It was good to catch up with some old faces when I turned up for Brent PSC’s “Dump Veolia” meeting at Willesden library last night.
I was sat behind my old friend Abe Hayeem, of Architects for Palestinians, who I once sat down next to at an event when that was the only vacant chair left in the room and he promptly got up as if I was carrying the plague.
Last night he again showed his love when he noticed I was filming and asked that I be told to desist from such democratic behaviour, but luckily, the fairly nice Chair agreed that no harm was being done and allowed me to continue filming, although not before someone else from the audience shouted for me to have my camera confiscated. Here’s the clip:
I missed Michael Deas, Europe Coordinator of the
BDS National Committee, talk but I heard Simon Natas, a London solicitor, give his pick’n'mix interpretation of internation law (see clip below) in which he concluded that “the occupation is seen as being illegal under just about every tenet of international law” before going on to cite the UN Charter, UN Security Council resolutions “ordering Israel to vacate the OPT” and the 2004 ICJ ruling as evidence.
This, he suggested, would affect Veolia, especially as it is building the Jerusalem Light Railway which, he argued, will be transferring people into the “illegal territories”.
That might be Natas’ opinion, but it can also be argued that “the occupation” is not illegal. The ICJ ruling is non-binding, there are no binding Security Council resolutions that call for Israel to vacate any territory unilaterally and as the UN Charter technically incorporates the Balfour Declaration via the League of Nations’ incorporation of the British Mandate it can, therefore, be argued that Jews can live on the West Bank.
There was also this April’s ruling by a judge in the Ahava trial, where four anti-Israel activists were found guilty of aggravated trespass, that Ahava was “trading lawfully” at the time it was invaded by those activists.
I’d go with the objective judgement of District Judge Ian Baker every time over the judgement of the ever so slightly biased Simon Natas in this matter with his membership of Jews for Justice for Palestinians.
As ever Hamas and its “let’s kill all the Jews” Charter were not mentioned once throughout his speech, so presumably Hamas is not in breach of international law and so should just be allowed to continue on their killing spree if Israel is ever forced by Natas’ version of international law to take down the Security Wall.
Next up was Salim Alam who I have written about on various occasions but without knowing his name, so it was good to, finally, hear him introduced last night. He spends large portions of his spare time hanging around outside supermarkets that stock Israeli produce. That’s when he is not speaking at meetings against Israel.
Alam got himself arrested outside Ahava last December when he threatened to knock my camera out of my hand while I was actually filming him. He was released without charge.
Last night Alam spoke (see clip below) about how the London boroughs of Ealing, Harrow, Brent, Richmond, Hillingdon and Hounslow have formed the West London Waste Authority which is inviting tenders from companies to dispose of their residual waste, which is waste left over after recycling. It is business worth £485m, but a letter has gone to the Authority signed by 576 people against Veolia being the successful bidder
From what I could guage there have already been some successes against Veolia and Eden Springs. Last night they claimed to have had Eden Springs water stopped from being used in certain offices and universities in the UK and Veolia also seems not to have won contracts with certain councils, although whether the latter was due to pressure on those councils after anti-Israel campaigns is unclear.
There was also mention of Israel’s diamond industry. While admitting that Israel only cuts and polishes diamonds, but doesn’t mine them, making it difficult for Israel to be caught by the Kimberley Process Natas argued that a case could be made against Lev Leviev who, according to Natas, invests the proceeds of his diamond polishing company in the settlements.
It was mentioned that the strategy of shaming celebrities who are caught wearing Lev Leviev diamonds should continue.
It’s funny how people speak of the “Zionist lobby”, because there are many lessons that could be learnt from the well-financed and strongly motivated anti-Zionist lobby.
Clip of Natas:
Clip of Alam:
Last night’s posters: