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We must boycott Israeli sports as we did with Apartheid South Africa

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | August 14, 2019

The Palestinian Football Association is struggling to survive. Combined US-Israeli pressure on Palestinian organisations that provide aid and support to the Palestinian people is now felt in the field of sports as well. In recent months, the association’s budget has been slashed by more than half, and the new football season may be cancelled entirely.

In Palestine, football in particular, represents more than just a game. It provides respite, continuity, hope, and unity.

The Palestine Football Association has been in existence since 1928, that is 20 years before Israel was founded on destroyed Palestinian cities, towns and villages. But, not even the tragic Nakba would end the sport in Palestine. When Palestine was admitted as a full member of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) in 1998, a rare moment of triumph prevailed over the sense of political stagnation. The Palestinian national team became a representation of a collective sense of pride and defiance. It meant that despite Israeli military restrictions, the targeting of Palestinian athletes and the bombing of stadiums and sports facilities, Palestinians continue to embrace life and thrive.

Even after the factional clash between Fatah and Hamas and the subsequent political disconnect between Gaza and the West Bank, sports continued to provide a critical outlet for unity. While Gaza and the West Bank have their own football leagues, they still competed in a final match to determine the winner of the Palestine Cup.

Alas, last month, Israel prevented the Rafah football team from reaching the West Bank, to meet its Balata Youth Centre rivals in the Cup’s final match.

Israel’s restrictions on Palestinian sports is relentless and is part of a long record of making it nearly impossible for Palestinians to pursue activities that should have no bearing on “Israel’s security”.

The Palestine national team is possibly the most beleaguered football team in the world today.

“Due to Israeli restrictions, the Palestinian national team has been banned from playing their home games in Palestinian stadiums for many years and is forced to host them in nearby Arab countries,” wrote Hazem Balousha in Arab News. Effectively, this means that all Palestinian football training camps have to be held outside Palestine, often with the team’s Gaza squad unable to join their peers. Meanwhile, no foreign trainers are allowed to enter besieged Gaza.

Moreover, the occasional news of a Palestinian footballer being shot, beaten or imprisoned, though tragic, is routine news for Palestinians.

Israel has, however, hardly received any serious reprimand for its unlawful actions. Despite Tel Aviv’s constant violations of Palestinian sports rights, FIFA and other international sports federations continue to treat Israel with kid gloves. Worse, instead of being punished for violating international law regarding sports, Israel is often rewarded. The fact that Israel’s Football Association includes six teams from illegal Jewish settlements (colonies that are built on stolen Palestinian land) seems to be of no consequence to FIFA’s bosses.

Recently, the sports brand, Puma has replaced Adidas as the sponsor of Israel’s national football teams. The decision indicates that the company is completely oblivious to sports apartheid in Israel. Puma’s lack of sportsmanship is now the subject of a major international boycott campaign led by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Over 200 Palestinian sports clubs support the call on Puma to end its dealings with Israel, in an attempt to pressure Israel to put an end to its violations of Palestinian human rights.

In fact, Israel should be boycotted in every possible way until it relents and respects international law regarding the rights and freedom of the Palestinian people. Often, however, we overlook the centrality of sports boycott in the overall boycott strategy.

Sports boycott engages, not only politicians and intellectuals but also ordinary people around the world. “The case for football boycott of Israel is just as compelling as that of football boycott of South Africa,” BDS wrote on its homepage. For one, “boycott would spread awareness of Israeli racism and abuse of Palestinian human rights across the football community worldwide.”

Moreover, boycotting Israeli sports, especially football, will deny Israel an important tool aimed at normalising its military occupation, apartheid, and racism. It will force ordinary Israelis to think about the consequences of their support of right-wing racist governments. It could, in fact, it will espouse a serious debate in Israel.

This same logic worked in Apartheid South Africa and was a powerful tool in the international support for the anti-Apartheid movement in that country.

But with FIFA and others turning a blind eye to Israeli violations, Palestinians continue to suffer while Israel continues to sell itself as a sports-loving member of FIFA and other sports organizations.

“Divestment and boycotts are familiar tactics from the international anti-apartheid movement, but they didn’t match the psychological power of the sports boycott,” wrote Tony Karon in the National.

“Rugby was an essential part of the identity of the South African regime’s base, and denying their ability to compete on an international stage was one of the most painful sanctions in the minds of many apartheid supporters.”

As for FIFA, it suspended the membership of the Football Association of South Africa in 1961, followed by a decision, in 1968 by the United Nations General Assembly that called for boycotting all sports bodies in South Africa that practiced apartheid. The pressure continued to mount, uniting international solidarity around clear and achievable objectives.

Many organisations have taken the lead in their respective countries to create a similar movement for Palestine. Israel must not be allowed to participate in international sports while simultaneously cementing its apartheid, racist regime in Palestine.

August 14, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , | Leave a comment

London council cancels pro-Palestine event over anti-Semitism claims

MEMO | August 5, 2019

London Borough of Tower Hamlets refused to host the closing rally of the annual bike ride raising money for Palestinian children in the besieged Gaza over claims it would breach the IHRA’s anti-Semitism criteria, the Guardian reported on Saturday.

The council told the Big Ride for Palestine, which was established on the first anniversary of Israel’s 2014 offensive on Gaza and which has raised nearly £150,000 for sports equipment for children in the enclave, that the event could not go ahead in the borough “without problems”.

However, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign won a Freedom of Information battle in an effort to discover the reasons behind the council’s refusal to host the event. Internal emails revealed that council staff agreed not to make public “anti-Semitism concerns”.

While the council officials, according to the Guardian, told the organisers that there was a risk speakers might express views which contradicted the council’s policies on community cohesion and equality, behind the scenes the council attributed the reasons to “real risk” of violating IHRA’s definition of anti-Semitism.

The council’s concerns were linked to the Big Ride’s website describing Israel’s illegal occupation and siege of the Gaza Strip as “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing”.

When considering how to explain the decision, the Guardian said, one council official said it would be wise to “avoid the anti-Semitism aspect… as this could open a can of worms and come back to bite us”.

