Protest at Israeli drone factory in Birmingham planned for July 2015 – everyone welcome!

24/06/2015

Activists standing in solidarity with Palestinians will attempt to shut down an Israeli arms
factory in England next month, on the anniversary of Israel’s military operation ‘Protective Edge’, which caused massive  destruction and loss of life in the Gaza strip last summer.  And to counteract the violent nature of the factory, the protest will take the form of “a creative and positive space that meets the needs of justice and solidarity, and not the needs of Israeli multinational corporations that export death for profit.”

Last year, news of the Israeli attacks on Gaza led to demonstrations such as nine activists who occupied the roof of he UAV Engines Ltd factory in Shenstone, near Birminham, which is owned by the Israeli arms company Elbit Systems. They shut down the drone engine factory for two days costing the company more than £180,000.

Rooftop protest at Elbit Systems last year.  This year's planned even will be far more peaceful and suitable for all the family.

Rooftop protest at Elbit Systems last year. This year’s planned even will be far more peaceful and suitable for all the family.

This year, on 6 July (the anniversary of the start of the onslaught on Gaza), a more organized demonstration  at Shenstone is planned.  “Block the Factory” will “be transforming the space around the arms factory, converting it from a site of destruction into a fun, creative and child-friendly environment”.

Elbit Systems makes engines for drones, surveillance equipment for the militarized USA/Mexico border and the Israeli Separation Wall, which breaches international law and stretches for hundreds of miles, dividing families and confiscating large swathes of fertile Palestinian land as it goes.  Elbit Systems is just one part of the massive arms industry that makes Israel  the largest per capita arms exporter in the world. Israel is the world’s second largest exporter of military drones, selling thousands all over the world.  And who makes the engines for the drones?  UAV Engines Ltd, whose factory is in Shenstone, near Birmingham.

From Mondoweiss.net:

‘Block the factory’ aims to turn the space around the factory into a fun, creative and inspiring place, rather than one associated with death, destruction, and injustice. Whether it’s by telling stories or holding workshops, making art or flying kites (not drones), playing music or sharing food together, it will be a space for activists to build support networks, find new allies and make new friends.

This mass action is part of the wider Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions  campaign (BDS) and the Stop Arming Israel Campaign, which call on the UK to end its extensive collaboration with the Israeli weapons industry and to institute a two-way arms embargo.  Many groups are involved in the day so far, including:

Boycott Israel Network, NUS Black Students’ Campaign, West Midlands PSC, Drone Campaign Network, Coventry Friends of Palestine, Smash EDO, Manchester Palestine Action, Glasgow Palestine Action, Campaign Against Arms Trade, Stop The Arms Faircoalition, War on Want, and London Palestine Action

The organisers want to make this an inclusive and family friendly affair, believing that diversity makes us better and stronger. So, whether you have never been on a protest before or are a seasoned activist, whether you are disabled, an older person, a younger person, whether you have five children or none, you are encouraged to come and help make this the biggest, most beautiful action yet at an arms factory in the UK.

Better still, there are ways to get yourself or your group actively involved. That could be running a workshop or a creative space, playing music or organising food, or even creating an activity session for children. The organisers stress that the action is what people make it, and welcome ideas and input.

Getting to the demo

Shenstone is a small village outside Birmingham, accessible by National Rail trains. If you are coming from outside Birmingham, this generally means travelling to Birmingham New Street and changing there.

Trains run roughly every 20 minutes from Birmingham New Street, and tickets cost around £4.50. Earliest trains are at 06:01 and the last train returning to Birmingham is at 23:32.

More info at www.blockthefactory.org.

blockthefactory.org


Thank the Goddess I’m not a Palestinian – cos the Israeli “defence” forces are wiping them out!

18/11/2014

First, a truly incomprehensible attack on innocent Jewish men, women and children, using the excuse there are a lot of Israelis “in danger” from “Palestine officials”.

