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  • Article

    “Unreasonable behaviour” – a thought-crime?

    Sheikh Raed Salah, a political leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel and three times elected mayor of the Palestinian city of Umm al-Fahm, was arrested last week from a London hotel.  Normally, you would think one would have to commit a crime, or at least be suspected of...
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    Double standards over Salah’s arrest

    I was deeply disturbed to learn Sheikh Raed Salah is under threat of deportation on grounds that this action would be “conducive to the public good” (Inquiry after banned Palestinian enters UK, 30 June). On the contrary, it would be very harmful to the public good, at least if...
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    Sheikh’s arrest is an attempt to sabotage the legitimacy of the Palestinian cause

    The circumstances surrounding Sheikh Raed Salah’s arrest by the British government are irregular to say the least. He was taken from his hotel bedroom last Tuesday night and is currently being held in prison pending deportation. Sheikh Raed and his legal team were unaware of any “travel ban” against...
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    Weiss’ Knickers in Knot Over Sheikh Salah

    Michael Weiss, that insufferable, braying pro-Israel zealot, has his knickers in a knot over Sheikh Salah’s visit to England. The Telegraph blogger began his crusade before Salah arrived, with a shot across the bow on June 22nd, in which he crowed about alleged anti-Semitic statements made by Salah. Though a number...
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    Palestinian activists: unwelcome guests?

    In arresting Mr Salah for remarks he denies he made, a British home secretary is being even more intolerant than Israel Sheikh Raed Salah, an Israeli citizen who leads the Islamic Movement in Israel, is currently in the immigration removal centre at Heathrow airport. He was three days into...
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    Phillips leaves the Spectator as the complaints pile up

    Poor ol’ Melanie Phillips. In today’s Guardian, the Conservative Party chair Sayeeda Warsi goes on the offensive: “I don’t read her, actually. I call her Mad Mel,” Lady Warsi says of Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips, who has denounced her as “stupid”. Last week, Phillips announced her departure from...
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    Palestinian Christians express dismay with archbishop of Canterbury

    A letter that was sent by Rifat Kassis of Kairos Palestine this weekend to the Archbishop of Canterbury. In the letter to Dr Rowan Williams Kairos Palestine said… Bethlehem, 18 June 2011 The Most Reverend Dr Rowan WilliamsArchbishop of CanterburyLambeth PalaceLambeth Palace RoadLondon Your Grace, Kairos Palestine is deeply troubled by...
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    Israel has a lot to gain from unrest in Egypt

    Israel has felt uneasy about the situation in Egypt since the revolution of January 2011; until now. The serious political conflict between the government and opposition and the chaos in Egypt is a source of relief and satisfaction in Israel, which has never been entirely happy about the people’s...
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    Has foreign policy been forgotten by the LibDems?

    A visitor to this year’s Liberal Democrat Party conference might think that foreign policy has disappeared from the main agenda of this once internationalist party. With no references to the international agenda in their main conference speeches, delegates were forced to satisfy their desire to discuss foreign affairs by...
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    Britain condemns university status for illegal settlement college

    Britain’s Foreign Secretary has condemned the Israeli cabinet’s decision to upgrade a college in the illegal Ariel settlement in the occupied West Bank to university status, Haaretz newspaper reported on Monday. William Hague said that he was “very disappointed” by the unanimous decision to upgrade the status of the...
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    Learning from the Irish Hunger Strikes of 1981 and the Palestinian Challenge

    John Hurson in Ireland has been keenly conscious of the affinities between the historic Irish hunger strike of 1981 and the ongoing Palestinian hunger strikes. He has travelled to Gaza on several occasions on humanitarian aid convoys, and is the founder of the on line Gaza TV News service....
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    The rise and rise of Sheikh Raed Salah: Israel’s most prominent Islamist wins his case against Britain’s Home Secretary

    May 8 2012 In my blog entry in October 2011 I commented on the decision of the British government to issue a banning order against Sheikh Raed Salah, the head of the so-called Northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel. Salah had been invited to the UK by...
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    Friends of Al-Aqsa and Israeli propaganda

