Tag Archives: daud abdullah

Sheikh Raed Salah: “I was on Israel’s assassination list.”

Last night at Conway Hall: Hassan Sanallah (translator), Sheikh Raed Salah, Sarah Colborne (PSC), Daud Abdullah (MEMO)

Last night at Conway Hall: Hassan Sanallah (translator), Sheikh Raed Salah, Sarah Colborne (PSC), Daud Abdullah (MEMO)

Sheikh Raed Salah made it to Conway Hall in London last night to give a talk on The Arab Spring and its effect on the conflict in Palestine. The event was sponsored by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the Islamic Forum of Europe and Middle East Monitor.

Salah had been reportedly excluded by the Home Secretary. Detectives also reportedly arrived at last night’s event, but left after thinking he wasn’t there.

Salah is the leader of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel and is accused of having used the blood libel, which he denies. He served three and a half years in prison after having confessed to financing Hamas.

Not only was Salah there last night, he will also be speaking this Wednesday at the Grand Committe room of the Houses of Parliament alongside MPs Richard Burden, Jeremy Corbyn, Yasmin Qureshi as well as Lord Alf Dubs and the Palestinian Ambassador, Dr Manuel Hassassian. Ben White (anti-Zionist polemicist), Hind Khoury (Sabeel), Diana Neslen (Jews for Justice for Palestinians) and Ismail Patel (Friends of Al Aqsa) are also due to be speaking on Wednesday. The subject under discussion will be Building Peace and Justice in Jerusalem.

But last night Salah played to a pretty sparse audience. There were about 100 people making Conway Hall, which is owned by the South Place Ethical Society, an educational charity, about a third full.

He welcomed the Arab Spring, and particularly the Egyptian Revolution, in playing a supportive role in the Palestinian cause as well as the Nakba Day and Naksa Day clashes on the Israeli border in May and June respectively. He also called for a Million Man March towards the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on 21st August.

He said that this march will confirm that the Mosque is Palestinian despite Israel’s declared intention of demolishing it in order to build the “so called Third Temple”. He said that Israel must realise that there is a limit on its designs on the Mosque or it will be the equivalent to a declaration of war on the Islamic World.

He went on to berate Barak Obama for defining Israel as a “Jewish State” and said that “a significant number of free voices from London told us that they know the truth on the issue of Palestine, but that they are suffering under the pressure of the Israel lobby here”.

He said that the “Arab Uprisings showed him that the Palestinians have support within the wider Arab family and we don’t feel alone”.

He then went on to describe what happened on the Mavi Marmara, which he was on last May, along with Sarah Colborne of the PSC, when it was intercepted by Israel:

“The ship was attacked while we were at Morning Prayer. While I was praying bullets were fired from the sea and air, killing nine peoeple and wounding many others. The attackers had a list of names of people who should be assassinated by the Israeli forces. My name was on the list along with people from the IHH and Israeli Arab MK Hanin Zoabi. One of the Israeli soldiers killed an individual who looked just like me. We were then imprisoned and we faced charges that were enough to send us to prison for decades. We were only released when Erdogan intervened. Despite all the attacks we were asked to come back again and we will continue to participate in the flotillas until Palestinian independence is realised.”

Next stop is the Houses of Parliament this Wednesday, that is unless British detectives can catch up with him in time. Watch this space.

Sheikh Raed Salah speaking at Conway Hall, 27th June 2011

The Egyptian Revolution comes to Holborn.

John Reece shows off his photos of his trip to revolutionary Cairo.

John Reece shows off his photos of his trip to revolutionary Cairo.

Just before last night’s Stop the War Coalition’s meeting in London in support of the Egyptian Revolution began I turned to Jonathan Hoffman and asked him how long he thought it would it take before they mentioned Israel.

“Immediately”, was his grim response.

And he wasn’t wrong. The first speaker up was Bernard Regan of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (see clip below).

Next was Daud Abdullah, not known for his pro-Israel sympathies. Referring to events in Egypt he said there will be casualties but “the greatest casualty will be Israel.”

Lowkey, a rapper best known for his tune Free Palestine, couldn’t help himself either, ending his speech with the cry, “The path to the liberation of Jerusalem runs through Cairo”.

The finale was left to George Galloway who described Mubarak as a “murderer, torturer and dictator” who would “be lucky to avoid being strung up from the street lamps”.

But when Galloway met Saddam Hussein, also a murderer, torturer and dictator, he said to him: “Sir, I salute your courage, your strength and your indefatigability.” (Galloway claims he was addressing the Iraqi public, not Sadaam.)

George roused an already buoyant crowd further by saying that “the Palestinian hand will be immeasurably strengthened by an Arab Egypt.” (see clip below.)

Two Egyptian activists were eventually allowed to speak. Their cause wasn’t totally hijacked (no pun intended) and they didn’t mention Israel once. They just wanted to be free.

We also heard from two Stop the War Coalition activists who, while 30,000 Brits. are trying to leave Egypt, actually flew in to Cairo for the weekend especially!

