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Volume 53 Number 32, December 3, 2023 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

Workers and Students Walkout as the
Government Continues its Support for Israeli War Crimes

Workers' Weekly Internet Edition: Article Index : ShareThis

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People:
Workers and Students Walkout as the Government Continues its Support for Israeli War Crimes

Britain's military support for Israel:
Call of Palestinian Resistance to British Government

Britain's military support for Israel:
UK Drones Conducting "Surveillance Flights" over Gaza

Affirming the right of Palestinians to resist Israel's military occupation:
A Unified Call for Justice and Freedom in Palestine

National Demonstration For Palestine:
Full Ceasefire Now - Stop The War On Gaza!


International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

Workers and Students Walkout as the Government Continues its Support for Israeli War Crimes


November 25, London

Wednesday, November 29, marked the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People which has been observed on November 29 each year by the UN since 1977. This year people around the world staged rallies and walkouts in their thousands to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People condemning Israel's heinous war on Gaza and the West Bank killing a reported of at least 15,000 people including over 5,000 thousand children. The walkouts [1] called for a permanent ceasefire following Israel's being forced to agree a temporary ceasefire for an exchange of Palestinian prisoners - many who have never been charged, and many of them children (or, as many press reports here say, "persons under 18") - with the Israeli hostages in Gaza held by Hamas.


November 25, London

In a second workplace day of action thousands of workers and students across Britain joined protests and walkouts to stand with Palestine on the International Day of Solidarity in an action called by the Stop the War Coalition. Actions took place in almost every city with hundreds taking part in Colleges and workplaces in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Cambridge, Oxford and many other cities in England, Wales and Scotland all calling for a permanent ceasefire and an end to the Israeli Zionist genocide in Gaza.

According to various sources and reports, over 100 workers and students protested outside Westminster Kingsway College in central London. In a demonstration at the Strand campus of Kings College London, around 100 students who had staged a walkout held a rally with speeches calling explicitly for the right to resistance, one state solution and bringing attention to the mass arrests of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. The students then marched to LSE (London School of Economics). Previously, on November 24, over 1,000 students had gathered at the SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London) campus, where speeches were made demanding the reinstatement of a number of SOAS students who had been suspended after organising a pro-Palestine rally outside the university building on October 9. This was followed by a march from SOAS to the Camden offices of the Labour Party to protest against the refusal of Keir Starmer to demand a permanent ceasefire.


November 25, Scotland, Glasgow

UCU union members and students at City and Islington College, north London, protested on November 29 to demand a permanent ceasefire. Workers at Stoke Newington School in Hackney, east London, protested outside with Palestinian flags. And NEU union members at the BSix sixth form college in the same borough held signs demanding, "Ceasefire now," outside.

Around 25 workers at St George's Hospital in south London protested outside with Palestinian flags and placards. Health workers at Dorset County Hospital protested at lunchtime alongside supporters of the Islamic Centre and Dorset Palestinian Solidarity Campaign. Workers at Royal Stoke Hospital staged a lunchtime gathering inside, waving a Palestine flag. Staff at the Homerton in east London showed their solidarity with Palestine. Postal workers in the CWU union at Stansted Airport held up posters that read, "Ceasefire now".

Around 200 culture workers gathered outside the Southbank Centre in south London. Organisers had stressed the action was "a walkout, a withdrawal of labour and a downing of tools". Around 30 people attended a protest organised by the PCS union outside the Houses of Parliament.


November 25, Ireland, Belfast

Some 30 students and workers from the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moore's university held a protest in University Square. Jewish anti-Zionist Saira Weiner - a UCU candidate for UCU general secretary - called for union leaders to build the movement to stand with Palestine.

Around 200 students from the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan and Salford universities protested in the city centre. UCU members also joined the protest. Students called out the property company Fisher German, which rents buildings out to the Israeli arms manufacturer Elbit Systems. It is to be noted that after weeks of action, the sole recruiters for the British operations of Israel's largest weapons company, Elbit Systems, have confirmed via email to Palestine Action that they ended their association with Elbit on the evening of November 29 [1].

