War on Want’s John Hilary spoke of more direct action against firms complicit in Israel’s “breaches of international law”. He was on a panel at Amnesty International on thursday night for the launch of a book about last year’s London session of the Russell Tribunal.
In response to a question from Eva Jaciewicz, a member of the Polish Palestine Solidarity Campaign and who last year daubed “Free Gaza and Palestine” at the Warsaw Ghetto, about the possibility of occupying the workplaces of companies doing business with Israel Hilary endorsed the targeting of security company G4S, especially in light of its security role in next year’s London Olympics.
Here’s a short audio of the discussion. Frank Barat speaks first followed by Rafeef Ziadeh and Hilary:
Hilary also spoke about anti-Israel activists going into shoe shops and trying on Caterpillar boots and then staging anti-Israel protests. Staff were unable to ask them to leave while they were wearing the boots.
Here’s the relevant clip which includes a short discussion on whether Hamas was invited to the Russell Tribunal:
Frank Barat, who coordinated the London RTOP, had initially started off the evening telling us how clearly international law is on the side of the Palestinians and how little Israel can do about this.
He said the word “Apartheid” scared Israel and its supporters, especially when people like Desmond Tutu are saying what is happening on the West Bank is far worse than what happened in apartheid South Africa.
This, Barat thought, was a good way to attack RTOP’s detractors and he reiterated RTOP’s call for:
1. Israel to dismantle its system of Apartheid.
2. All states to consider putting pressure on Israel to do this including severing diplomatic relations.
3. The prosecutor of the ICC to accept jurisdiction over Palestine.
4. Global civil society to replicate the spirit of solidarity that contributed to the end of apartheid South Africa and to support BDS.
There were only 43 people in the audience at Amnesty; not a good sign of global solidarity.
Asa Winstanley, who edited the book briefly ran us through its content and Rafeef Ziadeh, a Canadian Palestinian “refugee” now living in the UK, called the “Nakba” an “ongoing process” and reiterated the BDS movement’s call for Israel to:
1. End the occupation of all Arab lands.
2. Create equality for Palestinians everywhere, including in Israel.
3. Allow Palestinian “refugees” to return to their homes in Israel.
She said she couldn’t believe that Israel could consider someone like her to be such a threat.
Joseph Dana, an American Jewish blogger with +972 Magazine and living in Ramallah, referred to the Palestinians in Bil’in, where he covers the weekly protests, as offering “Ghandian-like unarmed resistance” and he encouraged the use of Twitter and Facebook to combat the Jerusalem Post, Associated Press and Thomas Friedman, who is calling for the Palestinians to adopt non-violent resistance while, according to Dana, he is ignoring just that.
Dana predicted that there will be a “new unarmed Intifada” and he holds every Israeli responsible for Israel’s “transgressions” and spoke of the non-violent protests in Bil’in as being what “drives Israelis insane”. He said:
“Artists don’t come to Israel anymore. Israeli society wants to be considered a normal western country…The boycott pinpoints that issue of normality and says ‘no, you are not a normal society. You have to be held accountable for the transgressions that you are committing on a regular basis. Even if you are not directly committing them you are part of the society that’s doing that.'”
If that’s true then Dana, who lives in Ramallah, is indirectly accountable for the massacre of five members of the Fogel family by a Palestinian, including three month old Hadas who was decapitated while she slept.
Here’s the relevant clip: