29 November 2010

Police Scum Deliberately Ride into Student Demonstration

Met Police Commander Paul Stephenson Lies to Police Authority about the use of Horses
After the events of the last couple of weeks, it is clear the Metropolitan and City of London police have not learnt a dam thing about policing demonstrations from the incident in which Ian Tomlinson was murdered by a member of the Territorial Support Group during the G20 protests.

In the video below we see mounted police officers attacking a group of students who were conducting themselves peacefully and legally during last weeks student protest against tuition fees.(24.11.10) If you add in the continued use of kettling when policing legal demonstrations and the incident of the police van which was inexplicable abandoned in Whitehall in the path of the students protests, we get a clearer picture of the police strategy.

It is hard not to work out that police agent provocateurs or other State agencies are at work, for even Inspector Clouseau would have understood, as far as a section of the protesters were concerned, the abandoned police van would act like a red rag to a bull. Ditto using horses to intimate student from protesting on their own streets, thankfully these young people are made of sterner stuff.

The mounted police charge is about 1:15 into the video, but view the whole tape as it gives one a sense of the shock and fear the students must have felt when they suddenly saw mounted police charging down upon them. I remember experiencing something similar on the Grunwick picket line and it seems as far as the Met is concerned little has changed and they still use mounted police to intimidate and bully people from exercising their democratic right to protest against injustice.

That the police lied about the use of mounted officers on the 24th November reeks of the Tomlinson affair, as too does the fact the day after the event, on being asked by a member of his Police Authority if there had been horse charges at the student protests, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Paul Stephenson replied:

"I was at the debrief last night, there was no reference to that whatsoever and I have no reference to it.”

Once again the Police are shown out to be natural born liars. What is not surprising though is how the Courts accept their word as a matter of course when they present evidence.

Later that day, a Met spokesperson said: "Police horses were involved in the operation, but that didn't involve charging the crowd."

Watch the video and you decide.

Thanks to Outrage for first posting this.

Student protests: video shows mounted police charging London crowd

Met police issue denial but witnesses tell of terrifying ordeal

The video shows mounted police advancing towards the protesters at 1min 10secs

Video footage has emerged showing mounted police charging a crowd of protesters during this week's tuition fees demonstrations, the day after the Metropolitan police said tactics "did not involve charging the crowd".

Tens of thousands of school and college pupils and university students demonstrated in largely peaceful protests across the country against government plans to increase tuition fees and scrap the education maintenance allowance, but there were violent scenes at the central London protests. Hundreds of protesters were corralled or "kettled" by police, and later advanced upon by mounted officers.

Many who were in the crowd complained of being charged by police on horseback.

Police have denied that mounted officers charged at protesters; however, a five-minute video posted on YouTube last night shows a number of officers on horseback advancing at speed through a crowd of people.

Jenny Love, 22, who graduated from Bath University in July, said mounted officers "charged without warning".

"When the horses charged I was fairly near the front of the demo, where we were very tightly packed in, and found myself very quickly on the floor where I assumed the foetal position and covered my head while people simply ran over me," she said.

"Thankfully another protester picked me up before I could suffer any serious damage."

Love described the charge "as pretty terrifying" and said she suffered bruising during the ordeal. "I'm very angry that the mounted police were ordered to charge on a crowd containing many people like me who were only interested in peaceful protest," she said. "Police chiefs should think themselves lucky that no one was more seriously injured."

Naomi Bain, a member of support staff at Birkbeck University, was at Whitehall on Wednesday to protest against the government cuts. She said: "We were right at the front of the crowd. I've been in a lot of protests before, so we weren't particularly scared of police shouting at us and telling us to move. We were standing our ground – until the horse charge.

"I don't think I've ever seen anything quite so frightening. I've seen police on horseback, but this was like a cavalry charge. There was a line of police on foot, and they just moved out of the way, then maybe a hundred yards down the street there was a line of police on horseback. We'd been standing firmly and just moving back slowly, but when the police on horseback charged, that was the moment when we absolutely ran."

Bain said she was standing with school and college pupils, some as young as 15, when mounted police advanced. "There were people who fell down who would have been under the horses' hooves if they hadn't been grabbed – and these were really young kids as well."

Jonathan Warren, a freelance photojournalist who was at the protest, said mounted police advanced "with no warning". "There was a line of police officers, which parted, and then the police on horseback just started charging," he said, adding that protesters were left "angry and scared".

Archie Young, 18, who was protesting with his mother, Josa, said he was left bruised following the charges. "I was at the forefront of the crowd of protesters that they charged, yes – my left boot still has a hoofprint-shaped mark on it from where I was trodden on," he said.

Yesterday a spokesman for the Metropolitan police said: "Police horses were involved in the operation, but that did not involve charging the crowd." He added: "I dare say they [officers policing the Whitehall demonstrations] were doing the movements the horses do to help control the crowd for everyone's benefit, which has been a recognised tactic for many, many years, but no, police officers charging the crowd – we would say, 'No, they did not charge the crowd.'"

However the spokesman did also say that charging was a "quite specific term". His rebuttal came after the Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, told a Metropolitan police authority meeting he had "no reference" to police officers on horseback charging at protesters.

The Guardian witnessed a charge by police mounted on about 10 horses shortly after 7pm on Wednesday near Trafalgar Square. The incident occurred when about 1,000 protesters had gathered outside the kettle to call for those inside to be released. Some began hurling missiles and surging forward.

