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  • Deprecated function: The each() function is deprecated. This message will be suppressed on further calls in _menu_load_objects() (line 579 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/menu.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
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  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
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  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
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  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
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  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
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  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
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  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
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  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
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  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
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  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
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  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
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  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
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  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
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  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
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  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
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  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
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  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
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  • Deprecated function: implode(): Passing glue string after array is deprecated. Swap the parameters in drupal_get_feeds() (line 394 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).

International Jewish Collective for Justice in Palestine meets in London this weekend

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 08/06/2024 - 3:53am in

Pro-Palestinian Jews from sixteen countries around the world to gather in London to march and work together for an end to genocide, occupation and apartheid

After almost four years of meeting monthly on-line, leaders and long-time organisers representing twenty-one Jewish groups from sixteen countries supporting justice for the Palestinian people are meeting in person in London for the first ever congress of the International Jewish Collective for Justice in Palestine (IJCJP).

IJCJP’s mission statement explains the reason for its formation:

We are Jews from diverse countries, part of local, national, international networks and organizations. We are connected by our involvement in the struggle for Palestinian rights, and by our determination to work for justice. We oppose Zionism and all forms of racism.

We came together to share our experiences of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism. Although it claims to protect Jews, the IHRA Working Definition is in fact being used to shield Israel from valid political challenge, silence Palestinians, and suppress any mention of Palestinian rights.

The IHRA’s weaponization of antisemitism sets a dangerous precedent for limiting speech on many issues. We take this as our immediate priority, but it is only a starting point for our collective commitment to build a more just world.

Participants will also be joining the Jewish Bloc on the National Demonstration for Gaza march in London tomorrow, expressing their conviction that justice for the Palestinian people is a precondition for justice for us all.

While Israel claims to speak for the Jewish people, growing numbers of Jews around the world are declaring that settler-colonial Israel does not speak in their name. The  organisations are partners in the global movement for Palestinian justice and activists are coming together to learn from one another and maximise the impact of their work. The groups stand in strong opposition to Israel’s genocide of the Palestinian people in Gaza and are active participants in global organising demanding a cease-fire now and full justice and dignity for the Palestinian people.

IJCJP activists are social justice organisers, educators, writers, and others representing Jewish groups from nations around the world: New Zealand, Belgium, France, Israel, United States, Canada, South Africa, Australia, Luxembourg, Spain, Ireland, Belgium, UK, Germany, Catalonia and Netherlands.

Antony Lerman, author of Whatever Happened to Antisemitism: Redefinition and Myth of the ‘Collective Jew’, a former Director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, said:

Around the world progressive Jewish groups have taken strong stands against the ongoing genocide of Palestinians in Gaza, staging eye-catching public protests. The gathering of representatives of many of those groups in London from 8-9 June aimed at maximising impact through closer international cooperation is a natural and significant initiative spearheaded by the International Jewish Collective for Justice in Palestine (IJCJP). It constitutes a major challenge to Jewish establishment bodies giving carte blanche to Israel to continue flouting international law.

On Friday evening, participants will join a Shabbat protest at 6pm at the German Embassy, 23 Belgrave Square SW1X 8PZ, organised by the Black Jewish Alliance. On Saturday 8 June, the agenda is:

  • Attendees will join the Jewish Bloc assembling at 12.15 pm (tbc) in Bloomsbury Square Gardens, WC1A 2NS (the Charles James Fox statue) to take part in the National Demonstration for Gaza.
  • Wieland Hoban from Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East (Germany) will represent the Bloc and the International Jewish Collective for Justice in Palestine as a platform speaker at the rally in Whitehall. Estimated time 2.30 pm (tbc)

Some of those attending the event have spoken about why they are here:

I made this trip to represent AJV because we see genocide being done in our names. We came to throw our weight on the side of life, peace and justice. We will not let our friends – our world – be harmed without making our voices heard. Jewish people are not endangered by protest; all people are endangered by silence in the face of genocide.

IJCJP has let us learn from worldwide experience, while we brought the wisdom of small communities. This conference is very bittersweet. We’ll finally meet in person, but every one of us is heartbroken. It will be quite a mix of emotion and purpose.

Marilyn Garson, Alternative Jewish Voices, Aotearoa (New Zealand)

As we witness the daily horrifying devastation of Israel’s genocide against the Palestinian people, we know that groups and communities across the globe are organizing and protesting–with tremendous power and deep conviction–in solidarity with Palestinians. As a US based organization, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is proud to join Jewish groups from 16 countries across the globe this week in London to strengthen and deepen our work as a collective Jewish voice outraged by Israel’s actions and standing strong with Palestine. As partners in the movement for Palestinian justice, we say loud and clear, ‘Not in our Name’ and ‘Never again means never again for anyone.’

