| Israel Lobby Tries (and fails) to Intimidate Another UK MP!

Israel Lobby Tries (and fails) to Intimidate Another UK MP ~ , deLiberation.

Here we go again.

On 8 July British MP ‘Battling’ Bob Russell was speaking during a House of Commons debate on the national curriculum in schools.


http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm130708/debtext/130708-0002.htm ….

Sir Bob Russell (Colchester) (Liberal Democrat):

“The Secretary of State referred to more coverage of world history. On the assumption that the 20th century will include the holocaust, will he give me an assurance that the life of Palestinians since 1948 will be given equal attention?”

Michael Gove, Education Secretary [and fervent Friend of Israel]:

“These are delicate waters, into which I fear to tread too definitively. One thing I would say is that there has been near universal welcome and support for the centrality of the holocaust and the unique evil inherent in the holocaust being in the national curriculum. Once one gets on to the position of the state of Israel after 1948, it is probably better if I step back. I have strong views on the matter and I would not wish to impose them on the curriculum.”

Sir Bob’s question was a “shoah slur”, screamed the Jewish Chronicle, and he immediately came under attack as reported here in Jewish News http://jewishnews.co.uk/lib-dem-mp-sir-bob-russell-condemned-for-shoah-comments/

Jeremy Newmark, of Britain’s Jewish Leadership Council said,

“These remarks are a shocking piece of Holocaust denigration. There is simply no comparison between the two situations. It is worrying that so soon after the David Ward affair another MP thinks it is acceptable to play fast and loose with the language of the Holocaust in this context.”

Karen Pollock, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, added:

“To try to equate the events of the Holocaust – the systematized mass murder of 6 million Jews – with the conflict in the Middle East is simply inaccurate as well as inappropriate.”

“Bob Russell is a fringe, marginal voice in the community. All parties have them sadly”,

said Gavin Stollar, chairman of Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel.

Nobody is claiming equivalence in the numbers. But Palestinians, and indeed the wider world community, are entitled to feel there is nonetheless a disturbing comparison.

The word ‘holocaust’ is centuries old and has several meanings, one being “any mass slaughter or reckless destruction of life”.  For those interested in the figures, Israel’s B’Tselem shows that between year 2000 and the start of Israel’s ‘Cast Lead’ assault on Gaza in 2008 the Israelis’ vast standing army, equipped with the most advanced American-funded weaponry, killed 4,790 Palestinian civilians in their homeland. Of these, 952 were children. Yes, 952 young Palestinian lives horribly snuffed out and their parents left desolated.

The Palestinian resistance, with their primitive weapons, killed 490 Israeli civilians, including 84 children.  That’s a slaughter rate of 11 to 1 by the Israelis – reckless in anyone’s language. Since then Israel’s ‘destruction of life’ score has soared thanks to Operation Cast Lead (an act of infamy which slaughtered 1,400 Gazans, including 320 children and 109 women, horribly maimed thousands more, and is regarded by many as a holocaust in its own right) and the more recent Pillar of Cloud Operation as well as the countless air strikes in-between.

Although the Holocaust Education Trust and Zionists generally would like exclusive use of the H-word for Jewish victims, they must understand that there have been other holocausts besides the ‘Big One’ of World War 2. If there is such a thing as a Palestinian holocaust it is a slow motion one. The extermination may be on a smaller scale but is nevertheless of towering significance because it has been carried out in the Holy Land – of all places – and against Christians and Muslims.

There are at least three more reasons why it should be included in the British schools curriculum. Britain as the military power and subsequently the mandated power in the Holy Land was instrumental in creating the situation. The slaughter, deprivation and illegal occupation resulting from British duplicity is still going on after 65 years. And the intolerable mess we allowed to develop but took no action to resolve is a matter of deep national shame and a major cause of world unrest.

When researching for the book ‘Radio Free Palestine I asked my local education authority (Cambridgeshire, a leader in the UK) if the Arab-Israeli conflict and its causes were taught in school. The answer was no, unless you picked the Middle East option at A-level, and even then teaching only “scratched the surface”. So the book contains this passage:

“The truth about Palestine doesn’t sit well with Britain’s now crumbling reputation for fair play. Its name has been airbrushed from maps and purged, like a dirty word, from diplomatic lexicons. Even today the subject is only haphazardly taught in our schools. For older generations like mine it was never on the curriculum.”

