--> Workers' Weekly Internet Edition Year 2024 Volume 54 Number 7
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Volume 54 Number 7, April 6, 2024 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

Stop the Genocide in Gaza! Stop Arming Israel! Ceasefire Now!

Workers' Weekly Internet Edition: Article Index :

Stop the Genocide in Gaza! Stop Arming Israel! Ceasefire Now!

Stop the Genocide in Gaza! Stop Arming Israel! Ceasefire Now!:
Vigil in Newcastle for Al Shifa Hospital
Success on Campus for the Progressive Forces against the Israeli-Zionists

No To NATO. Yes To Peace:
Successful Event at Deptford Town Hall Opposing NATO on its 75th Anniversary

Stop the Genocide in Gaza! Stop Arming Israel! Ceasefire Now!:
TUC Demands Government Stop Trade Talks With Israel
Stop Arming Israel!
Ireland Will Join ICJ Case against Israel on Genocide in Gaza

Stop the Genocide in Gaza! Stop Arming Israel! Ceasefire Now!

Palestinian Land Day , London, March 30 2024.

Local, national and international demonstrations have continued without ceasing against the Israeli genocide against the Palestinian people over the last weeks and months.

Here in Britain, national demonstrations took place on March 9 demanding "Stop the Genocide in Gaza!", and on March 30, demanding "Ceasefire Now - Stop the Genocide in Gaza!". The organisers put the number of demonstrators on March 9 at 450,000 and on March 30 at 200,000.

The March 9 demonstration took place on the day following International Women's Day, and the concluding rally had an all-women platform, confirming that women, contrary to any backward stereotype, are collectively at the forefront of the fight for justice. It emphasised that day after day the heroic women of Palestine continue to resist the genocide of which they and their children are the main target in this US/Israeli genocidal war. Following the demonstration, it should be mentioned that RCPB(ML) women activists who had participated in marching, and other sympathisers got together to discuss the fight for the New and for the rights of all. Central to the discussions and celebration was the affirmation that women need to empower themselves so as to become the decision-makers, and put an end to the crimes against humanity that are being perpetrated today.

March 30 was also a significant day in that it marked Palestinian Land Day. Forty-eight years ago, in early March, 1976, the Committee for the Defence of Arab Lands called on Palestinians to protest against Israel's massive expropriation measures. A general strike and demonstrations took place throughout Palestinian towns and villages in Israel despite Israeli counter-measures. Every year March 30 is now marked by Palestinians and people in sympathy with the Palestinian cause as a turning point in defence of Palestinian lands.

The next London march for Palestine, "Stop Arming Israel!", takes place on Saturday, April 13, in central London marching to Parliament Square. This is part of a day of regional events, including one in Rhyl, North Wales, demanding that the British government #StopArmingIsrael. There will also be a Yorkshire demonstration in Bradford on April 20, and many more to be announced.

As Stop the War Coalition, one of the organisers and mobilisers of these demonstrations, said early in March: "The situation in Gaza continues to deteriorate. Half a million people are facing starvation, acute food shortages are affecting the whole population and Israeli forces are carrying out massacres against those in queue for basic foodstuffs.

"Meanwhile, here in Britain the government has escalated its attacks on the pro-Palestine movement, with Rishi Sunak resorting to the 'mob rule' cliché and James Cleverly calling for an end to the recent wave of protests while floating clampdowns on the right to protest."

The next national demonstration will be on April 27. But it is certain that local and regional demonstrations will also be stepped up, as Israel becomes more and more the pariah on the world stage, as the US and Israeli Zionists are committing crimes beyond the imagination, and Israel's "allies", including Britain, are facing increasing crisis as the level of the people's protests in Britain and worldwide are showing that the people's actions and the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination are what will determine the future. Specifically, right now, the demand to stop arming Israel is becoming central to the movement to end the Israeli genocide and support Palestine's right to be.

Stop the Genocide in Gaza! Stop Arming Israel! Uphold the Palestinian People's Right to Be!

