“israel effectively declares itself an apartheid state”, but still claims to be a democracy

“Israel effectively declares itself an apartheid state”

Palestinian civil society reacts to Israel’s “Jewish Nation-State Law​” which unambiguously defines Israel as a state that belongs exclusively to the “Jewish people.” This is despite the fact that one in five citizens of Israel is an indigenous, non-Jewish Palestinian.

Umm al Hiran demolition.jpg

(A Palestinian family in front of the ruins of their home in Umm al-Hiran, a Palestinian community that the Israeli government is destroying so it can build a town for Israeli Jews only in its place. Residents of Umm al-Hiran are Israeli citizens.)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: media@bdsmovement.net

July 19, 2018 — Today, Israeli lawmakers gave their final approval to the “Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People” bill that unambiguously defines Israel as a state that belongs exclusively to the “Jewish people.” This is despite the fact that one in five citizens of Israel is an indigenous, non-Jewish Palestinian.

Palestinian members of the Israeli Knesset condemned the law, which enjoys constitutional power, as an “apartheid law.”

Adalah, a leading Palestinian human rights organization in Israel, describes how the law “affirms the principle of apartheid in housing, land and citizenship.” It concludes that “this law constitutionally sanctions institutionalized discrimination.”

Najwan Berekdar, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, reacted:

As a Palestinian citizen of this state, this bill entrenches my third-class citizenship on the land where generations of my family have lived since long before the state of Israel even existed.

The Jewish-Israeli majority is loudly reminding us indigenous Palestinian citizens of Israel that we are not welcome in our own ancestral homeland. My people have always suffered from legalized racism by the state of Israel and its institutions, but this law makes our apartheid reality the law of the land like never before.

As “non-Jews” we are already not allowed to buy or rent land on 93% of the area controlled by the Israeli state, and many of our communities are declared to be “unrecognized” and bulldozed out of existence by Israeli forces. I received a racially segregated and inferior education in a school system that conspicuously privileges Jewish-Israelis.

Israel is now stripping us of any semblance of equal rights based solely on our ethno-religious identity. It’s even demoting our language from one of the state’s two official languages.

Omar Barghouti from the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) commented:

Israel has dozens of racist laws, including some which strikingly fit the UN definition of apartheid. But with the constitutional power of this Basic Law, Israel is effectively declaring itself an apartheid state and dropping its worn-out mask of democracy.

From now on, it will not just be legal to racially discriminate against the indigenous Palestinian citizens of the state. It will be constitutionally mandated and required. This should stir people, institutions and governments to take effective action to hold Israel accountable.

Omar Barghouti concluded:

If ever there was a time for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel’s system of oppression, it is now. Israel’s official adoption of apartheid opens the door for the Palestinian people, Arab nations and our allies around the world to pressure the UN to activate its anti-apartheid laws and impose serious sanctions on Israel like those imposed on apartheid South Africa.

We shall double our efforts to further grow the BDS movement for Palestinian rights to hold Israel accountable for all its crimes against our people. No Israeli law will erase our right to self-determination in our homeland or the right of our refugees to return home. No Israeli far-right government, with all the blind support it receives from xenophobic and outright fascist forces in the United States and Europe, will ever extinguish our aspiration for freedom, justice and equality.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society. It leads and supports the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for Palestinian rights

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Trump Administration Reiterates US Backing of israel’s Illegal Gaza Blockade

Trump Administration Reiterates US Backing of Israel’s Illegal Gaza Blockade

By 

Trump Administration Reiterates US Backing of Israel’s Illegal Gaza Blockade

The US has long supported Israel’s illegal Gaza blockade, a policy of collectively punishing the civilian population of Gaza for living under Hamas’s rule
Key members of the team chosen by US President Donald Trump to revive the effectively defunct “peace process” have written an op-ed in the Washington Post backing Israel’s illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, special representative Jason Greenblatt, and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman penned the column, published in the Post on July 19, which blames Hamas for “needlessly prolonging the suffering of the Palestinian people in Gaza.”

The Trump team pointed out that 53 percent of the people residing in Gaza live below the poverty line, and 49 percent of Gazans are unemployed — consequences of the crippling illegal blockade Israel has imposed on Gaza since shortly after Hamas won legislative elections in 2006.

Without mentioning the blockade, the team argued that Hamas was solely to blame for its consequences, thus effectively endorsing Israel’s policy of collectively punishing the entire civilian population for living under Hamas’s rule.

The collective punishment of civilian populations is a violation of international law and amounts to a war crime.

The Trump team suggested that in order for Gazans’ suffering to come to an end — meaning for Israel’s illegal blockade to end — the Hamas government must either be replaced or acquiesce to Israel and the US’s demands within the framework of the US-led so-called “peace process”.

