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.

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!

Protest at the American Embassy

Campaigners call for US Government to end aid to Israel 

By Americans AGAINST Apartheid

This past week throughout the world, Palestine solidarity campaigners called for America to end its aid to Israel. In London, a protest took place outside the US Embassy in answer to an appeal by the Popular Committee of Bil’in:

Dear Friends

The popular committees-Palestine asks all those who support peace and justice in Palestine to organise demonstrations in September outside the US embassies of their countries calling for the end of US aid to Israel. Demonstrations are already planned in front of the White House on September 15th and in front of the United Nations building in New York on September 15th, but to be successful we need to globalize the resistance.

American tax dollars go toward supporting an illegal and humiliating occupation of Palestinian land; the construction of illegal settlements; the annexation of Palestinian farmland; the purchase of weapons and arms used in night raids and military strikes. Right now American money finds its way to this part of the world where children and innocent civilians are killed, injured, and made to suffer. It also empowers the Israeli government to further ignore international law and perpetuate its intransigence.

These demonstrations in September will tell the US government to stop supporting this occupation and stand up for justice and freedom in Palestine, lets spread them far and wide across the planet.

Salaam

Iyad Burnat
Head of Bil’in popular committee

America is seen around the world as facilitating the Israeli occupation and complicit in the suppression of Palestinian human rights. This is thanks to the US$30 billion in aid America promised to Israel from 2009 to 2018. This aid fuels the occupation of Palestinian land and buys weapons that Israel uses against Palestinian civilians.

On Saturday, September 17th, Palestine Solidarity campaigners staged a protest in front of the massive US Embassy building near Grosvenor Square carrying banners and placards that read ‘Stop funding US aid to Israel’, ‘Stop stealing Palestinian land’ and ‘Stop funding the Israeli war machine.’ One protester displayed a large sign of Uncle Sam that read ‘I’m Israel’s bitch and so are you.’

The protest attracted attention and support from many passersby, several who joined with campaigners to call for an end of US aid to Israel.   

Opponents claim Israel – which is the only recipient of American aid that doesn’t have to account for how it is spent – has a right to self-defence. However with the right of self-defence comes responsibility which Israel has squandered in its abysmal human rights record and its flouting of international laws.

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For further information about US military aid to Israel, please visit Be on our side.

It’s now just a matter of time…

By Bruce, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (J-BIG)

Saturday, September 10th

Looks like Monmouth Street will soon have an empty shop, as six months ago, news broke that Ahava’s landlord refused to renew their lease when it expires at the end of this month.

During Saturday’s Ahava protest, many human rights activists who once again far outnumbered the Zios were curious how many of them would turn up after the action at the BBC Proms on September 1st at the Royal Albert Hall where the decision was taken by BBC Radio 3 to pull the concert off the air.

Despite all the hysteria coming from the Zionist camp and a few sectors of the right wing media claiming that this was cultural vandalism, protesters neither disrupted the music nor did our action cancel the Prom. Concert-goers continued to enjoy their music, as well as witness a demonstration. This carefully planned and thought out action was highly successful, as it made headlines around the world, while at the same time sending out a strong statement about the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s support of the Zionist regime.

AHAVA

Later this month we will be celebrating along with other peacemakers and truthtellers around the world Ahava’s departure from Monmouth Street, which is the result of two years of protests, direct actions and legal challenges.

I spent the time standing on the corner of Seven Dials and Monmouth Street and attracted attention wearing my BOYCOTT ISRAELI GOODS t-shirt and J-BIG Kippa.

One woman said to me: “I wish there were more Jewish people like you.” To which I replied: “there are - and many more too!”

After a lengthy explanation of the reasons behind the boycott campaign, another woman said: “I will never go into THAT shop or buy any more Dead Sea products again.” 

"There's nothing more Jewish than standing up for human rights."

The few Zios that turned up were unusually subdued, the exception being Jonathan Hoffman, Co-Vice Chair of the UK Zionist Federation, who shouted out several times “Cultural Terrorists!” Hoffman, who has a history of disrupting events, was unceremoniously thrown out of the Royal Albert Hall for going berserk with an Israeli flag during the IPO’s performance on September 1st. 

