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Over 100,000 people - a sea of support for Palestine

RALLY FOR PALESTINE
[London, Saturday 13th April 2002]

 

Saturday saw events coordinated through out Europe in support of the Palestinian people and their struggle against the zionist racist occupation of their land. Britain (London & Cardiff), Germany (Berlin), Italy, Denmark, France, Sweden, Norway, Turkey and the Netherlands (Amsterdam) saw huge pro-Palestine demonstrations - a sign that the people of Europe are no longer prepared to let their governments support the apartheid state of Israel and collude in the slaughter of Palestinians.

 

 

Well over 100,000 people converged on London to attend one of the capitals biggest demonstration in recent years. The march, organised by the Muslim Association of Britain, started from Hyde Park at 2pm after Zuhr (midday) prayer and culminated in a rally at Trafalgar Square.

 


The whole of Trafalgar Square - even the lions - disappeared under the sea of people. Only the fountains and the column remained visible. And still they poured in filling all the streets feeding the square.

 

 

Tony Benn, a veteran demonstrator and politician, described the rally as "the biggest" he had ever seen in at Trafalgar Square. Whilst one end of the march had reached its destination of Trafalgar Square, the other end hadn't even left Hyde Park yet - a distance of over 2 miles!

 


Planting the Palestinian Flag on Nelsons Column, Trafalgar Square

 


A Muslim baby on her fathers shoulders
She joins the struggle with her first act of resistance:
to make a victory sign with her little fingers.

 

A number of speakers addressed the crowds, including Massoud Shadjareh (Chairman of IHRC), Tony Benn, George Galloway(MP), Jeremy Corbyn( MP), Muhammad Sarwar(MP), Ismail Patel (Chairman of Friends of Al-Aqsa), Carol Reagan (Palestine Solidarity), Lindsey German (Stop the War Coalition), Azzam Tamimi and Sheik Ali Alami (Al-Khoe Foundation) .

 

 


"Israel's War Against Terrorism"
Placard show four month old Palestinian girl Iman Hijo
who was murdered by Israeli soldiers in her home
in Khan Yunis refugee camp last May (2001)

 

Massoud Shadjareh, chairman of the IHRC (Islamic Human Rights Commission) addressed the media hysteria about "suicide-bombers" :

" ... and for those who are pointing their finger at the Palestinians and crying suicide bombers and terrorist ... they should realise that this whole scenario has been created by the United States and the West because if they supplied the Palestinians the same weapons which they have donated freely to the Israelis then those who have to sacrifice their life would have been able to use F-16s and F-15s and US made helicopter gunships and air conditioned tanks. The issue here is that you cannot equate the violence which is being used by oppressors and occupiers to the violence that is necessary to be used by those that are defending their homes, their children and their lives..."



This placard with a single image and select words
captures the whole conflict.

 

 


"Israel Murders Children"


 

Muslims and non-Muslims United
in Solidarity with Palestine

Although this was perhaps the largest "Muslim" demonstration in UK history (the anti-Satanic Verses demonstration being the other big one), the Muslims were not alone. They were joined in the thousands by non-Muslims. Apart from all the organised pro-peace groups which were present in huge numbers, there was a sizable portion of ordinary British public who simply were disgusted by Israeli violence and felt compelled to do something.

 



 

 

 


"The true flag of zionism ?"

 


Zionism = nazism = racism

 



George Galloway MP,
in the centre of a sea of pro-Palestine supporters

 

George Galloway, Member of the British Parliament, started by announcing a victory:

"...First victory today - 10 Downing Street has just announced the freezing of all arms sales to Israel..."

"And I want to say to the British Government on behalf of a clear majority of the British people that the sight of Britain belly dancing for Bush in Texas is turning our nations stomach! Our country is not the tail of anyone's dog."

"I want to say even more clearly something very important to the Arab world. Last Wednesday was one of the days of shame in Arab history... not because the fighters of Jenin and Nabulas fell, but because they fell because they ran out of ammunition... And they ran out of ammunition because the Arab regimes have doubled and tripled the security along their borders so that no guns and no bullets can reach the intifada to defend the camps,
to defend the people...

