29 October 2016

The Execrable Luke Akehurst Defends Israel’s Occupation & Its Methods of Control

Akehurst of Labour First Supports Hewlett Packard’s Supply of Technology under the guise of ‘Anti-Terrorism’

Akehurst comes from a long tradition of Labour imperialists
The dictionary.com definition of execrable is either:
1.             utterly detestable; abominable; abhorrent or
2.             very bad:

By way of contrast the OED defines execrable as ‘Extremely bad or unpleasant.

I suspect they all describe Luke Akehurst even if they miss out the vital ingredient of what makes someone who is obviously intelligent support the most reprehensible aspects of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.  I refer to his right-wing pro-imperialist politics that sees little or nothing wrong with the imperialist presence in the Middle East.
Akehurst until recently worked for the British Israel Committee’s We Believe in Israel department.  In Hewlett Packard stands with Israel – stand with HP against the boycotters Akehurst defend Israel’s use of Hewlett Packard’s technology to maintain its police state methods of repression.  Everything is excused under the rubric of ‘terrorism’.

Let us recall what Ronnie Kassrills, a Jewish member of the ANC’s Executive Committee for 20 years and Intelligence Minister for 4 years in the ANC government said about Israel’s benign occupation, whose methods Luke Akehurst is so committed to defending:
Protestors staging a die-in at HP headquarters

Ronnie Kasrils on Apartheid Israel, 2007: 
“Travelling into Palestine's West Bank and Gaza Strip, which I visited recently, is like a surreal trip back into an apartheid state of emergency. It is chilling to pass through the myriad checkpoints -- more than 500 in the West Bank. They are controlled by heavily armed soldiers, youthful but grim, tensely watching every movement, fingers on the trigger… The West Bank, once 22% of historic Palestine, has shrunk to perhaps 10% to 12% of living space for its inhabitants, and is split into several fragments, including the fertile Jordan Valley, which is a security preserve for Jewish settlers and the Israeli Defence Force. Like the Gaza Strip, the West Bank is effectively a hermetically sealed prison. It is shocking to discover that certain roads are barred to Palestinians and reserved for Jewish settlers. I try in vain to recall anything quite as obscene in apartheid South Africa.”

In 2002 Anglican Archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu wrote a series of articles in major newspapers, comparing the Israeli occupation of the West Bank to apartheid South Africa, and calling for the international community to divest support from Israel until the territories were no longer occupied. In an April 2010 open letter to the University of Berkeley, Tutu wrote 
“I have been to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under the racist system of Apartheid. I have witnessed the humiliation of Palestinian men, women, and children made to wait hours at Israeli military checkpoints routinely when trying to make the most basic of trips to visit relatives or attend school or college, and this humiliation is familiar to me and the many black South Africans who were corralled and regularly insulted by the security forces of the Apartheid government.”

 In 2011, Tutu wrote an article for the Tampa Bay Times, arguing that Israeli apartheid is now so bad that only an international boycott can force Israel to change its policies.  [Earlier this month, Tutu said, :  “It is not a Muslim or Jewish crisis. It is a human rights crisis with roots to what amounts to an apartheid system of land ownership and control. It is a crisis that fuels other crises…”  

Both Desmond Tutu and Ronnie Kassrills were aware of the close economic, political and military links between Apartheid South Africa and Zionist Israel.  Luke Akehurst, as a racist supporter of Israel’s settler colonialism is determined to ignore the reality of Israel’s occupation.  The wonder is how this creature managed to become a runner-up in Labour’s NEC elections this year and to have even served as a CLP representative previously.

It is an example of the depths to which Labour’s Right and the Zionist lobby will sink that such a man, who makes his living by working for an Israeli propaganda organisation, is the best they can find.  A man without any sign of moral scruples.

In Akehurst’s rant below he has even put up a petition for people to sign supporting this mega American multinational.  One wonders whether, if he had been alive at the time, Akehurst would have summoned up support for IBM’s involvement in providing a basic computerised card index for the Nazis in order that they could classify Jews more efficiently?  The methods of operation of IBM  and Hewlett-Packard are much the same – providing electronic services to regimes of oppression.
Edwin Black’s book IBM & the Holocaust  recounts how

The 1933 census, with design help and tabulation services provided by IBM through its German subsidiary, proved to be pivotal to the Nazis in their efforts to identify, isolate, and ultimately destroy the country's Jewish minority. Machine-tabulated census data greatly expanded the estimated number of Jews in Germany by identifying individuals with only one or a few Jewish ancestors.’
Akehurst’s arguments can be boiled down to these:

i.                    The information technology supplied to Israel is to prevent ‘terrorism’
ii.                  This protects not only Israeli (for which read Israeli Jewish) civilians but Palestinians too.  Perhaps the most nauseous of Akehurst’s statements is where he says that:
iii.                ‘Boycotts are harmful to peace, as they stop dialogue and coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians.’

