In a bizarre effort to paper over the historical truth regarding Hitler and the Haavara Agreement, Professor Rainer Schulze of Essex University wrote an article totally lacking intellectual integrity. Schulze’s piece in the Independent, ‘Hitler and Zionism: Why the Haavara Agreement does not mean the Nazis were Zionists’, demonstrates that fear of Zionists and their extensive power extends beyond the Labour party. It is deeply entrenched within the British psyche and institutionally embedded in academia.
Schulze article leads him to the conclusion that: “any claim that Nazis and Zionists ever shared a common goal is not only cynical and disingenuous, but a distortion of clearly established historical fact.” The German/British professor’s failure to apply elementary academic analytical skills to the issue results in faulty scholarship.
Schulze accepts that the Havaara Agreement provided that “Jewish emigrants from Germany had to hand over their possessions before they departed, and the proceeds from the sale of such possessions were used by a company specifically set up for this purpose in Tel Aviv to purchase German goods for sale in Palestine.”
But Schulze continues, “The Haavara Agreement does not mean the Nazis were ever Zionists. Instead, it is testament to the fact that Nazi policy towards the Jews was not clear-cut from the beginning, but evolved greatly over the years.” Schulze clearly doesn’t understand what Zionism was and who the Zionists were at the time of the Agreement.
Schulze defines Zionism as; “a movement based on the right of self-determination.” This definition of Zionism is profoundly anachronistic and it is wrong.
Zionism was primarily and fundamentally the belief that Jews should return to Zion. Zionism was a Jewish ‘homecoming project.’*
Zionists Jews were divided amongst themselves what the ‘homecoming’ might mean. Some believed that Zionism should aim to create a spiritual centre, others believed in Bi Nationalism. Many engaged in a pragmatic political struggle to erect a racially oriented Jews Only State.
Crucially, Hitler like Churchill** and many others, saw in Zionism an opportunity for Europe to rid itself of some problematic Jewish elements. Whether Schulze likes it or not, Zionism was a successful project because from its onset, it formed a symbiotic relationship between Zionist Jews and the Jew haters who wanted the Jews out of Europe. Zionism promised a national home for the Jews and at the same time offered to ‘take the Jews away.’
In 1933 Hitler was a Zionist. Like Zionists (both Jews and their detractors) he wanted the Jews out of Europe. Palestine was his preferred solution. At a later stage, probably around 1936, Hitler changed his mind about Zionism. He realised that the Zionist project was celebrated at the expense of the indigenous Palestinian people. Professor Schulze can discuss this transition with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.
One would expect an academic scholar specialising in Modern Jewish History to grasp that Zionism as well as the State of Israel are sustained by Jew hatred. If ‘anti Semitism’ disappears, Israel and Zionism become obsolete concepts. Understanding this, Israel and Zionism have consistently contributed to the rise of anti Semitism. When there is no anti Semitism to point at, Jewish institutions simply invent it, as they are presently doing in the Labour party.
Enough Schulze bashing for one day. To his credit, Professor Schulze is not entirely dishonest. Like other contemporary German historians, Schulze is very careful with his wording regarding the German oppressive mechanisms and practicality.
Towards the end of his Independent article, Schulze writes about the 1939 German Polish Campaign: “they (the Nazis) were looking for dumping grounds for Jews and other “undesirables.” These people were at best treated as ‘assets’ to exploit or, later, a stock of slave labour, and at worst simply expected to die of disease and starvation.”
Did Schulze miss something? He did. He forgot to mention the gas chambers. Was this unintentional? I don’t think so. I have noticed that more German mainstream historians are unwilling to commit to the gas chamber homicidal narrative. Let’s see how long it will be before Schulze is kicked out of Essex University for heresy of the one and only universal Western religion.
*Home coming” from a Jewish perspective only. The author of this article doesn’t agree in any way that Palestine is home for the Jews.
**”Zionism offers the third sphere to the political conceptions of the Jewish race. In violent contrast to international communism, it presents to the Jew a national idea of a commanding character. It has fallen to the British Government, as the result of the conquest of Palestine, to have the opportunity and the responsibility of securing for the Jewish race all over the world a home and centre of national life.” (A Struggle for the Soul of the Jewish People, Winston S. Churchill 1920)
A Jewish rights organization has taken three local councils to court, alleging discrimination over the public authorities’ decision to boycott Israeli goods produced in illegal settlements in the West Bank.
Jewish Human Rights Watch (JHRW) has taken Swansea, Gwyneedd and Leicester councils to the High Court in London, alleging their boycott of Israeli goods is anti-Semitic and violates the 2010 Equality Act.
A solicitor for JHRQ, Robert Festenstein, said: “We would like to see the motions quashed. I don’t understand why they would pass it in the first place.
“I mean, they wouldn’t pass a motion saying something derogatory about women, so why would they do that about Jews?”
Andrew Sharland, a lawyer representing Leicester’s council, which approved the boycott back in 2014, said the JHRW is trying to “stifle criticisms of Israel.”
“What this challenge really concerns is criticism of the State of Israel, and the claimant’s desire to suppress it,” he said.
A number of councils across the country began boycotting Israeli goods around 2009 in response to Israel’s invasion of Gaza.
Earlier this year, the government issued guidance to public authorities saying such boycotts are “inappropriate” unless formal legal sanctions or embargoes have been put in place by central government.
The Cabinet Office warned that boycotts could “undermine good community relations, poison and polarize debate, weaken integration and fuel anti-Semitism.”
The campaign group War on Want has decried the JHRW legal challenge as “shameful.”
War on Want senior campaigner Ryvka Barnard said: “It’s shameful that local councils are being attacked for ensuring their policies are in line with international and UK law.
“The illegal settlements are a part of the systematic abuses of international law and human rights committed by Israel against the Palestinians.”
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has also criticized the government’s guidance on boycotts as an “attack on local democracy.”
Ban on Israel boycotts contradicts UK Foreign Office rules – Labour MP
Security firm G4S divests from Israel, denies caving to BDS movement pressure
Three US Republican lawmakers are pushing the American aerospace giant, Boeing, to refrain from getting into any deal with Iran.
In a letter to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, the Illinois Republican congressmen asked the company no to business with Tehran for any supply of planes and other services.
Congressmen Peter Roskam, Bob Dold and Randy Hultgren referred to a last July nuclear agreement between Iran and the permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany (P5+1) that removed anti-Iran sanctions in return for curbs on Tehran’s nuclear program, saying in their letter that any Iran deal with Boeing would be legal but “not right,” according to Fox News.