    A response to the deeply-misleading Meir Amit Report It is the usual policy at Friends of Al-Aqsa (FOA) not to respond to blatant attempts to discredit our work by Israel’s propaganda machine. Since 1997, many such attempts have been made, yet our organisation goes from strength to strength and...
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    Vanessa Redgrave’s Intifada

    Vanessa Redgrave, a veteran actress and human rights activist was last night awarded the Orange British Academy Film Award at London’s Royal Opera House. Well known for her lifelong commitment to civil rights, and in particular, for speaking out against the oppressive and racist Israeli regime, Redgrave became politicised...
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    Revolutionary apostasy in Egypt and the Turkish coups

    In 1980, General Kenan Evren led a military coup against the Turkish government. American President Jimmy Carter was at a musical concert when he received a phone call from a CIA liaison officer saying: “Our agents did it!” Paul Henry, the director of the CIA at the time, admitted...
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    MPs discuss Gaza crisis in response to Foreign Secretary’s statement

    Britain’s Foreign Secretary, William Hague, read a government statement to the House of Commons on Tuesday in which he called for an urgent de-escalation of the current violence in Gaza and Israel. Reiterating his previously stated position that there is no military solution to the conflict, Hague also restated...
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    Wadah Khanfar: People should be at the heart of journalism

    The former Director General of the Al-Jazeera Network became the first Muslim and non-Western journalist to deliver the annual James Cameron Memorial Lecture at City University in London on Thursday. The anticipation buzzed through the crowd waiting to hear from Wadah Khanfar, one of the most influential figures in...
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    Thirst for Justice: The failure of the Euro-Mediterranean water talks

    Introduction On April 13, the Fourth Euro-Mediterranean Conference on Water took place in Barcelona, bringing together delegations from the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership’s 43 member states to reach an agreement on a strategy for managing water and to ensure equal access to the resource in the region. The Partnership was established...
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    Turkish-Israeli relations frozen, can the Arabs turn this to their favour?

    Introduction Turkey has been pursuing a new foreign policy since the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in November 2002. Although Turkey maintained its special ties with Israel during the early years of the AKP administration, there was growing concern among Israeli leadership regarding Turkey’s increasing activism...
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    EU warned about “rushing back into normal relations” with Egypt

    The launch of the European Council on Foreign Relations report, “Egypt’s Unsustainable Crackdown”, comes as the country is due to hold a constitutional referendum. The military-backed regime, which has rewritten the constitution approved by a majority of Egyptians in 2012, will hold a referendum on the 14 – 15th...
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    It is unfair to compare the Turkish government to the discredited dictators

    The protests in Turkey have dominated international media coverage for several weeks now. Starting with a local protest over plans to bulldoze a park to make way for a shopping mall, overly harsh policing caused the unrest to spread. The backlash has spread across the country, with people from...
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    Serious questions about the Abu Dhabi investments that saved Barclays

    The 2008 financial crash brought down most of the UK’s banks, which were forced to turn to the government for huge cash hand-outs to avoid pulling the rest of the economy down with them. While giants Lloyds TSB and the Royal Bank of Scotland needed to be bailed out...
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    BBC accused of bias over Israel-Palestine

    The BBC is well-used to accusations of bias from many quarters, not least on its coverage of the Israel-Palestine issue, where it appears unable to please anyone. More than 10,000 people have signed a change.org petition demanding that a public inquiry be held into the BBC’s pro-Israel bias. Four...
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    EU ban of grants to settlements ruffles a few feathers

    In July, plans to block European Union money from reaching Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian territory became official. The ban will make institutions and entities in the settlements – which are outside Israel’s pre-1967 borders and are illegal under international law – ineligible for EU grants, prizes or loans,...
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    Stronger EU measures are needed to halt human rights abuses in Egypt

