31 October 2011

Anti-Semitism and its Zionist Twin

In the current climate, with the debate over Gilad Atzmon’s Wandering Who? and debates over Jewish identity, it is worth trying to get hold of a copy of the first issue of Return Magazine, first published in March 1989. It is probably the best ever collection of articles on Jewish Identity, Anti-Semitism and related issues that has ever been published and is well worth revisiting. At some time, I will try and scan all the articles but below I publish both JPGs of the article I wrote and the text underneath.

Tony Greenstein

Zionism and Anti-Semitism
Tony Greenstein
MUCH OF THE CRITICISM of Perdition has centered around the exceptional and unique nature of the Holocaust, both in terms of the sheer magnitude and the systematic and planned nature of the extermination. Therefore, the argument goes, the reaction of the Zionists, and indeed the Jewish community to the Nazis, was also exceptional and cannot be ana-lysed, still less judged, by those who didn't experience those events. What I want to show is that the Zionist response to the Nazis, the collaboration and accommodation, far from being exceptional, was part of a pattern that was no different from the traditional response of Zionism towards anti-Semitism, and that this is true both for the period before and after the Holocaust Although the Nazi era is not covered, there is no doubt that the primary goal of the Zionist movement throughout this period was the creation of a state and that everything else, including the fate of the Jews, was secondary and had to be structured around the former. Further, that this relegation of the needs of Jewry to the Jewish state is as relevant today as it was 50 years ago.

The first example of Zionism's attitude to anti-Semitism is prior to the Holocaust From 1871, with the first outbreak of pogroms in Odessa in Czarist Russia to 1914, some 150, 000 Jews took refuge in this country. It is interesting to note the reaction to this immigration, both generally and more specifically, in terms of the existing Anglo-Jewish community. From the 1890's onwards, Jewish immigration increasingly became an issue in British politics. Opposition to the Jewish refugees was spearheaded in particular by a group of Tory MPs and candidates in the East End of London. Much of what happened was to repeat itself 60 years later in respect of Black immigration into Britain. The organisation around which this opposition crystalised was the British Brothers League, a forerunner of the British Union of Fascists in the '30s, which also had its base in the East End. It was founded by one Major William Evans-Gordon, who was elected to Parliament in 1900 for the constituency of Stepney, overturning a Liberal majority. The BBL had a bourgeois leadership and a plebeian base, something which led to tension and sometimes conflict within that organisation. It should also be pointed out that at first, organised labour in Britain and the TUC was also opposed to Jewish immigration, because of the fear of unemployment, something that the BBL skilfully exploited.

William Evans-Gordon was a forerunner of Enoch Powell. He was also an ardent supporter of the embryonic Zionist movement something which can be seen from correspondence between him and the future President of the Zionist Organisation and the State of Israel, Chaim Weizmann. In his autobiography, Weizmann goes out of his way to paint an extraordinarily sympathetic portrait of this bigot:

"I think our people were rather hard on him. The Aliens Bill in England and the movement which grew around it were natural phenomenon which might have been foreseen... Sir William Evans-Gordon had no particular anti-Jewish prejudices... he was sincerely ready to encourage any settlement of Jews almost anywhere in the British Empire [!] but he failed to see why the ghettos of London or Leeds should be made into a branch of the ghettos of Warsaw and Pinsk... Sir William Evans-Gordon gave me some insight into the psychology of the settled citizen... " 1

The BBL was also supported by the Jewish Conservative MP for Limehouse, Harry Samuel (who was displaced by a Jewish Liberal in 1906) and the Liberal Jewish MP for Wolverhampton South, Henry Norman. In the vote in 1905, of the 12 Jewish MPs, 4 voted for the Aliens Bill, 4 voted against and 4 abstained. The attitude of the existing Anglo-Jewish community of some 60,000, newly emancipated by the Whigs, was to fear that the backlash against the refugees - who unlike them-selves were not anglicised, dressed differently, spoke Yiddish etc. - would spill over into hostility towards themselves. They were for the most part prosperous and newly accepted within the innermost circles of the English bourgeoisie. Why jeopardise their class position for the sake of religious brethren with whom they had so little in common? Their attitude was best summed up by the Conservative Chief Rabbi of the time (some things never change) Hermann Adler, "We [Anglo-Jewry] must frankly agree, that we do not desire to admit criminals, and that there is force in the argument against the admission of those [Jews] mentally or physically afflicted. " 2

Which is why the Board of Deputies of British Jews at no time opposed even the far more restrictive Aliens Bill of 1904. Instead they pressed, both the Tories who introduced it and the Liberals who implemented it for a series of minor amendments. In the words of the editor of the Jewish Chronicle Leopold Greenburg, the Board "asked for the driest of dry bread, it was given the hardest of hard stone. " 3

The person who piloted the Act through Parliament was the Home Secretary Arthur James Balfour. Balfour, who had previously been Prime Minister, was to become Foreign Secretary in die Lloyd George Cabinet. It was in the latter role that he would issue what became known as the Balfour Declaration, the letter that symbolised the alliance between British imperialism and the Zionist movement. Even today, Balfour is a legend among Zionists, the headquarters of the Zionist Federation in Britain are named after him.

Balfour was extremely typical of the Tory (and Literal) anti-immigration lobby. He combined support for Zionism with anti-Semitism. If you opposed Jews coming into this country then where better to send them than a state, coupled to British colonialism, in Palestine. In 1900, the fledgling English Zionist Federation issued a circular supporting all the anti-Semitic East End Tory candidates. The candidate for Whitechapel. David Hope-Kydd, whom even a local Conservative Alderman, John Harris, refused to support in the 1906 General Election, described the Jewish immigrants as "the scum of the unhealthiest continental nations" but nonetheless "coupled his desire for an aliens' immigration bill with heart-rending support for the infant Zionist movement. 4 He lost to Stuart Samuel by only 71 votes and experienced a lower than average swing against in 1906. His use of language that the Moseleyites used about Jews in the '30s and the National Front uses today about Black people, did not disqualify him from receiving the support of the Zionists. This congruence between Zionism and anti-Semitism was to be a feature tint was to be repeated both in Britain and Europe.

Whatever happened prior to the Israeli state being founded, today the Zionists argue, it is a refuge and a guarantee of the safety of Jews worldwide. And seeking to vindicate their own movement's record and prove the futility of opposition to anti-Semitism, they assert that if only there had been an Israeli state 50 years ago, then the Holocaust would never have occurred.

