‘War on Want’ at Russell Tribunal on Palestine: “More direct action coming.”

This is cross posted by Richard Millett

Rafeef Ziadeh, Asa Winstanley, John Hilary, Joseph Dana, Frank Barat at Amnesty.

War on Want’s John Hilary spoke of more direct action against firms complicit in Israel’s “breaches of international law”.

He was on a panel at Amnesty International on thursday night for the launch of a book about last year’s London session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine.

In response to a question from Eva Jaciewicz, a member of the Polish Palestine Solidarity Campaign and who last year daubed “Free Gaza and Palestine” at the Warsaw Ghetto, about the possibility of occupying the workplaces of companies doing business with Israel Hilary endorsed the targeting of security company G4S, especially in light of its security role in next year’s London Olympics.

Here’s a short audio of the discussion. Frank Barat speaks first followed by Rafeef Ziadeh and Hilary:

Audio: Barat, Ziadeh, Hilary at Amnesty on G4S.

Hilary also spoke about anti-Israel activists going into shoe shops and trying on Caterpillar boots and then staging anti-Israel protests. Staff were unable to ask them to leave while they were wearing the boots.

Here’s the relevant clip which includes a short discussion on whether Hamas was invited to the Russell Tribunal:

Frank Barat, who coordinated the London RTOP, had initially started off the evening telling us how clearly international law is on the side of the Palestinians and how little Israel can do about this.

He said the word “Apartheid” scared Israel and its supporters, especially when people like Desmond Tutu are saying what is happening on the West Bank is far worse than what happened in apartheid South Africa.

This, Barat thought, was a good way to attack RTOP’s detractors and he reiterated RTOP’s call for:

1. Israel to dismantle its system of Apartheid.
2. All states to consider putting pressure on Israel to do this including severing diplomatic relations.
3. The prosecutor of the ICC to accept jurisdiction over Palestine.
4. Global civil society to replicate the spirit of solidarity that contributed to the end of apartheid South Africa and to support BDS.

There were only 43 people in the audience at Amnesty; not a good sign of global solidarity.

Asa Winstanley, who edited the book briefly ran us through its content and Rafeef Ziadeh, a Canadian Palestinian “refugee” now living in the UK, called the “Nakba” an “ongoing process” and reiterated the BDS movement’s call for Israel to:

1. End the occupation of all Arab lands.
2. Create equality for Palestinians everywhere, including in Israel.
3. Allow Palestinian “refugees” to return to their homes in Israel.

She said she couldn’t believe that Israel could consider someone like her to be such a threat.

Joseph Dana, an American Jewish blogger with +972 Magazine and living in Ramallah, referred to the Palestinians in Bil’in, where he covers the weekly protests, as offering “Ghandian-like unarmed resistance” and he encouraged the use of Twitter and Facebook to combat the Jerusalem PostAssociated Pressand Thomas Friedman, who is calling for the Palestinians to adopt non-violent resistance while, according to Dana, he is ignoring just that.

Dana predicted that there will be a “new unarmed Intifada” and he holds every Israeli responsible for Israel’s “transgressions” and spoke of the non-violent protests in Bil’in as being what “drives Israelis insane”. He said:

“Artists don’t come to Israel anymore. Israeli society wants to be considered a normal western country…The boycott pinpoints that issue of normality and says ‘no, you are not a normal society. You have to be held accountable for the transgressions that you are committing on a regular basis. Even if you are not directly committing them you are part of the society that’s doing that.’”

If that’s true then Dana, who lives in Ramallah, is indirectly accountable for the massacre of five members of the Fogel family by a Palestinian, including three month old Hadas who was decapitated while she slept.

Here’s the relevant clip:

9 replies »

  1. It then follows that all Socialists, “progressives” AKA leftists, FAKE anti-war Soialists are responsible for Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, Osama Bin Laden, Arafat…

  2. 43 attendees are hardly a ringing endorsement of Amnesty’s eagerness to “help” Palestinians to ruin themselves by, instead of focusing upon how they might state-build, collude and are codependent with their hatred of Israel and belligerent self-pity. Such hatred is, quite literally, destructive of hope.

    I am circularising everyone I know not to contribute either to Amnesty or to War on Want.

    May I suggest that all readers of CiFWatch do likewise.

  3. “Artists don’t come to Israel anymore.”

    I think this comment needs more context than Joseph Dana is willing/capable/both of providing, so here is a more detailed and accurate version of this remark via parentheses:

    “Artists (who occupy the miniscule portion of the international artistic community who care about these issues AND have decided the BDS movement is most noble and worth following AND are willing to listen to people like me for more than 5 seconds before walking off in disgust) don’t come to Israel anymore (besides the crushing community majority of thousands of Israel-visiting artists from all parts of that world, including musicians, writers, and actors, who don’t count in my equation, because I apply the same logic to that process as when declaring that an anti-Israel petition that a company/government/ARTIST ignored on their way to fully engaging with Israel is a SUCCESS)”

    They’re the hateful opposition, but anti-BDS people don’t really consider BDS a threat. It’s an atrocity built on a foundation of lies and would LIKE to be threatening enough to help destroy Israel, and that’s why they’re loathed. Doesn’t make them the dangerous enemy. They’re the wrong side of a real-world debate we’re going to win, end of story.

  4. I hope they do pull some of this stuff because even in Britain eventually the worm is going to turn and some of these folks will get their heads handed to them. Then watch them scream about being victims.

    Really, these people should bottle this crap they are giving away for free and sell it as a diet aid; enough of this stuff and you lose your appetite. And I do hope that there was a doctor in the house to set the dislocated shoulders they gave themselves by by patting themselves on the back.

    Actually, I don’t hope there was a doctor in the house. Let them suffer.

  5. I’m sure many Amnesty International donors would be horrified to hear that their money is being used to fund such pointless activities.

    I hope Amnesty had the good sense to be embarrassed at the pathetic turnout for this non-event.

    • I wouldn’t bank on it, Andy.

      Like many of the hate-Israel brigade (unlike Jaciewitz who has rather given the game away by showing she hates Jews and/or cannot distinguish between Jews and Zionists) with them it’s a case of their having made up their minds and they don’t want to be confused by facts.

      Amnesty and War on Want seems made for each other

      Do people think that it’s simply lack of intelligence or laziness on the part of Amnesty, or a combination of both?

  6. Really, how stupid do you have to be to be considered intelligent? The Right Reverend Ballet-Skirt thinks that what is happening – even though it isn’t – in Israel is worse than Apartheid South Africa??!! Where is the African sense of history and proportion: the Arabs slaved in Africans centuries before a few Europens got in on the act – and the latter involvement meant in due course that the Royal Navy suppressed the Slave Trade, insofar as it was able. Arabs continue to own and traffic in slaves TO THIS DAY: but the Wrong Reverend appears not to notice…. Tutu by name and tutu by frivolity………