In a co-ordinated move, the riot officers, who numbered about 100, simultaneously retreated to the sides of the street, allowing the horses to come forward approximately 100 metres. Panic spread through the crowd as protesters sprinted away. Witnesses said it was the second time police had charged with horses in the space of an hour, with unconfirmed reports of a young man having been trampled.

The police denial that officers had charged was strongly disputed by people commenting on the Guardian's coverage of the protest aftermath yesterday.

28 November 2010

Coalition of Resistance or Damp Squib?

Another Left Campaign Headed for Nowhere?

At the unearthly hour of 8 am 9 of us from Brighton Benefits Campaign met at Brighton Station to go to the Coalition of Resistance. We included claimants and workers.

The Coalition of Resistance is one of these favourite formats of the SWP and other far-left groups when they can’t think of anything else to do. It consists of a big rally, at the beginning and end and in this case 2 sessions of workshops which didn’t key into the conference proceedings but were their to suggest that there was involvement at the grassroots

Speakers included the new General Secretary of Unite, Len McLuskey, John Macdonald MP, Dot Gibson of the Pensioners Convention, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Mark Serwotka of PCS, John Rees and Linday German of Counterfire, Chris Bamberry of the SWP, a school student, Clare Solmons President of the University of London Union, Bob Crowe of the RMT and Andrew Burgin of the Communist Party of Britain. To round everything off an address by the President of the Coalition Tony Benn. Benn who must be nearly 80 now and looked increasingly feeble. The Conference was chaired by Andrew Burgin.

It was noticeable that the only left group with any form of industrial implantation, the Socialist Party, was not represented on the platform. This kind of sectarianism is unacceptable and gives the lie to the 'broad coalition' idea. Counterfire has barely got a 100 members and yet 3 of the speakers were from it. The Socialist Party which has about 1,500 members and a significant trade union base was unrepresented. That suggests that the conference was as much about building particular grouplets as building resistance.

All resolutions were remitted to what we were promised would be a conference in 6 (or was it 3?) months and an absurd steering committee of 122 was adopted en masse. As might be apparent from the speakers line-up, the political current behind the conference was John Rees and Lindsey German’s Counterfire – a right-wing split off from the SWP last year (it split before it was expelled).

I won’t take bets on whether or not there will be a recall conference, though I remain dubious but it is clear that the Coalition is unlikely to last beyond the normal time limit of SWP style ‘united front’ initiatives i.e. about one conference.

I attended one workshop on Pensions and Benefit Cuts. Chaired by a member of Green Left, it included a London official of PCS, Pip Tindall of Brighton Benefit Cuts and Colin Hampton of the TUC Unemployed Centre’s Consultative Committee and Derbyshire/Chesterfield Unemployed Centres.

Pip, also of Green Left, spoke about our work in Brighton in mobilising claimants and workers and Colin Hampton spent most of his time detailing the appalling individual cases of people affected by the government’s determination to migrate everyone on Incapacity Benefit to ESA or JSA. What he markedly didn’t do was make any suggestions for action nor did he describe the useless role of the National Consultative Committee from which I resigned about 18 months ago.

So when I spoke from the floor I deliberately tore into the duplicity and dishonesty of Hampton. How it had ended up being an echo chamber for TUC bureaucrats who had never done a thing for the unemployed. How one of the most basic principles of independent action by the unemployed has been abandoned by the NCC in order to court favour with TUC bureacrats. How it had said absolutely nothing about welfare reform under New Labour and how it’s only activity is to hold a one day conference with a charity, the Child Poverty Action Group once a year, having abandoned the unemployed centres conference. Hampton had admitted at the beginning of his speech that there were barely 40 centres left, many of which were just hanging on there. Not once did he suggest why this might be so. My criticisms were warmly welcomed by the audience who applauded by call to the PCS representative to do more than offer warm words – they should be instructing their members not to implement sanctions.

Hampton sat there looking even more furious and glum than normal. His only response was to say we needed ‘unity – which somewhat begged the point. Unity around what? Doing nothing? He didn’t say but given his record and that of the Unemployed Centres Combine which he and the failed careerist Kevin Flynn from Gateshead Unemployed Centre head, it doesn’t look promising.

The key question for activists, and there are signs of a groups springing up around the country, is where we go from here.

Tony Greenstein

Ahava Picket Continues as EDL Spread Their Hate Further Afield

I took off an hour or so from the Culture of Resistance Conference to go and join the picket at Ahava. After direct action this week by 2 activists, who chained themselves to a concrete block, once again getting arrested for aggravated trespass, the picket was a quiet affair.

Arriving at about 12.45 I was surprised that the Zionists friends the EDL hadn’t turned up. They have a demonstration this week spreading their message of hate at Nuneaton, so they couldn’t afford to join their bigots in arms at Ahava to support Zionist theft in the West Bank. And even Jonathan Hoffman didn’t turn up till gone 1.00, leaving the hapless Martin Sugarman, one of those who heckled Holocaust survivor, Haja Meyer, at the Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration last year.