Article Index

Stop the Genocide in Gaza! Stop Arming Israel! Ceasefire Now!

Vigil in Newcastle for Al Shifa Hospital

On April 4, some hundreds of people took part in a Vigil in Newcastle for Al Shifa Hospital in Palestine. It was organised by medical workers and students in Newcastle to condemn the most recent barbarous attacks by Israel against Al Shifa Hospital, the largest medical complex in Gaza. The organisers also characterised the Israeli forces' cowardly retaliation to the resistance efforts by intensified bombing of hospitals and residential complexes in Khan Yunis and Rafah and their latest atrocity to deliberately target and kill food aid workers in Gaza.

Medical workers and Palestinians spoke with outrage describing the unbelievable crimes of Israeli soldiers butchering patients, medical staff, men, women and babies, murdering over 600 and destroying the hospital complex completely.

As medical staff, they spoke with admiration about the heroism of the medical staff at Al Shifa refusing to leave their patients, staying and dying with them. This heroism is an inspiration for humanity. These Palestinians are showing to the world the "best human beings on our planet". One speaker said that the number of medical staff who have been killed is actually the largest in any war in history. This is Israel's genocidal war on Gaza.

Photo: Davy Ellis

The medical staff pointed out that the people of Palestine do not even have time to process or grieve one vile crime committed by the Occupation before another is committed. They condemned the British government for its continued support for Israel, refusing to impose sanctions and the sending of weapons to Israel to enable Israel to continue its war and refusing to bring about a ceasefire. It was so tragic to hear of the Palestinian students and Palestinians here in the North East who have lost so many loved ones from families and friends.

The speakers said that these vile crimes will never be forgotten and that history will condemn them. These martyrs will be remembered when the Palestinian people are free, free to return in their own land. The speakers said that Israeli settler colonisation, with its infrastructure of genocidal violence, cannot and will not extinguish the connection to their homeland and they recommitted to the struggle for the full liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea! The Chair concluded the vigil saying that these efforts will continue to build the movement to stop Israel and combat to end Britain's support for Israeli crimes once and for all!

Article Index

Stop the Genocide in Gaza! Stop Arming Israel! Ceasefire Now!

Success on Campus for the Progressive Forces against the Israeli-Zionists

Kings College London (KCL) Israel Society were given permission to host an event which would be led by Ely Lasman and Kiyah Willis. Ely Lasman - the main target of the KCL students' disgust - served in the 401st brigade of the "Israel Defence Forces" (IDF), notorious for various crimes against humanity, and often dubbed the IOF "Israel Occupation Forces".

This event was scheduled for Wednesday, March 20, on KCL campus. However, students set about organising a counter-protest for that day to disrupt the event, which was already very secretive and heavily policed to deter any attempt of disruption. By the night of Tuesday, March 19, thousands of KCL and non-KCL students were planning on attending the protest.

This led to the KCL Israel Society - not KCL themselves - cancelling the event citing "security concerns". The Society instead held the event online whereby the Zionist-Fascists tried to spin the events, playing the victim-card, minimising the resolve the multitude of students who were planning on protesting.

It can be concluded that the Zionist war criminal was prevented from stepping foot on campus by the heroic resolve of thousands of students.

Article Index


Successful Event at Deptford Town Hall Opposing NATO on its 75th Anniversary

Lewisham and Greenwich CND and Lewisham Stop the War held a successful meeting on April 4 attended by around 50 people to mark the 75th anniversary of NATO. The event was part of the Global Day of Action against NATO in which progressive forces around the world organised to oppose the aggressive military alliance.

The meeting emphasised that NATO held a gruesome record of war, violence, and colonialism. The organisers said: "The US drive for global domination is at the heart of NATO. In the last 75 years, NATO has expanded both its sphere of influence and the scope of its activity, destabilising international relationships as it does so. The war in Ukraine, which NATO expansion did much to provoke, has led to substantially increased NATO activity in Europe, alongside an increased presence in the Asia-Pacific region and across other parts of the world."