“This is not about doing what is legal – it is about doing what is right,” the letter said.
The Republican lawmakers reiterated US allegations of Iranian support for terror, telling Boeing that Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) can turn the planes into combat aircraft.
“We urge you not to be complicit in the likely conversion of Boeing aircraft to IRGC warplanes,” said the lawmakers.
Congressman Roskam, chairman of the US House Committee on Ways and Means Oversight, has been particularly vocal in his anti-Iran position, previously pushing for Europe’s multinational plane-maker Airbus to scuttle its $25 billion deal to sell 118 planes to Iran.
Roskam on Friday introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, which would prohibit the US Department of Defense from awarding contracts to any entity that does business with Iran.
This is while Boeing is not alone in its interest in Iranian ventures. General Electric Co., among others, is also reportedly exploring business opportunities in Iran.
“Should any agreements be reached at some future point, they would be contingent on the approval of the US government,” Boeing said in a statement in April.
Last month, Iranian officials said Boeing had proposed to sell new models of its 737, 777 and 787 aircraft to Iran and promised after-sales support.
In late January, Iran’s Deputy Transport Minister Asghar Fakhrieh-Kashan said the country was planning to purchase over 100 planes from Boeing.
The official noted that Iran’s order list from the American company included 737s for domestic flights and two-aisle 777s for long-haul routes.
Iranian officials have already emphasized that the country will need to buy 500 commercial jets of various models for various short-, medium- and long-distance routes.
The US has given Israel categorical assurances that it will not deliver F-35 stealth multirole fighter jets to Arab states to beef up their aerial power, a report says.
According to the Hebrew-language daily Maariv, Washington had confirmed to Tel Aviv that this type of aircraft “will be exclusively allocated for Israel in the Middle East.”
The newspaper further said Israeli authorities are wary of the fact the sale of F-35 military aircraft to Arab countries would chip away at the “technological superiority of Israel in the region.”
There are reports that Washington is mulling the sale of fifth-generation F-35 aircraft to Qatar and Kuwait. US military officials have already announced that they will maintain a quality gap in favor of Israel in such a case.
The Hebrew-language newspaper Yisrael Hume reported recently that the Israeli Air Force is due to receive the first the first batch of F-35 fighter jets at the end of the current year.
It will receive a further seven warplanes next year. An airbase is going to be constructed in Israel’s southern desert region of Negev for the new aircraft.
US military aid to Israel negotiations stalled: Report
Officials, meanwhile, say negotiations meant to enshrine US military aid for Israel over the next decade have snagged on disputes about the size, scope and fine print of a new multibillion-dollar package.
Israel is trying to garner $10 billion more than the current 10-year package, and billions more than the US administration is currently offering through guaranteed funding for missile projects.
US President Barack Obama, however, wants the funds to be spent entirely on US-made weapons, and not spent even partly on Israeli arms, several US and Israeli officials told Reuters.
Under the current agreement signed in 2007 and due to expire in 2018, Israel has received a total sum of about $30 billion or an average of $3 billion per annum from the US.
The current deal allows Israel to spend 26.3 percent of US funds on its own military industries. Washington is seeking to phase out this provision, and ensure that all of the money is spent on US-built munitions.
Tel Aviv says such a measure would give a devastating blow to its arms firms, which make some $800 million a year.
The United States also wants to put an end to a provision which allows Israel to spend around $400 million in annual funds on military fuels.
Israel has long been a major recipient of US aid, most in the form of military assistance.
Tel Aviv also wants the US administration to support missile defense projects that have so far relied on ad hoc assistance by the U.S. Congress.
The Obama administration has reportedly balked at Israel’s request to stipulate a separate funding track in the military deal for missile projects.
In recent years, US legislators have given up to $600 million to Israel in the form of annual discretionary funds for missile systems. The figure is four-fold the $150 million requested by the Obama administration.
In a report by Palestinian prisoners’ institutions, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association and the Prisoners Affairs’ Commission, the organizations released the relevant statistics and overall report on Palestinian prisoners in April 2016. The following figures were compiled and released by these three organizations.
567 Palestinians were arrested by Israeli occupation forces during April 2016, bringing the number of those arrested since the beginning of the popular uprising in October 2015 to 5334 Palestinians. The highest number of arrests were in Jerusalem, where 213 were arrested including 60 minors; al-Khalil, where 120 were arrested; followed by 43 in Ramallah, 40 in Nablus, 38 in Bethlehem, 35 in Qalqilya, 23 in Jenin, 12 in Tulkarem, 9 in Tubas, five in Salfit and four in Jericho; in the Gaza Strip, 25 were arrested, including 20 fishers who were subjected to firing and attacks in the sea, two who passed Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing, and three near the “border” of Gaza.
Among the arrestees were 123 children and 24 women and girls (including 3 minor girls). 69 Palestinian women and girls are imprisoned in Israeli jails, including 15 minor girls; the total number of children in Israeli jails remains over 400. There are over 750 Palestinians held in administrative detention and 700 sick and ill prisoners. 133 administrative detention orders were issued in April, including 97 renewals of ongoing administrative detention orders.
Invasions and Inspection Policy in Prisons
The Israel Prison Service used special units in raid and search operations launched by the prison administration on a regular basis as a means of collective punishment by the Israel Prison Service from arrest until release. The prison administration fabricates pretexts to launch these attacks, in which prisoners are subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment.
These special units suddenly invade or launch inspections, so as to prevent prisoners from preparing themselves or taking precautionary measures, usually in the early morning hours and sometimes in the hours after midnight; sometimes these fall in the middle of the day, including during prayer times or during iftar in Ramadan. The aim of these raids is to harass and abuse detainees; these special units use provocative actions against prisoners, including dragging prisoners from the rooms, yelling in their faces, verbally abusing them, and confiscating personal documents and family photos, creating provocations which are then used to justify attacks on prisoners.
In the month of April, the incident of the storming of section 14 in Nafha prison went beyond a typical invasion/inspection process with beating of prisoners. This incident occurred after guards refused to allow Akram Siyam and Muharreb Da’is to use the bathroom, which led to an altercation between the guards and the prisoners, during which armed units broke into the section, beat prisoners, sprayed pepper spray and tear gas, removed prisoners from the section, then returned Da’is to the section and invaded again to take him back. Prisoners refused to hand him back and a large force returned with dogs, forced all the prisoners from the room, and attacked them with batons. This caused numerous injuries, including to the ill prisoner Yousry al-Masri, who has cancer and was beaten with a baton on his neck and in his liver area.