And we say to the belly dancing Arab regimes your day is coming. Either the Arab regimes will have to change or the Arab masses will have to change the Arab regimes...

Victory to Palestine! Victory to the Intifada!"

 

George Galloway,
Member of British Parliament

Download (shift-click) speech (real audio 3min 381Kb)

 

* Unfortunately we missed the start of his speech when he condemned George Bush for calling the men and women of Palestine terrorists instead of the freedom fighters they are. The demonstration was so large that by the time the middle of the march, where we were, had arrived from Hyde Park into Trafalgar Square half of the speeches had already finished, and in fact the march was still arriving an hour later when all the speeches had finished!

 

 


"Hitler comes to life in Ariel Sharon"



"Wanted for War Crimes: Ariel Sharon - New Hitler"

 


"Israel Stop Your Ethnic Cleansing"

 


"Blair - Do not make England an enemy of Islam"
"Axis of Evil : Israel - USA Murderers"

 

 


Lindsey German (Stop the War Coalition)

 

Lindsey German spokesperson for Stop the War Coalition expressed the feelings of many in Britain:

"I am thoroughly ashamed of the press in this country - truth have become lies and lies have become truth ..."

 

 


"Lies" - for anyone who watches the news in the UK,
no further words are needed for describing it.

 

The BBC in particular have become a mouthpiece for Israel. This is nothing new, as the article below of last August indicates:

BBC staff are told not to call Israeli killings 'assassination'

By Robert Fisk, Middle East Correspondent
The Independent, 04 August 2001

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=86965

In a major surrender to Israeli diplomatic pressure, BBC officials in London have banned their staff in Britain and the Middle East from referring to Israel's policy of murdering its guerrilla opponents as "Assassination". BBC reporters have been told that in future they are to use Israel's own euphemism for the murders, calling them "targeted killings".

BBC journalists were astonished that the assignments editor, Malcolm Downing, should have sent out the memorandum to staff, stating that the word "assassinations" "should only be used for high-profile political assassinations". There were, Mr Downing said, "lots of other words for death".

Up to 60 Palestinian activists and numerous civilians, including two children killed last week have been gunned down by Israeli death squads or missile-firing Israeli helicopter pilots. The White House has gently chided Israel about these attacks, but already this week the BBC has been using the phrase "targeted attacks" for the policy of murder. The Palestinian killing of Israelis, however, is regularly referred to accurately as "murder" or "assassination".

Mr Downing's memorandum suggests that the murder of a leading Israeli the late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, killed by an Israeli extremist is worthy of the word "assassination" while the killing of Palestinians is not.

The memo apparently says that "assassination" can only be used "sparingly"and with "attribution". The ban resulted from a discussion between Mr Downing and Vin Ray, deputy head of newsgathering at BBC World TV. Israeli diplomats have been lunching with BBC officials and complaining that the corporation's coverage was anti-Israeli and pro-Palestinian.

The Israeli murder campaign is, in fact, far from "targeted". In the first such killings, two middle-aged Palestinian women were killed. After the initial reporting of the incident, the BBC dropped all reference to the female victims.

 


What BBC and CNN wont show
- the victims of Zionist torture and murder

 

The Language of Bias

A summary of an article in the Independent by Robert Frisk, "When journalists forget that murder is murder" [18 August 2001]

What on earth has happened to our reporting of the Middle East? George Orwell would have loved a Reuter's dispatch from the West Bank city of Hebron last Wednesday. "Undercover Israeli soldiers," the world's most famous news agency reported, "shot dead a member of Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction yesterday in what Palestinians called an assassination." The key phrase, of course, was "what Palestinians called an assassination". Any sane reader would conclude immediately that Imad Abu Sneiheh, who was shot in the head, chest, stomach and legs by 10 bullets fired by Israeli "agents" had been murdered, let alone assassinated. But no. Reuters, like all the big agencies and television companies reporting the tragedy of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, no longer calls murder by its real name.

