Activists expose UK university’s links to israel weapons manufacturer


MEMO | April 25, 2018

Relations between the University of Manchester (UoM) and Israeli arms manufacturers have been exposed in a new report by student activists. Members of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement revealed the web of connections between the university’s commercial arm and several weapons companies including Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) which produced drones that were used during the Gaza onslaught of 2014.

In the report “Entangled Graphene, Arms, Israel and The University of Manchester”, the activists document several cases of collaboration and commercial ventures between companies tied to UoM and Israel.

UoM is said to be a pioneer in the research and development of Nanene, which is a particular type of graphene, a material that is thought to be 200x stronger than steel making it the strongest material known. According to the report, in October 2017 a contract was signed between Versarien, which is a commercial partner of UoM and Israel Aerospace Industries, the state corporation that was deeply involved in the attacks on Gaza.

UoM is alleged to have jointly participated in EU funded projects with the main Israeli drone producers including IAI and taken part in ventures with Elbit and Rafael.

The discovery was made through a series of Freedom of Information requests by students who revealed that it had taken six months as well as intervention by the Information Commissioner before the university answered any questions related to their investigation.

UoM had come under fire for its controversial links with Israeli institutions last year when the university disciplined students for protesting against Israel.  The university claimed that the students were punished for “trespassing on a roof during Israeli Apartheid Week” but the students said their protest was meant to put pressure on UoM to “divest from firms that abet the apartheid regime of Israel”.

UoM BDS Campaign - Cartoon [Latuff]

UoM BDS Campaign – Cartoon [Latuff]

Trust between UoM and students broke down even further after the university refused to share details concerning its relation with Israeli institutions. The body regulating data protection in the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), found the university to be in violation of the government act issued in 2000 by not disclosing information requested by a student activist over its controversial ties.

In the latest chapter of the feud between UoM and pro-Palestinian student activists, the university’s controversial ties are further exposed. The report mentions the CEO of Versarien, who is reported to have admitted to the connection between the commercial arm of the university and Israeli companies. “Dealing with any Israeli company is challenging,” confessed Neill Ricketts, “and this is a defence company so there’s a huge amount of confidentiality and even to get a quote is a real achievement. What we have here is the ability to be able to take our materials and work closely with the guys in not only in aircraft but in defence projects and space projects and so on.”

Ricketts, who praised UoM for its production of the various methods and techniques in the development of graphene exuded: “This is massive news for us as a company and for the industry in general. The Israeli Aerospace Industry do not put press releases out as a rule, and they’ve been very kind to us in allowing us to name them. They’re extremely enthusiastic to use these next generation materials in their products”.

In its statement to MEMO concerning details raised in the report UoM said: “The University of Manchester partners with many different academic and industrial organisations. We have a robust partnership process and all the University’s research is tested against our nationally recognised ethical criteria.”




Amid further mass casualties on the third consecutive Friday of the “Great Return March” protests, health workers were put under yet further considerable strain and a number of them were injured.

Today, a Palestine Red Crescent Society medic in Rafah was shot in the knee with live ammunition, and a further 10 paramedics had to evacuate their medical point near Khan Younis after inhaling tear gas.

Even before Israel’s violent response the protests, health workers in Gaza were under huge strain due to the cumulative effects of a decade of blockade, which has degraded health and other essential services as well as the economy and living conditions, in addition to previous mass casualty events. Burnout and emotional exhaustion was already a significant feature among Palestine’s medical workforce. Now, they are once again experiencing the most difficult conditions, working long hours in tense situations and assisting casualties with often horrifying and life-changing injuries.

Last Friday, the World Health Organisation reported that five ambulances were damaged in attacks, three paramedics were injured by direct fire to the lower limbs, one by a tear gas cartridge to the head and that 29 healthcare staff suffered from tear gas inhalation.

Attacks on Palestinian health workers, facilities and ambulances by Israeli forces have been a painfully regular and repeated feature of the past decade, as MAP has emphasised in its publications and advocacy.

“Regretfully, no one has been held to account for any of the multiple attacks on protected medical personnel and facilities, and this impunity makes recurrence much more likely,” added Aimee Shalan.

