Tag Archives: viva palestina

It’s the Holocaust, stupid.

Arbeit Macht Frei (Work Means Freedom) at the entrance to Auschwitz where 1.1 million people died, 90% of them Jews

Arbeit Macht Frei (Work Means Freedom) at the entrance to Auschwitz where 1.1 million people died, 90% of them Jews

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign is extremely adept at keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive, but, sadly, not for memorialising or academic purposes.

Many a PSC event, or those held by other anti-Israel organisations, seem to start off by invoking the Holocaust.

And why not?

For sure, the very sound of the word “Holocaust” makes an audience’s ears prick up.

The Holocaust. Two simple but emotive words.

You would hope that the memory of 6,000,000 Jews (including 1,000,000 children) and 4,000,000 Communists, gypsies, homosexuals and the physically and mentally disabled would only be invoked when utterly necessary.

Maybe on Holocaust Memorial Day (27th January each year), a visit to Auschwitz or Dachau maybe or maybe an educational class about the Holocaust. This is appropriate.

But a talk presented by the PSC at the House of Commons entitled Ending the siege on Gaza – Eyewitness reports from the Viva Palestina convoy, Parliamentary delegations, and Westminster University Architects is an inappropriate place.

I doubt, somehow, that Gaza, Viva Palestina, Parliamentary delegations and Westminster University Architects have anything to do with Jews being gassed, hanged, shot, burned alive, having medical experiments performed on their genitals and having their corpses bulldozed into mass unmarked graves.

Holocaust denial is sickening enough (and there is plenty of it around in Iran and Arab countries) but gratuitously invoking the Holocaust, as Lord Andrew Phillips of Sudbury did at the PSC event on tuesday, is sickening in its own way.

Perhaps he should be forgiven as he is a Liberal Democrat peer. As we well know, the Liberal Democrats, wishing to entice the Muslim vote, are not well-disposed to Israel.

But being anti-Israel is no excuse to utilise the Holocaust just to get an audience’s attention. If Lord Phillips thinks he was being intelligent and authoritative, he wasn’t.

According to Jonathan Hoffman Lord Phillips was eager to tell everyone that his first visual memory was of the Holocaust (he was born in 1939) and he suggested that Israel was created only because of the guilt felt by the West after the Holocaust.

Lord Phillips, according to Hoffman, also said, “Europe cannot think straight about Israel because of the Holocaust and America is in the grip of the well-organised Jewish lobby.”

The sub-text to these comments seems to be that if six million Jews hadn’t died at the hands of those blinking Nazis there would be peace in the world today. There would be no need for Al Qaida, Hamas and Hizbollah. It’s all because of that blinking Holocaust, stupid.

Even from the grave Hitler is exerting his presence thanks to the likes of Lord Phillips.

Just for good measure Lord Phillips said he believes that Israel has a right to exist but no one who addresses a Palestine Solidarity Campaign meeting believes this and certainly wouldn’t be invited to give a talk if they did.

If he was pushed further he would state that Israel has a right to exist but that the Palestinians must have the have a right to return, which would extinguish the Jewish nature of Israel.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign supports Hamas (or, at least, doesn’t denounce it), a banned terrorist organisation. Hamas has sent many suicide bombers into packed Israeli restaurants and would continue to do so if it wasn’t for the security wall built, far too belatedly, by Israel.

Supporting Hamas is bad enough but the PSC and its speakers should leave those who have been tortured and murdered by the Nazis to rest in peace and not have their experiences raised for political point scoring or to grab an audience’s attention, especially when the topic at hand is totally unrelated to the Holocaust.

A Story of Two Flotillas

1940 Dunkirk evacuation (kingofpeace.blogspot.com)

There are two flotillas of ships sailing today and the contrast could not be more different.

The brave:

Today is the 70th anniversary of the evacuation of Dunkirk that gave us the term the “Dunkirk spirit”. It was a crucial moment in World War Two.

Between 27 May and 4 June 1940 338,000 British and French soldiers were rescued from the beaches of northern France having been pushed back by the invading Germans.

700 vessels ranging from pleasure craft to fishing boats worked under a hail of German bombs to take the Allied troops off the beaches and ferry them to larger ships so they could be brought home.

Winston Churchill called it a “miracle of deliverance” and the evacuation is seen as one of several events in 1940 that determined the outcome of the war.