This is why the experience of Jews under the Argentinian Junta (1976-83) deserves analysis. During the period of the Junta, Nazi papers such as Cabildo and Papeles circulated freely, and the theories of international Jewish conspiracies were the military's ideological stock-in-trade. Under the Junta, some 30 000 people 'disappeared', ie. were murdered. Of these, some 10% were Jewish, despite the Jewish community comprising no more than 1% of the Argentinian population. Yet there was no campaign to save Argentinian Jewry, unlike the high profile campaign over Soviet Jewry. Noone would claim that in recent years some 3 000 Soviet Jews have been tortured to death, yet a massive cold-war campaign was launched to secure the rights of Soviet Jews to emigrate (as long as their destination was Israel) whereas the plight of Argentinian Jews was left to the quiet diplomacy of Israel. The facts which have emerged are due to people like Jacob Timmerman, liberal editor of La Opinion and himself a Zionist, who attacked the Zionist communal leadership in Argentina calling them Judenrat, the quisling Nazi appointed Jewish Councils in Europe. 5 These bodies, Daia (the equivalent of the British Board of Deputies) and Amia (Ashkenazi Jewish Council in Buenos Aires) were controlled by the Israeli Labour Alignment and Mapam. They were also completely unrepresentative. In the 1987 Amia elections, only 7 000 out of an estimated 180, 000 who were eligible voted, the Labour Alignment obtaining nearly 50%. 6 In the election of delegates to the World Zionist Congress, 11 700 votes were cast, 5% of the total Argentinian Jewish community, of which 3 500 went to the Labour Alignment and 2160 to Mapam. 7

Daia and Amia took a decision that under no circumstances would they campaign openly and publicly against what was happening. A leading article entitled 'A White Book' (a publication Daia issued to justify its role) noted that 'The Daia refers with pride to how, during a period of violence and repression in Argentina, Zionist activity continued, including Congress elections. The schools carried on normally, elections of officers took place for communal elections, Argentina was represented at international Jewish gatherings, in short they succeeded in their determination to maintain and protect "a full Jewish life. "8 It described the visit of Geoffrey Paul, editor of the Jewish Chronicle, in 1979 to Argentina and how he "was urged not to make an issue of the disappeared because of the danger of a negative impact on the wider community... while the mothers of the Jewish disappeared pleaded for publicity to bring the atrocities before the publics' attention. " Needless to say Paul heeded the call but, remarkably for the JC, the editorial asks whether, if similar circumstances were to arise in Britain, the Board of Deputies would behave in a similar way towards Jewish leftists and dissidents.

Timmerman was bitterly attacked in the United States for the position he took. Paul asks "how are we to explain the Jewish attacks on Timmerman? Some of them, undoubtedly, have been inspired from conservative circles in the Jewish community, which have been convinced... that Timmerman was in league with left-wing terrorist groups opposed to the Argentine military, and that he 'asked for what he got'. "9 It is these same conservative circles who are the first to raise the question of 'anti-Semitism' in relation to Nicaragua, the Soviet Union and Jesse Jackson.

In October 1983, as the days of the Junta were drawing to a close, a meeting organised by the Argentine Jewish Movement for Human Rights to protest anti-Semitic attacks (bombing of synagogues etc.) drew 7,000 people, however “Daia, Argentine Jewry's political representative body boycotted the event, which it said was dangerous in view of the lack of security. “ 10 Presumably the Junta had refused to give the necessary guarantees!

At the 1984 Congress celebrating the 90th anniversary of Amia "a group of women whose children disappeared during the Argentine military regime's crack down on left-wing opponents shouted 'Nazi, Nazi' at those attending the Congress... the protestors claimed that Israel, Amia and Daia had done nothing to help the 'desaparecidos. ' (disappeared ones). The guest of honour was Mr Itzhak Navon, formerly [Labour] President of Israel. The mothers attempted to prevent his entrance to the conference, as well as that of the Israeli ambassador to Argentina. "11 It is no coincidence that that brave group, the Jewish Mothers of the Disappeared, should focus on the role that Israel played, given its warm relationship to the Junta.

Israel is seen by most Jews as their insurance policy in the event of a recurrence of anti-Semitism. Not only does this belief in Israel as a refuge mean Jews are less inclined to take up the anti-Semitism of the Right, it is an insurance policy that is unlikely to deliver the goods. What Argentina demonstrates is that an anti-Semitic regime will also be authoritarian, semi-fascist and a creature of US imperialism. In short, one winch the Israeli state is only too willing to do business with, politically, militarily and economically, its own Jews notwithstanding. Indeed, in so far as even the US may keep such a regime at arms length, as was the case with Guatemala and Somoza's Nicaragua, then Israel will most likely be that regime's first port of call. Indeed we know from the Malvinas/ Falklands War that Israel was the main arms supplier to Argentina at a time when the US had turned against her.

Not only will Israel not defend Jewish leftwingers, feminists, gays and other dissidents, one can expect Zionist neo-Conservatives in the US around Commentary and Mainstream magazines to bitterly attack the victims of this regime. If they could attack Timmerman, a liberal Zionist and famous editor, there will be no difficulty in attacking Jewish Marxists. Of course there are no such inhibitions about campaigning against 'anti-Semitism' in the USSR, because the Soviet Jewry campaign is a cold-war campaign. Soviet Jewry was the rallying point for those who wished to wreck the new INF agreement in the same way as it helped destroy the SALT II agreement.

It is interesting to see what the reactions have been to Le Pen, a fascist who isn't even in government. Le Pen is the most anti-Arab and pro-Israeli of French politicians. In the JC there was printed an article, incredibly given his view of the Holocaust, entitled 'Le Pen Backs Jews'. 12 Another article 'Oui for Le Pen' describes how a former official of the Marseilles Jewish community has come out in his support. 13 It was estimated that at one stage, 20 per cent of the Jewish community in the Rhone estuary supported Le Pen. The anti-Arabism of the Front Nationale is at one with Zionist anti-Arabism.

A dinner was held in Le Pen's honour, attended by a variety of Zionist leaders including the Director of the World Union of General Zionists and a member of the Executive of the World Zionist Organisation Executive Jacques Torczyner and Dr Israel Singer, Executive Director of the World Jewish Congress, whose feting of a French fascist didn't disqualify him from pursuing allegations unproved against Dr Kurt Waldheim. It was widely immured that the Israeli ambassador to the UN, Benjamin Netanyahu, now a Herut candidate for the Knesset, was also on the guest list. As JC columnist, Chaim Bermant noted, among these Zionists there is the belief the help of Mr Le Pen the special relationship could be restored and that an anti-Arab government in France would necessarily be good for Israel even if it were also anti-Semitic. Indeed there are not a few Israeli politicians who would regard such anti-Semitism as a bonus if only because it would mean an increased influx of Jewish immigrants... and some would like to give what they regard as an inevitable process of history a helping hand. "14

Even were we to omit entirely the era of the Holocaust and Naziism, then the relationship of Zionism to anti-Semitism would be found to be unchanged since the days of Herzl. That although anti-Semitism has been replaced as the predominant, state racism by anti-Black racism in this country (and similarly anti-Arab/Turkish in France/ Germany), where it still exists, among the regimes in America's backyard or in fascist parties in Europe, who given the right set of circumstances might gain a share of power as Le Pen was on the brink of doing, then Zionism is no more an answer today than it was 50 or 100 years ago. The only difference is that today Zionism holds state power" and its capacity for damaging the interests of Jewry is correspondingly that much greater.

