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Thousands of British people demanding freedom for Palestine

[UK, London, Saturday 17th May 2003]

© 2003


"Right Vs Might - Boycott Israel"
One of our downloadable boycott posters

On Saturday 17th May thousands of British people marked the 55th anniversary of the Nakba, - the expulsion of the Palestinians when their land was stolen to create Israel, by converging on Trafalgar Square in London for a rally demanding an end to zionist occupation and for freedom for Palestine. The huge crowds reflected the broad base of support for the Palestinian cause in British society. The rally was organised by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign and supported by a host of pro-justice organisations.

Journalist John Pilger, actors Juliet Stevenson and Corin Redgrave, and Sophie Hurndall the sister of the British photographer shot in the head by the Israeli army, were among the distinguished speakers to address the rally. We have provided all of the speeches below (around 30 speeches in real audio format) for you to listen to or download.

Faces in the crowd reflecting the support for Palestine among the British people.


Listen to the sound
of the rally

"free free Palestine,
long live Palestine"


Free Palestine
End the Occupation

Afif Safieh

Afif Safieh, Palestinian General Delegate to the UK:

"A war which we opposed has occurred, a war we felt was unnecessary, a war we knew was illegitimate, this was not a war for democracity, it was a war for docility - regional docility, European docility, global docility in front of American hegemony. That was a war that resulted from the collusion of Israeli and American agendas that has put America and its war machine on a collision course with the Arab world.

The last three years has also reminded us that the nakba is not a frozen moment in history that has occurred sometime in 1948 but that unfortunately the nakba catastrophe is unfortunately an ongoing process from Der Yassin to Jenin until this day. Friends you are not unaware that successive Israeli governments continue to aim at accapurating and acquiring as much of Palestinian geography as possible with as little of Palestinian demography as possible. I was just reading the newspaper on the internet yesterday on opinion poll was published in Israel that 57% of Israeli public opinion favour the encouragement of Palestinians to migrate - the policy of transfer has the support of 57% unfortunately of Israeli society.

...we pay tribute to the international solidarity movement - to all those volunteers who decide willingly, who choose to go and spend time with the Palestinian people as human shields those who take the decision at their own expense and often at their own risk and peril... in memory of Ian Hook .. a tribute to Rachel Corrie ... I would like to invite the PSC to start the process in Oslo to candidating the International Solidarity Movement for the Nobel prize this year for I believe there is no individual or institution more deserving them them."



Palestinian flag

Josie Sandercock

Josie Sandercock, International Solidarity Movement (ISM). Josie went to West Bank in May 2002 and joined ISM. She eventually arrived back in Britain on July 6, after spending eight days on hunger strike in an Israeli prison.

"The principle behind the ISM is simple - if the UN wont do it we will do it ourselves!

Calls to provide international protection for the Palestinian people under occupation have been persistently ignored or blocked by Israel and the US whilst the UN consistently fails to perform even the minimum of its duty towards a people oppressed by a state which acts in complete defiance of international law or the norms of human conduct.

This is not good enough. We will not stand by and allow the Palestinian people to be subjected to this inhuman occupations while our governments are silent. A serving Israeli soldier wrote recently to the ISM. He described himself as not a pacifist or worse a left winger and this is what he had to say

"ISM keeps Sharon and my fascist IDF and lunatic settlers from carrying out ethnic cleansing. These ISM kids are my heroes - they save lives, they are practising the purest form of what the great rabbis called tikum olam - repair the world. As a Jew I owe a terrible debt to the humanity of these volunteers peace makers for repaying my tab with their blood."

It is not our intention to pay the tab in this way, but every ISM volunteer faces that possibility. On March the 16th Rachel Corrie for crushed to death by an Israeli army D9 bulldozer, shortly afterwards Brian Avery was shot in the face - the bullet split his tongue into two and removed most of one cheek - he has up a year of reconstructive surgery ahead of him. And then Tom Hurndall - Tom was shot in the back of the head whilst trying to take three Palestinian children to safety away from unprovoked Israeli sniper fire. Tom is still on life support in Biet Shiva, his brain is irrevocably damaged and he is not expected to survive.

Rachel and Tom would be the first to say that their lives are no more important than that of any Palestinian and this is true but in one very important sense it is not - the Palestinians have only the failed corrupt diplomacy as their protection, we have our governments and we are waiting, still waiting for the US government to act on the death of Rachel Corrie still waiting for the UK government to condemn the shooting of Tom Hurndall. Ian Hookes family are still waiting for an investigation in to his killing last November, and the family of James Miller who was shot dead whilst waving a white flag and clearly marked as a journalist - they are just starting the long and painful process of having his killing recognised as a crime by a British government which consistently refused to condemn or investigate the deliberate targeting of British citizens by the Israeli army which continues to act with impunity.