The prison administration closed all sections of the prison, and imposed sanctions on section 14, including removal of electrical appliances, denial of family visits, and isolation from other prisoners.
17 prisoners are isolated under the pretext of “threat to state security,” without evidence to indicate this threat. They are held in solitary confinement cells for 23 hours a day except for one hour of recreation when they are with guards only. Solitary confinement is harmful to mental and physical health. The prison service issues isolation orders which can be extended every six months on the decision of the military court, based on a secret file not revealed to prisoners or their lawyers.
Among the isolated prisoners are Noureddine Amer, 34, from Qalqilya, isolated since 21 September 2013, imprisoned since 2 February 2002, and serving a 55 year sentence. He is held in a 3.5 m x 1.5 m room, in Eshel prison, which contines a toilet and a metal door with a slot for introducing food, and has a closed window. He is allowed out for recreation alone for one hour per day.
He has been held in isolation in multiple prisons: Ramon, Ashkelon, Megiddo, Shatta, Gilboa and Ayalon. He is transfered by “Bosta”; transfers take many hours. Prisoners transfered by “Bosta” are prevented from looking through the window and their hands and feet are shackled. During these transfers, Amer is accompanied by special forces who often engage in provocations and subsequent attacks. In July 2015, he was beaten by five military guards; his nose was bleeding and he was in pain but was not given treatment. His belongings were scattered, and they told him to gather them again while he was handcuffed.
He suffers from several diseases worsened by the environment of isolation, including shortness of breath, high cholesterol, joint problems, severe headaches, and stomach ulcers. He sustained a fracture in his hand eight years ago in Gilboa prison and did not receive treatment, and continues to suffer today from the injury to his hand.
He has been denied all forms of communication with his family since his isolation. His mother is elderly, suffers from cancer and had a stroke; he has learned this news only through visits from his lawyers. Three of his brothers are also imprisoned; Nidal Amer is sentenced to life imprisonment, Abdul Salam Amer to 20 years, and Aysar Amer is held in administrative detention since February 2016.
Systematic policy of torture and abuse during the detention of children
Children are exposed to systematic torture, humiliation and cruel treatment from the first moment of arrest, characterized by methods of detention, whether through late-night home invasions, detention by special units or by undercover soldiers who seek to appear “like Arabs” on the street. In addition to degrading treatment of children during their arrest and transfer, they are shackled hand and foot and blindfolded while taken to detention or interrogation centers where they are directly exposed to ill-treatment. This comes either through beatings using hands and feet, cursing and yelling at them in order to provoke fear, or through solitary confinement and harsh conditions to psychologically pressure them,
Among the cases of minor prisoners is that of Mohammed Amarna, 17, from Ya’bad near Jenin, who was arrested on 2 March 2016 from his home. During a legal visit inside the prison, his lawyer confirmed that Amarna had been beaten, insulted and mistreated during transfer to a detention center where he was blindfolded and his hands cuffed behind his back. He was held for hours outside, slapped by a soldier in the face repeatedly as well as by an interrogator.
157 Palestinians detained in connection with activities on social media
The Israeli government formed in recent months the so-called “Cyber Unit” to step up its prosecutions of Palestinians on social media, especially Facebook.
From October 2015 to April 2016, there have been 157 cases of arrests based on expression and opinion posted on Facebook. A number of people have been indicted for “incitement,” while others have been ordered to administrative detention.
The majority of arrests have taken place in Jerusalem as part of the targeting of Palestinians in Jerusalem. Many of the statements express sympathy or solidarity with Palestinian martyrs killed by Israeli occupation forces, or include publishing the photos of martyrs or prisoners.
The suppression of freedom of speech, opinion and expression on social media is not limited to cases of arrest, but has also included terminating the employment of accused Palestinians from institutions in Jerusalem or 1948 occupied Palestine, or forcibly expelling them from their city of residence, especially Jerusalem.
Battle of the empty stomachs
During the month of April, Palestinian prisoners engaged in a number of individual and collective hunger strikes for multiple reason. Sami Janazrah, 43, from al-Khalil, has continued his hunger strike since 3 March, and Fuad Assi, 30, and Adib Mafarjah, 29, both from Ramallah, continue their hunger strikes since 3 April. All are striking against their administrative detention without charge or trial.
Shukri al-Khawaja, 48, from Ramallah, engaged in a strike for a number of days against his continued isolation; dozens of prisoners in several prisons launched solidarity strikes with him. Abdullah Mughrabi, 24, from Jerusalem, also struck for a number of days against isolation.
Mahmoud Suwayta, 40, from al-Khalil, went on hunger strike for over a week against the denial of visits from his son for over two years; Iyad Fawajrah of Bethlehem also engaged in a hunger strike for family visits.
Mansour Moqtada, 48, from Salfit, is engaged in a partial hunger strike as a result of complicated and difficult health conditions, demanding improved medical treatment. Muhannad al-Izzat of Bethelehm engaged in a 9-day hunger strike, also for medical treatment.
Two re-arrested former prisoners, Abdel-Rahim Sawayfeh and Mohammed Daoud, engaged in hunger strikes against their re-arrests.
In addition, thousands of prisoners collectively engaged in a protest, returning food in rejection of the attacks on prisoners in Nafha prison.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says Israel should continue construction of illegal settlements across the occupied West Bank.
Asked in an interview with the British paper Daily Mail whether there should be a pause in settlement construction in the occupied territories, Trump responded: “No, I don’t think there should be a pause.”
Trump said the settlement construction must “keep going” and “keep moving forward,” because Palestinians fired “thousands of missiles” at Israel.
There are “thousands of missiles being launched into Israel,” he said. “Who would put up with that? Who would stand for it?’
“Look: Missiles were launched into Israel, and Israel, I think, never was properly treated by our country. I mean, do you know what that is, how devastating that is?”
Over half a million Israelis live in more than 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank including East al-Quds (Jerusalem). All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.
Pointing to the stalled “peace” talks, which Palestinian negotiators say will not happen without a halt in new construction, Trump said, “With all of that being said, I would love to see if peace could be negotiated.”
“A lot of people say that’s not a deal that’s possible. But I mean lasting peace, not a peace that lasts for two weeks and they start launching missiles again. So we’ll see what happens.”
Asked about his relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump called him “a very good guy” for whom he had made a campaign ad in 2013.
