In light of the continued and escalating violence in Palestine, we are calling for a boycott of food and other products from Israel.
This is a story we are all familiar with, but may not have seen some of the photographs that tell a story much more complete than words alone can justify. It’s clear that limiting the boycott to just products produced in the occupied territories is making little progress. With over 9700 injured and over 1800 dead many of us watching this violence on our television screens, listening to radio broadcasts and reading news and internet – many will have made up their mind already as to the balance between Israel’s legitimate and appropriate right to protect itself using the “iron dome” perfected by the US (& now being copied by China), and the onslaught of violence that Israel progenitors of the conflict, have exacted particularly on little children. Ban-ki-Moon Secretary General of the UN, described “the killing of sleeping children as a disgrace to the world and accused Israel of a serious violation of international law” following the bombing of a UN school used to shelter families which was shelled on 30th Aug. (Photographs courtesy of Getty Images (C) 2014). Lord (Paddy) Ashdown (BBCR4) described Israels response as wholly disproportionate. Lord Ashdown successfully negotiated peace in the Bosnia conflict, described the strike on 6 schools by Israel as either “Criminally careless, or carelessly criminal”. El Savador is the fifth Central American country to condemn Israel, joining Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Venezuela recalling their ambassadors. Prior to the illegal occupation Israel had lost just 2 citizens, that numbers has since the conflict begun, increased to 65. Lord Ashdown said that was a very poor dividend. The Co-operative Group placed a ban last year on some 25 products supplied by Israeli firms and restricted imports from occupied territories. Co-operative are alone amongst supermarkets in taking this positive position, as ALDI, Tesco and others continue to import food and other products, found in stores such as The Early Learning Centre and Homebase. We are now asking Co-operative Food to go further in banning all foods products from Israel. Similarly, Revolver itself has been supplied with its coffee films from Israel under assurances by it Cheshire based supplier Plastosac that production took place outside the illegal settlement areas. We are not the only co-operative coffee company in this position. In light of the violence Revolver has cancelled future orders and has circulated a petition inviting supermarkets to stop stocking products produced in Israel. Over 1000 have signed the petition so far and the link to add your signature is here; https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/uk-supermarkets-boycott-israeli-goods?recruiter=134538685&utm_campaign=mailto_link&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition
An additional uncertainty in this conflict is the role of the News Media. Its skewed very heavily in Israel’s favour, in part because each spokesman for Israel is media trained, on-message, in control, polite and presented with a familiar American or English accent conveying a reasoned and acceptable approach. By contrast Palestinian spokesmen are emotional, almost always speak in broken-English, or worse rely upon an interpreter. However, it’s the incomplete reporting of the news that is causing many concern. Not just the imbalance between the amount of time given to Israeli spokesmen compared to that of Palestinians; The Today programme (BBC R4) 31 Aug presented an argument with an Israeli adviser in London and another Israeli adviser in Tel Aviv and many BBC and SKY reports in particular only interview from the Israeli viewpoint with a news reporter summarising the Palestinian position. There are further demonstrations of bias, often by news that goes unreported, for instance over 100,000 people led by the TUC have marched on Westminster the last few weekends, in solidarity with Palestine with similar marches across the US and Europe. Also, many town-halls around Britain; Preston, Bolton, Tower Hamlets have taken the unprecedented step of flying the Palestinian flag above their town Halls, but all this has gone unreported. Sky News 1.15 1st Aug. own correspondent broadcasting from Tel Aviv, in reference to Israeli soldiers broadcast the words; “All Israeli soldiers are heroes”. So its evident that in light of the circumstances it’s very difficult for the media to remain unbiased.
On the other-side of the story The Mails; Ephraim Hardcastle writes “Might the broadcasting regulator OFCOM be studying a recent performance by Channel 4’s openly left-wing presenter Jon Snow? His interview with Israeli spokesman Mark Regev, whom he has interrogated brusquely in the past, marked a new level of hostility. After abrasively quizzing always-polite Regev, Snow, 66, shouted: ‘Why not speak to Hamas directly? You haven’t got the courage!’ OTT, surely, whatever you think about the Gaza/Israel debacle“. There is no reported investigation of Jon Snow by OFCOM (Broadcast regulator) at this time, but it’s a great help to The Mails reporter, to conjoin events and non-events into the public conciousness. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2700761/EPHRAIM-HARDCASTLE-Jon-Snow-aggressive-interrogation-Israeli-spokesman.html#ixzz399IxZwMG Here are some picture that tell the story and may help us understand why Palestinian spokesman are emotional;
ICA_statement on the Israeli-Palestine Conflict: “Dame Pauline Green, President of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) demanding an immediate end to the violence in the Israel / Palestine region. ‘Co-operation is rooted in peace and social justice. As one of the aims of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) is to ‘contribute to international peace and security’ through the benefits of co-operation, it is fitting therefore that co-operators from Israel, Palestine and Iran, amongst others, have written to the ICA calling on the international co-operative movement to demand an immediate end to the violence in their region.
This we gladly do, acknowledging that the current offensive, as in the past, can only make the situation worse. We support the United Nations’ resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire and recognise that only through the auspices of the UN will a solution be found. That solution must ensure the right to peace, self-determination and statehood for all peoples in that region. Our co-operative values of solidarity, democracy, equality and self responsibility offer a firm basis for such a solution and the ICA is ready to assist in that process.
We therefore call upon the governments of the G20, the European Union and the United Nations to promote and support comprehensive negotiations between Israel and Palestine in order to achieve a lasting peace based on social justice, security and economic development linked to the improvement of living standards. These are the values, principles and roles of co-operative enterprise whose development can make an important contribution to that process.’
Increasingly the UK Government are moving towards describing Israel’s action as disproportionate. If there is a prima facie case for diproportionality, then a complaint can be made to the UN for a referral to the War Crimes tribunal. A comprehensive analysis can be seen here; http://www.crimesofwar.org/a-z-guide/proportionality-principle-of/ Across the World Ascetic Jews (orthodox) have been marching in support of Palestine. Those on the
Israeli side of the argument would have us believe that to be pro-Palestine is to be anti-Jewish. Not true. Jewish people around the world are coming out in protest against Israel, but broadcast media will not show these photographs. These protests are not limited to the Ascetic, as reformed and liberal Jews are marching pro-Palestine.
226 United Nations resolutions now condemn Israel’s actions against the Palestinian people. Each resolution raised at the UN has been vetoed by the United States. On 29th July there was a vote at the United Nations condemning Israel of war crimes. The Following countries voted FOR a war crimes inquiry into Israelis action:
Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, China, Chile, Congo, Costa Rica, Cote Ivoire, Cuba, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia,Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Maldives, Mexico, Morocco Namibia, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia,Sierra Leone, South Africa, UAE, Venezuela, Viet-Nam.
Abstaining: Austria, Benin, Botswana, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Gabon, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Montenegro, Korea (s), Romania, Macedonia, United Kingdom. Countries voting against Israeli War crimes inquiry; The USA. The vote of 29:1 with 17 abstentions (all EU) results in the UN issuing the following statement; the UN Human Rights Council said it voted to “urgently dispatch an independent, international commission of inquiry to investigate all violations” of international law “in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, in the context of the military operations conducted since 13 June 2014.”