We are bombarded with fine sounding ideas. “NATO is a defensive Alliance and poses no threat to any country” and “We are united in our commitment to democracy, individual liberty, human rights, and the rule of law. We adhere to international law and to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. We are committed to upholding the rules-based international order.”
So sad that these are based on lies. We could spend hours on the history of the dominant NATO country, the USA on the theme of “Deterring Democracy”. Let us look at NATO’s most recent efforts.
We are told that Russia was imperialist when it invaded Afghanistan. Yet when NATO did exactly the same thing and occupied Afghanistan with 100,000 soldiers, we are told it was defending democracy. If an organisation wants to help develop a country it sends in a mix of educators, engineers, and doctors not soldiers and bombs.
Nearly a year ago, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met at NATO Headquarters with H.E. Yair Lapid of Israel. The following is from the NATO press release: “Israel has been an important partner to NATO for more than 20 years, as well as an active member of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue. NATO and Israel cooperate in different domains, including science and technology, civil emergencies preparedness and management, resilience, counter-terrorism, military medicine, countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and women, peace and security.”
Israel is an Apartheid state. NATO in its twenty years of cooperation with Israel has chosen to ignore the imposition of Apartheid on the Palestinians. So much for a rules based order and the rule of law (Apartheid is a crime against Humanity).
The press release goes on to say: “Furthermore, the NATO Secretary General restressed the Allies’ continued calls on Iran to uphold and fully implement all its obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons”
NATO closes its eyes to Israeli nuclear bombs just as it closes its eyes to Israeli Apartheid.
So much for beautiful words hiding ugly practices.
Sometimes a small incident shines a light on a huge issue. Before I look at the incident, we need to look at the background.
The standard defence of Israel claims that Israel is a democracy, Israel believes in minority rights, Israel has the right to defend itself, Israel is threatened by its neighbours.
These have weakened over the years. Israel won a war in 1967. Since then, Israel has become a regional super power. It is backed by the world’s only super power, the United States, and lesser powers like Germany and Britain. Israel fully uses its economic, military and diplomatic power. That solid base has enabled Israel to entrench its Apartheid practices.
The 280 pages of the Amnesty report show the mechanics and injustice of Israeli Apartheid, the land thefts, the ethnic cleansing, the theft of water, and so on.
To all of the key ideas that used to defend Israel, there are stronger counter arguments.
Israel is a democracy is counterposed by the fact that Israel is an Apartheid regime. There is no democracy where part of the population has no vote and is deprived of many civil rights, such as where and with whom they can enter into marriage.
Israel has the right to defend itself is countered with the comment ‘it is not Israel that needs defence, it is the Palestinians’. Was Israel defending itself when the Israeli military raided Jenin? Was it defending itself when the military killed Shireen Aby Akleh, a clearly identified journalist?
Israel gives its minorities full rights – is countered by page after page of evidence of land and water thefts and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians. This evidence is in the Amnesty report, the Human Rights Watch report, and many others.
So Israel has to use other methods to hide the truth. Al Jazeera exposed how the Zionist lobby interferes with British Politics. Electronic Intifada and others have exposed how the Zionist lobby worked with right wing Labour and the media to sack Corbyn.
The key for Israeli apologists is to claim that everyone who is anti Zionist is anti Semitic.
Their problem is that the majority of Jews do not live in Israel, and many of them agree that Israel is an Apartheid state. There are even strong religious Jews who believe that Israel is a blasphemy. They believe that Israel will be established only when the messiah returns.
The easiest way to provide evidence is to create it. Take the case of Edward Sutherland. He is a prominent member of Confederation of Friends of Israel. He established a false persona as Stevie Harrison a pro Palestinian. He then used an antisemitic trope and hinted at a criminal act. His co-conspirator promptly blamed Scottish PSC (for an incident that had not happened).
These Zionists’ actions show that they could not find convincing evidence of antisemitism within the PSC. This is clear evidence that the two words are different because they have separate meaning. Objection to a racist State, Israel, one that practices Apartheid, is anti-Zionism. Hatred of an individual or group because they are Jews is Anti Semitism. As the slogan says Anti Semitism is a crime – anti Zionism is a duty.
