Zionist Federation Israel Advocacy Training Conference: Another fine mess

ORT House

Report by Joseph Michaels

As an answer to the Big Tent for Israel, an event noted more for its exclusions than for anything else, the UK Zionist Federation were inspired to hold an Israel Advocacy Training Conference at ORT House in Camden on Sunday, December 11th.

But like many events the Zionist Federation organises, not all went according to plan. Some have claimed that the whole thing was a send-up at the behest of disparate elements and others claim that it was at least some kind of propaganda effort. Although it was advertised as a major event by the Zionist Federation, neither the Zionist Jewish Chronicle nor the Jewish News covered it.

As it was unlikely that those opposed to the continued infliction of torture and denial of the human rights of the indigenous Palestinians would be permitted entry, there were nonetheless several observers present outside to see how many turned up. From the start, they noted the arrival of the punters (at £25 a throw) and numbers – as predicted – were very low indeed.

Around noon, it was observed that about 50 persons were identified as being present – including the 26 speakers who had been invited – which hardly constitutes a full-house.

As is often the case, ‘security’ for this Zionist gee-up was provided by the Community Security Trust (CST) who like to think of themselves as an organisation that protects Britain’s Jewish Community and prevents anti-Semitism. In reality, the CST is a well-funded Zionist “charity” who act as bouncers at Zionist events and whose modus operandi when dealing with anti-Zionists is on a par with the Zionist Federation’s ally, the English Defence League

The CST’s claim that they prevent anti-Semitism is highly questionable, as they’ve been involved in too many controversial incidents. For instance in January 2009, a Jewish man who heckled the UK’s Chief Rabbi by singing an Israeli children’s song was physically attacked by a CST thug and in February 2010, two Jewish anti-Zionist campaigners were violently ejected by CST goons for simply and politely asking uncomfortable questions at a Zionist ‘environmental’ meeting held at the University of London’s Institute of Education.

An angry and aggressive CST ruffian approached a pair of observers who were opposite ORT House and threatened to call the police. But once challenged (like all bullies), he quickly backed off. As one observer later reported:

“A truculent man from the CST tried to intimidate us by saying we had to move away. I replied that we were interested in…the local architecture. This infuriated the CST creature who threatened to call the police, to which I said “OK”, but he didn’t.”

A LAW UNTO THEMSELVES: The CST said that taking photographs (on a public street) was not permitted.

On looking at the programme, even the most die-hard supporter of Zionist terrorism will have to admit that a cock-up took place with the selection of speakers that included significant dimwits, halfwits, nitwits, drones, nonentities and political illiterates. The list would be long, but two can be selected to demonstrate the point.

"Richard" (his best side)

A certain hack Zionist propagandist (who we’ll call “Richard”) spoke on the topic “Blogging for Israel”. For those ignorant souls that turned up, they learned…

“…how to create your own news agenda instead of having it created for you by the traditional media. With blogging you can write your own stories (yes, “Richard,” we know) about Israel, anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.”

Those who were involved in the Ahava demonstrations on Monmouth Street will remember “Richard” and all that he did to assist the subjugated Palestinians by helping to get the Ahava shop closed.

No mention of a Zionist event would be complete without the inclusion of the thoughts (and threats) of the Co Vice-Chair of the Zionist Federation, Jonathan Hoffman.

The Zionist Federation's Jonathan Hoffman

Hoffman (along with one Keith Fraser) spoke on… “How to make the most of limited knowledge” (I didn’t make this up!). The blurb for the session read:

“Without being an expert, see how you can rebut the most common accusations. Armed with just a few powerful facts, you can defend Israel and even persuade an opponent prepared to listen. The consistent repetition of positive, affirmative (sic) messages are our most powerful weapons”.

How very odd that Hoffman chose not to employ such skills when parking his posterior outside Ahava screaming “Nazi” at everyone who disagreed with him. Even Ahava UK’s Managing Director, Odelia Haroush who served in the Israeli Occupation Force’s Intelligence Corps could not get rid of him.

It has been noted by inside sources that there was, as a result of this conference, a shortfall in receipts and that the ZF is now tearing itself apart with its officers blaming each other for this fiasco.

For the last several editions, the Zionist Jewish Chronicle and Jewish News have ignored the obvious nonsense of the above and the reason is perfectly clear; a complete mess from start to finish and so the diktat has gone out to maintain silence on this farcical conference just as the terrorists of Israel maintain a similar silence about what they did to cleanse the Palestinian inhabitants in 1947/1948.

Operation Cast Lead massacre in Gaza remembered in London

AWAY AND IN DANGER
Tune: Away in a Manger
Lyrics: Deborah F, Naomi W-I, Sue B and others.
 
Away and in danger, no roof over head,
Their homes were destroyed in Operation Cast Lead, 
The bombs in the bright sky, rained down where they lay,
And for three hundred children ’twas their very last day.
 
