Posts Tagged ‘israel’
Special report by Harriet Sherwood in The Guardian: Israel’s military justice system is accused of mistreating Palestinian children arrested for throwing stones
The room is barely wider than the thin, dirty mattress that covers the floor. Behind a low concrete wall is a squat toilet, the stench from which has no escape in the windowless room. The rough concrete walls deter idle leaning; the constant overhead light inhibits sleep. The delivery of food through a low slit in the door is the only way of marking time, dividing day from night.
This is Cell 36, deep within Al Jalame prison in northern Israel. It is one of a handful of cells where Palestinian children are locked in solitary confinement for days or even weeks. One 16-year-old claimed that he had been kept in Cell 36 for 65 days.
The only escape is to the interrogation room where children are shackled, by hands and feet, to a chair while being questioned, sometimes for hours.
Most are accused of throwing stones at soldiers or settlers; some, of flinging molotov cocktails; a few, of more serious offences such as links to militant organisations or using weapons. They are also pumped for information about the activities and sympathies of their classmates, relatives and neighbours.
At the beginning, nearly all deny the accusations. Most say they are threatened; some report physical violence. Verbal abuse – “You’re a dog, a son of a whore” – is common. Many are exhausted from sleep deprivation. Day after day they are fettered to the chair, then returned to solitary confinement. In the end, many sign confessions that they later say were coerced.
Craig Murray, Former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Diplomat and Human Rights Activist, has published an article on the plot to attack Iran. He pre-announced the publication on his blog after the mainstream media refused to publish.
This is Matthew Gould, second from right, British Ambassador to Israel, who was pictured speaking at a meeting of the Leeds Zionist Federation that was also the opening of the Leeds Hasbarah Centre. The Leeds Zionist Federation is part of the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland, motto “Speaking Up for Israel.” A collection was made at the meeting to send packages to members of the Israeli Defence Force.
On 29 May 2011 The Jerusalem Post reported: “British Ambassador Matthew Gould declared his commitment to Israel and the principles of Zionism on Thursday”.
Remember this background, it is unusual behaviour for a diplomat, and it is important.
The six meetings between British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould and Minister of Defence Liam Fox and Adam Werritty together – only two of which were revealed by Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell in his “investigation” into Werritty’s unauthorised role in the Ministry of Defence – raise vital concerns about a secret agenda for war at the core of government, comparable to Blair’s determination to drive through a war on Iraq..
This is a detective story. It begins a few weeks ago, when the Fox-Werritty scandal was first breaking in the media. I had a contact from an old friend from my Foreign Office days. This friend had access to the Gus O’Donnell investigation. He had given a message for me to a trusted third party.
Whistleblowing in the surveillance state is a difficult activity. I left through a neighbour’s garden, not carrying a mobile phone, puffed and panted by bicycle to an unmonitored but busy stretch of road, hitched a lift much of the way, then ordered a minicab on a payphone from a country pub to my final destination, a farm far from CCTV. There the intermediary gave me the message: what really was worrying senior civil servants in the Cabinet Office was that the Fox-Werritty link related to plans involving Mossad and the British Ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould.
Louis Theroux spends time with a small and very committed subculture of ultra-nationalist Jewish settlers. He discovers a group of people who consider it their religious and political obligation to populate some of the most sensitive and disputed areas of the West Bank, especially those with a spiritual significance dating back to the Bible.
Throughout his journey, Louis gets close to the people most involved with driving the extreme end of the Jewish settler movement – finding them warm, friendly, humorous, and deeply troubling.
- BBC Breakfast: “I waited 10 years to make the film on Zionists”
- BBC Radio: Richard Bacon interviews Louis Theroux
- BBC Magazine – My time among the ‘ultra-Zionists’:
The anger and despair of the Palestinians at the settling of foreigners in their midst is palpable. Many say they would be happy to have Jewish neighbours but not while they don’t enjoy the same rights or have the same sovereignty. Towards the end of my stay, one of the settler security guards in East Jerusalem shot and killed a Palestinian man. Rioting was widespread and it seemed clear to me the country was close to a third intifada.
Not long after that I left Jerusalem, but not before I visited Yair again. Once again I found him friendly, likeable, and yet profoundly lacking in perspective of how his national aspirations were trampling on the rights of millions of Palestinians.
With the very vague possibility of peace on the horizon, I asked if he wasn’t worried about being told to leave.
“If they want they can take me by power and I’m going to come back illegally,” he said. “This is our land. You can come and kill us and do whatever you want. We’re going to die for this country.”
The weirdest encounter was with a group of American Christians who had volunteered to pick grapes at a West Bank vineyard. “It’s a labour of love for the nation of Israel,” said one. Like Daniel, they seemed incapable of viewing the situation as in any way complex. In general, when Theroux goes on one of his adventures one is forced to admire his daft, naive courage. In this case I was left admiring his patience.
Some surprising facts from AJE’s Fault Lines:
Seen as an honest-broker in the Israel-Palestinian conflict, Canada has become one of Israel’s most fervent supporters.
In Canada, a high-stakes battle is being waged between a powerful pro-Israel lobby close to the conservative government, and a growing Palestinian solidarity movement that calls Israel an apartheid state that should be subject to boycott, divestment and sanctions.
But there is one point on which both sides agree: over the past five or six years, Canada has become one of Israel’s most fervent supporters on the world stage.
What are the implications for a country that has traditionally been seen as more of an honest-broker in the Israel-Palestinian conflict than the US, its more powerful neighbour to the south?
On this episode of Fault Lines, Avi Lewis opens a window into the debate over Canada-Israel: The other special relationship.
from AJE’s Inside Story:
William Hague, the British foreign minister, has pledged that the UK will quickly amend a law that has allowed pro-Palestinian activists to request arrest warrants for visiting Israeli officials over alleged war crimes.