ISM are not giving up. 100s of people of all faiths from all nations are travelling to Palestine to work with them this summer. If you would like to join them or if would like to support their work by donating cash or equipment especially laptops and video cameras ... look us up on the Internet"



"End terror? Yes please!
Get the occupiers out of Palestine and Iraq!"

Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn, MP, Labour MP for Islington South, actively lobbying inside parliament for Palestinian rights for many years.

"You will not achieve peace in Palestine or anywhere else in the middle east without addressing the fundamental causes of war, namely the injustice in the way the people are treated and no one is more unjustly treated than the Palestinian people at the present time!

On the war on Iraq:

This was a war for resources and we now see in effect the privatisation of an entire country to the cronies of George Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney and all the rest of them! The Iraqi people are the first guinea pigs of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC).

On the roadmap:

I've been told this road map is a road to peace and the road to justice. The cynic in me says that when ever the United States and Britain wants support from middle-eastern countries they propose a new peace process for the middle east. Once the war is over they forget that peace process. It seems to me that this peace process has an awful lot of Israeli locks on those gates. There will never be peace in the region until a number of things are accepted. Firstly that the plight of the Palestinian people thrown off their land and out of their homes in 1948 has to be recognised and it returned, have the ability to return and to be able to live in peace free from bombardment free from assassination squads, free from occupation and free from the settlements. There also has to be a little less sanctimonious lecturing around the world about breaches of UN resolutions until it is accepted around the world that the biggest breacher of UN resolutions of all time is the state of Israel! And that the one country we know that has weapons of mass destruction in the middle east is the state of Israel. How do we know it? Because Mordechai Vanunu has spent 14 years in prison for telling us the truth about Israel's nuclear weapons programme..."




Voice Of The People

Rallies are as much about the people that come as they are about the speakers. We asked sixteen people*, chosen randomly, why they came. Click on a face to read their response.

Voice of the People Video
A short video featuring the full interviews is available: Download [real video - 10 mins, 8.8Mb]
Streaming [120kbps - okay for broadband]

* We are very grateful to the sixteen people who helped us create this feature
by sharing their thoughts on video - thank you!


Young and old united in support of Palestine.

A message from Richard Burton, MP, was read out on his behalf:

"...This week, the anniversary of Nakba, it is as important as ever that we maintain the pressure to secure peace with justice in the middle-east...

..tightened restrictions mean it is becoming almost impossible for aid agencies, journalists and peace activists to operate in the occupied territories. This is in the face of increasing poverty and destitution in Gaza with almost three quarters of Palestinians now living below the poverty line..."

No Occupation of Iraq
Free Palestine - End the Occupation



Free Palestine - End Israeli Occupation

Caroline Lucas

Caroline Lucas, Green Party MEP representing the South-east of England. Outspoken advocate of human rights.

"We are here to demand an end to the Israeli governments state terrorism against the Palestinian people, and we are here to demand an end to the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory.

And we are here to demand an end to the hypocrisy of Bush and Blair who tell us they care so much about some UN resolutions that they are prepared to go to war over them and yet they cynically ignore others.

And we are here to demand an end to the slaughter of innocent people. Over the last two and a half years over 2000 Palestinians have been murdered. But its not just the cold killings we are protesting about, its the daily routine terror of a people being controlled and subjugated and humiliated - its the humiliation of an entire people.

And so we are here because we are angry, we are here because if the US can invade Iraq on the pretext of saying its upholding one UN resolution then it can take firm action against the Israeli government to uphold some other UN resolutions as well

There is the resolution of 36 years ago that stated that the Israeli occupation of Palestine is illegal, there is the resolution of 55 years ago that demands the right of return for Palestinian refugees, there is the resolution of 29 years ago for the Palestinian right to self-determination. Do you remember Bush and Blair wouldn't even give the weapons inspectors 4 months well they have given the Israeli government over 40 years!

In the General Assembly there have been over 450 resolutions calling for justice for the Palestinian people. No country has been more condemned by the international community than Israel but no country has been allowed to get away with its rogue behaviour so consistently because its backed by its rogue supporter the United States of America.

So we are here to demand an end to such hypocrisy and an end to the military and financial support for Israel. Last year alone Israel received over two billion dollars of military aid from the US and in the first 14 months of the Palestinian uprising our own government granted 230 licences for military exports to Israel.

