Category Archives: Dicks blog

BBC buries article

From time to time, I have gone through the tedious but necessary task of picking up the BBC’ bias over Israel’s dominance of the Palestinians.  This article is riddled with systemic bias.[i]  There is one sentence that, to me, sums up the attitude of the pro-Israeli report.  The issue is the 600,000 Israeli Jews who have settled in the West Bank.  “Palestinians say these are illegal under international law and are obstacles to peace, but Israel denies this.”

 It is not the Palestinians that say that the settlement process is illegal but the UK, UN the USA and EU and most others who have thought about it.  It is an astonishing piece of false reporting.  It is the reduction of international law to one of merely opinion.  So I, and many others, complain.

But what do you do when it produces nothing?

In June the official UN observer to the Middle East,  Michael Lynk said, “in my report, I conclude that the Israeli settlements do amount to a war crime”. “I submit to you that this finding compels the international community … to make it clear to Israel that its illegal occupation, and its defiance of international law and international opinion, can and will no longer be cost-free,”[ii] he added.

So what did the BBC say on this blunt correction of misreporting?  Nothing.  How can we complain against misreporting when there is nothing there?

How does the BBC decide what is worth reporting and what is not?  Now it may be that influence comes from the Chairman who is from the establishment[iii], and the establishment CEO[iv].  It may be that the Government sees Israel as a strategic ally and does not wish its war crimes drawn attention to.[v]  It may be the journalists are ardent Zionists or cowed by the boss’s views.  It may be that they fought to report it and lost.  I just do not know.

I decided to see if there was a paper trail.   How was Lynk’s report went unreported by the BBC?

The story

GENEVA (9 July 2021) – The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, Michael Lynk, today called on the international community to designate the creation of Israeli settlements as a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.” [vi]

My question “Was it reported on the BBC?” and “I would like copies of any e-mails relating to how it should be reported”.

This is what I got back

“Part VI of Schedule 1 to the Act provides that information held by the BBC and the other public service broadcasters is only covered by the Act if it is held for ‘purposes other than those of journalism, art or literature’. The BBC is not required to supply information held for the purposes of creating the BBC’s output or information that supports and is closely associated with these creative activities”

I don’t think it takes much creativity to bury a story.


[i] (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-44124396).

[ii] UN Rights Expert: Israeli Settlements Amount to a War Crime – AOHRUK

[iii] Richard Sharp has given more than £400,000 to the Conservative Party

[iv] Tim Davie was chair Hammersmith and Fulham Conservative party

[v] “We will also build upon our close security partnerships, including with Israel and Saudi Arabia, to better protect our interests in the region.”  From defence paper

[vi] OHCHR | Occupied Palestinian Territory: Israeli settlements should be classified as war crimes, says UN expert

BBC – mis representation- what do we do?

There have been some really impressive demonstrations in solidarity with the Palestinians, congratulations to everyone who attended.  Such demonstrations will be seen in Palestine, and let Palestinians know that they are not forgotten.   They will inspire others to take part.

But there are other forces at work. Expecting the Murdoch press to tell the truth about Israel, is like expecting Murdoch tell the truth about climate change, or to phone up the six thousand printers he sacked to apologise, and offer financial recompense.  However, we pay for the BBC.  It is supposed to be honest and impartial.  I am sure that I am not the only one who looks or listens to the reporting of Palestine on the BBC with disgust.

A long time ago I gave up complaining to the BBC.  They are largely judge and jury of their own conduct.  Even if a complaint is found valid the BBC policies remain.

However, some of us need to go through the procedures, just so that we can say they knew what they were doing when they covered up Israeli Apartheid.

This is my complaint about an interview with an Israeli spokesperson

1. The Israeli spokesman said Hamas too over Gaza Strip in 2007.
In fact Hamas won the 2006 election. He was not challenged.
2. He stated that Hamas did not want a two state solution.
In fact the Israeli policy of support for the illegal settlements have made a two state solution impossible. (He was not challenged)
3. He stated that Israel has the right to defend itself.
The interviewer refused to ask whether the Palestinians had the same right.
4. He stated that Israel had no soldiers in the Gaza strip.
In fact Israel operates targeted assassinations, a blockade in land sea and air.
5. He was not asked about the Human Rights Watch report that stated that Israel operated Apartheid practices against Palestinians. This would help explain why Palestinians in Israel, Gaza, Jerusalem and the West Bank are protesting.  