The Guardian reported a council spokesman saying: “The council gave the application careful consideration and decided not to host the event, because we do not host rallies with political connotations, albeit without direct links to political parties.”

However a spokesperson for the charity said its work was focused on helping the 300,000 children in Gaza showing signs of severe psychological distress.

The spokesperson added: “It’s a dreadful thing when an over-scrupulous interpretation of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism is used behind closed doors to prevent awareness raising of the situation in Palestine and the need for humanitarian support.”

It’s not too late to donate, follow this link and give what you can.

August 5, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Solidarity and Activism | , , , | 3 Comments

Mass Rally For Evo Morales in Opposition Stronghold

teleSUR – August 2, 2019

Bolivia’s leftist president, Evo Morales, was greeted by a huge rally in the eastern city of Santa Cruz. Hundreds of thousands of people attended despite the city normally being known as a stronghold of the right wing opposition. The rally was in support of Evo Morales’s Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party, and to celebrate the anniversary of the country’s land reform.

President Morales addressed the crowd on Friday, saying, “We are rallied here so that Bolivia is never again in a state of dependency. So that the Bolivian people will never have to beg again. We are here sisters and brothers, so that neoliberalism nor U.S. military bases ever return.”

The MAS also presented their list of parliamentary candidates for the Santa Cruz region. Leading the list is Adriana Salvatierra, the 29-year-old President of the Senate, tipped by many as a possible successor to Morales.

The rally itself was organized by the local labor union federation, whose general secretary Rolando Borda, stood alongside Morales on stage. The day before Borda had laid out what he believes the mobilization represents.

“It is a ratification of our consciousness, and so that the economy of the country continues to grow and that the victory of October 20th is overwhelming,” he said.

Though the focus of the rally was the upcoming elections, the country was also celebrating the “Day of the Agrarian Revolution” falling on the anniversary of the Morales’ land reform, which redistributed millions of hectares to landless campesinos.

The main beneficiaries were the CSUTCB, the largest Indigenous campesino union. Their members were also in attendance at Friday’s rally, mostly Coca growers from the nearby Chapare region.

A buoyant economy has Morales well ahead of his rivals in opinion polls, however, none have indicated that a first round victory is certain. For that, Morales would need either 50 percent of the vote, or 40 percent if the second place candidate is behind by 10 points or more. Most polls have Morales just short of 40 percent, but leading his rivals by a comfortable margin of over 10.

August 3, 2019 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | , | Leave a comment

Any military aggression against Iran will drag entire Mideast into chaos: Nasrallah

Press TV – July 19, 2019

The secretary general of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement has warned the US that any military aggression against Iran will drag the entire Middle East into disarray, stressing that Washington will definitely not be the one who determines the end of such a scenario.

“As Leader of the Islamic Revolution (Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei) has said, the US is not capable of imposing a military war on Iran. The White House knows that if a war against Iran happens, the entire region will get entangled, and the US will not be the one who finishes it,” Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in a meeting with the visiting Iranian parliament speaker’s special advisor on international affairs, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, in Beirut on Friday.

Tensions have been running high between Tehran and Washington since last year, when US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and unleashed the “toughest ever” sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Recently, the US has taken a quasi-warlike posture against Iran and stepped up its provocative military moves in the Middle East, among them the June 20 incursion of an American spy drone into the Iranian borders.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) shot down the advanced US-made RQ-4 Global Hawk over Iran’s territorial waters off the coastal province of Hormozgan after the unmanned aircraft breached the country’s airspace on a spying mission.

Nasrallah then described resistance as the sole and most efficient option in the face of the Israeli regime’s crimes, acts of aggression and excessive demands.

He also lauded Iran’s political and democratic plan for a referendum among all historic residents of Palestine, inclusive of Muslims, Christians and Jews, as realistic and logical.

“The occupying Zionists, however, are the most irrational creatures on the earth, and do not understand anything other than the discourse of resistance,” the Hezbollah chief noted.

He further termed Trump’s controversial proposal for “peace” between the Israeli regime and Palestinians, dubbed “the deal of the century,” as hollow, stating that the Zionists are the root cause of corruption and insecurity in the region.

Nasrallah also highlighted that Hezbollah bears no grudge against Jews, warning members of the religious community not to play in the hands of Zionists’ land grab policies.

The Hezbollah secretary general emphasized that the anti-Israel resistance front is now in its best form even though the US and the Israeli regime continue with their fiendish moves in the region.

“Americans are seeking to impede the purge of the last remnants of terrorists in Syria, and are prolonging the (Syrian) crisis through various means in a bid to prevent the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland. They will fail in their interventionist policies in the region though,” Nasrallah concluded.

Amir-Abdollahian, for his part, congratulated Hezbollah’s victory during the 33-day war in July 2006, and discussed latest regional and international developments besides bilateral political and parliamentary relations between Tehran and Beirut with the Hezbollah chief.

July 19, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , | 1 Comment

A race against time

Tilman Ruff’s life mission is to help rid the world of nuclear weapons
By Robert Fedele | Australian Nursing and Midwifery Journal | January 23, 2019

In 2007, Associate Professor Tilman Ruff and a small group of antinuclear activists founded the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) in Melbourne. In 2017, the global nongovernmental organisation captured the first Nobel Peace Prize born in Australia after years drawing attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and driving a historic UN prohibition treaty. In June 2019, Ruff, and fellow ICAN co-founder, Dimity Hawkins, were awarded Order of Australia Honours for their advocacy on nuclear disarmament.

Tilman Ruff’s life’s mission to help end nuclear weapons traces back to growing up in Melbourne in the 1980s living with the genuine fear that nuclear war could strike at any moment.

His family background passed on a profound awareness of the impacts of war.

“My family were German Christians living in communities in Palestine,” Professor Ruff explains. “My great grandparents married there. They were in turn displaced, imprisoned, and quite a few of them were killed in both World Wars and then brought to Australia as prisoners and locked up until 1947.

“So the indiscriminate trauma, loss, madness and horror of war and its terrible legacy across generations was something I heard from my grandmothers and my old people all the time.”

