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Monday, 18 December 2017

Even by Israel’s sordid standards the cold-blooded murder of double-amputee Ibrahim Abu Thuraya is shocking

Perhaps Labour’s Zionist apologists - Ellman, Ryan, Austin & Newmark will explain how Ibrahim's murder squares with Israel's claim to be the Middle East’s ‘only democracy’?


It will be interesting to see how Mark Regev, Israel’s smooth talking Ambassador in Britain or maybe Luke Akehurst of Stand by Israel explain away the murder of Ibrahim Abu Thuraya.  Perhaps it was another of these ‘tragic accidents’?  That was the excuse for the murder of 4 young boys on a Gaza beach by an Israeli plane.  Strangely when Israelis die at the hands of Palestinians it is always murder, never a tragic accident.

Or perhaps they won’t explain it away?  They will simply pretend it didn’t happen.  After all it is just one more Palestinian life amongst many.
Last Friday Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, who had already lost both his legs to an airstrike during Operation Cast Lead in 2008 was murdered.  An Israeli army sniper decided to finish the job.  Ibrahim was in his wheel chair at a protest on the other side of the Gaza fence.  He was protesting against Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.  He posed no danger to Israeli troops, he wasn’t throwing stones, he was simply demonstrating.

Everytime you hear Israel’s apologists – such as Louise Ellman, Ian Austin, Joan Ryan MP or perhaps Jeremy Newmark of the Jewish Labour Movement – defending Israel as the ‘only democracy in the Middle East’ and its army of occupation as ‘the most moral army’ and most benign occupation in the world, you should think of Ibrahim Abu Thuraya.
When Palestinian prisoners go on hunger strike to demand their rights after decades in prison we are told that they have ‘blood on their hands.’  The soldier who committed this crime will not even see the inside of a prison for one day.  Israeli Jews who have Palestinian blood on their hands are not seen as criminals but heroes.  We do not know the name of the sniper nor does it matter.  He is part of a criminal army for whom Palestinian life is cheap.
When Labour MPs Joan Ryan, Louise Ellman or Ian Austin stand up in Parliament and defend Israel right or wrong, we should understand that they, in their own way, are equally as guilty as Ibrahim’s killer because they create the conditions in Ibrahim is murdered.  Their failure to speak out about this and Israel’s other atrocities, indeed their continual attempts to justify Israel’s military occupation make them equally as guilty as the sniper who took his life.  Those who act as Israel’s apologists are as guilty as the war criminal who took Ibrahim’s life.


These four children were murdered in another 'tragic accident' by Israel during Operation Protective Edge
The precedent for this was set at Nuremburg in 1946 when Julius Streicher, the Editor of the viciously anti-Semitic Der Sturmer was convicted of the new Crimes Against Humanity.  He wasn't accused of actually killing people but he created the conditions for the murder of 6 million people.  We should understand the role of Luke Akehurst, Ellman, Ryan and Austin as making the murder of Palestinians like Ibrahim palatable.  That is why they are no different from those who pull the trigger.
In Israel, apart from Israel’s sole liberal paper Ha’aretz, this murder has not even been reported.  Why should it when Palestinian life is as cheap as water?  Those who are old enough to remember the hijacking of the cruise liner Achille Lauro in 1985 when a disabled Jewish man Leon Klinghoffer was thrown overboard, will note the difference.  Then there was rightly world wide outrage.  Today there is barely a murmur.


As a double amputee in a wheelchair, Ibrahim Abu Thuraya stood out among the crowd of demonstrators on the Gaza border. Was it his fearlessness that unnerved a soldier on the Israeli side?
  Dec 17, 2017 6:33 PM
Opinion 

The murder of these children by Israel was also a 'tragic accident'
The car headlights picked out two soldiers in the darkness, carrying guns and other equipment at the entrance to the overcrowded and dense West Bank town of A-Ram. Our eyes met for a fleeting moment, as they say. Their faces expressed that familiar mixture of arrogance, ignorance and fear. How young they look, I thought. I also considered what everyone who drives past soldiers thinks these days: One slight deviation of the car and they’ll assume this lady is hell-bent on running them over. A subsequent Military Police investigation will determine they felt their lives were endangered and so they acted properly. Focus on steering, I told myself, thinking again about how young they were.

It’s doubtful you’d have seen any fear in the eyes of the Israeli soldiers who shot to death Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, 29, on Friday. They were on the other side of the border fence, east of the Shujaiyeh neighborhood in Gaza. Perhaps they were in an observation tower. Maybe on a hill or in an armored jeep, which fired in bursts at the Palestinian demonstrators.

