Archive for the ‘palestine’ Tag

Foreign Secretary “dismayed” at calls for boycott of Israel

From the Foreign Office:

Foreign Secretary David Miliband has expressed dismay that motions calling for boycotts of Israel are being discussed by trade union congresses and conferences. He said:

‘The Government is dismayed that motions calling for boycotts of Israel are being discussed at trade union congresses and conferences this summer.

Mr Lewis, Minister of State responsible for the Middle East, is this week meeting representatives of leading British unions in order to make clear the Government’s firm belief that calls for boycotts of Israel cannot and do not contribute to peace.

The Scottish Trades Union Council has released a response:

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) today (Wednesday 24 June) rejected the Foreign Office’s “dismay” at trade union’s supporting boycotts of Israel, and suggested this is an indication that the UK Government is out of step with the views of workers on this matter.

The Foreign Secretary David Miliband MP yesterday stated that: “The Government is dismayed that motions calling for boycotts of Israel are being discussed at trade union congresses and conferences this summer”.

STUC Assistant Secretary Mary Senior said: “I am pleased that the UK Government is beginning to recognise the strength of feeling in the British trade union movement for the need for urgent action against the state of Israel for its continued violations of human rights of Palestinians. Rather than expressing his dismay to us, the Foreign Secretary should be expressing his outrage in the strongest terms to the Israeli Government for its attacks on the people of Gaza, for the growing Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory, and for the ongoing breaches of international human rights laws”.


Gaza aid convoy arrestees released without charge

Nine men arrested on route to Gaza as part of an aid convoy have now been released without charge:

LONDON (Reuters) – Police said on Thursday they had released three men arrested under anti-terrorism laws as they were driving to join an aid convoy heading for Gaza.

Lancashire police said in a statement they had released the men without charge. They were arrested with six others on Friday when police seized three vans on a motorway in northern England that were to form part of a 100-vehicle convoy.

The other six were released without charge last weekend.

Police also searched five houses in the town of Burnley on Saturday in connection with the arrests.

The convoy had been organised by the pro-Palestinian organisation Viva Palestina and left central London on Saturday, the group’s website said.

First Females Islamic Judges Inaugurated in Palestine

First Females Islamic Judges Inaugurated in Palestine

For the first time in the history of Palestine, two women were appointed as judges to the Islamic Sharia court in the West Bank cities of Hebron and Ramallah. President Mahmoud Abbas accepted the appointment of the two female judges among 11 judges appointed to the Sharia Courts in the West Bank, after each woman successfully passed two competitive judicial exams held in Ramallah.

Before the ratification of the appointments, President Mahmoud Abbas asked that Dr. Tayseer Rajab Al-Tamimi, the Chief of Judges and the Chairman of High Council of Islamic Law for Palestine, to confirm that the appointment is legitimate according to the Sharia and in the opinion of the the Islamic court, according to one of the new female judges, Asmahan Yusif Al- Wahidi, who was appointed as a judge to the Islamic Court of Hebron.

Anti-terror police seize three vans headed for Gaza

Anti-terror police seize three vans headed for Gaza

British police said on Saturday they had seized three vans that were to form part of a 100 vehicle aid convoy headed for Gaza as a result of an anti-terror raid in the northwest of England.

Lancashire police said they were searching five houses in the town of Burnley on Saturday after arresting nine men under anti-terrorism laws on a motorway near Preston on Friday.

Six of the men have been released and the remaining three are still in custody. Police can hold them without charge until Sunday night.

The convoy had been organised by the pro-Palestinian organisation Viva Palestina and left central London on Saturday, the group’s website said.

Following the recent war in Gaza the aid situation for Palestinians has become increasingly dire. Aid supplies waiting in Egypt have been stalled by delays from the Israeli and Egyptian governments. Closer to home, Lloyds TSB closed the account of Palestinian aid charity Interpal, while the BBC attracted criticism for blocking the airing of a charity appeal for Gaza.

Glasgow Uni liberated for Gaza!

Glasgow Uni liberated for Gaza!

At 2pm yesterday, Glasgow University became the 24th Uni in the UK to be occupied by students in solidarity with the people of Gaza.



We Demand…

1. Written confirmation that there will be no disciplinary, academic or legal repercussions for anyone involved in or supporting the occupation

2. That those involved in the occupation are guaranteed respect for their fundamental rights, including freedom of assembly, expression, and movement in and out of the occupied space

3. That the occupation is given uninterrupted access to electricity, water, internet access (including appropriate wifi passwords) and other amenities as appropriate

4. That the principal meet those involved in the occupation at the occupied space to discuss our substantive demands

Further information can be found at

South Africa: Workers Refuse to Offload Israeli Ship

South Africa: Workers Refuse to Offload Israeli Ship

3 February 2009 In a historic development for South Africa , South African dock workers have announced their determination not to offload a ship from Israel that is scheduled to dock in Durban on Sunday, 8 February 2009. This follows the decision by COSATU to strengthen the campaign in South Africa for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Apartheid Israel . The pledge by SATAWU members in Durban reflects the commitment by South African workers to refuse to support oppression and exploitation across the globe. Last year, Durban dock workers had refused to offload a shipment of arms that had arrived from China and was destined for Zimbabwe to prop up the Mugabe regime and to intensify the repression against the Zimbabwean people. Now, says SATAWU’s General Secretary Randall Howard, the union’s members are committing themselves to not handling Israeli goods.