“The prolonged and often traumatic stressors endured by health workers in Gaza are almost inconceivable for people not trapped there. On an almost daily level, they see and suffer what many of us won’t in a lifetime,” said Aimee Shalan, CEO of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

Today, at least 969 injuries have been reported by the Ministry of Health. More than 1,200 were reported to have been shot in the last fortnight. At least 26 protesters are reported to have been killed.

A medic treating severely injured protesters in a hospital in Gaza told MAP that the types and numbers of injuries “would overwhelm any European hospital and be classified as a “major incident”, let alone a local hospital in Gaza with a shortage of disposables and man power for this kind of injury. This is happening every Friday.”

With the sheer number of casualties threatening to overwhelm available services, communities in Gaza are stepping up to support them. In Khan Younis in the south of Gaza, for example, MAP has learned of groups of students of healthcare subjects banding together to form “rescue teams” to offer treatment and support the work of professional responders.

Those inside hospitals and clinics are working long hours to keep essential services running alongside caring for thousands of new patients. The physical health of unarmed protesters is clearly under threat in Gaza, but so too is the mental wellbeing of those who are once again bravely striving to save lives and limbs.

As we celebrate the steadfastness and resolve of Gaza’s medics, we are also outraged that their safety is once again endangered as they carry out their vital humanitarian functions.

MAP repeats its call on the UK government and the international community to support the demand of UN Secretary General for there to be independent investigations into the violence at the Gaza perimeter protests.

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Even Stars Tell The Truth!

19-04-2018 | 15:43

I was once lost, but now I’m found

Was blind, But now I see

Not to speak religion-wise here, these lines from the “Amazing Grace” hymn say a lot about the current political situation in the region and the international arena.

Fatima Haydar

The foreign-backed war on Syria, the Saudi-led aggression on Yemen, the suppression of the Rohingyas, the regime crackdown in both Saudi Arabia and Bahrain… have all had one sole achievement: they unmasked so many people, notably in the entertainment industry, as it turned out – cannot see reality for what it is, or at times, choose to see what suits their interests disregarding the greater good.

News and gossips regrading A-listers’ political views on various disputed issues have circulated social media platforms, with fans showing support or opposition regarding what he had to say.

The most recent happenstance is that of British rock band Pink Floyd co-founder and singer Roger Waters during his concert in Barcelona on April 13.

Waters who made use of his fame and status, became a political personality fighting the “Israeli” entity’s apartheid policies toward the Palestinians and their Cause.

The ex-Pink Floyd singer-songwriter also speaks on behalf of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions [BDS] movement as well as Black Lives Matter.

He had always been an advocate for human rights issues.

Last Friday, Waters denounced the “White Helmets” who he called a “fake organization” fronting for terrorists and providing propaganda for “‘jihadists’ and terrorist”.

A video posted on YouTube by a group called “Hands Off Syria”, the A-lister explained that listening to “propaganda of the ‘White Helmets’ and others, we would be encouraged to encourage our governments to go and start dropping bombs on people in Syria,” saying to do so would be a “mistake of monumental proportions”.

In the video, Waters begins by addressing the audience saying a certain person wanted to come on stage and make a speech about last week’s alleged chemical gas attack in Syria’s Douma.

“He is one voice, I personally think he is entirely wrong, I believe the organization that he purports to represent and who he supports, the ‘White Helmets’, are a fake organization that is creating propaganda for ‘jihadists’ and terrorists, that’s what I believe,” Waters said.

What sympathetic words from someone who has experienced recruiting attempts by the powerful pro-war PR operation behind the “White Helmets”, and yet refused to be drawn.

According to the Grayzone Project, a public firm representing the “White Helmets” called The Syria Campaign attempted to recruit Waters by inviting him to a lavish dinner organized by a Saudi-British billionaire, Hani Farsi.

The rock legend was lobbied again to support the “White Helmets”, but this time by an eccentric French photojournalist affiliated with what he described as a “very powerfull [sic] Syrian network.”