What danger did Abu Thuraya pose? He stood out among the crowd of demonstrators, for sure: A double amputee, he was advancing in his wheelchair, getting off it and moving quickly with the aid of his arms, going eastward across a sandy mound. Did his courage and fearlessness unsettle a soldier on the Israeli side of the fence?

Abu Thuraya had been seriously wounded during the 2008-09 Israeli offensive in Gaza, when he lost both legs. A story on the Palestinian Al Watan news website in 2015 reported that he and his friends were the targets of Israeli shelling on the Bureij refugee camp. He later recovered from his serious injuries and made a living by cleaning car windows on Gaza’s streets, maneuvering among the cars in his wheelchair. Undated video footage shows him climbing up an electricity pole near the Gaza border and flying a flag. In another video, probably recorded on Friday, he is seen in his wheelchair on an exposed spot across from the perimeter fence, again waving a Palestinian flag.

At midday on Friday, he was saying to a TV camera that the demonstration was a message to the Zionist occupation army that “This is our land and we won’t surrender.” Edited footage shows him in his wheelchair later, surrounded by dozens of upset youngsters. His head is drooping, and they lift him to an ambulance and accompany him to a hospital. He was pronounced dead that evening, killed by a bullet to the head.
Ibrahim Abu Thuraya during the demonstrations by Palestinians along the border fence between Gaza and Israel, December 15, 2017.Mohammed Salem/Reuters
Did the edited video omit some incriminating footage? For example, did Abu Thuraya aim a rocket at the soldiers? If that was the reason a soldier shot a legless man in a wheelchair, this was a failure of the army and Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories spokesmen. Why didn’t they issue a statement to the media about the thwarting of a rocket attack by demonstrators, thus preventing any harm befalling our soldiers?

Back in the West Bank, a tingling in the nose alerted me to the presence of soldiers on the road leading to the Jalazun refugee camp – meaning there were stone throwers there, too. But there was no turning back. The wafting tear gas increased in intensity and the road ahead curved. On one side, behind some houses, crouched some youths – and they were very young. They were holding stones but not throwing them at the time. On the other side, near a wall that protects the settlement of Beit El, stood a formidable-looking armored personnel carrier with a few soldiers alongside it. Perhaps they were Border Policemen (my sense of panic made me forget some of the details). Under their helmets and from a distance, it was hard to determine how young they were. But their arrogance and ignorance was evident in their stance.

My attempt to travel from Ramallah to Bethlehem on Friday (for a concert and children’s choir performance) was unsuccessful. At an intersection on the way to the Beit El checkpoint, a few young men – how young they were – pulled some tires out of a car with the intention of torching them. I understood what was happening and turned back toward Qalandiyah. The traffic was slow.
A Palestinian demonstrator kicking a burning tyre during clashes with Israeli forces near an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank city of Ramallah, December 16, 2017.Abbas Momani/AFP
At one spot worshippers were emerging from a mosque, and at another people walked in the middle of the road carrying baskets from the market. Elsewhere, there were double-parked cars or men coming out of a festivities hall carrying disposable coffee cups and pieces of cake. An ambulance, sirens blaring, was coming from the direction of the checkpoint, signaling what lay ahead. A few dozen meters up the road, a cloud of tear gas was clearly visible. Any desire I had to explore the situation at any of the other exits from the five-star prison that is Ramallah had passed. It was later announced that one person died at the Beit El checkpoint and another was seriously wounded in Qalandiyah.

On a morning excursion with friends on Friday, he said: “On the one hand, I know I should be there with those courageous young people at the checkpoint. On the other, I know that only through hundreds of thousands going there, hands in pockets, will anything change.”
She added, “Once, we used to hear about one person being wounded in Gaza and the whole of the West Bank was inflamed. Now, we hear of someone dying in Ramallah or a young person losing an eye because of a tear-gas canister and all we do is shake our heads in sympathy and get on with our lives.”

A person living on a street next to the Beit El checkpoint opened his door to those fleeing the clouds of tear gas. The alcohol-soaked handkerchief passed around by a paramedic helped, but it was only inside the house that the tears and burning sensation subsided.
“Our leadership is cut off,” the host declared. “It doesn’t care about the people, only about the money and the jobs. I can’t tell the young people not to go to the checkpoints, but I know their courage is in vain.”