 What do we do about media?

  1.  Use all the alternative media that we can.  Websites, webinars, Facebook, twitter WhatsApp…..
  2. Sheffield PSC is offering small groups Zoom sessions on what you can do.  Write to us if you are interested.
  3. In my opinion, at some stage we should protest at BBC

We also need to make our own case for the Palestinians this is my poem.

 Sheffield PSC Zoom meeting

“Standing with Palestinians: What we can do.”

 Open Zoom meeting Wednesday June 2nd at 7.00pm.

Check our Facebook page for the Eventbrite link

Keep JNF out of Cop 26

“This behaviour, also known as greenwashing, refers to the tools a given firm [or organisation] may use to deliberately send a message that its products, services and processes are environmentally friendly when in fact they are not.” Berrone Pascale, Green Lies

The picture is of a JNF tractor used in demolishing Al Araqib.

The Jewish National Fund (JNF) has had a place at previous Cop Conferences, we aim to stop it attending Cop26.

The JNF reputation as an environmental responsible body rests on its creation of parks, its planting of trees and its creation of reservoirs.

The Parks – Cover the ethnic cleansing – prevent a Palestinian return

The Jewish National Fund was set up in 1901 to obtain land in Palestine for the exclusive use of Jews.

 Yossef Weitz was   was the powerful director of the Jewish National Fund’s Land Settlement Department between 1932 and 1948.  He made three things clear. The Zionists must ethnically cleanse the Palestinians.[i]   The Palestinians must be prevented from returning[ii] and that after the destruction of the Palestinian villages Jewish settlements or parks would be put in their place.[iii]The Jewish National Fund’s park building enabled Israel to say to Palestinian refugees and the world that the land is being used.

The British Park[viii] – was built on two destroyed Palestinian villages.  In 2020,  Khalud al Ajarma, appeared before a British court. She had documents showing that her family and others owned the land that the JNF UK had claimed as a Park.  She complained that a British Charity had stolen or received stolen land, she was told that she had no standing to complain about the charity. See the webinar here.

JNF official Michael Katorza stated “a large portion of JNF parks are on lands where Palestinian villages used to stand, and the forests are intended to camouflage this.”

Image

This is a picture taken in 2010 inside Canada Park which covers the destroyed village of Imwas and two others.

The Trees – cover the ruins – replace Olives and nuts

The Jewish Journal informs us “In a land where even trees have become politicized as part of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the pine tree has become emblematic of a renewed Jewish presence here, while the olive tree has become a symbol of the Palestinians’ ties to the land.”

The truth is that the Olive tree is better suited than the Pines that were planted.  In 2020 “In an extensive survey conducted by the KKL-JNF, it was found that about 30 percent of the Jerusalem [Aleppo] pine have died in the country’s various forests,” explains Prof. Menachem Moshelion.                                                            

Water Apartheid

When Israel won the 1967 war, it took over all of Palestine’s water infrastructure.  It destroyed Palestinian pipelines, wells, cisterns at will.  While Palestinian water infrastructure is being weakened Israel sunk wells and built reservoirs and denies Palestinian access to the river Jordan.

These are two massive JNF sponsored reservoirs that feed water to the illegal Zionist settlements.

The result of the water Apartheid is that Palestinians consume less than the WHO recommended minimum.

A powerful exposure of the JNF’s greenwashing can be seen here.

A film about the JNF and water Apartheid can be seen here and background reading and videos here.

Sign the petition opposing JNF at COP 26 here.


[i] “it must be clear that there is no room in the country for both [Arab and Jewish] peoples . . . If the [Palestinian] Arabs leave it, the country will become wide and spacious for us . . . The only solution [after the end of WW II] is a Land of Israel, at least a western land of Israel [i.e. Palestine since Transjordan is the eastern portion], without [Palestinian] Arabs. There is no room here for compromises . . . There is no way but to transfer the [Palestinian] Arabs from here to the neighboring countries, to transfer all of them, save perhaps for [the Palestinian Arabs of] Bethlehem, Nazareth, and the old Jerusalem. Not one village must be left, not one [Bedouin] tribe. The transfer must be directed at Iraq, Syria, and even Transjordan [eastern portion of Eretz Yisrael]. For this goal funds will be found . . . An only after this transfer will the country be able to absorb millions of our brothers and the Jewish problem will cease to exist. There is no other solution.” (Benny Morris, p. 27 & Expulsion Of The Palestinians, 131-132)