The US has long demanded that Hamas recognize the state of Israel, abide by the Oslo Accords and other agreements under the “peace process”, and renounce violence.

The US does not demand that Israel recognize the state of Palestine, cease its perpetual violations of the prior agreements as well as international law, or renounce violence, which it routinely resorts to in order to suppress the Palestinians struggling to gain their freedom.

The “peace process” has been sold to the public as a means to achieve peace, but in reality is the means by which Israel and the US have long blocked implementation of the two-state solution.

This solution is premised in international law and calls for Israel to fully withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories, envisioning a viable independent state of Palestine alongside Israel and a just solution for Palestinian refugees.

Israel has rejected the two-state solution since its inception, favoring persistent military occupation of the West Bank in order to facilitate its illegal colonization project.

Israel invaded and occupied the West Bank during the June 1967 war and has ever since been illegally building Jewish settlements there. US government officials have often rhetorically opposed the settlements, but in actual deed have supported their construction, despite the fact that they violate international law.

Israel’s expansion of Jewish settlements also violates the Oslo Accords — the same agreement consecutive US executive administrations have demanded that Hamas uphold.

Whereas the two-state solution is premised in international law, the framework for the Oslo “peace process” is premised on a rejection of the applicability of international law toward a resolution. Instead, under this process, the Palestinians must negotiate with their occupier over how much of their own land they will be permitted to exercise some measure of sovereignty over.

This US insistence on rejecting international law was even more loudly pronounced when Trump declared in December 2017 that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel and that the US would move its embassy there.

Under international law, all of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are “occupied Palestinian territories”.

Most of the world has already recognized Palestine as a state, as has the United Nations organization since November 2012.

The UN Security Council, of which the US is a permanent member, has also forbidden member nations from establishing their embassies in Jerusalem due to Israel’s illegal measures to annex occupied East Jerusalem. Under international law, these measures are null and void, and the US embassy move, too, is a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 478 of 1980, the resolution that forbade member states from establishing Israel embassies in Jerusalem due to fact that Israel’s illegal annexation measures prejudice the rights of the Palestinians.

Trump’s declaration about Jerusalem effectively sealed the fate of the “peace process” as defunct. While he has assembled a team to try to restart the process, so far, it has gone nowhere, and there is little prospect of a revival given how Trump’s action undermined the perception of credibility his predecessor, Barack Obama, had striven hard to maintain with respect to the “peace process”.

While rhetorically expressing support for a Palestinian state, the Obama administration, too, backed Israel’s criminal policies with financial, military, and diplomatic support.

Prior to Obama, the Bush administration, too, lent US backing to Israel’s criminal policies against the Palestinians. After Hamas legitimately won elections in 2006, taking over control of the Palestinian legislature, the US conspired with Israel and Fatah, the party of the illegitimate president of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Mahmoud Abbas, to overthrow the democratically elected Hamas government.

Abbas’s legal term as president expired in 2009, but he has remained in office, with US and Israeli approval, as a result of his largely successful coup against Hamas. The PA itself was established under the Oslo Accords essentially to serve as Israel’s collaborator in enforcing its occupation regime.

The result of the US-backed coup attempt in 2007 was a civil conflict in Gaza and the expulsion of Fatah by Hamas. Whereas the legitimately elected Hamas government remained as governing authority in Gaza, Abbas illegally replaced the Hamas Prime Minister, Ismael Haniyeh, with Salaam Fayyad.

After the failure of the US-backed coup to overthrow the Hamas government in Gaza, Israel responded by escalating its blockade policy, in place since the 1967 war, by closing land crossings and implementing a virtual siege of the Strip, strictly limiting the movement of goods and people into and out of the territory.

In November 2008, the US embassy in Tel Aviv cabled Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to explain how the goal of Israel’s blockade policy was “to keep the Gazan economy functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis” — which the Israeli government has defined as nothing short of outright starvation of the population.

Israel’s purpose, the cable reiterated, was “to keep the Gazan economy on the brink of collapse”.

By blaming Hamas for the consequences of Israel’s illegal blockade, the Trump administration is communicating to the Israeli government that it has the full support of the US government for its collective punishment of the civilian population of Gaza.

Global Jewish Groups Issue Joint Statement in Support of #BDS Movement

Global Jewish Groups Issue Joint Statement in Support of BDS Movement

By Telesur,

The BDS solidarity campaign includes 37 Jewish groups in 15 different countries, including South Africa, Brazil and Germany.