Opinion The Israeli Military First Took His Legs, Then His Life

On Friday, a sharpshooter shot and killed Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, a Gazan double amputee, as he protested from his wheelchair near the Israeli border
Gideon Levy Dec 17, 2017 4:36 PM
Wheelchair-bound Palestinian demonstrator Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, who according to medics was killed later on Friday during clashes with Israeli troops near the Gaza border, December 15, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
The Israeli army sharpshooter couldn’t target the lower part of his victim’s body — Ibrahim Abu Thuraya didn’t have one. The 29-year-old, who worked washing cars and who lived in Gaza City’s Shati refugee camp, lost both legs from the hips down in an Israeli airstrike during Operation Cast Lead in 2008. He used a wheelchair to get around. On Friday the army finished the job: A sharpshooter aimed at his head and shot him dead.

The images are horrific: Abu Thuraya in his wheelchair, pushed by friends, calling for protests against the U.S. declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital; Abu Thuraya on the ground, crawling toward the fence behind which the Gaza Strip is imprisoned; Abu Thuraya waving a Palestinian flag; Abu Thuraya holding up both arms in the victory sign; Abu Thuraya carried by his friends, bleeding to death; Abu Thuraya’s corpse laid out on a stretcher: The End.

The army sharpshooter couldn’t aim at the lower part of his victim’s body on Friday so he shot him in the head and killed him.

It can be assumed that the soldier realized that he was shooting at a person in a wheelchair, unless he was shooting indiscriminately into the crowd of protesters.

Abu Thuraya posed no danger to anyone: How much of a danger could a double amputee in a wheelchair, imprisoned behind a fence, constitute? How much evil and insensitivity does it take in order to shoot a handicapped person in a wheelchair? Abu Thuraya was not the first, nor will he be the last, Palestinian with disabilities to be killed by soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces — the most moral soldiers in the world, or not.

The killing of the young disabled man passed almost without mention in Israel. He was one of three demonstrators killed Friday, just another humdrum day. One can easily imagine what would happen if Palestinians had killed an Israeli who used a wheelchair. What a furor would have erupted, with endless ink spilled on their cruelty and barbarism. How many arrests would have resulted, how much blood would have flowed in retaliation. But when soldiers behave barbarically, Israel is silent and shows no interest. No shock, no shame, no pity. An apology or expression of regret or remorse is the stuff of fantasy. The idea of holding those responsible for this criminal killing accountable is also delusional. Abu Thuraya was a dead man once he dared take part in his people’s protest and his killing is of no interest to anyone, since he was a Palestinian.

The Gaza Strip has been closed to Israeli journalists for 11 years, so one can only imagine the life of the car-washer from Shati before his death — how he recovered from his injuries in the absence of decent rehabilitation services in the besieged Strip, with no chance of obtaining prosthetic legs; how he rumbled along in an old wheelchair, not an electric one, in the sandy alleys of his camp; how he continued washing cars despite his disability, since there are no other choices in Shati, including for people with disabilities; and how he continued struggling with his friends, despite his disability.

No Israeli could imagine life in that cage, the biggest in the world, the one called the Gaza Strip. It is part of a never-ending mass experiment on human beings.

One should see the desperate young people who approached the fence in Friday’s demonstration, armed with stones that couldn’t reach anywhere, throwing them through the cracks in the bars behind which they are trapped.

These young people have no hope in their lives, even when they have two legs to walk on. Abu Thuraya had even less hope.

There is something pathetic yet dignified in the photo of him raising the Palestinian flag, given his dual confinement — in his wheelchair and in his besieged country.


The story of Abu Thuraya is an accurate reflection of the circumstances of his people. Shortly after he was photographed, his tormented life came to an end. When people cry out every week: “Netanyahu to Maasiyahu [prison]” someone should finally also start talking about The Hague.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Palestinian Children are Caged like Animals with the support of Labour's Despicable MPs Louise Ellman and Joan Ryan

 Is it anti-Semitic to describe Ellman & Ryan as Israeli MPs? Zionism & Dual Loyalty

Palestinian children are caged like animals - Gary Lineker didn't understand the 'context' according to Israeli apologists like Louise Ellman and Joan Ryan
In a debate in Parliament over the treatment of Palestinian children in January 2016, the Zionist MP for Liverpool Riverside, Louise Ellman, intervened three times in order to defend Israel's military.

The pretext was that the children were throwing stones at the army.  Even were this true it would be no excuse.  Clearly Ellman hasn't heard of the story of David and Goliath.  Palestinian children live under a permanent military occupation.  They have the right to physically resist their occupiers.

According to the Jewish Chronicle’s Marcus Dysch, it was my ‘repeated attacks’ on Louise Ellman MP that “were the tipping point which prompted the party to suspend him.”  My offences included describing Ellman as ‘the MP for “Tel Aviv South” and a “racist supporter of the child abuse of Palestinian children”.   My response was published this week.
Letter to Jewish Chronicle 15.9.17.
 According to Dysch Tony Greenstein ‘now awaits his fate at the hands of Labour’s disciplinary team’.  Living up to the JC's reputation as an impartial reporter of the news, I am described as ‘a noxious Jewish anti-Zionist ‘.

