All posts by Dick Pitt

Biden

Across the world people who show sympathy and solidarity with the Palestinians will not shed a tear over Trump’s departure from office next January.

However we should not expect a campaign for justice for the Palestinians from Biden. In 1986 the then senator Biden said “It’s about time we stop ..apologizing for our support for Israel… It is the best $3 billion investment we make. Were there not an Israel, the United States of America would have to invent an Israel to protect our interest in the region.”

One hundred years ago another politician in another Imperial power wrote something similar. Winston Churchill wrote

“But if, as may well happen, there should be created in our own lifetime by the banks of the Jordan a Jewish State under the protection of the British Crown, which might comprise three or four millions of Jews, an event would have occurred in the history of the world which would, from every point of view, be beneficial, and would be especially in harmony with the truest interests of the British Empire.” ZIONISM versus BOLSHEVISM 1920

For those who hope that Biden’s views have changed since 1986, this is him in 2011

“Israel is the single greatest strength America has in the Middle East,” Biden said, “ Imagine our circumstances in the world were there no Israel, how many battleships would there be, how many troops would be stationed. 21st June 2011

An indication of the usefulness of Israel to the USA was shown an article from Today’s NewYork Post

“Al Qaeda’s second-in-command, accused of helping to mastermind the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa, was killed in Iran in August by Israeli operatives acting at the behest of the United States…Masri, one of al Qaeda’s founding leaders, was killed along with his daughter”.

With Trump’s going we see the weakening of evangelical support for Israel, sadly it is unlikely that a Biden administration will usher in justice for the Palestinians. Justice for Palestinians will come from grass roots support and activities.

Solidarity for Corbyn from Palestine.

An important message of support for Corbyn has been sent from Palestine. The full message is here. It starts:-

A message of solidarity with Jeremy Corbyn from Palestine We the undersigned, express our solidarity with Mr. Corbyn following the unfair decision by the British Labour party to suspend such a principled man. For all of us in Palestine, Mr. Corbyn’s stands represented a principled path toward social justice and freedom for all human beings regardless of sex, race, faith, ideology or political views.

Corbyn’s suspension

Corbyn’s real crimes were being pro justice for the Palestinian, which the right wing and the Zionists re branded as anti Semitism, and being for more justice and equality.

Many Palestinians and 73 Palestinian community organisations have written a statement of support. It is here.

Open Letter to the Charity Commission Board members

Dear Member of the Board

I am writing to you as a director of the Charity Commission. There is a major scandal brewing concerning the Charity Commission and I assume that you know little or nothing about it, or you would have acted.

The Board of the Charity Commission has the duty of protecting its reputation and integrity.

All UK charities in the UK are obliged to be for the public good. The Jewish National Fund Charitable Trust is racist, complicit in ethnic cleansing and is allied with those evicting the Sumarin family from their home in illegally occupied East Jerusalem. It is not for the public good. The Charity Commission has been failing in its statutory duty of oversight.

Briefly – other materials are availablei.

1. The Jewish National Fund CT is not independent of the Jewish National Fund in Israel (KKL)

The agreements between the JNFCT and the KKLii were known to the Charity Commission, but they were hidden from the public. (The Charity Commission even refused to say whether they had a copy.) The Jewish National Fund CT does not even own its own name. It uses it on lease from the KKL. See below or https://youtu.be/VgILRxYyYgU In the agreement between the JNFCT and the JNF/KKL, they agree to work together to find suitable projects for the JNFCT to fund. All the monies raised in the UK by the JNFCT for Israel pass through the accounts of the KKL.In the agreement between the JNFCT and the JNF/KKL, they agree to work together to find suitable projects for the JNFCT to fund. All the monies raised in the UK by the JNFCT for Israel pass through the accounts of the KKL.

2. The JNF in Israel (KKL) is openly racist and has stated as much in an Israeli court.

“The JNF is not and cannot be loyal to the entire Israeli public. The JNF’s loyalty is reserved for the Jewish people alone – for whom it was established and for whom it acts. […] The JNF will argue that it bears no duty to allocate its land to non-Jews. To the extent the matter concerns JNF land, it will lead not only to interference with and disruption of the order of the JNF’s activities and tasks, but will negate entirely its unique function as the owner of the eternal property of the Jewish People.”iii The Racism of the JNF/KKL should preclude any links with a British Charity.