    When Mohammed Morsi was deposed by the Egyptian military on 3 July, the international community was unsure how to react. The US held back from referring to events as a “coup”, as this would trigger an automatic suspension of aid to Egypt. The European Union was no less confused....
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    Britain’s strongest statement on settlements yet

    Israel’s settlements – civilian communities built on land occupied by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War – are widely accepted to be illegal under international law. They have been classified as such by the International Court of Justice and repeatedly by the United Nations, which holds that the settlements...
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    Newly-elected Labour leader speaks at Friends of Palestine fringe event

    Before Election Day 2010 BC (Before Coalition), there was one party which many on the left saw as the one that they could rely on to be vociferous when it came to protecting national and international human rights and civil liberties. Whisper its name today, however, and many ex-...
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    UK government throwing money into risky hands

    The British government has recently signed a ‘memorandum of understanding’ with the Palestinian Authority (PA) pledging funds to the tune of £156 million, to be delivered over the next two years. The agreement was signed by the Prime Minister of the PA, Salam Fayyad, in Ramallah and countersigned by...
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    Britain should stand by its detained Jerusalem Consulate workers, as it did for those in Tehran

    On Sunday 2nd January, two Palestinian workers for the British Consulate in Jerusalem were arrested by the Israeli authorities. The two have since been accused of aiding suspected Hamas supporters, and charged with weapons trafficking. A British foreign office official confirmed the arrest by the Israeli authorities on Sunday...
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    Veteran MP claims British Jews are “distancing” themselves from Israel

    A veteran British MP has attacked the Westminster coalition government’s proposed change to the universal jurisdiction laws. Sir Gerald Kaufman also claimed that British Jewry is waking up to the truth of Israel’s human rights abuses. During the second reading of the Police Bill on Monday 13 December 2010,...
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    Palestinians unite in condemnation of Sheikh Raed Salah’s detention

    As the prominent Palestinian leader Sheikh Raed Salah remains behind bars in a British prison, condemnation of the British government’s action continues to grow from various pro-Justice groups and leading personalities, including many from different Palestinian factions. From nationalist representatives and Islamic figureheads, to Palestinians on the left and...
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    Where are the LibDems in all of this?

    Before Election Day 2010 BC (Before Coalition), there was one party which many on the left saw as the one that they could rely on to be vociferous when it came to protecting national and international human rights and civil liberties. Whisper its name today, however, and many ex-...
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    Hope is heading for reality as anti-siege activism scores successes against the odds

    When the borders of Gaza were sealed by Israel in June 2007 the population faced a situation that was, inevitably, going to deteriorate on every level very quickly. A total blockade of an overcrowded and already economically devastated country should have been condemned across the world from the beginning,...
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    The Zionists are gunning for Hague already

    He’s two weeks into his new role as Foreign Secretary, but already the Zionists’ guns are out to get William Hague. The editor of the Jewish Chronicle, Stephen Pollard, claims that “Hague is no friend of Israel”; his article, in which he lambasts Mr. Hague for condemning Israel’s “disproportionate”...
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    The Israel lobby wants to retain freedom of speech for itself, on its own terms

    In an interview with the Times (6 May), Israel’s ambassador to the UK, Ron Prosor, is reported to have “complained about “extremism in British universities” which caused his deputy “to flee anti-Israel activists after she gave a talk at Manchester University”. According to Mr. Prosor, “We have a serious...
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    Is London set to be Israel’s main sponsor at America’s expense?

    The Independent columnist Johann Hari is someone I don’t always agree with, but that’s the nature of freedom of speech and democracy. He’s just as entitled to his opinion as I am to mine. I can’t help thinking he’s right, though, in his article “The shameful, bloody silence at...
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    Europe’s amnesia

    I am writing this in Malta, a small island state in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, just south of Sicily. It is at the crossroads of the Mediterranean and so has had a key strategic role to play over the centuries. It is the historical home of the...
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    Does David Cameron really believe in universal human rights?