The bombing and shelling came time after time,
Is the most moral army ashamed of this crime?
The settlers on hilltops applaud every blast,
World leaders stay silent, their people aghast.
 
It’s time to raise our voices, end the violence and hate,
For people of conscience can no longer wait.
The siege must be broken and justice appear,
So the children of Gaza can live without fear.

Below are two videos of the 27th December demonstration very near to the Israeli Embassy off Kensington High Street to commemorate the third anniversary of Operation Cast Lead, the genocidal attack that was launched by the apartheid Zionist state on the 27th of December 2008 against the helpless and imprisoned people of Gaza.

The first video, courtesy of Seymour Alexander, gives a gripping first person perspective of the day and also includes some speeches:

The second video is coverage from Press TV:

Report from Press TV:

UK activists mark Gaza war anniversary

Tue Dec 27, 2011

British anti-war activists have staged a pro-Palestinian rally outside the Israel embassy in London, voicing their opposition against the blockade of Gaza Strip.

In a bid to mark the third anniversary of Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s three-week bombing and invasion of the Gaza Strip in December 2008 / January 2009, over a hundred of anti-Gaza siege demonstrators protested from 1pm until 3pm on Kensington High Street and voiced their anger at the continuing violence and siege against the Palestinian public living in Gaza.

Following Israel’s 22-day-war on the densely populate Gaza, some 1,166 Palestinian civilians were killed, including 300 children. And over 50,000 people had to leave their city as the war destroyed 4,000 houses in the blockaded territory.

The move was organized by pro-Palestine campaigns, including Palestine Solidarity Campaign, British Muslim Initiative, Friends of Al Aqsa, Stop the War Coalition, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and Palestinian Forum in Britain.

The British protesters also called on the coalition government to stop its current economic, diplomatic, and military support of Israel, and to urge Israel to put an end to its illegal occupation of Palestine.

More than 1.5 million Palestinians are now living under the relentless Israeli siege, which has been imposed on the coastal enclave since 2007.

While hundreds of people were marking the third anniversary of Gaza war and commemorating the martyrs who lost their lives during the war, an Israeli airstrike killed one Palestinian and wounded two others in northern Gaza Strip.

Don’t buy the racism of Lacoste

Artwork courtesy of Latuff

Report/photos By Carl

Lacoste is a French fashion company that many recognise by their green crocodile logo. They also sponsor the Lacoste Elysée Prize – an art competition organised by the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour was one of eight nominees who were shortlisted for the prize. However, Lacoste changed its mind about including Sansor’s work in the competition and asked the Museum to remove her as a nominee citing her work as “too pro-Palestinian”.

Sansour’s entry into the competition was entitled Nation Estate which feature images based on Palestine’s admission to UNESCO. In her entry, Sansour imagines the state contained in a single skyscraper, with each floor representing cities including Jerusalem, Ramallah, as well as Sansour’s native Bethlehem.

Within 48 hours of Sansour going public, the Musée de l’Elysée came out in her support announcing that it had decided to suspend its relationship with Lacoste as a sponsor of this prestigious prize for its insistence to exclude Sansour from the competition.

In London…

On Friday, December 23rd, over a dozen activists – some wearing Santa hats – mobilised at short notice outside the Lacoste shop on London’s Regent Street to distribute specially produced flyers condemning Lacoste and sing anti-apartheid carols. The flyers were offered to the few customers entering and leaving the Lacoste shop, as well as distributed to the hundreds of people passing by.

Despite the rain, the alternative carols sung in the very heart of London’s West End, minutes away from Oxford Circus, attracted attention from a considerable number of shoppers and tourists, many of who stopped to take photographs and were curious to find out more.

One man, seeing a Palestinian flag that one activist brought along, joined in. Others expressed their support by giving the ‘thumbs up’ sign and saying “well done” as they walked by.

Despite the peaceful nature of the picket, one Zionist verbally and physically assaulted a female human rights activist, an incident that required police intervention.

The presence of human rights campaigners outside Lacoste also attracted the attention of the media and thus campaigners were able to further raise awareness of the oppression and indignities suffered by the Palestinian people at the hands of the apartheid Zionist state.

Something tells us we haven’t heard the last of Lacoste.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

  • Boycott Lacoste and tell others why they should as well.
  • Leave an appropriate message on Lacoste’s Facebook page.
  • Tweet a suitable message to Lacoste: @Lacoste_UK

No2Veolia North London Waste Authority Lobby

A few of the activists outside Camden Town Hall on Tuesday

Report: London BDS/Photos: Alice

It seems that demonstrations against Veolia are becoming more and more frequent as the campaign against this poisonous company intensifies.

In solidarity with the Palestinian people, human rights activists gathered yesterday outside Camden Town Hall to send a strong and clear message to a meeting of the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) not to shortlist French multinational Veolia for lucrative waste and fuel management contracts across several London boroughs.

Despite the threat of inclement weather and an early morning start, there was a large turnout of activists and groups that included Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JfJfP), the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and the Tower Hamlets & Jenin Friendship Association.