Back in the days of apartheid, no one minced their words when South African death squads gunned down militant opponents. They talked about murder and assassination. They still do when Latin American killers murder their political opponents. I've yet to find a newspaper which shrinks from reporting the "murder" – or at the least "assassination" – of IRA or UDA gangsters in Belfast. But not when the Israelis do the murdering. For when Israelis kill, they do not murder or assassinate, according to Reuters or CNN or the most recent convert to this flabby journalism, the BBC. Israelis perpetrate something which is only "called" an "assassination" by Palestinians. When Israelis are involved, our moral compass our ability to report the truth dries up.

Editors around the world are requesting their journalists to be ever softer, ever more mealy mouthed in their reporting of any incident which might upset Israel. Which is why, of course, Israelis are so often reported as being killed by Palestinians while Palestinians, some as young as 10, are killed in "clashes" – "clashes" coming across as a form of natural disaster like an earthquake or a flood, a tragedy without a culprit.


Mohamed el-Dura, a child of 12 was murdered by Israeli soldiers
in front of the camera, but still reported as "killed in crossfire"

One sure way of spotting Israel's responsibility for a killing is the word "crossfire". Mohamed el-Dura, the little Palestinian boy shot dead by Israeli troops in Gaza last year, became an iconic symbol of the Palestinian "intifada". Journalists investigating the boy's death, including The Independent's Jerusalem, correspondent were in no doubt that the bullets which hit him were Israeli. Yet after a bogus Israeli military inquiry denounced in the Knesset by an Israeli member of parliament, all the major Western picture agencies placed captions on the photo for future subscribers. Yes, you've guessed it, the captions said he was killed in "crossfire".

Wars have always produced their verbal trickeries, their antiseptic phrases and hygienic metaphors, from "collateral damage" to "degrading the enemy". The Palestinian-Israeli conflict has produced a unique crop. The Israeli siege of a city has become a "closure", the legal border between Israel and the occupied territories has become the "seam line", collaborators for the Israelis are "co-operators", Israeli-occupied land has become "disputed", Jewish settlements built illegally on Arab land have become "neighourhoods" – nice, folksy places which are invariably attacked by Palestinian "militants".

Within the past week, CNN, the news agencies and the BBC have all been chipping away at the truth once more. When the Jewish settlement at Gilo was attacked by Palestinian gunmen at Beit Jalla, it once more became a "Jewish neighbourhood" on "disputed" land even though the land, far from being in "dispute", legally belongs to the Palestinian people of Beit Jalla ("Gilo" being the Hebrew for "Jalla"). But viewers and readers were not told of this.

When the next state-sponsored assassination of a Palestinian Hamas member took place, a television journalist – BBC this time – was reduced to telling us that his killing was "regarded by the Israelis as a targeted killing but which the Palestinians regard as an assassination". You could see the problem. Deeply troubled by the Israeli version, the BBC man had to "balance" it with the Palestinian version, like a sports reporter unwilling to blame either side for a foul.

So just watch out for the following key words about the Middle East in television reporting over the next few days: "targeted killings", "neighbourhood", "disputed", "terrorist", "clash" and "crossfire". Then ask yourself why they are being used.

 


Even the lamp posts of the capital
condemned the Zionist crimes

 

Even the reporting of this demonstration was inaccurate. BBC radio's initial reported figure of "100,000 protesters" was massaged down to a mere "10-15,000" in time for the BBC Evening News. There will be a picket this Thursday (18th April 2002) from 5:30pm outside the BBC at Bush House to complain about its consistent bias towards Israel.

 


"Hitler's Children ?"

 

 

 

Carol Reagan of Palestine Solidarity Campaign demanded an end to all ties with Israel:


"In Britain we have a duty to to build a mass solidarity campaign like we had for antiapartheid in South Africa... we have to tell this government that we demand an end to all ties with Israel now..."

She went on stating a few facts which are often ignored:

"We need to say quiet clearly to this government that this is not an equal battle the Palestinians have no F-16s no helicopter gunships no apache helicopters they have a few weapons to defend themselves,"


Carol Reagan
(Palestine Solidarity)

"They have every right to defend themselves today.. they are the occupied not the occupiers .. Israel must end its occupation now, there will be no peace until the ending of the occupation ... no justice no peace .."

