Tag Archives: GMB

Multiple arrests of anti-Israel activists outside Israeli-owned Ecostream shop in Brighton.

As many as eight anti-Israel activists were arrested yesterday outside Israeli-owned Ecostream in Brighton, on England’s south coast. Ecostream belongs to Sodastream, which has a factory on the West Bank. Although Sodastream employs many Palestinians the anti-Israel lobby prefers to see the factory destroyed along with the livelihoods of Sodastream’s Israeli and Palestinian workforce.

Every Saturday anti-Israel activists flock to Ecostream to call for its boycott. They are always met by the stoical counter-protesting of Sussex Friends of Israel. Yesterday, however, the anti-Israel activists were swelled by the presence of Palestine Solidarity Campaign affiliated trade unionists from the NHS, NUT, GMB, NUJ and the University of Brighton.

But tempers rose and not before long the number of anti-Israel activists was depleted as protester after protester was led away to the back of a police van. A heartbreaking sight, indeed.

Then the police issued a “section 14” meaning both sides were kept apart and liable to arrest should anyone step outside their own zone. The remaining anti-Israel activists were restricted to the other side of the busy road opposite Ecostream and could, therefore, hardly be heard or seen for the remainder of the protest. Ecostream’s supporters stayed close to the shop.

Ecostream itself is a magical store. You can buy products that allow you to make your own carbonated drinks and you can refill your own bottles there with anything from honey, to olive oil to washing up liquid. Basically, cut down on your use of bottles and help the environment. Refilling is also vastly cheaper when there is no bottle to pay for.

Those of us who journeyed from London and other parts of England were very warmly received by Sussex Friends of Israel. Thanks to Harvey for driving a car load of us from London. It was good to see friends and meet new people and I also bought some lovely Palestinian olive oil from Ecostream.

Meanwhile, here are photos and footage of the action and photos from inside the Ecostream shop itself.

The first clip shows two of the alleged arrests and the second shows two trade unionists explaining how the presence of so many different trade unions protesting against Israel should make those supporting Israel “question themselves”. Well, that’s certainly an unbeatable argument if ever there was one:

Trendy jacket by Reiss.

Trendy jacket by Reiss.

Jessica Nero (left) was arrested inside Ahava’s London shop 3 years ago

Jessica Nero (left) was arrested inside Ahava’s London shop 3 years ago

Some dashing anti-Israel trade unionists.

Some dashing anti-Israel trade unionists.

Journalists wanting to destroy Palestinian and Israeli livelihoods.

Journalists wanting to destroy Palestinian and Israeli livelihoods.

GMB and NHS members wanting to destroy Palestinian and Israeli jobs.

GMB and NHS members wanting to destroy Palestinian and Israeli jobs.

Outside Ecostream before a section 14 was imposed by police.

Outside Ecostream before a section 14 was imposed by police.

Across the road after the section 14 was imposed.

Across the road after the section 14 was imposed.

University of Brighton wanting to shut down Palestinian and Israeli jobs.

University of Brighton wanting to shut down Palestinian and Israeli jobs.

What a motley crew.

What a motley crew.

More of the motley crew.

More of the motley crew.

Coat on ground while being spoken to by the police.

Coat on ground while being spoken to by the police.

Self explanatory.

Self explanatory.

The stoical counter-protest.

The stoical counter-protest.

He makes a good point.

He makes a good point.

Who would you say she supports?

Who would you say she supports?

The shop.

The shop.

Refill your bottle of olive oil in Ecostream.

Refill your bottle of olive oil in Ecostream.

Extra yummy.

Extra yummy.

Refill your bottle of honey in Ecostream.

Refill your bottle of honey in Ecostream.

Refill your bottle of detergent in Ecostream.

Refill your bottle of detergent in Ecostream.

Miliband E.: A disaster for Britain, a disaster for Israel.

New Labour leader, Ed Miliband (middle).

New Labour leader, Ed Miliband (middle).