One banner proclaimed: “Veolia Stinks, Bin It!” Another sign read: “Veolia Must Stop Supporting Israel’s Illegal Settlements.” Other campaigners carried colourful placards, some of which were created by a local artist. A few people had their faces painted and were dressed in white boiler suits, resembling refuse workers.

Most likely as a result of the continued campaign against Veolia, the NLWA has extended its timescale, yet further postponing a decision. 

According to a report by the Tower Hamlets & Jenin Friendship Association, “substantial efforts” have been made to contact councillors and should Veolia be successful in its bid then “councillors cannot claim they did not know about Veolia’s complicity in war crimes.”

One campaigner said: “If Veolia is successful in its bid, then we will ensure that the councillors involved will be held accountable come election time.”

The toxic company has long supported Israel’s illegal infrastructure in the West Bank and East Jerusalem – and the case against it is a strong one.

Veolia has already lost contracts worth billions of pounds throughout the UK and Europe thanks to extensive lobbying and campaigning by human rights activists and organisations who are determined that companies involved in supporting Israel’s illegal occupation will be publicly named and shamed.

Veolia helped to construct and operate the Jerusalem Light Rail tram that links illegal Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem with Israel. The tram tightens the apartheid state’s hold on occupied East Jerusalem and undermines chances of a just peace for both parties.

In the occupied Jordan Valley, Veolia has long supported Israel’s illegal settlements by transporting refuse to its Tovlan landfill facility. Even though Veolia has since sold Tovlan to an illegal settlement, it still maintains an advisory role.

Veolia also operates bus services that connect illegal Israeli settlements to Israel.

Palestinians were – until recently – forbidden from using the apartheid roads on which these buses travel. However, Palestinian use of these roads are still restricted.

Not only do the Israeli 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.

In an attempt to whitewash its unsavoury activities, Veolia is sponsoring the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2011 exhibition at London’s Natural History Museum.

This Saturday, December 17th between 12-2pm, join human rights activists at their fortnightly gathering outside the Museum on Exhibition Road as they inform both visitors and the public about why London and the rest of the UK should bin Veolia. All welcome.

The resistance must be continuous.

‘Israeli Promise’ served at Lev’s place

Serving up 'Israeli Promises' outside Lev's.

Report/photos by Bruce Levy

1 December 2011, London UK

Israeli Promise cocktails

In an action called by London BDS, human rights campaigners, together with Israeli and Palestinian activists, were outside the LEVIEV diamond store in Mayfair’s exclusive Old Bond Street offering Israeli Promise© cocktails - empty champagne glasses representing the countless empty promises and lies of the apartheid state –  to guests during an invitation-only cocktail party thrown by the notorious diamond magnate and Israeli settlement financier, Lev Leviev.

Leviev, a resident of London, owns companies involved in the construction of Israeli West Bank settlements that the international community regard as illegal and against the 4th Geneva Convention. Another Leviev company is heavily involved with brutal human rights abuses in the diamond industry in Angola.

Several members of the Beethovians for Boycotting Israel choir were present and sung Christmas carols that included “The Olive and The Army,” “Ding Dong Merrily on High” and “God Rest All Ye Who Talk of Peace.

Campaigners displayed large photographs that showed the reality of life under Israeli occupation and also distributed flyers about Leviev to guests, as well as to the countless number of people who passed through the busy area.

Despite the rain, many members of the public stopped to express their disgust and outrage that Leviev was allowed to conduct business in a country whose government proclaims its support for human rights.

A person who works in the area told campaigners that her son’s friend was shot in Gaza by an Israeli sniper while carrying two children to safety. One person was later heard to exclaim: “This injustice has gone on for long enough!

The action was undertaken in solidarity with the Palestinian people and with Adalah-NY, an American group who regularly campaign outside Leviev’s New York City store.

Adalah-NY, as well as American peace groups CODEPINK and Jewish Voice for Peace alongside several UK human rights organisations, including the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (J-BIG) and Architects & Planners for Justice in Palestine (UK) have all added their names to a statement calling on international fashion icon Daphne Guinness to sever ties with Leviev, who is financing an exhibition of Guinness’ clothes at New York City’s Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). The British edition of Vogue reports that FIT “is pursuing the matter very actively.”

Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel will be singing anti-apartheid carols outside of the LEVIEV store on Madison Avenue in New York City on Saturday, December 17th between 1:00 – 3:00pm.

Adalah-NY is a highly innovative and creative group, so if you’re in New York City on that date, do join them.

They might even be serving Israeli Promise© too.

Members of 'Beethovians for Boycotting Israel' led the carol singing.

Bringing the truth to Old Bond Street.

Despite the rain, people stopped to express their support.

Shouts of "shame" greeted many guests.

The rain didn't deter anyone.

Every guest was offered a glass of 'Israeli Promise' and a flyer about Lev Leviev.