 

 

These truths may seem self evident to us who are familiar with the conflict but as the study below indicates, the majority of the public are ignorant of them:

 


Seeing through Israeli tinted eyes

 

TV News Bias Against Palestinians

A recent academic study found that "British television news is routinely biased towards the Israeli view".

A sample group of 300 young people when questioned by researchers indicated that only 9% knew that Israel was the occupying force.

When the intifada began in 2000, a team led by Professor Greg Philo of Glasgow University examined 3,536 lines of text transcribed from 89 news bulletins. Only 17 lines were devoted to the conflict's history. Consequently by not revealing the historic injustice committed against the Palestinians when their land was taken, the Israeli side was favoured, because Israeli attacks were portrayed as responses to unprovoked Palestinian acts.

Article on the subject appeared in The Guardian, 16 April 2002

 


"Kids Are Butchered - Dont You Care"

 

 

"Israel's Album of Glory"

 

The placard is a reference to the photo below showing gloating israeli soldiers taking souvenir photos posing over the corpse of a murdered Palestinian. Notice that the corpse is bear footed - an indication that he was not killed in a gun fight as claimed by the Israelis, but rather murdered in cold blood whilst in custody (Israeli soldiers afraid of bombs strip Palestinians of their footwear upon arrest)

 

.
"The men grinned as they stood triumphantly over the barefoot corpse"
taken 21 February 2002 (Reuters)

 


"Jihad Against Israel"

 


The Zionist flag perishes,
next to it the Palestinian flag flys proud

 

 


"Stop US aid to Israel"

 

Cost To US Taxpayers of US Aid to Israel

Most Americans are not aware how much of their tax revenue the US government sends to Israel:

Grand Total (1949-2000) : $84,854,827,200

Interest Costs Borne by US : $49,936,680,000

Total Cost to US Taxpayers : $134,791,507,200

Total Cost per Israeli : $23,240

This may mean that the US government has given more federal aid to the average Israeli citizen in a given year than it has given to the average American citizen!

Did you know that ALL past US loans to Israel have eventually been forgiven by Congress. So now you know where your tax money goes!

source: Friends of Al Aqsa

 

"Israeli Hands - American Arms"

Israel is armed to the teeth by the US, sometimes as the incident below indicates it receives sophisticated US weapons first - before even the US army.

In 1973 the American admiral Thomas Moorer (head of combined military HQ) testifies:

"The Israeli military attaché in Washington, Mordecai Gur (future commander in chief of the Israeli forces), asked for planes armed with a very sophisticated missile (called 'Maverick') from the US ..."

Admiral Moorer remembers that he said to Gur:
"I cannot deliver these planes to you. We only have one squadron. And we swore to Congress that we needed it. The Congress will raise hell if the Pentagon gave it away."

Gur said to me: "Give us the planes. As for Congress, I'll take care of it."

"That's how", the Admiral adds. "the only squadron equipped with Mavericks went to Israel."


Source: "Deliberate Deceptions: Facing the Facts About The U.S.-Israeli Relationship" by Paul Findley (a former Congressman), Lawrence Hill Books, 1993, 312 pp, for a review see the Washington Report

 


"George Bush : Wanted for
Aiding and Abetting a known War Criminal

 


As an upside down US flag burns,
a Muslimah with fist tightly clenched raises her arm
in defiance of US hegemony

 

 


The Flag of Hizbullah - an inspiration in the Palestinian struggle

 



Burial of the UN

Israel has more UN resolutions against it than any other country,
and yet it continues unpunished...

 


The UN - a tool of the oppressor against the oppressed.
UN resolutions against Israel - just words - meaningless,
UN resolution against Iraq - causes innocent millions to die of starvation.


 



Collecting the remaining placards at the end of the rally
- lots of war criminals left unwanted

 


"Wanted for conspiracy to Genocide: Tony Blair"

 



Interpal Stall

INTERPAL
Helping Palestinians in Need
- one of the few Palestinian charities that survived
Bush's "War on Terror" (more info)
To donate your Zakat : http://www.interpal.org/web/donations.htm

 


"The Loss of the Innocent"
A reminder of Palestine is left hanging on a wall in the hope
that the message will be allowed to carry to the next day.

 

url: http://www.inminds.com/palestine-rally-13apr02.html