Ed Miliband’s (EM) election as leader of the Labour party while in opposition to the Conservative-Lib. Dem. coalition is a disaster on many fronts.

It wasn’t meant to be like this. His warmer, more charismatic brother, David (DM), was supposed to win.

The coalition is loving the result. It will be easy to paint the new leader as Red Ed and as in thrall to the unions who, in effect, made him leader.

EM does not have the support of either the majority of ordinary Labour members or of Labour MEPs and MPs under the arcane tripartite electoral system that Labour uses.

It was the three main trade unions; GMB, Unite and Unison, that won it for EM. Although it was a free vote the leaders of these three huge unions publicly backed EM and that was enough.

The trade unions favour the working class but their problem is that they would rather the country got poorer as long as everyone was more equal. They give no credence to capitalism whatsoever.

A form of communism-lite is still their preferred way forward. Being in government is not of great importance as long as they can go on strike and bring the country to its knees. Margaret Thatcher recognised the damage they can do. She smashed them but they are back with a vengeance.

Labour is also in financial trouble and multi-millionaire backers like Lord Sainsbury and Lord Alli could be set to lower their donations leaving Labour looking for even more support from the unions.

Labour has emasculated itself by voting for EM giving the governing coalition five years of an open goal with which to do as it pleases unchallenged. This is not good for us.

We will have to put up with five years of uncompetitive politics.

DM’s campaign must have suffered from complacency. But he showed his sharpness, warmth and humour yesterday when trying to evade a media scrum.

“Please ladies and gentleman, I am leaving,” he complained to which a reporter asked “Are you really leaving, Mr Miliband?”. DM turned around with the broadest of grins and replied: “I’m leaving the building”.

If DM does leave British politics for another job he will be missed. His brother is dull and uncharismatic by comparison.

More than that his brother has been an MP for just five years to DM’s nine and his only major brief was as Climate Change secretary. In contrast DM was Foreign Secretary and has striven the world stage gaining respect and experience. I doubt few overseas politicians would know EM.

And being in thrall to the unions does not bode well for Israel either. We know that many unions are ignorant of the true complexity of the Israeli-Palestinians conflict but their knee-jerk reaction is to be anti-Israel. Recently they voted to continue a boycott of Israeli settlement goods at the TUC conference.

This demonisation of the settlements and the settlers (both of which are perfectly legal) doesn’t help anyone. It entrenches the Palestinian position and leads to more dead settlers as we saw recently with the killing of four innocent Israelis near Hebron.

But thank goodness for small mercies as a full boycott of Israel was expected. Next year maybe.

In addition to communism-lite at home the Israeli-Palestinian conflict also gives the trade unions the chance to play Trotsky/Lenin abroad. Due to increasing cooperation with the Palestine Soldiarity Campaign a one state solution, where the Jewish state would disappear, is becoming the default position of many union members.

It is hard to see EM opposing any of this knee-jerk trade union anti-Israelism whereas DM, being a Blairite, would have been more open to persuasion and more independent.

None of this takes into account the background of the Milibands, whose late father, Ralph, was a Marxist academic and whose mother Marion Kozak is a leading member of the anti-Israel Jews for Justice for Palestinians (anti-Israel in the sense that they prefer that one-state solution).

With David “Gaza is a prison camp” Cameron, William “Israel acted dispoportionately” Hague and Nick “Ban arms sales to Israel” Clegg in the three most important positions of PM, Foreign Secretary and Deputy PM respectively and Ed Miliband as opposition leader and David Miliband, currently as shadow Foreign Secretary, things don’t bode well over the next five years for Israel.

It was DM who, while Foreign Secretary, took the decision to expel an Israeli diplomat from Britain over the assassination of a self-confessed Hamas terrorist in Dubai, without the allegation being proved, but he seems to be far more preferable to his brother for both Britain and Israel.

EM could surprise us and prove to that he isn’t in hock to the unions. We need a strong opposition. I hope to be proved wrong, but I am not hopeful.

And I hate to criticise a Leeds United supporter.