Gaza

Israel's case ignored in secret government memo

By Leon Symons, February 5, 2009

An internal UK government briefing note on Israel’s recent action in Gaza is written almost entirely from the Palestinian perspective.

The two-and-a-half page private memo was prepared by the Foreign Office and the Home Office’s research and information unit. It is headed: “The British government position on the situation in Gaza”. It contains only two mentions of Hamas and gives no explanation or context as to how or why Israel launched its operation on December 27.

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Muslim peer in ‘student war’ slur

By Marcus Dysch, February 5, 2009

A Muslim peer has claimed that student societies are recruiting young British Jews to join the Israeli army. They fought, he said, in last month’s Gaza conflict and should be prosecuted for war crimes on their return to this country.

Lord Ahmed of Rotherham said student unions had been “actively recruiting young people in Britain to join the Israeli Defence Force”.

British citizens had, he claimed, “gone out to fight against the Palestinian people”.

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'Toxic atmosphere' at Oxford University

By Simon Rocker, February 5, 2009

Jewish students at Oxford University have accused it of appearing to “appease” organisers of a sit-in at the university library last month in protest at Israel’s actions in Gaza.

The incident is also said to have disturbed some Jewish academics. One University Reader reportedly told a meeting that “within five years, Oxford will be a Jew-free zone”.

In an official reaction to the protest, the Senior Proctor of the university, Professor Donald Fraser, who oversees disciplinary matters, recommended “a relatively lenient course of action” against the demonstrators.

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Hamas keen to show off power

By Jacey Herman, February 5, 2009

If 14-year-old Amira al-Qerem does not get specialist medical care soon, she will never be able to walk again.

She is one of four children in Gaza City’s Al Shifa hospital waiting for permission to be evacuated to France. Hamas in Gaza has agreed, but the Fatah government in Ramallah is refusing, arguing that Hamas is using the children to garner international sympathy. This war of words is just another sign of the ever-increasing rivalry between the Palestinian factions.

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Roads closed after student protest

By Marcus Dysch, January 30, 2009

An anti-Israel protestor was arrested after scaling a student centre on Thursday evening.

The incident came as around 50 protestors gathered outside the London Student Centre, in Euston Road, central London, where Colonel Geva Rapp, a retired IDF officer, was due to speak.

Police closed roads and sealed off the area outside Euston Station shortly after the incident began at 6pm.

The man, carrying a “Free Palestine” placard, climbed a wall and walked across a ledge before sitting outside the first floor windows of the student centre.

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‘Hamas supporter’ speaks at Scottish HMD event

By Stephanie Brickman, January 29, 2009

A Scottish anti-Israel fringe group has held what it claimed was a Holocaust Memorial Day event, with a guest speaker who openly supports Hamas.

The Scottish Palestinian Solidarity campaign hosted two all-day events in Edinburgh and Glasgow on Sunday January 25 entitled Resistance to Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing : from Europe in the 1940s to the Middle East Today.

The key speakers were Dr Azam Tamimi, director of the London-based Institute of Islamic Political Thought, and Liliane Kaczerginsky, daughter of Yiddish poet Shmerke Kaczerginsky.

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Israeli embassy: police seek help in protest inquiry

By Leon Symons, January 29, 2009

Metropolitan Police detectives investigating attacks on police and property during two of the anti-Israel demonstrations at the start of the month have appealed for help in tracing six men.

They are among 40 people who took part in demonstrations in central London on January 3 and 10 whom officers from the Met’s Operation Ute want to interview.

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History of Israel on stage in 10 mins

By Marcus Dysch, January 29, 2009

A play written in response to the situation in Gaza is to be staged at a London theatre from next week.

Seven Jewish Children – A Play for Gaza, by Caryl Churchill, will run at the Royal Court Theatre from February 6 to 21. With a predominantly Jewish cast, it shows Jewish mothers talking to their children about the Gaza bombing.

Written earlier this month, the play is just 10 minutes long and described by the theatre as “a history of Israel, ending with the bombing of Gaza”.

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'No Jewish influence on BBC appeal decision'

By Leon Symons, January 29, 2009

Accusations that Israel had influenced the BBC’s decision not to broadcast an appeal for aid to Gaza were strongly denied this week.

The Board of Deputies said that no-one from the community or Israel had spoken to the BBC or had any contact with it about the Disasters Emergency Committee’s appeal, which was broadcast on Monday evening by ITV, Channel 4 and Five.

A Board spokesman said: “Of course humanitarian aid is very important. We were called by a BBC journalist seeking comment on this but we made none. But there is no Jewish, Israeli or Zionist influence here.”

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Horror email links IDF to Warsaw Nazis

By Leon Symons, January 29, 2009

Holocaust images displayed in a viral email alongside pictures taken during Israel’s military operation in Gaza have been condemned as grossly offensive.

Forty-two Shoah pictures and an equal number depicting what areclaimed to be equivalent scenes from Gaza have been emailed all over the world.

Eric Moonman, president of the Zionist Federation, said: “These pictures are grossly offensive and I am reporting them to the police as a malicious communication.

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