UK Labour Party student officials face backlash over free tour of Israel, settlements ~ by @AsaWinstanley


Truth does not matter for “Israel”. Buttons Do. To mute.


Asa Winstanley |The Electronic Intifada |London |16 January 2012

A member of the UK’s National Union of Students Executive Council has denounced several youth and student officers from the opposition Labour Party for taking part in an all-expenses-paid tour of Israel and its illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. The Labour students delegation met with Captain Barak Raz, an Israeli army spokesperson and other Israeli officials.

The Union of Jewish Students (UJS), a pro-Israel group, paid for the entire junket. The 4-9 January tour was led by Dan Sheldon, UJS campaigns officer. It included meetings with Tony Blair, the former UK prime minister who now works as a representative of the Middle East “Quartet” (the US, European Union, UN and Russia), and Mark Regev, chief spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Delegation member Joe Vinson told The Electronic Intifada that the group had “visited the [Israeli] settlements” in the West Bank as well as “various religious landmarks” on a “fact-finding mission to explore the conflict.” Of the settlements, Vinson said it was “not ideal that Israel is building on Palestinian territory.” All Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law, a position upheld by successive UK governments. Vinson is president of Cornwall College Students’ Union.

Vinson defended the tour, claiming it had given the Palestinian perspective as well as the Israeli. “We didn’t control the agenda,” it was set by the UJS, Vinson said. “Not for one minute do I think that the UJS tried to use it as a Zionist propaganda trip, they were very conscious to give the two sides of the argument throughout the whole trip.”

Unbiased” propagadanda

Vinson said that Captain Raz “didn’t give us much opinion, it was very much an unbiased point of view that he gave us. It was mostly information about what they do to ensure that peace is consistent in the West Bank.” He added, “it was interesting, but didn’t really give us much to go on.” During the trip, Vinson wrote on his Twitter account that he had been “Really glad to meet” Captain Raz.

Asked if he thought it was problematic to visit settlements as part of an Israeli delegation, Vinson said, “I certainly see the issues that surround that and the international law” but that it was crucial “to get opinions from all sides of the argument.”

When pressed, Vinson said OneVoice Palestine was the only Palestinian group his delegation had met. OneVoice is an Israeli-Palestinian group founded by Israeli businessman Daniel Lubetzky. It has often been criticized by Palestinians for encouraging normalization between Israelis and Palestinians in violation of the Palestinian civil society call for boycott, divestment and sanctions on Israel.

A “Palestinian perspective” given by Israelis

Vinson admitted that “we didn’t meet with as many Palestinians as we did Israelis” but said that the guide for the tour “was always trying to put the Palestinian perspective across, we were always asking him questions about things from a Palestinian perspective.” According to other members of the delegation writing on Twitter, this guide who supposedly gave “the Palestinian perspective” was Jeremy Leigh of tour group Jewish Journeys. “Born in the UK and a graduate of the Reform Zionist youth movement, RSY-Netzer, [Leigh] has been living in Israel since 1992,” says the group’s website.

The Electronic Intifada asked Vinson what he thought qualified Leigh to give a “Palestinian perspective.” He replied: “the fact that he’s lived there for 20 plus years and I guess he acknowledges both sides of the argument.”

Also on the delegation were: Emma Meehan, the secretary of Scottish Young Labour and a vice-president of Edinburgh University’s Students’ Union; Ruth Brewer, of Liverpool Labour Students; Jess Leigh, the vice-chairperson of Labour Students; Sam Woodcock, co-chairperson of Manchester Labour Students; and Nick Pringle, northern coordinating officer of Labour Students. Labour is now Britain’s main opposition party, having been in government from 1997 to 2010.

Student activists denounce tour

James Haywood of the National Union of Students (NUS) Executive Council denounced the tour. Haywood said, “for elected officers to accept all-expenses-paid trips to Israel is scandalous, all the more so that it was arranged by an openly pro-Israel organization. I’m not surprised that these officers didn’t meet Palestinian refugees, students and activists — because they would have seen the truth of the racism and oppression they suffer from daily.”

