Category Archives: Gaza 2014

Gaza on Gaza Art Exhibition

Gaza on Gaza

Exhibition dates: 7 th – 22nd August 2015: Tues – Fri 12-6pm, Sat 12-4pm, Wed 12-8pm

Gaza on Gaza is an exhibition of work by Palestinian artists in response to the lives devastated by the last year’s conflict. During the military offensive 1,500 Palestinian civillians were killed and over 500,000 were displaced from their homes. Across Gaza, the UN estimates that nearly 400,000 children require some form of mental health support to cope with the events they witnessed or experienced over the summer of 2014.


P2 Gallery 21 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JD

open Tuesday – Friday 12 – 6pm, Saturday 12 – 4pm, Wednesdays until 8pm

What about supporting Nafeez Ahmed? What do you think?

In various posts, I have shown what a dangerous newspaper the Guardian is – a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I first noticed its extreme neo-liberal bias in its long-term reporting of Venezuela, not once mentioning what the Bolivarian revolution has done for the poor of the country, and continually putting what bad news out that it could over the years. It has also been consistently pro-Israeli in a subtle way.

This has never been so clear since it closed down Nafeez Ahmed’s blog. Nafeez Ahmed (open link: has been a long standing columnist at the Guardian, and he recently wrote a piece which, based on sound sources, showed how Israel’s latest aggression on Gaza was really a play for the country’s resources: “IDF’s Gaza assault is to control Palestinian gas, avert Israeli energy crisis”.

Read this by opening link:

In this piece Ahmed showed that the Israel government wanted to get rid of Hamas for two reasons (i) because they knew that so long as Hamas was there they would never give control of their gas fields to Israel (ii) because they wanted a pliable Palestinian government to use to export this gas to other needy Arab countries for their own profit, which would be politically impossible to do directly.

Ahmed was fired by the Guardian the very next day and his blog closed down overnight.

Ahmed didn’t have to write that piece to make it plain that Israel is no longer a bankable proposition for the West, that in fact it is a country in serious trouble in more ways than one, and that the failure of this last ditch attempt to grab Gaza’s resources, associated as it was with innumerable and unbearable war crimes, has finally driven Western governments to despair. Don’t get me wrong Frau Merkel and the Germans are bound to keep up appearances with a continuation of their guilt-trip, despite the fact that Israel is mistaken in its belief that it is any longer the representative of the victims of the Nazis. Also the US will not overtly back the new Palestinian UN resolution (open link:–us-will-not-support-palestinian-draft-un-resolution). But both Germany and the US are also not stopping the EU from essentially getting on with the task of recognising Palestine (and making peace with Hamas); in fact, they are pushing it to do so**.

But what is clear from the events surrounding Ahmed’s blog, is that all the friends of Israel in Western capitals are smarting from the blows of all these recent political developments. Closing Ahmed’s blog so summarily is clear evidence of this.

But Nafeez Ahmed is not to be cowed, he is starting a new crowd-funded investigative journalistic entreprise:


He is looking for patrons for $1 a month each – to be his readers and contributors, or his in words , his “patrons”. The idea is not to have any millionaires as part of the outfit, in order to keep it totally free. What do you think?

** see earlier note on the “non-congress US establishment”

The momentum developing since Abbas’ UN speech

Despite the mixed signals kicked up by Israel’s denials and manoeuvrings since Abbas’ UN speech, the momentum is going Abbas’ way.

Makarim Wibisono, UN Special rapporteur on Palestine, says in his press release on Gaza 29/09/2014 that Israeli actions in Gaza “raise serious questions about possible violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law.”

On this open link:

Meanwhile, the US State department takes issue with Netanyahu’s UN speech, in particular in regard to his attack on UNHRC, and the questioning at the press conference went as follows:

“QUESTION: Hold on. I’ve just got one more. The other thing is that he (Netanyahu) was quite critical of the UN system in general, but in particular of the UN Human Rights Commission. You have also been critical of the UN Human Rights Commission, but he went so far as to call it – say that what it’s doing is akin to – it should be – it might as well be called the “UN Terrorist Commission.” Would you agree with that?

MS. PSAKI: We would not agree with that. We have obviously voiced concerns when we have them about actions that are taken, but no, we would certainly not agree with that characterization”.

On this open link:

Cambridge University dons are up there with the just

Statement by academics at the University of Cambridge

This statement comes from academics at the University of Cambridge, from a range of
disciplines, and from a range of political, religious and cultural backgrounds. We believe that we
have a responsibility – whether as practitioners of our various subjects, as employees of this
University, as academics, or just as human beings – to speak out against the recent actions and
posture of the Israeli state.