In the European Parliament the Greens are doing what we can to get action on these issues, and we've been getting the Parliament to uphold and support resolutions that demand the full and immediate implementation of UN resolutions that call for an arms embargo, call for the suspension of the EU-Israel Euro-Mediterranean Agreement and as Greens we are supporting the Campaign to Boycott Israeli Goods because we want justice.

How can North Korea, Iraq and Iran be rogue states but not Israel and not the United States. Sharon and Bush are due to meet shortly, but even as they do so Sharon is still building this wall to separate him from the Palestinians, this new wall. But we know that you cant build to peace by building walls, we know that you cant fight terror with terror, we know that the only way to get peace is through justice, and so we are here to demand justice for the Palestinian people."


Faces in the crowd

Abe Hayeem

Abe Hayeem, Just Peace UK, he is a campaigner for rights of Palestinian people within Jewish society in Britain. As a spokesperson for the Jewish pro-justice organisation Just Peace UK he explained their position:

"Sharon and his neo-fascist government do not speak for us...

We fully support a trade and arms embargo against Israel...

[We] contradict the mainstream Jewish communities bland justifications for Israel's brutal occupation - being in denial most follow the line of my country right or wrong. On this they have strayed far from real Jewish ethics.

Just Peace UK aims at making its voice heard in the national and Jewish press, and on radio. Challenging and rebuffing the myths and propaganda and misinformation by the Israeli government and its publicity agents Viacom and AIPAC. They claim that the occupied territories are now "disputed" territories - are just one example of how UN resolutions are being twisted and distorted. There should be no let up in exposing Israel's illegal and criminal activities in the occupied territories...

Israel must stop trying to silence or censor valid criticism with accusations of anti-semitism and bias, and in our case of being self-hating Jews or traitors..."




Palestinian flags above the crowds

Juliet Stevenson

Juliet Stevenson, well-known actor in theatre and television.

"I follow the news coming out of the occupied territories with horror and incredulity and having two young children myself I find particularly unbearable the fate of Palestinian children.

A whole generation now is being traumatised, couped up, maimed and being deprived of an education - that hope of the future which is every childs birthright and entitlement is being plundered by what is happening in their community. 350 Palestinian children are being currently detained in Israeli prisons. 28 of these prisoners are held in Quetzal, a military prison in the Negev where conditions are extremely poor and where medical treatment is withheld from them.

A local NGO - the Palestinian section of defence for children international reports that for those held across the Israeli prison system nutrition is very poor and that children are denied education contrary to Israeli and international law. And many children are dying. Of the more than 2000 Palestinians killed in the current intifada a quarter are children. Many of them are killed by the Israeli army - mostly shot in the head or upper body. Tank shells and bombs from f-16s also take their toll as does falling masonry of houses demolished over the heads of their inhabitants.

Only last week two year old Ani Al-Saeda Bashid from Gaza was shot in the head whilst playing in her back yard. Unfortunately overlooked by the illegal settlement of Jadin Such is the hatred of some of these settlers that killing children may be seen as a grotesque form of sport. In an earlier case the settler Shimon Yifra shot a girl dead in a school playground. He was in fact brought to trail and in his defence he said that he had only intended to shock her not to kill her. That defence was accepted and he was given a seven month suspended sentence. The absence of punishment by the state for such killings serves as a positive encouragement for such acts. Its seems to be part of the policy of state terrorism to make life so unbearable for the Palestinians that some will leave if only to protect their children's lives. In this way its a very effective form of ethnic cleansing.

"Stop Supporting Child Killers - Boycott Israel"
One of our downloadable boycott posters

And then there are the deaths caused by the closures and curfews that are so brutally imposed through out the occupied territories. 4 year old Abdul Fateh Java from Gaza needed specialised treatment for a heart condition but the family could not get her out either to Israel or Egypt and she died. Recently 10 year old Ala Osama Hamdan from a village near Nabulas got appendicitice. The Israeli soldiers at the local checkpoint turned the family back as they tried to make their way to Nabulas hospital. Her appendix burst and the little girl died. There are many such stories. Heavily pregnant women and women in labour attempting to reach hospitals are often held at checkpoints and obliged to give birth there. The world health organisation tells us that in the last 16 months 51 women have given birth at Israeli checkpoints and 29 of those babies have died.

So when this happens to your wife, to your children, where do you turn? To whom do you appeal? the Israeli government? the NGOs who can only catalogue these atrocities? the world press may show a fleeting interest but Palestinian deaths are so normal these days - two or three a day on average that they are hardly news worthy.

So its up to us, here in Britain to stand up against the normalisation of these horrors. We CAN put pressure on government to instruct Israel that the world community does not acquiesce in these barbaric policies. We can urge our government to exclude Israel from membership of all European institutions where it enjoins privilege status until it withdraws from the occupied territories. Our government must be brought to understand that this is an issue that many British people feel passionately about, we do after all bear much historical responsibility for the whole present Palestinian catastrophe. We have a government that spoke tirelessly about the human rights abuses in Iraq in order justify its military intervention there but has remained silent on the subject of the Palestinians. I would appeal to you to become active if you are not already, to lobby parliament and the European parliament to use their best offices to intervene, to see an end to these human rights violations and to work in good faith towards the outcome of peaceful change for the Palestinians and for all peoples of the middle-east."


Israeli Occupation - England Today


"Israeli Occupation - England Today"
Many in Britain are worried by the growing Israeli influence in the UK,
already they feel that the UK has gone to war for Israeli interests...

The longest serving Member of the British Parliament Tam Dalyell has recently been attacked for criticising Zionist influence in the British government (May 2003) - specifically the influence of Lord Levy.

Lord Levy, an unashamed Zionist,
he shapes the governments policy on the Middle-East

Lord Levy, an unashamed Zionist, has in return for fundraisng for the Blair government been allowed to shape the UKs Middle-East policy as Blairs advisor and special envoy to the Middle-East (an unelected position which allows Levy to remain unaccountable to parliament).

Levy was introduced to Blair by a senior Israeli diplomat, Gideon Meir, in 1994. He became Blairs tennis partner and in charge of the 'private trust' which funded Tony Blair's office before the 1997 election. After the election he became the chief fund raiser for the Labout Party, dubbed "Mr.Cashpoint". In return Levy was given a peerage and made Tony Blairs special envoy to the Middle-East.

Lord Levy's villa in Tel Aviv, Israel

Lord Levy's second home is Israel where he owns a villa in Herzliya Pituah, an exclusive suburb of Tel Aviv.

He was former member of the board of the Jewish Agency, a body which established the alternative Zionist government in Palestine via the British mandate, which later became the State of Israel Levy was also a former Chair of the Jewish Israel Appeal, now the United Jewish Israel Appeal, an organisation which raises large amounts of money, much of which is channelled to Israel

He has acted as a fundraiser for Ehud Barak, the Israeli Prime Minister before Sharon, and maintains a close relationship with him. His son Daniel worked for the Israeli Justice Minister Yossi Beilin, to whom Levy contributed campaign funds. Both his children live in Israel

Is it any surprise then that the Blair government is blind to the plight of the Palestinians? How can Britain hope to have an objective policy in the Middle-East when clearly its shaped by a man who's loyalties lie with Israel?

At a time when the overwhelming majority of the British people were against war, Tam Dalyell reveals the reason why Britain still ended up going to war: "I believe his [Lord Levy] influence has been very important on the prime minister and has led to what I see as this awful war..."

The Islamic Human Right Commission has campaigned for sometime for the dismissal of Lord Levy. Please add your voice to their campaign to remove Lord Levy and give Britain a chance to determine its own Middle-East policy.

Related Links:




US/UK out of the Middle East
Peace with Justice

Sophie Hurndall

Sophie Hurndall, sister of Tom Hurndall, an ISM activist shot in the head by the Israeli army whilst rescuing Palestinian children.

"I have been asked to speak at this rally as the sister of Tom Hurndall. As many of you may know Tom was shot while trying to save children from Israeli army fire. While I would emphasise that my family have no political affiliation, what Tom and we discovered during our separate visits to Israel and Gaza has caused us deep concern. I am here today to describe our experiences. My brother Tom was a keen and talented photographer - he was also a caring human being. He travelled to Gaza because he had heard about human rights abuses taking place in the occupied territories and wanted see for himself the way in which Palestinians were living, and to photograph and document what he saw. Tom is now lying in hospital in Israel in a deep coma. His brain has suffered severe damage and the doctors have said he is unlikely to regain consciousness.

In the days before Tom was wounded he sent e-mail's home detailing several incidents he had observed in which civilians had been shot by Israeli soldiers and also a helicopter attack in which 46 civilians were wounded, some of whom later died. Tom had already sent us photographs including one of a boy of about 7 or 8, who posed no threat, being shot from an Israeli tank.

Tom was himself shot as he was trying to help a group of children. Waiting at the end of a street in Rafa, he saw machine gun fire being directed at a mound of earth on which about twenty children were playing. Most of the children fled but three young children were too scared to move, two girls and a boy aged between 5 and 8. Tom walked forward and picked up the little boy, named Salem Baroum. Having brought Salem back to safety he returned for the second child. Tom was shot in the head by a single sniper bullet as he leant forward to pick up the little girl.