Rumour has it that the EDL is somewhat miffed with the Zionists for turning down all their suggestions, such as having 2 of them sleep overnight in Ahava to keep out anyone wanting to chain themselves to concrete! And despite the best efforts of Hoffman to make them feel wanted, they feel their efforts have become taken for granted by the Zionists who don't even make them officially feel at home as the Zionists can't afford to openly welcome them!

The Zionists seemed to shuffle about in embarrassment as the shop did next to no trade on a busy Saturday afternoon. Even the police outnumbered them. One unnamed Zionist, having nothing with which to defend the Zionist theft of Palestinian resources on the West Bank foamed at the mouth about us ‘anti-Semites’ until I pointed out that it was they who demonstrated with anti-Semites every other week! He then turned on my family instead! Strange man. And even stranger was a Welsh Christian Zionist flying the Israeli flag who seemed eager to distance himself from the Revelations crowd of baptists who want the Jews return to the Holy Land in order that they can then be immolated and secure the return of the Messiah. He accepted that they were most of them anti-Semites.

Finally a bad tempered and ill at lease Jonathan Hoffman turned up. At one stage he was shouting in the face of Bruce Levy, who quite remarkably kept his cool. Hoffman’s face was literally contorted with rage as he saw all round him disintegrate, along with his career in the Zionist Federation.

However truth be said, the turn out on the Palestinian side was also considerably down and people weren’t very vocal until Jonathan turned up. One has to hand it to him. He always enlivens us up to do more, not least in this case chant, and led by Bruce and me crying ‘Don’t Buy Stolen Goods Boycott Ahava’ we got quite a good bout of chanting going. The Zionists bar Hoffman preferred to keep quiet, possibly feeling the cold even more than we. It was therefore with great reluctance that I departed this merry scene, Hoffman still scowling for all he was worth!

Tony Greenstein

25 November 2010

Huge Brighton & Hove Students Demonstration Against Fees

It was one of the most exhilarating demonstrations that I can remember in Brighton. Just the energy and enthusiasm were amazing, as was the determination to fight to prevent higher education being hived off to the children of the rich. ‘Nick Cleg, Shame on you, Shame on You for Turning Blue’ was one of the innovative slogans that cried out.

The rally was in the park near BHASVIC, Brighton & Hove 6th Form College and already when I got there at quarter to two there were hundreds of students gathered. Unlike most demonstrations I've been on, which wait interminably in the hope that someone else will turn up, this march began on the dot of 2 down Dyke Road to the centre of Brighton. Our local Events policeman come intelligence operative, Sgt. MacDonald suggested that maybe as an older demonstrator, I could keep the kids from stepping into the road. Purely in a fatherly role he explained, not as a policeman!

It was a novel experience parking at the side of the park to unload the PA and banners. Students gathered around and like vultures descended on the banners, stripping the bus within minutes.

I and a few others from the Socialist Party arrived in the Unemployed Centre’s distinctive red minibus. We had made a detour to the Centre to pick up a few dozen more placards. Ironically, this time last week, organisers had considered calling off the march as they were afraid no one was going to turn up! They needn’t have worried. As a veteran of more Brighton demonstrations than hot dinners this was the second largest demonstration I’d witnessed after the one on the day war broke out against Iraq.

Initial police estimates of one thousand were rapidly increased to three thousand, but I would suggest that between four and five thousand would be more accurate. As the march made its way along the route, young kids joined all the time. I wasn’t on most of the march and I meet it as it came down North Street from the Clocktower, as I took the minibus with the PA into town in order that it could be set up in Victoria Gardens opposite the Art College in Grand Parade. And to think when I was Vice-President of the Brighton Polytechnic Student Union from 1977-79 this was one of the most active colleges in terms of student militancy. Now school students were demonstrating outside as the students inside went on with their work undisturbed (though reports have come in of a student occupation of an annexe tonight).

The Unemployed Centre banner flew high throughout the demo being carried by school students. At Grand Parade itself as thousands milled around comrades gave me the mike in order to try and gain some political control back of the demonstration. But it was far too late for that. But I nonetheless seized the chance to bring comradely greetings from one generation to another. Ad libbing as I went along I reminisced that when I was a student union officer 33 years ago in this very building we paid no fees and our fight was for a full student grant and no tuition fees for overseas students (who were then being charged discriminatory fees by the Labour government).

We live in a society which can wage wars without limit but cannot wage a war against poverty and hunger. That is what the fight against fees is about.

I praised the students who had invaded Tory Party HQ and Millbank a few weeks ago and mentioned that nothing made me more proud than the fact that my own daughter had been arrested and finished off by saying that when I looked out on the demonstration I could see that we of an older generation are now passing on the baton for free education and decent public services to a younger generation and we need not have any fears that they will pick it up.

Above are a few pictures and a link to the rest as well as video clips from a memorable day.

Tony Greenstein

PS: As darkness fell the Police turned nasty and in particular inside the Housing Benefit offices they attacked the youngsters. Latest reports suggest that about 10 school students were arrested, most 15 and 16 but one aged 13! And the occupation is still going strong at Pavilion Parade, a small wing building of the main Art College. However they have occupied a teaching room whereas we always, as a matter of course, occupied the Administration block when we went into occupation! And late last night on TV news we saw one lecturer Bob Brecher at Pavilion Parade complaining that the Police were refusing to let him into the building to teach!