1. Chaim Weizmann, Trial and Error, pp. 90-91, Schocken, 1966. 2. G Alderman, The Jewish Community in British Politics, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1983, p. 187. 3. Jewish Chronicle 24. 4. 1908, cited in Alderman p78. 4. Alderman pp68-75. 5. Prisoner Without A Name, Cell Without A Number, Weidenfield, 1980. 6. Jewish Chronicle 1. 6. 84. 7. Jewish Chronicle 30.10.87. 8. Jewish Chronicle 25. 5. 84. 9. Jewish Chronicle 31. 7. 81. 10. Jewish Chronicle 28. 10. 83. 11. Jewish Chronicle 23. 3. 84. 12. Jewish Chronicle 17. 10. 86. 13. Jewish Chronicle 11. 9. 87. 14. Jewish Chronicle 4. 9. 87. “Why some leading Jews are courting Le Pen”

30 October 2011

The Real Class Hatred - Stephen Baum

Ruling Class Bastards Mock Those They Make Homeless

When you hear mention of ‘class hatred’ then the following story is a good reason why we should despise and have contempt for the capitalists, bankers and other parasites in this society. The following story is about an American law firm, Stephen Baum, which specialises in evicting people who can’t keep up with their mortgage. Homelessness is their forte.

So when they had their annual Halloween Party, what could be more natural than these scumbags mocking those who are or are facing homelessness. This is of the course the mentality behind Cameron and his attacks on the poor and unemployed.

Tony Greenstein

Photos from a former employee of the law firm of Steven J. Baum: Two Steven J. Baum employees mocking homeowners who have been foreclosed on.
By JOE NOCERA - Published: October 28, 2011

On Friday, the law firm of Steven J. Baum threw a Halloween party. The firm, which is located near Buffalo, is what is commonly referred to as a “foreclosure mill” firm, meaning it represents banks and mortgage servicers as they attempt to foreclose on homeowners and evict them from their homes. Steven J. Baum is, in fact, the largest such firm in New York; it represents virtually all the giant mortgage lenders, including Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo.

The party is the firm’s big annual bash. Employees wear Halloween costumes to the office, where they party until around noon, and then return to work, still in costume. I can’t tell you how people dressed for this year’s party, but I can tell you about last year’s.

That’s because a former employee of Steven J. Baum recently sent me snapshots of last year’s party. In an e-mail, she said that she wanted me to see them because they showed an appalling lack of compassion toward the homeowners — invariably poor and down on their luck — that the Baum firm had brought foreclosure proceedings against.

When we spoke later, she added that the snapshots are an accurate representation of the firm’s mind-set. “There is this really cavalier attitude,” she said. “It doesn’t matter that people are going to lose their homes.” Nor does the firm try to help people get mortgage modifications; the pressure, always, is to foreclose. I told her I wanted to post the photos on The Times’s Web site so that readers could see them. She agreed, but asked to remain anonymous because she said she fears retaliation.

Let me describe a few of the photos. In one, two Baum employees are dressed like homeless people. One is holding a bottle of liquor. The other has a sign around her neck that reads: “3rd party squatter. I lost my home and I was never served.” My source said that “I was never served” is meant to mock “the typical excuse” of the homeowner trying to evade a foreclosure proceeding.

A second picture shows a coffin with a picture of a woman whose eyes have been cut out. A sign on the coffin reads: “Rest in Peace. Crazy Susie.” The reference is to Susan Chana Lask, a lawyer who had filed a class-action suit against Steven J. Baum — and had posted a YouTube video denouncing the firm’s foreclosure practices. “She was a thorn in their side,” said my source.

Website of chief scumbag Steven J Baum

Immigration Appeal Tribunal's Racist Order to Deport Raed Salah

Raed Salah - Immigration Courts Show Their Normal Deference to the Government

Picture the contrast.

The Government introduces legislation to prevent the prosecution of Israeli war criminals who visit Britain. At the same time it seeks to deport from Britain the leader of Israel's northern Islamic movement, Raed Salah.

Up to its neck in this nakedly racist attempt at deportation is the Community Security Trust, whose sole reason for existence is to provide a cover of 'anti-Semitism' to Zionist activities in this country. It is the Zionist equivalent of Liam Fox's Atlantic Bridge charity and is about as useful.

Israeli Arabs and their political parties occupy a position in Israeli society not dissimilar to that of Jews in Germany between 1933 and 1939. Discrimination on religious and ethnic lines is not only permitted, it is a prime governmental activity.

The Foreign Minister, recently a guest of William Hague, is on record as desiring to drown thousands of Palestinians in the Dead Sea
Lieberman blasted for suggesting drowning Palestinian prisoners (presumably it's not dead enough at present). The disparity in treatment between Raed Salah, the victim of invented quotes by the Jerusalem Post and their bag carriers, the CST, and war criminals like Avigdor Lieberman and Tzipi Livni, testifies not merely to racism but the ongoing imperial hypocrisy of the British establishment.

Just as Musa Cusa, Ghaddaffi's foreign minister and henchmen, responsible for the premeditated execution of over a thousand prisoners in Tripoli and personally involved in torture on behalf of MI6 and in receiving prisoners from the 'extraordinary rendition' process, was allowed to leave Britain for Switzerland and then the Gulf, so the Zionist criminals too are allowed by their imperialist paymasters to escape justice.

Tony Greenstein

Asa Winstanley, The Electronic Intifada, London 27 October 2011

Sheikh Raed Salah was arrested in his hotel room three days after legally entering the UK in June.

A UK immigration court ruled yesterday that popular Palestinian leader Sheikh Raed Salah could be deported from the country, after being banned by Home Secretary Theresa May http://electronicintifada.net/tags/theresa-may in June.

The Electronic Intifada can now also exclusively reveal new details of an Israeli government role in the UK plot to exclude Salah.

Following yesterday’s decision, Salah could now take his appeal to a higher court, and meanwhile will remain in the UK on bail. Salah’s lawyer told The Electronic Intifada yesterday that his legal team were considering the judgment very carefully and could not comment further for the time being.

The judgment that Salah could be deported for “unacceptable behavior” comes as The Electronic Intifada reveals new details of the Israeli role in Salah’s June-July detention by the UK government. Government emails obtained by The Electronic Intifada contain evidence that the Israeli embassy in London gave information to the British government later used in an attempt to deport him from the country.