As an adolescent, several empowering experiences shaped Professor Ruff’s activism, including joining the movement to end Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War and setting up the world’s first Amnesty International high school group in 1970 to support the release of a young man imprisoned for writing a political slogan on a wall.

They made the then 15-year-old Ruff truly believe he could make a difference.

A Public Health and Infectious Diseases Physician, Professor Ruff’s diverse career has included establishing the Nossal Institute for Global Health at the University of Melbourne, where he currently teaches on public health dimensions and nuclear technology, and a longstanding position as the International Medical Advisor for Australian Red Cross.

Looking back to his early days as a medical student, he reveals the presence of nuclear weapons struck him as “the most urgent global health threat and most demanding of urgent health professional attention.

“Many of us had this daily visceral fear that nuclear war could happen at any time. It was a palpable reality in your life.”

Professor Ruff suggests the birth of his daughter in 1982 added an emotional dimension that spurred him further to want to make the world a safer place for generations to come.

Soon he joined the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1985 for contributing to the end of the Cold War, where he became inspired by how effective and influential evidence-based advocacy imparted by health professionals could be.

Professor Ruff maintains overwhelming evidence shows nuclear war would cause catastrophic consequences and make it impossible to provide any effective health or humanitarian response.

The evidence is epitomised by the World Health Organization (WHO), which commissioned an expert group in 1983 to examine the issue and labelled nuclear war the greatest immediate threat to human health and welfare, with no health service in the world capable of responding to the devastation even a single nuclear weapon could inflict on a city.

“Nuclear weapons are different from any other weapons in two ways,” Professor Ruff says.

“One is the simple scale of the destruction. There have been single nuclear weapons built and tested that contained four times the explosive power of all explosives that have been used in all wars throughout human history.

“Of course, they’re qualitatively different too in producing radiation that transcends borders, that transcends its effects across generations, effects that can’t be undone, increasing the risk of cancer and genetic damage and chronic disease long-term for the lifetime of those exposed.”

Professor Ruff says recent scientific evidence points to nuclear weapons triggering climate disruption and a nuclear winter. Specifically, less than 1% of the world’s nuclear weapons targeted on cities would loft so much soot and smoke into the atmosphere that it would blanket the globe in darkness and cool the climate, decimating agriculture for decades and putting billions at risk of starvation across all corners of the globe.

“It doesn’t matter where they get used. It doesn’t matter whether you’re targeted by them or not. The idea that these gargantuan instruments of destruction could provide security for anybody is completely evidence free.”

The evolution of ICAN in Melbourne in 2007 was sparked by intense frustration and despair among members of IPPNW, and its Australian affiliate the Medical Association for Prevention of War (MAPW), that nuclear disarmament had fallen off the radar.

Importantly, Professor Ruff and his cofounders were encouraged by the success of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and felt it could be replicated for nuclear weapons.

The plan was not to recreate a new organisation but instead form a coalition of existing organisations fixed on developing a treaty to ban nuclear weapons on account of their shattering humanitarian consequences.

“It’s got to be global, it’s got to engage young people, and balance horror, humour, hope and humanity,” Professor Ruff recalls of the group’s philosophy.

Fittingly, years of raising awareness about the dangers of nuclear weapons reached a pivotal point in July 2017 when the ICAN-led treaty to ban nuclear weapons was adopted by 122 countries at the United Nations in New York.

The treaty prohibits the use of nuclear weapons, their development, testing, stockpiling, production and threat of use, underlining that any use of these weapons contravenes the rules of international humanitarian law.

Unsurprisingly, the world’s nuclear-armed states – Russia, France, US, India, North Korea, UK, Pakistan, China and Israel – boycotted the treaty, as did many of their close allies like Australia. “They’re not only not disarming they’re actually investing massively in adding new capacities and modernising those weapons,” Professor Ruff says.

As the treaty negotiations unfolded at the UN General Assembly in New York, Professor Ruff says stories told in person by victims and survivors of nuclear bombings in Japan, together with survivors of nuclear testing around the world including Indigenous test survivors from Australia, exposed the reality of nuclear weapons like nothing else.

The room burst into joy when the treaty was adopted.

“It was a very emotional moment,” Professor Ruff recalls. “These are normally very formal and dry proceedings. When the vote happened, 122 to 1, the room just erupted with hugs, tears of joy. It was one of the most extraordinary moments you could ever witness.”

To date, 70 states have signed the treaty and 23 have ratified it.

It will enter into force once 50 states have signed and ratified it.

“It’s not the final perfect all-in-one solution that’s going to magically get rid of nuclear weapons overnight,” Professor Ruff concedes.

“But it’s the best thing that the rest of the world that doesn’t own the weapons could do.”

Professor Ruff is adamant the treaty marks a major step forward of historic significance, and through growing international support and an increased focus on stigmatisation, can finally help rid the world of nuclear weapons.

If anything, the fierce and bitter opposition expressed by the nuclear-armed states in the wake of the treaty has further reassured him.

“They wouldn’t do that if this didn’t matter. If this didn’t put them on notice and on the defensive.”

Professor Ruff praised the involvement of key health professional federations from around the world, such as the International Council of Nurses (ICN) and World Medical Association (WMA), in helping to reinforce how nuclear weapons pose a planetary health threat of the highest magnitude.

In this vein, he believes real change can only occur by influencing government policy and all health professionals, including nurses and midwives, should champion the power of health evidence.

“Our responsibility as health professionals is not just to alleviate suffering and try and cure diseases but to prevent illness, keep people and our communities healthy and be advocates.”

Several months after the treaty, ICAN was awarded the first Australian-born Nobel Peace Prize at a ceremony in Norway for its efforts.

“It was hugely important, humbling and just wonderful for a couple of reasons, apart from just the fact this has been blood, sweat and tears for me, endless nights and weekends, 365 days a year for more than a decade and for 20 years before that,” Professor Ruff reflects.

“It provides really important attention to the urgency of the issue and the need to make progress. It provides historic recognition for the importance of the treaty and gives enormous encouragement to civil society and governments.”

