"We therefore need to ensure that the campaign for the freedom of all anti-wall activists and Palestinian political prisoners continues to grow. We have to combine our energies to ensure that the root cause – the Wall – will be torn down and the occupation will be brought to an end.
SPSC public meetings
Tear down apartheid
Glasgow Sunday 24th April 3.00pm
Quaker Meeting House
38 Elmbank Cr. G2 4PS
Edinburgh Monday 25th April 7.30pm
Quaker Meeting House
7 Victoria St, Edinburgh EH1 2JL
Jamal Juma' is the coordinator of the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign and since 2012 the coordinator of the Land Defense Coalition, a network of Palestinian grassroots movements.
International pressure secured Jamal Juma’s release from detention without trial in January 2010, and the release the following day of Stop the Wall youth coordinator Mohammed Othman (who had been beaten, threatened with death and subjected to torture over four months).
Stop the Wall is a Palestinian movement based on grassroots popular resistance to Israel’s wall in the West Bank; it faces ongoing military pressure due to its tireless campaigning and commitment to the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
Following the 2010 release, Juma issued a statement:
“Like for the other Palestinian human rights defenders in Israeli jails, there was never a case in the courtroom. Not a single charge has been put forth. The reason for my arrest was purely political – an attempt to crush Stop the Wall and the popular committees against the Wall. Therefore, the reasons for my release are also outside the courtroom: The impressive support of international civil society has moved governments and used the media to an extent that made our imprisonment too uncomfortable.
"This international solidarity has given our popular struggle against the Wall further strength. We are deeply thankful for all the efforts. Yet, the latest arrests and continuous repression show that we have not yet defeated the Israeli policy as such, as Israel remains determined to silence Palestinian human rights defenders by all means".
"We therefore need to ensure that the campaign for the freedom of all anti-wall activists and Palestinian political prisoners continues to grow. We have to combine our energies to ensure that the root cause – the Wall – will be torn down and the occupation will be brought to an end.”
He has been invited to address numerous civil society and UN conferences, where he has spoken on the issue of Palestine and the Apartheid Wall. His articles and interviews are widely disseminated and translated into several languages.
Places are limited - turn up on the day or reserve a place:
There will be demonstrations big and modest across Scotland this Saturday in support of Palestinian freedom and against Israel's massacres of Palestinians.
Palestinians are fighting for their existence against a brutal ethnic cleansing regime; Israel is fighting to clamp on its brutal (illegal) occupation and to crush all opposition to its vile regime of ethnic cleansing and dispossession. Palestinians in Jerisalem have been locked in; Jewish areas are never treated like this in the Jewish supremacist state.
Armed Israelis are executing 13-year old children in school uniform, cold-bloodedly killing women, men and children - all this as part of their project to drive out as many Palestinian as possible. Israel wants all of Palestine with as few Palestinians as possible. And they use the products of Scottish arms factories in their massacres.
Demonstrate on Saturday across Scotland, across the UK and across the world: Protest for Palestine! End Israeli Terror!
Aberdeen: 12.30 St Nicholas Square
Dumbarton: 12.30pm College Way, Dumbarton
Dundee: 12noon City Square
Duns: 11am Duns Square
Edinburgh: 11am Princes Street at Foot of the Mound
Elgin: 12noon Fountain on High Street
Glasgow: 2pm Buchanan Steps
Inverness: 1pm Inverness High Street
Stirling: 11am Bottom of King Street
This list will be updated over the next days.
If your community isn't listed here, can you get a group together to try for a small protest and contribute to the International Wave of Solidarity with the hard pressed Palestinian people. (#SolidarityWaveBDS)
SPSC can help with materials - leaflets, banners, flags to facilitate your protest. Call or text Mick 0795 800 2591
Ramallah-Jaffa, 6 May 2012—Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh are at risk of death as they enter their 69th day of hunger strike in protest of their administrative detention. In spite of their rapidly deteriorating health, the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) is still denying regular access to them by independent Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-Israel)—Addameer and PHR-Israel are outraged by the blatant breach of medical ethics committed by the IPS in regards to these most urgent cases and by the negligence of the Israeli High Court judges who have yet to make a decision regarding their petition.
After continual denial of access to Bilal Diab and news of his further deterioration, PHR-Israel submitted an urgent appeal to the District Court yesterday, 5 May, demanding that the IPS allow a PHR-Israel doctor to visit him, and for his family to visit him immediately. Though Bilal is entitled to a second medical opinion, the urgent appeal was rejected and postponed until a regular hearing on 7 May. Addameer and PHR-Israel are further dismayed that personnel in Assaf Harofeh Hospital, where Bilal is currently held, are placing obstacles in front of the PHR-Israel independent doctor in her attempts to ensure that her patient, Bilal, receives trusted care during this critical period. An examination by Member of Knesset Dr. Ahmad Tibi after Bilal’s collapse on 3 May indicated that Bilal is experiencing hypothermia and losing sensation in his feet. Additionally troubling is the IPS’ refusal to transfer Thaer Halahleh to a public hospital from the Ramleh Prison medical clinic, where he is currently held.
Following the Israeli High Court hearing on 3 May regarding the petition against Bilal and Thaer’s administrative detention orders, Judge Eliakim Rubenstein noted that a decision would be made at a later time, without specifying when. As of this afternoon, there is still no decision. By ignoring the gravity of their current situation, the High Court judges are not only acting with severe negligence, but also with malicious intent. Judges Rubenstein, Noam Saulberg and Yuram Dinzinger are knowingly delaying the decision despite Bilal and Thaer’s days potentially being numbered, without even providing any certainty as to when a decision will be made.
Hassan Safadi is now on his 63rd day of hunger strike and is currently held in the Ramleh Prison medical clinic. Addameer lawyer Mahmoud Hassan succeeded in visiting Hassan today, 6 May. He noted that Hassan’s health is deteriorating and that he is very weak and cannot stand, but vows to continue his hunger strike. He is refusing any treatment or examination by prison doctors.
Hassan reported that on 3 May, he was held down by prison guards and forcefully given treatment by a prison doctor via an injection in his arm. Addameer and PHR-Israel are alarmed by this news, as forced treatment is in strict violation of the principles of medical ethics and the guidelines of the World Medical Association and the Israeli Medical Association. According to the Malta Declaration, “Physicians need to satisfy themselves that food or treatment refusal is the individual's voluntary choice. Hunger strikers should be protected from coercion. Physicians can often help to achieve this and should be aware that coercion may come from the peer group, the authorities or others, such as family members. Physicians or other health care personnel may not apply undue pressure of any sort on the hunger striker to suspend the strike. Treatment or care of the hunger striker must not be conditional upon suspension of the hunger strike.”
Hassan also recounted having refused water for a several days until he was moved to Ramleh Prison medical clinic. Upon his arrival, he was beaten by prison guards, and the prison doctor refused to record the injuries sustained from the attack. Since the beginning of his hunger strike, Hassan has had no visits from independent doctors. PHR-Israel petitioned the District Court to allow them access, and the court ordered the IPS to allow a PHR-Israel doctor a visit no later than 7 May, though when PHR-Israel tried to coordinate a visit on 4 May, the IPS denied their request.
The appeal for Jaafar Azzedine, now on his 46th day of hunger strike, was also postponed today by an Israeli military judge. The judge, who also ruled in Hana Shalabi’s case and rejected her appeal, said that he already decided in Hana’s case that he would not consider critical medical condition due to hunger strike as a reason for accepting an appeal, and that he would let the High Court judges in Bilal and Thaer’s case decide on this fact.