Haywood, a Palestine solidarity activist and an elected student officer, is on the same NUS Society and Citizenship committee as Vinson.

Majdi Hafi, president of the Student Council for Birzeit University in the West Bank told Edinburgh student newspaper The Journal he was “very disappointed and shocked” to learn of the trip.

As students at Birzeit University we were looking forward to working towards forming closer relations” with the Edinburgh Students’ Union, he wrote. But he said the trip’s “sole aim is to whitewash Israel’s crimes and the suffering of the Palestinians.”

He said the delegates had shown “a blatant disregard for the history of student activism for human rights at Edinburgh University,” and called upon “the other sabbatical officers, and the wider student body [to] distance themselves from this shameful trip and condemn Ms. Meehan for taking part.”

Liam O’Hare, president of Edinburgh Students for Justice in Palestine, told The Journal he was “horrified” that Meehan had chosen to join the trip, which he said was “designed to whitewash the continued ethnic cleansing of Palestinian people.” The trip “has brought the union into disrepute,” he said, promising to protest against it in all relevant forums.

Shallow understanding

Vinson said the tour was a fact-finding mission to encourage debate and improve understanding. If that was really its aim, it seems to have been pretty unsuccessful judging from what delegates have publicly discussed about their trip.

In one now-deleted Tweet, Ruth Brewer commented on the looks of Israelis: “I don’t understand why people boycott Israeli goods, the lads here are fine to dine.”

The Electronic Intifada asked Vinson how the trip facilitated discussion when they had met with only one Palestinian group, and he had mentioned not discussing the conflict with Captain Raz. He confusingly replied they they had asked Raz “why some Palestinian settlements were being pulled down in Israeli areas and vice versa.” When asked if he meant Israeli settlements, Vinson said “sorry, other way around.”

Brewer tweeted that they had spent the day in East Jerusalem and the Gush Etzion settlement, then “took a short cut through the West Bank” to Tel Aviv where she was “enjoying cocktails.” She later deleted this tweet and several others.

Other members of the delegation tweeted enthusiastically about their free trip to Israel, thanking the UJS for arranging it. The highlight for many seems to have been their meeting with Tony Blair. They came across as star struck after the official Twitter account of Blair’s office wrote to delegation members: “Thanks for coming along. Was good to meet you all here.”

The mapping information on various tweets from the meeting shows it took place in eastern Jerusalem (illegally occupied by Israel since 1967), near the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. Blair is known to have his office in this area.

On the frontline of Zionism

Dan Sheldon of the UJS did not reply to an email asking for comment.

Asked about the UJS’ objectives, Vinson said: “I don’t think it’s fair to call them a pro-Israel group, I’d say they’re a pro-two-state-solution group.” He accepted the free trip because “I didn’t know much about the conflict before,” wanted to experience what it was like first hand, and “figured I’d probably never get the chance to go to Israel again, so it seemed like a good opportunity.” Of the clause in the UJS constitution that calls for “inspiring Jewish students to make an enduring commitment” to Israel, Vinson said he hadn’t been aware of it before he went.

At a recent conference, Sheldon said that UJS had “been at the center of the debate about how we should do Israel for many decades. Many consider us to be on the ‘frontline’ in the battle for Israel — our campuses have been playing out a shadow conflict for as long as anyone can remember.”

Asa Winstanley is an investigative journalist who writes about Palestine. www.winstanleys.org.

Source and more at the The Electronic Intifada.




ISRAEL’S WEB WAR DECLARATION: HASBARA GOES WWW!


About Hasbara

Last but not Least

Supported by… AIPAC



Related videos by Anthony Lawson



AIPAC -101 The Video every American should watch



AIPAC: The Voice of America – Part 1 The Orange and the Pea



AIPAC: The Voice of America – Part 2 The Treasonous Dollar Drain



Treason by Members of the United States Congress






Funded by….