Stefanie Fox, Executive Director, Jewish Voice for Peace, United States

As the unprecedented horror in Palestine continues to unfold, the global solidarity movement has reached an equally unprecedented intensity. This activism is more important than it’s ever been, and that context makes it especially timely for a group that has existed in a digital diaspora for four years to finally meet in person. While the possibilities for online communication and coordination have enabled countless actions that would have been impossible not so long ago, gathering in one place is always a different experience that stimulates different forms of exchange and creativity, and these are more urgently needed than ever.

The situation for Palestine solidarity activists, Jewish and otherwise, is different in each country, and in Germany the movement is faced with particularly repressive methods by the state as well as hostility in the political, cultural and academic mainstream. This makes it especially important to have allies, and it also puts German-based groups like Jüdische Stimme in a position to give other activists information that may help them to deal with their own challenges.

Wieland Hoban, Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East/Jüdische Stimme für gerechten Frieden in Nahost, Germany

This gathering is enormously significant. IJCJP represents the flourishing Jewish opposition to Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza. We are challenging the moral certainty of those legacy Jewish organizations whose policies and utterances represent unmistakable complicity with Israel’s actions. We call on our fellow Jews around the world to courageously break ranks, embrace Jewish traditions of social justice, and stand up for Palestinian human rights.

Sheryl Nestel, Independent Jewish Voices, Canada

It is crucial that we link with Jewish organisations across the world and stand up in opposition to the genocide being committed in Gaza, the brutal occupation in the West Bank and the decades long dispossession of Palestinians from their land and, indeed, their human rights. Throughout the world, Jewish people are warmly welcomed to the protests in support of Palestinians, not least in London. Being part of this international network means we can learn from each other, exploring the similarities as well as the differences we face in our very different circumstances. After more than four years of meeting via zoom, I am looking forward to meeting in person but when we originally planned this congress, we could not imagine that it would be while Israel seems bent on destroying Gaza – actions which Israel claims is to protect us as Jews; nothing could be further from the truth.

Leah Levane, Jewish Voice for Labour UK

The IJCJP member organisations are shown below, along with their web addresses:

Alternative Jewish Voices of Aotearoa NZ – Sh’ma Koleinu (Aotearoa/New Zealand)

Another Jewish Voice /Een Andere Joodse Stem (Belgium)

Boycott From Within/Israeli Citizens for BDS (Israel)

French Jewish Peace Union/Union Juive Francaise Pour La Paix (France)

Independent Jewish Voices (Canada)

Independent Australian Jewish Voices (Australia)

International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN)–Canada

Jewish Call for Peace (Luxembourg)

Jewish Network for Palestine (UK)

Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East/Jüdische Stimme für gerechten Frieden in Nahost(Germany)

Jewish Voice for Labour (UK)

Jews for Palestine–Ireland (Ireland)

Jewish Voice for Peace (USA)

Jews Against the Occupation ‘48 (Australia)

Jews Say No! (USA)

South African Jews for a Free Palestine (South Africa)

Tzedek Collective Sydney (Australia)

Erev Rav (Netherlands)

Associació Catalana de Jueus i Palestins – JUNTS (acjp.cat) Spain (Catalan)

Tsedek! Collectif Juif Decolonial (France)

Coletivo Vozes Judaicas por Libertação (@vozesjudaicasporlibertacao) • Instagram photos and videos  (Brazil)

The congress will continue on Sunday.

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Stabbed to death by Zionist for supporting Palestine

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 07/06/2024 - 7:48pm in

Young South African mother murdered, husband and son hospitalised and daughter threatened with rape

A supporter of Israel broke into the Hoosen-Preston family’s home in Durban, stabbed mother Halima to death, wounded the father and son so badly they had to be admitted to hospital and threatened the young daughter with rape.

Grayson Beare, 44, who stabbed the husband fifteen times when he tried to help his wife and stabbed the son fourteen times, confessed to the attack and told the police that his murdered victim ‘wasn’t totally innocent, man… she hated my family’:

Beare said he does not personally identify as Jewish but has family in Israel. The ten-year-old daughter, whom Beare threatened to rape, said that the family was attacked because they support Palestinians against Israel’s genocide. His surviving victims are still fighting for their lives in hospital.