Disappointingly, Professor Ruff says the glaring lack of support and recognition from Australia’s leaders, both for the treaty and Nobel Peace Prize, remains difficult to comprehend.

“Basically, our policy is that we might need the US to use nuclear weapons on our behalf and we actually provide, through facilities and personnel assistance, for the possible use of nuclear weapons. That’s a completely immoral position. We’re part of the problem, not the solution.”

Regardless, Professor Ruff says the Nobel Peace Prize has opened doors and allowed ICAN to spread its message further.

The immediate task rests in getting as many states to sign and ratify the treaty as possible to strengthen its legal and political force. Pressure will also be ramped up on financial institutions, such as several of the big banks, invested in companies that make nuclear weapons.

In Australia, the strategy will likely focus on getting the next Labor Party government to join the treaty, given its current policy platform from 2018 which commits Labor in government to sign and ratify the Ban Treaty.

Professor Ruff says its imperative civil society organisations, including unions, band together to push for elimination.

While decades have passed since he was a youth growing up in Melbourne with the threat of nuclear war hovering Professor Ruff remains visibly determined to close the final chapter.

“Objectively, the danger of nuclear war is growing,” he declares.

“There’s no question that if these weapons are retained they will one day be used and we absolutely have to get the job done before that happens.”

THE FACTS ABOUT NUCLEAR WEAPONS

  • Nuclear weapons release vast amounts of energy in the form of blast, heat and radiation, with no adequate humanitarian response possible
  • A single nuclear bomb detonated over a large city could kill millions of people and the use of tens or hundreds of nuclear bombs would disrupt the global climate and cause widespread famine
  • Nuclear weapons have been used twice in warfare – on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, killing more than 210,000 innocent civilians
  • Nine countries possess around 15,000 nuclear weapons, with the US and Russia keeping about 1,800 of their nuclear weapons on high-alert, ready for launching within minutes.

Learn more about the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

July 3, 2019 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | Leave a comment

Activists scale Israel arms manufacturer building, demand end to UK complicity in rights violations

MEMO | July 1, 2019

Activists from the Manchester Palestine Action network have scaled the roof of the Israeli owned Elbit/Ferranti arms manufacturer in Oldham in protest of UK complicity in Israel’s human rights violations.

To commemorate the five-year anniversary of “Operation Protective Edge” in 2014, which killed over 2,000 Palestinians, activists draped large banners in front of the building which read “UK Stop Arming Israel”.

The group say that over the last five years the UK has raised their arms sales to Israel and are calling for an arms embargo and the closure of all Elbit factories in the UK.

A group of activists also entered the new, hi-tech, Discovery Industrial Park in Kent and headed towards Elbit’s, purpose-built Instro Precision factory. They blockaded both of the gates to the factory and scaled a shipping container forcing the factory to close.

In 2017 the Campaign Against Arms Trade reported that the UK issued £221 million worth of arms licenses to defence companies exporting to Israel which makes Israel the eighth largest UK arms market.

In the past half-decade Israel has brought over £350 million worth of UK military hardware.

During the Great March of Return Israeli snipers have killed over 180 Palestinian protesters including 57 children, yet the UK has approved some £14 million worth of arms sales during this period, according to the group.

Adie from Manchester Palestine Action said: “We think that arms companies like Elbit Ferranti should stop operating when it is clear their weapons are being developed through the mass murder of Palestinians in Gaza and the rest of Palestine. The crimes must stop and so must UK-based companies that are profiting from them.”

July 1, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

British Society for Middle Eastern Studies endorses boycott of Israeli universities

MEMO | June 25, 2019

The British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) has endorsed the Palestinian call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions, in a vote taken at its AGM in Leeds on Monday.

According to reports on social media, the resolution supporting the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign was easily passed, with almost 80 percent support (final numbers to be confirmed).

The resolution highlights Israel’s obstruction of “Palestinians’ right to education by destroying Palestinian universities and schools, arresting students, raiding and forcing Palestinian universities to close, and restricting Palestinians’ movement”.

The text goes on to describe the “key role” played by Israeli universities “in planning, implementing and justifying Israel’s illegal military occupation”, and claims such institutions “are maintaining a close and supportive relationship with the Israeli military”.

Examples of this relationship include “involvement in developing weapons systems, providing justification for military actions and extra-judicial killings, rewarding students serving in the occupation forces, designing and delivering special programmes for soldiers and officers, building on occupied land, and systematically discriminating against non-Jewish students”.

Proposed by Professor John Chalcraft (LSE) and seconded by Dr Rafeef Ziadah (SOAS), the resolution commits BRISMES to “endorsing the call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions until these institutions publicly end their support and complicity in violating Palestinian rights as stipulated in international law”.

After the resolution passed, Dr Ziadah tweeted: “members of #BRISMES2019 passed a #BDS resolution @ annual general meeting earlier today. This was a real grassroots campaign, long time in the making. Congratulations to every single person who worked tirelessly to make this happen!”

Palestinian boycott campaigners welcomed the move, and urged other international academic societies to take “similar measures against racism and oppression”.

BRISMES was established in 1973 “to encourage and promote the study of the Middle East in the United Kingdom”, and brings together “teachers, researchers, students, diplomats, journalists and others who deal professionally with the Middle East”.

 

June 25, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Disinformation and False Accusations of Anti-Semitism

Permitting Israel’s Slow Motion Genocide of Palestinians

By Heather Stroud | Dissident Voice | June 16, 2019

The smearing of George Galloway and widely reported disinformation that there was no evidence to support the claim that Viva Palestina delivered aid, raises serious concerns, not just in this case, but far beyond.

It is seriously disturbing how disinformation and lazy ‘cut and paste’ journalism has become common place within the monopoly media of the UK. One wonders where the professional and serious investigative reporting of old has gone.

With regard to the ‘possibly liable’ headlines of several national newspapers: Gaza charity ‘may have delivered no aid’ ‘no evidence of charitable activity’ and so forth…, as a participant of  the Viva Palestina Convoy 2009/10, I can confirm that not only was medical aid delivered to Gaza, there is significant evidence to support this. The medical supplies were, in fact, accurately documented as required and submitted to customs officials in the countries we passed through. So, why didn’t the charities commission, the government and the mainstream journalists find any evidence? Why didn’t they speak to any of the hundreds of witnesses who would likely be willing to testify in a court of law, were they called upon to do so.