Let’s examine the charges by Israeri concerning the “oh-so-dangerous Militants”:
Here’s the low-down on why Netenyahu is overseeing these brutality. The Israelis have state-of-the-art firearms, whereas the Palestinian community have virtually nothing left.

Sling vs helicopter gunships, automatic rifles, grenades, the rape of Palestinian women and children... how can any sane person see the Israeli response as proportional???

Sling vs helicopter gunships, automatic rifles, grenades, the rape of Palestinian women and children… how can any sane person see the Israeli response as proportional???

An example (thanks to the Guardian: after Palestinians allegedly killed in a terrorist attack on a Jerusalem synagogue, 2 PFLP suspects (note that word: suspects) killed “in retaliation by Israeli “security” forces. Netenyahu ordered the destruction of the homes of alleged suspects (no judicial oversight, no rule of law, Netenyahu decides these men did the attack, and not only killed the “suspects” but also ordered the demolishment of these so-called “suspects” homes. Was that proportionate action? Making families homeless, even though the people living there would have had no idea of what, if anything, the “suspects” may have been up to. This is not justice: it’s a bare-faced landgrab, designed to make Palestinian families homeless and leave the way clear for more Kibbutzin and other illegal “settlers”.

US leader Obama criticized the attack on the Synagogue, which killed four innocent people, including US citizens Aryeh Kupinsky, Cary William Levine, and Moshe Twersky, and injured several more. He said:

There is and can be no justification for such attacks against innocent civilians.

“The thoughts and prayers of the American people are with the victims and families of all those who were killed and injured in this horrific attack and in other recent violence. At sensitive moment, it is all the more important for Israeli and Palestinian leaders and ordinary citizens to work cooperatively together to lower tensions, reject violence and seek a path forward towards peace.”

So you can see, Obama deplores the attacks on the Jews in Synagogue, but didn’t make any mention of the fact that the families of the alleged killers have had their homes demolished. Isn’t there something in American society about the right for private, family life? Oops, I nearly forgot: Any provisions in the US constitution only apply to US citizens. Palestinians being forcibly removed from their homes is okay as far as Uncle Sam is concerned. Plus Israel is an important ally of the USA’s. Whereas the USA, like Israel, consider Palestinians to be the enemy. Even the children are viewed as terrorists-in-waiting. It’d be funny, if you didn’t realize it was about actual living human beings. Fucking Netanyahu, fucking Obama.

This is a public service announcement... with wrecking balls!!!

This is a public service announcement… with wrecking balls!!!

Why oh why doesn’t someone put an end to the Israeli’s war on innocents and its seizure of Palestinian property? Can someone explain to me: let’s assume one of the “suspects” did something wrong. Surely the suspect should be arrested and face a fair trial. But no, the “suspects” are killed, or tortured, or similarly disappeared. And an entire family is made homeless. Is this right? I’d love to hear a rational argument from pro-Israeli figures on this subject.

The Israeli government is despicable. Collective punishment, ghettoization, arrest and murder of innocent people. That’s the kind of crap the Nazis got up to. And now the Israelis are up to it. Makes me feel disgustingly sick. I hate the authorities in Israel, and I hate the Western powers (eg USA, UK, France) who support them. Leave the Palestinians alone FFS! Even the Nazis didn’t keep up their war of terror for this long!

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Bloody Israeli terrorists

20/07/2014

As Israel’s “anti-terrorist” actions in Gaza enter their second week, I’ve decided to point out (again) that Israel is a terrorist state.

Back in the day of the British Palestine Mandate, one of the major anti-British, pro-Israeli state terrorist organizations was Irgun (aka Etzel), who wanted a Jewish Israeli state to be formed, laying territorial claim to Mandatory Palestine and the Emirate of Transjordan. One of their later leaders was Menachem Begin. a terrorist who later became a “respectable politician”.