And all those supporting it paying for this…



Last but not least….



Or listen to Jewish mankind with a real conscience



Don’t think it’s about “Arabs” or “Islam”… we are all Goyim!


What is hidden even more

These lists, do not display the avoidable mortality. A clear and statistical factual evidence, about the number of deaths due to indecent ruling by occupation forces. For even an occupier has obligations under International Laws, Geneva Convention and the Hague regulations, which it is neglecting. These circumstances, together with deliberate policies of the occupier to neglect and even deny every basic human right, severes avoidable mortality which is totally silenced by media or reporting organisations. While in the Holocaust, 1 on 6 Jewish people directly died of deliberate neglect, so if we believe the facts over 1 million due to avoidable mortality, neither should these same circumstances be ignores which are ongoing in Palestine. For this report displays a avoidable morality of at least 0,5 million Palestinians.

How many more dead corpses of Palestinians does the international community need to see in order to act? How many more cruelties and violations of Human Rights, Regulations and International Law will be needed to intervene so this ongoing warcrime is being stopped once and for all?


The Rockets from Gaza Excuse

The Facts
So you only read melodramatic stories about home made unguided firecrackers flying from Gaza, zionism magnifying the flares untill the average ignorant thinks we’re talking 12 meter high nuclear head detonation (chemical nuclear or toxic) loaded warhead carrrying long range missiles.

While in fact, the “TENS OF THOUSANDS ROCKETS” which are allegedly “launched” by Gaza are non detonating, non guided and seldom hit any target at all regarding the alleged number of “rockets” we can easily state it is more a matter of high unlikely a Gaza rocket hits anything at all even more unlikely the chances it will kill.

Total Deaths from Qassams and mortars within Israel as from 2001 according to the “Israel Project”: 21 in 10 years

So let’s behold, the tens of thousands rockets which allegedly were launched: They killed 21 people if internationals counted as well, including Palestinians 29. 29 death from 10′s of thousands of rockets in 10 years, and 29 too many too.

To retaliate these deaths Israel commits the following attacks (kindly notice, all related posts are covered by media, reports and international organisations:

The Counterfacts

Gaza Under Israeli Attacks – Timeline Military Operations on Gaza
For all attacks all over Palestine check the Category → Attacks
For all attacks and violation of Law and crimes against → Children
For all attacks commited by (Illegal Colonists) → Settler Violence
For all attacks on Gaza’s Fishermen at sea → Fishing Under Fire
For all attacks on Press to prevent u see Truth → Attack on Press
For all assassinations by Israel → Assassinations
For all kidnap attacks by Israel → Kidnapping & Abductions
For all unlawfull incursion attacks by Israel → Incursions
For all massacres by Israel → Massacres & Genocide

So you did read in worldwide newspapers and media about a home made flare or “flying” from Gaza towards the occupied desert?

But you never read about the DAILY attacks by army, airforce, navy, police, intelligence, undercover agents AND settlers which happen on land from the air and from and on the sea in Gaza as well as in the West Bank? The tens of thousands rockets from Gaza killed as said 29 people inside occupied territories in 10 years.

Aside 10′s of Thousands rockets did hit 29 people they only hit The Israeli Qassam Rocket counter and Israeli (influenced media which is 96% of worlds media)

Your media did not cover it:
Israel detonated the 1st bomb ever in the diaspora & introduced terrorism: Learn a/ Menachim Begin

Neither about the fight of Real Judaism against Zionism which older than Israel itself, read the
130 Year record of jewish opposition against zionism

Even Einstein warned for it. Real Smart Jewish people know and knew
Einstein’s Letter Warning Of Zionism/Facism In Israel

For the sceptics: It was published in the New York Times
Original scans from microfilm of NYT Dec 4, 1948

And
Einstein’s letter to the Stern terror gang when it solicitated him to raise fund in the US