[ii]  Weitz “All we need is 400 tractors, each tractor can cultivate 3,000 dunam – cultivating not just for the purpose of procuring food but in order to prevent anyone from returning to their lands.”Pappe the Ethnic cleansing of Palestine  P213

[iii] Weitz “We have begun the operation of cleansing, removing the rubble and preparing the villages for cultivation and settlement.  Some of these will become parks.” Pappe P221

[iv] JNF: Financing Racism and Apartheid – Palestine Remembered

[v]  stopthejnfcampaignBRITISHPARK

Arwa Abu Haikal sadly died

Arwa lived in Sheffield for a good number of years, perhaps seven or eight and made very many friends both within the Arabic community and within the Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Like many Palestinian women Arwa was passionate about women’s education and was part of the planning group of Sheffield Palestinian Women’s Scholarship Fund for years. During this time she spoke at International Women’s Day events for Palestine in various northern towns such as Bradford, Saddleworh and Durham/Newcastle.
Her family lived in Tel Rumeida in Hebron where religious settlers make some of the most vicious attacks in the West Bank. The family’s traditional orchards containing almonds and other fruits were taken over by the settlers. At one point some soldiers took over the top  floor of her family home because of its strategic position while they were living there. She sustained an injured leg after being badly beaten by a soldier which continued to give her pain and interfered with her ability to walk for the rest of her life. She once defended the family’s centuries old olive tree by sitting under it in the blazing sun for a full day to stop a bulldozer from destroying one of their most treasured possessions.
She worked with many children’s groups which were set up in Tel Rumeida which to support the traumatised children who could be woken in the middle of the night by the military who would then ransack the family possessions, take away – sometimes fathers often brothers, for interrogation which could last for many months without any formal charges and no family contact.
With this background Arwa could sometimes be feisty and verbally fight her corner She was also very caring and supportive. Although she returned to live in Palestine a few years ago she returned regularly to Sheffield to  visit her friends. We will miss her. Tribute by Val

Israeli Water Apartheid

I read a huge number of papers, articles and watched a number of videos.

Here are some of them.

Background reading and videos to Israeli water Apartheid Water

Amnesty International The Occupation of Water | Amnesty International 2017

TROUBLED WATERS – PALESTINIANS DENIED FAIR ACCESS TO WATER

Microsoft Word – MDE 15 027 2009 Troubled Waters ENGLISH dr layout 181109.doc (amnesty.org)

Al Haq Palestinian legal support. Water For One People Only: Discriminatory Access and ‘Water-Apartheid’ in the OPT (alhaq.org)

https://jordanvalleysolidarity.org/reports/al-haq-sumoud/ Very moving film from northern Jordan Valley 2018 13 minutes

EWASH report 2011 (and Al Haq) https://www.un.org/unispal/document/auto-insert-195880/

Adala – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel

Produced a newsletter on Israel restricting water for Arabs in Naqab/Negev in 2006

AdalahMicrosoft Word – Adel.doc (adalah.org)

Still fighting for water for Palestinians last year

Israel charges Bedouin living in unrecognized Naqab villages the highest water prices in the country – Adalah

MEKOROT: AN APARTHEID ADVENTURE – YouTube

Apartheid Adventures – Very powerful portrayal of water in West Bank.

Jordan Valley Solidarity Campaign

Video: Water situation in the Jordan valley (Homsa and Fasayel) – Jordan Valley Solidarity


Shoruq Organization

Water Crisis in Palestinian Refugee Camps | Water Apartheid in the West Bank – YouTube

Stop the Wall Produced a fact sheet in 2020

Factsheet: Cutting the lifeline – Stop the annexation of Palestinian water – Stop The Wall

Israeli Apartheid in the Jordan Valley: Abu Saqr and his family arrested on charges to access water – Stop The Wall Report of arrests for “Theft of water”

Peace Now – Israeli Peace organisation. Produced a good factsheet in 2017 on the Jordan Valley process of annexation.