My conclusion is that they didn’t look, which brings us to the more serious question: why didn’t they look?

It doesn’t take much imagination to consider why journalists and career politicians might have chosen not to look. It is frightening to consider how we have allowed ourselves to slide into this Orwellian condition of cognitive dissonance where investigative journalists and publishers are punished, criminalised and imprisoned for writing the truth, while the commonplace peddling of disinformation is rewarded.

To quote from George Orwell; “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” Julian Assange understands this more than most.

I’m not an investigative journalist; however, as a concerned citizen, my first question would be: Who were the people within the Charities Commission that instigated ‘Viva Palestina’ (a campaigning group), to register as a charity.

I remember that none of the participants of the convoy considered what we were doing as charity. Palestinians are not looking for charity. They want a political solution that offers dignity, freedom and justice. It was this political solution we were attempting to achieve by driving the convoy of politically decorated ambulances overland to Gaza. The symbolism of taking medical supplies was the powerful message that drew people from their homes to wave their support as we drove by.

Further questions we should all ask: “What was the motive in forcing a campaigning group to register as though it were a charity? Were those behind this move politically motivated in any way?”

Given all the false charges of anti-Semitism directed against George Galloway and many other outspoken critics of Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians, it is credible to surmise that there ‘might’ have been political motives behind, not only forcing ‘Viva Palestina’ to fall under the power of the charities commission, but also the later investigation and false accusation – delivered ten years after the event: ‘of the probability that no aid was delivered’.

Seriously, such throw away meaningless phrases such as.., ‘may not have’ ‘high likely’ … whatever happened to evidence-based accusations?

The convoys of ambulances packed with medical supplies, (Viva Palestina 2009) grew out of an inspirational idea put forward by George Galloway. Both within the UK and indeed globally, individuals were/and continue to be shocked by the brutal attacks on a largely defenceless population living under siege in Gaza. The Israeli ‘Operation Cast Lead’ of 2008/9 left around 1,440 people dead and many more thousand injured. Ten years on, Gaza continues to face a slow genocide so the motivation to place blame on those who speak out about these outrageous war crimes and crimes against humanity, are well entrenched within the establishment and media.

The aims of Viva Palestina were threefold: besides delivering ambulances and medical supplies to Gaza by driving across Europe, Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Egypt in convoy, our aim was to raise awareness as to the desperate plight of the Gazan people. The medical supplies will have been used up long ago; however, our intended aim of  raising awareness and demonstrating love and solidarity toward the Palestinians is enduring.

Viva Palestina was not one person. It was an inspirational campaigning umbrella for more than a hundred and ten different groups that comprised around 500 people from an international collective of around 17 different nationalities. The largest contingent participating in the convoy came from UK, followed by Turkey, Malaysia, and Jordanian doctors.

I was one of four who represented the people of York. Besides contributing our own money we fundraised locally and were responsible for our own financial accounting. Although it’s credible to believe that £1M was around the total sum of aid delivered, other than the international groups none of the local UK groups would have individually met the threshold of the £25,000.00 that was the excuse to force charity status on us. Our first purchase was an ambulance for which we paid £6,000.00. Having acquired the ambulance money came in more readily and we were able to purchase medical supplies, a defibrillator, and a second hand dialysis machine. This we handed over personally to doctors from the Red Crescent in Gaza. However spurious claims that we might have handed over aid (aid that we supposedly didn’t have) to ‘the ruling government’ are misleading and disingenuous. Hamas is the democratically elected government of Palestine. Just like our government which has a financial responsibility toward the NHS, Hamas finances the main Al Shifa Hospital, along with a responsibility for the health services of the population of Gaza. Had we handed our ambulance and medical supplies over to them, as many did, this would have been absolutely legitimate.

In a report put out by the UK government based on the charity commissions findings, it is stated that trustees of Viva Palestina were found lacking in their assessment of the risks. I should add that all participants were aware that there were risks. It was discussed prior to departure of the convoy and during the journey on several occasions. Given the Egyptian military siege that took place in El Arish against all participants of the convoy, it would have been comforting to think our government thought well enough of us, to have made some diplomatic gesture toward protecting us. The only response I am aware of from them was: “You were advised not to go. You are on your own.” Maybe behind the scenes they said something, but we were certainly not aware of it.

In contrast it was evident that the Turkish Government, the Malaysian Government and others, did take diplomatic steps to offer assistance to their citizens and as a result the military confrontation and siege ended with few casualties. Sadly this was not the case at the Rafa borders where Palestinians gathered in protest of our coming under siege by the Egyptian military. One Egyptian soldier was killed and a Palestinian was shot in the legs. If a reminder were needed, this tragedy reflects the brutality of conflict in this area of the world and what Palestinians in Gaza face on a daily basis.

We have normalised wars waged against civilians as though this were a natural condition of being human. Gaza continues to face a slow genocide, so the motivation for Palestinians during this current ‘Great March of Return’ arrives out of a sense of despair as they witness their country being steadily stolen away. Trump’s declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel simply added fuel to an already simmering anger. This desperate act of resistance arises in the belief that it is better to die in dignity than to die slowly on one’s knees.

The courage of the Palestinians comes from the belief that their individual death might trigger a global outrage that will finally bring justice and freedom for the children of their community. The realisation of this belief is slow in coming; however, it’s this faith in our common humanity that gives them the courage to transcend fear. It was this same faith that persuaded us to undertake the long journey across Europe and beyond in hopes of stirring a conscious awakening of decent people to this injustice.

In contrast to our good will, disinformation and labels function as a way of de-legitimising genuine resistance to injustice, resistance to the theft of one’s land, the theft of one’s freedom, and resistance to the theft of many lives… resistance to all that is inherently wrong.

Palestinians and their democratically elected government, Hamas, are frequently described as terrorists by Israel, UK and its politically ideological Zionist supporters; however, when Israel bombs Gaza and drops white phosphorous on its civilian population, it is stated that Israel is defending itself.