23 November 2010

How to Bar Arabs from Renting Flats Without Saying So

It has been a thorny problem for Israel’s legislators. How to allow the Jewish National Fund and Jewish towns to reject Arab inhabitants without specifiying ‘Arabs not wanted’. In South Africa and the Deep South of the USA there signs such as ‘Whites Only’,Dogs and Blacks Keep Out’ but this would be somewhat embarrassing for the ‘Jewish’ State.

After the Kadaan case in 2005, when Israel’s Supreme Court was left with no alternative but to rule that Arabs were entitled to lease flats and apartments from the Israeli Land Administration and implicitly the JNF, Zionist rulers have faced a dilemma. At first they simply introduced a JNF Bill which starkly stated that leasing land only to Jews was not discriminatory. But this was like a law stating that Black is White.

The law may state it, but it’s not true. Now however more subtle forces are at work. Existing residents may decide, on the basis of their social fit and whether their ‘face fits’ if someone should be rejected or not. And what a surprise! Jewish towns reject Arabs as not fitting in. Eat your heart out Drs Malan and verwoerd.

Knesset panel approves controversial bill allowing towns to reject residents
Israeli Arab MKs al-Sana and Tibi walk out on committee discussion, calling it a 'criminal law' aiming to prevent Arabs from joining Israeli towns.
By Jonathan Lis and Jack Khoury

The Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill which gives the right to absorption committees of small communities in Israel to reject candidates if they do not meet specific criteria.

The bill has sparked wide condemnation and many believe it to be discriminatory and racist, since it allows communities to reject residents if they do no meet the criteria of "suitability to the community's fundamental outlook", which in effect enables them to reject candidates based on sex, religion, and socioeconomic status.
"In my opinion, every Jewish town needs at least one Arab. What would happen if my refrigerator stopped working on a Saturday?"
The bill is due to be presented before the Knesset plenum in the coming weeks.

Israeli Arab MKs were outraged by the proposal and walked out on the committee's discussion of it. MK Talab al-Sana (United Arab List – Ta'al) called the bill racist and said it was meant to prevent Arabs from joining Israeli towns. MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List – Ta'al) compared the bill to racist laws in Europe during World War Two, and the two told the committee members before leaving the hall: "We will not cooperate with this criminal law – you have crossed the line."

The committee's chairman, David Rotem (Yisrael Beiteinu), responded to claims the bill was meant to reject Arabs from joining Israeli towns. "In my opinion, every Jewish town needs at least one Arab. What would happen if my refrigerator stopped working on a Saturday?"

See also Bill allowing towns to reject residents gains ground

Deir Yassin was only one of many massacres in 1948

I came across this article recently and decided to republish it. A legend has grown up that the only massacre during Israel’s War of Independence, the Naqba, was that of Deir Yassin, for which Ben-Gurion apologised whilst blaming on Menachem Begin.
In fact Deir Yassin was one of a number of massacres, such as Duweimah, Tantura, Saf Saf, Lydda-Ramleh and not the largest massacre either.
Tony Greenstein

The Massacres of 1948

Not Only Deir Yassin
By Guy Erlich, Ha'ir, 6 May 1992

After Lydda gave up the fight, a group of stubborn Arab fighters barricaded themselves in the small mosque. The commander of the Palmach's 3rd Battalion, Moshe Kalman, gave an order to fire a number of blasts towards the mosque. The soldiers who forced their way into the mosque were surprised to find no resistance. On the walls of the mosque they found the remains of the Arab fighters. A group of between twenty to fifty Arab inhabitants was brought to clean up the mosque and bury the remains. After they finished their work, they were also shot into the graves they dug.

The Jewish American journalist Dan Kurtzman, heard this testimony from Moshe Kalman, who has meanwhile died, while he was writing his book 'In the Beginning 1948 (Bereshit 1948)' about the War of Independence. As Kurtzman did not want to hurt the State of Israel, he did not include this testimony, but told this story to Israeli historian Aryeh Yitzhaki, when they met in the IDF archives, when Kurtzman was there working on his book. Kurtzman, who is now visiting Israel in connection with his new book (incidentally, these days a new edition of his older book is coming out), confirmed - after some hesitation - that he heard this testimony from Moshe Kalman.

Since its establishment, the State of Israel keeps a conspiracy of silence concerning massacres committed in the War of Independence. The only massacre acknowledged in official publications is that of Deir Yassin, perhaps because it was perpetrated by the IZL (Irgun). Books and press reports have referred to dozens of cases, but only partially and incompletely. Yitzhaki corroborates this impression: 'I read all the documents in the IDF archives written about the War of Independence. In the course of years I became especially alert to anything concerning the massacres.' Yitzhaki is a lecturer in the Bar Ilan University [Tel Aviv] in the Faculty of Eretz Yisrael Studies and is also senior lecturer in the field of military history in IDF courses for officers. In the sixties he served as director of the IDF archives within the framework of his IDF service in his capacity as historian.

Yitzhaki assembled all the testimonies and documents concerning the subject matter and waited for the right time to publish. "The time has come," he says, "for a generation has passed, and it is now possible to face the ocean of lies in which we were brought up. In almost every conquered village in the War of Independence, acts were committed, which are defined as war crimes, such as indiscriminate killings, massacres and rapes. I believe that such things end by surfacing. The only question is how to face such evidence."

