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Posts tagged ‘Gordon Brown’

One year on – Israeli assault on Gaza

12 months have passed since Israel’s assault on Gaza named Operation Cast Lead, Palestine is yet to recover. Israel’s economic siege remains in place and no repair work has been carried out in Gaza due to restrictions imposed by Israel.

Israel’s use of white phosphorus on civilian targets, killing of innocent people waving white flags amongst other revelations in the Goldstone report has not given them a good moral standing. Israel is accused of breaking humanitarian law and Geneva conventions. Israeli politicians face the risk of arrest under charges of war crimes. The world stands by however, and seems to allow Israel to get away with breaking international law.

On to President Obama who, in his speech in Cairo, Egypt, had so much to say, has done very little. Israel continues to build settlements, desbite Obama saying that ALL settlement building must freeze. Netanyahu simply responded by saying a partial freeze will be in place (i.e. disregarded Obama’s request). Despite this blatant disregard, nothing was said, Israeli’s settlements continue to be built. Obama full of false promises comes to no surprise really.

On to Prime minister Gordon Brown, who is so worried about embarrassment that he puts saving face before the lives of the Palestinians. He bows to every Israeli demand, not much of a man, but merely a puppet. He is currently attempting to change the laws so Israeli politicians cannot be arrested in the UK under war crime charges, simply because it’s an embarrassment to his government. He is fully aware however that these courts work on an “Innocent until proven guilty” basis, thus, if the Israeli politicians are not guilty they have nothing to fear. The reason they do fear is because they ARE guilty, Brown aware of this fact, continues to try and protect these war criminals. He is in league with the war criminals, and equally responsible for little and no progress made in Palestine since Operation Cast Lead. Shame on the Labour government, shame on him. This being said, the Conservative government are no better. David Cameron commended Israel on Operation Cast Lead. A deluded man who I fear will be in power come next elections. Time will tell how his leadership pans out, but I’m pretty certain he’s in favour of Israel.

On to Egypt’s sad excuse of a human being, president Hosni Mubarak. The Viva Palestina Convoy is composed of 250 vehicles and ordinary people who have dedicated their time and efforts into rebuilding Gaza as well as they can without the much needed political backing of the Western governments. This convoy has been forced to detour thanks to Cairo’s obstruction and Mubarak’s bull headedness. So Egypt refused to allow it to go through the Red Sea port of Nuweiba, and the convoy is now taking a detour through Syria Latakia attempting to enter Egypt through the Mediterranean port city of El-Arish. The convoy was scheduled to deliver medical, humanitarian and educational aid to Gazans on December 27, which marked the first year anniversary of Israel’s three-week massacre. I have no doubt that the convoy will eventually reach where it must, no help of course from Mubarak. This man should be ashamed. A man who shows no compassion for his fellow Arabs living in poverty as a result of the actions of Israel.

So, one year on, not much has been done. I speak on behalf of all supporters of Palestine however when I say that in 2010 we will not forget the massacre by Israel. We will not forget the continuing oppression, the illegal occupation and the apartheid wall.  We will continue to protest, continue to boycott, make our voices heard, support the Palestinians with what is in our power to do so. Donate books, clothes, money, anything which will help get Gaza back on track. We will make sure that our politicians do not hear the end of it. Israel are owed a tribunal for their war crimes, let’s make it happen in 2010.

I wish you all a happy new year, may 2010 be a year of changes.

Gordon Brown supports war criminals

Gordon Brown, telephoned Tzipi Livni, leader of the Israeli opposition, to state that he “completely opposed” the warrant issued by a London magistrates court for her arrest for alleged crimes in relation to the war in Gaza.

The beautiful thing about the British Judicial System (like most) is that you are innocent until proven guilty. You will not be convicted unless there is hard and sound evidence supporting the allegations. Nothing to fear really, unless of course you are actually guilty of the allegations, then yes, perhaps you should show some concern.

As to why David Miliband, the foreign secretary, phoned Livni and called his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman to apologise, is beyond me.

Since when to politicians get involved in legal issues and individual cases? The decision by Gordon Brown to try and change the law that allows for such arrest warrants has outraged many people.

One lawyer stated: “The Geneva Conventions Act of 1957 places a positive obligation on the UK to pursue those who are alleged to have committed grave offences under the act, in the light of the Goldstone report there is a prima facie case to answer.” So basically, it is the duty of the UK to pursue those alleged to be responsible in war crimes.

Shame on Gordon Brown, he is a weak leader who has decided to change a law that can bring mass murderers to justice simply to avoid embarrassment.

Settlement freeze – What settlement freeze?

At the end of my post regarding Netanyahu’s meeting with Prime minister Gordon Brown, I wrote:

Do you really think that he can go back to Israel and convince his right wing government that all settlements must stop? No chance.

So, further to this meeting with Gordon Brown, you must be wondering what is happening back in Israel regarding these settlements, I know I am.

We know that the US has demanded a settlement freeze, and we also know that the UK wants the same. A settlement freeze is NOT a solution, I have said this before. What needs to be done is the removal of all existing settlements. Settlements on occupied land are illegal under international law. Surely enough reason to remove those settlements?

Now, let’s go back on track to the actual outcome of the Brown-Netanyahu meeting. Israel’s defence ministry will approve the construction of 500 new settlement homes in the occupied West Bank this week, this apparently being a prelude to a settlement freeze. During this so called freeze, work will continue on these new homes and on 2,500 others where Israel says construction has already started.