Labels and calculated disinformation function as a way of diverting attention  from legitimate outrage. People are afraid of the slurs and negative labels that might be attached to them; in the case of supporting Palestinians one is charged with being anti-Semitic. We just have to look at how these attacks on Jeremy Corbyn, George Galloway and the participants of Viva Palestina, to see how labels, false charges and calculated disinformation have become weaponised.

Labels don’t need truth to stick. Like lies they just have to be said often enough and with enough force to be intimidating and carry the power to turn a contrived falsehood into a popularly held truth. A false label is like the smelly stuff that clings to the bottom of your shoe if you are unfortunate enough to walk on the wrong part of the pavement. Evidently, George Galloway, like Jeremy Corbyn and all those of us on the Viva Palestina Convoy, have trodden in the wrong place by our physical endeavour to demonstrate an ongoing injustice and an unpalatable truth into the reaches of power.

June 16, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Second Saudi ship leaves French port without arms cargo

MEMO | May 31, 2019

A Saudi cargo ship has left the southern French port of Fos-sur-Mer without loading its arms cargo destined for Saudi Arabia, blocked from doing so after pressure from rights campaigners, a French rights group said on Thursday, Reuters reports.

The incident reported by ACAT, a Christian organisation against torture, is the second time this month that a Saudi vessel has been blocked from loading arms in France as pressure mounts on Paris to stop arms sales to the kingdom.

A Saudi ship left France’s northern coast two weeks ago without a cargo of weapons after dockers threatened to block its arrival in the port of Le Havre. That came weeks after an online investigative site published leaked French military intelligence that showed weapons sold to the kingdom, including tanks and laser-guided missile systems, were being used against civilians in Yemen’s war.

ACAT said the Saudi freighter, Bahri Tabuk, returned to sea on Wednesday night, with its holds empty.

“Once again, faced with citizen mobilisation and our legal action, a Saudi freighter had to give up loading French weapons, this time in Fos-sur-Mer,” Nathalie Seff of ACAT-France said in a statement.

Refinitiv Eikon shipping data showed that the Saudi-flagged ship, labelled as a vehicle carrier which has transported soybean meal in the past, left Fos and was sailing to Alexandria in Egypt.

French and Saudi governments and the port authorities could not be reached for comment on Thursday evening.

French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly has said that France had a partnership with Saudi Arabia. When the first vessel was blocked from loading in Le Havre, she said the arms were related to an order dating back several years.

ACAT said it had filed an appeal last week with the Paris Administrative Court to block weapons shipments to Saudi Arabia, arguing that the sales contravened a UN treaty because the arms could be used against civilians in the Yemeni conflict, but it said the appeal was rejected.

May 31, 2019 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

French rights group moves to block Saudi arms cargo

RT | May 28, 2019

A French humanitarian group is seeking to block a delivery of munitions to a Saudi ship docked at a port in southern France, arguing the weapons will be used to commit war crimes in Saudi Arabia’s conflict with Yemen.

The rights group, Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture (ACAT), filed its legal challenge Tuesday, following up on a previous effort which successfully blocked a shipment of howitzer cannons to the Saudi Kingdom.

The cargo ship “is to load French weapons bound for Saudi Arabia, one of the main belligerents of the Yemeni conflict,” ACAT said in a statement Tuesday, adding it was “calling on civil society … to prevent these munitions from leaving” the port of Marseille-Fos.

The shipment is to include ammunition for the French-made Caesar howitzer, a truck-mounted artillery system, according to sources cited by investigative outlet Disclose. Though ACAT managed to block a howitzer shipment earlier this month, Saudi Arabia obtained several Caesar batteries in previous sales.

ACAT argues that the UN’s Arms Trade Treaty, ratified by France in 2014, provides a legal basis for a court order to block the cargo.

Under the treaty, “France undertook not to authorize the transfer of arms when it ‘has knowledge, at the time the authorization is requested that such weapons or property could be used to commit genocide, crimes against humanity’,” or other violations of humanitarian law, ACAT said, quoting the language of the agreement.

French Defense Minister Florence Parly told lawmakers Tuesday that she had no information on the shipment, but added that France must respect its alliance with the kingdom in any case. Parly has previously stated there was “no proof” that French weapons contributed to rights violations in the Yemen war.

In April, however, French journalists with Disclose published classified military intelligence documents revealing that French weapons likely were involved in strikes on civilians. French authorities have since interrogated the journalists and threatened them with jail time.

Earlier Tuesday Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called on Saudi Arabia to end its “dirty war” on Yemen, but stopped short of demanding an end to French weapons sales, adding that France was “extremely vigilant” in its arms transfers.

Activists at Italian and Spanish ports have also attempted to interfere in the Saudi war effort, with Italian dock workers in Genoa refusing to load cargo onto a Saudi vessel earlier this month, and a similar, albeit unsuccessful, protest at the Spanish port of Santander.

The UN says Yemen is suffering the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with millions dependent on humanitarian aid and tens of thousands killed in the fighting. A coalition of states led by Saudi Arabia began military operations in Yemen in March 2015, seeking to oust rebels from power and reinstate Yemeni President Mansour Hadi. Both the coalition and the rebels have violated the laws of armed conflict, according to rights groups, but the bulk of civilian casualties have been inflicted in the Saudi air war.

May 28, 2019 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

What is ‘the Palestinian Cause’?

By Blake Alcott | Palestine Chronicle | May 21, 2019

At a recent Palestine conference in Istanbul, many speakers talked of ‘the Palestinian cause’. Many also spoke of ‘solidarity’ with the Palestinians. What do these words mean?

Although I’ve been active in solidarity with the Palestinian cause for ten years, I had to admit to myself that if asked by a ‘man on the street’ in the West, I could only give a vague or even contradictory answer to the questions of what the cause is, and with what one is being asked to be in solidarity with. We all have a general idea and can point to specific rights violations, or know that Zionism itself is the problem, but a short, precise answer?