An unprecedented joint statement has been issued by dozens of Jewish groups in several countries offering their support to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. They affirmed that their condemnation of the Israeli state does not amount to antisemitism.

“As social justice organizations from around the world, we write this letter with growing alarm regarding the targeting of organizations that support Palestinian rights in general and the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, in particular,” the letter began.

“These attacks too often take the form of cynical and false accusations of antisemitism that dangerously conflate anti-Jewish racism with opposition to Israel’s policies and system of occupation and apartheid.”

The letter went on to note that history has made Jewish people “all too aware of the dangers of increasingly fascistic and openly racist governments and political parties.”

“The rise in antisemitic discourse and attacks worldwide is part of that broader trend. At times like this, it is more important than ever to distinguish between the hostility to – or prejudice against – Jews on the one hand and legitimate critiques of Israeli policies and system of injustice on the other.”

The Jewish-based solidarity campaign was initiated by the Jewish Voice for Peace, or JVP, a U.S.-based organization, along with 36 Jewish groups in 15 different countries, including South Africa, Brazil and Germany, according to The New Arab.

Activists and supporters of the BDS movement have taken inspiration from the boycott and sanctions campaign undertaken in the 1980s to help bring an end to South Africa.

Not satire: ISIS supporting israel tries to link the #BDS Movement to ‘Terrorism’

Israel Intensifies Efforts to Link the BDS Movement to ‘Terrorism’

Erdan unveiled what he described in a post on Twitter as a “map of the Delegitimization Network – aka, the Hate Net”, which the minister claimed “mapped out the 42 leading #BDS orgs, their hub in Ramallah & the connections between them”.

The minister told an audience of Israel advocates that “a coordinated and financed network of [boycott] organizations is led from Ramallah and Gaza, a quarter of which have links to terrorist organizations, including Hamas and the PFLP [Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine]”.

Erdan’s ministerial responsibilities include overseeing the Israeli authorities’ efforts to undermine and sabotage the BDS campaign.

“The perpetrators of this hate-filled campaign, who derive their ideology from the PA [Palestinian Authority] and Hamas, are united in their goal of attacking Israel, and are leaving no stone unturned in their efforts”, he declared Tuesday.

The Israeli minister claimed that “because of the policies we have led on this issue, millions of dollars, the fuel of the boycott movement, have been stopped in recent years, whether by international organizations or by states”.

According to the report, “Erdan also noted that the boycott campaign has been ramping up its activities of late, and have been lobbying politicians in various countries, and working towards trade embargoes of Israel, including halting cooperation with Israel’s defense industries”.

“The relationship between terrorist organizations and the BDS movement has never been closer, ideologically or operationally. I will continue to go after the perpetrators of this antisemitic hate campaign stemming from Gaza and Ramallah”, Erdan said.

Truth, Truthfulness and Palestine

June 11, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

truth Palestine .jpg

Talk delivered at Deep Truth-Countering Deep State Lies (online conference)   

Sun 10 June

By Gilad Atzmon

A healthy society doesn’t need a ‘truth movement.’  But we Americans, Brits, French and Germans are far from healthy and our so-called ‘truth movements’ haven’t led us towards any sources of light. The question is: Why?

One possible answer is that ‘truth movements’ are ideal environments for the operators of controlled opposition — those who insist upon vetting any discussion about the truth by claiming to know what ‘the truth’ is, what it comprises and who its enemies are.

Karl Popper posited that since no number of scientific experiments could definitively prove a scientific theory we should utilise a methodology based on falsifiability. While we posses the means to refute a scientific theory or scientific ‘truth,’ we lack the ability to verify a single scientific theory by means of experiments. For instance, if you state that ‘the sun rises in the East’ is a valid scientific truth, a single occasion of the sun popping up early in the morning in the West will refute your theory. “Building Number Seven” may not point at the culprit behind 9/11 but it is thought to refute the official 9/11 narrative. Furthermore, history laws such as Holocaust denial laws in Europe or the Nakba law in Israel exist to defy alteration, refutation or scholarly debate about the past. Instead of helping us to grasp our past, the existence of such laws reveals to us that some parties are desperate to stop anyone from exploring  what really happened.

The French philosopher Jean-François Lyotard observed in his book, ‘Heidegger and The Jews’ that history may claim to tell us what happened, but most of the time ‘history’ is institutionally engaged in concealing our shame. The Americans, for instance, conceal the brutality of slavery, the Brits conceal the crimes of the empire, the Jews suppress any inquiry into Jewish accountability for Jewish history’s chain of disasters and so on. The message here is that instead of simply learning history from historians, we may well benefit from adopting a psychoanalytical approach to try to understand what historians work to conceal. We should ask why does America build a holocaust museum in every city? Why did the Brits make the Imperial Wars Museum into a Holocaust shrine? We may even want to understand how it is possible that on the same day Israel celebrated “the biggest Gay Pride Parade in the region” hundreds of Israeli snipers were deployed on the Gaza border with orders to shoot every Palestinian who might try to break out of the Gaza concentration camp. Israel’s liberal LGBT attitude is basically a pink-wash, an attempt to conceal Israel’s abusive racist policies towards the indigenous people of its land.