“Victim of unfairness and procedural irregularity”

In their ruling the First Tier Tribunal judges accepted that Salah “has behaved lawfully throughout this matter, and that he has been the victim of unfairness and procedural irregularity … [and] was detained unlawfully for a period of time.”

The judges wrote that their decision was a “balancing exercise” between the public interest and the interests of Salah. The ruling addresses each of five main points the government used to ban Salah, reiterating the case on each side, but for the most part it does not rule on the central facts, agreeing with the government’s argument that the five points did not need to be proven.
But on one of the five points, the judges wrote that a poem by Salah “is not directed to the Jewish people as a whole but only at those among them who aim at Israeli territorial expansion and control at the expense of the Palestinians.”

The Electronic Intifada previously published private documents proving that this accusation of anti-Semitism was fabricated, as it rested on what seemed to be a malicious mistranslation of Salah’s original words. But the judges have neglected the point that it was not just a mistaken quote, but a deliberate Israeli attempt to smear Salah. They state that video evidence shown in court proved that Salah was “the victim of serious [Israeli] police harassment” but that this was “not a matter which is relevant to the central issues in this appeal.”

Opaque criteria for “unacceptable behavior”

The judges concluded that Salah’s words came within the government’s anti-terrorist “Prevent” policy, because he “engaged in the unacceptable behavior of fostering hatred.

They did not specify on this point, saying they had reached the decision from the evidence “viewed in the round.” They elaborated: “it is not necessary to satisfy the criteria of unacceptable behavior for words and actions to be racist as such … This might be achieved by words and actions which are not necessarily racist.” They also explain that the list of “unacceptable behavior” specified by the government (including racism) was indicative and not exhaustive.

In a striking turn of phrase, the judges wrote that “although it is not our task to rubber stamp a decision by the Secretary of State [Theresa May]” it was nevertheless her decision to make rather than the court’s.

From the beginning, Salah claimed Israel had a hand in the exclusion, arrest, unlawful detention and attempt to deport him from the UK. “Israel carries the full responsibility for his detention in the United Kingdom,” a press release said at the time.

Haneen Zoabi, a Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset , at the time said to the press: “The primary cause for the arrest is Israeli pressure and the pressure of Zionist elements inside Britain” (“Raed Salah arrested after UK appearance,” Ynet, 29 June 2011).

Concerns that Israel using UK case against Salah

Salah refused to consent to voluntary deportation — the UK Border Agency (UKBA) tried to persuade him to drop his in-country appeal. Salah was concerned that, once he returns home, the Israeli authorities would use a successful deportation from Britain in their long-standing campaign against him.

In June, right-wing Israeli parliamentarian Alex Miller used Salah’s arrest to build support for his so-called Raed Salah bill, according to daily Israel Hayom. “If the British government refuses entry for this individual because of his extreme views and the fear that he might use public and academic venues to incite violence and racism, there is no reason why Israel should allow him and his kind to enjoy such activities either,” he is reported to have said (“MK Ben-Ari urges Britain not to release Sheikh Salah,” 20 June). Miller is a member of the extreme right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu, and lives on an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank.

Relying on dubious Israeli sources, elements of the British press accused Salah of anti-Semitism — an allegation now ruled false by the court which also formed the basis of the exclusion order. Three days after legally entering the UK on 25 June for a well-publicized speaking tour, Salah was abruptly arrested in his hotel room. This prevented him from attending a public meeting in Parliament the next day, organized by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

At the police station, UKBA officials served an exclusion order on Salah dated 23 June. The letter cited a 2009 Jerusalem Post editorial which attributed a fabricated anti-Semitic comment to Salah. The editorial said Salah wrote a poem including the comment “You Jews are criminal bombers of mosques” but the original Arabic text of the poem was in fact addressed at the Israeli occupation forces. The words “You Jews” were not in the poem and The Jerusalem Post appears to have added them.

In a July High Court hearing for bail, significant doubt was cast on this and other statements attributed to Salah in the Israeli and British press. The judge, Justice Nicholas Stadlen then freed Salah on restrictive bail. Conditions included a ban on public speaking. In September, the High Court ruled in a separate judicial review that the first few days of detention had been unlawful, and Salah was entitled to compensation.

Details of the plot against Salah emerged as the case went on. The Electronic Intifada uncovered evidence that the government had acted in collusion with pro-Israel lobbying groups in the UK.

But today, The Electronic Intifada can reveal new details of an Israeli government role in the plot.

Israeli government’s role

In a 22 June UKBA advice document used by Home Secretary Theresa May to justify her ban of Salah, case worker Jonathan Rosenorn-Lanng stated that although “this case is very finely balanced,” Salah’s alleged views had the potential to foster “inter-community violence” in the UK. Rosenorn-Lanng also said the British Embassy in Tel Aviv had been consulted: “The FCO [Foreign and Commonwealth Office] in Israel has also confirmed that SALAH is considered to be an extremist.” Presumably, this view was based on Israeli press reports, or on consultation with Israeli officials.

Only one day before Salah flew to London’s Heathrow Airport on 25 June, a UKBA official emailed Alan Stewart, an official with the British Embassy in Tel Aviv, telling him about the ban and detailing British-Israeli efforts to collaborate on the case.

UKBA official Rebecca Hadlow attached a copy of the exclusion, along with a border warning from the Risk and Liaison Overseas Network (RALON), part of the UKBA’s International Group. Hadlow said the RALON notice had been issued to airlines flying direct from Tel Aviv to the UK: “If they identify him, they will not carry him.”

The alert was disseminated to the Israeli state airline El Al in Tel Aviv. But it turned out that Salah traveled on a British Airways flight.

Even then, on 24 June, the British government had still not been able to serve the exclusion order on Salah: “we did not until this morning have an address for him (I am grateful for the assistance of the Israeli Embassy in London for this).” Hadlow then gave Salah’s address and asked Stewart to arrange for the exclusion order to be couriered to him, while acknowledging that “he may not receive it before he travels.”

The same email was copied to Philip Boyle, an official at the British Embassy in Amman, who replied to Hadlow that he had “passed details of the exclusion notice to a contact in the Israeli Immigration Intelligence [sic - there is no known organization by that name] and asked to be notified if they encounter the subject leaving for the UK on an indirect route.”

The text of the RALON border warning makes it clear Salah did not know he was banned — “He has not yet been notified of his exclusion.” The UKBA knew his passport number, therefore it is logical to assume they got this information from the Israeli government, perhaps via the Israeli embassy in London. Yet somehow, the UKBA got his full name wrong, mixing up two of his names.

