Timeline of recent events in Israel/Palestine

Taken from the blog of Adam Waterhouse.

29th July 2013 – Start of the so-called Kerry Peace Talks

14th November 2013 – Palestinian team quit negotiations citing the fact that Israel was continuing settlement construction on land in the West Bank that was supposed to be designated for a Palestinian state.

30 December 2013 – Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erehat said that Israel had shown through its actions that it wanted to destroy the possibility of a Palestinian state, and that the Palestinians would be seeking recognition through international bodies (this was on the basis of Palestine being up-graded to non-member observer status by the General Assembly a year previously on 29th November 2012). Israel insisted that the Palestinians should continue the peace talks, why? Purely as a cynical public relations exercise – because Israel needs ‘peace talks’ in the same way that a bank robber needs a balaclava – to try to prevent the world from recognising what they are doing – an analogy given by American Professor of history Juan Cole in this articles about this matter.

23rd April – Fatah and Hamas agreed to form a unity government and to hold fresh elections. Netanyahu said that Abbas would have to chose between peace with Hamas and Peace with Israel – clearly a threat of violence. The EU and the US offered their support to the unity government. Netanyahu was furious and immediately withdrew Israel from the so-called peace negotiations.

15th May – During Nakba day celebrations Israeli soldiers opened fire on Palestinian youths in the West Bank city of Beitunia near to Ofer prison (a prison for political prisoners in the West Bank). Some of the boys were throwing stones but they were falling on the ground short of where the soldiers were. Two boys, one 16 and one 17, were killed, another was shot in the chest but survived, and eight others were shot in the arms or legs. The incident was caught by security camera, put on-line, and viewed by many Palestinians who were very angry and upset about it.

2nd June – The technocratic unity government of Fatah and Hamas was sworn in. Many of the key positions within it were given to academics who were part of neither party. Hamas were subordinate to Fatah and had agreed to accept the leadership of Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah.

12th June – Three Israeli students were kidnapped. Benjamin Netanyahu announced “Hamas is responsible, Hamas will pay.” This was very much the same as the Bush administration’s attempt to try to lay blame on Saddam Hussein for 9/11 without the slightest shred of evidence – clearly a cynical attempt to find a pretext for launching an attack on Hamas. Hamas’s senior leadership in Gaza said that they were not behind the kidnapping, calling Netanyahu’s allegations that Hamas masterminded the kidnappings “stupid.” This was later confirmed by the Israeli police themselves when on 25th July Israeli police spokesperson Chief Inspector Mickey Rosenfeld informed BBC journalist Jon Donnison that the two men detained for killing the three Israeli teens were acting on their own initiative. Jon Donnison reported this via Twitter but BBC didn’t run a story on it.

13th June – The very next morning the Israeli police knew that the three had been killed because one of them placed an emergency call, and there was an open recorded line as they were shot. The police soon found a burned-out Hyundai which contained a pair of tefillin (leather-bound texts that religious Jews strap on for prayer), DNA evidence that was quickly matched to the boys’ parents, and eight bullet holes. The same day Israel launched Operation Brother’s Keeper in the West Bank and over the next ten days arrested approximately 800 Palestinians without charge or trial, killed nine civilians, and raided nearly 1,300 residential, commercial and public buildings. Its military operation targeted Hamas members previously released as part of a[during the Gilad Shalit] prisoner exchange in 2011 – rearresting without any ground at all the people it had agreed to release. This was clearly an attack on Hamas and not an attempt to locate the missing teens.

29th June – The Israeli air force carries out strikes on 12 targets in Gaza killing a member of Hamas.

30th June – Further Israeli air strikes take place in Gaza killing one person and injuring three. In response Hamas fired sixteen rockets into Israel which hit open areas in the Eshkol region harming no one. This was the first Hamas rocket fire into Israel since Operation Pillar of Defence in November 2012. [Although there were some rockets being fired into Israel over 2013 [about 5 per month] these were fired by other groups and the Israeli security establishment had themselves testified to the aggressive anti-rocket efforts made by the new police force that Hamas established specifically for that purpose.] The bodies of the three teens are found under rocks close to the West Bank city of Hebron. 1st July – At the funeral for the three killed Israeli teens Benjamin Netanyahu’s statements included vengeful language, speaking of the “horrific darkness of those who seek our destruction – despicable kidnappers of children, heinous murderers whose brothers rejoice at the spilling of innocent blood.” Even the Jewish Forward, an American pro-Israeli newspaper expressed sharp objections to Netanyahu’s comments calling them incitement to violence. During the day of the funeral there are violent protests in East Jerusalem in which Israelis were chanting ‘Death to Arabs.’ Palestinians were pulled from cars and beaten and a 17 year old Palestinian was abducted and murdered in what appeared to be a revenge attack.

8th July – Israel launches ‘Operation Protective Edge’ against Gaza claiming that they were doing so in response to Hamas rocket fire, which they had obviously provoked.

11th July – During a Press Conference at the Defence Ministry at Tel Aviv speaking only in Hebrew announced that he would never, ever, allow a Palestinian state in the West Bank and that Israel would maintain full military control of all of historic Palestine indefinitely and should never have withdrawn from Gaza in 2005.

On 17th July amid escalating, overwhelmingly one-sided violence Israel launched a ground invasion, claiming that it needed to destroy tunnels – tunnels that it had known about for years and which were used to Palestinians to bring food and other goods into the besieged Gaza strip. But for people following what is happening between Israel and Palestine, it was already quite clear that Benjamin Netanyahu’s real objective was to totally crush any possibility at all of Palestinian self-rule and self-determination. This is entirely consistent with the policy position of the political party to which he belongs, the Likud Party which has always emphasised Israel’s supposed right to occupy and control the whole of historic Palestine. In exactly the same way that he sought to scupper the peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority by continuing to build Israeli-only settlement housing on stolen Palestinian land during the so-called ‘peace negotiations’ and presenting the Palestinians with increasingly unreasonable demands; he has now deliberately scuppered and destroyed the cease-fire agreement that was in place with Hamas since the end of Operation Pillar of Defence in November 2012 and launched a massacre in Gaza which has already costs the lives of over 1,600 Palestinians and counting, as well as over 50 Israeli soldiers who are also, in a sense, victims of Benjamin Netanyahu’s crimes of mass-deception.

Message from BHstopEDL Bournemouth 23rd August:

♡ Love Bournemouth? ♡ Oppose the EDL! ♡

BHstopedl will be mustering outside Dean Park Cricket Ground on Cavendish Road, where we will move as a bloc together onto Dean Park Road and into the back of Horseshoe Common and towards the ‘We Are Bournemouth’ demonstration.

Further details will be confirmed in the coming days!

* See you on the streets * ¡No pasarán! * They shall not pass *

*Ends*

Your best bet is to ‘like’ their facebook page for last minute updates.

March on the Boss, Samsung Bristol

View post on Bristol IWW website

On Thursday 10th of July members of Bristol IWW and friends visited the Samsung phone shop on Park Street in Bristol to speak to an unscrupulous boss who has recently dismissed an employee with no good reason.

Out side Samsung shop

Matthew had worked for the same boss for over 5 years in his two laptop and phone repair shops. After a holiday of 6 weeks, he returned to find his hours reduced. A few weeks later he was told that he was ‘surplus to business requirements’ and that they did not have enough hours for him. This dismissal came completely out of the blue with no disciplinary procedure at all. Insultingly in his last week of work (having only been given one week’s notice) Matthew’s job was advertised in the window of the shop.

Matthew is owed over £1000 in unpaid holiday pay and wages. His former employer has offered no redundancy pay to help Matthew while he looks for another job.

Matthew decided to take the issue to his union, the Industrial Workers of the World, who wrote to the company and asked for a meeting to ensure Matthew received his wages and the holiday pay. After a terse, incoherent and rude written response from the boss, (in which the company expressed that they felt there was ‘no need’ for any further discussion), the union decided to visit in person to deliver their demands and ensure that this boss knows what to expect when he treats his workforce unfairly with little respect.

8 members of the union accompanied Matthew in the shop while around 20 others handed out flyers to potential customers in the street. The boss reacted by insisting they had to leave and he didn’t have any time, but the group stood their ground, delivered a letter with their demands and the boss had to listen to Matthew.

The recently hired manager of the shop was phoned and an organiser with the union spoke with him on speaker phone. Both bosses refused to negotiate with the union and while the phone conversation was taking place, the shop was visited by two police officers.

After assessing the situation the police explained to the boss that the union had every right to be holding their protest.

Samsung Bristol are now taking Matthew’s dispute seriously and are currently seeking legal advice. The union expects that the company will be advised to pay Matthew the money that he is owed or face a much larger cost should this escalate to employment tribunal. Not only have they unfairly dismissed Matthew and withheld his money, the company has broken the law in several other ways including not paying wages on a regular basis, not providing employees with a written contract, having no coherent sick pay policy and having no disciplinary or grievance procedure for longstanding employees.

july14action-samsung bristol-2

Matthew and the IWW are still waiting for correspondence from the company. We urge all readers and friends not to buy services from Samsung Bristol or RepairPhones4u on Park Street and to take your custom to a company that respects its employees. For more information on the company please visit http://samsungbristol.co.uk/

Having problems at work? Fed up of the way you’re treated by your boss? Want to organise with your colleagues for a better deal? Please visit bristoliww.org.uk to contact your local branch of the Industrial Workers of the World, the fighting union.

Pubs to avoid: the Alma arms, Southsea.

Alma

Barry painted the Alma white.

The Alma arms at 193 Highland Road, Southsea, Hampshire, PO4 9EZ [map] [gmap] for years was notorious as a hangout of the far right; the former landlord Barry Smith being an old-school Nazi who hosted regular events for local fascists and hooligan firms. The pub was taken over in July 2013 by Steve Lant who also runs The Nell Gwynne, in Jessie Road, Southsea, and The Old House at Home, in Locksway Road, Milton, Portsmouth, on behalf of Enterprise Inns. Since then the Alma has been keen to shed its Nazi image, to the extent of sucking up to local antifascist groups and other lefty causes.

Last Sunday Pompey Punx Collective put on a benefit gig at the Alma on behalf of Medical Aid for Palestinians; according to a friend of one of the bands the venue had been leaned on by the cops to hire ‘security’, supposedly in case of fascist ingress. When we arrived there were a couple of awkward looking bodybuilders striking poses in tight-fitting black uniforms and we wondered if someone had hired a striptease act. Anyway we got to see Grant Sharkey do his unique socially-conscious double bass comedy thing (his act is pretty hard to describe, you just need to check it out). The acoustics are shit by the way, no really they are.

It was a Sunday night and the place wasn’t exactly rammed, more like a private party as nearly everyone knew each other, but the atmosphere was dampened by these dudes glaring at people and constantly fussing over who had paid – frankly a gatecrasher would have stuck out like a dog’s bollocks and been challenged instantly. One of us put up a Palestine flag, and was told by the management (one Simon Lawrence, who confesses to be a mate of the old landlord) to take it down, so she wore it instead, the bodybuilders told her to take it off and she refused, we had a word, but they were intransigent, so we just ignored them. Grant’s set, which is the kind of material you really want to listen to, was marred by the bickering going on in the background. More fussing, it seems they were texting Grant’s lyrics to the owners! They didn’t want anything to do with politics they said, they actually used the phrase ‘sitting on the fence’ and we all know where that goes. They were there ‘as a deterrent’ – to what exactly? They didn’t inspire a lot of confidence, “have you done this before?”. Really they should stick to playing paintball. We were informed the event was now a closed one and no-one else would be admitted.