But there is reason to be optimistic. Against the odds, and despite the open assault on truthfulness, truth has a unique ability to unveil itself.

In this presentation today we will look at Palestine and Israel in the light of truth and truthfulness and we will find out that by now we are all Palestinians. Like the Palestinians we are not allowed to utter the name of our oppressors.

Trump and Truthfulness

If truth reveals itself however involuntarily, President Trump is a leading vehicle or, perhaps, an arch facilitator, for such process to take place.  Let us, for instance, examine Trump’s decision to move the American embassy to Jerusalem. This cataclysmic political decision was criticised by every reasonable figure globally but it actually provided the opportunity for the truth to unveil itself.

Just a few hours after Trump’s televised announcement, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas informed Vice President Pence who was at a state visit in the region that he was persona non grata in Ramallah. President Abbas’ reaction to Trump’s Jerusalem move was to declare that America can no longer act as a negotiator, it is a side in the conflict. It was Trump’s Jerusalem move that finally allowed the penny to drop. America hasn’t just taken a side in the conflict, it may as well be an Israeli colony.

Truth Shines on the Jewish Solidarity Spin

Over the last two decades the Palestinian solidarity movement has become a toy for Jewish solidarity. The results of this have been devastating. The core Palestinian plight, namely The Right of Return was practically wiped out and replaced by Israel-friendly terminology such as ‘End of Occupation’ – a set of peaceful sounding bites that in practice legitimise the existence of the pre-1967 Jewish State. New sound bites were attached to the Israeli Palestinian conflict such as: apartheid, colonialism, settler colonialism and even BDS. These misleading terminologies were designed to convey the image that the Israeli Palestinian conflict was not unique, that it had precedents in history. Of course, this is simply wrong and consciously misleading. Zionism is based upon the ludicrous idea that Jews have the right to return to their ‘homeland’ after 2000 years. Who else should enjoy such a ‘universal’ right? Can my Italian drummer claim my house in London as a ‘Roman offspring’?

But Trump’s Jerusalem move reminded the Palestinians that the denial of the Right of Return is at the core of their plight. It is the Right of Return that they should fight for, the Right of Return and nothing but that Right.  Since March we have seen huge protests by Palestinians on the Gaza border. These protests have cost a lot of Palestinian lives. Hundreds were murdered by Israeli snipers, thousands have been injured, but the truth has prevailed. The current resistance by the Palestinians has achieved more of an impact than 20 years of wasted diluted kosher solidarity: Israel is now on the defensive: boycotted culturally and spiritually. PM Netanyahu visited every significant European capitol in the last few days begging for support on Iran. He found closed doors. The Argentinian football team cancelled its visit to Israel. Today I read in the Israeli press that more and more Spanish municipalities ban Israeli cultural events. These measures are a direct reaction to Israeli barbarism in Gaza and beyond.

 Killing From Afar

The Austrian Philosopher Otto Weininger dedicated his valuable text ‘Sex & Character’ to a harsh deconstruction of the ‘female character,’ and then concluded his work by suggesting that the Jewish male is a woman. Weininger killed himself shortly after, he probably couldn’t stand the fact that he himself was an effeminate character as well as a Jew.

Zionism, either consciously or subconsciously took Weininger very seriously. In its early stages Zionism saw itself as an alpha male factory. It brought to life the new Israeli — the Sabra named for the prickly pear.  The  diaspora assimilated Jew, was, in Zionist eyes,  indistinguishable from the outside but calculating and mean on the inside. In contrast, the new Israeli Sabra was to be rough and tough on the outside, yet sweet and humane on the inside.

The Zionists promise was to construct the new Jew, to make him and her into warriors — Combatants that could fight for their cause unlike their Diaspora relatives who were thought to have surrendered like ‘lambs to the slaughter.’

Israeli history suggests that this project seemed successful for a while. In Israel’s early days young Hebrews were willing to fight and die. Indeed, they won a few successive battles (1948, ‘56 and ‘67). I was brought up within this Spartan environment. My peers and I looked forward to sacrificing ourselves on the Jewish nationalist altar. This has clearly changed. The Israeli army is no longer a winning army. Not only does it lack decisive victories, more often it finds itself defeated, withdrawn from the battlefield with its tail between its legs.