John Reece showed us his photos (see background above) and informed us of the massive under-reporting in the British media of the people on the streets of Egypt.

Although, Reece said, the Egyptian army reported one million in Cairo every one he knows spoke of two million. He estimates that the figure was somewhere between four and eight million for Egypt as a whole.

Judith Orr said the demonstrators told her that “we are not Muslim, Christian or Jewish. We are all Egyptians!”

But George Galloway told her, and others, what he thought of that:

“We have no need to go round saying this is not a Muslim revolution. Egypt is overwhelmingly a Muslim country and there’s nothing wrong with that. There are Christians and Muslims, Socialists and Communists, Liberals and Centrists, and non-political people, who just want freedom who are involved in this Revolution. But a very significant number of the people of Egypt support the Islamic Movement of Egypt and that Movement has no need to hide itself under a bushel.”

Egyptians should heed George’s words and put all notions of freedom to the back of their minds for now just in case the Muslim Brothers are, indeed, eventually successful.

Clips from last night:

MEMO, MCB and Richard Falk eviscerate Israel.

Daud Abdullah (right) presents Falk with his award depicting the end of the Jewish state.

Daud Abdullah (right) presents Falk with his award depicting the end of the Jewish state.

Richard Falk pulled no punches about the existence of “the Zionist project”, as he referred to Israel, when he addressed a Middle East Monitor audience at the University of London’s Senate House last night.

Falk is the UNHCR’s Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories and was here to speak about The Israeli Assault on Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories although, last night, “Occupied Palestinian Territories” included Israel itself.

Falk denies he is biased despite having compared Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to the Nazis’ treatment of Jews.

The pro-Palestinian lobby has adopted the view that too many governments and organisations are still behind Israel so now it is up to the ordinary citizen to take a stand.

Michael Mansfield QC told us that when he goes on the BBC he is “not allowed to say certain things about Israel”. On the Today programme he wanted to “put the flotilla episode in the overall context of the ongoing illegal occupation and settlements but was told to move on”.

Mansfield said it was “time to stop mincing our words” and to speak about “ethnic cleansing, Israeli apartheid and murder”.

As for Falk, he sees the current peace process as a “deceptive effort to impose an inadequate solution” on Israel and the Palestinians and it was now time “to invoke the legacy of the anti-Apartheid campaign.

He said that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the last remnant of the colonial era and that the Palestinians have suffered oppression and ethnic dispossession from their historic place of residence making it impossible to ever implement proper justice.

He, therefore, saw only two possible outcomes:

1. “A unified democratic secular state that respects the rights of all people within its borders,” or
2. “An intensification of the exisiting apartheid situation.”

He said that the two state solution “presupposes the capacity to reverse the injustices over the years, which will only lead to civil war in Israel.”

He spoke of the cumulative effect of settlement building in breach of Article 49(6) of the Geneva Convention, the Judaisation and ethnic cleansing of east Jerusalem which makes the Palestinians feel insecure and the subjugating of the indigenous Palestinian population to separate roads and unequal access to water as being a form of apartheid.

Furthermore, as apartheid is now a crime against humanity then it follows that the occupation is “a continuing crime against humanity”.

He also spoke of Operation Cast Lead as inflicting on Gaza Israel’s high technology war machine against a defenceless population where only 13 Israelis died “mostly to friendly fire” against 1400 Palestinians who were “mostly civilians”.

He equated OCL to collective torture on a par with Abu Ghraib: “Torture horrifies us due to the vulnerability of the victims and the impossibility of retaliatory capability,” he said.

During the Q&A someone challenged Mansfield’s thesis on the illegality of the security wall (Mansfield had earlier read out paragraph 159 of the International Court of Justice’s opinion on the wall).

Falk countered that the wall was built in occupied Palestinian territory and, anyway, had “no security role”, “did nothing to stem penetration” and “was just an inconvenience to the Palestinians who have had their land divided”.

He said that if the Berlin Wall had been built one foot inside the west there would have been World War Three and that Israel has just taken land on the pretext of security.

During the talk someone shouted “This is nothing but anti-Semitic lies” before walking out and leaving Falk a bit open-mouthed.

If anyone was in any doubt about Falk’s, MEMO’s and the Muslim Council of Britain’s true thoughts on the peace process Daud Abdullah, Deputy Secretary General of the MCB, then presented Falk with an award: an inscribed miniature of a unified Israel, West Bank and Gaza.

Finally, in case the audience hadn’t heard enough hate and lies there were booklets on offer on a range of topics:

Isn’t it time for America to re-evaluate its “special relationship” with Israel?
The Cultural Genocide of Palestine.
Europe’s role in strengthening and protecting Universal Justice.
The Judaization of Jerusalem.
Israel’s Domestic Ticking Time Bomb.
Universal Jurisdiction Against Israeli Officials.
Palestinians in Israel’s ‘democracy’: The Judaization of the Galilee.