Beare’s family has said that they stand with the victims. While the mass media routinely describe peaceful supporters of Palestinian human rights as dangerous, threatening and even violent, events continue to make clear that it is the settler-colonial political philosophy of Zionism – a majority of whose adherents are not Jewish – that fosters racism, violence and murder. This incident also exposes the dangerousness of the media’s and politicians’ misrepresentation of the 7 October raid and their narrative of mutilations and rape – which persists even though Israel’s atrocity propaganda weren thoroughly discredited and debunked months ago.

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International dockworkers meet in Liverpool with message for UK unions: stop hiding over Gaza

‘Peace IS union business’, leading trade union figures tell UK unions there’s no excuse for claiming it’s not their core purpose to prevent genocide – and that having members in the defence industry is no bar to taking action

Maritime Union of Australia deputy national secretary Warren Smith at Liverpool’s Casa on Saturday

Leading trade unionists from Australia, Asia and South America gathered at Liverpool’s famous dockworker-founded Casa on Saturday to discuss international action, solidarity, the dangers facing trade unionists in many countries and, especially, support for Palestinians against Israel’s genocide. And there was a strong message for UK trade union leaders: get behind the people of Palestine and stop making excuses, and that having members in the defence industry is no excuse for not taking action.

Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) members and officers gave inspiring accounts of how their union – and the ex-pat Palestinian communities in Australia – have played a leading role in protests against Israel’s genocide in Gaza and have successfully impeded shipments to Israel, despite Australian laws criminalising protest at major facilities, and pledged that they would continue to do so. And they spoke of the plea from union activists in Palestine to get behind the boycott, divestment and sanction (BDS) campaign against Israel’s occupation and apartheid. The union is holding a day of action on 25 May in every major Australian port in solidarity.

The union representatives also told of their government’s shame in its decision to suspend anti-discrimination laws so it can enact laws specifically targeting Australia’s First Nation people – and how they have agreed, as part of the AUSUK defence treaty the union is fighting, to take nuclear waste from the UK and US that will be dumped in First Nation territory.

And the common thread through all these stories was summed up in a refrain taken up by several speakers:

Peace is union business.

Leaders of several UK unions have been criticised for their lack of support for the Palestinian people against genocide, occupation and apartheid – often against the democratic decisions of their members – and for prioritising defence jobs over the imperative of preventing mass murder.

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Video: thousands gather for Gaza at Columbia as professor condemns uni’s ‘day of shame’

History professor Christopher Brown describes scandal of university president setting riot police on peaceful anti-genocide demo and condemns craven congressional testimony

Thousands have again gathered on the lawns of Columbia University in New York, despite the attempted repression of the university’s management and the New York police – where they heard speeches from faculty members as well as students against Israel’s genocide in Gaza and the authorities’ attempts to silence them:

Despite the state’s aggression, which has included the use of riot police and state troops in various locations – and the shameful demonisation of peace protesters by politicians and pro-Israel lobby groups willing to collude in Israel’s war crimes, mirroring the tactics used in the UK – the protest movement is growing and the US public is increasingly aware and condemning of Israel’s mass murder of Palestinian civilians, mostly women and children.

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Evidence, eyewitnesses challenge Falter’s claims he was stopped for just crossing road

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 22/04/2024 - 11:18pm in

Apparent campaign to discredit pro-Palestine marchers – and remove police commissioner who won’t ban marches – undermined by evidence and eyewitness accounts, including one from before Falter complained

Gideon Falter, pro-Israel chief executive of the so-called ‘Campaign Against Antisemitism’ (CAA), made headlines last week when he posted a video claiming that he had been stopped by the Met Police for simply trying to cross a road, on his way back from synagogue, during a pro-Palestine protest on the grounds that he was visibly Jewish.

Falter and his supporters have used the claim to demonise peace protesters as a threat to Jews – and to demand the resignation of Met Police Commissioner Mark Rowley. Coincidentally, Rowley has refused calls by right-wingers to ban pro-Palestine marches.

But eyewitnesses – including Jewish bystanders – and photographic evidence appear to contradict Falter’s claim. Importantly, one account of the actions of Falter and an entourage with him was posted before the ‘scandal’ became a thing – and describes Falter with a security detail clearly creating an incident:

Other bystanders saw the same – and added that the group had been around for a while, trying to disrupt the protest:

The bodyguard can be seen in video footage of the incident shot by photographer Tom Bowles:

A group consisting of a Holocaust survivor and descendants of Holocaust survivors, who were on Aldwych Road only a few metres away from Falter’s stunt, contacted Skwawkbox with their account of events and their significance:

It has been widely reported that Gideon Falter, chief executive of the Campaign Against Antisemitism, was threatened with arrest when he approached a pro-Palestine demonstration on 13 April in the Aldwych area of London.