In light of growing concern for their lives, Addameer and PHR-Israel demand:
Well I hate it when the blood starts flowin’
But I’m glad to see the resistance growin’
– Gil Scott Heron, Johannesburg
The majority of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are refugees from the 1947-49 ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Since 1967, the tiny enclave of (now) 1.5 million people has been under belligerent occupation. The most recent spate of attacks on the defenceless, highly populated area were in the form of aerial and naval bombardment, using hundreds of tonnes of high explosives. The bombing by the Israeli state of the besieged Palestinian territory is congruent with the history of colonial oppression from Zionist forces. Resistance against the Israeli state by Palestinian groups occurs to varying levels of intensity, from symbolic attacks with no military gain, to self-defence through damaging Zionist machinery and weapons. Nonetheless, Palestinian acts of resistance are not viewed as such in the west, with the word itself virtually remaining absent in the lexicon of western journalists and political commentators.
The very idea that Palestinians using force against the Israeli can be considered ‘resistance’ is alien to the corporate media and the western public generally, the former having a clear and direct influence on the opinion of the latter. The BBC prefers to adopt a narrative that presents those fighting against Zionist oppression as militarily and politically equal to the 4th largest army in the world. This narrative omits to mention that the state is an occupying power, and that Palestinians have no navy, no army and no air force to defend themselves.[i] Unabashed, the BBC stands with the aggressor: one of their journalists, Jonathan Marcus, dedicated an article to cogitate over the military limitations of an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza. “The Gaza Strip,” he sagely observes, “is a tiny-cockpit – especially for mechanised forces.” He then goes on to describe the Operation Cast Lead massacre (2008-09) as “a bitter three-week struggle.”[ii] The Israeli defence minister at the time chose to describe the campaign as a “Holocaust”.[iii]
At the time of writing, 100 Palestinians have been killed in four consecutive days of bombing – the vast majority being civilians. At 18 months old, the two youngest victims were Mohammad Malakiyeh and Ranim Jawde Abdel Ghafour, while the oldest is 80-yea-old Naifeh Farjallah.[iv] UN OCHA reported that “the targeting and destruction of residential properties in Gaza is the main cause of civilian casualties.” The people of Gaza live permanently in the crosshairs. There has been resistance to this latest bout of ethnic cleansing, by Hamas, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Islamic Jihad. Al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas) fired a number of rockets at Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa and Nevatim military airport in the south of 1948 Palestine. The al-Quds Brigades (IJ) claimed responsibility for rockets fired at Israeli town, Nir Oz. The Ali Abu Mustafa Brigades (PFLP) fired a combination of home-made projectiles and rockets at Israeli towns surrounding Gaza.[v] On the 8th and 9th of July, Palestinian fighters swam from Gaza to an Israeli military base in 1948 Palestine, only to be killed in short fire fights. Five were killed on the first day, and two on the second.[vi]
It must be emphasised that according to customary international law, armed resistance is not controversial, but is in fact a right of all peoples fighting colonialism or occupation. The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed this on a number of occasions, the most explicit and significant being the following two.
UN General Assembly resolution A/RES/3246 of 29 November 1974:
2. Renews its call to all States to recognize the right to self-determination and independence of all peoples subject to colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation and to offer them moral, material and other forms of assistance in their struggle to exercise fully their inalienable right to self-determination and independence;
3. Reaffirms the legitimacy of the peoples’ struggle for liberation form colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation by all available means, including armed struggle;
7. Strongly condemns all Governments which do not recognize the right to self-determination and independence of peoples under colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation, notably the peoples of Africa and the Palestinian people;
UN General Assembly resolution A/RES/23/34 of 29 November 1978:
2. Reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, particularly armed struggle;
3. Reaffirms the inalienable right of the peoples of Namibia and Zimbabwe, of the Palestinian people and of all peoples under alien and colonial domination to self-determination, national independence, territorial integrity, and national unity and sovereignty without external interference;
As the resolutions show, the right to armed resistance is subsumed under the fundamental right of all people to self-determination. The Zionist project has aimed, since its inception, to not only deny Palestinians this right, but to exile them from their homeland, through various military, political and legal means, or exterminate those who remain.