But #US is keeping the facts from the people, serving Israel and silencing while The power of lies, deceptions and disinformation as Americans pay the price of collective stupidity which is funneled up by their gov’t. Silencing the facts the giv’t knows too well:
The Facts US is aware of and hiding for you

But Checkpoint Washington is like Bibi explains
Netanyahu: ‘America is a thing you can move very easily’


Now we behold the real cost of human lives which has 2 sides

  • Deaths due violent attack
  • Deathd due to passive aggression (so called avoidable mortality)



This year 2011, Israel killed 239 people with direct violence
Siince the year 2000, Israel killed 1472 children
This year only, Israel killed, in Gaza only: 19 children, wounded 200 by shelling | Report



Deaths at Checkpoints
You only hear of death or possible death at a checkpoint, when a pregnant American reporter get’s forced 3 times after eachother to go through the X-Ray at a checkpoint.
Only than, media makes a little noise about possible (!) danger for the foetus. 18.000 women a year develop complications due to this policies and 35 children have died since start of monitoring of the effects of obstruction or entrance to medical aid

Avoidable Death of Pregnant women & their Unborn at Israeli Checkpoints – incl video
71 Palestinian Women Forced to Labor at Checkpoints-Israelis Deny Women Access to Hospitals, Clinics



Obstruction to medical aid or infringement of aid cost many lives in Palestine:
B’tselem Report | Death due to infringement on humanright of medical care: 2000 -2011

(This list only displays the direct reported effects of death by policies or denial to healthcare, while te real avoidable mortality rate due to deliberate deprivation of basic needs is much higher.)

For a comparision: During the Holocaust 1 in 6 Jewish people died due to deliberate deprivation of Nazi policies, causing death of 1 million Jewish people. A warcrime. Remembered every year. And this is justified to remember people which are slain in the awful Nazi war

Aside from the number of deaths in Palestine, it is widely silenced that Israel not only in Palestine cause many deaths, but also in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and beyond.

From 1967-2005 0,5 Million Palestinians died due to all other factors causing avoidable mortality or so called excess death

If you have no idea about the effects of deprivation meet Baby Firas:
Baby Firas – video

Or read about the effects of cuts of electricity for example for patients in need of dialysis:
Since 2007, 67 patients in need of dialysis or other treatment unavailable in Gaza have died

While International Law states:

Geneva Convention

Articles 55 and 56 of the Fourth Geneva Convention clearly establish that Israel, as the occupying power, not only has a duty to ensure medical supplies reach hospitals in the OPT, but to ensure and maintain the services of the hospitals too. As High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions, other states not only have a moral duty but also a legal obligation to ensure Israel abides by its commitments to the protected population of the OPT.

UN Convention of the Rights of the Child

As a States Party to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Israel is obliged under Article 24 of the treaty to recognise the right of every child under its effective jurisdiction “to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and to facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health. States Parties shall strive to ensure that no child is deprived of his or her right of access to such health care services”.

In deliberate deprivation for Israel is refusing to lend a permit for repairs, supplies or denies entry of fuel:
Murder by denying repairs or materials to arrange basic life sustaining needs

That is is deliberate targeted to Palestinians may be proven by the fact that Israel donates streetlights to African countries to prevent traffic deaths, but demolishes ‘Imneizils (by Spain funded) solar systems which also provide the hospital, schools and the whole village of basic electricity needs:
If Israel would be able to “turn off” the sun above #Palestine, It would” ~ in pictures

Israel floods dams deliberately in Gaza, or deprives Gaza of repair materials for the aquifier (which also not works without power by the way) Causing only 5% of the water is fit to drink.
A fact which is known by world authorities on WHO since 2006.
Water-borne diseases cause 26 %of Illnesses


But Israel has become exactly as those it feared and hated once themselves. Than it accused beginning of December 2011 Ireland for being the most hostile country in the EU, because it compared Israeli soldiers to Nazis. You make the comparision. Judge for yourself:
HaShoah versus Al Nakba – in pictures