Mr. Falter is reported to have said that his interactions with police officers “show that the Met believes that being openly Jewish will antagonise the anti-Israel marchers and that Jews need protection, which the police cannot guarantee. Instead of addressing that threat of antisemitic violence, the Met’s policy instead seems to be that law-abiding Jewish Londoners should not be in the parts of London where these marches are taking place. In other words, that they are no-go zones for Jews.

We are writing to disagree strongly with these claims. This is because throughout his interactions with the police we were standing only a few yards away from him, yet we experienced nothing but warmth and solidarity from the pro-Palestine demonstrators and not a hint of antisemitism.

Our group was “openly Jewish” in that we all wore placards saying that, as descendants of Holocaust survivors, we oppose the ongoing genocide in Gaza. Indeed, one of us, Stephen Kapos, is a child survivor of the Holocaust who was interviewed by Sky News at the time.

Every major pro-Palestine demonstration in London has included a large Jewish bloc which has received nothing but support and warmth from their fellow demonstrators. Claims that these protests are no-go zones for Jews are completely untrue.

Yours Sincerely,

Haim Bresheeth (son of two survivors of Auschwitz)
Mark Etkind (son of a survivor of the Lodz ghetto and Buchenwald)
Stephen Kapos (survivor of the Holocaust in Budapest)
Peter Kapos (son of a Holocaust survivor)
Yosefa Loshitzky (daughter of survivors of the Holocaust in Poland)

A Holocaust survivor and descendants of Holocaust survivors, photographed during Falter’s altercation with police

An image of the entrance to Bush House on Aldwych Road shows how close the group (red) were to Falter (blue) during the incident

A set of photos posted by another bystander shows the Holocaust group and Falter, confirming how close the ‘openly Jewish’ peace demonstrators were to Falter’s supposed ‘no-go zone’:

Falter had told the Times that he simply ‘came across’ the Palestine protest and tried to cross the road ‘as the front of the march got to us’:

At Aldwych, we came across the pro-Palestine protest and we started to cross the road as the front of the march got to us. Suddenly I felt hands on me. I looked around to see a police officer who was shoving me onto the pavement.

This was contradicted by the photos taken of him and his group before the march got there – and by subsequent responses and video clips from others who were there, including a Jewish police officer:

Few if any UK ‘mainstream’ media outlets have covered the contradictory evidence, of which the above is only a small selection.

Gideon Falter has been found at least once to have made untrue accusations of antisemitic conduct. In 2009 he accused Rowan Laxton, a Foreign Office official of shouting ‘F***ing Jews’ in response to incidents in Palestine, leading to Laxton being convicted of ‘racially aggravated public disorder’. The appeal court judges, however, unanimously agreed that Laxton had not said any such thing:

Last year, he was also filmed driving a van ‘very close’ to pro-Palestine protesters and tried to get police to force them to move because ‘they are obstructing the highway’ – as the footage showed other vehicles moving freely past:

According to Electronic Intifada last year, the CAA – which has taken ‘credit’ for forcing the Unite union to ban book talks and film showings exposing the weaponisation of antisemitism to attack the pro-Palestine left – is or has been funded by an Israeli ‘quasi-governmental’ group:

the CAA has been given almost half a million dollars by the UK partner of the Jewish National Fund, Israel’s quasi-governmental settler-colonial agency.

The donations were hidden in obscure Charity Commission documents uncovered by our research. In an email to The Electronic Intifada, the CAA confirmed it had been in “past receipt of donations from JNF UK” but denied current JNF funding.

“JNF UK has never exercised or sought to exercise any influence over our activities,” the CAA claimed…

…In 2018, the CAA declared in its accounts disclosed to the Charity Commission that a donation of almost $220,000 had come from a “related party.”

This amounted to nearly half of its income for that year.

Funding a “crisis”

The following year, the CAA declared that $230,000 had come from a similarly undisclosed “related party.”

The 2019 figure amounted to 20 percent of its income but 60 percent of its expenditure.

In 2019, JNF UK declared expenditure of the exact same amount as the donation declared by the CAA that same year.

JNF UK paid $230,000 “for grants provided to a UK charity, which has a trustee who is also a trustee of JNF Charitable Trust.”

According to its website, “JNF Charitable Trust” is simply the official name of the JNF UK charity and they “are the same” group.

The 2019 JNF UK accounts also stated that in 2018 it had made a donation of almost $220,000 to the same unnamed “UK charity.”