The IDF released reports that Tom was armed, clothed in army camouflage and firing at the soldiers. They have also released a report saying he was involved in crossfire. These reports have been reflected in media around the world, especially in Israel These reports are not true. Many of you will have seen photographs of Tom in his fluorescent orange activist's vest. We have photographs of Tom immediately before and after the shooting - from several independent sources. There were over ten eye witness reports of Tom's shooting including the accounts of journalists- all of which support the fact that Tom was fired at with no justification. But what is extraordinary is that to this day, not a single one of these witnesses has been questioned by the IDF or the Israeli authorities. How can any credible inquiry be conducted without questioning them? Indeed some of these witnesses have since been arrested, detained and unlawfully deported.

Israel calls this Self-defence!

It was clear to all that Tom did not pose a threat to the Israeli army or to anyone else. He was with a humanitarian organisation which was involved in peaceful protest and which was known by the army to be present in the immediate area at the time. He acted in a way which every decent human being should have seen as natural and necessary in going to the aid of a young helpless and desperately vulnerable group of children. Many of us would not have had the courage to do what Tom did. In return for his courage and selfless commitment, he is likely to have paid the ultimate price. Tom is the victim of a direct and deliberate shot to the head. This will be proved by the upcoming Dispatches documentary on Channel 4 tomorrow night at 9.

Our request for an explanation about the shooting is not unreasonable. My parents, my two other brothers and myself, have spent much of the last five weeks at Tom's bedside in Israel, and also in Gaza trying to find answers. In spite of numerous repeated requests during that time, through the British Embassy in Tel Aviv and the media, we have been bluntly refused an explanation from, or any communication with, the Israeli forces. My parents have even been shot at while travelling with British embassy officials in Gaza They have now been refused entry unless they sign a waiver absolving the Israeli army of any responsibility if the army shoots at them as well.

Is that what freedom and democracy are in Israel?

My family is campaigning for an independent, public inquiry into Tom's shooting. Not only for Tom, but because every day Palestinian civilians are maimed and killed by the Israeli army. Tom showed us this through the e-mail's he sent home. Any act of violence - whether by Palestinian or by Israeli - should be subject to prosecution and a fair trial. Yet clearly this is not happening. It is absolutely unacceptable that innocent people continue to be killed or wounded - whether they are journalists, peace activists or other civilians. Yet an Israeli soldier is very unlikely even to be reprimanded for such outrageously heavy-handed tactics.

We cannot stand by silently and allow people like Tom and Rachel, Brian Avery, Iain Hook and James Miller to become such tragic victims. If we don't make a stand to make the Israeli government accountable for its actions, then there will be no end to this terrible loss of life in Palestine.

Help us to exert pressure for proper accountability and an end to this indiscriminate loss of life. Please contact the foreign secretary, Jack Straw, to reinforce our demand for an independent and public inquiry. And please look at our website -

Help us to make a difference. Thank you."


Waving the Palestinian flag

Andrew Murray

Andrew Murray, Stop the War Coalition, one of main sponsors of this rally.

"We have always said that peace and justice are indivisible and the government should remember that when 2 million people marched in London on February the 15th it was for two slogans - stop the war AND freedom for Palestine - that is what the British people want...

The British people can see more clearly then ever that they have been lied to by the government. We were lied to about the weapons of mass destruction, we were lied to that this war will be backed by the United Nations and we were lied to that the invasion will be welcome by the Iraqi people. And the same people are now lying when they pretend that they are going to bring justice to the Palestinian people. You will get no justice from George Bush and Tony Blair!"

In solidarity with George Galloway::

"I would like to make it clear today the solidarity of the stop the war coalition with George Galloway. He has been persecuted for speaking the opinions of millions of British people, not just against the war but in his life long campaign of solidarity with the Palestinian people. He has been persecuted for saying that the emperor in Downing street has no cloths. And it is not George Galloway that is bringing the Labour party in to disrepute, it is Tony Blair, Jack Straw, Geoff Hoon and the other lying imperialists who are betraying the values of the British labour movement!"



Ariel Sharon - Ethnic Cleanser


A box of Ariel washing powder modified to read
"Ariel Sharon - Ethnic Cleanser"

In 1956, this is what Ariel Sharon told General Ouze Merham in an interview (*):

"I vow that I'll burn every Palestinian child born in this area. The Palestinian woman and child are more dangerous than the man, because the Palestinian child's existence infers that generations will go on, but the man causes limited danger.

Mother with three children
Sharon's handywork that we dont see on the BBC.
Photo taken after the massacre of Jenin (April 2002) shows
the burnt body of a Palestinian mother and her three children
clinging to her legs, their bodies having melted and fused together.

"I vow that if I was just an Israeli civilian and I met a Palestinian I would burn him and I would make him suffer before killing him. With one hit, I've killed 750 Palestinians [in Rafah, 1956]. I wanted to encourage my soldiers by raping Arabic girls as the Palestinian woman is a slave for Jews, and we do whatever we want to her and nobody tells us what we shall do, but we tell others what they shall do."

[Source Palestine Monitor]

So what do you think President Bush and Prime Minister Blair called Sharon? Perhaps the new Hitler? Or perhaps a butcher, war criminal... No, instead they called him a "a man of peace". So next time you hear them use the word "peace", like in "a road map to peace", we will understand what they mean - the peace that is derived from genocide.



A message from George Galloway, MP, was read out on his behalf:

"...I greet the memory of the martyr Faris Oudeh, the 14 year old boy shot dead by an Israeli death squad after famously confronting a tank with his small stones in his small hands. I send my greetings to the Palestinian prisoners and to the families of all the martyrs...Long live Palestine, Free and Dignified, Victory to the Intifada!..."


Israel is a racist state
End the Terror
End the Occupation

Dr Mustafa Barghouti

Dr Mustafa Barghouti, Chair of Health, Development and Information Centre, Ramallah. Dr. Barghouti is world renowned for speaking out against Israel's blockade and its disastrous impact on health care in the Occupied Territories.

He highlighted the importance of the demo:

"Tonight the people of Jabalia and Beth-Lahia who were attacked by the Israeli tanks, the people of Jenin camp, the people of Kalkilia and Nabulus will see these demonstrations on their TV and will understand that the solidarity movement with the Palestinian people is alive, continuos and will continue till our victory."

And he stressed the unity of the Palestinian people:

"Today when we are commemorating the memory of 55 years of the Nakba we remember and we recognise that at this moment their is no more any difference between the Palestinians who were forced to become refugees in 1948, or those we were forced to leave their homes in 1967 or our Palestinian people that live now in the West Bank and Gaza strip - we are all one people deprived of its freedom, deprived of its independence. We are all one people imprisoned either in its camps or in the 300 clusters of prisons that Israel has established. But we are more than anytime before we are now the Palestinians, more determined than anytime before to be free, to be free not anywhere but in our home land Palestine!

If the US wants to see a solution in the middle east then the road is very short and easy - all they need to do is pressure Israel to abide by United Nations resolutions... He [Sharon] is bringing 12 pages of changes and comments for a road map that does not exceed 5 pages..."

And he mentioned the apartheid wall:

"He [Sharon] used the war on Iraq to create a new plan - to make the new Berlin wall that he is building in the occupied territories. to make it 700 Km length. The borders by the way between West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem and Israel do not exceed 200 Km. He is building a wall that is 700Km in length - this is not for security, this is for annexation and theft of land and appropriation of the Palestinian territories."



Art Against The Occupation


Three dogs urinating on a street light with the caption:
"They Won't Put Out The Light"
The two rottweiler have name tags "Sharon" and "Bush",
and of course the poodle sniffing behind "Bush" is called "Blair",
The light - well the artist leaves that for the viewer to decide
- the light of truth or perhaps humanity?

Blair, Bush and Sharon sowing mail bags in prison with the caption:
"Everyone Should Have An Occupation"

The Biggest Criminal Is Afraid Of Prosecution

The United States said on Tuesday it was cutting off aid to 35 countries, including Colombia and six nations seeking NATO membership, because they back the International Criminal Court and have not exempted Americans from possible prosecution.

The decision to suspend aid is the latest attack by the Bush administration on the international court, set up last year to try war crimes and acts of genocide.

The United States signed the 1998 treaty creating the court. But the Bush administration is afraid the tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, backed by most European countries, might hear prosecutions of US military and civilian leaders.

The United States had hoped that the threat to withdraw aid would bring a last-minute rush to sign Article 98 agreements exempting US personnel from prosecution in the court.

Altogether 44 governments have publicly acknowledged signing the agreements and at least seven others have signed secret agreements, US officials say.

[extract from Reuters article by Jonathan Wright, Jul 1 2003]



Face in the crowd


Rev. Dr. Michael Prior

Rev. Dr. Michael Prior, Christian Priest and academic from St Mary’s College, University of Surrey.

"The explosive issue of Israel Palestine is one of the greatest international crisis as we know, but its also one that poses very fundamental questions to religious people and to the churches here. It raises all sorts of questions about the values of the Biblical narrative for example, and the values of the different interpretations of the Bible.