Menachem Begin

Menachem Begin

From Wikipedia:

The Irgun has been viewed as a terrorist organization or organization which carried out terrorist acts.[3][4] In particular the Irgun was branded a terrorist organisation by Britain,[5] the 1946 Zionist Congress[6] and the Jewish Agency.[7] The Irgun believed that any means necessary to establish the Jewish State of Israel, including terrorism, was justifiable.[8]

The Irgun was a political predecessor to Israel’s right-wing Herut (or “Freedom”) party, which led to today’s Likud party.[9] Likud has led or been part of most Israeli governments since 1977.

And who is the leader of Likud? Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu

Also, Wikipedia points out that Irgun members were absorbed into the Israel Defense Forces at the start of the 1948 Arab–Israeli war. So, if Irgun was a terrorist organization, surely the IDF is also a terrorist organization. The “soldiers” who are killing Palestinians (including civilians, women and children who have never engaged in anti-Israeli actions) – surely these IDF “soldiers” are terrorists. A fact which is borne out by the IDF’s indiscriminate slaughter of those who live in Gaza.

Please please please do not think I am anti-semitic because I point out these facts. I know that some people think that any criticism of Israel is anti-semitism. but anti-semitism is (according to many sources including the US Department of State) as “hatred toward Jews—individually and as a group—that can be attributed to the Jewish religion and/or ethnicity.” I have absolutely no problem with Jews. I don’t even have a problem with “terrorists” per se (“one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” etc). I have a problem with people who lay claim to land because “God gave it to them” and who slaughter non-combatants in defence of that “claim”.

Sorry if I’m harping on tiresomely about this. But Israel’s actions in Gaza are really pissing me off; and my dog is sick and tired of me moaning at her about it all the time.

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“Knock on the roof” absolves Israel over civilian deaths? Yeah right.

15/07/2014

Stung by international criticism of their airstrikes in civilian residential areas in Gaza, Israel has adopted a “knock on the roof” system to warn civilians that their homes are going to be destroyed, launching a less destructive missile on the roofs of target buildings so anyone inside can evacuate before the real bombs come. Alternatively the Israeli Defence Force will phone with a warning. Thus Israel claim that they are doing all they can to avoid killing civilians.

I find this rather disingenuous. In the Guardian, Peter Beaumont spoke to 2 victims of this “warning” technique. Dr Nasser Tatar, director general of Gaza’s largest medical facility, the Shifa hospital, had his home and private clinic destroyed.

He says he had just returned to his family on Sunday night after working a week straight at an overwhelmed hospital short of resources. “We’ve had tens of deaths and hundreds of injured. I needed to be at the hospital,” he says. “It was just after the time for breaking the Ramadan fast at 7.50pm.

“The IDF called my nephew with a 10-minute warning saying that they planned to destroy my house. Because it took him several minutes to find me, it was less than 10 minutes. I got my family out quickly and warned my neighbours to take care. Then they hit my house with a rocket and then a second.”

And Beaumont witnessed a “knock on the roof” attack. He writes:

In a side street in Gaza’s Shati camp, an Israeli warning missile has just “knocked on the roof” of Alaa Hadeedi’s house, filling the road with a thin mist of smoke. A few ambulances have rushed to the scene and are waiting 100 metres or so from the house. Behind them, a crowd of wary neighbours gather to watch.

There is a sudden shout as someone hears the sound of the second missile – a live bomb this time – and the crowd surges backwards. Alaa Hadeedi’s house explodes in a billowing cloud of concrete and wood fragments.

A driver by trade, Alaa Hadeedi – who was not at home when the missile hit – stored gasoline inside his house. It ignites in an orange fireball

Israel claims this method of “avoiding civilian deaths” is a careful and humane practice, its drone operators and pilots holding back against the risk of collateral damage. But the fact remains that most of the casualties have been civilians. And now Israel has warned residents of northern Gaza to evacuate the area – a chilling warning.

During the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the IRA almost routinely phoned warnings to targets and the police and army before setting off their bombs. Did the warnings make the bombings okay? If I tell someone that I’m going to punch their child in the face, does the warning make the assault okay?

