Tag Archives: UK

Cameron buries Muslim Brotherhood report to please Gulf tyrants

Yet another delay, probably for good this time:

Reports in the British press suggest that Sir John has cleared the Brotherhood of any violent extremist tendencies. It is “not a terrorist organisation but should be more open about its dealings,” is how The Independent summarised the findings on Monday, when the report failed to materialise have a peek here.

Read the full story here.

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School “buddies” raise awareness about Palestine in UK

Go and have a read of this nice little story about CADFA I wrote for EI:

Palestinian schoolchildren come here, and British schoolchildren and teachers go to Palestine. For seven consecutive summers, children have been brought over from Palestine. The focus is educational, with the English kids learning first-hand. The children go to events together and have “amazing conversations.” At one Wiltshire camping trip during this soggy-wet English summer, the kids came back as “ambassadors for the Palestinians,” she said.

Perhaps the main strength of such low-key, unglamorous projects is that they involve people beyond the usual activist suspects. By “always reaching new people,” as Dowson puts it, they help raise awareness about Palestine at a local level.

 

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Is the UK’s pro-Israel lobby starting to lose?

I was pleased to be invited to be August’s guest writer for MEMO, the Middle East Monitor. I was asked to write about the Raed Salah case, so used the opportunity to revist some of the evidence. The focus of the article is what the case taught us about the waning power of the Israel lobby in the UK:

In Palestine solidarity circles the debate around the pro-Israel lobby often focuses on the chicken-or-the-egg problem: are Western governments supportive of Israel because the lobby is so influential, or does the lobby only seem influential because governments are so supportive of Israel?

A focus on this question neglects another, more crucial, aspect of the debate: how can we win? How can the tide be turned against Western governments’ support for Israel?

In April, a Palestinian political and religious leader won an important victory in the British judicial system. Sheikh Raed Salah’s successful appeal against deportation gives us a glimpse of how to answer this question.

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The Palestine lobby?

EI published my latest feature this morning, on Palestine in mainstream politics. Here’s the intro:

On Wednesday, 4 July, a public meeting took place in the British Parliament’s Grand Committee room. Speaking on the panel of members of parliament were a Conservative former career soldier, a senior minister in two previous Labor governments, and a member of Labor Friends of Israel. What could they all possibly have had in common?

They had assembled to speak at a meeting about the reality of Palestinian life under Israeli occupation in the West Bank. This followed a trip they had participated in, organized by the Council for Advancing Arab-British Understanding.

Earlier that same day, during a Westminster Hall debate, the Foreign Office minister responsible for relations with the Middle East had — for the first time — strongly hinted that a ban on importing goods made in Israeli settlements could be on the way.

The events of that day were only the latest examples of how views critical of Israeli policy have entered the mainstream of UK politics.

Read on…

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New feature: Israel’s kangaroo courts for Palestinian children exposed in FCO-backed report

I was quite surprised this week to learn about the publication of a new report that accuses Israel of being in violation of international law. Yes: yet another report, you might well say. But this one is funded by the British government and written by some serious establishment figures. So: interesting. But the question remains:

Karmi later told The Electronic Intifada that the report is “toothless in the end” because there is no way to compel Israel to comply.

“Palestinians are fed up of being studied,” she said. What they really want to know is “how will I get help to end” the abuses of the military occupation. Karmi did however conclude the report was a good thing and the delegation was a “very interesting mission” because it was backed by the foreign office, who could not be accused of anti-Israel bias in the same way that Israel has managed to taint UN missions with “the usual slanders.”

Read my full feature over on The Electronic Intifada. And you can read the full report here.

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Feature on Palestine Place, London

Palestine Place is a new, temporary squatted social centre in London, expressly focused on the occupation of Palestine. It’s points of unity are the three principles of the BDS movement: end of the 1967 occupation, equal rights for everyone, and full return of the refugees.

Here is my new feature about it: Palestine Place brings resistance to heart of London, The Electronic Intifada, London, 8 June 2012:

“At first I couldn’t really comprehend it, or understand how London squatting can be connected to Palestine,” he said. In the Palestinian context one might normally associate “squatting” with Israelis settlers, I offered. The idea of “a land without a people” is “the base of the Zionist movement,” he said. “But then [I thought] … to be able to create this kind of free space for discussion, for organizing, is fantastic … because solidarity with Palestinians in London has been trapped in certain circles … not to say anything bad about them, but this is new [and will bring in new people].”

You can read the full article here.

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Court victory for Raed Salah deals blow to UK “anti-terror” policy

Published by The Electronic Intifada and protected by copyright. Republished with permission.

Asa Winstanley | The Electronic Intifada | Ramallah | 9 April 2012

After nearly ten months fighting to clear his name in UK courts, Palestinian activist Sheikh Raed Salah won his case against deportation on Saturday.

Salah is a Palestinian citizen of Israel and the leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, a political and religious organization. Upper tribunal judge Mark Ockelton ruled that Sheikh Salah’s appeal succeeded “on all grounds.”

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