According to Yitzhaki, about ten major massacres were committed in the course of the War of Independence (i.e. more than fifty victims in each massacre) and about hundred smaller massacres (of individuals or small groups). According to him, these massacres had an enormous impact on the Arab population, by inducing their (departure) from the country.

Yitzhaki: "For many Israelis it was easier to find consolation in the lie, that the Arabs left the country under orders from their leaders. This is an absolute fabrication. The fundamental cause of their flight was their fear from Israeli retribution and this fear was not at all imaginary. From almost each report in the IDF archives concerning the conquest of Arab villages between May and July 1948 - when clashes with Arab villagers were the fiercest - a smell of massacre emanates. Sometimes the report tells about blatant massacres which were committed after the battle, sometimes the massacres are committed in the heat of battle and while the villages are "cleansed." Some of my colleagues, such as Me'ir Pa'il, don't consider such acts as massacres. In my opinion there is no other term for such acts than massacres. This was at the time the rule of the game. It was a dirty war on both sides. This phenomenon spread out in the field; there were no explicit orders to exterminate. In the first phase a village was usually subjected to heavy artillery from distance. Then soldiers would assault the village. After giving up resistance, the Arab fighters would withdraw while attempting to snipe at the advancing forces. Some would not flee and would remain in the village, mainly women and old people. In the course of cleansing we used to hit them. One was "tailing the fugitives," as it used to be called ("mezanvim baborchim"). There was no established battle procedure as today, namely that when blowing up a house, one has first to check whether civilians are still inside. In a typical battle report about the conquest of a village we find: "We cleansed a village, shot in any direction where resistance was noticed. After the resistance ended, we also had to shoot people so that they would leave or who looked dangerous."
The historian Uri Milstein, a myth-shatterer, corroborates Yitzhaki's assessment regarding the massacres' extent and goes even further. "If Yitzhaki claims that almost in every village there were murders, then I maintain that even before the establishment of the State, each battle ended with a massacre. In all Israel's wars massacres were committed but I have no doubt that the War of Independence was the dirtiest of them all. All over the world, massacres constitute an integral part of the norm of war and it is in fact the fundamental basis of human conduct in a situation of battle. The idea behind a massacre is to inflict a shock on the enemy, to paralyze the enemy. In the War of Independence everybody massacred everybody, but most of the action happened between Jews and Palestinians."
"If Yitzhaki claims that almost in every village there were murders, then I maintain that even before the establishment of the State, each battle ended with a massacre."
Milstein adds: "In my opinion, the regular armies of Arab states were less barbaric than the Jews and the Palestinians. Until the entry into the battle of the Arab armies, the concept of taking prisoners was unknown. The regular armies, especially that of Jordan and Egypt, were the first in the region who did not kill prisoners, as a matter of principle. Not that they were exceptional, but they killed the least of all, relatively speaking. The Jordanian Legion even succeeded to stop Palestinians of massacring Jews in Gush Etzion, at least in a part of this area. The education in the Yishuv at that time had it that the Arabs would do anything to kill us and therefore we had to massacre them. A substantial part of the Jewish public was convinced that the most cherished wish of say, a nine-year old Arab child, was to exterminate us. This belief bordered on paranoia."

A careful study reveals that until today over twenty massacres were publicly reported. The testimonies were not published in one collection, a fact which adds to this phenomenon another dimension. At least eight massacres were described by Benny Morris in his book "The Birth of the Palestine Refugee Problem." Two cases were reported in Milstein's books. Two cases are reported in the book of Palestinian historian Arif al-Arif. The rest were reported in novels, memories and the press. But it appears that at least eight more massacres were committed which are reported here for the first time. Two of them were discovered by Yitzhaki, three by Milstein, one case was revealed by Kurtzman and was presented in the introduction to this reportage. One case was brought to our knowledge by a kibbutz member who wishes to remain anonymous and one more case was revealed by Dov Yirmiya.

The testimonies concerning the massacres, revealed here for the first time by Yitzhaki, are kept in the IDF archives. Those who wish to study the documents in question confront a blank refusal. The director, Miki Kaufman: "If you are looking for what I believe you are looking for, then you can forget it. In any case, just keep in mind that we are reading over any documents before you are allowed to see them and we cull out material that you should not see."

A person who already had to face this barrage is Benny Morris. He addressed himself to the State Archivist to get a report by the government-nominated Shapira Committee, on killings in the War of Independence, but his request was denied.

"The Archivist refused to let me see the report and I went then to the Supreme Court. According to the [State] Archives Law (1953), access is open to documents concerning [government] policies and political matters after 30 years and documents related to security matters after 50 years. As the report by the Shapira committee is a political document issued by the Ministry of Justice, it was to be accessible by the public. But after I entered my request to the State Archivist and to the courts, the State Prosecutor and the Archivist made me a trick. It appeared that by convening a special meeting of at least two Cabinet members - in this case Arens and Sharir - it was possible to extend indefinitely the classified status of any archived document by arguing that disclosure might endanger state security. The meeting was duly convened and the document was reclassified . . ."
But Yitzhaki kept the testimonies. The first case he presents happened in Tel Gezer. A soldier of the the Kiryati Brigade . . . testifies that his colleagues got hold of ten Arab men and two Arab women, a young one and an old one. All the men were murdered. The young woman was raped and her destiny was unknown. The old woman was murdered. Yitzhaki tells that he discovered the testimony in a specific folder containing testimonies from Guard Units (Kheil Mishmar) in the IDF archives. Later he also obtained an oral testimony about this event from a person who wished to remain anonymous.