Though, Waters did not respond to either request, saying “I was quite suspicious after I was invited to that [‘White Helmets’] dinner,” Waters said as quoted by the Grayzone Project. “And now my worst suspicions have been confirmed.”

These emailed solicitations from the “White Helmets” representatives were provided by Waters to the Grayzone Project.

Roger Waters email

Roger Waters email

The Grayzone Project mentioned that the documents reveal how the organization’s well-funded public relations apparatus has targeted celebrities as the key to the hearts and minds of the broader Western public.

Unlike many other A-listers, however, Waters took time to research the “White Helmets” and investigate its ulterior agenda.

Take for instance wrestler and actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – Hollywood’s most important residents – who met and dined with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) and others from the entertainment industry – Disney CEO Bob Iger, Morgan Freeman, James Cameron, and Universal film chairman Jeff Shell – at media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s house.

Observers and rights groups indicated Saudi Arabia still has a dire human rights record and is involved in a devastating conflict in Yemen. Not everyone saw Bin Salman’s Hollywood tour kindly, as social media users notably blasted The Rock for cozying up to the royal.

And according to Max Blumenthal, founder of the Grayzone Project, in an interview with RT, “the ‘White Helmets’ were the only source that these governments were relying on to justify their attacks,” adding that the “White Helmets” “are operating on the ground alongside Al-Qaeda and their allies, and these are just documented facts.”

The “White Helmets” were the first to report on the alleged chemical attack in Douma. Although it’s been widely praised in the West for its staged rescue work, its members have repeatedly been accused of having links to extremist groups.

Source: Al-Ahed News

Antisemitsm and Jewish Guilt

April 11, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

 What is the meaning of Jewishness and whatdoes it offer in light of Israeli criminality? 

What is the meaning of Jewishness and whatdoes it offer in light of Israeli criminality?

By Gilad Atzmon

Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center’s 2017 Annual Report on Anti-Semitism Worldwide was released today and there is good news: The number of recorded violent antisemitic incidents in 2017 fell by about 9% as compared to 2016 – and by almost 50% compared to the 2006-14 average.

One would expect Jewish and Zionist institutions to celebrate the victory over antisemitsm and Jew hatred in general. This is not happening. According to the study,  Jews feel more insecure.

“This situation [the drop in violent incidents] is not necessarily perceived in Jewish communities as a sufficient positive development, because the presence of security measures means that they are a necessity, and mainly because it is overshadowed by the many verbal and visual expressions, some on the verge of violence, such as direct threats, harassments, hateful expressions and insults. These take place in working places, schools, universities, playgrounds, near Jewish homes and institutes, on football/soccer fields, during demonstrations in the streets, and all the more so in the social networks.”

Once again Corbyn, BDS and the Left are the objects of blame.

“The rise of leftist antisemitism that supports radical Muslim anti-Israeli attitudes expressed in antisemitic terms such as in the BDS  and Antifa movements, and certainly in the UK Labour party led by Jeremy Corbyn.”

Apparently Jews in the UK are “losing their traditional political home” as a result of feeling betrayed by the Labour party. Maybe someone should explain to these snowflakes that political parties in the West are not ‘homes’ or properties nor do political parties need to make tribal commitments. But voters can drop political parties and choose a different  party. This is Western democracy. You support the political party that best reflects your beliefs rather than dictating your ideology to a political party. If Labour under Corbyn doesn’t reflect your beliefs, just move on, support another, or even form your own party.

We are confronting bizarre behaviour. Would women feel more or less vulnerable if we learned that rape incidents dropped by 10%? Would Blacks react negatively to a study revealing that anti black violence dropped by 10%? And what about Muslims, wouldn’t they welcome a drop of 10% in Islamophobic violence?

It seems to me that Jews have a lot of work to do, examining their own behavior. Rather than trying to portray Corbyn as the contemporary Oswald Mosley or turning the Labour Party into the enemy, Jews should look inward and find out what Jewishness means in 2018. What does it offer in light of Israeli criminality?  What is the meaning of the holocaust when social media spreads images of Jewish soldiers shooting Palestinians like sitting ducks?