On 5 July, Claire Lawrence, Head of the “Middle East Peace Process/Palestine/Israel” desk at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, wrote to Rosenorn-Lanng, saying: “Our Embassy in Tel Aviv have just let us know that a very high level delegation intend to call on our Ambassador early tomorrow, to discuss the Salah case amongst other issues.” Who exactly was part of this delegation was not revealed, although it seems a likely reference to Israeli government ministers or security officials.

Salah and his legal team are due to meet and will decide whether or not to pursue his appeal against deportation further. It remains to be seen if any higher court would act as anything other than a “rubber stamp” of the political decision to expel Salah from the UK, apparently with the cooperation of Israel.

Asa Winstanley is an investigative journalist based in London who has lived in and reported from occupied Palestine. He edited the newly-released book Corporate Complicity in Israel’s Occupation. His website is www.winstanleys.org.

The Beauty of the South Downs

Yesterday was a busy day. A 9 mile walk with my son, Daniel, on the South Downs along with other ramblers and the off in the evening to Debbie Fink's 21st birthday party!

In Brighton we are incredibly lucky to live on the edge of the South Downs, which has now been classified as a National Park. We took a circular walk from a small village outside Brighton, Pyecombe, which has been divided by the A23 and other roads, to Hurstpierpoint, a lovely little village about 7 miles from Brighton.

Below are some of the photos I took with my mobile. The walk organiser has promised to contribute a piece. On the way we visited a 12th century church, passed a windmill and skirted a rather large hill! And also the Hassocks railway tunnel where over 30 people were killed and another 70+ injured over a century ago.

Below are a few words from Pete, who led the walk.

Tony Greenstein

We started up at at Pyecombe on a circular walk to the Jack and Jill windmills, which go down to Clayton Tunnel onto Danny House an Elizabethan Mansion where we stopped for lunch. Lloyd George lived there for 3 months in 1918 and the War Cabinet met there. It is a really imposing country house, now turned into flats.

We went on to Hurstpierpoint for coffees then we made our way back to Wolstonbury Hill which is a impressive iron age hill fort. Finally, after over 9 miles, we made our way back to the Plough pub.


24 October 2011

Zionist Democracy in Action - Jewish Peace Candidate Disappeared – Jewish Nazi Allowed to Stand

Cecile Surasky - 4th in Poll for Jewish Heroes is Removed - Rabbi Manis Friedman who Advocates the Murder of Palestinian Children is Legitimate

You couldn’t make it up. The Jewish Federation of North America, controlled of course by Zionist functionaries, allows Cecile Surasky of Jewish Voices for Peace, a Jewish organisation in the Bay Area of San Francisco, to stand in a poll for Jewish Heroes.

When they are alerted to the fact that, god forbid, Surasky supports a peace which doesn’t involve dispossession of the indigenous people and worse opposes racism inside and outside Israel, then her candidacy is pulled. Number 4 at the time she simply disappears in the best Orwellian traditions

Cecile Surasky, who was probably as surprised as anyone that she was allowed to stand in the first place, has achieved far more than she could ever have imagined. She has thrown the spotlight on the undemocratic, secretive and dishonest nature of Zionist politics and how they operate. The idea that the Jewish communities these self-elected functionaries purportedly serve, could be allowed to exercise their own judgement obviously was an idea too far.

But if Surasky was deemed ineligible then the same cannot be said for one Rabbi Manis Friedman, who in 2009 unburdened himself to The Moment. In an unguarded moment this cuddly Rabbi well known for bringing Bob Dylan into the Lubavitch fold, let slip that he would like the Palestinians – men, women and children – treated like Amalek of old. He would like to see them slaughtered.

So we have a situation whereby a Jewish Peace Campaigner is debarred from standing, nay even pulled whilst the vote is going on, but a Jewish Nazi is perfecly entitled to continue standing.
Need one say more?

Tony Greenstein

Tablet Magazine
JFNA would honor several unsavory folks, if they pass political litmus test
By Allison Hoffman|October 12, 2011

Three years ago, in the midst of a large-scale rebranding and efforts to get hip with Facebook, the Jewish Federations of North America launched a national online campaign to solicit nominations for a new Jewish Community Hero award, which came with a $25,000 cash prize and a shout-out at the annual Federation convention. As one of the 2009 semifinalists enthused, “This project has only winners.”

Well, that was then. Last week, just before Yom Kippur, the organization quietly removed one of the top ten vote-getters, Cecilie Surasky, the deputy director of the provocative Bay Area group Jewish Voice for Peace, from the ranks of eligible competitors. Federation spokesman Joe Berkofsky told JTA that Surasky was deemed ineligible because of her group’s support for the Israel boycott, sanctions and divestment movement (BDS), which Federation has invested heavily in countering. JVP countered that Federation changed its eligibility rules specifically to disqualify Surasky—and pointed out that the leader board currently includes Manis Friedman at number four, and that Friedman, a Chabad rabbi from Minnesota, made news in 2009 when, in response to a question about how Jews should treat Arabs, he told Moment:
I don’t believe in Western morality, i.e., don’t kill civilians or children, don’t destroy holy sites, don’t fight during holiday seasons, don’t bomb cemeteries, don’t shoot until they shoot first because it is immoral. The only way to fight a moral war is the Jewish way: Destroy their holy sites. Kill men, women and children (and cattle). The first Israeli prime minister who declares that he will follow the Old Testament will finally bring peace to the Middle East.
At the time, Friedman walked his comments back, saying they were “irresponsible.” His nomination statement doesn’t mention the brouhaha, focusing instead on a blurb Bob Dylan gave Friedman’s 1990 book on kosher sex, Doesn’t Anyone Blush Anymore?

Meanwhile, JVP is getting its own kind of award: a concrete example of the Jewish Establishment’s willingness to upset the apple cart when it comes to left-wing groups but not right-wing ones.

Here’s the thing: we all know that Americans generally, and Jews specifically, are splintering into ever-smaller interest and affinity groups. Instead of finding a way to make the case to younger, unaffiliated Jews for sustaining a single umbrella group that can claim to represent the broad interests of American Jewry, whatever they may be, Federation has instead, and with the best of intentions, succeeded in building a terrific soapbox ready for exploitation by the best-mobilized voices out there, however marginal or objectionable they may be to the vast majority of their fellow Jews.

Just look at the current top vote-getter in the volunteer category: Leah Rubashkin, who happens to be the wife of Sholom Rubashkin, who is currently serving a 27-year federal prison term for financial fraud in the Agriprocessors kosher meatpacking scandal. Rubashkin has become a cause célèbre among Orthodox Lubavitchers, who believe he was unfairly sentenced, and it seems his wife’s nomination is entirely about getting some mainstream publicity: her brief nomination statement says she is a hero for staying positive through her husband’s incarceration, and adds that “we pray with Leah for the day when she will truly rejoice alongside her husband Reb Sholom Mordechai.”
This is not a way to increase Federation’s relevance to mainstream, maybe-observant Jews under 50—the people who the Facebook contest were presumably supposed to attract in the first place. Worse, it demeans the very real and very important accomplishments of other nominees, like Randy Gold, an Atlanta father who began advocating for more thorough genetic screening of Jewish couples after his daughter was born with a preventable genetic disorder. But, never mind, Federation has an app for that, too: the final winners won’t be picked by open online voting, but by a panel of judges that includes Tablet Magazine contributor Mayim Bialik and sister-of-Facebook Randi Zuckerberg.