Israel is a terrorist state. So when will the UN sanctions and US military action going to start?

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Israeli “terrorists” bomb Palestinian “terrorists” including innocent civilians women and children “terrorists”… when will press and politicians stop calling everyone “terrorists”..?

12/07/2014

As of today, 12 July 2014, Israeli bombings and airstrikes on Gaza have killed over 120 people, and 920 people injured. Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu says that the targets are all terrorist-related, and Hamas is responsible for any civilian deaths by putting legitimate targets like rocket launch sites and command and control centres in residential areas. However, one of the tactics being used is trying to kill Hamas leaders by bombing their homes, therefore killing the Hamas officers’ families. There are also reports of purely civilian locations being attacked, including a charitable association for the disabled in Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza where 2 civilians were killed. Various politicians including US president Obama have urged Israel to call a ceasefire. But Netanyahu has declared that the dramatically-named “Operation Protective Edge” will not stop until Hamas stops launching rockets at Israeli targets.

A big problem with Netanyahu’s statement is that it is not just Hamas that is firing rockets into Israel. Hamas is the official government of the Gaza Strip, but there are other groups who are involved in attacks. So if Hamas did stop its hostilities, rockets would still be fired from Gaza and Netanyahu would carry on with his brutal aerial assault that has been going on for more than 4 days now.

Another problem is the rhetoric that the Israeli authorities use. They call Hamas “terrorists”, even though Hamas has been officially in charge of Gaza throughout the long blockade of the Gaza Strip. Hamas obviously has support from the Strip’s population, otherwise it would have been removed from power long ago. Netanyahu would do well to remember that the Likud party he leads is directly descended from the Irgun terrorist organization responsible for atrocities like the King David Hotel bombing in 1946, in which 91 people were killed, many of them civilians, of various nationalities. Also it can be argued that “Operation Protective Edge” is itself an act of terrorism, as the Israeli forces are at best indifferent to the fact that they are killing civilians; it is probably more accurate to say Israel is deliberately killing civilians in an attempt to damage Hamas credibility in Gaza. The Israeli attacks are completely out of proportion to the rocket attacks that are the supposed provocation.

Hamas are popular, and in any case there are other groups firing rockets. And informed commentators have said (for instance on the BBC Radio 4 “Today” news programme) that Hamas has large stocks of weaponry and can probably carry on its attacks for months. If Netanyahu really wants to get rid of Hamas, he is going to have to order a ground invasion of Gaza. How long will his popularity and credibility last when Israeli conscripts start returning in body bags?

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Netanyahu will catch the killers of kidnapped Palestinian youth… when hell freezes over

02/07/2014

Of course Jews don’t believe in Hell. So the Israelis will not even try to catch the murderers of the Palestinian youth kidnapped in East Jerusalem and killed, obviously by Israelis.

This is obviously revenge for the kidnapping and murders of 3 young Israeli illegal settlers in the West Bank, who had been sticking two fingers up at the Palestinian Authority, the United Nations, the Quartet – Israel does what it wants, and screw the rest of humanity yeah? Because Hitler murdered millions of Jews 70 years ago, the Israelis say they can do whatever they like. Criticise it and you’re an “anti-semite”. Cos it’s wrong to oppose Israeli violence and murder.

When the 3 Israeli settlers were kidnapped and killed, Israel arrested thousands of Palesinians, many still held with no likelihood of being charged – but they will remain in Israeli prisons for months if not years, even though there is no evidence at all these Palestinians were involved in the killings. Israel blames Hamas, even though Hamas has denied any part in it (whereas Hamas always claims responsibility for its acts. Israel has no intention of finding the killers of the Palestinian – as the Guardian says, “Police use teargas on hundreds of protesters a day after Palestinian teenager seen being bundled into car in East Jerusalem was found dead”.

