Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Israeli racial purity militia receives official backing

Gush Shalom: An extreme right racist militia is active in Carmiel, supported by the municipality and with the approval of the police

In a letter to the attorney-general, the Gush Shalom movement asks to disband immediately the so-called "City Guard" at Carmiel in the Galilee, which is actually a racist extreme right militia, and to launch an investigation against Deputy Mayor Oren Milstein who founded this body, as well as against police officials who helped in its establishment and operation.

The "City Guard" includes about 150 "volunteers" who turn up daily from 2000 to 2400 hours at the entrances to Carmiel and "check" incomers. The official site of the Carmiel Municipality defines the City Guard's objectives as "increasing awareness, prevention of crime, apprehending drunk drivers, searching for drugs" and other legitimate and praiseworthy aims. However, Carmiel Deputy Mayor Oren Milstein, who was elected to the municipal council on the basis of a fiery anti-Arab campaign, candidly revealed the City Guard's true aims.

Milstein has recently published an interview in the extreme right-wing publication "Be'Sheva", where he said:
Carmiel is a Jewish city, plain and simple. It was founded for the purpose of Judaizing the Galilee. In my opinion it is not proper for Arab families to live here. In recent years, there are attempts by our [Arab] neighbors in the Western Galilee villages to migrate into Carmiel, and we must not ignore this phenomenon.
According to Milstein, since being appointed deputy mayor two years ago, he had been striving "to do something real in order to change the situation". To this end he founded the City Guard, in cooperation with the Carmiel police. Milstein proudly told the extreme right paper that members of the "City Guard" are "monitoring every evening the entrances to the city and demand the I.D. of anyone seeking to enter the city. Thus, they reduce the number of neighbors seeking to just enter the city for no special reason."

For the full Hebrew interview, see

In their letter to Attorney-General Weinstein, Uri Avnery and Adam Keller wrote on behalf of Gush Shalom that "the aims and activities of the Carmiel City Guard, as described candidly by its founder, are manifestly racist and illegal. There is no doubt that all citizens of Israel - regardless of religion, race or nationality - have the inalienable right to move freely all over the country, enter any city and village, any public place, as they see fit and, and "for no special reason". They need not ask permission nor give an account of themselves to anyone - certainly not to a militia of despicable racists in Carmiel.

Gush Shalom said that the fact of this abominable body being established by an Israeli deputy mayor, with the full support of Israel's police, is yet another serious warning sign in the growing list of blatant racist manifestations in the Israeli public life. The racists' aim – in the government, in the municipality of Carmiel and throughout the country – is to drive out the Arabs, because they are Arabs...

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Support Palestine: come to Jazza Music Festival

Dear Friends of Palestine,

Musicians Sarah Gillespie, Gilad Atzmon and at least 40 other leading artists from UK and Palestine will try to achieve the impossible in London next week.

They will play together in a massive music festival for Palestine. They are flying musicians to London for the event, mixing jazz with folk, hip hop and roots music. They believe in one thing: that artists who support Palestine must say so loudly and proudly using their music and their voices.

The Jazza Music Festival is serious but is also a  big fun party – and we want you to join in!
Jazza Music Festival
12 & 13 October 2010
@ THE SCALA (http://www.scala-london.co.uk/scala/)
275 Pentonville Road, London
For the line up, click here.

The funds raised in the two nights of the Jazza Music Festival will help the Free Palestine Movement deliver more and more humanitarian aid to Palestine.

We are also proud and delighted to announce that Shadia Mansour, the Palestinian hip hop queen, has also joined the Jazza Festival line up.

You can listen to the amazing Shadia and the mind blowing Stormtrap (ex- Ramallah Underground) singing together on a track produced recently by Gilad Atzmon together with Robert Wyatt and Ros Stephen: "Where are They Now" (Wyatt, Atzmon, Mansur, Stormtrap).
Book tickets online for Tuesday 12 October here.

Book Tickets online for Wednesday 13 October here.

You can also send in donations here.
Please circulate this message as far as you can.

Palestine needs your support.

Music against oppression.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Eyewitnesses: Israel's violent seizure of Irene aid ship

From Stuart Littlewood

To Henry Bellingham, MP

Dear Henry,

This horrifying personal account of how the unarmed mercy vessel Irene was seized will, I hope, open the eyes of the collaborators in our Foreign Office to Israel's cruelty and viciousness. Perhaps you would care to share it with those of your Parliamentary colleagues who so admire and defend the vile regime.

Note the Israeli navy's instruction that “You are entering an area which is under military blockade and is closed under international law.” I think it has been established that the blockade has no basis in international law and I am still waiting to hear HM Government's expert view of how maritime law views Israel's action stopping and seizing ships under British and other flags and abducting passengers and crew going about their lawful business outside Israel's territorial waters.

It is also interesting that the Israelis were concerned that the Irene was entering an area close to an oil rig. Would this be the Israeli rig that's suspected of slant-drilling into Gaza's marine gas field?

Kind regards,

Stuart Littlewood

Violent seizing of the Irene Gaza aid ship