Dysch states that I have racially abused’ Ellman.  What, you might ask, have I called her?  A poisonous witch?  An anti-Semitic term of abuse such as yid or kike or Jew boy (I assume the latter is used about women) for which I should rightly be condemned?  Not at all.  I called Ellman the MP for South Tel Aviv.  Perhaps I got the wrong constituency someone wrote to me?  It should have been North Tel Aviv.  If so I apologise.
Pity poor Louise Ellman under attack for her support for the Israeli military
The Delightful Louise Ellman
What, you might wonder is anti-Semitic about that?  Perhaps I am implying that Ellman has a dual loyalty to Britain and Israel?  Well the evidence suggests that Ms Ellman does indeed feel a deep loyalty to the ‘Jewish’ State.  Is stating that fact anti-Semitic?

Yes the concept of ‘dual loyalty’ is anti-Semitic.  Those who propagate the idea that Jews owe a ‘dual loyalty’ to the states they live in and the Israeli state are indeed propagating an anti-Semitic idea.  But I'm not making a generalisation but a specific criticism and who, in any case, is responsible for this accusation if not the Zionist movement and the Israeli state themselves?

At the moment there is wending its way through Israel’s Knesset a Jewish Nation State Bill. In an article What does the Jewish 'nation-state' bill mean for Israel?  the Jerusalem Post of 5.11.17. explained that ‘The basic idea behind the proposed Basic Law is to declare that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people.’ 
bravery unsurpassed
Indeed Israel already describes itself as a Jewish State and this means that it is the State of Jews everywhere, not just those living in Israel. That is why Israel does not have an Israeli nationality.
In the 1972 case of George Tamarin v The State of Israel in which Tamarin wanted his nationality to be changed from “Jewish” to “Israeli.” Chief Justice Agranat ruled that:

‘the desire to create an Israeli nation separate from the Jewish nation is not a legitimate aspiration. A division of the population into Israeli and Jewish nations would … negate the foundation on which the State of Israel was established.’ The court ruled that ‘There is no Israeli nation separate from the Jewish People. The Jewish People is composed not only of those residing in Israel but also of Diaspora Jewry.’
When taken to court children have their legs shackled
Israel declares itself to be the State of all Jews, not just those living in Israel.  In other words it is the Zionist movement and Israel which asserts that Jews have a dual loyalty.  In October 2013 the Israeli American Council, with the support of the Israeli Embassy distributed a Questionnaire to American Jews asking what they would do in the event of a clash of interests between Israel and the USA.  When a furore developed Netanyahu ordered the plug to be pulled.  Israel Asks U.S. Jews, Israelis: Where Do Your Loyalties Lie?
Another dangerous terrorist
The mere fact that Zionist organisations, including Ministries of the Israeli state distributed and sanctioned such a questionnaire demonstrates their way of thinking.  In fact what Zionist organisations really believe is that in the event of a conflict between the state they live in and Israel, Jews owe their first loyalty to Israel.

It is therefore quite reasonable to call Louise Ellman, who is a sincere and devoted Zionist, the MP for Tel Aviv.  In just the same way as people called John Carlisle & Julian Amery MPs for South Africa.  There is nothing racist about this, it is just an indication of where her political loyalty lies.
If anything I should be criticised for having gone easy on this despicable specimen of New Labour and the Jewish Labour Movement/Labour Friends of Israel, of which she is a Vice-President. 

Below we see Israeli and Zionist commentators attacking Gary Lineker.  Lineker, who has already attracted the wrath of the Scum and the Tory press over his support for asylum seekers has now incurred the wrath of Zionist bigots too!

Gary Lineker criticised for sharing video of Israeli soldiers abusing Palestinian children

The video that Gary Lineker found sickening


Commentator and ex-England footballer Gary Lineker has been roundly criticised by Israel supporters after sharing a harrowing video which shows Palestinian children being shouted at, dragged around and detained by Israeli soldiers.
Eighteen youths, most under the age of 18, were arrested in total for throwing stones at soldiers in the 13 October incident, the footage of which was recently released by Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. 
They were blindfolded during interrogations and not allowed access to their families or lawyers until their release that night.
A banner on a Tel Aviv demonstration in support of Elor Azaria - a soldier who killed a wounded Palestinian in cold blood
Mr Lineker, who is vocal in his support for the Palestinian cause,  retweeted a clip of the incident posted by prominent pro-Palestinian activist Ben White with the word “sickening”.
While it was retweeted thousands of times by people sympathetic towards the detained children, many others were critical of Mr Lineker -  including the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) former spokesperson Peter Lerner replied to tell the footballer he had “completely missed the point”.