“I don’t know him that well, but I think I’d have a very good relationship with him,” the billionaire GOP front-runner said.
“I think that President [Barack] Obama has been extremely bad to Israel,” he said.
The Obama administration demanded in 2009 that Israel freeze new settlement construction in an effort to get the two sides to the negotiating table.
Trump’s remarks came ahead of Tuesday’s Indiana primary and his pitch for pro-Israeli voters.
Trump had said last year he would like to initially remain “neutral” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as president, a position that he believes would allow him a better opportunity to be seen as a peace broker.
He has repeatedly expressed his affection for Israel and support for Netanyahu and his policies.
In Indiana’s primary on Tuesday, Trump emerged as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee with 53.2 percent support, followed by Cruz with 36.7 percent and John Kasich with only 7.6 percent.
The victory in Indiana has almost secured the GOP nomination for the New York businessman.
Dima al Wawi, 12, was released from an Israeli prison last week, and according to The New York Times, her experience there was not all that bad. She played shuffle ball and went to classes, and when she came home after more than two months, she remained her spunky self.
This is the tenor of a piece by Diaa Hadid that ran on page one recently under the headline, “As Attacks Surge, Boys and Girls Fill Israeli Jails.” The tone here is in stark contrast to other accounts. The Daily Mail, for instance, ran the story with this title: “Haunted face of a 12-year-old girl broken by jail.”
A YouTube video of Dima’s reunion with her family also reveals a stony-faced child with dull eyes, and her mother speaks of her dismay at seeing her like that: “It seems like she is living in another world, in shock, not aware of what is happening.” She adds, “It feels like our suffering has increased.”
But Hadid gives us nothing like this. Her piece opens with a description of a benign Israeli prison experience and ends with Dima talking back to her mother like a normal, spirited pre-teen. Only far into the story do readers learn that Dima was not allowed to have either her parents or a lawyer present when she was interrogated and that she was shackled when she appeared in court.
Also missing from Hadid’s article is a full account of Israel’s scandalous treatment of Palestinian children and its apartheid court system. She describes these euphemistically as “a debate over how Israel’s military justice system, which prosecutes Palestinians from the West Bank, differs from the courts that cover Israeli citizens… and especially how it handles very young offenders.”
In fact, this is more than a debate. It is an atrocity that monitoring organizations have been documenting and publicizing for years: Israel routinely abuses Palestinian children in custody, deprives them of access to their parents and lawyers and coerces them into confessions. (See list of sources below.)
In addition, Israel is the only country in the world that systematically tries children (but only Palestinian children) in military courts, and it has two distinct systems for Jews and Palestinians in the West Bank. The former are tried in civil court while Palestinians face military trials.
In the Times story, however, this scandalous state of affairs becomes little more than a bureaucratic matter, a problem that calls for bringing two separate justice systems “more in line with one another.”
Hadid writes that Israel is trying to correct this deficiency, and she lists some policy changes made since a 2013 UNICEF report outlined abuses, but she fails to clarify either the extent of these abuses or the consistent and widespread condemnations of Israeli practices.
It is not only UNICEF that has raised alarm over the scandal: Human Rights Watch, Defence for Children International, the Israeli monitoring group B’Tselem, Amnesty International, Military Court Watch, several members of the U.S. Congress, the UN Committee for the Rights of the Child, Breaking the Silence (a group of former Israeli soldiers) and the U.S. State Department have done the same over several years.
It should also be noted that Israel, even as it claims it is correcting the problems, recently denied a delegation from the UK the right to witness child detainees in court. Additionally, the DCI report, cited in Hadid’s article, states, “Despite repeated calls to end night arrests and ill treatment and torture of Palestinian children, Israel has persistently failed to implement practical changes to stop violence against child detainees.”
Missing from the Times story is a major abuse cited in the above quote: the arrest of young Palestinians during night raids. Israeli soldiers routinely invade Palestinian homes after midnight—terrorizing families and neighborhoods in the process—and haul away teenagers and children accused of throwing stones or other offenses.
After a drumbeat of criticism from rights groups, the military announced that it would try a pilot program to cut down on night raids by delivering summonses to suspects, demanding that they turn themselves to the authorities.
But as the online magazine 972 reported, little has changed. The program has affected only 5 percent of these arrests, the documents are often handwritten in Hebrew without translation and soldiers are delivering the summonses during night raids.
DCI noted in its report that Israel has an obvious interest in continuing the raids: “Arresting children from their homes in the middle of the night, ill-treating them during arrest and interrogation, and prosecuting them in military courts that lack basic fair trial guarantees, works to stifle dissent and control an occupied population.”
Hadid’s story makes no mention of the night raids nor of the possible Israeli strategic interest mentioned by DCI. We get glimpses of the hardships Dima’s family has faced, but overall the effect is to minimize the trauma Israel inflicts on Palestinian children.
As the Times tells it, the treatment of these young detainees is simply “different” from that of young Israelis who run afoul of the law. It’s a matter of making a few adjustments, not a matter of ingrained racism and a brutal occupation.
Online readers can get a more complete story by clicking on the links to the DCI and UNICEF reports, but in the Times itself only fragments of the truth are allowed into print. The result is to obscure the cruel reality of routine abuse in the cells and interrogation rooms of Israel’s crowded prisons.
Follow @TimesWarp on Twitter
Hebron, Occupied Palestine – On the morning of the 24th of March around 8:30 am two Palestinian youths, Ramzi Aziz al-Qasrawi, 21, and Abed al-Fattah Yusri al-Sharif, also 21, were shot to death by Israeli forces after an alleged stabbing attempt in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Tel Rumeida. The world became aware of the extra-judicial killing of al-Sharif by the Israeli-French army medic Elor Azaria through the footage shot by Imad Abu Shamsiya, resident of Tel Rumeida, co-founder of Hebron Human Rights Defenders and contributor to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.
Over the last month Imad has become something of a celebrity. He has appeared on Palestinian news, made appearances in international media and has even been interviewed by mainstream British newspaper The Independent. All of which has come at the same time as the settlers in Tel Rumeida and in wider Hebron have issued death threats and upped their campaign of persecution against him and his family.
Imad and his 3 sons, Awne (left), Soli (middle), Muhammed (right), who are all taking part in resistance against the occupation.
Last week ISM activists had the privilege of sitting down with Imad and talking about the impact of these events on his life, his family’s history in Hebron, his history of arrests by the Israeli Occupying Forces and his hopes and fears for his life both now and in the future.