Activists in Britain have sought the arrest of Israeli officials in the past under the principle of “universal jurisdiction”, which allows courts to prosecute alleged war crimes from elsewhere in the world.
The reassurance came after Israel suspended ‘special strategic dialogue’ with the UK in protest over the law.
But what message is the UK sending to the rest of the world?
Joining Inside Story to discuss this are: Jeremy Corbyn, a member of the British parliament and a founding member of the Stop the War Coalition; Mark Taylor, an international legal analyst; and Dan Schueftan, the director of national security studies at the University of Haifa.
Incursions by the Israeli army into the village of Wadi Fuqeen are becoming more frequent.
In early August 2010 Israeli army jeeps drove through the village on the pretext of looking for Palestinian workers trying to get into Israel illegally.
A wedding was taking place at the time and the jeeps drove through a crowd consisting of the wedding party and guests. People were very worried by remained calm.
This is one of the latest examples of Israeli army harassment of the Palestinian residents of Wadi Fuqeen.
The United Nations Human Rights Council has appointed a team to investigate Israel’s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in May.
The team will consist of three independent experts: Sir Desmond de Silva of Britain, Karl Hudson-Phillips of Trinidad and Tobago, and Mary Shanth Dairiam of Malaysia, the UN body said on Friday.
The council voted to establish the inquiry in June, after nine Turkish activists were killed when Israeli troops boarded the Mavi Marmara, the largest ship in the flotilla.
“The expertise, independence and impartiality of the members of the mission will be devoted to clarifying the events which took place that day and their legality,” Sihasak Phuangketkeow, the Thai ambassador to the UN, said.
Thailand currently holds the presidency of the human rights council.
De Silva is a former chief war crimes prosecutor at the UN-backed special court for Sierra Leone. Hudson-Phillips is a former judge at the International Criminal Court and Shanthi Dairiam is a women’s rights activist.
The team is expected to travel to Israel, Turkey and Gaza next month to interview witnesses and gather information. It will report its findings in September.
It is unclear whether Israel will co-operate with the inquiry; Israel has said that its soldiers acted in self-defence, and has rejected calls for an international investigation.
An internal Israeli army inquiry completed earlier this month recommended no disciplinary action against senior officers, and concluded that “the use of live fire was justified” on board the Mavi Marmara.
A separate civilian panel, chaired by former Israeli supreme court judge Jacob Turkel, is also investigating the raid.
Israel’s defence ministry announced on Friday that it would return seven ships from the flotilla to Turkey, including the Mavi Marmara.
The ships have been sitting in Israel’s Ashdod and Haifa ports for more than a month, despite repeated requests from the Turkish embassy that the ships be returned.
The ministry said it will co-ordinate with Turkey to arrange for the return of the ships, a process which could take several weeks.
UPDATED report and video of the protest
We had a good turn out, 20+, despite short notice, the secretary of Bolton PSC came up to support as well.
At least one person didn’t go in on the basis of him playing Tel Aviv and a number of people took Palestinian flags inside. Academy staff told us the gig was not even close to sold out, indeed, the amount of people going appeared to be quite poor.
A couple of our activists had the bright idea to hit the pubs where the fans were drinking and generally the mood was supportive. Many people were unaware he was going to Tel Aviv and agreed that he shouldn’t go.
The picture above shows the picket singing two home-produced songs, you can download the lyrics here:
Mr Rotten had something to say about the protestors outside the gig too(!): [video contains swearing]
“… To think that Mr Rotten would be backing Apartheid, that’s really f*ckin’ dumb c*nts for ya.
Yes I fully intend to go to Israel. I support no f*ckin’ government anywhere – never have, never will.
And here’s a nice little fact for the fools in the wooly t-shirts: Jews are people too…”
You think we’re getting to him yet?
Keep up the great work! Glasgow on Monday!
sify.com editor, Ramananda Sengupta, writes in Al Jazeera’s Focus:
“We do have a defence relationship with India, which is no secret. On the other hand, what is a secret is what is the defence relationship. And with all due respect, the secret part of it will remain secret.” – Mark Sofer, Israel’s ambassador to India, in a recent interview given to OutlookIndia.com.
India and Israel were born within months of each other. While the former became an independent state on August 15, 1947, the latter was born on May 14, 1948, following the decision of the United Nations to partition British Mandate Palestine.
India, which had opposed this partition, remained officially cold to the Jewish state. In May 1949, it voted (in vain) against the admission of Israel into the UN. In early 1950, after recognising the state of Israel, a visibly reluctant New Delhi allowed it to set up an “immigration office” in the port city of Mumbai. This eventually morphed into a “trade office” and then into a consulate.
But New Delhi dithered over according full diplomatic recognition to Israel until early 1992, when the two nations formally opened their respective embassies in Tel Aviv and New Delhi.
July 23rd, 2010 • Action, Events, News
Tags: artist, BDS, boycott, Carlos Santana, cultural, Diana Krall, elvis costello, gig, Gil Scott-Heron, israel, Jethro Tull, LCD Soundsystem, Ozzy Osborne, show, The Gorillaz, The Klaxons, The Pixies
Following pressure from fans and BDS campaigners (FB) Leftfield have cancelled their planned gig in Israel citing:
Cancellation of Israel show
Unfortunately Leftfield will not be able to perform at the Heineken Music Conference, Israel on the 31st August due to unforeseen production problems.
– Leftfield Blog
This adds to the growing list of artists who have made similar decisions, including: Gil Scott-Heron, Elvis Costello, The Pixies, The Gorillaz, Carlos Santana and The Klaxons.
In addition to the Johnny Rotten protests occurring around the UK, a number of Facebook pages have been setup to pressure other artists: