SAY NO TO APARTHEID: BIN VEOLIA!

Veolia is once again sponsoring the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum.

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Please post a (polite) message on the wall of the Natural History Museum’s Facebook Page

or tweet: @NHM_London

and tell them what you think of Veolia’s sponsorship of their Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition.

 

Veolia, a large French multinational, has helped to build and operate a tramway linking illegal settlements in East Jerusalem with Israel. Not only do the settlements contravene article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention forbidding an occupier transferring its own civilians into the territory it occupies, but in most cases the establishment of the Israeli settlements involves war crimes too. The tramway tightens Israel’s hold on occupied East Jerusalem, ties the settlements more firmly into Israel and undermines chances of a just peace for the Palestinian people.

Tovlan landfill

In the occupied Jordan Valley, Veolia has been supporting illegal settlements by taking their refuse at its Tovlan landfill site. Veolia has now compounded its offence by actually selling Tovlan to an illegal settlement while maintaining an advisory role.

A Veolia-run bus operates in the occupied West Bank. (Anne Paq/ActiveStills)

Veolia also operates bus services connecting illegal Israeli settlements to Israel. Palestinians were, until recently, forbidden from using the apartheid roads on which the buses travel and Palestinian use of these services is still severely restricted.

Veolia must be made to halt these activities which enable Israel to maintain and tighten its grip on the occupation.

 SAY NO TO APARTHEID: BIN VEOLIA!

So until they do, please support this campaign against Veolia – a company complicit in the ongoing occupation and dispossession of the Palestinian people.

For further information of the case against Veolia, visit the Boycott Israeli Goods website.

King’s College London collaboration with Ahava

By London BDS

Just weeks after the UK’s only Ahava shop near Covent Garden closed as a direct result of regular demonstrations by human rights campaigners and months after major UK retailer John Lewis announced that it is no longer selling the poisonous brand comes news that Kings College London (KCL) is participating in an EU-funded nanoparticle research project alongside Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories Ltd.

Outraged students and faculty have called on KCL to immediately withdraw from the project, reject the grant it has received and take steps to ensure that the university does not find itself in a similar position in the future.

As a first step in achieving this goal, KCL students have created an e-petition that has been widely circulated and publicised, both in the UK and abroad.

The KCL-Ahava partnership attracts international condemnation

Within a fortnight, over 700 signatories including Noam Chomsky, Remi Kanazi, Ali Abunimah, Ahdaf Soueifas as well as academics, lawyers, artists, writers, journalists, filmmakers and people from all walks of life, in both the UK and throughout the world, have added their voices to call on KCL to immediately disengage from this project and distance themselves from Ahava.

One KCL student said: “We are asking all people of conscience, whether they are students or not, to add their name to the petition. We have been overwhelmed by the support and expressions of solidarity we have received and hope we can follow one success with another.”  

The petition states:

King’s College London is conducting research in close collaboration with Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories, an Israeli cosmetics company partly owned by and located in the illegal Israeli settlement of Mitzpe Shalem, deep in occupied Palestinian territory.

Noam Chomsky: Signatory

Ahava profits from, and helps to maintain, Israeli violations of international law. By collaborating with Ahava, KCL has itself become complicit with the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.

Echoing the overwhelming international consensus on the illegal nature of Israeli settlements, we join KCL Action Palestine in calling upon the university to withdraw from the project immediately, reject the grant it has received as part of the project, and take active steps to ensure that the university does not find itself in a similar position in the future.

The campaign has been gathering momentum. Yesterday on October 12th, the University of London Senate voted to condemn ‘in the strongest terms‘ KCL’s collaboration with Ahava:

It has been recently uncovered that Kings College London is conducting joint research with Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories

Ahava is a commercial company located in the Israeli settlement of Mitzpe Shalem, a settlement in occupied Palestinian West Bank territory and hence illegal under international law

Ahava is profiting off Dead Sea resources that are being stolen illegally from the Palestinian land taken by Mitzpe Shalem

There has been a call by Palestinian civil society to boycott those companies implicit in Israeli war crimes, breaches of international law and abuses of Palestinian human rights

Union Believes;

Ahava represents a company directly benefiting and profiteering from the occupation of Palestine and appropriation of Palestinian land

It is unacceptable for an academic institution to lend, not merely legitimacy, but active support and research for such an entity that breaks international law

By conducting research with Ahava, Kings College is itself implicit with criminal activity and abuse of human rights

Union Resolves,

To condemn in the strongest terms the research project between Kings College and Ahava, and demand the immediate severing of the project

To support the campaign led by academics and students at Kings College, to achieve this aim

Votes: 9 – for, 0 – against, 3 – abstentions

Ahava eligible for EU funding?

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the EU’s commissioner for scientific research stated that some of Ahava’s EU-funded research may have been conducted in the West Bank, despite the EU’s judgement that Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are illegal according to international law.

EU science grant applications state that projects that violate “fundamental ethical principles” are ineligible for funding, which leads one to ask why a €1 million grant was awarded to a company committing violations of international law while participating in this project.

Author/Activist David Cronin blogs more about this subject in an Electronic Intifada post entitled Occupation profiteer Ahava soaks up EU science grants.

Links:

You’re visiting the wrong Hague

Report by Bruce, J-BIG

6 October 2011

War Criminal Tzipi Livni

Tzipi Livni, war criminal and leader of the Zionist Kadima party, gave the fingers up to the British public and flew into the UK after accepting an invitation from Foreign Secretary William Hague, a political crime that shocked and outraged many who vowed never to forget come the next election.

Livni was Foreign Minister and part of the Zionist government that shared collective responsibility for atrocities committed during Operation Cast Lead, the assault on Gaza that killed over 1,400 people –  many of them children – and left over 20,000 people homeless.

Livni later unashamedly admitted that she was proud of the part she played and there is substantial evidence linking her to this and other war crimes. As a result, arrest warrants were sought by human rights lawyers which is why Livni, as well as other senior Israeli government and military officials, didn’t dare visit Britain.

Something we’d like to see.

In 2009, Livni herself was forced to abandon a trip to the UK due to the fear of arrest.

Unfortunately all that came to an end in September 2011 when the Con-Dem coalition government changed the laws on Universal Jurisdiction allowing those responsible for war crimes and other heinous acts to freely visit the UK without the worry and humiliation of being arrested and prosecuted.

What’s even worse, news slowly emerged that Foreign Secretary Hague granted Livni temporary diplomatic immunity from arrest citing that she was on a ‘special mission,’ despite Livni not serving in the current Israeli government, but as leader of its opposition – which is something almost unheard of.

As one human rights campaigner said: “This is another nail in the coalition government’s coffin. Their decision will give every ghoul and criminal carte blanche to come to the UK without any fear of legal repercussion.”

Indeed. The Jewish News in its October 6th edition reports that Israeli Major-General Doron Almog, the former head of the Israeli Occupation Force’s Southern Command between 2002-2003, will soon be visiting Britain.

On January 10th 2002, Almog ordered as collective punishment, the demolition of fifty-nine houses in Rafah. Several months later on July 22nd, Almog ordered that a one-ton bomb be dropped on a house in Gaza to eliminate a suspected militant. The explosion killed fifteen people, including nine children and injured dozens.

Coming soon to the UK: War Criminal Maj-Gen Doron Almog.

The demolition of homes, the expulsion of residents, the bombing of residential areas and the killing of innocent civilians during a period of occupation are violations of International Law and classified as war crimes.

In September 2005 at Heathrow Airport, Almog was advised not to disembark his El Al flight to avoid arrest and after a two-hour standoff, this fugitive criminal returned to Tel Aviv on the same aircraft that he arrived on.

Almog only escaped justice thanks to the complicity of the previous Labour government, especially former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and the Metropolitan Police, who probably were only following orders.

In July 2008, the High Court of Spain issued a second warrant to arrest Almog for his part in the Gaza house bombing.

That this coalition government offers the welcoming hand of friendship to those who are complicit in war crimes and atrocities is an act that mocks international justice and is something every conscientious person should object to.

And this was the reason for Thursday’s emergency demonstration opposite Downing Street.

Over one hundred people turned up, many carrying Free Palestine/End the Siege on Gaza placards and signs reading ‘Livni: You’re visiting the wrong Hague’ and ‘Murderer out of the UK.’

The police presence was larger than usual for a static protest and it was clear to many that they were expecting a blockade of Whitehall, the road that runs past Downing Street, judging by the way the crowd control barriers were arranged.

There was a large Jewish presence and banners were displayed from Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (J-BIG), Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JfJfP), the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) and Neturei Karta, whose members carried a sign demanding Tzipi Livni’s arrest. There was also a large turnout from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign who organised the demo, as well as the Green Party.

Soprano Deborah Fink of J-BIG led the protesters in singing Ode to Boycott that was sung by the Beethovians for Boycotting Israel choir whose performance enhanced the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert at the BBC Proms on September 1st.

The Zionist Federation counter-demonstration amounted to fewer than twenty-five glum-faced Zios. What little support they enjoyed was made up with an overabundance of Israeli flags and banners.

In addition to the Zionists, there were two young people – the entire youth wing of StandWithUs UK.

One man and his flag.

Jonathan Hoffman, Co-Vice Chair of the Zionist Federation, appeared at a crossing island directly in front of the protesters waving an Israeli flag and was promptly joined by two women who displayed a large Palestinian flag.

As Hoffman was being led back to the pen by police, many human rights campaigners started booing and heckling. Some shouted: “Go back to Monmouth Street,” referring to where Ahava used to be. The shop is now a menswear boutique.

I’m still not sure whether the protesters were booing Hoffman or the police, as his presence usually provides some entertainment and his unwitting and invaluable support in helping to rid the UK of its only Ahava shop certainly didn’t go unnoticed.

Afterwards in front of the Zionist enclosure, Hoffman recognised me and shouted “Jewish scum” several times. I wondered what the many commuters, tourists and members of the public made of Hoffman’s faux pas, especially coming from someone who was standing in an enclosure adorned with Israeli flags and banners.

Later, Jeremy Corbyn MP turned up and gave a short speech denouncing the government for playing host to Livni.

The demonstration finished at 7:00pm, long after all of the Zionists had departed.

And for those who find the title of this post a mystery, not only is Hague the surname of the UK’s Foreign Secretary, it’s also the home of the International Criminal Court in The Netherlands – a place where many people would like to see Livni and other Zionists accused of war crimes tried.

Some of the demonstrators. Downing Street is across Whitehall, behind the black gate. The large building in the background houses the Cabinet Office.

Soprano Deborah Fink leading the protesters singing 'Ode to Boycott.'

Over a hundred human rights campaigners were mobilised for this emergency demonstration.

As usual, a large Zionist turnout.

The Neturei Karta were there.

FREE PALESTINE!