After more than a month of bombardment by Israel, over 2,000 Palestinians are dead, the overwhelming majority of them civilians. This includes 514 children by the last count, a figure which is almost certain to rise as survivors sift through the wreckage. Entire families have been wiped out. Five Israeli civilians, including one child, and 64 soldiers have died. Gazans have seen their cities reduced to rubble yet again, their infrastructure devastated, with many hospitals, schools, factories and electric plants targeted and destroyed. Israel has destroyed at least 17,000 residential buildings, leaving a significant proportion of Gaza’s 1.8 million Palestinians homeless. These events occur against the background of decades of Israeli occupation and illegal expansion – and we note that in the last few weeks, with the world’s attention temporarily focused on Gaza, the West Bank has seen a surge of settlement-building. It is this context, as well as the unmistakeable asymmetry of power between the two sides in this ‘conflict’, which makes it so disingenuous to accuse critics of ‘singling Israel out’. As many have persuasively argued over the last few weeks, it is Israel that singles itself out: through its claims to moral impeccability, its celebrated status as a democracy, through its receipt of massive support from the US and other nations, and through its abuse of the memory of the holocaust in order to deflect criticism and to discredit the Palestinian struggle – on this point, we wish to express our solidarity with the more than 300 holocaust survivors and their descendants who have recently called on the world to take action to stop Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians.

In our professional capacities as academics, we may emphasise different aspects of the history and current situation between Israel and Palestine. The lawyers among us may point out that Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza is illegal under international law; that despite the 2005 withdrawal of troops from the Gaza strip, the area is still recognised by the UN as occupied territory, due to Israel’s control of the borders and surrounding land, sea and air space; and that there is no legal right of ‘self-defence’ by an occupying power against the people under its occupation. Philosophers and political theorists among us may emphasise the moral hypocrisy in the apologism for Israel’s crimes, and the distortions involved in the attempt to discredit or silence criticism. Historians may insist that the recent events in Gaza can only be properly understood and evaluated as part of a long trajectory of colonial occupation: the building and continual expansion of settlements (and the theft of land and resources that this entails); the expulsion of Palestinian inhabitants of historic Palestine (beginning with the displacement of hundreds of thousands in the founding of the state of Israel in 1948, and culminating in the current situation in which millions of Palestinian refugees and their immediate descendants are scattered around the globe); and the increasingly violent and discriminatory treatment of those Palestinians who remain in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and in Israel itself.

We, the undersigned, differ not only in our fields of specialism, but no doubt also in our particular analyses of the history of Israel and Palestine, the significance of current and past events, and the most appropriate resolution of the situation. Such differences notwithstanding, we are united on several points: First, we wish to add our voices to those of the Palestinian resistance in appealing for an immediate lifting of the blockade on Gaza. Beyond this most urgent demand, we also believe that no satisfactory end to this on-going humanitarian crisis can be achieved without the realisation of a more far-reaching justice for the Palestinian people, including the displaced refugees, and at the same time the realisation of a situation in which the inhabitants of historic Palestine, whatever their ethnicity, religion, or culture, whether they now live as Palestinians or as Israelis, are able to coexist under conditions of meaningful freedom and equality – equality of civic status, of respect, and of access to land and resources. We believe that a radical change is needed in order to achieve this, and that whatever the substance of this change, it cannot happen without an end to the violence perpetrated by the state of Israel against Palestinians, an end to the siege of Gaza and to the occupation, and an end to the discriminatory and dehumanising treatment of Palestinian citizens within Israel. Finally, as academics, we are concerned by the recent instances of victimisation of students and lecturers, inside and outside of Israel, for speaking out on this issue. We demand an end to the persecution of critics of Israel within academia, and pledge to lend our support to those targeted.

Lift the blockade. End the killing. Justice for the Palestinian people.