In the fight against Apartheid South Africa, internationals like myself could say the cause is ‘one man, one vote’ – a standard human rights-based democracy modeled on constitutions from all over the world. One could point to the Freedom Charter and to the broad anti-Apartheid consensus, after the offer of Bantustans was rejected, as to what internationals are in solidarity with.

In the Civil Rights struggle in the U.S., similarly, there was a clear and unanimous call for equality as citizens. And I suppose that, after most feminists had rejected various offers of partial enfranchisement, men the world over knew exactly what the cause was when they supported Women’s Suffrage.

Palestine is, of course, more complicated, both because it has been divided in addition to being conquered and because the PLO in the late 1980s and early 1990s abandoned the simple goal of national liberation. Consequently, some Palestinians support the two-state solution, some a re-unified democratic state and others a re-unified Islamic state. There is no clarity or straightforward vision.

But can a liberation movement do without a vision that is 1) inspiring and 2) simple to convey?

Which Cause, Solidarity with Which Palestinians?

For some, the cause is a sovereign state, any state, even on 15% of Palestine. This comes however at the price of leaving the diaspora in the diaspora and leaving the Palestinians in Israel to fend for themselves. The cause is: some of the rights of some of the Palestinians.

For others, the cause is getting all of the homeland back, with Right of Return as the non-negotiable key, and replacing present-day Israel and the territories occupied in 1967 with a democracy. This corresponds to fulfilling all the rights of all the Palestinians.

Perhaps this disunity on the basics is unavoidable today. But from 1918 until 1988 there actually was Palestinian unity: freedom from Britain, Zionism, and Israel, no dispossession from the land. Such a goal today would make the Palestinian cause easier to understand for the rest of the world.

It is inevitable and understandable that some Palestinians have fought long and hard enough from inside and outside of prison, have lost enough relatives and friends and will settle for the two-state compromise. This stance is to be respected, even if it is in the form of a final settlement.

It is also logical that some Palestinians balk at the sheer unfairness of the two-state solution, and have also perhaps concluded that the two-state cause has now been tried but has failed. Thus, for ethical as well as practical reasons the cause should be the single independent democratic state insisted on by all Palestine Arab Congresses and then by the PLO for 70 years. Many feel there is nothing more to lose, so why not ‘go for it’.

In any case, if we internationals want to work and argue for a Palestinian cause we must pick and choose. Which cause? Solidarity with which Palestinians? Otherwise, we are left with the dampening message that there is as yet no Palestinian consensus, and we have to revert to focusing not on a goal but on Israel’s specific misdeeds as a settler-colonial, apartheid state.

For us, this is not inspiring and even causes feelings of helplessness. In my case, discussing with the public at Palestinian events and market-place stalls, I can say that it usually led to indeterminate, anti-climactic, qualified generalities then a parting shrug of the shoulders. There was no motivating and simple vision to point to.

BDS and Right of Return

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) offers the closest thing to a vision with its call for non-violent pressure on Israel until three demands are met: return, equality within the 1948-occupied territories, and sovereignty in the 1967-occupied territories. It also calls for ‘self-determination’, but this term is vague in leaving open the question of self-determination where. In most of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, or in all of Palestine?

We BDS supporters can point to these 3 concrete goals as, added together, ‘the Palestinian cause’ and can claim that it is explicitly supported by many, many Palestinians.

Similarly, we can follow the brave example of the Marches of Return from Gaza, and demand one single thing: that refugees become returnees – to their homes, places of origin, and property – wherever that is all over historic Palestine. This is a clearly conveyable cause with impeccable credentials in both ethics and international law. And it involves about 7 million Palestinians.

But are any relatively simple political solutions, or end ‘causes’, implied by BDS and Right of Return?

Rights vs Solutions

Many Palestinians have recently begun arguing that one should desist from debating political solutions, of debating for or against one state or two states. One often hears the message, ‘One state, two states, five states, no state, I just want my rights.’

The choice, however, I believe, comes down to just two – one democratic state or the permanent partition – even if a bi-national federation is somewhat different from one democratic state and even if some Palestinians contemplate the ‘Jordanian option’ of adding the West Bank once again to Jordan. (Nobody seems to be advocating two states on the borders of General Assembly Resolution 181 in 1947, which would make the discussion more interesting.)

Instead, these people argue, one should just argue for Palestinian rights, to whatever solution that leads. Or one should just keep fighting the (negative) fights against Israeli colonialism and ongoing ethnic cleansing and house destruction and apartheid.

In my experience, most of the Palestinians who argue against discussing solutions favor the two-state solution, but even some who focus on BDS, right of return and even one democratic state believe that the time is not ripe for settling the one-state/two-states question. I do not understand why working for rights and working for one solution or the other should be mutually exclusive, but many feel that more work must first be done against the many-headed Israeli state.

But are rights and solutions really separable? I don’t think so. Take for example BDS. The boycott would be called off when the 3 goals are fulfilled, and if they were fulfilled, what would be the result in terms of a political solution?

First, full equality would reign in the 1948-occupied territories. Second, the West Bank and Gaza Strip would be utterly sovereign. Third, if only 4 million of the roughly 7 million exiled Palestinians return, in what is now Israel there would no longer be a Jewish or a Zionist majority – something that results, as well, if only right of return is realized, without equality and without an end to the 1967 occupation.

The result of the achievement of BDS’s goals would literally be Two Democratic States. But would there be any reason not to re-unify Palestine the following morning? If this logic holds up, then BDS actually implies one democratic state.

Put the other way around, it is easy to see that the two-state solution is not compatible with either right of return or equality within Israel, for one of the two states in the two-state solution is apartheid Israel, which could not let the refugees come back or treat its Palestinian citizens equally and still be called Israel.

What to Argue for?

Those of us in international solidarity as well as people in our societies who are thinking about the issue at all, and whom we are trying to convince, naturally ponder solutions. One cannot quit thinking, or play dumb. How can one help but work out the logic of which rights fit with which solutions? Yet it is sometimes said simply to ‘leave solutions to the Palestinians’. Of course, but can we not argue for one or the other, in order to make the options clear?

