrut, even if it is more of a genuine union for Israeli Jewish workers is still a settler union, as racist as it ever was. It’s like the Anti-Apartheid Movement supporting retaining links between the TUC and the White Mineworkers Unions.

A golden political opportunity has been missed. When I and other activists move motions on Histadrut at union national conferences this summer, the Zionists are going to respond that even Palestine Solidarity Campaign doesn’t support us! And why? Because PSC Executive is too timid to take advantage of a unique opportunity to deal a death blow to ‘even handedness’ amongst British trade union bureaucrats who like to show that they support ‘both sides’ – as if the rapist and his victim are equal. Their petty sectarian manouvering is at the expense of the Palestinian people's struggle to be free.

Tony Greenstein

The Histadrut
Histadrut was set up in 1920 as the General Confederation of Hebrew Labour. Although opposed to boycotts now, its major campaign throughout the 1920’s and 1930’s was a Boycott of Arab Labour, Land and Produce. What this meant was that they set up picket lines outside Jewish owned factories and orange groves to force the owners to sack any Arabs they employed. Hiring an Arab because they were cheaper was termed ‘national treason’. Likewise produce from Arab farms was destroyed and Arabs were barred forever from land that had been sold to the Zionists.

Their position was best summed up by David Ha'Cohen, former Managing Director of Solel Boneh, the building and construction company owned by Histadrut:

‘I had to fight my friends on the issue of Jewish socialism to defend the fact that I would not accept Arabs in my Trade Union, the Histadrut; to defend preaching to housewives that they should not buy at Arab stores; to defend the fact that we stood guard at orchards to prevent Arab workers from getting jobs there... to pour kerosene on Arab tomatoes; to attack Jewish housewives in the markets and smash Arab eggs they, had bought... to buy dozens of dunums from an Arab is permitted but to sell God forbid one Jewish dunum to an Arab is prohibited; to take Rothschild the incarnation of capitalism as a socialist and to name him the 'benefactor' - to do all that was not easy. And despite the fact that we did it- maybe we had no choice - I wasn't happy about it."
David Hirst, Gun & the Olive Branch, p.63.

Indeed Histadrut was never a trade union but had a department for trade unions. Until the 1980’s when its bankrupt companies were privatised, it was Israel’s second largest employer after the State itself. Up till then it had followed a rigorously racist anti-Arab policy. It took it until 1959 to even admit Arabs to membership and until 1965 it refused to admit Arabs to membership. Its holding company Hevrat Ovdim and its other subsidiaries continued to remain exactly as they were – run by Jews only.

In particular it refused to employ Arabs in many of its factories on ‘security’ grounds and Arabs were mainly concentrated in Solel Boneh and in unskilled work. Histadrut refused to invest in industry in Arab villages resulting in a much higher level of unemployment among Arabs as well as lower wages. That is why poverty is endemic in the Israeli Palestinian community, over three times greater than among Israeli Jews.

Histadrut has never opposed the Occupation of the West Bank or Gaza strip. On the contrary Solel Boneh built most of the early settlements including Kiryat Arba. It has always been hawkist and pro-war. The attack on Lebanon in July 2006 was led by Defence Minister Amir Peretz, former Histadrut General Secretary. The most hawkish member of the present Israeli cabinet, and convicted sexual harasser, is Haim Ramon, another ex-General Secretary. Its present General Secretary, Ofer Eini, is a Labour MK. And if there were any doubt about its attitude to the attack on Gaza, then Histadrut made it clear on 13th January 2009 when it issued a statement via the Zionist Laborstart site. (it doesn’t, incredibly, have a web site of its own).

DON'T PAY THE BBC TAX - Donate your Licence Fee to the Gaza Appeal









The BBC was born in the womb of the British establishment. Those with an eye to history will know that during the General Strike in Britain in 1926 the BBC refused to broadcast an appeal by the Archbishop of Canterbury appealing for an amicable settlement. The Government was determined to smash the strikers and Lord Reith, the BBC Chairman, was fully behind the Tory Government.

As we have shown in a previous article the BBC decision over the Disaster Emergency Appeal for Gaza and the refusal to show a humanitarian appeal for Gaza's civilians is that the BBC has merely confirmed its unremitting bias throughout the invasion and attack on Gaza. Its refusal to contextualise Israeli bombings, to refer to Israel’s own breaking of the ceasefire on November 4th when 6 Palestinians were killed, its starvation siege of Gaza in breach of the ceasefire agreement, its firing on fishing boats and ramming of boats carrying humanitarian aid etc. None of this has made its way past the BBC censors.