To add your name send an email to


1. Dr Maha Abdelrahman, Centre of Development Studies
2. Dr Anne Alexander, CRASSH
3. Prof Ash Amin, Department of Geography
4. Dr Alexander Anievas, Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)
5. Dr Nikos Bamiedakis, Engineering Department
6. Prof Zygmunt Baranski, Department of Italian (emeritus)
7. Dr Deborah Bowman, Gonville & Caius College / Faculty of English
8. Dr Adam Caulton, Faculty of Philosophy
9. Dr Hero Chalmers, Fitzwilliam College / Faculty of English
10. Jean Chothia, Selwyn College / Faculty of English
11. Mr Tim Cribb, Churchill College / Faculty of English (emeritus)
12. Prof Brad Epps, Department of Spanish and Portuguese
13. Dr Lorna Finlayson, King’s College / Faculty of Philosophy
14. Prof Raymond Geuss, Faculty of Philosophy (emeritus)
15. Dr Hadi Godazgar, King’s College / Dept of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
16. Dr Mahdi Godazgar, King’s College / Dept of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
17. Mr Martin Golding, Peterhouse College / Faculty of English
18. Prof Raymond E. Goldstein, Dept of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
19. Dr Priyamvada Gopal, Faculty of English
20. Dr Mia Gray, Department of Geography
21. Dr Boris Groisman, Sidney Sussex College / Dept of Applied Math. and Theoretical Physics
22. Dr Rachael Harris, Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
23. Dr Adam Higazi, King’s College / Centre of African Studies
24. Dr Edward Holberton, Girton College / Faculty of English
25. Dr Michael Hrebeniak, Wolfson College / Faculty of English
26. Prof Mary Jacobus, Faculty of English (emerita)
27. Dr Ian James, Department of French
28. Mr Aylmer Johnson, Department of Engineering
29. Dr Dominic Keown, Department of Spanish and Portuguese
30. Dr Malachi McIntosh, Faculty of English
31. Prof Clément Mouhot, Centre for Mathematical Sciences
32. Dr Simon Hendeles Layton, Faculty of History
33. Dr Subha Mukherji, Faculty of English
34. Dr Kamal Munir, Judge Business School
35. Dr Basim Musallam, King’s College
36. Dr David Nally, Department of Geography
37. Dr Eva Nanopoulos, King’s College / Faculty of Law
38. Dr Rory O’Bryen, Department of Spanish and Portuguese
39. Dr Ian Patterson, Queens’ College / Faculty of English
40. Dr Adriana I. Pesci, Downing College / Dept of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
41. Dr Surabhi Ranganathan, King’s College / Faculty of Law
42. Prof James Russell, Department of Psychology
43. Peter Sparks, Girton College / Department of Architecture (emeritus)
44. Dr Suchitra Sebastian, King’s College / Department of Physics
45. Dr Jason Scott-Warren, Faculty of English
46. Dr Deborah Thom, Robinson College / Department of History and HSPS
47. Ms Isobel Urquhart, Homerton College
48. Dr Bert Vaux, Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics
49. Dr Jennifer Wallace, Peterhouse College / Faculty of English
50. Dr Chris Warnes, Faculty of English / Centre of African Studies
51. Dr Jessica Wheeler, Department of Psychiatry
52. Dr Ian Willis, Department of Geography
53. Dr Ross Wilson, Trinity College / Faculty of English
54. Dr Waseem Yaqoob, Pembroke College / PPSIS
55. Dr Andrew Zurcher, Queens’ College / Faculty of English

Fatah says that Abbas, after the UN speech, is on his way to sign the Rome Treaty regarding the ICC

Husam Zomlot, a senior foreign affairs advisor for Fatah, insists that it is just a matter of time, but that Mahmoud Abbas needed to go to the UN first to establish the overall point about the non-acceptability of the continuation of the occupation. See al-Jazeera discussion by opening link:

Joint Letter to President Abbas on the International Criminal Court

Dear President Abbas,

We, the undersigned Palestinian and international human rights organizations, write to urge you to ensure that Palestine pursues the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) by promptly acceding to the Rome Statute and/or filing a further declaration accepting the Court’s jurisdiction over crimes committed on Palestinian territory from 1 July 2002.

Taking such steps could ensure access to international justice for victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed on Palestinian territories, and would send an important message that such crimes cannot be committed with impunity.

As you know, following the UN General Assembly’s decision in November 2012 to upgrade Palestine’s status to “non-member observer state”, the ICC Office of the Prosecutor stated that the decision “does not cure the legal invalidity of [Palestine’s] 2009 declaration” which accepted the ICC’s jurisdiction over acts committed on its territory since 1 July 2002, and that “at this stage, the Office has no legal basis to open a new preliminary examination.”

The Office stated that it is, therefore, not in a position to consider allegations of serious crimes committed in Palestine without further steps by your government. On this basis, the current ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, has said that “the ball is now in the court of Palestine” to seek the court’s jurisdiction.

We understand the pressure that Palestine is under from Israel and the United States not to pursue the jurisdiction of the ICC, whether during or after the current US-sponsored negotiations with Israel.  We are aware that even countries such as France, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Canada, which are states parties to the ICC treaty and purport to seek its universal ratification, have, at times, opposed Palestine seeking access to the ICC.