Around 300 Edinburgh students walked out of lectures for Palestine-the eighth week of walkouts at the university. Members of the EIS, UCU and Unite unions and Edinburgh trades council joined the protest.

Students also walked out in support of the Palestinian people at the University of Birmingham


Kings College London, as students chant "We will honour all our martyrs"

Also on Wednesday, in opposition to this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Rishi Sunak used Prime Minister's Question Time to speak on the steps he was taking to "give steadfast support for Israel" and had no intention to call on Israel to make the ceasefire permanent. He again emphasised "support for Israel's right to defend itself" and diverted any blame to Iran and "Iran backed groups" and Iran's "de-stabilising activity in the Middle East" for Israel crimes in Palestinian territories. Of course, Sunak failed to mention Britain's de-stabilising activity in the Middle East. Sunak had previously in October dispatched the "UK military to the Eastern Mediterranean to support Israel" and claimed this was justified to "reinforce regional stability" [2]. In other words the crimes against humanity being committed in Gaza by Israel have the political and military support of the British government.

Last week Declassified reported on Wednesday that the "US is moving weapons into Israel via the British bases in Akrotiri, with 50% of US flights leaving the area said to be carrying arms. This would again implicate Britain in offering the territory to the Americans without consulting the Republic of Cyprus, and thwart the notion of true postcolonial independence." [3].

Haaretz an Israeli newspaper, reported that over 40 US transport aircraft, 20 British transport aircraft and seven heavy transport helicopters have flown to RAF Akrotiri, Britain's vast base on Cyprus, carrying equipment, arms and forces [4]. Haaretz also wrote that "Cyprus provides the most significant international deployment of forces and equipment" for military operations related to Israel's bombing campaign in Gaza.

Actions are continuing across the country to denounce Israeli genocide. A national demonstration is to take place this coming Saturday, December 9, in London beginning at noon. The stand of both Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer in backing Israel is causing great and widespread anger. Their positions are further exposing the lack of legitimacy of the parliamentary democracy they represent, especially amongst the youth. While the horrors of the Israeli onslaught against Gaza are there for all to see, the heroism of the Palestinian people, the sacrifices of the martyrs of the resistance, and the dignity of the people of Gaza in the face of the attempted Israeli genocide, are also profoundly resonating with public opinion. The ongoing actions and demonstrations nationally and locally are a testament that the working class and people are refusing to be complicit in genocide, and have contempt for those politicians who are intent on siding with Israeli Zionism and following the lead of the U S and refusing to dissociate from its claim to be the indispensable nation. It is clear that the Palestinian people are fighting not only for their own liberation, but for that of oppressed people everywhere. We too declare, "Enough Is Enough!", "We are all Palestinians!", "Free, Free Palestine!".


Notes
1. Recruiters Drop Elbit Systems After Campaign
https://popularresistance.org/recruiters-drop-elbit-systems-after-campaign/
2.Press Release: Prime Minister deploys UK military to Eastern Mediterranean to support Israel, October 13, 2023
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/prime-minister-deploys-uk-military-to-eastern-mediterranean-to-support-israel
3. How Britain made Cyprus complicit in Gaza's slaughter
https://www.declassifieduk.org/how-britain-made-cyprus-complicit-in-gazas-slaughter/
4. President Christodoulides denies US use Cyprus bases to send military equipment to Israel, Philinews, November 18 2023
https://in-cyprus.philenews.com/local/president-christodoulides-denies-us-use-cyprus-bases-to-send-military-equipment-to-israel/
https://www.haaretz.com

Article Index



Britain's military support for Israel

Call of Palestinian Resistance to British Government


Gaza mass graves for those killed

In a press statement of December 3, 2023, the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) condemned the intention of the United Kingdom to involve its military in the genocidal war against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. The statement [1] continues:

"The movement views the disclosure by the UK's army of its intention to carry out reconnaissance aerial missions over the Gaza Strip as making it a partner with the Zionist occupation in its crimes and responsible for the massacres inflicted upon our Palestinian people.