Or worse, it even kills life before it is born and “shows off” zionism proudly, the trophy pictures Israel does not want you to see:
The New Abu Ghraib – Israel’s own “Trophy Pictures” – in pictures

Israel is laying an illegal siege on Gaza, and even has
Policies to near starvation which it tried to prevent from leaking out

Forcing people (like in many wars) to smuggle:
Since 2006 over 160 Palestinians have died in tunnels

We need not to discuss assassinations are deliberate caused deaths:
Assassinations

To create the “State of Israel” about 77 massacres were committed: Here’s a list:
All Israeli Massacres – in Palestine only

And the genocide still goes on every day without your media covering it:
Daily updated list of Massacred Palestinians

Silence about the
Oct- Nov 2011 massacre on Gaza

Media silences
The Aug 2011 in Gaza massacre and no government condemned it

Retaliation 4 something it NEVER DID
Israel hiding evidence

Only during Cast Lead war in Gaza, Israel kiled
Over 1500 of which over 352 children in just 22 days time from dec 2008-jan 2009
The Names of the 352 Children slained by Israel in 22 days

Israel having cruel policies when not kill, to invalidate, the Rabin Herecy since the First Intifada: The Breaking Bones policy:
Literally breaking the law (and bones) with their own hands – video

Deliberate extermination by neglect:
Slow death’ [is] the Israeli system for exterminating prisoners

More than 200 Palestinians died in Israeli prisons due to the illegal Israeli policies of medical negligence since Israel occupied the rest of Palestine in 1967.
Several Palestinians were shot and killed by the arresting soldiers and officers.

Since the beginning of the Occupation in 1967, over 750,000 Palestinians have been arrested by Israel. Almost 95% of them have been subjected to some form of torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
Since 1967, over 105 documented torture techniques have been used by Israel. At least 66 Palestinians have been tortured to death.

Israel itself adopted by enactment in March 2011 a mine clearance law, but only valid as it seems for Israeli grounds, for Golan is still paved and remaing 1 million personell mines stay in the soil of Palestinian occupied teritories
Those mines costed only for example in Golan (by Israel occupied Syria) 16 deaths
Many more deaths Israel caused by the left behind in for example Lebanon

Unexploded ordinances, also are a common (!) danger throughout Palestine, where daily invasions of Israeli forces often result in explosives, ordinances and tank shells that are (deliberately) left behind.
It is often children who are the victims of these unexploded ordinances, as they are naturally curious and drawn to the strange objects left by the army.

Not to forget, the kind of weapons Israel uses: US funded White Phosphorus, GBU-39 Bunker Busters with 75kg depleted uranium each, DIME, toxic, and other chemical warfare like CS gas (which last killed the first protester of this year 2011 Jawaher Abu Rahma on Jan 1 2011)
Special Topic: Israel’s Weapons a Crime on Humanity
More footage of Israel’s arsenal of weaponry

As you can read in the previous post these weapons not only kill instantly but also have long term risk effects for health, can cause diseases and/or death in the end. (even in Egypt and Israel itsaelf)

Only(!) during the war 2008-2009, Gaza police have put the weight of weapons dropped on the Strip by Israel during the war two years ago at over 3000 tons.

Tahseen Saad, head of the police force’s explosives engineering unit, indicated that a lot of the weapons used were illegal under international law. Occupation forces used different types of bombs with the most significant ones weighing between 150 – 500 Kg. Most controversial weapons were/are used including white phosphorous bombs which are illegal to use in populated areas.

Furtheron Israel used an assortment of missiles, such as anti-tank guided missiles, against civilians and their vehicles. Israeli army used bombs that dispersed red smoke made up of explosives and tungsten. When the bomb is dropped it sprayed a liquid which creates fog and in less than a second it disappears and the bomb explodes.