To mark the anniversary a flotilla of 60 small ships set sail from southern England and will return on 31 May.

The not-so-brave:

Then there is another flotilla supported by Viva Palestina and a Turkish charity. This one has just set sail to try to break the so-called “siege of Gaza”.

The website of Viva Palestina, which has conducted past convoys to Gaza, states in its narrative on the current flotilla: “The Israeli government has turned Gaza into a prisoner camp and has been carrying out a genocide. This camp and genocidal acts very much resemble Hitler’s actions in history.”

Israel and Egypt have imposed restrictions on Gaza to stop Hamas, the Islamist resistance movement, firing thousands of Kassam rockets into Israel.

Any such comparison of Gaza to the Holocaust, in which six million Jews and four million gays, communists, gypsies and disabled people were systematically murdered, is purely sickening.

The people of Gaza should blame Hamas for their suffering, not Israel.

But then we know what happens if they so much as protest against Hamas. Hamas is notorious for binding the hands and legs of so-called “traitors” before throwing them off the tops of buildings to certain death.

Either that or the “traitors” are shot in both knees.

Hamas doesn’t do trials.

When Viva Palestina conducted a convoy to Gaza in February/March 2009 George Galloway, according to the Charity Commission, confirmed that £25,000 of personal money was handed to Hamas along with 100 vehicles.

I hope the current flotilla will at least bring something constructive to the area but when Viva Palestina tried to enter Gaza from Egypt in January an Egyptian border guard was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper.

While Israel does in fact let in necessities and aid to Gaza it is Islamic extremists who are making life in Gaza intolerable, even to the extent of destroying a United Nations summer camp for children. They accused the UN of promoting immorality.

The current convoy is trying to enter Gaza via sea instead of land after the extended trip Viva Palestina was sent on by the Egyptian authorities in January.

So we recall today the brave men and women of the Dunkirk evacuation for their bravery 70 years ago while under heavy bombardment from the Nazis.

There will never be enough gratitude that we can show them for what they did.

The same may not be said for the activists on the convoy currently en route to Gaza*.

* The father of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit asked the current convoy to carry a parcel and letter into the Gaza Strip for his son, who has been kept in isolation by Hamas for coming up to four years now. The activists refused.

Gaza flotilla

More blood shed for Gaza (Viva Palestina)

Palestinians are not adverse to internecine violence (as noted previously 539 Palestinians were murdered by their own people between November 2000 and August 2008, and that before the Gaza War when we saw footage of Hamas members pushing Fatah activists off the the tops of high buildings with their hands cuffed behind their backs). But now they are murdering other Arabs.

The Viva Palestina convoy of 500 people and 200 vehicles bringing aid for the Palestinians was left stranded in Aqaba in Jordan for five days having been turned away from Egypt’s nearest crossing point into Gaza. Then, inexplicably, the convoy was forced back up through Jordan to Syria from where flights were boarded and ferries taken to get the convoy back to El Arish on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast at a cost of $300,000.

Proposed route to Gaza before the convoy was sent back up to Syria at huge expense (vivapalestina.org)

Well, the convoy has now arrived. And guess what, it still isn’t being allowed into Gaza!

To be exact 59 of the 198 vehicles are not being allowed into Gaza via the Rafah, Egypt crossing and have to go to Gaza, if at all, via Israel now.

The distinction seems to be that the vehicles required to go via Israel contain “pickup trucks, sedans, generators” and, more worryingly, “other equipment”. Only medical aid and passengers are allowed via Rafah, Egypt into Gaza.

The simple explanation could be over worries that the trucks, generators, sedans and other equipment could have a sinister use and if Israelis, or Egytians, get killed from a Kassam rocket or suicide bombing manufactured by this equipment then the Egyptian government doesn’t wish to be blamed.

But negotiations are carrying on as we speak to get the whole convoy into Gaza via Rafah, Egypt.

Sadly, a life has been lost. After Hamas called for protests at the Egytian blockade it then tried to disperse the crowd by firing shots. Soon after an Egyptian border guard was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper. There is no suggestion that the border guard was behaving aggressively.

Palestinians riot just before an Egyptian was shot dead (bbc.co.uk)

Many others have been left injured after violent scuffles and stone throwing by Palestinians.