We oppose these efforts to politicize justice for victims of serious crimes under international law, and urge you to resist them.  Justice is an important end in its own right, preserving the rights of victims and affected communities regardless of the uncertain prospects for peace.  The commission of war crimes with impunity has regularly undermined the peace process. A credible prosecution threat would help to advance the cause of peace.

Palestine’s accession in April to 20 international treaties and conventions was a significant and positive step, obliging the Palestinian government to respect, protect, and fulfill human rights, and requiring Palestinian forces to abide by international rules on armed conflict. Accession to the Rome Statute would be a vital further step towards protecting human rights by ensuring that the ICC can step in to address impunity when domestic authorities are genuinely unable or unwilling to do so.

Seeking the ICC’s jurisdiction over serious crimes committed on Palestinian territory should therefore be seen as an apolitical step towards ending impunity and could help deter future abuses.

The ICC represents an important tool for justice and effective remedies for victims. We urge you to seize it without any further delay.



Sahar Francis, Executive Director: Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association

Khalil Abu Shammala, Executive Director: Al Dameer Association for Human Rights
Shawan Jabarin, General Director: Al-Haq
Issam Younis, General Director: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights
Munir Nuseibah, Director: Al-Quds University Human Rights Clinic
Salil Shetty, Secretary General: Amnesty International
Nidal Azza, Director: Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights
Rifat Kassis, Director: Defense for Children International – Palestine
Shawqi Issa, Director: Ensan Center for Human Rights and Democracy
Ken Roth, Executive Director: Human Rights Watch
Helmi al-Araj, General Director: Hurryyat Centre for Defense of Liberties and Civil Rights
Said Benarbia, Director, Middle East and North Africa Programme: International Commission of Jurists
Karim Lahidji, President: International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
Issam Aruri, Director: Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center
Raji Sourani, Director: Palestinian Center for Human Rights
Iyad Barghouti, Director: Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies
Maha Abu Dayyeh, General Director: Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling

Mahmoud Abbas finally gets it together representing a united Palestine at the UN

As of 25th September then, Fatah and Hamas and all Palestinian factions have finalised a unity government deal which has handed over control of the Gaza strip to Mahmoud Abbas’ government. Open link to read more:

Then Abbas’ 26th September speech at the UN intentionally ran roughshod over all US pretensions, calling any return to negotiations “naïve at best,” and soliciting a response by the US of the speech as ‘offensive’, ‘provocative’, and ‘counter-productive’, when it launched from the first minutes into a description of Israeli activity in Gaza as ‘genocide’. What is clear is that US policy of eschewing diplomacy worldwide in favour of military action in all cases, has made it unable to distinguish when a counterparty sees nothing at all to gain from continuing a failed relationship, and everything to lose. How can calling a spade a spade ever be counter-productive? This is sheer lunacy and clear indication that the Washington foreign policy establishment has descended into incoherence, if not insanity. Gaza was devastatingly and unilaterally bombed with advanced weaponry, killing and wounding thousands. For the Washington of today this is now seemingly classified as a friendly move.

Abbas called on the United Nations Security Council to press for a specific deadline to end Israeli occupation. He knows the US will scupper this, but that’s part of the plan. His persistence in asking the UN to accept Palestine as a state in 2012, bodes well for the unfolding of the remainder of his plan, as has been detailed in earlier posts. Open link:

“It is impossible and I repeat — it is impossible — to return to the cycle of negotiations that failed to deal with the substance of the matter and the fundamental question,” Abbas said visibly enraged. Open link to see the video:

The Guardian newpaper’s liberal imperialism

See John Hilley [While Israel kill Gaza’s children, media shield the truth about Hamas] on the Guardian‘s continued vilification of Hamas by carrying an advert by Israel-supporting figures depicting Hamas as biblical equivalent of sacrificial child-killers, reinforcing the view of Hamas as a “terrorist organisation” rather than a democratically elected government (following a the insistence by Israel and the US from democratic elections in Gaza [25 January 2006] that would undermine Fatah’s position, who at the time had lost their favour). Thus liberal space in the newspapers is being used essentially to condone Israel continued murder of Gaza civilians including children just for being voters of Hamas. Open link

This compares with the Sunday Times changed tone over the Gaza conflict, being more open to justifying Hamas’ actions [10th August 2014].  Open link

In fact, the Sunday Times, seems here to have broken the normal false narrative by the British press of the Middle-east conflict which is, in John Pilger’s words, “… that there are two equal sides, and the on one side of this equal relationship in the ‘conflict’, as they say, the Palestinians [‘unworthy victims’] are attacking the Israelis…” [see John Pilger’s interview with Afshin Rattansi on the British media’s historical manipulation and distortion of facts in regard to foreign conflicts on link:, in which Pilger reminisces about the extraordinary ‘objectivity’ of the reporting from the Soviet Union in 1918 by Morgan Philips Price, the reporter in Moscow (ironically) for the Manchester Guardian, as the Guardian was then called].