SATAWU’s action on Sunday will be part of a proud history of worker resistance against apartheid. In 1963, just four years after the Anti-Apartheid Movement was formed, Danish dock workers refused to offload a ship with South African goods. When the ship docked in Sweden , Swedish workers followed suit. Dock workers in Liverpool and, later, in the San Francisco Bay Area also refused to offload South African goods. South Africans, and the South African working class in particular, will remain forever grateful to those workers who determinedly opposed apartheid and decided that they would support the anti-apartheid struggle with their actions.

Last week, Western Australian members of the Maritime Union of Australia resolved to support the campaign for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel , and have called for a boycott of all Israeli vessels and all vessels bearing goods arriving from or going to Israel .

This is the legacy and the tradition that South African dock workers have inherited, and it is a legacy they are determined to honour, by ensuring that South African ports of entry will not be used as transit points for goods bound for or emanating from certain dictatorial and oppressive states such as Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Israel.

New from Wikileaks

Today, Wikileaks – a transparency group and host of innumerable classified documents from governments, businesses, religious groups and others – released a document from the Department of Homeland Security prepared prior to the Republican National Convention in 2008. In it, the DHS lays out its understanding of potential targets and the connections made between different groups.

Wikileaks also now hosts a database giving information on Israeli settlements in Gaza and the West Bank, as previously reported by Haaretz.

At a Border Crossing, Drivers and Truckloads of Aid for Gaza Go Nowhere

At a Border Crossing, Drivers and Truckloads of Aid for Gaza Go Nowhere

EL AUJA BORDER CROSSING, Egypt — France sent technical equipment to help Gazans draw water from the ground. The Swiss sent blankets and plastic tarps. Mercy Corps, a relief agency, sent 12 truckloads of food. And on Tuesday all of it, including dozens of other trucks carrying sugar, rice, flour, juice and baby formula, sat in the hot sun here going nowhere.

This normally quiet commercial crossing between Egypt and Israel has been turned into a parking lot of stalled, humanitarian aid, and in the city of El Arish there are even greater quantities of food, clothing and essential supplies, sitting, waiting and baking in the sun. Some supplies are loaded onto dozens of trucks parked on city streets, but much more is stored in the open areas of a local sports stadium, also waiting, also going nowhere. Only medical supplies seem to be getting through to Gaza.

Since the cease-fire, Israel has allowed some humanitarian supplies into Gaza, but the territory is still desperately short of the necessities. Israel closed all the crossings into Gaza on Tuesday after an Israeli soldier was killed in a bombing on the Israeli side of the border. But that changed nothing at this crossing, where the flow has been stalled for days.

Army rabbi ‘gave out hate leaflet to troops’

Army rabbi ‘gave out hate leaflet to troops’

The Israeli army’s chief rabbinate gave soldiers preparing to enter the Gaza Strip a booklet implying that all Palestinians are their mortal enemies and advising them that cruelty is sometimes a “good attribute”.

The booklet, entitled Go Fight My Fight: A Daily Study Table for the Soldier and Commander in a Time of War, was published especially for Operation Cast Lead, the devastating three-week campaign launched with the stated aim of ending rocket fire against southern Israel. The publication draws on the teachings of Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, head of the Jewish fundamentalist Ateret Cohanim seminary in Jerusalem.

In one section, Rabbi Aviner compares Palestinians to the Philistines, a people depicted in the Bible as a war-like menace and existential threat to Israel.

The rabbi in question has been reprimanded.

Craig Murray – Biased Broadcasting Corporation

Craig Murray – Biased Broadcasting Corporation

I am hopeful the public outcry caused by the BBC’s refusal to broadcast the joint appeal for Gaza, will open more eyes to the immense bias in the BBC’s News coverage.

As it has slipped off the front page, I think it is worth reproducing this from my blog for 6 January:

What is Really Happening
I watched BBC World News for a timed hour yesterday. In that time I saw:
Pro-Israeli (including US government) speakers – 17
Pro-Palestinian speakers – 2

Mentions of Hamas Rockets as reason for war – 37
Mentions of illegal Israeli settlements – 0
Mentions of Palestinians killed by Israel during “ceasefire” – 2
Mentions of Sderot – 12
Mentions Sderot used to be Palestinian – 0

If you don’t believe me, try it yourself.

Craig Murray is the former British ambassador to Uzkebistan. Over the last few years he has found himself at the centre of a number of controversies, including Uzbekistan itself and allegations of human rights abuses there, as well as Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov, which recently led to legal pressure against his book “The Catholic Orangemen of Togo.”