What we have seen on the Gaza border in the last two months reveals that Otto Weininger’s observation was indeed prescient. Again the truth has unveiled itself however involuntarily. The Israeli army is an army that kills from afar. It is basically a barbarian criminal outfit dominated by the cowardly nature of its members.

The Israeli military elite has dreaded a March to Jerusalem for decades.  Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians marching back to their lands, homes, cities and villages is something that can’t be easily addressed militarily. Generals are naturally fearful of such incidents because they entail unpredictability. It is impossible to predict how a lone rifleman will react when confronted by thousands of angry Palestinians closing in on him — will he stay to defend his position or will he run for safety?  And what about the air force, can we count on an F-16 pilot to drop a napalm bomb on unarmed Palestinians marching towards Tel Aviv? Seemingly the Israeli generals have found an answer to the above dilemma – they kill from afar.

Israel has deployed thousands of snipers in Gaza. They are ordered to kill from afar. Not exactly the early Zionist heroic image of a face to face warrior who sees the eyeballs of his foe as he fights for his survival. But the snipers are not alone. Israeli pilots also rocket Gaza from a distance while cruising over the Negev or the Sea.  Both the snipers and the pilots are supported by dozens of drones that are controlled by boys and girls who operate in safety and comfort in air-conditioned units.

Otto Weininger’s diagnosis had some merit. Apparently the alpha male transition didn’t work as the early Zionists wished.

We Are All Palestinians

Truth, as we know, is under attack in the West. It doesn’t take a genius to identify the elements that see truth as a threat and seek to suppress truth seeking. The political means that have been designed to suppress truth and truthfulness operate openly. At one stage this online conference was  named  ‘The Left Out Forum.’ It is the platform for scholars and humanists who unveil the shame that  the Left in its current permutation can’t handle. How did it happen to the Left? This is easy to explain – at a certain stage the good old Left was hijacked by the so –called ‘New Left’ — a corrosive set of ‘ideologies’ that are designed to suppress truth and truthfulness.

The New Left assault on truth is facilitated by two means. The first is ID politics – a divisive crude attempt to teach us to speak ‘as a’ (as a woman, as a Jew, as a Lesbian, as a Black, etc.). ID politics has either consciously or not removed us from authenticity and authentic thinking. Instead of pondering for ourselves, we learned to think ‘as a’ in a collective manner (as a Jew, as a Trans, as a Gay, etc.)

The second New Left tactic is so-called ‘Political Correctness.’  PC culture is basically politics that doesn’t allow political opposition. Interestingly enough, this is exactly how we define authoritarian and tyrannical discourse. The truth of the matter is that tyrannical conditions are light in comparison with PC culture because PC is driven by self-suppression. It represses our ability to express ourselves authentically, and even more dangerously PC stops us from thinking independently.

All of this has led me to the conclusion that in the world in which we live, we are all Palestinians. Palestine is not just some far away conflict. It is here all around us: like the Palestinians we are unable to explicitly utter the name of our oppressors. Like the Palestinians, our dissent has been compromised. In Britain, the police will knock on your door as soon as you tweet your thoughts about Israel and its Lobby. America is catching up.   Like the Palestinians, our truth has been hijacked but it has not been murdered.

Truth, as we have seen, is a lasting enduring concept.  Truth is that which unveils itself against all odds. Whether we like it or not, truth will shine upon us as it has shined upon Gaza and Palestine in the last two months. However, the truth may not be where we expect to find it.

Otto Weininger taught us that “in art self- realisation is realisation of the world.” The artist, according to Weininger, hits the truth by means of self-reflection. Trying to universalise Weininger’s insight may suggest that truth happens to unveil itself to us because the truth is in us. Truth is not what you find out while examining the world, it is not in the press or in the media, on CNN, the BBC or the Guardian of the Judea. Truth is not what you find in academia or even in a truth movement’s pamphlets. Truth unveils itself because truth is that which we find within ourselves. Truth is found when we close our eyes in disbelief. It reveals itself when we look inward, when we  learn to attend to our inner voice of reason and ethics.

Truth is not a personal esoteric experience. Quite the opposite, it is that kernel of humanity we all share. It is that which makes us into one, a one that transcends  political affiliation, identity, gender, race, ethnicity  or biology. As in Palestine, sooner rather than later,  we will realise that truth, so to say our truth, that which we share, is the only thing worth fighting for!

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Activists expose UK university’s links to israel weapons manufacturer

Source

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.”

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

http://english.alahednews.com.lb/essaydetails.php?eid=42931&cid=269

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

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