Imad’s family have lived in Hebron for generations: “I was born here, my father was born here, my grandfather and my great-grandfather, all born here.” He can trace his family’s presence in Hebron back at least 218 years as the family had a house near to the Ibrahimi Mosque registered in their name from that time, in addition to the family home that they occupy to this day in Tel Rumeida.
Seven years ago in 2009, however, the family’s house in Tel Rumeida was standing empty. Imad knew that it would only be a matter of time before the settlers, by now established in Tel Rumeida and on Shuhada Street, would attempt to sieze the home. It was then that Imad decided to move from his home in H1 (Palestinian-controlled Hebron) to Tel Rumeida in H2. This extraordinary decision was supported by his entire extended family as well as his wife Faiza and his five children (then aged between 4 and 11). Imad himself felt confident in this choice: “At first we thought there was not a lot of difference, just that here there is a checkpoint when there was not one where we had lived before.”
But despite his initial downplaying of the situation, the decision had a huge impact on his family. From the get-go his children would go out to play in the street and they would be attacked by settlers or harassed by the army. However, this only served to strengthen Imad and his family’s desire to stay in Tel Rumeida. Even his youngest son – Salah, now 11 – knows that they are there to stop the settlers from stealing their home and their land.
Sadly this notion of resistance that runs through the whole family has, perhaps unsurprisingly, had some serious ramifications for all of them. No more so than for Imad’s oldest son – Aune, 17. Aune was shot in the foot with a ‘dum-dum’ bullet – live ammunition that splinters on entry – and Imad was further shocked when, at the checkpoint near his home, the local area commander of the Israeli Occupying Force told him that he would kill Aune if he saw him again. They decided it was best to send Aune away to live with relatives and so, a child of seventeen, he cannot live with his mother and father and never sees his four siblings. Moreover the other four children have all, at one time or other, been victims of abuse and attacks at the hands of the settlers. Although perhaps the worst that the family have lived through is the current situation and the death threats that Imad has experienced since his role in the video of the extra-judicial killing was made public. Imad, however, has been through extremely challenging times before and is undaunted by the situation he faces.
Imad in his house, which is regularly targeted by settlers and army
In the late eighties during the first Intifada a young Imad – sixteen years of age – would, like many young male Palestinians at that time, go to the demonstrations in protest of the Israeli occupation. The Israeli forces then, as now, would shut these demonstrations down with extreme measures. On one such occasion – on Friday 20th of January 1988 – Imad found himself hospitalised having been shot in the hand with live ammunition: “I was in hospital in Jerusalem for fifty days recovering and at that time the Israelis came and arrested me.” In prison Imad was questioned for eighteen days, accused of being a ringleader and organiser. Finally brought before the court he was sentenced to six months in prison for his role as a demonstrator: “then, thirteen days after I was released that first time, they arrested me again and sentenced me to another six months in prison.” He wasn’t to know it then but this was the first year of a total of four years and two months that he would spend in prison.
On the 16th of February 1991 Imad was arrested once again and this time he was kept in solitary confinement for 111 days: “Imagine it. You are alone, without water to wash with, you don’t see the sun, you are cold, it’s winter, you are in a t-shirt and shorts.” During this time he was tortured: beaten, subjected to stress positions and consistently interrogated. He was accused of throwing stones and molotov cocktails as well as being a leader within the Intifada. He denied all accusations and after 111 days, when they had nothing to charge him with, he was taken before the court and sentenced to another six months detention regardless.
Example of common stress-position (torture position) utilised in Israeli interrogation
Once again in 1992 he was arrested and again he was kept in solitary confinement, this time for a period of 75 days. Refusing to confess to the false accusations of violence that were leveled at him, Imad was sentenced to six more months of detention without charge.
In 1995 Imad, specifically due to his position as a citizen of the already divided town of Hebron, was part of a large group of Palestinians who objected to the terms of the Oslo Agreement. As such he was part of a mass-arrest and sent to the infamous Naqab Prison in the Negev Desert where he was detained for a further six months. Imad would be arrested twice more – in 1997 and 1999. On both occasions he was arrested in the middle of the night, taken from his family home, not questioned or interrogated, but sentenced to a further six months detention.
Taking this history of persecution and Imad’s lifelong resistance into account, it is perhaps less surprising to picture Imad and Faiza agreeing with their children to move to the front line of resistance when they moved to Tel Rumeida in 2009. Then two years ago he formed Hebron Human Rights Defenders with Badee Dwalik, and Imad’s journey towards infamy began. Having been trained in the use of video cameras by B’Tselem, Imad and Badee recruited others from Tel Rumeida and wider Hebron and trained them to use video cameras donated by anti-Zionist activists in the US. Imad even trained his wife and children to use the cameras: the whole family knows that if things get bad with soldiers and/or settlers then the first recourse is to pick up a camera and to document. Now Badee and Imad plan to teach the local children in Tel Rumeida how to use the cameras: they intend to resist the occupation by exposing it’s most inhumane and abusive elements.
Badia from Human Rights Defenders at a school in Tel Rumeida, teaching the kids how to film.
All of which leads us neatly back to the events of the 24th March this year (and you can read about the events of that day from Imad’s perspective here.) One would have thought that living with his wife and four of his children in occupied Hebron, with the constant threat of attack by settlers as well as harassment by soldiers out for revenge for him having made the video, Imad would feel some negativity about his life now, or at least have mixed feelings about having found fame in this way. Nothing could be further from the truth: “if I could go back in time and had the opportunity to maybe not shoot the film I wouldn’t take it. I would always want the world to see what Palestinians have always known goes on”. Still, one could forgive if he felt that perhaps it would be best if his family left Tel Rumeida: “we will never leave here. They can harass us and attack us but we will not let them have our family’s home and our land. This is something my wife and children agree with 100%. We will not leave.” And would he leave Hebron? “Never.”
The occupation could have ground Imad Abu Shamsiya down. They have tried everything that they can to ruin his spirit – from torture and arrest to death threats and harassment – but Imad is a man, supported by his extraordinary family, who personifies the strength and the generosity of spirit demonstrated by the Palestinian people in the face of such indignity and suffering. He certainly touched and moved the ISM activists that had the pleasure of sitting down and chatting with him.
Lastly it is ISM’s pleasure to convey a message from Imad to the international community, to the political class and to all Palestinians:
“As Palestinians we always said that extra-judicial killings happened. Now people have seen my video I hope that the world will know that they do. Now people know what we live with and I hope we can work together to end the occupation so that we, the Palestinian people, can be free.” – Imad Abu Shamsiya
The British try out a new version of free speech
Political purges are not new. Trotsky was purged from the Soviet Communist Party and Ernst Rohm was purged by the Nazis. Currently we are witnessing the spectacle of “progressive” groups ostensibly dedicated to the cause of Palestinian rights turning on long time advocates of that cause because they are not viewed as sufficiently engaged in demonstrating that they are not anti-Semitic. Indeed, demonstrating one’s anti-anti-Semitic credentials seems to have become a sine qua non for establishing the bona fides of any friend of Palestine, apparently more important than actually doing anything for the Palestinians, who have been losing land continuously to the Israelis and regularly getting killed whenever they resist.
That the Palestinians have been victimized by the self-designated Jewish State funded by Jewish organizations and enabled through Jewish manipulation of America’s legislature and media would appear to be an irrelevancy to the self-righteous standard bearers adhering staunchly to what they choose to describe as their “anti-racist principles.” In a recent disagreeable incident involving the Students for Justice in Palestine at Stanford University a Nakba survivor Palestinian woman speaker was actually disinvited because it was feared that she might verbally challenge the legitimacy of the Zionist occupation of her former home. One wonders if the students would have censored an anti-Apartheid speaker from South Africa in a similar fashion in the 1980s?
I have sometimes noted how the Zionist conspiracy is international in nature, with hate crime legislation strictly enforced in places like France to sanction any criticism of Israel, which has been conveniently and incorrectly conflated with anti-Semitism. The latest focal point for making any critique of the Zionist enterprise unacceptable is Britain, and more particularly in the Labour Party, which once upon a time was viewed as the most progressive of the country’s three major parties. It also has long included Jewish Britons in senior party and government positions and is home to two formidable pressure groups, the Labour Friends of Israel and the Jewish Labour Movement.
Some recent Labour Party history is required. In September 2015 Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the parliamentary Labour Party to replace Ed Milliband. Corbyn, who has a long history as a human rights advocate and anti-interventionist in his foreign policy views, was considered a long shot when he began his leadership campaign but eventually won with nearly 60% of the vote due to “anti-establishment” fervor similar to what is taking place in the United States currently. Along the way, his campaign was assailed by a number of Jewish organizations in Britain based on allegations that he was hostile to Israel.
Corbyn had indeed been outspoken on Middle East policy as a member of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, condemning the Israeli handling of the conflict in Gaza and denouncing what he describes as apartheid in Israel. He has supported a selective boycott of Israel and believes that weapons sales to it should be blocked. Asked by an interviewer in July 2015 why he had referred to both Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends”, Corbyn replied, “I use it in a collective way, saying our friends are prepared to talk. Does it mean I agree with Hamas and what it does? No. Does it mean I agree with Hezbollah and what they do? No. What it means is that I think to bring about a peace process, you have to talk to people with whom you may profoundly disagree … There is not going to be a peace process unless there is talks involving Israel, Hezbollah and Hamas and I think everyone knows that.”
Corbyn also supported the lifting of sanctions as part of a negotiated agreement to dismantle the Iranian nuclear program, and the initiation of steps to place Israel’s nuclear arsenal under Non-Proliferation controls. Though one would think that the statements were pretty mild stuff relatively speaking, Corbyn continues to be assailed as being tolerant of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party as a consequence.
Observers in Britain believe that much of the behind the scenes anti-Corbyn agitation within the Party is being orchestrated by former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who wants to see Corbyn replaced by someone closer to his brand of political centrism. One longtime Blair supporter and major Labour donor David Abrahams apparently agrees, ending his financial support of the party over its alleged anti-Semitism, declaring it “a plague that has to be stamped out.”
Britain is going to the polls on Thursday in local and municipal elections. It is perhaps no coincidence that the attacks on Labour have intensified in the past several weeks and polls are now suggested that the Party might well lose “hundreds” of local government seats at least in part due to the apparent turmoil reflected in media coverage of the anti-Semitism issue.
The wave of attacks on Labour members deemed to be too hostile to Israel actually began in August 2015 with widely publicized but later discredited claims that the Oxford University Labour Club was dominated by anti-Semites. As it turned out, Alex Chalmers, the student who made the allegations, was a member of Britain’s Israel lobby. Currently it is being fueled by appearances in the national media by Israel’s Ambassador Mark Regev and also by former associates of Tony Blair who are demanding a thorough review of possible anti-Semitism within the party. They have focused on two Labour notables, Naz Shah and Ken Livingstone, “Red” Ken, who have been suspended over comments and social media postings relating to Israel.
Naz Shah, a member of Parliament, reportedly made a Facebook post before she was elected to office that copied a graphic of Israel superimposed on to a map of the United States with the message “Solution for Israel-Palestine Conflict – Relocate Israel into United States” with the additional notation by Shah “Problem Solved,” a joke intended to demonstrate that if the U.S. and Israel love each other so much they should collocate, solving the Middle East conflict as a consequence. The graphic was copied from American professor Norman Finkelstein’s blog.
Shah has apologized four times for her transgression.
Ken Livingstone reportedly told the BBC that Adolph Hitler had supported Zionism in that he negotiated with German Zionists to transfer Europe’s Jews to Palestine in the event of a German Army defeat of the British in the Middle East, a victory that never materialized. Livingstone, well known for inserting his foot in his mouth, was, in fact correct in his comment, which he later declared as “historical” in nature. Under attack, Livingstone defended himself by declaring that the truth about Hitler and Zionism is “not taught in Israeli schools.”
Corbyn and other members of the Labour Shadow Cabinet have repeatedly stated that any party member who makes anti-Semitic or racist comments will be expelled. He has responded to the demands in the media and from within the party by initiating an official inquiry into possible racism headed by Shami Chakrabarti, a highly regarded former head of a civil rights charity called Liberty.
The disturbing aspect of the current purge underway in Britain is not only about racism, if that is indeed how one should define anti-Semitism. It is over the extent to which one can criticize the state of Israel without suffering consequences and also over the degree to which any such criticism should or can be equated with anti-Semitism. It is in the interest of Israel and its supports to make the two issues one and the same and they have had considerable success in making the distinction between the two largely invisible. Corbyn’s comments on the Middle East are decidedly progressive but not necessarily wrong. Naz Shah played with a graphic on Facebook expressing her views, which were not genocidal or racist, in a silly fashion that most Facebook users have likely emulated at one time or another. Ken Livingstone has a history of shooting from the lip and turning him into a whipping boy for an ill-advised comment that had no racist overtones or that did not in any way call for violence is more than a bit of overreach. None of the three attacked Jews either as an ethnicity or as a religion but they were criticized as if they had done so.