THE ZIONIST FEDERATION’S NEW FRIEND – THE GRAND PRIX PRIEST

Neil Horan

Earlier that evening outside the Royal Albert Hall, Hoffman probably saw a man wearing a kilt adorned with a Star of David, dancing a jig who was entertaining the Zionists and their right-wing EDL allies.

Few were aware that this darling of the Zionist Federation-organised counter-demonstration was a former Britain’s Got Talent contestant named Neil Horan, a defrocked Catholic priest nicknamed ‘The Grand Prix Priest’ or ‘The Dancing Priest.’ Horan earned his nickname by disrupting the 2003 British Grand Prix by running onto the track at Silverstone directly into the path of oncoming race cars carrying a religious banner. 

Horan at the 2003 British Grand Prix.

During the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Horan pushed a Brazilian runner who was in the lead into the crowd watching the race, costing the runner the gold medal.

Later that year, Horan was acquitted of child abuse allegations and celebrated by performing a traditional Irish jig outside the Old Bailey (the Central Criminal Court in England) wearing his costume.

I’m certain that Horan didn’t tell the Zionists about the two months he spent in a German prison for writing to Chancellor Angela Merkel informing her that he intended to dance a peace jig in Berlin during the 2006 World Cup carrying a poster saying “Adolf Hitler was a good leader who was following the word of Christ.” Horan also planned to give the Hitler salute and light a candle for him at the site of Gestapo Headquarters. 

As they say, like attracts like.

CHECK THE LABEL

Outside the nearby TESCO supermarket, human rights campaigners leafleted and encouraged consumers not to purchase either Israeli or West Bank settlement produce.   

One unkempt Zionist specimen who was wearing sunglasses and a hat to hide his identity, was struggling to give away what appeared to be fly infested Israeli dates, but there weren’t any takers.

Alongside, holding a bunch of what seemed to be half-eaten dates in his hand was Ian Sternberg, a member of the Zionist Federation’s National Council who laughingly describes himself as a ‘socialist‘ and ‘trade unionist.’ In 2010, Sternberg unashamedly counter-demonstrated alongside the ultra-right Islamophobic EDL  outside Ahava on several occasions. That same year, he was also photographed alongside Roberta Moore, at that time head of the EDL’s Jewish Division.   

Joining Sternberg was Sharon Klaff, a middle-aged, dark-haired Zio who frequently contributes to internet hate sites. South-African born Klaff once openly called a human rights campaigner a “dirty little Jew-boy” outside Ahava in front of witnesses and was promptly reported to the police (see photo, below).

Rounding off this strange group of hasbara experts was a woman who continuously yelled “F*ck you” in an American accent whilst gesturing at me with her middle finger. The commotion attracted the attention of the police who had a word with her about her anti-social behaviour. I was keen to find out why she acted the way she did, but sadly I never got the opportunity.

An incredulous 'Sharon Klaff' being given a warning on Monmouth Street by the police while the Zionist Federation's Ian Sternberg, behind in blue shirt, watches.

Her language and gestures reminded me of some of the American Zionists whose actions I witnessed outside the AIPAC conference in Washington DC four months ago. These US Zionists not only used similar obscene language and gestures, but they also seemed to enjoy spitting on demonstrators and even used violence on several occasions.

If you think that American Zionists have cornered the market in uncouth and disgusting behaviour, guess again. You don’t have to look much further than the Co-Vice Chair of the UK Zionist Federation – and several of the Zionist Ahava counter-demonstrators could give their counterparts from across the pond a run for their money.

Afterwards, as we were walking to a nearby café, I heard rapping coming from the inside of a shop window. Turning sideways, I saw a man inside pointing to my BOYCOTT ISRAELI GOODS t-shirt giving me the thumbs up.  

That man I’m sure, represents most people in Britain today.

Ahava Protest – Saturday 27 August

Video/report by Seymour

Despite rain showers, the fortnightly protest continued with a respectable turnout, including our saxophonist who provided an appropriate soundtrack. Also present was an Israeli Palestine solidarity activist who came to express her solidarity and is interviewed in this video report.

The Ahava shop is still open and carrying on its (illegal) business by selling stolen Palestinian produce as ‘Made in Israel’ thus (1) misrepresenting what it is marketing, (2) evading EU import duties, (3) receiving and handling stolen produce, (4) selling produce from occupied land … and you name a law at random and Ahava will probably have broken it.