The Holy Land is a place that has great affection in the minds of Christians through out the world but of course primarily in the minds of the Christians of the Holy Land themselves. They have never been very appreciative of the Zionist enterprise. In 1948 about 50,000 [Christian] Palestinians were expelled along with the other three quarters of a million who were expelled from what became the territory of the state of Israel and since that time those remaining Christians in Israel live as unequal citizens or else in the West Bank and the occupied territories they live under occupation. And whether one is living in a wooden cage or a golden cage, a cage is a cage.

Christians outside also have considerable interests and they fall in to a number of categories. I want to talk about the first category that has the ear of George W Bush. The most vociferous are those so called fundamentalist evangelical Zionist Christians. All though they are not very numerous - they are not nearly as numerous as the mainstream Christians. The are ideologically very alert and very committed and they are very influential, not least in the policy making in the United States. As far as they are concerned what happened in 1948 and since are part of Gods intentions that the children of Israel be gathered to Jerusalem and the surrounding areas. It will in their estimation speed up the second coming of Christ.

Now rather than concentrate on the first coming of Christ and on his exhortations to feed the hungry, heal the lame, give sight to the blind, cloth the naked, free the prisoners, and so on, they are waiting rather for the second coming and meanwhile they support a regime that specialises in making the poor poorer, and making those with perfect sight blind, and making the walking lame!

That Palestine was already occupied by Arabs who had to be driven out to fulfil the ethnic cleansing intentions of political Zionism is no cause for moral concern for these people. Why? Because of the way they interpret particular traditions of the Bible. However their interpretation is not only naive but is fundamentally immoral because the God of those particular traditions is the great ethnic cleanser, a militaristic and xenophobic genocidist who was not sufficiently moral even to conform to the requirements of the fourth Geneva convention or the various human rights protocols which attempt to set limits to human barbarism. The grotesque views of these people embracing an essentially ethnic cleansing enterprise at the fulfilment of Biblical prophecy and clothing political Zionism in the garment of piety would not warrant serious attention were it not for the influence that they have on the foreign and domestic policy of the United States.

End Ethnic Cleansing!

However neither has the performance of the main stream churches been a model of ethical engagement. It is one of the anomalies of recent church history that while Christians have supported oppressed peoples virtually everywhere else there has been relatively little protest against the historic injustice perpetrated on the indigenous people of Palestine by political Zionism - a movement thoroughly at home in the colonialist spirit of 19th century Europe.

Many Christians of course are sympathetic to the ideal of a state for Jews as compensation for the litany of European persecution of Jews. That is others who have to pay the price is all the better. Even when faced with compelling evidence about the damage done to the Palestinians these people remain somewhat detached. They really can't bring themselves to face in the the dark side of political Zionism, and in any case taking a state for Palestinian rights is not likely to help ones promotion prospects either in the church or in the universities.

Now there are of course many Christians who approach the question of Palestine from a human rights perspective. They acknowledge the fundamental injustice done in 1948 and the atrocities associated with the state of Israel But such people are not in positions of power within the churches. Amongst the leaders of the churches by and large appear able to bring themselves to it to subscribe to what I call the fallacy of balance.

The conscience of the Christian church leadership is virtually paralysed by guilt, mostly about what was done to Jews in Europe in the past for which they themselves are hardly responsible. Such is their guilt also that they leave unchallenged a Zionist reading of Jewish history and the recent events in Palestine There is for example no serious critic of political Zionism as there has been of Apartheid for example. And to add to the churches neglect the evidence is now abundant that the damage done to the indigenous population of Palestine was neither accidental nor due to the unique pressures of war but was at the heart of the Zionist enterprise from the beginning.

Yet the churches reflect little attitude to pursue these issues of justice and respect for historical truth. For a start the leadership of the Christian churches should be prepared to insist that Israel come clean on its seminal injustice against the Palestinian Arabs and apologise for it, undo the damage it has perpetrated in so far as that is possible, honour its obligations with respect to the Palestinian right of return, make appropriate compensation for the damage done and on the basis of confession and restitution move towards a less exclusivist arrangement. Such exhortations would flow effortlessly from principles of Christian morality and would be in conformity with elementary justice.

What we get instead from the Christian leadership is the embrace of whatever proposal the Oslo accords, the Road Map however jaded and however lacking in principles of justice the asymmetric parties to the dispute contrive as though the Christian church were content to act on the novel moral principle that the rights of the perpetrators of injustice and its victims are finely balanced!"