The Viva Palestina campaign has put out an emergency call. People are being asked to boycott Egypt and protest to Egyptian officials at Egyptian Embassies worldwide. Kevin Ovenden, the convoy leader, said: “We have now blocked the entrance to the port and we are now faced with riot police and water cannons and are determined to defend our vehicles and aid”.

And Dr Hanan Chehata, who is travelling with the convoy and who is director of public relations at the Middle East Monitor (MEMO), asks: “Why is Egypt adding to the suffering of the Palestinian people?” “Why are the Egyptians not helping their Muslim brothers and sisters – aren’t they part of the Muslim Ummah (community) as well?”

I have tried to answer those questions above but more interesting is Dr Chehata’s lack of interest in Gaza’s Christian community. Gaza has Christians too! Palestinians constantly remind us that Gaza’s Christian Arabs are a quickly diminishing community and blame Israel. (Christians are generally financially better off and so are more able to leave the poverty, unemployment and radicalism of Gaza. It has nothing to do with Israel).

We wait with bated breath as to when the Viva Palestina convoy will enter Gaza and from where. The convoy has been long complaining about the lack of publicity for its charitable gesture of travelling thousands of miles over land, sea and, now, air to support the even longer suffering people of Gaza. But with violence erupting, one dead and many injured there will be no shortage of publicity.

And an Egyptian family begins to mourn its loved one.

Viva Palestina!

At the time of writing a large convoy headed by George Galloway is snaking its way up through Jordan to Syria having made its way overland from the UK  to Jordan from where it was due to cross into Egypt and then journey to Gaza to give comfort and support to the suffering people there. Last year this same Viva Palestina convoy ended up handing over a large amount of aid to Ismail Haniya, the leader of Hamas.

George Galloway (telegraph.co.uk)

The people of Gaza’s dreadful situation is, of course, exacerbated by being under the rule of Hamas which has killed many of its own people in vicious infighting.

B’Tselem has documented that between November 2000 and August 2008 Palestians have killed 539 Palestinians in the occupied territories and that is before the dreadful attacks by Hamas on suspected Fatah activists during and after the Gaza war. 458 of those deaths have occurred in Gaza.

This year Viva Palestina has attempted the same trip but just as the convoy was poised to enter Gaza in time for the 27th December anniversary of the start of the Gaza War it was stopped. The convoy was stopped by Egypt, not Israel, due to the “sensitive situation”  in Gaza. The Egyptians would allow the convoy into Gaza but only after it has taken a circuitous route north through Jordan to Syria from where several boats will then take it back to another Egyptian border crossing with Gaza. This is inexplicable as you would think there will still be a “sensitive situation” in Gaza whichever route the convoy takes.

It just goes to show the lack of respect that Egypt has for Hamas and its Gazan subjects. There might be a siege of Gaza and although it is usually blamed on Israel the real culprit is Egypt as we now see it force the Viva Palestina convoy on this long and financially draining diversion. And this after arrests of convoy members by the Egyptian authorities and the threat of hunger strikes by other members of the convoy.

Then just when you thought the Egyptians couldn’t be more ungenerous towards their Arab brethren in Gaza they are now building their own security wall made of steel to keep Hamas terrorists out of Egypt. In February 2008 when the Gaza/Egpyt border was easily breached by the Palestinians a suicide bomber came back into Israel via the Israel/Egypt border and blew himself up killing one Israeli woman and injuring more than a dozen other Israelis in Dimona. Egypt obviously doesn’t want similar scenarios in Cairo.

Hamas (Israelnewsagency.com)

Egypt understand Israel’s plight. It knows that Gaza is trouble. Gaza is now radicalised and Hamas is the least of the troubles for the Palestinian people. There are now even more right-wing extremists on the block, The Warriors of God, who fought with Hamas in August when 27 died.

And if you look at the TV pictures coming from Gaza you will see that Palestinian women now have their heads covered unlike in the West Bank. Gaza has gone the same way as Iran. The 1979 revolution was supposed to improve the lot of the Iranian people but they have been brutally forced to bow down to Sharia the way the Gazans are having to now.

So back to those evil Egyptians. They are now suppressing the poor Palestinians the way they once suppressed the Jews until Moses led us out to the Promised Land. The only promised land the poor people of Gaza have now is Hamas, the Warriors of God and George and his band of merry men currently heading north through Jordan.