20 June 2016

Time to Deselect Louise Ellman MP for Liverpool Riverside and Tel Aviv North – Apologist for Israel's Occupation Forces

Louise Ellman - Supporter of Israeli Child Abuse - Night Time Arrests, Beatings and Incarceration of Palestinian Children
On the 6th January 2016 the House of Commons held a debate on Child Prisoners and Detainees: Occupied Palestinian Territories

Louise Ellman MP - more the MP for Tel Aviv North than Liverpool Riverside
During this debate there was one Labour MP who was determined to defend the Israeli military.  Every excuse for torture, the beating of children, the night-time arrest of children, when they are hauled out of bed, blindfolded and handcuffed in painful plastic cuffs, was made by Ellman. 
Councillor Nick Small - right wing witch hunter and red baiter 

Children Under Arrest by Israeli Military
Ellman repeated Israeli army propaganda without even once attempting to question whether the Israeli army might be lying.  An army whose statements have repeatedly been show to be fabrications when video evidence has been produced, when its soldiers have brutally attacked cameramen, murdered wounded prisoners and physically attacked children in broad daylight.  Louise Ellman appears to be more the MP for Tel Aviv North than MP for Liverpool Riverside
Ellman made 3 contributions. 
Cllr. Nick Small on the left - being wined and dined by Balfour Beatty - a blacklisting building company who he purports to condemn on other occasions - is a supporter of the abuse below
Hundreds of terrified Palestinian children are arrested each year - it could not happen to a Jewish child
 In the first she stated that ‘the context in which these situations occur is an organised campaign conducted by the Palestinian authorities of incitement, to try to provoke young Palestinians to carry out acts of violence towards other civilians, some of which result in death, including the death of young children?’ 
Children walk to school past soldiers who are watching them with gun pointed
Note how the context is not Israel’s 49 year military occupation, nor the systematic use of violence by the Israeli army, the night time arrests of children etc.  It is ‘incitement’ by the Palestinian authorities of ‘young Palestinians’.   The violence of the Occupier is instead transferred onto the shoulders of the  Occupied.
Palestinian children and youth do not need to be ‘incited’ to know they live lousy lives under a permanent military occupation.  This is the standard text of those who believe the Israeli occupation is the most benign in history and that Palestinians just love seeing their land confiscated, their houses demolished, their economic prospects blighted. 
Jewish Chronicle does its best to portray criticism of Ellman as 'anti-Semitic'
It is in any case an Israeli propaganda lie.  The Palestinian Authority is a collaborator with the Israeli military.  It has done its best to prevent attacks on the Israeli military.
It doesn't matter how young or small they are
Not satisfied with this, Ellman continued thus: 

‘I note my hon. Friend’s comments that a child should not be detained, and I assume that she means in any circumstances. Suppose a child was involved in an act of violence that resulted in the deaths of other human beings. That is what has happened with young Palestinians throwing stones—people have been killed. In those circumstances, surely she thinks that there should be detention.’ 

One notes that Ellman doesn’t call for the arrest of the Israeli military killers because of course, in her eyes, the occupation is legitimate and the Israeli Police and Miliary are merely agents of law and order.

In a third contribution Ellman asks 

Does my hon. Friend really believe that the solution to this horrendous conflict between two peoples—the Israeli and the Palestinian people—can be found by encouraging individual child Palestinians to commit acts of violence against other human beings? 

Ellman’s is the voice of the traditional colonialist who never sees or hears the violence of the occupier and who is only concerned by the resistance of the occupied.  For Ellman it is Palestinian children who commit violence and the Israeli military, which raids houses at night when people are sleeping, which is perfectly innocent.  An army which stands by when settlers attack Palestinian villagers and attacks them when they fight back, is above and beyond criticism as far as Ellman is concerned.

The debate was led by Sarah Champion, Labour MP for Rotherham.  Champion described how 

in June 2012, a delegation of leading British lawyers published a report on children held in Israeli military custody. That independent report was facilitated and funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and, based on a number of undisputed facts, found that Israel was in breach of six of its legal obligations under the UN convention on the rights of the child and two obligations under the fourth Geneva convention. The report also concluded that if allegations of abuse referred to the delegation were true, Israel would also be in breach of the absolute prohibition against cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.’