Reminder that Israel also murders people in Gaza by remote control: Israel’s video game killing technology . These drones which fly 24/7 365 days a year over Gaza/West Bank as well for several purposes like espionage,
Remote killing technology & surveillance but also precise and remote “liquidation”

The effect of the weapons is not limited to killing. Weapons containing materials that are forbidden under international accords, such as phosphorous, tungsten and uranium, spread cancer in the targeted population, destroy nature and cause terrible burns and amputations. Some of the consequences, like foetal abnormalities, are not immediately apparent.

So next time you see Israel telling, they had another rocket “attack” remember it has the most advanced Iron Dome system which indeed intercepts missiles if there are any REAL ones.

Remember also. Gaza… does have no dome at all. No iron dome, and no dome of Human Rights. It is indiscriminately bombed by F16′s, surveilled and attacked by drones, shelled by tanks, shelled & bombed by navy ships, from coast or at sea, and invasions on the land occur almost daily.
All the above is just a fraction of aggression regarding to the presumptions about the so called waves of rockets from Gaza and to put this into a more realistic perspective.

This is by no means a complete overview and this list can be made exhausting if we go name all passive and direct aggression, oppression in any way imaginable which Israel or it’s settlers impose on Palestinians.


The Right to Self-Defense of Palestine

For who does still not understand the (need or concept of) resistance of Palestine recommended read:
The Eagle of Palestine

and
The Palestinian Right of Self-Defense against this disproportional power and agression of ” Israel”
Palestinian right to fight occupation not only moral, but legal as well ~ by @myaguarnieri

The average civilian in Palestine has no more of self defense than a stone he or she can throw.
24 Years ago Palestinians massively engaged in civil disobedience and we’re heavily suppressed, which happens even today. Even last friday a unarmed civilian protester Mustafa Tamimi was murdered by the Israeli army. There is still not even evidence he even had a stone.

Overview ▶ With surgical precision Israel shot Mustafa Tamimi & deliberately delayed aid. He died. – pictures & videos

And remember

The First Intifada | انتفاضة – in pictures
24 Years later Palestinians living under occupation for 64 years now, still only have a stone, and some flares while the daily disproportional violence and aggression of the occupier, the collective punishment and the daily oppression and exiling is influencing 11 Million Lives in Palestine but most still outside, unable to return to their home.


While International Law – Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:

UDHR Art 13(1)
“Everyone has the right 2 freedom of movement & residence within the borders of each state”

UDHR Art 13(2)
” Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country”

UDHR 17:(2)
“No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.”

UDHR 20(1)
“Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.”

UDHR 20(2)
“No one may be compelled to belong to an association.”

UDHR Art 9:
“No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile”

UDHR Art 5:
“No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

UDHR Art 3:
“Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person

UDHR 15:1
“Everyone has the right to a nationality”

All of the Human Rights above, are not valid in Palestine. Just because Israel unilateral decided Palestinians have no rights at all, of no kind at all. Even when this means they pretend to be a Jewish state, violating not even international law, regulations, but also every divine law.



Something to ponder about…
For who not sees or who’s eyes are still closes. IOA has become exactly and even worse than those, they feared and hated once themselves. Using the same atrocities, policies to oppress, ethnically cleanse and eradicate human beings. Creating a new Shoah (Holocaust) for the Palestinians in 1948 with Al Nakba, and sustaining it by hasbara and the world’s ignorance or at least those not using their own mind to reconsider the realistic facts. So Hasbara in 16 words explained:

“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it…”
~ Joseph Goebbels

…will be updated of course with related news or relevant counter “cyber truth ammo”. Stay Human, stay safe and Free Palestine!

Activists Resources | Knowledge is Power!


Get Real (Hasbara Free) News from Palestine

Also check the List of Bloggers and Activists, Organisations working for Palestine

And read… how zionists think to hide all of this:


Truth does not matter for “Israel”. Buttons Do. To mute.





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