This appears to be of no concern to Camden Council who of course worry most about such important things as collecting parking fines and making sure that local taxpayer’s money gets quickly recycled on to companies that profit from the occupation of Palestine – like Veolia Environmental Services.

Only a few more weeks to go before Ahava leaves Monmouth Street, thanks in part to the many human rights activists who’ve been attending the fortnightly protests that started in March 2010.

Outrage Outside the Israeli Embassy in London

Video and commentary by Seymour

The above video was made during an emergency demo called within a few hours notice outside the Israeli Embassy in London on Friday, August 19th. 

There were emergency demonstrations held last Friday outside Israeli embassies throughout the world at the latest outrage committed the day before by the Zionist Apartheid regime against the Palestinian people of Gaza.

This was one of those times when we, the people, get sufficiently angry about the arrogance and criminality of the murderous regime in Tel Aviv that an impromptu protest can be arranged within a couple of hours.

We already know that the reaction of our pro-Zionist government to Israel’s latest campaign of slaughter against the defenceless civilian population of Gaza will be totally inadequate and will in no way reflect the outrage and sense of helplessness felt by so many of us.

When war crimes of such gravity are committed with impunity because Israel knows that it is protected from any redress thanks to its lobby embedded within the governments of the US and the EU, then we know that the only recourse left open to us is to take to the streets, to shout and protest and ensure that the representatives of the evil Apartheid state of Israel, holed up in Palace Gate, clearly understand that their presence here amongst civilized society is abhorrent.

Below is yet another video that graphically illustrates the anger and outrage of those present last Friday outside the Israeli Embassy in London.

Video by Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK

Ahava and TESCO BDS Protests – Saturday, 13 August

Report and Video by Seymour

Saturday 13th August 2011 – With London still in a state of shock, Zionist Federation counter-demonstrators at Ahava and TESCO tried to stir things up in their usual malign way, even though the similarity between the riots in London and the antics of the settlers on the rampage in the West Bank apparently passed them by.

Protesters at TESCO were entertained by a passing Hare Krishna group and by a nearby Zimbabwean demonstration.

Police disperse the few Zionist Federation counter-demonstrators who turned up.

Ahava and TESCO BDS Protests – Sat July 30th

 

 Video by Seymour

Report by Carl B.

Saturday 30 July 2011

On a warm, sunny Saturday afternoon, about thirty human rights activists came to protest and disseminate information to the public outside Ahava, London’s largest purveyor of illegal settlement goods.

Ahava is an Israeli cosmetics company that plunders natural resources from Palestinian land in direct contravention of both UK and International Law and is also the focus of an international boycott campaign. Activists once again reported that they received a great deal of popular support for the campaign against the Israeli retailer, with the general concensus being that it has no place in London or anywhere else in the world.

This was the latest in a series of fortnightly protests outside Ahava that began on 13 March 2010. A little more than one year later, it was announced that because of these protests, including legal challenges, occupations and other direct actions, Ahava’s landlord will not renew its lease when it expires in late September.

Ahava manufactures its stolen natural resources in a factory located in Mitzpe Shalem, an illegal settlement in the Occupied Palestinian Territory of the West Bank. Israel’s Supreme Court in 2004 ruled that the West Bank is governed under “belligerent occupation” and is not part of Israel, which is in direct contradiction to Ahava’s claim that its products both originate and are manufactured in Israel.

Not only are human rights activists keen to see Ahava go, but also most of the neighbouring businesses on Monmouth Street can’t wait for it to leave. As one  business owner said, “I’m pleased Ahava is leaving. It’s brought the street down. I’ve complained to the landlords, as has everyone here. Everyone would like them to leave. I wish they had left two years ago.”

As much as we distain from talking about ourselves, news of our Ahava Boycott Campaign and other BDS actions throughout London has travelled throughout the world and inspired others to act against injustice, which is perhaps the greatest accolade we could receive.

Our protests regularly attract activists who visit London from throughout the UK and overseas. Today we enjoyed the company of an Australian solidarity activist who had heard about our success.

The Zionist Federation counter-demonstrators outside Ahava included a total of five people, including a Christian Zionist Welsh nationalist and an evangelical Messianic Jew who was observed trying to convert the three Jewish Zionists that were present!

After about an hour, campaigners took part in a lively procession to Covent Garden’s TESCO supermarket which sells both Israeli and illegal settlement produce. The procession included many Palestinian flags, a banner and chants.

The purpose of the Every Little Helps APARTHEID Campaign is to encourage consumers to check the label and not purchase produce labelled either ‘Israel’ or ‘West Bank.’ In 2005, Palestinian public organisations issued a call for an international boycott of both Israeli and settlement goods until Israel abides by International Law.

It was a good-natured action; activists – some dressed as fruit and some carrying signs - received lots of support and spent over an hour talking to the many visitors, tourists, residents and TESCO customers about the campaign to boycott Israeli and settlement goods.

There were four Zionists at TESCO; including one who remained inside the air-conditioned supermarket looking out, while his three colleagues sweltered in the heat – and whose presence and arguments were largely ignored by passersby.

The next demonstration is on Saturday 13 August. Meet outside Ahava at 12:00 noon and at TESCO at 1:00pm. Details here. All welcome.

Finally, thanks to BDS Nederland (and others) for sending their solidarity and good wishes in regards to Saturday’s protest.

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Additional coverage and images can be found on Demotix

A Visit to the Royal Courts of Justice and Regent’s Park Mosque

Report by Hilary/Photos by Tapash

On Friday 15 July at 10am, about fifty people assembled outside the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand in a demonstration organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) to protest against the imprisonment of Palestinian political leader, Sheikh Raed Salah who had been held in custody since June 28th.

Sheikh Salah, a leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel and a well-known human rights campaigner, arrived in the UK on June 25th to speak at several public meetings, including one in Parliament.

Even before his flight landed at London’s Heathrow Airport, Sheikh Salah was the subject of a smear campaign in advance of his well-publicised visit, initiated by several reactionary pro-Zionist rags including the right-wing Daily Mail and JCrap (The Jewish Chronicle) who attempted, without success, to cancel public meetings where Sheikh Salah was scheduled to speak.

Later, media reports surfaced that Sheikh Salah had been banned from entering the country on the grounds of “unreasonable behaviour” despite him issuing a statement prior to his trip condemning all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and discrimination against his own people, the Palestinians.

After being arrested in his hotel room on June 28th, Sheikh Salah was kept in custody pending deportation and was denied bail after being subject to a controversial exclusion order by the Home Secretary.

On Friday July 15th, a High Court judge was due to hear his appeal and request for bail…

the BOYCOTT ISRAELI DATES mosque TOUR: REGENT’S PARK MOSQUE

Regent's Park Mosque

Later at the Regent’s Park Mosque, also known as the London Central Mosque & Islamic Cultural Centre - one of the largest Mosques in the UK - campaigners distributed flyers to hundreds of worshippers after Friday prayers informing them about the Boycott Israeli Dates Campaign.

Activists went all out to keep up with the demand for information and entered into many productive discussions with people who wanted to know more about the campaign to boycott Israeli goods.

Afterwards, everyone adjourned to a nearby lakeside cafe in Regent’s Park for refreshments as guests of an appreciative member of the Mosque. It was there news was received that Sheikh Salah’s appeal had been successful and that he was now free on bail.

Please take a few moments to visit this page that the PSC has created to learn more and find out what you can do to ensure justice for Sheikh Salah.

More coverage of the Sheikh Raed Salah case can be found in The Independent and The Guardian.

Ahava, TESCO & Greek Embassy Protests, July 2nd

Thanks to Seymour for the video

Reports & photos compiled by Foreign Correspondent

Saturday 2 July 2011

During the latest of the fortnightly protests as part of the ongoing campaign against Ahava, around twenty human rights campaigners picketed the shop, dubbed “London’s largest purveyor of illegal settlement goods,” leafleted and spoke to countless people passing through London’s busy Monmouth Street, educating them about the company’s complicity in Israel’s human rights abuses and violations of both international and UK laws.

The day was made all the more successful by music played by our saxophonist and by the sunny and mild weather which brought people out in droves.

Campaigners on Monmouth Street.

These actions are part of the international  Stolen Beauty campaign against Ahava which was launched in July 2009 by the American women’s peace group CODEPINK. Similar actions have taken place throughout America, Canada, The Czech Republic, South Africa, France, The Netherlands and Tel Aviv, making the boycott movement against this poisonous company truly international.