Israel’s discrimination against its Arab citizens.
and, finally,
Israeli Racism in theory and practice.

Falk's award: Bye bye Israel.

Falk's award: Bye bye Israel.

Gaza similar to Haiti?

Republique d'Haiti

Having attended the Stop the Siege of Gaza rally on tuesday night at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London I have an apology to make. In my last post I suggested that Haita might not be high on these people’s minds but i was wrong. It was. Well, sort of.

More than one speaker made the point that if the soldiers could rush out to a disaster like the Haiti earthquake, then why could they not do the same for Gaza?

Anas Altikriti of the British Muslim Institute spoke of “crocodile tears” over the crisis in Haiti and questioned why no troops had been sent to Gaza (at this point I was dying to put my hand up and mention the relief brought to some Haitians by the Israel medical team, outdoing medical teams from all around the world and even the USA, but I thought I could be lynched).

Jeremy Corbyn MP, said that now it was time to call for economic sanctions against Israel. Then a moment of hope. He was concerned with the people of Haiti but ruined it all by saying that the cause of Haiti was an earthquake but the cause of the problems in Gaza is Israel. So the death and destruction in Haiti was mentioned again but mainly in the context of promoting the Palestinian cause.

Joseph Healey of the Green Party spoke. This is the same Green Party that is supposed to be lobbying our politicians to create alternative sources of energy and lobbying industrial companies to stop chopping down the rain forests. But environmental damage takes a backseat when Israel is on the agenda. Mr Healey spoke of the Green Party’s policies of sanctions and divestment from Israel. In all fairness he did denounce Egypt for building its own wall and he said that Caroline Lucas, his supreme leader, also thought Egypt a disgrace.

Then there was Simon Dubbins, the UNITE union’s head of international affairs, who spoke. The aim of UNITE is to “meet the great challenges facing working people in the 21st century”. These workers can be forgotten though when there is an opportunity to denounce Israel. Mr Dubbins called for boycott, sanctions and divestment from Israel to be put into concrete effect (not much care for Israeli workers then). He committed himself to continue his work with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign to end the “siege” of Gaza, to bring the Israeli war criminals to trial and, get this, bring justice and peace. Thank the Lord for Mr Dubbins!

Then up popped Ismael Patel, of the Friends of al-Aqsa , who gave a stirring speech. Apparently Operation Cast Lead was all about Israel restoring its deterrent factor which it had, apparently, lost in Lebanon in 2006. He spoke of the friends of Israel who might be powerful but they are few and far between. He screamed his closing paragraph to the delight of his salivating audience: “We will bring down the Zionist state so Christians, Jews and Muslims can live as one people from the river to the sea”.

Then there was Lowkey, a rapper. Lowkey is half-British, half-Iraqi and very, very angry about what is happening to the Palestinian people. He almost rapped his way through his speech. History, or maths, isn’t his strong point though. He spoke of 60 years of military occupation. Seeing that the occupation started in 1967 that just doesn’t add up, Mr Lowkey.

Daud Abdullah, director of Middle East Monitor, gave an interesting comparison. He said that Israel had destroyed 45 mosques in Gaza but then asked us to “imagine the reaction in Britain if one synagogue was destroyed”. He then praised Hugo Chavez and signed off by calling Israel a “brutal, totalitarian, racist, apartheid state”. Cue, huge applause.

For me though biggest insult was given by the Chairman for the evening. Hugh Lanning, Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s Deputy General Secretary, started off by saying that 1400 Palestinians had been killed in Operation Cast Lead but “just 13 Israelis”. Sorry, Mr Lanning, was that not enough for you? I suggest that next time you state that “1400 Palestinians were killed and 13 Israelis”.

Then it was time for the big denouement. The creme de la creme of Palestinian activists who sat silently throughout as 15 or so speakers came and went, George Galloway.

George mentioned how he is now banned from Egypt while “this dictatorship” is in power which he prayed will not be for very much longer (rather ironically George can freely visit Israel). He also gave Israel some advice: They should not even think of going back into Gaza or it would cost the lives of thousands of Israeli soldiers. He also asked why a “tiny settler state of six million people” can be allowed to repeatedly imperil the security and stability of the world.

Lowkey, left, a rapper.

Charmingly, George then went on to say that Israel has very few supporters outside the “cesspits” of the Zionist Federation, the Centre for Social Cohesion and Harry’s Place (Cesspit: covered pit for liquid waste and sewage). But, he continued, Israel has friends in the British police who committed brutal attacks against supporters of Palestine during last January’s London protests. He failed to mention that a British bobby had been knocked unconscious

Finally, George turned to the situation with Turkey and said that in a couple of months time Turkey will lead a flotilla of ships into Gaza to break the siege. He finished off with pointing out that the borders to Gaza may be locked by Israel and Egypt but the sea is open to those who have the courage to take it, “we do, you’ll see”. Cue, standing ovation.

Fighting talk, George. Yes, we will see.

Alexei Sayle: Ullo John got a new motor?