But in the same breakthrough issue [10th August] of the Sunday Times‘, we also find frank coverage of Sayyeda Warsi’s actions during her resignation, and her loud condemnation of the Conservative Party over their stance on Gaza, as well as reporting on the associated subject matter of the Conservative Party’s frankly bleak prospects at the next election

Developments which show that the conservative press in the UK is more balanced than the liberal press in its foreign reporting, in the sense of being more open to views from outside the “metropole”, is noticeable in the Daily Telegraph‘s reporting on middle-eastern news, with as an example,  its critical coverage of the David Cameron decision to “lead a review into” the Muslim Brotherhood [in the context of the war against terror]

This early [2nd July 2014] article predates the eventual outcome of this “review”, which showed that there was no cause for concern, or even that there could have been any original basis for the review. In fact the Financial Times on 18th August in its article “Whitehall report into Muslim brotherhood delayed by wrangling“, talks about the fact that we should be more concerned about the UK government’s links with the Emiratis and the Saudis who insisted on the “review” of the Muslim Brotherhood in the first place, and who have overseen the funding of, if not at times directly funded, what has become ISIS, those nihilist takfiris who are terrorising the Middle-East at the moment.

But its not only on the subject of the Middle-East and Israel where the Guardian seems to plug the perspective of the “metropole” and its élites, it has also been traditionally unbalanced in its coverage of Hugo Chavez and Venezuela, displaying a perhaps surprise antagonistic streak towards “Bolivarian Socialism”. Open link to see a letter of complaint to the editor from 2012




Navi Pillay rebukes the US Congress over its untenable stance over Gaza from any Human Rights perspective

106 members of Congress attacked the U.N. Human Rights Council for launching an inquiry into whether Israel committed war crimes during the conflict in Gaza.

U.N. Human Rights chief Navanethem (Navi) Pillay responded with a letter which provides an extraordinarily direct rebuke of the U.S. Congress from the international body as follows:

UNHRC has appointed Canadian international lawyer William Schabas to lead the enquiry into Israeli atrocities, with the predicable negative responses by the Israeli government against anything the UNHRC has to say

Dishonest broker

When Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry yesterday called on Israel to open the six border crossings with the Gaza Strip to provide for the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people and reconstruct the Gaza Strip, during his press conference with the Venezuelan foreign minister (see:, it was too much to hope that he was being anywhere near sincere.

They were words that were not intended to have an expiry date longer than the press conference.

In fact, Egypt’s junta has no intention of allowing the “peace negotiations” between the Palestinian unity government and Israel to go anywhere. Sisi’s minions (Egyptian officials) are not allowing the phrase “lifting the siege” to have any place at all in any proposed truce deal, so they are effectively acting as a block in respect of essential parts of this important proposal. Egypt is even ignoring officially endorsed European solutions to the crisis through the opening of a marine port in the Gaza Strip under international supervision. In fact Tzipi Livni declared a week ago that there was an agreement between Israel and Egypt to strangle Hamas, a statement which the Egyptians haven’t even bothered to deny.

The Palestinian delegation is finally talking in one voice with the Egyptian “mediator” and “… insists on the implementation of the demands of the resistance, which have practically become the demands of the entire Palestinian people”, whilst “… mass rallies held in the Gaza Strip to express support for the demands of the delegation …” have given this delegation additional legitimacy. On this open link:

It’s time for the Palestinians to leave the coup government in Egypt behind to stew in its own juice and seek a new structure for negotiations. Sisi and his friend Tohamy, who runs the General “Intelligence” Service and is in charge of relations with Israel, are so caught up with their anti-Muslim Brotherhood vendetta (which for them includes Hamas) that they can’t see clearly. Sisi and Tohamy didn’t even run the initial Gazan cease-fire agreement past Hamas at all, which is downright stupid. But they are helping Israel to wear down Palestinian negotiators in endless political manoeuvrings, and even to marginalise the input of the US negotiating team in Cairo.

With a European administered port, Gaza and its ingenious people will soon outstrip an Egypt run by the military (an “Officer’s Republic” as described in the link: We can say this with confidence just as Sisi & co are trying to give themselves some level of economic credibility by announcing all the development plans of Morsi’s violently deposed government, as if they were of their own making.