In contrast, the Nazi holocaust against Jews is a compulsory subject in the history curriculum at all state secondary schools in England and the government has created a UK Envoy for post-Holocaust Issues. In 2008 the government and the Pears Foundation jointly funded a £1.5 million three-year national project to improve teaching and learning about the Holocaust.

Refusal to give the long-running crisis in the Holy Land proper emphasis in world history teaching is a denial of the Palestinian holocaust and the nakba (the ‘catastrophe’ of 1947-49 when nearly 750,000 Arabs were dispossessed of their homes, villages, towns and cities and driven into exile by Jewish terrorists and Israeli militia. Many died or were massacred in the process. Those who survived have not been allowed to return). Israel’s illegal military occupation is the longest in modern times with no prospect of ending while corrupt politicians rule the international scene.

British children must be given an opportunity to understand that Britain’s complicity in such a cruel state of affairs can never be tolerated again, just as they are already learning that Nazi atrocities at Auschwitz and elsewhere must never happen again. Bob Russell is surely right to call for the curriculum to give equal attention to the causes and effect of the Palestinians’ suffering and he should be applauded for seeking a balanced approach in these matters.

The big stink over David Ward

Complainer Jeremy Newmark (above) mentions the David Ward affair, referring to another Liberal Democrat MP who earlier made this remark on his website: “Having visited Auschwitz twice – once with my family and once with local schools – I am saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new State of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza.

Chiefs of the Holocaust Educational Trust and the Board of Deputies of British Jews kicked up a huge fuss, loudly complaining that Ward “deliberately abused the memory of the Holocaust” and his remarks were “sickening” and “offensive”.

The Liberal Democrat Chief Whip, Alistair Carmichael, agreed that Ward’s remarks were “wholly inappropriate” and that singling out ‘the Jews’ in that way crossed a red line.

For speaking out on the Israeli regime’s crimes Ward was treated like a delinquent and comprehensively humiliated. The Jewish Chronicle reportedhttp://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/102865/clegg-response-david-ward-%EF%AC%81g-leaf  that party leader Nick Clegg told Ward he must work alongside Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel (LDFoI) “to identify and agree language that will be proportionate and precise” in future debate. He should attend meetings with LDFoI representatives in order to achieve a better understanding of “the legitimate concern” that his comments caused within the wider Jewish community. Disciplinary steps would then be reviewed.

Gavin Stollar said: “LDFoI has essentially been appointed as probation officers for David Ward. If we are not convinced that he is salvageable then we’ll be in the position to report back to the leader and the chief whip and express our views. Rather than making him a martyr, LDFoI welcomes the opportunity to educate one of our MPs.”

There are no reports to show that Ward complied with any of this arrant nonsense.

And who is this upstart Stollar, who thinks it’s his place to re-educate elected members of the British Parliament? Here he is http://ldfi.org.uk/2011/10/11/chair-gavin-stollar-meets-tzipi-livni-after-lib-dems-secure-changes-to-universal-jurisdiction-law/  warmly shaking the bloody hand of Tzipi Livni, who is on several wanted lists for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Livni, Israel’s former foreign minister, was largely responsible for the holocaust inflicted on innocent Palestinians, trapped in their tiny enclave with the borders sealed, over Christmas and New Year 2008/9. Her office afterwards issued a statement saying she was proud of her decisions in Operation Cast Lead, the murderous blitz she unleashed.

No-one, least of all ‘Battling’ Bob Russell or David Ward, need lectures or re-education from the likes of Stollar and his fellow stooges.

Stuart Littlewood

15 July 2013


GerKaufmanTruth IntlLaw1 4Footballers

| Theresa May under fire for botched bid to fly out hunger striker Ifa Muaza!

Theresa May under fire for bid to fly out hunger striker Ifa Muaza ~ , The Observer.

Home Office officials were refusing to comment on Saturday evening on an apparently botched effort to deport a seriously ill man from Britain by private plane. A jet chartered by the government was forced to return to the UK with Nigerian Ifa Muaza and immigration officials still on board, after a 20-hour flight that saw the plane prevented from entering Nigerian airspace. It diverted to Malta, where an angry dispute broke out with the authorities over the plane’s right to use its airstrip.

The aircraft then had to return to Britain, landing at Luton, where Muaza, a failed asylum seeker who was said last week to have been near death after a 100-day hunger strike, was taken off by stretcher and returned to Harmondsworth detention centre near Heathrow. The flight is estimated to have cost the Home Office £95,000- £110,000. Muaza was the only detainee on board, according to sources.

