A story in the Guardian by Jennifer Rankin on June 6th, titled ‘Israeli prison contracts take centre stage at G4S shareholder meeting‘, highlighted questions raised by some at the annual meeting of G4S – a British multinational security services company – regarding their business in Israel. G4S, Rankin notes, employs 620,000 people in 125 countries, including some in Israel, but that they recently announced they were pulling out of providing services in the West Bank beginning 2015. The company, however, will continue to run prisons inside of the green line.
Rankin quoted one wild accusation about the treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli prisons by one unnamed shareholder and provided an additional quote from shareholder John Hilary, executive director of the radical anti-Israel NGO War on Want. The story also featured the following photo from an anti-G4S protest outside the meeting.
However, the portrayal of a hooded inmate was only one part of this London street theater agitprop – a show which was organized by one of the Guardian’s favorite fringe anti-Zionist groups, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, as well as Hilary’s ‘War on Want’. Here’s an additional photo from the demonstration not published at the Guardian:
Note the reference to Mahmoud Sarsak on the sign to the far right.
Sarsak is a Palestinian ‘hunger striking’ (football playing) prisoner who has become a cause celebre among activist journalists (at the BBC, the Guardian and elsewhere) despite the fact that he has admitted being a member of the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
War on Want not only helped publicize the event, but issued a June 4th press release about G4S by senior campaigner Rafeef Ziadah, which included the following :
“G4S provides equipment and services to Israeli prisons where Palestinian political prisoners, including child prisoners, are detained and tortured illegally inside Israel.”
As CAMERA recently documented, radical NGOs and Palestinian Authority sites often use the euphemism “political prisoners” to refer to even those Palestinians convicted of violent acts, including lethal terrorist attacks on innocent Israeli civilians – an egregious distortion of a term which is widely understood as referring to those imprisoned merely for their political beliefs.
Evidently, for these G4S protesters, other pro-Palestinian activists and the media outlets which regularly champion their cause, the ‘human rights’ of Israeli victims of Palestinian violence never quite seem to inspire such displays of “liberal” sympathy.