It has been reported that Netanyahu talked of a “reduction” in settlements rather than a freeze. If Israel truly had any interest in peace talks, they would have halted their building of settlements. If anything, this decision, to continue building settlements, will aid their effort of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

I think we all knew that there would be no positive outcome of Brown meeting Netanyahu.

Israel‘s defence ministry will approve the construction of 500 new settlement homes in the occupied West Bank this week, in a last-minute move before agreeing a compromise settlement freeze with the United States.

The authorisation comes despite criticism from Washington and weakens the effect any suspension of Israeli settlement construction will have. During the Israeli pause, work will continue on these new homes and on 2,500 others where Israel says construction has already started.

Protest – Benjamin Netanyahu visits London

Protestors outside 10 Downing Street

Protestors outside 10 Downing Street

Right wing Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu had come to London to meet Gordon Brown on Tuesday, 25 August. Stop the War Coalliation and Palestine Solidarity Campaign had called an emergency protest at Downing Street. For 12 hours notice, it was not a bad turn out at all.

Netanyahu is part of a government that believes it has the right to build settlements on the occupied West Bank. Palestinians are being evicted from their homes. Food and medical supplies are denied. Although after this meeting Brown claimed he was confident that further settlement building will halt, we all know this is not true. Netanyahu himself has said that people who are in these settlements already need to “expand”, what does that mean? More innocent people being forced out of their homes.

We all know the only way to end this is to pull out of the settlements all together, the Israeli government provided incentive for settlers to come into Palestine, they should now offer incentives for settlers to go back into Israel and give back the Palestinians what is rightfully theirs.

Netanyahu is the architect of the suffering experienced by the Palestinian people and the Arab residents of Israel. Do not forget that for a moment. This right wing prime minister will bring no good. Do you really think that he can go back to Israel and convince his right wing government that all settlements must stop? No chance.

(P.S. Apologies for the shoddy picture, my camera was in Brighton unfortunately.)

Israel – Arms Embargo Petition

A while back, there was an e-petition carried out via the 10 Downing Street website. The petition stated the following:

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to do everything in his power to impose an arms embargo on Israel in light of the recent Israeli offensive in the Gaza strip and to apply pressure on countries supplying Israel with arms that breach international agreements with the intention of restoring lasting peace to the region.

Submitted by Yusuf Ibrahim – Deadline to sign up by: 27 January 2009 – Signatures: 38,382

More details from petition creator

This petition recognises that the government has taken positive steps to tighten weapons exportation to Israel since 2005. However, only a complete arms embargo will send a clear message to Israel that this government will not accept the prolonged armed conflict which is aggravating existing tensions in the region. Additionally this will ensure that the government adheres to the UK Export Control Act of 2002 and the EU “consolidated criteria” governing the export of military equipment. Equally such a stance would set a precedent showing that this government is committed to establishing peace in the region. This precedent will have a far reaching impact in terms of marginalising the ideologies of radical extremist groups.

As you can see there were 38,382 signatures in total, one of which being mine. Earlier today, I got an email in my inbox, stating that there has been a response made to this petition. The response was as follows:

A recent Amnesty International report confirmed that Britain is not a major arms exporter to Israel and, as Foreign Office Minister Bill Rammell said to the Foreign Affairs Committee on 4 March, the UK regularly turns down arms requests from Israel.  Each export licence request is assessed on a case-by-case basis and conduct in recent conflicts is always taken into account.

We do not believe that the current situation in the Middle East would be improved by imposing an arms embargo on Israel.  Israel has the right to defend itself and faces real security threats.  However, we will not grant export licences where there is a clear risk that arms will be used for external aggression or internal repression.

More generally, the government is fully committed to the implementation of a two-state solution.  There must be a viable Palestinian state existing, in peace, alongside a secure Israel.  We have been clear that for this to be achieved Israel must not only cease all settlement activity, but also ease restrictions on the Gaza crossings for aid, trade goods and reconstruction materials, as well as flows of people.  As well as regularly raising these issues with Israel we have also pledged nearly £50million to help the people of Gaza.  This follows our pledge of December 2007 to provide up to £243million to assist the Palestinian Authority and people over three years.

We will continue to work with our international partners, including the new US Administration, to pursue vigorously a comprehensive and just peace in the Middle East.

There’s a few things I’d like to make of this statement. Firstly, major or not, the fact is that Britain is providing arms to a nation that is commiting genocide and ethnic cleansing. A country that is killing countless innocent people, defenseless men, women and children. A country that continues building illegal settlements in Palestinian land, continues demolishing the homes of innocent people, a country that has made life for the Palestinians almost unbearable. A complete arms embargo is in order in my opinion and the opinion of at least another 38,381 people.

“Israel has the right to defend itself and faces real security threats.” – And the Palestinians do not have this right? Losing your home is not a threat? Losing your life is not a threat? Losing your children, parents and siblings is not a threat?

Now for my final point, I’m glad that it is recognised that a two-state solution is the answer. I’m glad it is also recognised that the illegal settlements must stop, however, I think it should go even further and settlements that have been built illegally be removed and the land given back to their rightful owners, the Palestinians. Recognition is one thing however, action is another.

So, in short, the petition was a failure, arms trade with Israel will continue, a pity.