Eight months after the UK report was published, UNICEF released its own assessment of the military detention system for children. UNICEF concluded that,
"the ill-treatment of children who come in contact with the military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized throughout the process, from the moment of arrest until the child’s prosecution and eventual conviction and sentencing”.
The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that, “it would study the conclusions and work to implement them through on-going cooperation with UNICEF”.
Similar statements have been made previously following the UK report.  Amongst the issues that British officials raised, were ‘the use of painful plastic ties to restrain children, arresting children in the middle of the night in terrifying military raids, and the mandatory use of audiovisual recording of all interrogations.’  Despite promises to the contrary, in February 2015, UNICEF issued an update to its original report and noted that allegations of “alleged ill-treatment of children during arrest, transfer, interrogation and detention have not significantly decreased in 2013 and 2014”.
Paula Sherriff, Labour MP for Dewsbury, spoke and described how she visited the West Bank in September 2015 having been briefed by Military Court Watch.   Sherriff spoke of ‘the significant disparity between treatment of Palestinian and Israeli young people, including lack of legal representation and parental support, allegations of widespread abuse and having to sign confessions in Hebrew, among many others?’  Most Palestinian children don’t understand Hebrew but they are expected to sign a confession in a language they don’t understand.
Sara Champion responded that ‘The disparity between the two legal systems includes, for example, a maximum period of detention without charge of 40 days for an Israeli child and 188 days for a Palestinian child.’  
Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, spoke of how ‘warm words to encourage Israel to act differently are not working. Does she agree that it is now time for action? For example, the UK could call for the suspension of the EU-Israel association agreement, which has a clause saying that if there are human rights abuses, there is a right to suspend the agreement. How can the agreement still be in place with that human rights clause when Israel completely ignores human rights concerns year after year?’ to which Sarah Champion agreed.  ‘That recommendation is superb and there are others.’
Jo Cox, the MP for Batley and Spen, who was murdered by a fascist last week, made a short contribution:
“I congratulate my hon. Friend on securing this debate. She will be aware that evidence from Military Court Watch suggests that 65% of children continue to report being arrested at night in what are described as terrifying raids by the military. Will she comment on that worrying fact?”

All Ellman’s statements were assertions lacking even the slightest evidence.  Ellman is and always has been an echo chamber for the Israeli military.  Despite appearances to the contrary, Ellman is not stupid but malevolent.  The torture and beatings by the Israeli army, which refuses to record its interrogations, which refuses access to lawyers or even parents to accompany their children, is acceptable to Ellman.

If Liverpool Riverside has any integrity or principles as a constituency, it will take steps to deselect Ellman.  She is in a long line of politicians who saw in colonialism a benevolent force.  There were also those in the Labour Party previously, like the former Minister Ray Gunther, who supported Apartheid.  Ellman is a supporter of Israeli Apartheid and the necessary military force that is required to uphold it.

3 members of the Liverpool Riverside constituency, who questioned Ellman on her pro-Zionist activities have now been placed under investigation.  They are being accused of, wait for it, ‘anti-Semitism’.  In other words concern for Palestinian children and their harrowing treatment by the Israeli military and criticism of their apologist Louise Ellman, is anti-Jewish. 

Of course  this is yet another example of a false accusation of ‘anti-Semitism’.  Ellman normally, when she reports to her constituency, deliberately omits to mention her Zionist work so they asked her what she was up to.  By all accounts she didn’t like being interrogated on her work for Israel as, understandably, it is indefensible.

On April 16th an article Activists 'hell-bent' on attacking Jewish Labour MP at constituency meetings appeared in the Jewish Chronicle.  In this a right-wing, red-baiting councillor, Nick Small, said: “I found these comments offensive and believe that they have no place within the broad church of the Labour party.”  Defence of the Palestinians is ‘offensive’ according to this racist.  Small is an extreme right-winger who is a friend of blacklisting building company, Balfour Beatty. [see Liverpool Councillor Nick Small & his ‘blacklisting’ friends]

Small continued:

“There are a tiny but vocal group within our CLP who seem hell-bent on attacking our MP in an orchestrated, horrible, personalised way. They are trying to create an atmosphere of intimidation and hostility that is making many members, particularly Jewish members, feel deeply uncomfortable.  Mr Small said he had lodged a complaint with the party.’ 
No doubt Ellman did indeed feel uncomfortable at the fact that she was forced to answer for her defence of Israeli war crimes.
The Jewish Chronicle described an ‘orchestrated campaign’ against Ellman which Small said had created an “intimidating and hostile” atmosphere for Jewish members.  The Jewish Chronicle continued:  ‘The verbal attacks have taken place during the past two months at constituency meetings at which Mrs Ellman was present. A small group of hard-left activists have attended the sessions to attack her, repeatedly asking questions about her position on Israel.’  Holding your MP accountable is, in the eyes of the Jewish Chronicle, a crime.  The article finished with an unsubstantiated assertion that on ‘at least three occasions, antisemitic remarks were made.’

Ellman is a disgrace to the Labour Party.  She should be deselected immediately.  

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