When kids throw stones they are a public menace. They need to be stopped. Yes, the video is unpleasant but it conveniently shares only a glimpse of what happened, the aftermath of their actions. You should be wiser than this,” he posted.

The argument continued after Mr Lineker replied, “They should be stuffed into a small cage? You should be wiser.”

In the back and forth Mr Lerner said the video “lacked context”. The former Leicester City player replied that the context was clear. 

Soldiers drag 8-year-old from house to house in Hebron for over an hour
“Sometimes detention is required,” the ex IDF official responded.
Lineker was also embroiled in a Twitter row in 2015 after posting a video which showed Israeli soldiers shooting at a Palestinian who had been throwing stones.
B’Tselem themselves replied to Mr Lineker: “Unfortunately, this is routine all through the West Bank. Palestinian minors' rights are violated systematically by Israeli authorities.”

The IDF and Cogat, the Israeli military administration in the West Bank, did not immediately respond to The Independent’s requests for comment.

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Brighton Argus Fake News Story About Palestinian Threat to Jewish Festival

Zionist Dirty Tricks Brigade Hard at Work Creating ‘Anti-Semitism’ Where it Doesn’t Exist

I was phoned at about 1.00 yesterday by Joel Adams, a reporter with the Brighton Argus, just as I was about to go out to lunch.  Had I heard, he asked, about a Palestinian demonstration later than afternoon at Hove town hall.  No I hadn’t but of course it was possible I simply hadn’t heard of it.  I promised to get someone to ring him back but as far as I was aware there was no such demonstration.

Fake News Article from Argus
I immediately contacted the Chair of Brighton PSC to confirm that there was nothing planned that afternoon.  At the same time Greg Hadfield, the suspended and elected Secretary of the disbanded Brighton and Hove District Labour Party also confirmed to Joel Adams that there was no demonstration.

Although Joel did not tell me what it was that was happening at Hove Town Hall that afternoon I soon learnt that it was the lighting of the candelabrum (menorah) ceremony on the Jewish festival of Chanukah. 

Now why should a Palestinian organisation wish to protest at such a ceremony?  What has a Jewish religious ceremony got to do with Israel’s murder and dispossession of the Palestinians and the demolition of their homes and villages?  Absolutely nothing of course.   The Palestinians quarrel is not with Judaism but with Zionist settler colonialism.  
Joel Adams - the Argus reporter who fell for a hoax
I realise  that Joel isn’t the most clued up of reporters but anyone with a minimal political awareness could have worked out that this story was fishy.

Having attended a Planning Committee meeting of Brighton PSC the previous night I was pretty certain nothing was happening on Thursday afternoon.  I didn’t know that there was a menorah lighting ceremony and nor did Joel Adams tell me.  If he had been honest and told me what it was that was planned then I would have definitively confirmed nothing was planned rather than being simply puzzled and scratching their head.
Hove Town Hall
What was the Argus’ reaction?  Not to ignore the whole matter but to run an ‘Exclusive’ ‘Jewish candle-lighting held behind closed doors over security concerns’.  What was the exclusive?  That bogus security concerns and a hoax had led to a Jewish festival ceremony being held away from the public and out of sight?

The real story was that some malicious person, probably Simon Cobbs from Sussex Friends of Israel or perhaps Ivor Caplin, the Jewish Labour Movement’s Southern organiser, former MP and war criminal (he was a junior Defence Minister at the time of the Iraq War) had decided that the best way to heighten Jewish fears of Palestinians was to invent ‘anti-Semitism’ and plant a false story that a demonstration was planned at the menorah lighting event.

Because the Zionists have no concrete evidence to back up their ritual assertions that anti-Zionist = anti-Semitism, they are now resorting to fake stories about Palestine threats to demonstrate at Jewish religious events.  This kind of behaviour has a long pedigree.  In Iraq in the early 1950’s, Zionist agents in Haganah, despairing of the Iraqi Jewish community emigrating to Israel planted bombs in Jewish cafes and a synagogue thus simulating the anti-Semitism that was lacking.

The real villain of the story is the Brighton Argus.  There was a time when it was a good local paper.  It used to have such things as investigative reporters, court reporters and the like.  Today it relies primarily on press releases for its stories.