The meeting was addressed by a panel which included Alex Gordon, President of the RMT and Chair of the Marx Memorial Library, Sami Ramadani, Iraqi-born lecturer in sociology, Fiona Sim of Black Liberation Alliance, and Myriam Kane, anti-racist activist.

A group of protesters in front the building tried to intimidate and harass the participants. Apparently this group sets up across 10 Downing Street to protest that the government is not sending enough weapons to Ukraine. In opposition, Lewisham Stop the War pointed out that Britain has pledged £12 billion to Ukraine since 2022, that all political parties in Parliament support the proxy war and that Ukrainian flags fly over Whitehall.

The meeting included thoughtful contributions from the floor. The organisers pledged to continue to campaign for Britain to withdraw from NATO and for the closure of all foreign military bases on UK soil.

Article Index

Stop the Genocide in Gaza! Stop Arming Israel! Ceasefire Now!

TUC Demands Government Stop Trade Talks With Israel

In response to the news that Britain is set to continue active trade talks with Israel, the TUC wrote to Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch on March 18 demanding that the government must stop these talks in order to support peace in the Middle East. The government had concluded the latest round of talks at the end of February.

The TUC which has a longstanding policy on Palestinian rights said that trade negotiations must be used to ensure respect for human rights and international law. The letter points out: "Since the UK launched trade talks on an updated trade agreement with Israel in March 2022, the TUC has consistently stated it does not believe the government should engage in these negotiations, given Israel's persistent violation of international law, UN resolutions and systematic violations of Palestinian labour and human rights."

In light of the Israeli government's military operations in Gaza in recent months where these violations have intensified, the TUC calls on the government to:

The TUC letter emphasises: "We are deeply concerned that reportedly more than 31,000 Palestinians, mainly women and children, have been killed in operations launched by Israeli forces since 7 October."

In February, the TUC had written to the Foreign Secretary, Lord Cameron, calling for an immediate ceasefire accompanied by a political process. It had expressed disappointment at the time that the British government had so far failed to support such a ceasefire.

Article Index

Stop the Genocide in Gaza! Stop Arming Israel! Ceasefire Now!

Stop Arming Israel!

Rochester - Photo: Press TV

On March 20, hundreds of trade unionists, mobilised by Workers for a Free Palestine, blockaded major arms factories in England and Scotland that manufacture weapons supplied to Israel. Organisers stated, "We will not stand by as weapons made in Britain are used to commit genocide!" They added: "GE Aviation Systems in Cheltenham and Leonardo UK in Edinburgh have been shut down. Both these sites produce components for the F-35 stealth combat aircraft currently being used by Israeli forces in its bombardment of Gaza. 1.5 million people are currently trapped in Rafah, facing mass hunger and unbearable living conditions. In the midst of this catastrophic threat to life, Israel is preparing for a ground offensive. We have a duty to do all we can to disrupt Israel's war machine. We are calling for an arms embargo and an end to the British government's complicity in Israel's war crimes!"

Leonardo UK in Edinburgh is a component of Italian arms maker Leonardo. Elbit Systems has also been successfully blockaded. Elbit Systems Ltd is an Israel-based international military technology company with subsidiaries in the UK and throughout the world. There is also a campaign to shut down Rafael. Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Ltd, an Israeli-based military contractor, completed the acquisition of Pearson Engineering Ltd. (PER) in Newcastle in 2022, located at the Armstrong Works in Newcastle.

Trade unionists shut down UK arms factories demanding halt of arms exports to Israel

Hannah Davenport, news reporter at Left Foot Forward, reports:

Rafael's Armstrong Works in Newcastle

"Hundreds of trade unionists have blockaded major arms factories in England and Scotland today [March 20] demanding the UK Government halt arms supplies to Israel.