Check this out: what Israel did when the 3 illegal settlers went missing:

what-israel-did

Netanyahu urged authorities to swiftly investigate the “reprehensible murder” and called on all sides “not to take the law into their own hands”. But that’s just talk. Is he going to raid theillegal settlements, arrest thousands of jews, kill jews, to solve the crime? Of course not. He thinks it’s good when Palestinians are murdered by Israelis. How many Israelis have been killed for murdering Palestinians? None? Look at electronicintifada.net: the Isrraelis kill children, have been doing so for decades, but Israelis rarely if ever pay the price.

The Israelis believe that their horrendous treatment in the 20th century justifies them using the same “final solution” tactics to kill Palestinians of all ages: little kids, youths, adults, the elderly. Israel, yet again, are committing murders. What will Netanyahu do to track down the guilty? NOTHING. ALL ISRAELIS WHO AGREE WITH SETTLEMENTS AND THE VIOLATION OF UN LAW AND THE MURDER OF PALESTINIANS AND THE DESTRUCTIONS OF THEIR ANCESTRAL HOMES ARE ENEMIES OF HUMANITIES.
One more thing: the 3 Israeli illegal settlers were captured and executed in West Bank – so why did Israel bomb Gaza? I’ll tell you why: to force Hamas to retaliate with their rockets. Irael want their people to be killed by Hamas, so one day they will feel “justified” in re-annexing Gaza Strip. If you support Israel, get a fucking brain transplant. Dickheads.

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Israeli authorities have told lies? Well whoopy-sh*t, whoever would have thought such a thing possible?

05/06/2010

So it would seem that Israeli commandos did not shoot activists on the Gaza aid flotilla ships only in self-defence. Autopsies on nine Turkish men killed on board the Mavi Marmara aid freighter show that victims had been shot from behind, and some had been shot repeatedly in the back of the head. The Guardian reports:

The results revealed that a 60-year-old man, Ibrahim Bilgen, was shot four times in the temple, chest, hip and back. A 19-year-old, named as Fulkan Dogan, who also has US citizenship, was shot five times from less that 45cm, in the face, in the back of the head, twice in the leg and once in the back. Two other men were shot four times, and five of the victims were shot either in the back of the head or in the back, said Yalcin Buyuk, vice-chairman of the council of forensic medicine.

The autopsy reports have heightened the pressure on Israel to allow a full, independent inquiry into what happened. Andrew Slaughter MP, a member of the British government’s all-party group on Britain and the Palestine said: “”Given the very disturbing evidence which contradicts the line from the Israeli media and suggests that Israelis have been very selective in the way they have addressed this, there is now an overwhelming need for an international inquiry.”

Israel is trying to downplay the significance of the autopsy results. An embassy spokesman in London claimed that the number of bullets found in the bodies did not alter the fact that the soldiers were acting in self defence. “The only situation when a soldier shot was when it was a clearly a life-threatening situation. Pulling the trigger quickly can result in a few bullets being in the same body, but does not change the fact they were in a life-threatening situation.” This explanation is nearly compelling… if you ignore the details of the autopsies. For instance a 19-year-old man, named as Fulkan Dogan, who also has US citizenship, was shot five times from less that 45cm, in the face, in the back of the head, twice in the leg and once in the back. All but one of the bodies examined had been shot multiple times. And these were all direct shots, not ricochets. Dr Haluk Ince, the chairman of the council of forensic medicine in Istanbul, said: “All [the bullets] were intact. This is important in a forensic context. When a bullet strikes another place it comes into the body deformed. If it directly comes into the body, the bullet is all intact.”

Israeli sources are trying to portray the flotilla activists as terrorists. But that is a ridiculous notion. Check out this account from one of the activists – are these the words of a terrorist?

As the controversy rages on, another freighter carrying aid is approaching Gaza. Israeli authorities have said that if the Rachel Corrie changes its course and goes to the Israeli port of Ashdod, Israel will take the aid material and deliver it to Gaza for them. But the aid workers don’t trust Israel, and they are continuing direct to Gaza. So, another confrontation is going to happen. I wonder how many innocent men and women will be murdered by Israeli soldiers this time?

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