3. The JNF UK created the British Park on the ruins of the village of Ajjur (and others). When the owners of the land raised the issue with the Charity Commission, their solicitor said “It may be that Ms Al Ajarma and her family have legal rights that have been breached by the actions of the Jewish National Fund” but they had no right to question the status of the JNFCT.

4. The JNFCT openly stated in 2014 that it spent £114,000 on the Gaza war effort. When the Charity Commission was asked about this it has refused to comment. It also refused to say how many other charities have supported foreign wars.

5. The Jewish National Fund (KKL) is working through its wholy owned subsidiary, Himanuta, with ELAD to evict the Sumarin family from their home in East Jerusalem. ELAD is the settler movement funded by Roman Abramovich to the tune of $100million which featured in the BBC film.iv

This issue will not go away. The issue is drifting into the court of public opinion and into parliament.v

I ask you to draw this issue to the other members of the board, and remove the JNFCT from the list of charities.

Yours Stop the JNF Campaign

ihttp://www.sheffieldpsc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/KKL-JNF-Report-March-2020-converted-1-1-1.pdf

iihttp://www.sheffieldpsc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/JNF-Agreement-between-JNF-and-KKL-Heads-of-Term.pdf

iiihttps://www.adalah.org/uploads/oldfiles/newsletter/eng/jul09/Position_Paper_on_Land_Reform_Bill_july_2009.pdf

ivhttps://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-middle-east-54237970

vhttps://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/57037/eviction-of-palestinian-family-from-east-jerusalem

Trial starts in Stafford

All five activists who occupied and closed down an Elbit Systems factory for at least two weeks pleaded on Monday 19th October not guilty today at Stafford Crown court. The judge refused to lift bail conditions, in spite of the activists arguing in court that the conditions interfered with their right to protest. The Judge’s ruling on bail serves to protect the war criminal Elbit “business” & enable its illegal activities to continue. Their Crown court trial has been set for 17th May 2021.
Outside court the activists spoke out again – ‘We cannot rely on the UK establishment, who have shown not only today but for over one-hundred years, that they favour colonisation, military occupation and war-profiteering. They will continue to allow war criminals to operate here in the UK in direct opposition to international law and human rights.
It is for people across this country to use their privilege, to take a stand, to put themselves on the line. Now is the time to take power into our own hands and to #ShutElbitDown for good!’
Please help by contributing to the the arrested protesters’ legal expense

Several members of Sheffield PSC attended the rally outside the Stafford Court, taking with them a banner highlighting the complicity between the RAF UK, who pay Elbit systems to train UK pilots, and the war crimes committed by the Israeli state, using Elbit’s weaponry.

At the same time, Sheffield PSC also held a solidarity rally outside Sheffield Crown Court. See: Sheffield Solidarity with the Shenstone Elbit 5
or https://vimeo.com/469801365 
Return to main menu

Protesters shut down Israeli arms factory

Lichfield Live reported on 14th September:

Activists who have launched a rooftop protest in Shenstone say they have done so “for the sake of human rights, justice and freedom”.

The members of Palestine Action scaled the UAV Engines site in the early hours of this morning (14th September), while others chained themselves to the gates of the factory.

They also poured red paint down the building in a move they said was to “symbolise Palestinian blood shed” as a result of parts made at the site being used in drones manufactured by Elbit Systems for use by Israel.

A spokesperson for Palestine Action said:

“The UK government has been complicit in the colonisation of Palestine for over 100 years.

“Now they continue to profit from, sustain and facilitate Israel’s apartheid regime.

“While our Government continues to turn a blind eye to Elbit Systems continuing to arm Israel’s war crimes against the Palestinian people, we too will continue to disrupt and take direct action for the sake of human rights, justice and freedom.

“We call on all those who stand against racism and for humanity to take action, join us and shut Elbit down for good.”

Palestine Action spokesperson

The protesters – who say they are part of a grassroots network of activists – say they have held 15 actions to target the work of organisations involved in the manufacturing of drones in the last month.