On Saturday night lawyers and supporters of 47-year-old Muaza, who has won support from numerous politicians, human rights groups and celebrities, were trying to stop a second deportation. “It’s an unbelievable fiasco and we are very worried about his health. He is very weak,” said one.

Lord Roberts, a Liberal Democrat peer, told the Observer he was delighted Muaza was back in the UK but horrified that he had been forced to endure the attempted removal. “I saw him on Tuesday when a doctor had judged him too sick to fly,” he said. “Goodness knows what state he must be in now the poor man. He needs hospital treatment. We should know the cost of this private jet. We’ve already heard this case has cost some £180,000.

“[The home secretary] Theresa May must consider her role immediately. She has caused immense harm to one individual and spent an extraordinary amount of taxpayers’ money. I hope there will be no question of sending this poor man away again.”

The Home Office has used private jets for at least two previous deportations. One was the return of hate cleric Abu Qatada to Jordan in July.

Sources at the detention centre said that staff “were horrified” at Muaza’s medical condition. Doctors at the centre have six times ruled that he is too ill to be held there, while staff were put on notice of “an imminent death”, believed to be that of Muaza, last week.

A letter from Roberts to the home secretary appealing for clemency for Muaza was co-signed by a group of cross-party MPs and peers. After it was revealed on Wednesday that a ticket had been booked on a flight to Abuja, the Nigerian capital, Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather called on Virgin Atlantic to refuse to accept Muaza on the plane due to the concerns about his health.

On Saturday night Teather said she was “truly, truly, appalled” at the treatment of Muaza. “To put a well man through this kind of stress and journey would be bad enough, but to do it to a man in such a desperate condition? Well done, Theresa May, you proved your toughness at the expense of your humanity. This should give everyone pause for thought. I cannot see why this was in anyone’s interest.

“That the government is rushing to deport a man prepared to starve himself to death rather than be returned says everything about the culture of disbelief towards individuals fleeing persecution that is a defining characteristic of the UK’s asylum process,” she told Politics.co.uk.

“I find it hard to believe that a man who has refused to eat for over 90 days is playing the system and being wilfully manipulative. These are the actions of a desperate man who clearly fears for his safety should he be returned to Nigeria.”

John Packer, the bishop of Ripon and Leeds, had also spoken against the deportation, saying Muaza was in clear danger in his native country after defying the terror group Boko Haram by refusing to join their ranks.

Award-winning actors, theatre directors, playwrights, lawyers, leading NGOs and community organisations have also written to May to appeal on behalf of the hunger striker.

Actors Juliet Stevenson, Dame Harriet Walter, Cush Jumbo, Khalid Abdalla, playwright Howard Brenton, author Stella Duffy and comedians Mark Thomas and Daniel Kitson, joined campaign groups including Liberty, Reprieve and Amnesty International in signing the letter.

Ifa Muaza

Ifa Muaza, who has been on hunger strike for 100 days in his battle to escape being returned to Nigeria, has attracted support from celebrities and campaign groups.

| Lib Dems quit over leadership’s ‘betrayal’ on UK secret courts!

Lib Dems quit over leadership’s ‘betrayal’ on secret courts ~ , political editor, The Guardian.


Two prominent campaigners against secret courts resign from party as members vote for change to justice bill.

Jo Shaw, Lib Dems

Jo Shaw resigned from the party at the end of her conference speech, accusing Clegg of a betrayal of liberal values. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA

The Liberal Democrats‘ reputation as custodians of British liberty received a mauling on Sunday when two of their most prominent campaigners against secret courts resigned from the party, and the leadership was told by its conference for the second time in six months to seek urgent changes to the government’s justice and secrecy bill.

The overwhelming vote at the party’s spring conference in Brighton puts fresh pressure on the leadership to seek new safeguards in the bill when it returns to the Lords next month.

Nick Clegg was involved in angry public exchanges with conference delegates on Saturday, and on Sunday made no reference to the defeat or resignations, in his own conference speech. But thetense atmosphere exploded again when a prominent activist, Jo Shaw, resigned from the party at the end of her conference speech, accusing Clegg of a betrayal of liberal values and employing the same shoddy realpoliitik as the Blair government.

Earlier, the prominent human rights lawyer Dinah Rose QC also quit the party, describing Clegg’s support for the justice and security bill as a betrayal of the party’s guiding principles. Rose successfully represented the British-resident Guantánamo detainee, Binyam Mohamed, in his battle to establish that British intelligence services were complicit in his “cruel and inhuman” treatment by the US.

