1 June 2024Feature

Pro-Palestine activists in Scotland have taken a stand outside Holyrood

Over 15 Gaza solidarity camps (or ‘encampments’) have sprung up around the UK, following the example of those at more than 140 universities in the US which have often been met with police violence and mass arrests. Here in the UK, after occupations of two Bristol university buildings were forced to end in late March and early April (because of the threat of legal action), students began an encampment on 1 May. The focus, as elsewhere, is on getting institutions to break ties with companies…

1 June 2024News

Jewish-Arab peace group form 'humanitarian guard'

After right-wing Israeli activists stopped an aid convoy to Gaza, destroyed food supplies, set two trucks on fire and beat up a Palestinian driver, a Jewish-Arab peace group called ‘Standing Together’ mobilised hundreds of supporters on 19 May to protect the aid trucks, which all got through. Standing Together believe their ‘Humanitarian Guard’, which included a convoy of cars, forced the police to take stronger action.

1 June 2024News

Ships attempting to break siege

The Gaza Freedom Flotilla Coalition has two missions on. The main ‘Break the Siege’ effort involves one large cargo ship, the Anadolu (Anatolia), and a ferry, the Akdeniz (the Mediterranean).

The Anadolu is trying to break the illegal Israeli siege on Gaza by delivering 5,000 tons of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

The Akdeniz is said to be carrying hundreds of participants from over a dozen countries including Australia, Indonesia, Ireland,…

1 June 2024News in Brief

Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis was banned from entering Germany in April to stop him giving a speech at the Palestine Congress in Berlin.

On 12 April, 930 German police officers were sent to shut down the three-day event as it began. The congress had been organised by Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East and the German branch of DiEM25, the left-wing European movement.

Varoufakis and other banned speakers were told that appearing at the congress by…

1 June 2024News in Brief

A majority of British people want to end arms sales to Israel, two recent polls have found.

A YouGov poll for Action for Humanity in early April found that 56 percent of people want to end the export of weapons and parts to Israel, with only 17 percent wanting them to continue:

Another YouGov poll in early May for Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) and the Council for Arab-British Understanding (…

1 June 2024News

How the Gaza ceasefire negotiations broke down

Hamas stunned the world by agreeing to an Israeli-US-Qatari-Egyptian ceasefire proposal on 6 May. Israel then refused to accept the ceasefire deal it had previously agreed – and immediately launched military attacks on Rafah in the south of Gaza, where over a million Palestinians had fled for safety from other, more devastated parts of the territory.

Earlier, on 30 April, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu had ‘said he would invade Rafah “with or without a deal,” a vow that…

1 June 2024News

Doesn’t support an immediate permanent ceasefire? Don’t vote for them

In the general election campaign, every candidate for the Westminster parliament must be told that if they do not call for an immediate, permanent, ceasefire in Gaza, they will not receive your vote.

Out of all the crises and pressing issues in the world, the slaughter in Gaza must be the most urgent question of the British general election.

Both the Conservatives and Labour pretend to be calling for a ceasefire, but all they mean by that is a few weeks’ pause to get…

1 June 2024Review

OR Books, 2024; 320pp; £17.99 (available online here)

Its text finalised in early December 2023, Deluge brings together expert analysis and commentary from journalists, academics and campaigners, its 13 contributions divided into three sections.

In the first (‘Contexts’), two stand-out essays dismantle the myth that Hamas is to blame for the failure to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict, and the facile notion that Gaza’s current plight is a consequence of its people’s failure to adopt nonviolence.

In reality, as academic Colter…

21 April 2024Blog

Another report from the West Bank by the Israeli-Palestinian peace group The Villages Group

On 5 April 2024 Erella, on behalf of The Villages Group writes:

To our friends wherever they be,

Incidents with settlers in the South Hebron Hills villages take place all the time, night and day. We, visiting our friends there most days of the week, reach them either before such an attack…

6 April 2024Blog

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition is ready to try to break the siege on Gaza.

4 April: The international Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) will sail in mid April with multiple vessels, carrying 5,500 tons of humanitarian aid and hundreds of international human rights observers to challenge the ongoing illegal Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.

This is an emergency mission as the situation in Gaza is dire, with famine setting in in northern Gaza, and catastrophic hunger present throughout the Gaza Strip as the result of a deliberate policy by the Israeli…

1 April 2024News in Brief

After Declassified revealed on 1 February that at least six Israeli air force planes had taken off and landed in the UK since 7 October, the UK government was forced to admit the true number was nine.

1 April 2024News in Brief

On 13 February, South Africa asked the international court of justice (ICJ) to order Israel to stop attacking the southern Gazan city of Rafah, where 1.5 million Palestinians have fled.

The world court refused to impose any new measures, saying that it had already made provisional orders on 26 January for Israel to stop killing civilians and to ‘enable the provision’ of desperately needed aid (PN…

1 April 2024News

No evidence group used rape as a weapon of war

Despite claims to the contrary, there is no evidence that Hamas used rape as a weapon of war on 7 October. 

That is the conclusion of months of investigation by Electronic Intifada, the Grayzone, Mondoweiss, YES! and other independent investigators, who have carefully assembled evidence undermining the credibility of key witnesses. They’ve also shown the ‘evidence’ supplied to be very weak. 

An article that persuaded many people that there…

1 April 2024News

Polls show consistent support for end to Israeli assault

Every poll since the beginning of the massacre in Gaza has found that a majority of people in Britain want in an immediate end to Israel’s assault. 

Even if we subtract those who only support a ‘pause’ in the war, we still find that a majority of British people who have an opinion back an immediate, unconditional, permanent ceasefire, as called for by UN agencies and humanitarian NGOs.

The latest poll, conducted on 12 and 13 February, found that two-thirds of British people (66…

1 April 2024News

Protests, blockades & direct action

Israel’s brutal war and starvation campaign in Gaza has continued to spark protest across the UK, with large marches and blockades and property damage at arms companies.

In the last two months, the major Gaza-related protests in the UK have been the national ‘Stop the Genocide – Ceasefire Now’ demonstrations in London, involving tens of thousands. The march went to Downing Street on 3 February, to the Israeli embassy in West London on 17 February, and to the US embassy in South London…