"The UK should have corrected its historically negative stance towards our people, disavowing the Balfour Declaration, which is considered the crime of the century, instead of committing another offense. It should remind the world of its shameful colonial past, thus placing the UK government in hostility with our people and all free people worldwide who reject Zionist aggression against Gaza.

"We call on the UK to reconsider its direct participation and political and financial support for the genocidal war against Gaza. We urge London to cease its subordination to Washington and its contribution to igniting wars, and instead, contribute to the promotion of peace and stability in the region."

Note

[1] Official website - Hamas movement
https://t.me/+kUoQCMfm8bI1NWE0

Article Index



Britain's military support for Israel

UK Drones Conducting "Surveillance Flights" over Gaza

On Saturday, December 2, the Minister of Defence (MoD) issued a short online statement saying that Britain "will conduct surveillance flights over the eastern Mediterranean, including operating in air space over Israel and Gaza".

On December 3, Health Secretary Victoria Atkins, appearing as government spokesperson on Sky News was asked about the flights and said, "The Ministry of Defence has announced that it has sent some unmanned and unarmed, surveillance drones into the region to help look for hostages." Subsequently appearing on the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg show, Atkins repeated that "unarmed and unmanned drones" were being sent to the region to help look for hostages. [1]

Writing in Drone Wars UK, Chris Cole says: "Reporting of the MoD's original statement by BBC and others included a line which stated that aircraft undertaking the missions 'will include Shadow R1s, which the Royal Air Force use for intelligence gathering' but this now appears to have been removed from the online statement. The MoD's statement did not mention drones.

"While the MoD says that 'only information relating to hostage rescue will be passed to the relevant authorities' it is likely that electronic, signal and video intelligence of Gaza gathered by the aircraft will end up in the hands of the Israeli Defence Force. If so, many would consider the UK a participant in this horrific conflict which has killed thousands of innocent civilians and seen repeated violations of international law.

"The drones despatched are likely to be RAF Reaper drones which have been operating over Iraq and Syria for almost a decade. Earlier this year, an RAF Reaper was sent to Sudan to assist with evacuation of UK personnel.


Destruction of homes in Gaza

"While some news organisations reported this as the first UK deployment of aircraft in the conflict, in fact as far back as October 13 the Prime Minister announced that UK surveillance aircraft were to be deployed 'to support Israel'."

Drone Wars UK reports: "Since the beginning of 2023, the MoD has increased the level of secrecy surrounding the use of drones, refusing to provide details of UK Reaper operations arguing that it needs 'ambiguity' about such deployments. This latest episode - where a Cabinet Minister states on camera that UK drones have been deployed yet the Ministry of Defence refuses to acknowledge the deployment - is another ridiculous example of the secrecy surrounding UK drones."

The article says: "While the government will argue that it is undertaking these operations to assist with hostage rescue, it is easy to see how UK drones and other aircraft undertaking surveillance operations over Gaza could get further drawn into 'supporting Israel' in this horrific conflict."

The reality reveals that rather than working for a ceasefire, the British government is a prime mover is the conflict, shamelessly deploying its military assets to assist the Israeli assault and destruction. It is boasting of running aerial surveillance over Gaza to identify targets for Israel. This gives the lie to its alleged humanitarian credentials as the world cries out for a permanent ceasefire and that Palestine's right to be is recognised and guaranteed. Britain's support for and collusion with Israeli Zionism must be ended!

Note

[1] Cabinet Minister says UK drones flying surveillance missions over Gaza - Drone Wars UK
https://dronewars.net/2023/12/04/cabinet-minister-says-uk-drones-flying-surveillance-missions-over-gaza/">https://dronewars.net/2023/12/04/cabinet-minister-says-uk-drones-flying-surveillance-missions-over-gaza/

Article Index



Affirming the right of Palestinians to resist Israel's military occupation

A Unified Call for Justice and Freedom in Palestine

A call from Palestinian Higher Education Institutions


October 27, University of Manchester

We, the undersigned Palestinian higher education institutions from occupied Palestine unite in a call for justice, humanity, and an end to 75 years of Israel's regime of settler-colonial oppression and apartheid. We stand resolute, determined to stop and overcome the relentless brutality that has deeply scarred our homeland during the ongoing Israeli bombings on Gaza and the military-settler attacks on our people, our homes, and our institutions across all of occupied Palestine.