"Access to UK arms factories which produce components for Israeli fighter jets have been shut down this morning, according to the group Workers for a Free Palestine, in order to disrupt the flow of arms to the Israeli military. [...]

"Over 600 workers are involved in the blockade, including teachers, hospitality workers, academics and artists from trade unions including Unite, Unison, GMB, the NEU, the BMA, UCU, Bectu and BFAWU.

"GE Aviation Systems in Cheltenham and Leonardo UK in Edinburgh have been targeted as the factories produce components for F-35 fighter jets which are currently being used by Israeli forces in its brutal attacks on Gaza.

"As Israel prepares for a ground invasion of Rafah, a supposed 'safe' place according to Israel holding 1.5m people, workers are defying the UK Government's threats to curb protest to shine a light on Britain's continued provision of military support to Israel despite damning evidence of war crimes being committed. [...]


"Workers for a Free Palestine said the blockades will form part of a month of disruptive direct action while the humanitarian crisis and heartbreaking loss of life in Palestine continues.

Blockade of entry points of Israel-based military company Elbit Systems

Pro-Palestine activist group Palestine Action shut down one of the top global manufacturers of military drones on March 26 in protest at Israel's war on Gaza, The New Arab reports.

Eight activists blockaded all three access points into the Instro Precision weapons factory in Discovery Park Kent, owned by Elbit Systems, the Israeli arms manufacturer.

Its primary campaign is #ShutElbitDown, which has been conducting weekly protests blockading arms suppliers nationwide.

The campaign had allegedly forced its subsidiary factory in Manchester to shut down, while Elbit claimed it was part of a company restructuring.

Elbit Systems' biggest customer is the Israeli Ministry of Defence and provides up to 85 percent of the land-based equipment used by the Israeli military and almost 85 percent of its drones.

Bezhalel Machlis, Elbit's CEO, said the company had "ramped up production" to support the Israeli military during the war on Gaza, which used its services "extensively".

Jewish activists blocking King Charles Street, Whitehall

According to Palestine Action, Elbit regularly exports weapons to Israel under the categories ML5s (Weapons Sights) and ML11s (Electronic Equipment).

The company's Hermes 450 and 900 drones are considered cornerstones of Israel's military operations, and it manufactures ammunition and surveillance technology, including its separation wall.

Its 450 drone wrongfully identified a group of young boys playing on a beach in Gaza as "Hamas militants" and another drone fired two missiles killing them in 2014.

Staff at UK Department of Business and Trade threaten to walk out over arms sales to Israel

Civil servants within the UK's Department of Business and Trade involved with arms exports to Israel have raised concerns over their own degree of legal liability, PA news agency reports.

According to the report, the government has faced increasing calls to halt arms sales to Israel after three British aid workers were killed in an attack by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF).

The report says MPs have also been demanding that the Government publishes what legal advice it has received in relation to whether Israel is violating international humanitarian law.

John McDonnell demands government publishes its legal advice

From the proceedings of the House of Commons:

John Martin McDonnell, Labour, Hayes and Harlington

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I sat through today's urgent question and listened to the various questions raised on the supply of arms to Israel. It is clear that the Government are continuing to supply arms to Israel, some of which will have been used in the attacks on Gaza. Some of those attacks have been judged to be contrary to the International Court of Justice judgment and are potentially war crimes. Can I ask Mr Speaker to seek and publish legal advice on the legal responsibilities of individuals of this House in holding the Government to account to prevent complicity in those war crimes, so that we are all aware of our responsibilities and the role we have to play, as this Government receive their authority from this Chamber?

(Citation: HC Deb, 19 March 2024, c832)

Further to that point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I am not seeking to extend the debate at all; this is an incredibly serious point. The Minister just said that the Government are operating under the rule of law, but some of us believe that is not true any more, because of how the ICJ judgment was phrased. So we need advice as individual Members, separate from the Government-and it is the Speaker's responsibility to ensure that we are properly advised-about our responsibilities when we believe there is potential complicity in war crime. All I seek is that advice should be sought and published.