Photos of Bush & Sharon, caption below reads:
C'mon UN stand up to this evil axis & enforce
UN 242 & UN 336 against that illegal fascist state Israel
Corrupt and cowardly leaders
UNable & UNwilling
To take on fascist Israel
To free Palestinian People

Other captions in the montage read:
"F*ck the Bush"
"Blair Must Go"


Anita Halpin

Anita Halpin, National Union of Journalists. The NUJ is campaigning for Israel to conduct a full criminal enquiry into the killing in Gaza of film-maker James Miller, an NUJ member, on May 2.

"I think we can all agree that the world this century is a more and more dangerous place for media workers. We are now targets whether in Iraq, and now throughout Palestine

James Miller was a member of the national Union of Journalists, a member of our London freelance branch. He is the first British journalist to be killed in the occupied. He was not shot in the back by a stray bullet, forensic evidence makes it quiet clear, and it was a criminal act. Our call therefore is that there should be a proper criminal investigation, that is what we demand, and that is what we have demanded anytime a journalist, who are under Geneva Conventions civilians, have died.

... seven Palestinian journalists have been killed. In 18 months nearly 200 Palestinian have been shot at, stoned, harassed, intimidated, arrested, jailed. The very profession of journalism is at stake. Journalists in Palestine do not get any of the accreditation from the Israeli government, from the government press office. They are subject like all civilians to the curfew, their installations are bombed and raided and that's particularly important for media freedom in Palestine There are 45 independent radio or TV stations. Last year alone 4 of them in Gaza, Ramallah and two in Bethlehem were practically totally annihilated.

To end in the worlds of one Palestinian journalist: "We have no freedom to work, no freedom to live, no freedom of expression. A need to be able to tell the truth. Through truth can come peace."



Waving The Palestinian Flag


Paul Mackney

Paul Mackney, General Secretary of NATFHE (teachers & college lecturers union), one of unions affiliated to PSC.

"I proud to be here as a member of the TUC general council, we are all part of a world wide movement in solidarity with The people of Palestine, calling for justice for Palestinians...

As a teaching union in particular, we deplore The deaths of 216 Palestinian students and 17 teachers in The last academic year...

As a higher education union we are in solidarity with The staff and students of The 11 West Bank and Gaza universities, in particular Beir Zeit University with whom our union is twined. We hear weekly from Beir Zeit how staff and students have been harassed by the Israeli forces, classes are often suspended, the roads to the university have been frequently blocked, they've been dug up, telephone lines and water pipes have been cut, electricity cut off. Since the invasion the students and the staff have been searched, beaten, arrested and stranded without food or money...

Most of all we are here to condemn the hypocrisy of the United States. Compare the supposed reasons for the war on Iraq with its policy towards Israel. Israel has had 68 UN resolutions against it, Israel is occupying its neighbours land, Israel has refused UN inspection teams at Jenin, Israel has an advanced programme for weapons of mass destruction. We say to the Bush government - We know your game and we are not convinced that you have the interests of the Palestinians of Middle-East peace at heart.

Sharon with the fifth largest army in the world was after all only copying the methods of Bush and Blair who showed in Afghanistan and later in Iraq that powerful nations can get away with killing civilians, flouting basic humanitarian principles and destroying civic buildings in a country ravaged by decades of war. I predict that one of the first acts of an American backed government in Baghdad, which will not be independent, will be the recognition of the government of Israel. And the second act of that government will be to authorise the opening of an oil pipeline from Iraq to Haifa - that's what its all been about!"



Faces in the crowd

Boycott Israel

The boycott of Israeli products and companies supporting the Zionist entity is about ordinary people around the world using their right to choose what they buy in order to help bring about an end to oppression in Palestine. Its a peaceful means of putting international pressure on the racist state of Israel and follows in the footsteps of the successful boycott against South African racist apartheid...

The brands and labels to boycott - click here


The remains of a zionist flag



[Next Part]

Still to come:

Speeches: Michel Abdul Massih (QC, Association of the Palestinian Community), Azzam Tamimi (Muslim Association of Britain), Ken Cameron (Trade Union Friends Of Palestine), Sadat (Freedom and Justice for Samar and Jawad Campaign), Marwan Bishara (American University of Paris), John Pilger (Award-winning Journalist), Ismail Patel (Friends of Al-Aqsa), Neturei Karta, Richard Kuper (Jews for Justice for Palestinians), Nazla Dowson-Zeidan (Youth Action for Palestine), Tony Benn, Daoud Abdullah (Palestinian Return Centre), Corin Redgrave (actor), Hassan Al-Sheik (General Union of Palestinian Students), Betty Hunter (Palestine Solidarity Campaign).

Special Features: Apartheid Wall, Goya's Sharon Devouring Palestine..

And more photos from the rally