    In his speech in Germany a couple of weeks ago, Britain’s Prime Minister said that his government will not give funds to Muslim organisation unless they believe in “universal human rights”. David Cameron said that multiculturalism has basically failed to integrate some sections of society in Britain and he...
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    George Osborne needs a reality check

    It is heartening that a senior British politician can still find the time to attend a minority community function to offer praise and support for its contribution to British society. What made George Osborne’s speech at the Board of Deputies of British Jews 250th Anniversary Dinner on 23 November...
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    Calls for restraint miss the point

    It has been an interesting couple of weeks watching the reactions to the latest Islamophobia emanating from Western sources; first that film and then, almost inevitably, it seems, more cartoons from a French publisher. As has been usual over the years, the sacred cow of ” freedom of speech”...
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    House of Commons vote suggests that democracy is not quite dead yet

    The real surprise this week was not that the British House of Commons voted against the government’s plans to attack Syria, but that people were surprised that elected MPs should vote pretty much in line with public opinion on the issue. Democracy, it would seem, is alive and if...
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    In a startling disclosure to MEMO Colonel Desmond Travers questions the credibility of a recent Israeli report as well as a BBC Newsnight report.

    Following the release of Israel’s report to the UN on Friday in which the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) essentially looked into their own behaviour during operation Cast Lead, in which over 1400 Palestinians were killed following the Israeli military assault just over a year ago, MEMO contacted one of...
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    Like a spoilt brat, Israel ignores its critical friend

    More than two weeks after British Prime Minister David Cameron likened Gaza to a “prison camp” during a speech in Turkey, he is still facing a backlash from the Jewish community. Clearly, his words struck a raw nerve. Last week the Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, bemoaned the fact that...
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    William Hague welcomes “new strategic partnership” with Turkey

    This afternoon a press conference was held in the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office between Foreign Secretary William Hague and Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu. The two men seemed to get along quite well and voiced their mutual respect for one another. In their opening statements the focus was...
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    First British survivor of the flotilla massacre comes home. “It was like a horror movie” says Sarah Colborne

    Sarah Colborne (Campaign Director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign) arrived at Heathrow airport this morning clearly tired and shaken but steadfast and determined. She was the only one aboard the flight to London as most of her fellow British flotilla members had chosen to stay in Turkey for the...
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    Where are the champions of human rights when it comes to the jailing of young Muslim protesters in London?

    When political protesters are arrested by “oppressive regimes” around the world, human rights organisations are the first to rally the call for justice. In practically every issue of Amnesty International’s magazine, for instance, there is a call for the “immediate and unconditional release” of protesters and “prisoners of conscience”...
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    Civil court case into the death of peace activist crushed to death by Israeli bulldozer in 2003 finally begins

    Rachel Corrie: A Case for Justice On March 16th 2003, twenty-three year old American peace activist Rachel Corrie was crushed to death by a 65 tonne Israeli bulldozer in Gaza as she stood bravely in its path in a last-ditch attempt to stop it from destroying the family home...
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    Opposing Apartheid: Palestine and the Experience of South Africa – with Ilan Pappe and Ronnie Kasrils

    Israeli historian Professor Ilan Pappe and South African anti-apartheid campaigner and former government minister Ronnie Kasrils spoke on Wednesday 10 March 2010 in the Houses of Parliament on the subject of opposing apartheid. Drawing comparisons between the oppressive nature of the former South African apartheid regime and the current...
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    While Desmond Travers argues for prohibition of certain weapons, ex-head of Shin Bet says forget the past and move on!

    While Desmond Travers argues for prohibition of certain weapons, ex-head of Shin Bet says forget the past and move on! On Monday 8 March, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) hosted a public discussion on the UN’s Goldstone Report and the Peace Process. The panel included...
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    How did the assassins obtain British Passports?

    The involvement of six British passport holders in the killing of senior Hamas official, Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh, last month in Dubai was described in the Guardian today as “an extraordinary tale of modern-day espionage.” The Brits in question have denied any part in the assassination and have proclaimed their innocence...