Next up was Thee Infidels, A riotous German Ska/punk band, they got through a couple of numbers then a male comrade put the flag on and was forcibly thrown out. We all followed, the band walked off the stage and came with us. We could not continue under these circumstances and started loading up the gear. About 20 minutes later there was a call from the owner to say he was calling the event off – a bit late for that, mush!

So, is this just a case of a venue badly run by incompetents out of their depth, or was it a set up in league with the police to shut down autonomous organising in the area? A proper antifascist gig was to follow in a couple of weeks, at which they would never have got away with such antics, so this little set piece seems well timed. Never mind, there are plenty of proper venues to choose from.

The Alma will now have to go back to hosting fascists because no one else is going to touch it with a barge pole.

Here’s Grant Sharkey performing the song they got upset about:

We are Bournemouth!

We Are Bournemouth - August 2014

We’re pleased to support this, it’s emphatically not a front group but a genuine grassroots initiative by the people of Bournemouth. None of the parties who have signed up to it has any overall control. Fair play to Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch Trades Council for setting the ball rolling, and to those individuals who have done the leg work, you know who you are.

UKIP upstaged in Bournemouth.

Bloody UKIP, coming over here, taking our shops!

This afternoon UKIP opened one of their weird ‘shops’ in Pokesdown, Bournemouth, they already have one up the road in Parkstone and another in Christchurch, the bloody things are springing up all over the place. This in itself is strange; since when have political parties needed shops? they don’t sell anything, apart from purple balloons so who pays the rent? If Farage is such a man of the people. where does his lavish funding come from?

As expected we found a cluster of blokes in stripey ties and blazers looking as if they’d stepped into a time warp about 1956, some protesters, press, and a plod film crew. Some chinless twit was running back and forth telling people he isn’t racist. To our surprise, UKIP’s neighbours across the road, Dorset Tech, had also decided to throw an opening party at the same time, with a healthy sound system, wine, lager, biscuits and crisps, a Pride banner for a tablecloth and the window decorated with flags of all nations. Their shop isn’t actually open yet, but will have a film and photographic studio and graphic design facilities. They are looking for creative partners to help get off the ground and will give advice free of charge, nice people.

Image0473

We didn’t bother taking a picture of the UKIP shop, they all look the same to us.

The snacks and rather fabulous soundtrack attracted more passers-by than did UKIP and interesting discussions were had. The jollity was still in full swing when the reactionaries all left for a £12.50 a head tea-party with upper-class spiv Neil Hamilton, (cash for questions) whose unsuccessful libel case against Mohammed-al-Fayed was bankrolled by a cartel of far-right millionaires. Colourful Bournemouth con-man and convicted paedophile Peter Hamilton-Harvey was also present..

In the past year the EDL have latched on to UKIP, having always lacked a political platform it has provided them with some stock explanations for their xenophobia. South coast fascists have taken to shadowing UKIP, and trying to intimidate the tail end of lefty protests, especially Gaza solidarity events, see the Post below. Incredibly six blokes believe they can look tough by attacking three women after a demo from which they have just fled. Sure enough a couple of local boneheads were observed skulking around the periphery, but with no opportunities for mischief, they buggered off early.

Protest for Palestine tells racists they are not welcome

Originally posted on Portsmouth Anti-Fascists:

Who takes to the streets to attack a march calling for an end to war crimes, specifically the aerial bombardment of civilian areas leading to the mass killing of children? Well, when the victims are predominantly Muslims, the answer is, of course, the English Defence League. On Saturday (9th August) a demonstration in central Portsmouth calling for an end to the Israeli assault on Gaza and for a free Palestine attracted around 200 people. Starting from the Guildhall Square it went through the shopping precinct and back to the square for a rally with speeches. The turnout was broad, with a sizeable contingent from BME communities and the left.

Excellent community turnout for Gaza

Excellent community turnout for Gaza

As Anti-Fascists suspected 15-20 racists just could not stop themselves from turning up to show the public once again what an utter bunch of mindless morons they are. The usual idiot gang from Portsmouth plus a…

View original 696 more words

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