The case against Ahava is a strong one:

  • Ahava plunders natural resources from stolen land in violation of the 4th Geneva Convention and other international laws.
  • Ahava is in breach of the EU-Israel Trade Agreement by falsely claiming its products are made in Israel when in fact they are manufactured in a factory located in Mitzpe Shalem, an illegal Israeli settlement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The mud that is a key ingredient in the majority of Ahava’s products is plundered from another illegal settlement; Kalya, north of Mitzpe Shalem. By falsely claiming their products come from Israel, Ahava avoids paying the full tariff and thus they are guilty of tax evasion, cheating the UK government out of much-needed revenue.
  • Ahava violates the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 by misleading consumers over the origin of their products, giving the impression that they were manufactured within Israel as opposed to the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
  • Ahava products rate high in toxicity, thus posing a potential health risk to the public.

Human rights campaigners outside the Ahava shop. Two Zionists are on the left.

Today there was no private security guard outside of Ahava, he being replaced by the five police constables who were present, some positioned directly in front of the shop – thus doing an excellent job of deterring business!

One Zionist, waving an Israeli flag ignorantly shouted out: “Jews are the worst anti-Semites,” unaware of what he was saying or how odd it must have appeared to passersby.

Maybe what he meant was “Zionists are the worst anti-Semites,” as Zionism is totally alien to Judiasm and the many crimes of Zionism are often committed, quite wrongly, in the name of all Jewish people.

Zionist: "Jews are the worst anti-Semites."

In March it was announced that Ahava’s landlord will not be renewing its lease which will expire in September due to the demonstrations that have been taking place since late 2009. The regular protests as well as the several occupations that resulted in the shop’s temporary closure in addition to other direct actions and legal challenges have all played a part in the success of this campaign. Activists however have vowed to continue their fortnightly presence until Ahava no longer has any presence on Monmouth Street.

No photo of the ZF's Jonathan Hoffman is complete without at least one police constable in it.

From the very beginning, the Zionist Federation (ZF) organised counter-protests have always lacked public and moral support, as well as people. To boost numbers, the ZF has relied on Christian Zionists from Wales with the result that there are often more Welsh flags displayed than Israeli ones. The few Zionists present today – including the Welsh Christians – were mostly ignored by the public and the lack of interest forced them to revert to their old tactic of thrusting their flyers at passersby.

Roberta Moore, ex-leader of the EDL's so-called 'Jewish Division'.

Last week, news broke that far-right EDL ‘Jewish Division’ leader and Ahava supporter Roberta Moore has resigned from the EDL. For a few weeks during the summer and autumn of 2010, Kahanist Moore, along with her fellow Islamophobic dregs, staged a regular presence outside Ahava alongside the ZF counter-protest. Moore is famous for having been photographed together with Jonathan Hoffman, Co Vice-Chair of the ZF outside Ahava. Hoffman later had to issue a public apology to the photographer for claiming it was Photoshopped.

Good riddance Roberta. You won’t be missed.

After distributing over two hundred flyers, campaigners staged a parade to the nearby TESCO supermarket singing chants, waving large Palestinian flags and carrying a banner which attracted the attention of hundreds of people – many of who applauded and gave the thumbs up sign. Outside the supermarket, campaigners including the ‘BDS Orange,’ spoke to and distributed flyers to customers about the illegal settlement goods on sale inside TESCO which is the largest supermarket chain in the UK.

The goal of the ‘Every little helps APARTHEID’ campaign is to educate consumers as to why they should “check the label” and boycott produce labelled ISRAEL and WEST BANK.

In front of the Greek embassy.

Later that day across town, about forty people gathered outside the Greek Embassy to express their outrage that Greek authorities, under economic pressure from America and Israel prevented the Gaza Freedom Flotilla II named ‘Stay Human’ from departing, breaking the Israeli blockade of Gaza and bringing in much-needed supplies to a people deprived of their freedom.

Among those present at the emergency protest, organised in under twelve hours were Sarah Colborne, Director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Glyn Secker, captain of the Jewish Boat to Gaza and member of Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JfJfP).

Demonstrators managed to speak to a member of the embassy staff who was hostile to any accusations made against the Greek government and soon after, armed police forced peaceful protesters off the Embassy grounds.

Here are some additional images:

Outside the Greek embassy.

At the Greek Embassy.