Critics of Israel in the United States, possibly to include the Stanford University Students for Justice in Palestine, should learn from what happens in Europe. Once you start your critique with an apology lest you offend someone you have already lost the argument. Refusing to listen to speakers who just might upset part of the audience is self-censorship, designed to go along to get along and in the end it is self-defeating. If you want to tie yourself in knots over avoiding the anti-Semitism label, which is routinely used to silence and destroy critics including yourself, you will never see a country called Palestine or a United States that is free from the manipulation by the Israel Lobby.
Prominent Palestinian astrophysicist Imad Barghouthi, a professor of theoretical space-plasma physics at Al-Quds University, was ordered by the Israeli occupation military to three months in administrative detention – imprisonment without charge or trial – on Monday, 2 May.
Barghouthi, who marked his 54th birthday in Israeli prison, joins nearly 750 fellow Palestinians held without charge or trial under administrative detention. Detention orders are indefinitely renewable on the basis of “secret evidence” to which both Palestinian detainees and their lawyers are denied access. The scientist, from Beit Rima near Ramallah, was arrested by Israeli occupation forces at a military checkpoint in Nabi Saleh on 24 April.
Barghouthi, a former employee of NASA in the United States, is a prominent figure in the Palestinian scientific community and his work is internationally known. He received his BS in physics from the University of Jordan in 1985, followed by his masters’ degree in nuclear physics in 1988. In 1994, he completed his Ph.D. at Utah State University in the United States.
He was arrested before, on 6 December 2014, as he traveled to a scientific conference in the United Arab Emirates, and ordered to administrative detention without charge or trial; he was released early, on 22 January 2015, following an international outcry from the scientific community, including statements from AURDIP (Association des Universitaires pour le Respect du Droit International en Palestine), BRICUP (British Committee for the Universities of Palestine), Committee of Concerned Scientists, MESA (Middle East Studies Association) Committee on Academic Freedom, and Euroscience.
Upon Barghouthi’s release, he wrote a letter to international organizations that had supported him: “I call on the international community that spoke up on my behalf to speak up also on behalf of all Palestinian political prisoners. There are approximately 500 Palestinians held in administrative detention, imprisoned without charge or trial. The systematic use of arbitrary imprisonment by Israeli forces to punish Palestinians violates international humanitarian law under the Fourth Geneva Convention.”
Al-Quds University, where Barghouthi teaches, has also been subject to ongoing Israeli repression, including invasion of the campus, destruction of student organizations’ offices and materials, and arrests of students.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network calls for the immediate release of Palestinian scientist Imad al-Barghouthi, which comes as part of a systematic attack on Palestinian academics, journalists, writers and other cultural workers by the Israeli occupation. We reiterate that the case of Imad al-Barghouthi underlines the necessity of the international academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions – a call adopted by an increasing number of academic associations and academic labor unions. Such institutions are deeply complicit in the structures of occupation that deny Palestinian human rights at all levels, including denying Palestinians’ rights to education and academic freedom, and upholding the structures of colonialism and occupation that target Barghouthi, his students and fellow faculty at Palestinian universities like Al-Quds, and the Palestinian people as a whole.
Photo: Al-Quds Human Rights Clinic
Gaza, Occupied Palestine – After more than six months risking their lives while ploughing, planting seeds and weeding their land, and after investing a large amount of money on seeds and on renting a tractor, the Qudaih family from the village of Khuzaa were finally ready to start harvesting their barley and the wheat two days ago.
We arrived at the fields, located around 100 metres from the fence, at 7am. Around 9am one jeep from the Israeli occupation forces stopped in front of the farmers and a group of soldiers emerged. After a few minutes they fired several shots in the air, then returned to the jeep and left.
A family member working on the land in Khuzaa
45 minutes later another jeep arrived. This time the soldiers fired shots on the ground next to the farmers and the ISM activists that were with them. The shots were near misses, just a few centimetres from their feet. As if this was not terrifying enough, next they fired shots close to the farmers’ and activists’ heads. At that moment most of the farmers started to run away from their fields terrified by the whistling sounds of the bullets flying around them: One Bedouin man that was picking herbs for his animals laid down on the ground hiding behind his donkey, while the soldiers fired shot more than five times just a few centimetres from him. The shooting didn’t even stop when everyone started to run away, preventing the farmers to secure their horse cart holding what little harvest they had collected until they were attacked.
The Qudaih family harvesting their barley on their land.
These families now have to choose between losing all the money invested as well as their main sustenance for the year, or continue trying to harvest the crops on their land – despite the risk of someone getting killed or disabled.
Antisemitism Inquisition shifts up a gear in bid to wreck Labour’s election chances and remove the “loose cannon”.
With important local government elections a few days away the campaign against alleged antisemites reached a crescendo over the weekend, with the press and TV corps in full cry.
Their main quarry was former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, now suspended from the party; their instrument a Labour MP bully-boy called John Mann, who happens to be chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism. But no-one is in any doubt that the ultimate aim of this operation is the downfall of Labour’s new leader, Jeremy Corbyn.
Zionists have a serious problem with Corbyn. His election to the leadership was a surprise brought about by a sudden influx of new supporters weary of sterile and corrupt politics. They had no time to groom him, not that he’s capable of being tamed like previous leaders. Corbyn has a long record of support for the Palestinians and other justice causes. As a loose cannon in a carefully controlled political battlefield he has to be disabled. One way to do that is to pick off his allies one by one and, with the help of a compliant media, derail his party’s election prospects.
Livingstone’s ‘crime’ is a remark about Zionists collaborating with Nazis in the 1930s. Though factually correct, it’s not the sort of thing the Inquisition likes to hear. So is it a flogging offence? Hardly, but such is the paralysing fear of being on the receiving end of an antisemitism smear that few in the party (or mainstream media) have the balls to say so.
Strange how the latest upsurge in allegations of antisemitism has coincided with the ambassadorial appointment to London of Mark Regev, former chief of Israel’s propaganda machine and spokesman for Israel’s extremist prime minister.
Regev was given a platform on the BBC’s flagship Andrew Marr programme at the weekend to complain about antisemites targeting the collective Jew: “If you’re saying… the Jewish people don’t have that right… to sovereignty and independence, you have to ask why you are holding Jews to a different standard. And there is a word for that.”
Yes, and the word is Jewish exceptionalism. Israeli Jews are not, and never have been, sanctioned for defying UN resolutions and international humanitarian law. On the contrary they are allowed to continue their crimes with impunity and rewarded by the West with eye-watering generosity.
As for Regev’s “collective Jew”, Israel insists on being recognised as the Jewish state, implicating Jews generally. As for the right of the Jewish people to sovereignty and independence, that is something they have consistently denied the Palestinians, whose lands they covet, occupy and creepingly annex. Israeli politicians, including Netanyahu, have gone further and declared that they will never allow the Palestinians self-determination.
So let us view the Labour Party’s freak-out over antisemitism in proper context.
An Israeli wise man — the former military intelligence chief and professor of International Relations, Yehoshafat Harkabi — warned some years ago that the Jewish state, which was supposed to solve the problem of antisemitism, could actually become a factor in the rise of antisemitism: “Israelis must be aware that the price of their misconduct is paid not only by them but also Jews throughout the world”.
However, not all Jews outside Israel are Zionists or supporters of the Israeli regime. A large number campaign energetically against it, so it is wrong to blame the worldwide Jewish community. On the other hand Israel claims to be “the only democracy in the Middle East”, in which case the government of Israel acts in its people’s name.
A New York Times obituary quotes Harkabi as saying: “I am for finalizing the conflict, and you can’t do that without recognizing that the Palestinians, like any other human group, deserve the right to self-determination.”
That right is still denied.
What about Labour’s links to Zionist criminals?
The trouble with UK Labour is its ignorance. That goes for other political parties that harbour Zionist stooges. If members knew the truth about the situation in the Holy Land, they would never swallow the false narrative peddled for years by the likes of Regev and Israel’s flag wavers such as Blair, Cameron and the Friends of Israel group – a UK version of the all-powerful AIPAC which dictates US foreign policy.
Friends of Israel repeatedly question Corbyn’s past association with Hamas and Hezbollah. But, as they well know, Hamas and Hezbollah were created out of necessity to resist Israeli aggression and are regarded as terrorists by no-one except the Washington-Tel Aviv axis and US-Israeli stooges in London and some other capitals – a number of which have evidently crept into the Labour Party.
For a branding-iron Bush used this definition: “The term “terrorism” means an activity that
(i) involves a violent act or an act dangerous to human life, property, or infrastructure; and
(ii) appears to be intended —
(A) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(B) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(C) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, kidnapping, or hostage-taking.”
The joke is that it describes the behaviour of successive Israeli governments perfectly.
The media’s baying hounds and Labour’s fanatical inquisitors are entitled to question Jeremy Corbyn’s past connections, as long as they also ask Corbyn’s critics about their links to the Israeli terror regime.
Are Palestinians children of a lesser God?
We shouldn’t focus entirely on Labour. The biggest Zionist-occupied organisation outside America and what we loosely refer to as the Christian church is the British Conservative party. Eighty percent of its MPs and MEPs are reported to be signed-up Friends of the rogue regime and it was the recent Conservative-led coalition that reneged on Britain’s solemn obligations under the Geneva Conventions specifically to allow wanted Israeli criminals to come and go in the UK without fear of arrest.
Membership of Friends of Israel has long been a useful qualification in securing a place on the parliamentary candidates list and is said to be a stepping stone to high office. Hopefuls are ‘groomed’ on Tel Aviv’s propaganda conveyor-belt. Under the title ‘Team Cameron’s big Jewish backers’ the Jewish Chronicle in 2006 reported on the individuals bankrolling David Cameron’s bid for power and provided a fascinating insight into how the pro-Israel lobby infiltrates government and destroys the principles of integrity and accountability once prized in British public life.
As soon as Cameron became Conservative leader he proclaimed: “The belief I have in Israel is indestructible — and you need to know that if I become Prime Minister, Israel has a friend who will never turn his back on Israel.” Good dog.
Those who sign on as a Friend of Israel surely realise that they embrace and endorse the whole hellish Zionist enterprise including the terror and ethnic cleansing on which the state of Israel was built, the dispossession and expulsion of native Palestinians at gunpoint and the discriminatory laws against those who remain. They signal that they accept the abduction of civilians, including children, and their imprisonment and torture without trial. And presumably they are happy supporting and legitimizing a religious war that humiliates Muslims and Christians and prevents them visiting their holy places.
There is no room here to detail Israel’s cruel interference with Palestinian life at every level or describe the human misery it causes every minute of every day. Sufficient to say that anyone who defends these outrages deserves scant consideration of their feelings.
Even after a series of bloodbaths by the Israeli military in Gaza such people remain Israel’s special Friend. Will they still be comfortable when the next assault blows to smithereens hundreds more children, again shreds and incinerates thousands of innocent men and women, maims many more and destroys still more vital infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, power plants and clean water supplies?
Do they really believe Palestinians are children of some lesser God?
Oh, and Friends of Israel squeal “antisemitism!” at the very mention of BDS (the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement). Why? Respected Palestinian lawmaker, Dr Hanan Ashrawi, explains how BDS is “a legal, moral and inclusive movement struggling against the discriminatory policies of a country that defines itself in religiously exclusive terms, and that seeks to deny Palestinians the most basic rights simply because we are not Jewish.”
Practising BDS simply means you avoid purchasing Israeli goods or services and decline normal contact with individuals and organisations that are connected with or support the racist creed that squeezes the life out of the Holy Land. And you continue to do this until Israel ends its illegal occupation and honours its obligations under the UN Charter and international humanitarian law.
If Labour Friends of Israel don’t know these things, they should take the trouble to find out. If they don’t also know about Zionist ambitions for a Greater Israel, from the Nile to the Euphrates (the Yinon Plan), they should find out.
Corbyn knew of the Zionist threat to himself long before he became leader. At the outset he should have established a competent media group to anticipate trouble and formulate necessary communication strategies, including the case for curbing the use of the party as a platform to advance the interests of a foreign military power.
Now, instead of taking the fight to the troublemakers he’s letting them tear Labour apart. And Regev sits on his doorstep laughing.
As I sign off, a petition calling for MP John Mann to be disciplined has reached 19,000 signatures. Mann, a rabid pro-Zionist, started a shouting match with Livingstone in front of the cameras, putting rocket-boosters under the Inquisition and bringing the party into disrepute.