What does Chabad Rabbi Manis Friedman have that I don’t have? Is it the beard? The religious authority? Or is it the record of advocating for the killing of Arab women, men and children? Why does he get to stay on the Jewish Federation’s much promoted Jewish Heroes competition list, while I was unceremoniously deleted- without explanation- this morning, less than 24 hours after a story about my nomination appeared in JWeekly, the Bay Area Jewish paper.

Friedman and I have been running in the top ten for Jewish communal professionals for weeks. And though he’s a rabbi and I’m not, I was nominated by a young rabbinic student sincere in his commitment to a Jewish future. Heck, I even once helped raise thousand of dollars for the Fed after going on a mission to Israel– and my uncle was once a 6-figure fundraiser for the Federation and board member. But my nomination represents hundreds if not thousands of Jews in communities across the US who are heroically working to make equality between Palestinians and Jewish Israelis a reality.

Which is, presumably, why it was nixed and my organization, Jewish Voice for Peace, made subject to a modern day form of Jewish banishment. This despite the competition’s tagline: “We honor those making strides to repair the world.” (Picture at left: my nomination page now says Page Not Found and is blank. Here is the cached version-what it used to look like before today. [this has also disappeared! – TG] And I’m off the leaderboard completely.)

But what about Friedman, who still remains riding high at number 4 on the leaderboard? [in fact number 3 now! TG]

While he has written a lot about love, and famously brought Bob Dylan to Chabad–which gives him hipster points–that’s not what Friedman is most famous for. When asked by Moment Magazine a few years ago, “How Should Jews Treat Their Arab Neighbors?”, this was Friedman’s response as reported in the Forward:

“The only way to fight a moral war is the Jewish way: Destroy their holy sites. Kill men, women and children (and cattle),” Friedman wrote in response to the question posed by Moment Magazine for its “Ask the Rabbis” feature.

Friedman argued that if Israel followed this wisdom, there would be “no civilian casualties, no children in the line of fire, no false sense of righteousness, in fact, no war.”

“I don’t believe in Western morality,” he wrote. “Living by Torah values will make us a light unto the nations who suffer defeat because of a disastrous morality of human invention.”

Yes, Arab men, women and children don’t even rank as civilians. After a firestorm of criticism, he gave a half-hearted apology which the people who know him well didn’t find compelling.

So, what exactly are we to conclude about Jewish Federation values? There are numerous examples of policing on the left (banning groups like JVP and other human rights organizations) while remaining wide open to supporters of illegal settlements and even groups that arm settlers and giving standing ovations to the most right-wing and destructive Prime Minister in Israeli history. Though they do not openly advocate settlements, declared illegal by international law and considered by many to be the number one barrier to peace, they have defacto historically been one of the great supporters of the settlement project.

But something else is true here- groups like JVP are fully committed to nonviolence. Not so for Friedman and supporters of offensive Israeli militarism. And so when nonviolent Jewish activists are violently attacked by other Jews, (attacks on Palestinians are daily occurrences) whether in Anatot- or the Jewish Federation General Assembly - or in Congress – or at a community meeting – and communal Jewish professionals remain silent, this silence speaks volumes. The same can be true here. What does it say that nonviolent leftists are being shunned and banished?

When I look back on the wise and amazing work of JVP members over the decades- everything we said came true. We said the occupation must end, the settlements must stop, all citizens must be treated fairly- that otherwise there would be more bloodshed and that Israel would become a pariah. It doesn’t feel good to be right, not one bit. But the knee-jerk and policing response by much of the institutional Jewish world has already been shown to be wrong. And self-destructive.

My family has a tradition of Hasidic rabbis who didn’t look or likely think that differently from Rabbi Friedman. But my parents’ generation and certainly my generation has changed in our thinking and values to embrace a more universalist view of humanity while still being committed to Jewish continuity. That generational change is being repeated literally millions of times over all over the world. Look at this amazing video of young Jewish adults and their statement of values and identity. You’re looking at the future.

Disappearing JVP’s/my nomination is the perfect metaphor for an older generation’s fearful attempt to disappear an entire generation. Their children and certainly grandchildren are increasingly embracing the values of equality, going to the West Bank and Gaza and East Jerusalem to see for themselves the horror wrought by the illegal occupation and a dream built in many ways on the backs of Palestinians.

But we can’t be so easily disappeared with the click of a mouse. Not by a long-shot. And frankly-speaking as someone who cares deeply about a Jewish future– the Federation should be thankful for that.

There is real irony that this happened on erev Yom Kippur. It is traditionally a day when even non-religious Jews seek forgiveness, from Gd or from people in our lives who we have wronged. What a way to begin a day of introspection.

Cecilie Surasky, cecilie@jvp.org
Deputy Director
Jewish Voice for Peace

23 October 2011

An Eviction - Israeli Style

Palestinian Prisoners - Humanising the Dehumanised

Western media try to make Palestinian political prisoners mere numbers while personalizing one Israeli soldier. So let me just give you the names and brief story of two of those released Palestinian political prisoners.

Chris Bandak, a Palestinian Christian from Bethlehem was just 21 when he was abducted by the Israeli occupation forces. He was released after spending the last 9 years in Israeli prisons for his resistance activities to the colonial occupation. But the deal meant moving him to Gaza. In an interview with Al-Quds, Bandak stated that he has no relatives in Gaza but since he arrived there he felt all of Gaza people are his relatives. He emphasized that the various resistance groups including Fatah (his group), the left groups, and the Islamic groups all respect and treat Christians and Muslim Palestinians the same as comrades. He also stated that the occupiers treated natives with the same cruelty regardless of their religion. He explained how painful it is to leave so many colleagues in Israeli prisons.

Ibtisam Al-Eisawi, Palestinian Muslim woman from Jerusalem was kidnapped 10 years ago by the occupation forces. She has 6 children. The youngest was only 6 months when her mother was jailed and she cried the most when she was finally able to begin to get to know her mother. Ibtisam's oldest daughter was married only one week before Ibtisam was released. The pain of missing her daughter's wedding, missing seeing her children grow up. Her name Ibtisam means "Smile" but this brave woman had seen few smiles in the last 10 years. Back now in her city of Jerusalem witnessing increased colonial settlement activities and increased efforts to make Jerusalem "Jewish" by ethnically cleansing its native people and importing Europeans and othesr to replace them. She says that she is happy to be out with her family but sad that so many people remain behind and thus the struggle will continue.