I am though surprised that even The Argus relied on a totally made-up story as a headline ‘Exclusive’ when the only story was who was behind this malicious hoax. The other question is who in the Council fed the Argus with this non-story.

Suffice to say when I put these questions to Joel Adams he first said I should ring him up at home and when I persisted, he dissembled, stuttered and then in frustration told me to ‘fuck off’ and put the phone down.  Clearly Joel isn’t in the running for Reporter of the Year!

I have sent a letter to the Argus but I don’t hold out any great hope that its editor Arron Hendy will print it as newspapers rarely admit to their mistakes in public.

The moral of the story is how desperate the Zionists are that they have to invent false rumours of anti-Semitic demonstrations and simulate ‘anti-Semitism’ in order to be able to defend the world’s only Apartheid state.

Later in the day the Argus updated its story.

Tony Greenstein

Brighton Palestine Solidarity Campaign Statement

False rumours of ‘pro-Palestine protest’ trigger security alert at Hove Town Hall

The Argus ran a story this afternoon about a security crisis at Hove Town Hall. The Argus reported that the City Council and local police were concerned about the threat posed by ‘a planned pro-Palestine protest’ to the lighting of the Chanukah Menorah – so concerned in fact that the ceremony had to be held ‘behind closed doors’ rather than at its usual outdoor site. 

The Argus also reported that ‘two sources close to the city’s pro-Palestinian movement told The Argus no demonstration was ever planned’. In later online updates the Argus reported that ‘there was no demonstration’.

Brighton & Hove Palestine Solidarity Campaign wishes to state clearly that no such protest was ever planned by local campaigners for Palestinian rights. Religious ceremonies would never be targeted by pro-Palestine groups. BHPSC is naturally sorry to learn that concerns over security disrupted the Menorah-lighting ceremony. 

Questions must be asked about the source of this unfounded rumour, as they appear to be using religious sensitivities to discredit legitimate political protest. The Argus judged that the security alert was newsworthy: what was newsworthy was that rumours about a non-existent protest were spread in order to create a security crisis. The important questions for the press to ask are: who spread them? and why?

Letter sent to Argus

Friday, 15 December 2017

Open Letter to Joan Ryan Chair of Labour Friends of Israel - MP for Enfield North & Jerusalem Central

Your Attack on Kate Osamor for supporting BDS against Israel is no different from Thatcher’s 
Opposition to Sanctions on South Africa


Kate Osamor comes out in support of BDS

Dear Ms Ryan,

You recently wrote an Open Letter to Kate Osamor MP.  You objected to Kate retweeting a tweet from BDS South Africa.  You claimed that BDS is ‘morally wrong’ because it seeks to ‘demonise and delegitimize the world’s only Jewish state.’  There is a lot to unpack there.

Firstly the idea that religious states are a good thing disappeared with the French Revolution and Emancipation.  A state should embrace all its citizens not just those of one religion.  Although Britain for example is still nominally a Protestant state this does not privilege the rights of citizens of a particular religion over another. In Israel being Jewish entitles you to far greater privileges than non-Jews. A Jewish state cannot help but be a racist state, since it was established via settler colonialism.
The tweet that Joan Ryan took exception to
The tactic of Boycott – from Captain Boycott in Ireland, the Boycott of Slave grown sugar in the West Indies, the Jewish Boycott of Nazi Germany (which the Zionists opposed) and the Boycott of Apartheid South Africa - has always been a weapon in the hands of the oppressed. 

Israel has not only maintained a military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza for 50 years (and today incidentally enforces a Boycott of Gaza) but it has treated the Arabs of Israel as a fifth column, guests in someone else’s country. Only this week Israel’s Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman called for a boycott of the Wadi Ara area of Israel's Arab citizens:
“don't go in there—don't enter their restaurants or their businesses, don't get your cars fixed there. The residents of Wadi Ara must understand that they're unwanted and that they're not part of us.”
I don’t recall you writing an open letter to Benjamin Netanyahu demanding Lieberman’s dismissal or the Israeli Labour Party protesting, as would have happened in any democratic country.
Joan Ryan claimed the most expenses of any MP in 2006-7 having been runner up in 2005-6.  During the expenses scandal she was forced to disgorge over £5,000


As you will be aware it is those in the ANC who fought Apartheid who have been the greatest supporters of BDS. On November 28th Mandla Mandela, the grandson of Nelson Mandela, after visiting the West Bank was reported as saying that “Israel is the worst apartheid regime... Palestinians are being subjected to the worst version of apartheid.” Archbishop Desmond Tutu, one of the heroes of the anti-apartheid struggle and a Nobel Peace Prize winner was quoted in the Jerusalem Post as saying:
"I have witnessed the systemic humiliation of Palestinian men, women and children by members of the Israeli security forces, their humiliation is familiar to all black South Africans who were corralled and harassed and insulted and assaulted by the security forces of the apartheid government."