I believe that Jews feel insecure despite the drop in anti-Semitic violence because they feel guilty. They do not seem to know how to encapsulate and compartmentalise their Jewish existence within a Jewish continuum that is shaped by Israeli belligerence  and relentless Zio-con advocacy of global conflicts.

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Ahed Tamimi Interrogation Video Discussed in New Report


I do not make a habit of visiting the Daily Beast. I simply don’t care much for their editorial policies. But an article published today on an alleged video of a police interrogation of Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi is worth taking a look at.

Before I get into the details of the report, let me just comment, as an aside, that for a while now it has seemed to me that we are witnessing a growing rift among Jews over the policies of the state of Israel. The rift is primarily between Jews who live in the West and Israeli Jews who by and large support the policies of apartheid.

For instance you might want to go here to read an article, published a bit over a week ago at the ultra-Zionist Aurtz Sheva/Israel National News website–an article which assails Ronald Lauder over a mildly-worded comment in which the president of the World Jewish Congress criticized “Israel’s capitulation to religious extremists” while at the same time referencing a “growing disaffection of the Jewish diaspora.”

Israel’s policies and all the boycotts they are generating, in addition to making it increasingly hard to cast Jews as victims, are bound to be causing headaches for Jews who oversee vast business empires in the West–empires which depend upon public goodwill for continued profitability. And this is probably a major source of the “growing disaffection” Lauder refers to.

Now comes the Daily Beast article.

Written by a Jewish writer, Jesse Rosenfeld, the article offers a rather realistic view of the occupation, describing Ahed Tamimi’s village of Nabi Saleh as a place where “unpleasant daily encounters with Israeli settlers and soldiers are a fact of life.” Rosenfeld also makes reference to “vitriolic condemnations” heaped upon the Tamimi family by “hardline Israeli politicians” and by “national activists,” and he additionally cites figures showing that the conviction rate of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli military courts is “near one hundred percent.”

It’s almost sounds as if the Daily Beast is championing the cause of Ahed Tamimi!

But let’s get into the nuts and bolts of the article, which you can read in full here. Rosenfeld apparently was given access to a video of an interrogation of Ahed that took place on December 26. The video, he says, is nearly two hours long, and in it the two Israeli interrogators show no regard for her rights as a minor.

This is The March of Return

March 30, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

Despite the relentless efforts of Jewish solidarity groups to derail the Palestinian Right of Return, today in Gaza thousands of peaceful marchers made it to the border. The Israelis are in a state of panic. By the time I post this news item seven Palestinians were murdered and hundreds are wounded by the IDF.  

These photos were found on Israel media outlets (such as Ynet and Times of Israel):


Electronic Intifada probably decided not to cover this story.

Below is a screenshot of EI’s front page  earlier today. I guess that the real intifada is very different from its ‘electronic’ version…

Screen Shot 2018-03-30 at 02.17.42.png

#Corbyn Condemns US Treatment of Palestinians


25 Mar  7:35 PM

Head of the UK Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn has condemned American punishments against the Palestinian people, including the assault on their right to have Jerusalem is the capital of their state.

Labour Friends of Palestine met in British Parliament on 14 March, highlighting speeches by Palestinian Authority Ambassador Manuel Hassassian, Jeremy Corbyn and Palestinian teenage poet Leanne Mohamad.

Jeremy Corbyn slammed US President Donald Trump saying: “Donald Trump, his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has sparked a resurgence in tensions.

“And, we absolutely condemn that. What we want is peace achieved in the region. You don’t achieve it by the actions of Donald Trump, in that sense.”

Corbyn also spoke out against the cuts made to UNRWA, the United Nations body that deals with Palestine refugees, who have been enforced out of their homes by the Israeli Zionist since 1948.

“Also, the cuts that have been made to the funding of UNRWA, jeopardizing schooling and healthcare for Palestinian refugees across the Middle East, including 500,000 children whose only access to education is UN funded schools through UNRWA.

“No one can believe that such a state of affairs will ever bring about a long-lasting peace,” Corbyn said.

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