We therefore ask you to follow the lead of David Soul.


This is a regressive tax on people anyway. The poor pay as much as the rich and there is no reason why we should fund Thompson’s £800,000 a year salary, plus chauffer driven car and free air travel, in order that he can perpetuate the starvation and suffering of Gaza’s people.

A clue to what lies behind this is the BBC decision to appease Israel in 2005 when Thompson visited Israel’s Prime Minister and mass murderer, Ariel Sharon in 2005. As Guy Adams of The Independent reported at the time (29.11.05.) ‘BBC chief holds peace talks in Jerusalem with Ariel Sharon’

"Not many people know this, but Mark is actually a deeply religious man. He's a Catholic, but his wife is Jewish, and he has a far greater regard for the Israeli cause than some of his predecessors."

The cat is out of the bag and as Tony Benn said in his wonderful interview with the Today programme, the BBC and Mark Thompson and his adjutant, Caroline Thomson in particular, have blood on their hands. Thompson talks of ‘balance’ but when the IRA was planting bombs in Britain there was no balance. Why are phosphorous bombs dropped on UN schools any different? There's no 'balance' on Iraq between British troops and the insurgents or in Afghanistan, why this so-called 'balance' which in effect amounts to unremitting support for Israel?

SACK MARK THOMPSON and CAROLINE THOMPSON, SAVE GAZA’S CHILDREN

UPDATE: More than 100 students from Britain's Cambridge University – including five Israelis, as well as Palestinians, Britons and residents of other countries – have been staging a sit-in at the prestigious university's law faculty since Friday in protest of the Israeli activity in the Gaza Strip.
There is an excellent article on Craig Murry's blog (he was the Ambassador to Uzbekhistan before complaining too much about things like torture there) where he does a quick analysis of BBC coverage of the Gaza conflict. I post it below to demonstrate their bias:
Biased Broadcasting Corporation

I am hopeful the public outcry caused by the BBC's refusal to broadcast the joint appeal for Gaza, will open more eyes to the immense bias in the BBC's News coverage.

As it has slipped off the front page, I think it is worth reproducing this from my blog for 6 January:What is Really Happening

I watched BBC World News for a timed hour yesterday. In that time I saw:
Pro-Israeli (including US government) speakers - 17
Pro-Palestinian speakers - 2

Mentions of Hamas Rockets as reason for war - 37
Mentions of illegal Israeli settlements - 0
Mentions of Palestinians killed by Israel during "ceasefire" - 2
Mentions of Sderot - 12
Mentions Sderot used to be Palestinian - 0

If you don't believe me, try it yourself.

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

Friday, 23 January 2009

Student Occupations Over Gaza - A First



An amazing thing is happening. For the first time ever students have gone into occupation over the question of Gaza. This is unprecedented. Never before has the Israel/Zionism issue provoked student demonstrations and direct action, not even at the height of the Lebanese War in 1982. Students in the past have been deterred by the accusation of ‘anti-Semitism’. But when people see children burnt alive by phosphorous bombs, when their schools and clinics and doctors homes are attack by the barbarians of the Israeli state, then no amount of ‘anti-Semitism’ charges will wash.

Unsurprisingly the misnamed Jewish Society at the University of Sussex has complained to the Vice-Chancellor about the ‘anti-Semitism’ of the occupiers. It’s strange really. I have just come from the occupation, having handed over £100 from Brighton & Hove Unemployed Workers Centre. They knew I was Jewish and yet I felt no fear at all. Why was that? Why do other Jewish opponents of Zionism feel no such feelings? As someone who is a prime fascist target in this country and having achieved first place on the south coast page of the neo-Nazi Redwatch site I am well aware of what real anti-Semitism is. And solidarity with Gaza ain't it!

The truth is that the ‘anti-Semitism’ card is past its sell by date and if it weren’t for the antics of Gilad Atzmon and his devoted groupie, Mary Rizzo, then it would be of even less utility to the Zionists.

Naturally the National Union of Students, which has long been captured for the Zionist UJS and which is the kindergarten for aspiring racists and New Labour politicians has done nothing to support the occupations.

I found it particularly amazing that King's College, London's oldest and most conservative college, a bastion of the right-wing in NUS, has gone into occupation. This is the answer to the bleating about 'anti-semitism' by UJS, which has never once supported direct mobilisations against the fascist BNP or National Front. Not surprisingly since the BNP has, according to the Board of Deputies spokesperson, Ruth Smeed, the most pro-Zionist web site of all.