David Howarth, a reader in law at Cambridge University and former MP for the city, described the party’s continued support for the bill as “quite simply shameful”.

Only seven Liberal Democrat MPs opposed the bill last week in the Commons, with the leadership claiming they had secured substantial safeguards on the trigger for the use of closed material procedures in civil cases.

Lord McNally, the justice minister and Lib Dem leader in the Lords, said he would see if further concessions could be secured, but told his party that a balance had to be struck between security and liberty.

Shaw, a parliamentary candidate in 2010, described her parliamentary party’s handling of the bill as “a car crash in slow motion and a textbook case of political failure”.

She said: “I joined this party to campaign for my values 12 years ago … A decade ago I was proud to march with my party leaders against the Iraq war. I supported the coalition government because of the opportunities it gave us to put our Liberal Democrat values into practice.

” Today is a sad day at the end of a very sad week because I have come to the conclusion that I cannot continue to campaign to uphold the values of fairness, freedom and openness inside the Liberal Democrats under its current leadership – a leadership for whom the privilege of power has meant the betrayal of liberal values.

“The party that stood against 42-day detention, ID cards and the war on terror is led now by those who on this crucial issue employ the same shoddy logic, and have fallen into the same anti-democratic realpolitik as the Blair government. The leadership has chosen to protect secrecy and abuses of power over openness, accountability and freedom. I cannot support such a leadership.”

Shaw, a lawyer, had been leading the campaign against secret courts inside her party for months, and knew that even if she won the vote at Brighton, Clegg was likely to be unmoved. Martin Tod, a fellow campaigner against secret courts, said: “Something has gone horribly wrong with this party if committed campaigners for civil liberties and open justice like Jo Shaw don’t feel able to remain members any more.”

The leadership argued that the bill is going to reach statute book since it has the support of the Conservatives and Labour, making the arithmetic of defeat impossible.

But Howarth countered the Lib Dems were surrendering prematurely and anyway had to stand opposed as a matter of principle. “This is not about policy or about deals: it is about who we are. This bill does nothing to help the security services to gain more information or foil more plots. All it does is give them an unfair advantage in cases where they are accused of kidnapping and torture. Again, anyone who cannot see that is fundamentally wrong and not liberal.

Addressing McNally, Howarth said: “Tom, I know the Lords can stop this bill. You know the Lords can stop this bill. They should stop this bill.” Other figures such as Simon Hughes, the party’s deputy leader, said the bill could only be stopped or scrapped by a majority Lib Dem government.

In reality many senior Lib Dems regard the revised bill as acceptable, arguing the status quo of using public interest immunity certificates is worse than the closed material procedures in which judges not ministers will decide the procedures for the trial and what defendants lawyers should be told about key aspects of the case against them

McNally said it was to the credit of the party that it was so troubled by the issue of secret courts, but said the bill’s critics lived in an Alice in Wonderland world. He said: “If we do not have the procedures by which we can examine some of these attacks on the behaviour of our security services, then they will go unchecked, money will be paid in compensation and reputations will be damaged because there will have been no opportunity to mount a defence.” He insisted the bill was dramatically different to the one set out in a green paper 18 months ago, adding: “Sometimes you come to that juxtaposition between justice and security where you have to take tough decisions like we did in Northern Ireland and in certain immigration cases.

“It’s a tough decision; it is a decision you have to make when you are in government. We will make that decision.”.




| UK Secret Courts: The Justice and Security Bill is a chilling affront to British justice!

The justice and security bill is a chilling affront to British justice ~

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    • Secret courts should have no place within our judicial system.  
    • _____________________________________________________________ 
    •  Kenneth Clarke

      Justice secretary Ken Clarke, diehard proponent of the justice and security bill. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

      It pays to ask a simple question when confronted with a piece of legislation such as the justice and security bill, which has become so complicated that probably no more than 100 people in the country fully understand it.

      Outside parliament, there is a dim sense that the bill will introduce closed material procedures – secret courts – into English civil law in cases where national security is said to be at stake. People are beginning to appreciate that this means a claimant is banned from knowing anything about their case and that this in turn will make it easier for ministers and the intelligence agencies to cover up wrongdoing, such as rendition and torture.

      But that is about the limit of public awareness.