Skwawkbox approached the CAA for comment, providing examples of the above counter-evidence and details of the Rowan Laxton incident. The group had not responded by the time of writing.

Update: Sky News has now published a 13-minute video of the entire interaction between Falter and the police – and, unlike Falter’s edited version, it shows the officer telling Falter that he had already observed him trying to provoke the pro-Palestine protesters and was not falling for Falter’s ‘disingenuousness’:

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Tweet quoting Webbe on Gaza goes viral

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 04/03/2024 - 10:06pm in

Tens of thousands of shares on post quoting one of UK’s most consistent MPs on Israel’s Gaza genocide

A tweet quoting Leicester East MP Claudia Webbe’s pithy analysis of Gaza has gone viral after it was shared by UK-based, pro-Gaza investigative journalist Sulaiman Ahmed.

Webbe tweeted on 7 Feb:

Ahmed’s post a couple of weeks later quoting her first sentence was shared thirty-six thousand times and ‘liked’ eighty-two thousand times:

Claudia Webbe is one of the UK’s most consistently solid and outspoken MPs in solidarity with Palestinians and against Israel’s war crimes – at a time when most MPs are either silent or actively endorsing the war criminals – and is routinely foully abused by racists and supporters of genocide for it. She sits as an independent MP and shames the leadership of both main political parties, both of whom are eagerly complicit in Israel’s genocide, refuse to condemn the Israeli regime’s contempt for humanity international law and have avidly propagated discredited Israeli atrocity propaganda used to justify Israel’s slaughter.

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Spiritual Contestations: The Violence of Peace in South Sudan – review

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 17/01/2024 - 11:41pm in

In Spiritual Contestations: The Violence of Peace in South Sudan, Naomi Pendle dissects the interactions between Nuer- and Dinka-speaking communities amid national and international peacebuilding efforts, exploring the role of spiritual culture and belief in these processes. Based on extensive ethnographic and historical research, the book offers valuable insights for scholars and policymakers in conflict management and peace-building, writes Nadir A. Nasidi.

Spiritual Contestations: The Violence of Peace in South Sudan. Religion in Transforming Africa Series, Vol. Number: 12. Naomi Ruth Pendle. James Currey. 2023.

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Spiritual Contestations Naomi Pendle book coverThe history of South Sudan includes a series of protracted conflicts and wars, which have attracted the attention of many researchers covering their socio-economic and political dimensions. Following in this vein, Pendle’s Spiritual Contestations explores the interactions between Nuer- and Dinka-speaking communities within the context of national and international peace-making processes. This also includes the role of the clergy and traditional rulers in such processes, which is complicated by politics, sentiments, and the urge to profit from the South Sudan’s protracted conflicts. Pendle also assesses the experiences of ordinary South Sudanese people in peace-making, including their everyday peace-making meetings. The book is divided into three sections and 14 engaging chapters based on the author’s ethnographic and historical research conducted between 2012 and 2022 among the Nuer- and Dinka-speaking peoples.

Pendle’s Spiritual Contestations explores the interactions between Nuer- and Dinka-speaking communities within the context of national and international peace-making processes

Chapter one describes the historical evolution of the hakuma (an Arabic-derived, South Sudanese term for government) in the 19th century and the physical violence which South Sudan has experienced through its mercantile and colonial history, as well as many years of war that influenced contemporary peace-making. It also shows how the hakuma claimed “divine” powers (as a result of god-like rights the government arrogated to itself). Chapters two, three, four and five discuss the contemporary making of war and peace, oppositions to the Sudan government’s development agenda, the 1960s and 1972 Addis Ababa Peace Agreement and South Sudan’s 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement. These chapters also examine the Wunlit Peace Meeting, which was a classic example of what the author calls “the ‘local turn’ in peace-making whereby international actors championed ‘local’ forms of peace-making” (35-119).

Chapter seven largely focuses on the escalation of violence in Warrap State as a result of having an indigenous hakuma alongside ever-evolving ideas of land, property, resources, and cattle ownership. Chapters seven to fourteen then focus on the proliferation of peace meetings in Gogrial and the cosmological crisis brought by the years of war (which involves the disruptions or perceived threats to cosmic order and by overarching beliefs about the universe held by the Nuer- and Dinka-speaking communities), a crisis which was met with a proliferation of prophets. This section also covers wars in South Sudan since 2013, the prevalence of revenge in giving meaning to armed conflicts, the post-2013 power of the Nuer prophets, the post-2013 era in Warrap State, and the role of the church in South Sudan’s peacekeeping through the activities of Dinka priests who are popularly known as the baany e biith.