Mazin Qumsiyeh web site

From personal experience I know how prison inmates become very close friends and how hard it is to leave people behind. So we must all never forget those his still await the day of freedom (or at least freedom from the small cage to the big cage of the "people warehouses" or bantustans we live in under Israeli apartheid and colonialism. Action for prisoners (thousands remain in Apartheid prisons):

See this exemplary call to act from the UK based Palestine Solidarity Campaign

New video on the attempts to Judaize Jerusalem: The story of Shaikh Jarrah and other Jerusalem Neighborhoods

Just finished harvesting olive trees (my fourth olive harvest season since returning to Palestine from the US). Body is sore but spirit lifted. Here is an article on the meaning and value of Palestinian olives‏, the olive harvest, and resistance. I wrote this for the 2009 harvest but it is the same this year including the low yield since 2010 was a good year.

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

A bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home





Victory on the Way in Hunger Strike

Ahmad Sa'adat, imprisoned Palestinian national leader, the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, remained on hunger strike on October 19, 2011 even as he was hospitalized, and sent congratulations to the prisoners liberated as part of the prisoner swap agreement. Due to the hunger strikers' tenacity and resilience, the prisoners' leadership inside the prisons has achieved a victory in its hunger strike including an end to the use of isolation and solitary confinement; Sa'adat's strike is continuing in order to ensure that victory is fully implemented.

Sa'adat was moved to Ramleh prison hospital after 20 days of hunger strike, on October 16. He has now been on hunger strike for 23 days, has lost well over 10 kilos (22 pounds), and has been experiencing serious health problems, including fainting and vomiting yellow bile, after Israeli Prison Administration officials refused to allow him salt, which, along with water, were the only items he would consume during his hunger strike.

At this time it is imperative that the eyes of the world remain on Sa'adat inside the prison hospital to ensure that he receives appropriate health and medical care and to ensure that the prisoners' victory - an end to isolation - is fully and completely implemented. It is important to emphasize that the occupation is in all ways responsible for the life and health of Ahmad Sa'adat and is seen as such internationally.

The following statement of the prisoners' committee and the leadership of the strike inside the prisons was issued on October 18:

An urgent statement issued by the leadership of the strike in the prisons of the occupation

Following the signing of an agreement in principle between the leadership of the strike in prison and the Israeli Prison Services, it was agreed to suspend the strike for three days. The agreement is as follows:

1. To end the policy of isolation for all prisoners, and to return Sa'adat to the general population of the prison in Ramleh following his medical treatment;

2. To restore the internal situation of prisoners to prior to the situation of Shalit [including prisoners' rights to communication, visits and education, won through years of prisoners' struggle]. In three days, if there is not a final agreement adopted by the prisoners, the striking prisoners will return to hunger strike.

3. The strike leadership called for continued Palestinian, Arab and international solidarity activities and tents of support throughout this period in order to support the prisoners and achieve their demands.

Sa'adat is not participating in the three day suspension in order to keep the prisoners' demands in the forefront and not allow the IPS to subvert, deny, or ignore the prisoners demands to which they conceded. As the prisoners' leadership stated, international solidarity remains critical to consolidate this victory!

Take Action!

1. Picket, protest or call the Israeli embassy or consulate in your location and demand the immediate freedom of Ahmad Sa'adat and all Palestinian political prisoners. Make it clear that you support the demands of striking Palestinian prisoners, which must be implemented now! Send us reports of your protests at Israeli embassies and consulates.

2. Distribute the free downloadable Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat flyer in your community at local events.

3. Write to the International Committee of the Red Cross and other human rights organizations to exercise their responsibilities and act swiftly to demand that the prisoners' demands are implemented. Email the ICRC, whose humanitarian mission includes monitoring the conditions of prisoners, at JER jerusalem@icrc.org, and inform them about the urgent situation of Ahmad Sa'adat. Make it clear that Ahmad Sa'adat's life and health are gravely at risk and that you expect the ICRC to maintain vigilance over his medical care in prison.

4. Email the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat at info@freeahmadsaadat.org with announcements, reports and information about your local events, activities and flyer distributions.

Contact us: info@freeahmadsaadat.org

Shalit has a Name - Palestinian Prisoners are Anonymous


The racist Israeli media is jubilant. With the exception of ultra-hardline Zionists who complain that any Palestinians were freed in exchange for Shalit, Zionist ideologues are today celebrating the “homecoming” of “our child” “Gilad.”

Hamas fighters shocked the Zionists in 2006 with their raid on Israeli Defense Forces near the Kerem Shalom crossing between Gaza and Egypt . After killing two other Israeli soldiers and despite losing two of their own comrades, the Palestinian fighters succeeded in seizing Shalit from the tank he was commanding and since then Hamas has defeated every Israeli attempt to locate and free him. That Hamas could out-smart and out-fight them in this way for five years has been a humiliation for the Zionists, at least until now.

While Palestinians celebrate the release from Israeli prisons of 477 prisoners and the promised release of 550 more in two months time, many also question whether Hamas did not make too many compromises in their agreement to release Shalit. While the exchange of over 1,000 Palestinians for Shalit would seem to be an unqualified achievement, in fact far fewer will in reality be freed. In a further confirmation of how the Palestinian Authority acts as an extension of the Zionists’ apparatus of repression, a significant number of the Palestinian prisoners released by Israel will merely by transferred to PA jails, where conditions can be just as bad for prisoners. A majority of the first 477 prisoners released will not be reunited with their families but will rather be deported or transferred to other territories for a minimum of three years and, in many cases, permanently. And of course well over four thousand Palestinian political prisoners will remain in Israeli jails, along with thousands more Palestinians who are technically not jailed for explicitly “political” crimes.

Importantly, the two most prominent Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails, elected Palestinian Legislative Council members and government ministers Marwan Barghouti and Ahmad Sa’adat, will remain in their cells:

Barghouti has been imprisoned by the Israelis since 2006 on charges that he directed suicide bombings inside Israel , this despite the fact that he has repeatedly denounced attacks against Israeli civilians. Elected to the Palestinian Parliament as a prominent member of Fatah, Barghouti had accepted the basic outlines of his party’s sellout to the Zionists by recognizing Israel ’s right to exist, but he remains highly popular among many Palestinians for his support of their intifadas against the Zionists as well as for his criticisms of the corruption of other Fatah leaders. Indeed Barghouti’s imprisonment has long been seen as a gift to Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, who is widely despised by Palestinians for his betrayals and who would surely be defeated by Barghouti in an election for Fatah’s leadership;

Meanwhile, Patriotic Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Secretary Ahmad Sa’adat remains held in solitary confinement, imprisoned by the Israelis since they seized him from inside a PA prison in 2006. Perhaps most importantly for judging the terms of Hamas’s deal to release Shalit is the fact that Sa’adat has been on a complete hunger strike along with hundreds of other Palestinian prisoners (and over 3,000 more on partial hunger strike) since September 27 and while their health is rapidly deteriorating, neither their demand for the end of solitary confinement of prisoners, nor their call for an end to the arbitrary denial of prisoners’ visitation rights, nor their demand for an end the abusive and humiliating treatment of Palestinians attempting to visit their incarcerated comrades, have been even mentioned let alone agreed to as part of the deal.