JordanValleyEng.pdf (peacenow.org.il)

B’tselem Israeli human rights organisation produced Water Crisis | B’Tselem 11 Nov 2017

ISM International Solidarity Movement produced a factsheet in 2016

Qarawah water apartheid – International Solidarity Movement (palsolidarity.org)

Israeli Committee Against Demolitions factsheet 2016

Water is life – World Water Day 2016 (icahd.org)

The Ecologist produced a factsheet 2014 Agricultural Apartheid: Land & Water on Vimeo

Water apartheid in Palestine – a crime against humanity? (theecologist.org)

UN has published numerous reports this one was in 2012.

This is in general the situation including water https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session19/FFM/FFMSettlements.pdf (Facts gathered from 2012)

Global Policy Forum gave a view in 2006 that Israel provoked the war in Syria in order to obtain its water. Breaching Borders: The Role of Water (globalpolicy.org) Breaching Borders: The Role of Water (globalpolicy.org)

Friends of the earth produced a fourteen page factsheet

Water-injustice-in-Palestine.pdf (foei.org)

Friends of the Earth International statement on water apartheid in Palestine – Friends of the Earth International (foei.org)

THE PLO Produced a statement about Israeli water Apartheid in 2017

On the Occasion of the International Water Day 2017: Israeli Apartheid, The Case of Water | NAD

The Electronic Intafada in 2017 carried an article on Israeli water Apartheid

Israel is world’s leading practitioner of water apartheid | The Electronic Intifada

IInternational Middle East Media Center carried an article on Israeli water apartheid in 2017ional Middle East Media Center International Middle East dia How Israel Engages In ‘Water Apartheid’ – – IMEMC News

Al Jazeera produced this film in 2018 showing destruction of Palestinian water pump.

and an article in 2014 Israeli water miracle that wasn’t

and a film in 2018  Israel control of Palestinian water supply hits farmers

OXFAM produced a pamphlet in 2012 describing the theft of Palestinian land and water

Haaretz had an article showing JNF complicity in developing settlements in Jordan Valley

🇮🇱 🇵🇸 Israel control of Palestinian water supply hits farmers | Al Jazeera English – YouTube

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.

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

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?

Israel and the police

Long Bailey sacked, Roger Walters sent an apology over the idea that Israeli police taught US police how to abuse and humiliate Blacks.

Firstly how is that idea supporting an ‘anti Semitic trope’.

Let us start with classic anti Semitism. They claim “Jews are responsible for all the evils of the world. They killed Jesus. They created and control Capitalism. They control the media. They created Communism and are key personnel in all the radical organisations.”

People who assert that anti Semitism has evolved into anti Israel attitudes claim that all that has happened is that evils of the world are caused by Israel as opposed to Jews.

The British colonies were using slaves, and slaughtering native Americans before the USA was born in 1783. The USA was born racist to the core. Israel was born in 1948. The notion that Israel taught US policemen how to be racist, how to humiliate blacks is clearly a nonsense.

It is tied to another idea that Israel (by its alleged control of money, and by its alleged control of the media) controls the USA. Israel has a population of about 8 million people. The USA has a population of about 300 million.

Let us look at a bit of history. In the start of the 19th century, the dominant power in the world was France. Napoleon was the first leader in 1000 years to propose a Jewish State. In the mid century the British Empire was the dominant power. Within the Empire evangelical Christians like Shaftsbury (his stepmother was married to Palmerston) were agitating for a Jewish state in Palestine. In WW1 Balfour and the British cabinet saw the immediate needs of winning the war, undermining the Bolsheviks, evangelical ideas and getting support from USA all combined in favour of a Jewish state.

Churchill wrote “Of course, Palestine is far too small to accommodate more than a fraction of the Jewish race, nor do the majority of national Jews wish to go there. 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.”

The USA replaced Britain. The point is that the driving and controlling force is the United States. Nine out of ten Zionists are Christians. There is a huge lobby in support of Israel – it is the Christian right. Nixon was notoriously anti Semitic, but US geo political interests and internal pressure led him to support Israel.

So once we have a proper perspective on power balance between Israel and the USA we get a better idea of the truth. The occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank has meant that Israeli military style police has developed skills in controlling a significant angry minority. For example, Israel makes 60% of the world’s drones. Its technology is reported to have been used to aid the killing of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. There is an impressive document on this issue from Jewish Voices for Peace. It is important to note that other police forces do want that expertise.

Portraying Israel as the source of all repression is not helpful.

A cool look at Israel’s racist policing strategy, should be enough to end the use of Israel to train other police forces.

See this for the PSC response

There are links between UK police and Israeli police.