Although the title of the book appears oxymoronic, the author argues that peace remains violent when understood in a context wherein the methods employed to establish or foster peace involve force, suppression, and coercion

Although the title of the book appears oxymoronic, the author argues that peace remains violent when understood in a context wherein the methods employed to establish or foster peace involve force, suppression, and coercion. This is especially true in the context of South Sudan’s “unsettled cosmic polity”; a polity characterised by periods of questioning, restructuring or conflict in response to perceived disruptions of cosmic order and balance, which further push the boundaries of contemporary discourse on the meaning and conceptualisation of peace and peace-making (179-189).

The author further explains how [] religious connotations are used to contest the moral logic of government, particularly in the rural areas of South Sudan

Pendle bases her arguments on the “eclectic divine” and religious influences among communities located around the Bilnyang River system. The author further explains how these religious connotations are used to contest the moral logic of government, particularly in the rural areas of South Sudan. Through this means, the author clarifies how religion and religious assertions shape the peoples’ social and political life. This includes issues such as spiritual and moral contestations, as well as the making and unmaking of norms within the “cultural archive” (including traditional, economic and historical recollections) that reshape the violence of peace, feuds, and its associated political economies. She advances this argument in her study of conflicts over natural resources and cultural rights that are understood as cosmological occurrences by the people of South Sudan, the meanings of war and peace, and the assertion of power within these events.

Pendle states that to understand the real politics and violence of peace-making, one must also understand ‘how peace-making interacts with and reshapes power not only in everyday politics’, but also ‘in cosmic polities’

Pendle states that to understand the real politics and violence of peace-making, one must also understand “how peace-making interacts with and reshapes power not only in everyday politics”, but also “in cosmic polities” (75-99). Looking at the nature of human societies, she concludes that they are largely hierarchical, mostly located within the purview of a cosmic polity that is populated by “beings of human attributes and metahuman powers who govern the people’s fate” (7).

Basing her arguments on Graeber and Shalins’ research, Pendle observes that South Sudanese society’s secular governments and self-arrogating divine powers can pass for a cosmic polity. It is within this context that the South Sudanese Arabic term for government, ‘hakuma’ operates; the term refers not only to government, but to a broad socio-political sphere including foreign traders and slavers.

Pendle also documents the various ways in which South Sudanese people use cultural symbols, rituals, norms, and values, as well as theology, to contest ‘predatory power and to make peace’

Pendle also documents the various ways in which South Sudanese people use cultural symbols, rituals, norms, and values, as well as theology, to contest “predatory power and to make peace” (75). Examples include the Dinka use of leopard skin (which is used for conflict resolution between two warring factions), cultural diplomacy through festivals, as well as the ceremonial blessings of cattle as a symbol of wealth.

The book is not without flaws. The author often oscillates between the use of ordinal and cardinal numbers when a chapter is mentioned Even if this is done for convenience, it is at the expense of chronology and consistency. Although written in plain and straight-to-the-point language, the author’s use of compound-complex sentences throughout the book makes it difficult for readers to comprehend easily.

Considering the ongoing conflicts and wars in and around the South Sudan region, Pendle’s Spiritual Contestations is a timely work. Using a close analysis, the author provides incisive insights into the changing nature of wars and conflicts, as well as the violence of peace among the Nuer- and Dinka-speaking communities. The book is a significant resource for scholars in the field of conflict management and peace-building, international organisations, policymakers and anyone interested in considering the interplay of religion, governance, tradition, peace-making, and conflict management.

This post gives the views of the author, and not the position of the LSE Review of Books blog, or of the London School of Economics and Political Science. The LSE RB blog may receive a small commission if you choose to make a purchase through the above Amazon affiliate link. This is entirely independent of the coverage of the book on LSE Review of Books.

Image Credit: Richard Juilliart on Shutterstock.

Homelands: A Personal History of Europe – review

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 03/01/2024 - 10:42pm in

In Homelands: A Personal History of EuropeTimothy Garton Ash reflects on European history and political transformation from the mid-20th century to the present. Deftly interweaving analysis with personal narratives, Garton Ash offers a compelling exploration of recent European history and how its lessons can help us navigate today’s challenges, writes Mario Clemens.

Homelands: A Personal History of Europe. Timothy Garton Ash. The Bodley Head. 2023.

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Cover of Homelands by Timothy Garton Ash showing a man and woman in a red and green car on the side of the road with elderly people and a blue sky and trees in the background.Almost ten years ago, I heard the then-German Foreign Minister (and current Federal President) Frank-Walter Steinmeier say that we have to prepare ourselves for the fact that in the near future, crises will become the norm. What sounded like a somewhat eccentric assessment now appears to be an apt description of our reality, including in Europe. How did we get here?

As Timothy Garton Ash argues in Homelands: A Personal History of Europe, Western Liberals made the mistake of relying on the unfounded assumption that history would simply continue to go their way. Post-cold-war-liberals failed, for example, to care enough about economic equality (237) and thus allowed Liberalism to make way for its ugly twin, Neoliberalism.

Western Liberals made the mistake of relying on the unfounded assumption that history would simply continue to go their way.

Whether we want to understand Islamist Terrorism, the rise of European right-wing populism, or Russia’s revanchist turn, in each case we find helpful hints in recent European history. What makes Garton Ash the ideal guide through the “history of the present” is his three-dimensional experience: that of a historian, a widely travelled and prominent journalist and a politically active intellectual.

What makes Garton Ash the ideal guide through the “history of the present” is his three-dimensional experience: that of a historian, a widely travelled and prominent journalist and a politically active intellectual.

Garton Ash started travelling across Europe fresh out of school, “working on a converted troopship, the SS Nevada, carrying British schoolchildren around the Mediterranean” (27). Aged 18, he was already keeping a journal on what he saw, heard and read.

He nurtured that journalistic impulse and soon merged it with a more active political one, eventually becoming the “engaged observer” (Raymond Aron) that he desired to be. In the early 1980s, he sat with workers and intellectuals in the Gdańsk Shipyard, where the Polish Solidarity movement (Solidarność) emerged. Later in the 1980s, he befriended Václav Havel, the Czech intellectual dissident and eventual President. Garton Ash chronicled and participated in the movement led by Havel, which successfully achieved the peaceful transition of Czechoslovakia from one-party communist rule to democracy. Since then, Garton Ash has consistently enjoyed privileged access to key political figures, such as Helmut Kohl, Madeleine Albright, Tony Blair and Aung San Suu Kyi. Simultaneously, he has maintained contact with so-called ordinary people. All the while, he has preserved the necessary distance intellectuals require to do their job, which in his view “is to seek the truth, and to speak truth to power” (173). His training as a historian, provides him with a broader perspective, which, in Homelands, allows him to arrange individual scenes and observations into an encompassing, convincing narrative.

Garton Ash has published several books focusing on particular themes, such as free speech, and events, such as the peaceful revolutions of 1989. In addition, he has published two books containing collected articles that cover a decade each. History of the Present: Essays, Sketches, and Dispatches from Europe in the 1990s and Facts are Subversive: Political Writing from a Decade without a Name, which covers the timespan between 2000 and 2010. Homelands now not only covers a larger timespan, the “overlapping timeframes of post-war and post-wall” (xi) – 1945 and 1989 to the present – but the chapters are also more tightly linked as had been possible in books that were based on previous publications.

By the second decade of the twenty-first century we had, for the first time ever, a generation of Europeans who had known nothing but a peaceful, free Europe consisting mainly of liberal democracies.

“Freedom and Europe” says Garton Ash, are “the two political causes closest to my heart” (xi), and he had the good fortune to witness a period where freedom was expanding within Europe. Now that history seems to be running in reverse gear, he worries that this new generation don’t quite realise what’s at stake: “By the second decade of the twenty-first century we had, for the first time ever, a generation of Europeans who had known nothing but a peaceful, free Europe consisting mainly of liberal democracies. Unsurprisingly, they tend to take it for granted’ (23-24).

Thus, one critical aim motivating Homelands is to convey to a younger generation what has been achieved by the “Europe-builders,” men and women who have been motivated by what Garton Ash calls the “memory machine,” the vivid memory of the hell Europe had turned itself into during its modern-day Thirty Years War (21-22). While nothing can equal this “direct personal memory,” he argues that there are other ways “in which knowledge of things past can be transmitted” – via literature, for instance, but also through history (24), especially when written well.

A gifted stylist, Garton Ash makes history come alive by telling the stories of individuals

A gifted stylist, Garton Ash makes history come alive by telling the stories of individuals, for instance, that of his East German friend, the pastor Werner Krätschell. On Thursday evening, 9 November 1989, Werner had just come home from the evening church service in East Berlin. When his elder daughter Tanja and her friend Astrid confirmed the rumour that the frontier to West Berlin was apparently open, Werner decided to see for himself. Taking Tanja and Astrid with him, he drove to the border crossing at Bornholmer Strasse. Like in a trance, he saw the frontier guard opening the first barrier. Next, he got a stamp on his passport – “invalid”. “‘But I can come back?’ – ‘No, you have to emigrate and are not allowed to re-enter,’” the border guard replied. Horrified because his two younger children were sleeping in the vicarage, “Werner did a U-turn inside the frontier crossing and prepared to head home. Then he heard another frontier guard tell a colleague that the order had changed: ‘They’re allowed back.’ So he did another U-turn, to point his yellow Wartburg again towards the West” (146).