Another case happened in Ashdod. Towards the end of August 1948, the Giv'ati Brigade executed the "Cleansing Campaign" (Mivtza Nikayon) in Ashdod's dunes. This happened after the forced landing of an Israeli plane in the area and the killing of his eight passengers by locals. A company of mounted cavalry, jeeps and Giv'ati fighters went to comb the area. In the course of this action, and according to a conservative estimate, ten farmers ("fellahin") were murdered. Yitzahki says that evidence about that can be found in the campaign chronicle of Giv'ati in the IDF archives and in the second chapter of the book on the Giv'ati Brigade.

"Apart from these cases," says Yitzhaki, "there are more cases described in IDF's archives, but I don't want to disclose them at this stage. I will yet write a book."

The historian Uri Milstein presented in his book series "The History of the War of Independence" a number of massacres. Three more cases came to his knowledge after he finished writing. One case happened in Ayn Zaytoon. According to Milstein two massacres happened there in addition to the case described by Netiva Ben Yehuda in her book "Within the Bounds" (mibe'ad la'avutot). Milstein possesses a testimony from a soldier named Aharon Yo'eli: "Three men from Safad came to Ayn Zaytoon, they took 23 Arabs, told them they were murderers and gangsters, took from them their watches and put them in their pockets, led them over the hills and killed them. This was the revenge of the Jews of Safad. I understood that our commanders were looking for additional killers to execute such jobs. Not everybody in Safad was a hassid [strictly observing Jew]. In my opinion this was not the execution of prisoners but the killing of Arab murderers. The rest were expelled in the direction of the Germak that same evening and to make them go fast, we shot at them."

The second case was reported to Milstein by a soldier named Yitzhak Golan, as he referred to thirty prisoners who were brought to interrogation in Har Kna'an: "The men of the Intelligence Unit interrogated them and after the interrogation the question came up what to do with them. We were told to take them down to the Rosh Pina police station. On the way they attempted to escape so we shot at them. There was no alternative. The danger was that they might reach Safad and would tell there how few weapons and manpower we had. It is possible that they were killed chained. Next morning a platoon was sent to bury them."

Another case happened in Caesarea. In February 1948 the Fourth Battalion of the Palmach forces, under the command of Josef Tabenkin, conquered Caesarea. According to Milstein, all those who did not escape from the village were killed. Milstein gleaned testimonies about this fact from fighters who participated in the conquest.

A member of Kibbutz Be'eri, who was assigned to the Guard Milices for a short time, reveals another unpublished case about the murder of an Arab soldier: "We were in the strong point in the Wadi Ara area, near Giv'at Ada. Not far away was a post of Palestinians who fired from time to time at us. One night we raided their post and brought back a prisoner for interrogation. One of the soldiers of the Guard Milices took the prisoner after interrogation, beheaded him and with a knife scalped the head. No one present tried to stop him. He then tied the skin to a high pole facing the Palestinian post to inspire a deadly fear among the Palestinians. This soldier was later brought to the battalion commander for trial."

On 20 May 1948 the Karmeli Brigade conquered the village Kabri. Dov Yirmiya, who was a company commander in the 21st battalion, tells: "Kabri was conquered without a fight. Almost all inhabitants fled. One of the soldiers, Yehuda Reshef, who was together with his brother among the few escapees from the Yehi'am convoy, got hold of a few youngsters who did not escape, probably seven, ordered them to fill up some ditches dug as an obstacle and then lined them up and fired at them with a machine gun. A few died but some of the wounded succeeded to escape. The battalion commander did not react. Reshef was a brave fighter and as a rescapee from the Yehi'am convoy, enjoyed special status in the battalion. He advanced later to the grade of Brigadier General. He justified his action as an act of revenge."

"When the action ended, we left, namely the battalion commander Dov Tschitchiss, Education Officer Tzadok Eshel, the driver and myself. We drove over fields to Nahariya. While driving we saw refugees escaping to the North. The battalion commander ordered the driver to stop and went with the driver and the Education Officer to chase an Arab who was escaping with a girl eight or nine years old. I heard shots and had scarcely the time to understand what happened. When they returned, the battalion commander declared: We killed them. I asked: The girl too? And he answered to me: No, no, we did not kill the girl."
The Education Officer, Tzadok Eshel, has already forgotten about the episode. "In our Carmeli Brigade," he said, "we did not commit massacres. I can tell you about the massacre that the IZL people did in Haifa. It was typical for the IZL and the LEHI, not to us. It was totally outside our way of thinking. There was the case of an officer who wanted to loot a village but they did not allow him."

After hearing the testimony of Yermiya, Eshel changed his version: "Did I tell you about this case, no? . . . Probably I forgot . . . Yes, there was in fact one case where we drove in a jeep and an officer, I don't remember who, but I don't think it was the battalion commander, wanted to shoot down an Arab with a girl. I told him that if he will fire at them, I will shoot at him. When we returned to the jeep I felt good that I succeeded to stop such a thing." Yirmiya, in his testimony mentions [however] shots, "I don't at all remember that I was in the jeep. I was in the area. I tell you, you better leave these things. There were no such things."