Amid celebrations of the release of some Palestinian prisoners we must not forget those remaining, especially those on hunger strike today! Protests in solidarity with the prisoners must continue. (For more information on the plight of Palestinian prisoners, see the website of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association at as well as the website of the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’Adat)


It is indicative of the racism of the Israeli media and Israel as a whole, as well as that of the Western media, that unlike their attitude to the many thousands of Palestinian political prisoners, Shalit has been treated by them like a human being: he was given a name, had his story told, and his family were given a voice to describe their plight. The Palestinians slated for release, on the other hand, are simply referred to by their number. As anti-racists and anti-Zionists, we call attention to the list of Palestinian prisoners to be released in the deal that was first published by the Palestinian news agency Sama and later translated and published on the website of Al-Akhbar. That we do not have the space to tell each individual’s story merely shows the utter lack of symmetry between the oppressive powers of the Zionist state and the Palestinian people it oppresses.

Whenever a Palestinian prisoner’s name is mentioned in the Israeli media, it is only to relate the (often exaggerated) story of the act she or he committed before being imprisoned. Often, the crime can be to merely be a member of some Palestinian organization, or even take part in some protest. These cases, of course, are not publicized by the Israeli media – even when those imprisoned are children. Indeed as we went on record as saying long ago: if the racism of Zionists, which accords the Palestinian lives a mere fraction of that of an Israeli Jew, can be used to free many more Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Shalit, so be it.

In the eyes of most Israelis, Shalit is an innocent solder who did his duty. They do not see that this so-called duty was a crime. We understand the pain that the Shalit family has felt. For years they could not hold their son, speak with him, or be sure that he is well. But we also understand the pain the families of 5,000 Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli jails. They cannot hold their children, speak with them, or be sure that they have not been tortured.

Many of the Palestinian prisoners being released from Israel ’s jails have been charged with involvement in terrorist attacks on Israeli citizens. Like all genuine socialists, the ISL opposes acts of violence against civilians – including Israeli civilians. We do not support the actions of many who would be released in the deal. But their actions, as objectionable as they may be, pale in comparison to those committed by Israel . Only the racism of the Zionist press can condemn a man responsible for a bombing which kills several Israeli civilians, but praise Israeli soldiers, many of whom are directly responsible for the cold-blooded murder of dozens of civilians. The momentary, if terrible, terror that Israeli civilians feel after a bombing is an inescapable constant of Palestinian life.

Importantly, attacks on Palestinian and Israeli civilians do not just differ in terms of scale, but are conducted on different moral registers. Misguided acts of violence by Palestinians are a response to their oppression and cannot be legitimately compared to the coldly calculated acts of racist murder that the Israeli state perpetrates on a daily basis to defend their expropriation and domination of the Palestinians. Indeed do not believe the Israeli state, an entirely illegitimate racist colonizing power, should have any right to judge Palestinians for anything and demand the release of all Palestinians from Israeli prisons regardless of the crimes they are charged with.

The Legal Basis for the Oppression of Prisoners

Israel’s so-called ‘Administrative Law’ has continued the practice of holding Palestinians for unspecified periods of time without charge. The Zionists have not spared even the children held in their prisons, who are often left traumatized as a result of their treatment.

The power to affect administrative detention was created at the time of the British Mandate by the Defense (Emergency) Regulations, 1945.

When Israel declared independence in 1948, a state of emergency was announced and the Defense Regulations became part of Israeli law. After the 1967 War , Israel has applied the defense regulations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. From the first year of occupation, Israel resorted to administrative laws to suppress any Palestinian resistance.

This is the same law the British colonialists used during the British mandate. Dov Joseph, the future Minister of Justice said before the Jewish Lawyers Association: "there is no guarantee to prevent a citizen from being imprisoned for life without trial. One does not actually have to commit an offense; it is enough for a decision to be made in some office for his fate to be sealed.” Yaacov Shapira, another future Minister of Justice, said: "the regulations led to a situation unparallel in any civilized country. Even in Nazi Germany there were not such laws".

Only a Socialist Revolution Can Bring True Freedom

The Israeli state cannot and will not be able to destroy the will of the Palestinians to be free of oppression, no matter what kind of law Israel will use. The criminals are not those who oppose occupation, repression, the stealing of land and the destruction of homes. The criminal is the colonialist oppressor.

While we in the ISL oppose acts of terrorism against Israeli civilians, we do not recognize Israel’s right to judge and imprison the people whom it has been expropriating, oppressing and murdering for decades.

A mass movement to free the prisoners could pressure the Zionists and their PA tools to improve the conditions of the prisoners’ and even to release some of them. But true freedom will be enjoyed by Palestinians only when they have their own state, from the river to the sea, free of racist oppression, where both Palestinians and Jews can live in peace and security, free from discrimination.
This state will never be created by either the collaborationist Fatah forces or Hamas, which has already signaled its willingness to compromise with Zionism, and which has already exposed its oppressive nature when it suppressed protests on Nakba and Naksa days, as well as solidarity actions with the uprisings in Egypt and elsewhere.

The only force which can truly win liberation for the Palestinians, as well as the rest of the peoples of the region, is the working class. This is clear when one considers that among all the uprisings in the region recently, the only ones that have been successful in toppling the corrupt regimes are those where the working class was overwhelmingly involved: Egypt and Tunisia .

This shows the way for the Palestinian struggle as well. The Palestinians are not strong enough to achieve liberation themselves, but once their class sisters and brothers in the region, the workers and poor, overthrow the regimes that oppress them, their help will be invaluable for this struggle. On their side, the Palestinian masses, with their undefeated will to be free, can serve as a true vanguard for all these struggles, giving them not only a rallying cry but also political guidance and inspiration.

The working class parties that will come out of the mass struggles in the region will be crucial for this strategy to be successful. Therefore, we call for the creation of Bolshevik vanguard parties all over the region, in preparation for the re-creation of the true party of World Socialist Revolution, the Fourth International.

Free all Palestinian Political Prisoners – Whether in Israeli or PA Prisons! For a Mass Movement in Support of the Prisoners! For a Palestinian Workers’ State from the River to the Sea, in a Socialist Federation of the Middle East