As the article The case against Hewlett-Packard shows, Hewlett Packard’s systems have nothing to do with preventing ‘terrorism’ but have everything to do with enabling the Israeli state to maintain its coercive and repressive regime of Occupation.  The idea that HP’s technology makes it ‘easier for Palestinian workers and others to travel into Israel, as they can prove their identity’ is simply a lie.  Palestinian lives are completely disrupted by the hundreds of Israeli checkpoints which makes a short journey take hours. 

Even Israel’s hard-line cabinet minister, Uri Ariel, himself a settler, condemned the conditions that Palestinians face at checkpoints where they are forced to wait for hours in the burning sun whilst Jewish settlers pass through a different entrance without problems. Hard-right minister: Conditions at West Bank checkpoints ‘disgraceful’

Elor Azaria, the Kahanist Israeli soldier who shot a severely injured Palestinians lying on the ground in the head has become an Israeli national hero
If it is terrorism that concerns Akehurst then there is plenty of terrorism that HP assists the army in committing.  For example the shooting in the head of a severely injured Palestinian who was lying comatose on the ground by a far-Right soldier Elor Azarya who is a national hero with over 60% support from the Israeli Jewish public. [Most Israelis Say Army Medic Who Killed Wounded Suspect Is Not a Murderer]

Or another example of the terrorism that Akehurst doesn’t see is the murder, one of very many, of an 18 year old college student Hadil Al-Hashloumon.  Eyewitness To Hebron IDF Murder of Hadil Al-Hashloumon: ‘I Never Saw Any Knife’.  There is of course the mundane terrorism that has seen over a thousand Palestinian homes demolished in the West Bank this year in order to make way for settlements.  But the only time Akehurst understand’s terrorism is when the Palestinians under occupation resist.  Otherwise it is simply a case of law and order, maintaining the racist peace and that of course is what the absurd ‘anti-Semitism campaign’ of the Zionists in the Labour Party is about.  As Akehurst says, he is not Jewish but he is a Zionist.   Thus it ever was. 

Akehurst’s Puff Piece on Hewlett Packard
Here’s our latest campaign – please sign this petition: 

Anti-Israel campaigners have called on people to boycott the information technology company Hewlett Packard (HP) and its successor companies, because they provide biometric identity systems for Israeli security checkpoints. They also provide IT systems to the Israeli Navy, Army, Defence Ministry and prison service, all of which help Israel combat terrorist threats such as Hamas and Hezbollah. With 6,000 local employees, HP is the second biggest investor in IT in Israel. Just to confuse things, HP recently demerged into two companies – HP Inc. which makes computers and printers, and HP Enterprise which provides IT services and software to governments and companies – but the boycotters don’t care, they are boycotting both!

The call to boycott HP would harm both Israelis and Palestinians because the HP-supplied security systems at IDF checkpoints help prevent terrorist attacks such as suicide bombings against Israeli civilians, whilst making it easier for Palestinian workers and others to travel into Israel, as they can prove their identity.

HPE’s security system is used as a result of the Wye River Accords, signed by the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

Boycotts are harmful to peace, as they stop dialogue and coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians. The boycott movement demonises Israel. It is particularly reprehensible to seek to stop Israel obtaining technology that protects its citizens from terrorism, and to attack companies that are involved in Israel’s security.

As Hewlett Packard Enterprise helps protect Israeli civilians from terrorism, we want to encourage it to continue to provide technology to Israel, and to let HP know there is global public support for its role there.

Therefore we would like you to sign our petition thanking Hewlett Packard Enterprise for their continued investment in Israel and support for Israel's security, which we will pass on to the company’s management:
What is Hewlett-Packard?

Hewlett-Packard Company (HP) is a US multinational information technology corporation. It is a global provider of computer products and IT services. It is also one of the top 25 defence contractors with the US Pentagon.

Why is Hewlett-Packard a BDS target?
Palestinian movement within the West Bank is tightly controlled by Israel through the use of checkpoints. The major checkpoints use what is known as the BASEL system. This system uses scanners with hand and facial recognition to collect biometric data about every Palestinian who uses the checkpoints.

The biometric data of nearly every Palestinian over the age of 16 is held by the Israeli authorities as part of Israel’s system of control and repression.

HP Enterprise Services, a division of HP, is responsible for developing, integrating and maintaining the BASEL system.

HP not only profits from developing systems to racially profile Palestinians and track and control their movements, it is also complicit in the Israeli apartheid which limits the parts of the West Bank which they can access, and which restricts their freedom of movement.

As such, it is complicit in the breach of Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that: “Everyone has the right to freedom of movement…within the borders of each state.”

HP is also contracted to provide the Israeli navy’s IT infrastructure. The Israeli navy is used to enforce the illegal blockade of Gaza from the sea, to prevent Palestinian fishermen from carrying out their trade, and to bombard Gaza during major assaults.

Israel’s blockade of Gaza constitutes collective punishment. Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits collective punishment and designates it as a war crime. By contracting with the Israeli navy, HP becomes complicit in the Israeli state’s war crimes against Gaza.

HP has, in the past, supplied PCs to the Israeli army, which enforces the lethal occupation of Palestinian land.

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions – don’t buy HP products!

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