Only this week a video captured Israeli soldiers attempting to kidnap three 5 year old Palestinian children.  This wasn't an isolated incident.  We had the Btselem video of a child of 8 being dragged from his home in Hebron earlier this year. In response to this and other criticisms, Btselem has been demonised in Israel and its funding threatened.

Instead of LFI criticising these examples of child abuse, which are in themselves war crimes, we had the disgusting spectacle of Louise Ellman, an LFI Vice-Chair intervening in the House of Commons debate on 16th January 2016 in support of the Israeli military's actions.
You refer to the support of your ‘sister party, the Israeli Labour Party’ [ILP]for a 2 State Solution [2SS].  This is disingenuous.  Only this week Avi Gabbay, the new leader of the ILP came out in support of Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This is the final death blow to the 2SS.  Gabbay also made it clear that under an Israeli Labour government all the main settlement blocks will remain in place.  You cannot have a Palestinian state alongside the settlements.

The ILP’s support for a Palestinian state is the political equivalent of the 3 card trick.  At least, when Tsipi Hotoveli, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister says that “This land is ours. All of it is ours’ she is being honest. Labour Zionism has always been dishonest - talking peace whilst waging war.

The ILP is a far-Right party. There is nothing left-wing about it. It supports the forcible deportation of African refugees from Eritrea solely because they are not Jewish. They are termed ‘infiltrators’ the same racist term that is applied to Palestinian refugees.  The 2015 Freedom House report classified Eritrea as one of the 12 “Worst of the Worst” countries in the world.

What members of the Labour Party find disturbing is that LFI acts as the arm of the Israeli state within the Labour Party.  No other state in the world has such influence inside our party. 
You say you support a 2SS yet not once have you ever condemned Israel’s military occupation, its theft of Palestinian water and land resources, its administrative detention, checkpoints, abuse and torture of Palestinian children.  As the Al Jazeera programme The Lobby showed earlier this year, the LFI is a well-funded group with a £1m slush fund.
If you were in the slightest bit sincere in your call for a 2SS, you would call for an end to the Occupation. Instead you put the blame on the quisling Palestinian Authority, which acts as Israel’s security arm, for ‘anti-Semitic incitement’ ignoring the racist statements of Israeli Ministers like Deputy Defence Minister Eli Dahan about the Palestinians: “To me, they are like animals, they aren’t human.”  Dahan went on to explain that “A Jew always has a much higher soul than a gentile, even if he is a homosexual,”

Even the right-wing Jerusalem Post called for Dahan to go, but LFI and the ILP remained silent.  Like all supporters of colonialism you put the blame onto the oppressed.
Your support for a 2 State Solution is deceitful and dishonest. You are fully aware that the real purpose of the 2SS slogan is to provide a pretext for the continual denial of democratic rights to Palestinians living under military occupation. To grant equality to these 5 million Palestinians would mean an end to Israel as a Jewish supremacist state.  To annex the Territories outright would mean an open declaration that Israel is an Apartheid State.  It is far better to maintain the present status quo and with it the fiction of a 2SS.  You are therefore deliberately complicit in the present occupation.

The time has come for the Labour Party to abandon its support for the world’s only apartheid state.  It is Israel’s colonisatory project not Palestinian resistance that is at the heart of the problem today.  Support for Israel is part and parcel of support for US imperialism in the Middle East.  That is why Israel is the largest recipient of US aid in the world.
Jean Fitzpatrick was the victim of an attempt by Ryan at the 2016 Labour Party conference to paint her as antisemitic
For too long Labour’s Zionists have used the bogey of ‘anti-Semitism’ as a weapon against supporters of the Palestinians, including Jewish anti-Zionists such as myself and Jackie Walker. You yourself were captured by Al Jazeera faking an incident of anti-Semitism at Labour’s 2016 Conference. 

In the General Election you sent letters to your constituents attacking Jeremy Corbyn and saying that people had more trust in Theresa May.  Such is your loyalty to Labour’s elected leadership.

The time has come for the Labour Party in Britain to break its links with LFI and the apologists for Israeli Apartheid, yourself included.

Yours sincerely,

Tony Greenstein
Vice Chair – Labour Against the Witchhunt
Joan Ryan's Open Letter to Kate Osamor

Background to Joan Ryan - Israel's Devoted Servant


Joan Ryan is a devoted servant of the Israeli state.  She is also, by any measure, one of the most self-seeking and greedy MPs.  