Israel's indiscriminate bombardment of our 2.3 million Palestinian civilians in the occupied Gaza Strip, which has been besieged by Israel for the past 16 years, coupled with its ban on the entry of water, food, medicine and fuel, has caused immeasurable suffering, with thousands of lives lost, one third of whom are children.

Israel's deliberate targeting of entire neighbourhoods, hospitals, schools, UN shelters, and universities constitutes a grave violation of international law. As of October 25, according to UNOCHA, Israeli bombardment has struck 219 educational facilities, including at least 29 UNRWA schools.

Moreover, under international humanitarian law, "civilian objects" such as educational sites cannot be targeted for attack. The Islamic University of Gaza was attacked along with Al-Azhar University and other Universities by Israeli airstrikes. In view of the continuing and escalating occupation violations in the West Bank, and due to fear of Israeli settlers' assaults with more restrictions to Palestinians movement most Palestinian Universities switched to distance education starting October 9. The universities in Gaza Strip, however, have been totally paralysed, as a result of no electricity, no stable internet connection and the priority of all staff members and students to care for survival.

The cumulative effect of the bombardment has resulted in massive and ongoing killing of people many of whom are students, faculty and staff. It also caused displacement, and destruction, imperilling, even the possibility of access to education for generations of Gazan children and students into the indefinite future. Israel is waging a genocidal war on our people, as described by leading Palestinian human rights organisations, more than 800 international scholars, the US-based Center for Constitutional Rights, Jewish civil society groups, Holocaust and genocide studies scholars and others who have by now warned of an imminent genocide against the Palestinian population in Gaza.

While the Israeli army is committing several crimes against Palestinians that fall within the purview of "war crimes", "genocide", "apartheid", to name a few, we reiterate that it is crucial to place these measures within the wider framework of the occupation of Palestine and blockade on Gaza. As Palestinian national and political rights are denied, including the right to exist, resist, return, and most importantly the right to self-determination.

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has explicitly affirmed the right of Palestinians to resist Israel's military occupation, in harmony with international law. This right was affirmed in the context of the right to self- determination of all peoples under foreign and colonial rule. Some of the most relevant UN resolutions on this matter include UNGA Resolution 3314 (1974) and UNGA Resolution 37/43 (1982).


We also hold Israeli universities responsible, as they have been indispensable to the regime of settler colonial oppression and apartheid, complicit in grave violations of human rights including developing weaponry, military doctrines, and legal justification for the indiscriminate, mass targeting of Palestinians.

In light of the latest assault on Gaza, we call upon international academic institutions to take the following concrete actions immediately to end the genocidal war and Israeli settler colonialism.

1. Call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, guaranteed by the UN

2. Urge immediate entry into Gaza of sufficient amounts of life-saving humanitarian needs (including water, food, fuel, medicine), equitably distributed throughout the whole territory of Gaza Strip

3. Demand UN protection for the 2.3 million Palestinian civilians trapped under siege in Gaza

4. Issue clear positions rejecting any ethnic cleansing

5. To support in dismantling the settler colonial and apartheid system and to achieve a just, comprehensive, and lasting peace.

We urge the international academic community to fulfil its intellectual and academic duty to seek the truth and hold perpetrators of genocide accountable. Israeli universities, complicit in human rights violations, should face international isolation.

In unity and with unwavering determination, we declare that justice will prevail. We will not be silenced; we will resist, remember, and record. The world must recognise Zionism for what it is: a genocidal settler project built on false mythology and sustained through perpetual violence against Indigenous Palestinians.

(Reprinted from Transcend Media Service, undated, https://www.transcend.org/tms/2023/12/assault-on-education/)

Article Index



National Demonstration For Palestine

Full Ceasefire Now - Stop The War On Gaza!


WHEN: DECEMBER 9, 2023 12:00 PM

WHERE: LONDON

Assemble at Bank Junction, EC3V 3LA at 12 noon.

Some other events:


Article Index




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