Al Jazeera “the lobby” is here.
On Saturday we held our regular monthly protest. We were thin on the ground but we gave out a large number of flyers. here.
At the Stop the War protest on Sunday, we had a speaker, who pointed out the Hypocrisy of our politicians. They are gathering evidence for crimes against humanity, now, against Putin’s bloody invasion. Excellent, but what about the crime against Humanity of Apartheid. Israel’s Apartheid has been growing for over 50 years. The West has been rewarding Israel with subsidies and preferential treatment. A system of justice cannot simply be wheeled out to deal with the West’s enemies. Had Israeli leaders been punished with guilty verdicts at an International Criminal Court, it is likely that Putin would believe that such a fate is waiting for him.
This is the meeting we were advertising. We are particularly pleased to welcome Kholoud al Ajarma. She is from the village of Ajjur. The JNF British Park sits on the ruins of her village. When she complained to a British Court, it ruled that she had no standing to complain. It is our first physical meeting in two years, so we are a bit nervous. Please come (unless you have Covid!!)
On Saturday Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign held its monthly protest. Come along next time 12 noon Sheffield Town Hall first Saturday of the month. We gave out leaflets highlighting the Amnesty report which documents Israeli Apartheid. It is a 274 pages long. It took four years to produce. Join our campaign.We defeated the South African Apartheid, if we work together we can defeat Israel’s Apartheid.
Israel’s apartheid against Palestinians – https://www.amnesty.org/…/02/israels-system-of-apartheid/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CoFjbnvkmQ0
Amnesty International has just brought out a report on Israeli Apartheid. It says
“Our report reveals the true extent of Israel’s apartheid regime. Whether they live in Gaza, East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank, or Israel itself, Palestinians are treated as an inferior racial group and systematically deprived of their rights. We found that Israel’s cruel policies of segregation, dispossession and exclusion across all territories under its control clearly amount to apartheid. The international community has an obligation to act”
Jonathan Cook has a good analysis here.
Join us at our monthly protest. Please share this post and come along on Saturday
Global Days of Action for Palestinian Rights
Call to Action
On 28, 29, 30 January 2022, we call for a global mobilization in solidarity with the Palestinian people in their steadfast resistance against Israel’s forced displacement in Jerusalem’s neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan, in Al-Naqab, the Jordan Valley, the southern Hebron Hills and beyond.
These Global Days of Action are in response to the call by the Bedouin-Palestinian community of Al-Naqab for international solidarity to support their struggle against Israel’s ongoing Nakba.
The last week has seen a dramatic escalation in the intensity and brutality of Israel’s relentless policy of expulsion that still threatens to expel thousands of Indigenous Palestinians more from their homes and lands. As Human Rights Watch and other international human rights organizations have said, this wave of forced displacement is yet another manifestation of Israel’s system of apartheid against all Palestinians. Apartheid is a crime against humanity in international law.
We call for intensifying our efforts to end international complicity by states, corporations and institutions in Israel’s policies of apartheid, settler colonialism and military occupation. In other words, we call for meaningful solidarity with the Palestinian struggle against Israeli attempts to dehumanize them and to criminalize their popular resistance to cultural erasure and the ongoing dispossession and displacement.
Let’s demand effective accountability for complicity in war crimes now.
Take the lead from Palestinians in Al-Naqab as they organize another mass protest this Sunday.
Be inspired by the sumud of the Palestinian community in Sheikh Jarrah, and by the words of Mahmoud Salhiya: “We’d rather die in our land with dignity than surrender.” They embody the determined resilience of the entire Palestinian people, including Palestinians besieged in the Gaza Strip since 2007.
Palestinian women, men and youth continue to rise up for their rights, whether in their homeland or in exile, where they’ve lived as refugees ethnically cleansed from their homeland in the 1948 Nakba and denied their inherent and UN-stipulated right of return.
On 28, 29, 30 January – the Global Days of Action to #EndEthnicCleansing, let’s:
Organize/join protests, vigils and rallies across the world.