      After a few days of working out where the legislation stood, who supported which obscure amendment and what chance this writhing monstrosity had of becoming law, I asked the simple question: where did the bill come from? After all, it wasn’t in the Conservative or Liberal Democrat manifestos. It wasn’t part of the coalition agreement and clearly there is no public demand for it. Indeed, those who do know about the bill regard it as a shocking offence to open justice – the principle that cases are heard and decided in public – and natural justice, where a person can expect to see the evidence presented by the other party and receive a fair hearing. This is not us, they say. This is Kafka and Stalinism, not Britain.

      So where did it come from? The answer is simple. The bill is the idea of the very people it will most benefit – the intelligence services, civil servants and government ministers – which is why they are lobbying like hell for it.

      This fact alone is enough to tell you that there should be no compromise on the traditions of English common law and that the justice and security billshould be killed off. As secret hearings and their priesthood of special advocates move from limited-use immigration courts to threaten our civil law courts, we can be sure that it won’t stop there. Secrecy is habit-forming.

      A vote in the Commons is expected in weeks and it’s clear we have reached an important moment in the life of the coalition, which may be equal in principle to the attempt to introduce 42-day detention without charge, which Gordon Brown was forced to abandon. So we can expect to see the same plausible briefing of MPs about the need to preserve the integrity of our allies’ intelligence. We will hear much bellyaching about a situation in which the government, rather than risking sensitive evidence in open court, is forced to pay out vast compensation to people who have had the temerity to allege the UK’s compliance in their torture. And you will see much steam emanate from the former justice secretary Kenneth Clarke, as he insists – without irony – that his bill is reasonable and proportionate and that justice is served by secrecy, rather than diminished by it.

      I know you’d like to believe him – I would too – but don’t. Justice is never served by secret courts, neither in Beijing, nor here.

      Let’s not forget how we got here in the first place. After a series of explicit denials, most notably from Jack Straw, the Labour government had to admit the truth that British intelligence services were complicit in rendition and torture during the war on terror. That is why the security establishment wants courts where the assurances of the officials and politicians will be much harder to test and embarrassing evidence will never see the light of the day.

      The bill drew a great deal of criticism from peers and MPs on a joint human rights committee. They were worried about the lack of safeguards against abuse and were not assured that ministers had made a convincing argument for secrecy. A number of sensible amendments were suggested by the Lords, which gave judges more power to weigh the interest of justice against national security and, crucially, allowed the claimant to apply for a secret hearing to prise information from the intelligence services. In other words, they went some way to introducing a two-way street.

      But most of these amendments were thrown out or neutralised with the help of the Democratic Unionist party‘s Ian Paisley Junior in a Commons committee two weeks ago, which, incidentally, went largely unnoticed by the media because of the vote on gay marriage on the same day. The principle that secret hearings would be the last resort after every avenue had been exhausted, including the use of public interest immunity, has been abandoned. And naturally the idea that a claimant could use closed material procedure to winkle out information from the intelligence services horrified the spies’ lawyers. That amendment was duly nailed. So the benefits of secrecy are to be reserved for the state.

      As a Centre for Policy Studies book by the influential Conservative MP Andrew Tyrie and QC Anthony Peto explains, national security can be used to apply secrecy to cases that have nothing to do with torture and do not, in reality, jeopardise national security. Closed material procedures could be ordered to limit legitimate protests, to hamper inquiries by journalists, to prevent people from recovering property seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act and to stop wounded servicemen from suing the Ministry of Defence for faulty equipment. Special advocates would be used to represent claimants who would never be allowed to know why their cases failed or succeeded.

      The justice and security bill has a Blair-era hallmark. It is disproportionate and unnecessary, which is probably why it appeals to Jack Straw, who still faces embarrassing questions on torture and rendition that took place on his watch.

      But in all this there is mystery. The bill has been devised under a coalition government that includes Liberal Democrats, whose conference overwhelmingly voted against the measure. It is difficult to see how Lib Dem MPs could vote for a bill that restricts rights under the law, at the same time as increasing state power. The justice and security bill is self-evidently against everything they stand for, which may explain recent confusing signals from the party and why a Lib Dem voted against Tory amendments in committee.

      Despite Clarke’s spin that the bill mostly conforms to the Lords amendments, it is plain that it has reverted to its original objectionable form. As the campaigning Tory David Davis says, if the Lib Dems can’t vote against the justice and security bill, what on earth is the party for? The vast majority of the party know, but do their MPs know and does Nick Clegg?

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