(Citation: HC Deb, 19 March 2024, c833)

Halt Arms Export to Israel

Elbit factory in Kent

As NPR reported on April 4, last month more than 100 British MPs signed a letter to the business and foreign secretaries calling for an arms embargo on Israel. Since then, a growing number of British politicians - from London Mayor Sadiq Khan to former Cabinet ministers and top officials in the Conservative Party - have made similar demands.

Experts say, NPR reports, that the British government may be under-reporting the volume of weapons the country is sending to Israel, since they are exported by different companies - not by the government.

"Arms companies don't want it to be known to their commercial rivals what they're making," says Anna Stavrianakis, a lecturer in international relations at the University of Sussex who researches the UK arms industry. "But more importantly, they don't want civil society to know, because they know this is controversial."

The government's licensing scheme is "very murky and secretive," says Katie Fallon, an activist with the group Campaign Against Arms Trade, which opposes these exports.

"The licensing system makes it look like much less than it is," she says. "The open licenses allow for unlimited quantities to be exported and the companies don't have to tell the government what's been sent."

Campaigners with CAAT say those exports include about 15% of components for Israel's F-35 combat aircraft, which have been dropping bombs over Gaza during the current war there.

"The rear fuselage for every jet is made in Lancashire. The active interceptor system is made in Kent. The ejector seat is made in Buckinghamshire," explains Fallon.

Altogether, Britain has licensed arms worth more than £573 million to Israel since 2008, according to UK Parliamentary estimates.

"The Foreign Office has received official legal advice that Israel has broken international humanitarian law, but the government has not announced it," MP Alicia Kearns was recorded saying at a private fundraiser. The audio was published last weekend by The Observer newspaper.

Teledyne West Yorkshire

Kearns suggested Sunak's government has already sought legal advice on Israel's use of British weapons in Gaza - but has not been transparent about it with the public.

The Foreign Office acknowledged Thursday that it has reviewed Israel's adherence to the law, but that the content of government advice is confidential.

In towns and cities across Britain, protests have sprung up in recent weeks and months, outside factories where components for Israeli F-35 fighter jets are made. At least one factory near Birmingham chose to shut down after having to pay for increased security amid protests.

On the outskirts of England's seaside city of Brighton, protesters have set up an encampment near the L3 Harris factory, which makes components for F-35 jets. Cars beep their horns in solidarity with demonstrators, who have hung up signs that read: "This way to the bomb factory" and "Genocide in Gaza, Made in Brighton."

Article Index

Stop the Genocide in Gaza! Stop Arming Israel! Ceasefire Now!

Ireland Will Join ICJ Case against Israel on Genocide in Gaza

Belfast, Ireland

The Irish government has decided to intervene in the court case at the International Court of Justice against Israel on grounds of the commission of genocide. The complaint had been brought by South Africa, and the court found the charge of genocide plausible on January 26. It issued a preliminary injunction, ordering Israel to cease actions that might constitute genocide, which the government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has defied. Ireland's intervention seems to be akin to an amicus brief in the South African complaint, which will be decided by the ICJ, writes Informed Comment. The Irish cabinet will begin to frame a Declaration of Intervention to be submitted after South Africa sends in its own memorial case in a few months.

Foreign Minister Micheál Martin said on March 28 of Israel's refusal to allow sufficient food into Gaza: "It is criminal. It is absolutely a scandal that children are malnourished, that half a population is facing famine and others in terms of food insecurity. There is no need for this. There's excessive checking at the borders. I spoke [on Thursday] morning to Ayman Safadi, the Foreign Minister in Jordan, spoke to Egyptian [Foreign Minister] Sameh Shoukry and I spoke to the Palestinian Prime Minister [on Wednesday] also. They're telling me the situation is dire. Absolutely catastrophic. I will appeal to Israel to show humanity in terms of enabling the essentials of life to get into Gaza for the civilian population."

Article Index

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