History, written in this way, “as experienced by individual people and exemplified by their stories” (xiii), may indeed help us to “learn from the past without having to go through it all again ourselves” (24).

Though he emphasises the wealth, freedom and peace in late 20th-century Europe, Garton Ash also reminds us that post-war European history, even its “post-wall” period, is not an unqualified success story.

Though he emphasises the wealth, freedom and peace in late 20th-century Europe, Garton Ash also reminds us that post-war European history, even its “post-wall” period, is not an unqualified success story. Notably, right after the Cold War, there were the hot wars accompanying the dissolution of Yugoslavia. He regards the fact that the rest of Europe “permitted this ten-year return to hell” as “a terrible stain on what was otherwise one of the most hopeful periods of European history” (187).

Garton Ash is equally alert to the danger of letting one’s enthusiasm for Europe’s post-war achievements turn into self-righteousness. “That post-war Europe abjured and abhorred war would have been surprising news to the many parts of the world, from Vietnam to Kenya and Angola to Algeria, where European states continued to fight brutal wars in an attempt to hang on to their colonies” (327).

While such warnings qualify and differentiate Homelands’ central message – that today’s Europeans have much to lose – they do not reverse it. But knowing that one is bound to lose a lot can also have a paralysing effect, as many of my generation currently experience. Here again, history can help: to understand our present, we need to know what brought us here. Garton Ash is convinced that we can learn from history; he, for instance, claims that the rest of Europe should “learn the lessons of Brexit” (279).

Those who seek orientation through a better understanding of the past should turn to this extraordinary, eminently readable exploration of recent European history.

Homelands: A Personal History of Europe perfectly complements Tony Judt’s extensive Postwar (published in 2005). While Judt’s work offers a detailed and systematic account of European history after 1945, Garton Ash’s book seamlessly blends personal narratives, insightful analysis, and astute critique. Those who seek orientation through a better understanding of the past should turn to this extraordinary, eminently readable exploration of recent European history.

This post gives the views of the author, and not the position of the LSE Review of Books blog, or of the London School of Economics and Political Science. The LSE RB blog may receive a small commission if you choose to make a purchase through the above Amazon affiliate link. This is entirely independent of the coverage of the book on LSE Review of Books.

Image Credit: struvictory on Shutterstock.

Video: Ukraine ambassador – Ukraine had agreed peace deal with Russia

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 29/12/2023 - 9:49pm in

Deal in spring 2022 scuppered by US and UK

Oleksandr Chalyi, left, at the GCSP event

The Ukraine war could have been ended more than a year and a half ago, according to a senior Ukrainian peace negotiator – and the deal had the personal approval of Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Ambassador Oleksandr Chalyi told a Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) event that the deal was ‘concluded’, but was postponed ‘for some reason’:

As Canadian journalist Aaron Maté has pointed out, another top Ukrainian peace negotiator has said that the UK and US prevented the agreement being put in place because they did not want Ukraine to agree to neutrality. All the many thousands of lives lost since could have been saved, as well as the huge financial cost of continuing the war, which has been used by the Ukrainian regime to ban opposition parties and take over Ukraine’s newspapers and broadcasters.

Canadian political scientist Ivan Katchanovski responded to the revelation:

Wow! Ukraine Ambassador Chalyi, who participated in peace talks with Russia in Spring 2022, states that “we concluded” “Istanbul Communique” & “were very close in… April to finalize our war with some peaceful settlement” & that Putin “tried everything possible to conclude agreement with Ukraine.”

He says that it was Putin’s “personal decision to accept the text of this communique.” Such peace deal framework to end war was also confirmed by head of Ukrainian delegation, officials close to Zelensky, ex-Israeli PM, ex-German chancellor, Putin, Turkish FM, former US officials & Arestovych. First five stated that deal was blocked by US/UK.

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A very happy Christmas to Skwawkbox readers. #CeasefireNow

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 25/12/2023 - 11:25am in

Skwawkbox wishes its readers a wonderful Christmas and festive season and a peaceful new year. May there be justice in the UK, in Gaza – and a ceasefire and lasting peace – an end to oppression and exploitation, and accountability for those responsible for them.

Thank you for your readership and support.

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