Speaking in the context of the al-Aqsa Intifada (2000-05), UN Special Rapporteur on Palestine, Richard Falk, argues the legal angle regarding Palestinian rights and resistance. As the occupying power, the Israeli state is obliged by the 4th Geneva Convention to protect the human rights of Palestinians and their prospects for self-determination. Instead, it has defied international law by refusing to withdraw from the occupied territories, and has continued to ignore UN resolutions and to violate the fundamental rights of Palestinians. The military occupation itself has engendered the Palestinian right of resistance.[vii] It is the structural violence of the occupation that dictates how individuals and groups see themselves and the oppressor. This perspective shifts the understanding of resistance from a legal question to a moral one.
It is elemental to the success of a settler colonial project that violence is used: the replacement of one people (the indigenous) with another (the colonists) requires ethnic cleansing by definition. As Frantz Fanon, writing in 1961 on the Algerian Revolution, points out that “the colonial regime owes its legitimacy to force and at no time tries to hide this aspect of things.”[viii] Conversely, the Palestinian resistance can derive its legitimacy from international law and from – by virtue of undergoing colonial occupation, moral norms. The coloniser and the colonised can never be morally equal and must be seen as opposites; the uprooting and genocide of a people is an inherent wrong in any decade or country, and has no moral foundation, although the settlers will use any religious, ethnic or historical pretext for it. Resistance against Zionism does not need a legal text for justification – this is a purely human phenomenon of land, violence and belonging. It would demean the people if we were to urge those resisting to consult the law before deciding to defend themselves against colonists. Fanon captures the root of the issue in its entirety: “National liberation, national renaissance, the restoration of nationhood to the people, commonwealth: whatever may be the headings used or the new formulas introduced, decolonisation is always a violent phenomenon.”[ix]
Armed resistance has legal and moral justification, and the UN calls upon states to assist oppressed people in their struggle for self-determination. For western states to acquiesce to this call, a paradigm shift would have to occur. Were they to do this, they would be undermining their diplomatic support for Zionism, and would – to avoid contradictory policy – have to cease the funding and arming of the Apartheid state. This would also hinder their own neocolonial projects by legitimising the resistance in Iraq, for example. Undeniably, Palestinian resistance will not receive any support – tacit, symbolic or concrete – from any western state. However, the support from the grassroots campaigns and civil society in imperial countries is growing.
[viii] Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, p. 66
[ix] Fanon, p. 27
This article originally appeared on Revolving Rapids blog: Found here.
The demonstration in Edinburgh for Palestinian hunger strikers, Saturday 28th May 2012
Gravely ill Palestinian hunger striker faints in court as Israeli judges sentence him to slow death
Two days after doctors warned that hunger strikers Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh are at immediate risk of death, and being denied necessary medical treatment, the Israeli high court has once again delayed action on an appeal against their prolonged detention without charge or trial.
Prisoner's rights group Addameer, whose lawyer observed the Israeli court session today, posted an update on Facebook:
No decision was made in today's Israeli High Court hearing regarding the administrative detention of Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh, currently on their 66th day of hunger strike. Both Bilal and Thaer were brought to the hearing and attended in wheelchairs. During the hearing, Bilal fainted and there were no doctors present inside the court. Thaer testified to the mistreatment he has suffered since his arrest. Judge Amnon Rubenstein announced that the panel of judges would make a decision after reviewing the "secret file", but after the review there was still no decision. He said that the parties will be informed of the decision later on, without stating when.
Given the gravity of the two men's situation, any delay by Israeli authorities is tantamount to a slow death sentence.
More than 2,000 Palestinian prisoners have been on hunger strike since 17 April to protest arbitrary detention and other forms of mistreatment by Israeli authorities.
Original in Electronic Intifada May 3rd 2012