In October 2007, the Evening Standard reported that Joan Ryan claimed £173,691 in expenses for the 2006/2007 tax year the highest for any MP.  In 2005/6 she had only managed second place in the competition to see who could claim the most parliamentary expenses.  Ryan was by all accounts delighted to have won the coveted ‘Snout in the Trough Award of the Year.’

In February 2010, as a result of the Parliamentary expenses scandal, Ryan had to repay £5,121 mortgage interest.  However this all pales into comparison compared to the £1 million slush fund that the Israeli Embassy agent Shai Masot arranged to be paid for her and which was captured in the Al Jazeera programme The Lobby.

Wikipedia reports that:

In 2012, The Independent reported that "[a]t least 10 attempts have been made from computers in Parliament to remove information about [Ryan's] expenses claims and a further 20 efforts to delete the information, some from her constituency of Enfield North, have also been recorded in Wikipedia's logs."[15]

During the 2015 general election, The Daily Telegraph returned to this issue. In Ryan's case, the entire expenses section was deleted, including information on repairs and decorations on her home paid for out of her MP's expenses; the edits were made while Ryan was not an MP, and she denied involvement.[16]

Ryan was also caught on camera making a false allegation of anti-Semitism against a Labour Party member, Jean Fitzpatrick, at the 2016 Labour Party Conference.  When put under pressure to explain exactly what Labour Friends of Israel were doing to achieve their supposed objective of a 2 state solution [2SS] Ryan preferred to concoct an allegation of anti-Semitism.

In August 2016 Richard Burgon MP, the Shadow Justice Minister, described Zionism as an enemy of peace.  Joan Ryan leapt into action to defend the world’s only apartheid state.  In response I penned an Open Letter.  In the past week Kate Osamor MP, who is both a member of the Shadow Cabinet and a member of Labour’s National Executive Committee has tweeted her support for the campaign for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions.  Once again Ryan has issued an Open Letter.  I have therefore decided to write once again to Ryan, not in the hope that she will enter into a dialogue – Zionists rarely like to exchange views – but because Ryan’s poisonous and racist views should not go unchallenged.

See Letter here


Asa Winstanley 13 December 2017
Electronic Intifada

Labour’s shadow development minister Kate Osamor has endorsed BDS. (ODI/Flickr)

Activists expressed support for the UK Labour Party’s shadow development minister Kate Osamor on Wednesday, after she tweeted approval of BDS, the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

The movement aims to hold Israel to account for its violations of Palestinians rights.

Osamor over the weekend tweeted “BDS movement #Freedom #Justice #Equality” – the hashtags standing for the three demands of the Palestinian-led BDS movement.

“We welcome Kate Osamor’s statement of support for the employment of BDS towards Israel until it recognizes the equal rights of Palestinians and ends its violation of their human rights and of international law,” the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s director Ben Jamal told The Electronic Intifada.

Osamor also retweeted a tweet by BDS South Africa which stated that similar tactics had helped the struggle against apartheid in their country:

Osamor’s public support for BDS highlights an apparent split in the party’s shadow cabinet. A left-winger who represents a constituency in North London, Osamor is a strong ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Her endorsement runs counter to shadow foreign minister Emily Thornberry, who last month gave a speech to Labour Friends of Israel in which she claimed – echoing common Israeli propaganda – that BDS is “bigotry.”

In a 2015 interview with The Electronic Intifada when he was running for the leadership, Corbyn expressed support for key parts of the BDS movement, including an arms embargo and a boycott of Israeli universities involved in arms research.

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for Corbyn told The Electronic Intifada that the “quotes stand.” Meanwhile, The Guardian quoted a spokesperson saying Corbyn “doesn’t support BDS,” only “targeted action aimed at illegal settlements and occupied territories” – but standing by Osamor’s right to support BDS.

Asked to clarify, the spokesperson said that Corbyn still “supports targeted boycotts of those Israeli academic institutions involved in arms research and surveillance of the Palestinian population.” The spokesperson last month also told The Electronic Intifada that Corbyn stood by the 2015 interview.
Labour Friends of Israel’s chair Joan Ryan condemned Osamor on Wednesday, calling on her to withdraw her support for BDS, claiming it “seeks to demonize” Israel' – another common Israeli government talking point.

Labour Friends of Israel is a lobby group within the UK’s main opposition party that coordinates closely with the Israeli embassy.

In an undercover Al Jazeera documentary in January, Ryan was caught on camera faking an incident of anti-Semitism against a Palestine Solidarity Campaign activist at the 2016 Labour conference.



Updated with further Corbyn spokesperson quote.