The Only Democracy in the World Injures Israel’s First Arab Woman Knesset Member

A few weeks ago, we had the police defending the fascists and pogromists whilst attacking their victims? And where was this? Pre-war Poland and Germany? Northern Ireland? South Africa? No Israel.

The fascist Kach movement and supporters decided to march, as the American Nazi Party did through Skoki in Chicago, where many holocaust survivors lived, through the Arab town of Umm al-Fahm.
And as a bonus, as Haneen Zoabi, a hate figure for Zionists – left and right – since she participated in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla – was deliberately shot at by police marksmen and hit twice in the back with rubber bullets. Such a wonderful thing the Jewish State. It can do all the things to Arabs that the goyim did to Jews!!

Zionists and other assorted racists usually try to show how 'backward' Islam is compared to the Judeo-Christian religions by pointing to the position of women in society. 'Look' they say, 'our women walk around without being veiled'. Women in western societies, even if underrepresented take part as equals in the parliamentary process.
So what happens when a secular Arab woman is elected to Israel's Knesset? She becomes a target of every Jewish racist and Zionist fanatic in Israel, the recipient of hundreds of death threats, having a Facebook page full of calls for her execution dedicated to her assassination.

Of course none of this should surprise us. Zionism was built on violence and in 1948 demonstrated its determination to use any means, including rape and massacre, to expel the Arab population. So we should not be surprised as these hypocrites bemoan the position of Arab women on the one hand, and when faced with an articulate Arab woman on the other do their best to silence her and in Haneen Zoabi's case, to strip her of Parliamentary privileges and immunity.

Tony Greenstein

Israeli police shoot Haneen Zoabi in back
Jonathan Cook

Protest met with rubber bullets: Israeli police shoot ‘hated’ Arab legislator in back

Israeli police injured two Arab legislators on Wedensay in violent clashes provoked by Jewish rightwing extremists staging a march through the northern Arab town of Umm al-Fahm.
Haneen Zoubi, a parliament member who has become a national hate figure in Israel and received hundreds of death threats since her participation in an aid flotilla to Gaza in the summer, was among those hurt.

Ms Zoubi reported being hit in the back and neck by rubber bullets as she fled the area when police opened fire. In an interview, she said she believed she had been specifically targeted by police snipers after they identified her.

Police denied her claims, saying they had used only tear gas and stun grenades.

Some 1,500 police were reported to have faced off with hundreds of Arab and Jewish demonstrators in the town.

Shimon Koren, the northern police commander, admitted special paramilitary forces had been used against the Arab counter-demonstration, as well as an undercover unit more usually deployed at Palestinian protests in the West Bank.

An officer disguised as an Arab demonstrator, from the so-called “mistarvim unit”, was among the injured, apparently after police fired a stun grenade at him by mistake.

Ms Zoubi harshly criticised the police violence. “The police proved that they are a far more dangerous threat to me and other Arab citizens than the fascist group that came to Umm al-Fahm,” she said.

Haneen Zoabi

The march was organised by far-right settlers allied to Kach, a movement that demands the expulsion of Palestinians from both Israel and the occupied territories. The movement was formally outlawed in 1994, but has continued to flourish openly among some settler groups.
The organisers said they were demanding the banning of the Islamic Movement, which has its headquarters in Umm al-Fahm.

The Islamic Movement’s leader, Sheikh Raed Salah, has angered Israeli officials by heading a campaign in Jerusalem’s Old City to highlight what he says is an attempted Israeli takeover of the Haram al-Sharif compound that includes the al-Aqsa mosque.
He was also on the Mavi Marmara aid ship to Gaza in May, and claimed at the time that Israeli commandos had tried to assassinate him. Nine passengers were killed, some of them by close-range shots to their heads.

The sheikh is currently serving a three-month jail sentence over clashes with the Israeli security forces close to the al-Aqsa mosque.

Michael Ben Ari, a former Kach member and now an MP with the rightwing National Union party, who attended the march, said Israel must not be a “stupid democracy and let people who want to destroy us have a voice”.

Baruch Marzel, one of the march organisers, told Israel Radio: “If the Kach Party was outlawed, then the Islamic Movement deserves to be outlawed 1,000 times over.”
On hearing of Ms Zoubi’s injuries, he added: “It was worth going to Umm el-Fahm. She is our enemy.”

Afu Aghbaria, an Arab MP with the joint Jewish-Arab Communist party, was also hurt. He said he had been hit in the leg.

Arab leaders said the clash had been triggered by undercover police who began thowing stones from among the demonstrators — a tactic that the unit has been caught on film using at protests in the West Bank.

Mohammed Zeidan, head of the Higher Follow-Up Committee, the main political body for Israel’s Arab citizens, who comprise a fifth of the total population, condemned the police actions.
“Racism is no longer found only in documents or on the margins, like with Marzel, but has become a phenomenon among decision-makers and carried out on the ground. What happened today in Umm al-Fahm is a menacing escalation.”

The committee demanded a state investigation into what it called “exaggerated violence” by the police.

Police said nine Arab demonstrators had been arrested for stone-throwing.

Four police officers were reported to be lightly injured. The far-right marchers were escorted away by police, unharmed.