Below is a link to just one of a number of BNP articles on Gaza. The BNP are, it would seem, worried about anti-semitic attacks on Jews because of the bombing of Gaza!! You couldn't make it up.

See the Guardian's Protests over Gaza spread to eight English universities
LSE director Howard Davies issues joint statement with demonstrators

As student protests over the bombing of Gaza spread to eight universities across England today, the director of the London School of Economics, Sir Howard Davies, issued a joint statement with student protesters saying he understood their concerns and backing a fundraising drive for scholarships for Palestinians.
LSE protesters ended their week-long occupation of the institution's Old Theatre peacefully last night, after Davies, former chairman of the Financial Services Authority, agreed to meet some of their demands.
But he refused to issue an official university statement condemning the Israeli bombardment of Gaza or to publish regular financial statements spelling out LSE's investment in companies involved in supplying arms to Palestine and Israel.
The LSE will waive scholarship application fees for
students affected by the conflict, help students organise a fundraising day, and donate surplus computers and books to institutions in Gaza.
The joint statement quoted Davies as saying: "I well understand the concerns felt by many students about the events in Gaza. It is painful to observe the suffering of the civilian population. Like Professor [Rick] Trainor of Universities UK, who speaks for the sector as a whole, I supported calls for an end to the conflict. As he has said, many of the casualties have occurred in educational establishments. Wherever in the world scholars or their institutions are threatened, or their lives are disrupted by conflict, I believe all parties should respect the integrity of scholarship and intellectual and academic freedom, and should work to minimise suffering".
The agreement with students includes establishing a working party to look at socially responsible investments that will be "content to receive" proposals about disinvestment from companies implicated in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.
Michael Deas, a third-year environmental policy student involved in the occupation, said: "We're delighted with the result, although nothing we could have done would ever have been enough. It's a real victory for student activism, particularly forcing the director into making a statement.
"We would encourage other students to take this sort of action and have the confidence to do so."
More than 80 students at Oxford occupied part of the historic Bodleian building today to demand that the university release a statement condemning the attack on Gaza, and cancel a lecture series at Balliol College inaugurated by Shimon Peres, the president of Israel.
At Warwick, students started an occupation last night demanding the university sever links with companies supplying equipment used in the conflict.
At King's College London, students have demanded the cancellation of an honorary degree for Peres, a demand rejected by the university. Trainor, the vice-chancellor of King's and president of the vice-chancellors' umbrella group, Universities UK, has said: "UUK supports calls for an end to the conflict in and beyond Gaza. We are particularly aware that many of the civilian casualties have occurred in educational establishments.
"The UK's universities are resolutely committed to the right to education, enshrined in the UN universal declaration of human rights. Higher education, in particular, is a global activity and we value our academic links with universities all over the world.
"The international nature of higher education means it is a force for understanding, tolerance and respect between peoples."
Students have also protested at the School of Oriental and African Studies, Birmingham, Essex and Sussex.
Simon Englert, a student at the
University of Sussex, said: "The atmosphere is very good, and everybody there is absolutely committed to what we're doing.
"Lots of different political stances are represented in the room. It has been a very good and interesting exercise, building a united front and agreeing on tactics.
"There has been a very uncomfortable silence in general about what's happened and is happening in Gaza. We feel there should be concrete action, and the university making a statement would be symbolic and strong."

For news of the occupations see the links below.

https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/birmingham/2009/01/419775.html
http://sussexoccupation.blogspot.com/
http://soassolidarity4gaza.blogspot.com/
http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/01/419738.html
http://warwicksolidaritysitin.wordpress.com//

Monday, 19 January 2009

Images From Hell - Israel's Phosphorous Bombing of Palestinian School

Indict Olmert, Lipni and Barak as War Criminals
These are the results of the bombing of an UNRWA School in Beit Lahia. Two children died, others are horrifically injured

These are some of the most horrific images one can imagine. White phosphorous ignites spontaneously above 15C and burns at 1300C. It causes horrific burns and water will only feed it oxygen. Its use, like all chemical weapons, against civilians is forbidden though it was used extensively in the second world war in tank warfare. To use white phosphorous to bomb a UN school is without doubt a war crime and of course the two people killed were children. The following images show that Israel's excuses for what it did are the lies one expects of a war criminal state. Tony Greenstein