Pressure governments and parliaments to take action, including lawful and targeted sanctions and military-security trade bans, and call out those who are complicit with apartheid Israel.
Strengthen and build BDS campaigns against the JNF, Hyundai Heavy Industries, G4S/Allied Universal, NSO (Pegasus), HP, and others to hold corporations enabling Israeli apartheid accountable for their complicity.
Build support for the UN to investigate and end Israeli apartheid, as was done with South African apartheid.
Storm social media with the hashtags #EndEthnicCleansing and #UnitedAgainstApartheid as well as #SaveSheikhJarrah, #SaveAlNaqab, #UNInvestigateApartheid.
- Save Al-Naqab Campaign
- Save Silwan Committee, Jerusalem
- Jordan Valley Solidarity
- Stop the Wall Campaign
- The BDS National Committee (BNC)
- Palestinian NGOs Network
- Palestinian Environmental NGOs Network- Friends of the Earth Palestine
- The Land Defense Coalition
- Palestinian Farmers’ Union
- The Palestine New Federation of Trade Unions
Bottom of Form
The leadership of the JNF UK has made racist comments. This has led to complaints by important sections of Jews in the UK. This has led to an investigation by the Charity Commission. Up to now the Commission has covered up the racism of the JNF. This time it will be a harder task. More information here.
Students from Sheffield Palsoc have been found guilty of anti Semitism and ordered to attend an anti Semitism awareness course. The accusation arises from a placard stating “stop the holocaust of Palestinians”. The placard was not used but could be seen on Facebook in a video clip showing the students making banners.
There will be a considered official statement from Sheffield PSC on the case in due course.
One of our members has produced a blog here.
Protestors gathered at the Head offices of JCB World HQ today, Wednesday 15th December 2021, calling for JCB’s Directors to end sales of bulldozers to Israel. JCB exports equipment to its sole dealer in Israel, Comasco, who in turn have a contract with the Israeli Ministry of Defence. JCB’s bulldozers are used by the Israeli military to demolish Palestinian homes, schools, health centres and even its olive groves and animal shelters.
The protestors held up graphic photographs of Palestinian families standing in shock and despair around the rubble of their homes, with JCB equipment shown clearly in the photographs. They sang ‘Homes Torn Down’ a song specially composed for the occasion focussing on the broken Palestinian lives and dreams as a direct result of JCB sales to Israel.
JCB have been regularly criticised for its actions in exporting its equipment to Israel, in full knowledge that their equipment is used by the Israeli military. Last month an investigation by the UK Department of Trade concluded that JCB was failing take any measure to check on the end use of its equipment, and that, in spite of its position as a major, prestigious global company, it had no human rights policy. Last week Amnesty International published a major report JCB Off Track on the sale of JCB equipment to Israel, concluding that JCB did not appear to care that its products have been used for years to destroy Palestinian homes and communities.
Natalie, one of the protestors, said:
JCB know perfectly well the destruction wreaked by its bulldozers in Palestine. There is a mountain of evidence and even the Department of Trade is now calling JCB to account. And yet JCB continues to treat with contempt any attempt to engage with them over this issue. For years it has ignored letters, reports and constructive attempts by NGOs to discuss with them measures that JCB could easily take to end its complicity with Israel’s war crimes. JCB exports its products to over 150 countries and could choose to suspend its policy of exporting to Israel without a dint in its profits. The Bamford family are always keen to highlight their philanthropic work, including its charitable donations to the biggest child welfare charity in the country, the NSPCC. And yet the family are utterly blind to the suffering of Palestinian children, living in the rubble of their lives after yet another JCB bulldozer ploughs through their homes.Today we handed in a letter to Graeme Macdonald calling on JCB to finally listen to the multitude of voices calling on the company to prove that it does care about human rights and the welfare of Palestinian children. We are not optimistic, as we have sadly seen the heartlessness of this company and its Directors over a number of years. But we do care, and we will continue to protest until the owners of this company finally come to their senses and show some humanity.
The protestors held a one minute’s silence to remember the Palestinian children who would be homeless this Christmas as a direct result of the Israeli Army’s use of JCB bulldozers and for all victims of Israeli war crimes.