Ms Zoubi, a first-term MP, shot to notoriety this summer after she was among the first passengers to be released following Israel’s violent takeover of the Mavi Marmara.
Ms Zoubi contradicted the Israeli account that the nine passengers had been killed by commandos defending themselves, accusing the navy of opening fire on the ship before any commandos had boarded. She also claimed several passengers had been allowed to bleed to death.

She was provided with a body guard for several weeks after receiving a spate of deaths threats and general villification in the parliament.

The Israeli police have been criticised in the past for lying about the strong-arm methods used to quell protests by the country’s Arab citizens.

A state commission of inquiry found in 2003 that the police had used live ammunition and rubber bullets, in violation of its own regulations, to suppress solidarity demonstrations inside Israel at the start of the second intifada.

Thirteen Arab citizens were killed and hundreds injured in a few days of clashes in 2000. Police had falsely claimed that the deaths had been caused by “friendly fire” from among the demonstrators.

A recently parliamentary report revealed that there were only 382 Muslims in Israel’s 21,000-strong national police force – or less than 2 per cent.

The establishment of the undercover “mistarvim” unit against the country’s Arab population caused outrage among civil rights groups when it was first revealed last year.

The far-right march in Umm al-Fahm was timed to coincide with the twentieth anniversary this week of the assassination of Rabbi Meir Kahane, who founded Kach. At a commemoration service in Jerusalem on Tuesday, Rabbi Yisrael Ariel told hundreds who attended that the government was allowing the Palestinians to “establish an Ishmael state in Israel”.

Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books).

Zoabi: 'The police defend fascists, threaten Arab lives'

10/27/2010 12:47

Security forces arrest 9 Arabs for throwing rocks at right-wing demonstration in Umm el-Fahm; Marzel calls Zoabi "our enemy."

Police arrested nine Umm el-Fahm residents for rioting in the northern town, reportedly injuring two Arab MKs, as right-wing activists marched on Wednesday to mark the anniversary of Rabbi Meir Kahane’s assassination.

After the march and the riots, Israel Radio interviewed Baruch Marzel, one of the organizers of the march, and MK Haneen Zoabi, who said she was injured by the police.

"If Zoabi was injured, it was worth going to Umm el-Fahm," Marzel said. "She is our enemy!"

Marzel also called for the Islamic Movement to be outlawed, saying, "We want Jewish children to be able to walk free in Umm el-Fahm, because this is the heart of Eretz Yisrael."

To those who call him racist, Marzel said that he is "not against Arabs or Chinese or anyone. I'm only against my enemies. I'm not a racist; I don't think Agbaria deserved to be injured."

When Israel Radio turned to Zoabi and asked how she was feeling, Zoabi responded, "I'm okay."

To that, Marzel retorted: "If she's not injured, it's bad news." He added that he is "determined to put her in Abbas' parliament, not our Knesset."

Zoabi then claimed that policemen who recognized her shot rubber bullets at her neck and back, as she attempted to take cover.

Police denied injuring Zoabi, and said they did not use rubber bullets at all.

"The police defend fascists, and threaten the lives of Arab citizens because they can shoot and injure people," Zoabi said. "Why don't they shoot in the air? Why did they aim at my back and neck? I am not only threatened by the facist right, I am threatened by the police," the MK said.

On Wednesday morning, Umm el-Fahm residents, as well as haredi Neturei Karta activists carrying signs with the message "Arabs Yes, Zionists No," gathered in the area, and as the march neared the city, residents began to throw rocks.

Police released stun grenades and tear gas into the street in order to scatter Arab residents demonstrating in the area.

Shortly after, Arab teens gathered again to throw rocks at the forces positioned to keep them separated from the march, they also burned tires but police continued to use crowd-dispersal methods from a distance.

National Union MK and Kahane disciple Michael Ben Ari announced on the way to the march that there are terrorists in Umm el-Fahm.

"I warned, and no one listened to me!" Ben Ari said. "I turn to the prime minister and say: There is no reason that the Islamic Movement should be allowed to exist in Israel. In Egypt, it's illegal. In Jordan, they're not allowed to have any influence."

Ben Ari continued: "There is no reason we should be a stupid democracy and let people who want to destroy us have a voice."

After nearly half an hour of rock-throwing and tire-burning, police ran and rode horses into the streets of Umm el-Fahm, continuing to shoot stun grenades and tear gas, and dragged away the offenders, as the right-wing activists approached the town.

Police arrested nine suspects, and reported that four officers were lightly injured. MKs Afo Agbaria and Haneen Zoabi said they were lightly injured.

"There is a large police presence in and around for this morning's gathering by right-wing activisits," Israel Police spokesman Chief Inspector Micky Rosenfeld told The Jerusalem Post before Wednesday's march. "We are hoping things will be quiet and without any disturbances."

"Different units from different districts are on stand-by in the area, and we are fully prepared to deal with it, if things erupt," Rosenfeld explained.

The march was organized by far-right activist Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben-Gvir, in order to commemorate the murder of Kahane, shot dead by an Egyptian-American terrorist in New York in 1990. Police are opposed to the event due to security concerns, and initially turned down a request to hold the protest, but were forced to authorize it following a High Court ruling in favor of the right-wing activists earlier this year.

Last year, a similar event was held in March by several dozen activists on the outskirts of Umm el-Fahm, in which disturbances broke out after local youths clashed with riot police.

Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.