Some internationals do not enter the solutions debate because we shouldn’t ‘tell the Palestinians what to do’. I find this a strange stance, because none of us are in a position to tell a single Palestinian what to do. We have no power and no Palestinian has to listen to a single word we say. We are not Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn or Cyril Ramaphosa, all of whom might be in a position to co-dictate some solution (and all of whom support the two-state solution, by the way).

After a century of Zionism’s being imposed by outsiders – and debating the Question of Palestine without any Palestinians in the room – many Palestinians understandably object to any international acting as if they were an actual stakeholder. But does this mean not arguing for a political vision?

The dilemma of the international picking amongst Palestinian causes and choosing which Palestinians to support might be to simply admit it, and say that we have picked and chosen and that we support those Palestinians who support one or the other solution. Many Palestinians have written in detail for one democratic state, and I, for instance, support them, not the Palestinian Authority.

What we should not do is claim that supporting one or the other solution is supporting ‘the Palestinians’. We can’t claim this simply because there is no unity. In fact, while Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are often polled as to their views on the best political solution, and the Palestinians in Israel as well, all Palestinians are never polled. Those in the diaspora are not even registered in a database. They are never asked, so we can only speculate on what a majority of Palestinians want.

It could be that hesitancy in coming out for one of the solutions can be explained by certain awkward consequences. Those for two states must answer the charge that they are supporting a Zionist solution, since Israel – yes, the Israel we know – would still exist, exist more safely and permanently than ever. The truncated Palestinian state, that is, has a price, and that price is both states ‘secure within their borders’.

Those, on the other hand, who support one democratic state must deal with the consequence that there would be no more Israel, no more Jewish state in Palestine. This entails navigating the minefield that has been laid around the concept of ‘destroying’ the ‘only Jewish state in the world’, of de-legitimizing Israel and denying its ‘right to exist’.

This is a huge challenge, but there are ways to defuse it: In most one-state visions the Jewish Israelis could stay as citizens. Violence is not contemplated. Most importantly during the witch-hunt over ‘anti-Semitism’, one can openly grant that Yes, a Jewish state somewhere might be justified, but not in Palestine – because it is against the will of the indigenous people and because it is at the cost of the Palestinians who had nothing to do with the European ‘Jewish problem’ in the first place. But whether Jewish, Christian or Hindu, it is any ethnocracy imposed from outside which is the problem.

A Vision

I can say from experience which internationals and which Jewish Israeli Jews are actively behind the two-state solution. They are the ones who want to save Israel’s skin. They argue pragmatically, that Zionism must give up ‘Judea and Samaria’ in order to salvage the state on some four-fifths of Palestine. Israel should stay, for historical reasons having mainly to do with European guilt. It should become nicer, but it is ‘right’ that it exists in Palestine. (Those in ‘solidarity’ supporting two states cannot, however, call themselves ‘anti-Zionist’.)

I also know from experience that next to no internationals are actually enthused about a two-state solution. They get enthused about BDS and ODS because their goals are clear and they don’t compromise even before the other side has come to the table.

The one-democratic-state vision, on the other hand, has the power to enthuse, because it contains all the rights of all the Palestinians and because it is simple and explicable. It is like other democracies on all continents. One can obviously put more energy and conviction into ‘justice for all’ than in ‘justice for some, tough luck for the rest’.

Palestinians and Internationals

I am assured by almost all Palestinians that the national liberation struggle needs outside support. Who can doubt that it would help if more and more academics, journalists, and governments would come to feel the need to pressure their governments to pressure Israel so that Palestinian rights can be fulfilled – or at least abandon their unwavering Zionism?

Internationals cannot be expected to suspend their own judgment as to what justice would entail, or to use their logic to see how the pieces of Palestinian rights fit into what solutions. We are in fact not able to simply follow and support the wishes of ‘the Palestinians’ because there is as of now no unity. I’ve seen a move towards one democratic state amongst the rank-and-file in the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in the U.K., for instance, even if that organization still holds back. It is something we can get behind with real feeling.

I also know many Palestinians who miss having a clear vision, shared at least by a large minority of Palestinians. A vision not only clear but inspiring. The idea of simple re-unification, democracy and right of return seems to fit this bill. I believe it would do the ‘cause’ good if advocating for this solution were accepted and its vision of combining anti-colonialism, equal rights and right of return were to crystallize into a Call like that of BDS in 2005, led by Palestinians.

– Blake Alcott is an ecological economist and the director of One Democratic State in Palestine (England) Limited. The author welcomes any information on ODS or bi-nationalism activity sent to blakeley@bluewin.ch.

May 21, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

‘We won’t be complicit’: Italian dock workers refuse to load Saudi arms ship over Yemen war

RT | May 20, 2019

Italian unions have refused to load cargo onto a Saudi ship carrying weapons, in protest against Riyadh’s war on Yemen. The dock workers have gone on strike, refusing to work until the ship leaves port in Genoa.

While the Saudi Arabian ship, the Bahri-Yanbu, was expected to leave for Jeddah by the end end of the day, it seems the delivery might end up being rather late. After unsuccessful attempts to have the ship barred from docking in Italy altogether, it was greeted by banners and a protests as it arrived in port Monday.

Workers were joined by human rights campaigners who oppose stocking the ship over fears the supplies will be used against the civilian population in Yemen. The demonstrators held signs opposing the war and arms trafficking.

“We will not be complicit in what is happening in Yemen,” union leaders said in a statement. Port officials have acknowledged that the generators that protesters fear may be used for military purposes have been blocked from being brought on board, but say some non-critical goods will still be loaded. Union leaders are scheduled to meet with the port’s prefects to discuss the impasse.

The ship was loaded with weapons in Belgium, but successfully blocked from picking up additional arms at a French port as a result of a similar protest.

The UN describes the four-year-long Saudi-led war as the worst humanitarian disaster in the world today, with the death toll expected to top 230,000 by the end of the year. Italy’s 5-Star movement, a part of the government’s ruling populist-leaning coalition, has fought to end the government’s arms deals with the Saudi kingdom for years.

May 20, 2019 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | | 1 Comment