“These drones include the military drones Hermes 900 and Hermes 450 which were employed extensively during the 51 day attack on Gaza in 2014, which killed over 2,200 Palestinians including 500 children.

“UAV Engines produce the engines for Elbit drones.”

Self Demolition

Suppose you were told, say by the council, that your house was going to be demolished for no reason except that it contravened a new planning act. How would you respond?
Now suppose that the council told you that you must demolish your own house. What would it take for you to do it?

Well the villagers in Al Araqib, in the Negev desert, were told precisely that. They refused and the state demolished their village.

They have lived there under Ottoman and British and Israeli laws. They have documentation showing land ownership. Their graveyard is over a hundred years old, yet the Israeli courts have ruled that they are squatters and their dwellings are illegal.

It is surely a crime that their village was destroyed to make way for a Jewish National Fund forest and a new all Jewish settlement.

Even worse an Israeli court ruled that because they did not destroy their own homes they must pay a fine.

“The residents of Al-Araqib, which has been demolished over 100 times since 2010, must pay 262,000 shekels (over $72,000) for the demolition costs and an additional 100,000 shekels for the expenses of the state’s lawyer.”

A report from the Negev Coexistence Forum came out dated July 2010. It contains the following :

‘Self-demolitions’ are carried out by the owners of the structures themselves, after a demolition order has been issued. The Southern Administration defines ‘self-demolitions’ as a direct result of “dialogue and investigations conducted by the Yoav [special police force].” This definition is puzzling, since investigations and file initiations are not related in any way to dialogue. On the contrary, the presence of police forces and the fear of criminal sanctions that can be imposed on the owners of the structures creates great trauma for the Bedouin residents. The desire to avoid this trauma, the possibility of saving personal equipment and construction materials in a controlled demolition, and threats from authorities demanding reparation for demolition costs from the owners, are just some of the reasons why people decide to demolish themselves.

What sort of Government evicts you from your home and forces you to demolish it?

Sumarin -update

Statement on Court Decision on Sumarin Family Eviction from StopJNFCampaign

On Tuesday 30th June, an Israeli court ruled that the ownership of the Sumarin family home in Silwan, East Jerusalem, was legally transferred to Israeli state under the discredited Absentees’ Property Law, and that the eviction notice against the family was therefore valid. Further, the
court ruled that if the family did not leave the property by August 16th then force could be used to dispossess them.
This ruling clears the way for the eviction of the family.
Eight years ago, Seth Morrison, former Director of JNF USA wrote:
“I have learned that the action on the Sumarin home is not an isolated case. JNF has gained ownership of other Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem and, in many instances, then transferred these properties through its subsidiaries to Elad, a settler organization whose purpose is to “Judaize” East Jerusalem. In my eyes, the expulsion of the Sumarin family is a violation of human rights. But it is also part of the systematic transfer of Palestinian property to ideological settlers who wish to put facts on
the ground that hinder a lasting peace agreement.”

Seth Morrison reaffirmed his condemnation of the JNF this month.
“The eviction of a family that owned the land before Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967, is illegal under international law, a grave violation of the Sumarin family’s human rights, and part of Israel’s project to alter the demographics of East Jerusalem by driving Palestinians out, while
giving financial and political support to illegal Jewish-only settlements.”
The international community must act. From 16th August 2020, the Israeli authorities can forcefully evict the family.
We call on human rights activists to:

  1. Write to your MP and ask them to sign Early Day Motion 529.
  2. Get your trade union branch, political party branch, or community group to endorse the
    campaign.
  3. Put up messages of support for the Sumarin family on social media under the #JNFDontEvict

SumarinsMustStay

  1. We are organising a protest in Sheffield in front of the Town Hall on Saturday 15th August 12 noon, bring a mask and stay separated. (The family is appealing to the supreme court against this decision. The court may allow an appeal or not. We will keep you informed.)
  2. We also draw your attention to the request by the Sumarin Coalition to contribute to the costs of mounting an appeal to Israel’s Supreme Court ($40,000). The family also face a massive fine and may have to pay for their own eviction.